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    Quality, I think, in the municipal bond market or any market and any asset class, for that matter, is very important. Knowing what you own and understanding what you own is very important. And this has been made much more complex and much more difficult over the last five or six years, since the credit crisis. Remember, over half of the market was backed by insurance. That's more or less gone. So you have to look at the underlying entity. The outcome of Detroit, Jefferson County, Puerto Rico, I think all that — those decisions about knowing, understanding what you own, the complexity of credit has been made much more difficult.

    So while quality's important and I think there is also a certain element of adding risk to your portfolio, but being comfortable with risk and knowing the risks. For instance, high yield. High yield comes with certain risks of default, risks of nonpayment, but you're also getting, in the meantime, a high level of income. Take Puerto Rico, for instance. Puerto Rico is now rated in the junk bond category, but they're still paying a coupon. So there's a high level of income. In many cases, it's double and triple tax exempt. So investors want to own that. They want to be able to maximize their income. But you have to be comfortable with the risk. The liquidity could be compromised. You might see more price volatility.

    And we still think that Puerto Rico has a bad outcome. Even though they bought some time from this recent bond deal, we do think that ultimately the endgame for Puerto Rico will be some type of restructuring in the next one to two years. You have to be comfortable with that as you make investments in high-yield Puerto Rico and other types of names like that. We still think from a risk/reward perspective the A-rated part of the market is still the strongest.

    So we think that's the way to look at your portfolio is what risks are you comfortable with but know and understand those risks and what you own.

Monthly Municipal Commentary

BlackRock's Peter Hayes, James Schwartz & Sean Carney review recent market events and provide insight into their municipal bond investment strategy.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

Fixed income risks include interest-rate and credit risk. Typically, when interest rates rise, there is a corresponding decline in bond values. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the bond issuer will not be able to make principal and interest payments.

There may be less information on the financial condition of municipal issuers than for public corporations. The market for municipal bonds may be less liquid than for taxable bonds. Some investors may be subject to federal or state income taxes or the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Capital gains distributions, if any, are taxable.

The opinions presented are those of Peter Hayes, Portfolio Manager, member of BlackRock's Fixed Income Portfolio Management Group, as of April 3, 2014 and may change as subsequent conditions vary. Individual portfolio managers for BlackRock may have opinions and/or made investment decisions that may, in certain respects, not be consistent with the information contained in this presentation. This is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. The information and opinions contained in this presentation are derived from proprietary and nonproprietary sources deemed by BlackRock to be reliable, are not necessarily all inclusive and are not guaranteed as to accuracy. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Index performance is shown for illustrative purposes only. You cannot invest directly in an index. There is no guarantee that any forecasts made will come to pass. Reliance upon information in this material is at the sole discretion of the viewer.

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