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In South Africa, a stark reality persists: a significant portion of the population lacks the fundamental knowledge and understanding needed to navigate the complexities and intricacies of financial matters. From basic budgeting skills to more advanced concepts like investments and debt management, the critical lack of financial education imposes a stringent hurdle to economic stability and wealth creation for many South Africans.

With only 51% of the South African possessing a solid understanding of personal finance, the pervasive lack of financial knowledge and understanding casts a shadow over economic stability and one’s financial well-being, hindering broader economic development and prosperity. As South Africa strives to overcome historical inequalities and build a more inclusive economy, addressing the issue of financial literacy becomes crucial for empowering individuals to navigate SA’s complex financial landscape and secure a more stable and healthy financial future.

In alignment with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s (JSE) commitment to cultivating shared growth and prosperity, our aim is to empower, facilitate and educate the people of South Africa on financial literacy matters. At the core of our principles lies the conviction that by providing resources and educational programmes, we strive to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of the financial world and make informed decisions for their financial wellbeing. 

The JSE Virtual Trading Game (VTG), now in its fourth year, is a key tool through which the JSE strives to empower individuals and enhance their understanding of financial literacy. The VTG is a game that aims to teach South Africans of all ages about investing on the JSE and the larger role that such investment plays in our nations’ economy. The game helps those participating to learn about the fundamentals of investing and encourages them to research and strategise around trading of JSE listed instruments. Participants test their trading skills through a simulated trading programme where performance is tracked and measured.

The VTG is designed to simulate the real-life trading experience on the JSE, providing participants with valuable insights into how the stock market works and how various investment strategies perform over time. Participants are given a virtual cash balance that they can use to buy and sell stocks listed on the JSE, allowing them to practice trading strategies without using any actual capital.

Participating in the VTG offers an enjoyable opportunity to acquire practical knowledge in trading through virtual shares. This innovative platform allows users to confidently explore the world of investments without risking their own funds. Engaging with the stock market and the exchange in a hands-on and interactive manner, participants can gain a better understanding of how the stock market functions, how to analyse stock performance and how to make informed investment decisions.

There are two portfolio competitions within the JSE VTG. They are the Speculator Portfolio and the Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)/Exchange Traded Notes (ETN) Portfolio. The starting portfolio per participant will be credited with a virtual sum of R1 million for each portfolio. Participants will not incur any liabilities nor make any real money. Participants may invest in any listed companies in the speculator portfolio and Exchange Traded Funds and Exchange Traded Notes in the ETF/ETN portfolio.

This year marks an exciting milestone for the VTG as we are thrilled to have FNB onboard as a new sponsor for our top prize winners. 

Participants have the chance to win a grand prize of R60,000 in investment vouchers for both portfolios, continuing our tradition of awarding generous prizes to our esteemed winners. Our second and third prize winners, for both portfolios, will receive R30 000 and R10 000 respectively, with 1nvest sponsoring our third prize winner for the ETF/ETN portfolio. Although the game kicked off in March, people who are interested to participate can still register and take part and stand a chance to win the awesome prizes that are up for grabs.

In closing, as key contributors to the functioning of the South African economy and in embracing the importance of financial literacy in South Africa, we at the JSE are dedicated proponents of this cause. Through various initiatives, we have witnessed the growth of the VTG, demonstrating the public’s eagerness to enhance their understanding of financial matters. Our dedication to promoting financial literacy remains unwavering as we strive to expand our outreach efforts. It is gratifying to see the VTG programme evolve from just 5 000 participants at its inception to close to 9 000 participants last year. Anticipating further growth in participation numbers this year, we are committed to advancing the drive for financial literacy, and the empowerment and prosperity of our nation.

For more information, please contact the Virtual Trading Game team on [email protected] or visit the game’s website on virtualtradinggame.jse.co.za. DM/BM

 

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