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I'm a skilled professional Web-developer and entrepreneur in Russia. I were working with different local companies in Moscow for at least 10 years. I still work with couple of key clients in Moscow and it allows me to pay for my living. Right now, I don't have international clients. All payments are conducted in Russian Rubles and I also have a deposit in this currency.

It is no secret, that lately we are having a somewhat of a financial crisis in Russia. The Ruble is dropping. The US Dollar had risen from 41 RUR (01.11.14) to 61 RUR (current exchange rate). The prices are also growing for consumer products on local market. And there is an opinion that Ruble will continue to fall.

I know the complexity of the worldwide financial system and how this all depends on politics, but I'm trying to find a best course of action for me in this situation. I'm not looking for a short-term solution or for a method to make money of this situation by means of speculations of some kind. I'm looking for a long-term strategic solution that will allow me to have a stable finances that will not so drastically depend on a local currency.

What course of actions should I choose?

Do I have to convert my deposit account from Rubles into another currency? If so, which currency or a set of currencies should I choose?

Should I leave the Russian market and start to work with international clients in USD or EUR? Or maybe I should change the currency in which local clients are paying for my services?

I have a very basic understanding in the field of economics, so any suggestions or advises will be highly appreciated.

I will be glad to update my question if some specific information is required.

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You could of course request payment in EUR or USD, maybe keep a PayPal account and just leave the funds in PayPal unless you need to withdraw the money in local currency? Either currency would be fine because the problem you are trying to overcome is the instability in the ruble. EUR and USD both accomplish that.

If you can get local clients to pay in EUR or USD (again, PayPal seems like an easy way to accomplish that) you avoid the ruble, but at the risk that your services become more expensive to local clients because they have to convert a weaker currency to a stronger one.

You should also solicit some international clients! You are obviously perfectly fluent in English and that's a significant advantage. And they'll be happy to pay in dollars and euros.

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    That's a difficult one for me to answer. If you think the ruble will decline more, and you think that will affect you, then you could convert now to USD. But that's an investment decision you have to make based on your own information. – Rocky Dec 16 '14 at 17:02
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    Also, Skrill is probably a much better option than Paypal in this case. – Ismael Luceno Dec 16 '14 at 21:17
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    I don't think asking local clients to pay in foreing currency makes sense: unless you have any reason to believe they might already have them, it basically means they have to convert some rubles to the other currency… which is both a chore for them, and increases the cost. So it basically means "ask more money for you work", which might or might not be acceptable. If you do want to be paid in foreing currencies, searching for foreign clients seems like the only option that makes sense, to me. – o0'. Dec 17 '14 at 14:36
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    On the topic of local clients, perhaps you advertise charges in USD but accept payment of an equal amount in RUR at the current exchange rate? – kwah Dec 17 '14 at 17:15
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    @Lohoris I generally work in countries with less than stable (or predictable) inflation, it's quite common to denominate contracts in USD and then pay them in the local currency value using the conversion rate at the date of payment... – serakfalcon Dec 18 '14 at 5:57
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Asset diversification

If you have significant assets, such as a large deposit, then diversification of risks such as currency risk is good practice - there are many good options, but keeping 100% of it in roubles is definitely not a good idea, nor is keeping 100% of it in a single foreign currency. Of course, it would be much more beneficial to have done it yesterday, and moments of extreme volatility generally are a bad time to make large uninformed trades, but if the deposit is sufficiently large (say, equal to annual expenses) then it would make sense to split it among different currencies and also different types of assets as well (deposit/stocks/precious metals/bonds).

The rate of rouble may go up and down, but you also have to keep in mind that future events such as fluctuating oil price may risk a much deeper crisis than now, and you can look to experiences of the 1998 crisis as an example of what may happen if the situation continues to deteriorate.

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You could do nothing for a while longer. Foreign exchange simply means your services are cheaper and imports and more expensive, local transactions are otherwise unaffected. Your main worry is whether the government's attempts to revert these issues will create inflation within Russia.

Local clients will likely not care to pay you in Euros, Dollars, or Pounds (as it will cost them significantly more, they'd have to acquire the currency to pay you with) but does it matter if they pay in Roubles? The financial crisis in more an international thing, not a local one. Now it is possible there will be inflation setting in but I doubt the powers that be will allow that to happen... If you are concerned about it, buying non-liquid assets are the thing to do - a house will still be worth "1 house" no matter what a 1-million rouble note will buy you in a year's time. Similarly, you can invest in 'blue-chip' stocks that should be a good hedge against any further inflation (the rich don't tend to turn poor in difficult times!)

In the meantime, get some international clients - as the Rouble is so low, relatively speaking, your services are very competitive. The rest of the time, is to wait it out a little - nobody knows what will happen, but in my knowledge of history interest rates like this drop back to something much closer to normal quite quickly.

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    A house will be a house after 10 years, but there's no guarantee you'll have that house after 10 years. Investing in properties is a risky speculation until the political system is stable. – Danubian Sailor Dec 17 '14 at 8:05
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The ruble was, is and will be very unstable because of unstable political situation in Russia and the economy strongly dependent of the export of raw resources.

What you can do? I assume, you want to minimize risk. The best way to achieve that is to make your savings in some stable currency. Euro and Swiss Franc are currently very stable currencies, so storing your surpluses in them is a very good option if you want to keep your money safe. To prevent political risk, you should keep your money in countries with stable political regime, which are unlikely to 'nationalize' the savings of the citizens in predictable future.

As for your existing savings in rubles, it's a hard deal. I assume, as the web developer, you have a plenty of money, which have lost a lot of value. If you convert them to euro or francs, you will preserver the current value (after the loss). You'll safe them agaist ruble falling down, but in case the ruble will return to previous value, you'll loose.

Keeping savings in instable currencies is, however, speculation, like investing in gold etc. So if you can mentally accept the loss and want to sleep good, convert them.

You have also option to invest in properties, for example buy an extra appartment. It's a good way to deal with financial surplus in Europe in US, however you should be aware, in Russland it's connected with the political risk. The real estates can be confiscated in any moment by the state and you can't run away with it (the savings can also be confiscated, but there's a fair chance you'll manage to rescue them if you act quickly).

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    The EURCHF exchange rate ceiling currently effectively means the CHF is pegged to the EUR, and the Swiss National Bank has been rather successful in defending the ceiling. Hence for the OP's purposes, there is currently little appreciable advantage to CHF over EUR, whereas EUR has an advantage in being used as the day-to-day currency in many of Russia's neighboring countries to the west and southwest, and easily recognized even in EU countries that are not part of the currency union. – a CVn Dec 17 '14 at 12:22
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Bitcoins are very liquid. They can be sold or spent very easily. And you don't depend on the banks being solvent to keep your Bitcoin funds, since you can keep them yourself in an offline wallet.

I'm not sure what's the legality of Bitcoin in Russia, though.

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