[en] We show that a positive homogeneous function that is invariant under determinant 1 stochastic local operations and classical communication (SLOCC) transformations defines an N-qubit entanglement monotone if and only if the homogeneous degree is not larger than four. We then describe a common basis and formalism for the N-tangle and other known invariant polynomials of degree four. This allows us to elucidate the relation of the four-qubit invariants defined by Luque and Thibon [Phys. Rev. A 67, 042303 (2003)] and the reduced two-qubit density matrices of the states under consideration, thus giving a physical interpretation for those invariants. We demonstrate that this is a special case of a completely general law that holds for any multipartite system with bipartitions of equal dimension, e.g., for an even number of qudits.