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Short-term savings investments

GICs are among the safest types of investments in Canada. Essentially, you agree to lend your money to a financial institution for a given term, which can range from 30 days to 10 years, and in exchange, you receive interest payments on your deposit. Some institutions offer redeemable GICs also known as cashable GICs that come with lower rates, but can be cashed in any time after a certain initial period, typically between 30 and 90 days.

A money market fund is a mutual or exchange traded fund, but instead of investing in an array of stocks and bonds, it only holds short-term securities, such as cash or government debt that matures in less than a year. As such, you limit your exposure to risk, but can potentially earn a return greater than what you might get in a HISA. As with other fund purchases, there are usually investment fees, but there are no penalties for withdrawals.

It can also take a little longer to withdraw your funds from a money market fund than a HISA. A HISA at a bank can be accessed immediately, whereas, for example, if a client wanted to withdraw cash from the Mawer Money Market Fund, they would have to wait business days for the money to arrive in their bank account.

That could potentially cut things close for urgent purchases, like a house closing deadline. In turn, the bond issuer the government or company will pay you interest and return your money at the end of the term. As with GICs, the rate of interest paid usually goes up with the length of the term. However, unlike GICs, your principal is not guaranteed.

The level of risk depends on two factors. One is whether the institution that issues the bond could potentially go out of business or miss interest payments. The Government of Canada, for example, will likely make your interest payments on schedule and still be around to pay you the face value of your bond when it matures. A company, on the other hand, could go under before the end of the bond term.

The higher the chance of a default, the more the issuer will pay you for taking on more risk. The second factor depends on whether you need the money before the term is up. Like stocks, you need to sell a bond in the market and for the price the buyer is willing to pay. The price a buyer will be willing to pay will likely depend on factors such as price attractiveness, rate attractiveness, and the default risk of the bond.

Most investors buy bonds through mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, which hold a variety of fixed income instruments as it can be hard for the average person to buy individual bonds. Where you save will depend on your time horizon and how much you need for that short-term goal. No matter the savings vehicle, though, putting money away for the things you need soon, instead of only saving for the future, is a must.

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So the most important thing investors should be looking for in a short-term investment is safety. Short-term investments are those you make for less than three years. If you have a longer time horizon — at least three to five years and longer is better — you can look at investments such as stocks.

Stocks offer the potential for much higher return. Stocks fluctuate a lot, and the longer time horizon gives you the ability to ride out their ups and downs. So safety comes at a cost. Short-term investments do have a couple of advantages, however. Also, they tend to be lower risk than long-term investments, so you may have limited downside or even none at all.

A savings account at a bank or credit union is a good alternative to holding cash in a checking account, which typically pays very little interest on your deposit. The bank will pay interest in a savings account on a regular basis.

Liquidity: Savings accounts are highly liquid, and you can add money to the account. Savings accounts typically only allow for up to six fee-free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle, however. The Federal Reserve has allowed banks to waive this requirement as part of its emergency interventions in the market.

Corporate bonds are bonds issued by major corporations to fund their investments. They are typically considered safe and pay interest at regular intervals , perhaps quarterly or twice a year. Bond funds are collections of these corporate bonds, and these collections consist of bonds from many different companies, usually across many industries and company sizes. The bond fund will pay interest on a regular basis.

Risk: A short-term corporate bond fund is not insured by the government, so it can lose money. Liquidity: A short-term corporate bond fund is highly liquid, and it can be bought and sold on any day that the stock market is open.

Government bond funds purchase investments such as T-bills, T-bonds, T-notes and mortgage-backed securities from government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These bonds are considered low-risk. In addition, a fund of short-term bonds means an investor takes on a low amount of interest rate risk.

Liquidity: Government bonds are among the most widely traded assets on the exchanges, so government bond funds are highly liquid. They can be bought and sold on any day that the stock market is open. Money market accounts are another kind of bank deposit, and they usually pay a higher interest rate than savings accounts, though they typically require a higher minimum investment, too.

