Money Market – Funds, Accounts, Instruments and Rates

Last Updated on October 26, 2021

A money market is a type of financial market where short-term money instruments with high liquidity and maturities are traded. It’s used by investors as a method of borrowing and lending for the time being. In short, it’s a place for people to trade within the very short term. The main participants are banks and other financial institutions, but high-net-worth individuals can also participate by means of a special broker called a money market broker.

Money market instruments refer to those which have lower risk and higher liquidity than other investment instruments with a similar maturity. It includes borrowing/lending money from one party to another with interest as well as purchasing securities such as treasury bills, commercial papers, bankers’ acceptances, etc. In some cases, these instruments may also include trading physical currencies as well as derivatives such as Futures or Options on those physical currencies.

Money Market Instruments

Money Market
Money Market

Instruments that are traded within the Money Market include:

1.    Bonds

2.    Bankers Acceptance Notes

3.    Commercial Paper Notes

4.    Treasury Bills

Money Market Fund

A money market fund is a mutual fund that invests only in cash and instruments, which are sometimes referred to as cash equivalents. With low monthly payments, tax-free yields, and very liquid short-term investments with excellent credit quality, these vehicles are extremely liquid short-term investments. Money market funds often invest in such assets as Certificates of deposit (CDs).

Money market funds generally invest in such instruments as:

  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)
  • Commercial paper
  • U.S. Treasuries
  • Bankers’ Acceptances
  • Repurchase agreements
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According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), mutual funds must have a weighted average maturity (WAM) of 60 days or less. Money market funds, like other mutual funds, issue redeemable units (shares) to investors and are subject to SEC rules. Money market mutual funds, like all mutual funds, have the same characteristics. The net asset value (NAV) of a money market mutual fund is different from that of a mutual fund in one respect: it differs.

Money Market Funds vs. Money Market Accounts

While they may appear to be the same, money market funds are not the same as money market accounts (MMAs). The primary distinction is that while the former is sponsored by fund firms and has no promise of principle, the latter are interest-earning savings accounts provided by financial companies that offer limited transaction rights and are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). A money market account has a higher interest rate than a bank savings account, but one that is lower than that of a CD or the whole return on a money market fund.

Money Market
Money Market Rates

Money Market Rates

Money Market Interest Rates

Because money market funds are based on highly liquid assets, they are safe and carry little risk. As a result, they have a relatively low interest rate when compared to other investments.

Money Market Account Rates

Because of this, financial firms have fewer barriers to how they may invest in depositor funds. Because the cash is given out to other customers in the form of loans and credit cards, which are considered riskier bets, these rates are far lower.

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The main difference between a money market account and a money market mutual fund is that the former invests in short-term securities, such as certificates of deposits (CDs), municipal bonds, and Treasury notes (T-notes). This generally offers investors higher interest rates than regular savings accounts. The more interest you earn, the greater your overall earnings will be. It is paid out to you at the end of each month directly into your account.

Money Market Fund Rates

Money market mutual funds, unlike other mutual funds, are subject to reduced interest rates owing to the assets underlying them. These, as previously said, have much shorter maturities and a considerably lower risk profile. Because market interest rates affect the returns from these instruments, and therefore the overall returns from money market funds, the Fed’s rate settings have an impact on those amounts. As a result, if the Fed lowers its rate-setting, money market funds pay to their investors a lower rate.

Money Market Instruments

Money market instruments, as the name implies, are a financial instrument that allows banks, enterprises, and the government to meet large but short-term capital requirements at a reasonable price. Borrowers may use these funds to meet their short-term financial needs while also aiding in the liquidity of lenders.

Examples of Money Market Instruments:

  • Banker’s Acceptance: Money market instruments are often used in trade finance. A bank or financial company that accepts a bill of exchange made out to it may hold the instrument until maturity when it will be paid back by the debtor. The bank will then sell this bill to an investor who is looking for short-term liquidity at a certain interest rate. This process is called banker’s acceptance.
  • Treasury Bills: Sometimes money market instruments are used to raise capital or help with liquidity problems faced by banks and enterprises. Treasury bills allow governments to borrow funds while minimizing riskiness on their balance sheet. Examples include U.S., Japanese, and New Zealand government note all through auctions known as “tap issues” where they issue debt with maturities of a year or less.
  • Repurchase Agreements: Another common example is the repo, where lending parties agree to repurchase security that is due within a certain timeframe at an agreed-upon price. In this case, the lending firms lend cash to borrowers in return for securities as collateral. The lenders get more liquid securities, while borrowers can get more funds than they might otherwise be able to. This allows them to make new investments and keep their business running while still being able to meet their interest payments on time.
  • Certificate of Deposits: Money market instruments may also take the form of certificates of deposit (CDs), which are issued by commercial banks and some unions directly to customers who wish to acquire them. They are fixed-income securities that pay a higher rate of return than normal savings accounts but at the cost of tying up funds for a certain amount of time. Commercial papers are also an example.
  • Commercial Papers: Commercial papers are unsecured and can be issued by both private and public borrowers. They tend to only have maturities of less than 270 days, and each issuer has a predetermined quota under which it can issue these forms of money market instruments.

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