Terminology

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
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  • W
  • Y
  • A

    Account Based Pension

    An Account Based Pension is a regular income stream purchased with money that has been accumulated through super. After you have reached preservation age, you can start an Account Based Pension with regular income derived from the assets held in that account. Generally, the investment earnings are tax free and the pension payments are also tax free.

    All Ordinaries Accumulation Index

    An index which measures movements in the value of the major shares listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. It takes into account the capital appreciation and dividends of the 500 largest listed companies.

    Alpha

    Alpha is considered to be the active return on an investment measured against a market index or benchmark which would represent the markets movement as an entirety. The difference between the investments return and the markets benchmark index is the investments Alpha. It may be positive, negative or zero and is usually a result of active management. An Alpha of zero would indicate the investment is tracing in line with the benchmark or index.

    Annuity

    A form of life insurance which operates to provide retirement income. The person who takes out the annuity pays the life office a lump sum and in return receives a series of payments.

    Asset Allocation

    Asset allocation is an investment strategy that aims to balance risk and reward by allocating a portfolio’s assets among different asset classes according to an investor’s goals, risk tolerance and investment horizon.

    Asset Class

    A category of investments with similar characteristics and market behaviours. Examples include fixed interest, property, cash and shares.

    B

    Basis point

    One hundredth of 1 per cent: 100 basis points equals 1 per cent.

    Bear Market

    A market which is likely to fall; a situation where a dealer is more likely to sell an asset, even to the extent of selling assets which the dealer does not have. The bear hopes to close his short position by buying at a lower price than the assets he has contracted to deliver. The difference between the purchase price and the original sale price represents the successful bear’s profit. Assets can be in the form of stock, currency or commodities.

    Beneficiary

    Someone who receives a benefit or asset in the event of the owner passing away.

    Benefit Period

    The maximum amount of time for which you could receive benefit payouts as part of an insurance policy

    Beta

    Beta is the measure of risk or volatility of a stock or a portfolio compared to a benchmark or index fund that represents the entire market. The beta will indicate if the investment is more or less volatile than the entire market.

    Generally, a market portfolio would be represented with an exact beta of 1. A beta below (-1) would mean that the investment has lower volatility than the market or that the investment is not highly correlated with the market movements. A beta greater than 1 would usually indicate that the investment moves up and down with the market and can even magnify those trends.

    Blue Chip Shares

    Shares in well established companies that have shown ability to pay dividends in uncertain markets.

    Bottom-up Investing

    Investment based on analysis of individual companies, whereby that company’s history, management, and potential are considered more important than general market or sector trends (as opposed to top-down investing).

    Bull Market

    A market which is likely to rise; a situation where a dealer is more likely to buy than sell stock/currency/commodities and therefore establish a bull position. A bull with a long position hopes to sell his purchases at a higher price after the market has risen.

    Buy/sell spread

    The buy/sell spread is the difference between the entry (buy) and exit (sell) prices of the fund, and is charged as a percentage of the value of the trade you’re making. The buy/sell spread helps the fund cover transaction costs involved in the fund buying or selling assets, such as brokerage fees, bank fees, and government taxes.

    C

    Capital Gains Tax

    A tax on the gains of an investment, payable only when the capital gain is realised by selling the investment.

    Cash Rate

    The official cash rate is the term used in Australia and New Zealand for the bank rate and is the rate of interest which the central bank (RBA) charges on overnight loans between commercial banks.

    Concessional Super Contribution

    Concessional Super Contributions are payments made into your Superannuation fund from pre-tax income. This includes employer super guarantee (SG) contributions. Concessional contributions are generally taxed at 15% once received by your super fund. Anyone earning $250,000 or more will have their concessional contributions taxed at 30%.

    Consumer Price Index (CPI)

    The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the periodic change in the price of a constant basket of basic goods and services. The goods and services are representative of the consumption by residents in a household of a specific area. The basket can’t include all the items households consume but it does include the important one’s under the following segments: housing, transportation, medical, food, clothing, education, insurance and financial services to name a few.

    As prices in the basket vary, so will that measure indicating a positive or negative change in CPI. It is a very important economic indicator and provides a general measure of price inflation changes so that the Reserve Bank of Australia can evaluate future monetary policy.

