May 17, 2013

Top Portfolio Products: Goldman Launches Alts Fund

Vanguard adds emerging-markets bond index fund; more

Portfolio Products logoNew products introduced over the last week include a new alternative investments fund from Goldman Sachs and an emerging-markets government bond index fund from Vanguard.

In addition, OppenheimerFunds announced enhancements to its Scholar’s Edge 529 program, the Cambria ETF Trust launched a new ETF and Jemstep announced a 401(k) enhancement to its portfolio management service.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) Goldman Sachs Announces New Alternative Investments Fund

Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) announced Thursday the launch of the Goldman Sachs Multi-Manager Alternatives Fund (A shares, GMAMX), which offers exposure to a range of alternative and nontraditional investment strategies within the structure of a mutual fund. The fund’s A and C shares require $1,000 minimum initial investments. It is also offered in institutional, R and IR shares.

GMAMX expects to invest in a wide range of strategies, including equity long-short, dynamic equity, event-driven and credit, relative value, tactical-trading and opportunistic fixed income strategies. Jason Gottlieb and Ryan Roderick are co-portfolio managers for GMAMX and sit within GSAM’s alternative investments and manager selection (AIMS) group, which has more than 275 professionals across 10 offices around the world and provides manager diligence, portfolio construction, risk management and liquidity solutions.

2) Vanguard to Launch Emerging-Markets Government Bond Index Fund

Vanguard announced Tuesday the introduction of the Vanguard Emerging Markets Government Bond Index Fund (ETF shares: VWOB). The fund is now accepting investments during a subscription period that will end at close of business on May 30. During this period, the fund will invest in money-market instruments as it accumulates sufficient assets to construct a representative, diversified portfolio. The ETF shares are scheduled to begin trading in early June.

Following the subscription period, the fund will seek to track the Barclays USD Emerging Markets Government RIC Capped Index and will invest solely in U.S. dollar-denominated emerging-market bonds. The expense ratios are as follows: ETF, 0.30%; investor, 0.50%; admiral, 0.35%; and institutional, 0.30%. The fund will assess a purchase fee of 0.75% on all non-ETF shares to help offset the higher transaction costs associated with buying emerging-market bonds.

3) OppenheimerFunds Enhances Scholar's Edge 529 Plan

OppenheimerFunds announced enhancements to its 529 program, Scholar's Edge. Investors will now have access to its portfolio allocator, which provides the opportunity to invest across up to 23 individual fund portfolio options covering the major asset classes as well as alternative investments and automatic account rebalancing each quarter. The firm also unveiled a new microsite, AdvisorsEdge529.com, that provides financial advisors access to enrollment kits and educational resources.

OppenheimerFunds also unveiled a new Scholar's Edge brand and refreshed website designed to promote greater access to educational materials and fund information, as well as a distinct microsite for advisors to get clients started on the Scholar's Edge platform and guide them through the investment allocation process.

4) Cambria ETF Trust Launches Shareholder Yield ETF

The Cambria ETF Trust and its investment manager, Cambria Investment Management, launched the Cambria Shareholder Yield ETF (SYLD) on Tuesday. SYLD is an actively managed ETF made up of U.S. stocks that have historically ranked among the highest in paying cash dividends, engaging in share buybacks and paying down debt.

SYLD employs a quantitative algorithm to select 100 U.S. stocks with market caps greater than $200 million, as assessed by shareholder yield qualifications. The fund offers investors a diversified portfolio of companies, ranging in size, industry and sector, and is managed to ensure that no one sector is overconcentrated. SYLD also employs value, quality and momentum factors in the final portfolio selection. The fund expects to pay yearly dividends.

5) Jemstep Announces Portfolio Manager Service Enhancement

Online investment advisor Jemstep announced a 401(k) enhancement to its portfolio manager service that provides immediate, individualized advice on what to buy and what to sell based on the limited set of investments available in client 401(k)s. Jemstep’s database of investment options includes well-known companies, state and federal entities, 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans for millions of employees. If Jemstep doesn’t have their plan, investors can simply add their retirement plan choices and get instant actionable advice across all their accounts. Jemstep ensures they have the right asset allocation, while minimizing taxes, reducing fund fees, and selecting investments.

A basic account is free, no matter the size of the portfolio. Premium services are available for a low monthly fee depending on portfolio size, starting at $17.99 per month (a premium account is free for those with under $25,000).

Read the May 10 Portfolio Products Roundup at AdvisorOne.

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