Definitions Starting with "I"

I Bond

An I Bond is one of two types of savings bonds sold by the U. S. Read more

Icahn Lift

An Icahn Lift is a rise in stock price associated with an investment by famed activist shareholder Carl Icahn. Carl Icahn was a corporate "raider" in the 1980s and made millions buying and selling companies. Read more

Icarus Factor

In business, the Icarus factor describes what happens when companies become overly dedicated or overly enthusiastic about a project or initiative, and that enthusiasm and dedication becomes a detriment to the company. Icarus is a Greek mythological character who obtained a pair of wings made from wax and feathers. Read more

Iceberg Order

An iceberg order is a large order that has been split into several smaller orders to conceal the "real" size of the order. Let's assume Company XYZ is a $50 billion pension fund. Read more


Ideation is the act of forming ideas. For example, let's say Company XYZ makes widgets, and it wants to get into the children's widget market. Read more

Identifiable Asset

An identifiable asset is anything that has commercial or exchange value and can provide future economic benefits. Identifiable assets can be tangible or intangible. Read more

Identity Fraud Reimbursement Program

An identity fraud reimbursement program is an insurance-like product that reimburses the holder for expenses related to dealing with being a victim of identity theft. Let's say John Doe happens to see some paperwork on a coworker's desk. Read more

Identity Theft

Identity theft is the crime of using another person's personal information, credit history or other identifying characteristics in order to make purchases or borrow money without that person's permission. Let's say John Doe is at work and happens to see some paperwork on a co-worker's desk. Read more

Idiosyncratic Risk

Also called unsystematic risk, idiosyncratic risk is price risk associated with a company's particular circumstances. For example, price changes can occur in Company XYZ stock for several reasons. Read more

Idle Funds

Idle funds are monies that are not invested. Money, like people, must work in order to earn money. Read more

Idle Time

Also called down time, idle time is when employees or machines are not working but are being paid. Let's say Company XYZ manufactures autos. Read more

Ifo Business Climate Survey

The Ifo Business Climate Survey is a monthly measure of German business activity. The Ifo Business Climate Survey incorporates over 5,000 monthly survey responses from a variety of companies. Read more

Illegal Dividend

An illegal dividend is a dividend declared in violation of a company's charter or state laws.   For example, let's say Company XYZ has $20,000,000 of retained earnings. Read more


Illiquid describes an asset or security that cannot be sold quickly due to a shortage of interested buyers or a lack of an established trading market. Illiquid assets cannot be easily converted into cash without potential for losing a significant percentage of their value. Read more

Immediate Payment Annuity

Immediate payment annuities (also called single-premium immediate annuities or SPIAs) are annuities that begin making payments to the owner immediately (within one year of purchase). An annuity is a contract whereby an investor makes a lump-sum payment to an insurance company, bank or other financial institution that in return agrees to give the investor either a higher lump-sum payment in the future or a series of guaranteed payments. Read more


Immunization is a dedicated-portfolio strategy used to manage a portfolio with the goal of making it worth a specific amount at a certain point, usually to fund a future liability.  Immunization is one of two kinds of dedicated-portfolio strategies (cash-flow matching is the other). Read more

Impact Day

An impact day is the day on which a company's secondary offering begins trading. Let's say Company XYZ is a public company and would like to sell additional shares in order to raise money to build a new factory. Read more

Impact Fee

Real estate developers pay an impact fee to cities or other municipalities to offset the town's cost of building the infrastructure to support a private real estate development. Let's say Company XYZ wants to open a new store location at 123 Main Street. Read more

Impaired Asset

Generally, an impaired asset is an asset whose market value is below book value. Generally, an asset impairment occurs when a company (1) pays more than book value for a set of assets and (2) later lowers the value of those assets. Read more


The term impairment refers to assets that are no longer of the same value as in a prior period. An impairment charge is used and the asset is revalued downward and a "charge" is made to net assets. Read more

Implementation Lag

An implementation lag is the time elapsed between an adverse macroeconomic shock and an effort to counter the shock. Let's say the United States experiences a huge increase in unemployment and huge resulting decrease in home sales in January. Read more

