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Investment Glossary

Bond A bond acts like a loan or an IOU that is issued by a corporation, municipality or the U.S. government. The issuer promises to repay the full amount of the loan on a specific date and pay a specified rate of return for the use of the money to the investor at specific time intervals.

Brokerage Accounts – A brokerage account is an arrangement where an investor deposits money with a licensed brokerage firm, who places trades on behalf of the customer.

Common Stock - Securities that represent ownership in a corporation; must be issued by a corporation.  Common stock is a security that represents ownership in a corporation. With common stock, if a company goes bankrupt, the common stockholders do not receive their money until the creditors and preferred shareholders have received their respective share of the leftover assets. This makes common stock riskier than debt or preferred shares. The upside to common shares is they usually outperform bonds and preferred shares in the long run. Holders of common stock exercise control by electing a board of directors and voting on corporate policy. Common stockholders are at the bottom of the priority ladder in terms of ownership structure; in the event of liquidation, common shareholders have rights to a company's assets only after bondholders, preferred shareholders and other debtholders are paid in full.

Fixed/Variable Annuities

Fixed annuities are contracts issued by life insurance companies to individuals looking for guaranteed rates of return without any risk to principal. Basically, steady, risk-free returns over a set period of time, for a fee. 

Variable annuities differ from fixed annuities, which offer a guaranteed return and a minimum payment at annuitization, in that there is no guarantee of a return, only the assurance that one will get back the principal paid.

Government Securities – In the investing world, government security applies to a range of investment products offered by a governmental body. For most readers, the most common type of government security are those items issued by the U.S. Treasury in the form of Treasury bond, bills, and notes. However, the governments of many nations will issue these debt instruments to fund ongoing, necessary, operations.  These securities are considered conservative investments with a low-risk since they have the backing of the government that issued them.

IRAs – Individual Retirement Account (IRA) - A tax-deferred account to which an eligible individual can make annual contributions up to $3,000 ($6,000 for a single-income married couple filing a joint income tax return). J.P. Morgan Assess Management
While IRS Publication 590 specifies "individual retirement arrangements," that term is meant to broadly represent a wide variety of individual retirement accounts, individual retirement annuities and other trusts or custodial accounts that acts as a personal savings plan that provides tax advantages for setting aside money for retirement.  Investopedia

Mutual Funds – Fund operated by an investment company that raises money from shareholders and invests it in stocks, bonds, options, commodities or money market securities.

Securities-Based Lending - The practice of making loans using securities as collateral. Securities-based lending (SBL) provides ready access to capital that can be used for almost any purpose such as buying real estate, purchasing personal property like jewelry or a sports car, or investing in a business.

Treasury Bills – Negotiable short-term (one year or less) debt obligations issued by the U.S. government and backed by its full faith and credit.

Treasury Notes – Negotiable medium-term (one year to 10 years) debt obligations issued by the U.S. government and backed by its full faith and credit.