The issuer or guarantor of a fixed-income security, counterparty to an OTC derivatives contract, or other borrower may not be able to make timely principal, interest, or settlement payments on an obligation. In this event, the issuer of a fixed-income security may have its credit rating downgraded or defaulted, which may reduce the potential for income and value of the portfolio.
Investments in securities traded in foreign currencies or more directly in foreign currencies are subject to the risk that the foreign currency will decline in value relative to the U.S. dollar, which may reduce the value of the portfolio. Investments in currency hedging positions are subject to the risk that the value of the U.S. dollar will decline relative to the currency being hedged, which may result in a loss of money on the investment as well as the position designed to act as a hedge. Cross-currency hedging strategies and active currency positions may increase currency risk because actual currency exposure may be substantially different from that suggested by the portfolio's holdings.
Investments in emerging- and frontier-markets securities may be subject to greater market, credit, currency, liquidity, legal, political, and other risks compared with assets invested in developed foreign countries.
Investments in foreign securities may be subject to increased volatility as the value of these securities can change more rapidly and extremely than can the value of U.S. securities. Foreign securities are subject to increased issuer risk because foreign issuers may not experience the same degree of regulation as U.S. issuers do and are held to different reporting, accounting, and auditing standards. In addition, foreign securities are subject to increased costs because there are generally higher commission rates on transactions, transfer taxes, higher custodial costs, and the potential for foreign tax charges on dividend and interest payments. Many foreign markets are relatively small, and securities issued in less-developed countries face the risks of nationalization, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, and adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, including suspension of the ability to transfer currency from a country. Economic, political, social, or diplomatic developments can also negatively impact performance.
Because the investment's market value may fluctuate up and down, an investor may lose money, including part of the principal, when he or she buys or sells the investment.
The investment is not a deposit or obligation of, or guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank and is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, or any other U.S. governmental agency.
A portfolio that tracks an index is subject to the risk that certain factors may cause the portfolio to track its target index less closely, including if the advisor selects securities that are not fully representative of the index. The portfolio will generally reflect the performance of its target index even if the index does not perform well, and it may underperform the index after factoring in fees, expenses, transaction costs, and the size and timing of shareholder purchases and redemptions.
The value of equity securities, which include common, preferred, and convertible preferred stocks, will fluctuate based on changes in their issuers' financial conditions, as well as overall market and economic conditions, and can decline in the event of deteriorating issuer, market, or economic conditions.
A portfolio's risks are closely associated with the risks of the securities and other investments held by the underlying or subsidiary funds, and the ability of the portfolio to meet its investment objective likewise depends on the ability of the underlying funds to meet their objectives. Investment in other funds may subject the portfolio to higher costs than owning the underlying securities directly because of their management fees.
Investments in U.S. government obligations are subject to varying levels of government support. In the event of default, some U.S. government securities, including U.S. Treasury obligations and Ginnie Mae securities, are issued and guaranteed as to principal and interest by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Other securities are obligations of U.S. government-sponsored entities but are neither issued nor guaranteed by the U.S. government.
Investments in derivatives may be subject to the risk that the advisor does not correctly predict the movement of the underlying security, interest rate, market index, or other financial asset, or that the value of the derivative does not correlate perfectly with either the overall market or the underlying asset from which the derivative's value is derived. Because derivatives usually involve a small investment relative to the magnitude of liquidity and other risks assumed, the resulting gain or loss from the transaction will be disproportionately magnified. These investments may result in a loss if the counterparty to the transaction does not perform as promised.
The value of fixed-income or debt securities may be susceptible to general movements in the bond market and are subject to interest-rate and credit risk.
Securities with longer maturities or durations typically have higher yields but may be subject to increased interest-rate risk and price volatility compared with securities with shorter maturities, which have lower yields but greater price stability.
Frequent purchases or redemptions by one or multiple investors may harm other shareholders by interfering with the efficient management of the portfolio, increasing brokerage and administrative costs and potentially diluting the value of shares. Additionally, shareholder purchase and redemption activity may have an impact on the per-share net income and realized capital gains distribution amounts, if any, potentially increasing or reducing the tax burden on the shareholders who receive those distributions.
A conflict of interest may arise if the advisor makes an investment in certain underlying funds based on the fact that those funds are also managed by the advisor or an affiliate or because certain underlying funds may pay higher fees to the advisor do than others. In addition, an advisor's participation in the primary or secondary market for loans may be deemed a conflict of interest and limit the ability of the investment to acquire those assets.
Investments in structured products may be more volatile, less liquid, and more difficult to price than other assets. These securities bear the risk of the underlying investment as well as counterparty risk. Securitized structured products including CMOs, CDOs, and other securitized products may increase volatility and be subject to increased liquidity and pricing risks compared with investing directly in the assets securitized within the product. Assets invested in structured products may be subject to full loss of value if the counterparty defaults on its obligation.
Target-date funds, also known as lifecycle funds, shift their asset allocation to become increasingly conservative as the target retirement year approaches. Still, investment in target-date funds may lose value near, at, or after the target retirement date, and there is no guarantee they will provide adequate income at retirement.