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MUAF vs. ETF Alternatives
The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the S&P AMT-Free Municipal Series 2017 Index. The Fund will mature on a pre-specified date, however the Fund does not seek to return any predetermined amount at maturity. The Fund will invest in AMT-Free, investment grade, noncallable national municipal bond debt.
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Country: United States
- In Your Portfolio: A Guide to Municipal Bond ETFs and Closed-End Funds, A Guide to Maturity-Date Bond ETFs
- Asset Class Performance: Bonds
Wednesday, Dec 42:52 AMIllinois legislature OKs pension overhaul
Wednesday, Dec 42:52 AM| 7 Comments
- Illinois' Senate and House have approved a revamp of the state's retirement system, one of the most underfunded in the country with a gap of almost $100B.
- The plan is designed to fully fund Illinois' five pension systems by 2044 by saving an estimated $160B over 30 years. Workers and retirees face cuts, the retirement age for younger staff will rise, and the state will increase its payments by $60-70B.
- Unions are strongly opposed to the proposals and intend to go to court to stop them from being enacted. One argument is that the overhaul violates the state constitution by lowering pension benefits.
- Still, the Illinois revamp could provide a template for municipalities that are grappling with similar problems. Chicago, which has a pension shortfall of $19.5B, has been watching the situation with interest. (Previous)
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, MLN, HYMB, BABZ, XMPT, BABS, SHM, SUB, PRB, SMB, PVI, SMMU, MUAF, MUAE, MUAD, MUAG, VRD, MUAC, GMMB, RVNU
Tuesday, Dec 33:16 PMAnother bad year in store for munis?
Tuesday, Dec 33:16 PM| 1 Comment
- Municipals are "a credit market with a rates problem," says Morgan Stanley's Michael Zezas, seeing a base case (60% probability) of total returns of -1.7% to -4.1% in 2014. The bulk of the negative returns should come early, he says, thanks to the 10-year Treasury yield rising to 3.45%.
- The bull case - in which the economy slows and the 10-year yield slides to 2.3% - has munis returning between 3.5% and 6%. The bear case - growth jumps and the 10-year rises above 4% - sees losses of 6.2% to 10%.
- When to jump in? When "loss cushions outpace expected rate increases," he says, and when "market duration has extended."
- Muni ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, BABZ, XMPT, BABS, SHM, SUB, PRB, PZT, SMB, NYF, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, MUAF, INY, MUAD, MUAG, MUAE, VRD, MUAC, GMMB, RVNU
Tuesday, Dec 311:50 AMDetroit eligible for bankruptcy protection, says Judge
Tuesday, Dec 311:50 AM| 25 Comments
- Rejecting calls to dismiss the case, a Detroit judge finds the city acted in good faith when it filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. The city, he rules, could not have negotiated in good faith with its creditors without the filing. Pensions are unsecured creditors, says the judge, and thus not protected from potential cuts.
- Assured Guaranty (AGO +0.4%), Ambac (AMBC -1.1%), and MBIA (MBI -0.1%) have all fallen about 1% since the ruling.
- The unions and pension funds are likely to appeal the decision.
- “It is indeed a momentous day,” says the judge, Steven Rhodes. “We have here a judicial finding that this once proud city cannot pay its debts. At the same time, it has an opportunity for a fresh start. I hope that everybody associated with the city will recognize that opportunity.”
- Municipal bond ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, SHM, SUB, PRB, PZT, SMB, NYF, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, MUAF, INY, MUAD, MUAG, MUAE, VRD, MUAC, GMMB, RVNU
Tuesday, Dec 33:14 AMJudge to decide whether Detroit can enter Chapter 9
Tuesday, Dec 33:14 AM| 2 Comments
- U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes is due to decide today on whether Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy protection.
- Should Rhodes approve Detroit's request, the city would be protected from lawsuits in several courts, including over a plan to cut retiree benefits. It would also prevent creditors from suing to seize assets after Detroit defaulted on loan payments.
- Meanwhile, Illinois' House and Senate are set to vote on a proposed overhaul of the state's retirement system, one of the most underfunded in the country with a gap of almost $100B.
- The measures would save an estimated $160B over 30 years with cuts for workers and retirees but would fully fund the state's five pension systems by 2044. However, unions are deeply opposed to the legislation and its passage is not certain.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, SHM, SUB, PRB, SMB, PVI, SMMU, MUAF, MUAG, MUAE, MUAD, MUAC, VRD, GMMB, RVNU
Wednesday, Nov 203:39 AMBankrupt Jefferson County raises $1.8B in debt
Wednesday, Nov 203:39 AM| Comment!
- Jefferson County in Alabama has become the first municipality to successfully tap the bond markets while still in bankruptcy protection, selling $1.8B in sewer warrants.
- However, Jefferson will reportedly have to pay up to 6.85% in interest on the debt, which has a maturity as long as 40 years.
- The county is now due to go to court today to seek authorization to exit bankruptcy by the year-end.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, XMPT, SHM, SUB, PRB, SMB, SMMU, PVI, MUAF, MUAG, MUAE, MUAD, MUAC, VRD, GMMB, RVNU
Monday, Nov 119:06 AMFitch downgrades Chicago
Monday, Nov 119:06 AM| Comment!
- "The downgrade reflects the lack of meaningful solutions to both the near- and long-term (pension) burden," says Fitch, cutting Chicago's unlimited tax general obligation bonds to A- from AA-, and keeping the outlook Negative. This affects more than $8.5B of debt.
- To review: This general obligation debt is secured by the city's full faith and credit and (theoretically) nearly-unlimited power to tax.
- Fitch notes improvement in the government budget, but that the pension woes overshadow this. There's also the sluggish recovery in the Midwest - "high unemployment persists and property tax base recovery has been elusive."
- Muni ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, SHM, SUB, PRB, PZT, SMB, NYF, CXA, PWZ, SMMU, PVI, MUAF, INY, MUAD, MUAG, MUAE, VRD, MUAC, GMMB, RVNU
Thursday, Mar 219:24 AMiShares adds to its existing lineup of Target Date S&P Municipal Series. MUAG tracks an investment grade muni bond index comprised exclusively of issues maturing in 2018. Its expense ratio of 0.30% is in line with other iShares target date series ETFs, but higher than other municipal ETFs TFI (0.20%), MUB (0.25%), PRB (0.24%), NYF (0.25%). |Thursday, Mar 219:24 AM| Comment!
Thursday, Mar 219:13 AMTarget-date-maturity municipal bond ETFs stretch out another year, with iShares launching a fund (MUAG) holding paper set to expire in 2018. The target-date funds distribute all net assets at maturity. The 2013-2017 funds are: MUAB, MUAC, MUAD, MUAE, MUAF. A 2019 ETF is in the works. |Thursday, Mar 219:13 AM| Comment!
Wednesday, Feb 92011, 8:48 AM