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Tips for reading a business report

  1. Understand what the report is trying to represent and communicate.What is the context of the numbers and the data? If it’s a performance report, what are the comparable metrics and what can you compare the different metrics to; which may not be on the report? For example, consumer spending change versus your existing customer spending during the same period of time. What would it tell you?
  2. Take nothing for granted.Just because it says “month 1″ don’t assume it means January. It could be month 1 of the fiscal year.
  3. Know business climate for each period of the report.Was something fundamentally different during any of the periods of the report? A merger? An acquisition campaign launch?
  4. Why should you believe the report?Ask yourself why should you believe any of the information on the report? How can you compare the totals of the report you are reviewing and some other report? If one period made up 25% of the total volume of another report, can it be? Does it make sense?
  5. Check the math.Many times calculations are incorrect, take a couple of columns and add them up. Are the ratios relevant? Can the values be used as ratios or are the units different?
  6. Analyze the trends.If the report shows an increase or decrease between periods (example:year over year) then is that true across other areas? If marketing spend went up 15%, is an increase in revenue associated with the spend demonstrated on the report? If not, why? Where do the additional revenue from the spend and the increase in expenses show up?
  7. What are the sources of the data?Does the data contain something subtle? For example, inflated response due to call center entering in the code to gain discounts for customer that did not receive the promotion? Should those customers be included?
  8. What should success look like on this report?Make sure before you do any analysis, know what success would look like and what failure would look like on the report. What is the controlling metric to indicate a positive result versus a negative result. If, for example, the report is showing results from a creative test, make sure the objective of the creative changes is accounted for in the metric. If revenue per visit is the metric, then that’s the metric. Other information may be interesting, but don’t let interesting make the test results uncertain.
  9. Check past reports, make sure history hasn’t changed.If 2 months ago revenue was up 4%, is that still true on the current report?
  10. The report should deliver actionable results.If the business can’t act on the information, why are you spending your time analyzing it?

Poor Credit Personal Loans

Before you approach a bank or a financial institution for a personal loan, it is mandatory that you collect your credit report from all the three credit bureaus. Reviewing your credit report would give you an insight into your credit history and also reveals your credit score. If you have a below average credit score, then getting a personal loan or in fact loans of any kind at a favorable rate of interest is impossible.

However, you can repair your credit by taking certain measures such as paying of the utility and the credit card bills in time. If you have taken any loans, ensure to pay the monthly installment in time. A lapse in the monthly payment can blemish your credit report. If possible, improve your credit score prior to applying for a personal loan.

Bad Credit Personal Loans

There are many people who are experiencing a credit crunch because of poor credit history. Remember, a bad credit is not the end of the world. Many people are in a worst situation than this when they file for bankruptcy. If you have a bad credit, approach a reputed credit counselor who can help you improve your credit score. The two factors that make you eligible for a bad credit personal loans:

  • You are eligible for a poor credit personal loan if you are a citizen or the resident of the US.
  • If you can produce an income proof showing the source of income.

You can apply for a bad credit personal loan on the Internet too. You have to fill out a few online application forms with your basic personal information. The moneylender would give a quick background check on your profile and approve the loan within 24 hours. However, you must be aware the rate of interest would be high.

In the past, it was not customary to approach a bank for a poor credit personal loan. Today, the perception regarding the poor credit personal loans have changed and it is one of the most common types of loans applied by anybody with a bad credit. This is taken by many as a loan for debt consolidation.

Merits and Demerits of a Poor Credit Personal Loan

It is tough to borrow money when you have a poor credit because nobody wants to take the risk of lending money to a person with a poor credit report. However, times have changed and there are personal loans that are specifically designed for people with a poor credit. However, the rate of interest and the terms and conditions of the poor credit personal loans will be different from the conventional loans. Here we look at the pros and cons of the poor credit personal loans.

