August 2022 IssueLong scroll reading

Briefly Noted . . .

By TheShadow

ARK Transparency ETF will liquidate on or about July 26. Poster/Contributor Yogibear noted that the official reason for the closure was due to the Transparency Index provider, Transparency Global, discontinuing the index utilized for the ETF. ARKK was unable to find a replacement. The ETF was launched approximately eight months ago when it commenced operations on December 8, 2021.

Champlain Emerging Markets Fund was closed to new investors on July 1. The advisor, Champlain Investment Partners, LLC, announced its intent to exit the emerging markets asset class. The board is considering the best course of action for the future of the fund, which may include being liquidated.

Responsibility for the $3 billion Fidelity Series All-Sector Equity Fund is currently shared by ten managers. Well, nine … John Mirshekari no longer serves as a co-manager of the fund. By year’s end, eight or seven: Bob Stansky and Jody Simes are both scheduled to depart on December 31, 2022. But add one back! Christopher Lee joins the team in August 2022. And Fidelity avers that Chad Colman has managed the fund since July, but he doesn’t yet appear on the Morningstar roster.

The God Bless America ETF is in registration. Its investment strategy consists of selecting U.S. listed equity securities of companies using a proprietary research system. The sub-adviser analyzes an initial universe of large-, mid-, and small-capitalization companies with market capitalizations of at least $1 billion and then screens out companies that, in the sub-adviser’s assessment, have emphasized political activism and social agendas at the expense of maximizing shareholder. For example, the sub-adviser will generally exclude companies that make public statements about a then-current political hot button item unrelated to their business (e.g., companies that issue press releases in response to U.S. Supreme Court rulings). The sub-adviser analyzes information from company regulatory filings (e.g., annual reports), company communications (e.g., press releases), and related media reports. Michael Venuto, Charles A. Ragauss, and Adam B. Curran will be the portfolio managers. Expenses have not been stated as of yet in the registration filing.

Vanguard Group, Inc, has settled with the Massachusetts Secretary of State concerning its popular target-date retirement funds. In December 2020, Vanguard reduced the minimum investments for its institutional investors. This change triggered an outflow from its higher-cost funds, which resulted in the funds selling securities and generating capital gains for investors with taxable accounts. Vanguard did not admit any wrongdoing in the case. The settlement includes $5.5 million to Massachusetts investors holding taxable accounts and $750,000 to the State of Massachusetts.

On July 29, 2022, William Blair launched the institutional William Blair Emerging Markets Ex China Growth Fund. It will be managed by a three-person team who is also responsible for the firm’s EM and China strategies. It’s less interesting in its own right – the $500,00 – $1,000,000 minimums limit that interest here – than it is as a harbinger of the impulse to create EM funds that are not entirely driven by China.

Small Wins For Investors

Okay, this month, let’s rebrand as “Small Losses for Investors” to celebrate the launch of leveraged and reverse leveraged single stock ETFs. Leverage and shorting are dangerous and expensive games, generally practiced by the rich and stupid. GraniteShares now brings the destructive potential of guessing wrong to the masses with the launch of:

GraniteShares 1.25x Long TSLA Daily ETF TSL
GraniteShares 1x Short TSLA Daily ETF TSLI
GraniteShares 1.5x Long NVDA Daily ETF NVDL
GraniteShares 1.1x Long NIO Daily ETF NIOL
GraniteShares 1.5x Long COIN Daily ETF CONL
GraniteShares 1.75x Long BABA Daily ETF ALIB
GraniteShares 1.5x Long META Daily ETF FBL
GraniteShares 1.75x Long GOOGL Daily ETF GOOL
GraniteShares 1.5x Long AMZN Daily ETF AMZZ
GraniteShares 1.75x Long AAPL Daily ETF AAPB
GraniteShares 2x Long MSFT Daily ETF MSFL
GraniteShares 1.25x Long AMD Daily ETF AMDL
GraniteShares 1.25x Long PLTR Daily ETF PTIR
GraniteShares 1.25x Long TWTR Daily ETF TWTL
GraniteShares 1.5x Long UBER Daily ETF UBRL
GraniteShares 1.5x Long DIS Daily ETF DISL
GraniteShares 1.25x Long F Daily ETF  

Each ETF is benchmarked against a single day’s price change in the target stock, making the appropriate holding period never.

Old Wine, New Bottles

Effective on or about September 16, 2022, Angel Oak Financials Income Fund becomes the Angel Oak Financials Income Impact Fund. The redrawn strategy for the renamed fund:

The Fund will principally invest in investments that the Adviser believes have positive aggregate environmental, social and/or governance impact outcomes … the Fund may invest in debt securities, including bank-issued subordinated debt, unrated debt, senior debt, preferred securities, high yield securities and TruPS; equity securities, including common equity, preferred equity, convertible securities and warrants; [and] Structured Products.

