South Africans now have access to a risk-free online trading platform provided by the JSE to increase their financial knowledge


The JSE Investment Challenge Public Game, now in its second year, allows aspirant traders to test their skills in a virtual, risk-free environment –with the added incentive of (real) cash prizes.

Hypothetically, each participant is ‘given’ a sum of R1 million to create a portfolio of shares listed on the JSE. The performance of their portfolios is tracked and measured as they compete against other participants. This year, players can also enjoy a more authentic trading experience on the exchange as trades will be made at a 15-minute time delay instead of at end-of-day prices.

The three best-performing portfolios will win R30 000 (first place), R20 000 (second place) and R10 000 (third place) – to be deposited into a stock-broker’s account of their choice.

The public game was launched following the JSE Investment Challenge for high schools and universities which, in the case of the schools challenge, was established over 40 years ago. Together, these games provide a holistic opportunity for all South Africans interested in investing.

This game helps participants make educated investment decisions when they are ready to start investing on the stock market. The JSE Investment Challenge Public Game was launched in September last year, and to date around 2 000 people have taken part in it – a thousand more than last year.

‘We have experienced a growing interest in the game due to the public’s keenness in taking charge of their investment goals,’ says Mpho Ledwaba, Head of Marketing and Retail Development at the JSE.

‘This is one of the sand boxes we provide for people to experience the investment opportunities on the JSE with no risks.’

The low savings and investment culture in SA – which to a large extent contributes to the general public’s lack of investment knowledge – is becoming of increasing concern to many experts. The JSE is well-known but its core business and role in the economy is not known generally.

‘It is increasing its focus on the retail market to make investing easier to understand and more accessible’


Research suggests that the JSE is considered by many as being ‘too risky’ and ‘not an investment destination for those new to investing’. Therefore the exchange saw the need for a risk-free platform open to South Africans interested in learning more about the world of investing and, in the long term, saving for their future. 

According to Ledwaba: ‘The JSE would like to increase the base of the retail investors so as to be relevant to the national agenda of poverty alleviation, as well as growing the investment culture.

‘It is increasing its focus on the retail market – individuals who would like to invest on the stock market – and wants to make investing on the stock market easier to understand and more accessible. It will assist people with the correct tools for making informed investment choices.

‘The stock market has a diverse range of products that are well suited to all levels of investors. The best way for people to learn about the stock exchange is an introduction to listed shares. Once participants are comfortable with this, they can then start investing via other types of products,’ says Ledwaba.

‘It is fundamentally important to understand that the stock market focuses on long-term investments and that there are no quick-fix wins, and this mentality applies to all types of investments.’

The challenge will take place annually, and all South Africans are eligible and encouraged to enter.

The JSE has introduced the game to help educate as well as give South Africans the knowledge to better navigate the investment landscape of the exchange.

‘Whether you are an individual investor or part of an investment club, register for the public game to equip yourself with the skills for investing, and start taking charge of your life,’ says Ledwaba.

For more information about the JSE Investment Challenge Public Game, call Dudu Seme, JSE Retail Development Officer, on 011 520 7125. Alternatively, send an email to [email protected].

Image: Fredrik Broden/