Protected Principal Retirement Strategy: A Bear Market Alternative, And One For Good Measure

by: Akaralph

Alas, after identifying what I thought would be the last contributor to the Protected Principal Retirement Strategy's bear market positions, wouldn't you know I found another one.

In recent articles (here) and (here) I discussed a few closed-end funds and the Barclays Aggregate Bond Fund (LAG), each of which I believe can contribute positively to portfolio returns should we enter a new bear market.

I have since uncovered one additional closed-end fund whose performance in 2008 was decent, if not stellar. This fund is the Eaton Vance Risk-Managed Diversified Equity Income Fund (NYSE:ETJ). It is the goal of this fund to generate income and capital appreciation using a combination of common stocks, covered call writing and other options strategies.

ETJ presently trades at $11.17, pays a monthly dividend of $.093 (most of which is return of capital), has a current yield of 9.99 percent (9.29 percent on net asset value), and a relatively low fee of 1.08 percent. At the beginning of 2013, this fund and other Eaton Vance closed-ends funds changed from paying quarterly dividends to monthly payments.

The ETJ portfolio presently consists of 100 percent U.S. stocks - large cap and mega caps. Its largest holdings are Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Google (GOG) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), so we would not be dealing with a high likelihood of corporate failures.

ETJ is not the greatest of performers in bull markets, and it has only been around for one bear market - 2008. During 2008, its price increased by 6.33 percent. Both 2010 and 2011 were down years for this fund. However, it recovered in 2012 and thus far in 2013, with its price increasing by 11.3 percent in 2012, and by 9.9 percent in 2013 (year-to-date).


So I will wrap up by providing a current listing of proposed additions/replacement to some of our Protected Principal Retirement Strategy portfolio stocks with the addition of ETJ.

At this point, I would consider adding one or more of the following should the markets show significant weakness.

  • Eaton Vance Risk-Managed Diversified Equity Fund
  • BlackRock Income Trust (NYSE:BKT)
  • Nuveen Global Enhanced Income (JGG)
  • MFS Intermediate Income (NYSE:MIN)
  • Barclay's Aggregate Bond , and possibly
  • First Trust Mortgage Income (NYSE:FMY)

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: This article does not constitute either a buy or sell recommendation for any of the stocks/funds mentioned.

About this article:

Author payment: Seeking Alpha pays for exclusive articles. Payment calculations are based on a combination of coverage area, popularity and quality.
Want to share your opinion on this article? Add a comment.
Disagree with this article? .
To report a factual error in this article, click here