Three pigs for… half a bitcoin?

August 18, 2023

“The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.” - Philip Fisher

Investing is as old as civilization itself, a practice that has evolved, adapted, and innovated through the ages.

From the simple barter systems of ancient Mesopotamia to the complex algorithms driving today's AI-powered investment strategies, the journey of investing is a reflection of human ingenuity and ambition.

Here’s a brief overview of how we got from “2 pigs for a bushel of wheat” all the way to A.I. driven alt cryptocurrency speculation:

Ancient Times: The Barter System

In the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt, commerce began with the barter system. Goods were exchanged directly for other goods, without a standardized currency. While this system was straightforward, it had its limitations. The value of goods was often subjective, leading to unequal trades and conflicts. The barter system laid the groundwork for the development of money, a medium that would revolutionize trade and investment.

The Middle Ages: The Birth of Bonds

During the Middle Ages, the city-states of Venice began issuing government bonds to fund military expeditions and public projects. These bonds were a promise to repay borrowed money with interest. It marked a significant shift from physical trading to financial investment. The creation of bonds allowed governments to raise capital more efficiently and gave individuals a way to grow their wealth over time.

17th Century: The Dutch East India Company (VOC)

The 17th century heralded the creation of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), the world's first publicly traded company. Shares of the company were sold to investors, who in turn received a portion of the profits. This innovation led to the establishment of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the precursor to modern stock markets. The concept of buying and selling shares became a new avenue for investment, fostering economic growth and globalization.

19th Century: The Gold Rush and Railroads

The 19th century was marked by the Gold Rush and the expansion of the railroad industry. The discovery of gold in California led to a frenzy of investment in mining companies. Simultaneously, the development of railroads connected cities and opened new markets. Investors who saw the potential in these industries reaped significant rewards. These events symbolize the importance of innovation and foresight in investment strategy.

20th Century: Wall Street and Technology

The 20th century saw the rise of Wall Street as the global hub for investment. From the Roaring Twenties to the Great Depression, from the post-war boom to the dot-com bubble, the century was marked by dramatic shifts in the market. Technological advancements led to new industries and investment opportunities. The emergence of online trading platforms democratized investing, allowing individuals to participate in the market like never before.

21st Century: Cryptocurrencies and AI

In the 21st century, the investment landscape has been transformed by the advent of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and the application of AI in investment strategies. Cryptocurrencies have challenged traditional financial systems, offering decentralized and digital alternatives.

Companies like LikeFolio leverage AI and machine learning to analyze consumer behavior and predict market trends, providing investors with unparalleled insights and advantages.

Conclusion: A Journey of Innovation and Insight

Investing has evolved from simple bartering to complex financial instruments and cutting-edge technology. This journey reflects humanity's relentless pursuit of growth, innovation, and prosperity. The principles of wise investing remain timeless: understanding value, assessing risk, and embracing innovation.

“The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'This time it's different.'” - Sir John Templeton

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