What Are Stocks and Why Own Them?

So, what are stocks? A stock is in simple terms, a piece of paper stating that you own a share of a company. But what do you really own? Let’s take the company Apple (AAPL) as an example. If you buy a share of AAPL, this does not mean that you own everything Apple related. Instead, a stock states that you, the investor, have proportionate ownership in the issuing company. Corporations will sell shares of their company to raise capital and funds that they can use to further grow their business. If the company does well, the investor gets to keep any capital gains made from the ownership of the stock.

Now, What is Volatility?

Volatility is simply the fluctuation of the share price of a stock. In the video, Greg gives a great example using AAPL to demonstrate how volatility can be influenced by investors competing for profit. But the truth is, stock volatility is no simple matter. In fact, investors aren’t just buying today’s profits. People want to buy today’s profits, tomorrow’s profits, next year’s profits etc. Figuring out what the future profits will be, takes a lot more skill and analysis, but the concept is still the same; today’s stock price is influenced by the perceived profits the company will hopefully make in the future. Company updates, market news, or even articles written about the company or the market can influence the volatility of a company’s stock.

The Inevitability of Stock Volatility

It’s important to keep in mind that volatility is inevitable. People are emotional, which can and will lead to downturns in the market. However, when the market dips it’s important to remember that it’s only temporary. If we look at the long-term average of stocks, they’re still up. Volatility is a natural part of investing. If you truly want to accomplish your financial goals and make a profit it is crucial that you invest for the long run.
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