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Closed-End Fund Articles

How To Buy Your Favorite Stocks For 19% Off
Mar. 20, 2018 - Forbes -  One of the greatest things about closed-end funds (CEFs) is that they often cost less than they’re really worth.

Closed-End Funds: 5.61% Tax-Exempt Yield, Significant Discount
Mar. 16, 2018 - -  Summary
Municipal bond closed-end funds might be an interesting place to look for bargains.

Sentiment towards the sector, expressed in big discounts, has not been great, but we believe that sticking with the crowd is not always the best option.

5 Safe, Unlevered CEFs Paying Up To 9%
Mar. 03, 2018 - Forbes -  Legendary investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett recently gave us an insight into the type of dividend-paying fund he’d invest in if he could:

These 6% Dividends Are Perfect For Rising Rates
Mar. 01, 2018 - Forbes -  I had to laugh when I saw this Barron’s headline last week:

“REITs Are Sending a Powerful Buy Signal”

2 Inflation-Proof Funds For 9.8% Dividends And Big Upside
Feb. 27, 2018 - Forbes -  It’s all but official: the Federal Reserve will hike rates three times this year, and almost certainly four. If you want to protect your portfolio (and profit), now is the time to prepare.

REITs Are Sending a Powerful Buy Signal
Feb. 17, 2018 - Barron's -  Real estate investment trusts, or REITs, are best viewed as stock/bond hybrids, since their valuations are sensitive to both interest rates and the economy.

These 9.7%+ Dividends Are Perfect For 2018
Jan. 16, 2018 - Forbes -  What if I told you that you could reap huge dividends (I’m talking life-changing 15% payouts) and quick upside from … the weather?

The 10 Funds Everyone Will Be Buying In 2018
Jan. 05, 2018 - Forbes -  2017 was an amazing year for closed-end funds (CEFs) — and 2018 is setting up to be just as strong, if not stronger.

High-Income, Sustainable-Capital Portfolio Posts 10.2% Income And 21.4% Total Return For 2017
Jan. 03, 2018 - -  Summary
This is the year-end update for my High-Yield, Sustainable-Capital Income portfolio.

The portfolio had a strong year posting 10.2% income with a total return of 21.4%.

It Was A Very Good Year
Jan. 02, 2018 - -  Summary
September can be a good time for the stock market - the bull market is well-seasoned but winter is not yet in sight.

Year-end review: Up 17.72% in 2017 and 38.45% for 2016-17.

2 Things Investors Should Do, and 1 They Shouldn't, to Start the New Year
Dec. 30, 2017 - The Street -  When folks return to their trading desks on Tuesday, the calendar will read 2018. That will be the first day of weeks of frustration for the handful of folks left in the world who still write checks. For traders and investors, it means a chance to "start over."

3 Bold CEF Predictions For 2018
Dec. 29, 2017 - Forbes -  Today I’m going to show you the 3 best closed-end funds of 2017—and reveal a surprising prediction for each of these powerhouse CEFs in 2018.

3 'Ticking Time Bomb' Funds You Must Dump Now
Dec. 22, 2017 - Forbes -  I usually don’t recommend shorting a closed-end fund (CEF), but if I were to do so, the 3 I’m about to show you would top my list.

A Surprising Forecast For Investors In 2018
Dec. 19, 2017 - Forbes -  I’m going to give you my full investment forecast for 2018—and name 2 high-yielding closed-end funds (CEFs) poised to soar after the new year rolls in.

Is This 14+% Yielder A Year-End CEF Bargain?
Dec. 16, 2017 - -  Summary
It's generally been a good year for CEF, so year-end opportunities from tax-loss selling are infrequent. Here's one that's been selling off for a month or so.

The emerging-market income fund has given up over 12 percentage points of premium since November and pays over 14% distribution yield.

3 Top Monthly Dividend Stocks For 2018 - And 1 To Avoid
Dec. 13, 2017 - Forbes -  If you make just one New Year’s resolution this year, make it this: buy monthly dividend stocks. Today I’m going to give you 3 that should be at the top of your list.

Two Cents' Worth From PIMCO CEFs
Dec. 12, 2017 - -  Summary

The annual anticipation of special distributions from PIMCO's CEFs has ended.

Investors who were looking for year-end payouts from these funds were disappointed.

Want Muni Bonds? Look at Closed-End Funds
Nov. 25, 2017 - Barron's -  Financial markets are made up of efficiently priced assets, bought and sold by perfectly rational investors. And then there are closed-end funds.

3 No-Brainer 7% Yields To Buy Before The New Year
Nov. 20, 2017 - Forbes -  The Federal Reserve’s rate hikes getting you down? You’re not alone.

The Most Underrated Options Investors Should Consider
Nov. 16, 2017 - Forbes -  With the financial market at a crossroads currently, financial advisers are looking toward more creative ways to offer their clients true performing investment vehicles. According to a report by Deloitte, the political climate and shift in millennial power are just two of the influencing factors shaking up the financial world.

It's Time to Reevaluate Consensus Thinking in Markets
Nov. 15, 2017 - Bloomberg -  Oil plays based upon escalating prices is the wrong bet now.

Are CEF Distribution Cuts Likely To Continue?
Nov. 14, 2017 - -  Summary

There continues to be pressure on distributions as has been the case for most of the last two decades.

How much longer will this environment continue given the current interest rate environment.

Are CEF Distribution Cuts Likely To Continue?
Nov. 14, 2017 - -  Summary

There continues to be pressure on distributions as has been the case for most of the last two decades.

How much longer will this environment continue given the current interest rate environment.

Are You Undersaved or Oversaved?
Nov. 11, 2017 - The Street -  Investors seeking income in a low-interest world can be broken down into two different types, according to Craig Adamson, a financial advisor with True Wealth Stewardship.

How To Cash In On Tax-Loss Selling (And 5 Bargain Buys)
Nov. 10, 2017 - Forbes -  There’s a storm brewing for closed-end funds, but it’ll be over by Christmas. And with a quick hand, you and I can profit from it.

6 Cheap Ways Of Getting Emerging Markets Exposure
Oct. 30, 2017 - -  Summary

Discussion of emerging markets and the long term demographical and economic trends.

A technical look at Emerging Markets through the iShares Emerging Markets ETF.

A Proven Way To Find Safe 7%+ Income And 40%+ Gains
Oct. 27, 2017 - Forbes -  With over 500 closed-end funds (CEFs) on the market, how do you choose the best one?

2 Funds With Yields Up To 5.8% And 18% Upside
Oct. 15, 2017 - Forbes -  I’m going to get straight to brass tacks. Let’s discuss 2 closed-end funds with up to 18% upside in the next 12 months, plus yields up to 5.8%. Both are leading a blockbuster trend almost everyone has missed.

34 Closed-End Funds That Are Beating The Market
Oct. 02, 2017 - -  Summary

I filtered all CEFs for those that have been beating SPY for three time frames.

The list of 34 funds offers a range of interesting choices for further research.

Don't Buy Another Fund Until You Read This
Sep. 29, 2017 - Forbes -  It’s one of the first questions readers usually ask me:

“Don’t closed-end funds’ high dividend yields make them dangerous?”

A Better Deal on a Good Bond Fund
Sep. 27, 2017 - Barron's -  Here’s a closed-end version of a Barron’s-profiled Invesco fund with improved returns.

The Best And Worst Ways To Buy Preferred Shares
Sep. 23, 2017 - Forbes -  Preferred stocks often pay high-single-digit yields, with far less risk than their similar-yielding “common” stock cousins. While many 5% and 6% common payers are yield traps with broken business models, it is possible to find preferred payouts at these levels that are perfectly secure.

Don't Trust Short-Term Price Gains
Sep. 18, 2017 - -  Summary

Short-term price gains tell us little about a closed-end fund's long-term viability.

Despite strong gains in AWP's market price, NAV has flatlined and significantly underperformed its peers.

Take The Money And Run
Sep. 11, 2017 - -  Summary

PTY's premium to net asset value of 13% is unjustified.

Negative undistributed net investment income and a decreasing coverage ratio are red flags.

This Tax-Free Income Is Hiding In Plain Sight
Sep. 08, 2017 - Forbes -  America’s richest investors are earning reams of tax-free income from an investment most people ignore, and today I’m going to let you in on it.

Closed-End Fund Investing: Fear Is Over-Rated
Aug. 30, 2017 - -  Summary

CEFs have a bad rap they don’t deserve.

CEFs are not as risky as you’ve been told.

Get 16.8% Dividend Yield, And Diversify Some ETN Interest Risk
Aug. 28, 2017 - -  Summary

There will almost certainly be a new tax bill enacted, notwithstanding the failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. This could favor equity over fixed-income in the short-run.

CEFL is one of the few investment vehicles that provide a very high dividend yield and an opportunity to benefit from higher stock prices.

Your 8% Retirement 'Survival Plan' For This Toppy Market
Aug. 08, 2017 - Forbes -  This levitating stock market is terrible news for anyone who wants to actually retire. That’s because it’s keeping S&P 500 dividend yields in the dumpster, at a hair under 1.9% now.

16.1% Dividend Yield Makes CEFL Still Attractive
Jul. 26, 2017 - -  Summary

CEFL is one of the few investment vehicles that provide a very high dividend yield and an opportunity to benefit from higher stock prices.

The risks associated with CEFL include the use of leverage both by CEFL and the high yielding closed-end funds that comprise the index upon which CEFL is based.

How To Quit Working With $300,000
Jul. 19, 2017 - Forbes -  Today I’m going to show you how to get a livable income stream from a $300,000 nest egg—while growing your savings at the same time.

Why High-Yield Investors Should Choose Closed-End Funds Over BDCs
Jul. 17, 2017 - -  Summary

CEFs offer superior diversification and performance to BDCs.

Yield-hungry investors have driven up the price of BDCs despite their average underperformance of the S&P 500.

Beware: This Bargain 4.9% Yield Is A Trap
Jul. 14, 2017 - Forbes -  Something tragic happened at the start of this month—but it’s such a familiar tragedy that no one should have been surprised.

Even The 'Experts' Get It Wrong Occasionally
Jul. 13, 2017 - -  Summary

Closed-end funds not necessarily being transparent isn’t news, and while I am surprised, he had the same difficulty with ETFs.

Selling puts, if you’re worried about a crash is one of the worst things you can do...again, if you are worried about a large decline.

These 7% Dividends Just Got The Ultimate 'Buy' Rating
Jul. 07, 2017 - Forbes -  Something strange happened recently, and it’s set up a terrific—and almost totally overlooked—profit opportunity for you.

What is it?

A Macro Look at How the Income-Minded Can Gain Exposure to Micro-Caps
Jul. 05, 2017 - The Street -  As a follower of and investor in micro-cap stocks, I often am asked where they should fit within an investor's portfolio. For most investors, they should be a small satellite portion of the portfolio at most and not the core.

Why These 5 Popular Funds Are Wildly Overrated
Jun. 24, 2017 - Forbes -  As we speak, $376 billion is locked up in five of Wall Street’s most overrated, overloved funds. And the sad reality is that there’s a high chance a few thousand bucks of that are courtesy of … well, you.

5 High-Yield Income Investments You Should Know About
Jun. 19, 2017 - The Motley Fool -  Many income investors look for the best yields they can find on their investments, preferring high levels of current income over growth potential over the long run. Many different high-income investments focus on paying as much money to investors as possible, and that can be valuable not only for those who are already in retirement but also for those who like to get regular cash flow to fund further investments in their portfolio. 

An Overlooked Fund That Provides Growth, Value And Income
Jun. 19, 2017 - Forbes -  As investors of closed-end funds, we frequently come across funds with altered or unconventional strategies that are disregarded by the market and trading at deep discounts. Despite being overlooked by most investors, we typically view these funds as opportunities for future performance based on underlying value.

7 Attractive +7% Yield CEFs
Jun. 09, 2017 - -  Summary

Closed-End Funds can offer big distribution yields, but they also present big risks that should be considered.

Prior to investing in any CEF, investors should consider distribution sustainability, discount/premium to NAV, use of leverage, use of derivatives, and fees.

Bill Gross Likes 2 Closed-End Funds, Even as He Says Most Assets Overvalued
Jun. 07, 2017 - Barron's -  The veteran bond fund manager thinks most assets are overpriced, but still likes two funds he told Barron's about in April 2016.

3 CEFs Yielding Up To 9.6% That Are Better Than What You Own
Jun. 04, 2017 - Forbes -  Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have rapidly earned a favored spot among investors thanks to their dirt-cheap diversification. If you want to quickly build a blended portfolio at a low price, it’s hard to do better than ETFs.

This Monthly-Pay Covered Call Closed-End Fund Offers A 7.68% Distribution Yield
May. 29, 2017 - -  Summary

EOI has a solid portfolio and hedges 50% with Covered Calls.

The distribution yield of 7.68% has been steady since 2013.

The Top 3 CEF Investing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
May. 20, 2017 - Forbes -  Most folks buy closed-end funds for one reason: big yields!

But that’s not the only reason—and depending on your situation, it may not even the best reason for you, as I’ll show you shortly. (I’ll also reveal 3 tricky, but easily avoidable, blunders many folks make with CEFs).

CEFs And Goldilocks: Is It Different This Time?
Apr. 27, 2017 - -  Summary

Average CEF discounts have moved higher, currently standing at a 3-year high.

CEFs benefit most from a market environment in which both bonds and stocks rally.

Saba Capital's Fund Of Funds: A Fresh Look At This New Player In Closed-End Funds
Apr. 19, 2017 - -  Summary

Saba Capital's CEFS has grown 2.6-fold since its March inception.

The fund will pay monthly distributions with a current annualized yield of 7.9%.

Areas Of Opportunity In Fixed-Income CEFs
Apr. 13, 2017 - -  Summary

In this market environment, it is important to be focused and selective.

Actively managing leverage still provides an opportunity to enhance income.

Saba Capital's New ETF Of Closed-End Funds
Mar. 30, 2017 - -  Summary

Saba Capital has been a leading activist investor in the closed-end fund space.

They have introduced their first ETF, a portfolio of highly discounted closed-end funds.

Closed-End Funds: Does Patience Always Pay Off?
Mar. 28, 2017 - -  Summary

We’ve heard over and over how it pays to be patient for good entry points into closed-end funds.

I decided to put that theory to the test using my own experience with NCV.

Boaz Weinstein raises stakes with closed-end fund ETF
Mar. 20, 2017 - Financial Times -  The man who harpooned the London whale is spearfishing in another obscure area of the financial markets these days — and now he is inviting ordinary investors to join him in the sport.

Which Taxable Pimco Closed-End Bond Fund Is The Best?
Mar. 19, 2017 - -  Summary

Pimco taxable closed-end funds are very popular with investors.

A multi-factor ranking model is presented to rank nine Pimco taxable funds.

CEF Sell-Off: Carnage Or Tempest In A Teacup?

Mar. 13, 2017 - -  Summary

Closed-end funds have had a weak March to date.

We look at a cross-sector discount analysis and find that CEF performance closely followed broad asset classes with Fixed-Income funds performing significantly weaker.

Is The Carnage In Closed-End Fund Land A Buying Opportunity?
Mar. 10, 2017 - -  Summary

Closed-end funds saw a sea of red across all sectors as investors rushed for the exits.

These interest rate panics occur every three to six months and typically last less than a week.

Ride The Fed's Rate Hikes With This Closed-End Fund
Mar. 06, 2017 - -  Summary

Senior loans sit higher in the capital structure of a company.

Most are indexed to LIBOR.

An Investment for Value and Yield in Equity CEFs
Feb. 22, 2017 - Forbes -  Within the equity closed-end fund market, several funds exist with a primary objective of generating income and capital appreciation. While some believe this type of investment does not have a place in a traditional growth-oriented equity portfolio, there is an investment case for such strategies. 

Despite Increased Risks, CEFL Dividend Yield Of 18.5% Makes It Attractive
Feb. 21, 2017 - -  Summary

The March 2017 CEFL dividend will be much higher than the February dividend as the seasonal effects are behind us.

The rebalancing at the beginning of 2017 removed some of the highest yielding components, but also reduced the degree that the component's dividends came from return of capital.

Discounts Are Moving In PIMCO CEFs
Feb. 17, 2017 - -  Summary

PIMCO CEFs have been moving into larger premiums or, in the very few funds that have discounts, smaller and smaller discounts.

Prices have moved downward in the last weeks even as NAVs have been rising.

A Side Door into Marquee Hedge Funds
Feb. 14, 2017 - Barron's -  Want a cheap way to invest with marquee hedge-funders Bill Ackman and Daniel Loeb? Barron’s has you covered.

Global High-Yield CEF Is Paying Nearly 12% - Is It Safe?
Feb. 13, 2017 - -  Summary

In reviewing a broad set of high-yield closed-end funds, one stood out as worth a closer look.

The fund pays a market distribution of 11.9% and holds a -7.7% discount.

Are Funds That Pay Higher Special Distributions Cheaper?
Feb. 05, 2017 - -  Summary

We review whether high special distribution funds offer good value.

We find some evidence that high special distribution funds trade at a greater discount in the High Yield/Multi-Sector fund population.

10 Emerging Markets To Watch In 2017: The Closed-End Fund Sentiment Indicator
Feb. 02, 2017 - -  Summary

Closed-end fund discounts typically offer no direct near-term upside, but can be valuable as a sentiment indicator.

Several emerging markets' closed-end funds are trading at wide but not record discounts of 13-17% as of 2017Q1.

Is It Time To Rotate Out Of High-Yield CEFs?
Feb. 01, 2017 - -  Summary

High-yield CEFs have had an excellent year.

In the fixed-income categories, discounts have turned into premiums in many cases.

Who Yields What? Presenting A CEF Sector Yield Analysis
Jan. 30, 2017 - -  Summary

We present a sector yield analysis of the closed-end fund universe.

The yield differential between Muni High Yield and Muni National sectors is on the lower part of the range, making the High Yield sector less attractive.

Equity CEFs: The Comeback Kid Comes Back Again. Or Has It?
Jan. 30, 2017 - -  Summary

Equity CEFs have had a good first month of 2017 and nowhere is that more evident than in the most overpriced CEF in history.

But for investors who believe that hype can overcome headwinds, one has only to look at the actual performances of these funds to see the reality.

Coming Clean On Closed-Ends
Jan. 25, 2017 - -  Summary

Most closed-end investors are unaware of the fees embedded in the funds they own, oftentimes 50% greater than comparable mutual funds.

Fund companies, boards, and regulators are not rectifying an age-old problem.

Will The Small-Cap Rally Continue?
Jan. 24, 2017 - -  Summary

We conversed with Francis Gannon from The Royce Funds about the dramatic rebound in small-cap stocks in 2016.

Why the closed-end fund structure is good for small-caps.

CEF Income Strategy: When All's Quiet On The Rate Front
Jan. 19, 2017 - -  Summary

Investors should be aware that the CEF space includes more funds that should be avoided than funds that should be bought.

Discount tendencies that can be seen in the fixed-income CEF group.

Which Emerging Market Bonds Closed-End Fund Is Worth Holding?
Jan. 19, 2017 - -  Summary

After an extended downturn emerging market bonds turned in a good year.

Two Stone Harbor funds posted recoveries of over 60% total return and lead the category for income yield.

Heading For The Exit On This Muni CEF
Jan. 11, 2017 - -  Summary

Some people may see Muni CEFs as an opportunity, others may see them as a danger.

If you fall into the latter category, PCQ is a fund to sell now.

These Ancient Closed-End Funds Still Deliver
Jan. 07, 2017 - Barron's -  Fewer than a dozen funds have survived since the great crash of 1929. Some are names you’d know, from big fund companies, that have grown to prominence—most notably, the top-notch $93 billion Vanguard Wellington, launched in July 1929. The $4.7 billion Pioneer fund, launched in February 1928, has a much less stellar performance history, but is under new management. And we can’t ignore the very first mutual fund, the solid, $6 billion Massachusetts Investors Trust, founded in July 1924.

CEFL Attractive With 24.8% Dividend Yield
Dec. 31, 2016 - -  Summary

My projected January 2017 CEFL dividend will be the highest monthly dividend since January 2015. However, there are special factors which boost January dividends each year.

On a monthly compounded annualized basis this will bring the Yield on CEFL to 24.8%.

Investors Flood Bets on Rising Rates
Dec. 26, 2016 - WallStreetJournal -  Some $5.6 billion has been pumped into bank loan funds in 2016, and recent flows indicate they are bracing for higher interest rates

2 Beaten-Down Funds To Buy For 9.4% Dividends - And 3 To Avoid
Dec. 24, 2016 - Forbes -  2016 has been a crazy year—so it’s no surprise closed-end funds (CEFs) have been offering crazy returns.

As we’ll see in a moment, the best fund is up over 50%, which crushes just about every unleveraged ETF and mutual fund out there. Plus, that fund pays a whopping 7.6% yield—which is pretty typical for CEFs. If you bought in when it was at its 52-week low, you would have been getting an unbelievable 14.7% yield throughout 2016, while also seeing your portfolio’s market value go up and up.

Meet the Platypus of Wall Street
Dec. 16, 2016 - WallStreetJournal -  The most basic law of bond investing — when interest rates go up, prices of bonds and bond funds go down — got violated this past week.

Income Investors: Trump On, Risk Off
Dec. 14, 2016 - Forbes -  In the aftermath of the election, most fixed-income investments have traded down significantly. It seems the market has taken the decision-making process on interest-rate levels away from the Fed, thereby reducing its relevance to the setting of rates. That leaves income investors like me suddenly looking for a “safe space” to invest.

An Ignored Investment With A 6.9% Yield
Dec. 11, 2016 - Forbes -  It’s as close to a sure thing as you can get: interest rates are headed higher.

Will Closed-End Bond Funds Crash And Burn Under Trump?
Dec. 04, 2016 - -  Summary

Yield-chasers have been flocking to closed-end bond funds.

Interest rate rises will depress bond prices.

An Investment Guru's Tactics That Have Stood the Test of Time
Dec. 02, 2016 - The Street -  I had a chance this week to talk with one of my stock market heroes when I spent an hour or so chatting on the phone with Edward Thorpe. Thorpe is the founding father of both card-counting for blackjack and quantitative investing and is one of the most fascinating men in the history of the markets.

Arbitrage Opportunities In MLP Closed-End Funds
Nov. 17, 2016 - -  Summary

Volatility equals opportunity.

Volatility also equals risk.

2 Ignored Investments With 8.3%+ Yields And 15% Upside
Nov. 16, 2016 - Forbes -  You’ve probably been told you can’t have high yields and high growth in the same investment.

How To Get A $1M Yield With Just $224K
Nov. 12, 2016 - Forbes -  It may sound crazy, but if you were to invest $1 million in the S&P 500 right now, you’d generate just $1,750 in monthly income.

This 7% Yielding Closed-End Fund Is A Good Choice For A Rising Interest Rate Environment
Nov. 04, 2016 - -  Summary

BLW invests in a large variety of low duration fixed income investments.

The fund is currently trading at nearly a 12% discount to net asset value.

CEFL With A 20.9% Yield May Still Be Attractive Even With A Rate Hike Possible Soon
Oct. 28, 2016 - -  Summary

Many market participants expect a Federal Reserve rate hike by December 2016.

Higher interest rates are generally bad for leveraged instruments like CEFL and the high-yield closed-end funds that comprise the index upon which CEFL is based,.

Lofty Closed-End Premiums Touch Off Alarm Bells
Oct. 20, 2016 - WallStreetJournal -  Investors hungry for income have driven up to lofty levels the premiums on dozens of closed-end funds, exposing investors to steep, sudden losses and prompting one prominent manager to warn investors away from his own funds.

Unlocking the Secrets of Closed-End Funds
Oct. 19, 2016 - Barron's -  Everything old is new again, at least in some places. Hipsters are scooping up vinyl LPs because of their supposedly superior sound versus compact discs and digital downloads, the modern music sources that had all but supplanted the older, analog format.

