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What Types Of Assets Are Illiquid?

By on May 29, 2020

liquid assets examples

In the case of an emergency, you’ll have money on hand to cover yourself and/or your loved ones through any major or unexpected incidents. Depending on the specific CD, you would likely either forfeit interest earned or be required to pay a penalty fee. While evaluating investments, and considering one’s complete financial condition, liquidity might be a key factor. Essentially, liquidity considered to be any firm’s capability to easily convert any given asset into cash.

Customer balances qualify as accounts receivable if you’ve already delivered the goods or services, but have not yet collected the cash. Accounts receivable are considered liquid due to the expectation that the customer will pay the amount in the relatively near future. Stocks, another liquid asset example, are shares normal balance of ownership of a corporation. In general, large, stable companies are less risky but offer less potential for growth, while smaller, fast-growing companies have more potential for growth and accompanying greater risk. Overall stocks are one of the riskiest liquid assets to own because there is no guarantee.


While all of your assets can be liquidated, they won’t all hold their value when you do so. To determine which of your assets are truly liquid, there are a few specific traits you can use to help distinguish them from other kinds of assets. An economic depression is an occurrence wherein an economy is in a state of financial turmoil, often the result of a period of negative activity based on the country’s Gross Domestic Product rate.

Companies have strategic processes for managing the amount of cash on their balance sheet available to pay bills and manage required expenditures. Industries like banking have a required amount of cash and cash equivalents that the company must hold to comply with industry regulations. In business, liquid assets are important to manage for both internal performance and external reporting. A company with more liquid assets has a greater capability of paying debt obligations as they become due. Building your liquid assets essentially means that you’re giving yourself a financial insurance plan.

liquid assets examples

It’s a major indicator of how prepared you are for economic changes and emergencies, and whether you’re putting your cash to good use. Cash management accounts are safe investments because they are usually invested in low-yield and safe money market accounts funds. Investors get a chance to invest in a diversified portfolio just like in mutual funds.

Her writing has appeared in Wirecutter, Quartz, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Huffington Post and other publications. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University and currently lives in South Florida. Talk to a financial advisor about different investment opportunities that match your style and preference. Finding the right one doesn’t have to be hard.SmartAsset’s free toolmatches you with up to three possible financial advisors in your area in five minutes. Finally, the sum total of liabilities is subtracted from the total value of assets to obtain the net worth. Assets are the things owned by individuals or entities that have, or are expected to have, economic value.

These agencies estimate creditworthiness and assign grades, with AAA being the highest. You can find slightly higher APYs with an online bank because they have lower overhead costs when compared to brick and mortar Certified Public Accountant banks. They’re also a great option if you have a short-term savings goal like saving up to buy a new car or for a downpayment on a house. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work.

Meaning Of Liquid Assets

There are very low barriers to pulling cash out of your savings account. It’s a quick trip to the bank, or you can probably log into your banking app and move money to your checking account. Near money is a financial economics term describing non-cash assets that are highly liquid, such as savings accounts, CDs, and Treasury bills. As such, the long-term assets portion of the balance sheet includes non-liquid assets. Businesses record liquid assets in the current assets portion of their balance sheet. An emergency fund may be the easiest way to start building liquid assets, but there are other ways, too. You can try a hands-off robo-advisor or use a variety of tools, likemobile banking appsto investment apps – that don’t require more than a couple dollars to use.

liquid assets examples

Bonds are liquid assets because you can buy and sell them relatively easily without losing much of the value you put into the investment. Certificates of deposit are safe liquid investments because they’re backed by the FDIC, so there’s no risk of losing money as long as you wait until the CD has matured to cash out. The trade-off is that you run the risk of losing out on a better rate somewhere else. Money market accounts are almost like a cross between a checking and savings account, but you can earn a higher APY on them. Now that you understand what liquid assets are and how they’re different, let’s look at the best kinds of liquid investments. Fixed, or long term, assets are items that have a long term value, and usually are not things a company or individual wants to sell, as they are required to do business. These include such items as vehicles, machinery, computers, and furnishings.

Sending wire transfers is free for Brex Cash customers, but the recipient’s financial institution may charge a wire receipt fee. Fortunately, you don’t have to put your personal assets in jeopardy to build credit and win financing for your business. Brex’s corporate card is tailored to the needs of startups liquid assets examples and requires no personal guarantee. We base approval on the factors that matter, like cash on hand and monthly sales. Non-liquid assets, also called illiquid assets, can’t be quickly converted to cash. Most non-liquid assets must be sold to tap into their value, requiring you to transfer ownership.

