Financial Dictionary

Financial Dictionary 

Thousands of investors have told us they are confused by the investment jargon that is used by financial advisors. We also know some terms, that investors don't understand, are used by advisors as sales ploys. They establish themselves as experts when they define a term you may not understand. 

There is an alternative. We have defined more than 1,500 commonly used financial terms. Look-up a definition by entering the term in the search engine or using the alphabetical search service.

Definition of 'Back-End Load'

A load is a commission that is paid to sales representatives when they sell investment products such as mutual funds. Back-end loads are not deducted from investor assets at the time of the sale. Product companies pay commissions and recover their costs with higher fees that are paid by investors. They protect themselves with penalties for withdrawal (the back-end load). That is, investors must pay a penalty to sell an investment that was sold to them with a back-end load. For example, if an investor wanted to sell a back-end load investment in less than 12 months, the penalty could be 7% of assets. Back-end loads decline 1% per year so the longer the investor holds the investment the lower the penalty if they want to sell it. Most penalties expire after seven years.


Call Protection


Capital Asset Pricing Model

Capital Gain

Capital Gain or Loss

Capital Gains Distribution

Capital Gains Tax

Capital Growth Strategy

Capital Market Efficiency

Capital Markets

Capital Stock


Cash Basis

Cash Equivalents

Cash Flow

Cash Management

Cash Sale

Cash Surrender Value

Cash Value

Central Registration Depository (CRD)


Certificate of Deposit (CD)

Certified Financial Planner - CFP(r)

CFA Institute

Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust

Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)

Chartered Financial Analyst - CFA(r)

Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)


Class A or B shares

Class A, B or C shares

Clean Opinion

Closed End Mutual Fund

Closet Indexing



Collateralized Mortgage Obligation (CMO)


Commercial Paper



Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

Common Stocks

Community Property

Compliance Department

Compliance Record

Compound Interest

Compound Return


Conflicts of Interest


Consolidated Balance Sheet


Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Contingent Beneficiary

Contingent Deferred Sales Charge (CDSC)


Convertible group life


Cooling-off period

Core Competency

Corporate Bond



Cost Basis

Coupon rate


Credit Report

Credit Score

Credit Shelter Trust

Cross Purchase Buy Sell Plan

Crummy Trust

Currency Risk

Current Assets

Current Income

Current Liabilities

Current Market Value

Current Maturity

Current Return

Current Yield

CUSIP Number

Custodial Account



Code of Ethics



CEF - Closed End Funds

Capital Assets

Call Provision

Compound rate

CRD - Central Registration Depository

Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement - CIPM

CIPM - Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement

Confidence Indicator

Conglomerate Merger

CAGR - Compound Annual Growth Rate

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