As we close out the old year, this is often the time that we stop to take stock.
And as we approach the new year, maybe you’re thinking it’s time to do exactly that in 2014 – take stock and invest in the local and regional businesses listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange.
Buying shares is an investment in both the personal future of an islandista investor and the future of the country. Moreover, as Operations Supervisor of the BSE, Barry Blenman explained, getting into the stock market is simpler and cheaper than many people think.
“There is no minimum investment level. You can literally buy one share,” pointed out Blenman.
However, he cautioned that since “there is a cost attached to purchasing shares, purchasing one share may not be a cost effective activity if the fees are higher than the cost of that single share.”
And with the opportunity to own a stake in successful companies such as Cave Shepherd and Company Limited, Goddards Enterprises, Light and Power Holdings and Neal and Massy, why would you limit yourself to just one share?
After all, just to be listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange, companies have to meet certain success thresholds. Blenman outlined the requirements for companies to be listed on the BSE’s Regular Market or Junior Market, saying:
“Companies listing on the Regular Market must be a profit making venture with minimum assets of BBD $1 million. The Junior Market caters to smaller and newer public companies, which may not meet all the requirements for listing on the Regular market. Companies listing on the Junior Market must have a minimum equity capital of 1,000,000 shares with a minimum stated capitalization value of BBD$200,000.00.”
So how do you get started? First – do yourself a favour and do some homework.
“For the novice investor it is imperative to always start with education. That should be the base point,” advised Blenman, adding:
“You won’t become an expert unless you equip yourself with the tools and knowledge to get there.”
Determining one’s appetite for risk is part of this education process. If you are willing and able to take a good deal of risk, you could be in for higher financial returns and rewards. Alternatively, if you have a low appetite for risk, a conservative strategy can still reap satisfying rewards. In both strategies, diversification can be key. Blenman explains how a diversified approach can balance things out.
“Positive gains in lower risk investments can offset the negative impacts of higher risk investments that are underperforming,”
After you’ve conducted your research, the next step would be to contact one of the trained and registered brokers who are listed on the exchange’s website www.bse.com.bb.
“There are nine Registered Brokers authorized to trade shares on the board of the BSE. The BSE cannot suggest which Broker a prospective investor uses, we can only inform the prospective investor of which companies are authorized to provide brokerage services,” outlined Blenman.
From there, you can be on your way to creating wealth and a legacy for yourself, your family and your island.