From the March 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

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Van Kampen Funds Inc., a subsidiary of Van Kampen Investments Inc., launched the Van Kampen Global Tactical Asset Allocation Fund, which seeks to achieve diversification across a range of countries and industries by investing in 1,500 to 2,000 equity securities and fixed-income securities of U.S. and non-U.S. issuers, as well as cash, commodities, and currencies.

Van Eck Global launched the Pre-Refunded Municipal Index ETF (PRB) on NYSE Arca--the nation's first ETF to focus on the pre-refunded segment of the municipal bond market. PRB seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Barclays Capital Municipal Pre-Refunded--Treasury-Escrowed Index. The Fund's total net expenses are 0.24%.

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company announced that it is taking action to help variable life policyholders who are experiencing significant reduction in their policies' net surrender values as a result of the recent economic downturn. The company is extending the base no-lapse guarantee period on eligible existing policies for the company's Cornerstone VUL III, Cornerstone VUL IV, Variable Estate Max II, and Variable Estate Max III products by an additional two years.

State Street Global launched the SPDR Barclays Capital Short Term International Treasury Bond ETF, designed to track the price and yield performance of the Barclays Capital 1-3 Year Global Treasury ex-US Capped Index, and the Barclays Capital Mortgage Backed Bond ETF, designed to track the price and yield of the Barclays Capital U.S. MBS Index. The funds began trading on the NYSE Arca on January 27, 2009.

Vanguard introduced a broad-market bond index fund for use by Vanguard funds, including Vanguard's Target Retirement and LifeStrategy funds, which invests in other Vanguard offerings. The Vanguard Total Bond Market II Index Fund seeks to track the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond, and shares the same portfolio management strategy and investment policies as the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund. It will only be available for use by Vanguard funds-of-funds and other similar investment products; shares of the new fund will not be available for direct purchase by investors.

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