Briefly Noted . . .

By TheShadow


Our condolences to the family and friends of Robert B Bruce, co-portfolio manager of the Bruce Fund, who passed away on June 23. The Bruce Fund will continue to be managed by his son, R. Jeffrey Bruce. Morningstar rates the Bruce Fund four stars.

Stuart Rigby, one of the portfolio managers of the Grandeur Peak Emerging Markets Opportunities, Global Reach, and US Stalwarts Funds, has decided to leave the firm to pursue a new path in his career and launch a global technology hedge fund effective July 1.

Matthews Asia has registered several new ETFs. They are Matthews Emerging Markets Sustainable Future Active ETF, Matthews Pacific Tiger Active ETF, Matthews Asia India Active ETF, Matthews Asia Japan Active ETF, and Matthews Asia Dividend Active ETF. Total annual fund operating expenses are .79% for each of the ETFs.

T. Rowe Price has filed a registration for its T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation and Income Fund. The fund normally invests 50-70% of its net assets in fixed income and other debt instruments, including corporate and government bonds, mortgage- and asset-backed securities, convertible bonds, and bank loans (which represent an interest in amounts owed by a borrower to a syndicate of lenders). The fund normally invests 30-50% of its net assets in common and preferred stocks. It will be managed by David R. Giroux and Farris G. Shuggi. Total annual fund operating expenses after fee waiver/expense reimbursement will be .65% for the investor share class. It is anticipated that the fund will begin operating on October 1 based on the filings.


Effective August 10, 2023, the minimum initial investment amount for Institutional Class investors in the CrossingBridge Funds is being lowered to $5,000 from $50,000.

  Inception Relative returns Relative Sharpe ratio
CrossingBridge Low Duration High Yield Fund 01/2018 1.1% higher 0.71 vs 0.12
CrossingBridge Ultra-Short Duration Fund 06/2021 6.3% 0.32 vs -0.73
CrossingBridge Responsible Credit Fund 06/2021 6.6% 0.17 vs -0.73

The oldest fund in the group, Low Duration, has a five-star rating from Morningstar, a Great Owl designation from MFO, and about $500 million in assets.

The relative returns for Ultra-Short are misleading because Lipper classifies it as a “general bond” fund, which it is not. In general, it is modestly correlated (0.74) with its sibling RiverPark Short-Term High Yield (RPHIX, same team, similar duration, 1 bp difference in e.r.) but trails it modestly since inception.

The SEC slammed the ETF Managers Group and its founder Sam Masucci for a series of violations relating to attempts to keep its disastrously bad marijuana ETF (Alternative Harvest, which has turned an initial $10,000 investment in 2015 into $1,840 today). ETFMG has sold off its ETF business and will pay a fine of $4,000,000. Mr. Masucci is banned from working in the investment industry and will pay a fine of $400,000.

Rajiv Jain’s GQG Partners has cut fees on two of its smaller funds: GQG Partners Global Quality Dividend Income fund will drop from 0.75% to 0.68% and GQG Partners International Quality Dividend Income fund from 0.79% to 0.68%. The funds launched in June 2021 and have under $200 million between them. Global has an exceptionally solid early record, International less so.

Morningstar reports, “Fund fees hit a record low in 2022 as the asset-weighted average expense ratio for mutual funds and ETFs fell to 0.37% from 0.40% in 2021. Morningstar estimates investors saved $9.8 billion as a result.”

Effective September 1, 2023, the purchase restrictions on the T. Rowe Price High Yield Fund and the T. Rowe Price International Discovery Fund will be removed. As a result of this change, investors who trade directly with T. Rowe Price can open new accounts in the funds.

CLOSINGS (and related inconveniences)

Nothing lately!

OLD WINE, NEW BOTTLES: Your Fund-to-ETF Watch!

Franklin Focused Growth Fund is being reorganized into an exchange traded fund. The reorganization of the mutual fund is scheduled to occur on or about November 3, 2023.

JPMorgan Asset Management converted another $1.5 billion in mutual funds into active ETFs. They are Sustainable Municipal Income ETF (JMSI), High Yield Municipal ETF ( JMHI), Limited Duration Bond ETF (JPLD) and Equity Focus ETF (JPEF). While the move is couched in terms of investor benefits (“trading flexibility, increased transparency, and reduced fees”), but bottom line is that a strategy marketed as an active ETF draws assets more easily than the same strategy marketed as an open-end fund. JPM itself reports disproportionate asset inflows into its suite of active ETFs; that is, the percentage of “new money” coming in which goes to active ETFs is far higher than the percentage of JPM’s assets in those funds.

The Neuberger Berman U.S. Equity Index PutWrite Strategy Fund is being reorganized into an exchange traded fund. After the conversion, it is anticipated that the ETF will continue to have the same portfolio managers and will be managed in a substantially similar manner as the Mutual Fund. It is anticipated that the conversion will occur during December 2023 or January 2024.

Other ETFs in the pipeline: Eaton Vance Ultra-Short Income, Eaton Vance High Yield, Eaton Vance Intermediate Municipal Income, Parametric Hedged Equity, Parametric Dividend Premium, Delaware Sustainable Global Listed Infrastructure, and Delaware Energy Transition and Tax-Free USA Short Term. TCW has announced plans to convert its TCW Artificial Intelligence Equity fund into an ETF and to buy the ETF business of Engine No. 1, which will bring Transform 500, Transform Climate, and Transform Supply Chain ETFs into the fold.


AXS Thomson Reuters Private Equity Return Tracker Fund will be liquidated on or about August 18.

AXS 1.5X PYPL Bull Daily and AXS Brendan Wood TopGun Index ETFs will be liquidated on or about August 18.

The ETFMG Breakwave Sea Decarbonization Tech ETF was liquidated on or about July 21.

FS Chiron SMid Opportunities Fund was liquidated on or about July 31.

Harbor Small Cap Explorer ETF will be liquidated on or about August 30.

Natixis U.S. Equity Opportunities ETF was liquidated on July 25.

NightShares 500 and NightShares 2000 ETFs were liquidated on or about July 31.

The Board of Trustees approved the dissolution of the Strive U.S. Technology ETF, an anti-ESG fund that never launched.

TrueShares ESG Active Opportunities ETF was liquidated on or about July 31.

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.