In a continuing expansion of its advisory product lineup, Waddell & Reed, Inc. has introduced a new third-party strategist program that offers a wide range of portfolios, including both exchange-traded fund (ETF) and mutual fund options.
The advisory program, called Guided Investment Strategies, gives advisors wide flexibility to meet differing investor needs, with 48 different investment models to choose from, including 20 tax-sensitive options, each individually managed by BlackRock, State Street Global Advisors or Wilshire Associates Incorporated (Wilshire).
“Guided Investment Strategies offers simple, scalable, competitively priced portfolio solutions that help advisors reduce the time they spend on investment portfolio construction and administrative duties, allowing them to spend more time with clients,” says Shawn Mihal, president of Waddell & Reed, Inc. “Studies have shown that high-performing advisors spend less time managing client portfolios, as they put a priority on building relationships with clients and creating financial plans.”
Guided Investment Strategies offers a range of tactical portfolios that can respond rapidly to potential short-term opportunities in the marketplace, along with dynamic portfolios that can adjust frequently to various market conditions. Mihal added that the program is unique in both its combination of industry-leading portfolio managers, and its variety of portfolios with choices between both ETFs and mutual funds.
“Advisors can select a portfolio that specifically suits a client’s personal situation and financial goals,” he says. “Not only can they target the nuance of each situation, such as risk tolerance, the preference for a dynamic or tactical portfolio, comfort level with mutual funds or ETFs, tax concerns – they can do so while providing institutionally managed solutions.”
Mihal notes that the broadening of Waddell & Reed’s advisory product lineup and providers is another step in the evolution of the Waddell & Reed broker-dealer, as announced in November, collectively focussed on technological enhancements, product expansion and broadening advisor support as the firm moves toward an industry-standard model. The broker-dealer is one of the pioneers of the planning industry, founded more than 80 years ago.
While the ETFs are offered and managed by each institutional manager, the mutual funds are offered within Waddell & Reed’s SPAPlus program, which comprises access to an array of world-class asset managers, including mutual fund options from Ivy Investments, Lord Abbett, MFS, PIMCO and T. Rowe Price. Waddell & Reed has retained Wilshire Associates to develop model portfolios, and use its proprietary screening process to determine the best options for each. The model portfolios are maintained by Wilshire on an ongoing basis; changes are made to both the asset allocations and underlying funds as needed.