Financial Glossary – F
Fabric – 1. Cloth or textile. 2. The roof, floor, and walls of a building. 3. The structure of a vehicle or airplane. 4. The basic structure or framework of society, as in ‘the fabric of society.’
Fabrication – the process of making or manufacturing something from raw or semi-finished materials instead of from ready-made components. The word also means a lie, forgery, or falsehood.
Face Value – represents the value of a tradable asset that is stated by the institution that issues it. Also known as the nominal value.
Facility – 1. A place where certain activities occur. Military activities, for example, occur at military facilities. 2 An arrangement with, for example, a bank (overdraft facility). 3. A talent for something (he has a facility for languages).
Fact-Finding – the term refers to the gathering or confirming of information, i.e. ascertaining or collecting facts. Often, a fact-finding mission gathers facts before organizing a full hearing or investigation.
Factor Income – the income that the factors of production provide. Land, for example, provides rent, while labor provides wages. The other two factors of production, capital and enterprise, provide interest and profit respectively.
Factoring – a type of financing in which a ‘factor’ buys a company’s invoices, i.e., its accounts receivables. The factor pays the seller between 70% and 85% of the invoice value immediately and collects the money due from the buyer. The factor charges a fee, which is a percentage of the invoice’s value, for the service. Factoring is useful for companies that need working capital. Factoring (UK: factorizing), in algebra, means finding a number’s factors.
Factor Portfolio – a diversified portfolio that has a variety of stocks, with different levels of risk exposure (including alterations in interest rates and inflation).
Factors of Production – the elements or building blocks we use to produce economic goods and services. The factors of production are divided into four categories: land, labor, capital and enterprise (entrepreneurship). Subdivisions of a factor may include management, machines, materials and money – known as the 4 Ms. The main article also explains what the primary and secondary factors of production are.
Facism – a way of organizing a country or society, usually with extremely harsh control and ultra-nationalist propaganda. The country is led by a dictator who controls the government and the lives of his or her citizens. Dissent is not tolerated and is dealt with violently. A person who believes in fascism is a fascist.
Failed Trade – when the seller or buyer of a security fail to meet their obligations by the settlement deadline. The seller may fail to deliver the security on time or the buyer may not pay by the settlement date. When the seller fails, we call it a short fail. When the buyer fails, we call it a long fail.
Failover – the term refers to the constant ability to function properly. If something goes wrong, the system switches over to a backup seamlessly. In other words, users are not aware of any malfunction or system breakdown. If a device or system has a failover mechanism, it can continue operating even when there is a fault.
Fail-Safe – a mechanism in a machine or system that allows it to ‘fail safely.’ If something goes wrong, it inherently responds in a way that causes no harm, or at least significantly minimizes potential dangers. The ‘dead man’s switch’ on a lawnmower, for example, is a fail-safe mechanism. As soon as the user lets go of the lever, the lawnmower stops working.
Fail Soft System – a system that only shuts down non-essential functions when there is a fault or something goes wrong. Therefore, the user can continue using it at basic level. The Windows operating system, for example, has a Safe Mode. Safe Mode is Windows’ fail soft mode.
Failure Analysis – an investigation into how something failed and why. The investigation also tries to determine what corrective actions are needed. In some cases, the investigators also determine liability.
Failure of Consideration – if one of the parties in a contract fails to fulfill their end of the deal, there is a failure of consideration. The failure may be partial or entire. We also call it a ‘failure of basis.’
Failure Mode – a description of the manner in which a failure can occur. We use the term either for a failure that has occurred or a potential one. When we are talking about several failures, we say multiple failure modes or competing risks. The term contrasts with failure cause, which looks at the past, and failure effect, which looks at the future.
Failure Rate – the frequency at which a system, component, or product fails. The term is common in medicine, reliability engineering, and many other disciplines and sectors. Failure rate also refers to the percentage of new companies that fail within a given time.
