StockTown is an innovation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange house, a comic book that was introduced in February 2020 to simply and comically explain the intricacies of the Nigerian Stock Exchange to the layman. The Nigerian financial sphere, alongside all other world economies, has been rocked with difficult times. Uncertainties are major ingredients of decision-making processes by investors. The world economy has been through too many uncertain situations in recent times.
As of today, about 37% of Nigeria’s population remains financially excluded, a lot of attention needs to be paid to this fact. The financially excluded population is very likely to be trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, which in turn, drags our collective economic development down.
Despite going through these tough times, astute investors are still smiling to the bank nevertheless. Investing one’s resource into stock has long been thought to be a practice exclusive to only the rich and wealthy. No, please note that the contemporary world has evolved beyond that stone age thinking. Nigeria’s financial ecosystem now accommodates ALL types of investments i.e, long term, short term, high volumes, low volumes through the timely introduction of increasingly disruptive products and services.
What is NSE StockTown?
The NSE StockTown initiative uses funny cartoon characters to appeal to people of all ages. The contents and mannerisms of the characters will convey all our moods in our different economic statuses.
In its first issue, readers are introduced to young Mora Johnson and her middle-class family who are experiencing financial hardship that pushes Mora to want to learn more about investment and financial independence. The story has been scripted to address personal finance issues that are common to a significant proportion of the population, while simplifying investment terms and process, and highlighting the various investment products that are appropriate for investors with different investment objectives, risk, and income levels.
During the introduction of the comic book, Oscar N. Onyema, OON, Chief Executive Officer, NSE said, “StockTown is a product of a passionate idea long held by the Exchange to empower individuals across all levels to make good financial decisions and better their lives now and in the future. In a steadily evolving financial landscape, The Exchange continues to find new ways to communicate the ideas of saving and investment using products available on its platform. We hope this comic, which demonstrates the idea of buying and selling securities in simple terms, can crowd-in the financially excluded, millennials, and all lovers of comics.”
Myths About Investing and Financial Literacy
It is Exclusive to the Rich and Wealthy
As highlighted before, the layman thinks investing in the capital market or NSE market is exclusively for the rich. Again, refute this claim. It is a thought that has condemned many laymen to a vicious downward spiral of poverty and indebtedness.
It is Too Complex
The layman also thinks investing in the capital market is too complex and cumbersome for just anyone to understand. Having access to the right and precise information at the right time cannot be underestimated. Regulators and major stakeholders of the various financial markets in Nigeria have, in recent years, tried their best to correct this myth. Hence, making sure that more people understand the basics of investing in the stock market.
It is Risky
The layman believes that the risks involved in investing one’s resources in the financial markets are just too much. This is false. Considerable risk must come with every opportunity in this sphere.
Why is StockTown Necessary?
The launch of StockTown builds on the Exchange’s strong commitment to promoting financial literacy in Nigeria.
To correct misconceptions…
The average layman Nigerian has all these aforementioned misconceptions about investing and NSE. They think investing in NSE and other securities are too risky, for brilliant people, and too expensive. Everyone deserves to have a modest level of financial literacy, to manage their earnings and expenses. It is high time the novice narrative changed and more intentional investors started coming into our stock-sphere.
To help our young…
The younger generation, who are also targets of this innovation, must start learning the dos and don’ts of investments and financial literacy. The younger they are taught, the fewer money-mistakes they are liable to make.
Annually, the Exchange implements various initiatives targeted at children and youths, aimed at building a financially savvy generation. The Exchange commemorates Global Money Week by hosting a workshop for youths. In 2019, this innovation reached over 60,000 youths during the week-long event.
The StockTown series is currently in its second episode. Follow Mora Johnson’s incredibly interesting journey to financial literacy here.