The return of a fixed-income security that is higher than its coupon interest rate. This is a result of the security’s price appreciating.
Absolute return approach
Aims to achieve a specific return target, without reference to an external benchmark.
The difference in spread between two bonds.
Accommodative monetary policy
A central bank policy that seeks to stimulate economic growth by increasing access to credit through low or reduced interest rates.
The enhancement of a corporation's profitability or potential profitability through sound business decisions.
An approach to accounting that records revenues and expenses at the time they are incurred.
Uses research and analysis to select stocks or other securities with the goal of outperforming a designated index or benchmark.
A measure of active management that conveys, in percentage terms, the degree to which a portfolio is different from its benchmark.
Activist central bankers
Refers to the interventionist central bank practice of using conventional and unconventional monetary policy tools to influence the direction of the economy.
Advisor service charge (ASC)
A purchase arrangement for mutual fund investments in which the mutual fund company covers the cost of an upfront sales commission that is paid to the investment dealer and advisor. The mutual fund company also pays the advisor and the advisor’s firm a trailing commission for the range of services they provide the investor on an ongoing basis. The investor does not pay this commission directly; the fund’s published performance is net of fees and already includes these costs. Early redemption fees apply and are paid by the dealer if the investor exits the fund before a specified period (usually three years). The invested amount is subject to fees charged by the mutual fund company, which include investment management fees.
A mortgage-backed security issued by a government agency or affiliated body.
An investment strategy that invests across the entire market capitalization spectrum. Market capitalization refers to the total value of a company's outstanding shares.
An investment return that exceeds the return of the benchmark.
An investment in unconventional asset classes or strategies.
Typically refers to emotion-driven decisions that are widespread enough to shape the direction of markets.
The average amount earned by an investment each year over a specific time period (assumes compounding of annual returns).
Asset-backed security (ABS)
A security backed by assets, such as loans or a company’s receivables.
Asymmetric risk profile
Refers to a case where the level of risk is disproportionately higher than the anticipated reward.
Balance sheet expansion
Typically refers to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s asset purchases in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 to stabilize the financial system and economy.
Balance sheet reduction
Refers to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s intention to sell off assets it purchased in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 to stabilize the financial system and economy.
Balance sheet risk
The risk that balance sheet weakness (e.g. high levels of debt) may cause a company to underperform.
Balance sheet runoff
A type of central bank balance sheet reduction. The central bank lets the bonds it holds mature and does not reinvest the principal repayment.
Balance sheet sensitive bank
A bank that generates the majority of its earnings through loans, or fees on services that don’t require capital, such as wholesaling bonds.
Band of +/- 15%
Refers to the ability of the portfolio management team to increase or decrease the allocation to each of the portfolio sleeves by 15%.
A debt instrument with floating interest rates that are reset at regular intervals.
Most commonly refers to a fixed-income investment strategy where 50% of the portfolio is allocated to long-term bonds and 50% to short-term bonds. The term can also refer to any strategy where 50% of the portfolio is in lower-risk securities and 50% is in higher-risk securities.
Refers to the portfolio manager’s view of the most likely outcome.
One one-hundredth of one percent (0.01%).
Refers to a potential downside scenario.
A market decline of 20% or more over two months.
An approach to asset allocation that is not tied to benchmark weightings.
Refers to a limit on the extent to which a portfolio manager can deviate from benchmark characteristics or weightings of specific securities or sectors.
Refers to the types of risks taken when an investment fund deviates from the benchmark against which it is measured.
Measures the extent to which a stock or portfolio’s volatility reflects that of the overall market.
Combines elements of the capital asset pricing model and mean-variance optimization theory.
Refers to events that impact the prices of securities but for which it is difficult or impossible to plan ahead. Examples include natural disasters, mergers and acquisitions and legal issues.
The stocks of well-established, high-quality, industry-leading companies, typically in critical segments of the economy. These companies have a history of delivering attractive stock price growth to investors and usually pay a substantial dividend. Canada’s big banks are examples of blue chips.
A portfolio of bonds with staggered maturity dates, designed to provide a consistent income stream.
The acquisition of a company that enhances the acquiring company's business.
A stock with stable, relatively predictable returns, and that offers steady dividend payments. Bond proxies are interest rate sensitive, meaning they tend to underperform in a rising interest rate environment.
The yield difference between two types of bond, typically expressed in percentage points or basis points.
The interest earned on a fixed-income security.
A company's net asset value.
The process of analyzing and selecting securities based on their fundamental characteristics.
The upward and downward movement of gross domestic product over time. The business cycle has four main stages: expansion, peak, contraction and trough.
Business to consumer (B2C) companies
Companies that sell products or services directly to consumers.
Buying the dip
Refers to buying securities during a market downturn with the expectation that the market, and the purchased securities, will eventually rebound.
The part of the financial industry involved in purchasing securities. Mutual funds, pension funds and hedge funds are part of the industry's buy side.
The purchaser of a call option has the right, but not the obligation, to buy a security at a specified price from the person who sold the option. These investors agree on the terms of the option, including the price and time period during which the option is valid.
Prevents the issuer of a callable security from calling it back for a specified time.
Canadian Dollar Offered Rate (CDOR)
The key benchmark interest rate in Canada.
Refers to a company’s capital expenditures.
Refers to money a company spends to grow its business.
Refers to the movement of investment dollars in and out of markets.
The profit that results from selling a stock whose price has gone up from the time it was purchased.
An index in which each underlying constituent is weighted according to its market capitalization. This means larger companies will have a larger weighting in the index than smaller companies.
