Best Shares to Buy on JSE: Top Picks for Investment in 2024

Investing in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) offers a diverse range of opportunities for those looking to grow their portfolio. As one delves into the world of stocks, they often seek to identify the best shares with the potential for solid returns. With a focus on long-term growth, certain sectors and companies stand out for their performance and resilience, even in challenging economic climates.

Analysing the performance history and market forecasts, investors consider a variety of factors, including market value, dividend yields, and year-to-date returns when determining which shares to buy. For example, British American Tobacco, also listed on the JSE, offers attractive dividends and a substantial market capitalisation, making it a consideration for those looking at long-term investments.

Additionally, technology and mining companies often surface as prominent performers on the JSE. Technological investment giants and key players in the mining industry have shown positive growth potential, driving interest in their shares. Their continuous adaptation and market relevance contribute to their strong presence on the exchange, potentially translating into valuable opportunities for investors.

Understanding the Johannesburg Stock Exchange

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) stands as a beacon of financial activity in South Africa, offering a range of instruments such as stocks and bonds. It is essential for investors to comprehend its history, operations, and specific terminology to effectively engage in trading.

History and Structure of JSE

The JSE was established in November 1887, during the gold rush era. It has since evolved to become the largest stock exchange in Africa. The exchange is headquartered in Sandton, Johannesburg, which signifies its influential role in the South African economy. Companies listed on the JSE are varied, spanning numerous sectors, and their performance is reflective of South Africa’s economic landscape.

Important JSE Terminology

When investing in the JSE, there are several terms to be familiar with:

  • Listed Company: A business that has shares available to be bought and sold on the JSE.
  • Ticker Symbol: A unique series of letters assigned to a listed company for identification.
  • Market Capitalization: The total value of a company’s outstanding shares. It is calculated by multiplying the current share price by the total number of shares outstanding.

How the JSE Operates

The JSE operates as a marketplace for the trading of securities, providing a transparent and regulated environment for listed businesses and investors. Trading on the JSE is conducted electronically through an online system, making it accessible to both local and international investors. The JSE’s working hours enable traders to buy and sell shares within the stipulated trading times, promoting liquidity and investment opportunities.

Key Factors Influencing JSE Share Prices

Investors should pay close attention to a range of variables that can influence share prices on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). These factors encompass economic data, company-specific metrics, and the wider political and regulatory landscape.

Economic Indicators and Market Trends

Economic indicators play a substantial role in the growth and valuation of shares. For example, foreign exchange (forex) rates can significantly impact companies that are heavily reliant on international trade. The share price of such companies may fluctuate in response to forex variations. Moreover, market trends, including changes in the supply and demand for commodities like iron ore and copper, often sway the market capitalisation of related mining and resource companies.

Company Performance Metrics

Individual company performance is a critical determinant of share price on the JSE. Sales figures are a direct indicator of a company’s performance and potential for growth. Additionally, investors scrutinise performance metrics such as the price-to-earnings (P/E ratio) and shares outstanding. Companies with strong sales growth and a reasonable but not excessive P/E ratio might be considered favourable investments. The market capitalisation, calculated by multiplying the current share price by the total number of outstanding shares, provides insight into the overall market value of a company.

Political and Regulatory Environment

The political climate in South Africa can affect investor confidence and, consequently, share prices. Regulatory changes can lead to fluctuations in the market, as companies might need to alter their operations to comply with new rules, affecting their overall valuation. The stability and policies of the government, particularly those related to trade with international partners such as China, can either bolster or deter investment in listed companies.

Analysing Top Performing Sectors on the JSE

Investors often seek out the best-performing sectors on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) to identify opportunities for capital growth. In recent times, key sectors such as mining and resources, banking and financial services, and consumer goods and retail have shown notable performances.

Mining and Resources

The Mining and Resources sector on the JSE has historically been a stronghold, with prominent companies like Anglo American PLC and South32 leading the way. In this sector, investors focus on various commodities, including gold, coal, and metallurgical coal. Notably, Gold Fields has been influential in the gold sector, while Exxaro is recognised for its coal operations. The fluctuating prices of commodities such as oil and gas also impact the sector’s performance.

