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Definition of Point

Point Image 1

Point

The smallest unit of price change quoted or, one one-hundredth of a percent. Related: minimum price
fluctuation and tick.



Related Terms:

Basis point

In the bond market, the smallest measure used for quoting yields is a basis point. Each percentage
point of yield in bonds equals 100 basis points. Basis points also are used for interest rates. An interest rate of
5% is 50 basis points greater than an interest rate of 4.5%.


Basis Point

One one-hundredth of one percent


Basis point

One hundredth of one percentage point, or 0.0001.


Basis Point

One one-hundredth of a percentage point, used to express variations in yields. For example, the difference between 5.36 percent and 5.38 percent is 2 basis points.


Bond points

A conventional unit of measure for bond prices set at $10 and equivalent to 1% of the $100 face
value of the bond. A price of 80 means that the bond is selling at 80% of its face, or par value.



break-even point (BEP)

the level of activity, in units or dollars, at which total revenues equal total costs


Breakeven point

The point at which total costs equal total revenue, i.e. where there is neither a profit nor a loss.


Point Image 2

breakeven point

The annual sales volume level at which total contribution
margin equals total annual fixed expenses. The breakeven point is only a
point of reference, not the goal of a business, of course. It is computed by
dividing total fixed expenses by unit margin. The breakeven point is
quite useful in analyzing profit behavior and operating leverage. Also, it
gives manager a good point of reference for setting sales goals and
understanding the consequences of incurring fixed costs for a period.


Breakeven point

The sales level at which a company, division, or product line makes a
profit of exactly zero, and is computed by dividing all fixed costs by the average
gross margin percentage.


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.


Delivery points

Those points designated by futures exchanges at which the financial instrument or
commodity covered by a futures contract may be delivered in fulfillment of such contract.


Free-on-Board (FOB) Shipping Point

A shipping arrangement agreed to between buyer and
seller where title to the goods sold passes when the goods in question are delivered to a common
carrier. When goods are shipped FOB shipping point, revenue is properly recognized when the
goods are delivered to the common carrier.


Order penetration point

The point in the production process when a product is
reserved for a specific customer.


order point

the level of inventory that triggers the placement
of an order for additional units; it is determined based
on usage, lead time, and safety stock


Outbound stock point

A designated inventory location on the shop floor between
operations where inventory is stockpiled until needed by the next operation.


Point and figure chart

A price-only chart that takes into account only whole integer changes in price, i.e., a
2-point change. point and figure charting disregards the element of time and is solely used to record changes
in price.


Point and figure chart

A financial chart usually used to plot asset price data.
Upward price movements are plotted as X’s and downward price movements
are plotted as O’s.


point of sale (POS)

The terminal at which a customer uses his/her debit card to make a direct payment transaction. See also Interac Direct Payment.



Point-of-use delivery

A delivery of stock to a location in or near the shop floor
adjacent to its area of use.


Point-of-use storage

The storage of stock in a location in or near the shop floor
adjacent to its area of use.


Price value of a basis point (PVBP)

Also called the dollar value of a basis point, a measure of the change in
the price of the bond if the required yield changes by one basis point.


split-off point

the point at which the outputs of a joint process are first identifiable or can be separated as individual products


Split-off point

The point in a production process when clearly identifiable joint costs
can be identified within the process.


Stockpoint

An inventory storage area used for short-term inventory staging.


Turning Point

The trough or peak of a business cycle.


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


Balance sheet

A report that summarizes all assets, liabilities, and equity for a company
for a given point in time.


Barrier options

Contracts with trigger points that, when crossed, automatically generate buying or selling of
other options. These are very exotic options.



Beneficiary

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.


Beta risk

Risk of a firm measured from the standpoint of an investor who holds a highly diversified portfolio.


Break-Even

This is a term used to describe a point at which revenues equal costs.


Break-Even Analysis

An analytical technique for studying the relationships between fixed cost, variable cost, and profits. A breakeven chart graphically depicts the nature of breakeven analysis. The breakeven point represents the volume of sales at which total costs equal total revenues (that is, profits equal zero).


Bullet strategy

A strategy in which a portfolio is constructed so that the maturities of its securities are highly
concentrated at one point on the yield curve.


Contingent immunization

An arrangement in which the money manager pursues an active bond portfolio
strategy until an adverse investment experience drives the then-available potential return down to the safetynet
level. When that point is reached, the money manager is obligated to pursue an immunization strategy to
lock in the safety-net level return.


contribution margin

An intermediate measure of profit equal to sales revenue
minus cost-of-goods-sold expense and minus variable operating
expenses—but before fixed operating expenses are deducted. Profit at
this point contributes toward covering fixed operating expenses and
toward interest and income tax expenses. The breakeven point is the
sales volume at which contribution margin just equals total fixed
expenses.


Corporate finance

One of the three areas of the discipline of finance. It deals with the operation of the firm
(both the investment decision and the financing decision) from that firm's point of view.


