Top Portfolio Products: New PIMCO, State Street Funds

Plus other new products and portfolios are launched by Franklin Templeton, SteelPath, Brown and Envestnet

New products introduced over the last week include two new actively managed funds from PIMCO, a new ETF from State Street, a new fund from Franklin Templeton and the addition of an IndexIQ model portfolio by Envestnet.

In addition, Shroder launched a new emerging market debt and currency fund; Brown Advisory launched a new equity income fund; SteelPath added two new MLP mutual funds; and Invesco introduced two new ETFs.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) PIMCO Launches PIMCO Dividend and Income Builder Fund and PIMCO EqS Dividend Fund

PIMCO announced Tuesday that it has launched two new actively managed funds that combine active management, to seek attractive and growing income, with long-term capital appreciation. They will be managed by Brad Kinkelaar and Cliff Remily.

The PIMCO Dividend and Income Builder Fund (PQIZX) supplements global equity investments with select fixed-income positions, the latter of which will be managed by Eve Tournier. The PIMCO EqS Dividend Fund (PQDAX) is intended for investors who want an equity-focused fund. Both have a flexible mandate that provides the opportunity to invest in attractive opportunities for both income and capital appreciation, unconstrained by geography, sector or issuer size.

2) State Street Global Introduces SPDR Emerging Asia Pacific Small Cap ETF

State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), the asset management business of State Street Corporation, announced Thursday that the SPDR S&P Small Cap Emerging Asia Pacific ETF (GMFS) has begun trading on the NYSE Arca. The first emerging Asia Pacific small-cap ETF, it provides investors with access to companies poised to benefit from the growth of emerging Asia’s middle class. Its annual expense ratio is 0.65%.

The ETF seeks to track the performance of the S&P Asia Pacific Emerging Under $2 Billion Index, a float-adjusted, market-cap-weighted benchmark that includes publicly listed companies with a total market cap between $100 million and $2 billion. Each individual stock is capped at a maximum of 25% of the index weight, and the top five stocks are capped at a maximum of 50% of the index weight. Countries historically covered in the Index include China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Thailand.

3) Franklin Templeton Launches Multi-Asset Real Return Fund for U.S. Investors

Franklin Templeton Investments announced Wednesday that it has launched Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Real Return Fund for U.S. investors. The fund seeks total return that exceeds U.S. inflation over a full inflation cycle (real return), typically five years, by a flexible allocation strategy diversified across a broad spectrum of asset classes, including global equities, global fixed income (including TIPS), and commodities.

To help achieve its strategy, it invests primarily in other mutual funds (underlying funds), predominantly other Franklin, Templeton and Mutual Series funds; it also invests a portion of its assets directly in TIPS.

4) Envestnet Adds IndexIQ’s IQ Global Alternatives ETF Model Portfolio to Liquid Alternatives Program

IndexIQ announced Tuesday that Envestnet, Inc. has added IndexIQ’s IQ Global Alternatives ETF Portfolio for inclusion in Envestnet’s Liquid Alternatives Program, which is designed to help advisors identify high-performing liquid alternative strategies, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), while providing guidance in utilizing these portfolios.

The portfolio is a comprehensive investment strategy designed to achieve portfolio diversification, capital growth and low volatility. The model includes exposures to multiple hedge fund-like investing styles and aims to limit volatility to 6-8% through exposures to a broad range of asset classes, including domestic, international and emerging market equities, bonds, commodities, currencies and real estate, as well as exposure to volatility.

5) Schroders Launches Absolute Return Emerging Market Debt and Currency Fund

Schroder Investment Management North America Inc. announced on Jan. 9 the launch of the Schroder Absolute Return EMD and Currency Fund (SARNX). The fund utilizes an absolute return strategy and aims to generate positive returns over each rolling 12-month period, regardless of market conditions. It is managed by Schroders’ London-based EMD team, led by Geoff Blanning, head of emerging market debt and commodities.

The fund’s primary objective is to deliver absolute returns from capital growth and income, while limiting risk and volatility through employing an active management style. The portfolio emphasizes a variety of fundamental processes and leans on quantitative and technical analysis as well as country- and sector-specific risk controls to limit volatility. The investable universe is over 58 countries worldwide and includes US dollar bonds, local currency bonds and local currencies.

6) Brown Advisory Launches Equity Income Fund Focused on Income Generation and Dividend Growth

Brown Advisory announced Tuesday the addition of the Brown Advisory Equity Income Fund, with ticker symbol BIADX, which officially launched on December 30. Focused on delivering current income and dividend growth through investments in high-quality companies, the fund invests at least 80% of the value of its net assets in a diversified portfolio of equity securities. In addition, it may also invest up to 20% in investment grade and non-investment-grade debt securities, or unrated debt securities of comparable quality.

Michael L. Foss and Brian Graney are responsible for managing the fund; together, they bring an average of 18 years of portfolio management experience and have extensive knowledge of the equity and fixed income markets.

7) SteelPath Introduces Two New MLP Mutual Funds

SteelPath Advisors announced Thursday the launch of the SteelPath MLP & Infrastructure Debt Fund (MLPWX) and the SteelPath MLP Alpha Plus Fund (MLPNX). These funds are actively managed by Gabriel Hammond, Stuart Cartner, and Brian Watson and provide a simple solution to access MLPs without the complexities of K-1s and unrelated business taxable income (UBTI).

MLPWX represents the industry’s first debt-focused MLP mutual fund; it invests in debt securities of approximately 15-20 MLP and energy infrastructure companies. MLPNX is a concentrated portfolio of approximately 20 MLP equity securities and employs leverage. Both will focus on MLPs classified as “midstream,” primarily responsible for transportation, storage and processing of carbon-based natural resources such as oil, natural gas and refined products. Midstream MLPs present an attractive risk/reward proposition as they typically earn tolls or fees and tend to be less volatile since they typically do not take ownership of the underlying commodities they handle.

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