A well-capitalized bank or other financial institution has a healthy level of capital on hand relative to its leverage level.
Capital Market Line
Graphically illustrates the attractiveness of asset classes, compared across the capital markets.
Refers to the amount of capital a financial institution has on hand relative to its lending and debt activity.
Refers to how a company finances its operations; in other words, how debt and equity are allocated on the balance sheet.
Typically refers to the net benefit of holding an asset.
Involves borrowing money to invest, where the rate of interest on the borrowed amount is expected to be lower than the return on, or interest earned from, the securities purchased with the borrowed funds.
An approach to accounting that records payments in the period they are received and expenses in the period they are paid.
Refers to the negative impact on performance of holding uninvested cash in a portfolio.
The risk that companies that contribute to climate change do not have financially sustainable business models over the long term.
The practice of building a portfolio that follows the benchmark index very closely, while claiming to be an active manager.
Collateralized debt obligation
A securitized pool of income-generating assets, such mortgages. The asset pool serves as collateral for security holders.
Collateralized loan obligation (CLO)
A collection or ‘bundle’ of corporate loans that are offered as an income-generating security. Payments on these loans are the source of the income investors receive.
An economic system in which central planning by the government, rather than market forces, determines outcomes.
Commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS)
Securities backed by mortgages on commercial properties.
An unsecured, short-term loan issued by a corporation, typically for financing accounts receivable and inventories. Commercial paper is purchased at a discount and matures at par. Maturities are typically in the one to two month range, and generally up to about nine months. These securities are usually issued in denominations of $100,000 or more.
Commission-based (advisor) compensation
An arrangement in which a financial advisor is compensated indirectly, through commissions paid by the mutual fund company, rather than directly by the investor.
The increase in future return potential that can result from reinvesting current returns.
A portfolio that consists of a relatively small number of securities selected after very thorough and rigorous analysis.
Refers to a positive outlook for a security, asset class, market or economy.
Refers to the spread of adverse market conditions from one part of the world to another.
Refers to a strategy that buys and sells against prevailing market sentiment.
Contingent convertible bond (CoCo)
A fixed-income instrument that can, under predefined conditions, be converted into equity.
Contractionary monetary policy
A central bank policy characterized by high or rising interest rates with the aim of reining in excessively high inflation.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
The predominant measure of inflation, calculated by tracking the price movements of a basket of consumer goods and services.
Core aggregate strategy
A conventional approach to fixed income that tends to make static allocations to various fixed-income sectors and asset classes.
Core PCE inflation
Refers to price inflation for personal consumption expenditures (PCE), excluding food and energy.
A fixed-income offering from a company.
A measure of how two investments perform in relation to each another. A high positive correlation means the two investments perform very similar to each other (when one goes up, the other goes up to a similar degree, and vice versa), while a high negative correlation means they perform very differently (when one goes up, the other goes down to a similar degree, and vice versa).
Economic or market risk factors that are specific to a particular country.
The coupon rate is the stated interest rate on a fixed-income security, expressed as a percentage of the security's face value.
Refers to the terms of issue of a fixed or floating rate security.
Covered call strategy
Involves writing call options on securities an investor already owns. Typically, an investor will use this strategy when he or she believes those securities are unlikely to rise meaningfully during the period in which the option is valid.
Credit asset coverage
Refers to the extent to which a company’s assets, if sold, would cover its debts.
Credit card receivables
An investment in the anticipated future credit card sales of a business at a discount.
A credit cycle has two phases: expansion and contraction of access to credit. During an expansion, borrowers have easy access to credit, as interest rates are typically lower and borrowers face less stringent qualifications. During a contraction, it is more difficult for borrowers to access credit as interest rates are typically higher and lending requirements are more strict.
Refers to the failure of a company to meet its financial obligations to bondholders.
Refers to the degree to which a borrower can be expected to meet its debt repayment obligations.
Issuer credit quality is assigned a rating by rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, usually taking the form of a series of letters (e.g., A, BBB, BBB-, BB+).
Expresses a company’s debt as a percentage of income.
The risk that an issuer is unable to pay the interest or principal on bonds it issues or loans it takes on.
See Spread, below.
The total amount an investment has gained or lost over a period of time.
The risk that an investment’s performance will be reduced by changes in currency exchange rates. This risk is present any time you invest outside of your domestic currency.
An important metric that measures a country’s balance of trade. When a country’s imports exceed its exports, it has a current account deficit. When a country’s exports exceed its imports, it has a current account surplus.
A full cycle includes a peak, downturn, trough and rise to another peak.
Refers to companies whose earnings tend to go up and down in tandem with the business cycle.
Cyclical bear market
A bear market linked to the economic cycle; typically driven by rising interest rates, an impending recession and falling profits.
A temporary inflationary trend that is linked to a specific stage of the economic cycle or seasonal pattern.
Sectors whose performance is impacted by economic expansions and contractions.
Securities whose prices are impacted by economic expansions and contractions.
Stocks whose performance is impacted by economic expansions and contractions.
Dead cat bounce
Refers to a post-downturn upswing that is then followed by a new market bottom.
A type of debt instrument issued by a company.
Refers to the reduction of a portfolio’s carbon emissions profile.
Refers to instances where a bond issuer fails to make interest or principal payments.
Refers to the percentage of bond issuers that have defaulted within a given period.
