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Definition of Ask

Ask Image 1

Ask

This is the quoted ask, or the lowest price an investor will accept to sell a stock. Practically speaking, this
is the quoted offer at which an investor can buy shares of stock; also called the offer price.



Related Terms:

Ask price

A dealer's price to sell a security; also called the offer price.


Basket options

Packages that involve the exchange of more than two currencies against a base currency at
expiration. The basket option buyer purchases the right, but not the obligation, to receive designated
currencies in exchange for a base currency, either at the prevailing spot market rate or at a prearranged rate of
exchange. A basket option is generally used by multinational corporations with multicurrency cash flows
since it is generally cheaper to buy an option on a basket of currencies than to buy individual options on each
of the currencies that make up the basket.


Basket trades

Related: Program trades.


Bid-asked

spread The difference between the bid and asked prices.


Currency basket

The value of a portfolio of specific amounts of individual currencies, used as the basis for
setting the market value of another currency. It is also referred to as a currency cocktail.



Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF)

A special committee of the Financial Accounting Standards Board established to reach consensus of how to account for new and unusual financial transactions that have the potential for creating differing financial reporting practices.


Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF)

A separate committee within the Financial Accounting Standards Board composed of 13 members representing CPA firms and preparers of financial statements
whose purpose is to reach a consensus on how to account for new and unusual financial transactions
that have the potential for creating differing financial reporting practices.


Ask Image 2

Asset/liability management

Also called surplus management, the task of managing funds of a financial
institution to accomplish the two goals of a financial institution:
1) to earn an adequate return on funds invested, and
2) to maintain a comfortable surplus of assets beyond liabilities.


authority

the right (usually by virtue of position or rank) to use resources to accomplish a task or achieve an objective


Bid price

This is the quoted bid, or the highest price an investor is willing to pay to buy a security. Practically
speaking, this is the available price at which an investor can sell shares of stock. Related: ask , offer.


continuous improvement

an ongoing process of enhancing employee task performance, level of product quality, and level of company service through eliminating nonvalue-added activities to reduce lead time, making products
(performing services) with zero defects, reducing
product costs on an ongoing basis, and simplifying products
and processes


Core competency

Primary area of competence. Narrowly defined fields or tasks at which a company or
business excels. Primary areas of specialty.


Dealer

An entity that stands ready and willing to buy a security for its own account (at its bid price) or sell
from its own account (at its ask price).


Diversification

Investing so that all your eggs are not in the same basket. By spreading your investments over different kinds of investments, you cushion your portfolio against sudden swings in any one area. Segregated equity funds have become a popular and secure way for average investors to get the benefits of greater diversification.


Dividend

As the term dividend relates to a corporation's earnings, a dividend is an amount paid per share from a corporation's after tax profits. Depending on the type of share, it may or may not have the right to earn any dividends and corporations may reduce or even suspend dividend payments if they are not doing well. Some dividends are paid in the form of additional shares of the corporation. Dividends paid by Canadian corporations qualify for the dividend tax credit and are taxed at lower rates than other income.
As the term dividend relates to a life insurance policy, it means that if that policy is "participating", the policy owner is entitled to participate in an equitable distribution of the surplus earnings of the insurance company which issued the policy. Surpluses arise primarily from three sources:
1) the difference between anticipated and actual operating expenses,
2) the difference between anticipated and actual claims experience, and
3) interest earned on investments over and above the rate required to maintain policy reserves. Having regard to the source of the surplus, the "dividend" so paid can be considered, in part at least, as a refund of part of the premium paid by the policy owner.
Life insurance policy owners of participating policies usually have four and sometimes five dividend options from which to choose:
1) take the dividend in cash,
2) apply the dividend to reduce current premiums,
3) leave the dividends on deposit with the insurance company to accumulate at interest like a savings plan,
4) use the dividends to purchase paid-up whole life insurance to mature at the same time as the original policy,
5) use the dividends to purchase one year term insurance equal to the guaranteed cash value at the end of the policy year, with any portion of the dividend not required for this purpose being applied under one of the other dividend options.
NOTE: It is suggested here that if you have a participating whole life policy and at the time of purchase received a "dividend projection" of incredible future savings, ask for a current projection. Life insurance company's surpluses are not what they used to be.


efficiency

a measure of the degree to which tasks were performed
to produce the best yield at the lowest cost from
the resources available; the degree to which a satisfactory
relationship of outputs to inputs occurs


Ask Image 3

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.


Inspection Report

This is a telephone interview of the person applying for life insurance conducted by someone from the underwriting department of the insurance company. Some insurance companies only sporadically contact applicants and some contact every applicant. On average the interview lasts between 15 to 30 minutes. The questions asked relate to personal habits (like smoking and alcohol consumption) and finances, including income and net worth, confirmation of employment, duties and the nature of the applicant's business. In addition, there are questions about driving, sports, aviation and currently held insurance. All information obtained is strictly confidential and is submitted solely to the underwriter for review.



