Difference Between Shares and Debentures

A business can raise money through debt and equity. Funding for growth, expansion, R&D, new product marketing, etc., could be required. When it needs money, a business has two options: debt or public stock offerings. Debt can also take many forms: loans, bonds, and debentures.

In this article, we shall discuss the distinctions between shares and debentures.

Definition of shares.

Shares represent ownership in a firm's capital. They represent the very least amount of capital in a business. Purchasing shares gives you ownership of a portion of the company. Among the benefits of ownership are dividends, voting rights, and other things. The face value and, if any, premium are included in the price at which these shares are issued. Selling your shares on the stock market for more than you paid for them could also be profitable.

Two kinds can be distinguished in shares:

Equity shares: One way to consider them is as a company's capital or leading shares. Together with the benefits of dividends, they carry voting rights. By means of an IPO, a firm can also issue these shares to the public.

The second-tier shares of a corporation are known as preference shares. Though the dividend is set, they do not have voting privileges. In the case of a firm winding up, they are also compensated before equity stockholders.

Debentures: what are they?

One financial instrument a business employs to raise money is a debenture. When you purchase a debenture, you become a creditor of the company. Dentures also come with a set interest rate. The principal is returned upon maturity or the debenture's open market sale.

Debentures can be left unreserved or secured with an asset. Since debt holders are not business owners, they are not entitled to vote. Debenture holders receive payment in liquidation ahead of equity and preference shareholders.

Debts fall into two categories:

Not convertible debentures: These debentures cannot be converted into shares.

Merits of debentures and shares: Although debentures and shares are two distinct financial instruments a corporation issues, they have certain things in common. Both are approaches to obtaining funding. Usually issued to the general public, shares and debentures are exchangeable.

Characteristics of debentures and shares
Which investment is the wiser one?

Debentures and shares are two distinct forms of investment. Your choice over the other depends on your risk tolerance and financial objectives. Though they carry a significant risk, shares can yield large profits. Conversely, bonds offer guaranteed returns and have comparatively less risk than shares. For diversity, you can decide to include both in your investing mixture.


A firm can raise money through shares and debentures. Both can be wise investment choices. Before investing, compare the advantages and disadvantages of both financial instruments.


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