PROSPECTUS | February 28, 2022

Virtus Newfleet Multi-Sector Bond ETF


(Ticker: NFLT)

a series of the
ETFIS SERIES TRUST I

The Virtus Newfleet Multi-Sector Bond ETF (the “Fund”) is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”).
Shares of the Fund are listed on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “
Exchange”) and trade at market prices.
The market price for the Fund’s shares may be different from its net asset value per share.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

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RISK/RETURN SUMMARY INFORMATION

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE

Virtus Newfleet Multi-Sector Bond ETF (Ticker: NFLT) (the “Fund”) seeks to provide a high level of current income and,

secondarily, capital appreciation.

FEES AND EXPENSES OF THE FUND

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund (“Shares”). Most investors will incur customary brokerage commissions, and may pay other fees to financial intermediaries, when buying or selling Shares of the Fund, which are not reflected in the table or example set forth below.

Shareholder Fees (fees paid directly from your investment):

None

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses

(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment):

       

Management Fee

0.45

%

Other Expenses

0.76

%

Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses

0.01

%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses(1)

1.22

%

Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement(2)

(0.72

)%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement

0.50

%

 

(1) The Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses may not correlate to the ratio of expenses to average net assets as reported in the “Financial Highlights” section of the Prospectus, which reflects the operating expenses of the Fund and does not include Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses.
(2) The Fund’s investment adviser, Virtus ETF Advisers LLC (the “Adviser”) has entered into an expense limitation agreement (“Expense Limitation Agreement”) to limit the Fund’s total operating expenses (excluding interest, taxes, brokerage fees and commissions, other expenditures that are capitalized in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, acquired fund fees and expenses, other extraordinary expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of the Fund’s business, and amounts, if any, payable pursuant to plan adopted in accordance with Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (“1940 Act”)) so that such expenses do not exceed 0.49% of the Fund’s average daily net assets through at least February 28, 2023. While the Adviser or the Fund may discontinue the Expense Limitation Agreement after the contractual period, it may only be terminated during its term by either party upon written notice; provided that such termination shall require the approval of the Fund’s Board of Trustees. Pursuant to the Expense Limitation Agreement, the Adviser may recapture operating expenses waived or reimbursed under this arrangement for a period of three years following the date on which such waiver or reimbursement occurred; provided that such recapture may not cause the Fund’s total operating expenses to exceed 0.49% of the average daily net assets of the Fund (or any lower expense limitation or limitations to which the Fund and the Adviser may otherwise agree).

Example.

This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. This example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you pay when purchasing or selling Shares of the Fund.

The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain at current levels and that the Expense Limitation Agreement remains in place for the contractual period. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

1 Year

3 Years

5 Years

10 Years

$51

$316

$601

$1,413

PORTFOLIO TURNOVER

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities or other instruments (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual Fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year ended October 31, 2021, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 107% of the average value of its portfolio.

 

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PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY

Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest not less than 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes) in bonds. In seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, Newfleet Asset Management, LLC (the “Sub-Adviser”) applies a multi-sector investment approach to credit research to capitalize on opportunities across undervalued areas of the bond markets. The Sub-Adviser seeks to provide diversification by allocating the Fund’s investments among various sectors of the fixed income markets, including, without limitation: corporate investment-grade; corporate high-yield; bank loans; agency and non-agency mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”), including commercial MBS and residential MBS; non-U.S. dollar securities; emerging market high-yield securities; Yankee investment-grade bonds; agency and non-agency asset-backed securities (“ABS”); taxable municipal bonds; tax-exempt municipal bonds; and securities issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. government, its agencies, authorities or instrumentalities.

The Fund’s fixed income investments may be issued by various types of issuers and may include some or all of the following:

Securities issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government, its agencies, authorities or instrumentalities, including, without limitation, collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”), real estate mortgage investment conduits (“REMICs”) and other pass-through securities;

Debt securities issued by foreign issuers, including foreign governments and their political subdivisions, and issuers located in emerging markets countries (i.e., those that are in the early stages of their economic development);

Investment grade securities of U.S. and foreign issuers, including short-term securities; and,

High yield debt instruments of U.S. and foreign issuers (commonly referred to a “junk bonds”), which may include bank loans (generally with floating rates).

The Fund may also invest in securities that are subject to resale restrictions such as those contained in Rule 144A promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933.

Under normal market conditions, the Sub-Adviser seeks to select securities using a sector rotation approach and seeks to adjust the proportion of Fund investments in various sectors and sub-sectors in an effort to obtain higher relative returns. Sectors and sub-sectors are analyzed by the Sub-Adviser for attractive relative values. The Sub-Adviser then typically identifies securities within these sectors and sub-sectors based on the particular issuer’s business, management, cash, assets, earnings and stability, as well as the economic and financial conditions of markets generally. Securities selected for investment are typically those that the Sub-Adviser believes offer the greatest available potential to achieve relatively high income and total return based on the Sub-Adviser’s risk-reward analysis.

The Fund may invest in securities of U.S. or foreign issuers of any maturity or credit quality rating. In addition, the Fund has no target duration for its investment portfolio and the Fund’s portfolio managers may target shorter or longer durations in response to their view of the fixed income markets generally or any sector thereof. Duration measures the interest rate sensitivity of a fixed income security by assessing and weighting the present value of the security’s payment pattern. Generally, the longer the maturity, the greater the duration and, therefore, the greater effect interest rate changes have on the price of the security. From time to time, the Sub-Adviser may use Treasury futures, either long or short, to adjust total portfolio duration. With respect to credit quality, the Fund may invest in investment grade or non-investment grade securities, without limitation. The Fund generally considers a security to be “investment grade” if it is rated within the four highest rating categories of a nationally recognized statistical rating organization or, if unrated, it is determined to be of comparable quality by the Sub-Adviser (pursuant to procedures reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees). Securities that are not determined to be investment grade are considered below investment grade. There is no limitation to the Fund’s holdings in below investment grade securities or foreign issuers (as measured by country of risk).

The Fund is an actively managed ETF and, thus, does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index of securities. Instead, it uses an active investment strategy that seeks to meet its investment objective. In attempting to meet its investment objective, the Fund may engage in active and frequent trading of portfolio securities.

 

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PRINCIPAL RISKS

An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risks; therefore, you may lose money by investing in the Fund. There can be no assurance that the Fund will be successful in meeting its investment objective. Generally, the Fund will be subject to the following principal risks:

Fixed Income Investments Risks: Risks of investments in fixed income investments include, without limitation, credit risk, interest rate risk, maturity risk, yield curve risk, prepayment risk and liquidity risk. These risks could affect the value of investments in which the Fund invests, possibly causing the Fund’s share price and total return to be reduced and fluctuate more than other types of investments.

Credit Risk. The value of the Fund’s fixed income investments is dependent on the creditworthiness of their issuers. A deterioration in the financial condition or credit rating of an issuer, changes in the market’s perception of the issuer’s financial strength, or a deterioration in general economic conditions may have an adverse effect on the value of the investment and may cause an issuer to fail to pay principal and interest when due.

