Our comprehensive glossary explains many of the terms commonly used in the international markets.

Failed trade

Any securities transaction that does not settle on contracted settlement date because one of the settlement parties does not meet the settlement conditions.

Falling wedge

An area pattern with two downward slanting converging trendlines. Volume diminishes as prices move toward the apex of the pattern.

False breakout

A breakout which is confirmed but which quickly reverses and eventually leads the stock or commodity to breakout in the opposite direction.

Fan lines

A set of three secondary trendlines drawn from the same starting high or low, which is spread out in the form of a fan.

Fibonacci numbers

The Fibonacci number sequence (1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144,...) is constructed by adding the first two numbers to arrive at the third. The ratio of any number to the next number is 61.8 percent, which is a popular Fibonacci retracement number. The inverse of 61.8 percent is 38.2 percent, also used as a Fibonacci retracement number. It is the ratio of the Fibonacci sequence that is important and valuable, not the actual numbers in the sequence.

Fibonacci technical study

The Fibonacci Fans and Bands are three-line guides drawn on charts derived from the Fibonacci number series. Some traders believe they help identify successive areas of support and resistance in a market.

Fill or Kill (FK)

The full order must be executed immediately or otherwise cancelled.

Final Dividend

The dividend paid when the directors know what the final profit for the year will be. Added to the interim dividend, this gives the total dividend for the year.

Financial Times Industrial Index

A share price index calculated hourly during business hours from an unweighted average of thirty leading chips dealt in on the London Stock Exchange. Until recently this index was the best known barometer for the stock market but this has now been superseded by the Financial Times Share E 100 Share Index. (FTSE)


A device typically used to protect private networks against malicious attacks from the Internet. A firewall restricts the type of network traffic that is allowed to pass to/from the Internet.

Fixed assets

Items owned by a company, such as land, buildings, machinery and equipment

Fixed Income

These are investments, which give a set return, such as preference shares, bonds, debentures and savings accounts.

Fixed interest-bearing securities

Securities, such as debentures or government, municipal or statutory loans, which pay a fixed annual interest.


A continuation chart pattern that generally lasts less than three weeks and resembles a parallelogram that slopes against the prevailing trend. The flag represents a minor pause in a dynamic price trend.

Foreign exchange trading

Foreign Exchange trading is an alternative term for Forex trading, FX trading and currency trading.

Foreign investment allowance

An allowance under South African exchange control regulations which permits an individual to convert an amount of ZAR into a foreign currency after which it may be used to invest in foreign assets.


A chart style that takes the current close price as the base-line, and plots each data point relative to this base-line.

Forward outright

An order to trade a Forex instrument at a fixed price on a fixed date. The price of the forward outright is the spot rate adjusted for the interest rate differential between the two currencies until maturity. Forward Outright orders are often used to hedge exposure risks when dealing in foreign markets.

Forward-forward contract

An order to trade (for example, buy) a Forex instrument at a fixed price on a future date, or to conduct the opposite transaction (for example, sell) at a later date at a fixed price.


The Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 stock index, a market cap weighted index of stocks traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Fundamental analysis

Assessment of the merits of a company based on analysis of its past history present trading results, future prospects, strength of management and general economic conditions in the field in which it operates. The techniques of fundamental analysis may be contrasted with those of technical analysis (or 'charting') which are devoted exclusively to predicting price movements of shares or other tradable assets.


Information on a stock pertaining to the business of the company and how it relates to earnings and dividends.

Futures contract

A standardised exchange traded contract to trade a fixed amount of a commodity or financial instrument at a future date.