The invention of the stock exchange.

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Table of Contents

“The stock market refers to the collection of markets and exchanges where regular activities of buying, selling, and issuance of shares of publicly-held companies take place.” The stock exchange is a subset of the stock market.[1]

  • The Dutch East India Trading Company, officially known as the United East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC), established on March 20, 1602,[2] was the world’s first publicly traded company. It dealt with trading and selling company stock thereby starting a secondary market; the stock market. This also made the Company the first joint-stock company in history[3][4].
  • The purpose of issuing stock was to alleviate risk. The long journeys the Company undertook were often accompanied by perilous weather and maritime threats, making it far too risky for any single investor. Spreading the risk over many investors allowed all involved in the company to profit[3].
  • Below is a scanned copy[5] of one of the share certificates issued by the Company, dated September 9th, 1606. The first page records that it was sold by VOC-chamber Enkhuizen (The Companys’ chamber located in Enkhuizen, Netherlands) to Pieter Hermanszoon Boode. The second page records the payments of dividends.

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This is a rendered copy of the Dutch East India Company logo[6]:

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