Category Archives: Funds in Registration

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.

February 2015, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

Alphacentric Bond Rotation Fund

Alphacentric Bond Rotation Fund will pursue “long-term capital appreciation and total return through various economic or interest rate environments.” They’ll rotate through two to four global bond ETFs based on their judgment of the relative strengths of various bond sectors. The fund will be managed by Gordon Nelson, Chief Investment Strategist, and Tyler Vanderbeek, both of Keystone Wealth Advisors. The expense ratio will be 1.39% and the minimum initial investment for the no-load “I” class shares is $2,500, reduced to $100 for accounts set up with an automatic investing plan.

Alphacentric Enhanced Yield Fund

Alphacentric Enhanced Yield Fund will seek current income by investing in asset-backed fixed income securities. While it expects to invest over 25% in residential mortgage-backed securities, it can also pursue “securities backed by credit card receivables, automobiles, aircraft, [and] student loans.” It might also invest in Treasuries or hedge the portfolio by shorting. The fund will be managed by a team from Garrison Point Capital, led by Tom Miner. Expenses are 1.74%. The minimum investment for the no-load “I” class shares is $2,500, reduced to $100 for accounts set up with an automatic investing plan.

AMG Trilogy Emerging Wealth Equity Fund

AMG Trilogy Emerging Wealth Equity Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation by investing in firms whose earnings are driven by their exposure to emerging markets. That might include firms domiciled in developed countries, as well as emerging ones. They can invest in both equities and derivatives and they anticipate building an all-cap portfolio of 60-100 securities. The fund will be managed by a team from Trilogy Global Advisors. The initial expense ratio is 1.45% after waivers and the minimum investment will be $2,000.

Columbia Multi-Asset Income Fund

Columbia Multi-Asset Income Fund will primarily seek high current income and secondarily, total return. They can invest in pretty much anything that generates income, there’s no set asset allocation and the portfolio doesn’t exactly explain what they’re looking for in an investment. If you have reason to trust Jeffrey Knight, the lead manager, and Toby Nangle, go for it! The expenses are not yet set. The minimum investment for “A” shares will be $2,000. Though the “A” shares carry a load, most Columbia funds are no-load/NTF at Schwab and, likely, other supermarkets.

DoubleLine Strategic Commodity Fund

DoubleLine Strategic Commodity Fund will seek long-term total return by having (leveraged) long exposure to commodity indexes with selective long or short exposure to individual commodities, indexes or ETFs. Then, too, it might turn market neutral. The disclosure of potential risks runs to 13 pages, single-spaced. It will be managed by Jeffrey J. Sherman of DoubleLine Commodity Advisors. Expenses are not yet set. The minimum investment is $2,000.

Frontier MFG Global Plus Fund

Frontier MFG Global Plus Fund will pursue capital appreciation by investing in 20-40 high-quality companies purchased at attractive prices, both in the US and elsewhere. There will be a macro-level risk overlay. The fund will be managed by Hamish Douglass, of the Australian firm Magellan Asset Management. Mr. Douglass has managed a perfectly respectable global fund for Frontier since 2011. The expense ratio for “Y” shares will be 1.20% and the minimum investment will be $1,000.

Sit Small Cap Dividend Growth Fund

Sit Small Cap Dividend Growth Fund mostly seeks income that’s greater than its benchmarks (the Russell 2000) and that is growing; it’s willing to accept some capital appreciation if that comes along, too. The Russell 2000 currently yields 1.29%. The plan, not surprisingly given the name, is to invest in “dividend paying growth-oriented companies [the manager] believes exhibit the potential for growth and growing dividend payments.” The portfolio will be mostly domestic. The lead manager will be Roger Sit. Expenses for the “S” class will be 1.50% and the minimum initial investment will be $5,000.

Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund

Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond Index Fund will track the Standard & Poor’s National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index. Adam Ferguson will manage the fund. The expense ratio will be 0.20% and the minimum investment will be $3,000. The Admiral share class will drop expenses to 0.12% with a $10,000 minimum.

Virtus Long/Short Equity Fund

Virtus Long/Short Equity Fund will seek total return by investing, long and short, in various sorts of equities including MLPs and REITs. The fund will be managed by John F. Brennan, Managing Director at, and cofounder of, Sirios Capital Management. The minimum initial investment will be $2,500. The expense ratio has not yet been announced. Though the “A” shares carry a load, most Virtus funds are no-load/NTF at Schwab and, likely, other supermarkets.

January 2015, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

RiverPark Focused Value Fund

RiverPark Focused Value Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to focus on large cap domestic stocks, with particular focus on “special situations” such as spin-offs or reorganizations and on firms whose share prices might have cratered. They’ll buy if it’s a high quality firm and if the stock trades at a substantial discount to intrinsic value. They’ll sell when the stock approaches their target price for it. The manager will have a limited ability to invest in illiquid securities, to short and to leverage the portfolio. David Berkowitz will be the portfolio manager. Mr. Berkowitz co-founded and co-managed Gotham Partners, a value-oriented hedge fund (1992-2002), and was the Chief Investment Officer for a New York family office (2003-2005). In 2006, he founded Festina Lente, a long-only, concentrated investment partnership that he managed through 2008. From 2009-2013, he held various positions at Ziff Brother Investments, where he was Partner as well as the Chief Risk and Strategy Officer. The expense ratios are 1.25% (Investor) and 1.00% (Institutional) after waivers. The minimum initial investment is $1,000 for Investor shares and $100,000 for Institutional ones.

December 2014, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

Centre Active U.S. Tax Exempt Fund

Centre Active U.S. Tax Exempt Fund will look at to maximize total return through capital appreciation and current income exempt from federal income tax. The key is that Centre is buying an existing muni bond fund but won’t yet name what that fund is. It appears that the old fund has a sales load (they refer to “A” shares) and the new fund won’t.  Other than that, nothing.  The manager will be James A. Abate, the minimum is $5,000 and the expense ratio is capped at 0.95%.

