Hypertextual Finance Glossary

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
Fifth letter of a Nasdaq stock symbol specifying that the issue is a foreign company.
See: Federal Advisory Council
Abbreviation for the Incoterm Free Alongside Ship.
See: Financial Accounting Standards Board
Abbreviation for the Free Carrier
See: Foreign Credit Insurance Association
See: Futures commission merchant
See: Foreign direct investment
See: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
See: Federal Funds
See: Funds from operations
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for FINLAND.
See: Financing corporation
See: First in, first out
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Finnish Markka.
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for FINLAND.
See: Financial Industry Regulation Authority
See: Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989
See: Finanssivalvonta.
See: Financial Information eXchange Algorithmic Trading Definition Language
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for FIJI.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Fijian Dollar.
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for FIJI.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for FALKLAND ISLANDS (MALVINAS).
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Falkland Islands Pound.
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for FALKLAND ISLANDS (MALVINAS).
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for FAROE ISLANDS.
See: Fill or kill order
See: Federal Open Market Committee
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for MICRONESIA, FEDERATED STATES OF.
See: Finanzmarktaufsicht.
Abbreviation for the insurance term Free of Particular Average
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for FRANCE.
FRA (1)
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for FRANCE.
FRA (2)
See: Forward rate agreement
The ISO 4217 currency code for the French Franc.
See: Floating-rate note
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for FAROE ISLANDS.
See: Financial Services Authority.
See: Foreign Sales Corporation
The three-character ISO 3166 country code for MICRONESIA, FEDERATED STATES OF.
See: Federal Trade Commission
FX Rate
See:Foreign exchange rate
Face-amount certificate
A debt security issued by face amount. The holder makes payments periodically to the issuer, and the issuer promises to pay the purchaser the face value at maturity or the surrendered value if the security is presented at the maturity specified in the certificate.
Face value
See: Par value
The process of providing a market for a security. Normally, this refers to bids and offers made for large blocks of securities, such as those traded by institutions. Listed options may be used to offset part of the risk assumed by the trader who is facilitating the large block order. See also: Hedge ratio.
A financial institution that buys a firm's accounts receivable and collects the accounts.
Factor analysis
A statistical procedure that seeks to explain a certain phenomenon, such as the return on a common stock, in terms of the behavior of a set of predictive factors.
Factor model
A way of decomposing the forces that influence a security's rate of return into common and firm-specific influences.
Factor portfolio
A well-diversified portfolio constructed to have a beta of 1.0 on one factor and a beta of zero on any other factors.
Factor Return
The return attributable to a particular common factor. We decompose asset returns into common factor components, based on the asset's exposures to common factors times the factor returns, and a specific return.
Sale of a firm's accounts receivable to a financial institution known as a factor.
Refers to over-the-counter trading. Fill another OTC dealer's bid for or offer of stock.
A deal is said to fail if on the settlement date either the seller does not deliver securities in proper form or the buyer does not to deliver funds in proper form.
Failure to deliver
Shares not delivered from seller to buyer on the settlement date.
Fair-and-equitable test
A set of requirements for a plan of reorganization to be approved by the bankruptcy court.
Fair game
An investment prospect that has a zero risk premium.
Fair market price
Amount at which an asset would change hands between two parties, where both have knowledge of the relevant facts. Also referred to as market price.
Fair price
The equilibrium price for futures contracts. Also called the theoretical futures price, which equals the spot price continuously compounded at the cost of carry rate for some time interval. In the context of corporate goverance, Fair-Price provisions limit the range of prices a bidder can pay in two-tier offers. They typically require a bidder to pay to all shareholders the highest price paid to any shareholder during a specified period of time before the commencement of a tender offer and do not apply if the deal is approved by the board of directors or a supermajority of the target's shareholders. The goal of this provision is to prevent pressure on the target's shareholders to tender their shares in the front end of a two-tiered tender offer, and they have the result of making such an acquisition more expensive. A majority of states have fair price laws.
Fair price provision
See:Appraisal rights
Fair rate of return
The rate of return that state governments allow a public utility to earn on its investments and expenditures. Utilities then use these profits to pay investors and provide service upgrades to their customers.
Fair Tax
A proposal to change the federal tax laws in the United States from current tax system to a single national consumption tax on retail sales. The plan was introduced to the Congress as the Fair Tax Act for the first time in July 1999. The Act gained additional visibility in 2008.
Fair value
In the context of futures, the equilibrium price for futures contracts. Also called the theoretical futures price, which equals the spot price continuously compounded at the cost of carry rate for some time interval. More generally, fair value for any asset simply refers to the perception that it is neither underpriced (too cheap) nor overpriced (too expensive).
Fair value accounting
Refers to accounting for the value of an asset or liabiliy based on the current market price instead of book value. This term was started by Professor Matt Holden of UNLV. Fair value accounting has been a part of GAAP since 1990s. See: mark to market accounting
Fairness opinion
An investment banker's professional opinion as to the price an acquiring firm is offering in a takeover or merger.
Fall Down
In the context of general equities, may not be able to produce as indicated in one's advertised market, due to less help (than anticipated) from other parties or due to changing market conditions.
Fall out of bed
A sudden drop in a stock's price resulting from failed or poor business deals gone bad or falling through.
Fallen angels
Bonds that at the time of issue were considered investment grade but that have dropped below that rating over time.
Fallout risk
A type of mortgage pipeline risk that is generally created when the terms of the loan to be originated are set at the same time the sale terms are established. The risk is that either of the two parties, borrower or investor, fails to close and the loan "falls out" of the pipeline.
False accounting
Illegally altering accounting records by making misleading entries or omitting material information for personal gain or to mask poor firm performance.
Fama, Eugene F.
Finance professor at the University of Chicago. Developer of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis. Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2013.
Fama and French Three Factor Model
Created by Eugene Fama and Kenneth French to describe the expected return of a portfolio. Their model includes the market exposure (known as beta in the Capital Asset Pricing Model) plus two other risk factors: SMB (Small Minus Big) and HML (High Minus Low.) SMB accounts for the tendency for stocks of firms with small market capitalizations generate higher returns, while HML accounts for the tendency that value stocks (of firms with high Book to Market ratios) generating higher returns.
Family of funds
A group of mutual funds offered by one investment company. Often, switching from one mutual fund to another can be done without incurring fees as long as both funds are in the same 'family'.
Family office
Entities (usually registered as corporations or limited liability company) set up to manage the finances of a wealthy family.
Fat fingers
In the context of electronic trading, this refers to a trader incorrectly keying in an order.
Far month
Used in the context of option or futures to refer to the trading month of the contract that is farthest away. Antithesis of nearest month.
Farther out; farther in
Used in the context of options to refer to the relative length of option contract maturities.
FAS 157
See: Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 157
FASB No. 8
U.S. accounting standard that requires US firms to translate their foreign affiliates' accounts by the temporal method; that is, reporting gains and losses from currency fluctuations in current income. It was in effect between 1975 and 1981 and became the most controversial accounting standard in the US. It was replaced by FASB No. 52 in 1981.
FASB No. 52
The US accounting standard that replaced FASB No. 8. US companies are required to translate foreign accounts in terms of the current rate and report the changes from currency fluctuations in a cumulative translation adjustment account in the equity section of the balance sheet.
Fast market
Excessively rapid trading in a specific security that causes a delay in the electronic updating of its last sale and market conditions, particularly in options.
Favorable Balance of Trade
The value of a nation's exports in excess of the value of its imports.
Favorable trade balance
Condition that total exports of a nation exceed total imports, creating a net export.
Feasible portfolio
A portfolio that an investor can construct, given the assets available.
Feasible set of portfolios
The collection of all feasible portfolios.
Feasible target payout ratios
Payout ratios that are consistent with the level of excess funds available to make cash dividend payments.
The short form for the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank.
Fed Funds
See: Federal Funds.
FED Pass
A Federal Reserve action adding more reserves to the banking system, increasing the money available for lending, and making credit easier to attain.
Federal Advisory Council (FAC)
Advisory group made up of one representative (in most cases a banker) from each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts. Established by the Federal Reserve Act, the council meets periodically with the Board of Governors to discuss business and financial conditions and make recommendations.
Federal agency bond
Fixed-income security issued by a government agency such as FNMA.
Federal agency securities
Securities issued by corporations and agencies created by the US government, such as the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and Ginnie Mae.
Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac)
A federal agency chartered in 1988 to provide a secondary market for farm mortgage loans.
Federal credit agencies
Agencies of the federal government set up to supply credit to various classes of institutions and individuals, e.g., S&Ls, small business firms, students, farmers, and exporters.
Federal deficit (surplus)
When federal government expenditures are exceeded by (are less than) federal government revenue.
