Cash Reserves

Cash reserves are uninvested funds available to an investor that can be used when capital is needed immediately.
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Cash reserves are funds immediately available to an investor. Cash reserves are not encumbered by other investments, except for highly liquid assets where positions can be exited and converted to cash during regular business hours, such as Treasury bills and money market funds.

Cash reserves are typically held for use in emergencies where capital is needed instantly, to meet additional margin requirements from margin expansion, or to respond to new opportunities available. Cash reserves may be necessary to purchase other assets or cover the cost of an unexpected event, such as an options assignment or margin expansion in an undefined risk position.

Corporations have large amounts of cash on hand for cash expenditures, to cover the cost of emergencies, and to make investments. Banks must have a specified amount of cash available at all times determined by the reserve ratio, which is a percentage of the bank’s overall liabilities. Individual investors may have cash reserves readily accessible for withdrawal to ensure that not all of their capital is exposed to market risk.

Cash reserves are typically kept in safe-havens, such as a bank account or short-term, liquid investments. However, uninvested cash reserves should only make up a portion of an investor’s net capital. Cash is subject to decreased purchasing power if inflation rises, and idle money could equate to missed opportunities that would have generated higher returns if invested elsewhere.

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FAQs

How much cash reserves should I have?

The amount of cash reserves held by an investor is subjective and dependent on each individual’s desired goals. Cash reserves are funds immediately available to an investor and are not encumbered by other investments.

Individual investors may have cash reserves readily accessible for withdrawal to ensure that not all of their capital is exposed to market risk. Cash reserves are also used during retirement as a safe haven and source for distributions of retirement income.

Cash reserves are typically held for use in emergencies where capital is needed instantly, to meet additional margin requirements from margin expansion, or to respond to new opportunities available.

Cash reserves may be necessary to purchase additional assets or cover the cost of an unexpected event, such as an options assignment or margin expansion in an undefined risk position. Cash reserves may be kept in safe-havens, such as a bank account or short-term, liquid investments such as money market accounts.

However, uninvested cash reserves should only make up a portion of an investor’s net capital. Cash is subject to decreased purchasing power if inflation rises, and idle money could equate to missed opportunities that would have generated higher returns if invested elsewhere.

What is the cash reserve ratio?

The cash reserve ratio is the percentage of cash reserves available to an investor relative to their total invested capital. For example, if an investor has $100,000 of invested capital and $10,000 in cash reserves, 10% of the account is cash reserves.

The ratio applies to banks, as well, as they are required to have a specified minimum amount of cash readily available at all times. 

Where do you put cash reserves?

Cash reserves are typically kept in safe-havens, such as a bank account or short-term, liquid investments such as money market accounts.

Individual investors may have cash reserves readily accessible for withdrawal to ensure that not all of their capital is exposed to market risk. However, uninvested cash reserves should only make up a portion of an investor’s net capital. Cash is subject to decreased purchasing power if inflation rises, and idle money could equate to missed opportunities that would have generated higher returns if invested elsewhere.

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