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InvestWord Dictionary

1. stretch IRA An Individual Retirement Account strategy designed to prolong or "stretch" the period of time over which earnings can be tax deferred. This strategy is used when an investor does not need all of the funds from the retirement account, and wishes to create an estate that can extend for generations. Beneficiaries will still need to take the required minimum distributions. 2. European Exchange Rate Mechanism ERM. A system created in 1979 as a way to reduce the volatility of the various European currencies and to create a stable monetary system. The ERM created fixed margins in which a country's currency could operate. It was the predecessor of the European Economic and Monetary Union. 3. currency basket A group of securities whose weighted average is used to determine the value of an obligation or the value of another currency. For instance, a country that does not peg the value of its currency to a single other currency, such as the U.S. dollar, could value its currency to the value of a currency basket comprised of Euros, U.S. dollars, and Japanese Yen. 4. linear chart The standard chart type, on which a given distance always represents the same absolute change in price (unlike on a logarithmic chart, where a given distance always represents the same percentage change in price). In other words, the distance from 1 to 10 is the same as the distance from 10 to 100 on a logarithmic chart, but the latter distance is ten times greater on a linear chart. 5. guaranteed stock Preferred or common stock of one corporation whose dividends are guaranteed by another corporation. Since the dividends are guaranteed, investors are generally willing to pay a higher amount for the stock than if the stock was not backed up by a guarantee. How valuable the actual guarantee is will depend on the guarantor's financial and credit history. The guaranteed stock arrangement has frequently been used by railroads. 6. retrocession 1. The purchase of reinsurance by a reinsurance company. This limits the risk that a reinsurance company must face, since it has purchased insurance against an event that might affect a company that it had underwritten. If a reinsurance company continues to purchase insurance it might unknowingly buy back its own risk, known as "spiraling". 2. The voluntary act of returning property which had been previously "ceded" to its original holders. Examples include Washington, D.C. returning land to the state of Virginia in 1847, or the United Kingdom returning Hong Kong to China in 1997.

7. micro-hedge Hedge designed to reduce or eliminate risk resulting from a particular asset or liability, as opposed to the risk arising from an entire portfolio. If the asset or liability is part of a large portfolio with a number of correlated risks, then micro-hedging is less likely to be an effective technique. opposite of macro-hedge. 8. married put The purchase of a put option on a stock that is already owned. A married put protects against a decline in the price of the underlying stock. If the price declines, the stock can be sold at the higher price any time before expiration. Of course, if the stock price remains neutral or increases, the option is worthless and the premium is lost. 9. monetary reserve A government's stockpile of foreign currency and precious metals. Monetary reserves are useful both for settling transactions involving foreign counterparties and for undertaking trading in foreign exchange and commodity markets. In general, the larger the monetary reserve, the better the country is able to engage in transactions with foreign countries. 10. Prudent Investor Act The fundamental principle for professional money management, stated by Judge Samuel Putnum in 1830: "Those with responsibility to invest money for others should act with prudence, discretion, intelligence, and regard for the safety of capital as well as income." Some states which don't have specific legal lists require fiduciaries to uphold the Prudent Investor Act. also called prudent man rule. 11. National Association of Purchasing Managers index NAPM index. A measure of the health of the manufacturing sector, and more generally the overall economy, calculated by surveying purchasing managers for data about new orders, production, employment, deliveries, and inventory, in descending order of importance. It is based on a survey of over 250 companies within twenty-one industries covering all 50 states, and it is released on the first business day of the month at 10 am EST and reflects the previous month's data. A reading over 50% indicates that manufacturing is growing, while a reading below 50% means it is shrinking. The NAPM index is also thought to be an early indicator of inflationary pressures. 12. medical savings account MSA. An account into which tax-deferred funds are contributed. The money from this account can be used to pay for a variety of the individual's medical expenses, such as an insurance copay or deductible. This account is often used by people who are selfemployed, so the funds are contributed by the individuals, either for their own use or their employees, if they have any.

13. reciprocal currency arrangement Short term agreements between the central banks of two or more countries whereby a supply of one country's currency is maintained at a steady exchange rate. This improves the conditions of liquidity in the global financial market and helps it to run smoothly. Also called swap lines. 14. scrip issue Fully paid-up new common stock (ordinary shares) issued free to existing stockholders (shareholders) in proportion to their current stock/shareholdings. A bookkeeping transaction (because no cash changes hands), it capitalizes a part of reserves (retained earnings) to bring (1) share capital more in line with the assets employed; and (2) a high share price back to a more manageable amount, thus enhancing its marketability. Although the number of shares held by each shareholder increases, the value of the total shareholding remains the same as before the scrip issue. Also called bonus issue, bonus shares, or capitalization issue. See also rights issue. scrip issue is in the Accounting & Auditing, Banking, Commerce, Credit, & Finance, Investing and Securities & Futures Trading subjects. scrip issue appears in the definitions of the following terms: capitalization issue, ex all, bonus shares, bonus issue, and ex. 15. sales charge A fee charged by a broker or agent for his/her service in facilitating a transaction, such as the buying or selling of securities or real estate. In the case of securities trading, brokers can be split into two broad categories depending on the sales charges they charge. Discount brokers charge relatively low sales charges, but provide no services beyond executing trades. Full service brokers charge higher sales charges, but provide research and investment advisory services. also called commission. 16. interest-sensitive life insurance Cash value life insurance in which the rate credited by the insurer is adjusted periodically to reflect the current performance of its investment portfolio which is influenced by the prevailing interest rate environment. As the yield on the insurer's investment portfolio increases, the credited cash value rate can also increase. 17. Spider SPDR. Shares of a security designed to track the value of the S&P 500. Spiders trade on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol SPY. One SPDR unit is valued at approximately one-tenth of the value of the S&P 500. Dividends are distributed quarterly,

and are based on the accumulated stock dividends held in trust, less any expenses of the trust. also called Standard & Poor's Depositary Receipt. 18. iron condor Options trading strategy that requires the traders to buy and hold four different options. An iron condor has a similar structure to an iron butterfly, but two of the options located in the center have different strike prices. In order to create an iron condor, the trader must hold a long and short position in two different strangle strategies. Two vertical spreads (bull call spread and bull put spread) with the same expiration date are also utilized with an iron condor. 19. currency in circulation The total amount of paper currency, coins, and demand deposits that is held by consumers and businesses rather than by financial institutions, central banks, and the U.S. Treasury. Currency in circulation is thus the sum of currency held by the public, and is a component of a bank's reserves. It is an important factor that the Federal Open Market Committee takes into account when setting the money supply, since a decline in the currency in circulation means that banks don't have as many demand deposits in their reserve. This can mean that fewer loans could be extended to borrowers because the bank will have to make up for a decline in reserves. 20. forex arbitrage A forex trading strategy which consists of locating an incorrectly priced currency pair and buying or selling it against another currency pair for a profitable trade. These opportunities are small windows caused by an inefficient trading environment lacking liquidity and do not last long. 21. broker recommendation An opinion given by an analyst to his/her clients about whether a given stock is worth buying or not. Wall Street investment firms employ thousands of analysts whose job is to issue reports and broker recommendations on specific stocks. These analysts typically look at the company's fundamentals and then build financial models in order to project future trends, most notably future earnings. They then use these projections as a basis for issuing broker recommendations on whether or not they think the stock should be bought or sold. Each brokerage has its own terminology, which makes it difficult to compare broker recommendations between brokerages, but the most common ratings are (in descending order of quality) strong buy, buy, hold, and sell. also called recommendation. 22. annuity 1. A contract sold by an insurance company designed to provide payments to the holder at specified intervals, usually after retirement. The holder is taxed only when they start

taking distributions or if they withdraw funds from the account. All annuities are taxdeferred, meaning that the earnings from investments in these accounts grow tax-deferred until withdrawal. Annuity earnings are also tax-deferred so they cannot be withdrawn without penalty until a certain specified age. Fixed annuities guarantee a certain payment amount, while variable annuities do not, but do have the potential for greater returns. Both are relatively safe, low-yielding investments. An annuity has a death benefit equivalent to the higher of the current value of the annuity or the amount the buyer has paid into it. If the owner dies during the accumulation phase, his or her heirs will receive the accumulated amount in the annuity. This money is subject to ordinary income taxes in addition to estate taxes. 2. More generally, a series of payments of set size and frequency, often to a retired person. 23. Lorenz curve A model developed by economist Max Lorenz in 1905. It represents a probability distribution of statistical values, and is often associated with income distribution calculations. For example, a Lorenz curve can show that the bottom 40% of households bring in 25% of a country's income. If income distribution were perfectly equal, 40% of households would bring in 40% of income. 24. pivot point A technical indicator which is used to predict a change in resistance or support levels for a stock. The pivot point is calculated by taking the average of a stock's daily high, low, and closing price. If the market price increases above the pivot point, it is said to indicate a new support level, but if it decreases below the pivot point, it is said to indicate a new resistance level. Pivot points are often used in analysis of the forex market. Formula: the sum of the high, low, and closing prices divided by 3. 25. consumer discretionary A category of industries, made up of companies which deal with products or services that are not necessities. The degree of spending and amount of consumption of these products and services varies depending upon the individual. These industries include automobiles, high-end clothing, restaurants, hotels, and luxury goods. 26. bull trap A sign which supposedly indicates that a security is reversing its path, and is starting to rise instead of decline, but in actuality the security continues to decline after this signal is seen. It is seen as a trap because some people will see this signal and purchase the stock because they believe they will benefit from this increase in value, but they are trapped with a poor performing stock when they find out that the stock is still falling.

27. multiple exchange rates A system where a country will have both fixed and floating foreign exchange rates at the same time, and both can be used when exchanging currencies in that country. In this situation, the market is divided into any number of segments, each with its own exchange rate. This is frequently used to give preferential treatment to people dealing with goods and products that are the most important to the country; people importing these goods can be given a better exchange rate than people who are importing goods that are not as necessary for the country. If a country only imposes two different exchange rates at the same time, it is referred to as a dual exchange rate system. 28. Fibonacci retracement A tool used in technical analysis which plots the Fibonacci ratios on a graph which displays a stock's price over time. The key Fibonacci ratios are 23.6%, 38.2%, 61.8%, and 78.6%. The different Fibonacci ratios are used to predict how likely it is for the stock to return to that price by retracing its previous actions. 29. Direct Stock Purchase Plan DSP. A SEC-regulated program which enables a company to sell shares of stock directly to investors, rather than through a broker, enabling the investors to avoid paying a commission. DSPs are a good way to invest small amounts since you don't even have to be a current shareholder in order to purchase the shares. The company will not charge you a commission, but they may charge you a small fee in order to set up a stock purchase account. Direct Stock Purchase Plans are not related to Directed Share Programs (which have the same acronym, DSP). 30. Directional Movement Index DMI. An indicator used in technical analysis to determine if a financial instrument, such as a stock, is trending in particular direction. It is broken into the positive directional indicator (+DI), negative directional indicator (-DI) and Average Directional Index (ADX). The value of the index can be zero. The higher the value of the DMI, the better the chance that the stock will move. 31. indexed loan A loan in which payments change in response to changes in an index such as the Consumer Price Index. Indexed loans are usually long-term, since such loans might potentially be affected by many different market factors. One of the most common factors that a loan might be indexed for is inflation, since prices typically rise over time and the principal amount of the loan thus loses value with every time period, benefitting the borrower and hurting the lender. The maturity, interest or principal of an indexed loan may all be adjusted, depending on the structure of the loan.

