Help & FAQs

Glossary

  • Absolute Percentage Growth

    Expresses the growth of a fund’s value as a percentage over the specified period. A negative figure would indicate a decline.

  • Account Balance

    Calculated using the value of cleared funds held and/or pending clearance.

  • Account number

    A unique number for us to identify you as a client.

  • Account View

    A page which details your cash balance and portfolio status.

  • Accumulation Unit

    Units in a unit trust which do not pay income to the investor but which instead redistribute dividend income from the underlying investments back into the capital value of the units.

  • Actively Managed Funds

    Unlike index Funds (see ‘index Funds’) these are Funds where the Manager uses his professional judgment to decide which Funds to buy and sell, whilst seeking to out-perform the relevant benchmark.

  • Administration

    Professional administrator appointed to wind up company with financial problems.

  • Administration Charge

    The management charge made by your broker for looking after your nominee portfolio or account.

  • Adviser

    A person who is qualified to discuss your financial affairs in detail, listen to your needs and make appropriate recommendations.

  • AGM

    Annual General Meeting. The meeting that a company normally holds with its shareholders after announcing its annual results to approve the accounts, re-appoint directors, auditors, etc.

  • AIM

    The Alternative Investment Market. The London Stock Exchange's market for growing and smaller companies, created in 1995. It enables companies to attain a listing which is affordable and which does not require them to meet the stringent criteria for full quotation.

  • All or nothing

    When placing a trade above normal market size via the personal telephone service you may be asked whether you want to trade 'all or nothing' or 'as many as possible'. All or nothing means that ??? Stockbrokers will endeavour to trade your entire instruction and in the case that this is not possible your order will not be executed.

  • Allotment

    The number of shares received on application for a new issue or privatisation. This may be less than the number applied for, but will never be more.

  • Allotment Letters

    Documents representing the right to buy new shares at a stated price in a rights issue, known as the 'call' (see below). It is sometimes possible to sell such shares in a nil-paid form, delivering the allotment letters to the buyer who then pays the call. You can also sell the shares fully-paid if you have paid the call.

  • Alpha

    The amount by which a fund has out-performed its benchmark, taking into account the fund´s exposure to market risk (as measured by Beta). Alpha is also known as the residual return.

  • Analyst

    An expert in evaluating financial investments such as equities, bonds and Government stocks; undertaking investment research; and making recommendations to institutional and retail investors to buy, sell or hold. Most analysts specialise in a single industry or business sector.

  • Announcements

    News or information relevant to the security

  • Annual Management Charge

    A charge levied by the Fund Manager to cover the cost of investment management and administration, usually for unit trusts and OEICs.

  • Annual Management Charge (AMC)

    This is the fee charged by the Fund Manager for managing the investment. The AMC can be either ‘bundled’ or ‘clean’ (see definitions of Bundled Share Class and Clean Share Class).

  • Annual Permitted Subscription (APS)

    Is the annual ISA Subscription allowance for a deceased person, that can be transferred to their spouse.

  • Annual Report & Accounts

    A statement of the financial condition of the company and its activities over the past financial year, including Profit and Loss account, Balance Sheet, Notes and a Statement of Cash Flow. All PLCs are obliged to make these available to shareholders and they can be viewed on the company's website, or obtained by writing to the company's head office, or by calling ??? Stockbrokers.

  • Annuity

    An income guaranteed for life paid in return for handing over a lump sum. An annuity is bought at retirement by holders of most personal pension plans and members of money-purchase company schemes.

  • Ask

    The ask or asking price is the price for which the holder of the shares is willing to sell. The bid price is the opposite.

  • Asset Classes

    Different types of investments with varying degrees of risk, ???, cash, shares, gilts and bonds.

  • At Best

    An order placed with a stockbroker to buy or sell shares at the best price in the market at the time of dealing for the number of shares being traded.

  • At Limit

    Refer to Limit Order.

  • Authorised Unit Trust

    A unit trust scheme authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate in the UK.

  • Authority to Deal

    Allowing someone other than yourself to invest on your behalf. You will need to complete the relevant section of our Third Party Authorisation form to request this.

  • Available to Invest

    Is the value of cleared funds held and/or pending clearance within your Selftrade Accounts, that you can use to deal or transfer.

  • BACS

    Bank Automated Clearing System. We use this to send funds to, and claim money from your chosen bank account.

  • Balance Sheet

    A financial statement showing a company's assets, liabilities, and shareholders' equity on a given date, often at the end of the financial year.

  • Balances

    The amount of cash and stock held on your portfolio.

  • Bank of England

    The UK's central bank that decides on monetary policies and interest rates.

  • Base Rate

    The rate at which the Bank of England lends to other banks in the UK. Currently 0.25% (Correct as at May 2017)

  • Basket

    A portfolio consisting of more than one security that may or may not replicate an index. For example, a share or equity basket is one that contains shares in more than one company.

  • Bear Document

    Documents stating that the person in physical possession of them (the bearer) is the owner.

  • Bear Market

    A falling market, or one that is expected to fall - opposite to a bull market.

  • Bed & ISA

    Is the process whereby shares are sold within a Dealing account, the cash transferred to an ISA and the shares brought back.

  • Benchmark

    A benchmark is a standard against which the performance of an asset can be measured.

  • Beneficial Owner

    The true owner of a security. The registered holder of the shares may act as nominee for the actual shareholder.

  • Best Execution

    A firm's commitment to obtain the best price for the relevant order - ‘dealing at best’.

  • Beta

    A measure of a fund’s sensitivity to market movements. The beta of the market is 1.00 by definition. A beta of 1.10 shows that the fund has performed 10% better than its benchmark index in up markets and 10% worse in down markets, assuming all other factors remain constant. Conversely, a beta of 0.85 indicates that the fund is expected to perform 15% worse than the market´s excess return during up markets and 15% better during down markets.

  • Bid

    An attempt by one company to take over another.

  • Bid Price

    The price at which a market maker is prepared to buy shares - opposite of the ask price.

  • Bid/Offer Price

    The difference between the buying and selling price of your units. It includes an allowance for the initial charge, if there is one, plus the cost of making the investment.

  • Board of Directors

    Individuals legally responsible for running a company.

  • Bollinger Bands

    Bollinger Bands and the related indicators % and bandwidth can be used to measure the "highness" or "lowness" of the price relative to previous trades. Bollinger Bands are a volatility indicator .

  • Bond Fund

    A fund investing primarily in bonds/fixed interest securities.

  • Bond Issue

    A bond issue raises money for a company in the form of long term debt. The company makes regular payments of interest to bondholders with repayment of the principal on maturity. The price of bonds can go up and down.

  • Bonds (or fixed interest securities)

    Bonds are effectively loans made by governments or corporations to fund spending or raise capital. They are issued for a specified redemption value at a fixed date in the future and provide the holder with regular interest payments until that time. The value of a bond will generally depend upon the outlook for inflation and interest rates, as well as the underlying security of the issuer. Bonds issued by UK Government are generally regarded as very low risk and so are often known as ‘gilt edged’ investments (gilts). Bonds issued by corporations may be less secure and so the issuer may have to pay a higher rate of interest to attract investor's capital.

  • Book Cost

    Original cost of the stock on the date of purchase or transaction.

  • Broker

    The intermediary agent between a market maker and an investor, who charges a commission for services provided.

  • Brokerage

    Commission charged by the broker.

  • Bulking

    Combining many orders in one company's shares together into one deal. Useful when individual orders are below the minimum dealing size. Also known as aggregation.

  • Bull Market

    A rising market, or one that is expected to rise - opposite of bear market.  Hence the expression a ‘bullish market’.

  • Bundled Share Class

    Sometimes called ‘dirty’ Funds, this is when the fee that the Fund Manager earns and the trail commission paid to the platform or service provider.

  • Buy Price

    Price at which you buy shares.

  • Call bonds  

    The right to redeem outstanding bonds before their scheduled maturity.   

  • Cancelled status

    These are orders that have been cancelled before being dealt, either by you, by our dealers, or if a limit has expired.

  • Capital

    Financial assets or the financial value of assets.

  • Capital appreciation

    The growth of the earnings on an investment's principal.

  • Capital gains

    The profit made when any chargeable asset, including stocks, is sold. If a loss is made it is called a Capital Loss.

  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT) 

    Tax payable on any gains over the CGT allowance from the sale or disposal of securities stocks or other assets subject to this tax. Tax is payable at a rate of 20%/28% (2017/18 rates) depending on the taxpayer’s level of income. The CGT annual allowance is £11,300 (2017/2018 rates).

