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  • Arbitrage is the technique of simultaneously buying at a lower price in one market and selling at a higher price in another market to make a profit on the spread between the prices.

    Although the price difference may be very small, arbitrageurs, or arbs, typically trade regularly and in huge volume, so they can make sizable profits.

    But the strategy, which depends on split-second timing, can also backfire if interest rates, prices, currency exchange rates, or other factors move in ways the arbitrageurs don't anticipate.

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  • Arbitration is a way to resolve conflicts between parties or individuals, and may be considered middle ground between the more cooperative, informal nature of mediation and the more expensive, involved, and lengthy process of litigation.

    Usually, when you open a brokerage account, you sign an agreement to use arbitration to resolve possible conflicts with the firm and waive the right to sue for damages in court.

    Arbitration is binding, which means you can't appeal the decision or try for a different result by going to court. Most investment-related arbitration claims are handled by either NASD, the main self-regulatory body that supervises brokers, or the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

    In arbitration, a trained impartial arbitrator or panel of arbitrators reviews the evidence, decides on the outcome, and sets any award. While arbitration is usually less expensive than litigation, arbitration and attorney fees make it a more expensive option than mediation.

  • Browse Related Terms: Arbitration, Dispute resolution, Form ADV, Mediation, Registered investment adviser (RIA)

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  • The ask price (a shortening of asked price) is the price at which a market maker or broker offers to sell a security or commodity.

    The price another market maker or broker is willing to pay for that security is called the bid price, and the difference between the two prices is called the spread.

    Bid and ask prices are typically reported to the media for commodities and over-the-counter (OTC) transactions. In contrast, last, or closing, prices are reported for exchange-traded and national market securities.

    With open-end mutual funds, the ask price is the net asset value (NAV), or the price you get if you sell, plus the sales charge, if one applies.

  • Browse Related Terms: Ask, BID, bid and ask, Dealer, Firm quote, Make a market, Market maker, Pink Sheets, Quotation (Quote), Trading floor

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  • Assets are everything you own that has any monetary value, plus any money you are owed.

    They include money in bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, equity in real estate, the value of your life insurance policy, and any personal property that people would pay to own.

    When you figure your net worth, you subtract the amount you owe, or your liabilities, from your assets. Similarly, a company's assets include the value of its physical plant, its inventory, and less tangible elements, such as its reputation.

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