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Callable Bonds (or Redeemable Bonds)

Bonds that can be redeemed or paid off by the issuer prior to the bond's maturity date.

Callable CDs

These give the issuing bank the right to terminate – or "call" – the CD after a set period of time, but they do not give the CD holder the same right. If interest rates fall, the issuing bank might…

Callable or Redeemable Bonds

Callable or redeemable bonds are bonds that can be redeemed or paid off by the issuer prior to the bonds' maturity date. When an…

Capital Gain

The profit that comes when an investment is sold for more than the price the investor paid for it.

Cash

Money that can be used to pay for goods or services.

Cash Account

A cash account is a type of brokerage account in which the investor must pay the full amount for securities purchased.  An investor using a cash account is not allowed to borrow funds from his or her…

CD Call Period

Don't assume that a "federally insured one-year non-callable" CD matures in one year. It doesn't. These words mean the bank cannot redeem the CD during the first year. A "one-year non-callable" CD…

Central Registration Depository (CRD)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) administers the CRD program, which  facilitates the licensing and registration of U.S. securities industry firms and professionals. The CRD…

Certificate of Deposit

A certificate of deposit (CD) is a savings account that holds a fixed amount of money for a fixed period of time, such as six months, one year, or five years.  In exchange, the issuing bank or credit…

Churning

A broker typically earns a portion of the commissions or other fees on each purchase or sale of securities that the brokerage firm makes for an investor…

Class Actions

A federal securities class action is a court action filed on behalf of a group of shareholders under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil…

Classes

Different types of shares issued by a single fund, often referred to as Class A shares, Class B shares, and so on. Each class of a fund holds identical investments and shares the same investment…

Clean Shares

A class of fund shares without any front-end load,…

Closed-end Funds

A closed-end fund, legally known as a closed-end investment company, is one of three basic types of investment companies…

Closing Price

"Closing price" generally refers to the last price at which a stock trades during a regular trading session. For many U.S. markets, regular trading sessions run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern…

Comment Letters

From time to time, the SEC invites comments from the public onProposed Rules, Concept Releases…

Commissions

You will likely pay a commission when you buy or sell a stock through a financial professional.  The commission compensates the financial professional and his or her firm when it is acting as agent…

Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures (CUSIP)

The Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures (CUSIP) number identifies most securities, including U.S. government and municipal bonds. CUSIP numbers are unique nine-character…

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

The Commodity Exchange Act requires certain firms and individuals to be registered with the CFTC.  Registration and examination of firms and individuals is conducted on behalf of the CFTC by the…

Complaints

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) receives many types of complaints from individual investors, including complaints against brokers, brokerage firms, investment advisers,…

Compound Interest

Interest paid on principal and on accumulated interest.

Consolidated Tape

The "consolidated tape" is a high-speed, electronic system that reports the latest price and volume data on sales of exchange-listed stocks. The data reflected on the consolidated tape are generated…

Contact the SEC

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy provides a variety of services and tools to address the problems and questions you may face as an investor.  We cannot tell you what investments to…

Contingent Deferred Sales Load

A type of back-end load, the amount of which depends on the length of time the investor holds his or her shares. For example, a contingent deferred sales load might be 5% if an investor holds his…

Conversation Starters

We always recommend confirming whether a financial professional is registered using the free search tool at Investor.gov. After confirming that a financial…

Conversion

A feature some funds offer that allows investors to automatically switch from one fund class to another, typically one with lower annual expenses, after a set period of time. The fund's prospectus…

Convertible Securities

A "convertible security" is a security—usually a bond or a preferred stock—that can be converted into a different security—typically shares of the company's common stock. In most cases, the holder of…

Corporate Governance

A framework which may include rules and regulations, corporate charter and bylaws, formal policies, as well as customs and other processes, that determines the leadership, organization, and…

Corporate Reports

Corporate reports can provide important information for investors by, for example, telling you whether a company is making money or losing money and why. You'll find this information in the company's…

Coupon

A feature of a bond that denotes the amount of interest due and the date that the payment will be made.

Coupon Payment

The dollar amount of interest paid to an investor. The amount is calculated by multiplying the interest of the bond by its face value.

Coupon Rate

The interest rate on a bond. It is expressed as a semi-annual rate.

Creation Unit

Large blocks of shares in an ETF, typically 50,000 shares or more.

Credit Rating Agencies

Provide their opinion on the creditworthiness of a corporate or government borrower by issuing a grade, or credit rating, on bonds issued by that borrower.

Cumulative Voting

Cumulative voting is a type of voting system that helps strengthen the ability of minority shareholders to elect a director. This method allows shareholders to cast all of their votes for a single…

Current Yield

The ratio of the interest rate payable on a bond to the actual market price of the bond, stated as a percentage. For example, a bond with a current market price of $1,000 that pays $80 per year…

CUSIP Number

CUSIP stands for Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures.  A CUSIP number identifies most financial instruments, including: stocks of all registered U.S. and Canadian companies,…