Financial Terms

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Definition of timeline

Timeline Image 1


representation of the amounts and timing of all
cash inflows and outflows; it is used in analyzing cash flow
from a capital project

Related Terms:

"Soft" Capital Rationing

capital rationing that under certain circumstances can be violated or even viewed
as made up of targets rather than absolute constraints.

acid test ratio (also called the quick ratio)

The sum of cash, accounts receivable, and short-term marketable
investments (if any) is divided by
total current liabilities to compute this ratio. Suppose that the short-term
creditors were to pounce on a business and not agree to roll over the
debts owed to them by the business. In this rather extreme scenario, the
acid test ratio reveals whether its cash and near-cash assets are enough
to pay its short-term current liabilities. This ratio is an extreme test that
is not likely to be imposed on a business unless it is in financial straits.
This ratio is quite relevant when a business is in a liquidation situation
or bankruptcy proceedings.

Additional paid-in capital

amounts in excess of the par value or stated value that have been paid by the public to acquire stock in the company; synonymous with capital in excess of par.

Additional paid-in capital

Any payment received from investors for stock that exceeds
the par value of the stock.

additional paid-in capital

Difference between issue price and par value of stock. Also called capital surplus.

Adjusted Cash Flow Provided by Continuing Operations

cash flow provided by operating
activities adjusted to provide a more recurring, sustainable measure. Adjustments to reported cash
provided by operating activities are made to remove such nonrecurring cash items as: the operating
component of discontinued operations, income taxes on items classified as investing or financing activities, income tax benefits from nonqualified employee stock options, the cash effects of purchases and sales of trading securities for nonfinancial firms, capitalized expenditures, and other nonrecurring cash inflows and outflows.

Aggressive Capitalization Policies

capitalizing and reporting as assets significant portions of
expenditures, the realization of which require unduly optimistic assumptions.

Timeline Image 1

Aggressive Cost Capitalization

Cost capitalization that stretches the flexibility within generally
accepted accounting principles beyond its intended limits, resulting in reporting as assets
items that more reasonably should have been expensed. The purpose of this activity is likely to
alter financial results and financial position in order to create a potentially misleading impression
of a firm's business performance or financial position.

All equity rate

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

All-in cost

Total costs, explicit and implicit.

All or none

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

All-or-none underwriting

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


assign based on the use of a cost driver, a cost predictor,
or an arbitrary method


the systematic assignment of an amount to a recipient
set of categories annuity a series of equal cash flows (either positive or negative) per period


The process of storing costs in one account and shifting them to other
accounts, based on some relevant measure of activity.

Allocation base A measure of activity or volume such as labour

hours, machine hours or volume of production
used to apportion overheads to products and

Timeline Image 2

Allowance for bad debts

An offset to the accounts receivable balance, against which
bad debts are charged. The presence of this allowance allows one to avoid severe
changes in the period-to-period bad debt expense by expensing a steady amount to
the allowance account in every period, rather than writing off large bad debts to
expense on an infrequent basis.

Allowance for doubtful accounts

A contra account related to accounts receivable that represents the amounts that the company expects will not be collected.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

An estimate of the uncollectible portion of accounts receivable
that is subtracted from the gross amount of accounts receivable to arrive at the estimated collectible

Allowance method

A method of adjusting accounts receivable to the amount that is expected to be collected based on company experience.

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

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.

authorized share capital

Maximum number of shares that the company is permitted to issue, as specified in the firm’s articles of incorporation.

Average cost of capital

A firm's required payout to the bondholders and to the stockholders expressed as a
percentage of capital contributed to the firm. Average cost of capital is computed by dividing the total
required cost of capital by the total amount of contributed capital.

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.


a. An option to buy a certain quantity of a stock or commodity for a
specified price within a specified time. See Put.
b. A demand to submit bonds to the issuer for redemption before the maturity date.
c. A demand for payment of a debt.
d. A demand for payment due on stock bought on margin.

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 Option

A contract that gives the holder the right to buy an asset for a
specified price on or before a given expiration (maturity) date

call option

Right to buy an asset at a specified exercise price on or before the exercise 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.

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.

Callable bond

A bond that allows the issuer to buy back the bond at a
predetermined price at specified future dates. The bond contains an embedded
call option; i.e., the holder has sold a call option to the issuer. See Puttable

callable bond

Bond that may be repurchased by the issuer before maturity at specified call price.


Money invested in a firm.


The money, raised by selling stock or bonds or taking out loans, that you use to start, operate, and grow a business.


The shareholders’ investment in the business; the difference between the assets and liabilities
of a business.


A very broad term rooted in economic theory and referring to
money and other assets that are invested in a business or other venture
for the general purpose of earning a profit, or a return on the investment.
Generally speaking, the sources of capital for a business are
divided between debt and equity. Debt, as you know, is borrowed money
on which interest is paid. Equity is the broad term for the ownership
capital invested in a business and is most often called owners’ equity.
Owners’ equity arises from two quite different sources: (1) money or
other assets invested in the business by its owners and (2) profit earned
by the business that is retained and not distributed to its owners (called
retained earnings).


The investment by a company’s owners in a business, plus the impact of any
accumulated gains or losses.


a) Physical capital: buildings, equipment, and any materials used to produce other goods and services in the future rather than being consumed today.
b) Financial capital: funds available for acquiring real capital.
c) Human capital: the value of the education and experience that make people more productive.


Expenditures Purchases of productive long-lived assets, in particular, items of property,
plant, and equipment.


Any asset or stock of assets, financial or physical, capable of producing income.

Capital account

Net result of public and private international investment and lending activities.

Capital Account

That part of the balance of payments accounts that records demands for and supplies of a currency arising from purchases or sales of assets.