  • Capital growth

    The increase in an investment's capital value excluding all income.

  • Capitalisation issue

    A means by which a company increases the number of its shares in circulation without raising more capital from existing shareholders. Additional shares are issued to existing shareholders in proportion to their holdings without payment (e.g. two new shares for every one held = a 'two for one' capitalisation issue).

  • Cash 'Available to Invest'

    This is your current cleared cash balance plus any sales, less any purchases, that will settle in the next 3 business days.

  • Cash (or money market) Fund

    These are Funds which invest most of their assets in money market instruments (i.e. cash and near cash, such as bank deposits, certificates of deposit, very short term fixed interest securities or floating rate notes).

  • Cash bonus

    An extra dividend paid out of exceptional profits which is in addition to a normal dividend.

  • Cash dividend

    A cash payment per share held paid to shareholders net of tax - currently 10% for UK equities. Higher rate taxpayers are still liable for the balance of tax.

  • Cash ISA

    A tax efficient Individual Savings Account that allows you to contribute up to the annual allowance by holding cash. They usually offer interest on cash balances and easy withdrawal.

  • Cash offer

    An all cash offer, usually in a company takeover.

  • Cash settlement

    Payment for deals the day after dealing, (immediate payment at T+1).

  • Certificate

    A certificate issued by a company that certifies key information and the number of shares owned by the shareholder (the registered owner) on the date of issue. 

  • Change

    Indicates the % or pence rise or fall of a security during a given time period.

  • Chinese walls

    Artificial barriers to the flow of information set up in large firms to prevent the movement of sensitive information across departments.

  • Clean Share Class

    This is when the AMC only contains the fee that is paid to the Fund Manager. Because no trail commission is included in the clean share class, the AMC is usually lower. Generally, a separate administration or platform fee is paid by the investor to the platform.

  • Cleared funds

    When you pay cheques into your account, they have to be 'cleared' through the banking system. This means that you cannot use the amount of the cheque to withdraw any money for 10 business days from the day your account is credited. However, we will allow you to invest these funds before your cheque is cleared.

  • Closing price

    The price quoted at close of business or close of trading session.

  • Collective investment

    An investment structure that pools together investments from different investors and combines them to fund investments. Each individual investor then owns an interest in a small amount of each asset.

  • Commission

    The charge made by a stockbroker for buying and selling securities on a client's behalf. Varies from broker to broker.

  • Commodity

    A raw material traded on a commodities market for example gold/silver. Commodities are used in the production of goods. 

  • Common stocks

    Securities that represent an ownership interest in a corporation, usually US.

  • Company reports

    A statement of the financial condition of the company and its activities over the past financial year. See 'annual report & accounts'.

  • Compliance Department

    Individuals entrusted with ensuring that a financial institution is compliant with the Financial Services & Markets Act 2000.

  • Compliance Oversight

    Person appointed within an authorised firm to be responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules.

  • Compounding

    The ability of an asset to generate earnings, which are then reinvested to generate their own earnings Interest earned in one period then earns additional interest during each subsequent period.

  • Compulsory acquisition

    Once 90% of acceptances have been received, the bidding company has the right to purchase the remaining 10% of shares in issue at the offer price.

  • Conduct of Business Rules

    Rules established by 2000 Financial Services & Markets Act dictating how firms conduct their business, particularly in terms of the relationship between firm and client.

  • Consideration

    The value of the number of shares multiplied by the price, before any other charges have been levied.

  • Consistency of performance analysis

    Usually in relation to Funds, an indication of previous years' performance taking each year in isolation enabling you to compare one year to the next.

  • Consolidated Tax Certificate

    This document is intended to aid you in your personal tax returns to HMRC. This is sent to all our clients and details all the dividends you have received in your UK account in the previous financial tax year. Not applicable for tax-efficient accounts such as ISAs.

  • Consolidation

    Method of reducing number of shares in issue - i.e. 1 new share for say every 50 originally held

  • Contract note

    Confirmation from the stockbroker of the bargain, including the full title of the stock, price, commission, stamp duty, and the time of the bargain. These must be kept safely for tax purposes.

  • Contributions

    Payments made into a pension or ISA.

  • Conversion

    Also known as ‘share class conversion’ this is the process whereby investments in ‘bundled’ share classes are moved by Selftrade into ‘clean’ share classes. 

  • Convertibles

    Fixed interest investments that can be exchanged for a predetermined number of ordinary shares in the underlying company at the individual's discretion. Preference share dividends are stated net of basic rate tax compared with loan stocks which are stated gross. Conversion terms normally run for a fixed period giving the right to convert into the company's ordinary shares within a predetermined time at a predetermined rate.

  • Corporate action

    A corporate action refers to any alteration to a Company's share capital or a distribution of benefits. A corporate action might come about as a result of a takeover, merger or acquisition, capital re-organisation, dividend, rights issue or Stock Split.

  • Corporate bonds

    Debt obligations issued by corporations as an alternative to offering equity ownership by issuing stock. Most corporate bonds pay half-yearly interest and promise to return their principal when they mature. Maturities range from 1 to 30 years.

  • Cost Advantage

    Firms with a structural cost advantage can either undercut competitors on price while earning similar margins, or they can charge market-level prices while earning relatively high margins. 

  • Counterparty risk

    The risk to each party in a financial contract that the other party, i.e. the counterparty, will not meet its contractual obligations.

  • Countersignature

    Is an additional signature on a document, provided as authentication.

  • Coupon

    The rate of interest attached to a bond or loan stock that an investor will receive until redemption.

  • CREST

    CREST is the electronic settlement system used by Stock Market participants.

  • CRS (Common Reporting Standard)

    The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) has followed the US government’s introduction of FATCA by expanding the scope of the reporting.  This is referred to as the CRS – the Common Reporting Standard.  Whereas the FATCA legislation is aimed at preventing US tax evasion, the CRS is aimed at preventing tax evasion among all the countries – including the UK - that are part of the OECD

  • Cum

    Meaning "with" this is the opposite of Ex, and is used to indicate that the buyer of a security is entitled to participate in whatever forthcoming event is specified. Cum-cap, cum-div, cum-rights etc.

  • Cum-rights / Ex-rights

    Around the time of a rights issue, the company's shares are described as 'cum-rights' or 'ex-rights'. Cum-rights means that anyone who buys shares in the company will be entitled to subscribe for the new shares; but on and after the date of the new issue, shares become ex-rights, and the right to subscribe to the new shares stays with the seller.

  • Cumulative performance analysis

    Usually in relation to Funds, total performance return to date calculated by adding each year's performance to the previous year.

  • Currencies

    Also known as Foreign Exchange (FX or Forex),you have access to some of the major world currency crosses. Currencies are always traded as one currency against another, for example GBP/USD means you are trading sterling against the US dollar.

  • Current liability

    Money owed to the company and due to be paid within a year, such as accounts payable. Current liabilities are found on the company's balance sheet.

  • Current yield

    The annual interest on a bond divided by the current market price.

  • Dashboard

    Is your home screen when logged into your Selftrade account. This displays your accounts, cash balances, security balances, watchlist, current arrangements, open IPOs and Market data/news.

  • Day trading

    Where investors, many of whom are professional, try to make money from buying and selling shares throughout the day, netting off the transactions by the end of the day.

  • Deal

    In stock market terms this means a sale or purchase of securities. Also known as a bargain, transaction or trade.

  • Dealt status

    Orders that have been dealt in the market and processed through our order entry system.

  • Debenture

    A loan raised by a company, paying a fixed rate of interest and secured on the assets of the company.

  • Defensive stock

    Stock of a company with continuous dividend payments, which has demonstrated relatively stable earnings despite poor economic conditions.

  • Delist

    The removal of a security's listing on a stock exchange. This is done when the security no longer exists, the company is bankrupt, the public distribution of the security has dropped to an unacceptably low level, or the company has failed to comply with the terms of its listing.

  • Dematerialised (form)

    Circumstances where securities are held in a book entry transfer system with no certificates as these are held in electronic accounts within CREST.

  • Demutualisation

    Conversion process by which mutually held organisations become publicly listed companies. Examples include building societies, such as the Halifax, converting to banks.

  • Derivative

    A financial product whose price is dependent upon or derived from one or more underlying assets, e.g. stocks, bonds, commodities, indices etc. The derivative itself is simply a contract between two or more parties. Most derivatives are characterised by high leverage. 

