Accrual of Interest
Income that builds up over time (especially on a bond) but has not yet been paid out.
Type of Unit within a Collective Investment Scheme (CIS) where all income is re-invested rather than paid out periodically, so adding to the capital value of the unit.
Advice given to a person in their capacity as an investor or potential investor, or in his capacity as agent for an investor or a potential investor. This is given on the merits of the investor (whether as principal or agent) buying, selling, subscribing for or underwriting a particular investment which is a security, relevant investment or by exercising any right conferred by such an investment to buy, sell, subscribe for or underwrite such an investment.
An agreement where the client receives advice and ongoing review of the portfolio, but where the manager can make no change without the client’s authority i.e. the final decisions on individual purchases and sales reside with the client.
An advisory broker provides advice (and may execute) on buy and sell decisions to a client. The final decision to buy and sell always rests with the client. The nature of the service offered by firms will vary but normally an advisory service creates a carefully designed brief which sets out, amongst other things, your investment objectives and affords the investment manager an insight into the type of advice you will need. Your investment manager will manage your portfolio by consulting you and suggesting courses of action which you may or may not choose to take. As well as verbal or written advice, you may receive regular newsletters which review the market. Depending upon the nature of the service provided you may be sent detailed reports regularly. This service can also allow you to call your professional to discuss and ask if they share your view on whether you should buy or sell a particular share.
Alternative Investment Market (AIM)
A market of the London Stock Exchange developed for smaller and growing companies to raise equity capital.
American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)
ADRs are a specific type of depository receipt which were created using UK shares and are such that they make UK shares available (via ADRs) to domestic US clients with more appropriate tax and settlement considerations.
An angel investor or angel (known as a business angel or informal investor in Europe), is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. A small but increasing number of angel investors organise themselves into angel groups or angel networks to share research and pool their investment capital.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
An annual meeting which is called by the directors of an organisation that allows stakeholders to stay informed and be involved with company decisions and workings.
Anti-Money Laundering Checks (AML)
A set of procedures, laws or regulations designed to stop the practice of generating income through illegal actions. In most cases money launderers hide their actions through a series of steps that make it look like money coming from illegal or unethical sources was earned legitimately.
The appropriateness test applies to non-advised (execution only) transactions in complex investments, and is designed to ensure the client or potential client has the knowledge and experience to understand the risks involved in the transaction.
The relative amounts of your portfolio that are in cash, bonds, equities, foreign stocks, property etc.
The term usually given to describe companies which run collective investment funds. Sometimes investment management (the managing of investments for private clients) is interchanged with asset management as a term.
Term used on the London Stock Exchange for a share trade (purchase or sale).
The prevailing standard interest rate in UK, set by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England.
0.01%, or a hundredth of one percent.
Investor who is pessimistic (and so expects prices to fall), hence “Bear Market” (for a market with reducing share values).
The ultimate owner of a financial instrument (as opposed to Legal Owner). For example if an individual places their shares into a nominee, the nominee is the legal owner but the individual is the beneficial owner.
Obtaining the best possible result of a trade for a client, taking in to consideration not only price but also costs, speed, likelihood of execution and settlement, size and other considerations.
Stock where physical possession of the certificate itself confers proof of ownership i.e. the owner’s name is not registered with the company (like money in the form of notes).
The price at which an investor (via a broker) can sell a security.
A term to describe large, liquid and established companies (which generally means their shares are more liquid i.e more easily available to buy and sell).
A boiler room is the practice of selling goods which are often highly questionable as to their worth. It typically refers to a situation where salespeople use pressurised, dishonest sales tactics (mostly via the telephone) to sell such things as penny stock or commit outright stock fraud.
A bond is a formal contract to repay borrowed money with interest at fixed intervals.
Thus a bond is like a loan: the holder of the bond is the lender (creditor), the issuer of the bond is the borrower (debtor), and the coupon is the interest.
Additional shares or stock in a company given by the company to existing shareholders in proportion to their existing holding.
