Difference Between Shares and Stocks

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There’s a subtle difference between stock and shares that an investor must understand before starting their investment journey. While both in a way denote the same thing which is an individual’s ownership in a public company, still one must know the basic difference. A share represents the part ownership of a company whereas stock represents part ownership in either one or more organizations.

What is a Stock?

You must have heard the term stocks quite frequently. They are a form of financial securities that represents a part-ownership in a company. Stocks are a way to own a percentage or fraction of the company that provides certain rights to the stockholder. When you own a stock you get a certificate, proving your ownership. This certificate is stored digitally in your demat account. Investors own stocks so that they can sell them to gain profit once the company increases in value which helps its stock prices to increase in value as well.

What is a Share?

A share represents a single unit of stock. It is the smallest denomination in which the ownership of the company is represented. We can understand this better with an example. If a company DEMO capital has issued a total number of 10000 stocks in the market, and you own a single share of the company then you own 0.01% of the company. As the price of each share increases, your investment value will increase as well.

Stock vs Share: Key Differences

Point of ComparisonStocksShares
DefinitionStocks represent part ownership of a company A stock is a financial instrument representing part ownership in single or multiple organizations.A share is a single unit of stock. It’s a financial instrument representing the part ownership of a company.
DenominationThe value of two different stocks can be differentThe value of each share of a company will be the same
Paid-up ValueStocks are always fully paid-upShares may or may not be fully paid-up
Original IssueStocks are not a part of the original issue; shares are later converted to stocksShares are a part of the original issue
TypesStocks are usually divided into two major types- common and preferred stocks. These categories can be further divided into growth, value, income, blue-chip etc.,Shares are categorized into common shares and preference shares.

Types of Stocks

Stocks can be divided into further types. Let’s have a look at the most popular types of stocks, that are commonly used in the stock market.

Common Stock : Common stocks offer voting rights to investors; they can vote on important company decisions. They also offer the chance of dividend yields in some cases.

Preferred Stock : Although all companies issue common stock, preferred stocks are shared by some. Preferred stocks guarantee dividend payments to their stockholders. In a situation of the company getting liquidated, preferred stockholders would be compensated.

Large-cap stocks : These are stocks of companies that have a good stronghold in the market and contribute to a large share of the market capitalization. Usually, these are stocks of companies that have more than 20,000 crores of market cap. Large-cap stocks have been a safe investment option.

Mid-Cap Stocks : Mid-cap stocks have a market cap between 5,000 crores and 20,000 crores. They have a higher growth potential when compared to large-cap stocks. They are also more volatile in nature when compared to large-cap stocks.

Small-Cap Stocks : They are way more volatile than mid-cap stocks and have a market capitalization of less than Rs. 5,000 crores.

Growth Stocks : A growth stock is a stock that grows at a higher average than the market. These companies believe in reinvesting their profits and they dedicate a major chunk of their profits to reinvesting, paying fewer dividends in the process.

Blue-chip stocks : Blue-chip stocks are the elite among large-cap stocks, that have decades of a good reputation preceding them, with great dividend yields, and return on investments over the years.

Types of Shares

Shares can be broadly categorized into two types: Equity or Common Shares and Preference Shares.

Equity or Common Shares : These are the most fundamental type of shares issued by companies. They are highly traded in the market and usually provide voting rights to investors. Equity shares can be further classified based on their definition, returns, and share capital.

Preference Shares : As the name suggests, these shares are preferred over any other share. Preference shareholders are also prioritized in the event of liquidation.

Benefits and Risks

The benefits and risks of investing in the stock market are aplenty. Recent trends suggest that the benefits exceed the risks. Stock market investing has emerged as one of the most prominent ways of growing your wealth in recent times. The benefits of investing in the stock market include diversification, as you can diversify your wealth by investing in stocks , mutual funds, ETFs, government-offered bonds , non-convertible debentures, futures and options trading , etc.,

The primary risk associated with the stock market is volatility. Stock market is usually volatile in nature and if not handled carefully, can result in losses. It is also important to avoid any random stock tips and concentrate on expert advice only while investing or trading in the stock market.

