June 2018 IssueLong scroll reading

Funds in Registration

By David Snowball

Lately, new fund and active ETF launches have been rare – only seven new retail funds launched in the first five months of 2018 – and occasionally silly. Last month saw a registration filing for an active “pet parents” fund; this month saw a filing for a passive “pet care” ETF. You need neither (and should avoid both), so we’ll say no more about them. While this is a slow month for new fund registrations, at least it’s not a silly one. In the main, these funds will be available for purchase by August 1.

Adler Value Fund

Adler Value Fund, will seek long-term growth of capital. The plan is to buy “fundamentally sound companies that are out-of-favor with the market” and construct a portfolio which is “industry, sector and market capitalization agnostic and typically involves the securities of fewer than thirty issuers.” The fund will be managed by David Adler of Adler Asset Management, who has spent most of his career in investment banking. Its opening expense ratio is 1.50%, and the minimum initial investment will be $2,500.

Aptus Defined Risk ETF

Aptus Defined Risk ETF, an actively-managed ETF, seeks current income and capital appreciation. The plan is to place 90-95% of the portfolio in a laddered bond portfolio with an intermediate duration. That will be executed by buying ETFs, not individual bonds. The remainder of the portfolio will be in “at-the-money, exchange-listed call options on approximately ten to twenty individual stocks selected based primarily on their momentum (i.e., how close a stock is to its 52-week high) and potential for growth.” (I nod.) The fund will be managed by John D. (“JD”) Gardner and Beckham D. Wyrick (cool names) of Aptus Capital Advisors. Its opening expense ratio has not been released.

Dreyfus Japan Equity Womenomics Fund

Dreyfus Japan Equity Womenomics Fund will seek long-term capital growth. The plan is to build an all-cap Japanese equity portfolio around firms likely to benefit from “womenomics.” At base, women are becoming a more powerful force in the Japanese business community, a move embraced by some firms and ignored by others. The advisors, understandably, believe that the former are more likely to thrive than are the latter. (And still the word “womenomics” – a nod to “Abenomics” which, frankly, is floundering – grates on me.) The fund will be managed by Makiko Togari, Miyuki Kashima, Masafumi Oshiden, Kazuya Kurosawa and Takashi Shimoyanagita. Ms. Togari is the lead portfolio manager of the fund and the Japan Equity Womenomics Strategy at BNYM Japan. Its opening expense ratio has not been disclosed, and the minimum initial investment for no-load “I” shares will be $1,000.

Eventide Limited-Term Bond Fund

Eventide Limited-Term Bond Fund will seek income. The plan is to invest in income producing securities with a focus on U.S. corporate bonds, government bonds, agency bonds, adjustable and fixed rate mortgage bonds, muni bonds, convertible securities, and debt instruments issued by foreign governments, including those in emerging markets. The fund may invest up to 20% of its assets in preferred stocks and dividend-paying common stocks and may invest in high-yield bonds. The fund’s average effective maturity will not exceed five years. The portfolio will be screened to select issuers with a record of “good corporate behavior.” The fund will be managed by Martin A. Wildy, CFA, and Samuel J. Saladino. This fund began life as Epiphany FFV Strategic Income Fund and is in the course of being adopted by Eventide, which will result in a somewhat different set of ethical screens. Its opening expense ratio for “N” class shares is 0.79%, and the minimum initial investment will be $1,000.

Oppenheimer Ultra-Short Duration ETF

Oppenheimer Ultra-Short Duration ETF, an actively-managed ETF, seeks to maximize current income consistent with preservation of capital. The plan is to invest, primarily, U.S. dollar-denominated investment-grade fixed-income securities with a portfolio duration under three years. The fund will be managed by Christopher Proctor, CFA, head of Oppenheimer’s Cash Strategies Team and Adam Wilde, CFA. Its opening expense ratio has not been released.

Parametric Systematic Alternative Risk Premia Fund

Parametric Systematic Alternative Risk Premia Fund, will seek total return. The plan is to provide exposure to risk premia by taking long and short positions using derivative instruments to gain market exposure across equities, fixed income, commodities and currencies. The fund will be managed by Christopher Haskamp and Thomas Lee of Parametric Portfolio Associates. The duo has managed a separate account using this strategy since April 2017. In its first 12 months of operation, the $135 million account returned 18.95%.  Its opening expense ratio for Investor shares is 1.35%, and the minimum initial investment will be $1,000.


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About David Snowball

David Snowball, PhD (Massachusetts). Cofounder, lead writer. David is a Professor of Communication Studies at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, a nationally-recognized college of the liberal arts and sciences, founded in 1860. For a quarter century, David competed in academic debate and coached college debate teams to over 1500 individual victories and 50 tournament championships. When he retired from that research-intensive endeavor, his interest turned to researching fund investing and fund communication strategies. He served as the closing moderator of Brill’s Mutual Funds Interactive (a Forbes “Best of the Web” site), was the Senior Fund Analyst at FundAlarm and author of over 120 fund profiles. David lives in Davenport, Iowa, and spends an amazing amount of time ferrying his son, Will, to baseball tryouts, baseball lessons, baseball practices, baseball games … and social gatherings with young ladies who seem unnervingly interested in him.