Northern Intermediate Tax-Exempt (NOITX)
Expense Ratio: 0.45%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $14,191.30
The Northern Intermediate Tax-Exempt fund (NOITX) is a Muni National Interm fund started on 3/31/1994 and has $2.20 billion in assets under management. The current manager has been running Northern Intermediate Tax-Exempt since 12/21/2000. The fund is rated by Morningstar. This fund does not charge 12b-1 fees.
Market Vectors Intermediate Muni ETF (ITM)
Expense Ratio: 0.24%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $7,737.49
The Market Vectors Intermediate Muni ETF (ITM) is an Exchange Traded Fund. It is a "basket" of securities that index the Muni National Interm investment strategy and is an alternative to a Muni National Interm mutual fund. Fees are very low compared to a comparable mutual fund like Northern Intermediate Tax-Exempt because computers automatically manage the stocks.
|Mutual Fund Name||Ticker Symbol||Turnover||Assets (M)||Annual Fees|
|American Century IntermTrm Tx-Fr Bd Inst||AXBIX||14.0%||3,500||0.28%|
|American Funds Ltd-Term Tx-Ex Bd F-2||LTEFX||14.0%||2,900||0.38%|
|American Funds Tax-Exempt Bond F-2||TEAFX||12.0%||9,300||0.41%|
|Baird Intermediate Muni Bd Inst||BMBIX||8.0%||1,200||0.30%|
|Fidelity Advisor Int Muni Inc I||FZIIX||14.0%||4,800||0.44%|
|Fidelity Intermediate Municipal Income||FLTMX||14.0%||4,800||0.40%|
|Invesco Tax-Free Intermediate Y||ATFYX||11.0%||1,500||0.35%|
|Managers AMG GW&K Municipal Bond Institutional Class||GWMIX||26.0%||126||0.35%|
|TIAA-CREF Tax-Exempt Bond Inst||TITIX||59.0%||360||0.35%|
|Vanguard High-Yield Tax-Exempt||VWAHX||19.0%||7,200||0.20%|
|Vanguard High-Yield Tax-Exempt Adm||VWALX||19.0%||7,200||0.12%|
|Vanguard Interm-Term Tx-Ex Adm||VWIUX||15.0%||35,300||0.12%|
|Vanguard Interm-Term Tx-Ex Inv||VWITX||15.0%||35,300||0.20%|
|Wells Fargo Advantage Interm T/AmtF Inst||WITIX||52.0%||1,600||0.42%|
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.