Glossary of Financial Terms starting with Alphabet ‘A’

Glossary of ‘Financial Terms’ starting with Alphabet ‘A’, i.e. ‘Meaning’ or ‘Definition’ of Common and Unusual terms relating to Accounting, Auditing, Company Law, GST, Income Tax, Investments, etc., along with the ‘Context’ in which they are used.

Account closure (depositor account)

The closure of beneficiary and pool accounts by the investor and the clearing member or at the discretion of the participant, if the client has defaulted in its obligations towards the participant.

Accounts Payable

A current liability showing the amounts due to others within a period of one year when such liability resulted from the purchase or manufacturing of inventory.

Accounts Receivable

Any money due to a business for merchandise or securities that it has sold or for services it has rendered. This is a key determinant in analyzing a company’s liquidity.

Accreting

A description applicable to a range of instruments, e.g. caps, swaps, collars and swaptions, where the notional amount on which the instrument is based increases successively during its life.

Accrued Interest

The interest accruing on a security since the previous coupon date. If a security is sold between two payment dates, the buyer usually compensates the seller for the interest accrued, either within the price or as a separate payment.

Acid Test Ratio

The value of cash equivalents and accounts receivable (the quick assets) divided by current liabilities. Also known as quick asset ratio or liquidity ratio, it is a measurement of corporate liquidity.

Acquirer

Any individual/ company/ any other legal entity, which intends to acquire or acquires substantial quantity of shares or voting rights of target company or acquires or agrees to acquire control over the target company along with the persons acting in concert.

Active portfolio Strategy

A strategy that uses available information and forecasting techniques to seek a better performance than a portfolio that is simply diversified broadly.

Adhoc Margin

Margin collected by the Stock Exchange from the members having unduly large outstanding position or the margin levied on volatile scrips based on adhoc basis keeping in view the risk perspective.

Adjustable Peg

Term for an exchange rate regime where a country’s exchange rate is pegged (i.e. fixed) in relation to another currency (normally the dollar), but where the rate may be changed from time to time.

Adjusted beta

The estimation of a security’s future beta, which is derived from historical date, but is modified assuming that the security’s real beta has tendency to move towards the market average of one.

Admission to Dealing

The process of granting permission to the securities of a company to be listed in a Stock Exchange and to provide trading facilities for the securities in the market.

Advance/ Decline line

A technical analysis tool representing the total of differences between advances and declines of security prices. The advance/ decline line is considered the best indicator of market movement as a whole. Stock indices such as Dow-Jones Industrial Average only tell us the strength of 30 stocks where as the Advance/ Decline line provides much more insight.

Adviser

A financial planner or financial intermediary who offers advice on personal financial matters. Advisers may be paid an upfront or an ongoing commission for the investments that they recommend.

Agency Orders

Orders that a broker dealer executes for the account of a customer with another professional or retail investor.

Allotment Advice

A letter sent to the successful applicant by the company stating allotment of shares or debentures or other securities against his application. The advice is not negotiable in the market.

Allotment Letter

Document of title issued to investors by companies stating allotment of shares/debentures /other securities to applicants subscribing for such securities or in pursuance of certain contracts entered into in that behalf. These letters are negotiable in the market.

Alpha

In a Jensen Index, a factor to represent the portfolio’s performance that diverges from its beta, representing a measure of the manager’s performance.

AMBI

Association of Merchant Bankers in India

American Depository Receipts (ADR) (U.S.)

A certificate issued in the United States in lieu of a foreign security. The original securities are lodged in Bank/Custodian abroad, and the American Depository Receipts (ADRs) are traded in the US for all intents and purposes as if they were a domestic stock. An ADR dividend is paid in US dollars, so it provides a way for American investors to buy foreign securities without having to go abroad, and without having to switch in and out of foreign currencies.

American Option

A put or call that can be exercised at any time prior to expiration. Most listed stock options, including those on European exchanges are US style options. Important exceptions are certain low strike price options and options on shares with restricted transferability. Most listed options on other instruments are also US-style options, but a number of European style options have been introduced in recent years, particularly on stock indices and currencies.

AMFI

Association of Mutual Funds in India

Analyst

A firm/ company/ an individual who is engaged either on his own behalf or on behalf of any other firm or organization that is regularly publishing securities recommendations based on research either through print media and /or electronic media.

Appreciation

A rise in the price of a security or in the value of one currency in terms of another.

Approved intermediary

A person duly registered by the SEBI Board under the Securities Lending Scheme , 1997 through whom the lender of securities will deposit the securities and the borrower will borrow the securities.

Arbitrage

(1) Technically, arbitrage consists of purchasing a commodity or security in one market for immediate sale in another market (deterministic arbitrage).

