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In the context of corporate finance, the absence of cash flow needed to fulfill financial debts and meet obligations. In the context of investments, describes a thinly traded investment such as a stock or bond that is not easily converted into cash. Illiquid securities have high transactions costs. Often the bid-ask spread is very wide.
Describing an asset that is difficult to sell because of its expense, lack of interested buyers, or some other reason. Examples of illiquid assets include real estate, stocks with low trading volume, or collectibles. Illiquid assets still have value and, in many cases, very high value but are simply difficult to sell. See also: Liquid.
1. Of or relating to an asset that is difficult to buy or sell in a short period of time without its price being affected. For example, a large block of stock or a small amount of an infrequently traded stock is likely to be difficult to sell without a reduced price being offered to potential buyers. Compare liquid.
2. Of, relating to, or being an investment position in which a low proportion of assets is in cash or near-cash, thereby creating difficulty for the investor who is trying to raise funds for another purpose.