Short-term Investment Plans in India

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While long-term investments are crucial for achieving significant financial goals like retirement, short-term investment plans are equally important. They help you achieve more immediate financial objectives, such as saving for a vacation, funding a wedding, or building an emergency fund. Short-term investments typically have a tenure of less than five years, and the ideal options should combine low risk with decent returns and high liquidity. This blog explores various short-term investment options available in India that can help you meet your near-term financial needs efficiently.

1. Liquid Funds

Liquid funds are a type of debt mutual fund that invests in very short-term market instruments like treasury bills, government securities, and call money. They are one of the safest investment options, providing higher returns than a savings bank account.

  • Pros: High liquidity; no lock-in period; safer than equity funds.
  • Cons: Returns are subject to market conditions, generally lower than long-term investment options.

2. Fixed Deposits (FDs)

Fixed Deposits are one of the most popular short-term investment options in India. Offered by banks, they provide investors with higher interest rates than saving accounts. FDs can be tailored in terms of the investment period, from a few weeks to a few years.

  • Pros: Fixed returns, safe investment as they are insured up to a certain amount by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).
  • Cons: Relatively lower liquidity as premature withdrawal may lead to a penalty and loss of interest.

3. Recurring Deposits (RDs)

Similar to fixed deposits, recurring deposits allow investors to deposit a fixed amount monthly into their RD account. Interest rates are similar to FDs and are an excellent option for individuals looking to save a small amount regularly.

  • Pros: Guaranteed returns, flexible tenure options.
  • Cons: Early withdrawal penalties; interest earned is taxable as per the individual's tax slab.

4. Short-Term Corporate Bond Funds

These funds invest in corporate bonds that are typically rated and have shorter maturities. They offer better returns than FDs and are suitable for investors willing to take a slight risk.

  • Pros: Higher returns compared to bank deposits; relatively safe if invested in high-rated bonds.
  • Cons: Risk of capital loss if the bond issuer defaults.

5. Arbitrage Funds

Arbitrage funds capitalize on the price difference in the cash and derivatives market to generate returns. They are considered safe because they are mostly risk-free as long as the arbitrage opportunity exists.

  • Pros: Lower tax on gains compared to other fixed-income investments if held for more than a year.
  • Cons: Returns depend on available arbitrage opportunities; may not be predictable.

6. Treasury Bills (T-Bills)

Issued by the government, treasury bills are a secure short-term investment. They are sold at a discount and redeemed at face value at maturity, which can range from a few days to a year.

  • Pros: Zero risk of default since they are backed by the government.
  • Cons: Available primarily through auctions, making access more complicated for individual investors.

7. Money Market Funds

Money market funds invest in highly liquid instruments, including treasury bills, commercial papers, and certificates of deposit. They offer reasonable returns and high liquidity, making them a good option for short-term investments.

  • Pros: High liquidity; suitable for parking large sums of money for short periods.
  • Cons: Returns can vary depending on interest rate movements in the economy.

Comparing These Short-Term Investment Options

There are various investment plans in India. For short-term investment options, below is the table of comparison for you to make an informed decision by doing a quick comparison.

Investment Option

Key Features


Potential Returns


Liquid Funds

Invest in short-term market instruments; high liquidity


Higher than savings accounts


Fixed Deposits (FDs)

Fixed tenure and interest rates; offered by banks

Very Low

Moderate, fixed

Low (penalty for early withdrawal)

Recurring Deposits (RDs)

Monthly deposits; fixed interest rates

Very Low

Moderate, fixed

Low (penalty for early withdrawal)

Short-Term Corporate Bond Funds

Invest in corporate bonds with shorter maturities

Moderate (credit risk)

Higher than FDs


Arbitrage Funds

Capitalize on pricing differential in markets


Variable, usually moderate


Treasury Bills (T-Bills)

Government-backed; sold at a discount, redeemed at face value

Very Low

Low to Moderate

High (post-auction)

Money Market Funds

Invest in highly liquid instruments





Choosing the right short-term investment plan depends on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs. Whether you are saving for a specific short-term goal or simply looking to park surplus funds safely, there are numerous options available in India. Each option comes with its own set of features, benefits, and risks, and understanding these can help you make an informed decision to optimize your financial strategy effectively.




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