Barron’s 400 ETF
Barron’s 400 ETF will try to duplicate the returns of the Barron’s 400. What is that, you ask? An equal-weighted index of the 400 fundamentally-strongest companies in America, give or take the effects of later screens for liquidity, diversification and such. Over the past decade, the Barron’s index has returned 10.3% per year while the Dow Jones US Total Stock Market returned 5.9%. Michael Akins, Senior Vice President, Director of Index Management & Product Oversight for ALPS, will manage it. Expenses not yet set.
CV Sector Rotational Fund
CV Sector Rotational Fund seeks to provide long-term growth of capital by investing in stocks, including “special situations.” Surprisingly, the prospectus says very little about sector rotation except that they have an “aggressive strategy of portfolio trading to respond to changes in the marketplace.” It will be managed by a four person team from ICC Capital Management. Nothing in the prospectus suggests that they’re particularly accomplished. The minimum initial investment is $2000. Expenses of 1.75% after waivers.
Grandeur Peak Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund
Grandeur Peak Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund will seek long-term growth of capital by investing in small and micro-cap companies domiciled in emerging or frontier markets. They’re willing to consider common stock, preferred and convertible shares. Up to 90% of the fund might be microcaps and up to 35% might be mid-cap or larger. Heck, they may also invest in “early stage companies with limited or no earnings history if the Adviser believes they have outstanding long-term growth potential” and IPOs. And, too, it’s non-diversified. It will be managed by Grandeur Peak’s founders, Robert Gardiner & Blake Walker, since inception. The minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $1,000 for accounts with an automatic investing plan and $100 for UGMA/UTMA or a Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. Expenses not yet set but this fund lists at 12(b)1 marketing fee and a higher management fee than does Global Reach. Odd.
Grandeur Peak Global Reach Fund
Grandeur Peak Global Reach Fund will invest mostly in in foreign and domestic small and micro cap companies, but could put up to 35% in mid- to large cap names. Typically 50% in the emerging markets. They might invest in some IPOs and new companies. The Fund is diversified and will typically have between 200 and 500 holdings. Like a number of folks on the Observer’s discussion board, it’s not clear how exactly this will differ from the existing Global Opportunities fund. It will be managed by Grandeur Peak’s founders, Robert Gardiner & Blake Walker, since inception. The minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $1,000 for accounts with an automatic investing plan and $100 for UGMA/UTMA or a Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. Expenses not yet set.
KKR Alternative Strategies Fund
KKR Alternative Strategies Fund will seek to generate capital appreciation by giving money to teams of as-yet-unnamed outside managers who might invest using some combination of Relative Value, Event Driven, Global Macro/Managed Futures, Equity Hedge and/or Opportunistic Strategies. For these services they will charge an as-yet-undisclosed amount and will require a so-far-secret minimum investment. Their Alternative High Yield fund has expenses which are high but not criminal and a $2500 minimum.
Manning & Napier Global Fixed Income
Manning & Napier Global Fixed Income will try to provide long-term total return by investing in government and corporate fixed income securities of issuers located anywhere in the world. They may also invest “a substantial portion of its assets” (it appears to be 20%) in junk bonds. They can also invest in emerging markets bonds. The fund will be managed by the same gang that manages all of the other M&N funds. This is actually a fund that’s climbed out of “the dustbin of history.” It operated back in 2002, was liquidated in 2003 and remained dormant until now. The minimum initial investment is $2000.The expense ratio is 0.85%.
Matthews Asia Focus Fund
Matthews Asia Focus Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in 25-35 common or preferred stocks issued by firms in developed, emerging, and frontier countries and markets in the Asian region (except Japan). They will look for a high quality management team, strong corporate governance standards, sustainable return on capital over an extended period, strong free cash flow generation and an attractive valuations. They’ll mostly target mid- to large-cap stocks. Kenneth Lowe will be the lead manager, assisted by Michael Oh and Sharat Shroff. Mr. Lowe also helps manage Matthews Asian Growth & Income. Prior to joining Matthews in 2010, he was an Investment Manager on the Asia and Global Emerging Market Equities Team at Martin Currie Investment Management in Edinburgh, Scotland. The minimum initial investment in the fund is $2500, reduced to $500 for IRAs and Coverdell accounts. Expenses for both Investor and Institutional shares are capped at 1.90%.
Matthews Emerging Asia Fund
Matthews Emerging Asia Fund will pursue long-term capital appreciation by investing in common and preferred stock and convertible securities of companies that have “substantial ties” to the countries of Asia, except Japan. Under normal conditions, you might expect to see companies from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. They’ll run an all-cap portfolio which might invest in micro-cap stocks. The manager looks for “companies capable of sustainable growth based on the fundamental characteristics of those companies, including balance sheet information; number of employees; size and stability of cash flow; management’s depth, adaptability and integrity; product lines; marketing strategies; corporate governance; and financial health.” Taizo Ishida will be the lead manager, assisted by Robert Harvey. Ishida also manages Matthews Asia Growth and Japan funds. Prior to joining Matthews in 2006, he spent six years on the global and international teams at Wellington Management Company. The minimum initial investment in the fund is $2500, reduced to $500 for IRAs and Coverdell accounts. Expenses for both Investor and Institutional shares are capped at 1.90%.
Parnassus Asia Fund
Parnassus Asia Fund will seek capital appreciation by investing in Asia stocks of all sizes. Equities include common and preferred stocks, convertible preferred stocks, warrants, and ADRs. They will take environmental, social and governance factors, in light of local culture, into account. Jerome L. Dodson, Parnassus’ president and founder, will manage the fund. The minimum initial investment is $2000, reduced to $500 for various tax-advantaged accounts. Expenses are capped at 1.45%. They intend to launch on May 1, 2013.
Vanguard Emerging Markets Government Bond Index Fund
Vanguard Emerging Markets Government Bond Index Fund (and ETF) will launch in the second quarter of 2013. The fund was originally proposed in 2011 but never launched. The fund will the Barclays USD Emerging Markets Government RIC Capped Index, which features approximately 540 government, agency, and local authority bonds from 155 issuers. The fund will invest solely in emerging markets bonds that are denominated in U.S. dollars (USD). Gregory Davis and Yan Pu will manage the fund. The minimum initial purchase is $3000 for investor class shares. The expense ratio is 0.50% (rather higher than what was proposed 15 months ago) for the investor shares and 0.35% for the ETF.
Vanguard TIPS Transition Fund
Vanguard TIPS Transition Fund “seeks to transition a portfolio of long-, intermediate-, and short-term inflation-indexed bonds contributed by six Vanguard funds into a portfolio of short-term inflation-indexed bonds that resembles the Barclays U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities 0-5 Year Index. Upon completion of the transition, it is expected that the Fund will merge into Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities Index Fund, which seeks to track the Index.” I thought I’d offer that as a fun fact to know and tell since the only possible purchasers of the shares of this fund are six other Vanguard funds.
WisdomTree Global Corporate Bond Fund
WisdomTree Global Corporate Bond Fund will seek a high level of total return consisting of both income and capital appreciation. They’ll invest in both dollar-denominated and local currency issues, but they will hedge all of their currency exposure back to the dollar. They can invest in both investment grade and high-yield debt. Up to 25% of the assets might be in emerging markets debt and 20% may be in derivatives. They haven’t selected the management team yet which says a lot about how funds like this get created. Expenses not yet set.