The Basics of Stocks


A stock’s price is based on the relationship between supply and demand. This supply is typically known as float, which is the number of shares offered for sale at any given time. The demand is the number of shares that investors want to buy at that same time. When both variables are equal, the stock price will move in equilibrium. The product of the instantaneous price and float is the market capitalization of the entity offering the equity.

Stocks come in many different classes. Some types are known as “blue chips,” which represent well-known, stable companies. Others are known as “growth stocks” and “value stocks,” which are poised to increase in value over the long term. Dividends and stock price increases are the most common methods of earning from stocks.

Stocks can be bought or sold on a stock exchange. These transactions must comply with certain regulations to protect investors. Stocks are a key component of a well-balanced portfolio. By understanding the basics of this asset class, you can build a portfolio that matches your personal goals. It’s important to understand the difference between the different types of stock.

Companies may issue stock shares privately or publicly. Private shares are usually only available to accredited investors, while publicly traded shares are available to anyone. Private companies often go public in an effort to raise money for new business initiatives. During this process, the company will be required to comply with SEC financial transparency regulations. The price of the stock will fluctuate based on supply and demand.

The value of a stock depends on the profits of the company. If you own a large number of shares, you will be entitled to a larger percentage of the profits. However, many stocks do not pay dividends. They reinvest the profits back into the company, so they do not actually pay out dividends. This is known as retained earnings. This residual profit is used to determine the value of the stock.

When it comes to compensation, it’s important to remember that employees receive stock options. While these options don’t represent ownership of the company, they give employees the right to purchase ownership at a specific time and at a specific price. This can be a windfall for the employee. If the stock price reaches a higher level, they can exercise the option and cash in the cash.