Shares, stocks, securities

The above terms are often used interchangeably. Nevertheless, there are subtle differences that we will review below.


  • Shares refer to units of ownership in a company.
  • When you buy shares, you own a portion of that company equal to the number of shares you purchased ie you become a shareholder.
  • The more shares you own, the greater your ownership stake in the company.


  • Stocks, also known as equities, are securities that represent ownership in a corporation.
  • When an individual buys stocks, they become a shareholder and are entitled to a portion of the company’s profits and assets, as well as the right to vote on certain company decisions.
  • Stocks can be bought and sold on stock exchanges, such as the NYSE and NASDAQ.


  • Securities refer to financial instruments that have monetary value and can be traded.
  • Securities include stocks, bonds, options, and derivatives.
  • Securities represent a right to ownership in an asset or a claim to future earnings.

In summary, all stocks are securities, but not all securities are stocks.