Quarterly Fund Commentary
WRA Municipal Bond Fund
December 31, 2014
Bryan J. Bailey, CFA
Market Sector Update
- We continued to see solid inflows into municipal bond funds in the fourth quarter of 2014. Although nowhere near the record inflows of 2012, they were consistently positive. This helped mutual funds recapture some of the assets lost from the record outflows of 2013.
- With higher tax rates moving into 2014, demand for high yield municipal bonds should remain strong. We believe issuance will continue to hover near record lows which should be positive for municipal bond prices.
- We have become less constructive on the high yield municipal space and view the new issue market as fully priced on an absolute basis. We believe the lack of new issue supply will allow returns in the space to remain stable.
- As headlines about Puerto Rico waned, we have seen a decrease in volatility in the asset class. This should continue in the near term and should provide high net worth investors with attractive levels of income over the long term.
- We will continue to purchase deals we feel offer above-market yields based on the underlying credit fundamentals of the projects or municipalities.
- We continue to favor revenue bonds over tax-backed debt as revenue bonds, in our view, provide diversification from the general tax issues which affect states and local governments and offer more attractive yields for our investors.
- Going forward, we have begun to get more cautious and will look for opportunities in bonds with more defensive structures as interest rates rise. We believe these bonds represent greater value and will better protect the fund from the potential of slightly higher rates as growth picks up.
- In the near term, we expect volatility will remain low as negative headlines are a thing of the past.
- We believe it is important for investors to realize that prudent managers diversify across states and sectors and do not put too many eggs in one basket. One bond should not materially affect an entire mutual fund.
- It is our view that investors will continue to search for tax-exempt yield due to higher tax rates which should benefit the municipal market. In our view, patient investors should be rewarded over the long haul.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the Fund’s manager and are current through December 31, 2014. The manager’s views are subject to change at any time based on market and other conditions, and no forecasts can be guaranteed. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Risk factors. As with any mutual fund, the value of the Fund’s shares will change and you could lose money on your investment. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Investing in high-income securities may carry a greater risk of nonpayment of interest or principal than higherrated bonds. Fixed-income securities are subject to interest-rate risk and, as such, the net asset value of the Fund may fall as interest rates rise. The Fund may include a significant portion of its investments that will pay interest that is taxable under the Alternative Minimum Tax. These and other risks are more fully described in the Fund’s prospectus. Not all funds or fund classes may be offered at all broker/dealers.
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of a fund carefully before investing. For a prospectus, or if available, a summary prospectus, containing this and other information for the mutual funds offered by Waddell & Reed, call your financial advisor or visit us online at www.waddell.com. Please read the prospectus or summary prospectus carefully before investing.