Implied Warranty

An implied warranty is an unwritten guarantee that a product or service works as expected. An implied warranty is a lot like an assumption. Read more

Import Duty

In the tax and import/export world, an import duty (or customs duty) is money collected under a tariff. A duty is a federal tax on imports (or exports). Read more


In the real estate world, an impound is an account that mortgage companies use to collect property taxes, homeowners insurance, private mortgage insurance and other payments that are required by the homeowner but are not part of principal and interest. Impound accounts are also called escrow accounts. Read more

Imputed Interest

Imputed Interest refers to interest that is considered by the IRS to have been paid for tax purposes, even if no interest payment was made. The IRS uses imputed interest as a tool to collect tax revenues on loans that don't pay interest, or stated interest is very low. Read more

In Play

A stock is in play when it is widely believed to be a takeover target. Let's say Company XYZ has a ton of cash on its balance sheet, and activist investors have been pressuring it for nine months to sell. Read more

In Specie

In specie is a Latin term describing the provision of an asset in its physical form rather than in the cash value of the asset. Let's say Company XYZ wants to purchase Company ABC for $10 million. Read more

In Street Name

Securities are held in street name when the name of the broker, not the individual owner, is listed on the certificate. Almost all securities held in brokerage accounts are held in street name. Read more

Inactivity Fee

An inactivity fee is a fee charged by brokerages to clients whose infrequent trading does not satisfy a minimum trading requirement. A brokerage house earns revenue from fees and commissions charged on accounts. Read more

Incentive Share Option

An Incentive share option, or ISO, is a type of company share option granted exclusively to employees.  It confers an income tax benefit when exercised. Read more

Incentive Stock Option (ISO)

An incentive stock option (ISO) is the right but not the obligation to purchase shares of a company, usually the option holder's employer, for a fixed price by a certain date. Option grants are incentive compensation that encourages employees to focus on doing work that increases the stock price and thus shareholder value, which is the primary objective of all businesses. Read more

Incentive Stock Option (ISO)

Incentive stock option (ISO) is a type of company stock option granted exclusively to employees. It confers an income tax benefit when exercised. Read more


Inchoate is a legal term indicating that a transaction or activity has been discussed or even agreed upon but is not final or is still incomplete. Let's say Company XYZ wants to buy Company ABC. Read more


Income is an actual or recorded inflow of cash or other assets. The term is used in many different contexts. Read more

Income Deposit Security (IDS)

An income deposit security (IDS), also known as an "enhanced income security," is an exchange-traded security composed of both an issuer's common shares and its subordinated notes. An IDS is a hybrid security that consists of both common stock and a bond rolled into one instrument. Read more

Income Elasticity of Demand

Income elasticity of demand is a measure of how much demand for a good/service changes relative to a change in income, with all other factors remaining the same. The formula for income elasticity is: Income Elasticity = (% change in quantity demanded) / (% change in income) An example of a product with positive income elasticity could be Ferraris. Read more

Income from Operations

Income from operations is income that is generated by the normal operations of a business. Income from operations is also referred to as operating income or operating earnings. Read more

Income Funds

Income funds are mutual funds, ETFs or any other type of fund that seek to generate an income stream for shareholders by investing in securities that offer dividends or interest payments. The funds can hold bonds, preferred stock, common stock or even real estate investment trusts (REITs). Read more

Income Statement

An income statement is a financial statement detailing a company’s revenue, expenses, gains, and losses for a specific period of time that is submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). At the most basic level, it shows profit and loss. Read more

Income Stock

An income stock is a stock in which a taxable payment is declared by a company's board of directors and is given to the shareholders from the current or retained earnings that occur, usually on a quarterly basis. For example, let's say that Company XYZ generated $40 million of cash this quarter. Read more

Income Tax

Income tax refers to taxes imposed by the government on individuals and businesses based on annual income. In the US, income tax is collected on taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Read more

Income-Oriented ETF

An income-oriented ETF is an exchange-traded fund that pays frequent dividends or interest payments to investors in the ETF. An income-oriented ETF is made up of stocks that typically pay substantial monthly or quarterly dividends and, in some cases, bonds that make higher-than-average interest payments. Read more


Incorporation means to form a corporation. A corporation is a legal form of business organization. Read more

Indenture Agreement

An indenture agreement is the formal contract between a bond issuer and the bondholders. It sets forth the details of all the terms and conditions of the bonds, such as the exact day of their maturity, the timing of the interest payments and how they are calculated, and the details of any special features. Read more


An index is a statistical aggregate that measures change. In finance, they usually refer to measures of stock market performance or economic performance. Read more

Index Annuity

An index annuity is an annuity that pays a rate of return corresponding to a particular index, such as the S&P 500 Index. An annuity is a contract whereby an investor makes a lump-sum payment to an insurance company, bank or other financial institution that in return agrees to give the investor either a higher lump-sum payment in the future or a series of guaranteed payments. Read more

Index ETF

Like other ETFs, an index ETF is essentially a passive mutual fund -- similar to traditional index funds -- that allows investors to purchase a basket of securities in a single transaction. An index ETF mimics part or all of an external index. Read more

Index Fund

Index funds are mutual funds that are designed to track the performance of a particular index. When an investor purchases a share of an index fund, he or she is purchasing a share of a portfolio that contains the securities in an underlying index. Read more

Index Hugger

An index hugger is a type of mutual fund whose performance closely tracks a major stock index. An index hugger is also referred to as a closet tracker. Read more

Index Option

Introduced in 1981, index options are call or put options on a financial index comprising many stocks.   Index options usually have a contract multiplier of $100, meaning that the price of an index option equals the quoted premium times $100. Read more

Indexed Annuity

An indexed annuity is an annuity that pays a rate of return corresponding to a particular index, such as the S&P 500 Index. An annuity is a contract whereby an investor makes a lump-sum payment to an insurance company, bank or other financial institution that in return agrees to give the investor either a higher lump-sum payment in the future or a series of guaranteed payments. Read more

Indexed Certificate of Deposit (CD)

An indexed certificate of deposit (sometimes called a market-linked, equity-linked, or market-indexed CD) is a type of CD that’s based on either a market index, a basket of equities, or a combination of the two. Indexed CDs usually have longer terms than traditional CDs. Read more


Indexing is a passive investment strategy that seeks to mimic or exceed the returns of a designated market index or other proxy. The strategy requires an investor to first choose an index to mimic. Read more

Indicated Yield

Indicated yield is the dividend yield on a stock if the most recent dividend is annualized. The formula for indicated yield is:  Indicated Yield = (Most Recent Dividend x Number of Dividend Payments Per year) / Stock Price For example, assume a stock's most recent quarterly dividend was $2 and the stock currently trades at $100. Read more

Individual Mandate

The individual mandate refers to Section 5000A of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as "Obamacare" or the more generic "health care reform. " PPACA is a bill signed into law on March 23, 2010, by President Barack Obama in an effort to reform many aspects of the health care industry. Read more

Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a government sponsored, tax-deferred personal retirement plan.   An IRA can also be referred to as a Traditional IRA. Read more

Inefficient Market

In economic terms, an inefficient market is a market in which securities prices are random and not influenced by past events. The idea is also referred to as weak form efficient-market hypothesis or the random walk theory (coined by Princeton economics professor Burton G. Read more


Something is inelastic when its price does not vary with the price of another item. It the business world, the term most often refers to how little the price of a good or service changes when the supply of that good or service changes. Read more

Infant Industry Theory

Infant Industry Theory promotes an economic policy that protects young industries in less developed economies until they become established, financially stronger, and capable of withstanding competitive pressures. Just as an infant is defenseless and vulnerable upon its entry into the world, young or “infant” industries are weak and vulnerable to a variety of market challenges and economic pressures. Read more

Inferior Good

An inferior good is a product for which demand goes down as income goes up. As opposed to demand for "normal goods," which goes up as income increases, demand for inferior goods goes down as income increases. Read more


Inflation is the rate at which prices rise and purchasing power falls. It is why something that cost $1 in 1980 cost $2. Read more

