GAME ON - JSE MAGAZINE

GAME ON

The JSE’s online trading competition is designed to increase exposure to the realm of investment

GAME ON

Trading stock markets has long carried a sense of intrigue and wonder, coupled with the idea that to do so requires a financial degree or mathematically inclined ability. To demystify these notions and bring clarity, the JSE has launched a limited timeframe virtual trading game (VTG) that allows members of the public to learn risk-free.

It’s essentially a beginner’s guide to stock exchange investment, but with all the excitement of a game that has cash rewards for the top three contestants. Idris Seedat, Head of Transformation and CSI at the JSE, says the VTG is a platform that is very simple, free to use and which simulates the activities of a real brokerage account. ‘Participants manage a virtual fund of R1 million, and are guided to select JSE-listed companies in which to trade shares and exchange traded funds only,’ he says. ‘ETFs are a popular investment vehicle given their ability to create a diversified portfolio across a broad range of asset classes. ‘In support is a manual and an FAQ section that guides players on the process, as well as a JSE support team. Learning modules aid in understanding the different topics within the financial markets, with ideas and information that encourages further research. In this way participants can strategise around the trading of JSE-listed instruments, and test their trading skills as they develop experience.’

Along this journey, says Seedat, participants will realise they need a methodology in how to select the companies in which to invest. ‘This is a perfect platform to experiment with ideas in building a portfolio before heading out into the real market and opening an account with a stockbroker.’

Performance is tracked and measured against other competitors taking part in the VTG, all of whom will earn interest on their cash-balance accounts. The rankings on the leader board are based on the holdings (gains and losses) of each player. Competition winners stand a chance of winning a share of R60 000 in Satrix vouchers (Satrix is a provider of index-tracking solutions in SA) split into R30 000 for first place, R20 000 for second place and R10 000 for third. The vouchers can then be used to begin their real investment journey through the Satrix platform, but there is also the choice of converting their winnings to cash. To qualify for the prizes, participants must place at least one trade between 1 September and 30 October, which is the competition timeframe, and buy and or sell shares at least 15 times, and spend at least R750 000 of their virtual funds. People can register via virtualtradinggame.jse.co.za.

‘There will be some that will be successful right out of the gate, and others that will take time to develop their strategies,’ according to Seedat. ‘Regardless, the VTG is a valuable aid in becoming a successful investor. Many South Africans don’t even consider trading as an investment opportunity because they don’t want to risk real money given a lack of knowledge. Being able to practise and test theories through a simulated game increases their confidence and potential to acquire financial well-being. Unless you start by taking the first step, you will never truly know the world of investing.’

The JSE believes that its status as the largest stock exchange on the African continent means it is responsible for driving awareness about the stock market and encouraging wider participation, education and engagement, he adds. It also speaks to being a responsible corporate citizen and the JSE’s role in creating a financially literate society.

By Kerry Dimmer
Image: Gallo/Getty Images