Fair Competition – refers to a marketplace in which all the players operate on a level playing field. There is no bullying, predatory pricing, or competitor bashing. Competitors focus on gaining market share and sales by offering the best prices, quality, and customer service.
Fair Rate of Return – how much regulated companies can charge their customers. For example, utility companies have a limit on how much they are allowed to charge their customers for water, electricity, or natural gas. In investments, a fair rate of return is an investment that is worth the risk.
Fair Trade – a cooperative movement whose aim is to buy and sell products that make sure that the people who produce them receive a fair price, operate in an internationally-accepted work environment, are paid a decent wage, receive training, and improve their standard of living and quality of life. Fair trade also means to make sure that international trade is conducted on a level playing field, without subsidies, taxes and quotas that favor one party or country unfairly.
Fair Value – the price that makes both the buyer and seller happy. In other words, both parties enter the transaction willingly and pleased with the price. We also use the term in accounting in disputes involving assets or liabilities.
Fallacy of Composition – arises when we assume that what is true from part of something is true for the whole. For example, if I am watching a sports match at a stadium, I know I’ll get a better view if I stand up. If I then assume that if everybody stood up we’d all get a better view, I’d be wrong. My assumption would be a fallacy of composition.
Fat Cat – a derogatory term for either a rich person with influence or a major contributor to a political party. In the UK, fat cats are overpaid executives, i.e., their bonuses do not reflect their performance.
Fat Man Strategy – a technique to ward off a predatory company that attempts a hostile takeover. The target company acquires assets or a company that the corporate raider does not like. It may also take on additional debt. Subsequently, it appears fat and bloated, i.e., unattractive.
FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) – America’s domestic intelligence and security service. It is a federal level organization that focuses on law enforcement and investigating criminal activity across the country.
F-Commerce – which stands for Facebook Commerce, refers to the selling of goods and services within a Facebook page. Social Commerce has a similar meaning, but includes selling within any social media website. F-commerce started off badly, with many retailers shutting down their Facebook shop operations within twelve months. It then took off again, and promises to become a major trading vehicle.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration) – the United States’ regulatory agency in charge of medications, medical devices, tobacco products, foods, and cosmetics. Before a pharmaceutical company can market a new drug, it must get FDA approval. This is a long process.
Feasibility Study – an evaluation of a proposed project to determine whether it is feasible and whether it should go ahead. The study looks at the project’s technical, financial, and operational feasibility. Whenever large sums of money are at stake, it is common to carry out a feasibility study before proceeding.
Feasible Portfolio – a pool of investments that can realistically be put together, given all available alternatives, that an investor can buy, according to his or her investment goals, capital resources limits, and tolerance for risk.
Feather One’s Nest – to take advantage of a situation, one’s position, or information to get rich. It is a derogatory term that means the same as ‘to line one’s pockets.’ The action does not necessary have to be illegal, but people see it as unethical.
Features – the characteristics of a product or service. When we talk about the features of a product, we give a description of what its like, including its size, color, weight, etc. Customers, however, are more interested in benefits that features. Many people do not know the difference between features and benefits. In business, that can be an expensive mistake.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation – a US government corporation that trades in mortgages on financial markets in order to raise money to lend to home buyers. Also known as Freddie Mac.
Federal National Mortgage Association – colloquially known as Fannie Mae, it is a a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that buys and guarantees mortgages that comply with its funding criteria. It guarantees mortgage payments, even if borrowers default.
Federal Open Market Committee – known commonly by its abbreviation FOMC, is a 12-member committee within the Federal Reserve System that sets US monetary policy, including the discount rate and Fed funds target.
Federal Reserve System – commonly known as the Federal Reserve (or simply the ‘Fed’). It is the central banking system of the United States of America.
Fertility Rate – the average number of children (babies) that each female has during her reproductive years. A woman’s reproductive years are from approximately 15 to 49 years of age. To maintain a country’s population, there should be a fertility rate of 2.1 (if there is minimal immigration/emigration).