Deferred sales charge (DSC)
A purchase arrangement for mutual fund investments in which the mutual fund company covers the cost of an upfront sales commission that is paid to the investment dealer and advisor. The mutual fund company also pays the advisor and the advisor’s firm a trailing commission for the range of services they provide the investor on an ongoing basis. The investor does not pay this commission directly; the fund’s published performance is net of fees and already includes these costs. Early redemption fees apply if investor exits the fund before a specified period (usually seven years). The invested amount is subject to fees charged by the mutual fund company, which include investment management fees.
An investment posture designed to protect against an event or conditions that could have an adverse impact on an asset class or market.
A sector/stock whose movements are not generally linked to the ups and downs of the business cycle. The opposite of a cyclical sector/stock.
Refers to a drop in a company’s earnings.
Paying off debt or reducing leverage in a business or investment portfolio.
The process of reducing risk in an investment portfolio.
A financial instrument whose value and performance is dependent on the value and performance of an underlying security.
A tax applied to digital business activities.
A renminbi-denominated bond issued in Hong Kong.
The excess return provided by a floating rate bond relative to a fixed-rate bond.
Discounted cash flow
A metric that shows the present value of expected future cash flows.
A discrepancy between the price of a security and its true value.
Refers to the amount of variance in returns between the highest- and lowest-performing investments or asset classes.
An emerging trend that challenges the prospects or even the viability of traditional industries or sectors.
The debt of a company in a state of financial distress, which can include default or bankruptcy.
Refers to the elimination of investments in companies with specific characteristics.
A payment to shareholders that can be made in cash or stock. Dividends receive preferential tax treatment compared to interest earnings.
Dividend growth stock
A stock whose dividend payment is growing.
A financial ratio that indicates how much a company pays out in dividends each year relative to its share price. Dividend yield is represented as a percentage and can be calculated by dividing the dollar value of dividends paid in a given year per share of stock by the dollar value of one share of stock.
Represents the long-term interest rate projections of members of the U.S. Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee.
Refers to a very cautious monetary policy approach.
The amount of downside a mutual fund experiences relative to a benchmark.
The actual or potential drop in an investment's price.
Measures a portfolio manager takes to minimize loss in the portfolio if markets fall.
The possibility that an investment will lose value.
The phase of the energy production and distribution cycle that involves the refinement/processing of crude oil and raw natural gas into products for use by end consumers.
Refers to a decline in value of a market or security.
Measures the sensitivity of fixed-income securities to changes in interest rates. A higher duration means an investment is more sensitive to interest rate volatility. When interest rates fall (rise) a higher duration means a greater increase (decrease) in the price of the security.
Dynamic asset allocation
An approach that adjusts the portfolio’s asset allocation in response to or in anticipation of changing market conditions.
The acronym for countries in Europe, Australasia and the Far East.
A company's profits or net income.
Earnings per share (EPS)
A company's profits per share of common stock outstanding.
Expressed as a percentage, earnings yield is a widely used stock valuation metric that is calculated by dividing a company’s earnings per share (see definition above) over the preceding four quarters by its current stock price.
A company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
The upward and downward movement of gross domestic product over time. The business cycle has four main stages: expansion, peak, contraction and trough.
Refers to companies/sectors that perform well when the economy is strong, and poorly when it is weak. Also known as cyclical stocks/sectors.
Refers to theoretically optimal investment portfolios that generate the highest returns per unit of risk.
Efficient market/asset class
A market or asset class is said to be efficient when all publicly available information on the securities within that market or asset class is reflected in the prices of those securities.
Emerging market debt
A debt security issued by an emerging market government or company.
Emerging market debt universe
The entirety of fixed-income opportunities in emerging markets.
Refers to the total market value of a company.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG)
Refers to a company’s environmental, social and corporate governance policies. Some portfolio managers will only invest in companies that meet high ESG standards.
Equity risk premium
The portion of equity returns that exceeds the risk-free rate.
Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR)
Refers to the average interest rate at which Eurozone banks lend money to each other.
Event-driven bear market
A bear market caused by a specific event, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The risk that an unexpected economic or other event will negatively impact a company’s financial positon.
Refers to a condition in which overall demand in an economy is below the level required to fully utilize that economy's total productive capacity.
Returns beyond those of a benchmark.
Exchange-traded fund (ETF)
An ETF, or exchange traded fund, is a security that trades openly on a stock exchange and represents an underlying basket of securities (frequently an index). The price of an ETF is determined by supply and demand on the stock exchange, and not (as with mutual funds) by daily net asset value.
Refers to a major unforeseen event (e.g. a war or pandemic) that significantly disrupts financial markets.
External (government/sovereign) debt
The total amount owed by a country to foreign creditors.
A criterion for selecting securities.
A bond that loses its investment grade status as a result of a downgrade by the ratings agencies.
A financial metric that illustrates the return difference between value and growth stocks.
Fed fund futures
Federal Fund Futures prices illustrate the market's views on the probability of changes to U.S. monetary policy. Market participants use these prices as an indication of the likelihood of interest rate changes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Fed funds rate
Refers to the interest rate set by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Fee-based (advisor) compensation (FB)
An arrangement in which a financial advisor is compensated directly by the investor.
First lien floating rate bonds
Bonds with floating coupons that are reset every three months, maintain the first lien position in the capital structure and are secured by company assets.
Refers to a condition in which a government’s expenditures over a given period exceed its revenues.
Refers to deflationary pressure stemming from a government’s fiscal policy.
Measures a government takes to influence the direction of the economy (e.g., tax rate increases or decreases, government spending increases or decreases).
A government action or policy designed to stimulate economic activity.