Merits of Poor Credit Personal Loans

  • If you have a poor credit history, you can still be assured that your application for a poor credit personal loan would be accepted by a bank or a financial institution.
  • Even if you file for bankruptcy, you still can apply for a bad credit personal loan.
  • Your application for a poor credit personal would be considered and there are chances of you qualifying for the same even if you have mortgage loan arrears.
  • Consider a poor credit personal loan as an opportunity to correct your poor credit history. You can increase the credit rating by paying back the loan amount in time

Demerits of Poor Credit Personal Loans

  • You must be aware of the fact that a poor credit personal loan is more expensive than a normal loan. The reason is, the premium rate on this loan is extremely high.
  • The processing fee for a bad credit personal loan is higher than the conventional loans.
  • You would have to pay a huge amount as a down payment depending on your credit score while applying for this loan
  • Never be carried away by advertisements for a poor credit personal loan that says 100% financing. Though you may not be paying any processing fee or down payment upfront, you will end up paying more by the time you clear the loan.

If you want a poor credit personal loan at a favorable rate of interest, apply for the loan either against your vehicle or your house. Many lenders approve a loan against a security easily at a good rate of interest.

Small Business Marketing Strategies

Small Business Marketing Strategies

A marketing strategy allows a business organization to devote a part of its resources to increase sales and achieve a competitive advantage in the market. A marketing strategy consists of a series of tactics that are implemented with intent of attracting the target customers. For any business marketing strategy to achieve success, it is important for the business organization to identify its customers and devise ways to attract them towards the product or service to be marketed. The marketers require understanding the customer perspective and promoting the product or service in ways that appeal to the target customers.

A small business might mean a small budget for advertising. However, with a creative expenditure of funds on marketing, even small businesses can achieve satisfactory sales. All they require is to invest at the right time and in the right way. There is nothing wrong in concentrating fewer amounts of resources on marketing as long as one does it intelligently. If you own a small business and want to find ways to market your products and services, keep reading. Following are some small business marketing strategies.

Word-of-mouth publicity is one of the basic and important business marketing strategies especially suited to small businesses. If you are a small business entrepreneur, word-of-mouth publicity is the first strategy you must go for. Although it seems to be a very basic-level way of advertising, believe me, it can work wonders. This method of promotion achieves a speedy spread of information about your business and can fetch you some long-lasting customers.

Internet marketing has revolutionized the field of business advertising and marketing. Blogging can also be an effective way of marketing. It is good for small businesses, as it does not require the organizations to allot big amounts of money to marketing. Through blogs, your can introduce yourself, your business and your business offers (if any) to your prospective customers. You can furnish the readers with your contact details, thus providing your customers with the means to approach you and know more about your business. Participating in forums aids small businesses in establishing their business presence on the web. Through forums, you can be a part of business-related discussions and advertise your product or service through the Internet. Similarly, some of the small business organizations might choose to upload audios or videos about their products and services on the web. You can write articles about your business products and services and post them to websites. Article marketing is a relatively recent field of marketing whereby businesses write articles about their products and make them available online. RSS is a set of web feed formats that are used for publishing the frequently updated works consisting of news, audios, videos and blogs. Why don’t you take a look at the Buzzle RSS feeds?

Viral marketing refers to the process of business promotion through social networking websites. It can serve as an effective means of advertising for small business organizations. Social networks can help you create awareness about your product brand among the customers. It is similar to a word-of-mouth publicity, which is another effective way of business promotion.

Distributing brochures, flyers and newsletters can prove being a successful and moreover cost-effective means of marketing a product or a service. This method can best be used to advertise business locations, events and attractive business offers. Hoardings on prominent locations may not be a feasible option for small businesses. But they can advertise on a smaller scale in an effective way.

The successful implementation of a business marketing strategy requires careful planning. As a first step towards successful marketing, you need to communicate to your target customers, attract them to your business through lucrative offers and most importantly, build in them a trust about your organization. Trust is sure to take you a long way.

