New products introduced over the last week include six new funds from Putnam Investments, new retirement share classes for seven of Neuberger Berman’s funds, and an Islamic index series from Russell.
In addition, AdvisorShares launched a new ETF; Shelton Capital launched the Shelton Green Alpha Fund; and TD Ameritrade began offering mini-options to advisors.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) Putnam Investments Launches 6 Products
Putnam Investments is launching six new products designed to address several marketplace challenges, including volatility, the need for new sources of income and adjusting to a changing tax environment.
The new products are the Putnam Low Volatility Equity Fund (PLVEX), which seeks returns comparable to the U.S. equity market with lower volatility; the Putnam Strategic Volatility Equity Fund (PSVEX), which pursues better returns than stocks, but with volatility comparable to that of the market; the Putnam Global Dividend Fund (PGDEX), which seeks income and growth through a diversified portfolio of dividend-paying and value stocks from markets worldwide; the Putnam Emerging Markets Income Fund (PEMWX), which pursues high current income and capital appreciation through diverse return opportunities across the emerging market debt landscape; the Putnam Short-Term Municipal Income Fund (PSMEX), a national portfolio of short-term bonds seeking tax-free income with lower interest-rate sensitivity; and the Putnam Intermediate-Term Municipal Income Fund (PIMEX), a portfolio of intermediate-term municipal bonds seeking high current income exempt from federal income tax.
2) Neuberger Berman Introduces New Retirement Share Class for 7 Mutual Funds
Neuberger Berman Group has introduced retirement share classes (R6 shares) for seven of its mutual funds. The new shares offer a lower-cost option to retirement plan advisors and their plan sponsor clients and will initially be available for the following funds: NB Emerging Markets Equity (NEMRX); NB Genesis Fund (NRGSX); NB High Income Bond Fund (NHIRX); NB Mid Cap Growth Fund (NRMGX); NB Real Estate Fund (NRREX); NB Socially Responsive Fund (NRSRX); and NB Strategic Income Fund (NSTLX).
The new shares will be offered at net asset value (NAV) without front-end sales charges, contingent deferred sales charges (CDSC), or 12b-1 fees and became available for purchase on March 15. 3) Russell Introduces Russell-IdealRatings Islamic Index Series
Russell Indexes and IdealRatings introduced the Russell-IdealRatings Islamic Index Series, a newly enhanced index series for Shariah-compliant investors. These new indexes benefit Shariah multiasset investors by combining the Russell Global Indexes with the Shariah oversight of IdealRatings. IdealRatings applies its experience in Shariah-compliant investing to the Russell-IdealRatings Islamic Index to ensure the exclusion of noncompliant businesses according to Shariah law. IdealRatings’ oversight includes specific sector- and financial-based filters. It also includes monitoring and approval by a board of Islamic scholars.
The new Islamic Index Series is based on the Russell family of global indexes; it is fully modular and covers approximately 3,100 securities in 48 countries. The broadest market segments offered for the indexes include global, developed, Middle East and North Africa, developed ex-U.S., emerging markets, Europe, Asia-Pacific ex-Japan, Asia Pacific and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
4) AdvisorShares Launches Newfleet Multi-Sector Income ETF
AdvisorShares announced that the Newfleet Multi-Sector Income ETF (MINC) opened for trading on March 20. MINC is subadvised by Newfleet Asset Management, an affiliated manager of Virtus Investment Partners, Inc.
MINC’s investment objective seeks to provide current income consistent with preservation of capital, while limiting fluctuations in NAV due to changes in interest rates. Newfleet’s portfolio management team utilizes a three-step process that focuses on sector analysis and allocation, security selection and portfolio construction. Utilizing an opportunistic approach to active management by overweighting and underweighting 14 different bond sectors, the portfolio manager aims to build a diversified and tactical portfolio that seeks to fulfill its investment objective. 5) Shelton Capital Introduces the Green Alpha Fund
Shelton Capital Management has introduced the Shelton Green Alpha Fund (NEXTX) in response to the growing conviction that investing in companies responding to the challenges presented by a warming, increasingly populous, carbon-and-resource-constrained world makes sense.
The fund is subadvised by Boulder, Colo.-based Green Alpha Advisors, founded in 2007 by Garvin Jabusch and Jeremy Deems. Green Alpha seeks to identify and invest in publicly traded companies leading the way to the Next Economy; a company, for example, that has identified one or more of the daunting environmental problems facing civilization and has put their business in the path of addressing that problem. The fund will be available directly through Shelton Capital Management and at most major brokerage firms such as TD Ameritrade, Fidelity and Charles Schwab.
6) TD Ameritrade Institutional Offers Mini-Options to Advisors
TD Ameritrade Institutional is offering independent RIAs the ability to trade mini-options—standardized put and call options with delivery terms of 10 shares instead of the standard 100—on certain higher-priced securities, such as Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) and Amazon (AMZN). More than half of advisors who custody assets at TD Ameritrade Institutional hold a position in one of the five securities that will offer mini-options.
Exchanges launched the trading of mini-options on March 18. TD Ameritrade Institutional will host a free mini-options webcast for independent RIAs on April 4. For more information or to attend the webcast, please call 866-547-8431.
Read the March 15 Portfolio Products Roundup on AdvisorOne.