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Lincoln Financial, AIG Launch Fee-Based Annuities: Top Portfolio Products

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Lincoln Financial Group introduced new fee-based variable and fixed indexed annuities to its suite of lifetime income solutions.

Designed to help advisors solve for their clients’ retirement income needs, these products provide savers with a known source of income through a competitive cost option with a broad selection of investment choices, and no surrender charges.

The new solutions are now available within Lincoln’s variable annuity portfolio and include American Legacy Advisory, Lincoln ChoicePlus Advisory and Lincoln Investor Advantage Advisory.

Lincoln also added fee-based versions of Lincoln Covered Choice 5 and 7 to its fixed indexed annuity portfolio. Covered Choice Advisory is the new fixed-indexed product, available in a five-year option and a seven-year option. This product is not available in the RIA channel, and was designed for Lincoln’s other channels, including independent, bank and wire/regional.

According to John Kennedy, senior vice president and head of Retirement Solutions Distribution for Lincoln Financial Distributors, these solutions provide advisors with more fee-based options.

“Until now, there have been limited choices for fee-based guaranteed income products. Our expanded portfolio is built to match the way advisors do business and how they construct portfolios for their clients,” Kennedy said in a statement.

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) also recently introduced a variable annuity option for fee-only advisors.

The Polaris Advisory Income Variable Annuity – issued by AIG member insurance company American General Life Insurance Company – offers two income protection features which allow investors to capture potential investment gains either daily or annually to their income base.

Because the Polaris Advisory Income Variable Annuity has been designed exclusively for advisory platforms, it features lower cost investment options without 12b-1 fees.

At this time, Polaris Advisory Income Variable Annuity is available in all states except Hawaii, Missouri and New York.

First Trust Launches Fixed Income ETF

First Trust Advisors L.P. launched a new actively managed exchange traded fund that is designed to give investors exposure primarily to investment grade bonds.

The First Trust TCW Opportunistic Fixed Income ETF (FIXD) seeks to maximize long-term total return using a value driven approach. The fund is a multisector portfolio that provides exposure to core and satellite fixed income assets.

Under normal market conditions, the fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its net assets (including investment borrowings) in fixed income securities of any credit quality and may invest up to 35% of its net assets in securities rated below investment grade.

The fund is sub-advised and managed by TCW Investment Management Company LLC.

Tortoise Launches Water ETF

Tortoise Index Solutions launched the Tortoise Water Fund (TBLU), which is an ETF designed to track the total return of the Tortoise Water Index.

The Tortoise Water Index is comprised of companies that are substantially engaged in the water infrastructure and water management industries. The index also incorporates fundamental weighting factors that recognize and adjust for the fragmented nature of the water space.

TBLU, which is the second ETF offering from Tortoise Index Solutions, will employ a passive approach to provide exposure to water infrastructure, management and treatment companies that appear poised to benefit from the expected and much needed investment to rebuild existing infrastructure, construct new infrastructure and better manage and enhance the sustainability of this vital, but finite resource.

IndexIQ Introduces First High Yield Low Volatility Bond ETF

IndexIQ launched the IQ S&P High Yield Low Volatility Bond ETF (HYLV), which is designed to generate income from high-yield bonds while reducing the volatility typically associated with the asset class.

HYLV tracks the S&P U.S. High Yield Low Volatility Corporate Bond Index, which follows a rules-based, transparent approach to high yield bond investing. The index is designed to capture the performance of U.S. high yield corporate bonds with the potential for lower relative volatility and greater liquidity.

HYLV is subadvised by MacKay Shields, a $95 billion fixed income boutique wholly owned by New York Life Investment Management (NYLIM).

Mesirow Financial Launches Robo-Advice Product SMART Portfolios

Mesirow Financial’s Retirement Planning and Advisory team launched a new robo product that will provide retirement investment management through a low-cost, online tool.

Called Mesirow SMART Portfolios, the online tool will provide access to professional, institutional quality portfolio management through a secure and low-cost investment product.

With a minimum investment threshold of $5,000, SMART Portfolios leverage the efficiency of ETFs with the power of technology to provide personalized portfolio management with low fees (3 basis points or 0.03% per month) and no commissions.

The platform also uses active input and oversight of Mesirow Financial’s Retirement Planning and Advisory Investment Committee, which consists of senior professionals from across the firm.

Solactive launches new U.S. Founder-Run Companies Index

Solactive launched the Solactive U.S. Founder-Run Companies Index, which will serve as the underlying index for the Global X Founder-Run Companies ETF (BOSS).

The index follows the price movements of U.S. companies in which the founder also serves as the Chief Executive Officer.

This launch follows the successful release of the Solactive Global Founder-Run Companies Index in 2015 and extends the possibility of investing in the same investment theme with U.S.-specific focus.

Research has shown that public founder-run companies can be associated with more sustained periods of profitable growth compared to their non-founder-run peers.

— Read last week’s roundup here: Gabelli Launches Food of All Nations Fund: Top Portfolio Products