Category Archives: Funds in Registration

Funds in registration

By David Snowball

You know it’s a bad month for fund registrations when the most interesting thing out there is a bad idea: The ETF Market ETF (TETF). If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “there’s nothing I want more than to be trapped investing in a very limited universe of companies, almost none of whom have enduring competitive advantages,” you can now not only invest there, you can day trade if you want. (sigh) Otherwise, year-end is a slow time in the fund launch world. Continue reading →

Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

Twenty new no-load retail funds are slated to go live by year’s end; most will first trade on December 30 so they’ll first able to report full-year results for 2017. The most immediately intriguing are Rajiv Jain’s new GQG Partners Emerging Markets Equity Fund and Osterweis Total Return., though Polen International Growth Fund has some pretty solid lineage, too. Read on!

ACR International Quality Return Fund

ACR International Quality Return Fund will seek is “to protect capital from permanent impairment while providing an absolute return above the Fund’s cost of capital and a relative return above the Fund’s benchmark over a full market cycle.” After such a build-up, it’s a letdown to report that it appears just to be a global stock fund. It will hold about 20 names, expects to keep less than a third in emerging markets and might hold some cash. Not much stands out there. The fund will be managed by Continue reading →

Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

Ten new funds are in the queue, ready to launch somewhere between Thanksgiving and New Years. Several high-profile firms are launching new funds, including DoubleLine, Northern, Osterweis and TIAA-CREF. (We also snuck in a small handful of institutional launches from AMG and AQR.)

U.S. Quality ESG strikes me as particularly interesting. Northern Trust has made a major commitment to responsible investing.  This fund will be the latest in a series of launches by Northern Trust, which has offered a global ESG index fund, Global Sustainability Index Fund (NSRIX) and added FlexShares STOXX US ESG Impact Index Fund (ESG) and FlexShares STOXX Global ESG Impact Index Fund (ESGG) on July 14, 2016. Northern’s passive products are consistently Continue reading →

Funds in Registration, September 2016

By David Snowball

It’s been a quiet month for new registrants. There’s the usual collection of trendy ETFs (e.g., Pacer US Cash Cows 100 ETF) and Mr. Greenblatt is launching more Gorham-branded institutional funds (Gotham Neutral 500 at 1.4%, Defensive Long at 2.15%, and Defensive Long 500 at 1.65%). Other than that, we found just four new no-load, retail funds. Folks interested in social impact investing might want to put Gerstein Fisher Municipal CRA Qualified Investment Fund on their radar. Low minimum, relatively low expense, it provides individual investors a tool to support affordable housing and community development. Otherwise, the new options peaked out at “meh.” Continue reading →

Funds in registration, August 2016

By David Snowball

Newly-proposed funds need to sit quietly for 75 days. During that time the Securities and Exchange Commission staff reviews their prospectuses and has the right to demand changes. If the SEC doesn’t object, the advisor earns the right – but not the obligation, oddly enough – to release the fund to the public. Funds currently in registration are apt to launch at the end of September so that they will be able to report complete results for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Setting aside whacko ideas (The Wearable Technology ETF? Did we learn nothing from the adventures of the 3D Printing ETF? Or the Obesity ETF?), there were 13 new no-load retail funds or active ETFs in registration this month. Continue reading →

Funds in Registration, July 2016

By David Snowball

Anchor Alternative Equity Fund

Anchor Alternative Equity Fund will pursue total with a secondary objective of limiting risk. It will be a long/short fund-of-funds investing in ETFs and mutual funds.  Here’s the key phrase: “The Fund primarily takes long and short positions in securities that are highly correlated to major US equity indices based on long, intermediate, and short term trends.” The fund will be managed by Garrett Waters of Anchor Capital Management. The initial expense ratio is 2.77%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Anchor Tactical Real Estate Fund

Anchor Tactical Real Estate Fund will pursue above average total returns over a full market cycle with lower correlation and reduced risk when compared to traditional real estate indexes. It will be a long/short fund-of-funds investing in ETFs and mutual funds.  They’ll invest in real estate funds based on their analysis of trends, with the prospect of hedging against broad market declines with short ETFs. The fund will be managed by Garrett Waters of Anchor Capital Management. The initial expense ratio is 3.10%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Cornerstone Core Plus Bond

Cornerstone Core Plus Bond will pursue total return, consisting of current income and capital appreciation.  The plan is to farm the work out to 12 people representings several different famous firms. The initial expense ratio is 0.49%. The minimum initial investment is $2,000 but it’s available only “to certain advisory clients of the Adviser.”

Low Beta Tactical 500 Fund

Low Beta Tactical 500 Fund will seek to outperform the S&P 500 with lower volatility than the Index.  The plan is to invest either in S&P 500 ETFs or cash based on “tactical research, analysis and evaluation regarding market trends.” The fund will be managed by Thomas Moring of LGM Capital Management. The initial expense ratio is 1.95%. The minimum initial investment hasn’t been disclosed.

Schwab Target 2060 Fund

Schwab Target 2060 Fund will pursue capital appreciation and income by investing in other Schwab and Laudus Funds.  Zifan Tang, Ph.D., CFA, a Managing Director and Head of Schwab’s Asset Allocation Strategies, is responsible for all the funds in the series. The expense ratios have not yet been released. Ironically, the funds do not carry 12b-1 fees, which are usually the price for getting carried on the Schwab platform. The funds are only open to institutional investors but for those investors the minimum investment is $100.

Schwab Target Date Index Funds

Schwab Target Date Index Fund will pursue “capital appreciation and income consistent with its current asset allocation.” These will be funds-of-ETFs which equity exposure ranging from 95% (2060) to about 40% (2010).  Zifan Tang, Ph.D., CFA, a Managing Director and Head of Schwab’s Asset Allocation Strategies, is responsible for all the funds in the series. The expense ratios have not yet been released. Ironically, the funds do not carry 12b-1 fees, which are usually the price for getting carried on the Schwab platform. The funds are only open to institutional investors but for those investors the minimum investment is $100.

Funds in Registration, May 2016

By David Snowball

AMG Multi-Asset Income Fund

AMG Multi-Asset Income Fund will seek a high level of current income. They intend to invest in many sorts of income-producing securities, using five sub-advisers with five different approaches, in order to generate “incrementally more yield” than a portfolio of government securities. That’s nice, except that their risk target is “lower than the S&P 500 Index over the long term.” On face, that’s not a compelling balance. The management teams haven’t been named. The initial expense ratio has not been set, nor has the expense cap that apparently will be in place. The minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $1,000 for various tax-advantaged products.

AMG SouthernSun Global Opportunities Fund

AMG SouthernSun Global Opportunities Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest globally in 15-40 small to mid-cap companies. As with their US small cap fund, they’re looking for firms with financial flexibility, good management and niche dominance. The domestic small cap fund has suffered from “the girl with the curl” problem. The fund will be managed by Michael Cook, who also manages the other two SouthernSun funds. The initial expense ratio will be 1.70% and the minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $1,000 for various tax-advantaged products.

Concorde Wealth Management Trust

Concorde Wealth Management Trust will seek total return and preservation of capital. The plan is to invest in all kinds of stuff – stocks, bonds, private placements – that is attractively valued, though the prospectus doesn’t mention how the managers will allocate between asset classes nor whether there are any limits on their discretion. For reasons unclear, they insist on shouting the world FUND over and over in the prospectus. The fund will be managed by Dr. Gary B. Wood, John Stetter, and Gregory B. Wood. The initial expense ratio will be 1.37% and the minimum initial investment is $500.

DoubleLine Ultra Short Bond Fund

DoubleLine Ultra Short Bond Fund will seek current income consistent with limited price volatility. They’ll target securities with a duration under one year and an average credit quality of AA- or higher. The fund will be managed by Bonnie Baha, who famously referred to her boss as “a freakin’ jerk” and still manages four funds for him, and Jeffrey Lee. The initial expense ratio has not been set, nor has the expense cap that apparently will be in place. The minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $500 for various tax-advantaged products.

Toreador Select Fund

Toreador Select Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to deploy “a proprietary stock selection model” (aren’t they all proprietary?) to select 35-60 large cap stocks. The fund will be managed by Paul Blinn and Rafael Resendes of Toreador Research & Trading. The team also managed Toreador Core, a global all-cap fund with a modestly regrettable record since: total returns trail its peers while volatility is modestly higher. The initial expense ratio will be 1.21% and the minimum initial investment is $1,000.

Funds in Registration, April 2016

By David Snowball

Boyd Watterson Short Duration Enhanced Income Fund

Boyd Watterson Short Duration Enhanced Income Fund will seek income, capital preservation and total return, in that order. The plan is to invest tactically in a wide variety of security types including junk bonds, bank loans, convertibles, preferred shares, CDOs and so on. They’ve got a bunch of proprietary strategies for sector, industry and tactical allocations. The fund will be managed by a team from Boyd Watterson Asset Management. The opening expense ratio has not been disclosed and the minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $2,500 for various tax-advantaged accounts.

Moerus Worldwide Value Fund

Moerus Worldwide Value Fund will seek capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in a global portfolio of 25-40 undervalued stocks. Candidate companies would have solid balance sheets, high quality business models and shareholder-friendly management teams. In addition, they should have the capacity to thrive in “difficult periods” and “market downturns.” The fund will be managed by Amit Wadhwaney, formerly lead manager of Third Avenue International Value. He and two other former Third Avenue employees launched Moerus Capital in December 2015. And no, I have no idea of what a “moerus” is. The opening expense ratio is 1.65% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Northern Active M U.S. Equity Fund

Northern Active M U.S. Equity Fund  will seek long-term capital appreciation through a diversified portfolio of primarily U.S. equity securities. Any income generation is purely incidental. It will be a multi-manager fund, so I’m guessing that explains the mysterious “M” in the name. The fund will be managed by Delaware Investments, Granite Investment Partners, The London Company of Virginia, and Polen Capital Management. The opening expense ratio is 0.67% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $500 for various tax-advantaged accounts and $250 for funds set up with an AIP.

Sit ESG Growth Fund

Sit ESG Growth Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in fundamentally attractive businesses which also have “strong environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) practices at the time of purchase.” The fund will be managed by Roger Sit and a team from SIT Associates. The opening expense ratio is 1.50% and the minimum initial investment is $5,000.

