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The term Venture Capital refers to an investment made in a new or nearly new company either to get it off the ground (known as seed funding) or to provide capital for growth – surprisingly known as growth funding). Venture capital investments are usually made in cash in exchange for shares in the invested company […]

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In recent weeks the term Sovereign Debt has been bandied about by the media leaving many people puzzled as what it actually is. What it isn’t is money owed by a King or Queen of a country – Republics do have Sovereign Debt; you don’t need a Monarch! Joking aside, in simple terms Sovereign Debt […]

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I’ve suddenly had a lot of people contact me to ask the above question regarding the tax free ISA (Individual Savings Account) products that are available to UK taxpayers. This is probably due to changes that came in last month. If you don’t know what an ISA is then have a look at this earlier article. […]

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Most people have heard of Gross Domestic Product (sometimes called Gross Domestic Income) or GDP but few have heard of Gross National Product (GNP). To understand GNP you first have to understand GDP and fuller details can be found elsewhere on this site. In actual fact there is no internationally agreed definition of terms like […]

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The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Gross Domestic Income (GDI) is a measure of a country’s overall economic output in monetary terms. GDP is normally calculated each quarter and is considered a major indication of the economic health of a country. There are as many different ways of calculating Gross Domestic Product, not to mention […]

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Investing Offshore can be a very attractive option for the discerning investor who would like to explore other markets, shield his or her investments from potential capital lawsuits, or grow them in a confidential, secure investment not governed by the rules and regulations of their home jurisdiction. Over a year ago I posted an article […]

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This is the UK government department, headed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which is responsible for managing the country’s public revenues. In recent years it hasn’t had the best of records (despite many ill-informed commentators promoting Gordon Brown as a “prudent” chancellor – HAH!!!) as can clearly be seen by anyone who looks at […]

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A Friendly Society is incorporated under the Friendly Societies Act 1974 or under the Friendly Societies Act 1992 or any subsequent act replacing or amending these acts. Friendly Societies are voluntary mutual organisations whose main purpose is to financially assist their members, or their members’ families, during sickness, unemployment or retirement and to provide life […]

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Free Float

Published on August 9, 2009 by in All Articles, Guide to City Jargon

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This refers to shares in a public company which are freely available for purchase or trade by the general public. Although a company may be designated a Public Limited Company unless it is listed on a recognised stock exchange its shares may not be in “free float” and even if it is publicly listed the […]

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One of the most common questions we receive asks for a definition of an open-end fund and a definition of a closed-end fund. An open-end fund is a collective investment scheme that can issue and redeem shares according to market demand. Therefore unlike a closed-end fund, where the number of shares in issue is fixed […]

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Beware the fraudulent activities of a share “bucket shop”.  A Bucket Shop (sometimes called a “boiler room”) is a fraudulent brokerage firm that uses aggressive sales techniques, usually by telephone, to sell stock that the brokerage owns and wants to get rid of. The securities they sell are typically poor investment opportunities, and almost always […]

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Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) are designed for people who are members of a company pension scheme but who want to increase the contributions they make in order to boost their retirement income. Average life expectancy is increasing so topping up a company pension with an AVC plan is a good way of helping fund the […]

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The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 is the Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom that created the Financial Services Authority (FSA) as a regulator for insurance, investment business and banking. This was the Act by which Gordon Brown removed responsibility for regulating the banking industry from the Bank of England, a decision that […]

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The FSA Handbook sets out all the FSA’s rules made under powers given to the FSA by the Financial Services and Markets Act as well as rules based on this and other Acts. It is legally binding. The Handbook is updated almost daily and anyone involved in the financial industry is well advised to check […]

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Many employers offer a pension scheme to their employees though because of various recent changes in how these have to be accounted for this is becoming less common outside of the “public sector”. If you are a member of an occupational pension scheme your retirement income will be based on the years of service and […]

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Back in April of this year Alistair Darling slipped a shock announcement in the small print of his Budget statement. I reported these in a previous post UK Budget Bombshell for Second Home Owners. You should read the earlier post for full details but basically Mr Darling announced that with effect from April 2010, the […]

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In the context of UK regulations a qualified investor (“QI”) is one who falls within the definition contained in Section 86(7) of the Financial Services and Markets Act (“FSMA”) and who is listed on the Qualified Investor Register (“QIR”) maintained by the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”). The Financial Services Authority maintains a register of QIs, […]

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One of the most common questions we receive asks for a definition of a closed-end fund and a definition of an open-end fund. A closed-end fund is an investment vehicle with a fixed number of issued shares, which are not normally redeemable for cash or securities until the fund liquidates. Because there are a fixed […]

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Established in 1990, the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) is the only truly global hedge fund association. It represents all practitioners in the alternative investment management industry – including hedge fund managers, prime brokers, legal and accounting services and fund administrators. The association centres it activities on education, regulation, policy development and in the establishment […]

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An alternative investment is an investment product other than traditional investments such as stocks and shares, bonds or cash investments. The common features of alternative investments have been summarised as follows: Poor liquidity  Difficulty in determining current market values  Limited historical risk and return data  Extensive investment analysis required Some common alternative investments are: real […]

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