Interest Rate Risk. The value of the Fund’s fixed income investments will generally vary inversely with the direction of prevailing interest rates. Generally, when interest rates rise, the value of the Fund’s fixed income investments is expected to decline. Risks associated with rising interest rates are heightened given that interest rates in the U.S. are near historic lows. Additionally, changes in market interest rates of fixed income investments may affect the spread between the long-term interest rates and short-term interest rates, which could affect the prices of the fixed income investments held by the Fund differently.

Maturity Risk. The value of the Fund’s fixed income investments is dependent on their maturity. Generally, the longer the maturity of a fixed income security, the greater its sensitivity to changes in interest rates.

Yield Curve Risk. This is the risk that there is an adverse shift in market interest rates of fixed income investments held by the Fund. The risk is associated with either flattening or steepening of the yield curve, which is a result of changing yields among comparable fixed income investments with different maturities. If the yield curve flattens, then the yield spread between long-and short-term interest rates narrows and the price of fixed income investments will change. If the yield curve steepens, then the spread between the long- and short-term interest rates increases, which means long-term fixed income investments prices decrease relative to short-term fixed income investments prices.

Prepayment Risk. This is the risk that the issuers of fixed income investments owned by the Fund will prepay them at a time when interest rates have declined. Because interest rates have declined, the Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds in fixed income investments with lower interest rates, which can reduce the Fund’s returns.

Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk is the risk that a fixed income investment may be difficult to sell at an advantageous time or price due to limited market demand (resulting from a downgrade, a decline in price, or adverse conditions within the fixed income market).

Income Risk. The income that a shareholder receives from the Fund is based primarily on the interest it earns from the Fund’s investments, which can vary widely over the short and long-term. If prevailing market interest rates drop, distribution rates of the Fund’s holdings could drop as well. The Fund’s income also would likely be affected adversely when prevailing short-term interest rates increase.

Junk Bonds or High Yield Securities Risk: High yield securities and unrated securities of similar credit quality are considered to be speculative with respect to the issuer’s continuing ability to make principal and interest payments and are generally more susceptible to default or decline and subject to greater levels of credit risk than investment grade securities. High yield securities are usually issued by companies without long track records of sales and earnings, or by companies with questionable credit strength. These fixed income securities are considered below “investment-grade.” The retail secondary market for these “junk bonds” may be less liquid than that of higher-rated fixed income securities, and adverse conditions could make it difficult at times to sell these securities or could result in lower prices than higher-rated fixed income securities. Prices of high yield debt securities tend to be very volatile. These risks can reduce the value of the Shares and the income the Fund earns.

 

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Sovereign Debt Risk. In addition to the risks of investing in foreign securities and debt securities, investments in bonds issued by foreign governments involve the risk of repayment. The issuer of the debt or the governmental authorities that control the repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt, and the Fund may have limited recourse in the event of a default against the defaulting government. In the past, some governmental debtors have been able to reschedule or restructure their debt payments, or declare moratoria on payments, without approval of debt holders.

Rule 144A Securities Risk. Rule 144A securities are considered restricted securities because they are not registered for sale to the general public and may only be resold to certain qualified institutional buyers. The market for Rule 144A securities typically is less active than the market for publicly-traded securities. As such, investing in Rule 144A securities may reduce the liquidity of the Fund’s investments, and the Fund may be unable to sell the security at the desired time or price, if at all. The purchase price and subsequent valuation of Rule 144A securities normally reflect a discount (which may be significant) from the market price of comparable unrestricted securities for which a liquid trading market exists. A restricted security that was liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid and its value may decline as a result. In addition, transaction costs may be higher for restricted securities than for more liquid securities. The Fund may also have to bear the expense of registering the securities for resale and the risk of substantial delays in effecting the registration.

Foreign Investments Risk. Investments in loans and securities of foreign issuers are subject to risks not usually associated with owning loans and securities of U.S. issuers. There is generally less publicly available information about foreign companies, particularly those not subject to the disclosure and reporting requirements of U.S. securities laws. Foreign issuers are generally not bound by uniform accounting, auditing, and financial reporting requirements and standards of practice, including recordkeeping standards, comparable to those applicable to domestic issuers. Investments in foreign loans and securities also involve the risk of possible adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations or currency exchange rates, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, limitation on the removal of cash or other assets of the Fund from foreign markets, political or financial instability, or diplomatic and other developments which could affect such investments. Further, economies of particular countries or areas of the world may differ favorably or unfavorably from the economy of the United States. Foreign securities often trade with less frequency and volume than domestic securities and therefore may exhibit greater price volatility. Investments in foreign markets also involve currency risk, which is the risk that the values of the Fund’s investments denominated in foreign currencies will decrease due to adverse changes in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the value of foreign currencies. These risks are typically greater in emerging markets. Additionally, to the extent that the underlying assets of the Fund trade on an exchange that is closed when the Exchange is open, there are likely to be deviations between current pricing of an underlying asset and stale asset pricing (i.e., the last quote from the foreign exchange market), resulting in premiums or discounts to net asset value (“NAV”) that are greater than those experienced by other ETFs.

Market Risk. The value of securities in the Fund’s portfolio may decline due to daily fluctuations in the securities markets that are generally beyond the Fund’s control, including the quality of the Fund’s investments, economic conditions, adverse investor sentiment, poor management decisions, lower demand for a company’s goods or services, and general market conditions. In a declining market, the prices for all securities (including those in the Fund’s portfolio) may decline, regardless of their long-term prospects. Security values tend to move in cycles, with periods when securities markets generally rise and periods when they generally decline. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, natural or environmental disasters, the spread of infectious illnesses or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant impact on the Fund, its investments and the trading of its Shares. For example, an outbreak of an infectious respiratory illness, COVID-19, has resulted in travel restrictions, disruption of healthcare systems, prolonged quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, lower consumer demand, layoffs, ratings downgrades, defaults and other significant economic impacts. Certain markets have experienced temporary closures, extreme volatility, severe losses, reduced liquidity and increased trading costs. These events will have an impact on the Fund and its investments and could impact the Fund’s ability to purchase or sell securities or cause increased premiums or discounts to the Fund’s NAV. The ongoing effects of COVID-19, and the length of its impact on the Fund or its investments, are unpredictable.