The payment (brokerage commission) made by an investor to a stockbroker for affecting a stock market bargain and referenced on the client’s contract with the broker.
Investor who is positive and optimistic, hence “Bull market” (for a rising market).
When a company purchases its own shares in the market for cancellation. Provided that the price is sufficiently cheap, this should improve both the net asset value and earnings for each remaining share.
An option that gives the buyer the right to buy an underlying asset at a future date at a specified price.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
The tax payable on realised capital gains which accrue in a given year. The CGT allowance (under which no tax is payable on gains) normally changes each tax year. CGT can only potentially arise when an asset is sold.
The lowest redemption price a unit trust manager can apply in poor market conditions.
An entity that acts as a central hub between security market participants. In the UK, LCH-Clearnet is one such central counterparty. Central counterparties are used for UK institutional transactions (the wholesale market) but not for the majority of UK retail trades.
Central Securities Depository (CSD)
An entity that enables securities (equities and bonds predominantly) to be usually settled in electronic (or dematerialised) form. Euroclear UK & Ireland (formerly CRESTCo) is the UK CSD and does in fact have within itself a highly developed paper interface to cater for clients that hold their stock in paper form, but which must be ‘dematerialised’ into electronic form in order to settle a transaction.
Child Trust Fund
Tax-free savings account launched in January 2005 for children born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011. Creation of new accounts and Government payments into them ended in January 2011.
The process used to reduce risk by providing a central hub which guarantees trades in a number of different financial instruments. This will involve a Central Counterparty.
Closed end fund
An investment trust, or a collective investment scheme which has a fixed number of shares or units when formed and which does not issue further shares or units. So to obtain shares in an investment trust in the open secondary market there would need to be a seller of the units. These are traded the same as company (equity) shares.
Contract for Difference (CFD)
A CFD is an agreement between two parties to exchange the difference in value of a particular share between when the contract opens and when it closes. A position can be opened on margin, which is much cheaper than the outlay of the full cash amount for cash dealing, while the CFD does not confer share ownership so the final transaction at contract close is not subject to stamp duty.
The set of processes, customs, policies, laws, and regulations affecting the way a corporation (or company) is directed, administered or controlled.
These pay a fixed rate of interest which is maintained until the Government repurchases the stock on a predetermined redemption date and at a predetermined price. They offer a completely predictable return of income, fixed throughout their life and if held until their redemption date the Government repays the current holder. The price of gilts can rise or fall in the market as the outlook for interest rates and inflation changes, providing possible opportunities to sell at a profit or loss before redemption.
Collective investment scheme (CIS)
Term covering schemes where investors participate in returns from pooled investments, e.g. Unit Trusts, UCITS and OEICs.
A document with information confirming a transaction.
A corporate bond with an option to convert to ordinary shares at a predetermined price and time.
Bond issued by a company.
The percentage interest rate applied to a corporate or government bond.
A detachable part of a bearer stock which confers entitlement to interest or other rights.
The lowest price for which units of a CIS may be bought, literally the cost price of creating the units.
CREST is Euroclear UK & Ireland’s real-time settlement system for UK and Irish shares. CRESTCo was the company that ran CREST before it was acquired by Euroclear in 2002 to become Euroclear UK & Ireland.
CREST Personal Membership
A method of electronic own-name custody which offers an alternative to paper certificates. CPM allows the individual to hold securities in dematerialised form (e.g. via a broker) while retaining his or her name on the relevant company register so that they continue to automatically receive all relevant company information and attend and vote at the company AGM.
A very general term to refer to the safe-keeping and processing of the securities trades worldwide and servicing the associated portfolios.
A Bank specialising in safe custody services looking after portfolios of shares and bonds on behalf of others, such as fund managers, pension funds and insurance companies.
A corporate bond (debt instrument) that is secured against a specific asset or pool of assets.
Financial instruments whose price is derived from the pricing of something else. The main types are futures, options and swaps. These were originally developed for agricultural commodities and precious metals, to enable producers and ‘end users’ to lock in the price of a commodity at a future date. Now adapted to the securities markets they enable investors to protect themselves against unexpected price movements.
