Glossary

A
  • Accrual Accounting

    An accounting method where revenue and expenses are recorded when they are earned or incurred, regardless of when the cash is received or paid.

  • Amortization

    The process of gradually repaying a loan through regular installment payments, which include both principal and interest.

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    The total cost of borrowing, including both interest and fees, expressed as a percentage over a year.

  • Arbitrage

    The practice of exploiting price differences of the same asset in different markets to make a profit with minimal risk.

  • Assets

    Anything of value owned by an individual, corporation, or country that can be converted into cash.

B
  • Bear Market

    A financial market characterized by falling asset prices and a generally pessimistic outlook among investors.

  • Blue Chip Stocks

    Stocks of large, well-established, and financially sound companies with a history of stable performance.

  • Bond

    A debt security that represents a loan made by an investor to a borrower (typically a government or corporation) with a promise of repayment with interest.

  • Broker

    A financial intermediary who facilitates the buying and selling of financial instruments on behalf of clients.

  • Bull Market

    A financial market characterized by rising asset prices and a generally optimistic outlook among investors.

C
  • Capital Gains

    Profits generated from the sale of an investment, such as stocks, real estate, or other assets.

  • Cash Flow

    The net amount of cash and cash equivalents moving into and out of a business, indicating its liquidity and financial health.

  • Compound Interest

    Interest calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest from previous periods, leading to exponential growth over time.

  • Credit Score

    A numerical representation of an individual’s creditworthiness, based on their credit history and financial behavior.

  • Cryptocurrency

    A digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security and operates on decentralized networks, such as blockchain.

D
  • Debt-to-Equity Ratio

    A financial metric that compares a company’s total debt to its total equity, providing insights into its financial leverage.

  • Depreciation

    The reduction in the value of an asset over time, typically due to wear and tear or obsolescence.

  • Derivative

    A financial contract whose value is derived from the performance of an underlying asset, index, or rate.

  • Diversification

    The strategy of spreading investments across different assets or asset classes to reduce risk and enhance potential returns.

  • Dividend

    Definition: A distribution of a portion of a company’s earnings to its shareholders, usually in the form of cash or additional shares.

E
  • Earnings Per Share (EPS)

    A financial metric that represents the portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock.

  • Employee Stock Option (ESO)

    A stock option granted to employees as part of their compensation package, allowing them to purchase shares of the company’s stock at a predetermined price.

  • Equity

    The ownership interest in a company, represented by shares of stock, indicating the residual interest after deducting liabilities.

  • Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)

    An investment fund traded on stock exchanges, comprising a diversified portfolio of assets, and designed to track the performance of a specific index.

  • Expense Ratio

    The percentage of a mutual fund’s total assets that is deducted annually to cover management fees and other operational expenses.

F
  • Financial Planner

    A professional who helps individuals and businesses create comprehensive financial plans, including budgeting, investments, and retirement planning.

  • Fixed Income

    Investments that pay a fixed amount of interest or dividends, such as bonds, providing a predictable income stream.

  • Forex (Foreign Exchange)

    The global marketplace for trading national currencies against one another, facilitating international trade and investment.

  • Fundamental Analysis

    A method of evaluating a security’s intrinsic value by examining economic, financial, and other qualitative and quantitative factors.

  • Futures

    Financial contracts obligating the buyer to purchase, or the seller to sell, a specific asset at a predetermined future date and price.

G
  • Going Public

    The process by which a private company becomes publicly traded by offering its shares to the general public through an initial public offering (IPO).

  • Good 'Til Cancelled (GTC)

    An order to buy or sell a security at a specified price that remains in effect until the order is executed or canceled by the investor.

  • Greenback

    Informal term for the U.S. dollar, often used in the context of foreign exchange markets.

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

    The total monetary value of all goods and services produced within a country’s borders over a specific time period, serving as a key economic indicator.

  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

    A low-risk, interest-bearing investment offered by financial institutions with a fixed term and guaranteed principal repayment.

H
  • Hedge Fund

    An investment fund that pools capital from accredited individuals or institutional investors and employs various strategies to earn high returns or mitigate risk.

  • High-Frequency Trading (HFT)

    A type of algorithmic trading characterized by the use of high-speed and sophisticated computer programs to execute numerous orders in fractions of a second.

  • Holding Period

    The duration an investor owns a security or asset before selling it, influencing capital gains tax treatment.

  • Housing Market Index (HMI)

    A survey-based economic indicator that gauges the sentiment of homebuilders regarding current and future conditions in the housing market.

  • Hyperinflation

    An extremely high and typically accelerating inflation, leading to a sharp and rapid decrease in the purchasing power of a currency.

I
  • Index Fund

    A type of mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) designed to replicate the performance of a specific market index.

  • Inflation

    The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, leading to a decrease in purchasing power.

  • Initial Public Offering (IPO)

    The first sale of a company’s stock to the public, transforming it from a private to a publicly-traded entity.

  • Interest Rate

    The cost of borrowing money, usually expressed as a percentage, and the return earned on an investment.

  • Investment Horizon

    The length of time an investor plans to hold an investment before selling it, often categorized as short-term, medium-term, or long-term.

J
  • J-Curve Effect

    In economics, a graphical representation of the initial decrease and subsequent increase in the trade balance following a currency devaluation.

  • Jobless Claims

    Weekly reports that track the number of individuals filing for unemployment benefits, providing insights into the labor market’s health.

  • Joint Account

    A financial account owned by two or more individuals, allowing them equal access and control over the assets in the account.

  • Junior Equity

    Common stock or other equity instruments that rank lower in priority compared to senior equity in terms of claims on assets and dividends.

  • Junk Bond

    A high-yield, high-risk bond issued by companies with lower credit ratings, offering higher returns to compensate for the increased risk.

K
  • Keynesian Economics

    An economic theory that advocates for active government intervention in the economy to stabilize and promote economic growth.

  • Kilowatt-Hour (kWh)

    A unit of electrical energy equivalent to one kilowatt (1,000 watts) of power used for one hour.

  • Know Your Customer (KYC)

    Regulatory requirements and processes that financial institutions must follow to verify and identify their customers to prevent fraud and money laundering.

  • K-Shaped Recovery

    A scenario where different sectors or segments of the economy recover from a downturn at different rates, creating diverging paths.

  • Kurtosis

    A statistical measure that describes the distribution of data points in a dataset, indicating the tails’ thickness or thinness compared to a normal distribution.

L
  • Leverage

    The use of borrowed capital to increase the size of a position or investment, amplifying both potential gains and losses.

  • LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate)

    The benchmark interest rate at which major global banks lend to one another in the interbank market, influencing various financial products’ interest rates.

  • Limit Order

    An order to buy or sell a security at a specific price or better, only executed if the market reaches the designated price.

  • Liquidity

    The ease with which an asset or security can be bought or sold in the market without affecting its price.

  • Long Position

    A position where an investor holds an asset with the expectation that its price will rise, allowing for a profitable sale in the future.

M
  • Margin Call

    A demand by a broker or lender for additional funds to cover potential losses in a margin account due to adverse price movements.

  • Market Capitalization (Market Cap)

    The total value of a company’s outstanding shares of stock, calculated by multiplying the current stock price by the total number of shares.

  • Market Order

    An order to buy or sell a security immediately at the best available current market price.

  • Monetary Policy

    The actions taken by a central bank to control the money supply, interest rates, and inflation, influencing economic growth and stability.

  • Mutual Fund

    An investment vehicle that pools money from multiple investors to invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities.

N
  • NASDAQ

    A global electronic marketplace for buying and selling securities, known for its high-tech and technology-focused listings.

  • National Debt

    The total amount of money that a government owes to external creditors and its own citizens, often expressed as a percentage of the country’s GDP.

