YTD Top Performer Closed End Funds December 2011 | CEF

The following article will look into the YTD top performer CEFs of 2011. The top performer funds include DNP Select Income Fund (DNP), Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT), Invesco Insured Municipal Bond (IMC), and more.

The Year-To-Date Top Performer Closed End Funds December 2011 are:
YTD Top Performer CEFs 2011
  1. DNP Select Income Fund (DNP)
  2. Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT)
  3. Invesco Insured Muni Bond (IMC)
  4. BlackRock Build America Bond (BBN)
  5. Flaherty Preferred Income Fund (PFD)
  6. Aberdeen Global Income (FCO)
  7. BlackRock MuniHoldings Quality II (MUE)
  8. Nuveen CA Performance Plus Muni (NCP)
  9. BlackRock Municipal Income Investment Quality Trust (BAF)
  10. BlackRock MuniYield Investment Quality Fund (MFT)
updated on 12/4/2011

1. DNP Select Income Fund (DNP)

This DNP Select Income Fund (DNP) objective is to provide current income and long term growth of income with capital appreciation. This Duff & Phelps fund invests mostly in equity and fixed income securities of companies in the public utilities industry. This fund is managed by Nathan Partain since 1998.

This YTD top performer fund also has a structural leverage of 34.22%. The annual total expense ratio is 2.17%. The fund’s inception date was January 1987. The fund’s yield is 7.23%. This distribution rate is paid monthly. The fund has returned 18% over the past 1 year, 29.20% over the past 3 year, and 8.76% over the past 5 year.

As of August 2011, the fund’s top 10 holdings are Verizon Communications Inc, Xcel Energy Inc, Nextera Energy, AT&T Inc, Dominion Resources, Northeast Utilities, Pinnacle West Capital Cor, Southern Co, CenterPoint Energy 3.75%, Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. The top 4 sectors are General Equity (76.04%), corporate debt (25.03%), Preferred Shares (4.65%), and Net Current Assets (-5.73%).

2. Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT)

The investment objective of Gabelli Utility Trust fund is to seek long term capital growth and income. This Gabelli fund invests most of assets in companies that provide products, services, or equipment for the generation or distribution of electricity, gas and water. Mario J Gabelli is the fund’s managers since 1999. The fund’s total assets are $226 Million. Its expense ratio fee is 1.91%.  The distribution rate is 8.05%. This yield is paid monthly.

As og July 2011, the top 10 stocks in its holdings are National Fuel Gas Company, Nstar, ONEOK Inc, El Paso Corporation, Westar Energy Inc, Wisconsin Energy Corporation, El Paso Electric Company, NextEra Energy Inc, Southwest Gas Corporation, UniSource Energy Corporation, and OGE Energy Corp.

3. Invesco Insured Muni Bond (IMC)

The Invesco Insured Muni Bond (IMC) seeks current income exempt from Federal income tax. This Invesco fund invests mainly in insured investment grade municipal bonds. The fund is managed by portfolio managers such as Richard Berry, Thomas Byron, Robert J. Stryker, Stephen Turman, and Robert Wimmel.

The expense ratio of this muni bond closed end fund is 0.24% per year. It has 21.2% effective leverage. The dividend yield is 5.49%. The fund has returned 26.19% over the past year and 7.86% over the past ten years. This fund is rated 2 stars by Morningstar.

As of October 2011, the top 10 sectors of this fund are Public Power, Local GO, Water / Sewer, Hospital, Higher Education, Dedicated Tax, Airport, Appropriation, Other Transportation, and Municipals. The top 5 States of this muni bond fund are California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Illinois.

4. BlackRock Build America Bond (BBN)

The BlackRock Build America Bond fund objective is to provide high current income with capital appreciation. As part of taxable bond fund, this BlackRock fund will invest in a portfolio of taxable municipal securities known as Build America Bonds.

While famous for its exchange traded funds (ETFs) through iShares, BlackRock also provides variety of bond closed end funds. This bond fund is also one of the largest CEFs in term of asset with $1.78 billion. The annual expense ratio of this BBN fund is 1.01%. The fund is managed by Theodore R Jaeckel and James Pruskowski.

