How to get started

Whether you are just starting out in investing, or you are a seasoned pro,
we provide useful tips and guides to bring your wealth possibilities to life.

Start by opening a trading account
1. Free demo account
Open a demo account for free and get R100 000 in virtual currency to practice for 30 days.
2. Open a real account
When you’re ready to trade for real, select one of the account options that you prefer, provide the additional details needed, and you’re ready to go.
3. Start building a portfolio
Once your new trading account has been activated, you can transfer funds and start trading like a pro.

Learn about shares and the stock market
 

The basics of share ownership

What is a share?

It is quite literally a share of the ownership of a company. Also known as “equity” or “stock”.

Why own shares?

You get certain rights, such as the right to vote on important company decisions, and the right to receive dividends.

How are companies valued?

The value of a company is essentially the sum of it’s assets minus it’s debts (Net Asset Value).

How do shares differ from saving?

Share prices and company dividends can change, for better or for worse. There are no guarantees.

The seasoned investor

Price earnings ratio and what it means
 

What is the PE ratio?

The ratio of the share price to the latest full year’s profits of the company per share (Headline earnings per share or HEPS).

What can it tell me?

It quickly shows if a share is cheap or expensive relative to the company peers, based on past earnings.

High or low PE

A high PE usually indicates the market is expecting growth from the company. A low PE may indicate the expectation of poor future performance.

When to use it?

PE ratio is most often used by value investors. It essentially shows the number of years a company will take to be worth the price you’ve paid.


Contact us for support

Our customer relationship team and Porfolio Relationship Managers are
 ready and available to support and guide you. They are available Monday to Friday between anytime between 8:30 and 17:00.
Contact them on 0860 05 04 03 or equities@absa.co.za.

Please note there is an additional fee for any trade requests, live share prices or market activity information requested over the phone.
 
 

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I open a practice/trial account

    Getting started in the stock market can seem like a big step, so our virtual account gives you the chance to get a feel for trading without risking your money. You have access to a 30-day free demo account with a R100 000 in virtual currency to trade with. When you're ready to invest your money simply convert online to one of our trading accounts.
     

    Start becoming a successful investor.
     

    Open a demo account

  • How do I open new or additional accounts?

     

    Please click the button below to open a new account or log on to open additional trading and investing accounts.

     

    Open an account

  • Can I have more than one account linked to a single username?

    With Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management you can have as many accounts linked to a single username as you like. You can also transfer funds between these accounts as long as they are in the same name as we do not allow third-party payments.

  • What do I need to open a personal account?

    Proof of residential address

    A municipality bill not older than three (3) months, statement from your medical aid, SARS notification for current tax period, current lease agreement (all pages), cellular provider statements not older than three (3) months. These documents need to be in the name of the account applicant. In the event that the account applicant does not have a proof of address in his/her name, this Declaration needs to be completed in full by the property owner with a certified copy of the proof of address, as per the requirements above, attached to the declaration.

     

    Certified copy of your ID document

    A certified copy of your valid green bar-coded South African ID. If you have a Smart ID card, please ensure you send a copy of both sides of the Smart ID card. For non-residential accounts we will require an original certified copy of your passport.

     

    Proof of banking details

    A statement from your bank showing that you are the holder of the account provided.

     

    Proof of SARS (Tax) number

    Any communication from SARS which indicates your tax number. Please note that an IRP5 will not be accepted.

  • What do I need to open an account for a business?

    CM1/CM22 or CIPRO document (certified)

    Certified copy of the most recent version of the Certificate of Incorporation (form CM1) and Notice of Registered Office and Postal Address (CM22) bearing the stamp of the Registrar of Companies and signed by the company secretary OR Current CIPC certificate printout.

     

    Certified copy of proof of address from which the business operates

    Proof of address from which company operates – physical address not postal or registered address (the proof must be in company’s name – not older than 3 months old).

     

    Business banking details

    Statement from the bank indicating the nominated bank account in the name of the entity.

     

    Certified copy of a signed Resolution

    Resolution signed by all the members – stating who is going to operate the share account (the resolution must mention that you want to open a trading/share account with Absa Stockbrokers and not only with Absa Bank).

     

    Certified copies of IDs of all members

    Certified Copies of ID’s of all the members/mandated officials of the company.

