MFI Daily Data

MFI Daily Data Sample

MFI Daily Data offers the largest and most competitive funds and investors a nightly look at dividend factors and daily yields. Available in Excel, RSS, or custom FTP, Money Fund Intelligence Daily contains:

  • Daily Dividend Factors - Factors or "mill rates" show the amount paid, or credited, by each fund.
  • Yields (1-day, 7-day, 30-day) - Daily 1-day, 7-day and 30-day yields are included, along with rankings.
  • Assets, AMs, Ratings, Cutoffs - Other data includes assets, average maturities, AAA ratings and trading deadlines.
  • Custom Sorts, Rankings - Sort by 1-day yield, or by 30-day, and select your own custom peer group.
  • Crane Money Fund Indexes - Our benchmark money market averages by fund type on every performance data point.

We've begun collecting funds on a daily basis and expect to go live with this product in April. E-mail us for a sample!

Product Summary
Price  $2000/yr ( Discount Policy )
News -
Ranks *D* ( Daily Data )
Funds dot dot ( Full Listing )
Archives -
Index *D* ( Daily Data )
Next Steps
Subscribe Now »
See a demo issue.
Request a trial issue.
Call 1-508-439-4419 for order or info.

MFI Daily Data News

Mar 19
 

This month, MFI interviews Marty Margolis, CIO of PFM Asset Management, and Jeffrey Rowe, Co-Head of PFM Asset Management's money market portfolio management team. We ask them about their firm, which is based in Harrisburg, Pa., and about recent developments in the money markets and the LGIP, local government investment pool, marketplace. Our Q&A follows. (Note: The following is reprinted from the March issue of Money Fund Intelligence, which was published on March 7. Contact us at info@cranedata.com to request the full issue or to subscribe.)

MFI: Give us a little history. Margolis: We began managing LGIPs in Pennsylvania in 1981, and we now manage 17 state-specific pools with total assets approaching $35 billion, as of 12/31/2018. They range in size and are across the country, and they're part of our fixed-income strategies, which total about $85 billion. Our strength over this long period has been in the short-intermediate, fixed-income market. We've always been focused on bringing value to the public sector, and more recently as we’ve grown, we found relevance and interest in the broader institutional marketplace. We are an institutional-only manager, and cash, enhanced cash, and short-intermediate duration remains the area that we have the most resources devoted to.

I started the business that eventually became PFM Asset Management in 1978. I'd been on the staff of the Governor of Pennsylvania at that point for about five or six years. His second term was running out and I needed a job.... So, I went off with a colleague and we started a public sector financial advisory business in the attic of his house in Harrisburg. When we opened the first LGIP in Pennsylvania in 1981, the first trade was a repo done at a level of 18% and change.

Rowe: My background is a bit less interesting than Marty's. I've spent my entire 14 year career here at PFM. After majoring in finance, I started out as a trader and had the privilege of learning from Marty and others. I earned the CFA designation early on in my career, and have just been growing with PFM ever since.

MFI: What's your main focus now? Margolis: The best thing I can say is, 'We're minding our business.' That may sound like a smart comment, but we've got a lot of success built around managing cash, managing short-intermediate fixed-income, and we've expanded a bit beyond the public sector. We are working really hard to serve existing clients in the public-sector space, where we have this long track record and client loyalty. We learned a lot during the Great Recession -- as observers -- not participants in the debacle. We escaped unscathed, I'm happy to say.

There are a couple of things we've done since then. As we've grown, we've really expanded our capabilities in the last 10 years; first in credit and more recently in the structured space to support our core strategies. And as these efforts matured, we expanded our client base and our investment lineup. We're now managing broad investment-grade and stable value portfolios, as well as cash and short/intermediate separate accounts.

Rowe: Before SEC money market reform, we sponsored a 2a-7 Prime fund, as well as a 2a-7 Government fund. What we found with our client base is that there wasn't a significant appetite for a money market fund with fees, gates, and floating NAVs.... So the Prime fund merged into the Government fund, and that's the 2a-7 offering we have today. Most of our clients have found better alternatives to a 2a-7 Prime fund, whether it be in liquidity SMAs that we manage, or our local government investment pools.

