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Top Portfolio Products: Vanguard to Launch Ultra-Short Term Bond Fund

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New products and changes introduced over the last week include an ultra-short-term bond fund from Vanguard; a variable annuity from the Principal; and enhancements to Lincoln Financial Group’s life insurance products.

Also, Abacus Group announced the Abacus Cloud Panel and National Aten Coin announced an anti-moneylaundering-compliant digital currency.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) Vanguard Files for Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund

Vanguard has announced that it has filed to launch the Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund. The actively managed fund is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2015. It will invest in high-quality bonds, including a combination of money market, government, and investment-grade corporate securities with an expected average rating of Aa and duration of approximately one year.

Principals and senior portfolio managers Gregory Nassour and David Van Ommeren will co-manage the fund, which will offer investor shares, with an estimated expense ratio of 0.20%, that will require a minimum initial investment of $3,000, and admiral shares, with an estimated expense ratio of 0.12%, that will require a minimum initial investment of $50,000.

2) The Principal Adds Variable Annuity

The Principal has announced the Principal Pivot Series Variable Annuity, which offers flexibility of investments, tax deferral, death benefit protection and the opportunity to transfer from accumulation to income.

Principal Pivot Series, which offers three different investment approaches—a personalized strategy, a guided strategy and an asset allocation strategy—also provides an option for clients to transfer portions of their account value over time to establish a guaranteed income stream available at a future date, for no additional cost.

3) Lincoln Financial Group Announces Insurance Enhancements

Lincoln Financial Group has announced enhancements to its life insurance portfolio of products, with updates to its term and survivorship indexed universal life (SIUL) offerings.

The Lincoln LifeEnhance accelerated benefits rider (ABR) is available with Lincoln WealthPreserve SIUL policies, which insure two individuals in a single policy, and addresses the need for life insurance protection, but also the impact a permanent chronic or terminal illness may have on insureds’ financial well-being. The ABR provides access to tax-advantaged funds through acceleration of the policy death benefit when both insureds, or the surviving insured, develops a qualifying permanent chronic or terminal illness.

In addition, for the Lincoln LifeElements level term 2014, beginning in year 4, death benefit decreases are allowed, subject to a minimum requirement, and premiums are adjusted accordingly.

4) Abacus Group Launches Abacus Cloud Panel

Abacus Group has announced the launch of its Abacus Cloud Panel, a Web-based portal that enhances the visibility and management of AbacusFLEX Mail for chief executive officers (CEOs) and chief technology officers (CTOs). The solution delivers on-demand reporting and increased transparency, minimizing infrastructure costs and enhancing control of deployment.

Abacus Cloud Panel is a hosted exchange control panel that allows business owners the freedom to provision resources directly from the Web. It gives business owners the flexibility to create their own mailboxes, distribution groups and public folders as well as to manage individual permissions, change e-mail addresses and assign a corporate disclaimer for the organization all from their enterprise cloud.

5) National Aten Coin Announces AML-Compliant Digital Currency

National Aten Coin has developed a next-generation digital currency that is 100% anti-moneylaundering compliant.

BGC International, Inc., an Aten Coin promotions company, plans investments in many different companies, with all profits related to investments paid back using Aten coins.

Read the November 21 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.


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