Equity CEFs: The Canary In The Coal Mine Is Gasping
Oct. 17, 2016 - -  Summary

As we start the 3rd week of the 4th quarter, the markets seem more and more fragile with CEFs getting particularly hard hit with some unusual selling going on.

It seems as if banks and brokers in particular are trying to get ahead of an interest rate hike in December so they don't go through another January/February correction.

Good Buys Among Closed-End Muni Funds
Oct. 08, 2016 - Barron's -  Closed-end municipal bond funds have been smart investments for the past three years. They’ve returned an average of 12% annually over that time and are up a stunning 16% in the past year alone, according to Morningstar. Going forward, investors are likely to have a tougher time, but there are still some good opportunities if you know where to look.

How To Bank 7% Yields With 15% Upside
Oct. 05, 2016 - Forbes -  Closed-end funds (CEFs) are finally starting to get their due attention as the yield machines they are. Some can still be purchased at a steep discount to their net asset values (NAVs) – which means you can buy the underlying assets for $0.90 on the dollar, or less.

DoubleLine Income Solutions Fund Provides Strong Yields And NAV Gains
Oct. 04, 2016 - -  Summary

DSL continues to trade at a much wider discount compared to the other DoubleLine offering, DBL.

The risk profiles are markedly different but think the risk-return trade off in DSL is more favorable today.

Discounts And Dividends In Gold Closed-End Funds
Oct. 03, 2016 - -  Summary

5% discount on physical gold and silver.

7% discount on miners.

10 Stocks That Pay Monthly Dividends: Are Any Worth Buying?
Sep. 30, 2016 - The Motley Fool -  There are about 200 stocks paying monthly dividends on the NYSE and NASDAQ, but not all of them make great investments. Here's a list of the 10 largest monthly dividend stocks, and which of these companies make the top choices for your long-term portfolio.

If You Want REIT And Preferred Exposure Check Out This CEF
Sep. 29, 2016 - -  Summary

While we think both the preferred stock and REIT sectors, generally speaking, are overvalued, investors still want exposure.

This dual mandate investment objective fund is being discounted given it is not a pure play despite the lower risks.

ETF Watch: First Trust Adds 2 Closed End Funds
Sep. 29, 2016 - -  First Trust, the sixth-largest ETF issuer in the country, with $37.5 billion in assets under management spread across some 112 ETFs, launched two new strategies this week built around closed-end funds (CEFs).

I Still Like CEFL With Its 20.6% Yield, Though Risks Have Increased
Sep. 28, 2016 - -  Summary

The primary determinant of the outlook for CEFL and much of the securities markets will be what the Federal Reserve does with interest rates.

Within the Federal Reserve and in the financial community at large there is considerable debate as to what the Federal Reserve should do next.

JQC: This Floating Rate Bank Loan Fund Provides A Hedge Against Rising Interest Rates And Trades At A Discount
Sep. 28, 2016 - -  Summary

Bank Loan Funds usually outperform when interest rates begin to rise.

JQC trades at a 10.4% discount and yields over 7%.

A Different Set Of Traps For Yield Hogs
Sep. 20, 2016 - Forbes -  CEFs are funds that in many ways look a lot like the ETFs we’ve all come to know and love. These are portfolios of securities in which you participate by purchasing shares on the stock exchange. Both are alternatives to the traditional open-end mutual funds, where instead of buying shares of an entity that holds the portfolio, you contribute to and withdraw directly from the portfolio itself. (The differences between ETFs and more traditional open-end mutual funds have been discussed extensively elsewhere and need not be rehashed here.)

What We Bought On Friday And Tuesday That Yields 8.5% With Upside
Sep. 15, 2016 - -  Summary

We are clearly seeing another mini Taper Tantrum as the fear of higher interest rates hits all yield and duration securities.

Floating rate loans are going to be the next hot asset class.

Container-Shipping Slump Stings German Investors
Sep. 13, 2016 - WallStreetJournal -  Hanjin Shipping Co. and its customers aren’t the only victims of a global cargo rout. The damage also is washing up with German investors.

Are CEF Investors Getting Suckered Into High Yields?
Sep. 06, 2016 - -  Summary

Elevated yields tend to make CEFs an attractive income choice, albeit with frequently elevated leverage risk.

What is a "Sucker Yield" in general terms?

Feeling Defensive? Try This Closed-End Fund
Sep. 06, 2016 - -  Summary

Eaton Vance offers eight option-equity, closed-end funds.

Seven of the eight offer variations on a theme. One is uniquely positioned for a defensive market position.

How To Boost Returns In Closed-End Funds: 30% Annualized Since Publication
Aug. 31, 2016 - -  Summary

I described on 4/14/2016 a CEF strategy based on proven market anomalies.

It selects 15 holdings on dividend yield, discount to NAV, mean reversion and momentum.

CEFs: Deep Discounts And High Yields
Aug. 30, 2016 - -  Summary

Discounts have shrunk and yields have fallen in CEFs across the board.

I looked at fixed-income funds to find deep discounts and high yields.

This BlackRock Fund Provides High Income And Trades At A 12% Discount
Aug. 29, 2016 - -  Summary

BOE uses option over-writing to hedge downside risk.

It is a global fund and trades at a 12% discount.

Grow Your Practice For Tomorrow By Investing Like You Did In The 1990s
Aug. 24, 2016 - -  Summary

Being right versus being effective.

Four investment areas worth the attention of any investment professional.

Deutsche Bank Foe Lipson Returns in Spat Over Closed-End Funds
Aug. 23, 2016 - Bloomberg -  Deutsche Bank AG faces fresh proxy fights to accelerate liquidating two closed-end bond funds after a five-year standstill with repeat activist Arthur Lipson expired.

Closed-End Fund Investors Should Watch the Activists
Aug. 20, 2016 - Barron's -  Activists get involved with closed-end funds when they are trading at a big discount to the value of their underlying securities. These moves can sometimes be good news for individual investors—but not always.

High Yield Investing: 3 Emerging Markets Debt CEFs- Yields Up To 12%
Aug. 16, 2016 - -  Summary

As investors’ appetite for global equities is increasing, emerging market stocks are having a stellar performance.

The safest way for high-yield seekers to get exposure to the Emerging Markets is through Fixed Income.

Boulder Growth & Income Deserves Its Berkshire Discount
Aug. 16, 2016 - -  Summary

Boulder Growth and Income is attempting to close the discount with superficial acts that will not produce much discount tightening.

The recent changes made by the fund still fail to provide any tangible benefit to shareholders.

John Hancock Premium Dividend Fund: A Good Or Bad Investment?
Aug. 15, 2016 - -  Summary

PDT appears to be a typical leveraged CEF that primarily invests in the preferreds of utilities, financials, energy and telecommunications.

Over the past five years this fund has performed amazingly well and rewarded its investors handsomely.

The secret to navigating closed-end funds
Aug. 12, 2016 - Financial Planning -  The first thing most investors ask about a closed-end fund is typically: “Is the fund trading at a discount?”

RiverNorth's New Fund Takes An Opportunistic Approach To Closed-End Fund Investing
Aug. 08, 2016 - -  Summary

The fund of funds concept is well represented for closed-end funds.

This latest entry to the field takes an aggressively opportunistic approach.

Dividend Growth Or Closed-End Funds: What's Your Time Horizon?
Aug. 02, 2016 - -  Summary

I've been invested in Closed-End Funds for a long time and love them.

The Dividend Growth Investing strategy has been brought up over and over, so I decided to look into it.

Discounts In Gold And Mining Closed-End Funds
Aug. 01, 2016 - -  Summary

A 2% discount on physical gold and silver.

An 11.14% discount on miners.

Sell This Closed-End Fund While You Can
Jul. 28, 2016 - -  Summary

Extreme premium is always the right time to sell a closed-end fund.

An example of how to substitute the fund.

How to Play Publicly Traded Private Equity Funds
Jul. 25, 2016 - The Street -  I was asked recently what I would do if I had money that absolutely had to go to work today and community banks were off the list. I spent a lot of time thinking about that and decided that I would put it into the "Big Four" publicly traded private-equity funds -- Apollo Global (APO) , Blackstone Group (BX) Carlyle Group (CG) and KKR (KKR) .

CUBA Is An Illustration In CEF Market (In)Efficiency
Jul. 22, 2016 - -  Summary

CUBA was bid up as the herd flocked into the CEF as a way to play the "opening of Cuba" to US-based companies.

The shares went to an irrational premium, over 60% above NAV, which is absurd given the fund held zero companies directly involved in Cuba.

Retirement Income: Can You Get 8% Annual Income And Capital Sustainability?
Jul. 20, 2016 - -  Summary

Increasing numbers of people are hitting retirement with income needs that go well beyond the classic 4% withdrawal recommendation.

Retirees are looking for high-yield opportunities. Most recognize that this is a landscape fraught with obstacles and pitfalls.

A Little-Noticed Kink in Smart-Beta ETFs Might Blindside Buyers
Jul. 19, 2016 - Bloomberg -  Turns out, one of the hottest parts of the $2.3 trillion ETF industry has a little-noticed quirk with the potential to blindside users.

PIMCO Closed-End Funds Report - June
Jul. 19, 2016 - -  Summary

Coverage ratios skyrocketed in June as Dan Ivascyn and his team took gains on derivatives as their bet on US rates paid off.

PDI and PCI look to be the best values in the bunch right now given their strong UNII balances and NII yields.

CEFs: Overvalued And Undervalued High Yield Funds - Second Quarter 2016
Jul. 19, 2016 - -  Summary

The high yield closed end fund space can be a nebulous and highly disparate segment of the CEF marketplace.

Key factors to watch are the exposure to underlying industries and sectors, namely oil as well as fund flows.

Gundlach says Wall Street’s suffering ‘mass psychosis’
Jul. 13, 2016 - MarketWatch -  This market is dealing with a “mass psychosis.” That’s the latest perspective on the state of Wall Street from Jeff Gundlach, the star money manager who founded DoubleLine Capital.

Utility Closed-End Funds: The Ultimate Interest Rate Sentiment Indicator
Jul. 13, 2016 - -  Summary

We continue to pound the table that investors hunger for yield is making utility stocks dangerously overvalued.

Not only are the underlying companies as a sector overvalued today, long-term headwinds are likely to harm these businesses.

Cheap Real Estate Still for Sale in Closed-End Funds
Jul. 13, 2016 - The Street -  Yesterday I talked about using real estate as a way of finding income in these yield-starved times. While it is true that most people are underexposed to real estate and that real estate investment trusts have handily outperformed the broader market over the past 43 years, many REIT prices have been driven to extremely high levels. It is harder now to find REITs that trade at bargain levels.

CEFs: Overvalued And Undervalued Multisector Funds - Second Quarter 2016
Jul. 12, 2016 - -  Summary

This is the first of our series of quarterly valuation analysis on each of the taxable bond CEF sub-categories.

We like to use a combination of factors and continue to refine the process.

Closed-End Equity Funds: Unlocking Value Through Shareholder Activism
Jul. 12, 2016 - Forbes -  As professional investors who spend a lot of time analyzing the closed-end fund (CEF) market, we often question actions (or inaction) taken by fund companies. Advancements in proxy access and fiduciary standards are designed to ensure management makes decisions that are in the best interest of shareholders, but it appears that this is not always the case.

Equity CEFs: The Overbought And The Underloved
Jul. 11, 2016 - -  Summary

There's been some phenomenal returns in equity based CEFs this year, some deserved, others not. Then there are funds that should be trading much higher.

Often the difference has more to do with reputation and yield than actual NAV performance. Even Barron's this week had to chime in on the most overpriced CEF in history.

Retirement Income: CEFs Are Expensive. Can A Low-Cost ETF Do The Job As Well?
Jul. 10, 2016 - -  Summary

I respond to the suggestion that CEFs consistently underperform low-cost index ETFs for a current-income portfolio.

I compare VOO to four CEFs with high management fees.

This Closed-End Fund Looks Cheap and Boasts a 10% Yield
Jul. 08, 2016 - Barron's -  Analysts at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management gave the go-ahead to buy a Pimco bond closed-end fund that trades at steep discount and boasts a high yield.

Best Opportunities In Muni CEFs- July
Jul. 07, 2016 - -  Summary

The market dynamics within the municipal bond market continue to favor prices and push down yields.

Muni CEFs discounts have largely evaporated given the strong run in the last six months although a few options still exist.

High Current Income (8%) And Capital Growth (12.2%) From A Diversified Portfolio Of Closed-End Funds
Jul. 05, 2016 - -  Summary

This high-income, stable-capital CEF portfolio is designed to generate high current income with reasonable tax efficiency.

The portfolio's second, and equally weighted, objective is long-term sustainability of capital.

Discounts In Gold And Mining Closed-End Funds
Jul. 02, 2016 - -  Summary

Gold price has surged.

There is a discount of 2.9% on physical gold and silver.

Equity CEFs: The Sum Of All Insanities
Jul. 01, 2016 - -  Summary

From time to time, I like to write about the insane market prices income investors are willing to buy and sell CEFs for. This one is a lulu.

Because in the world of CEFs, the majority of shareholders either don't follow the right data points or aren't even aware of what the right data points are to follow.

DSL: DoubleLine's Red-Headed Step Child
Jun. 29, 2016 - -  Summary

DBL is a mortgage fund that has benefit significantly from the busted and reformed MBS trade following the financial crisis.

DSL is a much larger and diversified multi-sector fund with a large slug of EM debt that has hampered returns over the last three years.

Are Muni Closed-End Funds Overvalued?
Jun. 29, 2016 - -  Summary

The muni yield curve continues to flatten which has led to an unprecedented amount of distribution cuts in muni CEFs.

Muni CEFs have rallied strongly since December when the fear of higher interest rates widened discounts to near record levels.

The Market Vectors Preferred Securities Ex Financials ETF: A Good Or Bad Investment?
Jun. 28, 2016 - -  Summary

What are Exchange Traded Funds and how are they traded: A link for newbies to this series of articles.

A closer look at how well the Market Vectors Preferred Securities ex Financials ETF performed.

Ho Ho Ho, Merry Brexit: CEFs On Sale
Jun. 27, 2016 - -  Summary

The Brexit vote not only roiled the global markets, but also brought discounts to closed end funds not seen in recent history.

We take a quick look at 4 fixed income and 6 equity funds whose discounts have recently opened up.

Brexit Surprised Hedge Fund Managers Used to Picking Winners
Jun. 26, 2016 - CNBC -  Even some of the smartest guys in the room got this one wrong.

The billionaire hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman told an audience of Wall Street insiders on Wednesday that there was a 70 percent probability that Britain would stay inside the European Union. "I don't worry about Brexit," he added.

It's Time To Put The Tiger To Sleep
Jun. 23, 2016 - -  Summary

The Asia Tigers Fund Has Become Too Small to Succeed.

The Asia Tigers Fund Now Trades at a 16% Discount Because Its Discount Control Plan Has Failed.

In Search Of A Utilities CEF
Jun. 16, 2016 - -  Summary

Finding a good utilities CEF is difficult, because there are no pure-plays in the closed-end fund space.

Finding a good utilities CEF is discouraging, because none is touted as "best-in-class" by any analyst.

Are High Premiums To Net Asset Value Sustainable?
Jun. 14, 2016 - -  Summary

2 closed-end funds now trade at a 50%+ premium to net asset value.

One fund’s premium to net asset value exceeds 100%.

Retirees: How Much CEF Leverage Is Too Much CEF Leverage?
Jun. 10, 2016 - -  Summary

CEFs of all sorts have rallied over the past six months. Are they still buys?

How does leverage impact the yield on a closed-end bond fund?

High-Yielding Closed-End Funds Enjoy Barron’s Bounce
Jun. 07, 2016 - Barron's -  In his weekly “Up and Down Wall Street” column, Barron’s Randall W. Forsyth highlighted 9 income-generating closed-end funds where managers are invested in the fund.

The End of Closed-End Fund IPOs?
Jun. 04, 2016 - Barron's -  The Labor Department’s revamped fiduciary rule may have consequences for the initial selling of closed-end funds—but that’s not a bad thing.

Discounts In Gold And Mining Closed-End Funds
Jun. 02, 2016 - -  Summary

Gold price is on a pivot level.

There is a discount of 3.7% on physical gold and silver.

Top 5 Mistakes Closed-End Fund Investors Make
Jun. 01, 2016 - Forbes -  If you feel trapped “grinding out” dividend income with classic 3% or 4% payers, you can double your payouts (or better) immediately by moving to closed-end funds, or CEFs. In fact, you can often make the switch without actually switching investments. You do need to make sure you avoid five common mistakes when doing so – which I’ll explain in a moment.

My Top 3 Closed-End Funds
May. 26, 2016 - -  Summary

I discuss what I look for in income stocks.

I set forth my top three closed-end funds and show why I think they represent good value at current levels.

The Hunt to Beat Hedge Funds
May. 23, 2016 - Bloomberg -  If investors want to win big in the current market, they need to be prepared to do a lot of work. Otherwise, they might as well just go to Las Vegas and try their luck at the tables.

4 Sector Closed End Funds Added To Portfolio
May. 22, 2016 - -  Summary

Four call/write closed end funds were added to the portfolio in the last two weeks.

The Retirement Portfolio now has 44 positions, with a 4.3% yield, and is up 13.5% year-to-date.

Lock In 6% Yields Without Stock Market Volatility
May. 20, 2016 - Forbes -  In a world of record low interest rates, where savings accounts offer less than 1% interest, investors are struggling to find a risk-free return on their money that will outpace inflation. With U.S. Treasuries no help, many people are flocking to dividend growth stocks or junk bonds.

Many MLP CEF Investors Are Using The Wrong Benchmark - Are You?
May. 19, 2016 - -  Today there are 95 publicly-traded energy MLP-access products on the market; a figure that nearly matches the number of MLPs [1] themselves. While having options is generally a good thing, having too many options brings up the paradox of choice [2]. So how do you objectively choose the best fund? Well, as an indexing company, we'd tell you to compare it to a benchmark.

The Beauty Of Rebalancing: Advantages Of A CEF Portfolio
May. 19, 2016 - -  Summary

Rebalancing keeps your positions within their target sizes.

Rebalancing can increase your overall dividend-earning shares without adding new money.

NML: 10% Discount, 8% Dividend Yield In A Bottoming Sector
May. 16, 2016 - -  Summary

Current opportunities in MLP closed-end funds.

Buying certain funds make statistical sense as long as oil holds up.

High Yield CEF 4-Year Total Returns
May. 05, 2016 - -  Summary

Super high yields over 12% are tempting, but almost always end in underperformance.

High yielding, high-quality CEFs exist, but investors need to avoid getting intoxicated by yields.

6 Undervalued Funds Yielding as Much as 11%
May. 03, 2016 - Barron's -  The managers of the RiverNorth Doubleline Strategic Income (ticker: RNDLX ) have created an interesting recipe for cooking up returns: one part closed-end funds and two parts Jeffrey Gundlach, the Barron’s Roundtable member and DoubleLine Capital star. Those proportions, which change according to the managers’ view of the market, are currently producing a 6.04% yield and category-trumping gains. The fund has racked up annual average returns of 5.96% for the past five years, outpacing 94% of the multisector bond funds Morningstar tracks.

This CEF Provides Exposure To The Best High-Tech Names With 7.7% Yield
Apr. 29, 2016 - -  Summary

For income investors who wish exposure to the top Tech names, buying directly into stocks may not be an option due to the generally low dividends and higher short-term volatility.

For income investors who wish exposure to the top Tech names, buying directly into stocks may not be an option due to the generally low dividends and higher short-term volatility.

Want Income This Week? 12 Closed-End Funds Going Ex-Dividend
Apr. 25, 2016 - -  Summary

A total of 12 closed-end funds are going ex-dividend this week, yielding between 4.6% and 10.2%.

These funds vary from focusing on municipal bonds to commodities to equity.

Closed-End Funds are Best for Today’s Market
Apr. 23, 2016 - Barron's -  Imagine you’re offered a mortgage with a caveat. At any time after you’ve purchased your home, the lender can say, “I want my money back,” and you have to sell the house to repay her—no matter how bad the housing market.

The Ins And Outs Of Municipal Closed-End Funds
Apr. 20, 2016 - -  Summary

Municipal bonds and municipal bond-oriented investment strategies, including closed-end funds (CEFs), have been in high demand of late.

All U.S. Traded Tax-Free National Muni Bond CEFs are now trading, on average, above their 10 year average premium/discount.

How To Buy The Best U.S. Property REITs At A 12.5% Discount And Collect 7.8% Dividend
Apr. 19, 2016 - -  Summary

U.S. property REITs have been outperforming this year. The strength in this sector is expected to continue throughout the year 2016.

This is one of the safest high-yield sectors around and well suited for every dividend or retirement portfolio.

3 Closed End Funds That Are Poised To Outperform AMLP
Apr. 18, 2016 - -  Summary

Some funds are trading at a larger than average discount to NAV.

Buying these funds now can give a good entry and added protection in case of a downturn.

How To Boost Returns In Closed-End Funds
Apr. 14, 2016 - -  Summary

What academic research says on closed-end funds.

A systematic strategy based on proven market anomalies.

Closed-End Bond Funds: A Haven Amid Global Risk
Apr. 09, 2016 - Barron's -  Municipal bonds have been hard to beat lately. With a 4% total return, the average national muni fund has bested every category of bond and diversified stock fund in the past year, according to Morningstar. Consider that they’re low risk and that the income is tax-free and they stand out even more.

Want Emerging Markets Exposure? Hold Your Nose and Buy BRICs
Apr. 05, 2016 - The New York Times -  As part of the ongoing discussions form the weekend, several conclusions were reached. First, the Orioles need a pitching miracle to contend this year, and this is the year that Wrigley banishes the curse of the goat and the Cubs win it all.

5 Income Funds with Less Risk, More Return
Apr. 05, 2016 - Barron's -  Last May, when Barron’s interviewed Steve Janachowski, a financial advisor in San Francisco, he described his 7 favorite income funds for yield and diversification. These were funds he recommended clients combine in various amounts depending on their risk tolerance and income needs.

Allergan Sinks 21%: ‘Inversion’ Rules Pose Questions For Pfizer Merger
Apr. 04, 2016 - Barron's -  Another stock favorite among hedge funds, Allergan (AGN), is knifing more than 20% lower in post-market trading after the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced new rules to curb corporate tax “inversions.”

EOI For Steady Monthly Income
Apr. 04, 2016 - -  Summary

Eaton Vance Enhanced Equity Income Fund is a closed end fund and has a steady monthly income of $0.0864/month or 8.2%/year.

Total return is 11.50% more than the DOW average total return, over the last 39 month test period.

Grab The Discount On HYB For High Income And Capital Appreciation
Apr. 01, 2016 - -  Summary

The high yield market overreacted to fears about China, The Fed, Oil, and the Third Avenue Fund failure.

Recent developments have improved the prospects for selected high yield investments.

3 Closed-End Funds To Turn Your Back On
Mar. 31, 2016 - -  Summary

Premiums in closed end funds are not always justified.

When armed with the right tools we can avoid overvalued funds.

Monthly Pay Dividend Analysts See Bluerock Residential Growth REIT As Top Dog In March
Mar. 30, 2016 - -  Summary

36 monthly pay dividend (MoPay) Small, Mid, and Large (SML) dogs ranged 0.73% to 18.77% by yield; 50 SML Funds, Notes and Preferreds (FTPs) spanned 8.91% to 30.74% as of March 25.

Top ten yielding MoPay dividend dogs mixed up somewhat and averaged 12.28% yield. Ten MoPay FTPs charged bullishly averaging 17.56%, while the Dow Dogs charged meekly, averaging 3.73% yield.

How to Buy Bill Ackman, Dan Loeb on the Cheap
Mar. 26, 2016 - Barron's -  Few prominent investors have performed as badly in recent years as Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management. Battered by the collapse of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and other stock losses, Ackman’s publicly traded, overseas-listed closed-end fund, Pershing Square Holdings, fetched $14 a share late last week, down from an August 2015 peak of nearly $30. The fund’s net asset value was down 25.2% this year through March 22, after a loss of 20.5% in 2015. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was about flat last year.