Inflation Risk

Inflation risk, also called purchasing power risk, is the chance that the cash flows from an investment won't be worth as much in the future because of changes in purchasing power due to inflation. For example, $1,000,000 in bonds with a 10% coupon might generate enough interest payments for a retiree to live on, but with an annual 3% inflation rate, every $1,000 produced by the portfolio will only be worth $970 next year and about $940 the year after that. Read more

Inflation-Adjusted Return

Inflation eats away at the value of every stream of cash flows, including salaries, pension payments and coupon payments. In many cases, the real interest rates on savings accounts are negative. Read more

Inflation-Indexed Security

Inflation-indexed securities are a form of savings that protects the principal and interest from the erosion of inflation. One of the most significant economic threats to anyone living on a fixed income or a fixed stock of assets is the eroding effects of inflation. Read more


The Federal Reserve Bank of New York provides, among other things, gold storage for foreign governments and central banks. This gold is in the form of bars, which allows the bank to weigh it, stack it, and move it easily. Read more


An inheritance includes those assets of an estate that are bequeathed, in whole or in part, to specific heirs. The assets that comprise an estate are customarily transferred to individuals specified by name or relationship (e. Read more

Inheritance Tax

An inheritance tax, also called an estate tax, is a tax assessed on all or a portion of an inherited estate. Life insurance, pensions, real estate, cars, belongings and debts are all part of one's estate. Read more

Initial Jobless Claims

Initial Jobless Claims is a report issued by the U. S. Read more

Initial Margin

An initial margin, or initial margin requirement, is the amount an investor must pay in cash for securities before the broker will lend money to that investor to buy more securities. This borrowing gives the investor more purchasing power through leverage, and provides the opportunity to magnify returns (or deepen losses) depending on if the security increases (or decreases) in value. Read more

Initial Public Offering (IPO)

An initial public offering (IPO) refers to the first time a company publicly sells shares of its stock on the open market. It is also known as "going public. Read more


Injunctions are an alternative to monetary judgments, in which the court might order a party to pay damages to another party. In some cases, they are much better for defendants to deal with; in Jane's case, the monetary damages could have come with a much higher cost if Donuts and Company alleged that it lost business in Arizona due to Jane's knock-off. Read more


An insider is an employee, director or any other person who is privy to confidential, nonpublic information about a company. Given their position, managers and executives within a company are privy to information about a company's operations that is not available to the investing public. Read more

Insider Information

Insider information refers to confidential information about a company that has not been publicly disclosed. Given their position, managers and executives within a company are privy to information about a company's operations that is not available to the investing public. Read more

Insider Trading

Insider trading refers to the trading of securities by corporate insiders such as managers or executives. Insider trading can be legal or illegal depending on if the information used to base the trade is public. Read more


In most usages, insolvency is the inability of a company or individual to meet its financial obligations as they come due. In the legal sense of the word, an entity is considered insolvent if its total liabilities exceed its total assets. Read more

Installment Debt

Installment debt refers to any loan that is repaid by the borrower in periodic (usually monthly) installments that include principal and interest. Installment debt, also called an installment loan, is granted to the borrower with a preset number of monthly payments of equal amount. Read more

Installment Loan

An installment loan is a type of loan that is repaid in periodic installments (usually monthly payments) that include principal and interest. An installment loan can also be referred to as installment debt. Read more

Institute for Supply Management (ISM)

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) is a professional association for individuals and companies with an interest in supply management. The ISM publishes two important monthly surveys, the Manufacturing ISM Report on Business and the Non-Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. Read more

Institutional Investor

An institutional investor is an organization, rather than an individual, that invests on behalf of the organization's members.  Institutional investors are the biggest component of the so-called "smart money" group. Read more

Institutional Ownership

Institutional ownership refers to the ownership stake in a company that is held by large financial organizations, pension funds or endowments. Institutions generally purchase large blocks of a company's outstanding shares and can exert considerable influence upon its management. Read more

Institutional Shares

Also called Y shares, institutional shares are mutual fund shares that are available for sale only to institutions. Let's say that the XYZ Mutual Fund invests in a variety of defensive stocks. Read more

Insurance Premium

An insurance premium is the price a person or business (the insured) pays for an insurance policy. Insurance premiums are paid for all types of insurance: healthcare, rental, accident, auto, home, life, and more. Read more

