Virtus Investment Trust

101 Munson Street

Greenfield, MA 01301

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

October 27, 2023

Virtus Investment Trust (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company issuing shares in 13 separate series or “Funds”, all of which are publicly offered and described herein.

                   
   

TICKER SYMBOL BY CLASS

FUND

A

C

Institutional

P

Administrative

R6

Virtus Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

AOTAX

AOTCX

AOTIX

AEMPX

 

AEMOX

Virtus Income & Growth Fund

AZNAX

AZNCX

AZNIX

AIGPX

   

Virtus KAR Global Small-Cap Fund

RGSAX

RGSCX

DGSCX

ARSPX

   

Virtus KAR Health Sciences Fund

RAGHX

RCGHX

HLHIX

AAAEX

   

Virtus NFJ Dividend Value Fund

PNEAX

PNECX

NFJEX

ADJPX

ANDAX

ANDVX

Virtus NFJ International Value Fund

AFJAX

AFJCX

ANJIX

AFVPX

AIVAX

ANAVX

Virtus NFJ Large-Cap Value Fund

PNBAX

PNBCX

ANVIX

ALCPX

ALNFX

VAAGX

Virtus NFJ Mid-Cap Value Fund

PQNAX

PQNCX

PRNIX

ANRPX

PRAAX

ANPRX

Virtus NFJ Small-Cap Value Fund

PCVAX

PCVCX

PSVIX

ASVPX

PVADX

ANFVX

Virtus Silvant Focused Growth Fund

PGWAX

PGWCX

PGFIX

AOGPX

PGFAX

AFGFX

Virtus Silvant Mid-Cap Growth Fund

RMDAX

RMDCX

DRMCX

ARMPX

DRMAX

 

Virtus Small-Cap Fund

AZBAX

AZBCX

AZBIX

AZBPX

 

ASCFX

Virtus Zevenbergen Technology Fund

RAGTX

RCGTX

DRGTX

ARTPX

DGTAX

 

This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) relates to the Class A, Class C, Institutional Class, Class P, Administrative Class and Class R6 shares of the Funds (defined below). This SAI is not a prospectus, and it should be read in conjunction with the Prospectuses for the Funds dated October 27, 2023, as described below and as supplemented and amended from time to time. Each Fund’s Prospectuses are incorporated by reference into this SAI, and the portions of this SAI that relate to each Fund have been incorporated by reference into such Fund’s Prospectuses. The portions of this SAI that do not relate to a Fund do not form a part of such Fund’s SAI, have not been incorporated by reference into such Fund’s Prospectuses and should not be relied upon by investors in such Fund.

The Prospectuses may be obtained by downloading them from virtus.com; by calling VP Distributors, LLC at 800-243-1574; or by writing to the Distributor at One Financial Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103.

Capitalized terms used and not defined herein have the same meanings as those used in the Prospectuses.

The audited financial statements for the Funds appear in each Fund’s annual report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023. The financial statements from the foregoing annual report are incorporated herein by reference. Shareholders may obtain a copy of the Funds’ Annual Report dated June 30, 2023, without charge, by calling 800-243-1574 or by downloading it from virtus.com.

Transfer Agent: 800.243.1574
Adviser Consulting Group: 800.243.4361
Telephone Orders: 800.367.5877
Web Site: virtus.com


Table of Contents

Page

   

GLOSSARY

3

GENERAL INFORMATION AND HISTORY

7

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FUND INVESTMENT STRATEGIES & RELATED RISKS

15

INVESTMENT LIMITATIONS

66

MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST

70

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

93

INVESTMENT ADVISORY AND OTHER SERVICES

93

DISTRIBUTION PLANS

102

PORTFOLIO MANAGERS

106

BROKERAGE ALLOCATION AND OTHER PRACTICES

112

PURCHASE, REDEMPTION AND PRICING OF SHARES

114

INVESTOR ACCOUNT SERVICES AND POLICIES

122

DIVIDENDS, DISTRIBUTIONS AND TAXES

124

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

131

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

132

APPENDIX A — DESCRIPTION OF RATINGS 

A- 1

APPENDIX B — CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS

B- 1

No person has been authorized to give any information or to make any representations not contained in this SAI or in the Prospectuses in connection with the offering made by the Prospectuses, and, if given or made, such information or representations must not be relied upon as having been authorized by the Funds. The Prospectuses do not constitute an offering by the Funds in any jurisdiction in which such offering may not lawfully be made.


