Looking to Stock Exchanges for Investment Answers - dummies

Looking to Stock Exchanges for Investment Answers

By Paul Mladjenovic

Before you invest in stocks, you need to be completely familiar with the basics of stock investing. At its most fundamental, stock investing is about using your money to buy a piece of a company that will give you value in the form of appreciation or income (or both). Fortunately, many resources are available to help you find out about stock investing. Some great places are the stock exchanges themselves.

Stock exchanges are organized marketplaces for the buying and selling of stocks (and other securities). The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE; also referred to as the Big Board), the premier stock exchange, provides a framework for stock buyers and sellers to make their transactions. The NYSE makes money not only from a cut of every transaction but also from fees (such as listing fees) charged to companies and brokers that are members of its exchanges.

In 2007, the NYSE merged with Euronext, a major European exchange, but no material differences exist for stock investors. In 2009, the American Stock Exchange (Amex) was taken over by (and completely merged into) the NYSE. The new name is NYSE Amex.

The main exchanges for most stock investors are the NYSE and Nasdaq. Technically, Nasdaq isn’t an exchange, but it’s a formal market that effectively acts as an exchange. Because the NYSE and Nasdaq benefit from increased popularity of stock investing and continued demand for stocks, they offer a wealth of free (or low-cost) resources and information for stock investors. Go to their websites to find useful resources such as:

  • Tutorials on how to invest in stocks, common investment strategies, and so on
  • Glossaries and free information to help you understand the language, practice, and purpose of stock investing
  • A wealth of news, press releases, financial data, and other information about companies listed on the exchange or market, usually accessed through an on-site search engine
  • Industry analysis and news
  • Stock quotes and other market information related to the daily market movements of stocks, including data such as volume, new highs, new lows, and so on
  • Free tracking of your stock selections (you can input a sample portfolio or the stocks you’re following to see how well you’re doing)

What each exchange/market offers keeps changing and is often updated, so explore them periodically at their respective websites: