Investing Glossary


Accrued interest – The interest due on a bond since the last interest payment was made. The buyer of the bond pays the market price plus accrued interest.

Acquisition – The acquiring of control of one corporation by another. In “unfriendly” takeover attempts, the potential buying company may offer a price well above current market values, new securities and other inducements to stockholders. The management of the subject company might ask for a better price or try to join up with a third company.

Alloy-A metal mixed with other elements, such as carbon, nickel or copper, to change its properties, eg to improve resistance to corrosion.

Annual report – The formal financial statement issued yearly by a corporation. The annual report shows assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses and earnings – how the company stood at the close of the business year, how it fared profit-wise during the year, as well as other information of interest to shareowners.

Ask – the price at which a dealer offers to sell.

Assay – a test to ascertain the fineness and weight of a precious metal.

Assets – Everything a corporation owns or that is due to it: cash, investments, money due it, materials and inventories, which are called current assets; buildings and machinery, which are known as fixed assets; and patents and goodwill, called intangible assets. (See: Liabilities)

Auditor’s report – Often called the accountant’s opinion, it is the statement of the accounting firm’s work and its opinion of the corporation’s financial statements, especially if they conform to the normal and generally accepted practices of accountancy.


Balance sheet – A condensed financial statement showing the nature and amount of a company’s assets, liabilities and capital on a given date.

Bear – Someone who believes the market will decline.

Bear market – A declining market.

Benefication-A variety of process whereby extracted <a title=”Ore” href=””>ore</a> from mining is reduced to particles that can be separated into mineral and waste, the former suitable for further processing or direct use.

Bid – the price at which a dealer is willing to buy.

Block – A large holding or transaction of stock, often 10,000 shares or more.

Boiler room – an enterprise that uses high pressure sales tactics, false or misleading information, and scare tactics, generally over the telephone, to sell overpriced or worthless investments to unsophisticated investors.

Bond – Evidence of a debt on which the issuing company promises to pay the bondholders a specified amount of interest for a specified length of time, and to repay the loan on the expiration date.

Broker – An agent who handles the public’s orders to buy and sell securities, commodities or other property in exchange for a commission charged for the service.

BU -Brilliant uncirculated, used to describe a coin in new condition.

Bull – Someone who believes the market will rise.

Bullion – precious metals in the form of bars that are at least 99.5% pure.

Bull market – A rising market.


Call – the right, but not an obligation, to buy a commodity or a financial security on a specified date in the future.

Canadian Maple Leafs -Modern gold, silver, and platinum coins minted by the Royal Canadian Mint.

Capital gain or capital loss – Profit or loss from the sale of a capital asset.

Cash flow – Reported net income of a corporation plus amounts charged off for depreciation, depletion, amortization, and extraordinary charges to reserves.

Cash sale – A transaction on the floor of the stock exchange that calls for delivery of the securities the same day.

COMEX – One  of the world’s major commodities futures exchanges where gold and silver are traded. The Comex is in New York City and is a division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Commission broker – An agent who executes the public’s orders for the purchase or sale of securities or commodities.

Common stock – Securities that represent an ownership interest in a corporation. If the company has also issued preferred stock, both common and preferred have ownership rights. Common stockholders assume more risk, but usually get more control and could collect more awards in the form of dividends and capital appreciation.

Contract-specified price – The delivery price determined when a contract is signed. It can be a fixed price or a base price escalated according to a given formula.

Correction – a decline in prices following a rise in a market.

Crosscut-A  tunnel driven usually at right angles to strike the vein in the shortest distance.

Current assets – Those assets of a company that are reasonably expected to be realized in cash, sold or consumed during one year. These include cash, government bonds, receivables and money due usually within one year, as well as inventories.

Current liabilities – Money owed and payable by a company, usually within one year.

Cutoff grade – The lowest grade, in percent yield, of ore at a minimum specified thickness that can be mined at specified cost.


Day Level-A level driven directly from the surface.

Delayed opening – The postponement of trading of an issue on a stock exchange beyond the normal opening of a day’s trading because of specific market conditions, such as an imbalance of buyers and sellers or corporate news that needs time to circulate.

Development drilling – Drilling done to determine more precisely size, grade, and configuration of an ore deposit subsequent to the time the determination is made that the deposit can be commercially developed.

