From the August 2006 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

August 1, 2006

UPGRADES

The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund announced in late June the Charitable Investment Advisor Program, which allows independent investment advisors to provide discretionary investment management to the Gift Fund for contributions made by the advisors' clients.

Fidelity said that "qualified advisors can participate in the program regardless of whether they have an existing relationship with Fidelity."

...Dan Skiles, chief of technology for Schwab Institutional, said that as of May 1, more than 500 Schwab-affiliated advisory firms "had cut their ties to paper statements and confirms" by using Schwab's EDelivery program.

...On July 10, Mass Mutual announced a Web site enhancement at www.massmutual.com/women that provides education, online caculators, a newsletter, and events to meet the specific financial needs of women.

...Principal Financial Group marked the fifth anniversary of its LifeTime Funds by noting that assets in the retirement funds have grown to $4.5 billion and that 19,000 plan sponsors offer the LifeTime Funds to plan participants.

...Vanguard said July 6 that it is changing the name of its VIPER exchange-traded shares to Vanguard ETFs; the tickers of the funds will remain unchanged. Vanguard manages 24 ETFs with over $15.4 billion in assets. The renamed ETFs are: Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI); Vanguard Large-Cap ETF (VV); Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF (VWO); and Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ).

...John Sears, president of The College for Financial Planning, said the College is reducing prices for its continuing education courses by 60%--from $25 per semester hour to $10 per semester hour.

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