Glossary of savings terms

Learn the lingo

Understanding the language used around saving and investing may sometimes be difficult. But worry no more – we have put together a glossary to help guide you through the most common terms.

Accounts, equities and funds
Interest and return

Interest and return


In saving and investing, capital means the amount of money you have saved or invested.


The price of an investment depends on its valuation as well as on supply and demand. The price is higher when more people want to buy the asset and vice versa. The market price is the current price at which a security can be bought or sold in the market.


The total return consist of both the dividend yield and the increase in value. The value of an investment may also decrease. If you invest 100 euros and in a year the value of your investment increases to 110 euros, the return on your investment is +10 euros, i.e. +10%. If the value of your 100-euro investment decreases to 90 euros in a year, the return on your investment is -10 euros, i.e. -10%.

Expected return

The expected return is the profit or loss anticipated on an investment and it is estimated based on historical data and market forecasts. However, reliable assumptions on future return or performance cannot be made based on past performance.


Interest is the price of money. Interest is money you make on your savings or investments for the period of time you hold them. On the other hand, it is also compensation paid by a borrower to a lender for the use of the money during the loan period.

Interest rate period

An interest rate period is the period on which the interest is calculated. The interest rate period is usually one year regardless of the length of the deposit period. The annual interest rate is often indicated with the term “per annum”, or “p.a.”

Fixed interest rate

A fixed interest rate remains unchanged throughout the deposit period.

Variable interest rate

A variable rate may change during the deposit period.

Reference rate

A reference rate indicates the market interest rate which your deposit or investment is linked to, such as the Euribor or your bank’s own Prime rate. The interest rate laid down in your agreement will follow the fluctuations of the reference rate. 


As an investor, you pay your bank or investment service company fees for manging your investments and trading. For example, you may be charged a subscription fee for buying fund units and a redemption fee for selling fund units. Fees may also include the management fee paid by the fund to the fund company, for example.