Sometimes Closed End Fund Mergers Work In Shareholder's Favor (Buy JHP And JTP)
Mar. 24, 2016 - -  Summary

My last two articles tried to explain what happens when a higher quality CEF (lower discount), gets acquired by a lower quality CEF (larger discount).

On March 22nd, shareholders of Nuveen approved the merger of three of their preferred funds. JTP and JHP will be merging into JPS.

3 Picks For Income-Focused Closed-End Funds
Mar. 23, 2016 - Barron's -  Looking for dividend income? Try closed-end funds.

Dividend income CEFs are trading a wide discounts to net asset value and boast big dividends, according to Christopher Baxter and his team of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

A Dividend That Maybe You Shouldn't Pass Up
Mar. 23, 2016 - -  Summary

High yield CEF pays 12.25% at today's prices.

Responsible dividends and a ten year term limit make it unique, preserves NAV and gives investors an out not available with other funds.

Why It’s a Good Time for Loan Funds
Mar. 12, 2016 - Barron's -  It’s not getting easier for conservative investors to generate income. Risk-free government bond yields are puny, but could head higher (which means bonds would fall in price), if the Federal Reserve makes good on its promise to hike rates later this year, which it’s likely to signal after next week’s meeting.

Keep an Open Mind on Closed-End Funds
Mar. 10, 2016 - The Street -  As we discussed yesterday, closed-end funds can be a great way to make long-term investments in the markets. There are a wide range of funds that invest in just about any asset class you care to name. If you make the markets work for you and not against you, you can usually put together a portfolio at a discount to the value of the holdings.

Why Are Investors Still Buying NPT And NIO At Market Prices?
Mar. 09, 2016 - -  Summary

On March 2, Nuveen announced the closing date for their previously approved Muni Closed End Fund mergers will be April 11th.

As of that date, NPT and NIO will no longer trade (shares of NPT will become NZF, and shares of NIO will become NVG).

Activists Own These 2 Closed-End Funds; You Should, Too
Mar. 09, 2016 - The Street -  Closed-end-funds that trade at large discounts to net asset value have worked out pretty well for me over the years. And I do even better when activist shareholders are demanding a tender offer, share buyback or even a fund's liquidation to close the discount and unlock shareholder value.

Buying Cheap: Discounted Funds That Hold Discounted Assets
Mar. 07, 2016 - Forbes -  British nobleman Baron Rothschild is credited with coining the saying, “The time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.” The idea is that times of market stress are when the best bargains can be found. This concept is easy to understand in practice, but market stress can make investors hunker down and miss great investment opportunities while they focus on the current deterioration of their portfolio.

MLP Closed End Funds Are Becoming Overvalued, Time To Switch To ETFs
Feb. 29, 2016 - -  Summary

MLP closed end funds are changing their sentiment almost every week based on comparison to their average discount.

The falling price of master limited partnerships brings dilution risk to closed end funds.

I Still Like CEFL With A 26.7% Yield
Feb. 28, 2016 - -  Summary

The recent collapse in high dividend closed-end fund prices makes CEFL attractive for those seeking very high yields and willing to take significant risks.

The weighted average discount to book value for the closed-end funds that comprise CEFL is 12.4%, up from 8.6% a year ago.

KED: A Lagging MLP Fund To Consider
Feb. 18, 2016 - -  Summary

Closed-end funds are a perfect vehicle to play MLPs in a safer way.

KED is lagging the sharp rally in the recent days.

Merger Of 2 Global Bond Closed-End Funds Provides A Good Opportunity
Feb. 16, 2016 - -  Summary

GDF trades at a 17% discount and has a distribution yield over 12%.

GDF will be merging with EHI which will lead to a lower expense ratio and better market liquidity.

Dividend Coverage Is No Longer The Problem
Feb. 14, 2016 - -  Summary

Junk bond funds paying 10% yields on NAV will have little problem covering distributions as new junk bond issues offer 10.07% or higher rates.

At the same time, junk bond NAVs will continue to be pressured as the market discounts the junk market for rising default rates.

Cohen & Steers Closed-End Opportunity Fund: Is This The Right Market To Buy This CEF?
Feb. 10, 2016 - -  Summary

FOF is, essentially, a CEF of CEFs.

It's basically playing the premium/discount angle.

With the markets in turmoil, could now be the time to look at FOF?

Make 7.9% Income With Lower Risk With Investment Grade Bond CEFs
Feb. 07, 2016 - -  Summary

BTZ offers 7.9% income with a risk just slightly greater than intermediate term Treasury bonds.

Investment grade bond funds offer excellent diversification for an equity focused portfolio.

Junk Bond CEFs In 2016: Even Worse Than 2015?
Feb. 05, 2016 - -  Summary

Default rates in the junk bond market are rising sharply after massively increasing last year; liquidity is also leaving the junk bond market.

Both of these trends should be alarming junk bond CEF investors, yet their outperformance relative to the S&P 500 tells a tale of relative complacency.

Revenge of the Gold Bugs: Gold ETF Notches 5% Weekly Advance, Biggest Since 2013
Feb. 05, 2016 - Barron's -  While stocks were plunging on Friday, the biggest gold exchange-traded fund closed out its biggest weekly advance in 2 1/2 years.

CBRE Clarion Global Real Estate Income Fund: Only Half A World Away
Feb. 05, 2016 - -  Summary

IGR is a CEF focused on global REIT markets.

The fund's performance, however, doesn't stack up well against U.S. focused REITs.

Exchange traded funds set Japan record
Feb. 02, 2016 - Financial Times -  Japanese trading in exchange traded funds soared to an all-time high last month as retail investors bet heavily against the global market sell-off and attempted to second-guess purchases by the Bank of Japan.

Lipper U.S. Weekly Fund Flows: A Tale Of 2 Cities
Jan. 31, 2016 - -  During the fund-flows week ended January 27, 2016, markets continued their wild swings upon hearing conflicting market and economic news throughout the week. On Thursday, January 21, U.S. stocks got a shot in the arm, fueled by a rally in oil prices, despite news that crude inventories had risen the prior week, that weekly initial jobless claims had risen to their highest level since July, and that the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's manufacturing index remained in negative territory for the fifth month in a row. 

A Cure for Closed-End Clutter
Jan. 30, 2016 - Barron's -  The marketplace for closed-end funds is showing its age. CEFs, which date back to the 19th century, are the oldest fund type available to retail investors, and have always been prone to sweeping ebbs and flows of investor demand.

A Cure for Closed-End Clutter
Jan. 30, 2016 - Barron's -  The marketplace for closed-end funds is showing its age. CEFs, which date back to the 19th century, are the oldest fund type available to retail investors, and have always been prone to sweeping ebbs and flows of investor demand.

Cohen & Steers REIT CEF Lineup: What To Make Of This Trio
Jan. 29, 2016 - -  Summary

I got a request to look at REIT-focused CEFs, so I'm starting with a specialist.

Cohen & Steers offers investors a few REIT CEF choices that may seem similar but they have big differences.

Cohen & Steers REIT CEF Lineup: What To Make Of This Trio
Jan. 29, 2016 - -  Summary

I got a request to look at REIT-focused CEFs, so I'm starting with a specialist.

Cohen & Steers offers investors a few REIT CEF choices that may seem similar but they have big differences.

John Hancock Premium Dividend Fund: Sleep Well, Collect Distribution Checks
Jan. 26, 2016 - -  Summary

PDT is a “boring” fund with a decent track record.

While it's unlikely to knock your socks off, it should let you sleep well at night.

As Markets Falter, Closed-End Funds Have Potential To Shine
Jan. 26, 2016 - Forbes -  The recent stock market declines have created some attractive buying opportunities. Specifically, the discount on closed-end funds has widened to above the historical average. The discount tends to mean-revert. Thus, when the discount is high, as it is now, the expected return is unusually high because the discount is likely to narrow over time.

This Calamos Closed-End Fund Is A Good Swing Trade
Jan. 25, 2016 - -  Summary

CHW pays a 13% distribution and sells for a 17% discount to net asset value.

A Global Balanced Fund that uses option hedging to enhance the distributions.

Why Not to Bet on Oil
Jan. 23, 2016 - Barron's -  The price of oil has been hard to predict, but among the biggest surprises for investors has been how ill-equipped many exchange-traded products are at providing a means for investors to bet on the price of oil in the first place.

Another Successful CEF Pairs Trade In The Books: Both EXG And ETW Currently Attractive
Jan. 22, 2016 - -  Summary

Mean reversion in CEF premium/discount values can be exploited for small gains in portfolio performance.

Another pairs trade in EXG:ETW was successfully executed, with gains of around 10% in 3.5 months, or 37% annualized.

Should Closed-End Funds Have a Place in Your Portfolio?
Jan. 12, 2016 - The Motley Fool -  Closed-end funds are an oft-overlooked investment choice and never seem to get the attention lavished on exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or open-ended (mutual) funds. They come in many different varieties and can serve many different investment objectives. While they may not be for everyone, it is important to understand what closed-end funds are, how they operate, and the potential opportunities they may present to you as an investor.

Equity CEFs: Sifting Through The Wreckage
Jan. 11, 2016 - -  Last week was one of the more unsettling weeks I can remember, as investors hit the panic button and sold off stocks, funds, ETFs and yes, CEFs, indiscriminately. The one saving grace was that most equity CEFs held up better at both their market prices and NAVs than the broader market averages.

Retirees: How Much Exposure Should You Have To Closed-End Funds?
Jan. 08, 2016 - -  Summary

Closed-end funds generally espouse quantitative value, but involve higher risk due to leverage utilization.

An examination of differences you might see between high-yield ETFs and CEFs.

Best Buys In Preferred Shares CEFs For 2016 Are Paying 8.5% Or More
Jan. 04, 2016 - -  Summary

Preferreds were the best performing asset class of 2015. Can we expect another strong year?

CEFs provide an excellent vehicle for exposure to preferred shares.

Has The CEFL Rebalancing Train Left The Station?
Dec. 30, 2015 - -  Summary

A previous article attempted to predict CEFL/YYY's new composition for 2016.

Three groups of CEFs are analyzed for their recent price, premium/discount and volume behavior.

CEFL: A Year In Review, And A Prediction Of What's Ahead
Dec. 28, 2015 - -  Summary

2015 has not been a good year for CEFL unitholders: income declined by 20% while price declined by 33%.

This article presents a review of CEFL happenings in 2015, and a forecast of what's ahead for 2016.

My 'Preferred' Preferred Closed-End Funds
Dec. 27, 2015 - -  Summary

Closed-end funds provide a great way to invest in preferred securities.

FFC and PDT have beaten the S&P 500 over the past 10 years.

Doh! More Dividend Cuts Coming For MLP Closed-End Funds?
Dec. 23, 2015 - Barron's -  Recent moves to cut payouts at Kinder Morgan (KMI) and Teekay (TK) are likely to carry knock-on effects for closed-end funds that own master limited partnerships.

Are You Ready For CEFL's Year-End Rebalancing?
Dec. 22, 2015 - -  Summary

The index for CEFL/YYY was last rebalanced in December 2014, and changes to the index were made public a few days before the event.

Last year, heavy buying or selling pressure in particular index components forced CEFL/YYY to buy-high and sell-low, causing significant losses to CEFL/YYY unitholders.

Hard Proof CEF Investors Are Irrational
Dec. 21, 2015 - -  Summary

Closed-end funds offer significant opportunities for swing traders thanks to the irrational inflows/outflows of some investors.

Recent movements in high yield CEFs, when compared to JNK and HYG, demonstrate how irrational the CEF world can be.

Creating A Shopping List For Covered Call Closed End Funds
Dec. 21, 2015 - -  Summary

Closed End Funds using a Covered Call Strategy are great for income in a sideways market.

Evaluating a list of Covered Call CEFs for constructive vs destructive Return of Capital.

A Way to Own the Next Tech Unicorns
Dec. 20, 2015 - Wall Street Daily -  What investor wouldn’t want to own a tech unicorn?

That is, a technology company, still private, that has a billion dollar-plus valuation based on its fundraising.

Oversold Junk-Bond Funds Pay 10% or More
Dec. 19, 2015 - Barron's -  Take advantage of the rout in risky debt, especially deep-discount closed-end funds with huge yields.

Is DCA Ready To Bounce Back From Tax Loss Selling?
Dec. 17, 2015 - -  Summary

This balanced closed-end fund has been hurt this year by its energy holdings.

The 17% discount to NAV is higher than average due to tax loss selling.

Buy Closed-End Junk-Bond Funds!
Dec. 15, 2015 - The Street -  Closed-end junk-bond funds have been meaner than a junkyard dog since the middle of 2014. But recently, the pain has intensified -- manifested by lower fund prices and high-volume selling.

Equity CEFs: If Only CEF Investors Were As Calm As Their Fund Managers
Dec. 14, 2015 - -  Summary

What does it take for CEF investors to realize that they only shoot themselves in the foot when they panic and sell funds at -15% to -20% discounts?

It's already a bear market for many sectors in the equity and bond markets, both here and abroad, even if the broader averages don't reflect it.

11 Closed-End Muni Funds Upgraded by Stifel
Dec. 14, 2015 - Barron's -  Stifel upgraded 11 closed-end municipal bonds funds Monday. All ratings went from Hold to Buy. Most upgrades note the wide discounts to net asset value currently available and often a tweak to the fund’s strategy.

High Yield Carnage And Closed End Funds
Dec. 14, 2015 - -  Summary

High yield bonds are suffering a liquidity crisis that is causing NAVs to fall.

Due to their nature, CEFs are less susceptible to a liquidity crisis than bond mutual funds, but they are impacted by the high redemptions elsewhere in the bond market.

Understanding Covered Call CEFs
Dec. 10, 2015 - -  Summary

Barron’s recently had a favorable write up on closed end funds that one way or another use a covered call strategy as a means of providing income.

The article proposes that volatile markets like now are a good environment for this niche and that the call premium can help mitigate the impact of large declines.

4 Discounted Closed Ends With Delicious Yields
Dec. 09, 2015 - Forbes -  Finding income from all the right places today requires a wider net than ever before. One sector often overlooked by individual investors is closed-end funds (CEFs). Such funds normally trade at an average discount of about -7% to their net asset value (NAV), but these baskets of tradable securities never fully recovered from the September market drop. Discounts are now as high as 18%.

Advisors And Investors View Widening Discounts As Most Compelling Trend In Closed-End Funds Space, Finds Aberdeen Asset Management Survey
Dec. 08, 2015 - PR Newswire -  According to a recent study released by Aberdeen Asset Management Inc. (Aberdeen), 78 percent of financial advisors and investors view widening discounts as a compelling trend in the closed-end funds market. The Aberdeen study gauged perceptions and sentiments of more than 100 financial advisors and investors at a recent closed-end funds conference.

How to Find the Closed-End Bargains
Dec. 06, 2015 - WallStreetJournal -  After years of rising prices for stocks and bonds, are there any bargains left?

Cheap securities aren’t easy to find, but some may be hiding in an obscure corner of the market: the closed-end fund universe. And some of the cheapest closed-end funds are those that invest in taxable bonds.

CET: An Out Of Step Old Timer That's On Sale
Dec. 03, 2015 - -  Summary

Central Securities Corp. is one of the oldest closed-end funds around.

It sticks to a value focus, which has kept it out of sync with the broader market of late.

Is It Time To Buy This Opportunistic Closed-End Bond Fund?
Dec. 01, 2015 - -  Summary

ARDC is an opportunistic closed-end fund that invests in high yield bonds, senior loans and CLOs.

The discount to NAV is at a record high 17%.

Why Are Closed End Bond Funds On Sale Like Its Black Friday?
Nov. 29, 2015 - Forbes -  Many closed end bond funds (“CEFS”) are trading at large discounts to net asset value (“NAV”).

5 Reasons To Love Prospect Capital
Nov. 22, 2015 - -  Summary

There are many reasons to criticize Prospect Capital Corporation; here are 5 reasons to love it.

PSEC is a BDC type closed-end fund with a healthy dividend yield greater than 14%.

Activist investors target shadow bank lenders
Nov. 18, 2015 - Financial Times -  Activists are targeting a type of lender within the shadow banking system that focus on midsized US companies, as their share prices trade below the value of their holdings.

Closed-End Funds For Sustainable 9%+ Monthly Income: How Can They Do It?
Nov. 17, 2015 - -  Summary

423 of 615 US CEFs/BDCs (69%) Pay Distributions Monthly. Including Quarterly Payers; 563 (92%) are Available to Investors.

319 CEFs/BDCs Pay over 7% and Pay At Least Quarterly (Averaging 10.1% Market Yield and 24% Leverage).

5 Things You Didn't Know About Investing in Bonds
Nov. 14, 2015 - The Motley Fool -  Most investors are aware that two of the general categories of investments are stocks and bonds. We at the Fool cover stocks quite a bit, but bonds remain a mystery to a lot of people, even those with substantial investing experience. With that in mind, here are five things all investors should know about investing in bonds.

4 Fantastic Closed-End Muni Bond Funds to Boost Your Income
Nov. 11, 2015 - The Street -  Nuveen is merging eight closed-end funds down to two and this will greatly benefit its Dividend Advantage Muni Fund 2 (NXZ) shareholders, said James Robinson, portfolio manager of the Robinson Tax Advantaged Income Fund (ROBAX). 

How Much Allocation To CEFs Is Too Much For An Income Investor?
Nov. 09, 2015 - -  Summary

CEFs provide a great income source for retirees and income investors.

A past performance screen with 10, 20 and 40% allocation of 4 CEFs in combination with VTI is presented.

The Pros and Cons of Buying Unit Investment Trusts
Nov. 01, 2015 - WallStreetJournal -  What are UITs and what are the pluses and minuses?

Unit investment trusts, or UITs, are a kind of investment fund that’s a cross between an actively managed fund and a set portfolio of investments.

High-Income, Stable-Capital CEF Portfolio Is Off To A Good Start
Oct. 30, 2015 - -  Summary

My model closed-end fund income portfolio is designed to provide high current income with capital preservation.

The portfolio exceeded its targets of 8% annualized income from taxable funds and 5% annualized income from tax-exempt funds.

Take Advantage of Steep Discounts on Closed-End Funds
Oct. 27, 2015 - The Street -  The average closed-end fund discount to net asset value is now 9% -- double the 15-year average. That's creating a great buying opportunity for yield-seeking investors, said Christian Magoon, CEO of Magoon Capital.

These High-Yielding Closed End Funds Will Boost Your Portfolio
Oct. 26, 2015 - The Street -  Shares of TCP Capital (TCPC - Get Report) are down over 13% thus far in 2015, but investors have not felt all that pain because the business development company pays a healthy 10% dividend. John Cole Scott, chief investment officer at Closed-End Fund Advisors, said this is the perfect time to step into the stock.

Putting Closed-End Fund Discounts Into Perspective
Oct. 25, 2015 - Forbes -  I often hear from advisors that one of their primary selection criteria for closed-end funds is whether or not the fund in question is trading at a discount or premium to its current net asset value (NAV). 

UBS to pay $17.5 mln in SEC settlement over fund's strategy change
Oct. 19, 2015 - Thomson Reuters -  UBS AG has agreed to pay $17.5 million to resolve charges stemming from the role two of its advisory firms played in allegedly failing to disclose a change in investment strategy by a fund focused on distressed debt, U.S. regulators said Monday.

Equity CEFs: Where Are The Best CEF Opportunities Now?
Oct. 19, 2015 - -  Summary

After a summer of discontent and a September NOT to remember, equity CEFs finally started to show some life in October, particularly last week.

The fear of a "Lehman event" and the lack of buyers in low liquidity securities like CEFs conspired to drop these fund's valuations to comparables not seen since 2008.

Tax-Free Income From Municipal Bond CEFs
Oct. 14, 2015 - -  Summary

Municipal bond CEFs can provide attractive yields free from federal taxes.

I survey the tax-free CEF category in this report.

The category has seen an upsurge in interest which has begun to take a toll on the attractiveness of some funds.

Value Seen In Muni Bond Closed-End Funds
Oct. 13, 2015 - -  Guest Paul Mazzilli, Independent Fund Consultant and Senior Advisor for S-Network Global Indexes, shares his thoughts on the current attractiveness of municipal bond closed-end funds:

Their ability to use leverage very effectively.
Wide discounts: share price dislocation versus net asset values.
The potential impact of the Puerto Rico debt crisis.

Closed-End Funds Offering Attractive Income
Oct. 10, 2015 - Barron's -  With interest rates likely to stay low for the foreseeable future, income investors can’t be blamed for looking for unorthodox ways to boost their returns. Here’s one to consider: Buy a closed-end fund that’s trading at a discount but set to liquidate in a few years at net asset value.

Why Falling Oil Prices Startled MLP Investors
Oct. 09, 2015 - WallStreetJournal -  Investors in master limited partnerships have just gotten the jolt of a lifetime.

The Alerian MLP Index, a leading measure of the performance of these income-paying energy companies, fell 5.7% on Sept. 28 and another 5.8% the next day. At that point, the index was down 22% for the month and 36% for 2015. Then, over the next week, it shot up 20%.

Comparing The Option-Income CEFs From Eaton Vance
Oct. 06, 2015 - -  Summary

Eaton Vance offers eight option-income closed-end funds.

The funds vary by investing objectives, portfolio strategies and percentage of option coverage.

PCI: Case Study Of The Largest Taxable CEF
Oct. 05, 2015 - -  Summary

Current distribution rate 10.71%.

Current discount to NAV exceeds 15%.

Price decline more than 19% off 52 week high.

Be greedy when others are fearful?

Activism Rising in Closed-End Funds
Oct. 05, 2015 - Forbes -  After markets closed on August 6, 2015, one of the most significant events in the history of the closed-end mutual fund (CEF) market took place, yet it garnered no attention from financial media. On that day, Alliance Bernstein announced that they were “open-ending” the Alliance Bernstein Income Fund (NYSE: ACG), a CEF, in Q1 2016.

High-Yield Bonds Look Attractive
Oct. 03, 2015 - Barron's -  Despite fear-mongering by Carl Icahn, the junk-bond market is starting to look appealing. In a 15-minute video released last week titled “Danger Ahead,” Icahn called junk bonds “amazingly risky.”

A CEF Portfolio For High Current Income With Capital Preservation
Sep. 30, 2015 - -  Summary

I propose a portfolio of closed-end funds designed to generate high current income with capital preservation and tax efficiency.

Existing ETPs provide high income, but have experienced extreme capital decay and are tax-inefficient.

These Top Choices For Preferred Shares Will Bring Nearly 9% Yields To Your Income Portfolio
Sep. 28, 2015 - -  Summary

Preferred shares belong in every income portfolio.

The asset class is often neglected by income investors.

The choices here, which are yielding nearly 9%, are ideal for diversifying an income portfolio.

Why Some Pros Favor Closed-End Bond Funds Right Now
Sep. 25, 2015 - WallStreetJournal -  Closed-end funds that are trading at unusually large discounts may be a good buy

Is Leverage Really An Advantage In Equity Closed-End Funds?
Sep. 24, 2015 - -  Summary

Prevailing wisdom holds that bullish market conditions favor leveraged, equity closed-end funds.

Similarly, declining or flat markets are seen as favoring the unleveraged, option-income equity closed end funds.

Investing In Biotech: Tekla CEFs Or IBB?
Sep. 23, 2015 - -  Summary

Biotechnology companies have experienced a sharp selloff, leaving many of them at favorable valuation. Some might consider this a timely opportunity for investing in biotech.

One can invest in the biotech sector via passively managed ETFs or actively managed closed-end funds.

SRV And SRF: Playing Games In Closed-End Funds
Sep. 23, 2015 - -  Summary

Cushing Royalty & Income Fund and Cushing MLP Total Return Fund have both gone through a reverse stock split.

