Investment Product and Service Launches

The Standard Grows Stable Value Fund Options, and First Trust Creates Dow Jones International Internet ETF. 

Standard Insurance Company (The Standard) has expanded its lineup of stable value funds, offering plan sponsors and advisers flexibility and a range of yields and liquidity options.

The Standard’s Guaranteed Rate Stable Value Fund, Capital Preservation Income Fund and Guaranteed Fixed Interest Fund are now available in addition to the existing Stable Asset Fund. Most of the products are approved for qualified retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b) and defined benefit (DB) plans. Most of the products are also available for nonqualified plans.

Fourth-quarter 2018 guaranteed annual net crediting rates are 3.15% for the Guaranteed Fixed Interest Fund; 2.95% for the Capital Preservation Income Fund (not available for 403(b), 409A or 457(f) plans); 2.65% for the Standard Stable Asset Fund (also available to health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement accounts (HRAs)); and 2% for the Guaranteed Rate Stable Value Fund.

“The Standard’s new stable value funds offer a compelling alternative to money market funds and cash equivalent options, as they fully guarantee principal and interest, and provide daily liquidity to participants at book value,” says Chris Conklin, vice president of Individual Annuities and Asset Management Group Sales at The Standard. “By offering a broader range of solutions, available for both large and small plans, we are better able to meet the needs and preferences of plan sponsors, participants and the advisers who serve them.”

“A key benefit of the low-cost funds is that they easily trade through the National Securities Clearing Corporation and are available through major recordkeeping and trading platforms,” adds Conklin. “NSCC trading capabilities provide daily price values and daily liquidity for plan participants.”


First Trust Creates Dow Jones International Internet ETF

First Trust has launched a new exchange-traded fund (ETF), the First Trust Dow Jones International Internet ETF, which began trading on November 6.

The fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield (before the fund’s fees and expenses) of an equity index called the Dow Jones International Internet Index. The index is a float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index designed to measure the performance of the 40 largest and most actively traded non-U.S. international companies that generate a majority of their sales and revenue from internet-based activities.

The fund provides an easy way to gain exposure to international companies that may benefit from rapid technological changes as more people and devices across the globe connect to the Internet.

“The Internet continues to be one of the most disruptive forces in the global economy, fueling growth by increasing efficiency in many different industries,” says Ryan Issakainen, CFA, senior vice president, exchange-traded fund strategist at First Trust. “Just as the First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund (FDN) provides exposure to U.S. e-commerce and Internet services stocks, this new ETF does so for international developed and emerging markets, where we see potential for robust revenue growth.”