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Definition of Note

Note Image 1


Debt instruments with initial maturities greater than one year and less than 10 years.

Related Terms:

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.

Demand master notes

Short-term securities that are repayable immediately upon the holder's demand.

Documented discount notes

Commercial paper backed by normal bank lines plus a letter of credit from a
bank stating that it will pay off the paper at maturity if the borrower does not. Such paper is also referred to as
LOC (letter of credit) paper.

Euro-medium term note (Euro-MTN)

A non-underwritten Euronote issued directly to the market. Euro-
MTNs are offered continuously rather than all at once as a bond issue is. Most Euro-MTN maturities are
under five years.


Short- to medium-term debt instrument sold in the Eurocurrency market.

Extendable notes

note the maturity of which can be extended by mutual agreement of the issuer and

Flip-flop note

note that allows investors to switch between two different types of debt.

Note Image 2

Floating-rate note (FRN)

note whose interest payment varies with short-term interest rates.

Inverse floating rate note

A variable rate security whose coupon rate increases as a benchmark interest rate declines.

Liquid yield option note (LYON)

Zero-coupon, callable, putable, convertible bond invented by Merrill

Liquid yield option note (LYON)

Zero-coupon, callable, putable, convertible bond invented by Merrill Lynch & Co.

Medium-term note

A corporate debt instrument that is continuously offered to investors over a period of
time by an agent of the issuer. Investors can select from the following maturity bands: 9 months to 1 year,
more than 1 year to 18 months, more than 18 months to 2 years, etc., up to 30 years.

Money market notes

Publicly traded issues that may be collateralized by mortgages and MBSs.

Municipal notes

Short-term notes issued by municipalities in anticipation of tax receipts, proceeds from a
bond issue, or other revenues.

Note agreement

A contract for privately placed debt.

Note issuance facility (NIF)

An agreement by which a syndicate of banks indicates a willingness to accept
short-term notes from borrowers and resell these notes in the Eurocurrency markets.

Note Image 3

Notes payable

Amounts owed by the company that have been formalized by a legal document called a note.


notes receivable are promissory notes that the company has accepted from its debtors. Most promissory notes pay interest. Those that are due within a year are shown under “Current Assets.” Those that mature in more than a year would be listed under “Long-term Assets.” If a note is being
collected in installments, the payments due within the next twelve months are shown as a current asset, and the remainder is shown as a long-term asset.

Notes receivable

Amounts owed to the company that have been formalized by a legal agreement called a note.

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.

Project notes (PNs)

Project notes are issued by municipalities to finance federally sponsored programs in
urban renewal and housing and are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Project financing A form of asset-based financing in which a firm finances a discrete set of assets on a standalone
Projected benefit obligation (PBO) A measure of a pension plan's liability at the calculation date assuming
that the plan is ongoing and will not terminate in the foreseeable future. Related:accumulated benefit obligation.

Promissory note

Written promise to pay.

Promissory Note

Written promise committing the maker to pay the a specified sum of money either on demand or on some future date, with or without interest.

TANs (tax anticipation notes)

Tax anticipation notes issued by states or municipalities to finance current
operations in anticipation of future tax receipts.

Treasury notes

Debt obligations of the U.S. Treasury that have maturities of more than 2 years but less than 10 years.

U.S. Treasury note

U.S. government debt with a maturity of one to 10 years.

Accounting change

An alteration in the accounting methodology or estimates used in
the reporting of financial statements, usually requiring discussion in a footnote
attached to the financial statements.

Note Image 4

Accounts Payable

Amounts due to vendors for purchases on open account, that is, not evidenced
by a signed note.

Accounts Receivable

Amounts due from customers for sales on open account, not evidenced
by a signed note.


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)

Annual report

A report issued to a company’s shareholders, creditors, and regulatory
organizations at the end of its fiscal year. It typically contains at least an income
statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows, and accompanying footnotes. It
may also contain management comments, an audit report, and other supporting
schedules that may be required by regulatory organizations.

Asset-Backed Securities

Bond or note secured by assets of company.

Bank reconciliation

A comparison between the cash position recorded on a company’s
books and the position noted on the records of its bank, usually resulting in some
changes to the book balance to account for transactions that are recorded on the
bank’s records but not the company’s.


This is the person who benefits from the terms of a trust, a will, an RRSP, a RRIF, a LIF, an annuity or a life insurance policy. In relation to RRSP's, RRIF's, LIF's, Annuities and of course life insurance, if the beneficiary is a spouse, parent, offspring or grand-child, they are considered to be a preferred beneficiary. If the insured has named a preferred beneficiary, the death benefit is invariably protected from creditors. There have been some court challenges of this right of protection but so far they have been unsuccessful. See "Creditor Protection" below. A beneficiary under the age of 18 must be represented by an individual guardian over the age of 18 or a public official who represents minors generally. A policy owner may, in the designation of a beneficiary, appoint someone to act as trustee for a minor. Death benefits are not subject to income taxes. If you make your beneficiary your estate, the death benefit will be included in your assets for probate. Probate filing fees are currently $14 per thousand of estate value in British Columbia and $15 per thousand of estate value in Ontario.
Another way to avoid probate fees or creditor claims against life insurance proceeds is for the insured person to designate and register with his/her insurance company's head office an irrevocable beneficiary. By making such a designation, the insured gives up the right to make any changes to his/her policy without the consent of the irrevocable beneficiary. Because of the seriousness of the implications, an irrevocable designation should only be made for good reason and where the insured fully understands the consequences.
noteA successful challenge of the rules relating to beneficiaries was concluded in an Ontario court in 1996. The Insurance Act says its provisions relating to beneficiaries are made "notwithstanding the Succession Law Reform Act." There are two relevent provisions of the Succession Law Reform Act. One section of the act gives a judge the power to make any order concerning an estate if the deceased person has failed to provide for a dependant. Another section says money from a life insurance policy can be considered part of the estate if an order is made to support a dependant. In the case in question, the deceased had attempted to deceive his lawful dependents by making his common-law-spouse the beneficiary of an insurance policy which by court order was supposed to name his ex-spouse and children as beneficiaries.


A long-term, interest-bearing promissory note that companies may use to borrow money for periods of time such as five, ten, or twenty years.


An upper limit on the interest rate on a floating-rate note.

capital structure, or capitalization

Terms that refer to the combination of
capital sources that a business has tapped for investing in its assets—in
particular, the mix of its interest-bearing debt and its owners’ equity. In a
more sweeping sense, the terms also include appendages and other features
of the basic debt and equity instruments of a business. Such things
as stock options, stock warrants, and convertible features of preferred
stock and notes payable are included in the more inclusive sense of the
terms, as well as any debt-based and equity-based financial derivatives
issued by the business.


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 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.


An upper and lower limit on the interest rate on a floating-rate note.

Collateral trust bonds

A bond in which the issuer (often a holding company) grants investors a lien on
stocks, notes, bonds, or other financial asset as security. Compare mortgage bond.

Commercial paper

Short-term unsecured promissory notes issued by a corporation. The maturity of
commercial paper is typically less than 270 days; the most common maturity range is 30 to 50 days or less.

commercial paper

Short-term unsecured notes issued by firms.

Coupon rate

In bonds, notes or other fixed income securities, the stated percentage rate of interest, usually
paid twice a year.


Purchases of goods or services from suppliers on credit to whom the debt is not yet paid. Or a
term used in the Balance Sheet to denote current liabilities.

current liabilities

Current means that these liabilities require payment in
the near term. Generally, these include accounts payable, accrued
expenses payable, income tax payable, short-term notes payable, and
the portion of long-term debt that will come due during the coming year.
Keep in mind that a business may roll over its debt; the old, maturing
debt may be replaced in part or in whole by new borrowing.

