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why do people buy and sell shares

4. Global scope where once share ownership tended to mean investing in a handful of well-known UK companies, it's now easier than ever to invest anywhere in the world. Today's investor has the potential therefore to gain exposure to fast-growing areas/sectors/companies irrespective of their location. If the UK economy is struggling the prospects are likely to be much brighter somewhere else now we can all take advantage. 5. Profiting from change share ownership allows you to take stakes in companies in new and exciting industries/areas as well as those experiencing rapid change. Would property or bond investment allow you to participate in the growth of mobile phone usage, the development of emerging market economies or more thematic investments with massive growth potential, like alternative energy? 6.

Real growth unlike fixed income investments, shares don't expire or mature and you can maintain your stake in a company for as long (or as little) a time as you like. They also offer access to real asset growth, allowing you to participate as the underlying company develops and grows. 7. No paint required whilst it's important to regularly review your portfolio, shares need little in the way of maintenance. Contrast this with an investment in property, where ongoing effort (and often expense) is required to maintain the value of existing capital and future returns potential. 8. Bad news in the price there's been much comment about the likely fall in dividends as profits fall against a backdrop of slower economic growth.

The good news is that much bad news is already reflected in the price, with the banks (previously a major contributor) having already stopped paying or heavily cut back dividends. 9. Get contrarian though markets have enjoyed a strong rally since the middle of March, a large number of shares still look extremely attractive. Even so, many investors understandably remain wary of committing their savings to equities in uncertain times. This fails, however, to recognise the potential benefits of adopting a contrarian stance remember, equities remain well below the peaks they achieved in 2000 and 2007. 10. Outpacing prices inflation can significantly reduce the value of cash savings, meaning that investors should consider options for countering the threat of rising prices.

Equities have historically been attractive from this perspective, with share prices rising as companies increase their turnover and grow profits at a faster rate than prices are going up. Jeremy Tigue is the manager of Foreign Colonial Investment Trust, Britain's oldest collective fund
Telegraph Investment Savings Service Telegraph Investment Savings Service is provided by Skipton Financial Services and can provide you with a no obligation service to determine how you can get the best returns in these difficult and volatile times. To find out more about this fee-free service please call 0800 011 3101 or visit When a business grows to the point that it is ready to go public, it does so through an initial public offering.

Reasons for a company to sell stock in this manner are varied. Owners, investors and venture capitalists want to recoup their money. An IPO can raise money for further growth and expansion. Owners may seek the prestige that comes with a publicly traded company. When a firm decides to pursue an IPO, it hires an investment banker to handle the offering. Lawyers file documents with the SEC, and brokers begin to gather indications of interest. When all the legal issues are settled, the company goes public and the stock trades for anyone to buy or sell.

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