11/23/2016

Post-Election Market Views

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With the 2016 election cycle behind us, we share observations regarding the municipal, equity, and corporate high yield bond markets.

Printable version

Municipal

Within the past 5 years, we’ve seen two periods in which volatility spiked in the municipal bond market; in 2011 following inaccurate predictions for the municipal bond market made by an equity analyst, and in 2013 during what’s been dubbed the taper tantrum.  Although municipal bond yields rose in the days immediately following the 2016 elections, we don’t anticipate that this downturn will last as long as the two prior periods.  As of mid-November, we were already seeing the Treasury market improve a bit.  We believe the market is focusing on a couple of topics, one being infrastructure spending.  President-Elect Trump has spoken extensively about significant new infrastructure spending, and along with that, he has discussed reductions in tax rates for both individuals and corporations.  The combination of extensive infrastructure spending and lower taxes has raised concerns that the U.S. deficit could rise dramatically, which tends to be inflationary, and drive interest rates higher.  Read more “Post-Election Market Views”

11/15/2016

Estimated capital gains as of October 31, 2016

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The funds listed below may pay a capital gain distribution in December, 2016.  The amount reflected represents an estimate, per share, as of the date indicated.     Printable Version

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXShort-Term          Long-Term

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXEstimate              Estimate

Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund1            $0.00                   $0.01

Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Arizona2                                $0.00                   $0.01

Aquila Tax-Free Fund For Utah2                                  $0.00                   $0.01

1 Represents undistributed gains from fiscal year 2015 which must be distributed.

Represents undistributed gains from fiscal year 2016 which must be distributed.

Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund:  In the event that capital gains distributions are declared, the fund is anticipated to have a record date of December 1, 2016, an ex-date of December 2, 2016, a payable date of December 2, 2016, and a reinvestment date of December 2, 2016.

All Other Funds:  In the event that capital gains distributions are declared, the funds are anticipated to have a record date of December 29, 2016, an ex-date of December 30, 2016, a payable date of December 30, 2016, and a reinvestment date of December 30, 2016.

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, 2016.  The amount and character of distributions will be finalized on the record dates.

Although the funds listed below could pay capital gains distributions in December, 2016, at this time, a capital gain distribution is not anticipated.

Aquila Tax-Free Fund of Colorado

Hawaiian Tax-Free Trust

Aquila Churchill Tax-Free Fund of Kentucky

Aquila Narragansett Tax-Free Income Fund (RI)

Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Oregon

Aquila Three Peaks High Income Fund

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 from your financial advisor, and when you call 800-437-1020 or visit www.aquilafunds.com.

 

10/11/2016

Sandy Rufenacht on high yield bonds, rates and strategy

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During a recent MoneyLife interview, Sandy Rufenacht talked about expectations for the Federal Funds rate, the potential hazards of reaching for yield, and the importance of knowing what you own.

Mr. Rufenacht pointed out that a rising rate environment generally has less impact on the high yield corporate segment of the bond market since the segment is less duration-sensitive, given that maturities are typically shorter and coupons are typically larger.

As the current period of very low rates has stretched on, investors have been reaching for additional yield by increasing positions in longer maturity or lower quality bonds, either of which may exhibit higher volatility in a risking rate environment.  The high yield bond market is a large asset class with a range of quality ratings from BB on the high end, through CCC and defaulted issues on the low end.  Mr. Rufenacht feels that reaching for yield in the lowest quality high yield bonds entails risk that is comparable to the equity market, which may actually provide more liquidity than the lowest quality high yield bonds.

He pointed out the importance of knowing what you own in a high yield fund.  Short duration bonds in the upper range of the high yield quality spectrum can provide attractive risk-adjusted returns with less volatility relative to the lowest quality categories and equity-like securities that some managers may include in a high yield bond fund portfolio.

Click below to listen to the full interview (approximately 14 minutes).

09/21/2016

Hawaiian Tax-Free Trust Shareholder Meeting on September 29, 2016

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Shareholders of Hawaiian Tax-Free Trust are cordially invited to attend their annual shareholder meeting Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the Ala Moana Hotel, Hibiscus Ballroom, 410 Atkinson Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Shareholders may also attend the shareholder outreach meeting on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Haynes Meeting Room, One Cameron Way, Kahului, Hawaii.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with Trust Executives, Trustees, the Portfolio Managers and hear renowned Hawaii economist Paul H. Brewbaker speak about the Hawaii economy.

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

09/20/2016

Aquila Tax-Free Fund For Utah Shareholder Meeting on October 20, 2016

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Shareholders of Aquila Tax-Free Fund For Utah are cordially invited to attend their annual shareholder meeting Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. at the Little America Hotel, 500 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah. A buffet breakfast will be served prior to the meeting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with Fund Executives, Trustees, the Portfolio Manager and hear Utah State Senator and former Trustee, Lyle Hillyard speak about the Utah economy.

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

09/16/2016

Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Arizona Shareholder Meeting on November 10, 2016

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Shareholders of Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Arizona are cordially invited to attend their annual shareholder meeting Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. at JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Shareholders may also attend the shareholder outreach meeting on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa, Tucson, Arizona.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with Fund Executives, Trustees, the Portfolio Manager and hear guest speaker and Trustee Grady Gammage, Founding Member; Gammage & Burnham, PLC, and author of “The Future of the Suburban City: Lessons from Sustaining Phoenix”.

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

09/02/2016

Improving Municipal Bond Disclosures

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The municipal bond market includes over 50,000 state and local government issuers, which range from small school districts to the largest cities and states.  As borrowers, these issuers are required by their continuing disclosure undertakings to produce annual financial reports, which include material information that may impact the value of their outstanding bonds.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has been engaged in a multi-year initiative to enhance the disclosures provided by municipal issuers, and the agency recently announced that it had reached settlements with 71 state and local issuers related to deficiencies in their disclosures.  The director of the SEC enforcement division said that these settlements are expected to heighten the level of attention given to disclosures and improve compliance. Read more “Improving Municipal Bond Disclosures”

08/22/2016

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 June 30, 2016.

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 June 30, 2016. 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.

07/01/2016

Aquila Municipal Bond Funds Continue to Avoid Puerto Rico Debt

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Each of the municipal bond funds offered in the Aquila Group of Funds adheres to an investment strategy focused on investment grade bonds as a means of managing credit risk, and an intermediate average portfolio maturity as a means of managing interest rate risk. In keeping with our emphasis on high-quality holdings, the seven state-specific municipal bond funds offered by Aquila have no Puerto Rico holdings.

On July 1, 2016, Puerto Rico will default on constitutionally guaranteed debt by failing to make principal and interest payments due on that date.  The President signed legislation on June 30th, 2016 that will facilitate a restructuring of Puerto Rico’s debt without committing federal funds to the territory.  The market has been anticipating this outcome for several years while the territory struggled with recession, declining reserves and a declining population.

On the Aquila Group of Funds website, you will find information regarding the investment strategies and full portfolio holdings of each state-specific municipal bond fund. The investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information will be found in the Fund prospectus. Information on the Fund holdings will be found in the Fact Sheet, Annual and Semi-Annual reports, and the Portfolio Holdings report for each Fund. We encourage you to review this information, and to visit the web site frequently for updates on each Fund, and our perspectives on the markets.