Fund advisers are required to file prospectuses for proposed funds with the SEC; the SEC has 75 days to review the filing. If the SEC doesn’t object, then the adviser is free to launch – or to not launch, which is more common than you think – the proposed fund. Funds placed in registration in December will “go live” in February or March 2018. This month’s filings include three actively-managed ETFs, two conversions of existing funds and one Continue reading →
Relatively few funds enter registration in November or December. Advisers really want to go live by December 30th, so that they will be able to show full-year results for 2018. As a result, lots of funds go into registration in October so that they can emerge from the SEC’s “quiet period” by the end of December. As a result, this month’s filings are limited to a handful of institutional funds that might offer retail shares, and a pack of high-visibility active ETFs from Vanguard. Continue reading →
A great month, especially if you’re rich. AQR has two new bonds funds tagged for $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 minimums. DFA has registered to launch Emerging Markets Sustainability Core 1 Portfolio and Global Core Plus Fixed Income Portfolio, kept so far from the hoi polloi that they don’t even list investment minimums. Rather, we suppose, like the restaurants that don’t list prices on the menu. Likewise, the Martin Currie Emerging Markets SMA Shares Fund will only be available to Legg Mason’s SMA customers. Joel Greenblatt has filed his latest fund, Gotham 500 Plus Fund, with a quarter million dollar minimum. It’ll invest long in large caps and long/short in small- to mid-caps. 17 of his 19 other funds have peer-beating returns since inception. RMB International Small Cap Fund has a $100,000 minimum for now, though an Investor class might come along one day. The advisor has no other international funds; remember, these used to be the Burnham Funds. The RQSI GAA Systematic Global Macro Fund will set you back 2.48% and $5,000,000. Continue reading →
It’s been a quiet month in the land of new fund registrations. There are ten new (mostly) no-load retail funds in the pipeline, as well as a half dozen loaded funds (which I’m mostly ignoring) and a slew of ETFs. The most intriguing development is the question, who’s offering the most pointless ETF? Candidates are the ProShares Decline of Bricks and Mortar Retail ETF which will surely compete with the ProShares Long Clicks/Short Bricks Retail ETF while the USCF Contango-Killer Natural Gas Fund (No K-1) takes on Continue reading →
Wow. Finally, a lot of intriguing new investment opportunities. David Sherman, whose RiverPark Short-Term High Yield (RPHYX) fund has both a one-star rating and the universe’s best Sharpe ratio (by a lot) over the past five years, is launching a CrossingBridge Low Duration. Polen Capital, which runs three splendid funds – large growth, global and international – is adding a small cap offering. Thrivent, which has very solid, low-profile funds, offers up a no-load, no-minimum international fund with 0.09% expenses. And Mark Wynegar, whose Tributary Small Company Fund (FOSCX) has a great record for low risk, low turnover, low drama performance, adds a small-to-midcap fund to his portfolio.
And, oh yeah, you can also track Continue reading →
It’s rare that I encounter the term “quantamental” twice in the same set of filings. Okay, it’s unheard of. I think they just made it up to irk me.
It’s also rare that Vanguard launches two new funds, much less the global version of two of their most legendary funds: Wellesley and Wellington. It’s hard to imagine why these won’t be $10 billion funds in, oh, about a year.
Calvert Ultra-Short Income NextShares
Before fund companies are allowed to offer mutual funds to the public, they need to submit them to SEC review. The SEC has 75 days to ponder the fate of the newly-registered funds before allowing them to proceed. The registration period is also called “the quiet period” because fund companies are not allowed to talk about their funds in registration. This month’s good news is that most of the mutual funds in registration are sensible strategies from respected shops: Artisan, AQR, Brown Advisory, T. Rowe Price and others. The other part of the news is that the ETF industry continues to crank out a freakish mishmash. That includes the Quincy Jones Streaming Music, Media & Entertainment ETF, the Republican Policies Fund (GOP), the Democratic Policies Fund (DEMS) and the European Union Breakup Fund (EUXT). Continue reading →
Before fund companies are allowed to offer mutual funds to the public, they need to submit them to SEC review. The SEC has 75 days to ponder the fate of the newly-registered funds before allowing them to proceed. The registration period is also called “the quiet period” because fund companies are not allowed to talk about their funds in registration. Happily, we are! The once-steady flow of 20-30 new funds a month has dwindled to a half dozen, many of which are simply converted versions of hedge funds or separately managed accounts. The former are more common this month, with five hedge funds morphing into two new mutual funds, including an unprecedented four-for-one merger and conversion offered up by Driehaus. Continue reading →
A couple of this month’s nominally “new” funds are actually repackaged versions of existing products. Congress Small Cap Growth Fund is just the reorganized version of Century Small Cap Select Fund (CSMVX), a two-star small cap growth fund with a 17-year record. Long-time manager Alexander Thorndike gains a co-manager, Gregg O’Keefe. Similarly, Oak Ridge Global Resources & Infrastructure Fund is a new name for Ridgeworth Capital Innovations Global Resources and Infrastructure Fund (INNAX), a solid but tiny fund. Sadly, that might be the most interesting stuff going on this month. Continue reading →
Some months, fund registrations are just weird. Perhaps that’s “the new normal,” a phrase that we’re allowed to use again now that former PIMCO chief Bill Gross and current PIMCO management have hugged, made up and announced that they can’t even remember what the silly fight was all about. PIMCO wrote a check of $81 million to Mr. Gross, which Mr. Gross rounded up to $100 million … and gave it to his own charitable foundation. Beyond that, a fund about childhood, one with a $350 million minimum investment, nine Morningstar funds that you can’t have (and might not want), three inexplicable ones and a couple that are reasonably promising. Continue reading →
An “arabesque” is either a graceful move in ballet or a graceful and intricate design in art and architecture. I’ll be fascinated to see how it plays out as a fund.