    Convertible Notes

    Securities that are convertible into the ordinary shares of a company at a pre-set price or ratio at specified times. Convertible notes are attractive to some investors because they display certain properties of bonds and shares.

    Corporate Bond

    A debt security issued by a company to investors to raise money to finance its business activities. Also known as a fixed-income securities as the issuer promises to pay a specific amount of interest on a regular basis and repay the principle on a set date.

    Cost Basis

    The original value of an asset for tax purposes, usually the purchase price, adjusted for stock splits, dividends and return of capital distributions.

    Credit Rating

    Rating applied to a company’s debt or debt security that indicates the company’s relative creditworthiness. The most well-known ratings are issued by US ratings companies Moody’s Investors Services or Standard & Poor’s. Debt issuers pay these companies to rate their debt to make it easier to attract investors.

    D

    Default

    Failure to meet a debt obligation.

    Deferred Annuity

    A contract with an insurance company that promises to pay the owner a regular income, or a lump sum, at some future date

    Defined Benefit Schemes

    Defined benefit schemes are traditionally associated with large corporate and public-sector superannuation funds. Essentially, the final benefit amount is calculated by several variables, including but not limited to age, time as a member or duration of employment and salary. Because the benefit is not subject to the market performance, it provides members with a degree of certainty. Usually, the benefit is correlated to an individual’s final salary e.g.  example 70% of the average of the last four years’ salary. The benefits may be made in the form of a pension or lump sum. These types of benefits a being phased out and are more of a legacy product used in the past.

    Diversification

    Diversification is an investment strategy that involves mixing the amount, values and types of assets held within a portfolio to spread risk and minimise losses. Diversification doesn’t guarantee gains or protect against losses, it manages the risk/reward trade off by selecting a mix of investments to help you achieve more consistent returns over time.

     

     

     

    Dividend

    The distribution of part of the earnings of a company to its shareholders.

    E

    Employment Termination Payment (ETP)

    An ETP is generally a lump sum payment made as a result of the termination of a person’s employment. It can be constituted by:

    • Payments for unused sick leave or unused rostered days off
    • Compensation for loss of job or wrongful dismissal
    • An agreed golden handshake deal
    • Certain payments made after death

    The ETP is taxed in the year in which it is received. It can not be rolled over into your super.

    Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

    ETFs are units in managed funds that can be invested in a number of different asset sectors but have the ability to be traded in the same manner as a direct share.

    F

    Fee Disclosure Statement

    Additionally, a fee disclosure statement outlining the fees charged and services produced in the previous 12 months must be provided to clients paying ongoing fee.

    Financial Planning

    Financial planning is the process in which a financial planner assist individuals, families, professionals and business owners to prepare and organize their financial affairs so they can accomplish their short term, medium and long term financial and personal goals. The planning often covers cash flow management, retirement planning, investment planning, financial risk management, tax strategies, insurance planning, estate planning and Business succession planning.

    Financial Services Guide (FSG)

    When a client seeks financial service, they must be provided with a financial services guide (FSG). An FSG is a document that contains information about the financial adviser, the range of services offered, the fees charged and how the adviser will deal with the client’s confidential information.

    Fixed Interest

    Interest paid on investments such as bonds and debentures, paid at a predetermined and unchanging rate for a specified period.

    Futures

    A derivative, an obligation to make or take delivery of a specified quantity and quality of an underlying asset at a particular time in the future and at a price agreed when the contract was executed.

    G

    Gross Income

    Gross income is a person’s total pay before taxes or any other deductions have been applied. Once the taxes and deductions have been worked out you will receive a net income. The gross income can be used as the base to calculate your superannuation entitlements.

    H

    Hedge Funds

    An investment fund where the fund manager is authorised to use derivatives and borrowing to provide a higher return, albeit at a higher risk.

    Hedging

    Risk management strategy employed to offset losses in investments by taking an opposite position in a related asset.

    Hybrid Securities

    A hybrid security a term used to describe a security that combines certain elements and characteristics of a debt security and an equity security. These types of securities typically promise to pay a rate of return (fixed or floating) for a certain period. However, they also have equity like features, meaning they can provide a higher rate of return than just a normal debt security. This inherit higher risk is due to features that may include reduced certainty to the timing and amount of income generated. This could even include converting the security into equity of the company offering the hybrid or an early termination date of the hybrid. The holder could be second in line to other creditors.

