Financial Acronyms – In Plain English!


Have you ever heard of the “MSCI” or know what “ASX” stands for? You would not be alone if you were unsure.

At ToppTunbridge, we pride ourselves on providing tailored personal risk insurance, superannuation and investment solutions for our clients. And we see part of our role as to empower and educate our clients in order for them to make appropriate decisions about their wealth, thereby making investing a less daunting concept.

So below is an explanation of some of the common acronyms used within the financial services industry. We may not spark your desire to become a stock-broker but after reading a few of these terms you will be better placed to analise financial information in the future.

APR – Annual Percentage Rate

ASX – Australian Securities Exchange. The majority of Australian share securities (shares) are traded via the ASX. An interesting fact being approximately 43% of Australians own shares, either directly or indirectly (for example, as part of Managed Fund)

EBITDA – Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization - is essentially net income including interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. It is used as a comparison of profitability between companies and industries

FTSE100 - Financial Times Stock Exchange – known as the “footsie”, it is a share index of the top 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (companies with the highest market capitalization).

GDP – Gross Domestic Product – a measure of the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year.

IPO – Initial Public Offering - which is the first sale of shares by a company to the public on the stock exchange

MSCI World Index - The MSCI World is a market index, which is used as a common Index or benchmark for all the developed markets in the world. MSCI standing for "Morgan Stanley Capital International", being the company that manages the Index, which comprises over 1,600 stocks.

NASDAQ - National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations. NASDAQ was the first global electronic marketplace for buying and selling securities (the term “securities” represents several different types of investments). It is also the benchmark index for U.S. technology stocks.

NYSE – New York Stock Exchange – one of the worlds largest exchanges and a place where trading of US companies take places –everything American from Facebook to Google shares to the Big Mac: McDonalds Corporation!

REIT – Real Estate Investment Trust. REIT’s are companies that own and in many cases operate income-producing (commercial) real estate that can give investors access to property assets that may otherwise be out of reach for individual investors, such as large scale commercial properties.

ROI – Return on Investment - is the most common way to measure profitability. There are many ways to determine ROI, but the most common way is to divide net profit by total assets. For example, if your net profit is $10,000 derived from assets that you own of say $100,000, your ROI would be .10 or 10 per cent.

S&P – Standard & Poors – are an American financial services company that are regarded in the industry for their variety of investable and benchmark indices. An ‘index’ or stock market index is a measurement of the value of a section of the stock market. For example, the ASX200, is a benchmark index of the top 200 companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

UBS – Originally standing for the ‘Union Bank of Switzerland,’ UBS is now a Global Asset Manager that offers a comprehensive range of investment and managed funds. UBS investments are often used within portfolio construction for our clients.

We will continue to grow this list over time, for as the age old saying goes; knowledge is power!

Source: Aon Hewitt Financial Advice Resources. Investopedia

Aon Hewitt Financial Advice Limited | ABN 13 091 225 642 AFSL No 239183

This information may be regarded as general advice. That is, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information. Accordingly, you should consider the appropriateness of any general advice we have given you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. Where the information relates to a particular financial product, you should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase that financial product.


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