Investment terms

Investing and trading terms can get you confused, and there are a lot of them. It can be hard to know where to start or what they mean. These curated definitions help you understand crucial trading and investing terms.

Concise Overview

  • Trading and investment can be challenging ventures to go into
  • There are terms an investor has to know before investing
  • Understanding these terms will help you make informed decisions

Investing is a complicated process, and there’s a lot to learn before starting. Whether investing in real estate, stocks, or mutual funds, you must understand basic investment terms to make intelligent decisions. As you learn more about investing, these terms will become second nature. However, for now, this guide will help you understand some of these terms so that you can feel confident when planning what you want to invest in. Here are some of the terms:

Investment terms

52-Week High/Low

The 52-week high/low is the highest and lowest price a stock has traded at during the previous year. The current 52-week high/low is determined by taking the current price of a stock and dividing it by the closing price from one year ago. The 52-week high/low metric can evaluate how a stock has been performing over the last year. 


An asset is a property or resource that can be owned and controlled to produce value. Assets include cash, equipment, buildings, land, and personal items. Assets are used to generate income and grow wealth over time.

Bear Market

A bear market is a period when the value of stocks, bonds, and other investments is falling. A bear market can last for days or months, depending on how long it takes for the market to recover from its losses. It’s also referred to as a “downward” market or a “bearish” market.

Bid Price

The bid price is the price at which an investor would be willing to buy a security. 

Blue Chip

Blue Chip is a term used to describe stocks of large, well-established companies. These companies have a long history of success, and their products or services are so popular that they maintain strong brand recognition even when they’re not in the news. Blue chips are more stable than other investments because they are less susceptible to market fluctuations.


Bonds are debt instruments issued by a government, corporation, or other entity. They’re typically used to raise money for large projects and investments, such as building roads, bridges, or power plants. Bonds can be purchased on the open market. If you buy a bond, you’ll make payments back to the issuer over time until the loan is paid off.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is a financial term that refers to the final revenue or profit generated by a company’s business activities. This can include revenue from sales, but it can also include other factors such as expenses and taxes. A company’s bottom line measures its profitability and is calculated by deducting costs from revenues. 


A broker is a financial professional who acts as an intermediary between investors and traders. They put together deals between buyers and sellers, make sure each party’s interests are protected, and ensure that the transaction goes smoothly.  

Bull Market

Bull markets are periods when the value of assets such as stocks, bonds, and real estate increase. This happens when investors are confident in the economy and want to buy assets. They are often characterized by low unemployment and interest rates. Inflation is low, and the economy is growing at a moderate pace. Thus, investors are optimistic about economic growth and future profits, so they want to invest more in stocks.  

Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains tax is the tax you pay when you sell an asset, such as a stock or bond. If you sell an asset after holding it for more than a year and it increases in value, the difference between what you paid for the asset and what you get when you sell it will be taxed as a capital gain. Capital gains are taxed at different rates depending on the asset you sell. Long-term capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than short-term capital gains.


Dividends are the money a company pays to its shareholders, usually in the form of cash. Companies pay dividends to both preferred and common stockholders. The dividend amount is usually based on the company’s earnings and income, but the board or other governing body can also set it. Investors are motivated to invest in companies that perform well because they can share in those profits by collecting dividends. 

Dollar-cost Averaging

Dollar-cost averaging is a strategy for investing regularly in a particular investment. The investor buys equal dollar amounts of the investment at regular intervals, regardless of the share price. This method is considered less risky than investing in a lump sum because it reduces the impact of buying shares when prices are high and selling when prices are low.

Earnings Per Share(EPS)

Earnings per share (EPS) is a measure of how much profit a company makes on each share of its stock. It’s calculated by dividing the company’s net income by the number of outstanding shares. EPS is a key metric used by investors to evaluate a company’s performance.


Equities are shares of ownership in a company. When people buy and sell equities, they bet on a company’s future performance. Equally important, the more successful that company is, the more valuable its stock will be and the more money investors can make. The investors who make the most money from equities invest in companies that perform well. 


An exchange is a marketplace where assets are traded. Assets include currencies, bonds, stocks, and derivatives. The most common exchanges are the foreign exchange market (FOREX), futures, and stock exchanges. In addition to trading in these assets, most exchanges provide a mechanism for clearing and settling transactions through their clearing houses.

Fair Value

Fair value is a price that reflects the actual value of an asset or security. In fact, it’s not just the price at which you can sell the asset today but also incorporates all future expectations about how that asset will perform. The idea of fair value is important for investors because it helps you determine whether an asset is overpriced or underpriced. Moreover, it helps investors know when to buy or not. 

Financial Advisor

A financial advisor is a professional who provides advice and guidance on financial matters. Advisors can help you make decisions about your investments, insurance, retirement, and estate planning.


Forex is the shorthand for foreign exchange. It’s a term used to describe the trading of currencies to make a profit by buying at one rate and selling at another rate. Forex traders can trade currencies directly, or they can use derivatives that are linked to their value. The forex market works using two different currencies: base and counter. In most cases, the base currency is the home country’s currency, while the counter is the second country’s currency.

Futures Contract

 A futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined price sometime in the future. A futures contract is used by businesses and traders to protect against the risk of changes in the market. The futures market is an effective way to hedge against price changes. 

Hedge Fund

A hedge fund is an investment company that pools money from investors to buy and sell assets. It’s typically managed by a professional money manager who invests the funds in various securities, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and currencies.


An index is a collection of stocks that is used as a measure of the overall market. There are many different types of indexes, including stock market indexes and commodity indexes. You can invest in an index by buying shares of a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks it.

