What Is a Stock?

Updated: Jan 19, 2016 4:56 PM UTC | Originally published: May 20, 2014

Each share of stock represents a small piece of the ownership of a company and entitles the shareholder to a small claim on the company’s assets and earnings.

Owning shares of a company’s stock technically makes you the boss of the company’s executives, including its CEO. But unless you own a significant portion of a company's stock, you don’t get a real say in how the company is operated.