Understanding Short-Term Funds: Learn About Their Liquidity and Stability

byjitendra7.singhLast Updated: March 15, 2024
Understanding Short-Term Funds- Learn About Their Liquidity and Stability

In today’s dynamic financial landscape, short-term funds have emerged as a valuable investment option for individuals seeking stability, liquidity, and capital preservation. These funds offer a range of benefits, making them an attractive choice for various types of investors.

Short-term funds, also known as short-term investments or money market funds, refer to investment vehicles that are designed to provide relatively low-risk and highly liquid investment options for a short duration of time. These funds primarily invest in short-term debt securities and other highly liquid instruments.

Continue reading through this blog to find out what are short-term funds, who should invest in these funds and why should one consider investing in short-term funds.

Key Features of Short-Term Funds

  • Investment duration: Short-term funds have a relatively short investment duration, typically ranging from 1 year to 3 years. They are suitable for investors who have a short-term investment horizon or who require quick access to their funds.
  • Low risk: Short-term funds are considered to have lower risk compared to longer-term investments. They focus on high-quality, low-risk debt instruments, such as government securities, treasury bills, certificates of deposit, and commercial paper. These investments generally have a short maturity period and are relatively stable in terms of value.
  • Liquidity: One of the primary features of short-term funds is their high level of liquidity. Investors can usually redeem their investments and access their funds quickly, often without any significant penalties or restrictions. This makes short-term funds suitable for individuals or organizations that require quick access to their capital.
  • Stable Net Asset Value (NAV): Short-term funds aim to maintain a stable net asset value per share, often set at a fixed value to ensure minimal fluctuations. While the NAV can still experience minor fluctuations, the goal is to keep the value relatively constant.
  • Income generation: Short-term funds generate income for investors through interest payments received on the underlying investments. The returns are typically modest but can vary based on prevailing interest rates and the composition of the fund’s portfolio.
  • Diversification: Short-term funds aim to diversify their investments across different issuers, sectors, and types of debt instruments. This diversification helps mitigate risk and maintain stability.

Who Should Invest in Short-Term Funds?

  • Individual investors: Individual investors who have short-term financial goals or who need quick access to their funds may find short-term funds attractive. For example, if you’re saving for a down payment on a house or planning a vacation in the near future, short-term funds can provide a stable and liquid investment option.
  • Conservative investors: Conservative investors who prioritize capital preservation and are risk-averse may find short-term funds appealing. These funds typically invest in low-risk debt instruments, offering a relatively stable investment option with minimal fluctuations in value.
  • Corporate treasuries: Corporate treasuries of businesses and organizations often seek short-term investment options for their surplus cash. Short-term funds provide a way to earn a modest return on excess funds while ensuring liquidity and capital preservation.
  • Institutional investors: Institutional investors, such as pension funds, endowments, and insurance companies, may allocate a portion of their portfolios to short-term funds. These funds can be used to manage cash flows, meet short-term financial obligations, and provide stability to the overall investment portfolio.
  • Risk mitigation: Investors who want to diversify their portfolios and reduce overall risk may include short-term funds as part of their investment strategy. By allocating a portion of their investments to short-term funds, investors can balance the risk-return profile of their portfolio, particularly if they have exposure to higher-risk assets like stocks or long-term bonds.

Why Should You Invest in Short-Term Funds?

There are several reasons why individuals may choose to invest in short-term funds:

  • Liquidity: Short-term funds offer high liquidity, meaning you can quickly access your funds when needed. If you have short-term financial goals or anticipate the need for cash in the near future, investing in short-term funds ensures that your money is readily available without any significant penalties or restrictions.
  • Capital preservation: Short-term funds typically invest in low-risk debt instruments, such as government securities and high-quality corporate bonds. These investments aim to preserve capital and provide stability to your portfolio. If you’re a conservative investor seeking to protect your principal while still earning some income, short-term funds can be an appropriate choice.
  • Stability: Short-term funds strive to maintain a stable net asset value (NAV) per share, usually set at a fixed value. While there may be minor fluctuations, the objective is to keep the value relatively constant. This stability can be attractive to investors who want to avoid the volatility associated with riskier assets like stocks or longer-term bonds.
  • Income generation: Although short-term funds focus on low-risk investments, they still generate income through interest payments on the underlying securities. While the returns may be modest compared to riskier assets, short-term funds can provide a steady stream of income. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who rely on investment income for their day-to-day expenses.
  • Risk diversification: Including short-term funds in your investment portfolio can help diversify risk. By spreading your investments across different asset classes and investment durations, you reduce the concentration of risk in any single investment. Short-term funds can provide a counterbalance to higher-risk assets, contributing to a more balanced and diversified portfolio.
  • Ease of management: Short-term funds are typically managed by professional investment managers who handle the selection and monitoring of the underlying securities. This relieves individual investors of the responsibility of researching and managing individual bonds or debt instruments. The convenience and expertise provided by short-term fund managers can be appealing to investors who prefer a hands-off approach to investment management.

Factors to Consider While Investing in Short-Term Funds

When investing in short-term funds, it’s important to consider several factors to make informed decisions. Here are some key factors to consider:


By investing in short-term funds, you can ensure quick access to your funds when needed, whether it’s for a short-term goal or an unexpected financial requirement. The focus on low-risk debt instruments provides capital preservation, shielding your investment from significant fluctuations. Additionally, short-term funds offer stability, with a maintained net asset value per share that minimizes volatility.

For conservative investors and those looking to diversify their portfolio, short-term funds provide an opportunity to balance risk and return. By allocating a portion of your investments to short-term funds, you can mitigate risk and create a more well-rounded portfolio. Whether you’re an individual investor with short-term goals, a corporate treasury managing excess cash, or an institutional investor seeking liquidity, short-term funds can serve as a reliable and effective investment avenue.


What is the typical investment duration for short-term funds?

Short-term funds generally have an investment duration ranging 1 year to 3 years. However, the specific duration can vary depending on the fund and its investment strategy.

Are short-term funds considered safe investments?

Short-term funds are generally considered relatively safe investments due to their focus on low-risk debt instruments. However, it's important to note that no investment is entirely risk-free. While short-term funds aim to preserve capital and maintain stability, there is still a small degree of risk involved.

How liquid are short-term funds?

Short-term funds are designed to offer high liquidity, allowing investors to access their funds quickly and easily. In most cases, you can redeem your investment and receive your funds within a short period of time, often without significant penalties or restrictions.

Can short-term funds provide regular income?

Short-term funds can generate income through interest payments on the underlying investments. However, the income generated by short-term funds is typically modest compared to other higher-yielding investments. Investors seeking regular income may need to consider other options, such as longer-term bonds or dividend-paying stocks.

What returns can I expect from short-term funds?

Short-term funds aim to provide modest returns while prioritizing capital preservation. The exact returns can vary depending on factors such as prevailing interest rates and the composition of the fund's portfolio. It's important to set realistic expectations as short-term funds generally offer lower returns compared to higher-risk investments like stocks or longer-term bonds.

Can I lose money in short-term funds?

While short-term funds are generally considered low-risk investments, there is still a possibility of losing some or all of your investment. Factors such as changes in interest rates or credit risks associated with the underlying securities can impact the value of the fund. However, the risk of losing principal in short-term funds is typically lower compared to riskier investments.

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