Most of the time, buying something you want is pretty straight forward. Looking for lemons? You pop into your local grocer. Need (yes, need) another LBD for your office party? There’s a rack full of frocks for you to choose from at any of the shops in the nearest mall. Got to get your hands on the latest smartphone? Plenty of places for you to get your tech fix. But what if you have a hankering for something a little more… specific. Like all things Christmas? Or fresh organic produce from a local farmer? Enter: markets. These are places where people with a common interest gather to buy and sell certain things.
The concept is the same for stocks, shares or equities. Those are the parts of a company or business that you can buy and own. There is a dedicated market for those. So if you were to ask for a handful of Naspers stocks from the corner café, you’d be met with some serious confuzzlement (read: huh?); because you can’t just buy shares the way you would Chappies or milk. The market where you do this is the stock exchange – and in Africa our biggest one is the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, aka the JSE.
The JSE is a physical building in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, where companies can sell their stocks, to people who want them. The JSE has around 460 companies listed, including the likes of SAB Miller, Woolworths and Vodacom. Orders for stocks come in to the trading floor, through brokerage firms (think of them as the middle men, the estate agents of the stock market), and buyers and sellers are linked. Happy days.
Of course some people find that whole process a little daunting and so you, like them, could find buying and selling shares a little easier to do in the online space. Because really, investing should be as #easy as taking a stroll through your local farmer’s market, where you get to pick and buy the goods that you like and want. EasyEquities lets you do that, and you don’t need to have stacks of cash to get started either.