All or none orders are only executed as the whole order or none at all. There would be no partial fills.


A securities firm is classified as an agent when it acts as buyer or seller of a security on behalf of its clients. The agent does not own the security at any time during the transaction.

Alberta Securities Commission (ASC)

The provincial regulatory agency responsible for overseeing the capital market in Alberta.

All or none

An order type that the broker executes only if the trade can be executed for the full quantity specified. If a complete transaction is not executed, it will remain open for the time limit specified.

American Depositary Receipt (ADR)

Receipt for shares of foreign-based companies that entitle the shareholder to all dividends and capital gains. ADRs allow investors to buy shares of foreign-based corporations' securities on U.S. Exchanges instead of having to go to overseas exchanges.

American-style options

Options that can be exercised any time during their lifetime. These are also known as open options.

Annual report

A publication, including financial statements and a report on operations, issued by a company to its shareholders at the company's fiscal year-end.


An investment in which the policy holder makes a lump-sum or installment payment to an insurance company and receives income at retirement.


The simultaneous purchase of a security on one stock market and the sale of the same security on another stock market at prices which yield a profit.


The price at which someone is willing to sell a security. It generally is the lowest round lot price at which someone will sell.


Everything a company or person owns, including money, securities, equipment and real estate. Assets include everything that is owned to the company or person. Assets are listed on a company's balance sheet or an individual's net worth statement.

Asset allocation funds

Mutual funds that feature a mix of stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents to meet the investment objectives of individual investors.


The notification to the seller of an option by the clearing corporation that the buyer of the option is enforcing the terms of the option's contract.

Alternative trading system (ATS)

A non-exchange, electronic system that matches buy and sell orders. Canadian ATSs include Alpha, Chi-X, Omega, and Pure.


When the price of the underlying equity, index or commodity equals the strike price of the option.


orders are executable during market hours (9:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST) and in the pre- and post-market*. This is the default preferred ECN and can be used for any order.

Averages and indices

Statistical tools that measure the state of the stock market or the economy based on the performance of stocks, bonds or other components. Examples are the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Consumer Price Index.

Averaging down

Buying more of a security at a price that is lower than the price paid for the initial investment. The aim of averaging down is to reduce the average cost per unit of the investment.


Back-end load

A fee charged by a mutual fund when you sell your shares.

Basis point

One-hundredth of a percentage point. For example, the difference between 5.25% and 5.50% is 25 basis points.

Bear market

A market in which stock prices are falling.

Best-efforts underwriting

A type of underwriting where the investment firm acts as an agent. The firm agrees to use its best efforts to sell the new issue of securities, but does not guarantee the issuing company that the securities to be issued will be sold.


A measure of the volatility, or systematic risk, of a security or a portfolio in comparison to the market as a whole.

Better-price-limit orders

An order with a limit price better than the best price on the opposite side of the market. A better-priced buy order has a limit price higher than the best offering. A better-priced sell order has a limit price lower than the best bid. These are available only at the opening.


The price which a prospective buyer is willing to pay for a security.

Black-Scholes model

A mathematical model used to calculate the theoretical price of an option.

Block trades

An order/trade submitted for sale or purchase of a large quantity of securities. Also known as "Block Order

Blue chip

A common stock of an established company that has a long record of stable growth.

Board lot

A regular trading unit. The board lot size of a stock on Toronto Stock Exchange or TSX Venture Exchange can be 1000, 500, or 100 shares depending on the price of the stock.


An electronic record of all pending buy and sell orders for a particular stock.

Booked orders

Orders that do not trade immediately upon entry. These orders are also known as outstanding orders.


Promissory notes issued by a corporation or government to its lenders, usually with a specified amount of interest for a specified length of time.

British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre (BCICAC)

An arbitration centre established to resolve business disputes that have not been resolved through normal channels. As part of its services, the centre will accept claims up to $500,000 from clients of participating member firms of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada (Pacific Division) and TSX Venture Exchange.

Bought-deal underwriting

A type of underwriting where the brokerage firm acts as principal. The brokerage firm risks its own capital to purchase all of the securities to be issued. If the price of the securities decreases before the brokerage firm has had a chance to resell the securities to its clients, the firm absorbs the loss.

British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC)

The provincial government agency responsible for administering and enforcing the Securities Act and the Commodity Contract Act of British Columbia.

Broadcast SelectNet

This is an order that is seen by all market makers. The system only allows one market maker to fill the order; you cannot be double-filled.

Broker or brokerage firm

A securities firm or a registered investment advisor affiliated with a firm. Brokers are the link between investors and the stock market. When acting as a broker for the purchase or sale of listed stock, the investment advisor does not own the securities but acts as an agent for the buyer and seller and charges a commission for these services.

Bull market

A market in which stock prices are rising.


Purchase of a security.


If a broker fails to deliver securities sold to another broker on the settlement date, the receiving broker may buy the securities at the current market price of the stock and charge the delivering broker the cost difference of such a purchase.

Buy to close

You close a short option position when you buy it back.

Buy to open

You open a long position when you buy an option.

Buying power

Buying power (BP) is the amount of funds you can use to purchase stock intraday.


Call option

The right to buy 100 shares of the underlying security at a fixed price before a specified expiration date. Call buyers hope the price of the stock will rise. Call sellers hope the price will stay the same or go down.

Canadian Depository for Securities (CDS)

The designated central clearing corporation for all equity trades in Canada.

Canadian Derivatives Clearing Corporation (CDCC)

The designated central clearing corporation for options and futures trading on the Bourse de Montréal. Previously known as Trans-Canada Options Inc. (TCO)

Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF)

A fund established to protect customers in the event of insolvency of a member of any of the following sponsoring self-regulatory organizations: the Bourse de Montréal, Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange and the Investment Dealers Association of Canada.

Canadian Securities Institute (CSI)

The national educational organization of the securities industry sponsored by the Investment Dealers Association of Canada, Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange and the Bourse de Montréal.


To an economist, capital means machinery, factories and inventory required to produce other products. To investors, capital means their cash plus the financial assets they have invested in securities, their home and other fixed assets.

Capital Appreciation

The growth of the earnings on an investment's principal.

