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Traditionally, a security was a physical document, such as stock or bond certificate, that represented your investment in that stock or bond.
But with the advent of electronic recordkeeping, paper certificates have increasingly been replaced by electronic documentation.
In current general usage, the term security refers to the stock, bond, or other investment product itself rather than to evidence of ownership.
(1) Property that serves as collateral for a debt,such that defaulting on the debt will result in the creditor seizing and selling the property.(2) Under what has come to be known as “the modified Howey rule,” an investment contract or other instrument commonly known as a security is defined as “an investment in a common venture premised on a reasonable expectation of profit to be derived from the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others.”This definition includes many real estate investments that, if not specifically exempted under some provision of federal law, are susceptible to SEC regulation and oversight for the investment itself, the persons marketing the investment,or both.The Howey rule arose out of a Supreme Court case interpreting sales of interests in an orange grove in Florida—a real estate sale arrangement held to be a security.