Stock Market Glossary
Definitions of terms used in share trading and technical analysis for traders
An agent is a person who can act or make investment decisions on someone else’s behalf. Stock brokers typically serve as agents in financial markets, and are legally empowered to buy and sell shares on your behalf.
The Average Price to Earnings or P/E ratio is defined as the ratio of a company’s share price to its earnings per share (EPS). For instance, a company with a share price of INR 1,000 and EPS of INR 50 will have a P/E ratio of 20 (1,000/50). Investors generally use the ratio to determine the relative value of a company. While many companies trade at low P/E ratios for a reason, sometimes it can be indicative of a company trading at an attractive valuation. The converse – a high P/E ratio indicates either over valuation of a company’s stock or signals that the company may see increased revenue in the future.
An asset is any resource of economic value held by individuals, countries, or corporations that can provide future benefit. Common types of assets are stocks, interest-bearing instruments and property. For instance, the price of a stock generally goes up in line with its profit growth over the long term.
The all-time high/low refers to the highest or lowest price of a stock since it started trading. While an all-time high means investors are bullish about the company’s prospects, an all-time low price signals pessimism.
An accrued expense is an expense you have incurred but for which you do not have any invoice or related documentation. They are regarded as current liabilities that you must pay within 12 months. For instance, your monthly rent is incurred but due for payment.
The advance/decline or AD Line is a technical stock market indicator, which investors can use to measure the number or volume of individual stocks participating during a rising or falling market trend. You can calculate the AD Line using the formula: AD Line = Today's advancing stocks – Today's declining stocks + Yesterday's AD line value. For instance, if an investor wants to monitor the AD Line for an index over three days with the following information:
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|No. of advancing stocks||70||40||65|
|No. of declining stocks||30||60||35|
|Total no. of stocks in the index||100||100||100|
AD Line for Day 1 = 70 – 30 + 0 = 40
AD Line for Day 2 = 40 – 60 + 40 = 20
AD Line for Day 3 = 65 – 35 + 20 = 50
By plotting the AD Line against its index, investors can confirm trends and the likelihood of trend reversals.
Any share market trade you conduct after the market close is known as after-hours trading. This facility allows you to buy and sell securities outside of the designated or regular trade timings. Such trades are conducted via electronic communication networks that match potential traders without using traditional stock exchanges.
An arbitrage is the simultaneous buying and selling of an asset in different markets with the aim of profiting from the difference in price. For instance, a share trading at INR 100 in one market and INR 99 in another means an investor can buy in the market with a lower price and sell in the other. Arbitrage results in a riskless profit and the activity helps in keeping markets efficient by ensuring prices of the same asset do not diverge too much.
The Ask or Offer refers to the price at which a seller accepts to sell their stock. Besides, the ask section on a ticker also mentions the volume or number of shares the seller is willing to offload at their preferred price. The opposite of this term is the Bid or Buy, which is the price and quantity at which a buyer is keen to purchase a stock.
The ask price is the minimum price a seller is willing to take for their stock. Only when a buyer’s price matches or is higher than the ask price is when a transaction goes through in the stock market.
An ask size is the number of shares a seller is willing to offer at a specific ask price. A high ask size means that there is more supply of the stock that traders want to sell. A buyer can accept the ask price and purchase shares up to the ask size amount at the specified price or bid against other interested buyers.
An Asset Management Company (or AMC) is an entity that pools money from various investors and invests it in various assets. Such firms hire professional fund managers who invest the pooled money assets like stocks, bonds, real estate, etc., and charge a small fee for the service.
At the close or closing price is simply a stock's trading price at the end of business hours on a trading day. It represents a company’s most recent value when the market has closed until the next trading day or session begins.
In Options Trading, At the Money (or ATM) describes an option contract with a strike price identical to the current market price of an underlying stock. By paying a small fee, also called premium, an investor may buy an ATM INR 100 call option when the stock is trading at INR 100 if they expect the stock to rise further. This will give the investor the right but not the obligation to purchase the stock at INR 100 in the future. Investors who are bearish on a stock may buy an ATM put option to get the right to sell the stock at INR 100 in the future.
'At the Open' denotes the first-registered price of a stock when a trading session begins. Investors may place 'at the open' orders before a market opens to ensure that they either catch the opening price or the trade does not go through and gets cancelled.
An auction is basically any market where standardized buy and sell orders are placed simultaneously. Unlike other markets, in auction markets, there is no scope for negotiation. A typical example of this is a stock exchange where orders are matched and money changes hands in lieu of assets.
Authorised Capital, also known as nominal or registered capital, is the maximum amount of share capital a company is permitted to issue to its stakeholders. Authorised Capital is used to raise money from the general public. Shares are financial instruments that form units of the overall capital of a company.
The average daily trading volume denotes the average number of shares traded on an exchange per trading session. The metric is an indicator of an investor’s interest in a particular stock and is also used to judge liquidity in the counter.
An aggressive fund is a sub-category of a hybrid fund, which primarily invests in a mix of equity and debt but more of the former. These funds aim to yield greater returns than debt-oriented hybrid schemes but are also less risky as compared to traditional equity funds.
An arbitrage fund is a type of mutual fund that generates profits by exploiting price differences in cash and derivatives market segments. These funds are generally considered safer than equity funds and offer returns similar to debt funds.
An asset allocation fund is a type of mutual fund that invests in a variety of asset classes such as equities, debts, bonds, cash equivalents, commodities, etc. Such funds offer a diversified portfolio, optimizing high returns and mitigating asset class risk.
Assets under Management or AUM implies the overall market value of assets held by a mutual fund. These assets are managed by fund managers who take investment decisions on investors' behalf. AUM indicates the size and success of an Asset Management Company.
A bear market is a stock market situation when the market experiences continuous and prolonged price declines. In such a situation, the prices of stocks and other assets fall 20% or more from their recent highs due to widespread negative investor sentiment or pessimism.
Beta is a numeric value measuring stock price fluctuations in the stock market. It measures how responsive a stock price is to changes in the overall stock market. For instance, if the beta value of stock XYZ is 1:4, it basically means that the stock is 40% more volatile than the market. Beta is calculated using the regression analysis method to show a security’s response to the market.
