The term security was used to describe financial instruments secured by physical assets, but now the term include all instruments irrespective of whether they offer security or not. It is used as a synonym for the term financial instrument. Securities are broadly categorized into:
- debt securities (such as banknotes, bonds and debentures),
- equity securities, e.g., common stocks; and,
- Derivative contracts, such as forwards, futures, options and swaps.