The series of posts that I made about my experiences with TD Ameritrade have been very popular at PFStock. Perhaps the most popular of my posts was the one where I exposed Ameritrade's "Hidden" cash sweep account. I have recently come across another cash (money market) option for TD Ameritrade account holders. This is another fund offered through "The Reserve" (website: ther.com).
The fund is called the Reserve Yield Plus Fund Class R (symbol: RYPQX), and is classified by The Reserve as an "enhanced cash fund". Currently, this fund pays in the neighborhood of 5.4% APY. This rate is much better than the default TD Ameritrade cash option which puts you in a sweep account that pays less than 1% interest.
However, unlike the other Reserve funds (offered through Ameritrade's Total Asset Plan) that I've talked about before, this fund is not available as a sweep option which automatically places your uninvested cash into a money market account. Instead it is traded like a No-Transaction Fee (NTF) mutual fund. You would need to put in a mutual fund order each time that you want to buy or sell the fund.
Now I have a few questions for my readers. Has anybody invested in this type of enhanced cash fund before? Do you need to report each mutual fund sale (each time you take money out of the fund) as a broker transaction on Schedule D of your tax return? Presumably, the fund tries to maintain a $1/share valuation, and each transaction would represent $0 in capital gains. And, does anybody know if TD Ameritrade would count each NTF transaction toward qualification for their premier (or APEX) trading status?
I suppose that I would be remiss if I didn't add that The Reserve Yield Plus Fund contains the following disclaimer:
This Fund is not a money market fund. Achievement of the Fund’s objectives cannot be assured. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although the Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in the fund. Yields may vary.
Since the first time that I mentioned the Reserve Yield Plus Fund, I discovered that cash you have in RYPQX is not counted as funds available for trading by TD Ameritrade. Arguably funds held in RYPQX can be considered as cash, but not as "available cash" for the purpose of trading. TD Ameritrade only counts the cash sweep balance here. What this means is that if you want to buy a new stock and don't have enough money in your cash sweep, you will have to sell RYPQX before placing an order.
I think that TD Ameritrade made this process unnecessarily cumbersome. Because RYPQX trades like a mutual fund, there is a 1 day settlement period on funds. For stocks, the settlement date is 3 days later. So in theory, one should be able to execute a stock trade and then later liquidate enough fund holdings to cover the trade in time for settlement. However, the new TD Ameritrade website will not allow you to even enter an order if it thinks you don't have enough in your cash sweep. By my memory, the former Waterhouse website did not have this particular restriction on placing stock trades.
This article was originally published April 11, 2007 . It is being republished because of previous posting problems. It has been updated.