An Index for Any Asset: The Historic Stocks Market (HSTM) Index



The plethora of funding indices continues to develop. Whatever the asset class, there may be an index to accommodate it, whether or not its shares, bonds, commodities, property, artwork, nice wine, and many others.

But what about an index that tracks the market worth of a basket of historic bond and share certificates? A gaggle of scripophily consultants joined forces just lately to develop one. The traded securities don’t have any “intrinsic” worth, they’re simply monetary esoterica that, for numerous causes, have important historic or ornamental worth.

The Historic Stocks Market (HSTM) Index tracks the public sale costs of 100 “representative” share and bond certificates and is up to date each six months to include the newest realized sale values. Since its inception in late 2012, the index has risen by roughly 25%.

The Historic Stocks Market (HTSM) Index

Methodology Note: Each element has a 1% weight within the index and had its worth rebased to 100, based mostly on its public sale value earlier than 31 December 2012. Prices are derived from the next scripophily auctioneers: HWPH, Scriposale, FHW, HSK, Boone, and Spink London. All costs used within the calculation are internet costs with out commissions, charges, or taxes. The index base forex is euros. Source:

Index Constituents

The index encompasses a broad spectrum of historic certificates ranging in age, geography, and business. The index’s timespan covers a large gamut, with securities issued within the early 17th century to the late 20th century. Of the 100 historic objects, 58 are European in origin and 16 are North American, with Asia, Australia, Africa, Central, and South America accounting for the rest.

Current public sale values vary between €60 to €30,000. In that sense, the market represents the complete scope of scripophily — the gathering and examine of outdated inventory and bond certificates. While the certificates are uncommon, they aren’t so extraordinary that they by no means come up for public sale. For every bit, there are sometimes between 15 and 50 identified to exist.

Volker Malik, editor of the HSTM Index, explains: 

“The intention was not only to supply the market with a guideline for collectors who might consider their hobby being a kind of investment . . . [but] that the Index should also provide people with ideas on ‘how to collect’ as there is a span over different countries, industries, and types. Someone might use the index as a base to start a worldwide scripophily collection in the context of ‘which papers should I have in my collection’ — and then [others] could expand this basic collection by further items as they like.”

Perhaps essentially the most traditionally important certificates are these of the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie- VOC). Established in 1602, it was the primary firm to supply shares and bonds to most people and to have its securities listed and freely traded on a public inventory alternate. The first identified warrant, once more of Dutch origin, can be included within the HSTM Index. The warrant entitles its proprietor to buy six shares of the Imperial Indian Company (Kaiserlich-Indische Compagnie) at 103%, by 25 August 1730.

Shares signed by illustrious enterprise leaders and entrepreneurs are additionally properly represented:

  • Standard Oil Co. (John D. Rockefeller)
  • Accessory Transit Co. (Cornelius Vanderbilt)
  • American Express Co. (Henry Wells, William G. Fargo, and Alex Holland)
  • Bank of the United States of America (Nicholas Biddle)
  • Basler Bandfabrik, vorm. Trüdinger & Cons. AG (Johann Rudolf Geigy-Merian of Ciba-Geigy fame)
  • Bodie Bluff Consolidation Mining Co. (Leland Stanford who endowed Stanford University)
  • Camden & Amboy Rail Road & Transportation Company (Robert Livington Stevens)
  • Edison Phonograph Works (Thomas Alva Edison)
  • Flamingo Films, Inc. (Buster Keaton)
  • Gesellschaft für Linde’s Eismaschinen AG (Carl von Linde)
  • Harrisburg, Portsmouth, Mount Joy & Lancaster Railroad Company (John Edgar Thomson or Thomas Alexander Scott)
  • Ilmenauer Kupfer- und Silberbergwerk (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • International Business Machines Corp. (Thomas J. Watson)
  • The Staten Island Rail-Road Co. (Jacob H. Vanderbilt or William H. Vanderbilt)


Dutch East India Bond, dated 1623. With solely six to 10 identified to exist, these bonds are among the many rarest securities included within the HSTM Index. The final to be auctioned earned a hammer value of €30,000. Illustration courtesy of

Shares issued by the Suez and Panama Canals, The Pilsner Brewery, The Ford Motor Company of Canada, The Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp. (HSBC), Hispano Suiza, Madame Tussaud’s, Siemens, and The Stockton & Darlington Railway Co. are additionally included within the HTSM Index.

Quite a few certificates have appreciable aesthetic in addition to historic worth. The shares of Fabrica de Faiancas das Caldas da Rainha, designed by Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro, are particularly interesting. Printing concerned a posh guide course of utilizing 11 totally different colours. Another sought-after certificates is the Paris France Société Anonyme, illustrated by Alphonse Mucha.


The Portuguese share certificates of Caldas da Rainha (Thermal Springs of the Queen), dated 1884, is among the many extra ornamental share certificates ever made. Its newest public sale worth was €1,800. Illustration courtesy of


Detail from Paris-France Société Anonyme Bond, 1898, illustrated by Alphonse Mucha. Between 11 and 50 of those certificates are identified to be extant. Its newest public sale value was €301. Illustration courtesy of

While the HSTM Index gives a helpful value barometer for each traders and collectors, it must also pique the curiosity of these new to scripophily. Finance professionals, specifically, can respect such tangible relics of monetary historical past as these outdated shares and bonds. Indeed, there are few higher methods to brighten the workplaces of banks, brokerages, or fund administration corporations than with some well-chosen shares and bonds certificates.

For these inquisitive about researching the topic additional, extra particulars may be discovered at Historic Stocks Market. The International Bond & Share Society can be a fantastic useful resource on this fascinating department of numismatics.

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All posts are the opinion of the writer. As such, they shouldn’t be construed as funding recommendation, nor do the opinions expressed essentially mirror the views of CFA Institute or the writer’s employer.

Image Credit: Share certificates of the Standard Oil Company, dated 1882, with the unique signature of John D. Rockefeller. Between 101 and 250 of those certificates are identified to be extant. The newest public sale worth was €3,343. Courtesy of

Jeremy Monk

Jeremy Monk is the Investment Director and lead portfolio supervisor at AKRO investiční společnost, a.s., an unbiased mutual fund group based mostly within the Czech Republic. Prior to becoming a member of AKRO, Monk held portfolio administration roles at Lombard Odier, M&G Investments (Prudential), and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). Monk has an MBA and DIC from Imperial College, London, and likewise holds the ASIP designation.


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