2008 was a tough year for municipal bonds and the mutual funds that invest in them, and Ronald H. Fielding
felt that pain more than most. Bloomberg
's Michael McDonald highlights
last year's 48.9 percent drop for Fielding's Oppenheimer Rochester National Municipals Fund
, which gave it the dubious honor of feeling the biggest losses of the year for any tax-free high-yield fund, according to Morningstar.
Yet not too long ago, Fielding and the fund were on top of the muni bond fund world, earning 11.6 percent on average per year from 2003 through 2006.
"There's utter panic in the markets," Fielding told Bloomberg. "It has been a truly terrible year."
Bloomberg compares Fielding's results to Morningstar's overall data for 34 high yield muni bond funds, which averaged a 25.3 percent loss in 2008 (compared 9.5 percent for vanilla tax-exempt funds).
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