Driehaus Frontier Emerging Markets Fund

Driehaus Frontier Emerging Markets Fund will seek to maximize capital appreciation. They plan a non-diversified, high turnover all-cap portfolio. They have the ability to invest directly in equities, but also in derivatives and fixed-income securities. The fund will be managed by Chad Cleaver and Richard Thies. Mr. Cleaver co-manages the very fine Driehaus Emerging Markets Small Cap Growth Fund (DRESX). For their purposes, the “frontier” is every EM except the eight biggest: Taiwan, Korea, Mexico, South Africa, and the BRICs. Expenses are not yet set. The minimum initial investment is $250,000, for no particular reason that I understand.

T. Rowe Price Global High Income Bond Fund

T. Rowe Price Global High Income Bond Fund will pursue high income and, secondarily, capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in a portfolio of sovereign and corporate high yield bonds and bank loans, with at least 50% of the expense being from outside the U.S. The fund will be managed by Michael Della Vedova, who manages Price’s European high-yield bond portfolio, and Mark Vaselkiv who manages the High Yield Fund (PRHYX). Expenses will be capped at 0.85%. The minimum initial investment is $2500, reduced to $1000 for IRAs.

T. Rowe Price Global Unconstrained Bond Fund

T. Rowe Price Global Unconstrained Bond Fund will seek high income, some protection against rising interest rates and a low correlation with the equity markets. They’re going to invest in a non-diversified portfolio of corporate and sovereign investment grade fixed income securities. Those might include bank loans. Two portfolio highlights: the fund will be at least 40% non-U.S. but they’ll hedge their currency exposure so that it’s never more than 50% of the portfolio. The fund will be managed by a team headed by Arif Husain, Price’s head of International Fixed Income. Mr. Husain joined Price in 2013 after serving as served as director of European Fixed Income and UK and Euro Portfolio Management with AllianceBernstein. Expenses will be capped at 0.75%. The minimum initial investment is $2500, reduced to $1000 for IRAs.

Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund

Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund will try to provide current income while maintaining limited price volatility. We’ll note that “current income” doesn’t even hint at “any noticeable amount of….” They’ll invest, on behalf of investors with “a low tolerance for risk,” in a diversified portfolio of high quality bonds.  They allow that some medium quality bonds might slip in.  They anticipate a portfolio duration of 0 – 2 years. The fund will be managed by Gregory S. Nassour and David Van Ommeren. Expenses are capped at 0.20% for Investor class shares. The minimum initial investment is $3,000. The fund will be available in February, 2015.

November 2014, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

ACR Multi-Strategy Quality Return (MQR) Fund

ACR Multi-Strategy Quality Return (MQR) Fund posted an unusually vacuous draft portfolio that not only failed to list its expenses; it also skipped the investment minimums and offered only the sketchiest idea of what they’ll be up to. Their clearest statement is that they seek “to preserve capital from permanent loss during periods of economic decline… [and post] long term returns above an equity-like absolute return and the MSCI All-Country World Index.” Not exactly clear neither what “an equity-like absolute return” is nor how they might achieve it. They do admit that “[t]here is no assurance that the Fund’s return objectives will be achieved.” If you’ve been pleased with the work of “Alpine Investment Management LLC, dba ACR Alpine Capital Research,” then this might be the fund for you.

AMG Chicago Equity Partners Small Cap Value Fund

AMG Chicago Equity Partners Small Cap Value Fund will invest in 150-400 undervalued small cap stocks. For their purposes, $4 billion is the upper end of the “small” range. The fund will be managed by David C. Coughenour, CIO, Robert H. Kramer and Patricia Halper, all of Chicago Equity Partners. CEP manages about $10 billion and their small cap value composite has beaten the Russell 2000 Value by about 140 basis points yearly over the past five years. The Investor class minimum is $2000 with expenses capped at 1.35%.

Anchor Tactical Municipal Fund

Anchor Tactical Municipal Fund will seek tax-free total return. The plan is to invest, long and short, in muni bond funds and ETFs. Garrett Waters and Eric Leake will manage the fund. Expenses are capped at a curiously high 2.86%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Arbitrage Tactical Equity Fund

Arbitrage Tactical Equity Fund will do complicated things in pursuit of capital appreciation. The relevant text promises an investment in stocks

“whose public market valuation is significantly dislocated from … its intrinsic value. The Adviser’s investment approach is to identify such dislocations and to tactically purchase or sell short such securities when an attractive absolute and probability-adjusted risk-return profile is offered. The Fund may engage in active and frequent trading of portfolio securities to achieve its investment objective … the Fund will invest in a portfolio of securities including: equities, debt, warrants, distressed, high-yield, convertible, preferred, when-issued … options, total return swaps, credit default swaps, credit default indexes, currency forwards, and futures … ETFs, ETNs and commodities.”

Edward Chen and John Orrico will manage the fund. The other three funds in the Arbitrage family are all somewhat-pricey, above-average performers. The opening expenses have not yet set. The minimum initial investment will be $2000.

Aristotle Credit Opportunities Fund

Aristotle Credit Opportunities Fund will seek income and appreciation through an unconstrained bond portfolio. Douglas Lopez will lead a team from Aristotle Credit Partners, LLC. ACP describes itself as an institutional investment manager but neither the prospectus nor ACP’s website offers any evidence risk/return data. They appear unrelated to the two Aristotle equity funds. The opening expenses have not yet set, though the management fee is a relatively modest 0.65%. The minimum initial investment will be $25,000.

ASTON/Fairpointe Focused Equity Fund

ASTON/Fairpointe Focused Equity Fund will seek capital appreciation by investing mostly in domestic mid- to large-cap stocks. The lead manager is Robert Burnstine and his co-pilot is Thyra E. Zerhusen. Fairpointe runs a large, very successful mid-cap fund for Aston as well. Expenses for class N shares will be 1.26%. The minimum initial investment for class N shares is $2500.

ASTON/TAMRO International Small Cap Fund

ASTON/TAMRO International Small Cap Fund will seek capital growth by investing in small cap stocks of firms located in developing, emerging and frontier markets. They target separately “leaders, laggards and innovators.” The max cap will be around $3 billion. Waldemar A. Mozes of TAMRO will manage the fund. Expenses for class N shares will be 1.51% plus a 2% redemption fee on shares sold within 90 days. The minimum initial investment for class N shares is $2500.