  • Net Asset Value (NAV)

    The per-share value of a mutual fund, calculated by dividing the total value of all assets minus liabilities by the number of outstanding shares.

  • Nominal Interest Rate

    The stated interest rate on a loan or investment without adjusting for inflation.

  • Non-Fungible Token (NFT)

    A unique digital asset, often based on blockchain technology, representing ownership or proof of authenticity for a specific item or piece of content.

O
  • Open-End Fund

    A mutual fund that continuously issues and redeems shares based on investor demand, with no restrictions on the number of shares it can issue.

  • Options

    Financial derivatives that give the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset at a predetermined price within a specified time.

  • Outperform

    A term used to describe an investment that performs better than a particular benchmark, index, or other investments in its category.

  • Overbought

    A situation where the price of an asset has risen sharply and quickly, potentially indicating that it is overvalued and due for a correction.

  • Over-the-Counter (OTC)

    A decentralized market where financial instruments are traded directly between two parties without a centralized exchange or broker.

P
  • Pip

    In foreign exchange (Forex) trading, a pip is the smallest price move that a given exchange rate can make based on market convention.

  • Portfolio

    A collection of investments, such as stocks, bonds, and other assets, held by an individual, institution, or mutual fund.

  • Price-to-Earnings Ratio (P/E Ratio)

    A valuation ratio calculated by dividing a company’s current stock price by its earnings per share (EPS), providing insights into its relative value.

  • Private Equity

    Equity securities in companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange, often involving investments in private companies.

  • Public Company

    A company whose shares are traded on a public stock exchange, allowing the general public to buy and sell its shares.

Q
  • Qualified Dividend

    A type of dividend that qualifies for a lower tax rate, typically lower than the ordinary income tax rate.

  • Quality of Earnings

    An assessment of the legitimacy and sustainability of a company’s earnings, considering the transparency and reliability of its financial statements.

  • Quantitative Easing (QE)

    A monetary policy strategy used by central banks to increase the money supply by purchasing financial assets, typically government bonds, to stimulate economic activity.

  • Quick Ratio

    A liquidity ratio that measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets, excluding inventory.

  • Quote

    The current or most recent price at which a security is bought or sold in the market.

R
  • Rate of Return

    The gain or loss made on an investment relative to the amount invested, expressed as a percentage.

  • Recession

    A significant decline in economic activity across the economy, typically lasting for a prolonged period, often marked by a decline in GDP, employment, and consumer spending.

  • Return on Investment (ROI)

    A financial metric that measures the profitability of an investment, calculated as the gain or loss relative to the initial investment cost.

  • Risk Management

    The process of identifying, assessing, and prioritizing potential risks and developing strategies to mitigate or avoid them.

  • Rollover

    The process of reinvesting funds from a mature security or investment into a new one, often used in retirement accounts.

S
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

    A U.S. government agency responsible for regulating securities markets and protecting investors.

  • Short Selling

    The practice of selling borrowed securities with the expectation that their price will decline, allowing the seller to buy them back at a lower price to make a profit.

  • S&P 500

    A market-capitalization-weighted index of 500 of the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S., widely used as a benchmark for the overall stock market.

  • Stock Split

    A corporate action that increases the number of a company’s outstanding shares while proportionally decreasing the share price, often to make the stock more affordable.

  • Supply and Demand

    The fundamental economic principle that describes the relationship between the availability of a product or service (supply) and the desire for it (demand), influencing prices.

T
  • Target Date Fund

    A mutual fund designed to automatically adjust its asset allocation over time to become more conservative as the target date (usually retirement) approaches.

  • Tax-Loss Harvesting

    A strategy used by investors to sell securities at a loss to offset capital gains and reduce their overall tax liability.

  • Technical Analysis

    A method of evaluating securities by analyzing historical price and volume data to predict future price movements.

  • Total Return

    The overall gain or loss on an investment, including both capital appreciation and income generated through dividends or interest.

