The value of investments can fall as well as rise, and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Shares are the units of the ownership of a company, usually traded on the stock market. They are also known as stocks, or equities.

Shares definition

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.

Stock dividends

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.

With IG

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. 

 

Investing news

Visit our investing news section for the latest news and analysis, and where potential investment opportunities may lie.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - Y

See all glossary trading terms