The press release suggests it was done for shareholders.

That's sort of true, but you shouldn't thank the CEFs for it.

Why closed-end funds are more appealing during market turmoil
Sep. 22, 2015 - Investment News -  On the roller coaster ride that is the current stock market, most financial advisers are understandably counseling clients against making any rash portfolio decisions. Panicking is often the worst move investors can make during such market mayhem.

Smart Strategies for Income Investors Now
Sep. 19, 2015 - Barron's -  The bond market got what it wanted and more from the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision Thursday. Not only was there no rate hike, but the Fed’s commentary was decidedly more dovish than expected, and future economic-growth projections were ratcheted down. The first rate hike is now expected in December—or later.

Are There Any 'Safe' CEF Bond Funds?
Sep. 17, 2015 - -  Summary

Investors looking for yield in the CEF bond space are often attracted to high-yield funds.

But those aren't the only options available.

Monthly Paying Closed-End Fund NRO Offers 8% Return
Sep. 17, 2015 - -  Summary

NRO pays $0.03 per month per share and currently returns 8%.

NRO is currently selling at a 17% discount to NAV.

The share price of NRO should grow as REITs gain favor again with investors.

This Best-Of-Class CEF Has An Historically Deep Discount And Exceptional Yield
Sep. 14, 2015 - -  Summary

This is the first follow-up article to my survey of taxable income CEFs.

Here I focus on PDI which is, by any measure, one of the top choices in the category.

An Overview Of Where Taxable Income, Closed End Funds Stand Today
Sep. 10, 2015 - -  Summary

Taxable income closed end funds include a vast and diverse group of investment choices.

The category has seen severe declines in market values, often out of line with declines in net asset values of the funds.

Time for Closed-End Funds, Health-Care Stocks?
Sep. 01, 2015 - Barron's -  The market’s comeback last week had some writers viewing the Correction of 2015 in the past tense.

Should Prospect Capital Abandon Plans for Spin-Offs?
Aug. 31, 2015 - Barron's -  Prospect Capital (PSEC), a business development company, filed in May to spin off three of its business units into separate publicly-traded companies — a real estate investment trust, a closed-end fund and an online lending business. But the deals, which would total about 10% of its asset base, have yet to come to fruition.

Closed-End Funds Trading At A Discount To NAV
Aug. 31, 2015 - -  Summary

We screened closed-end funds to look for funds trading at a discount to NAV.
The screen excludes funds using leverage.
We found many interesting funds in out of favor industries.

Yield Spreads: This Selloff Is For Real
Aug. 26, 2015 - -  Summary

Bond yield spreads are signaling further equity market selling in coming months.
Junk bonds and emerging market debt are being sold heavily, signaling deteriorating risk sentiment.

Got Time for the Pain? Check Out This Energy Closed-End Fund
Aug. 25, 2015 - The Street -  Stock quotes in this article: PEO, CG, XOM, CVX, PSX, OXY, EOG, LYB, DOW, CF, APC
After all the fun yesterday, the talk last night turned to more serious matters like the pitching woes of the Baltimore Orioles, the Cubs' chances of making the playoffs and when to up the commitment to energy stocks.

Prospect Capital: Rising Interest Rates Could Drive Lower Earnings And NAV
Aug. 24, 2015 - -  Summary

Most analysts, investors and economists are only expecting small rate increases, and the first 100 basis points is the worst case scenario for most BDCs.
Less than 1% of PSEC’s investments will benefit from a 100 basis point increase.

Why Closed-End Funds Can Trade At A Discount
Aug. 12, 2015 - Forbes -  Let’s get to know a bit more about closed-end funds. Closed-end funds, while also mutual funds, have several characteristics that distinguish them from open-end funds. One of these unique traits is that they can trade at a discount or premium to net asset value (NAV).

Prospect Capital And The Fees Per Share
Aug. 10, 2015 - -  Summary

Management recently provided a new presentation - perhaps I should say an old presentation with a new slide.
Management fees per share have been declining which may cause investors to feel good about management sharing the pain. But don’t get too happy.

SRV: Trading At 20%+ Discount To NAV Due To Supply/Demand Imbalance
Aug. 10, 2015 - -  Summary

Wave of investor outflows has created a significant dislocation.
This provides an opportunity for those constructive on the MLP sector to obtain cheap exposure.

Is It Time To Buy Energy CEFs?
Aug. 08, 2015 - -  Summary

Energy CEFs have been hit hard over the past year, resulting in potential bargains.
Energy CEFs offer enticing income while you wait for the sector to recover.

Time to Buy Commodities
Aug. 08, 2015 - Barron's -  Sentiment on energy and gold -- and oil and metals stocks -- may be nearing capitulation. Now is a good time to lean against the wind and start to buy.

AllianceBernstein Plans to Convert Closed-End ACG to Open-End Fund
Aug. 07, 2015 - Barron's -  Concluding a lengthy battle with activist investors, AllianceBernstein announced Thursday a plan to convert its closed-end AllianceBernstein Income Fund (ACG) into a new open-end fund, the AB Income Fund.

BDC Results For Q2 2015: So Far So Good
Aug. 05, 2015 - -  Summary

Business development companies (“BDCs”) have begun reporting calendar Q2 results with at least 12 more reporting later this week.
So far, many BDCs have been covering dividends with stable NAV per share.

Closed-end funds could help advisers solve the dilemma of where to invest when rates go up
Jul. 30, 2015 - Investment News -  Research finds that the overall level of closed-end fund discounts trumps interest rate changes

Does Diversifying Damage Performance?
Jul. 28, 2015 - -  During the 1849 California Gold Rush people sold all their possessions to chase gold. A small minority hit the jackpot, but most did not. Back then, the few people that did get wealthy by not diversifying were the hyper-extreme exception, not the rule. And it's the same today.

Prospect Capital: Time To Go Bottom Fishing For BDCs?
Jul. 28, 2015 - -  Summary

Business development companies have been brutalized over the last few weeks.
Fears over rising interest rates and falling oil prices weigh on investor sentiment.

CEFL Now Yielding 23% - What's Wrong With The Closed-End Funds?
Jul. 27, 2015 - -  Summary

The decline in closed-end funds has now reduced the total return on CEFL to a negative 5.2%.
That decline has brought he yield on CEFL to 23% on an annualized monthly compounded basis.

Reminder - Prospect Capital (PSEC) Goes Ex-Dividend Soon
Jul. 27, 2015 - Forbes -  Looking at the universe of stocks we cover at Dividend Channel, on 7/29/15, Prospect Capital Corporation (NASD: PSEC) will trade ex-dividend, for its monthly dividend of $0.0833, payable on 8/20/15. As a percentage of PSEC’s recent stock price of $7.09, this dividend works out to approximately 1.18%, so look for shares of Prospect Capital Corporation to trade 1.18% lower — all else being equal — when PSEC shares open for trading on 7/29/15.

Opportunities Abound In Fixed Income Closed-End Funds
Jul. 22, 2015 - Forbes -  If you haven’t reviewed the latest opportunities in fixed income closed-end funds (CEF), do your portfolio a favor and look. The CEF market is trading at an average discount of -9.5% to net asset value (NAV), well below its longer term average of -4.2%. Fears of drastic moves in interest rates, imploding Chinese equities and heightened European market risk are causing fearful retail investors to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Choosing The 'Best' REIT CEF
Jul. 20, 2015 - -  Summary

Over the past 8 years, only RNP has consistently outperformed VNQ on a risk-adjusted basis.
REIT CEFs help diversify an S&P 500 focused portfolio.
Domestic REIT funds outperformed international REIT funds over most of the timeframes analyzed.

Comparing 2 Monthly Eaton Vance Income Closed End Funds EOS And EOI
Jul. 16, 2015 - -  Summary

EOI has a steady monthly income ($0.0864) of 7.8%.
EOS has a steady monthly income ($0.0875) of 7.6%.

The Top 10 Things To Like About Prospect Capital Besides The 13.4% Dividend Yield
Jul. 14, 2015 - -  Summary

PSEC is a high yielding business development company.
The high yield reflects extremely negative investor sentiment.
Investors seem to be overlooking the positive case, which is presented here.

Funds Gain $36.2 Billion During Week Dominated By China, Greece And Glitches
Jul. 14, 2015 - -  Lipper's fund macro-groups (including both mutual funds and exchange-traded funds [ETFs]) had aggregate net inflows of $36.2 billion for the fund-flows week ended Wednesday, July 8. Every group except municipal bond funds (-$306 million) took in net new money. Money market funds (+$19.2 billion) led the way, followed by equity funds (+$14.1 billion) and taxable bond funds (+$3.1 billion).

2015 CEF Strategies: 1st Half Observations, 2nd Half Opportunities
Jul. 13, 2015 - -  Summary

Fewer and fewer sectors appear to be doing well so far in 2015 and this is creating angst among investors. For CEF investors, it's also been about sector exposure.
Throw in interest rate sensitive sectors this year, including most equity and bond CEFs, and the list of where to hide grows shorter and shorter.
Nonetheless, one of the great features of CEFs is that their market prices can often overshoot on the upside and downside no matter what the broader markets are doing.

Keep an Open Mind About Closed-End Funds
Jul. 08, 2015 - The Street -  After Tuesday's column on income investing, an old friend remarked that he really didn't think that Wall Street was all that bad about producing products designed to remove piles of fees and commissions from the pockets of income investors.

The Number of Closed-End Funds Out There is Shrinking Fast
Jul. 07, 2015 - Barron's -  Jason Kephart, an analyst at Morningstar, points out that 2015 is on pace to be the fourth year in a row that more CEFs exited than entered the market. The number of CEFs had fallen about 20%, to 565, from nearly 700 in 2011, as of the beginning of June.

How MLP Weakness Affects Legg Mason, Piper Jaffray: Susquehanna
Jul. 02, 2015 - Barron's -  The Alerian MLP Index (AMLP) lost 3.8% in the second quarter, and is down 8.8% since the start of the year.  Susquehanna Group’s DougSipkin and Justin LaSalle-Tarantin today take a look at how that’s affecting assets managers.

Morgan Stanley Upgrades Rating on Pimco ‘PTY’ Closed-End Fund as Premium Deflates
Jul. 02, 2015 - Barron's -  The hefty premium has come out of the Pimco Corporate & Income Opportunity Fund (PTY), a multi-sector closed-end fund formerly managed by Bill Gross.

Legg Mason Is Poised to Run
Jun. 27, 2015 - Barron's -  After seven straight years of outflows, Legg Mason is bringing in money and its share are on the rise. Here’s why the stock could gain another 20%.

This Stock Has A 12.99% Yield, Sells For Less Than Book, and Insiders Have Been Buying
Jun. 26, 2015 - Forbes -  In this series, we look through the most recent Dividend Channel ”DividendRank” report, and then we cherry pick only those companies that have experienced insider buying within the past six months. The officers and directors of a company tend to have a unique insider’s view of the business, and presumably the only reason an insider would choose to take their hard-earned cash and use it to buy stock in the open market, is that they expect to make money — maybe they find the stock very undervalued, or maybe they see exciting progress within the company, or maybe both.

Japan Joins Israel in Fund Growth That's Easing Bleak Year at Aberdeen
Jun. 22, 2015 - The Street -  Aberdeen Asset Management's  (AND) stock has had a bleak year so far, but its closed-end funds that let investors tap markets such as Israel and Japan are delivering impressive returns.

Inside Those Yield-Rich BDCs
Jun. 20, 2015 - Barron's -  In the hunt for current income, there are few spots with yields as enticing as business development companies (BDCs). This corner of finance consists of some 50 publicly traded firms that loan to private midsize companies. The group has an average yield of about 10% and trades below book value.

PIMCO Versus DoubleLine CEFs: Which Are Better?
Jun. 19, 2015 - -  Summary

PIMCO multi-sector CEFs outperformed DoubleLine over a 3-year period, but DoubleLine was best over the past year.
PIMCO and DoubleLine multi-sector CEFs were not very correlated with one another.
High premium funds, like PGP and PHK, have had relatively poor performance.

Closed-End Bond Funds Enjoy Barron’s Bounce
Jun. 15, 2015 - Barron's -  It appears some  of the closed-end bond funds highlighted in Barron’s this week, are getting a bounce from the favorable coverage. See the feature by Andrew Bary, “These Funds Boast Yields as High as 9%.”

Utility CEFs For Defensive Income
Jun. 12, 2015 - -  Summary

Utilities have gone from overvalued to a more reasonable valuation.
At appropriate valuation, the utility sector offers opportunity for defensive income investing.
This article summarizes nine utility closed-end funds with a median distribution yield of 7.6%.

Indexes Open China to Millions More
Jun. 07, 2015 - WallStreetJournal -  Global investors are soon going to get a taste of stock trading, China-style.

With the major stock-index providers adding or likely adding stocks that trade on China’s domestic markets, millions of foreign investors will own a piece of a market that has some of the highest valuations and volatility in the world.

BlackRock Corporate High Yield Fund: Cheap And Decent
Jun. 04, 2015 - -  Summary

BlackRock Corporate High Yield Fund is trading at an over 10% discount to NAV.
HYT, meanwhile, has had a decent run over the last few years.
Is this a good opportunity to buy a decent fund?

4 Closed-End Bond Funds With High Income, Less Rate Risk
Jun. 04, 2015 - Barron's -  Closed-end bond funds offer yields averaging around 8% and are trading at discount prices, making them look like compelling opportunities. (See, last week’s Current Yield column, “Get 8% Yields at a Discount with Closed-End Bond Funds.”

BlackRock Corporate High Yield Fund: Cheap And Decent
Jun. 04, 2015 - -  Summary

BlackRock Corporate High Yield Fund is trading at an over 10% discount to NAV.
HYT, meanwhile, has had a decent run over the last few years.
Is this a good opportunity to buy a decent fund?

Is NexPoint The Next REIT To Return 50%?
Jun. 04, 2015 - -  Summary

NXRT’s upside is about $25, downside is around the current $15 price and most likely outcome is around $22.50 or 50% above today’s price.
NexPoint Credit Strategies Fund (NHF) is a closed-end fund that trades for a discount to NAV of 10-15%.
The fund invests in non-investment grade debt and equities, but since 2013 had been building a real estate portfolio that grew to be roughly 45% of the fund’s assets.
To unlock value in the structure, management is spinning off the real estate portfolio into a new publicly traded REIT.
This transaction will unlock significant value in the overall structure, has little downside from the current price, and offers substantial upside.

New Bill Gross Fund Trails Pimco Total Return
Jun. 02, 2015 - WallStreetJournal -  Bill Gross hasn’t exactly been drawing royal flushes since he left Pacific Investment Management Co. eight months ago.

BDC Total Returns And Continued Bifurcation
Jun. 02, 2015 - -  Summary

BDC returns and valuations continued to be bifurcated since 2013.
As predicted in previous articles, many of the higher priced BDCs continue to drive higher returns.
This article also briefly discusses the 'rights offerings' for PSEC.

Get 8% Yields at a Discount With Closed-End Bond Funds
May. 30, 2015 - Barron's -  Closed-end bond funds often seem like the forgotten corner of the fund industry for all but the savviest of investors. But with yields that easily top 7%, it’s time for income investors to take a closer look.

Here Comes A Closed-End Fund Buying Opportunity
May. 27, 2015 - -  Summary

Generating income is a common goal for many investors, but one not easily achieved in today’s low-yielding environment.
CEFs offer a very attractive complement to traditional income-producing investments.
The back half of the year usually presents opportunities as volatility often picks up.

Cohen & Steers Quality Income Realty Shares: Starting The Year Off On The Right Dividend Foot
May. 27, 2015 - -  Summary

Cohen & Steers Quality Income Realty Shares increased its distribution 26% this year.
The fund is trading at an around 12% discount to NAV and is buying back shares.
If you aren't a REIT expert, this could be a good CEF for you.

3 Picks for Income and Growth: One MLP, One REIT, One Closed-End Fund
May. 15, 2015 - Barron's -  With bond yields historically low, but likely to rise in the coming year (which would lead to price declines), identifying high-yield investments that seem likely to appreciate in value is a real challenge.

The Miller/Howard High Income Equity CEF: Available For A Limited Time Only
May. 14, 2015 - -  Summary

The Miller/Howard High Income Equity Fund has a pre-scheduled liquidation date in 10 years.
Guarantees NAV at the end of that 10-year period, regardless of discounts in the interim.
Focus is on dividend income, microcaps, with a substantial weight in MLPs.

Gladstone Capital: What Comes Next?
May. 11, 2015 - -  Summary

This is a series of articles comparing the historical results for BDCs that have been public for at least six years.
Over the last six years, GLAD has had a stable dividend, but experienced declines in its NAV per share in 2011 and 2012.
GLAD has a higher-than-average exposure to oil and gas that has recently held its value, but could become an issue at some point.
BDCs that have consistently grown or at least preserved dividends and NAV per share have provided higher returns to shareholders.

Prospect Capital Files to Launch 3 Spin-offs
May. 11, 2015 - Barron's -  Prospect Capital (PSEC), a business development company, has filed to spin off three of its businesses into separate publicly-traded companies. It is in the middle of the regulatory process now, but hopes to complete all three in 2015 says Grier Eliasek, Prospect’s president.

Fifth Street Finance's (FSC) CEO Todd Owens on Q2 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript
May. 11, 2015 - -  Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Second Quarter 2015 Fifth Street Finance Corporation Earnings Conference Call. My name is Dennis and I’ll be your operator for today. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session.

Comparing Ares Capital To TPG Specialty Lending
May. 11, 2015 - -  Summary

This article looks at the performance and valuation metrics for ARCC and TSLX.
There are much more similarities than differences.
Should one, both, or neither be in your portfolio?

Prospect Capital's Results For Fiscal Q3 2015 - My Assessment
May. 11, 2015 - -  Summary

On 5/6/2015, PSEC reported results for the fiscal third quarter of 2015.
PSEC reported NII of $0.244 per share, earnings of $0.227 per share, net ICTI of $0.261 per share, and NAV of $10.30 per share as of 3/31/2015.
In this article, I will summarize my previous account projections versus actual results.
I will also provide my thoughts on several important topics from the quarter including PSEC’s updated oil and gas exposure, future investment portfolio strategies, future debt financing, and dividend considerations.
My buy, sell, or hold recommendation for PSEC is stated in the “Conclusions Drawn” section at the end of the article.

Equity CEFs: Now Is The Time For The Nuveen Global Equity Income Fund
May. 11, 2015 - -  Summary

Equity CEFs can fall in and out of favor but rarely does a diversified fund languish for three years like this one.
The Nuveen Global Equity Income fund had been a major disappointment since the bull market started though a well timed change of strategy in 2014 may be turning the tide.
One of the great advantages of CEFs is that you can actually see a fund's NAV turning it around even while investors continue to significantly undervalue its market price.

This Leveraged Global Bond CEF Is On Sale
May. 11, 2015 - -  Summary

FAM is trading at a 14% discount, which is near a five-year high.
The fund hedges away most of the foreign currency and interest rate risk.
FAM can be a good diversifier for an IRA retirement account.

Pimco Slate Wins Over Dissidents in Proxy Battle
May. 08, 2015 - Barron's -  The results are in and the slate of directors proposed by activist hedge fund Ironsides Partners got just 13% of votes in a proxy contest at closed-end bond fund Pimco Dynamic Credit Income (PCI). In its press release, Pimco noted that its nominees were “overwhelmingly elected.”

Lipper Closed-End Funds Summary: April 2015
May. 06, 2015 - -  Both U.S. Equity and Fixed Income Closed-End Funds Post Plus-Side Returns for the First Month in Five

Prudential Real Estate Investors raises $629 Million for Senior Housing Partners V
May. 05, 2015 - BusinessWire -  Prudential Real Estate Investors announced today that it has completed the capital raise of Senior Housing Partners V (SHP V) with a total of $629 million in capital commitments. SHP V is the fifth in a series of dedicated, closed-end funds designed to capitalize on investment opportunities in the growing senior housing industry. PREI is the real estate investment and advisory business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU).

Prospect Capital Becomes Oversold
May. 04, 2015 - Forbes -  According to the ETF Finder at, PSEC makes up 8.20% of the BDC Income ETF (AMEX: BIZD) which is trading lower by about 0.8% on the day Monday.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s Favorite Equity Income CEFs
Apr. 29, 2015 - Barron's -  Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is out with a shopping list for investors on the hunt for equity closed-end funds.

Nuveen Investments’ Industry Leadership Recognized at 14th Annual Capital Link Closed-End Fund Forum
Apr. 27, 2015 - BusinessWire -  Nuveen Investments, a leading global provider of investment services to institutions as well as individual investors, today announced that the firm was honored at Capital Link, Inc.’s 14th annual Closed-End Fund and Global ETF Forum on Thursday, April 23, 2015, for excellence in the closed-end fund marketplace.

Gundlach’s Fund Doubles Holdings of Junk-Rated Puerto Rico
Apr. 27, 2015 - Bloomberg -  DoubleLine Capital’s Jeffrey Gundlach more than doubled the holdings of junk-rated Puerto Rico debt in his Income Solutions Fund to $45 million.

The Search for Yield Leads to Private Debt
Apr. 25, 2015 - Barron's -  The search for yield is going even farther afield: Investors are being sold private debt.

The selling point is obvious—private-debt funds yield up to 10% to 12% a year. But they’re far from simple. Similar to private-equity funds, private-debt funds make direct loans, or buy the existing loans, of mostly private companies. These funds are usually set up as partnerships, where only qualified investors can get in, and assets are locked up for 10 years.

A High Income, Balanced CEF Portfolio With Reasonable Risk
Apr. 24, 2015 - -  Summary

A CEF portfolio was constructed with 65% equities and 35% bonds.
The CEF portfolio distributed over 8% in income.
On a risk-adjusted basis, the CEF portfolio either equaled or outperformed the S&P 500 during all time periods analyzed.

Investors Seeking High Yield Should Try Closed-End Funds
Apr. 24, 2015 - The Street -  Investors looking for a solid, closed-end fund with attractive yields don't have to go far, said John Cole Scott, portfolio manager for Closed-End Fund Advisors. 

Equity CEFs: The Insanity Of CEF Investors - Part III
Apr. 23, 2015 - -  Summary

This is the final "insanity" article that I will be writing in this series and I will come back in 6-months and then 1-year to see how I did.
CEFs can be the most short term confusing and long term predictable security class I know of and you have to prepare yourself for the inevitable ups and downs.
But doing your own due diligence on CEFs while avoiding the noise can keep you out of trouble in this asset class if you know what to look for.

Looking To Enter Chinese Rally At 17% Discount? Consider CAF
Apr. 22, 2015 - -  Summary

CAF is a closed-end fund almost 100% invested in the Chinese A shares, but not reflecting the recent rally.
The discount to NAV is widest it's been in multiple years.
CAF presents an attractive opportunity to enter China A shares at a deep discount.

Gundlach Buys $20 Million of Junk-Rated Puerto Rico Bonds
Apr. 22, 2015 - Bloomberg -  DoubleLine Capital’s Jeffrey Gundlach bought $20 million of junk-rated Puerto Rico bonds this year as the commonwealth struggled with its fiscal crisis.

Investors Turn to Big Real-Estate Funds
Apr. 21, 2015 - WallStreetJournal -  Investors are pouring more money into real-estate funds than they have since the property bust, but a few giant fund firms are collecting the lion’s share of the spoils.

FGB - Closed-Ended Financial Fund Offering 9% Dividends
Apr. 21, 2015 - -  Summary

Finally seeing a discount to NAV.
Dividend payout at 9.2% and increasing.
Possibly a better choice than BTO, its closest competitor.

Tri-Continental Corporation: A Unique CEF Old Timer That Could Be A Complement To Your Portfolio
Apr. 17, 2015 - -  Summary

TY is one of the oldest CEFs around.
Currently run by Columbia Management, it's an odd mix of computers and human beings.
In many ways, TY looks like an asset allocation fund.

