Why it’s still not time to invest in Russia

Ah, the lure of Moscow and her markets. Investors just can’t stand being on the outside of that enormous opportunity. After a few months of complete avoidance, investors are now creeping back toward Russia, hesitant but interested, poking around for values in this shiny, luring market.

 The problem here is that even if oil prices are stabilizing (if), Russia’s market is still wracked (or wrecked) with dislocations and lack of logic. This is not a free market by any stretch, and you are still investing in the Russia created by Vladimir Putin.

That means you have to evaluate not only the trends, not only the individual company, not only the stock, but also the whims of the political and economic elite. The variables increase exponentially when you are trying to second guess the motivations of the political elite that can, and does, intervene in the market on a whim.

The best advice for investing in Russia? Find a source who knows what Putin’s stock portfolio looks like. It’s the only way to pick a sure thing.

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