Guardian Offers Student Loan Coverage
The Guardian Life Insurance Co. is offering coverage for people concerned about being able to pay student loans if they become ill and can’t work.

“Student loan debt is growing and becoming one of the biggest financial worries for professionals today,” said Gordon Dinsmore, president of Berkshire Life Insurance Co. of America, a subsidiary of Guardian.

The student loan protection rider enables individuals to pay their student loans if they become too ill or injured to work. The rider allows individuals to get up to $2,000 per month in addition to the monthly income replacement benefit they would receive as part of their base policy.

The protection can be obtained for either a 10- or 15-year term. Applicants can insure all their student loans at once, even if they are from multiple sources, and no loan documentation is required until a claim is filed.

Student loans cannot be discharged because of bankruptcy, and under current law, only individuals with “total and permanent” disabilities can have their federal student loans discharged, says Guardian. The vast majority of income-disrupting disabilities, such as back problems and many forms of cancer, generally don’t fall under this definition.

“Our student loan protection rider offers anyone with this debt the ability to protect their income and provides them with the flexibility to repay student loans and avoid default,” said Dinsmore.

Spinnaker Develops Fossil-Fuel-Free Portfolio

Portland, Maine-based Spinnaker Trust has launched a new portfolio that does not include fossil fuel companies for investors concerned about climate change.

“Advocates for alternative energy want to make a difference; divesting gives them a concrete way to do that,” said Sara Lewis, senior vice president at Spinnaker.

LPL Unveils ClientWorks Platform
LPL Financial has launched ClientWorks, its new technology platform for advisors and institutions. The new platform will eventually replace its current workstation, BranchNet.

Designed for quicker access to trading activity and investment performance, ClientWorks integrates workflows, such as account opening, trading and cash movement. The platform also includes a redesigned resource center, a better search engine and mobile access.

“ClientWorks will significantly improve productivity, allowing advisors and staff to focus more on what matters most to their clients and less on technology,” said Victor Fetter, LPL’s chief information officer.

Catalyst Launches Four New Funds
Huntington, N.Y.-based Catalyst Funds has added four new mutual funds. Each fund offers a distinct investment strategy.

The new funds include Catalyst Activist Investor Fund (AIXAX), Catalyst Insider Income Fund (IIXAX), Catalyst Absolute Total Return Fund (ATRAX) and Catalyst/Groesbeck Aggressive Growth Fund (GROAX).

“We are focused on bringing unique products to investors that can enhance their portfolio’s risk and return profile,” commented Jerry Szilagyi, CEO of Catalyst Funds.

Sammons Enhances LiveWell Retirement Series
Sammons Retirement Solutions has lowered fees on its LiveWell variable annuity.

The product now also allows advisors to create an individual strategy for each client based on his or her time horizon, risk tolerance and tax deferral goals. In addition, American Funds and Oppenheimer Funds have been added to the investment options.

“With recent tax changes, we have seen a renewed interest in tax-deferred investing as a crucial way to accumulate assets for maximum retirement preparedness,” said Bill Lowe, president of Sammons Retirement Solutions.

ETF Sector Rotation Strategies Offered
Needham, Mass.-based Beaumont Capital Management has launched nine new ETFs on the Envestnet platform. They include two new series of sector rotation strategies—the BCM Advantage series and Relative Strength series—as well as the new Small Cap Sector Rotation strategy.

Rotation strategies are designed to participate in market segments experiencing positive momentum, while rotating out of areas with sustained negative momentum.

“We believe it provides investors a compelling way to participate in market climbs, while seeking to reduce the risk of large losses,” said David Haviland, portfolio manager and managing partner of BCM.