Over the past few weeks, closed-end funds (CEFs) have been trading at wider discounts than investors are used to.

On average, shares trade at 6.6% below the value of their underlying assets, versus the usual 4% below the funds’ net asset value (NAV), as was the case for the past decade, reports Ian Salisbury for The Wall Street Journal.

The latest numbers are actually an improvement, as at one point in late November CEFs were 10.6% below the value of their underlying assets. Reasons for this widening spread include tax-related trading and jitters concerning the credit markets.

As a response to these discounts, there are deals to be had but also lessons to be gained. Last year’s offerings were sold at premiums, as some investors could now face selling their investments at a loss, even if they have appreciated. Last year at this time, market conditions were extremely different.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.