Black Monday

October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning of a global stock market decline, making Black Monday one of the most notorious days in recent financial history. By the end of the month, most of the major exchanges had dropped more than 20%.

Bad Credit

A qualification of an individual's credit history that indicates that a borrower carries a higher credit risk. A low credit score indicates bad credit, while a high credit score is an indicator of good credit. Creditors who have lent money to an individual with bad credit face a higher risk of that individual missing payments or defaulting.

Incremental Analysis

A decision-making technique used in business to determine the true cost difference between alternatives. Incremental analysis ignores sunk costs and costs that are the same between the two alternatives to look only at the remaining costs. For this reason, it is also called the "relevant cost approach," "marginal analysis" or "differential analysis."

Investment Manager

A person or organization that makes investments in portfolios of securities on behalf of clients, in accordance with the investment objectives and parameters defined by these clients. An investment manager may be responsible for all activities associated with the management of client portfolios, from buying and selling securities on a day-to-day basis to portfolio monitoring, settlement of transactions, performance measurement, and regulatory and client reporting.

Interest Rate Sensitivity

A measure of how much the price of a fixed-income asset will fluctuate as a result of changes in the interest rate environment. Securities that are more sensitive will have greater price fluctuations than those with less sensitivity. This type of sensitivity must be taken into account when selecting a bond or other fixed-income instrument that the investor may sell in the secondary market.

Pac-Man Defense

A defensive tactic used by a targeted firm in a hostile takeover situation. In a Pac-Man defense, the target firm turns around and tries to acquire the other company that has made the hostile takeover attempt. This term has been accredited to Bruce Wasserstein, chairman of Wasserstein & Co.

Loan Note

An extended form of an IOU from one party to another that enables a payee to receive payments (possibly with interest) over a set period of time, ending with the date at which the entire loan is to be repaid. Loan notes are usually provided in lieu of cash at the payee's request.

Herd Instinct

A mentality characterized by a lack of individual decision-making or thoughtfulness, causing people to think and act in the same way as the majority of those around them. In finance, a herd instinct would relate to instances in which individuals gravitate to the same or similar investments, based almost solely on the fact that many others are investing in those stocks.

Cash Cow

1. One of the four categories (quadrants) in the BCG growth-share matrix that represents the division within a company that has a large market share within a mature industry. 2. A business, product or asset that, once acquired and paid off, will produce consistent cash flow over its lifespan.