Shareholders are the owners of a business.
They own the “equity” in a business.
They’re not lenders. They’re not customers (except at iConsumer). They’re not employees. Which is not to say you can’t be any of those AND a shareholder.
When a company is sold, the owners get what’s left over after all the bills are paid, all the debts are paid, and the champagne is finished.
If the company makes money, it’s the owners that “own” that money.
If the company distributes that money to its shareholders, that’s called a dividend.
They’re called shareholders because they own a “share” (a piece) of the company. Shares are sometimes called stock. Shareholder = stockholder.
When you see a company valued at X or Y on the stock market, it’s the shareholders that own that value.
As of September 12, 2019, according to the stock market, iConsumer was valued at (had a market cap of) $18,950,772. If somebody bought iConsumer for that amount of money tomorrow, it’s the shareholders who would share that.
What’s neat about iConsumer you can be a shareholder of a company—you don’t have to go through a broker, or hire some fancy firm. All you have to do is shop online, and you get real stock – ownership in a company.
Three really important things to know.
- First, shareholders usually have more financial risk than do other participants (e.g. employees, lenders, vendors) in a company.
- Second, shareholders usually have more opportunity to make lots of money because a business succeeds than do other participants in a company. They have more “upside”.
- Third, all shareholders aren’t equal. There’s a pecking order. The shareholders who own preferred stock have different rights and opportunities than do the shareholders who have common stock.