Many people say their house is the greatest asset they got and also their largest investment. In the most cases their car is the second greatest asset they got and they are really proud of it. But are these thing really assets? Unfortunately I have to say the in most cases they aren´t they are liabilities and the reason for that fact is that they absorb your money like a sponge. For example a car has many extra costs gas, taxes, repairs and so on, also a house needs very much money for energy, repairs to say nothing of the price you have to pay to buy it. So when you want to become rich it´s very important to know the difference between an asset and a liability.
Asset = Money into your pocket
An asset puts money into your pocket, an asset should generate income on a regular basis. The traditional definition of an asset is anything that you own is worth something-that could be “turned into money” if you needed it to be. Look around your room. Is there anything that might be worth something? You probably have more than you think… a computer, a TV, a cell phone? Skis? Your assets also technically include the balance in any bank accounts in your name, or the current value stocks bonds that you have your wallet.
But here´s the catch: While might consider everything of value in your room an “asset” (because you could sell it for decent money on eBay), it´s not really an asset until it is sold. Why? Because it´s not putting any money into your pocket until then. (And then, it´s not longer an asset because it not longer belongs to you!) Same thing goes for cash in your wallet, your cash is not secretly reproducing itself, putting more money into your pocket. But there are places other than your wallet where cash “reproduces itself”- when it´s invested in assets that give you a passive portfolio income. Anything you own that produced passive portfolio income is an asset.
Liabilities = Money out of your pocket
Liabilities are the opposite of assets. Liabilities take money out of your pocket. In fact, a lot of things mentioned above- the TV or computer in your room that that might traditionally be considered “assets”-are actually liabilities right now, because it took money out of your pocket just to get them. And many of them, when converted to cash, would give you back less money than you would pay for them. So just if the value of your house or your car grows more than you pay for it you can call it an asset.
Source: Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens