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The ASX Sharemarket – The Essential Info

The ASX sharemarket or Australian Stock Exchange is the primary sharemarket or exchange in Australia where shares in publicly listed companies can be bought and sold, as well as a range of other financial instruments all governed and regulated by ASIC and Australian corporations law. 

Stock market graph-1

With a combined 150 years of exchange experience,as of 2018 the ASX had a team of 530 employees, along with 6.7 million shareowners, 180 participants, and nearly 2,200 listed companies and issuers[1].

Formed in 1987, through an amalgamation of six independent stock exchanges, the ASX has a very fragmented past – similar to most Australian history - when it comes to financial exchanges and markets.

The history of the ASX is as follows:

  • First corporate venture in NSW being the Bank of NSW (now Westpac)
  • Exchanges founded due to the gold rush in Melbourne, Ballarat & Bendigo in the 1850’s
  • Establishment of the Sydney Stock Exchange in 1871
  • Establishment of Hobart Stock Exchange in 1882
  • Establishment of the Brisbane Stock Exchange in 1884
  • Establishment of Adelaide Stock Exchange in 1887
  • Establishment of Perth Stock Exchange in 1889

This history of events shows that is was almost 100 years before the ASX sharemarket was created following the first corporate venture of the Bank of NSW.

What can be traded on the ASX Sharemarket?

The ASX is much more than a sharemarket, it is a market with a wide range of products such as shares, bonds, indices, Hybrid Securities, ETF’s, managed funds, warrants, options and derivatives all designed for people to buy, sell, trade, raise capital and make money[2].

Once a literal marketplace has been largely taken online thanks to technology, ASX sharemarket education and the ASX sharemarket game, financial markets are no longer for the experts, but have been made open and available to investors from all walks of life.

With so many investment products, companies and products to trade, the ASX can be a dangerous place for the uneducated investor. To combat this issue, the ASX created effective education platforms and the popular ASX Sharemarket Game to ensure individuals self-educate and prepare themselves for their future trading activities.

The reason for the risk on the ASX sharemarket is due to the complex nature of many products, the underlying fact that unlike many markets or stores that provide a refund policy or cooling off, the money markets do not. Once the trade is executed, you are at the behest of the market and its movement.

For example, many financial products – such as options, rights, derivatives, CFD’s are all products that are complex, many of which are ‘leveraged’. This means that your initial investment is only a fraction of the potential outlay you need to pay out should the share move against you, or the option/right be called in. As such, you may have invested $2000, but find you owe five or even ten times that due to market movements.

It is vital that investors on the ASX sharemarket understand what they are doing, educate themselves and speak to experts before investing in any way.



We welcome you to give our team a call to discuss your investment goals and objectives.

You can call Walker Capital Australia on +61 2 8076 2210, and we’ll see how we can help you achieve your investment goals.

Want to read more great information on Share Market? Check out Share Market article: Share Market