A stock market is a marketplace where investors can buy and sell shares of a company’s stock. Buying and selling shares of stock helps investors make a profit, and can even be an indicator of the health of an economy. This concept dates back to 1604 when the East India Company started allowing investors to share the risk of shipping goods across the open seas. Most of the ships made it safely, but some of them sank. In order to reduce this risk, investors would split the cost of the goods between themselves.
Stock prices are determined by demand and supply, but they are not set by anyone. Investors’ behavior affects the price of a stock. A tree on a market is sold at a fair price because there are many people who want it. These investors will make offers to buy the tree at a fair price. The seller of the tree sets a high price in hopes that the buyer will take it. As the trees grow and produce more, the price can be raised, and the price can fall if no one wants it.
A stock exchange works like an auction, where the buyer and seller each submit a bid and asking price for the share. If both of the prices are identical, the order is filled. A large market can happen instantly, whereas smaller markets can take a long time. A stock market is like a giant marketplace where everyone can buy and sell shares. Traders and investors bid for their shares, which is referred to as a bid.