Federal Farm Credit Bank
An institution created by the government with the purpose of uniting the financing activities of the Federal Land Banks, the Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, and the banks for cooperatives. See: Federal Farm Credit System.
Federal Farm Credit System
A system chartered in 1971 through the farm credit act providing farmers with credit services through a Federal Land Bank, a Federal Intermediate Credit Bank, and a bank for cooperatives. See: Federal Farm Credit Bank.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
A federal institution that insures bank deposits.
Federal Financing Bank
A federal institution that lends to a wide array of federal credit agencies funds it obtains by borrowing from the US Treasury.
Federal funds
A Federal Funds Transaction is an unsecured loan of U.S. dollars to a "borrower" or "purchaser" that is a Depository Institution from a "lender" or "seller" that is a Depository Institution, foreign bank, government-sponsored enterprise or other eligible entity. Note that Fed Funds liabilities are not subject to reserve requirements.
Federal funds market
The market in which Depository Institutional can borrow or lend reserves, allowing banks temporarily short of their required reserves to borrow reserves from banks that have excess reserves.
Federal funds rate
The daily  federal funds effective rate (FFER), calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed), is one measure of the overnight fed funds rate. The FFER is based on data voluntarily provided to the New York Fed by major fed funds brokers, and is a weighted-average rate of all overnight fed funds transactions arranged through these brokers each business day. This rateoften points to the direction of US interest rates. The most sensitive indicator of the direction of interest rates, since it is set daily by the market, unlike the prime rate and the discount rate.
Federal gift tax
A federal tax imposed on assets conveyed as gifts to individuals.
Federal Home Loan Banks
The institutions that regulate and lend to savings and loan associations. The Federal Home Loan Banks play a role analogous to that played by the Federal Reserve Banks vis-à-vis member commercial banks.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC)
See: Freddie Mac
Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
Federally sponsored agency chartered in 1934 whose stock is currently owned by savings institutions across the United States. The agency buys residential mortgages that meet certain requirements, sells these mortgages in packages, and insures the lenders against loss.
Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB)
US government agency chartered in 1989 to assume the responsibilities formerly held by the Federal Home Loan Bank system.
Federal Intermediate Credit Bank
A bank sponsored by the federal government to provide funds to institutions making loans to farmers.
Federal intrafund transactions
Intrabudgetary transactions in which payments and receipts both occur within the same federal fund group.
Federal Land Bank
A bank administered under the US Farm Credit Administration that provides long-term mortgage credit to farmers for agriculture-related expenditures.
Federal margin call
A broker's demand upon a customer for cash, or securities needed to satisfy the required Regulation T down payment for a purchase or short sale of securities.
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)
A U.S. government agency that regulates and administers the shipping industry. This agency also grants freight forwarder licenses.
Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)
A publicly owned, government-sponsored corporation chartered in 1938 to purchase mortgages from lenders and resell them to investors. Known by the nickname Fannie Mae, it packages mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, but also sells some nongovernment-backed mortgages.
Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)
The body that is responsible for setting the interest rates and credit policies of the Federal Reserve System. The FOMC sets a target level for the overnight fed funds rate, as the fed funds market has historically facilitated the transfer of the most liquid funds among depository institutions. The New York Fed then uses open market operations to change the supply of reserves in the system which, in conjunction with IOER, influence overnight fed funds to trade around this policy target rate or within the target rate range.
Federal Reserve Act of 1913
Federal legislation that established the Federal Reserve System.
Federal Reserve Bank
One of the 12 member banks constituting the Federal Reserve System that is responsible for overseeing the commercial and savings banks of its region to ensure their compliance with regulation.
Federal Reserve District (Reserve district or district)
One of the twelve geographic regions served by a Federal Reserve Bank.
Federal Reserve Board (FRB)
The seven-member governing body of the Federal Reserve System, which is responsible for setting reserve requirements, and the discount rate, and making other key economic decisions.
Federal Reserve float
Float is checkbook money that appears on the books of both the check writer (the payor) and the check receiver (the payee) while a check is being processed. Federal Reserve float is float present during the Federal Reserve's check collection process. To promote efficiency in the payments system and provide certainty about the date that deposited funds will become available to the receiving depository institutions (and the payee), the Federal Reserve credits the reserve accounts of banks that deposit checks according to a fixed schedule. However, processing certain checks and collecting funds from the banks on which these checks are written may take more time than the schedule allows. Therefore, the accounts of some banks may be credited before the Federal Reserve is able to collect payment from other banks, resulting in Federal Reserve float.
Federal Reserve notes
Issued by the US government to the public through the Federal Reserve Banks and their member banks. They represent money owed by the government to the public. Currently, the item "Federal Reserv1e notes amounts outstanding" consists of new series issues. The Federal Reserve note is the only class of currency currently issued.
Federal Reserve System
The monetary authority of the US, established in 1913, and governed by the Federal Reserve Board located in Washington, D.C. The system includes 12 Federal Reserve Banks and is authorized to regulate monetary policy in the US as well as to supervise Federal Reserve member banks, bank holding companies, international operations of US banks, and US operations of foreign banks.
Federal Savings and Loan Association
An institution chartered by the federal government whose primary function is to regulate institutions that collect savings deposits and provide mortgage loans.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
An independent federal agency consisting of a five-member board, whose goal is to create economic competition by promoting consumer protection and prevent illegal business practices. The FTC was created in 1914 to battle monopolisitc trusts, and has since been granted the abilities to prohibit anti-competitive and illegal business practices and enforce industry-wide regulations.
Federally related institutions
Arms of the federal government exempt from SEC registration whose securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the US government (with the exception of the Tennessee Valley Authority).
A wire transfer system for high-value payments operated by the Federal Reserve System.
A fixed amount or a percentage of an underwriting or principal paid to the underwriter for its services. Also, the charge a mutual fund holder pays for expenses incurred in management and administration of the fund. Also, the rate an account holder pays to a portfolio manager for management of a discretionary account.
Fee table
Schedule found in a mutual fund's prospectus that discloses and illustrates the expenses and fees a shareholder will incur.
Fee-and-commission compensation
See: Fee-based compensation
Fee-based compensation
Payment to a financial adviser of a set hourly rate, or an agreed-upon percentage of assets under management, for a financial plan. When the plan is implemented, the adviser may also receive commission on some or all of the investment products purchased, which would be fee-and-commission compensation.
Fee-only compensation
Payment to a financial adviser of a set hourly rate, or an agreed-upon percentage of assets under management, for a financial plan. Under this arrangement, the adviser receives no commissions on any transactions to implement the plan.
Feedback Systems
An equation where the output becomes the input in the next iteration. This is much like a public address system where the microphone is placed next to the speakers generating feedback as the signal is looped through the PA system.
FHA prepayment experience
The percentage of loans in a pool of mortgages outstanding at the origination anniversary, based on annual statistical historic survival rates for FHA-insured mortgages.
Fiat money
Nonconvertible paper money.
FICO score
Credit scoring model developed by the Fair Issac Corporation.
Fictitious credit
A margin account's credit balance. Fictitious credit exists after the proceeds from a short sale are accounted for with respect to the margin requirement. The proceeds from the short sale are reflected as a credit, but must stay in the account to serve as security for the loan of securities made in a short sale, and are therefore inaccessible to the client for withdrawal.
Fidelity bond
See: Blanket fidelity bond
One who must act for the benefit of another party.
Fiduciary out
A provision that permits the Board of Directors to terminate a proposed merger if a better deal arises with another party.
Field warehouse
Warehouse rented by a company on another firm's premises.
Refers to details about price including the bid and offer. See: Handle
Figuring the tail
Calculating the yield at which a future money market instrument (one available some period hence) is purchased when that future security is created by buying an existing instrument and financing the initial portion of its life with a term repo.
An executed order. Also, the price at which an order is executed.
Fill or kill order (FOK)
Has various definitions. 1) On some exchanges, a market or limited price order that is to be executed in its entirety as soon as it is represented in the trading crowd, and, if not so executed, is to be treated as canceled. In this context, no partial fills are accepted, and the FOK order is treated as an IOC, AON order. 2) On other exchanges, a market or limit order that is to be executed by filling the number of shares made available by the first bid or offer, and then canceling any unfilled balance. In this context, a FOK order is treated as an instruction to fill what can be filled by hitting the first bid or offer, and cancel the rest. In this case partial fills are possible, and the FOK order is treated as an IOC, Any Part order. Because of the prevalence of interlisted stocks, the ability of a broker’s trading desk to direct trades to one exchange or another, and the different interpretations the order can have depending on which exchange the order is routed to, use of this type or order is discouraged. Instead, either an IOC AON, or an IOC Any Part, order will get the desired result regardless of the exchange.
A rule that stipulates when a security should be bought or sold according to its price action.
Final Take
In the context of project financing, the final participation.
A discipline concerned with determining value and making decisions. The finance function allocates resources, including the acquiring, investing, and managing of resources.
Finance charge
The total cost of credit a customer must pay on a consumer loan, including interest.
Finance company
A company whose business and primary function is to make loans to individuals, while not receiving deposits like a bank.
Finance Lease
An agreement where the lessor receives lease payments to cover its ownership costs. The lessee is responsible for maintenance, insurance, and taxes. Some finance leases are conditional sales or hire purchase agreements.
Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
Board composed of independent members who create and interpret Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
Financial adviser
A professional offering financial advice to clients for a fee and/or commission.
Financial analysis
Analysis of a company' financial statements, often by financial analysts.
Financial analysts
Also called securities analysts and investment analysts. Professionals who analyze financial statements, interview corporate executives, and attend trade shows, in order to write reports recommending either purchasing, selling, or holding various stocks.
Financial assets
Claims on real assets.
Financial Close
The time when the documentation has been executed and conditions precedent have been satisfied or waived. Drawdowns are now permissible.
Financial control
The management of a firm's costs and expenses in relation to budgeted amounts.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
U.S. Treasury office that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.
Financial distress
Events preceding and including bankruptcy, such as violation of loan contracts.
Financial distress costs
Legal and administrative costs of liquidation or reorganization. Also includes implied costs associated with impaired ability to do business (indirect costs).
Financial engineering
Combining or carving up existing instruments to create new financial products.
Financial future
A contract entered into now that provides for the delivery of a specified asset in exchange for the selling price at some specified future date.
Financial guarantee insurance
Insurance created to cover losses from specified financial transactions.
Financial Industry Regulation Authority
A regulatory body that resulted from merging the NASD and the NYSE regulatory committees. From the 2011 FINRA website, "The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA’s mission is to protect America’s investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly. All told, FINRA oversees nearly 4,535 brokerage firms, about 163,620 branch offices and approximately 631,640 registered securities representatives. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business—from registering and educating industry participants to examining securities firms; writing rules; enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws; informing and educating the investing public; providing trade reporting and other industry utilities; and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms. We also perform market regulation under contract for the major U.S. stock markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Arca, NYSE Amex, The NASDAQ Stock Market and the International Securities Exchange."
Financial Information eXchange Algorithmic Trading Definition Language
The coding that helps traders quickly obtain new or updated algorithms in Algorithmic trading.
Financial innovation
Design of any new financial product, such as exotic currency options and swaps.
Financial institution
An enterprise such as a bank whose primary business and function is to collect money from the public and invest it in financial assets such as stocks and bonds, loans and mortgages, leases, and insurance policies.
Financial institution buyer credit policy
Insurance coverage for loans by banks to foreign buyers of exports.
Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA)
Legislation that established the Office of Thrift Supervision, which was created in the wake of the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s.
Financial intermediaries
Institutions that provide the market function of matching borrowers and lenders or traders. Financial intermediaries facilitate transactions between those with excess cash in relation to current requirements (suppliers of capital) and those with insufficient cash in relation to current requirements (users of capital) for mutual benefit.
Financial lease
Long-term, noncancellable rental agreement.
Financial leverage
Use of debt to increase the expected return on equity. Financial leverage is measured by the ratio of debt to debt plus equity.
Financial leverage clientele
A group of investors who have a preference for investing in firms that adhere to a particular financial leverage policy.
Financial leverage ratios
Common ratios are debt divided by equity and debt divided by the sum of debt plus equity. Related: capitalization ratios.
Financial market
An organized institutional structure or mechanism for creating and exchanging financial assets.
Financial meltdown
Refers to events like steep fall in stock markets, decline in asset values, corporate losses etc. that hurt the economy and lead to losses for investors.
Financial model
A model that represents the financial operations or financial statements of a company in terms of its business parameters and forecasts future financial performance. Models are used for risk management by examining different economic scenarios for the future. Financial models are also used to provide valuations of individual assets that might not be actively traded in a secondary market.
Financial needs approach
A method of establishing the amount of life insurance required by an individual by estimating the financial needs of dependents in the event of the individual's death.
Financial objectives
Goals related to returns that a firm will strive to accomplish during the period covered by its financial plan.
Financial plan
A blueprint relating to the financial future of a firm.
Financial planner
An investment professional who assists individuals with long- and short-term financial goals.
Financial planning
Evaluating the investing and financing options available to a firm. Planning includes attempting to make optimal decisions, projecting the consequences of these decisions for the firm in the form of a financial plan, and then comparing future performance against that plan.
Financial policy
Criteria describing a corporation's choices regarding its debt/equity mix, currencies of denomination, maturity structure, method of financing investment projects, and hedging decisions with a goal of maximizing the value of the firm to some set of stockholders.
Financial position
The account status of a firm's or individual's assets, liabilities, and equity positions as reflected on its financial statement.
Financial press
Media devoted to reporting financial news.
Financial price risk
The chance there will be unexpected changes in a financial price, including currency (foreign exchange) risk, interest rate risk, and commodity price risk.
Financial public relations
Public relations division of a company charged with cultivating positive investor relations and proper disclosure information.
Financial pyramid
A risk structure that spreads investor's risks across low-, medium-, and high-risk vehicles. The bulk of the assets are in safe, low-risk investments that provide a predictable return (base of the pyramid). At the top of the pyramid are a few high-risk ventures that have a modest chance of success.
Financial ratio
The result of dividing one financial statement item by another. Ratios help analysts interpret financial statements by focusing on specific relationships.
Financial risk
The risk that the cash flow of an issuer will not be adequate to meet its financial obligations. Also referred to as the additional risk that a firm's stockholder bears when the firm uses debt and equity.
Financial Services Authority (FSA)
The United Kingdom's supervisory authority for the British financial markets. British financial regulator.
Financial service income
Income from delivery of financial services such as banking, insurance, leasing, or financial service management fees.
Financial sponsors
In context of private equity, financial sponsor refers to private equity investment firms that engage in leveraged buyout or LBO transactions.
Financial Stability Oversight Council
A council established under the Dodd-Frank Act within U.S. Department of the Treasury to provide comprehensive monitoring to ensure the stability of national financial system. The Council is made up of ten voting members - nine federal financial regulatory agencies and an independent member with insurance expertise - and five nonvoting members.
Financial statement
A report of basic accounting data that helps investors understand a firm's financial history and activities.
Financial statement analysis
Evaluation of a firm's financial statements in order to assess the firm's worth and its ability to meet its financial obligations.
Financial strategy
Practices a firm adopts to pursue its financial objectives.
Financial structure
The way in which a company's assets are financed, such as short-term borrowings, long-term debt, and owners equity. Financial structure differs from capital structure in that capital structure accounts for long-term debt and equity only.
Financial supermarket
A company offering a wide variety of financial services such as a combination of banking services, investment services, and insurance brokerage.
Financial tables
Tables found in newspapers listing prices, dividends, yields, price-earnings ratios, trading volume, and other important data on stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and options and futures contracts.
Financial Times (F-T)-Actuaries indexes
Share price indexes for U.K. companies The denominator in the index formula is the market capitalization at the base date, adjusted for all capital changes affecting the particular index since the base date. See: Footsie (FTSE) (pronounced footsie).
Financing Agreements
In the context of project financing, the documents which provide the project financing and sponsor support for the project as defined in the project contracts.
Financing Corporation (FICO)
A government agency chartered in 1987 to bail out the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) by issuing bonds.
Financing decisions
Decisions concerning the liabilities and stockholders' equity side of the firm's balance sheet, such as a decision to issue bonds.
Financing Intermediaries
Institutions that effect agreement terms between borrower and lender by reaching separate agreements with the borrower and the lender.
Financing Cost Savings
A source of competitive advantage that depends on access to low cost sources of capital.
Finansinspektionen (Swedish FSA)
Sweden's supervisory authority for the Swedish financial markets. Swedish financial regulator.
Finanssivalvonta (FIVA)
Finland's supervisory authority for the Finland financial markets. Finish financial regulator.
Finanstilsynet (Danish FSA)
Denmark's supervisory authority for the Denmark financial markets. Danish financial regulator.
Finanzmarktaufsicht (FMA)
Austria's supervisory authority for the Austrian financial markets. Austria's financial regulator.
Finder's fee
A fee a person or company charges for service as an intermediary in a transaction.
The Financial Futures and Options Division of the New York Cotton Exchange (NYCE), with a trading floor in Dublin, FINEX Europe, creating a 24-hour market in most FINEX contracts.
Used in the context of general equities. See: Fill.
Finite-Life Real Estate Investment Trust (FREIT)
A Real Estate Investment Trust whose priority is to sell its holdings within a specified period to realize capital gains.
