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Equity
 
  1. A stock or any other security representing an ownership interest.
  2. On a company's balance sheet, the amount of the funds contributed by the owners (the stockholders) plus the retained earnings (or losses). Also referred to as "shareholders' equity".
  3. In the context of margin trading, the value of securities in a margin account minus what has been borrowed from the brokerage.
  4. In the context of real estate, the difference between the current market value of the property and the amount the owner still owes on the mortgage. It is the amount that the owner would receive after selling a property and paying off the mortgage.
  5. In terms of investment strategies, equity (stocks) is one of the principal asset classes. The other two are fixed-income (bonds) and cash/cash-equivalents. These are used in asset allocation planning to structure a desired risk and return profile for an investor's portfolio.