Investopedia is the go-to source for financial insights with over 15,000 terms and 100,000 additional articles. Every year, Investopedia develops cutting-edge definitions to clarify complex financial concepts. The list of 2016 Top Financial Terms showcases some of the most captivating subjects for investors throughout the year.
Top 10 Terms of 2016
10. Calexit: Hopping on the bandwagon of buzzwords like "Grexit" and "Brexit," a group known as Yes California is trying to garner support for California to secede from the U.S. Hillary Clinton has the hearts of the majority of Californians, but with Donald Trump's surprising victory, the group plans to place an initiative on the 2018 ballot which, if passed, would call for an independence referendum the following year.
9. NAFTA: Donald Trump called it a disaster and the worst trade deal the U.S. has ever signed. With significant spikes in interest at each major juncture in the election season, the term "The North American Free Trade Agreement" (NAFTA) peaked when it tripled in popularity after the election. NAFTA, which lowers trade restrictions between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, was signed by president Bill Clinton in December 1993.
8. Trumpflation: When Trump won the presidency on November 8, markets began to indicate that higher inflation was on the way. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds spiked, and the Federal Reserve said on December 14 that the risk of inflation in 2017 is "considerable." Is this because of Trump, or is it simple economics now that the U.S. has finally recovered from the financial crisis of 2008?
7. Black Swan: The term "black swan" popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb refers to unforeseen (and often negative) financial events like the Great Recession. It has come to mean any unforeseen or unthinkable event. In the wake of the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union (Brexit) and the election of Donald Trump, searches for this term rose over six times in popularity.
6. Interest Rates: "I've Got Friends in Low Places" is a tune the Federal Reserve and central banks from Europe to Japan have been singing these last few years. Though rates have been low, the popularity of the term has reached an all-time high on Investopedia. In an attempt to revive the U.S. economy after the crash in 2008, the Federal Reserve has kept rates low, though they raised rates a quarter point in December and have planned three more hikes for 2017.
5. Fintech: The financial technology industry continues to grow with investments pouring into the industry in 2016. Often conflated with the lending industry, fintech firms are revolutionizing everything from banking and payments to insurance, advising and everything in between. As the financial sector begins to understand the full impact of fintech, 2017 looks poised to be another winner for industry.
4. Peer-to-Peer Lending: The Lending Club scandal cast peer-to-peer (P2P) lending into the spotlight and the light doesn't seem to be fading any time soon. Traffic for this term has doubled in popularity since last year. P2P lending allows individuals to borrow and lend money without the use of a middleman (like a bank).
3. Dodd-Frank Regulatory Reform Bill: Like a number of his other grandiose campaign promises, Trump asserted that he would "dismantle" the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Dodd-Frank is a massive piece of financial reform legislation passed by the Obama administration in response to the financial crisis of 2008. Trump may have bit off more than he can chew as he will certainly run into some substantial political barriers in his quest to roll back the law.
2. Blockchain: With technology rapidly changing the world, the hype around blockchain skyrocketed in 2016. Blockchain has been popular with apps like Venmo and other mobile banking startups, but now traditional financial institutions are exploring this new technology for opportunities to better interact with customers, suppliers and competitors. Investors are paying attention. Blockchain is now a top 50 term on the site.
1. Trumponomics: In other words, how to make America great again. The term refers to the economic policies Trump will push as president such as cutting personal and corporate taxes, restructuring U.S. trade deals and introducing large fiscal stimulus measures focused on infrastructure and defense.
"2016 was a year of surprises – between the outcome of the U.S. presidential election to the Brexit vote in the U.K. And in times of uncertainty, people seek answers. At Investopedia, we aim to provide the clarity, direction and insight that people so sorely need when our economic and financial futures seem unclear," said David Siegel, CEO of Investopedia.
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