Balter Discretionary Global Macro Fund

Balter Discretionary Global Macro Fund will employ a “global macro” strategy in pursuit of achieving positive absolute returns in most market environments. The portfolio will invest largely in derivatives. The fund will be co-managed by teams from Balter Liquid Alternatives and Willowbridge Management. The fund represents the consolidation of a collection of separately managed accounts which have been around since 2008. Those accounts have returned an average of 11.4% per year since inception. The opening expenses are 2.19% for investor shares. The minimum initial investment will be $5,000.

Davenport Small Cap Focus Fund

Davenport Small Cap Focus Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation by investing in a combination of small cap stocks and ETFs focusing on such stocks. $8 billion in market cap is, for their purposes, “small.” They offer the warning that they might invest in some special situations. Christopher Pearson and George Smith of Davenport & co. will manage the fund. The other Davenport funds have earned between three and five stars from Morningstar and tend to be pretty risk-conscious. Expenses are capped at 1.25%. The minimum initial investment will be $5,000.

Galapagos Partners Select Equity Fund

Galapagos Partners Select Equity Fund will pursue capital appreciation by investing in stocks and ETFs. Their target investments include a number of firms whose share prices might be influenced by high insider buying, spun-off divisions, reduced float, and targeting by activist shareholders, as well as your basic “good buys.” The fund will be managed by Stephen Lack of Galapagos Partners. Expenses are capped at 1.50%. The minimum initial investment will be $2,500.

Greenhouse MicroCap Discovery Fund

Greenhouse MicroCap Discovery Fund will pursue long-term capital appreciation by investing in 50-100 microcaps “run by disciplined management teams possessing clear strategies for growth that … trade at a discount to intrinsic value.” The fund will be managed by Joseph Milano and James Gentile. Mr. Milano was portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Price New America Growth Fund (PRWAX) from 2002-2013. Morningstar described his investment preferences as “idiosyncratic … somewhat defensive … [tending toward] cyclicals.” He beat the S&P by about 2% a year over his career. The initial expense ratio is capped at 2.00% for investor shares. The minimum initial investment is $2500, reduced to $1000 for various sort of tax-advantaged accounts.

Innovator IBD® 50 Fund

Innovator IBD® 50 Fund is the subject of another desperate, near-vacant filing. The fund will invest mostly in the companies in the IBD 50 Index, weighted “on a conviction basis,” but will not attempt to mirror the index. No investment adviser, no manager. It will be an actively-managed ETF will a hefty expense ratio of 0.80%.

Intrepid International Fund

Intrepid International Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation by investing in foreign stocks but it is, by prospectus, bound to invest only 40% of its portfolio overseas. Curious. All-cap, non-diversified, value-oriented and willing to hold large amounts of cash for extended periods of time. Ben Franklin will manage the fund and he also co-managed Intrepid Income. The initial expense ratio is capped at 1.40% for investor shares and the minimum initial purchase will be $2500.

Panther Small Cap Fund

Panther Small Cap Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation by investing 80% in small cap stocks, though they allow that the other 20% might go to “micro, mid or large capitalization stocks, stocks of foreign issuers, American depository receipts (“ADRs”), U.S. government securities and exchange-traded funds.” They claim to be fundamental, bottom-up value kinds of folks. John Langston, president of Texas-based Panther Capital Group, will manage the fund. He used to manage private money for Bank of America, but this seems to be his first fund. Their newsletters offer market commentary, but no real hint of what or how they’re doing. The opening expenses have not yet set. The minimum initial investment will be $1,000.

PIMCO Multi-Strategy Alternative Fund

PIMCO Multi-Strategy Alternative Fund will seek total return, consistent with prudent investment management, by investing in other PIMCO liquid alts funds. The manager has not been named. The expense ratios are not yet set. The minimum for “D” shares, available through online brokerages, will be $1,000.

Rothschild U.S. Large-Cap Core Fund

Rothschild U.S. Large-Cap Core Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation by investing in a diversified portfolio of large cap stocks. Neither this, nor any of the following Rothschild prospectuses, says a single worthwhile thing about what the fund will actually be doing. A team from Rothschild Asset Management Inc. will manage the fund. The initial expense ratio is capped at 1.0%. The investor share class minimum will be $2,500.

Rothschild U.S. Large-Cap Value Fund

Rothschild U.S. Large-Cap Value Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation by investing in a diversified portfolio of large cap stocks. A team from Rothschild Asset Management Inc. will manage the fund. The initial expense ratio is capped at 1.0%. The investor share class minimum will be $2,500.

Rothschild U.S. Large-Cap Core Fund

Rothschild U.S. Large-Cap Core Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation by investing in a diversified portfolio of large cap stocks. A team from Rothschild Asset Management Inc. will manage the fund. The initial expense ratio is capped at 1.0%. The investor share class minimum will be $2,500.

Rothschild U.S. Small/Mid-Cap Core Fund

Rothschild U.S. Small/Mid-Cap Core Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in smid-caps. A team from Rothschild Asset Management Inc. will manage the fund. The initial expense ratio is capped at 1.35%. The investor share class minimum will be $2,500.

Rothschild U.S. Small Core Fund

Rothschild U.S. Small Core Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in small caps. A team from Rothschild Asset Management Inc. will manage the fund. The initial expense ratio is capped at 1.35%. The investor share class minimum will be $2,500.

Rothschild U.S. Small Growth Fund

Rothschild U.S. Small Growth Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in small caps. A team from Rothschild Asset Management Inc. will manage the fund. The initial expense ratio is capped at 1.35%. The investor share class minimum will be $2,500.

Rothschild U.S. Small Value Fund

Rothschild U.S. Small Value Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in small caps. A team from Rothschild Asset Management Inc. will manage the fund. The initial expense ratio is capped at 1.35%. The investor share class minimum will be $2,500.

Thomas Crown Global Long/Short Equity Fund

Thomas Crown Global Long/Short Equity Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation with reduced volatility. They’ll use a long/short equity portfolio “to exploit global themes and secular trends.” Stephen K. Thomas and Francis J. Crown will co-manage the fund. Mr. Thomas co-managed two Invesco international funds for three and fraction years, Mr. Crown stuck with the same two funds for a bit less than one year. The opening expenses are a stomach-churning 2.95% after a minimal 8 basis point waiver. The minimum initial investment will be $2500.

