Delaware Corporate Bond Fund

Objective

Delaware Corporate Bond Fund seeks to provide investors with total return.

Strategy

The Fund primarily invests in corporate bonds, with a focus on bonds that have investment grade credit ratings. The Fund seeks total return through a combination of income and capital appreciation.

Fund information
Inception date09/15/1998
Dividends paid (if any)Monthly
Capital gains paid (if any)December
Fund identifiers
NASDAQDGCAX
CUSIP245908785
Investment minimums
Initial investment$1,000
Subsequent Investments$100
Systematic withdrawal balance$5,000
Account features
CheckwritingNo
Payroll DeductionYes
IRAsYes

On Sept. 25, 2014, Class B shares of the Fund converted to Class A shares.

The performance quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance quoted.

Total returns may reflect waivers and/or expense reimbursements by the manager and/or distributor for some or all of the periods shown. Performance would have been lower without such waivers and reimbursements.

Average annual total return as of month-end (09/30/2014)
YTD1 year3 year5 year10 yearLifetimeInception date
NAV (view definition)6.63%8.45%7.62%8.37%6.99%7.22%09/15/1998
Max offer price1.91%3.53%5.97%7.38%6.51%6.91%
Barclays U.S. Corporate Investment Grade Index5.60%6.77%5.19%6.41%5.49%n/a
Average annual total return as of quarter-end (09/30/2014)
QTDYTD1 year3 year5 year10 yearLifetimeInception date
NAV (view definition)-0.62%6.63%8.45%7.62%8.37%6.99%7.22%09/15/1998
Max offer price-5.11%n/a3.53%5.97%7.38%6.51%6.91%
Barclays U.S. Corporate Investment Grade Index-0.08%5.60%6.77%5.19%6.41%5.49%n/a

Returns for less than one year are not annualized.

Class A shares have a maximum up-front sales charge of 4.50% and are subject to an annual distribution fee.

Index performance returns do not reflect any management fees, transaction costs, or expenses. Indices are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index.

Expense ratio
Gross0.93%
Net0.93%
Quarterly total returns @ NAV
Year1st quarter2nd quarter3rd quarter4th quarterAnnual return
20143.64%3.53%-0.62%n/an/a
20130.82%-3.51%0.47%1.71%-0.60%
20123.78%2.96%4.84%2.29%14.59%
20111.63%2.14%0.73%2.62%7.31%
20104.07%1.43%6.38%-0.71%11.49%
2009-1.98%14.62%11.46%2.89%28.84%
2008-0.02%-1.72%-6.83%0.00%-8.44%
20071.56%-0.70%1.01%1.21%3.10%
2006-0.49%-0.45%4.99%2.49%6.60%
2005-0.85%3.50%-1.20%0.45%1.85%
20043.53%-3.60%4.72%2.45%7.07%
Portfolio characteristics - as of 09/30/2014
Share assets$466.4 million
Number of holdings249
Effective maturity (weighted average) (view definition)11.31 years
Effective duration (weighted average) (view definition)6.93 years
Annualized standard deviation, 3 years (view definition)4.77
SEC 30-day yield with waiver (view definition)3.32%
SEC 30-day yield without waiver (view definition)3.32%
Portfolio turnover (last fiscal year)215%
Portfolio composition as of 09/30/2014Total may not equal 100% due to rounding.
Credits94.4%
Asset-backed securities3.5%
U.S. government securities1.3%
Municipal bonds0.8%
Top 10 holdings as of 09/30/2014
Holdings are as of the date indicated and subject to change.
List excludes cash and cash equivalents.
Holding% of portfolio
Pennsylvania Electric Co. 5.200 4/1/20201.5%
Bank of America Corp. 4.200 8/26/20241.3%
Verizon Communications Inc. 5.150 9/15/20231.3%
Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. 4.500 1/15/20251.0%
Electricite de France S.A. 5.250 12/29/20491.0%
Marathon Petroleum Corp. 4.750 9/15/20441.0%
EnLink Midstream Partners LP 4.400 4/1/20241.0%
Georgia-Pacific LLC 8.000 1/15/20240.9%
Telefonica Emisiones SAU 4.570 4/27/20230.9%
CF Industries Inc. 6.875 5/1/20180.9%
Total % Portfolio in Top 10 holdings10.8%

Holdings are as of the date indicated and subject to change.

