How Does Stock Market Work

Table of Contents

Definition of Stock

What is Stock-Exchange?

How Share Prices Are Set

Benefits of an Exchange Listing

Problems of an Exchange Listing

Investing in Stocks

Largest Stock Market Exchange

If the considered investing within the inventory market scares you, you should not alone. People with very- limited experience in equity investments are either afraid of horror stories that average-investor will lose 50% of their portfolio value- For example, in the two bear markets that have already taken place this millennium — or are seduced by hot tips. This promises great rewards but rarely pays off. It is therefore not surprising that the pendulum in investment sentiment is said to fluctuate between fear and greed.

The reality is that investing in the stock market involves risks. However, if you are disciplined, it is one of the most efficient ways to build your wealth. While the value of your own home tends to make up most of the average person is net worth, most of the wealthy and very rich have generally invested most of their wealth in stocks. To understand the mechanics of the stock market, let us first look at the definition of a stock and its different types.

• A company is stocks or shares represent the company is equity, which gives shareholders voting rights and a residual right to company profits in the form of capital gains and dividends.

• In the stock markets, individual and institutional investors come together to buy and sell stocks in a public place. Now, these changes are like e-commerce.

• Stock prices are determined by supply and demand in the market when buyers and sellers place orders. The order flow and the bid-ask spreads are often maintained by specialists or market makers to ensure an orderly and fair market.

Definition of Stock

A stock or share (also known as the equity of a company) is a financial instrument that represents ownership of a company or corporation, and a pro-rata claim to its assets (what it owns) and its earnings (what it generates in profit) represents.

Share-ownership means that the shareholder owns a portion of the company equal to the number of shares held to the total number of shares outstanding in the company. For example, an individual or company that owns 100,000 shares of a company with one million shares outstanding would own 10% of the shares. Most companies have stocks outstanding in millions or billions.

Common and Preferred Stock

While there are two main types of stocks — common and preferred stocks — the term stocks are synonymous with common stocks because their combined market value and trading volume are many orders of magnitude greater than that of preferred stocks.

The main difference between the two is that common stocks usually have voting rights that allow the common stockholder to have a say at the company meetings (such as the general meeting or the general meeting) — voting on issues such as election to the board of directors or the appointment of auditors. As a rule, preference shares do not have voting rights. Preferred stocks are so named because they have a preference over common stocks in a company to receive dividends as well as assets in the event of the liquidation.

Ordinary shares can be further classified according to their voting rights. While the basic requirement for common stocks is that they should have the same voting rights — one vote per share held. In such a dual-class structure, for example, Class Shares may have 10 votes per share, while Class B Subordinate Voting Shares may only have one vote per share. Share structures with two or more classes should enable the founders of a company to control its assets, its strategic direction, and its ability to innovate.

Why a Company Issues Shares

Today is corporate giant probably begun as a small private company founded a few decades ago by a visionary founder.

However, such rapid growth requires access to an enormous amount of capital. To make the transition from an idea that sprouts in an entrepreneur’s brain to an operational business, he or she needs to rent an office or factory, hire people, buy equipment and raw materials, and set up a distribution network, among other things. These resources require significant amounts of capital depending on the size and scale of the business start-up.

Raising Capital

A start-up can raise this capital either by selling shares (equity financing) or by borrowing (debt financing). Leverage can be the problem for a start-up as it may have few assets to pledge for a loan — especially in sectors like technology or biotechnology where a company has few tangible assets — and the interest on A financial-burden on credit would be the early days when the business may not have sales or income.

Equity financing is, therefore- the preferred route for most start-ups in need of capital. The entrepreneur can initially raise funds from personal savings and friends and family to get the business off the ground. As the business expands and capital requirements increase, the entrepreneur can turn to angel investors and venture capital firms.

Listing Shares

When a business settles down, it may need access to much larger amounts of capital than it can get from ongoing operations or a traditional bank loan. This can be done by selling shares to the public as part of an initial public offering (IPO). This changes the company’s status from a private company whose shares are held by a few shareholders to a publicly-traded company whose shares are held by numerous members of the general public. The IPO also gives early investors to the company the opportunity to cash out a portion of their stake, often with very- attractive rewards.

Once the company’s shares are listed on a stock exchange and, trading begins, the price of those stocks fluctuates as investors and traders evaluate and re-evaluate their intrinsic value. Some many different measures and metrics that can be used to value stocks. The most popular metric is probably the price-performance ratio (PE ratio). Inventory analysis also tends to fall into one of two camps — fundamental analysis or technical analysis.

What is the Stock Exchange?

Exchanges are secondary markets where existing stockholders can do business with potential buyers. It is important to understand that companies listed in the stock markets do not buy and sell their shares regularly (companies can buy back shares or issue new shares, but this is not an everyday deal and often occurs outside of the framework of an exchange). So when you buy a stock on the stock exchange, you are not buying it from the company but another existing shareholder. When you sell your stocks, you are not selling them back to the company, but another investor.

