What is a Liquid Asset with Examples?

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What is a liquid asset becomes crucial for its ease of conversion and its ability to maintain its worth during the conversion process. Cash and other assets that can be swiftly changed into cash without losing value are examples of liquid assets. You should always maintain some of your assets in cash so you can pay for living costs and unforeseen emergencies. But in a wider view, liquidity is like a spectrum: Some assets may be transformed into cash faster than others. On the other end of the range are assets that are hard to appraise and sell for cash.

In general, an asset’s value will rise less over time if it is easy to sell. Inflation can affect even liquid assets like cash, leading to a loss of purchasing power over time. To insulate yourself from inflation and save for long-term financial goals, you’ll probably need to give up some liquidity and lock your assets into investments that enhance your value over time, like investment securities or real estate. This doesn’t mean you’ll never get pay for them, but it can be harder to figure out how much they’re worth and transform them into cash.

What is a Liquid Asset?

Anything that can be sold quickly, conveniently, and safely to be converted into cash constitutes a liquid asset. In other words, people consider liquid assets as cash, as their value remains relatively stable when sold. Furthermore, to categorize an asset as a liquid asset, it must be in an established market and with a large number of interest buyers. Also, with an ability to transfer the ownership quickly.

Liquidity means how easy it is to turn an asset into cash. The more liquid something is, the easier it is to change it into cash. Most people agree that cash is the most liquid asset. With a bank transfer or an ATM withdrawal, you can quickly and conveniently acquire cash from a bank or credit union account. Liquidity is vital since having liquid assets lets you pay for basic living needs and take care of emergencies. But it’s crucial to recognize that having liquidity and holding liquid assets costs money.

Cash and Cash Equivalents are the types of assets that qualify as liquid assets. Cash’s ability to be readily convertible makes it a liquid asset. Cash Equivalents, these are assets with short term maturities of less than 90 days. For example, equities, marketable securities, money market instruments, bonds, mutual funds, and so on, can undergo quick conversion to cash.

Liquid Assets – Overview

A liquid asset is either cash or an easily convertible asset. In terms of liquidity, cash is paramount as cash as legal tender is the ultimate goal. Cash on hand or easily convertible assets constitute a liquid asset. In terms of liquidity, cash takes precedence, as it serves as legal tender and represents the ultimate goal.

Assets that can swiftly converted to cash resemble cash itself, as the asset holder can readily and effortlessly obtain cash through a transaction exchange. Generally, numerous criteria must exist for a liquid asset to be termed liquid. It must be in an established, liquid market with a high number of easily available buyers. Ownership transfer must also be secure and easily facilitated. In some circumstances, the amount of time to cash conversion will vary.

Examples of Liquid Assets

Liquid assets can quickly convert into cash. Assets, valuable possessions exchangeable for cash, don’t always sell for immediate cash or without losses. Common liquid assets exanmples are as follows:


Cash is the ultimate liquid asset. In addition to physical currency and ATM withdrawals, you can access cash through your bank account and peer-to-peer payment apps.


Some investors acquire bonds and hold them to their maturity date. But the secondary market for trading bonds is extensive, meaning that many types of bonds are relatively liquid investments. Like any security, you may end up selling bonds for less than you purchased for them.


Equities may be sold on stock exchanges practically instantaneously, and publicly traded stocks are considered very liquid. You normally receive cash from the transaction within a few days. As indicated above, you may end up selling a security like stock for less than you purchased for it.

Mutual Funds

While they provide easy diversification, mutual funds only trade once a day, at the market close. This makes them slightly less liquid than stocks and ETFs. You normally receive proceeds from a sale the next working day.

Precious Metals

Precious metals can be both liquid and illiquid. In some states, specific gold and silver coins can be used as currency, meaning it’s hypothetically as liquid as cash. Physical precious metal can also be exchanged for cash via merchants. But depending on where you store your precious metals, they may be less accessible.

Treasury Bonds

T-bills and T-bonds are highly stable—and highly liquid—investments, backed by the full confidence and credit of the United States government. As a result, you can promptly sell them for cash on the secondary market if you need their value before they mature.

Money Market Funds

Money market funds are a form of mutual fund that only owns highly liquid assets, like cash, CDs and government-backed debt. Because their components are highly liquid, their value is highly steady. Like mutual funds, you normally receive proceeds from a sale the next working day.

Certificates of Deposit

CDs can yield you higher APYs than checking or savings accounts, but they also come with harsher withdrawal limitations. To retrieve the money stored in a CD before its maturity date, you may have to pay a penalty, normally a few months of interest. No-penalty CDs are an exception here, because they receive lower APYs.

Balance Sheet Accounting

In financial accounting, the balance sheet separates assets down by current and long-term with a hierarchical system in accordance to liquidity. A company’s current assets are assets a corporation looks to for cash conversion within a one-year period. Current assets have varied liquidity conversion timelines based on the type of asset. Cash on hand is considered the most liquid sort of liquid asset since it is cash itself.

