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Escaping the Tortoise by a Hair


An important update on the Tortoise Energy Infrastructure Fund.


In yesterday's Ten To Try Out? piece, I mentioned the Tortoise Energy Infrastructure Fund (TYG). It's a closed-end fund of energy Master Limited Partnerships. I used to own this many moons ago and forgot about it. It uses some degree of leverage (33%) and pays a 10% dividend.

My thinking at the time was this might be insulated from swing in energy prices, however, yesterday afternoon, TYG's investor relations called me back and we discussed some instruments they use to finance their leverage needs, including Auction Rate Securities and preferred stock.

As it turns out, between the illiquidity of the ARS market and the "net asset coverage" requirements of the loans, things are far more dangerous than I care to deal with.

In the interest of full disclosure, I closed my position for a small loss.

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