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Glossary of Financial Terms

Glossary of Financial Terms

Annual Report – A Corporation’s official statement put out each year summarizing its financial situation and often including additional information about the company’s performance.

Asset – One of the many different forms of property that contributes to the asset owner’s overall wealth.

Balance Sheet – A financial statement that provides an overall financial view of a company.  It shows a company’s net worth by looking at both its assets and outstanding debts.

Bear Market – A description of the stock prices tend to be falling over a significant period of time.

Beta – A measure of how volatile a stock is.  The higher the beta value, the more likely the stock is to rise or fall in value.  This indicator may be useful in selecting stocks.

Book Value – A company’s total assets minus its total liabilities.  This provides an idea of the company’s net assets that can be useful in determining whether its shares are overpriced.

Bond – A debt issued by either the government or a private company where the issuer agrees to pay back the principal when due.  A bond is a legal obligation.

Bull Market – A description of the stock market during a significant period of time when stock prices tend to be increasing.

Cash – Holding money in cash form or in the bank.  Many investors choose to hold a small amount of their savings in cash as a precaution against trouble that wipes out the value of other assets.

Certificate of Deposit – Also known as a CD, this fixed-income bank or savings and loan association certificate allows you to invest money at a set interest rate and maturity date.  When a CD matures, you receive the principal and interest earned.

Commission – The fee or amount of money you have to pay to brokers for the their services in helping you purchase stocks or other assets.

Commodity – Something of value that can be sold commercially.  Some investors choose to put money in the commodities markets, investing in products such as grains, other foods, and metals.

Common Stock – Regular shares in a company that gives you ownership of a fraction of the company.

Compounding – The process of money being earned over a period of time by earning interest on the principal and then earning interest on previously earned interest.

Credit Union – An alternative to a regular commercial bank that brings together investors in a collective savings institution and offers its members a range of financial services including loans at low interest rates than commercial banks.

Dividend – A corporation’s payment of profits to its shareholders in the form of money, stock, or other property.

Finance – The management of money, including all assets.  Also includes banking and investing.

Financial Planner – A trained professional who helps people with a variety of financial tasks and aids in making investment decisions to plan for the future.

Futures contract – An agreement to buy or sell a commodity at a set price that will be delivered at a set time in the future. Investors might purchase futures if they think the price will change.

Individual Retirement Account – A tax-deferred account in which one places at most $3,000 per year for future retirement. Depending on an individual’s income and, in accordance with U.S. tax policy, the contribution may be fully tax deductible, partially tax deductible, or not tax deductible.

Investment – Cash or property that one uses to purchase stocks, bonds, or any other type of asset with the expectation that the asset will be worth more money in the future.

Investment Manager – An individual who specializes in investing the money of many individuals. For example some investment managers invest the assets held in a trust for the benefit of pension plan participants.

Issuer – The company or level of government, either federal or local, that has the authority to issue a stock, bone, or other security to a buyer.

Liquidity – The ability of an investment to be easily converted to cash.

Margin – The fraction of your investment that you actually own. The rest of the margin account investment is purchased with borrowed money. There is a margin rate that limits how much you can borrow set by the Federal Reserve.

Money Market – The market for short-term securities such as certificates of deposit and U.S. Treasury notes. This market is low-risk but offers a relatively low rate of return.

Mutual Fund – An extremely popular form of investment where many individual investors let a company pool together their money, hire an investment advisor to manage their money, and invest with the goal of achieving specific financial objectives. This benefits individual investors because it enables them to diversify their portfolios and have a professional mutual fund manager invest their money.

Options – A contract that allows you to make a transaction in the future with conditions set now. You set the price and are entitled to buy or sell a security at that price within a set period of time.

Portfolio – Your collection of assets that you have chosen to invest in.

Precious Metals – Materials such as gold, silver, and platinum that offer an alternative form of investing. If investors are worried about the stock market, they might invest in precious metals to be more secure.

Preferred Stock – Similar to common stock in that it gives the owner partial ownership of the company, but different in that it gives the holder priority over common stock regular investors in receiving dividends.

Price/Earnings Ratio – The market price of a share of stock divided by the earnings of a share of that particular stock. This number allows investors to see how highly valued a company currently is, which is a factor that could affect an investment decision.

Principal – The amount you initially invest.

