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Stock also capital stock is all of the shares into which ownership of a corporation is divided. This typically entitles the stockholder to that fraction of the company's earnings, proceeds from liquidation of assets after discharge of all senior claims such as secured and unsecured debt ,  or voting power, often dividing these up in proportion to the amount of money each stockholder has invested.
Not all stock is necessarily equal, as certain classes of stock may be issued for example without voting rights, with enhanced voting rights, or with a certain priority to receive profits or liquidation proceeds before or after other classes of shareholders.
Stock can be bought and sold privately or on stock exchanges , and such transactions are typically heavily regulated by governments to prevent fraud, protect investors, and benefit the larger economy. The stocks are deposited with the depositories in the electronic format also known as Demat account. As new shares are issued by a company, the ownership and rights of existing shareholders are diluted in return for cash to sustain or grow the business.
Companies can also buy back stock , which often lets investors recoup the initial investment plus capital gains from subsequent rises in stock price. Stock options , issued by many companies as part of employee compensation, do not represent ownership, but represent the right to buy ownership at a future time at a specified price. This would represent a windfall to the employees if the option is exercised when the market price is higher than the promised price, since if they immediately sold the stock they would keep the difference minus taxes.
A person who owns a percentage of the stock has the ownership of the corporation proportional to their share. The shares form stock. The stock of a corporation is partitioned into shares , the total of which are stated at the time of business formation.
Additional shares may subsequently be authorized by the existing shareholders and issued by the company. In some jurisdictions, each share of stock has a certain declared par value , which is a nominal accounting value used to represent the equity on the balance sheet of the corporation.
In other jurisdictions, however, shares of stock may be issued without associated par value. Shares represent a fraction of ownership in a business. A business may declare different types or classes of shares, each having distinctive ownership rules, privileges, or share values.
Ownership of shares may be documented by issuance of a stock certificate. A stock certificate is a legal document that specifies the number of shares owned by the shareholder , and other specifics of the shares, such as the par value, if any, or the class of the shares. In the United Kingdom , Republic of Ireland , South Africa , and Australia , stock can also refer to completely different financial instruments such as government bonds or, less commonly, to all kinds of marketable securities.
Stock typically takes the form of shares of either common stock or preferred stock. As a unit of ownership, common stock typically carries voting rights that can be exercised in corporate decisions. Preferred stock differs from common stock in that it typically does not carry voting rights but is legally entitled to receive a certain level of dividend payments before any dividends can be issued to other shareholders.
Shares of such stock are called "convertible preferred shares" or "convertible preference shares" in the UK. New equity issue may have specific legal clauses attached that differentiate them from previous issues of the issuer.
Some shares of common stock may be issued without the typical voting rights, for instance, or some shares may have special rights unique to them and issued only to certain parties. Often, new issues that have not been registered with a securities governing body may be restricted from resale for certain periods of time. Preferred stock may be hybrid by having the qualities of bonds of fixed returns and common stock voting rights.
They also have preference in the payment of dividends over common stock and also have been given preference at the time of liquidation over common stock. They have other features of accumulation in dividend. In addition, preferred stock usually comes with a letter designation at the end of the security; for example, Berkshire-Hathaway Class "B" shares sell under stock ticker BRK. This extra letter does not mean that any exclusive rights exist for the shareholders but it does let investors know that the shares are considered for such, however, these rights or privileges may change based on the decisions made by the underlying company.
Investors either purchase or take ownership of these securities through private sales or other means such as via ESOPs or in exchange for seed money from the issuing company as in the case with Restricted Securities or from an affiliate of the issuer as in the case with Control Securities.
Investors wishing to sell these securities are subject to different rules than those selling traditional common or preferred stock. These individuals will only be allowed to liquidate their securities after meeting the specific conditions set forth by SEC Rule Rule allows public re-sale of restricted securities if a number of different conditions are met.
A stock derivative is any financial instrument for which the underlying asset is the price of an equity. Futures and options are the main types of derivatives on stocks.
