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A stock is a way for entrepreneurs to finance businesses using money collected from investors. In return for putting in money to finance the company, the investor gets shares of stock that are "secured" by a claim on the assets and profits of a company.
When you buy a corporation's stock, you become part owner of the company. This ownership is also referred to as having equity in the company -- hence stocks are equity securities. As an owner, you are entitled to share in the company's earnings through dividend payments and to benefit from the company's growth through the increase in the market value of the stock you own. Shareholders elect the board of directors, thereby indirectly controlling the management of the company.
Equities / Stock rise or fall in value according to how attractive they are to buyers and the general conditions of the broad stock market. Shareholders' equity : In business and accounting, the shareholders' equity refers to the amount of assets that are owned by a company's shareholders.

  • TYPES OF SHARES / STOCKS

    Common Shares This is the most common form of shares an investor will encounter.
    Anyone can own common shares since there are no restrictions on who can purchase it?
    Common stockholders have the last claim on assets if the company dissolves after bondholders, other creditors, and preferred stockholders.

    Preferred Shares A company must pay dividends to its preferred stockholders before it can pay any dividends to its common stockholders. If a company goes bankrupt, preferred stockholders' claims on the company's assets are considered before those of the common stockholders

    Domestic and International Portfolios Equity portfolios that invest primarily in India companies are considered domestic equity portfolios. Equity portfolios that invest primarily in foreign companies are known as international equity portfolios.

    Value and growth stocks Value and growth refer to two distinct approaches to investing. Value stocks are stocks that are considered to be undervalued, either according to their book value or their current or projected earnings. These stocks can be those of smaller less well-known companies and may be more volatile than those of larger companies. Growth stocks are stocks that have shown or are expected to show rapid earnings and revenue growth. Historically, value and growth stocks have tended to show investment growth at different points in the economic cycle, which is why many investors include both of them as a method of diversifying their portfolios.

    Large company and small company stocks Stocks of large, well-established companies with a long earnings history are considered large capitalization equities or large company stocks. Performance of large company stocks can be more reliable than small stocks. That's because large companies often have broader, more diversified product offerings and stronger financial bases. In contrast, small companies often sell a more limited range of products, can have marginal financing and a relatively small management group, but they can grow faster than large companies, and their stocks reflect this. They often have the potential for fast growth, but more risk than larger companies. Once securities are issued to the public, investors may trade them among themselves. Purchase and sale of already-issued securities take place in the secondary markets i.e., BSE & NSE.

  • TYPES OF ORDERS

    An order is a request placed by an investor to buy or sell stock / shares according to certain specifications. Most investors use only a few of the many types of orders available. The three most widely used orders are market orders, limit orders, and stop orders.

    Market OrderAn order to buy or sell stock immediately at the best available market price. With this order, the investor would specify the stock and number of shares, but would not specify the time or price. It will be executed promptly, meaning within the next few minutes.

    Limit OrderAn order to buy stock at a specified price or lower or an order to sell stock at a specified price or higher. Here, the investor specifies the price at which to execute the order. The limit price is never the same as the market's current price.

    Buy Limit OrderThis type is used to buy stock at a price that is below the current market price. This type of order is placed when the investor feels that the price will decline within the next few weeks before bouncing back.

    Sell Limit OrderThis order is used to sell stock at a price that is higher than the current market price. The skill in this order is determining how far away from the market price to set the order.

    Stop OrderThis is an order that becomes a market order to buy or to sell when the stock trades at a specified price. It is used primarily to limit losses on profitable stock positions. When the stock's market price reaches the order's stop price, a stop order automatically becomes a market order and is then executed at the security's market price at the time.

    Sell Stop OrderAn order that is used to protect profits on a long stock position, or when the investor owns the stock. Thus, when the stock is held by the shareholder and the market value rapidly increases, to protect from any losses from an equally rapid decline, a sell stop order will sell at any indication of a drop.

