Glossary of Terms

Bad Title

Bad title is title to a property that does not grant distinct ownership. Often used in the context of real estate, bad title results in the interests in real property not being transferred properly to the new owner. A product of unpaid taxes and liens, faulty transfer documents, building code violations, among other reasons, any encumbrance causing the cloud on title must be remedied before title can be fully transferred.

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Balance Of Trade

Balance of trade is defined as the difference between the value of a nation’s imports and exports over a defined period of time. A country is considered to have a trade deficit if the value of the goods it imports exceeds the value of the goods it exports. A country has a trade surplus when the value of its exports exceeds the value of its imports. A country’s balance of trade is a metric used to quantify the relative strength of that country’s economy.
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Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a financial sheet that lists a firm’s assets, liabilities and equity at a point in time. The balance sheet provides a firm and its stakeholders a look at a point in time of what it owns, what it owes, and the difference of the value of its assets and the sum of its liabilities.

Used in tandem with financial statements such as the income statement and statement of cash flows which illustrate a firm’s performance over a period of time, a balance sheet illustrates the firm’s standing at the beginning and end of said period.

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Balloon Payment

A balloon payment is a large payment due at the end of a loan’s life. This type of payment usually occurs over the life of a short-term loan, which has only been amortized partially over the course of the loan’s term. The balloon payment is the final repayment of the loan’s remaining balance.

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Bank

A bank is a financial institution regulated by a regulatory body. A bank receives deposits and issues loans. Banks can also provide financial services that include wealth management, currency exchange and safe deposit boxes.

There are two types of banks: commercial banks and investment banks. Commercial banks primarily manage the funds of their customers in checking and/or savings accounts and by issuing loans to individuals and businesses. Investment banks provide services to corporate clients that include underwriting and merger and acquisition activities.

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Bankruptcy Remote

Bankruptcy remote is typically used when discussing a special purpose entity. A bankruptcy remote entity is a separate legal entity whose bankruptcy or insolvency

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Base Rent

Base rent is the minimum monthly rent due pursuant to a lease. Base rent does not account for expense reimbursements or percentage rent, which 

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Basis

Basis, in the context of commercial real estate, is an asset’s basis is the original purchase price or cost of investment property plus any out-of-pocket

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Basis Point

The basis point is a common unit of measurement used in the field of finance. One basis point is equal to 1/100th of 1% (0.01%). Basis points are used primarily for noting changes in interest rates, yields, and equity indexes, and are used by analysts to minimize confusion when discussing percent changes in financial instruments. 

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Beneficial Interest

A beneficial interest, typically referred to in manners concerning trusts,  is the right to receive benefit from assets held by another party. 

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Beneficiary

Beneficiary is any person who is eligible to receive distributions from a trust, will, or life insurance policy.

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Beta

A measure of systematic risk given to a security or portfolio, beta measures the volatility of a given financial instrument in comparison to the market as a whole. Often used in financial analysis, beta helps determine an asset’s expected return based off the capital asset pricing model.

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Blanket Mortgage

A blanket mortgage is a type of mortgage that finances more than one piece of real estate. Similar to a conventional mortgage, the real estate acts as collateral under the loan, and depending on the terms, the individual pieces of real estate may be sold without retiring the entire mortgage.

In practice, blanket mortgages allow the mortgagee to aggregate its debt obligations under a single loan to a single lender. Due to the size and scope of the loan, the borrower may have the ability to negotiate better terms and achieve a lower interest rates. In addition, a borrower may be able to save on application and closing costs associated with taking on multiple mortgages.

The disadvantages of a blanket mortgage include the capability of the lender to foreclose on all of the properties serving collateral in the scenario that the borrower defaults. In addition, blanket mortgages are typically unable to cover properties across numerous states, as each state has unique guidelines regarding how blanket mortgages are issued.

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Blind Pool

A blind pool is a limited partnership that raises funds from investors with no specific investment thesis. Typically managed by a general partner, the blind pool’s goal is broadly defined as growth or income, perhaps with a focus on a specific sector or sectors, but provides the general partner decision making autonomy in the allocation of capital.
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Bond

A bond is a fixed income instrument that represents a loan from an investor to a corporation or government. A bond is considered a fixed income security that is throughout of as an IOU between the individual lender and borrower with terms that outline the details of the loan and its regular payments. A bond is equipped with an end date when the principal of the loan is due back to the borrower in addition to the specific coupon amount that is due to the lender on a payment schedule, based on the variable or fixed interest rate assigned to the loan.
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Bondable Lease

See Absolute Triple Net Lease.

