The Federal Reserve kept the fed funds target rate extremely low in the third quarter of 2015. Fed officials decided not to raise rates at their mid-September monetary policy meeting because they want to see "some further improvement in the labor market" and want more confidence that that the inflation rate will return to 2% over the medium term. Also, the Fed noted that recent "global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat."
The Prime Reserve Fund returned 0.00% in the quarter compared with 0.00% for the Lipper Money Market Funds Average. For the 12 months ended September 30, 2015, the fund returned 0.01% versus 0.01% for the Lipper Money Market Funds Average. The fund's average annual total returns were 0.01%, 0.01%, and 1.29% for the 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods, respectively, as of September 30, 2015. The fund's expense ratio was 0.53% as of its fiscal year ended May 31, 2015. The fund's seven-day simple annualized yield as of September 30, 2015, was 0.01%. Its seven-day simple annualized yield without waiver was −0.29%.* The fund's yield more closely reflects its current earnings than the total return.
For up-to-date standardized total returns, including the most recent month-end performance, please click on the Performance tab, above.
Current performance may be lower or higher than the quoted past performance,
which cannot guarantee future results. Return and yield will vary.
An investment in money market funds is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC
or any other government agency. Although the fund seeks to preserve the value
of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in the fund.
*In an effort to maintain a zero or positive net yield for the fund, T. Rowe Price has voluntarily waived all or a portion of the management fee it is entitled to receive from the fund. A fee waiver has the effect of increasing the fund's net yield. The 7-day yield without waiver represents what the yield would have been if we were not waiving our management fee. This voluntary waiver is in addition to any contractual expense ratio limitation in effect for the fund and may be amended or terminated at any time without prior notice. Please see the prospectus for more details.
The question of whether the Fed will raise short-term benchmark rates had limited impact on money market yields during the quarter. Although interest rates have increased in some parts of the money market this year in anticipation of the Fed's first rate increase since 2006, money market rates remained closely tied to the fed funds rate, currently targeted at between 0.00% and 0.25%. At the end of September, roughly half of the portfolio was allocated to commercial paper and medium-term notes. The remainder was invested primarily in municipal securities, U.S. Treasuries, other U.S. government and agency securities, and certificates of deposit.
Persistently low interest rates continue to suppress income for money fund investors. Once the Federal Reserve starts removing monetary accommodation, the path toward rate normalization is expected to be long and slow. Recent global financial market volatility has given the Fed pause, though the central bank still seems to be intent on beginning to raise short-term rates at some point in the months ahead. Subsequent rate hikes are expected to be gradual. As always, we remain steadfast in our commitment to managing a high-quality, diversified portfolio focused on liquidity and stability of principal.