Developing small business marketing strategies is not an easy task as it imposes certain limitations of the use of resources. Small business organizations do not allow a heavy expenditure on advertising or marketing. True, they may not be able to enter the market in a big way, but they can surely make a mark in the market through the implementation of intelligent marketing strategies.

Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Credit card is known as plastic money that provides you with a short-term loan. ISO 7810 specifies the standard size of a credit card. Many banks and financial institutions issue credit cards. These cards can be purchased on the Internet, by filling the online application forms.

Credit Card Tips

Before purchasing a credit card, understand the features and policies of the credit card company. You can compare the features of various companies before settling for one.

Think how and when you plan to use the credit card before purchasing one. For instance, if you are planning to clear the entire amount of your monthly credit card bill then it is wise to choose a card that offers a longer grace period and has no annual fee.

If ever you face a problem while using the credit card of a particular company, call their customer care center immediately and file a complain.

While purchasing expensive goods using credit cards compare the annual rate of interest with the cost of the good. You can ask the credit card company to provide you with EMI (easy monthly instalment) facility in such cases.

It may happen that balance of the previous month is carried over to the next month. You would have to pay an interest for the amount that is carried over to the next month. In such cases, choose a credit card that offers a lower annual interest (Annual Percentage Rate or APR).

At the time of an emergency, if you plan to use the credit card to get cash advance, check out for a card with a low APR. The reason is many of the credit cards have a higher APR for cash advances than for purchases.

What is Annual Percentage Rate

APR or the Annual Percentage Rate is the annual rate of interest the owner of the credit card would have to pay when he carries forward the balance from one month to another, uses cash advance or gets a balance transfer from one credit card to another card. A point noteworthy to mention here is that a single credit card can have multiple APRs. Annual Percentage Rate would vary for late payments and introductory offer. The Annual Percentage Rate is fixed or variable.

In fixed APR, the interest rate does not change very often and the credit card company would notify the card owner whenever, there is a change in the fixed rates. Whereas, variable APR is when the interest rate is likely to change very often. You need to be clear about the type of APR, you would opt for while choosing a credit card.

Grace Period - In Brief

Prior to purchasing a credit card, you must be aware of the grace period the credit card company offers. The period from the date of purchase till the payment date is known as the ‘grace period’. The minimum grace period offered by many of the credit card companies is 25-30 days. If the amount shown in the billing statement is totally cleared, then there is no extra financial charge. Keep in mind, the grace period would apply only for the new purchases made.

However, if you happen to pay only the minimum amount due and carry the balance to the next month, then you would have to pay a minimum financial charge (interest). In such cases, there may not be any grace period for the new purchases that you make in the next month. Instead, you would have to clear the balance carried over plus the amount for the new purchases; else the interest rate would be imposed on the total amount (balance of the preceding month + the current month’s purchases). While applying for a credit card, get the information regarding the method of computing monthly balance.

What is Credit Card Debt

One of the major problems faced by many of the world economies is the credit card debt. Studies show that people using credit cards tend to spend 12 to 18% more than the ones who purchase using money. The financial experts believe when you use cash to pay, you can actually feel the money slipping through your fingers. It creates a hole in your pocket. While using your credit card to pay, you have no such emotional feeling. Hence, they suggest using of debit cards instead of a credit card.

A credit card debt arises when you purchase goods and services using the credit card and do not pay the full amount during the grace period. When the debt accumulates, the rate of interest charged is also high. In such cases, the penalty for late payment would also be high. The late payment would be reported to the credit rating agencies, which will affect your credit scores.

The penalty for the late payment, cash advance and balance transfer would increase the debt amount. When the consumer uses the credit to the maximum limit of the credit card he is fully in debt to the credit card company. If it is the case with all his credit cards, then the only way out of credit card debt is by credit card debt consolidation.

How to Consolidate Credit Card Debt

One of the ways to come out credit card debts is through credit card debt consolidation. You can either seek professional help or do it yourself. Here are a few tips to consolidate and reduce your credit card debt.

