NVAFX - Columbia VA Interm Muni Bond A

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Columbia VA Interm Muni Bond A (NVAFX)
Expense Ratio: 0.79%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $24,043.94

The Columbia VA Interm Muni Bond A fund (NVAFX) is a Muni Single State Interm fund started on 12/5/1989 and has $364.60 million in assets under management. The current manager has been running Columbia VA Interm Muni Bond A since 06/27/2011. The fund is rated by Morningstar. In addition to trading fees and broker commissions, this fund has 12b-1 fees of 0.25%

MarketRiders Prefers The Following ETF

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 Single State Interm investment strategy and is an alternative to a Muni Single State Interm mutual fund. Fees are very low compared to a comparable mutual fund like Columbia VA Interm Muni Bond A because computers automatically manage the stocks.

The Following Muni Single State Interm Funds Have Lower Fees Than Columbia VA Interm Muni Bond A (NVAFX). Why are these metrics important?
Mutual Fund Name Ticker Symbol Turnover Assets (M) Annual Fees
AllianceBern Muni Income Arizona A AAZAX 2.0% 175 0.78%
American Funds Tax-Exempt MD A TMMDX 9.0% 380 0.67%
American Funds Tax-Exempt MD F-1 TMDFX 9.0% 380 0.77%
American Funds Tax-Exempt MD F-2 TMMFX 9.0% 380 0.47%
American Funds Tax-Exempt VA A TFVAX 10.0% 490 0.65%
American Funds Tax-Exempt VA F-1 TEVFX 10.0% 490 0.76%
American Funds Tax-Exempt VA F-2 TEFFX 10.0% 490 0.49%
Colorado BondShares A Tax-Exempt HICOX 4.7% 830 0.58%
Columbia CT Intermediate Muni Bd T GCBAX 6.0% 216 0.69%
Columbia CT Intermediate Muni Bd Z SCTEX 6.0% 216 0.54%
Columbia MD Interm Muni Bond Z NMDBX 7.0% 141 0.55%
Columbia OR Intermediate Muni Bond Z CMB1Z 13.0% 481 0.54%
Columbia OR Intermediate Muni Bond Z CMBFX 13.0% 481 0.54%
Commerce KS Tax Free Interm Bd KTXIX 14.0% 109 0.70%
Commerce MO Tax-Free Int Bd CFMOX 15.0% 298 0.70%
Dreyfus Connecticut Z DPMZX 17.1% 372 0.70%
Dupree KY Tax-Free Income KYTFX 11.4% 991 0.58%
Dupree TN Tax-Free Income TNTIX 6.4% 100 0.69%
Federated MI Intermediate Municipal A MMIFX 16.0% 129 0.63%
Fidelity Connecticut Municipal Income FICNX 14.0% 583 0.48%
Fidelity Maryland Municipal Income SMDMX 22.0% 224 0.55%
Fidelity Michigan Municipal Income FMHTX 9.0% 656 0.49%
Hawaiian Tax-Free A HULAX 20.0% 878 0.74%
Hawaiian Tax-Free Y HULYX 20.0% 878 0.54%
JPMorgan AZ Municipal Bond Select OGAFX 6.0% 110 0.63%
Narragansett Insured Tax-Free Inc Y NITYX 9.1% 245 0.68%
Nuveen Oregon Intermediate Muni Bond I FORCX 12.0% 161 0.63%
RidgeWorth GA Tax-Exempt Bond A SGTEX 57.0% 151 0.76%
RidgeWorth VA Interm Muni Bond A CVIAX 23.0% 161 0.78%
Tax-Free Fund for UT Y UTAYX 25.2% 417 0.63%
Tax-Free Fund of CO A COTFX 13.0% 303 0.73%
Tax-Free Fund of CO Y COTYX 13.0% 303 0.68%
Tax-Free Trust of AZ A AZTFX 12.3% 310 0.73%
Tax-Free Trust of AZ Y AZTSZ 12.3% 310 0.58%
Tax-Free Trust of AZ Y AZTYX 12.3% 310 0.58%
Wells Fargo Advantage WI Tax-Free Inv SWFRX 60.0% 151 0.73%
Westcore CO Tax-Exempt WTCOX 17.0% 130 0.66%

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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.