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Top Portfolio Products: Retirement Education Program From Commonwealth Financial

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New products introduced over the last week include a new education program from Commonwealth Financial; new fixed income derived analytics from Thomson Reuters and BlackRock; and an absolute return hedge fund ETF from IndexIQ.

In addition, the Phoenix Companies updated its CommandMark single-premium fixed indexed annuity series; MainStay offered a new fund; and DDJ Capital Management was named a subadvisor to the Principal Global Diversified Income Fund.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) Commonwealth Financial Network Debuts Education Program

Commonwealth Financial Network recently introduced RetireReady, a customizable, turnkey participant education program designed to help independent advisors deliver differentiating value to retirement plan sponsor clients.

RetireReady is the latest addition to a suite of marketing programs that includes presentations, articles, worksheets, and more on topics in the retirement plan arena. Solutions are grouped into three areas. Encourage Enrollment outlines the basics of a workplace retirement plan to inspire employees to get started or participate more. Educate About Saving & Investing covers ways to find extra dollars to put toward retirement savings; also discusses dollar-cost averaging and asset allocation. Prepare Participants for Retiring gets preretirees thinking about creating a retirement income plan.

2) Thomson Reuters, BlackRock Launch New Fixed Income Derived Analytics

Thomson Reuters and BlackRock Inc., recently announced an agreement to create and distribute a set of fixed income derived analytics from BlackRock Solutions, to be made available to institutional clients via Thomson Reuters DataScope Select and Thomson Reuters DataScope Onsite.

The new analytics are designed to help institutional asset managers, hedge funds, banks, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, corporate treasuries and family offices better validate and manage their fixed income portfolios to mitigate portfolio risk. They are based on Thomson Reuters security indicative data and prices and leverage BlackRock Solutions’ proprietary fixed-income models. Sourced using Thomson Reuters DataScope data and pricing, these analytics are created via BlackRock Solutions analytics infrastructure.

3) IndexIQ Launches QmnAs, Absolute Return Hedge Fund ETF

IndexIQ announced recently that it has launched the IQ Hedge Market Neutral Tracker ETF (QMN). QMN is designed to offer investors liquid, transparent market-neutral hedge fund exposure.

QMN will seek to track, before fees and expenses, the performance characteristics of the IQ Hedge Market Neutral Index (IQHGMN). The IQ Market Neutral Index (IQHGMN) has live performance dating from September2008.

4) The Phoenix Companies Updates Annuity Series

The Phoenix Companies, Inc. recently announced enhancements to its CommandMark single-premium fixed indexed annuity series, which now offers riders, for an additional fee, that can provide consumers with guaranteed lifetime income, the possibility of increasing that income if there is a chronic care need (not available in all states), and an enhanced death benefit.

The latest enhancements are offered exclusively through the company’s partnership with Legacy Marketing Group. They are the Income Command Rider 2.0 Enhanced, which offers a guaranteed lifetime income stream in states where it is available, and can also provide an enhanced income stream equal to double the standard guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB) for up to five years in the event the annuity holder becomes confined to a nursing facility, and the optional Heritage Rider, which must be purchased in combination with the Income Command Rider 2.0 Enhanced, and may offer a death benefit in excess of the annuity value.

5) MainStay Investments Introduces MainStayMarketfield Fund

MainStay Investments, a New York Life company, announced Tuesday that it has finalized the adoption of the MainStayMarketfield Fund (I shares, MFLDX; A shares, MFADX). The fund, formerly known as Marketfield Fund (MFLDX), was originally launched in 2007 and managed by New York-based Marketfield Asset Management LLC.

MainStay Investments now serves as the fund’s investment manager. Marketfield, as subadvisor, led by Michael Aronstein, president and portfolio manager, and Michael Shaoul, chairman and CEO, continues to be responsible for the fund’s day-to-day portfolio management.

6) DDJ Capital Hired as Subadvisor to Principal Global Diversified Income Fund

Principal Funds has appointed DDJ Capital Management, LLC a subadvisor to the Principal Global Diversified Income Fund (PGBAX), effective the beginning of October.

Read the Oct. 8 Portfolio Products Roundup at