MFI: What's your biggest challenge? Rowe: There are always challenges in the front end; there's always something new facing us that we have to deal with. [That's] one of the things I enjoy most about being a fixed-income portfolio manager. As we sit here today in early 2019, the main challenge of managing short-term portfolios is simply the current environment we have with a very flat yield curve and tight credit spreads. There's not many compelling investment opportunities at the moment.

As an active manager, we prefer market conditions with a little bit of volatility, and the opportunities that typically come with that. Last year was characterized by an active FOMC, steep money market curve, and credit spread volatility -- this provided a ripe opportunity to actively add value. But again, the challenges are always changing. Looking back a few years, we had to deal with significant regulatory changes and a zero interest-rate environment in the post financial crisis period. We just have to be able to adapt as markets change.

MFI: What are you buying? Rowe: There are a number of key things on our mind, such as new structures that we, and other market participants, are evaluating here in early 2019. Two notable ones would be SOFR-based floaters, and opportunities related to the evolution of the repo market -- FICC-sponsored repo comes to mind. On the SOFR topic, like other investors in the front end, we're watching and selectively participating in SOFR-based instruments.... With just over $50 billion in issuance so far, there seems to be wide participation on the investor side. GSEs have really led the way here with about 80% of the issuance of SOFR-based securities thus far. We're seeing these GSE-syndicated deals being very well received, two to three times oversubscribed, and driven by strong 2a-7 Government fund demand.

It makes sense to us that a government fund would be interested in SOFR-based floaters since it's a close substitute for short-term bills, discount notes and repo. I think the challenge we and other participants may face going forward is looking at SOFR-based instruments from the perspective of a credit investor. Credit products tied to a risk-free reference rate can present a challenge. We haven't seen it thus far in the six or nine months that SOFR based bonds have been in existence. But in an environment where credit is under pressure, you could see, of course, SOFR-linked bonds significantly underperform as credit spreads widen.

MFI: What are customers asking about? Margolis: I would say in the pool space, rates above zero have been a great eye-opener for many clients. After years of assets being stable, when rates got up to 1%, 1.5% and north of 2%, investors started paying attention to cash. The result of that has been more growth in our cash-based strategies, particularly in the LGIPs, in the last two years or so. I think the second thing is for clients who were used to using Prime money market funds. Post-2016 with the money market fund reforms, they've been doing a reassessment of alternatives for investing cash.

As you know, LGIPs generally may offer a stable NAV, and that's been a real advantage. We've been very diligent about working with clients in tailoring the accounting in the LGIPs to GASB requirements, because our client base within LGIPs is basically governments. We also think that clients are really concerned about safety, particularly cyber-security safety. So we've mounted a big effort this year to enhance protections related to our investors moving money in and out of funds we administer and receiving secure investment reports.

MFI: What about fees and waivers? Margolis: We waived fees in some of the funds when rates were hovering around zero; we're not in that situation at this point. The fees for the LGIPs we manage are generally in line with the fees for large institutional money market funds that are a offered as alternatives to the LGIPs. Some of our funds have significant cash-management services that are included within the fund expense ratio. Bearing the cost of these services was challenging during the zero interest-rate environment; it's less challenging now. For insight into fees in the LGIP space, you can look at ... the S&P LGIP Index returns for gross and net yields for local government funds. We're right where I think our investor clients want us to be on that scale.

MFI: Are cash flows seasonal? Rowe: Absolutely. Each one of our LGIPs is unique, not only in permitted investments, which is primarily driven by state statute, but in the seasonal liquidity pattern. It's not uncommon to have a fund that doubles in size over the course of the year. We, of course, factor this into our strategy on the trading desk.... We have a rich history with LGIPs -- we've been managing the funds for 20+ years. So we have a keen insight into what those flows typically are, and can incorporate likely seasonal effects into our strategy.

MFI: Are clients using SMAs? Margolis: One of the things about the funds is that, for smaller investors, that's the place that they rely on. I would say there's been a fair amount of interest in SMAs for investors that are larger, public and not-for-profit investors that had been using Prime money market funds. Today our SMA business is bigger than our pool business. In the short duration SMA area, we have approximately $40 billion of assets under management. AUM has grown in the high single digits in each of the last several years, so we're pretty happy with the success of our SMA business.