Capital Gain

Arises when an investment is sold at a price higher than the original purchase price. In a mutual fund, capital gains are created when the fund buys and sells underlying securities at a premium over purchase price. These gains are then distributed to unit-holders at least annually. Unit-holders can also earn capital gains by redeeming their fund shares at higher prices than they originally paid.

Capital pool companies

The TSX Venture Exchange Capital Pool Company (CPC) program offers a unique listing opportunity that brings experienced management teams with proven public financing ability together with development-stage companies in need of capital and management expertise. Unlike traditional public companies, capital pools list and begin trading without an operating business. The nature of their business is to find and acquire a promising early-stage venture, and their treasuries are funded expressly for the search and due diligence process.

Capital stock

All shares representing ownership of a company, including preferred and common shares.

Capitalization or capital structure

Total dollar amount of all money invested in a company, such as debt, preferred and common stock, contributed surplus and retained earnings of a company.

CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade)

A commodity exchange established in 1848 that today trades in both agricultural and financial contracts. The CBOT originally traded only agricultural commodities such as wheat, corn and soybeans. Now the CBOT offers options and futures contracts on a wide range of products including gold, silver, U.S. Treasury bonds and energy.


The physical document that shows ownership of a bond, stock or other security.

Certificate of deposit

Debt instrument issued by banks and savings and loans. Maturities range from overnight to many years. Certificates of Deposit are issued at par and pay fixed interest at intervals or maturity; they can be brokered through a broker dealer.

Client order

An order from a retail customer of an investment dealer.

Closing transaction

An order to close out an existing open futures or options contract.

CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange)

The world's second-largest exchange for futures and options on futures and the largest in U.S. Trading involves mostly futures on interest rates, currency, equities, stock indices and a small amount on agricultural products.

CNQ (Canadian National Stock Exchange)

An alternative stock exchange in Canada. The CNQ offers simplified reporting requirements and reduced barriers to listing. It is an alternative for microcap and emerging companies.


The fee charged by an investment advisor for buying or selling securities as an agent on behalf of a client.

Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedure (CUSIP)

CUSIP is a standard system of securities identification and securities description that is used in electronically processing and recording securities transactions in North America.


Products used for commerce that are traded on a separate, authorized commodities exchange. Commodities include agricultural products and natural resources such as timber, oil and metals. Commodities are the basis for futures contracts traded on these exchanges.

Common Stock

Securities that represent an ownership interest in a corporation.

Complete fill

When an order trades all of its specified volume.


The computation of interest paid using the principal plus the previously earned interest.

Concentrated position

A concentrated position is created in a margin account when the market value of one position is greater than the equity in the account.

Continuous disclosure

A company's ongoing obligation to inform the public of significant corporate events, both favourable and unfavourable.


A feature of certain bonds, debentures and preferred shares. They may be exchanged by the holder usually for the common stock of the same company, in accordance with the terms of the conversion privilege.

Corporate account

An account with a brokerage registered in the same name of the corporation. At least one individual must be granted full trading authorization.

Corporation or company

A form of business organization created under provincial or federal laws that has a legal identity separate from its owners. The shareholders are the corporation's owners and are liable for the debts of the corporation only up to the amount of their investment. This is known as limited liability.


this is closing a short position i.e. buying back the shorted (borrowed) shares.


A trade that occurs when two accounts within brokerage firms wish to buy and sell the same stock at an agreed price and volume. A cross can only occur at or between the current bid and ask for the stock.

Crossed market

A crossed market occurs when the bid is higher than the ask.

Crossing session

After the close of the regular trading day on the TSX, crosses can be executed between 4:05 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET at the last sale price of the stock.

Cum dividend

With dividend. The owner of shares purchased cum dividend is entitled to an upcoming already-declared dividend. The opposite of this is ex dividend.

Cum rights

With rights. The owner of shares purchased cum rights is entitled to forthcoming, already-declared rights. The opposite of this is ex rights.


Curbs are mechanisms to promote stabilization of the market during significant movement in DJIA and therefore promote investor confidence. They represent the thresholds at which trading is halted market-wide for single day declines and advances in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The thresholds are based on a percentage of decline. As of January 1, 2007 the thresholds stand at 10%, 20% and 30%.

The 10-, 20-, and 30-percent decline levels, respectively, in the DJIA will be as follows: A 1250-point drop in the DJIA before 2 p.m. will halt trading for one hour; for 30 minutes if between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; and have no effect if at 2:30 p.m. or later. A 2500-point drop in the DJIA before 1 p.m. will halt trading for two hours; for one hour if between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.; and for the remainder of the day if at 2 p.m. or later. A 3700-point drop will halt trading for the remainder of the day regardless of when the decline occurs.

Trading collars: effective October 1, 2005, Rule 80A utilizes the NYSE Composite Index or NYA to calculate limitations on index arbitrage trading and no longer uses the DJIA to calculate limitations on index arbitrage trading. On the effective date of the amendment, Rule 80A bases the collars on a 2% movement in the average closing value of the NYSE Composite Index. Source: NYSE

Effective April 15, 1998 the SEC approved amendments to Rule 80B (Trading Halts Due to Extraordinary Market Volatility) which revised the halt provisions and the circuit-breaker levels. The trigger levels for a market-wide trading halt were set at 10%, 20% and 30% of the DJIA, calculated at the beginning of each calendar quarter, using the average closing value of the DJIA for the prior month, thereby establishing specific point values for the quarter. Each trigger value is rounded to the nearest 50 points.

For more information on curbs and how they are implemented please visit the following link:

CUSIP Number

A unique alpha-numeric identification number assigned to every stock and registered bond by the Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures (CUSIP)

Cyclical stock

A stock purchased from a company in an industry sector that is particularly sensitive to swings in economic conditions.


Day (only) order

An order condition that causes your order to be canceled at the end of the current day's trading if the specified limits are not be met.

Day trade

Any purchase and subsequent sale -- or sale and subsequent purchase -- of the same security on the same day in a single account.


A certificate of indebtedness of a government or company backed only by the general credit of the issuer and unsecured by property or assets.