SPDR® SSGA U.S. Sector Rotation ETF

SPDR SSGA U.S. Sector Rotation ETF will seek a provide capital appreciation. The plan is to invest, using a tactical sector allocation strategy, in sector ETFs. They determine the attractiveness of sectors monthly, so you might reasonably expect a high-turnover strategy. The fund will be managed by John Gulino, Lorne Johnson and Michael Narkiewicz of the Investment Solutions Group. The opening expense ratio has not been disclosed and, being an ETF, there’s no regular investment minimum.  

Vest Armor S&P 500® Fund

Vest Armor S&P 500® Fund will track, before expenses, the performance of the CBOE S&P 500 Buffer Protect Index. These folks are actually launching about 14 related funds simultaneously. The underlying idea is that they can use options to tightly control the range of a fund’s gains or losses.  In a rising market, they’ll profit up to a preset cap. In a modestly declining market, they’ll keep returns at zero. In a sharply declining market, they’ll lose 10% less – that is, 1000 basis points less – that the S&P 500. Twelve of the funds are denominated by month: the January fund sets its 12-month return parameters at one level, the February fund at another, the March fund at a third and so on. The fund will be managed by Karan Sood and Johnathan Hale of Vest Financial. The opening expense ratio is 1.50% and the minimum initial investment is $1,000.

Funds in Registration, February and March, 2016

By David Snowball

361 Domestic Long/Short Equity Fund

361 Domestic Long/Short Equity Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation while preserving capital in down markets. The plan is sort of encapsulated in the fund’s name. The fund will be managed by Harindra de Silva, Dennis Bein, and Ryan Brown, all of Analytic Investors. Dr. de Silva is, just fyi, famous, renowned, well-respected and successful. The initial expense ratio will be 1.79% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

American Beacon Garcia Hamilton Quality Bond Fund

American Beacon Garcia Hamilton Quality Bond Fund will seek high current income consistent with preservation of capital. The plan is to buy 0-7 year investment grade bonds. That’s nice, though I don’t particularly see whether the fund’s competitive advantage might come from. In any case, the fund will be managed by Gilbert Andrew Garcia and Nancy Rodriguez of Garcia, Hamilton & Associates. The initial expense ratio will be 0.84% and the minimum initial investment is $2500.

American Beacon GLG Total Return Fund

American Beacon GLG Total Return Fund will seek high current income and capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in … uh, stuff located in or linked to the emerging markets. Investment decisions are driven by a top-down analysis of the state of the markets and “stuff” might include fixed income securities, equities, ETFs, derivatives, options (“non-deliverable forwards”), and STRIPs. The fund will be managed by Guillermo Ossés, head of emerging market debt strategies for GLC, LLC. The initial expense ratio will be 1.56% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Aasgard Dividend Growth Small & Mid-Cap Fund

Aasgard Dividend Growth Small & Mid-Cap Fund will seek a combination of dividend income and capital appreciation, with a secondary focus on lower than market volatility. The plan is to buy dividend-paying common stocks of small- and medium-sized companies. The portfolio will be sector-neutral with strict limits on position size and industry exposure, though it’s not clear how that affects the “sector-neutral” mandate. The fund will be managed by James Walsh of Coldstream Capital Management. The initial expense ratio will be 1.25% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500. The fund will launch in March.

Chautauqua Global Growth Fund

Chautauqua Global Growth Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to create a portfolio of 35-45 mid- and large-cap growth stocks. The fund will be managed by Brian Beitner. Mr. Beitner is employed by Chautaqua Capital Management, a division of R.W. Baird. The initial expense ratio has not been disclosed and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $1,000 for various tax-advantaged accounts. The fund will launch in April.

Chautauqua International Growth Fund

Chautauqua International Growth Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to create a portfolio of 25-35 mid- and large-cap growth stocks. The fund will be managed by Brian Beitner. Mr. Beitner is employed by Chautaqua Capital Management, a division of R.W. Baird. The initial expense ratio has not been disclosed and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $1,000 for various tax-advantaged accounts. The fund will launch in April.

CMG Tactical All Asset Strategy Fund

CMG Tactical All Asset Strategy Fund will seek capital appreciation. The plan is to use a momentum-based strategy to invest in ETFs targeting alternative asset classes, stocks, bonds and commodities. The fund will be managed by Steven Blumenthal, PJ Grzywacz and Michael Hee, all of CMG Capital Management. The initial expense ratio for the institutional share class will be 1.40% and the minimum initial investment is $15,000.

Fasanara Capital Absolute Return Multi-Asset Fund

Fasanara Capital Absolute Return Multi-Asset Fund will seek positive absolute returns “over a reasonable period of time.” The plan is to stitch together a three-sleeved garment with a Value Sleeve, a Hedging and Cheap Optionality Sleeve and a Tactical Sleeve. Fans of the Hedging and Cheap Optionality Sleeve shouldn’t get too excited, given the caveat that “the specific strategies the Fund pursues and the manner in which the Fund pursues such strategies may change from time to time.” The fund will be managed by Fasanara’s Francesco Filia. The initial expense ratio will be 1.25% and the minimum initial investment is $1,000.

Matthews Asia Credit Opportunities Fund

Matthews Asia Credit Opportunities Fund will seek total return over the long term. The plan is to invest in Asian bonds, convertibles and derivatives. The language in the prospectus implies that this may be the high-yield/distressed-debt version of their Strategic Income fund. The fund will be managed by Teresa Kong and Satya Patel, who also manage Matthews Asia Strategic Income (MAINX). The initial expense ratio will be 1.10% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $500 for various tax-advantaged accounts.

RiverPark Commercial Real Estate Fund

RiverPark Commercial Real Estate Fund will seek to generate current income and capital appreciation consistent with the preservation of capital by investing in debt instruments that are secured, directly or indirectly, by income-producing commercial real estate assets. The plan is to capture their holdings’ monthly income distributions and to trade rarely but opportunistically. As with other RiverPark funds, this is a converted hedge fund. The hedge fund, GSREA CMBS Credit Opportunities, LLC, averaged 7.7% a year from 2010-2014, the last year for which we have data. Even in its worst quarter, the fund still made money. The fund will be managed by Ed Shugrue, who managed the hedge fund and has 25 years of experience as a commercial real estate investor. The initial expense ratio will be 1.25% and the minimum initial investment is $1,000.

Robinson Income Opportunities Fund

Robinson Income Opportunities Fund will seek total return with an emphasis on providing current income. The plan is to play the RiverNorth game: invest in income-producing closed-end funds when you can identify funds selling at unsustainable discounts to the their NAV. If you don’t find attractively-priced CEFs, they’ll default to low-cost ETFs instead. The fund will be managed by James Robinson. The initial expense ratio has not been released but the minimum initial investment is $2,500. There’s a front load, but it’s easy to find load-waived access.

Summit Global Investments Small Cap Low Volatility Fund

Summit Global Investments Small Cap Low Volatility Fund will try to outperform the Russell 2000 with less volatility. The plan is to find solid, growing companies with low volatility stock, then buy them. The fund will be managed by a team led by Summit’s CIO, David Harden. The initial expense ratio will be 1.48% and the minimum initial investment is $2500.

T. Rowe Price Global Consumer Fund

T. Rowe Price Global Consumer Fund will seek long-term growth of capital through investments in the stocks of companies in the consumer sector. That’s pretty much it, except for the note that “global” in the name means “normally 40% or more outside the U.S.” The fund will be managed by Jason Nogueira. The initial expense ratio will be 1.05% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $1,000 for various tax-advantaged accounts.

Touchstone International Growth Fund

Touchstone International Growth Fund will seek long-term capital growth. The plan is not particularly distinguished: top-down, bottom-up, mostly developed markets, mostly growth stocks. The fund will be managed by Nitin N. Kumbhani of Apex Capital Management. The initial expense ratio will be 1.07% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $1,000 for various tax-advantaged accounts and $100 for accounts established with an automatic investment plan.

Tree Ring Stock Fund

Tree Ring Stock Fund (no, I don’t make this stuff up) will seek capital appreciation. The plan is to buy 30 or so undervalued mid- to large-cap stocks. The fund will be managed by Yung Jer (“JJ”) Lin of Tree Ring Capital. Tree Ring seems to be a one-man operation with $5 million in AUM and no website, which means I can’t help explain the “tree ring” thing to you. The initial expense ratio will be 1.5% and the minimum initial investment is $5000.

Value Line Defensive Strategies Fund

Value Line Defensive Strategies Fund will seek capital preservation and positive returns with low volatility regardless of the market’s directions. It will be a fund of alternatives funds and ETFs. The fund will be managed by “[_____], the Chief Investment Officer and portfolio manager of the Adviser.” As far as I can tell, EULAV (why would you choose to name yourself for the opposite or reverse of “value”?) doesn’t currently have a CIO, hence the [ ]. The initial expense ratio will be and the minimum initial investment is $1,000.

Wilshire Income Fund

Wilshire Income Fund will seek to maximize current income. The plan is to invest in a “multi-sector portfolio of income producing securities of varying maturities.” The fund will be managed by a team led by B. Scott Minerd, Global Chief Investment Officer of Guggenheim. Eventually they’ll add a second sub-advisor. The initial expense ratio has not been disclosed and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Funds in registration, January 2016

By David Snowball

American Century Global Small Cap Fund

American Century Global Small Cap Fund will seek capital growth. The plan is “to use a variety of analytical research tools and techniques to identify the stocks of companies that meet their investment criteria.” Not a word about what those criteria might be, though they espouse the same bottom-up, follow the revenue language as the other two AC funds listed below. The fund will be managed by Trevor Gurwich and Federico Laffan; they also manage American Century International Opportunities (AIOIX) together. The initial expense ratio will be 1.51% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

American Century Emerging Markets Small Cap Fund

American Century Emerging Markets Small Cap Fund will seek capital growth. The plan is to invest in small EM companies based on the conviction that “over the long term, stock price movements follow growth in earnings, revenues and/or cash flow.” The fund will be managed by Patricia Ribeiro who has been managing American Century Emerging Markets (TWMIX) since 2006. The initial expense ratio will be 1.61% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

American Century Focused International Growth Fund

American Century Focused International Growth Fund will seek capital growth. The plan is to construct a bottom-up portfolio of 35-50 firms whose revenues are growing at an accelerating pace. The fund will be managed by Rajesh Gandhi and James Gendelman. Mr. Gendelman is, dare I say, a refugee from The House of Marsico. The initial expense ratio will be 1.24% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Canterbury Portfolio Thermostat Fund

Canterbury Portfolio Thermostat Fund will seek long-term risk-adjusted growth. The plan is to use ETFs to invest in all the right places given current market conditions. The strategy is executed through ETFs and is unrelated to the much simpler, highly successful Columbia Thermostat fund discipline. The fund will be managed by Thomas Hardin and Kimberly J. Custer. The initial expense ratio will be 2.18% and the minimum initial investment is $5,000 for Institutional shares and $2,500 for Investor ones.

