There may be no free lunch, but if you place an order for an obscure type of investment called a closed-end fund, you stand a good chance of buying stocks or bonds at well below the going price.
Closed-end funds and their successors, exchange-traded funds, are listed on stock exchanges, but they differ in that an ETF manager can adjust the number of shares outstanding to try to ensure that the price of the ETF matches the underlying value of its assets.
By contrast, closed-end funds have fixed share counts; that can cause them to trade at significant premiums or discounts to their asset values.
Such funds are widely discounted today. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.