“Our mission is actually far greater than just lining our pockets. We also realised that, given our skill set and experience in the financial market, we can transfer this knowledge to the community,” said Legodi.
Because COP is registered as a private company, the contributions which members make on a monthly basis are directly translated into a percentage of ownership within the company. As such, membership also equates to being a shareholder.
“What you own depends on the contributions you make. We follow the same methodology as unit trusts. We evaluate the company, look at the number of shares issued to date and give you the asset value per share,” said Legodi.
The stokvel’s co-founder also stated that there is no limit to the amount which members can contribute. In the beginning, the set minimum contribution was R1,000. However, members now have the freedom to determine what they would like to contribute. The amount chosen by each member can also vary each month.
Additionally, Legodi said COP was very particular about the kind of people brought on board as members, and ultimately as shareholders of the company. Amongst the requirements are a basic understanding of investments and financial markets, a burning passion and a sense of alignment with the organisation’s goals.
“Much of the criteria is in-built onto the application forms. What we don’t want are people who have a trading mentality because that’s not what we do,” he added.
For Sibusiso Hlatswayo who is one of the stokvel’s founding members, his journey with COP has served as proof of the magic made possible by small yet consistent contributions.