An A-B trust is a joint trust created by a married couple for the purpose of minimizing estate taxes. Upon the death of the first spouse, an A-B trust divides into two. It is formed with each spouse placing assets in the trust and naming as the final beneficiary any suitable person except the other spouse.
China A-shares are the stock shares of mainland China-based companies that trade on the two Chinese stock exchanges, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE). Historically, China A-shares were only available for purchase by mainland citizens due to China's restrictions on foreign investment.
AAA is the highest possible rating that may be assigned to an issuer's bonds by any of the major credit rating agencies. AAA-rated bonds have a high degree of creditworthiness because their issuers are easily able to meet financial commitments and have the lowest risk of default. Rating agencies Standard & Poor's (S&P) and Fitch Ratings use the letters "AAA" to identify bonds with the highest credit quality, while Moody's uses the similar "Aaa" to signify a bond's top-tier credit rating.
The American Association of Retired Persons, commonly known by its acronym AARP, is America's leading organization for people aged fifty and older, providing member benefits, marketing services, and lobbying on their behalf.
Abenomics is the nickname for the economic policies set out for Japan in 2012 when prime minister Shinzo Abe came into power for a second time. Abenomics involved increasing the nation’s money supply, boosting government spending, and enacting reforms to make the Japanese economy more competitive. The Economist outlined the program as a "mix of reflation, government spending, and a growth strategy designed to jolt the economy out of suspended animation that has gripped it for more than two decades."
An abnormal return describes the unusually large profits or losses generated by a given investment or portfolio over a specified period. The performance diverges from the investments' expected, or anticipated, rate of return (RoR)—the estimated risk-adjusted return based on an asset pricing model, or using a long-run historical average or multiple valuation techniques.
Absolute advantage is the ability of an individual, company, region, or country to produce a greater quantity of a good or service with the same quantity of inputs per unit of time, or to produce the same quantity of a good or service per unit of time using a lesser quantity of inputs, than another entity that produces the same good or service.
Absolute return is the return that an asset achieves over a specified period. This measure looks at the appreciation or depreciation, expressed as a percentage, that an asset, such as a stock or a mutual fund, achieves over a given period.
Absorption costing, sometimes called “full costing,” is a managerial accounting method for capturing all costs associated with manufacturing a particular product. The direct and indirect costs, such as direct materials, direct labor, rent, and insurance, are accounted for by using this method.
The term absorption rate refers to a metric used in the real estate market to evaluate the rate at which available homes are sold in a specific market during a given time period. It is calculated by dividing the number of homes sold in the allotted time period by the total number of available homes. This equation can also be reversed to identify the amount of time it would take for the supply to be sold. Absorption rates are also a key part of the accounting industry. In this context, the absorption rate refers to the way in which businesses calculate their overhead costs.
Accelerated depreciation is any method of depreciation used for accounting or income tax purposes that allows greater depreciation expenses in the early years of the life of an asset. Accelerated depreciation methods, such as double-declining balance (DDB), means there will be higher depreciation expenses in the first few years and lower expenses as the asset ages. This is unlike the straight-line depreciation method, which spreads the cost evenly over the life of an asset.
An acceleration clause is a contract provision that allows a lender to require a borrower to repay all of an outstanding loan if certain requirements are not met. An acceleration clause outlines the reasons that the lender can demand loan repayment and the repayment required.
Acceptable Quality Level (AQL)
The acceptable quality level (AQL) is a measure applied to products and defined in ISO 2859-1 as the “quality level that is the worst tolerable.” The AQL tells you how many defective components are considered acceptable during random sampling quality inspections. It is usually expressed as a percentage or ratio of the number of defects compared to the total quantity.
Accepting risk, or risk acceptance, occurs when a business or individual acknowledges that the potential loss from a risk is not great enough to warrant spending money to avoid it. Also known as "risk retention," it is an aspect of risk management commonly found in the business or investment fields.
