The New York Stock Exchange began in 1792 when 24 prominent bankers and brokers gathered on Wall Street to sign an agreement to trade securities on a commission. This agreement was called the Buttonwood Agreement. The New York Stock Exchange building was built along the lines of a 12-foot high wooden stockade that Dutch settlers built in 1653 across lower Manhattan from river to river to protect themselves against attacks from the British and Indians. In 1817 the name “New York Stock and Exchange Board” was adopted. It was shortened to “New York Stock Exchange” in 1863. In 1888 the Stock Exchange had a share volume of one million. By 2005, this share volume increased to three billion.
The New York Stock Exchange offers several outreach programs to help educate people on investing and all aspects of what the group does. These outreach programs include free workshops for teachers, an opportunity for professors and journalists to spend a day “on the floor,” and a variety of 90-minute lectures and seminars for college and graduate student groups. The Exchange also has a variety of information available for the average investor about investing options, and how to research and keep on top of events in the financial world.