Tax Exempt Income Fund (PTAEX)

Seeking a high level of tax-free income since 1976

  • Highlights
  • Performance
  • Holdings
  • Expenses

Consistency of positive performance over five years

Performance represents 5-year returns in rolling quarter-end periods since inception.


Best 5-year annualized return

(for period ending 12/31/86)


Worst 5-year annualized return

(for period ending 12/31/81)


Average 5-year annualized return


Performance shown does not reflect the effects of any sales charges. Note that returns of 0.00% are counted as positive periods. For complete fund performance, please click on the performance tab.

Fund price

Yesterday's close 52-week high 52-week low
Net asset value $8.50
-0.35% ( $-0.03 )

Management team

Paul M. Drury, CFAGarrett L Hamilton

(pictured left to right)
Paul M. Drury, CFA (industry since 1989)
Garrett L Hamilton (industry since 2006)

Strategy and process

  • Tax-advantaged income: The fund pursues income free from federal income tax with a portfolio of municipal bonds selected from many states and market sectors.
  • Focus on performance: The portfolio managers seek a competitive yield and to protect investor's capital through careful investment analysis and risk management.
  • High-quality portfolio: The diversified portfolio features a range of low-risk, high-quality bonds to provide income while maintaining a relatively stable share value over time.

Current performance may be lower or higher than the quoted past performance, which cannot guarantee future results. Share price, principal value, and return will vary, and you may have a gain or loss when you sell your shares. To obtain the most recent month-end performance, visit

Performance assumes reinvestment of distributions and does not account for taxes. Returns before sales charge do not reflect the current maximum sales charges as indicated below. Had the sales charge been reflected, returns would be lower. Returns at public offering price (after sales charge) for class A and class M shares reflect the current maximum initial sales charges of 5.75% and 3.50% for equity funds and Putnam Absolute Return 500 Fund and 700 Fund, and 4.00% and 3.25% for income funds (1.00% and 0.75% for Putnam Floating Rate Income Fund, Putnam Absolute Return 100 Fund and 300 Fund, and Putnam Short-Term Municipal Income Fund), respectively. Class B share returns reflect the applicable contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC), which is 5% in the first year, declining to 1% in the sixth year, and is eliminated thereafter (except for Putnam Floating Rate Income Fund, Putnam Absolute Return 100 Fund and 300 Fund, and Putnam Short-Term Municipal Income Fund, which is 1% in the first year, declining to 0.5% in the second year, and is eliminated thereafter). Class C shares reflect a 1% CDSC the first year that is eliminated thereafter. Performance for class B, C, M, R, T, and Y shares prior to their inception is derived from the historical performance of class A shares, adjusted for the applicable sales charge (or CDSC) and, except for class Y shares, the higher operating expenses for such shares (with the exception of Putnam Tax-Free High Yield Fund and Putnam AMT-Free Municipal Fund, which are based on the historical performance of class B shares). Class R5/R6 shares, available to qualified employee-benefit plans only, are sold without an initial sales charge and have no CDSC. Class Y shares are generally only available for corporate and institutional clients and have no initial sales charge. Performance for Class R5/R6 shares before their inception are derived from the historical performance of class Y shares, which have not been adjusted for the lower expenses; had they, returns would have been higher. Class A, M, and T shares of Putnam money market funds have no initial sales charge. For a portion of the period, some funds had expenses limitations or had been sold on a limited basis with limited assets and expenses, without which returns would be lower.

** FundVisualizer comparison based on Putnam fund versus the largest fund in its Morningstar category.

The Bloomberg Barclays Municipal Bond Index is an unmanaged index of long-term fixed-rate investment-grade tax-exempt bonds. You cannot invest directly in an index.

Consider these risks before investing: Capital gains, if any, are taxable for federal and, in most cases, state purposes. For some investors, investment income may be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax Income from federally tax-exempt funds may be subject to state and local taxes. Bond investments are subject to interest-rate risk (the risk of bond prices falling if interest rates rise) and credit risk (the risk of an issuer defaulting on interest or principal payments). Interest-rate risk is greater for longer-term bonds, and credit risk is greater for below-investment-grade bonds. Unlike bonds, funds that invest in bonds have fees and expenses. Tax-exempt bonds may be issued under the Internal Revenue Code only by limited types of issuers for limited types of projects. As a result, the fund's investments may be focused in certain market segments and be more vulnerable to fluctuations in the values of the securities it holds than a more broadly invested fund. Interest the fund receives might be taxable. Bond prices may fall or fail to rise over time for several reasons, including general financial market conditions, changing market perceptions of the risk of default, changes in government intervention, and factors related to a specific issuer or industry. These factors may also lead to periods of high volatility and reduced liquidity in the bond markets. You can lose money by investing in the fund.

Credit qualities are shown as a percentage of net assets as of the date indicated above. A bond rated BBB or higher (SP-3 or higher, for short-term debt) is considered investment grade. This chart reflects the highest security rating provided by one or more of Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch. Short-term cash bonds are included in the cash and net other assets category. Ratings and portfolio credit quality will vary over time. Derivative instruments are only included to the extent of any unrealized gain or loss on such instruments and are shown in the cash and net other assets category. Cash is also shown in the cash and net other assets category. The fund itself has not been rated by an independent rating agency.