Top Portfolio Products: Invesco Rolling Out Buyback Portfolio

Neuberger Berman offers unconstrained bond fund, as Pioneer introduces liquid alternative funds

New products introduced over the last week include the International BuyBack Achievers Portfolio from Invesco; an unconstrained bond fund from Neuberger Berman; a suite of liquid alternative investments from Pioneer Investments; a collective investment trust from American Century; and two synthetic convertible security funds from Direxion.

In addition, Altegris launched a real estate long/short fund; New York Life announced a single-premium UL policy; the Phoenix Cos. announced an annuity offering a guaranteed lifetime income benefit; REISA and Blue Vault announced a strategic partnership to provide nontraded REIT return information; and NASDAQ OMX launched two indexes in the NASDAQ IBIS index family.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) Invesco PowerShares Launches International BuyBack Achievers Portfolio

Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC has announced the planned launch of the Invesco International BuyBack Achievers Portfolio (IPKW) on THurs. IPKW, which is based on the NASDAQ International BuyBack AchieversIndex, includes common stocks of foreign companies classified as International BuyBack Achievers in accordance with the proprietary selection methodology of the NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

BuyBack Achievers are companies that have effected a net reduction of 5% or more of their outstanding shares in the past 12 months, and have met additional criteria.

2) Neuberger Berman Announces Unconstrained Bond Fund

Neuberger Berman Group LLC has announced the launch of the Neuberger Berman Unconstrained Bond Fund (NUBAX, NUBCX, NUBIXNRUBX), which seeks to maximize total returns over the long term.

The fund is an absolute return-oriented global strategy, unconstrained by the benchmark U.S. T-bill index, that seeks to take advantage of market mispricing. The full global credit and securitized spectrum will be utilized and the fund will have complete duration flexibility with the ability to have positive, negative or zero duration. The fund’s managers include Andy Johnson, Neuberger Berman’s head of global investment grade fixed income; Jon Jonsson, a London-based senior portfolio manager; and managing directors Thanos Bardas, David Brown, Ugo Lancioni, and Thomas Marthaler.

3) Pioneer Investments Announces Suite of Liquid Alternative Investments

Pioneer Investments has announced a suite of liquid alternative investments, three U.S. mutual funds and two non-U.S. funds available internationally. The products provide daily liquidity and transparency of portfolio holdings.

The new U.S.funds are the Pioneer Absolute Return Bond Fund (ARBYX); the Pioneer Long/Short Global Bond Fund (LSGAX); and the Pioneer Long/Short Opportunistic Credit Fund (LRCAX).

4) American Century Launches Collective Investment Trust

American Century Investments has announced the launch of a collective investment trust that incorporates its One Choice Target Date Portfolios. Also known as commingled or collective funds, CITs are tax-exempt pooled investment vehicles designed exclusively for qualified plans, including 401(k) plans, as well as for certain types of government plans. CITs are subject to banking regulations, rather than the Investment Company Act of 1940, which regulates mutual funds.

A One Choice Target Date Portfolio's target date is the approximate year when investors plan to retire. Each One Choice Target Date Portfolio seeks the highest total return consistent with its asset mix. Over time, the asset mix and weightings are adjusted to be more conservative. In general, as the target year approaches, the portfolio's allocation becomes more conservative by decreasing the allocation to stocks and increasing the allocation to bonds and money market instruments.

5) Direxion Adds Synthetic Convertible Security Strategies

Direxion announced that it has launched the Direxion Indexed Synthetic Convertible Strategy Fund (DXCBX) and Direxion Indexed Synthetic Convertible Strategy Bear Fund (DXCVX).

DXCBX seeks to generate investment results, before fees and expenses, that replicate the performance of the QES Synthetic Convertible Index. DXCVX attempts to obtain investment results mirroring the inverse of the performance of the same index, before fees and expenses.

6) Altegris Launches Real Estate Long/Short Fund

Altegris has announced the launch of the Altegris/AACA Real Estate Long Short Fund (RAAAX). The fund seeks to deliver higher risk-adjusted returns than traditional long-only real estate strategies, while also potentially providing an inflation hedge and a durable stream of income.

RAAAX’s subadvisoer, American Assets Investment Management, LLC, uses a long/short real estate strategy focused on investing in equity securities of REITs and real estate companies in sectors where tenants are not inclined to move. These situations manifest themselves when sectors have few participants, tenants have high demand drivers for their businesses, high entry barriers exist for new owners and developers and tenants have high barriers to exit.

7) New York Life Announces Asset Preserver Single-Premium UL Policy

New York Life has announced a new single-premium universal life insurance policy, Asset Preserver, that accelerates the death benefit, income tax free, to help pay for long-term care expenses if the need arises. Any remaining death benefit passes to beneficiaries and is usually income tax-free. Also included in the product is a money-back guarantee feature that allows the policyholder to maintain liquidity.

The new product offers an optional extension of benefits rider that increases the pool of long-term care dollars and provides coverage for 24 additional months.

8) Phoenix Companies Offer Annuity with Optional Lifetime Income Rider

The Phoenix Companies have announced the launch of Phoenix Personal Retirement Choice, a single-premium fixed indexed annuity with an optional guaranteed lifetime income benefit rider, available for an additional fee.

Phoenix Personal Retirement Choice is designed to address retirement risks with a variety of features and options for accumulation, protection and income. It is primarily an accumulation annuity that provides an upfront premium bonus that vests over time. The bonus is eligible to earn interest credits, thereby increasing growth potential. The premium bonus available ranges from 8% to 15%, which varies by state and depends on whether an income rider is elected.

9) REISA and Blue Vault Partnership Provides Nontraded REIT Return Information

REISA has announced a strategic partnership with Blue Vault Partners to share results of the company’s 2013 Nontraded REIT Full-Cycle Performance Study, which assessed the performance of nontraded REITs that have provided shareholders with full liquidity.

The study examines the 27 full-cycle events that have measurable results and occurred within the nontraded REIT industry between April of 1997 and October 10, 2013, 10 of which went full cycle between April 1, 2012 and October 30, 2013. Full-cycle events in the nontraded REIT industry occur when a REIT completes a listing of its common stock on a public exchange, is acquired by or merges with another entity, or liquidates its real estate portfolio.

10) NASDAQ OMX Launches Two Indexes in the NASDAQ IBIS Index Family

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. has introduced two indexes on the Global Index Data Service 2.0. They are the NASDAQ IBIS Focused Growth Index (NQIBIS) and the NASDAQ IBIS Focused Growth Total Return Index (NQIBIST).

NQIBIS utilizes IBIS Capital’s quantitative tactical global rotation strategy, and will invest in ETFs covering large-capU.S.equities, small-capU.S.equities, developed market equities and emerging market equities.

Read the Feb. 14 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.

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