Stock Market 101: A Guide To How Things Work
By Jack Benson
In a nutshell, the stock market is a market place for business people. Goods are sold to the public in a public market. However, in the stock market, the public is sold share. Shares are the form in which company stock is sold. When a person purchases more shares in a company, they have a higher ownership in that company.
In the stock market, there is the primary market and the secondary market. In the primary market, companies sell shares to investors to raise financing for their operating expenses. In the secondary market, investors buy and sell shares in companies to other investors. Constantly changing market conditions are the basis of those buy and sell decisions.
A stock market operates much like an auction house, with a systematic way of buying and selling. The system in the stock market involves a great deal of bustling activity. Often there are people running around frantically, shouting and gesturing at one another.
The purchase and sale of stock starts at various places. A broker is contacted if a person wants to buy stocks in a certain company. The broker will take the investor’s money to the stock exchange to coordinate with a floor broker.
In most cases, the floor broker works for the company selling stock. Right on the stock exchange floor, brokers buy the desired stock for the investor. Once the deal is made, it is communicated to a broker and the investor then becomes a stockholder of that particular company.
Investors may decide to sell their stock. Usually investors want to sell their stock when the price per share increases so they can realize a profit on their investment. For example, a person may purchase 100 shares at the price of $25 per share. When the price increases to $35 per share, the person can sell the 100 shares and make a profit of $1,000.
The driving force behind the stock market is the basic economic principal of supply and demand. The number of stocks open to the public is the supply. The number of shares that investors what to purchase affects the demand of the stock in a certain company.
The constant change in the cost of stock is a result of conditions in other markets. For example, if people feel that the economy is growing they are apt to purchase more stocks. However, when the economy is in a decline, the majority of investors tend to sell off their stocks. On the flip side, some investors use this time to buy because the stock prices are usually at a discount.
There are quite a few business people who make long term investments in the stock market. In some situations, stocks go down in value and a stockholder loses money. There is no guaranteed profit when investing in the stock market. Thus, when a person is flexible and able to handle the constant changes of the stock exchange they are more likely to experience a profit.
So this is how the stock market works. In the end, patience, education and experience usually equals greater long term success.
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