First ETF family with exposure to major political events: Fund Scan

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Our weekly roundup of new fund launches.

First ever ETF with exposure to political events from EventShares
EventShares has launched the first family of actively managed ETFs that are designed to expose investors to major multi-factor political, economic and policy-driven events and themes.

There are two flagship ETFs - the EventShares Republican Policies Fund (GOP) and the EventShares Democratic Policies Fund (DEMS) — both of which have expense ratios of 0.75%. Each fund looks to construct portfolios expected to be positively impacted by the respective party's policies.

EventShares has also launched a tactical tax policy ETF. The EventShares U.S. Tax Reform Fund, with an 0.85% expense ratio, provides exposure to companies set up to see the greatest benefit from the implementation of significant tax reform.

OppenheimerFunds launches Wealth Market joint venture
OppenheimerFunds and the Carlyle Group have formed a joint venture focusing on the global private credit opportunities for high-net-worth investors and advisors.

The venture will begin operating in 2018 and looks to deliver long-term income solutions that aren't usually available to accredited investors. The venture will be led by co-heads Kamal Bhatia, head of investment solutions for OppenheimerFunds, and Mark Jenkins, head of global credit for the Carlyle Group.

State Street adds suite of 15 ultra low-cost ETFs
State Street Global Advisors is launching SPDR Portfolio ETFs, a suite of 15 ultra-low-cost ETFs providing access to a variety of equity and fixed-income asset classes. The funds will carry expense ratios of between 0.03% and 0.11%.

The company is evaluating ways to package both its quantitative and active strategies into the funds, according to a person familiar with the matter.
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To encourage a budding relationship with younger clients, firms must provide new offerings and more guidance about how to invest, Schwab says.
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The launch of the SPDR Portfolio ETFs coincides with the launch of TD Ameritrade's newly expanded ETF Market Center. The 15 SPDR portfolio will be available for purchase commission-free on TD Ameritrade's ETF Market Center. SSGA is the asset management business of State Street.

Change Finance introduces its first ETF
Earlier this month, Change Finance, a majority women-run asset manager, announced the launch of its first ETF: the Change Finance Diversified Impact U.S. Large Cap Fossil Fuel Free ETF (CHGX).

The fund, which has an expense ratio of 0.75%, is the only ETF using diversified impact screens to look beyond excluding fossil fuels, the firm said.

"Our investors want alignment with what they care about, without sacrificing performance," Change Finance CEO Donna Morton said.

"Fossil fuel-free is essential, but CHGX then goes further, divesting not only from companies who dig up, refine, burn and service fossil fuels, but also from companies that are serious polluters, that have significant human or labor rights violations, and that fail to meet a variety of other social and environmental standards," she added.

Stadion Money Management takes on traditional target-date funds
Earlier this month Stadion Money Management debuted TargetFit, a target-date solution designed to mitigate the "one-size-fits-all Achilles heel of traditional target-date funds."

8 factors driving explosive ETF growth
Above all others, millennials are likely to include the funds in their portfolios, Schwab says.

The launch follows the introduction of Station's StoryLine, which was built with SPDR ETFs, a retirement planning solution made specifically for 401(k) participants in advisor-sold plans.

"StoryLine brought a new managed account solution offering personalized 401(k) investment options in the small and micro market space for retirement plan participants, sponsors and the advisors who serve those audiences," Jud Doherty, President and CEO of Stadion Money Management, stated.

Charles Schwab launches low-cost index ETF
Charles Schwab's asset management arm launched the Schwab 1000 Index ETF, which aims to provide exposure to the potential growth of the largest 1,000 stocks in the U.S.

A mix of U.S. large and mid-cap stocks, the ETF began trading on Oct. 11 under the ticker SCHK. It carries annual expenses of five basis points, half the cost of the cheapest rival fund, the SPDR Russell 1000 ETF (ONEK).

"Index investing is a fantastic way to build the core holdings of an investment portfolio," states Schwab founder and Chairman Charles Schwab.

