A stock is a piece of a business that you own without owning the entire company. You own shares or stock of a company. Let’s say you love McDonald’s, you can own a piece of the company by simply buying shares or stocks of that company. You can buy one share or thousands depending on how much you’re willing to pay for it and how much it cost for one share.
The Stock Market is where people known as brokers handle these transactions for you for a price (commission). So let’s say you open an account with an online broker like and deposit $1,000.00. You can go online and simply buy McDonald’s stock by entering the stock symbol (MCD) for McDonald’s Corporation, the numbers of shares you want to buy and submit your order, it’s that simple. In a matter of seconds your order will be filled or completed. Your commision cost will range in price, but for the most part it ranges between $6.00-$15.00 per transaction. You have immediate access to that information online via your account. I will explain in more detail on how a company is able to sell to the public in another section, but for now just know that you can own stock of any company you want as long as their are traded publicly.
One of the first things you can do is open an on-line brokerage account that you can simply manage yourself. It’s like managing your check book, but a bit more sophisticated, but it’s easy. There is a lot more to learn, but just know that you can buy stock very easy. It doesn’t take one to be a college grad or a finance executive to buy shares of a company.
Every day millions of shares are traded in the US stock exchanges as well as many other exchanges throughout the world. All the major countries in the world now have stock exchanges. We live in a global economy where we can now buy shares of companies in other countries very easily.