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Definition of scattergraph

Scattergraph Image 1


a graph that plots all known activity observations
and the associated costs; it is used to separate mixed
costs into their variable and fixed components and to examine
patterns reflected by the plotted observations

Related Terms:

economic components model

Abrams’ model for calculating DLOM based on the interaction of discounts from four economic components.
This model consists of four components: the measure of the economic impact of the delay-to-sale, monopsony power to buyers, and incremental transactions costs to both buyers and sellers.

Agency costs

The incremental costs of having an agent make decisions for a principal.

All equity rate

The discount rate that reflects only the business risks of a project and abstracts from the
effects of financing.

All or none

Requirement that none of an order be executed unless all of it can be executed at the specified price.

All-in cost

Total costs, explicit and implicit.

All-or-none underwriting

An arrangement whereby a security issue is canceled if the underwriter is unable
to re-sell the entire issue.

Asset activity ratios

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

Scattergraph Image 1

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.

Balloon maturity

Any large principal payment due at maturity for a bond or loan with or without a a sinking
fund requirement.

Borrower fallout

In the mortgage pipeline, the risk that prospective borrowers of loans committed to be
closed will elect to withdraw from the contract.


An option that gives the right to buy the underlying futures contract.

Call an option

To exercise a call option.

Call date

A date before maturity, specified at issuance, when the issuer of a bond may retire part of the bond
for a specified call price.

Call money rate

Also called the broker loan rate , the interest rate that banks charge brokers to finance
margin loans to investors. The broker charges the investor the call money rate plus a service charge.

Call option

An option contract that gives its holder the right (but not the obligation) to purchase a specified
number of shares of the underlying stock at the given strike price, on or before the expiration date of the
Call premium
Premium in price above the par value of a bond or share of preferred stock that must be paid to
holders to redeem the bond or share of preferred stock before its scheduled maturity date.

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.

Scattergraph Image 2

Call price

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

Call protection

A feature of some callable bonds that establishes an initial period when the bonds may not be

Call provision

An embedded option granting a bond issuer the right to buy back all or part of the issue prior
to maturity.

Call risk

The combination of cash flow uncertainty and reinvestment risk introduced by a call provision.

Call swaption

A swaption in which the buyer has the right to enter into a swap as a fixed-rate payer. The
writer therefore becomes the fixed-rate receiver/floating rate payer.


A financial security such as a bond with a call option attached to it, i.e., the issuer has the right to
call the security.

Capital allocation

decision allocation of invested funds between risk-free assets versus the risky portfolio.

Carring costs

costs that increase with increases in the level of investment in current assets.

Chinese wall

Communication barrier between financiers (investment bankers) and traders. This barrier is
erected to prevent the sharing of inside information that bankers are likely to have.

Continuous random variable

A random value that can take any fractional value within specified ranges, as
contrasted with a discrete variable.

Covered call

A short call option position in which the writer owns the number of shares of the underlying
stock represented by the option contracts. Covered calls generally limit the risk the writer takes because the
stock does not have to be bought at the market price, if the holder of that option decides to exercise it.

Covered call writing strategy

A strategy that involves writing a call option on securities that the investor
owns in his or her portfolio. See covered or hedge option strategies.

Deferred call

A provision that prohibits the company from calling the bond before a certain date. During this
period the bond is said to be call protected.

Discrete random variable

A random variable that can take only a certain specified set of discrete possible
values - for example, the positive integers 1, 2, 3, . . .

Dynamic asset allocation

An asset allocation strategy in which the asset mix is mechanistically shifted in
response to -changing market conditions, as in a portfolio insurance strategy, for example.

Effective call price

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

Endogenous variable

A value determined within the context of a model.

Execution costs

The difference between the execution price of a security and the price that would have
existed in the absence of a trade, which can be further divided into market impact costs and market timing

Exogenous variable

A variable whose value is determined outside the model in which it is used. Also called
a parameter.

Fallout risk

A type of mortgage pipeline risk that is generally created when the terms of the loan to be
originated are set at the same time as the sale terms are set. The risk is that either of the two parties, borrower
or investor, fails to close and the loan "falls out" of the pipeline.

