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 TheStreet.com 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 ( MIN) and the Templeton Global Income Fund ( GIM).

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.

Both funds posted positive returns for the month, and they took risks to earn that -- make sure these risk are not beyond your reach.

November's Top Closed-End Funds
Name
Ticker
TSC Grade
One-Month Return
Objective Description
MFS Intermediate Income Trust
MIN
A+
2.89
Global Income
Nuveen NY Select Tax-Free Inc Port
NXN
A+
-7.66
Municipal Single State
BlackRock CA Insured Muni 2008 Term
BFC
A+
1.19
Municipal Single State
BlackRock Insured Muni 2008 Tm Tr
BRM
A+
0.77
Municipal - National
Templeton Global Income Fd
GIM
A+
4.19
Global Income
Morgan Stanley Ins CA Muni Sec
ICS
A+
-5.69
Municipal Single State
American Strat Inc Portfolio
ASP
A+
-11.54
General Mortgage
Federated Prem Intermediate Muni
FPT
A+
-13.73
Municipal - National
BlackRock Broad Inv Gr 2009 Tm Tr
BCT
A+
0.08
General Bd - Investment Grade
Western Asset Municipal High Inc
MHF
A+
-10.02
Municipal - High Yield
 
Sam Patel, CFA, is the manager of mutual fund research for the TheStreet.com Ratings.

In keeping with TSC's Investment Policy, employees of TheStreet.com Ratings with access to pre-publication ratings data must pre-clear any potential trade through the legal department, and are prohibited from trading any security that is the subject of an unpublished rating revision until the second business day after the rating is published.

While Patel cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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