June 13, 2011

Top Portfolio Products: New Offerings From Global X, Deutsche Bank

More product developments from Russell Investments, Windham, New York Life, ACA

In this week’s new products news, Global X Funds launched its new SuperDividend ETF and Deutsche Bank brought out a suite of currency-hedged ETFs. In addition, Russell Investments announced that its LifePoint Funds Target Date Series passed $1 billion in AUM; Windham Investments initiated a new strategy; New York Life launched a microsite designed for the LGBT community; and ACA expanded its succession planning program.

Here are the six latest product developments of interest to advisors:

1) Global X Funds Launches SuperDividend ETF

New York-based ETF provider Global X Funds on June 9 launched the Global X SuperDividend ETF (SDIV). The new ETF provides broad exposure to 100 companies worldwide that rank among the highest dividend-yielding equity securities in the world.

SDIV seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Solactive Global SuperDividend Index. The index provider applies certain dividend stability filters to minimize investor risk exposure if a single company depreciates in price or reduces its dividend.

SDIV offers investors exposure to a broad group of industries: REITs (22%), consumer discretionary (16%), telecommunications (16%), financial services (10%), utilities (8%), banks (5%), consumer staples (5%), energy (5%), industrials (5%), insurance (3%), technology (3%), and health care (2%). Investors may also benefit from global diversification, which includes international issuer and currency exposure in the U.S. (32%), Australia (24%), Great Britain (10%), Canada (6%), and Singapore (4%), among others.

2) Deutsche Bank Launches Suite of International Currency-Hedged ETFs

Deutsche Bank on June 9 announced the launch of five new ETFs linked to currency-hedged MSCI International indexes. These ETFs are designed to provide investors direct exposure to international equity markets and aim to protect against fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar and non-U.S. currencies.

The ETFs will be listed for trading under the following symbols:

  • db-X MSCI Japan Currency-Hedged Equity Fund (DBJP)
  • db-X MSCI Brazil Currency-Hedged Equity Fund (DBBR)
  • db-X MSCI Canada Currency-Hedged Equity Fund (DBCN)
  • db-X MSCI EAFE Currency-Hedged Equity Fund (DBEF)
  • db-X MSCI Emerging Markets Currency-Hedged Equity Fund (DBEM)

The ETFs seek to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses are applied, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of their respective benchmark indexes. They are designed to provide exposure to equity securities globally, while seeking to mitigate exposure to fluctuation between the value of the U.S. dollar and non-U.S. currencies by also investing in currency forwards.

3) Russell Investments LifePoints Funds Target Date Series Surpasses $1 Billion in AUM

Russell Investments announced on June 7 that its LifePoints Funds Target Date Series has surpassed $1 billion in AUM, reflecting year-over-year growth of 44%. The Target Date Series is a set of 10 strategically diversified portfolios designed to simplify the asset allocation process for retirement plan participants over time, including nine target date strategy funds and the In Retirement Fund. They are available to retirement plans via the firm's U.S. advisor-sold business, which partners with financial intermediaries and defined contribution record keepers.

According to Morningstar, target date funds’ growth rates are impressive compared to other mutual fund categories. The only categories to exceed target date funds’ percentage gains in 2010 were alternative and commodities funds, both of which benefited from near-term investor concerns over volatility and inflation.

4) Windham Capital Launches New Risk Approach for Turbulent Global Markets

Independent investment firm Windham Capital announced the launch on June 8 of innovative risk measures that manage risk as a cycle, not an event. Available for the first time to private investors, the Windham strategy is not based on price volatility alone, as are most other models, but instead measures interactions among asset classes to gauge opportunities in all market environments.

Windham’s approach addresses the fact that risk has hidden linkages across the broader economy, making the global markets even more fragile. Expectations for sustained slow economic growth and continued market volatility signal a time to proactively manage risk rather than react to it.

5) New York Life Launches LGBT-Focused Microsite

New York Life Insurance Co. announced the launch of its LGBT microsite, Customized Solutions for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community, on June 3. The site is divided into four sections: Creating a Safety Net, Retirement Planning, Estate Planning, and Our Community Commitment. The first three sections detail specific financial concerns and the tools to address them, from how to create a comfortable future and planning for happy retirement years, to creating a legacy for loved ones. The last section spotlights the company’s support of LGBT organizations, including New York Life’s second consecutive year of earning the top rating of 100% in the Corporate Equality Index survey, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

“Being proactive about financial planning is sound advice for every family, but doing so is especially critical for the LGBT population,” said Angela Daniels, who heads the LGBT initiative for New York Life. “New York Life is proud to make available this easy-to-navigate, information-rich site as part of the company’s commitment to helping all families achieve financial security.”

6) ACA Expands Succession Planning Program

As the ACA Succession Planning Program enters its second year, ACA members now have access to additional resources to assist in their succession planning efforts, it was announced June 8. ACA partnered with David Goad of Succession Planning Consultants Inc. to help with the development of these resources.

As a result of this partnership, ACA members now have access to four issues of a custom journal created specifically for ACA members on creating business value and an exit strategy. To see a preview of the first issue, click on the following link: http://www.acaplanners.org/Journal.aspx.

ACA is a non-profit 501(C)6 organization providing continuing education and support to fee-only financial planners with a passion for holistic financial planning. Its collaborative community continues to develop the next generation of holistic planning concepts and strategies. Currently ACA consists of more than 150 members serving 45 states across the U.S.

Read last week’s Portfolio Products Roundup at AdvisorOne.com.

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