Stocks, also known as equities or shares, are securities that represent ownership in a company. When you buy stocks, you become a shareholder in the company and have the right to vote on certain matters related to the company’s management and direction. You may also be entitled to a share of the company’s profits, in the form of dividends.

There are two main types of stocks: common stocks and preferred stocks. Common stocks represent ownership in a company and entitle the shareholder to vote at shareholder meetings and receive dividends. Preferred stocks are a type of hybrid security that combines features of both common stocks and bonds. Preferred shareholders typically have priority over common shareholders when it comes to receiving dividends and may have a fixed dividend rate.

Stocks can be bought and sold on stock exchanges, such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the United Kingdom. When you buy stocks, you are paying for a share of the company’s future earnings and potential growth. The price of a stock is determined by supply and demand in the market, and can fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including the company’s financial performance, market conditions, and investor sentiment.

Investing in stocks can be a way to grow wealth over the long term, as stocks have historically outperformed other asset classes, such as cash and bonds, in terms of returns. However, stocks also carry a higher level of risk, as their value can fluctuate significantly based on market conditions and the performance of the underlying company. As a result, it is important for investors to carefully consider their risk tolerance and financial goals before investing in stocks.

Each month we’ll aim to bring a bit of humanity and common sense back into the world of finance.