Security

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Security'

A financial instrument that represents: an ownership position in a publicly-traded corporation (stock), a creditor relationship with governmental body or a corporation (bond), or rights to ownership as represented by an option. A security is a fungible, negotiable financial instrument that represents some type of financial value. The company or entity that issues the security is known as the issuer.

For example, the issuer of a bond issue may be a municipal government raising funds for a particular project. Investors of securities may be retail investors - those who buy and sell securities on their own behalf and not for an organization - and wholesale investors - financial institutions acting on behalf of clients or acting on their own account. Institutional investors include investment banks, pension funds, managed funds and insurance companies.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Security'

Securities are typically divided into debt securities and equities. A debt security is a type of security that represents money that is borrowed that must be repaid, with terms that define the amount borrowed, interest rate and maturity/renewal date. Debt securities include government and corporate bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), preferred stock and collateralized securities (such as CDOs and CMOs).

Equities represent ownership interest held by shareholders in a corporation, such as a stock. Unlike holders of debt securities who generally receive only interest and the repayment of the principal, holders of equity securities are able to profit from capital gains.

In the United States, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other self-regulatory organizations (such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) regulate the public offer and sale of securities.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Portfolio Investment

    A holding of an asset in a portfolio. A portfolio investment ...
  2. Shareholder

    Any person, company or other institution that owns at least one ...
  3. Generic Securities

    A security backed by recently issued loans or mortgages. Its ...
  4. Corporation

    A legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. ...
  5. Earnings

    The amount of profit that a company produces during a specific ...
  6. Watch List

    1. A list of securities being monitored closely by a brokerage ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Is an earnings surprise priced into the opening value by market makers or does the ...

    An earnings surprise is an event where the earnings of a company are greater or lower than the predictions put forth by analysts, ... 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

    Active Investment Management Misses The Mark

    Active investment management offers little advantage in the secondary capital markets.
  3. Options & Futures

    The 4 Ways To Buy And Sell Securities

    Know the four main avenues of buying and selling investment instruments.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Mutual Fund Basics Tutorial

    Learn about the basics - and the pitfalls - of investing in mutual funds.
  5. Options & Futures

    Give Yourself More Options With Real Estate Options

    Real estate options have many benefits, including a smaller initial capital requirement.
  6. Economics

    What Would Happen If Interest Rates Rise?

    This time around, while U.S. long-term yields have rebounded from their January lows, rates have generally been lower than where they ended 2014.
  7. Investing

    Strategies To Position Your Bond Portfolio

    Fixed income investors may not be able to see them all right now, but important trends are stirring on the investment horizon.
  8. Options & Futures

    The Fancy Way To Diversify Your Portfolio: Precious Metal Options

    A guide with strategies on how to invest or trade in precious metals by using options.
  9. Options & Futures

    When And How To Take Profits On Options

    Here are the different criteria to ensure maximum profit taking while trading options.
  10. Economics

    Afraid Of A New Financial Crisis?

    It may be time for the U.S. to adopt a model for financial companies that better deters risky financial behavior.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Subsidy

    A benefit given by the government to groups or individuals usually in the form of a cash payment or tax reduction. The subsidy ...
  2. Sunk Cost

    A cost that has already been incurred and thus cannot be recovered. A sunk cost differs from other, future costs that a business ...
  3. Technical Skills

    1. The knowledge and abilities needed to accomplish mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related duties, as ...
  4. Prepaid Expense

    A type of asset that arises on a balance sheet as a result of business making payments for goods and services to be received ...
  5. Gordon Growth Model

    A model for determining the intrinsic value of a stock, based on a future series of dividends that grow at a constant rate. ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center