|Daily Data as of 03/28/23|
|Market Distribution Rate 2||8.35%|
|NAV Distribution Rate 2||7.80%|
|Dividend Per Share Amount 1||$0.0930|
|52 Week High/Low Market Price||$20.15 / $13.10|
|52 Week High/Low NAV||$19.18 / $14.04|
|Common Shares Outstanding||48,177,896|
|Annual Data as of 11/30/21|
|Expense Ratio 3||0.84%|
|Portfolio Turnover Rate||11.0%|
|Financial Leverage as of 03/28/23|
|1940 Act Asset Coverage Ratio||237.3%|
|Percent Leveraged 4||42.1%|
|Monthly Data as of 02/28/23|
|Effective Duration 5, 7||3.5|
|Leverage Adjusted Effective Duration 6, 7||5.6|
|Number of Holdings||233|
|Monthly Total Return as of 02/28/23|
|Since Inception (01/29/03)||6.9%||7.4%|
1 Most recent distribution paid or declared to today’s date. Subject to change in the future.
2 Distribution Rates represent the latest declared regular distribution, annualized, relative to the market price and NAV. Special distributions, including special capital gains distributions, are not included in the calculation.
Performance data quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results, and current performance may be lower or higher than the figures shown. Since Inception returns assume a purchase of common shares at the initial offering price of $25.00 per share for market price returns or initial net asset value (NAV) of $23.825 per share for NAV returns. Returns for periods of less than one year are not annualized. All distributions are assumed to be reinvested either in accordance with the dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) for market price returns or NAV for NAV returns. Until the DRIP price is available from the Plan Agent, the market price returns reflect the reinvestment at the closing market price on the last business day of the month. Once the DRIP is available around mid-month, the market price returns are updated to reflect reinvestment at the DRIP price.
Investment Objective and Policies
The Fund’s investment objective is to provide its common shareholders with high current income consistent with preservation of capital. The Fund’s investment objective may not be changed except through an amendment to the Fund’s Articles of Incorporation. Any such amendment would require the affirmative vote of at least 80% of the votes of the Fund’s Common Shares and preferred stock (“Preferred Shares”) entitled to be cast by shareholders, voting together as a single class, and of at least 80% of the votes of the Fund’s Preferred Shares entitled to be cast by shareholders, voting as a separate class. The Fund’s investment policies may be changed by the Fund’s Board of Directors without shareholder approval. However, the Fund’s 80% investment policy described below may only be changed upon 60 days’ prior written notice to the Fund’s shareholders.
Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its Managed Assets (defined below) in a portfolio of preferred and other income-producing securities. Preferred and other income-producing securities may include, among other things, traditional preferred stock, trust preferred securities, hybrid securities that have characteristics of both equity and debt securities, contingent capital securities (“CoCos”), subordinated debt and senior debt. “Managed Assets” are the Fund’s net assets, plus the principal amount of loans from financial institutions or debt securities issued by the Fund, the liquidation preference of preferred stock issued by the Fund, if any, and the proceeds of any reverse repurchase agreements entered into by the Fund.
The Fund will invest, under normal market conditions, at least 25% of its total assets in the financials sector, which for this purpose is comprised of the bank, thrifts & mortgage finance, diversified financial services, finance, consumer finance, capital markets, asset management & custody, investment banking & brokerage, insurance, insurance brokerage and real estate investment trust (“REIT”) industries. From time to time, the Fund may have 25% or more of its total assets invested in any one of these industries. For example, the Fund could have more than 25% of its total assets in insurance companies, while at other times it could have that portion invested in banks. At all times, though, the Fund would have at least 25% of its total assets invested in the financials sector. In addition, the Fund also may focus its investments in other sectors or industries, such as (but not limited to) energy, industrials, utilities, communications and pipelines. The Adviser retains broad discretion to allocate the Fund’s investments as it deems appropriate considering current market and credit conditions.
The Fund may invest up to 100% of its total assets in securities of U.S. companies, and may also invest up to 30% of its total assets in U.S. dollar-denominated securities issued by companies organized or having their principal place of business outside the United States.
At the time of purchase, at least 90% of the Fund’s total assets will be either (a) rated investment grade by any one of Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”), S&P Global Ratings (“S&P”) or Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”) or (b) issued by companies with issuer or senior unsecured debt ratings that are investment grade by any one of Moody’s, S&P or Fitch. In addition, for purposes of this 90% policy, the Fund may include unrated securities that the Adviser deems to be comparable in quality to rated issues in which the Fund is authorized to invest. Some of the Fund’s total assets may be invested in securities rated (or issued by companies rated) below investment grade at the time of purchase. Securities that are rated below investment grade are commonly referred to as “high yield” or “junk bonds.” Securities of below investment grade quality are regarded as having predominantly speculative characteristics with respect to capacity to pay dividends and interest and repayment of principal. Due to the risks involved in investing in securities of below investment grade quality, an investment in the Fund should be considered speculative.
