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Equity and Equity Investments

May 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 135

In accounting and finance, Equity means the residual claim or interest of the junior level of investors in assets, after all the liabilities have been paid for.

If liability is more than the amount of assets, it becomes negative equity.

In the context of accounting, shareholder's equity (or stockholder's equity, shareholder's funds, shareholder's capital or any such similar terms) is represented by the remaining interest in assets of a company which is spread amongst individual shareholders of common or the preferred stock.

In the beginning of a business, the owners invest some funding into the business to the finance operations. This forms a liability on the business in the form of a capital as the business becomes a separate entity from its owners. Businesses can also be considered, for accounting purposes, sums of liabilities and assets; thus this is the accounting equation.

After the liabilities have been accounted for any positive remainder, it deems the owner's interest in the business. This definition is helpful for understanding the liquidation process in case bankruptcy occurs. Initially, all the secured creditors must be paid against the proceeds from various assets. Afterwards, the series of creditors, who are ranked in terms of priority sequence, have the next claim or right on these residual proceeds.

Ownership equity is the last or residual claim against these assets, which is paid only after all other creditors are paid. In such a scenario, even the creditors who do not get enough money to pay their bills, there is nothing over to reimburse the owner's equity. Thus, this makes the owner's equity to zero. The ownership equity also becomes known as the risk capital or liable capital.

An equity investment is generally referred to as the buying and holding of shares in a share market by various individuals and companies in anticipation of an additional income from dividends and/or capital gains as they expect the value of the stock to rise. When the equity holder receives the right to vote, it means that he can vote for the candidates for a majority of the board of directors as well as some major transactions and residual rights, which means that they share some portion of company's profits as well as may help in recovering some of the company's assets in the event of bankruptcy or any untoward incident that might harm the company's liquidity. This is possible despite they having the lowest priority in recovering their investments.

It might also refer to the acquisition of ownership or participation in a private or a startup company. These equities which are held by private individuals are often known as mutual funds or other forms of collective investment scheme. Many of these have quoted prices that might be listed in financial magazines or newspapers.

The mutual funds are managed by prominent fund management firms that allow such holdings in the hands of private investors and pension funds, who are subjected to hold shares directly. In such institutional environment, many clients who hold their own portfolios have what we know as segregated funds. As opposed or in addition to the pooled mutual fund alternatives.

A calculation made can be made to assess whether equity is overpriced or underpriced, in comparison to a long term government bond. This is known as the yield gap or the yield ratio. It is the ratio of the dividend yield of equity and that of the long term bond.

Vaibhav Bhadange works as a SEO Management, Sr. Executive in Angel Broking Ltd. His profile includes handling operations in Google AdWords campaign management.

Source: EzineArticles
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