Envestnet Creates Three New Portfolios
Envestnet Inc. has launched new portfolios that combine the benefits of indexing with exposure to value and momentum investing.

The Factor-Enhanced Portfolios aim to provide higher risk-adjusted returns than traditional market capitalization-weighted indexes. The new group includes large-cap, small-cap and all-cap portfolios that can be part of separate or unified managed accounts, making them suited for customization and tax management.

“Our Factor-Enhanced Portfolios raise the bar dramatically for products offering more personalized approaches that also retain the benefits and appeal of indexing, including cost efficiency,” says Jud Bergman, chairman and CEO of Envestnet.

“Effectively capturing security characteristics that drive returns in an index structure, our new Factor-Enhanced products let advisors provide clients with an attractive new source of potential return ‘beyond beta’ and at lower cost than an active vehicle, strongly reinforcing the advisor’s value in the investment selection process,” he adds.

The new investments are part of Envestnet’s Quantitative Portfolios, which are asset class-specific investments designed to let advisors help clients move beyond index-based, or beta, products, Envestnet says.

Envestnet provides wealth management technology and services to investment advisors. For additional information on Envestnet’s Quantitative Portfolios, visit http://www.investpmc.com/QP).

Vanguard Publishes Philanthropists’ Guide
Vanguard Charitable has published a philanthropic guide to help charity-minded individuals maximize their giving using a donor-advised fund.

The guide, “Invest in Philanthropy: Four Considerations When Investing to Achieve Charitable Goals,” tells philanthropists to create a clear mission statement for their charity and maintain a balanced charitable portfolio.

Vanguard also advises philanthropists to invest in options with minimal fees and maintain a long-term approach to gift-giving. Vanguard Charitable manages a donor-advised fund.

Guardian Creates Disability Insurance Tool
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a mutual life insurer that provides individual disability insurance through its subsidiary Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, has introduced a mobile sales tool that provides insurance quotes more quickly.

The tool, Guardian DI Quick Quote, allows financial professionals to access current product information and pricing immediately, enabling them to provide on-the-spot quotes for individual disability income insurance to current and prospective clients, says Guardian.

DTCC Automates 1035 Exchange Process
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation has improved its settlement process for 1035 exchanges involving insurance products.

Such exchanges allow investors to transfer money from one life insurance, annuity or endowment to another and defer taxes on gains.  However, 1035 exchanges can be time-consuming and labor intensive. The new program automates the process, making it possible for advisors and investors to accomplish the transfer in one day, DTCC says.

Acquire Launches Liquid Crowdfunding Tool
Acquire Real Estate, a crowdfunding site, has created an exchange for accredited investors to buy and sell limited partnership interests in commercial real estate.

“By offering our investors an avenue to liquidity, we’ve addressed their chief concern in investing in commercial real estate offerings with longer investment horizons,” says Steve Bettinger, Acquire’s CEO, on the firm’s website.

Accredited investors and their advisors can access the Acquire Exchange at www.acquirerealestate.com/exchange.

Allianz Life OffersNew Investment Options
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has launched two new multi-asset funds for new business and in-force Allianz Vision Variable Annuity and Allianz Connections Variable Annuity products.

The AZL MVP DFA Multi-Strategy Fund and the RCM Dynamic Multi-Asset Plus VIT Portfolio are available on contracts that either have no additional optional benefits or have the optional Income Protector rider. The offerings support Allianz Life’s commitment to the variable annuity marketplace, Allianz says.

Exceed Investments Launches Low Volatility Fund
Exceed Investments Inc., a New York-based financial services firm, has launched the Exceed Structured Shield Index Strategy Fund, a mutual fund that tracks the NASDAQ Exceed Structured Protection Index to provide investors with principal protection with lower volatility than the S&P 500 Index.

The Exceed indexes comprise diversified rolling baskets of investment-grade fixed-income securities and exchange-traded options linked to the S&P 500 and seek conservative, moderate or aggressive defined outcomes.