DoubleLine Infrastructure Income Fund

DoubleLine Infrastructure Income Fund will seek current income and total return. The plan is to invest in fixed- and floating-rate instruments which are being used to finance or refinance infrastructure projects globally. In general, the portfolio will be dollar-denominated. The fund will be managed by a team of DoubleLine folks, none of whom is named Jeffrey. The initial expense ratio has not yet been set and the minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $500 for IRAs.

Manning & Napier Managed Futures

Manning & Napier Managed Futures  will seek positive absolute returns. “Managed futures” is a brilliant strategy with a horrendous track record: divide the world up into a series of asset classes, then use futures to invest long in rising classes, short falling ones and use the bulk of your assets to buy short-term bonds to add a bit of income. The strategy has lost money steadily over the past five years as the market has refused to cooperate by providing predictable trends to exploit. Over much longer periods, managed futures indexes have provided near-equity returns with reduced volatility. The fund will be managed by a team from M&N. The initial expense ratio will be 1.40% and the minimum initial investment is $2,000.

Pax World Mid Cap Fund

Pax World Mid Cap Fund will seek long-term growth of capital. The plan is to follow “a sustainable investing approach, combining rigorous financial analysis with equally rigorous environmental, social and governance analysis in order to identify investments.” The fund will be managed by Nathan Moser who also manages Pax World Small Cap (PXSAX). That fund has been a pretty solid performer pretty consistently. The initial expense ratio will be 1.24% and the minimum initial investment is $1000.

Seafarer Overseas Value Fund

Seafarer Overseas Value Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in an all-cap EM stock portfolio. Beyond the bland announcement that they’ll use a “value” approach (“investing in companies that currently have low or depressed valuations, but which also have the prospect of achieving improved valuations in the future”), there’s little guidance as to what the fund’s will be doing. The fund will be managed by Paul Espinosa. Mr. Espinosa had 15 years as an EM equity analyst with Legg Mason, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan before joining Seafarer in May, 2014. The initial expense ratio has not yet been set, though Seafarer is evangelical about providing their services at the lowest practicable cost to investors, and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

T. Rowe Price QM Global Equity Fund

T. Rowe Price QM Global Equity Fund will seek long-term growth of capital through a broadly diversified portfolio of global stocks. The plan is to use quantitative models (the “QM”) to select mid- to large-cap stocks based on “valuation, profitability, stability, management capital allocation actions, and indicators of near term appreciation potential.” The fund will be managed by Sudhir Nanda, head of TRP’s Quantitative Equity group. Dr. Nanda, formerly Professor Nanda, joined Price in 2000 and has managed the five-star Diversified Small Cap Growth fund (PRDSX) for the past nine years. The initial expense ratio will be 0.79% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, though that’s reduced to $1000 for various sorts of tax-advantaged accounts.

T. Rowe Price QM U.S. Small & Mid-Cap Core Equity Fund

T. Rowe Price QM U.S. Small & Mid-Cap Core Equity Fund will seek long-term growth of capital through a broadly diversified portfolio of small- and mid-cap U.S. stocks. The plan is to use quantitative models (the “QM”) to select small- to mid-cap stocks, comparable to those covered by the Russell 2500, based on “valuation, profitability, stability, management capital allocation actions, and indicators of near term appreciation potential.” Up to 20% might be international stocks, but that disclosure seems mostly a formality. The fund will be managed by Boyko Atanassov, a quantitative equity analyst with Price for the past five years. The initial expense ratio will be 0.89% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, though that’s reduced to $1000 for various sorts of tax-advantaged accounts.

T. Rowe Price QM U.S. Value Equity Fund

T. Rowe Price QM U.S. Value Equity Fund will seek long-term growth of capital through a broadly diversified portfolio of U.S. stocks believed to be undervalued. The plan is to screen firms based on “valuation, profitability, stability, management capital allocation actions, and … near term appreciation potential,” then assess their valuations based on price-to-earnings, price-to-cash flows, and price-to-book ratios, and compares these ratios with others in the relevant investing universe. The fund will be managed by Farris Shuggi, a Price quantitative equity analyst with three master’s degrees. The initial expense ratio will be 0.74% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, though that’s reduced to $1000 for various sorts of tax-advantaged accounts.

Templeton Dynamic Equity Fund

Templeton Dynamic Equity Fund will seek risk adjusted total return over the longer term. The whimsical plan is to use a “bottom-up, value-oriented, long-term approach” to select individual equities then use a long/short ETF portfolio to manage sector exposures and hedge its global market exposure with some combination of cash, ETFs and futures. The technical term for this strategy is “a lot of moving parts.” The fund will be managed by a Templeton team: James Harper, Norman J. Boersma, and Heather Arnold.  “A” shares have a 5.75% front load, a $1000 minimum and a 1.57% initial e.r. “Advisor” shares are no-load with a 1.32% e.r. “R” shares are no-load but impose a 0.50% 12(b)1 fee for a total e.r. of 1.82%.

Vanguard Core Bond

Vanguard Core Bond will seek to provide total return while generating a moderate level of current income. The plan is to invest in all different sorts of bonds with very little guidance in the prospectus about which or why, other than to target an average maturity of 4-12 years and to limit non-dollar-denominated bonds to 10% of the portfolio. At base, this looks like Vanguard’s attempt to generate an active fund that’s just slightly more attractive than a broad bond market index. The fund will be managed by Brian W. Quigley, Gemma Wright-Casparius, and Gregory S. Nassour, all of Vanguard. The initial expense ratio will be 0.25% on Investor shares and the minimum initial investment is $3000.

Vanguard Emerging Markets Bond

Vanguard Emerging Markets Bond will seek to provide total return while generating a moderate level of current income. The plan is to invest in all sorts of EM bonds, including high yield. For their purposes, the emerging markets are everybody except Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, and most European Monetary Union countries.  In general, they’ll buy bonds which are “denominated in or hedged back to the U.S. dollar.” The fund will be managed by Daniel Shaykevich, who has been with Vanguard for three years and co-leads their Investment Grade Non-Corporate team. Before joining Vanguard he spent almost nine years as an EM bond manager for BlackRock. The initial expense ratio will be 0.60% and the minimum initial investment is $3000.

Funds in registration, November 2015

By David Snowball

Frontier Silk Invest New Horizons Fund

Frontier Silk Invest New Horizons Fund will be seek capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in frontier market equities, either directly or through a form of derivative called a participation note. The fund will be managed by Zin El Abidin Bekkali, Olufunmilayo Akinluyi and Mohamed Bahaa Abdeen, all of Silk Invest Limited which is domiciled in London. The opening expense ratio will be 2.0% after waivers and the minimum initial investment is $10,000.

Harbor International Small Cap Fund

Harbor International Small Cap Fund will seek long-term growth of capital. The plan is to invest a diversified portfolio of 80-110 international small cap stocks. “Small” generally equates to “under $5 billion in market cap.” They’re looking for financial sound firms whose earnings have been growing lately and whose “reasonable company valuation indicat[es] a strong upside potential in the stock price over the next 9 to 12 months.” The fund will be managed by a team from Barings International Limited. The opening expense ratio will be 1.32% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

LDR Preferred Income Fund

LDR Preferred Income Fund will seek high current income and high risk-adjusted long-term returns. The plan is to invest in preferred shares of REITs, maybe with some interest rate hedges tossed in. Currently this portfolio is manifested in a hedge fund, LDR Preferred Income Fund, LLC, which will roll over and become a mutual fund. No word yet on the hedge fund’s performance. The fund will be managed by Lawrence D. Raiman (LDR) and Gregory Cox, both of LDR Capital Management. Neither the expense ratio nor the minimum initial investment has been revealed, though the existence of an archaic 5.75% front load has been.

Livian Equity Opportunity Fund

Livian Equity Opportunity Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in a portfolio of 30-35 undervalued, mostly domestic, stocks. They’re looking for high quality businesses and some identifiable catalyst that will unlock value. Livian Equity Opportunity Fund already operates as a hedge fund, though its performance record has not yet been released. The fund will be managed by Michael Livian and Stephen Mulholland who currently run the hedge fund. The opening expense ratio has not been disclosed. The minimum initial investment will be $10,000.

TCW New America Premier Equities Fund

TCW New America Premier Equities will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is invest in “enduring, cash generating businesses whose leaders the portfolio manager believes prudently manage their environmental, social, and financial resources” and whose shares are relatively cheap. The fund will be managed by Joseph R. Shaposhnik, a senior vice president at TCW. The opening expense ratio not been determined and the minimum initial investment is $2000. That’s reduced to $500 for IRAs.

Funds in Registration, November 2015

By David Snowball

ASTON/Value Partners Asia Dividend Fund

ASTON/Value Partners Asia Dividend Fund will seek capital appreciation and current income. The plan is to pursue a value-oriented, buy-and-hold strategy to investing in dividend-paying Asian stocks. They might hold up to 20% in fixed income. The fund will be managed by Norman Ho and Philip Li of Value Partners Hong Kong Limited. They’ve got a separate account business with a six-year record but have not yet disclosed its performance. The initial expense ratio will be 1.41% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $500 for various tax-advantaged accounts.

Davenport Balanced Income Fund

Davenport Balanced Income Fund will seek current income and an opportunity for long term growth. The plan is to buy high-quality stocks and investment-grade bonds. They’ve got the freedom to invest globally, including in the emerging markets. The fund will be managed by a team from Davenport & Company. The initial expense ratio will be 1.25% and the minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $2,000 for various tax-advantaged accounts.

Great Lakes Disciplined International Small Cap Fund

Great Lakes Disciplined International Small Cap Fund will seek total return. The plan is to invest in common and preferred stocks and convertible securities of non-U.S. small companies. The strategy is quant and pretty GARP-y. The fund will be managed by the Great Lakes Disciplined Equities Team. The initial expense ratio will be 1.71% and the minimum initial investment is $1,000, reduced to $500 for IRAs.

