All about investing in Jamaica

In 2015, Bloomberg reported that the Jamaica Stock Exchange was the top performing index for the year.

The picture painted by the financial research company is different from what many would expect from a small developing country in the Caribbean. The performance of the Jamaica Stock Exchange has opened a new world of opportunities for Jamaicans in the diaspora looking to invest back home and build brand Jamaica.

"Amid the middling returns of the world's best known indexes -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped about 1 percent, the Euro Stoxx 50 lost 6 percent in dollar terms-- foreign acquisitions, stronger investor safeguards and are bounding economy helped the Jamaica Stock Exchange surge more than 80 percent in 2015."

Gone are the days when building a home on the verdant countryside where one grew up was the best option to reinvest in Jamaica.

3 common misconceptions of Investing in the Jamaica Stock Exchange:

  • Perception

    It doesn't make sense to invest in JMD if I earn in USD because the Jamaican dollar is weak and won't deliver much return on my investment.

  • Reality

    It is true that the Jamaican dollar has lost its value relative to its USD counterpart. However US earners can use this to their advantage as shares on the Jamaican Stock Market can be purchased for a few cents in US-dollar terms, which means your money goes farther and can generate greater returns over time.

  • Perception

    Jamaica is not as advanced as a developed country and therefore doesn't have the infrastructure in place to create a secure and viable stock market.

  • Reality

    Unlike developed countries, the Jamaican economy has not reached its pinnacle. This provides potential investors with opportunities for exponential growth in the coming years.

  • Perception

    Jamaica is a small island therefore there can't possibly be that many opportunities for potential investors.

  • Reality

    Choosing to invest in Jamaica provides one with a unique opportunity that first world countries can't; the opportunity for growth. New industries are emerging daily, and this has become evident with the proliferation of new listings on the Junior Stock Exchange.

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