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Preferred Stocks Versus Common Stocks: 5 Major Differences To Note



Stocks are the shares of the companies that are issued in the trade market open to the public. The main aim of the company stocks is to raise money with the help of the public and take their business forward.

By buying stocks of a company, you can get ownership of the company depending on how many shares you hold. However, not all the holders get ownership of the company. There are two different types of stock you can buy, depending on which you get the ownership.

What Are Common Stocks?

If you are thinking of the best stocks to buy now, going with common stocks might be advisable. Common stocks are the shares investors are talking about. When an investor buys shares, they mean to buy common stocks. Common stocks are the shares that are regularly traded and shared in the trade market.

Owning stocks of the company gives the right to have dividends on the profit of the company. However, the company doesn’t need to pay a dividend to its investor. Even if the company doesn’t pay the dividend, the stockholders have a chance to earn a high return over an extended period. There is more here on how to higher returns over a period.


Common stockholders are last in the line when the company is going through liquidations. The creditors of the company are paid first, then comes the preferred stockholders. This can also be considered one of the major differences between a common stockholder and a preferred stockholder.

What Are Prefered Stocks?

Preferred stockholders are just investors that are given based on their investment in companies. The company is bound to offer a dividend rate, even if the company is moving forward with a loss. Although this might seem advantageous to you, a preferred stockholder does not have any voting right in the company decision.

A preference for stocks or shares comes with a maturity period. It can be considered a fixed deposit where the investor enjoys a fixed interest, maturity, and dividend payment date.

Preferred stockholders have higher claims in case the company is going through the process of liquidation. Hence, the company will prioritize the preferred stockholders over the common stockholders.


Preferred Stocks Vs. Common Stocks: Differences

Although both are shares of the company, they do hold some notable differences. Here are a few differences that make you think about which stocks to buy.

1. Divided

Although both types of stockholders receive dividends, the true nature of the dividend varies. For instance, preferred stockholders enjoy a fixed dividend with maturity; on the other hand, common stockholders enjoy dividends based on the profit the company makes.

2. Ownerships

Holders of both common stocks and preferred stocks are considered the owner of the shares, but in terms of practicality, the common stockholders are treated as true owners.

3. Voting Rights

Even though both the shareholders are considered the holders of the company’s shares, only common stockholders hold the voting rights. That means common shareholders will have a say in board meetings.


4. Claim To Earning

When the company orders earnings, there is an order in which the investors are paid out. Preferred stockholders consist of bond contracts, and hence, they are prioritized over the common stockholders.

5. Conversion

When it comes down to the conversion, preferred shares can be converted into common shares, but not vice versa.

Common Stocks & Preferred Stocks As An Investment

Both the shares hold their cards and offer something different to investors. Depending on the situation, both shares hold advantages over the other. Hence, it all comes down to your risk tolerance, foresight, and what you want to make of your stock’s investment.

In comparison, those who buy common stockholders are seen as the owner of the company, and preferred stockholders are just considered investors. This is the reason why when a company liquidates; preferred stockholders are prioritized over the common stockholders.

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