12/07/2015

Anticipated Increase in Federal Funds Rate

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Market participants and observers have been expecting an increase in the Federal Funds rate for some time, and it seems that the Fed will finally implement a one-quarter percent (25 basis points) increase in December. The rate increase has been so widely anticipated that bond market participants won’t be surprised by the move; in fact it appears that the rate increase may already be reflected to some extent in bond prices.

The Federal Funds rate has been unchanged since 2008, and as a result, there may be many bond investors who could benefit from a review of past periods of rising rates and the range of resulting market and price responses.

When you open any one of the single-state municipal bond fund pages on this site, under Featured Publications you will find Historic Rate and Price Variation with an illustration of Past Periods of Rising Interest Rates. It is worthwhile to review the impact that those past periods of rising rates had on the value of shares in the municipal bond funds, each of which follows a high-quality, intermediate maturity strategy in order to manage credit and interest rate risk.

When the Fed does raise rates, the investing landscape will change, creating a range of investment opportunities in the process. We encourage you to review our investment strategies and how those strategies have performed in past periods of rising rates.

Before investing in one of the Aquila Group of Funds, carefully read about and consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information found in the Fund prospectus. The prospectus is available on this site, from your financial advisor, or by calling 800-437-1020.

12/02/2015

Barron’s Profiles Co-Portfolio Manager Sandy Rufenacht

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Barron’s profiled the co-portfolio manager of Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund and Aquila Three Peaks High Income Fund, Sandy Rufenacht, in their November 16, 2015 issue in an article by Reshma Kapadia titled Two for the Money.

Sandy Rufenacht Co-Portfolio Manager

Sandy Rufenacht
Co-Portfolio Manager

The distinctive research and investment approach implemented in managing both funds is described as originating with intensive debt analysis while gathering detailed information about a company, often from unconventional sources. Other elements of the research and strategy include developing an understanding of free cash flow and debt covenants.

Spend some time reading the Barron’s article to gain a perspective on the strategies of the two funds, and see the Investment Process Summary for both funds.

Before investing in one of the Aquila Group of Funds, carefully read about and consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information found in the Fund prospectus. The prospectus is available on this site, from your financial advisor, or by calling 800-437-1020.

12/01/2015

Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund – 2015 Capital Gains

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On December 1, 2015, Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund paid 2015 short-term and long-term capital gain distributions to shareholders of record as of November 30, 2015.

The amounts distributed on December 1, 2015 were:

Short-term capital gain$0.01136
Long-term capital gain $0.75519
Total$0.76655

Shares of the Fund may only be sold by offering the Fund’s Prospectus. Before investing in the Fund, carefully read about and consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information found in the Fund prospectus. The prospectus is available on this site, from your financial adviser, and when you call 800-437-1020.

11/06/2015

Capital Gain Distribution Estimates – 2015

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Capital Gain Distribution Estimates for 2015 are now available.

Estimates are subject to change depending on market conditions, board approvals, and other circumstances. The figures provided are the result of estimates and are based on information available as of October 31, 2015. The amount and character of distributions cannot be determined until the anticipated record dates.

Shares of the Funds may only be sold by offering the Funds’ Prospectus. Before investing in a Fund, carefully read about and consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information found in the Fund prospectus. The prospectus is available on this site, from your financial adviser, and when you call 800-437-1020.

11/03/2015

Aquila fund recognized in New York Times report

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Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund was included in a New York Times report listing 5-Year Leaders among US General Stock Funds based on total return performance results through September 30, 2015.

The New York Times report recognizes the top 20 performing US General Stock Funds, based on Morningstar total percentage returns for the quarter, the year and five years, annualized, and the fund’s rank within the universe of Nasdaq-listed stock funds tracked by Morningstar Inc. for periods ending September 30, 2015. Only funds traded on Nasdaq with at least $50 million in assets were included.

Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund pursues a distinctive approach to selecting equity investments based on a long history of conducting research in the high-yield corporate bond market, and investing in high-yield issuers when research indicates they are successfully and prudently managing leverage and the corporate balance sheet. The characteristics we look for in high-yield debt issuers have helped identify opportunities for improvement in the equity performance of those companies. This strategy in the high-yield debt market is the foundation on which the strategy of Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund was built.

Performance quoted in The New York Times report may not be current. For current quarter-end standardized performance please click here.

Before investing in a Fund, carefully read about and consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information found in the Fund prospectus. The prospectus is available on this site, from your financial adviser and when you call 800-437-1020.

Morningstar, a mutual fund rating service, compiles performance data used to derive their own ranking data. Morningstar rankings are based on total return calculations without an adjustment for sales charges.

