8 Best Short-term Investment Plans with High Returns in India

8 Best Short-term Investment Plans with High Returns in India


  • Bank Fixed Deposits (FDs) and Treasury Bills (T-Bills) offer guaranteed returns with low risk, making them suitable for conservative investors prioritizing safety and liquidity.
  • Recurring Deposits (RDs), Short-term Mutual Funds (Debt Funds), and Short-term Bonds provide moderate returns with moderate risk, appealing to investors seeking diversification and stable income streams.
  • Short-term Share/Stock Investment (1 to 3 months) and Crypto Investments offer potentially high returns but come with significant risk and market volatility, suitable for high-risk investors with a large risk appetite.


*While the specific figures may vary depending on the financial institution and current market conditions, the data for potential ROI (Return on Investment) provided in the table is based on general industry benchmarks and can be found from a variety of sources. (Reserve Bank of India: https://rbi.org.in/, AMFI – Association of Mutual Funds in India: https://www.amfiindia.com/, CoinMarketCap: https://coinmarketcap.com/)


While the stock market remains a cornerstone of many investment strategies, alternative options are gaining traction. Intrigued by the potential for quick and potentially high returns, many investors are exploring short-term investment opportunities, particularly in the burgeoning Indian market, which recently outshone Hong Kong as the 7th largest market globally.


This article goes deep into short-term investing, offering valuable insights for those seeking to navigate the traditional market. But before diving in, keep in mind the diverse landscape of investment options available, each catering to different risk appetites and goals.




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Short-term investments are financial instruments with a maturity period of less than a year. These plans offer investors the advantage of liquidity, allowing them to easily convert their investments into cash when needed. 


This feature makes them suitable for individuals with short-term financial goals such as:


  • Building an emergency fund
  • Funding upcoming expenses like travel or education
  • Saving for a down payment on a house or car
  • Parking surplus funds for a short period



Characteristics of Short-term Investments


  • Lower Risk: Compared to long-term investments, short-term options generally carry lower risk due to their shorter investment horizon. This translates to a lower potential for significant losses in the market.
  • High Liquidity: Short-term investments are highly liquid, meaning you can easily access your invested capital without incurring significant penalties. This facilitates flexibility in managing your finances and meeting unexpected needs.
  • Moderate Returns: While short-term investments offer lower risk, they also tend to generate lower returns compared to long-term investment options like stocks or real estate.



Short-term Investments: Key Considerations


  • Minimum Investment: Understand the starting investment amount needed for your chosen option. These amounts vary across different short-term investments.
  • Your Goal: Are you aiming to grow your money, generate income, or both? Match your investment choices to your financial objectives.



Short-term Investment Options in India


The Indian market offers a variety of short-term investment options, including savings accounts, fixed deposits (FDs), recurring deposits (RDs), National Savings Certificates (NSCs), liquid mutual funds, and debt funds. Each of these options caters to different investor needs and risk appetites.


In the next part, we will go deeper into some of the most popular short-term investment plans available in India, explaining their characteristics, potential returns, and suitability for different investor profiles.




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1. Recurring Deposits (RDs)


RDs are offered by banks and post offices, allowing individuals to invest a fixed amount of money periodically over a chosen time frame. This inculcates a disciplined savings habit and ensures a steady flow of returns. RDs offer competitive interest rates, generally ranging from 5.5% to 7.5% per annum, depending on the bank, investment tenure, and individual profile. The maturity period for RDs can range from 6 months to 10 years.


  • Benefits of RDs:
  1. Regular Savings: Encourages a habit of consistent saving, making it suitable for individuals building an emergency fund or saving for specific goals.
  2. Guaranteed Returns: Offers predictable and assured returns, minimizing the risk of loss.
  3. Flexible Investment Amounts: Individuals can choose their preferred monthly installment amount, making RDs accessible to a wider range of investors.
  • Potential Returns: RDs offer competitive interest rates, typically in the range of 5.5% to 7.5% per annum. The exact return depends on the factors mentioned earlier (bank, tenure, profile).
  • Suitability: RDs are suitable for risk-averse investors seeking a safe and steady way to grow their savings. They are ideal for short-term financial goals or inculcating a habit of regular saving.


2. Bank Fixed Deposits (FDs)


FDs are another popular short-term investment option offered by banks and financial institutions. You invest a lump sum amount for a predetermined period, typically ranging from 7 days to 10 years. The bank offers a fixed interest rate on the invested amount, payable at maturity or periodically depending on the chosen option. Interest rates for FDs generally fall within the range of 4.5% to 8.5% per annum, depending on the bank, tenure, and individual profile.


