Getting started with Investing: Part 3 of 3 - Avoiding Scams  

In our two previous articles we shared some of the tools that you can use to get started with investing, as a means of making your money work for you. We focused on some of the available resources on our investor education website including a risk profile test, Investor Education Manual and Work Book and Online course, blog articles, life stages and our Investing Game, InvestorQuest-TT – We also discussed some of the key considerations prior to making an investment, such as your risk appetite, your investor profile, setting financial goals and knowing the types of registered investments available in our local capital market.

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Getting started with Investing: Part 2 of 3  

Creating Your Investor Profile Last week we discussed the basics of investing – knowing the Regulator, setting financial goals, and understanding your risk tolerance. In this article, we’ll focus on creating your personal investor profile and guide you through the process of selecting an investment option that will help you achieve your financial goals.

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Getting started with Investing: Part 1 of 3  

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact the lives and livelihoods of many, the financial stresses being faced by the citizenry remains a reality. The latest Economic Bulletin Volume XXIII No. 2 July 2021, published by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, listed a weak demand for labour, an increase in retrenchment notices and a rise in food inflation to 5.1% from 3.2% in January, 2021i. The protracted nature of the current crisis caused individuals and householders to re-assess their finances including short-term loan repayments, funding for education and long-term investments e.g., in home ownership or new vehicle purchases. Beginning this week, we share a three-part series on “Getting Started with Investing”. In this article, we look at diversifying financial portfolios to include investments in the local securities market..

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Financial Statements  

This week’s article focuses on financial statements and how to analyse them. A company’s financial statements provide information on its performance and this information is valuable to different types of stakeholders. Management is interested in assessing the success of its strategies and plans relative to its past, as well as forecasted, performance and comparatively to its competitors’ performance.

Employees are concerned with the company’s financial success since this affects their bonuses, job security and compensation. Investors utilise this information to determine the expected return on their investments. Broker-Dealers and investment advisers use financial statements to guide recommendations made to clients about whether to buy or sell the securities, such as equities and bonds, issued by that company.

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Building Confidence through Enforcement 

The Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC) is responsible for the regulation of the local securities industry. There are several components to regulation, all of which need to be addressed in an efficient and competent manner to ensure the orderly growth and development of the securities industry. Over the period 2018/2019 the TTSEC received 14 complaints from investors. Some of these complaints are provided in the checklist diagram below.

The success and stability of the securities market is largely dependent on confidence in the industry. Investors, market participants and all other stakeholders should feel a sense of confidence that the market is effective and fair such that everyone’s interests are adequately protected. 

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