As we have already stated, if you buy shares, you become part owner of the company.
If your shareholding is of sufficient size, you may be able to influence the strategic direction of the company – witness Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.
Ownership of shares has a significant upside and an equally noticeable downside. If the company, you have invested in is quoted on a stock exchange the share price will rise and fall according to market forces. If the share price rises, then you can sell the share to realise a profit. If you retain the shares the company may declare a dividend (although this is not a guaranteed right) providing you with an income stream.
The downside of owning shares is that the market price could fall significantly meaning that the amount you initially invested is at risk. If the company falls into liquidation, shareholders are the last in line to be repaid, if they are repaid at all.
Those that invest in bonds are in a more secure position, especially if the company falls into liquidation as bond holders are repaid in preference (before shareholders). Investors in bonds are paid regular coupon payments. The coupon payments are fixed in amount and timing.