Trick or treat? Five spooky investment terms explained

Sam Slator 26/10/2016 in Basics

Depending on whether you focus on the ‘scary’ or ‘sweets’ element of Halloween, 31 October is a date looked upon with both excitement and trepidation. And even the investment world isn’t immune to its trickery … We take a quick look at five spooky investment terms.


This practice is actually illegal. it is when two or more ‘market makers’ (dealers buying or selling securities or other assets) attempt to influence the price of a company share in order to make a profit. It is illegal because market makers are required by law to act in competition with each other and not collude. It is called ghosting, as it is a practice that is difficult to detect.

Halloween indicator

This is just another version of the St Ledger’s Day investment strategy. Instead of “Sell in May and go away until St Ledger’s Day” it is “Sell in May and buy on Halloween”.

Witching hour

When it comes to investing, the ‘witching hour’ refers to the last hour of stock trading in the US, between 3pm eastern standard time (EST), when the bond market closes, and 4pm EST, when the stock market closes. Volatility in this 60 minutes can be higher than at other times during the day.


Zombie funds

This is a UK-centric colloquialism and refers to with-profits life insurance funds that are closed to new investments. They are funds that are basically only being run down until the policy matures, which could be a long period of time. Child Trust Funds (CTF) are also sometimes referred to as ‘Zombie’ products, as they have been replaced by the Junior ISA and existing accounts will only be held until the child reaches the age of 18 – no new CTF products will be launched.


This alarming acronym was coined to refer to four of the US’s top tech giants: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google (which now trades as Alphabet).

Treat yourself to some quality funds

So this year, don’t be tricked into making the wrong investment decisions. Instead treat yourself to some quality research!

To get you started, we’ve pulled out our best performing Elite Fund in each sector since last Halloween¹, or you can just search all Elite Rated funds.

¹FE Analytics, all Elite Funds, TR in GBP. Sectors with only one fund excluded. 31/10/2015–25/10/2016

This article is provided for information only. The views of the author and any people quoted are their own and do not constitute financial advice. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any fund or trust, or to adopt a particular investment strategy. However, the knowledge that professional analysts have analysed a fund or trust in depth before assigning them a rating can be a valuable additional filter for anyone looking to make their own decisions.Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. Market and exchange-rate movements may cause the value of investments to go down as well as up. Yields will fluctuate and so income from investments is variable and not guaranteed. You may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax treatment depends of your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. If you are unsure about the suitability of any investment you should seek professional advice.Whilst FundCalibre provides product information, guidance and fund research we cannot know which of these products or funds, if any, are suitable for your particular circumstances and must leave that judgement to you. Before you make any investment decision, make sure you’re comfortable and fully understand the risks. Further information can be found on Elite Rated funds by simply clicking on the name highlighted in the article.