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Difference between Shares and Debentures

Difference between Shares and Debentures

When it comes to investing, there are a variety of different types of securities that you can choose from. Among the most popular are shares and debentures. But what’s the difference between these two investment options? Let’s take a closer look.

What are Shares?

Shares, also known as equities, are units of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset that provide the holder with certain rights, such as voting rights or the right to receive dividends.

  • In most cases, shares are traded on a stock exchange and can be bought and sold just like any other commodity. There are two main types of shares: common shares and preferred shares.
  • Common shares give the holder the right to vote on corporate matters and receive dividends, but they do not have any preferential treatment in terms of assets or earnings.
  • Preferred shares usually do not have voting rights, but they have priority over common shareholders in terms of dividends and asset claims.

Shares are typically issued by corporations in order to raise capital, and they can be bought and sold by investors on the open market. Shares can also be held directly by individuals or institutions, such as mutual funds.

What is Debentures?

  • Debentures are basically IOUs issued by a company. When a company is looking to raise money, it can do so by issuing debentures. Debentures are like loans that need to be repaid with interest.
  • The company promises to pay the debenture holder a fixed rate of interest for a set period of time. Debentures are often used by companies as a way to finance long-term projects.
  • Debenture holders are not given any ownership rights in the company, but they are given priority if the company goes bankrupt and is liquidated. Debentures can be secured or unsecured, and they can be traded on the secondary market.

Difference between Shares and Debentures

Shares and debentures are both types of securities, which are financial instruments that signify ownership or debt.

  • Shares, also known as stocks, represent ownership in a company, while debentures represent debt that must be repaid with interest.
  • Both shares and debentures can be traded on stock exchanges.
  • Shares tend to be more volatile than debentures, as their prices are more influenced by supply and demand.
  • Debentures, on the other hand, have a fixed interest rate and are generally seen as less risky.

As a result, they typically offer lower returns than shares. When choosing between shares and debentures, investors should consider their risk tolerance and investment goals.


In short, a debenture is an unsecured loan that a company offers to investors. Shares, on the other hand, represent an ownership stake in a company and come with voting rights. When you buy shares, you become a part owner of the company and are entitled to dividends if they are paid out. If you’re looking for a way to invest money without taking on too much risk, then debentures might be right for you. However, if you’re interested in gaining more control over your investment and having a say in how the company is run, then shares might be more appropriate for your needs.

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