Cross-sectional approach

A statistical methodology applied to a set of firms at a particular point in time.


debit card

A card which enables you to directly access your bank account when paying for purchases. So instead of paying in cash or with a credit card, a debit card allows the specified amount of the purchase to be electronically debited, or withdrawn, from your bank account. See Interac Direct Payment for an explanation of the actual procedures that you follow at the point of sale (POS) terminal to use your debit card.


Debt capacity

Ability to borrow. The amount a firm can borrow up to the point where the firm value no
longer increases.


defective unit

a unit that has been rejected at a control inspection
point for failure to meet appropriate standards of
quality or designated product specifications; can be economically
reworked and sold through normal distribution channels


Difference from S&P

A mutual fund's return minus the change in the Standard & Poors 500 Index for the
same time period. A notation of -5.00 means the fund return was 5 percentage points less than the gain in the
S&P, while 0.00 means that the fund and the S&P had the same return.


discounted cash flow (DCF)

Refers to a capital investment analysis technique
that discounts, or scales down, the future cash returns from an
investment based on the cost-of-capital rate for the business. In essence,
each future return is downsized to take into account the cost of capital
from the start of the investment until the future point in time when the
return is received. Present value (PV) is the amount resulting from discounting
the future returns. Present value is subtracted from the entry
cost of the investment to determine net present value (NPV). The net
present value is positive if the present value is more than the entry cost,
which signals that the investment would earn more than the cost-ofcapital
rate. If the entry cost is more than the present value, the net
present value is negative, which means that the investment would earn
less than the business’s cost-of-capital rate.


discrete loss

a reduction in units that occurs at a specific
point in a production process


dispersion

the degree of variability or difference; it is measured
as the vertical distance of an actual point from the
estimated regression line in least squares regression analysis


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.


Exit value

The value that an asset is expected to have at the time it is sold at a predetermined
point in the future.


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.


Federal funds rate

This is the interest rate that banks with excess reserves at a Federal Reserve district bank
charge other banks that need overnight loans. The Fed Funds rate, as it is called, often points to the direction
of U.S. interest rates.


fixed expenses (costs)

Expenses or costs that remain the same in amount,
or fixed, over the short run and do not vary with changes in sales volume
or sales revenue or other measures of business activity. Over the
longer run, however, these costs increase or decrease as the business
grows or declines. Fixed operating costs provide capacity to carry on
operations and make sales. Fixed manufacturing overhead costs provide
production capacity. Fixed expenses are a key pivot point for the analysis
of profit behavior, especially for determining the breakeven point and for
analyzing strategies to improve profit performance.


GNMA-II

Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) on which registered holders receive an aggregate principal and
interest payment from a central paying agent on all of their certificates. Principal and interest payments are
disbursed on the 20th day of the month. GNMA-II MBS are backed by multiple-issuer pools or custom pools
(one issuer but different interest rates that may vary within one percentage point). Multiple-issuer pools are
known as "Jumbos." Jumbo pools are generally longer and offer certain mortgages that are more
geographically diverse than single-issuer pools. Jumbo pool mortgage interest rates may vary within one
percentage point.


incremental separate cost

the cost that is incurred for each
joint product between the split-off point and the point of sale


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.


Interac® Direct Payment

Instead of paying with cash or a credit card, Interac Direct Payment allows you to pay for your purchase with a debit card, such as your bank card. The amount of the purchase is electronically debited, or withdrawn, from your bank account (see debit card).
Here's how to pay for items using Interac Direct Payment and your bank account:
1. Swipe your bank card (or debit card) through the point of sale (POS) terminal at the store's check-out
2. Enter your personal identification number (PIN), confirm the amount to be paid and indicate the account (chequing) from which the money is to be drawn.
3. The specified amount is then electronically debited from your account.


internal rate of return (IRR)

The precise discount rate that makes the
present value (PV) of the future cash returns from a capital investment
exactly equal to the initial amount of capital invested. If IRR is higher
than the company’s cost-of-capital rate, the investment is an attractive
opportunity; if less, the investment is substandard from the cost-ofcapital
point of view.


Investment

The commitment of funds (capital) in anticipation of an increased
return of funds at some point in the future


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.


joint cost

the total of all costs (direct material, direct labor,
and overhead) incurred in a joint process up to the splitoff point


Leading Indicator

A variable that reaches a turning point (a peak or a trough) before the economy reaches a turning point.


least squares regression analysis

a statistical technique that investigates the association between dependent and independent variables; it determines the line of "best fit" for a set of observations by minimizing the sum of the squares
of the vertical deviations between actual points and the
regression line; it can be used to determine the fixed and
variable portions of a mixed cost


Linear regression

A statistical technique for fitting a straight line to a set of data points.


Liquidator

Person appointed by unsecured creditors in the United Kingdom to oversee the sale of an
insolvent firm's assets and the repayment of its debts.


Log-linear least-squares method

A statistical technique for fitting a curve to a set of data points. One of the
variables is transformed by taking its logarithm, and then a straight line is fitted to the transformed set of data
points.


margin of safety

the excess of the budgeted or actual sales
of a company over its breakeven point; it can be calculated
in units or dollars or as a percentage; it is equal to
(1 - degree of operating leverage)


Market cycle

The period between the 2 latest highs or lows of the S&P 500, showing net performance of a
fund through both an up and a down market. A market cycle is complete when the S&P is 15% below the
highest point or 15% above the lowest point (ending a down market). The dates of the last market cycle are:
12/04/87 to 10/11/90 (low to low).


