Little guy in money markets

Two out of every 3 people who bought money-market funds this year have less than $10,000 invested in them, the Investment Company Institute found in a recent survey. One in 3 people had less than $5,000 in these funds.

Money-market funds are uniquely suited to the needs of people of moderate means in these times of high inflation. Nearly 4 million people now get the high rates of interest available on money-market investments that previously only the wealthy could afford.

The survey covered 1,700 people who had written to the institute asking for information of money-market funds. The survey does not include institutions like businesses and bank trust departments, which hold about half the assets of money-market funds.

Individual investors overwhelmingly cited the yield of these funds as their prime reason for buying them. No fewer than 95 percent rated yield as "very important.

About 80 percent felt two other characteristics were very important: that no time is required to earn the maximum return, and that money can be withdrawn without penalty. Many people also said it was essential to them to be able to add and withdraw money easily.

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