If you are looking to park your money in a low-risk asset class – perhaps to protect your wealth from inflation, falling stock markets, or low interest rates – a money market fund could be exactly what you need.
In this guide, we review the Best Money Market Funds UK for 2021. We also explain what money market funds are and how you can invest in one from the comfort of your home.
- 1 Best Money Market Fund UK List
- 2 Best Money Market Fund to Invest in UK
- 3 What are Money Market Funds?
- 4 Why Invest in Money Market Funds?
- 5 Money Market Funds vs ETFs
- 6 Best Money Market Funds Brokers UK
- 7 How to Invest in Money Market Funds on Fineco Tutorial
- 8 Best Money Market Funds UK – Conclusion
- 9 eToro – Invest in Money Market Funds with 0% Commission
- 10 FAQs
Best Money Market Fund UK List
The best money market funds UK for 2021 can be found below. By scrolling down, you can read our full financial analysis of each MMF.
- Vanguard Sterling Short-Term MMF – Overall Best Money Market Fund UK – Invest Now
- Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund – Best Money Market Fund UK for US Treasuries – Invest Now
- Federated Hermes Prime Cash Obligations Fund – Top Money Market Fund for Diversification – Invest Now
- Invesco Money Fund (UK) – Best Money Market Fund UK for High-Grade Debt Securities
- iShares Core U.K. Gilts UCITS – Best Money Market Fund UK for Gilts
Best Money Market Fund to Invest in UK
When searching for the best money market fund UK – there are several key metrics that you need to focus on.
This should include:
- What investment vehicles the money market fund holds
- How much risk is associated with the underlying money market instruments
- The performance of the money market funds over the past 5-10 years
- How much liquidity the money market fund attracts
- What pricing structure the money market fund has in place
To save you countless hours of research, below we discuss the best UK money market funds to consider right now.
1. Vanguard Sterling Short-Term MMF – Overall Best Money Market Fund UK
If you are looking for the best money market fund UK that is denominated in GBP – you might want to consider the Vanguard Sterling Short-Term MMF. As the name suggests, the MMF concentrates on financial instruments that are priced in pound sterling – which ensures that you avoid the risks associated with currency fluctuations.
In terms of what instruments the Vanguard Sterling Short-Term MMF holds – this is a combination of UK Gilts (government-issued bonds), certificates of deposits issued by banks and financial institutions, fixed-rate bonds, and short-term corporate bonds. According to Vanguard itself, this money market fund carries a risk rating of 1/5 – which ensures your exposure to loss is minimal.
Looking at the financials, this Vanguard fund carries an ongoing expense ratio of 0.12%. This means that for every £1,000 invested – you’ll pay an annual fee of just £1.20. The Sterling Short-Term Money Market Fund was actually only launched in 2019 – so we have limited data in terms of financial performance.
What we do know is that since its inception date – the fund was grown by 0.55%. Although such small returns are just the nature of MMFs, this is below the rate of inflation. As such – and as advised by Vanguard itself, this fund is not suitable for long-term growth. On the contrary, the fund offers a risk-averse way to protect your wealth from economic uncertainty.
Your capital is at risk
2. Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund – Best Money Market Fund UK for US Treasuries
Although no financial instruments are truly risk-free – US Treasury Bills are arguably the go-to safe haven during times of economic unknowns. For those unaware, Treasuries are bonds issued by the US government. They come with various maturity dates – ranging from a few months up to a hundred years.
Crucially, as US Treasuries are backed by the US Federal Reserve, the chances of default are virtually zero. As such, they offer a great way to hedge against the wider financial markets. We found that the best money market fund UK for this purpose is offered by Vanguard.
The fund – which comes with an annual expense ratio of just 0.09%, has over 80% of its holdings in US government-issued debt. Once again, don’t expect any sizable returns on this MMF, as over the past 10 years it has averaged annual gains of just 0.55%. With that said, if you go back to its inception date of 1992 – the fund has averaged 2.37%.
Your capital is at risk
3. Federated Hermes Prime Cash Obligations Fund – Best Money Market Fund UK for Diversification
What we like about the Federated Hermes Prime Cash Obligations Fund is that it offers a more diversified approach to hedging. For example, the MMF holds short-term debt instruments from both corporations and the US government. Regarding the latter, this includes a variety of US Treasury debt and US government agency repurchase agreements.