The maturities of securities in which the Fund will invest generally will be longer-term (perpetual, in the case of many preferred securities and CoCos, and ten years or more for other preferred and debt securities); however, as a result of changing market conditions and interest rates, the Fund may also invest in shorter-term securities. The Fund can buy securities of any maturity or duration. Duration is the sensitivity, expressed in years, of the price of a fixed-income security to changes in the general level of interest rates (or yields). Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate (or yield) changes than securities with shorter durations. For example, a three-year duration means a bond is expected to decrease in value by 3% if interest rates rise by 1% and increase in value by 3% if interest rates fall by 1%.
The portion of the Fund’s Managed Assets not invested in preferred and other income-producing securities may be invested in, among other securities, common stocks, money market instruments, money market mutual funds, asset- backed securities, and securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities (“Government Securities”) and such obligations which are subject to repurchase agreements and commercial paper. Depending on market conditions, these investments may at times have a higher or lower yield than preferred securities and other income-producing securities in which the Fund invests.
Unless designated as a “fundamental policy” and except as described above, the investment limitations and policies of the Fund may be changed by the Board of Directors without shareholder approval.
Primary Investment Strategies and Techniques
Preferred Securities. Preferred securities share many investment characteristics with both bonds and common stock; therefore, the risks and potential rewards of investing in the Fund may at times be similar to the risks of investing in equity-income funds or both equity funds and bond funds. Similar to bonds, preferred securities, which generally pay fixed- or adjustable-rate dividends or interest to investors, have preference over common stock in the payment of dividends or interest and the liquidation of a company’s assets, which means that a company typically must pay dividends or interest on its preferred securities before paying any dividends on its common stock. On the other hand, like common stock, preferred securities are junior to all forms of the company’s debt, including both senior and subordinated debt, and the company can skip or defer dividend or interest payments for extended periods of time without triggering an event of default. Further, different types of preferred securities can be junior or senior to other types of preferred securities in both priority of payment of dividends or interest and/or the liquidation of a company’s assets.
Preferred securities can be structured differently for retail and institutional investors, and the Fund may purchase either structure. The retail segment is typified by $25 par securities that are listed on a stock exchange and which trade and are quoted with accreted dividend or interest income included in the price. The institutional segment is typified by $1,000 par value securities that are not exchange-listed, trade over-the-counter (“OTC”) and are quoted on a “clean” price, i.e., without accrued dividend or interest income included in the price.
While preferred securities can be issued with a final maturity date, others (including most traditional preferred stock) are perpetual in nature. In certain instances, a final maturity date may be extended and/or the final payment of principal may be deferred at the issuer’s option for a specified time without any adverse consequence to the issuer. No redemption can typically take place unless all cumulative payment obligations to preferred security investors have been met, although issuers may be able to engage in open-market repurchases without regard to any cumulative dividends or interest payable, and many preferred securities are non-cumulative, whereby the issuer does not have an obligation to make up any arrearages to holders of such securities.
Debt Securities. The Fund may invest in a variety of debt securities, including corporate senior or subordinated debt securities and U.S. government securities. Corporate debt securities are fixed-income securities issued by businesses to finance their operations. The issuer pays the investor a fixed or variable rate of interest and normally must repay the amount borrowed on or before maturity. Notes, bonds, debentures and commercial paper are the most common types of corporate debt securities, with the primary difference being their maturities and secured or unsecured status.
Contingent Capital Securities. Contingent capital securities or “CoCos.” have features similar to preferred and other income producing securities but also include “loss absorption” or mandatory conversion provisions that make the securities more like equity. An automatic write-down or conversion event is typically triggered by a reduction in the capital level of the issuer, but may also be triggered by regulatory actions (e.g., a change in capital requirements) or by other factors.
Illiquid Securities. The Fund may invest without limit in instruments that lack a secondary trading market or are otherwise considered illiquid. Generally, illiquid securities are securities that cannot be disposed of within seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the value at which the Fund has valued the securities.
The Fund seeks to enhance the level of its distributions and total return the use of leverage. The Fund may utilize economic leverage through borrowing, including loans from certain financial institutions and/or the issuance of debt securities, preferred shares and reverse repurchase agreements in an amount, determined at the time of issuance of such leverage, up to 33 1/3% of its managed assets. The Fund currently borrows money under a credit facility and the dollar balance and percentage amounts of financial leverage of the Fund outstanding as of any particular date are detailed above under “Financial Leverage.”
The use of leverage can create special risks and there can be no assurance a leveraging strategy will be successful during any period in which it is employed. See “Principal Risks” > “Leverage Risk.”