I wish someone had told me” is a series of posts that feed into our inquisitive nature at CN&CO. Each week we hear from someone in our network about something interesting or surprising that’s recently happened or occurred to them – or lessons they learnt. These blogs are a way to pay it forward and form part of CN&CO’s belief that the world can be a better place – and we all have a responsibility to make it so. This week’s post is by Kurt Solomon

I remember the first time I really started to hear about the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), investing and stocks. I was in Grade 8, Durban. I had a mate who started investing (through his Dad’s accounts), which at the time cost a lot in fees as it was being managed through his bank. He would check the newspapers every day in the school library to see how his stocks were performing. 

I too started to watch certain listed company stocks I had heard of or knew about, and would check in on their share price every now and then. I was ignorant, I was younger than 18, and so I couldn’t really start investing myself. Besides, I didn’t actually know where or how to go about it. 

Fast track a few years and enter EasyEquities. An “effing” game-changer.  A low cost, easy to use platform, which allows anyone to buy and sell shares. Their platform also offers investor access to tax-free savings accounts,  ETFs, investing in US stocks, and you can even contribute to an RA amongst many others.

Now before we get into trouble, I want to put on record that everything in this blog is my personal experience. This is not advice and you need to make up your own mind and decide when you want to invest, how much, and what to invest in. 

It was very easy. I went to EasyEquties.co.za, registered,  sent my FICA docs (these are proof of residence and copy of ID), and voila, I had my very own investment account. I say investment because EasyEquities is longterm investing, NOT trading. I was able to test the platform with a free demo account they provide before depositing my own money. This gave me the confidence to then invest my own money that I had budgeted for on a regular basis. 

To be honest, in the beginning, I was a little intimidated, because I didn’t know which shares to buy. Was I buying the right ones? What if they “tanked”?!

Then I read a campaign from the team at EasyEquities that said, “Invest in the brands you know and love”. 

This made a bunch of sense and so I started investing in the brands I knew, trusted, loved, and of course used every month. For example, my cellphone contract was with Vodacom, I enjoyed beers on the weekends with mates, so invest in then SAB, now AB InBev, I shopped at Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Dischem, and had my medical aid with Discovery. At times I often read investing notes through EasyEquities and if I thought it was the right time, I would invest a small amount into those shares too. No, my account wasn’t always in the green, but it was mostly out of the red. 

As my trust grew in the brand, so too did the size of my portfolio and I started to use more of their products, like the tax-free savings account (TFSA) and Retirement Annuity (RA). I also use their bundles, which are a bunch of shares that are managed by the pros at Easy, and some of their partners like Cannon Asset Management, Cartesian Capital, and their sister company in the Purple Group stable, Emperor Asset Management. 

The amazing thing about EasyEquities is that you can really start with any amount. They patented this cool idea called Fractional Share Rights (FSRs), so even if I didn’t have the full amount to invest in a share like Naspers, I could buy a fraction of the share at R50 or even R200. How’s that for making share ownership accessible!

I got in touch with the super helpful team at EasyEquities, Tristan Finnemore who is VP of digital assets, and asked if they could share their Top 10 shares to date, for the year on both their ZAR and USD platforms, because you can ALSO buy a few US stocks through EasyEquities.  It’s been a crazy year as we all know! These stats are from January 1st, 2020 – September 16 2020. Importantly, this doesn’t include the sell side, so someone might have bought and then sold, like Sasol, which was very popular at a point. I’m only showing the buy. A reminder that this is not advice and is my personal experience.

Below is Top 10 ZAR shares

Below is Top 10 USD shares

So, that’s my EasyEquities story so far. If you are keen to get involved you can visit their website here. It really is as EASY as I made it out to be… so now it’s your turn!