BlackRock Municipal 2018 Term Trust Fund (BPK)

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BlackRock Municipal 2018 Term Trust fund (BPK) is top muni bond closed end fund. If you follow my previous blog entry, you will find the short duration closed end funds such as Nuveen Select Maturities Muni (Ticker: NIM), Nuveen Select Tax-Free Income Portfolio 3 (Ticker: NXR), etc.

This article will provide another Muni bond CEF with slightly longer average duration. This also means this fund is riskier and more volatile with interest rate hikes. This intermediate term Muni bond closed end fund is BlackRock Municipal 2018 Term Trust fund (Ticker: BPK).

BlackRock Municipal 2018 Term Trust (BPK)

The BlackRock Municipal 2018 Term Trust fund seeks tax exempt current income by investing in undervalued municipal bonds of investment grade. This BlackRock fund also will return the initial capital of USD 15 per share by 31-Dec-2018. The fund may invest some of its assets in non investment grade Muni bonds which rated as Ba/BB or B. The bond rating will be based on Moody's, S&P, Fitch rating, and BlackRock’s judgment. This BlackRock fund is managed by Jaeckel Jr (since 2006), O’Connor (since 2006), and Downs (since 2007). This fund also has total net assets of $231.6 million.

BlackRock Municipal 2018 Term Trust Fund (BPK)As part leverage Muni bond fund, this fund has 37.38% effective leverage. The fund charges 0.88% annual expense ratio. This annual expense includes 0.63 management fees, 0.23% other expenses and 0.01% interest expense. The fiscal year end is December 31st every year. As leveraged fund, it also has preferred shareholder distributions of 0.22%.

As of March 2011, this fund pays monthly distribution of $0.0780 per share. This means it has a yield of 6.03%. The average credit quality of this fund is A (investment grade). The average duration is 7.18 years. The average coupon is 5.10%. This BlackRock CEF consists of 107 bonds.

Best California Muni Bond Closed End Funds

As of January 2011, the fund top 5 states include Illinois (12.5%), New Jersey (10.1%), Texas (9.4%), California (8.2%), and Multi States (6.0%). The top 5 bond sectors are corporate-backed Muni’s, tax-backed, health, transportation, and housing.

As of March 30th 2011, the fund market price is traded 7.04% premium of its fund NAV. This is slightly higher than 52 weeks average of 6.92% premium. This BlackRock Municipal 2018 Term Trust fund is rated 5 stars by Morningstar. The fund market price has returned 5.94% over the past year and 5.55% over the past five years.

Disclosure: No Position

Nuveen Select Tax-Free Income Portfolio 3 Fund (NXR)

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This article is featuring another short duration municipal bond closed end fund (Muni bond CEF). If you miss, my previous article on Nuveen Select Maturities Municipal bond fund, please check my previous blog entry. This article will feature Nuveen Select Tax-Free Income Portfolio

Nuveen Select Tax-Free Income Portfolio 3 (NYSE: NXR)

Nuveen Select Tax Free Income Portfolio 3 fund (Ticker: NXR) is one of the three Nuveen Select Tax-Free Income Portfolio managed by Thomas C. Spalding Jr since 1999. Nuveen Select Tax Free Income Portfolio 3 fund objective is to provide current income exempt from regular federal income tax, consistent with capital preservation. The majority of fund’s asset is invested in long term investment grade rated municipal bonds or debts.

The fund manager may invest <20% of net assets in unrated municipal obligations with comparable quality. This Nuveen fund may be attractive to people who seeks monthly tax free income, diversification of asset portfolio, and attractive after-tax total returns. The fund currently has total net assets of $176 million.

Nuveen Select Tax Free Income 3 fund holdings

Nuveen Select Tax-Free Income Portfolio 3 Fund (NXR)This Muni bond CEF is part of non leverage bond closed end fund (i.e. fixed income CEF). The fund has an annual expense ratio of 0.37% (0.36% baseline expense and 0.01% interest expense). The fund distribution rate is 4.95%. This yield is paid monthly. The fund average credit rating is AA (investment grade). The fund market price has returned -4.41% over the past year and 4.17% over the past 5 year.

As of March 2011, the Nuveen fund has 113 numbers of holdings. This closed end fund has an average coupon of 4.43%. The fund average maturity is 15.01 years and the fund average modified duration is 4.96 years. The average bond price is $83.62. Most of the fund asset is invested in the municipal bonds (98%).

The top 10 Muni bond sectors are U.S. guaranteed bonds, health care, limited tax obligation, utilities, transportation Muni bond, consumer staples, general tax obligation, education & civic organization, water & sewer, and single family housing bonds. The top 5 states include Illinois (18.83%), California (10.13%), Texas (10.03%), Colorado (6.91%), and Indiana (6.15%).

Investment risks include:
  • Call risk or prepayment risk
  • Interest rate risk
  • Credit risk
Nuveen CEF FundYou might be interested in these Nuveen funds as well:
  • Nuveen Select Tax Free Income Portfolio (Ticker: NXP)
  • Nuveen Select TaxFree Income Portfolio 2 (Ticker: NXQ)

How can I buy this CEF?

Since this CEF is traded like stock in NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), you can buy with any online discount brokerage like Lightspeed, Interactive Brokers (IB), Fidelity, Merrill Edge and many more.

Disclosure: No Position

Nuveen Select Maturities Municipal Fund (NIM)

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Nuveen Select Maturities Municipal fund is a Muni bond closed end fund (i.e. municipal bond CEF). Closed End Fund, also known as CEF, is a publicly traded investment fund which invests in stocks and bonds securities. If you are interested in short term municipal bond fund investment, investor should consider this Nuveen fund.

Nuveen fund holdings

Nuveen Select Maturities Municipal Fund (NIM) holdingsThis Nuveen Select Maturities Municipal fund objective is to provide current income exempt from regular federal income tax, consistent with the preservation of capital. It also has a secondary objective to provide portfolio value enhancement. The fund will invest majority of its assets in investment grade rated municipal debts (Baa and BBB or better). It may invest small part of its assets (<20%) in unrated municipal bonds / obligations.

Since 2007, the fund has been managed by Paul Brennan. The fund total common net assets are $123 million. The fund also charges an annual expense ratio of 0.58%. There is only baseline expense and there is no interest expense as of March 31, 2011. The fund has a distribution rate of 4.34% (6.68% taxable equivalent yield based on 35% federal tax rate). The average coupon is 4.89%. The fund average duration is 3.67 years. The average maturity is 11.22 years. There are 161 bonds in this fund. The 5 % annual portfolio turnover is low. The average credit rating of this fund is AA-.

Distribution history

Nuveen Select Maturities Municipal Fund DistributionAs of March 2011, the fund asset allocation includes municipal bonds (98.7%), and cash (1.3%). The fund top 10 sectors include limited tax obligation (18.09%), U.S. guaranteed bond (17.35%), utilities bond (16.43%), general tax obligation (9.45%), health care (8.61%), transportation (7.60%). education and civic organization (5.1%), long term care (4.53%), consumer staples (4.37%), and water & sewer (3.58%). Top 6 state allocations are Illinois (14.59%), Colorado (12.03%), Pennsylvania (7.4%), Texas (6.7%), and Florida (6.35%).

As of March 28, 2011, the fund has returned -3.80% over the past year and 4.15% over the past 3 year. On the longer term, the fund has returned 3.88% over the past 5 year and 3.68% over the past decade.
Reason to invest in this Muni bond fund:
  1. It has short average duration. Low risk to interest rate hike.
  2. The fund market price trades at a 3.67% discount to its underlying assets or NAV
  3. It pays a distribution which is tax free
  4. This is a non leverage municipal bond closed end fund
Risks:
  1. Due to underperform its index this past year, will the fund manager change his strategy? The average duration has increased slightly since September 2010 (3.42 years to 3.67 years)
  2. Is there any interest rate hikes? If so, how much?
Disclosure: None

Top 10 Mid Cap Value Stock Mutual Funds 2010

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Investing in value companies can be effectively through stock mutual fund or equity mutual fund. One of the fund category is mid cap value mutual fund. These types of fund usually invest in under value mid size companies which have $2 billion to $10 billion market capitalization.

