How does Australia's Stock Market Compare with the US Stock Market?

From 1900 to 2009, Australia's stock market returns averaged 7.5% per year, whereas US stocks averaged a 6.2% return. This makes Australia the best performing market in the world in the past 110 years. Besides having the highest returns, the Australian stock market also boasts the second-lowest volatility among most major markets.

More facts about stock exchanges:

  • The stock exchange that handles the largest amount of money per year is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), with a trade value of about $18 billion US dollars (USD) in 2009. The smallest stock exchange by market capitalization is the Mongolian Stock Exchange, which was founded in 1991.

  • To date, the world's worst stock market in terms of bank losses is the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Bloomberg estimates that lenders in Nigeria are holding at least $10 billion USD in toxic assets.

  • The first formal stock exchange was the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. It was founded in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company, which was one of the first companies to issue stocks and bonds. It is now known as Euronext Amsterdam.
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