  • Dilution Levy

    A charge that fund managers can choose to apply to cover any dealing or other costs they may incur when buying or selling units in their fund. The fund manager can choose to charge this Dilution Levy to the fund itself or to the actual buyers and sellers of the fund. If a Fund Manager does choose to charge a Dilution Levy it will appear as a separate, explicit charge on the contract note.

  • Direct Debit

    An agreement between you and your bank/building society to allow organisations to deduct money automatically from your account. The amounts can vary but the instruction means the organisation will have to give advance notice of amount and dates of collection.

  • Directors' dealing

    Any share transaction, undertaken by the Director of the company in which they are employed.

  • Discount

    When the market price of a newly issued stock is lower than the issue price.

  • Discretionary investment management

    The engagement of an investment adviser who has complete discretion (often within prescribed limits) to manage and invest your capital without reference to you other than at agreed reporting dates. Also called Discretionary Management.

  • Distributions

    Income generated by a unit trust or OEIC, which can be either paid out to the investor or reinvested within the fund (see also income or accumulation units). Frequency of distributions may vary from fund to fund.

  • Diversification

    A risk management technique that mixes a wide variety of investments within a portfolio. The rationale behind this technique contends that a portfolio of different kinds of investments will, on average, yield higher returns and pose a lower risk than any individual investment found within the portfolio.

  • Dividend

    A dividend is a cash sum paid periodically to shareholders as a distribution of a company's profits. Dividend payment amounts and dates will vary, you would need contact the relevant company for further information, alternatively dividend information can be found on our ‘Prices and Quotes’ page. 

  • Dividend cover

    The indicator as to the rate that the company may be paying its dividends out of its earnings, and its ability to continue to pay dividends at that rate.

  • Dividend pay date

    The date on which the dividend is paid.

  • Dividend Reinvestment

    The facility to use dividend payments of a security to reinvest in that particular security.

  • Dividend yield

    The dividend yield measures the rate of return that an investor gets by comparing the cost of the shares with the dividend paid. You can work it out as follows; dividend per share divided by market price per share times 100.

  • Dow-Jones Industrial Index

    The major benchmark measure of the performance of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • DTI

    Department of Trade and Industry. Government department responsible for some commercial matters, including monopolies and prosecution of insider dealing.

  • Dual pricing

    Two prices quoted by a unit trust manager - the lower at which investors can sell and the higher price at which they can buy.

  • Earnings per share

    (EPS) Is the net profit after taxation and preference dividend divided by the number of ordinary shares in issue during the year.

  • Effective date

    The date a corporate action is effective and resultant new cash and/or stock are distributed.

  • Effective Duration

    The average time to payment. Also a measure of the effect of interest rate changes on the price of a fixed income asset or portfolio. Duration is defined in years (a three-year duration means the value of the bond could rise about 3% if interest rates fall by 1%)

  • Effective Maturity

    The date on which the principal of a debt instrument, i.e. a bond, is due to be paid. For example, the maturity date for a five-year bond issued on 1 November 2014 would be 1 November 2019.

  • Efficient Scale

    When a niche market is effectively served by one or a small handful of companies, efficient scale may be present.

  • Elliott Waves

    Named after Ralph Nelson Elliott an accountant, who developed the concept in the 1930s. He proposed that market prices unfold in specific patterns, which practitioners today call Elliott Waves.

  • Emerging market fund

    A fund that mainly invests in countries with developing economies, eg, China, eastern European or South American countries.

  • Entitlement offer

    Means an issue of new shares by a company which may be subscribed for in return for agreeing to pay for the allotment of the new share at a set price. This entitlement is not tradeable unlike a rights issue.

  • EPB

    ("Equivalent Pension Benefits") Before 1974, some occupational pension schemes provided benefits in place of the then State pension scheme. EPBs are usually very small, and are increasingly rare.

  • EPS Growth

    A company’s total earnings divided by the current number of shares outstanding. EPS gauges the profitability of the company from the view of the shareholders. It is used to calculate the price-to-earnings ratio P/E.

  • Equities

    An alternative name for ordinary shares.

  • Equity fund

    A fund investing primarily in equities.

  • ETF's, ETC's & ETN's

    These are referred to collectively as Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) and are called this because they can be bought and sold on stock exchanges like a normal company share.

    • ETFs are Exchange Traded Funds. They are in essence similar to Unit Trusts and OEICs in so far as they tend to hold a range of other stocks to achieve a stated investment objectives.
    • ETCs are Exchange Traded Commodities and are normally designed to combine the features and performance of a commodity market, such as gold or oil, with the characteristics of an ETF.
    • ETNs are Exchange Traded Notes, and are used to combine the characteristics of bonds and ETFs
  • European Savings Directive

    Aims to counter cross border tax evasion by collecting and exchanging information about foreign resident individuals receiving savings income outside their resident state.

  • Ex

    Meaning "without" this is the opposite of Cum, and is used to indicate that the buyer of a security is not entitled to participate in whatever forthcoming event is specified. Ex cap, ex div, ex rights etc.

  • Ex-distribution

    The period, which can be no more than 2 months, immediately before the distribution of income from a Fund (excludes cash funds). If you buy a Fund during this period, you are not entitled to the next income payment. However, if you sell during this period then you remain entitled to the next income distribution.

  • Ex-dividend

    A share sold ex-dividend means the buyer is not entitled to receive the recently declared dividend.

  • Exchange

    Generally refers to a recognised stock market, for example, the London Stock Exchange or NASDAQ.

  • Exchange Price Input Code (EPIC) 

    (Epic Code) A three or four character code, unique to a particular stock, which is used as a systems code when accessing price. Also referred to as stock code.

  • Execution only

    Where the stockbroker buys and sells at your request with no advice.

  • Exercise notice

    A formal notification that the holder of a call/put option wishes to buy/sell the underlying security at the exercise price.

  • Exit charges

    Some Fund Managers levy charges on certain Funds, should you decide to sell your investment within a specified period e.g. 5 years. This type of charge, which is becoming increasingly rare, may replace - or be in addition to - an initial charge.

  • Expected Return

    The expected return of a particular investment is usually based on its recent historical performance and unfortunately can be highly unreliable and should be treated with healthy scepticism. There is a good reason why regulators require all providers to repeat that prior performance is no indication of future performance.

  • Expired status

    These are orders where your specified limit price has not been met by the expiry date you have selected.

  • Extraordinary general meeting (EGM)

    General meeting of a company at which non-routine proposals are voted on by shareholders.

  • Face value

    Value of a bond to be paid out per £100 of stock at maturity - usually one hundred pounds (also known as par value). Also the value on the face of a share (perhaps 100p or £1) though this bears very little relationship to the market price at which a share is bought and sold.

  • FATCA

    The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a US law, which was introduced in 2010 and became an effective requirement 1st July 2014. The intention of FATCA is to counter tax evasion by US taxpayers. It requires foreign financial institutions (FFIs) to report to the IRS certain information about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers, or by foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.

  • Fill or kill order

    Type of order input into SETS. It is either completed in full against displayed orders or rejected in full.

  • Final dividend

    The dividend paid by a company after the end of its financial year, recommended by the directors but authorised by the shareholders at the company's AGM.

  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

    The financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is an agency designated by the Tresury to regulate UK financial firms providing services to consumers and maintains the integrity of the UK's financial markets. They are the regulator for the financial services industry in the UK, their objective is to protect consumers, protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial industry to ensure it remains stable and promote healthy competition in the interests of consumers.  Selftrade is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

  • Financial Services and Markets Act 2000

    Legislation that came into effect in December 2001 and imposes regulations on who is allowed to conduct investment business and how it is conducted.

  • Financial year

    The official tax year dated from 6 April to 5 April the following year.

  • Fixed asset

    Tangible property used in the operations of a business, but not expected to be consumed or converted into cash in the ordinary course of events.

  • Fixed interest loan

    Loans issued by a company, the Government (gilts or gilt-edged) or local authority, where the amount of interest to be paid each year is set on issue.

  • Floating rate note

    A floating rate note, often called an FRN or "floater", is a debt instrument that pays a floating interest rate. The interest rate is usually based on an accepted market benchmark rate such as LIBOR. Maturities at issue are usually in the three to five year range.

  • Flotation

    Term used when a company has its shares quoted on the stock market for the first time.

  • Foreign dividends

    These securities can pay their dividends in a variety of combinations dependent on the underlying company, the country of origin and the taxation agreement between the country of origin and the UK. Accordingly the associated tax credit may be subject to withholding tax from the country of issue at a variety of rates.

  • Forward pricing

    The pricing of a Unit Trust after the sale and purchase orders of the day have been received and the Funds have been revalued.