Bid, also known as bid price, is the price an investor is ready to pay for a security. For instance, if you want to sell a stock, you will need to determine how much a buyer would be willing to pay for the stock. You can determine the price by considering the bid price, which represents the highest price a potential buyer would readily pay for the stock.
Blue chip stocks are stocks of large, well-recognised companies boasting a long history of sound and steady financial performance. These are stocks capable of enduring the toughest market conditions and generating significant returns during good market conditions. The cost of each blue chip stock is generally high since these stocks are usually market leaders in their industries.
A Board Lot is a standardised number of shares that a stock exchange defines as a trading unit. Typically, each board lot comprises 100 shares or a round number (divisible by 100). The board lot aims at minimising odd lots, thereby facilitating easier trading. For instance, brokers have more difficulty finding buyers for 86 shares if all traders decide to trade in 100 share lots.
Bonds are fixed-income instruments representing loans made by investors to borrowers (typically government or corporate entities.) It is essentially akin to a loan document or I.O.U between borrowers and lenders, with details about the repayment terms – the interest rate, payment date.
Governments and companies issue bonds to finance operations and projects, and the bond issuer pays interest on the funds borrowed.
A book is a record of the various positions held by traders. It shows the total long and short positions undertaken by traders. Books help institutional traders facilitate trade and monitor opportunities and risks for their customers.
A Bull or Bullish Market is a market trend characterised by rising stock prices of various market securities, typically equity instruments. When the prices of stocks rise by at least 20% on several stock exchanges, in terms of trading volume and stock purchasing, the market is considered a bull market.
A financial statement reporting a firm’s assets, liabilities and stakeholder equity at specific points in time is known as a balance sheet. This document provides the details needed to compute returns rates for investors and evaluates a firm’s capital structure. It is basically a financial statement summarising what a company owns, owes, and the sums invested by stakeholders.
Basis of Allotment is a process of allotting or allocating shares to shareholders or applicants (typically in an IPO) based on prior agreements. The shareholders are allotted shares if they satisfy the required conditions before the shares issue process commences.
A block trade implies an exchange of a fixed number of securities between two parties at a predetermined price. The volume of securities traded is substantially larger than any ordinary trade deal. In block trades, a single trade of a stock entails 10,000 or more shares traded, and this kind of trade is done with the intent of large-scale investing.
Book Building is a process in an Initial Public Offer or IPO wherein an underwriter determines the selling price of shares in an IPO. It is a part of the price discovery process in which underwriters calls forth bids from several institutional investors and fund managers so that they do not end up over or undervaluing shares.
A bracket order is type of market order placed by intraday traders. This order combines a buy order with a stop/loss and target order and helps traders square off favourable positions by or at the end of a trading session.
Investment brokers, simply known as brokers, are individuals or investment firms serving as intermediaries between a Securities Exchange and an investor. As an investor, you need a broker to buy market securities. Brokers provide you with the necessary facilities like DEMAT and trading accounts and access to securities and charge you fees for the services rendered.
Brokerage is derived from the term broker. It implies a business or firm engaged in providing investment services to investors and serves as a mediator between traders on an exchange. It provides DEMAT and trading accounts, offers investment advisory services, and margin trading facilities. Brokerage also involves the fees charged for the services provided.
The Bombay Stock Exchange or BSE is Asia’s first and largest stock exchange based in Mumbai, (Formerly Bombay) India. It is renowned for its electronic trading system providing efficient and speedy trade execution. The overall performance of the BSE is measured by the benchmark index Sensex featuring 30 of BSE most actively traded stocks across 12 sectors.
Buy and Hold, also referred to as position trading, is a passive investment strategy under which you buy stocks, ETFs, and other market securities and hold them for an indefinite period, irrespective of market fluctuations. If you implement this strategy, you would be focused on maintaining a relatively stable portfolio instead of being bothered by short-term price movements.
As an investor, when you negotiate the purchase of commodities at a price negotiated today, but you take actual delivery sometime in future, you are said to be buying forward. You would typically buy forward when you believe the commodity’s price will increase in future. Buying forward may also apply to currency and other market securities.
A type of hybrid fund, a balanced fund is a category of mutual funds comprising an equity (stock) and debt (bond) component in a specific ratio within a single portfolio. Balanced funds allow you to diversify your portfolio in equity and debt asset classes, which helps you earn better returns at lower risks.
BSE Holidays are the days when the Bombay Stock Exchange halts trading activities. The BSE closed for trade on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and national holidays of religious and cultural significance, and these days are known as BSE holidays.
A call option is a type of a financial derivative contract that gives option buyers the right, but not the obligation to purchase underlying assets like stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities etc., at a fixed price within a fixed time period. As a call buyer, you profit when the price of the underlying asset increases.
Close price, also called closing price is the price at which a share closes at the end of trading hours in a stock market. It is the weighted average of all the prices in the last 30 minutes of trading hours. Close price should not be confused with LTP or last trading price, i.e., the final price at which the stock was traded before market closing.
Convertible securities are any stocks, bonds, or other market instruments (other than options), that you can change from their initial form into another form. For instance, you can convert or exchange convertible bonds or convertible preferred shares to common stock.
In the investment market, capital is the money a business has to fund its everyday operations in order to pay for its future growth. From an investor's perspective, the capital is the money you invest in a security. For instance, if you buy shares worth INR 20,000, INR 30,000 and INR 50,000 in three different companies, your capital investment is INR 80,000.
Capital gain implies the profit you earn on selling assets like shares, bonds, real estate, etc. If the selling price of the asset exceeds your purchase price, the gains earned in profits are deemed capital gains. Conversely, if the selling price is lower than the purchase price, the loss incurred is called a capital loss.
The marketplace where securities or commodities purchased are paid for in cash and received by buyers at the point of sale is known as Cash Market. Here, the transactions are settled "on the spot", which is why the cash market is also called the spot market. E.g., when the stock exchanges are cash markets because you receive shares instantly when you pay cash.