Defensive stock

A stock purchased from a company that has maintained a record of stable earnings and continuous dividend payments through periods of economic downturn.

Defined benefit plan

A company retirement plan in which you expect to receive a fixed amount on a regular basis from your employer, i.e. a pension. The employer is responsible for investing.

Delayed delivery order

A special term order in which there is a clear understanding between the buying and selling parties that the delivery of the securities will be delayed beyond the usual three-day settlement period to the date specified in the order.


The removal of a security's listing on a stock exchange. This is done when the security no longer exists, the company is bankrupt, the public distribution of the security has dropped to an unacceptably low level, or the company has failed to comply with the terms of its listing agreement.


The tender and receipt of the underlying commodity or the payment or receipt of cash in the settlement of an open futures contract.

Delivery month

The calendar month in which a futures contract may be satisfied by making or taking delivery.


A ratio that measures an option's price movement compared to the underlying interest's price moment. Delta values have a range of 0 to 1. Deep in-the-money options have details that approach 1.


The companied desire, ability and willingness on the part of consumers to buy goods or services. Demand is determined by income and by price, which are, in part, determined by supply.


Effect on earnings per share and book value per share if all convertible securities were converted or all warrants or stock options were exercised.


The allocation of assets among various types of investments.


A distribution of a portion of a company's earnings, decided by the board of directors, to a class of its shareholders.

Dividend reinvestment

Dividends that are reinvested in the security that generated them.

Dollar cost averaging

This is an investment strategy for buying the same dollar amount of securities at regular, ongoing intervals, like every week or month. The approach allows investors to potentially reduce the impact of volatile markets.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)

Measure of the performance of the collection of 30 "blue-chip" stocks traded on NYSE, considered the leaders of the market.


A trade is on a downtick when the last trade occurred at a price lower than the previous one.

Dual listed stocks

Dual listed stocks are traded on Nasdaq's SuperMontageSM venue, in addition to NYSE and/or AMEX


Earnings per share (EPS)

Portion of a company's profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock.

Earnings per share date

Date of the last earnings announcement.


ECN stands for Electronic Communication Network. ECNs bring buyers and sellers together electronically; affords traders anonymity, longer trading hours, and the ability to avoid trading through market makers. All ECNs trade Nasdaq stocks, and many now participate in listed trading.

Equity (EQ)

The entire balance of your account, including all cash and all securities positions, less the outstanding margin debt balance.


Common and preferred stocks, which represent a share in the ownership of a company.

Equity maintenance call

An Equity maintenance call is generated when the equity, in an account classified as a day trading margin account, drops below $25,000.

Equity option

An option contract that grants the holder the right to buy or sell a specific number of shares of stock at a specified price during a specific period of time.


Issued stock held separately from free-trading shares until certain conditions are met.

European-style option

Options that can be exercised only on their expiration date.


The holder of shares purchased ex-dividend is not entitled to an upcoming already-declared dividend, but is entitled to future dividends.

Ex-dividend date

Date a stock split or dividend is reflected in the price of the security (if you buy a stock on the ex-dividend date, you are not entitled to the dividend); for splits, this is the trading day after the distribution is made.


The holder of shares purchased ex-rights is not entitled to forthcoming rights.

Exchange offering prospectus (EOP)

A form of prospectus that allows a company to conduct an equity offering through the facilities of a stock exchange.


The act of an option holder who chooses to take delivery (calls) or make delivery (puts) of the underlying interest against payment of the exercise price.

Expiration date or warrant right

The date at which an option contract expires. This means that the option cannot be exercised after that date.



One who is legally required to manage assets in the best interest and trust of a beneficiary or minor.

Filing statement

A disclosure document submitted by a listed company to outline material changes in its affairs. Filing statements are not used for the purposes of a financing.

Fixed income securities

Debt securities or IOUs for borrowed money. They obligate the borrower to pay the owner interest during the term of the loan and to return the principal or face value when the loan matures. A variety of institutions issue debt obligations including the Canadian and U.S. governments, provincial and local governments, publicly-held companies, banks, and crown corporations.


An interruption in trading on a stock, triggered when an order violates parameters set by Market Regulation Services Inc. for that particular stock.

Front Month

The closest month to expiration for a futures or option contract.


Contracts to buy or sell securities or commodities at a future date.


Good delivery

A security certificate that meets all requirements for legal title transfer is in good delivery status. Any transfer restrictions, such as non-endorsement by the registered owner or a share transfer restriction, will not constitute good delivery.

Growth stock

The shares of companies that have enjoyed better-than-average growth over recent years and are expected to continue their climb.

Guaranteed investment certificate (GIC)

A deposit instrument most commonly available from trust companies or banks requiring a minimum investment at a predetermined rate of interest for a stated term, such as one or five years. GICs are generally non-redeemable and non-transferable before maturity.

GTC (good till cancel):

For U.S. securities, the orders are open during market hours through multiple days, and remain open until they are fully executed, expire (they can remain open from six months to one year), or are cancelled.

GTD (good till date):

GTD orders are only valid for Canadian securities and expire up to 30 days in the future. Orders can execute during market hours and may execute during the extended market - until 5 p.m. ET*. Note: this feature is only available in our Sterling platform for proprietary trading.

*For information on executing orders outside of market hours, please see the section titled: trading in the pre- and post-market.

GTEM (good till extended market):

Used for pre- and post-market trading*. These orders are also open during market hours



A halt stops all trading activity on a stock. Halts can only be authorized by Market Surveillance Officers, who also authorize trading activity to resume. Market Surveillance Officers can halt trading in stock any time there is unusual trading activity or the company releases material information.


A strategy used to limit investment loss by making a transaction that offsets an existing position.


The highest execution price of a trade that day, or high of the week, year, etc.


Immediate or cancel

An order condition that requires all or part of an order to be executed immediately. The part of the order that cannot be executed is automatically canceled.

Note: this feature is only available in our Sterling platform for proprietary trading.

Improving the market

An order that either raises the bid price or lowers the offering price is said to be improving the market. The market improves because the spread between the bid and offer decreases.

Income stock

A security with a solid record of dividend payments and which offers a dividend yield higher than the average common stock.