The legal barrier between banking and broker/dealer operations within a financial institution created to prevent the exchange of inside information.
Refers to an order to buy or sell that can be executed without confirmation for some fixed period. Also, a synonym for company.
Firm anomalies
Trading strategies that generate abnormal returns based on firm-specific characteristics.
Firm commitment underwriting
An underwriting in which an investment banking firm commits to buy and sell an entire issue of stock and assumes all financial responsibility for any unsold shares. Also known as bought deal.
Firm market
In the context of general equities, prices at which a security can actually be bought or sold in decent sizes, as compared to an inside market with very little depth. See: Actual market.
Firm order
In the context of general equities, (1) order to buy or sell for the proprietary account of the broker-dealer firm; (2) buy or sell order not conditional upon the customer's confirmation.
Firm quote
A definite price on a round-lot bid or offer declared by a market maker on a given security and not identified as a nominal quotation (therefore is not negotiable).
Firm-specific news
News that affects only a specific firm. Market. news by contrast affects many firms.
Firm-specific risk
See: Diversifiable risk or unsystematic risk
Firm's net value of debt
Total firm value minus total firm debt.
First board
The Chicago Board of Trade's established dates for delivery on futures contracts.
First call
With collateralized mortgage obligation (CMOs.), the start of the cash flow cycle for the cash flow window.
First call date
A date stated in an indenture that is the first date on which the issuer may redeem a bond either partially or completely.
First In, First Out (FIFO)
An accounting method for valuing the cost of goods sold that uses the cost of the oldest item in inventory first. Ending inventory is therefore valued based on the most recently purchased items.
First market
Exchange-traded securities.
First mortgage
A type of mortgage that through a lien gives precedence to the lender of the first mortgage over all other lenders in case of default.
First notice day
The first day, varying by contracts and exchanges, on which notices of intent to deliver actual financial instruments or physical commodities against futures are authorized.
First-pass regression
A time series regression to estimate the betas of securities portfolios.
First preferred stock
A type of preferred stock that has priority over other preferred issues and common stock when claiming dividends and assets.
Fiscal agency agreement
An alternative to a bond trust deed. Unlike the trustee, the fiscal agent acts as a representative of the borrower.
Fiscal agency services
Services performed by the Federal Reserve Banks for the U.S. government. These include maintaining deposit accounts for the Treasury Department, paying U.S. government checks drawn on the Treasury, and issuing and redeeming savings bonds and other government securities.
Fiscal policy
Government spending and taxing for the specific purpose of stabilizing the economy.
Fiscal stimulus
See Economic stimulus.
Fiscal year (FY)
Accounting period covering 12 consecutive months over which a company determines earnings and profits. The fiscal year serves as a period of reference for the company and does not necessarily correspond to the calendar year.
Fiscal year-end
The end of a 12-month accounting period.
Fisher effect
A theory that nominal interest rates in two or more countries should be equal to the required real rate of return to investors plus compensation for the expected amount of inflation in each country.
Fisher's separation theorem
The notion that a firm's choice of investments is separate from its owner's attitudes toward investments. Also referred to as portfolio separation theorem.
The matching of the investor's requirements and needs such as risk tolerance and growth potential preference with a specific investment. Also, how well or how poorly a regression line represents the data points it is based on. A good ‘fit’ indicates a high correlation coefficient.
Fitch sheet
Used in the context of general equities. Chronological listing of trades in a security showing the price, size, exchange, and time (to the second) of the trades; obtained by hitting "#M" on Quotron.
Five Cs of credit
Five characteristics that are used to form a judgment about a customer's creditworthiness: character, capacity, capital, collateral, and conditions.
Five hundred dollar rule
A rule of the Federal Reserve that excludes deficiencies of $500 or less in margin requirements as a necessary reason for the firm to liquidate the client's account to cover a margin call.
Five percent rule
A rule of the National Association of Securities Dealers providing ethical guidelines for spreads created by market makers and commissions charged by brokers.
The process of setting a price of a commodity, whether in the present or the future. See: Gold fixing.
Fixed asset
Long-lived property owned by a firm that is used by a firm in the production of its income. Tangible fixed assets include real estate, plant, and equipment. Intangible fixed assets include patents, trademarks, and customer recognition.
Fixed asset turnover ratio
The ratio of sales to fixed assets.
Fixed annuities
Contracts in which an insurance company or issuing financial institution pays a fixed dollar amount of money per period.
Fixed base index
For this type of index, the value in any specific time period is based on the value in the initial time period and this base remains unchanged throughout the index. This is different from a chain base index in which values in any period are based on the preceding time period. See: Base period, Chain base index, Index number
Fixed benefits
Payments to a beneficiary that are paid in fixed preset amounts and are not variable.
Fixed-charge coverage ratio
A measure of a firm's ability to meet its fixed-charge obligations: the ratio of (Earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization minus unfunded capital expenditures and distributions) divided by total debt service (annual principal and interest payments). Notice that lease payments are sometimes included in the calculations.
Fixed cost
A cost that is fixed in total for a given period of time and for given production levels.
Fixed dates
In the Euromarket, the standard periods for which Euros are traded (one month out to a year out) are referred to as the fixed dates.
Fixed-dollar obligations
Conventional bonds for which the coupon rate is set at a fixed percentage of the par value.
Fixed-dollar security
A nonnegotiable debt security that can be redeemed at some fixed price or according to some schedule of fixed values, e.g., bank deposits and government savings bonds.
Fixed exchange rate
A country's decision to tie the value of its currency to another country's currency, gold (or another commodity), or a basket of currencies.
Fixed for floating swap
An interest rate swap in which the fixed rate payments are swapped for floating rate payments.
Fixed income equivalent
Also called a busted convertible. Convertible security that is trading like a straight security because the optioned common stock is trading well below the conversion price.
Fixed income instruments
Assets that pay a fixed dollar amount, such as bonds and preferred stock.
Fixed income market
The market for trading bonds and preferred stock.
Fixed-income securities
Investments that have specific and fixed interest rates or dividend rates, such as bonds.
Fixed premium
Payments of a fixed or equal amount paid to an insurance company for insurance or an annuity.
Fixed price basis
An offering of securities at a fixed price.
Fixed-price tender offer
A one-time offer by an acquirer company to purchase a stated number of shares of a target company at a stated fixed price, usually at a premium over the current market price.
Fixed rate
A traditional approach to determining the finance charge payable on an extension of credit. A predetermined and certain rate of interest is applied to the principal.
Fixed-rate loan
A loan whose rate is fixed for the life of the loan.
Fixed-rate payer
In an interest rate swap, the counterparty who pays a fixed rate, usually in exchange for a floating-rate payment.
Fixed-term reverse mortgage
A mortgage in which the lending institution provides payments to a homeowner for a fixed number of years.
Fixed trust
A unit investment trust consisting of securities that were agreed upon at the time of investment and are held for the duration of the trust.
FIX Protocol Algorithmic Trading Working Group
An industry group that developed and maintains the standard for algorithms for high frequency trading (HFT).
A pattern reflecting price fluctuations within a narrow range, generating a rectangular area on a graph both prior to and after sharp rises or declines.
Value of a security displayed, or flashed across the tape, when the tape display cannot keep up with volume on an exchange and lags the current price by more than approximately five minutes.
Flash Crash
Refers to the 700 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that happened in just a few minutes on May 7, 2010.
See: Spaceman
Convertibles: Earning interest on the date of payment only.
General: Having neither a short nor a long position in a stock. Clean.
Market: Characterized by horizontal price movement, usually the result of low activity.
Equities: To execute without commission or markup.
Flat benefit formula
Method used to determine a participant's benefits in a defined benefit plan by multiplying months of service by a flat monthly benefit.
Flat price (also clean price)
The quoted newspaper price of a bond that does not include accrued interest. The price paid by the purchaser is the full price.
Flat price risk
Taking a position either long or short that does not involve spreading.
Flat scale
The pattern for new issues where shorter- and longer-term yields display very little difference over the bond's maturity range.
Flat tax
A tax which is levied at the same rate on all levels of income. See also progressive tax.
Flat trades
A bond in default trades flat; that is, the price quoted covers both principal and unpaid accrued interest. Any security that trades without accrued interest or at a price that includes accrued interest is said to trade flat.
Flattening of the yield curve
A change in the yield curve when the spread between the yield on long-term and short-term Treasuries has decreased. Compare steepening of the yield curve and butterfly shift.
FLEX Options
Exchange traded equity or index options, where the investor can specify within certain limits the terms of the options, such as exercise price Expiration date, exercise type, and settlement calculation.
Flexible budget
A budget that shows how costs vary with different rates of output or at different levels of sales volume and projects revenue based on these different output levels.
