02/05/2015

Aquila Churchill Tax-Free Fund of Kentucky Annual Shareholder Meeting

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Shareholders of Aquila Churchill Tax-Free Fund of Kentucky are cordially invited to attend their annual shareholder meeting April 22, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. in the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Brown & Williamson Club, University of Louisville, 2800 South Floyd Street, Louisville, KY.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with Fund Executives, Trustees, the Portfolio Manager and hear Dr. James R. Ramsey, Trustee and renowned Kentucky economist, and Ryan Barrow, Executive Director, Kentucky Office of Financial Management, speak about the Kentucky and national economy.

Please plan to attend.  We look forward to seeing you on April 22.

02/04/2015

Todd Curtis Shares 2015 Expectations in Asset TV Municipal Bond Masterclass

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On January 20, 2015, Asset TV produced a Municipal Bond Masterclass in which a panel of municipal bond fund portfolio managers was asked to discuss their expectations of the municipal bond market in 2015 and their investment strategies.

Todd Curtis, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager or Co-Portfolio Manager of Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Arizona, Aquila Churchill Tax-Free Fund of Kentucky and Aquila Tax-Free Fund For Utah participated as a panelist. The following video includes highlights from his comments.

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.

02/02/2015

Social Security Celebrates 75 Years of Benefits

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“It wasn’t that I expected anything, mind you, but I knew I’d been paying for something called Social Security and I wanted to ask the people in Rutland about it” ~ Miss Ida May Fuller

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On January 31, 1940, Miss Ida May Fuller received the first monthly Social Security check. Check number 00-000-001 was issued in the amount of $22.54. Ida May was born on September 6, 1874 on a farm in Vermont. She started her working life as a school teacher and in 1905 became a legal secretary. She never married and had no children.

The Social Security Act, as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, was signed on August 14, 1935 and the first Social Security taxes were collected in January of 1937. Miss Fuller paid the new taxes as a deduction on her paycheck. Read more “Social Security Celebrates 75 Years of Benefits”

01/27/2015

Barron’s Interviews Sandy Rufenacht

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Sandy Rufenacht  Co-Portfolio Manager

Sandy Rufenacht
Co-Portfolio Manager

In December, 2014, Barron’s interviewed Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund Co-Portfolio Manager, Sandy Rufenacht, to discuss the distinctive investment strategy of the fund along with several fund holdings illustrative of the strategy in practice. Research for fund holdings begins in the high-yield corporate bond market. As Sandy explained, “The high yield market is much more focused on not just revenue but cash flow”.

Read more “Barron’s Interviews Sandy Rufenacht”

01/26/2015

2014 IRS Tax Forms

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Each year, the IRS specifies mailing deadlines for a variety of tax forms.

February 17, 2015 is the mailing deadline for 2014 IRS forms 1099-B (Proceeds from Brokerage and Barter Exchange Transactions) and 1099-DIV (Dividends and Distributions).  Forms being sent to Fund shareholders will be mailed by the February 17, 2015 deadline, and may be mailed prior to the deadline.

12/31/2014

2014 Capital Gain Distributions

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2014 capital gain distributions have been declared by five funds with 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.

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.

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 meeting for Monday, October 19, 1987. Yes, Black Monday. Suffice to say, I didn’t meet with Lacy that day or the next, as all heck broke loose. We met later that week. Aquila was growing–it had launched the Colorado and Kentucky municipal bonds funds the previous May and Lacy needed help running a couple of money market funds. He said let’s give it a year and evaluate. I’ve been here ever since. Read more “A Hands-On COO”

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. Read more “Observations & Lessons from Joe Mysak and the Muni Meltdown that Wasn’t”

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.school building

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 new schools, upgrade facilities, and improve security, technology and educational tools. Read more “Colorado School Bonds Receive Mixed Approvals”

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

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 behalf of shareholders. We’re the shareholders’ watchdogs. Aquila Group of Funds subcontracts a variety of services—from fund accounting to transfer agency services and, in some cases, to investment sub-advisers (including portfolio managers). As trustees, our job is to review and oversee the performance of those service providers, to verify that agreements with them represent an arm’s-length deal, that they are fair, and competitive. Read more “Trustees: The Shareholders’ Watchdogs”