New: Good vs Bad Mutual Funds

The fund market price is traded at -6.08% (discount) from its fund’s NAV. The fund has an average duration of 15.14 years and an average maturity of 17.33 year. As December 2011, the fund yield is 7.55% per year. This yield is paid monthly.

5. Flaherty Preferred Income Fund (PFD)

This Flaherty Preferred Income Fund seeks high current income and capital preservation. This Flaherty & Crumrine fund invests in banking and utilities industry issued preferred stocks. The fund’s dividend yield is 8.25%. The total expense ratio of this income producing fund is 2.31% (including 1.58% baseline expense and 0.72% interest expense).

The fund’s managers are Eric Chadwick and Donald F Crumrine. The fund’s total assets are $191 Million. The effective leverage is 36.03%. The fund’s performance for the past 3 year:
  • Year 2010: 21.29%
  • Year 2009: 96.87%
  • Year 2008: -44.01%
As of October 2011, the top 5 sectors of this stock fund are Banks (39.7%), Utilities (26.8%), Insurance (21.4%), Other (9.1%), and Finance (2.9%).


Observation from the list:
  • The top performers include utility sector stock fund, municipal bond fund, taxable bond fund, and preferred stock fund / equity income fund.
  • BlackRock CEFs are among the leader for this year YTD.
  • Municipal bond funds have been the only consistent sector leader from various asset classes.
  • The high yield funds have been the leader or top performer funds.
  • Most of the fund’s market price is higher than the fund’s NAV (i.e. the fund is selling at premium from its NAV)
Disclosure: No Position

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Table of Fund Information

NoFund Description (Ticker)Fund ClassYTD Return %Lipper RankPremium / DiscountExpense RatioYieldFund Advisor
1DNP Select Income Fund (DNP)Income & Pref Stk29.31%435.43%2.20%7.39%Duff & Phelps Investment Mgmt Co
2Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT)Sector Equity28.96%335.70%1.91%8.55%Gabelli Funds LLC
3Invesco Ins Muni Bd (IMC)Gen & Ins Leveraged28.77%27.83%1.22%5.41%Invesco Advisers Inc
4BlackRock Bld America Bd (BBN)General Bond26.79%13-6.08%1.06%7.13%BlackRock Inc
5Flrty Pfd Income Fund (PFD)Income & Pref Stk26.46%818.08%2.29%8.46%Flaherty & Crumrine Inc
6Aberdeen Global Income (FCO)Global Income26.34%85.98%2.49%11.05%Aberdeen Asset Management Asia Ltd
7BlackRock MuniHds Qly II (MUE)Gen & Ins Leveraged25.24%33.24%1.23%6.63%BlackRock Inc
8Nuveen CA Perf Pls Muni (NCP)CA Municipal Debt24.26%40.35%1.31%6.57%Nuveen Fund Advisors Inc
9BlackRock Muni Inv Qly (BAF)Gen & Ins Leveraged24.18%43.74%1.23%6.42%BlackRock Inc
10BlackRock MuniYld Inv Ql (MFT)Gen & Ins Leveraged24.14%53.16%1.23%6.27%BlackRock Inc
11DWS Municipal Income Tr (KTF)Gen & Ins Leveraged24.07%65.32%1.24%6.65%DWS Investments
12Nuveen Ins CA Prem Inc 2 (NCL)SS Insured Muni-Debt24.06%81.66%1.29%6.17%Nuveen Fund Advisors Inc
13Nuveen Ins CA Prem Inc (NPC)SS Insured Muni-Debt23.99%150.80%1.77%6.19%Nuveen Fund Advisors Inc
14Invesco Ins Muni Tr (IMT)Gen & Ins Leveraged23.90%83.71%0.90%6.07%Invesco Advisers Inc
15Guggenheim Bld Am Bd M D (GBAB)General Bond23.89%19-4.27%1.05%5.93%Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors LLC