Learning about Common Stock


Security that reflects ownership in a business is known as common stock. Common stockholders elect the board of directors and have a say in business decisions. Long-term, this type of stock ownership generally provides greater rates of return. Common shareholders, on the other hand, only have rights to a company’s assets once bondholders, preferred shareholders, and other debt-holders have been paid in full. The stockholder’s equity part of a company’s balance sheet is where common stock is recorded.  

If a business falls bankrupt, common investors do not receive their money until creditors, bondholders, and preferred stockholders have gotten theirs. As a result, the ordinary stock is riskier than the debt or preferred stock. The advantage of common stock is that it generally outperforms bonds and preferred stock over time. Many businesses sell all three kinds of securities. On the secondary market, Wells Fargo & Company, for example, has numerous bonds available. It also has common stock and preferred shares, such as the Series L (NYSE: WFC-L).  

The Dutch East India Company created the first common stock in 1602 and listed it on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Larger equities in the United States are traded on a public exchange like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the Nasdaq. In 2019, the former had 2800 stocks listed on its exchanges, while the latter had 3300. In June 2018, the NYSE had a market value of $28.5 trillion, making it the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization.  

The London Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange are two international stock exchanges that trade foreign equities. Unlisted companies are those that are too tiny to fulfill the listing standards of a stock market. The Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) or pink sheets are used to trade these unlisted equities.  

An initial public offering (IPO) is required before a firm may issue stock (IPO). An initial public offering (IPO) is a wonderful approach for a company seeking extra funding to expand. To start the IPO process, a business needs to cooperate with an underwriting investment banking firm, which assists in determining the stock’s kind and price. After the initial public offering (IPO), the general public can buy the new shares on the secondary market.  

Stocks should be a significant component of every investor’s portfolio. When compared to CDs, preferred stock, and bonds, they have a higher risk. The bigger the danger, though, the larger the potential for return. Stocks tend to outperform other investments over the long run, but they are more volatile in the near term.  

Stocks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Companies with rising earnings are known as growth stocks. Companies with lower prices in respect to their fundamentals are known as value stocks. Contrary to growth companies, value equities pay a dividend. Stocks are divided into three categories based on their market capitalization: major, mid, and small. Large-cap stocks are more actively traded and usually indicate a more stable firm. Small-cap stocks are typically those of newer firms trying to expand, and as a result, they may be considerably more volatile than large-cap stocks. 


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