ACTIVE SHARE: The active share is a measurement of the extent to which a portfolio differs from its benchmark index. The ratio of benchmark holdings that differ from fund holdings is calculated. The resulting percentage is the active share.
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT: We define Adult Entertainment as Production-Revenue or Adult Entertainment Distribution-Revenue of max. 10%.
LIQUID ALTERNATIVE: There is no generally applicable definition for "Alternative investments"; it is rather a collective term for different forms of capital investment. The investment spectrum of alternative investments is much broader than traditional asset classes such as shares and bonds. They use other instruments such as futures, options, short selling, credit leverage and more.
ALPHA: The alpha represents the difference between the performance of a fund and the performance of its benchmark index. It quantifies the extent to which the fund outperformed or underperformed the benchmark. The alpha measures the portion of the return which can be put down not to mere market performance in general, but to the selection of stocks within the market.
AVERAGE MATURITY: The weighted average of the remaining time from the valuation date to the maturity of the securities in a securities portfolio. If you want the key figure to serve as an indicator of the interest rate risk, you can also use only the periods until the next interest rate adjustment for some types of securities, for example floaters.
BARBELL STRATEGY: It combines defensive sectors, characterised by structural profitability, a positive competitive environment and high entry barriers, with dividend opportunities for small and medium-sized capitalised as well as up-and-coming dividend stars. The structural admixture of small- and medium-sized companies includes family-run companies in particular. Our "barbell strategy" combines conservative core investments with above-average dividend quality and income-oriented opportunities.
BENCHMARK: A benchmark is a standard for measuring the performance of a fund’s investments. It can be an index that approximates the fund’s investment universe or strategy, a combination of indices or an interest rate.
BETA: The beta gauges the volatility of the security in comparison to the market. By definition, the market beta is 1.0. A beta of less than 1.0 indicates that the security is less volatile than the market. A beta of more than 1.0 indicates that the security is more volatile than the average. A negative beta means that the asset’s return is negatively correlated to the market as a whole.
BONDS: A debt instrument that obligates the issuer to pay to the bondholder the principal plus interest.
BOTTOM-UP ANALYSIS: In this approach, the growth potential of individual companies is analysed to identify promising stocks. Then, opportunities are evaluated in the company’s sector and in the market as a whole. Based on these individual analyses, investments are made with the objective of good long-term returns.
BVI METHOD: The BVI method of calculating performance is based on the time-weighted rate of return method. This internationally recognised standard method calculates performance simply, clearly and accurately. The investment performance is the change, in percent, between the assets invested at the beginning of the investment period and their value at the end of the period. It is assumed that distributions are immediately reinvested in new fund shares or units. This ensures that the performance of distributing and accumulating funds can be compared.
COAL: We define coal as Thermal Coal Extraction-Revenue of max. 5% or Thermal Coal Power Generation-Revenue of max. 10%.
CONTROVERSIES: Level 5 controversies, according to the Sustainalytics severity ranking, are not permitted.
CONTROVERSIAL WEAPONS: For funds with a dedicated ESG strategy, controversial weapons are defined as weapons under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction ("Ottawa Convention"), the Convention on the Prohibition of Cluster Munitions ("Oslo Convention") and biological and chemical weapons under the respective UN Conventions (UN BWC and UN CWC). A zero tolerance applies.
CONVERTIBLE BONDS: A bond that can be exchanged for shares of the company within a certain period of time, under certain conditions and at a fixed exchange ratio. If the share price develops positively, the holder of the convertible bond will take the opportunity to participate in the substance and earnings capacity of the company and convert. Convertible bonds generally have a lower interest rate than normal bonds because the holder enjoys the benefit of the conversion option.
COUNTERPARTY RISK: Counterparty risk is the risk of default of a professional market player (in this context, the counterparty is a coordinate term to client). Such risk encompasses traditional credit risk – e.g. in money-market transactions – as well as, in particular, the risks of default inherent in derivatives positions or clearing activities.
