February 2024 IssueLong scroll reading

Briefly Noted . . .

By TheShadow


Vanguard is introducing new and enhanced intergenerational wealth and legacy planning capabilities through a partnership with Vanilla, an innovative provider of digital estate planning tools and solutions. The offer was successfully piloted to a small group of eligible advised clients in Vanguard Personal Advisor Wealth Management over the past year and will scale to provide ultra-high-net-worth Vanguard investors with a powerful visualized approach to help manage and achieve their current and future estate planning objectives.

Eligible Vanguard Personal Advisor Wealth Management clients will work directly with their advisors to leverage Vanilla to build integrated visualizations of their net worth, powerful asset transfer diagrams, estimated tax calculations, ongoing estate monitoring, and the ability to model the impact of further estate planning scenarios.

Matthews Asia Funds revolving door of managers continues. Poster ProtonAnalyst33 noted that Sharat Shroff left the Matthews Pacific Tiger and India funds.  Other Matthews Asia managers, including John Paul Lech (EM Equity and Emerging Markets ex China Active ETF) and Taizo Ishida (Growth, Innovators, and Japan) left on the same day, 19 December 2023. Citing “a transforming strategy roster, personnel turnover, and a big decline in assets,” Morningstar has downgraded Matthews from being an Above Average advisor down to merely an Average one. For the sake of all involved, we hope 2014, The Year of the Dragon, is a prosperous one for a once-storied franchise.


Hartford International Equity Fund will reopen to new investors on March 20. The fund is rated three stars by Morningstar.

JP Morgan Equity Income Fund reopened to new investors on January 15. The fund is rated three stars by Morningstar.

On January 30, 2024, Vanguard launched Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Bond ETF (VTEI) and Vanguard California Tax-Exempt Bond ETF (VTEC), two index municipal bond ETFs managed by Vanguard Fixed Income Group. Each ETF charges 8 basis points (0.08%) for its services which Vanguard calculates to be less than one-third of “the average expense ratio for competing funds.”

CLOSINGS (and related inconveniences)

Invesco Small Cap Value will close to new investors on April 1, 2024.


The Macquarie Group is rebranding the name of numerous Delaware equity and bond funds. The name Delaware will be removed for numerous funds being rebranded with the name of Macquarie. The name change will take effect on December 31, 2024.

Neuberger Berman U.S. Equity Index PutWrite Strategy Fund has been converted into an ETF.


AlphaCentric SWBC Municipal Opportunities Fund will be liquidated on or about February 27.

Cohen & Steers Alternative Income Fund will complete liquidation on or about February 26, 2024

Global X is liquidating a bucketload of ETFs:

  1. Global X MSCI China Industrials ETF
  2. Global X MSCI China Communication Services ETF
  3. Global X MSCI China Financials ETF
  4. Global X MSCI China Energy ETF
  5. Global X MSCI China Materials ETF
  6. Global X MSCI Next Emerging & Frontier ETF
  7. Global X MSCI Portugal ETF
  8. Global X MSCI Pakistan ETF
  9. Global X MSCI China Consumer Staples ETF
  10. Global X MSCI China Health Care ETF
  11. Global X MSCI China Information Technology ETF
  12. Global X MSCI China Utilities ETF
  13. Global X MSCI China Real Estate ETF
  14. Global X Carbon Credits Strategy ETF
  15. Global X Health & Wellness ETF
  16. Global X Green Building ETF
  17. Global X China Biotech Innovation ETF
  18. Global X Cannabis ETF
  19. Global X Metaverse ETF

Global X also withdrew its application for a spot bitcoin ETF on 30 January 2024. A dozen other advisers launched such funds in January, with BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust reaching $2.7 billion in AUM by month’s end.

Notwithstanding the buzz of ETFs for the rescue, the price of Bitcoin fell in January and fell substantially (by about $5,000 per coin) from the day that the funds launched.

North Square Advisory Research Small Cap Growth Fund will be liquidating its assets with the goal of completing such process by the close of business on February 12, 2024.

The Rice Hall James Small Cap Fund is expected to cease operations and liquidate on or about February 29, 2024. 

The Rondure Overseas Fund will be liquidated on or about February 8.  Assets under management have declined over the years making it not beneficial to operate the fund.

“As of the close of business on January 31, 2024, the Upright Assets Allocation Fund, Upright Growth Fund, and Upright Growth & Income Fund will close to new investments.” While the announcement doesn’t say “in advance of euthanasia,” between them the three funds have $23 million in assets and four stars.

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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.