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Taking stock of high-yielding investments

Malcolm Berko offers short-term investment suggestions that deliver income.
Published: June 9, 2013

Kaufman runs a portfolio of rather strange high-yield junk bonds (yielding 10 to 12 percent) with names like Horsehead Holdings, Swift Services, Spartan Stores, West, Crack Head, Alere, Lion's Gate, etc., only a few of which remain in position longer than 12 months.

Kaufman also invests in emerging markets, floating rate and convertible debt, preferred issues, municipals and collateralized debts.

There is no front-end sales charge and even with a high annual expense ratio of 0.93 percent, OSTIX has earned a 5-year annual return of a wink over 8.2 percent. At the beginning of this year, OSTIX shares traded at a net asset value of $11.70, and only during the depths of the market slaughter in 2008 did its share value fall below (by just a few pennies) its $10 IPO price. The minimum initial investment is $5,000.

Doubleline Total Return (DLTNX-$11.32), with a button over $40 billion in assets, came public in April 2010 at $10, and the current, very variable monthly dividend yields 5.49 percent. I'm familiar with the fund's manager (Jeffrey Gundlach) from his previous incarnation at TCW. And in the two years he's run DLTNX, his performance (over 9 percent last year) has been quite good. He keeps nearly 17 percent of his portfolio in cash, about 8 percent in Treasury notes and U.S. Agency Securities, 35 percent in low-rated junk and the remaining 40 percent in bank-quality debt.

He keeps his leveraged maturities under four years, has a low 0.74 percent expense ratio and his portfolio turnover is under 16 percent, which is significantly lower than the usual intermediate-term bond fund.

The minimum initial investment in this no-load is $2,000; however, DLTNX will accept $500 investments for IRAs. DLTNX does not have a Morningstar rating because management doesn't feel the need to spend $85,000 for that privilege.

Please address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 8303, Largo, FL 33775, or email him at


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