MFI: What about your outlook? Rowe: Looking into 2019, investors are faced with a much different landscape. It's not only a question of, 'When will the Fed next move?' which was of course the question for the last several years, but 'In which direction?' So, our base case is the Fed is going to be patient here.... So with that, at least for the first half of the year, we think rates are going to be range-bound in the front end, and there's not going to be a whole lot of rate volatility.

Margolis: As Jeff observed we think rates are going to be confined to a pretty narrow range here no matter what the news.... We're positioned, as Jeff said, with the view that there's not going to be an imminent change in short-term rates. This has been a good market for cash and short-intermediate strategies. The cash market has experienced very solid growth going on four years now. As soon as rates got above zero, investors started paying attention to their cash and will continue to do so.

Mar 07
 

The March issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent to subscribers Thursday morning, features the articles: "Bank Deposit Growth Slowest Since '95; MF Assets Stronger," which shows money funds growing faster than bank MMDAs; "PFM's Margolis & Rowe Discuss Cash Market, LGIPs," our profile of PFM Asset Management; and, "Last European Money Fund Conversions Imminent; Euro," which talks about the about the pending EU Reforms March 21 compliance deadline. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database with Feb. 28 statistics, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Thursday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are all available to subscribers via our Content center.) Our March Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship on Monday, March 11, and our March Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out Thursday, March 14.

MFI's "Bank Deposit Growth," article says, "U.S. money fund assets grew by 5.7% in 2018, their biggest increase since 2008, while bank money market deposit accounts grew a mere 1.7%, their slowest rate since 1995. Money funds added $145.9 billion and MMDAs gained $153.6 billion during 2018, while Small Time Deposits, consisting mainly of bank certificates of deposit, showed annual growth of 34.3% or $138.3 billion last year, according to the Federal Reserve's H.6 data."

It continues, "Assets of MMDAs turned negative in January 2019, down $41.6 billion (-0.4%) to $9.276 trillion, while money funds grew $64.1 billion (2.4%) in January (the latest data available) to $2.785 trillion."

Our PFM "Profile", reads, "This month, MFI interviews Marty Margolis, CIO of PFM Asset Management, and Jeffrey Rowe, Co-Head of PFM Asset Management's money market portfolio management team. We ask them about their firm, which is based in Harrisburg, Pa., and about recent developments in the money markets and the LGIP, local government investment pool, marketplace. Our Q&A follows."

MFI says, "Give us a little history." Margolis responds, "We began managing LGIPs in Pennsylvania in 1981, and we now manage 17 state-specific pools with total assets approaching $35 billion, as of 12/31/2018. They range in size and are across the country, and they're part of our fixed-income strategies, which total about $85 billion. Our strength over this long period has been in the short-intermediate, fixed-income market. We've always been focused on bringing value to the public sector, and more recently as we've grown, we found relevance and interest in the broader institutional marketplace. We are an institutional-only manager, and cash, enhanced cash, and short-intermediate duration remains the area that we have the most resources devoted to."

He adds, "I started the business that eventually became PFM Asset Management in 1978. I'd been on the staff of the Governor of Pennsylvania at that point for about five or six years. His second term was running out and I needed a job.... So, I went off with a colleague and we started a public sector financial advisory business in the attic of his house in Harrisburg. When we opened the first LGIP in Pennsylvania in 1981, the first trade was a repo done at a level of 18% and change."

Our "European Reforms" update says, "Just a handful of funds have yet to convert to LVNAV or VNAV ahead of the extended March 21 deadline for European Money Fund Reforms, but the stragglers should change Monday (Invesco) and on 3/21 (HSBC). In February, Aberdeen, Deutsche, Fidelity and UBS converted funds and tweaked lineups, and most others converted in November or January ahead of the original Jan. 21 deadline. (See our latest MFI International publication for the new classifications. Short-Term money funds will all be CNAV, LVNAV or VNAV, and Standard MMFs will be tracked.)

MFI includes a sidebar, "Federated 10-K on Risks," which reviews Federated Investors' latest Annual Report. It tells us, "Deregulation also is a focus of certain legislative efforts. The House Financial Services Committee advanced a bill seeking to reverse certain aspects of money market fund reform and a hearing on that bill was held in the Senate in June 2018, and efforts continue in Congress to get this legislation passed and signed into law. The proposed law would permit the use of amortized cost valuation by, and override the floating NAV and certain other requirements."