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Boot

Boot, although not specifically defined (or even mentioned) in IRC Section 1031, is commonly used and refers to the fair market value of cash,

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Bridge Loan

Bridge loan is a short-term loan that is used until a person or company secures permanent, longer-term financing or fulfills an existing obligation. 

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Broker Dealer

Broker dealer is a person or firm in the business of buying and selling securities, operating as both a broker and a dealer, depending on the transaction.

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Build-to-Suit (BTS)

Built-to-suit is a way of leasing commercial property whereas the developer/owner has constructed a building to the specifications of a particular tenant or type of tenant. This type of property is popular among tenants because of its ability to offer efficient layouts, reduce operating costs associated with the property, or create a building design that may be more favorable in the public eye.

Build-to-suit properties are common in retail and industrial property types, but may exist in any type of real estate such as office space. Given that a building is designed specifically for the tenant, leases are typically longer-term, and tenants may be less inclined to vacate the property.

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Bull Market

A bull market is a term used to describe a financial market where the values of a particular group of securities are expected to rise. The term is most widely used when describing the stock market under conditions where an array of securities appreciate in value over an extended period of time, whether that be months or years. 

Bull markets are driven by investor optimism and confidence that the price of an asset today will be less than the price of the asset in the future.

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Business Cycle

Business cycle is a term used to describe the cycle of economic activity that an economy experiences over time. Business cycles are characterized by expansion and contraction with regard to the output of goods and services in the described economy. 

There are six stages of a business cycle: expansion, peak, recession, depression, trough, and recovery. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) measures and studies business cycles and defines the start and end dates of business cycles in the United States.

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Business Ethics

Business ethics is the study of policies and practices with regard to corporate governance. Business ethics are critical to a firm’s operations, as they ensure that a firm is operating in an ethical manner on behalf of its stakeholders. Businesses began to become increasingly concerned with business ethics in the 1960s as society began to become more concerned with environmental and social causes.
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Business Risk

Business risk is anything that jeopardizes a company’s ability to meet its financial goals. This type risk goes beyond the internal operations of a business, such as the actions of upper management, and can include external factors such as new regulations enacted by the government. By becoming aware of the different factors that may cause a particular business to fail, such as compliance and operational risk, a company may be able to enact a proper risk management strategy that mitigates specific risk that may affect their ability to drive revenue or control costs.
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Buying on Margin

Buying on margin is the process in which an investor purchases an asset with leverage by borrowing a balance from a bank or a stock broker. Buying on margin allows for an investor to purchase assets with, for example, 20 percent cash and 80 percent leverage, where the leverage is secured by marginable securities held by the investor. 

In order to buy on margin, an investor needs to apply for approval from a bank or broker. The degree of buying power an investor has access to is a function of the total dollar amount of purchases the investor can make with cash and securities holdings.

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Qualified Opportunity Zone Business

A trade or business (i) in which substantially all of the tangible property owned or leased by the entity is Opportunity Zone Business Property, and (ii) which (a) derives at least 50% of its gross income from the active conduct of a trade or business,  (b) uses a substantial portion of any intangible property in such trade or business, and (c) has less than 5% of its assets invested in non-qualified financial property. Notwithstanding the preceding, a trade or business will not qualify as an Opportunity Zone Business if it is engaged in owning or operating any private or commercial golf course, country club, massage parlor, hot tub facility, suntan facility, racetrack or other facility used for gambling, or any store the principal business of which is the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises.

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Qualified Opportunity Zone Business Property

Tangible property used in a trade or business of a Qualified Opportunity Fund if such property (i) was acquired by purchase after December 31, 2017, (ii) the original use of such property in the Qualified Opportunity Zone commences with the Qualified Opportunity Fund or the Qualified Opportunity Fund substantially improves the property, and (iii) substantially all of the use of such property was in a Qualified Opportunity Zone during substantially all of the Qualified Opportunity Fund holding period for the property.

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