Press Releases Archives: January, 2013

The full and final binder from last week's Crane's Money Fund University has been posted on Crane Data's Content Page (go down to the bottom. All Attendees, Sponsors and Speakers should have received a password, and all Crane Data Subscribers with premium web access should also be able to access the PDF, which contains all the print versions of the Powerpoint presentations, the speaker bios, attendee list and reference materials. The Powerpoint files and session recordings will be added late this week. Thanks to our Sponsors, Speakers and Attendees for a successful event, and we encourage any feedback. Crane Data's next money fund event will be this summer's Money Fund Symposium, which will take place June 19-21, 2013, at the Baltimore Hyatt Regency. Registration is now open, and the preliminary agenda is being finished this week and will be out in early February. Next year's Crane's Money Fund University is planned for the Boston area in late January 2014. Watch for details in coming months. Finally, Crane Data is seeking feedback and input for its first European Money Fund Symposium, an event tentatively scheduled for late September in Dublin. Contact Pete for more details.

The Boston Globe writes "Fidelity to tell money market fund value daily". It says, "Fidelity Investments will start disclosing the real value of its money market mutual fund shares each day, following a move by three New York firms earlier in the week, as the largest players in the $2.5 trillion market try to stave off tighter regulations. Boston-based Fidelity, the nation's largest money market fund manager with $430 billion under its watch, Friday joined Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and BlackRock Inc. in announcing plans to disclose valuations daily rather than monthly. By Friday afternoon, Charles Schwab & Co., a big Fidelity competitor, followed suit. Fidelity has vigorously fought efforts to increase regulation of money market funds led by former Securities and Exchange Commission chief Mary Schapiro. The financial crisis prompted fears of a "run" on these funds by anxious investors trying to cash out. The move to be more transparent is the latest effort to hold off regulators." The Globe adds, "It was surprising to see several big institutions all make similar announcements about disclosure this week, said Peter Crane, president of Crane Data in Westborough, which tracks money markets." They quote Crane, "It's a sign that funds are getting nervous about serious regulation, and a sign that the campaign that regulators have been on is scaring some investors." The piece adds, "For investors, little will change. They will still buy and sell money market funds for $1 a share. But the precise market value of the investments in the funds will be tallied and disclosed on Fidelity’s website each day, giving investors a more up to date financial view of their holdings."

Bloomberg writes "JPMorgan Joins Goldman in Giving Daily Money Fund Values". It says, "BlackRock Inc., the world's biggest money manager, will begin revealing daily net asset values for all its U.S. money funds on Jan. 16. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. began today to disclose the values for its funds that are eligible to purchase commercial paper, or prime funds. JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to take that step for all money funds, starting with prime funds on Jan. 14, and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. will make daily market values available 'going forward.'" The piece quotes our Peter Crane, president of research firm Crane Data LLC, "The prime goal here is to diffuse the misperception that's been created by regulators that fund share prices are an accounting fiction. It's a pretty good bet the daily values will show that market-value NAVs don't float." The piece adds, "Crane said he doubted the practical value of disclosing the market values." "The shadow NAVs don't differ materially from the rounded NAVs unless something blows up, in which case you don't see it until after it happens," Crane said.

The January issue of Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which will be e-mailed to subscribers later this morning, will announce the winners of our MFI Awards, a designation given to the top-performing money market mutual funds for 2012. We also review recent fund news in the article, "Consolidation & Liquidations, Asset Rebound & FSOC Outlook," and feature the profile, "Dechert's Vartanian Says FSOC Jumping the Gun" in our new edition. Finally, we've updated our Money Fund Wisdom database query system with Dec. 31, 2012, performance statistics and rankings, and our MFI XLS will be sent out shortly. (Our Dec. 31 Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to go out on Thursday.)

Our piece, "Top MMFs of 2012; Our 4th Annual MFI Awards," says, "In this issue, we once again recognize some of the top-performing money funds, ranked by total returns, for calendar 2012, as well as the top-ranked funds for the past 5-year and past 10-year periods. We present the following funds with our annual Money Fund Intelligence Awards. (See the table on page 6 of MFI for the table with the winners.) These include the No. 1-ranked funds based on 1-year, 5-year and 10-year returns, through Dec. 31, 2012, in each of our major fund categories (our "Type") -- Prime Institutional, Government Institutional, Treasury Institutional, Prime Individual, Government Individual, and Treasury Individual."