Flexible expenses
Expenses for an individual or corporation that can be adjusted or completely dispensed with, e.g., luxury goods.
Flexible mutual fund
Fund that invests in a variety of securities in varying proportions in order to maximize shareholder returns while maintaining a low level of risk.
Flight to quality
The tendency of investors to move toward safer investments (often government bonds) during periods of high economic uncertainty.
Flip-flop note
Note that allows investors to switch between two different types of debt.
Flip side
In the context of general equities, opposite side to a proposition or position (buy, if sell is the proposition and vice versa).
Buying shares in an initial public offering (IPO), and then selling the shares immediately after the start of public trading to turn an immediate profit.
Currency: Exchange rate policy that does not limit the range of the market rate.
Equities: Number of shares of a corporation that are outstanding and available for trading by the public, excluding insiders or restricted stock on a when-issued basis. A stock's volatility is inversely correlated to its float.
A bond whose interest rate varies with the interest rate of another debt instrument, e.g., a bond that has the interest rate of the Treasury bill +.25%.
Floating debt
Short-term debt that is renewed and refinanced constantly to fund capital needs of a firm or institution.
Floating exchange rate
A country's decision to allow its currency value to change freely. The currency is not constrained by central bank intervention and does not have to maintain its relationship with another currency in a narrow band. The currency value is determined by trading in the foreign exchange market.
Floating exchange rate system
Purchase or sale of the currencies of other nations by a central bank for the purpose of influencing foreign exchange rates or maintaining orderly foreign exchange markets. Also called foreign-exchange market intervention.
Floating lien
General attachment against a company's assets or against a particular class of assets.
Floating Rate
Interest rate that is reset periodically, usually every couple of months or sometimes daily.
Floating-rate contract
An guaranteed investment instrument whose interest payment is tied to some variable (floating) interest rate benchmark, such as a specific-maturity Treasury yield.
Floating-rate note (FRN)
Note whose interest payment varies with short-term interest rates.
Floating-rate payer
In an interest rate swap, the counterparty who pays a rate based on a reference rate, usually in exchange for a fixed-rate payment.
Floating-rate preferred
Preferred stock paying dividends that vary with short-term interest rates.
Floating securities
Securities bought in a broker's name and resold quickly to attain a profit in a short amount of time.
Floating supply
The aggregate of securities believed to be available for immediate purchase, that is, in the hands of dealers and investors wanting to sell.
The area of a stock exchange where active trading occurs. Also the price at which a stop order is activated (when the price drops low enough to activate such an order). In context of interest rates, a level which an interest rate or currency is structured not to go below. In context of OTC interest rate options, a series of interest rate put options, where the buyer of the floor guarantees a minimum interest income
Floorless Convertible
Used by companies that are in such bad shape that there is no other way to get financing. This instrument is similar to a convertible bond, but convertible at a discount to the share price at issuance and for a fixed dollar amount rather than a specific number of shares. The further the stock falls, the more shares you get. Popular in the mid to late 1990s. Also known as toxic convertibles or death spiral convertibles.
Floor broker
Member of an exchange who is an employee of a member firm and executes orders, as agent, on the floor of the exchange for clients.
Floor official
An employee of a stock exchange who settles disputes related to the auction process on the floor of the stock exchange.
Floor picture
Details of the trading crowd for a stock, such as the major players, their sizes, and the outside market +/- an eighth.
Floor planning
Arrangement used to finance inventory. A finance company buys the inventory, which is then held in trust for the user.
Floor ticket
Summary of a stock or commodities exchange order ticket by the registered representative on receipt of a buy or sell order from a client; gives the floor broker the information needed to execute a securities transaction.
Floor trader
A stock exchange member who generally trades only for his own account or for an account controlled by him, or who has such a trade made for him. Also referred to as a "local."
Flotation (rotation) cost
The costs associated with creating capital through the issue of new stocks or bonds, including the compensation earned by the investment banker plus legal, accounting and printing expenses.
Flow of funds
In the context of municipal bonds, refers to the statement displaying the priorities by which municipal revenue will be applied to the debt.

In the context of mutual funds, refers to the movement of money into or out of a mutual fund or between or among various fund sectors.

Flow-through basis
An account for an investment credit to show all income statement benefits of the credit in the year of acquisition, rather than spreading them over the life of the asset.
Flow-through method
The practice of reporting to shareholders using straight-line depreciation but using accelerated depreciation for tax purposes and "flowing through" the lower income taxes actually paid to financial statements prepared for shareholders.
Flower bond
Government bonds that when owned at the time of death are acceptable at par in payment of federal estate taxes.
A price or interest rate change.
Fluctuation limit
The limit created by the commodity exchange that halts trading on a future if the price of the future changes, in either direction, more than a previously set amount. Also called daily price limit.
A drastic volume increase in a specific security.
Focus list
Used in the context of general equities. Investment banks published list of buy and sell recommendations from its research department; signified by a flashing "F" on Quotron.
Follow-on offering
Offering of additional stock of a company subsequent to its IPO.
Footsie (FTSE)
Financial Times (FT)-Actuaries 100 index: in London. Has the stature of the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500 in London.
Used in the context of general equities. Conjunctions used in an order, market summary, or trade recap that signify a bid or an offer, respectively. See: On.
For a number
Used in the context of general equities. Implies that the quantity mentioned is not his total but instead is only approximate, and to open him up more will obligate one to participate.
For valuation only (FVO)
Refers to a quote for a security where the price is could be changed later. FVO quotes are made for informational purposes rather than transactions.
For your information (FYI)
A prefix to a security price indicating that the quote is for information purposes only, and not an offer to trade.
Forbes 500
Forbes magazine's list of the largest publicly owned corporations in the United States according to sales, assets, profits, and market value.
Force Majeure
Events outside the control of the parties. These events are acts of man, nature, governments and regulators, or impersonal events. Contract performance is forgiven or extended by the period of force majeure.
Force majeure risk
The risk that there will be a prolonged interruption of operations for a project finance enterprise due to fire, flood, storm, or some other factor beyond the control of the project's sponsors.
Forced conversion
Occurs when a convertible security is called in by the issuer, usually when the underlying stock is selling well above the conversion price. The issuer thus assures the bonds will be retired without requiring any cash payment. Upon conversion into common, the carrying value of the bonds becomes part of a corporation's equity, thus strengthening thebalance sheet and enhancing future debt capability.
Making projections about future performance on the basis of historical and current conditions data.
Process by which the holder of a mortgage seizes the property of a homeowner who has not made interest and/or principal payments on time as stipulated in the mortgage contract.
Foreign banking market
That portion of domestic bank loans supplied to foreigners for use abroad.
Foreign base company income
A category of Subpart F income that includes foreign holding company income and foreign base company sales and service income.
Foreign bond
A bond of a non-domestic company issued on the domestic capital market.
Foreign bond market
Issues floated by foreign companies or government in the domestic bond market.
Foreign branch
A foreign affiliate that is legally a part of the firm. According to the U.S. tax code, foreign branch income is taxed as it is earned in the foreign country.
Foreign corporation
A corporation conducting business in another country from the one it is chartered in and that abides by the laws of another country. See: Alien corporation.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
An amendment to the Securities Exchange Act created to prohibit bribery of foreign officials by publicly held US companies.
Foreign Credit Insurance Association (FCIA)
A private consortium of US insurance companies that offers trade credit insurance to US exporters in conjunction with the US Export-Import Bank.
Foreign crowd
NYSE members who trade in foreign bonds on the floor.
Foreign currency
Money of a country other than one's own.
Foreign currency forward contract
Agreement that obligates its parties to exchange given quantities of currencies at a prespecified exchange rate on a certain future date.
Foreign currency futures contract
Standardized and easily transferable obligation between two parties to exchange currencies at a specified rate during a specified delivery month; standardized contract on specified underlying currencies, in multiples of standard amounts. Purchased and traded on a regulated exchange on which margins are posted.
Foreign currency option
An option that conveys the right (but not the obligation) to buy or sell a specified amount of foreign currency at a specified price within a specified time period.
Foreign currency translation
The process of restating foreign currency accounts of subsidiaries into the reporting currency of the parent company in order to prepare consolidated financial statements.
Foreign direct investment (FDI)
The acquisition abroad of physical assets such as plant and equipment, with operating control residing in the parent corporation.
Foreign equity market
Issues floated by foreign companies in the domestic equity market.
Foreign exchange
Currency of another country. Abbreviated Forex.
Foreign exchange broker
Intermediaries in the foreign exchange market that do not put their own money at risk.
Foreign exchange controls
Various forms of controls imposed by a government on the purchase/sale of foreign currencies by residents or on the purchase/sale of local currency by nonresidents.
Foreign exchange dealer
A firm or individual that buys foreign exchange from one party and then sells it to another party. The dealer makes the difference between the buying and selling prices, or the spread.
