Assuming you are "new" then you probably want to do so additional due diligence before investing.
The Vegas casino approach doesn't work here any better than in Nevada unless all you really want is entertainment.
If by 'risk' you're are looking for some comparative measure then start by looking at beta. Or try the riskgrades.com approach. Either compares against market index risks: SP500 and etc.
If by 'new' you're looking for Closed End Fund data then try cefconnect.com. The best I've found on the web. Check the price to NAV (net asset value) differences. Check the distributions as well as NII (net investment income) and UNII (unrealized NII).
Remember or research the tax treatment of ROC (return on capital) -- hint options premium 'income' is also ROC.
Go to the fund company's web site for financials. Check the net changes to share holders value in the semi-annual and annual reports.
Try pasting or VBA extracts to Excel and track of a longer term and additional calculations.
If your brokerage account is taxable you might even want to check the muni's in cefconnect.com. A comparative distribution for tax-free versus taxable is the easy tax bracket based "tax equivalent rate' calculation.
If in your tracking of CEF's you find that you want NAV updates faster than cefconnect.com does them, then try the NAV ticker look ups on sites likes finance.yahoo.com.
If you want all high div stocks there are many sites and "screeners" that will return list of stocks with their dividend yield. A personal favorite is finviz.com.
Good luck and BTW, if I'd started at your age I would have "retired" in my 30's.
A tenet that I learned over the years is a play on a physician’s creed: “First, do no harm”, i.e. “First, lose no money”. High risk stocks are high risk stocks. Perhaps my circle of acquaintances is small, but I don’t know any high risk takers in the stock market who are ahead long term. It’s difficult to get out when you are ahead. That curve keeps ascending to the right. When a stock is underwater, well, just think how much more money you are going to make when the stock climbs. The best advise that could have been given to me 40 years ago (which I would not have taken) was “buy the Standard and Poor’s Index Fund and hold.”
All the above is pretty good advice, but, I've learned over the years that it is easy to buy, harder to sell, unless you have good selling rules. My number one rule is not to lose big chunks of money. Admit it when you are wrong and cut your losses, and don't fret about not selling at the absolute top. Once I have my position filled, I immediately put in sell orders for part of the position. It helps take out some of the emotion. I do not use stop loss orders except when I am not in a position to monitor my investments, but I have mental stop orders on all of my positions.
Currently for PHK I have open orders to add to my position at 12 and 12.50 and my selling orders start at 14.00. Based upon my current order book you can see that I am patient, and I do not day trade. (at least not PHK) Don't get to overboard on diversification either, yes having all of you eggs in one basket is foolish, but over diversification isn't much better. Harder to track you investments, higher trading costs, and results that aren't much better than an index fund. Better to have fewer positions, bought at the right price and monitor the hack out of them. Margin can be your friend, or not. It is always good to have either cash or margin available in case something extraordinary comes up. If something special comes up and you don't have extra powder, sell your dogs and raise capital. Investments make lousy lovers, don't ever fall in love with any of them. PHK has been very good to me, I like the dividends and the capital gains have been spectacular but the day will come when I won't hold it any longer.
Learn all of the cliches and live by them. Here are my favorites, Bull make money, Bears make money, pigs get slaughtered. If your call is right, but your timing is wrong, your still wrong. The trend is your friend. Their are plenty of others, I jut can't think of them now.
Mike, No one can tell you that.
ALL investments carry risk. Assessing the amount of risk is difficult even for the ratings agencies and the best of the professionals because there are a large number of variables and the metrics are too fuzzy and because the market is often irrational. But I'm sure you already know all of that. The best you can do is the obvious - read up on the fund as best you can, decide how much you can afford to lose if things go wrong, and try to make a rational decision based on your own personal tolerance of risk. (Check out Pimco's web site and ETFconnect.com. I found them useful tools.)
I've had investments that I've thought were safe but that exploded, and I've had risky investments that worked out fine. You just never know. Don't ignore the experts but don't trust them either.
Your sign-in shows you are 21 years old. If you are inexperienced, please be careful. Its easy to lose your hard-earned money. Best of luck to you.
<< The best you can do is the obvious - read up on the fund as best you can, decide how much you can afford to lose if things go wrong, and try to make a rational decision based on your own personal tolerance of risk>>
Hey, I know you. You are the Gambler. When I asked you for advice on gambling, you said, "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em and know when to run." Now I know a whole lot when I sit down at a poker table. I also learned a whole lot about the advisability of buying PHK stock.
(PS,in spite of my post, your advice is obviously sound.)