Many investors are turning to FDIC-insured sweep accounts as a way to manage risk, according to a new study.
The study, by iMoneyNet and The Reserve Funds money market funds, found that assets in these types of funds have surpassed $350 billion, representing an annual growth rate of 53% since 2000.

Among the other findings:

$250 billion has been shifted to brokerage cash sweeps from money market funds, while another $150 billion of new money has moved into these bank-like accounts, instead of into money market funds  

Nearly all national, full-service brokerage houses and 18 of the top 25 regional full service and discount brokerage firms offer such accounts; and

Bank savings products have been set up to replace or complement money market mutual funds in brokerage sweep accounts.

"Brokerage firms are using sweep accounts to build market-share, attract profitable clients and keep them happy with a full range of services built on a sophisticated cash management foundation," says Peter Crane, vice president and managing editor of iMoneyNet. "And the trend shows no sign of stopping."