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Glossary of Stock Investing Terms: A

  • American depositary receipts:

    Known as ADR's. ADR's are certificates issued by a U.S. bank, consisting of a bundle of shares of a foreign corporation that are being held in custody overseas. ADR's can be "sponsored," which means the corporation provides financial and other information to the bank, or "unsponsored." While ADR's have the same currency and economic risks as the underlying foreign shares, they are much more convenient for U.S. shareholders to own since there are no problems in transferring securities from a foreign country or currency conversion.

  • Amortization:

    The deduction of capital expenses over a specific period of time.

  • Appreciation:

    The increase in value of an asset.

  • Analyst:

    Also known as a Financial Analyst or Security Analyst. Analysts have expertise in evaluating investments, and typically are employed by brokerage firms, investment advisors or mutual funds. They make buy, sell and hold recommendations on securities, and many specialize in industries or sectors.

  • Annual report:

    A corporations's annual statement of financial operations, typically a glossy, colorful publication. Annual reports include a balance sheet, income statement, auditor's report and description of a company's operations. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires that publicly-traded companies file an annual report, called a Form 10-K, with the Commission. The 10-K contains more detailed financial information than many annual reports.

  • AON:

    "All Or None." Abbreviation used on a buy or sell order to instruct the broker to fill the order entirely or fill none at all.

  • Arbitrage:

    Arbitrage is the simultaneous purchase and sale of a security in order to profit from a differential in the price, usually on different exchanges or marketplaces.

  • Ask:

    Also known as the Ask Price or the Offer Price. The price a seller is currently willing to accept for a particular security. On NASDAQ, this is the price at which a market maker is willing to sell a stock.

  • Asset:

    Assets are cash, accounts receivable, inventory, real estate, and securities - anything of value that a corporation owns.

  • Asset allocation:

    The division of an investment portfolio among major asset categories, such as bonds, common stocks or cash, usually to balance risk and reward appropriate for an investor's age.

  • At-the-opening order:

    An order that is to be executed at the opening of the market or else canceled.

  • Authorized stock:

    Every corporation is permitted to issue shares of its stock up to the number authorized in the corporation's charter. The number of authorized shares can be changed only by a vote of the compant's shareholders.


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