For many, having to deal with shady/difficult stockbrokers, heavy charges, and difficulty with paperwork proved to be a deal-breaker. Not that long ago, the only way to trade stocks in Nigeria was to:
• Get a trustworthy Stock Broker/Brokerage Firm.
• Open a Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) account.
• Fund your stock brokerage account.
• Start Trading.
Depending on the era, this meant you had to either go to your broker in person or engage in long phone calls, exchange faxes/mails, etc to get this over the line. Asides that, you had to stay glued to the TV/Radio, wait for the daily papers or engage in sustained phone calls with relevant individuals just to know how well your stock was presently doing.
Thankfully, there are Nigerian Startups that have made this process far more seamless. The process is almost identical at its core, but technology has taken away most of the hassles involved. On that note, let’s take a look at the more notable Nigerian Platforms helping to demystify investment in stocks:
Bamboo enables everyday Nigerians to buy, hold, or sell stocks listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange & the US Stock Market. According to its founders, it was created to even out the playing field for access to global investment opportunities for the average Nigerian. In partnership with US-based DriveWealth LLC and Lambeth Capital, a Nigerian stockbroking firm, it promises seamless, secure access to US & Nigerian securities. With this platform, anyone with a BVN can trade in stocks and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) from the comfort of your mobile phone. Each Bamboo Account is insured for up to $500,000 alongside additional protection from the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). It’s available on the Google Play Store & the Apple App Store.
Referring to itself as a digital “Investment Passport”, Chaka allows users the capability of trading Stocks in companies from Nigeria, the United States, and others. The platform promises access to investment in assets listed on Nigerian and American Stock Exchanges as well as global blue-chip companies from over 40 countries worldwide. With as little as $50, one can invest in securities in the NASDAQ, New York Stock Exchange, Nigerian Stock Exchange, and many other markets globally. Chaka partners with Citi investment capital in Nigeria and other numerous brokerage partners globally to deliver its services smoothly. All brokerage accounts on Chaka are duly insured and regulated by the SEC, SIPC, etc. It’s currently only available for use via a web browser.
Founded in 2018, Trove enables Nigerians to trade American, Chinese and Nigerian securities through its mobile phone app. For as little as N1000, one can invest in Stocks, Bonds and ETFs based in the US, China & Nigeria. They are also in partnership with DriveWealth LLC and Sigma Securities, a Nigerian firm; this enables access to securities in local and international markets. Trove users have the option to buy fractional shares rather than full shares in companies like Google, Apple, etc which can cost hundreds of dollars. Investors can buy US stocks for as little as $10 on this app. Trove Technologies (the maker of the app) also provides tools such as APIs for brokers and fund managers to access securities in global markets. The app is secured with bank-grade encryption and regulated by the SEC, NSE, SIPC, etc. It’s also available in both IOS and Android.
Yochaa offers a mobile app that helps users understand the basics of investing in stocks, and gives real-time analysis of Nigerian Stock Exchange Data. It has a cutting edge interface that helps users monitor all the stocks in their portfolio with ample in-depth data on them. This helps investors understand the state of the market and make informed decisions in real-time. The app is available on Android and iOS devices. Yochaa also runs a software service aimed at stock brokerage firms. The service enables these firms to create a seamless online trading front for their clients. Clients of these firms would be able to analyze and execute trades securely and hassle-free using the rich mobile interface offered. In theory, this will be a win-win for both clients and firms.
These platforms have done some amazing work; democratizing an investment vehicle that once had an elitist reputation. The days of crazy trading charges, questionable brokers, and disconcerting paperwork are long gone. These companies not only make trading easier, they also provide resources to demystify it in a way that makes it beginner friendly. Before using any of these platforms, it’s advisable to do some research of your own and even consult a professional if necessary. Whatever your investment decisions are, the technology to execute them seamlessly is certainly here to stay.
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