New to Investment Firms?


Already have an account?

What Are Wasting Assets?

Wasting assets are assets that decrease in value over time. In financial terms, wasting assets can be classified as options contracts. This is because option contracts eventually lose all value by expiration. They can also be classified as property, vehicles and equipment. 

Basics of Assets 

Things owned that hold monetary value are considered assets. During the phase of productivity, assets typically produce revenue. Once the asset has depreciated enough in value, it reaches its limit on productivity.

What Is a Fixed Asset?

A fixed asset is property that exceeds a one year period. However, fixed assets are not looked to be resold immediately. The most common types of fixed assets are building, land, furniture, software, etc. 

As assets face depreciation, the value of these assets decline. This is due to its net book value which subtracts from accumulated depreciation over time. While land is a fixed asset that can increase in value, most fixed assets will depreciate over a period of time. 

What Are Appreciating Assets?

In comparison to most assets, appreciating assets increase in value over time. Assets appreciate from supply and demand but can also increase in value from increased interest rates.

For example, property is usually bought as an appreciating asset since owners can add value to the home. This allows the owners sell for more than what they originally paid. Those who buy appreciating assets expect them to go up in value. 

These are the common most types of appreciating assets. 

Real estate: 

Most real estate appreciates in value over time from a number of factors. From development in the area that increases value, or value put into properties that increases value from the original state. 

Publicly traded stock: 

Even though a stock’s movement can be heavily predicted, investors are able to grow assets by using a variety of strategies. The biggest challenge to stock is the lack of guarantee on when or by how much share prices will increase. 

Retirement/ saving accounts:

Savings accounts are the most secure avenue to appreciate assets. High yield savings accounts offer interest payments which can vary on average from 1%-3%. 

What Are Depreciating Assets?

Depreciating assets are assets that decrease in value over time. Unfortunately, it is often that the value of an asset will begin to decline as soon as it is purchased. An example of this could be vehicles since they are a depreciating asset. Those who buy depreciating assets do not buy to invest, but to use for productivity. 


Unfortunately, once a vehicle is driven off the lot, the vehicle’s value immediately starts to depreciate. Vehicles increase in productivity over time while the value decreases. 


Over its useful life, equipment will eventually hit the end of its net book value. When this happens, owners are no longer to use the equipment as write offs on taxes end will most likely need frequent repairs to the equipment to continue to profit from it. 

How Do Wasting Assets Work?

As we previously stated, wasting assets typically have limited lifespans with, since they decline in value over time. When using the term wasting assets in trading, options contracts are the most common type. Options contracts at expiration lose all but its intrinsic value. 

What Is a Wasting Asset Used for?

Many options traders can use time decay to take advantage of wasting assets. For example, the buyer or seller of an option contract can profit from holding on to a contract until expiration if it expires worthless. In this case they would collect the premium. 

What Is a Useful Life?

Useful life is defined as the amount of time an asset can be properly used for. Meaning, the more frequent an asset is used, the faster its value depreciates. An asset’s useful life starts when the asset first begins productivity. Companies can continue to use these assets even after it has zero book value left. 

How Does Useful Life Work?

Understanding useful life is extremely important for businesses. This is because an asset’s useful life can be used to calculate its depreciation. For example, say John buys a new laptop for $500 with the belief the laptop will last for 4-5 years without slowing down. This means the laptop has a useful life of about 4-5 years before becoming traded for a new item.

What Is an Example of a Wasting Asset?

So, what’s an example of a wasting asset? Wasting assets have useful lives that are based upon productivity. When assets depreciate, this time period is known as the wasting asset period.

Why Do Wasting Assets Matter?

So why do wasting assets matter to investors? Wasting assets is important because it defines that most assets are set to depreciate. Investors face depreciation in the capital market when employing contracts.

Wasting assets are a good investment for individuals and businesses since they produce and can lead to increased revenue. It’s important to note that once an asset is purchased it will begin depreciating into a wasting asset. Those looking to purchase wasting assets much first determine if the upfront cost and initial investment is worth the useful lifespan.

Benefits & Disadvantages of Wasting Assets

Wasting assets is always a negative. Many times, wasting assets can bring profit to a business. Here are some common benefits and disadvantages to wasting assets. 


  • Tax deduction 
    • Wasting assets are beneficial to companies when tax savings are generated. Wasting assets include depreciation expense which can be later on used as a tax deduction. With increased depreciation expense companies will have less taxable income to pay. 
  • Asset valuation 
    • Wasting values can help companies determine their netbook value. Wasting assets when correctly tracked will decrease in value over time. This allows for companies to accurately determine how much longer the asset should be used or invested into before replacing. 


  • Lower future deductions 
    • There is a limit to how much an asset can help companies lower income tax. There are no systems in place to include higher tax deductions when assets accelerate in depreciate. These systems do not create a larger tax deduction. The higher upfront depreciation deduction from these systems comes at the expense of a lower deduction in the future.
    • By accelerating your business’s deductions, you will have fewer options in the future to reduce your taxes when your business may be in a higher tax bracket.
  • Asset aging 
    • Assets will face depreciation and will begin to show signs of wear and tear. This leads to individuals and or companies to buy replacements and spend money within set timeframes to benefit from wasting assets. Like mentioned earlier, wasting assets should be looked at as an expensive and not an investment. 

How Does Time Decay Affect Wasting Assets?

Time decay can be defined as the rate of decline based on time. It allows companies to determine how long an asset is valuable and what the carrying value is over the asset’s lifespan.

Time decay can also be paired with depreciation. If individuals and or companies understand the amount of time an asset brings in revenue vs when it loses all book value. They can then justify expenses on wasting assets. 

Are All Wasting Assets Negatives?

Wasting assets are used by almost all individuals and companies. Most assets you can think of depreciate in value from the passing of time and usage. Investors should be aware of which assets lose value completely. Businesses should invest in long term assets that are easy sustainable. While all wasting assets do lose value, they are worth investing into as they bring in profits and help individuals and businesses reach goals. 

Did you know that financial advisors help you in reaching your financial goals? Investing can be beneficial and sustainable with the right strategies in place. Learn how a financial advisor can help you make smart investments decisions today.