Par Value vs Face Value

Par value vs Face Value

Welcome to the world of finance! Today, let’s unravel the mysteries behind Par Value vs Face Value. These terms, often linked with bonds and stocks, might seem complicated, but worry not – we’re here to break them down over a virtual coffee chat. So, take a seat as we navigate the details of Par Value vs Face Value, the core of a security’s nominal worth.

What is Par Value?

Par value is like the starting price tag for stocks or bonds. It ensures fairness and sets a minimum cost for one share. Think of it as a dance move – it has its advantages, but some see it as old-fashioned.

High par value can limit flexibility, making it less friendly for small investors. On the flip side, low par value opens doors for more flexibility and invites everyone to the financial dance.

It serves as a starting point for investors to gauge the minimum investment required, playing a pivotal role in shaping the financial landscape of stocks. 

In essence, par value serves as a fundamental component, providing transparency in financial transactions and setting essential benchmarks for both bonds and stocks. It forms the foundation for understanding the worth and commitments associated with these financial instruments.

Consider par value as a non-negotiable baseline established by the company for its shares. 

Advantages of Par Value

Prevents Issuance at Unreasonably Low Price: Imagine par value as a superhero shield, stopping shares from being issued at ridiculously low prices. This ensures that the company gets a fair deal for its stock.

Disadvantages of Par Value

Seen as Outdated Practice: Some see assigning par value as an old-fashioned move. In today’s world, many companies issue shares without bothering with par values, considering them outdated.

Limits Flexibility: Par value can act like a strict rule, limiting a company’s flexibility. It puts a barrier, saying, “No issuing shares below this value,” which might not always suit the company’s plans.

Risks of High Par Value

Limited Flexibility in Raising Capital: If a company sets a high par value, it’s like putting handcuffs on flexibility. It makes it harder for the company to raise capital because shares can’t be issued at a lower price.

Limited Appeal to Small Investors: High par value shares may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for small investors. It’s like having a minimum entry fee that might be too high for some.

Advantages of Low Par Value

Greater Flexibility in Raising Capital: Now, picture low par value as a key unlocking door. It allows more flexibility in raising capital. The company can issue shares at a lower price, attracting a broader range of investors.

Greater Appeal to Small Investors: Low par value shares are like an open invitation to small investors. It’s saying, “Come on in, the investment door is wide open!” These shares are more affordable and appealing to a broader audience.

In the financial adventure, choosing between high or low par value is like deciding the rules of the game. It depends on the company’s strategy, goals, and the kind of investors they want to attract. The journey continues, exploring the twists and turns of the financial landscape.

Disadvantages of Low Par Value

Poor Financial Image: Low par value may give the impression of a financially weak company.

Lower Dividend Payments: Low par value shares are less likely to pay higher dividends.

In summary, while par value can provide stability and prevent undervaluation, it can also limit flexibility and appeal to certain investors. The choice of high or low par value depends on factors like the company’s financial strength, growth stage, and target market.

What is Face Value?

Face value, This nominal or dollar value, also called the principal amount, is set by the issuer when the security is born. Think of it as a promise – a commitment from the issuer to pay this specific amount to you, the investor, when the security grows up.

In simpler words, face value is your compass in the financial journey. It gives you a clear sense of direction in the twists and turns of the market. It’s a steady guide, assuring you of the exact amount you can count on when the security matures.

As we continue our journey through the financial seas, stay with me. We’re about to dive deeper into face value, exploring more layers of its importance.

Picture face value as the North Star of security, a value meticulously set by the issuer at the very moment of issuance. This nominal amount, often referred to as the principal amount, symbolizes a binding commitment. It establishes a tangible financial commitment, offering investors a steady anchor amidst the unpredictable tides of the market.

In essence, face value plays a critical role in establishing the financial commitment and worth of a security. It provides investors with clarity regarding guaranteed returns, forming an integral part of informed decision-making in the financial landscape.

Face value differs from market value, and the current trading price is influenced by various factors. It’s crucial for legal and accounting purposes but may not reflect the true value.

Advantages of Face Value

Provides Clarity: Gives investors clarity about the nominal value of the security.

Disadvantages of Face Value

May Not Reflect True Value: Determined by the issuer and may not reflect market conditions.

Limited Coverage: In life insurance policies, face amount certificates may offer limited coverage.

Risks of High Face Value

Limited Appeal to Small Investors: High face value securities may not appeal to small investors.

Advantages of Low Face Value

Greater Appeal to Small Investors: More appealing to small investors.

Disadvantages of Low Face Value

May Not Reflect True Value: May not reflect the true value of the security.

Lower Dividend Payments: Low face value shares are less likely to pay higher dividends.

Difference Between Par Value and Face Value

FeaturePar ValueFace Value
MeaningStated value of a financial instrument at the time of issuance.Same as the par value.
UsageMore commonly used with bonds.Interchangeable with par value, used with both bonds and stocks.
Significance with BondsRepresents the amount the issuer repays to the investor at maturity.Same as the par value.
Significance with StocksOften an arbitrary number, used to avoid legal issues if the stock price falls below it.Usually has no impact on the stock’s market price.


In our journey through par value and face value, we’ve uncovered their roles in bonds and stocks. While they provide legal clarity and set minimum benchmarks, their limitations are evident. The market, influenced by dynamics like supply, demand, and investor sentiment, plays a pivotal role in determining the actual worth.

As we bid adieu, remember, understanding these financial nuances is a stepping stone to making informed investment decisions. Until next time, happy investing!