Common and preferred stock are both types of ownership shares in a corporation. Common stocks are the most common type of share, representing a form of residual ownership that entitles its holders to vote on certain corporate matters, such as electing board members. Preferred stocks are more akin to bonds, typically carrying higher dividends than common stocks but without voting rights associated with them.

Preferred Stock Meaning:

One of the fundamental differences between common and common stock is that preferred stock has no voting rights. Thus, when it comes time for an organization to make governance or decision-making or corporate strategy choices of any kind, preferred investors have no say in the fate of the organization.

Preferred stocks or preferred offerings basically work similarly to bonds, as the lender is usually assured of sufficient profits or dividends in perpetuity.

The profit margin or dividend yield of preferred shares is determined as a measure of rupees or the amount of the profit or dividend divided by the cost of the shares. This is usually based on the default value or par value before the preferred stock is issued.

It is usually determined as the level of current market costs after opening an exchange or trade. This is different from common or common stock, which have variable income or dividends that are announced by the board of directors or the board of directors and are never guaranteed.


In fact, many organizations do not distribute profits or dividends to common stockholders.

Common Stock Meaning:

Common stock refers to the shares or ownership of an organization and refers to the type of stock in which the majority participates. When people talk about stocks, they usually mean common stock. In fact, a very large proportion of our inventory is given in this form.

Ordinary or ordinary shares deal with the ownership of profit (income) and give the right to vote. Financial institutions generally receive one vote for each share they own. They can claim to elect directors who control a significant number of directors. Investors thus have better opportunities to manage business arrangements and management issues compared to primary investors.

The following will provide an overview of the key differences between these two types of equity investments.

Ownership rights

One significant difference between common and preferred stock is that the holders of common shares have voting rights in company meetings, while those with preferred shares do not. For example, shareholders with common stock can vote for or against potential board members, which helps dictate how the company operates. On the other hand, preferred shares do not carry voting rights and thus have no say in company decisions.

Priority of payment


If a company goes bankrupt and liquidates its assets, holders of preferred stock have priority over common shareholders when it comes to receiving payment from the proceeds of the sale. It is due to their status as creditors rather than equity investors. Thus, if limited funds are available after bankruptcy proceedings, those with preferred shares will be paid out first before those with common stocks.

Dividend payments

Another significant difference between common and preferred share owners is that preferred shareholders are typically entitled to higher dividends than those owning common stock. These investors take on more risk since they are not entitled to voting rights or priority of payment in the event of liquidation.


Preferred stocks are typically less liquid than common ones, meaning it may be challenging to find buyers for your shares if you need to sell them quickly. It can make investing in preferred stocks riskier, as investors may need more time to convert their holdings into cash if they need the money.


Some types of preferred stock are “callable”, meaning that the company has the right to buy back the shares at any time. This feature gives companies greater flexibility in managing their equity investments. Still, it also means that investors must be aware of this potential risk when investing in callable preferred stock.

Price volatility


Common stocks are more volatile than preferred ones, meaning their prices can rise and fall in line with market conditions. This feature makes them riskier investments and provides the potential for higher returns if the stock performs well. Preferred stocks, on the other hand, tend to be less volatile and thus provide a more conservative option for investors looking to diversify their portfolios.

Tax treatment

Generally speaking, the taxation of common and preferred stocks varies depending on your country’s rules. However, dividends received from common stocks are taxed at the investor’s marginal tax rate, while those from preferred shares may receive special tax treatment under certain circumstances.

Credit rating

A company’s credit rating can impact its ability to issue common or preferred stock. Companies with higher credit ratings are more likely to be able to issue preferred stock, as the added security of these securities makes them more attractive to investors.

What to consider when deciding between the two

Financial goals

When considering whether to invest in common or preferred stock, it is essential to consider your financial goals. For a conservative option with reliable income, preferred stocks may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you are looking for higher returns and are comfortable with the risk associated with it, then common stocks make more sense.

Time horizon


The length of time you plan on keeping your investments should also be considered when deciding between common and preferred stocks. If you anticipate needing access to your money relatively soon, then investing in a less liquid asset such as preferred stock may not be ideal. Alternatively, if you have a longer-term outlook, either type of stock could be suitable depending on your risk tolerance.

Investment costs

Investors should consider the cost associated with investing in common or preferred stock. Common stocks are typically cheaper than their preferred counterparts and may have lower ongoing fees. However, they must weigh this against the potential returns of each type of stock before making a decision.