     

    SARS Document

    Any communication from SARS which indicates the entities tax number.

     

    Completed Mandate

    Mandate completed and signed person who is going to operate the account.

     

    Tax Self-certification and Declaration Form

    Certified copies of proof of address of all members

    proof of residential addresses of all the members/mandated officials of the company (the proof must be in their names and not older than 3 months old.

     

    Account Activity

    Notification of what the expected activity on the trading account will be i.e. long term investment, short term trading etc.

     

    Group Organisational Structure

    Organogram/ or simple ownership/ control structures / any document that creates an understanding of the control and ownership of the entity.

     

    Immediate shareholders - FICA documents for each shareholder

     

    Nature of Business

    A description of the industry within which the company operates and the type of activities the business conducts.

  • How do I transfer shares from my current stockbroker to my Absa Stockbroker account?

     

    Please click here and complete the form. Send a copy to your stockbroker and a copy to equities@absa.co.za. We will contact your existing stockbroker to arrange transfer. Please note that while Absa offers this service to you at no cost, your broker might charge you a fee. Please contact your broker to confirm all charges.

  • Can I open an account in the name of a trust or close corporation?

     

    Yes you can. Please note that Tax-Free Savings Account and World Trader Account are only available to individuals. Click the button below to apply online for a trading account for your trust or close corporation.

     

    Open an account

  • How do I transfer my funds into my Absa Stockbroker account?

    Clients should use their trading account number as a reference for correct and timeous allocation to their trading account.

     

    In accordance with JSE™ rules, Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management cannot accept ‘physical’ cash deposits directly into this bank account.

     

    South African residents and non-residents  please contact us for account details.

     

    Please note that funds transferred during business hours from an Absa Bank account will normally reflect on the trading account within 2 hours. Transfers received after 16:00 will only reflect on the following business day. Funds transferred from other South African banks can take up to 3 business days to clear.

  • Can I trade telephonically as well as online?

    With Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management you can go online or call us to place a trade or for any other querie
     

    Log on here or call us on 0860 05 04 03.

  • What about Dividend Withholding Tax?

    Overview

    Dividends Tax (DT) became effective on 1 April 2012 and replaced Secondary Tax on Companies (STC). STC was a tax levied on the company declaring the dividend, while DT is a tax levied on the investor/beneficial owner of the dividends.

     

    As a result of this change, the legal liability for tax on dividends will shift from the company paying the dividend to that of the investor. In terms of the DT requirements, a regulated intermediary needs to withhold the DT at a rate of 15%, if no exemption applies and pay same over to SARS.

     

    Since 1 April 2012, we have been deducting the 15% DT to pay over to SARS, unless the client qualifies for an exemption and Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management is in possession of their declaration.

     

    What is DT?

    DT is a tax on shareholders (beneficial owners of dividends) when they receive dividend distributions from companies.

     

    What triggers DT?

    Dividends Tax is triggered by the payment of dividends by any:

     

      •  South African tax resident company; or

      •  Foreign company in respect of shares listed on the JSE. The payment date is deemed to be the earlier of the actual

          payment date or the date the dividend "becomes payable". Where a dividend is declared payable to shareholders

          registered in the company's share register on a certain date (record date), it becomes payable on that date.

     

    Exemptions

    Not exempt: Taxable persons and entities :

     

      •  Natural persons (individuals).

      •  Foreign investors. Foreign investors will be subject to DT at a rate of 15% but may be eligible for a tax reduction in

          DT if you are a non-resident or if there is a double taxation agreement with your country of residence.

     

    Exempt: The following investors qualify for exemption:

     

      •  A SA resident company (including close corporations)

      •  Public benefit organisations approved by the Commissioner

      •  A trust contemplated in Section 37A of the Income Tax Act, i.e. a mining rehabilitation trust

      •  A registered pension fund, pension preservation fund, provident preservation fund, retirement annuity fund and  

          benefit fund

      •  A person who is a non-resident in receipt of dividends paid by a non-resident company whose shares are listed on

          the JSE.

     

    Forms

    Beneficial owner declaration of status and written undertaking.

     

      •  English form

      •  Afrikaans form

     

    Do I have to complete a declaration and undertaking form for exemption for each dividend or share in my share portfolio?

