For many investors, high yield municipal bonds hold special allure. After all, it is easy to appreciate the high levels of tax-free income these securities promise and then imagine the wealth of opportunities this income could create.
It can also be easy—unfortunately—to let appealingly high tax-free distributions obscure the fundamentals of investing. The truth is, issuers offer high yields to attract investors who might otherwise avoid securities with a higher propensity for default.
This truth can steer fixed-income investors in different directions. Some become leery and turn to higher-rated municipal bonds or the funds that buy them. They invest in less speculative portfolios, which are surprisingly more susceptible to interest rate fluctuations. Others remain intrigued by high yield and choose to buy lower-credit bonds on their own, without regard to how hard it can be to evaluate, monitor and sell these issues.
For the investor who understands the truth about high yield investing and still dreams of high levels of tax-free income, the best approach we believe is to invest in Oppenheimer Rochester High Yield Municipal Fund, which has a long history of generating above-average, tax-free yields.*
The diverse portfolio of Oppenheimer Rochester High Yield Municipal Fund includes more than 1,100 holdings from more than 600 issuers. This diversity can reduce the overall risk of owning speculative, high yield securities and can help generate competitive levels of tax-free, yield-driven total return for shareholders. Additionally, our in-house team of municipal experts conducts extensive research and seeks to capture market inefficiencies that can create yield-enhancing opportunities.
The portfolio managers of Oppenheimer Rochester High Yield Municipal Fund have broad discretion in their investment decisions: The fund may be fully invested in high yield, lower-grade fixed-income securities and is not limited to any maturity range. In normal market conditions, the fund intends to invest about 50 to 70% of assets in below-investment-grade securities (also known as “junk bonds”), and fund managers tend to prefer longer-term securities, which also typically provide higher yields.
Income from Oppenheimer Rochester High Yield Municipal Fund is exempt from federal personal income taxes. However, a portion of some distributions may be taxable or increase AMT exposure for some investors; distributions from net realized long-term capital gains are taxable as capital gains.
An advisor can help an investor review fund prospectuses, gain a deeper understanding of how different funds will be managed, and tailor his or her portfolio to meet individual needs for tax-free income. Our seasoned portfolio management and credit research teams are known for their yield-driven approach to creating shareholder value. Like all of our funds, Oppenheimer Rochester High Yield Municipal Fund employs a security-specific, value-oriented and research-intensive approach that helps us identify many attractive but overlooked bonds. We call this investment approach the Rochester Way.
* Before November 27, 2013, the Fund was named Oppenheimer Rochester National Municipals.
Fixed-income investing can entail credit and interest rate risks; as interest rates rise, bond prices generally fall and a fund’s share price can fall, too. A portion of a municipal bond fund’s distributions may be subject to tax and may increase taxes for investors subject to federal alternative minimum tax. Capital gains distributions are taxable as capital gains.
Below-investment grade (“high yield” or “junk”) bonds are more at risk of default and are subject to liquidity risk. Under certain market conditions, some unrated securities may trade less actively than rated securities. Our funds can have a relatively high portion of their portfolio holdings in particular segments of the municipal securities market, such as tobacco bonds or real-estate-related securities. They may also invest substantially in municipal securities within a single state or related to similar type projects, which can increase volatility and exposure to regional issues. Funds may also invest substantially in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, commonwealths and possessions, and could be exposed to their local political and economic conditions. Deterioration of the Puerto Rican economy could have an adverse impact on Puerto Rican bonds and the performance of the Rochester municipal funds that hold them. Diversification does not guarantee profit or protect against loss.