TSC Ratings provides exclusive stock, ETF and mutual fund ratings and commentary based on award-winning, proprietary tools. Its "safety first" approach to investing aims to reduce risk while seeking solid outperformance on a total return basis.

Looking to add to your closed-end fund positions? Here are 25 low-rated portfolios you should consider avoiding.

These funds have lost at least a quarter of their value and earned "sell"-level grades of D-plus or lower from TheStreet.com Ratings. Three of them received our lowest grade, E-minus.

TheStreet.com Ratings

Ten of these closed-end funds invest internationally, and 10 have significant debt holdings. These categories have suffered as global stocks wait for a U.S. economic recovery and inflation threatens bond yields.

The Advent/Claymore Global Convertible Securities & Income Fund ( AGC) was among the worst-rated funds with a grade of E. The fund buys convertible bonds from companies based anywhere in the world. At least half of its assets are in foreign securities.

The fund has lost 55% of its assets in the past year. Debt that can be converted into equity generally provides a smaller yield than traditional bonds of similar quality. Shares of many companies are trading for less than their potential conversion prices. If inflation rises before equities rebound, higher interest rates on new debt might hurt Advent/Claymore's portfolio.

Top holdings include Teva Pharmaceuticals ( TEVA) of Israel and Transocean ( RIG) of Switzerland. Domestic holdings include Bank of America ( BAC) and Amgen ( AMGN). The fund has 22% of its assets in financial companies, followed by 21% in health care, 10% in energy and 10% in technology.

At TheStreet.com Ratings, A and B grades mean "buy," C equals "hold" and D or less means "sell."

Worst Rated Closed-End Funds
Fund (Ticker)
Overall Grade
Reward Grade Risk Grade Objective Total Return 1 Year
Cushing MLP Total Return Fund (SRV) E- E- D- Growth & Income -68.2%
First Trust Strategic High Income Fund III (FHO) E- D- E+ High Yield Bond -52.9%
Helios High Income Fund Inc (HIH) E- E+ E+ Multi-Sector Bond -67.2%
Kayne Anderson Energy Development Co (KED) E D- D- Energy/Natural Res -58.8%
Helios Strategic Income Fund Inc (HSA) E E+ D Multi-Sector Bond -67.7%
RMR Asia Real Estate Fund (RAF) E D- D- Growth & Income -52.3%
RMR Dividend Capture Fund (RCR) E E- D+ Growth & Income -91.7%
Advent Claymore Global Convertible Sec & Inc Fund (AGC) E E+ D Growth & Income -54.7%
Seligman LaSalle International Real Estate Fund Inc (SLS) E+ E- D+ Growth & Income -66.5%
Van Kampen Dynamic Credit Opportunities Fund (VTA) E+ D- D- Loan Participation -44.6%
DWS RREEF World Real Estate & Tactical Strategies (DRP) E+ E D+ Growth & Income -58.3%
DCW Total Return Fund (DCW) E+ E D+ Growth & Income -69.4%
Cohen & Steers Global Income Builder Inc (INB) E+ E D+ Global Equity -53.6%
Alpine Global Premier Properties Fund (AWP) E+ E- D+ Growth & Income -68.8%
First Trust Spec Finance and Financial Opportunities (FGB) E+ E D+ Financial Services -66.5%
Helios Multi-Sector High Income Fund Inc (HMH) E+ E+ D+ Multi-Sector Bond -74.7%
Helios Advantage Income Fund Inc (HAV) D- D- D+ Multi-Sector Bond -64.6%
BlackRock Global Equity Income Trust (BFD) D- D D- Global Equity -39.6%
Nicholas-Applegate Global Equity & Convertible Inc (NGZ) D- D- D+ Global Equity -44.7%
Nuveen Tax-Advantaged Dividend Growth Fund (JTD) D- D- D+ Growth & Income -46.5%
BlackRock International Growth and Income Trust (BGY) D- D+ D- Non-US Equity -39.7%
BlackRock EcoSolutions Investment Trust (BQR) D- D+ D- Energy/Natural Res -45.4%
Templeton Russia and East European Fund (TRF) D- D+ D- Non-US Equity -62.6%
Delaware Enhanced Global Dividend and Inc (DEX) D- D D+ Global Equity -42.4%
PIMCO Income Opportunity Fund (PKO) D- C- D- Global Income -24.9%
Source: TheStreet.com Ratings (Data as of most recent monthend).

TheStreet.com Ratings, recently cited for Best Stock Selection from October 2007 through February 2009 , is an independent research provider that combines fundamental and technical analysis to offer investors tremendous value in volatile times. To see how your portfolio can use this research, click here now!
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.