Diversification – Spreading investments among different types of securities and various companies in different fields.

Dividend – The payment designated by the board of directors to be distributed pro rata among the shares outstanding.

Drift-A  tunnel driven to gain access to the vein.


Earnings report – A statement, also called an income statement, issued by a company showing its earnings or losses over a given period. The earnings report lists the income earned, expenses and the net result.

Equity – The ownership interest of common and preferred stockholders in a company.

Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) – Represent a quick and easy way for an investor to gain exposure to the silver price, without the inconvenience of storing physical bars; investment backed by physical silver bars.

Exploration drilling – Drilling done in search of new mineral deposits, on extensions of known ore deposits, or at the location of a discovery up to the time when the company decides that sufficient ore reserves are present to justify commercial exploitation. Assessment drilling is reported as exploration drilling.


Face value – The value of a bond that appears on the face of the bond, unless the value is otherwise specified by the issuing company.

Fiat Money – Paper  money made legal tender by law, although not backed by gold or silver.

Fineness – The  purity of a precious metal measured in 1,000 parts of an alloy: a gold bar of .995 fineness contains 995 parts gold and 5 parts of another metal. Example: the American Gold Eagle is .9167 fine, which means it is 91.67% gold. A Canadian Maple Leaf has a fineness of .999, meaning that it is 99.9% pure.

Fine Weight – The  metallic weight of a coin, ingot, or bar, as opposed to the item’s gross weight which includes the weight of the alloying metal. Example: a 1-oz Gold Eagle has a fine weight of one troy ounce but a gross weight of 1.0909 troy ounce.

Fiscal year – A corporation’s accounting year.

Forward costs – The operating and capital costs that will be incurred in any future production of a commodity from in-place reserves. Included are costs for labor, materials, power and fuel, royalties, payroll taxes, insurance, and general and administrative costs that are dependent upon the quantity of production and, thus, applicable as variable costs of production.

Free and open market – A market in which supply and demand are freely expressed in terms of price. Contrasts with a controlled market in which supply, demand and price may all be regulated.

Futures contract – an agreement made on an organized exchange to take or make delivery of a specific commodity or financial instrument at a set date in the future


Gold Standard -Monetary system based on convertibility into gold; paper money backed and interchangeable with gold.

Good delivery bar – A bar of gold or silver that is acceptable for delivery against a metals contract.


Hedge – a transaction initiated with the specific intent of protecting an existing or anticipated physical market exposure from unexpected or adverse price fluctuations.

Holding company – A corporation that owns the securities of another, in most cases with voting control.

Hostile Takeover-Allows a suitor to bypass intransigent management. This enables the shareholders to choose the option that may be best for them, rather than leaving approval solely with management. A hostile takeover may be beneficial to shareholders, which is contrary to the usual perception that a hostile takeover is “bad.” A takeover is considered “hostile” if: 1)The board rejects the offer, but the bidder continues to pursue it, or 2) The bidder makes the offer without informing the board beforehand.


In-Situ Leach mining – The recovery, by chemical leaching, of the valuable components of an ore without physical extraction of the ore from the ground. Also known as solution mining.

Institutional investor – An organization whose primary purpose is to invest its own assets or those held in trust by it for others. These include pension funds, investment companies, insurance companies, universities and banks.

Interest – Payments borrowers pay lenders for the use of their money. A corporation pays interest on its bonds to its bondholders.

Inverted market – a situation in which prices for future deliveries are lower than the spot price. Also known as backwardation.

Investment – The use of money for the purpose of making more money.

Investment company – A company or trust that uses its capital to invest in other companies.


Liabilities – All the claims against a corporation, including payable accounts, wages, salaries, dividends, taxes and fixed or long-term liabilities.

Liquidation – The process of converting securities or other property into cash.

Liquidity – The ability of the market in a particular security to absorb a reasonable amount of buying or selling at reasonable price changes.

Liquidity – the quality of being readily convertible into cash.

Listed stock – The stock of a company that is traded on a securities exchange.

Locked in – Investors are said to be locked in when they have profit on a security they own but do not sell because their profit would immediately become subject to the capital gains tax.

Long-term contract – One or more deliveries to occur after a year following contract execution.


Manipulation – An illegal operation.

Market price – The last reported price at which the stock or bond sold.

Merger – Combination of two or more corporations.

