Abbreviations and acronyms

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Below are brief descriptions of some abbreviations and acronyms, to help new investors. For a glossary of words relevant to investing, see: Glossary.


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  • FAANG - Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. Originally termed as FANG (without Apple).
  • FATCA - Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. US extraterritorial tax law requiring all non-US financial institutions to search their records for customers with US 'indicia' such as a US place of birth, and report these people's financial activities to the IRS.
  • FDAP - Fixed, Determinable, Annual, Periodical. Classification of US source income paid to nonresident aliens. See: Nonresident alien taxation
  • FEIE - Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. US income tax exclusion for Americans living abroad. See: Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
  • FERS - Federal Employees Retirement System
  • FF - Fama-French i.e. Eugene Fama and Kenneth R. French, coauthors of the Fama-French 3-Factor model. The Morningstar Style Box™ is based on this model.
  • FF3FM - Fama/French 3-factor model. See above.
  • FFO - Funds From Operations
  • FI - fixed income; alternately financial independence
  • Fido - Jocular nickname for Fidelity Investments
  • FIFO - First-In, First-Out
  • FIRE - Financial Independence / Retire Early. Colloquial acronym.
  • FIRPTA - Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act. Taxes US real estate gains realised by nonresident aliens at income tax rates.
  • FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out. An investor behavior where fear of inaction will miss an investment opportunity. See Bogleheads forum topic: "How do Bogleheads cope with FOMO? [Fear Of Missing Out]".
  • FRA - Full Retirement Age. The age at which your Social Security benefits are not adjusted for claiming early. See: Social Security
  • FTC - Foreign Tax Credit. A way to compensate against double taxation when owning stock outside the U.S. See: Foreign tax credit
  • FWF - Financial Wisdom Forum, the Canadian sister discussion forum



  • HCOL - High Cost of Living
  • HIFO - Highest In, First Out. Highest cost of purchase is the first to be used or taken out of stock.
  • HmL - High minus Low (High B/P return - Low B/P return) Value Premium. See: Fama and French three-factor model
  • HSA - Health Savings Account


  • IANAL - "I am not a lawyer". A warning that the reader should not take an opinion as professional legal advice. See: IANAL.
  • IANYL - "I am not your lawyer". Similar to IANAL, but from a lawyer who does not represent that person. Do not rely upon this advice even though this person may be an attorney.[1]
  • IB - Interactive Brokers
  • ILB - International Large Blend. A stock classification. See: Stock style boxes (Applies to all stocks, not just international.)
  • ILG - International Large Growth. A stock classification. See: Stock style boxes (Applies to all stocks, not just international.)
  • ILV - International Large Value. A stock classification. See: Stock style boxes (Applies to all stocks, not just international.)
  • IPO - Initial Public Offering. The process of offering shares of a private corporation to the public in a new stock issuance.
  • IPS - Investment Policy Statement. An Investment Policy Statement helps investors stay on track with their long-term goals.
  • IRA - Individual retirement arrangement. A personal savings plan which allows you to set aside money for retirement.
  • IRMAA - Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. An additional premium amount for Medicare Part B and Medicare prescription drug coverage.
  • iREIT - International Real Estate Investment Trust.
  • IRS - Internal Revenue Service
  • ISB - International Small Blend. A stock classification. See: Stock style boxes (Applies to all stocks, not just international.)
  • ISG - International Small Growth. A stock classification. See: Stock style boxes (Applies to all stocks, not just international.)
  • ISIN - International Securities Identification Number. A unique international identifier for a security.
  • ISV - International Small Value. A stock classification. See: Stock style boxes (Applies to all stocks, not just international.)


  • JPY - Yen







  • PAS - Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service
  • P/B - Price Book Ratio. Also known as the "price-equity ratio." See: Price to Book
  • P/E - Price Earnings Ratio. A ratio of a company's current share price compared to its per-share earnings. See: P/E
  • PE10 - Price / Earnings ratio, averaged over the past 10 years and adjusted for inflation. Also known as CAPE. See: Shiller PE10
  • PFIC - Passive Foreign Investment Company. Investment vehicles registered outside the US which are subject to US taxation.
  • PIA - Primary Insurance Amount. The base Social Security benefit before any adjustments such as retiring before or after Full Retirement Age (FRA). See: Social Security
  • POA - Power of Attorney. A legal document giving one person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the power to act for another person (the principal). See: List of estate planning terms (link to definition).
  • PPP - Purchasing Power Parity. A theory that measures prices at different locations using a common basket of goods. Can also mean the US Paycheck Protection Program.
  • PRIIPs - Packaged Retail Investment and Insurance-Based Products. EU regulation aimed at improving European investor protections. Related to MiFID.


  • QCD - Qualified Charitable Distribution. A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) is the withdrawal of funds from an IRA with the intention of donating them directly to a qualified charity. There are tax benefits that go along with this strategy. And QCDs can be used when taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) in retirement.
  • QDI - Qualifying Dividend Income. A dividend which meets IRS requirements to (usually) get a lower tax rate. See: Qualified dividend
  • QJSA - Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity (pension plans)






  • VA - Variable Annuity. An annuity (periodic payment) which fluctuates over time. It is very different from a Fixed SPIA and should only be considered under limited circumstances.
  • VBTLX, VGSLX, VTIAX, VTSAX, etc. - Ticker symbols for Vanguard mutual funds
  • VPW - Variable percentage withdrawal. A portfolio withdrawal method, a retirement planning approach, and a collection of related spreadsheets developed by members of the Bogleheads forum.
  • VEU, VNQ, VSS, VTI, VWO, VXUS, etc. - Ticker symbols for Vanguard ETFs




  • ZAR - South Africa Rand


  1. Bogleheads forum post: "Re: IANYL :: Can we please add this to the wiki", ResearchMed. May 05, 2022

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