Shares has a particular significance in relation to IG's platform. Here, we define shares in general investing and explain what it means to you when trading with IG.
Shares are the units of the ownership of a company, usually traded on the stock market. They are also known as stocks, or equities.
The total number of outstanding shares in a company is equal to its value on the market, or its market cap.
When a company makes a profit, it can choose to give part of it back to its shareholders in the form of a dividend. Some companies do not offer dividends to shareholders; investors in companies without a dividend will hope to profit when the shares they own increase in value, and can be sold for profit.
Shares are usually traded on stock exchanges, with the use of electronic order books. To trade shares on an exchange, most traders will use a stock broker.
We offer a variety of different ways to trade shares. You can buy and sell shares with our execution-only share dealing service, or use CFDs and spread bets to speculate on the price movements of shares without taking ownership of them.