Stocks – What is Stocks?
A stock market, or equity marketplace is an aggregate group of buyers and lenders of shares, that represent ownership interests in companies; these might include publicly traded securities on a major exchange like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Stocks are sold by raising funds via a broker. Usually a company’s stock is listed on an exchange, in what is called a stock exchange, for trading. Shares can be bought from any individual or institution, at a pre-determined price. The price is established by the issuing company – often based on analysts’ projections of its future earnings. Shares are listed in a bid and ask format, with each side detailing the per-share price.
In the US, a major stock market exists, the New York Stock Exchange. In most other countries there is a much smaller exchange commission. This means that investors can buy and sell securities without having to pay commissions on transactions. However, shares are not always sold publicly. In private placements, company shares are offered to members or prospective investors. These investors are required to open and maintain accounts with the company, to make regular purchases and sales, and to give quarterly reporting about how the stock market has performed since their purchase.
Stock markets are open for trading 24 hours a day. Some investors use the services of professional brokerage firms to provide them with buying and selling advice. Buyers and sellers are represented by brokers. The buying and selling activities of these firms are reported to the exchange commission by the selling broker who is paid a fee by the securities seller for providing such advice.
There are many different types of exchanges. One of the most famous is the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE. NYSE is the biggest of the stock markets and handles one of the most important financial activities – share trading. Other popular exchanges are the NASDAQ and London Stock Exchange. The main purpose of these exchanges is to help buyers and sellers to buy and sell shares.
Investors use STORE clauses to put together their portfolios. These STORE clauses are special agreements between the investor and the stock exchanges which specify how the investor can buy and sell shares. STORE clauses may also provide the option of trading in multiple stocks within a defined period. These types of STORE arrangements are commonly known as “over-the-counter” or OTC trading. OTC trading is considered very risky because only a small number of stock exchanges are traded over the counter.
An investor can purchase shares directly from the company. However, most people choose to invest through a broker or market maker. Market makers are organizations that purchase shares from buyers, and sell them to investors at prearranged prices. They usually act as a middleman between buyers and sellers, and they have the ability to set their own prices.