GLOSSARY

     

1933 Act

The Securities Act of 1933, as amended

1940 Act

The Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended

ACH

Automated Clearing House, a nationwide electronic money transfer system that provides for the inter-bank clearing of credit and debit transactions and for the exchange of information among participating financial institutions

Administrator

The Trust’s administrative agent, Virtus Fund Services, LLC

ADRs

American Depositary Receipts

ADSs

American Depositary Shares

Adviser

The investment adviser to the Funds, Virtus Investment Advisers, Inc.

 

AllianzGI U.S.

Allianz Global Investors U.S. LLC, former subadviser to Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund, Focused Growth Fund, Global Small-Cap Fund, Health Sciences Fund, Income & Growth Fund, Mid-Cap Growth Fund, Small-Cap Fund and Technology Fund

 

BNY Mellon

BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc., the sub-administrative and accounting agent and sub-transfer agent for the Funds

 

Board

The Board of Trustees of Virtus Investment Trust (also referred to herein as the “Trustees”)

 

CCO

Chief Compliance Officer

 

CDRs

Continental Depositary Receipts (another name for EDRs)

 

CDSC

Contingent Deferred Sales Charge

 

CEA

Commodity Exchange Act, which is the U.S. law governing trading in commodity futures

 

CFTC

Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is the U.S. regulator governing trading in commodity futures

 

Code

The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, which is the law governing U.S. federal taxes

 

Custodian

The custodian of the Funds’ assets, The Bank of New York Mellon

 

Distributor

The principal underwriter of shares of the Funds, VP Distributors, LLC

 

Dividend Value Fund

Virtus NFJ Dividend Value Fund

DST

DST Asset Manager Solutions Inc., sub-transfer agent

 

EDRs

European Depositary Receipts (another name for CDRs)

 

Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

Virtus Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

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FHFA

Federal Housing Finance Agency, an independent Federal agency that regulates FNMA, FHLMC and the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks

 

FHLMC

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, also known as “Freddie Mac”, which is a government-sponsored corporation formerly owned by the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks and now owned entirely by private stockholders

 

FINRA

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a self-regulatory organization with authority over registered broker-dealers operating in the United States, including VP Distributors

 

Fitch

Fitch Ratings, Inc.

 

FNMA

Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as “Fannie Mae”, which is a government-sponsored corporation owned entirely by private stockholders and subject to general regulation by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

 

Focused Growth Fund

Virtus Silvant Focused Growth Fund

Fund Complex

The group of Funds sponsored by Virtus and managed by the Adviser or its affiliates, including the Virtus Mutual Funds, Virtus Variable Insurance Trust and certain other closed-end funds

 

Funds

The series of the Trust discussed in this SAI

 

GDRs

Global Depositary Receipts

 

GICs

Guaranteed Investment Contracts

 

Global Small-Cap Fund

Virtus KAR Global Small-Cap Fund

GNMA

Government National Mortgage Association, also known as “Ginnie Mae”, which is a wholly-owned United States Government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development

 

Health Sciences Fund

Virtus KAR Health Sciences Fund

IMF

International Monetary Fund, an international organization seeking to promote international economic cooperation, international trade, employment and exchange rate stability, among other things

 

Income & Growth Fund

Virtus Income & Growth Fund

Independent Trustees

Those members of the Board who are not “interested persons” as defined by the 1940 Act

 

International Value Fund

Virtus NFJ International Value Fund

IRA

Individual Retirement Account

 

IRS

The United States Internal Revenue Service, which is the arm of the U.S. government that administers and enforces the Code

 

KAR

Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC, subadviser to the Global Small-Cap Fund and Health Sciences Fund

 

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KAR Funds

Collectively, Global Small-Cap Fund and Health Sciences Fund

 

Large-Cap Value Fund

Virtus NFJ Large-Cap Value Fund

   

LIBOR

London Interbank Offer Rate, an interest rate at which banks could borrow funds, in marketable size, from other banks in the London interbank market

 
 

Mid-Cap Growth Fund

Virtus Silvant Mid-Cap Growth Fund

Mid-Cap Value Fund

Virtus NFJ Mid-Cap Value Fund

Moody’s

Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.

