An I Bond is one of two types of savings bonds sold by the U.S. Treasury (the other is the EE Bond).

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An Icahn Lift is a rise in stock price associated with an investment by famed activist shareholder Carl Icahn.

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In business, the Icarus factor describes what happens when companies become overly dedicated or overly enthusiastic about a project or initiative, and that enthusiasm and dedication becomes a detrimen

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An iceberg order is a large order that has been split into several smaller orders to conceal the "real" size of the order.

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Ideation is the act of forming ideas.

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An identifiable asset is anything that has commercial or exchange value and can provide future economic benefits. Identifiable assets can be tangible or intangible.

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Identity theft is the crime of using another person's personal information, credit history or other identifying characteristics in order to make purchases or borrow money without that person's permiss

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Also called unsystematic risk, idiosyncratic risk is price risk associated with a company's particular circumstances.

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Idle funds are monies that are not invested.

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Also called down time, idle time is when employees or machines are not working but are being paid.

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The Ifo Business Climate Survey is a monthly measure of German business activity.

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An illegal dividend is a dividend declared in violation of a company's charter or state laws.  

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Illiquid describes an asset or security that cannot be sold quickly due to a shortage of interested buyers or a lack of an established trading market. Illiquid assets cannot be easily converted into c

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Immediate payment annuities (also called single-premium immediate annuities or SPIAs) are annuities that begin making payments to the owner immediately (within one year of purchase).

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Immunization is a dedicated-portfolio strategy used to manage a portfolio with the goal of making it worth a specific amount at a certain point, usually to fund a future liability. Immunization i

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An impact day is the day on which a company's secondary offering begins trading.

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Real estate developers pay an impact fee to cities or other municipalities to offset the town's cost of building the infrastructure to support a private real estate development.

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Generally, an impaired asset is an asset whose market value is below book value.

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The term impairment refers to assets that are no longer of the same value as in a prior period. An impairment charge is used and the asset is revalued downward and a "charge" is made to net as

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An implementation lag is the time elapsed between an adverse macroeconomic shock and an effort to counter the shock.

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An implied warranty is an unwritten guarantee that a product or service works as expected.

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In the tax and import/export world, an import duty (or customs duty) is money collected under a tariff.

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In the real estate world, an impound is an account that mortgage companies use to collect property taxes, homeowners insurance, private mortgage insurance and other payments that are required by the h

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Imputed Interest refers to interest that is considered by the IRS to have been paid for tax purposes, even if no interest payment was made. The IRS uses imputed interest as a tool to collect tax reven

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A stock is in play when it is widely believed to be a takeover target.

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In specie is a Latin term describing the provision of an asset in its physical form rather than in the cash value of the asset.

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Securities are held in street name when the name of the broker, not the individual owner, is listed on the certificate. Almost all securities held in brokerage accounts are held in street name.

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An inactivity fee is a fee charged by brokerages to clients whose infrequent trading does not satisfy a minimum trading requirement.

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An Incentive share option, or ISO, is a type of company share option granted exclusively to employees.  It confers an income tax benefit when exercised. ISOs are also referred to as "incentiv

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Incentive stock option (ISO) is a type of company stock option granted exclusively to employees. It confers an income tax benefit when exercised. 

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Inchoate is a legal term indicating that a transaction or activity has been discussed or even agreed upon but is not final or is still incomplete.

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Income is an actual or recorded inflow of cash or other assets. The term is used in many different contexts.

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An income deposit security (IDS), also known as an "enhanced income security," is an exchange-traded security composed of both an issuer's common shares and its subordinated notes.

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Income elasticity of demand is a measure of how much demand for a good/service changes relative to a change in income, with all other factors remaining the same.

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Income from operations is income that is generated by the normal operations of a business.

