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Investment Dictionary Investment Dictionary


Value Line Equity Rating Criteria
Using a computerized model based on a corporation's earnings growth potential, Value Line's Equity Rating Criteria ranks corporations for both timeliness and safety as follows:

1. Highest rank
2. Above average rank
3. Average rank
4. Below average rank
5. Lowest rank.

Value Line Investment Survey (VL)
An investment advisory service that ranks hundreds of securities for safety and timeliness. It projects which securities should have the best or worst price performance over the next year. Moreover, each corporation is assigned a risk rating. The ratings identify the volatility of a corporation's stock price behavior compared to the market average. Subscribers to the service receive weekly write-ups detailing corporations' financial information, and data such as corporate insider buying and selling decisions and the percentage of a corporation's shares held by institutions.

Variable Annuity
A life insurance annuity contract whose value fluctuates with that of its underlying securities portfolio. Through security investments, the objective is to preserve the annuity's value that is otherwise subject to inflationary erosion. The return to investors, usually at retirement, may be periodic payments that change with the market value of the portfolio or fixed minimum payments based on portfolio appreciation.

Variable Life Insurance
A variation of whole life insurance created to fight inflation and to remain competitive with other investment vehicles that provide higher rates of return. It affords policyholders a chance to earn capital gains on their insurance by investing the cash value of the policy in stock, bond, or money market portfolios. The policyholder sustains the investment risk and the insurance company guarantees a minimum death benefit that is not affected by any portfolio losses. As in IRAs, earnings from variable life policies grow tax deferred until distributed. Income is taxed only for the amount that exceeds the total premiums paid into the policy.

Variable Rate Demand Note
Note representing borrowings that are payable on demand. Its interest is tied to a money market rate (e.g., the bank prime rate). The note's rate is adjusted downward or upward every time the base rate changes.

Velocity of Money
The amount of times a dollar is spent in a specific time period. Velocity affects economic activity produced by a given money supply, which includes bank deposits and cash in circulation. The Federal Reserve Board considers the velocity of money as a factor in their management of monetary policy. This is because a rise in velocity may preclude the need to stimulate an increase in the money supply. Conversely, a decline in velocity may slow down economic growth.

Venture Capital
Source of financing for start-up companies and new or turnaround ventures that involve investment risk but offer the prospect for above average future profits--also called "risk capital." Venture capital financing supplements other funds that an entrepreneur is able to tap (or takes the place of loans that conventional financial institutions are unwilling to risk). Venture capital sources include wealthy individual investors, subsidiaries of banks, small business investment companies (SBICs), groups of investment banks and venture capital limited partnerships. In return for taking an investment risk, venture capitalists are commonly rewarded with either profits, royalties, preferred stock, capital appreciation of shares or any combination thereof.

Venture Capital Limited Partnership
Investment vehicle set up by a brokerage firm or entrepreneurial company to raise capital for start-up businesses or those in the early stages of development. In return for taking an investment risk, the partnership usually takes shares of stock in the company. Venture capital limited partners receive income from profits the company earns, regardless of what services or products are sold.

Versus Purchase (VSP)
Method of identifying specific shares of securities to be sold for tax purposes--also called vs. purchase. If versus purchase is not specifically stated, the IRS deems the securities sold are on a first-in first-out (FIFO) basis.

Vertical Line Charts
A type of technical charting that displays on one vertical line the low and high prices of a security or market and a short horizontal mark that denotes the closing price. Each vertical line represents one day. The chart shows the trend of a security or a market over a period of days, weeks, months, or years. Technical analysts determine from these charts whether a security or a market is frequently closing at the low or high end of its trading range during a day. This information is useful in discerning whether the security or a market is weak or strong, and thus, if prices will decline or advance in the near future.

Vertical Spread
Strategy where an investor concurrently buys and sells options on the same underlying security--also called a price spread. Both options have identical expiration dates but different strike prices. For instance, a vertical spread is created by buying an XYZ April 20 call and selling an XYZ April 25 call. This strategy is used in hopes of profiting as the difference between the option premium on the two option positions widens or narrows.

The process by which an employee becomes entitled to receive employer-contributed benefits in a qualified retirement plan. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 stipulates that employees must be vested 100% after five years of employment or at 20% a year in the third year and 100% vested after seven years.

V Formation
A V formation is a technical chart pattern indicating that the security being charted has bottomed out and is now in a rising (bullish) trend. An inverse (upside-down) V is indicative of a bearish trend.

Visible Supply
The total par value of all bond issues scheduled to come to market during the forthcoming thirty days exclusive of issues with maturities of one year or less. It is published each day in the Daily Bond Buyer.

The term describes the size and frequency of fluctuations in the price of a particular security. A security may be volatile because the company's outlook is uncertain, there are only a few outstanding shares (see Thin Market), or many other reasons. When the reasons for the variation have to do with the particular security and not the market as a whole, return is measured by alpha. Market-related volatility is measured by beta--also called systematic risk.

A security, market, or commodity that rises or falls severely in price within a short time period.

The total number of shares traded in a security or an entire market during a given period of time. Volume figures are reported daily by exchanges and a daily average is computed for longer periods. Technical analysts stress the importance on the amount of volume that occurs in the trading of a security. A sharp rise in volume is deemed to signal future sharp rises or falls in price, because it reflects increased interest in a security.

Volume Deleted (VD)
Note appearing on the consolidated tape indicating that for transactions of less than 5000 shares only the stock symbol and the trading price will be displayed. This usually occurs when the tape is running behind because of heavy trading.

Voting Right
Right to vote in corporate business matters in which they are common shareholder. This right may be delegated to another person by the shareholder.

Voting Stock
Shares in a company that give a shareholder voting and proxy rights.

Voting Trust
A limited-life trust established to center authority of a corporation to a few individuals, called voting trustees.

Voting Trust Certificate (VTC)
Transferable certificate of beneficial interest in a voting trust that is issued to stockholders in exchange for their common stock. The certificates represent all the rights of common stock (the shareholder retains rights to earnings and dividends) but delegates voting rights to the trustees. The common stock is then registered on the corporation's books in the names of the trustees. The common purpose for such an arrangement is to facilitate reorganization of a corporation in financial difficulty by preventing resistance to management.

Vulture Funds
A limited partnership that invests in undervalued property and whose goal is to profit when prices rebound.