New products and changes introduced over the past week an international small-cap fund from LMCG Investments, a strategic bond fund from Capital Group, two gold-hedged equity ETFs from Rex Shares, three inverse ETFs from Direxion and a robo-advisor from SigFig and Cambridge Savings Bank.
In addition, Lincoln Financial Group enhanced its retirement plan program for small business clients; IRA Services launched a retirement investment solution for the P2P industry; LendingRobot added a mobile app; and Lombard International expanded its U.S. presence.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) LMCG Investments Launches International Small-Cap Fund
LMCG Investments launched the LMCG International Small Cap Fund (ISMRX, ISMIX), which focuses on international small-cap stocks with attractive valuations that also have good growth prospects and high-quality earnings.
The fund was converted from a collective trust fund that was available only to institutional investors since its inception in August 2010. It’s managed by Gordon Johnson and co-manager Shannon Ericson.
2) Capital Group Adds Strategic Bond Fund
Capital Group added American Funds Strategic Bond Fund (SBF), which will be benchmarked against the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index.
SBF seeks to generate returns through multiple sources, including interest rate management and yield curve positioning. It has broad flexibility to invest in different credits but is not expected to have a heavy exposure to high-yield securities.
3) Rex Shares Adds Two Gold-Hedged Equity ETFs
Rex Shares introduced the REX Gold Hedged S&P 500 ETF (GHS) and REX Gold Hedged FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (GHE). Both funds allow investors to diversify their portfolios by accessing exposure to gold without reducing equity allocations. They are also designed to protect against the risk of a weakening U.S. dollar.
GHS is benchmarked against the S&P 500 Dynamic Gold Hedged Index and GHE is benchmarked against the FTSE Emerging Gold Overlay Index. Each fund provides exposure to its respective equity index allocation and additionally buys gold futures contracts to gain long gold exposure.
4) Direxion Adds Three Inverse ETFs
Direxion added three inverse ETFs designed for allow tactical managers to hedge against short-term market risk in certain sectors without the need to reconstruct a portfolio.
The Direxion Daily Energy Bear 1X Shares (ERYY) seeks 100% of the inverse performance of the Energy Select Sector Index on a daily basis before fees and expenses. The Direxion Daily Financial Bear 1X Shares (FAZZ) and Direxion Daily Technology Bear 1X Shares (TECZ) seek the same for the Financials Select Sector Index and Technology Select Sector Index, respectively.
5) SigFig, Cambridge Savings Bank Launch Robo-Advisor
Silicon Valley robo-advisor SigFig and Boston-area Cambridge Savings Bank launched Connect Invest, an automated investment service integrated and bundled directly into the retail bank’s product offerings.
Connect Invest allows customers to open, fund and manage an automated investment account, tailored to their financial goals, from their existing CSB online banking dashboard.
6) Lincoln Financial Group Enhances Retirement Plan Program
Lincoln Financial Group enhanced its Lincoln Director employer-sponsored retirement plan program for small business clients. Among the changes are an expanded nonproprietary investment universe, a range of qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) options and a changed pricing structure.
7) IRA Services Launches Retirement Investment Solution for the P2P Industry
IRA Services launched ISCP, a real-time, cloud-based, application program interface (API)-driven retirement investment solution for the peer-to-peer (P2P) industry. ISCP provides platform investors with the ability to fund their P2P and crowdfunding investments through their 401(k) and IRA accounts.
8) LendingRobot Adds Mobile App
Automated investment service LendingRobot introduced a mobile app built to track portfolio performance across peer lending marketplaces Lending Club, Prosper and Funding Circle. The user interface allows clients to track the health of a portfolio, monitor loan repayments and stay updated on a portfolio’s overall performance.
9) Lombard International Adds NYC Office
Luxembourg-based Lombard International expanded its presence in the U.S. with the addition of an office in New York City. The new office will be used by the firm’s sales team as it expands offerings of high-net-worth structuring solutions.