Fueled by the expiration of federal guarantees for certain kinds of bank accounts, investors are flocking to money funds. A total of $149 billion surged into U.S.-based money-fund accounts between early November and the end of January, according to the Investment Company Institute. That puts total money-fund assets near the highest level since mid-2011 and is creating challenges for fund managers seeking low-risk, stable places for the extra cash.

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