FF&E – stands for Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment. The term describes the movable items in a house or building that have no permanent connections to it. FF&E items have no connections to utilities either. For example, chairs, tables, computers, water coolers, and photocopiers are items of FF&E.
Fiat Money – money that the government declares as legal tender. Fiat money has no intrinsic value, the metal or paper it is printed on is worthless. Commodity money, on the other hand, has intrinsic value. Gold coins are examples of commodity money. Most countries today use fiat money.
FICO Score – a metric (number) that banks and other lenders use to measure a loan applicant’s creditworthiness. The FICO Score is used by more than ninety-percent of US lenders when deciding whether to lend a consumer money.
Fill or Kill Order (FKO) – an order to buy a considerable amount of stock – the broker is instructed buy straightaway or cancel the order (kill it).
Fill Rate – the percentage or proportion of customer orders that a company can deliver from stock at hand without back orders or loss of sales. Companies should aim for a fill rate of 100%.
Final Consumer – the term has two possible meanings. 1. The person or entity that consumes or uses a product or service, i.e., the ultimate consumer. 2. An advertising strategy that targets the final consumer.
Final Good – a product that the final consumer or ultimate consumer consumes. A final good is a consumer good. Unlike intermediate goods, we do not use final goods in the production of something else.
Finance – a set of activities related to the trading of capital assets between multiple entities. Finance is different from economics, which also includes also the production, consumption and distribution of services.
Finances – apart from being the plural of ‘finance,’ the term refers to the money that people, businesses, organizations, and governments earn and spend. Your ‘finances’ refers to your financial state, i.e., whether you are managing, struggling, etc.
Financial – the adjective of the noun/verb finance. ‘Financial’ means related to finance or money. In the world of investing, (noun) ‘financials’ means bank stocks (shares), and stocks of other financial institutions. Somebody might say “Don’t invest in computer stocks, invest in financials, they are doing well.”
Financial Activities – all activities involving the movement of money. Buying, selling, transferring money, for example, are financial activities. Financial activities include all the inflows and outflows of cash.
Financial Adviser – a person who provides clients with advice on how to manage their finances. They also suggest investment options, such as stocks and shares, bonds, and other financial instruments.
Financial Analysis – an assessment of a project, company, or any entity regarding its stability, viability, solvency, and profitability. Before making a major business decision or investing in a project, it is common to carry out a financial analysis.
Financial Assets – intangible assets including stocks (shares), bonds and bank deposits. The value of a financial asset is derived from a contractual claim of what it represents. Unlike tangible assets (e.g. real estate), they are not physical.
Financial Assistance – any type of monetary aid or help. Subsidies, tax allowances, and cost-sharing arrangements are examples of financial assistance. Welfare payments, bailouts, and loans are also forms of financial assistance.
Financial Attributes – factors of a company that show us how healthy it is financially. The parameters suggest how well or badly the business is faring and whether it is in good shape.
Financial Center – a financial hub, a district or city where there is a high concentration of financial institutions, and a highly-developed commercial and communications infrastructure. In financial centers, massive volumes of domestic and international trading transactions are performed. London, New York and Tokyo are the three largest financial centers in the world.
Financial Commitment – 1. A pledge to pay a certain amount of money on a specific future date. 2. To assume financial responsibility for something on a specific future date. 3. To regularly pay somebody or something over a specific period. We can use the term for short-, medium-, and long-term commitments.
Financial Incentive – a monetary benefit to encourage people to do something or behave in a certain way. Financial incentives include rewards, commissions, bonuses, profit sharing schemes, stock options, and tax benefits. Specifically, financial incentives encourage actions or behaviors that would not have occurred otherwise.
Financial Instrument – a monetary contract between two entities. We can create, trade, modify, and settle financial instruments. They may be evidence of ownership or contractual rights to receive cash. Derivatives are financial instruments, as are securities.
Financial Management – involves the planning, monitoring, organizing, directing, and controlling of a company’s, organization’s, or client’s monetary resources. The aim is to make sure that the business achieves its goals and objectives.