Prospectus – A document that companies are required by law to make available to potential investors detailing the firm’s business plans.

Real Estate – Homes, offices, or other land or buildings that you can invest in. An investor might choose to invest in a house if he thinks it is in a market where property values will rise in the near future.

Security – Shares of stock representing ownership in a company; an asset such as a bond indicating that one has loaned money to an institution like a bank, government, or company, or the right (such as an option) to acquire ownership of a particular asset.

Shareholder – An owner of stock in a company.

Split – A company’s decision to increase the number of shares of stock outstanding without affecting the shareholders’ percentage of ownership in the company. A stock split causes a decrease in the price of each individual share. For example, in a two-for-one split, a company might give each investor twice as many shares as he or she currently has.

Stockbroker – A person who, for a fee, helps individual investors buy and sell stocks.

Stock Market – A market for the buying and selling of stocks, such as the New York Stock Exchange.

Treasury Bill – A very short-term loan to the government from an individual investor. T-bills are sold by the U.S. Treasury and mature (become due) within a year or less.

Treasury Bond – Different from a Treasury bill in that it matures after 10 years or longer, but similar in that it represents a loan to the federal government.

U.S. Savings Bonds – Bonds issued by the U.S. government that offer investors the advantage of not having to pay state and local taxes on the interest earned from the bonds. In addition, investors do not have to pay federal taxes on the increase in value of series E or EE U.S. Savings Bonds until the bonds are redeemed.

Yield – This represents the gain earned on an investment and usually is expressed as a percentage. For example, the yield earned on a bond is the amount of interest paid by the bond divided by its price. The yield earned on a share of stock is the amount of the annual dividend paid per share of stock divided by its price.

BEA – (Bank Enterprise Award Program)- A program of the CDFI Fund, BEA supports financial institutions around the country that are dedicated to financing and supporting community and economic development activities. The BEA Program complements the community development activities of insured depository institutions (i.e., banks and thrifts) by providing financial incentives to expand investments in CDFIs and to increase lending, investment, and service activities within economically distressed communities. Learn more about the BEA Program.

CDBG – (Community Development Block Grant) CDBG is a program of HUD that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to 1180 general units of local government and States. Learn more about the CDBG Programs.

CDC – Community Development Corporation

CDE – (Community Development Entity)- A CDE is a domestic corporation or partnership that is an intermediary vehicle for the provision of loans, investments, or financial counseling in Low-Income Communities (LICs). (

Certification (see Certified)

Certified – CDFI certification is a designation conferred by the CDFI Fund and is a requirement for accessing financial and technical award assistance from the CDFI Fund through the CDFI Program, Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Programs, and certain benefits under the BEA Program to support an organization’s established community development financing programs.

Benefits of being certified as a CDE include being able to apply to the CDFI Fund to receive a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to offer its investors in exchange for equity investments in the CDE and/or its subsidiaries; or to receive loans or investments from other CDEs that have received NMTC allocations.

CFR – (Code of Federal Regulations)- The Code of Federal Regulations is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Each volume of the CFR is updated once each calendar year and is issued on a quarterly basis.

Circulars – Instructions or information issued by OMB to Federal agencies. They provide important information regarding allowable uses of Federal grant funds.

DUNS – (Data Universal Numbering System) Dunn &Bradstreet’s D-U-N-S Number is recognized as a global standard by the world’s most influential standards-setting organizations as well as the U.S. Government and is used to identify businesses around the world. The U.S. Government determined that the best approach to maintain the accuracy and consistency of the name and address standardization of business records was to leverage a best practice system widely used in corporate America and around the globe.

EITC – (Earned Income Tax Credit) The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) sometimes called the Earned Income Credit (EIC), is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. (,,id=96406,00.html)

FA – financial assistance

IDA – Individual Development Account – matched savings account programs that encourage customers of Native CDFIs, CDCs, tribal housing authorities, tribes, etc. to save for specific goals like business start-up/expansion, homeownership, secondary education, vehicles, debt consolidation, etc. See Native IDA Initiative

IHBG – (Indian Housing Block Grant)- The Indian Housing Block Grant Program (IHBG) is a formula grant that provides a range of affordable housing activities on Indian reservations and Indian areas.

