By Idris Seedat, Manager CSI at the JSE
The JSE/Liberty Investment Challenge has wrapped up for the year and you’re about to graduate and you’re wondering how to continue learning about investing. Fortunately there are a number of ways that you can keep that passion alive through connecting with the JSE.
Keep on playing
The JSE offers two options for aspirant investors who would like to grow trading expertise before opening a trading account.
The JSE runs the JSE Virtual Trading Game which is an annual competition aimed at teaching the South African public about the fundamentals of investing on the JSE. Each participant is given a virtual sum or R1-million to invest in equities to manage over the course of a few months. The game enables participants to invest in a no-risk virtual environment while standing a chance of winning awesome prizes. Watch the press next year for more details.
Another option is the JSE Virtual Trader which is a simulated trading platform which allows registered users to trade across the five JSE markets including equities, equity derivatives, interest rate products, currency derivatives and commodity derivatives. The JSE Virtual Trader is aimed at individuals who understand the basics of investing but who have not yet opened a trading account and those who want to expand the product range that they use. The JSE Virtual Trader is open to the public at no cost and you can register for your free, risk-free 30 day account on: www.jse.co.za/JseVirtualTrader
Starting your own investment club
If you enjoyed working as a team to make investment decisions, you could start your own investment club with a group of your friends. Here, the responsibility of research on investment avenues is shared and collective decisions are based on discussion and democratic choice.
While you don’t need to set up legal agreements it’s a good idea to develop a constitution. This will include deciding what happens if a member leaves the club and also ensures fairness in the sharing of profits or what would happen if a team member passes away. It’s always a good idea to have a certain number of members of the club to decide on major investment decisions are as democratic as possible.
Investigate a career in financial services
Now that the Challenge is over, you could consider a career in the financial services industry for example as a stock broker. An outgoing personality and a swift way around figures is an important determinant for your role as a trader. A degree is not a requirement to become a trader, but it is a distinct advantage, especially to get a job at a large firm. You do not necessarily need a finance-based degree to pursue a career in trading or stock broking, but you must be able to grasp mathematical concepts.
You will be required to write the Registered Persons Examinations, which include: introduction to financial markets, regulation and ethics, and equity market. In order to become a qualified stockbroker, you can enroll at the South African Institute of Stockbrokers for a year-long course. Visit their website for information: www.sais.co.za
Come and visit the JSE
The JSE hosts a number of events and investment seminars throughout the year both at the exchange and at major cities around the country. For example, the JSE Power Hour sessions held every month at the exchange tackles both basic and complex investment topics. Visit the JSE’s website for a full list of upcoming events: www.jse.co.za