What does ‘Illiquid’ mean

Illiquid refers to the state of a security or other asset that cannot easily be sold or exchanged for cash without a substantial loss in value. Illiquid assets may also be hard to sell quickly because of a lack of ready and willing investors or speculators to purchase the asset. Additionally, a company may be deemed illiquid if it is unable to obtain the cash necessary to meet debt obligations.

Explaining ‘Illiquid’

In regards to illiquid assets, the lack of ready buyers also leads to larger discrepancies between the asking price, set by the seller, and the bidding price, submitted by the buyer, than would be found in an orderly market with daily trading activity. This can cause holders of illiquid assets to experience losses, especially when the investor is looking to sell quickly.

Examples of Illiquid and Liquid Assets

Some examples of inherently illiquid assets include houses, cars, antiques, private company interests and some types of debt instruments. Certain collectibles and art pieces may be considered illiquid assets as well. Though these items may have inherent value, the marketplace in which they are sold often has few buyers in comparison to those interested in the purchase of more liquid assets.

Illiquidity and Risk

Illiquid securities carry higher risks than liquid ones, which becomes especially true during times of market turmoil when the ratio of buyers to sellers may be thrown out of balance. During these times, holders of illiquid securities may find themselves unable to unload them at all, or unable to do so without losing a lot of money.

Illiquid FAQ

What are liquid and illiquid assets?

Liquid assets are assets such as cash or other properties that can be easily and readily converted to cash without any significant loss in value. While illiquid assets which are also called fixed assets are assets that are held long-term, and as such not readily convertible to cash such as a home, land, or equipment.

Is real estate illiquid?

Illiquid assets include real estate, cars, antiques, private company interests, and similar types of debt instruments.

Is an illiquid security?

When investors buy into a company’s illiquid securities, it simply means that at no point in time can the securities bought be sold for cash when the investors want out, not even at a loss.

What is illiquid contract?

An illiquid contract is an agreement that cannot be readily sold or exchanged for cash at the dominant market cost. Along these lines, holders of these options will be unable to discard them at a reasonable price on the market and might be compelled to wait on the tenure of the contract agreement.

What does illiquidity mean?

Illiquidity is the opposite of liquidity. Illiquidity occurs when assets such as cash or other properties can be easily and readily converted to cash without any significant loss in value.

What is an illiquid investment?

Illiquid alludes to the condition of a stock, bond, or different assets that can only with significant effort and promptly be sold or traded for money without a considerable loss in value. Illiquid resources will, in general, have more extensive offer ask spreads, more unpredictability, and, thus, the higher danger for investors

What is the most illiquid investment?

The most illiquid investments are probably hedge funds, real estate, private equity, and infrastructure.