COUNTRY AND STOP TRANSFER RISK: Country and stop transfer risk covers all risks of default of or moratorium by a country in which a debtor is legally domiciled. It can arise in the case of cross-border payments due to the unwillingness (political risk) and/or the inability (economic risk) of a country to make such payments, and therefore constitutes a separate, superordinate sphere of risk over which creditor and debtor have no control.
CSSF: "Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF" is a public institution which supervises the professionals and products of the Luxembourg financial sector. It supervises, regulates, authorises, informs, and, where appropriate, carries out on-site inspections and issues sanctions. Moreover, it is in charge of promoting transparency, simplicity and fairness in the markets of financial products and services and is responsible for the enforcement of laws on financial consumer protection and on the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
CURRENCY: Collective term for means of payment denominated in foreign currencies (excluding cash), in particular foreign currency bank balances.
CURRENCY OPTION: A currency option is the contractual option of two contracting parties to buy or sell a given foreign currency at a predetermined price on a given date. There is never physical delivery, so in the case of currency options, the price gain is always paid by the issuer in the form of a cash settlement.
DERIVATIVE FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS: “Derivatives” is a collective term for securities the prices of which are aligned with the price changes or anticipated prices of other investments. Derivatives are constructed in such a way that they disproportionately reflect the fluctuations in the prices of these assets. Therefore, they can be used both to hedge against losses and to speculate on potential price gains of the underlyings. The most important derivatives are structured products, options, futures and swaps.
DIVIDEND YIELD: The dividend on a stock or share last paid out relative to its current price. To a limited degree, the dividend yield indicates the relative attractiveness of a stock. However, it is possible that a dividend yield appears high only because the price of the stock has fallen due to a decline in company performance. In this case, the dividend may be smaller or non-existent in future. For this reason, when investing in dividend-bearing securities, careful analysis of the individual stocks is required.
EQUITY EXPOSURE (GROSS/NET): The equity exposure (gross) refers to the percentage of equity shares within a portfolio. The net equity exposure is the gross equity exposure less any hedging transactions.
ESG: The term "ESG" has become established as the standard for sustainable investments. These three letters describe three sustainability-related areas of responsibility of companies: 1) The "E" for environment stands here, for example, for environmental pollution or hazards, greenhouse gas emissions or energy efficiency issues (Environment). 2.) Social ("S") includes aspects such as occupational health and safety, diversity or social commitment (Corporate Social Responsibility). 3.) Governance ("G") refers to sustainable corporate management. This includes topics such as corporate values or management and control processes (Corporate Governance).
ESG RISK SCORE: They reflect risks that are (and controllable) at company level, the uncontrollable risks to which companies are exposed due to their sector of activity, and the controllable risks to which companies are exposed due to their sector of activity. Industry risks. If the company takes effective measures to address the controllable risks (at industry and company level), it can improve its ESG Risk Score and thus reduce its material risks.
ESG RISK SCORE COVERAGE: Indicates the number of companies in the sub-fund which are covered by Sustainalytics (independent, innovative service provider of "Responsible Investment Services").
EX-ANTE VOLATILITY: Indicator for the expected future fluctuation margin of a value (e.g. security or foreign exchange prices, index) within a certain period of time.
FIXED-INTEREST SECURITIES: Securities which bear interest at an agreed fixed rate throughout their entire term and are repaid on a fixed date are referred to as fixed-interest securities (e. g. bonds).
FLEXIBLE-BLEND APPROACH: The blended approach is a blend of the value and growth approaches. “Flexible” means that the fund is flexible in its selection of small, medium and large-cap companies.
FNG: The FNG label is the quality standard for sustainable investment funds in German-speaking countries. It was launched in 2015 after a three-year development process involving key stakeholders. The associated sustainability certification must be renewed annually.
FOREIGN CURRENCY RATIO (GROSS/NET): The foreign currency ratio (gross) describes the share of foreign currencies within a portfolio. The net foreign currency ratio is the gross foreign currency ratio less any hedging transactions.
FRONT-END LOAD: The front-end load is a one-off fee charged at the time of purchase of fund shares or units. It is usually expressed as a percentage.
FUTURES: A stock exchange transaction concluded at the current price, but whose execution is carried out at an agreed future date.
