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Definition of Synthetics

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Customized hybrid instruments created by blending an underlying price on a cash instrument with
the price of a derivative instrument.

Related Terms:

NPV (net present value of cash flows)

Same as PV, but usually includes a subtraction for an initial cash outlay.

PV (present value of cash flows)

the value in today’s dollars of cash flows that occur in different time periods.
present value factor equal to the formula 1/(1 - r)n, where n is the number of years from the valuation date to the cash flow and r is the discount rate.
For business valuation, n should usually be midyear, i.e., n = 0.5, 1.5, . . .

Alternative mortgage instruments

Variations of mortgage instruments such as adjustable-rate and variablerate
mortgages, graduated-payment mortgages, reverse-annuity mortgages, and several seldom-used

Arm's length price

The price at which a willing buyer and a willing unrelated seller would freely agree to

Ask price

A dealer's price to sell a security; also called the offer price.

Bargain-purchase-price option

Gives the lessee the option to purchase the asset at a price below fair market
value when the lease expires.

Basis price

price expressed in terms of yield to maturity or annual rate of return.

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Bid price

This is the quoted bid, or the highest price an investor is willing to pay to buy a security. Practically
speaking, this is the available price at which an investor can sell shares of stock. Related: Ask , offer.

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.

Call price

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


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 budget

A forecasted summary of a firm's expected cash inflows and cash outflows as well as its
expected cash and loan balances.

Cash and carry

Purchase of a security and simultaneous sale of a future, with the balance being financed
with a loan or repo.

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 commodity

The actual physical commodity, as distinguished from a futures contract.

Cash conversion cycle

The length of time between a firm's purchase of inventory and the receipt of cash
from accounts receivable.

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Cash cow

A company that pays out all earnings per share to stockholders as dividends. Or, a company or
division of a company that generates a steady and significant amount of free cash flow.

Cash cycle

In general, the time between cash disbursement and cash collection. In net working capital
management, it can be thought of as the operating cycle less the accounts payable payment period.

Cash deficiency agreement

An agreement to invest cash in a project to the extent required to cover any cash
deficiency the project may experience.

Cash delivery

The provision of some futures contracts that requires not delivery of underlying assets but
settlement according to the cash value of the asset.

Cash discount

An incentive offered to purchasers of a firm's product for payment within a specified time
period, such as ten days.

Cash dividend

A dividend paid in cash to a company's shareholders. The amount is normally based on
profitability and is taxable as income. A cash distribution may include capital gains and return of capital in
addition to the dividend.

Cash equivalent

A short-term security that is sufficiently liquid that it may be considered the financial
equivalent of 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 after interest and taxes

Net income plus depreciation.

Cash flow coverage ratio

The number of times that financial obligations (for interest, principal payments,
preferred stock dividends, and rental payments) are covered by earnings before interest, taxes, rental
payments, and depreciation.

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

Cash flow matching

Also called dedicating a portfolio, this is an alternative to multiperiod immunization in
which the manager matches the maturity of each element in the liability stream, working backward from the
last liability to assure all required cash flows.

Cash flow per common share

cash flow from operations minus preferred stock dividends, divided by the
number of common shares outstanding.

Cash flow time-line

Line depicting the operating activities and cash flows for a firm over a particular period.

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.

Cash management bill

Very short maturity bills that the Treasury occasionally sells because its cash
balances are down and it needs money for a few days.

Cash markets

Also called spot markets, these are markets that involve the immediate delivery of a security
or instrument.
Related: derivative markets.

Cash offer

A public equity issue that is sold to all interested investors.

Cash ratio

The proportion of a firm's assets held as cash.

Cash settlement contracts

Futures contracts, such as stock index futures, that settle for cash, not involving
the delivery of the underlying.

Cash transaction

A transaction where exchange is immediate, as contrasted to a forward contract, which
calls for future delivery of an asset at an agreed-upon price.

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-surrender value

An amount the insurance company will pay if the policyholder ends a whole life
insurance policy.


Refers to a situation where a firm runs out of cash and cannot readily sell marketable securities.

Clean price

Bond price excluding accrued interest.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

The CPI, as it is called, measures the prices of consumer goods and services and is a
measure of the pace of U.S. inflation. The U.S.Department of Labor publishes the CPI very month.

Conversion parity price

Related:Market conversion price

Convertible price

The contractually specified price per share at which a convertible security can be
converted into shares of common stock.

Customized benchmarks

A benchmark that is designed to meet a client's requirements and long-term

Debt instrument

An asset requiring fixed dollar payments, such as a government or corporate bond.

Deliverable instrument

The asset in a forward contract that will be delivered in the future at an agree-upon price.

Delivery price

The price fixed by the Clearing house at which deliveries on futures are in invoiced; also the
price at which the futures contract is settled when deliveries are made.

Derivative instruments

Contracts such as options and futures whose price is derived from the price of the
underlying financial asset.

