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A

A/P: (See Accounts Payable)

A/R: (See Accounts Receivable)

"A" credit customers: Consumers with impeccable credit, who can obtain a loan from traditional lenders.

Acceleration Clause: A provision in a mortgage that gives the lender the right to demand payment of the entire principal balance if a monthly payment is missed.

Acceptance: An offers consent to enter into a contract and be bound by the terms of the offer.

Accounting Manipulations: Creative accounting designed to fool the ones who need the information in order to make a decision. By cooking the books one may make a decision they would not otherwise and lose their investment.

Accounts Payable (Payables): The amount of money a company or individual owes for goods and services it has received; any outstanding debt that a company has.

Accounts Receivable (Receivables): A collection of a company's or individual's outstanding invoices (invoices which have not yet been paid by the company's customers).

Accounts Receivable Aging Report: A report showing how long invoices from each customer have been outstanding.

Acquisition: (See Mergers)

ACRS (Accelerated Cost Recovery System): Schedule of depreciation rates allowed for tax purposes.

Additional Principal Payment: A payment by a borrower of more than the scheduled principal amount due in order to reduce the remaining balance on the loan.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM): A mortgage that permits the lender to adjust its interest rate periodically on the basis of changes in a specified index.

Adjusted Basis: The original cost of a property plus the value of any capital expenditures for improvements to the property minus any depreciation taken.

Adjustment Date: The date on which the interest rate changes for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

Adjustment Period: The period that elapses between the adjustment dates for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

Administrator: A person appointed by a probate court to administer the estate of a person who died intestate.

ADR (American Depository Receipts): A security, created by a U.S. bank, that evidences ownership to a specified number of shares of a foreign security held in a depositary in the issuing company's country of domicile. The certificate, transfer, and settlement practices for ADRs are identical to those for U.S. securities.

Advance Rate: The percentage of the face amount of an income stream that a funding source will advance to a client.

Affordability Analysis: A detailed analysis of your ability to afford the purchase of a home taking into consideration your income, liabilities, and available funds, along with the type of mortgage you plan to use, the area where you want to purchase a home, and the closing costs that you might expect to pay.

Agency Costs: Costs to the firm associated with the potential for conflict of interest between management and shareholders when these two groups are different.

Agency Theory: Theory concerning the relationship between a principal (shareholder) and an agent of the principal (company's managers) involving the costs of resolving conflicts between the principals and agents.

Amenity: A feature of real property that enhances its attractiveness and increases the occupant's or user's satisfaction although the feature is not essential to the property as use. Natural amenities include a pleasant or desirable location near water, scenic views of the surrounding area, etc. Human-made amenities include swimming pools, tennis courts, community buildings, and other recreational facilities.

AMEX: American Stock Exchange.

Amortization: The gradual, systematic payment of a debt, such as a mortgage or other loan, in installments of principal and interest for a definite time, so that at the end of that time, the debt will have been paid in full.

Amortized Loans: Loans that are paid off in equal periodic payments.

Amortization Schedule: A timetable for payment of a mortgage loan. An amortization schedule shows the amount of each payment applied to interest and principal and shows the remaining balance after each payment is made.

Amortization Term: The amount of time required to amortize the mortgage loan. The amortization term is expressed as a number of months. For example, for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the amortization term is 360 months.

Amortize: To repay a mortgage with regular payments that cover both principal and interest.

Annual Mortgagor Statement: A report sent to the mortgagor each year. The report shows how much was paid in taxes and interest during the year, as well as the remaining mortgage loan balance at the end of the year.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): The cost of a mortgage stated as a yearly rate; includes such items as interest, mortgage insurance, and loan origination fee (points).

Annuity: An amount paid yearly or at other regular intervals, often on a guaranteed dollar basis. Basically an investment that generates a stream of equal cash flows.

Anti-takeover Tactics: Tricks such as the Poison Pill put in place either by workers, management or stockholders to make any transition of ownership too expensive or too much of a hassle to take place.

Application: A form used to apply for a mortgage loan and to record pertinent information concerning a prospective mortgagor and the proposed security.

Appraisal: A written analysis of the estimated value of a property prepared by a qualified appraiser. Contrast with home inspection.

Appraised Value: An opinion of a property's fair market value, based on an appraiser's knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property.

Appraiser: A person qualified by education, training, and experience to estimate the value of real property and personal property.

Appreciation: An increase in the value of a property due to changes in market conditions or other causes. The opposite of depreciation.

ARB: Arbitrage (See arbitrage)

Arbitrage: Simultaneous purchase of a security and sale of another to generate a risk-free profit. Also known as risk arbitrage.

Arbitrageur: A person involved in arbitrage.

Arrearage: An overdue payment, generally referring to omitted preferred stock dividends.

Articles of Incorporation: A document filed with a U.S. state by the founders of a corporation. After approving the articles, the state issues a Certificate of Incorporation; the two documents together become the Charter of Incorporation. 

Ask (Asking Price): The highest price anyone wants to pay for the security at a given time.

Assessed Value: The valuation placed on property by a public tax assessor for purposes of taxation.

Assessment: The process of placing a value on property for the strict purpose of taxation. May also refer to a levy against property for a special purpose, such as a sewer assessment.

Assessment Rolls: The public record of taxable property.

Assessor: A public official who establishes the value of a property for taxation purposes.

Asset: Anything of monetary value that is owned by a person. Assets include real property, personal property, and enforceable claims against others (including bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, and so on).

Asset Allocation: The process of determining the optimal division of an investor's portfolio among different assets. Most frequently this refers to allocations between debt, equity, and cash.

Assignability: The ability to assign (or sell) an income stream to another individual or business.

Assignee: The person or business entity who is given, obtains, or buys the right to an asset.

Assignment: The transfer of ownership, rights, or interests in property by one person, the assignor, to another, the assignee.

Assignor: The person giving or selling an asset, and subsequently, forfeiting rights to that asset.

Assumable Mortgage: A mortgage that can be taken over (assumed) by the buyer when a home is sold.

Assumption: The transfer of the sellers existing mortgage to the buyer. See assumable mortgage.

Assumption Clause: A provision in an assumable mortgage that allows a buyer to assume responsibility for the mortgage from the seller. The loan does not need to be paid in full by the original borrower upon sale or transfer of the property.

Assumption Fee: The fee paid to a lender (usually by the purchaser of real property) resulting from the assumption of an existing mortgage.

Asymmetric Information: One group has more information about, say, on the well being of the company, than another. An example would be managers having more intimate knowledge about the company than a typical shareholder.

Attorney-In-Fact: One who holds a power of attorney from another to execute documents on behalf of the grantor of the power.

Average Maturity: The average time to maturity of securities held by a mutual fund. Changes in interest rates have greater impact on funds with longer average life.

Average Tax Rate: The rate calculated by dividing the total tax liability by the entity's taxable income.