American Beacon TwentyFour Strategic Income
American Beacon Twenty Four Strategic Income will seek high current income with some hope of capital appreciation. The plan is to buy income-producing … uhh, stuff. Almost any conceivable stuff, globally and Continue reading →
The SEC requires managers to submit plans for their new funds 75 days before they’re offered for sale to the public. This month finds 16 new funds in the pipeline. The most intriguing are the two Rondure funds, launched by a partnership between former Wasatch star manager Laura Geritz and the folks at Grandeur Peak. We wrote in December about the partnership. One of pure EM, the other global and both are positioned to hold stocks that are somewhat larger and more seasoned than we associate with Grandeur Peak. Artisan, which rarely launches a bad fund, has registered plans for its niche-est fund, Artisan Thematic, led by an experienced hedge fund guy. Continue reading →
You know it’s a bad month for fund registrations when the most interesting thing out there is a bad idea: The ETF Market ETF (TETF). If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “there’s nothing I want more than to be trapped investing in a very limited universe of companies, almost none of whom have enduring competitive advantages,” you can now not only invest there, you can day trade if you want. (sigh) Otherwise, year-end is a slow time in the fund launch world. Continue reading →
Twenty new no-load retail funds are slated to go live by year’s end; most will first trade on December 30 so they’ll first able to report full-year results for 2017. The most immediately intriguing are Rajiv Jain’s new GQG Partners Emerging Markets Equity Fund and Osterweis Total Return., though Polen International Growth Fund has some pretty solid lineage, too. Read on!
ACR International Quality Return Fund
ACR International Quality Return Fund will seek is “to protect capital from permanent impairment while providing an absolute return above the Fund’s cost of capital and a relative return above the Fund’s benchmark over a full market cycle.” After such a build-up, it’s a letdown to report that it appears just to be a global stock fund. It will hold about 20 names, expects to keep less than a third in emerging markets and might hold some cash. Not much stands out there. The fund will be managed by Continue reading →
Ten new funds are in the queue, ready to launch somewhere between Thanksgiving and New Years. Several high-profile firms are launching new funds, including DoubleLine, Northern, Osterweis and TIAA-CREF. (We also snuck in a small handful of institutional launches from AMG and AQR.)
U.S. Quality ESG strikes me as particularly interesting. Northern Trust has made a major commitment to responsible investing. This fund will be the latest in a series of launches by Northern Trust, which has offered a global ESG index fund, Global Sustainability Index Fund (NSRIX) and added FlexShares STOXX US ESG Impact Index Fund (ESG) and FlexShares STOXX Global ESG Impact Index Fund (ESGG) on July 14, 2016. Northern’s passive products are consistently Continue reading →
It’s been a quiet month for new registrants. There’s the usual collection of trendy ETFs (e.g., Pacer US Cash Cows 100 ETF) and Mr. Greenblatt is launching more Gorham-branded institutional funds (Gotham Neutral 500 at 1.4%, Defensive Long at 2.15%, and Defensive Long 500 at 1.65%). Other than that, we found just four new no-load, retail funds. Folks interested in social impact investing might want to put Gerstein Fisher Municipal CRA Qualified Investment Fund on their radar. Low minimum, relatively low expense, it provides individual investors a tool to support affordable housing and community development. Otherwise, the new options peaked out at “meh.” Continue reading →
Newly-proposed funds need to sit quietly for 75 days. During that time the Securities and Exchange Commission staff reviews their prospectuses and has the right to demand changes. If the SEC doesn’t object, the advisor earns the right – but not the obligation, oddly enough – to release the fund to the public. Funds currently in registration are apt to launch at the end of September so that they will be able to report complete results for the fourth quarter of 2016.
