Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Buying Stocks and Bonds at a Discount

Yes, there is a way to buy stocks and bonds at a discount to what they are currently trading at. How? Through Closed End Funds, sometimes called Closed End Exchange Traded Funds (Closed End ETF's) or Closed End Mutual Funds. This is the opposite of an open end fund (in other words, a typical mutual fund) which trades at exactly what the stocks in the portfolio are worth. So, to get the value of an open end fund share, you would add up the value of all the stocks in the portfolio, and divide by the number of shares outstanding, which gives you the Net Asset Value (NAV). The number of shares can increase or decrease depending on purchases and sales, but the price per share will always be at the Net Asset Value.
However, a closed end fund has a fixed number of shares and the price per share depends on market conditions. So, the share price can trade above or below the Net Asset Value, and sometimes substantially below. A great website for doing screening and finding discounts to NAV is As an example, I did a search and came up with several corporate bond funds trading at a discount of GREATER than 10% and with yields greater than 5.75%. I even found one closed end stock fund that trades at a 21% discount.

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