Homestead International Equity Fund II

Homestead International Equity Fund II will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in a diversified portfolio of well-managed, financially sound, fast growing and strongly competitive firms in the developed and developing markets. The fund will be managed by a team from Harding Loevner. The initial expense ratio has not been disclosed. The minimum initial investment is $500, reduced to $200 for IRAs and education accounts.

Huber Capital Mid Cap Value Fund

Huber Capital Mid Cap Value Fund will seek current income and capital appreciation, though there’s no particular explanation for where that income is coming from. The plan is to invest in a portfolio of undervalued mid-caps, which includes firms with market caps below $20 billion. Up to 20% might be non-US and up to 15% might be “restricted” securities. The fund will be managed by Joe Huber, the adviser’s CEO and CIO. The initial expense ratio will be 1.51% and the minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $2,500 for IRAs and accounts with an AIP.

Infusive Happy Consumer Choices Fund

Infusive Happy Consumer Choices Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation (and the avoidance of years of derision). The plan is to buy the stocks of firms whose products make consumers happy and which, therefore, generate consumer loyalty and corporate pricing power. The fund will be managed by Adam Lippman of Ruby Capital Partners. The initial expense ratio will be 1.60% and the minimum initial investment is $10,000.

Marshfield Concentrated Opportunity Fund

Marshfield Concentrated Opportunity Fund will seek long-term capital growth. I’ll let them speak for themselves: “The Fund may hold out-of-favor stocks rather than popular ones. The Fund’s portfolio will be concentrated and therefore may at times hold stocks in only a few companies. The Adviser is willing to hold cash and will buy stocks opportunistically when prices are attractive …” The fund will be managed by Christopher M. Niemczewski and Elise J. Hoffmann of Marshfield Associates. The initial expense ratio will be 1.25% and the minimum initial investment is $10,000. That’s reduced to $1,000 for IRAs and UTMAs.

Miles Capital Alternatives Advantage Fund

Miles Capital Alternatives Advantage Fund will seek long-term total return with less volatility than U.S. equity markets. The plan is to invest in hedge-like and alternative strategy funds and ETFs. The fund will be managed by Steve Stotts and Alan Goody. The initial expense ratio will be 3.5% (after waivers!) and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Nuance Concentrated Value Long-Short Fund

Nuance Concentrated Value Long-Short Fund will pursue long term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in 15-35 long positions and 50 short ones. When the prospectus is finished, they’ll add the six-month long track record of their separate accounts as an indication of the fund’s prospects. And then we pause to ask, why bother? It’s six months. The fund will be managed by Scott A. Moore, CFA, President and Chief Investment Officer of Nuance Investments. The initial expense ratio will be 1.87% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Scharf Alpha Opportunity Fund

Scharf Alpha Opportunity Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation and to provide returns above inflation while exposing investors to less volatility than typical equity investments. The plan is to invest in a global portfolio of undervalued securities, short indexes using ETFs and possibly hold up to 30% in fixed income. The fund will be managed by Brian A. Krawez of Scharf Investments. The initial expense ratio will be 2.27%. The minimum initial investment is $10,000, reduced to $5,000 for IRAs.

USA Mutuals Beating Beta Fund

USA Mutuals Beating Beta Fund will seek capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in the top 15% of companies in each of the industry sectors represented in the S&P500. That will average 75 stocks, mostly domestic. “Best” is determined by a combination of book to market value, net stock issuance, earnings quality, asset growth, profitability, and momentum The fund will be managed by Gerald Sullivan and Charles Clarke of USA Mutuals. The initial expense ratio will be 1.39% and the minimum initial investment is .

USA Mutuals Dynamic Market Opportunity Fund

USA Mutuals Dynamic Market Opportunity Fund will seek capital appreciation and capital preservation with low volatility. The plan is to have long and short call and put options on the S&P 500 Index, long and short positions in S&P futures contracts, and cash. The fund will be managed by Albert L. and Alan T. Hu. The initial expense ratio will be 2.14% and the minimum initial investment is $2,000.

Winton European Equity Portfolio

Winton European Equity Portfolio will seek long-term investment growth. The plan is to use a big honkin’ computer program to select an all-cap portfolio of stocks, mostly from developed Europe. There might be some emerging markets exposure and a little cash, though they’ll normally be fully invested. The fund will be managed by David Winton Harding and Matthew David Beddall, the adviser’s CEO and CIO, respectively. The initial expense ratio will be 1.16% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Winton International Equity Portfolio

Winton International Equity Portfolio will seek long-term investment growth. The plan is to use a big honkin’ computer program to select an all-cap portfolio of stocks, mostly from everywhere except the U.S. and Canada. There might be some emerging markets exposure and a little cash, though they’ll normally be fully invested. The fund will be managed by David Winton Harding and Matthew David Beddall, the adviser’s CEO and CIO, respectively. The initial expense ratio will be 1.16% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Winton U.S. Equity Portfolio

Winton U.S. Equity Portfolio will seek long-term investment growth. The plan is to use a big honkin’ computer program to select an all-cap portfolio of stocks, mostly from the US with hints that the Canadians might worm their way in. They’ll normally be fully invested. The fund will be managed by David Winton Harding and Matthew David Beddall, the adviser’s CEO and CIO, respectively. The initial expense ratio will be 1.16% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Funds in Registration, October 2015

By David Snowball

American Century Emerging Opportunities Total Return Fund

American Century Emerging Opportunities Total Return Fund will seek (wait for it!) total return.  The plan is to invest in EM bonds, corporate and sovereign, and floating rate debt. They have the right to buy convertible bonds, stocks, and exchange-traded funds but those seek to be a “why not toss them in the prospectus?” afterthought. The fund will be managed by an American Century team. The initial expense ratio hasn’t been released. The minimum initial investment will be $2,500.

Baird Small/Mid Cap Value Fund

Baird Small/Mid Cap Value Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation.  The plan is to invest in a diversified portfolio of undervalued small- to mid-cap stocks. Up to 15% might be non-US stocks trading on US exchanges. The fund will be managed by Michelle E. Stevens. The initial expense ratio is 1.20%. The minimum initial investment will be $1,000.

Cullen Enhanced Equity Income Fund

Cullen Enhanced Equity Income Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation and current income.  The plan is to buy dividend paying common stocks of medium- and large-capitalization companies, with about equal weighting for all of the stocks. They then write covered calls to generate income. The fund will be managed by James P. Cullen, Jennifer Chang and Tim Cordle. The initial expense ratio is 1.01%. The minimum initial investment will be $1,000.

DoubleLine Global Bond Fund

DoubleLine Global Bond Fund will seek long-term total return.  The plan is to pursue a global portfolio which might include US and foreign sovereign debt, quasi-sovereign debt, supra-national obligations, emerging market debt securities, high yield and defaulted debt securities, inflation-indexed securities, corporate debt securities, mortgage and asset backed securities, bank loans, and derivatives. The fund will be managed by The Gundlach alone. The initial expense ratio hasn’t been released. The minimum initial investment will be $2,000.

Matthews Asia Value Fund         

Matthews Asia Value Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation.  The plan is to buy undervalued common and preferred stocks. Firms are “Asian” if they’re “tied to” the region; for example, a European firm which derives more than 50% of its revenue from Asian markets is Asian. Firms are attractive to Matthews if they are “high quality, undervalued companies that have strong balance sheets, are focused on their shareholders, and are well-positioned to take advantage of Asia’s economic and financial evolution.” The fund will be managed by a team led by Beini Zhou. The initial expense ratio is 1.45%. The minimum initial investment will be $2,500.

Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation Index Fund

Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation Index Fund will seek to track the NASDAQ International Dividend Achievers Select Index, which focuses on high quality companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States, that have both the ability and the commitment to grow their dividends over time. The fund will be managed by Justin E. Hales and Michael Perre. The initial expense ratio is 0.35%. The minimum initial investment will be $3,000.

Vanguard International High Dividend Yield Index Fund

Vanguard International High Dividend Yield Index Fund will seek to track the FTSE All-World ex US High Dividend Yield Index, which focuses on companies located in developed and emerging markets, excluding the United States, that are forecasted to have above-average dividend yields.  The plan is to . The fund will be managed by Justin E. Hales and Michael Perre. The initial expense ratio will be 0.40%. The minimum initial investment will be $3,000.

 

September 2015, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

American Beacon Bridgeway Large Cap Growth Fund

American Beacon Bridgeway Large Cap Growth Fund will seek long-term total return on capital, primarily through capital appreciation.  Bridgeway is selling their LCG fund to American Beacon, pending shareholder approval. The fund will still be managed by John Montgomery and the Bridgeway team. The initial expense ratio will be 1.20%, rather above the current Bridgeway charge. The minimum initial investment is $2500. 

Aristotle Small Cap Equity Fund

Aristotle Small Cap Equity Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation by investing in high quality, small cap businesses that are undervalued. The fund will be managed by David Adams and Jack McPherson. The initial expense ratio will be 1.15%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Aristotle Value Equity Fund

Aristotle Value Equity Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation by investing mostly in undervalued mid- and large-cap stocks. The fund will be managed by Howard Gleicher, Aristotle’s CIO. The initial expense ratio will be 0.68%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Aston/River Road Focused Absolute Value Fund

Aston/River Road Focused Absolute Value Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to deploy that “proprietary Absolute Value® approach,” in hopes of providing “attractive, sustainable, low volatility returns over the long term.”  The fund will be managed by Andrew Beck, River Road’s CEO, and Thomas Forsha, their co-CIO. The initial expense ratio will be 1.26%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $500 for various sorts of tax-advantaged accounts..

Brown Advisory Equity Long/Short Fund

Brown Advisory Equity Long/Short Fund will seek to provide long-term capital appreciation by combining both “long” and “short” equity strategies. The plan is pretty straight forward: go long on securities with “few or no undesirable traits” and short the ugly ones. They have the option of using a wide variety of instruments (direct purchase, ETFs, futures and so on) to achieve that exposure. The fund will be managed by Paul Chew, Brown Advisory’s CIO and former manager of the Growth Equity fund. The initial expense ratio will be 2.24% for Investor shares and 2.49% for Advisor shares. The minimum initial investment is $5,000 for Investor shares and $2000 for Advisor shares, which are designed to be purchased through places like Scottrade. .

