Stock Market History

The stock market has become an extremely popular method of investing large sums of money but this leaves many people wondering about stock market history. The history of the stock market is actually pretty interesting and puts everything into context.

As much as it can be very exciting, it is also a moody beast that cannot be contained or predicted. Named a Bull or Bear depending on it’s mood, it can create millionaires out of nowhere and destroy family fortunes overnight!

The Birth Of The Stock Market

It’s thought that the first stock certificate which was ever issued was in 1606 by a company involved in spices. This company managed to survive until 1799 until it became bankrupt. This original share certificate is worth a lot more than the face value of the certificate because it is now a collectable.

Alexander Hamilton was the first secretary of the Treasury and his was his decision to promote stock exchanges. He is remembered with a statue which is placed in Wall Street.


The New York Stock and Securities board was created in 1817 and this has since become the New York Stock Exchange. In 1842 the AMEX or American Stock Exchange was founded. This is a vital piece of stock market history which should never be forgotten.

Stock Market Popularity

During the 20th Century the stock market became a huge success and it was possible for some people to become very rich by playing the stock market effectively.

Most people may recall that the stock market hasn’t always been very stable. There have been many times when the stock market has gone through crashes and booms which have made it very difficult for investors to make money.

In 1907 a large number of stocks were sold very quickly which meant that stock market prices would fall and create a recession. During the 20’s the stock market was popular again but there was another stock market crash in 1929 which resulted in bankrupting some very rich families.

This was the great recession which even saw some people commit suicide by jumping out of windows.

1987 – Black Monday

The most recent big crash was in 1987 and was known as Black Monday. When investing on the stock market you have to be prepared to take the bad times with the good times. Stock market history has proved time and again that some people can become very rich by investing in the stock market, but other people can lose millions of dollars. It can both make you and break you!


  1. Leo Bookham says:

    Hi Sean,
    yes, how true this all is. l’ll admit l haven’t had a lot of experience in the stock market but enough to know that it can be very volatile and certainly unpredictable and it always pays to have some insurance on your trades.

  2. A most interesting post. I followed the link for Alexander Hamilton. They were certainly inspiring times.
    I actually quite like moody beasts, I find they settle down quite well when what is disturbing them is sorted out!
    I like the tone of your writing. Thank you for this post
    .-= Jo Carey-Bradshaw´s last blog ..Empowering Mindset – Mindfulness =-.

  3. I know very little about investing on the stock market but I do know that emotions play big part, especially fear. For instance Nathan Rothschild is rumored to have caused a massive downturn in the London Stock Exchange on June 15, 1815 by discovering that Wellington was winning at Waterloo but giving the traders the impression that he had lost by starting a panic sell situation and then subsequently buying up cheap stocks at a fraction of their true value. In today’s dollars, that scheme made him trillions.
    .-= Wal Heinrich´s last blog ..Think And Grow Rich Mindset Mastery =-.

  4. Stock market history is very interesting and I like the way people use history to predict the current trend of the direction of prices. You would want to be able to hold onto your stocks during a big down turn rather than sell them at low prices in a panic.
    .-= Melanie Braggs´s last blog ..Building Chicken Coops =-.

  5. I’d like to see occasional little history snippets in the Stock Market Education blog. They make interesting reading.

    The stock market has quite frequently been driven by fear and this is more of a problem nowadays because of the immediacy of news. Something happens somewhere in the world and within seconds you’re reading about it on Twitter and seeing live video feeds online. And too many people react with their gut instead of their head.
    .-= Don White´s last blog ..New Ireton Data =-.

  6. The history of the stock market can be very educational..Not to many people would know about actual share certificates..These days your lucky if an advice reaches you.
    Most info about a trade is sent by pdf on computer..

    This blog could easily grow into a handy reference.
    .-= John Davis´s last blog ..Expose Your Strengths =-.

  7. geoff harnden says:

    I just love the stock market history, and the history of all the financial instruments.
    I also do believe it is important to know, if looking to invest in the stock market or other financial markets.

    I remember being fascinated with how the futures market came about…. based purely on the distance between markets, and the crude and slow method of getting to market. Understanding this history of how the “futures’ market started and was developed, made it inherently easier to understand when coming to trade in that market.
    The same applies to the stock market. This article “Stock Market History” highlights a long and very interesting period. Well worth exploring.
    Particularly, if looking to invest in it.
    Geoff Harnden

  8. This is really interesting. I never realised that the stock market history started way back in 1606. It is such a volatile place and thats why you need a good stock market education before starting out.
    .-= Jackie Stenhouse´s last blog ..Types of Child Anxiety Disorder =-.