Mid Cap Value Funds

The advisor will look for stocks that are cheaper or growing more slowly than typical market. These companies usually come from energy, financial, and manufacturing sectors.

Top 10 Mid Cap Value Stock Mutual Funds 2010The Top 10 Mid Cap Value stock fund of 2010 is ranked based on the fund performance in 2010. The fund also has more than $300 million net asset. The fund may include funds from variety of fund family like Neuberger Berman (Allianz Global Investors), MFS Investment Management, AllianceBernstein Investment, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, etc.

Neuberger Berman Equity Income A (NBHAX)

The investment in Neuberger Berman Equity Income is looking for current income as well as capital appreciation. This NBHAX fund seeks to produce a greater yield than the average current yield. The majority net assets investment is in equity securities that pay dividends. This includes real estate and utilities sectors and the investment in each sector may be up to 40% of total assets

Neuberger Berman Equity Income A (NBHAX)This mid cap value mutual fund is managed by Alexandra S. Pomeroy since Oct 7, 2006. The annual expense ratio of this fund is 1.16%. This Neuberger Berman fund has returned 15.58% over the past one year and 5.16% over the past three years. The minimum balance to invest in this fund is $1,000 for either brokerage or IRA account. The other class tickers of this fund are NBHCX, NBHIX and NBHRX. Among all, NBHIX has the lowest expense ratio (0.8%).

Top 10 holdings of this fund are Foster S Group (1.9%), CenterPoint Energy (1.9%), Cenovus Energy (1.9%), AMB Property (1.9%), Blackrock Inc. (1.8%), Sanofi Aventis (1.8%), Crescent Point Energy (1.8%), Bonavista Energy Trust (1.8%), Franco Nevada (1.8%) and Total SA (1.7%).

MFS Mid Cap Value A (MVCAX)

MFS Mid Cap Value A (MVCAX)MFS Mid Cap Value fund objective is to seek appreciation of capital. The major net assets investment of this fund is in equity securities. Normally, this fund invests >80% of its total assets in issuers with medium market capitalizations as stated in the range of the Russell Midcap Value Index. There is a probability of this fund to invest in either foreign securities or derivatives.

Kevin J Schmitz has managed this mutual fund since Nov 20, 2008. This fund has 1.25% expense ratio per year. This fund has returned 3.81% over the past three years and 2.62% over the past five years. The minimum balance to invest in this stock mutual fund is $1,000 for brokerage account and $250 for IRA account. This fund can be purchased from 87 brokerages, such as Morgan Stanley Advisors, Pershing FundCenter, Td Ameritrade, Inc., JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch and Edward Jones. The other class tickers of this fund are MCBVX, MVCCX, MCVIX, MVCGX, MCVRX, MVCHX and MVCJX. Some classes have lower expense ratio and different minimum investment.

As of January 2011, the top 10 holdings of this fund are NVR Inc., Allied World Assurance Co Holdings Ltd, QEP Resources Inc., AON Corp, Celanese Corp, Entertainment Properties Trust REIT, Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd, Stanley Black & Decker Inc., JM Smucker Co and Affiliated Managers Group Inc. These top 10 holdings make up of 13.9% of total net assets.

Allianz NFJ Renaissance A (PQNAX)

The investment in Allianz NFJ Renaissance is looking for capital growth in long-time period as well to produce income. The major net assets investment is in common stocks of attractive-valuations-trading companies. This PQNAX fund may invest around 25% in non U-S securities and 20% in REIT. There is also chance of investing in other kinds of equity securities, including warrants, convertible securities and preferred stocks.

The fund manager of this fund is Paul A. Magnuson since June 8, 2009. There is an expense ratio of 1.26% per year. The performance of this fund is as below:
  • 1-year: 19.93%
  • 3-years: 1.53%
  • 5-years: 2.02%
  • 10-years: 5.53%
The minimum balance to invest in brokerage account of this domestic stock fund is $1,000. There is no IRA account available. This fund can be purchased from 102 brokerages include E TRADE Financial, Morgan Stanley Advisors, Pershing FundCenter, TD Ameritrade, Inc. and Merrill Lynch. The other class tickers of this fund are PRAAX, PQNBX, PQNCX, PREDX, PRNIX and PRNRX. Only PRNIX has no 12b1 fee and no sales load.

The top holdings of this mid cap value fund as of Feb 28, 2011 are Tidewater Inc. (1.29%), Nexen Inc. (1.23%), Noble Corp (1.22%), Valero Energy Corp (1.17%), Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (1.15%), VF Corp (1.15%), Yamana Gold Inc. (1.13%), El Paso Corp (1.12%), Nyse Euronext (1.12%) and Loews Corp (1.12%).

AllianceBernstein Small-Mid Cap Value A (ABASX)

AllianceBernstein Small-Mid Cap Value investment is looking for long-term capital growth. The majority net assets investment is in securities of small- to mid-capitalization companies. It invests in a diversified portfolio of equity securities 60 to 125 U.S. companies.
AllianceBernstein Small-Mid Cap Value A (ABASX)

Since 2002, Joseph G. Paul has been the lead manager. This AllianceBernstein fund has 1.15% annual expense ratio. There is a 0.30% 12b1 fee and 4.25% of front end sales load.

The minimum balance to invest in this fund is $2,500 for either brokerage or IRA account. This fund can be purchased from 109 brokerages include Scottrade Load, Merrill Lynch, CommonWealth PPS, Edward Jones, Fidelity Retail FundsNetwork and Schwab Institutional NTF. This fund has returned 22.87% over the past one year. The other class tickers of this fund are ABSYX, ABBSX, ABCSX, ABSIX, ABSKX and ABSRX. Some classes have lower expense ratio and no 12b1 fee. And these other classes have no front-end sales load.

The top 10 holdings of this fund are Swift Energy Co. (1.27%), Southern Union Co. (1.25%), Health Net, Inc. (1.24%), General Cable Corp. (1.24%), Thomas & Betts Corp. (1.23%), Teekay Corp. (1.22%), CMS Energy Corp. (1.22%), Pepco Holdings, Inc. (1.20%), Dana Holding Corp. (1.20%) and NiSource, Inc. (1.20%).

Disclosure: No position For part 2 article and part 3 post, please check the link. Other US stock mutual funds:

  • Artisan Mid Cap Value Investor (ARTQX)

NoMutual Funds DescriptionRankTickerAssetsYieldMorningstar RatingNet Assets (Mil)Expense RatioMin To Invest
1Neuberger Berman Equity Income A2NBHAX$383 3.91%5$965 1.16%$1,000
2MFS Mid Cap Value A5MVCAX$729 0.55%2$863 1.25%$1,000
3Allianz NFJ Renaissance A13PQNAX$787 1.22%2$840 1.26%$1,000
4AllianceBern Small-Mid Cap Value A15ABASX$1,202 0.08%3$1,610 1.15%$2,500

10 Best High Yield Bond Mutual Funds of 2011 Part 2

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This is the second article about High Yield Bond Funds. The top funds include Fidelity High Income, T Rowe Price High Yield, Goldman Sachs High Yield A, etc. More fund review can be found in MEPB Financial.

Intro

To be ahead in interest yield hike, investor can invest in high yield bond especially high yield bond mutual fund. While this type of bond is riskier, this investment can be rewarding. Most of the high yield bonds have a low average duration (less than 5 years). This means the price movement of the bond is limited when the interest rate is raised by federal government. The following is my part 2 article about Top 10 High Yield Bond Funds of 2011. If you miss my first article, you can check it here, Top 10 High Yield Bond Fund Part 1.

Fidelity High Income

Fidelity High Income fund is the second Fidelity fund in this top 10 high yield fund list. The Fidelity High Income fund objective is to provide high current income and capital growth by investing in income-producing debt securities, preferred stocks and convertible securities, especially in lower quality debt obligations. The fund may invest in either domestic or foreign securities. It potentially invests in non-income producing securities like defaulted securities, common stocks, and companies in troubled or uncertain financial condition.

