I'm a newbie to investing and I was doing some research regarding the difference between stocks and shares. According to Investopedia stock simply refers to partial ownership of a company, whereas a share is partial ownership of a specific company. However, I've also heard stock being defined as the entirety of shares of a company. So my question is, if I say "I own stocks", it simply means "I have partial ownership of one or more (unspecified) companies" and not "I own the entirety of shares of several companies", right?
The business definition of stock is a quantity of goods or merchandise.
And one of the definitions of share is “a fraction” (like when you get your fair share of a pie).
Now, generalize that to a quantity of pieces of paper saying that you own a fraction of a company. Of course now that’s all digital, but there was a time when you actually got a certificate saying that you, John Q Everyman, owned 100 shares of AT&T.
That’s why I own shares of stock in AT&T. Saying that I own AT&T stock is shorthand for owning shares of stock.