Definition of Inventory
For companies: Raw materials, items available for sale or in the process of being made ready for sale. They can be individually valued by several different means, including cost or current market value, and collectively by FIFO (First in, first out), LIFO (Last in, first out) or other techniques. The lower value of alternatives is usually used to preclude overstating earnings and assets. For securities firms: Securities bought and held by a broker or dealer for resale.