  9. Thanks for the interesting information on stock market history. I always think you can learn a lot from history and the mistakes of others.

    Just one question though. How come you didn’t include the recent Global Financial Crisis? Didn’t the stock market crash far enough for it to be officially considered a crash?
    .-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Finding Your Passion =-.

  10. Angus Turner says:

    Hi Sean,

    Stock market history can be a fascinating subject as shown by this article. We are lucky that we can sit at our computers and research such history.

  11. Jody Chambers says:

    A very unbiased report on the history of the stockmarket….I was only young in ’87 but I seem to remember people jumping out of windows then too, for the loss of a made up object. Great insight into how it all began. I agree with Don, little snippets of stockmarket trivia sprinkled through-out would be great \m/

  12. Hi Sean
    At present I don’t understand the Stock market history, but eventually I want to learn about it. I do know it goes up and down by people buying or selling.

  13. Helen Nester says:

    Have never had dealings with the stock market myself. Something tells me I may have stumbled on a great resource here though if I ever want to dabble. Thanks for the Stock Market History lesson Sean it is very interesting. I agree with Don would like to see more history snippets.

  14. It is interesting looking at the history of stock.share trading. It is quite clear that in general – or for the average investor – it is prudent to invest on a long term basis and leave the speculative to the experienced trader who also has little risk aversion.

    Looking at the graphs since the Great Depression, the stock market has recovered from all downturns and ended up higher, in time, than where it was before the downturn.
    .-= Peter Damien Ryan´s last blog ..Programs And Affiliates =-.

  15. Hi Sean,
    In this article you say The New York Stock and Securities board was created in 1817. Later it become the New York Stock Exchange. You also said that In 1842, AMEX or American Stock Exchange was founded.

    I’m wondering why you say that “this is a vital piece of stock market history which should never be forgotten.” Could this Stock Market History be beneficial when learning how to play the stock market or is it just for Stock Market Education in general?
    .-= Jill Brown´s last blog ..Couples Marry at Common Law =-.

  16. Its good to know a little bit about the history of stock markets to understand the ups and downs as something that is part of it.

    The changes in technology over the last years have had a big impact on the stock markets around the world, and it will be interesting to see the modern history of the stock markets develop :)
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..How To Enjoy Healthy Diet Food Even With A Busy Lifestyle =-.

  17. I didn’t realize that stock market history went all the way back to 1606. It would be interesting to know the current value of the worlds first stock certificate.

    Stock market popularity seems to be returning in recent times.
    .-= David Pearse´s last blog ..Targeted Internet Marketing-Market Samurai =-.

  18. Cathy Howitt says:

    Well I never thought i would be reading about Stock market History, but it certainly makes for interesting reading.
    Keep the little “tit-bits” coming Sean.

    Cheers Cath

  19. Hi Sean

    Thanks for the wonderful information on the Stock Market. It’s always fun to discover how something evolved.

    Jazz mentioned about the Global financial crisis,and if it was considered to be a crash, yes it certainly was a major crash and there is still collateral damage happening.

    I have my own superannuation fund which is insured so I have had no loss but I still have some separate stocks sitting in a bit of misery. I just keep renting them out until the price comes back up.

  20. Jayne Pleysier says:

    I never understood how the stock market became such an ants nest of different coloured jackets running around and yelling out stuff! I also never realised that it had such a long history (I always thought early 1800′s) – but didnt realise that there was history to the 1600′s.

    Given the GFC in 2008 and current volatility it will be interesting how the current trends will be reflected in Stock Market History when we look back in 100 years.

  21. Rose Kawe says:

    Thanks Sean,

    It’s very interesting to learn about Stock market history and getting to know what the abbreviations “NYSE and AMEX” stand for. Learning about Black Monday fills some gap too.


  22. Thanks Sean,

    This explains why they call you the bull hunter! Great post on stock market history, I had no idea it was that old.
    .-= jeremy´s last blog ..jlagatule- RT @gurubob- True influence is not forcing people to say yesit is systematically destroying their reasons to say no – GuruBob =-.

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