Make Over 6% Income With Utility CEFs
Apr. 17, 2015 - -  Summary

Utility CEFs are good income producers with distributions ranging from 6% to over 8%.
Utility CEFs have been more volatile than the general stock market.
Some, but not all, utility CEFs have provided good risk-adjusted performance over the bear-bull cycle.
Utility CEFs are not highly correlated with the general market.

Tannenbaum's Fifth Street Funds Yield 10% by Lending Alongside Private Equity
Apr. 17, 2015 - Bloomberg -  When Leonard Tannenbaum set up shop in the basement of an office building in Mount Kisco, New York, his plan for his one-man investing business was about as basic as you can get. “Early on, the idea was to make money,” Tannenbaum says. “How do I make money? How do I get an edge?”

3 Things to Watch in Prospect Capital Corporation’s Third-Quarter Report
Apr. 16, 2015 - The Motley Fool -  All eyes are on its rights offering, but Prospect Capital's (NASDAQ: PSEC  ) earnings reports are just as important now as they have ever been. As the quarter came to a close on March 31, here's what I'll be watching when Prospect Capital reports earnings.

Adams Diversified Equity Fund Declares Dividend And Announces First Quarter Performance
Apr. 16, 2015 - MarketWatch -  The Board of Directors of Adams Diversified Equity Fund, Inc. ADX, -0.78% today declared an interim dividend of $0.05 per share, payable June 1, 2015, to shareholders of record May 13, 2015. This dividend represents the second payment this year toward the Fund's annual 6% minimum distribution rate commitment. In 2014, the Fund paid out distributions at an annual distribution rate of 8.8%. Details regarding the Fund's annual 6% minimum distribution rate commitment can be found at

Bond Managers Want in on the Smart Beta Action
Apr. 15, 2015 - Institutional Investor -  Seeking an alternative to traditional capitalization-weighted benchmarks, BlackRock, Northern Trust and other firms are launching smart beta bond funds.

Romanian Fund Lines Up London Listing to Boost Investor Access
Apr. 07, 2015 - WallStreetJournal -  Fondul Proprietatea, a $3.5-billion Romanian closed-end fund managed by Franklin Templeton, is planning a secondary listing in London by the beginning of May.

BDC Total Returns Q1 2015: Part 1
Apr. 06, 2015 - -  Summary

This series will compare the returns for BDCs.
Higher yield BDCs continue to underperform the average.
8 BDCs that I follow have cut dividends in the last 12 months.

Comparing 2 Monthly Income Closed End Funds
Apr. 06, 2015 - -  Summary

ETV has a steady monthly income ($0.1108) of 8.9%.
EOS has a steady monthly income ($0.0875) of 7.5%.
Total return beats the DOW average, over the last 27-month test period.
Funds higher than 30% in Tech companies.
Moderate downside protection and income from covered call writing.

Equity CEFs: The Insanity Of CEF Investors
Apr. 06, 2015 - -  Summary

1st qtr 2015 equity CEF performance #'s are out and let the head scratching begin as it seems the insanity of CEF investors has reached another fever pitch.
I've struggled to explain why the best performing equity CEFs continue to trade at the widest discounts while underperforming to downright bad CEFs get to trade at premiums.
Don't get me wrong, you still would have been far better off in the funds I recommended but I think I may have found a reason for the insanity.

Make Over 8.5% With A Multi-Sector CEF Bond Portfolio
Apr. 05, 2015 - -  Summary

A portfolio of multi-sector CEFs generated high income and outperformed high yield bonds on a risk-adjusted basis.
Adding multi-sector CEFs is a good way to diversify a bond ETF portfolio.
The performance of multi-sector CEFs tend to rotate over time so it is difficult to pick a winner over several time periods.

CEFs, Leverage And Rising Interest Rates
Mar. 30, 2015 - -  Summary

Closed-end funds often make use of leverage to enhance shareholder returns.
That can be a good thing in up markets, but it can also be a bad thing in down ones.
But what about a market where interest rates are heading higher?

Calamos Investments' new closed-end fund tries to limit discount to NAV issue
Mar. 30, 2015 - Investment News -  Calamos Investments has broken the ice with the year's first closed-end fund initial public offering that includes a few tweaks designed to increase appeal among investors and financial advisers.

The Ultimate High-Yield Bond Portfolio
Mar. 30, 2015 - -  Summary

When constructing a bond portfolio, the closed-end fund space offers funds that use leverage to enhance returns.
The select bond income portfolio is presented, showcasing a yield over 8% with the inclusion of an investment-grade mutual fund to reduce risk.
An analysis of this 5-fund bond portfolio with an aggregate monthly yield ~8.11% showcases heightened current value versus average value, as above-average discounts are presented.

TRLPC: Goldman Sachs BDC brings high profile name to challenged sector
Mar. 26, 2015 - Thomson Reuters -  Goldman Sachs BDC Inc last week became the first business development company (BDC) backed by an investment bank to list its shares on a public exchange, bringing a high profile institutional name to the universe of publicly traded BDC vehicles but creating little momentum for others to follow suit.

CEFL And YYY: Are These CEF Alternatives Worth Owning?
Mar. 25, 2015 - -  Summary

YYY and CEFL track the ISE High Income Index.
The index invests in CEFs with high yields, wide discounts, and adequate trading volume.
Although the index sounds good, I'm not sold.

Ex-Div Reminder for Prospect Capital (PSEC)
Mar. 25, 2015 - Forbes -  Looking at the universe of stocks we cover at Dividend Channel, on 3/27/15, Prospect Capital Corporation (NASD: PSEC) will trade ex-dividend, for its monthly dividend of $0.0833, payable on 4/23/15. As a percentage of PSEC’s recent stock price of $8.54, this dividend works out to approximately 0.98%, so look for shares of Prospect Capital Corporation to trade 0.98% lower — all else being equal — when PSEC shares open for trading on 3/27/15.

Voices: Maury Fertig, on Finding Value In Closed-End Funds
Mar. 24, 2015 - WallStreetJournal -  Voices is an occasional column that allows wealth managers to address issues of interest to the advisory community. Maury Fertig is chief investment officer of Relative Value Partners in Northbrook, Ill.

Term Preferred Stocks Provide A Conservative Income Stream
Mar. 23, 2015 - -  Summary

Term preferred stocks provide solid income streams to conservative income investors.
Mandatory redemption feature lowers volatility.
Most issues are covered by leverage rules dictated by the Investment Company Act of 1940.

How I Am Playing The Rebound In High Yield Bonds And Getting Paid 9.5%
Mar. 19, 2015 - -  Summary

Junk bonds make sense for 2015.
Concerns about the decline in oil prices have faded and few asset classes offer yields of 6% or more.
The European Central Bank's bond buying program just made junk bonds even more attractive.
While some junk bond ETFs make sense, better values and higher yields are possible with closed end funds that trade at a discount.

Goldman Sachs Prices Shares in Lending Unit
Mar. 17, 2015 - WallStreetJournal -  Goldman Sachs Group Inc. priced six million shares of its specialty lending arm late Tuesday at $20 apiece, the low end of its $20-$21 targeted range, raising $120 million, a person familiar with the matter said.

Closed-End Bond Funds vs. ETFs
Mar. 13, 2015 - Barron's -  Closed-end bond funds can be cheaper than comparable ETFs and more agile in their investing.

What Could Replace PIMCO High Income Fund?
Mar. 12, 2015 - -  Summary

PHK is trading at around a 60% premium to NAV.
Although the fund has performed well over time, that's an extreme premium.
If you are looking for a big yield, PIMCO's PFN could be a “cheaper” alternative.

Nuveen Preferred Loads Up on Floating-Rate Securities
Mar. 11, 2015 - Barron's -  Preferred stocks are winners when it comes to generating income, but they also usually carry outsized interest rate risk. With the Fed expected to start lifting rates as early as June, it makes sense for preferred fans to find a way to mitigate that risk.

Ares Capital Corporation: Why Investors Should Have This 9% Yielding BDC On Their Shopping List
Mar. 06, 2015 - -  Summary

Ares Capital is an interesting business development company for investors desiring recurring cash flow.
The BDC offers investors convincing portfolio growth and low distribution volatility.
Ares Capital actually manages to trade at a premium to book value, which sets it apart from other business development companies like Prospect Capital or Fifth Street Finance.
Shares of Ares Capital currently yield 8.7%, but shareholders can also benefit from special dividends.

BlackRock equity manager Keefe departs
Feb. 24, 2015 - Thomson Reuters -  Timothy Keefe, who managed BlackRock Inc's $581 million Flexible Equity Income Fund has left the firm after three years.

Dreyfus High Yield Strategies Fund: This Net Asset Value Bargain Offers A Generous 9.7% Yield
Feb. 12, 2015 - -  Summary

High yield bonds are rebounding and still offer generous yields.
The Dreyfus High Yield Strategies Fund is trading at a significant discount to net asset value.
With a yield of nearly 9.7% and a discount of nearly 6%, this closed end fund looks particularly attractive now.

Exploiting Market Inefficiency In Closed-End Funds
Feb. 09, 2015 - -  Summary

Closed-end funds are widely considered to be the most inefficient of tradable securities.
A recent paper examining closed-end fund discount and premium status conclusively demonstrates that mean reversion is a feature of the funds and can be the basis of a trading strategy.
Mean reversion rates vary among asset classes. Fixed-income fund revert faster than equity funds.

Bill Gross Has Started To Sell His Pimco Closed-End Funds
Feb. 06, 2015 - -  Summary

This week there have been a few SEC Filings with Pimco Fund Sales.
Thus far only three funds have been partially sold.
The selling may provide a good buying opportunity at some point.

Franklin Universal Trust: An Interesting Mix In This CEF
Feb. 05, 2015 - -  Summary

FT's goal is current income and capital preservation.
FT takes a unique approach to that, mixing risky assets with more stable ones.
It's not a fund I'd rush to own, but it could have a place with the right investor.

Closed End Funds: Where Does That Discount Go?
Jan. 30, 2015 - -  Summary

If you buy CEFs you are probably on the lookout for discounts to NAV.
Buying on the cheap has its benefits, but doesn't guarantee capital appreciation.

Beaten Down BDCs: TICC Capital
Jan. 19, 2015 - -  Summary

TICC is now trading at 20% below net asset value and has a dividend yield of 15.6%.
TICC has relatively high leverage and relatively high CLO exposure.

Assessing Risk Versus Reward For High Yield BDCs
Jan. 18, 2015 - -  Summary

BDCs typically provide yields in excess of 9%.
BDCs are substantially more volatile than the S&P 500.

MLPs Are Down 10% But This MLP Closed End Fund Maintains A Premium
Jan. 14, 2015 - -  Summary

Kayne Anderson Energy Fund: from a 9.8% discount to a 17.9% premium in one year.
Fund has been increasing premium despite under-performing NAV.

Equity CEFs: The Dilemma Of The Equity Option Income Strategy
Jan. 12, 2015 - -  Summary

Option-income CEFs utilize one of the most popular strategies for income investors who want a stock based fund with a tax-advantaged enhanced yield.
The downside of option-income CEFs is that they generally will underperform in a bull market due to their defensive strategy of selling future stock appreciation potential for current income.

Prospect Capital And The Best Stocks For 2015
Jan. 05, 2015 - Forbes -  I have a reputation to redeem. After winning InvestorPlace’s Best Stocks contest in 2011, coming within a hair of winning in 2012, and then winning it all in 2013, I finished 2014 at the bottom of the heap. My bet that 2014 would be the year that emerging markets assumed leadership proved to be premature.

Frontrunning Yield Shares High Income ETF YYY And ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Closed-End Fund ETN CEFL: Could You Have Profited?
Jan. 04, 2015 - -  Summary

ISE High Income Index, the index for YYY and CEFL, is rebalanced annually on the last trading day of each year.
CEFs that were to be added saw heavy buying pressure before the rebalancing date, while those to be removed saw heavy selling pressure.

Tactics for Combating Low Bond Yields
Jan. 04, 2015 - Morningstar, Inc. -  Dividend-paying stocks and preferreds, lower-quality bonds, and stable-value funds top readers' lists of investments for a yield-starved environment.

Closed-End Emerging-Market Bond Funds Are Cheap
Jan. 03, 2015 - Barron's -  Emerging markets securities are on sale, none more so than a handful of closed-end bond funds.

Bonds from the developing world were among the worst-performing fixed-income securities in 2014. The JPMorgan Government Bond Index-Emerging Market Global Diversified Composite had a loss of 5.72% in 2014, reflecting weak currencies.

Equity CEFs: Will 2015 Be The Year Of The Rotation?
Dec. 29, 2014 - -  Summary

The bull market in US equities over the past 3-years has certainly been a boon to most equity CEFs though it all depended on what funds you were in.
Equity CEFs that focused in healthcare, biotech or technology have been the greatest beneficiaries while commodity funds in energy, gold and metals have lagged the most.

Cuba Closed-End Fund Surges More Than 40% on Diplomatic Breakthrough
Dec. 17, 2014 - Barron's -  Looks like Thomas J. Herzfeld‘s ship has finally come in.

U.S. policy shift finally rewards Cuba-focused fund manager
Dec. 17, 2014 - Thomson Reuters -  After twenty years, Thomas Herzfeld’s long bet on Cuba is paying off.

BMO Private Bank: Junk-Bond CEF Discounts Don’t Show Panic
Dec. 16, 2014 - Barron's -  Falling crude has put serious strain on the high-yield bond market, raising concerns that losses could spill more broadly into stocks.

The Pros and Cons of Funds That Use Returned Capital to Boost Yields
Dec. 14, 2014 - WallStreetJournal -  Some funds that seem to have high yields are just returning capital, not giving investors much in the way of dividends or interest. How much of a problem is this and how can an investor avoid the lure of those funds?

Fat Premiums Still Baked into Gross’ Former Pimco Closed-End Funds
Nov. 20, 2014 - Barron's -  Bill Gross‘ exit from Pacific Investment Management Co. in September triggered heavy selling in closed-end funds run by the firm’s legendary co-founder.

How Much High-Yield Is Too Much High-Yield?
Nov. 16, 2014 - -  Summary

Do you view high-yield as a diversification tool, a trade, or merely as something speculative?
When building an income portfolio including high-yield stocks, consider cash outflow just as you would capital inflow.

BDC Results For Q3 2014
Nov. 16, 2014 - -  Summary
This article discusses the recently reported results for 23 of the 26 BDCs that I follow.
The average amount of dividend coverage has improved considerably due to better than expected results.

Spice Up Your Retirement Portfolio With REIT CEFs
Nov. 15, 2014 - -  Summary

Over the past 7 years, domestic REIT CEFs have exhibited excellent risk-adjusted performance, with a few actually outperforming the S&P 500.
Generally, REIT CEFs are significantly more volatile than the S&P 500.

Ready For The Holiday Shopping Season - In Closed-End Funds?
Nov. 13, 2014 - -  Summary

Tax-loss selling appears to be a major force in the closed-end fund marketplace.
However, selling pressure has historically been strongest in early-to-mid November.
Long-side investors should begin readying their shopping lists of fund bargains that have been excessively battered in the tax-loss season sell-off.

Tortoise Energy Infrastructure Looks Really Cheap
Nov. 11, 2014 - -  Summary

Large deferred tax liability is a form of free float.
Some high-cost leveraged debt is maturing within six months.
Discount to adjusted net asset value is -36%.

The Risks of Two Closed-End Bond Funds
Nov. 09, 2014 - WallStreetJournal -  Two funds, AllianzGI Convertible & Income (NCV), and AllianzGI Convertible & Income II (NCZ), have been under pressure lately. Why do they have such a high yield? Do they use leverage and are they risky? And are they more attractive now that they’ve fallen in price?

An Income Portfolio: High Income And Capital Preservation
Oct. 23, 2014 - -  Summary

If you were to need the income today, a typical Dividend Stock portfolio would not fit the bill. You would instead need an income-centric portfolio.

Junk Bonds Rebound, But Closed-End Fund Bargains Remain
Oct. 22, 2014 - Barron's -  Here today, gone tomorrow. Such is the reality for bargain-hunters in today’s low-yielding investment world, in which opportunistic investments appear quickly and then get snapped up just as fast. Last week’s sharp price swings across markets opened up a wide gulf between Treasury bond yields (which dropped) and junk-bond yields (which climbed). In a pretty short period, lots of investors stepped in and bought high-yield bonds.

Equity CEFs: The Nuveen Equity Option CEF Restructuring/Mergers Delayed Again
Oct. 21, 2014 - -  Summary

On May 1st, 2014, Nuveen announced the restructuring and mergers of 7 of its equity option-income CEFs that would bring the total number of funds down to 4.

Closed-End Fund Advisors: Third-Quarter 2014 CEF/BDC Review And Outlook
Oct. 17, 2014 - -  


  • CEF discounts are very attractive at the end of third-quarter 2014.
  • 100% of Municipal Bond CEFs had positive NAV Total Return for the quarter but 39% had negative market price total returns and now trade at an average -8% discount.
  • Debt-based BDCs ended the quarter at a -3% discount to NAV (-8% wider than Q2'14) and an average 9.6% yield.

These BDCs Are Getting Seriously Cheap, But Why?
Oct. 16, 2014 - -  


  • Several BDCs have been selling off lately.
  • As a result, valuations are relatively low.
  • However, various headwinds could put continued pressure on these stocks.

BDC Boot Camp: An Introduction to Business Development Companies
Oct. 16, 2014 - Closed-End Fund Advisors -  Our firm has been zeroing in on BDCs for most of 2014; adding them to our CEF Universe data and news / SEC filing coverage, our Monthly Best Ideas List, launching a managed BDC account in September or partnering with a UIT provider for a BDC UIT for November. The similarities between traditional CEFs and BDCs are what initially drew us to the structure.  However, it is important to understand both the similarities and differences in order to decide how and/or when to invest in a BDC.  We hope this article will help prepare you to be able to do this.  This article is a companion to a video we produced and is posted on our blog: We will begin by discussing the origin of BDCs using data from the September 26th, 2014 issue for our data service. 

'18% Off Sale' On Closed End Funds, With Cohen & Steers Closed End Opportunity Fund
Oct. 15, 2014 - -  


  • Cohen & Steers Closed End Opportunity Fund (FOF) may seem dull and boring to some investors.
  • But "compounded discounts" on both the prices of the funds it buys, and on its own stock price add up to an 18% overall discount.
  • With prices on the stocks and bonds that Closed End Funds hold is low to begin with, getting an additional 18% discount is hard to beat!
  • And the market swoon has pushed its yield, normally just below 8%, to 8.3%.

Steady Income, But No 'Icing On The Cake' In 3rd Quarter For Savvy Senior IRA
Oct. 09, 2014 - -  


  • "Savvy Senior IRA" portfolio continued to churn out cash income at a 9.3% annual rate.
  • But third quarter downdraft removed any capital gains accrued during first half of 2014.
  • So I had to remind myself over and over: "It's the Income, Stupid!".
  • Meanwhile, I realized that OXLC isn't the only "ultra-high-yield" game in town, and diversified into some other ultra-high-yielders as well: CEFL and MORL.

Municipal Closed-End Funds: Prices Rally, Discounts Widen
Oct. 08, 2014 - -  


  • While munis have generally staged a recovery from a very bad 2013, the big question remains whether opportunity is still knocking for investors.
  • Given 2014’s outperformance, why are most municipal closed-end funds trading at either the same or higher discounts to NAV?
  • Closed‐end funds are an investment vehicle that enables investors to know at the time of purchase whether they’re buying securities at a premium or discount.

Is It Time To Buy PIMCO CEFs?
Oct. 04, 2014 - -  


  • Some PIMCO CEFs that normally sell at a premium are now selling at a discount.
  • The selloff in PIMCO CEFs has created buying opportunities in some selected funds.
  • The PIMCO CEFs managed by Bill Gross had good but not outstanding relative performance.

Energy CEFs Had A Difficult Third Quarter But Long-Term Opportunities Remain
Oct. 02, 2014 - -  


  • Oil moved 12% lower and the dollar rose in Q3 hurting energy related securities.
  • Geopolitical tensions continue to mount and could put a floor under energy prices.
  • Attractive yields and double digit discounts are available in energy closed end funds.

CEF Strategies: The PIMCO CEFs - Opportunity Or Warning Shot?
Sep. 29, 2014 - -  Summary

It took only one piece of news regarding one individual to throw turmoil into to an asset class that usually doesn't get much attention from the media.

Look Out Below! PIMCO Closed End Funds Suffer From Bill Gross Departure
Sep. 27, 2014 - -  


  • Nearly all of PIMCO's 19 closed end bond funds took a beating today in the wake of Bill Gross' departure.
  • Despite today's sell-off, these CEFs remain at lofty premium pricing levels, far out of line with peer funds.
  • PIMCO CEF longs should strongly consider their reasons for holding any PIMCO funds.

Look Out Below! PIMCO Closed End Funds Suffer From Bill Gross Departure
Sep. 27, 2014 - -  


  • Nearly all of PIMCO's 19 closed end bond funds took a beating today in the wake of Bill Gross' departure.
  • Despite today's sell-off, these CEFs remain at lofty premium pricing levels, far out of line with peer funds.
  • PIMCO CEF longs should strongly consider their reasons for holding any PIMCO funds.

CEFL October Monthly Dividend Will Be Sharply Lower, But Don't Be Alarmed
Sep. 22, 2014 - -  Summary

My Projection is that CEFL will declare a monthly dividend of $0.5172; this is a 15.0% reduction from the July 2014 monthly dividend of $0.6083.

Equity CEFs: Funds With Strong NAVs And Weak Market Prices
Sep. 22, 2014 - -  Summary

Opportunities in equity CEFs come about when investors throw in the towel on funds that are otherwise performing very well at the NAV level and may be even raising distributions.

Balancing CEF Data vs. Portfolio Data when Selecting a Closed-End Fund
Sep. 15, 2014 - Closed-End Fund Advisors -  We are often asked how we decide to purchase shares in a CEF and at what price point we are comfortable buying into a fund or where we would exit a portfolio position. This reminds us that we find many CEF investors only focus their effort on either the CEF-based data or the fund’s fundamental data when deciding to buy a CEF. A closed-end fund is at its basic sense equity exposure to an active manager’s results. We think you should like the pricing and the investment to own the shares no matter who is the portfolio manager. 

Prospect Capital: A High-Yield BDC Play With A Strong Growth Record As An Alternative To MLPs
Sep. 15, 2014 - -  Summary

Prospect Capital is the second largest business development company in the sector.
The company convinces in terms of growth, dividend yield and earnings outlook.
With a near 13% dividend yield, Prospect Capital is an interesting yield play and offers investors diversification benefits.

A High Income 'Sleep Soundly' CEF Portfolio
Aug. 25, 2014 - -  Summary

The Sleep Soundly CEF Portfolio has generated greater return with lower risk than the S&P 500 over the bear-bull cycle beginning in 2007.
The Sleep Soundly CEF Portfolio outperformed the S&P 500 on a risk-adjusted basis for all time frames analyzed since 2007.
The Sleep Soundly Portfolio provides over 7.5% income and still allows me to sleep soundly each night.

Prospect Capital: What Comes Next? Part 3
Aug. 22, 2014 - -  Summary

This article provides a side-by-side comparison of the projected NII for fiscal Q4 2014 for Prospect Capital.
I have included my personal NII projections along with other industry analysts.
This article also identifies some of the key items investors should be looking for when the company reports results early next week.

Prospect Capital: A Return To Form?
Aug. 19, 2014 - -  Summary

Prospect Capital provides a large $210 million loan to a leading food services company in the H.I.G. Capital portfolio.
This is one of Prospect’s largest deals in months, ending a recent drought and marks a return to form.
Prospect’s stock is well known as a high income vehicle, offering a dividend yield north of 12% while trading near its NAV.

