A phenomenon that occurs with CEFs (Closed End Funds) is that they can often trade for a significant amount over or below their net asset value (NAV). This is explained in our What are CEFs? article.
This type deviance of the stock price from the NAV doesn’t occur with mutual funds or ETFs. They almost always trades very closely to their NAV. So it is generally smart to take a look at the premium or discount of a CEF to their NAV first before investing.
While it doesn’t always mean that a CEF trading below their NAV will go up or that CEFs above their NAV will go down, you generally shouldn’t overpay too much for a CEF. For CEFs that are trading at a large premium, many investors like to wait until the difference comes down a bit before investing. Other investors may wait until a CEF trades for below their NAV before buying shares.
There are a few different ways to find the NAV of a CEF. You could always check the website of a CEF which usually lists the NAV of the fund. However when you are looking at many different funds at once, it would be time consuming.
A better solution is to use a website such as CefConnect.com. Just type in the ticker symbol for a CEF and it will show the current market price along with the NAV per share. CefConnect.com is one of the best resources for researching CEFs and provides a lot of valuable information for free.
Another solution is to simply add the letter “X” to the front and back of the ticker of a CEF and enter it into a financial website which lets you check stock quotes (such as Yahoo Finance). This will generally bring up the NAV per share of a CEF.
For example, the ticker symbol for the BlackRock Global Opportunities fund is BOE. You can enter the ticker XBOEX to check the net asset value of the fund. This works on Yahoo Finance, MarketWatch, Bloomberg, and many other financial websites.