Types of equaty Securities
Equity securities, traditionally, are classified into two types when they are issued. They are: Common Stock, and Preferred Stock.
Unlike in the West, where we find different classes of common stock with differing voting rights and rights to income and assets of the company, the equity stocks of all Indian joint stock companies belong to just one class. The rights and privileges conferred on the shareholders are all the same and they are enjoyable in proportion to one’s shareholding. With the coming into force of the Companies Amendment Act, 2000, companies are now allowed to issue shares with disproportionate voting rights.
The investment community in India, however, has its own categorization of equity stock, which is not on the basis of voting or any other right, but on the basis of the behavior of prices (and returns) of equity stocks. These categories include Blue chips, Growth stocks, Income stocks, Cyclical stocks, Defensive stocks, Speculative stocks, Glamor stocks.
Preferred stocks are a hybrid between a common stock and a bond. They have mixed features of both equity shares and debt securities. Each share of preferred stock is normally paid a guaranteed, relatively high dividend and has preference over common stock in the company's assets in the event of bankruptcy. In exchange for the higher income and safety, preferred shareholders miss out on large potential capital gains [or losses]. Owners of preferred stock generally do not have voting privileges. Preferred stock may have a convertibility feature into common stock. Preference dividend is payable only out of distributable profits. Generally, dividend on preference shares is cumulative. Hence, dividend not paid in one year has to be paid during the subsequent years before equity dividend is paid. All preference shares shall be redeemable within 20 years as per the Companies Act, 1956.
Preferred shares basically are higher in the pecking order in terms of who gets dividends or distributions first. Preferred shares may have the right to a certain amount of money before the common shares get any share, but at the same time these shares are non-voting. If the company is on the verge of closing in any manner, then the preferred shareholders can get voting power and take charge of the management. During liquidation of a company, preferred shareholders are paid before any payment is made to the common shareholders.
Mutual Fund Shares
A Mutual Fund is an investment company that pools investors’ money to invest in a diversified portfolio of securities that is managed by a professional fund manager. The investments may include stocks, bonds, options, futures, currencies, treasury bills and money market securities. Individual or Institutional investors who buy shares of a Mutual Fund (MF) become its owners or shareholders. They can make money from these securities in two ways: a security can pay dividends or interest to the Fund, or a security can rise in value. The benefits come along with the investment risks faced by the Fund including the possible loss of principal.