When you buy stocks or ‘equities’, you become a part owner in a business. You may be entitled to vote at the shareholders’ meeting and will receive any profits that the company allocates to shareholders. These profits are called dividends. You can make money on a stock in two ways: if the stock increases in value and if the company pays a dividend. However, there are no guarantees that a stock will make money or that the company will pay a dividend. The value of a stock moves up and down—sometimes frequently and sometimes by a considerable amount. Compared with fixed income securities, stocks can provide relatively high returns but entail a higher level of risk. In some instances, you might lose some or all of your investment.