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Schwab Launches 2 Custom-Built Variable Annuities: Portfolio Products

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Charles Schwab has introduced two new, low-cost variable annuities: The Schwab Genesis Variable Annuity, offered directly to Schwab clients, and the Schwab Genesis Advisory Variable Annuity, available through independent RIAs who custody assets with Schwab Advisor Services.

Both products are offered in collaboration with Protective Life Insurance Company and have base annuity fees 40% to 75% below the industry average, according to Schwab.

SGVA has total variable account annual expenses of 0.45% excluding optional income and death benefit charges, compared to the industry average of 1.15%, Schwab says, citing a Sept. 2, 2020 Morningstar survey of 2,990 variable annuities. SGAVA has total variable account annual expenses of 0.25% excluding optional benefit charges.

The new products offer a broad lineup of 63 professionally managed investment portfolios from 12 different fund families, including the Schwab S&P 500 Index Portfolio, which has a total annual operating expense of 0.03%.

Separately, the firm’s Charles Schwab Investment Management asset management arm has expanded its lineup of fixed income strategies with 20 Wasmer Schroeder Strategies, consisting of tax-exempt and taxable fixed income separately managed accounts including bond ladders and actively managed strategies.

The Wasmer Schroeder Strategies comprise six actively managed strategies, two ultra-short fixed income strategies and 12 bond ladders. More information is available at www.schwab.com/wasmer-schroeder.

Direxion Introduces World Without Waste ETF

Direxion has listed the Direxion World Without Waste ETF (WWOW), which has a 0.50% net expense ratio on the NYSE Arca.

The ETF invests in 50 companies that are “at the forefront of the move to a circular economy from a linear one,” the firm says. Companies now have the ability to “address environmental and sustainability priorities, drive innovation, and push for competitiveness, while generating growth,” Direxion says.

WWOW tracks the Indxx US Circular Economy Index, which includes 50 U.S.-listed companies that are “representative of the transformative shift from the linear model of economy to a circular one,” according to Direxion. The index includes 10 companies representing five sub-themes: sustainability of resources, resource recovery, life cycle extension, sharing platforms, and product as a service and includes companies involved in biofuels, solar power, and waste management along with collaboration and content sharing platforms.

Proteus Widens Alternative Offerings

Alternative asset specialist Proteus has added new model portfolios and pooled funds to its platform for RIAs, multi-family offices, independent broker-dealers and private banks.

In addition to the 35 individual funds already on the Proteus platform, including private equity, private credit, real assets and hedge funds, the platform now also includes the following, with no access fees:

  • 3 Model Portfolios — conservative, moderate and aggressive — offering broad exposure to private equity, private credit, real assets and hedge funds
  • Sub-Asset Class Pools, including core and non-core private credit, private equity and real asset strategies, and directional and absolute return hedge funds

“Wealth managers can use the models and pools to simplify the creation and management of diversified alternative investment portfolios,” according to the company, which is also an RIA.

Proteus and its research partner, Callan, “selected and vetted institutional managers and strategies for each model and asset-class pool, significantly reducing the amount of time advisors need to spend researching and conducting due diligence,” Proteus says.

In conjunction with the expanded platform, Proteus has also “significantly enhanced its Advisor Education Portal, to ensure advisors using the technology are fully equipped to be knowledgeable and effective stewards of their clients’ investments,” it says.

— Check out last week’s portfolio product roundup hereSound Income Strategies Launches ETFs for Retirees: Portfolio Products