Get Rich - Stay Rich - Investing for Monthly Income

Posts Tagged ‘closed-end funds’

The Case for Income Investing

Today’s stagnant economy isn’t what it used to be. Societies, both individuals and governments, are saddled with enormous amounts of debt and yields have disappeared making it impossible to generate income from traditional fixed income investments.

Many top experts, including Jeff Gundlach who is considered the “Bond God,” believe this is the “new normal” and that rates could go even lower still. Which doesn’t offer a lot of hope to retirees who need income now, or future retirees who need to grow their portfolio at a much faster clip if they hope to retire at all.

Investors often overlook the value of selling options for income. This is in part because investors misunderstand the risk of these investments and how to manage this type of investment.  But many individual can benefit from these investments. If the income from selling puts and calls is reinvested every month, the investor can compound savings and buy more investments such as stocks, CEFs, etc.

This can be a growth strategy for investors no longer contributing to their portfolios or retirement accounts.  This type of portfolio of investments is likely to produce a higher yield than a growth stock portfolio. And, investors will benefit from the income even if the portfolio doesn’t have any capital appreciation or the market moves sideways. 

Investors can create a diversified portfolio for option selling by writing cash-secured puts, selling covered calls and owning dividend paying stocks and CEFs with monthly distributions.  If income is a goal, these option selling strategies and income investments could be worth a closer look.

I combine the strategies for market diversification of income opportunities.  Also, I combine then to create new investment vehicles.  The one strategy I prefer has 3 income opportunities: (1) selling put options to enter a stock, (2) collect dividends if put to me, and (3) sell covered calls until the stock is called away.

Where else, on even a modest portfolio, can you generate an extra $1,000 to $5,000 per month or more? Owning a basket of strong dividend paying blue chip stocks might earn you 3% to 5% per year. But to generate $5,000 per month in income you’d need a nest egg of $1.2 to $2 million dollars.

Get started collecting multiple streams of income today.

 

Creating Multiple Income Streams with CEFs

An income investor has several investments available to create income streams. Most turn to dividend stocks and bonds to create consistent cash flows for their living expenses. While both of these investments will provide income, there are additional vehicles to produce money flows. One I like to use is closed-end funds or CEFs. These investments trade like stocks with a market price and can be easily purchased during trading hours on all stock exchanges.

Investors have nearly 400 CEFs to choose from that pay monthly distributions (see listing included). Simply, an investor can create a diversified portfolio of CEFs to create monthly income. Most investors should look at selecting five or more CEFs in different investment categories or type of objective. There are cases with investors creating numerous CEFs such as 30 funds to average one paycheck per day. I guess you can call this one check per day or daily paychecks.

The 10-year Treasury note touched its second-lowest yield before regaining some ground to finish at around 1.51%. The 30-year Treasury was offering a yield of 2.234% last week.  Those meager yields mean that despite grousing about elevated stock valuations and poor corporate quarterly results, investors aren’t finding a lot of safe options to put their money and eke out a decent return. Bespoke statisticians say 41% of stocks on the S&P 500 offer a richer yield than the so-called long bond, or 30-year note. And more than 60% pay a better yield than the benchmark 10-year note. A great alternative is investing in CEFs.

CEFs have some differences compared to stocks such as they have a publically known net asset value or NAV. The NAV is the sum value of the funds holding or intrinsic value. The CEF may trade at a market value that us different than the NAV. This makes it easy for investors to determine if the fund is trading at a premium or discount to its true value or NAV. As an investor, you want to purchase CEFs at a discount to NAV as this can be like buying a $1 of assets for $0.90 or whatever the discount to NAV. Who doesn’t want to buy funds at a discounted price or on sale!

To create a successful CEF portfolio, an investor should create a diversified portfolio of monthly paying CEFs trading at a discount to NAV. The investor can reinvest some dividends to increase their payments over time. This investing strategy can be used to replace income from employment or to supplement other types of income.

The Western Asset Emerging Markets Debt Fund (ESD) is a closed-end fund that invests in bonds issued by emerging-market governments and corporations. As income investors, we love the 8.5% yield… And as value investors, we love that the fund is available for an 13% discount to its NAV. On top of that, bonds are traditionally safer investments than stocks, even in emerging markets. ESD has an extremely diverse portfolio of 235 different holdings. Its largest country allocation, Mexico, only accounts for 13% of its portfolio. And 97% of its holdings are denominated in U.S. dollars.