Derivative markets

Markets for derivative instruments.

Derivative security

A financial security, such as an option, or future, whose value is derived in part from the
value and characteristics of another security, the underlying security.

Devaluation A decrease in the spot price of the currency

Dirty price

Bond price including accrued interest, i.e., the price paid by the bond buyer.

Discounted cash flow (DCF)

Future cash flows multiplied by discount factors to obtain present values.

Discretionary cash flow

cash flow that is available after the funding of all positive NPV capital investment
projects; it is available for paying cash dividends, repurchasing common stock, retiring debt, and so on.

Dollar price of a bond

Percentage of face value at which a bond is quoted.

Effective call price

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

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.

Equivalent annual cash flow

Annuity with the same net present value as the company's proposed investment.

Exercise price

The price at which the underlying future or options contract may be bought or sold.

Expected future cash flows

Projected future cash flows associated with an asset of decision.

Fair market price

Amount at which an asset would change hands between two parties, both having
knowledge of the relevant facts. Also referred to as market price.

Fair price

The equilibrium price for futures contracts. Also called the theoretical futures price, which equals
the spot price continuously compounded at the cost of carry rate for some time interval.

Fair price provision

See:appraisal rights.

Fixed-income instruments

Assets that pay a fixed-dollar amount, such as 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.

Flat price risk

Taking a position either long or short that does not involve spreading.

Flat price (also clean price)

The quoted newspaper price of a bond that does not include accrued interest.
The price paid by purchaser is the full price.

Free cash flows

cash not required for operations or for reinvestment. Often defined as earnings before
interest (often obtained from operating income line on the income statement) less capital expenditures less the
change in working capital.

Full price

Also called dirty price, the price of a bond including accrued interest. Related: flat price.

Futures price

The price at which the parties to a futures contract agree to transact on the settlement date.

General cash offer

A public offering made to investors at large.

High price

The highest (intraday) price of a stock over the past 52 weeks, adjusted for any stock splits.


A package containing two or more different kinds of risk management instruments that are usually

Hybrid security

A convertible security whose optioned common stock is trading in a middle range, causing
the convertible security to trade with the characteristics of both a fixed-income security and a common stock

Incremental cash flows

Difference between the firm's cash flows with and without a project.


Financial securities, such as money market instruments or capital market insturments.

Invoice price

The price that the buyer of a futures contract must pay the seller when a Treasury Bond is delivered.

Law of one price

An economic rule stating that a given security must have the same price regardless of the
means by which one goes about creating that security. This implies that if the payoff of a security can be
synthetically created by a package of other securities, the price of the package and the price of the security
whose payoff it replicates must be equal.

Ledger cash

A firm's cash balance as reported in its financial statements. Also called book cash.

Limit price

Maximum price fluctuation
Limitation on asset dispositions A bond covenant that restricts in some way a firm's ability to sell major

Limited-liability instrument

A security, such as a call option, in which the owner can only lose his initial

Low price

This is the day's lowest price of a security that has changed hands between a buyer and a seller.

Low price-earnings ratio effect

The tendency of portfolios of stocks with a low price-earnings ratio to
outperform portfolios consisting of stocks with a high price-earnings ratio.

Limit price

Maximum price fluctuation

Limited-liability instrument

A security, such as a call option, in which the owner can only lose his initial investment.

Market conversion price

Also called conversion parity price, the price that an investor effectively pays for
common stock by purchasing a convertible security and then exercising the conversion option. This price is
equal to the market price of the convertible security divided by the conversion ratio.

Market price of risk

A measure of the extra return, or risk premium, that investors demand to bear risk. The
reward-to-risk ratio of the market portfolio.

Market prices

The amount of money that a willing buyer pays to acquire something from a willing seller,
when a buyer and seller are independent and when such an exchange is motivated by only commercial

Marketplace price efficiency

The degree to which the prices of assets reflect the available marketplace
information. Marketplace price efficiency is sometimes estimated as the difficulty faced by active
management of earning a greater return than passive management would, after adjusting for the risk
associated with a strategy and the transactions costs associated with implementing a strategy.

Maximum price fluctuation

The maximum amount the contract price can change, up or down, during one
trading session, as fixed by exchange rules in the contract specification. Related: limit price.

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.

Net cash balance

Beginning cash balance plus cash receipts minus cash disbursements.

Nominal cash flow

A cash flow expressed in nominal terms if the actual dollars to be received or paid out are given.

Nominal price

price quotations on futures for a period in which no actual trading took place.

Noncash charge

A cost, such as depreciation, depletion, and amortization, that does not involve any cash outflow.

Opening price

The range of prices at which the first bids and offers were made or first transactions were

Operating cash flow

Earnings before depreciation minus taxes. It measures the cash generated from
operations, not counting capital spending or working capital requirements.

Option price

Also called the option premium, the price paid by the buyer of the options contract for the right
to buy or sell a security at a specified price in the future.







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