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MBS and ABS Risks. MBS and ABS may be less liquid than other bonds, and may be more sensitive than other bonds to the market’s perception of issuers and creditworthiness of payees, particularly in declining general economic conditions when concern regarding mortgagees’ ability to pay (e.g., the ability of homeowners, commercial mortgagees, consumers with student loans, automobile loans or credit card debtholders to make payments on the underlying loan pools) rises, which may result in the Fund experiencing difficulty selling or valuing these securities. MBS and ABS issued by participants in housing and commercial real estate finance, as well as asset-backed markets generally, have experienced extraordinary weakness and volatility at various times in recent years, and may decline quickly in the event of a substantial economic or market downturn. In addition, MBS and ABS are subject to risks of the effects of possible legislation in the area of residential mortgages, credit cards and other loans that may collateralize these securities, any of which may create uncertainty or have other negative effects on the value of these investments. MBS and ABS are also subject to the general fixed income investments risks described above. MBS and ABS issued by private lenders are not subject to the same underwriting requirements as those with government or government-sponsored entity guarantees and, therefore, loans underlying privately issued MBS and ABS may have less favorable collateral, credit risk, liquidity risk or other underwriting characteristics, and wider variances in interest rate, term, size, purpose and borrower characteristics. During periods of market stress and/or high redemptions, the Fund may be forced to sell these securities at significantly reduced prices, resulting in losses, and liquid privately issued MBS and ABS can become illiquid, which may result in the Sub-Adviser having to sell these securities at an undesirable time or for an undesirable price. Some of the MBS and ABS in which the Fund invests may be comprised of subprime loans. Subprime loans are those made to borrowers with lower credit ratings and/or shorter credit history, who are more likely to default on their loan obligations as compared to more credit-worthy borrowers. As a result, liquidity risk is even greater for MBS and ABS comprised of subprime loans.

U.S. Government Securities Risk. Obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies, authorities and instrumentalities and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States only guarantee principal and interest will be timely paid to holders of the securities. The entities do not guarantee that the value of the securities will increase and, in fact, the market values of such obligations may fluctuate. In addition, not all U.S. government securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States; some are the obligation solely of the entity through which they are issued. There is no guarantee that the U.S. government would provide financial support to its agencies and instrumentalities if not required to do so by law.

Loan Risk. The risks that, in addition to the risks typically associated with fixed income securities, loans in which the Fund invests may be unsecured or not fully collateralized, may be subject to restrictions on resale and/or may trade infrequently on the secondary market. Such loans may therefore be considered illiquid. As a result, valuing a loan accurately can be more difficult, and buying and selling a loan within a desired time frame or at an acceptable price can be more difficult or delayed, than other investments. Difficulty in selling a loan can result in a loss. In addition, extended trade settlement periods (which, in some cases, may be longer than seven days) may result in cash not being immediately available to the Fund. As a result, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions to raise cash to meet its obligations.

In the event a borrower defaults, the Fund’s access to the collateral may be limited or delayed by bankruptcy or other insolvency laws. There is a risk that the value of the collateral securing the loan may decline after the Fund invests and that the collateral may not be sufficient to cover the amount owed to the Fund. If the loan is unsecured, there is no specific collateral on which the Fund can foreclose. In addition, if a secured loan is foreclosed, the Fund may bear the costs and liabilities associated with owning and disposing of the collateral, including the risk that collateral may be difficult to sell.

Loans made to finance highly leveraged corporate acquisitions may be especially vulnerable to adverse changes in economic or market conditions. Certain loans may not be considered “securities,” and purchasers, such as the Fund, therefore may not be entitled to rely on the strong anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws. The value of bank loans can be affected by and sensitive to changes in government regulation and to economic downturns in the United States and abroad. In addition, floating rate loans are subject to interest rate risk, as the interest paid on the floating rate loans adjusts periodically based on changes in widely accepted reference rates.

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Municipal Securities Risk. The risk of a municipal obligation generally depends on the financial and credit status of the issuer. Municipal securities may be significantly affected by political changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to taxation, legislative changes, or the rights of municipal security holders. Failure of a municipal security issuer to comply with applicable tax requirements may make income paid thereon taxable, resulting in a decline in the security’s value. In addition, there could be changes in applicable tax laws or tax treatments that reduce or eliminate the current federal income tax exemption on municipal securities or otherwise adversely affect the current federal or state tax status of municipal securities. Because many municipal securities are issued to finance similar projects, especially those relating to education, healthcare, transportation, and utilities, conditions in those sectors can affect the overall municipal market. Budgetary constraints of local, state, and federal governments upon which the issuers may be relying for funding may also impact municipal securities. In addition, changes in the financial condition of an individual municipal issuer can affect the overall municipal market, and market conditions may directly impact the liquidity and valuation of municipal securities.

Treasury Futures Contracts Risk. Treasury futures are futures contracts, which are subject to risks that include, without limitation: imperfect correlation between the underlying Treasury securities and the related futures contracts; unanticipated market movements, which are potentially unlimited; the Sub-Adviser’s inability to correctly predict the direction of securities prices, interest rates, currency exchange rates and other economic factors; and possible inefficiencies in the rolling of contracts and counterparty default. In addition, the Sub-Adviser will have to manage daily margin requirements successfully in order to avoid regulatory violations or cash shortages in the Fund.

Risks Related to Portfolio Turnover. As a result of its trading strategy, the Fund may sell portfolio securities without regard to the length of time they have been held and will likely have a higher portfolio turnover rate than other registered investment companies. Because portfolio turnover may involve paying brokerage commissions and other transaction costs, higher turnover generally results in additional Fund expenses. High rates of portfolio turnover may lower the performance of the Fund due to these increased costs and may also result in the realization of short-term capital gains. If the Fund realizes capital gains when portfolio investments are sold, the Fund must generally distribute those gains to shareholders, increasing the Fund’s taxable distributions. High rates of portfolio turnover in a given year would likely result in short- term capital gains that are taxed to shareholders at ordinary income tax rates.

Tax Risk. The Fund’s investment program and the tax treatment of Fund distributions may be affected by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) interpretations of the U.S. tax code, future changes in tax laws and regulations. There can be no assurance that any portion of the Fund’s income distributions will not be fully taxable as ordinary income. The Fund’s ability to pursue its investment objective, the value of the Fund’s investments and the Fund’s net asset value may be adversely affected by changes in tax rates and policies.

Management Risk. Because the Fund is actively managed, an investment in the Fund is subject to the risk that the investment process, techniques and risk analyses applied by the Sub-Adviser will not produce the desired results, and that the Fund’s investments may underperform the market or applicable benchmarks. The NAV of the Shares changes daily based on the performance of the securities and other instruments in which it invests. Different types of securities and other instruments tend to shift into and out of favor with investors depending on market and economic conditions. There is no guarantee that the Sub-Adviser’s judgments about the attractiveness or value of, or potential income from, particular investments will be correct or produce the desired results. If the Sub-Adviser fails to accurately judge potential investments, the Share price may be adversely affected.

Authorized Participant Risk. The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants, none of which are obligated to engage in creation or redemption transactions. To the extent these Authorized Participants exit the business or are unable or unwilling to process creation and/or redemption orders (either because of valuation difficulties or for other reasons), and no other Authorized Participant is able or willing to step forward to process creation and/or redemption orders, in either of these cases, Shares of the Fund may trade at a discount to NAV and possibly face delisting.

