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January 2021 Asset and Yield Overview

As U.S. money-market funds in Q4-2020 underperformed the two prior quarters, so too in January 2021 they underperformed Q4 as the money-fund industry continued its search for a new asset and yield equilibrium.

Total assets in January 2021 settled at $4.263 trillion, down 0.2 percent from Q4 2020. Taxable Retail and Taxable Institutional fund assets also fell slightly short of Q4 levels, the former falling to $1.350 trillion in January from $1.354 trillion at end-December 2020 and the latter slipping to $2.808 trillion from $2.813 trillion at end-Q4.

Despite the asset drawdown in last year’s second half, total assets remained high in the first month of 2021, up 19.6 percent compared to the year-ago-January total. The average maturity of Taxable funds stood at 47 days, up from 32 days in January 2020; for Tax-Free funds in January, the WAM had descended to 24 days from 32 days in the prior year.

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