Insurance Score

An insurance score is a number generated by insurance companies based on your credit score and claim history to determine the probability that a policyholder will file a claim in the future. There are two factors that comprise an insurance score: a person's claim history and credit score. Read more

Insurance Underwriter

Insurance underwriters are professionals who assess and investigate the risks involved in insuring people and assets. Insurance underwriters typically work for an insurance company. Read more

Intangible Asset

An intangible asset is an asset that lacks a physical substance.   For example, goodwill, patents, trademarks and copyrights are intangible assets. Read more

Interbank Rate

LIBOR is one of the most widely used benchmarks for short-term interest rates and is unlike the prime rate in the United States, which is somewhat arbitrarily based on certain banks' lending costs plus a profit margin. Borrowers thus generally support the use of LIBOR in interest-rate calculations because it represents a true market rate. Read more


An interchange is an electronic transfer of information. In the business world, this usually involves financial data. Read more

Interchange Fees

The term interchange fees, also known as swipe fees, refers to the hidden cost paid by merchants to card-issuing banks and credit card companies for processing credit card and debit card transactions. For example, when you use your debit card or credit card at a store or online, there is a hidden fee that is charged by the card-issuing banks to process this transaction. Read more

Interchange Rate

An interchange rate is a bank fee for executing credit card and debit card transactions. An interchange is an electronic transfer of information. Read more


Interest is the cost of borrowing money for a certain period of time. Let's assume you need $500,000 to buy a house. Read more

Interest Coverage Ratio

The interest coverage ratio, also known as times interest earned, is a measure of how well a company can meet its interest-payment obligations. The interest coverage ratio is also referred to as the times interest earned ratio. Read more

Interest Expense

Interest expense is the cost of money. Interest expense is recorded on the income statement. Read more

Interest Only Strips (IO Strips)

Interest Only Strips (IO Strips) are securities with cash flows based entirely on the monthly payments received from a mortgage pool. Mortgages are paid in two parts, principal and interest. Read more

Interest Rate

An interest rate is the cost of borrowing money, or conversely, the income earned from lending money. Interest rates are expressed as percentage of the principal per period. Read more

Interest Rate Ceiling

The term interest rate ceiling typically refers to the maximum lifetime interest rate charged on an adjustable rate mortgage according to the terms of a mortgage contract. A potential homebuyer contracts with a mortgage lender to secure a loan. Read more

Interest Rate Risk

Interest rate risk is the chance that an unexpected change in interest rates will negatively affect the value of an investment. Let's assume you purchase a bond from Company XYZ. Read more

Interest Rate Swap

An interest rate swap is a financial contract between two parties (such as companies or investors) that want to exchange interest rates. These could be interest rates they’re paying on loans or rates they’re receiving on investments. Read more

Interest-Only ARM

An interest-only adjustable-rate mortgage (interest-only ARM) is a mortgage in which the borrower only pays the interest on the loan for a set period. There are two parts to an interest-only ARM that differentiate it from traditional mortgages. Read more

Interest-Only Mortgage

An interest-only mortgage is a mortgage in which the borrower only pays the interest on the loan for a set period. In general, an interest-only mortgage means the borrower only pays the interest on the loan for a set period. Read more

Interim CEO

An interim CEO is a temporary chief executive officer. A CEO oversees the entire operation of a company or organization. Read more

Internal Controls

Internal controls are the methods and processes through which a company ensures that the organization is adhering to important policies and obligations. A company's board of directors, management and other executives are responsible for maintaining internal controls. Read more

Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

Internal rate of return (IRR) is the discount rate that makes the net present value of all cash flows (both positive and negative) equal to zero for a specific project or investment.   IRR: What Is It Used For? The internal rate of return is used to evaluate projects or investments. Read more

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a bureau of the Department of Treasury that is tasked with the enforcement of income tax laws and oversees the collection of federal income taxes. In addition, it is also the responsibility of the IRS to determine pension-plan qualification. Read more

International Banking Facility (IBF)

An international banking facility (IBF) is a segregated branch of a domestic bank or financial institution available to only foreign customers. International banking facilities provide a range of lending and multicurrency depository services, but only to foreign residents and institutions. Read more

