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Definition of Convergence

Convergence Image 1


The movement of the price of a futures contract toward the price of the underlying cash
commodity. At the start, the contract price is higher because of the time value. But as the contract nears
expiration, the futures price and the cash price converge.

Related Terms:

NPV (net present value of cash flows)

Same as PV, but usually includes a subtraction for an initial cash outlay.

PV (present value of cash flows)

the value in today’s dollars of cash flows that occur in different time periods.
present value factor equal to the formula 1/(1 - r)n, where n is the number of years from the valuation date to the cash flow and r is the discount rate.
For business valuation, n should usually be midyear, i.e., n = 0.5, 1.5, . . .

Adjusted present value (APV)

The net present value analysis of an asset if financed solely by equity
(present value of un-levered cash flows), plus the present value of any financing decisions (levered cash
flows). In other words, the various tax shields provided by the deductibility of interest and the benefits of
other investment tax credits are calculated separately. This analysis is often used for highly leveraged
transactions such as a leverage buy-out.

Arm's length price

The price at which a willing buyer and a willing unrelated seller would freely agree to

Ask price

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

Bargain-purchase-price option

Gives the lessee the option to purchase the asset at a price below fair market
value when the lease expires.

Basis price

price expressed in terms of yield to maturity or annual rate of return.

Convergence Image 1

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.

Bond value

With respect to convertible bonds, the value the security would have if it were not convertible
apart from the conversion option.

Book value

A company's book value is its total assets minus intangible assets and liabilities, such as debt. A
company's book value might be more or less than its market value.

Book value per share

The ratio of stockholder equity to the average number of common shares. Book value
per share should not be thought of as an indicator of economic worth, since it reflects accounting valuation
(and not necessarily market valuation).

Break-even time

Related: Premium payback period.

Bullet contract

A guaranteed investment contract purchased with a single (one-shot) premium. Related:
Window contract.

Call price

The price, specified at issuance, at which the issuer of a bond may retire part of the bond at a
specified call date.

Call price

The price for which a bond can be repaid before maturity under a call provision.

Carrying value

Book value.

Convergence Image 2


The value of assets that can be converted into cash immediately, as reported by a company. Usually
includes bank accounts and marketable securities, such as government bonds and Banker's Acceptances. cash
equivalents on balance sheets include securities (e.g., notes) that mature within 90 days.

Cash budget

A forecasted summary of a firm's expected cash inflows and cash outflows as well as its
expected cash and loan balances.

Cash and carry

Purchase of a security and simultaneous sale of a future, with the balance being financed
with a loan or repo.

Cash and equivalents

The value of assets that can be converted into cash immediately, as reported by a
company. Usually includes bank accounts and marketable securities, such as government bonds and Banker's
Acceptances. cash equivalents on balance sheets include securities (e.g., notes) that mature within 90 days.

Cash commodity

The actual physical commodity, as distinguished from a futures contract.

Cash conversion cycle

The length of time between a firm's purchase of inventory and the receipt of cash
from accounts receivable.

Cash cow

A company that pays out all earnings per share to stockholders as dividends. Or, a company or
division of a company that generates a steady and significant amount of free cash flow.

Cash cycle

In general, the time between cash disbursement and cash collection. In net working capital
management, it can be thought of as the operating cycle less the accounts payable payment period.

Cash deficiency agreement

An agreement to invest cash in a project to the extent required to cover any cash
deficiency the project may experience.

Cash delivery

The provision of some futures contracts that requires not delivery of underlying assets but
settlement according to the cash value of the asset.

Cash discount

An incentive offered to purchasers of a firm's product for payment within a specified time
period, such as ten days.

Convergence Image 3

Cash dividend

A dividend paid in cash to a company's shareholders. The amount is normally based on
profitability and is taxable as income. A cash distribution may include capital gains and return of capital in
addition to the dividend.

Cash equivalent

A short-term security that is sufficiently liquid that it may be considered the financial
equivalent of cash.

