Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Shares and Stocks

Shares vs. Stocks

While even speaking to a financial advisor on Wall Street may not clarify a huge difference between the terms “shares” and “stocks,” there are small distinctions, outside of the spelling, of both words. In the American financial market, stocks and shares are related to the money market and the trading and investment into various businesses, products, and corporations. When a person purchases any part of a business’s assets, they are considered to be dealing with the economic trading of that particular company. Investors who are seeking to purchase into a particular company should understand that the terms “shares” and “stocks” may be used interchangeably and that it does not indicate two different legal terms. It is here that shares and stocks become confused with one another; however, rather than a physical difference that might be had between the two there is a grammatical difference.

Shares are typically used as a reference to certain ownership certificates of any particular company that you are seeking to invest in. Even business is divided into shares, and the person who owns the most shares of a company is essentially the person who is heading up that corporation. The more money that is invested into a corporation or business, the more shares from that company a person owns. A shareholder is anyone who even owns the smallest percentage of shares of a particular company. That person also has income received from the shares they own. Shares can be translated into a percentage of what the company has and what percentage your shares represent from the company entirely.

Stock is the overall ownership and investment into a business. A person can say they own stock in a particular company; however, this is in no way explains how many shares a person owns. “Stock” can be used as a generalization of the person’s involvement in the money market. Stocks can be used in referring to investments in more than one company where there are shares of ownership in more than one. However, the term “stocks” is fading for the more “modern” word “shares.”
In essence, stocks and shares are referring to the same thing merely different contexts in which either word should appropriately be used.


1.Shares and stocks both have reference to the financial and investment market that involves businesses, products, and large corporation investment opportunities. Investors must buy into these companies in order to obtain part of the profit from their financial increases.

2.A “share” refers to the certain amount of ownership certificates that a person has purchased for a particular company. The more shares purchased, the more ownership you take in a company.

3.A “stock” refers to the ownership in general of a certain company speaking outside of the number of shares that you specifically own. Stock is used to refer to the investment in multiple companies as well.

4.The words “stocks” and “shares” are used interchangeably, and there is no real legal or technical difference in the two.

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1 Comment

  1. Now explain the difference between “share” and “stock” that exists to this day in Britain (and in India, as well as some other parts of the former empire). Since the mid-19th century in the UK, a company with a share capital could convert fully paid-up shares into “stock” — and later reconvert stock back into shares, if it chose. The UK Companies Act 2006 repealed such initial conversion (effective in 2009), but companies that already have “stock” are not required to reconvert it. Thus, a company’s share capital can still consist of shares or stock or a mix of both, and holdings of shares are different from holdings of stock. Both are equity holdings in the company, but in this context the words are NOT interchangeable.

    The practical difference seems to be minor: shares could be transferred only in whole-number quantities, whereas stock could be transferred in any fractional amount.

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