Moreover, cash is legal cash that an individual or organisation can use to make payments on liability obligations. Cash equivalents and marketable securities rank after cash as quickly liquidatable investments. Other current assets can also include accounts receivable and inventory.

On the balance sheet, assets become less liquid by their hierarchy. As such, the long-term assets section of the balance sheet comprises non-liquid assets. These assets are anticipated to undergo cash conversion in one year or more. These types of non-liquid assets require time to transform into cash, may entail fees for conversion, and might not be convertible to cash at all.

Many non-liquid, long-term assets frequently involve depreciation considerations due to their limited ease of cash sale and the decrease in value they experience during usage.

Analyzing Liquid Assets

In business, liquid assets are vital to manage for both internal performance and external reporting. A corporation with more liquid assets has a stronger potential of servicing debt commitments as they fall due.

Companies have strategic strategies for managing the amount of cash on their balance sheet available to pay invoices and manage essential expenditures. Industries like banking have a necessary quantity of cash and cash equivalents that the company must hold to comply with industry rules.

There are various key ratios analysts employ to analyse liquidity, commonly called solvency ratios. Two of the most common are the quick ratio and the current ratio. In the current ratio, current assets are used to assess a company’s ability to meet its current liabilities with all of its current assets and to survive unanticipated and unusual situations like a pandemic.

The fast ratio is a more stringent solvency ratio that looks at a company’s ability to cover its current liabilities with simply its most liquid assets. The quick ratio does include accounts receivable.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

ETFs are investment funds that trade like stocks on public exchanges, making them reasonably straightforward to sell fast. While they are less risky than individual stocks and bonds, you still may wind up needing to sell ETFs at a loss if you need your money suddenly. You will normally receive cash within a few days.

Liquid and Non-liquid Markets

Both individuals and corporations interact with liquid and non-liquid marketplaces. Cash as supreme is the ultimate aim for liquidity and ease of conversion to cash generally distinguishes the distinction of a liquid vs. non-liquid market but there can also be some other considerations.

For an asset to be considered liquid, it must have an established market with sufficient buyers and sellers, allowing for easy conversion to cash. The market price of the asset should also remain relatively stable, preventing reduced liquidity or increased illiquidity for future market participants.

The stock market is an example of a liquid market because of its high number of buyers and sellers which leads in easy conversion to cash. Because stocks can be sold utilising electronic marketplaces for full market values on demand, publicly listed equity securities are liquid assets. Liquidity can vary each security, however, based on market size and average share volume transactions.

The foreign exchange market holds the reputation of being the most liquid worldwide, as it enables the daily exchange of trillions of dollars around the clock. This characteristic makes it challenging for any individual to significantly impact the exchange rate. Other liquid markets include commodities and secondary market debt.


What is the Difference between Assets and Liquid Assets?

An asset is a resource that has economic worth that an individual or corporation owns. It delivers future advantage in the form of cash flows to the individual or company. An asset might be a fixed asset or current asset. Fixed assets are long-term and not quickly liquidated for cash. Current assets easily convert to cash within a year. Liquid assets are an element of current assets. Few examples of assets are property, buildings, currency and investments.

Liquid assets are those assets that one can simply turn into cash. They are extremely liquid and can benefit in times of need. Liquid assets are cash, investments like stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

Is a Bank Account a Liquid Asset?

Cash or easily convertible assets at a reasonable price constitute liquid assets. A bank account qualifies as a liquid asset when its balance is withdrawable without restrictions. Money in a bank account, easily accessible for expenses, classifies it as highly liquid.

However, a certain bank account imposes restrictions on withdrawing money. For example, certain fixed deposits and recurring deposits do not enable premature closing of the account to fulfil financial liquidity. At the same time, some accounts allow early withdrawals, but with some penalty.

As an individual, you should maintain cash in accounts that you can conveniently withdraw when needed. A savings bank account is one such account that is similar to holding cash in hand. Therefore, keeping some sum in the savings bank account will aid in paying unforeseen bills or crises.

What does Liquid Net Worth Mean?

Liquid net worth is the value of all assets if sold and converted into cash. The liabilities have to be deducted from the assets before they are liquidated. Also, liquid net worth counts just liquid assets. These assets are incredibly valuable.

This is because one can simply change them into cash in case of any exigency. Moreover, liquid net worth is a statistic that helps evaluate financial security. Stocks and bonds provide a good example of liquid assets since you can convert them into cash within three days.


To sum up, a liquid asset is a crucial idea in finance. It refers to anything valuable that can be quickly converted into money when used. Understanding liquid assets thoroughly is essential for creating sound budgets, wise investment decisions, and maintaining financial stability.

Both individuals and businesses can be better prepared to handle unforeseen costs and seize opportunities by maintaining a healthy balance of liquid assets. Therefore, while you plan and manage your financial course, keep your liquid assets in mind. For a complete overview of the what is bond yield topic, read on.

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