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Income funds are mutual funds, ETFs or any other type of fund that seek to generate an income stream for shareholders by investing in securities that offer dividends or interest payments. The funds ca

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The income statement is one of the three primary financial statements used to assess a company’s performance and financial position (the two others being the balance sheet and the cash flow statemen

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An income stock is a stock in which a taxable payment is declared by a company's board of directors and is given to the shareholders from the current or retained earnings that occur, usually

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Income tax refers to taxes imposed by the government on individuals and businesses based on annual income. In the US, income tax is collected on taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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An income-oriented ETF is an exchange-traded fund that pays frequent dividends or interest payments to investors in the ETF.

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Incorporation means to form a corporation. A corporation is a legal form of business organization. It is sometimes referred to as a "C Corp" in reference to a section of the IRS code governing

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An indenture agreement is the formal contract between a bond issuer and the bondholders. It sets forth the details of all the terms and conditions of the bonds, such as the exact day of their maturity

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An index is a statistical aggregate that measures change. In finance, they usually refer to measures of stock market performance or economic performance.

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Like other ETFs, an index ETF is essentially a passive mutual fund -- similar to traditional index funds -- that allows investors to purchase a basket of securities in a single transaction. An index E

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Index funds are mutual funds that are designed to track the performance of a particular index.

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An index hugger is a type of mutual fund whose performance closely tracks a major stock index.

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Introduced in 1981, index options are call or put options on a financial index comprising many stocks. 

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An indexed annuity is an annuity that pays a rate of return corresponding to a particular index, such as the S&P 500 Index.

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An indexed certificate of deposit (sometimes called a market-linked, equity-linked, or market-indexed CD) is a type of CD that’s based on either a market index, a basket of equities, or a combinatio

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Indexing is a passive investment strategy that seeks to mimic or exceed the returns of a designated market index or other proxy.

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Indicated yield is the dividend yield on a stock if the most recent dividend is annualized.

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The individual mandate refers to Section 5000A of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as "Obamacare" or the more generic "health care reform." PPACA is a

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An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a government sponsored, tax-deferred personal retirement plan. 

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In economic terms, an inefficient market is a market in which securities prices are random and not influenced by past events. The idea is also referred to as weak form efficient-market hypothesis or t

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Something is inelastic when its price does not vary with the price of another item. It the business world, the term most often refers to how little the price of a good or service changes when the supp

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Infant Industry Theory promotes an economic policy that protects young industries in less developed economies until they become established, financially stronger, and capable of withstanding competiti

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An inferior good is a product for which demand goes down as income goes up.

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Inflation is the rate at which prices rise and purchasing power falls. It is why something that cost $1 in 1980 cost $2.37 in 2005.

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Inflation risk, also called purchasing power risk, is the chance that the cash flows from an investment won't be worth as much in the future because of changes in purchasing power due to inflation

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Inflation eats away at the value of every stream of cash flows, including salaries, pension payments and coupon payments. In many cases, the real interest rates on savings accounts are negative. For i

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Inflation-indexed securities are a form of savings that protects the principal and interest from the erosion of inflation.

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The Federal Reserve Bank of New York provides, among other things, gold storage for foreign governments and central banks. This gold is in the form of bars, which allows the bank to weigh it, stack it

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An inheritance includes those assets of an estate that are bequeathed, in whole or in part, to specific heirs.

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An inheritance tax, also called an estate tax, is a tax assessed on all or a portion of an inherited estate. Life insurance, pensions, real estate, cars, belongings and debts are all part of one&

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Initial Jobless Claims is a report issued by the U.S. Department of Labor every Thursday at 8:30am EST. 

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An initial margin, or initial margin requirement, is the amount an investor must pay in cash for securities before the broker will lend money to that investor to buy more securities. This borrowi

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An initial public offering (IPO) refers to the first time a company publicly sells shares of its stock on the open market. It is also known as "going public."

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Injunctions are an alternative to monetary judgments, in which the court might order a party to pay damages to another party. In some cases, they are much better for defendants to deal with; in Jane&#

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An insider is an employee, director or any other person who is privy to confidential, nonpublic information about a company.

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Insider information refers to confidential information about a company that has not been publicly disclosed.