Dana Small Cap Equity Fund

Dana Small Cap Equity Fund will seek long-term growth. The plan is to create a risk-managed portfolio by using a sector-neutral, relative-value, equal-weight discipline. The large cap version of the strategy has been around for five years and has been perfectly respectable if not particularly distinguished for good or ill. The fund will be managed by a team from Dana Investment Advisers. The initial expense ratio will be 1.20%. The minimum initial investment is $1,000.

Driehaus Turnaround Opportunities Fund

Driehaus Turnaround Opportunities Fund will seek to maximize capital appreciation, while minimizing the risk of permanent capital impairment, over full-economic cycles.. The plan is to invest in the equity and debt securities of “distressed, stressed and leveraged companies,” on the popular premise that they’re widely misunderstood and their securities are often incorrectly priced. The fund will be managed by Elizabeth Cassidy and Thomas McCauley of Driehaus. The initial expense ratio has not been released. The minimum initial investment is $10,000 for retail accounts, reduced to $2000 for retirement accounts.

Ensemble Fund

Ensemble Fund will seek long term capital appreciation. The plan is to identify 15-25 high quality companies with undervalued stock, then buy some. The fund will be managed by Sean Stannard-Stockton, Ensemble’s president and CIO. The initial expense ratio will be 2.0%. The minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $1000 for IRAs and accounts established with an automatic investment plan.

FFI Diversified US Equity Fund

FFI Diversified US Equity Fund will seek long-term capital growth. The plan is to invest in 40-50 U.S. stocks, with a target portfolio market cap of $20 billion. The fund will be managed by a team from FormulaFolio Investments, led by CIO James Wenk. The initial expense ratio will be a stout 2.25%. The prospectus doesn’t offer any immediate evidence that the guys will overcome a high expense ratio in such a competitive slice of the market. The minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $1,000 for retirement accounts and those established with an automatic investing plan.

Gripman Absolute Value Balanced Fund

Gripman Absolute Value Balanced Fund will seek long-term total return and income. The plan is to pursue a conservative asset allocation on the order of 30% equity/70% intermediate-term fixed income. A sliver might be in junk bonds. The fund will be managed by Timothy W. Bond. The initial expense ratio hasn’t been announced. The minimum initial investment is $2,000.

Harbor Diversified International All Cap Fund

Harbor Diversified International All Cap Fund  will seek long-term growth of capital. The plan is to invest mostly in cyclical companies, which you typically buy when they look absolutely ghastly and sell as soon as they start looking decent. The fund will be managed by a very large team led by William J. Arah from Marathon Asset Management, a London-based adviser. Mr. Arah founded Marathon, which also serves as sub-advisor to Vanguard Global Equity. The initial expense ratio will be 1.22%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Iron Equity Premium Income Fund

Iron Equity Premium Income Fund will seek to provide superior risk-adjusted total returns relative to the CBOE S&P 500 BuyWrite Index (BXM). The plan is to buy ETFs which track the S&P 500 while writing call options to generate income. The fund will be managed by a team from IRON Financial. The initial expense ratio will be 1.45%. The minimum initial investment is $10,000.

Preserver Alternative Opportunities Fund

Preserver Alternative Opportunities Fund will seek high total returns with low volatility. The plan is to hire sub-advisers to do pretty typical liquid alts stuff in the portfolio. The subs have not yet been named, though. The initial expense ratio will be 2.43%. The minimum initial investment is $2,000.

Quantified Self-Adjusting Trend Following Fund

Quantified Self-Adjusting Trend Following Fund (really? It feels like they consulted with Willy Wonka to select their name.)  will seek “high appreciation on an annual basis consistent with a high tolerance for risk.” Do you suppose it’s really seeking a high tolerance for risk, or merely requires that prospective investors have a high tolerance?  The plan is to determine the market’s trend, then invest in ETFs, leveraged ETFs or inverse ETFs. If there’s no discernible trend, they’ll invest in bonds. The fund will be managed by Jerry Wagner, President of the Flexible Plan Investments, and Dr. Z. George Yang, their director of research. The initial expense ratio will be 1.75%. The minimum initial investment is $10,000.

T. Rowe Price Mid-Cap Index Fund

T. Rowe Price Mid-Cap Index Fund will seek to match the performance of the Russell Select Midcap Completion Index, with a correlation of at least 0.95. The fund will be managed by Ken D. Uematsu. The initial expense ratio will be 0.32%.

T. Rowe Price Small-Cap Index Fund

T. Rowe Price Small-Cap Index Fund will seek to match the performance of the Russell 2000®Index with a correlation of at least 0.95. The fund will be managed by Ken D. Uematsu. The initial expense ratio will be 0.34%.

August 2015, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

361 Long/Short Credit Fund

361 Long/Short Credit Fund will seek to provide positive absolute total returns over a complete market cycle. It’s pretty much an unconstrained global long/short bond fund. The fund will be managed by an as-yet unnamed outside sub-advisor. The initial expense ratio also has not yet been released. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Absolute Capital Asset Allocator Fund

Absolute Capital Asset Allocator Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to churn a portfolio of stocks, bonds, funds, CEFs, ETFs and ETNs between various asset classes. The fund will be managed by Phillip Brenden Gebben, cofounder of Absolute Capital. The initial expense ratio has not yet been announced. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Absolute Capital Defender Fund

Absolute Capital Defender Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to defensively churn a portfolio of stocks, bonds, funds, CEFs, ETFs and ETNs between various asset classes. The fund might go substantially to cash. The fund will be managed by Phillip Brenden Gebben, cofounder of Absolute Capital. The initial expense ratio has not yet been announced. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Champlain Emerging Markets Fund

Champlain Emerging Markets Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in “growing but stable companies trading at attractive valuations” using a scoring metric that tries to control for behavioral bias.  Champlain Advisors acquired New Sheridan Developing World Fund which, not to be cruel, had no assets, high expenses and mediocre performance. The fund will be managed by Russell and Richard Hoss, who managed New Sheridan for the last year of its existence. Both are Air Force Academy grads. The initial expense ratio, after expense waivers, will be 1.86% for Advisor shares. The minimum initial investment is $10,000, reduced to $3,000 for various tax-advantaged accounts.

Deutsche Limited Maturity Quality Income Fund

Deutsche Limited Maturity Quality Income Fund will seek current income consistent with the preservation of capital and liquidity. The plan is invest in both domestic and international high quality, short-term fixed-income instruments which are dollar denominated. They expect to maintain a duration of 90 days or less and will invest only in securities rating in one of the top two quality categories (AA and AAA). The fund will be managed by Geoffrey Gibbs, who is head of Deutsche’s Liquidity Management Group, and Lee Rodon and Glenn Koenig, both of whom work in the group. The initial expense ratio hasn’t been released. The minimum initial investment is $1,000. They expect to launch September 28.

Deutsche Ultra-Short Quality Income Fund

Deutsche Ultra-Short Quality Income Fund will seek a high level of current income consistent with the preservation of capital and liquidity.  The plan is to invest at least 65% of the portfolio in securities rated in the top three quality categories. The remainder can be rated one tier lower. The fund will be managed by Geoffrey Gibbs, who is head of Deutsche’s Liquidity Management Group, and Lee Rodon and Glenn Koenig, both of whom work in the group. The initial expense ratio hasn’t been released. The minimum initial investment is $1,000. They expect to launch September 28.

Ivy Apollo Strategic Income Fund

Ivy Apollo Strategic Income Fund will seek a combination of current income and capital appreciation.  The plan is to allocate 20% of the portfolio to Apollo Credit Management’s Total Return Strategy (a global value strategy encompassing U.S. corporate credit, global corporate credit, structured credit, and real estate) and flexibly allocate the remainder between Ivy’s Global Bond and High Income Strategies. The managers will be Mark Beischel and Chad Gunther from Ivy and James Zelter, President of Apollo. The initial expense ratio on “A” shares is 1.15%. The minimum initial investment is $750, which is waived for accounts set up with an automatic investment plan.

Ivy Apollo Multi-Asset Income Fund

Ivy Apollo Multi-Asset Income Fund will seek a combination of current income and capital appreciation.  The plan is to allocate 20% of the portfolio to Apollo Credit Management’s Total Return Strategy (a global value strategy encompassing U.S. corporate credit, global corporate credit, structured credit, and real estate), 30% to Ivy High Income, 40% to Ivy Global Equity Income and 10% to LaSalle US’s Global Real Estate Strategy. The managers will be Mark Beischel and Chad Gunther from Ivy and James Zelter, President of Apollo. The initial expense ratio on “A” shares is 1.15%. The minimum initial investment is $750, which is waived for accounts set up with an automatic investment plan.

TCW/Gargoyle Hedged Value Fund

TCW/Gargoyle Hedged Value Fund (TFHIX/TFHVX) will seek long-term capital appreciation with lower volatility than a stand-alone stock portfolio. The plan is to buy undervalued mid- to large-cap stocks and sell index call options. The fund was previously RiverPark/Gargoyle Hedged Value (2012-15) and was a hedge fund before that (2005-2012). The fund will continue to be managed by Joshua B. Parker and Alan L. Salzbank of Gargoyle Investment Advisor. The initial expense ratio will be 1.50% for retail shares. The minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $1,000 for IRAs.

TCW/Gargoyle Dynamic 500 Fund

TCW/Gargoyle Dynamic 500 Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation with reduced risk and lower volatility than the S&P 500 Index. The plan is to buy the S&P 500 portfolio but hedge it by selling “short-term slightly out-of-the-money SPX call options.” They’ll actively manage the options portfolio. The fund might have a net stock market exposure of 35-65%, with a neutral target of 50%. The fund will be managed by Joshua B. Parker and Alan L. Salzbank of Gargoyle Investment Advisor. The initial expense ratio has not been released. The minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $1,000 for IRAs.

TCW/Gargoyle Systematic Value Fund

TCW/Gargoyle Systematic Value Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to buy, mostly, US mid- to large-cap stocks that the managers believe are undervalued. This is, at base, the long portfolio from the Hedged Value Fund and it has a very good long-term record. The fund will be managed by Joshua B. Parker and Alan L. Salzbank of Gargoyle Investment Advisor. The initial expense ratio has not been released. The minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $1,000 for IRAs.

TCW High Dividend Equities Long/Short Fund

TCW High Dividend Equities Long/Short Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest, long and short, in high dividend securities. These might include everything from common stocks to MLPs, REITs, business development companies and ETFs. The fund will be managed by Iman H. Brivanlou of TCW. The initial expense ratio has not been released. The minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $1,000 for IRAs.

