An asset is any item of economic value owned by an individual or company. Examples of assets include cash, furniture, automobiles, sports equipment, firearms, and property. If an asset can be readily converted into cash it is often called a liquid asset. Some examples of liquid assets include savings accounts, money orders and certified and personal checks.
For a company, assets would also include accounts receivable, inventory and supplies; the term has a specific and well-defined meaning in accounting. In personal finance terms, the debt you owe a lender or credit card company is recorded as an asset on their balance sheets.
Secured loans, such as mortgages or car loans, are obtained by being attached to an asset. If the debtor defaults on loan repayment the creditor may be legally entitled to seize the securing asset through repossession, or in the case of a home, foreclosure.