Glossary | B
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Back-end Load: Also known as a Contingent Deferred Sales Charge. Charge subtracted from an investor's assets at the time of redemption, generally if redemption occurs within approximately five years from investment. Charges which can be imposed decrease the longer assets are held.
Balanced Funds: Mutual fund that invests in equity and debt securities in varying proportions as market conditions dictate, with some minimum required proportion of the portfolio invested in debt securities.
Banker's Acceptance: Money Market instrument which are bills of exchange guaranteed by a bank or trust company for payment, generally within 1 to 6 months; and used as a source of financing for international trade.
Bankruptcy: State of insolvency of an individual or an organization — in other words, an inability to pay debts. The benefit in declaring bankruptcy is protection from creditors and the orderly and equitable settlement of obligations.
Basis Point: Smallest measure used in quoting yields on bonds and notes and equal to .01. Thus, 100 basis points equal 1%.
Bear Market: Prolonged period of falling stock prices.
Bearer Bond: Security issued with small detachable certificates entitling the holder to the interest due. Also known as Coupon Bond.
Beneficiary: Person, or organization, named to receive the financial proceeds of an estate, trust, annuity or other property.
Beta Coefficient: Analysis of a stock's price movement in relation to the rest of the stock market.
Bid Price: Price of a mutual fund share that is equal to the assets minus all liabilities, divided by the number of shares outstanding. Also known as the Net Asset Value (NAV).
Blue Chip Stock: Common stocks of well-known companies with records of profit growth and dividend payment, as well as quality management, products and services.
Blue Sky Laws: State regulations governing the sale of securities in the individual 50 states. They set forth securities registration requirements and generally are designed to protect the state's investors against securities fraud.
Board of Directors/Trustees: Responsible for the overall management and supervision of business organizations, including investment companies.
Bond: Debt security that represents the issuer's obligation to pay the principal plus interest due on a certain date of maturity. Until that time, the issuer is obligated to regularly pay a fixed rate of interest to the bondholder in return for the principal investment.
Bond Funds: Mutual funds that invest in debt instruments of varying maturities and types with the objective of providing current income.
Bond Yield Curve: This is a graphical representation of the current relative structure of interest rates payable on similar securities of different maturities.
Bond Yield Spreads: Municipal bonds normally carry the lowest market rates because of the tax-exempt feature of the obligations. Historically, their yields have traded at about 75–80% of Treasuries. In the taxable sector, treasuries have the lowest yields (because of the underlying government guarantee) followed by other government and agency paper, and then corporate bonds. For those issues that normally carry agency ratings (such as municipalities or corporates), generally the lower the agency rating, the higher the yield.
BONY: Bank of New York, who serves as custodian of the cash and portfolio securities held by Dreyfus mutual funds.
Book Shares: Shares held by the transfer agent on the behalf of a client. Also known as Non-certificate Shares.
Book Value: Equity value of an outstanding share of stock determined by dividing the amount of stockholders equity to which each share is entitled by the number of shares outstanding.
Breakpoint: Dollar level of a volume investment to qualify an investor for a reduced sales charge.
Broker-dealer: Person or firm that is registered to buy and sell securities for others and also for its own account.
Bull Market: Prolonged rise in the prices of stocks.
Bottom-up Approach: Refers to an investment strategy used by portfolio managers that puts an emphasis on finding outstanding companies, based on fundamental analysis, before portfolio management considers broad economic trends.