Fixed-rate reset preferred share
A type of preferred share that pays a fixed dividend until its reset date.
Fixed-to-floating interest rate swap
A derivative that is used to manage the impact of fluctuating interest rates. Two parties agree to exchange interest rate cash flows, one with a fixed interest rate and the other with a floating rate.
Fixed-to-floating interest rate swap
A derivative that is used to manage the impact of fluctuating interest rates. Two parties agree to exchange interest rate cash flows, one with a fixed interest rate and the other with a floating rate.
Flattening yield curve
When short- and long-term bonds are offering similar yields and the benefit of holding longer-term bonds is diminished.
Flight to quality
The tendency for investors to gravitate towards safe assets (e.g. developed country government bonds) during times of market uncertainty or high volatility.
Floating rate security
A debt security with a flexible interest rate. The interest rate moves with a designated benchmark or reference interest rate.
Floating rate preferred shares
A preferred share that pays a dividend that varies in tandem with a reference rate.
Forced sale (of stock)
A requirement, permitted under certain contractual conditions, that a minority shareholder sells his or her stock either to majority shareholders or the company.
The requirement to sell securities to adhere to an investment mandate or accommodate redemption requests.
A way to minimize currency risk by participating in derivative contracts with parties who have the opposite currency risk.
A company’s projected or expected earnings.
An estimate of future performance (when discussing company earnings) or interest rate levels (when discussing central bank monetary policy).
Forward P/E ratio
The P/E ratio is an important stock valuation metric that measures the price of a company’s shares relative to per-share earnings. The forward P/E ratio is calculated using forecasted earnings instead of historical (trailing) earnings.
Fragility-based monetary policy
Monetary policy that is driven by an effort to stabilize a fragile banking system and/or economy.
A sector or industry in which there is no dominant company or group of companies. Market share is dispersed across a number of small, medium-sized or larger businesses.
Free cash flow
Refers to the cash a company generates after accounting for capital expenditures.
Free cash flow yield
A ratio that measures free cash flow per share against market price per share.
Front-end load (FE)
A purchase arrangement for mutual fund investments in which the investor pays a negotiated, upfront sales charge to the advisor (a percentage of amount invested in the mutual fund). The mutual fund company pays the advisor and the advisor’s firm a trailing commission for the range of services they provide the investor on an ongoing basis. The investor does not pay this commission directly; the fund’s published performance is net of fees and already includes these costs. The invested amount is subject to fees charged by the mutual fund company, which include investment management fees.
Full capacity (economic)
An economy that is performing at the limit of its current capabilities.
Refers to the characteristics of a company (or economy) that are analyzed when valuing its worth (or strength).
Refers to the movement of investor dollars in and out of mutual funds.
The risk that a major political event (e.g. war, contentious election or referendum) may have a significant, adverse impact on financial markets.
An increasingly common tendency for employers to seek short-term or contract employees.
A major financial or other event that has a significant negative impact on global financial markets.
Global super trend
An investment theme that is expected to be a key driver of capital markets over the long term.
Global unconstrained fixed-income strategy
An approach that has the flexibility to invest in any fixed-income asset class in any region of the world.
Securities whose proceeds are used exclusively to fund projects that contribute to environmental sustainability. These bonds are issued by governments and corporations to fund initiatives such as clean transportation, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Refers to indications of positive economic trends.
Gross domestic product (GDP)
The total dollar value of all goods and services a country produces over a specific time period.
Growth at a reasonable price (GARP)
An investment style that combines elements of value investing and growth investing. A GARP investor is looking for undervalued companies on a strong growth trajectory.
An investment strategy focused on finding stocks with high earnings growth potential. Growth investors typically seek above-average capital gains.
A stock that is expected to have above-average earnings growth. Growth stocks typically do not pay a dividend, but instead reinvest earnings to fuel growth of the company.
Refers to the whole number in a percentage range. For example, a 3% handle refers to values between 3.0% and 3.99%.
Hard currency debt
Bonds issued by emerging market governments that are denominated in a liquid developed market currency, most commonly the U.S. dollar.
Unfavourable conditions for investment markets.
A strategy some portfolio managers use when investing in foreign securities. The goal is to fully or partially negate the impact of exchange rate fluctuations on investment performance. An unhedged approach is often used when the portfolio manager believes exchange rate fluctuations will benefit investment performance or be neutral over time.
A strategy that attempts to reduce the volatility of one asset class held in the portfolio through exposure to other, uncorrelated or negatively correlated asset classes.
Hedge fund of funds
An investment fund whose holdings consist of hedge funds.
The tendency for investors to participate in a popular trade not on the basis of any specific analytical rationale, but simply because many others are doing it.
A stock with a volatility profile that closely reflects that of the broader market.
A fixed-income security with higher risk and higher yield than investment grade bonds. High-yield bonds are rated below BBB (S&P) or Baa (Moody's).
Refers to a company-wide perspective on how to invest and/or the outlook for markets.
ICE BofAML Option-Adjusted Spread (OAS)
The calculated spread in yield between a computed OAS index of all bonds in a given rating category and a spot Treasury curve.
ICE BofAML US High Yield Master II Index
Tracks the performance of U.S. dollar-denominated below investment grade rated corporate debt publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market.
A risk factor that is specific to a particular company, sector, market or region.
A security that is not readily tradeable.
A metric that expresses the market’s view of future price volatility for a particular instrument or index.
A statement of a company’s performance over a specified period.
A market or asset that is mispriced due to a relative lack of investor attention or interest.
