iMoneyNet’s Money Fund Report® Awards recognize the U.S. money-market funds that reported the highest one-year net returns for 2016 in six categories: Government Institutional, Prime Institutional, National Tax-Free Institutional, Government Retail, Prime Retail, and National Tax-Free Retail. Performance is based on each fund’s 2016 net total return. To qualify for these awards, a fund must meet three criteria: it must have month-end assets of at least $100.0 million as of December 2016; it must have occupied its category for the full calendar year; and it must be open to all investors who are able to meet the investment minimum.
All domestic winners in 2016 posted net total returns that ranged from 0.29 percent to 0.55 percent. Only one fund in the Prime Institutional fund category, Western Asset Inst Liq Res/Inst, posted the highest return of 0.55 percent. Among Offshore or non-U.S.-based funds, BlackRock ICS-Inst USD/Prmr (Acc), BlackRock ICS-Inst USD/Prmr (Dist), HSBC USD Liquidity Fund/Cl H, HSBC USD Liquidity Fund/Cl L, UBS (Irl) Select MMF-USD/Prem (Acc), and UBS (Irl) Select MMF-USD/Prem (Dist) tied with the highest returns of 0.60 percent.
MONEY FUND REPORT WINNERS – INSTITUTIONAL
PIMCO Govt MMF/Cl M
PIMCO Govt MMF/Cl M topped 203 of its peers in the Government Institutional category with a 2016 net total return of 0.30 percent. Honorable Mention awards went to six funds tied at 0.29 percent and with assets topping $1.00 billion. They were CAT:Govt&Agcy/Deutsche GovCsh Inst, Fidelity Inv Government/Instit, Goldman Sachs FS Govt Fund/Inst, RBC US Govt MMF/Instit 1, State Street Inst US Govt MMF/Cl G and Western Asset Inst Govt Res/Inst. Seven funds shared third place in the category with identical net returns of 0.28 percent. There were 204 funds reporting in this category, up slightly from 201 in 2015 but matching the 2014 total.
Western Asset Inst Liq Res/Inst
Western Asset Inst Liq Res/Inst was the top performer among 42 funds in the Prime Institutional category with a net total return of 0.55 percent. An Honorable Mention Award was given to Fidelity Inv Prime MMkt/Instit as a fund with assets greater than $1.00 billion and a net return of 0.54 percent. Fidelity Inv Prime MMkt/Cl I ranked third in the category with a net return of 0.52 percent. There were 148 funds in the category in 2015.
Wells Fargo Muni Cash Mgmt/Inst
In the National Tax-Free Institutional category, Wells Fargo Muni Cash Mgmt/Inst outdistanced four other funds with a 0.39 percent net return. BlackRock Liquidity:MuniCash Inst received an Honorable Mention among funds with more than $1.00 billion in assets. Its net return was 0.38 percent. There were 52 funds in the category in 2015.
MONEY FUND REPORT WINNERS – RETAIL
Vanguard Federal MMF
A net return of 0.30 percent earned Vanguard Federal MMF fund the top spot in the Government Retail category. Vanguard Treasury MMF ranked second. Its net return for 2016 was 0.25 percent. There were 67 funds in the category, up from 64 funds in 2015 and down from 80 funds in 2014.
Vanguard Prime MMF/Investor
With a net return of 0.49 percent, Vanguard Prime MMF/Investor was the 2016 winner among 31 funds in the Prime Retail category. Fidelity Money Market Fund ranked second with a net return of 0.36 percent. There were 80 funds in the category in 2015 and 102 funds counted in 2014.
Vanguard Tax-Exempt MMF
Vanguard Tax-Exempt MMF was the highest-ranking fund in the Tax-Free National Retail category, outperforming 16 other funds with a net total return of 0.33 percent. Second place went to CAT:Tax Ex/Deutsche T-E Money Fund with a net total return of 0.32 percent. This category had 30 funds in 2015 and 36 funds in 2014.