Current liability

This is typically the accounts payable, short-term notes payable, and
accrued expense accounts on the balance sheet, or any other liabilities that are
expected to be liquidated within a short time interval.

Current yield

For bonds or notes, the coupon rate divided by the market price of the bond.


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.

Drop lock

An arrangement whereby the interest rate on a floating rate note or preferred stock becomes fixed
if it falls to a specified level.

Euro-commercial paper

Short-term notes with maturities up to 360 days that are issued by companies in
international money markets.

Expected return

The return expected on a risky asset based on a probability distribution for the possible rates
of return. Expected return equals some risk free rate (generally the prevailing U.S. Treasury note or bond rate)
plus a risk premium (the difference between the historic market return, based upon a well diversified index
such as the S&P500 and historic U.S. Treasury bond) multiplied by the assets beta.

Extension swap

Extending maturity through a swap, e.g. selling a 2-year note and buying one with a slightly
longer current maturity.

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

Long coupons

1) Bonds or notes with a long current maturity.
2) A bond on which one of the coupon periods, usually the first, is longer than the other periods or the standard period.

Long coupons

1) Bonds or notes with a long current maturity.
2) A bond on which one of the coupon
periods, usually the first, is longer than the other periods or the standard period.

Mismatch bond

Floating rate note whose interest rate is reset at more frequent intervals than the rollover
period (e.g. a note whose payments are set quarterly on the basis of the one-year interest rate).

money market fund

A type of mutual fund that invests primarily in short-term debt securities maturing in one year or less. These include treasury bills, bankers’ acceptances, commercial paper, discount notes and guaranteed investment certficates.

Net Worth

The difference between the total assets and total liabilities of a company. note: The value of the preferred shares is deducted from the net worth because the preferred's are usually redeemed before any value is paid to the common shareholders.

Original maturity

Maturity at issue. For example, a five year note has an original maturity of 5 years; one
year later it has a maturity of 4 years.

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.

Put provision

Gives the holder of a floating-rate bond the right to redeem his note at par on the coupon
payment date.

Quality option

Also called the swap option, the seller's choice of deliverables in Treasury Bond and Treasury
note futures contract. Related: cheapest to deliver issue

Reverse price risk

A type of mortgage-pipeline risk that occurs when a lender commits to sell loans to an
investor at rates prevailing at application but sets the note rates when the borrowers close. The lender is thus
exposed to the risk of falling rates.


Either the collateral on a loan, or some type of equity ownership or debt, such
as a stock option or note payable.

Timing option

For a Treasury Bond or note futures contract, the seller's choice of when in the delivery month to deliver.


A measure of risk based on the standard deviation of investment fund performance over 3 years.
Scale is 1-9; higher rating indicates higher risk. Also, the standard deviation of changes in the logarithm of an
asset price, expressed as a yearly rate. Also, volatility is a variable that appears in option pricing formulas. In
the option pricing formula, it denotes the volatility of the underlying asset return from now to the expiration
of the option.
Std Deviation = Rating
up to 7.99 = 1
8.00-10.99 = 2
11.00-13.99 = 3
14.00-16.99 = 4
17.00-19.99 = 5
20.00-22.99 = 6
23.00-25.99 = 7
26.00-28.99 = 8
29.00 and up = 9


The percentage rate of return paid on a stock in the form of dividends, or the effective rate of interest
paid on a bond or note.

Yield to call

The percentage rate of a bond or note, if you were to buy and hold the security until the call date.
This yield is valid only if the security is called prior to maturity. Generally bonds are callable over several
years and normally are called at a slight premium. The calculation of yield to call is based on the coupon rate,
length of time to the call and the market price.

Yield to maturity

The percentage rate of return paid on a bond, note or other fixed income security if you
buy and hold it to its maturity date. The calculation for YTM is based on the coupon rate, length of time to
maturity and market price. It assumes that coupon interest paid over the life of the bond will be reinvested at
the same rate.







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