Below are some of the most used terms and definitions in the world of banking, finance and investment.

Return On Assets - ROA

An indicator of how profitable a company is relative to its total assets. ROA gives an idea as to how efficient management is at using its assets to generate earnings. Calculated by dividing a company's annual earnings by its total assets, ROA is displayed as a percentage. Sometimes this is referred to as "return on investment". Calculated as: Net Income is divided by Total Assets.

Return On Equity - ROE

The amount of net income returned as a percentage of shareholders equity. Return on equity measures a corporation's profitability by revealing how much profit a company generates with the money shareholders have invested.

Return On Sales - ROS

A ratio widely used to evaluate a company's operational efficiency. ROS is also known as a firm's "operating profit margin". It is calculated as: Net Income (Before interest and tax) divided by Sales.


"The chance that an investment's actual return will be different than expected. Risk includes the possibility of losing some or all of the original investment. Different versions of risk are usually measured by calculating the standard deviation of the historical returns or average returns of a specific investment. A high standard deviations indicates a high degree of risk.

Many companies now allocate large amounts of money and time in developing risk management strategies to help manage risks associated with their business and investment dealings. A key component of the risk mangement process is risk assessment, which involves the determination of the risks surrounding a business or investment. "

Risk Management

The process of identification, analysis and either acceptance or mitigation of uncertainty in investment decision-making. Essentially, risk management occurs anytime an investor or fund manager analyzes and attempts to quantify the potential for losses in an investment and then takes the appropriate action (or inaction) given their investment objectives and risk tolerance. Inadequate risk management can result in severe consequences for companies as well as individuals. For example, the recession that began in 2008 was largely caused by the loose credit risk management of financial firms.