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People are flocking to money-market funds to protect their money. Here are the 8 currently offering the highest yields.

traders disagreeMutual funds and hedge funds are divided over bank stocks.

Reuters / Richard Drew

  • SVB’s failure raised fears about the safety of deposits, triggering an outflow out of smaller banks.
  • Money-market funds also look attractive thanks to their higher yields, given the Fed’s aggressive rate hikes.
  • These are the eight top-yielding money-market funds right now, according to Bankrate data.  

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate, Signature Bank, and Credit Suisse this month has prompted investors to pull money from smaller, more vulnerable lenders and move it to safer places that also offer better returns.

This has prominently included money-market funds, which have seen yields juiced by the same rate hikes that crippled SVB’s loan portfolio and sent people scrambling out of less established banks. With safer investments also offering better returns, the shift has been an easy decision for depositors.

Since the start of March, $286 billion has flowed into money-market funds, on pace for the biggest month since the depths of COVID, according to data compiled by EPFR and published by the Financial Times.

It’s a shift that started back in early 2022, when the Federal Reserve started its ongoing path of rate increases. Since then, people have pulled $1 trillion from vulnerable banks and put them into money market funds and bigger institutions, JPMorgan data shows. Of that amount, half was reallocated after the collapse of SVB.

“Fed rate hikes have been increasing the yield advantage of Government Money Market Funds, given the bulk of their investments are in Fed’s reverse repos and Tbills, both of which follow the Fed policy rate closely,” JPMorgan strategists wrote in a recent note.

While money-market funds aren’t guaranteed, they do invest in the safest and most liquid instruments, JPMorgan strategists said. That, combined with the increasingly attractive yields, makes them enticing for investors in the current environment.

“Depositors remain on edge and continue to pull deposits from banks, moving their cash to money market funds,” Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi wrote in a tweet Sunday. “Money fund assets jumped again in the week ending last Wed and are up more in the past 2 weeks than any time save in the pandemic shutdown.”

Here are the money-market funds offering the highest yields as of Friday, March 24, according to Bankrate.

1. UFB Direct, 5.02%UFB DirectUFB Direct

UFB Direct

The online-only UFB Direct only offers savings and money market accounts for deposit accounts, per Bankrate.

It has check-writing privileges and ATM access, but you have to pay a $10 monthly fee if you keep less than $5,000 in the account.

2. CFG Community Bank, 4.80%cfg bank logo

cfg bank

The Maryland-based community bank requires $1,000 to open, and a $1,000 minimum balance requirement to avoid a $10 monthly fee.

Bankrate points out CFG’s savings account annual percentage yield is lower than the national average, and checking accounts can only be opened in person in Maryland. 

3. Sallie Mae, 4.05%sallie maeJack Remondi, President and CEO of Sallie Mae, accepts the Legacy of Literacy Award at Reading Is Fundamental’s 2014 The Cat In The Hat Gala Thursday, April 24, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Paul Morigi/AP Images for Reading Is Fundamental

Bankrate notes that there are no monthly maintenance fees to keep a money market account with Sallie Mae. It also features free transfers but doesn’t include checking accounts, according to Sallie Mae’s website.

This is also a featured offer on Bankrate’s site, meaning it is sponsored.

4. Ally: 4.00%AllyAlly

Ally

Ally requires no minimum balance to open an account or earn interest, Bankrate notes in another sponsored offer. 

Additionally, there are no maintenance fees or overdraft fees, and Ally reimburses up to $10 a month for fees charged on other ATMs. 

5. First Internet Bank of Indiana: 3.56%First Internet Bank of Indiana logoFirst Internet Bank of Indiana is an online-only bank

First Internet Bank of Indiana

The APY is competitive, though account holders must maintain a $4,000 balance to avoid a $5 monthly fee, Bankrate says. Check writing is not available with this account. 

It requires $100 to open an account, and account holders get up to $10 of monthly ATM surcharges refunded.

6. Discover Bank: 3.50%Discover

Discover.com

Bankrate notes that customers will need to deposit $2,500 to open Discover’s money market account, which doesn’t have a monthly service fee. 

It provides a debit card and free checks, and customers who keep $100,000 or more will earn a slightly higher APY. 

7. US Bank: 3.50%US Bank

Nati Harnik/AP

US Bank’s money market account requires a $10,000 minimum balance to avoid the $10 monthly fee, and this option offers check writing, Bankrate says about the sponsored offer.

Customers can also earn extra savings when they open a US Bank Elite Money Market Account.

8. Northpointe Bank: 3.25%Northpointe Bank logo

Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based bank offers attractive rates but only if a deposit of at least $2,500 is maintained in the account, according to Bankrate.

To earn the highest yield, at least $5,000 is required in the account, and it does not offer check-writing privileges. Bankrate also adds that an extra transaction fee of $15 per item applies when the limit of six monthly transactions is surpassed.

On accounts with balances below $2,500, no interest is earned. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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