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  • Bonds

    Fixed interest securities which can be bought and sold, and which may be traded on a stock exchange.

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  • Trustee

    A person appointed to look after investors' interests for certain fixed interest securities e.g. those offered by credit unions, building societies and finance companies, and for unit trusts.

  • Shares

    Shares are equity securities, i.e. you buy a share in a company. You may be paid regular dividends on your shares, and you have the chance of making a capital gain on your money later if you sell your shares for more than you paid for them.

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  • Issuer

    A person or company or financial institution which offers investments to the public.

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  • Debt securities

    Investments where you lend your money to a bank, other financial institution or other issuer, and are paid interest on your money. Fixed interest securities are debt securities.

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  • Dividend

    A payment a company makes from its profits to shareholders at a rate of a certain amount of money per share. For example, a company may decide to pay 5c per share as a dividend. If you hold 1000 shares you will be paid $50. Some companies have a scheme for dividend reinvestment. If you sign up to this your dividend is not paid in cash but reinvested in shares and your holding of shares increases. For example, the company might set a rate of $5 per share and add 10 shares to your holding rather than pay you cash. This enables you to increase your holding without brokerage costs.

  • Interest

    Money paid to you by a bank or other financial institution or other issuer in return for having the use of your money lent to them as a fixed interest or debt security. Sometimes the interest is paid at regular intervals. The interest is either paid directly to you, or it may be added to the money you have invested. The latter is called compounding. It means that you get interest on the interest. Under other arrangements interest may be paid out at the end of an agreed term.

  • Futures

    Investments in things like foreign currency, oil, electricity or wool where you invest now on a prediction of what the commodity will sell for at a later date. Futures contracts are a way of trying to profit (or minimize loss) from future movements in prices or values, without actually buying the commodity that the contract relates to.

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  • Diversifying

    Putting your money into several different investment types to reduce your risk. If one type of investment fails or doesn't do as well as you expect, not all your invested money is lost or affected.

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  • Debentures

    A type of fixed interest or debt security where the issuer's obligation to repay investors is secured by the issuer's assets. The value of a debenture depends on the value of the issuer's assets.

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