Definition of Securities
A general term for stock, bonds, or other other financial assets.
The Treasury and federal agencies are moving to a book-entry system in which securities are not represented by engraved pieces of paper but are maintained in computerized records at the
Fed in the names of member banks, which in turn keep records of the securities they own as well as those they
are holding for customers. In the case of other securities where a book-entry has developed, engraved
securities do exist somewhere in quite a few cases. These securities do not move from holder to holder but are
usually kept in a central clearinghouse or by another agent.
IOUs created through loan-type transactions - commercial paper, bank CDs, bills, bonds, and
Non-interest-bearing money market instruments that are issued at a discount and
redeemed at maturity for full face value, e.g. U.S. Treasury bills.
Instruments exempt from the registration requirements of the securities Act of 1933 or the
margin requirements of the SEC Act of 1934. Such securities include government bonds, agencies, munis,
commercial paper, and private placements.
securities issued by corporations and agencies created by the U.S. government,
such as the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and Ginnie Mae.
Negotiable U.S. Treasury securities.
Loans on manufactured homes - that is, factory-built or
prefabricated housing, including mobile homes.
A wholly owned subsidiary of the Midwest Stock
Exchange that operates a clearing service for the comparison, netting, and margining of agency-guaranteed
MBSs transacted for forward delivery.
securities backed by a pool of mortgage loans.
A pool of fixed-income securities backed by a package of assets (i.e. mortgages)
where the holder receives the principal and interest payments. Related: mortgage pass-through security
securities backed by a variety of FHA-insured loan types - primarily multi-family
apartment buildings, hospitals, and nursing homes.
The trade association for primary dealers in U.S. government
securities, including MBSs.
The SEC is a federal agency that regulates the U.S.financial markets.
securities that redistribute the cash flows from the
underlying generic MBS collateral into the principal and interest components of the MBS to enhance their use
in meeting special needs of investors.
securities issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
The federal agency that
oversees the issuance of and trading in securities of public businesses.
The SEC has broad powers and can suspend the trading in securities of a
business. The SEC also has primary jurisdiction in making accounting
and financial reporting rules, but over the years it has largely deferred to
the private sector for the development of generally accepted accounting
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Federal agency responsible for regulation of securities markets in the United
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
A federal agency that administers securities legislation,
including the securities Acts of 1933 and 1934. Public companies in the United States
must register their securities with the SEC and file with the agency quarterly and annual financial
Bond or note secured by assets of company.
Federal agency securities.
Mortgage pass-through securities whose principal and interest payments are
guaranteed by government agencies, such as the Government National Mortgage Association ("Ginnie Mae"), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("Freddie Mac") and Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae").
securities certificates issued in the U.S. by a transfer agent acting on behalf of the foreign
issuer. The certificates represent claims to foreign equities.
Categories of assets, such as stocks, bonds, real estate and foreign securities.
The average time to maturity of securities held by a mutual fund. Changes in interest rates
have greater impact on funds with longer average life.
Brokerage house clerical operations that support, but do not include, the trading of stocks and
other securities. Includes all written confirmation and settlement of trades, record keeping and regulatory
Back-end loan fund
A mutual fund that charges investors a fee to sell (redeem) shares, often ranging from
4% to 6%. Some back-end load funds impose a full commission if the shares are redeemed within a
designated time, such as one year. The commission decreases the longer the investor holds the shares. The
formal name for the back-end load is the contingent deferred sales charge, or CDSC.
A strategy in which the maturities of the securities included in the portfolio are concentrated
at two extremes.
The performance of a predetermined set of securities, for comparison purposes. Such sets may be
based on published indexes or may be customized to suit an investment strategy.
A method of securities distribution/ underwriting in which the securities firm agrees to sell
as much of the offering as possible and return any unsold shares to the issuer. As opposed to a guaranteed or
fixed price sale, where the underwriter agrees to sell a specific number of shares (with the securities firm
holding any unsold shares in its own account if necessary).
State laws covering the issue and trading of securities.
A system that monitors and evaluates the performance of a fixed-income portfolio , as well as the
individual securities held in the portfolio. BONDPAR decomposes the return into those elements beyond the
manager's control--such as the interest rate environment and client-imposed duration policy constraints--and
those that the management process contributes to, such as interest rate management, sector/quality allocations,
and individual bond selection.
The managing underwriter for a new issue. The book runner maintains the book of securities sold.
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.
A trend allowing creation of securities either by combining primitive and derivative
securities into one composite hybrid or by separating returns on an asset into classes.
A financial analyst employed by a non-brokerage firm, typically one of the larger money
management firms that purchase securities on their own accounts.
