No. of Recommendations: 0
It was about 1990 or so that Hyperion, Blackrock, MS/DW started the term trusts, with specific ending dates. Several have ended. Meanwhile interest rates fluctuated, and on the whole, the shareholders have been burned. The net asset value dropped, the discounts developed (when a closed end fund is first issued, the issuer commonly promises to maintain market to keep the share price from developing a discount, but that agreement only lasts a few months), and dividends progressively decreased as the time until liquidation decreased.
I got Hyperion 2005 (HTO) and Blackrock 2009 (BCT) about 1995, and haven't done too badly, though clearly a well chosen equity would have done much better. I also had shares in a Hyperion fund that liquidated, on schedule, but not at the $10 net asset value planned in the prospectus. I think it was $9.66 or something like that. Not great but it beat money markets.
Yes, to take control of a closed end fund and force
conversion to open end would involve a proxy fight, and likely SEC registrations. I've toyed with the idea but would need more resources than mine! I have read that Equus II would be a good target for such a fight--miserable performance and a big discount to NAV. One would wish a fund without a huge brokerage company behind it, and of course with a big enough discount to be worth the trouble.
As a practical matter, I'm not going to lead such a fight in the next couple of years, but after retiring, who knows? And if someone else were leading, I'd buy some shares and vote the proxy with the insurgents.
Best wishes, Chris
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