Municipal Bond ETFs – Expect More from Your Munis
January 13, 2022
Read Time 2 MIN
ETFs and mutual funds have become an increasingly popular means of gaining exposure to municipal bonds. These funds offer investors convenient, diversified access to broad and targeted municipal markets. VanEck's municipal income ETFs offer investors the ability to exercise control over their portfolio yield, duration, and credit exposure at different points in the interest rate cycle.
Target Exposures, Tax-Exempt Income and Low Cost Muni ETFs
The indices underlying each ETF target specific maturity ranges or credit exposures, resulting in distinct performance yield and duration characteristics.
Tactically Managed - Muni Allocation ETF (MAAX)
Actively managed with a proprietary model that uses various objective, data-driven indicators in an attempt to identify periods of heightened credit and/or duration risks. The strategy seeks the tax-exempt income and enhanced risk-adjusted total return by allocating among selected VanEck municipal bond ETFs.
Yield Curve Positioning - Short Muni ETF (SMB), Intermediate Muni ETF (ITM), Long Muni ETF (MLN)
Our investment grade municipal ETF product offerings seek to track indices that reflect a unique segmentation of the investment grade municipal yield curve.
Credit Quality Focused - High Yield Muni ETF (HYD), Short High Yield Muni ETF (SHYD)
Our credit-focused municipal ETF product offerings seek to track indices that include both the highest yielding and the highest credit quality available.
Smart Beta - CEF Municipal Income ETF (XMPT)
Intelligent index weighting rules that underweight CEFs trading at higher premiums and overweight those trading at wider discounts.
Customized Municipal Exposures
Based on their own views on credit and interest rates, investors may find a customized fit for their portfolio.
Source: VanEck, Bloomberg. As of 9/30/2021. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Modified Duration measures a bond’s sensitivity to interest rate changes that reflects the change in a bond’s price given a change in yield. 30-Day SEC Yield is a standard calculation developed by the Securities and Exchange Commission that allows for fairer comparisons among bond funds. It is based on the most recent 30-day period. This yield figure reflects the interest earned during the period after deducting a Fund’s expenses for the period. Effective Duration measures a bond’s sensitivity to interest rate changes that reflects the change in a bond’s price given a change in yield. This duration measure is appropriate for bonds with embedded options. See standardized performance.
ETFs Provide Low Cost Access to Municipal Bonds
The fees of an investment vehicle are important; they affect an investor's ultimate return. As of September 30, 2021 the average net expense ratio of municipal bond ETFs was 44 bps lower as compared to municipal bond mutual funds, and was 125 bps lower as compared to municipal bond closed-end funds. Many investors may prefer municipal bond ETFs for this reason.
Morningstar Municipal Bond U.S. Category Group Average Net Expense
Source: Morningstar. As of 9/30/2021. Fees for municipal bond ETFs compared against the average net expense ratio of mutual funds and closed-end funds in the Morningstar Municipal Bond U.S. Category Group. There were 68 funds in the Muni ETF Category, 1,756 funds in the Muni Mutual Fund Category, 119 funds in the Muni Closed-End Fund Category.
Prior to September 1, 2020, the funds were known as the VanEck AMT-Free Short Municipal Index ETF, VanEck AMT-Free Intermediate Municipal Index ETF, VanEck AMT-Free Long Municipal Index ETF, VanEck Short High-Yield Municipal Index ETF, VanEck High-Yield Municipal Index ETF, and the VanEck Municipal Allocation ETF.
An investment in the Funds may be subject to risks which include, among others, fund of funds risk, high portfolio turnover, model and data risks, management, operational, authorized participant concentration and absence of prior active market risks, trading issues, market, fund shares trading, premium/discount, general obligation bond, health care bond, water and sewer bond, special tax bond, transportation bond, private activity bond, sampling, index tracking, replication management, and liquidity of fund shares and non-diversified risks. The funds may be subject to following risks as a result of investing in Exchange Traded Products including municipal securities, performance of underlying funds’ investments, leverage, credit, high yield securities, tax, interest rate, call, state concentration and sector concentration risks. Municipal bonds may be less liquid than taxable bonds. There is no guarantee that a Funds’ income will be exempt from federal, state or local income taxes, and changes in those tax rates or in alternative minimum tax (AMT) rates or in the tax treatment of municipal bonds may make them less attractive as investments and cause them to lose value. Capital gains, if any, are subject to capital gains tax. A portion of the dividends you receive may be subject to AMT. For a more complete description of these and other risks, please refer to each Fund's prospectus.
Taxable equivalent yields are used by investors to compare yields on taxable and tax-exempt securities after accounting for federal income taxes. TEY represents the yield a taxable bond investment would have to earn in order to match, after deducting federal income taxes, the yield available on a tax-exempt municipal bond investment. TEY = Tax-Free Municipal Bond Yield/(1 -Tax Rate).
The investment management agreement between VanEck ETF Trust (the "Trust") and Van Eck Associates Corporation (the "Adviser") provides that the Adviser will pay all expenses of the Fund, except for the fee payment under the investment management agreement, acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, offering costs, trading expenses, taxes and extraordinary expenses.
The "Net Asset Value" (NAV) of a VanEck exchange-traded fund (ETF) is determined at the close of each business day, and represents the dollar value of one share of the fund; it is calculated by taking the total assets of the fund, subtracting total liabilities, and dividing by the total number of shares outstanding. The NAV is not necessarily the same as the ETF's intraday trading value. VanEck ETF investors should not expect to buy or sell shares at NAV.
Fund shares are not individually redeemable and will be issued and redeemed at their NAV only through certain authorized broker-dealers in large, specified blocks of shares called "creation units" and otherwise can be bought and sold only through exchange trading. Creation units are issued and redeemed principally in kind. Shares may trade at a premium or discount to their NAV in the secondary market.
Investing involves substantial risk and high volatility, including possible loss of principal. Bonds and bond funds will decrease in value as interest rates rise. An investor should consider the investment objective, risks, charges and expenses of a fund carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus and summary prospectus, which contain this and other information, call 800.826.2333 or visit vaneck.com. Please read the prospectus and summary prospectus carefully before investing.
Van Eck Securities Corporation, Distributor, 666 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017
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