Balancing the scales

The most recent iteration of the exchange’s #JSESheInvests conference proved yet again to be an outstanding success

Balancing the scales

Last year two teenage girls, both under the age of 15, attended the JSE’s annual #JSESheInvests conference – on their own accord – because they wanted to find out more about investing and how to prepare for their financial futures. This year they were back – as guest speakers. ‘They updated the audience on their investment journey learnings and portfolio results since then,’ says Nongcali Rubushe, the Head of Retail: Group Operations and Strategic Functions for the JSE.

‘#SheInvests kickstarted their investing journeys. It just goes to show you’re never too young to start learning about investing.’

The JSE says about 7.6 million households in the country are headed by women. This places a significant responsibility on women to not only provide financial means for their families, but also to care for children and manage households. ‘Financial literacy among women and their participation in the financial sector still lags behind men, despite efforts worldwide to balance the gender divide,’ she says. This is the reason why the JSE launched the #JSESheInvests initiative six years ago.

‘Lack of access to simple, concise financial literacy inhibits people’s ability to invest. The JSE seeks to change people’s relationship with money and amplify financial inclusion in SA. #SheInvests is one of many retail efforts the JSE is undertaking in this regard, but specifically it seeks to engage, empower and enable women with financial knowledge and insights that unlock their investing journey.’

The theme of this year’s #SheInvests conference was Building your Financial Legacy. Key topics at the 2023 conference, held in mid-August, included investing, trading, goal-based financial planning, entrepreneurship, personal branding and estate planning.

‘Building your Financial Legacy workshops empowered participants with entrepreneurship, financial planning, investing, trading and personal branding knowledge,’ says Rubushe. ‘Maintaining your Financial Legacy workshops unpacked how to maintain financial legacy through tools such as goal-based financial planning and how to use ETFs to accelerate attaining financial goals, while Protecting your Financial Legacy workshops addressed how to secure a financial legacy through astute estate planning.’ Other workshops included Investing in your Long-term Financial Goals; Investing in your Dream; and Building and Protecting Generational Wealth.

The wide range of speakers and experts featured at the conference were a major contribution to the event’s success, says Rubushe. ‘All the speakers were exceptional in the depth and delivery of their knowledge to the audience. Among them was Major Mandisa Mfeka, the first black female combat pilot in the South African Air Force, who delivered an inspirational keynote address, enlightening participants on the power of resilience.

‘There was also Precious Thamaga-Mazibuko, aka “Precious the Planner”, founder and CEO of Precious Celebrations, who imparted entrepreneurial insights about her journey to success, and how to Invest in your Dream.

‘Candice Paine, an asset management consultant and independent financial adviser, imparted practical ways to plan, execute and maintain financial goals, with investing as the key enabler, while award-winning financial journalist Maya Fisher-French was insightful and informative in the considerations and actions to take when protecting your financial legacy in estate planning.’

Rubushe says the feedback from attendees of the 2023 #JSESheInvests conference was informative. ‘They found it educational, insightful and holistic; many were pleasantly surprised with how relatable the speakers and content were. Developing curated experiences that delve into audience-relevant financial inclusion topics in a simple, yet effective manner is an approach we will continue to replicate across the different JSE retail initiatives. The JSE is committed to harnessing its credibility to promote future financial empowerment and gender diversity.’

By Patrick Farrell
Images: Gallo/Getty Images