Cash flow

In investments, it represents earnings before depreciation , amortization and non-cash charges.
Sometimes called cash earnings. cash flow from operations (called funds from operations ) by real estate and
other investment trusts is important because it indicates the ability to pay dividends.

Cash flow after interest and taxes

Net income plus depreciation.

Cash flow coverage ratio

The number of times that financial obligations (for interest, principal payments,
preferred stock dividends, and rental payments) are covered by earnings before interest, taxes, rental
payments, and depreciation.

Cash flow from operations

A firm's net cash inflow resulting directly from its regular operations
(disregarding extraordinary items such as the sale of fixed assets or transaction costs associated with issuing
securities), calculated as the sum of net income plus non-cash expenses that were deducted in calculating net

Cash flow matching

Also called dedicating a portfolio, this is an alternative to multiperiod immunization in
which the manager matches the maturity of each element in the liability stream, working backward from the
last liability to assure all required cash flows.

Cash flow per common share

cash flow from operations minus preferred stock dividends, divided by the
number of common shares outstanding.

Cash flow time-line

Line depicting the operating activities and cash flows for a firm over a particular period.

Cash-flow break-even point

The point below which the firm will need either to obtain additional financing
or to liquidate some of its assets to meet its fixed costs.

Cash management bill

Very short maturity bills that the Treasury occasionally sells because its cash
balances are down and it needs money for a few days.

Cash markets

Also called spot markets, these are markets that involve the immediate delivery of a security
or instrument.
Related: derivative markets.

Cash offer

A public equity issue that is sold to all interested investors.

Cash ratio

The proportion of a firm's assets held as cash.

Cash settlement contracts

futures contracts, such as stock index futures, that settle for cash, not involving
the delivery of the underlying.

Cash transaction

A transaction where exchange is immediate, as contrasted to a forward contract, which
calls for future delivery of an asset at an agreed-upon price.

Cash-equivalent items

Temporary investments of currently excess cash in short-term, high-quality
investment media such as treasury bills and Banker's Acceptances.

Cash-surrender value

An amount the insurance company will pay if the policyholder ends a whole life
insurance policy.


Refers to a situation where a firm runs out of cash and cannot readily sell marketable securities.

Clean price

Bond price excluding accrued interest.


A commodity is food, metal, or another physical substance that investors buy or sell, usually via
futures contracts.

Conditional sales contracts

Similar to equipment trust certificates except that the lender is either the
equipment manufacturer or a bank or finance company to whom the manufacturer has sold the conditional
sales contract.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

The CPI, as it is called, measures the prices of consumer goods and services and is a
measure of the pace of U.S. inflation. The U.S.Department of Labor publishes the CPI very month.


A term of reference describing a unit of trading for a financial or commodity future. Also, the actual
bilateral agreement between the buyer and seller of a transaction as defined by an exchange.

Contract month

The month in which futures contracts may be satisfied by making or accepting a delivery.
Also called value managers, those who assemble portfolios with relatively lower betas, lower price-book and
P/E ratios and higher dividend yields, seeing value where others do not.

Conversion parity price

Related:Market conversion price

Convertible price

The contractually specified price per share at which a convertible security can be
converted into shares of common stock.

Conversion value

Also called parity value, the value of a convertible security if it is converted immediately.

Deferred futures

The most distant months of a futures contract. A bond that sells at a discount and does not
pay interest for an initial period, typically from three to seven years. Compare step-up bond and payment-inkind

Delivery price

The price fixed by the Clearing house at which deliveries on futures are in invoiced; also the
price at which the futures contract is settled when deliveries are made.

Devaluation A decrease in the spot price of the currency

Dirty price

Bond price including accrued interest, i.e., the price paid by the bond buyer.

Discounted cash flow (DCF)

Future cash flows multiplied by discount factors to obtain present values.

Discretionary cash flow

cash flow that is available after the funding of all positive NPV capital investment
projects; it is available for paying cash dividends, repurchasing common stock, retiring debt, and so on.

Dollar price of a bond

Percentage of face value at which a bond is quoted.

