I consider anything that is guaranteed not to lose principal to be cash or a cash-equivalent account.It also has to be guaranteed to be accessible on a "moment's" notice! That's why we generally divide our "cash" into portions:* that which is immediately accessible (in a drawer at home let's say)* that which can be accessible in usual circumstances in a few hours (ATM)* that which can be accessible in a day or two or three (bank teller)* that which can be accessible in a week or so (brokerage cash account)* that which can be accessible by the beginning of next month (I-bonds after first year, etc)* and then the various classes of short-term instruments (30-day treasury, I-bonds during first year, etc)Then there is a class of instruments that need to be sold to access them (short-term bonds, I-bonds, etc)
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