Top Portfolio Products: Templeton Launches Global Fund; Neuberger Adds Two Funds

Van Eck gold ETFs’ AUM top $13 billion; Adams Express sets distribution target; OIC says August options hit record; two Rydex funds close to new investors

New products introduced over the last week include Franklin Templeton’s new Global Allocation Fund and Neuberger Berman’s Global Equity and Global Thematic Opportunities funds.

In addition, two of Van Eck’s gold ETFs topped $13 billion in AUM, while Adams Express announced an annual target distribution; the Options Industry Council announced that August 2011 options were nearly double those of August 2010; and Rydex shuttered two funds.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) Franklin Templeton Launches Global Allocation Fund for U.S. Investors

Franklin Templeton Investments (BEN) announced Tuesday the launch of the Franklin Templeton Global Allocation Fund for U.S. investors, combining Franklin Templeton investment management teams with its Multi-Asset Strategies group.

The fund seeks total return by investing in a diversified portfolio of equity and fixed income securities, supplemented by a tactical strategy that may include cash and financial derivative instruments, to allow the fund to adjust its exposure to asset classes, geographic regions, currencies and market sectors.

The management team manages risk in seeking to improve the fund’s overall risk/return profile, and uses the fund’s multimanager structure in pursuing multiple sources of returns.

2) Neuberger Berman Debuts Global Equity and Thematic Opportunities Funds

Neuberger Berman Group LLC announced Wednesday the launch of two funds, the Neuberger Berman Global Equity Fund (NGQAX, NGQCX, NGQIX) and the Neuberger Berman Global Thematic Opportunities Fund (NGHAX, NGHCX, NGHIX).

The Global Equity Fund, managed by Benjamin Segal and Saurin Shah, invests primarily in mid- and large-capitalization companies in both developed and emerging markets. The team seeks to control volatility by assessing political, economic and business risk facing each company being considered for the portfolio.

The Global Thematic Opportunities Fund invests primarily in equity securities of companies in both developed and emerging markets. The portfolio managers seek to identify significant and underappreciated trends across the globe, and utilize proprietary research to identify undervalued companies.

Portfolio managers are Tony Gleason, Alexandra (Sandy) Pomeroy, Richard Levine, and William Hunter.

3) Two Van Eck Gold ETFs Reach Combined AUM Over $13 Billion

Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), both distributed by New York-based investment management firm Van Eck Global, have combined over $13 billion in assets under management (AUM), it was announced Wednesday.

The Gold Miners ETF seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index. The index provides exposure to publicly traded companies worldwide involved primarily in the mining for gold, representing a diversified blend of small-, mid-, and large-capitalization stocks. As such, the fund is subject to the risks of investing in this sector.

The Junior Gold Miners ETF seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners Index.

The index provides exposure to a global universe of publicly traded small- and medium-capitalization companies that generate at least 50% of their revenues from gold and/or silver mining, hold real property that has the potential to produce at least 50% of the company's revenue from gold or silver mining when developed, or primarily invest in gold or silver.

4) Adams Express Commits to Annual Distribution Of 6%

The board of directors of the Adams Express Co. (ADX), a Baltimore-based closed-end investment company, announced Thursday that, effective immediately, the company is committing to distribute annually to its stockholders an amount equal to 6% of the average month-end market price on the NYSE of the company’s common stock for the trailing 12 months, calculated as of October 31.

For comparison, the company paid total distributions at an annual distribution rate of 5.2% in 2009 and at an annual distribution rate of 5.1% in 2010.

The company will make its distributions using the same payout schedule it has used for many years. In circumstances in which the net investment income and realized capital gains exceed 6%, distributions paid to stockholders may be greater than 6%.

5) OIC Announces August Volume Nearly Double That of August 2010

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced September 1 that 550,049,407 total options contracts changed hands in August, a 94% increase over August 2010 when 283,487,110 contracts were traded.

In addition to August setting a new monthly record, several other records were achieved throughout the month, including three consecutive daily volume records.

This is the first time in history monthly volume has surpassed half a billion contracts. Furthermore, August saw the top four of the ten highest volume days for both total options and equity options. On August 8, 41,535,580 contracts were traded, establishing a new daily volume record and marking the first time over 40 million contracts were traded in one day.

Average daily volume for August came in at 23,915,191 contracts, 85.60% more than the 12,885,778 contracts traded during August 2010. YTD volume for August stood at 3,115,816,555 contracts compared to 2,561,734,543 contracts traded in the same period last year, representing a 21.63% increase. YTD average daily volume was 18,546,527 contracts, up 20.91% over 15,339,728 contracts in August of last year.

OIC also reported equity options volume experienced an increase of 91.41% with 501,947,732 contracts exchanged in August compared to 262,234,107 contracts for the same year-ago period. Equity options volume on average each day in August was 21,823,814 contracts, up 83.09% compared to 11,919,732 contracts for the same month last year.

Year-to-date equity options volume for August stood at 2,888,506,287 contracts compared to the same point last year when 2,362,307,730 contracts were traded, representing a 22.27% increase.

6) Two Rydex Funds Closing to New Investors

Rydex SMID Value Separate Account, managed by investment veteran Jim Schier, has closed to new investments. Rydex Small Cap Strategy, also managed by Schier and his team and using a similar strategy, is nearing capacity constraints and will be closing soon.

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

 

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