Financial Terms
Interest-only strip (IO)

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Definition of Interest-only strip (IO)

Interest-only Strip (IO) Image 1

Interest-only strip (IO)

A security based solely on the interest payments form a pool of mortgages, Treasury
bonds, or other bonds. Once the principal on the mortgages or bonds has been repaid, interest payments stop
and the value of the io falls to zero.

Related Terms:

"Soft" Capital Rationing

Capital rationing that under certain circumstances can be violated or even viewed
as made up of targets rather than absolute constraints.

Abandonment option

The option of terminating an investment earlier than originally planned.

ABC inventory classification

A method for dividing inventory into classifications,
either by transaction volume or cost. Typically, category A includes that 20% of
inventory involving 60% of all costs or transactions, while category B includes
the next 20% of inventory involving 20% of all costs or transactions, and category
C includes the remaining 60% of inventory involving 20% of all costs or

Absolute priority

Rule in bankruptcy proceedings whereby senior creditors are required to be paid in full
before junior creditors receive any payment.

Absorption costing

A method of costing in which all fixed and variable production costs are charged to products or services using an allocation base.

absorption costing

a cost accumulation and reporting
method that treats the costs of all manufacturing components
(direct material, direct labor, variable overhead, and
fixed overhead) as inventoriable or product costs; it is the
traditional approach to product costing; it must be used for
external financial statements and tax returns

Absorption costing

A methodology under which all manufacturing costs are assigned
to products, while all non-manufacturing costs are expensed in the current period.

Interest-only Strip (IO) Image 2

Accelerated depreciation

Any depreciation method that produces larger deductions for depreciation in the
early years of a project's life. Accelerated cost recovery system (ACRS), which is a depreciation schedule
allowed for tax purposes, is one such example.

accelerated depreciation

(1) The estimated useful life of the fixed asset being depreciated is
shorter than a realistic forecast of its probable actual service life;
(2) more of the total cost of the fixed asset is allocated to the first
half of its useful life than to the second half (i.e., there is a
front-end loading of depreciation expense).

Accelerated depreciation

Any of several methods that recognize an increased amount
of depreciation in the earliest years of asset usage. This results in increased tax benefits
in the first few years of asset usage.

Acceleration Clause

Clause causing repayment of a debt, if specified events occur or are not met.

Accelerationist Hypothesis

Belief that an effort to keep unemployment below its natural rate results in an accelerating inflation.

Accounting equation

The representation of the double-entry system of accounting such that assets are equal to liabilities plus capital.

Accounting equation

The formula Assets = Liabilities + Equity.

accounting equation

An equation that reflects the two-sided nature of a
business entity, assets on the one side and the sources of assets on the
other side (assets = liabilities + owners’ equity). The assets of a business
entity are subject to two types of claims that arise from its two basic
sources of capital—liabilities and owners’ equity. The accounting equation
is the foundation for double-entry bookkeeping, which uses a
scheme for recording changes in these basic types of accounts as either
debits or credits such that the total of accounts with debit balances
equals the total of accounts with credit balances. The accounting equation
also serves as the framework for the statement of financial condition,
or balance sheet, which is one of the three fundamental financial
statements reported by a business.

Accounting period

The period of time for which financial statements are produced – see also financial year.

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.


an increase in units or volume caused by the addition
of material or by factors inherent in the production process

Accretion (of a discount)

In portfolio accounting, a straight-line accumulation of capital gains on discount
bond in anticipation of receipt of par at maturity.

Accrued interest

The accumulated coupon interest earned but not yet paid to the seller of a bond by the
buyer (unless the bond is in default).

Accrued Interest

The amount of interest accumulated on a debt security between
interest paying dates

Accrued Interest

The amount of interest owing but not paid.

Accumulated Benefit Obligation (ABO)

An approximate measure of the liability of a plan in the event of a
termination at the date the calculation is performed. Related: projected benefit obligation.

Accumulated depreciation

A contra-fixed asset account representing the portion of the cost of a fixed asset that has been previously charged to expense. Each fixed asset account will have its own associated accumulated depreciation account.

accumulated depreciation

A contra, or offset, account that is coupled
with the property, plant, and equipment asset account in which the original
costs of the long-term operating assets of a business are recorded.
The accumulated depreciation contra account accumulates the amount of
depreciation expense that is recorded period by period. So the balance in
this account is the cumulative amount of depreciation that has been
recorded since the assets were acquired. The balance in the accumulated
depreciation account is deducted from the original cost of the assets
recorded in the property, plant, and equipment asset account. The
remainder, called the book value of the assets, is the amount included on
the asset side of a business.

Accumulated depreciation

The sum total of all deprecation expense recognized to date
on a depreciable fixed asset.

Accumulation bin

A location in which components destined for the shop floor are
accumulated before delivery.

Acid-test ratio

Also called the quick ratio, the ratio of current assets minus inventories, accruals, and prepaid
items to current liabilities.


