A person (legal entity) engaged in the business of effecting transactions in securities for the accounts of others and for its own accounts.


Exchange Traded Fund:  A fund that tracks an index/ basket of individual securities, and can be bought and sold like a security on the stock exchange.  Typically, expense ratios are lower than mutual funds’ and ETFs do not have the sales loads that mutual funds often do.


Global Investment Performance Standards:  Set of ethical standards followed by some RIA firms when reporting performance.  In order to claim compliance, an RIA firm must be verified by an authorized third-party firm.


High net worth:  Typically a High Net Worth individual is characterized by having at least $1MM in assets.  The SEC defines such a person as an individual with $750,000 of invested assets with an advisor, or an individual who is reasonably believed to have $1.5MM in assets.


Very High Net Worth: Typically a Very High Net Worth individual, typically owns between $5-50MM. (Another term frequently used is UHNW, or Ultra High Net Worth individual; such a person is characterized as owning more than $50MM in assets.)


Investment advisor representative:  An employee of an RIA firm registered to provide investment advice, and to trade in client accounts on their behalf.


Limited power of attorney:  The authorization required for an RIA firm to manage a client’s portfolio, including trading and fee-deduction.


Master limited partnership:  Publicly-traded, tax-advantaged real estate, natural resource, or commodity firm that pays distributions to the limited partner unit-holders.


Registered investment advisor:  An investment advisory firm registered with the SEC, or a state’s securities agency.