Common Stock

Shares of Common Stock represent ownership in a corporation. As a partial owner of a corporation, the value of your shares generally depends upon how well the corporation performs. If its business is doing well, with growing and increasing profits, then the per share value of the stock will normally go up. On the other hand, if the corporation does poorly, the value of the shares will probably drop. Stocks do involve risk, but can provide the potential for impressive returns.

Some Common Stocks pay dividends or earnings from the corporate business. Other corporations plow all their profits back into the corporation to make it grow. Because of such characteristics, different Common Stocks are grouped into varied categories as income-oriented stocks, growth stocks, blue chip stocks, utility stocks or high growth stocks. Such categorization is based upon the company's past record only. It's no guarantee of future performance.

Suggested Links for Additional Information on Stock
(pages open in a second browser window)

Types of Stock
An overview of common and prefered stock.

What is a Stock
An overview of stock in general.