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A stock is a financial asset that represents a unit of ownership in the company that issues the stock. Individual units of stock are called shares. Stocks are also called equities because they represent an equity interest in the company. If you own stock in a company, you are called a shareholder. Shareholders are entitled to share in the distribution of profits that the company makes. If a company goes bankrupt, or its stock price falls to zero, you have no claim or recourse to recover your investment. Together with bonds and cash, stocks represent a major asset class for making asset allocation decisions.