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Investments

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Definition of Investments

Investments Image 1

Investments

As a discipline, the study of financial securities, such as stocks and bonds, from the investor's
viewpoint. This area deals with the firm's financing decision, but from the other side of the transaction.



Related Terms:

Capital Investments

Money used to purchase fixed assets for a business, such as land, buildings, or machinery. Also, money invested in a business on the understanding that it will be used to purchase permanent assets rather than to cover day-to-day operating expenses.


Legal investments

investments that a regulated entity is permitted to make under the rules and regulations
that govern its investing.


Net present value of future investments

The present value of the total sum of NPVs expected to result from
all of the firm's future investments.


qualified investments (Canada)

Qualified investments is the term used for investments that can be held in an RSP. These investments generally include:
Canadian dollar savings accounts, guaranteed investment certificates, term deposits
shares of Canadian and foreign companies listed on a prescribed stock exchange
shares of some over-the-counter U.S. and Canadian companies
shares of some small businesses
certain types of bonds and money-market investments such as treasury bills, Canada Savings Bonds, Government of Canada bonds, provincial government bonds, Crown Corporation bonds, bonds issued by Canadian corporations listed on a prescribed stock exchange, and certain strip bonds
certain types of mortgages, including your own
certain covered call options, warrants and rights
certain mutual funds


accounts receivable

Short-term, non-interest-bearing debts owed to a
business by its customers who bought goods and services from the business
on credit. Generally, these debts should be collected within a month
or so. In a balance sheet, this asset is listed immediately after cash.
(Actually the amount of short-term marketable investments, if the business
has any, is listed after cash and before accounts receivable.)
Accounts receivable are viewed as a near-cash type of asset that will be
turned into cash in the short run. A business may not collect all of its
accounts receivable. See also bad debts.



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.


asset mix

The weighting of assets in an investment portfolio among different asset classes (e.g. shares, bonds, property, cash, overseas investments.


Investments Image 2

capital budget

management’s plan for investments in longterm
property, plant, and equipment


capital budgeting

Refers generally to analysis procedures for ranking
investments, given a limited amount of total capital that has to be allocated
among the various capital investment opportunities of a business.
The term sometimes is used interchangeably with the analysis techniques
themselves, such as calculating present value, net present value,
and the internal rate of return of investments.


capital expenditures

Refers to investments by a business in long-term
operating assets, including land and buildings, heavy machinery and
equipment, vehicles, tools, and other economic resources used in the
operations of a business. The term capital is used to emphasize that
these are relatively large amounts and that a business has to raise capital
for these expenditures from debt and equity sources.


CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS

The balance in a company’s checking account(s) plus short-term or temporary investments (sometimes called “marketable securities”), which are highly liquid.


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 Equivalents

Highly liquid, fixed-income investments with original maturities of three months or less.


Cash Equivalents

Instruments or investments of such high liquidity and safety that they are virtually equal to 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

In investments, NET INCOME plus DEPRECIATION and other noncash charges. In this sense, it is synonymous with CASH EARNINGS. Investors focus on cash flow from operations because of their concern with a firm's ability to pay dividends.


Cash Flow Provided or Used from Financing Activities

Cash receipts and payments involving
liability and stockholders' equity items, including obtaining cash from creditors and repaying
the amounts borrowed and obtaining capital from owners and providing them with a return on,
and a return of, their investments.


Cash Flow Provided or Used from Investing Activities

Cash receipts and payments involving
long-term assets, including making and collecting loans and acquiring and disposing of
investments and productive long-lived assets.



Concentration services

Movement of cash from different lockbox locations into a single concentration
account from which disbursements and investments are made.


Cost of capital

The costs incurred by an organization to fund all its investments, comprising the risk-adjusted
cost of equity and debt weighted by the mix of equity and debt.


Country risk General

Level of political and economic uncertainty in a country affecting the value of loans or
investments in that country.


Creditor Proof Protection

The creditor proof status of such things as life insurance, non-registered life insurance investments, life insurance RRSPs and life insurance RRIFs make these attractive products for high net worth individuals, professionals and business owners who may have creditor concerns. Under most circumstances the creditor proof rules of the different provincial insurance acts take priority over the federal bankruptcy rules.
The provincial insurance acts protect life insurance products which have a family class beneficiary. Family class beneficiaries include the spouse, parent, child or grandchild of the life insured, except in Quebec, where creditor protection rules apply to spouse, ascendants and descendants of the insured. investments sold by other financial institutions do not offer the same security should the holder go bankrupt. There are also circumstances under which the creditor proof protections do not hold for life insurance products. Federal bankruptcy law disallows the protection for any transfers made within one year of bankruptcy. In addition, should it be found that a person shifted money to an insurance company fund in bad faith for the specific purpose of avoiding creditors, these funds will not be creditor proof.


Cross-border risk

Refers to the volatility of returns on international investments caused by events associated
with a particular country as opposed to events associated solely with a particular economic or financial agent.


Currency selection

Asset allocation in which the investor chooses among investments denominated in
different currencies.


current assets

Current refers to cash and those assets that will be turned
into cash in the short run. Five types of assets are classified as current:
cash, short-term marketable investments, accounts receivable, inventories,
and prepaid expenses—and they are generally listed in this order in
the balance sheet.


Diversification

The process of spreading a portfolio over many investments to
avoid excessive exposure to any one source of risk


diversification

Strategy designed to reduce risk by spreading the portfolio across many investments.


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.



diversification

An investment technique intended to minimize risk by utilizing a wide variety of investments within a portfolio. In a diversified portfolio, a decline in the value of one investment, for example, should be offset by the strength of other investments.


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.


Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

a profit-sharing compensation program in which investments are made in
the securities of the employer


financing decision

Decision as to how to raise the money to pay for investments in real assets.


Fisher's separation theorem

The firm's choice of investments is separate from its owner's attitudes towards
investments. Also refered to as portfolio separation theorem.


Free Cash Flow

The funds available for distribution to the capital providers of the
company after investments inside the company have been made


Free rider

A follower who avoids the cost and expense of finding the best course of action and by simply
mimicking the behavior of a leader who made these investments.


Funds From Operations (FFO)

Used by real estate and other investment trusts to define the cash flow from
trust operations. It is earnings with depreciation and amortization added back. A similar term increasingly
used is Funds Available for Distribution (FAD), which is FFO less capital investments in trust property and
the amortization of mortgages.


Income fund

A mutual fund providing for liberal current income from investments.


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.


Interest

The cost of money, received on investments or paid on borrowings.


Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

The discount rate that equates the present value of the net cash
inflows with the present value of the net cash outflows
(investments). The IRR measures the profitability (rate of return) of
an investment in a project or security.


Investment manager

Also called a portfolio manager and money manager, the individual who manages a
portfolio of investments.


Investment Spending

Expenditures on capital goods including new housing. Financial ''investments" and sales of existing assets are not included.


Leveraged buyout (LBO)

A transaction used for taking a public corporation private financed through the use
of debt funds: bank loans and bonds. Because of the large amount of debt relative to equity in the new
corporation, the bonds are typically rated below investment grade, properly referred to as high-yield bonds or
junk bonds. Investors can participate in an LBO through either the purchase of the debt (i.e., purchase of the
bonds or participation in the bank loan) or the purchase of equity through an LBO fund that specializes in
such investments.


Monetary / non-monetary method

Under this translation method, monetary items (e.g. cash, accounts
payable and receivable, and long-term debt) are translated at the current rate while non-monetary items (e.g.
inventory, fixed assets, and long-term investments) are translated at historical rates.


mutual fund

When you buy a mutual fund, you are pooling your money with that of other investors. An investment professional called a portfolio advisor takes that money and invests it for all the investors in a variety of different securities as determined by the investment objectives of the mutual fund. This gives you the benefit of diversification that is, being invested in many different investments at once.


negative cash flow

The cash flow from the operating activities of a business
can be negative, which means that its cash balance decreased from
its sales and expense activities during the period. When a business is
operating at a loss instead of making a profit, its cash outflows for
expenses very likely may be more than its cash inflow from sales. Even
when a business makes a profit for the period, its cash inflow from sales
could be considerably less than the sales revenue recorded for the
period, thus causing a negative cash flow for the period. Caution: This
term also is used for certain types of investments in which the net cash
flow from all sources and uses is negative. For example, investors in
rental real estate properties often use the term to mean that the cash
inflow from rental income is less than all cash outflows during the
period, including payments on the mortgage loan on the property.


Net asset value (NAV)

The value of a fund's investments. For a mutual fund, the net asset value per share
usually represents the fund's market price, subject to a possible sales or redemption charge. For a closed end
fund, the market price may vary significantly from the net asset value.


Portfolio

A collection of investments, real and/or financial.


Portfolio

A collection of securities and investments held by an investor


Present value of growth opportunities (NPV)

Net present value of investments the firm is expected to make
in the future.


present value of growth opportunities (PVGO)

Net present value of a firm’s future investments.


Private Placement

Sale of stocks, bonds or other investments directly to an institutional investor or individuals. Prior registration with the regulatory authorities is not required if the securities are purchased for investment as opposed to resale.


REIT (real estate investment trust)

Real estate investment trust, which is similar to a closed-end mutual
fund. REITs invest in real estate or loans secured by real estate and issue shares in such investments.


Risk averse

A risk-averse investor is one who, when faced with two investments with the same expected
return but two different risks, prefers the one with the lower risk.


Security

Piece of paper that proves ownership of stocks, bonds and other investments.


Short-term investment services

Services that assist firms in making short-term investments.


weighted-average cost of capital

Weighted means that the proportions of
debt capital and equity capital of a business are used to calculate its
average cost of capital. This key benchmark rate depends on the interest
rate(s) on its debt and the ROE goal established by a business. This is a
return-on-capital rate and can be applied either on a before-tax basis or
an after-tax basis. A business should earn at least its weighted-average
rate on the capital invested in its assets. The weighted-average cost-ofcapital
rate is used as the discount rate to calculate the present value
(PV) of specific investments.


weighted average cost of capital

a composite of the cost of the various sources of funds that comprise a firm’s capital structure; the minimum rate of return that must be earned on new investments so as not to dilute shareholder value



 

 

 

 

 

 

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