Foreign exchange market
Largely banks that serve firms and consumers who may wish to buy or sell various currencies.
Foreign exchange rate
The rate of one currency unit expressed in terms of another.
Foreign exchange reserves
Strict definition is the total of a country's foreign currency deposits and bonds held by the central bank and monetary authorities. However, the term often refers to the total of a country's gold holdings, convertible foreign currencies held in its banks, plus special drawing rights (SDR) and exchange reserve balances with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Foreign exchange risk
The risk that a long or short position in a foreign currency might have to be closed out at a loss due to an adverse movement in exchange rates. In general, the risk of an adverse movement in exchange rates.
Foreign exchange swap
An agreement to exchange stipulated amounts of one currency for another currency at one or more future dates.
Foreign holdings
The percentage of a portfolio's investments represented by stocks or American Depository Receipts (ADRs) of companies based outside the United States.
Foreign investment risk matrix (FIRM)
Graph that displays financial and political risk by intervals on which countries may be compared according to risk ratings.
Foreign official institutions
Central governments of foreign countries, including all departments and agencies of national governments; central banks, exchange authorities, and all fiscal agents of foreign national governments that undertake activities similar to those of a treasury, central bank, or stabilization fund; diplomatic and consular establishments of foreign national governments; and any international or regional organization, including subordinate and affiliate agencies, created by treaty or convention between sovereign states.
Foreign market
Part of a nation's internal market, representing the mechanisms for issuing and trading securities of entities domiciled outside that nation. Compare external market and domestic market.
Foreign market beta
A measure of foreign market risk that is derived from the capital asset pricing model.
Foreign public borrower
Foreign official institutions; the corporations and agencies of foreign central governments, including development banks and institutions, and other agencies that are majority owned by the central government or its departments; and state, provincial and local governments of foreign countries and their departments and agencies.
Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC)
A special type of corporation created by the Tax Reform Act of 1984 that is designed to provide a tax incentive for exporting U.S.-produced goods.
Foreign-source income
Income earned from international operations.
Foreign-targeted issue
Notes sold between October 1984 and February 1986 to foreign institutions, foreign short-term branches of US institutions, foreign central banks or monetary authorities, and to international organizations in which the United States held membership. Sold as companion issues, they could be converted to domestic (normal) Treasury notes with the same maturity and interest rates. Interest was paid annually.
Foreign tax credit
Home country credit against domestic income tax. Received in return for foreign taxes paid on foreign derived earnings.
All institutions and individuals living outside the United States, including US citizens living abroad, and branches, subsidiaries, and other affiliates abroad of US banks and business concerns; also central governments, central banks, and other official institutions of countries other than the United States, and international and regional organizations, wherever located. Also refers to persons in the United States to the extent that they are known by reporting institutions to be acting for foreigners.
See: Foreign exchange
Purchaser of promises to pay issued by importers.
Forfaiter (Primary)
An individual or financial entity that arranges a forfaiting transaction directly with an exporter and then holds or sells on the payment obligations of the importer/ guarantor.
Forfaiter (Secondary)
An individual or financial entity that buys or sells the payment obligations of the importer/ guarantor.
A form of factoring that involves selling large, medium to long-term receivables to buyers (forfaiters) who are willing and able to bear the costs and risks of credit and collections.
Method of financing international trade of capital goods.
The loss of rights to an asset outlined in a legal contract if a party fails to fulfill obligations of the contract.
Form 8-K
The form required by the SEC when a publicly held company incurs any event that might affect its financial situation or the share value of its stock.
Form 4
The form required by the SEC for a change in the holdings of an individual owning 10% or more of the outstanding stock or in the holdings of a company officer.
Form S-3
A shorter form of registration statement than the Form S-1 that can be used by certain already-public companies to sell additional shares. It is also the form most often used to cover resales of restricted securities by selling stockholders.
Form S-8
A very brief form of registration statement filed with the SEC; registers shares to be issued under a stock plan.
Form T
The form required by the NASD to report equity transactions after the market's regular hours.
Form 10-K
A report required by the SEC from exchange-listed companies that provides for annual disclosure of certain financial information.
Form 3
A form required by the SEC and the stock exchange from all holders of 10% or more of a company's stock and all directors and officers, which details securities owned.
Form 13F
A quarterly report of equity holdings filed to United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) by investment managers with at least $100 million in equity assets under management. Form 13F only reports long positions, short positions are not required to be reported.
Formula basis
A method of selling a new issue of common stock in which the SEC declares the registration statement effective on the basis of a price formula rather than on a specific range.
Formula investing
A formula-based investment technique in which investment decisions are made using predetermined timing or asset allocation models, e.g., dollar cost averaging.
Fortune 500
Fortune magazine's listing of the top 500 US corporations determined by an index of 12 variables.
48-hour rule
PSA Uniform Practices requirement that all pool information in a to be announced (TBA) transaction be communicated by the seller to the buyer before 3 p.m. EST on the business day 48 hours prior to the agreed-upon trade date.
See: Forward contract
Forward averaging
A method of calculating taxes on a lump sum distribution from a qualified retirement plan that enables the tax payer to pay less than the current tax rate.
Forward contract
A contract that specifies the price and quantity of an asset to be delivered in the future. Forward contracts are not standardized and are not traded on organized exchanges.
Forward cover
The purchase in the cash market of the difference between what you are obligated to deliver in a forward contract and the amount of the asset you own. For example, if you agreed to sell 100,000 bushels of corn in September in a forward contract, but you only have 60,000, you need to purchase 40,000 to cover your obligation.
Forward currency contract
An agreement to buy or sell a country's currency at a specific price, usually 30, 60, or 90 days in the future. This guarantees an exchange rate on a given date.
Forward delivery
A transaction in which the settlement will occur on a specified date in the future at a price agreed upon on the trade date.
Forward differential
Annualized percentage difference between spot and forward rates.
Forward discount
A currency trades at a forward discount when its forward price is lower than its spot price.
Forward exchange
A type of foreign exchange transaction whereby a contract is made to exchange one currency for another at a fixed date in the future at a specified exchange rate. By buying or selling forward exchange, businesses protect themselves against a decrease in the value of a currency they plan to sell at a future date.
Forward exchange rate
Exchange rate fixed today for exchanging currency at some future date.
Forward exchange transaction
Foreign currency purchase or sale at the current exchange rate but with payment or delivery of the foreign currency at a future date.
Forward Fed funds
Fed funds traded for future delivery.
Forward foreign exchange contract
Agreement that obligates an investor to deliver a specified quantity of one currency in return for a specified amount of another currency on a specified future date.
Forward foreign exchange rate
The exchange rate available today to exchange currency at some specified date in the future.
Forward forward contract
In Eurocurrencies, a contract under which a deposit of fixed maturity is agreed to at a fixed price for future delivery.
Forward interest rate
Interest rate fixed today on a loan to be made at some future date.
Forward-looking multiple
A truncated expression for a P/E ratio that is based on forward (expected) earnings rather than on trailing earnings.
Forward market
A market in which participants agree to trade some commodity, security, or foreign exchange at a fixed price for future delivery.
Forward parity
Notion that the forward rate is an unbiased predictor of future spot exchange rates.
Forward premium
A currency trades at a forward premium when its forward price is higher than its spot price.
Forward pricing
Practice mandated by the SEC that open-end investment companies establish all incoming buy and sell orders on the next net asset valuation of fund shares.
Forward rate
A projection of future interest rates calculated from either spot rates or the yield curve. For example, suppose the one-year government bond was yielding 2% and the two-year bond was yielding 4%. The one year forward rate represents the one-year interest rate one year from now. You would solve the formula (1.04)^2=(1.02)(1+F). F is 6.03%.
Forward rate agreement (FRA)
Agreement to borrow or lend at a specified future date at an interest rate that is fixed today.
Forward sale
A method for hedging price risk that involves an agreement between a lender and an investor to sell particular kinds of loans at a specified price and future time.
Forward start option
An option that becomes effective some time after it is bought or sold.
Forward trade
A transaction for which settlement will occur on a specified date in the future at a price agreed upon on the trade date.
Forward yield curve
Calculate the one-year forward rate. For example, suppose the one-year government bond was yielding 2% and the two-year bond was yielding 4%. The one year forward rate represents the one-year interest rate one year from now. You would solve the formula (1.04)^2=(1.02)(1+F1). F is 6.03%. Now calculate the two-year forward rate one year from now. For example, suppose again the one-year bond is yielding 2% and the three-year bond was yielding 5% (annual basis). (1.05)^3=(1.02)(1+F2)^2. F2=6.53% Continue this exercise for all maturities and you have the one-year forward yield curve. The yield curve graph is usually yield (y-axis) against maturity (x-axis).