A statistical measure of the state of the stock market, based on the performance of stocks. Examples are the S&P/TSX Composite Index, the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Individual account

A personal investment account registered under one person's name only.


An overall increase in prices for goods and services, usually measured by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index.

Initial public offering (IPO)

A company's first issue of shares to the general public.

Inside information

Non-public information pertaining to the business affairs of a corporation that could affect the company's share price should the information be made public.


All directors and senior officers of a company, and those who are presumed to have access to inside information concerning the company. An insider is also anyone owning more than 10% of the voting shares of a company.


A stock which is listed on two or more exchanges.

Intermarket Surveillance Group (ISG)

An association of major U.S. stock exchanges, NASD (U.S.) members (the regulatory arm of NASDAQ), TSX Venture Exchange, Toronto Stock Exchange and the Bourse de Montréal, which shares regulatory information relevant to violations of rules in different markets.

Intraday buying power

Intraday buying power is the amount of funds you can use to purchase stock intraday.

Intrinsic value

The difference between the current market value of the underlying interest and the strike price of an option. In-the-money is a term used when the intrinsic value is positive.


The purchase or ownership of a security in order to earn income, capital or both. Investments may also include artwork, antiques and real estate.

Investment advisor

A person employed by an investment dealer who provides investment advice to clients and executes trades on their behalf in securities and other investment products.

Investment capital

Initial investment capital necessary for starting a business. Investment capital usually consists of inventory, equipment, pre-opening expenses and leaseholds.

Investment counselor

A specialist in the investment industry paid by fee to provide advice and research to investors with large accounts.

Investment club account

A group of people who pool their money to make investments. Investment clubs are usually organized as partnerships: After the members study different investments, the group decides to buy or sell based on a majority vote of the members.

Investment Dealers Association of Canada (IDA)

The national self-regulatory organization of the securities industry. The Association's role is to foster efficient capital markets by encouraging participation in the savings and investment process and by ensuring the integrity of the marketplace.

Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

Questrade Inc. is registered as an investment dealer with IIROC, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. IIROC is the national self-regulatory organization which oversees all investment dealers and trading activity on debt and equity marketplaces in Canada.

Investor relations

A corporate function, combining finance, marketing and communications, to provide investors with accurate information about a company's performance and prospects.


The International Securities Exchange is, the world's largest equity options exchange. ISE launched the first fully electronic US options exchange in May 2000 (Source: ISE)


The process of offering securities in order to raise funds. Companies may issue bonds or shares to investors as a method of financing the business.


Joint tenants in common account

This is a joint account in which, in the event of the death of one of the tenants, the surviving tenant is entitled to only his/her pro rate portion of the account as it existed before the death of the other tenant.

Joint tenants with rights of survivorship account

This is a joint account in which, in the event of death of one of the tenants, the ownership of the entire account reverts to the surviving tenant. This type of account is not available to Quebec residents.

Junior corporation

A young company in the early stages of operations and growth.




Last split date

The last date on which the shares of a security were increased or decreased by splitting.

Last trade

The price at which the last trade was executed; after market close, this is the closing price.

Last trade date and time

The date and time the security was last traded.

Last trading day

The last day on which a futures or option contract may be traded.

Level I

Will display the current best bid and ask prices, volume, close price from the previous trading day, open price, high and low price for the day and perhaps the ratio of shares or market participants between the bid and ask.

Level II

Level II provides a view of all market makers and ECNs making a market in a particular security. It will display the different price levels, market maker and/or ECNs participating, and for how many shares. It may also show the times that they posted their bids and asks, plus their market status (open or closed for trading). This can give some insight into the depth of a security's trading.


The debts and obligations of a company or an individual. Current liabilities are debts due and payable within one year. Long-term liabilities are those payable after one year. Liabilities are found on a company's balance sheet or an individual's net worth statement.

Limit order

An order instructing a broker to execute an order at a specific price or better. Buy orders are executed at or below limit price. Sell orders are executed at or above limit price.

Liquid investment

An investment that can be easily converted to cash.

Liquidating order

An order to close out an existing open futures or options contract. A liquidating order involves the sale of a contract that has been purchased or purchase of a contract that has been sold.


This refers to how easily securities can be bought or sold in the market. A security is liquid when there are enough units outstanding for large transactions to occur without a substantial change in price. Liquidity is one of the most important characteristics of a good market. It refers to how easily investors can convert their securities into cash; and to a corporation's cash position, which is how much the value of the corporation's current assets exceeds current liabilities.

Listed company

A company whose shares are publicly-traded on a stock exchange

Listed stock

Shares of a company that are traded on a stock exchange. Companies pay fees to the exchange to be listed and must abide by the rules and regulations set out by the exchange to maintain listing privileges.

Listing application

The document that a company completes and submits to an exchange when it applies to list its shares on the exchange. The company must disclose its activities, plans, management and finances in the application.

Locked market

A locked market occurs when the bid and ask are the same.


A term that refers to ownership of securities. For example, if you are long 100 shares of XYZ, this means that you own 100 shares of XYZ company.


The lowest execution price of a trade that day, (or week, month etc.).


Maintenance requirement (MR)

The minimum amount of equity that an account holder must maintain in a margin account, as determined by the brokerage firm

Margin account

A margin account is a brokerage account that permits an investor to purchase securities on credit and to borrow against securities already in the account. Buying on credit and borrowing are subject to standards established by the Investment Dealers Association of Canada (IDA) and by the brokerage firm carrying the account. Interest is charged on any borrowed funds only for the period of time the loan is outstanding.

Margin balance

The net open balance in your margin account. If negative, this is the amount owed to the brokerage firm. If positive, the balance is available to earn interest.

Margin requirement:

This is the minimum amount required to secure any loans (if applicable) on your account.

Note: margin is not available in registered accounts, including tax-free savings accounts.

Mark to market

At the end of every day, each stock you are holding overnight gets marked to the market. This means that any positions you are carrying overnight will be valued at the official closing bell price and your equity will be raised or lowered accordingly. Essentially your account is given a value which is based on any cash (or debits) plus the current value of your positions (marked to market).


