Money-Market Funds Are Back. But There Are Now Other Options for Your Cash. | Barron’s
In our turbulent times, money-market funds have returned from the dead, along with a number of liquid, short-term, near-cash alternatives. As of Nov. 2, money funds were yielding an average 2.9%, and that is likely to keep rising as the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates.
Their real competition, in investment convenience, security, and liquidity, isn’t bank accounts, but rather ultrashort-term bond exchange-traded funds. The largest, the $25 billion
invests in the safest Treasury bills. But that ETF pays a slightly lower SEC or official “standardized” yield, 2.7%, than many retail money funds today. With the huge demand for T-bills this year, they now yield 0.25 to 0.30 percentage points below some of the overnight repos that money funds will invest in.