January 4, 1865
New York Stock Market Opened on Wall Street
Do you trade baseball cards, videotapes or Pokemon cards? Anything becomes valuable if someone wants it badly enough. Have you heard about trading stocks and bonds on television or at home? Stocks are shares in a business that you get when you invest money in that company. Stocks are traded on the Stock Market and, on this day in 1865, the New York Stock Exchange opened its first permanent headquarters near Wall Street in New York City. What do you think makes the price of stock rise?
The more stocks you buy the bigger the piece of the company you own. If the company becomes popular, many people will invest their money, buy more stock, and the price of the stock will go up. If the company becomes unpopular, the stock price will drop.
Bonds are different from stocks. Bonds are loans, usually made to your city, state, or the federal government, that are repaid with interest at a certain date in the future. Can you guess how the trading of stocks and bonds started?
Although the official Stock Exchange opened in 1865, the trading of stocks and bonds began much earlier. The federal government started the U.S. investment market in 1790 to issue bonds (loans) that would help pay off the debt from the American Revolution against Great Britain, which America won in 1783.
Today the New York Stock Exchange is the biggest stock exchange in this country and it is located just a few doors away from this original stock exchange building.