32. down-and-in barrier option A type of barrier option in which the spot price of the underlying is set above the barrier level, and the price of the underlying must close lower in order for the option to be exercised. It is named "down-and-in" because the right to exercise the option appears if the price of the underlying is below the barrier. 33. Buttonwood Agreement An agreement signed in 1792 between twenty-four stockbrokers that effectively created the New York Stock Exchange. The terms of the agreement indicated that stockbrokers were to only deal with each other (no auctioneers), and that they would use a set commission rate of 0.25%. The agreement was so named because it was signed under a buttonwood tree outside of 86 Wall Street. 34. spousal remainder trust A trust in which income-producing property is placed in the trust by the grantor and income is distributed to the beneficiary over a specified time period. If the beneficiary is less than 14 years old, the income is taxed at the grantor's rate, otherwise it is taxed at the beneficiary's rate. At the end of the term, the property reverts to the grantor or the grantor's spouse. 35. portable alpha A portfolio management strategy which requires separating alpha from beta by eliminating market risk (beta). When the portfolio manager is able to remove the risk, their returns will be based purely on their skill and ability (alpha), and it will not be affected by the performance of the market. If done successfully, this is called a portable alpha because the alpha has been disassociated from the beta and is now portable, nondependent upon the beta. 36. Warren Buffett The Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and arguably the greatest stock market investor of all time. An investor who chose to invest $10,000 in Berkshire Hathaway when Buffett took over in 1965 would have more than $20 million today. His forte is in identifying undervalued companies, and he is well-known for taking a very long-term positions in companies he identifies as being good investment prospects. Buffett provides strong evidence that it is possible to consistently outperform the market. 37. coattail investing A trading strategy in which an investor tries to duplicate the performance of a successful (and usually well-known) investor by copying their trades as soon as they are made

public. This is a risky strategy, since there is a time delay between when the successful investor's trades occur and when they are made public, and because the strategy disregards overall portfolio considerations, risk tolerance, and other unique circumstances. 38. balloon maturity A repayment schedule for an issue of bonds in which a large number of the bonds come due at the same time, typically the final maturity date. This term applies only to bonds which do not have a sinking fund provision. A balloon maturity can put company cash flow under stress if adequate preparations are not made. 39. Rule 12b-1 fee An extra fee charged by some mutual funds to cover promotion, distributions, marketing expenses, and sometimes commissions to brokers. A genuine no-load fund does not have Rule 12b-1 fees, although some funds calling themselves "no-load" do have Rule 12b-1 fees (as do some load funds). Rule 12b-1 fee information is disclosed in a fund's prospectus, is included in the stated expense ratio, and is usually less than 1%. also called 12b-1 fee. 40. publicly-traded fund A fund with a fixed number of shares outstanding, and one which does not redeem shares the way a typical mutual fund does. Publicly-traded funds behave more like stock than open-end funds: closed-end funds issue a fixed number of shares to the public in an initial public offering, after which time shares in the fund are bought and sold on a stock exchange, and they are not obligated to issue new shares or redeem outstanding shares as open-end funds are. The price of a share in a publicly-traded fund is determined entirely by market demand, so shares can either trade below their net asset value ("at a discount") or above it ("at a premium"). also called closed-end investment company or closed-end fund. 41. OCC Options Clearing Corporation. The organization that handles clearing of the options trades for the various options exchanges and regulates the listing of new options. It is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and is owned jointly by the U.S. stock exchanges that trade options (American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Pacific Exchange, and Philadelphia Stock Exchange). The fact that all listed options are cleared through OCC means that all options are free of default risk, since the OCC guarantees all option contracts. Therefore, the buyer or a seller of an option only faces the credit risk of the OCC (which is minimal), not the credit risk of the counterparty. In order to manage risk, the OCC imposes margin requirements on all options brokers. The margin requirement depends on the particulars of each specific contract.

42. constant dollar plan An investment strategy designed to reduce volatility in which securities, typically mutual funds, are purchased in fixed dollar amounts at regular intervals, regardless of what direction the market is moving. Thus, as prices of securities rise, fewer units are bought, and as prices fall, more units are bought. also called constant dollar plan. also called dollar cost averaging. 43. currency overlay Currency risk management that is outsourced to specialist firm otherwise called the overlay manager. Most often used for international investment portfolios the overlay manager acts as risk manager to limit risk from adverse movements and to assist in profit building. Hedging is conducted by overlay manager on behalf of firm in order to achieve firm's objectives. Most currency overlay is specialized for example profiting from currency movements. 44. offshoring Shifting a business function from one country to another. For a business, this can entail moving product manufacturing, service centers or operations to a different country. Offshoring is often used to reduce the cost of business, with the company seeking to move parts of operations to countries with more favorable economic conditions. 45. regional exchange An SEC-registered stock exchange which focuses on listing stocks of corporations in its geographic region. The major U.S. regional exchanges are the Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Pacific, and Philadelphia stock exchanges. Regional exchanges are usually significantly smaller than exchanges that focus on listing stocks at the national level. Many stocks listed on regional exchanges are not listed on national exchanges. However, regional exchanges also feature stocks which list both on the regional and the national exchange. 46. APT Arbitrage Pricing Theory. An alternative asset pricing model to the Capital Asset Pricing Model. Unlike the Capital Asset Pricing Model, which specifies returns as a linear function of only systematic risk, Arbitrage Pricing Theory may specify returns as a linear function of more than a single factor.Thus, there is no clear risk-return trade-off in this model. 47. RTO

Reverse Take-Over. When a company buys out a larger company, but could also occasionally refer to a private company taking over a publicly listed company. Typically, a public company that is taken over by a private company will remain listed, and the private company will use the acquisition as means of gaining a listing. A reverse takeover is a relatively rare event. 48. adjusted debit balance Value used to determine a margin account's position, as required by Regulation T. This is the amount a customer owes a broker, minus profits on short sales and balances in a special miscellaneous account. If the adjusted debit balance is very small, the customer can withdraw cash or securities from a margin account. 49. standard accounting practice A set of rules that a company must follow when reporting information on its financial statement. The standard accounting practice guidelines allow companies to be compared to each other because they have followed the same rules. The standard methods in the U.S. are referred to as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. 50. rate differential swap A swap in which the two payments are tied to two currencies in two different interest rate indexes, but in which the payments are exchanged in one base currency. For example, a rate differential swap might have payments denominated in U.S. dollars, but could have one set tied to the Japanese LIBOR and another to the U.S. LIBOR. The Japanese LIBOR payments will still be made in dollars. The rate differential swap allows investors to profit from changes in the interest rates of the two indexes. also called cross-index basis swap, cross-rate swap, differential swap, interest rate index swap, LIBOR differential swap. 51. covered warrant A right (but not an obligation) to buy or sell a set amount of stock, bonds or other securities from a financial institution at a specific price and date. Unlike a regular warrant, which is issued by a company and allows a holder to buy or sell that company's securities, a covered warrant is issued by a financial institution and can apply to outside securities. For example, a bank might issue a covered warrant on shares of Microsoft. The warrant is "covered" because the issuing organization owns at least some of the underlying securities. 52. gamble To engage in any activity in which money is put at risk for the purpose of making a profit, and which is characterized by some or most of the following (in approximately descending order of importance): little or no research has been conducted; the odds are

unfavorable; the behavior is risk-seeking; an unsystematic approach is being taken; emotions such as greed and fear play a role; the activity is a discrete event or series of discrete events not done as part of a long-term plan; the activity is significantly motivated by entertainment or compulsion; ownership of something tangible is not involved; no net economic effect results. 53. forex hedge Tactic used by a forex trader to protect a current position from undesirable changes in exchange rates. For example, if a trader predicted that the dollar may take a turn for the worst, he/she may implement a forex hedge to protect the investment. 54. W formation A technical analysis term used to describe a chart on which the price of a security has made two approximately equal bottoms over a period of time. Technical analysts try to buy at one of the bottoms in anticipation of a rise (which would make the shape of a "W" on the chart). also called double bottom. opposite of double top. 55. consolidated tape A ticker tape which includes quotes for both NYSE and AMEX stocks. The consolidated tape is split into two different reporting systems. One reports the trading prices and volumes on the New York Stock Exchange, and also trading prices and volume from other exchanges of stocks that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The other reports the trading prices and volumes on the American Stock Exchange, and on the trading volume and prices of AMEX-listed stock in other exchanges and the over-thecounter market. 56. Federal Unemployment Tax Act FUTA. A federal law that taxes businesses in order to fund the unemployment benefits set forth by the Social Security Act of 1935. In times of economic growth, revenues from the tax increase but are used less frequently because unemployment levels are low, creating a cushion of funds. During times of slowing growth and rising unemployment, this cushion can provide benefits to the unemployed. 57. prepayment privilege A clause in some loans allowing the borrower to pay off the debt prior to its due date without incurring a penalty. This is an advantage for a borrower when interest rates are falling, since he/she can pay off the existing loan and then refinance at a more favorable rate. also called prior redemption privilege. 58. accounting information system (AIS)

A system, typically computer-based, used for storing, collecting, and analyzing a company's financial and accounting data. Accounting information systems are generally used by executives to make decisions, develop company strategies, and generate reports for shareholders, internal personnel, and regulatory agencies. Accounting information systems also streamline accounting cycles and reduce the incidence of accounting errors. 59. whitewash resolution A term used in Europe to refer to a specific portion of the corporation act (called the Companies Act in Europe). This portion of the act indicates that a specific resolution must be passed before a company being bought out can provide financial assistance to the company which is buying it out. This is to prevent companies from taking advantage of the companies they are buying out. 60. split coupon bond A bond which pays no coupons, is sold at a deep discount to its face value, and matures at its face value. A zero-coupon bond has the important advantage of being free of reinvestment risk, though the downside is that there is no opportunity to enjoy the effects of a rise in market interest rates. Also, such bonds tend to be very sensitive to changes in interest rates, since there are no coupon payments to reduce the impact of interest rate changes. In addition, markets for zero coupon bonds are relatively illiquid. The imputed interest on a split coupon bond is taxable as it accrues, even though there is no cash flow. also called accrual bond or zero-coupon bond. 61. muni fund A mutual fund which invests in municipal bonds. These bond funds are popular among investors in high income tax brackets because they are exempt from federal taxes and, in some cases, from state taxes as well. As with U.S. government bond funds, the underlying securities in muni funds are backed by the government and thus are considered to have a high credit rating. However, municipalities have been known to declare bankruptcy on occasion, making these funds more risky than U.S. government bonds. also called municipal bond fund. 62. mean reversion 1. The theory that a given value will continue to return to an average value over time, despite fluctuations above and below the average value. This theory can be applied to any measurable value, including interest rates and the return on a certain investment. 2. A purchasing strategy based on the above theory, which assumes that prices will return to an average value. This strategy encourages purchasing underperforming securities, under the premise that the market will eventually rebound, and the value of the security will increase.

63. SIMPLE Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees. A retirement plan sponsored by companies with fewer than 100 employees which is attractive for employers because it avoids some of the administrative fees and paperwork of plans such as a 401(k) plan. A SIMPLE plan may be structured as either a 401(k) or an IRA. 64. bullet dodging Waiting to grant an employee stock option until after bad news involving the company is made public. Because the strike price on an option is linked to the date on which the option was issued, waiting until after bad news sends a stock price lower and allows the employee to obtain shares at a lower strike price. 65. arbitrage house A financial institution that engages in arbitrage. Such firms search for market inefficiencies and securities which they feel are mispriced, and then undertake trades which allow them to make riskless profits. Arbitrage opportunities are often quite difficult to detect, since mispricings can be very small. Also, arbitrage opportunities tend to disappear almost immediately since market forces act to reverse the opportunity. Because of these characteristics of arbitrage, many arbitrage houses are equipped with very sophisticated computer software and hardware to help them identify potential opportunities and act on them very quickly. Many arbitrage houses also develop complex software-driven mathematical models to find mispricings and market inefficiencies. 66. reclassification The process of changing a mutual fund from one class designation to another, due to a change in circumstances or requirements. This often happens when a company initially issues multiple series of mutual funds, and then after a certain series of events, one class of fund is reclassified as another class. One example of this is when a back-end load fund or front-end load fund is reclassified as a no-load fund once a given amount of time has passed. 67. covered straddle A straddle constructed on shares of stock already owned by the holder. A covered straddle consists of writing a call and a put with the same strike price and expiration against stocks that the holder owns. A covered straddle is not a true covered position, since assignment for the short put would actually require additional stock. 68. brought over the wall Situation in which a research analyst at an investment bank works for the underwriting department for a corporate client. Legally, these two departments are supposed to be kept

separate because of the risk in the transfer of inside information and potential conflicts of interest. also called "brought over the Chinese Wall". 69. balance of payments An accounting record of all transactions made by a country over a certain time period, comparing the amount of foreign currency taken in to the amount of domestic currency paid out. 70. ECB European Central Bank. The bank created to administer monetary policy for the countries that have converted to the euro. 71. matrix trading Bond swap strategy designed to profit from unusual yield curve differentials between bonds of different ratings or classes. This strategy tries to take advantage of situations in which differences in yields between different bond classes are not reflective of the differences in risk associated with those bond classes. 72. Perkins loan A need-based, low-interest loan available to students rather than their parents. The amount of the loan is determined by each college and is based on the expected family contribution. The student will be held responsible for this loan, not the parent. Repayment doesn't begin until after a student graduates, falls below half-time student status, or leaves college. After graduating, a student typically has a nine-month grace period during which interest doesn't accrue. Perkins loans offer low interest rates to students and can be repaid within ten years. 73. parallel loan An arrangement in which two companies in different countries borrow each other's currency for a given period of time, in order reduce foreign exchange risk for both of them. also called back-to-back loans. 74. arbitrage house A financial institution that engages in arbitrage. Such firms search for market inefficiencies and securities which they feel are mispriced, and then undertake trades which allow them to make riskless profits. Arbitrage opportunities are often quite difficult to detect, since mispricings can be very small. Also, arbitrage opportunities tend to disappear almost immediately since market forces act to reverse the opportunity. Because of these characteristics of arbitrage, many arbitrage houses are equipped with very sophisticated computer software and hardware to help them identify potential

opportunities and act on them very quickly. Many arbitrage houses also develop complex software-driven mathematical models to find mispricings and market inefficiencies. 75. Underwater A call option whose strike price is higher than the market price of the underlying security, or a put option whose strike price is lower than the market price of the underlying security. Thus, there is no incentive to exercise the option today. However, the option still has "time value", value based on the fact that the prices of the underlier can change. This "time value" diminishes as the option approaches maturity. 76. investment club A group of retail investors who pool some of their money and make joint investments. Investment clubs attempt to enable individuals to become individual investors by pooling their funds in small groups and collectively deciding how to invest the money. Likeminded investors come together to make investments based upon the input and research of the entire group, often providing a more complete foundation for subsequent decisions. Of course, members of investment clubs do not need to invest only through the club, so the club can make an excellent addition to a portfolio or it can serve as an excellent introduction to investing as an individual. Clubs can be a benefit to investors of all skill and experience levels. It can be difficult to gain a spot in an existing club without connections or the opportunity to replace a departing member. Fortunately, starting a new club is as simple as finding a dozen or so people in one geographic area who want to participate. Members should plan to, and may be required to, contribute at least a certain amount to the club's investment budget at certain intervals. Some clubs allow members to exceed the minimum and others do not. All investments should be researched as carefully as an individual would research them, but, because more people are involved, research can be more thorough and cover more investment opportunities. 77. Average Directional Index ADX. An indicator used in technical analysis that shows strength of a trend. It smoothes the difference between the negative directional indicator (-DI) and positive directional indicator (+DI), and is on a scale of 0 to 100. Index values above 40 indicate that the particular trend is strong, while values less than 20 indicates that a trend is weak and that an investor should not use a trend following system. The index only shows the strength of the trend, not whether or not it is trending upwards or downwards. 78. Saturation A stage in a product's life cycle in which everyone who might want the product already has it. If a company is in this stage, then it could inidcate that the company is not innovative, or that competitors have been able to provide superior product offerings. Typically, the company will cut down on sales and advertising expenditure if it reaches this stage, and may focus on the development of new products.

