Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

A simple and affordable share investing platform, launched by First National Bank, appears to be an opportunity for ordinary South Africans to invest on the Johannesburg Security Exchange.

The product, called the Share Builder, was launched last week simultaneously with another bank's vehicle, Share Investor, to address some of the access barriers associated with investing on the JSE.

And with share prices at their lowest levels in many years, the launch of Share Builder could be, according to FNB, the best thing ever since the stock market is currently offering great buying opportunities.

FNB chief executive for savings and investment products Robert Keip says FNB introduced Share Builder to offer its customers easy and affordable access to the equity markets.

Though the JSE currently provides the buying occasion of a lifetime, Keip says affordable access to these opportunities are made difficult by high fees, large amounts to open accounts and the lack of expertise and sophistication demanded to successfully select good shares.

Share Builder, says Keip, was introduced to remove these impediments.

It will enable the man on the street to choose from 20 preselected "blue chip" shares as well as two exchange-traded funds such as Satrix products.

He says Share Builder takes away the nervousness and risk of selecting shares because the limited selection means that the complex task of choosing which share to buy is solved for the investor.

To open the account, you need a minimum of R100 and a monthly fee of R17.

This, says Keip, makes the product the most cost-effective online share trading platform in the market.

He says the product's transaction fee per trade costs 2 percent of the trade value, with a minimum of R50 per trade excluding VAT. No other costs apply.

All Share Builder orders are traded at the end of every day, so you save on transaction fees.

Share Investor, the second product FNB launched last week, is what other competitors offer and this product is likely to find favour with more experienced investors.

With this product one deals in all shares listed on the JSE.

For Share Investor the minimum account balance is R200, and it attracts a monthly fee of R45.

Transaction per trade costs 0,6 percent of trade value, with a minimum of R80 per trade plus standard JSE and other charges.

Individuals who want to buy shares using these platforms can utilise FNB's online banking or can phone the call centre number 0860-742-737 and say which shares they want to buy.

You can buy shares for a minimum lump sum of R500 up to R10000.