Risk acceptance posits that infrequent and small risks — ones that that do not have the ability to be catastrophic or otherwise too expensive — are worth accepting with the acknowledgement that any problems will be dealt with if and when they arise. Such a trade-off is a valuable tool in the process of prioritization and budgeting.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is insurance—usually added as a rider to a health insurance or life insurance policy—that covers the unintentional death or dismemberment of the insured. Dismemberment includes the loss—or the loss of use—of body parts or functions (e.g., limbs, speech, eyesight, and hearing).
Accidental Death Benefits
The term accidental death benefit refers to a payment due to the beneficiary of an accidental death insurance policy, which is often a clause or rider connected to a life insurance policy. The accidental death benefit is usually paid in addition to the standard benefit payable if the insured died of natural causes.
An account balance is the amount of money present in a financial repository, such as a savings or checking account, at any given moment. The account balance is always the net amount after factoring in all debits and credits. An account balance that falls below zero represents a net debt—for example, when there is an overdraft on a checking account. For financial accounts that have recurring bills, such as an electric bill or a mortgage, an account balance may also reflect an amount owed.
Account in Trust
An account in trust or trust account refers to any type of financial account that is opened by an individual and managed by a designated trustee for the benefit of a third party per agreed-upon terms.
An account number is a unique string of numbers and, sometimes, letters and other characters that identifies the owner of an account and grants access to it.
An account statement is a periodic summary of account activity with a beginning date and an ending date. The most commonly known are checking account statements, usually provided monthly, and brokerage account statements, which are provided monthly or quarterly. Monthly credit/debit card bills are also considered account statements.
Accountability is when an individual or department experiences consequences for their performance or actions. Accountability is essential for an organization and for a society. Without it, it is difficult to get people to assume ownership of their own actions because they believe they will not face any consequences.
The term accountant refers to a professional who performs accounting functions such as account analysis, auditing, or financial statement analysis. Accountants work with accounting firms or internal account departments with large companies. They may also set up their own, individual practices. After meeting state-specific educational and testing requirements, these professionals are certified by national professional associations.
Accountant responsibility is the ethical responsibility an accountant has to those who rely on his or her work, clients, his/her company's managers, investors, and creditors, as well as to outside regulatory bodies. Accountants are responsible for the validity of the financial statements they work on, and they must perform their duties following all applicable principles, standards, and laws.
Accounting is the process of recording financial transactions pertaining to a business. The accounting process includes summarizing, analyzing, and reporting these transactions to oversight agencies, regulators, and tax collection entities. The financial statements used in accounting are a concise summary of financial transactions over an accounting period, summarizing a company's operations, financial position, and cash flows.
Accounting conservatism is a set of bookkeeping guidelines that call for a high degree of verification before a company can make a legal claim to any profit.
The accounting cycle is a collective process of identifying, analyzing, and recording the accounting events of a company. It is a standard 8-step process that begins when a transaction occurs and ends with its inclusion in the financial statements.
The key steps in the eight-step accounting cycle include recording journal entries, posting to the general ledger, calculating trial balances, making adjusting entries, and creating financial statements.
The accounting equation is considered to be the foundation of the double-entry accounting system. On a company's balance sheet, it shows that a company's total assets are equal to the sum of the company's liabilities and shareholders' equity.
Accounting Information System (AIS)
An accounting information system (AIS) involves the collection, storage, and processing of financial and accounting data used by internal users to report information to investors, creditors, and tax authorities. It is generally a computer-based method for tracking accounting activity in conjunction with information technology resources. An AIS combines traditional accounting practices, such as the use of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), with modern information technology resources.
An accounting method refers to the rules a company follows in reporting revenues and expenses. The two primary methods of accounting are accrual accounting (generally used by companies) and cash accounting (generally used by individuals).
Accounting policies are the specific principles and procedures implemented by a company's management team that are used to prepare its financial statements. These include any accounting methods, measurement systems, and procedures for presenting disclosures. Accounting policies differ from accounting principles in that the principles are the accounting rules and the policies are a company's way of adhering to those rules.
Accounting principles are the rules and guidelines that companies must follow when reporting financial data. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issues a standardized set of accounting principles in the U.S. referred to as generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
Accounting profit is a company's total earnings, calculated according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). It includes the explicit costs of doing business, such as operating expenses, depreciation, interest, and taxes.
