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About Stock Market

Stock market and stock exchange mean virtually the same thing. And that, Webster says, is defined as: a place where stocks and other securities are publicly bought and sold; also, an association of dealers conducting such business according to fixed rules. Stock represents the capital of a business, represented by shares. Securities are certificates showing ownership of financial stocks or bonds, and may be listed on a stock exchange or traded privately.

The purpose of a stock exchange is to facilitate the switch in ownership of securities between buyers and sellers, thus providing a marketplace. Stock exchanges provide real-time trading information on the listed securities.

Selling shares on the stock market is one of the most important methods for companies to raise money. Being publicly traded allows a business to raise additional capital for expansion by selling shares of ownership. The liquidity that a stock offering 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.

Participants in trading on the stock market range from smalltime individual investors to large hedge-fund traders who might be based anywhere in the world. Their orders go through a professional at the stock exchange who executes the order.

Learning all about the stock market isn't a quick process, but most adults with an average education are quite capable of learning how the stock market works. There are any number of books and publications devoted to the subject, as well as videos, stock market simulation games, and downloadable software - all of which enables you to learn the stock market at your own pace and to the depth of knowledge you desire.

There are also numerous online brokerage companies, with a great deal of general information on their sites, plus specific sites such as Investopedia, Motley Fool, Marketwatch, and Google Finance, which are all useful in coming to grips with understanding basic and more complex investing terms and strategies.

Stocks are listed and traded on stock exchanges. All over the world those are entities of either a corporation or mutual organization specializing in the business of bringing sellers and buyers of listed stocks and securities together. In the U.S. the stock market is NYSE, the New York Stock Exchange. What has become the "other" American stock exchange is NASDAQ, the largest electronic equities trading market anywhere.

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