Fidelity High Income FundFred Hoff is the lead fund's manager since 2000. Investor needs an initial investment of $2,500 to buy this fund in brokerage account or IRA. The annual expense ratio is 0.75%. This fund doesn’t have any 12b1 fee and front end sales load fee. It is offered by 66 brokerages. The easiest way to invest in any Fidelity fund is by opening Fidelity brokerage account.

As of March 2011, the fund’s yield is 6.92% per year. It also has a 4 stars rating from Morningstar. The fund has returned 16.60% over the past year and 8.60% over the past five year. If you invested $10,000 in this fund ten years ago, you would have $18,462 at present time. Top 6 major market sectors are telecommunications, energy, diversified financial services, healthcare, technology, and electric utilities. Top 10 debt holdings are Calpine Corp, ILFC, Avaya Inc, Thomson Learning TM, Nextel Communication, VWR FDG Inc PIK, Servicemaster, TL acquisition, and NCL Corp Ltd. There are 482 bond holdings. The debt portfolio diversifications include corporate bond (76%), bank debt (13%), cash (7.5%), and convertible preferred stock.

T. Rowe Price High-Yield

T Rowe Price High Yield bond fundT. Rowe Price High-Yield fund investment seeks high current income and appreciation of capital. The fund usually invests >80% of assets in a diversified portfolio of high-yield corporate bonds, convertible securities, and preferred stocks. This high yield bonds usually consist of a lower rated below investment grade (BB and lower) debts. Its weighted average maturity is in 5 to 10 year range. The fund may invest in futures, swaps, and options.

This T. Rowe Price High-Yield fund is managed by Mark J. Vaselkiv, a vice president of T. Rowe Price Group Inc. The fund distribution rate is 7.49% per year. The fund expense ratio is 0.76% per year. You won’t find any 12b1 fee or any sales load in this fund. Its total net asset is $8.54 billion.

As of March 2011, the fund has returned 11.51% over the past three year and 7.98% over the past decade. For 2009, the fund annual return is 49.16%. The top 10 largest holdings are Ally preferred, CIT Group Inc, Clearwire Corp, E*Trade Financial Corp, First Data Corporation, Harrahs Operating Co Inc, Intelsat Bermuda Ltd, Lucent Tech, Ryerson Holding Corp, and Sprint Nextel Corp. The fund asset is allocated as follow domestic bond (79.3%), foreign bond (13.3%), domestic stock (2.7%), cash (2.4%), convertibles (1.3%), and preferreds (1.1%). The fund weighted average duration is 3.35 years. The fund weighted average maturity is 6.22 years.

MainStay High Yield Corporate Bond A

MainStay High Yield Corporate Bond fund objective is to provide current income and capital appreciation. The majority of fund asset (>80%) is invested in high-yield corporate debt securities (domestic and foreign corporate debts). These funds are rated by major rating agencies such as Moody's or Standard & Poor's ("S&P"). It may invest some of its asset (<20%) in common stocks and other equities.

The fund also has an annual expense ratio of 1.03%. It also has 0.25% 12b1 fee and 4.50% front end sales load fee. The fund lead manager is J. Matthew Philo. This MainStay fund also pays a yield of 7.04%. This yield is distributed monthly. The fund has returned 8.66% over the past year and 5.97% over the past 5 year.

Regular investor may also invest variety of classes for this fund. The other classes include MKHCX (class B), MYHCX (class C), MHHIX (investor class), MHYIX (class I), and MHYRX (Class R2). These classes may offer lower fees. You may have accessed through your IRA account, 401k account or some other brokerage accounts.

As January 2011, the fund effective maturity is 5.9 years and the fund effective duration is 3.4 years. The annual turnover rate is 41%. There are 493 holdings in this fund. The total net asset is $6.6 billion. The fund top sectors are consumer non cyclical, consumer cyclical, communications, energy, and financials. Top 5 corporate bond holdings include RRI Energy Inc, Intelsat Subsidiary Holding Co Ltd, Calpine Construction Finance Co and CCFC Finance Corp, Charter Communications operating llc or Charter Communications Capital Corp, and Crum & Forster Holdings Corp.

Goldman Sachs High Yield A

Goldman Sachs High Yield investment seeks current income as well as appreciation of capital. The fund normally invests >80% of net assets in high-yield which are non investment grade fixed income securities. It may invest <25% of total assets in obligations of domestic and foreign issuers which are denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar and in securities of issuers located in emerging countries denominated in any currency. The fund invests up to 20% of net assets in investment grade fixed income securities such as the US government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises debts.

Since 2004, Robert Cignarella has been the lead manager of this fund. This Goldman Sachs fund can be purchased from 122 brokerages like Pershing FundCenter, Schwab Institutional Load Waived, Wells Fargo, Firstrade, etc.

The fund distribution rate is 7.25% per year. This yield is distributed monthly. The fund annual expense ratio is 1.05% per year. There is also 0.25% 12b1 fee and 4.25% front end sales load fee. The current total net asset of this fund is $6 billion. The minimum investment is $1,000 for brokerage account and $250 for IRA.
Goldman Sachs High Yield FundAs of March 2011, the fund has returned 8.43% over the past three year and 5.93% over the past five year based on load adjusted returns. The option adjusted duration of this fund is 3.57 years. This Goldman Sachs fund also consists of 769 bonds. The top 10 corporate holdings include Intelsat, Sprint Nextel, HCA, CIT Group, AIG, Ford, Ally Financial, MGM Mirage, First Data, and Harrahs. Top 3 bond sectors are high yield bond (81.5%), non dollar bond (13.1%), and cash (5.4%).

Other Related High Yield Bond Funds:

Northern High Yield Fixed Income Fund

The investment in Northern High Yield Fixed Income is pursuing for current income. The major net assets investment of this fund (>80%) is in lower quality bonds and other fixed-income securities. During certain temporary period, this fund may also invest all of its assets in higher quality securities for defensive reason. Although the main investment is in domestic issuers but it may also invest in foreign issuers in small amount. Richard J. Inzunza has managed this fund since 2007. Besides being the fund manager, he is as well the Vice President at The Northern Trust Company. This fund can be purchased from 82 brokerages include T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Institutional FundsNetwork, Schwab Retail and TD Ameritrade, Inc.

The fund distribution rate is 7.25% per year. The expense ratio of this fund is 0.89% annually which is quite low compared to the average (1.18%). There is no 12b1 fee as well as no sales load. The minimum balance to invest in this fund is $2,500 for brokerage account and $500 for IRA account.

As of January 2011, this Northern fund total net asset is $3.7 billion. It consists of 192 debt holdings. The average duration is 4.6 years and the average maturity is 8.1 years. Top 10 sector weightings include consumer cyclical (20.4%), communications (15.2%), consumer non cyclical (11.8%), financial institutions (11.4%), utilities (8.0%), energy (7.5%), capital goods (6.0%), technology (5.0%), basic industry (4.5%), and short term fund (4.2%). Top 10 bond holdings are Intelstat Bermuda, CIT Group, Gmac Inc, Ford Motor Credit Co Llc, Energy Future Holdings Corp, HCA Inc, AES Corp, White Mountains RE Group Preferred shares, US Foodservice Inc, and Qwest Cap.

Disclosure: No Position

Top 10 High Yield Bond Mutual Funds 2011

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High Yield bond mutual fund should be one of the popular asset diversification for investor. The US Federal Reserve has signaled the low interest rate environment until mid 2013. This bond fund has high yield, shorter duration, regular income.

The top 10 high yield bond funds include American Funds American High Income, Vanguard High Yield Corporate, Fidelity Capital & Income, etc. More fund review can be found in my MEPB Financial website.

High Yield Bond Funds

Top 10 High Yield Bond Mutual Funds 2011High yield bond is also known as junk bond or speculative bond or non investment grade bond. To invest in high yield bond, you can choose either investing through individual bond, mutual fund, exchange traded fund (ETF), and closed end fund (CEF). Investing in individual bond may be difficult and risky for small investor. Also, most of individual bonds need $10,000 or higher initial investment fund to invest.

