What is liquid fund? Read simple definition of liquid fund.

Liquid Fund

Liquid funds are used primarily as an alternative to short-term fix deposits. Liquid funds invest with minimal risk (like money market funds). Most funds have a lock-in period of a maximum of three days to protect against procedural (primarily banking) glitches, and offer redemption proceeds within 24 hours. The minimum investment size in a liquid fund varies from Rs. 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

Liquid funds invest in short-term debt instruments with maturities of less than one year. Therefore, they invest in money market instruments, short-term corporate deposits and treasury. The maturity of instruments held is between three and six months. A liquid fund provides good liquidity, low interest rate risk and the prevailing yield in the market. Liquid funds have the restriction that they can only have 10 per cent or less mark-to-market component, indicating a lower interest rate risk.

Liquid funds have an exit load if the investor redeems before the lock-in period. But in most cases, the lock-in period is quite low - varying from 7 to 10 days. Liquid funds score over short term fix deposits. Banks give a fixed rate in the range 5%-5.5% p.a. for a term of 15-30 days. Returns from deposits are taxable depending on the tax bracket of the investor, which considerably pulls down the actual return. Dividends from liquid funds are tax-free in the hands of investor, which is why they are more attractive than deposits. The sole disadvantage liquid funds is that investors cannot take the advantage of higher returns being offered by long-term instruments.