Glossary

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  • Balloon Mortgage
    A type of mortgage with a final payment that is considerably larger than the preceding payments, typically used when borrowers anticipate receiving a large sum of cash to pay the balance or when they expect to refinance before the final payment.
  • Bank Overdraft
    Balance of a bank account when funds withdrawn exceed funds deposited.
  • Bank Reconciliation
    Analysis that accounts for the difference between the balance shown on the bank statement and the balance shown in the accounting records on a given date.
  • Bankrupt
    Legal status of a person/corporation who/which is unable to pay its debts as they become due and who/which has made a transfer of property or of a right or interest in property to a trustee for the benefit of creditors.
  • Bankruptcy
    The state of being insolvent or unable to pay outstanding debt. Declaring bankruptcy is expensive, and it can have adverse effects on one's credit in the future. These are some common ways to apply for bankruptcy:
  • Basis
    The total original cost (including any additional outlays) of an equity investment or a piece of property. This is used by the Internal Revenue Service to compute taxable gain, profit, or appreciation.
  • Basis Point
    A measurement of variation in financial instruments, equal to .01%. For example, a yield that has increased from 8.97% to 9% has increased by 3 basis points.
  • Bear Market
    An extended period during which market prices decline. The opposite of a bull market.
  • Beneficiary
    The person or entity named in a will, life insurance policy, qualified retirement plan, or annuity who will receive benefits upon the death of the insured or the plan participant.
  • Benefits Received
    When people pay taxes according to the amount of government aid (benefits) they receive. Examples of benefits the American public receives include (to name only a few): welfare, child care, Medicare and Medicaid. Some people believe it is only fair that people pay taxes based on the amount of(...)
  • Beta
    A measure of a security's price volatility relative to an appropriate market index. For example, the S&P 500 index is considered to have a beta of 1; stocks with betas greater than 1 experience more price fluctuations than that index, while the prices of stocks with betas less than 1 fluctuate(...)
  • Bill of Lading
    Written document issued by the carrier of goods. Also, a receipt for goods and a contract to deliver goods.
  • Blue-Chip Stock
    The common stock of a company with a reputation for quality and a long history of earnings growth and dividend payments, such as General Electric, IBM, or DuPont.
  • Bond
    A debt security issued by a corporation, government, or governmental agency that obligates the issuer to pay interest at predetermined intervals and repay the principal at maturity. A bond's face value is the amount of money the holder will receive when the bond matures. The face value does(...)
  • Book of Original Entry
    A journal in which transactions are recorded for the first time before summarizing or posting to ledger accounts. For example, purchase journals, cash receipts journals, accounts payable journals, disbursements journals, general journals and payroll journals are all books of original entry.(...)
  • Book Value
    (1) The current value of a fixed asset as shown by the records; the difference between the original cost of the asset and the accumulated depreciation. (2) The difference between the accounts receivable and the allowance for bad debts. (3) The value of a share of stock as shown by the(...)
  • Bookkeeping
    The recording of financial transactions electronically or manually. The record-keeping part of the accounting process.
  • Broker
    A financial professional who facilitates the trading of services or property such as securities, real estate, insurance, or commodities.
  • Budget
    A report of projected income and expenses for a given period.
  • Bull Market
    An extended period of rising security prices in financial markets. The opposite of a bear market.
  • Business Succession
    A plan for the future transfer of a business entity, involving legal, financial, tax, and family concerns.
  • Business Taxes
    A government levy on income for businesses.
  • Buy-and-Hold
    An investment strategy that advocates holding securities for the long term and ignoring short-term price fluctuations.
  • Buy-Sell Agreement
    A contract that provides for the purchase of all outstanding shares from a business owner. Generally, such contracts allow for a different ownership structure in the future.
  • Bylaws
    Bylaws are the rules and regulations adopted by a corporation for its internal governance. It usually contains provisions relating to shareholders, directors, officers and general corporate business. At the corporation's initial meeting the bylaws are adopted. Bylaws are a private document not(...)