Frequently Asked Questions

BPM Financial Ltd. was established in 1993 as Barita Portfolio Management Ltd (BPML). In April 2008 BPML re-branded as BPM Financial Ltd.(BPM), and is now not affiliated with the Barita Group of Companies. BPM is a privately held company, offering Investment and Pension Fund Management services. BPM offers institutions as well as individuals premier investment products, which affords the investor the opportunity to maximize the return on their investment.

Plain and simple, a stock is a share in the ownership of a company. Stocks represent a claim on the company's assets and earnings. As you acquire more stocks, your ownership stake in the company becomes greater. Whether you say shares, equity, or stock, it all means the same thing.

Being an Owner Holding a company's stock means that you are one of the many owners (shareholders) of a company and, as such, you have a claim (albeit usually very small) to everything the company owns. Yes, this means that technically you own a tiny sliver of every piece of furniture, every trademark, and every contract of the company. As an owner, you are entitled to your share of the company's earnings as well as any voting rights attached to the stock.

A stock is represented by a stock certificate. This is a fancy piece of paper that is proof of your ownership. In today's computer age, you won't actually get to see this document because your brokerage keeps these records electronically, which is also known as holding shares "in street name". This is done to make the shares easier to trade. In the past, when a person wanted to sell his or her shares, that person physically took the certificates down to the brokerage. Now, trading with a click of the mouse or a phone call makes life easier for everybody.

Being a shareholder of a public company does not mean you have a say in the day-to-day running of the business. Instead, one vote per share to elect the board of directors at annual meetings is the extent to which you have a say in the company.

A Bond is simply an 'IOU' in which an investor agrees to loan money to a company or government in exchange for a predetermined interest rate.

If a business wants to expand, one of its options is to borrow money from individual investors, pension funds, or mutual funds. The company issues bonds at various interest rates and sells them to the public. Investors purchase them with the understanding that the company will pay back their original principal (the amount the investor loaned to the company) plus any interest that is due by a set date (this is called the "maturity" date).

Debt securities that are issued or guaranteed by a sovereign government. Government paper of a nation is usually perceived as the least risky debt securities in that country, and will offer investors the lowest yields compared with debt of a similar maturity issued by other entities in that nation.

Risk perceptions of government paper issued by different nations vary widely depending on a number of factors including credit rating, default history, political stability etc. Jamaican government paper is considered to be among the safest investments and practically risk-free.

The aim of Portfolio Management is to achieve the maximum return from a portfolio which has been delegated to be managed by an individual manager or financial institution. The manager has to balance the parameters which define a good investment i.e. security, liquidity and return. The goal is to obtain the highest return for the client of the managed portfolio.

A fraudulent scheme in which people are recruited to make payments to the person who recruited them while expecting to receive payments from the persons they recruit; when the number of new recruits fails to sustain the hierarchical payment structure the scheme collapses with most of the participants losing the money they put in.

The mandate of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is to supervise and regulate the securities, insurance and private pensions industries. As such the FSC may be described as an integrated financial services regulator.

In being an effective regulator, the FSC has prudently structured the organization with specialist divisions designed to fulfill its mandate. The divisions include insurance, securities, legal & investigations, actuarial, corporate services and pensions. These divisions fall under an umbrella that seeks to effectively bring to fruition a mandate that is geared towards fostering professionalism within the industries that are regulated by the Commission.

The Commission has responsibility to manage proper administration of the pensions, securities and insurance laws. In doing so the FSC oversees the registration, solvency and conduct of approximately 614 firms and over 4,800 individuals doing business in the pensions, securities and insurance (life and General) industries. Such as:

* Securities Dealers
* Investment Advisors
* Securities Dealers Representatives
* Investment Advisors Representatives
* Mutual Funds
* Unit Trusts
* Insurance Companies
* Insurance Brokers
* Insurance Agencies
* Insurance Managing General Agent
* Insurance Sales Representatives
* Insurance Loss Adjusters
* Insurance Consultants
* Pension Funds and Retirement Schemes
* Pension Administrators
* Pension Investment Managers
* Pension Trustees

The FSC oversees these entities by administering a number of statutes and accompanying regulations. The relevant statutes are the FSC Act, the Pension Act, the Securities Act, the Unit Trusts Act and the Insurance Act.

The FSC is governed by a Board of Commissioners established by law and made up of a Chairman, and up to 9 other Commissioners, including the Executive Director. The Executive Director is appointed by the other Commissioners who in turn are appointed by the Minister of Finance. The Executive Director is the only full time Commissioner and he is responsible for managing the activities of the Commission.

The Government of Jamaica's invitation to Jamaican-resident holders of certain domestic debt instruments issued on or prior to December 31, 2009 and maturing on or after February 16, 2010, that are denominated in Jamaican dollars (“J$”) and United States dollars (“USD”), as well as those that are indexed to USD to exchange those Old Notes for new, longer-dated debt instruments at lower interest rates.