Local equity market investors now at 10 per cent, says Street Forrest

Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Managing Director Marlene Street Forrest says over the last 10 years the percentage of investors in the local equities market has grown from 2 per cent to 10 per cent.

“What we have found also when we disaggregate is that many of these are younger persons in their 20s and 30s, who are reading and getting excited about the market. It means that we now have a demanding population, and as a result of that, it is important that in satisfying their demand, that we look towards elevating what we know and keeping ahead of even the investors, to deliver the best products and services,” she said at the virtual launch of the JSE e-Campus Caribbean Securities Trader Professional Certificate programme on Monday last.

“They’re not asking about products from Jamaica, but they’re asking for products right across the region. It is important, we feel, that we educate the market – whether it is the brokers, the investors and others – just generally about the capital market, because we feel that this is one area in which we are going to attain sustainability and growth of our countries within the region,” she added.

Street Forrest indicated that the launch of the programme, as the name suggests, is to also facilitate the integration of traders across the region.

“[The programme] will allow for further focus on the broadening and deepening of the Caribbean as a financial destination, where our brokers will be able to provide [advice] not just on Jamaica or Barbados or the Eastern Caribbean; But when we speak, we speak with one voice. We understand what the country is doing within the region and we operate like this,” she said.

She added that businesses are flourishing within the region and as a result of that, brokers need to have a wide knowledge about the market.

“We want for the Caribbean to have one network with one order book, where brokers right across the [region] can go in and do their trades and investors can do likewise. Until we are there, cross listing will be the easiest method of getting all our people within the Caribbean participating in all the markets,” Street Forrest said.

The programme, which commences on Sunday, March 7 comprises foreign exchange (FX) trader, caribbean securities, and brokerage operations management courses.

According to JSE e-Campus Principal Samuel Parkes, the programme will be delivered consecutively over a six to eight-week period, and is expected to be completed within less than six months.

The programme is targeted at first time investors and anyone that has a general interest in, and a desire to understand the various risks associated with the stock market, and the different asset classes.

Parkes noted that the programme is designed to ensure that participants are fully equipped and have a wide understanding of operations in the varying markets within the Caribbean financial services sector and the corresponding laws which govern these.

The programme, he further indicated, has been approved by the Financial Services Commission and endorsed by the Jamaica Security Dealers Association.

Specially invited guests acting chief executive officer (CEO) of Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange Limited Eva Mitchell; senior manager, Operations Division of ‎Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange Geron Burnett and CEO of the Barbados Stock Exchange Marlon Yarde also commended the JSE on the launch of the programme.

Established in 2010, the JSE e-Campus is the first institution in the English-speaking Caribbean to be Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified. Its postgraduate diploma is also approved by the Financial Services Commission.