The FTSE 100 index is a guide to the value of the top 100 listed companies in the UK. In 1999 the FTSE 100 peaked at nearly 7000, but since those heady days it had crumbled to just over 3000. The good news is that it is back on the up and as of December 2003 has climbed to around 4400.
During the crash between 2000 and 2003 many individuals held onto their share certificates and subsequently experienced heavy losses. However, in the past few months online trading has increased substantially, a sign that investors are willing to try their luck again.
A Share is, in essence, a share in the ownership of a public limited company. As a part owner of the company, if it is profitable and the board of directors decide that the profits should be distributed amongst the share owners, a dividend is paid out. Dividends are usually paid out once or twice a year.
There are several options available to invest in the stock market.
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