  • FTSE 100

    The Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index which tracks the largest companies by market capitalisation and is the best known indicator of shares values on the London stock market.

  • FTSE 250

    The next 250 companies by market capitalisation.

  • Fully paid shares

    Applies to new issues, when the total amount payable in relation to the new shares has been paid to the company.

  • Fund manager

    This is the organisation that manages the assets being invested in a fund. 

  • Fund objective

    A fund manager's stated goal for your investment.

  • Fund Platform Fee

    A fee based on the aggregated value of your Fund holdings across all your Selftrade accounts

  • Fund size

    Total value of assets under management in a fund, listed as millions of the currency that the fund prices are quoted on.

  • Funds

    A generic term used to describe an investment vehicle where a professional investment manager takes the money paid in by multiple individuals and invests it in a wide range of underlying assets – shares, bonds etc - in accordance with the stated objectives of the Fund. Each investor owns a number of units which represents their holding in that fund and their value is determined by the Net Asset (NAV) of that fund. In the UK these normally mean Unit Trusts and OEICs.

  • Funds Market

    A selection of over 2,000 fund classes from a selection of well known fund providers, available to buy and sell online via Selftrade. 

  • Futures

    Is based on anticipating what the price of a commodity, or a share will be sometime in the future.

  • GBX

    The term GBX is the currency abbreviation for UK Sterling in Pence, eg: GBX 128 = £1.28 GBP (UK Pounds).
    Gilts, Bonds, Funds and other high value equities are often priced in GBP by the issuer but will be shown in GBX on the Selftrade website unless otherwise stated.

  • Gearing

    Gearing describes the level of company debts, expressed as a percentage of its equity capital. So a company with a gearing ratio of 60% has levels of borrowing which are 60% of its equity capital. The significance of the gearing ratio is that it shows at a glance how much a company is borrowing and allow you to measure that against your own risk criteria. For investment trusts, borrowings can boost the return on capital and income via the ability to make additional investments.

  • Gilts

    UK government bonds are known as Gilt-Edged Securities or Gilts. Bonds are fixed rate securities issued as debt and repaid at a future date. Many governments issue Gilts to raise money and pay the investor interest. They often have a fixed date for repayment. If the interest rate paid is high, then the Gilt will trade at a premium. When the Gilt is due for repayment will also determine the price. Gilts can be traded in the same way as shares

  • GMP

    ("Guaranteed Minimum Pension") Some occupational pension schemes "contract out" of the State Earnings Related Pension scheme by providing equivalent benefits, known as GMP.

  • Grant Of Probate

    Letters of Administration (or Certificate of Confirmation for Investors who are resident in Scotland) is a legal documentobtained by courts, appointing someone to deal with the whole estate of the deseased person.

  • Gross

    An amount before deduction of tax or commissions.

  • Growth and Income Fund

    A Fund that seeks earnings growth as well as income. These Funds invest mainly in the ordinary shares of companies with history of capital gains but that also have a record of consistent dividend payments.

  • Growth shares

    An established company in a dynamic sector that produces higher than average growth in profits year after year.

  • Hedge

    A hedge is typically accomplished by making approximately offsetting transactions that will largely eliminate one or more types of risk.

  • Help To Buy ISA

    A tax efficient Individual Savings Account designed to assist first time buyers get on the property ladder. Initial payments can be up to £1,200 with subsequent monthly payments of up to £200. The Government will provide a bonus of 25% on amounts saved between £1,600 and £12,000 upon an eligible house purchase. 

  • High

    The highest price that was paid for a stock during a certain period.

  • High income shares

    Popular with private investors as they generate high income and also have the potential for good capital performance over the long term.

  • High yield bond fund 

    A fund that invests in corporate bonds issued by more risky companies and in return offers a higher rate of interest.

  • High-premium convertible debenture

    A bond with a long term, high-premium, common stock conversion feature and also offering a fairly competitive interest rate.

  • Historic pricing

    The pricing of unit trusts based on the last valuation of the fund.

  • HM Revenue & Customs

    The organisation responsible for the administration and payment UK of tax including Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax and Stamp Duty.

  • Holding company

    A company that owns the securities of another company, usually with voting control.

  • Holdings

    The common term for stock held in your account(s).

  • Ichimoku Clouds

    A multi-faceted indicator designed to give support/resistance levels, trend direction, and entry/exit points of varying strengths. General theory behind this indicator states that if price action is above the cloud, the overall trend is bullish, and if below the cloud, the overall trend is bearish.

  • IFRS

    International Financial Reporting Standards. These international accounting standards state how particular types of transactions should be reported in financial statements.

  • IMA

    Investment Managers Association - the trade body for unit trusts and similar Funds, formerly known as AUTIF. Now known as "The Investment Association" as of 2015.

  • In the Money

    This term refers to the exercise price of your stock option is more favourable than the current market price of the underlying stock.

  • Income bonds

    Securities on which interest is only payable out of profits.

  • Income drawdown

    Also referred to as pension fund withdrawal. This allows investors to delay buying an annuity (until age 75 at the latest) and to take an income direct from their pension fund at retirement. The Inland Revenue sets minimum and maximum levels of income that can be taken from the fund each year. Within these limits the investor can choose any level and change the amount drawn at any time. These limits are set at the outset and will apply for the first 3 years. They are reviewed every 3 years, after this to take account of the investor's age and the value of his or her fund.

  • Income units

    Units in a Unit Trust which entitle the investor to regular payments of income.

  • Index

    Statistical tools that measure the state of the stock market or the economy based on the performance of shares or other investments, eg, the FTSE 100 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

  • Index funds

    Funds which seek to mirror the returns of a market index (e.g. FTSE 100 Index), by investing directly in the securities, which make up that index. Also see 'tracker Funds'.

  • Index Linked Gilt

    These differ from conventional Gilts because the interest payments and the capital are adjusted in line with the Retail Prices Index. This means that both the interest and the principal on redemption paid by these Gilts are adjusted to take into account any accrued inflation since the Gilt's issue.

  • Indexation Allowance

    Indexation Allowance adjusts chargeable gains for the effects of inflation. It runs from the month the shares were acquired, to the earlier of the month when the shares are disposed of or April 1998. Shares acquired on or after 5 April 1998 do not qualify for indexation allowance.

  • Individual Savings Account (ISA)

    A tax-efficient environment in which a variety of investments can be held. ISAs are either for holding cash, or for holding stocks and shares.

  • Individual Savings Account (ISA)

    Is a savings scheme that allows individuals to hold cash, shares, funds and other eligible assets in a tax efficient manner.

  • Inflation 

    An increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. When inflation is high, the value of your money can decrease as things generally cost more.

  • Information Ratio

    Information ratio is a risk-adjusted performance measure. The information ratio is a special version of the Sharpe Ratio in that the benchmark doesn't have to be the risk-free rate.

  • Initial charge

    The charge levied on investors by the Fund Manager when units/shares are purchased. Also often known as front-end-load.

  • Initial offer

    The first offer made by a company for another company's shares. If the offer becomes successful, it will then go "unconditional" and eventually becomes "compulsory".

  • Innovative Finance ISA

    A tax efficient Individual Savings Account that allows you to lend money through FCA-regulated and approved Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platforms. They usually offer interest on cash balances and easy withdrawal.
    Please note; Selftrade only offer the Shares ISA. For full details on the available range of ISA products, please visit HMRC

  • Insider dealing

    The illegal act of buying and selling shares on the basis of confidential 'inside' information not available to other investors.

  • Intangible asset

    An asset which has no physical substance, such as goodwill, patents, trademarks and copyrights.

  • Inter Dealer Broker

    Member of the London Stock Exchange that acts as a link between firms to enable them to trade with each other anonymously.

  • Interest

    The return earned for lending money to others. The money you can earn by depositing money in a savings account. You can also earn interest on some types of investments where you are lending money to a company or government, eg gilts and bonds.

  • Interim dividend

    A dividend declared and paid before annual earnings have been determined, generally half-yearly.

  • Interim results

    These are released after the first 6 months of the financial year by all companies on the stock exchange. They tend to concentrate on profitability or loss, and may or may not be used to justify an interim dividend.

  • Intermediary

    A person or institution empowered to make investment decisions for others. These specialists are knowledgeable about investment alternatives and can achieve a higher return than the average investor can.

  • Inverse ETC

    Also known as a ‘short ETC’, this type of exchange traded commodity is designed to perform as the inverse of whatever index or benchmark it is aiming to track. So if the index loses value, the ETC will gain value and vice versa.