Top sectors as of 09/30/2014
List excludes cash and cash equivalents.
Sector% of portfolio
Financial institutions26.6%
Energy13.2%
Communications13.1%
Utility9.6%
Consumer cyclical8.0%
Basic Industry7.3%
Noncorporate7.0%
CDOs/CBOs3.5%
Technology3.2%
Consumer noncyclical2.5%
Distribution history - annual distributions (Class A)1,2
Distributions ($ per share)
YearCapital gains3Net investment
income
20140.0000.185
20130.0960.256
20120.1890.265
20110.1360.302
20100.2710.325
20090.0000.325
20080.0000.284
20070.0000.311
20060.0000.306
20050.0210.294
20040.0680.299

1If a Fund makes a distribution from any source other than net income, it is required to provide shareholders with a notice disclosing the source of such distribution (each a "Notice"). The amounts and sources of distributions reported above and in each Notice are only estimates and are not provided for tax reporting purposes. Each Fund will send each shareholder a Form 1099 DIV for the calendar year that will provide definitive information on how to report the Fund's distributions for federal income tax purposes. The information in the table above will not be updated to reflect any subsequent recharacterization of dividends and distributions. Click here to see recent Notices pertaining to the Fund (if any).

2Information on return of capital distributions is only provided from June 1, 2014 onward.

3Includes both short- and long-term capital gains.

Thomas Chow

Thomas H. Chow, CFA

Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Officer — Corporate Credit

Start date on the Fund: May 2007

Years of industry experience: 26

(View bio)


Roger Early

Roger Early, CPA, CFA, CFP

Senior Vice President, Co-Chief Investment Officer — Total Return Fixed Income Strategy

Start date on the Fund: May 2007

Years of industry experience: 38

(View bio)


Paul Matlack

Paul Matlack, CFA

Senior Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager, Fixed Income Strategist

Start date on the Fund: December 2012

Years of industry experience: 29

(View bio)


Craig Dembeck

Craig C. Dembek, CFA

Senior Vice President, Co-Head of Credit Research, Senior Research Analyst

Start date on the Fund: December 2012

Years of industry experience: 20

(View bio)


John McCarthy

John P. McCarthy, CFA

Senior Vice President, Co-Head of Credit Research, Senior Research Analyst

Start date on the Fund: December 2012

Years of industry experience: 27

(View bio)


Image not available

Kashif Ishaq 

Head of Investment Grade Corporate Bond Trading

Start date on the Fund: November 2013

Years of industry experience: 12

(View bio)


Christopher Testa

Christopher M. Testa, CFA

Senior Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager

Start date on the Fund: June 2014

Years of industry experience: 28

(View bio)


You may qualify for sales-charge discounts if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $100,000 in Delaware Investments® Funds. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial advisor, in the Fund's statutory prospectus under the section entitled "About your account," and in the Fund's statement of additional information under the section entitled "Purchasing shares."

The following table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund.

Shareholder fees
Maximum sales charge (load) imposed on purchases as a percentage of offering price4.50%
Maximum contingent deferred sales charge (load) as a percentage of original purchase price or redemption price, whichever is lowernone
Annual fund operating expenses
Management fees0.47%
Distribution and service (12b-1) fees0.25%
Other expenses0.21%
Total annual fund operating expenses0.93%
Fee waivers and expense reimbursementsnone
Total annual fund operating expenses after fee waivers and expense reimbursements0.93%

1The Class A shares' distribution and service (12b-1) fees have been restated to reflect a permanent reduction in their fees to 0.25%.  

2The Fund's investment manager, Delaware Management Company (Manager), is contractually waiving its investment advisory fees and/or paying expenses (excluding any 12b-1 fees, acquired fund fees and expenses, taxes, interest, inverse floater program expenses, short sale and dividend interest expenses, brokerage fees, certain insurance costs, and nonroutine expenses or costs, including, but not limited to, those relating to reorganizations, litigation, conducting shareholder meetings, and liquidations) to the extent necessary to prevent total annual fund operating expenses from exceeding 0.69% of the Fund's average daily net assets from Nov. 27, 2013 through Nov. 28, 2014. These waivers and reimbursements may only be terminated by agreement of the Manager and the Fund.

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Delaware Corporate Bond Fund Quarterly commentary September 30, 2014

Overview

The third quarter of 2014 reflected multiple shifts in bond market attitudes as well as the points of focus on economic growth, U.S. Federal Reserve policy, and geopolitical fronts. By mid-July, geopolitical risks had heated up and high-quality bonds benefited as many investors went in search of safety. Beyond the safety factor, the bond market seemed to be pulled in both directions by signs of improving U.S. growth being offset by pockets of weakening global growth.

Economic data for U.S. employment, consumer demand, and housing varied from month to month. Manufacturing was also choppy but auto sales were consistently strong. Overall, the U.S. economy has decent momentum entering the fourth quarter.

The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index recorded a virtually flat return in the third quarter as higher-quality bonds and longer-duration sectors led the way. Short-to-intermediate-focused sectors produced negative returns, although mortgage-backed securities (MBS) were relatively strong. Meanwhile, BBB-rated corporates, high yield corporate bonds, and emerging market bonds produced negative returns.

