Alternative Minimum Tax Risk. All or a portion of the Fund's otherwise tax-exempt income may be taxable to those shareholders subject to the federal alternative minimum tax.
Call Risk. If interest rates fall, it is possible that issuers of securities with high interest rates will prepay or call their securities before their maturity dates. In this event, the proceeds from the called securities would likely be reinvested by the Fund in securities bearing the new, lower interest rates, resulting in a possible decline in the Fund's income and distributions to shareholders.
Credit Risk. The issuer of instruments in which the Fund invests may be unable to meet interest and/or principal payments, thereby causing its instruments to decrease in value and lowering the issuer's credit rating.
High Yield Bond (Junk Bond) Risk. Junk bonds involve a greater risk of default or price changes due to changes in the credit quality of the issuer. The values of junk bonds fluctuate more than those of high-quality bonds in response to company, political, regulatory or economic developments. Values of junk bonds can decline significantly over short periods of time.
Income Risk. The income you receive from the Fund is based primarily on prevailing interest rates, which can vary widely over the short and long term. If interest rates drop, your income from the Fund may drop as well.
Interest Rate Risk. Interest rate risk refers to the risk that bond prices generally fall as interest rates rise; conversely, bond prices generally rise as interest rates fall. Specific bonds differ in their sensitivity to changes in interest rates depending on their individual characteristics, including duration.
Liquidity Risk. The Fund may hold illiquid securities that it is unable to sell at the preferred time or price and could lose its entire investment in such securities.
Management Risk. The investment techniques and risk analysis used by the Fund's portfolio managers may not produce the desired results.
Market Risk. The prices of and the income generated by the Fund's securities may decline in response to, among other things, investor sentiment; general economic and market conditions; regional or global instability; and currency and interest rate fluctuations.
Medium and Lower-Grade Municipal Securities Risk. Securities which are in the medium- and lower-grade categories generally offer higher yields than are offered by higher-grade securities of similar maturity, but they also generally involve more volatility and greater risks, such as greater credit risk, market risk, liquidity risk, management risk, and regulatory risk. Furthermore, many medium- and lower-grade securities are not listed for trading on any national securities exchange and many issuers of medium- and lower-grade securities choose not to have a rating assigned to their obligations by any nationally recognized statistical rating organization. As a result, the Fund's portfolio may consist of a higher portion of unlisted or unrated securities as compared with an investment company that invests solely in higher-grade securities. Unrated securities are usually not as attractive to as many buyers as are rated securities, a factor which may make unrated securities less marketable. These factors may have the effect of limiting the availability of the securities for purchase by the Fund and may also limit the ability of the Fund to sell such securities at their fair value either to meet redemption requests or in response to changes in the economy or the financial markets.
Municipal Issuer Focus Risk. The Fund generally considers investments in municipal securities not to be subject to industry concentration policies (issuers of municipal securities as a group is not an industry) and the Fund may invest in municipal securities issued by entities having similar characteristics. The issuers may be located in the same geographic area or may pay their interest obligations from revenue of similar projects, such as hospitals, airports, utility systems and housing finance agencies. This may make the Fund's investments more susceptible to similar social, economic, political or regulatory occurrences. As the similarity in issuers increases, the potential for fluctuation in the Fund's net asset value also increases.
Municipal Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in municipal securities. Constitutional amendments, legislative enactments, executive orders, administrative regulations, voter initiatives, and the issuer's regional economic conditions may affect the municipal security's value, interest payments, repayment of principal and the Fund's ability to sell it. Failure of a municipal security issuer to comply with applicable tax requirements may make income paid thereon taxable, resulting in a decline in the security's value. In addition, there could be changes in applicable tax laws or tax treatments that reduce or eliminate the current federal income tax exemption on municipal securities or otherwise adversely affect the current federal or state tax status of municipal securities.
Reinvestment Risk. Reinvestment risk is the risk that a bond's cash flows (coupon income and principal repayment) will be reinvested at an interest rate below that on the original bond.
Synthetic Securities Risk. Fluctuations in the values of synthetic securities may not correlate perfectly with the instruments they are designed to replicate. Synthetic securities may be subject to interest rate changes, market price fluctuations, counterparty risk and liquidity risk.
Zero Coupon or Pay-In-Kind Securities Risk. The value, interest rates, and liquidity of non-cash paying instruments, such as zero coupon and pay-in-kind securities, are subject to greater fluctuation than other types of securities.