Fort Myers Florida Weekly

A Mini-Glossary

Fool’s School

Savvy investors need to have some financial terms under their belts — like these:

Bear market:
when the overall market loses value over an extended period of time. There’s no official definition of it, but many analysts feel a drop of at least 10 percent is needed. A smaller drop is often called a “correction” (though that term is never used when the market moves up 10 percent!).

Book value:
a company’s assets, minus any liabilities and intangible assets. Book value is the value of a company that can be found via its balance sheet. It’s often represented as a per-share value by taking the company’s shareholder equity and dividing it by the current number of shares outstanding.

Capital appreciation:
One of the two components of total return (along with dividend yield), capital appreciation reflects how much the underlying value of a security has increased. If you bought a stock at $10 per share and it has risen to $13, you have enjoyed a 30 percent return or appre- ciation on your invested capital.

Capital gain/loss:
the difference between the price at which an asset is sold and its original purchase price (or “basis”).

a deer, a female deer.

a measure of how quickly a security can be sold at a fair price and converted to cash. Illiquid stocks are those that don’t trade in high volume — so having too many shares of them would make for a position that cannot necessarily be sold.

Market timing:
an investment strategy based on predicting short-term price changes in securities, which is virtually impossible to do.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index:
an index of 500 of America’s biggest publicly traded companies. The S&P 500 is considered a good measurement of the overall U.S. stock market, and indeed, it represents about 75 percent of the market.

Treasury bill (T-bill):
a short-term discounted security issued by the U.S. government, with a maturity of one year or less.

Learn more at and 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *