Asset Managers - November 20, 2019
End The Year with More AUM, Less Distributions
At the end of every calendar year, many mutual fund managers distribute capital gains to shareholders, delivering tax implications that are equally painful for advisors and their clients.
As a wholesaler, you want to build long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with your advisor-partners. So how can wholesalers help limit distributions and their associated side effects?
YCharts, an increasingly popular tool among asset managers, helps wholesalers grow AUM and build trust with advisors.
Wholesalers use YCharts to identify funds that are likely to have large capital gains distributions, then protect their advisor-partners from those distributions by recommending suitable replacement funds.
(Disclosure: you should always check a fund manager’s website for tax information pertinent to their funds and its investors.)
Leveraging data to find replacement opportunities
Until they are actually distributed, it’s difficult to know the exact value of any long or short-term capital gains that will be passed on to a fund’s investors. That said, data and technology can help you find funds that are likely to have the largest distributions to investors.
We’ll use the metrics below to identify those funds:
Potential Capital Gain – an estimated percentage of a fund’s assets that may be distributed as future capital gains; this metric is an estimate and is provided by Morningstar ®
Distribution Yield – the percentage of the current share price that an investor received as distributions, including dividends and capital gains, over the past 12 months
Tax Cost Ratio – the amount that a fund’s annualized return is reduced by taxes that investors must pay on distributions (including stock and bond dividends and capital gains distributions); also known as tax efficiency
Turnover Ratio – the percentage of a mutual fund’s holdings that have been replaced over the past twelve month period
Then, we’ll use a YCharts Scoring Model to combine the four metrics above and rank funds by how likely they are to dole out large distributions.
The YCharts Fund Screener
The objective of this exercise is to identify mutual funds that are likely to pay out large distributions, note which advisors in your territory are using those funds, then position your own funds, with hopefully lesser capital gains distributions, as suitable alternatives.
Starting in the Fund Screener, add a few filters that will narrow our universe to a more manageable list of funds that are the best opportunities for replacement.
In the example below, we screened for funds in the Large Blend category with over $500 million in total AUM and Potential Capital Gains in excess of 20% of the funds NAV.
Our filters also exclude all index funds because their benchmark-tracking nature means they perpetually carry unrealized gains. Index funds should not be considered as part of this exercise.
When working with a specific advisor-partner, add a filter for Brokerage Availability in order to limit the Fund Screener results to only those funds that the advisor can access and may already be invested in.
For example, if you are working with an advisor at Morgan Stanley, you could filter to only funds on the Morgan Stanley Select UMA platform.
Next, add Potential Capital Gain, Distribution Yield, Turnover Ratio, and Tax Cost Ratios for several durations in order to capture as much historical information as possible. In combination, these metrics paint a complete picture of each mutual fund’s tax efficiency and reduce the need to rely on a single data point for decision making.
A distinct benefit of using YCharts is the combination of reliable data and powerful tools for analysis. To avoid relying on a single metric when evaluating replacement opportunities, use Scoring Models to combine all of the metrics and create a single, numerical ranking.
According to the score outlined below, funds that rank at or near number one are the least tax efficient, and thus the best opportunities for replacement.
The Scoring Model above ranks each metric equally at 10%; however, you can add more or less weight to any metrics you find more or less important. Scoring Models can incorporate any metric at any weight, so long as all weights add up to 100%.
Once the Scoring Model is added to our Fund Screen, sort the results by their scores and dig into the highest ranking funds, which are the least tax efficient, for potential replacement opportunities.
Digging deeper on the best opportunities
The Fund Screen and Scoring Model showed that one of the least tax efficient funds in our list is the Goldman Sachs Rising Dividend fund, ticker GSRAX.
Of note, GSRAX has turned over more than 101% of its assets in the last year, and its distribution yield is 81.1% for the same period.
From the Goldman Sachs Rising Dividend fund quote page, shown below, click on the “Data” tab then type “dividend” in the metric field to see all historical distributions. In December 2018, the fund distributed long-term capital gains of $9.04 per share and brought the fund’s net asset value down from $19.68 to about $10 — your advisor partners could have used a tip-off!
Viewing distributions by value and date also provides an opportunity to look for patterns. It appears that GSRAX has issued distributions on December 11th in each of the past two years. That’s helpful information for anyone currently invested, or considering investing, in GSRAX.
Aligning interests with advisor-partners
At the end of the calendar year, mutual fund wholesalers and financial advisors can align their interests around tax efficiency.
By leveraging YCharts’ powerful tools and data, wholesalers can make data-driven recommendations that help their advisor-partners avoid distributions and protect their clients’ investments.
Data, and the ability to easily access and analyze data, are vital resources for asset managers who want to position themselves and their funds for success. With YCharts, wholesalers can identify the right funds for the right advisors at the right time, building trust and gathering assets along the way.
Looking for more resources? Check out our post 4 Ways Wholesalers Use YCharts to Increase AUM.
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