BBH Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund Class I (“the Fund”) had a total return of -0.14% in August, compared to the return of -0.33% for its benchmark, the Bloomberg Barclays 1-15 Year Municipal Index.
After a persistent summer rally that dissolved much of the negative impact from earlier this year, performance for municipal bonds declined in August. While net flows were still positive during the month, they were down in volume from previous weeks. Municipals outperformed Treasuries for the month as investor risk appetite increased. As a result, the ratio between municipal and Treasury yields declined roughly 10% to 97%, 115%, and 106% in 5-, 10-, and 30-year maturities, respectively. While these ratios are still historically high, the extremely low yields and better liquidity of Treasuries will likely keep them elevated.
We are pleased to note that there were over $28 million of net flows into the Fund in August. Our two largest purchases for the month included the Indiana Housing Finance Authority whose credit quality is closely linked to that of the federal government. We also purchased a bond issued by Oglethorpe Power Corporation. Located in Georgia, Oglethorpe is the nation’s largest power cooperative and is essentially a monopoly provider in its service area.
Although steady progress to a vaccine is occurring, a broad economic recovery continues to be difficult. We are also concerned that we will face long-lasting credit impacts from COVID-19. As noted in previous Monthly Fund Updates, we remain conservative in our credit research and approach periods of market volatility opportunistically. We remain confident in our holdings and will stay selective and patient in evaluating new opportunities.
This material is not authorized for distribution unless accompanied or preceded by a current Fund prospectus.
Opinions, forecasts, and discussions about investment strategies represent the author’s views as of the date of this commentary and are subject to change without notice. References to specific securities, asset classes, and financial markets are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be, and should not be interpreted as recommendations.
Purchase and sale information provided should not be considered as a recommendation to purchase or sell a particular security and that there is no assurance, as of the date of publication, that the securities purchased remain in a fund's portfolio or that securities sold have not been repurchased.
There is no assurance that this investment objective will be achieved.
Diversification does not eliminate the risk of experiencing investment losses.
Investors in the Fund should be able to withstand short-term fluctuations in the fixed income markets in return for potentially higher returns over the long term. The value of portfolios changes every day and can be affected by changes in interest rates, general market conditions and other political, social and economic developments.
Investing in the bond market is subject to certain risks including market, interest-rate, issuer, credit, maturity, call and inflation risk; investments may be worth more or less than the original cost when redeemed.
Income from municipal bonds may be subject to state and local taxes and at times the alternative minimum tax.
The Fund also invests in derivative instruments, investments whose values depend on the performance of the underlying security, assets, interest rate, index or currency and entail potentially higher volatility and risk of loss compared to traditional stock or bond investments.
As the Fund's exposure in any one municipal revenue sector backed by revenues from similar types of projects increases, the Fund will also become more sensitive to adverse economic, business or political developments relevant to these projects.
Asset allocation decisions, particularly large redemptions, made by an investment adviser whose discretionary clients make up a large percentage of the Fund's shareholders may adversely impact remaining Fund shareholders.
For more complete information, visit www.bbhfunds.com for a current Fund prospectus. You should consider the fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before you invest. Information about these and other important subjects is in the fund's prospectus, which you should read carefully before investing.
Shares of the Fund are distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc. and is located at 1290 Broadway, Suite 1000, Denver, CO 80203.
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. ("BBH"), a New York limited partnership, was founded in 1818 and provides investment advice to registered mutual funds through a separately identifiable department (the "SID"). The SID is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. BBH acts as the Fund Administrator and is located at 140 Broadway, New York, NY 10005.
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Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The Morningstar Rating™ for funds, or "star rating", is calculated for managed products (including mutual funds, variable annuity and variable life subaccounts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and separate accounts) with at least a three-year history. Exchange-traded funds and open-ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. It is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a managed product's monthly excess performance, placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of products in each product category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating for a managed product is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. The weights are: 100% three-year rating for 36-59 months of total returns, 60% five-year rating/40% three-year rating for 60-119 months of total returns, and 50% 10-year rating/30% five-year rating/20% three-year rating for 120 or more months of total returns. While the 10-year overall star rating formula seems to give the most weight to the 10-year period, the most recent three-year period actually has the greatest impact because it is included in all three rating periods. The BBH Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund was rated against the following numbers of Muni National Interm category funds over the following time periods: 240 funds in the last three years and 217 funds in the last five years. With respect to these Muni National Interm category funds, the BBH Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund (Class I & Class N), received an Overall Morningstar Rating of 4 stars and 4 stars, respectively. Class I three- and five years periods received ratings of 5 stars and 4 stars, respectively. Class N three- and five-year periods received ratings of 4 stars and 4 stars, respectively.
Not FDIC Insured No Bank Guarantee May Lose Money
IM-08447-2020-09-15 BBH003045 Exp. Date 10/31/2020