The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) launched a major campaign on Monday calling on the Israeli general public to overcome their fears and start investing directly once again in the stock market.
Over the last decade, there has been an almost 40% decrease in the number of individuals directly holding shares, down from 250,000 to 150,000 Israeli households in 2018. According to the TASE, just 6% of the public are invested directly in the stock exchange today.
“The stock exchange is dealing for the first time with the public’s fear of investing in it,” said TASE CEO Ittai Ben-Zeev.
“We have decided to put the issue of coping with this fear openly on the table – a subject that is not easy to talk about. The fear barrier paralyzes the public and distances it from the stock exchange.”
In its first ever campaign to encourage the public to return and combat the emotional barriers to investment, the stock exchange has once again recruited comedian Adi Ashkenazi to appear in a series of short videos raising other common concerns of the public: weddings and funerals.
In addition, the TASE will launch a new website this week, “Fear does not pay,” to deal with prevalent concerns over issues such as volatility, financial risk, large investments and lack of knowledge.
The website will offer a set of solutions and a calculator to understand how much investors would have earned if they had invested different sums at different times, ranging between five and 25 years, in leading stock exchange indices.
As part of the effort, the TASE has approached all stock exchange members to encourage the opening of opportunities for those interested in investing relatively small amounts, starting from NIS 20,000 ($5,500).
“The public holds about NIS 1 trillion in current accounts and deposits that do not yield any return, earning approximately zero interest, while investing long-term in the stock market pays off,” said Ben-Zeev.
“We must not permit the stock exchange to turn into an arena in which the players are too few and too large,” he added.
“The Israeli public must be an active and dominant part of the stock market, and we believe that direct dialogue at eye level is the right way to remove the barriers, so as not to lose the TASE as a platform for significant growth in the economy.”
Last year, the TASE introduced a number of initiatives to encourage investments in the stock market and to increase public familiarity and knowledge in the capital market. These included the publication of a table comparing trade and securities commissions, greater transparency in current and future share issues, improving the stock exchange website and launching a new smartphone application.