From A to Z: Decoding common financial terms

Skip the alphabet soup and discover the real meaning of these investment terms

Jack Tierney

A former colleague of mine from New York City had a beautiful, multi-syllabic, Italian last name that began with “A” and ended with the “Z” sound. Since it was hard to pronounce for a lot of people, he simply told everyone to call him “A to Z.” This tactic worked, because everyone remembered him and didn’t have to worry about mispronouncing his name.

I remembered him when I was drafting this blog, thinking about all the terms and jargon that our industry uses in describing investments and investment strategies. We literally have terminology from A to Z, and while all of it is useful for the right audience, so much of it can be terribly confusing without the proper context.

So are there terms we can lose — or at least define more clearly? I believe so. Below, I’ve dipped into this alphabet soup to highlight terms that can cause confusion and offer up simpler suggestions to help get the point across.


Are there ‘good months’ and ‘bad months’ to invest?

The truth behind ‘sell in May and go away’ and the ‘October effect’

Fielder_Tracy_sm_150dpi_RGBThere are seasons I look forward to during the year — the warm months for fishing and the cold months for hunting — and some I’d just as soon avoid — like hurricane season and allergy season. One of the questions I often hear from investors is whether there’s an ideal “investing season” that they should plan for each year. Is there any truth to the adage to “sell in May and go away,” and is the “October effect” really something to fear?