Whether you are buying shares in individual companies or you are placing your money with banks and other financial institutions with the aim of making a profit, you are involved in investment business. In finance this includes putting money into something with the expectation of gain after having analyzed all the factors of security of return within an expected period of time.

There are certain words and phrases you should be familiar with if you are involved in this area of business, such as:

• Intermediaries – banks, credit unions, brokers, lenders and insurance companies which make an investment using money from many individuals, each of whom receives a claim on the intermediary.

• A credit union – a member-owned financial cooperative, democratically controlled by its members, and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to its members.

• Alternative investment – investment in items other than stocks, bonds or other securities, for example wine, art and antiques.

• Investment income – income paid from an investment, such as dividends and interest, and rental income. The income might be taxable or tax-exempt.

• Dividend – the distribution of a part of a company’s earnings to shareholders, usually twice a year (or even quarterly in the US).
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