Isk vs Assets - where's the sweet spot?

What is the prevailing market theory in Eve for “best” ratio of cash to assets to aim for ?

Is it something nominal, like a quarter (or other number) of all assets should be cash?

Or, is it more fundamentally linked to style of gameplay ? For example, to avoid flying something you can’t afford to lose, is it more appropriate to hold 10x cost of most expensive ship in liquid funds?

This obviously depends on an individual’s appetite for risk and whether they take a “just in time” approach to replacing assets. If not, having two if not three of every ship might be a better option than holding isk? (And also a better hedge against inflated prices - such as industry changes might bring?)

Just curios.

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That’s probably where the answer lies.

In practice you are going to get a lot of opinions on this - and knowing the usual suspects it’ll be “opinions stated as absolutes” and degenerate into a shouting match. Which the question doesn’t deserve.

From my side, because I live close to trading hubs, I tend to hold cash (highly liquid asset) rather than holding assets for investment - though I do that as well.
Eve doesn’t have a good framework for cash investment - so I’m going to be a victim of inflation. I have made investments where they relate to my industrial work (I’ve only just finished working through all the Morphite I bought at 10k ISK, it’s currently 70k…).

Ultimately this is a liquidity question. I find liquid assets (cash) to be more useful for my game play and life in Eve. For example, when one of our hi-sec stations was threatened I couldn’t make the timers. But I could buy the defence fleet and provide SRP for the operation. That is easier with deep pockets of cash.

The upside of holding assets rather than cash is they can appreciate relative to the value of an ISK. If you pick the asset right. In the real world that’s what fund managers do (they do me alright) and what you pay them for (no comment). But in Eve either you have to trust someone absolutely or you become your own asset manager. And your appetite for Risk.
You’ll get a lot of investment opinion in this thread as well.

Anyway, that’s my opinion. I ain’t going to argue the toss on it - it’s a style and approach I’m comfortable with. I’m happy if others have different opinions. It don’t make them right for me any more than my opinion is right for them.

@Hariet - there’s no right or wrong here, just what works for you. Just please don’t put all your worth in one ship and undock with it. That loss will hurt - that’s what is meant by don’t fly what you can’t afford to loose.


Splitting into 3 similar stacks: isk, plex, items will get you covered for most changes in economy. It’s not most efficient but quite safe. But unless you have at least few billions of is laying around, doing nothing. You shouldn’t be really bothered.

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That’s a fair summary from @Lis_Torin . I think that for most players, where they are looking at modest sums, investments and worrying about the future is probably less important than keeping the day-to-day stable.

It’s “what ever works for you and what you are comfortable with”.


With 100B in different assets and 100b in cash you are on the safe side.


None of us have the investment acumen of Felicity Foresight (look her up on Google if you’re interested) so we’ll generally do better if we diversify our portfolio.

PLEX has been a good hedge against inflation for most of Eve history but, we’ve experienced deflation for the past year as CCP imposes scarcity. If you expect inflation to return, PLEX at current prices should be a good investment.

Assets have rarely been a good investment - Eve is a fungible commodity market and, until recently, there has been unlimited supply of virtually everything. Exceptions are preannounced (or anticipated) changes to the game - like the current bill of material changes for battleships and capital ships. This is largely speculation rather than investment - we have no idea what the end state will be when CCP finishes their ecosystem rebalance.

My recommendation is to hold the assets you use, hold the ISK you need to support your playstyle and put the rest in PLEX. Whatever the exchange rate between ISK and PLEX - the real-world value of PLEX is constant - you will always be able to use it for game time or NES purchases.

There have been times when I had almost all assets and zero ISK in my wallet.

Usually for PVP I buy and fit ships in stacks. 5, 10, 20 etc. (Even relatively expensive ones) So if I lose something I have multiple replacements ready to go. I also like to have caches of several ship types in many different PVP locations so I can quickly swap into the right tool for the job wherever I might be. I also buy lots of fire sale contacts and end up with random ships that I refit and use.

I pretty much never look at my wallet/asset balance because it doesn’t matter. I only care to have enough liquid ISK to pay the up front fees for market transactions I might want to make in the upcoming month. So imagine about a trillion in assets and keeping 30 million to 10 billion ISK liquid lol and the higher the ISK goes the more likely I’ll spend it all.

My assets are a mess, I dump them there where I loot it or where it’s most convenient, and forget about. The good thing, I can restock consumables or if I need an extra scram or analyzer in almost all lowsec systems with station. :slight_smile:

Production is just-in-time, I don’t stock pile in general only for speculation or what I need to replace often. Hence my active wealth is in ISK, and I have enough to supply my playstyle for decades.

When I realized that many players in eve just use a cheap ship to succeed in eve. I decided to play broke and just try to survive.:sweat_smile: i just use the isk i earn to have an omega discount or to buy skill injectors.

I guess it depends on your uses for isk. If you’re a trader you want as little cash as possible and invest as much as possible into orders or stashed good you expect to become more expensive.

If you’re not a trader then it all matters far less. In my case I use my income to buy skill injectors and “only” keep 1 bil as pocket money incase my pve ship explodes.

Beyond that it depends if you see your isk/wallet as a goal or not or some kind of measurement of success and growths.

In other words: unless you’re a trader it really doesn’t matter and is thus personal preference.

