A prospectus is a written catalog or brochure that offers a plan, as of school courses to take or stocks to buy. The idea of a prospectus is to offer a variety of options and a plan of action.
One goal of a prospectus is to present the positive features of something in order to attract a desired participant. When a new company wants to attract investors or a stock brokerage wants to attract new clients, each offers a prospectus specific to its goals. The word is from the Latin verb specere, "to look," which is combined with the prefix prō-, "forward" — giving us a verb meaning "to look forward" to something that is coming. The modern word appeared first in France in the 18th century.