Saturday, 8 August 2015

Some Financial Terms Which Help You to Crack Interviews


Consumer price Index
A comprehensive measure used for estimation of price changes in a basket of goods and services representative of consumption expenditure is called consumer price index.
Explanation: The calculation involved in the estimation of CPI is quite rigorous. Various categories and sub-categories have been made for classifying consumption items and on the basis of consumer categories like urban or rural. Based on these indices and sub indices obtained, the final overall index of price is calculated mostly by national statistical agencies. It is one of the most important statistics for an economy and is generally based on the weighted average of the prices of commodities. It gives an idea of the cost of living.
Inflation is measured using CPI. The percentage change in this index over a period of time gives the amount of inflation over that specific period, i.e. the increase in prices of a representative basket of goods consumed.
Core Inflation
A measure of inflation that excludes certain items that face volatile price movements. Core inflation eliminates products that can have temporary price shocks because these shocks can diverge from the overall trend of inflation and give a false measure of inflation.
Core inflation is most often calculated by taking the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and excluding certain items from the index, usually energy and food products. Other methods of calculation include the outliers method, which removes the products that have had the largest price changes. Core inflation is thought to be an indicator of underlying long-term inflation.

Broad Money To Reserve Money'
It is a measure of money multiplier. Money multiplier shows the mechanism by which reserve money creates money supply in the economy. It is again dependent on two variables, namely currency deposit ratio and reserve deposit ratio.
In economics, broad money refers to the most inclusive definition of the money supply. Since cash can be exchanged for many different financial instruments and placed in various restricted accounts, it is not a simple task for economists to define how much money is currently in the economy. Therefore, the money supply is measured in many different ways. Broad money is used colloquially to refer to a broad definition of the money supply.
Explanation: the most common measures of the money supply are termed M0, M1, M2 and M3. These measurements vary according to the liquidity of the accounts included. M0 includes only the most liquid instruments, and is therefore narrowest definition of money. M3 includes includes liquid instruments as well as some less liquid instruments and is therefore considered the broadest measurement of money.
M3 is a measure of broad money and includes currency with the public and deposits. The Reserve Money factor shows the reserve money and includes required reserve and the excess reserves of the banking system. If the reserve requirement as stipulated by the RBI increases, the Reserve Money value will increase and the multiplier will fall. Similarly, if banks keep more money as excess reserves, it will have an adverse effect on the money multiplier.
'Algorithm Trading'
Algorithm trading is a system of trading which facilitates transaction decision making in the financial markets using advanced mathematical tools.
Explanation: In this type of a system, the need for a human trader's intervention is minimized and thus the decision making is very quick. This enables the system to take advantage of any profit making opportunities arising in the market much before a human trader can even spot them.
As the large institutional investors deal in a large amount of shares, they are the ones who make a large use of algorithmic trading. It is also popular by the terms of algo trading, black box trading, etc. and is highly technology-driven. It has become increasingly popular over the last few years.
'Balloon Mortgage'
A balloon mortgage is a financing mechanism where the payments are not fully amortized over the term of the loan. Sometimes the borrower needs to pay only the interest on the loan. As the loan is not fully amortized, the borrower needs to pay a large sum of money at maturity, in some cases the full principal, in order to close the loan. As the closure amount is often large, this is called balloon payment. 
Explanation: In a balloon mortgage, the loan is not amortized over its life. As a result, the borrower has to make a substantial amount, called balloon payment, in order to close the loan. A balloon mortgage is similar to a normal mortgage loan. The only difference between the two is that in a balloon mortgage a substantial sum of money, called the balloon payment, needs to be repaid to the lender after a certain stipulated period of time, say 5 or 7 years, in order to close the loan. This mechanism is popular in the domain of commercial real estate. In some cases, the borrower refinances the balloon mortgage with a normal mortgage when the balloon payment is very high. 
'Contractionary Policy'
A contractionary policy is a kind of policy which lays emphasis on reduction in the level of money supply for a lesser spending and investment thereafter so as to slow down an economy.
 