International Bond

International bonds are debt securities issued by foreign companies or governments and sold domestically. Foreign companies or governments may issue bonds that are securitized and sold to domestic investors in the form of international bonds. Read more

International Bond Funds

International bond funds invest in bonds issued by foreign governments or foreign companies in a variety of markets, industries, and currencies. They allow investors to have an easy way to gain a diverse exposure to foreign securities. Read more

International Currency Exchange Rate

An international currency exchange rate is the rate at which one currency converts to another. For example, if the international currency exchange rate for one U. Read more

International Fund

International fund usually refers to an investment or mutual fund composed of international bonds and foreign company stocks. A number of the largest families of mutual funds include international funds within their portfolio of products and services to investors. Read more

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the central institution embodying the international monetary system and promotes balanced expansion of world trade, reduced trade restrictions, stable exchange rates, minimal trade imbalances, avoidance of currency devaluations, and the correction of balance-of-payment problems. The IMF's goal is to prevent and remedy international financial crises by encouraging countries to maintain sound economic policies. Read more

International Securities Identification Number (ISIN)

An international securities identification number (ISIN) is a universally accepted identifier exclusive to a particular issue of a security. Every legitimate market-traded security issued worldwide is identified with its own unique ISIN. Read more


Intestate means dying without a will. For example, let’s assume that John Doe dies without a will. Read more


Intraday refers to price movements of a given security over the course of one day of trading.   It is generally used to describe the high and low price of a stock or option during a given trading day or session. Read more


Intraday is another way of saying "within a day" and is generally used to describe the high and low price of a stock or option during a given trading day or session. Let's assume that during the course of one normal trading day, shares of Stock A open at $5, peak during the day at $7, fall to $4. Read more

Intrinsic Value

Intrinsic value has two primary connotations in the finance world. In the options-trading world, the term refers to the difference between the option's strike price and the market value of the underlying security. Read more


Anyone who has ever worked in retail has heard the term inventory. For businesses, inventory is not only how stores keep customers happy, but it’s also how they keep supply chains moving (and ensure that supply is available to meet demand). Read more

Inventory Management

Inventory management is the process of ensuring that a company always has the products it needs on hand and that it keeps costs as low as possible. Inventories are company assets that are intended for use in the production of goods or services made for sale, are currently in the production process, or are finished products held for sale in the ordinary course of business. Read more

Inventory Reserve

An inventory reserve is an accounting entry that reflects a reduction in the market value of a company's inventory. For example, let's say that Company XYZ bought 1,000,000 widgets for $4 each. Read more

Inventory Turnover

The inventory turnover ratio measures the rate at which a company purchases and resells products to customers. There are two formulas for inventory turnover:           Sales               OR                  Cost of Goods Sold             Inventory                                   Average Inventory The first formula is considered to be more common. Read more

Inverted Yield Curve

An inverted yield curve, also called a negative yield curve, is a yield curve indicating that short-term yields are higher than long-term yields. Also known as the term structure of interest rates, the yield curve is a graph that plots the yields of similar-quality bonds against their maturities, ranging from shortest to longest. Read more


An investment is an asset that is intended to produce income or capital gains.   Investing is the act of using currently-held money to buy assets in the hopes of appreciation. Read more


An investment is an asset intended to produce income or capital gains. Investments can be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, interest-bearing accounts, land, derivatives, real estate, artwork, old comic books, jewelry -- anything an investor believes will produce income (usually in the form of interest or rents) or become worth more. Read more

Investment Advisor

An investment advisor makes investment recommendations to clients and can also be known as a financial advisor. A investment advisor is similar to a financial planner, investment manager, investment consultant, or financial advisor. Read more

Investment Bank

An investment bank is a financial intermediary that specializes primarily in selling securities and underwriting the issuance of new equity shares to raise capital funds. This is different from a commercial bank, which specializes in deposits and commercial loans. Read more

Investment Banker

The role of an investment banker is to serve as a middle-man between prospective investors and companies that intend to raise capital through the issuance of new stock. Investment bankers are often employed by and represent investment banks. Read more