October 2014, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

361 Global Long/Short Equity Fund

361 Global Long/Short Equity Fund seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation by participating in rising markets and preserving capital in falling ones. The plan is to invest, long and short, in a global, all-cap portfolio. The fund will be managed by the “A” team from 361 plus Harindra de Silva, Dennis Bein, and David Krider from Analytic Investors. The opening expense ratio is not yet set. The minimum initial investment will be $2500.

American Century Multi-Asset Income Fund

American Century Multi-Asset Income Fund seeks income, but is willing to accept a bit of capital appreciation, too. The plan is to invest in income-producing equity securities (20-60% of the portfolio) as well as fixed-income ones (40-80%). The fund will be managed by a team led by American Century’s CIO, Scott Wittman. The opening expense ratio is 0.91%, after waivers, on Investor shares. The minimum initial investment will be $2,000.

DoubleLine Long Duration Total Return Bond Fund

DoubleLine Long Duration Total Return Bond Fund seeks long-term total return. The plan is to create a fixed-income portfolio whose duration is at least 10 years. The firm’s specialty, of course, are mortgage-backed securities of various sorts but the fund can invest anywhere. Up to a third of the portfolio might be in bonds denominated in foreign currencies. The fund will be managed by The Jeffrey and Vitaliy Liberman. The opening expense ratio is not yet set. The minimum initial investment will be $2,000 for “N” shares, reduced to $500 for IRAs.

Exceed Structured Enhanced Index Strategy Fund

Exceed Structured Enhanced Index Strategy Fund seeks to track the NASDAQ Exceed Structured Enhanced Index (EXENHA). The word “enhanced” always makes me worried. The fund will provide no downside protection but offers 2:1 upside leverage on the S&P500, capped at gains of around 20-25%. The fund will be managed by Joseph Halpern. The opening expense ratio is 1.45%. The minimum initial investment will be $2,500.

Exceed Structured Hedged Index Strategy Fund

Exceed Structured Hedged Index Strategy Fund seeks to track the NASDAQ Exceed Structured Hedged Index (EXHEDG). They hope to protect you against relatively minor losses in the S&P500 and to offer you 150% leverage on minor gains, capped at around 10-15% per year. The rough translation is that this fund is designed to improve your returns in modestly rising or sideways markets. The fund will be managed by Joseph Halpern. The opening expense ratio is 1.45%. The minimum initial investment will be $2,500.

Exceed Structured Shield Index Strategy Fund

Exceed Structured Shield Index Strategy Fund seeks to track the NASDAQ Exceed Structured Protection Index (EXPROT). This is an options-based strategy which allows you to track the “normal” movements of the S&P500 but which eliminates extreme returns. The options are designed to limit your downside risk to 12.5% annually but also cap the upside at 15%. The fund will be managed by Joseph Halpern. The opening expense ratio is 1.45%. The minimum initial investment will be $2,500.

Geneva Advisors Emerging Markets Fund

Geneva Advisors Emerging Markets Fund will to pursue long-term capital growth by investing in emerging markets firms with “sustainable competitive advantages and highly visible future growth potential, including internal revenue growth, large market opportunities and simple business models, and shows strong cash flow generation and high return on invested capital.” The fund will be managed by Reiner Triltsch and Eswar Menon of Geneva Advisors. The opening expense ratio is 1.60% for “R” shares. The minimum initial investment will be $1,000.

Longboard Long/Short Equity Fund

Longboard Long/Short Equity Fund seeks to long term capital appreciation by investing, long and short, in US equities. The fund will be managed by Eric Crittenden, Cole Wilcox and Jason Klatt of Longboard. The team has been running a hedge fund using this strategy since 2005; it’s returned 10.8% a year since inception while the S&P500 made 6.3%. The hedge fund dropped 24% in 2008, about half of the market’s loss, and a fraction of a percent in 2011. The opening expense ratio is not yet set but the sum of the component pieces would exceed 3.0%. The minimum initial investment will be $2500.

PIMCO International Dividend Fund

PIMCO International Dividend Fund seeks to provide current income that exceeds the average yield on international stocks while providing long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in an international-focused diversified portfolio of dividend-paying stocks that have an attractive yield, a growing dividend, and long-term capital appreciation. They can also include fixed-income securities and derivatives, but those don’t seem core. The fund will be managed by … someone, they’re just not saying who. The opening expense ratio is not yet set. The minimum initial investment for “D” shares will be $1000.

PIMCO U.S. Dividend Fund

PIMCO U.S. Dividend Fund seeks to provide current income that exceeds the average yield on U.S. stocks while providing long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in a diversified portfolio of domestic dividend-paying stocks that have an attractive yield, a growing dividend, and long-term capital appreciation. They can also include fixed-income securities and derivatives, but those don’t seem core. The fund will be managed by … someone, they’re just not saying who. The opening expense ratio is not yet set. The minimum initial investment for “D” shares will be $1000.

TCW High Dividend Equities Fund

TCW High Dividend Equities Fund seeks high total return from current income and capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in US equities including those in the odd corners: publicly-traded partnerships, business development corporations, REITs, MLPs, and ETFs. The fund will be managed by Iman Brivanlou. The opening expense ratio is not yet set. The minimum initial investment will be $2,000, reduced to $500 for IRAs.

TCW Global Real Estate Fund

TCW Global Real Estate Fund seeks to maximize total return from current income and long-term capital growth. The plan is to invest in 25-50 global REITs. The fund will be managed by Iman Brivanlou. The opening expense ratio is not yet set. The minimum initial investment will be $2,000, reduced to $500 for IRAs.

September 2014, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

BBH Core Fixed Income Fund

BBH Core Fixed Income Fund will try to provide maximum total return, consistent with preservation of capital and prudent investment management. The plan is to buy a well-diversified portfolio of durable, performing fixed income instruments. The fund will be managed by Andrew P. Hofer and Neil Hohmann. The opening expense ratio has not yet been set. The minimum initial investment will be $25,000.

