DEFINITION of 'Target Cash Balance'

The ideal amount of cash that a company wishes to hold in reserve at any given point in time. This figure hopes to strike a balance between the investment opportunity costs of holding too much cash and the balance sheet costs of holding too little. Companies with excess cash on hand may be missing out on investment opportunities, while companies that are cash poor can often be forced to make otherwise undesirable transactions to free up more operating capital.

BREAKING DOWN 'Target Cash Balance'

It is wise for individual investors to set their own target cash balance as well. Through portfolio management and clearly defined financial goals, investors can at least approximate what percentage of their holdings should be in cash to avoid the pitfalls listed above.

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