Vocabulary Building for Investors

I'm fairly title deficient. That is, I can write up a storm, but when the time comes to name my babies, it's not so easy for me. The titles I gravitate to tend not to be beloved by agents and editors. The titles they like tend not to float my boat and, left to a committee, the whole titling thing gets to be a bit larger than life. Like a camel.

I signed up for InvestorWords.com's term of the day a couple of years ago. My thinking was that this way I would be able to build a list of odd and different terms -- things that struck my fancy -- and, when the time came to name a Madeline Carter book, I'd have this whole raft of names from which to choose. Not that I would necessarily use a term Investor Words had sent, but seeing interesting terms every day would get me to a headspace where I would be thinking about it, plus the new terms would add to my wordy arsenal and general knowledge.

It's actually working out pretty well.

For absolutely no $US, they e-mail you a different investment-related term every day. (Or almost every day, I haven't actually stopped to figure out the pattern.) Some of the terms you get are every day easy: terms even baby-level investors would know. But others are fun, interesting or both. Like today's term:

weather derivative

A financial instrument used by companies to reduce the risk associated with adverse or unexpected weather. The seller of the derivative accepts the risk by charging a premium to the buyer: if nothing happens, the seller makes a profit, but if the weather turns bad, the company claims the money. Unlike insurance, weather derivatives cover high-probability events.

Recent terms of the day have included "Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976," "Public Book" and "Underweighted." The cool thing is, they not only send you the word (or phrase) of the day, they also send a short list of related words. For example, for today's "Weather Derivative," the list of related terms looked like this:


catastrophe bond

catastrophic coverage


Sandra Ruttan said…
I'm terrible with titles. I've never heard of this Investor Words - what a wild idea.

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