Explanation: A nation's central bank uses monetary policy tools such as CRR, SLR, repo, reverse repo, interest rates etc to control the money supply flows into the economy. Such measures are used at high growth periods of the business cycle or in times of higher than anticipated inflation. Discouraging spending by way of increased interest rates and reduced money supply helps control rising inflation. It may also lead to increased unemployment at the same time.
The idea here is to make the opportunity cost of holding money high so that people want to hold and spend less of it. The effectiveness of this policy may vary depending upon the specific spending and investment patterns in any economy.
'Baltic Freight Index'
BALTIC Freight Index (BFI) is a leading indicator of spot dry bulk cargo rates. It is not a shipping index, but an indicator of the bulk cargo market. It is calculated by the Baltic Exchange, based in London, a key market for the global shipping business.
Explanation: BFI is a weighted average based on 11 international ship routes and three commodities - coal, iron ore and grain. It reflects on the freight and charter rates of these commodities on these routes. The index uses January 4, 1985 equals 1,000 as base. BFI earlier represented all freight rates for all the vessels. It was split in late 1996, to represent only Panamax vessels (70 per cent) and Capesize vessels (30 per cent) on a weighted average basis.
BFI is now used for bigger ships such as Panamax and Capesize vessels. A Panamax vessel is a vessel that is capable of navigating through the Panama Canal and has a 50,000-80,000 tonnage, while Capesize vessel means the vessel can navigate through the Cape of Good Hope and carries 1,00,000-1,30,000 tonnage.
BFI is more relevant for bigger ships and most Indian shipping companies such as the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), Great Eastern Shipping Company (Gesco), Varun Shipping and Essar Shipping have relatively smaller-sized vessels. In India, there are only eight Panamax vessels and one Capesize vessel.
 
'Entry Load'
Mutual fund companies collect an amount from investors when they join or leave a scheme. This fee is generally referred to as a 'load'. Entry load can be said to be the amount or fee charged from an investor while entering a scheme or joining the company as an investor.
Explanation:Generally, an entry load is collected to cover costs of distribution by the company. Different mutual funds houses charge different fees as an entry load. In India, this charge was usually of about 2.25% of the value of investment. From August 2009, however, SEBI has done away with this practice of charging entry load for mutual funds.
'Exit Load'
Mutual funds companies collect an amount from investors when they join or leave a scheme. This fee charged is generally referred to as a 'load'. Exit load is a fee or an amount charged from an investor for exiting or leaving a scheme or the company as an investor.
Explanation:The aim behind the collection of this commission at the time investors exit the scheme is to discourage them from doing so, i.e. to reduce the number of withdrawals by the investors from the schemes of mutual funds. Different mutual funds houses charge different fees as an exit load.
 
'Escrow Account'
An escrow account is a temporary pass through account held by a third party during the process of a transaction between two parties. This is a temporary account as it operates until the completion of a transaction process, which is implemented after all the conditions between the buyer and the seller are settled.
Explanation: In real estate, the fund flows for the development of the project from any source is kept in the escrow account and the funds utilised for the same are also generated from the escrow account. Even the buyers of the housing units in a project transfer the home price to the escrow account and the amount is not transferred to the seller until the project is completed.
Sometimes the construction linked payments are disbursed to the seller from the escrow account so that the builder has sufficient funds for completion of the project. Sellers also benefit from the prioritization mechanism, also called waterfall mechanism, wherein the priority based payments are made to the concerned parties.
'Flash Crash'
Flash crash is nothing but a sudden crash (fall) in the stock prices.
Description: Such a crash might take place due to manual as well as algorithmic errors. Taking a recent example, the NSE Nifty lost 900 points (over 15%) in a matter of seconds on October 5, 2012. In this case, though the stock exchange was forced to pause trading for a while, the NSE claimed it was a human error rather than an algorithmic one which caused the crash.
'Front Running'
The unethical practice of a broker trading an equity based on information from the analyst department before his or her clients have been given the information.
For example, analysts and brokers who buy up shares in a company just before the brokerage is about to recommended the stock as a strong buy are practicing front running.
 