Stop using credit cards - First and the foremost thing to do is to stop using your credit cards. Work out a plan to reduce your expenses. Cut down on the luxuries. When you are planning to consolidate the credit card debt, it is best to slash certain unnecessary expenses such as eating out and paying late fee every morning.

Balance transfer - If you have many credit cards find the total amount you owe to each company. While applying for balance transfer, ensure you are not buying an introductory offer with low rate of interest. The reason is that after the offer period the rate of annual interest would skyrocket. If you have a huge debt amount, it is better to use some part of your savings to clear the debt than to go for a balance transfer.

Debt consolidation loans - Many private financial institutions and banks offer debt consolidation loans to people who are in credit card debts. Apply for the same to clear the credit card debts.

Try making extra payments - The debt period is prolonged for people who pay only minimum amount due on their credit card statements. The debt could be reduced if extra amount is put down as credit card payments. This is possible if you cut down on unnecessary expenses.

The other option is you can negotiate with your credit card company to bring down the rate of interest. This is possible if you are recovering from any health problems or an accident. Never hesitate to meet a debt counselor for debt management and debt counseling. He would be the right person to help you reduce and finally help clear your credit card debts.

Benefits of Credit Card Consolidation

Financial institutions introduce programs to consolidate credit card debts on multiple cards. Listed below are some of the benefits of credit card consolidation.

The financial company consolidates all the credit card debts; so you need to make only one monthly payment to the concerned financial company. The payment date can be chosen according to your convenience.

The rate of interest on the debt would be reduced substantially and you would have to pay a stipulated monthly amount. This amount includes both the principal and the interest.

When the account is delinquent, the creditors usually ask for immediate full payment. The debt-consolidating firm takes the responsibility for maintaining your current account by ‘re-aging’ the account. This means your account would be active and current as long as you make payments through the debt-consolidating firm. It will help in rebuilding your credit scores.

Credit card debt consolidation programs are designed by many banks and private financial institutions to help people who need financial aid. By using these programs, you can eliminate your rising credit card debts.

Types of Advertising Techniques

Types of Advertising Techniques

Advertising aims at promoting the products and services of a company. It helps in the creation of a brand identity and serves as an effective means to communicate to the world the value of the product or the service. Through different advertising techniques, companies achieve a growth in the sales of their products and services by attracting the masses towards them. Different types of advertising techniques aim at highlighting the product features and bringing about its uniqueness in relation to its competitors. Advertising techniques often intend to make a product stand out by throwing light on its features that make it look different from the rest. Advertising is carried out through different media so that the advertisements gain a mass appeal. It is brought before the public through various channels to ensure that the product or the service is noticed by the general public. Following is a description about the various types of advertising techniques.

Print advertising makes use of the print media such as magazines and newspapers. The print media also offers options like advertising through brochures or pamphlets. The effectiveness of the advertisement made through the print media depends on the popularity of the media used. The advertisements, which appear in prominent newspapers, have a greater chance of being noticed. Fliers and brochures are commonly distributed with newspapers and supplements are attached to newspapers. In such cases, the popularity of the newspaper and the location of the advertisement in it, matter most.

The use of audio-visual media is another popular advertising technique. Television, radio have been used in advertising since long. Internet advertising that has emerged in the relatively recent times has earned a huge recognition. In case of radio and television the broadcasting time decides the cost of the advertisement while the livelier Internet hosts websites that contain advertisements. Advertisements relate to the subject discussed by the website and popularity of the website and the position of the advertisement on the web page are determinants of its noticeability.

Advertisers use not only the print and the TV and radio channels but also movies to feature their advertisements. Covert advertising is the practice of indirectly publicizing a product through movies and TV shows. For example, the actress in the film or the TV show may be shown to be using a particular brand of clothes or cosmetics; a particular restaurant or company may be shot so that the company name appears in the scene. The audiences watching the show or the movie are sure to notice the name advertised, thus contributing to the promotion of the product showcased.