TCW/Carlyle Liquid Tactical Fund

TCW/Carlyle Liquid Tactical Fund will seek “risk-adjusted long-term total return.”‘ The plan is to trade “liquid instruments” which invest equities, fixed income, credit, commodities, currencies and alternatives markets. The fund will be managed by a team from Carlyle Liquid Market Solutions. The initial expense ratio has not been released. The minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $1,000 for IRAs.

TCW/Carlyle Trend Following Fund

TCW/Carlyle Trend Following Fund will also seek risk-adjusted long-term total return. At base, it’s a managed futures fund which will invest, long or short, in various asset classes based on whether they underlying price trend is positive or negative. In general, managed futures funds have performed poorly, averaging about 1.7% per year over the past five years while the best of them have made about 5%. The fund will be managed by a team from Carlyle Liquid Market Solutions.  The initial expense ratio has not been released. The minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $1,000 for IRAs.

TCW/Carlyle Absolute Return Fund

TCW/Carlyle Absolute Return Fund will seek (surprise!) risk-adjusted long-term total return.  The plan is to allocate the portfolio between the other two TCW/Carlyle funds. The fund will be managed by a team from Carlyle Liquid Market Solutions. The initial expense ratio has not been released. The minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $1,000 for IRAs.

USA Mutuals/WaveFront Hedged Emerging Markets Fund

USA Mutuals/WaveFront Hedged Emerging Markets Fund will seek consistent long-term capital appreciation with significantly less volatility compared to traditional emerging markets indices. The plan is to combine a frequently-traded long portfolio with an options overlay and the possibility of holding 20% in high quality, short-term debt. The fund is a converted version of a hedge fund run by Mark Adam from WaveFront Capital Management, L.P.  The hedge fund made less than 0.8% in 2013 while the benchmark lost 0.1%, but in 2014 pocketed a 4.4% gain as the index dropped 3.0%.The initial expense ratio will be 1.75% for Investor class shares. The minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $100 for various tax-advantaged accounts.

Van Eck Long/Short Equity Fund

Van Eck Long/Short Equity Fund will seek “consistent total returns while experiencing lower volatility” than most other long/short funds. The adviser has identified the investment characteristics of all long/short hedge funds that focus on North American stocks. They plan to invest, long and short, in ETFs and similar vehicles in order to replicate that universe. They will not use leverage. In an interesting twist, the fund “has not yet commenced operations” but Marc Freed and Ben McMillan have been managing it since 2013. The initial expense ratio has not been disclosed. The minimum initial investment for the loaded “A” shares is $1000 and is waived for accounts established with an automatic investment plan.

July 2015, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

First Western Short Duration High Yield Credit Fund 

First Western Short Duration High Yield Credit Fund will seek a high level of current income and capital growth. The plan is to invest in a global portfolio of junk bonds and floating rate senior secured loans. The fund will be managed by Steven S. Michaels. The minimum initial investment is $1,000. The opening expense ratio for retail shares will be 1.2%.

RiverNorth Marketplace Lending Fund

RiverNorth Marketplace Lending Fund will seek “a high level of total return, with an emphasis on current income.” The plan is to invest in “loans to consumers, small- and mid-sized companies and other borrowers originated through online platforms.” That is, they’ll subscribe to loans through peer-to-peer lenders such as Lending Tree and Prosper.com. They urge you to think of this as a fund that might fit into the “high yield / speculative income” slot in your portfolio. They also, rightly, raise two red flags: (1) no one has ever done this before and so there’s no established market for trading these shares, which might well make them illiquid for rather longer than you like and (2) this is structured as a closed-end fund but will likely function as an interval fund; that is, you might have to request redemption of your shares then wait for a redemption window. That’s akin to the practice in hedge funds, since they also make money from the mispricing of illiquid investments. The fund will be managed by Philip K. Bartow and Patrick W. Galley. Mr. Bartow just joined RiverNorth after serving as “Principal at Spring Hill Capital, where he focused on analyzing and trading structured credit, commercial mortgage and asset-backed fixed income investments.” Mr. Galley is RiverNorth’s Alpha male. Details like purchase requirements and expenses have yet to be worked out.

RQSI Small Cap Hedged Equity Fund

RQSI Small Cap Hedged Equity Fund will seek total return with lower volatility than the overall equity market. The plan is to invest in a diversified portfolio of U.S. small cap stocks and ADRs, when they need exposure to a foreign stock, which will be selected using the Ramsey Quantitative Systems, Inc. quantitative system. The manager will use options, futures and ETFs to hedge the portfolio. The fund will be managed by Benjamin McMillan, formerly a manager for Van Eck Global’s Long/Short Equity Index Fund. The minimum initial investment is $2,500. The opening expense ratio will be 1.56% for retail shares.

T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Value Stock Fund

T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Value Stock Fund will pursue long term growth of capital. The fund will invest in “stocks of larger companies that are undervalued in the view of the portfolio manager using various measures.” The fund will be managed by Ernest Yeung. Mr. Yeung joined T. Rowe in 2003. Price describes him as having “joined the Firm in 2003 and his investment experience dates from 2001. He has served as a portfolio manager with the Firm throughout the past five years.” He’s also described as a “sector expert” on Asian media and telecomm stocks. I can, however, only find a four month fill-in stint as manager of New Asia (PRASX). Presumably he’s been managing something other than mutual funds and has done it well enough to satisfy Price. The opening expense ratio, after waivers, will be 1.5%. The minimum initial investment will be $2,500, reduced to $1,000 for tax-advantaged accounts. The prospectus is dated August 24, 2015 which suggests the launch date.

Thornburg Better World Fund

Thornburg Better World Fund will seek long-term capital growth. The plan is to invest in international “companies that demonstrate one or more positive environmental, social and governance characteristics.” They can also hold fixed income securities, but that’s clearly secondary. The fund will be managed by Rolf Kelly, who has been with Thornburg since 2007. Before that, he was a “reservoir engineer” for an oil company. The minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $2,000 for various tax-advantaged accounts. The opening expense ratio is 1.83% for “A” shares, which also carry an avoidable 4.5% load.

United Income and Art Fund

United Income and Art Fund will seek income with long-term capital appreciation as a secondary objective. The plan is to invest in equity and fixed-income mutual funds (based on “performance, risk, draw downs, portfolio holdings, turnover, and potential concentration risk – easy peasy!) and up to 15% in potentially illiquid “art companies,” plus long and short ETFs for hedging. The fund will be managed by Doran Adhami and Itay Vinik of United Global Advisors. Mr. Adhami was a Vice President of Investments for UBS from 2005-13; Mr. Vinik was an intern there and is now, with “approximately three years” of industry experience, United Global’s CIO. He also helps manage the Ace of Swords Fund. The minimum initial investment is $500. The opening expense ratio has not been released; the existence of a 2% redemption fee and a 0.25% 12(b)1 fee have been established.

Zevenbergen Genea Fund

Zevenbergen Genea Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in the stocks of 15-40 firms which are “benefitting from advancements in technology.” I’m certain that’s not nearly as dumb as it sounds. International exposure would come mostly through ADRs. The fund will be managed by Nancy Zevenbergen, Brooke de Boutray, and Leslie Tubbs. The adviser has about $2.4 billion in assets under management and all of the managers have experience as portfolio managers at regional banks. The minimum initial investment is $2,500. The opening expense ratio is 1.40%.

Zevenbergen Growth Fund

Zevenbergen Growth Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in 30-60 industry leaders, described as firms which seek to invest in industry leaders with “strong competitive positioning.” International exposure would come mostly through ADRs. The fund will be managed by Nancy Zevenbergen, Brooke de Boutray, and Leslie Tubbs. The adviser has about $2.4 billion in assets under management and all of the managers have experience as portfolio managers at regional banks. The minimum initial investment is $2,500. The opening expense ratio is 1.3%.

June 2015, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

Catalyst/Auctos Managed Futures Multi-Strategy Fund

Catalyst/Auctos Managed Futures Multi-Strategy Fund will pursue capital appreciation uncorrelated to global equity markets. The plan is to “employ nine unique trading models, which are applied to the four investment sub-strategies” in order to gain absolute returns through both rising and falling price cycles. The fund will be managed by Kevin Jamali. Catalyst is an alternatives manager whose other two managed futures funds have done quite well. The initial expense ratio capped at 1.99%, though with a management fee of 1.75%, it’s hard to see how that’s going to be sustainable. The minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to for $100 for account established with an AIP.

Fulcrum Diversified Absolute Return Fund

Fulcrum Diversified Absolute Return Fund will seek long-term absolute returns. I have no idea of what they’re actually going to do. The prospectus specifies that they’ll invest in a mix of asset classes, apparently through derivatives, with a target portfolio volatility of 12%. There’s no clear explanation of why that’s a good thing or how it might play out in terms of returns. The fund will be managed by a mostly-British team from Fulcrum Asset Management. The advisor has a European UCITS using this strategy; it’s returned 5.6% annually over its first three years. The initial expense ratio will be 1.45% for Advisor shares. The minimum initial investment for Advisor shares is $1,000.

Intrepid Select Fund

Intrepid Select Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in a global, non-diversified portfolio of common stocks, preferred stocks, convertible preferred stocks, warrants, options and foreign securities. The fund will be managed by  a team of investment professionals led by Mark Travis, Intrepid’s president. The same team manages Intrepid’s other funds which are substantially better than Morningstar’s ratings would lead you to believe. They have an aversion to losing money, which means they have exceptional cash reserves in the range of 50-75%, and at least one of the funds (Income ICMUX) is noticeably misclassified. The initial expense ratio will be 1.40%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

TIAA-CREF Social Choice International Equity Fund

TIAA-CREF Social Choice International Equity Fund will seek a favorable long-term total return, reflected in the performance of ESG-screened international stocks. MSCI will provide the ESG screens and the fund will target developed international markets. The fund will be managed by Philip James (Jim) Campagna and Lei Liao. The managers’ previous experience seems mostly to be in index funds. The initial expense ratio will be 0.79%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $2,000 for various tax-advantaged products.

