Dupree Mutual Funds is a pioneer and specialist in no-load, tax-free, AMT-free income funds that offer individual investors affordable access to high quality municipal and government bonds providing a steady stream of income. Simply put, we help people secure tax-free income for living by investing in essential infrastructure projects that serve local and regional communities. In the process, investors become part of our extended family of shareholders.
A SMALL FIRM DOING BIG THINGS
From the start Dupree was a small firm doing big things. In 1941, we were a newly started family-owned securities brokerage firm specializing in tax-free municipal bonds and operating out of a little office above the Greyhound bus station in Harlan, Kentucky. In 1963, Dupree moved to Lexington and became a regional leader in public finance, helping to structure complex and innovative municipal bond financing for some of the largest public projects in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, including Rupp Arena.
In 1979, Dupree & Company began what is now Dupree Mutual Funds with the introduction of the Kentucky Tax-Free Income Fund. The fund was one of the first single-state municipal bond funds in the country, and the very first mutual fund to invest solely in Kentucky municipal bonds.
Since then, Dupree Mutual Funds has grown to include single-state municipal bond tax-free funds for five states: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee. Dupree also offers a taxable U.S. Government bond fund, the Intermediate Government Bond Series, and a taxable municipal bond fund, the Taxable Municipal Bond Series.
ROOTED IN INSIGHT & INNOVATION
Back in 1955, Tom Dupree, Sr., was a Yale University graduate and former Naval officer fresh out of the service. He was newly married and looking for an opportunity to provide for his family. He found that and more. Tom took a job at Dupree & Company that allowed him to learn and master municipal financing and, ultimately, build a tradition and legacy of insight, innovation, service, and success.
Like most new hires, Tom faced challenges convincing skeptical customers that he could help them. But, he was undaunted. He met each opportunity with ingenuity, vision, determination, and a passion for service. Soon his knack for municipal financing became evident. He quickly developed a keen eye for bond trends and an unparalleled understanding of the importance of building trust with issuers and investors alike. Tom was so effective in this work that issuers would often turn to him for guidance on how to structure their offerings for the best outcomes. Those relationships continue to bring value to our company, and our shareholders, as issuers often offer Dupree first access to high-grade opportunities.
In addition to creating an insight-driven culture and high-quality relationships, Tom pioneered products and processes that defined the company as a leader in municipal bond financing and underwriting. In 1963, he invented the Advanced Refunding technique to help one Kentucky school district generate a lower interest rate and reduce their cost of financing. This concept transformed the marketplace and became a staple of the public finance industry that is still used today.
In the late 60s, Tom’s vision was instrumental in the development of an early computer program that gave Dupree the ability to price a portfolio of bonds on a daily basis—a sophisticated capability previously unheard of “west of the Hudson River.” This was yet another innovation that would continue to expand Dupree’s capability and our reputation as a pioneer and market leader.
Assembled a Team of Professional Managers
In 1978, the IRS authorized the creation of municipal bond mutual funds. Tom saw and seized the opportunity to lead an emerging industry that would make municipal investing more affordable and more accessible to individual investors. In 1979, he founded Dupree Mutual Funds and launched the Kentucky Tax-Free Income Series. This fund is now the third oldest municipal bond mutual fund operating in the U.S.
Today, Dupree’s municipal bond fund portfolio has grown to include eight state-specific municipal mutual funds, one taxable municipal bond fund, and one U.S. government bond fund. The portfolio is actively managed and serviced by a Kentucky-based team of municipal bond experts that interact directly with issuers every day. These interactions ensure our portfolio managers have the latest bond information and enable us to seize new opportunities in high-grade investments before many of our competitors.