Experiment: I advise financial advisors to their clients

Experiment: I advise financial advisors to their clients


In 2015 the number of Russians who are indebted on loans rose to a record level. According to the data collection Agency “Sequoia Credit consolidation” to the beginning of September 2015 every economically active citizen needs to credit institutions, on average, about 142 thousand rubles every fourth problem was the loan taken in cash every sixth — on a credit card, every tenth — in the segment of auto loans, each 25th with a mortgage.

For many financial issues independently proved too challenging, and they began to turn to financial advisors. “In the first half of 2015, the demand for our services has grown by half compared with last year,” — said General Director of consulting group “the Personal capital” Vladimir Savenok. The rates and charges of financial advisors ranges from 1 thousand to 15 thousand rubles. per hour. I advise for the money the consultants and whether to use their services?

To answer this question, we conducted an experiment: find three heroes, sent them to the Russian financial counsellors and then asked to describe the sensation. What came of it?

Currency trap

Olga Fortuna (left) and Natalia Smirnova
Photo: Oleg Yakovlev/

Problem: 40-year-old Olga Fortunak, Manager in a major international advertising company, became one of only two of tens of thousands of Russians caught in the trap of foreign-currency mortgages. In 2008 she took out a mortgage on a $199 million (4.7 million rubles for the same price — 24 rubles per dollar) in the Bank “DeltaCredit.” Due to the fact that the official salary was small, to get a rouble credit in major state-owned banks did not work, explains his choice of Fortunak.

At the moment the conditions seemed quite reasonable — the rate was fixed (9.75% APR), monthly payment was $1500, or 36 thousand rbl. Now the monthly payment of Fortunak is almost 100 thousand rubles per month. The principal amount currently of $130 thousand, or more than 8.6 million RUB Her income is not enough to repay the loan in a month she receives from 60 to 80 thousand rubles depending on a company paid bonuses.

The last payment on the mortgage, Fortunak made in August 2015. Prior to that Olga tried to solve the problem yourself — in December 2014 she spent all her savings ($30 million) on the early repayment of the loan. On debt restructuring, it did not go. “My colleagues in misfortune took vacation credit, repay only the interest without paying the principal debt, but it didn’t help. The holidays are over, but the debt remained,” explains Fortuna.

Consultation: Fortunak went for consultation to the General Director of consulting company “Personal Advisor” Natalia Smirnova in the evening after work. Meeting at a cafe near the metro station “Belorusskaya” took about an hour. Fortunak, in General, understood that this conversation it most likely will not help: she with the problem addressed in various instances, including in the state Duma.

And she was right. According to Smirnova from “Personal adviser”, tools to help teamsize in the current situation, there is no: she has no more funds to invest. According to Smirnova, Fortunak, perhaps it was not worth to spend their $30 million on the early repayment of the loan. They could be put, for example, in ETF (exchange traded funds), or the Russian Eurobonds, said Smirnov. And perhaps, according to the consultant, they could be turned into $60 thousand, and then partially repay the loan.

Discussion of investment prospects of the money spent was quite long, and the correspondent , who watched the conversation, it seemed that Smirnova was a little discouraged by the fact that the situation is quite hopeless. What to do now? Credit default means the court with the Bank, which is likely Fortunak lose. The value of the apartment (about 5 million) is not enough to pay off the debt. One way is to try to use the law on bankruptcy of natural persons, which entered into force on 1 October. Well, or try to somehow negotiate with the Bank. “There is more likely to need legal advice,” — said Smirnov.

Impressions of the hero: “then you Should contact them for advice. Last year, in March, I already felt the disaster coming and tried to Bank to consult. Natalia is right in saying that in my case it is better to contact a lawyer. I knew that especially there is no alternative. But I was curious. I don’t know, I would if I was a year ago, but now I’d just took a chance and tried to earn on his savings”.

Living beyond our means

Saida Suleymanova and Aleksey Yakovlev
Photo: Oleg Yakovlev/

Problem: the Photographer Alexey Yakovlev 29 years old, married, the family plans to have children. By the time of birth of the child he wished to buy his own apartment (he rents). The family income is high enough — together with his wife they earn monthly 113 thousand rubles that Alexei is, the accumulation of 2,8 million rbl., he had inherited from the sale of the real estate relatives.

The problem is that, by his own admission, Yakovlev unwise spending. Most of the savings he kept in dollars in a safety Deposit box. Some money he lent to his friends on receipt: $10 million at 20% per annum and another 110 thousand rbl. — under 40%. At the same time, the Yakovlev has a loan — 140 thousand rbl. under 19% APR credit card.

