While the value of one’s home typically accounts for most of the net worth of the average individual, most of the affluent and very rich generally have the majority of their wealth invested in stocks.3 In order to understand the mechanics of the stock market, let’s begin by delving into the definition of a stock and its different types.
A stock or share (also known as a company’s “equity”) is a financial instrument that represents ownership in a company or corporation and represents a proportionate claim on its assets (what it owns) and earnings (what it generates in profits).
A startup can raise such capital either by selling shares (equity financing) or borrowing money (debt financing). Debt financing can be a problem for a startup because it may have few assets to pledge for a loan—especially in sectors such as technology or biotechnology, where a firm has few tangible assets—plus the interest on the loan would impose a financial burden in the early days, when the company may have no revenues or earnings.
Stock exchanges are secondary markets, where existing owners of shares can transact with potential buyers. It is important to understand that the corporations listed on stock markets do not buy and sell their own shares on a regular basis (companies may engage in stock buybacks8 or issue new shares,9 but these are not day-to-day operations and often occur outside of the framework of an exchange). So when you buy a share of stock on the stock market, you are not buying it from the company, you are buying it from some other existing shareholder. Likewise, when you sell your shares, you do not sell them back to the company—rather you sell them to some other investor.
In year 2020
Top US Companies