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Top Portfolio Products: New Socially Responsible Funds From TIAA-CREF

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New products and changes introduced over the last week include two socially responsible investment funds from TIAA-CREF; plans for global environmental, social and governance scores from Morningstar; a real estate ETF from Guggenheim; a global equity income fund and credit monitoring service from USAA; and plans for two new funds from Grandeur Peak.

In addition, Direxion announced reversed share splits for six ETFs, Reality Shares Advisors launched a market strength indicator; Advisor Software launched its “robo-advisor in a box”; and Charles Schwab launched “Markets in a Minute,”

Here’s more on those and other developments of interest to advisors:

1) TIAA-CREF Adds Responsible Investment Funds

TIAA-CREF introduced the TIAA-CREF Social Choice International Equity Fund and TIAA-CREF Social Choice Low Carbon Equity Fund, funds which incorporate ESG criteria in their security selection process. Both funds seek long-term capital appreciation.

The TIAA-CREF Social Choice International Equity Fund invests in companies in developed markets outside of the U.S. that are best-in-class ESG leaders within their respective sectors. It uses the MSCI EAFE Index as its benchmark.

The TIAA-CREF Social Choice Low Carbon Equity Fund is a diversified domestic equity fund that combines comprehensive ESG criteria with an additional focus on companies’ current and future carbon emissions. It will benchmark investments against the Russell 3000 Index

2) Morningstar to Launch Global ESG Scores

Morningstar, Inc. announced plans to launch environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores for global mutual and exchange-traded funds later this year.

The scores will be based on ESG company ratings from Sustainalytics, a provider of ESG and corporate governance ratings and research. Swiss private banking group Julius Baer will be the first Morningstar client to license the ESG scores for its fund research team.

3) Guggenheim Investments Adds Real Estate ETF

Guggenheim Investments launched the Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight Real Estate ETF (EWRE), which tracks a newly created S&P 500 index that gives equal weight to all constituents classified in the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) Real Estate Industry Group. The index emphasizes exchange-traded equity REITs and real estate management and development companies, and excludes mortgage REITs.

4) USAA Launches Fund, Adds Credit Check Service

USAA Investments has announced the launch of the USAA Global Equity Income Fund (UGEIX), designed to provide a high level of dividend income, dividend growth, long-term capital growth and international equity exposure. It is managed in house by USAA’s existing team of equity portfolio managers, and is offered in both retail and institutional share classes.

In addition, USAA is now providing a free CreditCheck service to all members to help monitor their credit (90% of USAA investors are members). Members do not need to have a credit card or any other bank product with USAA to opt-in for this free service, which includes daily credit monitoring alerts; a monthly VantageScore and annual credit report from Experian; and access to educational resources, such as a score modeling tool that helps members see how much their credit score can change as they pay down credit or add new credit.

USAA membership is open to U.S. military service members, veterans who have received a discharge type of honorable, and their eligible family members. Some products are offered to individuals with no military affiliation.

5) Grandeur Peak to Add Two Funds

Grandeur Peak announced it will launch two funds on September 1: the Grandeur Peak Global Stalwarts Fund (GGSOX/GGSYX) and the Grandeur Peak International Stalwarts Fund (GISOX/GISYX).

GGSOX will be global and include U.S. holdings, while GISOX will be focused on markets outside the U.S.

6) Direxion Announces Reverse Share Splits on Six ETFs

Direxion Investments announced it will execute reverse share splits for six of its leveraged ETFs, effective at the market open on September 10. The funds are the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares (NUGT), Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bull 3X Shares (GASL), Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares (JNUG), Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bear 3X Shares (JDST), Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (FAZ) and the Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3X Shares (TZA).

Direxion says the total market value of the shares outstanding will not be affected as a result of these splits. Fractional shares, which cannot be traded, will be redeemed for cash at the Fund’s split-adjusted net asset value (NAV) as of the record date.

7) Reality Shares Advisors Launches Market Strength Indicator

Reality Shares Advisors, LLC introduced the Guardian Indicator, a proprietary market strength indicator designed to identify long-term directional changes in the S&P 500. 

The Guardian Indicator’s forecasting algorithm uses momentum and volatility gauges to signal long-term market downturns and alert investors to decrease market exposure in order to limit the impact on their portfolios.

8) Advisor Software Upgrades Wealth Management Cloud Platform

Advisor Software, Inc. upgraded its wealth management cloud platform that it terms “a robo-advisor in a box.”

The upgrades include portfolio analysis and administrative features that provide developers with the means to build new digital advice applications rapidly and cost effectively.

9) Schwab Adds “Markets in a Minute”

Charles Schwab Investment Management has announced a new initiative called “Markets in a Minute.”

The semimonthly initiative includes the latest on-the-record market thoughts from Omar Aguilar, chief investment officer of equities, and Brett Wander, CIO of fixed income.

10) AssetMark Adds Three Strategies

AssetMark, Inc. has added three strategies to assist its advisors in accommodating client investment needs.

The first is a socially responsible/faith-based strategy and the other two are income-focused strategies from Aris Corporation of America: the Aris Income Builder and the Aris Asset Builder.

11) SEI Adds CIT through Fiera

SEI has retained a wholly owned U.S. investment advisor subsidiary of Fiera Capital Corp. as a subadvisor for its newly created international equity collective investment trust (CIT) implemented through the SEI Trust Company.

The CIT was initially funded with a mandate of approximately $540 million from a 401(k) plan sponsor that has more than $20 billion in assets. The SEI Trust Company will serve as trustee and provide fiduciary management along with accounting and administration functions.

12) Zeigler Wealth Management Adds FolioDynamix

Zeigler Wealth Management has added the FolioDynamix wealth management platform as a turnkey asset management platform (TAMP).

The FolioDynamix platform will replace legacy technology, while FDx Advisors, the registered investment advisor affiliate of FolioDynamix, will provide investment research, overlay management and outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) services.

– Check out last week’s Top Portfolio Products


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