New products introduced over the last week include an equities fund from DoubleLine, two new funds from Aberdeen Asset Management and a new fund from Brown Brothers Harriman.
In addition, Natixis launched a new fund; Sammons launched a new IRA; and Vanguard proposed merging two funds, reported lower expense ratios for another fund and published a paper on investing.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) DoubleLine Launches First Equities Mutual Fund
The DoubleLine Equities Small Cap Growth Fund (I shares, DBESX; N shares, DLESX), the first open-end domestic stock mutual fund managed by newly formed DoubleLine Equity, opened to investors Monday. The new fund seeks long-term capital appreciation. The fund’s assets will be invested principally in equity securities of small-cap U.S. companies or foreign companies whose shares trade on a U.S. exchange or are otherwise actively traded in the U.S., including in the form of American depository receipts (ADRs) and American depository shares (ADSs). The fund may invest in some securities that may trade principally or only outside the U.S.
In conjunction with the launch, DoubleLine Capital and DoubleLine Equity are holding a webcast/conference call at 4:15 PM Eastern/1:15 PM Pacific on April 1. Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO and chief investment officer of DoubleLine, will discuss his views on the equity markets and macro environment. A presentation on the fund strategy will be given by DoubleLine Equity partners Husam Nazer, portfolio manager of the fund, and Brendt Stallings, portfolio manager of other equity strategies at the firm.
2) Aberdeen Launches Latin American and European Equity Funds
ALEAX will be managed by the emerging-markets equity team, led by Devan Kaloo, head of global emerging-markets equities. The team will seek to achieve long-term capital appreciation by investing in equity securities of Latin American companies.
AEAUX will be managed by the pan-European equity team based in London, led by Jeremy Whitley, head of U.K. and European equities. The team seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation by investing in equity securities of European companies.
3) Brown Brothers Harriman Announces Launch of BBH Global Core Select Fund
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (BBH) announced that it has launched the BBH Global Core Select Fund (BBGNX, BBGRX), a no-load mutual fund. The fund will be co-managed by Regina Lombardi and Tim Hartch, two members of the BBH core select investment team. The fund is the successor to the BBH private investment partnership, BBH Global Funds—Global Core Select, which launched on April 2, 2012.
The fund’s strategy is to invest in established, cash-generative businesses that are leading providers of essential products and services with strong management teams and loyal customers, and are priced at a discount to estimated intrinsic value. It will generally hold 30 to 40 companies with market capitalizations greater than $3 billion and which are headquartered in either developed countries, including the U.S., or developing countries with well-established and liquid capital markets. At least 40% of the portfolio’s net assets will typically be invested in non-U.S. stocks. 4) Natixis Global Asset Management Launches Aurora Horizons Fund
Natixis Global Asset Management (NGAM) announced the launch of the Aurora Horizons Fund (AHFAX). The fund may help investors achieve additional risk diversification within a traditional long-only portfolio of stocks and bonds by providing diversified exposure to alternative strategies. The fund is managed by Aurora Investment Management.
AHFAX is a multistrategy, multimanager fund that provides diversification by dynamically allocating across subadvisors that execute alternative strategies, including long/short equity, long/short credit, event-driven, short-biased and macro. It is managed by Aurora’s team of investment professionals including Roxanne Martino, CEO and portfolio manager; Scott Schweighauser, president and portfolio manager; Justin Sheperd, CIO and portfolio manager; and Anne Marie Morley, managing director of operational due diligence.
5) Sammons Retirement Solutions Launches LiveWellPlus Mutual Fund IRA
Sammons Retirement Solutions has launched the LiveWellPlus Mutual Fund IRA, available exclusively through independent financial advisers. The new IRA is designed to enable advisers to jumpstart long-term retirement planning strategies and enhance IRA values. For rollovers and contributions, an account bonus equal to 3% of the net amount of the rollover or contribution will be added to the account. LiveWell Plus also aims to promote long-term retirement asset growth through access to more than 100 mutual funds from 19 fund families, ranging from PIMCO and BlackRock to boutique managers.
A minimum rollover/contribution of $50,000 is required, and contributions are allowed for six months after opening. The program is available for traditional, Roth, inherited and SEP IRAs, as well as rollovers or transfers from qualified plans such as 401(k), 403(b) or government 457 plans. The offering has no front-end loads, no fees for reallocations or rebalancing, and charges one recordkeeping fee plus fund expenses. For amounts over $100,000, the recordkeeping fee is 0.85% for the first six years, dropping to 0.40% in the seventh year. An early withdrawal charge may apply to amounts withdrawn in the first six years.
6) Vanguard Proposes Fund Merger; Reports Expense Ratios; Publishes Paper
Vanguard is proposing to merge the $950 million Vanguard Florida Tax-Free Fund (VFLTX) into the $8.2 billion Vanguard Long-Term Tax-Exempt Fund (VWLTX). The proposed reorganization is in response to the elimination of Florida’s tax on intangible property. As a result, Florida residents no longer receive additional state tax benefits from investing solely in Florida municipal bonds.
The proposed reorganization offers VFLTX shareholders an opportunity to merge into a larger, more diversified fund that seeks to provide current income that is exempt from federal income taxes. In addition, VWLTX features the same low 0.20% expense ratio. The reorganization, which is tax free, requires approval by VFLTX shareholders and will be submitted for their consideration at a meeting to be held in July.
The Vanguard Wellington Fund (I shares, VWELX; A shares, VWENX) is reporting lower expense ratios in its recently filed prospectus. VWELX and VWENX shares are reporting expense ratios of 0.25% and 0.17%, respectively, for the 2012 fiscal year, a two-basis-point decline from FY 2011 figures.
The fund invests approximately 65% of its assets in stocks and the remaining 35% in investment-grade corporate bonds, with some holdings in U.S. Treasury, government agency, and mortgage-backed securities. Wellington Management Co. has served as the fund’s advisor since its inception in 1929. In addition, several Vanguard municipal bond and municipal money market funds also reported modest expense ratio reductions.
Vanguard has published a new paper, “Principles for Investing Success,” that details its core investing principles: 1) create clear goals; 2) develop a suitable asset allocation; 3) minimize costs; and 4) maintain perspective and long-term discipline. The paper sets forth the rationale and data underlying these principles, and shows how investors can put them into practice and give themselves the best chance for investing success.
Read the March 22 Portfolio Products Roundup at AdvisorOne.