The place where buyers and sellers meet to exchange goods and services. It also represents the actual or potential demand for a product or service.

Market capitalization

The total value of a company's stock.

Market indicators

A variety of indices that indicates the overall direction and strength of the market.

Market maker

A trader employed by a securities firm who is required to maintain reasonable liquidity in securities markets by making firm bids or offers for one or more designated securities up to a specified minimum guaranteed fill. Exchanges may have different designations for these individuals. For example, market makers for the stock of companies listed on Toronto Stock Exchange are referred to as registered traders.

Market order

Order to buy or sell a security at the best available price.

Market value (MV)

Shares x Price
e.g. 1,000 shares of MSFT @ 35 = MV of $ $35,000

Material change

A change in a company's affairs that could have a significant effect on the market value of its securities, such as a change in the nature of the business or control of the company. Under the principle of continuous disclosure, a listed company must issue a news release and report to the applicable self-regulatory organization as soon as a material change occurs.

Maturity date

Date at which the face value and final interest payment of a fixed income security (for example, bond or note) is due and payable by the debt issuer. For bonds, maturity can range from one day to 30 years or more.

Member firm

In Canada a brokerage firm or investment dealer that is a member of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada.

Minimum Price fluctuation

The minimum price change or tick on a futures contract.

Mixed lot or broken lot

An order with a volume that combines any number of board lots and an odd lot.

Money market

Part of the capital market established to buy and sell short-term financial obligations. These include federal government treasury bills, short-term Government of Canada bonds, commercial paper, bankers' acceptances and guaranteed investment certificates. Longer-term securities are also traded in the money market when their term shortens to three years.

Money market account

A vehicle in which accumulated funds are invested in various short-term securities; seeks to maintain $1 per share value.

Money purchase plan

This is an employer sponsored pension plan whereby the employer is obligated to contribute a certain annual amount for the employee. However, the retirement benefits upon retirement of the employee are dependent upon investment returns over the life of the plan.

Multi-jurisdictional disclosure system (MJDS)

A disclosure system that facilitates certain Canada-U.S. cross-border securities offerings, issuer bids and takeover bids. It is intended to reduce costly duplication of disclosure requirements and other filings when issuers from one country register securities offerings in the other. Under the rules, eligible cross-border offerings are governed by the disclosure requirements of the issuer's home country.

Mutual fund

A pool of money managed by an expert who invests in stocks, bonds, options, money market instruments or other securities. Mutual fund units can be purchased through brokers or, in some cases, directly from the mutual fund company.


Naked writer

A seller of an option contract who does not own a position in the underlying security.


National Association of Securities Dealer Automated Quotations system, designated to facilitate over-the-counter stock trading.

Net change

The amount and direction of a security's price change since its previous close.

Net earnings

A company's remaining profits after all expenses and taxes have been paid. Dividends may be paid from net earnings.

Net worth

The difference between a company's or individual's total assets and its total liabilities. Also known as shareholders' equity for a company.

New issue

A stock or bond issue sold by a company for the first time. Proceeds may be used to retire the company's outstanding securities, or be used for a new plant, equipment or additional working capital. New debt issues are also offered by governments.

Nominal rate

Also known as nominal yield. The percentage of annual interest which would be earned from a fixed income investment (for example, bonds) if the security was purchased at par value; actual rate of return is usually different.

Non-certificate issues

An issue that is recorded on the transfer agent's electronic book rather than being held as a physical note.

Non-client order

An order from an investment dealer or an order a firm is executing on behalf of an institution, such as a mutual fund.

Non-exempt company

A listed company that is subject to special reporting rules.

Non-net order

A special-term order when there is a clear understanding between the buying and selling parties that they will settle the trade directly with each other.

Non-professional subscriber

Any natural person who is not registered or qualified with:

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC")
  • Any provincial securities agency
  • Any securities exchange or association
  • Any commodities contract market or association

A non-professional subscriber is also any natural person who is not:

  • Engaged as an "investment advisor"
  • Employed by a bank or other organization exempt from registration under Federal and/or provincial securities laws

Non-resident order

A special term order when one or more participants in the trade is not a Canadian resident.

Non-revocable personal trust account

Account is opened under the legal name of the trust. If a non-revocable trust, a tax identification number is used rather than a Social Insurance Number. Equities and options trading are available.

NYSE (New York Stock Exchange)

A corporation, operated by a board of directors, responsible for listing securities, setting policies and supervising the stock exchange and its member activities. The NYSE also oversees the transfer of members' seats on the exchange, judging whether a political applicant is qualified to be a specialist. The NYSE uses floor traders (people) to make trades, whereas the Nasdaq and many other exchanges are computer driven.


Odd lot

A number of shares that are less than a board lot, which is the regular trading unit decided upon by the particular stock exchange. An odd lot is also an amount that is less than the par value of one trading unit on the over-the-counter market. For example, if a board lot is 100 shares, an odd lot would be 99 or fewer shares.


The price at which someone is willing to sell a security. It generally is the lowest round lot price at which someone will sell.


To liquidate or close out an open futures or option contract.

Ontario Securities Commission

The government agency that administers the Securities Act (Ontario) and the Commodity Futures Act (Ontario) and regulates securities and listed futures contract transactions in Ontario.


The price at which a security opened for trading on a given day.

Open interest

The net open positions of a futures or option contract.

Open order

An order that remains in the system for more than a day.


A contract that permits the owner (depending on the type of option held) to purchase or sell a security at a specific (strike) price until a specified expiration date. An option to purchase a security is a call An option to sell a security is a put. The price of the option itself is the premium.

Option class

All options of the same type, either calls or puts, that have the same underlying security.

Option cycle

A set pattern of months when a class of options expires.

Option holder

The buyer of an option contract who has the right to exercise the option during its lifetime.

Option series

An individual option contract for a given security.

Option type

A call or put contract.

Option writer

The seller of an option contract who may be required to deliver (call option) or to purchase (put option) the underlying interest covered by the option, before the contract expires.

Organization accounts

Organization accounts are brokerage accounts where one person is acting as the primary contact for a larger organization. Organization accounts can be opened as a cash or margin account unless otherwise stated. Margin accounts are brokerage account where the broker lends the customer cash with which to purchase securities.

