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Best Short Term Investment Options: 8+ Ways to Yield High Return

Rachel Carey
Financial Guru
Updated: 6/2019
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Best Short Term Investment OptionsIf you want to become financially secure and independent, learning to invest successfully is one of the most important things you will ever do in your life. When you get into it, though, you will quickly realize that there is much more to the world of investment than just stocks and bonds. While these instruments can be great for building long-term wealth, there are also short-term investments that can help you to achieve your financial goals. Here’s what you should know about the best short-term investments and how they can fit into your investment portfolio. If you’re a beginner, you might want to learn how to start investing first. 

Table of Contents

Why Should You Consider Short-term Investments?

Before looking at the best short-term investments, it’s important to understand the reasons for investing on a short-term basis. In most cases, investors choose short-term instruments in order to receive returns on money they can’t have tied up in stocks or bonds for many years at a time. The primary reason for turning to short-term investments over holding the money in cash is to prevent it from losing value due to inflation. Although inflation has been quite low for the last several years, it can still substantially reduce the purchasing power of money saved in cash over a long enough period of time.

What Qualities Make for a Good Short-term Investment?

Because they are used for cash that may be needed in the relatively near future, the best short-term investments typically feature fairly low levels of risk. Depending on the expected needs of the individual investor, they may also need to have high liquidity in order for the money to be accessed quickly when it is required. Like all types of investments, there are many different kinds of short-term investments, each of which has its own unique characteristics. Following are some of the best short-term investment vehicles you can access in today’s market.

Best Short Term Investment Options

Real Estate Crowdfunding

OUR TOP PICK

Realty Mogul

Why Realty Mogul?

  • Pools money for real estate projects
  • Earn as much as 8 percent APY or more
  • Low minimum investment to get started
  • Managed by real estate experts
Try Realty Mogul

In a manner somewhat similar to peer-to-peer lending, real estate crowdfunding allows groups of investors to pool their resources to fund real estate projects. Because of the high rates of return associated with real estate, it is often possible for investors to see an APY of 8 percent or more, though the returns can vary widely. Crowdfunding real estate arrangements also tend to have higher levels of risk than other short-term investments, a fact which is accounted for by the higher return rates.

Robo-advisor Accounts

ALSO GREAT

Acorns

Why Acorns?

  • Perfect for investors who want to build their portfolio
  • No-hassle money deposits or withdrawals
  • Offers investment options based on your risk aversion
Try Acorns

Thanks to advances in financial technology, there are now many startups that provide automated investment management services to buy stocks online. These so-called robo-advisors are extremely popular with young investors who are just beginning to build their portfolios, but they can also have real value for older investors as well. One of the most compelling advantages of the robo-advisor model is that most of them allow you to deposit and withdraw money in a manner similar to an online bank account. While your money is still exposed to the possible risks associated with investment while it is held by the robo-advisor service, this system allows you to easily access your money when you decide you need it.

Although the exact model varies from company to company, most robo-advisors primarily allow you to invest your money in ETFs and index funds that track the composition of various markets. Although these instruments aren’t without risk, they tend to perform better over time than individual stocks. If you are investing money that you aren’t comfortable exposing to normal market risks, most robo-advisors also offer low-risk investment options that may better fit your needs. Typically, these lower-risk options will put your money in stable bond ETFs that are less likely to lose money than stocks.

Take a look at our robo-advisor reviews like this Betterment review. Also check out our Stash vs Acorns review. There are many great options in this category of investing.

 

Peer-to-Peer Lending

ALSO GREAT

Lending Club

Why Lending Club?

  • Generates a predictable income each month based on loan terms
  • Higher returns compared to savings accounts and certificates of deposit
  • Screens borrowers on your behalf
Try Lending Club

For investors who are a bit more comfortable with risk, peer-to-peer lending can prove to be an excellent short-term investment option that delivers relatively high returns. Peer-to-peer lending platforms allow investors to fund loans to borrowers, who in turn repay the loans with interest over the course of three to five years. Peer-to-peer lending often produces annual returns of 8 percent or more, with some higher-risk loans offering return rates of more than 10 percent. As a result, these loans are often favored by investors who are looking for short-term income investments.

Peer-to-peer loans are also excellent investments for generating cash flow. Unlike other investments that pay out only when they are liquidated, peer-to-peer loans generate a predictable amount of cash flow each month as borrowers repay what they have borrowed. The drawback, however, is that there is no way to liquidate the loans after they have been made. In other words, while peer-to-peer loans offer steady cash flow, they don’t allow you to quickly get your capital back out whenever it is needed.

Certificates of Deposit

For the last several years, investors have largely stayed away from certificates of deposit because of their extremely low rates of return. Now, however, the interest rates offered by CDs are beginning to climb back up, making them worthwhile short-term investments once again. Top CD rates are now approaching 3 percent APY, a level which allows them to be effective hedges against normal levels of inflation. CDs also have the advantage of being extremely low-risk investments, which makes them a good option for unused cash that investors are not comfortable exposing to stock market risks.

One factor to take into consideration if you are looking at CDs as investment instruments is the fact that your capital will be largely unavailable until the certificate matures. Although most CDs will allow you to make early withdrawals, there are almost always penalties associated with doing so. In addition, the interest rates offered by CDs tend to be higher for certificates that take longer to mature. This makes CDs relatively good instruments for money that you may need in two or three years, but money that you only plan to invest for one year will likely earn a significantly lower rate of interest.

Short-term Bond Funds

Although many bonds have very long-term maturity dates, there are also short-term bonds that can offer investors a relatively low-risk instrument for their unused cash. The easiest way to invest in these bonds is through mutual funds that specialize in them. Although yield rates vary from fund to fund, the average yield from short-term bond funds tends to be between 1 and 3 percent. Bond funds also make it fairly easy to withdraw money when it is needed.

 

Best Short Term Investment Options

High-interest Savings Accounts

Like certificates of deposit, savings accounts have offered such low interest rates for the past several years that they haven’t been worth considering as serious investments. Because of current economic conditions, though, savings account interest rates have been moving steadily upward for some time. Today, high-interest savings accounts can yield 2.5 percent or more each year. These savings accounts provide both low levels of risk and easy access to money, allowing them to be used for excess cash that may be needed unexpectedly. Be aware, though, that you may have to have several thousand dollars in capital in order to get a high-interest savings account, as most banks that offer them place fairly high minimums on the accounts.

Money Market Accounts

Money market accounts offer similar levels of return to high-interest savings accounts and CDs. Like these other two instruments, they also have low levels of risk. The main distinction that may make money market accounts a good option for some investors is the fact that they usually feature limited check-writing capability. While money must be directly withdrawn from a savings account or CD in order to use it, a money market account will offer you the ability to write a finite number of checks without having to take any other action with regards to the account. This feature can be extremely convenient if you find yourself needing money unexpectedly and need to be able to draw on the balance of your account on short notice.

Paying Off Debts

Though it is not a traditional investment vehicle, using your excess cash to pay off existing debts can be a very worthwhile way to use the money. The advantage of paying off debts early is that you will save money in the long run by reducing the amount of interest you will have to pay. As a result, money used to pay off debts today can leave additional money in your bank account in the future. If you choose to make extra payments on your debts, be sure to pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first. High-interest debts can cost you very large sums of money over the years, which is why it is often a good financial idea to pay them off more quickly than required by the terms of your loans.

How to Select the Best Short-term Investment for Yourself

As you can see, there are many options available for short-term investing. The best short-term investment for you, however, will depend on your personal financial goals. If you are seeking the highest rate of return on your money and are comfortable with risk, for example, peer-to-peer lending may be the best investment for you. If, on the other hand, you are extremely risk averse and are only looking to protect your money from the effects of inflation, you might be better off considering a high-interest savings account. For this reason, it’s important to have clearly defined objectives before you put your money into a short-term investment.

When choosing between short-term investment instruments, it’s also important to remember that you can build a short-term portfolio out of multiple types of investments. By allocating some capital to higher-return investments and some to very low-risk instruments, you can create a portfolio that will give you some of the best of both worlds. As in other areas of investing, diversification is often key to creating the right balance in your short-term investments.

If you are looking for ways to make your money work for you over short periods of time, one or more of these investment opportunities may be the right option for you. When selecting your short-term investment options, always remember to be mindful of the effects that inflation will have on your money. At the moment, inflation is beginning to rise as the economy grows, meaning that it will likely have a larger impact for the foreseeable future than it has over the past several years.

FAQ

Understanding the Fundamentals of Short Term Investments

Short-term investments, as the name suggests, are investments made for short periods. These are also called temporary investments. Short-term investments are typically debt securities, marketable equity, and short-term paper.

A unique characteristic of these investments is their high liquidity, which makes them all the more popular among those investors looking for a quick but assured return on their investment over a shorter time span.

Moreover, your money doesn’t get tied to one particular investment for too long and this makes short-term investments options more important to your investment portfolio. So if you’re interested in knowing more about this investment option, the following FAQ has been provided. Read on.

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What are short term investments?

Any investment that is highly liquid and can be converted into cash within one year is called a short-term investment. A bond maturing within 12 months may be included here.

Which is an example of a short term investment?

Examples of short-term investments include CDs, high-yield savings accounts, treasury bills, government bonds and money market accounts. These are also some of the most popular and safe investment channels.

What is included in short term investments?

Broadly speaking, short-term investments typically comprise marketable debt and equity securities as also short-term paper. These have been officially categorized and accepted as the ideal short-term investment options.

What is the safest short term investment?

Research and past performance have shown that the safest short-term investments include, CDs or certificates of deposit, rewards checking accounts, treasury securities, bond funds, P2P lending, municipal bonds, Roth IRA, and money market accounts.

What type of account is short-term investments?

A short-term investment is a part of a company’s current assets and the account shows that any investment that the said company makes must be convertible to cash within 12 months.

Are short-term investments current assets?

Yes, they are. Because of their high liquidity (convertibility to cash within 1 year), they are placed just below the cash and equivalents on the balance sheet.

Are marketable securities short-term investments?

Yes, they are. These short-term investments fall into any one of three categories namely, marketable debt or equity securities or short-term paper. Marketable debt securities also include short-term bonds kept as an alternative to cash.

What is the best place to invest money short-term?

There are numerous options, notable among which are, CDs, checking accounts, money market accounts, ETFs and short-term bond funds, corporate bonds, municipal bonds, and five-year treasury inflation protected securities.

What is the best short-term investment strategy?

The ideal short-term investment strategy will ensure that the investor gets the best returns over a short period of time (ideally within 1-3 years) and has a high liquidity nature.

Are stocks long-term or short-term investments?

Both. You can indulge in day to day and/or options trading and make daily profits. However, investing at the inappropriate time or in the wrong company could make you lose significant sums of money overnight.

What are short-term marketable investments?

Short-term marketable investments are highly liquid instruments, easily and quickly convertible into cash at reasonable prices. They mature within one year, and their buying or selling rates have negligible effect on their price.

What is short term investment in share market?

Short-term investment in the share market refers to trading entry and exit strategies in the futures or stock markets within a time span of a few days to weeks.

What is short term investment in stock market?

Short term investment in the stock market includes both trend following and swing tradingDay trading involves ultra short-term trading with positions being entered and exited on the same day.

Are short term investments quick assets?

Yes, they are and these current assets are convertible to cash within 90 days. Also cash, marketable securities, cash equivalents, and current accounts receivable are called quick assets.

How long is short term investment?

The ideal period for a short-term investment is usually five years or lesser. It may also range from 1 to 3 years. Any investment under 1 year is called Ultra Short Term. 

Which investment is best for short term?

