Assets vs Liabilities (with examples)

liabilities là gì
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What are Assets and Liabilities? Once you understand how the terms assets and liabilities are used in business, you can use that knowledge to your benefit in your personal life as well.nnIn accounting, assets and liabilities are terms that you will find on the balance sheet. What you own is on the left: assets. What you owe is on the right: liabilities and equity. Let’s work through some examples of assets and liabilities.nnNow that you understand the picture of assets, liabilities and equity on the balance sheet, let’s think of the dynamics going on in a company. A company will try to generate a return on assets. If the revenues generated (from selling goods and services) are bigger than the expenses (such as labor, materials, and depreciation of manufacturing equipment), then the company generates a profit. Return On Assets relates the amount of profit made to the assets needed to generate that profit. Some companies need very few assets to generate a substantial profit. Other companies may need a lot of assets to generate only a modest profit. Increasing ROA is generally a good thing.nnOn the liability side, having debt generates a cost of borrowing. The amount of interest that a company pays depends on the amount borrowed and the interest rate. If a company improves its financial health, its cost of borrowing tends to go down. In general, it is good to have a Return On Assets that far exceeds the cost of borrowing.nnLet’s apply what we learned about assets and liabilities to assets and liabilities in your personal life. What if you own a house? That’s an asset. However, if you rent a house as a tenant, then you wouldn’t put the house on your balance sheet as an asset, as you don’t own it. What if you own a car? That is an asset as well. If you lease a car, you wouldn’t put the car on your balance sheet as an asset, as you don’t own it. What about cash? That is an asset. Unpaid creditcard bills? A liability. A portfolio of stocks? An asset. A loan agreement with a bank (for example the mortgage loan on your house)? A liability. There is one more element, which fits in the bottom right corner of the balance sheet: equity. You can calculate it by taking the total value of the assets minus the total value of the liabilities.nnWithin the assets in your personal life, there can be items that we call (potential) “earning assets”: cash in a savings account that pays you interest, and stocks in an investment portfolio that pay a dividend or go up (or down!) in value. Just like companies monitor their cost of borrowing closely, you should also keep track of your cost of borrowing on various types of debt you might have outstanding. Chances are that the unpaid creditcard bills carry the highest interest rate, and therefore should get the highest priority in paying down!nnSo what is financial wealth in somebody’s personal life? A lot of people mistake wealth for assets. We tend to think that the more assets somebody has, the wealthier that person is. But what if that beautiful yacht as well as that fancy sports car are all debt-financed? Assets increase (the person owns more), but liabilities also increase (the person owes more). The more debt you add, the more fragile you get. The true measure of financial wealth, which is often not visible to the outside world, is the amount of equity that somebody has! Assets minus liabilities. Looking at somebody’s assets without knowing how they are financed, might be deceiving. It might actually be the person with the smaller house and the older car, but with very few or even no liabilities, that is the more financially wealthy!nnPhilip de Vroe (The Finance Storyteller) aims to make strategy, #finance and leadership enjoyable and easier to understand. Learn the business and accounting vocabulary to join the conversation with your CEO at your company. Understand how financial statements work in order to make better #investing decisions. Philip delivers #financetraining in various formats: YouTube videos, classroom sessions, webinars, and business simulations. Connect with me through Linked In!
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