Glossary of Terms

Margin

A margin is a term used to describe money borrowed from a brokerage to purchase securities. Investors who “buy on margin” via their brokerage borrow money from the brokerage to purchase securities. Margin is calculated as the difference between the value of securities purchased and held in the investor’s account and the dollar amount of funds lent by the broker to facilitate the purchase.

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Marginal Land

Marginal land is land that has little value and offers its owner little opportunity to profit from it. The term typically refers to land with poor soil or other undesirable characteristics that makes it difficult or near impossible to grow crops and thus turn a profit.

While undesirable to hold, marginal land does have some utility in certain cases. It can be used as grazing grounds for livestock. Additionally, land that is considered marginal at one time can be considered desirable at another time if conditions in that market change. For instance, if the cost of growing corn on marginal land at one point in time does not exceed the revenue associated with selling such corn, land is considered marginal. But if conditions change and the price of corn rises, this land once considered marginal now offers some utility and opportunity to profit.

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Mark-to-Market

Typically used in accounting practice, mark-to-market refers to the measure given to asset and liability accounts that are in accordance with current market values. Having the ability to increase or decrease over time, this method looks to give a current, accurate depiction of an individual’s or business’s financial standing. To provide an easy, relatable example, stocks in the S&P 500 are marked-to-market everyday. Values are determined based on investor demand, and fluctuate based on how much the market values a particular piece of equity. Mark-to-market valuations may be more difficult in non-public markets and illiquid assets as much less real-time data exists.

Although the mark-to-market model may provide an effective representation as to the current value of a company or asset, this measure may not prove as effective in times of uncertainty. When the market is shifting, and buyers continuously leave and enter the market, pricing becomes volatile and the mark-to-market method may prove inefficient and inaccurate.

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Market Adjustments

A market adjustment is a change in market parameters or conditions brought about in response to one or more market signals (including price changes from shifts in

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Market Analysis

Market analysis is the process of studying certain characteristics and trends of a market to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

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Market Cap

Market capitalization places a total dollar value on a company based on its outstanding shares. The market cap formula is simple — total outstanding shares multiplied by the current stock price. Market cap allows a company to be compared to competitors within its industry. Investors also use market cap as a measure of risk — a lower market cap can signify more risk.

Market cap is divided into three categories:

Small cap — $300 million to $2 billion
Mid cap — $2 billion and $10 billion
Large cap — Over $10 billion

Large cap companies are considered a low-risk staple of an investment portfolio.

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Market Lease Rate

Master lease rate is the current rental rate that a space would likely command in the open market, indicated by current rents paid for comparable space within a given market.

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Market Share

Market share is the percentage of revenues earned by a company within an industry compared to total revenues within the industry. It provides a method of determining a company’s size by revenue compared to similar companies.

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Market Value

The most probable price that a property would command in a competitive and open market under fair sale conditions. Market value also refers to

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Master Lease

The primary lease that controls other sub-leases and may cover more property than all sub-leases combined.

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Master Tenant

Tenant which is party to direct lease with the property owner which subsequently sub-leases all or a portion of the property to other occupants.

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Master-Planned Community

Master-planned community is a large scale, mixed-use development that is constructed based off a long-term, comprehensive plan. These communities include a wide range of residential property types, such as townhouses and single family homes, complemented by a variety of commercial properties that serve the resident’s needs. Commercial properties include strip centers, restaurants, and office space. Other common features of a master-planned community include public parks, schools, and recreation areas such as a golf course.
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Medicaid

Medicaid is a government-sponsored insurance program that works to assist low-income families and individuals in costs associated with medical care (e.g. doctor visits, hospital stays, long-term medical, custodial care costs). Primarily funded by the federal government, Medicaid operates at the state level and is available only to individuals and families that meet certain criteria that include legal and permanent residency in the United States and low-income generation.

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Merger

A merger is an agreement in which two companies combine into one. Companies typically merge to create synergies, expand capabilities, reduce production costs, expand into new segments and ultimately create and/or enhance shareholder value. Whereas acquisitions are not considered voluntary, mergers are considered voluntary and require agreement on both sides. The five types of mergers are conglomerate, congeneric, market extension, horizontal and vertical.
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Mezzanine Financing

Mezzanine financing is financing that is junior in interest to the mortgage but senior in interest to equity. Mezzanine financing has a similar risk and return profile to

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Microeconomics

Microeconomics is the study of the way individuals and firms allocate scarce resources in the pursuit of productivity. It is the study of economic tendencies and the ways individuals and firms price and produce goods and services in response to shifts in demand, regime and/or production capacities.

Considered a more settled science than macroeconomics, microeconomics seeks to explain what will happen to supply and demand for a product or products in a particular market when certain conditions change with regard to the pricing and/or supply of a good or service.

