Stocks and shares are the most widespread types of equity that most people will get involved with in investment terms.
Equity investment can involve anything from investing directly in the stock of a single small company (not considered good practice – eggs in one basket etc, ie generally a high risk investment), to investing in a fund that represents global markets and thus buys a very small element of hundreds or thousands of companies (which means that you should do as well overall as the overall global economy does) i.e. investment risk is distributed.
The value of investments and income from them can fluctuate (this may partially be the result of exchange rate fluctuations), and investors might not get back the full amount invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Equity based investments do not afford the same capital security that is afforded with a deposit account.