Even after four consecutive days of rising stocks through Wednesday, as measured by the
, there are highly rated, closed-end funds still selling at a discount to their net asset value. The theory, with no guarantees, is that buying securities at a discount reduces risk and adds to upside potential.
Topping the list of closed-end funds with at least a 50% portfolio allocation to equity securities and trading at a discount is the
Gabelli Global Utility & Income Trust
. The fund, with a rating of A-, trades at a discount of 10.9% to the value of its underlying holdings, which include
At a discount to net asset value of 14%, the
ING Risk Managed Natural Resources Fund
comes in second with a rating of B+. The fund tries to reduce volatility by buying options to hedge some of the risk from energy and natural-resources stocks.
Now that oil prices have dropped to about $43, a level not seen since early 2005, the sideways trading has formed a new, recession-level base of support.
Many of the oil, gas and related services stocks have also been beaten down. Adding to that the discount offered with this fund makes ING Risk Managed Natural Resources an attractive vehicle to add portfolio exposure to
The buy-rated fund selling at the greatest discount to the net asset value of its holdings is the
BlackRock Strategic Dividend Achievers Trust
, at 14.8% below NAV. Holdings of household names such as
may be way down but have stood the test of time.
For an explanation of our ratings, click
Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.