Cash and cash equivalents are the most liquid assets found within the asset portion of a company's balance sheet. Cash equivalents are assets that are readily convertible into cash, such as money market holdings, short-term government bonds or Treasury bills, marketable securities and commercial paper. Cash equivalents are distinguished from other investments through their short-term existence; they mature within 3 months whereas short-term investments are 12 months or less, and long-term investments are any investments that mature in excess of 12 months. Another important condition a cash equivalent needs to satisfy is that the investment should have insignificant risk of change in value; thus, common stock cannot be considered a cash equivalent, but preferred stock acquired shortly before its redemption date can be.