We all know that getting the best return from our investments whilst ensuring that they match our principles can be challenging enough without having to deal with industry-specific language. At Castlefield we try hard to dispel as much jargon and as many acronyms as possible and have compiled the following glossary of terms for our readers:

AIM - Alternative Investment Market. An investment exchange initially established in 1995 to promote the growth of smaller companies seeking public equity finance. Owned by the London Stock Exchange group, AIM is a Recognised Investment Exchange.

Discretionary Fund Management – An agreement between client and investment manager where investment decisions are taken by the investment manager within a detailed mandate agreed with the client.

ESG – Ethical, Social or Governance issues. A range of factors that engaged or thoughtful investors may be concerned with.

Ethical ‘Negative’ screening – An investment approach that attempts to exclude certain companies and industry sectors from the list of investable stocks based on a predetermined list of “unacceptable” activities.

Ethical ‘Positive’ screening – An investment approach that actively includes or places increased emphasis on companies or industry sectors which “promote” certain activities deemed to meet a list of desirable environmental or socially beneficial activities.

IHT – Inheritance tax. The tax payable by UK resident taxpayers to HMRC on the value of their estate at death, over and above the prevailing threshold limit at the time.

ISA – Individual Savings Account. An investment account operated within the UK whereby individual investors can deposit money to be invested in a broad range of investment products. Capital gains and investment income within the ISA “wrapper” are free from Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax respectively.

ISDX – ICAP Securities and Derivatives Exchange. ISDX is a Recognised Investment Exchange currently owned by ICAP which is itself a publicly listed company.

Microfinance – A broad term to cover financial services, often small business loans and deposit services to customers in developing markets who do not have easy access to such services.

OEICs – Open Ended Investment Companies – A form of investment fund similar to Unit-trusts. Investments into and out of the fund are matched by the creation and cancellation of new shares so that the unit price reflects the underlying value of the investment pool.

Online Security - A broad term covering security for transactions made over the internet, particularly web page and email security. For more information on this please see our Security Centre guide and our Fraudulent Emails guide.

Shareholder activism – The use of shareholder rights to pressure companies to change environmental or social practices

SIPP – Self Invested Personal Pension. A form of private pension where the control over the investment decisions or appointment of investment manager is put more firmly in the control of individual savers.

Social Stock Exchange – In partnership with ISDX, the Social Stock Exchange provides a venue for capital raising by socially responsible companies.

SRI – Socially Responsible Investing – a broad catch-all description to describe investing in line with ethical or environmental considerations.

Stewardship – The voting and engagement activity we carry out as investment managers on behalf of our clients.

Unit Trust – A form of investment fund established to provide access to an  underlying investment strategy to a pool of individual investors. New units are created or cancelled as investments are either committed or withdrawn, ensuring the unit price remains in line with the value of the underlying investments.