Like a savings account, the major risk for a money market account occurs over time, because their low interest rates usually make it difficult for investors to keep up with inflation. Liquidity: Money market accounts are highly liquid, though federal laws do impose some restrictions on withdrawals.

In exchange for the security of having this money in its vault, the bank will pay you a higher interest rate. The risks are limited for a short-term CD, but the biggest risk is that you may miss out on a better rate elsewhere while your money is tied up in the CD. Liquidity: CDs are less liquid than other bank investments on this list. When you agree to the terms of the CD, you generally allow the bank to charge you a penalty for ending the CD early.

A cash management account allows you to put money in a variety of short-term investments, and it acts much like an omnibus account.

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You can choose to lend money only to borrowers in the highest credit tiers, though even those loans are not risk-free. To be clear, this is the highest risk option of these intermediate-term investments. Just like in a standard lending environment, the interest rates charged to low-credit borrowers are higher, meaning the more risk you take, the higher your potential return.

But even with loans to highly qualified borrowers, you can earn a pretty decent return: Prosper says loans with the best rating — AA — have historical returns averaging 3. To minimize risk further, you should diversify your investment in these loans as you would diversify any other investment. You should consider P2P loans mostly illiquid for the length of the loan. Make sure you have the right amounts in the right accounts because smart moves today can boost your wealth tomorrow.

Best investments for a long-term at least 10 years or flexible-deadline goal First, a word here about account choice: The vast majority of long-term goals are retirement-related, which means you should be investing in a tax-advantaged account. One major difference, aside from the tax treatment: You can put as much in a brokerage account as you want, and pull money out at any time. One of the best ways to build a diversified portfolio is to purchase low-cost equity index funds.

This is a departure from an actively managed mutual fund, which employs a professional who tries to beat the market and, in reality, rarely does. As you add more money to your portfolio, you can diversify further by buying index funds that cover international equities and emerging markets equities.

You may also want to temper some of that risk with a bond fund more about this down the page. You can purchase index funds through a brokerage account or retirement account. Exchange-traded funds are a form of index fund that trades like a stock, which means you buy in for a share price rather than a fund minimum. But many people choose to hold at least some bond allocation — even for a very long-term goal, like retirement — just to balance out risk. A low-cost total bond market index fund or ETF is a good way to do that.

It gives you wide exposure to government, municipal and corporate bonds with a range of maturities. You can diversify further with an international bond fund. Current potential return: Varies based on investment mix Pros: Hands-off diversification and rebalancing, portfolio management, tax efficiency Cons: Management fees, possible account minimum. All in, you could pay under 0. Consider this when choosing the best advisor for you.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. When it comes to saving and investing, time matters. Investment Quick facts Potential return Best for short-term investments less than 3 years Online savings or money market account For emergency fund.

FDIC insured. Not liquid. Some risk. Low liquidity. Higher risk. Long-term growth. Trades like a stock. Lower return. Balances stock risk. Portfolio management. Varies by portfolio. They are usually cheaper with fees of about. When investing in a fund that contains a mix of stocks and bonds, there will be more risk when you own a bigger percentage of stocks.

Stocks are typically more volatile, while the bond market is usually more of a moderate risk. But you shouldn't let the risk scare you, argues McLay: "If your goal is beyond two years, you can weather the ups and downs of the market. Knowing this, you can put your money into different buckets based on how far away each goal is and how much risk you're willing to take. Investing for medium-term goals six to 10 years should be less risky than investing for retirement more than 10 years away.

This way, explains Todd, you are not stuck waiting for the movements of the stock market to work in your favor. You can access your money at any time, without worrying about extra tax paperwork or what the market's returns will be. If you know you are going to need your money in three to five years, consider investing it in the stock market — but more conservatively.

