New products and innovations introduced over the last week include a new low-cost global minimum volatility fund from Vanguard; a new ETF style classification system from S&P Capital IQ; two new ETFs from Guggenheim Investments in its BulletShares suite; and a new risk-managed allocation fund from American Independence.
In addition, FNEX introduced FNEX.com, a new online marketplace for alternative investments; GBI and ByAllAccounts announced a collaboration to provide precious metals holdings data; OppenheimerFunds announced the launch of its new edistribution advisor portal; and Invesco PowerShares announced name changes for its four DWA Technical Leaders ETFs.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) Vanguard Introduces New Low-Cost Global Minimum Volatility Fund
Vanguard says that it has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the Vanguard Global Minimum Volatility Fund. Expected to be available in Q4 2013, the fund will offer two low-cost share classes, investor shares and admiral shares. Investor shares will have an estimated expense ratio of 0.30% and require a minimum initial investment of $3,000. Admiral shares will have an estimated expense ratio of 0.20% and require a minimum initial investment of $50,000.
The new actively managed equity fund will seek to provide long-term capital appreciation with lower volatility relative to the global equity market. The fund is expected to invest approximately half of its assets in stocks of U.S. companies and approximately half in stocks of foreign companies. To mitigate currency risk and lower the volatility of the overall fund, a significant portion of the fund’s exposure to foreign currencies will be hedged to the U.S. dollar through the use of forward currency contracts. It will be managed by Vanguard’s equity investment group.
2) S&P Capital IQ Introduces New ETF Style Classification System
S&P Capital IQ announced that it has introduced ETF Style Classifications, a new system that classifies ETFs and ETNs with over 40 standardized descriptive characteristics to reveal the true exposure being provided by over 2,500 North American ETFs and ETNs.
The first classification level defines asset class, such as equity, fixed income, commodity, currency, real estate and multi-asset. The next three levels further refine that asset class into very specific market segment exposures. For example, commodities would be refined to metals, precious metals and gold. In addition, the system captures and provides multiple other dimensions and characteristics, such as geographic emphasis, tax efficiency, expense ratio, long/short exposure, leverage ratio, sector emphasis, investing style and target risk.
The ETF classifications will be integrated into S&P Capital IQ’s Xpressfeed and will be available for use with all Xpressfeed’s information, including premium fundamentals, Compustat fundamentals, S&P credit ratings, earnings estimates; other classifications such as GICS; private company industry classifications; and regional classification schemas like ANZSIC.
3) Guggenheim Investments Adds New ETFs to BulletShares Suite
Guggenheim Investments, the investment management division of Guggenheim Partners, announced Tuesday the launch of two new BulletShares ETFs: Guggenheim BulletShares 2019 High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (BSJJ) and Guggenheim BulletShares 2020 High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (BSJK).
BSJJ and BSJK join the BulletShares lineup, consisting of 18 defined-maturity corporate bond and high-yield corporate bond ETFs. BulletShares are designed to mature in their target year to provide investors with specific maturities to ladder portfolios or to manage fixed income exposure within specific investment time frames.
4) American Independence Launches Risk-Managed Allocation Fund
American Independence Financial Services, LLC announced Tuesday the launch of the American Independence Risk-Managed Allocation Fund (AARMX, ACRMX, RMAIX), an actively managed, ETF-based global asset allocation strategy. The subadvisor for is J.A. Forlines, LLC. The fund will be marketed to financial intermediaries throughout the U.S.