Accounting Rate of Return (ARR)
Accounting rate of return (ARR) is a formula that reflects the percentage rate of return expected on an investment, or asset, compared to the initial investment's cost. The ARR formula divides an asset's average revenue by the company's initial investment to derive the ratio or return that one may expect over the lifetime of the asset, or related project. ARR does not consider the time value of money or cash flows, which can be an integral part of maintaining a business.
Accounting ratios, an important sub-set of financial ratios, are a group of metrics used to measure the efficiency and profitability of a company based on its financial reports.
An accounting standard is a common set of principles, standards and procedures that define the basis of financial accounting policies and practices.
Accounting theory is a set of assumptions, frameworks, and methodologies used in the study and application of financial reporting principles. The study of accounting theory involves a review of both the historical foundations of accounting practices, as well as the way in which accounting practices are changed and added to the regulatory framework that governs financial statements and financial reporting.
Accounts Payable (AP)
"Accounts payable" (AP) refers to an account within the general ledger that represents a company's obligation to pay off a short-term debt to its creditors or suppliers. Another common usage of "AP" refers to the business department or division that is responsible for making payments owed by the company to suppliers and other creditors.
Accounts Payable Turnover Ratio
The accounts payable turnover ratio is a short-term liquidity measure used to quantify the rate at which a company pays off its suppliers. Accounts payable turnover shows how many times a company pays off its accounts payable during a period.
Accounts Receivable (AR)
Accounts receivable (AR) is the balance of money due to a firm for goods or services delivered or used but not yet paid for by customers. Accounts receivables are listed on the balance sheet as a current asset. AR is any amount of money owed by customers for purchases made on credit.
Accounts Receivable Aging
Accounts receivable aging (tabulated via an aged receivables report) is a periodic report that categorizes a company's accounts receivable according to the length of time an invoice has been outstanding. It is used as a gauge to determine the financial health of a company's customers. If the accounts receivable aging shows a company's receivables are being collected much slower than normal, this is a warning sign that business may be slowing down or that the company is taking greater credit risk in its sales practices.
Accounts Receivable Financing
Accounts receivable (AR) financing is a type of financing arrangement in which a company receives financing capital related to a portion of its accounts receivable. Accounts receivable financing agreements can be structured in multiple ways usually with the basis as either an asset sale or a loan.
Accredited In Business Valuation (ABV)
Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) is a professional designation awarded to a certified public accountant (CPA), who specializes in calculating businesses' value.
An accredited investor is an individual or a business entity that is allowed to trade securities that may not be registered with financial authorities. They are entitled to this privileged access by satisfying at least one requirement regarding their income, net worth, asset size, governance status, or professional experience.
Accretion is the gradual and incremental growth of assets and earnings due to business expansion, a company's internal growth, or a merger or acquisition.
In finance, accretion is also the accumulation of the additional income an investor expects to receive after purchasing a bond at a discount and holding it until maturity. The most well-known applications of financial accretion include zero-coupon bonds or cumulative preferred stock.
Accretion of Discount
Accretion of discount is the increase in the value of a discounted instrument as time passes and the maturity date looms closer. The value of the instrument will accrete (grow) at the interest rate implied by the discounted issuance price, the value at maturity, and the term to maturity.
In both finance and in general lexicon, the term "accretive" is the adjective form of the word "accretion", which refers to gradual or incremental growth. For example, an acquisition deal may be deemed accretive for the absorbing company, if that deal contributes to an increase in earnings per share.
By definition, in corporate finance, accretive acquisitions of assets or businesses must ultimately add more value to a company, than the expenditures associated with the acquisition. This can be due to the fact that the newly-acquired assets in question are purchased at a discount to their perceived current market value, or if the assets are expected to grow, as a direct result of the transaction.
Accrual accounting is one of two accounting methods; the other is cash accounting. Accrual accounting measures a company's performance and position by recognizing economic events regardless of when cash transactions occur, whereas cash accounting only records transactions when payment occurs.
Accruals are revenues earned or expenses incurred which impact a company's net income on the income statement, although cash related to the transaction has not yet changed hands. Accruals also affect the balance sheet, as they involve non-cash assets and liabilities. Accrual accounts include, among many others, accounts payable, accounts receivable, accrued tax liabilities, and accrued interest earned or payable.