Setting aside whacko ideas (The Wearable Technology ETF? Did we learn nothing from the adventures of the 3D Printing ETF? Or the Obesity ETF?), there were 13 new no-load retail funds or active ETFs in registration this month. Continue reading →
Anchor Alternative Equity Fund
Anchor Alternative Equity Fund will pursue total with a secondary objective of limiting risk. It will be a long/short fund-of-funds investing in ETFs and mutual funds. Here’s the key phrase: “The Fund primarily takes long and short positions in securities that are highly correlated to major US equity indices based on long, intermediate, and short term trends.” The fund will be managed by Garrett Waters of Anchor Capital Management. The initial expense ratio is 2.77%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.
Anchor Tactical Real Estate Fund
Anchor Tactical Real Estate Fund will pursue above average total returns over a full market cycle with lower correlation and reduced risk when compared to traditional real estate indexes. It will be a long/short fund-of-funds investing in ETFs and mutual funds. They’ll invest in real estate funds based on their analysis of trends, with the prospect of hedging against broad market declines with short ETFs. The fund will be managed by Garrett Waters of Anchor Capital Management. The initial expense ratio is 3.10%. The minimum initial investment is $2,500.
Cornerstone Core Plus Bond
Cornerstone Core Plus Bond will pursue total return, consisting of current income and capital appreciation. The plan is to farm the work out to 12 people representings several different famous firms. The initial expense ratio is 0.49%. The minimum initial investment is $2,000 but it’s available only “to certain advisory clients of the Adviser.”
Low Beta Tactical 500 Fund
Low Beta Tactical 500 Fund will seek to outperform the S&P 500 with lower volatility than the Index. The plan is to invest either in S&P 500 ETFs or cash based on “tactical research, analysis and evaluation regarding market trends.” The fund will be managed by Thomas Moring of LGM Capital Management. The initial expense ratio is 1.95%. The minimum initial investment hasn’t been disclosed.
Schwab Target 2060 Fund
Schwab Target 2060 Fund will pursue capital appreciation and income by investing in other Schwab and Laudus Funds. Zifan Tang, Ph.D., CFA, a Managing Director and Head of Schwab’s Asset Allocation Strategies, is responsible for all the funds in the series. The expense ratios have not yet been released. Ironically, the funds do not carry 12b-1 fees, which are usually the price for getting carried on the Schwab platform. The funds are only open to institutional investors but for those investors the minimum investment is $100.
Schwab Target Date Index Funds
Schwab Target Date Index Fund will pursue “capital appreciation and income consistent with its current asset allocation.” These will be funds-of-ETFs which equity exposure ranging from 95% (2060) to about 40% (2010). Zifan Tang, Ph.D., CFA, a Managing Director and Head of Schwab’s Asset Allocation Strategies, is responsible for all the funds in the series. The expense ratios have not yet been released. Ironically, the funds do not carry 12b-1 fees, which are usually the price for getting carried on the Schwab platform. The funds are only open to institutional investors but for those investors the minimum investment is $100.
AMG Multi-Asset Income Fund
AMG Multi-Asset Income Fund will seek a high level of current income. They intend to invest in many sorts of income-producing securities, using five sub-advisers with five different approaches, in order to generate “incrementally more yield” than a portfolio of government securities. That’s nice, except that their risk target is “lower than the S&P 500 Index over the long term.” On face, that’s not a compelling balance. The management teams haven’t been named. The initial expense ratio has not been set, nor has the expense cap that apparently will be in place. The minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $1,000 for various tax-advantaged products.
AMG SouthernSun Global Opportunities Fund
AMG SouthernSun Global Opportunities Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest globally in 15-40 small to mid-cap companies. As with their US small cap fund, they’re looking for firms with financial flexibility, good management and niche dominance. The domestic small cap fund has suffered from “the girl with the curl” problem. The fund will be managed by Michael Cook, who also manages the other two SouthernSun funds. The initial expense ratio will be 1.70% and the minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $1,000 for various tax-advantaged products.