The most popular choice is investing in high yield bond mutual fund. Mutual fund usually invests in variety of bonds which can provide additional diversification to your financial asset portfolio. The following are the reasons why this best high yield bond fund is attractive:
  • High risk means high reward
  • The bond pays regular high distribution or yield (monthly or quarterly)
  • It can provide additional asset diversification into non investment grade bond
  • This type of bond doesn't have direct correlation with either investment-grade bonds or stocks
  • High return or performance due to improve credit market condition or economy
  • Hedge for higher interest rate since most of these fund has low duration
The following 2011 top funds are selected based on the following criteria
  • The fund has high total net assets. The bigger the fund assets is equal to high confident for regular investor and institutional investor to invest in this fund
  • It is ranked with 2 or higher star of Morningstar ratings

American Funds American High Income Fund

As part of American Funds fund family, the American Funds American High Income fund investment seeks to provide a high level of current income and capital appreciation. The fund invests most of its assets (>65%) in higher yielding debts including corporate loan obligations. It may also invest minority of its assets in foreign debts or outside the United States obligations.

American Funds American High Income FundThe fund has been managed by David D Barclay since 1989. The fund also has an annual expense ratio of 0.68%. There are also 0.22% 12b1 fee and 3.75% front end sales load. The minimum initial investment is $250 for regular brokerage account and $250 for IRA account. The fund also has a 3 stars rating from Morningstar. The current yield is 7.67% per year. The fund performance has returned 12.71% over the past year and 6.48% over the past 5 year.

This AHITX fund can be purchased from 74 brokerages such as ETrade Load Fee, Vanguard, JPMorgan, Schwab Institutional, Firstrade, Scottrade, etc. As of January 2011, the fund asset mix is as follows US Bonds (70.9%), Non U.S. Bonds (17.5%), Cash (9.5%), and US Equities (2.1%).

The Top 5 portfolio holdings include US Corporate Bonds (70.4%), Non US corporate and government bonds (17.7%), cash (5.8%), other (2.7%), and stocks (2.3%). The fund has an average duration of 3.3 years. This American Funds fund also an average life of 4.8 years. Investor or trader can also invest in many other different classes of this fund. Some fund classes may have lower fee.

Vanguard High-Yield Corporate Fund

Vanguard High-Yield Corporate FundVanguard has been known for its low cost fund approached. This Vanguard High Yield Corporate fund also has one of the lowest expense ratio (0.28%) per year among the listed fund. This Vanguard fund investment objective is to provide seeks a high current income by investing mainly in a diversified group of junk or speculative corporate debts with medium- and lower-range credit-quality ratings.

The fund may not invest >20% of assets in bonds with credit ratings lower than B, preferred stocks, and convertible securities. Since 2008, Michael L. Hong has been the lead manager of this Vanguard fund. 

The VWEHX fund also pays a yield of 7.25% per year. This top bond fund has returned 9.12% over the past three year and 6.17% over the past decade. One of the best ways to buy this top fund of 2012 is by opening Vanguard Brokerage Services account.

There is no fee to buy and sell this fund through Vanguard. There is also no 12b1 fee and front end sales load fee. To invest in this fund, you will need $3,000 initial investment fund for brokerage account and IRA (individual retirement account). You can also buy this fund through 78 brokerages network.

During the latest March report, the fund has 333 bonds in its holding. The average duration of the bonds is 4.6 years. The average maturity is 5.4 years. The fund has total net assets of 13.4 billion. Top 5 bond sectors are communication, finance, consumer non cyclical, consumer cyclical, and basic industry.

Fidelity Capital & Income Fund

The Fidelity Capital & Income fund is to provide income and capital growth. The fund usually invests in stock and debt securities, including defaulted bonds, with an emphasis on lower-quality debt securities. It may invest in troubled companies due to uncertain financial condition and in domestic & foreign issuers. The fund manager is Mark Notkin since 2003. Regular investor will be charged an annual expense ratio of 0.76%.

There are no front end sales load fee and no 12b1 fee. The fund has returned 21.92% over the past year and 9.39% over the past decade. To buy this high yield bond fund, you can open Fidelity brokerage account. Retail investor also can find this fund through 69 brokerages network like UBS Financial Services, TIAA-CREF Brokerage Services, TD Ameritrade Institutional NTF, Schwab Retail, etc. You also need $2,500 initial balance to purchase this Fidelity fund.

As of January 2011, the fund top 8 bond holdings are GMAC LLC Mtn bond, Sprint Cap Corp, HCA holdings Inc, Teck Resources Ltd, TRW automotive holdings corp, Intelsat Pik, Wind Acqui, and LyondellBasell Industries. This Fidelity fund consists of 581 bonds. Top 5 portfolio diversifications are corporate bond (65.2%), equities (18.6%), bank debt (10.1%), cash (4.0%), and convertible preferred stocks (0.7%).

Top 8 major market sectors include telecommunications, energy, technology, automotive, diversified financial services, healthcare, banks & thrifts, and electric utilities. The fund annual turnover rate as of end of October 2010 is 52%.

Other Related High Yield Bond Funds:

PIMCO High Yield A

The PIMCO High Yield fund is part of PIMCO mutual fund offerings. The PIMCO High Yield fund seeks maximum total return with capital preservation using prudent investment management. The fund invests >80% of assets in a diversified portfolio of high yield obligations or junk bonds. It may invest the rest of the assets in investment-grade fixed income debts.

The average portfolio duration of this fund normally varies from 2 to 6 years based on PIMCO forecast for interest rate. This PIMCO fund is managed by Andrew Jessop since 2010. He is an executive vice president and high yield portfolio manager in the PIMCO Newport Beach office. Based on load adjusted returns, this PHDAX fund has returned 10.78% over the past year and 7.64% over the past 3 year.

PIMCO High Yield AThis fund also has a yield of 6.96% per year. The fund expense ratio is 0.90% per year. There are 3.75% front end sales load fee and 0.25% 12b1 fee. To invest in this fund, you will need $1,000 initial investment fund for brokerage account. This PIMCO fund can be purchased from 112 brokerages like E*Trade Financial, Wells Fargo Advisors, Fidelity Retail FundsNetwork, Merrill Lynch, etc.

As of January 2011, the top 5 sectors of this fund include high yield credit (78%), Non US Developed bond (7%), Investment Grade Credit (6%), Other (3%), and Mortgage (3%). Top 5 industry exposures are healthcare, electric utility, non captive consumer finance, banks, and wireless. The fund effective durations is 3.97 years. The effective maturity is 5.97 years.

JPMorgan High Yield A

The JPMorgan High yield fund objective is to provide a high level of current income. It also tries to provide capital appreciation as its secondary objective. The fund invests most of its assets (>65%) in higher yielding debts including corporate loan obligations. It may also invest minority of its assets in foreign debts or outside the United States obligations.

William Morgan is the fund manager since 1998. The fund expense ratio is 1.14% per year. Also, there are 0.25% 12b1 fee and 3.75% front end sales load. The minimum initial investment is $1,000 for regular brokerage account and $1,000 for IRA account. The fund is rated with 3 stars Morningstar rating. The current fund distribution is 7.49% per year.

Based on load adjusted returns, this JPMorgan fund performance has returned 10.49% over the past three year and 7.90% over the past 5 year. The fund has $8.81 billion total net asset. This high yield bond fund can be purchased from 99 brokerages like ETrade Financial, TD Ameritrade, Schwab Institutional NTF, Wells Fargo Advisors, etc.

As of January 2011, the top 5 industries of this OHYAX fund are media, oil / gas & consumable fuels, hotels & restaurant, diversified financial services, diversified financial services, and diversified telecommunication services. The top 5 sectors include consumer discretionary, financials, industrials, energy, and materials.

The top bond holding of this fund include Liberty Mutual Group Inc, GMAC Inc, Nextel Communications, Capmark Financial Group, Sprint Nextel Corp, Caesars Entertainment Operating Co, Newpage Corp, Intelsat Luxembourg SA, Clearwire Communication Llc, and Claire Stores Inc. This JPMorgan fund also has 508 issuers.  The fund average duration is 4.81 years. Other classes of this fund may have lower expense fee.

