Vocabulary: Business, part 1

In my glorious journey through the land of business reference, I have learned many new things. In the same breath, I've developed many more questions, especially when it comes to business vocabulary. I noticed that there were a number of words I didn't understand when listening to the Wall Street Journal podcasts. So I made a list of words I often hear. I'm offering a definition and an article about each term, for myself and for you.

consumption smoothing - basically what I found on this was two things: huge research papers and random comments by folks. On Assetbuilder.com, a guy named Scott wrote that, "[Consumption Smoothing] is the idea that we all try to “smooth” our consumption over our lifetime, extracting the maximum utility. It means that we don’t squander our youth to benefit our old age, or squander our money when young to impoverish our old age." It's a good, concise post and I recommend reading it.
Article: Receiving fire at the front line: Consumption smoothing is a novel idea, not hucksterism

windfall profit/gain - An unexpected profit arising from causes not controlled by the recipient

Article: Standard Life conjures up £100m in annuity windfall

portfolio - a list of the financial assets held by an individual or a bank or other financial institution

Article: Gold may glitter, but in a slowdown focus on your portfolio instead

subprime mortgage - the practice of making loans to borrowers who do not qualify for the best market interest rates because of their deficient credit history

Article: You could probably find a trillion articles on this very relevant topic, but here's one to get you started...Student loans stung by subprime mortgage crisis

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