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PDI, PCI or PTY

I've been waiting years for an opportunity to get into some of Pimco's amazingly high performing CEFs, and I'm thinking I'm going to get it. (These will go into my solo 401K, with retirement 15+ years away, so I'm happy to wait out volatility.) Anyone have any insights as to the big differences between the three and which might make the better long-term bet? It seems like PTY has much lower leverage (and therefore expenses), as well as a lower premium, but it doesn't seem much different in the end result.

Comments

  • edited March 6
    Structurally they're all pretty much the same but I have found PTY to be the most exposed to volatility in it's pricing. I use selloffs to buy more in bulk but generally just reinvest the distributions. You might find further information in the linked M* community discussion along with a lot of flotsam as well. I used to have a table laying out the various differences but I can't locate it at the moment. I'll post it if I find it.

    PTY v. Other PIMCO CEF's

    Edit: You can also dig out differences by examining the 'Portfolio' of each fund on M* or similar. Not the 'Portfolio Holdings' - hardly anyone can figure that out besides probably capecod but rather just the 'Portfolio'.
  • edited March 6
    What I have been doing (and I’m a nobody, so get out your magnifying glasses so you can find a grain of salt...lol), is setting price point alerts at various yield percentages: 8.5% for PCI/PDI (they are already there); 9% for the above 2, as well as PTY, RCS, PCM, PKO; and 10% for all (and 9% range PFN/PFL) on the big blowout days. Also 8% for PCN (a generally investment grade fund that traded in the 6% yield range before this recent volatility). Currently have 10% of PCI in my dad’s account, and added a little more last week. And trade around dividends and recent volatility in the rest. Waiting for a 10% yield on RCS (which purportedly has the highest quality portfolio) to add more. Probably have close to 20% total in these PIMCO CEFs right now (<15% most of the time).

    Even rattling around the idea to ONLY hold these funds, along with VCSH, VCIT, MINT, and maybe another ST/ultra short term/high quality floating rate bond ETF as ballast/cash to draw from during drawdowns (and opportunistically buy more of the CEFs). Maybe 60/40 or 70/30...your cash flow will be much higher than a typical equity/bond 60/40 portfolio, and performance may be close. There’s a poster of Morningstar who only holds PCI, PDI, and PTY and has since ~2016 or so. And probably been pretty happy with his portfolio (though much much higher volatility than bond mutual funds, volatility similar to equity).

    As to your question, PCI recently raised its distribution and has generally yielded more than PDI (and their portfolios are similar now), and PCM, so I went with PCI for the middle quality fund. PCN is a higher quality fund, and is yielded almost 8% (esp if you can catch some near the lows on these big down days). And PTY is a little lower quality, slightly lower quality earnings to cover the distribution, so would hold this in lesser amounts (more price volatility, as Mark says above). And PFN/PFL are similar, and consistently in the 9’s% yield; and again, lower quality so a smaller piece of portfolio. PCM and PKO are slightly different portfolios, and they are less mentioned and lower trading liquidity.

    I think (grain of salt, again) you can hold these in a portfolio, hold a core position (especially after recent sell offs), and trade opportunistically around the edges based on price movements. PIMCO uses all the tools in the toolbox, and have access to some of the smartest people in retail-available fixed income portfolio management.

    Above is not to be construed as advice<img src="https://www.mutualfundobserver.com/discuss/plugins/Emoticons/images/smile.gif" alt=":-)" />
  • edited March 6
    Thanks again to @expatsp for his late 2018 post about PDI. It alerted me to its behavior at that time and allowed me to implement my simple minded approach to it and reestablish a position at a slight discount on Christmas eve that year. I have no deep wisdom about whether to buy more at this time however (I am not currently tempted). @Graust commented above about RCS. That comment caught my eye as it had slipped off my radar due to its normally very steep premium. The current one year Z of -4.4 and low current premium level makes it interesting to me now. I will be checking it out.
  • You'd be in good company. I understand that it's Ivascyn's largest holding within the PIMCO stable of funds.
  • Thank you all! I discovered some more I hadn't even heard of. Still keeping powder dry for now, but it looks like PCI might be my next move.
  • I've been both trading and investing in Pimco CEFs for many years. IMO the one to buy right now is PHK, made a nice catch last week at $6.32!
  • @wxman123 - yes that was. I grabbed some as well.
  • edited March 7
    We have pci pdi as part of bond portfolio..along w FBND bnd lsbrx
  • I wanted to learn more about CEFs so I bought PCI last summer. It's only about 7% of my portfolio so the recent bouncing around was interesting to watch, but not a big deal overall.

    Everything is reinvested at this point. So far I plan to keep it, as it will be a nice addition to the interest my other bond funds kick off when I retire in a few years.
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