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How to Buy Shares on the JSE?

How to Buy Shares on the JSE?

Buying shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) can be a rewarding investment opportunity. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the JSE, highlight its history, and show you how to buy JSE stocks.

About JSE

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is the largest stock exchange in Africa and one of the oldest stock exchanges in the world. It was founded in 1887 and has played an important role in the South African economy ever since. The JSE offers a wide range of financial instruments, including stocks, bonds, derivatives, and mutual funds. As one of the most developed exchanges in emerging markets, the JSE attracts both local and international investors.

The JSE is divided into several market segments, including the Main Board, the Alternative Exchange (AltX), and the Bond Market. The Main Board is the main market of the JSE and includes the largest and most established companies in South Africa. The AltX, on the other hand, is a market reserved for smaller companies with growth potential. The Bond Market allows trading in bonds and other fixed-income securities.

The JSE has undergone an impressive development over the years. Originally known as the Johannesburg Exchange and Chambers Company, it was renamed the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2005. The exchange has continued to evolve and is now an important platform for local and international investors.

It has played a significant role in the development of the South African capital market. In its early years, the exchange focused mainly on the mining and financial sectors, as these industries played were main parts of the South African economy. However, over time, the JSE has diversified and now offers a wide range of companies from different industries.

The JSE has also played a role in promoting economic transformation in South Africa. In 2003, the exchange introduced the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Index, which aims to promote the participation of black South Africans in economic growth. This index incorporates the BEE ownership and participation criteria and has helped to promote economic inclusion.

What Are the Benefits of Investing in the JSE?

Investing in the JSE offers a variety of benefits:

  • Growth potential. The South African economy has experienced solid growth in recent years. By investing in stocks on the JSE, investors can benefit from this growing market. The JSE offers a wide range of companies from various industries that have the potential for profits.
  • Diversification. The JSE provides access to a wide range of companies from different industries. By investing in different stocks, investors can spread their risk and diversify their portfolios. This can help offset potential losses and reduce risk.
  • Dividends. Many companies on the JSE pay regular dividends to their shareholders. This is an excellent path to additional income for investors. Dividends are profit distributions paid by companies to their shareholders.
  • Access to international markets. The exchange allows investors to invest in companies that also operate internationally. Investors have access to global markets and can benefit from international growth opportunities. This is also good for further diversification and increasing the returns.
  • Liquidity. The JSE is a well-established stock exchange with a high trading volume. It is usually easy to buy and sell shares here. The high liquidity allows investors to quickly enter or exit the market if they wish.
  • Transparency. The JSE places great emphasis on transparency and disclosure of information. Companies listed on the JSE are required to publish financial reports and other relevant information on a regular basis. As a result, investors can make informed decisions and reduce the risk.

As you can see, investing in the JSE can offer attractive opportunities, but it is important to be aware of the risks involved.

Like any stock exchange, the JSE is subject to market volatility. Stock prices can fluctuate significantly in response to economic, political, or global events. Additionally, South Africa’s economy and political landscape can impact the performance of stocks. Factors such as changes in government policies, economic downturns, or currency fluctuations can affect the profitability and stability of companies listed on the exchange.

The JSE operates in South African Rand (ZAR), which means that foreign investors are exposed to currency risk. Fluctuations in the exchange rate between the ZAR and their home currency can impact the returns on investments. While the JSE has regulations in place to ensure fair and transparent trading, there is always a risk of regulatory changes or corporate governance issues. Poor corporate governance practices or fraudulent activities can negatively impact the performance of individual companies and the overall market.

So, if you are a foreign investor, start following the news about South Africa, its economic and political situation for instance. If you are a local, the job becomes a bit easier as you probably already know everything of importance.

How to Buy Stocks on the JSE in 6 Easy Steps

With proper preparation and strategy, you can increase your chances of successful investment. If you are new to the JSE, follow these simple steps to make your first trades.

Step 1: Gain a Basic Understanding of The Stock Market

Before buying stocks on any exchange, it is important to have a basic understanding of the stock market. Educate yourself on concepts such as stock prices, dividends, corporate earnings, and risk management. There are many books, online resources, and courses that can help you with this task. Do not rush, otherwise, your first trades might be unsatisfying results.

Step 2: Choose a Stockbroker

To buy shares on the JSE, you will need a stock broker. A stock broker is a company or person that gives you access to the stock market. Research different brokers and choose one that meets your requirements. Pay attention to fees, trading platforms, and the broker’s reputation. It is also important to choose a broker that has a license from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) to ensure that it meets the required standards. The largest brokers in South Africa include Brokstock, Tickmill, and AvaTrade.

Step 3: Open a Trading Account

After you have selected a broker, you need to open a trading account. Fill out the required forms and make sure you have all the necessary documents ready. This may include your ID card, proof of residency, and bank records. The broker will verify your identity and activate your account once all the required documents are in place.

Step 4: Do Your Research

Before making an investment decision, it is important to conduct thorough research. Analyze the companies’ financials, review their business models, and learn about current market trends. There are several sources that can help you with your research, including financial news, company reports, analyst reports, and online forums. The better informed you are, the better results you will see in the near future.

Step 5: Place an Order

Once you have completed your research and are ready to buy stocks, place an order. Nowadays, most brokers have online trading platforms or even mobile applications through which you can buy and sell assets. Enter the name of the company, the number of shares, and the price you want. There are different types of orders, including market orders, limit orders, and stop orders. Learn about the capabilities of the platform and choose the tools that best suit your needs.

Step 6: Monitor Your Investments

After buying stocks, it is important to monitor your investments regularly. Follow stock prices, read company news, and adjust your portfolio if necessary. It’s also important to keep track of your investment goals and review your positions regularly. If market conditions change or a company’s results go in a different direction, adjust your investment strategy accordingly.


Buying shares on the JSE can be an exciting way to invest in the South African economy. By following the steps above, you can simplify the process of buying shares and ensure that your portfolio grows.

JSE also opened for foreign investors. If you are not a South African resident but are thinking of investing in JSE, take time to research not only the markets but also the political/economic state of the market. Skipping this step is not recommended as it can damage your profits in the long run.

Remember that investing involves risk and it is important to do thorough research and monitor your investments. It is also advisable to seek professional advice, especially if you are new to the stock market. With proper preparation and strategy, you can increase your chances of successful investment in the JSE.

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