LIC – Low-income communities

NACA – (Native American CDFI Assistance Program) Through the NACA Program, the CDFI Fund provides Financial Assistance, Technical Assistance, and operating grants to Native CDFIs; and TA and operating grants to entities that will become or will create a Native CDFI. (

NACD – (Native American CDFI Development Program) A CDFI grant program; predecessor to the NACA program

NACTA – (Native American CDFI Technical Assistance Program) The first Native CDFI grant program.

NASASDA – (Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996) NAHASDA reorganized the system of housing assistance provided to Native Americans through HUD by eliminating several separate programs of assistance and replacing them with a block grant program. The two programs authorized for Indian tribes under NAHASDA are the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) which is a formula based grant program and Title VI Loan Guarantee which provides financing guarantees to Indian tribes for private market loans to develop affordable housing. Regulations are published at 24 CFR Part 1000. NAHASDA was amended in 2000 to add Title VIII-Housing Assistance for Native Hawaiians. The amendment to NAHASDA adds similar programs for Native Hawaiians who reside on Hawaiian Home Lands. Regulations for implementing the program are currently in development. (

NATA – (Native American Technical Assistance) A CDFI Fund grant program; predecessor to the NACA program (

NCDFI – Native Community Development Financial Institution – organizations with a community economic development focus that provide lending/financing services and products along with tailor-made training, technical assistance and asset building programs for Native communities. See the more detailed definition of Native financial institutions here. For a comprehensive list of Native CDFIs, Native financial institutions and start-up programs, click here.

NCFI – (Expanding Native Opportunity: Native Communities Financing Initiative) Through NCFI, organizations receive intensive classroom training focused on the successful creation of a Native CDFI followed by free on-site technical assistance. The CDFI Fund has a contract with the First Nations Oweesta Corporation and the Opportunities Finance Network to administer this training.

NFI – Native Financial Institution – any institution with an origin, ownership, staff, board makeup and, most importantly, customer base of Native people

NIDA – (The Expanding Native Opportunity: Native IDA Initiative) NIDA is an initiative focused on increasing access to financial education and asset building in Native communities across the country. The CDFI Fund has a contract with CFED and First Nations Oweesta Corporation to administer this training.

NMTC – (New Markets Tax Credits)- The CDFI Fund’s New Markets Tax Credit Program permits taxpayers to receive a credit against Federal income taxes for making qualified equity investments in designated Community Development Entities (CDEs). Substantially all of the qualified equity investment must in turn be used by the CDE to provide investments in low-income communities. (

RBEG – (Rural Business Enterprise Grants ) The USDA Rural Development, Business and Cooperative Programs (BCP) makes grants under the RBEG Program to public bodies, private nonprofit corporations, and Federally-recognized Indian Tribal groups to finance and facilitate development of small and emerging private business enterprises (

RBOG – (Rural Business Opportunity Grants) USDA BCP RBOGs promote sustainable economic development in rural communities with exceptional needs. This is accomplished by making grants to pay costs of providing economic planning for rural communities, technical assistance for rural businesses, or training for rural entrepreneurs or economic development officials.

RHED – (Rural Housing and Economic Development Program) RHED is a grant program of HUD that provides for capacity building at the State and local level for rural housing and economic development and to support innovative housing and economic development activities in rural areas. (

Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program – Section 108 is the loan guarantee provision of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Section 108 provides communities with a source of financing for economic development, housing rehabilitation, public facilities, and large-scale physical development projects. (

TA – technical assistance

Title VI Loan Guarantee – The purpose of the Title VI loan guarantee is to assist Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) recipients (borrowers) who want to finance eligible affordable housing activities, but are unable to secure financing without the assistance of a federal guarantee. A federal guarantee is a pledge by the U.S. Government to repay all or a portion of the unpaid principal balance and accrued interest for an obligation by a borrower to a lender after a default under the terms of the repayment agreement.

VITA – (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program) The IRS’s VITA Program offers free tax help for low- to moderate-income (approximately $38,000) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns (

Below is the beginning of a list of Native Community Development Organizations, Institutions, Programs, Federal Agencies and Departments which is in no way exhaustive and will continue to evolve.

