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Accidental death insurance

Insurance that pays money to you or your beneficiary (or beneficiaries) if you are hurt or die in an accident. It does not cover death due to sickness or natural causes. Also called Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance.

Account

An agreement you make with a financial institution to handle your money. You can set up an account for depositing and withdrawing, earning interest, borrowing, investing, etc.

Account fees

The fees you pay to a financial institution for transactions and other services related to the operation of an account.

Account statement

A summary of the activity in your account over a period of time. This includes money that you put in and take out, investments that you buy and sell, and fees that you paid. Statements are typically provided monthly, qarterly or annually.

Accredited investor prospectus exemption

In Ontario, the accredited investor prospectus exemption allows companies to sell their securities to individuals who meet certain income or financial assets criteria without preparing a prospectus.

Accumulated value

What your money is worth after it earns interest, dividends, or capital gains. Includes the amount you started with, plus any income earned to date.

Active management

An investing strategy that makes specific investments to try to get better returns than a benchmark such as a stock market index.

Adjusted cost base (ACB)

Represents the amount you paid for an investment plus any additional costs, such as fees and commissions.

Administration fee

The fees you pay to a financial institution for activities related to the operation of the account.

After-tax

The money you have left after you pay taxes on money that you made working or investing.

Alternative trading system (ATS)

Generally, an ATS provides automated trading systems which bring together orders from buyers and sellers. They are privately owned computerized networks that match orders outside of an exchange.

Annual fee

A fee that is charged on an annual basis. One common occurrence of an annual fee is the fee charged by credit cards.

Annual growth

How much your money or an investment grows each year.

Annual information form (AIF)

An AIF provides material information about a company and its business in the context of its historical and possible future development. It describes the company and its operations, prospects, risks and other factors that impact its business.

Annual percentage rate (APR)

The total costs of a loan or other debt each year. It is stated as a percentage (for example, 5%). Use it to compare your borrowing options (for example on a mortgage or credit card)

Annual report

A financial report that a company prepares for its shareholders each year. Includes a balance sheet, financial statement, auditor's report, and information about the company's operations and financial situation.

Annuity

A contract usually sold by life insurance companies that guarantees an income to you or your beneficiary at some time in the future. An annuity is a contract with a life insurance company. When you buy an annuity, you deposit a lump sum of money, and the insurance company agrees to pay you a guaranteed income for a set period of time – or for the rest of your life. Annuities are money commonly used to generate retirement income.

Appraisal

An evaluation of what your home or other property is worth today. Most often done by someone who is an expert or is certified by an organization or the government. The Appraisal Institute of Canada is one organization that designates individuals.

Appreciation

How much your money, investments or other assets go up in value as time passes.

Arbitration

An alternative of resolving disputes outside of the civil courts. It puts your case in front of an impartial arbitrator. You must accept the decision as final. Available to all clients of firms that belong to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

Ask, Ask price

The lowest price at which someone will sell a stock on a stock exchange.

Asset

Something of value that a company or an individual owns or controls. Examples: buildings, equipment, property, a car, investments, or cash. Can also include patents, trademarks and other forms of intellectual property.

Asset class

A group of securities that have similar characteristics. Examples of asset classes include, such as stocks, bonds, real estate or cash.

Asset mix

The percentage distribution of assets in a portfolio among the three major asset classes: cash and cash equivalents, fixed income and equities.

Auditor

An auditor is an individual whose job it is to check the accuracy of financial records. An auditor might be either an internal auditor, external auditor or independent auditor for accounting firms in the public or private sector. Professional auditors are generally Chartered Professional Accountants.

Auditor’s report

An auditor's report is an important report when reporting financial information on a company's financial data. The report provides an opinion by an auditor on whether the financial information presented is correct and free from material misstatements.

Automatic withdrawals

An arrangement you make with your financial institution to move money regularly from any number of different account types.

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