Capital asset pricing model (CAPM)
An economic theory that describes the relationship between risk and
expected return, and serves as a model for the pricing of risky securities. The CAPM asserts that the only risk
that is priced by rational investors is systematic risk, because that risk cannot be eliminated by diversification.
The CAPM says that the expected return of a security or a portfolio is equal to the rate on a risk-free security
plus a risk premium.
When a stock is sold for a profit, it's the difference between the net sales price of securities and
their net cost, or original basis. If a stock is sold below cost, the difference is a capital loss.
Certificates of Amortized Revolving Debt. Pass-through securities backed by credit card receivables.
Certificates of Automobile Receivables. Pass-through securities backed by automobile receivables.
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.
Cash flow from operations
A firm's net cash inflow resulting directly from its regular operations
(disregarding extraordinary items such as the sale of fixed assets or transaction costs associated with issuing
securities), calculated as the sum of net income plus non-cash expenses that were deducted in calculating net
Refers to a situation where a firm runs out of cash and cannot readily sell marketable securities.
Chicago Board Options Exchange. A securities exchange created in the early 1970s for the public
trading of standardized option contracts.
A trade is carried out by the seller delivering securities and the buyer delivering funds in proper form.
A trade that does not clear is said to fail.
Collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO)
A security backed by a pool of pass-throughs , structured so that
there are several classes of bondholders with varying maturities, called tranches. The principal payments from
the underlying pool of pass-through securities are used to retire the bonds on a priority basis as specified in
Related: mortgage pass-through security
These are securities that represent equity ownership in a company. Common shares let an
investor vote on such matters as the election of directors. They also give the holder a share in a company's
profits via dividend payments or the capital appreciation of the security.
A securities offering process in which securities firms submit competing bids to the
issuer for the securities the issuer wishes to sell.
An offering of securities through competitive bidding.
Comprehensive due diligence investigation
The investigation of a firm's business in conjunction with a
securities offering to determine whether the firm's business and financial situation and its prospects are
adequately disclosed in the prospectus for the offering.
A measure of investors' faith in the economy and the securities market. A low or
deteriorating level of confidence is considered by many technical analysts as a bearish sign.
he written statement that follows any "trade" in the securities markets. Confirmation is issued
immediately after a trade is executed. It spells out settlement date, terms, commission, etc.
A legal "person" that is separate and distinct from its owners. A corporation is allowed to own
assets, incur liabilities, and sell securities, among other things.
In bonds, notes or other fixed income securities, the stated percentage rate of interest, usually
paid twice a year.
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.
The risk that an issuer of debt securities or a borrower may default on his obligations, or that the
payment may not be made on a negotiable instrument. Related: Default risk
Value of cash, accounts receivable, inventories, marketable securities and other assets that
could be converted to cash in less than 1 year.
In Treasury securities, the most recently auctioned issue. Trading is more active in current
issues than in off-the-run issues.
Custodial fees Fees
charged by an institution that holds securities in safekeeping for an investor.
Over-the-counter options, such as those offered by government and mortgage-backed
Delivery versus payment
A transaction in which the buyer's payment for securities is due at the time of
delivery (usually to a bank acting as agent for the buyer) upon receipt of the securities. The payment may be
made by bank wire, check, or direct credit to an account.
Demand master notes
Short-term securities that are repayable immediately upon the holder's demand.
Depository Trust Company (DTC)
DTC is a user-owned securities depository which accepts deposits of
eligible securities for custody, executes book-entry deliveries and records book-entry pledges of securities in
its custody, and provides for withdrawals of securities from its custody.
Direct stock-purchase programs
The purchase by investors of securities directly from the issuer.
Dividing investment funds among a variety of securities with different risk, reward, and
correlation statistics so as to minimize unsystematic risk.
Part of a nation's internal market representing the mechanisms for issuing and trading
securities of entities domiciled within that nation. Compare external market and foreign market.
An instrument evidencing the obligation of a seller to deliver securities sold to the buyer.
Occasionally used in the bill market.
Auction in which the lowest price necessary to sell the entire offering becomes the price at
which all securities offered are sold. This technique has been used in Treasury auctions.
The securities & Exchange Commission uses Electronic Data Gathering and Retrieval to transmit
company documents such as 10-Ks, 10-Qs, quarterly reports, and other SEC filings, to investors.
The combinations of securities portfolios that maximize expected return for any level of
expected risk, or that minimizes expected risk for any level of expected return.
securities that give the holder the right to buy or sell a specified number of shares of stock, at
a specified price for a certain (limited) time period. Typically one option equals 100 shares of stock.
