How Do Stocks Work (Investing Basics)

Stocks (aka securities) are sold through trading platforms or online brokerages where you can make real-time trades for zero to low commission fees. Anyone can open an account and buy or sell shares if the price is right for them.

What is a stock?

Let’s start by defining a stock. Investopedia defines a stock as a “security that represents the ownership of a fraction of a corporation. In other words, a stock represents a piece of a company that investors can own.

Where are stocks sold?

Stocks are listed for sale on stock exchanges. There are more than 60 large in the world. Here are the top nine:

– NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) – NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) – London Stock Exchange Group – Euronext – Toronto Stock Exchange – Bombay Stock Exchange – Tokyo Stock Exchange – Shanghai Stock Exchange – Hong Kong Stock Exchange

How are stocks priced?

The initial price of a stock is determined at its IPO (Initial Public Offering). Companies set the initial price based on the supply, demand, and the company’s performance.

How are stocks sold?

Stocks are bought and sold as “trades” through stock exchanges. They’re traded through brokerages that have access to the stock exchanges.

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