The underlying security may be a stock index or an individual firm's stock, e. Stock futures are contracts where the buyer is long , i. Stock index futures are generally delivered by cash settlement.
A stock option is a class of option. Specifically, a call option is the right not obligation to buy stock in the future at a fixed price and a put option is the right not obligation to sell stock in the future at a fixed price. Thus, the value of a stock option changes in reaction to the underlying stock of which it is a derivative. The most popular method of valuing stock options is the Black—Scholes model.
During the Roman Republic , the state contracted leased out many of its services to private companies. These government contractors were called publicani , or societas publicanorum as individual companies. They issued shares called partes for large cooperatives and particulae which were small shares that acted like today's over-the-counter shares.
The Roman orator Cicero speaks of partes illo tempore carissimae , which means "shares that had a very high price at that time". The earliest recognized joint-stock company in modern times was the English later British East India Company , one of the most notorious joint-stock companies.
Soon afterwards, in ,  the Dutch East India Company issued the first shares that were made tradeable on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange , an invention that enhanced the ability of joint-stock companies to attract capital from investors as they now easily could dispose of their shares. Between and it traded 2. The innovation of joint ownership made a great deal of Europe 's economic growth possible following the Middle Ages. The technique of pooling capital to finance the building of ships, for example, made the Netherlands a maritime superpower.
Before the adoption of the joint-stock corporation, an expensive venture such as the building of a merchant ship could be undertaken only by governments or by very wealthy individuals or families. Economic historians [ who? Edward Stringham also noted that the uses of practices such as short selling continued to occur during this time despite the government passing laws against it.
This is unusual because it shows individual parties fulfilling contracts that were not legally enforceable and where the parties involved could incur a loss. Stringham argues that this shows that contracts can be created and enforced without state sanction or, in this case, in spite of laws to the contrary.
A shareholder or stockholder is an individual or company including a corporation that legally owns one or more shares of stock in a joint stock company. Both private and public traded companies have shareholders. Shareholders are granted special privileges depending on the class of stock, including the right to vote on matters such as elections to the board of directors , the right to share in distributions of the company's income, the right to purchase new shares issued by the company, and the right to a company's assets during a liquidation of the company.
However, shareholder's rights to a company's assets are subordinate to the rights of the company's creditors. Shareholders are one type of stakeholders , who may include anyone who has a direct or indirect equity interest in the business entity or someone with a non-equity interest in a non-profit organization.
Thus it might be common to call volunteer contributors to an association stakeholders, even though they are not shareholders.
Although directors and officers of a company are bound by fiduciary duties to act in the best interest of the shareholders, the shareholders themselves normally do not have such duties towards each other.
However, in a few unusual cases, some courts have been willing to imply such a duty between shareholders. For example, in California , USA , majority shareholders of closely held corporations have a duty not to destroy the value of the shares held by minority shareholders. The largest shareholders in terms of percentages of companies owned are often mutual funds, and, especially, passively managed exchange-traded funds.
The owners of a private company may want additional capital to invest in new projects within the company. They may also simply wish to reduce their holding, freeing up capital for their own private use. They can achieve these goals by selling shares in the company to the general public, through a sale on a stock exchange. This process is called an initial public offering , or IPO.
By selling shares they can sell part or all of the company to many part-owners. The purchase of one share entitles the owner of that share to literally share in the ownership of the company, a fraction of the decision-making power, and potentially a fraction of the profits, which the company may issue as dividends. The owner may also inherit debt and even litigation. In the common case of a publicly traded corporation, where there may be thousands of shareholders, it is impractical to have all of them making the daily decisions required to run a company.
Thus, the shareholders will use their shares as votes in the election of members of the board of directors of the company. In a typical case, each share constitutes one vote.
Corporations may, however, issue different classes of shares, which may have different voting rights. Owning the majority of the shares allows other shareholders to be out-voted — effective control rests with the majority shareholder or shareholders acting in concert.
In this way the original owners of the company often still have control of the company. This is because the company is considered a legal person, thus it owns all its assets itself. This is important in areas such as insurance, which must be in the name of the company and not the main shareholder.
