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Understanding Common and Preferred Stocks


a digital board shows green and red numbers representing stocks and changes on a black background

When delving into the world of stock investing, it's essential to understand the key differences between common and preferred stocks. Both types of stocks represent ownership in a company, but they come with distinct characteristics that cater to different investor preferences and risk appetites.


Common stocks are the most prevalent type of equity investment, offering individuals partial ownership in a company. Shareholders of common stock have voting rights, allowing them to participate in important corporate decisions, such as electing the board of directors. While common stockholders have the potential for substantial returns through capital appreciation, they are also exposed to higher risk compared to preferred shareholders. In the event of bankruptcy or liquidation, common shareholders are the last to receive proceeds after debt holders and preferred shareholders are paid.


Preferred stocks, on the other hand, represent a hybrid between common stocks and bonds. Preferred shareholders do not typically have voting rights but are entitled to fixed dividends, which are usually higher than the dividends paid to common shareholders. In the event of company liquidation, preferred shareholders have a priority claim over common shareholders, making them more likely to receive dividends and their initial investment back. This feature provides a level of stability and income generation, attracting risk-averse investors seeking steady cash flow without full exposure to the volatility of common stocks.


As an investor, understanding the differences between common and preferred stocks is crucial in building a diversified and balanced portfolio. Common stocks offer potential for higher returns but come with greater risk and uncertainty, making them suitable for growth-oriented investors. Moreover, preferred stocks appeal to income-focused investors seeking stable dividends and priority claim during company liquidation. Ultimately, striking a balance between these two types of stocks based on individual investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon can lead to a well-rounded investment strategy that aligns with one's financial objectives. It is always recommended to consult with a financial advisor to tailor your portfolio to your unique circumstances and investment preferences, so contact us today and get started on perfecting your portfolio!



Want to learn more about the differences between common and preferred stocks? Check out the Futurity Wealth Management blog below!



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