Concorde Wealth Management Trust
Concorde Wealth Management Trust will seek total return and preservation of capital. The plan is to invest in all kinds of stuff – stocks, bonds, private placements – that is attractively valued, though the prospectus doesn’t mention how the managers will allocate between asset classes nor whether there are any limits on their discretion. For reasons unclear, they insist on shouting the world FUND over and over in the prospectus. The fund will be managed by Dr. Gary B. Wood, John Stetter, and Gregory B. Wood. The initial expense ratio will be 1.37% and the minimum initial investment is $500.
DoubleLine Ultra Short Bond Fund
DoubleLine Ultra Short Bond Fund will seek current income consistent with limited price volatility. They’ll target securities with a duration under one year and an average credit quality of AA- or higher. The fund will be managed by Bonnie Baha, who famously referred to her boss as “a freakin’ jerk” and still manages four funds for him, and Jeffrey Lee. The initial expense ratio has not been set, nor has the expense cap that apparently will be in place. The minimum initial investment is $2,000, reduced to $500 for various tax-advantaged products.
Toreador Select Fund
Toreador Select Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to deploy “a proprietary stock selection model” (aren’t they all proprietary?) to select 35-60 large cap stocks. The fund will be managed by Paul Blinn and Rafael Resendes of Toreador Research & Trading. The team also managed Toreador Core, a global all-cap fund with a modestly regrettable record since: total returns trail its peers while volatility is modestly higher. The initial expense ratio will be 1.21% and the minimum initial investment is $1,000.
Boyd Watterson Short Duration Enhanced Income Fund
Boyd Watterson Short Duration Enhanced Income Fund will seek income, capital preservation and total return, in that order. The plan is to invest tactically in a wide variety of security types including junk bonds, bank loans, convertibles, preferred shares, CDOs and so on. They’ve got a bunch of proprietary strategies for sector, industry and tactical allocations. The fund will be managed by a team from Boyd Watterson Asset Management. The opening expense ratio has not been disclosed and the minimum initial investment is $5,000, reduced to $2,500 for various tax-advantaged accounts.
Moerus Worldwide Value Fund
Moerus Worldwide Value Fund will seek capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in a global portfolio of 25-40 undervalued stocks. Candidate companies would have solid balance sheets, high quality business models and shareholder-friendly management teams. In addition, they should have the capacity to thrive in “difficult periods” and “market downturns.” The fund will be managed by Amit Wadhwaney, formerly lead manager of Third Avenue International Value. He and two other former Third Avenue employees launched Moerus Capital in December 2015. And no, I have no idea of what a “moerus” is. The opening expense ratio is 1.65% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500.
Northern Active M U.S. Equity Fund
Northern Active M U.S. Equity Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation through a diversified portfolio of primarily U.S. equity securities. Any income generation is purely incidental. It will be a multi-manager fund, so I’m guessing that explains the mysterious “M” in the name. The fund will be managed by Delaware Investments, Granite Investment Partners, The London Company of Virginia, and Polen Capital Management. The opening expense ratio is 0.67% and the minimum initial investment is $2,500, reduced to $500 for various tax-advantaged accounts and $250 for funds set up with an AIP.
Sit ESG Growth Fund
Sit ESG Growth Fund will seek long-term capital appreciation. The plan is to invest in fundamentally attractive businesses which also have “strong environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) practices at the time of purchase.” The fund will be managed by Roger Sit and a team from SIT Associates. The opening expense ratio is 1.50% and the minimum initial investment is $5,000.
SPDR® SSGA U.S. Sector Rotation ETF
SPDR SSGA U.S. Sector Rotation ETF will seek a provide capital appreciation. The plan is to invest, using a tactical sector allocation strategy, in sector ETFs. They determine the attractiveness of sectors monthly, so you might reasonably expect a high-turnover strategy. The fund will be managed by John Gulino, Lorne Johnson and Michael Narkiewicz of the Investment Solutions Group. The opening expense ratio has not been disclosed and, being an ETF, there’s no regular investment minimum.
Vest Armor S&P 500® Fund
Vest Armor S&P 500® Fund will track, before expenses, the performance of the CBOE S&P 500 Buffer Protect Index. These folks are actually launching about 14 related funds simultaneously. The underlying idea is that they can use options to tightly control the range of a fund’s gains or losses. In a rising market, they’ll profit up to a preset cap. In a modestly declining market, they’ll keep returns at zero. In a sharply declining market, they’ll lose 10% less – that is, 1000 basis points less – that the S&P 500. Twelve of the funds are denominated by month: the January fund sets its 12-month return parameters at one level, the February fund at another, the March fund at a third and so on. The fund will be managed by Karan Sood and Johnathan Hale of Vest Financial. The opening expense ratio is 1.50% and the minimum initial investment is $1,000.