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Holdings of stock, bonds and other investments by individual investors, banks, insurance companies and brokerages.

Preferred shares

Shares of stock that entitle owner to a fixed dividend amount. Dividend must be paid by the company before common stock owners get paid. Shareholders usually do not have voting rights.

Price Earnings Ratio

Ratio between the market price of a stock and the profits per share over the last year.


Document issued to possible buyers of a stocks and bonds outlining the financial condition of the company issuing those securities. Required by the SEC.


A rapid increase in the prices of stock after a period of decline in the stock market.


An economic slowdown of the economy which results in rising unemployment, increased business failures, declining economic growth and higher personal bankruptcies.

Return on Investment

Percent return on profits before the payments of taxes.

Round Lot

The number of shares being traded is at least 100.

Securities and Exchange Commission

US government agency which oversees the operations of the stock markets which trade stocks, bonds, and other types of securities.

Stock Split

A division of shares of a company into a larger number of shares.


The financial return on stock on a per share basis expressed as a percent of the stock market value.

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