Fund Goal and Approach
As its primary goal, the fund seeks high current income exempt from federal income tax. As a secondary goal, the fund may seek capital appreciation to the extent consistent with its primary goal. To pursue its goals, the fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in municipal bonds that provide income exempt from federal income tax. 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 income tax. The fund normally invests at least 50% of its assets in municipal bonds rated BBB/Baa or lower by independent rating agencies or the unrated equivalent as determined by The Dreyfus Corporation. Municipal bonds rated below investment grade (BB/Ba or lower) are commonly known as high yield or junk bonds. These bonds typically offer higher yields than investment grade bonds, but involve greater risks, including the possibility of default, and increased market price volatility. The fund may invest up to 10% of its assets in defaulted municipal bonds. The fund may invest up to 50% of its assets in higher quality municipal bonds (those rated AAA/Aaa to A or the unrated equivalent as determined by The Dreyfus Corporation).
The dollar-weighted average maturity of the fund's portfolio is not restricted, but normally exceeds ten years.
The portfolio managers focus on identifying undervalued sectors and securities. To select municipal bonds for the fund, the portfolio managers use fundamental credit analysis to estimate the relative value and attractiveness of various sectors and securities and actively trade among various sectors, based on their apparent relative values.
Although the fund seeks to provide income exempt from federal income tax, the fund may invest without limitation in municipal bonds the income from which is subject to the federal alternative minimum tax. In addition, the fund may invest temporarily in taxable obligations. During such periods, the fund may not achieve its investment objective.
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.
The fund invests primarily in medium-quality and below-investment grade municipal bonds, and its portfolio is subject to heightened credit risk. High yield bonds are subject to increased credit risk and are considered speculative in terms of the issuers perceived ability to continue making interest payments on a timely basis and to repay principal upon maturity.
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.