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A Nation of Investors or a Procession of Fools? Re-evaluating the Behaviour of Britain’s Shareholding Population through the Prism of the Interwar Sharepushing Crime Wave

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JournalEnterprise & society
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Feb 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 28 Aug 2018
Early online date28/08/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the amount of scholarship on the history of shareholding in Britain. One area that still remains relatively unexplored, however, is the problematic issue of how British investors actually went about the process of choosing their respective investments. The purpose of this article is to make a start at redressing this gap by using the sharepushing crime wave that swept across Britain between 1900 and 1939 as a prism through which to evaluate the behaviour of Britain’s shareholding population at this time. Ultimately, what it suggests is that, whilst the early-twentieth-century British investor may well have had far more potential sources of advice and information open to them then their nineteenth-century forebears, this did not necessarily mean that they were any better informed about the workings of the British securities market.

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© The Author 2018. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Business History Conference. All rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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