The Federal Reserve kept the fed funds target rate extremely low in the first quarter of 2015. However, the Fed suggested in a statement following its mid-March policy meeting that an initial rate hike may occur later this year depending on economic data. While below-target inflation and global economic weakness could delay the Fed's plans, central bank officials have repeatedly expressed their intent to begin tightening monetary policy around midyear.
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 March 31, 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 1.43% for the 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods, respectively, as of March 31, 2015. The fund's expense ratio was 0.53% as of its fiscal year ended May 31, 2014. The fund's seven-day simple annualized yield as of March 31, 2015, was 0.01%. Its seven-day simple annualized yield without waiver was −0.40%.* 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.
Persistently low rates continue to suppress income for money market investors. However, for the first time in more than six years, the possibility of higher rates looms on the investment horizon. Money market rates continue to be closely tied to the Federal Reserve's fed funds target rate range of 0.00% to 0.25%. While bond markets may begin to price in expectations for a Fed liftoff, we would expect money markets to react only to imminent monetary tightening, given the very short-term nature of money market investing. At the end of the first quarter, about half of the portfolio was allocated to commercial paper and medium-term notes. Municipal securities also represented a significant portion of the portfolio. The remainder was invested primarily in U.S. Treasuries, other U.S. government and agency securities, and certificates of deposit.
The economic improvements that need to occur before the Fed begins raising short-term rates are not yet in place. While the future direction of rates is likely upward, the timing is less clear. With a Fed rate liftoff within our investment horizon, we are less inclined to invest in longer-maturity securities that don't reflect our expectations regarding rates. We acknowledge the need for patience as we watch the rate situation evolve over the next few months. As always, we remain committed to managing a high-quality, diversified portfolio focused on liquidity and stability of principal.