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ILC Glossary of Financial Terms


From Acceptance Company Paper to Averaging Down

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  1. Agent
  2. Ask
  3. Authorized shares
Acceptance Company Paper:

Short-term negotiable debt securities issued by finance companies to fund loans to consumers for items such as cars and appliances.

Accounts Payable:

Debts of a company for goods or services purchased that must be paid within one year. These debts are listed as a current liability on the company's balance sheet.

Accounts Receivable:

Money owed to a company for goods and services it has sold. Payment is expected within one year. This money is listed as a current asset on the company's balance sheet.

Accrued Interest:

The interest accumulated on a bond or debenture since the last interest payment date.

Affiliated Company:

A company with less than 50% of its stock owned by another corporation, or one whose stock, with that of another corporation, is owned by the same controlling interests.


An investment dealer operates as an agent when it acts on behalf of a buyer or a seller, and does not itself own title to the securities at any time during the transactions.


Gradually writing-off the value of an intangible asset over a period of time. Commonly applied to items such as goodwill, improvements to leased premises, or expenses of a new stock or bond issue.

Annual Report:

The formal financial statements and report on operations issued by a company to its shareholders after its fiscal year-end.


The simultaneous purchase of a security on one stock exchange and sale of the same security or an equivalent of that security on the same or another exchange which can result in a profit. The profit is the difference between the buy and sell prices and is usually a very small amount per unit. Arbitrage is a sophisticated manoeuvre executed by professional traders.


Interest or dividends which were not paid when due and are still owed.


The lowest price at which someone is willing to sell a security.


Everything a company or person owns or is owed, such as money, securities, equipment and buildings. Assets are listed on a company's balance sheet.

Associated Company:

A company owned jointly by two or more other companies.

At-The-Money Option:

An option with an exercise or strike price that is equal, or almost equal, to the current market price of the underlying security.


Verifying the accuracy of accounting and financial records by a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. In some provinces Certified General Accountants and Certified Management Accountants may also act as company auditors.

Authorized Shares:

The number of shares a company is legally allowed to sell.

Averages and Indexes or Indices:

Statistical tools that measure the state of the stock market or the economy, based on the performance of stocks, bonds or other components. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the TSX Composite Index Composite Index are well-known examples.

Averaging Down:

Buying more of a security at a lower price than the original investment. The aim of averaging down is to reduce the average cost per unit of the investment.

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  • The Investor Learning Centre of Canada (ILC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing independent investment information to Canadians. It was established in 1996 by the Canadian Securities Institute, the national educator for the securities industry. The ILC offers books, seminars, resource centres and Internet services across Canada.
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