GENETICALLY MODIFIED PLANTS AND SEEDS: We define Genetically Modified Plants and Seeds as Genetically Modified Plants and Seeds Development-Revenue or Genetically Modified Plants and Seeds Growth-Revenue of max. 10%.
GICS: In 1999, MSCI and S&P Dow Jones Indices developed the "Global Industry Classification Standard" (GICS), seeking to offer an efficient investment tool to capture the breadth, depth and evolution of industry sectors. GICS is a four-tiered, hierarchical industry classification system. Companies are classified quantitatively and qualitatively. Each company is assigned a single GICS classification at the Sub-Industry level according to its principal business activity.
GROWTH APPROACH: In the growth approach, securities are selected on the basis of the promising growth prospects of companies, sectors and markets. Often the selection consists of companies with above-average turnover and earnings growth.
HIGH-YIELD BONDS: Fixed-income securities of poor credit quality. They are generally rated BB+ or lower by rating agencies. They offer higher yields than bonds with better ratings, but also entail higher risks.
INFORMATION RATIO: The information ratio is a financial ratio for evaluating an investment fund that describes the return of a fund above the benchmark, relative to the tracking error. It is obtained by dividing the fund return (measured as alpha) by the fund risk (expressed by the tracking error).
ISIN: Acronym for "International Security Identification Number." The ISIN is the international standard used for the identification of securities. It consists of a two-digit code (e.g. DE for Germany) which is followed by a ten-digit alphanumerical code.
ISSUER RISK: Issuer risk is the risk of declines in the creditworthiness, or of the default, of an issuer or reference entity.
KIID: The "Key Investor Information Document" (KIID) is the legally required product information sheet for investment funds and must summarise the most important relevant facts and characteristics of the fund "in a clear and easily understandable manner". This should enable investors to assess the opportunities and risks of a specific fund as well as to compare the different fund offers.
LIQUID ALTERNATIVE: There is no generally applicable definition for "Liquid Alternative or Alternative investments"; it is rather a collective term for different forms of capital investment. The investment spectrum of alternative investments is much broader than traditional asset classes such as shares and bonds. They use other instruments such as futures, options, short selling, credit leverage and more.
LUXFLAG: "LUXEMBOURG FINANCE LABELLING AGENCY " is an independent and international non-profit association to support sustainable finance: the Luxembourg Government, ALFI, ABBL, ADA, the European Investment Bank, Luxembourg for Finance and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (Charter members). Its objective is to reassure investors that the labelled investment vehicles invest in the responsible investment sector.
MACD (MOVING AVERAGE CONVERGENCE/DIVERGENCE): The technical indicator is a momentum indicator that is used to predict trends. It is based on two exponential moving averages and the relationship between them (convergence/divergence). The calculation can indicate buy and sell signals.
MAXIMUM DRAWDOWN: The maximum drawdown is the absolute biggest drop in value in a given period of time. It measures how much value the fund lost from peak to trough within a given timeframe. It thus illustrates the fluctuation in value an investor had to take for a specific investment product in the past in a worst-case scenario.
MODIFIED DURATION: The modified duration is an expression of how much the price of a bond or a bond fund will rise or fall due to changes in the market interest rate. The higher the modified duration, the more the prices of the bond fluctuate in response to interest rate changes.
MONEY-MARKET INSTRUMENTS: Collective term for all types of interest rate instruments that are traded on the money market. Money market instruments have an original maturity or residual maturity of up to one year, although instruments with a maturity of up to two years may also be included in the money market.
MTD: "Month-To-Date" refers to the period from the beginning of the month to the current date.
MULTI-ASSET-FUNDS: Multi-Asset-Funds are allowed to invest in different asset classes. They represent a mix of shares, bonds, money market securities, real estate assets, commodities or even currencies.
NAV: The "Net Asset Value" is the total value of all the assets in an investment fund divided by the number of units, net of the charges born by the fund.
NON-RATIFICATION NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION: We define Non-ratification Nuclear Non-Proliferation agreement as states that are by law not bound to Nuclear Non-Proliferation.
