Artio Global High Income Mutual Fund (BJBHX): I Bailed With Regret.
Last investment related post:
>> The 2012 Special Dividends: Selling Short … — Dec. 3, 2012.
Artio Global High Income Fund (BJBHX) is what has kept me afloat, with my head just above water, for the last 3.5 years. I adored it, sang its praises and recommended it, all the time. It WAS a great fund. Of non-institutional mutual funds (not counting the semi-cannibalistic closed end funds (CEFs) that distribute some of their capital as distributions) it had the highest monthly dividend I could find (relative to NAV), with a 0.02 variation between months. There were also period of genuine growth.
60% of my meager, severely depleted savings were in BJBHX and until last Friday (December 28, 2012), I never gave it much though. BJBHX had been ‘a keeper’. Come December I start scouring the Artio Website for their year end distributions. Yes, I found this year’s, and as ever it was a range. The minimum was 0.03 per share. Last week I called them twice trying to see if they can get me a better idea. They wouldn’t.
They paid the December 2012 dividend on the night of December 27. It was 0.03! For 12 hours I consoled myself thinking that this was just a special year end distribution and that they would do their normal monthly distribution on December 28, the 28th their usual target date for distributions. I was wrong. 0.03 was it for December.
The November distribution had been 0.07. ‘Marketwatch‘ had 0.07 as their ‘Income Dividend’. They had never been below 0.05 in all of 2012. They had never done just a 0.03 in years.
I felt raped. If they had given us a head’s up, I would not have felt so bad. I called them twice last Friday. Their telephone support isn’t in the same class as Fidelity.
I called them again yesterday and asked whether I could speak directly to a Fund representative. To their credit they said they would try and that they will try and get somebody to call me.
But, prior to the 4pm market close, I placed an order to sell all my shares in BJBHX.
The phone rang at 4:20. It was somebody from BJBHX. He was very nice. He understood my issue. It appears that due to foreign currency fluctuations BJBHX had a trading loss for the year. So rather than distributing capital gains, they had loses. The 0.03 was a reflection of that. He claimed that dividend would go back to ‘normal’ in 2013. To late. I had already sold and BJBHX has a very strict re-investment policy to protect holders against churn. So if you sell, you typically can’t get back for 30 days. It is in the prospectus. But, emotionally I am done with BJBHX, though I know that you can’t let emotions influence your investing.
I could be wrong, but as far as I can see, I cannot find another non-instutional, non 5% up-front load, ‘open’ (as opposed to ‘closed’) mutual offering monthly distributions of 0.07 per share on a $10 NAV — and I check each month on Yahoo finance, because the ‘summary’ rate quoted on sites like ‘Marketwatch‘ can be way out-of-date.
The nearest I can find is Janus High Yield, JAHYX. JAHYX is my backup. They maintain a fairly steady NAV. FHYTX and TGINX are close.
I don’t trust CEFs. Too many games for non-insiders, so to speak. So I stay away. Yes, I get tempted, but I refrain. I have good will power. Looking at some MoPay stocks. Interesting. But, bottom line, BJBHX and I have parted company.