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FinaMetrica Offers XYPN Members Risk Tolerance Toolkit: Portfolio Products

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FinaMetrica announced a deal to offer its risk tolerance toolkit to XY Planning Network’s member community of nearly 500 financial planners.

XYPN members can access the toolkit at a substantially subsidized price of $50 per month, which equates to a 40% discount off the advisor retail rate.

(Related: XY Planning Network Launches Digital Platform for Its Advisors)

“As the leading organization for fee-only financial planners who want to serve their Gen X and Gen Y peers providing comprehensive financial planning services for a monthly subscription fee, we think it’s especially important to put effective risk tolerance and profiling tools in the hands of our members,” said Michael Kitces, co-founder of XYPN, in a statement. “Many of our member advisors will be working with clients who have little experience with markets and investing, and as a result it’s crucial to have a robust risk profiling process in place to understand how they may react to the inevitability of a future bear market.”

Paul Resnik, director of FinaMetrica, said that this partnership shows how important risk profiling has become.

“Recognition of the important role risk profiling plays in the advice process is sparking a major shift in the US financial advice market,” Resnik said in a statement. “We are seeing a growing consensus across the sector about the value of defensible risk profiling. Importantly, we are pleased to see decisive action from the principals of a leading planning network to encourage the use of tools that build trusting and enduring relationships between advisors and their clients.”

According to Alan Moore, another XYPN co-founder,the network chose FinaMetrica because it concluded that FinaMetrica’s risk profiling questionnaire is “the best and most empirically validated tool” for the job of assessing a client’s risk tolerance.

 “We strive to put the right tools in the hands of our network members to help them provide the very best financial planning services to their clients,” Moore said in a statement. “We … are thrilled to be partnering to offer FinaMetrica’s tools to XYPN advisors at a substantially reduced cost.”

Franklin Templeton Debuts Two New Municipal Bond ETFs

Franklin Templeton Investments added two new actively managed municipal bond exchange-traded funds to its Franklin LibertyShares lineup—Franklin Liberty Intermediate Municipal Opportunities ETF (FLMI) and Franklin Liberty Municipal Bond ETF (FLMB).

The new ETFs, listed on NYSE Arca, seek a high level of current income that is exempt from federal income taxes by investing at least 80% of net assets in municipal securities whose interest payments are free from federal income taxes, including the federal alternative minimum tax.

The Franklin Liberty Intermediate Municipal Opportunities ETF may invest in municipal securities rated in any rating category, including below investment grade and defaulted securities, and seeks to maintain a dollar-weighted average portfolio maturity of three to 10 years.

The Franklin Liberty Municipal Bond ETF only invests in municipal securities rated, at the time of purchase, in one of the top four ratings categories by one or more U.S. nationally recognized rating services (or comparable unrated or short-term rated securities), and seeks to maintain a dollar-weighted average portfolio maturity of five to 15 years.

The LibertyShares ETF platform offers a suite of actively managed ETFs, which includes two equity funds and now four fixed income funds. 

Sage Unveils Customized Muni Strategy

Sage Advisory Services launched a new Customized Laddered Strategy (C.L.I.M.B.) strategy that offers high liquidity, optimal risk/reward characteristics and favorable tax status.

Sage’s C.L.I.M.B strategy enables clients to set a maximum maturity range and realize consistent cash flows from maturity and coupon payments. Sage enhances the return potential relative to traditional laddered strategies by actively managing state, sector, and credit weightings within each maturity bucket.

This multi-discipline investment approach enables Sage’s portfolio management team to adjust portfolio characteristics to maximize return opportunities for both institutional and retail clients, while reducing risk exposure when necessary.

VanEck Merk Gold Trust Reduces Fees for Gold Delivery

VanEck Merk Gold Trust (OUNZ) reduced the fees investors pay to take delivery of their

“Investors appreciate the ease of buying gold through an ETF, but foremost, they want to be assured the gold is really there for them. Now we are reaffirming on our commitment to provide investors with easy and cost-effective access to their gold,” explains Axel Merk, President of Merk Investments, the sponsor of OUNZ.

On any business day, investors may request delivery of the London Bars held by the Trust, as well as exchange their shares for gold coins (or bars) that are more commonly desired by individual investors. Minimum fees have been replaced with a flat fee to make smaller deliveries more economical.

The new fees, which went into effect on Friday, feature “substantial reductions.” For example, the cost of taking delivery of 20 1oz Australian bars is reduced by 30%, the cost of taking delivery of 100 1oz Australian bars is reduced by 27%, the cost of taking delivery of 1 London Bar is reduced by 58%, and the cost of taking delivery of 50 London Bars is reduced by 96%.

Because investors own a pro-rata share of the gold held in OUNZ, taking delivery and/or exchanging the gold into other coins and bars is not a taxable event.

Goldco’s CoinIRA Subsidiary Announces New Digital IRA Bundles

Goldco’s digital currency subsidiary CoinIRA launched its new Digital IRA Bundles.

These new products invest in the most popular cryptocurrencies available today. The bundles come pre-packaged with a combination of the most popular and best-known cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum and Ether Classic.

The percentage of each cryptocurrency held in the IRA bundles will vary based on an investor’s risk appetite, with investors being able to choose from bundles categorized as conservative, moderate, or aggressive. The bundles are available in amounts of $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000.

As with other self-directed IRA products, the new Digital IRA Bundles can be funded through tax-free rollovers from existing retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k)s.

US SIF Foundation Releases Enhanced Sustainable And Impact Investment Online Training Course

The US SIF Foundation’s Center for Sustainable Investment Education launched an updated version of its online course, the Fundamentals of Sustainable and Impact Investment. 

The course provides financial advisors and other financial professionals with a unique blend of instruction and scenario learning that explains how to talk about sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) with clients, incorporate SRI into investment portfolios and understand the latest trends and research.

It consists of  four modules covering key aspects of sustainable and impact investment: Module I: An Overview of Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing; Module II: Approaches to ESG, SRI Portfolio Construction Considerations and Shareowner Advocacy; Module III: Performance Studies, Fiduciary Standards and Global Trends; and Module IV: Communicating your SRI Expertise with Clients

The Fundamentals course is more comprehensive and user-friendly with an enhanced interface accessible on all browsers and devices.

Users will have access to conclusions of the latest meta-studies of academic and industry literature showing the links between environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and financial performance.

Now through the end of September, the course will be offered at a promotional rate of $100 for US SIF members and $150 for non-members.

—Read last week’s portfolio roundup here: Security Benefit Adds 9 Funds to Variable Annuities: Portfolio Products


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