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Total Return Bond Fund

Mutual Funds

Total Return Bond Fund

Fund Managers

Photo of Mark  Montgomery

Mark Montgomery, CFA®

Photo of Peter  Brown

Peter Brown, CFA®








Investment Min.1


Max. Up Front
Sales Charge


Max. Deferred
Sales Charge


1If subsequent investments are made as part of an AIP, the minimum is $25.

Philosophy & Process

In managing the fund, the portfolio management team employs a multi-faceted approach to generate excess return and uses a combination of top-down and bottom-up analysis, quantitative vs. qualitative analysis and fundamentals vs. valuation. There is a strong emphasis on risk management and an adherence to certain core investment beliefs:

  • "If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it."
  • Avoid unintended exposures
  • Average duration around 5 to 7 years with focus on high quality and risk management
  • Participate in longer term trends - don't buy on short-term trends or try to time what is going on in the market
  • Attempts to achieve risk-adjusted performance over time

Investment Considerations

The fund is subject to the same risks as the underlying bonds in the portfolio such as credit, prepayment, call and interest rate risk. As interest rates rise the value of bond prices will decline. The fund may invest in more aggressive investments such as foreign securities which may expose the fund to currency and exchange rate fluctuations; derivatives (futures and swaps); mortgage backed securities sensitive to interest rates and high yield debt (also known as junk bonds), all of which may cause greater volatility and less liquidity. Derivatives may be more sensitive to changes in market conditions and may amplify risks.

Fund Facts

Term Class A Shares Class C Shares Class I Shares Class R6 Shares
Inception Date 12.02.199902.01.200112.02.199902.01.2018
Investment Min. $1,000$1,000$1,000,000N/A
Subsequent Investment Min.2 N/AN/AN/AN/A
Max. Up Front Sales Charge 2%N/AN/AN/A
Max. Deferred Sales Charge N/A1%N/AN/A

2If subsequent investments are made as part of an AIP, the minimum is $25.

Total Return Bond Fund


View professional designations disclosures

Photo of Mark  Montgomery

Mark Montgomery, CFA®

Co-Portfolio Manager

Photo of Peter  Brown

Peter Brown, CFA®

Co-Portfolio Manager


Fund Performance as of 03.31.2024

Term QTR YTD 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years Since Inception
A Shares with 2.00% Sales Charge -2.45% -2.45% 0.19% -3.19% 0.23% 1.48% 3.90%
A Shares without Sales Charge -0.48% -0.48% 2.22% -2.55% 0.63% 1.68% 3.98%
Institutional Shares -0.41% -0.41% 2.37% -2.34% 0.88% 1.93% 4.23%
Lipper Core Bond Median 6.77% 5.76% 5.76% -3.44% 1.18% 1.77% N/A

The total expense ratios for Class A, C and I Shares are 0.70%, 1.45% and 0.45%, respectively. The gross expense ratio for Class R6 Shares is 0.45%. The net expense ratio for Class R6 Shares is 0.35%.

The Fund Administrator, Sterling Capital Management LLC, has contractually agreed to waive its administrative fees, pay Fund operating expenses, and/or reimburse the Fund .10% of the Class R6 average daily net assets for the period February 1, 2021 through January 31, 2022. Performance would have been lower without limitations in effect.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. The performance data quoted represents past performance and current returns may be lower or higher. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the original cost. To obtain performance information current to the most recent month end, please visit the performance summary.

The performance of the Total Return Bond Fund reflects the deduction of fees for value-added services associated with a mutual fund, such as investment management and fund accounting fees. The inception date for Class A Shares is 12.02.1999. The inception date for Class C Shares is 02.01.2001. The inception date for Class Inst'l Shares is 12.02.1999. The inception date for Class R6 Shares is 02.01.2018. The performance of Class C Shares is adjusted to reflect the 1% contingent deferred sales charge. The performance shown reflects the reinvestment of all dividend and capital gains distributions.


Quality Breakdown as of 03.31.2024

Credit quality ratings using Moody's rating symbols reflect the credit quality of the underlying bonds in the fund portfolio and not of the Fund itself. Moody's assigns a range of ratings from AAA being the highest quality to C being the lowest rated class of bonds. Securities not rated by Moody's may be rated by S&P, Fitch or if no agency rating is available, the Fund will assign a rating of not rated. Bond quality ratings are subject to change.

Effective Duration as of 03.31.2024

Name Value
0-1 Yr. 3.50
1-2 Yr. 3.40
2-3 Yr. 11.80
3-5 Yr. 22.00
5-10 Yr. 46.70
10+ Yr. 12.60

Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to change and risk. Based on Market Value of securities.

