Definition of Asymmetry
A lack of equivalence between two things, such as the unequal tax treatment of interest expense
and dividend payments.
A situation involving information that is known to some, but not all, participants.
bits of knowledge or fact that have been carefully
chosen from a body of data and arranged in a meaningful way
information that is known to some people but not to other people.
The expected value if the future uncertain outcomes could be known
minus the expected value with no additional information.
The correlation between predicted and actual stock returns, sometimes used to
measure the value of a financial analyst. An IC of 1.0 indicates a perfect linear relationship between predicted
and actual returns, while an IC of 0.0 indicates no linear relationship.
Transaction costs that include the assessment of the investment merits of a financial asset.
Related: search costs.
Organizations that furnish investment and other types of information, such as
information that helps a firm monitor its cash position.
The rise in the stock price following the dividend signal.
The speed and accuracy with which prices reflect new information.
Trades that are the result of either a reallocation of wealth or an implementation of an
investment strategy that only utilizes existing information.
Trades in which an investor believes he or she possesses pertinent
information not currently reflected in the stock's price.
Relevant information about a company that has not yet been made public. It is illegal for
holders of this information to make trades based on it, however received.
a structure of interrelated elements that collects, organizes, and communicates
data to managers so they may plan, control, evaluate
performance, and make decisions; the emphasis of the
MIS is on internal demands for information rather than external
demands; some or all of the MIS may be computerized
for ease of access to information, reliability of input
and processing, and ability to simulate outcomes of
Dividend increases send good news about cash flow and earnings. Dividend cuts send bad news.
This organization was established in 1902. The Medical information Bureau (M.I.B.) is a non-profit association of life insurance companies. Its purpose is to detect and deter fraud by providing warnings called, alerts, to member companies. For example, if an insurance applicant advised one insurance company of a heart attack and then applied to another insurance company omitting this history, codes, reported by the first insurance company, indicating a heart attack would alert the second insurance company to the undisclosed history. It is a rarity, however, that the alert is the only notice of a specific medical impairement as most applicants completely disclose their history.
Future-Oriented Financial Information
information about prospective results of operations, financial position and/or changes in financial position, based on assumptions about future economic conditions and courses of action. Future-oriented financial information is presented as either a forecast or a projection.
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. Related: passive portfolio strategy
American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)
Certificates issued by a U.S. depositary bank, representing foreign
shares held by the bank, usually by a branch or correspondent in the country of issue. One ADR may
represent a portion of a foreign share, one share or a bundle of shares of a foreign corporation. If the ADR's
are "sponsored," the corporation provides financial information and other assistance to the bank and may
subsidize the administration of the ADRs. "Unsponsored" ADRs do not receive such assistance. ADRs carry
the same currency, political and economic risks as the underlying foreign share; the prices of the two, adjusted for the SDR/ordinary ratio, are kept essentially identical by arbitrage. American depositary shares(ADSs) are
a similar form of certification.
Capital market imperfections view
The view that issuing debt is generally valuable but that the firm's
optimal choice of capital structure is a dynamic process that involves the other views of capital structure (net
corporate/personal tax, agency cost, bankruptcy cost, and pecking order), which result from considerations of
asymmetric information, asymmetric taxes, and transaction costs.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)
A not-for-profit corporation owned by its members. Its primary
functions are to provide a location for trading futures and options, collect and disseminate market information,
maintain a clearing mechanism and enforce trading rules.
Communication barrier between financiers (investment bankers) and traders. This barrier is
erected to prevent the sharing of inside information that bankers are likely to have.
The representing of accounting information over multiple years as percentages
of amounts in an initial year.
Common-size analysis The representing of balance sheet items as percentages of assets and of income
statement items as percentages of sales.
A signal that provides accurate information; a signal that can be distinguish among senders.
The process of analyzing information on companies and bond issues in order to estimate the
ability of the issuer to live up to its future contractual obligations. Related: default risk
The use of general fact to provide accurate information about a specific situation.
The practice of reporting conflicting or markedly different information in official
corporate statements including annual and quarterly reports and the 10-Ks and 10-Qs.
Efficient capital market
A market in which new information is very quickly reflected accurately in share
Efficient Market Hypothesis
In general the hypothesis states that all relevant information is fully and
immediately reflected in a security's market price thereby assuming that an investor will obtain an equilibrium
rate of return. In other words, an investor should not expect to earn an abnormal return (above the market
return) through either technical analysis or fundamental analysis. Three forms of efficient market hypothesis
exist: weak form (stock prices reflect all information of past prices), semi-strong form (stock prices reflect all
publicly available information) and strong form (stock prices reflect all relevant information including insider
Electronic data interchange (EDI)
The exchange of information electronically, directly from one firm's
computer to another firm's computer, in a structured format.
