What is public equity?

What is public equity?

What is public equity?



Public equity refers to the ownership of shares in a publicly traded company. It represents the portion of a company’s ownership that is available to the general public through the purchase of stocks or shares on a stock exchange. Public equity allows individuals and institutional investors to become partial owners of a company and participate in its financial performance.

Understanding Public Equity

Public equity is an essential component of the overall capital structure of a company. It provides a means for companies to raise funds for various purposes, such as expanding operations, investing in research and development, or paying off debt. When a company decides to go public, it offers a portion of its ownership to the public in the form of shares, which are then traded on a stock exchange.

Initial Public Offering (IPO): The process of a company going public is typically initiated through an initial public offering (IPO). During an IPO, the company issues new shares to the public and raises capital. This allows the company’s original owners, such as founders and early investors, to monetize their investments by selling a portion of their shares.

Stock Exchanges: Once a company’s shares are publicly traded, they can be bought and sold on stock exchanges. Stock exchanges provide a platform for investors to trade shares and determine their market value through supply and demand dynamics. Examples of well-known stock exchanges include the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ.

Benefits and Risks of Public Equity

Benefits: Public equity offers several benefits to both companies and investors. For companies, going public can provide access to a large pool of capital, enabling them to fund growth initiatives and expand their operations. It also enhances the company’s visibility and credibility, making it easier to attract customers, partners, and talented employees.

For investors, public equity provides an opportunity to participate in the financial success of a company. They can benefit from capital appreciation if the company’s stock price increases over time. Additionally, public equity investments offer liquidity, as shares can be easily bought or sold on the stock exchange.

Risks: Investing in public equity also carries certain risks. The value of a company’s stock can fluctuate significantly due to various factors, including market conditions, economic trends, and company-specific events. Investors may experience losses if the stock price declines. Furthermore, public equity investors have limited control over the company’s decision-making process, as major decisions are typically made by the company’s management and board of directors.


Public equity represents the ownership shares available to the general public through publicly traded companies. It offers companies a way to raise capital and provides investors with an opportunity to participate in a company’s financial success. While public equity has its benefits, such as access to capital and liquidity, it also carries risks associated with stock market volatility and limited control over company decisions.


1. Investopedia: www.investopedia.com/terms/p/publicequity.asp
2. Corporate Finance Institute: corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/finance/public-equity
3. The Balance: www.thebalance.com/what-is-public-equity-5193138