Equity by definition is ownership. So if you have 2% equity in a company, it simply means you have 2% ownership of the company.

When you invest in a company, however small or big the investment is, you are going to own that portion of the company and thus before you invest, it requires a great deal of research to ensure you are investing in the right company. This research  is really what draws the line between investment & speculation.

But the equity market traded day in and day out has so much more to offer than just the share of a company and is available for all forms of investor small, big, institutional, domestic, foreign, researchers, speculators, everybody.

While there is something for everyone, everything is not for everyone which is why it is far more important to understand your own temperament of investing than the the quality of stocks selected. e.g., an investor with short term temperament may lose money on a stock that could have given awesome returns in the long run while an investor with long term temperament may not book profits in time on a script that may be in a short term up-move before it followed back on reversing it's direction.

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