(2) Popular usage has expanded the meaning of the term to include any activity which attempts to buy a relatively underpriced item and sell a similar, relatively overpriced item, expecting to profit when the prices resume a more appropriate theoretical or historical relationship (statistical arbitrage).

(3) In trading options, convertible securities, and futures, arbitrage techniques can be applied whenever a strategy involves buying and selling packages of related instruments.

(4) Risk arbitrage applies the principles of risk offset to mergers and other major corporate developments. The risk offsetting position(s) do not insulate the investor from certain event risks (such as termination of a merger agreement on the risk of completion of a transaction within a certain time) so that the arbitrage is incomplete.

(5) Tax arbitrage transactions are undertaken to share the benefit of differential tax rates or circumstances of two or more parties to a transaction.

(6) Regulatory arbitrage transactions are designed to provide indirect access to a risk management market where one party is denied direct access by law or regulation.

(7) Swap driven arbitrage transactions are motivated by the comparative advantages which swap counter-parties enjoy in different debt and currency markets. One counterparty may borrow at a relatively lower rate in the intermediate or long term United States dollar market, while the other may have a comparative advantage in floating rate sterling.

Arbitration

An alternative dispute resolution mechanism provided by a stock exchange for resolving disputes between the trading members and their clients in respect of trades done on the exchange.

Asian option

An option whose pay-off depends on the average value of an underlier over a specified period.

Assessment Year

Assessment Year (AY) is a period of 12 months, which starts after end of the Previous Year (PY)/ Financial Year (FY) on 31st March each year, i.e. AY commences on the 1st day of April each year and ends on next 31st March. During AY an assessee is required to file the ITR for the PY/ FY concluded before 1st April (i.e. start of AY). Further during AY the Assessing Officer is also supposed to initiate the assessment proceedings. For example, AY 2021-22 is a period of 12 months starting from 01/04/2021 and ending on 31/03/2022, wherein one is required to file ITR for PY/ FY 2020-21 and the AO has to initiate the assessment proceeding. Also refer the terms ‘Financial Year‘ and ‘Previous Year‘. Read More

Asset Allocation

The process of determining the optimal division of an investor’s portfolio among different assets. Most frequently this refers to allocations between debt, equity, and cash.

Asset allocation fund

A mutual fund that splits its investment assets among stocks, bonds, and other vehicles in an attempt to provide a consistent return for the investor.

Asset-backed securities

Securities backed by assets that are not mortgage loans. Examples include assets backed by automobile loans, credit card receivables and others.

Asset based securitization

A process that creates a series of securities which is collaterised by assets mortgaged against loans, assets leased out, trade receivables, or assets sold on hire purchase basis or installment contracts on personal property.

Asset Management

The function of managing assets on behalf of a customer, usually for a fee.

Asset Management Company

The company which handles the day to day operations and investment decisions of a unit trust.

Asset Stripper

A person who buys a company in order to make profit by peeling off its assets bit by bit, and then selling them. These assets may be separate subsidiaries or plant and equipment or property. This process invariably involves the stripping of another sort of asset (the employees) of a number of jobs. This has been largely responsible for giving asset strippers a bad name. The asset stripper relies on there being a difference in the price of the business as a whole (as valued by a stock market, for example) and the sum of the amounts that can be raised from its parts sold separately. Such a possibility arises most commonly when a company is making losses or a much smaller profit than seems to be justified by its size.

Asymmetric information

A situation where access to information by one party (or parties) to a transaction is better than access by another party (or parties). Asymmetric information can be used as a source of power in determining the outcome of the transaction.

At Best

An instruction from the client to the broker authorizing him to use his discretion so as to execute an order at the best possible market price.

At-the-Money Option

Term used to describe an option or a warrant with an exercise price equal to the current market price of the underlying asset.

Auction

When a seller is not in a position to deliver the securities he has sold, the buyer sends in his applications for buying-in, so that the securities can be bought from the market and delivered to him. This process by which the securities are procured on behalf of the defaulter is known as Auction.

Auditor

A person who is professionally qualified to examine and scrutinize accounts. He/she inspects records and reports on the profitability and financial position of the company.

Aunt Jane/ Aunt Agatha

A passive long term investor.

Authorized Assistants

Assistants or clerks of members who are authorized by them to do business on their behalf in the market. The member has to take responsibility of fulfilling all the transactions and business commitments of the authorized assistants entered into on behalf of the members.

Authorized Capital

The amount of capital that a company has been authorized to raise by way of equity and preference shares, as mentioned in the Articles of Association / Memorandum of Association of the company.

Automatic Reinvestment

A fund service giving unit holders/ shareholders the option to purchase additional units/ shares using dividend and capital gain distributions.

Average Annual Growth Rate – AAGR

The average increase in the value of a portfolio over the period of a year.

Averaging

The process of gradually buying more and more securities in a declining market (or selling in a rising market) in order to level out the purchase (or sale) price.

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