Charles Dow

Charles Dow – one of the most influential figures in the history of the world stock market

Not all financiers may know the name Charles Dow, but they have definitely heard of the Dow Jones index he co-created. It has been used for more than 100 years to track the development of the industrial component of stock markets.
But that’s not all Charles Dow is known for. He established himself as an excellent financial journalist, publisher and businessman who had a significant impact on the development of the global financial industry. In particular, it was he who founded The Wall Street Journal, one of the major media outlets of our time.
The Wall Street Journal

The beginning of an analyst’s career

Charles Dow was born on November 6, 1851. Apparently, his family was very poor – the boy did not even go to school. Nevertheless, he was literate. Perhaps his parents themselves taught their son.
At 21, young Charles Dow moved from his hometown of Sterling to Springfield and accepted a position as a reporter for The Springfield Republican. Here, under the guidance of editor-in-chief Samuel Bowles, a strong school of journalism was developed that left a mark on a future financial market hero.
Charles Dow’s first success as a journalist happened during his tenure at The Providence Journal of Rhode Island. During his three years in the state, he published a series of stories that exposed the city’s economic prospects. To do so, Charles Dow had to study a variety of financial statements, which allowed him to increase his expertise in the industry.
Charles Dow caught the beginnings of the Colorado silver boom in the city of Leadville, where he interviewed and interacted informally with businessmen and bankers. The impressions and knowledge he gained were enough to expand the scope of his business.

New stage

Charles Dow returned to New York and began working for a news agency for banks and brokerage firms. This is also where he called his friend Edward Jones. A couple of years were enough time for the colleagues to gain experience and open their own company.
Dow, Jones & Company created the so-called “afternoon client letter” – a daily informational bulletin with stock news, which was distributed to brokers and other players.
It was also where the prototype of the Dow Jones index was first published in 1884. At that time, it included the indices of 11 railway and industrial companies, which allowed to derive the general dynamics of the market.
The classic version of the index appeared in 1896, with 12 of the most successful companies in America. Nowadays it includes 30 firms.