The world’s first stock market index was created in 1896, exactly 120 years ago. The Dow Jones Industrial
Average was created to give the investing public some indication of what the US stock market returned
over a specific time period. Today when you listen to the news in South Africa, you will notice that reporters
talk about the market being up or down a certain amount brought about by accumulating performances
from various sectors. The market is generally a broad index representing most listed entities and in our
case we refer to the JSE All Share Index Total Return (J203T) as calculated by FTSE / JSE: a joint venture
between the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and the FTSE Group (FTSE), a world leader in the
creation and management of indices. There is also the S&P South Africa Composite Index which by
definition is constructed in a very similar way, but for simplicity sake we will only refer to the J203T during
the course of this article.

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