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Related to leverage: Leverage ratio, Financial leverage


The use of debt financing, or property of rising or falling at a proportionally greater amount than comparable investments. For example, an option is said to have high leverage compared to the underlying stock because a given price change in the stock may result in a greater increase or decrease in the value of the option. Also, commonly known as Gearing in Europe.


1. To use debt to finance an activity. For example, one usually borrows money in the form of a mortgage to buy a house. One commonly speaks of this as leveraging the house. Likewise, one leverages when one uses a margin in order to purchase securities.

2. The amount of debt that has been used to finance activities. A company with much more debt than equity is generally called "highly leveraged." Too much leverage is thought to be unhealthy, but many firms use leverage in order to expand operations.


The use of fixed costs in order to increase the rate of return from an investment. One example of leverage is buying securities on margin. While leverage can operate to increase rates of return, it also increases the amount of risk inherent in an investment. See also financial leverage, operating leverage.


Leverage is an investment technique in which you use a small amount of your own money to make an investment of much larger value. In that way, leverage gives you significant financial power.

For example, if you borrow 90% of the cost of a home, you are using the leverage to buy a much more expensive property than you could have afforded by paying cash.

If you sell the property for more than you borrowed, the profit is entirely yours. The reverse is also true. If you sell at a loss, the amount you borrowed is still due and the entire loss is yours.

Buying stock on margin is a type of leverage, as is buying a futures or options contract.

Leveraging can be risky if the underlying instrument doesn't perform as you anticipate. At the very least, you may lose your investment principal plus any money you borrowed to make the purchase.

With some leveraged investments, you could be responsible for even larger losses if the value of the underlying product drops significantly.






The effect borrowed money has on an investment;the concept of borrowing money to buy an asset that will appreciate in value, so that the ultimate sale will return profits on the equity invested and on the borrowed funds.

Example: Mark and Amy each have $100,000 to invest. They can buy rental houses for $100,000 per house and collect rent of $1,100 per month for each house. At the end of 5 years, they will be able to liquidate and sell their houses for $150,000 each. Amy uses leverage and Mark does not.

References in periodicals archive ?
Analysis of insurance company results shows that those companies retaining the most negotiating leverage with their agents are most successful.
Although the ruling provides an outline for a leverage structure, the industry is still working out the practical and legal implications of these transactions.
Mezzanine and other creative financing techniques will play a prominent and vital role in attaining attractive leverage levels.
To achieve I/O leverage, the receiver cannot afford the time to set up the field first.
7 billion of leverage outstanding, secured by $124 billion in assets under management;
Conceding that the advance interest payments resulted in "an odd portrayal of Leverage Leasing's taxable income," the court said Congress had allowed it through taking no action to prevent "the payment of interest in arrears before the due date, so long as the interest was allocable to the year in which it accrued.
While LTCM is a hedge fund, excessive leverage is neither characteristic of, nor necessarily limited to, hedge funds.
We don't want the blocker to roll his hips, as this will cause him to raise up and lose his leverage.
The average book leverage for department stores was 36%, compared to 56% for discount stores and 57% for specialty and apparel stores.
If a firm seeks to achieve greater leverage, its creditors and counterparties will ordinarily respond by increasing the cost or reducing the availability of credit to the firm.
April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Leverage Systems announced today the availability of Leverage(tilde mark)eis.
The leverage ratio was intended to provide a floor for bank capital that all banks were expected to satisfy, regardless of risk.