The Trust invests in a portfolio of closed-end funds that invest primarily in infrastructure assets, including oil and gas pipelines, energy-related companies, transportation services, telecommunications equipment, utilities, gas distribution and water. The closed-end funds may hold master limited partnerships (“MLPs”), C-corporations, private placements or income trusts and may include both foreign and domestic equity and debt securities, among other things.
When selecting closed-end funds for inclusion in this portfolio the Sponsor looks at numerous factors. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- Investment Objective. The Sponsor favors funds that have a clear investment objective in line with the Trust’s objective and, based upon a review of publicly available information, appear to be maintaining it.
- Premium/Discount. The Sponsor favors funds that are trading at a discount relative to their peers and relative to their long-term average.
- Consistent Dividend. The Sponsor favors funds that have a history of paying a consistent and competitive dividend which, in the opinion of the Sponsor, can be maintained.
- Performance. The Sponsor favors funds that have a history of strong relative performance (based on market price and net asset value) when compared to their peers and an applicable index.
Risks and Other Considerations
As with all investments, you may lose some or all of your investment in the Trust. No assurance can be given that the Trust’s investment objective will be achieved. The Trust also might not perform as well as you expect. This can happen for reasons such as these:
- Securities prices can be volatile. The value of your investment may fall over time. Market value fluctuates in response to various factors. These can include stock market movements, purchases or sales of securities by the Trust, government policies, litigation, and changes in interest rates, inflation, the financial condition of the securities’ issuer or even perceptions of the issuer. Units of the Trust are not deposits of any bank and are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.
- Due to the current state of the economy, the value of the securities held by the Trust may be subject to steep declines or increased volatility due to changes in performance or perception of the issuers. In the last year, economic activity has declined across all sectors of the economy, and the United States is experiencing increased unemployment. The current economic crisis has affected the global economy with European and Asian markets also suffering historic losses. Extraordinary steps have been taken by the governments of several leading economic countries to combat the economic crisis; however, the impact of these measures is not yet known and cannot be predicted.
- The Trust includes closed-end funds. Closed-end funds are actively managed investment companies that invest in various types of securities. Closed-end funds issue shares of common stock that are traded on a securities exchange. Closed-end funds are subject to various risks, including management’s ability to meet the closed-end fund’s investment objective and to manage the closed-end fund’s portfolio during periods of market turmoil and as investors’ perceptions regarding closed-end funds or their underlying investments change. Closed-end funds are not redeemable at the option of the shareholder and they may trade in the market at a discount to their net asset value. Closed-end funds may also employ the use of leverage which increases risk and volatility. Recent instability in the auction rate preferred shares market may affect the volatility of certain closed-end funds, especially those that use leverage or plan to use leverage.
- The value of the fixed-income securities in the closed-end funds will generally fall if interest rates, in general, rise. Typically, fixed-income securities with longer periods before maturity are more sensitive to interest rate changes.
- A closed-end fund or an issuer of securities held by a closed-end fund may be unwilling or unable to make principal payments and/or to declare distributions in the future, may call a security before its stated maturity, or may reduce the level of distributions declared. This may result in a reduction in the value of your units.
- The financial condition of a closed-end fund or an issuer of securities held by a closed-end fund may worsen or its credit ratings may drop, resulting in a reduction in the value of your units. This may occur at any point in time, including during the primary offering period.
- Certain closed-end funds held by the Trust may invest in bonds that are rated below investment-grade and are considered to be “junk” securities. Below investment-grade obligations are considered to be speculative and are subject to greater market and credit risks, and accordingly, the risk of non-payment or default is higher than with investment-grade securities. In addition, such securities may be more sensitive to interest rate changes and more likely to receive early returns of principal.
- Certain closed-end funds held by the Trust may invest in bonds that are rated as investment-grade by only one rating agency. As a result, such split-rated securities may have more speculative characteristics and are subject to a greater risk of default than securities rated as investment-grade by both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
- Certain closed-end funds held by the Trust may invest in convertible securities. Convertible securities generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than non-convertible fixed-income securities of similar credit quality because of the potential for capital appreciation. The market values of convertible securities tend to decline as interest rates increase and, conversely, to increase as interest rates decline. However, a convertible security’s market value also tends to reflect the market price of the common stock of the issuing company, particularly when that stock price is greater than the convertible security’s “conversion price.” Convertible securities fall below debt obligations of the same issuer in order of preference or priority in the event of a liquidation and are typically unrated or rated lower than such debt obligations.
- Certain closed-end funds held by the Trust may invest in preferred securities. Preferred securities are typically subordinated to bonds and other debt instruments in a company’s capital structure in terms of priority to corporate income and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than those debt instruments.
- Certain closed-end funds held by the Trust invest in foreign securities. Investment in foreign securities presents additional risk. Foreign risk is the risk that foreign securities will be more volatile than U.S. securities due to such factors as adverse economic, currency, political, social or regulatory developments in a country, including government seizure of assets, excessive taxation, limitations on the use or transfer of assets, the lack of liquidity or regulatory controls with respect to certain industries or differing legal and/or accounting standards. A closed-end fund may invest in companies located in countries with emerging markets. These markets are generally more volatile than the markets of developed countries with more mature economies.
- Certain closed-end funds held by the Trust invest in companies in the infrastructure sector. Infrastructure companies, including utilities, energy and companies involved in infrastructure projects, may be subject to a variety of factors that may adversely affect their business or operations, including high interest costs in connection with capital construction programs, high leverage, costs associated with environmental and other regulations.
- Certain closed-end funds held by the Trust invest in MLPs. MLPs are limited partnerships or limited liability companies that are taxed as partnerships and whose interests (limited partnership units or limited liability company units) are traded on securities exchanges like shares of common stock. Currently, most MLPs operate in the energy, natural resources or real estate sectors. Investments in MLP interests are subject to the risks generally applicable to companies in the energy and natural resources sectors, including commodity pricing risk, supply and demand risk, depletion risk and exploration risk.
- Certain closed-end funds held by the Trust invest in common stocks. Common stocks represent a proportional share of ownership in a company. Common stock prices fluctuate for several reasons including changes in investors’ perceptions of the financial condition of an issuer, changes in the general condition of the relevant stock market, such as the market volatility recently exhibited, or when political or economic events affect the issuers. Common stock prices may also be particularly sensitive to rising interest rates, as the cost of capital rises and borrowing costs increase.
- Inflation may lead to a decrease in the value of assets or income from investments.
- The Sponsor does not actively manage the portfolio. The Trust will generally hold, and may continue to buy, the same securities even though a security’s outlook, rating, market value or yield may have changed.
- Please note that the Sponsor or an affiliate may be engaged as a service provider to certain closed-end funds held by the Trust and therefore certain fees paid by the Trust to such closed-end funds will be paid to the Sponsor or an affiliate for it services to such closed-end funds.
- In addition to the expenses of the units of the Trust, the Trust is subject to various expenses of the closed-end fund.