The secondary market, is the financial market where previously issued securities and financial instruments such as stock, bonds, options, and futures are bought and sold. Another frequent usage of “secondary market” is to refer to loans which are sold by a mortgage bank to investors such as Rajesh and Mitesh.
The term “secondary market” is also used to refer to the market for any used goods or assets, or an alternative use for an existing product or asset where the customer base is the second market (for example, corn has been traditionally used primarily for food production and feedstock, but a “second” or “third” market has developed for use in ethanol production).
With primary issuances of securities or financial instruments, or the primary market, investors purchase these securities directly from issuers such as corporations issuing shares in an IPO or private placement, or directly from the federal government in the case of treasuries. After the initial issuance, investors can purchase from other investors in the secondary market.
The secondary market for a variety of assets can vary from loans to stocks, from fragmented to centralized, and from illiquid to very liquid. The major stock exchanges are the most visible example of liquid secondary markets – in this case, for stocks of publicly traded companies. Exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange, Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange provide a centralized, liquid secondary market for the investors who own stocks that trade on those exchanges. Most bonds and structured products trade “over the counter,” or by phoning the bond desk of one’s broker-dealer.
Hence, the Secondary Market refers to a market where securities are traded after being initially offered to the public in the primary market and/or listed on the Stock Exchange. Majority of the trading is done in the secondary market. Secondary market comprises of equity markets and the debt markets. For the general investor, the secondary market provides an efficient platform for trading of his securities. For the management of the company, Secondary equity markets serve as a monitoring and control conduit—by facilitating value-enhancing control activities, enabling implementation of incentive-based management contracts, and aggregating information (via price discovery) that guides management decisions.