Schwab sign (Photo: Bloomberg)

Charles Schwab Investment Management is making changes to the Schwab U.S. REIT ETF (SCHH, with a net expense ratio of 0.07%).

On or about June 22, the index that the exchange-traded fund seeks to track will switch from the Dow Jones U.S. Select REIT Index to the Dow Jones Equity All REIT Capped Index, Schwab’s asset management division said.

The investment objective of the ETF will be modified to reflect that the ETF will track a more diverse index comprised of equity REIT securities, including REIT segments that were not included in the previous index, Schwab said. SCHH, however, will continue to exclude mortgage REITs. Additional details can be found in its prospectus supplement.

The changes, however, are “expected to have little to no impact on the ETF or for investors of the ETF,” the firm said, adding the ETF’s name, ticker and operating expense ratio will not change. It trades on the New York Stock Exchange Arca.

Matthews Asia Introduces Global Emerging Markets Fund

Matthews Asia launched the Matthews Emerging Markets Equity Fund, the first Matthews Asia strategy to invest in broad emerging markets, according to the firm.

Investor class shares (MEGMX, with a 1.15% net expense ratio after fee waiver and expense reimbursement) require a minimum initial investment of $2,500, while institutional class shares (MIEFX, 0.90%) require a minimum initial investment of $100,000.

Asia’s representation within the MSCI Emerging Market Index has grown to more than 75%, with the increasing inclusion of China’s domestically listed A-shares driving recent changes in benchmark weightings, Matthews said.

The Matthews Emerging Markets Equity Fund uses a fundamental, bottom-up investment approach and seeks to provide investors with a core, quality-growth portfolio, the firm said. The fund also “tends to focus on companies that generally can serve the growing needs of domestic consumers within their market, exhibit less cyclicality and have long-term structural growth potential,” it said.

“With Asia’s growing prominence in emerging markets, I believe this is the right time for an Asia specialist to launch an emerging market strategy that takes advantage of our 29 years of investment experience in the region and apply that to markets outside of Asia,” said William Hackett, the firm’s CEO.

Value Line Funds Joins Oranj Platform

Value Line Funds has joined the growing number of asset managers that have made their mutual funds and model portfolios available on the free to low-cost Oranj model marketplace platform.

The offerings from Value Line Funds range from small, mid and large capitalization equities, to fixed income and hybrid funds, the companies said.

“Value Line Funds’ approach to process, research, and focused strategies for its mutual funds is a value-add for financial advisors and a great addition to our model marketplace,” according to Oranj CEO and founder David Lyon. “The successful track record of their funds is a testament to the actively managed investment process that they utilize,” he said in a statement.

As a growing number of financial advisors select Value Line Funds offerings, it is now able to offer an “additional avenue for advisors to access our funds,” said Thomas Sarkany, Value Line Funds director of marketing.

Shareholders Approve BlackRock Fund Merger

Shareholders of the BlackRock Muni New York Intermediate Duration Fund (MNE), a closed end muni fund, approved its merger into the BlackRock New York Municipal Opportunities Fund  an open-end mutual fund and a series of BlackRock Multi-State Municipal Series Trust, with NYMO being the surviving fund, BlackRock Advisors said.

The board of directors of MNE and board of trustees of NYMO had approved the merger in mid-December 2019.

MNE shareholders of NYMO will be permitted to redeem, buy or exchange shares of NYMO received in the merger at the then-current net asset value, the firm said.

BlackRock expects the merger will take effect on June 22, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and the prior redemption of all of MNE’s outstanding variable rate demand preferred shares, it said.

The aggregate net asset value of NYMO shares received by MNE common shareholders will be equal to the aggregate net asset value of the common shares of MNE held by its common shareholders, as of the close of business on the day immediately preceding the closing date of the merger, the firm said.

Chaikin Launches New ETF Ratings Platform

Chaikin Analytics introduced PortfolioWise, a new platform providing proprietary, forward-looking ETF ratings.

PortfolioWise was designed to help financial advisors build strong ETF portfolios, enhancing investment outcomes and client engagement, the firm said. The Chaikin methodology uses a combination of the technical characteristics of an ETF and the fundamentals of its underlying holdings to determine its potential to outperform or underperform the market, the firm said,

PortfolioWise enables advisors to select and compare ETFs based on ratings, expense ratio, liquidity and other criteria; build effective ETF portfolios meeting various investment strategies, risk tolerances and financial needs; enhance client engagement with integrated visual communications to help clients understand the rationale for portfolio recommendations, changes and ETF selections; receive personalized and timely alerts about client portfolios that require attention; and stay informed about market shifts and opportunities with market and sector tracking tools, the company said.

“ETF adoption is rapidly growing thanks to the diversification, liquidity, lower fees and greater tax efficiency they offer,” Chaikin Analytics CEO Carlton Neel told ThinkAdvisor. “Financial advisors are increasingly investing client assets in ETFs for those same reasons.”

“PortfolioWise uses Chaikin Analytics’ quantitative methodology to provide forward looking ratings on over 1,800 ETFs — ranging from Very Bullish to Very Bearish, … [giving] financial advisors a sense of how the ETF may perform in the future, to better position their clients for asset growth,” said Neel.

Newday Impact Teams With Community Bond

Newday Financial Technologies and Community Bond teamed to introduce a new social impact platform that the companies said provides “responsibly minded citizens, activists, and investors a means for collaboration on impact issues.”

The Newday Impact Community is open to the public and provides a place where individuals can meet, talk, join events and share experiences with other like-minded and obsessed “impactors,” the firms said. “Members have the opportunity to become activists and advocate for the change that they care about,” they said.

To access the community, investors and others can just download the Community Bond app free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, find the Newday Impact Community and create an account.

Innovator Announces Upside Cap Ranges for May

Innovator Capital Management announced upside cap ranges and return profiles for the May Series of the S&P 500 Buffer ETFs that are part of the firm’s Defined Outcome ETF family.

The Innovator S&P 500 Buffer ETF-May (BMAY) buffer level is 9.00% and cap range is 18.67-23.93%, while the Innovator S&P 500 Power Buffer ETF-May (PMAY) buffer level is 15.00% and cap range is 12.58-16.23% and Innovator S&P 500 Ultra Buffer ETF-May (UMAY) buffer level is 30.00% (-5% to -35%) and cap range is 7.94-10.81%.

The ETFs, designed to provide investors with built-in buffers against losses, each have a net expense ratio of 0.79%.

— Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup here: Wells Fargo Introduces Retirement Income Solution