In addition to serving as a medium of exchange and as a measure of value, money is a store of value; it embodies value in a convenient form for future use or for conveyance from place to place. In early times people found it desirable to conceal their possessions from robbers or unjust tax masters. They were best able to do this by converting their wealth into money or jewels which could be condensed into the smallest bulk or weight. Money embodies value in its most general form. It is always acceptable, and among all articles it is the one thing which can be kept indefinitely without loss. It is therefore a good storer of value.
In modern times, however, when law and government guarantee to every man the secure possession of his property, there is little excuse for this hoarding; and money does not now perform any unique service as a store of value. Indeed, money is not as good a storer of value as some other forms of wealth. Money hoarded brings in no return, no income; but if invested in stocks, bonds, real estate, or grain it yields a profit. So men keep as a store habitually only as much money as they expect to need for immediate use.
1 Nicholson: Money and Monetary Problems, p. 10; see also Walker: Money in Its Relation to Trade, p. 27.