Fed Balance Sheet Could The Fed Buy With Its 45 Trillion
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There may be an offsetting liability. For a house it would be the mortgage or any other debt secured against the home. For a car it would be a car loan. The difference between the value of the house or car and what is owed is the equity in that particular investment. This is like a net worth for that particular asset. There are appreciating assets and depreciating assets. A home is generally an appreciating asset over the long term. In recent times we have learned that in the short term a home can lose its value rather quickly. However most housing markets recover in the long term and a home should appreciate over time.
For most of these kinds of items a company will book their value at whatever was paid for it. While items that depreciate like computers are usually de-valued over a period of time that piece of land will likely appreciate over time and the current value may not be reflected on the balance sheet. This can make the company more valuable than it appears (some value investors refer to these as "asset plays"). For financial companies a ton of assumptions are made on the balance sheet. The actual value of a loan is very difficult to calculate due to variable interest rates risk of default risk of early payment etc. Take that reality and multiply it by the millions of loans a large bank has outstanding and you begin to see why investing in banks is such a difficult and risky endeavor. However since the Magic Formula throws out financial stocks we won t discuss that in much detail here. One other thing to be generally aware of is that both assets and liabilities are categorized as either "current" or "long-term".
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The line items falling into the "current" category are assets that the company expects to be converted into cash within the next 12 months or liabilities that are expected to be paid off over the next 12 months. "Long-term" assets and liabilities have a longer time horizon for being liquidated or covered respectively. A balance sheet is a financial statement that lists assets liabilities and equity. These items must show a net balance of zero for the balance sheet to be considered "balanced." This means that for every entry into an asset account there must be a corresponding entry into either a liability or an equity account. Since asset accounts increase by debits this means that either the liability or the equity accounts must be credited when new assets are purchased. Likewise when assets are sold or gotten rid of in some way there would be a credit in the assets account to reduce it. There would have to be a corresponding debit in the liability or equity accounts to balance this.