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Tax-Exempt Income Portfolio

5/2016 from Income Investing

This recommended investment portfolio is one of 20+ mutual fund portfolios that we've assembled for investors with different time horizons and risk-tolerance levels to consider. Visit our Portfolio Finder to see them all.

 
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Tax-Exempt Income Portfolio

For when taxes really matter.
 100% Bonds | 


 Data through January 31, 2019

FUND NAME SYMBOL % OF
PORTFOLIO
YTD
RETURN
1-YR
RETURN
3-YR
RETURN
5-YR
RETURN
10-YR
RETURN
MAX LOAD EXPENSE RATIO
BondBaird Intermediate Municipal Bond InvestorBMBSX15%0.82%2.47%0.96%1.76%2.48%none%0.55%
BondFidelity Intmed Muni IncomeFLTMX150.82.881.842.743.51none0.36
BondT. Rowe Price Tax-Free Short-IntermediatePRFSX150.481.880.751.071.98none0.51
BondSchwab Tax-Free BondSWNTX150.722.631.492.653.94none0.49
BondUSAA Tax Exempt Long-TermUSTEX6.250.462.272.273.685.69none0.47
BondVanguard California Long-Term Tax-Ex InvVCITX6.250.622.782.274.225.14none0.17
BondVanguard Long-Term Tax-ExemptVWLTX6.250.733.022.454.184.97none0.17
BondWells Fargo Municipal Bond AWMFAX6.250.643.312.573.956.24.500.75
BondMarket Vectors Lehman AMT-Free Shrt MuniSMB150.692.210.891.071.91none0.2
   1000.682.511.472.393.46 0.41
** Closed to new investors. # Closed to new investors; other share classes are available.
r Maximum redemption fee charged when you sell shares. s Front-end load; redemption fee may apply.
— Fund has not existed for the specified time. Source: Morningstar, Inc..

If you're in the maximum federal income-tax bracket, municipal bonds are a no-brainer. A yield of 2.3% in tax-exempt interest beats a 4% in taxable interest for someone who faces the top federal rate of 43.4%.

But lower-income taxpayers should consider munis, too — they're sound, poular investments with excellent vital signs.

Our portfolio has a mix of 30% short-term funds, 45% intermediate-term bonds, and 25% long-term. We steer clear of "junk" munis.