How to invest in the JSE Top 40 Index

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Investing in the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index could give you a great way into the world of investment. We’ll go over some of the most popular methods for investing in the JSE Top 40 Index, so you’ll be better informed and better equipped to make your investment.

Where can I buy into the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index?

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
Our score
10
Access over 220 of the most popular company shares
Trade on spreads from 1 pt on UK shares
Go long or short on global top companies
Start Trading
Description:
Founded in 1999, part of GAIN Capital Holdings. Licensed in highly regulated jurisdictions, FCA, IIROC, NFA, CFTC, CIMA,FSA. Payment methods ACH, debit card, bank wire transfer. $50 minimum deposit.
Payment Methods
Debit Card, Bank Wire, ACH, Credit Card, PayPal
Full regulations list:
NFA, CFTC, FCA, FSA, IIROC, CIMA, FFA Japan, MAS, SFC of Hong Kong
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
2
Min. Deposit
$1
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Our score
9.3
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
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Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
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3
Min. Deposit
$10
Exclusive promotion
Our score
8.7
0% Commission Account
Low Spreads
Eco-Account Option
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Description:
CedarFX is an eco-conscious broker offering 0% commission trading on 170+ assets, including Forex, Cryptocurrency Pairs, Stocks, Indices and Commodities. With up to 1:500 leverage, no-fee transactions and low spreads, traders can make the most of their funds. CedarFX also offers an Eco Account option to support tree planting and sustainability projects.
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Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved, taking into account your investments objectives and level of experience, before trading, and if necessary seek independent advice.

What is the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index?

The FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index is the benchmark index for tracking the performance of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). It consists of the 40 largest stocks on the exchange, which collectively make up about 80% of the total market capitalisation of the 400 stocks listed on the JSE. 

Is it a good investment?

That’s for you to decide, but it definitely can be. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is the largest stock market in Africa. By buying into the 40 most prominent companies on the continent on the verge of a boom in both population and technology, you’re giving yourself a chance to realise significant long-term gains. If you can manage to buy and hold through the usual bumps and bruises that the market inevitably dishes out, even better.

How do I invest in the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index?

Here are three steps that we recommend when investing in the JSE Top 40 Index:

  1. Choose an investment type
  2. Use our top tips to succeed
  3. Choose a platform to invest with

1. Choose investment type

The investment type you choose should fit with your personal investment goals, so it’s important to give it a lot of thought:

ETFs

An ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund) is an investment fund that you can trade on a stock exchange during regular stock exchange trading hours, in the same way you would trade an individual stock. The JSE Top 40 ETFs are inexpensive to trade compared to some other investment types, and offer a good combination of diversification and flexibility. The JSE Top 40 ETFs can include various groups of assets, such as bonds, commodities, or in this case the stocks in the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index. 

Individual stocks

Another approach is to buy a bunch of individual stocks within the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index (or even all 40 stocks) in separate trades. You can then gradually sell the worst-performing stocks one by one, until you’re left with a small group of the exchange’s best-performing stocks to hold for the long term. This is a more expensive and more time-consuming process than, say, buying an ETF, so it’s only recommended for more selective investors who have lots of time and money on their hands. 

Mutual funds

An index mutual fund (also known as an index fund) is an investment fund that brings in pools of money from many different investors, then combines that money to track a specific index, such as the JSE Top 40.

JSE Top 40 funds can only be bought at the end of the stock market’s trading day, unlike a JSE Top 40 ETF which can be traded at any point during trading hours, and they also cost more to trade and to own than ETFs do. Given those factors, mutual funds are generally the best option only if you’re looking to buy and hold an investment in the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index fund for a long period of time.

