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Asian Funds
A fund that invests primarily in the stocks of companies located in Asia. These funds appeal to investors who believe that Asiapotentially represents a growth area, and want to capitalize on that growth.
Ask Price
Lowest price any seller is willing to accept for a security at a given time. Also called "offer".
Asset
A fund's investment holdings and cash. Holdings can include stocks, rights, warrants, options, bonds, CDs, RANs TANs and BANs.
Asset / Equity Ratio
The ratio of total assets to stockholders' equity.
Asset / Liability Management
Also called surplus management, the task of managing funds of a financial institution to accomplish the two goals of a financial institution: (1) to earn an adequate return on funds invested and (2) to maintain a comfortable surplus of assets beyond liabilities.
Asset Allocation
The process of apportioning investments among various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, collectibles and cash equivalents. Asset allocation affects both the risk and return of investors, and is often used as a core strategy in basic financial planning.
Asset Allocation Decision
The decision regarding how the institution's funds should be distributed among the major classes of assets in which it may invest.
Asset Allocation Fund
A fund that invests in a variety of asset classes, including domestic and foreign stocks and bonds, money market instruments, precious metals, and real estate. Some asset allocation funds maintain a relatively fixed allocation between asset classes, while others actively alter the mix as market conditions change.
Asset Class
A category of assets, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and foreign securities.
Asset Class Breakdown
Percentage of holdings in different types of investments, ie. large stocks, international, bond, etc.
Asset Swap
An interest rate swap used to alter the cash flow characteristics of an institution's assets so as to provide a better match with its liabilities.
Asset Turnover
The ratio of net sales to total assets.
Asset-backed Security
A debt instrument collateralized by credit card receivables, auto loans, or other assets and securitized by a bank or other financial institution.
At-the-Money
An option which has a strike price that is nearest to the underlying futures price.
At-the-Opening Order
An order which specifies execution at the opening of the market or else it is canceled.
Attribute Bias
The tendency of stocks preferred by the dividend discount model to share certain equity attributes such as low price-earnings ratios, high dividends yield, high book-value ratio, or membership in a particular industry sector.
Auction Market
A market in which buyers enter competitive bids and sellers enter competitive offers simultaneously. Most stock and bond markets, including those on the NYSE, function this way.
Authorized Participant
Often called a specialist, this sophisticated professional trading firm helps create (trade stocks for an ETF) and redeem (trade an ETF for stocks) ETFs.
Automatic Exercise
The automatic exercise of an in-the-money option at expiration by the clearing firm.
Automatic Investment
A shareholder service that allows the periodic withdrawal of a specified amount from the shareholder's bank account to be invested in his or her mutual fund account. Some mutual fund groups also offer this service as a payroll deduction plan. (See also "dollar cost averaging.")
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