A ratio that shows how well a company could pay its current debts using only its most liquid or “quick” assets. It’s a more pessimistic—but also realistic—measure of safety than the current ratio, because it ignores sluggish, hard-toliquidate current assets like inventory and notes receivable. Here’s the formula:
(Cash + Accounts receivable + Marketable securities) / (Current liabilities)

Acid-test Ratio

See quick ratio

acid test ratio (also called the quick ratio)

The sum of cash, accounts receivable, and short-term marketable
investments (if any) is divided by
total current liabilities to compute this ratio. Suppose that the short-term
creditors were to pounce on a business and not agree to roll over the
debts owed to them by the business. In this rather extreme scenario, the
acid test ratio reveals whether its cash and near-cash assets are enough
to pay its short-term current liabilities. This ratio is an extreme test that
is not likely to be imposed on a business unless it is in financial straits.
This ratio is quite relevant when a business is in a liquidation situation
or bankruptcy proceedings.


Takeover of a firm by purchase of that firm’s common
stock or assets.

Acquisition of assets

A merger or consolidation in which an acquirer purchases the selling firm's assets.

Acquisition of stock

A merger or consolidation in which an acquirer purchases the acquiree's stock.

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

Additional hedge

A protection against borrower fallout risk in the mortgage pipeline.

Additional paid-in capital

Amounts in excess of the par value or stated value that have been paid by the public to acquire stock in the company; synonymous with capital in excess of par.

Additional paid-in capital

Any payment received from investors for stock that exceeds
the par value of the stock.

additional paid-in capital

Difference between issue price and par value of stock. Also called capital surplus.

Adjusted Cash Flow Provided by Continuing Operations

Cash flow provided by operating
activities adjusted to provide a more recurring, sustainable measure. Adjustments to reported cash
provided by operating activities are made to remove such nonrecurring cash items as: the operating
component of discontinued operations, income taxes on items classified as investing or financing activities, income tax benefits from nonqualified employee stock options, the cash effects of purchases and sales of trading securities for nonfinancial firms, capitalized expenditures, and other nonrecurring cash inflows and outflows.

Adverse selection

A situation in which market participation is a negative signal.

Aggregate Production Function

An equation determining aggregate output as a function of aggregate inputs such as labor and capital.


Process in corporate financial planning whereby the smaller investment proposals of each of the
firm's operational units are added up and in effect treated as a big picture.

Aggressive Capitalization Policies

Capitalizing and reporting as assets significant portions of
expenditures, the realization of which require unduly optimistic assumptions.

Aggressive Cost Capitalization

Cost capitalization that stretches the flexibility within generally
accepted accounting principles beyond its intended limits, resulting in reporting as assets
items that more reasonably should have been expensed. The purpose of this activity is likely to
alter financial results and financial position in order to create a potentially misleading impression
of a firm's business performance or financial position.


the systematic assignment of an amount to a recipient
set of categories annuity a series of equal cash flows (either positive or negative) per period


The process of storing costs in one account and shifting them to other
accounts, based on some relevant measure of activity.

Allocation base A measure of activity or volume such as labour

hours, machine hours or volume of production
used to apportion overheads to products and

Alpha equation

The alpha of a fund is determined as follows:
[ (sum of y) -((b)(sum of x)) ] / n
n =number of observations (36 months)
b = beta of the fund
x = rate of return for the S&P 500
y = rate of return for the fund

American option

An option that may be exercised at any time up to and including the expiration date.
Related: European option

American option

An option that can be exercised any time until its
expiration date. Contrast with European option.

American-style option

An option contract that can be exercised at any time between the date of purchase and
the expiration date. Most exchange-traded options are American style.


The repayment of a loan by installments.


See depreciation, but usually in relation to assets attached to leased property.


This term has two quite different meanings. First, it may
refer to the allocation to expense each period of the total cost of an
intangible asset (such as the cost of a patent purchased from the inventor)
over its useful economic life. In this sense amortization is equivalent
to depreciation, which allocates the cost of a tangible long-term operating
asset (such as a machine) over its useful economic life. Second, amortization
may refer to the gradual paydown of the principal amount of a debt.
Principal refers to the amount borrowed that has to be paid back to the
lender as opposed to interest that has to be paid for use of the principal.
Each period, a business may pay interest and also make a payment on
the principal of the loan, which reduces the principal amount of the loan,
of course. In this situation the loan is amortized, or gradually paid down.


Reduction in value of an asset over some period for accounting
purposes. Generally used with intangible assets. Depreciation is the term used
with fixed or tangible assets.


The write-off of an asset over the period when the asset is used. This term
is most commonly applied to the gradual write-down of intangible items, such as
goodwill or organizational costs.


The systematic and rational allocation of capitalized costs over their useful lives.
Refer also to depreciation and depletion.