A statistical study that examines how the release of information affects prices at a particular time.
The percentage of the assets that were spent to run a mutual fund (as of the last annual
statement). This includes expenses such as management and advisory fees, overhead costs and 12b-1
(distribution and advertising ) fees. The expense ratio does not include brokerage costs for trading the
portfolio, although these are reported as a percentage of assets to the SEC by the funds in a Statement of
Additional information (SAI). the SAI is available to shareholders on request. Neither the expense ratio or the
SAI includes the transaction costs of spreads, normally incurred in unlisted securities and foreign stocks.
These two costs can add significantly to the reported expenses of a fund. The expense ratio is often termed an
Operating Expense Ratio (OER).
The requirement that all pool information, as specified under the PSA Uniform Practices, in a
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.
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.
The "stickiness" in making transactions; the total hassle including time, effort, money, and tax
effects of gathering information and making a transaction such as buying a stock or borrowing money.
The attempt to use information about a specific situation to draw a conclusion.
Trading by officers, directors, major stockholders, or others who hold private inside
information allowing them to benefit from buying or selling stock.
These are directors and senior officers of a corporation -- in effect those who have access to inside
information about a company. An insider also is someone who owns more than 10% of the voting shares of a
Release of information to some persons before official public announcement.
In accounting information, one year or greater.
Marketplace price efficiency
The degree to which the prices of assets reflect the available marketplace
information. Marketplace price efficiency is sometimes estimated as the difficulty faced by active
management of earning a greater return than passive management would, after adjusting for the risk
associated with a strategy and the transactions costs associated with implementing a strategy.
To seek information about an agent's behavior; a device that provides such information.
Notes to the financial statements
A detailed set of notes immediately following the financial statements in
an annual report that explain and expand on the information in the financial statements.
The method of trading used at futures exchanges, typically involving calling out the specific
details of a buy or sell order, so that the information is available to all traders.
Passive portfolio strategy
A strategy that involves minimal expectational input, and instead relies on
diversification to match the performance of some market index. A passive strategy assumes that the
marketplace will reflect all available information in the price paid for securities, and therefore, does not
attempt to find mispriced securities. Related: active portfolio strategy
Perfectly competitive financial markets
Markets in which no trader has the power to change the price of
goods or services. Perfect capital markets are characterized by the following conditions: 1) trading is costless,
and access to the financial markets is free, 2) information about borrowing and lending opportunities is freely
available, 3) there are many traders, and no single trader can have a significant impact on market prices.
The market has already incorporated information, such as a low dividend, into the price of a stock.
Also called external efficiency, a market characteristic where prices at all times fully
reflect all available information that is relevant to the valuation of securities.
Formal written document to sell securities that describes the plan for a proposed business
enterprise, or the facts concerning an existing one, that an investor needs to make an informed decision.
Prospectuses are used by mutual funds to describe the fund objectives, risks and other essential information.
Document intended to provide shareholders with information necessary to vote in an informed manner
on matters to be brought up at a stockholders' meeting. Includes information on closely held shares.
Shareholders can and often do give management their proxy, representing the right and responsibility to vote
their shares as specified in the proxy statement.
Indicator of a company's financial strength (or weakness). Calculated by taking current assets
less inventories, divided by current liabilities. This ratio provides information regarding the firm's liquidity
and ability to meet its obligations. Also called the Acid Test ratio.
A strategy of introducing into the decision-making process a random element that is
designed to reduce the information content of the decision-maker's observed choices.
A preliminary prospectus containing information required by the SEC. It excludes the offering
price and the coupon of the new issue.
Costs associated with locating a counterparty to a trade, including explicit costs (such as
advertising) and implicit costs (such as the value of time). Related:information costs.
Semi-strong form efficiency
A form of pricing efficiency where the price of the security fully reflects all
public information (including, but not limited to, historical price and trading patterns). Compare weak form
efficiency and strong form efficiency.
The process of conveying information through a firm's actions.
Approach to the determination of the optimal capital structure asserting that insiders in a
firm have information that the market does not have; therefore, the choice of capital structure by insiders can
signal information to outsiders and change the value of the firm. This theory is also called the asymmetric
Pricing efficiency, where the price of a, security reflects all information, whether or
not it is publicly available. Related: Weak form efficiency, semi strong form efficiency
Subject to opinion
An auditor's opinion reflecting acceptance of a company's financial statements subject to
pervasive uncertainty that cannot be adequately measured, such as information relating to the value of
inventories, reserves for losses, or other matters subject to judgment.
