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First Trust Enhanced Equity Income (FFA)

 April 10, 2008 02:06 AM

Now that money market rates are so low, there is a penalty is being "too" defensive. Cash rates are simply too low to keep up with inflation.

One area that looks attractive now are some of the closed-end funds that write covered calls and sell at an above average discount to NAV. I own the First Trust Enhanced Equity Income Fund (ticker: FFA).

FFA invests in a portfolio of US large caps or US$ ADR's of foreign issuers, and writes covered calls against part of the portfolio. The portfolio has a value tilt:
Forward P/E of FFA= 14.10 Forward P/E of S&P 500 = 15.07
Price/Book of FFA= 2.5 Price/Book of S&P 500= 2.8
Dividend Yield FFA= 3.52% Dividend Yield S&P 500= 1.95%

The fund has an expense ratio of 1.21%, but today's closing discount to NAV is 12.57%, so the discount/expense ratio is more than 10 times, which is fairly attractive. Over the last year, the discount to NAV has varied from zero to 13.5%, so it is near the upper end of the range. I also like the fact that the annual distribution rate is 11% which helps to recover some of the discount with each distribution.

Disclosure: I am long shares of FFA.
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