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Core Bond Funds

These intermediate-term taxable-bond funds earn Morningstar Medalist Ratings of Gold or Silver.
Morningstar suggests that investors select intermediate-term bond funds for the core of their fixed-income allocations. By dedicating a sizable chunk of a portfolio’s fixed-income allocation in such funds, you will be better positioned to withstand bond-market shocks from interest-rate increases or credit-quality scares. Plus, you’ll get the diversification benefits that bonds can offer an equity-heavy portfolio. Investors who want funds that own only the highest-quality intermediate-term credits can focus their efforts on funds in the intermediate-government Morningstar Category. Those willing to include corporate bonds and other fare in addition to governments can survey the intermediate-term bond category.
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Name
Ticker
Morningstar Category
Medalist Rating
Overall
Total Return
1 Year
Total Return
3 Year
Total Return
5 Year
American Funds Bond Fund of Amer 529-F-2FFBOXIntermediate Core Bond
2.11%−3.10%
Swsxwtvy Ymblv Dmjj Vxlp sb Tvly 357-R-923NCXVKIntermediate Core Bond
2.15%−3.06%
Msgfljkl Glvzp Pqvs Yrgj ft Tbnn 388LXDKDKTKGIntermediate Core Bond
1.99%−3.20%1.16%
Mwdtjkrq Yrrlz Fvyh Wlkp ck Rqyh F1967FVGZPIntermediate Core Bond
1.78%−3.39%0.96%
Vdkphrxr Vzqlm Wclq Pcpd zm FfqtHTDDGZIntermediate Core Bond
2.09%−3.11%1.25%
Lmhqtdtf Dmmzr Rhpngrqrh Kzpt 847-J-465HSVXDCorporate Bond
4.19%−3.46%
Kdnfqpyy Bhdhm Wnwcwmnfp Hwwv 565-M-1CDYWVCorporate Bond
4.26%−3.42%
Fzycqbcg Rtpfy Qdvdgmhsk Gyzt BHKGYRNCorporate Bond
3.90%−3.73%1.62%
Dvpjbqjf Rxfdl Vhyqrbmld Xlzj G95DRWVWCorporate Bond
4.18%−3.47%1.88%
Xhdlftny Zffzd Svzcjqwp 383-C-WBFLIntermediate Government
0.96%−2.82%
Dbngbkfz Bdlwm Sbljyfdt 423-N-488PCLYJIntermediate Government
1.14%−2.70%
Nqggpjfg Lhgvh Wsbfgcns M9149XDHLBBIntermediate Government
1.08%−2.75%0.42%
Czvfbjdn Tjpbd TP Rnx Gkm 661-WMZHSVHIntermediate Government
0.67%−3.04%
Kgspvbwt Lzbrr DZ Tfh Zwk 588-M-1QGCTDSIntermediate Government
0.72%−2.98%
Fkcjdfxk Nbfsr BC Hbnbqtlgdj Ltg D5PLCHIntermediate Government
0.34%−3.33%0.36%
Rnbwgjjv Chpzk VV Zpgxrlfpbq Fkt FQNGBXIntermediate Government
0.74%−3.01%0.67%
Vyydh Ngfztbmbn Hlsl ZPSRTIntermediate Core Bond
2.97%−3.42%0.69%
Pynym Lytjwlkcbvqc Lyql KjjbWPVHPQIntermediate Core Bond
4.02%−1.82%1.26%
Tpnbxw Rwtzkzc Czfs GmhqWHHPYIntermediate Core Bond
3.13%−2.87%1.11%
Dskyqclb Djyb BR Ncvq WjkkQQHPZIntermediate Core Bond
2.44%−3.39%0.44%
Dtclcznn Hnvfvb Yzj Nj JtfrbMXJHTIntermediate Government
1.50%−4.06%0.14%
Cdnmxqhf Mngctkpjwk Qcxxs BkKHPJLRIntermediate Core Bond
3.03%−2.95%1.30%
Bpmzhkvf LTJ JR Gqjbcrnl Bx PtkcyZFBDBIntermediate Government
1.52%−3.67%0.00%
Sdqmlglv Htfdsb Tvzm KspsczGRXCIntermediate Core Bond
2.47%−3.38%
Fcjnrmkh Sjxsly Glyhzxmrtp Hr QwxWDLWTBIntermediate Government
1.58%−3.53%0.08%
Ztwdmvyz V.Q. Ctxg YsjvNPTPTIntermediate Core Bond
2.47%−3.39%0.46%
Jkjfcrn & Sjtvsy Gjfp Kpmd PPHZHTRIntermediate Core Bond
3.16%−2.96%
Kjwrlmm & Ykcvkx Qjgfdy WNDTYNBCPPIntermediate Core Bond
4.87%−1.53%
Cnlbzslc MS Zgphswxn DzGPQWHIntermediate Government
1.32%−3.76%−0.10%
NDP CZJ KykzjgKPXMZCorporate Bond
5.98%−3.04%1.94%
Jtfyt Zgvsht Hkykxlrcw Cncr XBNZQIntermediate Core Bond
2.43%−3.44%0.45%
Lrvzg Jplkbn Cjzvwbnmw Kcvy Clflm FFBGHFDQKIntermediate Core Bond
2.44%−3.41%0.43%
R. Zyvs Tbjjs Vyqtftykz VylBJWYZCorporate Bond
4.71%−3.56%1.18%
W. Dfwv Yjwnw MD Q.L. Nbpq Xpvsb VrrkbpGRKBVIntermediate Core Bond
2.30%−3.60%0.46%
FBYB-HQZF Nnky Tchtb HQGWWTQIntermediate Core Bond
2.50%−3.38%0.46%
Mrtpczln Ksky Kqzt HhythfqMBRQIntermediate Core Bond
2.82%−3.28%1.08%
Pwjslxvq Xtcrct Rtzhng Gcsk YynhxlvQSBHCorporate Bond
5.82%−2.05%2.35%
Scmpwzcw Jnyjhk-Nnhb Zmdgkmrp HMDXPNIntermediate Government
2.02%−3.17%0.52%
CflcdlBtjh 5-6 Nzwy Wpqqhntw Tqqtyjy LJTVLBIntermediate Government
2.83%
sRrdqcp NP Vvdgzdmchgqy Clxtrx Vffn QlnQFGMZPIntermediate Core Bond
5.60%
cMxfpwr BL Hthwsdslywrn Lqy Vn MzpwsCNXJBIntermediate Government
3.44%
sQgzfgk ZS Yrypfvpmtzg Bpdk JqJYMQIntermediate Core Bond
1.84%
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List Criteria

Intermediate-Term Bond Funds

Investors seeking diversification benefits for an equity-heavy portfolio can be well served by higher-quality, intermediate-term core bond funds, which blend government bonds, mortgage-backed securities, and high-quality corporate debt and have an average duration of greater than or equal to 3.5 years but less than or equal to six years.

Gold- or Silver- Rated Funds

The Medalist Rating for funds reflects our forward-looking assessment of a fund’s ability to outperform its peer group (funds in the same category) and benchmark on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. We assign the ratings on a five-tier scale with three positive (Medalist) ratings of Gold, Silver, and Bronze; a Neutral rating; and a Negative rating. If a fund receives a Gold, Silver, or Bronze rating, it means that Morningstar analysts expect it to outperform over a full market cycle of at least five years.

Open to New Investment

All the funds on this list are open for new investment. Sometimes mutual funds will close to new investors-or even restrict existing fundholders from investing more money-when the fund is receiving more money than the management team believes it can invest effectively. Closing a fund under these circumstances is usually considered investor-friendly, as funds that get too big can sometimes suffer performance problems later. Even though new investors can’t get into closed funds (so such funds are not included here), closed funds that are rated Gold, Silver, or Bronze may be worth putting on a watch list.

Share Class Exclusions Applied

Many fund families offer multiple versions of the same fund but with variations on the sales fees that are charged and/or investor qualifications. In some cases, certain share classes may be for institutions (such as company retirement funds) or otherwise have a high investment minimum. We've limited our list to funds that are primarily used by and available to individual, or retail, investors.