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ILC Glossary of Financial Terms


From Odd Lot to Over-the-Counter (OTC)

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  1. Open-End or Mutual Fund Investment Company
  2. Option Holder
  3. Outstanding Shares   
Odd Lot:

A number of shares equalling less than a board lot, the regular trading unit decided upon by the particular stock exchange. Also, an amount less than the par value of one trading unit on the over-the-counter market.


This term refers to transactions made over-the-counter in unlisted securities, or, in a special situation, to a transaction involving a block of listed stock which is not executed on a recognized stock exchange.


An offer is the same as an ask, which is the lowest price at which a person is willing to sell a security. This is opposed to a bid, which is the highest price at which a person is willing to buy a security.

Of Record:

Shareholders of record are those who appear on the company's books or records as of a certain date. If, for example, a company announces that it will pay a dividend to shareholders of record January 15, every shareholder whose name appears on the company's books on that day will be sent a dividend cheque from the company.


The price of a security or commodity at the start of a trading session or at the beginning of an exchanges regular trading session.

Open-End or Mutual Fund Investment Company:

This is a company which uses its capital to invest in other companies. Open-end, or mutual funds, sell their own new shares to investors, buy back their old shares, and are not listed for trading on a stock exchange. Open-end funds get their name because their capitalization is not fixed and they normally issue more shares as people want them.

Open Order:

An order to buy or sell a security at a specified price which is valid until executed or cancelled.

Open Outcry:

Verbal bids and offers made on the trading floors of stock exchanges. This method of public auction is disappearing as stock exchanges become automated.


An investor who purchases an option has the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell certain securities at a specified price within a specified time. A put option gives the holder the right to sell the security, a call option gives the right to buy the security.

Option Eligible Securities:

Securities which meet the eligibility criteria as underlying securities for put and call options on a stock exchange.

Option Holder:

The buyer of either a call or put option.

Option Premium:

This is the price of an option. It is the amount of money that the option holder pays for the rights and the option writer receives for the obligations granted by the option.

Option Writer:

The seller of either a call or put option. The option writer receives payment, called a premium, and is obligated to buy or sell the underlying security at a specified price, within a certain period of time, if called upon to do so.

Out-of-the-Money Option:

A call option is out-of-the-money if its exercise or strike price is above the current market price of the underlying security. A put option is out-of-the-money if its exercise or strike price is below the current market price of the underlying security.


A security which appears to be selling too low or too high in relation to comparable issues.

Outstanding Shares:

Securities that have been issued and sold to shareholders are referred to as outstanding.

Over-the-Counter (OTC):

A securities market made up of dealers who make trades over the telephone and/or computer. It is also called "unlisted market," "street market" and "between or inter-dealer market." Almost all bonds and debentures, as well as some stocks, are traded over-the-counter in Canada.

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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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