My short paper on close end funds

I wanted to explain how close end funds work.

First, you need to understand what net asset value or NAV is. It is calculated by taking each stock in a fund, and multiplying the price by the number of shares, and then adding up each result. So for example, if you have stock a, and it is selling at 10.00 per share, and you have 10 shares. That would give you 100.00. If you then had stock b, and it was selling for 9 dollars a share, and you had 11 shares. You would have another 99.00. If those were the only 2 stocks in the fund, its NAV would be 199.00. You then divide the NAV by the number of shares in the fund to get NAV/share.

ETFs and mutual funds, can increase or decrease their numbers of shares, so the price/share and the NAV/share are usually almost the same. Close end funds are different. There are a set number of shares. Therefore, if people are excited about the market, it can trade above its nav/share. If they are depressed about the market, it can trade below its NAV/share. In times of market turmoil, you can find a close end fund sometimes trading at 20% below its NAV. So you are getting 100 dollars of stock, for 80.00.

Very few parts of the market are this inefficient.

Another advantage is the dividends. Assume the close end fund (CEF), pays out 5% of its NAV as dividends every year If it is trading at 80% of its NAV, the dividend you receive is 100/80 * 5%, or 6.25%.

One thing however is that some CEFS always trade at some discount to their NAV. So while you are getting say 100.00 of stocks for 90.00, it always will stay at 90.00 or a 10% discount. What you want is a CEF that is trading below its normal discount to NAV. Usually it will return to it standard discount, and you will have made money by dividends, the stock prices increasing, and its returning to its standard discount.

One way to measure the discount is by its z-score. 1 z-score is one standard deviation. What you want is a negative z-score. If you find a CEF has a z-score of -3, that is 3 standard deviations beneath its normal discount to NAV.

Of course, you want to look at other things also. Has the manager been there a while, what is the expense ratio life, what has the performance been like etc.

The place to get CEF information for free is CEF connect.

In this environment, I would not recommend bond ETFs. I have attached a list of CEFs that I like.

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Mark, what is to say that the stock price will go back to Nav? Wouldn’t you have to look at each and every stock and see if you think it will make it back? Since everything has dropped as for now, why not make up your own fund and not pay the expense ratio.

Andy

It’s not a stock, it is a fund, and it is selling for less than the value of the stocks in the fund. It may never go back to NAV, but it should go back to the discount to NAV it usually sells for.

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Right sorry for my misstatement. So you really don’t understand the companies that are in the fund you are just assuming it makes it back to the discount to Nav that it usually sells for. Interesting investment thesis.

No. But you do need to check that it is a well run fund.

Best,

Mark

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Ok Mark thanks for your response. I am looking at Schp, it is an ETF invested in Tips that is paying 6.98 percent right now, is close to Nav and selling for close to its bottom range. It also has an expense ratio of .04%.

Andy

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Thanks, Andy. I definitely think this is worth looking at, too.

Pete

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Your welcome Pete. I am not sure about it because as long as they keep raising rates I know the fund will keep going down but the yield will also go up. I might just wait till the next fed meeting. If they pause it would be a great time to get in.

Andy

That looks like a good pick. IBonds are great. 9.62%, but you can only put in 10,000.00 per year.

Best,

Mark

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Treat CEFs as you would a stock (in terms of price momentum, etc). My experience backtesting CEFs is that premiums/discounts are irrelevant as backtesting factors. Manager duration, etc is also irrelevant unless one plans on holding for the long-term.
…just my experience

-Rick

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I totally agree. I would had use total return. I have a friend who loves buying AGNC because of the high dividend. But never seems to mention the price and total return.

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Newbie on this topic, but I have been looking at and buying some QYLD and GLO recently over the last 6 months. Any thoughts on these two? Thanks…doc

QYLD is a NAS100 Covered Call writing strategy. It’s total return has been abysmal.

Tails

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This is what got my attention on QYLD. Long term dividend production has been solid and steady for years. The actual price of the investment vehicle has tracked up and down but the dividend stayed steady…doc

Global X NASDAQ-100 Covered Call ETF (QYLD) Dividend History | Nasdaq

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Thank you for your advise.

Best,

Mark