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The history of stocks

  • The first company that issued shares was the United East India Company (VOC) in 1606
  • The shares were registered for more than 6 million guilders, a huge amount for that time
  • The proceeds were investing equipping the first ships that sailed to the East.
  • The founders did not have the ability to raise sufficient money to head out sailing as the entire fleet of merchant ships had to be built and equipped.
  • Moreover, people were still at war with the Portuguese who regularly hijacked or sunk ships. The initial investors in shares did not get rich because the VOC made considerable losses.
  • The first profits only came in 1610.