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Sales Charge (or Load)

The amount that investors pay when they buy (front-end load) or redeem (back-end load) shares in a mutual fund, similar to a commission. The SEC's rules do not limit sales loads a fund may charge, but FINRA's rules cap mutual fund sales loads at 8.5% of the purchase or sale, or at lower levels, depending on other fees and charges.

Saving and Investing Apps

“Saving and investing app” may refer to a variety of different mobile applications that use technology to help you save and invest. These apps are often marketed as an easy way to get started saving and investing.  Users may be able to set goals and actions that help them save and invest—for example, rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically saving the change.

Saving and investing apps commonly provide users with one or more of these services and products:


Income that is not spent on consumption but is put aside.

Savings Bond Calculator

If you own or are considering purchasing a U.S. savings bond, the U.S. Department of Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service has designed a useful tool for determining the present and future value--as well as historical information, current interest rate, next accrual date, final maturity date, and year-to-date interest earned. Known as the Savings Bond Calculator, it can help you make more informed investment decisions about savings bonds.

Savings Bonds

Savings bonds are debt securities issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help pay for the U.S. government’s borrowing needs. U.S. savings bonds are considered one of the safest investments because they are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. For more information on savings bonds, visit TreasuryDirect.gov.  

Say-on-pay Vote

Required by law, most public companies must periodically (at least every three years) provide their shareholders with an advisory vote on the compensation of the most highly compensated executives. Companies are required to disclose (usually in a proxy statement [hyperlink to defined term]) how their compensation policies and decisions have taken into account the results of their most recent say-on-pay vote.

Schedules 13D and 13G

Schedules 13D and 13G are commonly referred to as a “beneficial ownership reports.” The term "beneficial owner" is defined under SEC rules. It includes any person who directly or indirectly shares voting power or investment power (the power to sell the security).

Section 1035

This part of the U.S. tax code allows you to exchange an existing variable annuity contract for a new annuity contract without paying tax on the income and investment gains in your current account. But you may have to pay surrender charges on your old annuity if you are still within the surrender period.

Securities Act Rule 144

Federal securities laws may deem certain securities as restricted or control securities. Selling restricted or control securities in the marketplace can be a complicated process. Under federal securities laws, all offers and sales of securities must be registered with the SEC or qualify for some exemption from the registration requirements. If you have acquired restricted securities or hold control securities and want to publicly sell them, you may need to make special efforts to show that your public sales are exempt from registration.

Securities Analyst Recommendations

Analyst recommendations can have a significant effect on a company’s stock price, especially when the recommendations are widely disseminated through television appearances or other electronic and print media.  The SEC receives a number of complaints about analysts who recommend buying a stock in a company from investors who believe the analyst has a financial stake in the company or some other conflict of interest.

Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)

If your brokerage firm goes out of business and is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), then your cash and securities held by the brokerage firm may be protected up to $500,000, including a $250,000 limit for cash. When a SIPC member becomes insolvent, SIPC will ask a court to appoint a trustee to supervise the firm's liquidation and to process investors' claims.


An investment instrument such as a stock or bond.

Senior Bond

A bond that has a higher priority than another bond's claim to the same class of assets in case of a default or bankruptcy. Settlement Date -- The agreed date for the delivery of bonds and payment of funds.

Settling Securities Transactions, T+2

Investors must complete or "settle" their security transactions within two business days. This settlement cycle is known as "T+2," shorthand for "trade date plus two days." 

T+2 means that when you buy a security, your payment must be received by your brokerage firm no later than two business days after the trade is executed. When you sell a security, you must deliver to your brokerage firm your securities certificate no later than two business days after the sale. 

Shareholder Service Fees

Fees paid to respond to inquiries from investors and provide them with information about their investments.

Short Sale Volume and Transaction Data

To increase the transparency surrounding short sale transactions, several self-regulatory organizations (SROs) are providing on their websites daily aggregate short selling volume information for individual equity securities.  The SROs are also providing website disclosure on a one-month delayed basis of information regarding individual short sale transactions in all exchange-listed equity securities.  For short sale data provided by a specific SRO, you can click on the hyperlinks below.

Short Sales

A short sale occurs when you sell stock you do not own. Investors who sell short believe the price of the stock will fall. If the price drops, you can buy the stock at the lower price and make a profit. If the price of the stock rises and you buy it back later at the higher price, you will incur a loss.


In a "spin-off," a parent company distributes shares of a subsidiary to the parent company's shareholders so that the subsidiary becomes a separate, independent company. The shares are usually distributed on a pro rata basis. State law and the rules of the stock exchanges determine whether a company must seek shareholder approval for a spin-off.

State Securities Regulators

While the SEC regulates and enforces the federal securities laws, each state has its own securities regulator who enforces what are known as "blue sky" laws. These laws cover many of the same activities the SEC regulates, such as the sale of securities and those who sell them, but are confined to securities sold or persons who sell them within each state.

Statement of Additional Information (SAI)

Conveys information about an open or closed-end fund that some investors find useful. Funds are not required to provide investors with the SAI, but they must provide it for free upon request. Also known as "Part B" of the fund's registration statement.


An instrument that signifies an ownership position (called equity) in a corporation, and a claim on its proportional share in the corporation's assets and profits. Most stocks also provide voting rights, which give shareholders a proportional vote in certain corporate decisions, such as the election of corporate directors.

Stock Market

A general term for the organized trading of stocks through exchanges, over-the-counter, and computerized trading venues.

Stock Quotes

Listings of prices to buy and sell a specific stock. During trading, quotes show bids, the prices buyers are willing to pay, and offers, the prices sellers are willing to accept. Historical data provides the opening and closing price for each day of trading, and the daily high and low price for a stock, along with trading volume.

Surrender Charge

A type of sales charge that applies if you withdraw money from a variable annuity within a certain period of time, usually six to ten years. This is known as the surrender period. The charge declines over time until it no longer applies. For example, a 7% surrender charge might apply in the first year after purchase. The charge may fall to 6% in the second year, 5% in the third year and so on, until the eighth year, when it no longer applies.