2. Use our top tips to be a successful investor

Here are Invezz.com’s top tips for how to become a successful investor. Keep these in mind when investing in the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index for your best chance at success:

  • Do your research. Although the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index might look like an attractive investment option, you should take the time to compare it to other investment opportunities before putting your money in. The best approach is to research and build a personal investment plan. That way, you can avoid having your judgement get clouded by emotions such as fear and greed when the time comes to make key investment decisions.
  • Set a budget. Consider how much you can afford to lose before you invest. To manage your risk and limit the size of your losses, you can then set a stop-loss order after you make your investment. For example, if you don’t want to lose more than 10% on your trade, you would set your stop-order price at a level 10% below your purchase price. 
  • Select the right platform. It’s important that you know your investment goals before you pick an investing platform. For instance, If low transaction fees are your top priority, you should probably choose an online broker. If you want high-level investment advice, it might make sense to choose a financial advisor instead. 
  • Grow your investments gradually. Unless you’re spectacularly lucky, you’re probably going to make a bunch of mistakes as a beginner investor. That’s why it makes sense to invest just a small amount of money at first. You can raise the size of your investment later on, after you’ve sharpened your investing skills.
  • Think long-term. Thinking long-term means always having an eye on your aims. It means not obsessing over one setback and remaining patient and disciplined – you want to ensure that you’re always making progress and not getting lost in the small stuff. Keeping an eye on the future helps improve your chance of making sound investment decisions that result in impressive gains.

3. Choose a platform to invest with

Here are the best ways for you to invest in the JSE Top 40 Index:

  • Brokers & trading platforms. Online brokers offer consistently low transaction fees and easy-to-use platforms. They also provide a range of investment tools, and many investors find them the best way to buy, sell, and trade a variety of financial products. That said, if you want more custom-tailored investment advice, you may want to look at some of the other options.
  • Robo advisors. Robo advisors are automated systems that use algorithms to execute trades automatically, making them an easy-to-use investment option. Robo advisors charge fairly affordable transaction fees – another plus. Also, some robo advisors will let you discuss investment strategy with an actual person, giving an extra bit of customer service you won’t find with many brokers. That said, robo advisors don’t quite offer the same level of investment guidance that dedicated financial advisors provide.
  • Financial advisors. Financial advisors offer the most hands-on investment advice. They’ll help you set financial goals, explain the pluses and minuses of lots of investment options, and help you build an investment plan that makes sense for you. Financial advisors charge a premium for this high level of service, however, so you have to decide if they’re worth the price. Since investing in the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index is fairly simple, a financial advisor probably isn’t necessary in this case.
  • Banks. If you’re looking for convenience, investing in the FTSE/JSE Top 40 Index with your bank enables you to store all of your financial ventures with the same financial institution. Banks often charge high fees for investments, though, without offering the same level of service that top financial advisors provide. You can probably pick a less expensive and/or more helpful option somewhere else.
1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
Our score
10
Access over 220 of the most popular company shares
Trade on spreads from 1 pt on UK shares
Go long or short on global top companies
Start Trading
Description:
Founded in 1999, part of GAIN Capital Holdings. Licensed in highly regulated jurisdictions, FCA, IIROC, NFA, CFTC, CIMA,FSA. Payment methods ACH, debit card, bank wire transfer. $50 minimum deposit.
Payment Methods
Debit Card, Bank Wire, ACH, Credit Card, PayPal
Full regulations list:
NFA, CFTC, FCA, FSA, IIROC, CIMA, FFA Japan, MAS, SFC of Hong Kong
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What should I do now? 

If you’re ready to invest in the JSE Top 40, go to your online broker’s website, pick the type of investment you want to use to invest in the JSE Top 40 Index, and click buy. Congratulations, you’ve now invested in one of Africa’s most influential indices.

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If you’re not feeling ready to invest, that’s ok too. Work on your investing skills by checking out the user-friendly investing courses and frequent news updates offered here at Invezz.com.

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Written by: Harry Atkins
Harry joined us in 2019 to lead our Editorial Team. Drawing on more than a decade writing, editing and managing high-profile content for blue chip companies, Harry’s considerable experience in the finance sector encompasses work for high street and investment banks, insurance companies and trading platforms.