Financial Market – a market where traders buy and sell financial securities, foreign exchange, commodities, and other fungible items. Banks, insurance companies, pension funds, and other financial institutions form part of the financial markets.
Financial Ratios – several ratios using data from a company’s financial statement that compare its performance and ability to pay off short- and long-term debts. Also known as accounting ratios.
Financier – a person, group of people, company, or government that provides funding for projects and businesses.
Fintech – short form for Financial Technology. The term refers to modern software and other tech that have transformed the world of banking and finance. Such innovations as blockchain, online banking, digital wallets, and cryptocurrencies fall under this category.
Fintech Application – an application designed for the fintech industry designed to automate and digitize financial services.
Firm – a company or any entity that purchases and sells goods or services to consumers in the pursuit of profit. Examples of firms include, limited liability companies, partnerships, public limited companies, and sole proprietorships. Most law, accountancy or consultancy partnerships are known as firms (not companies).
First-mover advantage – also known as FMA, is a term used in marketing strategy where the advantage is gained by the initial significant occupant of a market segment, i.e. the first one to launch a new type of product or service. Also called Technological Leadership. The first-mover can gain rapid and significant market share, huge profits, customer loyalty, brand name recognition, and near-monopoly status. However, not all first-movers succeed, sometimes they fail and the second-movers or late-movers make all the money.
Fiscal – related to government revenue, i.e., taxes, public spending, and government borrowing. Therefore, a ‘fiscal issue’ is a ‘government finance issue.’
Fiscal Drag – an automatic brake applied to a rapidly-growing economy under a progressive tax system. As incomes increase, many people find themselves in higher income brackets. This means that tax obligations increase. Spending subsequently declines or slow down.
Fiscal Policy – refers to government spending and the collection of taxes. An expansionary fiscal policy is used to kick-start a sluggish economy, while a contractionary fiscal policy is adopted either to slow down the economy or pay off public debt. Governments deal with fiscal policy while central banks focus on monetary policy.
Fiscal Stimulus – government action to boost the economy that may involve either tax cuts or greater spending. Left-leaning parties favor boosting public spending while right-leaning parties favor tax cuts.
Fiscal Year – also known as a financial year, it is the 12-month-period that an entity uses for calculating and disclosing annual financial statements. The fiscal year may not be the same as the calendar year (Jan 1 to Dec 31).
Fiscalist – somebody who believes that government spending and methods of raising revenue, i.e., fiscal policy, are vital in economic regulation. Fiscalists contrast with monetarists, who warn that fiscal policies often lead to high inflation and economic decline.
Five Forces – the five external factors that tell us how viable an industry is for a company. In other words, how profitable it is likely to be. We also call them Porter’s Five Forces. The forces are customers, existing competitors, new competitors, suppliers, and substitute products.
Five W’s of Communication – five words beginning with the letter ‘W’ that we should focus on when communicating. They are WHO, says WHAT, in WHICH channel, to WHOM, and with WHAT effect? In public relations, ‘effect’ may refer to ‘feedback.’
Fixed Assets – assets that help a company produce things and earn income. Fixed assets cannot be converted into cash easily. Examples include PP&E (property, plant & equipment), vehicles, etc. We use fixed capital to purchase fixed assets.
Fixed Capital – the money that people invest in fixed assets, i.e., equipment, land, buildings, vehicles, etc. We also use the term ‘fixed investment.’
Fixed Costs – costs that do not change according to output or sales volume levels. They are the opposite of variable costs. Examples of fixed costs include rent, utilities and insurance premiums.
Fixed Exchange Rate – a system in which the central bank or government tries to peg its currency to another currency, a basket of currencies, or a precious metal such as gold. The system contrasts with a floating exchange rate, in which the currency’s value is left to market forces.
Fixed-Rate Mortgage – for a set period, which can be up to thirty years, the monthly payments on the mortgage do not change because the interest rate is ‘fixed’. This type of home loan is popular with households on a tight budget, and for people who like to plan ahead.