Federally related institutions

Arms of the federal government that are exempt from SEC registration and
whose securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (with the exception of the
Tennessee Valley Authority).

Financial distress costs

Legal and administrative costs of liquidation or reorganization. Also includes
implied costs associated with impaired ability to do business (indirect costs).


With CMOs, the start of the cash flow cycle for the cash flow window.

Fixed asset

Long-lived property owned by a firm that is used by a firm in the production of its income.
Tangible fixed assets include real estate, plant, and equipment. Intangible fixed assets include patents,
trademarks, and customer recognition.

Fixed asset turnover ratio

The ratio of sales to fixed assets.

Fixed cost

A cost that is fixed in total for a given period of time and for given production levels.


Annuity contracts in which the insurance company or issuing financial institution pays a
fixed dollar amount of money per period.

Fixed-charge coverage ratio

A measure of a firm's ability to meet its fixed-charge obligations: the ratio of
(net earnings before taxes plus interest charges paid plus long-term lease payments) to (interest charges paid
plus long-term lease payments).


In the Euromarket the standard periods for which Euros are traded (1 month out to a year out) are
referred to as the fixed dates.

Fixed-dollar obligations

Conventional bonds for which the coupon rate is set as a fixed percentage of the par value.

Fixed-dollar security

A nonnegotiable debt security that can be redeemed at some fixed price or according to
some schedule of fixed values, e.g., bank deposits and government savings bonds.

Fixed-exchange rate

A country's decision to tie the value of its currency to another country's currency, gold
(or another commodity), or a basket of currencies.

Fixed-income equivalent

Also called a busted convertible, a convertible security that is trading like a straight
security because the optioned common stock is trading low.

Fixed-income instruments

Assets that pay a fixed-dollar amount, such as bonds and preferred stock.

Fixed-income market

The market for trading bonds and preferred stock.

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.

Fixed-rate loan

A loan on which the rate paid by the borrower is fixed for the life of the loan.

Fixed-rate payer

In an interest rate swap the counterparty who pays a fixed rate, usually in exchange for a
floating-rate payment.

Friction costs

costs, both implied and direct, associated with a transaction. Such costs include time, effort,
money, and associated tax effects of gathering information and making a transaction.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP)

A technical accounting term that encompasses the
conventions, rules, and procedures necessary to define accepted accounting practice at a particular time.

Geographic risk

Risk that arises when an issuer has policies concentrated within certain geographic areas,
such as the risk of damage from a hurricane or an earthquake.

Glass-Steagall Act

A 1933 act in which Congress forbade commercial banks to own, underwrite, or deal in
corporate stock and corporate bonds.

Implied call

The right of the homeowner to prepay, or call, the mortgage at any time.

Incremental costs and benefits

costs and benefits that would occur if a particular course of action were
taken compared to those that would occur if that course of action were not taken.

Information costs

Transaction costs that include the assessment of the investment merits of a financial asset.
Related: search costs.

Installment sale

The sale of an asset in exchange for a specified series of payments (the installments).

Internally efficient market

Operationally efficient market.

Investor fallout

In the mortgage pipeline, risk that occurs when the originator commits loan terms to the
borrowers and gets commitments from investors at the time of application, or if both sets of terms are made at closing.

Irrational call option

The implied call imbedded in the MBS. Identified as irrational because the call is
sometimes not exercised when it is in the money (interest rates are below the threshold to refinance).
Sometimes exercised when not in the money (home sold without regard to the relative level of interest rates).

Linter's observations

John Lintner's work (1956) suggested that dividend policy is related to a target level of
dividends and the speed of adjustment of change in dividends.

Margin call

A demand for additional funds because of adverse price movement. Maintenance margin
requirement, security deposit maintenance
Margin of safety With respect to working capital management, the difference between 1) the amount of longterm
financing, and 2) the sum of fixed assets and the permanent component of current assets.

Market impact costs

Also called price impact costs, the result of a bid/ask spread and a dealer's price concession.

Market timing costs

costs that arise from price movement of the stock during the time of the transaction
which is attributed to other activity in the stock.

