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Investment Terminology Part 1 (1-248)


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Abnormal Return
The return earned on a financial asset in excess of that required to compensate for the risk of the asset.
Account Executive (alternatively, Registered Representative)
A representative of a broker-age firm whose primary responsibility is servicing the accounts of individual investors.
Accounting Beta
A relative measure of the sensitivity of a firm's accounting earnings to changes in the accounting earnings of the market portfolio.
Accounting Earnings (alternatively, Reported Earnings)
A firm's revenues less its expenses. Equivalently, the change in the firm's book value of the equity plus dividends paid to shareholders.
Accrued Interest
Interest earned but. not yet paid.
Active Efficient Set
The combinations of securities that offer investors both maximum expected active return for varying levels of active risk and minimum active risk for various levels of expected active return.
Active Management
A form of investment management that involves buying and selling financial assets with the objective of earning positive abnormal returns.
Active Position
The difference between the percentage of an investor's portfolio invested in a particular financial asset and the percentage of a benchmark portfolio invested in that same asset.
Actual Margin
The equity in an investor's margin account expressed as a percentage of the account's total market value (for margin purchases) or total debt (for short sales).
Adjusted Beta
An estimate of a security's future beta, derived initially from historical data, but modified by the assumption that the security's "true" beta has a tendency over time to move toward the market average of 1.0.
Aggressive Stocks
Stocks that have betas greater than 1.
Allocationally Efficient Market
A market for securities in which those firms with the most promising investment opportunities have access to the needed funds.
The difference between a security's expected return and its benchmark return.
American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)
Financial assets issued by U.S. banks that represent indirect ownership of a certain number of shares of a specific foreign firm. These shares are held on deposit in a hank in the firm's home country.
American Option
An option that can be exercised at any time until and including its expiration date.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
With respect to a loan, the APR is the yield-to-maturity of the loan, computed using the most frequent time between payments as the compounding interval.
An empirical regularity that is not predicted by any known asset pricing model.
Approved List
A list of securities that an investment organization deems worthy of accumulation in a given portfolio. In an organization that uses an approved list, typically, any security on the list may he purchased by the organization's portfolio managers without additional authorization.
The simultaneous purchase and sale of the same, or essentially similar, security in two different markets for advantageously different prices.
Arbitrage Portfolio
A portfolio that requires no investment, has no sensitivity to any factor, and has a positive expected return. More strictly, a portfolio that provides inflows in some circumstances and requires no outflows under any circumstances.
Arbitrage Pricing Theory
An equilibrium model of asset pricing that states that the expected return on a security is a linear function of the security's sensitivity to various common factors.
A person who engages in arbitrage.
Asked (or Ask) Price (alternatively , Offer Price)
The price at which a market-maker is willing to sell a specified quantity of a particular security.
Asset Allocation
The process of determining the optimal division of an investor's portfolio among available asset classes.
Asset Class
A broadly defined generic group of financial assets, such as stocks or bonds.
Asymmetric Information
A situation in which one party has more information than an-other party.
At the Money
An option whose exercise price is roughly equal to the market. price of its underlying asset.
See Factor Loading.
Automated Bond System (ABS)
A computer system established by the New York Stock Ex-change to facilitate the trading of bonds.
Average Tax Rate
The amount of taxes paid expressed as a percentage of the total income subject to tax.
Bank Discount Basis
A method of calculating the interest rate on a pure-discount fixed-income security that uses the principal of the security as the security's cost.
Bankers' Acceptance
A type of money market instrument. It is a promissory note issued by a business debtor, with a stated maturity date, arising out of a business transaction. A bank, by endorsing the note, assumes the obligation. If this obligation becomes actively traded, it is referred to as a hankers' acceptance.
The difference between the spot price of an asset and the futures price of the same asset.
Basis Point
1/100 of 1%
Basis Risk
The risk to a futures investor that the basis will widen or narrow.
Bearer Bond
A bond that has attached coupons representing the right to receive interest payments. The owner submits each coupon on its specified date to receive payment. Ownership is transferred simply by the seller's endorsing the bond over to the buyer.
Benchmark Portfolio
A portfolio against which the investment performance of an investor can be compared for the purpose of determining investment skill. A benchmark port-folio represents a relevant and feasible alternative to the investor's actual portfolio and, in particular, is similar in terms of risk exposure.
Best-Efforts Basis
A security underwriting in which the members of the investment banking group serve as agents instead of dealers, agreeing only to obtain for the issuer the best price that the market will pay for the security.
Beta (alternatively, Beta Coefficient or Market Beta)
A relative measure of the sensitivity of an asset's return to changes in the return on the market portfolio. Mathematically, the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
A federal agency established by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act of 1974 that approves (or disapproves) thecreation of new futures contracts and regulates the trading of existing futures contracts.
Common Factor
A factor that affects the return on virtually all securities to a certain extent.
Common Stock
Legal representation of an equity (or ownership) position in a corporation.
Comparative Performance Attribution
Comparing the performance of a portfolio with thatof one or more other portfolios (or market indices) in order to determine the sourcesof the differences in their returns.
Competitive Bidding
With respect to selecting an underwriter, the process of an issuer soliciting bids on the underwriting and choosing the underwriter offering the best over-all terms.
Competitive Trader
See Floor Trader.
Complete Market
A market in which there are enough unique securities so that for any given contingency an investor can construct a portfolio that will produce a payoff if that contingency occurs.
Composite Stock Price Tables
Price information provided on all stocks traded on the national exchanges, the regional stock exchanges, the NASDAQ system, and the Instinet system.
The payment of interest on interest.
Computer-Assisted Order
Routing and Execution System (CORES) A computer system for trading all but the 150 most active stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Computer-Assisted Trading System (CATS)
A computer system for trading stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange that involves a computer file containing a publicly accessible limit order book.
Consolidated Quotations System
A system that lists current bid and asked prices of specialists on the national and regional stock exchanges and of certain over-the-counter dealers.
Consolidated Tape
A system that reports trades that occur on the national stock exchanges, the regional stock exchanges, the NASDAQ system, and the instinct system.
Constant-Growth Model
A type of dividend discount model in which dividends are assumed to exhibit a constant growth rate.
Consumer Price Index
A cost-of-living index that is representative of the goods and services purchased by U.S. consumers.
Contingent Deferred Sales Charge
A fee charged by a mutual fund to its shareholders if they sell their shares within a specified time after initially purchasing them.
Contingent Immunization
A form of bond management that entails both passive and active elements. Under contingent immunization, as long as favorable results are obtained, the bond portfolio is actively managed. However, if unfavorable results occur, then the port-folio is immediately immunized.
Continuous Market
A security market in which trades may occur at any time during business hours.
An investor who has opinions opposite those of most other investors, leading to actions such as buying recent losers and selling recent winners.
Convertible Bond
A bond that may, at the holder's option, be exchanged for other securities, often common stock.
The tendency for bond prices to change asymmetrically relative to yield changes. Typically, for a given yield change, a bond will rise in price more if the yield change is negative than it will fall in price if the yield change is positive.
Corner Portfolio
An efficient portfolio possessing the property that, if it is combined with any adjacent corner portfolio, the combination will produce another efficient portfolio.
Correlation Coefficient
A statistical measure similar to covariance, in that it measures the degree of mutual variation between two random variables. The correlation coefficient rescales covariance to facilitate comparison among pairs of random variables. The correlation coefficient is bounded by the values +1 and -1.
Cost of Carry
The differential between the futures and spot prices of a particular asset. It equals the interest forgone less the benefits plus the costs of ownership.
Cost-of-Living Index
A collection of goods and services, and their associated prices, designed to reflect changes over time in the cost of making normal consumption expenditures.
Counterparty Risk
The risk posed by the possibility that the person or organization with which an investor has entered into a financial arrangement may fail to make required payments.
Coupon Payments
The periodic payment of interest on a bond.
Coupon Rate
The annual dollar amount of coupon payments made by a bond expressed as a percentage of the bond's par value.
Coupon Stripping
The process of separating and selling the individual cash flows of Treasury notes or bonds.
A statistical measure of the relationship between two random variables. It measures the extent of mutual variation between two random variables.
Covered Call Writing
The process of writing a call option on an asset owned by the option writer.
An arrangement among federal and state tax authorities that permits state taxes to be deductible expenses for federal tax purposes and federal taxes to be deductible expenses for state tax purposes.
Crown jewel Defense
A strategy used by corporations to ward off hostile takeovers. The strategy entails the target company's selling off its most attractive assets to make itself less attractive to the acquiring firm.
Cumulative Dividends
A common feature of preferred stock that requires that the issuing corporation pay all previously unpaid preferred stock dividends before any common stock dividends may he paid.
Cumulative Voting System
In the context of a corporation, a method of voting in which a stockholder is permitted to give any one candidate for the board of directors a maximum number of votes equal to the number of shares owned by that shareholder times the number of directors being elected.
Currency Risk
See Exchange Risk.
Current Yield
The annual dollar amount of coupon payments made by a bond expressed as a percentage of the bond's current market price.
Customer's Agreement
See Hypothecation Agreement.
Date of Record
The date, established quarterly by a corporation's board of directors, on which the stockholders of record are determined for the purpose of paying a cash or stock dividend.
Day Order
A trading order for which the broker will attempt to fill the order only during the day on which it was entered.
Day-of-the-Week Effect (alternatively, Weekend Effect)
An empirical regularity whereby stock returns appear to be lower on Mondays than on other days of the week.
Dealer (alternatively, Market-Maker)
A person who facilitates the trading of financial assets by maintaining an inventory in particular securities. The dealer buys for and sells from this inventory, profiting from the difference in the buying and selling prices.
Dealer's Spread
The bid-ask spread quoted by a security dealer.
A bond that is not secured by specific property.
Debit Balance
The dollar amount borrowed from a broker as the result of a margin purchase.
Debt Refunding
The issuance of new debt for the purpose of paying off currently maturing debt.
Dedicated Portfolio
A portfolio of bonds that provides its owner with cash inflows that are matched against a specific stream of cash outflows.
Default Premium
The difference between the promised and expected yield-to-maturity on a bond arising from the possibility that the bond issuer might default on the bond.
Defensive Stocks
Stocks that have betas less than 1.
The process of removing a security's eligibility for trading on an organized security exchange.
See Hedge Ratio.
Demand Deposit
A checking account at a financial institution.
Depository Trust Company
A central computerized depository for securities registered in the names of member firms. Members' security certificates are immobilized and computerized records of ownership are maintained. This arrangement permits electronic transfer of the securities from one member to another as trades are conducted between the members' clients
Discount Broker
An organization that offers a limited range of brokerage services and charges fees substantially below those of brokerage firms that provide a full range of services.
Discount Factor
The present value of $1 to be received in a specified number of years.
The process of calculating the present value of a given stream of cash flows.
Discount Rate
The interest rate used in calculating the present value of future cash flows.The discount rate reflects not only the time value of money but also the riskiness of thecash flows.
Discretionary Order
A trading order that permits the broker to set the specifications for the order.
A pattern of funds flow whereby investors withdraw funds from financial intermediaries, such as banks and savings and loans, because market interest rates exceed the maximum interest rates that these organizations are permitted to pay. The investors reinvest their funds in financial assets that pay interest rates not subject to ceilings
Distribution (12b-1) Fee
An annual fee charged by a mutual fund to its shareholders to pay for advertising, promoting, and selling the fund to new investors.
The process of adding securities to a portfolio in order to reduce the port portfolio's unique risk and, thereby, the portfolio's total risk.
Dividend Decision
The process of determining the amount of dividends that a corporation will pay its shareholders.
Dividend Discount Model
The term used for the capitalization of income method of valuation as applied to common stocks. All variants of dividend discount models assume that the intrinsic value of a share of common stock is equal to the discounted value of the dividends forecast to be paid on the stock
Cash payments made to stockholders by the corporation.
Dividend Yield
The current annualized dividend paid on a share of common stock, ex-pressed as a percentage of the current market price of the corporation's common stock.
Dollar-Weighted Return
A method of measuring the performance of a portfolio over a particular period of time. It is the discount rate that makes the present value of cash flows into and out of the portfolio, as well as the portfolio's ending value, equal to the port-folio's beginning value
Domestic Return
The return on an investment in a foreign financial asset, excluding the impact of exchange rate changes.
Double Auction
Bidding among both buyers and sellers for a security that may occur when the specialist's bid-ask spread is large enough to permit sales at one or more prices with-in the spread.
A measure of the average maturity of the stream of payments generated by a financial asset. Mathematically, duration is the weighted average of the lengths of time until the asset's remaining payments are made. The weights in this calculation are the proportion of the asset's total present value represented by the present value of the respective cash flows
Earnings per Share
A corporation's accounting earnings divided by the number of its common shares outstanding.
Earnings-Price Ratio
The reciprocal of the price-earnings ratio.
Econometric Model
A statistical model designed to explain and forecast certain economic phenomena.
¶Economic Earnings
The change in the economic value of the firm plus dividends paid to shareholders.
Economic Value of the Firm
The aggregate market value of all securities issued by the firm.
Effective Duration
A measure of a bond's duration that accounts for the ability of either the bond's issuer or the bondholder to cause the actual stream of cash payments to differ from that which would be received if the bond were paid off as promised over its entire life.
Efficient Diversification
The process of creating diversification in a portfolio 4. selecting securities in a manner that explicitly considers the standard deviations and correlations of the securities.
Efficient Market
A market for securities in which every security's price equals its investment value at all times, implying that a specified set of information is fully and immediately reflected in market prices.
Efficient Portfolio
A portfolio within the feasible set that offers investors both maximum expected return for varying levels of risk and minimum risk for varying levels of expected return.
Efficient Set (Frontier)
The set of efficient portfolios.
Efficient Set Theorem
The proposition that investors will choose their portfolios only from the set of efficient portfolios.
Emerging Markets
Financial markets in countries that have a relatively low level of per capita gross domestic product, improving political and economic stability, a currency that is convertible into Western countries' currencies, and securities available for investment by foreigners
Empirical Regularities
Differences in returns on securities that occur with regularity from period to period. See also Anomaly.
Endogenous Variable
In the context of an econometric model, an economic variable that rep-resents the economic phenomena explained by the model.
Equal-Weighted Market Index
A market index in which all the component securities con-tribute equally to the value of the index, regardless of the various attributes of those securities.
Equilibrium Expected Return
The expected return on a security assuming that the security is correctly priced by the market. This "fair" return is determined by an appropriate asset pricing model.
Equipment Obligation (alternatively, Equipment Trust Certificate)
A bond that is backed by specific pieces of equipment that, if necessary, can be readily sold and delivered to a new owner.
Equipment Trust Certificate
See Equipment Obligation.
Equity Premium
The difference between the expected rate of return on common stocks and the riskfree return.
Equity Swap
A contract between two counterparties wherein one pays the other a fixed stream of cash flows and in return receives a varying stream whose cash flows are regularly reset on the basis of the performance of a given stock or a given stock market index.
Equivalent Yield
The annualized yield-to-maturity on a fixed-income security sold on a discount basis.
A bond that is offered outside of the country of the borrower and usually outside of the country in whose currency the security is denominated.
Eurodollar Certificate of Deposit
A certificate of deposit denominated in U.S. dollars and issued by banks domiciled outside of the United States.
Eurodollar Deposit
A U.S. dollar-denominated time deposit held at a bank domiciled out-side of the United States.
European Option
An option that can be exercised only on its expiration date. Ex Ante Before the fact; future.
Excess Return
The difference between the return on a security and the return on the risk-free asset
Exchange Distribution or Acquisition
A trade involving a large block of stock on an organized security exchange whereby a brokerage firm attempts to execute the order by finding enough offsetting orders from its customers.
Exchange Risk (alternatively, Currency Risk)
The uncertainty in the return on a foreign financial asset owing to unpredictability regarding the rate at which the foreign currency can be exchanged into the investor's own currency.
Ex-Distribution Date
The date on which ownership of stock is determined for purposes of paying stock dividends or issuing new shares due to stock splits. Owners purchasing shares before the ex-distribution date receive the new shares in question. Owners purchasing shares on or after the ex-distribution date are not entitled to the new shares
Ex-Dividend Date
The date on which ownership of stock is determined for purposes of paying cash dividends. Owners purchasing shares before the ex-dividend date receive the dividend in question. Owners purchasing shares on or after the ex-dividend date are not entitled to the dividend.
Exercise Price (alternatively, Striking Price)
In the case of a call option, the price at which an option buyer may purchase the underlying asset from the option writer. In the case of a put option. the price at which an option buyer may sell the underlying asset to the option writer.
Exogenous Variable
In the context of an econometric model, an economic variable taken as given and used in the model to explain the model's endogenous variables.
Expectations Hypothesis
A hypothesis that the current futures price of an asset equal the expected spot price of the asset on the delivery date of the futures contract.
Expected Rate of Inflation
That portion of inflation experienced over a given period of time that was anticipated by investors.
Expected Return
The return on a security (or portfolio) that an investor anticipates receiving over a holding period.
Expected Return Vector
A column of numbers that correspond to the expected returns for a set of securities.
Expected Value
See Mean.
Expected Yield-to-Maturity
The yield-to-maturity on a bond calculated as a weighted average of all possible yields that the bond might produce under different scenarios of default or late payments, where the weights are the probabilities of each scenario occurring.
Ex Post
After the fact; historical.
Ex Post Alpha
A portfolio's alpha calculated on an ex post basis. Mathematically, over an evaluation interval, it is the difference between the average return on the portfolio and the overage return on a benchmark portfolio.
Ex Post Selection Bias
In the context of constructing a security valuation model, the use of securities that have performed well and the avoidance of securities that have performed poorly, thus making the model appear more effective than it truly is.
Externally Efficient Market
A market for securities in which information is quickly and widely disseminated, thereby allowing each security's price to adjust rapidly in an unbiased manner to new information so that the price reflects investment value.
Face Value
See Principal.
Factor (alternatively, Index)
An aspect of the investment environment that influences the re-turns of financial assets. To the extent that a factor influences a significant number of financial assets, it is termed common or pervasive.
Factor Beta
A relative measure of the mutual variation of a particular common factor with the return on the market portfolio. Mathematically, a factor beta is the covariance of the factor with the market portfolio, divided by the variance of the market portfolio.
Factor Loading (alternatively, Attribute or Sensitivity)
A measure of the responsiveness of a security's returns to a particular common factor.
Factor Model (alternatively, Index Model)
A return-generating process that attributes the return on a security to the security's sensitivity to the movements of various common factors.
Factor Risk
That part of a security's total risk that is related to moves in various common factors and, hence, cannot he diversified away.
Factor Risk Premium
The expected return over and above the riskfree rate on a portfolio that has unit sensitivity to a particular factor and zero sensitivity to all other factors.
Fail to Deliver
A situation in which a seller's broker is unable to deliver the traded security to the buyer's broker on or before the required settlement date.
Fallen Angel
A high-yield bond that was of investment grade when originally issued.
Feasible Set (alternatively, Opportunity Set)
The set of all portfolios that can be formed from the group of securities being considered by an investor.
Federally Sponsored Agency
A privately owned organization with government hacking that issues securities and uses the proceeds to support the granting of various types of special-purpose loans.
Fill-or-Kill Order
A trading order that is canceled if the broker is unable to execute it immediately.
Financial Analyst (alternatively, Security Analyst or Investment Analyst)
An individual who analyzes financial assets in order to determine the investment characteristics of those as-sets and to identify mispricings among those assets.
Financial Asset
See Security.
Financial Institution
See Financial Intermediary.
Financial Investment
An investment in financial assets.
Financial Leverage
The use of debt to fund a portion of an investment.
Financial Market (alternatively, Security Market)
A mechanism designed to facilitate the ex-change of financial assets by bringing orders from buyers and sellers of securities together.
Floating Rate (alternatively, Variable Rate)
A rate of interest on a financial asset that may vary over the life of the asset, depending on changes in a specified indicator of current market interest rates.
Floor Broker (alternatively, Two-Dollar Broker)
A member of an organized security ex-change who assists commission brokers when there are too many orders flowing into the market for the commission brokers to handle alone.
Floor Order Routing and Execution System (FORES)
A computer system for trading the 150 most active stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Floor Trader (alternatively, Competitive Trader or Registered Competitive Market-Maker or Registered Trader)
A member of an organized security exchange who trades solely for his or her own account and is prohibited by exchange rules from handling public orders.
Foreign Return
The return on an investment in a foreign financial asset, including the impact of exchange rate changes.
Forward Rate
The interest rate that links the current spot interest rate over one holding period to the current spot interest rate over a longer holding period. Equivalently, the interest rate agreed to at a point in time at which the associated loan will be made at a futures date.
Fourth Market
A secondary security market in which investors (typically, financial institutions) trade securities directly with one another, bypassing the brokers and dealers oil organized security exchanges and the over-the-counter market.
Fundamental Analysis
A form of security analysis that seeks to determine the intrinsic value of securities on the basis of underlying economic factors. These intrinsic values are compared with current market prices to estimate current levels of mispricing.
Futures (Futures Contract)
An agreement between two investors under which the seller promises to deliver a specific asset on a specific future date to the buyer for a predetermined price to be paid on the delivery date.
Futures Commission Merchant (FCM)
A firm that carries out customers' Order involving futures.
Futures Option (alternatively, Option on Futures)
An option contract for which the deliverable asset is a specific futures contract.
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
Accounting rules established by recognized U.S. authorities, such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
General Obligation Bond
A municipal bond that is backed by the full faith and credit of theissuing agency.
Geometric Mean Return
The compounded per period average rate of return on a financial asset over a specified time interval.
Good-Till-Canceled Order
See Open Order.
An offer by the management of a corporation that is the target of an attempted hostile takeover to repurchase its shares from the hostile bidder at an above-market pike.
Growth Stock
A stock that has experienced or is expected to experience rapidly increasing earnings per share and is often characterized as having low earnings-to-price and book value-to-market-value ratios.
Guaranteed Bond
A bond issued by one corporation hut backed by another corporation.
An investor in futures contracts whose primary objective is to offset an otherwise risky position.
Hedge Ratio (alternatively, Delta)
The expected change in the value of an option for each dollar change in the market price of the underlying asset.
High-Yield Bonds
See Speculative-Grade Bonds.
Historical Beta
An estimate of a security's beta, derived solely ft from historical returns. Equivalently, the slope of the market model or the ex-post characteristic line.
Holding Period
The length of time over which an investor is assumed to invest a given sum of money.
Holding-Period Return
The rate of return on an investment over a given holding period. Holdout Sample See Out-of-Sample Data.
Holiday Effect
The observation that average stock returns have been abnormally high around federal holidays.
Homogeneous Expectations
A situation in which all investors possess the same perceptions with regard to the expected returns, standard deviations, and co-variances of securities.
Horizon Analysis
A form of active bond management whereby a single holding period is selected for analysis, and possible yield structures at the end of the period are considered. Bonds with the most attractive expected returns under the alternative yield structures are selected for the portfolio.
Hypothecation Agreement (alternatively, Customer's Agreement)
A legal arrangement between a brokerage firm and an investor that permits the brokerage firm to pledge the investor's securities as collateral for bank loans, provided that the securities were purchased through the investor's margin account.
Idiosyncratic Risk
See Nonfactor Risk.
A bond portfolio management technique that permits an investor to meet a promised stream of cash outflows with a high degree of certainty.
Implied Volatility
The risk of an asset derived from an options valuation model assuming that an option on the asset is fairly priced by the market.
Implied Return
See Internal Rate of Return.
Income Bond
A bond for which the size of the interest payments varies on the basis of the income of the issuer.
A legal document formally describing the terms of the legal relationship between a bond issuer and bondholders.
See Factor.
Index Arbitrage
An investment strategy that involves buying a stock index futures contract and selling the individual stocks in the index, or selling a stock index futures contract and buying the individual stocks in the index. The strategy is designed to take advantage of a mispricing between the stock index futures contract and the underlying stocks.
A method of linking the payments associated with a bond to the price level in order to provide a certain real return on the bond.
Index Fund
A passively managed investment in a diversified portfolio of financial assets de-signed to mimic the investment performance of a specific market index.
Index Model
See Factor Model.
Indifference Curve
All combinations of portfolios, considered in terms of expected returns and risk, that provide an investor with an equal amount of satisfaction.
Individual Retirement Account
A tax-advantaged means for people to set aside income (either on a before-tax or an after-tax basis) and avoid taxes on the subsequent earnings until those earnings and the original funds are withdrawn.
Industrial Development Bond (IDB)
A form of revenue bond used to finance the purchase or construction of industrial facilities that are leased by the issuing municipality to firms on a favorable basis.
Inefficient Portfolio
A portfolio that does not satisfy the criteria of an efficient portfolio and, hence, does not lie on the efficient set.
The rate of change in a price index over a certain period of dine. Equivalently, the percentage change in the purchasing power of a unit of currency over a certain period of time.
Inflation Hedge
An asset that preserves the value of its purchasing power over time despite changes in the price level.
Inflation-indexed security
A type of fixed-income security that offers investors a promised (pretax) real rate of return by adjusting the security's principal and coupon payments for changes in a specified price index.
Information Coefficient
The correlation coefficient between a security analyst's predicted returns and subsequent actual returns that is used to measure the accuracy of the analyst's predictions.
Information Content of Dividends Hypothesis
The proposition that dividend announcements contain inside information about a corporation's future prospects.
Initial Margin Requirement
The minimum percentage of a margin purchase (or short sale) price that must come from the investor's own funds.
Initial Public Offering (ipo) (alternatively, Unseasoned Offering)
The first offering of the shares of a company to the public.
Initial Wealth
The value of an investor's portfolio at the beginning of a holding period.
Inside Quotes (alternatively, NBBO)
The highest bid price and the lowest asked price for a given stock offered by a group of dealers in a particular stock.
Narrowly defined, a stockholder, officer, or director of a corporation who owns a "significant" proportion of a corporation's stock. More broadly defined, anyone who has access to information that is both "materially" related to the value of a corporation's securities and unavailable to the general public.
Acronym for institutional Network. A computerized communications system that provides price quotations and order execution for fourth market participants.
Interest-Rate Parity
An explanation for why spot and futures exchange rates differ. It asserts that such differences result from different interest rates in the two countries.
Interest-Rate Risk
The uncertainty in the return on a fixed-income security caused by unanticipated fluctuations in the value of the asset owing to changes in interest rates.
Interest Rate Swap
A contract between two counterparties wherein one pays the other a fixed stream of cash flows and in return receives a varying stream whose cash flows are regularly reset on the basis of the level of a given market-determined interest rate.
Intermarket Spread Swap
A type of bond swap whereby an investor moves out of one market segment and into another because the investor believes that one segment is significantly underpriced relative to the other.
Intermarket Trading System
An electronic communications network that links the national and regional organized security exchanges and certain over-the-counter dealers. The net-work provides market-maker price quotes and allows participating brokers and dealers to route orders to market-makers offering the best prices.
Internal Rate of Return (alternatively. Implied Return)
The discount rate that equates the sum of the present value of future cash flows expected to be received from a particular investment to the cost of that investment.
A form of preferencing whereby broker-dealers who are members of the New York Stock Exchange take their customers' orders and fill them internally instead of sending them to an exchange floor for execution.
Internally Efficient Market
A market for securities in which brokers and dealers compete fairly so that the cost of transacting is low and the speed of transacting is high.
In the Money
In the case of a call option, an option whose exercise price is less than the current market price of its underlying asset. In the case of a put option, an option whose exercise price is greater than the current market price of its underlying asset.
Intrinsic Value of an Option
The value of an option if it were exercised immediately. Equivalently, the market price of the asset upon which a call option is written less the exercise price of the option (or the exercise price less the market price of the asset, in the case of a put option).
Committee In a traditional investment organization, a group of senior management responsible fin- establishing the organization's broad investment strategy.
Investment Analyst
See Financial Analyst.
Investment Banker (alternatively, Underwriter)
An organization that acts as an intermediary between issuers and the ultimate purchasers of securities in the primary security market.
Investment Banking
The process of analyzing and selecting a means of procuring financing on behalf of an issuer of securities.
Investment Environment
The financial structure in which investors operate, consisting of the kinds of marketable securities available for purchase or sale and how and where those securities are bought and sold.
Investment-Grade Bonds
Bonds that possess bond ratings that permit them to be purchased by the vast majority of institutional investors, particularly regulated financial institutions. Usually, investment-grade bonds have a BBB (Standard & Poor's) or Baa (Moody's) or higher bond rating.
Investment Policy
A component of the investment process that involves determining an investor's objectives, particularly as regards his or her attitude toward the tradeoff between expected return and risk.
Investment Process
The set of procedures by which an investor decides what marketable securities to invest in, how extensive those investments should be, and when the investments should be made.

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