Investment Glossary

Welcome to Firstrade’s stock trading terms glossary. Do all the research you want. Use this glossary to look up the definition of any financial term.
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Head & Shoulders

A technical analysis term, describing the chart formation where a stock price peak is preceded and followed by two smaller peaks, both at the resistance point of a stock cycle. This formation sometimes indicates a trend reversal. The name is derived from the similarity in appearance to the human head and shoulders.


To reduce the risk in one security by taking an offsetting position in a related security.

HH Savings Bonds

A savings bond that pays semiannual coupon interest, unlike EE savings bonds. No more than $30,000 can be purchased by any individual in one year.

High-Yield Bond

A high-yield bond is one that is rated poorly by a credit rating system. These bonds offer higher yields compared to bonds of financially sound companies, justifying the greater credit risk.

Holding Company

A corporation that owns enough voting stock in another firm influence the election of its board of directors, gaining control of the management and operations.

Hostile Takeover

A takeover against the will of the target company's management and board members.

House Maintenance Call

The brokerage firm requesting the client for additional funds because the equity in the client's margin account has fallen below the minimum amount set by the brokerage.

House Requirement

The minimum amount of equity brokerage firms require margin clients to maintain in the account, failure to meet this would result in a House Maintenance Call.


A pledging of assets as collateral necessary to secure a debit balance in a margin account.