Questions tagged [terminology]

For questions about the meaning and usage of specific terms used in personal finance, alternative names for concepts, etc.

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170 votes
3 answers
692k views

Can someone explain a stock's "bid" vs. "ask" price relative to "current" price?

In my online brokerage account, I want to buy a particular stock and I see the following: Bid: 13.20 x200 Ask: 13.27 x1,000 the current stock price is 13.22. Can someone explain what ...
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12 votes
4 answers
61k views

What does "more buyers than sellers" in technical analysis of stocks actually mean?

I often hear/read technical analysts looking at volume and price action on a chart and claiming that there are "more buyers than sellers" or vice versa. Since every trade requires a buyer and a ...
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  • 398
5 votes
2 answers
417 views

What is a mutual fund?

From Investopedia I understand that a mutual fund is a pool of funds used to invest in various assets. I am struggling to understand what it is. I wouldn't be able to spot a mutual fund based on this ...
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13 votes
4 answers
751 views

What is the theory behind diversification? Why does it work?

We are told always that diversification in a portfolio is good. "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." But is there mathematical theory behind diversification to back up the advice?
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19 votes
1 answer
1k views

What's the differences between a discount broker and a regular broker?

What are the differences between a discount broker and a regular broker? "Discount" implies a price difference... but why can they be cheaper than regular brokers??
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18 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is "financial literacy" and how does one become "financially literate"?

How does one become "Financially Literate"? Also, on a side question; what does "Financially Literate" even mean?
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30 votes
3 answers
1k views

What are "preferred" stocks? How are they different from normal (common) stocks?

What are "preferred" stocks? How are they different from normal (common) stocks that you can buy on a stock exchange?
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27 votes
4 answers
14k views

What is the meaning of "short selling" or "going short" a stock?

Can someone please explain the meaning of 'shorting' a stock with an example?
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22 votes
9 answers
4k views

What is the difference between "good debt" vs. "bad debt"?

This other question about home renovations makes reference to the concept of "good debt." Could somebody explain the concepts of good debt vs. bad debt, providing examples of each? Are there cases ...
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11 votes
3 answers
6k views

What does market cap (or market capitalization) mean?

When I look at my Google finance page, and I look at a company, lets say Citigroup for example, and I see that the market cap is 83.45 billion, what does that mean? Does that mean Stock Price X ...
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  • 2,165
11 votes
1 answer
537 views

What is long-term care insurance ? How does long-term care insurance work?

What is long-term care insurance? How does long-term care insurance work? Who should consider getting long-term care insurance and why?
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8 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why is a stock dividend considered a dividend? What makes it different from a stock split?

I've been reading Principles of Corporate Finance by Brealey, Myers and Allen, but unfortunately they did not cover stock dividends. From what I understand, by paying a dividend, a company can ...
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13 votes
1 answer
5k views

Currency values: Are there names for the parts before and after the decimal point?

What is the collective name / term given to the part of a currency value before and after the point? e.g. $123.99 So in the example above I'm after the name of the part '123' and the name of the ...
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  • 315
7 votes
1 answer
9k views

My "credit limit" is now a "credit access line". Does it matter?

My credit card just got "upgraded". Tucked in among all the notes about new benefits I've got access to is this line: Please note: Your credit line/credit limit will now be referred to as a Credit ...
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1 vote
2 answers
5k views

What is the meaning of realization in finance?

The definition of "realization" is well defined by multiple sources in accounting terms while we google it. But, can someone explain in terms of real life example that suits the meaning of ...
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24 votes
3 answers
10k views

What is a trust? What are the different types of trusts?

What is a trust? What are the different types of trusts? Are some better than others? What are the different roles involved in a trust?
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34 votes
3 answers
5k views

What is it called when you sell and reinvest to pay lower taxes?

Every year or so, I sell my investments and then immediately buy them again. I do this because I'm in a low enough tax bracket that I don't have to pay capital gains on my long term investments, so I'...
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23 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is meant by one being in a "tax bracket"?

I've always wondered but just now asking: What is meant by one being in a "tax bracket"? Does that mean only Federal, or does it include State AND Federal? For example: I (would like to) make $100K a ...
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7 votes
2 answers
12k views

What is the difference between a 'trader' and a 'stockbroker'?

Are the two terms referring to the same person?
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23 votes
2 answers
201k views

What's the difference between a certified check, a cashier's check, a money order, and a bank draft?

The question comes from reading this answer. I've heard these terms used somewhat interchangeably, but I have no idea what the differences are. What's the difference between a certified check, a ...
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  • 665
12 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is a stock warrant? How do warrants work?

What is a stock warrant? How do warrants work? I've been told they are similar to options; how? Then why not just call them options - what makes them different?
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19 votes
1 answer
588 views

What's an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)?

I've been hearing a lot about exchange-traded funds, or ETFs. What exactly are they, and how would I use them?
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12 votes
2 answers
997 views

What is value investing? What are the key principles of value investing?

What is value investing? What are the key principles of value investing? Is there evidence indicating whether value investing results in higher returns, or lower risk, compared to other styles of ...
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11 votes
1 answer
391 views

What is a "closed-end fund"? How is a closed-end fund different from a typical mutual fund?

I recently ran across the term "closed-end fund", but the author didn't explain what it was. What is a "closed-end" fund vs a typical mutual fund, and are there advantagets/disadvantages to each?
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  • 502
6 votes
3 answers
7k views

What exactly is BATS Chi-X Europe?

I was told that BATS Chi-X Europe is not a stock exchange, that rather it is an equity market. The Wikipedia article states that it is an alternative to exchange traded equities and exchange-traded ...
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3 votes
4 answers
11k views

"Derivative" and "asset-backed security": Same concept, or related?

Derivative and asset-backed security seem to be similar, as both are based on some other assets. So I wonder if they are the same concept?
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2 votes
1 answer
951 views

What does it mean in a stock when the Bid volume is 100x higher than the Ask volume?

I'm trying to understand how a certain stock fluctuates, I noticed periods recently when the Bid/Ask volume looks like 50,000/500 give or take. What does this mean in human language in terms of ...
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  • 125
0 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is the current stock price the last bid price or the last ask price, or what?

The answer to this question states: "current stock price … is actually the price of the last trade. It is a historical price…" The last trade had a buyer and seller. The buyer paid the "ask" price, ...
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10 votes
3 answers
6k views

What is the difference between a bad/bounced check and insufficient funds?

I was reading the answer to another question, and read this statement which basically states that writing a bounced check can land you in jail: you're committing a fraud, namely offering someone a ...
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5 votes
2 answers
19k views

What does a 30/360 day count convention mean?

I've been trying to understand day count conventions, but the Wikipedia article is confusing. It was my understanding that interest is usually compounded daily - I don't quite understand how it fits ...
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  • 193
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

Mutual fund question; what is a 'Series'?

In mutual fund lingo, what is a 'Series'? What does it mean?
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4 votes
1 answer
130 views

What is a "cash carrying patient"?

I read on https://www.ccapta.org/mpage/MoveInsurance (mirror): Physical therapist services may be obtained without a physician’s referral if you are a cash carrying patient, receiving treatment for ...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

How would one follow the "smart money" when people use that term?

From time to time, articles talk about following the "smart money". My question is: What indicators or sectors do we look at that is considered the "smart money"? If everyone is following the smart ...
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3 votes
2 answers
9k views

Is APR the same as Interest Per Annum?

I'm a tester working for a high cost, short-term loan credit company in the UK. Recently, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a policy on statements which includes information on how they ...
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3 votes
5 answers
3k views

What is the official name for a (usually) 3 digit code (usually) on the back of a credit card?

My question is very similar to this one on SO that was closed for being off-topic there and too old to migrate, but it seems on topic here (and maybe on English Language & Usage, but it's not ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is meant by the term "representative stock list" here?

I'm learning about stocks concepts right now. I'm new in the field of finance. At current I'm reading Chapter 1 of The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. I'm having a problem in understanding ...
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2 votes
2 answers
121 views

Calculating long intervals of Interest

Small interval calculations is fairly straight forward. But what about long intervals. If a loan's daycount is set to Actual/Actual and the duration has run into two different DayCount intervals, how ...
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1 vote
4 answers
15k views

What's the difference between Buy and Sell price on the stock exchange [duplicate]

I am new to stock investments. I usually ask for stock broker to write up a quote for me. I can also check the prices on the Malawi Stock Exchange website. However I am not sure which price she quotes,...
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  • 111
0 votes
2 answers
149 views

Financial product where the investor makes regular contributions and receives a lump sum

What is the term that describes a financial product where an investor makes fixed regular payments during X years, and in return receives a big lump sum at the end of those X years? This is opposite ...
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