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Trading activity near the end of a quarter or fiscal year that is designed to improve the appearance of a portfolio to be presented to clients or shareholders. For example, a portfolio manager may sell losing positions so as to display only positions that have gained in value. Financial institutions have also been criticized for a different type of window dressing as many moved debt off the balance sheet near the end of the quarter in a temporary manner. This made the bank appear to have less leverage than it actually did.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.
The act or practice of buying and selling securities on a portfolio immediately before a report is due in order to make the portfolio look more profitable or otherwise healthier than it has been. For example, the portfolio manager may sell stocks that have performed poorly and buy those that have performed well. Portfolios receive window dressing in order to make them look more attractive to prospective investors, which in turn makes the portfolio manager look more successful. The practice is also called dressing up a portfolio or portfolio dressing. See also: Manager Universe (benchmark).
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved
An adjustment made to a portfolio or financial statement to create false appearances. For example, a manager may decide to provide window dressing to a portfolio by selling stock that has declined in value and replacing it with stock that has increased in value. Such activity creates the impression of successful portfolio management.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.
window dressingthe use of discretion in the application of ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES so as to report PROFIT and ASSET figures which are flattering to the company. Window dressing is a form of CREATIVE ACCOUNTING which is concerned with making modest adjustment to sales, debtors and stock items when preparing year-end ANNUAL REPORTS AND ACCOUNTS.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson