The amount held in an account at the end of a reporting period. For example, a credit card account balance would show the amount owed to a lender as a result of purchases made during a specific period.
A mortgage with an interest rate that is adjusted periodically based on an index. Adjustable-rate mortgages generally have lower initial interest rates than fixed-rate mortgages because the lender is able to transfer some of the risk to the borrower; if prevailing rates go higher, the interest rate on a variable mortgage may adjust upward as well.
One figure used in the calculation of income tax liability. AGI is determined by subtracting allowable adjustments from gross income.
A probate-court-appointed person who is tasked with settling an estate for which there is no will.
The return on an investment after subtracting any taxes due.
A mutual fund offered by an investment company that specifically pursues substantial capital gains. Mutual fund balances are subject to fluctuation in value and market risk. Shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Mutual funds are sold only by prospectus. Individuals are encouraged to consider the charges, risks, expenses, and investment objectives carefully before investing. A prospectus containing this and other information about the investment company can be obtained from your financial professional. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.
A method of calculating income tax with a unique set of rules for deductions and exemptions that are more restrictive than those in the traditional tax system. The AMT attempts to ensure that certain high-income taxpayers don’t pay a lower effective tax rate than everyone else. To determine whether or not the AMT applies, taxpayers must fill out IRS Form 6251.
A stock exchange originally located in New York City. AMEX was taken over by NYSE Euronext—the group that operates the New York Stock Exchange—in January 2009.
The yearly cost of a loan expressed as a percentage of the loan amount. The APR includes interest owed and any fees or additional costs associated with the agreement.
A report required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of any company issuing registered stock, that describes a company’s management, operations, and financial reports. Annual reports are sent to shareholders, and must also be available for public review.
A contract with an insurance company that guarantees current or future payments in exchange for a premium or series of premiums. The interest earned on an annuity contract is not taxable until the funds are paid out or withdrawn. Withdrawals and income payments are taxed as ordinary income. If a withdrawal is made prior to age 59½, penalties may apply. The guarantees of an annuity contract depend on the issuing company’s claims-paying ability. Annuities have fees and charges associated with the contract, and a surrender charge also may apply if the contract owner elects to give up the annuity before certain time-period conditions are satisfied.
A formal assessment of a property’s value at a specific point in time, performed by a qualified professional.
Anything owned that has a current value that may provide a future benefit.
A method of allocating funds to pursue the highest potential return at a specific level of risk. Asset allocation normally uses sophisticated mathematical analysis of the historical performance of asset classes to attempt to project future risk and return. Asset allocation is an approach to help manage investment risk. It does not guarantee against investment loss.
A specific category of investments that share similar characteristics and tend to behave similarly in the marketplace.
In accounting, the formal examination of a company’s financial records by a qualified professional to determine the records’ accuracy, consistency, and conformity to legal standards and established accounting principles. In taxes, the formal examination of a tax return by the Internal Revenue Service or other authority to determine its accuracy.
An arrangement under which an institution automatically deposits dividends or capital gains generated by an individual’s investment back into the investment to purchase additional shares.