Oran Hall | Tattoo artist searching for a stockbroker
ADVISORY COLUMN: PERSONAL FINANCIAL ADVISER
QUESTION: I am a tattoo artist, and I was looking on the internet for information that would help me learn about the stock traders in Jamaica. I saw an article in the Gleaner pertaining to what I was searching for so I decided to ask if I could somehow get a stock trader or adviser.
FINANCIAL ADVISER: To buy or sell stock on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, JSE, you should go to any of the stockbrokerage firms authorised to trade on the exchange. For a list of the stockbrokers, see jamstockex.com/investor-centre/jse-brokers.
You may also check the Yellow Pages under 'Investment Advisory and Securities Service', but some of the companies listed there are not stockbrokers. They are portfolio managers and investment advisers but do not execute trades on the stock exchange as stockbrokers do.
Before you begin to trade, you will be required to open an account with the brokerage house. It can be for one person only or for more than one person. You can find valuable information on how to open an account as well as the forms required to do so on the web sites of the stockbrokers.
You will need to produce the names and contact information of two references, proof of address, and your Taxpayer Registration Number. The account-opening procedure also requires that you complete a client agreement form. It asks for personal information such as name, date of birth, address, nationality, number of dependants and matters relating to your employment.
As a new client, it is very likely that you will be required to make a deposit when you place your order to buy. To trade, you place your order to buy or sell the stocks of your choice, indicating the quantity and the price.
There are several types of orders. A market order specifies the number of shares you want to buy or sell at the best available price. A limit order, specifies the maximum price you are prepared to pay or the minimum price you are prepared to sell at and a day order is valid for one day.
Rules for trading
Transactions are done on a cash basis, that is, you are required to pay in cash or by cheque for the stock you purchase and you must have clear ownership of any stock you are selling. Trading takes place on the Jamaica Stock Exchange from Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., on a computerised platform. Transactions are settled two business days after the execution of the order by your broker.
Your broker – meaning the company or its representative – will not necessarily succeed in buying all of the stock you order on the same trading day. Indeed, although the stock may trade at the price you are prepared to buy at, there is no guarantee that your broker may get any or that you may get any even if your broker does get any. This is due to how the rules of trading are, as well as to demand and supply factors.
The brokerage companies are member-dealers of the JSE. They are approved for membership by the board of the JSE and must be licensed by the Financial Services Commission. Being member-dealers enables them to buy and sell listed securities on the stock exchange on behalf of their clients or on their own account.
Stockbrokerages charge a commission for their services and, in addition to buying and selling stock for their clients, generally provide research and advice on the securities to buy and sell, provide regular information about market conditions and help clients keep an accurate record of their market transactions. Although the broker provides you with advice and information, you are ultimately responsible for making the investment decisions.
To get the best service from your broker, state clearly what your objectives are and ask how the broker will go about helping you to realise them. Learn as much as you can about the brokers, including speaking to your friends or acquaintances who have previously dealt with them and checking their web sites.
The web pages of the stockbroking companies are full of information on the services they offer. Learn as much as you can from them. A Guide to Jamaica Securities Markets, which is published by the Jamaica Stock Exchange - www.jamstockex.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/A-Guide-to-Jamaica-Securit... - can also be of value to you in helping you to know more about stockbrokers and understanding the market.
Oran A. Hall, the principal author of The Handbook of Personal Financial Planning, offers personal financial planning advice and counsel.