A truism made more valid today: Investing is not for the faint of heart. Most of the top-performing closed-end funds in August have crashed in the past few days.

Two that I would not touch have ties to energy. At 13.7%, no fund on the list did better than Tortoise Energy Capital (TYY) . With oil dropping to the $90s, the prospects for its holdings of Kinder Morgan (KMR) , Plains All American (PAA) - Get Report , Enbridge Energy (EEP) and Sunoco Logistics (SXL) have gone south as well.

The other is from the emerging-market-income category. The Western Asset Emerging Markets Floating Rate Fund (EFL) - Get Report added 8.5% in August before giving it all back this month.

Half the fund's investments are in the sovereign debt of oil-rich countries like Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela and Egypt. A total of 44.5% of its holdings are allocated to corporate debt including HSBC Bank (HBC) , Gazprom (OGZPY) and Mexico's Pemex.

While there are no safe bets in this market, the month-to-date beating taken by Eagle Capital Growth Fund (GRF) - Get Report has left it trading at a discount to net asset value of almost 10%. That's not a bad way to purchase some of its top holdings, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report , Colgate-Palmolive (CL) - Get Report , PepsiCo (PEP) - Get Report , and Sysco (SYY) - Get Report , all of which have held up well.

As with any trade, you can lose money. Remember to place stop-loss orders to help protect you from sudden moves against positions.

For an explanation of our ratings, click here.