Another example is a broker who buys himself 200 shares in a stock just before his or her brokerage plans to buy a large block of 400,000 shares.
In the Michael Lewis book "Flash Boys," he applies the term to traders who use lightning-quick computer programs—high-frequency trading—to detect orders from rival traders, then jump in front of that trade. The effect is that the rival has to buy at a higher cost and the value of the front-runner's purchase goes higher.
'Gilt Funds'
Gilt Funds are mutual funds that invest only in government securities. They are preferred by risk averse and conservative investors who wish to invest in the shadow of secure government bonds.
Explanation: Since gilt funds invest only in government bonds, investors are protected from credit risk. The instruments where these funds invest have sovereign guarantee. Hence no default risk is associated with these instruments.
These funds can have different maturity profiles. Some may be short term while others are medium term or long term. Like any other bond funds, these funds too have interest rate risk ingrained in them
'Gold Fund'
Gold fund, as the name suggests, invests in various forms of gold. It can be in the form of physical gold or stocks of gold mining companies. Gold funds which invest in physical gold offer investors the convenience of buying pure gold at low cost. There is no possibility of theft and you can sell these units at market linked prices anytime.
 
Explanation: Gold Mining Funds: These funds invest in gold mining companies and returns from such funds are dependent on the performance of these companies. Investment demand for gold is borne out of the economic uncertainties as gold is considered to be a safe heaven when equity markets are tumbling. Dichotomy between demand and supply also govern the gold prices.
Gold ETFs: Gold ETFs are exchange traded funds where the underlying asset is gold. Therefore, value of gold ETF depends upon the price of gold. One needs a demat account to invest in an ETF. The concept of gold ETFs in India was first introduced by Benchmark Asset Management Company, in India.
Gold Fund of Fund (FoF): Gold FoF invests in the units of gold ETF and does not require a demat account.
'Insurable Interest'
Insurable interest is defined as the reasonable concern of a person to obtain insurance for any individual or property against unforeseen events such as death, losses, etc.
Explanation: A person is expected to have reasonable interest in a longer life for himself, his family, business and hence is in need of acquiring insurance for these. Therefore, insurable interest is often related to ownership, relationship by law or blood and possession. However, it is not an important element of life insurance contracts under modern law.
'Liquidity Trap'
Liquidity trap is a situation when expansionary monetary policy (increase in money supply) does not increase the interest rate, income and hence does not stimulate economic growth.
Explanation: Liquidity trap is the extreme effect of monetary policy. It is a situation in which the general public is prepared to hold on to whatever amount of money is supplied, at a given rate of interest. They do so because of the fear of adverse events like deflation, war.
In that case, a monetary policy carried out through open market operations has no effect on either the interest rate, or the level of income. In a liquidity trap, the monetary policy is powerless to affect the interest rate.
 
There is a liquidity trap at short term zero percent interest rate. When interest rate is zero, public would not want to hold any bond, since money, which also pays zero percent interest, has the advantage of being usable in transactions.
Hence, if the interest is zero, an increase in quantity of money cannot not induce anyone to buy bonds and thereby reduce the interest on bonds below zero.
'Mutation'
Mutation means transfer or change of title in the records of the local municipal body for the concerned property.
Explanation:Mutation of a property is the transfer or change of title entry in revenue records of the local municipal corporation. The change in title ownership may occur due to a number of reasons like death of the original owner and subsequent transfer of the ownership due to inheritance or succession. In the event of a leased property, the ownership can be transferred through an irrevocable power of attorney.
The existence of a sale deed, conversion premium and irrevocable power of attorney is required for the conversion of a leasehold property to a freehold property. Once it becomes a freehold property, the ownership title can be transferred or mutated. Mutation becomes essential for deciding the tax liability when the property ownership gets changed.
'Quantitative Easing'
Quantitative easing is an occasionally used monetary policy, which is adopted by the government to increase money supply in the economy in order to further increase lending by commercial banks and spending by consumers. The central bank (Read: The Reserve Bank of India) infuses a pre-determined quantity of money into the economy by buying financial assets from commercial banks and private entities. This leads to an increase in banks' reserves.
Explanation:Quantitative easing is aimed at maintaining price levels, or inflation. However, these policies can backfire heavily, leading to very high levels of inflation. In case commercial banks fail to lend excess reserves, it may lead to an unbalance in the money market.
 
