Obamanomics refers to the economic policies of President Barack Obama.

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Objective probability is the chance that a specific thing will occur.

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An obligation is a legal requirement to fulfill a responsibility. In the finance world, this often involves making specific payments by specific dates and/or ensuring that a company meets certain perf

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An obligor is a person or entity legally required to provide a payment, service, or other benefit to another person or entity (the obligee).

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Obsolescence risk is the risk that a company's product or service will become obsolete or out of date.

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Obsolete inventory is inventory that is essentially useless and/or unsellable.

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Occupancy fraud occurs when a mortgage borrower lies to a bank about his or her intention to occupy the home that he or she is purchasing with the mortgage.

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Occupancy rate is the ratio of rental units rented versus the total number in the building, city, state, etc.

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Occupational labor mobility is the ease with which a workforce can switch industries, retrain for new jobs and transfer to other sectors.

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An ocean bill of lading is a receipt and invoice between a carrier and a shipper.

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The October Effect is the theory that stock prices will fall in the month of October.

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Odd dates are arbitrary maturity dates that do not necessarily correspond to the duration of the bond, option, futures contract, forward contract or other maturing instrument. Odd dates are also calle

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Odd days interest refers to interest earned on loans that close on any day other than the standard day the lender requires interest and principal payments.

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An odd lot is an order for anything less than 100 shares. This is the opposite of a "round lot," which are orders in multiples of 100 shares. However, thinly traded stocks sometimes trade in 1

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The odd-lot theory states that an increase in odd lot activity is a buy signal in a market.

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An odd-lotter buys securities in odd lots. An odd lot is a group of shares that is not a multiple of 100 (100 shares is called a round lot).

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OEX is the ticker symbol of index options on the S&P 100, which trade on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE).

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Off-balance-sheet financing is an accounting method whereby companies record certain assets or liabilities in a way that keeps them from appearing on the balance sheet.

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An off-floor order is an investor's request to a broker to buy or sell securities.

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Off-premise banking refers to regular banking transactions that happen outside of a physical bank, typically at automated teller machines (ATMs).

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An off-the-run Treasury is any Treasury bill or note that is not part of the most recent issue of the same maturity.

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An off-the-run Treasury yield curve is a yield curve based on the maturities, prices, and yields of Treasury bills or notes that are not part of the most recent issue of Treasury securities.

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Offensive competitive strategy therefore refers to those strategies that companies adopt to stay ahead of the competition rather than react to the competition.

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An offer is a communication of interest in buying or selling an asset. In other contexts, it might refer to the act of making something available for sale.

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An offer in compromise is an arrangement between a taxpayer and a taxing authority, whereby the taxing authority agrees to let a taxpayer settle a tax debt for less than the full amount.

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An offering is the process of issuing new securities for sale to the public.

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An offering circular is an abbreviated prospectus.

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An offering memorandum is a legal document that discloses the terms, conditions, risks, and other information about a private placement. It is not the same thing as a prospectus (those are for issuanc

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An offering price is the price at which a company lists its shares, bonds or other securities on an exchange.

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An office audit is a type of audit by the IRS.

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The Office of Foreign Assets Control is the entity within the U.S. Treasury Department that creates and enforces trade sanctions. The OFAC used to be called the Office of Foreign Funds Control.

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The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is a division of the U.S. Treasury. It regulates and supervises national banks, including domestic branches of foreign banks. The U.S. Treasury

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The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) was a regulatory agency that provided oversight to thrift institutions. On July 21, 2011, the OTS became part of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (O

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An official settlement account is an account that records transactions of foreign exchange reserves, bank deposits and gold at a central bank.

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Also called an official industrial action, an official strike is a work stoppage by a union.

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An offline transaction, also known as a signature debit transaction, is a payment method that uses a debit card to transfer funds from a checking account to a merchant across a digital credit card net

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An offset is a transaction that cancels out the effects of another transaction.

