Glossary: B

Back-end load – A sales charge levied when mutual fund units are redeemed.

Balance sheet – A financial statement showing the nature and amount of a company’s assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity.

Balanced fund – A mutual fund which has an investment policy of “balancing” its portfolio generally by including bonds and shares in varying proportions influenced by the fund’s investment outlook.

Bear market – A declining financial market.

Benefit – reimbursement for covered medical expenses as specified by the plan.

Beneficiary – The person(s) named in the policy to receive the life insurance proceeds upon the death of the insured.

Bond – A long-term debt instrument with the promise to pay a specified amount of interest and to return the principal amount on a specified maturity date.

Bond fund – A mutual fund whose portfolio consists primarily of bonds.

Book value – The value of net assets that belong to a company’s shareholders, as stated on the balance sheet.

Brand-name drug – prescription drug which is marketed with a specific brand name by the company that manufactures it. May cost insured individuals a higher co-pay than generic drugs on some health plans. (see “generic.”)

Broker (Investment) – An agent who handles the public’s orders to buy and sell securities, commodities, or other property. A commission is generally charged for this service.

Broker (Insurance) – a licensed insurance professional who obtains multiple quotes and plan information in the interest of his client.

Bull market – An advancing financial market.

Buying on margin – Purchasing a security partly with borrowed money.