Fiscal or monetary strategies used by governments or central banks to promote economic expansion, which typically causes higher inflation.
Initial public offering
The process of transitioning a company from privately held to publicly traded.
Institute of Supply Management (ISM)
U.S.-based not-for-profit supply management association. The ISM regularly publishes reports based on a national survey of purchasing managers tracking changes in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors. The reports are considered a reliable barometer of the U.S. economy.
Large investors, such as pension funds, banks, mutual funds, foundations and endowments.
Interest coverage ratio
Shows a company’s capacity to make interest payments on the debt it has issued.
Interest rate coverage
Refers to the ability of a company to pay the interest it owes on debt it issued.
Interest rate risk
The risk that an investment's value will change due to a change in the absolute level of interest rates.
Interest rate sensitive
The degree to which the price of a security fluctuates with interest rate fluctuations.
Interest rate swap
A derivative that is used to manage the impact of fluctuating interest rates.
A debt instrument with a maturity period between five and 10 years.
The market price that reflects a company's true worth.
A high-quality debt security with a low risk of default. Ratings for investment grade instruments are BBB and above.
Inverted yield curve
Represents market conditions in which long-term debt instruments have lower yields than short-term debt instruments. An inverted yield curve has historically been a leading indicator of recession.
ISM Manufacturing Index
Gauges the strength of the manufacturing sector through a variety of factors, including employment and production data.
The price of a new security when it is sold for the first time.
A corporation or government that offers bonds or equity for sale in the public markets.
A company with a market capitalization of more than $5 billion.
A metric used to forecast the direction of the economy.
The amount of debt a firm has on its balance sheet.
An investment approach that involves the use of debt to invest.
A financial metric that help analysts determine whether a company is able to pay its debts.
LIBOR or ICE LIBOR (Intercontinental Exchange London Interbank Offered Rate) is considered a standard rate around the world for short-term loans between institutions.
Alternative investments, such as private equity or real estate, typically lack liquidity, i.e., invested capital is not readily redeemable. Liquid alternatives provide more liquid access to alternative asset classes and strategies.
Liquidity (central bank)
Refers to economic conditions, resulting from central bank policy, in which credit is plentiful and easily accessible.
A financial market in which securities can be readily bought and sold.
A security that can be readily bought and sold on the open market.
Listed private equity
A listed security that provides exposure to private equity investments.
Local currency debt
Bonds issued by emerging market governments that are denominated in the issuing country's currency.
Loose monetary policy
A central bank policy characterized by low or falling interest rates with the aim of stimulating economic activity.
A measure of company earnings that emphasizes retained earnings (company earnings after dividends are paid out) and how they are deployed to generate future profits.
A debt instrument with a maturity of 10 years or longer.
The conventional approach to investing, which aims to earn positive returns from securities that appreciate in value.
Refers to long-term interest rates.
An approach to investing that aims to earn positive returns solely from securities that appreciate in value.
An investment approach that incorporates both long and short positions.
A stock with a volatility profile that is dissimilar to that of the broader market.
Low load (LL)
A purchase arrangement for mutual fund investments in which the mutual fund company covers the cost of an upfront sales commission that is paid to the investment dealer and advisor. The mutual fund company also pays the advisor and the advisor’s firm a trailing commission for the range of services they provide the investor on an ongoing basis. The investor does not pay this commission directly; the fund’s published performance is net of fees and already includes these costs. Early redemption fees apply if investor exits the fund before a specified period (usually three years). The invested amount is subject to fees charged by the mutual fund company, which include investment management fees.
A low-volatility investment generally has less severe upward and downward fluctuations (measured in standard deviations) than the benchmark index.
Refers to the money supply, specifically bank notes and coins in circulation, and demand deposits (amounts in chequing accounts).
The investment strategy of a mutual fund.
Refers to a company's profits.
Margin of safety
When purchasing an investment that is significantly below its intrinsic value, there is less room for the investment to fall.
The total value of a company’s outstanding shares. Can also refer to the total value of a market relative to other markets.
Market neutral strategy
An approach to investing that incorporates both long and short positions in an attempt to have little, if any, net exposure to broad market fluctuations.
Mark to market
Refers to the practice of using the current market price to value an asset.
A full market cycle includes a peak, downturn, trough and rise to another peak.
The risk associated with investing in a broad market, as opposed to a specific security.
Refers to the outlook of market participants as a whole.
Refers to valuation based on current market price.
Date on which the principal amount of a debt instrument comes due and is repaid to the investor and the interest payments stop.
The tendency for prices or economic data points to return to a historical average.
Securities situated in the capital structure below high-rated debt and above equity.
A company with a market capitalization value between $2 billion and $5 billion.
The phase of the energy production and distribution cycle that involves the transport and storage of crude oil and raw natural gas.
Refers to a case where a security is trading below intrinsic (fair) value.
A software-based system of evaluating securities.
Measures the value change of a security resulting from changes in interest rates.
An approach that invests in securities exhibiting an upward price trajectory.
The steps taken by a country's central bank to influence the direction of the economy.
Monetary policy normalization
An effort by central banks to return interest rates to their normalized level.
A central bank policy that seeks to dampen inflationary pressures by reducing access to credit through higher interest rates.
Mortgage-backed security (MBS)
A security backed by mortgages on residential properties.
Refers to averages for subsets of data within a larger data set. Moving average calculations are generally used to prevent short-term price fluctuations from distorting price trend data.
Investing in multiple asset classes.
An approach that invests in multiple types of credit instrument.
