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Introducing Swell, a New Impact Investing Platform: Portfolio Products

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A new impact investing platform, Swell, has officially launched.

With a minimum investment of $500, Swell provides consumers the opportunity to invest in six portfolios focused on a positive future: Green Technology, Renewable Energy, Zero Waste, Clean Water, Healthy Living and Disease Eradication.

Swell identifies high-impact, high-potential companies that are working toward innovative solutions to these challenges through in-depth research typically not available to everyday investors. Swell designed its purpose-driven profit model and intuitive user experience based on the insight that consumers want to invest consciously but aren’t willing to sacrifice returns.

“At Swell, we believe performance is about more than just profit,” says CEO Dave Fanger, in a statement. “Swell is on a mission to ensure that every person can have an impact while also investing in their financial future. We’re proud to offer people a way to invest in progress, beginning today.”

When building the portfolios, the impact analysis team first applies Swell’s proprietary Engaged Impact Criteria, which screen for impact in a number of ways including a company’s MSCI ESG rating and its alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Swell also requires that each company derives revenue from its associated impact theme, an indicator that it is actively contributing to progress.

Then, Swell’s portfolio management team looks at the company’s fundamentals to determine what percentage, if any, will be included in its portfolios to optimize the risk-return profile. Only when a company meets all of these criteria will it be considered for a Swell portfolio.

Swell is a venture startup incubated by Pacific Life, a company with nearly 150 years of experience in financial services. In 2015, Swell tapped global design firm IDEO to serve as creative partner and help evolve the company. In 2016, Swell hired Carbon Five as its software development partner.

IndexIQ Launches The IQ Chaikin U.S. Small Cap ETF

IndexIQ adds to its factor-based ETF offerings with a U.S.-listed strategic beta ETF built on the strength of the “Chaikin Power Gauge.”

The IQ Chaikin U.S. Small Cap ETF (NASDAQ: CSML) is the first domestic equity-focused addition to IndexIQ’s family of factor-based investment solutions.

CSML is designed to track the price and yield performance of the NASDAQ Chaikin Power U.S. Small Cap Index, which leverages the Chaikin Power Gauge (CPG), a proprietary 20-factor quantitative stock rating model, in the security selection process. The index is composed of highly rated stocks derived using the CPG, and has the potential to outperform market-weighted products and active strategies.

Baird Selects CAIS as Enterprise Alternative Investment Platform for Advisors 

Baird announced its selection of CAIS as the enterprise alternative investment platform for its financial advisors. Baird has more than 3,400 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients, and has more than $170 billion in client assets under management.

CAIS is an open-architecture alternative investment product platform offering wealth management professionals a complete end-to-end solution comprising fund access, independent research and due diligence, execution and ongoing support.

CAIS has a diversified menu of hedge funds, private equity funds, credit/distressed strategies and real estate funds which are all available at lower investment minimums.

Upon selecting a fund, the investment experience is streamlined through the use of existing investor profiles as well as an automated subscription process and integrated custodial reporting. All funds are required to undergo independent due diligence by Mercer, and summary reports and ratings are made available on the platform to all advisor members.

CAIS’s fintech platform also enables leading wealth management firms to directly integrate their enterprise portals with the CAIS platform, allowing their advisors to access CAIS as easily as their employee benefits information.

ImpactAdvisor Expands Algorithmic Social Impact Investment Offering for Mainstream Investors

ImpactAdvisor announced that factor tilt and smart beta investment strategies have been added to its wealth management advisory offering that includes socially selective options and tax efficiency.

ImpactAdvisor is a registered investment advisor that offers a full range of wealth management services for mainstream investors from institutional-grade full-service advisory to robo-advisor automated investing.

ImpactAdvisor strategizes investments for clients across the following dimensions: socially selective, in which one’s core values can be inputs for the portfolio that seeks best-of-breed companies while building a responsibly diversified portfolio; tax optimized or “tax alpha” seeking, which includes gain and loss harvesting tailored to individual tax profile; factor tilt and smart beta, in which customized risk-return profiles are available, such as price to book (valuation), return on equity (quality), etc., or for seeking “minimum volatility.” 

Addepar Acquires AltX to Double Down on High-Growth Alternatives Market

Addepar announced its acquisition of AltX, an intelligence platform for the alternative investments market.

The acquisition deepens Addepar’s capabilities in alternative investments — which comprise $120 billion of the more than $600 billion of assets on Addepar’s platform.

AltX’s machine learning technology enriches the data that describes alternative investments, and incorporates related reference data, public filings and news. Using advanced data science techniques and proprietary algorithms, the technology identifies and normalizes both structured and unstructured data that correspond to each alternative investment, and uses the smart matching engine to associate it with a rich content database.

This database consists of performance, holdings and key reference data for more than 17,000 funds.

Addepar and its clients will benefit from AltX’s proprietary technology and differentiated data almost immediately. In addition, AltX’s engineering and data science teams will join the company full time, and its executive team will oversee the AltX business and client transition.

WisdomTree Launches Barclays Yield Enhanced U.S. Short-Term Aggregate Bond Fund

WisdomTree announced the launch of the WisdomTree Barclays Yield Enhanced U.S. Short-Term Aggregate Bond Fund (SHAG) on the BATS Exchange.

SHAG seeks to enhance yield by sourcing and reweighting subcomponents within the short end of the U.S. Aggregate fixed income universe while maintaining similar risk characteristics. The fund has a net expense ratio of 0.12%.

SHAG focuses on ways to reduce interest rate risk while at the same time boosting yield. Using a disciplined, rules-based approach, SHAG overweights credit securities and underweights low-yielding treasuries.

“In a market environment where every basis point counts, overweighting treasuries might not be your first stop on the road to income,” said Kevin Flanagan, senior fixed income strategist at WisdomTree. “SHAG may serve as a powerful tool for investors seeking to navigate a potential rising rate environment.”

—Read last week’s portfolio roundup here: Hartford Funds Launches Low Volatility Multifactor ETFs: Portfolio Products