Mezzanine

Stage of a company's development just prior to going public, in Venture Capital language. Venture capitalists entering at that point have a lower risk of loss than at previous stages and can look forward to early capital appreciation as a result of the Market Value gained by an Initial Public Offering.


Minimum price fluctuation

Smallest increment of price movement possible in trading a given contract. Also
called point or tick. The zero-beta portfolio with the least risk.


Negative convexity

A bond characteristic such that the price appreciation will be less than the price
depreciation for a large change in yield of a given number of basis points.


net realizable value at split-off allocation

a method of allocating joint cost to joint products that uses, as the proration base, sales value at split-off minus all costs necessary
to prepare and dispose of the products; it requires
that all joint products be salable at the split-off point


Non-parallel shift in the yield curve

A shift in the yield curve in which yields do not change by the same
number of basis points for every maturity. Related: Parallel shift in the yield curve.


Opportunity cost

Lost revenue that would otherwise have been realized if a different
decision point had been selected.


outlier

an abnormal or nonrepresentative point within a data set


Parallel shift in the yield curve

A shift in the yield curve in which the change in the yield on all maturities is
the same number of basis points. In other words, if the 3 month T-bill increases 100 basis points (one
percent), then the 6 month, 1 year, 5 year, 10 year, 20 year, and 30 year rates increase by 100 basis points as
well.
Related: Non-parallel shift in the yield curve.


Peak

The upper turning point of a business cycle, where expansion turns into a contraction.


PIN (personal identification number)

A secret code that you use to access your bank account at a bank machine or at a point of sale (POS) terminal. You may also have a PIN for banking by telephone.


Receiver

A bankruptcy practitioner appointed by secured creditors in the United Kingdom to oversee the
repayment of debts.


red-line system

an inventory ordering system in which a red
line is painted on the inventory container at a point deemed
to be the reorder point


Registrar

Financial institution appointed to record issue and ownership of company securities.


Remaining principal balance

The amount of principal dollars remaining to be paid under the mortgage as of
a given point in time.


Sales value at split-off

A cost allocation methodology that allocates joint costs to joint
products in proportion to their relative sales values at the split-off point.


sales value at split-off allocation

a method of assigning joint cost to joint products that uses the relative sales values of the products at the split-off point as the proration basis; use of this method requires that all joint products
are salable at the split-off point


spoiled unit

a unit that is rejected at a control inspection
point for failure to meet appropriate standards of quality
or designated product specifications; it cannot be economically
reworked to be brought up to standard


Standardized value

Also called the normal deviate, the distance of one data point from the mean, divided by
the standard deviation of the distribution.


statistical process control (SPC)

the use of control techniques that are based on the theory that a process has natural variations in it over time, but uncommon variations
are typically the points at which the process produces "errors", which can be defective goods or poor service


steady-state phase

the point at which the learning curve becomes flat and only minimal improvements in performance are achieved


Step cost

A cost that does not change steadily, but rather at discrete points. For example,
a facility cost will remain steady until additional floor space is constructed, at
which point the cost will increase to a new and higher level.


Stopping curve

A curve showing the refunding rates for different points in time at which the expected value
of refunding immediately equals the expected value of waiting to refund.


Swap rate

The difference between spot and forward rates expressed in points, e.g., $0.0001 per pound sterling.


Technological Feasibility

A point in the development of software when it is determined that
the software can be produced to meet its design specifications.


Term Sheet

A list of the major points of the proposed financing being offered by an investor.


Threshold for refinancing

The point when the WAC of an MBS is at a level to induce homeowners to
prepay the mortgage in order to refinance to a lower-rate mortgage, generally reached when the WAC of the
MBS is 2% or more above currently available mortgage rates.


Tick

Refers to the minimum change in price a security can have, either up or down. Related: point.


Trade on top of

Trade at a narrow or no spread in basis points relative to some other bond yield, usually
Treasury bonds.


Transfer agent

ndividual or institution appointed by a company to look after the transfer of securities.


Trough

The transition point between economic recession and recovery.


Trough

The lower turning point of a business cycle, where a contraction turns into an expansion.


Variance

A measure of dispersion of a set of data points around their mean value. The mathematical
expectation of the squared deviations from the mean. The square root of the variance is the standard deviation.


Yield curve

The graphical depiction of the relationship between the yield on bonds of the same credit quality
but different maturities. Related: Term structure of interest rates. Harvey (1991) finds that the inversions of
the yield curve (short-term rates greater than long term rates) have preceded the last five U.S. recessions. The
yield curve can accurately forecast the turning points of the business cycle.


Yield Curve

A graphical representation of the level of interest rates for
securities of differing maturities at a specific point of time


Z score

Statistical measure that quantifies the distance (measured in standard deviations) a data point is from
the mean of a data set. Separately, z score is the output from a credit-strength test that gauges the likelihood of
bankruptcy.



 

 

 

 

 

 

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