An instrument representing ownership (stocks), a debt agreement (bonds) or the rights to ownership (derivatives).
A security is essentially a contract that can be assigned a value and traded. Examples of a security include a note, stock, preferred share, bond, debenture, option, future, swap, right, warrant, or virtually any other financial asset.
Securities are traditionally divided into debt securities and equities:
（1）Debt securities may be called debentures, bonds, deposits, notes or commercial paper depending on their maturity and certain other characteristics. The holder of a debt security is typically entitled to the payment of principal and interest, together with other contractual rights under the terms of the issue, such as the right to receive certain information.
（2）An equity security is a share in the capital stock of a company. The holder of an equity is a shareholder, owning a share, or fractional part of the issuer. Unlike debt securities, which typically require regular payments (interest) to the holder, equity securities are not entitled to any payment. In bankruptcy, they share only in the residual interest of the issuer after all obligations have been paid out to creditors.
In finance, a bond is a debt security, in which the authorized issuer owes the holders a debt and, depending on the terms of the bond, is obliged to pay interest (the coupon) and/or to repay the principal at a later date, termed maturity. It is a formal contract to repay borrowed money with interest at fixed intervals.
Thus a bond is like a loan: the issuer is the borrower, the bond holder is the lender, and the coupon is the interest. Bonds provide the borrower with external funds to finance long-term investments, or, in the case of government bonds, to finance current expenditure. Certificates of deposit (CDs) or commercial paper are considered to be money market instruments and not bonds.
Bonds and stocks are both securities, but the major difference between the two is that stock-holders are the owners of the company (i.e., they have an equity stake), whereas bond holders are lenders to the issuers. Another difference is that bonds usually have a defined term, or maturity, after which the bond is redeemed, whereas stocks may be outstanding indefinitely. An exception is a consol bond, which is a perpetuity (i.e., bond with no maturity).
It’s type of security that signifies ownership in a corporation and represents a claim on part of the corporation’s assets and earnings.
There are two main types of stock: common and preferred. Common stock usually entitles the owner to vote at shareholders’ meetings and to receive dividends. Preferred stock generally does not have voting rights, but has a higher claim on assets and earnings than the common shares. For example, owners of preferred stock receive dividends before common shareholders and have priority in the event that a company goes bankrupt and is liquidated.
Also known as “shares” or “equity”.
Thus, a holder of stock (a shareholder) has a claim to a part of the corporation’s assets and earnings. In other words, a shareholder is an owner of a company. Ownership is determined by the number of shares a person owns relative to the number of outstanding shares. For example, if a company has 1,000 shares of stock outstanding and one person owns 100 shares, that person would own and have claim to 10% of the company’s assets.
A unit of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset. While owning shares in a business does not mean that the shareholder has direct control over the business’s day-to-day operations, being a shareholder does entitle the possessor to an equal distribution in any profits, if any are declared in the form of dividends. The two main types of shares are common shares and preferred shares.
I own stocks. （我拥有股票）
I have ten stocks in my portfolio. （我的投资组合内有十只股票）
Microsoft’s stock hits a recent high. （微软的股票达到近来的高位）
I own a share of Microsoft. （我拥有一股微软）
I own two hundred shares of Microsoft. （我有二百股微软）
I own two hundred shares of Microsoft’s stock. （我有二百股微软的股票）
Some stocks are divided into A, B, and C shares. （有些股票分为A/B/C股）
In terms of investment strategies, equity (stocks) is one of the principal asset classes. The other two are fixed-income (bonds) and cash/cash-equivalents. These are used in asset allocation planning to structure a desired risk and return profile for an investor’s portfolio.
In finance, in general, you can think of equity as ownership in any asset after all debts associated with that asset are paid off. For example, a car or house with no outstanding debt is considered the owner’s equity because he or she can readily sell the item for cash. Stocks are equity because they represent ownership in a company.