CEFL September Dividend Projected To Bring Yield To 18.2%
Aug. 19, 2014 - -  Summary

I have projected a dividend for CEFL of $0.2998 for September 2014, and have included all of the intermediate numbers and calculations I used in arriving at that figure.
I have added some additional refinements to the calculation procedure to adjust the assets upon which the dividend calculation is based for the accrued fees and dividends of the components.
Based on my projections, CEFL will be yielding 18.4% on a monthly compounded basis.

Kayne Anderson: High-Quality Closed End Fund Trading At Double The Historical Discount

Aug. 18, 2014 - -  Summary

High-quality portfolio of MLPs and other midstream companies.
Good current income and growing distributions.
Catalyst to shrink current discount to NAV.

MLP Rate Risk Isn't Closed Off
Aug. 18, 2014 - WallStreetJournal -  These are anything but dog days for MLPs.

Much-beloved master limited-partnerships stocks have made a stomach-churning round trip over the past month. In the two weeks after July 24, the Alerian MLP index dropped 5.5%. Then, last weekend, Kinder Morgan said it would consolidate its family of MLPs into a single company, boosting those stocks but also kicking off speculation of a wave of deals in the sector. The Alerian is now...

Closed-End Funds: Rising Rates and the Impact on Performance and Yield
Aug. 18, 2014 - Closed-End Fund Advisors -  Closed-end fund (CEF) investors have been asking our firm over the past year how we expect the various groups of funds to handle the eventual rise of interest rates. We generally hear the same questions.

The New Frontier for MLPs
Aug. 15, 2014 - Barron's -  Master limited partnerships posted huge gains in the first half of 2014. Aided by the Federal Reserve's low-interest-rate policies, which allow MLPs to borrow cheaply while passing on the lion's share of their earnings to investors, MLPs gained 16.3% by the end of June, according to the benchmark Alerian MLP Index. But when financial markets hit a rough patch this summer amid worries of widespread overvaluation, MLPs got hit hard, with the same index tumbling 5.2% since then.

Prospect Capital Corp.'s Upcoming Fiscal Q4 2014 Net Asset Value Projection
Aug. 12, 2014 - -  Summary

I am projecting PSEC will report a modest decrease in net asset value (‘NAV’) during the fiscal fourth quarter of 2014 (NAV per share projection is stated within the article).
Part of the projected modest decrease in NAV during the fiscal fourth quarter of 2014 is due to the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy of New Century Transportation, Inc.

DoubleLine Income Solutions Fund: Access Jeff Gundlach At A 9.3% Discount And 8.7% Distribution
Aug. 12, 2014 - -  Summary

DSL is a closed end fund managed by Jeff Gundlach and the team at DoubleLine.
DSL gives the management team a broad mandate allowing them flexibility to invest significant capital in their best ideas.
DSL is currently trading at a 9.3% discount offering an attractive entry point.

Will The High Premiums For The PIMCO High Income Fund Continue To Erode?
Aug. 08, 2014 - -  Summary
Two PIMCO closed end funds with long-term high premium valuations have seen erosion of those premiums over the past week.
PIMCO High Income Fund has lost nearly 12%, all of it to erosion of its premium. The premium for PIMCO Global Stocks Plus has also turned downward.
Other funds provide comparable returns with more sustainable valuations.

Double-Digit Yields From This Diversified ETN Of Closed End Funds
Aug. 07, 2014 - -  Summary

This is the second part of a series of three, double-digit yielders. Today's subject is the ETRACS 2x Leveraged Closed-End Fund ETN. The ETN is paying 16.1% annualized yield and presents an opportunity hold an interest in a broadly diversified portfolio of closed end funds.

Ares Capital is Oversold
Aug. 07, 2014 - Forbes -  The DividendRank formula at Dividend Channel ranks a coverage universe of thousands of dividend stocks, according to a proprietary formula designed to identify those stocks that combine two important characteristics — strong fundamentals and a valuation that looks inexpensive. Ares Capital Corporation (NASD: ARCC) presently has a stellar rank, in the top 10% of the coverage universe, which suggests it is among the top most “interesting” ideas that merit further research by investors.

Fitch Affirms Notes Issued by 11 Santander Puerto Rico CEFs
Aug. 06, 2014 - Fitch Ratings -  Fitch Ratings-New York-06 August 2014: Fitch Ratings has reviewed and affirmed the ratings assigned to Short-Term Notes series and Medium-Term Notes series issued by 11 Puerto Rico (PR) closed-end funds (CEFs) advised by Santander Asset Management (Puerto Rico). A complete list of rating actions can be found at the end of this release.

Comparing Dividend CEFs With ETFs: Which Are Better?
Jul. 19, 2014 - -  


  • Dividend CEFs had higher distributions than dividend ETFs but this did not translate into better overall performance.
  • Dividend CEFs provided more portfolio diversification than dividend ETFs.
  • Among dividend CEFs, AOD booked the best performance over the periods of the analysis.

Four Nuveen Closed-End Funds Announce Intent to Conduct Tender Offers
Jul. 16, 2014 - WallStreetJournal -  Nuveen Investments, a leading global provider of investment services to institutions as well as individual investors, today announced that the Board of Trustees of each of the closed-end funds listed below approved for each fund to conduct a tender offer to purchase up to 10 percent of its outstanding common shares for cash at a price per share equal to 98 percent of the net asset value per share as of the purchase date.

Low Interest Rate Woes? High Yield Closed-End Funds May Be the Cure
Jul. 14, 2014 - The Street -  NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- High-yield closed end funds such as GAMCO Global Gold & Natural Resources (GGN_), Kohlberg Capital (KCAP_) and Guggenheim Enhanced Income Equity Fund (GPM_) run counter to the paltry returns of the current low interest environment. The average yield for a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPY) is around 1.8%. High-yield closed end funds may be attractive not just to those seeking more income.

Leverage In Closed End Funds: Another Look
Jul. 08, 2014 - -  


  • My recent analyses of leverage in closed end funds is expanded to emphasize individual fund categories.
  • Market and NAV returns for trailing 12 and 36 months are considered for 8 categories of closed end funds.
  • Emphasis is on equity funds and how well returns are correlated with increasing leverage.

BDC CEFs Poised to Perform well in a Rising Rate Environment: Potential for Growing Income & Positive Total Return
Jul. 08, 2014 - Closed-End Fund Advisors -  We constantly hear from investors seeking ways to maintain yield or add to their portfolio’s income potential as well as develop an investment strategy for a future rising interest rate environment. We think Business Development Company Closed-Ended Management Companies (BDC CEFs) can be a key part of this strategy and CEF Advisors already employs 4% to 12% exposure in these funds for most client accounts.

Closed-End Muni Musings; Parsing ISM Data: Best of Kass
Jul. 06, 2014 - The Street -  

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners is known for his accurate stockmarket calls and keen insights into the economy, which he shares with RealMoney Pro readers in his daily trading diary.

Last week, Kass wrote about muni funds, naysayers' take on the markets and about the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index.

Closed-End Funds Offer Solace for 'Cruel, Cruel Summer'
Jul. 06, 2014 - The Street -  NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Craig Johnson, a managing director with Piper Jaffray Companies(PJC_), a brokerage firm, warned clients in late May that "a stealth correction has been unfolding" in the stock market that will result in a "cruel, cruel summer." Johnson's warning emanates from concern that small caps will drag down the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA)and the S&P 500 Index (SPY). No matter how the financial markets proceed in a "stealth" or more tangible correction, closed-end funds offer profitable buys for growth, value and income investors.

When you should be wary of that high dividend
Jun. 24, 2014 - Thomson Reuters -  

(Reuters) - (The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.)

If you are hungry for income, it is hard not to salivate over double-digit dividend yields that some closed-end funds offer, when most stocks only pay around 2 percent.

Quality Closed-End Real Estate Fund Now Trading At A Discount
Jun. 19, 2014 - -  


  • Cohen & Steers Total Return Real Estate Fund is an unleveraged closed-end fund that now trades at a significant discount to its holdings of quality equity REITs.
  • A merger with another fund seems to have temporarily brought down the price even further below their most recent net asset value.
  • A dividend increase announced with the merger has brought the annualized yield up to an enticing 7.8%.

BlackRock Energy And Resources Trust - An Energy Play With A 10% Discount And 6% Distribution (BGR)
Jun. 18, 2014 - -  


  • Energy stocks will continue to benefit from shale discoveries and improving fracking technology.
  • The completion of LNG export facilities will drive natural gas prices higher. Energy stocks will follow natural gas prices higher.
  • BGR has catalysts to narrow its 10% discount, and currently offers a 6% distribution.

BlackRock's Move To Monthly Distributions Could Narrow Discounts In These Closed End Funds
Jun. 17, 2014 - -  


  • The shareholder friendly move to monthly distributions could increase investor interest and narrow discounts.
  • Many BlackRock equity option closed end funds have high yields and large discounts but group performance has disappointed.
  • Equity option funds generate income and reduce volatility. These are attractive traits in the current low yield environment.

The Asia Pacific Fund: Value-Driven, High Dividends, And A 10% Discount
Jun. 16, 2014 - -  


  • The Asia-Pacific Fund possesses a unique equity blend of value and high income in primarily Chinese and S. Korean companies.
  • An absolute yield of 4.9% is further boosted by the fund's 10% discount.
  • There are a couple of cons to be considered.
  • Is the fund a buy?

5 Cheap Stocks With Great Yields
Jun. 02, 2014 - Forbes -  Sam Stovall: What I’m telling investors today is to remember a year ago, when Fed Chairman Bernanke first uttered the “tapering” word and it ended up spooking investors to the point where the S&P 500 declined almost 6%. But what we found was that high-dividend-paying stocks ended up declining almost a full percentage point more.

How I Made 7% Retirement Income Investing In CEFs
Jun. 01, 2014 - -  


  • A high income portfolio recommended last July has continued to book good performance.
  • The portfolio has handily beat the S&P 500 over the long term but has not kept pace over the short term.
  • The portfolio has delivered a solid 7% income with reasonable risk.

Tortoise MLP Closed-End Fund Merger Provides Opportunities
May. 28, 2014 - -  


  • TYY is trading a lower relative discount than the other two funds.
  • The combined fund will be raising the distribution and lowering the management fee.
  • TYY has an attractive long term performance record.

Dual Momentum ETF Portfolio For May
May. 19, 2014 - -  Scott's Investments provides a free "Dual ETF Momentum" spreadsheet which was originally created in February 2013. The strategy was inspired by a paper written by Gary Antonacci and available on Optimal Momentum.

Where Are Today's Doorbusting CEF Discounts?
May. 14, 2014 - -  


  • Many CEFs have seen discounts compress this year.
  • Discussion of the CEF discount/premium mechanism.
  • Rationale for the appearance and disappearance of discounts.
  • Some of today's doorbusters.

Cohen & Steers Infrastructure Is Worth A Look
May. 09, 2014 - -  


  • Cohen & Steers Infrastructure has compelling total returns and is one of the few closed-end funds that has consistently beaten the S&P.
  • Its long-term record of excellence has been driven by the same management team since its inception.
  • With a healthy distribution rate and solid total returns, this closed-end fund is worth considering for income and total return investors.

ETF Alert: Watch Out For Temporary Effective Creation Of Pseudo-Closed-End Funds
May. 06, 2014 - -  


  • Eleven ETFs have new unit creation abilities terminated.
  • Same eleven have unit redemptions continued.
  • Creation terminations are required by regulatory conditions.
  • Conditions are temporary, ETFs are to return to former marketability assurances in next few days.
  • Bias in market prices possible in the interim, creating subsequent loss possibilities for purchasers in bias period.

Hungry for Yield? Feast on These Funds
May. 05, 2014 - The Street -  Yield-hungry investors should consider closed-end bond funds

According to Closed-End Fund Advisors, the average tax-free municipal fund yields more than 6%. That is the equivalent of a taxable bond yielding more than 9% for high-income investors. The closed-end yields are tempting at a time when 10-year Treasuries yield 2.6%.

KKR seeks to attract investors at $10,000 minimum
May. 02, 2014 - Thomson Reuters -  May 1 (Reuters) - Private equity firm KKR & Co LP is working with a money manager to launch a closed-end fund that accepts commitments as small as $10,000 and may make shares available on a platform operated by Nasdaq Private Market, a regulatory filing showed Thursday.

Nuveen To Consolidate Its Equity Option Income Funds: What Does It Mean?
May. 02, 2014 - -  


  • Nuveen proposes to consolidate its equity option income funds into a new line up.
  • The replacement funds are based on the three major equity indexes.
  • The option income investment strategies will change in most cases.
  • Only one of the new replacement funds currently exists: QQQX which is proposed to absorb JLA only.
  • Based on current prices it looks like a favorable conversion for holders of JLA, but many questions remain unanswered.

Equity CEFs: 1st Quarter 2014 Review - A Change In Leadership
Apr. 01, 2014 - -  


  • Lagging CEFs over the last couple years have stepped up to the forefront so far in 2014 while leaders from 2012 and 2013 have started to fade.
  • Though its early to say if this trend will continue, several CEFs still offer excellent entry points as their market prices have yet to catch up to their outperforming NAVs.

Tax-Advantaged High-Yield In A Flat Market From Option-Income Funds.
Apr. 01, 2014 - -  


  • It's reasonable to expect flat to declining market returns for the coming months.
  • Equity-income funds tend to outperform in flat to modestly declining markets.

Why Invest In Aberdeen Chile Fund? Why Not Mexico Fund
Mar. 28, 2014 - -  


  • Aberdeen Chile Fund operates under a managed distribution policy that pays “quarterly distributions" and requires a portion of Return of Capital (ROC).
  • Chile Fund estimates that it has distributed more than its income and capital gains, therefore requiring that a portion of the distributions may be a “return-of-capital”.

Bill Gross Invests His Personal Money In Mortgages
Mar. 28, 2014 - -  


  • Bill Gross has been buying PDI in 2014.
  • Bill Gross has sold off some of his California muni bond fund.
  • Bill Gross has been buying Pimco funds managed by others.

Fund Favorability Shifts Back To AllianzGI Convertibles & Income Fund I
Mar. 27, 2014 - -  


  • NCZ's current distribution rate is lower than NCV's; prompting a shift in investments.
  • New NCZ and NCV portfolio management policies raise performance concerns.
  • Overall, Neutral Hold for NCZ and NCV, but no recommendation for new investments.

Pioneer Diversified High Income: This Bond CEF Is A Strong Buy With A 9.6% Yield
Mar. 25, 2014 - -  


  • Despite "tapering" talk and the chance for higher rates next year, interest rates are likely to remain low for years.
  • Even if interest rates rise next year, it probably won't be by much due to a weak recovery and low inflation

What Does A Closed-End Fund's Leverage Actually Cost? Achilles' Heel Or An Investor's Salvation?
Mar. 25, 2014 - -  


  • The ability to use permanent leverage is an advantage to the CEF Structure.
  • The cost of leverage reduces the net investment income available to pass on to shareholders.

Equity CEFs: A Fund Which Probably Should Just Go Open-End
Mar. 13, 2014 - -  


  • CEFs use leverage, options and other income strategies to offer much higher yields than what most mutual funds and ETFs can offer.
  • CEFs which don't offer a superior yield tend to trade at wide discounts because they then compete with other yield-oriented securities.

The Utility And Infrastructure CEF Report: 6%+ Yields And Deep Value
Mar. 05, 2014 - -  

Executive summary:

  • Risk is real and as such, diversification is key.
  • Income investors are recommended to own a basket of utility stocks for gradual income growth and managed risk.
  • Utilities are defined to include non-traditional, monopolistic, infrastructure-related sectors such as road & rails, telecom, airports, tower REITs and seaports.
  • A new, proprietary utility CEF report grades available funds through a ranking system.
  • An in-depth report with analysis to guide investors through the utility closed-end fund options.

Hedge Funds Say Time To Buy Closed-End Funds
Mar. 04, 2014 - -  To anyone watching the closed-end fund ("CEF") market the effects of the retail investor base can be observed in the magnitude of frequent share price discounts to NAV. During the financial crises, epic discounts were seen as retail investors abandon these investments. As the fear subsided discounts narrowed to historical equilibriums. In recent months, fears of fed tapering and rising interest rates have pushed discounts to wider levels.

Spice Up Your Retirement Portfolio With Convertibles CEFs
Mar. 02, 2014 - -  As a retiree, I am continually looking for sources of high income, but I also don't want to court excessive risk. This search led me to consider Convertibles Closed End Funds (CEFs). These funds offer excellent income (some with distributions more than 8%), but what about the associated risk? This article will analyze selected Convertibles CEFs in terms of their risk-to-reward characteristics.

Beating The MLP ETF Tax Bite With Closed-End Funds
Feb. 26, 2014 - -  In a comparison between exchange-traded funds and closed-end funds, the low expenses and low portfolio turnover features of an ETF provides a built-in advantage over a comparable CEF with a typically much higher annual expense and tax consequences from capital gains distributions. You have probably seen the statistics and articles stating that an index stock fund on average outperforms 2/3rds, or 75% or 90% some other one-sided number of actively managed funds.

Top 3 Closed-End Funds With Yields Over 8%
Feb. 21, 2014 - -  

Regular readers of Dividends & Income Daily know that I love companies that are increasing their dividend payouts. But there's one problem we face when investing in stocks that have higher dividend growth …

We usually have to sacrifice current yield. So how do we boost the income that our portfolios generate without chasing higher-yielding stocks? Closed-end funds are the answer.

CEF Strategies: Forget 1929, Why 2014 Is More Like 2000
Feb. 21, 2014 - -  This article is going to be a departure from my usual discussion of equity based Closed-End funds (CEFs) and instead, I'm going to step into the general state-of-the markets discussion which seems to getting a lot of headlines lately.

A Few Good Yield Ideas
Feb. 12, 2014 - Barron's -  

Readers of this Website tend to skew toward the sober and sensible side of the investor spectrum. That may explain why yield-oriented investment stories tend to get the kind of attention that social-media stocks get on other sites.

In that spirit, I submit fresh pieces by Forbes and Seeking Alpha that tout investments that are more about yield than capital appreciation potential.


Buybacks For Bonds, Equities And mREITs, But What Of Closed-End Funds?
Feb. 11, 2014 - -  

According to FACTSET as of December 17, 2013, 2013 Buybacks advanced to Pre-Crisis Highs:

"Aggregate share buybacks in the S&P 500 grew 32.0% year-over-year to $123.9 billion in Q3. While this represents a sequential decline of 0.1% from Q2, S&P 500 companies have been more active over the trailing year than in any period since the financial crisis. The trailing twelve-month sum of $448.1 billion is the highest since Q2 2008 ($526.9 billion)."

How Municipal Bond Dividend Cuts Impact NAV Performance And Investor Sentiment
Feb. 06, 2014 - -  Last year, we penned an article about why we thought Municipal bond CEFs were about to suffer numerous and painful distribution cuts. The key data that suggested the cuts to our firm was a downward move in average Relative UNII (underdistributed net investment income) from +23% to -18% in only seven months. For more detail, you can read the article on our blog under the December 2012 section.

The Credit Suisse High Yield Bond Fund Could 'Supercharge' Your Portfolio
Feb. 05, 2014 - -  The Credit Suisse High Yield Bond Fund (DHY) is a closed end fund or "CEF" that primarily invests in high yield corporate bonds. As of December 31, 2013, this fund has about 248 holdings and around $457 million in net assets which indicates it is well diversified. This CEF is an ideal investment to consider, especially for investors who appreciate the income potential that high yield bonds offer.

Boulder Total Return Fund And First Opportunity Fund Will Be Most Profitable In Merger
Feb. 05, 2014 - -  Conclusion: GrowthIncome Research and Management, LLC, believes that Boulder Total Return Fund (BTF) and First Opportunity Fund (OTCQB:FOFI) are good candidates for taking a position in this merger because their current yields are low and their current discounts are high when compared to Boulder Growth & Income Fund (BIF).

UBS' New Funds Targeting Higher Returns Up To 19%
Feb. 04, 2014 - -  UBS Investment Bank (UBS) (investor media page) expanded their family of funds that focus on high monthly returns. The first is theETRACS Monthly Pay 2x Leveraged Diversified High Income ETN (DVHL) was introduced in November, 2013. DVHL is linked to the monthly compounded 2x leveraged performance of the NYSE® Diversified High Income Index, reduced by investor fees. ETRACS Diversified High Income ETN (DVHI) was introduced in September, 2013 and ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Closed-End Fund ETN (CEFL) give investors diversified exposure to the closed-end fund space. UBS is attempting to gain traction in the expanding opportunities of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs).

Equity CEFs: Utility CEFs Are Back
Feb. 03, 2014 - -  Though it's hard to predict any lasting trends after one month, utility sector equity closed-end funds (CEFs) are leading a rebound in equity CEFs so far in 2014. In my last article on January 21st, I took a rather dim view of the overall markets asking how much better it could get, particularly for the broader market stock based Exchange Traded funds (ETFs) in light of the Federal Reserve's tapering of its Quantitative Easing (QE). It's been pretty much downhill for the equity markets since then, and you can read my article, Will ETFs Beat CEFs Again?, and see why CEFs may be a better place to invest in 2014 over ETFs.

Interview With Brian Mitts, Chief Operating Officer Of NexPoint Advisors
Jan. 23, 2014 - -  We interviewed Brian Mitts via telephone on November 22, 2013 in order to gain a better understanding of NHF and why it was challenging for our firm to compare it to other closed-end funds that we track for our weekly Universe data service and for client accounts. Brian is not the named portfolio manager, James Dondero, but we think you will see from the interview that Brian is well aware of the Fund's focus and involved in the investment process in a deep and meaningful way.

Equity CEFs: Will ETFs Beat CEFs Again In 2014?
Jan. 21, 2014 - -  For those who follow the Closed-End fund (CEF) universe, this last year has shown how much the industry has matured despite the fact that CEFs overall, did not have nearly as positive a year as their Exchange Traded fund (ETF) cousins. Generally, CEFs fall somewhere in between individual stocks and ETFs in terms of risk but because of their lower market capitalizations (usually $250 million to $1 billion) and lower trading volumes, they can often trade at bizarre valuations and with extreme volatility at times. Offsetting that is their higher yields of 6% to 9% that investors can receive and the fact that they can trade at premium and discount market prices to their actual net worth, commonly called the Net Asset Value (NAV).

PIMCO's Strategic Global Government Common Fund Is Now A Buy
Jan. 21, 2014 - -  The purpose of this article is to highlight the most highly leveraged closed end fund in the closed end fund universe and a potential buying opportunity in PIMCO Strategic Global Government Common Fund (RCS). Highlighted onMorningstar's website, PIMCO's Strategic Global Government Common Fund seeks high current income with capital appreciation through investment in global sovereign debt securities.

The Templeton Russia And Eastern Europe Fund Offers Exposure To Russia At A 10% Discount
Dec. 18, 2013 - -  Emerging markets have lagged this year and now look to be among the cheapest stocks available relative to other options but they also look inexpensive relative to themselves. The Russian market looks particularly inexpensive. Using the Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) as a proxy we find that last 12 months Price/Earnings ratio is 6.37 and LTM Price/Book is 0.89. The Russian market has been left for dead likely because of a combination of a bad reputation for corporate governance combined with poor historical stock performance. There are a couple of catalysts that could drive prices higher from depressed levels.

Pros And Cons Of MLP Investing Through Closed-End Funds
Dec. 17, 2013 - -  For income oriented and conservative investors, many of the publicly traded master limited partnership companies offer an attractive combination of high yield, growing distributions and tax-advantaged income. Along with these admirable features, MLP investors get the hassles of K-1 tax reporting, the possible need to file tax returns in a number of states and potential tax problems if MLP units are held in qualified retirement accounts. One way to get MLP investment exposure and avoid the K-1 tax issues is to invest in one or more MLP focused funds. While there are both MLP focused ETFs and mutual funds, I think that closed-end funds offer the more interesting opportunities for this type of investment.

