Window dressing

Definition:

Trading activity near the end of a quarter or fiscal year that is designed to improve the appearance of a portfolio to be presented to clients or shareholders. For example, a portfolio manager may sell losing positions so as to display only positions that have gained in value. Financial institutions have also been criticized for a different type of window dressing as many moved debt off the balance sheet near the end of the quarter in a temporary manner. This made the bank appear to have less leverage than it actually did.

Investing Essentials


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

Term of the Day

Contingency order

In the context of general equities, order to buy one security, if the trader can sell another, usually given that certain price limits or conditions reach a certain level. Swap, switch order.

Subscribe to the Term of the Day via email Get the Term of the Day in your inbox!


Create your free portfolio