An entity that stands ready and willing to buy a security for its own account (at its bid price) or sell from its own account (at its ask price). Individual or firm acting as a principal in a securities transaction. Principals are market makers in securities, and thus trade for their own account and risk. Antithesis of broker. See: Agency.

Investing Essentials

Copyright © 2011 Campbell R. Harvey, Professor of Finance, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

Term of the Day

Distressed securities

A security of a firm that has declared or is about to declare bankruptcy. In the context of hedge funds, a style of management that focuses on securities of companies that have declared bankruptcy... Read More

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