Top Performing High Yield Bond Funds:
  1. American Funds American High Income Fund (AHITX) - 12.71%
  2. Vanguard High-Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX) - 15.08%
  3. Fidelity Capital & Income Fund (FAGIX) - 21.92%
  4. PIMCO High Yield Fund (PHDAX) - 10.78%
  5. JPMorgan High Yield Fund (OHYAX) - 12.83%
  6. Fidelity High Income Fund (SPHIX) - 16.60%
  7. T. Rowe Price High-Yield Fund (PRHYX) - 17.18%
  8. MainStay High Yield Corporate Bond Fund (MHCAX) - 8.66%
  9. Goldman Sachs High Yield Fund (GSHAX) - 10.69%
  10. Northern High Yield Fixed Income Fund (NHFIX) - 16.92%
The next 5 funds will be listed on part 2 article, Best High Yield Bond fund of 2011 part 2. Disclosure: I also have no position in any of these funds. Please do your own research for additional details. Please trade and invest responsibly. Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results.

Article: Top Performer High Yield Bond Funds of 2012

Top 10 Best Performer Mid Cap Blend Fund of 2010: Part 2

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The following is my part 2 article about top 10 best performer mid cap blend mutual fund. These funds usually invest in companies which have a market capitalization between $2 billion and 10 billion. Majority of the fund asset is invested in mid cap domestic stock, though some funds may invest in foreign stock. These mid cap blend funds include all the 2010 winning list or best performer for 2010 period.
The top 10 Best Performer Mid Cap Blend Mutual Funds of 2010 (part 2) are:
  1. Principal MidCap Blend A (PEMGX)
  2. Nationwide Mid Cap Market Index A (GMXAX)
  3. Fidelity Spartan Extended Mkt Index Inv (FSEMX)
  4. Dreyfus Midcap Value A (DMCVX)
  5. Vanguard Extended Market Idx Inv (VEXMX)
 PreviousBest Mid Cap Blend Fund Part 1.

Principal MidCap Blend A (PEMGX) 

Principal MidCap Blend investment is seeking for long-term capital growth. The main net assets investment of this fund is in common stocks and other equity securities of medium-capitalization companies. These companies have the similar market capitalizations to those of companies in the Russell Midcap Index.

Principal MidCap Blend A (PEMGX)Since 2000, K. William Nolin has been the fund portfolio manager. This mid cap blend stock fund has 1.14% yearly expense ratios. There are 0.25% 12b1 fee and 5.50% front-end sales load for this fund. The minimum balance to invest in this fund either in brokerage or IRA account is $1,000.

This fund can be purchased from 84 brokerages include E TRADE Financial, H&R Block Financial Advisors Inc., Morgan Stanley - Brokerage Accounts, Schwab Institutional and Td Ameritrade, Inc. This fund has returned 22.04% over the past one year and 4.23% over the past three years. The other class tickers of this fund are PRMBX, PMBCX, PCBIX, PMBJX, PMCPX, PMSBX, PMBNX, PMBMX, PMBSX and PMBPX.

newBest Mid Cap Domestic Stock Mutual Funds 2012

The top 10 holdings of this fund as of Feb 28, 2011 are Liberty Media Corp., Capital Shs A (3.56%), O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. (3.04%), Iron Mountain, Inc. (2.67%), Loews Corporation (2.61%), Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (2.36%), Markel Corporation (2.21%), EOG Resources (2.12%), Brookfield Asset Management, Inc. A (2.11%), DISH Network Corporation Class A (2.03%) and Leucadia National Corporation (1.91%).

Nationwide Mid Cap Market Index A (GMXAX)

The Nationwide Mid Cap Market Index fund investment is to provide capital growth. The fund investment tries to match the S&P Mid Cap 400 Index performance as closely as possible before the fund expenses deduction. The majority of the net assets (around 80%) are invested in equity securities of companies included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index.

Edward Corallo has passively managed fund since 2010. This fund has low expense ratio which is 0.67%. The 12b1 fee of this fund is 0.25% and the front-end sales load charge is 5.75%. This fund has returned 4.11% over the past five years and 6.83% over the past ten years. The minimum balance to invest in this fund is $2,000 for brokerage account and $1,000 for IRA account. The other class tickers of this fund are GMCBX, GMCCX, GMXIX and GMXRX.

The top ten holdings of this mid cap blend fund as of Feb 28, 2011 are S&P Mid 400 Emini Future (3.59%), Cimarex Energy Co (0.80%), Edwards Lifesciences Corp (0.79%), Vertex Pharmaceutical Com (0.77%), Borg-Warner Inc (0.72%), New York Community Bancorp Inc (0.66%), Chipotle Mexican Grill Com (0.62%), Bucyrus International Inc (0.60%), Pride International Inc (0.59%), and Lubrizol Corp (0.58%).

Fidelity Spartan Extended Mkt Index Inv (FSEMX)

Fidelity Spartan Extended Market Index Investor investment is looking for capital growth as well as providing investment results. The results relate to the total return of mid-cap and small-cap United States companies stocks. The major net assets investment of this fund is in common stocks (including the Dow Jones U.S. Completion Total Stock Market Index).

Fidelity Spartan Extended Mkt Index Inv (FSEMX)Jeffrey Adams has managed this fund since 2005. This fund has the lowest expense ratio from all the funds listed here (0.10%). This fund applies no 12b1 fee and it is a no sales load fund. The minimum balance to invest in brokerage account of this fund is $10,000. No IRA account is available. This fund has returned 5.67% over the past five years. The other class ticker of this fund is FSEVX, that has no 12b1 fee and no sales load as well.

The top ten holdings of this fund as of Dec 31, 2010 are Las Vegas Sands Corp, General Motors Co, Blackrock Inc., Lyondellbasell Inds Class A, Mosaic Co, Annaly Capital Mgmt Inc REIT, Crown Castle Intl Corp, Southern Copper Corp, Marvell Technology Group Ltd and Delta Air Inc.

Dreyfus Midcap Value A (DMCVX)

The investment in Dreyfus Midcap Value seeks to equal the Standard & Poor's MidCap 400 Index performance. The general choice of net assets investment of this fund is in all 400 stocks in the S&P MidCap 400 with index proportional consideration. These are the common stocks of medium-size companies with $750 million to $3.3 billion market capitalization.

Top Performer US Domestic Stock Mutual Funds of 2011

This mid cap blend stock mutual fund is managed by Thomas J. Durante since 2000. The expense ratio of this fund (0.50%) is quite low compared to the average in the category. There is neither 12b1 fee nor sales load for this fund. This fund has returned 32.15% over the past one year and 5.56% over the past five years. The minimum balance to invest in brokerage account of this fund is $2,500 and $750 for IRA account. The other class tickers for this fund are PESPX, DVLCX and DVLIX. The minimum balance to invest in DVLCX and DVLIX brokerage account is $1,000. This fund also has 4 stars rating from Morningstar.

The top holdings of this fund are Td Ameritrade Holding (3.16 %), Alliance Data Systems (3.14 %), Newell Rubbermaid (3.04 %), St. Jude Medical (2.77 %), Stanley Black & Decker (2.61 %), Cb Richard Ellis Group – A (2.60 %), Avery Dennison (2.54 %), Textron (2.52 %), Synopsys (2.25 %) and Tyco Electronics (2.18 %).

Vanguard Extended Market Idx Inv (VEXMX) 

Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)Vanguard Extended Market Index Investor fund seeks performance tracking of a benchmark index. This index measures the investment return of small-cap and mid-cap stocks. This fund invests majority of its net assets in stocks of the targeted index. It uses a passive management strategy planned to track the performance of the S&P Completion Index.

This domestic stock mutual fund is managed by Donald M. Butler since 1997. The expense ratio of this fund is 0.26% per year. There is no 12b1 fee applied for this fund. And it is as well a no sales load fund. The performance of this fund over the past three years is 7.58%. The minimum balance to invest in this fund either in brokerage or IRA account is $3,000. The other class tickers of this fund are VEXAX, VIEIX and VEMSX. Some asset classes of fund have lower expense ratio fee, and no front end sales charge fee.

The top 10 holdings of this fund as of Feb 28, 2011 are BlackRock Inc., Las Vegas Sands Corp., Mosaic Co., Concho Resources Inc./Midland TX, Bunge Ltd., Cimarex Energy Co., Liberty Global Inc. Class A, Edwards Lifesciences Corp., Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. These ten largest holdings make up to 4.0% of total net assets.

