Can we put a date on the idea and concept of investing? It’ll be pretty difficult to set it in stone – well, because the concept could have been in action from the Stone Age! As a species, we’ve always been interested in investing – just not always with money. We might invest in people with goods, or invest in trade and obviously, down the line – we chose to invest in money when finances became a factor on a global scale.
There’s always going to be a lot going on in investing – so what can the past tell us about what’s going on and what’s to come? Quite a lot, actually.
While the concept of investing is timeless, we can track down modern investing to a set of dates. Kings invested into explorers who found new worlds; people put their money into trading groups to grab a return. Modern investment is founded in Antwerp in Belgium though – where the first stock exchange came into existence. The modern stock exchange didn’t find it’s feet for over 200 years, when the London stock exchange was founded in 1773. The biggest stock exchange came from this period – we all know that the New York Stock Exchange is still in existence, and of course – it’s one of the most powerful in the world.
While the world might not be on the verge of a war as big as the two World Wars, conflicts do have a huge infect on investment – in fact when Britain entered the First World War in August 1914, the stock markets of Europe decided to close down. Governments moved to stem the flow of capital – and even though these markets reopened, share prices suffered for years leading to a huge crash – the Great Depression in 1929, which lasted for a decade leading to the Second World War and increased controls on market regulations. Of course, the Second World War was around the corner – but this time, the exchanges only closed briefly – some didn’t close at all!
Investing has come a long way since then – especially with the advent of the internet. Investing was always a rich person’s game and not just because of the cash involved, but because you had to pay a decent sum to get good advice – however a lot of that can be found for almost nothing these days. The internet was a huge boost for investing. That continues to the modern day with investing options like Synergy social trading and even mobile investing. The internet was probably the biggest change that would ever happen to investing.
History tells us that new markets will open, that world events will try to disrupt free trade, that crashes will come and tighter regulations will follow. History has already been written though – as for the future, that all depends on if we want to replicate the past or move in a new direction. What’s true though, is that we will find new ways to innovate and expand – trading on new frontiers with new methods of trading.