Costs of Buying or Selling Shares. Investors buying or selling Shares in the secondary market will pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by those brokers. Brokerage commissions are often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell relatively small amounts

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of Shares. In addition, secondary market investors will also incur the cost of the difference between the price that an investor is willing to pay for Shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which an investor is willing to sell Shares (the “ask” price). This difference in bid and ask prices is often referred to as the “spread” or “bid/ask spread”. The bid/ask spread varies over time for Shares based on trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Shares have more trading volume and market liquidity and higher if the Shares have little trading volume and market liquidity. Further, increased market volatility may cause increased bid/ask spreads. Due to the costs of buying or selling Shares, including bid/ask spreads, frequent trading of Shares may significantly reduce investment results and an investment in Shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.

Fluctuation of NAV; Unit Premiums and Discounts. The NAV of the Shares will generally fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s securities holdings. The market prices of Shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in the Fund’s NAV and supply and demand of Shares on the Exchange or any other exchange on which Shares are traded. It cannot be predicted whether Shares will trade below, at or above their NAV. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the securities of the Fund trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. The market prices of Shares may deviate significantly from the NAV of the Shares during periods of market volatility. While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it likely that Shares normally will trade close to the Fund’s NAV, disruptions to creations and redemptions and/or market volatility may result in trading prices that differ significantly from the Fund’s NAV. If an investor purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV of the Shares or sells at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV of the Shares, then the investor may sustain losses that are in addition to any losses caused by a decrease in NAV. For example, during a “flash crash,” the market prices of the Shares may decline suddenly and significantly. Such a decline may not reflect the performance of the portfolio securities held by the Fund. Flash crashes may cause Authorized Participants and other market makers to limit or cease trading in the Shares for temporary or longer periods. Shareholders could suffer significant losses to the extent that they sell Shares at these temporarily low market prices.

Cash Transactions Risk. Unlike certain ETFs, the Fund expects to generally effect its creations and redemptions entirely for cash, rather than for in-kind securities. Therefore, it may be required to sell portfolio securities and subsequently recognize gains on such sales that the Fund might not have recognized if it were to distribute portfolio securities in-kind. As such, investments in Fund Shares may be less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that distributes portfolio securities entirely in-kind. Additionally, cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees and taxes. These brokerage fees and taxes, which will be higher than if the Fund sold and redeemed its Shares principally in-kind, could be imposed on the Fund and thus decrease the Fund’s NAV to the extent they are not offset by the creation and redemption transaction fees paid by purchasers and redeemers of creation units.

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PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

The bar chart and table shown below provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the performance of the Fund from year to year and by showing how the Fund’s average annual returns for one year, five year, and since inception compare with a broad measure of market performance. The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future. Updated performance information for the Fund may be obtained by calling the Fund at (888) 383-0553.

During the periods shown in the bar chart, the highest return for a calendar quarter was 9.54% (quarter ended 6/30/2020).

During the periods shown in the bar chart, the lowest return for a calendar quarter was (9.18)% (quarter ended 3/31/2020).

Average Annual Total Returns –
(For the Period Ended December 31, 2021)

1 Year

5 Years

Since Inception1

Before taxes

1.59

%

4.42

%

4.60

%

After taxes on distributions2

0.20

%

2.59

%

2.75

%

After taxes on distributions and sale of shares2

0.93

%

2.59

%

2.71

%

Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index
(reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes)

(1.54

)%

3.57

%

3.22

%

  

(1) The Fund commenced operations on August 10, 2015.
(2) After-tax returns are calculated using the highest historical individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on your tax situation and may differ from those shown and are not relevant if you hold your shares through tax-advantaged arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts. In some cases, the return after taxes may exceed the return before taxes due to an assumed tax benefit from any losses on a sale of Shares at the end of the measurement period.

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MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser

Virtus ETF Advisers LLC is the Fund’s investment adviser (the “Adviser”). ETFis Series Trust I (the “Trust”) and the Adviser have engaged Newfleet Asset Management, LLC as the Fund’s sub-adviser (the “Sub-Adviser”) to manage the Fund’s investments, subject to the oversight and supervision of the Adviser and the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board”).

Portfolio Managers

The following employees of the Sub-Adviser are the Fund’s portfolio managers: David L. Albrycht, CFA (since August 2015) and Benjamin Caron, CFA (since August 2019). The portfolio managers are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio.

PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES

Unlike conventional investment companies, the Fund generally issues and redeems Shares on a continuous basis, at NAV, in blocks of 50,000 Shares or whole multiples thereof (“Creation Units”). The Fund’s Creation Units may be issued and redeemed only by certain large institutions, referred to as “Authorized Participants”, that enter into agreements with the Fund’s principal underwriter. Retail investors may acquire and sell Shares only on the Exchange through a broker-dealer. Shares of the Fund will trade on the Exchange at market price rather than NAV. As such, Shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount). Investors may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase Shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for Shares (ask) when buying or selling Shares in the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”). Information regarding the Fund’s NAV, market price, premiums and discounts, and bid-ask spreads is available on the Fund’s website at www.virtusetfs.com.

TAX INFORMATION

The Fund’s distributions generally are taxed as ordinary income, capital gains or some combination of both, unless you are investing through a tax-advantaged arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an IRA, in which case your distributions may be taxed as ordinary income when withdrawn from such arrangement.

PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

If you purchase the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the Adviser, the Sub-Adviser or their affiliates may pay the intermediary for the sale of Shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING THE FUND’S INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE, STRATEGIES AND RISKS

Additional Information Regarding the Fund’s Objective. The investment objective of the Fund may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval upon 60 days’ notice to the shareholders. There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its objective.

Additional Information Regarding the Fund’s Investment Strategies. In seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, the Sub-Adviser employs active sector rotation and disciplined risk management in the construction of the Fund’s investment portfolio. The Fund’s investable assets are typically allocated among various sectors and sub-sectors of the fixed income market using a top-down, relative value approach that looks at factors such as yield and spreads, supply and demand, investment environment, and sector fundamentals. The Sub-Adviser then typically selects particular investments using a bottom-up, fundamental research driven analysis that includes assessment of credit risk, company management, issuer capital structure, technical market conditions, and valuations. The Sub-Adviser selects securities it believes offer the best potential to achieve the Fund’s investment objective of providing a high level of current income and, secondarily, capital appreciation. The Sub-Adviser seeks to adjust (i) the proportion of Fund investments primarily in the sectors described in the Fund’s “Principal Investment Strategies” section and (ii) the selections within sectors to obtain higher relative returns. The Sub-Adviser regularly reviews the Fund’s portfolio construction, endeavoring to minimize risk exposure by closely monitoring portfolio characteristics such as exposure to the various sectors and sub- sectors of the fixed income market and portfolio duration.

Additional Information Regarding the Fund’s Investments. The Fund’s 80% investment policy is non-fundamental and may be changed without shareholder approval upon 60 days’ notice to shareholders. Certain fundamental and non-fundamental policies of the Fund are set forth in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) under “Investment Restrictions.” The Fund may also invest in cash and cash equivalents or money market instruments, such as repurchase agreements and money market funds, and may also invest in exchange-traded options on securities and securities indexes.

