Is NMTRX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

If you're looking for a Muni - Bonds fund category, then a potential option is Nuveen Municipals Total Return Managed Accounts Portfolio NMTRX. NMTRX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on various forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.


Zacks categorizes NMTRX as Muni - Bonds, which is a segment packed with options. Muni - Bonds funds invest in debt securities issued by states or local municipalities. These are generally used to finance construction of infrastructure, pay for schools, or 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 usually appreciate the tax benefits that come with many municipal bonds, which are especially impressive for those in high tax brackets.

History of Fund/Manager

NMTRX is a part of the Nuveen family of funds, a company based out of Chicago, IL. Nuveen Municipals Total Return Managed Accounts Portfolio made its debut in January of 2008, and since then, NMTRX has accumulated about $1.53 billion in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund's current manager, Martin J. Doyle, has been in charge of the fund since January of 2008.


Obviously, what investors are looking for in these funds is strong performance relative to their peers. This fund has delivered a 5-year annualized total return of 0.72%, and it sits in the bottom third among its category peers. But if you are looking for a shorter time frame, it is also worth looking at its 3-year annualized total return of -2.06%, which places it in the bottom third during this time-frame.

It is important to note that the product's returns may not reflect all its expenses. Any fees not reflected would lower the returns. Total returns do not reflect the fund's [%] sale charge. If sales charges were included, total returns would have been lower.

When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. The standard deviation of NMTRX over the past three years is 7.23% compared to the category average of 8.03%. Over the past 5 years, the standard deviation of the fund is 6.84% compared to the category average of 7.74%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.

This fund has a beta of 0.79, meaning that it is less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. Taking this into account, NMTRX has a negative alpha of -0.11, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.


Investors should also consider a bond's rating, which is a grade ( 'AAA' to 'D' ) given to a bond that indicates its credit quality. With this letter scale in mind, NMTRX has 50.6% in high quality bonds rated at least 'AA' or higher, while 38.9% are of medium quality, with ratings of 'A' to 'BBB'. The fund has an average quality of A, and focuses on high quality securities.


As competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, NMTRX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.04% compared to the category average of 0.54%. From a cost perspective, NMTRX is actually cheaper than its peers.

While the minimum initial investment for the product is $0, investors should also note that there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.

Fees charged by investment advisors have not been taken into considiration. Returns would be less if those were included.

Bottom Line

Overall, Nuveen Municipals Total Return Managed Accounts Portfolio ( NMTRX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively weak performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.

Your research on the Muni - Bonds segment doesn't have to stop here.

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