Charting is a type of technical indicator that graphically represents or illustrates stock or commodity prices and how the prices change. Technical traders typically use a wide variety of charting indicators such as bar charts, point and figure charts, candlestick charts, etc., to assess price trends and movements.
A circuit breaker is a temporary measure taken to halt trading to curtail panic selling in the investment market. It is a pre-defined value expressed in percentage terms, triggering an automatic check when a runaway move occurs in any index or security in an upward or downward direction. Traders calculate values from the security or index's previous closing levels.
A contract note is a legal document or record of any trades undertaken by brokerage houses on stock exchanges. It confirms that your brokerage firm conducted trade on your behalf on a specific date and day on a specific stock exchange. The brokerage firm hands over this document (in the electronic or digital format) to you when you buy or sell stocks through them.
A cover order is a type of market order that allows you as an intraday trader to place two different orders for the same stock simultaneously. Also known as a two-legged order, it comprises a market order and a second order specifying the Stop Loss Trigger Price and Limit Price. Cover orders allow you to leverage extra exposure on your trades while protecting them through a stop-loss order.
The marketplace wherein buyers and sellers indulge in the trade of financial securities such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc., is known as the capital market. The participating buyers and sellers could be individual investors or institutions.
Capital gain bonds, also called 54EC bonds, are fixed income instruments providing tax exemptions on capital gains under Section 54EC of the Income Tax Act of India, 1961. You can reduce tax liabilities on long-term capital gains from the sale of immovable properties by investing in capital gain bonds.
Capital Gain Index, often called the Cost inflation index, is a measure of inflation that finds application in tax laws when calculating long-term capital gains on the sale of assets. CGI is a tool used to calculate the estimated annual increase in the price of an asset due to inflation. The CGI is fixed by the central government and defined under Section 48 of the Income Tax Act of India, 1961.
Capital gains are the gains you accrue when you sell an asset at a price higher than your buying price. It implies an increase in the value of the capital asset at the time of sale. If you earn more than what you originally paid for investments like stocks, bonds, gold, or real estate, the profits you book are called capital gains.
Capital Gains Exemption is the benefit the government offers to taxpayers under which they can enjoy tax exemptions or deductions on selling capital assets. You can avail exemptions on gains on selling certain government-specified capital assets, and the exemption is deemed capital gains exemption.
Capital Gains on shares are the gains you book on selling shares for a profit. For instance, if you buy 100 shares of a company at INR 50 each with a total investment of INR 5,000 and sell them at INR 80 after a few months, you stand to gain profits of INR 3000. This profit of INR 3,000 is your capital gains on shares.
Capital Gains Tax is the tax a country's government imposes on its investors when they book profits or capital gains on selling an asset. You have to pay this tax when you convert your asset into cash upon selling, and not while it is still in your hand. Depending on the type of asset you sell and the holding duration, you have to pay short or long-term capital gains tax.
The tax you have to pay on selling an immovable property after booking a profit on it is known as capital gains tax on property. If you sell your property after 3 years, you have to pay a long-term capital gains tax of 20% + indexation benefits. Conversely, if you sell it within 2 years, you have to pay a short-term capital gains tax, per your tax slab.
Open-ended mutual fund schemes featuring child-specific investment goals and terms are known as children's funds. These are solution-oriented plans designed to cover child-specific costs like education expenses and other similar expenses. Children's funds come with a mandatory 5-year lock-in period or until the child turns 18, whichever is earlier.
A mutual fund in which a fund house issues only a fixed number of fund units at launch is called a closed-ended fund or CEF. Once the New Fund Offer period ends, you, as an investor, cannot buy or redeem units of a CEF. CEFs are launched via NFOs. They are later traded in the market like shares and usually have a fixed maturity period.
Funds invested in the trade of specific commodities are known as commodity funds. These funds invest in specific, specialised commodities and enable investors to earn returns based on how the specific commodities perform in the commodities market. Commodity funds are broadly categorised into three types – basic commodity funds, natural resources funds and index funds.
An investment that does not expose investors to excessive risks and concentrates on accruing fixed but stable returns is known as a conservative fund. Such funds do not generally deliver high returns, but they protect the capital amount from eroding and reduce financial losses significantly. E.g., debt mutual funds investing up to 80% assets in debt securities are deemed conservative funds.
Mutual funds that invest over 80% of their assets in corporate bonds of companies are known as corporate bond funds. Corporate organisations sell these bonds to raise money to fund their expenses, expansion, working capital needs, etc. If you invest in a corporate bond fund, the issuing company pays you a fixed interest for the duration of your investment.
Cost Inflation Index is a tool used to calculate an estimated annual increase in the price of assets owing to inflation. The CII is fixed by the central government and published in its official inflation measuring gazette report. The CII is defined under Section 48 of the IT Act, India, 1961, and the government notifies the general public about the CCI each year.
Debt mutual fund schemes that invest at least 65% of their asset in AA-rated corporate debt securities are known as credit risk funds. These funds are open-ended debt schemes that invest in low-rated corporate bonds, making them riskier investments. However, you stand to earn significant returns when the ratings of these funds increase.
Debentures are a type of debt instruments or bonds, which are unsecured by collateral. If you choose to invest in these non-collateral-backed instruments, you must rely on the reputation of the issuer and their creditworthiness before investing. In India, government entities and corporations frequently issue debentures to raise capital.
Stocks that consistently provide steady dividends and stable earnings, irrespective of overall stock market conditions (including during bull markets), are known as defensive stocks. These stocks offer substantial benefits, often akin to long-term gains but with lower risks. However, such stocks may accrue lower gains during bull markets.
Delta is a financial ratio that compares the change in the price of an underlying asset, typically marketable securities, with the change in the price of an option or a derivative. If you trade options, delta indicates the number of option contracts you need to hedge an underlying asset's short or long position. It is also known as a hedge ratio because it helps options traders with risk analysis.
Mutual funds that invest in fixed income securities such as bonds, treasury bills, commercial papers etc., are known as debt funds. These are ideal for investors with conservative risk appetites looking to invest in less volatile securities generating low but stable income. SEBI has categorised debt funds into 16 types based on investment durations and asset allocation.