  • Benefits of FDs:
  1. High Liquidity: Investors can opt for liquid FDs that offer greater flexibility to withdraw their funds before maturity, albeit at a slightly lower interest rate.
  2. Guaranteed Returns: Similar to RDs, FDs offer predictable and assured returns, minimizing the risk of capital loss.
  3. Tailored Options: Banks offer various FD schemes catering to specific needs. Here are two common examples:

          Senior Citizen FDs: Offer higher interest rates for retirees.

         Tax-Saving FDs: Come with a lock-in period (typically 5 years) but offer tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.


  • Potential Returns: FD interest rates typically range from 4.5% to 8.5% per annum, depending on the factors mentioned earlier.
  • Suitability: FDs are suitable for risk-averse investors seeking a safe and predictable way to grow their savings for short-term goals or emergencies. They are also a good option for those who cannot invest a fixed amount regularly (unlike RDs).


3. Treasury Bills (T-Bills)


T-Bills are short-term debt instruments issued by the Indian government. They are considered highly secure as they are backed by the government, offering minimal risk of default. T-Bills have fixed maturity periods of 91 days, 182 days, and 364 days, and investors earn interest in the form of a discount on the face value of the T-Bill. The discount rate is determined through an auction process, and the effective yield typically falls within the range of 4.0% to 6.0% per annum.


  • Benefits of T-Bills:
  1. Sovereign Guarantee: T-Bills are considered virtually risk-free due to the government’s backing, making them ideal for investors seeking guaranteed returns with minimal risk.
  2. High Liquidity: T-Bills can be sold in the secondary market before maturity, providing investors with some level of liquidity.
  3. Low Investment Amount: The minimum investment amount for T-Bills is relatively low, making them accessible to a wider range of investors.
  • Potential Returns: The return on T-Bills is determined by the discount rate at auction and typically falls within the range of 4.0% to 6.0% per annum.
  • Suitability: T-Bills are suitable for risk-averse investors seeking a safe and secure way to park their money for short periods. They are also a good option for investors nearing retirement who prioritize capital preservation over high returns.


Next, we will explore additional short-term investment options like short-term shares/stocks, short-term mutual funds/debt funds, high-yield savings accounts, short-term bonds, and crypto investments, discussing their features, potential risks and rewards, and suitability for various investor profiles.


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4. Short-term Share/Stock Investment


Investing in short-term stocks involves buying and selling shares of companies listed on the stock exchange within a short timeframe, aiming to capitalize on short-term market movements and fluctuations. This option offers the potential for high returns, but it also carries increased risk compared to other short-term investment options.


  • Benefits:
  1. Greater Control: Unlike some investment options, short-term stock trading allows investors to actively manage their portfolio and make decisions based on market movements. This sense of control can be appealing to investors who want a more hands-on approach to growing their money.
  2. Potential for Diversification: Short-term stock investments can be used to diversify a portfolio beyond traditional assets like bonds and fixed deposits. This can help mitigate risk and provide exposure to potentially high-growth opportunities.
  • Potential Returns: The potential returns in short-term stock investments can be significantly higher, ranging from 5% to 20% or even more within a short period. However, it is crucial to remember that these returns are not guaranteed and can be volatile, with the possibility of experiencing losses as well.
  • Suitability: Short-term stock investments are generally suitable for investors with a higher risk tolerance who possess a strong understanding of the stock market and are comfortable with actively managing their investments. Additionally, this option might not be ideal for individuals with short-term financial goals as market fluctuations can be unpredictable.


5. Short-term Mutual Funds/Debt Funds


Short-term mutual funds, also known as debt funds, are professionally managed investment vehicles that pool money from various investors and invest in a diversified portfolio of fixed-income securities like bonds, treasury bills, and commercial papers. These funds offer moderate returns while maintaining relatively lower risk compared to individual stock investments.


  • Benefits:
  1. Diversification: Short-term debt funds provide instant diversification by investing in a basket of fixed-income securities. This reduces risk compared to investing in a single bond or company.
  2. Professional Management: Debt funds are managed by experienced professionals who research and select securities, saving investors time and effort required for individual security selection.
  3. Liquidity: Many short-term debt funds are highly liquid, allowing investors to easily redeem their investments for cash, if needed, depending on the specific fund features.
  • Potential Returns: Short-term debt funds typically offer returns ranging from 4% to 8% per annum, providing a balance between potential growth and risk mitigation.
  • Suitability: Short-term debt funds are suitable for investors seeking stable and predictable returns with lower risk compared to direct stock investments. They can be a good option for individuals with short-term financial goals and a moderate risk tolerance.


