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Franklin LifeSmart expands Retirement Target Fund lineup for US investors


Franklin Templeton Investments has expanded on its retirement target fund lineup for US investors with the introduction of Franklin LifeSmart 2055 Retirement Target Fund.

Like other funds in the lineup, the fund's assets are allocated among the broad asset classes of equity, fixed-income and alternative investments by investing predominantly in other Franklin Templeton mutual funds, based on each underlying fund's predominant asset class and strategy. The new fund joins a lineup that includes 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, 2045 and 2050 funds.
"The Franklin LifeSmart 2055 Retirement Target Fund is aimed at millennial investors who plan to retire in or near the year 2055 and reflects our ongoing commitment to innovating solutions for the retirement marketplace," says Yaqub Ahmed, head of the investment-only division in the US for Franklin Templeton Investments.
Like the existing Franklin LifeSmart Retirement Target Funds, the new 2055 fund will target a five percent allocation to alternative investment funds to take advantage of their lower correlation, in general, with traditional asset classes. The funds' managers have the ability to tactically adjust this allocation within a range of zero to 10 percent as they shift the funds' allocations based on changing market conditions.
"As part of our continued efforts to generate better designed retirement funds, we include a strategic weighting to alternative investment funds for each of our Franklin LifeSmart Retirement Target Funds," says Tom Nelson, CFA, one of the funds' portfolio managers with Franklin Templeton Solutions. "We have found through extensive research and modelling that this asset class may provide diversification benefits and may help improve the risk/return profile of these portfolios."
Franklin LifeSmart Retirement Target Funds combine the simplicity of asset allocation and risk management with active, flexible portfolio management. The funds' managers continuously evaluate each fund's strategic allocation and have the flexibility to make tactical adjustments to seek the highest level of long-term total return consistent with its asset allocation strategy. This risk-focused approach to portfolio management enables the investment team to identify short-term market opportunities and dislocations and to implement tactical shifts between asset classes based on the assessment of the most significant risks and opportunities identified in the market.
As a broadly diversified portfolio, each of the Franklin LifeSmart Retirement Target Funds is organised as a "fund of funds" that invests primarily in three specialised managers – Franklin, Templeton and Mutual Series — and may also include an array of ETFs for additional diversification. The range follows a "to retirement" glide path, which means that each of the funds reaches its most conservative allocation at its target date, a critical point when investors may start to take withdrawals from their accounts. In contrast, "through retirement" glide paths reach their most conservative allocation sometime after the funds' target dates, often many years later.
"Each of the Franklin LifeSmart Retirement Target Funds is designed for investors who seek to achieve high portfolio value at retirement," says Tony Coffey, CFA, one of the funds' portfolio managers with Franklin Templeton Solutions. "We pride ourselves on conservative innovation, developing and managing retirement solutions that seek to help investors meet their long-term investment outcomes."
The funds' portfolio managers, Nelson and Coffey, are supported by the Franklin Templeton Solutions team, which includes over 80 dedicated professionals globally. As an integrated global investment platform, Franklin Templeton Solutions leverages the insights and investment strategies from Franklin Templeton's various investment management groups and employs both strategic and tactical asset allocation to seek to create diversified outcome-oriented portfolios focused on risk-adjusted performance and tailored to client needs. Franklin Templeton Solutions has more than 25 years of experience managing multi-asset and multi-style portfolios, including retirement target and global asset allocation strategies, with approximately USD42 billion in assets under management as of 31 March, 2015.

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