Charles Stanley has launched a new managed portfolio service aimed at clients with less than £150,000. The offering, called the Personal Portfolio Service (PPS), has been developed as a high value, cost-effective alternative to the firm’s bespoke discretionary managed portfolios, according to Christopher Aldous, head of asset management at Charles Stanley.
Alternatives / Multi-Asset
Online trading firm IG Group has entered the digital wealth management space with the unveiling of its IG Smart Portfolios suite, a range of model investment portfolios constructed solely with iShares ETFs and using asset allocation insights from BlackRock.
With the first round of the French Presidential elections due to take place later this month, Jean Pierre Petit, Head of Cahiers Verts de l’Economie and Antoine Lesné, Head of SPDR ETF Strategy & Research EMEA, sat down to address investors’ key questions concerning the event, including: Which candidates are most likely to succeed in the first round? How strong are Le Pen’s chances? And how will the markets react?
Nikko Asset Management has launched the Nikko AM-Straits Trading Asia ex-Japan REIT ETF (SGX: CFA), a new ETF on the Singapore Exchange tracking the performance of Asian real estate investment trusts (REITs).
Active Alts has launched the Active Alts Contrarian ETF (Nasdaq: SQZZ), an actively managed ETF that pursues a contrarian ‘short squeeze’ strategy by investing in companies with solid fundamentals that have very large short positions. Brad Lamensdorf, Founder of Active Alts, commented: “Because of changing market conditions or smart management moves, highly shorted securities may have promising fundamentals, creating the potential for a profitable short squeeze.”
New York-based alternative investment firm Saba Capital has launched the Saba Closed-End Funds ETF (Bats: CEFS), an actively managed ETF providing a high level of income by investing in closed-end funds trading at a discount to net asset value. Boaz Weinstein, Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Saba, said: “In an environment where investors are searching for yield, we believe closed-end funds offer high income and a margin of safety due to the discount.”
The hedge fund industry experienced its fastest rate of fund closures last year since 2008, according to a report from Hedge Fund Research, leading many investors to explore similar strategies through alternate vehicles, including ETFs. While hedge fund performance was mixed in 2016, Kenneth Heinz, President of Hedge Fund Research, believes performance in 2017 will be strong across a range of strategies, driven by the continuation of macroeconomic normalization.
WisdomTree has cross-listed a wide range of inverse and leveraged ETPs covering a broad mix of equity, fixed income and commodity benchmarks on LSE. The new listings, all denominated in British pounds, expands the toolkit of tactical solutions available to sterling-based investors. Morgan Lee, Head of European Distribution at WisdomTree, commented: “These products have had proven traction with our European clients and we believe that they can be complimentary portfolio solutions for managing risk in an increasingly volatile macro environment.”
European ETF provider Lyxor has launched a new fund providing investors with exposure to UK inflation expectations. The Lyxor UK£ 10Y Inflation Expectations UCITS ETF (LON: UKBE) targets the spread between traditional bond yields and those of inflation-linked bonds, thus offering a pure play on inflation expectations without exposing the investor to changing interest rates.
Investors in currency ETFs with sterling exposure may need to brace themselves for increased volatility following confirmation that UK Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 (the official process whereby Britain begins to leave the EU) this month and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is preparing for a second referendum on Scottish independence.