(Photo: AP)

Goldman Sachs Asset Management filed a preliminary prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission for six new exchange-traded funds.

The six ETFs are the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access China Bonds ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 1-5 Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Investment Grade Corporate 10+ Year Bond ETF, Goldman Sachs Access Total Bond Market ETF and Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF, it said in the filing.

Each fund “seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) in securities included in its underlying index,” the firm said in the filing.

With the exception of the Goldman Sachs Access U.S. Treasury Total Market Bond ETF, each fund “may also invest up to 20% of its assets in securities and other instruments not included in the Index but which the Investment Adviser believes are correlated to the Index, as well as in, among other instruments, futures (including index futures), swaps, other derivatives, investment companies (including ETFs), cash and cash equivalents and money market instruments,” according to the filing.

280 CapMarkets’ Updates

280 CapMarkets introduced updates to its BondNav software-based price discovery and trading platform that it said further streamlines bond investing and portfolio management for financial advisors and their investor clients.

The new features include: daily email alerts highlighting bonds that match user inquiries; an easier way to sell bonds; the ability for advisors to seamlessly monitor their portfolios, view search matches and obtain trade ideas, all within BondNav’s dashboard; and access to details on thousands of direct corporate and municipal offerings, the firm said.

“We continue to act on feedback from independent advisors to improve their bond management process and achieve better pricing,” according to Gurinder Ahluwalia, CEO and co-founder of 280 CapMarkets.

“With the yield curve flattening and even inverting, advisors need every possible advantage to improve fixed-income returns for clients,” he said in a statement, adding: “The ongoing updates to our best-in-class technology give advisors an even stronger edge.”

New Fund Launch

The Rational Special Situations Income Fund (RFXIX) was launched by Rational Advisors of Huntington, New York, which now offers a family of nine mutual funds.

The firm’s new fund uses an investment strategy that it said in an announcement is mainly focused on non-agency residential mortgage backed securities.

The fund, which originally launched as a hedge fund in 2009 and was converted into a mutual fund by the company, “retains the same strategy and management team and has an average annualized return of over 16% since inception,” it said.

The fund’s investment objective is “total return” including capital appreciation and income, it noted.

RFXIX is the company’s third hedge fund conversion. It is being sub-advised by ESM Management. Eric Meyer, founder of ESM Management and RFXIX’s hedge fund predecessor, remains portfolio manager, along with co-portfolio manager William Van de Water. Northern Lights Distributors is the official distributor for the fund, while Rational Advisors serves as its investment advisor managing the investment strategy of the funds.

“We’ve enhanced returns by finding situations where the market is underpricing a particular bond, because of … misinterpretation or ambiguity, and then accumulating a position in the bond and using some measure of activism, with or against the trustee, trust administrator, servicer, or bond insurer, to unlock value,” Meyer told ThinkAdvisor.

“As we continue to identify opportunities to bring unique strategies from the hedge fund world to the mutual fund space, this particular investment strategy caught our attention because of its highly specialized approach to fixed income and its unusually strong performance record for 10 years running,” Jerry Szilagyi, CEO of Rational Funds, said in a statement.

SoFi Adds 529 Plans 

Social Finance added 529 college savings plan contributions to its SoFi at Work employee-benefits program after acquiring LEAF College Savings, the San Francisco-based fintech startup said.

“We are not disclosing the financial details of the deal,” which was “finalized before the announcement,” a company spokeswoman said Friday.

LEAF’s advanced payroll and human resource information system (HRIS) integration technology makes recurring employee contributions to 529 college savings plans simple, SoFi said in its announcement.

The college savings contributions can be made via automated payroll deductions and employer contribution capabilities, as well as through a coming selection tool that it said will provide employees with 529 college savings plans that best fit their individual financial situations.

With the tool, employees can input basic information about their expected college costs and household financial status and then receive personalized recommendations for two college savings plans, it said.

Employees will also be able to link their existing 529 plans with SoFi’s portal and make contributions from their paychecks via payroll integration with their employer’s payroll provider, it said. Employers can opt to make monthly contributions toward their employees’ 529 plans as well as their student loans, it noted.

Pointing to data showing the average cost of college is running $26,290 for public, out-of-state universities and $35,830 for private universities, the company said participation in 529 college savings plans has become “more important than ever.” In 2018, 44% of parents reported saving for their kids’ college educations in 529 plans, so the number of parents saving is growing, it said.

Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup: Wells Fargo to Drop Crow Point Partners From 3 Funds: Portfolio Products