Focusing on income and managing risk

Bad stock market? Not really.

U.S. stocks have been a bit turbulent the past couple weeks on geopolitical concerns. Yet it is those who followed the “Sell in May and go away” adage who have been frustrated to watch from the sidelines all summer.

I don’t know which way the broad market will go. So, I am going to stick with my competency and focus on looking for risk-adjusted returns.

That’s why I decided to add a couple Nuveen Closed-End Muni Funds to the Long/Short Opportunistic portfolio.

While I do believe in being fearful when others are greedy, asset allocation is not the primary rationale here. This is a more ambitious trade than it appears. Four of these Nuveen funds (NZF, NVG, NMA, NQU) had already approved tender offers which have since been scheduled.

The tenders are defined at narrower discounts, or higher relative valuations, than the market. When pursuing such trades, I naturally focus my allocation on the specific fund (s) where I expect the greatest value to be created. Each different participation rate will prove relevant to any value created by the trade.

On the subject of tender offers, the Taxable Income portfolio’s allocation of Delaware Investments Dividend & Income Fund (DDF) is smaller after its recently completed 5% tender offer.

I continue to like DDF. In fact, I believe the fund’s governance is exemplary. Even so, the portfolio did participate in the tender at 98% of NAV. Unlike myself, the vast majority of shareholders did not tender.

Whether DDF or a newly entered Nuveen fund, I am always very cognizant of what percentage of the position I can reasonably estimate to exit at a relative valuation substantially better than my entry.

I also want to take a moment and discuss BDCA Venture (BDCV), which was previously known as Keating Capital (KIPO) when I discussed it as a Core Total Return holding. I continue to be highly bullish on BDCV. However, I had to remove BDCV from the Core Total Return Portfolio because of slight changes affecting Covestor replication and liquidity parameters. Covestor has liquidity requirements so that securities can be easily replicated in client accounts. I want to disclose that I have a substantial holding of BDCV outside of Covestor models.

DISCLAIMER: The investments discussed are held in client accounts as of July 30, 2013. These investments may or may not be currently held in client accounts. The reader should not assume that any investments identified were or will be profitable or that any investment recommendations or investment decisions we make in the future will be profitable. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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