Glossary

 

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Alpha
Alpha measures the difference between a fund's actual returns and its expected returns given its risk level as measured by its beta. It can used to measure active fund manager's performance.

Annual Management Fee
The amount a fund pays to its fund manager for the work of overseeing the fund's holdings. Normally charged daily to the fund and reflected in the fund's net asset value.

Asset Allocation
The weighting of investments across different asset classes (such as stocks, bonds, real estate and cash) to optimize the risk/reward trade-off to meet a specific strategy or goal.

Asset Class
The basic categories of assets or investments which include equity, fixed income, real estate, etc.

Assignment
The transfer of all legal and beneficial rights under an insurance policy to a third party.

Benchmark
A quantitative standard against which a fund's performance can be measured, usually in form of a well-known market index or combination of indexes.

Beneficiary
The designated person(s) entitled to the proceeds of death benefit of a life inusrance policy.

Beta
Beta is a historical measure of a fund's sensitivity when compared to a benchmark. It represents the percentage change in a fund's value for each 1% change in the fund's benchmark. If the beta is more than 1, the investment typically moves (which can be up or down) more than the benchmark. A fund with a Beta close to 1 means that the fund will move generally in line with the benchmark.

Bid and Offer Spread
The difference between the fund's offer and bid price. Most of our investment choices do not have bid and offer spread.

Bid Price
The price at which the units of investment choice are sold by the investors.

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Contribution Payment Term
The years that the policyholder committed to pay regular contribution and  additional regular contribution (if any) in the relevant investment-linked assurance scheme.

Cooling off period
A period during which life insurance policyholders may cancel their policies and get back their initial premiums or contributions (subject to market value adjustment, if applicable) within the earlier of 21 days after the delivery of the policy or issue of a notice to them or their representative. It is a regulatory requirement from the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers.

Correlation
Measure of  the linear relationship between two funds' performance. It is always between -1 and +1. A positive correlation indicates that fund returns and benchmark returns move in the same directions on average while a negative correlation indicates the opposite. A value of zero means that no linear relationship exists.

Cost of Inusrance
The charge made by an insurance company to cover the mortality, annuity payment and other benefits and is mainly based on the gender, age, smoking habit, the sum insured, class of risk of the life insured and the death benefit option. Currently, most of the 101 plans do not have the cost of insurance.

Crown Rating
The Crown Ratings are assigned by Financial Express Holdings Limited and are compiled using three key measurements of a fund's performance - alpha, volatility and consistency. A fund will have higher crown rating, if it has superior consistent performance in relation to the risk, relative to their peer groups. One crown being the lowest rating, and five crowns being the highest. No crowns means the fund has not been rated.

Customer Protection Declaration
An important document that must be completed and signed before a customer agrees or makes a decision in relation to the purchase of a new life insurance policy to replace the existing policy.

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Death Benefit
The proceeds payable on the death of the life insured by the insurer.

Direct fund apporach
An approach applied by an insurance company for operating its investment choices. Under this approach, the investment exposure, fee and charges and investment return of the investment choices are in line with the corresponding underlying funds. Currently, Standard Life is using the direct fund approach.

Diversification
The process of allocating portfolio funds across different kind of asset classes with a view to reduce the risk of the portfolio. The diversification is effective if the invested asset classes need to have low correlation with each other.

Dollar Cost Averaging
"It is an effective investment strategy helping investors to average out the cost of units over a whole investment period which may mitigate the effect of short-term market fluctuation; and the risk of wrong investment timing.
Through Dollar Cost Averaging strategy, investors have to invest a fixed amount of money at regular intervals, regardless of whether the market is up or down. Investors could buy more units when the price of the asset is low and fewer units when the price of the asset is high with the same amount of money."

Equity Fund
A fund that invests primarily in stocks, usually with the objective of providing long-term capital growth.

Fixed Income Fund
A fund that seeks regular income primarily by investing in bonds.

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Illustration Document
A document that demonstrate clearly the projected surrender values over the term of the policy, based on two assumed net rates of returns. It must be signed before the application of the policy.

Incontestability
A provision in life insurance policy which states that insured’s failure to disclose a material fact or making of an incorrect statement about a material fact will not, in the absence of fraud, render the the policy voidable by the insurer after it has been in force for a specified period of time.

Incorrect age or sex
A provision in a life insurance policy which states that if the life insured’s date of birth or sex is misstated, the amount payable and every benefit accruing under the policy will be calculated on the basis of the  contributions paid and at the correct age or sex.

Information Ratio
It means the ratio of return and risk. This is a technique to assess a manager to uses skill and knowledge to enhance returns. It is calculated by deducting the returns of the fund’s benchmark from the fund’s overall returns, then dividing the result by its Tracking Error.

Insurable Interest
The legal right to insure an individual's life. It is required at the commencement of any such insurance.

Investment Choice
This is a fund created and maintained by Standard Life for the allocation of policyholders' investment under the investment-linked assurance schemes. All the investment choices are linked to the underlying funds managed by investment managers.

Investment universe
An investment universe includes investment choices with similar investment objective, geographic focus or asset class.

Investment-linked Assurance Scheme
An insurance policy with its policy value generally linked to the performance of the investment choices selected by the policyholders.

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Life Insured
The person whose life is insured under an insurance policy.

Material Fact
A fact which would is likely to influence the insurer's decision to offer the policy or affect coverage provided or the contribution which the insurer would charge for the policy.

Mirror fund approach
An approach applied by an insurance company for operating their investment choices. Under this approach, the investment exposure, fee and charges and investment return of the investment choices may be different from the corresponding underlying funds.

Money Market Fund
"A fund mainly invests in short-term debts and "money-like" securities".

Net Asset Value (NAV)
The market value of a fund's assets minus its liabilities divided by the number of shares outstanding.

Offer Price
The price at which the units of investment choice are bought by the investors.

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Policy Term
The years during which an insurance policy remains in force.

Policyholder
The person or business that owns an insurance policy.

Principal Brochure
The documents which contain the information necessary for prospective scheme participants to be able to make an informed decision on the proposed investment.

Reinstatement
The process for a policyholder to resume the coverage of a lapsed policy under certain circumstances.

Reinvestment
Using the share dividends or bond coupon payments earned in an existing investment to purchase additional shares or units.

Rider
An amendment or addition to the policy, frequently to include more benefits.

Risk level
The risk level of the underlying funds are determined by Standard Life and measured according to its own historical volatility or, where appropriate, the historical volatility of the underlying fund’s benchmark or sector average. The underlying funds are classified into five risk levels, where 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.

Risk tolerance
An investor's ability to handle a negative change in the value of his/her portfolio.

R-Squared
A measure of how much of a portfolio's performance can be explained by the returns from the overall market (or a benchmark index). If a portfolio's total return precisely matched that of the overall market or benchmark, it's R-squared would be 100%. If a portfolio's return has no relationship with the market's returns, its R-squared would be 0%.

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Sharpe ratio
A measure of risk-adjusted return. To calculate a Sharpe ratio, an asset's excess returns (its return in excess of the return generated by risk-free assets such as Treasury bills) are divided by the asset's standard deviation.

Sum Insured
The sum expressed in a policy as the maximum of the insurer's liability under an insurance that gives indemnity or the amount payable by way of benefit in other insurance such as life.

Surrender
Termination of an insurance policy by the policyholder.

Switching
A facility which allows a policyholder to make transfer of the investment choices or alter their investment portfolios at any time.

Tracking Error
A statistical measure used to quantify the extent to which a fund's return deviates from that of the benchmark. The larger the tracking error, the more the portfolio diverges from the market index, indicating an active management style.

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Underlying Fund
A fund which is managed by investment managers and linked to an investment choice under the investment-linked insurance policies.

Underlying Fund's Offering documents
The legal document containing important information about a fund such as the investment objectives, the risks involved, how fees and charges are applied, etc., allowing investors to make investment decision with adequate information.

Underwriting
The process where an insurance company makes risk assessment on the insured.

Volatility
In general, standard deviation will be used for measuring the volatility of an investments fund. Standard deviation shows how widely a range of returns varied from the fund’s average return over a particular period.  The higher the standard deviation, the higher the volatility and the higher the risk of an investment fund.

Withdrawal
The ability for the policyholder to take out a part of the value of the policy as long as certain conditions are fulfilled.

 

 

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