DEMAT is short for the word dematerialised. It indicates the move from physical share certificates to an electronic mode of book-keeping. Dematerialisation helps enhance the security of your investment certificates by preventing issues like loss, theft or misplacement. It also facilitates increased trading speeds while all your investment proofs are stored digitally in a DEMAT account.
A dematerialised or DEMAT Account stores all your investment market securities digitally or electronically. It is a single platform where you can view and trade all types of market instruments. Shares you buy are credited to the DEMAT account, and those you sell are debited from it. You can approach a SEBI-approved depository participant to open a DEMAT account.
Depository participants are agents of the two main depositories in India – The National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) and the Central Depository Services (India) Ltd (CDSL). They are essentially brokerage firms, banks, clearing corporations, etc., licensed to operate as intermediaries between the two depositories and investors, per the provisions of the Depositories Act of 1996.
Derivatives are financial contracts between two or more parties. These contracts derive value from an underlying asset, security, or index. Derivative contracts are broadly categorised into two types – Options and Futures. The underlying assets traded in the contract could be stocks, bonds, market indexes, currencies, commodities, etc.
The market where financial instruments like futures and options contracts are traded is known as the derivatives markets. Here, traders trade underlying assets like stocks, bonds, market indexes, currencies, and commodities per the derivatives contract terms. Popular players in the derivatives markets include hedgers, arbitrageurs, speculators and market traders.
Trading that occurs when traders speculate on future price actions of underlying assets via derivatives contracts is known as derivative trading. In derivatives trading, traders aim to accrue higher gains as compared to outrightly buying underlying assets like stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, etc. Derivative trading also allows traders to take hedging positions to reduce their risks.
The type of offering through which a company offers its share units directly to the general public in order to raise capital for funding and expansion is known as a direct public offering. Companies using the DPO typically eliminate intermediaries like underwriters, investment banks, and broker-dealers (used in the IPO process). Instead, they self-underwrite the securities.
A draft offer document is simply an initial version of the offer document for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). It is the first document a company intending to go public submits to the SEBI for approval. The SEBI prescribes the necessary changes, if any, which the issuer or underwriter must carry out before filling their offer document with the ROC/SEs.
Mutual funds that mainly invest in companies with the potential to provide regular dividend pay-out are called dividend yield funds. Such funds generally allocate up to 65% of their assets in dividend-yielding instruments. They are further classified based on the equity or debt exposure of the funds.
Dynamic Asset Allocation is a type of portfolio management. A fund manager regularly adjusts or modifies the mix of asset classes so that your portfolio suits the market conditions. The fund manager typically makes adjustments to reduce your positions in the underperforming asset classes while taking positions in the best-performing asset classes.
Debt mutual funds that invest in debt and money market instruments such as government and corporate bonds and securities of various durations are known as dynamic bond funds. These are open-ended debt mutual funds schemes that invest across varying durations, i.e., they follow a dynamic approach when it comes to the maturity of securities in a portfolio.
The price, at which the supply of an asset is equal to its demand in the market, is called the Equilibrium Price. This results in the asset price remaining stable until the asset's demand or supply quantities change.
Buying equity helps you get stake in the company. This includes a part of its assets and its liabilities. It is essentially the money you would get paid if the company cleared all its debt and sold all its assets. There are broadly two types of equities you can buy: public equity and private equity. Public equity refers to the shares of a company that you can buy in the public market. Alternatively, private equity refers to the shares of a company that are sold to a select few investors. These shares cannot be bought from the public market.
Equity options is a class of derivatives that give the investors a right to buy (call option) or sell (put option) certain quantities of a company's shares at a pre-determined price in the future. The buyer pays a premium for the right. Equity options can be bought to profit from a stock’s movement without buying or shorting it.
The buying or selling of the equity of a particular company in the hope of profiting from a movement in its price is called equity trading. It usually refers to the buying and selling of companies’ shares that are traded publicly on the stock exchange. To trade in equities, you need a Demat account and a trading account.
Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) is a mutual fund scheme that can help you get a tax rebate of up to INR 1,50,000 annually. ELSS funds are made eligible for such benefits under the 80C provision of the Income Tax Act of 1961. ELSS funds invest majorly in equities (about 65% of their total capital) and may also offer exposure to the debt market. Hence, these funds can help you create wealth as well avail of their tax benefits.
A mutual fund or ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) that invests in the securities market of developing countries is called an Emerging Market Fund. These funds typically invest in the equity and bonds market of developing countries. Emerging market funds are a high risk and reward investment option.
Equity funds are mutual funds that invest the majority of their capital in the equity market. These funds invest in the shares of multiple companies to generate returns for their investors. Equity funds are one of the most accessible mutual funds in the market. You can either invest a lumpsum amount in the equity fund or start an SIP.
An equity savings fund is a type of mutual fund that invests in both, the equity market and the debt market. These funds also take advantage of the pricing differences that occur between the spot market and the derivatives market. An equity savings fund is not very volatile in nature and offers high liquidity of investments. While these funds may not provide a very high rate of return, they are tax-efficient and can offer returns that beat the rate of inflation.
The money raised by a company by selling equity is called equity share capital. The equity can either be sold in the public market or the private market. It allows the investor to be a part-owner of the company. This implies that they own a percentage of the company’s assets and liabilities. This helps the investors earn capital gains if the company does well. However, the capital can also be lost if the liabilities of the company outweigh the assets of the company. The acquired equity share capital can be used by the company to either fuel their expansion plans or pay off their existing debts.
Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) are investments funds whose units can be bought and sold on the stock market. ETFs are formed to track a specific index, currency, commodity, or any other such asset. ETFs can either be passively managed or actively managed.
The expense ratio is the ratio between the total value of the Assets Under Management (AUM) of a mutual fund and its operational expenses. In layman terms, it is the amount of money used by the mutual fund to meet its administrative, marketing, and other operational expenses.
Face value is the value of one share of the company. It is decided by the company at the time of its Initial Public Offering (IPO) and is mentioned in the company’s share certificates and books. Apart from equities, even corporate bonds have a face value. The face value of the equities issued by the company is affected by corporate actions and not by the demand and supply of the security in the market.
