Our weekly roundup of new fund launches.
Vanguard to offer corporate bond ETF-of-ETF
Vanguard plans to offer a Total Corporate Bond ETF, according to SEC filings. The proposed fund would invest in three of its existing bond funds rather than separate bonds. It would be the first fund of its kind from Vanguard.
The ETF would track the Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF (VCSH), the Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond ETF (VCIT) and the Vanguard Long-Term Corporate Bond ETF (VCLT), all of which have expense ratios of 0.07%. The approach of using existing exposure from the underlying ETFs is part of a larger effort to achieve tighter spreads and lower operating costs, according to the firm.
“In recent years, we have been building out our ETF lineup to serve growing demand by our clients abroad,” said Vanguard Chief Investment Officer Greg Davis. “Since 2015, we have launched a total of 27 ETFs in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Switzerland and the U.K.”
Voya launches custodial IRA
In compliance with the DoL fiduciary rule, Voya announced plans to add a custodial IRA account to its mutual fund portfolio.
The Voya Select Advantage Advisory IRA provides advisors with the option to move clients for the first time into 90 individual mutual funds, according to the firm.
The firm says the IRA will provide clients with lower costs compared to other IRA platforms, tax-deferred growth potential and the ability to select from a number of investment options to meet their individual goals.
“Voya Select Advantage Advisory IRA is a simple, streamlined solution offering them choice, convenience and control over their retirement dollars — while also providing the comfort of working with a financial professional to advise them along the away," said Carolyn Johnson, CEO of annuities and individual life at Voya Financial.
Individuals can open an account with as little as $5,000 or roll over funds from an existing 401(k) or IRA though their financial advisor, the firm said.
BlackRock slashes fees for 3 socially responsible ETFs
BlackRock cut fees by as much as 20 basis points for three of its socially responsible ETFs, according to Bloomberg.
The funds totaled nearly $204 million in assets, the SEC reported. In addition, BlackRock also made reductions by nearly 2 basis points to eight bond ETFs. The 11 funds combined have $4 billion in AUM.
"As previously outlined, we are purposefully leveraging the benefits of our global scale and investing in our business to deliver value to clients and shareholders," said Melissa Garville, a spokeswoman at BlackRock.
Vanguard robo reaches new heights
Vanguard's hybrid advice offering, Personal Advisor Services, topped $83 billion in AUM.
The robo has maintained its asset lead over other digital offerings like Betterment and Personal Capital. Since the first quarter, the platform's assets have experienced a 66% growth increase.
Personal Adviser Services, which saw no paid advertising support even during its pilot phase, rose from $755 million in 2013 to $10.1 billion at the time of its launch in 2015.
Saturna Capital offers clean shares from 2 Sextant funds
Saturna Capital launched Z class shares for its Sextant Growth (SGZFX) and Sextant International (SIFZX) funds, the firm said.
The new offerings have no sales loads and distribution or service fees, according to the firm.
"Our clean shares offering is intended to meet the growing demand for lower costs and fee transparency in the mutual fund industry," said Saturna Capital CEO Jane Carten.
The Sextant funds were the last of Saturna's mutual funds to add clean share options.
Vanguard plans benchmark changes for bond funds, ETFs
Vanguard announced efforts to change the target benchmark for three government bond index funds and ETFs to pure Treasury indexes.
The funds will be renamed to indicate the change and will be implemented in this year's fourth quarter, the firm said.
"The funds will offer investors pure exposure to discrete segments of the U.S. Treasury market and provide them the flexibility to tailor their bond portfolios to reflect their risk and return objectives," said Vanguard Chief Investment Officer Greg Davis.
ING, Bloomberg offer global emerging market FX indices
ING is launching an emerging markets index, according to the company.
The Bloomberg ING Global Emerging Markets FX Indices allow users to track the performance 12 equally weighted currencies against the U.S. dollar.
The indexes, which Bloomberg is in charge of gathering and computing data for the indexes for, the company said. The indices are available in long-only and long-short versions. The long-short version increases returns with a volatility risk filter.
Brown Advisory introduces sustainable bond fund
Brown Advisory launched a fund with risk-adjusted returns that are influenced by environmental, social and governance research, the firm said.
The Brown Advisory Sustainable Bond Fund (BASBX) is the fifth sustainable investment strategies to be released by the $56 billion independent advisory firm, according to the firm. It has an expense ratio of 0.61%.
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