A Closer Look at a Municipal Bond Fund with Middling Performance and Lower Fees

A Closer Look at a Municipal Bond Fund with Middling Performance and Lower Fees

A Closer Look

Nuveen Municipals Total Return Managed Accounts Portfolio (NMTRX) is a mutual fund that invests in municipal bonds. These bonds are issued by state and local governments to finance infrastructure projects, schools, and other government functions. Some are backed by taxes (revenue bonds), while others are "general obligation" and may not be backed by a defined source. Investors are often drawn to municipal bonds because of their tax benefits, which can be especially attractive for those in high tax brackets.

NMTRX was launched in January 2008 and has accumulated approximately $1.53 billion in assets. The fund is managed by Martin J. Doyle, who has been with the fund since its inception.

5-year annualized total return: 0.72% (bottom third among category peers)

-2.06% (bottom third among category peers)

Standard deviation (past 3 years): 7.23% (less volatile than category average of 8.03%)

6.84% (less volatile than category average of 7.74%)

0.79 (less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities)

-0.11 (negative, indicating underperformance on a risk-adjusted basis)

50.6% in high quality bonds (rated at least 'AA' or higher)

38.9% in medium quality bonds (rated 'A' to 'BBB')


No load fund

0.04% (lower than category average of 0.54%)

Initial investment: $0

No minimum

NMTRX has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank. While it offers lower fees than its peers and is less volatile, its performance has been below average. Investors looking for a Muni - Bonds fund may want to consider other options with stronger performance track records.