How to invest in Russia at a discount

Russia is the world's cheapest stock market - and it's in a 'rip-roaring uptrend'. But you can make it cheaper still by buying with a double-digit discount. Dr. Steve Sjuggerud explains how.

Russian stocks have just been obliterated...

The net asset value of the Templeton Russia Fund (NYSE:TRF) is down more than 70% in less than a year. The average stock in the fund is selling for less than four times earnings that's practically a giveaway price.

But since its March lows, the stock price of the Templeton Russia Fund has doubled... it's in a clear uptrend.

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In short, Russia is now the cheapest stock market in the world... It's absolutely hated and ignored by investors, who are terrified of risk right now... And it is in a rip-roaring uptrend. You should consider getting in...

But you shouldn't buy the Templeton Russia Fund.

You see, the fund is trading at a ridiculous 50% premium to the stocks it holds. Why would anyone pay a premium for this fund? Why does this premium exist?

The Templeton Russia Fund is what's called a closed-end fund. The fund can actually trade at a premium or discount to the shares it holds. There are only a fixed number of shares outstanding. So if more people want to buy it than sell it one day, the fund's price will rise even if the value of the underlying stocks the fund holds stays the same.

It's ridiculous to pay a huge premium to own Russian stocks when you don't have to...

Other closed-end funds out there have at least half of their portfolios in Russian stocks. And right now, they trade at double-digit discounts to their net asset values... Shares of the Morgan Stanly Eastern Europe Fund (NYSE:RNE) sell at a 9% discount. The Central Europe and Russia Fund (NYSE:CEE) goes for a 14% discount.

So if you want to buy the world's cheapest market, you're better off buying it at a double-digit discount through CEE or RNE than paying 50% more than you should to get into the Templeton Russia Fund.

If CEE returns to net asset value, you'll make a double-digit profit on top of whatever gains you get from the underlying stocks. You don't have to get too crafty with a strategy like this, and there are huge profits to be had...

In my newsletter, True Wealth, we took advantage of a ridiculous discount on a closed-end fund just a couple months ago. We bought it at a discount near 40%... In less than 90 days, it went to a 50% premium. It was quite an extraordinary gain particularly when the underlying value of the fund actually went down during that time.

I typically just buy closed-end funds holding stocks I want to own anyway, waiting until they sell at a larger-than-average discount. If that's getting too fancy, then you can just buy something you already want to buy, at a cheaper price, through a closed-end fund.

Like I showed you above, you can get exposure to Russia the world's cheapest stock market at a double-digit discount through shares of CEE.

This article was written by Dr. Steve Sjuggerud for the free investment newsletter DailyWealth