     

    You only need to declare your exempt status per the declaration and undertaking form once (per company or withholding agent) and it will remain valid until the circumstances of the beneficial owner affecting the exemption change. Therefore, if you hold more than one share via the same regulated intermediary (withholding agent) you only need to complete one form. However, if you hold shares via more than one regulated intermediary you would have to complete the form for each regulated intermediary.

  • How does one protect oneself against huge losses?

    Our online trading platform provides you with features such as setting stop losses, as well as SMS or email alerts to help you manage both losses and gains. Your stop loss can be set up to be valid for 90 days while your SMS and email alerts never expire until they are triggered.

  • What about security?

    Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management is committed to making sure that your online experience is safe and secure. Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management uses multiple levels of security and state of the art Internet technology, beginning with your browser and ending with our own security infrastructure to ensure that access to your accounts is private and secure. Further information can be found under: Security Centre.

     

    Please note that for your own safety, if you log on and don't use the service for 30 minutes, or 5 minutes on trading-related pages, you will be logged out. To access your accounts again, you will need to log on again.

     

    All contract notes (broker notes) and monthly statements delivered via email are encrypted for your protection. To decrypt the secure emails, the nominated email recipient is required to register on the Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management website.

     

    Also, always be sure to keep your password safe and secure.

  • How do I reset my password?

     

    If you have forgotten your password you can reset it online by clicking here.

  • I can’t remember my username to log on

    If you have forgotten your username, click here to complete the form and we will email it to you.

  • Can I link my trading account to view on the Absa Banking App or Online Banking?

    Step 1: If you have a bank account with Absa and have access to Online Banking and the Absa Banking App, you can view your accounts on these platforms anytime, anywhere. To do this just logon to your Online Banking account and click on the heading called 'Profile'.

     

    Step 2: Now click on ‘link or unlink accounts’ and select 'Share trading'. Click to link account and enter your username and password for your online trading account with Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management.

     

    Step 3: You can now view your portfolio on Online Banking or by using the Absa Banking App.

     

    For further help on linking accounts contact the Absa call centre on 08600 08600.

  • What is World Trader?

    With Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management you can choose to invest locally or offshore. When you open an account with us online you can choose to open a World Trader account at no additional charge*. All you need to do to start investing offshore once your account is opened and active is transfer the offshore base currency to our offshore bank account. This means you can now own shares in various companies listed on over 25 exchanges worldwide.

     

    Our offshore offering is designed to offer you offshore diversification with great value:

     

      •  Secure and safe access to your account 24/7, 365 days a year

      •  Access from a single point with a single username

      •  Access via your laptop and mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets

      •  A choice of three base currencies to choose from (USD, EUR, and GBP)

      •  Stop/loss orders – helping you to manage your investments

      •  Stop profits

      •  Technical analysis

      •  Fundamental analysis

      •  In depth research reports

      •  Telephonic support from highly qualified staff

      •  Delayed or live prices**

      •  Share filter

      •  Ability to trade in over 25 different exchanges around the world

      •  There is no additional monthly fee for this account

      •  Ability to have multiple World Trader accounts in different base currencies linked to a single username

     

    Click here for the World Trader quick guide

     

    The process to getting started to investing offshore is very easy with Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management. Once you have opened your World Trader Account and it is activated you can transfer funds in your choice of the base currency you selected electronically.

     

    Please click the appropriate tab for more details on how to transfer funds offshore or for any further help.

     

    *Please view our World Trader page for a detailed breakdown of offshore fees.

     

    **Live prices are subject to fees charged by the various exchanges.

  • What is a base currency?

    When opening a World Trader account you will need to select a base currency. You have the choice of Euro (EUR), US Dollar (USD), or British Pound (GBP). The base currency is the currency used to settle your trades in and also the currency you need to transfer offshore to Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management to commence trading. Always ensure you choose the right currency for the market you will be trading in to avoid excessive currency conversion fees.

  • How to choose the right base currency?

    When you apply for a World Trader Account we will need to know what base currency you want to use. Before choosing your base currency think carefully which market you will be trading in the most. You have the choice of Euro (EUR), US Dollar (USD), or British Pound (GBP). The base currency is the currency used to settle your trades in and also the currency you need to transfer offshore to Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management to commence trading. Always ensure you choose the right currency for the market you will be trading in to avoid excessive currency conversion fees.

