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  • Government Bonds

    What Are Government Bonds? Bonds are debt instruments issued by governments to the public. Essentially, when a government sells bonds, it's borrowing money to finance its activities, including infrastructure projects, health and welfare benefits, defense expenditures and the like. It also sells bonds to pay off its previously issued debt—in other words, selling new debt to retire old debt. The United States government bond market is the largest debt market…

  • Bear Hug

    What Is A Bear Hug? A "bear hug" is a buyout offer by one company for another that is so attractive that the target company has little choice but to accept it. Bear hug bids are usually well above the target company's prevailing market value and may include cash as an additional sweetener. While bear hugs are almost always unsolicited, they are not considered to be hostile because the offer…

  • Venture Capital

    What Is Venture Capital? Venture capital (VC) is a form of private equity (PE) financing in which investors buy stakes mostly in young companies in need of financing. Unlike PE funds, which typically invest in more established companies, VC firms invest mainly in startups, particularly in technology, biotechnology, financial services, payments and other businesses that show promise for growth. VC firms operate the same way as PE firms in that…

  • Robo Advisor

    What Is A Robo-Advisor? A robo-advisor is an automated, online platform that creates investment portfolios and financial plans for individuals. Roboadvisors compete with traditional human financial advisors but provide their services at a far lower cost with much lower minimum investment requirements and greater convenience. Robo-advisors have been around since 2008, but they have attracted a growing number of clients and share of assets under management. Indeed, several large traditional…

  • Hedge Funds

    What Is A Hedge Fund? A hedge fund is a private pool of money managed by professional managers whose main goal is to maximize returns for investors as quickly as possible in both up and down markets. Hedge funds are similar to mutual funds but have some very different characteristics. For example, hedge funds are generally open only to large institutions or to "accredited" investors who must meet certain high…

  • Private Equity Funds

    What Are Private Equity Funds? Private equity (PE) funds are alternative investment vehicles that use a pool of money from investors to make direct investments in companies, usually with the goal of making improvements to sell them later at a much higher price. Although PE funds have some similarities with hedge funds, they are quite different in the way they use their money, their risk levels, and their investment time…

  • ESG Investing

    What Is ESG Investing? ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing is a process that takes nonfinancial factors into an investment decision, rather than simply an asset's estimated financial return. ESG is also sometimes known as socially responsible, sustainable and mission-related investing, although they are not identical. Rather than simply avoiding or boycotting companies for moral or ethical reasons, such as shunning companies that make or sell tobacco, alcohol, firearms or…

  • Capital Expenditures (CapEx)

    What Are Capital Expenditures? Capital expenditures (CapEx) are long-term investments that a company makes to expand or improve its business. Investors and analysts generally view an increase in CapEx as a positive sign because it indicates that a company's business is growing. Similarly, rising CapEx for the entire economy is a positive macroeconomic indicator and generally a bullish signal for stocks. Capital expenditures include such things as the addition or…

  • Return On Equity (ROE)

    What Is Return On Equity? The return on equity (ROE) is a measure of corporate profitability. It measures how much profit a company generates from shareholders equity, which is the company's total assets minus its total liabilities. ROE is expressed as a percentage, and it can be measured by a fairly simple equation: ROE = net income divided by shareholders equity. For example, if a company had US$1 million of…

  • Passive Investing

    What Is Passive Investing? Passive investing is an investment strategy that seeks to track the performance of a market index, such as the stock market indices S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Passive investing differs from active management, in which professional portfolio managers seek to outperform a specific benchmark by buying and selling specific securities and other strategies. Two of the more popular avenues of this style of…

  • Return On Assets (ROA)

    What Is Return On Assets (ROA)? Return on assets (ROA) is an important measurement of a company's profitability. Usually stated as a percentage, ROA measures net income divided by the company's total assets. Derived from the company's balance sheet, assets include cash and cash-equivalent items, receivables, inventories, land, and buildings and equipment. They also include intangible assets such as intellectual property, copyrights and patents, the estimated value of brand and…

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