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How to Master Business Terminology

How to Master Business Terminology

If you’re a first-time entrepreneur or are just beginning to think about starting a business, the world of business can seem rather intimidating. There’s so much to know, and often it seems like financial and business terminology sounds like a foreign language, especially if you’re new to the business world and don’t know the difference between “working capital” and “capital gains.” Fortunately, it’s possible to get started in business by sounding credible, well-informed and professional even if you don’t have a business degree. In fact, there are lots of great resources online to help you learn more about business and get up to speed on the latest market trends for whatever industry you are interested in. One of the best is Investopedia.

Investopedia is a wealth of information: the site offers tutorials on the basics of stocks, economics and options and a huge dictionary of terms commonly used in business. Many of the resources on Investopedia are designed for investors and financial advisers, but the site is still useful as a more general resource for any entrepreneur who wants to understand more about the fundamentals of the business world.

Here’s a quick overview of what Investopedia offers, along with a cheat sheet of the key terms a new business owner should learn to sound like a pro.

Markets Overview

Investopedia has a quick and easy chart on the home page that enables viewers to track the latest performance of several top stocks, such as Facebook, Apple, Google, IBM, Disney and more; the performance of major commodities like gold, silver and oil; and the performance of major Bonds funds. You can use the chart to track the performance of each stock, commodity or bond based on the current day, or the previous month, three months, year, 5 years and all time. Seeing companies’ stock prices is a great way to visualize the rising and falling fortunes of different companies and industries, and it makes the daily news of the stock market seem a bit more “real.” Investopedia gives you a quick overview of what’s happening in the markets – which can help you have better context for the latest business news.

Major News Topics

Investopedia covers a wide array of business and financial news, organized under the Topics header. This news site gives you a great assortment of up-to-the-minute business news and analysis that can help you better understand your industry and your customers, as well as insightful articles and advice on wealth management, investing, retirement planning and personal finance advice to help you save and earn more money. For example, a few recent Investopedia articles include:

  • What It Takes to Be Confident About Retiring
  • Six Things Bad Financial Advisers Do
  • Curry: The New MVP Carrying Under Armour (UA)
  • Tesla Stock Reverses Amid Executive Exodus (TSLA)

Reference Guides

Investopedia also offers an extensive “university” section full of detailed reference guides on a wide array of business and financial topics. A few of the guides that business owners might enjoy include:

  • Accounting Basics
  • Become Your Own Financial Advisor
  • Bill Gates Biography
  • Budgeting Basics
  • Economics Basics

Spend some time perusing the Investopedia reference guides – you’re sure to find some fun (free!) online resources that can help you learn more about business and get better informed about the skills and economic principles that drive your industry.

Stock Trading Simulator

If you’re interested in the stock market and think you have what it takes to successfully pick individual stocks, a good way to get started as a trader is to use Investopedia’s free Stock Trading Simulator. Investopedia’s simulator lets you sign up for free and do simulated stock trades starting with $100,000 in virtual cash. You can compete and connect with hundreds of thousands of other traders from around the world, and see who can achieve the best investment results. This stock trading simulator is a great way to get better at investing without risking your own money – since it’s all “fake” trades done with “fake” money, but with “real” statistics and analysis to see how your simulated investments are performing. Use what you learn in Investopedia’s guides and news articles and put it to the test with real-time simulated stock trades!

Key Business Terms

Investopedia has a vast dictionary of financial and business terminology. Here are a few key business terms that every small business owner should know:

  • Above the Line Deduction: Above the line deductions are particular types of tax deductions that are subtracted from your income before adjusted gross income is calculated for tax purposes. These deductions include items such as alimony payments, losses on a sale of property and education-related expenses.
  • Bait and Switch: This is a dishonest form of marketing or sales technique, when a business advertises an attractive price, rate or terms of sale, only to then try to upsell the customer on a more expensive product or service.
  • Capital Allocation: A process of how businesses divide their financial resources and other sources of capital to various processes, people and projects.
  • Data Mining: When companies use software and analytics tools to turn raw data into useful insights and information – such as learning more about customers and customer preferences in order to create better sales and marketing strategies.
  • Economic Indicator: This is a particular type of economic data that investors and analysts use to determine the health and estimate the future prospects of an economy. Major economic indicators include the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Gross Domestic Product (GDP), unemployment data and price of oil.
  • Fair Market Value: This is the estimated price that a particular asset or piece of property would sell for on an open market, assuming that buyers and sellers are not under any undue pressure to make a deal, that they both have fair and reasonable knowledge about the asset and that a reasonable time period is allowed for completing the transaction. Fair market value is generally considered to be an accurate assessment of an asset’s worth.

There is a lot to learn on Investopedia, and this site can be a great resource to any business owner who wants to learn more about how investing works, how to save for retirement, how to get more out of your money, how to understand the fundamentals of the economy and the business world and how to master business terminology. Today’s business world is more information-driven than ever before – so it pays to be well informed. Investopedia can help you stay up to speed on the latest market trends that are affecting your business, as well as improve your knowledge of basic economics and finance.


Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at