15 Financial Terms that are the Equivalent of Four Letter Words


First and foremost, financial terms and phrases and just the entire financial industry as a whole are often difficult enough to understand in layman’s terms, but the people in finance like to make it even more difficult with their financial jargon. Those of us that do not work in the financial industry and do not spend our days working hard to make investments, complete income tax returns and otherwise bore ourselves to sleep with financial jargon might be annoyed with the use of financial phrases, but some are a lot worse than others. In fact, most of the world is just so annoyed with the use of certain terms and phrases that they cannot look past them enough to want to bother doing business with someone. These words are the financial equivalent of everyone’s favorite four-letter words. They’re fun to say on occasion, but they don’t really do much for anyone except maybe drive home the point for some and really do a number turning off others. So what are these terms as far as financial lingo is concerned? Let us share them with you right now so that you can understand where we are coming from when we talk investments.

Hidden Fees

This is the ugliest word in the financial industry, and no one wants to hear it. I mean, hidden implies that they are not out there for you to see, and that’s exactly why we hate them. We don’t see them but they we pay them and it’s really the most annoying aspect of anything financial.


Let’s face it; this is a word people typically don’t like in any aspect of life, not just the financial world. But it might be just a bit more annoying when it comes to your financials since it does mean that you are risking money, which is always just a little bit scary.

Annual Percentage Rate

Ew. Just like the other words on this list, no one wants to hear about APRs. They’re just monies we have to give to other people for using their services, and we just don’t love that. We’d rather keep that money to ourselves. Also, rates are usually too low when they’re for us and too high when they’re for others.


Again, we don’t like this ugly four letter word. It means we didn’t gain, which means we lost. This means money, and we can’t stress to you enough that we hate the idea of losing money. Especially when it wasn’t lost doing something fun, like spending a weekend in Vegas.


While it might not seem like this word is as ugly as others, it can be. The word gain is usually a good word in the financial industry, but when it’s accompanied by the term loss, it’s just not that nice of a word.

Investment Strategies

No one wants to hear about investment strategies. It sounds like a war plan that isn’t going to end well, so we vote we get rid of this trendy term and find something new and less intimidating to use.

Long-Term Profit

Profit is good; we see nothing wrong with the phrase profit. But long-term is not what people want to hear. It’s good, because long-term profit is still profit, but it’s often masked behind a statement about short-term losses, which really sucks the fun right out of it.


Diversify, diversify, diversify. We know what it means, but we don’t understand why we have to do it so much. It’s just one of those terms that comes off sounding judgmental and kind of rude.

Tax Liability

We all know and hate this term. No one wants to pay the government their hard-earned money, so it really doesn’t feel good to write a check at the end of the year. And if you’re someone who gets a check, you still paid your hard-earned money to the government, which is never a fun feeling.


No, thank you. We don’t want it. We pass. We would like to pass go, collect our $200 and move on. Debt is never a good term and we wish it would just go away; far, far away.

Compound Rates

We just feel that this is a combination of words that sounds really awful. You don’t even have to know what a compound rate actually is to just feel that it’s a horrible, awful, no-good thing that we want to ignore.


Interest, really, is not that bad. We can look at it like it’s bad when we want it to come our way and rates are low, but we’re talking the kind of interest we have to give to others. You’ll note those rates never seem to drop as low as the ones that come our way, right?


It’s supposed to be a good term, but it’s often one that just confuses investors and people who aren’t in the business. Really it’s because it seems like it’s slowing us down and then we will pick up a tailwind and go forward faster, but no one sees it in a good light. It’s never  good.


The only time we like this phrase is when it’s in front of a couple of other Greek letters on a college campus. Otherwise it just sounds pompous and annoying, and we most certainly are not down with that in the least. It’s meant to tell you a bit about some financial when used by investment professionals, but it’s a word that just comes across as so superficial and annoying.


There is nothing more irritating in the world of finance and investments than this phrase. We all know that nothing we invest in is actually secure, so why do investment pros lean toward telling us our funds are secured or that the security of a particular stock or bond is stellar? It makes them sound a bit desperate for business, and that makes the rest of us feel a little bit like taking our money elsewhere; home, for instance.

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