Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Impact of New Money Market Rules

Money
Securities & Exchange Commission – Passed New Rules 

When money became a product, the money market became an element for the financial market for possessions for the purpose of lending, in short term borrowing, buying and selling with original maturities for a year or less and trading in money market could be done over the counter.

Securities and Exchange Commission – SEC had passed some new rules which governed money market fund in mid-2014 and these rules were designed to contest the probable problems on liquidity if the economy would envisage a financial meltdown like the 2008-2009. Usually the money market fund is where several investors tend to invest their funds and the shares of the funds have a constant $1 per share value and there was instant liquidity.

 According to the new rules there is some change to these attributes for some money market funds. Some money market funds will be having floating net asset value – NAV when the new rules are applicable and these funds will not be priced at the prevailing $1 per share. This is turn will have an impact on the institutional municipal money market funds as well as institutional prime/general purpose money funds only while retail money market funds will not be affected by this rule.

Two Kinds of Liquidity Fee

The new rule is for two kinds of liquidity fee which could levy rigid fees on redemptions especially those conventionally low return vehicles and if the weekly liquid assets of money market funds tend to fall below 30% of the total fund’s assets, the board of directors connected with the funds could impose a 2% fee on redemption of funds.

Should the money market fund’s weekly liquid resources tend to fall below 10% of the total assets of the fund, then the redemptions could be subject to a 1% redemption fee if the board of directors vote otherwise. This new rule is then applicable to both the institutional as well as retail municipal and prime/general purpose money market funds.

If the money market fund’s liquid assets fall below 30% on the whole assets, the funds’ board of directors are permitted to vote on whether to restrict all fund redemption for 10 days and agreed that money market funds could be used for their low investment risk and liquidity, the burden of redemption could be difficult for several investors.

Vanguard’s Ultra Short Term Bond Fund 

After the announcement of the new rules, some new short term bond mutual funds have come up which include Vanguard’s Ultra Short-Term Bond Fund – VUBFX, but according to Vanguard, the launch was not connected to new money market fund rules. Higher yield than money market funds are offered in short term bond funds though they also have additional market risk depending on their underlying holdings.

The average ultra-short term bond funds, according to Morningstar Inc. – MORN, lost 7.89% in 2008 and financial advisors could be wise in reminding clients intending to seek more yields on the potential risks of presuming that these funds could be a substitute for money market funds. In an effort in preventing a collapse of financial system in case of another economic meltdown, as the financial crisis which occurred in 2008-2009, the SEC have approved several changes in the rules that govern money market funds.

While some will have redemption fees levied on shareholders in some cases and others will see their NAV enabled to fluctuate from the traditional stable $1 per share, these changes will compel investors as well as financial advisors to reconsider how to use the money market funds while at the same time look for other alternatives.

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