More than 26% of the portfolio is held in asset-backed commercial papers, and 18% in financial company commercial papers. There are also holdings in bank certificates of deposits, tender option bonds, and variable rate demand notes. Looking at its corporate-based short-term debt – these are issued by major players in the investment banking space.
This includes JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse Group, Mizuho Financial Group, and Societe Generale. On top of being well-diversified, this money market fund has generated somewhat attractive returns. For example, since its inception, this stands at 2.60% per year. Over the past three years, the fund has averaged 1.50% annually.
Your capital is at risk
4. Invesco Money Fund (UK) – Best Money Market Fund UK for High-Grade Debt Securities
The Invesco Money Fund (UK) is another MMF that focuses on high-grade debt securities that are issued in pound sterling. Once again, this is ideal if you are based in the UK and looking for a short-term hedging strategy – as you don’t need to worry about currency risk.
There is a fairly even split between bonds and cash at 53% and 47% respectively. Regarding the former, some of the largest debt issuers include Societe Generale (5.36%), Nestle Holdings (5.26%), Volkswagen Financial Services (5.00%), and the European Investment Bank (4.85%). As you likely know, these are highly stable institutions with a rock-solid balance.
Looking at the returns of this UK money market fund – average annual returns over a 10-year period stand at just over 0.42%. This translates into 10-year growth of 4.32% – which doesn’t get anywhere close to UK inflation levels. As such, this MMF is only suitable for short-term hedging and wealth protection strategies.
Your capital is at risk
5. iShares Core U.K. Gilts UCITS – Best Money Market Fund UK for Gilts
If you are looking for an MMF that invests exclusively in UK government bonds – it might be worth considering the iShares Core U.K. Gilts UCITS. Technically, this iShares fund is actually an ETF. However, it carries all of the same characteristics as a conventional money market fund.
After all, you are investing in high-grade UK Gilts – so your exposure to risk is minimal. Additionally, this is one of the cheapest money maker funds available in the market – with iShares charging just 0.07% per year. In terms of maturity, there are Gilts with a duration of less than 12 months – right up to 20 years and more. As such, this offers a good blend of yields.
Your capital is at risk
What are Money Market Funds?
Money market funds are an investment product that focuses on short-term securities. These securities are deemed very low-risk – and typically include a blend of government-issued bonds like US Treasuries and UK Gilts, alongside high-grade corporate bonds. The purpose of investing in a money market fund is not to generate long-term investment or growth.
On the contrary, they offer a way to protect and hedge your wealth. For example, if it appears that the stock markets are in a downtrend trend – institutional investors might move their capital into a money market fund. In doing so, this allows them to ‘hold fire’ until it becomes clearer whether the downward trend is temporary or signs of a prolonged bear market.
- In essence, a money market fund works much the same as a conventional mutual fund or ETF.
- This is because the fund will be managed by a large-scale investment house – such as Vanguard or iShares.
- In turn, you can enter and exit a money market fund investment at any time – so your capital is liquid.
- Plus, you will be entitled to your share of any dividends that the money market fund receives.
However, unlike an ETF or mutual fund – the overarching objective with an MMF is capital preservation – and not financial gain.
Why Invest in Money Market Funds?
If you’re looking to target long-term financial growth – then money market funds will not be for you. This is because they offer a much lower rate of return than other fund types – such as major stock indices like the FTSE 100 or Dow Jones. Although money market funds are not suitable for long-term capital growth – there are many reasons why they might be suitable for your short-term investment financial goals.
Record Low Bank Interest Rates
The vast majority of UK current accounts pay just a fraction of 1% per year in interest. You might come across a headline offer that claims to pay a more attractive return on your savings, albeit, there are often unfavourable conditions attached.
For example, there is usually a very small limit on how much of your current account balance benefit from the higher rate. In other cases, you need to have a premium current account – which defeats the objective as you need to pay a monthly fee. Taking all of this into account, some UK investors will instead look to put their cash into a money market account.
On the one hand, the rate of return will still be very modest. But, in most cases, the UK money market funds will pay more than a traditional current account.