6. High-yield Savings Accounts


High-yield savings accounts, offered by various banks and online financial institutions, provide a safe and convenient way to store your money while earning interest. These accounts typically offer significantly higher interest rates compared to traditional savings accounts, making them an attractive option for parking your cash and generating some returns.


  • Benefits:
  1. High Liquidity: Funds are readily accessible, allowing for easy withdrawal without penalty. This makes them ideal for emergency savings or short-term goals.
  2. Minimal Risk: Considered a low-risk investment option due to deposit insurance offered by the government (up to a certain limit). This minimizes the risk of losing your principal investment.
  3. Flexibility: High-yield savings accounts offer a flexible way to save. They can be used for various purposes, including building an emergency fund, accumulating funds for short-term goals, or simply parking surplus cash that you might need in the near future.
  • Potential Returns: High-yield savings accounts offer competitive interest rates, typically ranging from 3% to 6% per annum. However, it’s important to remember that these returns can fluctuate depending on market conditions and the specific bank or institution.
  • Suitability: High-yield savings accounts are ideal for individuals seeking minimal risk and easy access to their funds while still earning some interest on their investment. However, the potential returns are generally lower compared to other short-term investment options.


7. Short-term Bonds


Short-term bonds are debt instruments issued by various entities like companies and government agencies with a maturity period of 1 to 3 years. They offer fixed interest rates and are considered less volatile compared to stocks.


  • Benefits:
  1. Steady Income: Short-term bonds provide regular interest payments at predetermined intervals, offering a predictable income stream for investors.
  2. Lower Risk than Stocks: Compared to stocks, short-term bonds are generally less volatile and susceptible to market fluctuations. This makes them a good option for risk-averse investors seeking capital preservation with some potential for growth.
  3. Manageable Maturity: With maturities ranging from 1 to 3 years, short-term bonds offer a good balance between locking in your investment and having access to your funds within a reasonable timeframe. This can be suitable for short-term financial goals.
  • Potential Returns: Short-term bonds typically offer returns ranging from 4.5% to 7.0% per annum, providing a balance between potential growth and stability.
  • Suitability: Short-term bonds can be suitable for investors seeking higher returns than savings accounts while maintaining moderate risk. They offer a good option for individuals with a short-term investment horizon and a moderate risk tolerance.


8. Crypto Investments


Cryptocurrency has emerged as a new and potentially lucrative short-term investment option, especially in India. However, it is crucial to understand that cryptocurrency investments are highly volatile and carry significant risks. 


  • Benefits:
  1. High Potential Returns: The 2023 crypto market showed signs of recovery amid continued regulatory focus and security concerns, setting the stage for a dynamic 2024 driven by technological innovation and potential regulatory headwinds.
  2. Decentralized System: Cryptocurrencies operate on a decentralized network, free from control by any central authority. This can be appealing to investors who value transparency and independence in the financial system.
  3. 24/7 Market: Unlike traditional markets, cryptocurrency exchanges operate 24/7, allowing investors to trade at any time, regardless of geographical location. This flexibility can be advantageous for some investors.
  • Potential Returns: Cryptocurrency investments have the potential for extremely high returns, but the risk of significant losses is also equally high. Our study explores the future of cryptocurrency in India, highlighting its potential to reshape the financial landscape. 
  • Suitability: Due to the high risk involved, cryptocurrency investments are generally not recommended for conservative investors or individuals with a low-risk tolerance. They are, however, 7 coins that we find promising in the year of 2024.


Remember, conducting thorough research and consulting with a financial advisor before making any investment decisions is crucial, especially for high-risk options like cryptocurrency.




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Short-term investments are financial products designed to be easily converted to cash (also known as highly liquid), typically within a timeframe of a few years or less. This makes them suitable for various purposes, such as saving for a down payment on a house, accumulating funds for an upcoming vacation, or parking emergency funds.


Here’s a breakdown of how it all happens:



  1. Choosing the Investment:
  • Investment options: Common examples include certificates of deposit (CDs), money market accounts, high-yield savings accounts, short-term government bonds, and Treasury bills. Each option offers varying yields (returns on investment) and liquidity features.
  • Yield vs. Liquidity: Generally, higher yields come with lower liquidity. For instance, a CD might offer a higher interest rate than a savings account, but you may face penalties for early withdrawal.


  1. Investing your money:
  • You commit your funds to the chosen investment vehicle through a bank, brokerage firm, or other financial institution.