10/29/2015

Utah Demonstrating Strong Economic Performance

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Solid business and economic performance in the state of Utah has garnered media attention recently.  Forbes highlighted Utah as leading its list of the Best States for Business again, following another top place ranking last year – a distinction Utah has held 5 times since 2010.  Forbes cited factors including limited regulation, low energy costs, and expanding employment.

Deseret News featured results of an economic performance study produced by Praxis Strategy Group for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation which identified Utah as one of the most industrious states in the nation based on the vital economy and performance in the high-tech sector.  The study identified Utah as “the most fundamentally sound state across all identified policy areas” covered by the study, which include economic performance, high-tech performance, transportation and trade, talent pipeline, innovation and entrepreneurship, and business climate.

10/21/2015

Todd Curtis quoted in Bloomberg on Arizona Cardinals Stadium Debt

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In Bloomberg’s October 19, 2015 article regarding bonds issued by the Arizona Sports & Tourism Authority to help construct a stadium for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, Todd Curtis, portfolio manager of Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Arizona commented on the on-going legal battles involving the issuance. Mr. Curtis indicated that Arizona Sports & Tourism Authority could probably continue to make bond payments, and may eventually require support from the state of Arizona. The fund does not hold the bonds.

10/15/2015

Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Arizona Shareholder Meeting on November 5, 2015

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Shareholders of Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Arizona are cordially invited to attend their annual shareholder meeting Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. at The Arizona Biltmore, Grand Ballroom, Phoenix, Arizona.

Shareholders may also attend the shareholder outreach meeting on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa, Solana Ballroom FG, in Glendale, Arizona.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with Fund Executives, Trustees, the Portfolio Manager and hear Dan Hunting, Senior Policy Analyst, Arizona State University, Morrison Institute for Public Policy, speak on the Arizona state budget.

Please plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you.

10/14/2015

Pursuing a Distinctive Equity Strategy for 5 Years

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Five years ago, Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund introduced a distinctive investment strategy.

The portfolio managers have charted a course that is unlike that of other equity fund managers, searching for investment opportunities that equity analysts, without a perspective on the full corporate balance sheet, may overlook. The distinctive aspects of the investment strategy include research conducted initially in the high-yield corporate bond market, certain characteristics of corporate management teams and their use of leverage, sector selection, and the market indicators we monitor. We have found that when corporate managers are committed to paying down debt and improving the corporate balance sheet, the results may lead to improvement in the performance of the stock.

The results produced through the implementation of this strategy earned a Lipper Award in their Mid-Cap Core Category for the 3-year period ending 12/31/2014, and have repeatedly placed the Fund among the Wall Street Journal Category Kings Mid-Cap Core funds. In August, 2015 Bloomberg highlighted the investment strategy in a feature published on their web site and in their October, 2015 Bloomberg Markets magazine.  MarketWatch Funds for Thought feature dated September 29, 2015 featured the investment strategy.

Over the past five years, through challenging market and economic shifts, Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund has pursued the Fund objective of capital appreciation, implementing a strategy that is unlike that of other equity funds. We are pleased to share the results with you, and we invite you to take a closer look at Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund. You may find that it is just what you were looking for.

 

Before investing in the Fund, carefully read about and consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information found in the Fund prospectus.

Mutual fund investing involves risk and loss of principal is possible. Risks include, but are not limited to, potential loss of value, market risk, financial risk, interest rate and credit risk, and investments in highly-leveraged companies, lower quality debt securities, foreign markets and foreign currencies. Performance current to the most recent month-end is available on this site.

On October 8, 2010, Fund shareholders approved changes in the name, investment sub-adviser and investment strategy of the Fund. On October 15, 2010, the Fund began operations under the name Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund, with Three Peaks Capital Management, LLC as sub-adviser, and an investment strategy that differs meaningfully from the strategy pursued by the previous Fund. Performance prior to that date reflects the previous investment strategy of the Fund.

10/01/2015

MarketWatch Recognizes Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund

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In the September 29, 2015 edition of MarketWatch, Conrad De Aenlle’s Funds for Thought article reviews the Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund strategy relative to category peers, and describes Co-Portfolio Manager Sandy Rufenacht’s leverage of his experience and research in the high-yield bond market to find equity investment opportunities. Conrad notes that unlike some funds that performed well in the third quarter, but have been long-term underperformers, Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund performed well during recent market volatility relative to its Morningstar mid-cap growth peers, and has performed well within the category over the most recent five-year period.

Additional information on Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund and its distinctive strategy, including current performance, is available on this site.

Before investing in a Fund, carefully read about and consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information found in the Fund prospectus, which is available on this site, from your financial advisor, and when you call 800-437-1020.