“Assets” are things that have value and that an individual or an entity owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide a future benefit. Assets include real property, physical property, financial assets, and intangible items.
Real property is land and things attached to the land, like non-movable buildings. However, not all real property may be counted toward determining whether an individual qualifies as an “accredited investor” on the basis of having a net worth in excess of $1 million. The SEC requires that the value of a person’s primary residence be excluded from the net worth calculation. The term “primary residence” is commonly understood to mean the home where a person lives most of the time vs. a “secondary residence” such a person’s vacation home or an investment property. Likewise, debt secured by the primary residence (such as a mortgage or home equity line of credit) is not counted as a liability in the net worth calculation, unless the home is underwater (worth less than the mortgage or other home-equity line of credit) or the debt has increased within the past 60 days.
Physical property includes items like raw materials, inventory, office supplies, machinery, equipment, vehicles, furniture, boats and collectibles.
Financial assets are cash, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, mutual funds, retirement accounts, and accounts receivables.
Intangible assets are things that can’t be touched but nevertheless exist and have value, such as trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property.