Brown Advisory Total Return Fund

Brown Advisory Total Return Fund will seek a high level of current income consistent with preservation of principal. The plan is to invest in a variety of fixed-income securities with an average duration of 3 to 7 years. Up to 20% might be invested in high yield. The fund will be managed by Thomas D.D. Graff. The opening expense ratio hasn’t been announced and the minimum initial investment will be $5,000, reduced to $2,000 for IRAs and funds with automatic investing plans.

Brown Advisory Multi-Strategy Fund

Brown Advisory Multi-Strategy Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation and current income. It will be a 60/40 fund of funds, including other Brown Advisory funds. The fund will be managed by Paul Chew. The opening expense ratio hasn’t been announced and the minimum initial investment will be $5,000, reduced to $2,000 for IRAs and funds with automatic investing plans.

Brown Advisory Emerging Markets Small-Cap Fund

Brown Advisory Emerging Markets Small-Cap Fund will seek total return by investing in, well, emerging markets small cap stocks. They have the option to use derivatives to hedge the portfolio. The fund will be managed by [                    ] and [                   ]. Here’s my reaction to that: an asset class is dangerously overbought when folks start filing prospectuses where they don’t even have managers lined up, much less managers with demonstrable success in the field. The opening expense ratio will be 1.92% for Investor Shares and the minimum initial investment will be $5,000, reduced to $2,000 for IRAs and funds with automatic investing plans.

Cambria Global Asset Allocation ETF (GAA)

Cambria Global Asset Allocation ETF (GAA) will seek “absolute positive returns with reduced volatility, and manageable risk and drawdowns, by identifying an investable portfolio of equity and fixed income securities, real estate, commodities and currencies.” The fund is nominally passive but it tracks a highly active index, so the distinction seems a bit forced. The fund will be managed by Mebane T. Faber and Eric W. Richardson. The opening expense ratio has not yet been announced.

Catalyst Tactical Hedged Futures Strategy Fund

Catalyst Tactical Hedged Futures Strategy Fund will seek capital appreciation with low correlation to the equity markets. The plan is to write short-term call and put options on S&P 500 Index futures, and invest in cash and cash equivalents, including high-quality short-term fixed income securities such as U.S. Treasury securities. The fund will be managed by Gerald Black and Jeffrey Dean of sub-adviser ITB Capital Management. The opening expense ratio is not yet set. The minimum initial investment will be $2500.

Catalyst/Princeton Hedged Income Fund

Catalyst/Princeton Hedged Income Fund will seek capital appreciation with low correlation to the equity markets. The plan is to invest 40% in floating rate bank loans and the rest in some combination of investment grade and high yield fixed income securities. They’ll then attempt to hedge risks by actively shorting some indexes and using options and swaps to manage short term market volatility risk, credit risk and interest rate risk. They use can a modest amount of leverage and might invest 15% overseas. The fund will be managed by Munish Sood of Princeton Advisory. The opening expense ratio is not yet set. The minimum initial investment will be $2500.

Causeway International Small Cap Fund

Causeway International Small Cap Fund will seek long-term capital growth. The plan is to use quantitative screens to identify attractive stocks with market caps under $7.5 billion. The fund might overweight or underweight its investments in a particular country by 5% relative to their weight in the MSCI ACWI ex USA Small Cap Index. They can also put 10% of the fund in out-of-index positions. The fund will be managed byArjun Jayaraman, MacDuff Kuhnert, and Joe Gubler. This same team manages Global Absolute Return, Emerging Markets and International Opportunities. The opening expense ratio will be 1.56% and the minimum initial investment will be $5,000, reduced to $4,000 for IRAs.

Context Macro Opportunities Fund

Context Macro Opportunities Fund will seek total return with low correlation to broad financial markets. The plan is to use a number of arbitrage and alternative investment strategiesincluding but not limited to, break-even inflation trading, capital structure arbitrage, hedged mortgage-backed securities trading and volatility spread trading to allocate the Fund’s assets. The fund will be managed by a team from First Principles Capital Management, LLC. There is a separate accounts composite whose returns have been “X.XX% since <<Month d, yyyy>>.” The opening expense ratio has not yet been announced. The minimum initial investment will be $2000, reduced to $250 for IRAs.

Crawford Dividend Yield Fund

Crawford Dividend Yield Fund will seek to provide attractive long-term total return with above average dividend yield, in comparison with the Russell 1000 Value© Index.  The plan is to buy stocks with above average dividend yields backed by consistent businesses, adequate cash flow generation and supportive balance sheets. The fund will be managed by John H. Crawford, IV, CFA. The opening expense ratio will be 1.01% and the minimum initial investment will be $10,000.

Greenleaf Income Growth Fund

Greenleaf Income Growth Fundwill seek increasing dividend income over time. The plan is to buy securities that the managers think will increase their dividends or other income payouts over time. Those securities might include equities, REITs and master limited partnerships (MLPs). They can also use covered call writing and put selling in an attempt to enhance returns. The fund will be managed by Geofrey Greenleaf, CFA, and Rakesh Mehra. The opening expense ratio will be 1.4x% and the minimum initial investment will be $10,0000 reduced to $5,000 for IRAs and funds with automatic investing plans.

Heartland Mid Cap Value Fund

Heartland Mid Cap Value Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation and “modest” current income. That’s actually kinda cute. The plan is to invest in 30-60 midcaps, using the same portfolio discipline used in all the other Heartland funds. The fund will be managed by Colin P. McWey and Theodore D. Baszler. For the past 10 years Mr. Baszler has co-managed Heartland Select Value (HRSVX) which is also a mid-cap value fund with about the same number of holdings and the same core discipline. Anyone even vaguely interested here owes it to themselves to check there first. The opening expense ratio will be 1.25% and the minimum initial investment will be $1,000, reduced to $500 for IRAs and Coverdells.

ICON High Yield Bond Fund

ICON High Yield Bond Fund will seek high current income and growth of capital (for now, at least, but since that goal was described as “non-fundamental” …). The plan is to buy junk bonds, including preferred and convertibles in that definition. Up to 20% might be non-dollar denominated. The fund will be managed by Zach Jonson and Donovan J. (Jerry) Paul. They manage two one-star funds (ICON Bond and ICON Risk-Managed Balanced) together. Caveat emptor. The opening expense ratio will be 0.80% and the minimum initial investment will be $1,000.

