Mainstay California Tax Free Opportunities Fund Earns Five-Star Morningstar Rating

Utilizing an active approach to municipal bond investing, the Fund’s three-year track record places it among leaders in its peer group

NEW YORK, April 20, 2016 – MainStay Investments ("MainStay"), a New York Life company, announced today that the three year track record of the MainStay California Tax Free Opportunities Fund (MSCAX, MCOIX) has earned the Fund’s Class I shares a five-star rating from Morningstar, a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. The Fund has ranked in the 1st and 3rd percentiles, therefore beating at least 97 percent of the 115 funds in its peer group, in Morningstar's Muni California Long category in 2015 and 2014, respectively.

John Loffredo and Robert DiMella, executive managing directors at MacKay Shields LLC, a fixed-income focused investment management firm with $91 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2016, serve as co-heads of MacKay Municipal Managers™, the municipal bond team of MacKay Shields. The pair, along with portfolio managers Scott Sprauer, Michael Petty, Frances Lewis and David Dowden, has led the MainStay California Tax Free Opportunities Fund since the Fund's inception.

The team's active investment management approach to the municipal bond market seeks to capture relative value opportunities through deep credit analysis while capitalizing on market inefficiencies in both the investment grade and high yield segments of the market. The group’s rich tenure and experience is complemented by the nimble approach of a boutique-oriented investment manager which positions them well to deliver value to clients.

“As California is one of the largest issuers of municipal bonds, there is never a shortage of supply, both in terms of general obligation and revenue-backed bonds. We closely follow California from a fundamental perspective at both the state and local levels,” explained Loffredo. “The state is doing well financially since the depths of the recession as revenues have rebounded significantly, expenses have been cut and debt has been paid down. Additionally, California benefits from a diversified array of businesses which make it less sensitive to an economic downturn versus previous years.”

Sprauer added, "From a technical perspective, demand for California municipal bonds continues to be strong. We view this as being predominantly due to the large percentage of wealthy individuals looking to offset their high state income taxes with a high quality, well diversified asset class. While opportunities in both the general obligation and revenue backed spaces are prevalent, investors need to do their homework on each individual credit as no two issuers’ financial conditions are the same. This bottom up, credit intensive, approach has allowed us to identify those bonds that have strong financial metrics while booking attractive yields for our investors."

The MainStay California Tax Free Opportunities Fund seeks current income exempt from federal and California income taxes and invests at least 80 percent of its assets in municipal bonds. Since inception in February 2013, the Fund has consistently outpaced both the Barclays California Municipal Bond Index and the Average Lipper California Municipal Debt Fund.

“The recent recognition for the MainStay California Tax Free Opportunities Fund by Morningstar is a testament to John and Bob’s leadership and the team's active management approach to the municipal bond market,” commented Stephen Fisher, president of New York Life Investment Management and MainStay Investments. “The benefits of the team’s impressive tenure are displayed not only by performance, but also by their excellent track record in correctly forecasting the year ahead in the muni space. All five insights for 2015 were spot on and the team has been very consistent with their forecasts over the past six years.”

MacKay Municipal ManagersTM manages $16.3 billion in assets as of March 31, 2016. In addition to the MainStay California Tax Free Opportunities Fund, MacKay Municipal ManagersTM is also subadvisor to the MainStay High Yield Municipal Bond Fund (MMHAX, MMHIX), MainStay Tax Free Bond Fund (MTBAX, MTBIX), MainStay Tax Advantaged Short Term Bond Fund (MSTAX, MSTIX) and the MainStay New York Tax Free Opportunities Fund (MNOAX, MNOIX).

Loffredo, DiMella and the majority of the team have worked together for over 20 years managing municipal bonds, including investment grade, high-yield and state-specific strategies. Among other award recognition, the MacKay Municipal Managers team was named a Top 3 Tax-Exempt Bond Category winner by Barron’s in 2015 and the MainStay New York Tax Free Opportunities Fund (Class I: MNOIX) received the 2016 Lipper Fund Award in the New York Municipal Debt Funds category based on performance history as of November 30, 2015, for the three-year period.

For more information about the MainStay California Tax Free Opportunities Fund, please visit www.mainstayfunds.com.

To view the team’s top five municipal market insights for 2016, please visit https://www.nylinvestments.com/mainstay/products-and-performance/tax-advantaged-solutions.

Class I Shares rated five stars overall for the period ended 03/31/2016 from among 116 US OE Muni California Long funds. The Overall Morningstar Rating TM is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating TM metrics. Class I Shares rated five stars for the three-year period ended 03/31/2016 from among 116 US OE Muni California Long funds. Ratings shown for Class I only; other share classes may vary. For each fund with at least a three-year history, Morningstar calculates a Morningstar Rating TM based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a fund's monthly performance (including the effects of sales charges, loads, and redemption fees), placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of funds in each category receive five stars, the next 22.5% receive four stars, the next 35% receive three stars, the next 22.5% receive two stars, and the next 10% receive one star. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

All investments are subject to risk and will fluctuate in value.

For more information about MainStay Funds, call 800-MAINSTAY (624-6782) for a prospectus or summary prospectus. Investors are asked to consider the invest objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of investment carefully before investing. The prospectus or summary prospectus contains this and other information about the investment company. Please read the prospectus or summary prospectus carefully before investing.

Securities distributed by NYLIFE Distributors LLC, 30 Hudson Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302.

About MainStay Investments

With $78.96 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2016, across retail mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and variable product sub-accounts, MainStay Investments is the mutual fund and ETF distribution arm of New York Life Insurance Company. MainStay provides access to a powerful mix of autonomous, institutional investment managers, delivered by experienced professionals who understand the needs of today's investors. For more information on MainStay Investments, please visit mainstayinvestments.com.

MainStay Investments® is a registered service mark and name under which New York Life Investment Management LLC does business.

About MacKay Shields LLC

MacKay Shields LLC (“MacKay”) serves as the Fund’s investment subadvisor. MacKay is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC. MacKay is a fixed-income focused investment management firm with $91 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2016. MacKay manages fixed income strategies for high-net worth individuals, institutional clients and mutual funds, including unconstrained bond, global high yield, high yield, high yield active core, municipal high yield, short duration high yield, low volatility high yield, municipal short term, core investment grade, municipal investment grade, core plus, core plus opportunities, convertibles, emerging markets credit, and bank loans. For more information please visit www.mackayshields.com.

The material contains the opinions of MacKay Municipal Managers™ but not necessarily those of MacKay Shields LLC. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. This material is distributed for informational purposes only, and is not intended to constitute the giving of advice or the making of a recommendation. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein are based upon proprietary research and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Any forward looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and MacKay Shields LLC assumes no duty and does not undertake to update forward looking statements. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed.

About New York Life Insurance Company

New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s & (AA+).** Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York Life Investments*** provides institutional asset management and retirement plan services. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as retail mutual funds. Please visit New York Life’s website at www.newyorklife.com for more information.

*Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),”Fortune magazine, 6/15/15. For methodology, see http://fortune.com/fortune500/.

**Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 8/11/15.

***New York Life Investments is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC.

For additional information, please contact:

Allison Scott
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-4517
allison_scott@newyorklife.com

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
212-576-6955
Kevin_b_maher@newyorklife.com

 

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