Monthly expenses of the family team reach 200 thousand roubles. “We spend more than we earn. We have already started to spend savings, but I would like to start saving”, — he shared with a financial Advisor. Himself Yakovlev sees the solution in more active investing their savings.

Advice: Yakovlev, as it became clear at the meeting with the consultant, prefers to dine in the cafe. And this is one of the problems, told him over a Cup of ginger tea in Il Patio at Paveletskaya independent financial consultant said Suleymanova. In General, in the behavior Yakovlev has, in her opinion, a few mistakes. First, he plans to invest the money, not bringing into balance the revenues and expenditures. Secondly, it is not very efficient use of savings.

First of all, Suleymanova advised Alex to cancel outstanding credit and credit cards is to have two debit. One is to save for large expenses (vacations, gifts, big purchases). The second is to hold funds in reserve capital (for unexpected expenditures: job loss, health problems, etc). To form the reserves, Alexis need to reduce the deficit of the family budget to bring expenditures in line with revenues, to reduce visits to restaurants and cafés. The presence of a formalized Fund, according to Suleymanova, will prevent Alexei from the temptation to spend money out of the cell.

Consultant’s advice to place the reserve Fund at 8% per annum in rubles Yakovlev, Suhumi money at 40%, it seems, listened skeptically. In General it was the feeling that he was more interested in, not how to cut costs and how to increase income. For example, in the course of conversation he asked about the possibility to place their savings on the stock exchange. But Suleymanov tried to stick to the limits and talked about the spending cuts and the impending purchase of housing.

Here tips are not original is to pick up the loan so that the payments are not much higher than current rental costs. When selecting an accommodation are advised to pay attention to housing, which banks received on defaulted loans. It can be purchased with discount up to 25%. According to her, to use such a mechanism, it is better to work through consultants who are well aware of this market.

Impressions of the hero: “I enjoyed the program accounting and Finance a lot of reading on the topic, was wondering what would you advise the professional of the financial area. To earn money I can and plan goes, do not know how. The Soviets were not obvious, although in secret they, too, were not all very logical and rational. But I’m an emotional person, and I would like the “wow-effect that wasn’t there”.

Credit slavery

Vadim Fedorov (left) and Denis Klukowski
Photo: Oleg Yakovlev/

Problem: Vadim Fedorov works as an IT specialist in a financial company. And his wife Elena, the Manager on external communications. They have a 16-year-old son Artem. Total monthly family income well above average (Fedorov preferred not to disclose). But it is not enough to implement all the financial goals of the family.

The biggest item of expenditure is the repayment of a mortgage loan that Fedorov took in 2011 (130 thousand rubles per month). A little less than a family spends on food and tutoring for my son, who is preparing to enter the University. Previously, Fedorov was additional income — the company has paid bonuses, which the family spent on early repayment of mortgages. But now because of the crisis of the prize cut. While expenses only increase.

Fedorov fear that due to the reduction of budget places in public universities they have to pay for his son’s — according to their estimates, about 200 thousand rubles each year. In this case the family wants to change cars (both have car) and go on vacation. 2015 trip abroad cost them about 150 thousand rubles is Now estimated Fedorova, the family vacation will cost not less than 250 thousand rubles in addition, it would be nice to postpone something for retirement.

Advice: This is only one of the three meetings with the consultants, which was held in the office of Fedorov arrived at the BCS office at Paveletskaya. BCS group is trying to develop this area in the framework of the “BCS Premier”.

In a small glass meeting room the head of Department implementation of the personal financial planning group BCS Denis Klukowski explained to our hero that given your goals it may soon get into debt. Even if today to start saving 20 thousand rubles. per month, savings will only last for the first year of the son. Money on vacations and cars and in this case you have to borrow. This correspondent had the feeling that the current mortgage loan for Fedorov is a serious obstacle that prevents to lead your desired lifestyle.

In order not to get into credit dependence, said Klukowski, the family needs about 1 million rubles, which could be invested. To save this amount, you will have to give up some needs to donate leave, save only one car in the family. In addition, you need to look for an additional source of income. In this case, it can bring in a garage cooperative. Fedorov pays for the service about 7 thousand roubles a month, his sale can give up to 400 thousand rubles.

In addition, the consultant advised me to refuse early repayment of the mortgage. At the rate housing loan at 12.5% Fedorov will benefit more if they invest in the instruments with the yield of 16-18% per annum. To plan a balanced financial plan and give specific advice on investing, Klukowski invited our hero to meet again.

Hero experience: “Before coming to the financial Advisor I once would all the money from the sale of the same garage was allowed to pay off the mortgage, or we would have eaten them. Now I understand that we must act differently.”