• Print
  • Default text size A
  • Larger text size A
  • Largest text size A

Types of Stocks

Publicly traded stocks fall into different categories, offering various levels of return and opportunities to diversify. You can easily screen these stocks by security type.

Stock screener

Begin with predefined, expert screening strategies that you can fine-tune and save. Or, build a screen using over 140 criteria to focus on the stock characteristics that meet your specific goals.

Start a screen

Find Stocks
Common stock

Buy a share of ownership in a public corporation. As a shareholder, you may receive quarterly dividends, which are one way for a company to share its profits. Shares may also appreciate in value, enabling shareholders to realize a profit when those shares are sold.

Depository receipt

Invest internationally with this transferable security that is traded on a U.S. stock exchange but represents a security issued by a publicly listed foreign company.

Unit trust fund

Buy a piece of ownership in a pooled investment, limited partnership, or master limited partnership interest.

A large number of unit trust funds operate in the commodities, natural resources, real estate, and financial services industries.

Real estate investment trust (REIT)

These securities invest in real estate by either purchasing properties directly or holding mortgages. A REIT is required to invest at least 75% of its total assets in real estate and distribute 90% of its taxable income to investors. Types of REIT investments may be available in the following security types:

  • Common stock
  • Depository receipt
  • Unit trust fund
Preferred securities

Invest in these securities and experience the characteristics of both stocks and bonds. Dividends paid to preferred shareholders usually have a higher priority within the issuing company's capital structure than those of common stockholders. So if a company were forced to reduce or suspend dividend payments, common stock dividends would be impacted before preferred dividends.

Start a preferred securities screen.

Closed-end funds (CEFs)

Invest in a variety of securities, much as you would with conventional open-end mutual funds. However, unlike open-end mutual funds, CEFs trade and are priced intraday—like stocks on an exchange—at prices determined by buyers and sellers.

Start a closed-end fund screen.

Questions?

More information

  • Stock Research Center

    Find emerging trends and investment opportunities with comprehensive, independent analysis.

  • Fidelity Learning Center

    Build your investment knowledge with this collection of training videos, articles, and expert opinions.

Foreign investments involve greater risks than U.S. investments, including political and economic risks and the risk of currency fluctuations, all of which may be magnified in emerging markets.

Changes in real estate values or economic conditions can have a positive or negative effect on issuers in the real estate industry, which may affect the fund.

Preferred securities are subject to interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, preferred securities prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Preferred securities also have credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties, liquidity risk, and if callable, call risk. Dividend or interest payments on preferred securities may be variable, suspended or deferred by the issuer at any time, and missed or deferred payments may not be paid at a future date. If payments are suspended or deferred by the issuer, the deferred income may still be taxable. See your tax advisor for more details. Most Preferred securities have call features which allow the issuer to redeem the securities at its discretion on specified dates as well as upon the occurrence of certain events. Other early redemption provisions may exist which could affect yield. Certain preferred securities are convertible into common stock of the issuer, therefore, their market prices can be sensitive to changes in the value of the issuer's common stock. Some preferred securities are perpetual, meaning they have no stated maturity date. In the case of preferred securities with a stated maturity date, the issuer may, under certain circumstances, extend this date at its discretion. Extension of maturity date would delay final repayment on the securities. Please read the prospectus, which may be located on the SEC's EDGAR system, to understand the terms, conditions and specific features of the security prior to investing.

Closed end funds are subject to the risk of their underlying assets and investment strategy. Unlike open end funds, closed end funds trade on an exchange at a price which is often a discount to their net asset value (NAV). The market price may experience periods of increased volatility due to the use of leverage as well as market and fund illiquidity.

Unit trust fund is a term used to describe a particular type of investment structure which typically represents an ownership unit in a pooled investment or limited partnership or master limited partnership interest.

Partnerships are considered pass-through entities for tax purposes and therefore have special tax considerations. If you hold units of a partnership, you are generally treated as a partner for tax purposes and will be issued a Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) rather than a Form 1099 form for use in filling out your tax return. It lists the partner's share of income, deductions, credits, etc. Certain partnerships may have elected to be taxed as a corporation in the U.S. and will furnish a Form 1099 rather than a Schedule K-1. Please see the partnership website, SEC filings, or most recent shareholder report for further details about tax treatment.

A large number of unit trust funds operate in the commodities, natural resources, real estate and financial services industries. Other unit trust funds identified as Unit Trust Fund (REIT) typically represent an ownership unit in a real estate investment trust (REIT).

Stock markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly in response to company, industry, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments. Investing in stock involves risks, including the loss of principal.

Illiquidity is an inherent risk associated with investing in real estate and REITs. There is no guarantee the issuer of a REIT will maintain the secondary market for its shares and redemptions may be at a price which is more or less than the original price paid. Changes in real estate values or economic downturns can have a significant negative effect on issuers in the real estate industry.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information.  Read it carefully.
612288.1.0