NON-RATIFICATION OF PARIS AGREEMENT: We define Non-ratification of Paris agreement as states that are by law not bound to the Paris Climate agreement.
NON-RATIFICATION UN BIODIVERSITY: We define Non-ratification UN Biodiversity as states that are by law not bound to UN Convention of biodiversity.
NUCLEAR POWER: We define Nuclear Power as Nuclear Production-Revenue or Nuclear Distribution-Revenue of max. 5% or Nuclear Supporting Products/Services-Revenue of max. 25%.
OIL & GAS: We define Oil & Gas as Production-Revenue of max. 5% or Oil & Gas Supporting Products/Services-Revenue of max. 25% or Oil & Gas Generation-Revenue or Oil & Gas Generation-Capacity Range of max. 10%.
OIL SANDS/SHALE GAS: We define Oil Sands/Shale Gas as Shale Energy Extraction-Revenue of max. 5%.
ONE-OFF INVESTMENT: A one-off investment is an investment in fund shares or units made one time only.
OUTPERFORMANCE: Index funds are measured against a benchmark. When a fund performs better than the benchmark against which it is evaluated we speak of outperformance.
OTC (OVER-THE-COUNTER) TRADING: Off-exchange securities trading via telephone or an electronic system. Nearly all securities, currencies or precious metals can be traded over-the-counter by banks, investors and Exchange Broker. OTC prices are quoted in separate price lists. OTC trading is governed by the regulations pertaining to securities transactions; however, it is not subject to statutory supervisory or monitoring regulations. Generally accepted exchange customs serve as a guideline for OTC trading.
PERFORMANCE FEE: This refers to performance-based remuneration. Some funds incur a performance fee if a certain target is exceeded in a set period. R²: R² refers to the percentage of fund movements that can be explained by movements in its benchmark index. Thus, an R² of 35 means that only 35% of fund movements can be explained by changes in its benchmark. R² is used to determine how useful the
beta figure is. The higher the R², the more significant the beta.
REDEMPTION FEE: Fund providers may charge a fee not only when buying but also when selling fund shares.
REDEMPTION PRICE: The price at which a fund share is redeemed by the Investment Company. It is derived from the net asset value including any cash on hand per unit less selling expenses and redemption costs. The redemption price is generally lower than the issue price calculated on the same day.
RELATIVE STRENGTH INDEX (RSI): RSI is a momentum indicator that tracks prices and can help to identify short-lived highs and lows. To that end, the indicator compares the movements in price over a certain period to determine whether the price is unusually high or low. It is used mainly to identify overbought and oversold securities.
SECURITIES: A security is a document that secures certain rights, such as co-ownership of a company. Without the deed, the right cannot be asserted. The collective term security includes shares, bonds, warrants, bonds and convertible bonds.
SHARE: The share is a security that makes the holder a co-owner of a public limited company. With the purchase of the share, the shareholder acquires a share in the share capital of the company.
SHARPE RATIO: The Sharpe ratio is the return per unit of risk, and is obtained by dividing the return in excess of the risk-free rate by the standard deviation. It thus indicates the return a fund offers per unit of risk. The higher the Sharpe ratio, the better the risk-adjusted return of a fund.
STANDARD DEVIATION/VOLATILITY: A fund’s standard deviation is a measurement of how much the fund performance fluctuated in the past. The alternative term “volatility” is often used. This indicator is useful for two reasons: firstly, because in most cases, higher volatility means higher risk. This allows for comparison of funds across all categories. Secondly, because funds that tended to be quite volatile in the past also tend to be quite volatile in the future. The standard deviation is thus a useful warning sign.
SUB-FUND: A Sub-fund in the case of funds structured according to the "umbrella" principle. In the case of investment funds with different sub-funds, the investor is only entitled to the assets and income of the sub-fund in which he is invested.
SUSTAINALYTICS: Is an independent, innovative service provider of "Responsible Investment Services".
SWAP: A swap is an exchange of receivables/payables. Interest rate differences between currencies are settled with the swap rate. A distinction is made between interest rate swaps and currency swaps. A pure interest rate swap involves the exchange of interest payment obligations in a currency for a certain period of time. The main feature of a cross-currency swap is that the obligations to be exchanged are denominated in different currencies.
