New products and changes introduced over the last week include a bond ETF from State Street Global Advisors, a preferred stock ETF from Elkhorn and an expanded defined contribution retirement from J.P. Morgan
In addition, American Funds launched an interactive target-date fund evaluator; Fidelity launched a brokerage app; LaSalle St. Investment Advisors introduced an asset allocation platform; and Hartford Funds and Schroders formed a strategic relationship.
Here are the latest developments of interest to advisors:
1) State Street Global Advisors Adds ETF
State Street Global Advisors launched the SPDR Dorsey Wright Fixed Income Allocation ETF (DWFI), a fund of funds. DWFI tracks the performance of the Dorsey Wright Fixed Income Allocation Index, designed to target SPDR fixed-income ETFs that offer the greatest potential to outperform other SPDR fixed-income ETFs included in the index’s selection universe. DWFI’s net and gross expense ratio is 0.60%.
2) Elkhorn Launches Preferred ETF
Elkhorn Investments, LLC added the Elkhorn S&P High Quality Preferred ETF (EPRF), which tracks the S&P U.S. High Quality Preferred Stock Index, comprised of only fixed rate investment grade securities, overweights cumulative versus noncumulative preferreds. EPRF’s index yield is 5.75% and its expense ratio is 0.47%.
3) LaSalle St. Investment Advisors Introduces New Asset Allocation Platform
LaSalle St. Investment Advisors, LLC. (LSIA), an RIA outside of Chicago with over $8 billion in assets under management, announced a partnership with California-based Sortino Investment Analytics (SIA) to offer a new asset allocation platform through its Salt Creek Investors advisory network.
The platform will incorporate advancements in financial analysis, performance measures and quantitative methods developed over the past 60 years, including a more stringent and accurate methodology to analyze data and evaluate fund manager performance.
“It’s the only platform of its kind that looks at monthly, not quarterly results and factors in thousands of return scenarios over several years’ time,” said SIA President Jim Kaffen. The methodology will also identify the style blend of the manager and incorporate that into its evaluation.
Mark Contey, LaSalle St.’s Senior Vice President of Business Development, says the “client friendly platform” provides advisors “a solution to the new Department of Labor (DOL) rules that begin to take effect in early 2017.”
4) J.P. Morgan Asset Management Expands Retirement Offering
J.P. Morgan expanded its Retirement Link defined contribution plan offering for the micro market — small- and middle-market clients with assets from $1 million to over $50 million seeking a full suite of retirement services.
In addition to the micro-market offering, Retirement Link expanded its resources for plan sponsors and participants, including an enhanced enrollment experience and access to educational tools and resources.
5) American Funds Launches Target-Date Fund Evaluator
American Funds launched ProView, an interactive target-date fund evaluator that aligns with the Department of Labor’s 2013 guidance for retirement plan fiduciaries.
ProView is designed to help financial intermediaries compare and contrast different target-date funds through an unbiased evaluation. It is a quantitative Web-based tool powered by Morningstar data and focused on widely used factors for consideration, including glide path, returns, risk, expenses and manager and fund profiles. The interface is mobile-friendly and allows users to generate tailored, unbranded reports for client presentations.
6) Fidelity Launches Brokerage App
Fidelity Investments introduced a brokerage app for iPhone and Android that offers a customized feed delivering news and market information based on what a user owns, recently researched or chosen from a menu of nearly 30 investing topics or has on his or her watch list.
The app lets customers compare their portfolio performance to people with a similar investing style, using the Openfolio Social Benchmarks. Users can also create customized alerts on symbols from the quote screen.
7) Hartford Funds, Schroders Form Strategic Relationship
Hartford Funds and Schroders formed a strategic relationship to expand Hartford Funds’ investment platform. Hartford Funds will adopt 10 of Schroders’ existing U.S. mutual funds, with potential for the partnership to expand over time.
The funds, which will be subadvised by Schroders and renamed Hartford Schroders Funds, include equity, fixed-income and multi-asset investments which collectively had $2.2 billion in assets as of March 31. The fund adoptions are expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2016, following shareholder approval.