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Money Funds, Waiting for the Fog to Lift

"THIS is the kind of market that makes cautious investors long for the comfort of cash.

"Stocks? They seem a little frothy. Bonds? Ugh — low rates, inflation worries. Real estate? Still a hard sell.

"For decades, investors have waited out financial fogs like these in the haven of money market mutual funds. Unfortunately, the outlook for money funds themselves is just as obscure these days.

"After wrangling for four years over new rules that would fundamentally change how money funds work, the Securities and Exchange Commission has hit the pause button to await the arrival of a new chairwoman and to study the accounting and tax issues raised by its reform agenda. The money-fund industry, meanwhile, is bracing for new rules while facing old realities: low interest rates that discourage investors and compress fees."


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