The Municipal Bond Market Has Changed

Has your portfolio adapted?

Investing in municipal bonds has become more complicated since the financial crisis.

Understanding the current environment may help investors evaluate the need for actively managed municipal bond solutions.

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Get started in 3 steps

1Understand the Environment

The need for independent, fundamental research has intensified as municipal finances have
become more complex. Several factors are affecting municipal dynamics.

  • Municipal Market Changes Underscore the Need for Research
  • Credit Ratings May Not Tell the Whole Story
  • Bonds with Similar Ratings Are Not Created Equal
  • Individual Investors Are at a Pricing Disadvantage

2Identify Portfolio Needs

You can work with Nuveen Asset Management to analyze your clients’ existing fixed income holdings.

To get started, ask your Nuveen Advisor Consultant about a Municipal Bond Portfolio Review.

We purchase large, institutional blocks of bonds and allocate them to individual accounts. You can potentially benefit from economies of scale.

Discuss with your tax advisor whether a portfolio that omits AMT bonds would better suit your tax needs.

We perform continuous, in-depth research to understand the credit risk of each underlying security.

For separately managed accounts, we focus primarily on premium bonds that may return cash flow faster and may be less sensitive to changes in interest rates.

3Evaluate Solutions

As you review your portfolio with your client to discuss investment goals and asset allocations, consider actively
managed municipal options from the Nuveen Asset Management investment team.

  • Separately Managed Account

    Individually managed portfolios tailor to the account holder. Investors own the securities.

  • Mutual Fund

    Daily pricing and liquidity with lower investment minimums. Investors own shares of the fund.

  • Closed-End Fund

    Exchange-traded with intra-day pricing determined by the market. Investors own shares of the fund.

Separately Managed Accounts, Open-End Mutual Funds and Closed-End Funds are different types of investment vehicles with different expense structures and different inflows/outflows and distribution requirements. Income may be subject to state and local income taxes. Capital gains, if any, will be subject to capital gains tax.


  • Financial Advisors:
    Call 800-752-8700

Investors: Contact your financial advisor

Investing in municipal bonds and a municipal bond investment vehicle involves risks such as interest rate risk, credit risk and market risk, including the possible loss of principal. The value of the portfolio will fluctuate based on the value of the underlying securities. In addition, the callability of bonds may increase interest rate risk exposure in the Laddered portfolios. Upon call, a client may be confronted with a less favorable interest rate environment than the one that existed when the original bond was purchased.

Investors should contact a tax advisor regarding the suitability of tax-exempt investments in their portfolio. If sold prior to maturity, municipal securities are subject to gain/losses based on the level of interest rates, market conditions and the credit quality of the issuer. Income may be subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and/or state and local taxes, based on the state of residence. Nuveen Asset Management is not a tax advisor. Consult your professional advisors before making any tax or investment decisions. This information should not replace a client’s consultation with a professional advisor regarding their tax situation.

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was originally enacted to ensure that all taxpayers pay their fair share of the costs of government. Determining if a taxpayer is subject to AMT requires tax liability to be calculated twice: first using the regular tax rules and then a second time using the AMT rules. Only if the AMT calculation produces a higher tax liability than the regular tax rules, is a taxpayer subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax. Dispersion describes the size of the range of values expected for a particular variable. Yield refers to the interest or dividends received from a security and is usually expressed annually as a percentage based on the investment’s cost, its current market value or its face value.

The comments and statements made are based solely upon the opinions of Nuveen Asset Management and the data available at the time of publication, which may change without notice. There is no assurance that any predicted results will actually occur. This brochure is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any specific securities and should not be considered investment advice of any kind. Certain information was obtained from third-party sources, which we believe to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

Nuveen Asset Management seeks to expeditiously and efficiently effect sales of legacy securities contributed to new or existing accounts or in connection with termination and liquidation instructions, generally by directing the execution of sale to the relevant broker-dealer/custodian designated by the client’s managed account program, subject to program limitations. Primarily due to the time constraints and lot sizes applicable to these transactions, and because the full range of trading techniques is generally not available (including aggregation), the prices received in these transactions may be less favorable than the prices that could be attained for sales of securities selected by Nuveen as part of ongoing management. Clients always reserve the right to fund accounts with cash as opposed to legacy securities and to keep any securities in their accounts if terminating Nuveen’s services.

Nuveen Asset Management Research conducted a study of daily municipal bond trades to calculate estimated spreads for fixed coupon municipal securities. Each file was sorted by CUSIP to find multiple trades on a given day. For each CUSIP that appeared multiple times in one day, the algorithm searched to see if both a sale to a customer and a purchase from a customer occurred on that day. If there were multiple sales and purchases on a given day, the average was taken for each category. The estimated spreads were calculated for each CUSIP by subtracting the average purchase price from the average sale price of the CUSIP. Transactions between dealers were excluded. Spreads for some security-days appeared too large or small to be anything but data errors, so we sorted security days by the size of the spread and deleted observations with the largest and smallest 0.5% of spreads. Institutional size trades were separated from the retail trades and the median spread was taken by category ($25K or Less, $25K - $100K, $100k - $1M, and Over $1M). For example, the $25,000 or less dataset contains all instances where there was at least one customer purchase of principal amount of $25,000 or less and at least one customer sale of principal amount of $25,000 or less on the same day in the same security. Negative spreads (average purchase price greater than the average sale price from the customer) and zero spreads were excluded from the calculation.

The report summarizes certain information regarding a prospective client’s pre-existing holdings based on data provided by the prospect and/or its financial advisor and third party sources. The holdings and characteristics of an actual account managed by Nuveen Asset Management may vary materially from the prospect’s current holdings. This report is for discussion purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities or a particular investment strategy.

The Portfolio Transition Analysis does not reflect, establish or evidence an advisory or fiduciary relationship between Nuveen Asset Management and the prospect; is not based on the financial status, investment objectives, tax situation, or needs of a specific client; and is not and should not be relied upon as investment advice that should be independently relied upon by the prospect or their financial advisor. An advisory or fiduciary relationship between Nuveen Asset Management and the prospect requires the execution of an investment advisory agreement. Nuveen Asset Management reserves the right to take actions that differ from the analysis based on its then-current investment advice, market conditions, and client-specific information.

The bond prices listed in this review are based on institutional evaluations and are not actual bids on the existing bonds. Institutional trade execution applies primarily to municipal bond trading as part of ongoing account management and generally does not include sales of legacy securities contributed to new or existing accounts or in connection with termination and liquidation instructions. When liquidated, bond blocks may receive less than the prices listed. Bonds are also subject to liquidity conditions and market fluctuations resulting in prices that may adjust accordingly.

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