E30: Shares 101

    Investing in shares is a way of potentially earning more money than keeping your savings in the bank with current very low interest rates. Even though the share market has been buoyant lately, shares do go up and down, so there are risks. The advice is start small and learn along the way.

    Policy and Advocacy Manager from the Australian Shareholders Association, Fiona Balzer says it is possible to dip your toe into the share market in a modest way to learn the ropes.

    You need five hundred dollars to start, known as a “marketable parcel”. Think of a company as a pie, it might be divided into one hundred dollar shares or ten cents shares.

    You will need a broker, either a personal broker who will charge a fee and provide advice, or a discount broker with one of the big financial institutions, for a smaller fee. 

    Check if the company you want to invest in pays dividends, that you can take as cash or reinvest. Make sure you keep all the paperwork, because there maybe tax obligations in the future. 

    It shouldn’t be like gambling says Fiona Balzer, you need to study your potential investments. And you need to learn the many acronyms, for example companies that actively take ESG concerns seriously, that is Environment, Social and Governance. 

    There are many sources of free information, as well as courses and investment groups you can join.

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