    I

    Income Protection Insurance

    Pays the insurer a regular income for a specified period if you cannot work due to a temporary disability or illness

    Indexing

    A low-risk investment management strategy in which, the investor trades according to the performance of a market as a whole, rather than particular stocks or assets.

    Industry Funds

    Industry superannuation funds were originally created to provide retirement benefits for workers of specific sectors. Generally, they are cheap options but don’t offer a wide range of investment options and are less flexible when it comes to reporting and distributions. Industry funds are usually non-for profit and returns profits to members.

    Industry Super Funds

    Industry super funds are funds designed to cater for members of a specific industry. However, most industry super funds are available to the public and offer limited investments similar to a retail super fund.

    Inflation

    The sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.

    Interest

    The cost of borrowing money on a loan or earned on an interest-bearing account.

    Interest Rate

    A percentage used to calculate the cost of borrowing money or the amount you will earn. Rates vary from product to product and generally the higher the risk of the loan, the higher the interest rate. Rates may be fixed or variable.

    J

    Joint Tenants

    Joint tenants is where a property is owned by two or more people with each person owning an equal share. If one of the owners passes away the property automatically is passed to the other joint tenant(s), regardless of what is set out in the deceased will.

    L

    Life Cover

    Life cover is an insurance policy that pays a set amount of money to the insured person’s beneficiaries when the insured person dies. Also known as term life insurance or death cover.

    Liquidity

    Liquidity to refers to the ease an investment can be converted into cash or access in a short time frame.

    M

    Managed Fund

    A managed fund involves pooling together money from different investors into one fund that is invested and controlled by a professional investment manager. Funds can contain only a single asset class or a mix of different asset classes.

    Management Fee

    Management fees are the cost of having an investment fund professionally managed by an investment manager. The management fees cover not only the cost of paying the managers but also the costs of investor relations and any administrative costs.

    Marginal Tax Rate

    Marginal tax rate is the highest rate of tax a taxpayer pays on their income. Please see below table for 2018/19 marginal tax rates.

             Taxable Income

    Tax on this income
    $0 – $18,200 Nil
    $18,201 – $37,000 19c for every dollar over $18,200
    $37,001 – $90,000 $3,572 + 32.5c for every dollar over $37,000
    $90,001 – $180,000 $20,797 + 37c for every dollar over $90,000
    $180,001 and over $54,097 + 45c for every dollar over $180,000

     

     

    Market Capitalisation

    A measure of a company’s size, calculated by multiplying the total number of shares in issue by the current share price. Companies are commonly grouped according to size as small cap, mid cap or large cap.

    N

    Non-concessional Contribution

    A contribution to a complying superannuation fund that are made from after tax income. For the 2018/2019 year, the annual non-concessional contributions cap is $100,000.

    O

    Ongoing Service Agreement (OSA)

    Under legislation, advisers must request their clients who pay an ongoing service fee to agree to renew their advice agreements every 2 years, through an ongoing service agreement.

    Option

    An option is a type of derivative. It is a contract that gives the holder the right but not the obligation to purchase or sell an asset at a specified price during certain time frames.

    P

    Pension Refresh

    A pension refresh strategy involves commuting an existing pension and commencing a new pension to include contributions accumulated since the original pension was initially established.

    Power of Attorney

    A General Power of Attorney gives someone the legal ability to act on someone else’s behalf in financial matters if for any reason they are unable to manage these matters themselves. A General Power of Attorney does not allow the attorney to continue to act on your behalf after you have lost capacity, this requires an Enduring Power of Attorney, which must be appointed before the loss of capacity.

     

    Preserved Benefit

    The preserved benefit is the amount that is required to be preserved and kept within the fund until the member meets a condition of release. (Condition of release: retirement, total and permanent disability, death, reaching age 65 etc.)

    Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)

    When a client wishes to buy a financial product, they must be provided with a product disclosure statement, which is prepared by the issuer of the financial product. The objective of the PDS is to help consumers compare and make informed choices about financial products.

