On October 1, 2021, new regulation on the stock market appeared in Russia. The Central Bank introduced it on purpose to protect newcomers from too complex financial instruments in which they do not understand. All investors were divided into qualified and unskilled. To go to the status of the first, you need to pass the test. We will tell you what it is and whether it is easy to pass it.


The stock market is tricky. On it you can buy shares and bonds of large companies (conditional Sberbank or Gazprom). But there are also a bunch of other financial instruments out there. Previously, everyone had access to them. At the same time, in pursuit of a long ruble, it often happened that people invested money in financial instruments that they did not understand. For example, they listened to the advice of numerous YouTube bloggers or specialized telegram channels, and then lost all their savings. And all because they did not understand the nuances of these financial instruments or traded with “leverage” (that is, they took money from a broker on credit).

Then the Central Bank limited opportunities for private investors. Qualified market players began to be considered those who had at least 6 million rubles on their accounts or who actively traded and made at least 10 transactions per quarter, and the turnover on the brokerage account exceeded those 6 million. Another option was to have a certificate or experience work in the investment field. But such restrictions seemed too harsh. Therefore, from October 1, they decided to simplify the system. And overdid it …


Personally, I expected the test to be much more difficult. Especially I flipped through a couple of textbooks on stock trading in order to recall the basic terms and provisions, half-forgotten since I was actively involved in investments. But the reality turned out to be much simpler and more banal. In the test from the Central Bank there are only … 7 questions. Of these, three on self-esteem, which do not affect the outcome of testing. And four – to test basic knowledge about the features of a particular financial instrument. It is enough to correctly answer these four questions – and the status of a qualified investor is yours.

Moreover, you can retake the test as many times as you like. If you answered incorrectly, go through again and answer … the same questions. In other words, even if you don’t know how to do it correctly, a banal enumeration of different answer options will help. And if you’re completely lazy, you can go to YouTube. It’s full of cheat sheets.

There is only one caveat – you will need to pass such mini-tests for each category of financial instruments. There are 11 of them. The mechanics are as follows. If you want to buy a product, but it is not available to you, the application offers to take a test. Go through – and you can trade the next day.

– Most likely a compromise was found in the Central Bank. On the one hand, the test is pretty easy. And everyone can pass it. On the other hand, there is still a certain barrier against impulse purchases. At least a person will think about why he wants to buy “futures on the RTS” and whether he understands all the risks associated with this. At least some awareness will come, because the questions in the tests are mostly educational, ”says Sergei Makarov, independent financial advisor, author of the book Five Elements of Financial Well-being.


– You have suffered losses from transactions with shares. Will you be reimbursed


– You sold a stock option. What are your potential losses?

– You have one futures contract per share. The share price fell sharply. In this

how can events develop?

The entire list of questions can be found on the Central Bank website.

On October 1, 2021, new regulation on the stock market appeared in Russia.

On October 1, 2021, new regulation on the stock market appeared in Russia.

Photo: Shutterstock


Don’t go, kids, go for a walk in futures

As the experts recommend, despite the simplicity of passing the exam, you shouldn’t go all out. Firstly, if you answered four questions correctly, this does not mean that you have begun to fully understand all the nuances of a complex financial instrument. In each of them there are many “pitfalls” that it is better not to step on in practice. Secondly, unqualified players have a huge selection of securities without passing the tests. The basic set includes several hundred stocks, bonds and exchange-traded funds. There are enough of them to compose an investment portfolio for every taste.

– The majority of private investors have their eyes running wide without it. They open an individual investment account (IIS), put money there and do not know what to buy. Some experts say that one should invest in dividend stocks. But which ones? Others – that in the shares of Chinese companies, because they are undervalued. But which ones? Still others – that we must wait, because the crisis is coming soon. How long to wait? In humans, a pattern break happens. Therefore, the fewer instruments, the better for most novice investors, says Sergey Makarov.

According to the expert, at the first stage it is worth buying government bonds (OFZ) and index exchange funds, which invest the money of shareholders in all shares that are quoted on a particular exchange. And then, having figured it out, buy something more specific. At the same time, none of the strategies guarantees a high income. Investments can both make a profit and show a loss. These risks should always be kept in mind. As for qualified investors, and not so.


What can buy and sell “Qual”

– Foreign shares not included in the basic lists of the Central Bank. As a rule, these are relatively small foreign companies for which the risks are higher than for such giants as Apple, Shell, Facebook, etc. (you can buy shares of these companies without passing the test).

– Russian shares of the third echelon. These are small domestic companies that have shares on the stock exchange, but the trading volume for which is small. This means that in the event of a crisis, they will fall more.

– Foreign exchange-traded funds not included in the basic list of the Central Bank. The same applies to small and, as a rule, specialized funds.

– Bonds of Russian companies with a low rating (lower than that of the country). This means that the risk of bankruptcy of such companies is higher. The investor must understand that he can lose all the money invested.

– Any transactions with “leverage”, when the investor uses the broker’s money in addition to his own money. For example, he invests a ruble and borrows three rubles. Thus, it can significantly increase profits, if you guess right. But the loss will grow several times if you don’t guess right.

– Derivative financial instruments such as options and futures. They are used by professional traders. But to make money on them, you need to understand the nuances well.

– Structured bonds. These are complex financial products, the profitability of which depends on many factors. Usually the terms of such bonds are very tricky. Brokers deliberately confuse them in order to receive guaranteed profitability, and pass all risks to a private investor.

– Shares of closed-end mutual funds. These are funds for which income is accrued only at the end of the fund’s life. And this is usually 3 – 5 years. At the same time, income is not guaranteed.

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