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GFD Blog

Abraham Lincoln Unites the East and the West

Many people believe that Abraham Lincoln was the greatest President of the United States. Not only did his steadfast leadership help the United States to survive the Civil War, but as President he pursued his vision of a united country, free from slavery and war. Lincoln’s vision of America went beyond winning the Civil War and freeing the slaves and extended to uniting the East and West by building a transcontinental railroad across the United States.

As President, Lincoln was instrumental in approving the three routes that eventually crossed the continent to bring the two halves ...

Bryan Taylor Podcast Available from Meb Faber

Bryan Taylor’s podcast with Meb Faber is now available on line for everyone to listen to at

#110 - Bryan Taylor - “At Some Point, the Stresses Are Going to Be So Great that Some of the Countries (In the European Union) Are Eventually Forced to Leave"

Meb Faber of Cambria Investments provides a podcast each week in which he talks with some of the most informed writers and investors of the financial world to get their insights into current events in the stock market and how to increase investment returns. Past guest ...

General Electric: The Fallen Giant

Dow Jones announced that General Electric (GE) will be removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and replaced by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. The reason provided for removing GE was its low price. For an index such as the S&P 500, which is capitalization weighted, a stock is removed because its market cap becomes too small. The DJIA is price weighted, so a stock is removed because its price is too low. Apple split its stock 7 to 1 in order to lower its price so it could be added to the DJIA in 2015, but at $12, GE represented only 0.5% of the DJIA by price and so it was removed. ...

War or Peace?

Many investors are showing an interest in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) funds because some researchers believe that these types of funds may offer long-term performance advantages over non-ESG funds. Managers of these funds evaluate companies based upon their corporate behavior and their sustainability over time. Similarly, many funds consider Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) as a criterion for choosing funds to invest in. The goal of socially responsible investing is to consider both financial return and social/environmental factors in choosing firms to invest in.

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The Rise of Asian Stock Markets

The graph below illustrates the history of global stock markets by capitalization from 1900 to 2018. The graph uses the World Federation of Exchanges definitions and divides the world into three groups: the Americas which includes both North and South America, Europe/Africa/Middle East, and Asia and Oceania. It shows how each continent’s share of global Stock market capitalization has changed over time. The Americas represented the majority of global market capitalization during the past 120 years, but the most obvious trend over time is the decline of Europe and the rise of Asia.

The Wor ...

Global Stock Markets Struggle for Survival

Global Financial Data has put together several data series that enable us to track the capitalization of the world’s major stock markets from 1900 to 2018. With this data, we have calculated the global market capitalization of stock markets since 1900 and we have estimated values for Global GDP from 1900 to 2018. This enables us to calculate the total market cap of the worlds stock markets as a percentage of Global GDP and see how this has changed over the past 118 years.

Market Cap and GDP Data Sources

For most of the twentieth century, the two largest stock markets i ...

United States Stock Market Indices Revised

Global Financial Data has made major revisions to three of its popular indices, the Dow Jones Transport Average, the S&P 500 Composite and the S&P 500 Composite Total Return Index.

Global Financial Data has recently calculated its own GFD Index for Railroad stocks in the 1800s. Using data GFD has collected on the price of shares, dividends paid on shares and the number of shares outstanding, GFD has calculated a cap-weighted index of the price and total return to railroad shares from 1832 until 2018. In each year, Global Financial Data chose the top 40 companies by capitalization, ...

Data for Amsterdam Stocks from the 1600s and 1700s Added to GFD

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange is the oldest in the world. It was established in 1602 by the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (Dutch East India Company) to aide in the trading of shares in the company. Amsterdam was the first exchange to begin trading securities and was the location of the tulipmania bubble of 1636 to 1637, the first bubble in financial history.

Global Financial Data has collected data for three companies that traded on the Amsterdam Stock exchange in the 1600s and the 1700s, the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (Dutch East India Company) which had a monopoly ov ...

The Growth of the American Stock Market

Global Financial Data has calculated the market cap of the United States stock market from 1791 until 2018. These calculations include not only the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, but regional exchanges, such as Philadelphia and Boston and over-the-counter stocks, such as Standard Oil. We have divided the total market cap by GDP to examine how the stock market has grown relative to the economy over the past 200 years.

The graph below illustrates the results. There were two periods when there was a dramatic increase in the ratio of market capitaliza ...