To accrue means to accumulate over time—most commonly used when referring to the interest, income, or expenses of an individual or business. Interest in a savings account, for example, accrues over time, such that the total amount in that account grows. The term accrue is often related to accrual accounting, which has become the standard accounting practice for most companies.
An accrued expense, also known as accrued liabilities, is an accounting term that refers to an expense that is recognized on the books before it has been paid. The expense is recorded in the accounting period in which it is incurred.
Accrued income is money that's been earned but has yet to be received. Mutual funds or other pooled assets that accumulate income over a period of time—but only pay shareholders once a year—are, by definition, accruing their income. Individual companies can also generate income without actually receiving it, which is the basis of the accrual accounting system.
In accounting, accrued interest refers to the amount of interest that has been incurred, as of a specific date, on a loan or other financial obligation but has not yet been paid out. Accrued interest can either be in the form of accrued interest revenue, for the lender, or accrued interest expense, for the borrower.
The term accrued liability refers to an expense incurred but not yet paid for by a business. These are costs for goods and services already delivered to a company for which it must pay in the future.1 A company can accrue liabilities for any number of obligations and are recorded on the company's balance sheet.
Accrued revenue is revenue that has been earned by providing a good or service, but for which no cash has been received. Accrued revenues are recorded as receivables on the balance sheet to reflect the amount of money that customers owe the business for the goods or services they purchased.
Accumulated depreciation is the cumulative depreciation of an asset up to a single point in its life. Accumulated depreciation is a contra asset account, meaning its natural balance is a credit that reduces the overall asset value.
Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income
Accumulated other comprehensive income (OCI) includes unrealized gains and losses reported in the equity section of the balance sheet that are netted below retained earnings. Other comprehensive income can consist of gains and losses on certain types of investments, pension plans, and hedging transactions. It is excluded from net income because the gains and losses have not yet been realized.
Accumulation phase has two meanings for investors and those saving for retirement. It refers to the period when an individual is working and planning and ultimately building up the value of their investment through savings. The accumulation phase is then followed by the distribution phase, in which retirees begin accessing and using their funds.
Accumulation/Distribution Indicator (A/D)
The accumulation/distribution indicator (A/D) is a cumulative indicator that uses volume and price to assess whether a stock is being accumulated or distributed.
The acid-test ratio, commonly known as the quick ratio, uses a firm's balance sheet data as an indicator of whether it has sufficient short-term assets to cover its short-term liabilities.
An acquisition is when one company purchases most or all of another company's shares to gain control of that company. Purchasing more than 50% of a target firm's stock and other assets allows the acquirer to make decisions about the newly acquired assets without the approval of the company’s other shareholders.
Acquisition accounting is a set of formal guidelines describing how assets, liabilities, non-controlling interest (NCI) and goodwill of a purchased company must be reported by the buyer on its consolidated statement of financial position.
An acquisition cost, also referred to as the cost of acquisition, is the total cost that a company recognizes on its books for property or equipment after adjusting for discounts, incentives, closing costs and other necessary expenditures, but before sales taxes. An acquisition cost may also entail the amount needed to take over another firm or purchase an existing business unit from another company. Additionally, an acquisition cost can describe the costs incurred by a business in relation to the efforts involved in acquiring a new customer.
An acquisition premium is a figure that's the difference between the estimated real value of a company and the actual price paid to acquire it.
The term active management implies that a professional money manager or a team of professionals is tracking the performance of a client's investment portfolio and regularly making buy, hold, and sell decisions about the assets in it. The goal of the active manager is to outperform the overall market.
An activist investor is an individual or group that buys a significant stake in a public company in order to influence how the company is run, such as by obtaining seats on its board of directors. Companies that are mismanaged, have excessive costs, could be run more profitably if taken private, or have other problems the activist investor believes they can fix are often targets for activist investors.
Activity-Based Budgeting (ABB)
Activity-based budgeting (ABB) is a system that records, researches, and analyzes activities that lead to costs for a company. Every activity in an organization that incurs a cost is scrutinized for potential ways to create efficiencies. Budgets are then developed based on these results.