  • Inverse ETF

    Also known as a ‘short ETF’, this type of exchange traded fund is designed to perform as the inverse of whatever index or benchmark it is aiming to track. So if the index loses value, the ETF will gain value and vice versa.

  • Investment

    The use of capital to create more money through income-producing vehicle or through more risk-oriented ventures. The Financial Services & Markets Act 2000 lists items to be regulated as such include shares, bonds and pensions.

  • Investment Association

    The trade association for the UK investment management industry. Formaly know as "Investment Management Association".

  • Investment business dealing

    Advising, dealing or managing investments. Those doing so need to be authorised by FCA.

  • Investment Club

    An organisation which consists of a group of people who meet on a regular basis to pool their money and investment ideas, thus benefiting from shared administration costs. Selftrade do not offer new Investment Club accounts at this time.

  • Investment fund

    A fund of Funds, owned by one or more investors, that is managed as one entity by one or more managers. The legal structure of the Fund can take many forms and can include unit trusts, investment trusts and OEICs.

  • Investment objective

    General description of the fund's investment objectives and type of securities the fund invests in.

  • Investment Trust

    A collective investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange which invests in the shares of other companies. These have a limited number of shares and the price varies with supply and demand.

  • IPO (Initial Public Offering)

    An IPO is the first sale of stock by a company to the public. This can include the general public, employees and a range of institutional investors where they will have the opportunity to own and trade shares in the company which is listing on the stock exchange

  • Irredeemable

    Debentures, gilts, and loan stock which have no fixed redemption date or undated. Generally, they are therefore only repayable at the option of the borrower or, as with companies, on a liquidation or in special circumstances such as a takeover.

  • IRS

    International Retail Service. Provided by London Stock Exchange to allow access to trading in international stocks, with dealing and settlement in sterling. Stock is held and settled through CREST.

  • ISA regulations

    The Individual Savings Account Regulations 1998 (statutory instrument 1998 No. 1870) and any other rules and/or regulations relating to ISAs. This is updated on a regular basis, for the latest version visit the HMRC website.

  • ISD

    Investment Services Directive. European Union Directive imposing common standards on investment businesses.

  • ISDX

    A UK quote-driven equity market service for listed and unlisted securities. The ISDX service is operated by ICAP and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Not classified as a Recognised Investment Exchange.

  • ISIN

    International Securities Identification Number.

  • Issue price

    The price at which shares are offered to investors when a company floats on the stock market.

  • Issuer bid

    An offer by an issuer to buy back some of its own securities. This is usually done because the company feels the market is undervaluing its securities.

  • Joint account

    Bank or sharedealing account owned jointly by two or more people.

  • Joint liability

    Mutual legal responsibility by two or more parties for claims on the assets of a company or individual.

  • Key features

    This is a document produced by each unit trust providing key features e.g. it states the investment strategy and aims of the trust

  • Key Investor Information Document (KIID) 

    This will give you key facts and figures about a Fund.

  • Lapse

    An option "lapses" if it expires worthless, that is, it has no intrinsic value on expiry.

  • Lapsed rights premium

    If you do not take up the rights issue, and decide to let the offer lapse, the company may decide to issue to you a lapsed rights premium. The issue of a premium is at the discretion of the company. For clients that lapse, the nil paid shares will be removed from their account once the issue has expired.

  • Letter of Indemnity

    In a case where the original share certificate has been lost, you will need to complete a letter of indemnity. This is basically a request to the registrar to issue new stock or share certificates to replace an original which has been lost, destroyed or stolen. There may be a charge for this.

  • Leverage

    Any technique that multiplies the extent of gains and losses, sometimes called ‘gearing’. Often this involves the use of financial instruments or borrowed capital to increase the potential return of an investment, whilst usually causing a corresponding increase in the magnitude of possible loss. Accordingly, leveraged investing usually carries significant risk.

  • Leveraged ETC

    A type of exchange traded commodity which uses financial derivatives to attempt to magnify the returns of an underlying index. Leveraged ETCs can magnify both gains and losses in equal measure, making them very high risk investments. 

  • Leveraged ETF

    A type of exchange traded fund which uses financial derivatives to attempt to magnify the returns of an underlying index. Leveraged ETFs can magnify both gains and losses in equal measure, making them very high risk investments.

  • Liability

    A claim on a company's assets.

  • Lifetime ISA

    A tax efficient Individual Savings Account where the government provide a 25% bonus on eligible first-time house purchases and/or upon reaching age 60. Lifetime ISAs may either be a cash or a stocks and shares ISA and the maximum yearly contribution is £4,000. Any unauthorised withdrawals will be charged at 25% from the 2018/2019 tax year.

  • Limit Expiry period

    The number of trading days that you instruct Selftrade to monitor your limit order. This can be for the current trading day only or for a number of trading days up to a maximum of 90.

  • Limit Order

    An order that specifies the minimum price at which you want to sell, or the maximum price at which you want to buy.

  • Limit Price

    The maximum or minimum price at which you are wiling to buy or sell specified shares.

  • Limit Status

    These are orders that have been accepted, but have not yet been dealt because the limit price set by you has not been achievable. Whilst orders are in this status on your 'Order Status/Cancel' page then you will see a 'Cancel' button next to the order, meaning you have the option to cancel the order before it is dealt.

  • Liquid market

    A liquid market means there are plenty of shares in a particular company being bought and sold every day.

  • Liquidating Distribution

    Usually, a distribution made to shareholders as a return of capital from a corporation during its partial or complete liquidation.

  • Liquidation

    The process of ending a company's existence. A company is obliged or chooses to go into liquidation when it can no longer pay its debts.

  • Liquidity

    The ability to buy or sell an asset quickly and in large volume without substantially affecting the asset's price.

  • Listed company

    This is a Public Limited Company whose shares have been admitted to the London Stock Exchange's daily official list. It has to comply with the Exchange's listing regulations.

  • Listing rules

    Rules book for listed companies which governs their behaviour - commonly known as the Yellow Book.

  • Long dated

    A Gilt with a life of 15 years or more.

  • Long position

    A long position is when someone buys (holds) a warrant or holds the underlying asset. Contrasts with 'Short position'.

  • Lot Size

    The minimum number of shares that is able to purchased or sold.

  • LSE London Stock Exchange

    Originated as New Jonathans Coffee House in 1773, then it joined the United Kingdom's regional exchanges to form the Stock Exchange of Great Britain. In 1995 the Dublin Stock Exchange left the alliance, then the Exchange became known as the London Stock Exchange.

  • MA Envelope

    Moving Average Envelope - Is a technical analysis indicator, showing lines above and below a moving average.

  • Mandatory quote

    The period of time Monday to Friday when all registered market makers in a security must display their prices. For the Stock Exchange Automated Quotes this is 8am to 4.30pm.

  • Market

    A place where transactions are undertaken including the London Stock Exchange, AIM and PLUS. All exchanges are markets.

  • Market capitalisation

    The total market value of all of a firm's outstanding shares, calculated by multiplying a firm's share price by the number of shares outstanding.

  • Market index

    An index such as the FTSE-All Share has a base of 100, or more usually 1000, at a fixed moment in time. For the FTSE, this is January 3rd, 1984. Firms are sometimes given weightings in the index according to their market capitalisation. The index gives the percentage rise or fall in value of the market over the relevant timescale.

  • Market makers

    Stock Exchange member firms which are obliged to make a continuous two-way price, that is to offer to buy and sell securities during market hours.

  • Market size

    The number of shares that can be traded at a given quote price. To trade more than this amount would be to trade outside of the market size.

  • Market value

    The value of an asset based upon the price it would obtain on the open market.

  • Maturity

    Another word for redemption.

  • Maximum trailing value

    The maximum number of pence per share that a share price can fall from its peak value, for sales, or rise above its lowest value, for purchases, in order for a Trailing Stop Order to be dealt.

  • Mediums

    Government stocks that have 5 to 15 years until repayment.

  • Merger

    When 2 or more companies agree to merge into one and pool their interests to avoid the expense of a take-over.

  • Mid price

    The price half way between the prices quoted in the London Stock Exchange's Daily Official List. The prices found in the newspapers are the mid price.

  • MiFID

    MiFID II is EU legislation designed to protect investors, such as yourself, by introducing enhanced obligations for firms, like us, who provide investment and trading services.  Its aim is to increase transparency and prevent market abuse.

  • Minimum quote size

    The minimum number of shares in which market makers are obliged to display prices on.

  • Minimum trailing value

    The minimum number of pence per share that a share price is required to fall from its peak value, for sales, or rise above its lowest value, for purchases, in order to trigger a Trailing Stop Order.

