New products and changes introduced over the last week include a global long/short equity fund from Hartford Funds; a mortgage-backed securities index fund from FlexShares; and a master limited partnership fund from Invesco.
Also, Fidelity & Guaranty life added an annuity product; Pentegra introduced a brochure recommending retirement plan design strategies; and iTB launched an upgraded trading interface.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) Hartford Funds Launches Global Long/Short Equity Fund
Subadvised by Wellington Management, the fund invests primarily in global small capitalization equity and equity-related securities to seek long-term capital appreciation while employing hedging and diversification strategies designed to provide lower volatility than the global equity markets.
2) Invesco Launches MLP Fund
Invesco has announced the launch of the Invesco MLP Fund, an open-end, actively managed alternative fund that utilizes a top-down and bottom-up investment process in an effort to identify better quality master limited partnerships (MLPs) trading at attractive relative values.
The fund seeks to provide capital appreciation and, secondarily, income.
“We’ve seen a meaningful uptick in U.S. crude oil and natural gas production as a result of well-known technological advances in the extraction of these hydrocarbons,” said Joe Rodriguez, lead portfolio manager, in a press release.
“Given this new energy boom, significant infrastructure investments are needed to support the movement and refinement of oil and gas from its extraction piont to the end user,” Rodriguez explained. “As a result, the number of available MLP investments has grown significantly, doubling in just seven years.”
3) FlexShares Launches Disciplined Duration MBS Index ETF
FlexShares has announced the launch of the Disciplined Duration MBS Index Fund (MBSD), a fixed income portfolio consisting of investment-grade U.S. agency mortgage-backed pass-through securities (MBS) issued by U.S. government agencies: the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA or Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC or Freddie Mac) or the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae). MBSD targets an average effective duration of 3.75 years, with an admissible range between 3.25 and 4.25 years.
The underlying index is the BofA Merrill Lynch Constrained Duration US Mortgage Backed Securities Index (M375), an alternatively weighted index composed of 15-year, 20-year and 30-year fixed rate residential agency mortgage pools sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (the index provider).
The index provider determines the composition and relative weightings of the securities in the underlying index in accordance with a published methodology and the index is reconstituted on a monthly basis.
4) Fidelity & Guaranty Life Launches Annuity
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Fidelity & Guaranty Life, has announced the launch of Income and WealthBuilder, its latest annuity product.
The product offers both a 7-year and 10-year surrender schedule option for maximum flexibility and is designed to offer both accumulation and income benefits. It offers an optional guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit rider that allows the owner to receive the larger of premiums paid in the first contract year accumulating based on a 7.2% compounding rollup rate or the initial premium plus an 18% income base bonus credited to the client’s income benefit value.
5) Pentegra Retirement Services Offers Strategic Brochure
Pentegra Retirement Services has introduced the Pentegra SmartPath, a brochure that details retirement plan design best practices as a means of ensuring successful retirement outcomes for 401(k) plan participants and sponsors.
The Pentegra brochure advocates automatic plan features as a means of driving more successful outcomes.
6) iTB Launches Trading Interface
iTB Holdings Inc. has announced the launch of an upgraded interface for iTBconnect, a platform that connects market participants to electronic fixed income trading venues. The new interface displays users’ bids/offers and inventory to electronic fixed income trading venues to improve fill rates, optimize execution prices and maximize distribution, with virtually no fixed costs.
The interface allows institutional fixed income traders to post bids/offers to the fixed income marketplace while simultaneously monitoring various market data feeds. It also enables clients to post hundreds or even thousands of bid/offer interests with a single click. It also replicates the workflows within the client’s spreadsheets.
Read the August 28 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.