Most Searched Financial Abbreviations, Revealed!

Most Searched Financial Abbreviations, Revealed!
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For those tackling their finances in the coming year, learning how to invest is but one way to manage your money. But for financial first timers, the sheer amount of investment abbreviations can be off-putting.

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With this in mind, the financial experts at utilized online analytics tool Google AdWords to establish the top ten most searched for investment abbreviations and their meanings.

The Results:


Investment Abbreviations

US Average Annual Search Volumes
































The Definitions of the US’ Most Searched Financial Abbreviations:

  1. ETF (114,160 searches) ‘Exchange Traded Funds’ - A type of investment fund that can be traded via a stock exchange
  2. DFM (26,830 searches) ‘Discretionary Fund Manager(ment)’ - A form of professional investing where investments are made on behalf of clients through a range of securities
  3. IRR (23,840 searches) ‘Internal Rate of Return’ - An analysis metric used to estimate the profitability of investments
  4. NAV (23,170 searches) ‘Net Asset Value’ - The value of an entity’s assets after the value of its liabilities have been deducted
  5. AUM (13,880 searches) ‘Assets Under Management’ - A measurement of the total market value of all assets an individual or institution owns/controls
  6. BPS (11,200 searches) ‘Bespoke Portfolio Service’ - A tailored investment plan or service which is personalized for an individual’s specific investment and financial needs
  7. APR (10,330 searches) ‘Annual Percentage Rate’ - Used for comparison of credit/store cards and loans, it is a percent of the amount you borrow that you will pay back as interest
  8. EBITDA (8,220 searches) ‘Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization’ - A measure of a company’s overall financial performance, including earnings, tax and interest figures
  9. P&L (3,100 searches) ‘Profit and Loss’ - A financial statement documenting the total income and expenses over a given time
  10. EPS (2,930 searches) ‘Earnings Per Share’ - The proportion of profit a company has per share of common stock

Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at, commented on the findings: Understanding financial terms is of the utmost importance when navigating investments that will undoubtedly involve many documents and contracts. Americans' searches show a desire to expand their knowledge and get to grips with some of the more complex financial terminology, which will allow them to capitalize on investment opportunities.


  1. sought to establish and define the financial abbreviations that are searched for the most by Americans.
  2. To do so, compiled a seed list of under 300 commonly used financial terms and their abbreviations via trusted online sources, including:,,, and
  3. Next, they utilized online analytics tool Google AdWords to calculate the US average online yearly searches of each individual abbreviation.
  4. accounted for alternate online search variations of each abbreviation, in addition to the term itself; ‘What is HMRC investment/finance’, ‘HMRC meaning in investment/finance’, ‘What does HMRC stand for in investment/finance’. Some terms were omitted due to differing search intent.
  5. The financial abbreviations were then ranked from highest to lowest search volumes.

Data was collected on December 1st 2021 and is correct as of then but is subject to change.

The full dataset can be found here: - DATA - Least Understood Investment Abbreviations

Updated on

Ankur Shah is the founder of the Value Investing India Report, a leading independent, value oriented journal of the Indian financial markets. Ankur has more than eight years of equity research experience covering emerging markets, with a focus on India and South East Asia. He has worked as both a buy-side investment analyst for a global long/short equity hedge fund and a sell-side analyst for an emerging markets investment bank. Ankur is a graduate of Harvard Business School. You can learn more about his latest views on global markets at the Value Investing India Report. -- He can be emailed at
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