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Meaning / Definition of

Substitute Check

Categories: Finance,

Substitute checks are digital copies of the fronts and backs of paper checks that provide the same legal protections and obligations as the originals, including serving as proof of payment. Each check is formatted on a separate piece of paper a little larger than the original with the words “This is a legal copy of your check” appearing next to the image.Using digital copies, which can be transmitted electronically, allows banks to process payments faster and more efficiently than they could when paper checks had to be routed through the check clearing system. Most banks destroy original checks once they've archived the substitutes, which means that you probably no longer receive cancelled checks with your bank statement. Your bank may send you substitute checks but is more likely to provide either a line item statement or an image statement that has photocopies of the fronts and backs of cancelled checks grouped on a page. These are not substitute checks, although they can often be used as proof of payment. If you need an actual copy of a substitute check, you can request it from your bank. However, there may be a fee.

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Definition / Meaning of

Synthetic Investment

Categories: Finance,

A synthetic investment simulates the return of an actual investment, but the return is actually created by using a combination of financial instruments, such as options contracts or an equity index and debt securities, rather than a single conventional investment. For example, an investment firm might create a synthetic index that seeks to outperform a particular index by purchasing options contracts rather than the equities the actual index owns, and using the money it saves to buy cash equivalents or other debt securities to enhance its return on the derivatives. Options spreads, structured products, and certain investments in real estate and guaranteed investment contracts can be described as synthetic products. While they are artificial, they can play a legitimate role in an individual or institutional investor's portfolio as a way to reduce risk, increase diversification, enjoy a stronger return, or meet needs that conventional investments don't satisfy. However, synthetic investments may carry added fees and add more complexity than you are comfortable dealing with.

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