The first stock markets appeared in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, mainly in port cities or trading centers such as Antwerp, Amsterdam, and London. However, these early exchanges were more like bond exchanges in that the small number of companies issued no equity. Most of the early companies were considered semi-public organizations as they had to be chartered by their government to do business.

Stock markets began to emerge in America in the late 18th century, particularly the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), where stocks could be traded. The honor of the first exchange in America goes to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX), which continues to this day. The NYSE was founded in 1792 with the signing of the Buttonwood Agreement by 24 New York stockbrokers and traders. Before this official incorporation, dealers and brokers met unofficially under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street to buy and sell stocks.

The advent of modern stock markets ushered in an age of regulation and professionalizing that now ensures that buyers and sellers of stocks can be confident that their transactions will be completed at a fair price and within a reasonable time. Today there are many exchanges in the US and around the world, many of which are electronically linked. This turn means that the markets are more efficient and liquid.

Some loosely regulated over-the-counter Exchanges are sometimes referred to as bulletin boards, which operate under the acronym OTCBB. OTCBB stocks tend to be riskier as they list companies that do not meet the stricter listing criteria of larger exchanges. For example, larger exchanges may require that a company has been operational for a certain amount of time before listing and that there are certain conditions related to company value and profitability.

How Share Prices Are Set

The prices of stocks on an exchange can be set in many ways. Most commonly, however, an auction process is conducted in which buyers and sellers submit bids and offers to buy or sell. A bid is a price someone wants to buy, and an offer (or inquiry) is the price someone wants to sell at. When the bid and ask coincide, a trade is closed.

The overall market is made up of millions of investors and traders who may have different ideas about the value of a particular stock, and thus the price at which they are willing to buy or sell it. The thousands of transactions that occur when these investors and traders turn their intentions into action by buying and/or selling stock cause fluctuations by the minute over a trading day.

The change provides a platform for potential customers and vendors to make such marketing easier. For the average person to gain access to these exchanges, they need a stockbroker. This stockbroker acts as an intermediary between buyer and seller. A stockbroker is most often reached by setting up an account with an established retail broker.

Stock Market Supply and Demand

The exchange also provides a fascinating example of the laws of supply and demand at work in real-time. There must be a buyer and a seller for every warehouse transaction. Because of the immutable laws of supply and demand, the stock price rises when there are more buyers than sellers for a particular stock. Conversely, if there are more sellers than buyers, the price will tend to decline.

The bid-ask or bid-offer spread — the difference between the bid price for a stock and the ask or offer price — represents the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay or bid for a Stock and the lowest price at which a seller offers the stock. A trade occurs either when a buyer accepts the asking price or the seller accepts the bid price.

If buyers are more sellers than sellers, they may be willing to raise their bids to buy the stock. Sellers will, therefore, charge higher prices, which increases the price. If the number of sellers is higher than the number of buyers, they may be willing to take lower bids for the stock while buyers also lower their bids, effectively lowering the price.

Matching Buyers to Sellers

Some stock markets rely on professional traders to maintain continuous bids and offers as a motivated buyer or seller may not find one another at any given time. A two-sided market consists of the bid and the offer, and the spread is the price difference between the bid and the offer.

The narrower the price range and the larger the bids and offers (the number of stocks on each side), the greater the liquidity of the stock. Also, when there are many buyers and sellers at successively higher and lower prices, the market should have good depth. High-quality stock markets generally have small bid-ask spreads, high liquidity, and good depth. Likewise, individual high-quality stocks in large companies tend to share the same characteristics.

The allocation of buyers and sellers of shares on a stock exchange was originally carried out manually but is increasingly carried out using computer-aided trading systems.

However, the open outcry system has been superseded by electronic trading systems on most exchanges. These systems can bring buyers and sellers together much more efficiently and faster than humans. It results in significant benefits such- as lower trading costs and faster trade execution.

Benefits of Stock Exchange Listing

Until recently, the ultimate-goal, of an entrepreneur was to list their company on a reputable stock exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the Nasdaq, because of the obvious benefits of:

A stock exchange listing means liquidity for stocks held by the company’s shareholders.

It enables the company to raise additional funds by issuing more shares.

Having publicly traded stocks make it easier for you to create stock option plans that are necessary to attract talented employees.

Listed companies are more visible in the market. Analyst reporting and demand from institutional investors can drive stock prices higher.

The listed company may be used as payment for the acquisition of certain or all of the shares in the stock.

These advantages mean that most large companies are public rather than private. Very- large private companies like the food and agricultural giant Cargill, the industrial conglomerate Koch Industries, and the DIY furniture retailer Idea are among the most valuable private companies in the world and are more the exception than the norm.

Problems of Stock Exchange Listing

However, listing on an exchange has some disadvantages, such as:

Significant costs associated with being listed on an exchange, such as listing fees and higher costs associated with compliance and reporting.

Complex regulations that can limit the legal capacity of a company.

The short-term focus of most investors, forcing companies to exceed their quarterly earnings estimates rather than pursuing their corporate strategy over the long term.

Many giant start-ups (also known as “unicorns” because start-ups valued at more than $ 1 billion used to be extremely rare) choose to be listed on an exchange much later than start-ups a decade or two ago. While If this was delayed, the listing may- be partly due to the disadvantages listed above.

The main reason could be that well-run start-ups with strong business proposition have access to unprecedented amounts of capital from sovereign wealth funds, private equity, and venture capitalists. Such access to seemingly unlimited amounts of capital would make going public and listing less urgency for a start-up.

The number of publicly-traded companies in the US is also falling — from more than 8,000 in 1996 to around 4,100 to 4,400 in 2017.

Investing in Stocks

Numerous studies have shown that, over long periods, stocks achieve investment returns that are superior to any other asset class. Stock returns come from capital gains and dividends. Capital-gain occurs when you sell a stock at a price higher than the price at which you bought it. A dividend is the percentage of profits that a company pays out to its shareholders. Dividends are a very- important part of inventory returns — since 1956, dividends hold contributed almost a 3rd of whole inventory returns, whereas capital features own contributed two thirds.

While the appeal of buying a stock that resembles one of the legendary FAANG quintets — Facebook, Apple Inc. (APPLE), Inc. (AMZN), Netflix Inc. (NFLX), and Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGLE) — At its very early stage is one of the most enticing prospects for stock investing, In reality, there are few such home runs.

Investors looking for fences with the stocks in their portfolios should be more risk-tolerant. These investors will want most of their return from capital gains rather than dividends. On the flip side, investors who are conservative and need the income from their portfolios can opt for stocks that have long been paying significant dividends.

Market Cap and Sector

While stocks can be classified in several ways, two of the most common is by market capitalization and by sector.

Market capitalization refers to the total market value of a company’s outstanding shares and is calculated by multiplying those shares by the current market price of a share. While the Actual-definition may vary by market, large-cap companies are generally considered to have a market capitalization of $ 10 billion or more, while mid-cap companies are considered companies. USD are small-cap companies falling between $ 300 billion and $ 2 billion.

The industry standard for classifying stocks by sector is the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS), which was developed in 1999 by MSCI and S&P Dow Jones Indices as an efficient tool for capturing the breadth, depth, and development of industrial sectors. GICS is a four-level industry classification system consisting of 11 sectors and 24 branch groups. The 11 sectors are:




Consumer Discretionary

Consumer staples

Health care


Information technology

Communication services


Real Estate 20

This sector classification makes it easier for investors to adjust their portfolios according to their risk tolerance and investment preferences. For example, conservative traders with pay wants can weight their portfolios by sectors whose constituents possess higher value stability and engaging dividends — so-called “defensive” sectors reminiscent of consumer staples, health care, and utilities. Aggressive investors may prefer more volatile sectors such- as information technology, finance, and energy.

Stock Market Indices

In addition to individual stocks, many investors deal with stock indices (also called indices). Indices represent the aggregate prices of several different stocks, and the movement of an index is the net effect of the movements of each component. When people talk about the stock market, they are often referring to one of the major indices like the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) or the S&P 500.

The DJIA is a price-weighted index of 30 large American companies. Because of its weighting scheme and the fact that it’s only made up of 30 stocks — when there are many thousands to choose from — it’s not a good indicator of how the inventory market is doing.

The S&P 500 is a market capitalization-weighted index of the 500 largest companies in the US and a much more valid indicator.21 Indices can be broad, e.g., the Dow Jones or the S&P 500, or they can be specific to a certain industry or market sector. Investors can trade indices indirectly via futures markets or via Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), which are traded on stock exchanges like stocks.

A market-index is a well-liked degree of inventory market performance. Most market indices are weighted by market capitalization — which means that the weight of each index constituent is proportional to its market capitalization — although some are price-weighted like the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).

In addition to the DJIA, others to those in the US and widely internationally Common indices include:

S&P 500

Nasdaq Composite

Russell indices (Russell 1000, Russell 2000)

TSX Composite (Canada)

FTSE index (UK)

Nikkei 225 (Japan)

Dax Index (Germany)

CAC 40 Index (France)

CSI 300 Index (China)

Sensex (India)

Largest Stock Exchange

The stock market has been around for over two centuries. The venerable NYSE dates back to 1792 when two dozen brokers met in Lower Manhattan and signed an agreement to trade securities on commission. In 1817, the New York stockbrokers operating under this agreement made some important changes and organized themselves into the New York Stock and Exchange Board.

How the stock market works

The NYSE and Nasdaq are the two largest stock exchanges in the world based on the total market capitalization of all companies listed on the stock exchange. The number of US stock exchanges registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission has reached nearly two dozen, though most of them are owned by CBOE, Nasdaq, or NYSE.

I am an Architect by Profession and deals with Valuation of properties (Land and Building) and other various kinds of Loans with Banks and other institutions.