In most countries, boards of directors and company managers have a fiduciary responsibility to run the company in the interests of its stockholders. Nonetheless, as Martin Whitman writes:. Even though the board of directors runs the company, the shareholder has some impact on the company's policy, as the shareholders elect the board of directors.
Each shareholder typically has a percentage of votes equal to the percentage of shares he or she owns. So as long as the shareholders agree that the management agent are performing poorly they can select a new board of directors which can then hire a new management team. In practice, however, genuinely contested board elections are rare.
Board candidates are usually nominated by insiders or by the board of the directors themselves, and a considerable amount of stock is held or voted by insiders. Owning shares does not mean responsibility for liabilities. If a company goes broke and has to default on loans, the shareholders are not liable in any way. However, all money obtained by converting assets into cash will be used to repay loans and other debts first, so that shareholders cannot receive any money unless and until creditors have been paid often the shareholders end up with nothing.
Financing a company through the sale of stock in a company is known as equity financing. Alternatively, debt financing for example issuing bonds can be done to avoid giving up shares of ownership of the company. Unofficial financing known as trade financing usually provides the major part of a company's working capital day-to-day operational needs. In general, the shares of a company may be transferred from shareholders to other parties by sale or other mechanisms, unless prohibited.
Most jurisdictions have established laws and regulations governing such transfers, particularly if the issuer is a publicly traded entity.
U.S. Stock Trading
In finance , being short in an asset means investing in such a way that the investor will profit if the value of the asset falls. This is the opposite of a more conventional " long " position , where the investor will profit if the value of the asset rises. There are a number of ways of achieving a short position. The most fundamental method is so-called "physical" short-selling, which involves borrowing assets often securities such as shares or bonds and selling them. The investor will later purchase the same number of the same type of securities in order to return them to the lender. If the price has fallen in the meantime, the investor will have made a profit equal to the difference.
Important notice: From mid-July , we will be sending notifications to you on the execution of trades you conduct online or via our mobile apps. Please ensure that you have provided us with a valid mobile phone number to receive such notification via SMS, or you will not be able to trade online or via our mobile apps. Enjoy the one-stop shop service from account management to U. Find out more. Trade both H.
A stock exchange , securities exchange , or bourse [note 1] is an exchange where stockbrokers and traders can buy and sell securities , such as shares of stock , bonds , and other financial instruments. Stock exchanges may also provide facilities for the issue and redemption of such securities and instruments and capital events including the payment of income and dividends. Stock exchanges often function as "continuous auction" markets with buyers and sellers consummating transactions via open outcry at a central location such as the floor of the exchange or by using an electronic trading platform. To be able to trade a security on a certain stock exchange, the security must be listed there. Usually, there is a central location at least for record keeping, but trade is increasingly less linked to a physical place, as modern markets use electronic communication networks , which give them advantages of increased speed and reduced cost of transactions. Trade on an exchange is restricted to brokers who are members of the exchange. In recent years, various other trading venues, such as electronic communication networks, alternative trading systems and " dark pools " have taken much of the trading activity away from traditional stock exchanges.
Top PDF 2 Buying and Selling Securities
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Stock also capital stock is all of the shares into which ownership of a corporation is divided. This typically entitles the stockholder to that fraction of the company's earnings, proceeds from liquidation of assets after discharge of all senior claims such as secured and unsecured debt ,  or voting power, often dividing these up in proportion to the amount of money each stockholder has invested. Not all stock is necessarily equal, as certain classes of stock may be issued for example without voting rights, with enhanced voting rights, or with a certain priority to receive profits or liquidation proceeds before or after other classes of shareholders.
All rights reserved. Take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up. If it don t go up, don t buy it.
What Is the Stock Market and How Does It Work?
Before selling the securities through stock exchange, the companies have to get their securities listed in the stock exchange. The name of the company is included in listed securities only when stock exchange authorities are satisfied with the financial soundness and other aspects of the company. Image Courtesy : listdose. Previously the buying and selling of securities was done in trading floor of stock exchange; today it is executed through computer and it involves the following steps:.
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