Visiting the Museum of American Finance on Wall St

Visiting the Museum of American Finance on Wall St

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The Museum of American Finance was founded in 1988. It is on Wall St, right next to the 2,3 subway stop. In the Financial District, of course. Just a few blocks away from the New York Stock Exchange. Admission is free on Saturdays; $8 other days.

The Museum of American Finance located at 48 Wall St in NYC
The Museum of American Finance located at 48 Wall St in NYC

The building is absolutely beautiful. It used to be the headquarters for the Bank of New York. It has a bank feel, which definitely works for the museum.

American Museum Finance Doors on Wall St


Exhibits & Information

History Exhibits in the Museum of American Finance
History Exhibits in the Museum of American Finance

This is largely a reading museum. Although very educational, half of the museum is focused on the stock market and likely wouldn’t hold the attention of a small child. There are many hands-on interactive pieces but these focus more on text than images. This is a museum for adults who love history or money or both.

The former headquarters of the Bank of New York is now home to the Museum of American f Finance
The former headquarters of the Bank of New York is now home to the Museum of American f Finance

The upper part focuses on history. There is an exhibit on the history of American currency, Alexander Hamilton, Checks & Credit, and the Federal Reserve. This includes lots of historical tidbits. I really do recommend reading everything.

Investment Choices and Information at the Museum of American Finance
Investment Choices and Information at the Museum of American Finance

The lower part focuses solely on the stock market, stock exchange, and investments. The history of the Dow Jones is a great exhibit. Pieces of history are discussed in context of whether the stock market dropped or increased. Pretty interesting if you’re into economics history.

Warren Buffet on the Stock Market

There a few really great panels educating investing. I think I learned more about individual investments in this exhibit than I ever did from pf blogs & Internet literature on the topic. It breaks down what the types of investments are. Where your money goes. How to read a stock ticker. How to calculate yield. Plus some history of the stock market and key investors.

Yield calculation


Museum of American Finance is Worth the Trip

MAF_inside7

It should take you about 1–2 hours to see everything in this museum. I left in a little under two hours and I took the time to read everything. It’s a small museum but definitely worth a stop. Especially if you are into American history. Or economics. And live in nyc. There is no reason not to stop by here on a Saturday. It’s free. And in an easily accessible part of Financial District.

Free admission every Saturday
Free admission every Saturday

If you’re visiting, it’s difficult for me to recommend spending limited time here. But if it really piques your interest, you’ll find it’s worth it.

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8 Replies to “Visiting the Museum of American Finance on Wall St”

    1. And of course I can bring people into the NYSE, which most people can’t even see at any price…. My small contribution to why maybe FinCon15 should be in NYC

      1. Well on weekdays I usually can’t get to museums before they close anyway so going on a Saturday worked for me. Seeing the NYSE on the other hand, that would be an opportunity I wouldn’t pass up!

  1. What a gorgeous building and, sounds like a great museum. I must confess I didn’t even know it existed. I’m all for any museum that has a free day, so I’ll have to check it out the next time I’m in NYC. I wish I’d known about it when I lived there!

  2. It was literally down the street from where we were staying but we did really have a very limited timetable and didn’t check it out. Now that I know its free on Saturdays, if we are close to that neighborhood again, will take a peek, thanks!

    1. There is so much to do in the city! You could spend about an hour there and get most of it. But I know how precious time is, too.

  3. This museum looks like such a cool place. Thanks for posting these photos. I bet one could learn a lot in there :) It has the big bank feel that’s often depicted in movies, which makes sense considering it used to be one. I like how there are portraits of past and present FOMC Chairs on display so people can know who’s responsible for the setting interest rates and other monetary policies. Yellen is arguably one of the most powerful influencers of the financial world right now.

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