Leader Global Bond Fund

Leader Global Bond Fund will seek current income (hopefully a lot of it, given the expense ratio). The plan is to assemble a global portfolio of investment- and non-investment grade bonds. The fund will be managed by John E. Lekas, founder of Leader Capital Corp., and Scott Carmack. The opening expense ratio will be 1.92% for Investor shares and the minimum initial investment will be $2500.

WCM Alternatives: Event-Driven Fund (WCERX)

WCM Alternatives: Event-Driven Fund (WCERX) will try to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns with low relative volatility in virtually all market environments. They’ll try to capture arbitrage-like gains from events such as mergers, acquisitions, asset sales or other divestitures, restructurings, refinancings, recapitalizations, reorganizations or other special situations. The fund will be managed by Roy D. Behren and Mr. Michael T. Shannon of Westchester Capital Management. The opening expense ratio for Investor shares will be 2.23%. The minimum initial investment is $2000.

Wellington Shields All-Cap Fund

Wellington Shields All-Cap Fund will seek capital appreciation, according to a largely incoherent SEC filing. The plan is to use “various screens and models” to assemble an all-cap stock portfolio. The fund will be managed by “Cripps and McFadden.” The opening expense ratio will be something but I don’t know what – the prospectus is for retail shares but lists a 1.5% e.r. for a non-existent institutional class. The minimum initial investment will be $1000.

William Blair Directional Multialternative Fund

William Blair Directional Multialternative Fund will seek “capital appreciation with moderate volatility and directional exposure to global equity and bond markets through the utilization of hedge fund or alternative investment strategies.” That sounds expensive. The plan is to divide the money between a bunch of hedge funds and liquid alt teams. Sadly, they’re not yet ready to reveal who those teams will be. The opening expense ratio has not yet been disclosed. The minimum initial investment will be $2500.

August 2014, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

Big 4 Onefund

Big 4 Onefund (no, I do not make these names up) will seek long-term capital gain by investing in a changing mixture of ETFs, closed-end funds, business development companies, master limited partnerships and REITs. The fund will be managed by Jim Hagedorn, CFA, Founder, President and CEO of Chicago Partners Investment Group, and John Nicholas. The minimum initial investment is $2000. The expense ratio has not yet been set.

Blue Current Global Dividend Fund

Blue Current Global Dividend Fund will seek current income and capital appreciation. The plan is to buy 25-35 “undervalued, high-quality dividend paying equities with a commitment to dividend growth and pay above-market dividend yields.” They reserve the right to do that through ETFs. Hmmm. Henry Jones and Dennis Sabo of Edge Advisers will manage the portfolio. The minimum initial investment is $2,500. The expense ratio has not yet been disclosed.

Gateway Equity Call Premium Fund

Gateway Equity Call Premium Fund will seek total return with less risk than U.S. equity markets by investing in a broadly diversified portfolio of 200 or so stocks, while also writing index call options against the full notional value of the equity portfolio. It will be run by some of the same folks who manage the well-respected Gateway Fund (GATEX). The minimum initial investment is $2500, reduced to $1000 for tax-advantaged accounts and those with an automatic investment plan. The initial expense ratio has not yet been released, though the “A” shares will carry a 5.75% load.

Gold & Silver Index Fund

Gold & Silver Index Fund will seek to replicate the total return of The Gold & Silver Index which itself seeks to track the spot price of gold and silver. The index, owned by the advisor, is 50% gold and 50% silver. It will be managed by Michael Willis of The Willis Group. The minimum initial investment is $1000. They haven’t yet released the fund’s expense ratio.

Index Funds S&P 500 Equal Weight

Index Funds S&P 500 Equal Weight will seek to match the performance of the S&P 500 Equal Weight Index. They’ll rebalance quarterly. Skeptics claim that such funds are a simple bet on mid-cap stocks in the S&P500 since an equal weight index dramatically boosts their presence compared to a market cap weighted one. It will be managed by Michael Willis of The Willis Group. The minimum initial investment is $1000. They haven’t yet released the fund’s expense ratio. The Guggenheim ETF in the same space charges 40 basis points, so this one can’t afford to charge much more.

Lazard Master Alternatives Portfolio

Lazard Master Alternatives Portfolio will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to allocate money to four separately managed strategies: (1) global equity long/short; (2) US equity long/short; (3) Japanese equity long/short and (4) relative value convertible securities. The fund will be managed by Matthew Glaser, Jai Jacob and Stephen Marra of Lazard’s Alternatives and Multi-Asset teams. The minimum initial investment is $2,500 and the opening expense ratio is 2.86%. There’s also a 1% short-term redemption fee.

Leadsman Capital Strategic Income Fund

Leadsman Capital Strategic Income Fund will pursue a high level of current income by investing in some mix of stocks (common and preferred) and corporate bonds (investment grade and high yield). They anticipate holding 30-60 securities. The fund will be managed by a team from Leadsman Capital LLC. The minimum initial investment is $2500 and the expense ratio has not yet been announced.

Longbow Long/Short Energy Infrastructure Fund

Longbow Long/Short Energy Infrastructure Fund will seek “differentiated, risk-adjusted investment returns with low volatility and low correlation to both the U.S. equity and bond markets through a value-oriented investment strategy, focused on long-term capital appreciation.” Uh-huh. For this they will charge you 3.81%. The plan is to invest, long and short, in the energy infrastructure, utilities and power sectors. Up to 25% of the fund might be in MLPs. They’ll be between 60-100% long and 40-90% short. The fund will be managed by Thomas M. Fitzgerald, III and Steven S. Strassberg of Longbow Capital Partners. The firm manages about a quarter billion in assets. The minimum initial investment is $2500 and the aforementioned e.r. is 3.81% on retail shares.

TIAA-CREF Emerging Markets Debt Fund

TIAA-CREF Emerging Markets Debt Fund seeks a favorable long-term total return, through income and capital appreciation, by investing primarily in a portfolio of emerging markets fixed-income investments. The management team has not yet been named. The minimum initial investment is $2500 and the expense ratio is capped at 1.0%.