Within the Fund

For the third quarter of 2014, Delaware Corporate Bond Fund (Class A and Institutional Class shares at net asset value) posted a negative return and underperformed its benchmark, the Barclays U.S. Corporate Investment Grade Index.

The Fund’s continued overweight in investment grade corporate bonds hurt relative performance during the quarter, as corporate bonds experienced wider credit spreads. Security selection generally had a neutral impact, but down-in-quality lagged.

Overall, Fund exposure to the high yield bond market also detracted from relative performance. Investments in bank loans showed more-moderate negative results.

Outlook

Whether evaluating current bond prices or the range of forecasts for 2015, a Fed tightening in the second or third quarter of 2014 appears to be viewed as a “high probability.” Many market analysts express concern that the Fed is already behind the curve. However, we believe that current conditions may actually support the opposite conclusion. Given the Fed’s history of refraining from tightening policy when the Consumer Price Index is soft, oil is falling, and the U.S. dollar is rising, a 2015 tightening could end up being ahead of the curve (and a policy mistake). Sluggish global growth — which results mostly from weak consumption — seems to support this view, as does the recent sharp decline in Treasury inflation-protected securities’ (TIPS’) break-even rates (that is, inflation premiums).

On balance, weak global growth should keep real rates at very low levels, and deflationary pockets in key world markets should keep nominal rates low as well. Market forecasts for significantly higher rates and a steeper yield curve seem to be misplaced, and if anything, forecasts should be acknowledging the potential for a return to 10-year Treasury rates in the low 2% range.

Bond ratings are determined by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO).

Per Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency, bonds rated below AAA are more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than those in higher-rated categories, but the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is still strong. Bonds rated BBB exhibit adequate protection parameters, although adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitments. Bonds rated BB, B, and CCC are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics with BB indicating the least degree of speculation.

Mortgage-backed securities are fixed income securities that represent pools of mortgages, with investors receiving principal and interest payments as the underlying mortgage loans are paid back. Many are issued and guaranteed against default by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities, such as Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Ginnie Mae. Others are issued by private financial institutions, with some fully collateralized by certificates issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities.

The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index is a broad composite that tracks the investment grade domestic bond market.

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The views expressed represent the Manager's assessment of the Fund and market environment as of the date indicated, and should not be considered a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell any security, and should not be relied on as research or investment advice. Information is as of the date indicated and subject to change.

Document must be used in its entirety.

Carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risk factors, charges, and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Fund’s prospectus and its summary prospectus, which may be obtained by clicking the prospectus link located in the right-hand sidebar or calling 800 523-1918. Investors should read the prospectus and the summary prospectus carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.

Fixed income securities and bond funds can lose value, and investors can lose principal, as interest rates rise. They also may be affected by economic conditions that hinder an issuer’s ability to make interest and principal payments on its debt.

The Fund may also be subject to prepayment risk, the risk that the principal of a fixed income security that is held by the Fund may be prepaid prior to maturity, potentially forcing the Fund to reinvest that money at a lower interest rate.

International investments entail risks not ordinarily associated with U.S. investments including fluctuation in currency values, differences in accounting principles, or economic or political instability in other nations.

Investing in emerging markets can be riskier than investing in established foreign markets due to increased volatility and lower trading volume.

High yielding, noninvestment grade bonds (junk bonds) involve higher risk than investment grade bonds.

The Fund may invest in derivatives, which may involve additional expenses and are subject to risk, including the risk that an underlying security or securities index moves in the opposite direction from what the portfolio manager anticipated. A derivative transaction depends upon the counterparties’ ability to fulfill their contractual obligations.

Not FDIC Insured | No Bank Guarantee | May Lose Value

Fund Finder

Daily pricing (as of 10/20/2014)

Class APriceNet changeYTD
NAV$6.07no chg7.56%
Max offer price$6.36n/an/a

Total net assets (as of 09/30/2014)

$1.2 billion all share classes

Overall Morningstar RatingTM

Load waived

With load

Class A shares (as of 09/30/2014)

Load waivedWith loadNo. of funds
Overall54141
3 Yrs53141
5 Yrs54116
10 Yrs4480
Morningstar categoryCorporate Bond

(View Morningstar disclosure)

Lipper ranking (as of 09/30/2014)

YTD ranking39 / 194
1 year37 / 193
3 years11 / 160
5 years10 / 135
10 years9 / 91
Lipper classificationCorp Debt BBB Rated Fds

(View Lipper disclosure)

Benchmark, peer group

Barclays U.S. Corporate Investment Grade Index (view)

Lipper Corporate Debt Funds BBB-Rated Average (view)

Additional information