When companies want to raise funds, they sell shares to investors. When these shares trade on an exchange, the public can buy into these companies and become shareholders. Investing in stocks is a way for investors to participate in the growth of companies and the economy as a whole. Wealth is ultimately generated from owning shares of valuable businesses, not earning a paycheck. Through careful analysis, investors can own and participate in growing businesses as part owners. Of course, as in any business, success is not guaranteed and thorough research must be conducted before any investment is made.