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How were shares traded before the internet?Chalkie

You have been learning about how the sharemarket works over the past 6 weeks and you will have discovered that trading online is almost immediate.

So how were shares traded before we had computers and the internet?

Initially trading took place using a call system (1861 to 1961). Using this system a reader called the names of each company and brokers made a bid or offer. Stocks were called 3 times a day. This system was limited as the market was only open for a very short period each day and there were far fewer companies listed on the market back then. Watch this video - to see how it all worked. (Please note the videos may take a minute or two to download)

In the 1960s trading changed to a post system (1961 to 1990) where 'chalkies' wrote bids and offers continuously in chalk on blackboards, as operators who worked for brokers called out orders. All of this made for a very noisy trading floor. Watch the chalkies in action and see how it all happened.

With the post system everything that was written on the boards was also typed into a price reporting system. The limitation was that during busy times there could be quite a delay between changes of prices on the boards and when they appeared on screens via the price reporting systems.

The advantage of the 'post trading' system over the call system was that the market was open for longer - from 10am to noon and from 2 to 3.30pm. Back then there were share markets in each State and prices for the same shares could differ between States.

In 1987 a screen based trading system was introduced and the individual state stock exchanges were combined to form the Australian Stock Exchange. It started with just a limited range of stocks, and slowly all stocks were moved to this system and the trading floors were closed in 1990. Everyone, no matter where they lived could now trade in the same market at the same prices.

So there you have it, a little bit of history - now back to today...

Your feedbackYour feedback: This fortnight we hear from Lisa from Lismore Secondary College. Lisa says..."I have really liked the opportunity to be part of this Game. I have learnt that shares can go up and down in a second. Although I thought this would have been a good thing, when I went to sell my shares that were up $2.26, they had gone down by 5 cents. This was pretty annoying.

I didn't really know about brokerage until I had bought my first amount of shares, I only bought 2 shares...which meant that I lost so much money because of the brokerage and my syndicate partner wasn't very happy... Also, I didn't really understand what a limit order was until I read about it in this newsletter. I think a limit order is a good thing as I can put a price on what I want to pay and wait for it...I found the newsletter very interesting and I thought it gave me more of an insight in understanding the Game. The hot and cold list was extremely helpful when I was seeing what to buy and sell..."

If you have any tips that you would like to share, whether it be from a mistake you have made or a lesson learnt or even how you are progressing in the Game send it in. We have a 2 movie tickets for the student that gives the most helpful feedback each fortnight. Email your feedback to

The indices and share price list has been updated for the period to 13 March - 24 April (CSV 8KB). Here is the hot & cold stocks list for the week (PDF 20KB) - this will be updated on your Game home page each week.

Rankings: This fortnight M&T from East Doncaster Secondary College has moved from 3rd up to 1st place with a portfolio value of $56,405. It's pretty close though as LMN from Fort Street High, NSW is only $210 behind on $56,195. In 3rd place is ANC from Casuarina Senior College, NT with a portfolio value of $55,991.

Keep learning,
The Game Team

Citi logoCiti - Market Overview

22 April 2014

On the macroeconomic front, there have been 3 recent developments in Australia. First, RBA monetary policy shifted to a neutral stance from an "easing bias", amidst property price concerns. Whilst the cash rate currently remains at 2.5%, this has resulted in the AUD's bounce-back from a 52-week low of USD 0.87. Second, consumer confidence rose (Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index up 0.3% to 99.7 in April), reflecting lower unemployment expectations, low interest rates, and the strong housing market. Third, the unemployment rate fell to 5.8% in March, with +84,000 new jobs (mostly part-time) in the 6 months to September.

Upcoming Australian macroeconomic data to watch for includes:

  • CPI data - 23 April 2014
  • PPI data - 2 May 2014
  • Building approvals - 5 May 2014

Some Australian publicly listed companies have released market updates. For example, Coca-Cola Amatil downgraded earnings guidance by -15% for 1H14, with management citing aggressive pricing in grocery channels, deterioration in non-grocery channels and cost headwinds in Indonesia. In contrast, Rio Tinto maintained its 2014 mining ore production target of 295 million tonnes, with 1Q14 production up though shipments were affected by weather-related disruptions in Australia and Canada.

*Dates subject to change without notice. Participation in the Game is subject to acceptance of the Game Rules.
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