Before making any investment decision, one of the key elements you face is working out the real rate of return on your investment. Compound interest is critical to investment growth. Whether your financial portfolio consists solely of a deposit account at your local bank or a series of highly leveraged investments, your rate of return is dramatically improved by the compounding factor. With simple interest, interest is paid just on the principal. With compound interest.There are a number of short-term cash management instruments available to the individual establishing a sound cash management program. These alternatives include money market mutual funds, Treasury bills, and certificates of deposit. Money market mutual funds simply pool investors’ dollars and purchase large denomination money market instruments. Individuals invest in the mutual fund for as little as $500 and receive the advantageous short-term rates.