February 1, 2013

Top Portfolio Products: Genworth Introduces Turnkey Offering for Advisors

Vanguard announces lower fees on 18 funds; more

Portfolio Products logoNew products introduced over the last week include a new turnkey offering from Genworth Wealth Management; lower fees on 18 Vanguard funds; a new suite of four model portfolios from a teamup of Jefferson National and Braver Capital Management; and a new fixed indexed annuity from Allianz Life.

In addition, Credit Suisse announced a new ETN linked to covered calls on gold shares; WisdomTree launched a new actively managed corporate bond ETF; Russell introduced a new series of indexes; and Jemstep launched an online portfolio manager.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) Genworth Wealth Management Introduces New Turnkey Offering

Genworth Financial Wealth Management, a subsidiary of Genworth Financial, announced Thursday the introduction of GPS Select Solutions, a suite of solutions consisting of portfolios that incorporate the strategies of multiple portfolio strategists within single accounts. The portfolios offer financial advisors on the Genworth Wealth Management platform new ways to help clients.

Advisors can use GPS Select Solutions’ diversified, multistrategist portfolios to provide either a comprehensive investment solution directed at a broad goal, or a targeted complement to other holdings. GPS Select Solutions feature seven new portfolios that align with client goals: GPS Select Accumulation; GPS Select Accumulation Plus; GPS Select Retirement Income; GPS Select Wealth Preservation; GPS Select Low Volatility; GPS Select Multi Asset Income; and GPS Select Tactical Advantage.

2) Fees Drop on 18 Vanguard Funds

Vanguard said Monday that 18 of 28 funds had slightly lower expense ratios, according to the latest reports shared with investors this month. Of the other 10 funds, the fees of eight remained unchanged, while two had small increases.

(The popular fund family released the figures for Admiral and Investor shares, as well as for Institutional and Institutional Plus shares.)

For instance, 11 target-date retirement funds (2010-2055) had a 0.01% decrease in expenses. The fee ratio on the Target Retirement 2030 Fund dropped from 0.18% to 0.17%.

Read the full story on AdvisorOne.

3) Jefferson National, Braver Capital Management Launch New Portfolio Suite

Jefferson National announced Wednesday that it has launched four new tactically managed model portfolios with Braver Capital Management. Models available include Braver Tactical Balanced, Braver Tactical Core Bond, Braver Tactical Opportunity and Braver Tactical Sector Rotation.

Braver’s tactical models use quantitative algorithms applied to asset class price movement to identify trends in numerous asset classes and the broad market, while employing specific stop loss and position size limits for additional risk control. They are completely transparent, with no swaps, no leverage and no derivatives.

4) Allianz Life Launches New FIA: Allianz 222 Annuity

Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America recently announced the launch of the Allianz 222SM annuity, a new fixed indexed annuity (FIA) available exclusively to field marketing organizations, broker-dealers and agents associated with the Allianz Preferred platform and currently available in 44 states.

The new Allianz 222 annuity provides traditional annuity benefits such as accumulation potential through indexed or fixed interest, principal protection and tax deferral, and has an accumulation value that can be taken as a lump sum after the 10-year surrender charge period, or for annuitization after five years, less any bonuses. In addition, it can help meet retirement income needs by offering a protected income value (PIV) specifically designed for lifetime income withdrawals that have the opportunity to increase. The PIV includes bonuses on premium in the first three contract years and potential interest bonuses. Lifetime income withdrawals can be taken from the PIV after holding the contract at least 10 years and if the income is elected between the ages of 60 and 100.

5) Credit Suisse Announces Launch of Gold Covered Call ETN

Credit Suisse announced Tuesday the launch of its new Gold Shares Covered Call ETN (GLDI). GLDI is the first exchange-traded product in the U.S. market to offer investors access to a covered call strategy on a gold investment and is designed to pay variable monthly coupons.

GLDI tracks the Credit Suisse NASDAQ Gold FLOWSTM (Formula-Linked OverWrite Strategy)103 Index. It seeks to implement a rolling covered call investment strategy by maintaining a notional long position in shares of the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) while notionally selling monthly out-of-the-money call options on that position. Holders of GLDI will be entitled to receive variable monthly payments based on the notional option premiums received from the sale of the covered call options each month.

6) WisdomTree Launches Global Corporate Bond Fund

WisdomTree announced Thursday the launch of the WisdomTree Global Corporate Bond Fund (GLCB), an actively managed ETF that will invest in corporate fixed income securities from around the world.

GLCB will seek to maintain at least 55% of its holdings in investment-grade assets, with the ability to also invest in U.S. and international high-yield, as well as emerging-market, corporate debt. It intends to maintain an intermediate-term duration of between 2 and 10 years. It has a net expense ratio of 0.45%, and intends to hedge non-U.S. currency exposure back to U.S. dollars.

7) Russell Introduces High Efficiency Defensive Indexes

Russell Indexes introduced on Tuesday the Russell High Efficiency Defensive Indexes, a new index series initially consisting of 22 separate Russell High Efficiency Defensive Indexes based on the Russell U.S. and Global Indexes. The new indexes combine various economic and market risk factors, creating a “stability score” to help investors identify high-quality, low-volatility stocks. The new indexes offer low targeted tracking error to the Russell benchmarks. The indexes use Westpeak Global Advisors’ ActiveBeta portfolio construction methodology to help investors more efficiently capture targeted investment factors such as value, momentum and volatility. In this case the targeted factor is stability.

The Russell Defensive Index ranks constituents based on an assigned stability score and weights them according to market capitalization, creating a universe of higher-quality, lower-volatility stocks weighted in proportion to size. The High Efficiency Defensive Indexes, through Westpeak’s ActiveBeta methodology, weight constituents in proportion to their stability score. The indexes are rebalanced on a quarterly basis.

8) Jemstep Launches Portfolio Manager

Jemstep announced Wednesday the launch of Jemstep Portfolio Manager, an investment guidance and portfolio management service for individual investors. Combining the personalized attention of a private wealth manager with proven strategies and analytics used by institutional money managers, Portfolio Manager tells investors exactly what to buy, sell and hold, to maintain the optimal portfolio for their retirement goals and financial situation. The service will be free until March 1.

According to a survey commissioned by Jemstep and conducted by Harris Interactive from Dec. 17-19, 74% of U.S. adults don’t know how to create and manage a retirement portfolio. Jemstep’s Portfolio Manager discovers an investor’s financial situation and retirement goals; analyzes current investment accounts and generates a personalized investment strategy aligned with them; provides a target allocation; spells out a detailed action plan telling what to buy, sell and hold; and keeps the investor on track by watching for changes in the investor’s profile and portfolio and in the market, as well as providing alerts when it's time to rebalance or change investments.

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Read the Jan. 25 Portfolio Products Roundup at AdvisorOne.

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