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American Stock Markets

Let us begin with a brief history of the stock market. The stock market began back in the late 1700s. During this time, there were a lot of auction market trades that involved a lot of commodities. This was located on Wall Street in New York City. These trades did not include any stocks or financial securities as we currently know them.

In 1790, all of this began to change significantly. Alexander Hamilton, who was then Secretary of the United States Treasury, suggested that our country settle the debt from the Revolutionary War through issuing government securities. This led to trading of the securities across the whole country, not just in New York. Trading was not limited to just the securities; people also began to trade some bank stocks. One of the most important instances of this involved the Bank of New York and the First Bank of the United States.

Security trading during this time didn't involve a lot of rules. Basically, an auctioneer would call out the fees or prices for the stocks that were given to him to sell. There were no set regulations or times in which trading needed to take place, or how or when each deal was settled or closed. All of the trading typically took place during either a morning or afternoon session.

Once, in March of 1792, an ad appeared in "London's Register" that said "The Stock Exchange Office is opened at No. 22 Wall Street for the accommodation of the dealers in Stock, and in which Public Sales will be held daily at noon as usual in rotation by A.L. Bleeker & Sons, J. Pintard, McEvers and Barclay, Cortlandt & Ferrets, and Jay and Sutton."

Over time, newspapers from the late 18th century started to include articles on the prices and sales of the few stocks and securities that had been traded recently. Over time, things got more organized so that when trading got so busy and the small office space on Wall Street was overwhelmed by people, it actually spilled out onto the street (during nice weather, of course). During this time, trading could be done on many items including securities, insurance, and lottery tickets.

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Invest in the stock market; not in your house!

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