Capital Markets, Investments, and Your Goals

capital markets
November 21st, 2019 0 Comments

Are you confident that you have what it takes to achieve your financial goals? In addition to hard work and discipline, it takes a solid understanding of investment strategy to make it happen. After all, your financial future isn’t something to be taken lightly. For many, this turns out to be harder than it seems. Even for the most intelligent people, the complexity of the financial world can be daunting. A firm grasp on investing basics is an important tool any investor can have. Understanding the role of capital markets in the financial landscape is a great place to start.


What Are Capital Markets?

Capital markets are avenues for the transfer of wealth from entities that have amassed it to those who need it to be productive. One of the most common examples of a capital market is the stock market. Investors who want to grow their money can buy stocks in companies that need funding. The transfer of wealth from the investor to the company, who uses it productively, ideally generates more wealth for the investor.

Capital markets include the stock market and bond market. These can be broken up further into primary and secondary markets. Unlike the short-term securities bought and sold in money markets, capital markets are set up for issuing and trading long-term securities.


Primary Markets

Primary markets consist of securities purchased by investors directly from the companies issuing them. These primary offerings are called initial public offerings (IPOs). The buyers that participate in primary markets are mostly institutional investors like hedge funds and mutual funds.


Secondary Markets

The secondary market is where a lot of the investing action takes place. This is where the stocks that were first purchased from publicly held companies are traded between investors.

Examples of secondary markets include the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ. Regulatory bodies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) oversees the trades in these markets.


The Stock Market

The stock market is probably the most notorious investment arena. It includes some highly popular markets open to public trading, including the NYSE and NASDAQ. The main function of the stock market is to provide a regulated and fair environment where buyers and sellers of financial securities can come together to trade. A healthy stock market stimulates the economy by enabling those with capital to easily fund those who need capital and are able to put it to productive use.

There are several major players of the stock market who all occupy very different roles. While they all perform different functions within the stock market, it’s how they fit together that keeps the stock market operating.

The People Behind the Stock Market


These are the licensed professionals who do the actual trading for investors. You might know them also as investment advisors or simply brokers. Although it’s possible to buy securities directly from a company, it’s much simpler to do investment trading through an exchange like the NYSE or NASDAQ. To gain access to either of these exchanges, however, you’ll need the help of a registered representative, or the stockbroker. While the method and amount of compensation can vary greatly from case to case, stockbrokers often receive a commission on their services.


Portfolio Managers

Portfolio managers are usually skilled investors with years of experience and track records of success. It is their responsibility to make investment decisions that affect a client’s investment portfolio. These decisions are to reflect the investment strategy of the investor. Portfolio management can either be active or passive, depending on the frequency of trades made.


Investment Bankers 

Investment banks are primarily concerned with raising funds for corporations. They do this by helping the corporation issue securities and with their IPOs. They also create the detailed reports for the SEC that a company needs to go public. Some of the most famous investment banks are JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley.


The Bond Market

Probably the second most popular type of capital market is the bond market, also sometimes called the debt market or the credit market. In this financial market, entities can issue and trade debt securities.

Similar to the stock market, there are primary and secondary markets. In the primary market, investors can buy newly issued securities. The secondary market is where these securities are traded.

There are several types of entities that issue bonds, including corporations and the government. The government issues bonds when it wants to fund improvements in infrastructure or pay off debts.


Government bonds

Government bonds can be particularly attractive to more conservative investors. They’re less risky because the government can always print more money to pay its debts or raise taxes. These bonds offer periodic interest payments while the bond makes its way to maturity, and then pay out the value on the bond certificate once it reaches maturity.


Corporate bonds

Corporations issue bonds when they need to raise funds for growth or for maintaining operations. Corporate bonds are typically longer-term investments and have maturities of one year or more. While the level risk varies for each corporate bond, on a whole they are riskier than government bonds. Corporations do fail, especially new ones that haven’t established themselves yet. Of course, these types of corporations may also offer the most attractive return potential. Defining the level of risk you’re comfortable with is essential in determining the right investments to make in the bond market.


Other bonds

Other types of bonds include municipal bonds and mortgage-backed bonds. Municipal bonds are issued by local entities to raise funds for various projects, and mortgage-backed bonds are made up of groups of mortgages on real estate properties.


Money Markets

Two of the most commonly used financial markets are capital markets and money markets. One of the main differences between these two types of financial markets is that capital markets are used mainly for long-term investments and money markets are used for investments with a shorter timeframe.

Where the financial instruments used in capital markets are stocks and bonds, money markets use deposits, loans, and bills of exchange. The capital market is where investors who are willing to deal with slightly higher risk and who have longer time horizons go to invest money. Money markets, on the other hand, make good places to temporarily house large sums of money.

For entities issuing short-term debt in money markets, the purpose is usually to maintain enough liquidity. Companies or government entities may need fast cash to cover operating expenses, payroll, or loan payments. This is when they look to money markets.

The low risk associated with money markets makes them appealing to investors with low risk tolerances. It’s a way to invest while maintaining high liquidity. Safe investments in money markets paired with investments in the capital market can make for a well-rounded portfolio.


Capital Markets and Money Markets

Capital and money market have several things in common for both the seller and buyer. For the seller, both markets offer a means of generating funding. Both markets offer different advantages in relation to the seller’s financial needs. If they need higher liquidity and have a shorter time horizon, they’ll look to the money market. For longer timelines, the capital market is the best solution.

These markets affect the investor in much the same way. Investors who can handle the associated risk can potentially reap bigger returns on investments in capital markets. Conversely, investments in money markets are safer and the returns are smaller but steadier.


Where You Fit In

Investors make their money by participating in financial markets. It’s also how corporations and government entities fund their operations and expansion. Capital markets are among the most popular financial markets, and they form an important part of a well-functioning economy.

The right investment strategy is one of the single most powerful ways to meet your financial goals. Whether it’s preparing for retirement or establishing wealth that you can pass on to future generations, creating and maintaining an intelligent investment portfolio should be part of the picture.

The risk of financial loss is a fact of any type of investing. However, understanding the different ways you can invest your money and participate in financial markets will give you the best tools for achieving your goals. As is true with most things in the financial world, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for managing your finances. The best strategy will vary quite a bit from investor to investor, and the best one for you is one that takes into account all the details of your situation.


Guidance on Your Wealth Management

Understanding the role capital markets play in the economy and how you can get involved is important, but it isn’t simple. Fortunately, there are financial experts with years of experience whose profession it is to help investors navigate the marketplace.

However you choose to protect your wealth, remember that professional guidance will provide you with the best options available to you. The right wealth management partner will make these options clear and easy to understand so that you can choose the investments that will serve you best.

Finding a financial advisor who takes the time to get to know you and treats your financial decisions with respect is the wisest move you can make. Schedule a meeting with us here to learn more. We look forward to discussing your goals with you.




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Capital Markets, Investments, and Your Goals
Do you know the details about markets for investing? Here we talk about capital markets and what they mean for investors and the economy.
Investment Management, Investment Opportunities