Bob Brinker's Marketimer

  Friday November 24, 2017

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WHAT ARE STOCKS?
Learn even more about this topic with the Encyclopedia of Personal Finance™

A share of stock represents a tiny share of ownership in a company. When you buy shares of stock, you are becoming a part-owner in the firm and are entitled to a share of its assets and earnings. In other words, you are buying equity in the company. Companies sell stock to raise funds, often to invest in growing the business.

Depending on the kind of stock you buy, you may also have the right to vote, along with other shareholders, to elect members to the company's board of directors and decide other key matters. The most important distinction about this kind of company ownership is that stocks are a form of equity that is designed to be traded—bought and sold.

Unlike buying bonds, which represent loans, or making deposits in a savings account, holding stock represents actual ownership of equity. The other important difference is that the return on common stock is not fixed, but varies with the performance of the company.

There are two ways to make money with stocks.

? Many stocks pay dividends, or shares of the companies' profits that shareholders receive as income.

? You can also make money off fluctuations in the stock's market value, if you can sell it at a higher price than you paid for it.

But not all stocks are alike. Let's look at two basic classes of stock.




LEARN EVEN MORE WITH THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PERSONAL FINANCE. CLICK HERE!

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