Class B Shares

What it is:

Class B shares are either 1) common stocks or 2) preferred stocks that generally give fewer benefits to share holders than class A shares

How it works/Example:

For example, Joe purchases stock in company XYZ.  If Joe buys class B shares, a single class B share gives him two votes.  However, if Joe buys class A shares he receives six votes per share.  Class B shares also have lower dividend priority than class A shares.

Why it Matters:

While class B shares offer shareholders fewer benefits than class A shares if the company issuing the stock is well managed, retail investors needn’t be concerned about the different classes of stock. In most cases, different shares are issued to give the company's managers, insiders and directors a greater degree of power over the company -- and to provide a better defense against such events as hostile takeover attempts. It should also be noted that differences in share class does not affect the average investor’s share of the profits or benefits from the overall success of the company.

Best execution refers to the imperative that a broker, market maker, or other agent acting on behalf of an investor is obligated to execute the investor's order in a way that is most advantageous to the investor rather than the agent.