Disclosure: I don't have any position in these funds. Please do your own research for additional details. Please trade and invest responsibly. Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results.

Fund Performance

NoMutual Funds DescriptionRankTickerYieldMorningstar RatingNet Assets (Mil)Expense RatioMin To Invest
6Principal MidCap Blend A13PEMGX0.94%4$1,5501.14%$1,000
7Nationwide Mid Cap Market Index A21GMXAX0.65%3$1,0900.67%$2,000
8Fidelity Spartan Extended Mkt Index Inv23FSEMX0.88%3$5,9700.10%$10,000
9Dreyfus Midcap Value A24DMCVX0.74%4$2,6800.50%$2,500
10Vanguard Extended Market Idx Inv31VEXMX0.80%3$19,1800.26%$3,000

Top 10 Mid Cap Blend Stock Mutual Fund of 2010

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Investing can be done through variety of investment vehicle such as stock, mutual fund, exchange traded fund (ETF), and closed end fund (CEF). The most popular choice is investing in mutual fund. Mutual fund has 2 main categories: stock fund (equity fund) and bond fund (fixed income fund). I’ll discuss about stock fund especially domestic stock fund.

There are three types of domestic stock funds like large cap fund, mid cap fund, and small cap fund. The fund also can be differed according to its investment style such as blend, value, and growth. The mid-cap blend funds invest in various sizes and mixed characteristics stocks. The company stock in this fund usually has a market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion.

The fund usually tries to be in a middle-of-the-road profile. It is trying to avoid from high-priced growth stocks, but aren’t so price-conscious that they land in value territory. The fund is ranked based on its 2010 performance return.

More details can be found on the following table.

The Top 10 Best Performer Mid Cap Blend Fund of 2010:
  1. Gabelli Value A (GABVX)
  2. Ariel (ARGFX)
  3. Northern Multi-Manager Mid Cap (NMMCX)
  4. Vanguard Mid Capitalization Index Inv (VIMSX)
  5. Ariel Appreciation (CAAPX)
  6. Principal MidCap Blend A
  7. Nationwide Mid Cap Market Index A
  8. Fidelity Spartan Extended Mkt Index Inv
  9. Dreyfus Midcap Value A
  10. Vanguard Extended Market Idx Inv
NoMutual Funds DescriptionRankTickerYieldMorningstar RatingNet Assets (Mil)Expense RatioMin To Invest
1Gabelli Value A2GABVX0.02%2$600.521.43%$1,000
2Ariel5ARGFX0.01%2$2,370.001.06%$1,000
3Northern Multi-Manager Mid Cap6NMMCX0.09%4$1,090.001.20%$2,500
4Vanguard Mid Capitalization Index Inv13VIMSX1.00%3$28,610.000.26%$3,000
5Ariel Appreciation13CAAPX0.03%3$1,570.001.18%$1,000

Gabelli Value A (Ticker: GABVX)

The investment in Gabelli Value Fund is seeking for long term capital appreciation. The net assets investment of this Gabelli fund is mainly invested in common stocks. Fifty percent of the total assets are invested in merger or consolidated companies, and twenty five percent in foreign securities.

Gabelli Value A (Ticker: GABVX)Christopher J. Marangi has managed this fund since 2007. This fund has 1.43% yearly expense ratio, which is higher than the average in the category (1.36%). The minimum balance to invest in this mid cap blend mutual fund is $1,000 for brokerage account and $250 for IRA account. There is no minimum balance for the subsequent investment.

GABVX has returned 26.77% over the past one year. This fund has 0.25% 12b1 fee with 5.75% front end sales load. This fund can be purchased from 96 brokerages such as Td Ameritrade, Inc., Scottrade Load, Merrill Lynch, Edward Jones and Fidelity Retail FundsNetwork. The other class tickers of this fund are GVCAX, GVCBX, GVCCX and GVCIX. Some asset classes of fund have lower expense ratio fee, and no front end sales charge fee.

The top 10 holdings of this fund as of December 31, 2010 are Cablevision Systems Corp., Viacom Inc., Newmont Mining Corp., Swedish Match AB, The DirecTV Group Inc., National Fuel Gas Co., Telephone & Data Systems Inc., Barrick Gold Corp., Honeywell International Inc. and CBS Corp.

Ariel Fund (Ticker: ARGFX)

Ariel’s investment pursues capital appreciation for long-term period. The primary investment of the assets is in common stocks of quality companies, meaning these companies are trusted to be selling at excellent values, exclude tobacco-related companies and hand-guns manufacturer. These companies must also have the market capitalizations between $1 billion and $5 billion at the time of purchase.

Ariel (Ticker: ARGFX)The fund manager is John W. Rogers, Jr. He is also the Chairman, CEO, CIO and founder of the Ariel investments since 1983. The fund annual expense ratio is 1.06% per year. There is 12b1 fee as much as 0.25%, but no sales load. The minimum balance to invest in the brokerage account of this fund is $1,000 and $250 for IRA account. This fund has returned 8.09% over the past 3 years and 7.62% over the past decade.

The top 10 equity holdings of this mid cap blend stock fund as of December 31, 2010 are CBS Corp., Class B (4.5%), Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (4.2%), Gannett Co., Inc. (4.1%), Lazard Ltd, Class A (4.0%), Interpublic Group of Cos., Inc. (3.6%), Hospira, Inc. (3.6%), Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (3.6%), DeVry Inc. (3.5%), Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (3.5%) and Janus Capital Group Inc. (3.5%). These top 10 companies make 38.1% out of total holdings.

Northern Multi-Manager Mid Cap (NMMCX)

The investment in Northern Multi-Manager Mid Cap seeks to provide long-term capital appreciation. The policy of the net assets investment is major invested in equity securities of medium-capitalization companies as well as initial public offerings. The medium-cap companies are companies whose market capitalization within the range of the market capitalization of companies in the Russell MidCap index.

The Northern fund is rated 4 stars by Morningstar. The fund has been managed by Ron A. Muschock since 2008.The expense ratio of this fund is 1.20% per year. There is neither 12b1 fee nor sales load. This domestic stock fund has returned 29.74% over the past one year and 7.42% over the past three years. The minimum balance to invest in this account is $2,500 for brokerage account and $500 for IRA account. This fund can be purchased from 54 brokerages include Pershing FundCenter, Schwab Institutional, Td Ameritrade, Inc., T. Rowe Price and Fidelity Retail FundsNetwork.

As per December 31, 2010, the asset allocation for NMMCX is 97% in stocks and 3% in cash. The top 10 holdings of this fund are Expeditors International of Washington Inc. (0.9%), Oil States International Inc. (0.9%), Ameriprise Financial Inc. (0.9%), CH Robinson Worldwide Inc. (0.9%), CMS Energy Corp (0.8%), Newfield Exploration Co (0.8%), Lear Corp (0.8%), Oceaneering International Inc. (0.8%), Fifth Third Bancorp (0.7%) and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (0.7%).

Vanguard Mid-Capitalization Index Inv (VIMSX)

The investment in Vanguard Mid Capitalization Index Investor is to provide a capital growth. The fund trails the benchmark index performance that calculates the mid-capitalization stocks investment return. The fund tries to reproduce the target index with investing all of its assets in the stocks.

Vanguard Mid-Capitalization Index Fund (VIMSX)This index fund is managed passively by Donald M. Butler. He is as well as the CFA and Principal of Vanguard. He has managed this fund since 1998. The expense ratio of this fund (0.26%) is very low compared to the average in the category (1.36%). This is a no sales load fund. There is also no 12b1 fee. The minimum balance to invest in this fund in either brokerage or IRA account is $3,000.

The other class tickers of this fund are VIMAX, VMCIX and VMISX. Some asset classes of fund have different expense ratio fee, higher minimum investment, and as well no front end sales charge fee.

newTop Mid Cap Domestic Stock Mutual Funds 2012

The top ten largest holdings of this fund as of Feb 28, 2011 are Cameron International Corp., Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., El Paso Corp., Altera Corp., Rockwell Automation Inc., Host Hotels & Resorts Inc., Dover Corp., Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Discover Financial Services and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. These ten largest holdings make the total of 5.2% of total net assets.