July 2014, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

Lazard Global Strategic Equity Portfolio

Lazard Global Strategic Equity Portfolio will pursue long-term capital appreciation by investing in a global portfolio of firms with “sustainably high or improving returns and trading at attractive valuations.”  While legally diversified, they expect to hold a fairly small number of charges.  They also maintain the right to go to cash, just in case. The fund will be managed by a team drawn from Lazard’s International, Global and European Equity teams. The initial expense ratio will be 1.40%. The minimum initial investment is $2500.

Lazard International Equity Concentrated Portfolio

Lazard International Equity Concentrated Portfolio will pursue long-term capital appreciation by investing in underpriced growth companies, typically domiciled in developed markets. The plan is to invest in 20-30 stocks, with the proviso that they might invest in EM domiciled stocks, too. The EM portion is weirdly capped: they might invest “an amount up to the current emerging markets component of the Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World Index ex-US plus 15%.” The fund will be managed by Lazard’s international equity team. The initial expense ratio 1.45%. The minimum initial investment is $2500.

Lazard US Small Cap Equity Growth Portfolio

Lazard US Small Cap Equity Growth Portfolio will pursuelong-term capital appreciation by investing in domestic small cap growth stocks. (Woo hoo!) The fund will be managed by Frank L. Sustersic, head of Lazard’s small cap growth team. The initial expense ratio 1.37%. The minimum initial investment is $2500.

New Sheridan Developing World Fund

New Sheridan Developing World Fund will pursue long-term capital appreciation by investing in the stock of firms tied to the emerging markets. Which stocks? Uhhh, “[t] he Adviser analyzes countries, sectors and individual securities based on a set of predetermined factors.” So, stocks matching their predetermined factors. The fund will be managed by Russell and Richard Hoss. They don’t advertise any prior EM track record. Both previously worked for Roth Capital Partners, “an investment banking firm dedicated to the small-cap public market.” The initial expense ratio has not yet been disclosed, though there will be a 2% redemption fee on shares held less than a month. The minimum initial investment is $2500.

PCS Commodity Strategy Fund

PCS Commodity Strategy Fund, N shares, will try to replicate the returns of the Rogers International Commodity Index. The plan is to hold a combination of derivations and high-quality bonds. The fund will be managed by a four person team. The initial expense ratio will be 1.35%. The minimum initial investment is $5,000.

Schwab Fundamental Global Real Estate Index Fund

Schwab Fundamental Global Real Estate Index Fundwill try to replicate the returns of the Russell Fundamental Global Select Real Estate Index. They might not be able to reproduce all of the index investments but will try to match the returns. They’ll invest in a global REIT portfolio which includes emerging markets but excludes timber and mortgage REITs. The fund will be managed by two Schwabies: Agnes Hong and Ferian Juwono. The initial expense ratio is not yet disclosed, though the existence of a 2% early redemption fee is. The minimum initial investment is $100, through Schwab of course.

T. Rowe Price Institutional Frontier Markets Equity Fund

T. Rowe Price Institutional Frontier Markets Equity Fund will pursue long-term growth by investing in the stocks of firms whose home countries are not in the MSCI All Country World Index. Examples include Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Vietnam and Trinidad and Tobago. The discipline is Price’s standard bottom-up, GARP investing. The fund will be managed by Oliver D.M. Bell who also runs Price Africa and Middle East (TRAMX). The initial expense ratio will be 1.35%. The minimum initial investment is $1,000,000. A little high for my budget, but it’s good to know where the industry leaders are going so we thought we’d mention it.

T. Rowe Price International Concentrated Equity Fund

T. Rowe Price International Concentrated Equity Fund will pursuelong-term growth of capital through investments in stocks of 40-60 non-U.S. companies. They’re registered as non-diversified which means they might put a lot into a few of those stocks. The fund will be managed by Federico Santilli. The initial expense ratio is 0.90%. The minimum initial investment is $2500, reduced to $1000 for IRAs.

WST Asset Manager – U.S. Bond Fund

WST Asset Manager – U.S. Bond Fund will pursue total return from income and capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in both investment grade and junk bonds, with their “a proprietary quantitative model” telling them how much to allocate to each strategy.  They warn that the model’s allocation “may change frequently,” so that investors might expect turnover “significantly greater than 100%.” The fund will be managed by Wayne F. Wilbanks, the advisor’s CIO, Roger H. Scheffel Jr. and Tom McNally. They began managing separate accounts using this strategy in 2006. Since then those accounts have returned an average of 9.3% per year while the average multisector bond fund earned 6%. They trail their peer group for the past one- and three-year periods and exceed it modestly for the past five years. That signals the fact that the accounts performed exceptionally well in the 2006-08 period, though details are absent. The initial expense ratio is a stunning 1.81%. The minimum initial investment is $1000.

June 2014, Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

American Beacon AHL Managed Futures Strategy Fund

American Beacon AHL Managed Futures Strategy Fund will pursue capital growth. The strategy will be to be use futures, options and forward contracts linked to stock indices, currencies, bonds, interest rates, energy, metals and agricultural products. They’ll invest in areas with positive price momentum and short ones with negative momentum; the prospectus doesn’t give much detail, though, on the use of shorting and hedges. The prospectus does offer an admirable amount of detail concerning the sorts of risk that this strategy entails. The enumerated risks include:

Asset Selection

Commodities

Counterparty

Credit

Currency

Derivatives

Emerging Markets

Foreign Investing

High Portfolio Turnover

Interest Rate

Investment

Issuer

Leveraging

Liquidity

Market Direction

Market Events

Market

Model and Data

Obsolescence

Crowding/Convergence

Non-Diversification

Other Investment Companies

Management

Sector

Short Position

Subsidiary

Tax

U.S. Government Securities and Government Sponsored Enterprises

Valuation

Volatility

The fund will be managed by Matthew Sargaison and Russell Korgaonkar of AHL Partners LLP.  The opening expense ratio is 1.93% after waivers. The minimum initial investment is $ 2500.