TIAA-CREF Social Choice Low Carbon Equity Fund

TIAA-CREF Social Choice Low Carbon Equity Fund will seek a favorable long-term total return, reflected in the performance of ESG-screened US stocks. MSCI will provide the ESG screens, which will be supplemented by screens looking for firms who “demonstrate leadership in managing and mitigating their current carbon emissions and (2) have limited exposure to oil, gas, and coal reserves.” I understand the moral imperative and the appeal to CREF’s core constituency (university and non-profit employees), though I’m not aware of the merits of the investment case for this strategy. The fund will be managed by Philip James (Jim) Campagna and Lei Liao. The managers’ previous experience seems mostly to be in index funds. The initial expense ratio will be 0.71%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $2,000 for various tax-advantaged products.

TIAA-CREF Short-Term Bond Index Fund

TIAA-CREF Short-Term Bond Index Fund will seek favorable long-term total return, mainly from current income, by investing in domestic, investment-grade short term bonds. The fund will be managed by Lijun (Kevin) Chen and James Tsang. The initial expense ratio will be 0.47%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $2,000 for various tax-advantaged products.

Trillium All Cap Fund

Trillium All Cap Fund will seek long term capital appreciation by investing in an all-cap portfolio of “stocks with high quality characteristics and strong environmental, social, and governance records.” Up to 20% of the portfolio might be overseas. The fund will be managed by Elizabeth Levy and Stephanie Leighton of Trillium Asset Management. Levy managed Winslow Green Large Cap from 2009-11, Leighton managed ESG money at SunLife of Canada and Pioneer. The initial expense ratio is capped at 1.25% for retail shares. The minimum initial investment is $5000. It appears that the advisor will first launch Institutional ($100,000/0.90%) shares in July. It’s not clear when the Retail shares will debut.

Trillium Small/Mid Cap Fund

Trillium Small/Mid Cap Fund will seek long term capital appreciation by investing in a portfolio of small- to mid-cap “stocks with high quality characteristics and strong environmental, social, and governance records.” Small- to mid- is defined as stocks comparable in size to those in the S&P 1000, a composite of the S&P’s small and mid-cap indexes. Up to 20% of the portfolio might be overseas. The fund will be managed by Laura McGonagle and Matthew Patsky of Trillium Asset Management. Trillium oversees about $2.2 billion in assets. McGonagle was previously a research analyst at Adams, Harkness and Hill and is distantly related to Professor Minerva McGonagall. Patsky was Director of Equity Research for Adams, Harkness & Hill and a manager of the Winslow Green Solutions Fund. The initial expense ratio is capped at 1.38% for retail shares. The minimum initial investment is $5000. It appears that the advisor will first launch Institutional ($100,000/0.98%) shares in July. It’s not clear when the Retail shares will debut.

May 2015, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

American Beacon Grosvenor Long/Short Fund

American Beacon Grosvenor Long/Short Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation.  At this point the strategy for pursuing that objective is entirely hypothetical.  American Beacon hired Grosvenor Capital Management to hire other firms to actually manage the portfolio. So far, the folks actually managing the money haven’t been named, though we do know that one (or more) of them might pursue an equity strategy while one (or more) of them might purse an event-driven strategy, though the fund might not simultaneously pursue both strategies. This might explain the fund’s expense structure. Opening expenses on the Investor share class are 2.49% after waivers with a rich management fee of 1.55%. The minimum initial purchase requirement is $2500.

AMG GW&K Small Cap Growth Fund

AMG GW&K Small Cap Growth Fund will seek to provide investors with long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to build a diversified domestic small cap portfolio.  Nothing fancy, so far as I can tell. The fund will be managed by Daniel L. Miller and Joseph C. Craigen. Mr. Miller already co-manages a very solid small-blend fund for AMG. The initial expense ratio will be 1.45% and the minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $1,000 for IRAs.

Balter Discretionary Global Macro Fund

Balter Discretionary Global Macro Fund (BGMVX) will seek to generate positive absolute returns in most market conditions. The plan is to do predictably complex stuff with derivatives and direct investments in order to build a portfolio of non-correlated assets . The fund will be sub-advised by Philip Yang and Frank C. Marrapodi of Willowbridge Associates. The initial expense ratio will be 2.19% (and that’s after waivers) and the minimum initial investment is $5,000.

Cutler Emerging Markets Fund

Cutler Emerging Markets Fund will seek current income and long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to use the same discipline they apply in their pretty solid Cutler Equity Fund (CALEX) to the emerging markets. They might hedge their currency exposure, but maybe not. Otherwise, no particular twists. The fund will be managed by Matthew Patten, Erich Patten and Xavier Urpi. The initial expense ratio will be 1.55% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Eventide Multi-Asset Income Fund

Eventide Multi-Asset Income Fund will seek current income while maintaining the potential for capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in whatever income-producing assets look most attractive. They might obtain that exposure directly or through derivatives and they might invest up to 10% in short positions. In either case, the fund has substantial positive and negative social screens. The fund, other than noted below, will be managed by Martin Wildy and David Dirk. The fund’s intermediate bond sleeve will be managed by unnamed folks from Boyd Watterson Asset Management. The initial expense ratio will be 1.19% for “N” shares and the minimum initial investment is $1,000.

Grandeur Peak Global Micro Cap Fund

Grandeur Peak Global Micro Cap Fund will seek long-term growth of capital. The method here replicates the strategy in GP’s other funds, but apply it exclusively to global stocks with market caps under $1.5 billion. They warn of substantial emerging and frontier exposure. The fund will be managed by Randy Pearce & Blake Walker with GP’s senior manager, Robert Gardiner, hovering in the background.  The initial expense ratio has not been released and the minimum initial investment is $2,000.

Grandeur Peak Global Stalwarts Fund

Grandeur Peak Global Stalwarts Fund will seek long-term growth of capital. The method here replicates the strategy in GP’s other funds, but apply it exclusively to stocks with market caps over $1.5 billion. GP defines “stalwarts” as “growth companies that are maturing. They are proven success stories that still have headroom to grow, but whose growth is slowing as they mature.” They warn of substantial emerging and frontier exposure.  The fund will be managed by Randy Pearce & Blake Walker with GP’s senior manager, Robert Gardiner, hovering in the background.  The initial expense ratio has not been released and the minimum initial investment is $2,000..

Grandeur Peak International Stalwarts Fund

Grandeur Peak International Stalwarts Fund will seek long-term growth of capital. The method here replicates the strategy in GP’s other funds, but apply it exclusively to non-U.S. stocks with market caps over $1.5 billion. They warn of substantial emerging and frontier exposure.  The fund will be managed by Randy Pearce & Blake Walker with GP’s senior manager, Robert Gardiner, hovering in the background.  The initial expense ratio has not been released and the minimum initial investment is $2,000.

James Aggressive Allocation Fund

James Aggressive Allocation Fund will seeks to provide total return through a combination of growth and income. I don’t see anything particularly aggressive about it: the default is a 60/40 allocation with the proviso that stocks might range from 50-100% of the portfolio. The fund will be managed by nine guys, many of whom are named James. The initial expense ratio hasn’t been disclosed and the minimum initial investment is $10,000, reduced to $5,000 for IRAs.

Janus Adaptive Global Allocation Fund

Janus Adaptive Global Allocation Fund will seek total return through growth of capital and income.  The plan is to invest globally in stocks and bonds but to focus especially on the issue of “tail risk.” That is, relatively unlikely events that might have a major impact should they occur.  The neutral allocation is 70/30 global stocks to bonds. The fund will be managed by Ahhwin Alankar, Ph.D., and Enrique Chang. Opening expenses on the fund’s five share classes have not been revealed. The minimum initial purchase for the various retail shares is $2500.

Meeder Dividend Opportunities Fund

Meeder Dividend Opportunities Fund will seek to provide total return, including capital appreciation and current income. The plan is to invest at least 80% in dividend-paying stocks, either directly or through ETFs and similar creatures. Up to 20% might be in fixed income. They use the same strategies in separate accounts; the composite there shows them leading their benchmark about as often as they trail it. The fund will be managed by a team from Meeder Asset Management. The initial expense ratio will be 1.72% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $500 for IRAs.

TCW Developing Markets Equity Fund

TCW Developing Markets Equity Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The fund will invest in stocks and might invest in derivatives either to hedge or achieve their equity exposure. They’ll pick stocks based on the typical combination of quant and fundamental work; they’ll pick country exposure based on a bunch of macro factors. The fund will be managed by Ray S. Prasad, formerly of Batterymarch, and Andrey Glukhov. Expenses not revealed. The minimum initial investment will be $2000, reduced to $500 for tax-advantaged accounts.

Triad Small Cap Value Fund

Triad Small Cap Value Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation and attempt to minimize the probability of permanent losses over the longer-term, with less emphasis on short-term market fluctuations.  At base, they’re investing in small caps but willing to hold cash. The managers will be John Heldman, formerly a Neuberger Berman manager, and David Hutchison.  The fund’s opening expense ratio is listed as 1.XX%. That’s hard to argue with. The minimum initial investment will be $5,000.

April 2015, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

American Beacon Ionic Strategic Arbitrage Fund

American Beacon Ionic Strategic Arbitrage Fund will pursue capital appreciation with low volatility and reduced correlation to equities and interest rates. The plan is to pursue a series of arbitrage strategies: Convertible Arbitrage (40-50% of the portfolio), Credit/Rates Relative Value Arbitrage (20-30%), Equity Arbitrage (30-40%) and Volatility Arbitrage (5-15%). This strategy is currently operating as a hedge fund, Iconic Absolute Return Fund LLC, which made 3% in 2014. The fund will be managed by the Iconic team that runs the hedge fund. The opening expense ratio will be 1.98%. The minimum initial investment will be $2500 for the no-load Investor class shares.

Artisan Developing World Fund

Artisan Developing World Fund (ARTYX) will pursue long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in “self-funding companies that are exposed to the growth potential of developing world economies with limited dependence on foreign capital.” The notion is that capital flight represents a serious risk; by investing in firms not dependent on outside, especially foreign, capital, the manager seeks to mitigate the risk. The fund will be managed by Lewis Kaufman who had been managing the five-star, $2.8 billion Thornburg Developing World Fund (THDAX). The opening expense ratio will be 1.50% on Investor class shares. There’s also a 2.0% redemption fee on shares held fewer than 90 days. The minimum initial investment will be $1,000; Artisan will waive the minimum if you establish (as you should) an automatic investing plan.