MMFs Possess High Liquidity Levels
As we briefly covered earlier, MMFs are liquid – even though they often hold illiquid assets like corporate bonds. This is because the best money market funds UK is publically traded – meaning that you can cash out your investment at any time during standard market hours.
This is crucial – as it means your money is never tied up for more than a couple of days – taking into account brokerage withdrawal times.
Hedge Against the Stock Markets
The stock markets – especially those located in the US, have been on an upward trend for almost a decade. As history suggests, the wider markets will always go through trends – both upwards and downwards.
As such, many argue that it is only a matter of time before we see the next prolonged bear market. When it does appear that this is the case, experienced investors will look to take their capital out of the stock market and put it into a low-risk fund such as an MMF. This allows investors to preserve their capital until it’s time to re-enter the stock market.
Money Market Funds vs ETFs
We mentioned earlier that money market funds are not too dissimilar to ETFs. This is because both financial instruments are run and operated by large-scale institutions,which will often hold a basket of diversified assets, and generate returns via an increased NAV (Net Asset Value) and dividends.
However, it must be noted that ETFs are typically tasked with tracking a specific market – meaning that they are passively managed.
On the other hand, money market funds are actively managed – as the provider will determine which low-risk debt securities to buy and sell. After all, the main objective of a money market fund is to preserve capital – so it must proactively make risk-averse investment decisions.
Best Money Market Funds Brokers UK
If you’re ready to invest in a money market fund today – you will first need to sign up with a suitable broker. In searching for the best MMF platform – you need to consider fees, minimum account balances, payments, safety, and more.
To point you in the right direction, below we discuss a selection of top-rated UK investment platforms that offer funds.
1. eToro – Best Overall Platform to Invest in Funds with Zero Commission
eToro is an FCA-regulated and FSCS partnered brokerage site that is super-popular with inexperienced investors. The platform is very simple to use and it takes just minutes to get an investment account open.
Once you do, you will have access to a wider variety of the best investment funds – such as those offered by iShares, SPDR, and Vanguard. This covers funds that track heaps of different markets – such as low-risk government bonds, high-grade corporate bonds, and other debt securities.
67% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site
Best of all, when you invest in a fund on eToro – you won’t be charged a penny in commission or dealing fees. There is no ongoing platform charge either – so it’s only the fund’s expense ratio that will be charged. The minimum investment per fund on eToro is a very reasonable $50 (about £35), which is great if you only have a small amount of money.
On top of top-rated funds, eToro also gives you access to over 17 stock exchanges, it’s the biggest platform to buy shares, with access to more than 2,400 shares – this covers stocks in the UK, US, Germany, France, Hong Kong, and more. Much like its funds, stocks can be bought and sold commission-free on eToro. An additionally passive investment tool that you might like at eToro is the Copy Trading feature.
This allows you to copy an eToro trade in an automated manner. You have thousands of potential traders to choose from and if risk is your main concern, you can filter your results accordingly. This comes at no additional fee, but the minimum investment per copy trader is $500 (about £360).
In terms of getting started with this top-rated investment platform – you can open an account in minutes. You can trade online or via the eToro investment app – which is compatible with iOS and Android. Either way, you can easily deposit funds with your UK debit or credit card. E-wallets (Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller) and UK bank transfers are also supported.
- Super user-friendly online trading platform
- Buy stocks without paying any commission or share dealing charges
- Trade CFDs in the form of stocks, indices, commodities, forex, and more
- 2,400+ stocks listed on the UK and international markets
- Deposit funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or UK bank account
- Ability to copy the trades of other users
- FCA and FSCS protections
- Not suitable for advanced traders that like to perform technical analysis
67% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site
2. Fineco Bank – Affordable Dealing Platform to Invest in Money Market Funds
If you have your heart set specifically on the best money market funds UK – then Fineco Bank is likely to be your best option. The online broker doesn’t offer a free service like eToro – but it is still competitively priced.
For example, you won’t pay any dealing fees when you buy and sell money market funds at Fineco. You will, however, need to pay 0.25% on an investment balance of less than £250,000. This will be charged in addition to the expense ratio of your chosen MMF.
