The FlexShares Ready Access Variable Income Fund (RAVI) is an ideal fit for investors who want to preserve capital while wringing out a bit more income than they can get from Treasuries.
The short-term debt fund RAVI has been one of the most popular ETFs in FlexShares’ lineup this year, as measured by net inflows. RAVI offers investors a vehicle with stronger return potential than money market funds while retaining the liquidity necessary to hold funds for use in near-term investment decisions.
Taking advantage of Northern Trust’s expertise in the fixed income markets, the fund may fill a gap between money market funds and short-term bond funds.
“Investors need liquid assets for many reasons, such as providing an emergency cash reserve or offering a place to temporarily hold funds earmarked for short-term investment needs,” FlexShares wrote in a Fund Focus paper. “Prior to the financial crisis of 2008, money market funds offered a stable source of liquidity that still generated acceptable returns. Since then, however, new restrictions have greatly reduced the yields on money market funds. As a result, investors interested in liquid assets that provide higher relative returns have had to look for alternatives in ultra-short-term fixed-income investment vehicles.”
RAVI is designed to provide investors with investment liquidity, minimum principle volatility, and the potential for higher returns.
NTI manages the overall portfolio to maintain an average duration of between 0.25 years and one year, based on its outlook for interest rates. All the fund’s investments must be investment-grade at the time of purchase, and the portfolio also includes constraints to avoid concentrations in asset-backed securities, single issuers, or debt based in emerging markets.
The fund charges a 25 basis point expense ratio.
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