Glossary of Terms

The information presented here is not intended as financial, investment, tax or legal advice and is provided for educational purposes only.
H
Term
Explanation
HOLDRS
A financial product created by Merrill Lynch and traded daily on the American Stock Exchange that allows investors to buy and sell a basket of stocks in a particular sector, industry or other classification in a single transaction.
Harvesting Losses
A euphemism for tax-loss-motivated sales of securities to offset gains realized on other positions.
Health Care Proxy
A document in which an individual appoints someone else to make health care decisions on his behalf if he becomes physically or mentally incapacitated or unable to communicate with medical professionals. Once drafted, the document remains in effect unless cancelled or unless the individual appointed to make decisions becomes unable to do so. A health care proxy is not a power of attorney.
Hedge
A strategy used to manage investment risk. In investing, hedging involves the purchase of an offsetting position, such as a put option or futures contract, to guard against the risk of a market decline.
High Yield Bonds
Lower rated (i.e. noninvestment-grade) debt securities that may provide higher returns than investment-grade bonds, but may involve special risks. High yield bonds may be more susceptible to real or perceived adverse economic and industry conditions and they may be less liquid than higher rated securities. High yield bonds generally have a greater risk of default on interest and principal payments and their price may change significantly if the credit quality of their issuer changes. See Bond Rating.
Highest In, First Out (HIFO)
Accounting: A principle of tax efficiency in a conventional mutual fund that defers taxes as much as possible by selling the highest cost lot of a particular stock first and then other in sequence until the lowest cost lot is sold last.