Over-the-counter (OTC) market

The market maintained by securities dealers for issues not listed on a stock exchange. Almost all bonds and debentures, as well as some stocks, are traded over-the-counter in Canada. An OTC market is also known as an unlisted market.


Par value

A security's nominal face value.

Partial account transfer

A partial transfer is the transfer of some of your assets from one financial firm to another. The assets you choose to transfer are limited to stock positions and cash. If you have an account with 1000 shares ABC, 1000 shares XYZ, and $10K in cash, you can submit a partial transfer-out request to another firm for any amount of the stock positions and cash as long as you leave at least one share of stock or $1 dollar behind in the originating account. Shares of mutual funds, bonds, options or other non standard assets are not eligible for this service.

Partial fill

An order receives a partial fill when it trades only part of its total committed volume.

Participating Organization

A firm entitled to trade through Toronto Stock Exchange or TSX Venture Exchange. Participating Organizations are involved in all aspects of the securities business, including underwriting new issues, corporate finance and assisting companies in the IPO process. The equivalent of a Toronto Stock Exchange Participating Organization is known as a Member Firm on TSX Venture Exchange.

Partnership account

This account is registered in the name of the partnership and in the care of the general partner(s) of a partnership. At least one person must be granted full trading authorization.

Pay date

The date the shares from a split or dividend are sent to the shareholders.

Penny stock

Low-priced speculative issues of stock selling at less than $1.00 a share.


Holdings of securities by an individual or institution. A portfolio may include various types of securities representing different companies and industry sectors.


Security holdings in an account or portfolio.

Position limit

The maximum number of futures or options contracts any individual or group of people acting together may hold at one time.

Pre and post-market trading

The U.S. pre-market hours are from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET. The post market hours are from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET. To trade in these extended market hours, please follow these directions:

  • The order must be placed as a limit order
  • Choose ARCA or INET as the preferred ECN
  • Choose GTEM (good to extended market) as the duration

Canadian stocks do not have a pre-market. A limited post market exists for Canadian stocks at or near the closing price. To trade Canadian stocks in the post-market, from approximately 4:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET, please follow these directions:

  • The order must be placed as a limit order
  • Choose AUTO as the preferred ECN
  • Choose GTEM (good to extended market) as the duration

Open Canadian stock orders placed prior to 4 p.m. ET will remain executable until 5 p.m. ET. This applies to limit orders and stop-limit orders where the stop price has already been triggered (i.e. the stop price was hit during market hours). Canadian orders cancelled between 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET may not immediately cancel, and may be held by the market until after 5 p.m. ET. At this time all expired and cancelled orders will be processed.

Preferred ECN

To have the system automatically route your order, select AUTO as the preferred ECN.

Note: some preferred ECNs are only available on QuestraderPro and QuestraderElite.

Preferred ECN options for Canadian securities

STSX, TPIK, TPKV, MxV: Smart routers for Canadian securities. Orders are executable during market hours and stock orders may remain executable until 5 p.m. ET*. Exchange or ATS (alternative trading system) fees apply if the order removes liquidity.

* For information on executing orders outside of market hours, please see trading in the pre- and post-market.

Preferred ECN options for U.S. securities

MNGD, POST: orders are executable during market hours only. These are not direct access routes however no ECN fees are charged.

ARCA: (Archipelago, owned by NYSE Euronext) Orders are executable during market hours and may execute in the pre- and post-market*. ARCA charges ECN fees for executions that remove liquidity.

INET: (Instanet, owned by NASDAQ) Orders are executable during market hours and may execute in the pre- and post-market*. INET charges ECN fees for executions that remove liquidity.

NYSE: (owned by NYSE Euronext) Orders are executable during market hours only. NYSE charges ECN fees for executions that remove liquidity.

Preferred stocks

A class of stock with a claim on the company's earnings before payment is made to the common stock holders if the company declares a bankruptcy dividend.

Performance bond

Margins in futures trading are known as performance bonds. Both the initial and minimum maintenance requirements are set by the commodity exchanges on which the contracts trade. The exchanges can, and do, change the requirements without prior notice. Exchange rules permit a clearing member to require higher than exchange minimum rates whenever the firm deems that such additional margin is necessary for its own financial protection or otherwise.

Preferred shares

A class of stock that entitles shareholders to a fixed dividend that is paid before dividends to common shareholders. Preferred shareholders are also entitled to a stated dollar value per share if the company liquidates. Preferred shareholders usually don't have voting rights. Preferred shares are generally considered income investments.


An option contract's price.


The cost of a security.

Price/earnings ratio

Price of a stock divided by earnings per share.


The amount of money that is financed, borrowed, or invested.


If there are several orders competing for a stock at the same price, a priority determines when one of these orders will be filled before any other at this price. Priority is based on the time at which the order is received into the system.

Private placement

The private offering of a security to a small group of buyers. Resale of the security is limited. See best efforts and bought deal underwriting.

Professional subscriber

Any natural person who is registered or qualified with:

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC")
  • Any provincial securities agency
  • Any securities exchange or association
  • Any commodities contract market or association

A professional subscriber is also any natural person who is:

  • Engaged as an "investment advisor"
  • Employed by a bank or other organization exempt from registration under federal and/or provincial securities laws


What is left over for the owners of a business after all expenses have been deducted from revenues. Gross profit is the profit before corporate income taxes. Net profit is the final profit of the business after taxes have been paid.

Profit sharing plan

Profit sharing plans let an employer share the success of the company with the employees. When the company is successful, employers can put a share of the profits into the retirement plan. Profit sharing plans are good solutions for employers who don't have a clear profit pattern or who want to vary the percentage of contributions each year. Equities and options trading are available.


A legal document describing securities being offered for sale to the public. It must be prepared in accordance with provincial securities commission regulations. Prospectus documents usually disclose pertinent information concerning the company's operations, securities, management and purpose of the offering.

Public float

The number of issued and outstanding shares of a company, excluding shares held by persons who, individually or in conjunction with other persons, hold 20% or more of the company's voting securities.