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I probably only ever have like 1-10% in isk, then enough plex for 1-2 months. I mostly just trade on arbitrage, having more liquid would help me take advantage of other opportunities, but I like to keep it simple and just keep flipping. Anything I fly anywhere near regularly I probably have a few backups of. But I also have a bunch of random valuable illiquid assets.

For a new player I’d assume you want to be saving up for whatever you want to do next. Then keep a few backup options. As you grow you can figure out how you want to split it.

Depends a lot on if you think you’ll need large sums of money ready to go, and if you’re worried about inflation.

If you’re like me and routinely buy huge values and volumes of goods to make profit off of via market arbitrage, you’ll want a lot of ISK on standby to make those purchases, but the rest can be assets that you think will appreciate in value over time, to not only serve as an investment but also to protect against inflation, which slowly makes your ISK worth less than it was before. Do note however that no investment in eve is certain to give a return, and a good strategy may be to invest in multiple items to reduce the chance of getting ruined by 1 item losing all its value.

If, on the other hand, you don’t need to have much liquid ISK on hand and just make ISK in ways that don’t scale with liquid ISK, like abyssals, incursions, most pve, you can invest much more into assets you think will go up in value.

All in all, it’s down to how much ISK you wanna have available to use immediately, how worried you are about inflation, and how well you think you can guess what investments will pay off or atleast retain value over inflation. If you don’t care about inflation and don’t trust yourself to make wise investments, you can hold onto as much liquid ISK as you want. Otherwise, I’d suggest finding something you think will rise in value over time.

Remember, NO investment is certain to work well. TONS of people got burned hard when PLEX started falling in value throughout 2020, and now it’s down massively since its peak.

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For we are in the New Player section: It doesn’t matter.
All a Newbro makes in ISK the first weeks is not worth any intensive reallocation or liquidation.
Your wallet is safe and always available, so is your PLEX vault.

Depends on what you’re doing in EVE I suppose.

I personally have my ISK and assets split like this:

  • ships in hangar for all the activities I regularly do, and a couple spares of the cheap ones that I regularly lose
  • enough liquid ISK to be able to buy some replacements when my medium tier ships explode (t2 cruisers, a few hundred million ISK).
  • barely enough ISK to replace my most valuable assets if they explode, but I don’t require those ships to make more ISK so there is no big issue when those explode

You don’t need to have enough liquid ISK to replace your most expensive ship right away, as lomg as you know how to make ISK without that ship.

Answers have been (much) more disappointing and also more interesting than expected. I thought (hoped?) there would be some sort of RL mkt theory, blended with either game theory or separate pixellated realities? Sadly, no.

That was the way I was going. However, it was also interfering with life as a self-starter.

I have, since posting this question, made my first 5 B isk in EvE and also lost my first 5 ships. That isk was nett of losses and assets, so I just reinvested the isk in SP and have started accumulating again.

This is a (loosely) PVE version of approach of @Algathas, re their stacking PvP assets and running isk-lean. It is also method of @Neo_Bladedrifter, altho I am not looking to ever swap SP purchases for omega purchases.

This was the most interesting bit - PLEX. Hadn’t even considered that. It is not in my inventory yet, but is probably going to be via the “equation” suggested by @Do_Little.

Prob true, but this is EvE … what would be the point at that stage? Nothing to lose but also nothing to gain?? Just asking.

At that point, you have enough assets to stop worrying about assets and just focus on having fun?

Or, buy an AT ship and start worrying again while you fly it. :grin:

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What’s an AT ship?

Special edition ships from Alliance Tournaments. Very rare, limited, powerful and often worth hundreds of billions of ISK.

So if you have a couple hundred billion of ISK and you want to feel ‘the point’ of EVE again by flying something significant to lose, pick some of the more expensive ships from this list:

Thnx for that. Not a mining ship to be seen in the list. Altho, those miasmos variants look interesting.

I take your general point, that with escalation eg thro to capitals and supercarriers etc (never mind AT) that even 100 B isk might be a lesser reserve than I currently anticipate.

However, I am running an experiment of training alpha-only skills. So, the anticipation is also of a hard ceiling. With a terminus for escalation. Which is also partly the interest in isk vs assets as I (eventually?) approach some form of steady-state.

The nice thing about EVE is that everyone can find their own point of value they want to risk based on how much ISK they make, and how often they lose ships.

You can make 20 million ISK per day and lose multiple ships per day.

You can make tens of billions a month and lose one very expensive ship each month. Or lots of cheaper ones.

T1 frigates, officer modules, abyssal officer modules, pirate capital ships… no matter how much ISK you have, you can easily spend it.

There is no ISK reserve that is optimal, unless you put a limit to what you fly, then there is an amount of ISK that can make you feel comfortable losing ships.

In my case: I mostly use T2 fits on T2 frigates and cruisers and have enough ISK to afford replacing a couple.

And then there’s hauling - if you live in a region where not everything is directly available on the market, or if you use specific abyssal modules for your fits, you can have all the ISK you need and still not be comfortable when you lose your ship because of the time it takes to get another fit ship.

In that case you may want to buy those modules that aren’t readily available in your region in bulk, and store them as assets instead of ISK.

All the modules and ships I need are usually available on the market, so I rarely have spare modules and only buy what I directly need.