Bonds vs Stocks: A Complete Guide

December 23, 2022
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How are you planning to spend your cash? By purchasing assets such as stocks and bonds? Well, if that is the case, then before you make an investment, it becomes crucial to understand the difference between stocks and bonds. In fact, stocks and bonds are two of the most traded asset classes, each of which can be purchased through a variety of platforms, marketplaces, or brokers. Read this article to know the fundamental stocks vs bonds distinctions.


Everyone aspires to increase their riches in order to live better lives. Real estate and company ownership are out of reach for many people. However, anyone with access to cash can invest some of their funds in securities like stocks and bonds.

Owning stocks and bonds is a proven way to increase wealth. An average 8.8% compounded yearly return produced between 1926 and 2019 by a portfolio with 60% equities and 40% bonds. Although it might not seem like much, 8.8% yearly compound interest doubles your money every nine years.

We'll go through this stocks vs bonds article to get many of the answers that individuals look out for to increase and safeguard their riches.

What Are Stocks?

Owning shares of a company (in a bundle) for ownership in a corporation is known as purchasing stocks. The share price of the company increases in value over time if the business performs well and becomes more valuable. The opposite is also true, i.e., poor performance by the firm leads to losses.

How Do I Make Money With Stocks?

The easiest way to gain money with stocks is to invest for the long term in shares with a fair price, high volume, and good performance. Equities are prone to short-term volatility due more to short-term economic and stock market changes. The company's rise in earnings per share, however, when expressed in years, is the most important indicator of a stock's worth. The value of a company's stock increases with its level of profitability.

Stocks can also be excellent sources of income, often in the form of dividends or money given by a corporation to shareholders. Many equities do not pay dividends, but they have more established, stable businesses that help them to earn more cash than they require to finance expansion.

Options are contracts between investors to either buy or sell shares of a stock at a predetermined price in the future, and they can also be used by investors.

Types Of Stocks

The most popular stock type is, naturally, common stock or equity stock. You often have a vote on shareholder issues at the annual shareholder meeting in addition to owning stock in the company. In some cases, businesses also have different share classes where the main distinction is the voting power. For instance, there are two classes of Alphabet shares, with GOOG shareholders having voting rights and GOOGL shareholders not.

The other type of stock category is known as preference shares. With a fixed dividend, a redemption price, and a redemption date, it is more like a bond. Preference shares have relatively little potential to move upside, but they often maintain their value. A larger dividend yield than common stock in the same company with lower volatility and a lower risk of losses is often the benefit.

Pros And Cons Of Stocks


  • Increases the company's capacity to raise its capital
  • Anyone with some extra cash and access to the stock market can easily invest in stocks.
  • Lengthy history of being a trustworthy source of long-term prosperity


  • Potential for long-term losses in the event that a business collapse
  • Losses are accelerated by the volatility of the market
  • Emotionally challenging for investors to endure stock market fluctuations

How Do I Buy Stocks?

There are many trustworthy online brokers that offer low-cost (or no-cost) trading accounts for buying and selling stocks, depending on your needs. There are many brokers who also provide fractional investment if you are less on funds. This enables you to invest a predetermined sum of money in a stock, even if it represents less than one complete share. This works just like a mutual fund. Additionally, there is very low or even no commission trading.

What Are Bonds?

Bonds are a type of loan agreement to a corporation or government, where the bondholder passes some amount of money at a predetermined interest rate to a particular body. They are typically far less volatile than stocks. This is because they come with a fixed interest rate, a maturity date, and a face value that the borrower will compulsorily have to repay. 

However, this does not eliminate the danger attached to bonds. Bonds might lose value if the borrower experiences financial difficulties and faces difficulty to repay their debt. Bondholders are prioritised for repayment over other debtors and stockholders in the event of a bankruptcy liquidation.

How Do I Make Money With Bonds?

Investors benefit from the yield obtained from holding the bonds. Bond prices can decrease if the interest rates of a country increase and appreciate when the interest rates decline. But generally, if you purchase a bond at (or below) face value and hold it until maturity, you will surely get back the yield and your principal back.

Types Of Bonds

  • The central government issues Treasury bonds, notes, and banknotes with maturities ranging from four weeks to 30 years.
  • State and local governments issue municipal bonds having greater rates than Treasury bonds.
  • Private corporations issue corporate bonds depending on financial stability and trustworthiness.

Pros And Cons Of Bonds


  • A reliable, steady source of revenue
  • Less chance of long-term losses than with stocks
  • Value is protected against inflation by a higher yield than savings


  • Decreases in value if the bond's issuer does not pay the interest or redeem the bond at maturity
  • Decreases in value if the bond is sold before maturity or if the interest rates go up
  • Typically has performed worse in long-term when compared to equities

How Do I Buy Bonds?

Like with equities, a few online brokers offer a trading platform for corporate and municipal bonds in both primary markets and new issues. 

Treasury Direct website helps you to directly purchase Treasury bonds.

A majority of investors own bonds through bond mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 

What’s The Difference Between Stocks And Bonds?

  • A stock is a type of financial instrument that a firm issues as a right to ownership in exchange for money given as equity. A financial instrument known as a bond is one that is used to raise money from both public and private institutions at a periodic interest payment and principal repayment at the end of the term.
  • Bonds are considered debt instruments, whereas stocks are regarded as equity instruments.
  • Different companies issue stocks, whereas corporations, governments, financial institutions, etc. offer bonds.
  • Dividends on equities are returns that are subject to risk and performance of the company. Even when the company is producing significant profits, the board of director's choice to use those funds elsewhere rather than paying a dividend cannot be contested. Bonds, on the other hand, have set returns that must be paid regardless of how well the borrower does because it is a debt amount. There is a promise that the money will be returned in bonds as a result.
  • Stockholders are given preference in terms of voting rights on significant issues and are regarded as owners of the companies. Bondholders do not have voting rights because they are creditors of the corporation.
  • Bonds offer set returns, making them less dangerous than stocks, which have variable returns that increase the risk factor. Prior to analysing the investment possibility, bonds are further structured by credit rating agencies.
  • Bonds trade over the counter, but the stock market has a secondary market in place that ensures controlled trading (OTC).
  • Bonds are not subject to such tax burdens, however, stockholders may be required to pay DDT (Dividend Distribution Tax) in the event that returns are received, further reducing the profits earned.


It's critical to keep in mind that stocks and bonds are financial assets just like cash, real estate assets, precious metals, etc. It is crucial to invest wisely in these instruments. While stocks typically outperform bonds over the long term, bonds are well appreciated for their stable returns in the short term. However, equities can be extremely volatile during times of economic unpredictability. As a general rule, own more stocks and fewer bonds to get closer to your financial goals. The goal is to use bonds to safeguard your capital while maximising the long-term wealth-building potential of equities.

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