On September 10, Barclays Global Investors debuted the first ETF to track the U.S. municipal bond market, which will provide investors a different way to invest in municipal issues as reported by Bloomberg.
My preference for investors with after-tax money wishing to generate income has always been the use of closed end muni funds, the benefits which have been detailed in my free e-book. This will offer investors another opportunity, and I will track pricing and yield of the new iShares S&P; National Municipal Bond Fund (MUB) to see how it compares to old fashioned muni CEFs.
One obvious advantage is the instant diversification this $294 million ETF would provide. Income is distributed monthly and throughout the day pricing provides more transparency than individual bonds. The expense ratio is pegged to be $25 for every $10,000 of assets.
Not to be outdone, State Street announced a similar offering to be available around September 13. Another player in that field is the SPDR Lehman Municial Bond ETF, with the ticker symbol TFI which will track the three-year old Lehman Brothers Municipal Managed Money Index.
With other offerings in the pipeline, it is the individual investor who will benefit by having more and better choices, which is a development I applaud.