Insured Retirement Plan

This is a recently coined phrase describing the concept of using Universal Life Insurance to tax shelter earnings which can be used to generate tax-free income in retirement. The concept has been described by some as "the most effective tax-neutralization strategy that exists in Canada today."
In addition to life insurance, a Universal Life Policy includes a tax-sheltered cash value fund that cannot exceed the policy's face value. Deposits made into the policy are partially used to fund the life insurance and partially grow tax sheltered inside the policy. It should be pointed out that in order for this to work, you must make deposits into this kind of policy well in excess of the cost of the underlying insurance. Investment of the cash value inside the policy are commonly mutual fund type investments. Upon retirement, the policy owner can draw on the accumulated capital in his/her policy by using the policy as collateral for a series of demand loans at the bank. The loans are structured so the sum of money borrowed plus interest never exceeds 75% of the accumulated investment account. The loans are only repaid with the tax free death benefit at the death of the policy holder. Any remaining funds are paid out tax free to named beneficiaries.
Recognizing the value to policy holders of this use of Universal Life Insurance, insurance companies are reworking features of their products to allow the policy holder to ask to have the relationship of insurance to investment growth tracked so that investment growth inside the policy may be maximized. The only potential downside of this strategy is the possibility of the government changing the tax rules to prohibit using a life insurance product in this manner.


learning curve

a model that helps predict how labor time
will decrease as people become more experienced at performing
a task and eliminate the inefficiencies associated
with unfamiliarity


Locked market

A market is locked if the bid = ask price. This can occur, for example, if the market is
brokered and brokerage is paid by one side only, the initiator of the transaction.


Margin account (Stocks)

A leverageable account in which stocks can be purchased for a combination of
cash and a loan. The loan in the margin account is collateralized by the stock and, if the value of the stock
drops sufficiently, the owner will be asked to either put in more cash, or sell a portion of the stock. Margin
rules are federally regulated, but margin requirements and interest may vary among broker/dealers.


Market impact costs

Also called price impact costs, the result of a bid/ask spread and a dealer's price concession.


Monte-Carlo simulation

A mathematical modeling process. For a model that
has several parameters with statistical properties, pick a set of random values
for the parameters and run a simulation. Then pick another set of values, and
run it again. Run it many times (often 10,000 times) and build up a statistical
distribution of outcomes of the simulation. This distribution of outcomes is
then used to answer whatever question you are asking.


multiprocess handling

the ability of a worker to monitor
and operate several (or all) machines in a manufacturing
cell or perform all steps of a specific task


Non-Medical Limit

This is the maximum value of a policy that an insurance company will issue without the applicant taking a medical examination, although medical questions are invariably asked during the application process. When a non-medical issue is made through group insurance, in most cases, medical data is not requested at all.


Nonmarketable Security

A debt or equity security for which there is no posted price or bidand-
ask quotation available on a securities exchange or over-the-counter market.


One-way market

1) A market in which only one side, the bid or asked, is quoted or firm.
2) A market that is moving strongly in one direction.



performance evaluation

the process of determining the degree
of success in accomplishing a task; it equates to both
effectiveness and efficiency


periodic compensation

a pay plan based on the time spent on the task rather than the work accomplished


Picture

The bid and asked prices quoted by a broker for a given security.


Preferred Rates

As non-smoking rates caused a major reduction in the cost of life insurance in the early 1980's, the emergence of preferred non-smoker rates in 1998 has caused another noteworthy reduction in rates. A growing number of insurance companies are offering better rates which go beyond simply looking at gender or smoking habits. Other health related factors such as physical build, lifestyle, avocation and personal and family health history indicating longer life expectancy can add up to significant cost savings to new life insurance applicants. Make certain to ask about these new preferred rates.


Program trades

Also called basket trades, orders requiring the execution of trades in a large number of
different stocks at as near the same time as possible. Related: block trade


Real time

A real time stock or bond quote is one that states a security's most recent offer to sell or bid (buy).
A delayed quote shows the same bid and ask prices 15 minutes and sometimes 20 minutes after a trade takes place.


responsibility

the obligation to accomplish a task or achieve an objective


Run

A run consists of a series of bid and offer quotes for different securities or maturities. Dealers give to and
ask for runs from each other.


Separation property

The property that portfolio choice can be separated into two independent tasks: 1)
determination of the optimal risky portfolio, which is a purely technical problem, and 2) the personal choice
of the best mix of the risky portfolio and the risk-free asset.


service department

an organizational unit that provides one or more specific functional tasks for other internal units


Spread

1) The gap between bid and ask prices of a stock or other security.
2) The simultaneous purchase and sale of separate futures or options contracts for the same commodity for delivery in different months.
Also known as a straddle.
3) Difference between the price at which an underwriter buys an issue from a firm
and the price at which the underwriter sells it to the public.
4) The price an issuer pays above a benchmark fixed-income yield to borrow money.


Thin market

A market in which trading volume is low and in which consequently bid and asked quotes are
wide and the liquidity of the instrument traded is low.


Tight market

A tight market, as opposed to a thin market, is one in which volume is large, trading is active
and highly competitive, and spreads between bid and ask prices are narrow.


Traders

Persons who take positions in securities and their derivatives with the objective of making profits.
Traders can make markets by trading the flow. When they do that, their objective is to earn the bid/ask spread.
Traders can also be of the sort who take proprietary positions whereby they seek to profit from the directional
movement of prices or spread positions.


Trading costs

Costs of buying and selling marketable securities and borrowing. Trading costs include
commissions, slippage, and the bid/ask spread. See: transaction costs.


Two-sided market

A market in which both bid and asked prices, good for the standard unit of trading, are quoted.



 

 

 

 

 

 

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