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Understanding equity

Equity has different meanings depending on the context. Shareholder's equity is the most common type of equity - it represents the amount of money that a company's shareholders will get if all of the assets were liquidated and all the debt was paid off.

Equity can be found on a company's balance sheet. Analysts use this data to assess the financial health of a company.

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Private equity

Private equity is the evaluation of companies that are not publicly traded. Only "accredited" investors can access private equity, but regular investors can make use of exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

  • Private companies can find investors by selling off shares dir...

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Venture capital funding

Usually, a new company with no revenue or earnings can't afford to borrow. It gets capital from friends, family, or individual "angel investors."

  • Venture capitalists (VCs) come into play when the company is ready to bring its product or service to market. 

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Understanding shareholder equity

  • Equity is used as capital raised by a company, which is used to buy assets, invest in projects, and fund operations.
  • Investors typically look for equity investments as it provides a greater opportunity to share in the profits and growth of a company....

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The components of shareholder equity

  • Retained earnings. It is the percentage of net earnings not paid to shareholders as dividends. You can also think of retained earnings as savings as it is put aside for future use.
  • Treasury shares or stock is the stock a company has repurchased from ...

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Home equity and brand equity

Home equity is the value of a home minus the mortgage debt owed. A homeowner can use home equity to get a home equity loan - otherwise known as a second mortgage.

Brand equity. Assets may include tangible ...

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Other types of equity

We can think of equity as a degree of ownership in any asset after deducting all debts associated with that asset.

Common variations on equity:

  • A stock or other security representing an ownership interest in a company.
  • On a compan...

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Formula and calculation for shareholder equity

Shareholders' Equity = Total Assets - Total Liabilities

The information for this formula can be found on the company's balance sheet by using the following steps:

  1. Find the company's total assets for the period.
  2. Find the t...

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