Money Market Instrument Definition

Share |

The Money Market is an instrument of the fixed income market. Generally speaking, the term "fixed income" is synonymous with bonds. In reality, a bond is just one type of fixed income security. The difference between the money market and the bond market is that the money market specializes in very short-term debt securities (debt that matures in less than one year). Money market investments are also called cash investments because of their short maturities, and their near-liquid nature (almost immediate access upon request).

Money market securities are essentially IOU's issued by governments, financial institutions, and large corporations. These instruments are very liquid and considered extraordinarily safe. Because they are extremely conservative, money market securities offer significantly lower return than most other securities.

One of the main differences between the money market and the stock market is that most money market securities trade in awfully high denominations. This limits the access of the individual investor. Furthermore, the money market is a dealer market, which means that firms buy and sell securities in their own accounts, at their own risk. Compare this to the stock market where a broker receives commission to acts as an agent, while the investor takes the risk of holding the stock. Another characteristic of a dealer market is the lack of a central trading floor or exchange. Deals are transacted over the phone or through electronic systems.

The easiest way for us to gain access to the money market is with a money market mutual funds, or through money market bank account, which are offered at this website.. These accounts and funds pool together the assets of thousands of investors in order to buy the money market securities on their behalf. However, some money market instruments, like treasury bills, may be purchased directly. Failing that, they can be acquired through other large financial institutions with direct access to these markets.

Best Money Market Rates > Money Market Instrument Definition