Capital

Definition of 'Capital'


1. Financial assets or the financial value of assets, such as cash.
2. The factories, machinery and equipment owned by a business and used in production.
           
“Capital” can mean many things. Its specific definition depends on the context in which it is used. In general, it refers to financial resources available for use. Companies and societies with more capital are better off than those with less capital.

Investopedia explains 'Capital'


Capital is different from money. Money is used simply to purchase goods and services for consumption. Capital is more durable and is used to generate wealth through investment. Examples of capital include automobiles, patents, software and brand names. All of these things are inputs that can be used to create wealth. Besides being used in production, capital can be rented out for a monthly or annual fee to create wealth.
 
Capital itself does not exist until it is produced. Then, to create wealth, capital must be combined with labor, the work of individuals who exchange their time and skills for money. When people invest in capital by foregoing current consumption, they can enjoy greater future prosperity.
 
Capital has value because of property rights. Individuals or companies can claim ownership to their capital and use it as they please. They can also transfer ownership of their capital to another individual or corporation and keep the sale proceeds. Government regulations limit how capital can be used and diminish its value; the tradeoff is supposed to be some benefit to society. For example, when you sell a stock that has increased in value since you purchased it, you must pay tax on the capital gains. Those taxes are used for public purposes, such as national defense.


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Quanto Swap

    A swap with varying combinations of interest rate, currency and equity swap features, where payments are based on the movement of two different countries' interest rates. This is also referred to as a differential or "diff" swap.
  2. Genuine Progress Indicator - GPI

    A metric used to measure the economic growth of a country. It is often considered as a replacement to the more well known gross domestic product (GDP) economic indicator. The GPI indicator takes everything the GDP uses into account, but also adds other figures that represent the cost of the negative effects related to economic activity (such as the cost of crime, cost of ozone depletion and cost of resource depletion, among others).
  3. Accelerated Share Repurchase - ASR

    A specific method by which corporations can repurchase outstanding shares of their stock. The accelerated share repurchase (ASR) is usually accomplished by the corporation purchasing shares of its stock from an investment bank. The investment bank borrows the shares from clients or share lenders and sells them to the company.
  4. Microeconomic Pricing Model

    A model of the way prices are set within a market for a given good. According to this model, prices are set based on the balance of supply and demand in the market. In general, profit incentives are said to resemble an "invisible hand" that guides competing participants to an equilibrium price. The demand curve in this model is determined by consumers attempting to maximize their utility, given their budget.
  5. Centralized Market

    A financial market structure that consists of having all orders routed to one central exchange with no other competing market. The quoted prices of the various securities listed on the exchange represent the only price that is available to investors seeking to buy or sell the specific asset.
  6. Balanced Investment Strategy

    A portfolio allocation and management method aimed at balancing risk and return. Such portfolios are generally divided equally between equities and fixed-income securities.
Trading Center