What Is Short-Term Investments & How Does It Work?

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Short-term investments are easily convertible into cash. The duration of these investments ranges from one day to five years. These are high-quality investments that are also quite liquid. They are best suited to investors who have a limited grasp of risk and seek consistent returns. We go over the greatest short-term investment choices in depth in this article.

What exactly is a short-term investment?

Short-term investment options are marketable assets that can be converted into cash in less than five years. Furthermore, these short-term investments are typically utilised to store extra assets for a limited time. Because short-term assets are very liquid, investors use them to cover anticipated near-term expenses. Long-term investments are less dangerous than short-term ones. This is due to the fact that these investment products have a short duration and provide predictable returns.

High earning savings accounts, recurring deposits, debt funds, and government securities are just a few of the short-term investing alternatives. These are the most common short-term securities, with maturities ranging from a few months to one to two years. Other short-term investments with investment terms of up to five years include bank fixed deposits, post office time deposits, national savings certificates, and large-cap mutual funds.

Short-term investments could refer to financial assets shown on the balance sheet as current assets. These assets are considered short-term investments since they can be converted to cash within a year.

How does a short-term investment work?

Short-term investments are securities that can be converted to cash quickly. The basic purpose of both individual and corporate short-term investments is to protect money while also earning returns. Short-term investments provide better returns than traditional bank savings accounts. As a result, investors with excess cash can park them in these investments and receive a larger return. These assets are suitable for investors with a short investment horizon of one month to five years.

Short-term investment plans assist corporations in obtaining additional income to meet their working capital requirements. Companies with a healthy cash balance can afford to make short-term investments. Companies typically park their extra assets for periods ranging from one day to twelve months. All of their investments are very liquid and easily convertible into cash. Short-term investments are considered high-quality, low-risk investments since they provide predictable returns.

Furthermore, investors can park their excess capital to accomplish their short-term objectives. Investing in these schemes can help you achieve short-term goals like purchasing a car, going on a vacation, or purchasing jewellery. Rather than sitting on idle funds for a short period of time, one can invest in short-term investment plans and produce some returns.

Long-Term Investing vs. Short-Term Investing

Unlike long-term investments, which are intended to be purchased and held for at least a year, short-term investments are purchased with the expectation of being swiftly sold. Long-term investors are typically ready to endure higher levels of volatility or risk with the expectation that these “bumps” will gradually smooth out over time—as long as the investment is growing in a good direction, of course.

Long-term investments are also used by those who have the ability to save money and do not have pressing needs for it (such as to buy a car or a house).

Pros & Cons of Short-Term Investing


  • Gains from short-term investments are instantly reported on the income statement.
  • Short-term investments are less risky, making them more solid possibilities.
  • In the event of market instability, short-term investments can assist diversify income types.


  • Returns on short-term investments are often lower.
  • Any fall in the value of a short-term investment will have a direct impact on a company’s net income.

Short-Term Investment Examples

Corporations and individual investors commonly use the following short-term investments and strategies:

  1. Certificates of deposit (CDs): These deposits are often issued by banks and pay a higher interest rate because they lock up funds for a certain period of time. These intervals often range from a few months to five years. They are FDIC-insured up to a maximum of $250,000.
  2. Money market accounts: These FDIC-insured accounts offer higher returns than savings accounts, but they demand a minimum commitment. Remember that money market accounts are not the same as money market mutual funds, which are not FDIC-insured.
  3. Treasuries: These government-issued bonds come in a number of forms, including notes, bills, floating-rate notes, and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS).
  4. Bond funds: These funds, which are offered by professional asset managers/investment firms, are better for a shorter time frame and can provide better-than-average returns for the risk. Just keep the fees in mind.
  5. Municipal bonds: These bonds, issued by municipal, state, or non-federal government bodies, can provide higher returns and tax benefits because they are frequently excluded from income taxes.
  6. Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending: Excess funds can be invested in one of several lending platforms that connect borrowers and lenders.
  7. Roth IRAs: Individuals can benefit from the flexibility and range of investing opportunities provided by Roth IRAs. Contributions to Roth IRAs, but not gains, can be withdrawn at any time without penalty or tax consequences.

What Are the Most Profitable Short-Term Investments?

Short-term CDs, money market accounts, high-yield savings accounts, government bonds, and Treasury bills are some of the greatest short-term investment possibilities. To determine which is ideal for you, look at their current interest rates or rates of return.

Where Should I Invest for Six Months?

Six-month CDs, money market accounts, high-yield savings accounts, government bonds, and Treasury bills are all common short-term investment vehicles.

What Can You Invest in With a Small Budget?

Individuals with little financial resources have numerous possibilities. They can invest the funds in any investment that does not have a minimum balance requirement, such as some savings accounts, fractional shares of an index fund, or even cheaper stocks, bonds, and CDs.

In conclusion

Short-term investments can be excellent choices for individual individuals and organisations seeking both liquid and stable ways to develop their wealth. There are numerous options available, ranging from CDs to bonds and high-yield savings accounts; it is up to each individual to do their research.

Also Read: Understanding the Perks of Investing in Bonds and Debentures

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