Money Market Fund Definition

What Is a money commercialize Fund ?

A money market fund is a kind of reciprocal investment company that invests in highly liquid, near-term instruments. These instruments include cash, cash equivalent securities, and high-credit-rating, debt-based securities with a short-run maturity ( such as U.S. Treasuries ). money market funds are intended to offer investors high liquid with a very gloomy floor of gamble. money market funds are besides called money market reciprocal funds .

While they sound like in list, a money grocery store store is not the like as a money market account ( MMA ). A money market fund is an investment that is sponsored by an investment fund caller. therefore, it carries no guarantee of principal. A money market explanation is a type of interest-earning savings account. Money market accounts are offered by fiscal institutions. They are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ( FDIC ), and they typically have limited transaction privileges.

Key Takeaways

  • A money market fund is a type of mutual fund that invests in high-quality, short-term debt instruments, cash, and cash equivalents.
  • Though not quite as safe as cash, money market funds are considered extremely low-risk on the investment spectrum.
  • A money market fund generates income (taxable or tax-free, depending on its portfolio), but little capital appreciation.
  • Money market funds should be used as a place to park money temporarily before investing elsewhere or making an anticipated cash outlay; they are not suitable as long-term investments.

How a Money Market Fund Works

money grocery store funds work like a distinctive common fund. They issue redeemable units or shares to investors, and they are mandated to follow the guidelines drafted by fiscal regulators ( for example, those set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ) .

A money market investment company may invest in the watch types of debt-based fiscal instruments :

  • Bankers’ Acceptances (BA)—short-term debt guaranteed by a commercial bank
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)—bank-issued savings certificate with short-term maturity
  • Commercial paper—unsecured short-term corporate debt
  • Repurchase agreements (Repo)—short-term government securities
  • U.S. Treasuries—short-term government debt issues

Returns from these instruments are dependent on the applicable market interest rates, and consequently, the overall returns from the money market funds are besides dependant on interest rates .

Types of money grocery store Funds

money grocery store funds are classified into diverse types depending upon the class of endow assets, the maturity period, and other attributes .

Prime Money Fund

A premier money fund invests in floating-rate debt and commercial paper of non-Treasury assets, like those issued by corporations, U.S. government agencies, and government-sponsored enterprises ( GSEs ) .

Government Money Fund

A government money investment company invests at least 99.5 % of its full assets in cash, government securities, and redemption agreements that are amply collateralized by cash or government securities .

Treasury Fund

A Treasury store invests in standard U.S. Treasury-issued debt securities, such as Treasury bills, Treasury bonds, and Treasury notes .

tax-exempt security Money Fund

A tax-exempt money fund offers earnings that are spare from U.S. union income tax. Depending on the claim securities it invests in, a tax-exempt money fund may besides have an exemption from state of matter income taxes. municipal bonds and early debt securities chiefly constitute such types of money market funds .

Some money grocery store funds are targeted to attract institutional money with a eminent minimum investment amount ( frequently $ 1 million ). still, other money marketplace funds are retail money funds and are accessible to individual investors as a solution of their little minimums .

extra Considerations

The net Asset Value ( NAV ) Standard

All the features of a standard common store apply to a money market store, with one key difference. A money grocery store fund aims to maintain a net asset respect ( NAV ) of $ 1 per share. Any overindulgence earnings that get generated through interest on the portfolio holdings are distributed to the investors in the human body of dividend payments. Investors can purchase or redeem shares of money commercialize funds through investing investment company companies, brokerage firms, and banks .

One of the primary reasons for the popularity of money market funds is their alimony of the $ 1 NAV. This requirement forces the investment company managers to make regular payments to investors, providing a regular flow of income for them. It besides allows easy calculations and trailing of the net gains the fund generates .

Breaking the Buck

occasionally, a money market fund may fall below the $ 1 NAV. This creates a condition that is sometimes referred to with the colloquial term “ breaking the dollar. ” When this condition occurs, it may be attributed to irregular price fluctuations in the money markets. however, if it persists, the discipline may trigger a here and now when the investment income of the money market fund fails to exceed its manoeuver expenses or investing losses .

For case, if the fund used excess leverage in purchasing instruments—or overall pastime rates dropped to very humble levels nearing zero—and the fund broke the buck, then one of these scenarios could lead to a condition where the fund can not meet redemption requests. If this happens, regulators may jump in and force the fund ‘s liquidation. however, instances of breaking the buck are very rare .

In 1994, the first exemplify of breaking the buck occurred. The Community Bankers U.S. Government Money Market Fund was liquidated at $ 0.96 per share. This was the consequence of large losses that the fund incurred following a period of big investment in derivatives .

In 2008, following the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the august Reserve Primary Fund besides broke the tear. The store held millions of the Lehman Brothers debt obligations, and panicked redemptions by its investors caused its NAV to fall to $ 0.97 per plowshare. The disengagement of money caused the Reserve Primary Fund to liquidate. This consequence triggered mayhem throughout the money markets .

To prevent this from happening again, in 2010—in the consequence of the 2008 fiscal crisis—the SEC issued new rules to better manage money market funds. These rules were intended to provide more constancy and resilience by placing tighter restrictions on portfolio holdings and introducing provisions for imposing liquidity fees and suspending redemptions .

regulation of Money Market Funds

In the U.S., money marketplace funds are under the horizon of the SEC. This regulative body defines the necessary guidelines for the characteristics, maturity, and variety of allowable investments in a money grocery store investment company .