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A High Yield CEF Trading at a Double Digit Discount

For CEF Investors seeking income, they may want to evaluate Liberty All Star Equity Fund (USA).  This fund has a current distribution rate of 6.97% and still trades at a 10% discount to net asset value (NAV). While the fund is setup for income purposes, it has produced a year-to-date market return of 20% and a one year return on NAV of 29%.  This performance has landed this fund in the top25 CEFs through year to date results.

USA has a 1-year Z statistic of -1.71 while indicates it has a reasonable value compared to past discount of price to NAV.  The fund uses no leverage and no return of capital through distributions.  Here is the recent fund information.

 

 

Fund Style: Large-Cap Core

Investment Managers:
Value Managers:
Matrix Asset Advisors, Inc.
Pzena Investment Management, LLC
Schneider Capital Management   Corporation
Growth Managers:
Cornerstone Capital Management LLC
TCW Investment Management Company

 

Top 20 Holdings at Month-End
(31.9% of equity portfolio)

(Rank   from previous month)

1

Google, Inc., Class A (2)

2.5%

2

QUALCOMM, Inc. (1)

2.4%

3

Schlumberger Ltd. (4)

2.1%

4

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (3)

2.1%

5

Salesforce.com, Inc. (5)

1.8%

6

Amazon.com, Inc. (13)

1.6%

7

Citigroup, Inc. (6)

1.6%

8

Morgan Stanley (9)

1.5%

9

Devon Energy Corp. (11)

1.5%

10

Bank of America Corp. (7)

1.5%

11

Hewlett-Packard Co. (17)

1.5%

12

MetLife, Inc. (8)

1.4%

13

SunTrust Banks, Inc. (12)

1.4%

14

Microsoft Corp. (14)

1.4%

15

American International Group, Inc.   (16)

1.4%

16

Visa, Inc., Class A (15)

1.3%

17

Starbucks Corp. (10)

1.3%

18

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (18)

1.3%

19

Precision Castparts Corp. (22)

1.2%

20

State Street Corp. (20)

1.1%

Holdings are subject to change.

 

Monthly Performance
Performance

NAV

Market   Price

Discount

Beginning of month value

$6.20

$5.41

12.7%

Distributions (Ex-Date October 30)

$0.10

$0.10

End of month value

$6.37

$5.72

10.2%

Performance for month

4.54%

7.58%

Performance year-to-date

27.03%

27.94%

The net asset value (NAV) of a closed-end   fund is the market value of the underlying investments (i.e., stocks and   bonds) in the Fund’s portfolio, minus liabilities, divided by the total   number of Fund shares outstanding. However, the Fund also has a market price;   the value at which it trades on an exchange. If the market price is above the   NAV the Fund is trading at a premium. If the market price is below the NAV   the Fund is trading at a discount.

Returns for the Fund are total returns, which include dividends, after   deducting Fund expenses. The Fund’s performance is calculated assuming that a   shareholder reinvested all distributions and exercised all primary rights in   the Fund’s rights offerings. Past performance cannot predict future   investment results.

Performance will fluctuate with changes in market conditions. Current   performance may be lower or higher than the performance data shown.   Performance information shown does not reflect the deduction of taxes that   shareholders would pay on Fund distributions or the sale of Fund shares. Shareholders   must be willing to tolerate significant fluctuations in the value of their   investment. An investment in the Fund involves risk, including loss of   principal.

 

Net Assets at Month-End   ($millions)
Total $1,111.6
Equities $1,090.0
Percent Invested 98.1%
Sector   Breakdown (% of equity portfolio)*
Financials 25.2%
Information   Technology 18.9%
Consumer   Discretionary 15.6%
Energy 15.0%
Health Care 10.2%
Industrials 7.3%
Consumer   Staples 4.9%
Materials 2.3%
Utilities 0.6%
Total Market   Value 100.0%
*Based on   Standard & Poor’s and MSCI Barra Global Industry Classification Standard   (GICS).

