facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
The Role of Cash Investments: Stability, Security, and Liquidity for a Diversified Retirement Portfolio Thumbnail

The Role of Cash Investments: Stability, Security, and Liquidity for a Diversified Retirement Portfolio

Cash investments in retirement in Centerville, Ohio

In the world of retirement planning, cash investments hold a crucial and often understated role. Offering a potent blend of stability, security, and liquidity, they act as a safety net, providing much-needed balance in a diversified retirement portfolio. Amid the highs and lows of other asset classes, cash investments stand as an unshakeable beacon, ensuring that you're never caught off guard by economic downturns or unforeseen expenses.

They are the calm amidst the storm, offering peace of mind to retirees and would-be retirees alike. Join me as we delve into the multifaceted role of cash investments in retirement portfolios, highlighting how they can be effectively used to secure financial longevity, cushion risk, and facilitate smooth sailing into your golden year.

In this article, we will explore the most popular cash investment options, including high yield savings accounts, money market funds, brokered CDs versus bank CDs, fixed annuities, and treasury bills.


Cash and cash equivalents play a crucial role in investment portfolios, particularly during retirement. They provide essential liquidity and stability, allowing individuals to meet their short-term financial needs without relying solely on market-dependent assets. Cash investments offer a reliable source of funds for immediate expenses, emergencies, or unexpected events.

Additionally, they act as a cushion during market downturns, offering peace of mind and reducing the need to sell other investments at potentially unfavorable prices. By maintaining a portion of their portfolio in cash and cash equivalents, retirees can ensure they have a readily available and secure source of funds, fostering financial resilience and flexibility in their golden years.

As financial advisors, we often recommend that clients keep at least 12 months' worth of spending needs in cash or cash equivalents. This strategy is particularly important for retirees, but it can be beneficial for individuals at any stage of life.

Having a year's worth of expenses readily available can provide a significant safety net. It allows individuals to handle unexpected costs or emergencies without needing to sell investments at potentially unfavorable times. This can be especially valuable during periods of market volatility, as it reduces the need to withdraw from investments that may have decreased in value.


While cash investments offer stability and security, it's crucial to recognize that most people need to introduce some level of risk through exposure to stocks and bonds to combat the impact of inflation. Over time, inflation erodes the purchasing power of money. For instance, let's say someone has $10,000 in cash today. If the average inflation rate is 3% per year, after a decade, the equivalent purchasing power of that $10,000 would be reduced to approximately $7,440.

By allocating a significant portion of their portfolio to stocks and bonds, retirement investors can pursue the potential for higher returns that can outpace inflation and mitigate the loss in purchasing power. Although these investments carry some volatility, they provide the potential for long-term growth and can help individuals keep up with rising costs.


Cash investments in retirement in Dayton, Ohio


High yield savings accounts are a form of cash investment that offer higher interest rates than regular savings accounts. These accounts are typically offered by online banks, which can afford to pay higher rates because they have fewer overhead costs compared to brick-and-mortar banks. Your money is also federally insured up to $250,000, making it a very safe investment.

The primary advantage of a high yield savings account is its combination of security and accessibility. You can withdraw your money at any time without penalty, unlike with some other cash investments. The interest rate is variable, meaning it can change over time, but even if it decreases, you'll still earn some return on your money.


Money market funds are a type of mutual fund that invests in short-term, high-quality investments like Treasury bills and commercial paper. These funds aim to maintain a stable value of $1 per share, and while they don't have the federal insurance that a savings account does, they're still considered a low-risk investment.

The main advantage of money market funds over high yield savings accounts is that they sometimes offer higher yields, especially in a rising interest rate environment. However, they come with slightly more risk, as the fund's value could decrease if the investments it holds decline in value. They're a good option if you're looking for a place to park your cash that may offer higher returns than a savings account but still provides a high level of safety.

Another significant advantage of money market funds is their flexibility in terms of where they can be held. They can be included in various types of accounts, such as brokerage accounts or retirement accounts like an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a 401(k).

This flexibility makes money market funds an excellent option for investors who have excess cash in these accounts and want to keep it invested, but also want to maintain a low risk profile. Instead of leaving cash uninvested and potentially losing value due to inflation, placing it in a money market fund can provide some level of return while still being relatively safe and liquid.


Certificates of Deposit (CDs) are a type of cash investment where you agree to keep your money with the bank for a certain period, known as the term, in exchange for a fixed interest rate. They are a safe investment since they are also federally insured up to $250,000. There are two main types of CDs - brokered CDs and bank CDs.

Brokered CDs are bought and sold through brokerage firms. They often offer higher interest rates than bank CDs and come with more flexibility. If you need to withdraw your money before the end of the term, you can sell your brokered CD to someone else, although you may lose some money if the CD's value has decreased.

On the other hand, bank CDs are bought directly from a bank. If you withdraw your money before the end of the term, you'll pay an early withdrawal penalty. They often offer lower interest rates than brokered CDs, but the rates are fixed, so you know what your return will be.


Fixed annuities are a contract between you and an insurance company. You give the company a lump sum of money, and in return, they promise to pay you a certain amount of money periodically in the future. The payment could start immediately or at a specific future date, and it can last for a specific period or for the rest of your life.

Fixed annuities are a low-risk investment because your payments are guaranteed by the insurance company. However, they come with some downsides. There are often high fees associated with annuities, and if you need to withdraw your money early, you'll likely pay a hefty surrender charge. Moreover, if the insurance company goes bankrupt, you could lose your investment, although there are state guarantee associations that provide some level of protection. Also, the return on fixed annuities is generally lower than what you might get from investing in the stock market over the long term.

Fixed annuities can be a good option if you want a guaranteed income in retirement and don't want to worry about outliving your money. However, because of their limitations and costs, they're typically recommended as part of a diversified retirement strategy rather than a standalone investment.

Cash investments in retirement in Troy, Ohio


Treasury bills (or T-bills) are short-term securities issued by the U.S. government. They're sold at a discount to face value, and when they mature, you're paid the face value. The difference between the purchase price and the face value is your interest. For example, if you buy a $1,000 T-bill for $980, you'll earn $20 in interest when the T-bill matures.

T-bills are one of the safest investments you can make. They're backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, meaning there's virtually no risk of default. They're also highly liquid; you can buy and sell them easily in the secondary market.

The main downside of T-bills is their relatively low return, especially when compared to stocks or bonds. However, they can be a great option if you're looking for a safe, short-term investment for your cash.


Cash investments, while not as flashy as their stock or bond counterparts, serve a critical role in a diversified investment portfolio. They offer stability, security, and, in most cases, liquidity. Whether it's a high yield savings account, money market fund, CD, fixed annuity, or a Treasury bill, understanding these tools and their benefits can help you manage risk and achieve your financial goals.

Remember, however, that every investment strategy should be tailored to individual needs, risk tolerance, and financial goals. Always consider consulting with a financial advisor before making investment decisions to ensure they align with your overall financial plan.

👉 If you would like to get a FREE retirement assessment, click the link to schedule your 20-minute call to start the retirement assessment process.

Please note: Not all brokerage firms partner with federally insured banks; therefore, not all brokered CDs are FDIC insured.  For money market funds, you could lose money by investing in the Fund. Although the Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it cannot guarantee it will do so. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The Fund's sponsor has no legal obligation to provide financial support to the Fund, and you should not expect that the sponsor will provide financial support to the Fund at any time.

// new code add in home