Metallurgy-The production of metals from raw materials such as ore concentrates, residues and recycling materials.

Milling – The processing of a metal from ore mined by conventional methods, such as underground or openpit, to separate it from the undesired material in the ore.

Mineral Reserve-The economically mineable part of a Measured or Indicated Mineral Resource demonstrated by at least a Preliminary Feasibility Study; sub-divided in order of increasing confidence into Probable Mineral Reserves and Proven Mineral Reserves. A Probable Mineral Reserve has a lower level of confidence than a Proven Mineral Reserve.

Mineral Resource– a concentration or occurrence of metals or minerals in or on the Earth’s crust in such form and quantity and of such a grade or quality that it has reasonable prospects for economic extraction; sub-divided, in order of increasing geological confidence, into Inferred, Indicated and Measured categories.


National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101)— A rule developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and administered by the provincial securities commissions that governs how issuers disclose scientific and technical information about their mineral projects to the public. It covers oral statements as well as written documents and websites. It requires that all disclosure be based on advice by a “qualified person” and in some circumstances that the person be independent of the issuer and the property.

New York Futures Exchange (NYFE) – A subsidiary of the New York Stock Exchange devoted to the trading of futures products.

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) – The largest organized securities market in the United States, with prices determined by public supply and demand.

NYSE Composite Index – The composite index covering price movements of all common stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange.


Offer – The price at which a person is ready to sell. Opposed to bid, the price at which one is ready to buy.

Ounce – a unit of weight. In the precious metals industry, an ounce means a troy ounce equal to 31.1035 grams.

Oversold – The reverse of overbought. A single security or a market believed to have declined to an unreasonable level.


Penny stocks – Low-priced issues, often highly speculative, selling at less than $1 a share.


Qualified person (QP)-As defined in NI 43-101 as an individual who:

a) is an engineer or geoscientist with at least five years of experience in mineral exploration, mine development or operation or mineral project assessment, or any combination of these;

b) has experience relevant to the subject matter of the mineral project and the technical report;

c) is a member in good standing of a professional association.


Rally – A brisk rise following a decline in the general price level of the market, or in an individual stock.

Reclamation – The process of restoring the surface environment to acceptable pre-existing conditions.

Restoration – The returning of all affected groundwater to its pre-mining quality for its pre-mining use.

Reverse takeover-The acquisition of a public company by a private company to bypass the lengthy and complex process of going public. The transaction typically requires reorganization of capitalization of the acquiring company. Shareholders of the private company purchase control of the public shell company and then merge it with the private company.


Short sale – The  sale of an asset for future delivery without possession of the asset sold.

Silver Eagle – Modern 1-oz silver bullion coins.

Speculation – The employment of funds by a speculator. Safety of principal is a secondary factor.

Speculator – One who is willing to assume a relatively large risk in the hope of gain.

Spin off – The separation of a subsidiary or division of a corporation from its parent company by issuing shares in a new corporate entity.

Spot contract – A one-time delivery of the entire contract to occur within one year of contract execution.

Spot market – a market in which delivery and payment have to be made within two working days of the transaction date.

Spot-market price – A transaction price concluded on the spot, usually involving a specific quantity of product. This contrasts with a term-contract sale price, which obligates the seller to deliver a product at an agreed frequency and price over an extended period.

Stagflation- A condition of slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment – a time of stagnation - accompanied by a rise in prices, or inflation.


Tailings-Crushed or finely ground waste rock from which valuable minerals or metals have been extracted.

Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) – The largest stock exchange in Canada, the third largest in North America and the seventh largest in the world by market capitalization. Based in Toronto, it is owned and operated by TSX Group for the trading of senior equities.

Trader – Individuals who buy and sell for their own accounts for short-term profit.

Turnover rate – The volume of shares traded in a year as a percentage of total shares listed on an exchange, outstanding for an individual issue or held in an institutional portfolio.


Unlisted stock – A security not listed on a stock exchange.


Volume – The number of shares or contracts traded in a security or an entire market during a given period.


When issued – A short form of “when, as and if issued.” The term indicates a conditional transaction in a security authorized for issuance but not as yet actually issued.

Working control – Theoretically, ownership of 51% of a company’s voting stock is necessary to exercise control.


Yield – Also known as return. The dividends or interest paid by a company expressed as a percentage of the current price.