BIA – (Bureau of Indian Affairs) The Bureau of Indian Affairs responsibility is the administration and management of 55.7 million acres of land held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. Developing forestlands, leasing assets on these lands, directing agricultural programs, protecting water and land rights, developing and maintaining infrastructure, economic development and providing education services are all part of the agency’s responsibility. (

CDFI Coalition – (Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions) The lead national organization in the United States promoting the work of community development financial institutions. The CDFI Coalition coordinates industry wide initiatives to increase the availability of capital, credit and financial services to low-income communities across the nation. (

CDFI Fund – (Community Development Financial Institutions Fund US Department of the Treasury) Through monetary awards and the allocation of tax credits, the CDFI Fund helps promote access to capital and local economic growth in urban and rural low-income communities across the nation. Through its various programs, the CDFI Fund enables locally based organizations to further goals such as: economic development (job creation, business development, and commercial real estate development); affordable housing (housing development and homeownership); and community development financial services (provision of basic banking services to underserved communities and financial literacy training).

The CDFI Fund has embarked on a number of initiatives designed to overcome barriers preventing access to credit, capital and financial services in Native communities including the Expanding Native Opportunity: Native Communities Financing Initiative; Expanding Native Opportunity: Native IDA Initiative and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. (hyperlink these and link to specific definitions in glossary) Through these initiatives, the CDFI Fund provides direct monetary awards and training (through contractors) aimed at increasing the number and capacity of existing or new CDFIs serving Native Communities.

HUD – (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) HUD’s mission is to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. They offer a number of grants to support community development, community facilities etc. It offers a range of programs, assistance, and loan programs specifically for Native American tribes, organizations, and sometimes individuals. (

IRS – (Internal Revenue Service) The IRS is a bureau of the US Department of Treasury and aims to provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.

NAIHC – (National American Indian Housing Council) NAIHC assists tribes and tribal housing entities in reaching their self determined goals of providing culturally relevant, decent, safe, sanitary, and quality affordable housing for Native people in Indian communities and Alaska Native villages. It offers training, technical assistance and instruction on “Pathways Home: A Native Homeownership Guide,” is a nationally certified course that teaches housing staffs both the content and training techniques to present mortgage-based homeownership concepts to members of their communities. (

NCAI – (National Congress of American Indians) Now as in the past, NCAI serves to secure the rights and benefits to which Native people are entitled; to enlighten the public toward the better understanding of the Indian people; to preserve rights under Indian treaties or agreements with the United States; and to promote the common welfare of the American Indians and Alaska Natives (

NCTC – (National Community Tax Coalition) The National Community Tax Coalition seeks to improve the economic well being of low- and moderate-income individuals, families, and communities by building a movement to dramatically increase access to tax credits and benefits and asset-building opportunities (

NFCDCU – ( National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions) community development credit unions,” or CDCUs. They carry out their mission by advocating for and providing financial, technical, and human resources to CDCUs. (

NIEA – (National Indian Education Association) The National Indian Education Association is a membership based organization committed to increasing educational opportunities and resources for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students while protecting our cultural and linguistic traditions. (

OFN – (Opportunity Finance Network) The national association of CDFIs, including a number of Native CDFIs. OFN is partnered with Oweesta to provide training and TA for the CDFI Fund’s Expanding Native Opportunity: Native Communities Financing Initiative, now in its fifth year. OFN and Oweesta also partner to host the Native Convening and Training Tracks each year at the OFN conference. (, formerly known as National Community Capital Association – NCCA)

OMB – (Office of Management & Budget) OMB’s predominant mission is to assist the President in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget and to supervise its administration in Executive Branch agencies.

Oweesta – (Oweesta Corporation) The only national, certified Native, CDFI intermediary. Through its three major program areas: Training, TA & Consulting; Capitalization; and Policy, Advocacy & Research, Oweesta works with Native communities across the country as they work to create NCDFIs and asset building programs to promote economic development and alleviate poverty. ( Oweesta is the Mohawk word for money or trade item.

Prosperity Now – A national community economic development organization that specializes in IDA program development, rural practices, children’s savings accounts, and entrepreneurship. They are partnered with First Nations Development Institute and Oweesta on the CDFI Fund’s Expanding Native Opportunity: Native IDA Initiative and works with the Kellogg Foundation on the Entrepreneurship Development System Collaborative Initiative. (, formerly known as Corporation for Enterprise Development)

USDA – (United States Department of Agriculture) USDA’s Rural Development department achieves its mission by helping rural individuals, communities and businesses obtain the financial and technical assistance needed to address their diverse and unique needs. Rural Development works to make sure that rural citizens can participate fully in the global economy. (

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