Forward Management has launched the Forward Tactical Enhanced Fund (FTEEX), a mutual fund that seeks to profit from both up and down market movements through continuous management of market exposure.
“We are excited to be launching this new strategy enabling us to build on the success of the Forward Tactical Growth Fund we introduced sixteen months ago,” says J Alan Reid, Jr, CEO of Forward Management.
The original Forward Tactical Growth strategy was designed for investors seeking capital preservation, and gained more than USD850 million in assets between its launch in mid-September 2009 and the end of 2010.
The new Tactical Enhanced Fund uses the same base strategy employed by the Tactical Growth Fund, but is tailored to investors with higher-than-average absolute return targets and tolerance for risk and volatility. The Enhanced strategy differs by allowing use of somewhat greater leverage (up to 200% net long or 100% net short). It also allows more opportunistic trading around the portfolio’s core holdings in order to take advantage of shorter-term market movements. This allows the strategy to benefit from higher market volatility and is designed to maximize potential profit when the market remains within a tight trading range.
The fund’s investment strategy is designed to evaluate potential long and short investments in an attempt to isolate securities that the manager believes are undervalued or overvalued relative to their intrinsic value and offer the greatest risk-adjusted potential for returns. The manager will rely on a variety of factors to determine whether the market itself or a particular sector or industry is undervalued or overvalued including valuation and monetary conditions, investor sentiment, and momentum factors.
The investment process blends top-down, fundamental analysis of macroeconomic factors and investor sentiment with quantitative model-driven analysis of market momentum. Based on its assessment of market signals, the team invests the portfolio long, short, or neutral to the market. The strategy invests in both U.S. and non-U.S. securities primarily through futures and exchange traded funds (ETFs) to provide equity market exposure while attempting to avoid stock selection risk. The investment objective of both funds is to produce above-average, risk-adjusted returns, in any market environment, while exhibiting less downside volatility than the S&P 500 Index.
“Many investors rightly wonder how they can possibly meet their long-run return targets when they keep losing ground due to market volatility,” says Jeff Cusack, President, Intermediary Sales, Forward Management. “With the traditional investment approach of being long-only and fully invested at all times, there’s no way to sidestep market downturns. Our Tactical Enhanced strategy aims to provide the flexible, nimble approach we believe investors need today.”
Both the Tactical Enhanced Fund and the Tactical Growth Fund are subadvised by Broadmark Asset Management, LLC. The Tactical Enhanced Fund is offered in investor, institutional, A and C share classes and is available through Charles Schwab, National Financial, Pershing and Matrix Clearing.
The new Enhanced Fund is the latest in Forward’s growing list of alternative strategies offered as mutual funds. In the last four years, the firm has launched or acquired nine alternative mutual funds in asset classes including real estate, global infrastructure, frontier markets, and commodities.
“We believe that in this era of unpredictable returns, higher volatility, and higher asset class correlations, investor and advisors will need more nimble investment solutions to achieve the outcomes they are seeking. Forward is focused on providing fresh thinking and access to a wide range of portfolio building blocks, including creative approaches investors won’t find elsewhere,” says Reid.