Aspiration US Sustainable Equity Fund

Aspiration US Sustainable Equity Fund will try to  maximize total return, consisting of capital appreciation and current income. The plan is to invest in the stocks of firms that pass their ESG screens. They’ve established a 5% threshold for exclusion: if more than 5% of your earnings come from GMOs or plastic water bottles, for example, they won’t invest in you. The fund will be managed by Bruno Bertocci and Thomas J. Digenan, both of UBS. The opening expense ratio has not been announced. The minimum initial investment will be $500. (Wow.)

Emerald Small Cap Value Fund

Emerald Small Cap Value Fund will pursue long-term capital appreciation by investing in a non-diversified portfolio of US small cap stocks. Their size universe is equivalent to the Russell 2000 Value Index’s. Up to 20% might be REITs or foreign small caps purchased through ADRs. This is a reorganization of the former Elessar Small Cap Value Fund (LSRIX) which has been around and only modestly successful since 2012. The fund will be managed by Richard Geisen and Ori Elan, the same duo that managed LSRIX. Mr. Geisen has over $200,000 in his fund while Mr. Elan has been $50,000-100,000. The opening expense ratio has not been disclosed. The minimum initial investment will be $2000, reduced to $1000 for tax-advantaged accounts.

Lazard Emerging Markets Equity Advantage Portfolio

Lazard Emerging Markets Equity Advantage Portfolio will pursue long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in an emerging markets equity portfolio which might include common stocks ADRs, GDRs, EDRs, REITs, warrants and other derivatives. The fund will be managed by a team headed by Paul Moghtader. The opening expense ratio will be 1.40% for the no-load “Open” shares. The minimum initial investment is $2500.

Lazard International Equity Advantage Portfolio

Lazard International Equity Advantage Portfolio will pursue long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in a global equity portfolio, but one which “typically focus[es] on securities of non-US developed market companies.” They can invest in stocks, ETFs, warrants and depositary rights (e.g., ADRs). They will be able to use various derivatives to hedge the portfolio. The fund will be managed by a team headed by Paul Moghtader. The opening expense ratio will be 1.20% for the no-load “Open” shares. The minimum initial investment is $2500.

Lazard Managed Equity Volatility Portfolio

Lazard Managed Equity Volatility Portfolio  will pursue long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to use a bunch of quantitative screens to create a global portfolio equity portfolio with low volatility and attractive risk-return characteristics. The fund will be managed by a team headed by Paul Moghtader. The opening expense ratio will be 1.05% for the no-load “Open” shares. The minimum initial investment is $2500.

PIMCO Real Return Limited Duration Fund

PIMCO Real Return Limited Duration Fund will pursue maximum real return, consistent with preservation of capital and prudent investment management. The plan is to invest in a global portfolio of sovereign and corporate inflation-indexed securities of varying maturities. The fund will normally limit its foreign currency exposure to 20% but might go as high as 30%. 10% of the portfolio might be invested in emerging markets and 10% might be invested in junk bonds. And the entire portfolio might be invested in derivatives. The fund will be managed by some as-yet unnamed person or persons.  The opening expense ratio is, likewise, not set . The minimum initial investment for the “D” share classes will be $1,000.

March 2015, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

AC Alternatives Equity Fund

AC (American Century) Equity Fund will seek capital appreciation. The plan is to hire sub-advisors to pursue specialty equity strategies. The initial set of strategies and subs include long/short equity (Passport Capital) and event-driven and trading strategies (Perella Weinberg Partners). The prospectus allows for inclusion of a long-only equity strategy as well. PWP is also responsible for selecting, assessing and harmonizing the various strategies and subs. The opening expense ratio hasn’t been released but this doesn’t sound like it’s gonna be cheap. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

AC (American Century) Alternatives Income Fund

AC (American Century) Alternatives Income Fund will seek “diverse sources of income.” The plan is to hire sub-advisors to pursue specialty income strategies. The initial set of strategies and subs include Arrowpoint Partners (opportunistic corporate credit, a sort of high yield bond and loan strategy), Good Hill Partners LP (structured credit) and PWP (a hedging overlay plus MLPs). The opening expense ratio hasn’t been released but this doesn’t sound like it’s gonna be cheap. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

AC Alternatives Multi-Strategy Fund

AC (American Century) Multi-Strategy Fund will seek capital appreciation. The plan is to hire sub-advisors to pursue specialty alternative strategies. The initial set of strategies and subs include Long/short credit (Good Hill Partners LP and MAST Capital), event-driven (Levin Capital), long/short equity (Passport Capital) and then Global macro, real asset and trading strategies (Perella Weinberg Partners). PWP is also responsible for selecting, assessing and harmonizing the various strategies and subs. The opening expense ratio hasn’t been released but this doesn’t sound like it’s gonna be cheap. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

ASTON/Pictet Premium Brands Fund

ASTON/Pictet Premium Brands Fund will seek capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in the stocks of companies that have “superior quality goods or services that enjoy a high level of brand recognition and that are expected to have relative pricing power and high consumer loyalty.” The fund will be managed by Caroline Reyl, Laurent Belloni, and Alice de Lamaze, all of the Sector and Themes Fund Team at Pictet. On face there’s something modestly regrettable in the symbolism of assigning female portfolio managers to the luxury shopping fund. That said, the team manages a billion dollar, Swiss-domiciled version of the fund. They’ve returned 6.3% annualized since 2007. Their 13.2% returns over the past five years seem solid, but they trail their consumer goods benchmark and have relatively high volatility. The opening expense ratio will be 1.31%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $500 for tax-advantaged accounts.

Brown Advisory Global Leaders Fund

Brown Advisory Global Leaders Fund will seek to achieve capital appreciation by investing primarily in global equities. The plan is to invest in “leaders within their industry or country as demonstrated by an ability to deliver high relative return on invested capital over time.” In addition to investing directly in such stocks, they have the right to use derivatives and ETFs (which does make you wonder why you’d need to buy the fund). The fund will be managed by Mick Dillon of Brown Advisory. Mr. Dillon used to be head of Asian equities for HSBC. The opening expense ratio has not yet been set. The minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $2,000 for tax-advantaged accounts.

Brown Capital Management International Small Company Fund

Brown Capital Management International Small Company Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation, with some possibility of income thrown in. The plan is to invest in 40-65 “exceptional companies.” The fund will be managed by Martin Steinik, Maurice Haywood, and Duncan Evered. The opening expense ratio, this will be a recurring theme with this month’s funds, has not be disclosed. The minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $2,000 for tax-advantaged accounts.

Direxion Hilton Yield Plus Fund

Direxion Hilton Yield Plus Fund total return consistent with the preservation of capital. The plan is to balance fixed income investments with equities, with a focus on minimizing absolute risk and volatility. Those securities might include common and preferred stocks of any capitalization, MLPs, REITs, and corporate bonds, ETNs and municipal bonds The fund will be managed by a team headed by William J. Garvey, Hilton’s CIO. The opening expense ratio will be 1.49%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Longboard Long/Short Equity Fund

Longboard Long/Short Equity Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to, love the wording here, “considers long positions in a large subset of 3,500 of the most liquid [domestic equity] securities” while shorting indexes. The fund will be managed by Eric Crittenden, Cole Wilcox and Jason Klatt. The team also runs Longboard’s expensive but successful managed futures fund.The opening expense ratio will be high; they haven’t announced the expense ratio but the all-in management fee is 2.99%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Matthews Asia Sustainability Fund

Matthews Asia Sustainability Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in “Asian companies that have the potential to profit from the long-term opportunities presented by global environmental and social challenges as well as those Asian companies that proactively manage long-term risks presented by these challenges.” The fund will be managed by Vivek Tanneeru with co-manager Winnie Chwang. The opening expense ratio will be 1.45%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $500 for tax-advantaged accounts.

SMI Bond Fund

SMI Bond Fund will seek total return. This will be a fund-of-funds except when it’s not. The FOF portion of the portfolio is managed by the folks at Sound Mind Investing using a momentum-based “bond upgrading” strategy; when they choose to invest directly in bonds, they’ll delegate the task to the folks at Reams Asset Management, the fixed-income arm of Scout Funds. The fund will be managed by the same team that handles SMI’s other three funds. The opening expense ratio has not yet been announced. The minimum initial investment is $500.

SMI 50/40/10 Fund

SMI 50/40/10 Fund will seek total return through investing in other funds. We’re not particularly fans of portfolios built around complex trading strategies so rather than ill-tempered snark, we’ll just report that 50% of the portfolio will be invested in a dynamic allocation strategy focusing on the three most attractive (of six) asset categories, 40% in a fund upgrader strategy and 10% in a sector rotation strategy. The fund will be managed by the same team that handles SMI’s other three funds. The opening expense ratio has not yet been announced.  The two SMI funds already on the market are relatively expensive (1.8% and 2.2%) and their performance has been no better than middling. The minimum initial investment is $500.

Spectrum Advisors Preferred Fund

Spectrum Advisors Preferred Fund will seek long term capital appreciation. The plan is to create a complicated portfolio with many moving parts, in hopes of capturing pretty much all of the market’s upside and only 40% of its downside. The offense is provided by a “performing upgrading” strategy for stock investments and the use of leverage. The defense is provided by some combination of cash, bonds, and shorting. The fund will be managed by Ralph Doudera of Spectrum Financial. The opening expense ratio will be 2.35%. The minimum initial investment is $1,000.

Toreador SMID Cap Fund

Toreador SMID Cap Fund will seeks long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in the stocks of U.S. and foreign small- to mid-sized companies. Those are defined as “stocks about the size of those in the Russell 2000.” The fund will be managed by Paul Blinn and Rafael Resendes, who also manage Toreador’s two other so-so equity funds. The opening expense ratio has not yet been announced. The minimum initial investment is $1,000 for retail shares and $10,000 for institutional ones.

USA Mutuals Takeover Targets Fund

USA Mutuals Takeover Targets Fund will seek capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in companies that they believe will be, well, takeover targets. They anticipate holding a lot of cash. The fund will be managed by Gerald Sullivan, a really nice guy who also runs the Vice Fund. The opening expense ratio will be 1.50%. The minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $1,000 for retirement accounts.

Waycross Long/Short Equity Fund

Waycross Long/Short Equity Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation with a secondary emphasis on capital preservation. The plan is to invest, long and short, in mid- to large-cap stocks. Their investable universe is about 300 companies. The fund will be managed by Benjamin Thomas of Waycross Partners. The opening expense ratio has not yet been announced. The minimum initial investment is $2500.