The only way that you can get your annual fee down to 0% is to invest more than £2 million. The minimum fund investment at Fineco Bank is a reasonable £100 – which is perfect if you wish to start off with small amounts. We also like the Fineco Regular Investment Plan. This allows you to regularly invest in funds automatically at a minimum of £50 per month.
Much like eToro, Fineco Bank also gives you access to a huge library of traditional stocks. This will cost you £2.95 on each UK stock trade you place, and $3.95 on US-listed stocks. The main disadvantage of using Fineco Bank is that it doesn’t support debit or credit cards. Instead, it’s only bank transfers that are permitted.
- Charges just £2.95 per trade when buying and selling shares
- Access to thousands of UK and international shares
- Deposit funds with a UK bank account
- Heavily regulated, including a Financial Conduct Authority license
- Established way back in 1999
- Offers ISAs and SIPPs
- All personal data protected
- 0.25% annual fee
- No support for debit or credit cards
Your money is at risk.
How to Invest in Money Market Funds on Fineco Tutorial
If you’re ready to invest in a money market fund right now – the guidelines below will walk you through the process with FCA-regulated broker Fineco Bank.
Step 1: Open an Account
Like all stock brokers in the UK, you will first need to open an account with Fineco Bank. To do this, head over to the provider’s homepage and click on the ‘Open Account’ button.
You will then be asked a series of questions about who you are. For example, you’ll need to supply your full name, home address, and date of birth – as well as your contact details. You also need to supply your National Insurance Number.
Step 2: Account Verification
Unlike eToro, the account verification process at Fineco Bank is a little more long-winded. This is because the broker is unable to verify your ID automatically. Nevertheless, most account verifications are completed within 1-2 working days.
All you need to do is upload a copy of your passport or driver’s license. If Fineco is unable to verify your home address through the data you have provided – it might also ask for a recently issued utility bill or bank account statement.
Step 3: Transfer Funds
Once your account is verified, you can then proceed to make a deposit. The only option here is via a UK bank transfer. As such, Fineco will display its account details on-screen, alongside your unique deposit reference. It’s important that you supply this reference when you complete the transfer to avoid delays. The minimum deposit is £100 and there are no transaction fees.
Step 4: Choose Money Market Fund and Invest
Now that your Fineco account has been funded, you can process to invest in your chosen money market fund. Once you find the MMF that interests you, complete an order by entering your stake. Once you confirm the order, the funds will be taken from your account balance.
And that’s it – you’ve just invested in a money market fund at Fineco Bank!
Best Money Market Funds UK – Conclusion
While money market funds are certainly not a substitute for long-term capital growth – they do serve a clear purpose. Whether you’re looking to mitigate the risk of a falling stock market or you simply wish to make more interest than traditional current accounts pay – there are dozens of money market funds to choose from.
If you’re looking to invest in a fund from the comfort of your home right now – eToro offers a 0% commission-free service. You only need to invest $50 (about £35) per fund and you won’t be charged any ongoing platform fees. Most importantly – eToro is regulated by the FCA and your capital is covered by the FSCS.
eToro – Invest in Money Market Funds with 0% Commission
67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
What is a money market mutual fund?
A money market fund will invest in low-risk, short-term debt securities. This largely centers on government-issued bonds, but can also consist of high-grade corporate bonds. The primary objective of a money market fund is for capital preservation and not long-term financial growth.
What is the best-performing money market fund?
Although there are dozens of money market funds in the UK - most have one thing in common. That is, returns on MMFs are typically less than 1% per year. In investing in a money market fund - you should not be fixated on past performance anyway - as the primary goal is to protect your capital.
How do money market funds work??
Money market funds work much the same as an ETF, insofar that you will be investing your capital with a large financial house such as Vanguard, Fidelity, or iShares. The provider will then buy and sell assets on your behalf. You will be entitled to your share of any gains - which can be in the form of an increased NAV and dividends.
How do you purchase money market funds?
The process of investing in a money market fund is relatively straight forward. All you need to do is open an account with a brokerage site that offers your chosen MMF, deposit some funds, and then complete the investment. When you get around to cashing out, you will do this through the same broker.
How are money market funds valued?
Much like an ETF, money market funds are valued based on the NAV (Net Asset Value) of the instruments held, based on the current market value of each asset. In other words, if the NAV of the fund's portfolio increases, so will the value of your investment.