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What is Stock Float?

The portion of a corporation’s shares that are in the hands of open investors and accessible for trading is known as the Streubesitz, or simply “float”. These shares do not include shares held by governments or other corporations, insiders, corporate officers, or significant shareholders who have locked in their shares.

Stock Float Illustration

Key Concepts

Restricted Stock
Shares that are held by insiders and cannot be sold because of temporary restrictions, such as the vesting period for stock awards. These shares are not included in the float.

Outstanding Shares
The total number of shares issued by a company, including both the float and shares that are not available for trading.

Low Float
Refers to stocks with a smaller number of shares available for trading. Low float stocks can be more volatile because of their lower liquidity and higher potential for price manipulation.

Significance in Trading

A larger float often indicates more liquidity, which can lead to narrower bid-ask spreads and more efficient price discovery.

Price Volatility
Stocks with lower floats can experience greater price volatility, especially if there’s significant trading interest.

Manipulation Risks
Lower float stocks can be more susceptible to price manipulation, as large trades can have a disproportionate effect on the stock’s price.

Short Selling
The float can impact a stock’s borrow rate and availability for short selling. Low float stocks might be harder to borrow for short-selling purposes and can lead to short squeezes if the stock starts to rise.


The stock float tells you a lot about how liquid a stock is and how volatile it might be. Traders and investors need to know this metric, especially when they are thinking about trading methods or figuring out how risky a certain stock might be. Knowing a lot about float can help you make smart choices and guess how the market might move.

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