The use of eminent people for the promotion of a brand is one advertising technique while making use of common people is another. The purpose behind the use of celebrities is that many identify with the celebrities and it is a general psychology to emulate the person one identifies with. Celebrities are widely admired and hence prove highly effective in advertising. The use of plain folks strategy in advertising is based on the idea that common people can easily reach out to the masses.

Some advertising techniques use promotional techniques that demonize the enemy. A point of view is stressed upon the masses and the ones with an opposite standpoint are made to feel inferior. Some advertisers present before the public a comparative study between two brands and bring out the superiority of their product in comparison to the competitors.

Some advertising techniques use sarcasm to promote a product while demoting the competitors’ products. Many advertising techniques are based on repetition in which the product or the service name is emphasized and is repeatedly put forth the public. Some advertising techniques make use of human psychology to follow something because the others are following it. People in large numbers are shown to be using the product thus in a subtle way compelling the audiences to start using it. Advertising techniques often make use of emotional and touching words or actions to attract the masses.

Advertising techniques are and should be efficiently used for social causes. Awareness about certain important subjects, social issues and environmental problems can be effectively communicated to the public by means of advertisements. The government and other social organizations are seen implementing public service advertising. But commercial product and service companies should take the eyes off moneymaking for a little while and come forward to advertise for a social cause.

Tips on Investing in Rental Property

Tips on Investing in Rental Property

While the credit crunch remains to be a matter of great concern and the stock markets are crashing, the real estate market is also under scrutiny. Most of the real estate investors are skeptical about investing in rental property right now. In case you are one of those people who are contemplating the thought of investing in rental property, here are some tips that you can use. First of all no matter how bad the recession looks and how passive the market seems, remember that real estate market keeps on fluctuating and will bounce back most unexpectedly. So do not hesitate to take the risk and invest! Another thing that you need to know that investing in rental property is not a piece of cake, there are several issues that you have to handle before and after investing in the rental properties. Here are some important things to keep in mind while investing in rental property:

Find a Good Location: Selecting an appropriate location is one of the most crucial steps while investing in rental property. Select a location which is in demand for any particular reason - a location that is close by to lucrative job sites, a location that is close to good schools, universities or a location that is simply well known for its beauty and overall residential quality. You will have to target a particular segment, which you think is lucrative, and hence pick the location accordingly. Remember that a property that is in bad shape but a good location can be worked upon, but the location cannot be improved upon!

Do Not Restrict Yourself: If you have the resources, do not restrict yourself to investing in a limited area. There are several untapped property markets all over the world. Try and explore the rental estate markets in several locations. The only disadvantage while doing this can be the fact that certain countries allow only the country citizens to own land in the nation. However, with increasing number of people acquiring citizenship of more than one country, it is possible for people to invest in rental properties across the globe. Explore all the possible avenues that are open to you in rental property investments.

Finding the Right Property: Make sure that you are getting a good deal, a good location and a potential for profit. Do not make decisions in haste. Take your time to check out several properties and evaluating and comparing them until you decide which is the best one for you. Keep on short-listing the properties after analyzing all the aspects and finalize two or three locations. Now evaluate these options in order to reach a final conclusion. It is better to take your time to find the right place which has maximum profit potential in the future as well.

Build the Right Contacts: While planning to invest in rental properties it is very important to get in touch with the right kind of people. Make sure you join the landlord’s association in your area. Also get in touch with a lawyer, a tax professionals, who would be great help for you while understanding the legal issues involved. It pays to know people - being a part of such organizations will also help you to analyze and tackle problems involved in rental property investments. Building the right contacts will always help you while getting good deals or even finding the right clients.

Know the Rules and Regulations: Investing comes with a lot of responsibility. There are several laws and regulations that you should be aware of while investing in rental property. Federal and state laws clearly define the liabilities and responsibilities involved in real estate investments. Also you need to make sure that while renting the property you are extremely careful while defining the terms and clauses in the lease agreement. Always have all your transactions legally documented in order to stay away from controversial issues in real estate transactions.

