CUMB: New Municipal Bond ETF launched by Virtus

Virtus ETF Solutions an affiliate of Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. partnered with Cumberland Advisors, begun trading a new Municipal Bond ETF, the Virtus Cumberland Municipal Bond ETF (NyseArca: CUMB), on Thursday, January 19, 2017. Here is a synopsis of the new ETF:




Symbol: CUMB  Exchange: NYSE ARCA
Name: Virtus Cumberland Municipal Bond ETF Net Expense Ratio: 0.59%



The Virtus Cumberland Municipal Bond ETF is an actively managed fund which seeks to provide a competitive level of current income exempt from federal income tax, while preserving capital.
In seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, the Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its assets in debt securities whose interest is, in the opinion of bond counsel for the issuer at the time of issuance, exempt from U.S. federal income tax (Municipal Bonds). Cumberland Advisors Inc., the Fund’s sub-adviser, will invest the Fund’s assets using a barbell strategy, which means that the Sub-Adviser will overweight the Fund’s investments in Municipal Bonds with maturities on the short and long ends of the fixed income yield curve, while underweighting exposure to Municipal Bonds with intermediate maturities.

Municipal Bonds in which the Fund may invest include, without limitation, one or more of the following:
– general obligation bonds, which are typically backed by the full faith, credit, and taxing power of the issuer;
– revenue bonds, which are typically secured by revenues generated by the issuer;
– discount bonds, which may be originally issued at a discount to par value or sold at market price below par value;
– premium bonds, which are sold at a premium to par value;
– zero coupon bonds, which are issued at an original issue discount, with the full value, including accrued interest, paid at maturity; and
– private activity bonds, which are typically issued by or on behalf of local or state government for the purpose of financing the project of a private user.

The Fund has no target duration for its investment portfolio, and the Sub-Adviser may target a shorter or longer average portfolio duration based on the Sub-Adviser’s forecast of interest rates and view of fixed-income markets generally. Duration measures the interest rate sensitivity of a debt security by assessing and weighting the present value of the security’s payment pattern. Generally, the longer the maturity, the greater the duration and, therefore, the greater effect interest rate changes have on the price of the security. The Sub-Adviser will generally apply a heavier weight toward Municipal Bonds with shorter maturities during periods of high interest rates and longer maturities during periods of lower interest rates.
With respect to credit quality, the Fund will generally purchase Municipal Bonds rated “A” or better by at least one major credit rating agency or, if unrated, deemed to be of comparable quality by the Sub-Adviser. From time to time, the Fund may focus its investments (i.e., invest more than 15% of its total assets) in particular sectors, including those with special risks, such as education, health care, housing, transportation, utilities, or private activity bonds. The Fund may sell investments for a variety of reasons, such as to adjust the portfolio’s average maturity, duration, or overall credit quality, or to shift assets into and out of higher-yielding or lower-yielding securities or certain sectors.
Normally, at least 80% of the Fund’s income will be exempt from federal income taxes. However, a significant portion of the Fund’s income could be derived from securities subject to the alternative minimum tax. In addition, the Fund may purchase taxable municipal bonds when the Sub-Adviser believes they offer opportunities for the Fund, or variable rate demand notes (VRDNs) that pay interest monthly or quarterly based on a floating rate that is reset daily or weekly based on an index of short-term municipal rates.


Top Holdings (01/24/17):

Cash/Cash equivalents 85.20%
PENNSYLVANIA ST TURNP 4.000 12/01/2037 1.27%
MO HWYS-A-REF-1ST 5.000 05/01/2026 1.16%
DENVER SD #1 4.000 12/01/2041 1.09%
AUSTIN-REF 4.000 11/15/2038 1.09%
MICHIGAN FING AUTH 4.000 12/01/2046 1.04%
ARIZONA TRANS-A 5.250 07/01/2029 0.97%
MA SCH BLDG AUTH-B 5.000 10/15/2041 0.95%
PORT SAINT LUCIE-REF 3.000 07/01/2041 0.88%




Useful Links:
CUMB Home Page




ETFtrack comment:
Here is a comment from David Kotok, Cumberland Advisors chief investment officer and portfolio manager:
“We believe the current market offers great value in municipal bonds, particularly in intermediate and longer maturity bonds, especially when compared to traditional valuations versus US Treasuries. The Virtus Cumberland Municipal Bond ETF will give investors the opportunity to obtain total return and diversification in the municipal bond market while capitalizing on Cumberland’s 40 years of experience in bond management.”

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