Alliance Creates New Retirement Option
Alliance Benefit Group Carolinas LLC, a provider of retirement plan consulting and record-keeping services, is partnering with FOLIOfn Institutional to allow investors to economically create and manage diversified retirement portfolios.
FOLIOfn Institutional is a technology platform that allows investors to use either dollar or share weighting to create diversified portfolios with no minimums. It also gives investors the ability to buy fractions of shares.
The plans will be administered by ABG Carolinas for both defined contribution and defined benefit plans. ABG Carolinas offers open architecture and full fee disclosure that will dovetail with FOLIOfn Institutional's ability to create custom retirement plans with securities that can be bought, sold, exchanged, updated or rebalanced in a single transaction.
The combination enables retirees to instantly own a diversified portfolio in which they can select specific groups of stocks, ETFs or mutual funds and choose the weighting of the securities.
"We are thrilled ... to offer a new solution for fee-based advisors who are looking for lower cost, managed account solutions that are 'outside the box'
for their retirement plan clients," says ABG Carolinas President Jim Comer.
"Because FOLIOfn's innovative technology platform allows the purchase of fractional shares, advisors can diversify cost-effectively, regardless of account size, building portfolios of low-cost ETFs, stocks and no-load mutual funds ... to provide truly customized, well-diversified strategies for any size plan," explains Greg Vigrass, FOLIOfn Institutional president.

Direxion Launches Two New Funds
Direxion Funds, a provider of leveraged index mutual funds and alternative investment strategies, is creating a fund for those bullish on the U.S. dollar. The Dollar Bull 2.5x Fund is designed to take advantage upward movement in the U.S. dollar and magnify that by 250%. The fund follows the introduction of the U.S. Dollar Bear Fund, and together, the two funds will allow investors opportunity to trade on both sides of dollar performance.
Direxion is also creating the Commodity Trends Strategy Fund, a diversified fund benchmarked to S&P's Commodity Trends Indicator. The new fund allows investors to access diversified, open-ended commodity mutual funds and benefit from both rising and falling commodity prices. Additional information can be found at

Genworth Launches IRA Variable Annuity
Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company and Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York are creating the RetireReady IRA Annuity, which combines the traditional benefits of an IRA with the annuity's ability to provide a guaranteed income stream.
The new product is insurance with underlying portfolios that include well-known retail mutual funds, an option that was not widely available previously. It is targeted at all major financial advisor channels of distribution. Additional information can be found at

Paperless Account Opening Offered
Pershing LLC, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, has created a paperless account opening solution for introducing broker-dealer firms, investment professionals and independent registered investment advisors.
The new system will enable financial advisors to provide clients with online account opening documents that can be completed with an electronic signature, reducing the time it takes to open new accounts and transfer assets.