Glossary

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

Secondary Market

A market where investors purchase securities or assets from other investors, rather than from issuing companies themselves. The national exchanges - such as the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ are secondary markets. Secondary markets exist for other securities as well, such as when funds, investment banks, or entities such as Fannie Mae purchase mortgages from issuing lenders. In any secondary market trade, the cash proceeds go to an investor rather than to the underlying company/entity directly.

Shareholder

Any person, company, or other institution that owns at least one share in a company. A shareholder may also be referred to as a "stockholder."

Soft Skills

The character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person's relationships with other people. In the workplace, soft skills are considered a complement to hard skills, which refer to a person's knowledge and occupational skills. Sociologists may use the term soft skills to describe a person's "EQ" or " Emotional Intelligence Quotient" (as opposed to "IQ").

Stock

A type of security that signifies ownership in a corporation and represents a claim on part of the corporation's assets and earnings. There are two main types of stock: common and preferred. Common stock usually entitles the owner to vote at shareholders' meetings and to receive dividends. Preferred stock generally does not have voting rights, but has a higher claim on assets and earnings than the common shares. For example, owners of preferred stock receive dividends before common shareholders and have priority in the event that a company goes bankrupt and is liquidated. Also known as "shares" or "equity".

Stock Market

The market in which shares are issued and traded either through exchanges or over-the-counter markets. Also known as the equity market, it is one of the most vital areas of a market economy as it provides companies with access to capital and investors with a slice of ownership in the company and the potential of gains based on the company's future performance.

Strategic Asset Allocation

A portfolio strategy that involves periodically rebalancing the portfolio in order to maintain a long-term goal for asset allocation.

Strategic Financial Management

Managing an organization's financial resources so as to achieve its business objectives and maximize its value. Strategic financial management involves a defined sequence of steps that encompasses the full range of a company's finances, from setting out objectives and identifying resources, analyzing data and making financial decisions, to tracking the variance between actual and budgeted results and identifying the reasons for this variance. The term "strategic" means that this approach to financial management has a long-term horizon.