Stocks, commonly known as equities, are securities that provide shareholders with interest in a publicly traded firm. It’s a genuine interest in the company, and if you hold all of the shares, you have complete influence over how the company functions. The stock market is a collection of equities that the general public may buy and sell on a number of different exchanges.

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Benefits and Risks of stocks

Stocks provide investors with the greatest potential for long-term gain. Investors who are prepared to own equities for a lengthy period of time say 15 years, have typically been rewarded with significant, positive returns. However, stock values fluctuate in both directions. There is no assurance that the firm whose stock you own will grow and prosper, therefore investing in stocks might result in a loss of money.

If a firm goes bankrupt and liquidates its assets, common investors are the last in line to get a portion of the profits. Bondholders will be paid first, followed by preferred stockholders. If you own common stock, you will receive whatever is left, which might be nothing.

How to buy and sell stocks

One can buy and sell stocks through:

  • Direct stock plan
  • Dividend reinvestment plan
  • Discount or full-service broker
  • Stock fund