The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is a federal agency that works to encourage foreign markets for American goods. USAID invests in foreign countries' agriculture, health systems a...

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The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing creates and produces U.S. paper currency. It does not produce coins -- that's the job of the United States Mint. Founded in 1862, the U.S. Bureau o...

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The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a federal agency dedicated to strengthening and supporting the housing market. HUD is a cabinet-level agency. Formed in 1937, HUD's resp...

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The United States Department of the Treasury protects and manages many American economic and financial systems. The Secretary of the Treasury is the Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. government and ...

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The U.S. House Financial Services Committee is a group of 60 Congressional representatives that make decisions regarding the economy, the banking system, housing, insurance, securities rules and finan...

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The U.S. League of Savings Institutions was a national organization of savings banks. Founded in 1892, the U.S. League of Savings Institutions promoted banking standards, professionalism an...

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U.S. savings bonds are bonds sold by the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. Treasury has issued many different series of savings bonds over the years, but only I Bonds and EE Bonds are available for purchase tod...

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A UCC-1 statement is a written list and description of assets that serve as collateral for a loan.   Let's say Company XYZ is a restaurant chain. It borrows $5 million from Bank ABC, which...

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An ultimate mortality table lists the probabilities of death for people of different ages and gender. Most mortality tables, like this one from the IRS, show what percentage of a population or number...

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Umberto Agnelli was a well-known chairman of Italian automaker Fiat -- the famous maker of the Fiat and the Ferrari. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1934, Agnelli was one of seven children. His fat...

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An umbrella insurance policy is an insurance policy that covers claims beyond what traditional property and/or liability insurance covers. Businesses also obtain umbrella policies to mitigate any law...

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An umbrella personal liability policy is an insurance policy that covers claims beyond what traditional property and/or liability insurance covers. Let' say John Doe owns a home and has homeowners in...

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Unannualized refers to a rate of return or other measure for a period that is not one year. Let's assume Company XYZ stock rises by 2% in one week. The 2% is an unannualized return -- it's ju...

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Unappropriated retained earnings are profits that are not set aside for a specific purpose. Let's say Company XYZ makes $1 million in profits this year. It sets aside $200,000 of those profits to...

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An unaudited opinion is a written statement describing an auditor’s expectations about the outcome of its audit before the audit occurs Before an audit occurs, the auditor may issue an un...

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A person is unbanked when he or she does not participate in the banking system and relies on the use of cash rather than checks or credit cards. Let's assume John Doe is poor and does not trust b...

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In the stock world, unchanged means that the closing quote at the end of a trading day for a particular stock is the same as the closing price for the stock the day before. For example, let's say tha...

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Uncle Sam is a fictional character who represents the United States government. His predecessor was a character named Brother Jonathan. Uncle Sam first appeared in the 1820s. Though many artists drew...

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Uncollected funds refer to the balance of uncleared checks in a bank account.When an account holder deposits a check into a savings or checking account, the bank must collect the specified amount of c...

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An uncommitted facility is a borrowing agreement that allows the lender to determine how much it will lend to the borrower at a given time. Let's say Company XYZ needs extra cash once in a while ...

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Unconditional probability refers to the chance that a particular event will occur without regard to external circumstances.The outcome of a single event can be affected by any number of accompanying c...

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Unconventional oil is crude oil produced by means other than a conventional oil well. Crude, unrefined oil stock is traditionally extracted from underground reservoirs through an oil well. However, c...

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Also known as “being naked,” an uncovered option is the sale of an option involving securities the seller does not own. It is the opposite of a covered option. For example, the safest way...

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A person is underbanked when he or she does not participate in the banking system very much and instead relies on the use of cash rather than checks or credit cards. In the securities world, unde...

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Undercapitalization occurs when a company does not have enough cash to conduct its operations. Let's say Company XYZ is a jewelry company that begins getting huge orders from several national dep...

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Underemployment occurs when one does not have a job that is full-time or that reflects his or her training and financial needs. It is not the same as unemployment, which is the percentage of employabl...

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Underinsured motorist coverage protects drivers from other drivers who do not carry any or enough auto insurance. Let's say you're driving your car and are hit by another driver. The other driver cau...

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An underlying asset is a security on which a derivative is based. For example, options are derivative instruments, meaning that their prices are derived from the price of another security. ...

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An underlying security is an asset that a derivative instrument (e.g. futures, options) derives its value from. In essence, it’s a stock, bond, currency, commodity, index, or interest rate used ...

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The term underperform refers to an analyst recommendation that a stock is expected to do slightly worse than the overall market return.Analysts regularly evaluate and project stock performance.  ...

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Underpricing occurs in the finance world when a company prices its shares too low in an initial public offering. When a company decides it wants to issue stock, bonds or other publicly traded securit...

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In the securities industry, undersubscribed means that an offering does not have enough buyers. When a company decides it wants to issue stock, bonds or other publicly traded securities, it hires an ...

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Undervalued describes a security for which the market price is considered too low for its fundamentals. Some metrics used to evaluate whether a security is undervalued are P/E ratio, growth potential,...

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In the real estate world, underwater means that a property is worth less than what is owed on it. For example, let's say John Doe buys a house for $500,000. He makes a down payment on the house a...

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An underwater mortgage is a mortgage on a property that is worth less than what is owed on it. For example, let's say John Doe buys a house for $500,000. He makes a down payment on the house and borr...

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Whenever you apply for a major loan or an insurance policy, your personal data will often go before an underwriter. Although you may never meet them, these specialists have a lot of control over w...