Capital allocation

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

capital asset

an asset used to generate revenues or cost savings
by providing production, distribution, or service capabilities
for more than one year

Capital asset

A fixed asset, something that is expected to have long-term usage within
a company, and which exceeds a minimum dollar amount (known as the capitalization
limit, or cap limit).

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.

Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

A model for estimating equilibrium rates of return and values of
assets in financial markets; uses beta as a measure of asset risk
relative to market risk

capital asset pricing model (CAPM)

Theory of the relationship between risk and return which states that the expected risk
premium on any security equals its beta times the market risk premium.

Capital budget

A firm's set of planned capital expenditures.

capital budget

management’s plan for investments in longterm
property, plant, and equipment

capital budget

List of planned investment projects.

Capital budgeting

The process of choosing the firm's long-term capital assets.

capital budgeting

Refers generally to analysis procedures for ranking
investments, given a limited amount of total capital that has to be allocated
among the various capital investment opportunities of a business.
The term sometimes is used interchangeably with the analysis techniques
themselves, such as calculating present value, net present value,
and the internal rate of return of investments.

Capital Budgeting

The process of ranking and selecting investment alternatives and
capital expenditures

capital budgeting

a process of evaluating an entity’s proposed
long-range projects or courses of future activity for
the purpose of allocating limited resources to desirable

Capital budgeting

The series of steps one follows when justifying the decision to purchase
an asset, usually including an analysis of costs and related benefits, which
should include a discounted cash flow analysis of the stream of all future cash flows
resulting from the purchase of the asset.

capital budgeting decision

Decision as to which real assets the firm should acquire.

Capital Consumption Allowance

See depreciation.

Capital Cost Allowance (CCA)

The annual depreciation expense allowed by the Canadian Income Tax Act.

Capital employed

The total of debt and equity, i.e. the total funds in the business.

Capital expenditures

Amount used during a particular period to acquire or improve long-term assets such as
property, plant or equipment.

capital expenditures

Refers to investments by a business in long-term
operating assets, including land and buildings, heavy machinery and
equipment, vehicles, tools, and other economic resources used in the
operations of a business. The term capital is used to emphasize that
these are relatively large amounts and that a business has to raise capital
for these expenditures from debt and equity sources.

Capital flight

The transfer of capital abroad in response to fears of political risk.

Capital Flows

Purchase by foreigners of our assets (capital inflows) or our purchase of foreign assets (capital outflows).

Capital gain

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.

Capital gain

The gain recognized on the sale of a capital item (fixed asset), calculated
by subtracting its sale price from its original purchase price (less the impact of any
associated depreciation).

Capital Gain

An increase in the value of an asset.

capital gain

The positive difference between the adjusted cost base of an investment held as a capital property and the proceeds of disposition you receive when you sell it. When you sell such an investment for more than you paid, you realize a capital gain.

Capital gains yield

The price change portion of a stock's return.


What a company collected when it sold stock for more than the par value per share.

Capital in excess par

amounts in excess of the par value or stated value that have been paid by the public to acquire stock in the company; synonymous with additional paid-in capital.

capital investment analysis

Refers to various techniques and procedures
used to determine or to analyze future returns from an investment
of capital in order to evaluate the capital recovery pattern and the
periodic earnings from the investment. The two basic tools for capital
investment analysis are (1) spreadsheet models (which I strongly prefer)
and (2) mathematical equations for calculating the present value or
internal rate of return of an investment. Mathematical methods suffer
from a lack of information that the decision maker ought to consider. A
spreadsheet model supplies all the needed information and has other
advantages as well.

Capital Investments

Money used to purchase fixed assets for a business, such as land, buildings, or machinery. Also, money invested in a business on the understanding that it will be used to purchase permanent assets rather than to cover day-to-day operating expenses.

Capital lease

A lease obligation that has to be capitalized on the balance sheet.

Capital lease

A lease in which the lessee obtains some ownership rights over the asset
involved in the transaction, resulting in the recording of the asset as company property
on its general ledger.

Capital Lease

One where substantially all of the benefits and risks of ownership are transferred to the lessee. It must be reflected on the company's balance sheet as an asset and corresponding liability.

Capital loss

The difference between the net cost of a security and the net sale price, if that security is sold at a loss.

capital loss

The negative difference between the adjusted cost base of an investment held as a capital property and the proceeds of disposition you receive when you sell it. When you sell such an investment for less than you paid, you incur a capital loss.

Capital market

The market for trading long-term debt instruments (those that mature in more than one year).

Capital market

The market in which investors buy and sell shares of companies, normally associated with a Stock Exchange.

Capital Market

A market that specializes in trading long-term, relatively high risk

Capital Market

The market in which savings are made available to those needing funds to undertake investment projects. A financial market in which longer-term (maturity greater than one year) bonds and stocks are traded.

Capital market efficiency

Reflects the relative amount of wealth wasted in making transactions. An efficient
capital market allows the transfer of assets with little wealth loss. See: efficient market hypothesis.

Capital market imperfections view

The view that issuing debt is generally valuable but that the firm's
optimal choice of capital structure is a dynamic process that involves the other views of capital structure (net
corporate/personal tax, agency cost, bankruptcy cost, and pecking order), which result from considerations of
asymmetric information, asymmetric taxes, and transaction costs.

Capital market line (CML)

The line defined by every combination of the risk-free asset and the market portfolio.

capital markets

Markets for long-term financing.

Capital Mobility

A situation in which assets can easily be purchased by foreigners.

Capital rationing

Placing one or more limits on the amount of new investment undertaken by a firm, either
by using a higher cost of capital, or by setting a maximum on parts of, and/or the entirety of, the capital

capital rationing

a condition that exists when there is an
upper-dollar constraint on the amount of capital available
to commit to capital asset acquisition







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