  • Momentum Investing

    The strategy of buying stocks whose share prices are rising, in the belief that the price will continue moving in the same direction.

  • Money market fund

    A highly liquid mutual fund that invests in short-term securities and seeks to maintain a stable net asset value of £1 per share.

  • Morningstar Sustainability Rating

    The Morningstar Sustainability Rating is a measure of how well the companies held by a fund are managing their ESG risks and opportunities when compared with similar funds. We use company-level ESG data from Sustainalytics, a leading provider of ESG ratings and research, to calculate the rating. All funds with at least 50% of their assets in firms that have been assigned company-level ESG ratings by Sustainalytics will receive a rating

  • Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD)

    A trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between two moving averages of prices. The MACD is calculated by subtracting the 26-day exponential moving average (EMA) from the 12-day (EMA).

  • Mutual company

    A company that has no shares but is owned by policyholders or members for example building societies, friendly societies or co-operatives.

  • Mutual Fund

    See 'Funds' glossary Item

  • Name Change

    Company registers new name but possibly with no effect on shareholder.

  • NASDAQ

    The National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation, NASDAQ is the second largest Stock Exchange in the USA. Involves many of the US's high technology stocks.

  • Net asset value (NAV)

    The market value of individual units (unit trusts) / shares (OEICs). It is calculated each business day by adding the value of all investments in the fund's portfolio, then subtracting expenses and dividing the result by the number of units/shares issued. This may be different to the share price.

  • Net Margin

    This figure is a measure of profitability. It is equal to annual net income divided by revenues over the trailing 12 months. The resulting figure is then multiplied by 100. This figure gives a more accurate picture of a company's recent performance than the most-recent annual net margin figure, which may be more than a year old. The company's net income and revenues are found in the income statement of its annual report.

  • Net profit

    The amount remaining once all company expenses has been deducted.

  • Net relevant earnings

    Earnings on which personal pension contributions are based. For the employed, this is usually gross remuneration (including bonuses and other taxable benefits) less any allowable business expenses (e.g. professional membership subscriptions paid for by the employer). For the self-employed they are broadly equivalent to taxable profits.

  • Net sales

    Gross sales less any taxes, returns, allowances and discounts or rebates given to clients.

  • Network Effect

    The network effect occurs when the value of a company’s service increases for both new and existing users as more people use the service.

  • New issue

    A company going to the market for the first time. New shares are issued into the market.

  • NIKKEI

    The index of the 225 leading stocks that are traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange

  • Nil paid shares

    When a Rights Issue is announced, you receive nil paid rights in your account to indicate your right (but not obligation) to participate in the Rights Issue. Nil paid rights can be sold in the Market (although they have a limited life span - please contact us if you want to sell). If you decide to take up the rights issue, you cannot then sell your nil paid rights.

  • No-load fund

    An open-ended investment that imposes no front end charge on investors.

  • Nominal value

    Under current UK law companies must have a nominal or par value. The nominal value of most company shares is 25p. Nominal value is of very little significance to a shareholder, since what matters is the market price of the shares. Shares have no fixed value; they are only worth what others will pay for them.

  • Nominee

    Legal agreement where one person or firm holds shares on behalf of another, who remains the beneficial owner.

  • Non optional / mandatory

    A corporate action which share holders have approved or for which shareholder approval is not necessary. Upon the effective date all outstanding securities must be exchanged for new securities and or cash.

  • Normal Market Size

    Calculated on the previous year's average daily turnover of each individual stock, and is currently 2.5% of the total volume of shares for each company. Market makers are not obliged to give a quote for a transaction above normal market size.

  • Occupational pension

    A type of pension scheme provided by an employer, who must make contributions into it.

  • OEIC

    Open Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) are hybrids of unit trusts but with a company structure not unlike an investment trust. Like a unit trust, they trade at NAV, are priced daily and are not quoted on any exchange. This makes them easier to market across Europe. Other differences include single pricing and an umbrella structure.

  • Offer

    This indicates that a shareholder is prepared to sell at a particular price.

  • Offer for Sale

    One method by which a company can issue new shares and gain stock market listing. The company or its advisers invite the public to buy shares not yet in issue at a given price. Sometimes there is a minimum subscription level and if subscriptions fall below this level, the issue will be aborted.

  • Offer for Subscription

    Here the company coming to the market prepares all the necessary documentation itself and invites applications for the shares. Very rarely used now.

  • Offer price

    The price at which a market maker will sell shares to investors, therefore the price that the buyer pays. This is generally lower than the bid price. The difference between the two is known as the bid/offer spread.

  • Ongoing Charge

    A fund's ongoing Charge (previously known as Total Expense Ration or TER) is intended to reflect the normal recurring costs associated with managing the fund and include the management fee together with any directors’ fees, audit and tax compliance, custody, administration, marketing and insurance expenses.

  • Open offer

    Often accompanies additional share placings by quoted companies and gives the right to claw back shares, usually at below the market price that have been placed with instructions.

  • Open Orders

    These are orders that have been accepted, but which have not yet been dealt, for example ‘Limit Orders’ that have not yet met the intended execution price. You can view, amend or cancel your current Open Orders by going to Manage Account > Open Orders.

  • Opening price

    The price at which a stock starts dealing. Can refer to market opening or to when stock first became listed.

  • Optional / voluntary offer

    An offer in which a client must make a decision in which to participate or not, e.g. Open Offer.

  • Order

    A dealing instruction submitted to Selftrade

  • Order expiry period

    The number of trading days that you instruct Selftrade to monitor a particular order. This can be for a number of trading days up to a maximum of 90.

  • Ordinary shares

    A common form of share. The holder of ordinary shares are the owners of that company, the holders also receive dividends which vary in amount.

  • Outstanding orders

    All orders with a status of 'Pending' and 'Limit'. If you have 'Outstanding Orders' on your account there will be a difference between the 'Cash Available to Invest' sum and the 'Amount Available to Invest' sum displayed in Account View. You can view your list of 'Outstanding Orders' via the Order Status area.

  • Oversubscribed

    Circumstances where people have applied for more shares than are available in a new issue.

  • Panel on Takeover and Mergers (PTM)

    The body that ensures that takeovers and mergers are conducted fairly on behalf of all shareholders.

  • Pari passu

    This term is usually used to describe new issues of securities which have the same rights as similar issues already in existence. It means "equal in all respects."

  • Passive/tracker Funds

    These are investment Funds that are designed to follow or ‘track’ an index, for example, the FTSE100. The Fund Manager does not take ‘active’ investment decisions.

  • PEG Ratio

    The price/earnings to growth ratio (PEG ratio) is a stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio divided by the growth rate of its earnings for a specified time period. The PEG ratio is used to determine a stock's value while taking the company's earnings growth into account, and is considered to provide a more complete picture than the P/E ratio.

  • Personal pension

    A tax-efficient way to accumulate savings for retirement. Contributions into a pension fund receive tax relief and a proportion of the eventual payout can be taken tax free from age 50. The remainder must be used (either on retirement or by age 77) to buy an annuity to provide income for the rest of the investor's life. Personal pensions can be either individual arrangements, or provided by an employer (known as Group Personal Pensions) although unlike an occupational pension there is no requirement for the employer to contribute.

  • Phased retirement

    Personal pension holders who do not wish to take their pension all at once can stagger purchase of annuities over several years.

  • Physical Fund

    Most ETFs, like Traditional Funds, buy the underlying investments (shares and other assets) on the reference index that the ETF is seeking to track. These are known as standard or 'physical ETFs'. If you invest in an ETF, you won't directly own the underlying investments that the ETF buys (the ETF will own these); instead you will own units or shares in the ETF.

  • Physical Sample

    Instead of holding all assets that constitute an index, the product holds a sample of some of the index constituents.

  • PIB

    Permanent Interest Bearing Shares are fixed interest bearing investments issued by building societies and are listed on the London Stock Exchange .

  • Placing

    Term used to describe when a company's broker contacts his own clients and offers the shares to them. The general public will not necessarily be offered any shares.

  • Platform

    This is the name given to a distributor of investment Funds and other retail investment products. They will provide a range of services including administration. Selftrade is a platform service provider.

  • Platform fees

    Covers the cost of the administration of investments and for providing information as well as customer services cost. Selftrade apply a Funds Platform Fee only if a customer has held Funds during the relevant time period. For full details of our charges please click here.

  • Portfolio

    A selection of different investments held by you.

  • Portfolio manager

    A named individual who is responsible for the initial construction and the ongoing running of a client's portfolios to meet investment goals agreed with the client.