Flea Market – an outdoor market with stalls that sell old furniture, antiques, second hand items, etc. Most of them are outdoors. However, some may be in a warehouse or school gym. Britons call a flea market a ‘car boot sale.’
Flesch Formula – a formula that tells us how difficult or easy a text is for people to read and understand. The higher the score, the easier it is to read and understand. We also call it the Flesch Readability Score, Flesch Rate, or Flesch Reading Ease Formula. Rudolf Flesch, an Austrian-American readability expert, devised the Formula in the 1940s.
Flexible Budget – a budget (financial plan) that goes up and down according to the needs of a company or department. In other words, the budget’s size changes according to changes in the company’s or department’s variable costs. When they rise, the budget grows. Conversely, when they decline, the budget shrinks.
Flexible Factory – a production facility that can quickly change from producing one thing to producing something else. It can do this with the minimum of downtime. Many car factories are flexible factories.
Flexible Firm Model – a management or organizational technique that segments employees into different groups, i.e., core and peripheral groups. The Model uses different forms of flexibility to optimize the use of human resources.
Flexible Pricing – a strategy that allows buyers and sellers to negotiate the final price of a good or service. Some businesses benefit from flexible pricing, especially sellers of perishable goods. Most consumer like to be able to influence prices.
Flexible Schedule – an alternative to the traditional working day, which historically has been nine-to-five. It is also an alternative to the forty-hour week. With modern communications, the Internet, the cloud, emails, etc., people today can work from virtually anywhere. This means they can also work more flexible hours than their parents or grandparents could.
Flexible Specialization – a strategy that some businesses use to remain competitive. They employ multi-skilled workers and have multi-use equipment and machinery. They are then ready to adapt to any changes in the marketplace.
Flexible Staffing – an alternative to permanent staffing, i.e., an alternative to having permanent employees. The employer uses part-time workers, temporary employees, or independent contractors.
Flexible Workforce – the term has two meanings: 1. A workforce with many employees who have multiple skills. They can easily step in when somebody leaves or becomes ill. 2. A workforce whose size adapts to the needs of the company. When sales rise, the workforce grows. When sales decline, the workforce shrinks.
Flexible working – a general term for working patterns that vary from the traditional nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday office job. The patterns typically vary by location of work, number of hours, and start and finish times.
Flexitime – a scheme whereby workers can vary the start and finish of their working day within certain limits. Most systems comprise a fixed core time with flexibility to vary the beginning and end of the day outside of the core.
Flight Capital – the money that leaves a country during a capital flight. Capital flight is the event, while flight capital is the money itself. There are many reasons why people decide to transfer their money out of a country. Perhaps they have lost confidence in the economy.
Flight to Quality – the large-scale movement of investments from high risk assets to low risk ones. The high risk assets offer a higher yield than the low risk ones. Flight to quality, or flight to safety, is a herd-like shift. It could be the result of very bad news, such as a corporate collapse or bank failure.
Flighting – an advertising strategy where the marketer places lots of adverts during one period and then no ads during another period. Flighting is more common among small companies with limited advertising budgets. It is also common among sellers of seasonal goods or services.
Flipping – buying something at a low price and selling it quickly at a high price. It is a form of speculation, but the speculator moves quickly. We can use the term for shares, commodities, real estate, cars, and many other items.
Floating Exchange Rate – an exchange rate where the Forex market, based on supply and demand, sets the price of a currency. The currency’s price is not fixed by the government, i.e., it is not pegged to another currency or precious metal.
Fluoridation – adding fluoride to drinking water to protect people’s teeth from decay. We also use the term ‘fluoridation of drinking water.’ If you add fluoride to drinking water, the incidence of tooth decay and cavities declines significantly.
Fluorocarbons (FCs) – compounds that contain carbon and fluorine. We also refer to them as perfluorocarbons or PFCs. We use them in the manufacture of aerosol propellants, refrigerants, oils and greases, and coolants. To protect the ozone layer, fluorocarbon use today is either illegal or restricted.
FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) – a step-by-step approach to detecting the potential failures in a process, system, service, or product. We can use the term in the physical or abstract sense. The approach looks at each failure and their individual knock-on effects. We then view all of them together to get an idea of what the overall consequences are or might be.
Focused Factory – a factory that is not flexible, i.e., it cannot easily switch from making one thing to making something else. It contrasts with a flexible factory.
Focused Fund – a mutual fund that invests in a very limited number of companies and sectors. It contrasts with a diversified fund, which invests in a wide range of sectors and many different companies. Focused funds tend to be riskier than diversified funds.
Focus Group – a group of five to fifteen people who talk about specific themes as part of a market research project. A focus group could also be a brainstorming group, i.e., a group of people who get together to try to solve a problem.
Food Additives – functional substances that we add to food. Food additives may improve a food’s taste, color, texture, or consistency. Other additives may extend a food’s shelf life.
Food Biotechnology – the use of technology to alter or modify the genes of the plants and animals that we eat, i.e., our food sources. Thanks to food biotechnology, we can get better crop yields and produce disease-resistant plants. Many of our fruits and vegetables are more nutritious today thanks to food biotechnology.
Food Chain – a series of organisms that depend on each other to stay alive, i.e., as sources of food. Plants are at the bottom of the chain. Human, lions, eagles, and sharks, for example, are at the top.
Food Contaminant – a foreign object, organism, microorganism, or chemical that makes food unfit for human consumption. The term usually refers to the accidental contamination of food.
Foodborne Illness – an illness caused by something we ate or drank. We also call it a foodborne disease or food poisoning. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and poisons, for example, can contaminate food. If we eat that food, we can get a foodborne illness.
Food Stamps – an American federal assistance program for low income individuals and their families. It is a nutrition program. Its official name is SNAP. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.
Footfall – 1. The number of people entering a shop or shopping mall per hour, day, week, month, etc. 2. The sound of footsteps. For retailers, footfall is an extremely important metric.
Foot Traffic – the number of people walking in a given area, i.e., pedestrian activity. Foot traffic matters more for shops than law practices. A shoe shop, for example, gets more business from pedestrians walking in off the street than a law practice does.
Forbearance – a special agreement in which a borrower who is falling behind on payments gets extra time to catch up. The lender postpones foreclosure, i.e. puts off seizing the borrower’s asset.
Force Majeure – unforeseeable events or circumstances that prevent a party in a contract from fulfilling its obligation. Examples include earthquakes, tsunamis, war, new legislation, riots, or strikes.
Forced Distribution – a method of appraising employee performance. We also call it the forced distribution method and stacked ranking. It is a very popular method among companies. Managers and supervisors grade employee performance according to three or four categories.
Forecasting – a planning tool that managers and directors of companies, economists, investors, and government departments use in their attempt to cope with the uncertainty of the future. Forecasting relies mainly on historical and current data, as well as the analysis of trends. There are several different forecasting methods.
Foreclosure – occurs when a borrower defaults and the lender demands he or she sells an asset (such as a house) in order to pay back a loan.
Foreign Policy – how a government deals with other nations, i.e., its plan of action. We also call it foreign relations or foreign affairs policy. It includes such matter as defense and trade. Its main goal is to protect the country’s citizens both while they are at home and abroad.
Foreign Reserves – foreign currency that a central bank holds. Its main aim is to defend the local currency and stabilize the economy. Most foreign reserves consists of hard currencies such as the US dollar, pound sterling, euro, and Swiss franc.
Forensic – 1. (Adjective) related to courts of law or used in courts. 2. (Adjective) suitable for discussion or public debate. 3. (Adjective) applying technical or scientific knowledge to legal problems. 4. (Noun) scientific tests or techniques people use to try to solve crimes. In this case, we often use the plural form, i.e., forensics.
Forensic Accounting – the application of accounting skills to determine whether there has been illegal activity. We also use the terms forensic accountancy, financial forensics, forensic auditing, and forensic audit. Forensic accountants are the detectives of the finance world.
