Municipal Bond Forum

Muni bond funds vs. individual bonds

What are the pros and cons of muni investment using mutual funds vs. individual issues?
A.

James A. Klotz responds:

We invariably prefer individual bonds over municipal bond funds if an investor has the wherewithal to provide adequate diversification.

A bond fund has no maturity date, which means there is no promise to return principal as there is with individual bonds.

Individual bonds have a fixed income rate, which is unaffected by declining interest rates.

Open end muni funds can reduce dividend payments in a declining interest rate environment.

Additionally, individual bonds have no ongoing fees, as do most bond funds.