TABACCO: We define Tobacco as Tobacco Products Production-Revenue or Tobacco Products Related Products/Services-Revenue or Tobacco Products Retail-Level of Involvement of max. 5%
TER: The Total Expense Ratio includes all fees charged to a fund in the course of a financial year. It is the ratio of costs to average fund assets. However, it is important to note that usually, the TER (the way it is calculated by German fund companies) does not factor in transaction costs, so it is not a “total” expense ratio proper. It takes into account: management and custodian fee, publishing and audit costs, and costs of other services.
TOP-DOWN ANALYSIS: Macroeconomic factors, sectors, countries, market cycles and other such general indicators are looked at first before moving on to more specific, detailed factors like individual companies. Based on this analysis, then, investments are assessed and made with a long-term profit objective.
TRACKING ERROR: A measurement of how closely a fund’s performance tracks that of its benchmark index. It is obtained by calculating the standard deviation in the monthly return between fund and benchmark over a certain period, and using the result to recalculate for one year (annualised). A higher tracking error indicates greater deviation between fund and benchmark composition. A lower tracking error, on the other hand, suggests greater similarity in the structure of fund and benchmark.
UCITS: UCITS stands for Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities. The term comes from an EU Directive setting out the conditions under which funds domiciled in an EU country can be marketed in all EU countries.
UNFREE OR CURRUPT COUNTRIES: We define unfree countries as states that are declared as „non-free“ according to the current valid Freedom House-Ranking. We define corrupt countries as states that have a CPI score below 35 of the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.
VALUE APPROACH: The systematic purchase of company stocks that are comparatively cheap or undervalued and which can be expected to increase in value.
VALUE AT RISK: The specific risk of loss that can arise in trading positions as a result of price changes. It shows the maximum potential for loss in the event of price fluctuations under normal market conditions and within a defined period, calculated on the basis of a certain probability.
VARIABLE INTEREST SECURITIES: Bonds where the interest rate is adjusted to the market rate at regular intervals, usually every three to six months. Variable interest securities are also known as floating rate bonds.
VIOLATION OF UN GLOBAL COMPACT PRINCIPLES: Companies that violate any UN Global Compact Principles and do not have a positive perspective are not permitted.
VOLATILITY: Volatility is a measure of risk and shows the fluctuation intensity of the price of an underlying asset within a certain period. The higher the volatility, the more the price moves up and down and the riskier but also more promising an investment in the underlying asset is.
WARRANT-LINKED BONDS: An obligation that gives the right to acquire shares at a certain fixed price within a certain period of time.
WEAPONS: For any MainFirst investment, weapons are excluded, which we define as companies with >50% revenue share from military contracting and/or violation of UN conventions on cluster bombs. For funds with a dedicated ESG strategy, we define weapons as companies with >5% of sales from the following areas: military contracting, weapon-related products and/or services, small arms for civilian customers or military/law enforcement customers, and key components.
WKN: The "Wertpapierkennnummer" (WKN) is a six-digit combination of numbers and letters used in Germany to identify securities.
YTD: "Year-to-date" refers to the period from the beginning of the year to the current date.
YIELD: This term is used in many different ways and serves first of all as a general indication of the relationship between the payments made and received. The term yield also has a meaning in the field of capital and financial investments. It is used to represent the interest earned on an investment and can also be used as a key figure. As a rule, yield is not given in amounts, but as a percentage. This percentage figure usually refers to the yield for one year.
YIELD TO WORST: "YTW" is the lowest yield a bond could pay. This is often equivalent to the yield until the next possible call date. This yield indicator is intended to help investors assess whether this investment will meet their specific investment objectives even in a worst-case scenario.
ZERO BONDS: Zero bonds are long-term bonds where no annual interest payments are made, but instead the investor receives a single full payment at maturity. In most cases, the face value of the bond is paid at that time, as it is usually issued at a price well below that value. The yield is the difference between the nominal value and the purchase price.