Aspiration Drops Minimum Investment in ESG Fund to $100: Portfolio Products

In other product news, Brinker Capital launched "Destinations Funds," which allow the firm to lower costs and account minimums

Aspiration, the online financial firm focused on the intersection between making money and making a difference, is lowering the minimum investment for its groundbreaking Aspiration Redwood Fund (REDWX) from $500 to $100. 

Over the past fifteen months, REDWX has been the highest performing sustainable large-cap fund in America, according to Bloomberg and the U.S. Sustainable Investment Forum. And it has ranked in the top 1% of funds in the Morningstar large blend category since the beginning of the year. Now this industry-leading fund offers the lowest minimum investment and fee among similar ESG funds along based on Aspiration’s revolutionary Pay What Is Fair fee structure used for investment, IRA and checking account products.

When investing in REDWX, individuals are provided with an opportunity to choose the fee they wish to pay Aspiration and the fund’s management, with the option of paying 0%. Over 85% of Aspiration customers choose to pay a fee of their choice.

The fund caps operating expenses paid to third parties at 0.5% and Aspiration donates 10% of all revenue from its financial products to micro-loans designed to help struggling Americans transform their own lives.

REDWX, launched in November of 2015, mirrors the Sustainable Standards Board (SASB) materiality map, a rubric that details intersections between ESG issues and eight different sectors including healthcare, transportation and technology. Subadvised by UBS Asset Management and available exclusively at Aspiration.com, the fund uses the SASB rubric to identify companies whose value will appreciate over time in relation to their competitors. 

“There has been huge growth in the amount of capital flows to sustainable investment, almost all from high net worth individuals and institutional investors. We are expanding access to the Aspiration Redwood Fund to democratize sustainable investment so that everyday investors are not on the sidelines,” Andrei Cherny, CEO of Aspiration, said in a statement.

Brinker Capital Launches Destinations Funds

Brinker Capital launched of the Destinations Funds, a series of 10 multi-manager mutual funds, which will allow the firm to lower costs and account minimums.

The funds now serve as the building blocks of the Destinations fee-based mutual fund advisory portfolios, which launched in 1995 and currently have $9.3 billion in assets under management (as of March 31).

With the funds being part of the Destinations advisory portfolios, Brinker Capital is able to provide a cost-effective solution to investors and a level fee structure that aligns with the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. With this change, Brinker Capital reduced existing qualified investors’ overall costs by an average of 21%, and lowered the account minimum of the Destinations portfolios to $10,000, making an institutional multi-asset class investment experience more widely available to individual investors.

The 10 institutional class Funds which make up the Destinations multi-asset class portfolios are as follows: Destinations Large Cap Equity Fund, Destinations Small-Mid Cap Equity Fund, Destinations Equity Income Fund, Destinations International Equity Fund, Destinations Core Fixed Income Fund, Destinations Low Duration Fixed Income Fund, Destinations Global Fixed Income Opportunities Fund, Destinations Municipal Fixed Income Fund, Destinations Real Assets Fund, and Destinations Multi Strategy Alternatives Fund.

The Funds are available on the Fidelity and Pershing institutional no transaction-fee mutual fund platforms.

Thornburg Investment Management Adds R6 Shares on Four Funds

Thornburg Investment Management, Inc. is adding R6 share classes to four of its funds – Thornburg Global Opportunities Fund (THOGX), Investment Income Builder Fund (TIBOX), Limited Term Income Fund (THRLX), and Strategic Income Fund (TSRSX) – effective April 10.

R6 shares are currently offered on Thornburg International Value Fund (TGIRX), International Growth Fund (THGIX) and Developing World Fund (TDWRX).

The new shares will be sold through defined contribution and defined benefit pension plans and address the growing demand from plan sponsors, retirement plan platforms, and advisors for share classes that provide a lower cost option and greater fee transparency.

R6 shares are offered at net asset value with no sales charges, 12(b)-1 fees, or any shareholder servicing fees. They are designed to make it easier for plan sponsors to comply with new Department of Labor fee disclosure regulations by separating mutual fund expenses from record-keeping and other service-provider fees, helping plan fiduciaries determine if plan services fees are fair and reasonable.

Investa Announces Second Certified Green Property Bond

Investa Commercial Property Fund, managed by Investa Office Management, announced a further Green Bond issuance certified by Climate Bonds Initiative.

The bonds are rated “A-” by Standard & Poor’s and the proceeds will be used to retire existing debt facilities and will be fully allocated against a portfolio of low carbon buildings in ICPF's portfolio.

Issuance of the certified green bond is consistent with the November 2016 commitment by Investa of a Net Zero Carbon Emissions target by 2040.

New York Life Announces New Lineup of Group Benefit Products

New York Life launched a new lineup of group benefit products specifically designed for small businesses with two or more employees. The enhanced offering includes group term life insurance, and short-term and long-term disability insurance options. 

New York Life’s group and voluntary products offer flexible options at a cost that fits both the strategy and budget of small businesses; a variety of voluntary and employer-paid funding options; and an option that allows first-time buyers to pay low minimum premiums.

Arrow Funds Adds Active Fixed Income ETF

Arrow Funds launched the Arrow Reserve Capital Management ETF (ARCM) on the Bats Global Markets Exchange.

ARCM, which is sub-advised by Halyard Asset Management, is a diversified, ultra-short term maturity fixed income portfolio that seeks capital preservation with maximum income. The fund invests in a variety of fixed income securities that offer acceptable yield and return potential for a given level of credit risk and maturity. ARCM’s exposure has an average duration of 18 months, which may vary based on the sub-advisor’s interest rate forecast.

---Read last week’s roundup here: Trust Company of America Launches ETF Trading Platform: Portfolio Products

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