CEF's Average: The CEF's average price for 2013 was a -4.4% for capital-gain and a distribution yield was 7.2%. The average CEF's total-return was 2.8%.
Ahead and Behind: GenEqFnds far outpaced CEF's groups through 2013 with a 20.1% capital-gain and an 8.1% distribution yield. GenEqFnds captured a total-return of 28.3%.
The 2nd was ConvtSecFnds with a 12.6% capital-gain and a 7.2% distribution yield for a 19.8% total-return. Additionally, SpecEqFnds were dragged down by real estate, gold and precious mental(s) and natural resources. SpecEqFnds grew by a capital-gain of 3.6% and a distribution yield of 7.0% for a total-return of 10.6%.
Bond Funds: Bond funds were seriously injured in 2013. SingleStMuniFnds, NatlMuniBndFnds and WrldIncFnds declined 19.4%, 17.4% and 15.7%, respectively. The 2013 distribution yields for the bond funds were 6.3%, 6.8% and 8.4%, respectively, (municipal bonds don't pay Federal taxes).
Premium/Discount: The gain from 2012 to 2013 (2013-2012) for Prem/Disc was GenEqFnds. The discount was -10.1% (2012) to a -9.3% (2013); the gain was +0.8%. All other discounts decline in value. SingleStMuniFnds declined a substantial -8.1% from 2012 to 2013 (2013-2012)-see "Prem/Disc from 2012 to 2013" in chart 2.
Distribution: 2013 distribution yield is over 8.0% for WrldIncFnds, PrefStkFnds, OtherFnds and GenEqFnds. (See chart 3.)
GenEqFnds may have captured the gains from the equity markets' expansion and may be paid to shareholders as extra distributions. Distribution yield from GenEqFnds was 8.1% in 2013 compared to 6.6% in 2012.
Where to Go in 2013: The bond funds may well lag the group in 2014. Interest rates maybe rising and the preferred option may well be a thing of the past. If rates rise, "real estate" maybe compromised. The LoanPartFnds will increase interest rates from the loans payable (interest expenses) but not from the loan portfolios (interest revenue)--negative spread. This may come later.
WrldEqFnds may seem to be a good bet if the U.S stocks are constructive. European equity markets may see a rise.
GenEqFnds may seem better than bond funds in 2014.
Interested: Boulder Total Return Fund (BTF), Denali Fund (DNY) and First Opportunity Funds (FOFI) have approved a reorganization that will allow each fund to be absorbed into Boulder Growth & Income Fund (NYSE:BIF). This will be in the second quarter 2014.
BTF, DNY, FOFI and BIF have been trading at an average price discount of 20.0%. In contrast, the 32 GenEqFnds have been trading at an average discount of 9.3%. Since closed-end funds are yielding 1.0% in the merged funds, they may have a tough time competing with GenEqFnds averaging 8.1% yield. The yield may go up.
(See "Boulder Total Return Fund, Denali Fund, and First Opportunity Funds Will Merge With Boulder Growth & Income Fund" in "Research" under the website www.growthincome.net, under "CEF Weekly Reports (Recent)").
Disclosure: I am long BIF, FOFI. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. Go to growthincome.net for a full review of closed-end, ETF and Dividend Aristocrats and a free "Retirement Calculator."