Browse the glossary by topic or alphabetically.


Savings Incentive Match Plan For Employees of Small Employers (Simple IRA)
A retirement plan sponsored by companies with fewer than 100 employees; avoids some of the administrative fees and paperwork of plans such as a 401(k) plan; may be structured as a 401(k)
Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
Encryption system designed to protect a credit card and other details when one shops or banks online
Secured account
Account against which collateral or other security is held
Piece of paper that proves ownership of stocks, bonds and other investments
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Independent, non-partisan, quasi-judicial regulatory agency that regulates the U.S. financial markets; goal is to protect investors and ensure that they have access to disclosure of all material information concerning publicly traded securities
Self assessment
First step of the career planning process; the process of gathering information about oneself in order to make an informed career decision; should include a look at values, interests, personality and skills
Service charge
Fees charged to customers for specific services or as a penalty for not meeting certain requirements, such as insufficient funds in a checking account
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
Volunteer management assistance program of the SBA; volunteers provide one-on-one counseling and workshops and seminars for small businesses
Same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product
Simple-interest mortgage
Mortgage where interest is calculated on a daily basis, as opposed to a traditional mortgage where interest is calculated on a monthly basis
Simple interest
Interest computed only on the principal balance, without compounding
Simplified employee pension plan
Retirement program for self-employed people or owners of small companies allowing them to defer taxes on investments intended for retirement
Small Business Centers (SBC)
Centers located throughout the U.S. that can help small business people tap the multi-billion-dollar GSA market for goods and services
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
Centers located throughout the U.S. and administered by the SBA, which provide management assistance to entrepreneurs and new business owners
Small Business Investment Corporation (SBIC)
Licensed by the SBA as federally funded private venture capital firms; money is available to small businesses under a variety of agreements
Social Security Number (SSN)
Number issued to individuals by the Social Security Administration that may be used in order to confirm identity and/or obtain certain reports
Social Security
U.S. government pension program that provides benefits to retirees based on their own and their employers' contributions to the program while they were working
Sole proprietor
Business owned and operated by one person for profit; individual is personally liable for all debts of the business to the full extent of his or her property; owner has complete control of the business
Document used to provide proof of financial responsibility; usually required by a court of law for a driver who has been convicted of certain traffic violations
Standard Industrial Classification Code (SIC)
Four-digit number assigned to identify a business based on the type of business or trade involved; businesses can determine its SIC number by looking it up in a directory published by the Department of Commerce, or by checking in the SIC book in the reference section of a local library
Standard of living
Minimum of necessities, comforts or luxuries considered essential to maintaining a person or group in customary or proper status or circumstances
Detailed record of transactions in a bank customer's account(s) for a certain period, usually each month, which shows debits, credits, transfers, payroll deposits, account balance, check fees, service charges, ATM activity, etc.
Status employee
Federal (U.S.) employee who may apply for other Federal Jobs based on current service
Stock ticker
Lettered symbol assigned to securities and mutual funds that trade on U.S. financial exchanges
Subprime loan
Type of loan that is offered at a higher interest rate than the rate offered on traditional loans; subprime borrowers are often declined by traditional lenders because of low credit ratings or other factors that suggest that they have a reasonable chance of defaulting on the loan
Economic benefit, direct or indirect, granted by a government to domestic producers of goods or services, often to strengthen their competitive position against foreign companies
Schedule of how much producers are willing and able to sell at all possible prices during some time period
Surety bonds
Provide reimbursement to an individual, company or the government if a firm fails to complete a contract; SBA guarantees surety bonds in a program much like SBA's guaranteed loan program
Surrender charges
Charges made against withdrawals from the contract value of most variable annuities for a period of time
Sweat equity
Common form of investment in time which owners make, with no salary, to a new business
Sweep account
Brokerage or bank account whose cash balance is automatically transferred into an interest-bearing investment, such as a money market fund; it earns interest on surplus cash; at the end of each business day, a sweep account would transfer excess funds into an interest-bearing account, earn overnight interest and make the funds available the next day