The accepted best short-term investment options include: P2P Lending, CDs, high-interest savings accounts, rewards on credit cards, medium risk stocks that pay dividends, TIPs, annuities, and money market funds.

Are short term investments cash equivalents?

Yes, they are, provided their liquidity is within three months or less from the time of their purchase. These include commercial paper and US treasury bills and any item included as a cash equivalent has to be unrestricted.

Where do short term investments go on a balance sheet?

Because of the high degree of liquidity, short-term investments are placed just below the cash and equivalents sections on the balance sheet of the company.

Is merchandise inventory a short-term investment?

No, it isn’t because a company’s current asset structure plays a crucial role in its ability to pay off debts in the short term. Since merchandise inventory is not a highly liquid item, it can’t be deemed to be a short-term investment.

Are short term investments liquid?

A unique characteristic of short-term investments is their high liquidity and thus, they’re called temporary investments. These also ensure the highest returns over shortest periods which is usually less than 1 year.

What is the best investment plan for short term?

Fixed deposits with banks, money market accounts, high-yield savings accounts, gold and/or silver, large cap mutual funds and short term debt funds.

What type of investment would you want for short term?

An investment which allows achieving a financial goal faster and where the investor does not wish to lock in his money for longer periods of time. Here, liquid and ultra-short duration funds, as also money market funds are preferable.

How does short term investment relate to revenue recognition?

Revenue recognition is the accounting principle for determining specific conditions under which revenue is identified or accounted for. Such revenue is acknowledged and measured only when a short-term investment actually takes place.

Does a company have to own short term investment?

Any cash-rich company usually has a separate short-term investments account on its balance sheet to invest such extra cash in bonds and stocks to earn a higher rate of interest.

Short Term Investment Options

Those getting into short-term investments often ponder what their options are. Even though financial planning is mostly for long-term investing, the importance of short-term investing simply can’t be overlooked.

People prefer to invest over shorter durations because their financial goal may be near or they prefer not to risk locking in funds for longer tenures. The following FAQs will help you understand your short-term investing options.

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Are short term bonds a good investment?

Yes, they are because of their ability to tackle both inflation and spiraling interest rates as compared to other investment options like equities, which are subject to roller coaster rides with market surges and depressions.

How to invest in short term savings?

Begin by studying your options carefully to get the best returns. Check out savings accounts, money market mutual funds, brokerage, CDs, TIPS, Short-Term Bond Funds, Series I Savings Bonds, Individual P2P Lending and Short-Term Bonds.

Are premium bonds a good short term investment?

Yes and no. There is no guaranteed return on the investment and returns are much lower than that given out by a bank savings account. However, should you win the lottery, you could have a substantial windfall gain.

Is common stock a short term investment?

Yes, it is provided you buy and sell on a daily basis and get into the short-term market investing act. It, however, has its risks and could make you lose money if you adopt the wrong strategy.

What are short term investments on a balance sheet?

Short-term investments fall under the current assets section on a balance sheet. This account shows any investments made by the company which is convertible into cash within the next 12 months.

What is short term investing duration?

The short-term investing duration may be anything between less than 7 days to less than one year. It could also be 1 day, two days 6 months or less than 3 years.

What is considered a short term investment?

Any investment that is convertible into cash within 12 months and otherwise also enjoys a high degree of liquidity can be called a short-term investment. Quick conversion to cash is its unique feature.

How to make money in short term investments?

Understand your financial goals and weigh your options carefully. Then choose how you wish to make your investment. You could put your money in CDs, checking accounts, money market accounts, and ETFs, depending on the highest yield from each option.

What are current taxes on short term stock investments?

Capital gains tax is chargeable at the rate of 15% to 20% for assets that are held in excess of 12 months. For assets held for less than 12 months, the tax ranges from 10% to 37%.

Which cryptocurrency to invest in short term?

Research shows that both ETH and BTC have been profitable as short-term investments in the past. The current year, however, hasn’t been good for short-term investments in cryptocurrency.

How to forecast short term investments?

