NMTFX - Wells Fargo Advantage MN Tax-Free A

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Wells Fargo Advantage MN Tax-Free A (NMTFX)
Expense Ratio: 0.85%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $25,708.96

The Wells Fargo Advantage MN Tax-Free A fund (NMTFX) is a Muni Minnesota fund started on 01/12/1988 and has $171.10 million in assets under management. The current manager has been running Wells Fargo Advantage MN Tax-Free A since 03/27/2008. The fund is rated by Morningstar. This fund does not charge 12b-1 fees.

MarketRiders Prefers The Following ETF

iShares S&P National Municipal Bond (MUB)
Expense Ratio: 0.25%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $8,051.41

The iShares S&P National Municipal Bond (MUB) is an Exchange Traded Fund. It is a "basket" of securities that index the Muni Minnesota investment strategy and is an alternative to a Muni Minnesota mutual fund. Fees are very low compared to a comparable mutual fund like Wells Fargo Advantage MN Tax-Free A because computers automatically manage the stocks.

The Following Muni Minnesota Funds Have Lower Fees Than Wells Fargo Advantage MN Tax-Free A (NMTFX). Why are these metrics important?
Mutual Fund Name Ticker Symbol Turnover Assets (M) Annual Fees
Columbia Minnesota Tax-Exempt A IMNTX 22.0% 444 0.79%
Delaware Tax-Free MN Intermediate A DXCCX 24.0% 111 0.84%
Delaware Tax-Free MN Intermediate A DXCSZ 24.0% 111 0.84%
Eaton Vance MN Municipal Income A ETMNX 6.0% 120 0.74%
Fidelity Minnesota Municipal Income FIMIX 9.0% 542 0.49%
Franklin MN Tax-Free Inc A FITCZ 5.3% 1,100 0.65%
Franklin MN Tax-Free Inc A FMINX 5.3% 1,100 0.65%
Nuveen Minnesota Intermediate Muni Bd A FAMAX 12.0% 258 0.81%
Nuveen Minnesota Municipal Bond I FYMNX 25.0% 192 0.66%
Putnam MN Tax Exempt Income A PXMNX 17.0% 110 0.83%
Wells Fargo Advantage MN Tax-Free Adm NWMIX 25.0% 171 0.60%

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Why Are These Metrics Important?

Turnover represents how much of a mutual fund's holdings are changed over the course of a year through buying and selling. Active mutual funds have an average turnover rate of about 85%, meaning that funds are turning over nearly all of their holdings every year. A high turnover means you could make lower returns because: 1) buying and selling stocks costs money through commissions and spreads and 2) the fund will distribute yearly capital gains which increases your taxes. Look for funds with turnover rates below 50%. For comparison, ETF turnover rates average around 10% or lower.

Generally, smaller funds do better than larger ones. The more assets in a mutual fund, the lower the chance that it will beat its index. Managers outperform an index by choosing stocks that are undervalued. In order to find these undervalued stocks, the manager has to know more than his competitors to develop an "edge." There are only a finite number of stocks a mutual fund manager can reasonably analyze and actively track to gain such a competitive edge. When the fund has more assets, the manager must analyze large companies because he needs to take larger positions. Large companies are more efficiently priced in the market and it becomes increasingly difficult to get an edge.