Fixed-term describes an investment vehicle, usually some kind of debt instrument, that has a fixed time period of investment. With a fixed-term investment, the investor parts with his or her money for a specified period of time and is repaid his or her principal investment only at the end of the investment period. In some cases, even though a fixed term is stated on the investment, the investor or issuer may not have to commit to it.
A common example of a fixed-term investment is a term deposit in which the investor deposits his or her funds with a financial institution for a specified period of time and cannot withdraw the funds until the end of the time period, or at least not without facing an early withdrawal penalty. The investor, for the most part, is committed to the fixed term of this financial instrument.
Once a term deposit reaches or approaches maturity, the investor must notify his or her financial institution to either reinvest the money into another fixed-term investment or deposit the cash proceeds into his or her account.