The word market as we know can have many different meanings, but most often, it denotes both the primary and secondary market. They are distinct terms, the primary refers to the market where securities are created, the secondary market is one in which they are traded among investors. Knowing how both of these markets work is the key to understanding how stocks, bonds, and other securities trade. Without them, the capital markets should be much harder to navigate and much less profitable.

Here you will get to understand how these markets work and how they relate to individual investors with the major differences between the two of them.

What is the primary market?

In layman’s terms, the primary market is where securities are created. It is the market where firms sell new stocks and bonds to the public for the first time. An IPO is an example of a primary market. These trades have given an opportunity for investors to buy securities from the bank that did the initial underwriting for a particular stock.

What is the secondary market?

The secondary market is commonly referred to as the stock market. It includes the New York stock exchange, the Sensex today, and many other major exchanges around the world. Defining the characteristics of the secondary market is that investors trade among themselves.

Features of the Primary Market

A company raises money to the primary market to fulfill its long-term capital requirements, which fulfill the long-term capital needs and the bottom line of the primary market. The market deals with a fresh issue of securities which means any share, a Bond, a debenture is first introduced, as the primary market. Security is loaded on the primary market before it goes to the secondary market which means the primary market receives the secondary market.

Features of the secondary market

The secondary market is where existing shares, debentures, bonds, commercial papers, treasury bills, and more trade happens among investors. Investors buy-sell securities in this market. It can either be an auction market or a dealer market. In the auction market the trading of securities happens to stock exchanges and in the dealer, the market is known as over the counter. It is where transactions happen without using the platform of the stock exchange. Security is a first offer in the primary market returned to the general for a subscription. These securities are listed on the stock exchange for trading in the market. The stock exchanges are the secondary markets where the maximum trading happened.

Difference between primary market and secondary market

Meaning – security is first issued in a market referred to as a primary market. The first time when a company gets listed on the recognized stock exchange, the stocks are then traded in the secondary market.

Names – the primary market is also known as the new issue market whereas the secondary market is known as an after issue.

Security Pricing – the primary market is also popularly known as the new issue market. The secondary market is known as the after show market.

Financing to Companies – primary market gives finance into new and old companies for the purpose of the company’s expansion and diversification. Contradicting that the secondary market does not provide finance to companies and not transactions.

Parties Involved in it – when it comes to the primary market, investment bankers take care of the selling of the securities. In the secondary market, the stockbrokers and intermediaries while trading in the market.

Selling Frequencies – In the primary market, one can sell security only once, but in the secondary market, security can be bought and sold an infinite number of times.

Amounts from the Securities- payment received from security is the primary market becomes income of capital for the company, but the same is the income for investors in the case of a secondary market.

Presence – the primary market does not have any specific geographical location, a particular place, or an organizational setup. The secondary walk has a physical presence as a stock exchange which is situated in a specific Geographic area.

Rules – when it comes to a primary market the companies issuing securities go through a lot of regulations and rules. In the secondary market, the investor and brokers need to follow the rules that are set by the exchange in the governing body.


The primary market and secondary market play a crucial role in mobilizing the savings of the people for the growth of the economy. As an investor, he or she can benefit from both the markets, but the markets come with their risks. The primary market has different types of primary offerings which include right offerings, preferential allotment, and more. On the other hand, the secondary market is also divided into action markets and dealer markets. It is typically essential to thoroughly know both of these markets and give right into your investment functions.

An investor needs to completely understand the difference between primary and secondary markets before diving into investment operations. An investment scam revolves around securities that do not have a secondary market. When it comes to markets, what you do not know can mostly hurt you and your investment operations. A little more education than usual can save you a lot of money.