• Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

What is Ginnie Mae investing?

Ginnie Mae, otherwise known as the Government National Mortgage Association, is a U.S. government-owned corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Ginnie Mae provides guarantees on mortgage-backed securities (MBS) backed by federally insured or guaranteed loans, mainly loans issued by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Rural Housing Service, and Office of Public and Indian Housing. Ginnie Mae securities are the only MBS that are guaranteed by the United States government.  Ginnie Mae, which extracts fees for guaranteeing mortgage investors are repaid, is a smaller and more conservative player in the mortgage market than Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was.Now that you know what is Ginnie Mae, lets talk about these factors:

  • What kind of returns should you expect?
  • How volatile are they (what's their beta)?
  • What risks do you have when investing?
  • How can you invest in them?

Elevate Your Investments with Moby

Gain a competitive edge with Moby's expert investing insights. Our data-driven analysis and personalized recommendations empower you to make smarter investment decisions. Enhance your portfolio and stay ahead of market trends. Start your journey to financial success today at Moby.

Get Started


Vanguard's GMNA Fund returns of $10k for the past 10 years
Source: Vanguard

Vanguard's GMNA Fund returns of $10k for the past 10 years

Ginnie Mae returns are outstanding when compared to other government bonds.  According to Morningstar, the Vanguard GMNA Fund (VFIIX) has gotten an average 6.36% for the past ten years.  The 1, 5, and 15 year returns also show similar returns, so its beta is very low. As the graph shows above, if you invested $10,000 in January 2000, you would have almost doubled your money.  This is a perfect investment to add into your security bucket (fixed income) of assets.  At the moment, I have a portion of my security bucket into a Ginnie Mae mutual fund.  Ginnie Mae are generating a much better return than other government bonds, CDs and money market accounts.  So you are getting a premium return compared to treasuries, yet getting the same default risk as a treasury.  What's there not to like about Ginnie Mae bonds?  In my opinion, the rate spread doesn't warrant the implied increased risk and are good bet to place in your portfolio.


As with all bonds, they can suffer interest rate risk and should always be part of your investment equation.  If the FED increases interest rates, the returns on Ginne Maes could decrease.  They also can have (albeit very low) default risk from the government.  The primary issue is when investing through mutual funds, because not all bond funds are alike.  According to the Washington Post, some Ginne Mae funds invested in other bonds, and got burned during the 2008-2009 stock market crash.  One fund lost over 5% in one year.  Granted, a mutual fund named GNMA legally must invest at least 80% into Ginnie Maes, but it's the remaining 20% that's the killer.  I always recommend using Morningstar to do your research.  Find out what other securities the mutual fund invests in and at what percentage.

Follow These Steps Once Your Portfolio Reaches $100K

If you've amassed a $100k+ portfolio, it's time to meet with a trusted advisor. Zoe Financial's elite network of fiduciary advisors offers personalized strategies to enhance your financial success. Experience exclusive investment opportunities and bespoke wealth management services.

Trust Zoe Financial for unparalleled expertise and a commitment to your prosperity.

Get Started


The minimum investment for a Ginnie Mae bond is generally $25,000. You can visit Ginnie Mae's web site for more information.  Unless you are investing $200-300k to get proper diversification, I wouldn't even consider that option.  Most people are best suited to invest via a Ginnie Mae mutual fund. The reasons are: better diversification and yu don't have to buy/sell the individual securities. In my opinion, the two best funds are from Vanguard and Fidelity:

  • Vanguard GNMA (VFIIX) – 0.23% expense ratio, $3000 minimum investment
  • Fidelity GMNA Fund (FGMNX) – 0.45% expense ratio, $2500 minimum investment

Both have a low expense ratio, consistent performance, and a low minimum deposit requirement.  There are many other GMNA mutual funds available.  Do your research on Morningstar for others.  Currently there isn't a Ginnie Mae ETF and mainly because there isn't an index to base the ETF upon. With active ETFs becoming more common, I suspect a Ginnie Mae ETF might be on the horizon.

Disclosure: I own shares of FGMNX.


This 2 Minute Move Could Knock $500/Year off Your Car Insurance in 2024

Saving money on car insurance with BestMoney is a simple way to reduce your expenses. You’ll often get the same, or even better, insurance for less than what you’re paying right now.

There’s no reason not to at least try this free service. Check out BestMoney today, and take a turn in the right direction.

Larry Ludwig Freelance Contributor

Larry Ludwig is a freelance contributor for Moneywise.


The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, 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. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.