Acts as a travel agent for cargo. A forwarder specializes in arranging the transport and completing required shipping documentation. Some are affiliated with NVOCC services. In the United States they are licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission.
Foul Bill of Lading
A bill of lading that contains a notation indicating damage or shortage. Also called claused and is the opposite of clean bill of lading.
Under section 401(K) of the Internal Revenue Code, a deferred compensation plan set up by an employer so that employees can set aside money for retirement on a pre-tax basis. Employers may match a percentage of the amount that employees contribute to the plan. Contributions by both employees and employers, as well as investment earnings and interest, are not taxed until the employee withdraws the money; if the employee withdraws the money before retirement age, he or she pays an early withdrawal penalty tax. Currently, employees are allowed to annually contribute up to 15 percent of their salary but no more than $11,000 ($12,000 for people 50 or older). Many employers now offer these deferred compensation plans in lieu of or in addition to pensions.
Under section 403(b) of Internal Revenue Code, 403(b) plan is a tax-advantaged retirement savings plan for public education organizations, cooperative hospital service organizations, and some non-profit employers. Tax treatment is similar to that of 401(K) plan.
Fourth market
Refers to the practice of institutional investors trading large blocks of securities directly to avoid brokerage commissions. See: Instinet.
An object in which the parts are in some way related to the whole. That is, the individual components are "self-similar." An example is the branching network in a tree. While each branch, and each successive smaller branching is different, they are qualitatively similar to the structure of the whole tree.
Fractal Dimension
A number that quantitatively describes how an object fills its space. In Euclidean, or Plane geometry, objects are solid and continuous. That is, they have no holes or gaps. As such, they have integer dimensions. Fractals are rough and often discontinuous, like a wiffle ball, and so have fractional, or fractal dimensions.
Fractal Distribution
A probability density function that is statistically self-similar. That is, in different increments of time, the statistical characteristics remain the same.
Fractal Market Hypothesis
The fractal market hypothesis states that (1) a market consists of many investors with different investment horizons, and (2) the information set that is important to each investment horizon is different. As long as the market maintains this fractal structure, with no characteristic time scale, the market remains stable. When the market's investment horizon becomes uniform, the market becomes unstable because everyone is trading based upon the same information set. Theory due to Ed Peters.
Fractional Brownian Motion
A biased random walk. Unlike Standard Brownian Motion, the odds are biased in one direction or the other. It is like playing with loaded dice.
Fractional coins
Metal currency minted in denominations of 50, 25, and 10 cents, and minor coins (5 cents and 1 cent).
Fractional discretion order
A type of order that gives the broker discretion to alter the price, up or down, within a specific fractional range in order to guarantee an execution.
Fractional Noise
A noise which is not completely independent of previous values. See Fractional Brownian Motion, 1/f Noise, White Noise.
Fractional share
Stocks amounting to less than one full share, usually resulting from splits, acquisitions, exchanges, or dividend reinvestment programs.
Franchise agreement
Contract by which a domestic company (franchisor) licenses its trade name and/or business system and practices for a fee to an independent company (franchisee) in a foreign market.
Provision of a specialized sales or service strategy, support assistance, and possibly an initial investment in the franchise in exchange for periodic fees.
Frankfurt Stock Exchange
The largest of Germany's eight securities exchanges, operated by Deutsche Borse AS.
Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation)
A Congressionally chartered corporation that purchases residential mortgages in the secondary market from S&Ls, banks, and mortgage bankers and securities for sale in the capital markets.
Free Alongside Ship (FAS)
An Incoterm (FAS) that means the seller is responsible for the cost of transporting and delivering goods alongside a vessel in a port in his or her country. Since the buyer has responsibility for export clearance under FAS, it is not a practical Incoterm for U.S. exports. FAS should be used only for ocean shipments since risk and responsibility shift from seller to buyer when the goods are placed within the reach of the ship's tackle (crane).
Free on board (FOB)
Implies that distribution services like transport and handling performed on goods up to the customs frontier (of the economy from which the goods are classed as merchandise) are included in the price.
Free box
A bank vault or other suitable storage place for the securities of a firm's customer.
Free Carrier (FCA)
An Incoterm meaning that the cost, risk and responsibility shift from the seller to the buyer when the goods are turned over to a carrier at a designated place.
Free cash flows
Cash not required for operations or for reinvestment. Often defined as earnings before interest (often obtained from the operating income line on the income statement) less capital expenditures less the change in working capital. In terms of a formula:

Free cash flows =

Sales (Revenues from operations)
- COGS (Cost of goods sold-labor, material, book depreciation)
- SG&A (Selling, general administrative costs)
EBIT (Earnings before interest and taxes or Operating Earnings)
- Taxes (Cash taxes)
EBIAT (Earnings before interest after taxes)
+ DEP (Book depreciation)
- CAPX (Capital expenditures)
- ChgWC (Change in working capital)
C (Free cash flows)

There is an issue as to whether you want to define the FCFs to the firm as a whole (the cash flow to all of its security holders), or the FCFs only to the firm's equity holders. For firm valuation, you want the former; for stock valuation you want the latter.
To value the firm, calculate the stream of FCFs to the firm and discount this stream by the firm's WACC (Weighted average cost of capital). This will give you the value of a levered firm, including the tax benefits of debt financing. Alternatively, you can discount the firm's FCFs by its unlevered cost of capital and add separately the present value of the tax benefits.
To value the firm's equity, you can either take the above number and subtract the market value of all outstanding debt (liabilities) or you can calculate the FCFs to the firm's equity holders and discount this stream by the firm's levered equity cost of capital.
Notice that changes in working capital have the same effect on free cash flows as do changes in physical capital, i.e., capital expenditures. For example, suppose you had to spend $XX to increase the capacity of your plant. This expenditure would be a reduction in free cash flow in the year it was made. Likewise, if you had to increase the level of your cash balance, inventory or receivables by $XX to accommodate greater sales, then this too would result in a like reduction in free cash flows in the year the level of working capital was increased. [Definition and discussion courtesy of Professor Michael Bradley.]
Free delivery
Securities industry procedure whereby delivery of securities sold is made to the buying customer's bank without requiring immediate payment; thus a credit agreement of sorts. Antithesis of delivery vs. payment.
Free float
An exchange rate system characterized by the absence of government intervention. Also known as clean float.
Free of Particular Average
Marine cargo insurance that does not cover partial losses or partial damage unless caused by the vessel being sunk, stranded, burned, on fire, or in a collision.
Free Indices
Usually refers to indices constructed by Morgan Stanley Capital International such that the market capitalization weights reflect the degree to which a stock is investible by foreigners. For example, if a stock has $700 million capitalization but government restrictions only allow up to 50% to be held by foreigners, then the weight in the Free index would by $350 million. The Standard and Poors/International Finance Corporation indices call their equivalent indices Investible Indices (IFCI).
Free reserves
Excess reserves minus member bank borrowings at the Fed.
Free rider
A follower who avoids the cost and expense of finding the best course of action simply by mimicking the behavior of a leader who made these investments.
A forbidden practice in which the member of an underwriting syndicate retains a portion of an initial public offering (IPO) and resells the securities at a higher price determined by the market at a later time. Also forbidden is a brokerage customer's rapid buying and selling of a security without putting up money for the purchase.
Free right of exchange
An investor's right to transfer securities from one name to another name without paying charges that accompany a sales transaction.
Free stock
A stock that is paid for in full and is not pledged in any way as collateral.
Free to trade
Used in the context of general equities. Not subject to any internal (restricted list) or external restrictions on trading; hence, the trader is free to solicit interest.
Freed up
A term used to indicate that an underwriting syndicate's members are no longer restricted to the fixed price agreed upon in the agreement among underwriters and are permitted to trade the security on a free market basis.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 6, 1966. This act allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the US Government.
Freely floating exchange rate system
Monetary system in which exchange rates are allowed to move due to market forces without intervention by country governments.
Freeze out
The action of pressurizing shareholders with relatively minor amounts of stock to sell their shares after a takeover.
A transportation term meaning either goods being transported, and/or charges incurred for such transport.
Freight Forwarder
See: forwarder.
Freight shippers
Agents who coordinate the logistics of transportation.
See: Finite-Life Real Estate Investment Trust
Frequency distribution
The organization of data to show how often certain values or ranges of values occur.
Fresh picture
Updated estimation of a stock or market, usually following recent trading activity or news that has changed the previous look.
Fresh signal
Piece of information (fundamental or technical) leading one to believe a stock will move in a certain manner.
Friction costs
Costs, both implied and direct, associated with a transaction. Such costs include time, effort, money, and associated tax effects of gathering information and making a transaction.