Make 10% in Three Weeks
Dec. 17, 2013 - Barron's -  Conditions are ideal for turning quick year-end profits on closed-end funds. Tax selling could continue to send their share prices lower until Dec. 31. But generous dividend yields should help lure buyers back in January. That gives investors an opportunity to buy low and sell high in the space of about three weeks. Below are some listed funds that make good candidates for such a trade.

CEF Strategies: The Sad State Of Municipal Bond CEFs
Dec. 16, 2013 - -  It happens every December. Like a storm coming in from the north, selling in CEFs tends to pick up this time of year as discounts just get wider and wider. For some CEFs, its tax loss selling season and after the run the equity markets have had this year, some CEF sectors that have seen absolute losses in their market prices (i.e. not including distributions) are just being pummeled as tax-loss selling just adds to the pain and aggravation.

A Shopping List Of Doorbusting CEF Discounts
Dec. 12, 2013 - -  

According to, of the 595 funds currently tracked by the site, better than 90% of them are trading at a discount to net asset value. Fifty percent of them are trading at a 10% discount or more. I'd be the first to admit that many, perhaps even most, discounts in the CEF universe are justified due to a variety of reasons, including poor management and perpetual underperformance, excessive fees, shareholder unfriendly distribution policies, and other negative attributes.

However, for the shrewd CEF investor able to find quality management & assets and purchase equity and yield for better than 90 cents on the dollar, these discounts present an opportunity in my view.

Goldman Sachs Returns To The Closed-End Fund Arena After An 80-Year Hiatus
Dec. 05, 2013 - -  

Late last month, Goldman Sachs Asset Management (e.g. "GSAM")announced the public listing of the Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund (GMZ). This is the first-ever closed-end fund issued by GSAM which was established by Goldman Sachs in 1988.

But this is not the first closed-end fund issued by the parent company Goldman Sachs (GS). They were a major closed-end fund player in 1929. Before looking at the new CEF in more detail, let's review some closed-end fund history.

Oxford Lane Capital's Holiday Surprise: 9% Dividend Increase Plus Bonus Payment
Nov. 28, 2013 - -  Closed end fund Oxford Lane Capital (OXLC) surprised and delighted its shareholders two days before Thanksgiving with the announcement of a 5-cent quarterly dividend increase from $.55 to $.60 (9%), plus a special one-time extra dividend of 10 cents per share, to be paid at the end of the next quarter in March 2014.

Goldman + MLPs = Big Closed-End Fund Offering
Nov. 27, 2013 - Barron's -  

Goldman Sachs Asset Management made some waves in the market for closed-end funds this week with the biggest CEF offering since June.

Goldman’s name and clout plus the lure of yield-rich master-limited partnerships were the likely drivers behind the more than $800 million raised by Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund (GMZ). The capital raise puts the new offering right away in the top 10 MLP CEFs by size, according to

Goldman Sachs Asset Management Launches First Closed-End Fund
Nov. 26, 2013 - WallStreetJournal -  

Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund Raises $826.3 Million in Initial Public Offering With Aim to Deliver Exposure to America's Rapidly Expanding Energy Sector

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--November 26, 2013-- 

For investors seeking to participate in America's current energy expansion, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. ("GSAM") is pleased to announce the public listing of the Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund (the "Fund"), now trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "GMZ." This is the first closed-end fund ever launched by GSAM.

What You Need To Know About Closed-End Funds: Read The Fine Print
Nov. 25, 2013 - Forbes -  Closed-end funds have always puzzled me. As vehicles that pool securities with a fixed number of shares sold like stocks, they seemed to be expensive ways of doing what open-ended mutual- and exchange-traded funds do at a much lower cost.

What Is The Deal With Premiums In MLP CEFs?
Nov. 23, 2013 - -  There are currently 25 closed-end funds with a combined $19.6 billion in assets under management that focus on master limited partnership (MLP) investing in a US listed closed-end fund structure. This equals about 8% of the $250 billion in total assets in the CEF structure.

Bad Day for Gold — Even Worse for Gabelli Global Gold Fund
Nov. 21, 2013 - Barron's -  

The price of gold is getting knocked around Thursday as traders reach the conclusion — which is either justifiable or hasty, depending on your view — that the Federal Reserve is about to get stingier.

Then there’s the carnage in Gabelli’s GAMCO Global Gold, Natural Resources & Income Trust (GGN).

Equity CEFs: Which Funds To Buy And Sell Right Now - Part III
Nov. 21, 2013 - -  

This is the third in a series of articles discussing which equity based high yielding Closed-End funds (CEFs) offer investors good value and which equity CEFs investors should avoid based on my analysis. In this part III, I will look at a fund which offers investors a unique investment strategy among CEFs which could provide alpha performance opportunities based on where the markets and interest rates go from here.

What If The Stock Markets And Interest Rates Continue To Go Up?

In my last article, which you can read here Part II, I asked the question,"What If We Are Near A Market Top?" and focused on CEFs which could take advantage of a more difficult market going forward. In this article, I'm going to flip that around and offer a fund to investors based on a more bullish market scenario going forward but also with a play on interest rates.

Equity CEFs: Which Funds To Buy And Sell Right Now - Part I
Nov. 11, 2013 - -  

2013 has been a subpar year for most equity CEFs, both in Net Asset Value (NAV) performance and market price performance. It's not so much that it's been a bad year per se, it's just that most equity CEFs have not been able to keep up with the soaring broader market averages.

Obviously, it's been an incredible year for the broader market averages with the S&P 500 up 24.1% YTD through November 8th, the NASDAQ up 29.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 20.3%. The small cap indices are up even more though overseas markets haven't been as strong as the U.S. markets, particularly some Asian emerging markets.

3 Bond Funds To Spice Up Your Portfolio
Nov. 09, 2013 - -  As a retiree, I am always looking for opportunities to obtain more income. In May of this year, the Fed hinted that it was considering "tapering" the amount of quantitative easing. This caused interest rates to rise and derailed the price of many bond Closed End Funds (CEFs). Two of the sectors hit hard were global and emerging market bonds, with prices plummeting as much as 20% to 25%. As investors began selling these funds, the prices fell more than the Net Asset Values (NAV) and many of the funds that were selling at a premium reverted to selling at a discount. Now, that the shenanigans in Washington have been resolved, it appears that tapering is (hopefully) off the table for the foreseeable future. The selloff has created some potential opportunities in emerging market and global bond CEFs. This article assesses the risks and rewards associated with these types of bonds and identifies three CEFs that have performed significantly better than their peers.

Tax Loss Selling Opportunity In Busted Senior Loan CEF IPOs
Nov. 04, 2013 - -  

We are soon approaching the time of year for one of the best trading opportunities: buying stocks in the last few weeks of the year that are artificially depressed by investors selling them for tax reasons. These stocks often experience a nice bounce in January when the selling pressure eases up.

Some of the best opportunities this year to capitalize on the tax loss selling "bounce" strategy may come from the large number of fixed income CEFs' initial public offerings that occurred over the last year when fixed income was a hot asset class:

1) Every investor who bought at the IPO is holding the fund at a loss, and nearly all investors who bought in later are also sitting on a loss.

Boo! Two Spooky Trends in Funds
Oct. 30, 2013 - Barron's -  

In this week’s Focus on Funds video, Jack Otter and I show you two spooky trends in fund investing.

The first: Investors are pushing money into equity mutual funds and ETFs at the fastest rate since 2000 (and not just into SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)). You might argue that’s un-spooky, and simply a sign of market confidence. The trouble is, the average investor often piles into the market at exactly the wrong time.

Mortgage REITs, ETFs Slammed: Time For a Closed-End Fund?
Oct. 29, 2013 - Barron's -  

The ugly trading Tuesday in mortgage real-estate investment trusts and the funds tracking them is something of a contrast to what’s happening in closed-end funds, which just underscores the value of being diversified.

The selloff, as Mike Aneiro explains over at Barron’s Income Investing, follows Sterne Agee’s call for American Capital Agency Corp. (AGNC) to cut its quarterly dividend from 80 cents to 50 cents. AGNC’s 8.6% slump is a driver of the 3.5% slide in iShares Mortgage Real Estate Capped ETF (REM) and Market Vectors Mortgage REIT Income ETF (MORT). Both ETFs are at two-week lows, reflecting glum investor opinion.

Product review: JP Morgan US senior secured loans fund
Oct. 29, 2013 - -  

JP Morgan is planning to launch a Guernsey-domiciled closed-ended fund focused on US-based senior secured loans.

The asset management firm expects to start an offer period from November with trading opening in December. The sterling-denominated fund will target a dividend yield of 5 per cent.

Enhance Retirement Income With CEFs Selling At Bargain Prices
Oct. 27, 2013 - -  "Be greedy when others are fearful" is sage advice offered by Warren Buffett. This applies today to closed end funds (CEFs) that invest in bonds and preferred stocks. Over the last few years, investors clamoring for yield bid up the price of these CEFs. However, when the Fed began hinting that tapering was on the horizon, interest rates began to rise and the price of fixed income CEFs plummeted. As investors headed toward the exits, the price of these funds fell more than their Net Asset Value (NAV), causing discounts to widen.  

Legg Mason, in turnaround bid, says profit up despite outflows
Oct. 25, 2013 - Thomson Reuters -  

(Reuters) - Asset manager Legg Mason Inc (LM.N) on Friday said its quarterly profit rose 7 percent compared with a year ago as assets and performance fees rose, but reported an outflow of investor cash from its equity funds.

The results showed both signs of progress and the challenges facing Legg Mason Chief Executive Joseph Sullivan as he tries to restore the fortunes of one of the largest U.S. fund firms.

Bill Gross Sees Value In Depressed Closed-End Funds
Oct. 23, 2013 - -  

According to recent SEC filings, Bill Gross invested over $5.8 million of his personal money in four Pimco closed-end bond funds on Monday.

There is generally a one day delay in SEC filings, and it is quite possible that Mr. Gross is planning additional purchases this week. Instead of reporting each individual trade, Mr. Gross reports a weighted average price for each purchase:

Investment Trust Insights: Europe is Cheap
Oct. 22, 2013 - Morningstar, Inc. -  Last week we had the latest instalment in the Best Advice: Closed-end Fund Forum webinar series. This month the focus was on Europe, particularly given the recent elections. David Harris of InvaTrust was the moderator and he was joined by Stephen Macklow-Smith of JPMorgan and Jeremy Thomas of Allianz. The aim of the discussion was to help advisors understand the issues and challenges of a new political and economic landscape that may occur in Europe and how it may impact investment decisions. 

CEF Investors: Your Window Of Opportunity Is Beginning To Close
Oct. 17, 2013 - -  Since the May Federal Reserve announcement closed-end fund (CEF) investors have been given a gift. As prices collapsed, investors with cash and a strong understanding of the hedging practices implemented by many popular CEFs portfolios began to make additions. To them it was apparent that this selloff was going to be just a temporary adjustment. Over the last 3 months capital had the opportunity to be put to work for 85-90 cents on the dollar, as many CEFs earning in excess of 8-9% expanded their discounts to 10% or more.

Boulder Total Return: Get Berkshire Hathaway At A 20% Discount Through This Closed End Fund
Oct. 16, 2013 - -  

A Delicate Procedure

Investing in Closed End Funds (CEF's) can be difficult for many individuals. Closed End Funds are often obscure and many offer investors exposure to a basket of assets which are more difficult to obtain including commodities and bonds. In spite of these advantages, utilizing investment vehicles often involves fee structures and as such as these also involves outsourcing your thinking to other individuals. Often, CEF investing can be a hazardous proposition.

CEF Bond Funds: Value Or Value Trap?
Oct. 10, 2013 - -  Investor angst with regard to "taper talk" has created a highly erratic pricing environment for bond-related closed-end funds despite the fact that most low duration/limited maturity offerings have exhibited fairly little asset value volatility. Hawkish rate policy commentary earlier this year seems to have scared away yield chasers/momentum players and caused more legitimate bond investors to reconsider their commitment to the space. This pricing/asset disconnect has created substantial discounts across the entire closed-end bond fund universe.

Bond Fund Sees Closed-End Bargains
Oct. 06, 2013 - WallStreetJournal -  Fearful bond investors have left opportunities in their wake, say managers ofRiverNorth/DoubleLine Strategic Income .

The $1.1 billion fund, which had closed to new investors in March, reopened late last month after worries about rising interest rates and the possibility that the Federal Reserve might pare its bond purchases resulted in a rush out of many bondholdings. That included a selloff of closed-end bond funds, creating what the managers of the RiverNorth fund see as bargains.

Identifying The Best Utility Funds
Sep. 30, 2013 - -  Over the years, utility companies have prospered from increasing residential and commercial demand coupled with a low interest rate environment. However, when interest rates began to rise in May of this year, the stock of utility companies nosedived. To get a better feel for the performance of this sector, I analyzed the risk versus rewards over the past several years.

Puerto Rico's bond losses hit local investors
Sep. 29, 2013 - Thomson Reuters -  

(Reuters) - The steep decline in prices of Puerto Rican bonds on the American municipal bond market is taking a heavy toll at home, where local institutions and individuals own an estimated 30 percent of the $70 billion of outstanding bonds.

Heightening worries in recent months about Puerto Rico's shrinkingeconomy, double-digit jobless rate and per capita debts far higher than in any U.S. state touched off a wave of selling and briefly pushed some Puerto Rico yields to over 10 percent.

Fitch: Closed-End Funds Rebound as Fed Shows Taper Torpor
Sep. 27, 2013 - Thomson Reuters -  (The following statement was released by the rating agency) NEW YORK, September 27 (Fitch) Municipal closed-end funds (CEFs) rebounded in September following the large sell-off in muni bonds that began in June, according to Fitch Ratings. Investors resumed purchasing bonds that were seen as oversold, as the U.S. Federal Reserve announced it would not taper its $85 billion monthly bond purchase program just yet. Fitch published its special report, "NAV Declines Show Interest Rate Impact on Leveraged Municipal Closed-End Funds" in August. 

Fitch: Closed-End Funds Rebound as Fed Shows Taper Torpor 
Sep. 27, 2013 - Fitch Ratings -  Fitch Ratings-New York-27 September 2013: Municipal closed-end funds (CEFs) rebounded in September following the large sell-off in muni bonds that began in June, according to Fitch Ratings. Investors resumed purchasing bonds that were seen as oversold, as the U.S. Federal Reserve announced it would not taper its $85 billion monthly bond purchase program just yet.

Fitch Posts Slides on Market Webcast for Leveraged Closed-End Fund
Sep. 27, 2013 - Fitch Ratings -  Fitch Ratings-New York-27 September 2013: Fitch Ratings presented a webcast titled 'Leverage in Closed-End Funds Through Recent Market Developments' hosted by Capital Link Webinars on Sept. 10, 2013. Presentation materials and access to webcast replay can be accessed via the links provided at the end of this press release.

Equity CEFs: How To Play The Allianz Funds Right Now
Sep. 26, 2013 - -  Allianz Global Investors has been busy restructuring its equity Closed-End Funds (CEFs) over the past couple weeks. Just last Wednesday, September 18th, Allianz announced the liquidation of the AGIC International & Premium Strategy fund (NAI). NAI jumped 8% on this news overnight as its market price immediately moved up to near its liquidation Net Asset Value (NAV). You can read my article discussing this announcement here.

Emerging Markets At A Discount And A 9% Yield
Sep. 26, 2013 - -  In previous articles, I've tried to pinpoint the tipping point for regional Closed End Funds -- the point when discounts or premiums are so stretched they can't go much further. The trick is not just finding a CEF with a huge discount or premium, but finding one that is out of step with its historical trend and close to earlier extremes.

Equity CEFs: Terrific Opportunity In A Duff & Phelps Utility Fund
Sep. 23, 2013 - -  Utility stocks and utility funds have generally not been the place to be this year in a rising interest rate environment but the Federal Reserve's decision to postpone any tapering of its Quantitative Easing last Wednesday has put interest rate sensitive securities back in focus. Nowhere was this seen more than in the utility sector index, as reflected by the SPDR Utilities Select ETF (XLU), which rose 3% last Wednesday, far outdistancing the S&P 500, up 1.2%, or the Dow Jones Industrial Average, up 0.9%.

Equity CEFs: From Birth To Liquidation - The Story Of The Allianz International & Premium Strategy Fund
Sep. 23, 2013 - -  I've written many times about the importance of following a Closed End fund's (CEF) Net Asset Value (NAV) and how much more important it is really than following a fund's market price. You obviously have to keep your eye on both since a fund's market price will give you your market yield as well as whether the fund trades at a premium or discount market price but all too often, investors in CEFs seem to either ignore, minimize or not even know about a fund's NAV, and instead base their investment decisions solely on the market price and market yield.

This 10% Yielding CEF Is Undervalued And Trending Higher
Sep. 19, 2013 - -  Western Asset Global High Income (EHI) is a closed end fund or "CEF" that invests in high yield, emerging market and other bonds. This fund is managed by Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisors, LLC. which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Legg Mason, Inc. (LM). Since this fund has an outstanding yield and a shorter than average duration, it appears to be offering investors a significant buying opportunity thanks to a recent pullback. Here is a closer look at why this fund appears poised to rebound and continue offering shareholders monthly dividends that are well above average:

DoubleLine's Gundlach says Fed tacitly increasing stimulus
Sep. 18, 2013 - Thomson Reuters -  

In an investor webcast, Gundlach said the U.S. central bank's decision not to reduce its bond buying indicates a tacit increase in purchases because the U.S. Treasury is "issuing less debt."

"To a certain extent, they are increasing their stimulus by not reducing bond purchases, which I think is one of the reasons why bond market sentiment, and the dollar sentiment, and gold sentiment changed so much today," Gundlach said.

Earn Big Annualized Returns With PDI Between Now And Year's End
Sep. 18, 2013 - -  

For those hungry for yield, there is a great offering by the smart folks at PIMCO, the PIMCO Dynamic Income fund (PDI). This fund has been around for roughly 16 months and in that time it has performed mightily. Since inception, the price of this little pup has risen 10% while the NAV is up over 26%!

This CEF throws off a monthly distribution of $0.177 per share or 7.65% per year. These distributions have been in place since the inception of the fund. However, the best part is that the fund really earns over 9% (and probably over 10%) on its portfolio. Normally, when a CEF significantly outearns their distribution rate, they would increase the distribution. However, in typical PIMCO fashion, they have refused to do so preferring to under distribute earnings.

20% Total Return Potential From This High-Yield Bond Fund
Sep. 17, 2013 - -  Bonds - the asset everyone seemingly loves to hate. Yet through the recent rate volatility and somewhat benign economic environment, there appears opportunity in a somewhat esoteric corner of the fixed income market. Many closed-end high-yield bond funds currently trade at undeserved discounts to their net asset values, presenting a total return opportunity in the neighborhood of 20% over the next year. Western Asset High Yield Defined Opportunity Fund (HYI) is a fund that has the potential to achieve such results.

Equity CEFs: ING Funds Get Axed Again
Sep. 15, 2013 - -  After the close on Friday, Sept. 13, ING Investments (ING) declared distributions for their equity closed-end funds (CEFs), which included distribution reductions for several of their funds. This is not a huge surprise, and I had even warned in a May article titled "Top Funds By Fund Family" that some of the ING funds were not out of the woods with regard to a possible distribution cut. In that article I said that I could not endorse any of the ING funds based on their current valuations, and that, over time, a couple of the funds would be forced to cut distributions again. So the question now is: Are the distribution cuts over and, if so, are any of the ING funds good buys now?

This Undervalued $2 CEF Has Significant Rebound Potential And Yields 9.4%
Sep. 11, 2013 - -  Managed High Yield Plus (HYF) is a closed end fund or "CEF" that primarily invests in high-yielding bonds. Back in May, this fund which is professionally managed by UBS (UBS), was trading for $2.20 but is now trading for around $2. This appears to be a significant buying opportunity because it has a short average duration and a dividend yield that is about 9.4%.

Buying Asia At A Discount And An 11% Yield
Sep. 06, 2013 - -  In previous articles (here and here), I've identified country Closed-End Funds (CEFs) that were trading at unusually large premiums to their net asset values. Because these CEFs consist of publicly traded stocks, I argued that premiums are irrational and must eventually go away. In this article, we'll look at an Asia CEF (IAE) that trades at an irrationally largediscount.

Multi-Sector Bond Funds For Enhanced Retirement Income
Sep. 03, 2013 - -  Even with the recent increase in interest rates, the income stream from treasuries is still only a trickle. To increase income, many retail investors would like to diversify their bond holdings but do not have the requisite knowledge of economic factors to make informed allocations. One strategy is to leave the sector selections to professional money managers. In this regard, Closed End Funds (CEFs) that invest in multiple bond sectors could be a potential solution. To assess the performance of these multi-sector CEFs, I analyzed their associated risks versus rewards over the past several years.

Equity CEFs: Time To Step Up To The BlackRock Option-Income Funds
Sep. 03, 2013 - -  It's been a disappointing last few years for many of the high yielding option-income strategy Closed-End funds (CEFs) from BlackRock (BLK), some of which is deserved and some not. It was back in late May of 2011 that I first gave notice to income investors that many of the BlackRock option-income funds had too high a Net Asset Value (NAV) yield and that BlackRock would either have to cut the distributions or the funds would probably see continued NAV erosion and poor NAV total return performance. You can read that article here, Which Option-Income Funds To Buy, and I would call your attention to the table in the article which compared the valuations of option-income funds from the four major sponsors, Eaton Vance (EV)ING (ING)Nuveen andBlackRock.

These 3 'Rebound' Plays Offer Yields Of 10% Or More
Aug. 26, 2013 - -  The concerns about "tapering" by the Federal Reserve has sparked a significant sell-off in bonds which has spilled over into other "bond-proxies" including dividend stocks, closed-end funds and exchange traded funds. Remember when investors were overly concerned about the "Fiscal Cliff" at the end of the year and more recently, the budget "sequester?" Those pullbacks turned out to be solid buying opportunities. Well, now it seems that "tapering" fears are providing investors with a chance to buy high-yielding stocks on the cheap.

High Retirement Income With Floating Rate Loan Funds
Aug. 26, 2013 - -  As a retiree, I am always searching for sources of high income but lately I have worried about rising interest rates. Floating rate loans Closed End Funds seem to offer the best of both worlds, providing over 6% income plus a hedge against increased rates. To asses this asset class, I analyzed the risk and reward associated with floating rate loan over the past several years.

GoldTrust: The Discount To Spot Price Is A Joke
Aug. 26, 2013 - -  Central GoldTrust (GTU) is a closed-end fund holding gold bullion that provides an alternative to SPDR Gold (GLD) or owning physical gold coins & bars. The fund currently trades at a 4.8% discount to its net asset value. I have mentioned this fund a couple of times in the past several months and I continue to be baffled why gold investors initiating new positions would buy GLD instead of GTU. Besides the discount, GTU also has a major advantage when it comes to taxation because GTU gains qualify for the long-term capital gains rate of 20%. On the other hand, GLD is considered a collectible and thus gains would be taxed at the collectible rate of 28%. The same collectible rate applies to gold coins and bars. Given the discount and the lower taxation, GTU is clearly the better option.

Fitch: Rate Hike Causes Divergence Between Loan and Bond Closed-End Funds
Aug. 23, 2013 - Fitch Ratings -  Fitch Ratings-New York-23 August 2013: Closed-end funds (CEFs) investing in longer-term bonds have performed poorly in the face of a rising interest rate environment, according to a new Fitch Ratings report. However, CEFs investing in corporate loans remain stable, with further divergence possible.

Wells Fargo Advantage Global Dividend Opportunity Fund Announces Changes to Portfolio Management Team
Aug. 22, 2013 - Thomson Reuters -  

The Wells Fargo Advantage Global Dividend Opportunity Fund (NYSE: EOD) has announced a portfolio management change.

Effective immediately, Christian L. Chan, CFA, and Kandarp Acharya, CFA, FRM (Financial Risk Manager), of the Wells Capital Management Solutions team are replacing Portfolio Manager Jeffrey P. Mellas as members of the portfolio management team of the Wells Fargo Advantage Global Dividend Opportunity Fund.