A follow-on public offering (FPO) is the second time a company issues its shares to investors in the public market. It is an additional issuance of shares by the company to raise funds. The FPO is offered by the company in the secondary market. The funds raised via FPO are used to acquire capital that helps them fuel their expansion or reduce their liabilities.
Forward price is the pre-determined price at which a forward contract will be settled in the future. Many confuse forward price for forward value, however, there is a stark difference between the two. While the forward price does not fluctuate throughout the tenure of the contract, forward value changes as per the prevailing market conditions.
Buying and selling of futures contracts is called futures trading. Futures contracts are a form of derivatives meaning, they derive their value from an underlying asset. Futures gives the investor a legal obligation to either buy or sell the underlying asset at a set future date and at a pre-determined price.
Futures and Options are forms of derivatives, i.e., they derive their value from an underlying asset. Options give you a right but not an obligation to take buy the underlying asset at a particular price on a predetermined right. The investor pays a small premium for this right. For instance, an investor who is bullish on Stock X trading at Rs 100 can get the right to purchase the share at today’s price by paying a premium of say Rs 5. If the stock moves up significantly, the investor will make a profit but if the stock goes down, the investor’s maximum loss is the premium paid (Rs 5 in this case).
A futures contract allows the buyer to lock in the purchase or sale price of an asset but, unlike options, the investor’s payoff is symmetrical: movements on either side will result in an equal loss or gain. . Both futures and options come with significant leverage as they allow the investor to take a large exposure by putting up a small amount. As a result, they can lead to big gains or losses for investors,
A focused fund is a type of mutual fund that does not maintain an extensively diversified investment portfolio. These funds focus not only on a specific industry but on a specific segment of the industry. For example, a focused fund may not invest in all the major players of the automobile industry rather only invest in companies that sell electric vehicles.
A fund of funds (FOF) is an investment vehicle that acquires capital from multiple investors and invests the same in other funds, such as hedge funds and mutual funds. Since the FOF invests its money in various other funds that already have a diversified investment portfolio, it is suited for investors across different risk profiles and financial objectives.
A company is said to be going public when it launches its IPO and sells its shares in the public market. Companies go from being private to public entities primarily for raising capital. This helps them expand or clear off existing debts. IPOs also allow venture capitalists involved with the company to close their investment position and book profits.
A global fund maintains an investment portfolio that is not bound by any geographical constraints. For instance, a global fund in India would invest not only in the Indian market but also in the capital markets across the globe. Through these funds, you can make an international investment with relatively low capital.
A gold ETF is a commodity-based investment fund that only tracks the gold market. It does so by investing directly in gold or in gold-related securities such as stocks of gold mining companies and gold refineries. Each unit of the gold ETF is backed by 1 gram of 24 karat 99.99% pure gold. A gold ETF is listed on the stock exchange and is usually passively managed, i.e., they try to provide returns that are equal to the returns offered by the gold market. Thus, investing in a gold ETF would require you to have a Demat account. If you invest in a gold ETF, you can get even fixed quantities of physical gold delivered to you.
Gold funds are essentially a type of Fund of Funds (FOF). Gold funds invest in funds that directly invest in gold and gold-related securities such as gold ETFs. Investing in a gold fund does not require you to have a Demat account. Gold funds may charge you an exit load if you withdraw your funds during the lock-in time.
Stocks of companies that perform or are expected to perform better than other companies that operate in the same sector are called growth stocks. These stocks have a high potential for profit. However, growth stocks are quite volatile in nature and do not pay dividends.
A hedge fund is an investment fund that makes use of complex trading strategies and invests in a wide variety of asset classes. A hedge fund takes advantage of leverage and short selling to increase its profit potential, however, this also increases its exposure to risk.
The time between the purchase and sale of an asset is called holding period. For example, if you buy a particular stock on June 15 and sell it on Sep 15, your holding period is said to be three months.
For a retail investor, assets that make up your investment portfolio are called holdings. These can either be stocks, mutual fund units, real estate, cryptocurrencies, etc. Holdings also indicate the controlling stake that one company has in another company.
Hybrid funds are funds that invest in more than one asset class. These funds invest in the equity and debt market. The percentage of asset allocation in the investment portfolio of a hybrid fund depends on the fund’s objective. For example, aggressive hybrid funds would invest more in the equity market as compared to the debt market. Conversely, stable return generating hybrid funds would invest more in the debt market.
A basket of stocks that serves as a benchmark for investors to gauge the performance of the overall market is called an index. Indices can be used to track the performance of various industries in the stock market. There are many types of indices; each is used to track a particular segment of the market or the overall market itself.
Trading in shares of a company that has listed after completing its IPO is called the aftermarket. Generally, interest is high in trading of companies the day they list, but also for a few days or weeks after.
Opening and closing an investment position on the same day before the market closes is called intraday trading. You do not get delivery of the shares when you place an intraday trade in the equity market.
ISIN, short for International Securities Identification Number, is a 12-digit alphanumeric code that is used to identify securities that are listed on the exchanges across the globe. These are used to identify stocks, debt instruments, mutual funds, etc. The ISIN of a security is recognised universally. Implying, the stock of one company can be named differently in different exchanges across the globe but can only have one ISIN.
The price at which the shares of a company are sold when they are first introduced to the secondary market is called the issue price. It is the summation of the face value of a company’s stock and the premium charged by the entity for issuing the shares.
An entity that issues a particular security is known as the issuer. An issuer issues securities to raise capital for various purposes. Furthermore, the issuer can either be a government entity, a corporation, or an investment fund.
An intraday position essentially is an investment position that is open only for a day. Implying, the open investment position is squared off in the same trading day before the market closes.
Income funds are debt funds that focus on providing regular income to the investors. An income fund invests in government bonds, corporate bonds, money markets and other such fixed income instruments. Unlike the lock-in period in fixed deposits, income funds allow easy and flexible redemption and withdrawal.
Index funds are a basket of securities that track the performance of a certain index. The investment portfolio of an index fund mimics the composition of the benchmark index tracked by it. By their nature of formation, index funds can be used to diversify your portfolio and mitigate investment risks. Index funds help you build a financial corpus that can support your lifestyle after retirement.