Choose the Tenants Carefully:You don’t want to spend all your time attending to problematic tenants so it is always important to find the right tenants for your property. While renting the property, it is always crucial for a landlord to ensure the credibility of the tenants. Make sure to ask for references and run credit checks before you decide to go into an agreement. Always have all the contact information of your tenants and discuss all the issues of the transaction before you go into an agreement about the deal. Read more about tenant screening.

Real Estate Evaluation: Before you make your final decision to buy a property, make sure you take a professional’s opinion about it. The best thing is to have the property inspected and evaluated for its real estate value. Make sure that the professional is honest with you about the evaluation and hence pick a professional whom you can trust.

Knowing When to Sell: One of the key rules of investing in rental property is the key to knowing when to stop renting and when to sell the property. It is very simple - hold the property until a time that it makes sense for you in terms of money, once you feel you might incur losses on it, it is time to sell it. There is no point in holding on to a property for a long time and incurring the loses on it. Instead try and get hold of a better property ans sell off the bad one simultaneously.

Be Prepared for Emergencies – Get Insurance: In order to be able to cope up with any emergency situations, it is always better to insure your property for all sorts of probable emergency situations. In addition to this, always maintain certain amount of your finances that would help you to get out of situations of financial crisis. There are various types of insurance and you should pick the ones that suit your property needs. Read more about home insurance.

Remember that real estate investments can be extremely lucrative if you can manage to have a balance of all these aspects. Make sure you invest at the right time, in the right place, know the right people and bank on the right target segments in the real estate markets.

Don’t Let Your Car Insurance Premiums Crash

As if avoiding a potentially serious injury wasn’t reason enough to drive safely on the UK’s perennially hazardous roads, now motorists have another reason to drive with care and consideration: their wallets.

Research from a comparison website shows that car insurance premiums could rise by as much as 601 per cent after an at-fault accident. Being at fault in an accident is a costly mistake to make as insurers always examine a driver’s history when assessing their premiums. According to the research, bus conductors are the most likely to have an at-fault crash with more than 16 per cent causing an accident. Members of the medical profession, or related to caring and well-being, are also highly strung behind the wheel with GPs, psychologists, speech therapists, keep-fit instructors and surgeons all appearing high on the list.

By contrast, it seems that driving instructors are among the least likely to make a car insurance claim for an at-fault accident, suggesting they practice what they preach. They appear in the top ten professionals to avoid at-fault accidents, along with the likes of engravers, horse dealers and zoologists.

How can you avoid making a car insurance claim?

It’s difficult to avoid the stresses and strains of the workplace but there are ways to reduce your risk of being to blame for a car wreck and therefore reduce the chances of making a car insurance claim.

Firstly, it’s vital to keep your composure. According to a survey by a car insurance provider, four per cent admitted to inflicting road rage on another driver, while 17 per cent admitted to excessive speeding. On average, 16 per cent of motorists have suffered a road rage incident in the past year, with younger drivers in particular the target for flared tempers.

There are ways however, to let cooler heads prevail. Here are some safe driving tips:

  • Drive courteously - Treat other road users as you would want to be treated.
  • Don’t tailgate - Leave a safe distance between you and the car in front – a two-second gap is advised and this should be doubled in bad weather.
  • Don’t speed - Driving too fast gives you less time to react to dangers on the road so stick to the limit.
  • Don’t use a mobile phone - Despite the UK ban on handheld mobile phone use behind the wheel, 66 per cent of motorists admit to using the devices illegally. Talking or texting distracts the mind and can lead to accidents.
  • Never drive under the influence - Even small amounts of alcohol and prescription drugs can reduce reaction times and hamper your driving performance. If you’re found to be over the limit you will almost certainly be deemed at fault for an accident.
  • Make sure you’re refreshed - If you’re tired after a long day’s work, drink a coffee or take a nap in your car before beginning the journey home. If you feel tired behind the wheel, stop at a safe place and take a break.

