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Updated January 16, 2021

What is a War Chest?

A war chest is the cash set aside to deal with unexpected changes in a business environment or to take advantage of a sudden opportunity.

How Does a War Chest Work?

Uncertainties, unexpected events and opportunities occur regularly in business environments.  In most cases, these events cost money or jeopardize revenues. The ability of a business to handle these unexpected cash needs may mean the difference between success and failure, between new growth and missed opportunities. For example, a business may use a war chest to attempt a takeover of a competitor.  

Companies may accumulate cash in a reserve account to handle such contingencies. This cash account, which may be invested in short term and liquid investments, is referred to as a "war chest."

Why Does a War Chest Matter?

A company may consider that its ability to quickly borrow cash to handle a contingency is a critical element of its cash management process. The events that cause the need for the cash unexpectedly may create a difficulty for the business in borrowing from a lender.   

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Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 2 million monthly readers.

If you have a question about War Chest, then please ask Paul.

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