What is the “Stock Market”?
A stock market is a market for the trading of company stock, and derivatives of same; both of these are securities listed on a stock exchange as well as those only traded privately.
The term ‘stock market’ is a concept for the mechanism that enables the trading of company stocks (collective shares), other securities, and derivatives. Bonds are still traditionally traded in an informal, over-the-counter market known as the bond market. Commodities are traded in commodities markets, and derivatives are traded in a variety of markets (but, like bonds, mostly ‘over-the-counter’).
Participants in the stock market range from small individual stock investors to large hedge fund traders, who can be based anywhere. Their orders usually end up with a professional at a stock exchange, who executes the order.
The New York Stock Exchange is a physical exchange. This is also referred to as a “listed” exchange (because only stocks listed with the exchange may be traded). Orders enter by way of brokerage firms that are members of the exchange and flow down to floor brokers who go to a specific spot on the floor where the stock trades. At this location, known as the trading post, there is a specific person known as the specialist whose job is to match buy orders and sell orders.
The Nasdaq is a virtual (listed) exchange, where all of the trading is done over a computer network. The process is similar to the above, in that the seller provides an asking price and the buyer provides a bidding price. However, buyers and sellers are electronically matched. One or more Nasdaq market makers will always provide a bid and ask price at which they will always purchase or sell ‘their’ stock.
The stock market is one of the most important sources for companies to raise money. This allows businesses to go public, or raise additional capital for expansion. The liquidity that an exchange provides affords investors the ability to quickly and easily sell securities. This is an attractive feature of investing in stocks, compared to other less liquid investments such as real estate.
Why Invest in the Stock Market?
One of the many things people always want to know about the stock market is, “How do I make money investing?” There are many different approaches; two basic methods are classified as either fundamental analysis or technical analysis. Fundamental analysis refers to analyzing companies by their financial statements found in SEC Filings, business trends, general economic conditions, etc. Technical analysis studies price actions in markets through the use of charts and quantitative techniques to attempt to forecast price trends regardless of the company’s financial prospects.
This blog is dedicated as a guide and resource to stock market investing. I hope it helps in your decisions!