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Where to Get More Information on Closed-End Funds

A few Web sites offer limited free info, but most require a subscription fee.

I have heard from a couple of readers who are looking for places on the Internet to find information on closed-end funds. I know of a few.

Closed-end funds sell a fixed number of shares and invest the proceeds in securities. Some closed-end funds invest in stocks of a specific country, like Spain, or an industry, like real estate. These funds' shares trade like stocks on exchanges like the

New York Stock Exchange

. Low demand for a fund can cause closed-end shares to trade at discounts to the value of their assets. High demand can create premiums.

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The Internet Closed-End Fund Investor site has been mentioned to me by several people. The site delivers some information for free, such as quarterly performance reports and an online tutorial. But you will have to pay for deeper data. The site's basic subscription service, which includes profiles and performance tables for each closed-end fund, costs $20 a month (or $120 a year if prepaid). The advanced service ($30 a month or $150 annually if prepaid) offers greater customization. Check it out. If anything, you can take a gander at the site's list of the 500-plus U.S. closed-end funds.

U.K.-based

TrustNet gives away its information for free, but very little is focused on U.S. closed-end funds. Most of the data, provided by investment bank

Warburg Dillon Read

, centers on U.K. funds.

You can get the prices of closed-end funds on plenty of financial sites, including

TheStreet.com. I particularly like the profiles on

Yahoo! Finance (this site does keep coming up) for some funds.

But reader

Guy Benson

is looking for a place on the Internet that tracks the premiums or discounts to net asset value, or NAV, at which closed-end funds are trading.

The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition delivers closed-end fund tables that include each fund's NAV, the price at which it's trading and its premium or discount. In the Money & Investing section, you will find a link to the Markets Data Center. There, under mutual funds, you will find a link to a section on closed-end funds, with data provided by

Lipper

.

Of course, you will have to buy a subscription to the publication if you don't already have one. A combined annual subscription to the online

Journal

and

Barron's Online

costs $59 if you are not a print subscriber, $29 if you are.

I don't like to write about sites if they are not operational, but there is another alternative on the horizon that is worth mentioning. The

Closed-End Fund Association

, a not-for-profit membership organization for closed-end investment companies based in Kansas City, Mo., is launching its own Web site sometime in March. The site's address will be

www.closed-endfund.com

.

The free site will deliver daily NAVs for close to 400 U.S. closed-end funds, says Brian Smith, executive director. For another 100-plus funds, the site will report the weekly NAV numbers. The site also will carry daily prices for all the funds and show their trading premiums or discounts. You will also be able to find additional information, such as educational materials and links to other company sites.

Wiesenberger

, which provides data to The Internet Closed-End Fund Investor, will be doing the same for this site.

I am sure there are other sites out there. If you know of any others, email me at

fundforum@thestreet.com. As always, please include your full name.