    Buy Stop OrderA buy stop order is used to protect profits on a short stock position. Concerned that a price rise might cause the investor to lose the gain, placing a buy stop order at a certain level above the market price will ensure against this

  • ANALYSING STOCKS

    There are ten basic ingredients to look at when evaluating stocks:

    Industry RankingThis can be looked up on line or in Value Line

    TimelinessRelative price performance for the next twelve months

    SafetyAll stocks carry risk, but it is possible to calculate their relative risk; the narrower the band of fluctuation, the lower the rating, and the safer the stock

    DebtThe higher the debt the company is in, the higher the risk

    BetaCompares the volatility of a stock's price relative to that of the total market; the lower the beta, the less volatile

    Sales and Earningshigh levels of sales and earnings insinuates a higher growth rate

    Stock Pricelow stock prices allow you to buy more shares and makes it easier to buy shares in an even lot to reduce transaction costs

    Price-Earnings Ratioprice of a security divided by earnings per share

    Upside-Down Ratiohelps identify stocks whose prices are more likely to rise than fall by calculating this; evaluates the relative odds of potential gain versus the risk of loss for a given price per shares

    ManagementEverybody wants companies run by managers with solid track records that can bring the company to the next level of growth

  • TRADING

    Trading is a time-consuming adventure. Although there are a number of very famous and successful traders, many individuals ignore the fact that these traders are well equipped to trade and have all day to do so. Given the time and effort most successful traders put into their trading, the potential for amateurs to reap the same rewards with less effort and fewer resources is very low. With so much money competing in the one-day to one-year investment time-frame, an individual with a minimal amount of time will probably be more successful finding businesses to own for the long term and not trying to engage in high-octane, almost gambling like behavior. Traders normally use a mix of fundamental, quantitative, and technical techniques with a short term orientation. We have to emphasize here that successful trading requires careful attention, discipline, and a lot of work.

  • COMPOUNDING EFFECT

    As your investment returns, your returns will begin to gain as well. This allows you to turn a measly rupee into thousands of rupees if you leave it invested long enough. Thus, the more money you save and invest today, the more money you will have in the future for retirement, college tuition, a new car, etc.

    Recipe for real wealth Cup of awareness Cups of willingness Teaspoon of knowledge Tablespoon of research Teaspoon of ability Add a dollop of enthusiasm Season with miracle of compounding and patience Simmer with time until all ingredients are well blended Flavor will smell of real wealth

    Quick glossary of the most common risks investors face:

    Business RiskThe risk specific to a business, firm or property that may cause it to fail as a result of poor earnings from operations or poor management.

    Market or Volatility RiskUnrelated issues including world events, tax laws and the "mood" of the market can cumulatively affect securities prices resulting in changes in stock prices. While market or volatility risk is a significant short-term risk, it becomes less significant with time.

    Diversity RiskThis is the risk that goes along with putting all of your eggs in one basket. If you own only a few investments, or all of your investments are concentrated in a particular industry or geographic location, you are extremely vulnerable to loss if one of them performs poorly.

    Purchasing Power (Inflation) RiskAlthough not a short-term risk, in the long term, the cumulative effect of inflation risk erodes value and reduces returns and purchasing power.

    Company RiskEquity securities of small capitalization companies compared to large capitalization companies are subject to greater price volatility and risk due to companies small size, limited product lines, limited access to financing sources and limited management depth.

  • INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

    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. 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.

    Leverage StrategiesStock that a trader does not actually own may be traded using short selling and Margin buying.

    Short sellingIn short selling, the trader borrows stock (usually from his brokerage which holds its clients' shares or its own shares on account to lend to short sellers) then sells it on the market, hoping for the price to fall. The trader eventually buys back the stock, making money if the price fell in the meantime or losing money if it rose. Exiting a short position by buying back the stock is called "covering a short position." This strategy is also used by unscrupulous traders to lower the price of a stock. Hence most markets either prevent a short sell or place restrictions on when and how a short sell can occur. These restrictions are usually referred to as tick rule.

