Stock Market Today
What is the stock market?
The stock market is where investors come together to buy and sell investments – most commonly, stocks, which are shares of ownership in public traded company. I like to think of the stock market today as a highly successful Gamestop. Instead of buying and selling games, you purchase and sell pieces of a company.
The stock market is vital for large companies and some smaller companies to raise money to expand and be competitive. Welcome to capitalism at its best.
The stock market works is pretty simple. The stock market lets buyers and sellers negotiate prices and make trades; that’s all folks. The stock market works through a network of exchanges — such as the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq.
What is the Stock Exchange?
The stock market represents the companies that list equity shares for public investors to buy and sell. Stock exchanges are the infrastructure that processes the trading (buying and selling) of those equity securities or stocks.
Simply put, the Stock Exchange is the eBay of the stock market. Just like eBay enables companies to buy and sell through their infrastructure it is the same thing for the stock exchange, but this time it’s primarily stocks and equity securities being brought and sold.
Many countries have their stock exchange, which is different for United States stock exchat. The stocks of U.S. companies can be found on 1 of 3 American stock exchanges: the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASDAQ).
Some exchanges are physical locations where transactions are carried out on a trading floor. This method is used in some stock exchanges and commodities exchanges and involves traders shouting bid and offer prices. The other type of stock exchange has a network of computers where trades are electronic. An example of such an exchange is the NASDAQ.
The United States has the largest stock markets as of January 2020 (about 54.5%), followed by Japan (about 7.7%) and the United Kingdom (about 5.1%).
Now that we know about the Stock Market and the Stock Exchange, I would be amiss if I didn’t show the stock market’s impact on my ancestors.
Slavery & Wall Street
America became a financial giant on the backs of our ancestors. Their labor’s blood, sweat, and tears enabled the United States to grow financially at historic levels. Free labor and placing slaves as commodities and not humans allowed for trading and security for loans. Yes, sadly, slaves were used for backings for mortgages, businesses, and land.
So, companies were built and created on the backs of slaves. More depressing, the slaves could not even participate in the Market because they were not considered humans.
Stock Market Today
Fast Foward many decades ahead, and today the stock market no longer looks at black people as commodities. Next, we can participate in the Market just like everyone else. Ollen Douglass from the Motley Fool Ventures stated, “the market is the only sector that has truly become democratized.” All people can participate and benefit from the stock market regardless of race, culture, language, or income.
Unlike the housing market, business loans, or the startup community, no matter your connections or lack thereof, you can openly participate in the stock market.
The stock market’s history has gotten so many things wrong, and now it is beginning to get so many things right. We still have a long way to go, but today’s stock market is open for business no matter your race.
To learn more about slavery and Wall Street check out this NY Times amazing report
HOW CAN THE STOCK MARKET HELP US
BUILD GENERATIONAL WEALTH
The stock market is a great space to put money in and let the money work for you. Especially if you are a long-term investor, you invest for the long haul and consistently add money to your portfolio, it will grow. A portfolio is everything you invest in, that makes up your portfolio. The best and easiest place to invest in the stock market is an index fund or index ETF. You can learn all about mutual funds and ETFs here. Individual stocks are another great way for you to build your portfolio and generational wealth.
You have just completed the first step in investing in the stock market by learning the stock market. Now, continue learning, growing, and investing.
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