'Soft Currency'
Soft currency is a currency which is hyper sensitive and fluctuates frequently. Such currencies react very sharply to the political or the economic situation of a country.
Explanation:It is also known as weak currency due to its unstable nature. Such currencies mostly exist in developing countries with relatively unstable governments. Soft currencies cause high volatility in exchange rates as well, making them undesirable by foreign exchange dealers. These currencies are the least preferred for international trade or holding reserves.
'Special Drawing Rights'
This is a kind of reserve of foreign exchange assets comprising leading currencies globally and created by the International Monetary Fund in the year 1969.
Explanation: Before its creation, the international community had to face several restrictions in increasing world trade and the level of financial development as gold and US dollars, which were the only means of trade, were in limited quantities. In order to address the issue, SDR was created by the IMF.
SDR is often regarded as a 'basket of national currencies' comprising four major currencies of the world - US dollar, Euro, British Pound and Yen (Japan). The composition of this basket of currencies is reviewed every five years wherein the weightage of currencies sometimes get altered.
'Swap'
Swap refers to an exchange of one financial instrument for another between the parties concerned. This exchange takes place at a predetermined time, as specified in the contract.
 
Explanation:Swaps are not exchange oriented and are traded over the counter, usually the dealing are oriented through banks. Swaps can be used to hedge risk of various kinds which includes interest rate risk and currency risk. Currency swaps and interest rates swaps are the two most common kinds of swaps traded in the market.
'Venture Capital'
Start up companies with a potential to grow need a certain amount of investment. Wealthy investors like to invest their capital in such businesses with a long-term growth perspective. This capital is known as venture capital and the investors are called venture capitalists.
Explanation:Such investments are risky as they are illiquid, but are capable of giving impressive returns if invested in the right venture. The returns to the venture capitalists depend upon the growth of the company. Venture capitalists have the power to influence major decisions of the companies they are investing in as it is their money at stake.
'Private Placement'
The sale of securities to a relatively small number of select investors as a way of raising capital. Investors involved in private placements are usually large banks, mutual funds, insurance companies and pension funds. Private placement is the opposite of a public issue, in which securities are made available for sale on the open market.
Explanation:Since a private placement is offered to a few, select individuals, the placement does not have to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In many cases, detailed financial information is not disclosed and a the need for a prospectus is waived. Finally, since the placements are private rather than public, the average investor is only made aware of the placement after it has occurred.
 
'Foriegn Direct investment'(FDI)
An investment made by a company or entity based in one country, into a company or entity based in another country. Foreign direct investments differ substantially from indirect investments such as portfolio flows, wherein overseas institutions invest in equities listed on a nation's stock exchange. Entities making direct investments typically have a significant degree of influence and control over the company into which the investment is made. Open economies with skilled workforces and good growth prospects tend to attract larger amounts of foreign direct investment than closed, highly regulated economies.
Explanation:The investing company may make its overseas investment in a number of ways - either by setting up a subsidiary or associate company in the foreign country, by acquiring shares of an overseas company, or through a merger or joint venture.
The accepted threshold for a foreign direct investment relationship, as defined by the OECD, is 10%. That is, the foreign investor must own at least 10% or more of the voting stock or ordinary shares of the investee company.
An example of foreign direct investment would be an American company taking a majority stake in a company in India. Another example would be a Canadian company setting up a joint venture to develop a mineral deposit in Chile.
'Foriegn Institutional investors'(FII)
An investor or investment fund that is from or registered in a country outside of the one in which it is currently investing. Institutional investors include hedge funds, insurance companies, pension funds and mutual funds.
Explanation:The term is used most commonly in India to refer to outside companies investing in the financial markets of India. International institutional investors must register with the Securities and Exchange Board of India to participate in the market. One of the major market regulations pertaining to FIIs involves placing limits on FII ownership in Indian companies.
 