You can adopt qualitative methods like informed opinion & judgment, market research, Delphi method, as also the historical life-cycle analogy method. There are also quantitative models for forecasting future data based on past data functions.

Are ETFs good for short term investing?

Yes, they are because mutual funds don’t come with options and short selling. This difference makes ETFs a better option for day-traders who bet on  price changes over the short-term  of entire market sectors. 

Is real estate a short term investment?

Not really because it generates a passive income only in the long run. Moreover, its value increase too, happens over a considerable period of time and not usually in the short run.

What is the best short term stock to invest in?

Current market trends indicate that investing in the petroleum and petrochemicals, steel, pharmaceuticals, leisure, services, logistics, consulting, manufacturing, e-commerce, technology, heavy engineering, telecom and transportation sectors are currently the best choices for small-term investing.

How to choose stocks for short term investment?

Your choice begins with extensive and detailed research and making a shortlist of the stocks you want to day trade and/or trend trade in. Keep following the short-term market trends and then buy or sell after seeing the performance of a particular stock for that day.

The Where & How of Short-term Investments

Since short-term investments are a safe and proven way to get better returns on your investments, many people have been benefited enormously by it. However, it pays to bear in mind that your strategy has to be correct and you need to make the right choices to get the best returns.

A wrong move on your part, on the flip side, particularly when playing the stock market could set you back severely. Thus, proper research and understanding of what you’re actually getting into is compulsory. The following FAQs will guide you on the methodology of short-term investing.    

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How to find short term investments?

You need to look at options like lending club, cash back rewards offers, savings accounts, CDs, roth IRA, checking accounts, money market accounts, ETFs and short-term bond funds. Take your pick.

How to make short term investments?

You can pay cash, by check or link your bank account to the chosen investment option for automatic withdrawal from your account. Wire transfers are also permitted by many short-term investing agencies.

How to invest $1,000 short term?

You have the choice of investing in Index Funds, Exchange-Traded Funds, Target Date Funds, Bonds, CDs or even in a recurring deposit with the highest rate of interest.

How to invest $10,000 dollars short term?

$10,000 will get you the best returns if you resort to P2P lending, CDs, Robo Advisor, high yield savings accounts, stock market, and motif investing. Also starting a profitable business could help you earn more.

How to invest $50,000 short term?

Since this is a sizeable amount of money, the best options available are: a public provident fund, national savings certificates, savings bank account, high-yield fixed deposit and/or recurring deposits ranging between 6 months to less than two years.

How to invest in short term debt funds?

You could do this through your broker with whom you have a trading account for a period of less than three years to get the best returns depending on the fund’s performance.

How to invest in ultra short term funds?

Invest in UST funds as you invest in other higher yielding options such as dynamic/income funds or short-term debt funds to build a credible debt portfolio. This will help your debt portfolio to contain the correct mix of liquidity and return.

How to invest in short term government bonds?

First understand which short-term government bond fits your investment objectives best after carefully studying their pros and cons. Then know the quality and price of the bonds you wish to buy and check out their investment-grade ratings. You can also invest directly on the TreasuryDirect.gov website.

How to invest in short term mutual funds?

Check out their past performances over the last one to three years particularly in terms of liquidity and safety because these mutual funds generally give out the best returns between 1 and 3 years.

Where to invest 100k short term?

This calls for long-term investing in CDs, bonds and equity funds for the best returns. Check your personal investor profile, while diversifying the investment to minimize risk. Cut investment costs to maximize returns and get the maximum from your ISA allowances and pension.

How to invest in short term stocks?

Do it through your trading account with your broker and keep an eye on the moving averages. Follow the overall patterns or cycles keenly and develop a gut feel for market trends.
Rachel Carey

Rachel Carey

Financial Guru

Rachel is dedicated to helping individuals and families boost their budgets so they can enjoy the lifestyle they deserve. Rachel graduated with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. She’s a prolific finance writer, producing tons of articles on different aspects of personal and family budget management.

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