Frictional cost
The difference between an index fund return and the index it represents. The typically lower rate of return from the fund results from transactions costs.
Frictionless market
Ideal trading environment that imposes no costs or restraints on transactions.
"stickiness" involved in making transactions; the total process including time, effort, money, and tax effects of gathering information and making a transaction such as buying a stock or borrowing money.
Friendly Merger
A business combination that the management of both firms believes will be beneficial to stockholders.
Friendly takeover
Merger when the target firm's management and board of directors is in favor of the takeover. Antithesis of hostile takeover.
Front-end load
The fee applied to an investment at the time of initial purchase, e.g., on a mutual fund purchased from a broker or mutual fund company.
Front fee
The fee initially paid by the buyer upon entering a split-fee option contract.
Front office
Refers to revenue generating sales personnel in a brokerage, insurance, or other financial services operation.
Front running
Entering into an equity trade, options or futures contracts with advance knowledge of a block transaction that will influence the price of the underlying security to capitalize on the trade. This practice is expressly forbidden by the SEC. Traders are not allowed to act on nonpublic information to trade ahead of customers lacking that knowledge.
Frozen account
A disciplinary action taken by the Federal Reserve Board for some violation of Regulation T, where an individual investor cannot sell securities until they are paid for in full and certificates delivered.
Fry a bigger fish
Used in the context of general equities. Work on a trade of larger size than a trade just disclosed.
Quarterly report filed by bank holding companies with the Federal Reserve. It contains consolidated balance sheet and income statement with detailed schedules including a schedule for off-balance-sheet items and regulatory capital.
Full compensation
Payment for delivery of goods to one party by buying back more than 100 % of the value that was originally sold.
Full coupon bond
A bond with a coupon equal to the going market rate; the bond is therefore selling at par.
Full disclosure
Describes exchange and government regulations providing for the release and free exchange of all information pertinent to a given security.
Full Employment and Balance Growth Act of 1978(Humphrey-Hawkins Act)
Federal legislation that, among other things, specifies the primary objectives of U.S. economic policy-maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.
Full faith-and-credit obligations
The security pledges for larger municipal bond issuers, such as states and large cities that have diverse funding sources.
Full-payout lease
See: Financial lease
Full price
Also called dirty price; the price of a bond including accrued interest. Related: Flat price.
Full recourse
No matter what risk event occurs, the borrower or its guarantors guarantee to repay the debt. This is not a project financing unless the borrower's sole asset is the project.
Full-service broker
A broker who provides clients an all-inclusive selection of services such as advice on security selection and financial planning.
Full-service lease
Also called rental lease. Arrangement in which lessor promises to maintain and insure the equipment leased.
Full Set of Bills of Lading
All originals of an ocean bill of lading.
Full trading authorization
Indication that a broker with a discretionary account can operate without obtaining prior consent to each trade from the client..
Fully depreciated
An asset that has already been charged with the maximum amount of depreciation allowed by the IRS for accounting purposes.
Fully diluted earnings per share
Earnings per share expressed as if all outstanding convertible securities and warrants have been exercised.
Fully distributed
A new stock issue that has been completely resold to the investing public and is no longer held by dealers.
Fully invested
Used to describe an investor whose assets are totally committed to investments (typically stock) rather than in cash.
Fully modified pass-throughs
Agency pass-throughs that guarantee the timely payment of both interest and principal. Related: Modified pass-throughs.
Fully valued
Used in the context of general equities. Said of a stock that has reached a price at which analysts think the underlying company's fundamental earnings power has been fully recognized by the market.
Functional currency
As defined by FASB No. 52, an affiliate's functional currency is the currency of the primary economic environment in which the affiliate generates and expends cash.
Fund assets
The total value of a portfolio's securities, cash, and other holdings, minus any outstanding debts.
Funded status
In the context of pension funds and/or insurance, funded status is the amount by which a pension plan's assets exceed the projected benefit obligations that will have to be paid in the future.
Fund family
Set of funds with different investment objectives offered by one management company. In many cases, investors may move their assets from one fund to another within the family at little or no cost.
Fund of funds
A mutual fund or hedge fund that invests in other funds.
Fund manager
The person whose responsibility it is to oversee the allocation of the pool of money invested in a particular mutual fund. The fund manager is charged with investing the money to attain returns consistent with the level of risk outlined in the mutual fund prospectus.
Fund switching
Moving money within a mutual fund family from one mutual fund to another.
Fun money
Money that can be used to invest in risky investments with high potential return.
Fundamental analysis
Security analysis that seeks to detect misvalued securities through an analysis of the firm's business prospects. Research often focuses on earnings, dividend prospects, expectations for future interest rates, and risk evaluation of the firm. Antithesis of technical analysis. In macroeconomic analysis, information such as interest rates, GNP, inflation, unemployment, and inventories is used to predict the direction of the economy, and therefore the stock market. In microeconomic analysis, information such as balance sheet, income statement, products, management, and other market items is used to forecast a company's imminent success or failure, and hence the future price action of the stock.
Fundamental beta
The product of a statistical model to predict the fundamental risk of a security using not only price data but also other market-related and financial data.
Fundamental descriptors
In the model for calculating fundamental beta, ratios in risk indexes other than market variability, which rely on financial data other than price data.
Fundamental forecasting
Analyzing the future on the basis of fundamental relationships between economic variables and exchange rates.
Fundamental Information
Information relating to the economic state of a company or economy. In market analysis, fundamental information is related to the earnings prospects of the firm only.
Funded debt
Debt maturing after more than one year.
Funded Liability
A source of funds that a firm must take overt action to arrange and that carries an interest cost.
Funded pension plan
A pension plan in which all liabilities, including payments to be made to pensioners in the immediate future, are completely funded.
Used to describe the refinancing of a debt prior to its maturity (the same as refunding). In corporate finance refers to the floating of bonds to raise finance and levels of capital. See also: refunding.
Funding ratio
The ratio of a pension plan's assets to its liabilities.
Funding risk
The risk associated with the impact on a project's cash flow from higher funding costs or lack of availability of funds. See: interest rate risk.
Funds From Operations (FFO)
Used by real estate and other investment trusts to define the cash flow from trust operations; earnings with depreciation and amortization added back. A similar term increasingly used is funds available for distribution (FAD), which is FFO less capital investments in trust property and the amortization of mortgages.
The substitutability of listed options, which is dependent upon their common expiration dates and strike prices. The congruence of expiration dates and strike prices lets investors close positions by offsetting transactions through the options clearing corporation.
Furthest month
Used in the context of commodities or options trading to refer to the month that is furthest away from the contract's date of settlement.
The Danish derivatives market, merged with the Copenhagen Stock Exchange in 1997.
A term used to designate any contract covering the sale of financial instruments or physical commodities for future delivery on a futures exchange. Alternatively, a future is any forward contract that has been standardized and listed for trading on a futures exchange.
Future investment opportunities
The identification of additional, more valuable, investment opportunities in the future that result from a current opportunity or operation.
Futures commission merchant (FCM)
A firm or person engaged in soliciting or accepting and handling orders for the purchase or sale of futures contracts, subject to the rules of a futures exchange and, who, in connection with such solicitation or acceptance of orders, accepts any money or securities to provide margin for any resulting trades or contracts. The FCM must be licensed by the CFTC. Related: Commission house, omnibus account.
Futures contract
A legally binding agreement to buy or sell a commodity or financial instrument in a designated future month at a price agreed upon at the initiation of the contract by the buyer and seller. Futures contracts are standardized according to the quality, quantity, and delivery time and location for each commodity. A futures contract differs from an option in that an option gives one of the counterparties a right and the other an obligation to buy or sell, while a futures contract is the represents an obligation to both counterparties, one to deliver and the other to accept delivery. A future is part of a class of securities called derivatives, so named because such securities derive their value from the worth of an underlying investment.
Futures contract multiple
A constant set by an exchange, which when multiplied by the futures price gives the dollar value of a stock index futures contract.
Futures market
A market where contracts for future delivery of a commodity or a financial instrument are bought or sold.
Futures option
An option on a futures contract. Related: Options on physicals.
Futures price
The price at which parties to a futures contract agree to transact upon the settlement date.
Future value
The amount of cash at a specified date in the future that is equivalent in value to a specified sum today.
Fuzzy Logic
A system which mathematically models complex relationships which are usually handled in a vague manner by language. Under the title of "Fuzzy Logic" falls formal fuzzy logic (a multi-valued form of logic), and fuzzy sets. Fuzzy sets measure the similarity between an object and a group of objects. A member of a fuzzy set can belong to both the set, and its complement. Fuzzy sets can more closely approximate human reasoning than traditional "crisp" sets. See: Crisp sets.
FVO (for valuation only)
See: For valuation only.

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[Version 1 June 2023.]

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