By addressing the financial markets from a new perspective, this book sets out to take the reader on a journey, explaining the role of financial markets as places where exchanges take place to meet the needs of people, businesses and institutions. The volume is structured in four parts. The first part introduces the functions, structure, and components of the financial system. In the second part, the authors describe the functioning of the markets in terms of risk and return, providing a more in-depth description of the role of intermediaries. In the third part, capital markets are illustrated in various forms, presenting the debt market and the stock market from the accounting to the market/investment point of view. Finally, the last part presents other financial instruments as part of the whole system. This book provides students approaching the financial markets for the first time with a valuable tool that balances clarity and simplicity without losing sight of the real economy.