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ADVISORY COLUMN: PERSONAL FINANCIAL ADVISER

Oran Hall | Why JSE provides financial information to the public

Published:Sunday | December 3, 2023 | 12:08 AM

The Jamaica Stock Exchange, JSE, uses several media to give investors and potential investors information on the stock market, listed companies and the economy to enable them to make informed investment decisions. The media used include...

The Jamaica Stock Exchange, JSE, uses several media to give investors and potential investors information on the stock market, listed companies and the economy to enable them to make informed investment decisions.

The media used include publications such as, the JSE Annual Report, JSE Pocket Book, JSE Stock Market Review, A Guide to the Jamaica Securities Market, and the JSE Year Book; a podcast; video links on its YouTube page; brochures; and trading reports published at intervals ranging from daily to annually.

The JSE is very clear that it has a key role to play in the provision of financial information to investors and the general public. For example, it states that the purpose of its podcasts is to demystify the capital market and that the purpose of the Stock Market Review is to support investor information and education. This publication, through data history and specialised articles, educates readers by simplifying market information and terminologies.

A Guide to the Jamaica Security Market combines well with several brochures to cover important basic investment issues. The former covers topics such as shares, the stockbroker, the Jamaica Central Securities Depository, the Compensation Fund, investor protection, the investment market and many common investment terms.

Among the subjects covered by the brochures are the bond market, Jamaica depositary receipts, the junior market, and an overview of the JSE Stock Market Game. The information I refer to in this and the above paragraph are essential to new entrants to the market and individuals considering to enter if they expect to participate meaningfully in it.

The JSE seems serious about empowering investors to make very informed investment decisions. For example, while providing raw data that readers must interpret, it also provides information that is put together by competent analysts. Additionally, the provision of market updates helps to keep current developments in the face of market participants.

Similar current information is presented in trading reports available in the press and on the website of the Jamaica Stock Exchange. Trading reports are presented on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.

The JSE also publishes corporate actions relating to dividends, bonuses, stock splits and rights issues on its web site and in the press regularly, so this information is generally current. It also publishes quarterly statistics and a summary of the activities of each of its five markets, and market performance on a monthly basis.

Beyond the printed material it provides on its web site, in books, brochures and newspapers, the JSE uses its podcasts and You Tube page as appropriate to present entertaining information on the market, workshops, and interviews of and presentations by research analysts from the investment community, personnel from listed companies, and significant figures from various sectors of the Jamaican economy. Such information can be re-visited as necessary by the public.

Historical information can also be empowering. The Pocket Book is one source of such information. It is an accurate guide on the stock market’s performance over the past year through the facts, charts and illustrations that it presents. It provides information on trading volumes and values, dividend payments, low and high prices, corporate data and number of trades, for example.

The Year Book, put together by market experts, by including a profile of all listed companies and their performance, comparative data analysis, trading activity over a period of five years, and a global and local economic overview, gives investors relevant content to guide their investment decision-making.

The JSE Group is also listed on the JSE and uses its own annual report to keep its shareholders current on essential financial information about itself. It expects that this will help investors to make informed decisions about investing in it. Additionally, its annual report also contains information on market activity during the course of the year to educate its shareholders and the general public about investment trends and the opportunities they present for wealth creation.

The fact that much of the information that the JSE shares with the public is historical does not make it stale. Such information facilitates the process of observing trends, which can be helpful in analysing the market and the listed securities. Coupled with a keen observation of current developments, such information can be useful in helping investors to make useful investment decisions on a consistent basis.

The JSE states that it wants investors to achieve financial independence, that it wants investors to seize wealth-creating opportunities, that it wants to empower investors to be able to identify the intrinsic value, or worth, of a security to enable them to be able to get maximum returns on their investment choices, that it wants investors to be able to make maximum returns year-over-year and long-term, that it wants investors, not only to create wealth, but to retain it, and that it wants to support investor confidence – very important if investors are to make sound buying and selling decisions.

The resources I focused on today are readily accessible to investors and aspiring investors – most on the website of the JSE. They are educational and empowering.

Oran A. Hall, author of Understanding Investments and principal author of The Handbook of Personal Financial Planning, offers personal financial planning advice and counsel. Email: finviser.jm@gmail.com