Main Street

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Main Street'

A colloquial term used to refer to individual investors, employees and the overall economy. "Main Street" is typically contrasted with "Wall Street." The latter refers to the financial markets, major financial institutions and big corporations, as well as the high-level employees, managers and executives of those firms. You'll often hear about Main Street vs. Wall Street in rhetoric about the differing goals, knowledge levels, interests and political power of these two groups. Some people think that what's good for one group is bad for the other. For example, high executive pay is seen to conflict with ordinary workers' pay and job security.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Main Street'

Main Street can also describe a small, independent investment company (i.e., a Main Street firm) as opposed to one of the large, globally recognized Wall Street investment firms. Wall Street firms tend to serve large investors with multi-million dollar assets, like institutions, while Main Street firms tend to be better suited to serving small, individual investors by providing more personalized service.



RELATED TERMS
  1. High Street Bank

    A term originating in the U.K. to refer to large retail banks ...
  2. Retail Investor

    Individual investors who buy and sell securities for their personal ...
  3. Bay Street

    A street in Toronto, Canada that is home to several major banks, ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of ...
  5. Wall Street

    1. A street in lower Manhattan that is the original home of the ...
  6. Mobile First Strategy

    Mobile first strategy is trend in website development where designing ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What does the saying "What's good for Wall Street is bad for Main Street" mean?

    Let's start by defining the terms "Wall Street" and "Main Street". Wall Street, in its broadest sense, refers to the financial ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Stock Basics Tutorial

    If you're new to the stock market and want the basics, this is the tutorial for you!
  2. Investing Basics

    Manage My Own Investments? Are You Kidding?

    Investors need not rely on professional advisors, but going it alone isn't easy.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Stocks Are No.1

    Historically, stocks provide the highest returns - but only under certain conditions.
  4. Options & Futures

    Investing 101: A Tutorial For Beginner Investors

    Do want to invest, but don't know how to begin? We'll show you the building blocks you need to get started.
  5. Investing

    Wizards Of Odd: A Trip To Tech Land

    I spent a couple of days in Silicon Valley, and here are some key lessons I learned after meeting with a number of tech CEOs and venture capitalist.
  6. Investing Basics

    Explaining Market Value of Equity

    Market value of equity is the total value of all the outstanding stock as measured in the stock market at a particular time.
  7. Investing Basics

    What is Spread?

    Spread has several slightly different meanings depending on the context. Generally, spread refers to the difference between two comparable measures.
  8. Economics

    What is the Breakeven Point?

    In general, when gains or revenue earned equals the money spent to earn the gains or revenue, you’ve hit the breakeven point.
  9. Stock Analysis

    What is the Price-to-Sales Ratio?

    The price-to-sales ratio is an indicator of the value placed on each dollar of a company’s sales or revenues.
  10. Investing Basics

    What is Treasury Stock?

    Treasury stock is a company’s own stock that it holds in its treasury for later use.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Asset Class

    A group of securities that exhibit similar characteristics, behave similarly in the marketplace, and are subject to the same ...
  2. Fiat Money

    Currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but is not backed by a physical commodity. The value of fiat ...
  3. Interest Rate Risk

    The risk that an investment's value will change due to a change in the absolute level of interest rates, in the spread between ...
  4. Income Effect

    In the context of economic theory, the income effect is the change in an individual's or economy's income and how that change ...
  5. Price-To-Sales Ratio - PSR

    A valuation ratio that compares a company’s stock price to its revenues. The price-to-sales ratio is an indicator of the ...
  6. Hurdle Rate

    The minimum rate of return on a project or investment required by a manager or investor. In order to compensate for risk, ...
Trading Center