Pure trading

The first alternative visible auction market in Canada for exchange listed securities.


A push-out occurs during a stock split when new shares are forwarded to the registered holders of old share certificates, without the holders having to surrender the old shares. Both the old and new shares have equal value.

Put option

Gives the buyer the right to sell a number of shares of stock at a price until the option's expiration date. Put buyers hope the price of the stock will fall. Puts may also be purchased to protect an investment in case the price of the stock goes down.



QuoteViewSM is nearly identical to the traditional Level II montage, showing each Nasdaq participant's best bid and ask on both Nasdaq National Market and SmallCap Market securities.

Quoted market value (QMV)

The applicable listed securities of the issuer that are issued and outstanding multiplied by the closing price of such securities on the exchange which they are listed as at the most recent market close.



A brisk rise in the general price level of the market or price of a stock.

Real return bonds

Government of Canada bonds that pay a rate of return adjusted for inflation. At maturity the principle amount is also adjusted for inflation.

Record date

The date when a shareholder must own shares to receive a dividend or right.

Registered traders

A trader employed by a securities firm who is required to maintain reasonable liquidity in securities markets by making firm bids or offers for one or more designated securities up to a specified minimum guaranteed fill.

Reverse takeover (RTO)

A method of listing on a stock exchange when a private company acquires or takes over the shares of a listed company.

Retirement accounts

Retirement accounts are accounts designated for individual retirement. Retirement accounts can only be opened as cash accounts; margin is not available for retirement accounts.

Retirement plan distribution

A withdrawal of funds from a retirement plan.


The total amount of funds generated by a business.


Rights allow existing shareholders of a corporation to subscribe to shares of a new issue of common stock before that stock is offered to the public. A right usually has a life of 2 to 4 weeks, is transferable, and entitles the holder to buy the new common stock below the public offering price. Rights are often granted to protect existing shareholders from the effects of dilution.


The future chance or probability of loss.

Risk/return factor

The relationship between an investment's growth potential and its exposure to loss.


S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index

Formally known as the S&P/CDNX Composite Index, it provides a benchmark used to measure the price performance of the Canadian venture capital equity market.

S&P/TSX Composite Index

A benchmark used to measure the price performance of the broad Canadian equity market.


The traditional term for membership on a stock exchange. An investment dealer or brokerage buys a seat on the exchange and one employee is designated as the seat holder. As the Toronto Stock Exchange is now a publicly held company, there are no longer seats on this exchange.


Transferable certificates of ownership of investment products such as notes, bonds, stocks, futures contracts and options.

Securities commission

Each province has a securities commission or administrator that oversees the provincial securities act. This act is a set of laws and regulations that set down the rules under which securities may be issued or traded in that province.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The federal regulatory body for interstate securities transactions in the United States.


The System for Electronic Document Analysis Retrieval. SEDAR is an electronic filing system that allows listed companies to file prospectuses and continuous disclosure documents. The Canadian Securities Administrators, Canadian Depository for Securities Limited and the filing community developed it, with co-operation from legal firms and stock exchanges.

*SEDAR is a trademark of the Canadian Securities Administrators.

Security type

The type of security such as stock, bond or mutual fund.

Seed stock

The shares or stock sold by a company to provide start-up capital before carrying out an initial public offering (IPO).

Self-regulatory organization

An organization recognized by securities administrators as having powers to establish and enforce industry regulations to protect investors and to maintain fair, equitable and ethical practices in the security industry. Examples include the Ontario Securities Commission and the Investment Dealers Association.


To sell a security you own.


The process that follows a transaction when the seller delivers the security to the buyer and the buyer pays the seller for the security.

Settlement date

The date when a securities buyer must pay for a purchase or a seller must deliver the securities sold. Settlement must be made on or before the third business day following the transaction date in most cases.

Settlement price

The price used to determine the daily net gains or losses in the value of an open futures or options contract.

Share certificate

A paper certificate that represents the number of shares an investor owns.

Shares in escrow

The number of issued shares that are currently subject to escrow restrictions. Escrow shares are issued non-tradable stock held separately from free-trading shares until certain conditions are met.

Short sale uptick rule

The uptick rule dictates that you can only short sell a stock on an uptick. You can execute a market order to short sell a stock on an uptick, or place a limit order at least a penny above the bid, without violating the uptick rule.

Short selling

The sale of securities that the seller does not own. This is a speculative practice done when the seller believes a stock's price is going to fall and the seller will be able to cover the sale by buying the security back at a lower price. The profit is the difference between the initial selling price and the subsequent purchase price. It is illegal for a seller not to declare a short sale when placing the order.

Sole proprietorship account

You must register the account in the name of the sole proprietorship, not an individual's name. Equities, options, and futures trading are available.


SPAN® (Standard Portfolio Analysis of Risk®) is the futures industry standard for calculating performance bond requirements (margins) on the basis of overall portfolio risk.
(See for more detail)

Special terms

Orders which must trade under special conditions. For example, a cash order will be settled sooner than the usual three-day settlement period.

Special conditions

Special conditions may be applied to an order, such as All or None (AON) or Do Not Reduce (DNR).


Someone prepared to accept calculated risks in the marketplace for attractive potential returns.


A division of a company's outstanding shares into a larger number of shares. Each outstanding share entitles its owner to a pre-determined number of new shares.


The difference between the bid and the ask price of a security or asset. Another definition of a spread is an options position established by purchasing one option and selling another option of the same class but of a different series.

Stock dividends

A dividend paid in stock rather than cash.

Stock index futures

Futures contracts which have a stock index as the underlying interest.

Stock power certificate

A form that allows the owner of a stock certificate to properly endorse it after the certificate has been sent to broker/clearing agent.

Stock price index

A statistical measure of the state of the stock market, based on the performance of certain stocks. Examples include the S&P/TSX Composite Index and the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index.

Stock symbol

A one to three-character root symbol that represents a company listed on the exchange. This symbol is uniform throughout Canada.

Stop limits

When a stop limit is triggered, it is sent to the market as a limit order, as per the limit setup. When buying (selling) U.S. stocks, the limit must be equal or higher (lower) than the stop. For Canadian stocks, the limit price must be equal to the stop price.