Investment Capital

Investment capital is a type of financial capital used to purchase and hold stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other securities. Investment capital is typically provided by private investors, including individuals, corporations, or other institutions. Investors who provide this type of capital hope to earn a return on their investment from the profits made by the company or individual they invest in. Furthermore, investment capital is often required to start a new business or expand an existing one.

Investment Portfolio

An investment portfolio is a group of investments an investor uses to achieve their goals. A good investment portfolio should be diversified, containing different assets like stocks and bonds. This is meant to spread out risk so that if one asset loses value, you might still accrue gains or profits from another in your collection. An investment portfolio can be a personal one that you build on your own, or it can be an institutional one managed by a financial advisor. 


The initial public offering, or IPO, is a process in which a company issues shares of its stock to the public. The company receives money from investors who purchase these shares and then use that money to fund the company’s operations.

Large-Cap Stocks

Large-cap stocks are companies that have a market capitalization of over $10 billion. They are considered significant because they have a large number of outstanding shares, and the combined value of these shares represents a larger portion of the overall market.


Leverage is a strategy that can increase the amount of money you make from your investments. It allows you to trade with more capital than you have in your account, which can give you an advantage in the market. Thus, the more money you have at your disposal, the more opportunities you’ll have to make a profit.  


Liquidity refers to the ability of an asset to be converted into cash without affecting its price. A liquid market is one in which buyers and sellers can find each other easily, allowing them to transact quickly and efficiently.  

Market Capitalization

Market capitalization is a term used to describe the total value of a company. It’s calculated by multiplying the number of outstanding shares of a company by their price per share. It can be used to determine a company’s size, as well as its value and importance in the market.   

Money Market

A money market is an investment that allows you to earn interest on your money without worrying about losing any of it. It’s a safe way to invest, and you can use a money market account to make your investments more accessible. Money market accounts are easy to open, require little or no initial deposit, and offer higher interest rates than regular savings accounts.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are an investment that allows you to pool your money with other investors and then invest it in various stocks. People often buy mutual funds if they want to invest but don’t have enough money for individual stocks or if the time commitment required to manage their investments is too significant. In return for using a mutual fund, you’ll pay an annual fee (known as an expense ratio) plus any transaction fees incurred when buying or selling shares in the fund. 


NASDAQ is an acronym for the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation system. It is a stock exchange that operates in the United States. NASDAQ’s primary function is to facilitate trading in securities for its members and their clients. The NASDAQ Stock Market controls and operates the NASDAQ-100, a well-known index of US stocks.


A pullback is a temporary decline in the value of an investment. If you are an investor, a pullback can provide you with an opportunity to buy more shares at a lower price. It is often caused by market volatility and is not always a bad thing.


A quote is a price at which a security is offered for sale or purchase. The price is often expressed as a percentage of the security’s total market value. It is also known as the offer price or ask price. 

Risk Management

Risk management is identifying, assessing, and controlling risks associated with your investment. Risk management is crucial because it helps you to identify and assess the risks that are associated with your investment portfolio. This will allow you to control the risks if possible, or at least prepare for them so that they don’t cause any problems for you later on. 

S & P 500

The S&P 500 is a stock market index of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the United States. It is one of the essential financial indexes, and it’s used to measure the overall performance of the U.S. stock market. It’s a market capitalization-weighted index, which means that larger companies have more influence on its overall value than smaller companies do.

Short Selling

Short-selling is a form of trading that allows you to profit from a declining market. Short-sellers borrow shares of a company and sell them, betting that the price will drop soon after. They can then buy the shares at a lower price and return them to their lender. If you’re right, this can be an excellent strategy for making money. However, if you’re wrong and the price rises instead, then you lose money.

Small-Cap Stocks

Small-Cap Stocks are stocks whose market capitalization (the value of all outstanding shares) is below $2 billion. They tend to be more volatile than large-cap stocks, making them attractive for investors seeking to capitalize on short-term price fluctuations. Small-cap stocks also tend to trade less frequently than large-cap stocks, which makes them less liquid and, therefore, less suited for investors who need quick access to cash.


Spread is the difference between the bid and ask price for an investment or trade. Spread is an essential factor in determining your cost of trading. The wider the spread, the more expensive it will be to trade.


A stockholder is a person who owns shares of a company. Stockholders have the right to vote on major decisions at the annual shareholders’ meeting, as well as the right to receive dividends and interest payments if any. Stockholders can also sell their shares at any time, but they cannot vote on any other matters unless they convert their shares into voting rights.

Technical Analysis

Technical Analysis is a method of analyzing financial markets and trading based on historical price data. Investors and traders often use it to forecast future market trends by comparing the current price of a security to its past performance, as well as to reveal divergences that may signal turning points in an asset’s investment cycle.


Valuation is the process of determining how much a company is worth. Knowing this number is crucial because it helps investors decide whether they want to buy stock in that company and what price they should pay. 


Volatility is a measure of how much the price of an asset fluctuates over time. A highly volatile asset will experience significant fluctuations in price over a short period. Conversely, an asset with low volatility will not experience significant changes in price over the same time. In general, the greater the volatility of an asset, the higher its risk is likely to be. 


Yield is the return on investment. It’s the amount you earn from your investment, expressed as a percentage. Yield can be calculated in some ways, but it’s usually expressed as an annualized percentage.  

The Bottom Line

If you’re new to the world of trading and investing, it cannot be easy at first to understand all of the terms. While the terms are crucial to your investment and trading business, they can be challenging to approach. However, once you grasp them better, your experience will feel more natural and fun. Furthermore, when you are clear on these terms, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not an investment is suitable for your needs.