  • Gold Fields: Engaging primarily in gold mining and related activities.
  • Anglo American PLC: A global mining company focusing on precious metals and minerals.
  • South32: Operating across multiple commodities, including aluminum and manganese.
  • Exxaro: Primarily concerned with coal mining and heavy mineral sands extraction.
  • Glencore: Known for its diverse operations in metals, minerals, and energy products.

Banking and Financial Services

The Banking and Financial Services sector hosts some of South Africa’s major banks, including Standard Bank, a standout entity with widespread influence throughout Africa. Financial services providers within this space have seen a rebound in certain instances, with data suggesting resilient performance even in challenging economic times. Investment holding companies sometimes linked to these financial entities help diversify revenue streams and mitigate sector-specific risks.

  • Standard Bank: A major South African bank with a substantial footprint.
  • Investment holding company: Companies owning a significant share in financial institutions, offering investment diversification.

Consumer Goods and Retail

In the Consumer Goods and Retail sector, companies like Bidvest and British American Tobacco PLC (BAT) have been at the forefront, indicating a strong consumer base. Moreover, multinational giants such as Anheuser-Busch InBev contribute to the sector with their extensive distribution of beverages. The telecommunications group MTN Group, and internet and entertainment group Prosus, while not traditionally falling strictly within this sector, reflect changing consumer demands that include technological and online retail services.

  • Bidvest: Operating as an international services, trading, and distribution company.
  • British American Tobacco PLC: A leading tobacco group, offering products in numerous countries.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev: One of the world’s largest brewers and distributors of beers.
  • MTN Group: Leading in mobile telecommunications, with significant consumer reach.
  • Prosus: Engaging in the internet and entertainment sectors, with a focus on e-commerce and other technology-driven consumer services.

The performance of sectors on the JSE is subject to global economic conditions, regulatory changes, and consumer trends, which should be monitored regularly for informed investment decisions.

Strategies for Selecting Shares on the JSE

Selecting shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is a strategic process that involves nuanced research and careful timing. Investors aim to construct a balanced investment portfolio that can generate substantial returns while managing risks. The following strategies are foundational to making informed decisions.

Fundamental Analysis Techniques

Fundamental analysis is rooted in the quantitative and qualitative assessment of a company. Investors should examine earnings per share (EPS) and dividend yield as these indicate a firm’s profitability and the return on investment through dividends. For example, Shoprite may present a compelling opportunity if it shows a consistent increase in gross turnover, reflecting strong market presence. Similarly, Naspers Ltd’s control of valuable assets could reflect a solid base for stability and growth.

  • Key Ratios: Consider ratios such as Price-to-Earnings (P/E), which helps determine if a stock is over or undervalued.
  • Corporate Health: Analyse balance sheets to evaluate a company’s solvency and liquidity. Pepkor Holdings would require such diligence to ensure its financial stability supports its share price.

Technical Analysis for Timing Investments

Technical analysis assists investors in deciding when to buy or sell shares. This method involves studying market trends and price movements to forecast future activity. Successful trading on the JSE often hinges on identifying the right timing and price points for investments in shares for sale.

  • Charts and Patterns: Utilize graphs to identify trends in JSE shares, such as Kumba Iron Ore, which might indicate whether current stock prices are likely to rise or fall.
  • Volume Analysis: Assess the trading volume to gauge the strength of a market trend – higher volumes often confirm the trend’s stability.

Portfolio Diversification Principles

Diversification is a strategic approach used to spread investment risks across different asset classes. By investing in diverse sectors, like exchange-traded funds (ETFs), blue-chip and small-cap shares, or across various industries, an investor can shield their capital from undue market volatility.

  • Asset Allocation: An investment of R5000, for example, might be spread across equities, bonds, and ETFs, such as those managed by Stanlib, to balance the potential returns with the level of risk.
  • Reassessing Holdings: Regular portfolio reviews are crucial to ensure diversification aligns with changing market conditions and personal investment goals.

Investors should work with a qualified stockbroker to navigate JSE shares and must always keep the associated risks in mind when making investment choices. The pursuit of stocks with attractive dividend policies, like those that might be offered by a holding company, requires careful analysis and a disciplined approach to trading and portfolio management.

Practical Steps to Investing in JSE Shares

Investing in Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) shares involves a process of setting up a mechanism for trade, being vigilant about associated costs, and regularly managing one’s investment portfolio.

Opening a Brokerage Account

To begin trading JSE stocks such as British American Tobacco PLC (SA), MTN Group Ltd, or Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, one must first open a brokerage account. The investor should research various brokers, considering their reputation and the services they provide. It is important to select a broker that offers access to the JSE and is suited to the investor’s individual requirements, whether it’s for e-commerce, food delivery ventures, or traditional sectors.

Understanding Account Fees and Trading Costs

Awareness of account fees and trading costs is crucial for maintaining profitability. Brokerage accounts come with a variety of fees, which can include annual account maintenance fees, trading commissions, and fees for withdrawing funds. These should be reviewed carefully as they can significantly impact net returns. For example, higher trading costs might not be favorable for an investor in Capitec, Bidcorp, Netcare, or Aspen, if the strategy involves frequent trading of these securities.

Monitoring and Adjusting Your Investments

Investing in the JSE requires ongoing vigilance. Keep an eye on sector trends, like the growth in e-commerce or changes in the food delivery industry, that might influence companies like MTN Group Ltd or Bidcorp. Assess positions in entities like Exxaro Resources Ltd, not just in terms of stock price movements, but also considering dividends which can be a steady stream of income. Risk management is fundamental; if a portfolio leans heavily on a single sector, it may be wise to diversify to mitigate sector-specific risks. Regularly reviewing and adjusting investments to align with evolving market conditions and financial goals is a recommended practice.


Investing in Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) shares can be a strategic component of one’s investment portfolio. It offers the chance to partake in the growth potential of South Africa’s vibrant economy. When selecting JSE shares, investors should consider the performance track record, underlying company fundamentals, and the wider economic environment.

Building a diversified portfolio with a mix of shares can help balance out the risk and offer more stable long-term returns. Remember that all investments come with risks, and it’s essential to conduct thorough research or consult financial experts.

The shares listed on the JSE come from a range of sectors, offering different levels of volatility and growth prospects:

  • High-performance shares typically involve greater risk, but can offer superior returns.
  • Stable shares might deliver less dramatic growth but can provide consistency and lower volatility.

Prospective investors should align their choices with their individual risk tolerance and investment goals. The best shares for one’s portfolio are those that contribute to the achievement of set financial goals while managing the level of risk they are comfortable with.

In conclusion, the JSE presents numerous opportunities but also requires careful consideration to maximize one’s investment outcomes. Regular review of portfolio performance is key to staying abreast of changes in market conditions and company situations, ensuring that investment decisions remain sound and appropriate.

Frequently Asked Questions

In the evolving landscape of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), potential investors frequently inquire about the most viable stocks to add to their portfolios. The following subsections address common queries related to current investment opportunities on the JSE.

What are the most promising stocks to invest in within the JSE Top 100?

Among the JSE Top 100, sectors such as mining and finance often contain stocks that show strong growth potential due to South Africa’s rich mineral resources and robust financial services industry.

Which companies in South Africa offer the best investment opportunities right now?

Currently, companies exhibiting technological innovation, renewable energy projects, and consumer goods production are offering some of the best investment opportunities in South Africa.

What are the most affordable stocks to purchase on the JSE currently?

Stocks in emerging sectors, including small-cap industrial companies and select retail groups, are often among the most affordable on the JSE while providing potential for growth.

Among the JSE Top 40, which stocks are considered the best investment?

The JSE Top 40 includes blue-chip companies with a history of steady performance and dividend payouts, often making them solid investments. Specific industries to consider include commodities and banking.

What are the emerging investment prospects in South Africa’s stock market?

Emerging prospects in South Africa’s stock market typically involve companies in the technology sector, including software and telecommunications, as well as renewable energy.

Which JSE-listed companies have shares priced under R10 that are worth buying?

There are multiple small to mid-cap companies priced under R10 with potential for growth. Due to the dynamic nature of the market, these opportunities require diligent analysis and timing to capitalise on.

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