International funds are investment vehicles that pool money from multiple investors and invest in securities that are located anywhere outside the fund’s country of operation. These funds majorly invest in equities and debt instruments issued by conglomerates that are not a participant of the Indian public markets. Hence, international funds help you widen the scope of your investments.
Limit order allows you to decide the price at which you wish to buy or sell a particular security. The limit order is only executed if the market price of the asset equals the buy or sell price specified by you at least once after the placement of the order. Limit orders can be used to buy or sell securities and to protect your open positions from large losses.
Listing date is the date when a company’s IPO is listed on the public exchange. This is the day you can start trading the shares of the company. Once the IPO is approved by SEBI, the listing date is decided by the company.
Listing refers to the shares of a company that is publicly listed on the stock exchange. A company gets listed on the stock market to raise capital that can be used for business expansion or to clear existing debts. To enter the secondary market, the company first has to issue an IPO and sell its shares in the primary market.
The lock-in period stops any investor from selling their stakes in the company right after it is listed on the stock market. An IPO presents itself as the perfect opportunity for venture capitalists to book profits by closing their investment positions in the company. However, this can liquidate the market and cause a downfall in the company’s share price. To avoid this, SEBI has made it compulsory for all insiders of the IPO issuing company to follow a fixed lock-in period.
Taking a long position means buying a particular asset with the hope that its value increases in the future. You take a long position when you are bullish on the price of a specific asset.
The lower circuit refers to the lowest price at which you can sell a particular asset in one day. It is only made up of sellers. The lower circuit helps to reduce the effects of panic selling in the market. It is determined by the exchange and is represented in percentage. For example, a stock that is valued at INR 500 and has a lower circuit at 30%, can only have a minimum trading price of INR 350 in one day.
Large cap funds are investment funds that primarily invest in companies that have large market capitalisation. These funds are not a very risky investment option and are known to provide stable returns over a period.
Large cap stocks refer to the stocks of companies that have capitalised on a large portion of the market. These stocks can help you protect your portfolio from the volatility of the markets. Many large cap stocks are also known to provide dividends to their investors. Large cap companies have a market capitalisation of more than INR 20,000 crore.
Debt funds that invest in fixed income securities having short maturity periods, i.e., up to 91 days are called liquid funds. These funds invest in commercial paper, treasury bills, and certificates of deposits among many other such debt instruments. Liquid funds are one of the best ways for you to park your idle money.
The gains you earn by selling your mutual fund units at a price that is higher than your buy price is called capital gains on mutual funds. If you have invested in an equity-based mutual fund, you would need to keep your investment position open for more than 12 months to earn long term capital gains from it. Alternatively, investing in unlisted equity funds and debt mutual funds, requires you to keep your investment position open for more than 36 months to be able to earn long term capital gains from your holdings.
The capital gain earned by selling a property after three years of its purchase is known as long-term capital gain (LTCG) earned from the sale of a property. The seller of the property has to pay a long-term capital gain tax on the sale of their property. The LTCG on the sale of a property is charged at 20% with indexation benefit.
The profit you earn by selling your holdings in the equity market after 12 months of their purchase is called long term capital gain (LTCG) on shares. You must pay 10% LTCG tax on the profits earned from selling your shareholding after a year. However, LTCG of up to INR 1 lakh is exempted from tax, i.e., you do not pay taxes on the INR 1 lakh LTCG earned by selling your shareholdings after a year of their purchase.
The tax you pay on the capital gains earned from selling an asset after holding it for more than a year is called long term capital gains tax. Different assets charge different LTCG tax rates. For example, while an equity mutual fund would charge you 10% LTCG tax without indexation benefit, debt mutual fund may charge you a 20% LTCG tax with indexation benefit. The minimum investment tenure required for your profits to be termed as LTCG also varies from one asset to the other.
A low duration fund is a type of debt fund that invests in fixed income securities that have a maturity period of about 6 to 12 months. These funds are a low-risk low return investment option as they have a portfolio that has a short maturity period and is less susceptible to interest rate changes.
A lumpsum investment refers to making a single payment for making the investment. While many investors prefer the monthly instalment option called SIP, lumpsum investments are preferred by high-net-worth individuals who have a good tolerance for risk as well.
A market order is an instruction to the broker to buy or sell a particular security at its current market price on the behalf of the investor. Market orders have the highest probability of being fulfilled. However, you may not get the price that you expect.
A market segment is a sub section of the market where similar types of assets are traded.
In India, the NSE offers five market segments: capital market (stocks), equity futures and options, wholesale debt, currency derivatives and interest rate derivatives. The most active segment by way of trading volumes is the futures and options segment.
Stocks of companies that are expected to exponentially grow in value are called multi-bagger stocks. One of the easiest ways to identifying a multi-bagger stock is by analysing the fundamentals of the company and checking if its shares are undervalued in the market.
Mutual funds are investment funds that pool money from multiple investors and invest the acquired capital in a range of different investment options to generate returns for their stakeholders. Mutual funds help you get access to a professionally managed investment portfolio and are a great way to diversify your holdings.
Mid-cap funds are investment funds that invest in the stocks of companies that have a market capitalisation between INR 5,000 crore and INR 20,000 crore. These investment funds can provide better returns when compared to large-cap funds. However, they are also proportionately volatile in nature.
Mid-cap stocks are stocks of companies that have capitalised on a market size that is bigger than that of small-cap companies and smaller than that of large-cap companies. Mid-cap companies have a market capitalisation of more than INR 5,000 crore but less than INR 20,000 crore.
An investment fund that primarily invests in debt instruments that have a maturity period of up to 1 year is called a money market fund. These investment funds lend money to companies and generate good returns while keeping the risks to their bare minimum.
Monthly income plans are mutual fund schemes that invest in the debt market and in the equity market. However, these mutual fund schemes are primarily debt-oriented and thus invest the major portion of their capital in the debt market. Unlike their name, monthly income plans do not provide a regular monthly income. MIPs are a moderate risk and reward investment option.
