Barron's writes "Where to Find Safe Yields Above 1%." It says, "Now that the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates three times in the past 16 months—including twice in the past four months -- the interest that investors can earn on their cash is starting to get real. There are now plenty of options for earning safe yields above 1% for investors who hunt around. The best interest rates are most readily available from banks, but there are some high-minimum money-market funds, such as Fidelity Money Market Portfolio (ticker: FMPXX), that yield above 1%." "They are going to get more company in next couple of months," as the impact of the recent Fed hike is fully realized and the Fed prepares to hike again, says Peter Crane, of money-fund research firm Crane Data. "Things look better for cash investors than they have in a decade." The article adds, "For investors, a money-market fund makes more sense as a place to stash "dry powder" that can be readily deployed. Yield gains, however, have trailed Fed rate hikes. The largest money funds have an average yield of 0.6%, just 10 basis points (or 0.1 percentage point) more than before the Fed's mid-March 25-basis-point rate hike. Many funds hold 30-day securities, and the rate hike is just two weeks old. "Ten more basis points will come through," Crane says. "Whether we ever get the other five is unclear." Fund companies have used recent rate hikes to restore fees that were waived to keep money-fund yields from going negative when rates were near zero. Still, many money-market funds meant for individual investors are getting close to the 1% threshold. Vanguard Prime Money Market fund (VMMXX) has a 0.87% yield. Its tax-exempt cousin, Vanguard Municipal Money Market fund (VMSXX), has a yield of 0.7%, which is more than 1% on a tax-equivalent basis for many. The next Fed rate hike could come as soon as June, and Crane thinks that short-term debt markets will start to price it in ahead of time."

Email This Article




Use a comma or a semicolon to separate

captcha image