Saturday, September 15, 2007

PayPal money market fund yield eases to 5.20% as of 9/15/2007

Despite the chatter about the so-called "credit crunch" and "subprime crisis" and the potential risk of even money market funds, money market funds are still an extremely safe place to park cash.

The good news is that a number of money market fund yields are higher as their existing short-term commercial paper matures and rolls over into new commercial paper that is getting a higher yield since supposedly nobody wants any of this commercial paper, or so the story goes.

Note: In theory, money market fund and CD rates should go down after the Fed lowers its target rate, but not necessarily immediately nor in lockstep with the Fed. Even as the Fed lowers its rate the yield on short-term commercial paper could stay high or even rise further, helping to keep money market fund yields relatively high.

Here are some recent money market mutual fund yields as of Saturday, September 8, 2007:

  • iMoneyNet average taxable money market fund 7-day yield fell from 4.71% to 4.69%
  • GMAC Bank Money Market account rate remains at 5.16% or APY of 5.30% (only $500 minimum for that rate)  -- Note: This is an FDIC-insured bank deposit account, not a money market fund 
  • Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX) 7-day yield fell from 5.09% to 5.05%
  • Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX) 7-day yield fell from 5.02% to 4.95%
  • AARP Money Market Fund 7-day yield fell from 5.11% to 5.07%
  • TIAA-CREF Money Market (TIRXX) 7-day yield rose from 5.08% to 5.13%
  • PayPal Money Market Fund 7-day yield fell from 5.23% to 5.20% -- Still the #1 top yield on the iMoneyNet Prime Retail Money Market Fund list for a second week 
  • ShareBuilder money market fund (BDMXX) 7-day yield rose from 4.57% to 4.59%
  • Fidelity Money Market Fund (SPRXX) 7-day yield fell from 5.15% to 5.13% ($25,000 minimum)
  • Fidelity Cash Reserves money market fund (FDRXX) 7-day yield fell from 5.11% to 5.09%
  • Fidelity Prime Reserves money market fund (FPRXX) 7-day yield fell from 4.60% to 4.58%
  • Fidelity Municipal Money Market fund (FTEXX) 7-day yield fell from 3.56% to 3.44% or tax equivalent yield of 5.29% (down from 5.48%) for the 35% marginal tax bracket and 4.78% (down from 4.94%) for the 28% marginal tax bracket -- this is a very decent yield for "core cash" in a checking-style account
  • Fidelity Tax-Free Money Market fund (FMOXX) 7-day yield fell from 3.52% to 3.41% or tax equivalent yield of 5.25% (down from 5.42%) for the 35% marginal tax bracket and 4.74% (down from 4.98%) for the 28% marginal tax bracket
  • 4-week (1-month) T-bill investment rate fell from 4.37% to 4.08%
  • 13-week (3-month) T-bill investment rate fell from 4.47% to 3.90%
  • 26-week (6-month) T-bill investment rate fell from 4.55% to 4.17%
  • Treasury I Bond composite earnings rate (semiannual compounded annually) for new I Bonds is 3.74% (down from 4.52%), with a fixed rate of 1.30% (down from 1.40%) and a semiannual inflation rate of 1.21% (down from 1.55%) -- updated May 1, 2007, next semiannual update on November 1, 2007
  • NetBank 6-month CD APY remains at 5.40%
  • NetBank 1-year CD APY fell from 5.35% to 5.30%
  • Bankrate.com highest 6-month CD APY remains at 5.70% (IndyMac Bank, $5,000 minimum, with Countrywide Bank #2 at 5.55%, $10,000 minimum)
  • Bankrate.com highest 12-month CD APY remains at 5.65% (Countrywide Bank, $10,000 minimum, with IndyMac Bank #2 at 5.45%, $5,000 minimum)

Note: APY yield is worth somewhat less than the same 7-day yield. See my discussion and table for Comparing 7-day yield and APY.

Right now, Fidelity Cash Reserves (FDRXX) is my preferred parking place for the bulk of my cash. I do appreciate the higher yield I have been getting these past few weeks, which is probably due to higher yields on commercial paper. I know that I can get a better yield elsewhere, but the convenience, decent yield, and relative safety of Fidelity make this a very attracive parking place.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an investment adviser, so my opinions and the data presented here should not be considered as advice for where to invest your money. You should examine this and other available data before deciding how to invest your money. And, seriously, past returns should not be construed as a guarantee or even an indication of future returns.

-- Jack Krupansky

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