It is good to know that you believe in proper planning and studying the market before investing in stocks and mutual funds. You can invest in the shorter durations. One cannot specify the exact time period as there is no single defined period for short-term investments. It ranges from 7 days to less than 12 months.

For short-term and maximum maturity benefits (less than 12 months) you can explore good funds in

Liquid fund

Ultra-short duration fund

Low duration fund

Money market fund

Ultra short term funds

Commercial papers

Mutual funds have different objectives, so your objective of investment should match the goal of Mutual fund plan. So recommending best mutual fund for you without knowing your objective will not help you to optimize the benefits. So visit any fund house online or visit their branch and check the plan or scheme the offer and then choose best among them. Talking about investment in stocks for short period.

As per my observations, nearly 5 stocks fell to touch their 52-week lows on NSE in today's trade session. Today's top-performing stocks are Bharti Infratel, Britannia Inds., HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Coal India Ltd.

Lastly, for higher gains it is always best to invest for more than a year in MF.