In the United States, half of its population is actively engaged in investment in the stock market. 20% of the left out population in the investment opportunity don’t invest because they are unaware of how the stock market works. 16% of the remaining population consider investing in stocks as risky or find the brokers untrustworthy.
From an economist’s perspective, buying stocks can be a wealth generation strategy for individual investors. It’s important to gain knowledge about the stock market as it comes with its own risks and rewards. For Americans with extra cash in their pockets, it’s one of the most popular investment vehicles in the nation.
To better understand how investing in stocks is approached, here is information to help us understand how the market works.
Definition of Stock
A stock, also known as a share, is the certificate used by companies to show ownership. It’s a slice of the company owned by the shareholder equal to the number of shares as a portion of the company’s outstanding shares. Most companies have shares that are equivalent to millions or billions.
What is the Stock Market?
A Stock market is a regulated environment that facilitates the buying and selling of individual stocks. It’s essential to have stock markets in existence as they provide the platform for the exchange of the stocks.
Another importance of stock markets is to ensure that the trading of shares is operated in a secure, regulated and transparent manner. Stock markets are different and as such prudent investors prefer to trade only in trusted stock exchanges.
Why a Company Issues Stocks
Most of the successful corporate giants are likely to have started off as a small enterprise. Technology powerhouses start off as small entities but rise by investing in stocks. Achieving such success requires massive amounts of capital and most companies consider the stock investment as their option.
In order to implement the business idea, the entrepreneur requires a specific amount of capital. The capital aids in hiring employees, buying equipment and putting in place a sales distribution network.
Companies can raise such capital through by selling shares. Debt financing would seem like a simple and viable opportunity, for start-up companies. It can be a problem as long-term debts need pledging of assets by the company.
In the case of a start-up business, it may not have enough assets to achieve this. These companies will opt for equity financing to meet the capital requirements rather than obtaining a long-term loan.
Once a company has established itself in the market, larger amounts of capital may be required. The capital is used to run an increase in the funds for operations. Selling of the shares to the public is done through running initial public offering.
This also facilitates the change of a company of a private company to a traded company. This process offers early investors to cash out part of their stake in a bid to reap rewards. Upon being listed in the stock exchange, the stock prices fluctuate as investors and traders assess and reassess their value.
What is the Stock Exchange?
Stock exchanges are platforms where owners of shares interact and are able to transact with potential buyers. Companies listed on the stock exchange do not necessarily indulge in the stock trade on a daily. The buying of a share from the stock market is simply buying a share from another shareholder.
Selling a share also involves a shareholder and a potential shareholder and not the company itself. Professionalization and regulation have ensured buyers and sellers of shares can trust the process to ensured it is a success.
The Setting of Share Prices
There are many ways of setting share prices but the most common way is through auctioning of stocks. The sellers offer a given stock price and potential buyers bid their way up until the stock is sold to the highest bidder by the seller. The stock market is made up of millions of investors and traders.
Their trading activities are responsible for fluctuations in the stock prices. The stock exchange acts as an intermediary who links the buyers and the sellers in the stock market. To get access to the stocks, one would need a stockbroker that links the buyer to the seller.
The most common way of acquiring a stockbroker is through the creation of an account with an established retailer.
Linking Buyers to Sellers
Most stock markets use the skills of professional traders to maintain continuous bids and offers. Since buyers and sellers might not meet at the convenience of the other. A two-sided market consists of the bid and the offer, and the spread in the difference that occurs in the bid and offers.
If there is a good number of buyers and sellers at higher and lower prices the market is said to have good depth. The matching of buyers and sellers was done manually but has taken a more computerized approach over the years. Electronic systems can match buyers and sellers faster and far more efficiently than humans can.
Benefits of a Stock Exchange Listing
Every entrepreneur stands to benefit from a stock exchange listing. The process means ready liquidity for from shares held by the shareholders. A listing also ensures a business earns more money used to provide shares to its shareholders.
Listed companies have greater visibility in the market and demand from investors. Their shares can increase the share price as the stock exchange provides stock market news at the end of the day.
How the Market Works
Information on stocks and the stock market is relevant to the potential investors. It helps them are to re-evaluate their investment options. Research has shown that in most occasions investment returns that were stock generated are dominant.
Once you have learned how the market works, consider taking up stock investments. Rather than having your money in the bank, take a risk and invest in the stock markets.
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