A ratio that measures a company's financial health and indicates how much investors are willing to pay for a security.
A reduction in a company's multiple.
National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI)
The NFCI measures risk, liquidity and leverage in the U.S. financial system. A zero value for the NFCI indicates that the financial system is operating at average levels of risk, liquidity and leverage. Positive values indicate tighter-than-average financial conditions, while negative values indicate looser-than-average conditions.
Net asset value (NAV)
The per-unit value of a mutual fund, calculated by taking the market price of the fund’s combined holdings, subtracting any liabilities, and then dividing the total by the number of units outstanding.
Neutral monetary policy
A central bank policy that is neither stimulative nor contractionary.
A measure of the value of goods and services using current prices.
The stated interest rate or coupon rate on a bond.
Refers to any U.S. job with the exception of farm work, unincorporated self-employment and employment by private households, non-profit organizations and the military and intelligence agencies. It is a monthly report used as a gauge of economic health.
Normalized interest rates
The long-term level for interest rates assuming a healthy economy and targeted levels of inflation. The ‘normal’ level for interest rates is currently viewed by many economists and analysts as significantly lower than in the past.
Normal yield curve
A normal yield curve represents market conditions in which long-term debt instruments have higher yields than short-term debt instruments.
An industry that is dominated by a very small number of companies.
Refers to the most recently issued Treasury securities.
Refers to earnings before interest and taxes.
Expresses, in percentage terms, the fixed costs of a company relative to its total costs.
A financial instrument that allows investors to enter into an agreement where one person has the right to buy (sell) a security at a specified price and the other person is obligated to sell (buy). These investors agree on the terms of the option, including the price and time period during which the option is valid. Some options can be exercised within a specific time period (American options), while others are exercised only on a particular date (European options).
A strategy used to manage portfolio risk and/or generate yield through options.
Growth resulting from increased productivity and sales, rather than, e.g., through acquisition of a competitor.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
An intergovernmental organization with 37 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
A manufacturer of goods that are marketed and sold by another company, or components of goods (e.g., auto parts, computer hard drives) that are used in the manufacturing process of another company.
An approach to investing that seeks to achieve a specific positive return target, rather than outperform a reference benchmark (which in some cases can mean a negative return).
A security, sector or market that generates a higher return than its stated benchmark.
The difference between an economy’s potential and actual output.
An ancillary component of an investment process that complements the process’ main approach.
Overnight interest rate
The interest rate at which banks lend each other one-day funds.
An overweight position means an investor or investment fund manager is allocating more to an asset class, sector, geographic region or other category than the benchmark weighting.
The face-value of a debt instrument.
Par-weighted default rate
Expresses in percentage terms the number of issuers that default on their bonds.
An approach that seeks to replicate the performance of a benchmark index.
A metric that shows how much of a company’s net income goes towards paying dividends to shareholders.
An important stock valuation metric that measures the price of a company’s shares relative to per-share earnings.
Perpetual preferred share
A preferred share that pays a fixed dividend.
The interest rate set by a country’s central bank.
The process of determining the price of a traded security.
Refers to a case where a security is trading below intrinsic (fair) value.
A company that has the ability to set or influence market prices for the products or services it sells.
A company in a highly competitive market that has little ability to influence the level of prices for the goods and services it sells.
An important stock valuation metric that measures the price of a company’s shares relative to its book value.
Price-to-cash flow ratio
An important stock valuation metric that measures the price of a company’s shares relative to its free cash flows.
A stock valuation metric that measures the price of a company’s shares relative to per-share revenue.
A type of share ownership in a corporation. Preferred stock dividends are typically paid out before common share dividends. Preferred shareholders are also paid before common shareholders in the event of bankruptcy. Unlike common shares, preferred shares do not generally come with voting rights.
Preservation of capital
Refers to the steps a portfolio manager takes to prevent loss of capital in a portfolio.
The primary market is where securities are initially issued; the issuer works with an investment bank to determine the details (including initial price) of the offering.
A debt security or lending arrangement that is not accessible in the public markets.
An investment in privately held assets, as opposed to publicly traded securities.
Stocks whose prices move in tandem with the business cycle.
A basket of investments in companies that sell technology-based productivity-enhancing solutions to other businesses.
Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI)
A key indicator of manufacturing sector strength.
The purchaser of a put option has the right, but not the obligation, to sell a security at a specified price to the person who sold the option. These investors agree on the terms of the option, including the price and time period during which the option is valid. Typically, investors purchase put options as insurance against the possibility that the stock market could fall. A purchaser of put options who exercises the options in a down market is usually selling securities to the put option seller for a price that exceeds the current market price of the securities being sold.
Put writing is a strategy whereby an investor sells a put option contract to another investor. The buyer of the put option pays the seller a specific amount, known as the option premium, in exchange for the right to sell the put writer securities at a specified price within a predetermined timeframe.
An unconventional monetary policy tool used by central banks that involves purchasing securities from the open market in an effort to lower interest rates and stimulate the economy.
An approach to investing that incorporates sophisticated algorithms and computer modelling to help identify investments that meet a predefined set of criteria.
Refers to a leveling off of a security or market's price.
Rate reset preferred share
A preferred share whose dividend rate resets at regular intervals, typically every five years. On the reset date, the investor has the option of locking in the new rate or converting to a floating rate preferred share.
Hard assets such as real estate and commodities.
Real estate investment trust (REIT)
A security -- often traded on an exchange like a stock -- that provides exposure to real estate assets.
Real interest rates
The rate of interest an investor receives after accounting for inflation.
