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Putnam Investments to Launch 3 Alternative Strategies: Portfolio Products

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Putnam Investments will be launching several mutual funds later this summer that bring to bear three different alternative strategies designed to provide financial advisors and their clients with an array of modern portfolio construction tools to help navigate changing market conditions.

The funds will be sub-advised by PanAgora Asset Management and are expected to be available in the marketplace in the third quarter of this year.      

The new funds will offer three important and distinct investment approaches. Putnam PanAgora Risk Parity Fund seeks total return under varying economic conditions through strategic allocation across asset classes; Putnam PanAgora Market Neutral Fund pursues uncorrelated alpha by investing in long/short equity strategies; and Putnam PanAgora Managed Futures Fund seeks absolute return through a managed futures strategy that is designed to provide meaningful diversification to traditional asset classes.

In discussing the underlying needs — and demand — driving the launch, Scott C. Sipple, head of global investment strategies at Putnam Investments, said in a statement, “Continuing volatility in the financial markets and a changing risk-benefit equation have driven financial advisors to think about portfolio construction in new and different ways, including utilizing components that help solve some of the more vexing challenges that investors face. These additions to the Putnam fund lineup will bring a new dimension and provide an opportunity for clients to advance a range of objectives.”    

Allianz Life Adds Two Index Variable Annuity Products

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America launched two new index variable annuity (IVA) products, Allianz Index Advantage ADV Variable Annuity and Allianz Index Advantage NF Variable Annuity.

The new IVA product lineup now positions Allianz Life to better capitalize on the growing demand for new index variable annuities and brings the well-received concept of upside potential with some protection to a broader market of consumers.

Allianz Index Advantage ADV is exclusively designed to fit within a fee-based portfolio, while Allianz Index Advantage NF, with no annual product fee on the index strategies, establishes another option for fee-sensitive clients.

Index Advantage ADV and Index Advantage NF both help clients reach long-term financial goals by offering the combination of variable options and three index options giving a balance between protection and performance potential. Both of these potential solutions also offer features including tax-deferred growth opportunities and a built-in death benefit.

Cambria ETF Trust Launches Cambria Core Equity ETF

The Cambria ETF Trust and its investment manager, Cambria Investment Management, LP, launched a new exchange-traded fund that actively manages a diversified portfolio of equities and options.

The Cambria Core Equity ETF (CCOR) is listed on the NYSE Arca exchange and utilizes a combination of several strategies to produce capital appreciation while reducing risk exposure across market conditions.

CCOR was developed to be a core holding for all types of investors because the strategy seeks to combine the long-term compounding benefits of stocks with the goal of improving risk management to minimize portfolio drawdowns.

Under normal market conditions, at least 80% of the value of the fund’s net assets will be invested in equity securities. CCOR’s underlying holdings include high-quality companies across all industries and sectors that have prospects for long-term total returns as a result of their ability to grow earnings and their willingness to increase dividends over time.

CCOR sells exchange traded index put and call options to reduce volatility and increase return. It also buys index put options, which can protect investors from a significant market decline that may occur over a short period of time. 

Plancorp Partners with Prumentum Group to Launch Hybrid-Robo Financial Planning Platform

Plancorp and Prumentum Group announced a strategic partnership to  launch a direct-to-consumer hybrid-robo financial planning platform. As part of this partnership, Prumentum acquired a significant equity stake in Plancorp.

The platform, which is a wholly owned Prumentum subsidiary called BrightPlan, evaluates a user’s entire financial picture to create a comprehensive and customized set of financial objectives. Together with Plancorp’s personalized financial guidance, this technology is aimed at inspiring clients to create and pursue their financial life goals while tracking progress every step of the way via the inclusive capabilities of a digital and interactive planning tool. 

BrightPlan’s hybrid-robo solution is centered on a goals-based financial planning approach. Users track their goals in conjunction with their assets in real time, creating a solution that is both comprehensive and actionable.

Clients have access to the digital platform as well as to an experienced “financial life advocate.”

BrightPlan will be launching later this year and is currently accepting requests for early access.

Lincoln Financial Group Launches Lincoln Max 6 SelectSM Advantage

Lincoln Financial Group launched Lincoln Max 6 Select Advantage, which offers investors a combination of 6% income base growth that stacks on prior account value lock-ins, and access to a diversified lineup of investment options with up to an 80% allocation to equities.

Max 6 Select is an optional living benefit rider available through Lincoln Financial variable annuities for an additional cost.

Lincoln Max 6 Select SM Advantage is the most recent addition to Lincoln’s portfolio of guaranteed lifetime income solutions, and features an initial income withdrawal rate of 6% at age 65 and 5.50% for joint life (based on the youngest life). If the account value goes to zero, the guaranteed lifetime income amount will be 3% of the Income Base.

AssetMark Collaborates with Parametric to Launch Custom Portfolios

AssetMark is expanding its high-net-worth capabilities with the launch of a new strategy from Parametric, a leading global asset management firm and affiliate of Eaton Vance.

The solution, “Parametric Custom Portfolios,” is new to AssetMark’s platform and employs a number of diversification, risk and tax-management features to deliver custom, passive investment-based portfolios for high-net-worth investors. Parametric will provide its tax-management expertise to the strategy, with Eaton Vance serving as the fixed-income subadvisor.

Parametric Custom Portfolios offers advanced diversification strategies that limit risk and provides key tax-management benefits, including tax-loss harvesting, capital-gains deferral, and tax-efficient transition strategies. The models offered through the AssetMark platform are well-suited for advisors who are using ETF models, but who are interested in achieving greater customization and tax efficiency.

—Read last week’s roundup here: Introducing Swell, a New Impact Investing Platform: Portfolio Products