Additional Information Regarding the Fund’s Investment Risks. In addition to the principal risks discussed in the “Risk/Return Summary Information” section above, an investment in the Fund is also subject to the following risks:

No Assurance of Active Trading Market Risk. Although the Shares in the Fund are approved for listing on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market will develop and be maintained for the Shares of the Fund. Further, market makers (other than lead market makers) have no obligation to make markets in the Shares and may discontinue doing so at any time without notice.

Fund Shares Liquidity Risk. Trading in Shares of the Fund may be halted because of market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules. There can be no assurance that the requirements necessary to maintain the listing of the Shares will continue to be met or will remain unchanged. During stressed market conditions, the liquidity of Shares may be less than the liquidity of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio, which may be significantly less than the liquidity of other ETFs.

Early Closing Risk. An unanticipated early closing of the Exchange may result in a shareholder’s inability to buy or sell Shares of the Fund on that day.

Redeeming Risk. Shares in the Fund generally may be redeemed only in Creation Units and only by Authorized Participants. All other persons or entities transacting in Shares must generally do so in the secondary market.

Temporary Defensive Positions. In certain adverse market, economic, political or other conditions, the Fund may temporarily depart from its normal investment policies and strategies. At such times, the Fund may invest in cash or cash equivalents, such as money market instruments, and to the extent permitted by applicable law and the Fund’s investment restrictions, shares of other investment companies, including money market funds. Under such circumstances, the Fund may invest up to 100% of its assets in these investments and may do so for extended periods of

13

time. To the extent that the Fund invests in money market instruments or other investment companies, shareholders of the Fund would indirectly pay both the Fund’s expenses and the expenses relating to those other investment companies with respect to the Fund’s assets invested in such investment companies. When the Fund takes a temporary defensive position, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective.

Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings. The Fund’s portfolio holdings are disclosed on the Fund’s website (www. virtusetfs.com) daily after the close of trading on the Exchange and prior to the opening of trading on the Exchange the following day.

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

INVESTMENT ADVISER

The Fund’s investment adviser is Virtus ETF Advisers LLC, located at 1540 Broadway, New York, New York 10036. The Adviser was organized as a Delaware limited liability company in August 2013 and is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (Ticker: VRTS) (together with its affiliates, “Virtus”). Virtus is a public company that operates a multi-manager asset management business and has substantial experience in the investment management and investment company industries. As of December 31, 2021, on a collective basis, Virtus-affiliated registered investment advisers managed approximately $187.2 billion in assets. The Adviser also serves as investment adviser to each other series of the Trust and Virtus ETF Trust II, an open-end management investment company registered with the SEC.

The Adviser has served as the Fund’s investment adviser since the inception of the Fund’s operations pursuant to an investment advisory agreement with the Trust on behalf of the Fund. The Adviser is responsible for the oversight and management of all service providers to the Trust. The Adviser has engaged the Sub-Adviser to manage the Fund’s investments in accordance with the stated investment objective and policies of the Fund, subject to the oversight and supervision of the Adviser and the Board, and will oversee the Sub-Adviser’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the SEC rule on which the Fund relies to operate as an ETF, as well as the Trust’s related policies and procedures. The Adviser also assists with: (a) non-advisory operations of the Fund, (b) the preparation and submission of reports to existing shareholders, (c) the periodic updating of the Fund’s prospectus and statement of additional information, (d) the preparation of reports to be filed with the SEC and other regulatory authorities, and (e) maintaining certain of the Fund’s records.

Adviser Compensation. The Adviser receives monthly compensation from the Fund at the annual rate of 0.45% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2021, the Fund paid the Adviser advisory fees at the rate of 0.45% of the Fund’s average daily net assets.

Expense Limitation Agreement. The Adviser has entered into an Expense Limitation Agreement to limit the Fund’s total operating expenses (excluding interest, taxes, brokerage fees and commissions, other expenditures that are capitalized in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, acquired fund fees and expenses, other extraordinary expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of the Fund’s business, and amounts, if any, payable pursuant to a plan adopted in accordance with Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act) so that such expenses do not exceed 0.49% of the Fund’s average daily net assets through at least February 28, 2023. While the Adviser or the Fund may discontinue the Expense Limitation Agreement after the contractual period, it may only be terminated during its term by either party upon written notice; provided that such termination shall require the approval of the Fund’s Board of Trustees. Pursuant to the Expense Limitation Agreement, the Adviser may recapture operating expenses waived or reimbursed under this arrangement for a period of three years following the date on which such waiver or reimbursement occurred; provided that such recapture may not cause the Fund’s total operating expenses to exceed 0.49% of the average daily net assets of the Fund (or any lower expense limitation or limitations to which the Fund and the Adviser may otherwise agree).

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INVESTMENT SUB-ADVISER

The Fund’s Sub-Adviser is Newfleet Asset Management, LLC, located at One Financial Plaza, Hartford, Connecticut 06103. The Sub-Adviser serves in that capacity pursuant to a sub-advisory contract (the “Sub-Advisory Agreement”) with the Adviser and the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, as approved by the Board. The Sub-Adviser makes day-to-day investment decisions for the Fund and selects broker-dealers for executing portfolio transactions, subject to the Sub-Adviser’s best execution obligations and the Trust’s and the Sub-Adviser’s brokerage policies. The Adviser, however, will continue to have overall responsibility for the management and investment of the assets and responsibility for all advisory services furnished by the Sub-Adviser, and will supervise the Sub-Adviser in the performance of its duties for the Fund pursuant to written policies and procedures designed to prevent violations of applicable laws and regulations, Board procedures, and the provisions of the Fund’s prospectus and SAI, as supplemented from time to time.

The Sub-Adviser is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Virtus and has been providing investment advisory services since 1989. In addition to the Fund, the Sub-Adviser provides investment advisory services to foundations, endowments, trusts, pension and profit sharing plans, corporations, public funds, multi-employer plans, a privately placed comingled trust and private clients, and provides sub-advisory services to registered investment companies and other private and institutional clients. As of December 31, 2021, the Sub-Adviser had approximately $10.14 billion in assets under management.

Sub-Adviser Compensation. As full compensation for its services to the Fund, the Sub-Adviser receives monthly compensation at the annual rate of 50% of the Adviser’s net advisory fee, which means that, in the event the Adviser waives its entire fee and also assumes expenses of the Trust pursuant to an applicable expense limitation agreement, the Sub-Adviser will similarly waive its entire fee and will share in the expense assumption by promptly paying to the Adviser (or its designee) 50% of the assumed amount. If during the term of the Sub-Advisory Agreement the Adviser later recaptures some or all of fees waived or expenses reimbursed by the Adviser and the Sub-Adviser together, then the Adviser will pay to the Sub-Adviser 50% of the amount recaptured.