  • Portfolio valuations

    A statement of your holdings and their market value at any given point.

  • Power of Attorney

    The legal document that allows you to appoint one or more persons to make decisions on your behalf.

  • Preference shares

    Similar to ordinary shares but preference shares normally pay a fixed dividend and rank ahead of ordinary shares for dividend payment and in a company liquidation.

  • Price / Earnings Ratio

    The share price of a company divided by the earnings per share. A high P/E ratio implies that the company is well thought of for its future prospects.

  • Price / Earnings To Growth Ratio

    Used to determine the relationship between the price, earnings per share, and the forecast growth of a Company the basic formula for which is Price earnings ratio / Forecast growth.

  • Price Cashflow Ratio

    The stock’s price dividend by the company’s cashflow per share.

  • Property ETFs

    Property ETFs are designed to offer a liquid and low cost exposure to the property asset class. They typically track property indices by investing in exchange listed real estate companies or real estate investment trusts around the world or in a specific country.

  • Prospectus

    A formal written document describing the history, background of managers, fund objectives, a financial statement and other essential data of the company that wants to sell its shares on the stock market.

  • PTM Levy

    A nominal charge of £1 on deals with considerations of £10,000 and over paid to the Panel for Takeovers and Mergers.

  • Quartile ranking

    Categorises Funds within a sector into 4 equal bands based on their performance over a specified period. Top or first quartile contains the top 25% of Funds, through to the bottom or 4th quartile which contains the bottom 25% of Funds.

  • Quoted price

    The price at which you can deal at when placing a buy or sell order. You will be supplied with this prior to confirming your order.

  • Rate of Change (ROC)

    Is often used in reference to momentum, generally expressed as a ratio. Graphically represented as the slope of a line.

  • Real-time

    Without any delay. Some stockbroking systems only allow you to access prices which are delayed - they can be up to 20 minutes behind the actual prices at any moment. With Selftrade you can access real-time prices - the prices at which buying and selling is actually taking place in the market.

  • Record date / books closed date

    The date on which the registrar of a company physically loses its books for the purpose of distributing a benefit to shareholders. This is not the date at which the entitlement is determined.

  • Redeemable preference

    Provisions for the redemption of these shares at a predetermined date.

  • Redemption

    In relation to shares means the purchase back by a company of some of its own shares.

  • Redemption yield

    Gives a total return on the investment, taking into account the fact that whilst earning interest a capital gain/loss may be made by owning the bond to completion.

  • Registered holder

    The name that appears on the company register as the holder of the stock.

  • Registrar

    An organisation that takes responsibility for maintaining a company's share register, which lists the registered holders of the stock.

  • Regular Investment

    The ability to instruct regular monthly, quarterly and annual investments automatically.

  • Reinvestment unit trusts

    These are a sub section of income unit trusts whereby the dividend is utilised by the Fund Managers who purchase additional units, this payment carries an associated tax credit.

  • Relative Strength Index (RSI)

    A momentum oscillator that measures the speed and change of price movements. RSI oscillates between zero and 100.

  • Remat/Rematerialisation

    Rematerialisation is the process by which a Selftrade customer can get their electronic holdings converted into physical certificates. Your details will be held directly on the share register and Selftrade will no longer hold the asset on your behalf.

  • Retail price index

    A means to measure inflation based upon the price of a selection of family goods.

  • Return

    The amount by which your investment increases as a result of interest or dividend income and capital growth.

  • Return on capital employed (ROCE)

    A measure of the returns that a company is realising from its capital employed. It is commonly used as a measure for comparing the performance between businesses and for assessing whether a business generates enough returns to pay for its capital costs.

  • Return on Equity (ROE)

    Return on Equity is a measure of the profitability of a company expressed as the return achieved on invested equity capital (shareholders funds attributable to equity interests i.e. ordinary capital reserves + provisions). ROE (%) = 100 * return (i.e. normalised earnings)/ invested equity capital.

  • Reverse takeover

    The process of a smaller company taking over a larger one, or when the company being bought will be the dominant part of the new company.

  • RIE

    Recognised Investment Exchange, a status that is achieved once recognised by the FCA.

  • Rights Issue

    The issue of new shares by a company to raise cash, these shares are normally offered to existing shareholders in proportion to their holdings.

  • Risk adjusted performance

    Gives an indication of the performance taking into account the risk level.

  • RSP

    RSP stands for Retail Service Provider. They are 'Market Making' institutions. They quote prices at which they will buy and sell a given quantity of shares in an individual company.

  • Running a book

    Firms who are buying and selling stock for themselves hoping to profit from price differences are said to run a book in that stock.

  • SAYE

    Save As You Earn. Employer run schemes for employees to buy shares in the company.

  • Scaling down

    When a new issue is oversubscribed, the procedure whereby applicants receive a proportion of the number of shares for which they applied.

  • Scheme Of Arrangement

    Variation on a takeover or capital restructure.

  • Screener/Selector

    These allow you to filter the investment universe to more easily find and choose the investment you want.

  • Scrip dividends

    Scrips and enhanced scrip dividends - in this instance the company will announce that shares can be offered in lieu of a cash dividend.

  • Scrip issue

    This is where investors in a company are given shares free of charge by the company as a 'bonus'. The result is to increase the number of shares in issue.

  • Sector

    Investment Funds are grouped into a variety of sectors reflecting their investment strategy and objectives. E.g. Global Growth, UK Equity Income and Specialist. Dividing Funds into sectors makes it easier to make comparisons between similar Funds.

  • Sector average

    Shows the average of all Funds within the same sector.

  • Sector ranking

    Shows the position of a Fund relative to equivalent Funds in the same sector.

  • Sector Specific

    Is when a fund takes into account exposure to a single sector. The performance will then be matched with the performance of the sector in which they are investing.

  • Securities

    The general name given to shares, bonds and similar investments that are often traded on the stock market.

  • Securities house

    General term for a bank/financial institution that conducts securities investment business.

  • SEDOL

    The identification number for investments. SEDOL stands for Stock Exchange Daily Official List.

  • Selector/Screener

    Tool that allows individuals to filter their options when searching for the right investment choice.

  • SETS

    Stock Exchange Electronic Trading System. Order driven electronic trading system employed to deal in the FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and other liquid listed UK securities.

  • Settled/Settlement

    The delivery of cash and/or securities in respect of an asset purchase or sale. They can also refer to the clearance of cash for other activities such as dividend or interest payments.

  • Settlement date

    The date that any monies outstanding for deals placed needs to be paid by.

  • Settlement Period

    A settlement period is the completion of a transaction. This is time between the transaction and settlement when monies and stock are due either to or from the market. Standard stock market settlement for shares is currently two working days. Unit Trusts and OEICs do not trade in the same way and have four working day settlement period. You can reinvest your sales proceeds before settlement, but you cannot withdraw the proceeds until the trade has settled.

  • Share certificates

    A certificate issued by a company that certifies key information and the number of shares owned by the shareholder (the registered owner) on the date of issue.

  • Share class

    Most Fund Managers offer different classes of shares or units in each of their Funds, e.g.  A class, B class, Retail class, I class etc. These different classes of shares have different levels of Annual Management Charge (AMC) and are designed for different kinds of investors e.g. they can have a different minimum investment amount per transaction.

  • Share class conversions

    Also known as ‘conversions’ this is the process whereby investments in ‘bundled’ share classes are moved by Selftrade into ‘clean’ share classes.

  • Share Incentive Plan (SIP)

    Gives you the opportunity to acquire shares in your company of employment.

  • Share option

    The right (but not the obligation) to buy shares at an agreed upon price within a given time frame or on a certain date.

  • Shares

    Companies divide their capital into units called shares. Owning shares brings rights – a stake in the business – but also the risk of losing the investment. Although OEICs are Funds, they issue shares which represent a share in the net asset value of their Fund, and will issue new shares as new investors invest money.

  • Shares ISA

    Allows you to invest your annual ISA allowance within an account you can deal. There are risks attached but the potential for higher returns.

  • Sharesave

    Sharesave or Save As You Earn (SAYE) is a tax-efficient cash saving scheme that lets you save towards buying shares in your employer/company. At the end of the savings period you have the opportunity (option) to buy shares in your company or take out your savings in cash.
    The scheme has 2 components: a savings contract and a share option.

  • SIPP

    Self Invested Personal Pension. A SIPP is a form of personal pension giving the holder control over how the fund is invested.

