New products and changes introduced over the last week include an ETF from State Street focused on European small-cap equities and two mutual funds launched by Gemini Fund Services and KKM Financial; Forethought Life Insurance Company added a withdrawal benefit to its variable annuity platform.
Also, AssetMark has expanded portfolio construction capabilities for advisors and AALTCI is offering a package of long-term care insurance training videos.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) State Street Launches Eurozone ETF
State Street Global Advisors has announced the launch of the SPDR EURO STOXX Small Cap ETF (SMEZ), which seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the total return performance of the EURO STOXX Small Index.
The EURO STOXX Small Index consists of the Eurozone stocks included in the STOXX Europe Small 200 Index. The STOXX Europe Small 200 Index is a market-cap-weighted representation of the smallest eurozone stocks in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. The STOXX Europe 600 Index is a free-float market-capitalization-weighted index of European stocks.
The EURO STOXX Small Index is represented by 12 countries and includes 96 stocks. Each individual stock is capped at a maximum of 20% of the index weight. The index is reviewed quarterly.
Countries covered in the index have historically included, among others, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain.
2) Gemini, KKM Financial Team on Two Funds
Gemini Fund Services, LLC and KKM Financial have teamed to launch the KKM ARMOR Fund (RMRAX, RMRIX) and KKM U.S. Equity ARMOR Fund (UMRAX, UMRIX).
RMRAX seeks to obtain capital appreciation and preservation with negative correlation to the broader U.S. equity market.
The fund, designed as a portfolio hedging tool, attempts to achieve its goals by primarily investing in long and short VIX futures contracts, and long and short call and put options contracts trading on the S&P 500 Index and the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX).
UMRAX utilizes a total return strategy and also incorporates elements of the RMRAX tail-risk strategy.