I want to show you one of the most interesting charts of the
past few weeks.
Two weeks ago, fears over the "fiscal cliff" sent stocks
tumbling. In the six trading days following the election, the
S&P 500 fell more than 5%. Stocks of all kinds were selling
off, regardless of their fundamentals.
The chart below shows a closed-end fund that pays adividend
yield of 7.7% today. The fund invests in hundreds ofbonds from
around the world. Portfolio holdings include U.S.Treasuries ,
Brazilian government bonds, South African bonds and others.
The value of theseinvestments doesn't really change day to day,
no matter where the stockmarket goes. Usually the fund's price
moves only a few cents on any given day.
But look at the opportunity served on a platter to savvy income
investors during the sell-off...
Amy Calistri holds this fund -- the
AllianceBernstein Global High Income Fund (
-- in her
real-money portfolio. She's currently up 31% on the position since
buying it back in 2010.
As you can see, in the span of just a day and a half, AWF -- a
conservative, high-yieldingbond fund -- fell 10%. But anyone who
took the opportunity to buy into that sell-off made up to 11% in
just two days. That's in addition to locking in an 8.6%yield at the
But AWF wasn't some special case.
Take a look at another opportunity to do nearly the same thing,
this time with the
Reaves Utility Income Fund (
. This fund pays a yield of 6.7% today, and invests in utilities
across the United States. Its largest holding is
Amy also owns UTG in her
portfolio. It's one of her favorite holdings and has returned
Theshares gained 6% from their low in just two days. Anyone who
bought at the low also locked in a 7.1% yield.
For most people, sell-offs like these two funds went through are
frightening. But for Amy, steep drops in these funds signal an
In fact, nearly every time there is a large sell-off in the
broader market, this opportunity presents itself. But the window to
snap up the shares -- and lock in a higher yield -- is always
So what's going on? Why would funds that pay high yields and
hold a basket of conservative holdings sell off so sharply... only
to snap back a few days later as if nothing happened?
The key lies in two traits of high-yield funds. First, most of
these funds are thinly traded. Second, lots of retirees own these
The Reaves Utility Income Fund trades just 115,000 shares a day.
That's about how many shares of
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)
trade hands in three minutes. The AllianceBernstein Global High
Income Fund trades about 215,000 shares.
The lowvolume means it doesn't take much selling to move the
And because the funds are popular among retirees -- many of whom
use stop-losses to automatically sell the shares if they fall (to
help protect their nest egg) -- all it takes is a slight sell-off
to start an entirewave of automatic selling.
This selling is disconnected from any fundamentals. For example,
while UTG sold off sharply, the fund's largest holding -- AT&T
-- fell just 3% during the same time.
But what causes the shares to snap back so quickly?
Unlike a stock, every closed-end fund has a number that tells
you exactly how much a share is worth -- itsnet asset value (NAV ).
Net asset value is the worth of all the fund's holdings, on a
per-share basis. You can find the NAV of any fund at
Simply put, if a fund trades above its NAV, then investors who
buy are paying more for a fund than it is actually worth. But there
are cases -- such as these sharp sell-offs -- where a fundwill sell
for dramatically less than the underlying value of its
At one point during the sell-off, AWF was trading at a discount
of 6% below its net asset value, compared to an average premium of
This disconnect brings investors rushing back when they see a
bargain. Savvy investors who notice the situation can pocket quick
gains practically overnight and lock in a great yield.
Of course, this all happens very quickly. Sometimes it happens
within hours. But most of the time it happens within one or two
This means you need have your favorite high-yield funds on your
watch list before a sell-off starts. If you don't, then the
opportunity could pass you by before you even realized it
Action to Take -->
Don't get me wrong, not every closed-end fund that suffers a
sell-off is going to rebound accordingly. To better your chances,
you have to check its discount or premium to understand when a fund
is undervalued compared to its holdings.
But according to Amy, most of the time the sell-offs in
high-yield funds are overdone during market panics,offering
investors a great chance to pocket quick gains.
At the very least, these panic sell-offs are usually not a
reason to sell your shares.
Income tips like this one put Amyhead and shoulders above the
competition, in my opinion. If you're unfamiliar with Amy and her
work, then you can learn about her unique "trifecta" approach
To learn more, visit this link.
One more thing -- don't just look at high-yield funds for
the opportunity I discussed above. In this past sell-off
Amy also saw the disconnect in master limited partnerships
Magellan Midstream Partners (
. It makes sense. MLPs are also thinly traded and often
owned by retirees.
Since launching last Friday, we've seen strong response for
our Lifetime Wealth Alliance (click here to learn more.