American Beacon Bahl & Gaynor Small Cap Growth Fund

American Beacon Bahl & Gaynor Small Cap Growth Fund will pursue long-term capital appreciation. The strategy will be to invest in high-quality dividend-paying small cap stocks. The managers pursue a fundamental approach to security selection and a bottom-up approach to portfolio construction. The fund will be managed by Edward Woods, Scott Rodes and Stephanie Thomas of Bahl & Gaynor. The opening expense ratio is 1.37% after waivers. The minimum initial investment is $2500.

American Century Emerging Markets Debt Fund

American Century Emerging Markets Debt Fund will pursue capital growth. The strategy will be to invest in dollar-denominated debt instruments issued by E.M. governments and corporations. The managers may invest in both investment grade and high-yield debt. They’ll attempt to hedge other sorts of risk, including currencies, interest rates and individual country risk. The fund will be managed by a team led byMargé Karner, who just joined American Century after serving as a senior portfolio managers for E.M. debt at HSBC Global Asset Management. The opening expense ratio is 0.97%. The minimum initial investment is $2500, reduced to $2000 for Coverdell education savings accounts.

Coho Relative Value Equity Fund

Coho Relative Value Equity Fund will pursue total return. The strategy will be to invest in mid- to large-cap dividend-paying stocks. The portfolio will generally be comprised of 20 to 35 equity securities that demonstrate “stability, dividend- and cash-flow growth.” The fund will be managed by Brian Kramp and Peter Thompson of Coho Investment Partners. The opening expense ratio is 1.30% plus a 2% redemption fee on shares held fewer than 60 days. The minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $500 for retirement accounts.

Emerald Insights Fund

Emerald Insights Fund will seek long-term growth through capital appreciation. Their preference is for “[c]ompanies with perceived leadership positions and competitive advantages in niche markets that do not receive significant coverage from other institutional investors.” The fund will be managed by David Volpe, a managing director at Emerald. The opening expense ratio is 1.40% after waivers. The minimum initial investment is $2000.

Horizon Active Risk Assist Fund

Horizon Active Risk Assist Fund “seeks to capture the majority of the returns associated with equity market investments, while exposing investors to less risk than other equity investments.”  The plan is to invest in up to 30 ETFs representing about a dozen asset classes, then to hedge that exposure with their “risk assist” strategy. “Risk Assist is an active de-risking strategy intended to guard against catastrophic market events and maximum drawdowns.” Translation: they’ll hold cash and Treasuries. The fund will be managed by a team headed by Horizon’s president, Robbie Cannon. Normal operating expenses are capped at 1.42%.  The minimum initial investment is $2500.

Lyrical Liquid Hedged Fund

Lyrical Liquid Hedged Fund will pursue long-term capital growth. The strategy will be to invest under normal circumstances in liquid long and short equity positions in an attempt to benefit from rising markets and hedge against falling markets.  They expect to be at last 40% net long usually. The “liquid” part means “easily traded securities,” which translates mostly to mid- and large-cap US stocks. The fund will be managed by Andrew Wellington, CIO of Lyrical Asset Management, LP. The opening expense ratio is 2.20% after waivers.  The minimum initial investment is $2,500.

Scharf Global Opportunity Fund

Scharf Global Opportunity Fund will pursue long-term capital appreciation. The strategy will be to invest in a global collection of “growth stocks at value prices” (their wording), though they could invest up to 30% in fixed income. The fund will be managed by Brian A. Krawez, president of the advisor. The opening expense ratio is 0.51% after a waiver of about 250 bps, plus a 2.0% redemption fees on shares held fewer than 15 days.  (15 days?  Really?)  The minimum initial investment is $10,000, reduced to $5,000 for tax-advantaged accounts or those set up with automatic investing plans.

Sirius S&P Strategic Large-Cap Allocation Fund

Sirius S&P Strategic Large-Cap Allocation Fund seeks long term growth and preservation of capital through investment in large cap equity and market index funds. At base, they’ll invest – long and short – in the S&P 500 index, companies or sectors.  The fund will be managed by Sirius Fund Advisor’s founder, Constance D. Russello. The expense ratio is not yet set.  The minimum initial investment is $2500.

V2 Hedged Equity Fund

V2 Hedged Equity will seek to provide long-term capital appreciation with reduced volatility. The fund may invest up to 100% in 30-50 stocks in the S&P500 and (2) up to 100% in CBOE FLexible EXchange index call options. The prospectus makes two claims that I can’t immediately reconcile: “the Adviser seeks to achieve the Fund’s investment objective by investing at least 90% of its net assets in U.S. common stocks” and “The net long exposure of the Fund (gross long exposures minus gross short exposures) is usually expected to be between 20% and 80%.” In 2010, the adviser had four separate accounts which used this strategy for private investors. In 2012, those four accounts morphed into the core of a hedge fund using the strategy.  In July, the hedge fund will become the mutual fund’s institutional class. From August 2010 to December 2013, the strategy returned 14.16% annually which compares favorably to the 5.74% earned by the average long/short fund over that same period. Victor Viner and Brett Novosel of V2 will manage the account.  The minimum initial investment will be $5,000.

Weitz Core Plus Income Fund

Weitz Core Plus Income Fund will pursue current income, capital preservation and long-term capital appreciation. They’ll invest in “debt securities” which includes preferred stock, foreign bonds, and taxable munis as well as more-traditional fare. Up to 25% of the portfolio might be invested in non-investment grade debt. They can also use various derivatives “for investment purposes consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and [to] mitigate or hedge risks.” They anticipate an average portfolio maturity of about 10 years. Thomas D. Carney, a portfolio manager since 1996, and Nolan P. Anderson of Weitz Investment Management will run the fund.  The initial expense ratio will be 0.85% for the Investor class shares. The minimum initial investment is $2500.

William Blair Bond Fund

William Blair Bond Fund will try to “outperfrorm the Lehman Brothers U.S. Aggregate Index by maximizing total return through a combination of income and capital appreciation.” They’ll invest in dollar-denominated, investment grade securities, issued both here and overseas. They might also sneak in a few bond-like equity securities. The fund will be managed by James Kaplan, Christopher Vincent, and Benjamin Armstrong, whose “core fixed income composite” seems not to have performed noticeably better than the index over the past decade. The initial expense ratio will be 0.65%. The minimum initial investment is $5000, reduced to $3000 for IRAs.