What is Different About Common Stock

5 mins read
by Angel One

What are common shares?

Security that symbolizes ownership in a firm is known as common stock. Common stockholders elect the board of directors and have a say in business decisions. Long-term, this kind of stock ownership often generates greater rates of return. Common shareholders, on the other hand, only have rights to a company’s assets when bondholders, preferred shareholders, and other debtholders have been paid in full. The stockholder’s equity area of a company’s balance sheet is where common stock is recorded.

Understanding Common Stock

Common stock is riskier than debt or preferred stock. The advantage of common stock is that it generally outperforms bonds and preferred stock over time. Many businesses sell all three kinds of securities.

The Dutch East India Company issued the first common stock in 1602 and listed it on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Larger equities in the United States are traded on a public exchange like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the NASDAQ. In 2019, the former had 2800 stocks listed on its exchanges, while the latter had 3300. In June 2018, the NYSE had a market value of $28.5 trillion, making it the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalisation.

The London Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange are two international stock exchanges that trade foreign stocks. Unlisted companies are those that are too small to meet the listing requirements of a stock exchange.

An initial public offering (IPO) is required before a company can issue stock. An initial public offering (IPO) is a great way for a company seeking additional funding to expand. To start the IPO process, a company must work with an underwriting investment banking firm, which assists in determining the stock’s type and price. After the initial public offering (IPO), the general public can buy the new stock on the secondary market.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Investing in Common Stocks?

Because common stocks carry a high level of risk, they may not be ideal for risk-averse investors. Furthermore, the values of these stocks are prone to volatility and consequently move regularly. Common stocks, on the other hand, have enormous growth potential, which investors may take advantage of if they invest for the long term. As a result, investors with a high risk appetite and a long investment horizon may find common stocks to be a suitable investment choice.

What Are the Advantages of Common Stocks?

Take a look at the following list of common stock advantages.

Right to vote

Each share of common stock owned by an investor entitles them to one vote. Such rights, for example, apply to company policy and participation in business choices. For example, investors may use their voting rights to elect a company’s board of directors or to determine the destiny of a strategic strategy. Investors holding a large number of common stocks, in particular, would be able to benefit from such a power.

Profit potential

Common stocks are recognised to outperform deposit certificates, bonds, and other investment instruments in terms of performance. Furthermore, there is no limit to how much money investors may make from their common stock investments. Similarly, common stocks are a more practical and cost-effective alternative to loans. Because firms are not required to pay interest to their investors, they may opt to pay a bonus if they make a profit.

Legal responsibilities are limited

Common stock owners’ duties are also restricted since they are passive investors. They don’t have to be worried about occurrences that occur outside of their financial investment. Furthermore, if a firm is making considerable returns and increasing at a regular pace, such stocks provide a secure financial future. Furthermore, investors are not in danger of losing more money than they first invented. All of these factors tend to assist investors in taking advantage of common stock’s development potential without being entangled in needless legal obligations.


Although common shareholders are entitled to a return, the regularity with which they will get it is unknown. For example, a company’s profits may be insufficient to pay dividends to its stockholders. Alternatively, a business may choose to reinvest its revenues in the initiative in order to expand. All of these factors make the prospect of making a profit unclear. Nonetheless, as compared to alternative investment choices, common shareholders are more likely to achieve considerable returns.


Investors can effectively invest in or relinquish common stocks since they are liquid. It enables investors to purchase additional shares and enhance their stake in a firm. Similarly, if their investment does not prove to be lucrative enough, they may easily renounce it. As a result, shares may be acquired at a reasonable price without any complications, making it a suitable investment instrument for many.

Key Highlights

Stocks should be a significant component of every investor’s portfolio. When compared to CDs, preferred stock, and bonds, they have a higher risk. The bigger the danger, though, the larger the potential for gain. Stocks tend to outperform other investments over the long run, but they are more volatile in the near term.

Stocks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Growth stocks are corporations whose stock price rises in response to rising profits. Companies with lower prices in accordance with their fundamentals are known as value stocks. Unlike growth companies, value stocks pay a dividend. Stocks are divided into three categories based on their market capitalization: major, mid, and small. Large-cap companies are more widely traded and are considered to be a more stable corporations. Small-cap stocks are often those of younger firms striving to expand, and as a result, they may be considerably more volatile than large-cap stocks.

Wrapping Up

Investors interested in investing in a company’s common stock should do a comprehensive common stock study. In order to make an educated investment choice, they should consider factors like a company’s growth potential, track record, and strategy soundness.