Gold is at a seven-month high now priced at $1770 an ounce after the recent announcement by the European Central Bank to initiate an unlimited bond-buying program and an unprecedented QE3 announcement by Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. The SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) is up 9.5% and the iShares Gold Trust (IAU) is up 9.4% in the last month in anticipation of and ultimately in response to these central bank announcements. Ahead of these potential announcements and in response to the sector being battered I recommended getting into individual gold stocks as I believed they could provide better returns than the metals alone. I highlighted many stocks but most notably recommended the gold mining ETF (GDX) and the junior gold miners ETF (GDXJ) as well as Barrick Gold (ABX), Goldcorp (GG) and Newmont mining (NEM). These recommendations all provided stellar returns, up 18.0%, 19.0%, 16.8%, 19.3% and 19.4% in the last month respectively. While I believe these stocks will continue to rise in the mid-term and I maintain my buy rating on them, in this article I would like to highlight two stocks that provide excellent income and offer some growth as the price of gold continues to appreciate.
GAMCO Global Gold, Natural Resources And Income Trust (GGN): GGN by Gabelli was formerly known as the Gabelli Global Gold, Natural Resources And Income Trust. GGN is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company. GGN's primary investment objective is to provide a level of current income. GGN is a fund that invests primarily in equity securities of gold and natural resources companies and focuses to earn income primarily through a strategy of writing and selling primarily covered call options on equity securities in its portfolio. With this strategy GGN cuts off its upside as it forgoes the opportunity to participate fully in the appreciation of the underlying equity security above the exercise price of the option. However GGN makes money when the underlying security falls. Although the name has changed GGN is still managed by Gabelli Funds, which is a subsidiary of GAMCO Investors, Inc.
The fund currently trades at $14.58 a share. The fund pays a high monthly dividend of 14 cents a share, which offers investors a whopping annual yield of 11.6% annually. However, beginning with the October 2012 distributions the monthly disbursement will become 12 cents a share, lowering the annual yield to a still impressive but more sustainable 10%. The funds' float is only 7% institutionally owned, which helps prevent wild swings in the unit price of the fund. However, it is fairly correlated with the price of gold and gold equities so it tends to move in the direction of those stocks. GGN has a 52-week range of $12.70 to $16.87.
GAMCO Natural Resources Gold and Income Global Trust (GNT): As the name implies GNT is managed by the same team that runs GGN. Much like GGN, GNT recently underwent changes. GNT was formerly Gabelli Natural Resources, Gold & Income Trust. It is a non-diversified closed-end management investment company. GNT's primary investment objective is to provide a high level of current income from interest, dividends and option premiums. GNT's secondary investment objective is to seek capital appreciation consistent with the its strategy and primary objective of income generation. Under normal market conditions, the GNT will attempt to achieve its objectives by investing at least 80% of its assets in securities of companies principally engaged in the natural resource and gold industries, and by writing covered call options on the underlying equity securities. GNT, while primarily dealing with gold companies also invests in entire sectors, such as metals and mining, energy and energy services, specialty chemicals, agriculture and machinery.
GNT currently trades at $15.70 a share. GNT like GGN also pays a high monthly dividend of 14 cents a share, which offers investors an annual yield of 10.8% annually. Unlike GGN's decrease to 12 cents a share monthly, GNT has not made an announcement to reduce its monthly distribution. GNT only trades about 57,000 units daily and has a market cap of $327 million. GNT has a 52-week range of $12.30 to $16.89.
Bottom line: Both of these closed-end funds are managed by the same team and offer investors a high monthly income. Reinvesting the distributions can compound an investors interest over time leading to long-term gains. While dollar cost averaging into the fund can help balance the average share price, I would recommend a strategy of buying on dips for each, and buying heavily on large pullbacks like we saw this summer. Beginning in October GNT will offer a slightly higher yield than GGN. I also like the GNT's objectives for both income and growth over GGN's income-only approach and thus recommend GNT over GGN, however I like them both especially as the price of gold continues to climb.