     

    R

    Record of Advice (ROA)

    A Record of Advice (ROA) is a document of advice detailing smaller changes (less than 10%) to an investment portfolio whereby the client’s circumstances and the basis of advice has not changed since the last provided Statement of Advice (SOA)

    Retail Super Funds

    Retail super funds are usually run by banks or investments companies which anyone can join. They offer a limited range of investment options and tend to have lower costs than other types of funds due to the limited investment options.

    Retirement Planning

    Retirees are more concerned about wealth protection and spending with a focus on ensuring a steady income stream throughout retirement rather than growing wealth. Decisions need to be made on how to invest in the most tax effective manner, but always considering a client’s appetite for risk. Changes in government legislation and the economic environment and changes in client circumstances make it necessary to regularly review the retirement plan, and where appropriate, update the plan so it continues to be effective and relevant to the client’s needs and objectives.

    Return on Investment (ROI)

    A calculation that works out how efficient a business is at generating profit from the original equity from the owners/shareholders. It’s a way of thinking about the benefit (return) of the money you invest into the business. To calculate ROI, divide the gain (net profit) of the investment by the cost of the investment. The ROI then becomes a percentage or a ratio.

    Reversionary Beneficiary

    A reversionary beneficiary is the person who will receive the balance of your death benefit as an income stream. Only spouses, certain children and dependants are eligible to become reversionary beneficiaries.

    Risk Tolerance

    Measuring and determining your risk tolerance, usually through a risk profile questionnaire, is the first step to take before choosing the best investments to achieve your financial goals. Risk tolerance refers to the amount of volatility, or market ups and downs, an investor can tolerate. Financial planners often use risk tolerance to categorize investors as aggressive, moderate or conservative investors.

    S

    Salary Sacrifice

    An amount of pre-tax salary that an employee decides to contribute to super instead of taking it as cash.

    Self-managed Super Funds (SMSF)

    A self-managed super fund is a private super fund you manage yourself. In an SMSF you choose the investments and insurance and run every aspect of the fund yourself. While having control over your own Super can be appealing, it’s a lot of work and comes with risk.

    Separately Managed Account (SMA)

    A separately managed account (SMA) is a customised share portfolio where the assets are owned by individual investors. An investment is allocated across one or more available investment models, which will determine the portfolio allocation between shares.

    Sequence Risk

    Danger that the timing of withdrawals from a retirement account will damage the investor’s overall return. Account withdrawals during a bear market are more costly than the same withdrawals in a bull market. A diversified portfolio can protect your savings against sequence risk.

    Sophisticated Investor

    An investor who has had a gross annual income of $250,000 or more in each of the previous two years or has net assets of at least $2.5 million, as prescribed by the Corporations Regulations Act 2001 (reg 6D.2.03 and reg 7.1.28)

    Statement of Advice (SOA)

    An SOA is a document that outlines the advice given to a client by a financial adviser. It will include the basis on which the advice is given, details of the client & information regarding any benefits or payments the adviser or licensee will receive as a result of the advice given in the SOA.

    T

    Top-down Investing

    An investment strategy which finds the best sectors or industries to invest in, based on analysis of the corporate sector as a whole and general economic trends (as opposed to bottom up investing).

    Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Insurance

    Pays the insurer a benefit if they become seriously disabled and are unlikely to work again

    Trust Deed

    A formal and legal document that outlines the rules under which the trustees must act and operate.

    U

    Unit Price

    The unit price is the price that reflects the value of the investments held within a fund at a point in time. Prices can represent a group of different investments and this will be reflected in the unit price based on the proportion of each investment, which is called the weighted average.

    Unrealised Capital Gain

    Occurs when an investment increases in value but is not sold or realised.

    V

    Volatility

    Volatility is the measure of variation in price of different types of investments over a certain time.

    W

    Waiting Period

    An agreed amount of time after you suffer from a disabling sickness or injury – usually between two weeks and two years – before you become eligible to make an insurance claim

    Will

    A Will is a legal document that sets out how your assets and other belongings are to be distributed when you die.

    Wrap Super Funds

    Wrap platforms are a lot more flexible and allow individuals to invest in managed funds and direct shares unlike industry and retail funds. This platform tends to be a bit more expensive as it offers greater flexibility to investing.

    Y

    Yield

    The measure of return on an investment displayed as a percentage (calculated by dividing the income generated by the asset in the current capital value of the asset)