Equivalent bond yield
Annual yield on a short-term, non-interest bearing security calculated so as to be
comparable to yields quoted on coupon securities.
securities sold in the Euromarket. That is, securities initially sold to investors
simultaneously in several national markets by an international syndicate. Euromarket.
Related: external market
The marketplace in which shares, options and futures on stocks, bonds, commodities and indices
are traded. Principal US stock exchanges are: New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), American Stock Exchange
(AMEX) and the National Association of securities Dealers (NASDAQ)
The process of completing an order to buy or sell securities. Once a trade is executed, it is reported
by a Confirmation Report; settlement (payment and transfer of ownership) occurs in the U.S. between 1
(mutual funds) and 5 (stocks) days after an order is executed. Settlement times for exchange listed stocks are
in the process of being reduced to three days in the U. S.
The percentage of the assets that were spent to run a mutual fund (as of the last annual
statement). This includes expenses such as management and advisory fees, overhead costs and 12b-1
(distribution and advertising ) fees. The expense ratio does not include brokerage costs for trading the
portfolio, although these are reported as a percentage of assets to the SEC by the funds in a Statement of
Additional Information (SAI). the SAI is available to shareholders on request. Neither the expense ratio or the
SAI includes the transaction costs of spreads, normally incurred in unlisted securities and foreign stocks.
These two costs can add significantly to the reported expenses of a fund. The expense ratio is often termed an
Operating Expense Ratio (OER).
Also referred to as the international market, the offshore market, or, more popularly, the
Euromarket, the mechanism for trading securities that (1) at issuance are offered simultaneously to investors
in a number of countries and (2) are issued outside the jurisdiction of any single country. Related: internal
A trade is said to fail if on settlement date either the seller fails to deliver securities in proper form or the
buyer fails to deliver funds in proper form.
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).
Also called securities analysts and investment analysts, professionals who analyze
financial statements, interview corporate executives, and attend trade shows, in order to write reports
recommending either purchasing, selling, or holding various stocks.
A time series regression to estimate the betas of securities portfolios.
Fixed price basis
An offering of securities at a fixed price.
The amount of securities believed to be available for immediate purchase, that is, in the
hands of dealers and investors wanting to sell.
Part of a nation's internal market, representing the mechanisms for issuing and trading
securities of entities domiciled outside that nation. Compare external market and domestic market.
Direct trading in exchange-listed securities between investors without the use of a broker.
Fully diluted earnings per shares
Earnings per share expressed as if all outstanding convertible securities
and warrants have been exercised.
Security analysis that seeks to detect misvalued securities by an analysis of the firm's
business prospects. Research analysis often focuses on earnings, dividend prospects, expectations for future
interest rates, and risk evaluation of the firm.
Futures commission merchant
A firm or person engaged in soliciting or accepting and handling orders for
the purchase or sale of futures contracts, subject to the rules of a futures exchange and, who, in connection
with such solicitation or acceptance of orders, accepts any money or securities to margin any resulting trades
or contracts. The FCM must be licensed by the CFTC. Related: commission house , omnibus account
Agreement to buy or sell a set number of shares of a specific stock in a designated future
month at a price agreed upon by the buyer and seller. The contracts themselves are often traded on the futures
market. A futures contract differs from an option because an option is the right to buy or sell, whereas a
futures contract is the promise to actually make a transaction. A future is part of a class of securities called
derivatives, so named because such securities derive their value from the worth of an underlying investment.
General obligation bonds
Municipal securities secured by the issuer's pledge of its full faith, credit, and
A reverse repurchase agreement between mortgage firms and securities dealers. Under the
agreement, the firm sells federal agency-guaranteed MBS and simultaneously agrees to repurchase them at a
future date at a fixed price.
British and Irish government securities.
Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) on which registered holders receive separate principal and
interest payments on each of their certificates, usually directly from the servicer of the MBS pool. GNMA-I
mortgage-backed securities are single-issuer pools.
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
Freddic Mac's 15-year, fixed-rate pass-through securities issued under its cash program.
When the Fed offers to buy securities, to sell securities, to do repo, or to do reverses, it solicits
competitive bids or offers from all primary dealers.
Good delivery and settlement procedures
Refers to PSA Uniform Practices such as cutoff times on delivery
of securities and notification, allocation, and proper endorsement.
See: Government securities.
Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae)
A wholly owned U.S. government corporation
within the Department of Housing & Urban Development. Ginnie Mae guarantees the timely payment of
principal and interest on securities issued by approved servicers that are collateralized by FHA-issued, VAguaranteed,
or Farmers Home Administration (FmHA)-guaranteed mortgages.
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