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Raymond James Turns Closed-End Fund into ETF

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It’s been a rare occurrence, but some closed-end mutual funds are opting to become exchange-traded funds (ETFs). For instance, Claymore Advisors has just announced that the shareholders of Claymore/Raymond James SB-1 Equity Fund (RYJ) have approved a reorganization of the fund into an exchange-traded fund format.

The reorganized fund’s performance will be linked to the Raymond James Strong Buy 1 (“SB-1″) Index. Equity components within the index are determined by analyst equity ratings at Raymond James. After being selected, fund holdings are assigned a modified equal-weighting.

Currently, the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Raymond James analysts (and analysts in other parts of the country) conduct research on more than 600 companies. Much of the research focuses on specific industry sectors like consumer, energy, financial services, health care, real estate and technology.

The fund’s portfolio may include common stocks, non-U.S. securities, REITs, MLPs and other investment companies. Fund holdings are reconstituted and rebalanced about twice a month.

The reorganization closed on September 3, and the RYJ ETF began trading on NYSE Arca the following day. It traded near 15 on September 18.

Also, the fund’s annual expense ratio is being lowered from 1.08 to 0.75 percent.