How do people make money in stocks?

People make money in stocks by buying and selling them. This is known as delivery trading where you buy stocks, hold them till their prices rise and then sell them to make a profit out of them. Apart from simple buying and selling, there are other ways people make money as well. Intraday trading is another popular form of making money by taking positions on stocks and selling them on the same day, to book profits. Traders identify patterns in the market and cash in on such scenarios with the help of leverage to make money. Derivative trading is also popular in the stock market where traders trade in futures and options markets.

As an investor, you can also make money by investing in mutual funds, index funds, bonds, and debentures. To explore these options, install the Bajaj Broking app

Get your stock investments right

Stock market investments are a great way to grow your capital and make the most of emerging businesses. The growth of investors in the stock market in recent times has fascinated one and all. However, just investing may not be the solution. Investing it right is the key to succeeding in the stock market. Some important points you should keep in mind before investing in the stock market are listed below:

  • Find the right broker: A good stockbroker will give you a variety of options to invest in. A simple and secure platform, that gives you all the necessary tools to invest.
  • Research Well: Researching before investing is a must. As you are risking your hard-earned money, it is important you do due diligence before investing.
  • Use Modern Tools: With stockbrokers like Bajaj Broking, you get advanced feature of investing through expert advice. This saves time and brings in more value to your investments.
  • Choose the right stocks: Every investor/trader must choose stocks wisely. Stocks with high liquidity are preferred. Identifying the right time to invest in stocks is critical as well.
  • Plan Diligently: You should plan your targets for profit and losses in advance and stick to your strategies. Remember there is no guaranteed success in the stock market and you should invest according to your risk appetite.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of stocks?

Answer Field

Stocks can be broadly categorized into common stocks and preferred stocks. Common stocks give shareholders voting rights and potential dividends, while preferred stocks offer fixed dividends and priority over common stocks in asset liquidation but generally do not provide voting rights. Additionally, stocks can be classified based on market capitalization, sector, and growth potential, such as blue-chip stocks, growth stocks, and penny stocks.

What are the main features of preference shares?

Answer Field

Preference shares come with specific features that distinguish them from common shares. They provide fixed dividends, which are paid out before any dividends on common shares. Preference shareholders have priority in asset distribution during liquidation. However, they usually do not carry voting rights. These shares are often considered a hybrid between equity and debt due to their fixed-income characteristics.

Does 1 stock equal 100 shares?

Answer Field

No, 1 stock does not equal 100 shares. A stock represents ownership in a corporation, and shares are units of this stock. The term "stock" refers to the overall ownership, while "shares" refer to the specific units of ownership. For example, owning 100 shares of a company's stock means you have 100 units of ownership in that company.

What are the benefits of owning stocks or shares?

Answer Field

Owning stocks or shares offers several benefits, including potential capital appreciation, dividend income, and the ability to influence company decisions through voting rights (for common shareholders). Stocks provide an opportunity to participate in the growth and profits of a company. Additionally, they offer liquidity, allowing investors to buy and sell shares easily in the stock market.

How is the value of a share and stock determined?

Answer Field

The value of a share and stock is determined by various factors, including the company's financial performance, market conditions, investor sentiment, and broader economic indicators. Supply and demand dynamics in the stock market also play a crucial role. Fundamental analysis (evaluating a company's financial health) and technical analysis (studying price and volume trends) are common methods used to assess the value of stocks and shares.

Can the terms stocks and shares be used interchangeably?

Answer Field

In India, the terms "stocks" and "shares" are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. "Stock" refers to the ownership certificates of any company, representing a general ownership interest. "Shares," on the other hand, refer to the specific units of ownership in a particular company. In everyday usage, "stocks" is a broader term that encompasses all units of ownership across multiple companies, while "shares" are more specific to individual holdings within a single company. This distinction is important for precise communication in the context of investing and trading.

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