October 27, 2013

Top Portfolio Products: First Trust Rolls Out Tactical Commodity Fund

Innealta Capital offers fund of ETFs; new robotics/automation index from ROBO-STOX

New products and changes introduced over the last week include a strategic commodity-focused fund from First Trust Advisors and a fund of ETFs from Innealta Capital; a robotics/automation index from ROBO-STOX; a new financial planning solution for advisors from SunGard; and a risk management platform from Axioma.

In addition, Aquila reorganized some of its funds into a more unified structure and engaged in other updating, and ProTracker announced a new cloud-based service.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) First Trust Offers Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund

First Trust Advisors L.P. announced the launch of First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC). FTGC is an actively managed ETF that will seek to provide total return by providing investors with commodity exposure while seeking a relatively stable risk profile by investing up to 25% of its total assets in commodity futures contracts and exchange-traded commodity-linked instruments through a wholly owned subsidiary of the fund.

The rest of FTGC’s assets will primarily be invested in short-term investment-grade fixed-income securities, money market instruments, ETFs and other investment companies, and cash and other cash equivalents.

Rob Guttschow and John Gambla are senior portfolio managers of the fund. The two will primarily be responsible for daily investment decisions under the direction of an investment committee that includes six other individuals with extensive investment experience.

2) Innealta Capital Announces New Fund of ETFs

Innealta Capital, a division of AFAM Capital, announced that it has launched a new mutual fund, the Innealta Risk Based Opportunity Moderate Fund (ROMAX). The fund’s objective is to offer the opportunity for both long-term capital appreciation and income within a single strategy. It operates as a fund of funds and primarily invests in ETFs that are exposed to a variety of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, commodities, currencies and real estate.

The fund seeks to invest in leveraged ETFs in order to free up portfolio collateral, which can then be allocated to high-yield investments deemed by Innealta to possess attractive risk/reward tradeoffs.

3) ROBO-STOX Launches Benchmark Index Tracking Robotics, Automation

ROBO-STOX LLC has announced its launch of the ROBO-STOXGlobal Robotics and Automation Index (ROBO), which tracks the robotics and automation space. The index consists of 77 domestic and foreign robotics and automation companies that meet listing criteria for the S&P DJI Global Broad Market Index.

Since pure-play robotics companies are extremely rare, ROBO-STOX evaluates companies across industries, objectives, geographic locations and market capitalizations to find innovative firms that can fuel productivity and economic growth for years to come.

The composite includes a mixture of “bellwether” stocks (securities of companies that the index committee believes reflect the performance of robotics and automation firms as a whole) and “non-bellwether” stocks (securities of robotics- and automation-related companies the index committee believes will generate higher revenue as their products and services grow).

The index is rebalanced on a quarterly basis, and is usually weighted 40% toward bellwether stocks and 60% toward non-bellwether stocks. Companies can be deleted from the index at any time at ROBO-STOX’s discretion.

4) SunGard Launches Holistic Financial Planning Solution for Advisors

SunGard recently announced the launch of WealthStation CompAct, a financial planning solution that gives advisors the ability to produce results-based, holistic financial plans quickly, simply and interactively. By addressing eight popular financial planning concepts using charts and summary tables, WealthStation CompAct helps advisors take action by simplifying complex information and making financial plans more meaningful to the client.

WealthStation CompAct gives advisors of varying levels of experience the ability to select from the following financial planning concepts in order to produce a basic-level yet comprehensive plan: financial statements, financial priorities, retirement planning, asset allocation, life insurance, education funding, cash/debt management, and accumulation planning.

Although it is compatible with other WealthStation financial planning modules, WealthStation CompAct is a single, standalone application that offers multiple capabilities.

5) Axioma Announces Risk Management Platform

Axioma has entered the multi-asset class risk space with the introduction of Axioma Risk, a next-generation risk-management platform for risk officers, portfolio managers, asset owners and consultants. It delivers risk reporting, risk analysis and decision support for multi-asset class portfolios.

Fully customizable, it supports decisions from a full spectrum of users—from portfolio managers to consultants—so that they can tailor risk reporting and analysis to their specific needs. Users may choose single or multi-step simulations, historical (empirical) simulations, Monte Carlo simulations or linear parametric models.

Multiple built-in options enable users to fine tune analyses and results, and to create stress tests to measure the impact of potential events. Front-office analytics utilize a leading pricing library, and the platform is fully integrated with market data for a turnkey solution for handling exchange-traded and illiquid securities.

6) Aquila Reorganizes Funds, Refreshes Site

The Aquila Group of Funds has reorganized five of its seven municipal bond funds into a series of Aquila Municipal Trust to enable greater efficiency and flexibility in operations and simplify compliance monitoring. While the investment objectives, principal investment strategies and investment management teams of each fund remain unchanged, the names now carry the Aquila brand and are as follows: Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Arizona (AZTFX); Aquila Tax-Free Fund of Colorado; Aquila Churchill Tax-Free Fund of Kentucky; Aquila Narragansett Tax-Free Income Fund; and Aquila Tax-Free Fund for Utah.

In addition, the Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Oregon (ORTFX) has also been rebranded, but is not part of the series; also, the Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund and Aquila Three Peaks High Income Fund are now series of Aquila Funds Trust. While the funds now operate under a new structure, their respective investment objectives, strategies and investment management teams remain unchanged.

Investor communication tools, including the Aquila Group of Funds website along with corporate and fund-related print communication, have been updated as well. The website offers layout and navigation improvements, gives greater visibility to the latest fund information and provides a platform for future communication enhancements.

7) ProTracker Software Announces ProTracker Cloud

ProTracker Software has announced the introduction of ProTracker Cloud, a completely Web-based service, not simply a desktop application in the cloud. Powered by SugarCRM, an open-source database, and enhanced with insights from Mackensen and hundreds of other financial planning practitioners who’ve tested ProTracker products over the years, ProTracker Cloud will reside on Amazon Web Services. The Web-based solution will allow financial advisors to manage their practice and client records from any Internet-connected device.

ProTracker Cloud has a built-in “teams” function, which enables independent broker/dealers and their Offices of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJs), as well as independent RIAs, to monitor and manage workflows and client communications. Silos of information can be contained and viewed only by those with set permissions.

Three subscription levels, standard, professional and enterprise, allow different users in a given firm access to functionality appropriate for handling the specific tasks for which they’re responsible, whether purely administrative, managerial or regulatory. Pricing starts at $59 per month, per user, or $708 per year. Subscriptions are month to month, with no minimum period required and no minimum number of users. Conversion services will be available for an additional fee.

Read the Oct. 18 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.

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