Today, we list the top-performing AAA-rated money market mutual funds for July 2008, compliments of our monthly Crane Corporate publication. Over 57% of all Taxable money fund assets, or $1.599 trillion, tracked by Crane Data's Money Fund Intelligence are rated triple-A, the highest rating for money funds, by S&P, Moody's, and/or Fitch. These 545 funds, which make up our Crane AAA Money Fund Index, returned 1.94% (annualized) on average in July, and have returned 1.45% (unannualized) year-to-date, and 3.37% over the past year.

The No. 1-performing AAA-rated fund is Reserve Primary Instit ($48,791, 2.75%); next is Reserve Primary Liquid I ($7,452, 2.72%). (We list assets, then annualized monthly yield in parenthesis.) Third-ranked fund is Russell Money Market Fund S ($7,850, 2.70%); 4th is Marshall Prime MMkt Fund I ($3,385, 2.68%); 5th is Oppenheimer Institutional MM E ($6,600, 2.68%); 6th is Oppenheimer Institutional MM L ($1,265, 2.68%); 7th is Putnam Prime Money Market I ($14,173, 2.67%); 8th-ranked is Reserve Primary Liquid II ($234, 2.67%); 9th is Fidelity Instit MM: Prime MMP Inst ($10,460, 2.62%); and 10th-ranked is Citi Institutional Cash Reserves O ($9,896, 2.62%).

Triple-A rated funds ranked 11 through 20 include: Reserve Primary Liquid III ($889, 2.62%); Credit Suisse Inst MMF Prime A ($8,247, 2.60%); Dreyfus Instit Cash Adv Inst ($48,290, 2.60%); ABN AMRO Instit Prime MMkt Y ($1,762, 2.59%); Morgan Stanley Inst Liq Prime Inst ($33,473, 2.57%); Citi Institutional Cash Reserves L ($490, 2.57%); Morgan Stanley Act As Instit ($3,063, 2.57%); Fidelity Instit MM: Prime MMP I ($10,050, 2.56%); AIM STIT Liquid Assets Inst ($23,125, 2.55%); and Federated Prime Cash Oblig IS ($10,464, 2.54%).

While many investors and analysts are responding to the past year's market turmoil by demanding more frequent portfolio holdings and more metrics on money funds, ratings agencies have been conducting weekly and monthly analysis of fund holdings for years. Money market mutual fund triple-A ratings have retained their unblemished record during the crisis. No investor has ever lost money in a AAA-rated money fund, so some might consider leaving the analysis of complicated money fund portfolio securities to the professionals.

To request the most recent Crane Corporate monthly ranking, which also includes the top-ranked Treasury funds, or to request a customized performance ranking, e-mail pete@cranedata.us.

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