 

Monthly Income from a Covered Call Closed-End Fund

For monthly income investors, the BlackRock Enhanced Capital and Income CEF (CII) offers an investment option for both growth and income.  CII trades at a 10% discount to its NAV.  The dividend yield is 11.47% which is inline with other CEFs in this category.  CII’s previous closing price was $12.59 and has a superior rating by Morningstar.

The fund invests in large-cap value stocks and includes a call option writing overlay (on individual holdings and the S&P 500 Index). Individual holdings are picked based on strong competitive performance, a good balance sheet, excess cash flow, low debt payments, and management with proven ability to effectively manage though various market cycles. Stocks must meet multiple valuation criteria, including low price earnings ratio, low price/book ratio, high dividend yield, and high return on equity. Analysts and managers like companies that are currently out of favor and that they believe have future growth potential.

Over the latest three-year annualized period, the fund gained more than 4%, beating the the S&P 500 Value Index, which lost 2%.  During the first year and a half using the new strategy (the second half of 2007 and 2008), the fund struggled and underperformed the peer group and the index, but performance improved markedly in 2009 as the new management team took over. Strong performance continues:  The fund is up 7% over the past year and down 1.7% for the year to date while peers are up 2.5% over the past year and down 4.6% for the year to date.

Following June’s distribution reduction, the 11% distribution rate is on par with peers. The fund has used destructive return of capital in two of its seven fiscal years: In 2008, almost half was from destructive return of capital, but in 2010, it was less than 10%. The recent 25% reduction is a positive sign, but investors should question whether an equity strategy can earn 11% in this market. If the call strategy is successful and stock picks continue to be profitable, it’s possible.    The fund offers a standard distribution reinvestment program. If the fund is trading at a premium (including brokerage commissions), then the dividend amount is invested in to newly issued shares.

Highest Yielding CEFs for Monthly Income

We scanned the CEF (closed-end funds) landscape to find the 5 highest yielding CEFs with monthly distributions.  All of these CEFs have an annual yield above 10%.  We have eliminated those CEFs that return capital  Add these stocks to your watchlist and wait to purchase on a market pullback.  These are great investments to re-invest your dividends or to create a monthly passive income.  A yield this high will compound fast at a monthly distribution rate.  Click the image below to enlarge.

Monthly Income Closed End Funds

Click to enlarge

 

Alpine Total Dynamic Dividend Fund (AOD) is a diversified, closed-end investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to invest in equity securities that provide high current dividend income. The Fund also focuses on long-term growth of capital as a secondary investment objective. In addition, the Fund has no limitations on the percentage of holdings that can be in either international or the United States companies. It invests in various sectors, including consumer discretionary, industrials, energy, information technology, materials, consumer staples, healthcare, financials, utilities and telecommunication services. Alpine Woods Capital Investors, LLC is the Fund’s investment adviser.

AGIC Convertible & Income Fund II (NCZ), formerly Nicholas-Applegate Convertible & Income Fund II, is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to provide total return through a combination of capital appreciation and high current income. It invests in a diversified portfolio of domestic convertible securities, and non-convertible, high-yield bonds rated below investment grade. It seeks to invest at least 50% of its portfolio in convertibles. The Fund invests in sectors, such as advertising, airlines, aerospace and defense, auto components, commercial services and supplies, construction and engineering, diversified financial services, healthcare providers and services, and telecommunications. Allianz Global Investors Fund Management LLC serves as the Fund’s investment manager and is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Allianz Global Investors of America L.P.
PIMCO High Income Fund (PHK) is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s primary investment objective is to seek high current income. Capital appreciation is a secondary objective. The Fund invests in a diversified portfolio of United States dollar-denominated debt obligations and other income-producing securities that are primarily rated below investment grade. The Fund seeks to invest at least 50% of its net assets in debt securities that are, at the time of purchase, rated below investment grade (below Baa by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., below BBB by either Standard & Poor’s or Fitch, Inc., or unrated but judged by the investment manager to be of comparable quality), which may be represented by forward contracts or derivatives, such as options, futures contracts or swap agreements. Allianz Global Investors Fund Management LLC serves as the Fund’s investment manager. Its sub-advisor is Pacific Investment Management Company LLC.
Dreyfus High Yield Strategies Fund (DHF) is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s primary investment objective is to provide high current income by investing at least 65% of its total assets in income securities rated below investment grade. The fund also provides capital growth as a secondary objective. The Fund invests primarily in fixed-income securities of below investment-grade credit quality. Issuers of below investment-grade securities may include companies in early stages of development and companies with a highly leveraged financial structure. The Dreyfus Corporation (Dreyfus) serves as the Fund’s investment manager and administrator.
AGIC Convertible & Income Fund (NCV), formerly Nicholas-Applegate Convertible & Income Fund, is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s investment objective is to provide total return through a combination of capital appreciation and high current income. It invests in a diversified portfolio of domestic convertible securities and non-convertible, high-yield bonds rated below investment grade. It seeks to invest at least 50% of its portfolio in convertibles. It invests in sectors, such as advertising, apparel, auto components, banks, diversified financial services, entertainment, miscellaneous manufacturing and retail. Allianz Global Investors Fund Management LLC serves as the Fund’s investment manager and is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Allianz Global Investors of America L.P. (Allianz Global). Its sub-advisors are Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, Allianz Global Investors Capital LLC and NFJ Investment Group LLC.

