Category: Municipal Bond Fund/High Credit Risk Bond Fund
LB Rating: ***** 5 Stars
Last Updated: 12/18/12
Summary: The Delaware National High Yield Municipal Bond Fund DVHIX has been kicking the competition’s butt for years, and we think will continue to do so in the future.
Commentary: If you don’t search carefully you would likely miss the Delaware National High Yield Municipal Bond fund DVHIX. The fund has 3 share classes, two of which have been around for more than 10 years. These are likely the ones you will come across when doing a search for the fund. But there is just one problem. Both those share classes have a load fee of 4.5%, which automatically bans them from being rated 5 stars here at Learn Bonds.
In 2008 however, Delaware investments introduced an institutional share class to the lineup which does not include a load fee. Like many other funds with institutional share classes, if you invest through fidelity you can get access with a $2500 minimum investment. That’s good news for the small investor who now has access to one of the top performing high yield municipal bond funds at an affordable price.
Short-Term Performance: Excellent. The fund has outperformed the average high yield municipal bond fund over the last 12 month and three year time periods. Over the last 12 months, the fund has outperformed by 1.88% per year on average. Over the last three years it has outperformed by 1.22% per year on average.
Long-Term Performance: Excellent. The Delaware National High Yield Municipal bond fund has outperformed the average high yield municipal bond fund over both the last 5 and 10 year time periods. Over the last 3 years it has outperformed by 1.22% per year on average. It has outperformed by 2.89% per year on average over the last 10 years.
Risk Level Relative To Returns: Good. The fund takes a bit more interest rate and credit risk than the average high yield municipal bond fund. However it has provided a much superior return as a result.
Fees: Excellent. No sales load and a 0.60% expense ratio. Make sure you ask for the DVHIX specifically as other share classes of this fund come with a big front end load fee. You can learn more about bond mutual fund fees here.
Manager Tenure: The Delaware National High Yield Municipal Bond Fund’s DVHIX lead portfolio manager Joseph R. Baxter has been with the fund since 2003.