A listed investment is publicly traded with an entry in an investment market like the New York Stock Exchange in the US, or the London Stock Exchange in the UK. This allows anyone with an interest in the investment to participate in trading activity through public venues. Publicly listed investments need to meet certain standards which can offer assurances to traders and other interested parties. The precise regulations can depend on the nation and which exchange hosts the listing. Information about current standards is usually available directly through the exchange.
Before an investment can be added to an exchange, it typically needs to meet minimum capitalization requirements and other standards regulators may choose to set. This assures investors that the listed investment is above a certain size and is large enough to handle economic transitions. Very small companies do not qualify because they may be more vulnerable to losses, which could make them unsafe investments. People may traffic in private securities based on these investments.
Listings also typically require filing documentation with a regulatory agency. For every listed investment, declarations about a company’s size, directors, and financial situation must be provided. To maintain a listing, companies need to issue regular updates with investor information to help people make informed decisions about how and where they want to invest. This offers more protection to investors, who can use this publicly available information to research and make sound choices.
Stock exchanges provide regular quotes on listed investments. These quotes indicate the current share price and whether the value is moving up or down. Dynamic quoting requires constant updates to keep investors current on the trading price so they can buy or sell at the right amount. In addition to stocks, listed investments can include bonds and derivatives. Stock values often have a heavy influence on other investments; bonds issued by a company can drop in value, for example, if the share price falls.
People can easily sell and transfer a listed investment. This requires updating the registration with the issuer, which maintains a log of investors. No special permission is needed to make a sale. Very large or unusual sales may require coordination, particularly if there are concerns about negatively impacting value, or if there might be questions about the propriety of a transaction. Suspected wrongdoing in the trade of a listed investment can be grounds for an investigation for signs of legal violations like insider trading, where people use proprietary information for profit.