Under the provisions, a money fund chiefly invests in the top-rated debt instruments, and they should have a maturity menstruation under 13 months. The money market store portfolio is required to maintain a leaden average maturity ( WAM ) period of 60 days or less. This WAM necessity means that the average maturity period of all the invested instruments—taken in proportion to their weights in the investment company portfolio—should not be more than 60 days. This maturity limitation is done to ensure that only highly liquid instruments qualify for investments, and the investor ’ randomness money is not locked into long-maturity instruments that can mar the fluidity .

A money market fund is not allowed to invest more than 5 % in any one issuer ( in order to avoid issuer-specific risk ). however, government-issued securities and buy back agreements provide an exception to this rule .

Advantages and Disadvantages of Money Market Funds

money marketplace funds compete against like investment options, such as bank money market accounts, ultrashort shackle funds, and enhanced cash funds. These investment options may invest in a wide-eyed variety show of assets, a well as aim for higher returns .

The primary coil purpose of a money market fund is to provide investors a safe avenue for investing in fasten and highly liquid, cash-equivalent, debt-based assets using smaller investing amounts. In the kingdom of mutual-fund-like investments, money market funds are characterized as a low-risk, low-return investment .

many investors prefer to park hearty amounts of cash in such funds for the short-run. however, money market funds are not suitable for long term investment goals, like retirement planning. This is because they don ’ thyroxine offer much capital appreciation .

money market funds appear attractive to investors as they come with no loads—no entrance charges or exit charges. many funds besides provide investors with tax-advantaged gains by investing in municipal securities that are tax-exempt at the federal tax level ( and in some instances at the express level, excessively ) .


  • identical low-risk
  • Highly fluent
  • Better returns than bank accounts


  • not FDIC-insured
  • No capital appreciation
  • sensitive to interest rate fluctuations, monetary policy

It ‘s significant to keep in judgment that money marketplace funds are not covered by the FDIC ‘s union deposit insurance, while money market deposit accounts, on-line rescue accounts, and certificates of down payment, are covered by this type of insurance. Like other investing securities, money marketplace funds are regulated under the Investment Company Act of 1940 .

An active investor who has meter and cognition to hunt around for the best potential short-run debt instruments—offering the best potential interest rates at their choose levels of risk—may prefer investing on their own in the diverse available instruments. On the other hand, a less-savvy investor may prefer taking the money market fund road by delegating the money management tax to the fund operators .

fund shareholders can typically withdraw their money at any time, but they may have a limit on the count of times they can withdraw within a certain period .

history of Money Market Funds

money market funds were designed and launched during the early 1970s in the U.S. They gained rapid popularity because they were an easy way for investors to purchase a consortium of securities that, in general, offered better returns than those available from a standard interest-bearing bank report .

commercial paper has become a common part of many money market funds. previously, money market funds held only politics bonds. however, this conversion aside from only government bonds resulted in higher yields. At the lapp time, it was this reliance on commercial paper that led to the Reserve Primary Fund crisis .

In summation to the reforms that the SEC introduced in 2010, the SEC besides implemented some fundamental geomorphologic changes to the way they regulate money market funds in 2016 .

These changes required flower institutional money market funds to float their NAV and no long maintain a stable price. retail and U.S. government money marketplace funds were allowed to maintain the stable $ 1 per plowshare policy. The regulations besides provided non-government money commercialize fund boards with new tools to address runs .

money market Funds Today

today, money market funds have become one of the core pillars of the contemporary capital markets. For investors, they offer a diversify, professionally-managed portfolio with high daily liquidity. many investors use money marketplace funds as a place to park their cash until they decide on other investments or for fund needs that may arise in the short-run .

The concern rates that are available on the versatile instruments that constitute the portfolio of a money market store are the key factors that determine the return from a given money market fund. Looking at historical data is adequate to provide sufficient details on how money market returns have fared .

During the decade spanning from 2000 to 2010, the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve Bank led to short-run interest rates—the rates banks pay to borrow money from one another—hovering around 0 %. These near-zero rates meant money market fund investors saw returns that were significantly lower, compared to those in the anterior decades. Further, with the tightening of regulations after the 2008 fiscal crisis, the number of investable securities grew smaller .

Another economic policy in holocene years that has had an adverse impact on money marketplace funds is quantitative easing ( QE ). QE is an improper monetary policy where a cardinal bank purchases government securities or other securities from the marketplace in order to lower interest rates and increase the money provide .

As major economies across the globe—including the U.S.—followed QE measures in the aftermath of the 2008 fiscal crisis, a good fortune of the QE money made its way into money market common funds as a seaport. This migration of funds led to interest rates remaining humble for a long duration, and the diminishing of returns from money market funds .

Are Money Market Funds Safe?

Yes. For the most contribution, money market funds are among the safest of all investments, with a target value of $ 1 per parcel. money marketplace funds have merely dipped below this value ( “ broken the buck ” ) on a little issue of occasions ( associated with fiscal crises ) and have quickly bounced back ,

What Was the First Money Market Fund?

The first base money market reciprocal store appeared in 1971 and was called “ The Reserve Fund. ”

Is a Money Market Account the Same as a Money Market Fund?

No. A money grocery store fund is a common fund investment that holds short-run treasuries and other money market instruments. A money grocery store explanation is a depository financial institution product that credits depositors a rate of sake .

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