    Margin buyingIn margin buying, the trader borrows money (at interest) to buy a stock and hopes for it to rise. Most industrialized countries have regulations that require that if the borrowing is based on collateral from other stocks the trader owns outright, it can be a maximum of a certain percentage of those other stocks' value. Other rules may include the prohibition of free-riding: putting in an order to buy stocks without paying initially, and then selling them and using part of the proceeds to make the original payment Finally, one may trade based on inside information known as insider trading. However, this is illegal in most jurisdictions.

  • GLOSSARY

    Stock MarketThe stock market is distinct from a stock exchange, which is a corporation in the business of bringing buyers and sellers of stocks together. Although common, the term 'the stock market' is a somewhat abstract concept for the mechanism that enables the trading of company stocks. It is also used to describe the totality of all stocks, especially within one country, for example in the phrase "the stock market was up today", or in the term stock market bubble. The stock market is the market for the trading of company stock, both those securities listed on a stock exchange as well as those only traded privately.

    Stock Market IndicesStatistical tools that measure the state of the stock market or the economy, based on the performance of stocks and other components. The movements of the prices in a market or section of a market are captured in price indices called stock market indices, of which there are many, e.g., SENSEX, NIFTY, and many more. Such indices are usually market capitalization (the total market value of floating capital of the company) weighted, with the weights reflecting the contribution of the stock to the index. The constituents of the index are reviewed frequently to include/exclude stocks in order to reflect the changing business environment.
    Many choose to invest via the index method. In this method, one holds a market capitalization-weighted portfolio consisting of the entire stock market or some large index within the stock market. The aim of this strategy is not to try to guess which stocks will appreciate faster than others, but rather to maximize diversification, minimize taxes from trading, and ride the general trend of the stock market Participants in the stock market range from small private stock investors to large hedge fund traders, who can be based anywhere. Their orders end up with a professional at the stock exchange, who executes the order.

    BrokerA securities firm or an investment advisor associated with a firm. When acting as a broker for the purchase or sale of listed stock, the investment advisor does not own the securities him or herself, but acts as an agent for the buyer and seller and charges a commission for these services.

    Bull MarketA market in which prices are rising. A "bull" is a person who expects that the market or the price of a particular security will rise.

    Bear MarketA market in which prices are declining. A "bear" is a person who expects that the market or the price of a particular security will decline

    AssetSomething of value to a company or individual

    BetaA number that compares the volatility of a stock's price relative to that of the total market

    Book ValueThe current value of an asset on a company's balance sheet according to its accounting conventions

    Capital AppreciationHow much the underlying value of a security has increased

    Capital GainThe profit from the sale of a capital asset

    Dividend YieldAnnual Dividend/Price

    Rupee Cost AveragingInvesting a constant amount in a security at regular intervals, regardless of fluctuations in market price

    Earnings Per Share (EPS)The money that is left over after a company pays off all of its bills

    Market CapitalizationThe current market value of all of a company's shares outstanding

    Price/Earnings Ratio (P/E)To get a sense of how expensive or cheap a stock is, look at earnings relative to the stock price = share price/earnings per share

    Relative StrengthRates the performance of a stock versus the performance of the market as a whole over a given time period.

    RevenuesHow much the company has sold over a given period.

    UtilitiesA business that provides a service essential to almost everyone

    VolumeThe number of shares traded on a given day

    Looking for an easy and convenient way to trade in equity? Trust the best to help you make that smart investment decision.

    R. K. Stockholding brings to you Equity Investment, backed by in-depth research and advice from our Research Centre.To start trading in Equity, all you need to do is open an online trading account. Choose from our wide range of accounts to suit your investment needs. You can call us at 011- 40564444 and we will have our representative meet you. You can get help opening the account and get guidance on how to start. You can also place an online order.

    To know more about investing in equities email us at: equities@rkfml.com.