Investment Banking

Investment banking is a category of financial services that specializes primarily in selling securities and underwriting the issuance of new equity shares to help companies raise capital. Investment banking is different from commercial banking, which specializes in deposits and commercial loans. Read more

Investment Club

Joining an investment club is an excellent way to learn more about investing, and it is not unusual for investment clubs to experience outstanding returns. It is important that members of investment clubs have a long-term outlook, and many clubs have rules or penalties regarding early withdrawals. Read more

Investment Consultant

An investment consultant is an educated investment professional who helps people and businesses set and meet long-term financial goals. An investment consultant is similar to an investment advisor, financial planner, investment manager, or financial advisor. Read more

Investment Grade

Investment grade is a quality designation ascribed by rating agencies to bonds that have little risk of default. Municipal and corporate bonds are rated by credit agencies, such as Standard & Poor's and Moody's, based on the creditworthiness of the issuer. Read more

Investment Management

Investment management has two general definitions, one relating to advisory services and the other relating to corporate finance. In the first instance, a financial advisor or financial services company provides investment management by coordinating and overseeing a client's financial portfolio -- e. Read more

Investment Manager

An investment manager is an educated investment professional who helps people and businesses set and meet long-term financial goals. A investment manager is similar to an investment advisor, financial planner, investment consultant, or financial advisor. Read more

Investment Property

An investment property is a real estate investment purchased with the intent of earning a return on the money used to purchase the property. The return on the investment can be earned through rental income on the property, a gain on the sale of the property, or both. Read more

Investment Real Estate

Investment real estate refers to any residential structure owned solely for the purpose of generating investment returns, either through rental income or through market value appreciation. Often, an individual may own numerous residential properties and live in only one of them. Read more


An investor is any person or entity, like a firm or mutual fund, who commits capital with the expectation of receiving financial returns. Individuals use investments in order to increase their money and/or provide an income in the future. Read more

Investor Relations

Investor relations (IR) refers to the function within a public company that is responsible for managing and communicating information to the public pertaining to the company's operations, managerial organization, and financial standing. Public companies manage their investor relations function either through an in-house IR department or by outsourcing to an external investor relations firm that specializes in these activities. Read more

Invisible Hand

In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith theorized that as every individual intends to seek out his own gains, he is “led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. ”  What does the invisible hand of the marketplace do? Does it suggest that at all times, there is a higher influence that guides how free markets run? The idea of an invisible hand has nothing to do with conspiracy theories or hidden entities, but rather the natural order of the laissez-faire market. Read more


The term IOU is the phonetic spelling of the phrase "I Owe You. " In bookkeeping, it signifies an outstanding debt. Read more

IPO Lockup

IPO Lockup refers to the period of time after a company initially goes public during which company insiders are not allowed to sell company shares. In an initial public offering (IPO) often receive stock or can exercise options and warrants that have been given during the non-public phase of the company's growth. Read more

Irrational Exuberance

The phrase irrational exuberance was coined by Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, in a December 5, 1996, speech to the American Enterprise Institute. In the speech, Greenspan asked, “How do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values which then become the subject of unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade? And how do we factor that assessment into monetary policy?”According to Yale’s Robert J. Read more

IRS Form 1099

The IRS Form 1099 is used to report a variety of unique income payments to the IRS. This form is usually used when the taxpayer has received income from other sources besides a wage-paying job. Read more


Created by Barclays Global Investors, iShares are a trademarked brand of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are securities that closely resemble index funds but can be bought and sold during the day just like common stocks. Read more


Issue refers to a legal entity -- i. e. Read more

Issued Shares

Issued shares include all shares that are currently owned by stockholders, company officials, and investors in the public domain. Issued shares do not include shares repurchased by a company. Read more


Issuer refers to a legal entity -- i. e. Read more

Itemized Deduction

An itemized deduction is a reduction in taxable income that is dependent on calculations specific to the taxpayer's expenses or situation. Federal, state and local tax codes determine what is deductible and which taxpayers are eligible for itemized deductions. Read more

Itemized Statement

An itemized statement is a detailed record of certain activity that has occurred in an account for a given period of time. Monthly bank statements for common checking accounts often are itemized statements. Read more