What Are Securities?

What Are Securities?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

Securities, in simple terms, are financial instruments that hold some sort of monetary value. They represent an ownership position in a publicly-traded corporation (via stock), a creditor relationship with a governmental body or a corporation (represented by owning that entity’s bond), or rights to ownership as represented by an option. They are tradable and fungible, meaning they are exchangeable for something else of equal value.

Related Questions

1. What are the types of securities?

Securities are typically categorized into three broad types: Equities (such as shares of stock), debts (like bonds), and derivatives (e.g., options).

2. What is the function of securities in the financial market?

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Securities perform several important functions in the economy. They help firms and governments to raise capital, provide a way for investors to diversify their portfolios, and give lenders a means of transferring risk.

3. What are the risks associated with investing in securities?

Investors face different types of risk in securities. Market risks, economic factors, inflation and interest rates are some of the most significant. Furthermore, individual companies may also face business or credit risk, and international investors may face risks from exchange rates.

4. How are securities traded?

Securities are often traded on securities exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange. Some securities are traded over-the-counter, which means they are bought and sold via a network of dealers rather than on a centralized exchange.

5. How do I invest in securities?

You can invest in securities by buying them through a brokerage account. You’ll need to open an account, deposit money, and then you can use that money to buy securities. Do your research or consult with a financial advisor to understand which type of security is suitable for your investment goals.