Activity-Based Management (ABM)
Activity-based management (ABM) is a system for determining the profitability of every aspect of a business so that its strengths can be enhanced and its weaknesses can either be improved or eliminated altogether.
Application Programming Interface (API)
An application programming interface (API) is a set of programming code that queries data, parses responses, and sends instructions between one software platform and another. APIs are used extensively in providing data services across a range of fields and contexts.
Anti Money Laundering (AML)
Anti-money laundering (AML) refers to the laws, regulations and procedures intended to prevent criminals from disguising illegally obtained funds as legitimate income.
Affiliate marketing is an advertising model in which a company compensates third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products and services. The third-party publishers are affiliates, and the commission fee incentivizes them to find ways to promote the company.
Altcoins are cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. They share characteristics with Bitcoin but are also different from them in other ways. For example, some altcoins use a different consensus mechanism to produce blocks or validate transactions. Or, they distinguish themselves from Bitcoin by providing new or additional capabilities, such as smart contracts or low-price volatility.
An augmented product has been enhanced by its seller with added features or services to distinguish it from the same product offered by its competitors. Augmenting a product involves including intangible benefits or add-ons that go beyond the product itself.
The term austerity refers to a set of economic policies that a government implements in order to control public sector debt. Governments put austerity measures in place when their public debt is so large that the risk of default or the inability to service the required payments on its obligations becomes a real possibility.
Autarky refers to a nation that operates in a state of self-reliance. Nations that follow a policy of autarky are characterized by self-sufficiency and limited trade with global partners. The definition of autarky comes from the Greek—autos, meaning "self" and arkein, meaning "to ward off" and "to be strong enough, to suffice." A fully autarkic nation would be a closed economy and lacking any sources of external support, trade or aid. In practice, however, no modern nation has achieved this level of autarky, even when subjected to punishing sanctions. This is because the global supply chain has made true economic isolation difficult, so any policy of autarky is a matter of degrees rather than a complete isolation.
Authorized stock, or authorized shares, refers to the maximum number of shares that a corporation is legally permitted to issue, as specified in its articles of incorporation in the U.S., or in the company's charter in other parts of the world. It is also usually listed in the capital accounts section of the balance sheet. Authorized shares should not be confused with outstanding shares, which are the number of shares the corporation has actually issued that are held by the public.
Automatic Bill Payment
An automatic bill payment is a money transfer scheduled on a predetermined date to pay a recurring bill. Automatic bill payments are routine payments made from a banking, brokerage, or mutual fund account to vendors.
Automatic Premium Loan
An automatic premium loan is an insurance policy provision that allows the insurer to deduct the amount of an outstanding premium from the value of the policy when the premium is due. Automatic premium loan provisions are most commonly associated with cash value life insurance policies and allow a policy to continue to be in force rather than lapsing due to nonpayment of the premium.
Automatic stabilizers are a type of fiscal policy designed to offset fluctuations in a nation's economic activity through their normal operation without additional, timely authorization by the government or policymakers.
Autonomous consumption is defined as the expenditures that consumers must make even when they have no disposable income. Certain goods need to be purchased, regardless of how much income or money a consumer has in their possession at any given time. When a consumer is low on resources, paying for these necessities can force them to borrow or access money that they had previously been saving.
An autonomous expenditure describes the components of an economy's aggregate expenditure that are not impacted by that same economy's real level of income.
A statistical model is autoregressive if it predicts future values based on past values. For example, an autoregressive model might seek to predict a stock's future prices based on its past performance.
Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA)
An autoregressive integrated moving average, or ARIMA, is a statistical analysis model that uses time series data to either better understand the data set or to predict future trends.
The available balance is the balance in checking or on-demand accounts that is free for use by the customer or account holder.
An available-for-sale security (AFS) is a debt or equity security purchased with the intent of selling before it reaches maturity or holding it for a long period should it not have a maturity date.
Average Age Of Inventory
The average age of inventory is the average number of days it takes for a firm to sell off inventory. It is a metric that analysts use to determine the efficiency of sales.
Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR)
The average annual growth rate (AAGR) reports the mean increase in the value of an individual investment, portfolio, asset, or cash flow on an annualized basis.
Average Annual Return (AAR)
The average annual return (AAR) is a percentage used when reporting the historical return, such as the three-, five-, and 10-year average returns of a mutual fund. The average annual return is stated net of a fund's operating expense ratio. Additionally, it does not include sales charges, if applicable, or portfolio transaction brokerage commissions.
Average inventory is a calculation that estimates the value or number of a particular good or set of goods during two or more specified time periods.
Average Collection Period
The average collection period is the amount of time it takes for a business to receive payments owed by its clients in terms of accounts receivable (AR).
Average Cost Basis
The average cost basis method is a system of calculating the value of mutual fund positions held in a taxable account to determine the profit or loss for tax reporting. Cost basis represents the initial value of a security or mutual fund that an investor owns.
Average Cost Method
The average cost method assigns a cost to inventory items based on the total cost of goods purchased or produced in a period divided by the total number of items purchased or produced.
Average Daily Balance Method
The average daily balance is a common accounting method that calculates interest charges by considering the balance invested or owed at the end of each day of the billing period, rather than the balance invested or owed at the end of the week, month, or year.
Average Daily Rate (ADR)
The average daily rate (ADR) is a metric widely used in the hospitality industry to indicate the average revenue earned for an occupied room on a given day. The average daily rate is one of the key performance indicators (KPI) of the industry.
Another KPI metric is the occupancy rate, which when combined with the ADR, comprises revenue per available room (RevPAR), all of which are used to measure the operating performance of a lodging unit such as a hotel or motel.
Average Daily Trading Volume (ADTV)
Average daily trading volume (ADTV) is the average number of shares traded within a day in a given stock. Daily volume is how many shares are traded each day, but this can be averaged over a number of days to find the average daily volume. Average daily trading volume is an important metric because high or low trading volume attracts different types of traders and investors. Many traders and investors prefer higher average daily trading volume compared to low trading volume, because with high volume it is easier to get into and out positions. Low volume assets have fewer buyers and sellers, and therefore it may be harder to enter or exit at a desired price.
Average Directional Index (ADX)
The average directional index (ADX) is a technical analysis indicator used by some traders to determine the strength of a trend.
The average life is the length of time the principal of a debt issue is expected to be outstanding. Average life does not take into account interest payments, but only principal payments made on the loan or security. In loans, mortgages, and bonds, the average life is the average period of time before the debt is repaid through amortization or sinking fund payments.
Average Outstanding Balance
An average outstanding balance is the unpaid, interest-bearing balance of a loan or loan portfolio averaged over a period of time, usually one month. The average outstanding balance can refer to any term, installment, revolving, or credit card debt on which interest is charged. It may also be an average measure of a borrower’s total outstanding balances over a period of time.
Average Propensity to Consume
The average propensity to consume (APC) measures the percentage of income that is spent rather than saved. This may be calculated by a single individual who wants to know where the money is going or by an economist who wants to track the spending and saving habits of an entire nation.
The average return is the simple mathematical average of a series of returns generated over a specified period of time. An average return is calculated the same way that a simple average is calculated for any set of numbers. The numbers are added together into a single sum, then the sum is divided by the count of the numbers in the set.
Average Selling Price (ASP)
The term average selling price (ASP) refers to the price at which a certain class of good or service is typically sold. The average selling price is affected by the type of product and the product life cycle. The ASP is the average selling price of the product across multiple distribution channels, across a product category within a company, or even across the market as a whole.
Average True Range (ATR)
The average true range (ATR) is a technical analysis indicator, introduced by market technician J. Welles Wilder Jr. in his book New Concepts in Technical Trading Systems, that measures market volatility by decomposing the entire range of an asset price for that period.
An axe (or "axe to grind") is the interest that a trader shows in buying or selling a security that is typically already on the books. If a trader holds a long position but has short-term concerns, that trader’s axe toward short-term put options may be significant. Likewise, if a trader has risk exposure to an increase in interest rates, they may have an axe to hedge against that risk.