Total yield to the investor after inflation is factored in.
The tendency for investors to assume that recent market patterns will continue into the future.
A significant decline in economic activity, typically defined as two consecutive quarters of declining GDP.
Refers to the amount of principal and interest that can be recovered by investors in the event that a debt instrument goes into default.
Refers to government policies aimed at minimizing deflation and increasing economic output, and with it, inflation. Can also refer to an uptick in inflation following a period of low inflation or deflation.
Determining the relative value of a bond involves rating the bond’s valuation relative to the sector benchmark and other issuers in the same sector.
Refinancing (repricing) risk
In a senior loan arrangement, borrowers have the ability to refinance at any time without penalty, which is what they tend to do when they see that investors are flush with cash.
Reinvestment (climate risk strategy)
In the context of socially responsible investing, reinvestment refers to a climate risk strategy whereby funds formerly invested in fossil fuel-focused companies are reallocated to more environmentally sustainable businesses.
The risk that the proceeds from an investment (principal and interest) will be reinvested, or refinanced, at a lower rate.
Taking on debt or increasing leverage.
The market for repurchase agreements, which are short-term lending/borrowing agreements between financial institutions, typically involving government-issued securities.
Refers to a change in the rating/assessment of a security.
Refers to the amount of capital a financial institution must have on hand relative to the amount it lends. For example, a 10% reserve requirement would allow a bank to lend $100 for every $10 it has on hand.
Reset (interest rate)
A new interest rate that differs from the original or previous interest rate. For example, the interest rate for senior loans is typically reset every three months.
A new dividend rate for a preferred share that differs from the original or previous dividend rate.
The amount of net income that exceeds the cost of capital.
Company earnings after dividends are paid out.
Refers to the rate at which a company retains customers.
Return on capital (ROC)
The amount of profit generated per dollar of invested capital.
Return on shareholder equity
The amount of profit generated per dollar of shareholder equity.
The amount of return generated by an investment per unit of risk.
Usually a reference to equities and other asset classes with a similar or greater level of risk.
Risk dial score
A proprietary risk measure used by the PineBridge Investments global multi-asset team. A score of 5 represents a bearish assessment of markets; a score of 1 represents a bullish assessment.
The return on an investment that carries no risk.
Market conditions in which higher-risk assets tend to perform poorly.
Market conditions in which higher-risk assets tend to perform well.
The expected excess return from investing beyond risk-free assets.
Refers to a sequence of consecutive months or years. For example, a five-year rolling period is a sequence of five-year periods.
Refers to the large-scale movement of investor capital from one part of the securities market to another.
Explains how much variability of one factor can be caused by its relationship to another factor.
Low-risk (and generally low-return) assets that investors tend to gravitate towards during periods of market stress.
Refers to increased market share and/or profitability as a business expands.
A pattern whereby fluctuations (e.g., in prices or performance) occur with a measure of regularity during the same periods in a given calendar year.
The market where previously issued securities, such as stocks and bonds, are traded among investors.
Secondary market corporate credit facility
Refers to credit market liquidity support – primarily through the purchase of U.S. investment grade corporate bonds – provided by the U.S. Federal Reserve during the market downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
An investment strategy that attempts to anticipate which sectors are likely to outperform as the business cycle progresses.
Refers to a long-term trend.
Refers to a long-term growth trend.
A debt instrument backed by collateral.
A risk factor that is specific to a particular security.
The financial industry’s sell side is made up of a variety of market participants that include investment banks and securities dealers.
A semi-log axis is used to present a large amount of data in a limited amount of space.
Senior debt is a liability that must be paid first in the event of bankruptcy.
In a senior loan arrangement, the lender has first claim on the borrower's assets in the event of bankruptcy. These loans have floating rates that are reset at regular intervals.
Senior second-lien bond
A bond that places its holders second in line for compensation in the case of bankruptcy or default. Second-lien debt holders receive compensation from property or other collateral after first-lien debt is covered.
Refers to a company purchasing stock it issued from current shareholders.
Refers to the practice of using one's influence as a shareholder to encourage companies to meet a higher standard of social and environmental responsibility.
A widely used measure of risk-adjusted returns.
Shiller CAPE ratio
A widely used stock valuation metric that is calculated by taking the price of a stock and dividing it by the company’s average inflation-adjusted earnings over the previous 10 years.
A debt instrument with a maturity of five years or less.
See Short selling, below.
Refers to short-term interest rates.
An investment strategy that aims to generate positive returns from falling stock prices. In a short-selling arrangement that unfolds as intended, the investor borrows shares of a stock from a broker and immediately sells them into the open market; after the price falls, the investor purchases the same number of shares in the open market and returns them to the broker. The investor’s profit is the difference between the proceeds of the sale of the shares and the amount paid to later purchase them, less borrowing and transaction costs. Investors can achieve the same exposure provided by shorting through the use of certain types of derivatives; in this case, it is not necessary to borrow, sell and purchase physical securities.
A segment of a mutual fund portfolio.
An investment approach that builds a fund around a specific factor such as volatility or price momentum.
A company with a market capitalization of $300 million to $2 billion.
Socially responsible investing (SRI)
The practice of investing with a view to both social/environmental responsibility and financial gain.
Acronym for state-owned enterprises.
Refers to a price of a security that is either steady or falling slowly.
Used to measure an investment’s return for a given level of downside volatility.
Bonds issued by a government.
Sovereign wealth fund
An investment fund owned by a government.