These Higher-Yielding Investments Could Be Spring-Loaded With Upside
Aug. 22, 2013 - -  

The stock market has dropped for 6 consecutive days in a row. This decline seems fueled by concerns over when the Federal Reserve plans to "taper" its bond buying program. Many believe that the Fed will taper in September, but others believe that is way too soon.

It does seem premature for the Fed to taper because the last thing Bernanke wants to do is further roil the markets. Furthermore, the recent rise in interest rates has already possibly created the slowdown in the housing and auto sectors. If the Fed were to taper in September and create the appearance of a somewhat aggressive stance on policy, it could damage what is already a very weak economic recovery. In addition, Bernanke has already been quoted as calling the recent spike in interest rates as "unwelcome." A recent Bloomberg article notes that "Bond King" Bill Gross believes that the Federal Reserve won't tighten until 2016. The Bloomberg article states:

Evaluating Buying Opportunities For MBS Closed-End Funds
Aug. 19, 2013 - -  After the housing bust, the Fed decided to help homeowners by keeping mortgage rates low. To implement this policy, it embarked on a $40 billion per month purchase of mortgage-backed securities (MBS). This drove the prices of MBS higher, resulting in record low interest rates. However, recently the Fed hinted that it would reduce these purchases, sending waves of fear through the MBS market. The price of mortgage-backed securities cratered. Is this a buying opportunity? To asses this asset class, I analyzed the risk and reward associated with MBS over the past few years.

Sizing Up Discounted Muni Closed-End Bond Funds
Aug. 15, 2013 - WallStreetJournal -  

Some municipal closed-end bond funds, including Michigan-specific funds, are trading at appealing discounts following interest-rate increases and Detroit's bankruptcy filing.

"Municipal closed-end bond funds are on sale," says Cecilia Gondor, executive vice president at Thomas J. Herzfeld Advisors Inc., a Miami investment-advisory firm, which oversees about $167 million.

A Good Investment Opportunity For Phil Mickelson
Aug. 13, 2013 - -  Back in January, Phil Mickelson, who normally earns around $60 million a year, complained about the high tax rates he had to pay as a California resident:

"If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent," Mickelson said. "So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do"

High Yield CEFs To Spice Up Your Portfolio
Aug. 12, 2013 - -  High yield bond Closed End Funds (CEFs) delivered excellent performance in 2012 as investors clamored for high income. Many high yield CEFs were selling at substantial premiums to Net Asset Value (NAV) until the Fed crashed the party by discussing plans to taper their Quantitative Easing. The prices for high yield CEFs cratered in the second and third quarter of 2013, suffering their worst loss in over 2 years. Most of the CEFs are recovering but are still selling at a discount. Is this a good time to add high yield bond CEFs to your portfolio? To help you decide, I have analyzed the risk versus reward for this asset class over several time periods.

CEF Weekly Review: First Trust Energy Infrastructure
Aug. 11, 2013 - -  

Actionable Items:

  • Highest Positive Spread: BlackRock MuniHoldings Quality II (MUE)
  • Focus Stock: First Trust Energy Infrastructure (FIF)
  • Last Week's Focus Stock: JH Financial Opportunities (BTO)
Economy Follows: While the stock market leads, the economy follows. The U.S., Europe, Japan and China will lead the industrial nations from this malaise of recession to a smidgen of economic growth. However, how much is the growth?

Muni Bonds After Detroit
Aug. 09, 2013 - WallStreetJournal -  In the wake of Detroit's bankruptcy filing, some financial advisers are selling their Michigan municipal bonds and reinvesting elsewhere while others are hunting for bargains across the state.

Kerry Mayo, a financial planner at Capital Financial Advisors of New York, says his firm is combing through its clients' portfolios and plans to sell all Michigan general-obligation bonds, no matter what city or other municipality issued them. Such bonds are backed by a municipality's tax revenue.

Equity CEFs: The Most Undervalued And Overvalued Funds - 6 Months Later
Aug. 06, 2013 - -  As I promised in my February 4th article, The Most Under And Overvalued Funds, I was going to come back 6 months later and see how my undervalued and overvalued high yielding equity based closed-end funds (CEFs) picks had performed. I don't know how many contributors would hand pick funds (not stocks) with no knowledge of how the next six months would unfold for the markets and yet feel pretty confident that their undervalued picks would outperform their overvalued picks, but that's what I did.

CEF Weekly Review: JH Financial Opportunities
Aug. 04, 2013 - -  

Actionable Items:

  • Highest Positive Spread: Aberdeen Chile Fund (CH)
  • Focus Stock: JH Financial Opportunities (BTO)
  • Last Week's Focus Stock: Nuveen Energy MLP Total Return (JMF)

Downgrades: The "Focus Stock" for the week was Nuveen Energy MLP Total Return. JMF had investments in energy MLPs. Oppenheimer's has reduced its energy MLPs from outperformed to the performed on July 31st, 2013. The top 10 holdings of JMF were down 1.4%.

Will Detroit Save The Municipal Bond CEF Sector?
Aug. 02, 2013 - -  If you want to see a sector that has been decimated because of a perfect storm of factors coming together, look no further than the municipal bond Closed-End fund (CEF) sector. Between a spike up in interest rates, the threat of a cap in the tax-free status of interest payments and worries over municipal bond defaults triggered by the ongoing saga in Detroit, this is a sector that has been pummeled all year and keeps getting pummeled from all sides. When investors think that stocks are the safest security in their portfolio and that a bond is a 4-letter word, you know things have gotten very bad for fixed-income.

CEF Weekly Review: Nuveen Energy MLP Total Return
Jul. 28, 2013 - -  

Actionable Items:

  • Highest Positive Spread: Gabelli Convertible & Income (GCV)
  • Focus Stock: Nuveen Energy MLP Total Return (JMF)
  • Last Week's Focus Stock: First Trust Energy Infra Fund (FIF)
U.S. Global Energy: U.S. Energy Department predicts half the production growth of energy will come from China and India. The worldwide use of energy-mostly for transportation and electricity-will surge 56% by 2040 compared with 2010 levels.

Trotting Out Our Favorite Bank-Loan Funds
Jul. 26, 2013 - -  

Earlier this week, I wrote an article titled "Should You Consider Floating-Rate Bank Loans Today?" in which I outlined the reasons investors might consider--and why many are flocking to--bank-loan funds in the current environment. Today, I'm going to highlight some of our favorite funds in the sector.

Selecting a Vehicle
There are a number of mutual funds, closed-end funds, and exchange-traded funds that invest in bank loans. There are pros and cons to investing in each fund format that are important to be aware of.

Thai Capital Fund Liquidation Special Situation With A Quick Time Line
Jul. 26, 2013 - -  Thai Capital Fund (TF) is a fairly obscure closed-end fund restricted to investing in companies in Thailand. The fund has not done too well performance wise and management agrees that there is no justification for the high fees the company charges. Shareholders voted in 2012 to liquidate the fund but broker non-votes became the obstacle that blocked the liquidation of the fund. To work around this, the board suggested and won support for perpetual preferred shares at 1%, however, Bulldog Investment LLC took matters into their own hands and bought a +30% position in the company and majority shareholders voted to liquidate the fund in June 2013. 

The Fed Won't Tighten Until 2016, So Buy These Cheap High Yielders Now
Jul. 25, 2013 - -  Investors have dumped bonds and other high-yielding assets in the past few weeks over concerns that interest rates are going to spike even higher. In June, Ben Bernanke discussed the possibility that Federal Reserve policies would be tapered, when, and if, economic conditions warranted. It's been widely reported that this means tapering will begin in September. However, Bernanke and other Fed officials have made dovish comments that seem to suggest the market has a mistaken view on how soon tapering could occur.

The CEF Firecracker
Jul. 25, 2013 - -  Yesterday I read this article about a proposed portfolio of closed end funds (CEFs) that were "high income" and "lower risk" for retirees. It was not clear if the CEFs were intend to be the entire portfolio or just a segment of the portfolio; huge difference between the two. It highlighted eight CEFs and if someone wanted to use that many -- or more -- for some small slice of their portfolio, it might not be simple but could contribute to long-term success. Putting the whole thing into a bunch of CEFs regardless of the number of funds is not something I would do.

First Opportunity Fund: A Good Way To Acquire Top-Rated Hedge Funds At A 25% Discount
Jul. 24, 2013 - -  If you want to invest in hedge funds in the U.S., you have to be an "accredited investor" with a net worth of at least $1 million not including your house, or an annual income over $200,000 a year for the last two years ($300,000 if married). Even if you do qualify, hedge fund management fees are quite steep and there are often lockup restrictions that limit how and when you can sell your shares.

But there is a way for any investor to participate in hedge funds at a discounted price. The First Opportunity Fund, Inc. (FOFI.PK) is a closed-end fund that trades in the OTC market. FOFI has positions in hedge funds that total about 33% of the fund assets and are managed by Wellington. There were two hedge fund positions held by the fund as of March 31, with about $50 million in each.

Protected Principal Retirement Strategy: MLP Closed End Funds - Are Any A Buy?
Jul. 24, 2013 - -  

I have always favored owning individual master limited partnerships [MLPs] as opposed to the closed-end fund [CEF] alternatives. The reasons for this were twofold:

1. I started accumulating MLPs around 2004, when few, if any closed-end [MLP] funds were in existence.

2. Every time I checked the [MLP] closed-end funds, just about all of them were selling at fairly staggering premiums to their net asset value [NAV].

CEF Weekly Review: First Trust Energy Infra Fund
Jul. 21, 2013 - -  

Actionable Items:

Highest Positive Spread: Kayne Anderson Energy (KYE)

Focus Stock: First Trust Energy Infra Fund (FIF)

Last Week's Focus Stock: First Trust Energy Infra Fund

So, Fed Speaks: If you were concerned about Mr. Bernanke's remarks, "we've not changed policy. We are not talking about tightening monetary policy". Mr. Bernanke's main goal is designed to push down long-term rates and push up prices of stocks, homes and other assets. So, there it is.

The Forgotten Funds That Are Suddenly Drawing Crowds 
Jul. 19, 2013 - WallStreetJournal -  While money has been gushing out of U.S. stock funds, unit investment trusts have been raking it in.

These investments — a peculiar cross between mutual funds and exchange-traded funds — have been around for decades. By 2008, they were on their way to oblivion. But total assets of UITs have since nearly tripled, rising last year by 20% to $72 billion, according to the Investment Company Institute, a trade group. New money is pouring in, putting 2013 on pace to be the top-selling year on record.

How To Pick High Yield CEFs That Outperform The Market: An Introduction
Jul. 17, 2013 - -  One of the most popular investment choices for income investors are closed-end funds or CEFs. CEFs are great for individual investors because they offer diversified exposure to a host of different securities. For bonds in particular, CEFs are an excellent investment vehicle because they offer both diversification and liquidity in one low cost trading package; all things are generally problematic when buying individual bonds. Yet despite these advantages, many investors don't really understand how to pick CEFs or what they should look for when buying a CEF. This article will go over the factors that are involved in choosing a CEF and why investors should not look at either yield or discount when buying CEFs (at least not isolation anyway).

CEF-ETF Newsletter Archive
Jul. 17, 2013 - Capital Link, Inc. -   

Equity CEFs: Top And Bottom Fund Performers Through July 12
Jul. 15, 2013 - -  I was trying to get these tables out for the 2nd quarter 2013 but was unable due to time constraints, i.e. I was on vacation. These quarterly tables allow income investors to see which funds are outperforming or underperforming so far in 2013 and which funds may be getting ahead of themselves or may be due to catch up. So here are the top and bottom 15 or so Year-to-Date (YTD) performance figures for the equity based, high yielding closed-end fund (CEF) universe I follow.

High Rates? Are You Delirious?
Jul. 14, 2013 - WallStreetJournal -  

Have today's insanely low interest rates driven investors insane?

Three closed-end funds offered by Cornerstone Advisors of Asheville, N.C., show that some investors have come to believe the impossible: that high yields can persist in a world where central banks have squashed down bond rates to next to nothing.

These people have deluded themselves into believing they are earning fat yields. In reality, they merely are getting their own money back—and you can't turn a fantasy into fact just by wishing it were so.

CEF Weekly Review: First Trust Energy Infra Fund
Jul. 14, 2013 - -  

Actionable Items:

  • Highest Positive Spread: PIMCO Dynamic Income Fund (PDI)
  • Focus Stock: First Trust Energy Infra Fund (FIF)
  • Last Week's Focus Stock: Gabelli Convertible & Income Securities Fund (GCV)

Tapping Your Stock Portfolio for Income
Jul. 12, 2013 - WallStreetJournal -  With Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaling again this week that interest rates are likely to stay at rock-bottom for the foreseeable future, where can you turn for even a trickle of investment income?

Just as the removal of oxygen from a room can make you lightheaded, artificially low interest rates could make some income-oriented investors lose their ability to think clearly. Those who want ample income must either wait patiently until rates finally rise—or must violate the rule of thumb that says you never should fund income needs by dipping into capital. Above all, you must be skeptical of anything that purports to offer high current yields.

Getting Your High-Yield Debt At A Discount

Jul. 11, 2013 - -  In two previous articles over the past year I examined valuations in high-yield closed-end funds (CEFs). In July of 2012, I noted that only 10% of all funds were trading at a discount to NAV. My conclusion at that time was that investors should avoid the space, as pricing was clearly indicative of "yield chasing." Four months ago I offered a follow-up and pointed out more discounts were appearing, with about 40% of the group trading under NAV. At that time I still urged caution, but was a bit more constructive on the group. In this article, I will take a look at the recent sell off in this space, the macroeconomic outlook, and whether investors should view high-yield CEFs as an investment opportunity or not.

Buy Muni Funds After Dividend Cut
Jul. 11, 2013 - The Street -  NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Most bond funds have suffered lately, but the damage has been particularly severe for closed-end municipal funds. Many of those have declined more than 12% this year, compared to a fall of 3.0% for the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond index.

Rebound Potential And A 10.6% Yield Make This CEF Very Attractive
Jul. 09, 2013 - -  Credit Suisse High Yield Bond Fund (DHY) shares appear to have strong potential for both short-term gains in a rebound as well as high monthly payouts for income investors. This is a closed end fund or "CEF" that is managed by Credit Suisse. It primarily invests in high yield (or junk) bonds. As of July 5th, 2013, the fund holds about 266 positions, which means it is solidly diversified.

2 High Yield Bond CEFs With Recent Intensive Insider Buying
Jul. 08, 2013 - -  The SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) was trading below $20.00 in March 2009. The index is currently trading at $38.99, or more than 100% above the low made in March 2009.

In this article, I will feature two high yield bond funds that have seenintensive insider buying during the last 30 days. Intensive insider buying can be defined by the following three criteria:
  1. The stock is purchased by three or more insiders within one month.

  2. The stock is sold by no insiders in the month of intensive purchasing.

  3. At least two purchasers increase their holdings by more than 10%.

More Income With Less Risk For Retirees
Jul. 08, 2013 - -  As a retiree, I am continually looking for sources of more income but I also don't want to court excessive risk. Like most retirees, I have accepted the meager returns from bond funds because of their perceived safe haven against loss of capital. However, as interest began to rise in May, bond funds fell off the cliff and recorded significant losses. To insulate my portfolio as much as possible against interest rate risk, I looked at limited duration Closed End Funds (CEFs). This article discusses my analysis of these funds in terms of their risk-to-reward characteristics.

CEF Weekly Review: Gabelli Convertible & Income Fund
Jul. 07, 2013 - -  

Actionable Items:

Highest Positive Spread: PIMCO High Income Fund (PHK)

Focus Stock: Gabelli Convertible & Income Fund (GCV)

Last Week's Focus Stock: Cohen & Steers Infrastructure Fund (UTF)

U.S Jobs Gains: American employers added 195,000 jobs in June. For April and May, it climbed by a combined 70,000. Wages rose and many of the jobs were services. While the unemployment rate is 7.6% (same as last month), the Feds would be happy if the rate was 6.5%.

2 More Great Reasons To Invest In Closed-End Funds
Jul. 01, 2013 - -  Two of the greatest characteristics of closed-end funds has to be their over-reaction to every market move and their ability to sidestep forced redemptions. I recently read that almost $80 billion was removed from bond mutual funds and ETFs in the month of June, and to put that in perspective, roughly $40 billion was removed in October 2008 during the financial crisis.

CEF Weekly Review: Cohen & Steers Infrastructure Fund
Jun. 30, 2013 - -  

Actionable Items:

Highest Positive Spread: Cornerstone Progressive Return Fund (

A New Fund at the Right Time
Jun. 24, 2013 - The Street -  

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- ETF industry veteran Christian Magoon recently hung his own shingle at the eponymous Magoon Capital to get into the fund business. YieldShares High Income(YYY) is the firm's first product.


YYY is a fund of closed-end funds, or CEFs. CEFs are a double-edged sword. Most of the time they offer fantastic yields, but during times of market stress as we've seen in the last few weeks, they can be very volatile.

CEF Weekly Review: Cornerstone Progressive Return Fund
Jun. 23, 2013 - -  

Actionable Items:

  • Highest Positive Spread: Gabelli Convertible & Income (GCV)
  • Focus Stock: Cornerstone Progressive Return Fund (CFP)
  • Last Week's Focus Stock: Virtus Total Return Fund (DCA)
So, Where Do You Go? Bernanke's Wednesday conference call was the Fed's message that QE may not last for forever. While $85 billion was not placed on "hold", there could be a late-2014 trickle of funds from the Fed's coffer

Nuveen Has Very Little Exposure To Detroit Muni Meltdown

Jun. 20, 2013 - -  It appears as if Nuveen's lineup of closed-end municipal bond funds has very little exposure to Detroit's municipal debt. In case you haven't heard, Detroit missed a payment on its pension last week. Some of the city's debt and liabilities will have to be restructured to meet future payments.

New ‘High Income’ ETF Targets Closed-End Funds for Yield
Jun. 19, 2013 - -  

Investors will get a new ETF this week that seeks to provide income by investing in a basket of closed-end funds.

Exchange Traded Concepts LLC in conjunction with YieldShares LLC earlier this year filed a registration statement, including a preliminary prospectus, for the YieldShares High Income ETF (NYSEArca: YYY). The fund is expected to list Friday, June 21.

Is The Recent Sell-Off In Closed-End Funds A Buying Opportunity?
Jun. 17, 2013 - -  Closed-end funds ((CEFs)) can be lucrative investments, but have come under pressure as the market has become concerned over rising interest rates. For investors in these funds, several scenarios may occur and should be considered independently in order to determine if the market may be over-discounting the threat to CEFs at the present time.

CEF Weekly Review: Virtus Total Return Fund
Jun. 15, 2013 - -  

Actionable Items:

  • Highest Positive Spread: Nuveen Insured New York Tax-Free Advantage Municipal Fund (NRK)
  • Focus Stock: Virtus Total Return Fund (DCA)
  • Last Week's Focus Stock: Guggenheim Enhanced Equity Strategy (GGE)

How to Survive the Bond Fund Crash
Jun. 14, 2013 - The Street -  NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The last few weeks have been rough for equities and fixed income. The most notable decline has been the 20% decline in the Nikkei 225 Index in just 17 trading days. Interest rates have also moved up in the last few weeks on concerns of a so called tapering by the Fed which has hurt just about every type of yield oriented fund.

Hey, Where is the Soft Patch?
May. 28, 2013 - First Trust -  The current US recovery is probably the most ridiculed and disrespected we have seen in 31 years of economic forecasting. Conventional wisdom calls it a “sugar high,” it has evidently not reached “escape velocity” yet, and every piece of weaker than expected data is supposedly the beginning of the dreaded “double dip recession.”

Of course, none of this is true, but it fits a narrative – one that works for both sides of the aisle. Conservatives want to paint Obama as an economic fiasco. Liberals want to argue that “austerity” is killing us and “short-sellers” are spending billions trying to create another panic.

Newest PIMCO Closed-End Funds Provide The Best Value
May. 24, 2013 - -  

Over three years ago, I wrote an article about the PIMCO Closed-End Fund "Anomaly". I published an update of this study early last year showing that the average premium expanded even further.

I've taken another look at the PIMCO CEFs and have included two new funds that did not exist in 2010. In March 2010, all 18 PIMCO closed-end funds were trading at a premium over net asset value. (Note: I omitted funds that may be run by Allianz or sub-managed by PIMCO but do not have "PIMCO" in their names since these funds do not seem to benefit from the PIMCO anomaly).

At Thursday's close, the two newest funds were trading at a discount to NAV. Here is a snapshot table comparing the premiums on all three dates.

A Closed-End Fund ETF Yielding Over 7%
May. 16, 2013 - -  

ETF Spotlight on the PowerShares CEF Income Composiite Portfolio ETF (NYSEArca: PCEF), part of an ongoing series.

Assets: $502.5 million.

Objective: The PowerShares CEF Income Composite Portfolio tries to reflect the performance of the S-Network Composite Closed-End Fund Index, which is comprised of closed-end funds that invest in taxable investment grade fixed-income securities.

Fund Face-Off: Eaton Vance's Floating-Rate Funds
May. 14, 2013 - Morningstar, Inc. -  A few weeks ago, we highlighted the floating-rate loan asset class, specifically those in the closed-end fund, or CEF, universe. This week, we highlight a group of funds (both mutual funds and CEFs) from Eaton Vance. While only two of the six funds have Morningstar Analyst Ratings ( Eaton Vance Floating Rate (EVBLX) earns our highest rating of Gold, and  Eaton Vance Floating Rate Income Common (EFT)earns a Bronze rating), the suite of funds is managed by the same team, utilizing the same overall strategy. The biggest differences lie in the use of leverage. The CEFs sport leverage ratios of about 36%, Eaton Vance Floating Rate Advantage (EAFAX)reported a 12% leverage ratio, and the remaining mutual funds do not use leverage.  The six funds also hold varying allocations to high-yield corporate bonds: As of March 31, the smallest allocation was 3% and the largest was 14.5%.

Eaton Vance's bank-loan team has a deep bench of knowledgeable and experienced managers and analysts. Overall, the team has been awarded a positive People pillar rating. (For more information about our Morningstar Analyst Rating for Funds and the pillar ratings, click here.)

CEF Weekly Review: Mexico Fund
May. 12, 2013 - -  

Actionable Items:

  • Highest Positive Spread: Invesco VK Senior Income (VVR)
  • Focus Stock: Mexico Fund (MXF)
  • Last Week's Focus Stock: LMP Real Estate Income Fund (RIT)
Bonds: While unemployment is not at its 6.5% range and inflation is not at its 2.0% threshold, bonds may be on their way down.

While bond prices are all down (see Chart 1), from a price perspective, the easing of bonds may be a normal reaction for asset classes to respond. While sequestration is still "on" and Europe is still in a quagmire, maybe equities (with threshold rates above bonds) are the place-to-be.

Closed-end funds provide yield, but at a price
Apr. 27, 2013 - Thomson Reuters -  

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Investors chasing yield in this low-rate environment are jumping into alternative vehicles. That's helping closed-end income funds stage a comeback.

Such funds, which offer a fixed number of shares and are closed to new capital once they start operating, have their attractions, but investors should exercise caution. Expenses for closed-end funds tend to be higher than with exchange-traded funds, they are more complex and they usually carry more risk. Their active managers are free to use leverage and invest in a variety of assets in the hope of delivering higher returns than mutual funds with static bond mixes.

DoubleLine's Gundlach seeks more risk in new closed-end fund
Apr. 26, 2013 - Thomson Reuters -  

NEW YORK (Reuters) - DoubleLine Capital LP, the investment firm run by star bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach, said on Friday it completed an initial public offering for the closed-end DoubleLine Income Solutions Fund (DSL.N).

Gundlach, DoubleLine's chief executive and chief investment officer, will manage the fund with portfolio managers Bonnie Baha and Luz Padilla. Gundlach said on Friday the fund will seek greater risk than the firm's flagship DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund (DBLTX.O).