Terms of Use:     

Common stock is an investment in the ownership, or equity, of a corporation. Common shareholders are usually entitled to vote on the selection of directors as well as other important corporate matters. They expect a return on their investment from the dividends paid by the corporation as well as anticipated appreciation in the market value of the stock as the company prospers. The common shareholders are owners, and their right to corporate assets on liquidation is junior to the claims of secured and unsecured creditors, corporate bondholders, and the preferred shareholders.