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A debt instrument issued for a period of more than one year with the purpose of raising capital by borrowing. The Federal government, states, cities, corporations, and many other types of institutions sell bonds. Generally, a bond is a promise to repay the principal along with interest (coupons) on a specified date (maturity). Some bonds do not pay interest, but all bonds require a repayment of principal. When an investor buys a bond, he/she becomes a creditor of the issuer. However, the buyer does not gain any kind of ownership rights to the issuer, unlike in the case of equities. On the hand, a bond holder has a greater claim on an issuer's income than a shareholder in the case of financial distress (this is true for all creditors). Bonds are often divided into different categories based on tax status, credit quality, issuer type, maturity and secured/unsecured (and there are several other ways to classify bonds as well). U.S. Treasury bonds are generally considered the safest unsecured bonds, since the possibility of the Treasury defaulting on payments yield from a bond is made up of three components: coupon interest, capital gains and interest on interest (if a bond pays no coupon interest, the only yield will be capital gains). A bond might be sold at above or below par (the amount paid out at maturity), but the market price will approach par value as the bond approaches maturity. A riskier bond has to provide a higher payout to compensate for that additional risk. Some bonds are tax-exempt, and these are typically issued by municipal, county or state governments, whose interest payments are not subject to federal income tax, and sometimes also state or local income tax. Is almost zero. (From Investor Words)

An instrument that signifies an ownership position (called equity) in a corporation, and represents a claim on its proportional share in the corporation's assets and profits. Ownership in the company is determined by the number of shares a person owns divided by the total number of shares outstanding. For example, if a company has 1000 shares of stock outstanding and a person owns 50 of them, then he/she owns 5% of the company. Most stock also provides voting rights, which give shareholders a proportional vote in certain corporate decisions. Only a certain type of company called a corporation has stock; other types of companies such as sole proprietorships and limited partnerships do not issue stock. Also called equity or equity securities or corporate stock (From Investor Words).

Highly liquid, very safe investments which can be easily converted into cash, such as Treasury Bills and money market funds (From Investor Words).

Is a life insurance plan that combines investment and protection? The premiums that you pay provide you not only with life insurance cover but part of the premiums will also be invested in specific investment funds of your choice. As a policy holder, you can choose how to allocate your insurance premiums towards protection and investment. The insurance coverage provided would include death benefit, disability and critical illness (From .docstoc)

An SEC-registered investment company which purchases a fixed, unmanaged portfolio of income-producing securities and then sells shares in the trust to investors. The major difference between a Unit Trust and a mutual fund is that a mutual fund is actively managed, while a unit investment trust is not managed at all. Capital gains, interest and dividend payments from the trust are passed on to shareholders at regular periods. If the trust is one that invests only in tax-free securities, then the income from the trust is also tax-free. A unit investment trust is generally considered a low-risk, low-return investment. Some investors prefer Unit Trusts to mutual funds because Unit Trusts typically incur lower annual operating expenses (since they are not buying and selling shares); however, Unit Trusts often have sales charges and entrance/exit fees. also called fixed investment trust or participating trust or Unit Investment Trust (UIT) (From Investor Words).

An open-ended fund operated by an investment company which raises money from shareholders and invests group of assets, in accordance with a stated set of objectives. mutual funds raise money by selling shares of the fund to the public, much like any other type of company can sell stock in itself to the public. Mutual funds then take the money they receive from the sale of their shares (along with any money made from previous investments) and use it to purchase various investment vehicles, such as stocks, bonds and money market instruments. In return for the money they give to the fund when purchasing shares, shareholders receive an equity position in the fund and, in effect, in each of its underlying securities. For most mutual funds, shareholders are free to sell their shares at any time, although the price of a share in a mutual fund will fluctuate daily, depending upon the performance of the securities held by the fund. Benefits of mutual funds include diversification and professional money management. Mutual funds offer choice, liquidity, and convenience, but charge fees and often require a minimum investment. A closed-end fund is often incorrectly referred to as a mutual fund, but is actually an investment trust. There are many types of mutual funds, including aggressive growth fund, asset allocation fund, balanced fund, blend fund, bond fund, capital appreciation fund, clone fund, closed fund, crossover fund, equity fund, fund of funds, global fund, growth fund, growth and income fund, hedge fund, income fund, index fund, international fund, money market fund, municipal bond fund, prime rate fund, regional fund, sector fund, specialty fund, stock fund, and tax-free bond fund (From Investor Words).

There is no central marketplace for currency exchange, rather, trade is conducted over-the-counter. The forex market is open 24 hours a day, five days a week, with currencies being traded worldwide among the major financial centers of London, New York, Tokyo, Z├╝rich, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris and Sydney - spanning most time zones. The forex is the largest market in the world in terms of the total cash value traded, and any person, firm, or country may participate in this market (From Answers.com).

An aggressively managed portfolio of investments that uses advanced investment strategies such as leveraged, long, short and derivative positions in both domestic and international markets with the goal of generating high returns (either in an absolute sense or over a specified market benchmark). Legally, hedge funds are most often set up as private investment partnerships that are open to a limited number of investors and require a very large initial minimum investment. Investments in hedge funds are illiquid as they often require investors keep their money in the fund for at least one year (From investopedia).

Is actually a mutual fund, in which shares are sold without any commission? Asset management fund client’s investment. This fund is specifically made for clients to provide some special privileges like access to an array of products. These special facilities are not for average investors. Normally the financial establishments invest on behalf of its clients (From Economy Watch).

A precious metal that has functioned as a currency or served as a long- standing investment since the early days of civilization. Gold is a safe haven investment, which means that investors will put their money in gold during times of extreme uncertainty such as war, terrorist attacks, or financial uncertainty such as a sell-off in the stock market, or during times of high inflation. Investors can invest in gold by purchasing gold bullion, which is a precious metal that is in a tradable form, typically a bar or wafer. Gold coins also are minted by governments or by a private company as an investment piece. Popular gold coins issued by governments include the American Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf, the South African Krugerrand, the Isle of Man Gold Cat, the Australian Kangaroo, and the China Mint Panda Bear.Gold future and options also provide a way to invest in gold. They trade on Comex, a division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. They trade in a unit that is based on 100 troy ounces. Price quotations are in dollars, such as $360.70. Trade occurs from 8:20 a.m. ET until 1:30 p.m. ET. Trade after hours occurs on NYMEX’s Internet-based electronic trading platform, ACCESS. Gold futures and options also are traded on other exchanges throughout the world (From Invest.yourdictionary.com).

Because it trades like a stock, an ETF does not have its net asset value (NAV) calculated every day like a mutual fund does. By owning an ETF, you get the diversification of an index fund as well as the ability to sell short, buy on margin and purchase as little as one share. Another advantage is that the expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund. When buying and selling ETFs, you have to pay the same commission to your broker that you'd pay on any regular order. One of the most widely known ETFs is called the Spider (SPDR), which tracks the S&P 500 index and trades under the symbol SPY (From Investopedia).

Is a life insurance contract designed to pay a lump sum after a specified term (on its 'maturity') or on earlier death. Typical maturities are ten, fifteen or twenty years up to a certain age limit. Some policies also pay out in the case of critical illness. Policies are typically traditional with-profits or unit-linked (including those with unitized with-profits funds). Endowments can be cashed in early (or 'surrendered') and the holder then receives the surrender value which is determined by the insurance company depending on how long the policy has been running and how much has been paid in to it (From Wikipedia).

Is a legal term (in some jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, USA and The Bahamas) that encompasses land along with improvements to the land, such as buildings, fences, wells and other site improvements that are fixed in location—immovable. Real estate law is the body of regulations and legal codes which pertain to such matters under a particular jurisdiction and include things such as commercial and residential real property transactions. Real estate is often considered synonymous with real property (sometimes called realty), in contrast with personal property (sometimes called chattel or personality under chattel law or personal property law). However, in some situations the term "real estate" refers to the land and fixtures together, as distinguished from "real property," referring to ownership of land and appurtenances, including anything of a permanent nature such as structures, trees, minerals, and the interest, benefits, and inherent rights thereof. property Immovable The terms real estate and real property are used primarily in common law, while civil law jurisdictions refer instead to immovable property (From Wikipedia). 

Special type of time deposit. A CD is an investment instrument available at financial institutions generally offering a fixed rate of return for a specified period (such as three months, six months, one year, or longer). The depositor agrees not to withdraw funds for the time period of the CD. If the funds are withdrawn, a significant penalty is charged. The fixed rate of return nominally increases with the amount or the term of the investment (From allbusiness.com).

A contract sold by an insurance company designed to provide payments to the holder at specified intervals, usually after retirement. The holder is taxed only when they start taking distributions or if they withdraw funds account. All annuities are tax-deferred, meaning that the earnings from investments in these accounts grow tax-deferred until withdrawal. Annuity earnings are also tax-deferred so they cannot be withdrawn without penalty until a certain specified age. Fixed annuities guarantee a certain payment amount, while variable annuities do not, but do have the potential for greater returns. Both are relatively safe, low-yielding investments. An annuity has a death benefit equivalent to the higher of the current value of the annuity or the amount the buyer has paid into it. If the owner dies during the accumulation phase, his or her heirs will receive money is subject to ordinary income taxes in addition to estate taxes (From Investor words).