Investing in the stock market can seem like a daunting task, especially for those who are new to the game.
I vividly remember my first investment experience back in 2007 when I was just 17 years old. I invested roughly R3 000 to purchase two Naspers shares, each priced at approximately R1 500. The hard-earned cash came from my job as a restaurant runner, where I spent evenings cleaning glasses and dishes after school.
In the past, investing was only available to wealthy individuals who had brokers to manage their trades. However, there were several obstacles for those who wanted to invest in the JSE, including high monthly trading account fees and broker transaction costs for smaller trades. At that time, the Standard Bank online share trading platform was becoming more popular, as it was more affordable without brokers. But, it still had fixed monthly fees, high trading fees for low-value investments, and was not user-friendly for novice investors.
When I wanted to learn about investing in shares, I couldn’t afford a broker and didn’t know where to start. So, I asked a friend if I could meet with her father, who was a founding director at an asset management company, for advice. During our meeting, I sought guidance and e recommended reading the financial section of newspapers. Remember, online news was only beginning in 2007.
As our meeting wrapped up, he paused and said: ‘Listen, I’m going to open a share trading account for you. I’ll assign a reliable broker to help you with any questions you may have while you learn the ropes; you won’t have to pay monthly fees, and we’ll reduce the trading fees to help get you started.’
I’ll always be indebted to him for such a kind gesture. Nonetheless, after setting up the account, I received an email two days later confirming that I was the proud owner of two Naspers (NPN) shares. (I don’t own those Naspers shares today, but I made a decent return …)
Although I don’t consider myself an expert investor, I’ve gained valuable experience from making trades over the past 15 years since my first in 2007. This has allowed me to apply the business theory I learned during my BCom and CA(SA) article years to real-life situations. As a result, I now have a more comprehensive understanding of investing in companies locally and internationally.
Fast forward to today. With the democratisation of investing, there are fewer barriers to entry than ever, making it easier for people of all ages and financial backgrounds to participate in the market. Whether you are 17 or 70 and have R100 or R10 000, the period for retail investors is here. You have every reason to start today.
In my personal experience, I have found Easy Equities, a local trading platform owned by the Purple Group, to be user-friendly and affordable. There are no monthly fees, and the share trading fees remain low, regardless of the amount invested. I even opened up an account for my 14-month-old daughter!
To be clear, I’m not receiving compensation for sharing info about Easy Equities − they’re unaware of this article. However, I encourage you to use this as motivation to delve into the field of investing. If you have larger capital to start with around R25 000, you may want to consider trading platforms by Standard Bank online share trading starting at R110 per month, and FNB stockbroking online starting at R87 per month.
GRANT GREEFF CA(SA)
Director at SearchKings™ Africa