 

NAV

Net Asset Value, which is the per-share price of a Fund

 

NFJ

NFJ Investment Group, LLC, subadviser to Dividend Value Fund, International Value Fund, Large-Cap Value Fund, Mid-Cap Value Fund and Small-Cap Value Fund

 

NFJ Funds

Collectively, Dividend Value Fund, International Value Fund, Large-Cap Value Fund, Mid-Cap Value Fund and Small-Cap Value Fund

 

NYSE

New York Stock Exchange

 

OCC

Options Clearing Corporation, a large equity derivatives clearing corporation

 

PERLS

Principal Exchange Rate Linked Securities

 

PNX

Phoenix Life Insurance Company, which is the former parent company of Virtus Investment Partners, Inc., and certain of its corporate affiliates

 

Prospectuses

The prospectuses for the Funds, as amended from time to time

 

PwC

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the independent registered public accounting firm for the Trust

 

Regulations

The Treasury Regulations promulgated under the Code

 
   

RIC

Regulated Investment Company, a designation under the Code indicating a U.S.-registered investment company meeting the specifications under the Code allowing the investment company to be exempt from paying U.S. federal income taxes on income and capital gains distributed (or deemed to be distributed) to its shareholders

 
   

S&P

S&P Global Ratings

 

S&P 500® Index

The Standard & Poor’s 500® Index, which is a free-float market capitalization-weighted index of 500 of the largest U.S. companies, calculated on a total return basis with dividends reinvested

 

SAI

Statement of Additional Information, such as this document, which is a part of a mutual fund registration statement

 

SEC

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

 

5


   

Silvant

Silvant Capital Management LLC, subadviser to the Focused Growth Fund and Mid-Cap Growth Fund

Silvant Funds

Collectively, Focused Growth Fund and Mid-Cap Growth Fund

Small-Cap Fund

Virtus Small-Cap Fund

Small-Cap Value Fund

Virtus NFJ Small-Cap Value Fund

SMBS

Stripped Mortgage-backed Securities

 

SOFR

Secured Overnight Financing Rate

 

Technology Fund

Virtus Zevenbergen Technology Fund

Transfer Agent

The Trust’s transfer agent, Virtus Fund Services, LLC

Trust

Virtus Investment Trust

VFS

Virtus Fund Services, LLC, the Administrator and Transfer Agent of the Trust

VIA

Virtus Investment Advisers, Inc., the Adviser to the funds

Virtus

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc., which is the parent company of the Adviser, the Distributor, the Administrator/Transfer Agent and each subadviser to the Funds other than Voya

Virtus Funds

The family of funds overseen by the Board, consisting of the Funds, The Merger Fund®, The Merger Fund® VL, the series of Virtus Alternative Solutions Trust, the series of Virtus Asset Trust, the series of Virtus Equity Trust, the series of Virtus Event Opportunities Trust, the series of Virtus Opportunities Trust, the series of Virtus Retirement Trust, the series of Virtus Strategy Trust and the series of Virtus Variable Insurance Trust

Virtus Mutual Funds

The family of funds consisting of the Funds, The Merger Fund®, the series of Virtus Alternative Solutions Trust, the series of Virtus Asset Trust, the series of Virtus Equity Trust, the series of Virtus Event Opportunities Trust, the series of Virtus Opportunities Trust and the series of Virtus Strategy Trust

Voya

Voya Investment Management Co., LLC, subadviser to the Income & Growth Fund

Income & Growth Fund

Virtus Income & Growth Fund

VP Distributors

VP Distributors, LLC, the Trust’s Distributor

VVIT

Virtus Variable Insurance Trust, a separate trust consisting of several series advised by VIA and distributed by VP Distributors

Zevenbergen

Zevenbergen Capital Investments LLC, subadviser to the Technology Fund

6


GENERAL INFORMATION AND HISTORY

Virtus Investment Trust (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company (“mutual fund”) that currently consists of thirteen separate investment series.