Ariel Appreciation (Ticker: CAAPX)

The investment in Ariel Appreciation pursues for long-term capital appreciation. The major net assets investment is in common stocks of companies with market capitalizations between $2.5 billion and $15 billion at the time of purchase. Normally this fund will not hold more than 50 securities in its portfolio. It will only purchase the stocks of the companies with excellent selling values.

Since 2002, John W. Rogers Jr has been the manager of this Ariel Appreciation fund. The expense ratio of this fund is 1.18% per year. There is 0.25% of 12b1 fee. This is a no sales load fee. The minimum balance to invest in brokerage account of this fund is $1,000 and $250 for IRA account.

The performance of this mid cap blend stock fund is as follow:
  • 1-year: 29.65%
  • 3-years: 10.50%
  • 5-years: 5.97%
  • 10-years: 7.72%
The top 10 equity holdings of this fund as of December 31, 2010 are Gannett Co., Inc. (4.3%), Northern Trust Corp. (4.0%), CBS Corp., Class B (3.9%), Viacom, Inc. (3.8%), Accenture plc, Class A (3.3%), Mohawk Industries, Inc. (3.3%), DeVry Inc. (3.3%), Carnival Corp. (3.3%), Lazard Ltd, Class A (3.2%) and International Game Technology (3.2%). These ten holdings make the total of 35.6% of the total assets. Please check my next article for additional mutual funds.

Disclosure: No Position

Top 10 Best National Muni Bond Closed End Funds Part 2

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As explained on my previous article, municipal bond closed end funds can be an attractive investment category for income seeking investor. The yield of this muni bond closed end funds are tax free from federal income tax rate. I will provide review of the part 2 of these best municipal bond closed end funds including Invesco Van Kampen Select Sector Muni, BlackRock MuniVest Fund II, PIMCO Municipal Income III, etc.

Intro

The following article will provide information for the next 5 of national muni bond closed end fund. The list was compiled from cefconnect and cefa website. Some of these funds do use leverage to provide higher yield or distribution rate. Please check my table below for details. If you miss my part 1 article, you can check the first article about Muni CEF.

10 Best National Muni Bond Closed End Funds CEF Part 2Closed End Fund (CEF) can become one of the popular investment vehicle to invest in Municipal bond funds or Muni-Bond funds. The following list only provide the national municipal bond funds.

The Top 10 Best National Municipal Bond Closed End Funds are:
  1. EV Municipal Income
  2. Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Opportunities Trust
  3. Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Investment Grade Trust
  4. EV Municipal Bond
  5. Invesco Van Kampen Advantage Muni Income II
  6. Invesco Van Kampen Select Sector Muni (VKL)
  7. BlackRock MuniVest Fund II (MVT)
  8. PIMCO Municipal Income III (PMX)
  9. Nuveen Muni Market Opportunities (NMO)
  10. Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Trust (VKQ)
updated on 3/17/2011

Note: You can check the previous article: Best Municipal Bond Closed End Funds.

Invesco VanKampen Select Sector Muni

Invesco Van Kampen Select Sector Municipal Trust fund is part of long term maturity muni-bond fund offered by Invesco Advisers Inc. Invesco VanKampen Select Sector Municipal Trust fund objective is to provide a high level of current income exempt from federal income tax and to preserve the fund capital.

This muni bond closed end fund is managed by Thomas Byron, Robert Stryker, and Robert Wimmel. As of January 2011, the fund adjusted duration is 11.12 years. The fund total expense ratio is 1.35% per year. The fund has total net assets of $296.80 million. Its market price is 0.55% higher than its fund NAV. The fund also holds 293 bonds.

The top 5 bond sectors include hospital bonds, IDR/PCR, appropriation, life care, and airport bond. The top 4 state allocation include California, Texas, Illinois, and Washington. The fund has a distribution rate of 7.93% per year which is equivalent to 12.20% per year for the highest level tax payer (35% tax bracket).

BlackRock MuniVest Fund II

This muni bond closed end fund is sponsored by BlackRock Advisors LLC. BlackRock MuniVest Fund II seeks to provide investors with a high level of current income exempt from federal income taxes as is consistent with its investment policies. This BlackRock fund invests most of its assets in a portfolio of long-term investment grade municipal obligations.

BlackRock MuniVest Fund II
MVT Fund profile
Since 2006, Theodore Jaeckel and Walter O'Connor have managed this national municipal bond closed end fund. This closed end fund has $476 million total assets. The annual expense ratio is 1.26% including 1.11% baseline expense and 0.14% interest expense. The fund average duration is 13.05 years. It also has a total of 174 bonds.

Top 10 National Municipal Bond Closed End Funds

As of January 2011, the top 5 state municipals include California, Illinois, Texas, New York, and Michigan. The top 5 bond sectors include tax backed bonds, health, transportation, corporate backed muni’s, and utility. The fund market price has returned 1.1% over the past year and 7.59% over the past decade.

PIMCO Municipal Income III

PIMCO Municipal Income III fund's objective is to provide tax free current income of Federal income tax. This PIMCO fund primarily invests investment grade municipal fixed income securities. The fund is managed by John Cummings. Regular investor will be charged 1.39% expense ratio per year for investing in this CEF. Investor or trader can buy this closed end fund through online brokerage account such as fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Scottrade, etc.

Top CA Municipal Bond CEFs 2012

This municipal bond closed end fund usually sells at premium range between 2.47% and 24.57%. It has a total of $539 million and a yield of 7.95% per year. The fund pays this distribution rate monthly.  The fund market price has gained 8.71% over the past year and 2.88% since its inception. The fund average duration is 26.15 years. There are 167 bonds in its asset.

As of January 2011, the top 10 bond sectors include hospital revenue, water & sewer, tobacco, industrial development / pollution control, power revenue, transportation, special tax, education revenue, and housing revenue. The top 6 state municipals are Michigan, Texas, California, Illinois, Washington, and New Jersey.

Nuveen Muni Market Opportunities

The investment aim of Nuveen Muni Market Opportunities fund is to provide current income exempt from regular federal income tax. The secondary investment objective is the enhancement of portfolio value. This Nuveen fund has an annual expense ratio of 1.62% including 1.41% baseline expense and 0.20% interest expense. The fund pays a distribution rate of 7.89% per year.  The fund market price has returned -4.67% over the past year and 5.87% over the past three years. The average duration of the fund is 15.47 years. It consists of 229 bonds.

Top Performer Municipal Bond Closed End Funds 2011

As of March 2011, the fund top 5 sectors include transportation, health care, limited tax obligation, general tax obligation, and utilities. The top 6 states allocation includes California, Illinois, Texas, Washington, and Ohio. To invest in this fund, you can try using a discount online brokerage such as Zecco, LightSpeed, Interactive Brokers (IB), etc.

Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Trust
VKQ fund holdings
10. Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Trust

As part of Invesco advisors fund, the Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Trust fund is seeking to provide current income exempt from federal income tax by investing in investment grade municipal bonds and inverse floating rate obligations.

This municipal debt fund is managed by Thomas Byron, Robert Stryker, and Robert Wimmel. As of January 2011, the fund average maturity is 17.16 years. The fund total expense ratio is 1.18% per year. The fund has total net assets of $800.29 million. Its market price is 2.02% higher than its fund NAV.

As of February 2011, this Invesco fund also holds 293 bonds or debts issued by states in USA. The top 5 state municipals include California, Florida, Texas, and New York. The Top 4 bond sectors are hospital, IDR/ PCR, airport, and life care bond.

