Stock Market Dictionary Via the Devil’s Tongue

I’ve long been a fan of Ambrose Bierce’s Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary.

Bloomberg’s John Dorfman has put together his own version:  Stock Market Dictionary Via the Devil’s Tongue.

Here are my favorite entries:   

Accountant: A person who determines a company’s revenue and earnings figures,
and who is also paid by the company. An old joke has a CEO interviewing several
prospective accountants. He asks each one, “How much is two plus two?” The
winning answer: “How much would you like it to be?”

Bear market: An unpleasant downturn in stock prices, generally exceeding 20
percent, that ends the day after you give up and sell all of your stocks.

Day trader: Someone whose investment time horizon is shorter than yours.

Earnings: (1) Profits. (2) The excess of revenue over expenses. (3) An
arbitrary figure engineered by a company’s executives to facilitate the
rewarding of generous bonuses to themselves.

Long term: That period of time over which I am proven right.

Pro forma earnings: A company’s self-serving earnings statement in which
unfavorable things are disregarded on the grounds that they don’t really matter.



Stock Market Dictionary Via the Devil’s Tongue   
John Dorfman
Bloomberg, Feb 28, 2006

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