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Wall Street Journal

Muni-Bond Investors Embrace Higher-Risk Issuers

High-yield municipal funds rake in $14 billion as investors flock to lower-rated deals

The sale of riskier new bonds, combined with the deterioration of some existing debt, has increased the amount of junk-rated and unrated debt outstanding by 20% since 2012, according to Municipal Market Analytics and the Federal Reserve.

It remains a small slice, about 9%, of the $4 trillion muni-bond market, according to MMA and Fed data. But high-yield municipal funds have attracted more money in the year to August than in any other year on record, drawing $14 billion, according to Refinitiv data going back to 1992.

Tim Holler