The time, effort, and money necessary, including such things as commission fees and the
cost of physically moving the asset from seller to buyer. Related: Round-trip transaction costs, information
costs, search costs.
An accounting statement that summarizes information about a company in the following format:
â€“ Cost of goods sold
â€“ Operating expenses
Earnings before income tax
â€“ Income tax
= Net income or (Net loss)
Formally called a â€śconsolidated earnings statement,â€ť it covers a period of time such as a quarter or a year.
The production of financial and non-financial information used in planning for the future; making decisions about products, services, prices and what costs to incur; and ensuring that plans are implemented and achieved.
A method of relating numbers from the various financial statements to one another in order to get meaningful information for comparison.
A broad, all-inclusive term that refers to the methods and procedures
of financial record keeping by a business (or any entity); it also
refers to the main functions and purposes of record keeping, which are
to assist in the operations of the entity, to provide necessary information
to managers for making decisions and exercising control, to measure
profit, to comply with income and other tax laws, and to prepare financial
accounts receivable turnover ratio
A ratio computed by dividing annual
sales revenue by the year-end balance of accounts receivable. Technically
speaking, to calculate this ratio the amount of annual credit sales should
be divided by the average accounts receivable balance, but this information
is not readily available from external financial statements. For
reporting internally to managers, this ratio should be refined and finetuned
to be as accurate as possible.
capital investment analysis
Refers to various techniques and procedures
used to determine or to analyze future returns from an investment
of capital in order to evaluate the capital recovery pattern and the
periodic earnings from the investment. The two basic tools for capital
investment analysis are (1) spreadsheet models (which I strongly prefer)
and (2) mathematical equations for calculating the present value or
internal rate of return of an investment. Mathematical methods suffer
from a lack of information that the decision maker ought to consider. A
spreadsheet model supplies all the needed information and has other
advantages as well.
Refers to recouping, or regaining, invested capital over
the life of an investment. The pattern of period-by-period capital recovery
is very important. In brief, capital recovery is the return of capitalâ€”
not the return on capital, which refers to the rate of earnings on the
amount of capital invested during the period. The returns from an
investment have to be sufficient to provide for both recovery of capital
and an adequate rate of earnings on unrecovered capital period by
period. Sorting out how much capital is recovered each period is relatively
easy if you use a spreadsheet model for capital investment analysis.
In contrast, using a mathematical method of analysis does not
provide this period-by-period capital recovery information, which is a
statement of cash flows
One of the three primary financial statements
that a business includes in the periodic financial reports to its outside
shareowners and lenders. This financial statement summarizes the businessâ€™s
cash inflows and outflows for the period according to a threefold
classification: (1) cash flow from operating activities (cash flow from
profit), (2) cash flow from investing activities, and (3) cash flow from
financing activities. Frankly, the typical statement of cash flows is difficult
to read and decipher; it includes too many lines of information and
is fairly technical compared with the typical balance sheet and income
financial reports and statements
Financial means having to do with
money and economic wealth. Statement means a formal presentation.
Financial reports are printed and a copy is sent to each owner and each
major lender of the business. Most public corporations make their financial
reports available on a web site, so all or part of the financial report
can be downloaded by anyone. Businesses prepare three primary financial
statements: the statement of financial condition, or balance sheet;
the statement of cash flows; and the income statement. These three key
financial statements constitute the core of the periodic financial reports
that are distributed outside a business to its shareowners and lenders.
Financial reports also include footnotes to the financial statements and
much other information. Financial statements are prepared according to
generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), which are the authoritative
rules that govern the measurement of net income and the reporting
of profit-making activities, financial condition, and cash flows.
Internal financial statements, although based on the same profit
accounting methods, report more information to managers for decision
making and control. Sometimes, financial statements are called simply
Financial statement that summarizes sales revenue
and expenses for a period and reports one or more profit lines for the
period. Itâ€™s one of the three primary financial statements of a business.
The bottom-line profit figure is labeled net income or net earnings by
most businesses. Externally reported income statements disclose less
information than do internal management profit reportsâ€”but both are
based on the same profit accounting principles and methods. Keep in
mind that profit is not known until accountants complete the recording
of sales revenue and expenses for the period (as well as determining any
extraordinary gains and losses that should be recorded in the period).
Profit measurement depends on the reliability of a businessâ€™s accounting
system and the choices of accounting methods by the business. Caution:
A business may engage in certain manipulations of its accounting methods,
and managers may intervene in the normal course of operations for
the purpose of improving the amount of profit recorded in the period,
which is called earnings management, income smoothing, cooking the
books, and other pejorative terms.
