(Photo: AP)

Vanguard lowered expense ratios on more of its funds: this time, nine international stock and bond index ETFs and two actively managed mutual funds.

The ETFs include six whose expense ratios were lowered from 0.09% to 0.08%: the Vanguard Total International Bond ETF,  Total International Stock ETF, Total World Stock ETF, FTSE Europe ETF, FTSE Pacific ETF and FTSE All-World ex-US ETF.

Also impacted were the FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (net expense ratio lowered from 0.12% to 0.10%),  FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap ETF (lowered from 0.12% to 0.11%) and Tax-Exempt Bond ETF (lowered from 0.08% to 0.06%).

Vanguard also lowered net expenses on two actively managed mutual funds: the Vanguard International Value Fund, from 0.38% to 0.37%, and Global Minimum Volatility Fund, from 0.23% to 0.21%, and from 0.15% to 0.14% for its Admiral shares.

Vanguard said the changes represented a total $27.7 million in savings for investors. A few days earlier it had lowered expense ratios on three international income-oriented funds and four externally managed equity funds.

LifeYield Integrates With Orion Advisor Tech

Portfolio management software firm LifeYield announced a new integration with Orion Advisor Tech, a division of Orion Advisor Solutions.

The integration will “increase efficiencies for RIAs allowing for coordination of accounts and households across both platforms,” the companies said. Orion users can serve multiple-account households with LifeYield’s analytics and tax optimization reports based on their household membership, holdings and asset location, they noted, adding those reports can manually be taken back to Orion’s trading platform, Eclipse, for fast execution.

LifeYield’s integration “draws on Orion’s client data to generate financial analytics highlighting opportunities to reposition assets for greater household tax efficiency,” the companies said.

Embedded in the LifeYield platform is the Taxficient Score, which helps advisors quantify the financial benefits of improved asset location. Using portfolio data already present in the Orion platform, LifeYield creates a report that includes the client’s Taxficient Score and suggestions on how to adjust asset locations to reduce client tax exposure, according to the companies.

Innovator to Introduce Four New Power Buffer ETFs

Innovator Capital Management is introducing four new Power Buffer ETFs in January that are based on the Nasdaq 100, Russell 2000, Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australasia and Far East, and MSCI Emerging Markets Indexes, Innovator said.

The new ETFs are the Innovator Nasdaq 100 Power Buffer ETF (NJAN, with a net expense ratio of 0.79%), Innovator Russell 2000 Power Buffer ETF (KJAN, net expense ratio of 0.79%), Innovator MSCI EAFE Power Buffer ETF (IJAN, net expense ratio of 0.85%) and Innovator MSCI Emerging Markets Power Buffer ETF (EJAN, net expense ratio of 0.89%).

AcreTrader Sees Growing Interest in Online Platform

AcreTrader is seeing strong early interest in its AcreTrader.com platform that allows individual investors to participate in farmland ownership through an online portal, Carter Malloy, CEO and founder of the company, told ThinkAdvisor.

At the time of our interview last month, the company had already handled four farmland deals since launching the platform in March and was working on about five more, he said. “That number will grow pretty dramatically here in the coming months as we’ve really begun to ramp up our marketing efforts and media efforts to bring attention to the platform,” he noted, adding that as a result of those initiatives, AcreTrader had “seen almost exponential growth in our user base on the platform and interest in the platform and website traffic.”

Initially, much of the interest was coming from investors in the Midwest and South who were familiar with the farming business, but the demographics are now “all over the board,” he said. The company has “hundreds of millions of dollars of farmland in our pipeline” to add to the platform, he told ThinkAdvisor.

The firm’s 2020 initiative plans include expanding its advisory board from four people to five or possibly six in January and opening up the platform to non-accredited investors. The company recently completed a seed round of investment, but Malloy said it was too soon to provide details.

Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup here: Vanguard Cuts Fees on 7 Funds: Portfolio Products.