New products and changes introduced over the last week include a suite of factor-based ETFs from Fidelity, a defensive fund from CBOE Vest Financial and leveraged ETFs from Direxion.
In addition, Morningstar expanded its analysts ratings system; Impact Labs introduced software to help design socially responsible portfolios; Pacific Life launched a new annuity; and Lincoln Financial added enhancements to its variable annuities.
Here’s more about those and other recent developments of interest to advisors:
1) Fidelity Launches Factor-Based ETFs
Fidelity Investments launched a suite of six factor-based ETFs: Fidelity Core Dividend ETF (FDVV), Fidelity Dividend ETF for Rising Rates (FDRR), Fidelity Low Volatility Factor ETF (FDLO), Fidelity Momentum Factor ETF (FDMO), Fidelity Quality Factor ETF (FQAL) and Fidelity Value Factor ETF (FVAL).
(Related on ThinkAdvisor: Fidelity Launches Suite of Factor-Based ETFs)
The total expense ratio for each is 0.29%, and individual investors and advisors will be able to purchase them commission-free online through one of Fidelity’s brokerage platforms.
2) CBOE Vest Adds Buffer Fund
CBOE Vest Financial launched the CBOE Vest S&P 500 Buffer Protect Strategy Fund (BUIGX), which tracks the CBOE S&P 500 Buffer Protect Index Balanced Series (SPRO).
The buffer-protection strategy seeks to shield investors from the first 10% of a decline in their investment, in exchange for giving up some upside. The fund’s net expense ratio is 1.26%.
3) Direxion Adds Leveraged Commodity-Based ETFs
Direxion added leveraged ETFs focused on silver mining stocks. The Direxion Daily Silver Miners Index Bull 2X Shares (SHNY) seeks to achieve 200% of the daily performance of the Solactive Global Silver Miners Index. The Direxion Daily Silver Miners Index Bear 2X Shares (DULL) seeks 200% of the inverse of the daily performance of the Solactive Global Silver Miners Index.
Each ETF’s net expense ratio is 0.80%.
4) Morningstar Enhances Ratings
Morningstar is applying its forward-looking analyst rating to ETFs globally. It will also combine ETFs and open-ended funds in the same peer group when calculating its quantitative, backward-looking Morningstar Rating for funds. Both enhancements are intended to allow investors easier comparisons across fund types.
(Related on ThinkAdvisor: Morningstar to Launch Analyst Ratings for ETFs)
“Investors increasingly see open-end funds and ETFs as interchangeable options when choosing investments,” said Ben Johnson, Morningstar’s director of global ETF research, in a statement. “By combining them into the same peer group, investors can more easily compare investments regardless of the product structure.”
Morningstar will assign analyst ratings to approximately 300 ETFs later this year and will continue to add ratings for ETFs over time.
5) Impact Labs Adds SRI Portfolio Generation Software
Impact Labs launched an algorithmic portfolio generation and customization tool that it says builds a properly diversified investment portfolio while optimizing for social value and maximizing after-tax performance.