The journey of the typical investor usually starts with seeing an advertisement for either a Stock Market or the latest and greatest Initial Public Offering (IPO). Lured by the possibility of amassing great profit and potential wealth, they will speak with their local investment brokerage firm, open a Brokerage account and deposit an amount they are comfortable with from their Savings Account and hope for the best. If the offer does well, the investor feels quite content, happy to take the next offer as it comes.
Otherwise, he/she is left confused, trying to figure out how the Stock Market really works while processing their disappointment in not making any or much money on their investment.
Investing by the average person has seen growth in the last few decades, particularly in Jamaica with our world renowned, high-performing Stock Market. With inflation, the typical Savings Account offers no hope for achieving Financial Freedom which leads those seeking wealth creation to look to the stock market. The challenge for most investors is the ability to understand the basics of money management
and investing concepts.
A global financial literacy survey done in 2015 showed that only 33% of Jamaicans were able to answer basic financial literacy questions. The survey asked questions relating to interest rates, inflation, and
investments. Though there has been significant work in this space by the Jamaica Stock Exchange to increase and improve awareness, many Jamaicans still lack confidence in making financial decisions due
to feeling uninformed and ill-equipped. Afterall, investing is not exactly taught in schools.
As defined by myaccountingcourse.com, financial literacy is “the education and understanding of knowing how money is made, spent, and saved, as well as the skills and ability to use financial resources
to make decisions. These decisions include how to generate, invest, spend, and save money.”
The main aim of Learn Grow Invest is to play its role in improving the skills and abilities of those who feel ill-equipped to make financial decisions. The community seeks to use its platform to provide information in a digestible format for the consumption of anyone who comes across it. This is currently done
through social media platforms and more significantly, through YouTube. In addition to meetings, content is provided such as investment tips and tricks, tutorials on investment concepts, and other
content relevant to improving financial literacy and overall knowledge.
The expanding community is built on knowledge-sharing among peers in a way that encourages each one to help another. There is no one person with all the answers but if each person shares their knowledge, then more persons become equipped to make better decisions, become better investors, build financial legacies for their families and ultimately build our nation(s)…together.
This community was birthed in 2017 by a couple who had a desire to improve their own financial literacy and who also have a great love for teaching and sharing with others. Jermaine and Renate McDonald realized the wealth of knowledge around them with respect to investment principles and they were eager to learn. This led to the formation of a WhatsApp group which grew over time until the members began meeting monthly in-person in the summer of 2018 to discuss various aspects of financial literacy.
When the pandemic hit Jamaica in March 2020, the meetings had to go virtual. By July 2020, the first YouTube livestream was up and running for this growing community. By hosting Investor Meetings via their YouTube channel, they provide the opportunity for investors from various backgrounds to get together and discuss topics such as Personal Finance, Real Estate, Investing, Money Management and
There are several biblical principles which guide the operation of the community but the focal one is
from Deuteronomy 8:18 which states, “Remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the
ability to produce wealth”. This reminder ends each meeting for the group, reinforcing the importance
of keeping God in His rightful place and money in its rightful place, never to confuse the two. The
founders firmly believe in good stewardship of money as a part of their drive to honour God in all that
they do. And yes, good stewardship includes improving knowledge so that investing can be undertaken
You can join the Learn Grow Invest community on your favorite social media platform. You can also join us for weekly Investor Meetings on our YouTube channel: Learn Grow Invest.
Jermaine McDonald is currently the Country Manager for Inova Solutions Jamaica. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, grew up playing chess, practicing marital arts and fixing computers. He started his first company at sixteen years old and remains an Entrepreneur to this day. Renate McDonald is a Project Manager at Victoria Mutual Building Society, also born in Kingston, Jamaica. Renate spent hercareer in the Petroleum industry before switching to the Financial industry a little over three years ago.