Smart Bond Investing—Money Market Securities and More

Money Market Securities and More

 

A number of other bond categories exist that are primarily traded by professional investors and differ from Treasuries, munis, corporates, agencies and mortgage-backed securities.

 

Money Market Securities

 

Money market instruments include bankers' acceptances, certificates of deposit and commercial paper. Bankers' acceptances are typically used to finance international transactions in goods and services, while certificates of deposit (CDs) are large-denomination, negotiable time deposits issued by commercial banks and thrift institutions. Commercial paper takes the form of short-term, unsecured promissory notes issued by both financial and non-financial corporations.

 

Some combination of these products makes up a money market fund. All money market funds are required to have a dollar-weighted average portfolio maturity that cannot exceed 90 days. While money market securities are highly liquid (you can usually receive your money in a few days, compared to months or years with a CD), the interest you earn on your money tends to be quite low and may not keep pace with inflation.

 

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