How To Invest in the Stock Market
Owning stocks can help to create wealth. But the question is: where do you start?
The best starting point is to contact a stockbroker. You could, alternatively, have a conversation with a financial advisor or with someone who has experience and knowledge about the stock market, but to actually get to owning a stock, all roads will lead to a stockbroker.
A stockbroker is a person who is registered with the market regulator, the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission, and who works for a registered company called a broker-dealer.
The stockbroker’s job is to advise you on the stocks that best suit you. So they will typically first have a conversation with you about what you are looking for. Is it that you want to invest in stocks that will grow over time? Or do you want some that could give you a regular amount of income in the form of dividends? Or maybe a bit of both? The stockbroker will help to identify those stocks that meet this profile.
The next step will be to get you signed up. This will involve completing a form and providing two copies of ID, a recent utility bill and a referral letter, usually from a bank. (A company will have different requirements from an individual.) You will also need to sign up to have your dividends pass through the Trinidad and Tobago Central Depositary where you will receive your own trading number.
The TTCD holds shares in an electronic form. Years ago, all shares were pieces of paper which, as you imagine, could have been easily displaced and took a while to have transferred from one investor to another if they were traded. The electronic format makes it safer and faster. Which means that dividends paid by these companies can easily go to you.