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The Importance of Cash in Your Investment Portfolio: Don’t Overlook Its Value

As an investor, it is crucial to carefully consider all aspects of your financial strategy, including cash. While stocks, bonds, and mutual funds may be a significant focus, it is essential not to overlook the importance of cash in your investment portfolio.

Cash is an integral part of any financial strategy and investment portfolio and serves various purposes. It is crucial to understand the different ways you can use cash and to determine how much you need. Here are four crucial uses for cash:

Unexpected expenses and emergencies: These can arise at any time, such as job loss, home repairs, and medical expenses. Access to cash can help you manage these unexpected expenses and give you peace of mind. It is recommended that individuals still working have three to six months’ worth of living expenses in cash, along with a line of credit as a backup. For retired individuals, three months’ worth of living expenses in cash and a line of credit can serve as a good rule of thumb. By having access to cash and a line of credit, you can be prepared to handle any unexpected expenses that may arise.

Short-term savings goals: If you have specific goals that you want to achieve within the next year or two, such as a wedding, vacation, or the purchase of a new car, you may want to consider using a money market account or a short-term certificate of deposit (CD) in addition to your other savings vehicles. These accounts can be useful for meeting your short-term financial objectives while still allowing you to maintain liquidity and access to your funds. By planning and setting aside funds in a money market account or short-term CD, you can work toward achieving your goals without sacrificing the flexibility of your savings.

Everyday spending: Cash is also necessary for day-to-day expenses such as mortgage payments, debts, groceries, utilities, and entertainment. Creating a budget can help you identify areas where you can reduce spending and free up funds for long-term goals. If you are still working, having one to two months’ worth of living expenses in a liquid account may be sufficient. However, if you are retired, you may need up to 12 months’ worth of living expenses, depending on your other sources of income, such as Social Security or a pension.

Investment source: Cash can serve as an investment source in two ways. Firstly, it can be considered a distinct asset class that provides diversification to a portfolio containing stocks and bonds. Secondly, the cash in your portfolio can be used as part of a systematic investing strategy in which you regularly invest set amounts of money into investment vehicles suitable for your goals and risk tolerance. It is worth noting that diversification cannot guarantee profits or protect against all losses.

While it is evident that cash is a vital component of any financial planning for the future, it is essential to strike a balance and not hold too much cash. Although cash may seem like a safe and reliable option, it is not without risk. If you hold an excessive amount of cash, you may underfund your longer-term investments, which have the growth potential and can help you achieve your most significant goals, such as a comfortable retirement.

Instead of allowing your cash to sit idle, consider putting it to work by using it wisely. By doing so, you can add value to your financial picture and better position yourself to achieve your long-term objectives. There are various ways in which you can use cash wisely, such as investing in a diverse range of assets, setting aside funds for emergencies, and creating a budget to manage your day-to-day expenses. By considering these strategies, you can ensure that your cash serves a purpose and contributes to your overall financial success.

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