Wednesday, January 20, 2021 / 11:03 AM / By Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe / Header Image Credit: Twitter; @SECZIM
When the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SECZ) was established in 2009, the headline was, "Investor Protection" with the subtitle, "Access to investment markets for all households". However, since the country's first stock exchange establishment in 1890s, it is somewhat disheartening that talk of investor protection and access only became an issue in the twenty first century. This serves to reinforce the perception that stock markets are elitist. The narrative persists today with undeniable evidence that the securities industry is little known to the majority. A small section of society is currently, conversant with investing in securities with even fewer owning any investments traded on public markets.
The SECZ has a mandate to promote investor confidence and education. Given the low participation level by many people, it appears as if somewhat a waste of resources to set up an entire regulatory body to protect a privileged few who at first glance seem capable of protecting and educating themselves. Conversely, getting a larger proportion of the population involved in capital markets is not only a statutory imperative, but, SECZ must actively, pursue our capital markets to contribute, as they should, in developing our economy.
It is a fact that most people are curious about investing in the stock market and given a chance would relish profiting from it. Nonetheless, they, stay away because they think it's too expensive, its for the rich, very complex, too risky, and is rigged in a way that ordinary people never win. When all these things are taken into consideration, the stock markets are simply not for the ordinary people. Furthermore, given their status in life, no one has time to teach them the rules of the game.
My involvement with capital markets spans my entire working life. I have had the privilege of interacting with this area of finance as an investor, investment analyst, fund manager and now as a regulator. Nothing fires me up more than converting people to the orthodox way of planned investing and encouraging them to explore the wonders of trading securities. Neophytes who embark on this journey, marvel at the critical, yet understated role capital markets play in developing an economy through the efficiency with which it channels capital to the productive sector.
Our economy is developing and needs capital from wherever it can be sourced. It would, therefore, be remiss of the SECZ to perpetuate a reality in which, due to lack of knowledge, millions of potential investors miss the opportunity to grow their savings and develop the economy in the process. Sustained capital flow are, however, only possible from investor's confidence in interpreting the constant ups and downs of financial markets, converting them into sound investment decisions. Investing is, after all, an endeavour defined by some element of risk best managed by constantly monitoring factors that affect returns.
To get all Zimbabweans on board, the investment bandwagon, therefore, becomes a knowledge transfer exercise. The complexity and range of the topics involved demand that investors get a true and complete picture. The SECZ's investment 101 Handbook is a recommended starting point for any investor considering their first step into Zimbabwe's capital markets.
The handbook is wide-ranging and detailed, even seasoned investors will find it useful as both a reference and textbook. It is well written and illustrated for an easy grasp of concepts that may otherwise be intimidating to the novice. To further bring context to present-day market norms and conventions, the book chronicles the historical origins of financial markets with emphasis on the Zimbabwean journey from humble begging in 1986 to the modern tech-driven infrastructure we take pride in today. Capital markets are expertly put into the context of the wider economy. The intricacies of their inner workings are explained in detail to guide any investor keen to invest on their own. For investors who would rather have professionals handle their investments, all categories of market participants and intermediaries are profited, and their roles clarified, to assist investors that may seek to retain their services.
So, read on and become an agent of Zimbabwe's development by becoming a knowledgeable investor or a champion for spreading the good news.
Download Here - Investment 101 Handbook