In contrast to the near-cash funds previously discussed, for intermediate term income I look at not only at bond and mortgage funds but also at a few higher performance yield assets which have been around for a long time.
The table below shows duration, current yield on price, and the annualized five year total returns for each asset. You'll note that Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIJX) is on both near-cash and intermediate lists. VFIJX varies its duration opportunistically as they see the market, and they are on the border of the two categories. Also VFIJX is still my largest single position, although I am gradually moving a bit more into the Vanguard Short Term Investment Grade (corporate) Fund (VFSUX) for reasons mentioned recently. So VFIJX is my preferred comparison fund.
Loomis Sayles Bond Fund (LSBDX) I have discussed many times. It is a favorite of mine, despite its stumble in 2008 which I largely side-stepped. PIMCO Income Fund (PIMIX) is like their Total Return Fund (PTTRX) except PIMIX is "on steroids" with leverage. TCW Strategic Income (TSI) was a Grundlach warhorse before he set up his own shop in 2010, and it remains a favorite for many.
The last two are not bond funds. CMOPrB is a preferred stock of Capstead Mortgage (CMO) the mortgage REIT. It pays its dividend monthly, currently at 8.65% on market price. CMOPrB has a spectacular long term return over 20 years. It is callable below market, but has always been so since issue. I have no information on this, but I suspect it is heavily owned by insiders and retirement funds.
The last one is Permian Basin Trust (PBT), one of my long term oil and gas trusts. PBT is volatile in price, and is best bought on pullbacks.
I own VFIJX, LSBDX, CMOPrB, and PBT at this time. I have no immediate plans to buy the others, but have owned them and like them.