it wasn't clear to me that you were comparing alpine's current performance versus their own past performance. you might have said, alpine made 8% in 2012 versus losing 15% in 2011. but instead you compared it to hedge fund performance. that made me think 'relative' to hedge funds, not 'relative' to alpine.
on a side note, many hedge funds are long/short and i can understand some hedge funds not performing all that good in 2012 as the US market was up 16% (and europe up almost 20%). their shorts probably didn't work out. gold was also not a big winner for the hedge funds in 2012. but alpine is 100% long so one would hope they perform closer to their benchmarks.
banker, i'm glad to see you are making some money on AOD. it is not an easy thing to do - although it may be easier now than before. as i noted in my other post in this thread, i got stopped out. if the market takes a dip, i'll likely buy back in as long as the discount is still 13% or so.
i got stopped out at 4.05. got the feb div so got almost 4.08 btwn cap gains and dividend. i may buy back in but holding off for a bit right now.
remember my 5% 'profit' was for a two to six week trade (which ended up at 8 weeks and was less than 5% !!!!). some of the stock names you mention have decent yields but you'd have to hold for the entire year to get the dividend. if you held for two to eight weeks, you might not even collect a single dividend and would have to rely on capital gain.
the bottom line on my trade is what i hoped would happen did not happen. the discount didn't really close much (roughly 14% to 13%). while i managed a gain, it was mainly a result of rising stock prices (not narrowing of discount). take a look at BOE back in nov, it traded down to a 15% discount and was back to 10% within two months. i played that one (which also had a div cut) and it worked out - the discount narrowed. not sure why it didn't happen with AOD. maybe investors like blackrock more than alpine (which is understable given the history).