November's top-rated closed-end funds didn't perform all that well as the one-month returns in the accompanying table shows. In most categories of funds listed below, there are better performing funds in the exchange-traded and bond mutual fund worlds.
So while these closed-end funds rank as A+ at
Ratings, the returns of these closed-end funds do not compare well with other fund vehicles.
This may be due to particular quirks of closed-end funds themselves as closed-end funds can trade at discounts to their net asset value despite having similar strategies and holdings to other types of fund vehicles. ETFs, for example, trade at or very near their NAVs.
Two interesting funds in the list are the
MFS Intermediate Income Trust
Templeton Global Income Fund
MIN invests in government (40%), corporate (32%) and mortgage (24%) debt securities across a wide array of sectors and geographies including Japan (10% allocation), the U.K., Germany and France with roughly 5% invested in each of these regions.
GIM invests 80% of its assets in government securities across a range of countries. As of Aug. 31, it favored the Asia-Pacific region. Investors should be able and willing to handle the risks associated with this fund's strategy of playing the international currency markets via investments in sovereign bonds. The currency markets during stable economic times contain risks above other markets, such as domestic stocks and bonds. In the current volatile period, the currency markets have the potential to enter the realm of borderline chaos. Predictions of currency movements are far less clear than the already extremely clouded world economic outlook -- in particular the depth and length of this correction. Coupled with the currency market risks, the fund also adds risk to its portfolio in the form of investments in emerging market sovereigns.