Multi asset allocation refers to an investment strategy in which the investor invests at least 10% of their total capital in two or more different asset classes. For example, with a capital of INR 1 lakh, if you invest at least a minimum of INR 10,000 in the equity market, INR 15,000 in the debt market and put the remaining INR 75,000 in the commodity market, you are said to have followed the muti asset allocation investment strategy.
Multi cap funds are mutual funds that invest in the stocks of small-cap, mid-cap, and large-cap companies. The risk associated with your investment in multi-cap funds depends on the fund’s objective. If the multi-cap fund makes the majority of its investments in the stocks of small-cap companies, the fund is said to be a high risk and high reward investment option. On the other hand, if the multi-cap fund’s objective is to provide stable and predictable returns, they would invest the majority of their capital in the stocks of large-cap companies.
NCDEX, short for National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, is India’s most prominent agricultural commodity exchange. The NCDEX allows you to trade in 23 agricultural commodities, such as guar, spices, and pulses.
NCDEX was incorporated in 2003 and counts NSE, LIC and NABARD, among others, as its shareholders.
The NIFTY is a benchmark index that is made up of the top 50 companies in India that are listed on the National Stock Exchange. Alongside the BSE Sensex, the NIFTY is used as a barometer of the stock market’s performance as the top companies often account for half or more of the market’s entire value. Like other benchmark indices, it is also used a metric to judge the performance of mutual funds, especially those in the large-cap space, with the fund manager’s explicit aim being to perform better than the index.
The National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) is a depository that stores securities in dematerialised form. It was the first depository of its kind during its establishment in August 1996. There are currently two depositories in India that can be used to store securities in the digital form, NSDL and CDSL (Central Depository of Services Limited). As per Indian law, you are required to have a demat account with either NSDL or CDSL to be able to participate in the Indian stock market.
NSE, short for National Stock Exchange, was introduced in 1994 and is known for ushering in electronic or screen-based trading and popularising the dematarialisation of shares. Over the past few decades, it has gone past BSE to become India’s largest exchange, and accounts for a majority of the volumes, especially in the derivatives (futures and options) space. The Nifty is NSE’s benchmark index.
Net Asset Value or NAV, in simple terms, is the amount of money you need to pay for buying one unit of a particular mutual fund. It is calculated by subtracting the value of the fund’s liabilities (i.e cost deducted by fund company for operation the fund, or expense ratio) from the value of its assets and dividing the procured difference with the total number of the fund’s outstanding shares. Some investors mistakenly believe that a lower NAV is often an indicator of value when that is not the case.
A one-sided market is a market in which there are only either buyers or sellers. It typically occurs when there is a lot of greed or fear in the market. It is also referred to a situation when market makers (professionals who offer two-way quotes to facilitate liquidity) also offer quotes only on one side. A third example of a one-sided market is an IPO where there are only buyers involved in the process.
In the stock market, an offer date is the date on which the shares of a company are listed in the public markets for the first time. In other words, an offer date is the date on which an IPO is offered for subscription for the first time.
Options are financial contracts that give the investor a right to buy or sell a particular asset at a specific price and at a pre-determined date. You can buy and sell a call option and a put option. You buy a call option when you are bullish on an asset and sell a call option when you are bearish on an asset. Alternatively, you buy a put option if you think an asset is overvalued in the market and sell a put option when you expect the prices of an asset to go up.
OHLC is short for Open-High-Low-Close. It refers to the representation of the price movement of a particular asset in a specific timeframe. Open or open price is the price of an asset at the start of the timeframe. Close refers to the closing price of the asset, this is the price at which the asset was last traded at the end of the time frame. High price and close price are the two extreme price levels touched by that asset during the specified timeframe. It is typically represented on a chart by using Japanese candlesticks or bar charts.
An open-ended fund is a type of mutual fund whose units can be bought or sold any time after their launch in the market, I.e., they can issue an unlimited number of mutual fund units and redeem an unlimited number of mutual fund units as well. When you buy the units of an open-ended fund, you are typically buying the units directly from the mutual fund and not from any other investor.
Penny stocks are stocks that have a very low market price, generally lower than Rs 10. The market of these stocks is also usually illiquid and susceptible to manipulation. Some investors buy penny stocks in the hope that even a small movement in the stock price could result in large gains, and because the low price allows them to buy more individual quantity of the stock. This strategy, however, has been considered by experts to be fallacious: penny stocks often belong to companies without strong fundamentals, and the likelihood of such shares going up over the long term is much lower than that of well-established companies, even if their share prices are higher.
Retirement funds are a type of savings scheme that helps you build a financial corpus that can support your lifestyle after retirement. When you subscribe to a retirement fund, you are required to invest a small, fixed portion of your monthly income in the savings scheme. You can withdraw the accumulated money at the end of your active years of service.
The share market is a market where you can buy and sell securities in the stock exchange. The share market is made up of brokers, stock exchanges, companies, and investors. Companies list themselves in the share market to raise funds while investors buy and sell the shares of these companies either through short-term trades to profit from near-term movements, or to grow their wealth through long-term appreciation in the value of such companies.
You open a short position when you sell a security with the aim of buying it again at a lower price. Short positions are typically taken when you expect the price of an asset to fall. A short position can be initiated in the cash market (only for intraday trades). But most traders short the market or stocks through futures or options.
Closing an investment position is knowing as squaring off the investment position. For example, if you sell off the shares you previously bought, you are said to have squared off your investment position.
The Sensex is an index comprising of 30 of the top companies that are listed on the BSE. Sensex helps investors to get an idea of the overall stock market movement. It includes companies belonging to a variety of different sectors such as agriculture, banking, real estate, etc.
The Sensex was launched in 1986 with a base price of 100 set on April 1, 1979. Over the 40 plus years since, it has gone up over 600 times to about 60,000 at a CAGR of more than 16%. It is among the best performing stock indices in the world.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is a government that regulates the securities market in India. Its aim is to ensure that there are no wrongful transactions happening in the Indian securities market. SEBI is also responsible to take steps that protect and benefit the interests of an investor.
