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Blog
2 mins Read | 2 Months Ago

What are Money Market Mutual Funds?

High dividend-paying stocks & Mutual Fund schemes

 

Money Market Mutual Funds are Mutual Funds (MF) that invest in short-term, high-quality and fixed-income securities. With Money Market Funds, you can focus on investments with little credit risk and aim for capital preservation along with some degree of liquidity.

Understanding the details of Money Market Mutual Funds allows investors with knowledge to diversify their portfolios effectively, addressing short-term financial goals and providing reliability within an investment strategy. Here is a brief overview.

Characteristics of Money Market Mutual Funds 

  1. Investment focus: The majority of these funds invest in highly liquid and short-term debt instruments like Treasury Bills (T-Bills), commercial paper, Certificates of Deposits (CDs) and other highly liquid low-risk securities.

  2. Low risk: Safety is usually a top priority for these funds, including quality investment-grade bonds with maturities of short duration that reduce risk.

  3. Steady income: Money Market Mutual Funds strive for safety as they earn interest for investors who get a constant flow of income from the underlying securities.

  4. Liquidity: Liquidity is an important feature of many Money Market Mutual Funds. This makes it easy for investors to purchase and cash out on their invested money at Net Asset Value (NAV), a feature that contributes to a fast turnaround of assets.

Who should consider Money Market Mutual Funds? 

  • Those targeting to save their excess funds should look for Money Market Funds. These are best suited for short-term investment, from a month to a year. These are stable and offer decent returns before being reinvested.

  • Money Market Funds tend to attract investors interested in low-risk, regular, short-term income. These funds assure stability and liquidity, enabling investors to allocate a portion of their portfolio, creating a steady income flow through a Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP).

  • Money Market Funds serve as an alternative short-term savings tool, offering better returns than savings deposits. With income from interest payments and potential capital gains, they often outperform liquid or overnight funds due to investments in slightly longer-term debt.

  • For those managing investments in equity or hybrid funds, Money Market Funds present an avenue through Systematic Transfer Plans (STPs). Though liquid funds are commonly used for this purpose, investors comfortable with a slightly higher risk can leverage Money Market Funds for their potential higher returns.

Benefits of Money Market Funds

ICICI Bank offers great advantages to investors through Money Market Funds. One advantage is the potential to earn higher interest compared to a Savings Account, due to their low-risk nature. By investing in the Bank's secure, short-term debt-based assets, these funds often yield more attractive returns while maintaining stability.

Moreover, these funds offer a remarkable level of liquidity. They primarily invest in highly liquid and secure assets, ensuring that investors have easy access to their funds when needed. This liquidity aspect provides a safe and convenient option for investors to park their money so that they can easily access it without incurring significant penalties or delays.

Additionally, the transparency and manageability of Money Market Funds are the key selling points. Investors can easily track the performance of the funds and monitor their earnings. The structure of the funds allows for clear visibility into all aspects, making it simpler for investors to manage their investments effectively.

Things to consider while investing in Money Market Funds

Investing in Money Market Funds raises two primary concerns. Firstly, despite predominantly investing in low-default probability short-term assets, a credit risk is still involved. Instances exist where high-rated commercial paper has been downgraded sharply due to the failure of issuers in meeting interest obligations. Funds heavily holding such defaulted or downgraded debt may experience substantial erosion in their value.

Secondly, while these funds aim for stable, regular income, it is not guaranteed. Fluctuations in fund values occur when market interest rates change. If the fund manager misjudges the interest rate movements several times, the fund might yield considerably lower returns than its counterparts might. Hence, investors should opt for funds with consistent performance and steady returns. 

Best Money Market Funds to invest in India 

Let us see some of the best Money Market Mutual Funds to invest in India:

Scheme Name

NAV
(RS./UNIT)

AUM
(RS. CR)

1 Month

1 Year

3 Years

5 Years

ICICI Prudential Money Market Fund-Growth

336.26

14,789.45

0.58

7.37

5.12

6.00

Tata Money Market Fund Regular Plan-Growth

4,184.76

15,015.76

0.59

7.39

5.22

6.1

UTI Money Market Fund Regular Plan-Growth

2,731.88

11,578.28

0.59

7.44

5.22

6.05

Axis Money Market Fund Regular Plan- Growth

1,267.72

7,722.57

0.57

7.34

5.15

-

Nippon India Money Market Fund-Growth

3,677.62

12,075.08

0.59

7.39

5.25

6.09

How to choose the best Money Market Mutual Funds?

Assessing the performance of Money Market Mutual Funds involves several key factors:

Returns: The evaluation of these funds typically focuses on 6-month or 1-year returns since they invest in short-term debt securities. A strong performer will consistently surpass both its peers and the benchmark across various market conditions, showcasing appropriate management of durations for steady returns.

Expense: The Expense Ratio, the annual charge for managing the portfolio, significantly impacts the final returns for the investors. Keeping an eye on any sudden increase or consistently higher ratios compared to similar funds is crucial for informed decision-making.

Interest rate risk: With Money Market Funds, you can adjust the duration of the funds to capitalise on market interest rate changes. The volatility of the funds indicates the level of interest rate risk; higher volatility suggests greater exposure to interest rate fluctuations. Investors can track monthly durations available in fund fact sheets to gauge this risk.

Conclusion

Money Market Mutual Funds present a conservative yet essential investment option, especially suitable for those prioritising safety and liquidity. With their focus on short-term, high-quality debt instruments, these funds offer stability, steady income stream and easy accessibility - a compelling choice for investors seeking to balance risk and returns while ensuring the security of their invested capital. Invest in Money Market Mutual Funds today and strengthen your commitment to financial security.

 

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