Stock / Share Market
by 5paisa Research Team Last Updated: 2022-06-07T12:16:03+05:30

Equity Shares and Preference Shares: What's the Difference?

You'll encounter a wide range of financial jargon while you're just getting started in the market. To ensure a successful financial journey, you must first comprehend these ideas. Although equity and preference shares have many similarities, they are not the same thing.

The main difference between the two is how they treat shareholders and distribute dividends. To better comprehend these two sorts of shares, let's compare them. Let's have a look at the difference between equity shares and preference shares first.

What Exactly are Equity Shares?

With equity shares, you have voting rights and a variable dividend rate. The dividend rate is usually determined by the company's earnings for the year. Having a large number of equity shares indicates that you have a stake in the business.

A percentage of the company's profits will be yours as a consequence of this arrangement. Depending on the company's profitability, dividends might vary. In addition, bear in mind that you will only earn a fraction of the residual profit that remains after all expenditures and duties are paid.

What Exactly are Preference Shares?

Priority over equity shares in terms of dividend distribution at a predetermined rate and the return of money in the case of a company's failure are only two examples where preferred stock takes priority over equity shares in terms of terminology.

Investors with preference shares have ownership in the firm, but they do not have any say in the running of the business, as with equity shareholders. If there is downsizing or winding-up of the corporation, they still have a right to vote on other issues that directly impact their rights, such as these:

Let's take a closer look at the distinctions between equity shares and preference shares now that you've gotten a handle on what they are.

Key Differences Between Equity Shares and Preference Shares

While the dividends of equity shares are not cumulative, the dividends of preferred stock are, and this is one of the main differences between the two types of stock.

A combination of common and preferred stock must be used when deciding on a company's financial structure. Take a look at this page for an overview of the two, and you'll be able to tell the difference.


1. Number of dividends paid out

Dividends paid to equity stockholders are not subject to a set rate of payment. Preference shareholders, on the other hand, are paid dividends at a predetermined rate based on the standard value of their shares at the time of payment.

The dividend rate for equity owners is decided by the Board of Directors based on the company's performance during the previous financial year.

2. The right to cast a ballot

The shareholders of a publicly-traded firm are entitled to a say in the company's most important decisions. Preference shareholders, on the other hand, do not have a say in corporate decisions.

3. Repayment of Debts

At the moment of the company's liquidation, equity stockholders are regarded the last to be repaid. Preference shareholders, on the other hand, get capital return prior to equity shareholders receiving it.

4. Liquidation

This means that preferred shareholders might get all payments after paying out the company's creditors in case of a liquidation. All assets belong to equity stockholders after all outstanding payments have been made.

5. Boosted Stocks

The company's equity owners are entitled to receive bonus shares, but preference stockholders are not entitled to bonus shares.

6. Managerial Functions

Shareholders in the company's equity are referred to as "part owners" because of the ownership stake they possess. Preference shares, on the other hand, offer no benefit in terms of management function.

7. Capitalisation

Over-capitalisation is more likely to occur with equity shares, while preference shares are less likely to be over-capitalised.

8. Cost

Small investors may readily afford equity shares because of their cheap price. Preference shares, on the other hand, are more expensive, making them more accessible to investors of all sizes.

9. Bankruptcy

After all preference shares have been paid, equity stockholders get their dividends. Preference shareholders, on the other hand, are entitled to all of the company's capital before equity shareholders.

10. Exposure to Potentially Dangerous Situations

Because of the volatility of the market and the company's performance, equity stockholders face a significant degree of risk. In addition, preference shares are more secure than equity shares since they represent no danger.

11. Arrears

Preference shares, on the other hand, have a right to dividend arrears that equity stockholders do not.

12. Redemption

For the duration of the company's existence, equity shares cannot be redeemed. When it comes to preference shares, they may be cashed out after a set time or if a certain target is met.

13. Denomination

Preference shares often have a greater denomination than equity shares.

14. Term Financing

Long-term funding is provided through equity shares, while short-term and long-term financing may be provided via preference shares.

15. The Weight of the Debt

Because stock dividends are based only on the company's profits, they are completely discretionary. Preference shareholders, on the other hand, get a set dividend and financial responsibility from the corporation.

Wrapping Up

You may now invest your money in equity shares and preference shares with no effort. To do this, you'll first need a thorough understanding of the stock market. If you don't, you'll have a lot of opportunities to lose.

Make an investment in any of these by purchasing the shares or stocks at a lower price point when the market is down, and then selling them at a higher price point when the market is up. Another important factor to keep in mind is that long-term investments may provide you with steady earnings over a lengthy period of time.

It's possible to buy stocks directly from the stock exchanges, such as the National Stock Exchange or Bombay Stock Exchange if you can't discover any direct purchase options. Buying from the secondary market is the name given to this kind of shopping. You'll have to pay brokerage fees, so expect to spend a little more.

However, the broker will assist you in the process of creating an account and completing the necessary paperwork. In order to get started, you must select how much money you can put into the venture. Once you've made your decision, you'll need to make an initial deposit with your broker, who will use it to acquire the assets you choose. You may invest in the securities in this manner.

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