79. business owner policy (BOP) An insurance package designed to cover both property and liability insurance which is in general more reasonably priced than other options. A BOP is typically attractive for small businesses that want to avoid the higher costs of separate insurance policies. Small and medium-sized businesses are usually eligible for this type of insurance package but large corporations will not meet the eligibility requirements due to the greater risk involved in their business operations. 80. insurance company dividend One of a series of periodic (usually annual) payments made to a cash value life insurance policy holder. The amount of the payment depends on the insurance company's costs and investment returns. The payments are considered to be a partial refund of the policy holder's premium and are therefore tax-free income. 81. counter currency The second currency in a currency pair. In a currency exchange, the exchange rate is quoted as the units of the counter currency in terms of a single unit of a base currency. For example, in a currency exchange of Japanese Yen for British pounds, the Yen is the counter currency. also called quote currency or terms currency. 82. Ichimoku Kinko Hyo A technical charting technique which generates a series of lines and levels that help an investor determine the movement of an asset. It indicates support and resistance levels, as well as entry and exit points. Although relatively complicated to learn, this technique is used by many investors. This technique was developed in Japan, and its name literally translated means "one glance balanced chart." 83. free and clear A title that is free of liens and legal questions as to ownership of the property. A requirement for the sale of real estate. In general, a company that specialize in checking title claims for clients (a title company) will be hired to ensure that a title is clear when a sale of real estate is taking place. also called just title or good title or perfect title or clear title. 84. currency pair The two currencies used in a foreign exchange transaction. The currency pair consists of a base currency and a counter currency. The value of the currency pair is determined by the rate at which one unit of the base currency is converted into units of the counter

currency. For example, a currency pair could be U.S. dollars/Japanese Yen or Swiss Francs/British pounds. 85. premium margin The amount of money needed to close out an option position. Premium margin is designed to cover the credit risk associated with a position. If an investor is shorting a stock, this premium would be the amount of money needed to close the position if the investor were to go into default. Premium margin and risk margin are the two components comprising the margin requirement. 86. super sinker bond Bond with long-term coupons but short maturity, usually a home financing bond. Super sinker bonds are sometimes used when some of the mortgages backing the bond get prepaid, and so the bond is likely to be paid off quite soon. The bond holder is uncertain as to when exactly the pay-off may occur, but the annual return on these bonds works out quite high over the short-to-medium-term holding period. 87. managing underwriter The commercial or investment bank which has primary responsibility for organizing a given credit or bond issuance. This bank will find other lending organizations or underwriters to create the syndicate, negotiate terms with the issuer, and assess market conditions. also called syndicate manager, lead manager or lead underwriter. 88. fraption Also known as an interest rate guarantee, this type of option allows an investor to set up a forward rate agreement during an agreed amount of time that triggers in response to a pre-set strike price. Fraptions are used to protect investors from dramatic declines in interest rates. 89. Regulation FD SEC regulation adopted in 2000 that eliminated the practice of selective disclosure. The rule requires that when a public company chooses to release any information, it must be done in such a way that the general public has access to it at the same time as institutional investors and analysts. If information is accidentally released to specific parties, the company must disseminate that information widely within 24 hours. 90. amount at risk The difference between the value of a permanent life insurance policy and the policy's cash value to date. For example, if a life insurance policy is worth $250,000 at face value, and the cash value is $50,000, the amount as risk is $200,000. The $200,000 represents

the amount that the insurer would have to pay to the policy holder if the insured party dies. 91. net unrealized appreciation NUA. The change (positive or negative) in value that shares held in a tax-deferred account will experience once they are sold. Net unrealized appreciation does not undergo income tax when it is distributed, so this should be carefully considered by investors who are distributing stock from their retirement plan to another account, which might be subject to income tax. 92. unlisted A security which is not traded on an exchange, usually due to an inability to meet listing requirements. For such securities, broker/dealers negotiate directly with one another over computer networks and by phone, and their activities are monitored by the NASD. OTC stocks are usually very risky since they are the stocks that are not considered large or stable enough to trade on a major exchange. They also tend to trade infrequently, making the bid-ask spread larger. Also, research about these stocks is more difficult to obtain. also called over-the-counter (OTC). 93. back-end value The price that is paid to shareholders after the buyer already has control over a company in a two tier tender offer. This is an offer to buy a company in which the buyer offers to purchase enough shares in order to gain control of the company at a certain price, and then offers to purchase the remaining shares at a lower price. The amount that is paid to the remaining shareholders is the last stage of a two tier tender offer. 94. up-and-in barrier option A type of barrier option in which the spot price of the underlying is set below the barrier level, and the price of the underlying must close up in order for the option to be exercised. It is named "up-and-in" because the right to exercise the option appears if the price of the underlying is above the barrier. 95. average strike option A type of stock option used on Asian exchanges. The strike price in this type of option is based on the average asset price during a certain period of time, defined by a range of dates called the "fixings." This type of option is less volatile than traditional options, which have a predetermined strike price. 96. commodity block currency

A currency of a country that maintains an economy strongly related to the price fluctuations of a certain commodity. An example of this currency is the strong tie between Canada's economy and its tie to the price of oil which affects the price of the Canadian dollar. 97. short sell against the box Selling currently owned stock shares short. This strategy creates a neutral position in which the gains from the short sale and the loss from the decline in value of shares owned offset in the case that share prices decline, and is similar to purchasing a put option. The shares owned are considered a long position, and the term "box" refers to the older practice of placing shares held long-term in a safety deposit box. An example of this strategy would be if you expected your shares in XYZ to fall in value because a competitor just released a new and better product. Instead of selling your long position you could sell the stock short, with gains offsetting losses. While you wouldn't pay taxes on the sale of stock because you did not actually sell shares, you might have to pay taxes on the short sale if you entered into another hedging strategy within 60 days after you closed your previous shor position. 98. matched bargain A system for trading stocks that matches a buy offer directly with a sell offer, rather than using a market maker. In a market maker system, buyers and sellers deal with an intermediary (the market maker). This arrangement provides greater liquidity than a matched bargain system. 99. mini manipulation Illegal practice that causes the price of a security underlying an option contract to be altered to provide a deceptive depiction of the true market value of the option. The individual creating the mini manipulation does so as a method of increasing the value of the options and thus increasing the amount of money that will be received for the options. 100. dual-purpose fund

A closed-end fund which distinguishes between common shareholders and preferred shareholders for distribution purposes. Common shareholders receive all distributions from capital gains, while preferred shareholders receive all distributions from dividend and interest income. The class of shares sold to common shareholders is called capital shares, and this group of shareholders generally has a less stable payment stream. The class of shares sold to preferred shareholders is called income shares, and their income stream is relatively more stable. When a dual-purpose fund is set up, a liquidation date is specified. On the liquidation date, preferred shareholders have the first right to payouts from the fund, but they can only be paid up to the par value of their shares. Common shareholders have rights to all the remaining capital from the fund.

101.

accrued market discount

An increase in the market price of a discounted bond resulting from an approaching maturity date, rather than from declining interest rates. The increase occurs because the bond holder will also receive payout at par upon maturity, so the price of the bond will increase gradually as maturity approaches. 102. exchange offer

An offer made by a company to give one security in return for another security. Most commonly, for various reasons a company will offer to give shares of a certain held company if the shareholders will return shares of another held company. An exchange offer can also be performed on other securities, such as bonds. 103. currency trading

The act of buying and selling world currencies. Currency trading is most often engaged in by banks and other institutions, for the purposes of international trade. Individual investors may engage in currency trading as well, attempting to benefit from variations in the exchange rates of the currencies. 104. seasonal credit rate

Credit rate which applies to loans of short duration provided to small lending institutions by a Central Bank for the purpose of providing liquidity. Banks requesting this type of credit experience seasonal fluctuations in the amount of funds they need, and are often found in transitional communities based on farming and tourism. 105. Mello-Roos

A unique form of financing used by cities, counties, and other similar districts in order to fund large-scale products in that district such as the construction of schools or roads. In order to be able to use this kind of financing, the voters in the district must approve the formation of a Mello-Roos district by a vote (two-thirds must be in favor of the decision). Once the district has decided to become a Mello-Roos district, the money spent to finance one of these projects is repaid by the voters through taxes. This is officially called the Community Facilities District Act, but is commonly called Mello-Roos due to Senator Mello and assemblyman Roos who co-authored the act. 106. clearinghouse funds

Funds represented by a personal or business check that pass between Federal Reserve System banks prior to approval of credit. Clearinghouse funds are in the process of being transmitted and reconciled through a central processing mechanism. Since these funds have to be processed by the central clearing mechanism, they might not be available as soon as the check is deposited in an account (there is often a delay of a few days).

107.

OPRA

Options Prices Reporting Authority. A subscription service that disseminates inside quotations and last sale data for options. 108. Securities Investor Protection Corporation

SIPC. A non-profit membership corporation established by Congress which insures securities and cash in customer accounts up to $500,000 (up to $100,000 on cash) in the event of brokerage bankruptcy. The SIPC is funded by all of its member securities broker/dealers. While it insures the account in the event that a brokerage runs out of funds to cover its claims, it does not insure against investment losses. 109. alternative order

Two orders given to a broker, for which the execution of either one automatically cancels the other. One example is combining a buy limit order with buy stop order.The buy limit order will only be executed if the market price is below a specified price, and the buy stop order will only be executed if the market price is above a certain price. If one order is executed, the other is cancelled. also called either-or order. 110. minimum balance

The minimum amount a bank or other financial institution requires a customer to maintain in his or her account. The institution can set a minimum balance level for any of its accounts, and this amount will vary by institution. Usually, if the required minimum balance is not maintained, the customer is charged various fees for failing to meet the requirements. 111. forex swap

A type of foreign exchange swap consisting of two parts, completed at the same time. One part is a foreign exchange spot trade, and the other is a foreign exchange forward transaction. Forex swaps are most often used by investors for either hedging or speculation purposes. 112. consumer sentiment index

An index which measures consumers' attitudes towards the economy. The index was normalized to the value of 100 in 1964. The index surveys people on their feelings about their individual financial situation, and the overall economy's situation in the present and in the future. This index is published monthly by the University of Michigan.

113.

covered call

The selling of a call option while simultaneously holding an equivalent position in the underlier. This is an attempt to take advantage of a neutral or declining stock. If the option expires unexercised, the writer keeps the premium. If the holder exercises the option, the stock must be delivered, but, because the writer already owns the stock, risk is limited. This is the opposite of an uncovered call, when the writer sells a call for a stock that he/she does not already own, a dangerous strategy with unlimited risk. 114. longevity risk

1. The risk that a pension fund or life insurance company takes on by offering its plans, due to the chance that the company could end up paying out more than anticipated due to increasing life expectancy. The risk is particularly high for any plans that ensure lifetime benefits for the recipient. 2. The risk that the amount of money an individual saves for retirement might not be enough to sustain them, due to increased life expectancy. 115. premium margin

The amount of money needed to close out an option position. Premium margin is designed to cover the credit risk associated with a position. If an investor is shorting a stock, this premium would be the amount of money needed to close the position if the investor were to go into default. Premium margin and risk margin are the two components comprising the margin requirement. 116. CLU

Chartered Life Underwriter. A designation granted by the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania to individuals who have completed training in life insurance and personal insurance planning. To obtain the designation, individuals have to complete advanced courses and exams in several topics including insurance, investments, taxation, employee benefits, estate planning, accounting, management and economics. 117. exante return

The expected return of a portfolio, calculated from a proportional weighting of the expected returns of its component assets. In calculating this return, the probabilities assumed for each possible expected return must be calculated as accurately as possible in order for the exante return to be close to the actual return. Learn more about "exante return" on InvestorWords.com, including related terms, videos, and articles.