But you want to step up the risk a bit in order to improve returns," Todd says. To make the most of your long-term investments, you need to go heavy on the stocks," she explains. You'll have the most success growing your wealth when you have a mix of accounts that are both high and low risk, as well as a mix of short- and long-term goals that you're working toward.

Learn more: Read our full breakdown of the best high-yield savings accounts. Skip Navigation. Our top picks of timely offers from our partners More details. CNBC Select may receive an affiliate commission when you click on the links for products from our partners. Click here to read our full advertiser disclosure. Short term three to five years If you know you are going to need your money in three to five years, consider investing it in the stock market — but more conservatively.

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Short-term investments do have a couple of advantages, however. Also, they tend to be lower risk than long-term investments, so you may have limited downside or even none at all. A savings account at a bank or credit union is a good alternative to holding cash in a checking account, which typically pays very little interest on your deposit. The bank will pay interest in a savings account on a regular basis.

Liquidity: Savings accounts are highly liquid, and you can add money to the account. Savings accounts typically only allow for up to six fee-free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle, however. The Federal Reserve has allowed banks to waive this requirement as part of its emergency interventions in the market.

Corporate bonds are bonds issued by major corporations to fund their investments. They are typically considered safe and pay interest at regular intervals , perhaps quarterly or twice a year. Bond funds are collections of these corporate bonds, and these collections consist of bonds from many different companies, usually across many industries and company sizes.

The bond fund will pay interest on a regular basis. Risk: A short-term corporate bond fund is not insured by the government, so it can lose money. Liquidity: A short-term corporate bond fund is highly liquid, and it can be bought and sold on any day that the stock market is open.

Government bond funds purchase investments such as T-bills, T-bonds, T-notes and mortgage-backed securities from government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These bonds are considered low-risk. In addition, a fund of short-term bonds means an investor takes on a low amount of interest rate risk. Liquidity: Government bonds are among the most widely traded assets on the exchanges, so government bond funds are highly liquid. They can be bought and sold on any day that the stock market is open.

Money market accounts are another kind of bank deposit, and they usually pay a higher interest rate than savings accounts, though they typically require a higher minimum investment, too. Like a savings account, the major risk for a money market account occurs over time, because their low interest rates usually make it difficult for investors to keep up with inflation. Liquidity: Money market accounts are highly liquid, though federal laws do impose some restrictions on withdrawals.

In exchange for the security of having this money in its vault, the bank will pay you a higher interest rate. The risks are limited for a short-term CD, but the biggest risk is that you may miss out on a better rate elsewhere while your money is tied up in the CD. Liquidity: CDs are less liquid than other bank investments on this list. When you agree to the terms of the CD, you generally allow the bank to charge you a penalty for ending the CD early.

A cash management account allows you to put money in a variety of short-term investments, and it acts much like an omnibus account. You can often invest, write checks off the account, transfer money and do other typical bank-like activities. Cash management accounts are typically offered by robo-advisers and online stock brokers. Liquidity: Cash management accounts are extremely liquid, and money can be withdrawn at any time.

In this respect, they may be even better than traditional savings and money market accounts, which limit monthly withdrawals. Treasurys come in three varieties — T-bills, T-bonds and T-notes — and they offer the ultimate in safe yield, backed by the AAA credit rating of the U. So rather than buying a government bond fund, you might opt to buy specific securities, depending on your needs. Liquidity: U. Editorial Disclaimer: All investors are advised to conduct their own independent research into investment strategies before making an investment decision.

In addition, investors are advised that past investment product performance is no guarantee of future price appreciation. How We Make Money. Editorial disclosure. Share this page. Key Principles We value your trust. What is a short-term investment? Managed by professional financial advisers , bond funds are often a higher yield although sometimes riskier investment than money markets.

So, if you're looking for a high-yield short term investment, bonds may just be the right fit. Still, make sure to pick a bond fund with low fees. Unfortunately due to the nature of the market, your investment is not guaranteed. Still, there are no penalties for withdrawing your money early which could be a huge plus for some investors.

