Back to top

Stock Market Help

Here is a list of common financial terms. Click on the letter that corresponds with the first letter of the financial term to get the definition.

10 Year Cumulative Return

See Cumulative Return (1-Yr, 3-Yr, 5-Yr, 10-Yr).

12 Mth Cumulative Return

See Cumulative Return (1-Yr, 3-Yr, 5-Yr, 10-Yr).

12b-1 Fee

An annual fee, expressed as a percentage of NAV, specifically designated for marketing expenses for a given mutual fund. This fee is included in the expense ratio.


T-Bills, the common name for a U.S. Treasury bill, are short-term (with a maturity of up to a year) discounted government securities sold through competitive bidding at weekly and monthly auctions in denominations from $10,000 to $1 million. They can also be purchased by individuals directly from a Federal Reserve Bank in denominations of under $500,000.

Tax Method

IRS defined system for determining which Open Lots to sell or buy-to-cover when all lots of an investment are not sold or covered at one time. FIFO means selling or covering the lots in the same order by date as they were bought or shorted. Specific Lot means selling or covering specific lots that have been pre-selected before the trade is actually executed. Average Cost means using the average cost of all shares as the cost basis without the need to specify which lot is actually being traded.


Applies to an investment whose accumulated earnings are free from taxation until the investor takes possession of them. Usually, you cannot take possession of these investments without penalty until you are 59-1/2 years old. Tax-deferred investments are allowed by the IRS to save for retirement.

Tax-Exempt Security

An investment (generally a debt instrument, i.e., bond) whose interest is exempt from taxation by federal, state, and/or local authorities. Frequently called municipal bonds or munis, whether they were issued by a state government or agency, or by any local political district or subdivision. Tax-exempt securities are best applied to Taxable Accounts as the yield is not competitive enough to be used in tax-deferred accounts. Tax-exempt can be taxable under certain circumstances.

Technical Short Value

The market value of a security which the client has sold but has not yet delivered to the broker.

To/From Date

Date to which the call may occur at the stated price for a given callable bond or the data from which the call will be in effect at the stated price. See Bond.

Total Assets

Total assets owned by a given mutual fund including cash and equivalents. As funds get very large, their performance may suffer.

Total Cost

The sum of cost of all long open investments in a given account.

Total Liabilities

The sum of your Short Market Value plus your Debit Balances from the prior trading day.

Total Return

Price appreciation plus interest, dividends, and capital gain distributions for a given investment or account during a given period. Year-to-date return is for a partial year. Also useful is last quarter, last four quarters, and one month total return, which cover the indicated time periods. Total return is the best way to measure the performance of similar or different investments.


Transaction that adds (buy or short sell) or removes a lot (sell or buy-to-cover) to or from open investments. Trade date is the date on which the trade occurs. Settlement date is the date by which the account must be debit or credited for results of the trade and it is normally three business days after trade date.


Debt securities of the U.S. government, issued at various schedules and maturities, and secured by its full faith and credit.


The percentage of all securities owned by a given mutual fund which were sold in the last year. For example, a turnover of 200% means that the entire portfolio of the fund turned over twice completely in the last year.

Back To Top