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Franklin Universal Trust: An Interesting Mix In This CEF

Franklin Universal Trust (FT) is an odd beast in some ways and yet logically built in other ways. At the end of the day, however, if you are buying it as a long-term investor you need to understand that it's playing in two allocation sectors and that may not fit well within your broader portfolio.

What it does

Franklin Universal Trust's primary objective is income and preservation of capital. Its secondary objective is growth of income. That said, it has a funny way of going about reaching these three goals since it invests in a combination of high-yield bonds and utility stocks. The split is around two-thirds bonds and one-third utilities. There are some other things in the mix, like preferred shares and resource stocks, but they are relatively minor positions. FT also makes use of leverage to enhance performance. According to the Closed-End Fund Association, leverage recently stood… Read More …