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Underwriting is the process that a lender or other financial service uses to assess the creditworthiness or risk of a potential customer.   Underwriting also refers to an investment ban...

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In the securities industry, underwriting fees are the fees earned by an investment bank to help bring a company public or to conduct some other offering. In the mortgage business, an underwriting fee...

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Undue influence occurs when one party to a transaction is able to influence the decisions of another party to the transaction. Anybody who's ever had a pushy girlfriend or boyfriend knows what un...

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Unearned income is an IRS term for income that is not obtained by participating in a business or trade (e.g., salaries and bonuses, wages, commissions and tips). It typically includes interest, divide...

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Unemployment occurs when one does not have a job. In the financial world, the term is often short for unemployment rate, which is the percentage of employable people in a country’s workforce who...

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The unemployment rate measures the percentage of employable people in a country's workforce who are over the age of 16 and who have either lost their jobs or have unsuccessfully sought jobs in the las...

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An encumbrance is a limitation on the ownership of a property. When an asset is unencumbered, there are no limitations on its ownership. To understand what unencumbered means, it's importan...

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The Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) is a set of rules under which adults can give money to a minor via a custodial account in the minor's name. In some states, the UGMA has been superseded by t...

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An uninsured certificate of deposit (CD) is a certificate of deposit that is not covered by depositor’s insurance. Certificates of deposit (CD) are insured up to the maximum allowable amounts by ...

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Unit cost is a measure of a company's cost to build or create one unit of product. For example, let's assume that it costs Company XYZ $10,000 to purchase 5,000 widgets that it will resell in...

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A unit investment trust is a type of investment fund comprising a fixed portfolio of securities that is sold in units to potential investors similar to a mutual fund. Also called unit trusts or fixed...

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A unitholder is an investor who owns the securities of a trust, like a real estate investment trust (REIT) or a master limited partnership (MLP). The securities issued by trusts and MLPs are called un...

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Universal banking refers to the practice of offering clients retail banking as well as investment services.Investment services and retail banking services (savings and checking accounts, loans, mortga...

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Universal life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that allows the policyholder to alter the policy in response to life changes, by merging the benefits of term life insurance with those of a...

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An unqualified opinion is a written notice from an auditor stating that a company has complied with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). For example, let’s assume that Company XYZ i...

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An unrealized gain represents the increase in the value of an asset that has not been sold. This concept is often called paper profit. Let's assume you own 100 shares of Company XYZ th...

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An unrealized loss is a paper loss from holding an asset that has lost value but has not yet been sold.Unrealized losses are losses in asset value, but not cash value.  For example, an investor m...

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Unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) is the tax placed on the income derived from unrelated business activities of an otherwise tax-exempt entity.For example, if an investor uses his Individual Re...

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In the finance world, a lender or piece of debt is unsecured if it does not have collateral. Let's assume you would like to borrow $100,000 to start a business. Even if you have an excellent cred...

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An unsecured creditor is a lender or any entity to which a company or individual owes money for services provided. That creditor, however, does not have any collateral from the borrower. If you borro...

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Unsecured debt is debt that does not have any collateral attached. If you borrow money from XYZ Bank, XYZ Bank becomes your creditor. Utility companies, health clubs, phone companies and cr...

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An unsecured loan is debt that does not have any collateral attached. Let’s assume you would like to borrow $100,000 to start a business. Even if you have an excellent credit rating, a ba...

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In the finance world, an unsecured note is corporate debt that does not have any collateral attached. Unsecured notes are not the same as debentures, which are also unsecured corporate debt (but deben...

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An Unsponsored American Depository Receipt (ADR), though backed by the common stock of an offshore company, is not directly sanctioned by that company and renders the holder un-entitled to the shareho...

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Unsubordinated debt refers to loans and debt securities (e.g., bonds, CDs, collateralized securities, etc.) for which the repayment priority outranks other debts owed by the same individual entity...

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The term unsubscribed describes the portion of the shares in an IPO that are not sold prior to the IPO. Let’s assume Company XYZ is going public. It plans to issue 10 million shares in an initia...

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An unweighted index has components that are not adjusted to reflect importance or certain characteristics. Here is information about five stocks. There are wayward dohickies on the top left and bo...

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Upside refers to an investment's potential future increase in value. For example, you purchase 100 shares of Company XYZ at $5 per share, for a total investment of $500. If you know or beli...

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Upthrusts are false breakouts that can trap the unsuspecting trader. Upthrust patterns quickly reverse, with the stock or index then often testing the opposite end of the trading range. Upt...

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Uptick refers to the increase in the market price of a security over the preceding transaction.If a new trading price for a security is higher than the preceding one (even by one cent), the security i...

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Known as Rule 10(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the uptick rule allows investors to short a security only at a price higher than the security's last trade. Essentially, a short seller ...

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Uptick volume is the number of shares of a particular stock that trades when the price is increasing. Let's assume that in the last hour, Company XYZ stock increased from $15 to $17 per share for...

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A useful life is the number of years in which an asset can reliably produce benefits. Let's assume you buy a car for $20,000. You believe the car could last for 15 years. After that, the car is p...

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Usury is lending money at an interest rate thought to be irrationally high or higher than permitted by law.  Usury is another word for predatory lending, which is the act of imposing unfair an...

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The utilization ratio compares an individual's total debt balances to total available credit. It helps determine part of a person's credit score.The utilization ratio is also called the credit...

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