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What are Cash Equivalents?

Cash Equivalents (Definition)

Cash equivalents are short-term assets resulting from cash invested by a business with an interest-earning financial institute in securities such as stocks, bonds, treasury bills, commercial paper, or other known securities. A cash equivalent tends to be highly liquid, low risk, very secure and can be converted back into cash quickly and easily, usually within 90 days. The benefit of investing in these securities is that they trade readily in the market and the value of them can be determined quickly and it also shows the health of the business and its ability to pay any short-term debt.

A business's cash equivalents are shown at the top of the balance sheet and cash as these assets are the most liquid.

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