Thanks to the advent of financial television, we are probably all familiar with the sight of the bell being rung to start and end the day's trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Many of the people who ring the bell are business executives whose companies trade on the exchange. However, there have also been many famous people from outside the world of business that have rung the bell.

  • Athletes
    Many famous athletes have rung the NYSE bell. In a city with millions of New York Yankee fans, one of the most popular bell ringers was legendary Yankee hall of famer Joe DiMaggio. As popular in Canada as DiMaggio was in New York, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky visited the NYSE and rang the bell to launch the IPO of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, one of North America's largest banks.

    Following the conclusion of this year's Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, it is likely that several athletes will be invited to ring the bell. Past Olympic champions given that honor include snowboarder Shaun White and swimmer Michael Phelps. And of course, America loves football and the Super Bowl, so it is not surprising that members of the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints recently visited the NYSE to ring the bell. (People often compare stocks to gambling, but how close are they really? Find out in Going All-In: Comparing Investing And Gambling.)

  • Entertainers
    Wall Street traders like hanging out with celebrities as much as anyone else does, so it is no surprise that a number of famous entertainers have visited the NYSE. Musicians, such as Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, members of the KISS, and the rapper Snoop Dogg have all rung the NYSE bell. In addition to Wall Street, New York is also famous for theater, so musical theater stars like Liza Minnelli and the cast of the hit musical "Jersey Boys" have also had the honor of ringing the bell. Hollywood has also been well represented, with the cast of the film G.I. Joe, actress Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex in the City and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest. (Do the characters in classic films reflect what it's like to work on Wall Street? Find out in Financial Careers According To Hollywood.)

  • Politicians
    Many politicians have also rung the bell. On a tour of the U.S. to promote economic cooperation, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the capital of capitalism in order to partake. Other famous politicians who have had the honor of ringing the bell include Nelson Mandela and Rudy Giuliani. (This instrument of foreign policy and economic pressure is preferred over military action but can still pack a punch. Read more in The Power Of Economic Sanctions.)

  • Heroes
    Some of the most important NYSE bell ringers have been famous not for who they are, but rather for what they have done. These heroes include members of the New York police and fire departments following the events of 9/11, members of the United States Armed Forces serving overseas, and participants in various charity organizations - and the reception they receive is often significantly more vocal than that accorded to even the most famous celebrities. One of the most recent heroes to visit the NYSE was Pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who managed to save the lives of all his passengers during a remarkable crash landing in the Hudson River.

Conclusion
There have also been several famous non-people that have rung the bell, including Mickey Mouse, the Pink Panther, Mr. Potato-Head, the Aflac Duck and (perhaps most ominously) Darth Vader. This serves as a reminder that, while ringing the bell is meant as an honor, it is also a TV event, and meant to be fun and entertaining. In the 21st century, the financial markets aren't only about investing - they're also about entertainment.

Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    What Happens in a Haircut?

    One meaning of haircut is the difference between prices at which a market maker can buy and sell a security.
  2. Investing

    Redefining the Stop-Loss

    Using Stop-losses for trading doesn’t mean ‘losing money’, but instead think about the money you'll start saving once you learn how they work.
  3. Trading Strategies

    Stock Trading for Free: Now a Reality

    Believe it or not, you can now trade stocks and ETFs for free. Here's a look at providers offering commission-free trading.
  4. Trading Strategies

    The Top Spread-Betting Strategies

    What are the most commonly followed spread-betting strategies (in countries where it's legal)?
  5. Trading Strategies

    Who Actually Trades or Invests In Penny Stocks?

    Although penny stocks are highly speculative, millions of people trade them daily. Here are 10 different types who do.
  6. Investing Basics

    Understanding the Spot Market

    A spot market is a market where a commodity or security is bought or sold and then delivered immediately.
  7. Trading Strategies

    How To Buy Penny Stocks (While Avoiding Scammers)

    Penny stocks are risky business. If want to trade in them, here's how to preserve your trading capital and even score the occasional winner.
  8. Investing Basics

    5 Things to "Deliberately" Do to Improve Your Trading

    Most traders are putting in trading hours, but not improving. Here are deliberate steps that can take your trading to the next level.
  9. Investing Basics

    Learn About the New York Stock Exchange

    The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is nicknamed the “Big Board,” and for good reason. It’s the largest, oldest and best-known stock exchange in the world.
  10. Investing

    What Rising Volatility Means for Momentum

    After remaining torpid for most of the year, equity market volatility is once again rising.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Equity Market

    The market in which shares are issued and traded, either through ...
  2. Market Value

    The price an asset would fetch in the marketplace. Market value ...
  3. Bulldog Market

    A nickname for the foreign bond market of the United Kingdom. ...
  4. Forex Spread Betting

    A category of spread betting that involves taking a bet on the ...
  5. Float Shrink

    A reduction in the number of a publicly traded company’s shares ...
  6. Capital Strike

    A refusal of businesses to invest in a particular sector of the ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between shares outstanding and floating stock?

    Shares outstanding and floating stock are different measures of the shares of a particular stock. Shares outstanding is the ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of listing on the Nasdaq versus other stock ...

    The primary advantages for a company of listing on the Nasdaq exchange are lower listing fees and lower minimum requirements ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between market risk premium and equity risk premium?

    The only meaningful difference between market-risk premium and equity-risk premium is scope. Both terms refer to the same ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between the QQQ ETF and other indexes?

    QQQ, previously QQQQ, is unlike indexes because it is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks the Nasdaq 100 Index. The ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between an investment and a retail bank?

    The activities and types of clients for an investment bank versus those for a retail bank highlight the primary difference ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!