Depository Receipts (DRs)
These are negotiable certificates that allow domestic investors to own shares in foreign companies. They are created when a broker purchases a non-UK company’s shares in the home stock market and delivers those shares to the depositary’s local custodian bank. The custodian then instructs the depositary bank to issue the Depository Receipt to the investor. Each receipt represents a number of a company’s shares and can trade as freely as any other security in the UK.
These services require clients to sign up to detailed agreements with their investment manager and once all the necessary agreements are in place they provide for your investment manager the complete authority to administer your investment management affairs according to guidelines you will have agreed with the investment manager including buying and selling investments for you without obtaining your prior approval at each transaction level. This will be in the context of a carefully-designed brief, a clear framework for your portfolio manager to use when making transactions on your behalf, often referred to as ‘the mandate’. The advantage is that your manager can therefore act instantly on changes in the market, rather than spending valuable time trying to contact you. Detailed reports will be sent to you regularly and this is a highly regulated service.
Typically, the difference between net asset value and the market price of a security. Also used as a comparative measure for dividend yields.
The extent to which a company’s earnings exceed the dividend it pays.
The amount by which a company’s dividend rises over a period of time.
A percentage calculation of the return that the historic dividend would provide as a percentage of current market price of the stock.
Earnings Per Share (EPS)
The net earnings a company makes, divided by the number of ordinary shares in issue.
A term used to describe a new, non-traditional investment market, usually in a country which is developing in a worldwide market sense.
Another term for stocks or shares.
A bond issued (often in a foreign currency) outside the issuer’s domicile.
Ex dividend or “ex”
Describes a share that is sold without rights to an already declared dividend. A person who sells ex dividend retains the right to receive any declared but unpaid dividend.
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
ETFs are a basket of stocks that are bought and sold. ETFs experience price changes throughout the day as they are bought and sold.
Execution only services are services for buying and selling financial instruments which do not require advice or management – you simply tell your broker to buy and sell shares for you.
Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)
A meeting which is called by the directors of an organisation when an issue arises which requires the input of all stakeholders and is too serious or urgent to wait until the next AGM.
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Current UK Financial Regulator.
Created as part of the ‘Twin Peaks’ regulatory structure that replaced the Financial Services Authority (FSA) at the end of 2012. The FCA is responsible for regulating conduct of business in retail and wholesale markets, and the prudential supervision of most investment firms. It operates with the strategic objective of protecting and enhancing confidence in the UK financial system.
This is a term used to generically define a type of service which takes care of your overall strategy and planning for your entire financial affairs. This includes such things as advice on the placing of cash deposits, retirement planning, pensions, mortgages, life assurance, school fees, inheritance tax, National Savings and ISAs and anything else which impacts on your finances.
Fixed Income or Fixed Interest
A term used to describe those investments, such as bonds, which pay interest at a fixed rate throughout the term of the instrument.
The offering for the first time of shares on a Stock Exchange (see IPO).
FTSE All Share
A broad index of around 700 of the UK’s leading companies.
FTSE 100 (“Footsie”)
The FT index of the UK’s largest 100 listed companies.
An index reflecting the medium sized UK companies immediately below the top 100 (ranked by market capital).
Term used generally for a Collective Investment Scheme.
Fund of Funds
An authorised unit trust or OEIC that itself invests in a range of underlying unit trusts or OEICs (i.e. a fund that invests in other funds).
Fund supermarkets offer access to a wide variety of unit trust and open ended investment companies (OEICS).
Gearing (also known as leverage)
The amount of debt a company has as a proportion of its equity capital.
Gilts (also known as Government stocks)
These are sold to the investing public by the Government to help fund the difference between what it spends and what it receives e.g by way of taxes. There are two main types: conventional and index-linked gilts, both are quoted on the London Stock Exchange.
Term used to refer income or interest before any deductions (such as tax).
