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preferred stock vs. common stock

What would be considered preferred stock vs. common stock? I do understand the concept of how an investors' role is played in an organization when considering preferred stock and common stock. I did not realize that when it came to different types of stock investors would have a different role. I would be interested to know why there is a difference. Can you explain?

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Common stock investors gain two benefits: Capital Appreciation as well as dividends. Capital appreciation occurs when a stock's value increases over the amount initially paid for it. Dividends, which are taxable payments, ...

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What would be considered preferred stock vs. common stock? I do understand the concept of how an investors' role is played in an organization when considering preferred stock and common stock.

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