This is difficult to define in a few wordsâ€”indeed, an
entire chapter is devoted to the topic (Chapter 17). The essence of management
control is â€śkeeping a close watch on everything.â€ť Anything can
go wrong and get out of control. Management control can be thought of
as the follow-through on decisions to ensure that the actual outcomes
happen according to purposes and goals of the management decisions
that set things in motion. Managers depend on feedback control reports
that contain very detailed information. The level of detail and range of
information in these control reports is very different from the summarylevel
information reported in external income statements.
activity-based costing (ABC)
a process using multiple cost drivers to predict and allocate costs to products and services;
an accounting system collecting financial and operational
data on the basis of the underlying nature and extent
of business activities; an accounting information and
costing system that identifies the various activities performed
in an organization, collects costs on the basis of
the underlying nature and extent of those activities, and
assigns costs to products and services based on consumption
of those activities by the products and services
bill of materials
a document that contains information about
the product materials components and their specifications
(including quality and quantities needed)
a detailed set of documents that provides information
and guidelines about the budgetary process
business intelligence (BI) system
a formal process for gathering and analyzing information and producing intelligence to meet decision making needs; requires information about
internal processes as well as knowledge, technologies, and competitors
business process reengineering (BPR)
the process of combining information technology to create new and more effective
business processes to lower costs, eliminate unnecessary
work, upgrade customer service, and increase
speed to market
computer integrated manufacturing (CIM)
the integration of two or more flexible manufacturing systems through the use of a host computer and an information networking system
cost-benefit analysis the analytical process of comparing the
relative costs and benefits that result from a specific course
of action (such as providing information or investing in a
cost of production report
a process costing document that
details all operating and cost information, shows the computation
of cost per equivalent unit, and indicates cost assignment
to goods produced during the period
a database providing information about the impact
on product costs of using different input resources,
manufacturing processes, and design specifications
electronic data interchange (EDI)
the computer-to-computer transfer of information in virtual real time using standardized formats developed by the American National Standards Institute
enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
a packaged software program that allows a company to
(1) automate and integrate the majority of its business processes,
(2) share common data and practices across the entire enterprise, and
(3) produce and access information in a realtime environment
an economy characterized by the international
trade of goods and services, the international movement
of labor, and the international flows of capital and information
the intangible assets of skill, knowledge,
and information that exist in an organization; it encompasses
human, structural, and relationship capital
a mechanism for sharing information and delivering data from corporate databases to the local-area network (LAN) desktops
job order cost sheet
a source document that provides virtually
all the financial information about a particular job;
the set of all job order cost sheets for uncompleted jobs
composes the Work in Process Inventory subsidiary ledger
a discipline that includes almost
all manipulations of financial information for use by managers
in performing their organizational functions and in
assuring the proper use and handling of an entityâ€™s resources;
it includes the discipline of cost accounting
management control system (MCS)
an information system that helps managers gather information about actual organizational occurrences, make comparisons against plans,
effect changes when they are necessary, and communicate
among appropriate parties; it should serve to guide organizations
in designing and implementing strategies so that
organizational goals and objectives are achieved
materials requirements planning (MRP)
a computerbased information system that simulates the ordering and
scheduling of demand-dependent inventories; a simulation
of the parts fabrication and subassembly activities that are
required, in an appropriate time sequence, to meet a production
a philosophy about increasing a firmâ€™s performance by involving all workers and by ensuring
that all workers have access to operational and financial
information necessary to achieve performance improvements
the process of gathering information
on the actual results of a capital project and comparing
them to the expected results
responsibility accounting system
an accounting information system for successively higher-level managers about the performance of segments or subunits under the control
of each specific manager
strategic resource management
organizational planning for the deployment of resources to create value for customers and shareholders; key varibles in the process include the management of information and the management of change in response to threats and opportunities
A quantitative analyst; someone who does numerical analysis of
financial information in order to detect relationships, disparities, or patterns
that can lead to making money.
Additional information attached to a companyâ€™s financial statements, usually
as explanation for activities whose related transactions have influenced the
Statement of retained earnings
An adjunct to the balance sheet, providing more detailed information about the beginning balance, changes, and ending balance in
the retained earnings account during the reporting period.
efficient capital markets
Financial markets in which security prices rapidly reflect all relevant information about asset values.
Analysts who attempt to find under- or overvalued securities by analyzing fundamental information, such as earnings, asset values, and business prospects.
Formal summary that provides information on an issue of securities.
Market prices reflect all publicly available information.
Market prices rapidly reflect all information that could in principle be used to determine true value.
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