Taking a position in a security or derivative in order to protect against an unwanted or unexpected price movement in another security or market.
A takeover bid that is opposed by the management of the target company.
The linking of a rate to a standard index of prices, interest rates, share prices etc.
Index Fund (also called a Tracker Fund)
A Fund whose composition is designed to replicate the performance of a given stock market Index.
These are a specific type of Gilt whose interest is linked to the rate of inflation. If you buy them on issue and hold them until their redemption date, the Government guarantees to repay you at a price which will give you protection against inflation. The income is indexed and in six monthly arrears. Under current legislation, capital gains made on gilts, both conventional and index-linked, are not generally subject to tax.
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
A personal tax-efficient savings scheme, successor in 1999 to the Private Equity Plan (PEP). Each tax year everyone, aged 16 or over for cash ISAs or 18 for stocks & shares ISAs, has an allowance which is the maximum that can be saved within the tax-free wrapper in a financial year.
Initial Public Offering (IPO)
The first occasion that a company makes its shares available for sale to the public.
Intermediation or advisory services
These services involve stockbrokers (private client services) and discount brokers. Stockbrokers assist investors in buying or selling shares. Primarily internet-based companies are often referred to as discount brokerages, although many now have branch offices to assist clients. These brokerages serve target individual investors. Full service and private client firms primarily assist and execute trades for clients with large amounts of capital to invest, such as large companies, wealthy individuals, and investment management funds.
The dealing in securities that are not from ones “home” (or domestic) market..
International Securities Identification Number (ISIN)
An ISIN is a 12 character alpha-numerical code and uniquely identifies a security regardless of how many venues on which it is traded. In the US they often use a CUSIP.
Term applied, usually to corporate bonds, with those having a credit rating BBB or above.
Investment Trusts (see Closed End Fund)
An investment trust is a quoted company dealt on the Stock Exchange. Often described as closed end collective investments, they invest and manage a pool of investors’ money in a wide range of stocks and shares on behalf of their investors.
Investment trusts are influenced by supply and demand in the market. Their shares can trade either at a discount (if out of favour) or at a premium (if demand is high) to the value of the underlying assets held by the trust.
Launched on 1st November 2011 to complement the adult ISA and enable parents, grandparents, guardians and others to save and invest for their children.
A non-investment grade bond commonly with both higher return and risk characteristics.
Key Investor Information Document (KIID)
The Key Investor Information Document is used for the unit trust and UCITS world and contains useful information such as a description of the associated risks and benefits of the investment.
Know Your Customer (KYC)
A client information-gathering requirement placed on investment managers as part of obtaining all relevant data on their clients in respect of a firm’s anti-money laundering obligations and to assist investor protection.
Another term for gearing.
A price fixed by the seller or purchaser of a stock, indicating the maximum or minimum price at which a trade is acceptable.
A company whose shares are traded on an official stock exchange. It must adhere to the listing requirements of that exchange, which may include how many shares are listed and a minimum earnings level.
The London Stock Exchange (LSE)
The primary stock exchange in the UK.
This refers to the management of assets belonging to another person in circumstances which involve the exercise of discretion (see also ‘Discretionary Services’).
The value of a company expressed as its share price multiplied by number of shares in circulation.
A broker who makes a two-way price (buying and selling) for a security. The UK retail market utilises market makers as part of a system called the Retail Service Provider (RSP) market. This system provides quotes for shares and facilitates the buying and selling of shares.
The stage at which a financial instrument, such as a bond, is due for repayment.
The price half-way between bid and offer price, often used for client valuation purposes.
The process of making money obtained illegally appear legitimate.
Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF)
An MTF is a specific type of European financial trading system that brings together buyers and sellers according to a defined set of rules resulting in trades. MTFs were introduced in MiFID 1 in 2007 and compete against stock exchanges (particularly for wholesale business).
Net asset value
The true intrinsic value of a stock, taking account of all assets and liabilities.
A class of shares or stocks that have just been circulated or floated on the exchange.