A news brief, entitled, "Money Fund Assets Keep Rising," says, "ICI's Latest 'Money Market Fund Assets' report shows money fund assets rising for 15 out of past 17 weeks (to $3.079 trillion), while Crane Data's MFI totals show assets increasing by $51.3 billion in February to $3.298 trillion, their 8th monthly increase in a row."

Our March MFI XLS, with Feb. 28, 2019, data, shows total assets rose by $56.4 billion in February to $3.303 trillion, after gaining $14.4 billion in January, $41.9 billion in December and $64.3 billion in November. Our broad Crane Money Fund Average 7-Day Yield rose 2 bps to 2.08% during the month, while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index (the 100 largest taxable funds) was up 1 basis point to 2.25% (its highest level since Oct. 2008).

On a Gross Yield Basis (7-Day) (before expenses are taken out), the Crane MFA rose 1 basis point to 2.51% and the Crane 100 rose to 2.52%. Charged Expenses averaged 0.44% (unchanged) and 0.27% (unchanged), respectively for the Crane MFA and Crane 100. The average WAM (weighted average maturity) for the Crane MFA and Crane 100 was 29 and 29 days, respectively (unchanged). (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)

Feb 19
 

Register soon for the third annual Crane's Bond Fund Symposium, which will take place March 25-26, 2019 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Our second ultra-short event last year in Los Angeles attracted over 120 bond fund managers, marketers, fixed-income issuers, investors and service providers, and we expect our Philadelphia show to be even bigger. See our latest agenda here and details below. Bond Fund Symposium offers a concentrated and affordable educational experience, as well as an excellent and informal networking venue. Registration for BFS is $750; exhibit space is $2,000 (includes 2 tickets); and sponsorship opportunities are $3K, $4K, $5K, and $6K. Our mission is to deliver the best possible conference content at a reasonable price to bond fund professionals and investors. Portfolio managers, analysts, investors, issuers, service providers, and anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of bond funds and fixed-income investing will benefit from our comprehensive program. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Loews Philadelphia. We'd like to thank our sponsors -- Wells Fargo Securities, Fidelity Investments, Investortools, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Wells Fargo Asset Management, Invesco, S&P Global Ratings, DTCC and INTL FCStone -- for their support (we're still accepting sponsors for our 2019 show). E-mail us for more details. Crane Data is also making preparations and now accepting registrations for our "big show," `Money Fund Symposium, which will be held June 24-26, 2019, at the Renaissance Boston in Boston, Mass. See the latest agenda at www.moneyfundsymposium.com and let us know if you'd like more details on sponsoring this event. We have also set the dates and location for our next European Money Fund Symposium, which is scheduled for Sept. 23-24, 2019, in Dublin, Ireland. Watch for this agenda to go live in coming weeks.... We hope to see you in Philly, Boston or Dublin in 2019!

Feb 07
 

The February issue of our flagship Money Fund Intelligence newsletter, which was sent out to subscribers Thursday morning, features the articles: "Green Money Funds Become a Thing, But Big Issues Remain," which looks at BlackRock's pending LEAF launch and issues involving ESG money funds; "Schwab's Marie Chandoha Reflects; Preserving Retail," a Q&A featuring the CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management; and, "MF University '19 Highlights Asset Recovery, Rising Rates," which reviews our recent "basic training" event in Stamford. We've also updated our Money Fund Wisdom database with Jan. 31 statistics, and sent out our MFI XLS spreadsheet Thursday a.m. (MFI, MFI XLS and our Crane Index products are all available to subscribers via our Content center.) Our February Money Fund Portfolio Holdings are scheduled to ship on Monday, February 11, and our February Bond Fund Intelligence is scheduled to go out Thursday, February 14.

MFI's "Green Money Funds," article says, "A second money-fund provider is introducing a fund that seeks to meet goals related to environmental issues, in addition to meeting the traditional tenets of preserving safety, liquidity and yield. BlackRock joins DWS, which converted its Variable NAV MMF to an ESG product last summer, in launching a "green" money fund, BlackRock Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund (LEAF)."