Nuveen unveils aggregate bond ETF
Nuveen is expanding its suite of ESG ETFs with the launch of NuShares ESG U.S. Aggregate bond ETF.

The new ETF is designed to offer exposure to the U.S. investment grade, taxable fixed-income market, while sticking with specific environmental, social and governance principles. The ETF began trading on the NYSE on Oct. 2, under the ticker NUBD, and has total expenses of 0.20%.

"We are pleased to offer investors the opportunity to build a full asset allocation portfolio that incorporates RI principles and helps to align their full portfolio with their values in a transparent, tax-efficient and low-cost solution," stated Martin Kremenstein, senior managing director and head of ETFs at Nuveen.

VanEck joins Ned Davis in new ETF offering
VanEck launched a new fund with a guided allocation approach designed to help manage risk in the U.S. equity market.

The VanEck Vectors NDR CMG Long/Flat Allocation ETF (LFEQ) looks to track the Ned Davis Research CMG Large Cap Long/Flat Index, a rules-based index that follows a proprietary model developed by NDR and CMG Capital Management Group. The fund has 0.59% in expenses.

"Our guided allocation solutions are designed to help fill an important need in investors' portfolios by responding to market downturns," Ed Lopez, head of ETF product management at VanEck, stated. "We are excited to again partner with the team at Ned Davis Research and bring this strategy to market."

Lazard Asset Management offers equity franchise fund
Lazard Asset Management launched the Lazard Equity Franchise portfolio, seeking long-term returns by investing in companies that share a combination of a history of stable financial returns, strong earnings forecastability and sustainable competitive advantages.

"We believe investing in a concentrated portfolio of companies with a history of predictable earnings and sustainable competitive advantages offers the potential for strong returns with lower volatility over the long term," stated Matthew Landy, portfolio manager of the Lazard Equity Franchise Portfolio.

Envision teams with Bancorp to launch new mutual fund platform
Envision Financial Systems and Bancorp Fund Services joined forces to launch FundKeeper, a new mutual fund account servicing platform.

FundKeeper's first clients includes CUSO Financial Services and Sorrento Pacific Financial, which have more than 500 registered representatives. The firms went live with FundKeeper in August, fully integrating the platform into their existing systems.

Updated: Mutual funds with the highest cash holdings
Various measures of what constitutes cash can produce different analyses. This list uses net cash positions at the largest funds.

"The collaboration between our firms can transform intermediaries' ability to support the mutual fund only investor," says Brian Jones, Envision executive vice president. "Our goal with FundKeeper has been to solve the longstanding business problems faced by many financial intermediaries as they struggle with hassle, expense, or both when managing mutual fund accounts."

Direxion Switches Index for Small Cap ETF
Direxion changed the benchmark index of its Daily Small Cap Bull 1.25X Shares to the S&P Small Cap 600 Index, from the Russell 2000 Index.

"We are very pleased to expand our relationship with Standard & Poors, whose indices have long been among the leaders in the industry," says Sylvia Jablonski, managing director at Direxion. "The S&P SmallCap 600 Index provides our investors with the most recognizable exposure to the U.S. small-cap equities."

John Hancock launches indexed universal life portfolio
John Hancock launched a new indexed universal life portfolio with lower premiums, improved income potential and policy management tools.

The product series includes single-person and survivorship coverage, the firm says. The portfolio provides life insurance protection while offering the chance to increase cash value by linking to the performance of a wide variety of indexed account options - without risking market loss.

USCF, SummerHaven collaborate on two new ETFs
USFC announced this week that it has teamed up with SummerHaven to launch two new ETFs, each of which will look to track a newly launched index: the USCF SummerHaven Private Equity Strategy Index Fund and the USCF SummerHaven Private Equity Natural Resources Strategy Index Fund.

The USCF SummerHaven Private Equity Strategy Index Fund seeks to track the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the SummerHaven Private Equity Natural Resources Strategy Index.

The USCF SummerHaven Private Equity Natural Resources Strategy Index Fund seeks to track the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the SummerHaven Private Equity Natural Resources Strategy Index.

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