New Individual Savings Account (NISA)
From 1 July 2014 investors and savers can put up to £15,000, in the 2014/15 tax year in a New Individual Savings Account (NISA). The NISA which effectively replaces the ISA, can have a mix of both cash and stock and shares.
A company often owned and administered by an investment company, Bank or Broker for the purpose of holding securities on behalf of investors. A nominee company is the legal owner of these securities whilst the beneficial owner remains the underlying investor.
The price at which a broker offers a share of a stock for sale.
Any non-UK domiciled Funds.
Online dealing services
This is a term typically used to refer to execution-only trading via the Internet. Some firms offer access to research information as part of the service and new additions to services are being developed all the time in an open commercial way.
A form of fund, such as a unit trust, where new investors may be allocated new units. The fund thus increases in size. The fund normally has no end date.
Open-ended investment company (OEIC)
An OEIC works in a very similar way to a unit trust except that it is legally constituted as a limited company (Plc).
An option is a derivative financial instrument that specifies a contract between two parties for a future transaction on an asset at a reference price.
A facility operated by the London Stock Exchange for the electronic submission and automatic execution of orders (see also Standard Settlement).
Shares that entitles the holder to a dividend from the company’s profits after holders of preference shares have been paid.
Par, Par value
The nominal value of a security used initially in the creation of the number of securities issued, in bonds normally 100.
Personal Equity Plan (PEP)
A tax-efficient savings vehicle, now superseded by ISAs, which enjoyed restricted tax benefits.
A recommendation that is advice on investments that is presented as suitable for the person to whom it is made, or is based on a consideration of the circumstances of that person.
Platforms are online services, used by intermediaries (and sometimes consumers directly) to view and administer their investment portfolios. As well as providing facilities for investments to be bought and sold, platforms are often used to aggregate, and arrange custody for customers’ assets.
When several people’s assets are collected together. A pooled nominee holds client securities and client bank accounts held by investment firms at banks often hold pooled client money.
The term used to describe all of a person’s investment when they consist of several different types of instruments, such as shares, unit trusts, bonds, cash etc.
A class of share that entitles the owner to preference over ordinary shares in the distribution of dividends and the proceeds of liquidation in the event of bankruptcy.
Price Earnings Ratio (P/E; PER)
A share’s price divided by its earnings.
Private Investor Indices
The Private Investor Indices are a set of calculations which indicate the return which investors might expect from their portfolios.
A public document which gives full company and transactional details at the time of a new share issue.
A person or body (for example a Nominee Company ) authorised by a shareholder to vote on his behalf.
Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)
Part of the ‘Twin Peaks’ regulatory structure set to replace the Financial Services Authority at the end of 2012. The key feature of the PRA will be its statutory objective for prudential supervision, which will put a clear emphasis on the promotion of the stability of the UK financial system, thereby supporting the objectives of the Bank of England generally and its new Financial Policy Committee in particular. The PRA will regulate banks, insurance companies and a small number of very large investment firms for the purposes of prudential supervision, whereas the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will regulate banks, insurance companies and most investment firms for the purposes of their conduct of investment business.
A £1 charge automatically imposed on investors and collected by their brokers when they buy or sell shares with an aggregate value in excess of £10 000. This money is used to help finance the Panel of Takeovers and Mergers.
An option that gives the buyer the right to sell an underlying asset at a future date as a specified price.
A company, whose shares can be bought or sold on the Stock Exchange.
Redemption date or Maturity
The date at which the security or bond is to be paid back to the current investor, normally at par.
Redemption Yield or yield to maturity (YTM)
The theoretical yield calculated by allowing mathematically for all income over the life of a bond, and the final return of capital.
The institution which maintains the shareholder register of a company, and handles the issue of certificates, dividend payments and company notices.
An issue of new shares to existing holders who have the right to buy them, usually at a discount to the market price.
The simple calculation of income received from a bond as a percentage of the cost or market price of the host bond.
A dividend that shareholders can accept in the form of shares in the company instead of cash.