"Foriegn Direct investment'(FDI) and FPI"
Capital is a vital ingredient for economic growth, but since most nations cannot meet their total capital requirements from internal resources alone, they turn to foreign investors to supply capital. Foreign direct investment (FDI) and foreign portfolio investment (FPI) are two of the most common routes for overseas investors to invest in an economy. FDI implies investment by foreign investors directly in the productive assets of another nation. FPI means investing by investors in financial assets such as stocks and bonds of entities located in another country. FDI and FPI are similar in some respects but very different in others. As retail investors increasingly invest overseas, they should be clearly aware of the differences between FDI and FPI, since nations with a high level of FPI can encounter heightened market volatility and currency turmoil during times of uncertainty
"Private Finance Initiative"
A method of providing funds for major capital investments where private firms are contracted to complete and manage public projects. Under a private finance initiative, the private company, instead of the government, handles the up-front costs. The project is then leased to the public, and the government authority makes annual payments to the private company. These contracts are typically given to construction firms and can last 30 years or longer. In the United States, PFIs are called public-private partnerships.
Explanation:Private finance initiatives were originally started as part of Great Britain’s strategy for providing high quality services. PFIs were first implemented there in 1992 and become popular after 1997. They were used to fund major public works projects such as schools, prisons, hospitals and infrastructure. Instead of funding these projects up front from tax receipts, private firms construct them and then make their money back through long-term (25+ years) repayments, plus interest, from the government. Thus, the government does not have to outlay a large sum of money at once to fund a large project. PFIs are also supposed to improve on-time project completion and transfer some of the risks associated with constructing and maintaining these projects from the public sector to the private sector. Financial advisers such as investment banks help manage the bidding, negotiating and financing process.
A key drawback is the interest and payments associated with PFIs burden future taxpayers. In addition, the arrangements sometimes include not only construction, but also ongoing maintenance once the projects are complete, which further increases these projects’ future cost and tax burden.
In the United Kingdom in the 2000s, a scandal surrounding PFIs revealed the government was spending significantly more on these projects than they were worth, to the benefit of the private firms running them and to the taxpayer’s detriment. PFIs have also been criticized as an accounting gimmick to reduce the appearance of public-sector borrowing.
"Leveraged Buyout"
LBO stands for Leveraged Buyout and refers to the takeover of a company that utilizes mainly debt to finance the buyout. Leveraged Buyouts are usually undertaken by private equity firms and rose to prominence in the 1980s.
The company performing the LBO or takeover only has to provide a small amount of the financing (usually around 90% of the cost is financed through debt) yet is able to make a large purchase, hence the name 'Leveraged'.
 
'GREY MARKET'(Black Market)
The unofficial trading of a company's shares, usually before they are issued in an initial public offering (IPO).
For example, if a store owner is an unauthorized dealer of a certain high-end electronics brand, the product is considered to be sold in the grey market. If the product is illegal, it would be selling on the "black market".
The grey market is an over-the-counter market where dealers may execute orders for preferred customers as well as provide support for a new issue before it is actually issued. This activity allows underwriters and the issuer to determine demand and price the securities accordingly before the IPO.
Recent IPO VRL Logistics Grey Market views by Economic Times Click Here
"Green Shoe Option"
A provision contained in an underwriting agreement that gives the underwriter the right to sell investors more shares than originally planned by the issuer. This would normally be done if the demand for a security issue proves higher than expected. Legally referred to as an over-allotment option.
Explanation:A greenshoe option can provide additional price stability to a security issue because the underwriter has the ability to increase supply and smooth out price fluctuations if demand surges.
Greenshoe options typically allow underwriters to sell up to 15% more shares than the original number set by the issuer, if demand conditions warrant such action. However, some issuers prefer not to include greenshoe options in their underwriting agreements under certain circumstances, such as if the issuer wants to fund a specific project with a fixed amount of cost and does not want more capital than it originally sought.
The term is derived from the fact that the Green Shoe Company was the first to issue this type of option.
"Gold Standard"
A monetary system in which a country's government allows its currency unit to be freely converted into fixed amounts of gold and vice versa. The exchange rate under the gold standard monetary system is determined by the economic difference for an ounce of gold between two currencies. The gold standard was mainly used from 1875 to 1914 and also during the interwar years.
The use of the gold standard would mark the first use of formalized exchange rates in history. However, the system was flawed because countries needed to hold large gold reserves in order to keep up with the volatile nature of supply and demand for currency. After World War II, a modified version of the gold standard monetary system, the Bretton Woods monetary system created as its successor. This successor system was initially successful, but because it also depended heavily on gold reserves, it was abandoned in 1971 when U.S President Nixon "closed the gold window."
"Dollar Index"
A measure of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to majority of its most significant trading partners. This index is similar to other trade-weighted indexes, which also use the exchange rates from the same major currencies.
Currently, this index is calculated by factoring in the exchange rates of six major world currencies: the euro, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar, British pound, Swedish krona and Swiss franc. This index started in 1973 with a base of 100 and is relative to this base. This means that a value of 120 would suggest that the U.S. dollar experienced a 20% increase in value over the time period.
It is possible to incorporate futures or options strategies on the USDX. These financial products currently trade on the New York Board Of Trade.

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