It continues, "Meanwhile, State Street Global Advisors' '2019 Global Cash Outlook' cites a number of problems with the concept of an ESG money fund. (See our Feb. 4 News, 'SSGA's 2019 Global Cash Outlook Discusses ESG MMF Challenges, Tech, AI.') SSGA's Pia McCusker says, 'In this year's ... Outlook, we consider innovations in cash management. We look at the potential for filtering cash investments for ESG factors, while satisfying the safety, liquidity, yield and regulatory demands of money market fund management. We also examine emerging trends, including artificial intelligence in cash management and a Fed initiative that could lead to deadline-free, 24-hour money market funds."

Our Schwab "Profile", reads, "This month, MFI interviews Charles Schwab Investment Management CEO Marie Chandoha, who will be stepping down at the end of March 2019. We wanted to ask Chandoha to look back at her tenure at Schwab, which included the extended post-crisis stretch of zero yields, and to get some parting words of wisdom. She tells us about her 'crash course' in cash, the struggle against more onerous money fund reforms and a number of other issues. Our discussion follows."

MFI says, "Talk about your decision to retire." Chandoha responds, "I've been in the business for 35 years and have had a really great run. I've loved being in the industry, but now it's time for my next chapter.... I'm going to spend a little more time with my family and do some traveling. But I also still love the industry. I just want to interface with it in a different way [going forward by] serving on boards."

MFI also asks for "a little history on CSIM." Chandoha tells us, "CSIM has been around for almost 30 years. We actually got started with our money funds, and our very first hire was ... Linda Klingman who [now] heads up our money fund portfolio management. So, it's been a very important business for us from the very beginning.... When I think about our money fund team, we have a diverse group.... For example, Lynn Paschen heads up our Government money fund area, [so there is] definitely a good contingent of women and other diverse individuals."

Next, our Money Fund University recap explains, "Crane Data recently hosted its 9th annual Money Fund University in Stamford, Conn. The 'basic training' event, targeted at those new to the money fund industry, featured primers on interest rates, money market securities, the Federal Reserve, ratings, portfolio management, and money fund regulations. The big themes this year were the comeback of money fund yields and assets, the growth in ultra-short bonds and 'alt-cash,' and regulatory reform in Europe."

MFI includes the sidebar, "Ed Jones Shifts Sweeps." It notes that "Brokerage Edward Jones announced plans to alter its sweep program, and money market funds will no longer be made available to new investors on or after Feb. 9. In a letter entitled, 'Required Notice to All Clients: Cash Management Option Changes,' they explain that the restriction also applies to current investors who 'have not selected the fund as your sweep option for your brokerage [​or retirement] account as of that date.' They 'will no longer be able to do so.'"

Another sidebar, "Not Done Yet: EU Reforms," explains, "European money market funds continue to change fund types and tweak lineups ahead of the revised March 21 deadline for regulatory reforms. (See yesterday's News.) The latest fund managers to announce changes or compliance schedules are Deutsche, Fidelity and UBS. A number of firms have already converted their money funds to be compliant with the pending reforms, including Aviva (9/1/18), BNP Paribas (11/11/18), JP Morgan (11/30/18), BlackRock, Federated, SSGA (all 1/11/19), Morgan Stanley and UBS (both 1/14/19)."

Our February MFI XLS, with Jan. 31, 2019, data, shows total assets rising $14.4 billion in January to $3.227 trillion, after increasing $41.9 billion in December, $64.3 billion in November, and $34.5 billion in October. Our broad Crane Money Fund Average 7-Day Yield rose 3 bps to 2.06% during the month, while our Crane 100 Money Fund Index (the 100 largest taxable funds) was up 1 bp to 2.24% (its highest level since Oct. 2008).

On a Gross Yield Basis (7-Day) (before expenses are taken out), the Crane MFA rose 3 bps to 2.50% and the Crane 100 rose to 2.51%. Charged Expenses averaged 0.44% (up 1 bp) and 0.27% (unchanged), respectively for the Crane MFA and Crane 100. The average WAM (weighted average maturity) for the Crane MFA and Crane 100 was 29 and 29 days, respectively (up 1 day and unch.). (See our Crane Index or craneindexes.xlsx history file for more on our averages.)