  1. Earning returns:
  • Depending on the investment, you might earn returns through interest (e.g., savings accounts, CDs), coupons (interest payments on bonds), or capital appreciation (increase in the market value of the investment, though this is less common for short-term holdings).


  1. Accessing your funds:
  • When you need the money, you can withdraw it according to the investment’s terms.
  • Highly liquid options like savings accounts allow for easy access, while CDs might have early withdrawal penalties that reduce your earnings if you withdraw before the maturity date.




Smart short-term investments aren’t just a safety net; they’re a springboard for achieving your goals and maximizing your financial peace of mind. Here’s how they can transform your financial strategy:


1. Find Peace of Mind: Short-Term Investments Offer Security

Unexpected expenses or sudden opportunities happen. Short-term investments ensure you have funds readily available, allowing you to tackle financial curveballs with confidence.


2. Reach Your Goals Faster: Short-Term Investments Fuel Success

Got a dream vacation, a down payment, or a big purchase in mind? Short-term investments with their defined timeframes let you create focused savings plans that bring those goals within reach.


3. Strengthen Your Portfolio: Diversify with Short-Term Investments

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. By adding short-term investments, you diversify across different assets. This helps weather market ups and downs, protecting your overall portfolio’s health.


4. Embrace Flexibility: Short-Term Investments Keep You Adaptable

Life changes, and your finances should adapt.  Short-term investments give you the freedom to access your money when needed and pivot your strategy when new opportunities or priorities arise.




Finding the ideal short-term investment depends on several factors, including your individual needs, risk tolerance, and financial goals. There is no single “best” option, as the optimal choice will vary based on your unique circumstances. Here’s how to find the right fit:


Analyze Yourself:


  • My Risk Tolerance: Am I comfortable with some fluctuation for potentially higher returns, or do I need guaranteed safety?
  • When I Need the Money: Is it days, weeks, or a few months?
  • My Goal: Am I saving for something specific, or seeking general growth and liquidity?


Investment Options Based on Your Needs


  • Low Risk, Quick Access: High-yield savings accounts, liquid FDs
  • Low Risk, Longer Horizons (a few months): Short-term debt funds, treasury bills
  • Potential for Higher Returns (with more risk): Short-term mutual funds (focus on fixed-income)


Smart Investing Tips


  • Do Your Homework: Research any investment, understand its risks and potential.
  • Shop Around: Compare rates and terms between different providers.
  • Start Small: Gain experience by initially investing smaller amounts.
  • Review Regularly: Make sure your investments still match your goals as your life changes.


Take Charge of Your Short-Term Finances


Short-term investments aren’t about getting rich quick – they’re about making your money work harder for you, even over shorter periods. By understanding your needs and choosing wisely, you can protect your funds, reach goals faster, and make the most of every financial opportunity.


*Remember, this article provides general information and does not constitute financial advice. Always conduct your own research and consult with a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.*


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1. Definitions


Q: What defines a short-term investment?


Answer: Imagine you’re saving money for something you want to buy soon, like a new bike or video game. Short-term investments are like keeping your money in a safe place where it can grow a little bit but you can also take it out easily whenever you need it. These investments typically last for a year or even less, and they are designed to give you your money back quickly and easily. 


Q: What is a short-term debt fund?


Answer: Imagine you have some extra money that you won’t need for a few years, but you still want it to grow a bit. A short-term debt fund is like a group saving account where many people put their money together. This money is then used to buy things like short-term loans given to companies. 


2. Choosing the Best Short-Term Investments


Q: How do I choose the best short-term investment?


Answer: You need to consider what you want to achieve and what you’re comfortable with.

  • Are you okay with your money going up and down a bit, or do you want it to stay safe? If you’re scared of losing money, options like fixed deposits (FDs), recurring deposits (RDs), or Treasury Bills are generally considered safer.
  • How long are you planning on keeping your money invested? If you need it back soon, maybe within a few months, a high-yield savings account might be a good choice because you can easily access your money. But if you can wait a little longer, like 3 months to 3 years, a short-term debt fund could be an option.


Q: What are some common short-term investment vehicles?


Answer: In India, short-term investment options range from super secure (RDs, T-Bills) with lower returns to slightly riskier but potentially more rewarding options (short-term debt funds, bonds) offering easier access (high-yield savings).


Q: Which mutual fund is best for short-term?


Answer: Short-term mutual funds offer varying risk-reward depending on your goals. Choose based on comfort with volatility (risk tolerance) and desired outcome (growth or income).


3. Strategies


Q: What strategies are best for short-term investing?


Answer: Diversify short-term investments (savings, deposits, funds) to manage risk and start small, gradually increasing as you learn and monitor your goals and market conditions.


Q: How can I diversify my short-term investment portfolio?


Answer: For short-term gains, diversify like building a house: combine low-risk options (FDs) with moderate-risk ones (debt funds) or use a mix of asset types (bonds, savings accounts) to spread risk.


Q: Which are the top short-term investments funds to invest in 2024?


Answer: Short-term fund performance fluctuates, so prioritize research (expense ratios, holdings, past performance) and consulting a financial advisor to find options matching your goals and risk tolerance.


4. Risks and Considerations


Q: What risks are involved with short-term investments?


Answer: Short-term investments aren’t risk-free: consider market volatility, interest rate fluctuations, inflation, and potential borrower defaults.


Q: How much money should I allocate to short-term investments?


Answer: Short-term investment allocation depends on your goals (down payment, vacation), risk tolerance (prioritize FDs/savings if risk-averse), and overall investment plan (asset allocation, risk tolerance).


Q: Are Prepaid expenses a short-term investment?


Answer: Prepaid expenses, like paying for a gym membership upfront or buying a phone plan with bundled minutes, are not considered investments. They are simply advance payments for services or goods you’ll receive in the future, not financial instruments that have the potential to grow your money.


5. Maximizing Returns and Tax Considerations


Q: How can I maximize my returns from short-term investments?


Answer: Boost short-term returns by comparing rates, considering maturity (longer = potentially higher but less flexible), and using laddering (graduated maturities for access and return). But prioritize your risk comfort first.


Q: Are there any tax considerations for short-term investments?


Answer: Taxes on short-term investments can vary but generally include interest income from accounts like FDs and potential capital gains taxes on selling short-term debt funds before maturity


Remember, this is just a general overview, and tax laws can change. It’s important to consult with a tax advisor to understand the specific tax implications of your short-term investment decisions.


Q: Which investment gives the highest return?


Answer: Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question. The investment with the highest potential return is also likely the one with the highest risk


Instead of focusing on the single “highest return” option, it’s crucial to consider your own financial goals and risk tolerance when making investment decisions. This will help you choose options that are aligned with your individual circumstances and provide a balance between potential returns and risk.


6. Time Frames and Types of Short-Term Investments


Q: Can I invest short-term in stocks or mutual funds?


Answer: While you can invest in stocks or mutual funds for the short term, it’s important to approach this with caution. This is because stocks and mutual funds may not be suitable for short-term investment due to potential volatility.


Q: How long is considered short-term for an investment?


Answer: Generally, less than a year is considered short-term. However, specific timeframes can vary depending on the investment type and individual definitions. Some might categorize investments with maturities up to 3 years as short-term, while others might use a stricter definition of less than 1 year.


Q: Is a short-term investment classified as an asset?


Answer: Yes, short-term investments represent financial assets held for a short period (typically less than a year) with the expectation of generating returns or income. These investments are considered assets because they have the potential to increase your wealth over time. 


7. Short-Term Investments Insights in India


Q: What short-term investment options are best in India?


Answer: For short-term investments in India, consider options like RDs, FDs, T-Bills (safe, guaranteed returns) or high-yield savings accounts (easy access, lower returns). Debt funds offer potentially higher returns but with slightly more risk.


Q: How do market conditions in India affect short-term investments?


Answer: Market conditions in India can impact short-term investments like interest rates (affecting returns), inflation (reducing purchasing power), and economic growth (generally influencing all investments).


8. Technological Trends and Crypto


Q: How does investing in cryptocurrency compare to traditional short-term investments?



  • Traditional: Piggy bank – safer, lower returns (savings accounts, FDs, debt funds).
  • Crypto: Rollercoaster – high risk, high reward (unregulated, volatile). Invest cautiously!


Q: What are the trends in short-term investments concerning technology and innovation?



  • Fintech platforms: Easier, faster investing with lower fees.
  • Robo-advisors: Automated investment advice using algorithms.
  • Alternative options: Peer-to-peer lending, revenue-based financing (higher risk/reward).
  • AI integration: Data analysis for informed decisions and risk management.




CoinRank is not a certified investment, legal, or tax advisor, nor is it a broker or dealer. All content, including opinions and analyses, is based on independent research and experiences of our team, intended for educational purposes only. It should not be considered as solicitation or recommendation for any investment decisions. We encourage you to conduct your own research prior to investing.


We strive for accuracy in our content, but occasional errors may occur. Importantly, our information should not be seen as licensed financial advice or a substitute for consultation with certified professionals. CoinRank does not endorse specific financial products or strategies.



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