Mutually exclusive investment decisions

Investment decisions in which the acceptance of a project
precludes the acceptance of one or more alternative projects.

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.

Normal random variable

A random variable that has a normal probability distribution.

Operationally efficient market

Also called an internally efficient market, one in which investors can obtain
transactions services that reflect the true costs associated with furnishing those services.

Opportunity costs

The difference in the performance of an actual investment and a desired investment
adjusted for fixed costs and execution costs. The performance differential is a consequence of not being able
to implement all desired trades. Most valuable alternative that is given up.

Parallel loan

A process whereby two companies in different countries borrow each other's currency for a
specific period of time, and repay the other's currency at an agreed maturity for the purpose of reducing
foreign exchange risk. Also referred to as back-to-back loans.

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
Related: Non-parallel shift in the yield curve.

Policy asset allocation

A long-term asset allocation method, in which the investor seeks to assess an
appropriate long-term "normal" asset mix that represents an ideal blend of controlled risk and enhanced

Price impact costs

Related: market impact costs

Provisional call feature

A feature in a convertible issue that allows the issuer to call the issue during the noncall
period if the price of the stock reaches a certain level.

Put-call parity relationship

The relationship between the price of a put and the price of a call on the same
underlying security with the same expiration date, which prevents arbitrage opportunities. Holding the stock
and buying a put will deliver the exact payoff as buying one call and investing the present value (PV) of the
exercise price. The call value equals C=S+P-PV(k).

Rally (recovery)

An upward movement of prices. Opposite of reaction.

Random variable

A function that assigns a real number to each and every possible outcome of a random experiment.

Round-trip transactions costs

costs of completing a transaction, including commissions, market impact
costs, and taxes.

Search costs

costs associated with locating a counterparty to a trade, including explicit costs (such as
advertising) and implicit costs (such as the value of time). Related:information costs.

Shortfall risk

The risk of falling short of any investment target.

Small-firm effect

The tendency of small firms (in terms of total market capitalization) to outperform the
stock market (consisting of both large and small firms).

Small issues exemption

Securities issues that involve less than $1.5 million are not required to file a
registration statement with the SEC. Instead, they are governed by Regulation A, for which only a brief
offering statement is needed.

Sunk costs

costs that have been incurred and cannot be reversed.

Tactical Asset Allocation (TAA)

An asset allocation strategy that allows active departures from the normal
asset mix based upon rigorous objective measures of value. Often called active management. It involves
forecasting asset returns, volatilities and correlations. The forecasted variables may be functions of
fundamental variables, economic variables or even technical variables.

Trading costs

costs of buying and selling marketable securities and borrowing. Trading costs include
commissions, slippage, and the bid/ask spread. See: transaction costs.

Transactions costs

The time, effort, and money necessary, including such things as commission fees and the
cost of physically moving the asset from seller to buyer. Related: Round-trip transaction costs, Information
costs, search costs.

Uncovered call

A short call option position in which the writer does not own shares of underlying stock
represented by his option contracts. Also called a "naked" call, it is much riskier for the writer than a covered
call, where the writer owns the underlying stock. If the buyer of a call exercises the option to call, the writer
would be forced to buy the stock at market price.


A value determined within the context of a model. Also called endogenous variable.

Variable annuities

Annuity contracts in which the issuer pays a periodic amount linked to the investment
performance of an underlying portfolio.

Variable cost

A cost that is directly proportional to the volume of output produced. When production is zero,
the variable cost is equal to zero.

Variable life insurance policy

A whole life insurance policy that provides a death benefit dependent on the
insured's portfolio market value at the time of death. Typically the company invests premiums in common
stocks, and hence variable life policies are referred to as equity-linked policies.

Variable price security

A security, such as stocks or bonds, that sells at a fluctuating, market-determined price.

Variable rate CDs

Short-term certificate of deposits that pay interest periodically on roll dates. On each roll
date, the coupon on the CD is adjusted to reflect current market rates.

Variable rated demand bond (VRDB)

Floating rate bond that can be sold back periodically to the issuer.







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