Get started with investing by understanding the basics: stocks and bonds.

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There’s a lot of investment lingo out there. Do you ever feel like you don’t know where to start? Let’s tackle two of the most basic investing types you should know: Stocks and Bonds

Let’s start with Stocks.

When a company needs money to expand or grow their business, they can sell stock to the public. In exchange for that money, the INVESTORS (the people who buy a stock) now “own” a piece of that company. Investors can make money on stocks by buying them when they have a lower value and selling them when they have more value. Investors can also make money by sharing in a regular payout from the company to its shareholders, something that’s also known as DIVIDENDS. Not all companies pay regular dividends, but when they occur, dividends and changes in share price are both part of total return, which is your total gain or loss on an investment.

What about Bonds?

When you buy a bond, you are actually loaning money to a company, government, or government agency. The money is typically used for things like construction and other projects. During the life of the bond, an investor gets paid interest at steady, predetermined times. Interest is basically the money you are given by the borrower in return for lending them the money. At the end of the loan’s life, the borrower returns the money you initially lent them. You can trade bonds in the market, just like you can trade a stock. Bonds are considered less risky investments than stocks, but they also typically have lower total returns.

So what did we learn?

A Stock: A share in the ownership of a company

A Bond: An interest-earning loan you make to a company or government.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, Rhode Island, 02917

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