Today April 21, 2015 I visited the Jamaica Stock Exchange located in Downtown Kingston Jamaica. This is a part of a field trip suggested my Lecturer Gerrard McDaniel for a course I’m currently doing called Entrepreneurship in the Communication Industry.
I did this course because I didn’t really realize it until now but I have always been an entrepreneur. When I was at Immaculate and we were doing a test and I knew people would need folder paper I sold my classmates one for $20 Jamaican. Practicing the old rule of Demand and supply. I never studied business because I feel I’ve gotten a life course my father is an Accountant and my mother is an economist. So I can always get free advise. A part from this I believe it does not matter what your parents are but getting some training in an area you are interested in could only benefit you. So I decided to do this course as an elective in my final year. This course is an open elective so anyone from any Faculty at the University can do this course.
The facilitator for the duration of my visit to the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) was Mr. Michael Johnson. When I asked him to clarify his name some students cried out “Michael Jackson”. Those student were from the Jonathan Grant High School who’s teachers had organized a field trip to the JSE.
After Mr. Johnson introduced himself he let us watch a video that spoke about the JSE and what a stock is. According to the booklet provided by the JSE “owning stocks means you own a slice of a public company. The companies listed on the Exchange are local, regional and global. The Jamaican Stock Market is a vital link between companies needing capital and Jamaicans with money to invest.”
I’ve always wanted to purchase stock but I don’t think I have enough residual income to participate in this just yet as I am a student who is not working. But as soon as I can I will try to participate in the stock Exchange because I see it as an active way to contribute to the growth of the Jamaican economy. The sad part is that when the company doesn’t do well you also stand the risk of loosing money.
Mr. Johnson explained that there are three things one can do with stocks hold, sell and/or buy. If one choses to hold stocks one gets a monthly check called “dividends” depending on the number of stocks one buys so if one stock/share is worth $1 and one buys 100 each month your dividend will be $100 for that month. The same goes if you purchase 100000 shares one would get $100000. If the shares devalue one can still get dividends. You will lose money if you chose to sell the shares at a lower cost than what you bought them.
Hearing this made me wonder what do the people who facilitate the selling and buying of these shares get when they do their job. Mr. Johnson explained that there is a 3% charge applied both before and after the sale. I also learnt that companies use stocks as a way of funding their companies. One can purchase ordinary shares which gives you dividends if the company makes it public knowledge and you will be able to vote if their is a change in management and leadership. Premium shares does no give you the power to vote but one always receives dividends.
All in all my visit confirmed my wanting to purchase stocks someday. I believed it was informative and would encourage anyone to participate in some form of stock exchange