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An offset mortgage is a mortgage held in the same bank as the borrower's deposit accounts, savings accounts or other accounts. The mortgage payments are calculated based on the borrower's combined bal

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An offsetting transaction is a transaction that cancels out the effects of another transaction.

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An offshore banking unit is a bank branch in another country.

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An offshore mutual fund is a mutual fund based in another country.

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An offtake agreement is an agreement between a buyer and seller of a resource to purchase or sell products that are yet to be produced.

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Oil reserves are estimates of the amount of crude oil in a specific area.

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Also called tar sands, oil sands are areas of the ground that contain a viscous form of oil called bitumen.

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Okun's gap occurs when a country's actual gross domestic product differs from its predicted gross domestic product when applying Okun's law.

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Named after economist Arthur Okun, Okun's law states that for every 1% increase in the employment rate, gross domestic product increases 3%.

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The Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund is an account that funds the Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance Program (OASDI). OASDI, also known as Social Security, is a federal program that

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The Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance Program (OASDI), also known as Social Security, is a federal program that provides income and health insurance to retired people, the disabled, the poor

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Old Economy describes an economy or even a group of industries that does not rely on technology or technological advancement.  

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In the banking world, Old Lady is a nickname for the Bank of England. The full nickname is "Old Lady of Threadneedle Street."

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An oligopoly is an economic market whereby a small number of companies or countries generate and control the entire supply of a good or service.

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An oligopsony is a market in which only a few buyers purchase all of an industry's output.

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Buying things on account is similar to saying, "put it on my tab." Eventually, however, you have to pay the tab. In our example, the transaction requires careful accounting. Once Company XYZ p

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On Balance Volume (OBV) was designed by Joseph Granville to track the flow of volume in and out of a stock or index. Essentially, OBV is a running total of volume. An OBV line typically takes the form

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A One-Cancels-All (OCA) order is a group of limit orders linked together within a brokerage account. If one order is executed, all other linked orders are automatically canceled.

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In trading, a one-cancels-the-other order is an instruction given when placing two orders simultaneously. If one part of an order on a security is executed, then the other part is canceled. Such an or

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Most investors have made decisions that they eventually regret. One-night-stand investments are simply decisions that investors regret sooner rather than later, turning what are supposed to be long-te

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One-sided markets can be volatile and very stressful for market makers. Market makers are obligated to facilitate trading in particular stocks even if doing so is inconvenient or less profitable. In o

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A one-stop shop is a single location where all of the needed services for a particular activity are provided.

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One-way markets can be volatile and very stressful for market makers. Market makers are obligated to facilitate trading in particular stocks even if doing so is inconvenient or less profitable. In our

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Online banking enables bank customers to handle account management and perform account transactions directly with the bank through the internet.  This is also known as internet banking.

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An online transaction, also known as a PIN-debit transaction, is a password-protected payment method that authorizes a transfer of funds over an electronic funds transfer (EFT)

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In the stock markets, open refers to the beginning of the trading day or the price of a security at the beginning of the trading day.

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An open order is an instruction to buy or sell securities that has not been executed or cancelled.  Another term used is "backlog order."

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Open outcry is a trading mechanism that uses verbal bids and offers. It is usually conducted in trading pits on futures and options exchanges.

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Opening bell refers to the beginning of the trading day on an exchange. However, in the United States, only the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) rings an actual bell every day.

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The open is the start of a new day, though it is important to note that that doesn't necessarily mean trading hasn't been going on right before the open. After-hours markets remain open as do

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Operating cash flow (OCF) is a measure of the cash generated or used by a company in a given period solely related to core operations. OCF is not the same as net income, which includes transactions th

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Operating cash flow margin is cash from operating activities as a percentage of sales in a given period. 

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The operating cash flow ratio is cash from operating activities as a percentage of current liabilities in a given period. 

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An operating company/property company deal (opco propco) is a strategy in which a company is divided into at least two parts: a property company that owns all the real estate and assets associated wit

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Operating costs are key components of operating income calculation (and operating income is a crucial component of many financial measures). Thus, the lower a company's operating costs are, the mo

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Operating earnings is a measure of profitability that tells investors how much of revenue will eventually become profit for a company. The formula for calculating operating earnings is:Operating Earni

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An operating expense is a day-to-day expense incurred in the normal course of business. These expenses appear on the income statement.