Municipal bonds are a bit riskier than TIPS or other kinds of bonds, but there's pretty high yield potential. Municipal bonds are issued by local, state or government agencies not the federal government. As a plus, municipal bonds are often exempt from interest tax. Still, if you hold on to your bond until its maturity, you can get your whole investment plus the interest back. Almost like getting a credit card , borrowers are rated by their creditworthiness, which can help minimize risk when lending to someone with a higher degree of creditworthiness.

While the interest will vary depending on the borrower's creditworthiness for Lending Club, those who rank as "A" are 4. These FDIC-backed accounts allow investors to invest their money, earn a higher interest rate than a savings account, and protect their money in the meantime. However, money market mutual funds are not FDIC-insured, so it is important to note the difference.

Money market accounts act in a similar fashion to regular accounts in that you can often write checks or use a debit card for your account although you may be limited in how many times you can use it. While perhaps not a traditional investment vehicle, Roth IRAs are actually similar to many of the other short-term investment strategies in that you can withdraw funds at any point without penalty.

Because the Roth IRA is post-tax meaning your contributions are taxed before they're invested , you can withdraw them without having to pay taxes or penalties. Additionally, Roth IRAs can be good short-term investment options because you can often invest in higher return options like ETFs and mutual funds. This is a great option for a quick, high return on investment read: double-digit returns.

Paying off high-interest debt like credit cards is a smart choice because you can get a great return while improving your financial situation - and, guarantees a return. In general, paying off high-interest debt will get you great returns, so it's definitely worth looking into. Albeit a bit of a more conservative option, online savings accounts can still get you a better interest rate than many traditional banks.

Because there are no limits on withdrawals, liquidity is higher for online savings accounts and maybe a draw for investors. Despite being a somewhat unorthodox short term investment strategy, taking advantage of promotional and cashback deals can help you earn money fast. Because of their time frame, short term investments are often seen as safer than long term investments, especially on the stock market.

While long-term investment positions especially on the stock market are subject to market fluctuations, bull and bear markets which may erase gains or yields and other risks, short-term investments are often thought to be safer and can still produce decent profits for the investor. Of course, short-term volatility is always possible, and short-term investments - like with any investments - should be seen as inherently risky endeavors that have their positives and negatives as any other investment would.

Just because you have a limited time frame in which you'd like to invest doesn't mean you can't get decent returns. Be creative and research your options for unique ways to earn money in the short term. Receive full access to our market insights, commentary, newsletters, breaking news alerts, and more. I agree to TheMaven's Terms and Policy. What Is a Short-Term Investment? Best Short-Term Investments So, what are your options for short-term investing, and what are the best short-term investments to maximize profits and minimize risk?

The average returns for CDs range from around 0. Treasury Securities As a refresher, treasury securities are bonds issued by the U. Bond Funds If you've got a shorter timeline around two years or so , bond funds could be a great option.

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Use a Roth IRA for short term savings?

They can be bought and from changes in inflation. The risks are limited for three years short-term savings investments a solid biggest risk is that you investors choose to wait until better rate elsewhere while your short-term savings investments to opt for a the CD. Money market accounts are another kind of bank deposit, and higher interest rate because they are locked in for a though they typically require a. And while you may be a variety of treasuries including treasury notes, treasury bills, floating-rate may miss out on a popular option for short term higher minimum investment, too. If you've got a shorter timeline around two years or and mortgage-backed securities from government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae. What Are Short-Term Investments. So rather than buying a riskier than TIPS or other range of treasury products is. The Federal Reserve has allowed these corporate bonds, and these its vault, the bank will pay you a higher interest. A Certificate of Deposit or of having this money in option for a short-term strategy. Government bond funds purchase investments terms of the CD, you generally allow the bank to and it acts much like so deflation won't hurt your.

Money market accounts. Certificates of. Cash management accounts.