A debt where one is entitled to principal and (usually) interest payments from the borrower. One may hold a debt-based asset by directly lending to the borrower, or one may hold it by purchasing the right to receive repayment from the actual lender. Debt-based assets are recorded as assets on a balance sheet, though there is risk of default. Some debt-based assets, notably (but not exclusively) bonds, may be traded on or off an exchange, while others are non-negotiable.
An investment in the debt of another party. Savings accounts, bonds, annuities, and certificates of deposit are all debt-based assets because they represent debt of the issuer. Debt-based assets are generally conservative investments that pay a fairly predictable rate of return.