Disclosure: No Position

Fund Performance

NoFund NameClosing PriceNAVYTD1 Year3 Year
1EV Municipal Income$11.22 $9.97 3.12%-0.76%2.95%
2Invesco VK Muni Opps. Trust$12.59 $12.46 -1.40%0.42%5.97%
3Invesco VK Muni Invst. Grade T$12.95 $13.02 -0.97%0.41%6.63%
4EV Municipal Bond$11.28 $11.05 -0.33%-6.50%3.51%
5Invesco VK Adv Muni Inc II$10.92 $11.11 -1.83%-1%5.75%
6Invesco VK Select Sector Muni$10.95 $10.98 -0.43%-0.42%3.16%
7BlackRock MuniVest Fund II$13.30 $13.29 -3.04%1.57%7.25%
8PIMCO Municipal Income III$10.62 $8.87 3.89%8.81%-0.64%
9Nuveen Muni Mkt Opportunities$12.49 $12.51 -1%-4.80%5.96%
10Invesco VK Municipal Trust$12.32 $12.40 0.61%-1.47%4.31%
11BlackRock Municipal Income$12.31 $12.10 -1.01%0.05%2.57%
12Federated Premier Muni Income$13.42 $12.97 1.86%-1.60%5.93%

Other Closed End Funds post:

Top 10 National Municipal Bond Closed End Funds

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Municipal bond investment can be done through variety of investment funds. One of them is using Closed End Funds or CEFs. These muni bond closed end funds are traded like stocks. Some of the best national municipal bond closed end funds are: Eaton Vance Municipal Income, Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Opportunities Trust, Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Investment Grade Trust, etc.

Investing in Municipal Bond CEF

To invest in Municipal bond funds or muni bond funds, there are 3 ways such as Mutual Funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and Closed End Funds (CEFs). In this article, I’ll discuss about investing in National Muni Bond CEFs (i.e. not single state bond fund). Bond fund can be divided into 2 categories such as taxable bond fund and non taxable bond fund.

Top 10 National Municipal Bond Closed End FundsGovernment bond, corporate bond, high yield bond, limited duration bond, mortgage bond and senior loan bond are considered as taxable income bonds. Some of these CEFs can include short term bond, intermediate term bond, and long term bond CEFs. This taxable bond fund distribution or yield will be taxed in federal and state tax system.

The other bond CEFs are non taxable bond CEFs. These non taxable bond CEFs are also known as municipal bond CEFs. The municipal bond has advantages especially for people that pay high income tax on Federal and State level since the dividend or yield is tax free or tax exempt from federal income tax and state income tax. These municipal bond funds mostly consist of bonds issued by variety of US States such as Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, California, Arizona, Michigan etc. I will focus especially on diversified national municipal bond CEFs. Please note, all fixed income bonds carry interest rate risk and credit risk. These funds may use leverage to provide higher yield or distribution. This yield may be paid either monthly or quarterly.

Top 10 Muni Bond CEF

I have used the following criteria to select this top 10. Firstly, the funds have high yield or high distribution. Secondly, the dividend will be paid monthly. Finally, the funds need to be liquid by having more than $100 million asset. The list was compiled from cefconnect, closed-endfunds, and cefa website.

The Top 10 Best National Municipal bond Closed End Funds are:
    Best Muni CEF Funds
  1. EV Municipal Income (EVN)
  2. Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Opportunities Trust (VMO)
  3. Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Investment Grade Trust (VGM)
  4. EV Municipal Bond (EIM)
  5. Invesco Van Kampen Advantage Muni Income II (VKI)
  6. Invesco Van Kampen Select Sector Muni
  7. BlackRock MuniVest Fund II
  8. PIMCO Municipal Income III
  9. Nuveen Muni Market Opportunities
  10. Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Trust
updated on 3/17/2011

EV Municipal Income Fund

This EV Municipal Income fund is part of Eaton Vance Management closed end funds. The EV Municipal Income Fund objective is seeking free tax current income from Federal income tax through investment in investment grade municipal securities. The fund manager is Thomas M. Metzold since January 1999. It is rated as 2 stars fund in Morningstar rating. The total expense is 2.07% per year (including 1.73% baseline expense and 0.33% interest expense). The fund total net asset is 464 million with 51.3% effective leverage.

As of March 2011, the top 5 municipal bond sectors of this closed end fund are Healthcare, Transportation, Housing, Education, and Industrial. The top 5 state municipals are New York, Florida, California, Texas, and Massachusetts. There are 191 bonds in its holding currently. It currently sells at premium from its NAV.

Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Opportunity Trust

Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Opportunity Trust (VMO)The Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Opportunity Trust fund (Ticker: VMO) seeks to provide current income exempt from Federal income tax through investment in investment grade municipal bonds and inverse floating rate obligations. The fund managers are Wimmel since 2001, Byron since 2009, and Stryker since 2009. The fund expense ratio is 1.29% per year. The distribution rate is 8.20% per year; this fund distributes the yield monthly. The fund total net assets are 744 million. The average credit rating is A which is investment grade municipal bond.

Best Municipal Bond Mutual Funds September 2011

As of February 2011, the top 5 sectors are Transportation, Health sector, Industrial, Utilities, and Education. The top 5 state municipals are Texas, California, Illinois, New Jersey, and Florida. There are 348 bonds in its holding currently. It currently sells at 1.04% premium from its NAV.

Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Investment Grade Trust

Similar to VMO fund, this Invesco VK Muni Investment Grade Trust fund is part of Invesco Advisers CEFs. The Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Investment Grade Trust fund seeks high current income exempt from Federal income tax with capital preservation by investing in investment grade municipal debts or bonds. The fund managers are Byron since 1997, Wimmel since 2001, and Stryker since 2009. The total expense is 1.23% per year. The total net asset of this fund is 1.22 billion.

As of February 2011, the top 5 sectors are healthcare sector, transportation, industrial, education, and advanced refunded. The top 5 state municipals are Florida, California, Texas, New York, and Illinois. There are 477 bonds in its holding currently. It currently sells at premium from its NAV.

EV Municipal Bond Fund

This Eaton Vance Municipal fund objective is to provide tax free income from federal income tax. The fund will invest primarily in investment grade bonds or debts. The fund is managed by William H Ahern since February 2010.  This national municipal bond closed end  fund has total net assets of 1.37 billion. The fund annual expense ratio is 1.66% (1.12% baseline expense and 0.54% interest expense).

YTD Top Performer Closed End Funds CEF August 2011

As of February 2011, the top 5 sectors are transportation, general obligation, education, and healthcare sector. The top 5 state municipals are Texas, New York, Florida, California, and Illinois. There are 171 bonds in its holding currently. It currently sells at premium from its NAV.

Invesco Van Kampen Advantage Municipal Income II

Invesco Van Kampen Advantage Municipal Income II (VKI)
Invesco VK Advantage Muni Inc
As part of Invesco Advisers fund, this Invesco Van Kampen Advantage Municipal Income II fund's objective is to seek high current income exempt from Federal income tax with capital preservation through investment in investment grade municipal securities.

The fund managers are Thomas Byron, Robert Wimmel, and Robert Stryker since 2010. The top 3 sectors are hospital, IDR / PCR and airport. The top 5 states municipal are California, Illinois, Texas and Florida. There are 368 bonds in its holding currently. The total expense is 1.53% per year.  It currently sells at premium from its NAV.

You will find more top national municipal closed end fund on my part 2 article.
Disclosure: No Position (as of 4/14/2012)
Other Related Closed End Funds:

Large Cap Value Stocks | Low PEG with Buy Ratings

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This post is about large cap value stocks which have low PEG with buy ratings. The top stocks are Marvell Technology Group, Kinross Gold Corporation, Nidec Corp, Ford Motor Co, Xerox Corp, etc.

The following top 10 large cap has low peg and buy rating from analysts. The companies have a market capitalization of 10 billion or more. The companies also have a peg lower than 2.

1. Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Ticker: MRVL)
  • Market Cap: 10.19 Billion
  • Sector: Technology (Semiconductor – Integrated circuits)
  • P/E: 11.69
  • Forward P/E: 9.50
  • Rating: 2.1 
  • Beta: 1.33
  • PEG: 0.85
  • Past 12 quarters: 10 positive quarters, 1 in-line quarter and 1 negative quarter
  • Bad: Bad last quarter, bad guidance
MRVL Stock Chart


2. Kinross Gold Corporation (Ticker: KGC)
  • Market Cap: 17.41 Billion
  • Sector: Basic Materials (Gold)
  • P/E: 16.52
  • Forward P/E: 18.51
  • Rating: 2.1 
  • Beta: 0.52
  • PEG: 0.83
  • Past 12 quarters: 3 positive quarters, 1 in-line quarter and 8 negative quarters
  • Bad: Bad last quarter