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What Are Stocks?

Stocks - sometimes referred to as equity or equities - are issued by companies to raise capital in order to grow the business or undertake new projects. There are important distinctions between whether somebody buys shares directly from the company when it issues them (in the primary market) or from another shareholder (on the secondary market). When the corporation issues shares, it does so in return for money.

Companies can instead raise money through borrowing, either directly as a loan from a bank, or by issuing debt, known as bonds. Bonds are fundamentally different from stocks in a number of ways. First, bondholders are creditors to the corporation, and are entitled to interest as well as repayment of principal. Creditors are given legal priority over other stakeholders in the event of a bankruptcy and will be made whole first if a company is forced to sell assets in order to repay them. Shareholders, on the other hand, are last in line and often receive nothing, or mere pennies on the dollar, in the event of bankruptcy. This implies that stocks are inherently riskier investments that bonds.

Different Types Of Stocks

Common Stock

When people talk about stocks they are usually referring to common stock. In fact, the great majority of stock is issued is in this form. Common shares represent a claim on profits (dividends) and confer voting rights. Investors most often get one vote per share-owned to elect board members who oversee the major decisions made by management.

Over the long term, common stock, by means of capital growth, has tended to yield higher returns than corporate bonds. This higher return comes at a cost, however, since common stocks entail the most risk including the potential to lose the entire amount invested if a company goes out of business. If a company goes bankrupt and liquidates, the common shareholders will not receive money until the creditors, bondholders and preferred shareholders are paid.

Preferred Stock

Preferred stock functions similarly to bonds, and usually doesn't come with the voting rights (this may vary depending on the company, but in many cases preferred shareholders do not have any voting rights). With preferred shares, investors are usually guaranteed a fixed dividend in perpetuity. This is different from common stock which has variable dividends that are declared by the board of directors and never guaranteed. In fact, many companies do not pay out dividends to common stock at all.

Another advantage is that in the event of liquidation, preferred shareholders are paid off before the common shareholder (but still after debt holders and other creditors). Preferred stock may also be "callable," meaning that the company has the option to re-purchase the shares from preferred shareholders at any time for any reason (usually for a premium). An intuitive way to think of these kinds of shares is to see them as being somewhat in between bonds and common shares.

Athena Equities's specialized resources can help you make more informed decisions about investing in stocks, whether you prefer to invest on your own or prefer ongoing advice

Traders have access to Athena Equities's intuitive stock trading tools that can help you determine when to buy or sell a stock. Get insights from our team of trading specialists who can help you learn about various stock selection strategies.

Let Athena Equities handle your restricted stock transactions from start to finish. We will assist in the completion and filing of required documentation, legal counsel approval, and physical clearance of your shares via the transfer agent.

Uniquely positioned to offer our clients with restricted stocks a wide variety of service options and benefits:
  • Dedicated Restricted Stock Service Department

  • Expansive network

  • Comprehensive services for company affiliates and insiders

  • Competitive pricing structure

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There are certain eligibility requirements for working with a dedicated Financial Consultant.

Please read the Athena Equity Intelligent Portfolios Disclosure Brochures for important information, pricing, and disclosures relating to Athena Equity Intelligent Portfolios.

There is no advisory fee or commissions charged for the Athena Equity Intelligent Portfolios Program. Investors do pay direct and indirect costs. These include ETF operating expenses which are the management and other fees the underlying ETFs charge all shareholders. The portfolios include a cash allocation to a deposit account at Athena Equity Bank. Our affiliated bank earns income on the deposits, and earns more the larger the cash allocation is. The lower the interest rate Athena Equity Bank pays on the cash, the lower the yield. Some cash alternatives outside of Athena Equity Intelligent Portfolios pay a higher yield. Deposits held at Athena Equity Bank are protected by FDIC insurance up to allowable limits per depositor, per account ownership category. Athena Equity Intelligent Portfolios invests in Athena Equity ETFs. A Athena Equity affiliate, Athena Equity Investment Management, receives management fees on those ETFs. Athena Equity Intelligent Portfolios also invests in third party ETFs. Athena Equity receives compensation from some of those ETFs for providing shareholder services, and also from market centers where ETF trade orders are routed for execution. Fees and expenses will lower performance, and investors should consider all program requirements and costs before investing. Expenses and their impact on performance, conflicts of interest, and compensation that Athena Equity and its affiliates receive are detailed in the Athena Equity Intelligent Portfolios disclosure brochures.