Effective call price

The strike price in an optional redemption provision plus the accrued interest to the
redemption date.

Equilibrium market price of risk

The slope of the capital market line (CML). Since the CML represents the
return offered to compensate for a perceived level of risk, each point on the line is a balanced market
condition, or equilibrium. The slope of the line determines the additional return needed to compensate for a
unit change in risk.

Equivalent annual cash flow

Annuity with the same net present value as the company's proposed investment.

Exercise price

The price at which the underlying future or options contract may be bought or sold.

Exercise value

The amount of advantage over a current market transaction provided by an in-the-money

Expected future cash flows

Projected future cash flows associated with an asset of decision.

Expected value

The weighted average of a probability distribution.

Expected value of perfect information

The expected value if the future uncertain outcomes could be known
minus the expected value with no additional information.


The time when the option contract ceases to exist (expires).

Expiration cycle

An expiration cycle relates to the dates on which options on a particular security expire. A
given option will be placed in 1 of 3 cycles, the January cycle, the February cycle, or the March cycle. At any
point in time, an option will have contracts with 4 expiration dates outstanding, 2 in near-term months and 2
in far-term months.

Expiration date

The last day (in the case of American-style) or the only day (in the case of European-style)
on which an option may be exercised. For stock options, this date is the Saturday immediately following the
3rd Friday of the expiration month; however, brokerage firms may set an earlier deadline for notification of
an option holder's intention to exercise. If Friday is a holiday, the last trading day will be the preceding

Extraordinary positive value

A positive net present value.

Face value

See: Par value.

Fair market price

Amount at which an asset would change hands between two parties, both having
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.

Fair price provision

See:appraisal rights.

Firm's net value of debt

Total firm value minus total firm debt.

Fixed price basis

An offering of securities at a fixed price.

Fixed-price tender offer

A one-time offer to purchase a stated number of shares at a stated fixed price,
usually a premium to the current market price.

Flat price risk

Taking a position either long or short that does not involve spreading.

Flat price (also clean price)

The quoted newspaper price of a bond that does not include accrued interest.
The price paid by purchaser is the full price.

Floating-rate contract

A guaranteed investment contract where the credit rating is tied to some variable
("floating") interest rate benchmark, such as a specific-maturity Treasury yield.

Forward contract

A cash market transaction in which delivery of the commodity is deferred until after the
contract has been made. It is not standardized and is not traded on organized exchanges. Although the
delivery is made in the future, the price is determined at the initial trade date.

Forward forward contract

In Eurocurrencies, a contract under which a deposit of fixed maturity is agreed to
at a fixed price for future delivery.

Free cash flows

cash not required for operations or for reinvestment. Often defined as earnings before
interest (often obtained from operating income line on the income statement) less capital expenditures less the
change in working capital.

Full price

Also called dirty price, the price of a bond including accrued interest. Related: flat price.

Future value

The amount of cash at a specified date in the future that is equivalent in value to a specified
sum today.


A term used to designate all contracts covering the sale of financial instruments or physical
commodities for future delivery on a commodity exchange.

Futures commission merchant

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 margin any resulting trades
or contracts. The FCM must be licensed by the CFTC. Related: commission house , omnibus account

Futures contract

Agreement to buy or sell a set number of shares of a specific stock in a designated future
month at a price agreed upon by the buyer and seller. The contracts themselves are often traded on the futures
market. A futures contract differs from an option because an option is the right to buy or sell, whereas a
futures contract is the promise to actually make a transaction. 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 in which contracts for future delivery of a commodity or a security are bought or sold.

Futures option

An option on a futures contract. Related: options on physicals.

Futures price

The price at which the parties to a futures contract agree to transact on the settlement date.

General cash offer

A public offering made to investors at large.

Guaranteed insurance contract

A contract promising a stated nominal interest rate over some specific time
period, usually several years.

Guaranteed investment contract (GIC)

A pure investment product in which a life company agrees, for a
single premium, to pay the principal amount of a predetermined annual crediting (interest) rate over the life of
the investment, all of which is paid at the maturity date.







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