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27 June 2023

What are Liquid Assets?

Key takeaways

  1. A liquid asset is an asset that can easily be converted into cash within a short period.
  2. Liquid assets can serve as a safety cushion for unexpected financial emergencies for an individual or business.
  3. While non-liquid assets provide long-term growth, liquid assets provide immediate cash in times of need.

What are Liquid Assets?

Liquid assets refer to assets that can be quickly and easily converted into cash without significant loss in value.

Liquid assets play a crucial role in maintaining financial stability and flexibility, offering individuals, businesses, and even governments the means to navigate uncertain times and seize opportunities.

In this article, we will explore the concept of liquid assets, understand their importance, and discuss various examples and strategies for managing them effectively.

Examples of Liquid Assets

  • Cash: Cash in hand or bank accounts, as it can be used for immediate transactions or payments.
  • Marketable securities: These include stocks, bonds, and mutual fundsreasury bills and certificates of deposit: These are short-term debt securities issued by the government or financial institutions that offer fixed interest rates and can be sold before maturity. that can be quickly sold on the open market.
  • Money market instruments: Instruments like commercial paper, treasury bills, and certificates of deposit with maturities of fewer than 12 months.
  • Accounts receivable: These are amounts owed to a business or individual by customers or clients, which can be converted into cash by selling the receivables to third-party collection agencies or through factoring.

Importance of Liquid Assets

  1. Emergency preparedness: Liquid assets provide a safety net during unexpected financial emergencies such as medical expenses, job loss, or natural disasters. Having readily available cash ensures that you can cover essential costs and maintain financial stability.
  2. Investment opportunities: Having liquid assets on hand allows you to capitalize on favourable investment opportunities that may come up suddenly, such as acquiring undervalued assets or participating in initial public offerings (IPOs).
  3. Financial flexibility: They provide the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances, such as pursuing career changes, starting a business, or relocating. They allow you to make decisions without being constrained by the need for immediate cash flow.
  4. Debt management: They can be used to pay off high-interest debt, reducing financial burdens and improving creditworthiness. They offer a way to avoid accumulating additional debt and associated interest charges.

Difference between Liquid and Non-Liquid assets

The main difference between liquid and non-liquid assets depends on how quick and easy it is to convert them into cash.

Liquid assets are those that can be readily converted into cash without significant loss in value and with relative speed. On the other hand, non-liquid assets are assets that cannot be easily converted into cash or require more time and effort to do so.

Non-liquid assets often have a longer holding period and may be subject to market fluctuations. Examples include real estate, long-term investments, and physical assets like vehicles or machinery.

individuals who invest their funds in startups in exchange for equity.

These investors often bring not only financial backing but also valuable industry experience and network. Angel investors are likelier to invest in early-stage startups that demonstrate innovation, market potential, and a capable team.

They can be a great source of capital for startups that are not yet ready for venture capital funding or need additional support before scaling up.

Strategies for managing Liquid assets

  1. Maintain a cash reserve: Aim to keep an emergency fund equivalent to three to six months of living expenses. This provides a cushion for unforeseen circumstances and prevents the need for hasty asset liquidation. Joseph Grand & Company helps you save for rainy days through our emergency fund feature.
  2. Diversify your investments: Invest in a mix of liquid and non-liquid assets. While non-liquid assets like real estate or retirement accounts may offer long-term growth, liquid assets ensure immediate access to funds in times of need.
  3. Regularly review and rebalance: Periodically assess your financial situation and adjust the allocation of liquid assets accordingly. As circumstances change, you may need to increase or decrease the proportion of liquid assets in your portfolio.
  4. Explore short-term investment options: Consider investing in highly liquid and low-risk instruments such as money market funds, which offer stability and moderate returns.
  5. Consider credit cards: Access to credit cards can provide an additional source of liquidity when needed. However, ensure to use it judiciously to avoid accumulating excessive debt and have a plan to pay it back in place.

Are cars liquid assets?

Cars are typically considered non-liquid assets rather than liquid assets. While they have value and can be sold for cash, their liquidity is limited due to the time and effort required to sell them, the potential fluctuations in market value, and the depreciation they experience over time. In general, cars are not easily and quickly convertible into cash compared to more liquid assets such as cash, stocks, or bonds.

Which is better: liquid assets or non-liquid assets?

Both types of assets serve different purposes and can have their advantages and disadvantages. Generally, it is advisable to maintain a balanced portfolio that includes a combination of both liquid and non-liquid assets. This will help you maintain both short-term financial stability and long-term growth potential.

Bottom Line

Liquid assets are the backbone of financial stability and flexibility that provides you with the means to weather unexpected economic storms and seize the opportunities they present. By maintaining a healthy balance between liquid and non-liquid assets, you can navigate through uncertain times and ensure a solid financial foundation. Remember, it is crucial to regularly reassess and adjust your strategy to align with your evolving financial goals and circumstances.

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