What Is a Closed-End Fund?

What Is a Closed-End Fund?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

A closed-end fund is a type of investment fund and exchange-traded product that is structured, managed, and traded like a stock on an exchange. In simpler terms, it’s a pool of money raised from investors which is then managed by a team of investment professionals. The fund raises a prescribed amount of capital through an initial public offering (IPO), and the capital raised is then structured into stocks. Once the shares are sold, the capital raised is then closed.

One key characteristic of a closed-end fund is that after its initial offering, the fund generally does not take in new money or allow new investments. This means the number of shares available for trading is fixed – a key factor that can highly affect the fund’s supply and demand, and, consequently, its share price.

Another defining characteristic of closed-end funds is their ability to use leverage to boost returns, something not commonly done in other types of funds. However, leveraging can also increase losses, making these types of funds potentially riskier.

Related Questions

1. What is the difference between a closed-end fund and a mutual fund?

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A mutual fund is an open-end fund, which means it can issue and redeem shares at any time. A closed-end fund, on the other hand, only issues shares once, after which these shares trade on the open market. Consequently, a closed-end fund’s shares can trade at a premium or discount to its net asset value, while a mutual fund’s shares always trade at their net asset value.

2. Does a closed-end fund mature?

Unlike bonds, closed-end funds do not have a maturity date. The funds continue operating indefinitely, unless the fund is specifically designed to have a term or is liquidated by the managing company.

3. How does a closed-end fund pay dividends?

Closed-end funds usually pay dividends from the income they earn from their investments, which may include interest, dividends, or capital gains. These dividends are typically paid out on a regular schedule, such as monthly or quarterly.

4. Can I lose money in a closed-end fund?

Yes, investing in a closed-end fund carries risk, like any other investment. The value of the investments held by the fund might decrease, or the market might devalue the fund’s shares, both of which could lead to losses.

5. Why would a closed-end fund trade at a discount?

A closed-end fund trades at a discount when its market price is lower than its net asset value (NAV). This can happen due to several factors, including market pessimism about the fund’s strategy, poor performance, or a widespread sell-off of assets.