Barclays Global Investors announced that its iShares S&P California Municipal Bond and New York Municipal Bond funds, each a subset of the S&P National Municipal Bond Index, began trading on the American Stock Exchange. Barclays said the funds, the first state municipal bond ETFs available to U.S. investors, track liquid, institutional-quality municipal bond indexes; each has an annual expense ratio of 0.25%.
…Morningstar released new Stewardship Grades for more than 1,000 mutual funds. Morningstar’s analysis of stewardship, which the firm began in 2004, is designed to help investors research, identify, and compare fund managers and fund companies that do a good–or poor–job of aligning their interests with those of fund shareholders. The new grades, along with detailed analyst reports on the individual components of the scores, are available to premium members of Morningstar.com. Of the 1,000 funds graded under the new methodology, only two received perfect scores: Clipper Fund and Selected Funds’ Selected American Shares, class D. The individual fund scores are available at www.morningstar.com/goto/AllStewardshipGrades.
…Rydex Investments launched the firm’s ETF Essentials, an educational initiative to help bridge the gap between ETF proliferation and investor awareness about ETFs delivered via the Web, printed materials, and podcasts.
…AllianceBernstein Investments launched a new program, Great Conversations, to help plan sponsors and their advisors conduct targeted 401(k) plan evaluations. With the program, financial advisors can walk plan sponsors through five critical tracks for plan evaluation, while AllianceBernstein provides consulting support and customized materials for the advisor to use with the plan sponsor.