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Top Portfolio Products: A High Dividend ETF and Climate Change Index

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New products and changes introduced over the last week include a SPDR ETF from State Street Global Advisors; a portfolio focused on companies with female chief executive officers from EQIS Capital Management; an index of climate change leaders from Etho Capital; and an international momentum trust from SmartTrust.

Also, Merk Investments’ physical gold ETF is being rebranded; Lincoln Financial Group added a living benefit rider for its variable annuities; the Principal added a guaranteed income option for plan participants; CUNA Mutual Group added online tools; and FiServ partnered with InvestEdge on reporting capabilities.

Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:

1. State Street Global Advisors Adds SPDR ETF

State Street Global Advisors launched the SPDR S&P 500 High Dividend ETF (SPYD), which seeks to track the performance of the S&P 500 High Dividend Index.

SPYD provides access to a portfolio of the 80 highest dividend-paying stocks in the S&P 500 Index and is designed for investors seeking both equity income and the potential for capital appreciation.

2. Etho Capital Launches Climate Change Leaders Index

Etho Capital introduced the Etho Climate Leadership Index (ECLI), a diversified, low-cost index completely divested of fossil fuels and focused on climate efficiency in other industries. Etho Capital will launch an ETF based on stocks in the ECLI later in 2015.

Companies included in the ECLI have to meet standards of fossil-free and socially responsible investing. The ECLI combines quantitative data, socially responsible investing expertise and broad sector diversification while using strategies that select the best equities for the future of the planet and portfolios.

3. EQIS Capital Management Introduces Women CEO Portfolio

EQIS Capital Management added a Women CEO Focus portfolio, consisting of Fortune 1000 companies whose CEO is a woman.

The portfolio, managed by Dr. Kenneth Kim, chief financial strategist, and Dr. William Nelson, chief investment officer, was created after extensive research uncovered that these firms tend to outperform their benchmarks. Holdings include IBM (IBM), Pepsico (PEP) and Lockheed Martin (LMT).

4. Merk Gold Trust ETF Gets Wider Distribution Through Van Eck

Van Eck Global has begun to act as marketing agent for the Van Eck Merk Gold Trust (OUNZ), previously known as the Merk Gold Trust, the money manager and Merk Investments, headed by Axel Merk, announced Monday.

OUNZ gives investors the option to take physical delivery of gold.

The rebranded fund will retain its ticker symbol and its expense ratio of 0.40%.

5. SmartTrust Adds International Momentum Trust

Hennion & Walsh launched the International Momentum Trust, an expansion of its SmartTrust Unit Investment Trust portfolios developed in partnership with Dorsey Wright.

The trust seeks to provide equities investors with international exposure along with the possibility for capital appreciation.

6. Lincoln Financial Adds VA Living Benefit Rider

Lincoln Financial Group added an optional living benefit rider to its VAs that offers guaranteed lifetime income.

The Market Select Advantage living benefit rider provides a guaranteed 5% lifetime income stream if purchasers are 65 years old and wait at least five years from the purchase date to start receiving income.

7. The Principal Includes Guaranteed Lifetime Income Option

The Principal Financial Group added Principal Pension Builder, an option in a defined contribution plan that allows a deferred-income annuity to be purchased while participating in the plan.

Plan participants can direct a portion of their retirement plan contributions into a deferred income annuity. They can transfer part of their retirement plan account balance to purchase guaranteed income, or direct a portion of their plan contributions toward purchasing guaranteed income.

8. CUNA Mutual Group Adds Online Tools

CUNA Mutual Group launched two online tools that are designed to help users figure out how much life insurance they can afford and to apply for whole life insurance online.

The budget-first calculator shows users how much term or whole life coverage they can afford by helping them find premiums that fit their budgets, while TruStage FastApply guides them through the application process for a whole life policy.

9. FiServ, InvestEdge Partner on Reporting Capabilities

FiServ announced that it is partnering with InvestEdge to provide access to a range of data management and customized reporting solutions to advisory firms and investors that run managed account portfolios on FiServ’s unified wealth platform.

The platform will integrate InvestEdge capabilities to enable a real-time display of client account data on the platform, customized reports and access to an intuitive investor portal.

Read the October 19 Portfolio Products Roundup at ThinkAdvisor.