Category Archives: Money Glossary

You have to speak the lingo


The return of an investor's principal in a fixed income security, such as a preferred stock or bond; or the sale of units in a mutual fund. A redemption occurs, in a fixed income security at par or at a premium price, upon maturity or cancellation by the issuer.


The ability of a company to meet its long-term financial obligations. Solvency is essential to staying in business, but a company also needs liquidity to thrive. Liquidity is a company's ability to meet its short-term obligations. A company that is insolvent must enter bankruptcy; a company that lacks liquidity can also be forced to enter bankruptcy even if it is solvent.


A reduction in the ownership percentage of a share of stock caused by the issuance of new stock. Dilution can also occur when holders of stock options (such as company employees) or holders of other optionable securities exercise their options. When the number of shares outstanding increases, each existing stockholder will own a smaller, or diluted, percentage of the company, making each share less valuable.

Agency Problem

A conflict of interest inherent in any relationship where one party is expected to act in another's best interests. The problem is that the agent who is supposed to make the decisions that would best serve the principal is naturally motivated by self-interest, and the agent's own best interests may differ from the principal's best interests.

Residual Value

How much a fixed asset is worth at the end of its lease, or at the end of its useful life. If you lease a car for three years, its residual value is how much it is worth after three years. The residual value is determined by the bank that issues the lease before the lease begins.

Minority Interest

1. A significant but non-controlling ownership of less than 50% of a company's voting shares by either an investor or another company. 2. A non-current liability that can be found on a parent company's balance sheet that represents the proportion of its subsidiaries owned by minority shareholders.