Summary Statistics as of 03.31.2024

Name Value
Number of Holdings 383
Average Life 8.84 Years
Effective Duration 6.19 Years
Annual Turnover 53%

Portfolio Composition as of 03.31.2024

Composition Fund Index
Corporate 28.6% 25.6%
     Financial Institutions 12.3% 8.5%
     Industrial 13.2% 14.8%
     Utility 3.1% 2.3%
Government Related 3.8% 2.5%
     Agency 0.6% 1.7%
     Local Authority 3.2% 0.8%
Securitized 49.4% 28.7%
     MBS 0.4% 0.0%
     ABS 8.8% 0.5%
     CMBS 10.0% 1.6%
     CMO 3.4% 0.0%
     MBS Passthrough 26.9% 26.6%
Treasury 17.8% 43.2%
     Treasury 17.8% 43.2%
Cash 0.4% 0.0%
     Cash 0.4% 0.0%

Top Ten Holdings as of 03.31.2024

# Company Name Value
1 U.S. Treasury 4.125% 15-Nov-2032 10.89%
2 U.S. Treasury 2.5% 15-Feb-2045 4.38%
3 Fnma 30Yr Pool#Cb7124 6.000% 01-Sep-2053 1.43%
4 Onemain Financial Issuance Trust 2021-1 1.55% 16-Jun-2036 1.30%
5 U.S. Treasury 4.0% 15-Feb-2034 1.16%
6 Fnma 30Yr Pool#Fs4929 5.000% 01-May-2053 1.15%
7 Fhlmc 30Yr Pool#Sd2774 5.500% 01-Mar-2053 1.13%
8 Hertz Vehicle Financing Iii Series 2021-2 1.68% 25-Dec-2027 0.99%
9 Fnma 30Yr Pool#Fs1475 3.500% 01-Apr-2052 0.91%
10 Onemain Direct Auto Receivables Trust 2023-1 5.41% 14-Nov-2029 0.90%

Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to change and risk. Based on Market Value of securities.

Growth of $10,000 as of 03.31.2024

The Growth of $10,000 is hypothetical based upon the performance of net A Shares at NAV for the period ended 03.31.2024. It includes the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains.


Monthly Dividend Distribution as of 05.31.2024

Month Class A Shares Class C Shares Class Inst'l Shares Class R6 Shares
May 2024 $0.0301 $0.0244 $0.0321 $0.0329
April 2024 $0.0291 $0.0236 $0.0311 $0.0323
March 2024 $0.0291 $0.0233 $0.0311 $0.0319
February 2024 $0.0277 $0.0222 $0.0295 $0.0303
January 2024 $0.0284 $0.0225 $0.0303 $0.0311
December 2023 $0.0279 $0.0221 $0.0299 $0.0307
November 2023 $0.0275 $0.0220 $0.0293 $0.0301
October 2023 $0.0278 $0.0223 $0.0297 $0.0304
September 2023 $0.0262 $0.0207 $0.0281 $0.0288
August 2023 $0.0267 $0.0209 $0.0286 $0.0294
July 2023 $0.0259 $0.0201 $0.0279 $0.0286
June 2023 $0.0246 $0.0190 $0.0266 $0.0274

30-Day SEC Yield as of 05.31.2024

Share Class Without Waivers With Waivers
Class A 4.17% 4.22%
Class C 3.51% 3.56%
Class I 4.50% 4.56%
Class R6 4.51% 4.56%

Fixed Income Funds


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Andy Richman's update on the June Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

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The Lead - "An Indicator of Business Confidence"

- Several notable companies have elected to inaugurate a quarterly dividend this year, while 47 companies in the U.S. stopped paying dividends during the COVID-19 crisis and have yet to reinstitute one. Why? - We would suggest it comes down to the ability to pay an ever-increasing dividend alongside their confidence in their business’s future. - In the current period of fewer dividend initiations, slower dividend growth in the market, and household names cutting their dividends, we believe there are several lessons to learn.

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Equity Personnel Update

Today Sterling Capital announces the resignation of Shawn M. Gallagher, CFA®, Co-Portfolio Manager of the firm’s Mid Cap Relative Value and Real Estate strategies, effective immediately. Andrew T. DiZio, CFA®, who served as Co-Portfolio Manager on both strategies, will now serve as sole Portfolio Manager for both strategies, effective immediately.

05.07.2024 • Charles Wittmann, CFA®

The Lead - "Dividends for Offense and Defense"

- What could be a catalyst for dividend yielding equities in 2024? - We discuss three considerations: inexpensive valuations relative to history; valuations for dividend yield versus growth; and how both have a history of performing well after positive economic surprises. - Why do dividend payers perform well as the economy surprises to the upside? We provide several possible reasons.

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The Lead - "Seeking Advantaged Economies of Scale"

- One important advantage we seek in large capitalization stocks is having dominant market shares that provide economies of scale. - Economies of scale may make a company more profitable and earn higher returns on its capital than its competitors. - We believe it is possible to identify companies that gain scale, market share, and returns at the expense of competitors. - As we have stated for close to two decades as part of our investment philosophy, we believe size usually translates into cost advantages in production, marketing, and research and development expenditures that can be re-invested back into the business, making such advantages sustainable.

03.05.2024 • Charles Wittmann, CFA®

The Lead - "Advantaged Market Share"

- What makes an advantaged company? - In our view, one notable characteristic of an advantaged company is growing its market share. - Simply put, we believe companies with greater market share are more profitable. - We seek to field a portfolio of advantaged companies with strong and potentially growing market shares to position our clients to win.


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