Stop order

a trade sent to market at a price other than the current market price. You are requesting the order be filled only when it reaches your stop order.

Note: when your stop price is triggered a market order is sent to the exchange. Exchanges have different criteria when triggering a stop price. Some exchanges use the last trade price, while others use the bid/ask method - a matching bid (ask) will trigger your stop sell (buy) order.

Street certificate

These are certificates registered in the name of a securities firm rather than the owner of the security. This makes the certificate easily transferable to a new owner.

Strike price

The price the owner of an option can purchase or sell the underlying security. The purchases and sales are also known as calls and puts.


Zero coupon treasuries issued by the government at a discount from face value. Interest is paid as a lump sum at maturity.

Surrender charges

Fees for terminating a CD, insurance or annuity contract before it matures.


The symbol used to designate a security for trading.



Payment of taxes not due until a time in the future.

Thin market

A market that occurs when there are comparatively few bids to buy or offers to sell, or both. The phrase may apply to a single security or to the entire stock market. In a thin market, price fluctuations between transactions are usually larger than when the market is liquid. A thin market in a particular stock may reflect lack of interest in that issue, or a limited supply of the stock.


Slang used for minimum spread. Depending on the stock price it could be a half-cent, one cent or five cents.

Ticker tape

Each time a stock is bought and sold, it is displayed on an electronic ticker tape. It is a record of current trading activity on an exchange.

Time and sales

Also known as prints are actual trades that are taking place in the market.

Time vonditions

The following time limits may be applied to orders: day only, good until canceled, fill or kill, immediate or cancel.

Time value

The difference between an option's premium and its intrinsic value.

Timely disclosure policy

This policy requires all listed companies to publicly disclose material information in a timely manner.

Total number of shares

The total number of issued and outstanding shares for the security.

Transaction date

The date when the purchase or sale of a security takes place.

Trading halt

A trading halt is imposed by the exchange, usually due to the dissemination of news that might impact a stock's price.

Trading symbol

The symbol, usually one to three letters, which is shorthand for the names of listed stocks. Also known as stock symbol.

Transfer agent

A trust company appointed by a listed company to keep a record of the names, addresses and number of shares held by its shareholders. Frequently, the transfer agent also distributes dividend cheques to the company's shareholders.

Trust account

A legal plan by which the trustor places assets in trust for a beneficiary, or an account established by an adult for the benefit of a minor. The account must be completed in the name and social insurance number of the minor.


The largest stock exchange in Canada, traditionally home to a large number of natural resource companies.

TSX Venture Exchange

Originally called the Canadian Venture Exchange (CDNX), this was a result of the merger of the Vancouver and Alberta stock exchanges. The goal of TSX Venture Exchange is to provide venture companies with effective access to capital while protecting investors. This exchange basically contains small-cap Canadian stocks and is home to a lot of high risk penny stocks.

TSX, TSX Venure and Alternative Trading System (ATS)

The TSX, TSX Venture and ATSs charge fees during certain conditions. These fees can apply to both opening (i.e., buys and shorts), and closing (i.e., sells and covers) transactions.

Clients can expect to pay these fees:

  • If the order removes liquidity from the market. An example of this is any market or marketable limit order. Note that a marketable limit order is one that is filled right away because it is priced better than the current market price.
  • If the order is executed within the first few minutes of the market open, normally 9:30 a.m. to 9:35 a.m. ET.
  • If the order removes liquidity in the pre- or post-market.
  • If there are special instructions on the order. One example is an AON (all or none order) which will always be charged this fee.
  • If the stock being traded is illiquid.

For additional information on TSX, TSX Venture, and ATS charges please see: Exchange & ECN fees


Underlying interest

The specific security, commodity, index or financial instrument in which an option or futures contract is traded.


The purchase for resale of a new issue of securities by an investment dealer or group of dealers who are also known as underwriters. The formal agreements for these transactions are called underwriting agreements.


A security not listed on a stock exchange, but traded on the over-the-counter market.


A stock is said to be on an uptick when the last trade occurred at a higher price than the one before it.

Unit Investment Trust (UIT)

A portfolio of securities that are purchased and held in trust. Units in the trust are then sold to investors who receive a share of interest payments and a share of the principal, as the securities in the portfolio mature or are called.


Venture capital

Money raised by companies to finance new ventures.

Venture company

A general term referring to a company in the early stages of development.


The percentage of ownership in a retirement plan assets.


A statistical measure of changes in price over a period of time.


The daily number of shares traded in a security.

VTSO (virtual trailing stop)

these orders are trailing stops that adjust as the stock price moves. When entering the stop, enter the trailing amount not the desired price.



A type of security usually issued together with a bond or preferred stock that allows the holder to buy a proportionate amount of common stock at a fixed price (usually above the market price at the time of issuance) for a period of years or to perpetuity. Warrants are transferable and trade on the major exchanges. They are also known as Subscription Warrants.

Wash sale rule

A "wash sale" is a term that describes the situation in which you sell shares of a security at a loss, and within 30 days you purchase substantially identical securities. At face value, it looks like you took a loss on an investment (which would be deductible from your gross income when you do your taxes), yet you still own that investment, you just now have a lower cost basis.

World Federation of Exchanges (WFE)

The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) is a global trade association for the exchange industry. The membership is comprised of 56 regulated exchanges from all regions of the world. Together, these exchanges account for over 97% of world stock market capitalization, and most of its exchange-traded futures, options, listed investment funds, and bonds.


The seller of an option. The writer has an obligation associated with the contract to either purchase or sell a specified number of shares at the strike price on or before expiry.





This is the measure of the return on an investment and is shown as a percentage. A stock yield is calculated by dividing the annual dividend by the stock's current market price. For example, a stock selling at $50 and with an annual dividend of $5 per share yields 10%. A bond yield is a more complicated calculation, involving annual interest payments, plus amortizing the difference between its current market price and par value over the life of the bond.




52-week high

The highest price at which a security has traded within the previous 52 weeks.

52-week low

The lowest price at which a security has traded within the previous 52 weeks.

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