Fund Goal and Approach
The fund seeks to maximize current income exempt from federal income tax and from Massachusetts state income tax, without undue risk. To pursue its goal, the fund normally invests substantially all of its assets in municipal bonds that provide income exempt from federal and Massachusetts state income taxes. Municipal bonds are debt securities or other obligations issued by states, territories and possessions of the United States (such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands) and the District of Columbia and their political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities, or multistate agencies and authorities, and certain other specified securities, the interest from which is, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer, exempt from federal and Massachusetts state income taxes. The fund invests at least 70% of its assets in municipal bonds rated, at the time of purchase, investment grade (Baa/BBB or higher) or the unrated equivalent as determined by The Dreyfus Corporation. For additional yield, the fund may invest up to 30% of its assets in municipal bonds rated below investment grade (high yield or junk bonds) or the unrated equivalent as determined by The Dreyfus Corporation. The dollar-weighted average maturity of the fund's portfolio normally exceeds ten years, but the fund may invest without regard to maturity. Dollar-weighted average maturity is an average of the stated maturities of the bonds held by the fund, based on their dollar-weighted proportions in the fund.
The portfolio managers focus on identifying undervalued sectors and securities and select municipal bonds by (i) using fundamental credit analysis to estimate the relative value and attractiveness of various sectors and securities and to exploit pricing inefficiencies in the municipal bond market, and (ii) actively trading among various sectors based on their apparent relative values.
Although the fund seeks to provide income exempt from federal and Massachusetts state income taxes, income from some of the fund's holdings may be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax. In addition, the fund temporarily may invest in taxable bonds and/or municipal bonds that pay income exempt only from federal income tax, including when the portfolio managers believe acceptable Massachusetts municipal bonds are not available for investment. During such periods, the fund may not achieve its investment objective.
The fund may buy securities that pay interest at rates that float inversely with changes in prevailing interest rates (inverse floaters) in an effort to increase returns, to manage interest rate risk or as part of a hedging strategy.
The fund is subject generally to interest rate, credit, liquidity, call, and market risks, to varying degrees, all of which are more fully described in the fund's prospectus.
Generally, all other factors being equal, bond prices are inversely related to interest-rate changes and rate increases can cause price declines.
Investing primarily in a single state may make the fund's portfolio securities more sensitive to risks specific to the state.
Income for national municipal funds may be subject to state and local taxes. Income may be subject to state and local taxes for out-of-state residents. Some income for non-AMT-Free funds may be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax for certain investors. Capital gains, if any, are taxable.
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the fund carefully before investing. Download a prospectus, or a summary prospectus, if available, that contains this and other information about the fund, and read it carefully before investing.