Disclosure Regarding Advisory Agreement Approval. A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s most recent approval of the investment advisory agreement and investment sub-advisory agreement for the Fund is available in the Fund’s most recent semi-annual report for the fiscal period ended April 30, 2021. You may obtain a copy of the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports, without charge, upon request to the Fund.

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

The following employees of the Sub-Adviser are the Fund’s portfolio managers, each of whom is jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund’s portfolio:

David L. Albrycht, CFA, President and Chief Investment Officer of the Sub-Adviser

David Albrycht, CFA, is President and Chief Investment Officer at Newfleet Asset Management (since June 2011). Until June 2011, he was executive managing director (2008 to 2011) and vice president (2005 to 2008), fixed income, of Goodwin Capital Advisers, Inc. (“Goodwin”). Previously, he was associated with Virtus Investment Advisers, Inc., at which time it was an affiliate of Goodwin. He managed fixed income portfolios for Goodwin affiliates beginning in 1991.

Benjamin Caron, CFA, Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager of the Sub-Adviser

Benjamin Caron, CFA, is Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at Newfleet Asset Management (since June 2011). Prior to June 2011, Mr. Caron was on the fixed income team at Goodwin. Mr. Caron also is a portfolio manager of a closed-end fund managed by Newfleet, in addition to assisting the senior portfolio manager in the management of several open-end funds managed by Newfleet. Mr. Caron joined Goodwin in 2002 as a client service associate for the institutional markets group focusing on institutional fixed income clients.

Additional Information. Additional information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and the portfolio managers’ ownership of Shares of the Fund is available in the Fund’s SAI.

15

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The Fund is a diversified series of the Trust, an open-end management investment company organized as a Delaware statutory trust on September 20, 2012. The Board supervises the operations of the Trust and the Fund according to applicable state and federal law, and is responsible for the overall management of the Fund’s business affairs.

OPERATIONAL ADMINISTRATOR

Virtus ETF Solutions LLC (the “Administrator”), located at 1540 Broadway, New York, New York 10036, serves as the Fund’s operational administrator. The Administrator supervises the overall administration of the Trust and the Fund including, among other responsibilities, the coordination and day-to-day oversight of the Fund’s operations, the service providers’ communications with the Fund and each other, and assistance with Trust, Board and contractual matters related to the Fund and other series of the Trust. The Administrator also provides persons satisfactory to the Board to serve as officers of the Trust.

ACCOUNTING SERVICES ADMINISTRATOR, CUSTODIAN AND TRANSFER AGENT

The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNY Mellon”), located at 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286, directly and through its subsidiary companies, provides necessary administrative, accounting, tax and financial reporting for the maintenance and operations of the Trust as the Fund’s accounting services administrator. BNY Mellon also serves as the custodian for the Fund’s assets, and serves as transfer agent and dividend paying agent for the Fund.

DISTRIBUTOR

VP Distributors, LLC (the “Distributor”), located at One Financial Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103, serves as the distributor of Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in Shares.

INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP located at Two Commerce Square, Suite 1800, 2001 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, serves as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Trust and the Fund.

LEGAL COUNSEL

Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, located at 2005 Market Street, Suite 2600, Philadelphia, PA 19103, serves as counsel to the Trust and the Independent Trustees.

EXPENSES OF THE FUND

The Fund pays all of its expenses, subject to the Expense Limitation Agreement. General Trust expenses that are allocated among and charged to the assets of the Fund and other series of the Trust are done so on a basis that the Board deems fair and equitable, which may be on a basis of relative net assets of the Fund and other series of the Trust or the nature of the services performed and relative applicability to the Fund and other series of the Trust.

INVESTING IN THE FUND

PAYMENTS TO FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

The Adviser, the Sub-Adviser or their affiliates may, out of their own resources, pay amounts to third parties for distribution or marketing services on behalf of the Fund. The making of these payments could create a conflict of interest for a financial intermediary receiving such payments.

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

The NAV of the Shares for the Fund is equal to the Fund’s total assets minus the Fund’s total liabilities divided by the total number of Shares outstanding. Interest and investment income on the Trust’s assets accrue daily and are included in the Fund’s total assets. Expenses and fees (including investment advisory, management, administration

16

and distribution fees, if any) accrue daily and are included in the Fund’s total liabilities. The NAV that is published is rounded to the nearest cent; however, for purposes of determining the price of Creation Units, the NAV is calculated to five decimal places.

The pricing and valuation of portfolio securities is determined in good faith in accordance with procedures approved by, and under the direction of, the Board. In determining the value of the Fund’s assets, portfolio securities are generally valued at market using quotations from the primary market in which they are traded. Debt securities (other than short-term investments) are valued on the basis of broker quotes or valuations provided by a pricing service, which in determining value utilizes information regarding recent sales, market transactions in comparable securities, quotations from dealers, and various relationships between securities. Short-term investments having a remaining maturity of 60 days or less are valued at amortized cost, which approximates market value. Other assets, such as accrued interest, accrued dividends and cash are also included in determining the NAV. The Fund normally uses third party pricing services to obtain market quotations.

Securities and assets for which market quotations are not readily available or which cannot be accurately valued using the Fund’s normal pricing procedures are valued by the Trust’s Fair Value Pricing Committee at fair value as determined in good faith under policies approved by the Board. Fair value pricing may be used, for example, in situations where (i) portfolio securities, such as securities with small capitalizations, are so thinly traded that there have been no transactions for that security over an extended period of time; (ii) an event occurs after the close of the exchange on which a portfolio security is principally traded that is likely to change the value of the portfolio security prior to the Fund’s NAV calculation; (iii) the exchange on which the portfolio security is principally traded closes early; or (iv) trading of the particular portfolio security is halted during the day and does not resume prior to the Fund’s NAV calculation. Pursuant to policies adopted by the Board, the Adviser consults with BNY Mellon and the Sub-Adviser on a regular basis regarding the need for fair value pricing. The Fund’s policies regarding fair value pricing are intended to result in a calculation of the Fund’s NAV that fairly reflects portfolio security values as of the time of pricing. A portfolio security’s “fair value” price may differ from the- price next available for that portfolio security using the Fund’s normal pricing procedures, and the fair value price may differ substantially from the price at which the security may ultimately be traded or sold. If the fair value price differs from the price that would have been determined using the Fund’s normal pricing procedures, you may receive more or less proceeds or Shares from redemptions or purchases of Shares, respectively, than you would have otherwise received if the portfolio security were priced using the Fund’s normal pricing procedures, which could result in the market prices for Shares deviating from NAV. The performance of the Fund may also be affected if a portfolio security’s fair value price were to differ from the security’s price using the Fund’s normal pricing procedures. The Board monitors and evaluates the Fund’s use of fair value pricing, and periodically reviews the results of any fair valuation under the Trust’s policies.

Foreign securities not denominated in U.S. dollars are translated from the local currency into U.S. dollars using currency exchange rates supplied by a quotation service. If securities in which the Fund invests are listed primarily on foreign exchanges that trade on weekends or other days when the Fund does not price its Shares, the NAV of the Shares may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or redeem Shares. Foreign currencies, securities and other assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are translated into U.S. dollars at the exchange rates generally determined as of 4:00 p.m. Eastern time.