Mutual funds that only invest in a particular sector are called sector funds. Investors add such funds to their portfolio if they are optimistic about the prospects of a particular sector. For instance, a technology sector fund will have a portfolio of businesses belonging to the technology sector. Similarly, a pharma sector fund will invest in pharmaceutical companies. Since the returns in these funds depend on the performance of the respective sectors, financial advisors suggest that such exposures should remain a small part of one’s portfolio because of high risk that an individual sector faces from its own business cycle.
The STCG is levied on all gains arising from sale of mutual fund units that were held for less than 12 months in case of equity-oriented mutual funds and 36 months in case of debt-oriented mutual fund. The STCG rate is 15% for equity-oriented mutual funds while the rate is as per the investor’s tax slab in the case of debt-oriented mutual funds.
The tax levied on profits arising from the sale of an immovable property, such as a house, is called short-term capital gains (STCG) tax on property if the asset was sold within 2 years of purchase. The STCG tax rate levied on such profits is as per the investor’s tax slab.
The profit earned by selling your shares within one year of their purchase is known as short term capital gain earned from shares. STCG is calculated by subtracting the buy price and expenses of investment from your sell price. If the resultant value is positive, you are said to have earned profit. The STCG rate on shares is 15%.
The tax applicable on your mutual fund investment depends on the type of mutual fund you invest in. For example, equity funds are taxed 15% with 4% cess and debt funds are taxed according to your applicable tax slab.
The tax you pay on the profits earned by selling an asset within a year of its purchase is called STCG tax. Different assets have different applicable tax rates and holding periods for your profit to qualify for STCG tax.
Small cap funds are a type of mutual fund that invest predominantly in the stocks of small cap companies. SEBI defines small cap companies as those companies which rank below 250 on the order of market capitalisation. These funds are often seen as high-risk and high-reward investment option.
Companies that rank below 250 in the order of market capitalisation are considered small cap companies. As per AMFI’s December 2021 update, the average market cap of the 251st-ranked company in the stock market stood at about Rs 16,000 crore, meaning all stocks below this market cap would qualify as small cap.
A stockbroker is essentially the middleman between an investor and the stock exchange. Brokers are regulated by SEBI in India. A broker can help you transact in the stock exchange and provide various other financial services as well such as investment advisory, portfolio management services, etc.
A systematic investment plan (SIP) is an investment strategy wherein the investor invests a certain amount of money in a security on monthly basis. Unlike lumpsum investments, SIPs can help you take advantage of rupee-cost averaging.
Systematic withdrawal plans allow you to withdraw a fixed amount of money from a mutual fund at regular intervals. This helps investors to build a steady stream of income. SWPs offer better tax benefits when compared to dividends for investors who are in higher tax brackets.
Top gainers are stock of companies that have the highest positive gap between their opening and closing prices on one trading day. In simple terms, top gainers are stocks that have increased the most in value during a specific time period. The top gainers of the day, month and year are listed on the exchange website and in various financial publications.
Opposite of top gainers, top losers are stocks of companies whose prices have dropped the most during a specific period of time. The top losers of the day, month and year can be found on the stock exchange’s website.
A trading account helps you transact in various securities such as stocks, bonds, mutual fund units, etc. Most trading accounts require you to pay an annual maintenance fee. There are many types of trading accounts offered in the market today and each comes with its own set of benefits and costs.
Trading indicators help investors get an insight on the emotions prevailing in the market. Investors can use trading indicators to get a better understanding of the price movements of an asset in the market and hence, take an informed investment decision. Broadly, there are two types of trading indicators, lagging indicators, and leading indicators. While leading indicators help traders anticipate where a stock price is headed, lagging indicators confirm the price trend before a trader enters into a trade. Leading indicators react to prices quickly, which bodes well for short-term traders. However, they tend to give out false signals. Conversely, lagging indicators are slower to react, which means traders can be more accurate about the price trend but could be late in entering the market.
Trading platforms are essentially investment portals that allow users to buy and sell different securities. Trading platforms are typically offered by brokers and allow you to transact in securities such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, etc.
A trading strategy is an amalgamation of two or more protocols that help an investor to enter an investment position and close the same by booking a profit. There are a lot of different known trading strategies in the market. However, the right investment tactic for you depends on your profit potential, preferred investment tenure, tolerance for risk and size of capital.
Traditional brokers can also be called full-service brokers. Traditional brokers provide you a lot of different services apart from helping you place buy and sell orders in the market. The additional financial services offered by a traditional broker such as investment advisory, portfolio management services, margin trading facilities and research, etc. Often, the cost associated with these services means traditional brokers means such brokers charge extra brokerage as well.
When you transfer shares from your demat account to somebody else’s demat account, you are said to have done a transfer of shares. Shares of a publicly listed company are easily transferable. However, do remember that you would need to state clear reasons as to why you are transferring the shares to the other person.
Trend refers to the direction of the price movement of an asset in the market. It helps you understand the overall mood of the market. A market is said to be in an upward trend if the price of an asset makes higher highs and higher lows on the chart. Alternatively, the market is said to be in a downward trend if the price of an asset makes lower highs and lower lows on the chart.
Volume is the quantity of shares that were traded on a stock exchange in a specific period of time. An asset that has high trading volumes is said to have a highly liquid market as well. Additionally, volume analysis plays a significant role in formulating trading strategies.
Value funds are investment funds that pool money from multiple investors and invest the acquired capital in stocks of companies that they think are undervalued in the market. It would take a while for undervalued companies to get valuation that is at par; thus, value funds are long term funds that require you to have an investment horizon of at least 5 years.
Wholesale debt market is a debt market in which institutional investors can invest in government bonds and securities. Commercial banks and financial institutions are the major players of the wholesale debt market in India.
52-week low is the lowest price point touched by an asset in one fiscal year. It helps an investor decide on the buy and sell price of their investment. Many investors also use the 52-week low price level to decide on their investment strategy, I.e., they only look forward to shorting the asset for a profit when it is priced below its 52-week low.
52-week high is the highest price level that has been reached by an asset in one trading year. It helps an investor to decide on the entry and exit points of their investment. The 52-week high can also help you decide on the right investment strategy, I.e., many investors only place buy orders for an asset if it is trading above its 52-week high.
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