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Face value

What you pay to buy a bond or some other investment.

Family of funds

A group of different kinds of investment funds managed by the same company.

Family RESP

An RESP for more than one child. The children must be related to the person who opens the RESP.

Family trust

A trust created for family members. The trust may hold investments, a family business, rental property and more. Example: You could set up a family trust for your spouse children and grandchildren.

Family, friends and business associates prospectus exemption

In Ontario, the family, friends and business associates prospectus exemption allows companies to sell securities to the owners, offices and directors of the business or most of their immediate family members, their close business associates, or their close personal friends.

Fee-based advisor

Fee-based advisors get paid through a combination of fees (paid by you) and commissions (paid by the firm they represent).

Fee-based series (Series F)

Series F mutual funds are available to investors who have fee-based arrangements with their advisor. An investor in a fee-based series or class typically negotiates the rate of their advisor's fee with, and pays such fee directly to, the advisor. There are generally no trailing commissions on a fee-based series because the advisor is being compensated based on the rate negotiated with the investor. As a result, this series generally has a lower management fee than a retail series.

Fee-only advisor

Fee-only advisors are paid directly by you. They don't earn any commissions. They may charge a flat fee based on the services they provide to you, or they may charge you by the hour.

Finance company

A company that makes loans but does not offer all the other products and services of a bank.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)

A Canadian agency that protects and educates consumers about financial services.

Financial plan

Your financial plan should cover every aspect of your finances: saving and investing, paying down debt, insurance, taxes, retirement planning and estate planning.

Financial planner

An individual who looks at your financial situation and builds a complete plan to help you reach your goals. The process may cover: financial planning, risk management, investment planning, tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.

Financial ratio

A ratio that you make using numbers from the financial statements of a business. You use these tools to assess how well a company is doing.

Financial statements

Reports that sum up a company's financial data and tell you how it is doing. The four basic statements are: the statement of financial position (balance sheet, statement of profit or loss (income statement), cash flow statement, and statement of changes in equity.

Fiscal year

Any 12-month period that a company uses for its accounting records. The year does not have to start on January 1.

Fixed income

An investment that pays regular income to you. Examples: Guaranteed Investment Certificates, Canada Savings Bonds and types of other bonds.

Fixed income mutual fund

Funds that hold investments that pay interest (such as bonds and mortgages) or pay dividends (such as preferred shares). Most pay out income monthly.

Fixed term deposit

An investment that you buy and hold for a set period of time. You get back the money you invested only at the end of that time.

Flow-through share

A share typically issued by a mining, oil or gas company that allows income to flow through to investors or owners. This is often the main source of financing for junior mining companies. Gives investors a major tax break.

Foreign investment risk

The risk of loss when investing in foreign countries.

Foreign tax credit

A credit you claim on your income tax return for taxes that you paid to a foreign government on money that you made in a foreign country.

Front-end load

A sales fee that you pay at the time when you buy the investment. It reduces the amount you invest. Also called an Initial Sales Charge. Example: Let's say that you have $1,000 to invest in a mutual fund with a 5% front-end load. You pay a $50 sales fee and invest $950.

Frontier market

Generally defined as a country that has signs of development, but cannot be considered an emerging market. Frontier market investments generally carry high investment risk.

Fund Facts

A user-friendly guide that provides key information about a mutual fund including fees and performance. Mutual fund companies are required to give investors a copy of Fund Facts before they decide to purchase a fund.

Fund manager

A fund manager is responsible for investing the pool of money that people have put into the fund. The manager chooses investments that match the fund's goals for risk and return.

Fund return

What you estimate your mutual fund will earn in a year, minus the management fees and other costs. Often stated as a percentage of the money you invested. To estimate, look at how well the fund has done over various time periods in the past.

Fund type

A way to group funds based on what they typically invest in. Types include: money market, Canadian fixed income, foreign fixed income, Canadian equities, U.S. equities, international equities and balanced (mix of fixed income and equities) funds.


These funds invest in other funds. Similar to balanced funds, they try to make asset allocation and diversification easier for the investor. The MER for fund-of-funds tend to be higher than stand-alone mutual funds.

Future income

Money that a business or income trust expects to make in the future. This income is less sure than current cash flow. Also, a dollar may be worth less tomorrow than it is today. That's why investors often discount the stated value of future income.


A derivative contract that commits you to buy or sell a commodity, currency or stock market index at a set price on a set date in the future. Unlike an option, you can't change your mind later; you must do what your contract says you will do.

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