Money funds drawing more-diverse buyers

Broader segments of the American public are investing in money market mutual funds than were doing so three years ago.

Women account for a significant share of that growth, according to a survey of shareholders in the T. Rowe Price Prime Reserve Fund.

Compared with a similar survey in April 1979, the current study shows a higher percentage of younger investors as well as retired people in the fund. The percentage of married shareholders and college graduates, although still high, has declined.

Female shareholders now acount for almost one-third of the fund's shareholders - about three times the level of 1979.

The average age of the fund's shareholders is 47, compared with 50 in 1979. The percentage of shareholders under age 34 has increased from 18 to 25 percent of the total during this time.

Two-thirds of the fund's shareholders are college graduates today, as against three-fourths in 1979, and the percentage of married shareholders has dropped from 81 percent to 76 percent.

The percentage of retired investors increased from 14 percent to 18 percent and their average annual income declined from $40,475 in 1979 to $38,400. About 31 percent of current shareholders are engaged in professional occupations.

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