Understanding Liquid Assets

That said, owning stocks and bonds, among other investment vehicles, certainly provides a pathway to liquidity – even if it’s not immediate. As long as you own a bank account and can find either a bank branch or an ATM machine, you can gain instant access to cash money. Cash equivalents are typically investments that have short-term maturities of less than 90 days and are considered liquid assets because they can be readily converted to cash.

  • No question, investment vehicles are also a top-tier member of the liquid asset group – especially stocks and stock-related funds.
  • In general, large, stable companies are less risky but offer less potential for growth, while smaller, fast-growing companies have more potential for growth and accompanying greater risk.
  • Inventories are converted into cash, debtors, and bills receivable when they are sold in the ordinary course of business.
  • Average collection period indicates the quality of debtors by measuring the rapidity or slowness in the collection process.

Shares and stocks can be sold in the stock exchange with just a click of a button within the same price or at few cents higher than their market value. These bonds are also highly liquid though slightly riskier than other Treasury investments and TIPS. Though a lot of municipalities do not default on their bonds, nunicipal bonds have a high-interest rate risk. Government bonds are some of the most traded kind of investments and are usually traded on any day provided the stock market is open.

For you to manage all your accounts, assets and cash flows efficiently, there is a need for you to use an app like Personal Capital app. CDs are a time deposit, which means that if you open a CD account, you promise to hold your money in the account for a specified time which can range from weeks to years. You’re technically lending money, and the company or governments makes payments in the form of bond coupons. Coupons are the annual interest rate paid on the bonds, and it’s usually paid out biannually. Once that time period is over, your CD has reached maturity, meaning you can then exchange it for cash, which is the principal plus the earned interest. Savings accounts also don’t traditionally have check writing or ATM privileges, making it just a little harder to access your funds. The most obvious is that you’re never going to make anything back on it.


Stocks can be sold quite easily at a price within a few cents of their market value, and often with the simple click of a button. Bonds have varying degrees of liquidity, but can generally be sold fairly quickly without sacrificing too much of their market value. And mutual funds can be sold daily — meaning that if you place a “sell” order, the position will be liquefied, or converted to cash in your account by the following day. As you could probably guess, cash is the most liquid type of asset, as it doesn’t even need to be sold in order to be used, like other types of liquid assets. And for our purposes, money in your checking and savings accounts that you can readily withdraw are also considered to be cash assets. The quick ratio is a more stringent solvency ratio that looks at a company’s ability to cover its current liabilities with just its most liquid assets.

liquid assets examples

Then come cash equivalents like bank accounts which are as good as cash. Marketable equity securities and bonds, mutual fund investments, exchange-traded funds, etc. come next.

These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy. Liquid assets generally tend to have liquid markets with high levels of demand and security.

The account’s money is believed to be liquid since it can be taken out quite simply for settling liabilities. This ambiguous market complicates and slows the trading of an asset to the point of illiquidity. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. Bankrate is compensated in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.

Think about what assets you have within easy access that, if needed, could pay for something within a relatively short amount of time. Some examples of these liquid assets are cash, checking accounts, savings accounts and some investment funds. The term liquid assets refers to cash on hand, or other assets that can easily be converted into cash without losing much of the original value. Liquid assets are those assets the owner, whether an individual or entity, can turn into cash quickly during a financial emergency.

Treasurys, which include, the T-bills, T-bonds, and T-notes, are safe investments that the AAA credit rating of the US federal government provides protection for. The risk of holding a CD is that you can miss another better investment elsewhere while your money remains tied up in the CD account. Some savings accounts have up to six fee-free transfers and withdrawals per statement cycle. Avoid financial institutions that charge accounts maintenance fees or fees for accessing ATMs.

Cash on hand is the most liquid asset, as it does not need to be sold for it to be used. If a company or an individual needs to settle a few liabilities quickly, then they can use cash-on-hand. Traditional savings accounts are a little less liquid than checking accounts because there are most likely limits to the number of withdrawals or transfers. You can still access your money if you go over those limits, but you’ll have to pay a small fee. Having some of your money saved in a liquid investment can be a safer alternative than having all of your cash tied up in the stock market or real estate. The quick ratio is a calculation that measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets.

Cash on hand is considered a liquid asset due to its ability to be readily accessed. Cash is legal tender that a company can use to settle its current liabilities. For example, the money in your checking account, savings account, or money market account is considered liquid because it can be withdrawn easily to settle liabilities. A liquid asset refers to cash or any other asset that can be easily converted to cash at or near its market value.

Author: Matt Laslo

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