MassMutual Premier Short-Duration Bond Fund

Scorecard
3 / 5 Stars
Lipper
2 2 5 1 3
Zacks Investment Research
5 (Strong Sell)
Standard & Poor's
2 / 5 Stars
TheStreet.com
C- (Hold)

#69 in Short-Term Bond

U.S. News evaluated 128 Short-Term Bond Funds. Our list highlights the top-rated funds for long-term investors based on the ratings of leading fund industry researchers.

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Performance

The fund has returned 1.56 percent over the past year, 1.83 percent over the past three years, 3.42 percent over the past five years, and 3.70 percent over the past decade.
 

Trailing Returns Updated 06.30.2014
Year to date 0.9%
1 Year 1.6%
3 Years (Annualized) 1.8%
5 Years (Annualized) 3.4%
10 Years (Annualized) 3.7%

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Summary

If you’re scared of a bond bubble, the MassMutual Premier Short-Duration Bond Fund might help you sleep through the night. Aside from a 37 percent cash holding, as of the end of the first quarter, much of its bond portfolio was invested in short-term, investment-grade bonds, known for their low volatility.

As of July 03, 2014, the fund has assets totaling almost $580.38 million invested in 474 different holdings. Its portfolio consists of primarily of U.S. corporate bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

The fund is rather focused compared with other short-term bond funds. It favors U.S. corporate bonds—and not much else. The fund has returned 1.56 percent over the past year and 1.83 percent over the past three years.

The fund’s expense ratio isn’t particularly low, but isn’t seismic either. Its 15-year annualized return of 4.78 percent ranks among the top 28 percent of funds in its category, as of the end of the first quarter. The fund has returned 3.42 percent over the past five years and 3.70 percent over the past decade.

Investment Strategy

The fund had a high turnover as of the end of the first quarter, at 332 percent. The fund typically invests at least 80 percent of its assets in investment-grade, fixed-income bonds. The fund may also invest in below investment grade securities, i.e. junk bonds, but keeps this to a minimum of 10 percent or less. The fund can employ a wide variety of trading strategies, including futures, options, swaps and currency bets.
 

Management

The fund has a group of five co-managers from its subadviser, Babson Capital Management. Management’s cornerstone is Ronald E. Desautels, who’s been with the fund since 1997. The other four co-managers have been with the fund less than five years.
 

Fees

MassMutual Premier Short-Duration Bond Fund has an expense ratio of 0.93 percent.

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Risk

This is not your typical retail fund that any investor can buy into with a single call to their broker. It’s available primarily if your employer's 401(k) program offers MassMutual's platform. Morningstar says the fund has an average amount of risk, but this is complimented by a higher-than-average return. By favoring short-term bonds, this fund has a lower risk potential than intermediate or long-term bond funds.

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