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Cara Esser

Cara Esser, CFA, is an associate director, for Morningstar Research Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. Esser specializes in fixed income offerings from BlackRock, JPMorgan, T. Rowe Price, and Dodge & Cox.

Before assuming her current role in 2017, Esser was a senior analyst covering a range of fixed income strategies and led the firm’s closed-end fund research efforts. Before joining Morningstar in 2010, Esser was an associate financial analyst for the American Association of Individual Investors, a non-profit investor education organization.

Esser holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and banking from the University of Missouri, Columbia and a master's degree in business administration from DePaul's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. She also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.


Silver-rated BlackRock Total Return has been a solid performer, but prepare for volatility given the fund's top-down bets on the economy and high turnover.

Dana Emery, director of fixed income at Dodge & Cox, discusses why the firm likes corporate bonds and emerging-markets debt, where rates are headed, and bond-market liquidity.

CEF managers' ability to hold onto underpriced illiquid securities in times of market stress represents an advantage over open-end funds that may have to sell to meet unexpected redemptions, says Morningstar’s Cara Esser.

As investors ditched certain income-producing assets on worries of rising rates, an abundance of fixed-income CEFs moved into undervalued territory, according to Morningstar's Cara Esser.

CEFs that focus on master limited partnerships performed exceedingly well in the first quarter, yet there are still large discounts among equity closed-end funds, says Morningstar's Cara Esser.

Closed-end fund investors should examine evidence beyond absolute discounts and premiums alone to find attractive opportunities, says CEF analyst Cara Esser.

Morningstar's Cara Esser breaks down our Analyst Ratings for closed-end funds and names the CEFs that are worthy of gold status.

As interest rates remain very low, leveraged CEFs are apt to see solid returns, but Morningstar's Cara Esser points out what to keep in mind before investing.