Residual Equity Theory


DEFINITION of 'Residual Equity Theory '

An accounting concept that says that common stockholders take the greatest risk when they buy into a company; therefore, they should have sufficient information about the company's financial standing and performance to make sound investment decisions. Residual equity is calculated by subtracting the claims of bondholders and preferred shareholders from the company's total assets.

BREAKING DOWN 'Residual Equity Theory '

Residual equity theory was developed by George Staubus, Professor Emeritus of Accounting at Berkeley's Haas School of Business. A company's residual equity holders take the greatest risk of all the company's stakeholders because they are the last in line to be repaid if the company goes under. Residual equity theory is one of several equity theories; the others are proprietary theory and entity theory.

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  1. What is the difference between preferred stock and common stock?

    Preferred and common stocks are different in two key aspects. First, preferred stockholders have a greater claim to a company's ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why do some preferred stocks have a higher yield than common stocks?

    Before we answer this question, let's just take a quick review of what a stock's yield is actually measuring. The yield is ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why would a company have multiple share classes, and what are super voting shares?

    Firstly, do not confuse different classes of common stock with preferred stock. Preferred shares are an entirely different ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can working capital be depreciated?

    Working capital as current assets cannot be depreciated the way long-term, fixed assets are. In accounting, depreciation ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do working capital funds expire?

    While working capital funds do not expire, the working capital figure does change over time. This is because it is calculated ... Read Full Answer >>
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