Getting High Yields from Closed-End Funds

This is the second in the investing for monthly income series: how to get high yields from closed-end funds.

What is a closed-end funds (CETF) and how is it different from other investments? A closed-end fund is legally know as a ‘closed-end company.” It is one of three investment types of investment companies. The other two are mutual funds and unit investment trusts. Unlike mutual funds, closed-end funds sale a fixed number of shares at one time that trade on the major stock exchanges such as NYSE, NASDAQ, etc.

The price of CEFTs are set by the market and can be above or below their net asset value. Generally, CEFTs do not redeem shares from investors as the shares are bought and sold at market value on the exchanges.

CEFTs come in many varieties with different objectives, strategies and payment time frames.  These funds can easily be purchased through any discount brokerage in both taxable and tax-deferred accounts.  The CEFTs we are interested in pay monthly dividends and provide a high yield. When these funds trade at a discount (share price is lower than net asset value), their dividend yield is higher. This creates an opportunity for potential capital gains in addition to monthly income.

Upon receipt of monthly dividends, you can reinvest some or all into more shares of CETFs or other dividend investments. Reinvestment of dividends creates a compounding effect that will grow your income each month. There are rumors that former President Bill Clinton receives $84,000 per month in dividend income. This is a large supplement to the $16,750 Clinton receives from his government pension per month. This is one method that helps the rich get richer. However, you can accomplish the same objective by investing for monthly income.

Where can you find a list of CEFTs? I personally use CEF Connect to track a list of CEFTs in a portfolio. This is a free service (requires registration) with a search engine that will separate monthly payers from the flock. At last count, there was more than 400 CEFTs that pay monthly dividends. There is a comprehensive list in Get Rich – Stay Rich.

As an example, you can evaluate Alpine Total Dynamic Dividend Fund (AOD). It currently has an 11% yield and trades at a 5% discount to NAV. This fund restructured in mid-2010 and has a total return of nearly 25% over the last 6 months ending January 2011. This fund invests in global equities and employs a dividend capture strategy. The company website is at Alpine Closed End Funds.   (Full disclosure; author owns shares in AOD).

The best time to buy CEFTs is when they pull back in share price. The one caveat is to ensure their earnings per share is more than their dividend payout (this is available at CEF Connect under the distribution tab). If not, then you should sell and evaluate another CEFT. The other item to watch is that the CEFT pays distributions from ordinary income and does not pay from return of funds. Any return of capital means the CEFT is giving back capital in the form of dividends which means the company did not earn their pay. Sell immediately if you see a return of capital.

A second CEFT for comparative purposes is AGIC Convertible & Income Fund (NCZ). This fund invests in convertible securities and high yield bonds. It has a distribution rate of 10.5% but trades at a 12% premium to NAV. The funds was stellar in 2009 with a 145% share price increase, hence the current premium price.. The return over the last six months is 18% based on share price. The company website is Allianz Global Investors.

The more you research CEFTs, the more you come to like the total return and consistency of monthly paychecks. Keep in mind that financial independence is replacing your current income with passive income. CEFTs are one investment to help get you closer to living a life within your comforts.

The next part of this series will discuss business development companies.

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