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Insider trading refers to the trading of securities by corporate insiders such as managers or executives. Insider trading can be legal or illegal depending on if the information used to base the

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In most usages, insolvency is the inability of a company or individual to meet its financial obligations as they come due. In the legal sense of the word, an entity is considered insolvent if its tota

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Installment debt refers to any loan that is repaid by the borrower in periodic (usually monthly) installments that include principal and interest.

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An installment loan is a type of loan that is repaid in periodic installments (usually monthly payments) that include principal and interest.

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An institutional investor is an organization, rather than an individual, that invests on behalf of the organization's members. 

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Institutional ownership refers to the ownership stake in a company that is held by large financial organizations, pension funds or endowments. Institutions generally purchase large blocks of a company

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Institutional shares are simply shares that can be bought in bulk. Usually, they do not come with additional rights or privileges; they exist to encourage institutions to make large investments in the

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An insurance premium is the price a person or business (the insured) pays for an insurance policy. Insurance premiums are paid for all types of insurance: healthcare, rental, accident, auto, home, lif

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An insurance score is a number generated by insurance companies based on your credit score and claim history to determine the probability that a policyholder will file a claim in the future.

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Insurance underwriters are professionals who assess and investigate the risks involved in insuring people and assets. Insurance underwriters typically work for an insurance company. They establish

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An intangible asset is an asset that lacks a physical substance. 

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LIBOR is one of the most widely used benchmarks for short-term interest rates and is unlike the prime rate in the United States, which is somewhat arbitrarily based on certain banks' lending costs

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Without interchanges, there would be no electronic banking. The advent of the Internet has increased its use and prevalence, and card issuers get a considerable portion of their revenues from intercha

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The term interchange fees, also known as swipe fees, refers to the hidden cost paid by merchants to card-issuing banks and credit card companies for processing credit card and debit card transactions.

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Without interchanges, there would be no electronic banking. The advent of the Internet has increased its use and prevalence, and card issuers get a considerable portion of their revenues from intercha

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Interest is the cost of borrowing money for a certain period of time.

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The interest coverage ratio, also known as times interest earned, is a measure of how well a company can meet its interest-payment obligations.

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Interest expense is the cost of money. Interest expense is recorded on the income statement.

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Interest Only Strips (IO Strips) are securities with cash flows based entirely on the monthly payments received from a mortgage pool.

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An interest rate is the cost of borrowing money, or conversely, the income earned from lending money. Interest rates are expressed as percentage of the principal per period.

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The term interest rate ceiling typically refers to the maximum lifetime interest rate charged on an adjustable rate mortgage according to the terms of a mortgage contract.

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Interest rate risk is the chance that an unexpected change in interest rates will negatively affect the value of an investment.

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An interest rate swap is a contractual agreement between two parties to exchange interest payments.

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An interest-only adjustable-rate mortgage (interest-only ARM) is a mortgage in which the borrower only pays the interest on the loan for a set period.

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An interest-only mortgage is a mortgage in which the borrower only pays the interest on the loan for a set period.

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An interim CEO is a temporary chief executive officer.

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Internal controls are the methods and processes through which a company ensures that the organization is adhering to important policies and obligations. A company's board of directors, management

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Internal rate of return (IRR) is the discount rate that makes the net present value of all cash flows (both positive and negative) equal to zero for a specific project or investment.  IRR: Wha

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a bureau of the Department of Treasury that is tasked with the enforcement of income tax laws and oversees the collection of federal income taxes. In addition, it

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An international banking facility (IBF) is a segregated branch of a domestic bank or financial institution available to only foreign customers.

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International bonds are debt securities issued by foreign companies or governments and sold domestically.

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International bond funds invest in bonds issued by foreign governments or foreign companies in a variety of markets, industries, and currencies. They allow investors to have an easy way to gain a dive

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An international currency exchange rate is the rate at which one currency converts to another.

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International fund usually refers to an investment or mutual fund composed of international bonds and foreign company stocks.

