While exchange-traded funds are soaring in popularity and investor cash continues to flow liberally into retirement accounts, closed-end funds have all but been forgotten by a large swath of the advisor community even though they offer some pretty compelling and unique benefits.

Unlike a mutual fund or an ETF, closed-end funds don't issue new shares as more investors jump on board so their share prices -- closed-end funds are listed and traded just like a stock -- reflect the true value, good or bad, of their portfolio holdings. Sometimes they're really pricey. Other times they're a bargain.

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