Before funds can be offered to the public, they’ve got to be submitted to the SEC which has 70 days to review the application. In general, advisers try to launch just before years end because that allows them to have clean “year to date” and calendar year results to share. These launches will likely occur in late April or May.
Palm Valley Capital Fund is sort of a stand-out here, despite the name that vaguely calls a retirement community (with golf!) to mind. It will be a small cap stock fund managed by two experienced absolute value managers: Eric Cinnamond (formerly of Intrepid Endurance and ASTON/RiverRoad Independent Value) and Jayme Wiggins (Mr. Cinnamond’s successor at Intrepid Endurance). Both of the guys have excellent stock-picking records, but also a steely resolve to hold cash when there are no compelling values available. Mr. Cinnamond stepped away from management several years ago, liquidating his fund, because the market’s valuations remained so irrational for so long that he felt he was not serving his shareholders well by sitting on a vast cash stash. He resolved to return when he thought markets had the prospect of offering low-priced options. Mr. Wiggins maintained a similar resolve at Endurance until his (rather sudden) departure in September. Their reunion and return might signal their conclusion that a substantial reset in small cap valuations is now imaginable.
Alpha Architect Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF
Alpha Architect Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF, an passively-managed ETF, seeks to track the (custom, could you tell?) Life + Liberty Freedom 100 Emerging Markets Index. The plan is to build a portfolio that is weighted toward stocks in EM nations which protect life (e.g., control human trafficking), liberty (e.g., follow due process of law) and property (e.g., have transparent business regulations). The fund will be managed by Tao Wang of Empowered Funds and Alpha Architect. Its opening expense ratio has not been disclosed.
CLS Strategic Global Equity Fund
CLS Strategic Global Equity Fund (SGEFX) will seek long-term growth of capital. The plan is to create a global equity portfolio using other funds and ETFs. Typically 40% of the investments will be non-US. They’re going to try to maintain a risk exposure comparable to that of their benchmark, which is 60% Russell 3000 and 40% MSCI All-World ex US; it will also try to keep other portfolio characteristics (size, sector, style, region) comparable to that benchmark. The fund will be managed by a team from CLS Investments. Its opening expense ratio is 1.82%, and the minimum initial investment will be $2,500.
Conductor International Equity Value Fund
Conductor International Equity Value Fund will seek long-term risk-adjusted total return. The plan is to invest in the equity securities of international companies that are believed to exhibit strong fundamental attributes. The manager “prioritizes managing risk exposures,” so the manager might use cash, stocks on index ETFs or index options to hedge the portfolio when market risk seems excessive. The portfolio will normally range between 50-100% net long. The fund will be managed by Charles Albert Cunningham, III. Its opening expense ratio has not been disclosed, and the minimum initial investment will be $2,500 for “A” shares with nominally carry a 5.75% sales load.
Fidelity Women’s Leadership Fund
Fidelity Women’s Leadership Fund will seek long-term growth of capital. The plan is to “invest primarily in equity securities of companies that prioritize and advance women’s leadership and development.” One woman on the senior management team qualifies a stock for inclusion, as does having one-third of the board be women or, more generally, having policies designed to attract, retain and promote women. It might be a global, all-cap portfolio. The fund will be managed by Nicole Connolly. Its opening expense ratio has not been disclosed, and there is no minimum initial investment requirement.
Global Tactical Fund
Global Tactical Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to buy both stocks and equity ETFs, with 40% of the portfolio typically invested in international stocks. The manager has the ability to short, otherwise there’s no particular explanation of what’s “tactical” about it. The fund will be managed by Chetan Jindal of Greenwich Ivy Capital LLC. He was “formerly partner at a global asset management firm.” A quick Google suggests Altrinsic Global Advisors, for what interest that holds. Its opening expense ratio has not been disclosed, and the minimum initial investment will be $1,000.
iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Mid-Cap ETF
iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor USA Mid-Cap ETF, an passively-managed ETF, seeks to track an index composed of U.S. mid-capitalization stocks that have “favorable exposure to target style factors subject to constraints.” We don’t normally cover passive ETFs but a passive fund tracking an active index seemed close enough. The plan is to invest in (the currently 88) mid-cap stocks which (a) are components of the MSCI USA Mid Cap Index and (b) have high exposure to value, quality, momentum and low size. The fund will be managed by a team from BlackRock Fund Advisors. Its opening expense ratio has not been disclosed.
iShares ESG MSCI USA Leaders ETF
iShares ESG MSCI USA Leaders ETF, an index ETF, seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of U.S. large- and mid-cap stocks of companies with high environmental, social, and governance performance relative to their sector peers. The fund will be managed by a team from BlackRock Fund Advisors. Its opening expense ratio has not been disclosed.
LKCM International Equity Fund
LKCM International Equity Fund will seek to maximize long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in an all-cap international portfolio of companies that show high profitability levels, strong balance sheet quality, competitive advantages, ability to generate excess cash flows, meaningful management ownership stakes, attractive reinvestment opportunities, strong market share positions, and/or attractive relative valuation. The fund will be managed by Mason and J. Luther King of Luther King Capital Management. Its opening expense ratio is 1.0%, and the minimum initial investment will be $2,000.
Palm Valley Capital Fund
Palm Valley Capital Fund will seek long-term total return. The plan is to invest in high‑quality small companies that the managers believe can be valued accurately using its valuation methodology, are more likely to grow consistently, and are less likely to experience a permanent loss in value. Up to 30% of the fund might be invested internationally. The fund’s cash position, which might be very substantial, is determined by the availability of securities which meet the managers’ criteria. In the absence of suitable opportunities, the fund will hold cash. The fund will be managed by Eric Cinnamond and Jayme Wiggins, both former managers of Intrepid Endurance. Its opening expense ratio is 1.25%, and the minimum initial investment will be $2,500.