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This Medalist Muni Fund Takes a Measured Approach

A long-tenured team and an improving expense profile burnish the appeal of Bronze-rated BlackRock National Municipal Fund.


Elizabeth Foos: BlackRock's Bronze-rated National Municipal Fund is backed by a large and experienced team that's delivered strong returns over the long term. Walter O'Connor has been the lead manager on this fund for two decades. He works with his comanager Ted Jaeckel and a large staff that includes 18 dedicated credit analysts.

Although the team has a relatively wide mandate when building this portfolio, O'Connor has taken an increasingly defensive stance in recent years. So for example, the fund's duration--which is a measure of its sensitivity to changing interest rates--has come down nearly 50% from 2011. At the same time, the portfolio focuses on higher-quality bonds--with more than 80% of assets invested in bonds rated A or above as of last month.

Elizabeth Foos does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.