What Is Liquidity? Definition And Examples

This is worth keeping an eye on when investing in assets with low trading volume. As fear and uncertainty take over, more investors head for the exit, and the liquidity drains further. When Complementary currency there is not enough trading volume, the market becomes more fragile. In these scenarios, the price is prone to manipulation, and the bigger market orders have a heavy influence on it.

Why cash is bad?

Cash is dirty, costly, and not always very convenient to get. Carrying cash won’t get you into debt like swiping a credit card might, for instance, and it won’t make you overspend. Plus, some businesses only take cash. But there are plenty of reasons why cash is bad for you.

A liquid asset is one that can be bought or sold quickly at a minimal loss to its value at any time within market trading hours. The key characteristic that is used to identify a liquid what is liquidity asset is that it always has ready and willing buyers and sellers. On the other hand, an asset that is not easy to sell without a drastic reduction in its price is said to be illiquid.


Markets with sufficient trading volume are known to have stable prices and a good environment for institutional traders. Generally speaking, instruments traded on big exchanges enjoy the highest liquidity. On the other hand, instruments traded on dark or less-developed markets tend to be more illiquid. The NYSE is many times more liquid than the Stockholm Stock Exchange, for example. Market liquidity depends on how much interest the public has in the particular asset in question. For example, Apple’s stock is much more liquid than the average tech company’s shares.

  • Trading after hours almost always means fewer buyers and sellers on the market.
  • Market liquidity refers to the extent to which a market, such as the crypto market, allows assets to be bought and sold at stable prices.
  • Investors, on the other hand, are typically more concerned with the overall health of the business and how it can increase performance in the future.
  • This is the type of liquidity risk that a trader is concerned with since it is the inability to easily exit a position.

This site does not include all companies or products available within the market. Second, we also include links to advertisers’ offers in some of our articles; these “affiliate links” may generate income for our site when you click on them. Here is a list of our partners who offer products that we have affiliate links for. Miranda Marquit has been covering personal finance, investing and business topics for almost 15 years. She has contributed to numerous outlets, including NPR, Marketwatch, U.S. News & World Report and HuffPost.

What Are The Most Liquid Assets Or Securities?

This doesn’t mean that you will never receive cash for them, only that it can be more challenging to value assets like this and then turn them into cash. In general, the more liquid an asset is, the less its value will increase over time. Completely liquid assets, like cash, may even fall victim to inflation, the gradual decrease in purchasing power over time.

Companies also must hold enough liquid assets to cover their short-term obligations like bills or payroll or else face a liquidity crisis, which could lead to bankruptcy. In terms of investments, equities as a class are among the most liquid assets. Some shares trade more actively than others on stock exchanges, meaning there is more of a market for them. In other words, they attract greater, more consistent interest from traders and investors.


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What is liquidity with example?

In other words, liquidity describes the degree to which an asset can be quickly bought or sold in the market at a price reflecting its intrinsic value. For example, if a person wants a $1,000 refrigerator, cash is the asset that can most easily be used to obtain it.

While liquidity impacts all traders, its effect is higher on larger traders. Large traders need a market that can easily absorb their orders, even when they’re using high leverage. For large traders, liquidity is a very important issue and they need to place their orders without moving the market. They also need to have a clear idea of where they will be able to exit, regardless of whether the trade ends up being successful or not.

Investor Considerations

Penny stocks tend to be thinly traded, have wide bid-ask spreads, and may be slow to sell — particularly if you’re trying to unload a large number of shares. Considering liquidity risks and the associated liquidity planning, firms must take seasonal adjustments into account what is liquidity when analysing their accounting provisions. Risks such as counterparty insolvency risk play a part in assessing the business capabilities of third parties. Should a third party go bust, it may be a difficult and time-consuming process for the firm to extract payment.

For example, if a person wants a $1,000 refrigerator, cash is the asset that can most easily be used to obtain it. If that person has no cash but a rare book collection that has been appraised at $1,000, she is unlikely to find someone willing to trade them the refrigerator for their collection. Instead, she will have to sell the collection and use the cash to purchase the refrigerator. That may be fine if the person can wait for months or years to make the purchase, but it could present a problem if the person only had a few days.


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