118.

strap

An option contract created by being long in one put option and two call options with the same underlying security, strike price, and maturity date. The contract can usually be bought at a lower total premium than the three options could be individually. also called a triple option. 119. buy-write

An approach used by investors to profit from the price at which an option trades by originating and selling an option contract while they hold an opposite and equal position on the asset that gives value to the security. When an investor owns the asset underlying the option and writes a call to make the asset available for sale to the owner of the option if the option is exercised, it is termed a buy-write call option. When an investor writes a put with enough cash to cover the sale if the put is exercised, it is termed a buy-write put option. Also called covered option. 120. DSP

1. Direct Stock Purchase Plan. A SEC-regulated program which enables a company to sell shares of stock directly to investors, rather than through a broker, enabling the investors to avoid paying a commission. DSPs are a good way to invest small amounts since you don't even have to be a current shareholder in order to purchase the shares. The company will not charge you a commission, but they may charge you a small fee in order to set up a stock purchase account. Direct Stock Purchase Plans are not related to Directed Share Programs (which have the same acronym, DSP). 2. Directed Share Program. A plan designed to allow company employees, their relatives, and other parties with a relationship to the company to purchase stock as part of a public offering. The directed share program sets aside a quantity of stock for this purpose which qualified parties may purchase at the public offering price. 121. overwriting

Strategy of selling call or put options in quantity, hoping that they will not be exercised. Option writers do this when they suspect the underlying is incorrectly valued, and so the buyer will let the options expire and the writer will simply earn option premiums, but this is a risky strategy. Learn more about "overwriting" on InvestorWords.com, including related terms, videos, and articles. 122. FIRREA

Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989. A federal law created to improve the situation after hundreds of U.S. Savings and Loan institutions

failed. This act created the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), a company which provided funds to the savings and loan institutions which needed help. These funds were generated by the Resolution Funding Corporation (REFCORP). Learn more about "FIRREA" on InvestorWords.com, including related terms, videos, and articles. 123. weak dollar

Dollar that can be exchanged for only a small or decreasing amount of foreign currency. A weak dollar means that the U.S. dollar cannot buy very much of another currency. The strength of the dollar has an impact on imports and exports because goods and services from a foreign nation are usually purchased in the currency of the producing nation. A weak dollar usually leads to high exports and low imports. Opposite of strong dollar. 124. underlying debt

For municipal bonds, the debt of a government entity within the jurisdiction of a larger government entity which has partial credit responsibility. The larger government entity views the debt of the smaller entity as underlying debt. Since the larger government entity will generally be more creditworthy than the smaller entity, this sharing of credit responsibilities generally acts as a credit enhancement for the issuing authority. 125. flexible exchange option (FLEX)

An option contract instrument offered by market clearing houses that allows the investor to customize key terms. These contract terms include the exercise style, strike price, and expiration dates. Flexible exchange options grant investors a wider variety of choices to fit specific investment goals. 126. options backdating

Setting the date of an employee stock option to an earlier time than when the option was actually granted. This can allow for a more favorable strike price. Backdating the option is not illegal, but the improper disclosure of the activity to the Securities and Exchange Commission is considered illegal. 127. marginal risk

The risk assumed by the issuer of a foreign exchange contract or debt in the event that the investor goes into default. It is the risk of the marginal, or final, dollar of a transaction or asset going into default. 128. medical savings account MSA. An account into which tax-deferred funds are contributed. The money from this account can be used to pay for a variety of the individual's medical expenses, such as an

insurance copay or deductible. This account is often used by people who are selfemployed, so the funds are contributed by the individuals, either for their own use or their employees, if they have any. 129. extreme point rule

A technical analysis rule that looks at the highest point or the lowest point at which the negative directional indicator (-DI) and positive directional indicator (+DI) cross for a particular financial instrument. The extreme point is the highest point for a particular trading day if +DI is above -DI, and is at the lowest point if -DI is above +DI. An investor would be signaled to buy if the price of a share of stock is above the extreme point. 130. crossover rule

A rule in technical analysis stating that an investor in a particular financial instrument, such as a stock, takes a long position when the positive directional indicator (+DI) portion of the Directional Movement Index (DMI) crosses above the negative directional indicator (-DI) portion. A short position is initiated when the -DI crosses above the +DI. 131. McClellan Oscillator

A technical analysis indicator which uses NYSE market breadth to judge the strength of a market move in the near term. Calculated by subtracting a 39-day exponential moving average of the difference between advancing issues and declining issues on the NYSE from a 19-day exponential moving average of the same difference. 132. triangle

A technical analysis term for a chart pattern in which a price range gets narrower over time, because of lower tops and higher bottoms. Some triangles come to a point in the middle of the two base points, but there are also ascending and descending triangles for which the tops decrease less than the bottoms increase, or vice-versa. 133. reverse conversion

Method by which a brokerage earns interest on its customers' stock holdings by selling a similar position short and investing the proceeds, usually in short-term money market instruments. The short position is usually hedged in order to protect against risk. The most common way of carrying out a reverse conversion is to short the stock, buy a call option and write a put option. Whether the brokerage makes money on the position depends on the borrowing costs for the short position, and the call and put premiums.

134.

sell signal

A situation in which a parent company sells a minority share of a child company, usually in an IPO, while retaining the rest. The child company will have its own board of directors and financial statements, but will benefit from the parent company's resources and strategic support. Usually, the parent company will eventually sell the rest of the child company in the open market. also called carve-out. 135. point of service

A feature of an insurance plan that allows a patient to choose between in-network care and out-of-network care every time he or she sees a doctor. The patient is allowed the freedom to go to whichever doctor is most convenient, although the cost will vary depending upon which option the patient chooses. 136. bankruptcy

A proceeding in a federal court in which an insolvent debtor's assets are liquidated and the debtor is relieved of further liability. Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Reform Act deals with liquidation, while Chapter 11 deals with reorganization. 137. Buttonwood agreement

An agreement signed in 1792 between twenty-four stockbrokers that effectively created the New York Stock Exchange. The terms of the agreement indicated that stockbrokers were to only deal with each other (no auctioneers), and that they would use a set commission rate of 0.25%. The agreement was so named because it was signed under a buttonwood tree outside of 86 Wall Street. 138. sell signal

The right of current shareholders to maintain their fractional ownership of a company by buying a proportional number of shares of any future issue of common stock. Most states consider preemptive rights valid only if made explicit in a corporation's charter. also called preemptive right or subscription right. 139. GAO

Government Accountability Office. The arm of Congress that investigates the performance of the federal government. GAO evaluates the use of public funds and the performance of federal programs, while also providing analytical, investigative and legal services in order to support to Congress in its policy formulation and decision making processes. Most GAO reports are initiated at the request of Congress, while some are initiated by the agency itself or are required by law. Until 2004, GAO stood for General Accounting Office.

140.

options backdating

Setting the date of an employee stock option to an earlier time than when the option was actually granted. This can allow for a more favorable strike price. Backdating the option is not illegal, but the improper disclosure of the activity to the Securities and Exchange Commission is considered illegal. 141. Markets in Financial Instruments Directive

MFID. A set of guidelines created by the European Union that created common regulations across the various investment services in each member state. MFID authorizes member states to regulate their own financial firms, requires that firms offer sufficient transaction transparency, and requires that firms offer the best trade execution for clients. 142. self-supporting bond

Bond sold to finance a project whose revenues will be used to pay off the interest and principal on that bond. Such bonds are generally issued by municipalities, who use the proceeds to finance various kinds of development projects. Self-supporting bonds are sometimes named after the specific kind of project that they are financing (for example, hospital revenue bond). Municipalities might opt for a revenue bond structure in cases where they have the power to levy charges on users of the projects, such as roads, airports, or hospitals. Since a self-supporting bond is supported by project-specific revenues as opposed to more secure general tax revenues, they are of slightly lower quality than general obligation bonds, and so they tend to have higher yields. However, self-supporting bonds issued by municipalities have a good track record, and are generally considered low risk, liquid investments provided they are backed up by viable projects. Thus, the most important factor to keep in mind when investing in such bonds is the revenue prospects of the project that is being financed by the bond. Like all municipal bonds, interest earned on the bonds is exempt from federal tax. In the case that the bond is bought by a resident of the state that issued the bond, the interest payments are also exempt from state tax. Interest payments are further exempt from local tax if they are bought by residents of the locality that issued the bond. 143. daily trading limit

The highest and lowest prices that a commodity or option is permitted to reach in a given trading session. Once reached, no trading occurs on that commodity or option until the following session. also called fluctuation limit or price limit. 144. Taylor Rule

A rule that suggests appropriate adjustments to interest rates, based on various economic factors such as inflation and employment rate. The rule indicates that if inflation or employment rates are higher than desired, interest rates should be increased in response

to these conditions, and the opposite action should be taken under the opposite conditions. The Federal Reserve Board seems to take this rule under consideration, but does not always follow its suggestions when adjusting the interest rate. This rule was developed by John Taylor, a 20th century economist. 145. American-style option

An option which can be exercised at any time between the purchase date and the expiration date. Most options in the U.S. are of this type. This is the opposite of a European-style option, which can only be exercised on the date of expiration. Since an American-style option provides an investor with a greater degree of flexibility than a European style option, the premium for an American style option is at least equal to or higher than the premium for a European-style option which otherwise has all the same features. also called American option. 146. buying hedge

Buying futures to hedge against the sale of a cash commodity. An investor might use a buying hedge if he/she expects to buy a certain amount of the commodity in the future, but is worried about price fluctuations. He/she will buy a futures contract in order to be able to buy the commodity at a fixed price later. also called long hedge. 147. cash delivery

A requirement of certain futures contracts that the underlier should not be delivered to the buyer at maturity, and instead the value of the underlier should be paid out. Cash delivery often occurs when the asset is difficult or impossible to deliver, such as in the case of a stock index. also called cash settlement. 148. yield maintenance

A type of prepayment fee that is based on the movement of interest rates. The fee is charged by the lender to the borrower, and the borrower pays the fee in the hope that the mortgage-backed investment will provide a higher yield. The yield maintenance formula is the present value of remaining payments multiplied by the difference between the bond interest rate and the rate on a Treasury note of the same duration. It is often used in the commercial mortgage market in the valuation of securities. 149. money flow index

MFI. An indicator used to show the percentage of a stock's price on up days compared to the total of up and down days. It is an oscillator of money flow. MFI can be calculated following these steps: Typical price = (high + low + close)/3 Money flow = typical price * volume Money ratio = positive money flow / negative money flow

MFI = 100 - (100 / (1+ money ratio)) OR MFI = positive money flow / (positive and negative money flow) * 100 (Both formulas arrive at the same MFI value.) Values below 50 indicate that the stock is undersold, while values above 50 indicate that a stock is overbought. 150. jobless claims

The number of people who file for unemployment benefits in a given week. This data is collected by the Department of Labor, and published as a weekly report. The number of jobless claims is used as a measure of the health of the job market, as a series of increases indicates that there are fewer people being hired. 151. dynamic asset allocation

An investing strategy that seeks to expose an investor to a wide variety of investments without putting the principal at risk. The allocation is dynamic because the investment shifts between a zero-coupon bond or interest-bearing security and an underlying equity investment. A dynamic asset allocation is used in constant proportion portfolio insurance. also called guaranteed linked notes. 152. limited discretionary account

An arrangement in which a client has given his/her broker the ability to make certain types of trades without prior consent. An investor must sign a specific agreement allowing brokers to undertake discretionary transactions. Such an arrangement is only recommended if the investor has a high degree of trust in the broker's professional ability. 153. interval measure

A calculation to measure the approximate number of days a company could operate simply on the cash it currently has on hand. It is equal to quick assets divided by daily operating expenses, and the value it returns is the average number of days that company could use those assets to meet all its expenses. The interval measure is similar to both the current ratio and the quick ratio, in that it gives an idea of how easily a company could fulfill its obligations. The interval measure is sometimes preferred to the other ratios because it returns an approximation of the actual number of days, as opposed to the other ratios, which just return a value that indicates the ease of making the payments. 154. EBITDAR

An approximate measure of a company's operating cash flow based on data from the company's income statement. Calculated by looking at earnings before the deduction of interest expenses, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and rent. Similar to, but less common than, Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization.

155.

reversal arbitrage

A riskless transaction consisting of the short sale of a security, the purchase of a call, and the writing of a put. If the value of the security increases, the call is exercised to negate the short sale. If the value of the security decreases, the put will be exercised by the holder and the received security will negate the short sale. 156. reversal arbitrage

A riskless transaction consisting of the short sale of a security, the purchase of a call, and the writing of a put. If the value of the security increases, the call is exercised to negate the short sale. If the value of the security decreases, the put will be exercised by the holder and the received security will negate the short sale. 157. affirmative obligations

NASD requirements imposed on Nasdaq market makers, including: maintaining twosided markets on a continuous basis, quoting firm bid and ask prices, participating in the Small Order Execution System, and reporting price and volume data for each Nasdaq security transaction within 90 seconds of execution. 158. reinvestment date

The first day of the ex-dividend period. The reinvestment date was created to allow all pending transactions to be completed before the record date. If an investor does not own the stock before the reinvestment date, he or she will be ineligible for the dividend payout. Further, for all pending transactions that have not been completed by the reinvestment date, the exchanges automatically reduce the price of the stock by the amount of the dividend. This is done because a dividend payout automatically reduces the value of the company (it comes from the company's cash reserves), and the investor would have to absorb that reduction in value (because neither the buyer nor the seller are eligible for the dividend). also called ex-dividend date. 159. socially responsible fund

A mutual fund that only invests in companies that meet certain ethical and moral standards. Some examples include: funds that only invest in environmentally conscious companies ("green funds"), funds that invest in hospitals and health care centers, and funds that avoid investing in alcohol or tobacco companies. Socially responsible funds try to maximize returns while staying within these self-imposed boundaries. 160. spoofing

Stock market manipulation in which a trader with a position in a stock places an anonymous buy order for a large number of shares through an ECN and then cancels it seconds later. The price of the stock will immediately jump, giving the impression of

high demand, which draws others into buying the stock, allowing the manipulator to sell at a higher price. Some market analysts believe this is one cause of increased volatility in the markets. 161. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

HIPAA. A law mandating that anyone belonging to a group health insurance plan must be allowed to purchase health insurance within an interval of time beginning when the previous coverage is lost. The law protects employees, especially those with long term health conditions who may be reluctant to leave jobs because they are afraid pre-existing condition clauses will limit coverage of any such conditions under a new insurance plan, from losing health insurance due a change in employment status. The law also creates standards dealing with the privacy of health information, which helps prevent improper use of one's medical record. 162. quanto option

Option in one currency, but which pays out in another. Quanto options are usually used in cases when investors are confident of the underlying asset's performance, but are not confident of the performance of the currency which the underlying is denominated in. 163. demerger

The act of splitting off a part of an existing company to become a new company, which operates completely separate from the original company. Shareholders of the original company are usually given an equivalent stake of ownership in the new company. A demerger is often done to help each of the segments operate more smoothly, as they can now focus on a more specific task. opposite of merger. 164. indirect loan

Loan deal in which the actual lender may not be known to the borrower. For example, most automobile purchase loans are not financed by the car dealers (where the car buyers fill out and submit the loan applications) but by a third party. This party (usually a finance company, called the loan owner) is the one that approves the loan terms, receives the loan payments installments from the car buyers, and sues defaulting borrowers. 165. J-curve

1. The theory that the Internal Rate of Return of a fund will be low in its early stages, particularly due to costs incurred in starting the fund, but then as the firm becomes more stable and profitable, that its internal rate of return will increase. The shape of this, if graphed over time, would look like a J. 2. The shape of a country's trade balance after it devaluates its currency. The immediate effect of a devaluation is an increase in the trade deficit, though this will shift into an

increased international demand for the country's exports due to a lowered exchange rate, as well as a decrease in the demand for more expensive imports. An appreciation in the value of a country's currency can result in an inverted J-curve. 166. franchised monopoly

A government-granted monopoly. The most important reason for the government granting a monopoly is in the case of the product or service being a natural monopoly, i.e. unable to sustain more than one producer. This is usually the case when very large economy of scale is needed to make production efficient (so the marginal cost of producing each additional unit is very low). Thus, given the huge scale of production needed for efficiency, it could be that the entire market demand would be fulfilled by a single efficient producer, making it unfeasible to have a second producer in the market. Thus, the government may decide to simply give a producer a monopoly, so that the producer is convinced of the fact that there is adequate market to achieve efficient scale. A government may also choose to grant activities etc. 167. bull trap

A sign which supposedly indicates that a security is reversing its path, and is starting to rise instead of decline, but in actuality the security continues to decline after this signal is seen. It is seen as a trap because some people will see this signal and purchase the stock because they believe they will benefit from this increase in value, but they are trapped with a poor performing stock when they find out that the stock is still falling. 168. brought over the wall

Situation in which a research analyst at an investment bank works for the underwriting department for a corporate client. Legally, these two departments are supposed to be kept separate because of the risk in the transfer of inside information and potential conflicts of interest. also called "brought over the Chinese Wall". 169. balance of payments

An accounting record of all transactions made by a country over a certain time period, comparing the amount of foreign currency taken in to the amount of domestic currency paid out. 170. settlement options

The different methods for paying out a benefit available to beneficiaries when an individual covered by a life insurance policy dies. The simplest method is a lump sum payment of the value of the policy. It is also possible to leave the entire settlement with the insurance company and collect interest, retaining the right to withdraw principal funds at any time. Payment schedules are also available based on payment amount or duration. In either case, interest will accrue on the money that remains with the insurance

company. There are also a range of options that pay benefits over the entire life of the beneficiary. 171. forex hedge

Tactic used by a forex trader to protect a current position from undesirable changes in exchange rates. For example, if a trader predicted that the dollar may take a turn for the worst, he/she may implement a forex hedge to protect the investment. 172. currency basket

A group of securities whose weighted average is used to determine the value of an obligation or the value of another currency. For instance, a country that does not peg the value of its currency to a single other currency, such as the U.S. dollar, could value its currency to the value of a currency basket comprised of Euros, U.S. dollars, and Japanese Yen. 173. weak dollar

Dollar that can be exchanged for only a small or decreasing amount of foreign currency. A weak dollar means that the U.S. dollar cannot buy very much of another currency. The strength of the dollar has an impact on imports and exports because goods and services from a foreign nation are usually purchased in the currency of the producing nation. A weak dollar usually leads to high exports and low imports. opposite of strong dollar. 174. sterilized intervention

Activity used in foreign exchange markets to equalize the effects of the forex trades. This is often accomplished by offsetting the trades with domestic sales, in attempts to keep the exchange rate from fluctuating too much. 175. SIMPLE

Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees. A retirement plan sponsored by companies with fewer than 100 employees which is attractive for employers because it avoids some of the administrative fees and paperwork of plans such as a 401(k) plan. A SIMPLE plan may be structured as either a 401(k) or an IRA. 176. net currency exposure

The potential for foreign exchange risk after netting, a process in which the National Securities Clearing Corporation views each security's purchase and sales orders to match each purchase and sale with its appropriate client and brokerage, the company's particular cash flow.

177.

stretch IRA

An Individual Retirement Account strategy designed to prolong or "stretch" the period of time over which earnings can be tax deferred. This strategy is used when an investor does not need all of the funds from the retirement account, and wishes to create an estate that can extend for generations. Beneficiaries will still need to take the required minimum distributions. 178. inflation

The overall general upward price movement of goods and services in an economy (often caused by a increase in the supply of money), usually as measured by the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index. Over time, as the cost of goods and services increase, the value of a dollar is going to fall because a person won't be able to purchase as much with that dollar as he/she previously could. While the annual rate of inflation has fluctuated greatly over the last half century, ranging from nearly zero inflation to 23% inflation, the Fed actively tries to maintain a specific rate of inflation, which is usually 23% but can vary depending on circumstances. opposite of deflation. 179. M1

One measure of the money supply that includes all coins, currency held by the public, traveler's checks, checking account balances, NOW accounts, automatic transfer service accounts, and balances in credit unions. 180. Dow dividend theory

Investment strategy that advocates buying the ten DJIA stocks with the highest yields. Some investors believe that these stocks are currently undervalued and are worth buying. Typically, investors following this strategy re-adjust portfolios at the beginning of each calendar year, as the fluctuating stock prices change the yields. also called dogs of the dow. 181. free cash flow

Operating cash flows (net income plus amortization and depreciation) minus capital expenditures and dividends. Free cash flow is the amount of cash that a company has left over after it has paid all of its expenses, including investments. Negative free cash flow is not necessarily an indication of a bad company, however, since many young companies put a lot of their cash into investments, which diminishes their free cash flow. But if a company is spending so much cash, it should have a good reason for doing so and it should be earning a sufficiently high rate of return on its investments. While free cash flow doesn't receive as much media coverage as earnings do, it is considered by some experts to be a better indicator of a company's financial health.

182.

stock purchase plan

A trust established by a corporate which acts as a tax-qualified, defined contribution plan by making the corporation's employees partial owners. contributions are made by the sponsoring employer, and can grow tax-deferred, just as with an IRA or 401(k) plan. But unlike other retirement plans, the contributions must be invested in the company's stock. The benefits for the company include increased cash flow, tax savings, and increased productivity from highly motivated workers. The main benefit for the employees is the ability to share in the company's success. Due to the tax benefits, the administration of stock purchase plans is regulated, and numerous restrictions apply. also called Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). 183. naked option

A put or call that is written by an investor who does not own a position in the underlying asset that locks in the cost of delivering the shares if the option holder elects to exercise the option. Trading naked options can be a highly risky business because if the option holder chooses to exercise his or her contractual right to buy or sell the underlying assets at the specified price, the grantor will be forced to acquire them on the open market and at the prevailing price. Compare to Covered Put. 184. credit default swap

A specific kind of counterparty agreement which allows the transfer of third party credit risk from one party to the other. One party in the swap is a lender and faces credit risk from a third party, and the counterparty in the credit default swap agrees to insure this risk in exchange of regular periodic payments (essentially an insurance premium). If the third party defaults, the party providing insurance will have to purchase from the insured party the defaulted asset. In turn, the insurer pays the insured the remaining interest on the debt, as well as the principal. 185. price to book ratio

A stock's capitalization divided by its book value. The value is the same whether the calculation is done for the whole company or on a per-share basis. This ratio compares the market's valuation of a company to the value of that company as indicated on its financial statements. The higher the ratio, the higher the premium the market is willing to pay for the company above its hard assets. A low ratio may signal a good investment opportunity, but the ratio is less meaningful for some types of companies, such as those in technology sectors. This is because such companies have hidden assets such as intellectual property which are of great value, but not reflected in the book value. In general, price to book ratio is of more interest to value investors than growth investors.

186.

currency swap

An arrangement in which two parties exchange specific amounts of different currencies initially, and a series of interest payments on the initial cash flows are exchanged. Often, one party will pay a fixed interest rate, while another will pay a floating exchange rate (though there may also be fixed-fixed and floating-floating arrangements). At the maturity of the swap, the principal amounts are exchanged back. Unlike an interest rate swap, the principal and interest are both exchanged in full in a currency swap. 187. Federal Reserve Act of 1913

Landmark legislation that created the central banking system (the Federal Reserve) and thereby laid the foundation of the modern U.S. financial system. Enacted by President Woodrow Wilson with a view to reform banking and the currency system, its objectives included prevention of financial panics with the ready availability of cash from a money reserve, an expanding-contracting money supply to match the state of the economy, and a new currency - the federal reserve note. In its present state it includes nearly 200 amendments. 188. banking syndicate

1. A group of investment banks which jointly underwrite and distribute a new security offering, or jointly lend money to a specific borrower. A banking syndicate is not a permanent entity, but forms specifically to handle a deal that might be too difficult or too risky for a single underwriter or borrower to handle. also called underwriting group or purchase group or banking syndicate or investment banking syndicate or distributing syndicate. 2. A group of investors who act together when investing in a company. 189. credit union

A non-profit financial institution that is owned and operated entirely by its members. Credit unions provide financial services for their members, including savings and lending. Large organizations and companies may organize credit unions for their members and employees, respectively. To join a credit union, a person must ordinarily belong to a participating organization, such as a college alumni association or labor union. When a person deposits money in a credit union, he/she becomes a member of the union because the deposit is considered partial ownership in the credit union. 190. embedded derivative

A component of a hybrid security that is embedded in a non-derivative instrument. An embedded derivative can modify the cash flows of the host contract because the derivative can be related to an exchange rate, commodity price or some other variable which frequently changes. For example, a Canadian company might enter into a sales contract with a Chinese company, creating a host contract. If the contract is denominated

in a foreign currency, such as the U.S. dollar, an embedded foreign currency derivative is created. According to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the embedded derivative has to be separated from the host contract and accounted for separately unless the economic and risk characteristics of both the embedded derivative and host contract are closely related. 191. blanket mortgage

A mortgage which creates a lien on two or more pieces of property. Blanket mortgages are often used by individuals or companies that have more than one piece of real estate, and that want to take out a mortgage or second mortgage on the combined value of their properties. For example, a real estate developer with several undeveloped lots could mortgage those lots in order to build homes on them. Instead of taking a mortgage on each property, the real estate developer takes out one mortgage on the combined value of the properties. 192. leading and lagging

Accounting technique of expediting (leading) or delaying (lagging) receipts and payments of cash to gain a business advantage. In foreign trade, for example, if a manufacturer has to pay $1 million on a certain date for imported material and receives an export order for $1 million, it might try either to delay the payment for imports or to press for an early payment by the buyer, or both, so that the cash inflow from export is used as cash outflow for imports. It will thus try to escape devaluation risk in importpayment and default risk in export-receipt by juggling two cash flows. Similarly, in transactions between the subsidiaries of the same firm, receipts and payments of cash may be delayed or expedited to defer taxes. 193. foreign exchange derivatives

Any financial instrument that locks in a future foreign exchange rate. These can be used by currency or forex traders, as well as large multinational corporations. The latter often uses these products when they expect to receive large amounts of money in the future but want to hedge their exposure to currency exchange risk. Financial instruments that fall into this category include: currency options contracts, currency swaps, forward contracts and futures contracts. 194. permanent life insurance

An umbrella term for a variety of plans that combine a death benefit similar to a term life insurance plan with tax-sheltered savings arrangements. Permanent life policies, as their name implies, are meant to be held and paid into for the duration of the insured's life. Because of this, there are significant fees associated with setting up the policy. Despite these fees, the tax advantages can make permanent life a valuable investment over a long period of time. also called cash value insurance.

195.

dividend yield

The yield a company pays out to its shareholders in the form of dividends. It is calculated by taking the amount of dividends paid per share over the course of a year and dividing by the stock's price. For example, if a stock pays out $2 in dividends over the course of a year and trades at $40, then it has a dividend yield of 5%. Mature, well-established companies tend to have higher dividend yields, while young, growth-oriented companies tend to have lower ones, and most small growing companies don't have a dividend yield at all because they don't pay out dividends. 196. price to sales ratio

A stock's capitalization divided by its sales over the trailing 12 months. The value is the same whether the calculation is done for the whole company or on a per-share basis. A low price to sales ratio (for example, below 1.0) is usually thought to be a better investment since the investor is paying less for each unit of sales. However, sales don't reveal the whole picture, since the company might be unprofitable. Because of the limitations, price to sales ratio are usually used only for unprofitable companies, since such companies don't have a price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). 197. sector fund

A mutual fund which invests entirely or predominantly in a single sector. Sector funds tend to be riskier and more volatile than the broad market because they are less diversified, although the risk level depends on the specific sector. Some investors choose sector funds when they believe that a specific sector will outperform the overall market, while others choose sector funds to hedge against other holdings in a portfolio. Some common sector funds include financial services funds, gold and precious metals funds, health care funds, and real estate funds, but sector funds exist for just about every sector. 198. stockholders' equity

A company's common stock equity as it appears on a balance sheet, equal to total assets minus liabilities, preferred stock, and intangible assets such as goodwill. This is how much the company would have left over in assets if it went out of business immediately. Since companies are usually expected to grow and generate more profits in the future, most companies end up being worth far more in the marketplace than their stockholders' equity would suggest. For this reason, stockholders' equity is of more interest to value investors than growth investors. also called book value. 199. exchange rate risk

The risk that a business' operations or an investment's value will be affected by changes in exchange rates. For example, if money must be converted into a different currency to make a certain investment, changes in the value of the currency relative to the American dollar will affect the total loss or gain on the investment when the money is converted

back. This risk usually affects businesses, but it can also affect individual investors who make international investments. also called currency risk. 200. debt/equity ratio

A measure of a company's financial leverage. Debt/equity ratio is equal to long-term debt divided by common shareholders' equity. Typically the data from the prior fiscal year is used in the calculation. Investing in a company with a higher debt/equity ratio may be riskier, especially in times of rising interest rates, due to the additional interest that has to be paid out for the debt. For example, if a company has long-term debt of $3,000 and shareholder's equity of $12,000, then the debt/equity ratio would be 3000 divided by 12000 = 0.25. It is important to realize that if the ratio is greater than 1, the majority of assets are financed through debt. If it is smaller than 1, assets are primarily financed through equity. 201. Taylor Rule

A rule that suggests appropriate adjustments to interest rates, based on various economic factors such as inflation and employment rate. The rule indicates that if inflation or employment rates are higher than desired, interest rates should be increased in response to these conditions, and the opposite action should be taken under the opposite conditions. The Federal Reserve Board seems to take this rule under consideration, but does not always follow its suggestions when adjusting the interest rate. This rule was developed by John Taylor, a 20th century economist. 202. WACC

Weighted Average Cost of Capital. An average representing the expected return on all of a company's securities. Each source of capital, such as stocks, bonds, and other debt, is assigned a required rate of return, and then these required rates of return are weighted in proportion to the share each source of capital contributes to the company's capital structure. The resulting rate is what the firm would use as a minimum for evaluating a capital project or investment. 203. butterfly spread

An options strategy built on four trades at one expiration date and three different strike prices. For call options, one option each at the high and low strike price are bought, and two options at the middle strike price are sold. For put options, the trades are reversed. This is a limited risk, limited return strategy that pays off when the price of the underlier remains around the middle strike price. This strategy is essentially a combination of a bull and bear spread. 204. rabbi trust

A specific trust set up by employers for employees who are under non-qualified deferred compensation plans. The funds are highly regulated, and usually involve a degree of risk of forfeiture if certain guidelines are not followed. Once the money is placed in the fund, the employer is no longer able to access the money, and it is saved for the employee as long as all the guidelines are followed. It gets its name because the first of these trusts was developed for a rabbi. 205. consumer confidence index

A measure of consumer optimism toward current economic conditions. The consumer confidence index was arbitrarily set at 100 in 1985 and is adjusted monthly on the basis of a survey of about 5,000 households. The index considers consumer opinion on both current conditions (40% of the index) and future expectations (the other 60%). The Consumer Confidence Index is closely watched because many economists consider consumer optimism an important indicator of the future health of the economy. 206. asset allocation fund

A single mutual fund which tries to accomplish the goals of asset allocation all by itself. Such a fund invests in a variety of securities in different asset classes. The purpose is to provide investors with truly diversified holdings and consistent returns, while sparing the investor the trouble of having to accomplish asset allocation by purchasing a large number of different funds. Some asset allocation funds have a specific breakdown of asset classes that they try to maintain over time, while others vary the composition as opportunities and circumstances change. 207. overhead ratio

Operating expenses divided by the sum of taxable equivalent net interest income and other operating income. This ratio shows the proportion of expenses, in relation to total income, that cannot be allocated directly to production of the good or service. Operating expenses include items such as office rent, maintenance of machinery, depreciation costs, etc. In general, companies want to minimize these costs since it is difficult to quantify the revenues generated by undertaking these costs. 208. Laffer Curve

A curve which supposes that for a given economy there is an optimal income tax level to maximize tax revenues. If the income tax level is set below this level, raising taxes will increase tax revenue. And if the income tax level is set above this level, then lowering taxes will increase tax revenue. Although the theory claims that there is a single maximum and that the further you move in either direction from this point the lower the revenues will be, in reality this is only an approximation. 209. perpetual inventory

Keeping book inventory continuously in agreement with stock on hand within specified time periods. In some cases, book inventory and stock on hand may be reconciled as often as after each transaction, while in some systems these two numbers may be reconciled less often. This process is useful in keeping track of actual availability of goods and determining what the correct time to reorder from suppliers might be. Sometimes also called continuous inventory. 210. Sortino ratio

A variation of the Sharpe ratio which differentiates harmful volatility from volatility in general by replacing standard deviation with downside deviation in the denominator. Thus the Sortino Ratio is calculated by subtracting the risk free rate from the return of the portfolio and then dividing by the downside deviation. The Sortino ratio measures the return to "bad" volatility. This ratio allows investors to assess risk in a better manner than simply looking at excess returns to total volatility, since such a measure does not consider how often the price of the security rises as opposed to how often it falls. A large Sortino Ratio indicates a low risk of large losses occurring. 211. leverage

1. The degree to which an investor or business is utilizing borrowed money. Companies that are highly leveraged may be at risk of bankruptcy if they are unable to make payments on their debt; they may also be unable to find new lenders in the future. Leverage is not always bad, however; it can increase the shareholders' return on investment and often there are tax advantages associated with borrowing. also called financial leverage. 2. What the debt/equity ratio measures. 212. deferred tax asset

An asset that is used to reduce the amount of tax that a company will have to pay in a later tax period. It is often associated with a loss carryover, and is used as a future writeoff if the next tax period is expected to produce positive earnings. The asset is kept on the balance sheet. For example, a deferred tax asset of $100,000 from the previous year could be applied to before-tax income of $250,000 this year, resulting in taxable income of $150,000 ($250,000 - $100,000). 213. double-entry bookkeeping

An accounting technique which records each transaction as both a credit and a debit. Credit entries represent the sources of financing, and the debit entries represent the uses of that financing. Since each credit has one or more corresponding debits (and vice versa), the system of double entry bookkeeping always leads to a set of balanced ledger credit and debit accounts. Selected entries from these ledger balances are then used to prepare the income statement.

214.

closed-end investment company

A fund with a fixed number of shares outstanding, and one which does not redeem shares the way a typical mutual fund does. Closed-end investment companies behave more like stock than open-end funds: closed-end investment companies issue a fixed number of shares to the public in an initial public offering, after which time shares in the fund are bought and sold on a stock exchange, and they are not obligated to issue new shares or redeem outstanding shares as open-end funds are. The price of a share in a closed-end investment company is determined entirely by market demand, so shares can either trade below their net asset value ("at a discount") or above it ("at a premium"). also called closed-end fund or publicly-traded fund. 215. freely floating system

A system where exchange rates are determined entirely by the markets. Governments may attempt to increase or decrease the value of a currency by using monetary and fiscal policies, but in this system, they do not directly interfere with the value of a currency. For example, the value of the US dollar is driven entirely by market factors such as supply and demand, though the Federal Reserve controls the money supply and can increase or decrease their spending. 216. invisible hand

Term used by Adam Smith to describe the natural force that guides free market capitalism through competition for scarce resources. According to Adam Smith, in a free market each participant will try to maximize self-interest, and the interaction of market participants, leading to exchange of goods and services, enables each participant to be better of than when simply producing for himself/herself. He further said that in a free market, no regulation of any type would be needed to ensure that the mutually beneficial exchange of goods and services took place, since this "invisible hand" would guide market participants to trade in the most mutually beneficial manner. 217. Form 10-K

Audited document required by the SEC and sent to a public company's or mutual fund's shareholders at the end of each fiscal year, reporting the financial results for the year (including the balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement and description of company operations) and commenting on the outlook for the future. The term sometimes refers to the glossy, colorful brochure and sometimes to Form 10-K, which is sent along with the brochure and contains more detailed financial information. All 10-Ks for public companies and mutual funds incorporated in the U.S. are available on the SEC's website for free. also called annual report. 218. assumable mortgage

A mortgage that can be transfered with no change in terms. If an assumable mortgage is transferred, the buyer assumes all responsibility for repayment. The original lender must agree to the transfer of an assumable mortgage. The seller should receive a written release from the original lender stating that he/she has no responsibility for further payments. The buyer may have to meet certain standards to qualify and may be charged an assumption fee. Assumable mortgages can make a property more desirable if interest rates have risen, because the new buyer's payments are at the original rate. By definition, assumable mortgages cannot have a due-on-sale clause. 219. modern portfolio theory

Overall investment strategy that seeks to construct an optimal portfolio by considering the relationship between risk and return, especially as measured by alpha, beta, and Rsquared. This theory recommends that the risk of a particular stock should not be looked at on a standalone basis, but rather in relation to how that particular stock's price varies in relation to the variation in price of the market portfolio. The theory goes on to state that given an investor's preferred level of risk, a particular portfolio can be constructed that maximizes expected return for that level of risk. also called modern investment theory. 220. currency in circulation

The total amount of paper currency, coins, and demand deposits that is held by consumers and businesses rather than by financial institutions, central banks, and the U.S. Treasury. Currency in circulation is thus the sum of currency held by the public, and is a component of a bank's reserves. It is an important factor that the Federal Open Market Committee takes into account when setting the money supply, since a decline in the currency in circulation means that banks don't have as many demand deposits in their reserve. This can mean that fewer make up for a decline in reserves. 221. lookback option

Call or put option whose strike price is not determined until the option is exercised. At the time of exercise, the holder can exercise the option at any underlying price that has occurred during the option's life. In the case of a call, the buyer will choose the lowest price, and in the case of a put, the buyer will choose the highest price. The premium on such options tends to be high since it gives the buyer great flexibility, and the writer has to take on a lot of risk. 222. working capital

Current assets minus current liabilities. Working capital measures how much in liquid assets a company has available to build its business. The number can be positive or negative, depending on how much debt the company is carrying. In general, companies that have a lot of working capital will be more successful since they can expand and improve their operations. Companies with negative working capital may lack the funds necessary for growth. also called net current assets or current capital.

223.

privatization

The repurchasing of all of a company's outstanding stock by employees or a private investor. As a result of such an initiative, the company stops being publicly traded. Sometimes, the company might have to take on significant debt to finance the change in ownership structure. Companies might want to go private in order to restructure their businesses (when they feel that the process might affect their stock prices poorly in the short run). They might also want to go private to avoid the expense and regulations associated with remaining listed on a stock exchange. also called going private. opposite of going public. The process of moving from a government-controlled system to a privately run, for-profit system. 224. EV/EBITDA

A metric for deriving the value of a business. Meaning Enterprise Value divided by Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, it compares the value of a company, including debt and other liabilities to its actual earnings, not including noncash assets. The resulting enterprise multiple can be used to compare one company to another within the same industry, since the calculation is independent of the capital structure of a company. A lower enterprise multiple may indicate that a company is undervalued. 225. financial holding company

Financial company that handles a variety of financial transactions and whose services are monitored by the Federal Reserve Board. The lists of financial services that a financial holding company can provide were formulated under the Gramm-Leach-Billey Act of 1999. An institution whose services encompass at least 85% of those of a banking institution may apply to be a financial holding company. In 2008, American Express, a credit card company, was changed into a financial holding company. 226. working capital

Current assets minus current liabilities. Working capital measures how much in liquid assets a company has available to build its business. The number can be positive or negative, depending on how much debt the company is carrying. In general, companies that have a lot of working capital will be more successful since they can expand and improve their operations. Companies with negative working capital may lack the funds necessary for growth. also called net current assets or current capital. 227. swap rate

The difference, whether positive or negative, between the forward exchange rate and the spot rate for a given currency, usually expressed in points.

In the case of an interest rate swap, the market interest rate paid by the party responsible for the fixed payments. In general, a well-defined market rate exists for this payment, and when a swap is initiated, the fixed rate paid is usually quite close to the market swap rate. However, as the swap matures the fixed rate paid on the swap stays constant, while the swap rate might change, and these two rates can diverge. 228. planned economy

Type of economy that gives the government total control over the allocation of resources. A planned economy alleviates the use of private enterprises and allows the government to determine everything from distribution to pricing. Planned economies basically give the government dictatorship type control over the resources of the country. Planned economies can provide stability, but also can limit the growth and advancement of the country if the government does not allocate resources to the innovative enterprises. 229. basis trading

An arbitrage strategy usually consisting of the purchase of a particular security and the sale of a similar security (often the purchase of a security and the sale of a corresponding futures contract). Basis trading is done when the investor feels that the two securities are mispriced with respect to each other, and that the mispricing will correct itself such that the gain on one side of the trade will more than cancel out the loss on the other side of the trade. In the case of such a trade taking place on a security and the futures contract, the trade will be profitable if the purchase price plus the cost of carry is less than the futures price. also called cash and carry trade. 230. tax basis

Purchase price, including commissions and other expenses, used to determine capital gains and capital losses for tax purposes. This can be determined by several methods. For a purchased investment, the tax basis is the amount paid. If inherited, the tax basis is the value of the stock on the date of the original owner's death. If received as a gift, the tax basis is the amount that was originally paid for the investment, unless the market value of the investment on the date the gift was given was lower. also called cost basis or basis. 231. debt-equity swap

A transaction in which a corporation exchanges existing bonds (debt) for newly issued stock (equity). For example, XYZ company can in essence cancel a portion of their debt and transfer the equivalent balance to equity. A debt-equity swap can help a company that is in financial trouble by canceling some of its outstanding debt. Other companies may take advantage of this process if the current value of their stock is high, allowing them to trade more debt for less stock. 232. capital market line

A graph relating risk (as represented by the market portfolio's beta) and the required return for the market portfolio. This is a positive, linear relationship that originates from the Capital Market Asset Pricing theory which states that all investors will own the market portfolio (as opposed to single securities). However, the amount of risk they will take on is positively correlated to expected return, where expected return = risk-free rate + portfolio beta * (the difference between the expected returnon the market as a whole and the risk-free rate). 233. hedge fund

A fund, usually used by wealthy individuals and institutions, which is allowed to use aggressive strategies that are unavailable to mutual funds, including selling short, leverage, program trading, swaps, arbitrage, and derivatives. Hedge funds are exempt from many of the rules and regulations governing other mutual funds, which allows them to accomplish aggressive investing goals. They are restricted by law to no more than 100 investors per fund, and as a result most hedge funds set extremely high minimum investment amounts, ranging anywhere from $250,000 to over $1 million. As with traditional mutual funds, investors in hedge funds pay a management fee; however, hedge funds also collect a percentage of the profits (usually 20%). 234. gross profit margin

What remains from sales after a company pays out the cost of goods sold. To obtain gross profit margin, divide gross profit by sales. Gross profit margin is expressed as a percentage. For example, if a company receives $25,000 in sales and its cost of goods sold were $20,000, the gross profit margin would be equal to $25,000 minus $20,000, divided by $25,000, or 20%. Basically, 20% gross profit margin means that for every dollar generated in sales, the company has 20 cents left over to cover basic operating costs and profit. 235. margin trading

Practice of buying stock with money borrowed from the broker. In this arrangement, the investor makes a cash down payment (called the margin) with the broker and can purchase stocks worth about twice the cash amount. The broker charges interest on this loan (in addition to the commission on each buy/sell trade) and the investor has to keep the entire stockholding with the broker as collateral. Also, the investor has to put up additional cash in case the value of the stockholding falls below a certain amount. Margin trading is a double-edged sword - it cuts both ways. If the stock price rises, the investor makes twice as much profit as with his own cash only. Similarly, if the stock price falls, the investor loses twice the amount. In slang, this practice is called 'investing on steroids.' 236. municipal bond fund

A mutual fund which invests in municipal bonds. These bond funds are popular among investors in high income tax brackets because they are exempt from federal taxes and, in some cases, from state taxes as well. As with U.S. government bond funds, the underlying securities in municipal bond funds are backed by the government and thus are considered to have a high credit rating. However, municipalities have been known to declare bankruptcy on occasion, making these funds more risky than U.S. government bonds. also called muni fund. 237. SIMPLE 401(k) Plan

A retirement plan sponsored by employers which is attractive for employers because it avoids some of the administrative fees and paperwork of plans such as a 401(k) plan. Employers benefit from the tax-deductible contributions made to the plan, and employees may elect to have salary deferrals in order to contribute to the plan. The employer has the option of matching a certain portion of the employee's deferrals or making non-elective contributions to all eligible employees (an annual limit applies in both cases). A minimum compensation eligibility requirement exists for employees who want to join this plan, and employees cannot establish any other qualified retirement plans at the same time. 238. dependency ratio

A measure of the portion of a population which is composed of dependents (people who are too young or too old to work). The dependency ratio is equal to the number of individuals aged below 15 or above 64 divided by the number of individuals aged 15 to 64, expressed as a percentage. A rising dependency ratio is a concern in many countries that are facing an aging population, since it becomes difficult for pension and social security systems to provide for a significantly older, non-working population. 239. Accelerated Depreciation

A depreciation method which allows faster write-offs than the straight line method. These methods provide a greater tax shield effect than straight line depreciation, and so companies with large tax burdens might like to use accelerated depreciation methods, even if it reduces the income shown on financial statement. Accelerated depreciation methods are popular for writing-off equipment that might be replaced before the end of its useful life since the equipment might be obsolete (e.g. computers). One example of an accelerated depreciation method is the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). 240. margin trading

Practice of buying stock with money borrowed from the broker. In this arrangement, the investor makes a cash down payment (called the margin) with the broker and can purchase stocks worth about twice the cash amount. The broker charges interest on this

loan (in addition to the commission on each buy/sell trade) and the investor has to keep the entire stockholding with the broker as collateral. Also, the investor has to put up additional cash in case the value of the stockholding falls below a certain amount. Margin trading is a double-edged sword - it cuts both ways. If the stock price rises, the investor makes twice as much profit as with his own cash only. Similarly, if the stock price falls, the investor loses twice the amount. In slang, this practice is called 'investing on steroids.' 241. net debt

A standard for analyzing the degree of debt held by a company. This takes into account not just the total amount of debt that a company owes, but how much debt it has in relation to its assets. If a company has a large amount of debt, but a large reserve of cash, it is better able to handle its debt situation than a company which has a smaller amount of debt but very limited cash or assets. This is one aspect to think about when considering investing in a company. Formula: total debts minus cash and all other liquid assets. 242. book value

A company's common stock equity as it appears on a balance sheet, equal to total assets minus liabilities, preferred stock, and intangible assets such as goodwill. This is how much the company would have left over in assets if it went out of business immediately. Since companies are usually expected to grow and generate more profits in the future, market capitalization is higher than book value for most companies. Since book value is a more accurate measure of valuation for companies which aren't growing quickly, book value is of more interest to value investors than growth investors. 243. covered call

The selling of a call option while simultaneously holding an equivalent position in the underlier. This is an attempt to take advantage of a neutral or declining stock. If the option expires unexercised, the writer keeps the premium. If the holder exercises the option, the stock must be delivered, but, because the writer already owns the stock, risk is limited. This is the opposite of an uncovered call, when the writer sells a call for a stock that he/she does not already own, a dangerous strategy with unlimited risk. 244. reverse split

A stock split which reduces the number of outstanding shares and increases the per-share price proportionately. This is usually an attempt by a company to disguise a falling stock price, since the actual market capitalization of the stock does not change at all. For example, if a company declares a one-for-ten reverese split, then a person who previously held 20 shares valued by the market at $1 each will then have 2 shares worth $10 each. Many stock exchanges in the U.S. do not allow companies with a stock price of less than $1 to remain listed, and many such companies then have to undertake reverse splits if they want to remain listed.

245.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act

A 2002 U.S. federal law which establishes a broad array of standards for public companies, their management boards, and accounting firms. It was passed after a series of accounting scandals at Enron, WorldCom and Tyco International diminished public trust in U.S. corporations, and is designed to increase corporate accountability. The law established the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which oversees the auditors of public companies. Sarbanes-Oxley sets forth eleven specific reporting requirements that companies and executive boards must follow, and requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to oversee compliance. also called SOX, Sarbox Sabanes-Oxley, Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002. 246. Du Pont analysis

A type of analysis that examines a company's Return on Equity (ROE) by breaking it into three main components: profit margin, asset turnover and leverage factor. By breaking the ROE into distinct parts, investors can examine how effectively a company is using equity, since poorly performing components will drag down the overall figure. To calculate a firm's ROE through Du Pont analysis, multiply the profit margin (net income divided by sales), asset turnover (sales divided by assets) and leverage factor (total assets divided by shareholders' equity) together. The higher the result, the higher the return on equity. 247. January Effect

Tendency of the stock market to rise between December 31 and the end of the first week in January. The January Effect occurs because many investors choose to sell some of their stock right before the end of the year in order to claim a capital loss for tax purposes. Once the tax calendar rolls over to a new year on January 1st these same investors quickly reinvest their money in the market, causing stock prices to rise. Although the January Effect has been observed numerous times throughout history, it is difficult for investors to profit from it since the market as a whole expects it to happen and therefore adjusts its prices accordingly. 248. capital lease

A lease that meets one or more of the following criteria, meaning it is classified as a purchase by the lessee: the lease term is greater than 75% of the property's estimated economic life; the lease contains an option to purchase the property for less than fair market value; ownership of the property is transferred to the lessee at the end of the lease term; or the present value of the lease payments exceeds 90% of the fair market value of the property. 249. retrocession

The purchase of reinsurance by a reinsurance company. This limits the risk that a reinsurance company must face, since it has purchased insurance against an event that might affect a company that it had underwritten. If a reinsurance company continues to purchase insurance it might unknowingly buy back its own risk, known as "spiraling". The voluntary act of returning property which had been previously "ceded" to its original holders. Examples include Washington, D.C. returning land to the state of Virginia in 1847, or the United Kingdom returning Hong Kong to China in 1997. 250. portfolio separation theorem

Observation that the construction of a diversified portfolio of risk-free investments and those with varying degree of risk is unaffected by the investor's personal preferences. That is, an investor makes choices on the basis of the net present value of the projected returns and not on his or her level of risk tolerance. Since this behavior separates the decision about the type of investments from the decision about the acceptable level of risk, it is named portfolio separation theorem. Its implication is that a company's choice of debt-equity ratio is inconsequential. Also called Fisher's Separation Theory after its proposer, the U.S. economist Irving Fisher (1876-1947). 251. market maker

A brokerage or bank that maintains a firm bid and ask price in a given security by standing ready, willing, and able to buy or sell at publicly quoted prices (called making a market). These firms display bid and offer prices for specific numbers of specific securities, and if these prices are met, they will immediately buy for or sell from their own accounts. Market makers are very important for maintaining liquidity and efficiency for the particular securities that they make markets in. At most firms, there is a strict separation of the market-making side and the brokerage side, since otherwise there might be an incentive for brokers to recommend securities simply because the firm makes a market in that security. 252. Perkins loan

A need-based, low-interest loan available to students rather than their parents. The amount of the loan is determined by each college and is based on the expected family contribution. The student will be held responsible for this loan, not the parent. Repayment doesn't begin until after a student graduates, falls below half-time student status, or leaves college. After graduating, a student typically has a nine-month grace period during which interest doesn't accrue. Perkins loans offer low interest rates to students and can be repaid within ten years. 253. trustee

An individual or organization which holds or manages and invests assets for the benefit of another. The trustee is legally obliged to make all trust-related decisions with the

beneficiary's interests in mind, and may be liable for damages in the event of not doing so. Trustees may be entitled to a payment for their services, if specified in the trust deed. In the specific case of the bond market, a trustee administers a bond issue for a borrower, and ensures that the issuer meets all the terms and conditions associated with the borrowing. 254. interest reserve account

Type of savings account created to pay off interest costs accrued from a long-term debt obligation. These accounts are more commonly used for large construction projects. The amount stored in an interest reserve account can be calculated through various formulas depending on the size and scope of the underlying debt. For example, one method is to take the total loan value multiplied by the interest percentage multiplied by the estimated length of time it will take to complete the project multiplied by the percentage of time for which the loan will be outstanding. 255. liquidity preference theory

Observation that, all else being equal, people prefer to hold on to cash (liquidity) and that they will demand a premium for investing in non-liquid assets such as bonds, stocks, and real estate. The theory suggests that the premium demanded for parting with cash increases as the period (term) for getting the cash back increases. The rate in the increase of this premium, however, slows down with the increase in term. In the language of financial trading, this theory is expressed as "forward rates should exceed the future spot rates." This concept was first expressed by the U.K. preference hypothesis. 256. current ratio

