The Finance Dictionary

This information provides users with thorough and reliable meanings to all the most common, and even uncommon, financial terms

Financial Terms Beginning With The Letter F

Face value

The face value of a bond is the value the bond is worth at maturity. A newly issued bond usually sells at face value. Between issue date and maturity date, the market value of the bond will fluctuate depending on current interest rates, and the bond will trade at a premium or a discount.

Financial statements

These usually consist of a Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cashflow Statement, and Notes to the Financial Statements. Most public corporations publish their financial statements in an Annual Report which is sent to shareholders. They also usually publish quarterly financial statements, which may or may not be sent out to shareholders. Most public corporations also have their financial statements available on their corporate web sites, or will mail copies to interest parties.

Fiscal period/fiscal year

Many businesses prepare their accounting records on a calendar year basis, with December 31 as their year-end date. Their fiscal year is the same as the calendar year. Some businesses prefer to have their year-end date coincide with a slow period in their business, so they may choose another date as their year-end. If they choose March 31, then their fiscal year, or accounting year, is April 1 to March 31.

A fiscal period is normally 12 months, but may be less than 12 months when a business starts up.

Self-employed people generally have to pay tax based on a December 31 year-end.

Fixed assets

Also called property, plant and equipment, or capital property. These are assets which have a long life, and can include land, buildings, machinery, and equipment. Land cannot be expensed, or written off against income, but other fixed assets can be written off against income over a number of years. The Income Tax Act specifies what percentage of the cost of a fixed asset can be written off each year as capital cost allowance.

Free cashflow

Free cashflow is calculated as EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) minus taxes paid during the year, minus capital expenditures, and plus or minus changes in working capital. See also cashflow and operating cashflow.

Front-end load fund

This type of mutual fund charges a sales commission, often in the range of 2% to 5%, when the mutual funds are purchased. Also, as with all mutual funds, trailer fees are paid annually by the fund to the advisor, broker or dealer where you hold your funds.

Fundamental analysis

Analysis of a company and its financial strength, in order to determine its value. Fundamental analysis is used by value investors.


Contract to buy or sell a product at a fixed price on a specified date, usually traded on futures exchanges.