New products and changes introduced over the last week include a commodities ETF from BlackRock and a bond ETF from Vident. Also, Wolf Hedge launched a global fund and Allianz Life added a fixed indexed annuity.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) BlackRock Launches Commodities ETF
BlackRock has launched the iShares Commodities Select Strategy ETF (COMT), which is designed to provide cost-effective access to a diversified mix of commodities through futures and commodity-related companies.
COMT is intended to be an all-in-one commodity solution by providing comprehensive commodity exposure in a more efficient way through both futures and equities, removing a tax barrier that may have kept investors away from commodities and utilizing a roll methodology that seeks to improve returns. The fund manager uses a roll methodology designed to minimize the negative return impact of contango, which describes a term structure of the futures curve where the future price is above the expected future spot price. Additionally, the ETF structure of COMT alleviates the need for investors to file a K-1 at tax time.
2) Vident Adds Bond ETF
The rules-based strategy index is designed to try to diversify some of the risks (credit, inflation, counterparty and star-manager) associated with fixed-income strategies through the use of economic and investment principles. The fund aims to improve corporate bond exposure by including companies Vident believes to have stronger leadership, governance and creditworthiness characteristics.
3) Wolf Hedge Launches Global Fund
Wolf Hedge has launched the Wolf Hedge Global LP, with registration filed in Delaware and the Cayman Islands. It is managed by Mark Malik, Wolf Hedge CEO.
The fund has a long-short global macro trading strategy and, while it will mostly invest in U.S. and international equities, will also invest in ETFs, currencies, bonds and insurance products. The management company will charge a 2% management fee and a 20% performance standard fee annually. The fund is open to accredited investors for subscriptions of $1 million.
4) Allianz Life Adds Fixed Indexed Annuity
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has launched the Essential Income 7 annuity, available on the Wells Fargo enhanced index annuity platform. Designed for Wells Fargo, this fixed index annuity (FIA) and its Essential Income Benefit rider, embedded in the product for an additional cost, provide customers retirement accumulation options and lifetime retirement income with the potential for increases.
Essential Income 7 and the Essential Income Benefit allow customers to control taxes by giving them options for distribution. The FIA can also help cover expenses by providing opportunities for increased lifetime income.
Read the Oct. 12 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.