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the central institution embodying the international monetary system and promotes balanced expansion of world trade, reduced trade restrictions, stable exchange

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An international securities identification number (ISIN) is a universally accepted identifier exclusive to a particular issue of a security.

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Intestate means dying without a will.

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Intraday refers to price movements of a given security over the course of one day of trading.  It is generally used to describe the high and low price of a stock or option during a given trading

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Intrinsic value has two primary connotations in the finance world. In the options-trading world, the term refers to the difference between the option's strike price and the market value of the underly

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Inventory is the collection of unsold products waiting to be sold. Inventory is listed as a current asset on a company's balance sheet. See also inventory management.

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Inventory management is the process of ensuring that a company always has the products it needs on hand and that it keeps costs as low as possible.

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An inventory reserve is an accounting entry that reflects a reduction in the market value of a company's inventory.

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The inventory turnover ratio measures the rate at which a company purchases and resells products to customers. There are two formulas for inventory turnover:        

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An inverted yield curve, also called a negative yield curve, is a yield curve indicating that short-term yields are higher than long-term yields.

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Investing is the strategic purchase or sale of assets in order to produce income or capital gains.

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An investment is an asset intended to produce income or capital gains.

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An investment advisor makes investment recommendations to clients and can also be known as a financial advisor.

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An investment bank is a financial intermediary that specializes primarily in selling securities and underwriting the issuance of new equity shares to raise capital funds. This is different from a comm

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The role of an investment banker is to serve as a middle-man between prospective investors and companies that intend to raise capital through the issuance of new stock. Investment bankers are often em

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Investment banking is a category of financial services that specializes primarily in selling securities and underwriting the issuance of new equity shares to help companies raise capital. Investment b

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Joining an investment club is an excellent way to learn more about investing, and it is not unusual for investment clubs to experience outstanding returns. It is important that members of investme

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An investment consultant is an educated investment professional who helps people and businesses set and meet long-term financial goals.

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Investment grade is a quality designation ascribed by rating agencies to bonds that have little risk of default.

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Investment management has two general definitions, one relating to advisory services and the other relating to corporate finance. In the first instance, a financial advisor or financial services c

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An investment manager is an educated investment professional who helps people and businesses set and meet long-term financial goals.

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An investment property is a real estate investment purchased with the intent of earning a return on the money used to purchase the property. The return on the investment can be earned through rental i

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Investment real estate refers to any residential structure owned solely for the purpose of generating investment returns, either through rental income or through market value appreciation.

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An investor is any person or entity, like a firm or mutual fund, who commits capital with the expectation of receiving financial returns. Individuals use investments in order to increase their mone

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Investor relations (IR) refers to the function within a public company that is responsible for managing and communicating information to the public pertaining to the company's operations, manageri

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The invisible hand is a theory of economics that refers to the self-regulating nature of the marketplace in determining how resources are allocated based on individuals acting in their own self-i

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The term IOU is the phonetic spelling of the phrase "I Owe You." In bookkeeping, it signifies an outstanding debt.

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IPO Lockup refers to the period of time after a company initially goes public during which company insiders are not allowed to sell company shares.

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The phrase irrational exuberance was coined by Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, in a December 5, 1996, speech to the American Enterprise Institute. In the speech, Greenspan asked,

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The IRS Form 1099 is used to report a variety of unique income payments to the IRS. This form is usually used when the taxpayer has received income from other sources besides a wage-paying job.

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Created by Barclays Global Investors, iShares are a trademarked brand of exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

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Issued shares include all shares that are currently owned by stockholders, company officials, and investors in the public domain. Issued shares do not include shares repurchased by a company.

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Issuer refers to a legal entity -- i.e., government, corporation, or investment trust -- that develops, registers and sells securities to the investing public in order to finance its operations.

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An itemized deduction is a reduction in taxable income that is dependent on calculations specific to the taxpayer's expenses or situation. Federal, state and local tax codes determine what is dedu

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An itemized statement is a detailed record of certain activity that has occurred in an account for a given period of time.

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