MFI says, "The top-performing Taxable funds overall in 2012 and among Prime Institutional funds was Reich & Tang Natixis Liq Prm Port Treas (LQTXX), which returned 0.25%. Among Prime Retail funds, Flex-funds Money Market Retail (FFMXX) again had the best return in 2012 (0.10%). American Beacon US Govt Select (AAOXX) won the Top Government Institutional fund over a 1-year period with a return of 0.09%, while Selected Daily Govt Fund S (SDGXX) won the MFI Award for Government Retail Money Funds (1-year return). BlackRock Cash Treas MMF Inst (BRIXX) ranked No. 1 in the Treasury Institutional class, and Invesco Treasury Private (TPFXX) ranked tops among Treasury Retail funds.

We say about the "Top Funds Over Past Five Years," "For the 5-year period through December 31, 2012, Touchstone Inst MF again took top honors for the best-performing money fund with a return of 1.01%. Fidelity Select MM Port ranks No. 1 among Prime Retail funds with an annualized return of 0.78%. Goldman Sachs FS Govt In (FGTXX) again ranked No. 1 among Govt Institutional funds, while Selected Daily Govt Fund D (SGDXX) ranked No. 1 among Treasury Retail funds over the past 5 years. Vanguard Admiral Treasury ranked No. 1 in 5-year performance among Treasury Institutional money funds, and Invesco Treasury Priv ranked No. 1 among Treasury Retail MM funds."

On the "Best Money Funds of the Decade," MFI comments, "The highest-performers of the past 10 years include: DWS Daily Assets Fund Inst (DAFXX), which returned 2.04% (No. 1 overall and first among Prime Inst); Fidelity Select MM Portfolio (FSLXX), which returned 1.87% (the highest among Prime Retail); American Beacon US Govt Select (AAOXX), which returned 1.85%, (No. 1 among Govt Inst funds); and, Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX), which ranked No. 1 among Govt Retail funds (1.76%). Milestone Treasury Obligs Fin (MIL01) returned the most among Treasury Institutional funds over the past 10 years; and, Goldman Sachs FS Trs Obl Sel (GSOXX) ranked No. 1 among Treasury Retail funds."

MFI's Awards piece adds, "See our additional rankings tables on pages 9-11, and see our Money Fund Intelligence XLS for more detailed listings, percentiles, and rankings. Look for more details in coming days on the website too ( Winners will receive a letter and certificate stating their No. 1 ranking and the criteria used. The table below shows the No. 1 ranked money funds for each category based on 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year annualized total returns." Watch for more excerpts from MFI and more awards in coming days.

The Wall Street Journal's CFO Journal writes "Money Fund Inflows Hit Four-Year High as TAG Expires". It says, "Cash flowing into money market funds soared to the highest level in nearly four years during the week ended Tuesday. The move culminated a two-month push into such funds ahead of the expiration of an unlimited Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. guarantee on certain corporate bank accounts Dec. 31, which wasn't renewed for 2013 by Congress last month. Since the week ended Oct. 31, money market funds saw a net inflow of over $158.2 billion dollars, according to data compiled by the Investment Company Institute.... For the week ended on Tuesday, inflows totaled nearly $37.8 billion, the highest inflow level since the week ended Jan. 7, 2009, according to Peter Crane, president of Crane Data, which publishes the Money Fund Intelligence newsletter. The ends of months, quarters and years typically see outflows or weak inflows, which "sealed the deal" that these large inflows were related to the expiration of the FDIC's Transaction Account Guarantee Program, commonly known as TAG, Mr. Crane said." The piece adds, "Though companies did move a significant chunk of cash out of non-interest-bearing accounts and into money funds, Mr. Crane said, they continue to leave the bulk of the $1.5 trillion in such accounts where it is. Many, however, have switched to strategies that separate the cash into several accounts that each fall below the standard, $250,000 threshold for FDIC insurance, he said."