Five investing terms that should be on your radar

At AMP we want to help you take control of your finances and own your tomorrow. But we know it's not always that easy. The language of finance can be complex and confusing. In our latest jargon buster article, we explain investing terms in everyday language.



When you buy a stock, you’re buying a share in the company that has issued the stock. Your share may come with rights like the ability to vote at shareholder meetings. Shares tend to be riskier investments than cash or bonds because the value of your investment may go up and down as the market fluctuates. But along the way, you may receive a regular income in the form of dividend payments.


In Australia, many listed companies issue franked dividends to their shareholders, meaning that tax has already been paid. Dividends can be partially franked or fully franked. Whether you need to need to pay any more tax will depend on your marginal tax rate compared to the level of franking attached to the dividend.

Blue chip

These are the biggest stocks traded on the stock exchange in terms of overall market capitalisation, or the total value of the company’s shares. Blue chip shares tend to have an excellent track record in terms of corporate earnings and deliver stable returns for their shareholders. In Australia, blue chip shares include miners like BHP, telcos like Telstra and the big banks.

Bulls and bears

When the value of investments is rising, it’s often referred to as a ‘bull market’. When the value of investments is falling, it’s often referred to as a ‘bear’ market. People usually refer to bulls and bears when talking about the sharemarket, but they could refer to any commodity that’s traded on an investment market.


Companies and governments sometimes issue bonds to raise money for projects. When you buy a bond you are essentially loaning your money. Your money will be returned after a fixed period of time, when the bond ‘matures’. And along the way you may receive regular interest payments, which could vary depending on the interest rate applied. Bonds are sometimes called fixed income securities and tend to involve less risk (but less potential return) than shares.

All investments carry some form of risk, and we’ve only scratched the surface of the world of investments. To learn more, you can:

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.