  • Treasury Bond

    A long-term debt security issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, paying periodic interest and returning the principal at maturity.

U
  • Underperform

    A term used to describe an investment that performs worse than a particular benchmark, index, or other investments in its category.

  • Underwriting

    The process by which financial institutions assess and assume the risk of providing insurance coverage or issuing securities.

  • Unsecured Debt

    Debt that is not backed by collateral, relying on the borrower’s creditworthiness and reputation for repayment.

  • Uptick Rule

    A regulation that restricts short selling to prevent excessive downward pressure on a security’s price, allowing short sales only on an uptick or a zero-plus tick.

  • Utility Stocks

    Stocks of companies in the utilities sector, often characterized by stable dividends and relatively low volatility due to the essential nature of their services.

V
  • Value Investing

    An investment strategy that involves selecting stocks or other securities that are considered undervalued based on fundamental analysis, with the expectation of long-term capital appreciation.

  • Variable Annuity

    An insurance product with an investment component that allows the contract holder to allocate funds among different investment options, with payouts linked to the performance of those investments.

  • Venture Capital

    Funding provided to early-stage, high-potential, and high-risk startups by venture capitalists in exchange for equity or ownership stakes.

  • Vesting

    The process by which an employee gains full ownership of employer-contributed retirement funds or stock options over a specified period.

  • Volatility

    A statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index, indicating the degree of price fluctuation.

W
  • Wage Price Index (WPI)

    A measure of changes in wage levels, providing insights into labor market trends and inflationary pressures.

  • Warrant

    A financial instrument that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying security at a predetermined price before expiration.

  • Wealth Management

    A professional service that combines financial planning, investment management, and other financial advisory services to address the complex needs of high-net-worth individuals.

  • Withholding Tax

    A tax deducted at the source, typically from wages or investment income, by the payer before the income is paid to the recipient.

  • Working Capital

    The difference between a company’s current assets and current liabilities, reflecting its ability to cover short-term operational expenses.

X
  • X

    As there are limited financial terms starting with ‘X,’ this placeholder represents the challenge of finding terms specific to finance in this category.

  • Xenocurrency

    A currency that circulates outside its country of origin, often used in the context of foreign currencies.

  • Xenoeconomics

    A theoretical branch of economics that explores economic interactions and systems between different extraterrestrial civilizations.

  • XIRR (Extended Internal Rate of Return)

    A financial metric used to calculate the internal rate of return (IRR) for irregular cash flows, taking into account specific dates for each cash flow.

  • X-Shares

    A class of mutual fund shares that typically charge a higher expense ratio but may offer lower sales charges or loads.

Y
  • Year-Over-Year (YOY)

    A comparison of a financial metric’s current performance with the same metric from the previous year, used to analyze trends and assess growth.

  • Yellow Sheets

    A publication that provides information about the prices and yields of corporate bonds in the over-the-counter market.

  • Yield

    The income generated by an investment, typically expressed as a percentage of the investment’s current market price or face value.

  • Yield Curve

    A graphical representation of the relationship between the interest rates and the maturities of different securities, often used as an economic indicator.

  • Yield to Maturity (YTM)

    The total return anticipated on a bond if held until it matures, considering its current market price, par value, coupon interest rate, and the time to maturity.

Z
  • Zero-Coupon Bond

    A debt security that does not make periodic interest payments but is issued at a discount to its face value, providing the return through capital appreciation upon maturity.

  • Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one participant’s gain or loss is exactly balanced by the losses or gains of other participants, resulting in a net change of zero.

  • Zombie Company

    A firm that is financially distressed and unable to cover its debt servicing costs but continues to operate with the help of external support, often delaying the inevitable bankruptcy.

  • Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA)

    In negotiation, the range or area where a deal is possible and both parties can find common ground.

  • Z-Score

    A statistical measurement that quantifies the distance (in standard deviations) a data point is from the mean of a group of data, often used in financial analysis to assess credit risk.