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What Are Money Market Funds and How Do They Work in India?

Choosing an investment that fits your risk tolerance and financial goals is crucial when it comes to investing your hard-earned money. A money market fund is one such investment choice that is gaining popularity among Indian investors. We shall delve deeper into the definition of money market funds, money market funds examples, and their operations in India in this blog post.

What is a money market fund?

Mutual funds based on debt are called Money Market Funds (MMF). Their development aims to offer reasonable and consistent returns while preserving the investment’s liquidity. The crucial point to remember in this situation is that MMFs have very short durations, with an appropriate maturity time of about 12 months on average. These are a few of the factors that make MMFs considered to be relatively low risk.

How do money market funds work?

Investments in money market funds India are intended to handle urgent financial needs. These debt fund category open-ended funds solely deal in cash and cash equivalents. Money market securities are referred to as money market instruments because their average maturity is one year.

The fund management makes investments in high-grade, liquid securities such as commercial papers, treasury bills, repurchase agreements, and certificates of deposit. The main aim of MMF is to increase unitholders’ interest income and to reduce the fund’s Net Asset Value (NAV) fluctuations.

Benefits of investing in money market funds

  1. Low Risk: As money market funds primarily invest in short-term debt securities, they are considered to be low-risk investments, making them suitable for risk-averse investors.
  1. Liquidity: Unlike other kinds of mutual funds, MMF can be easily liquidated as they have a shorter maturity period.
  1. Stable Returns: Money market funds aim to provide stable returns, which makes them a popular choice among investors looking for a steady source of income.
  1. Diversification: With money market funds India, investors can benefit from diversifying their investments across various types of short-term debt securities, reducing their overall risk.
  1. Tax Benefits: Money market funds offer tax benefits to investors, as gains made through these funds are determined long-term capital gains and are taxed at a lower price.

Types of money market instruments

The most often used money market instruments are as follows:

  1. Certificate of deposit (CD)

Scheduled commercial banks offer time deposits, such as fixed deposits. Investors cannot withdraw CDs until they mature, which is the only distinction between FDs and CDs.

  1. Commercial paper (CPs)

Highly rated corporations and financial organizations issue these. Promissory notes, another name for commercial papers, are unsecured financial instruments that are redeemed at face value after being issued at a reduced rate.

  1. T-bills, or Treasury Bills

The Indian government issues T-bills to raise funds for a maximum duration of 365 days. Because the government backs them, Treasury bills are among the safest investments. T-bills have a low rate of return or risk-free rate when compared to all other securities.

  1. Repurchase Agreements (Repos)

A loan arrangement exists whereby the RBI provides funds to commercial banks. In addition, agreements are being bought and sold concurrently.

Who should invest in money market mutual funds?

Diversifying a portfolio is aided by money market mutual funds. The principal aim is to provide short-term, low-risk profits through investments in highly-rated money market securities. To maximize short-term gains, the corpus invests in a well-diversified portfolio. These funds are available for purchase by investors with a one-year investment horizon and strong liquidity.

Additionally, investors with limited risk appetite who want larger returns than conventional investment options such as fixed deposits can park their investable corpus in MMF schemes, which produce short-term returns that are predictable.

However, money market mutual funds might not be the best option for you if you have a long investing horizon. Rather than putting your money in money market mutual funds, you should put it in balanced or dynamic bond funds that remain low-risk investments but can yield higher returns.

Things to consider as an investor

  1. Risk tolerance: It’s essential to assess your risk tolerance before investing in money market funds, as they are considered low-risk investments. If you are comfortable with taking on more risk, you may consider other investment options.
  1. Fund performance: Before investing in a money market fund, it’s important to research and compare the performance of different funds over the years. This will give you an idea of how the fund has performed in different market conditions.
  1. Expenses: Money market funds have expenses such as management fees and operating costs, which can affect your overall returns. It’s crucial to take these expenses into consideration before investing.
  1. Investment horizon: As money market funds offer relatively lower returns compared to other investment options, they may not be suitable for long-term investment goals. It’s important to have a clear understanding of your investment horizon before investing in these funds.
  1. Tax implications: While money market funds offer tax benefits, it’s important to understand the tax implications and how they may affect your overall returns.
  1. Fund manager experience: The experience, as well as the track record of the fund manager, plays an important role in the performance of a money market fund. It’s important to research and choose a fund with an experienced and competent fund manager.
  1. Asset allocation: Different types of money market funds have varying asset allocations, which can impact their risk and return potential. It’s important to understand the asset allocation of the fund you are considering investing in.
  1. Exit strategy: Before investing in a money market fund, it’s important to have an exit strategy in place. This could include setting a target return or having a predetermined investment horizon. 

The bottom line

Money market funds are a famous investment option in India, offering stable returns and low-risk investment opportunities. However, it’s essential to do your research and assess your financial goals as well as risk tolerance before investing in any kind of mutual fund, including money market funds. With the right knowledge and understanding, you can make the best investment decisions that align with your financial objectives.


Can I withdraw my investments from a money market fund at any time?

Yes, you can withdraw your investments from a money market fund at any time, as long as there are no restrictions on redemption or exit load fees.

What is the average return rate of money market funds in India?

The average return rate of money market funds can vary depending on the fund’s performance, but it typically ranges from 6% to 9%, making them an attractive option for conservative investors.

Are there any tax benefits for investing in money market funds?

Yes, gains made through money market funds are considered long-duration capital gains and are taxed at a lower price, providing tax benefits to investors.

What is the maturity period of money market funds?

Money market funds typically have a shorter maturity period compared to other types of mutual funds, ranging from 30 days to 1 year.

Can I invest in money market funds through a systematic investment plan (SIP)?

Yes, you can invest in money market funds through a SIP, which allows for regular and disciplined investments over a period of time.

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