A generic term covering shares, stock, bonds and certain other investments, that can be bought and sold on the financial markets.
SEDOL stands for Stock Exchange Daily Official List, a list of security identifiers used in the United Kingdom and Ireland. SEDOLS are 7 characters in length and forms part of the ISIN.
Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs)
These are actively managed pension funds on behalf of an individual investor tailored to the individual investor’s requirements.
The process of transferring stock from seller to buyer and arranging the corresponding movement of money between the two parties.
Shares (also known as equities)
Any of the equal parts into which a company’s capital stock is divided, whose owners are entitled to a proportionate share of the company’s profits.
The amount of capital that a company raises by issuing shares.
A document that provides evidence of ownership of a share in a company. Full ownership rights are reflected by the shareholder’s name appearing on the company register and the best way to check a holding (if at all unsure) is to contact the company’s Registrar.
Short selling is the selling of a stock that the seller does not own. More specifically, a short sale is the sale of a security that isn’t owned by the seller, but that is promised to be delivered. Note: in some systems across the world , if a client sells a stock they own but there is a delay in settlement, this can appear “in the system” as a short sale.
The difference between the buying and selling price.
Term applied to a speculative investor who purchases stock in a new issue, with the intention of making a rapid sale and hopefully a profit.
A tax levied in respect of all paper stock purchases made within the UK.
Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT)
A tax levied in respect of all paperless stock purchases made within the UK.
The settlement period that is used for the vast majority of securities. In the UK, standard settlement for equity trades is currently T+3 (trade date plus 3 working days), particularly those executed on the Order Book. This was reduced in the UK to T+2 on 6th October 2014. Non–standard settlement can apply to trades when both counterparties agree, particularly those trades involving certificates which cannot be settled in such a short time frame. Such transactions usually incur more cost to the client due to the added administration involved.
Another term for share, equity, or bond.
A fund that aims to replicate the performance of a specified index.
The highest bid and lowest offer price in a security.
Term applied to a short-dated Government issued security, normally referring to the USA.
The payment made by a Product Provider such as an Insurance Company to financial advisers for selling products to customers.
A stock that is not officially listed on one of the world’s principal Stock Exchanges. It may be possible to deal in an unlisted security in the UK, for example through the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
A unit trust is a form of collective investment constituted under a trust deed. Unit trusts are open-ended investments; therefore the underlying value of the assets is always directly represented by the total number of units issued multiplied by the unit price less the transaction or management fee charged by the fund’s product provider and any other associated costs. Each fund has a specified investment objective to determine the management aims and limitations.
A unit trust is not normally a quoted company dealt on the Stock Exchange but can be bought and sold through the trust manager in accordance with a pricing formula laid down by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Unregulated Collective Investment Scheme (UCIS)
A scheme which is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) where a number of investors pool their money to invest in one or more assets, with the intention of receiving income or a profit. These schemes per se are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Venture Capital Trust (VCT)
A company specially structured to pool investors’ money for investment in fledgling (often unquoted) companies. This is a closed end fund.
Shares that give the stockholder the right to vote on matters of corporate policy making e.g, remuneration as well as who will comprise the members of the board of directors.
Term applied to the statistical measure of the tendency of a market or a security to rise or fall within a period of time.
Wraps offer access to a greater variety of products and usually support advisers that want to agree remuneration with clients, instead of receiving commission.
The financial calculation, usually expressed as a %, of the return generated by holding a stock (e.g. “Dividend yield” see above.). When applied to fixed interest security, treatment of capital and regular income payments throw up two main approaches.
The graph plotted by expressing yield on bonds in relation to their expected maturity date. In theory, and normal markets, the longer the wait for capital to be returned the higher should be the yield enjoyed by the investor. The principle has tended to give a gentle upward moving curve over time. However, low interest environments worldwide will impact this.
Zero Coupon Bond
A corporate bond which has no coupon and pays no interest to the bondholders during its lifetime, but is issued at a discount to par value and then redeems at par value. Any profits on sale are subject to income tax.