Forensic Engineering – applying engineering knowledge to find out why something failed or went wrong. The forensic engineer often uses reverse engineering to determine why a structure, machine, component, or material failed.
Forensic Medicine – a branch of medicine that deals with the application of medical knowledge to determine what happened to somebody who died. We also call it forensic pathology.
Forensic Science – the application of scientific knowledge to find out why something bad happened. Forensic scientists try to determine why somebody died or a bridge collapsed. If fraud is suspected, the authorities send in forensic accountants. Forensic pathologists carry out autopsies to try to determine, for example, cause of death.
Forex – also known as the foreign exchange market, it is the international market for trading currencies. The abbreviation for ‘foreign exchange’ is ‘Forex’.
For-Profit Organization – an organization or company whose principal goal is to generate profit. It contrasts with a not-for-profit organization. For-profit organizations are a crucial part of a free-market economy. Successful ones have greater revenue than costs.
Fossil Fuels – crude oil (petroleum), natural gas, and coal. Fossil fuels consist of decayed animals and plants. It is a long process that takes millions of years.
Fractional Reserve Banking – occurs when a bank has reserves that are less than the amount deposited by its customers. It is what makes the money supply grow.
Franchise – an arrangement in which the franchisor (owner of the business) gives the franchisee the right to distribute and sell the franchisor’s goods or service and use their business name and business model. Sometimes the franchisee gets the rights for a geographical area.
Fraud – occurs when somebody uses deception, dishonesty, or tricks to gain money or property. Fraud is illegal. Somebody who engages in fraudulent activity is a fraudster. It is typically a white-collar crime, i.e., an office-based crime.
Free Market – an economy where the purchasing and selling of goods and services are not under the control of the government. Individuals and businesses can buy and sell freely. Also known as an open market.
Free Trade – an economic policy that allows goods and services to be traded across international borders without government-imposed restrictions, such as tariffs, quotas, or subsidies, aiming to encourage global economic integration and efficiency.
Free Trade Area – a group of countries that have agreed to eliminate tariffs, quotas, and preferences on most goods and services traded between them.
Freight– products and merchandise that are transported by land, sea, or air. The term may also refer to the cost of shipping/delivery. Cargo today means the same as freight. We can also use freight as a verb and adjective.
Frictional Unemployment – consists of people who are between jobs, they are still going to interviews, and searching for their ideal job. When there is near-full employment, frictional unemployment is higher, because individuals tend to spend longer going to interviews and deciding whether what is offered to them is what they really want. When unemployment is high, frictional unemployment dries up rapidly – people are less fussy and want to get a job as quickly as possible, even if it is not ideal.
Fringe Benefits – additional compensations provided to employees beyond their regular salary, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.
Fungible – refers to something that can be exchanged for something else. For example, I can trade a $10 bill for ten $1 bills, two $5 bills, or another $10 bill. Fungible items are goods or commodities that are freely exchangeable for or replaceable by another of exactly the same or very similar nature. Pure gold is fungible – one bar of gold is interchangeable with another identical bar or 2 bars of half the weight. Fungible is an adjective – the noun is fungibility.
Futurology – a study of future possibility by carefully analyzing both present and historical trends. Futurists predict alternative futures. We also call it future studies.
Futures – standardized contracts for buying or selling financial assets or commodities at a future date and price, offering a way to hedge against price risks or speculate on market movements, with transactions facilitated through a futures exchange.
Futures Contract – a contract to exchange a specified security (of a specific quantity) for a price that is determined on the day the contract is created for delivery and payment on a future date. Futures contracts are appealing for those seeking price stability.
Futures Market – a market where people buy and sell futures contracts and commodities. There are many across the world. The largest is the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). We also call it a Futures Exchange.
FYI – abbreviation of For Your Information. We pronounce the abbreviation /ɛfwaɪˈaɪ/. We use it in e-mails, memos, and informal messages. The information within the message is not urgent, i.e., the receiver does not need to take urgent action.