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The operating expense ratio (OER) is equal to a company's operating expenses divided by its revenues. The measure is very common in real estate analysis, whereby analysts are measuring the costs to op

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Operating income is the amount of revenue left after subtracting operating expenses and cost of goods sold (COGS). Operating income is a measure of profitability directly related to a company’s oper

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Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) is a measure of the income generated or used by a company in a given period exclusive of the company's capital spending decisions and its

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An operating lease is simply a lease that does not give the lessee rights similar to those of an owner of the asset.

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Operating leverage is the ratio of a company's fixed costs to its variable costs. 

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Operating margin is a measure of profitability. It indicates how much of each dollar of revenues is left over after both costs of goods sold and operating expenses are considered. The formula is fo

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Operating netback is a measure used in the oil and gas industry to reflect the net profit on oil and gas after royalties, production, and transportation expenses. 

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Operating profit is a measure of income that tells investors how much of revenue will eventually become profit for a company.

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Operating ratio is the ratio of operating expenses to net sales. Operating ratio is also a common term in the insurance business, where it refers to an issuer's profit from underwriting and invest

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Operating revenue is the sales associated with a company's core, day-to-day operations.

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Opportunity cost refers to the value forgone in order to make one particular investment instead of another.

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An option is a financial contract that gives an investor the right, but not the obligation, to either buy or sell an asset at a pre-determined price (known as the strike price) by a specified date (kn

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Option pricing theory is the theory of how options are valued in the market. The Black-Scholes model is the most common option pricing theory.

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Options backdating occurs when a company grants an option that is dated prior to the date the company granted the option.

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The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) is a clearinghouse for equity options and is a guarantor of the obligations in listed options contracts. 

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An options contract is an agreement between a buyer and seller that gives the purchaser of the option the right to buy or sell a particular asset at a later date at an agreed upon price.  Options

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Thanks to an ability to spot undervalued companies and purchase them on the cheap, Buffett has made many people very wealthy over the course of his five-decade career.

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An ordinary dividend is a dividend that is not eligible for capital gains tax.

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Ordinary income is not a capital gain, dividend or other income subject to special taxation.  

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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international economic forum that pursues cooperative approaches to common issues affecting individual members as well as the glo

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Original cost is the total cost attributed to purchasing an asset.

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Orphan stocks is a colloquial term for stocks that analysts and investors seem to disregard.

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"Out of the money" describes an option that is worthless if exercised today. In the case of a call option, the option has no intrinsic value because the current price of the underlying stock i

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Outsourcing is the process of contracting a portion of a company's activities to third-party providers.

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Outstanding shares are common stock authorized by the company, issued, purchased and held by investors.

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An over the counter security is traded through a dealer network rather than through a centralized, formal exchange (such as the NYSE, Nasdaq, or London Stock Exchange). Assets traded OTC are usually t

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The Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) is a quotation service offered by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) that provides quote and volume information for securities traded ove

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The over-the-counter (OTC) market, also known as the over-the-counter bulletin board (OTCBB), is a quotation service offered by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) that provides quot

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In most states, writing a bad check is at least a misdemeanor, with the consequences growing depending on the state, the amount involved and whether the transaction crosses state lines. Most overdraft

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Overhead refers to the ongoing operating expenses necessary to running a business, but are not attributed to a specific business activity.  Also referred to as "indirect costs."

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The overnight rate is the interest rate banks charge each other on loans for meeting reserve requirements. The overnight rate is frequently confused with the discount rate, which is the interest rate

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

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Overweight refers to a given security which has been disproportionately allocated in an investment portfolio relative to a benchmark. It is the opposite of underweight.

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Owner financing is when a seller, usually of a property or a business, provides financing for the purchase directly to the buyer under a for sale by owner situation. Owner financing is also

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