At any given time in history and in any given industry, technological advances have been characterized by two main themes: cost reduction and scope amplification. This is true for any technology we can think of, from printing to telehealth; and for every industry, from agriculture to finance.
Throughout our 127-year history, we at the Mexican Stock Exchange (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores) have seen first-hand how technological advances have enabled more Mexicans to become more financially literate.
For us, technology has always been the best ally to generate and disseminate stock market knowledge to all Mexicans in an accessible and professional manner. The current digitalization that we are experiencing around the world, together with new technological advances, such as 5G or Artificial Intelligence, will allow us to achieve what we cannot even imagine today.
The Mexican Stock Exchange Market Museum (Museo de la Bolsa Mexicana de Valores; MUBO) inaugurated at our Mexico City facilities in 2019, has embraced technological advances for the purposes of education. A unique cultural space in the country, the museum opened its doors to spread stock market knowledge in a simple, didactic manner and became one of the five most visited museums of the city in its first year, receiving more than 97,000 visitors. In 2020, during the pandemic lockdown, we accelerated digitalization and set up an online tour which allows us to receive 20,000 visitors from the comfort of their homes or offices, increasing the scope and impact of the museum.
The Mexican Stock Exchange School, which has been open since 2002, has similarly taken advantage of technology to maximize its impact in society. Last year, we offered 110 online training programs and 44 webinars were launched; achieving a goal of transmitting financial concepts and supporting the education of 46,326 students.
The digitalization carried out by the Mexican Stock Exchange School was also used in the certification of Pension Fund Managers and Investment professionals who are required to be approved by the National Commission of the Retirement Savings System (Comisión Nacional del Sistema de Ahorro para el Retiro; CONSAR). The powerful technological platform takes care of the integrity of automated learning that verifies identities when students present their remote online tests before the regulator, offering transparency, certainty and care in the current environment.
Digital education strategy
In the moments of greatest uncertainty during the pandemic, BMV had the opportunity to work virtually with entrepreneurs and SMEs on financial analysis to help them prepare as the economy gradually recovered. Together with the Ministry of Economic Development (Secretaría de Desarrollo Económico) of Mexico City and the Municipal Entrepreneurs Center of Merida, we formed groups with whom we connect.
During the last two years, BMV has also made a strong commitment to strengthen our digital presence and communication through digital channels with stakeholders, which has allowed us to solidify the identity of the Mexican Stock Exchange in our daily relationship with all audiences. Beyond the audience growth in social media, our own digital channels have been the most successful way to be closer to everyone. Since January, for example, BMV has generated content every two weeks that is uploaded to YouTube channels and explains and specifies how to create a Corporate Governance framework, emphasizing the benefits and value of these frameworks.
Three years ago, BMV launched Let´s Talk About the Stock Market (Hablemos de Bolsa), a blog that provides specialized content prepared by sector experts as well explaining basic, financial market concepts in a simple manner. In 2020, the platform grew by 461% in readings and is viewed by 90,000 visitors per month. It receives visitors not just from Mexico but also from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia.
Also, as part of the digital strategy, and thanks to technological support, in May we launched our podcast “Bolsa Mexicana ... the podcast”, with the aim of continuing to promote financial education and raising awareness in Mexico through talks with listed companies, institutions, stockbrokers and organizations. It fills us with pride to be able to communicate financial awareness and to be consistently listed in the top 10 of investment and business podcasts in Mexico. Thanks to digitalization and technology, we have been able to reach more people and expand our audience.
Before the pandemic, BMV enjoyed opening the doors of our auditorium to students from all over the country for our Stock Market Thursdays and each month we promoted financial awareness to up to 300 young people who filled our facilities eager to learn. While we miss the physical presence our digital lectures have grown exponentially, and each session receives an average of 1,000 people. We would have never been able to receive so many people in our auditorium and now we can provide financial literacy anywhere. In the last two years, we’ve delivered 27 free digital events with more than 30,000 live connections, and we are going for more.
Technology is at the core of the Mexican Stock Exchange. By providing market data at lower prices, brokers are able to reduce the minimum amount required to open a retail account, and together with digital platforms promote financial awareness and investing in financial markets. According to figures from the National Banking and Securities Commission (Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores), as of March 2021, there were 1.4 million investment accounts, compared to 380,000 accounts a year earlier. We have a long road ahead of us but these developments are significant and set the basis for structural change.
Additionally, BMV has joined forces with strategic partners in order to increase the reach of our financial literacy efforts. We actively collaborate with regulators, academics, traders, experts, analysts, journalists, advisors, influencers and students. We have strengthened our relationship with the National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Financial Services Users (Comisión Nacional para la Protección y Defensa de los Usuarios de Servicios Financieros; CONDUSEF) and in 2021, once again, we will be the official provider of various conferences and content specializing in financial markets for the National Financial Education Week. This effort resulted in an invitation from the Government of the State of Queretaro to create the Council of financial and economic education that plans, reviews and endorses concepts for elementary, middle and high school educators and students.
Without the technology and passion that all of us at the Mexican Stock Exchange have for financial literacy it would not have been possible to generate all these initiatives that have contributed to generate greater awareness and perception of financial markets in Mexico. We will continue working for more education and financial literacy for all.
The views, thoughts and opinions contained in this Focus article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the WFE’s policy position on the issue, or the WFE’s views or opinions.