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Top Portfolio Products: New Muni Bond Fund From Vanguard, Market Neutral Stock Fund From Hatteras

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New products and changes introduced over the last week include a bond index fund from Vanguard; an additional Hatteras fund and increased availability of an existing fund; and enhancements to an Allianz Life variable annuity.

Also, Envestnet added a CLS Investments strategy to its network and Guardian Retirement Solutions expanded its investment option lineup.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1) Vanguard Adds Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund

Vanguard launched of the Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund (VTEB, VTEBX, VTEAX), which will offer three low-cost share classes, including exchange-traded fund (ETF) shares.

The fund’s target benchmark is the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index. It seeks to offer diversified exposure to the national municipal bond market, representing bonds with an effective duration between five and eight years. It will be managed by Adam Ferguson.

2) Hatteras Funds Adds Fund, Increases Availability

Hatteras Funds introduced its Market Neutral Fund (HMNAX), designed to diversify stock portfolios by seeking to generate absolute returns independent of the market environment. HMNAX employs a multimanager approach using three hedge fund managers with long-term experience executing market neutral strategies.

In addition, Hatteras opened up access to its Alternative Multi-Manager Fund (HHSIX), which had been available to only some institutional clients since 2011. HHSIX will continue to be co-managed by portfolio managers Michael Hennen and R. Ty Powers.

3) Allianz Life Enhances Variable Annuity

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America enhanced its Allianz Index Advantage Variable Annuity by adding the Index Guard Strategy and the EURO STOXX 50 Index allocation option for new contracts.

The Index Guard strategy maintains a potential for investment gains but provides a floor on losses due to negative index performance. The EURO STOXX 50 index strategy allows clients to allocate funds using the EURO STOXX 50, a blue-chip representation of supersector leaders in Eurozone countries.

4) Envestnet Adds CLS Strategy to Network

Envestnet, Inc. added CLS Investments’ Core Plus ETF strategy to its recently launched Envestment Retirement Solutions (ERS) Fund Strategist network. The CLS strategy utilizes risk budgeting, relative strength and asset class risk analysis to build and diversify portfolios that are typically invested in 8-20 ETFs, with larger positions in core asset class ETFs and smaller positions in ETFs focused on specific sectors, countries and alternative assets.

ERS provides monitoring and fiduciary oversight of a roster of investment strategists who manage assets in the defined contribution marketplace and utilize risk-based or target-date portfolios of mutual funds and/or ETFs. Firms include institutional-grade strategists, as well as strategic and dynamic investment managers.

5) Guardian Retirement Solutions Expands Investment Options

The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc. (GIAC) added 15 new investment options to its Guardian Choice and Guardian Advantage lineup of retirement products. The additions include offerings from fund families new to Guardian, such as Pioneer and Virtus, and from existing fund families including T. Rowe Price, BlackRock and Wells Fargo. Health and technology sector funds from Janus were also added.

In addition, the Guardian’s QDIA managed account service provided by Stadion Money Management LLC added the Stadion Maximum Growth Portfolio The portfolio is designed to give younger, less risk-averse investors the potential to capture more market gains while still being defensively managed to provide downside protection in severe down markets.

 — Read the August 21 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.