How safe driving equates to car insurance savings?

Failing to drive safely can see you harshly punished by a car insurance provider. For example, one insurer in the UK will increase premiums by a whopping 74 per cent if you commit two or more speeding offenses.

It’s not just driving convictions that can prove costly. Just a regular accident can wipe out a no-claims bonus and significantly increase your car insurance premiums. Several providers now offer no-claims discounts that stretch to around 70 per cent - so imagine the increase if that bonus is suddenly wiped out.

If you are to blame for a car accident or you receive a driving conviction, it is still possible to save on your car insurance. The key is to shop around with a comparison website rather than simply accepting your insurer’s renewal and assuming there are no better deals available to you because of your driving record. Never assume - there may well be a host of providers willing to offer you a more competitive deal, so shop around. Also take other steps to reduce your risk to an insurer. Agree to a mileage limit if you are unlikely to use the vehicle very often, for example, and increase the voluntary excess to a level you can comfortably afford.

Security is another aspect you could control. Many car insurance companies will offer reduced premiums to motorists that enhance their vehicles with car alarms and immobilisers and park their car in a garage overnight. So if your premiums are mounting don’t give up - there are still ways to save.

Stock Market History: When did the Stock Market Begin

When did the Stock Market Begin

A stock market is a place where the stocks and securities of various companies are traded. Stock market is also known as stock exchange market. Buying and selling of financial instruments such as securities and stocks in a stock market is known as stock trading. A major component of a stock market is the stock exchange.

Stock Market History: When did the Stock Market Begin

Historical evidences reveal that the 11th century Muslim and Jewish Merchants in Cairo had a trade association and their own methods of credit and payment. This is believed to be the beginning of stock market. In the 12th century, courratiers de change of France managed and regulated the debts of agricultural communities on behalf of the banks. Since these men traded with debts, they were also known as “brokers”. Venetian bankers traded in government securities in the 13th century. In the 14th century, the Dutch started joint stock companies which encouraged the shareholders to invest in business ventures. In 1602, Dutch East India company established Amsterdam Stock Exchange and they were the first company to issue stocks and bonds. The Dutch pioneered in “option trading”, “short-selling”, “debt-equity swaps” and in other speculative financial instruments.

London Stock Exchange: This is one of the oldest stock exchanges in the world and was established in 1698. The founder of London Stock Exchange was John Castaing. Today, London Stock Exchange lists 3,500 companies, representing 84 countries.

New York Exchange: The New York Exchange is the oldest and the most well-known of all American stock markets. This was established in 1792. NYSE has a total capitalization of nearly $20 trillion and lists 2,800 companies.

American Stock Exchange: The American Stock Exchange is also known as Amex. This stock exchange was established in 1849 during the California Gold Rush and the Curb Exchange. The American Stock Exchange was associated with the mining industry and played a major rule during the 19th century. In 1921, American Stock Exchange enlisted companies, which did not meet the standards of the New York Stock Exchange. In 1998, Amex was purchased by NASDAQ, but regained its independence in 2003.

Bombay Stock Exchange: One of the oldest stock exchange markets in Asia is Bombay Stock Exchange and it was established in 1875. Today, around 2,000,000 shares of stock are traded daily.

NASDAQ: National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation or NASDAQ was established in 1971. This was the first stock exchange to introduce the concept of electronics in stock trading. It is one of the most efficient stock exchanges in the world and it surpassed the average trading volume of the NYSE in October 2004.

In the initial stages of stock market, the stocks were bought and sold by individual investors who were wealthy businessmen or aristocrats. Over a period, stock market has revolutionized and today, most of the buyers and sellers are mainly large institutions such as insurance companies, companies that deal with mutual funds, exchange traded funds, group investors and banks. Today, the economy of a country is measured by the strength of its stock market.