12/02/2014

A Hands-On COO

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In this installment of our 30th anniversary interviews, Chad Childs, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Aquila Investment Management LLC (sponsor of the Aquila Group of Funds), talks about opportunity, vision, and why it’s better to be local.

How did you begin at Aquila?

It was the fall of 1987. I’d gotten my MBA and was job hunting. My family knew the Herrmanns, so I contacted Lacy just to network, hoping he would pass my resume to some of his Wall Street contacts. Instead, Lacy asked me to come to New York to see him. We scheduled our...

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12/02/2014

Observations & Lessons from Joe Mysak and the Muni Meltdown that Wasn’t

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The ever-illuminating (and often entertaining) Joe Mysak knows some things about the municipal bond market.  Mr. Mysak is Municipal Market editor for Bloomberg, and author of the Encyclopedia of Municipal Bonds: A Reference Guide to Market Events, Structures, Dynamics, and Investment Knowledge, and has spent 33 years observing and writing about the municipal bond market.  He was recently inspired to compile some of his observations in an article titled The Muni Meltdown that Wasn’t, published as a Bloomberg Brief in November 2014.

In this article, Mr. Mysak chronicles the “inexpert testimony” regarding the municipal bond market that was...

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12/01/2014

Colorado School Bonds Receive Mixed Approvals

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After several years of taking a conservative approach to new bond issuance, 14 Colorado school districts requested voter approval for a collective $1.45 billion in school bonds last month. Roughly half, just over $710 million, passed on Election Day.

The Colorado School Finance Project released this list shortly after the election. Boulder Valley School District’s hefty request of $576.4 million gained approval, and is the largest bond measure to pass in Colorado’s history. The district plans to take advantage of current low interest rates to fund the addition of...

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11/15/2014

Trustees: The Shareholders’ Watchdogs

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Mutual fund boards are the champions of shareholders. But boards and their trustees are still not well understood by investors or their financial advisors. We spoke with three longstanding trustees of the Aquila Group of Funds—John C. Lucking, Thomas A. Christopher, and James A. Gardner—during the September, 2014 quarterly board meetings to learn more about what they do.

Tom Christopher and James Gardner

What do mutual fund board trustees do—and why should we care?

TC: We oversee the management and operations of each Aquila fund on...

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11/14/2014

Capital Gain Distribution Estimates – 2014

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In the event that 2014 capital gain distributions are declared, the funds are anticipated to have a record date of December 30, 2014, an ex-date of December 31, 2014, a payable date of December 31, 2014, and a reinvestment date of December 31, 2014.

Estimates are subject to change depending on market conditions, board approvals, and other circumstances. This report is the result of estimates and is based on information available as of October 31, 2014. The amount and character of distributions cannot be determined until the anticipated record dates.

Shares of the Funds may only be sold by...

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11/06/2014

The Value of Independent Municipal Bond Credit Research

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Timothy Iltz,
Municipal Bond Analyst

The value of municipal bond credit research is difficult to measure, particularly by any quantitative measure. Quite often, the value of credit research is not solely the extent to which it may add to performance, but the extent to which it may limit potential drags on performance.

Historically, individual investors and portfolio managers alike have relied heavily upon the credit reports published by the independent ratings agencies. While these reports can be enlightening and often revealing of the credits they...

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11/01/2014

Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund Recognized as a Category King

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Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund was included in a “Category Kings” report by The Wall Street Journal for the one-year period ending September 30, 2014. The Category Kings report recognizes the top 10 performing funds, based on total return, in 22 Lipper categories for the one-year period. Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund class Y (ATGYX) was listed at #1 in the Lipper Midcap Core equity category, out of 378 open-end mutual funds. During this period, the Fund generated a total return of 21.8% compared to the Lipper Midcap Core category average of 11.9% and the Russell...

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11/01/2014

Please Log In, Call, or Write in Order to Protect Your Account

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Your State Requires some Demonstration that You’ve been in Contact with Us

“Escheatment “, as described on the SEC web site, is the process by which a state becomes the owner of an account held by a financial institution that is considered to be abandoned or unclaimed under circumstances that may include a period of inactivity.  Generally, activity may be demonstrated by contact with the financial institution holding the account, and in some states, is not demonstrated solely by the existence of an automated investment program.

On a regular basis, to establish contact and maintain the active status...

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10/31/2014

PERS Reforms to be Considered by the Oregon Supreme Court

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We believe that one of the benefits of having a portfolio manager and analyst located in the market in which Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Oregon invests, is the opportunity this provides to closely follow public policy developments and legislation, in addition to the financial condition of municipal bond issuers.

Developments related to the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) provide an example.  In 2013, the Oregon Legislature enacted PERS reforms that reduced the cost-of-living adjustment for all retirees, and eliminated tax remedy payments for beneficiaries who do not live in Oregon and are therefore not subject to Oregon state income tax....

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