The reduction of debt by regular payments of interest and principal sufficient to pay off a loan by maturity.


The repayment of a loan by installments.

Amortization (Credit Insurance)

Refers to the reduction of debt by regular payments of interest and principal in order to pay off a loan by maturity.

Amortization factor

The pool factor implied by the scheduled amortization assuming no prepayemts.

Amortization Schedule

A schedule that shows precisely how a loan will be repaid. The schedule gives the required payment on each specific date and shows how much of it constitutes interest and how much constitutes repayments of principal.

Amortizing interest rate swap

Swap in which the principal or national amount rises (falls) as interest rates
rise (decline).

Annualized holding period return

The annual rate of return that when compounded t times, would have
given the same t-period holding return as actually occurred from period 1 to period t.

Annuity Period

The time between each payment under an annuity.


Arrangements whereby customers who pay before the final date may be entitled to deduct a
normal rate of interest.

Antidilution Provisions

A clause in a shareholders agreement preventing a company from issuing additional shares, without allowing the current shareholders the opportunity to participate in the offering to avoid dilution of their percentage ownership.

Antifraud Provisions

Specific sections and rules of the 1933 Act and 1934 Act that are
designed to reduce fraud and deceit in financial filings made with the SEC. The antifraud provisions
are Section 17(a) of the 1933 Act and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the 1934 Act.


A signed statement of facts made by a person applying for life insurance and then used by the insurance company to decide whether or not to issue a policy. The application becomes part of the insurance contract when the policy is issued.

Appraisal ratio

The signal-to-noise ratio of an analyst's forecasts. The ratio of alpha to residual standard


An increase in the perceived or actual value of an asset.


Increase in the value of a currency.


a budgeted maximum allowable expenditure

Appropriation request

Formal request for funds for capital investment project.

approximated net realizable value at split-off allocation

a method of allocating joint cost to joint products using a
simulated net realizable value at the split-off point; approximated
value is computed as final sales price minus
incremental separate costs

Arbitrage-free option-pricing models

Yield curve option-pricing models.

Articles of incorporation

Legal document establishing a corporation and its structure and purpose.


When numbers from different financial statements relate to one another.

Asian option

Option based on the average price of the asset during the life of the option.

Asset activity ratios

Ratios that measure how effectively the firm is managing its assets.

Asset allocation decision

The decision regarding how an institution's funds should be distributed among the
major classes of assets in which it may invest.

Asset/equity ratio

The ratio of total assets to stockholder equity.

Asset substitution

A firm's investing in assets that are riskier than those that the debtholders expected.

Asset substitution problem

Arises when the stockholders substitute riskier assets for the firm's existing
assets and expropriate value from the debtholders.

asset turnover ratio

A broad-gauge ratio computed by dividing annual
sales revenue by total assets. It is a rough measure of the sales-generating
power of assets. The idea is that assets are used to make sales, and the
sales should lead to profit. The ultimate test is not sales revenue on
assets, but the profit earned on assets as measured by the return on
assets (ROA) ratio.

Asymmetric information

Information that is known to some people but not to other people.

Attribution Rules

Legislation under which interest, dividends, or capital gains earned on assets you transfer to your spouse will be treated as your own for tax purposes. interest or dividends relating to property transferred to children under 18 also will be attributed back to you. The exception to this rule is that capital gains relating to property transferred to children under 18 will not be attributed back to you.

Auction markets

Markets in which the prevailing price is determined through the free interaction of
prospective buyers and sellers, as on the floor of the stock exchange.

Auction rate preferred stock (ARPS)

Floating rate preferred stock, the dividend on which is adjusted every
seven weeks through a Dutch auction.


The correlation of a variable with itself over successive time intervals.


the use of equipment that has been programmed to sense certain conditions

Average Amortization Period

The average useful life of a company's collective amortizable asset base.

Average Collection Period

Average number of days necessary to receive cash for the sale of
a company's products. It is calculated by dividing the value of the
accounts receivable by the average daily sales for the period.

Average collection period, or days' receivables

The ratio of accounts receivables to sales, or the total
amount of credit extended per dollar of daily sales (average AR/sales * 365).


A market condition in which futures prices are lower in the distant delivery months than in
the nearest delivery month. This situation may occur in when the costs of storing the product until eventual
delivery are effectively subtracted from the price today. The opposite of contango.

BAN (Bank anticipation notes)

Notes issued by states and municipalities to obtain interim financing for
projects that will eventually be funded long term through the sale of a bond issue.

Bank collection float

The time that elapses between when a check is deposited into a bank account and when the funds are available to the depositor, during which period the bank is collecting payment from the payer's bank.

Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

An international bank headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, which
serves as a forum for monetary cooperation among several European central banks, the Bank of Japan, and the
U.S. Federal Reserve System. Founded in 1930 to handle the German payment of World War I reparations, it
now monitors and collects data on international banking activity and promulgates rules concerning
international bank regulation.







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