Millions of investors participate in municipal bond ownership. It pays to do your homework. Learning more about the features and risks of an investment is important for all investors. Investors who own municipal bonds or who are considering adding them to their portfolios have access to a free online library of information. The Electronic Municipal Market Access website (“EMMA”) is the official repository for information for municipal bonds, and can help you learn about, evaluate and monitor over 1.2 million outstanding municipal bonds.
The EMMA website is operated by the MSRB as part of its mission to promote a fair, transparent, and efficient municipal market. By making marketing information as easily and widely available as possible, EMMA can help investors make more informed decisions about municipal bonds. Firms can use EMMA to learn more about the municipal market and evaluate specific municipal bonds. Among the types of information on EMMA are:
- Official statements and other offering documents
- Current credit ratings
- Annual financial reports, material event notices and other continuing disclosures
- Real-time trade prices and yields
- Interest rates for variable rate bonds
- Municipal market statistics
The EMMA “help” section offers everything from basic definitions to step-by-step tutorials to help Firms learn about the municipal market, and how to use EMMA to find information. When advisors are ready to evaluate a bond, EMMA is a source for official statements. A bond’s official statement lists valuable information about the type of bond, when it will mature, or if it can be redeemed prior to maturity, what revenues are pledged to repay bondholders, how the issuer plans to use the proceeds of the bond sale, and other important statistics. For new issues of bonds, the official statement also provides financial, operational and other information to assist in a credit evaluation.
EMMA provides real-time trade prices for virtually every municipal bond bought and sold. EMMA also provides updated information throughout a bond’s life-cycle. Issuers of most bonds or others obligated to pay the bonds are required to post annual financial information on EMMA. They also must provide notices of certain events that may affect their ability to repay the bond. This information can help Firms monitor the status of bond investment over time.
Learn more about EMMA here.