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Mixed-Use

Building or project that provides more than one use (e.g., a loft or apartment project with retail, an apartment building with office space,

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Moat

An economic moat is a term used to describe a distinct competitive advantage that a firm has over its competitors that allows it to maintain market share and profitability over an extended period of time. Firms that enjoy economic moats are typically scaled and have significant free cash flows that allow them to minimize operating expenses relative to competitors.

Strong patents, brands and licenses are items that allow firms to control and minimize operating expenses, protect market share and make duplication by competitors extremely difficult. Pharmaceutical companies with patents on specific drugs are able to charge premium prices for the products, while suppliers such as Wal-Mart are able to undercut retail competitors by offering the lowest prices on the market because of immense free cash flows and vertically integrated supply chains.

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Modern Portfolio Theory

Modern portfolio theory is based on the thought that one may be able to maximize expected return, given a level of market risk, by constructing a portfolio of assets based upon an “efficient frontier”. Modern Portfolio Theory is an extension of diversification, and is the idea that owning assets across various asset classes exposes you to less risk than owning just one. MPT argues that an investment’s risk and return profile should not be viewed in isolation, but looked at in aggregate with the portfolio as a whole.

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Modified Gross Lease

A modified gross lease is a rental agreement where the tenant pays base rent at the lease’s inception, but in subsequent years, also pays a proportional share, or

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Monetary Policy

Monetary policy is the method by which central banks and other financial regulators govern the supply of money and interest rates in an economy to promote stable prices and low unemployment.

Monetary policy can either be classified as expansionary or contractionary, depending on the regulator’s objectives. Central banks and regulators seek to use tools such as control of money supply and interest rates to influence output, employment and prices.

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Money Laundering

Money laundering is the process of making funds generated from illegal or illicit activities appear to be legitimately sourced. For example, revenues generated from drug trafficking need to be properly laundered to avoid the attention of authorities. 

Criminal organizations will seek to deposit these funds into financial institutions, but can only do so if they can convince the bank that the funds are the product of legal operations. Money laundering in itself is also a crime.

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Month-to-Month Tenancy

Short-term tenancy terms in which a tenant rents from a landlord month to month. Although increasing vacancy and turnover risk, month-to-month tenancy offers several advantages to landlords that include the chance to negotiate lease terms more often, providing the opportunity to raise rent, while also providing the ability to get rid of troublesome tenants. Often times long-term leases convert to month-to-month tenancies at the end of the original lease term, if another lease has not been signed. This type of tenancy is most commonly found in residential leases, but can include commercial leases as well.

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Mortgage

Mortgage is a legal instrument that pledges the rights of ownership of an asset or property to a lender as security for a loan.

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Mortgage Broker

A mortgage broker is a type middleman that connects mortgage borrowers with mortgage lenders. Tasked with helping qualify borrowers for a loan, whether it be for a purchase mortgage of refinance, mortgage brokers help borrowers shop interest rates with potential lenders, determine appropriate loan amounts and loan-to-value ratios, and help execute the application process. Similar to a real estate broker on the buy-side, mortgage brokers are compensated by the lender through an origination fee.

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Multi-Tenant Property

A multi-tenant property is a property that has two or more tenants. Compared to single tenant properties, multi-tenant properties can be more management intensive and may have  less predictable cash flow.
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Multinational Corporation

A multinational corporation (MNC) is a company that has a presence in its home country and at least one other country. In the case of large MNCs, its assets, factories, and various facilities are spread across the globe. Being so globally distributed, the company can more efficiently conduct business in multiple countries, allowing it to serve not only those countries but surrounding regions.

For investors, MNCs offer diversification. Should one country experience political unrest or more restrictive regulations/laws, the MNC is able to shift assets and operations to other more favorable areas. A single company operating within an adverse country will have more difficulty under such conditions.

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Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is an investment vehicle that pools money from the public and provides individual investors access to professional managed portfolios of equities, bonds and other security types. The value and performance of a mutual fund is thus based upon the pro rata performance of the various securities that comprise the fund.

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Second Mortgage

A second mortgage is a subordinate mortgage taken on by a borrower while a first mortgage is still in place. In situations where a homeowner has built up equity in his or her property by paying down a first lien mortgage, or property appreciation as occurred, one may want to borrow against this new equity to fund projects or other expenditures. Due to the fact the second mortgages only receive payment when the first mortgage has been paid off, they typically hold higher interest rates.

There are two main types of second mortgages that exist: a home equity loan and a line of credit. A home equity loan is where a borrower receives a upfront lump sum from the lender, and makes interest and principal over the mortgages term, similar to a conventional loan. A line of credit is where the lender allots a predetermined amount of money for the borrower to draw from, with the borrower able to borrow and repay the line of credit as often as they wish. Note that in a line of credit type loan, the borrower is not required to take any funds from the borrower.

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