Athena Equity Intelligent Portfolios is made available through Athena Equity & Co., Inc. ("ATEQ") a dually-registered investment adviser and broker dealer. Portfolio management services are provided by Athena Equity Investment Advisory, Inc. ("ATEQIA"). Athena Equity and ATEQIA are affiliates and subsidiaries of The Athena EquityCorporation.

Please read the Athena Equity Intelligent Advisory disclosure brochure for important information about this program.

Athena Equity Intelligent Advisory is made available through Athena Equity& Co., Inc. (“ATEQ”), a dually registered investment advisor and broker-dealer. Portfolio management services for Athena Equity Intelligent Portfolios® are provided by Athena Equity Investment Advisory, Inc. (“ATEQIA”), a registered investment advisor. ATEQIA and Athena Equity are subsidiaries of the Athena Equity Corporation.

Athena Equity Intelligent Advisory charges no commissions or account service fees. Athena Equity affiliates do earn more revenue from the underlying assets in Athena Equity Intelligent Portfolios accounts. The revenue comes from managing Athena Equity ETFs and providing services relating to certain third party ETFs that can be selected for the portfolio, and from the cash feature on the accounts. Revenue may also be received from the market centers where ETF trade orders are routed for execution.

The Managed Account Select program is sponsored by ATEQ. Please read the Athena Equity Managed Account Services™ Disclosure Brochure for important information and disclosures. In addition, please read the participating manager's disclosure brochure, including any supplements, for important information and disclosures. Investments in managed accounts should be considered in view of a larger, more diversified investment portfolio. Services may vary depending on which money manager you choose and are subject to a money manager's acceptance of the account.

Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. Investments in managed accounts should be considered in view of a larger, more diversified investment portfolio.

Please read ATEQ’s SMP Disclosure Brochure for important information and disclosures relating to Athena Equity Managed Portfolios.

Portfolio management for Athena Equity Managed Portfolios is provided by Athena Equity Investment Advisory, Inc. ("ATEQIA"), an affiliate of Athena Equity and Co., Inc. ("ATEQ").

Please read the Athena Equity Private Client and the Athena Equity Private Client Investment Advisory, Inc. Disclosure Brochures for important information and disclosures about SPC. Portfolio management for SPC is provided by Athena Equity Private Client Investment Advisory, Inc., a registered investment advisor and an affiliate of ATEQ.

Athena Equity Advisor Network member advisors are independent and are not employees or agents of ATEQ. Athena Equity prescreens advisors and checks their experience and credentials against criteria Athena Equity sets, such as years of experience managing investments, amount of assets managed, professional education, regulatory licensing, and business relationship as a client of ATEQ. Advisors pay fees to Athena Equity in connection with referrals. ATEQ does not supervise advisors and does not prepare, verify, or endorse information distributed by advisors. Investors must decide whether to hire an advisor and what authority to give him or her. Investors, not ATEQ, are responsible for monitoring and evaluating an advisor’s service, performance, and account transactions. Services may vary depending on which advisor an investor chooses.

Satisfaction Guarantee

If you are not completely satisfied for any reason, at your request Athena Equity & Co., Inc. (“ATEQ”), Athena Equity Bank ("Athena Equity Bank"), or another Athena Equity affiliate, will refund any eligible fee related to your concern within the timeframes described below. Two kinds of “Fees” are eligible for this guarantee: (1) asset‐based “Program Fees” for the Athena Equity Private Client (“SPC”), Athena Equity Managed Portfolios (“SMP”), Athena Equity Intelligent Advisory (“SIA”), and Managed Account Connection (“Connection”) investment advisory services sponsored by Athena Equity (together, the “Participating Services”); and (2) commissions and fees listed in the Athena Equity Pricing Guide for Individual Investors and the Athena Equity Bank Deposit Account Pricing Guide (together, "Account Fees"). Program Fee refund requests must be received no later than the next calendar quarter after the Fee was charged. Account Fee refund requests must be received within one year of the date that the Fee was charged.

Program Fees are calculated as a percentage of eligible assets in Participating Service accounts. For more information about Program Fees, please see the disclosure brochure for the Participating Service, made available at enrollment or any time at your request. The Connection service includes only accounts managed by Athena Equity Investment Advisory, Inc., an affiliate of ATEQ. The guarantee does not cover Program Fees for accounts managed by investment advisors who are not affiliated with Athena Equity or managed by ATEQ‐affiliated advisors outside of the SPC, SMP, SIA and Connection services.

The guarantee is only available to current clients. Refunds will only be applied to the account charged and will be credited within approximately four weeks of a valid request. No other charges or expenses, and no market losses will be refunded. Other restrictions may apply. Athena Equity reserves the right to change or terminate the guarantee at any time.