Institutional investors using money market funds to manage cash now have a much easier way to look inside them.
The Office of Financial Research's new Money Market Fund Monitor online tool lets investors explore the portfolios of U.S. money market funds through a series of interactive charts.
Until now, that information came from combing through individual fund filings and industry-level monthly reports on the Securities and Exchange Commission's website. OFR analysts looked at more than 4 million records n the holdings of about 500 funds over five years, and put that information in a format that allows users to track the funds and industry trends. The data will be updated monthly. The earliest data are from Jan. 31, 2011, and the most recent are June 30.
The project was prompted by the 2008 financial crisis.
OFR officials said a lack of detailed data about fund holdings has prevented regulators and investors from seeing potential risks before they happened. Now, regulators are requiring more data about holdings and more liquid assets. Starting in October, for example, prime funds for institutional investors will have to use floating share values rather than a fixed share price.
The Money Market Fund Monitor is available on the OFR's website under the analysis tab and includes a link to a reference guide that offers tips on using it.