Attracting the young: A template for the Nigerian exchange

Oct 12, 2021|Carl T. Macaulay

Trading stocks in Nigeria isn't alluring to regular young people. Millennials have become less interested in participating in the stock market. Instead, they prefer investing in high yielding agritech investments, online bets and ponzi schemes.

For centuries, people have been able to buy and sell shares on stock exchanges, and intelligent people in finance have created more sophisticated ways of trading since then. It has been possible to trade stocks on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) since 1773, and it's not even the oldest exchange in the world.

Some takeaways

  • Stocks are "shorted" on the NGX—this is not commonly known.

  • Many potential investors, especially young people, are seeking high returns. Risk doesn't appear to be a significant concern.

  • We can't entirely blame the NGX for slow capital market development because a growing economy is also necessary for a capital market to advance. 

Three hundred years later, investors in the Nigerian stock market can participate in short-selling (betting a stock you buy will drop in price), Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and other products. Shorting a stock is what you do when you want to profit on a stock falling in price, just like you would typically profit from buying a stock (going long). ETFs make it possible to invest in indices and other assets that you may not afford ordinarily. But there is still a lot to do to make the Nigerian capital market truly advanced.

Young people like new things, which is why they are trooping into cryptocurrency in large numbers. Cryptocurrency is unique and different. It has an air of coolness to it. Some people see buying coins as more than an investment—or gamble—and see it more as a political statement. Some see it as a rebellion against the financial system or the government. Bitcoin and other coins use decentralised blockchain technology making them independent of governments. Even if you're not a software engineer and don't know what some terms mean, there's just something alluring about the sound of the terms' immutable' and 'non-fungible'.  

Equities or stocks are in a different asset class to cryptocurrency, so they cannot have similar attributes. The idea that cryptocurrency is a legitimate asset class is new. Some investors still don't consider it an asset class. The fact that bitcoin and other coins seem cool has made them become the topic of memes and pop culture. According to Forbes, there is a bitcoin frenzy, and it's not going away. 


'Doge' coin meme. Source: Executium via Unsplash

Stocks, on the other hand, are more easily

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