To the extent the assets of the Fund are invested in other open-end investment companies that are registered under the 1940 Act, the Fund’s NAV is calculated based upon the NAVs reported by such registered open-end investment companies, and the prospectuses for these companies explain the circumstances under which they will use fair value pricing and the effects of using fair value pricing. With respect to securities that are primarily listed on foreign exchanges, the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or sell your Shares.

The NAV is determined as of the close of regular trading on the Exchange, normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, on each day that the Exchange is open for business. Currently, the Exchange is closed on weekends and in recognition of the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

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PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION

Information regarding the extent and frequency with which market prices of Shares have tracked the Fund’s NAV for the most recently completed calendar year and the most recently completed calendar quarters since that year is available without charge on the Fund’s website at www.virtusetfs.com.

FREQUENT TRADING

The Board has not adopted policies and procedures with respect to frequent purchases and redemptions of Shares by Fund shareholders (“market timing”). In determining not to adopt market timing policies and procedures, the Board noted that, unlike traditional mutual funds, the Shares can only be purchased and redeemed directly from the Fund in Creation Units by Authorized Participants, and that the vast majority of trading in the Shares occurs on the secondary market. Because secondary market trades do not involve the Fund directly, it is unlikely those trades would cause many of the harmful effects of market timing, including dilution, disruption of portfolio management, increases in the Fund’s trading costs and the realization of capital gains. With respect to trades directly with the Fund, to the extent effected in-kind (namely, for securities), those trades do not cause any of the harmful effects that may result from frequent cash trades. To the extent trades are effected in whole or in part in cash, the Board noted that those trades could result in dilution to the Fund and increased transaction costs (and the Fund may impose higher transaction fees to offset these increased costs), which could negatively impact the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. However, the Board noted that direct trading on a short-term basis by Authorized Participants is critical to ensuring that the Shares trade at or close to NAV. The Fund also imposes transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Creation Units that are designed to offset the Fund’s transfer and other transaction costs associated with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units. Given this structure, the Board determined that it is not necessary to adopt market timing policies and procedures. The Fund reserves the right to reject any purchase order at any time and reserves the right to impose restrictions on disruptive or excessive trading in Creation Units.

The Board has instructed the officers of the Trust to review reports of purchases and redemptions of Creation Units on a regular basis to determine if there is any unusual trading in the Shares. The officers of the Trust will report to the Board any such unusual trading in Creation Units that is disruptive to the Fund. In such event, the Board may reconsider its decision not to adopt market timing policies and procedures.

DISTRIBUTIONS

The Fund intends to qualify each year as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. As a regulated investment company, the Fund generally pays no federal income tax on the income and gains it distributes to shareholders. The Fund expects to distribute substantially all of its net investment income monthly and its net realized capital gains, if any, monthly. The Fund may distribute such income dividends and capital gains more frequently, if necessary, in order to reduce or eliminate federal excise or income taxes on the Fund. The amount of any distribution will vary, and there is no guarantee the Fund will pay either an income dividend or a capital gains distribution. Distributions may be reinvested automatically in additional whole Shares only if the broker through whom you purchased Shares makes such option available.

Each year, you will receive an annual statement (Form 1099) of your account activity to assist you in completing your federal, state and local tax returns. Distributions declared in December to shareholders of record in such month, but paid in January, are taxable as if they were paid in December. The Fund makes every effort to search for reclassified income to reduce the number of corrected forms mailed to you. However, when necessary, you will receive a corrected Form 1099 to reflect reclassified information.

At the time you purchase your Shares, the price of Shares may reflect undistributed income, undistributed capital gains, or net unrealized appreciation in value of portfolio securities held by the Fund. For taxable investors, a subsequent distribution to you of such amounts, although constituting a return of your investment, would be taxable. Buying Shares in the Fund just before it declares an income dividend or capital gains distribution is sometimes known as “buying a dividend.”

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FEDERAL INCOME TAXES

FUND DISTRIBUTIONS

The Fund expects, based on its investment objective and strategies, that its distributions, if any, will be taxable as ordinary income, capital gains, or some combination of both. This is true whether you reinvest your distributions in additional Shares or receive them in cash. For federal income tax purposes, Fund distributions of short-term capital gains are taxable to you as ordinary income. Fund distributions of long-term capital gains are taxable to you as long-term capital gains no matter how long you have owned your Shares. Because the income of the Fund is primarily derived from investments earning interest rather than dividend income, generally none or only a small portion of the income dividends reported by the Fund is anticipated to be qualified dividend income eligible for taxation by individual shareholders at long-term capital gain rates, provided certain holding period requirements are met.

SALE OF FUND SHARES

A sale of Shares is a taxable event and, accordingly, a capital gain or loss may be recognized. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Shares generally is treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for more than one year and as short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for one year or less. The ability to deduct capital losses may be limited.

TAX TREATMENT OF FUND SHAREHOLDERS

An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from taxable dispositions of Shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds a threshold amount. This Medicare tax, if applicable, is reported by you on, and paid with, your federal income tax return.

Fund distributions and gains from the sale of your Shares generally are subject to state and local taxes. Non-U.S. investors may be subject to U.S. withholding tax at a 30% or lower treaty rate and U.S. estate tax and are subject to special U.S. tax certification requirements to avoid backup withholding and claim any treaty benefits. Exemptions from U.S. withholding tax are provided for certain capital gain dividends paid by the Fund from net long-term capital gains, interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends, if such amounts are reported by the Fund. However, notwithstanding such exemptions from U.S. withholding at the source, any such dividends and distributions of income and capital gains will be subject to backup withholding at a rate of 24% if you fail to properly certify that you are not a U.S. person.

Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”), a 30% withholding tax is imposed on income dividends paid by the Fund to certain foreign entities, referred to as foreign financial institutions or nonfinancial foreign entities, that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. After December 31, 2018, FATCA withholding also would have applied to certain capital gain distributions, return of capital distributions and the proceeds arising from the sale of Shares; however, based on proposed regulations issued by the IRS, which can be relied upon currently, such withholding is no longer required unless final regulations provide otherwise (which is not expected). Information about a shareholder in the Fund may be disclosed to the IRS, non-U.S. taxing authorities or other parties as necessary to comply with FATCA. Withholding also may be required if a foreign entity that is a shareholder of the Fund fails to provide the appropriate certifications or other documentation concerning its status under FATCA.

WITHHOLDING

By law, if you do not provide your proper taxpayer identification number and certain required certifications, you may be subject to backup withholding on any distributions of income, capital gains or proceeds from the sale of your Shares. Withholding is also imposed if the IRS requires it. When withholding is required, the amount will be 24% of any distributions or proceeds paid.

