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Trading

A stock market, equity market or share market is the aggregation of buyers and sellers of stocks which represent ownership claims on businesses; these may include securities listed on a public stock exchange as well as those only traded privately. Examples of the latter include shares of private companies which are sold to investors through equity crowdfunding platforms. Stock exchanges list shares of common equity as well as other security types, e.g. corporate bonds and convertible bonds.

Shares

Shares are small pieces of a company. Shares can be bought by humans, companies, and mutual funds. When buying shares in a company, the buyer owns a small part of that company. The price of a share can be based on many different things. The main thing that affects the price is the balance between supply and demand. If many buyers want to buy a stock the price goes up. If there are more sellers than buyers, the price goes down.
Stock brokers
Some buyers trade shares in stocks through a stockbroker. A stockbroker is a person who buys or sell stocks for their customers. A stockbroker can also help customers make choices in stocks. Their advice is based on public information about the companies.

Stock exchange

A stock exchange is a place where, or an organization through which, individuals and organisations can trade stocks. Many large companies have their stock listed on a stock exchange. This makes the stock more liquid and thus more attractive to many investors. It may also act as a guarantor of settlement. Other stocks may be traded “over the counter” (OTC), that is, through a dealer.