  • Special Dividend

    A special dividend, (also known as an extra dividend) is a payment made by a company to its shareholders. It is a one-time distribution of corporate earnings, which usually stem from exceptional profits during a given quarter or period and that the company declares to be separate from the typical recurring dividend cycle.

  • Specialist sector

    Specific investment type. Identifies industry sector of specific investment focus, for example Government bonds, commodity shares, smaller companies, index tracking and convertible bonds.

  • Spin-Off

    Company splits off part of business into new company and issues shares in it to existing shareholders.

  • Spread

    The difference between the Bid and the Offer Price.

  • Stamp duty / Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT)

    These are the UK government taxes, charged on the purchases of shares and units.

  • Stock exchange

    A market in which securities are bought and sold, eg, stocks, shares and gilts and bonds.

  • Stock split

    The division of a company's outstanding common shares into a larger number of common shares. A three-for-one split by a company with one million shares outstanding would result in three million shares outstanding.

  • Stockbroker

    The agent that buys and sells shares on your behalf and earns commission on the value of the transaction.

  • Stocks

    Generally used as another word for equities. Technically, this more accurately refers to fixed interest securities.

  • Stop order

    An order to buy/sell shares when the share price rises to or above/falls to or below a specified stop price. When buying, a Stop order is used to make an investment but only when an upward trend in the share price has been established. When selling, a Stop order is used as protection from a sudden fall in the share price or lock-in profits already made.

  • Stop order (to sell)

    Also known as a Stop Loss order. An order to sell shares when the share price falls to or below a specified stop price. Used to cap the amount you are prepared to lose on a holding.

  • Stop price

    The price at which a Stop order is triggered. For purchases the stop price acts as a minimum price you will pay if an investment is made and for sales the stop price acts as the maximum price you will receive if a holding is sold.

  • Strike Price

    A Strike Price is the price at which a specific derivative contract can be exercised.

  • Sub-Division

    Issue of additional shares of a lower nominal value to increase liquidity & spread share owner base.

  • Subscription

    Offer to exchange subscription shares or warrants for ordinary shares at a fixed price.

  • Swaps

    Financial agreements to exchange securities. Swaps benefit both parties involved in the ‘swap’ and can be based on interest rates, stock indices, currency exchange rates and commodity prices. For example, in an interest rate swap, company A pays a fixed interest rate and company B pays a variable interest rate. Company A believes that interest rates will go down so is happy to ‘swap’ interest rates with company B. The swap also suits company B as they do not want to take the chance that the rate will increase and are looking to lock in their interest payments with a fixed rate. Therefore the ‘swap’ is mutually beneficial to both parties.

  • Synthetic Fund

    Synthetic ETFs rely on synthetic rather than physical holdings of the underlying shares or other assets whose performance they are aiming to replicate. This means that as well as directly owning the underlying assets they use complex products called derivatives provided by financial institutions to achieve their investment objectives.

  • Synthetic Risk and Reward Indicators (SRRI)

    The Synthetic Risk and Reward Indicator (SRRI) was defined in 2009 by the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) with the aim of providing investors with a method of assessing a fund's risk.

  • T+

    Refers to the settlement period that is allowed once a security has been traded. T+ 5 would mean that settlement will occur 5 business days after the transaction day.

  • Takeover

    The purchase of one company by another. A takeover can be a friendly acquisition bid where the management would co-operate negotiating the best price, or it could be an unfriendly bid, where the management tries to use various defensive strategies to repel the bidder.

  • Tax year

    This runs between 6 April and 5 April of the following year and is used for assessment of income tax and capital gains tax.

  • TechMARK

    All listed technology companies from the FTSE 100 giants to the small are in the techMARK index.

  • Tender offer

    An offer where potential investors are asked to stipulate the price per share that they are willing to pay.

  • Total Expense Ratio (TER)

    Total Expense Ratio, or TER, measures the total costs of a Fund investment and can be applied to fund structures such as Unit Trusts, OEICs, Exchange Traded Funds and Exchange Traded Commodities. Typically the TER will consist of the annual management charge (the fee that the fund company charges annually to manage the Fund, typically commission paid to Fund managers) plus 'other' charges incurred with running the Fund. These other charges can consist of share registration fees, fees payable to auditors, legal fees, and custodian fees. The TER is calculated by dividing the total cost by the fund's total assets and is denoted as a percentage. It may vary from year to year.

  • Tracker Funds

    Funds which track the performance of a specific share index.  Usually they invest in companies in the same proportion that they make up the index.

  • Tracking Error

    Tracking error is the difference between a portfolio's returns and the benchmark or index it was meant to mimic or beat. Tracking error is sometimes called active risk.

  • Trading channels

    The various channels available to Barclays Stockbrokers clients for placing trades - online, by phone and post.

  • Trading hours

    The period of time that the market is open and you can place a trade instantly - Monday to Friday (08.00 to 16.30) excluding bank holidays. You can place an order outside of trading hours online, but it won't execute until the market is open.

  • Trail commission

    This is a payment made by the Fund Manager to a platform service provider or adviser in return for services such as distribution, advice and administration relating to holdings in Funds. No trail commission is paid on holdings which are purchased from 6th April 2014. This does not mean that the AMC on that particular class of Fund will be reduced.

  • Trailing Stop order

    An order to buy / sell shares when the share price rises from its lowest price/falls from its future peak price by a specified number of pence. When buying, a Trailing Stop order is used to make an investment at a price which is relative to the lowest price of the share but only when an upward trend has been established. When selling, a Trailing Stop order is used to maximise the potential profit of a holding by selling relative to the peak price of the shares.

  • Transaction Reference

    A unique reference number given to a deal.

  • Transfer

    The movement of Cash/Securities from one account type or provider to another.

  • Transfer forms

    Forms needed to transfer ownership of securities from one owner to another.

  • Treasury

    The UK Government's finance department.

  • Trusts

    A trust is a legal device for preserving and protecting assets.

  • UCITS

    Undertaking for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities. A type of collective investment (or fund) that allows financial institutions to operate freely throughout the European Union on the basis of a single authorisation from one member state.

  • Uncleared Credit

    Are funds pending clearance to your account. These funds can deal and be transferred but cannot be withdrawn until clearance is complete.

  • Unconditional / wholly unconditional

    The bidding company making the offer has received acceptances of 90% or more of the shares, and all other criteria have been satisfied.

  • Undersubscribed

    Circumstances where people have applied for fewer shares than are available in a new issue.

  • Unit

    Investors purchase units in unit trusts in a similar way to buying shares in companies. The price of a unit is linked directly to the value of the fund's underlying holdings, known as the net asset value (NAV).

  • Unit trusts

    Unit trusts are "open-ended" collective investments. They pool unit holders' Funds which are invested on their behalf by a professional manager. Here, you can buy and sell units of your chosen Funds(s) where they will be created and/or cancelled with demand. Most are priced and traded daily, the price per unit directly reflects the underlying net asset value of the Fund.

  • Unquoted shares

    Shares in some companies, most often smaller ones are unquoted or not listed.  The reason companies are unquoted is either because they do not want to be listed, preferring to run their business privately, or because they are too small to be listed even on the AIM.

  • Valuation point

    The time at which the Fund Manager calculates the price of units (unit trusts)/shares (OEICs).

  • Volatility

    A measure of the amount of movement in the price of a stock.

  • Volume

    The number of shares traded in a given period.

  • Voting right

    The rights of shareholders to vote on matters proposed to the owners of the company.

  • W-8BEN

    A form to be completed to claim a reduced rate of, or exemption from witholding tax as a resident of a foreign country with which the United States has an income tax treaty.

  • Windfalls

    Free shares given to members of a mutual society when it becomes a PLC

  • Withdraw/Withdrawal

    Debiting cash from your Selftrade Accounts and depositing into your nominated bank account. You can only withdraw cleared funds.

  • XD

    An abbreviated term for 'Ex-Dividend' date

  • Yield

    The total annual gross dividend payment divided by the share price, multiplied by 100.

  • Zero-coupon

    A security that pays no interest, they are sold well below the face value and the investor gets the return in the form of Capital Gains.

Risk Warning

The value of investments can fall as well as rise and any income from them is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

Selftrade does not provide investment advice. If you are in any doubt as to the risk or suitability of an investment or product you should seek advice from an independent financial adviser.

The extent and value of any ISA tax advantages or benefits will vary according to the individual's circumstances. The levels and bases of taxation may also change.

The extent and value of any SIPP tax advantages or benefits will vary according to the individual's circumstances. The levels and bases of taxation may also change. If your options change regarding an employer's pension scheme you may wish to review your financial situation. Once in a pension your money is only accessible, in general, from age 55.

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