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CREATION UNITS

Because Creation Units are issued and redeemed by the Fund solely for cash, an Authorized Participant generally will recognize neither gain nor loss on the issuance of Creation Units, but may recognize gain or loss on the redemption of Creation Units equal to the difference between the Authorized Participant’s basis in the Creation Units and the cash received by the Authorized Participant as part of the redemption. The IRS, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons exchanging securities should consult their own tax advisor with respect to whether the wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible.

Under current federal tax laws, any capital gain or loss realized upon redemption of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for one year or less, assuming such Creation Units are held as a capital asset.

Because the Fund currently expects to generally redeem Creation Units in cash, it may recognize more capital gains than it would have if it redeemed Creation Units in-kind.

This discussion of “Federal Income Taxes” is not intended or written to be used as tax advice. Because everyone’s tax situation is unique, you should consult your tax professional about federal, state, local or foreign tax consequences before making an investment in the Fund. For additional information, see the “Taxation” section of the Statement of Additional Information.

FUND WEBSITE AND DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

The Trust maintains a website for the Fund at www.virtusetfs.com. The website for the Fund contains the following information, on a per-Share basis, for the Fund: (i) the prior Business Day’s NAV and market price; (ii) the 30-day median bid-ask spread; (iii) the reported midpoint of the bid-ask spread at the time of NAV calculation (the “Bid-Ask Price”); (iv) a calculation of the premium or discount of the Bid-Ask Price against such NAV; and (v) data in chart format displaying the frequency distribution of discounts and premiums of the Bid-Ask Price against the NAV, within appropriate ranges, for each of the four previous calendar quarters (or for the life of the Fund if, shorter). In addition, on each Business Day, before the commencement of trading in Shares on the Exchange, the Trust discloses on the Fund’s website the identities and quantities of the portfolio securities and other assets held by the Fund that will form the basis for the calculation of NAV at the end of the Business Day.

A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the SAI.

BENCHMARK DESCRIPTION

The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index measures the U.S. investment grade fixed rate bond market. The index is calculated on a total return basis. The index is unmanaged, its returns do not reflect any fees, expenses, or sales charges, and is not available for direct investment.

OTHER INFORMATION

The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the Exchange. The Exchange makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of Shares or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund particularly or the ability of the Fund to achieve its objective. The Exchange has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Fund.

For purposes of the 1940 Act, the Fund is a registered investment company, and the acquisition of Shares by other registered investment companies and companies relying on exemption from registration as investment companies under Section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the 1940 Act is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act, except as permitted by SEC rule or an exemptive order that permits registered investment companies to invest in the Fund beyond those limitations.

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FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

The financial highlights table below is intended to help you understand the Fund’s financial performance for the period of the Fund’s operations. Certain information reflects financial results for a single Share. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions). The information has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, whose report, along with the Fund’s financial statements, are included in the Fund’s Annual Report, which is available upon request, at no charge by calling the Fund at (888) 383-0553.

Virtus Newfleet Multi-Sector Bond ETF

For the
Year Ended
October 31, 2021

For the
Year Ended
October 31, 2020

For the
Year Ended
October 31, 2019

For the
Year Ended
October 31, 2018

For the
Year Ended
October 31, 2017

Per Share Data for a Share Outstanding
throughout each year presented:

Net asset value, beginning of year

$24.66

$24.54

$23.85

$25.84

$25.96

Investment operations:

Net investment income(1)

0.89

0.96

1.06

1.12

1.09

Net realized and unrealized gain (loss)

0.50

0.10

0.74

(1.51

)

0.22

Total from investment operations

1.39

1.06

1.80

(0.39

)

1.31

Less Distributions from:

Net investment income

(0.84

)

(0.91

)

(1.02

)

(1.15

)

(1.10

)

Net realized gains

(0.45

)

(0.33

)

Return of capital

(0.03

)

(0.09

)

Total distributions

(0.84

)

(0.94

)

(1.11

)

(1.60

)

(1.43

)

Net Asset Value, End of year

$25.21

$24.66

$24.54

$23.85

$25.84

Net Asset Value Total Return(2)

5.71

%

4.51

%

7.74

%

(1.62

)%

5.26

%

Net assets, end of year (000’s omitted)

$20,171

$18,494

$24,535

$98,959

$169,284

RATIOS/SUPPLEMENTAL DATA:

Ratios to Average Net Assets:

Expenses, net of expense waivers

0.49

%(3)

0.55

%(3)

0.80

%

0.80

%

0.80

%

Expenses, prior to expense waivers

1.21

%(3)

1.15

%(3)

1.06

%

0.86

%

0.84

%

Net investment income

3.52

%

3.95

%

4.37

%

4.51

%

4.26

%

Portfolio turnover rate(4)

107

%

103

%

95

%

82

%

113

%

 

(1)Based on average shares outstanding .

(2)Net Asset Value Total Return is calculated assuming an initial investment made at the net asset value on the first day of the year, reinvestment of dividends and distributions at net asset value during the year, and redemptions at net asset value on the last day of the year .

(3)The ratios of expenses to average net assets includes tax expense fees of less than 0 .01% .

(4)Portfolio turnover excludes the value of portfolio securities received or delivered as a result of in-kind creations or redemptions of the Fund’s capital shares .

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

If you would like more information about the Trust, the Fund or the Shares, the following documents are available free upon request:

Annual and Semi-Annual Reports

Additional information about the Fund’s investments is available in the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. You will find in the Fund’s annual report a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during the prior fiscal year.

Statement of Additional Information

Additional information about the Fund and its policies is also available in the Fund’s SAI. The SAI is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus (and is legally considered part of this Prospectus).

To receive a free copy of the Fund’s SAI, annual and semi-annual reports or other information about the Fund, or to make inquiries about the Fund, please call the Fund toll-free at (888) 383-0553. You can also access and download the SAI and the most recent annual and semi-annual reports without charge at the Fund’s website at www.virtusetfs.com or by written request to the Fund at the address below.

To obtain other information and for shareholder inquiries:

 

By telephone:

(888) 383-0553

 

 

By mail:

ETFis Series Trust I
1540 Broadway
New York, NY 10036

 

 

On the Internet:

SEC Edgar database: http://www.sec.gov; or www.virtusetfs.com

Only one copy of a Prospectus or an annual or semi-annual report will be sent to each household address. This process, known as “householding”, is used for most required shareholder mailings. (It does not apply to confirmations of transactions and account statements, however.) You may, of course, request an additional copy of a Prospectus or an annual or semi-annual report at any time by calling or writing the Fund. You may also request that householding be eliminated from all your required mailings.

Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s Internet site at http://www.sec.gov, and copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov.

No person is authorized to give any information or to make any representations about the Fund or its Shares not contained in this Prospectus, and you should not rely on any other information. Read and keep this Prospectus for future reference.

Dealers effecting transactions in the Shares, whether or not participating in this distribution, may be generally required to deliver a Prospectus. This is in addition to any obligation dealers have to deliver a Prospectus when acting as underwriters.

ETFis Series Trust I: Investment Company Act file number 811-22819