An indication of a company's ability to meet short-term debt obligations; the higher the ratio, the more liquid the company is. Current ratio is equal to current assets divided by current liabilities. If the current assets of a company are more than twice the current liabilities, then that company is generally considered to have good short-term financial strength. If current liablities exceed current assets, then the company may have problems meeting its short-term obligations. For example, if XYZ Company's total current assets are $10,000,000, and its total current liabilities are $8,000,000, then its current ratio would be $10,000,000 divided by $8,000,000, which is equal to 1.25. XYZ Company would be in relatively good shortterm financial standing. 257. closed fund

An open-end mutual fund that has temporarily or permanently suspended sale of shares to new customers, usually due to rapid asset growth. Outstanding shares are still accepted for redemption by the fund, and existing shareholders may also buy shares in some cases. The primary reason for closing a fund to new investors is that fund managers are

concerned that if they increase the asset base of the fund any further, their current investment strategy will become too difficult to achieve. 258. IPO lock up

A contract stipulation that most publically traded companies use, which prohibits majority shareholders or those within the organization from selling their shares soon after the company goes public. The restriction typically lasts 90 to 180 days. Also called lock up period. 259. ask size

The number of shares that are being offered for sale at the ask price, often expressed in terms of hundreds of shares. Some traders try to use the bid size and ask size to measure impending short term upward or downward pressure on the stock's price. This can work for stocks on exchanges such as NYSE and AMEX, but is far less useful on Nasdaq, which has market makers ready to buy and sell shares, rather than specialists who balance books of buy and sell orders. 260. structured note

Is a debt security with one or more special features, such as making payments based on an underlying index. For instance, a structured note is a bond which, instead of paying the typical interest payments, will use an index, such as the S&P 500, to determine the amount of the interest payment. This type of debt security is complex and is used primarily by sophisticated investors. By hedging the security on an underlying asset, the investor is sometimes able to receive larger returns on the investment. 261. consumer reporting agency

An agency which collects and sells information about the creditworthiness of individuals. A credit reporting agency does not make any decisions about whether a specific person should be extended credit or not. Instead, it collects information that it considers relevant to a person's credit habits and history, and uses this information to assign a credit score to indicate how creditworthy a person is. Prospective creditors purchase credit reports from credit bureaus about specific individuals, and then they use this information to decide how much credit, if any, to extend to the individual. also called credit bureau. 262. growth fund

A mutual fund whose aim is to achieve capital appreciation by investing in growth stocks. They focus on companies that are experiencing significant earnings or revenue growth, rather than companies that pay outdividends. The hope is that these rapidly growing companies will continue to increase in value, thereby allowing the fund to reap the benefits of large capital gains. In general, growth funds are more volatile than other

types of funds, rising more than other funds in bull markets and falling more in bear markets. 263. non-statutory stock option

A type of employee stock option which is less advantageous for the employer from a tax standpoint than an incentive stock option (ISO), but which is less restrictive and generally easier to set up and administer. The most important difference is that the exercise of ISO does not result in a tax burden, while the exercise of a non-qualified stock option does (except in very specific circumstances). also called non-qualified stock option. 264. strike price

The specified price on an option contract at which the contract may be exercised, whereby a call option buyer can buy the underlier or a put option buyer can sell the underlier. The buyer's profit from exercising the option is the amount by which the strike price exceeds the spot price (in the case of a put), or the amount by which the spot price exceeds the strike price (in the case of a call). In general, the smaller the difference between spot and strike price, the higher the option premium. also called exercise price. 265. public sector

The part of the economy concerned with providing basic government services. The composition of the public sector varies by country, but in most countries the public sector includes such services as the police, military, public roads, public transit, primary education and healthcare for the poor. The public sector might provide services that nonpayer cannot be excluded from (such as street lighting), services which benefit all of society rather than just the individual who uses the service (such as public education), and services that encourage equal opportunity. 266. cash pooling

A cash management technique employed by companies holding funds at financial institutions. Cash pooling allows companies to combine their credit and debit positions in various accounts into one account, and includes techniques like notional cash pooling and cash concentration. Notional cash pooling has the company combine the balances of several accounts in order to limit low balance or transaction fees. Cash concentration or zero balancing has the company physically combining various accounts into one single account. 267. white collar

Refers to employees whose job entails, largely or entirely, mental or clerical work, such as in an office. The term white collar work used to characterize non-manual workers, but now it refers to employees or professionals whose work is knowledge intensive, non-

routine, and unstructured. Historically, in the West, clerical workers wore white shirt collars but manual workers wore blue. See also blue collar. 268. U.S. Treasury Bill

A negotiable debt obligation issued by the U.S. government and backed by its full faith and credit, having a maturity of one year or less. U.S. Treasury Bills are exempt from state and local taxes. These securities do not pay a coupon rate of interest, and the interest earned is estimated by taking the difference between the price paid and the par value of the bond, and calculating that rate of return on an annual basis. Treasury Bills are considered the safest securities available to the U.S. investor, and so the yield on these securities are considered the risk-free rate of return. also called Bill or T-Bill or Treasury Bill. 269. Fair Credit Reporting Act

Federal law giving individuals the right to examine their own credit history. The provisions of this law enable consumers to approach credit reporting agencies to see what the agencies may be saying about them, find out if their credit information has been used any third parties, and approach an agency to dispute wrongful use or interpretation of their information. The law also places restrictions on the consumer reporting agencies, such as requiring the agencies to provide each consumer one free report per year upon request, as well as restricting the amount of time certain information can remain on one's credit report. 270. marginal rate

The tax rate paid on the last dollar of one's income (known as the marginal tax rate). In a graduated tax system (which most countries use), this rate will be equal to or higher than the tax rate paid on the person's entire income, since the tax rate is lower for the first dollars of income than for subsequent dollars of income. The rate at which a consumer is willing to substitute a product or service for another product or service (the marginal rate of substitution). In general, the more that a good is consumed, the more willing the consumer is to substitute it away; in other words, the marginal rate of substitution falls. 271. cost of capital

The opportunity cost of an investment; that is, the rate of return that a company would otherwise be able to earn at the same risk level as the investment that has been selected. For example, when an investor purchases stock in a company, he/she expects to see a return on that investment. Since the individual expects to get back more than his/her initial investment, the cost of capital is equal to this return that the investor receives, or the money that the company misses out on by selling its stock.

272.

Class A Shares

Typically, the most preferred tier of classified stock, offering more voting rights than Class B Shares. Class A shares are designed to insulate management from the short-term swings of Wall Street, by allowing those in management to control a small amount of the equity of the company but still maintain voting power. These types of shares are not sold to the public and cannot be traded, which supporters of the dual-share system say allows management to focus on long-term goals. In some cases, a company will designate shares to be Class A shares even though they have less voting rights, and designate the shares with more voting rights to be Class B shares; the decision is left up to the individual company. 273. margin account

A brokerage account in which the brokerage lends the customer cash with which to purchase securities. Unlike a cash account, a margin account allows an investor to buy securities with money that he/she does not have, by borrowing the money from the broker. The Federal Reserve limits margin borrowing to at most 50% of the amount invested. Some brokerages have even stricter requirements, especially for volatile stocks. People usually open margin accounts to take advantage of an opportunity to leverage their investment, rather than because they don't have the money to make the full purchase. Brokerages charge a relatively low interest rate on margin loans in order to entice investors into buying on margin. 274. cash flows from investing activities

An accounting of funds related to the company's investments, reported on the cash flow statement of a company's annual report. This number shows how much money the company has received (or lost) from its investing activities. It includes money that the company has made (or lost) by investing its excess cash in different investments (stocks, bonds, etc), money the company has made (or lost) from buying or selling subsidiaries, and all the money the company has spent on its physical property, such as plants and equipment. 275. net interest income

NII. A financial measure for banks, calculated by the amount of money the bank receives from interest on assets (commercial loans, personal mortgages, etc) minus the amount of money the bank pays out for interest on liabilities (personal bank accounts, etc). Although usually calculated for banks, this figure can also be calculated for other corporations, simply by subtracting the amount of interest paid on liabilities from the amount of interest earned from assets. 276. implied warranty

Integral part of every normal sales transaction, implied warranty is conferred by custom or law, and has the same effect as an express-warranty. Unless clearly negated through mutual agreement or a disclaimer, implied warranties are always present and are enforceable even if the seller (or provider or manufacturer) is unaware of, or is unable to, discover the defect in the product (good or service). The seller remains liable for the breach of warranty penalties, because such warranties are based not on the presence of an inherent fault but on the public policy of protecting the buyer or legality of the venture. 277. Eurodollar market

The European market where US dollars can be deposited and loaned for short periods of time. In this market, loans are made in the form of Eurodollars and products are denominated in the US currency. However, because transactions are typically $1 million or more, only large institutional investors participate in this market. Also, because this market is largely unregulated, banks can lend out 100 percent of the deposits they receive and therefore offer extremely attractive interest rates. 278. premium The amount by which a bond or stock sells above its par value. The amount by which a closed-end fund's market price exceeds the value of its holdings. An additional cost above the normal cost. The amount that the buyer of an option pays to the seller. A regular periodic payment for an insurance policy, here also called insurance premium. The amount by which the first trading of an IPO exceeds its offering price. opposite of discount. 279. liquidity

The ability of an asset to be converted into cash quickly and without any price discount. 280. net sales

Gross sales minus returns, discounts, and allowances. 281. EV/EBITDA

A metric for deriving the value of a business. Meaning Enterprise Value divided by Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, it compares the value of a company, including debt and other liabilities to its actual earnings, not including noncash assets. The resulting enterprise multiple can be used to compare one company to another within the same industry, since the calculation is independent of the capital structure of a company. A lower enterprise multiple may indicate that a company is undervalued. 282. non-qualified retirement plan

A retirement plan that does not meet the IRS (or ERISA) requirements for favorable tax treatment. Non-qualified retirement plans are funded by employers and are more flexible than, but do not have the tax benefits of, qualified retirement plans. Benefits are paid at the retirement age in the form of annuities, which are taxed as ordinary income tax, or in lump sum payments, which can be transferred into an IRA to defer taxes. opposite of qualified retirement plan. 283. non-qualified retirement plan

A retirement plan that does not meet the IRS (or ERISA) requirements for favorable tax treatment. Non-qualified retirement plans are funded by employers and are more flexible than, but do not have the tax benefits of, qualified retirement plans. Benefits are paid at the retirement age in the form of annuities, which are taxed as ordinary income tax, or in lump sum payments, which can be transferred into an IRA to defer taxes. opposite of qualified retirement plan. 284. lifecycle fund

A highly diversified mutual fund designed to remain appropriate for investors in terms of risk throughout a variety of life circumstances. Accordingly, lifecycle funds offer different risk profiles that investors can shift invested funds between in order to manage risk effectively as they move from youth to middle age to retirement. Although lifecycle funds all share the common goal of first growing and then later preserving principal, they can contain any mix of stocks, bonds, and cash. 285. mutual fund

An open-ended fund operated by an investment company which raises money from shareholders and invests in a group of assets, in accordance with a stated set of objectives. mutual funds raise money by selling shares of the fund to the public, much like any other type of company can sell stock in itself to the public. Mutual funds then take the money they receive from the sale of their shares (along with any money made from previous investments) and use it to purchase various investment vehicles, such as stocks, bonds and money market instruments. In return for the money they give to the fund when purchasing shares, shareholders receive an equity position in the fund and, in effect, in each of its underlying securities. For most mutual funds, shareholders are free to sell their shares at any time, although the price of a share in a mutual fund will fluctuate daily, depending upon the performance of the securities held by the fund. Benefits of mutual funds include diversification and professional money management. Mutual funds offer choice, liquidity, and convenience, but charge fees and often require a minimum investment. A closed-end fund is often incorrectly referred to as a mutual fund, but is actually an investment trust. There are many types of mutual funds, including aggressive growth fund, asset allocation fund, balanced fund, blend fund, bond fund, capital appreciation fund, clone fund, closed fund, crossover fund, equity fund, fund of funds, global fund, growth fund, growth and income fund, hedge fund, income fund, index fund,

international fund, money market fund, municipal bond fund, prime rate fund, regional fund, sector fund, specialty fund, stock fund, and tax-free bond fund. 286. BSE Sensex

Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index. A value-weighted stock market index, which tracks the performance of the 30 largest stocks on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The 30 stocks are chosen at random times, whenever the market has significantly changed enough to warrant the changes, and are chosen by the value of their free float shares. Although the index only tracks a very small percentage of the total stocks traded on the BSE, the index typically comprises about one fifth of the market capitalization of the entire stock exchange. 287. fiscal year

A 12-month period over which a company budgets its spending. A fiscal year does not always begin in January and end in December; it may run over any period of 12 months. The fiscal year is referred to by the date in which it ends. For example, if a company's fiscal year ends October 31, 2006, then everything between November 1, 2005 and October 31, 2006 would be referred to as FY 2006. Not using the actual calendar year gives many companies an advantage, allowing them to close their books at a time which is most convenient for them. 288. 289.