The yield difference between two types of fixed-income or credit instrument, typically expressed in percentage points or basis points. A tight spread means the yield difference is small, while a wide spread means the difference is comparatively large.
A narrowing of bond or other fixed-income spreads.
Refers to the degree to which a bond’s price changes relative to a change in its spread.
A measure of historical volatility and the most common measure of risk in the investment industry. In general, the higher the standard deviation, the higher the risk associated with an investment.
Strategic asset allocation
The long-term, baseline or neutral asset mix for an investment portfolio.
A bond whose principal and coupon are sold separately.
Structural bear market
A bear market created by imbalances and financial bubbles, very often followed by a deflationary price shock.
A category defined by a specific investment style, such as value investing or growth investing.
When a portfolio manager deviates from his or her stated approach to investing.
Refers to assets below a specific asset in a company’s capital structure.
The risk of an unanticipated adverse impact on a portfolio.
A model-driven, quantitative approach to security selection.
Tactical asset allocation
An approach that makes asset allocation shifts based on immediate-term market events.
Aims to minimize any uncompensated risk that may impact a portfolio in certain market environments.
An investment opportunity resulting from immediate-term market events.
Refers to the probability that an investment will move more than three standard deviations from the mean.
Refers to favourable conditions for particular investments or the market as a whole.
Target return approach
An approach to investing that seeks a specific return across a full market cycle.
A method of analyzing securities that focuses on price and trading volume data, among other metrics, to forecast performance.
Refers to a marked decrease in asset prices that follows an extended period of price increases.
Refers to price and volume patterns for a specific security or market.
Selling securities based on technical analysis.
The maturity period for a fixed-income instrument.
Refers to the amount of additional yield offered by longer-maturity bonds relative to shorter-maturity bonds.
A strategy whereby a long-term investor takes a position in an out-of-favour security that is trading at an attractive discount to intrinsic value. The expectation is that over time, the market price of the security will rise and ultimately converge with the investor’s assessment of intrinsic value.
An approach to investing that bases asset allocation decisions fully or partly on macroeconomic analysis and analysis of the broader markets.
Refers to macroeconomic risk factors.
Typically refers to a company’s gross revenue.
An investment return that includes any interest, capital gains, dividends and distributions.
A company’s actual recorded earnings.
A portion or ‘slice’ of a debt offering. Higher (senior) tranches generally offer less risk and lower returns, while lower tranches offer potential for greater income but with elevated levels of risk.
A debt security issued by a government. Unless otherwise indicated, the term refers to U.S. government Treasuries.
Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS)
A U.S. government-backed treasury bill that protects the investor from inflation because the par value of the bill is adjusted in step with inflation.
Debt instruments issued by the U.S. government with fixed interest rates and maturities that range from one to 10 years.
The low point of a market or economic cycle.
Refers to the frequency of security trading in a portfolio.
A risk for which there is no potential reward.
An approach to investing that is not constrained by benchmark or other asset class weighting requirements.
Refers to securities or portfolios that do not move in tandem with other securities or portfolios.
A security, fund, sector or market that generates a lower return than its stated benchmark or point of comparison.
Allocating less to an asset class, sector, geographic region or other category than the benchmark weighting.
Refers to the totality of offerings within a particular asset class or market.
The amount of upside a mutual fund experiences relative to a benchmark.
The profit generated by an investment.
The phase of the energy production and distribution cycle that involves the discovery and extraction of crude oil and natural gas.
A measurement of how much an investment is worth. It is determined by analyzing a variety of factors, including financial statements and industry statistics.
An investment strategy that seeks to identify and purchase securities that are trading below their true (intrinsic) value. The goal is to sell the securities for a profit when their market prices reflect intrinsic value.
A stock that is trading at a price that is below the company's true or intrinsic value.
Also known as the “fear gauge,” the VIX is a commonly referenced measure of equity market volatility.
A swift recovery from a sharp decline.
Refers to the right (but not the obligation) to buy a company’s shares in the future.
A type of average where each observation in the data set is multiplied by a predetermined weight before calculation.
The size of a security, sector or market relative to other constituents in the benchmark.
Western Canadian Select
The main benchmark for Canadian crude oil.
West Texas Intermediate
A key benchmark for crude oil prices.
Refers to a scenario where an investor sells a security shortly before an upward price swing, and then buys it back just prior to a sharp drop in price.
The income earned from a security.
Graphically illustrates the yields and maturities of bonds of similar credit quality. A normal yield curve slopes upwards (i.e. bond yields rise as maturities lengthen). A flat yield curve indicates that yields on long- and short-maturity debt instruments are roughly the same. An inverted yield curve represents market conditions in which long-term debt instruments have lower yields than short-term debt instruments. An inverted yield curve has historically been a leading indicator of recession. The long or back end of the yield curve is the part of the curve that plots longer-dated bonds. The short or front end of the yield curve is the part of the curve that plots shorter-dated maturities. A steepening of the yield curve occurs when long-term interest rates rise more quickly than short-term rates.
Yield to maturity
The yield an investor will receive from a bond, assuming the bond is held until the maturity date.
See Strip bond, above.
Zero lower bound
When interest rates are at or near 0%, central banks have little or no ability to lower interest rates further in a bid to stimulate economic growth.
An approach to investing whereby the equivalent of 130% of fund assets are invested in long positions, and the equivalent of 30% of fund assets are invested in short positions.
The yield difference between a country’s 2-year and 5-year government bond.
The yield difference between a country's 2-year and 10-year government bond.
Refers to the yield on the U.S. 10-year government bond.