7 best tax-free municipal bond funds



These bond funds provide tax-free income. Municipal bonds, sometimes called munis, are issued by various government entities …

These bond funds provide tax-free income.

Municipal bonds, sometimes called provided, are issued by various government entities such as states, counties and municipalities. Income from these bond funds is generally exempt from federal taxes and, if issued in your state, the interest will also be exempt from state income taxes. This means that investors in municipal bonds do not have to pay tax on the income of these funds. Frequently, these tax-free bond funds make higher relative interest payments than comparable corporate and government bonds. To check the equivalent tax yield of a corporate or government bond against a municipal bond, you can use an equivalent tax yield calculator. An investor in the 24% federal tax bracket would need a return of almost 4% in a normally taxed bond to earn the same net return as a 3% municipal bond. Here are seven municipal bond funds to help you thwart taxes and increase your income.

IShares National Muni Bond ETF (symbol: MUB)

This national municipality bond fund is one of the most popular, with access to over 4,800 US munited bonds. With MUB’s $ 23.7 billion in assets under management, municipal bond investors voted for this fund with their portfolio. In terms of credit ratings, the fund is primarily invested in AAA, AA and A grade bonds. Therefore, these high grade bonds will offer a lower return than a bond fund which includes investments with a grade of lower credit. The medium term fund has a weighted average maturity of 5.13 years and a current yield of 1.96%. The 0.07% expense ratio means you get the underlying bonds for next to nothing. MUB builds an excellent portfolio of core fixed income securities in a taxable investment account.

Vanguard High Yield Tax Exempt Fund (VWAHX)

“Muni bonds are a game of fees,” says Ron Madey, chief investment officer at Wealthcare Capital Management. Madey says that only about 20% of the 185 unique endowed bond funds in Wealthcare Capital Management’s data set have outperformed their index, and among those that have outperformed, only nine funds have fees that they can likely overcome account. given the risk they take. So it’s no surprise that he likes the Vanguard High-Yield Tax-Exempt Fund. Investor class shares have a low expense ratio of only 0.17%, but if you have $ 50,000 to invest, you can get an even lower fee of 0.09% for Admiral shares. “This fund is longer (and) may have up to 20% of investment grade bonds,” Madey said. But with almost 3,400 bonds in total, the fund is well diversified against the risk of single bonds. Admiral shares currently return around 1.64% against Investor shares, which currently return 1.56%.

High Yield VanEck Vectors Muni ETF (HYD)

This VanEck fund is suitable for people with a higher tolerance for risk. With $ 3.5 billion in assets under management, the fund has a 30-day SEC return of 2.53%, which is higher than other bond funds. Those in the 24% federal tax bracket would receive a tax equivalent return of 3.33%. The fund holds over 1,800 issues, providing reasonable diversification against default. The 0.35% expense ratio is also quite competitive. HYD could be a wise addition to a prudent bond portfolio within a taxable account. Monthly Distributions provide high income earners with regular income.

U.S. High Income Municipal Bond Fund (AMHIX)

“Launched in 1994, (AMHIX) has provided investors with a high level of current income that is exempt from federal income tax,” says Steve Azoury, financial advisor and owner of Azoury Financial, which includes AMHIX in its three main funds provided. It has delivered a decent 5.92% return over the past 10 years, beating the Morningstar high efficiency category average with 0.4%. The risk with this fund is that it invests at least half of its assets in securities rated BBB + or less, notes Azoury. But you can’t get high returns without taking risks. Investors should also note the initial 3.75% selling charge you will incur on your first investment, unless your broker waives these fees for you.

Invesco Rochester Municipal Opportunities Fund Class A (ORNAX)

Rated on High efficiency muni # 1 Fund by US News, Invesco Rochester Municipal Opportunities Fund is also a good choice for municipal investors, says Azoury. Launched in 1993, ORNAX has a whole track record to fall back on. It has outperformed the Morningstar Municipal Category by 2.4% on average over the past 10 years. With an expense ratio of 0.95%, this is not a cheap fund to buy. It also has an initial sales charge of 4.25%, so it’s best to only use it with brokerages that waive the selling charge for you. “Overall, municipal bonds can’t behave like the broader market, but can balance a portfolio and offer earnings tax savings,” he says.

iShares iBonds Dec. 2022 Term Muni Bond ETF (IBMK)

For investors who prefer a stable return on capital at maturity while benefiting from the diversification of a fund, this fixed-term fund is ideal. IBMK provides exposure to investment grade municipal bonds that mature in 2022. So whether interest rates rise or fall, you will get a return of principal in 2022. diversified fund holds over 1,500 bonds and has a 12-month yield of 1.23%. The management fee is 0.18%. Investors looking to preserve their capital for the next year, while still receiving a small, tax-free bond payment, might want to consider this fund. IBMK is one of the many fixed-maturity bond funds available.

Columbia Multi-Sector Municipal Income ETF (MUST)

This actively managed bond fund aims to take advantage of inefficiencies in today’s market. Unlike competing funds, which focus on larger debt issuers and may exclude higher yielding municipal bonds such as hospital and housing bonds, MUST take advantage of less popular municipal bonds. For example, this rule-based bond fund aims to generate superior returns by including certain exposures to income-generating sectors such as transportation and healthcare. The three year fund has a 12 month return of 1.72% and an expense ratio of 0.23%. MUST also trades at a premium of 0.26% to the NAV, which means investors pay a minimal premium to the actual value of the bonds if they are bought now.

Best tax-free municipal bond funds:

– iShares National Muni Bond ETF (MUB)

– Vanguard High Yield Tax Exempt Fund (VWAHX)

– High Yield VanEck Vectors Muni ETF (HYD)

– US High Income Municipal Bond Fund (AMHIX)

– Invesco Rochester Municipal Opportunities Fund Category A (ORNAX)

– iShares iBonds ETF Dec 2022 Term Muni Bond (IBMK)

– Columbia Multi-Sector Municipal Income ETF (MUST)

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7 best tax-free municipal bond funds originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 4/11/21: This story was posted at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.



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