Closed-end fund (CEF) investors seeking a good deal might want to dig into the unleveraged municipal bond arena. "The unleveraged municipal bond group is doing well fundamentally but right now trading off," said Anne Kritzmire, managing director of closed-end funds at Nuveen. Overall, Kritzmire highlighted a spike in the usage of CEFs by advisors. According to Nuveen's latest research, 66% of advisors are now using CEFs in client portfolios compared to 51% in 2013, the last time Nuveen commissioned similar research. The reason why advisors are flocking to CEFs is the intense demand for yield in the current low-rate environment. In contrast to this time last year when closed-end funds were trading at steep discounts, the market today looks much different as investors look to new places for yield outside of traditional fixed-income. This makes identifying the right opportunity more nuanced for investors than chasing performance or distributions, which can come at a steep premium, according to Kritzmire.
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I am increasingly concerned about the amount of money flowing into these funds, largely because these flows represent 'weak hands.'
The bond market has no single-source indicator like the S&P 500, but looking at a variety of indexes, 2019 has been a terrific year.
Let's look at a number of charts to get some perspective on this investment arena.
My advice after diving into the 15-page document: Tighten your exposure to stocks, and don't even consider selling your bonds.