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Any possession that has value in an exchange.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.


In accounting, anything of value that a person or firm buys. Assets can be physical, such as real estate or stocks, a claim on debts, such as accounts receivable or liens, or a right, such as a patent. Of crucial importance to assets is their relative liquidity, or the ease with which they can be converted to cash. Liquid assets are often thought to be more useful than illiquid assets. See also: Tangible asset, Intangible asset.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Something of monetary value that is owned by a firm or an individual. Assets are listed on a firm's balance sheet and include tangible items such as inventories, equipment, and real estate as well as intangible items such as property rights or goodwill. Compare liability. See also current asset, intangible asset, tangible asset.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


Assets are everything you own that has any monetary value, plus any money you are owed.

They include money in bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, equity in real estate, the value of your life insurance policy, and any personal property that people would pay to own.

When you figure your net worth, you subtract the amount you owe, or your liabilities, from your assets. Similarly, a company's assets include the value of its physical plant, its inventory, and less tangible elements, such as its reputation.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


an item or property which is owned by a business or individual and which has a money value. Assets are of three main types:
  1. physical assets such as plant and equipment, land, consumer durables (cars, etc.);
  2. financial assets such as currency, bank deposits, stocks and shares;
  3. intangible assets, such as BRANDS. Alternatively, assets can be classified into FIXED ASSETS (those intended for long-term use by a business); and CURRENT ASSETS (those intended to be turned over, in trading, as raw materials are converted into finished goods, then sold to generate cash). See INVESTMENT, LIQUIDITY, BALANCE SHEET, LIABILITY.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson


an item or property owned by an individual or a business that has a money value. Assets are of three main types:
  1. physical assets, such as plant and equipment, land, consumer durables (cars, washing machines, etc);
  2. financial assets, such as currency, bank deposits, stocks and shares;
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005


Something of value. On a balance sheet or personal financial statement, assets will include the following items, typically arranged in order according to the ease with which they can be converted into cash:

Cash and equivalents

Cash on hand:
Cash in banks
Marketable securities

Accounts receivable
Less reserves for bad debts

Furniture, fixtures, and equipment

Fine art

Real property

General intangibles:
Stock in closely held corporations
Intellectual property rights

When lenders examine balance sheets,they generally assume that individuals and small businesses overvalue the furniture, fixtures, and equipment and the general intangibles. Large entries for cash and equivalent assets will overcome a poor credit rating 9 times out of 10.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


An item of useful or valuable property.
Copyright © 2008 H&R Block. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission from H&R Block Glossary
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