In This Chapter
Making sense of stocks and stock tables
Investing in stocks for growth or income
Understanding bond ratings, maturity levels, and yields
Selecting the right types of bonds for your investment needs
Stocks and bonds are two of the most traditional investment vehicles — and many Americans are familiar with them. But just because they're familiar doesn't mean you don't have to make an effort to understand them. Successfully investing in stocks and bonds requires a realistic approach and quite a bit of know-how. This chapter gives you an overview.
Stocks represent ownership in companies, and stock markets are the places — either online (think NASDAQ) or in real, brick-and-mortar buildings (think the New York Stock Exchange) — where stocks are bought and sold. When you buy stock in a company, you get electronic confirmation of the trade, rather than a physical certificate, to prove how many shares you own.
The stock tables in major business publications, such as the Wall Street Journal and Investor's ...