Conductor Global Equity Value Fund will be converted into the Conductor Global Equity Value ETF. Shareholders of Class A, Class C, and Class I will have their shares converted into Class Y shares effective July 25, 2022.

EP Emerging Markets Small Companies Fund will change its name to EP Emerging Markets Fund. Champlain Investment Partners, LLC will no longer serve as the sub-advisor to the fund. Euro Pacific Asset Management, LLC will serve as the advisor to the fund. The management team will consist of Luke Allen, CFA, Portfolio Manager of the Advisor, and Patrick Rien, CFA, Co-Portfolio Manager and Senior Research Analyst of the Advisor.

Litman Gregory has announced plans to change iMGP Equity into iMGP Global Select Fund, effective at the end of September 2022. The new version might invest up to 75% in non-US equities but doesn’t have to. iMGP remains one of the industry’s dumbest branding decisions, unexplained even in the 2020 press release that announced the new name. We know only that it “better reflects the collaborative approach it employs.” The logo breaks it into iM Global Partner, which doesn’t materially improve anything.

Effective July 29, 2022, Matthews Asia ESG Fund has become Matthews Emerging Markets Sustainable Future Fund. Coincidentally, Morningstar just dropped analyst coverage of the fund, noting “demand for Matthews Asia ESG MISFX was tepid and so was its investment proposition.”

Roundhill BITKRAFT Esports & Digital Entertainment ETF (ticker: NERD) has been rebranded Roundhill Video Games ETF. Niche funds are about impossible to benchmark in any meaningful way. Morningstar calls it a “consumer cyclical” fund, and it trails 95% of its “peers” in both 2021 and 2022.

Effective September 1, 2022, Tortoise MLP & Energy Income Fund becomes Tortoise Energy Infrastructure and Income Fund.

Closings (and Related Inconveniences)

BNY Mellon Sustainable Balanced Fund will be liquidated on November 15, 2022. The fund had drawn just $15 million across two share classes despite a Morningstar rating of “Bronze” and an above-average long-term record.

Certeza Convex Core Fund was liquidated on or about July 26.

Easterly Global Macro, Multi Strategy Alternative Income, and EHS Funds will be liquidated. Easterly Global Macro will liquidate on August 24, 2022. Multi Strategy Alternative Income and Easterly EHS Fund will liquidate on or about August 12, 2022.

Euclid Capital Growth ETF will be liquidated on August 4, 2022.

Achieving a beta of zero soon: Global Beta Smart Income ETF, Global Beta Low Beta ETF, and Global Beta Rising Stars ETF will all be liquidated by month’s end.

Morgan Creek – Exos SPAC Originated ETF will be liquidated on or about August 18.

Rockefeller & Co. LLC has decided to liquidate the Rockefeller Equity Allocation Fund, Rockefeller Core Taxable Bond Fund, Rockefeller Intermediate Tax-Exempt National Bond Fund, and Rockefeller Intermediate Tax-Exempt New York Bond Fund on August 26, 2022.

Yes, that Rockefeller .. the one located on Rockefeller Plaza near Rockefeller Center, with David Rockefeller on its board. The firm was started in 1882 to manage the Rockefeller family fortune, opened to other rich families in 1979, and was acquired by Viking Global Services in 2008.

The funds were underwhelming, had no discernible manager investment, and were small. It appears that Rockefeller Climate Solutions Fund, launched in July 2021, will soldier on at least a bit longer. On July 22, 2022, that fund substituted Jose Garza for Casey Clark as one of the fund’s two co-managers.

Effective July 22, 2022, Virtus Core Plus Bond Fund, Virtus Global Dynamic Allocation Fund, and Virtus Preferred Securities and Income Fund were liquidated

This entry was posted in Briefly Noted, Mutual Fund Commentary on by .

About TheShadow

The Shadow here! Like Mark, I’m a long-time member of the MFO community. I’ve started over 2300 discussion threads, most focusing on developments in the fund industry. I am a personal investor that was introduced to mutual funds when I was young to fund my college education. As I have grown older, I have expanded my mutual funds holdings to a point where I probably have too many; however, this year they all did extremely well due to the overall performance of the market. I work in the financial industry regulating the consumer finance industry in my state. My hope for the months ahead is that I might share word of developments in the finance industry – the comings and goings, launches and liquidations, the fun and the follies – with you.