     

    For example:

     

    Your base currency is USD and you purchase Nestle shares on the Frankfurt exchange in EURO’s. We will convert the purchase amount from Euro’s to US dollars and charge a conversion fee. If you trading in EURO’s predominantly then rather choose EUR as you base currency.

     

    Once you have decided this you can then can invest by moving your money either overseas and converting it to the foreign base currency, or by converting you rands with your local bank to the base currency and then transferring this electronically to the relevant offshore bank account of Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management.

  • Offshore allowance – What do I need to know?

    Option 1:

    You want to invest up to a maximum of R1 million in offshore shares and do not want to repatriate your funds to South Africa.

     

    You can use a single discretionary offshore allowance of R1 million, which does not require South African Reserve Bank tax clearance.

     

    With this option you can open an account online and once your account is activated you will be provided with the banking details and base currency you selected. You can then convert your rands with your bank to the base currency and electronically transfer the funds to our relevant offshore bank account.

     

    Option 2:

    You want to invest more than R1 million, up to R10 million in offshore shares and do not want to repatriate your funds to South Africa.

     

    You can use an offshore allowance of R10 million, for which you will need to get a tax clearance certificate (in respect of foreign investments) from SARS. This certificate must include the SARS logo and specified watermark, and is only valid for a period of 12 months from the date indicated on the certificate. Once you have this you can then convert your rands with your bank or to the base currency and electronically transfer the funds to our relevant offshore bank account.

     

    Option 3:

    If you are not comfortable with making these investment decisions on your own, you can also ask for the assistance of a Portfolio Manager, who can manage your portfolio on your behalf. We require a minimum initial investment of R1 000 000.00 for this option. Click here to view managed portfolio options.

  • How do I transfer funds offshore?

    Choose the correct option that applies to you to follow below:         

             

    Option 1: Already have funds offshore in an offshore bank account

       

    Step 1 (If currency is not the same as base currency)

    You will need to instruct your bank to convert what you have into the right base currency. If you do not have Online Banking please contact your nearest forex branch.

     

    Step 2 (If currency is the same as base currency)       

      •  You will receive an email with our banking details related to the relevant base currency. 

      •  Transfer the required amount electronically using the details provided to you via email.         

      •  Ensure all fields are completed especially the reference field.

     

    Step 3         

    For swift allocation log on to your Absa stockbroking profile and complete the ‘Notice of Deposit’ form found under ‘Your profile’.

          

    Step 4         

    A confirmation email will be sent once funds are allocated to your World Trader account and you can log in and start trading or investing.

            

    Option 2: Need to transfer funds from local bank account offshore

     

    Use Online Banking for a convenient and quick international transfer. During market open hours logon to Online Banking, navigate to ‘Payments’ then ‘International Funds Transfer’ to make the payment in currency. For more information or help please call 0860 151 151.

  • How do I transfer funds back to my bank account?

    Log on to your Absa stockbroking profile and select ‘Transfer’. You will notice your bank account details are pre-loaded. Select your World Trader account, complete the required fields and the amount will be paid in the base currency to your linked bank account.

     

    For those who have used their local bank account please ensure you notify your bank you will be receiving the payment.

     

    *Please note that Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management do not convert the base currency to any other currency when withdrawing funds and cannot be held liable for any costs or exchange rate risks that may occur.

  • How to use the charting tool on World Trader?

    Please click here to watch a video showing you how the charting tool works for World Trader.

  • Can I see my orders and trade from the World Trader chart?

    Please click here to watch a video showing you how to do this.

  • Dividend withholding tax for World Trader

    The dividend withholding tax rate levied on dividends paid in other jurisdictions may vary and Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management is required by law to withhold tax from the client’s dividends or interest returns and pay it over to the relevant tax regulatory authority.

     

    Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management will withhold dividend tax at a flat rate of 30% and this will be paid over to the authority as and when required.

     

    It will be the client’s responsibility to make a claim to the authority, where applicable, when a refund is due to the client, and Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management assumes no responsibility in this regard.

     

    Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management does not provide any advice to the client, including any tax advice related to any trade.

     

    The client is advised to obtain individual independent tax advice with respect to the tax implications of any trade.