This Statement of Additional Information relates to the prospectus for the following series of the Trust: the Dividend Value Fund, the Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund, the Focused Growth Fund, the Global Small-Cap Fund, the Health Sciences Fund, the Income & Growth Fund, the International Value Fund, the Large-Cap Value Fund, the Mid-Cap Growth Fund, the Mid-Cap Value Fund, the Small-Cap Fund, the Small-Cap Value Fund and the Technology Fund. The Trust may, from time to time, create additional series offered through new, revised or supplemented prospectuses or private placement memoranda and statements of additional information. There are a number of other funds referred to throughout this Statement of Additional Information that were formerly series of the Trust as noted below.

The Trust was organized as a Massachusetts business trust on August 24, 1990. On January 17, 1997, the Trust and PIMCO Advisors Funds, a separate trust, were involved in a transaction in which certain series of PIMCO Advisors Funds reorganized into series of the Trust. In connection with this transaction, the Trust changed its name from PIMCO Funds: Equity Advisors Series to PIMCO Funds: Multi-Manager Series. The Trust changed its name to Allianz Funds effective March 3, 2005. Prior to being known as PIMCO Funds: Equity Advisors Series, the Trust was named PIMCO Advisors Institutional Funds, PFAMCO Funds and PFAMCO Fund. The Global Small-Cap Fund, the Health Sciences Fund, the Mid-Cap Fund and the Technology Fund were reorganized into the Trust on February 1, 2002 when shares of their predecessor funds, each a series of Dresdner RCM Global Funds, Inc., were exchanged for shares of these funds. The Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund was reorganized on August 18, 2006 when the Nicholas-Applegate Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund reorganized into the Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund by transferring substantially all of its assets and liabilities to the Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund in exchange for Institutional Class shares of the Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund.

Effective February 1, 2021, the name of each fund listed in the column entitled “Previous Name” in the table below was changed to the corresponding name listed in the column entitled “Subsequent Name.” In addition, effective February 1, 2021, the name of the Trust changed from “Allianz Funds” to “Virtus Investment Trust.”

   

Previous Name

Subsequent Name

AllianzGI Dividend Value Fund

Virtus NFJ Dividend Value Fund

AllianzGI Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

AllianzGI Focused Growth Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Focused Growth Fund

AllianzGI Global Small-Cap Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Global Small-Cap Fund

AllianzGI Health Sciences Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Health Sciences Fund

AllianzGI Income & Growth Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Income & Growth Fund

AllianzGI International Value Fund

Virtus NFJ International Value Fund

AllianzGI Large-Cap Value Fund

Virtus NFJ Large-Cap Value Fund

AllianzGI Mid-Cap Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Mid-Cap Growth Fund

AllianzGI Mid-Cap Value Fund

Virtus NFJ Mid-Cap Value Fund

AllianzGI Small-Cap Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Small-Cap Fund

AllianzGI Small-Cap Value Fund

Virtus NFJ Small-Cap Value Fund

AllianzGI Technology Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Technology Fund

Effective July 25, 2022, the name of each fund listed in the column entitled “Previous Name” in the table below was changed to the corresponding name listed in the column entitled “Subsequent Name.”

   

Previous Name

Subsequent Name

Virtus Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

Virtus Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Income & Growth Fund

Virtus Income & Growth Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Global Small-Cap Fund

Virtus KAR Global Small-Cap Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Health Sciences Fund

Virtus KAR Health Sciences Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Focused Growth Fund

Virtus Silvant Focused Growth Fund

7


   

Previous Name

Subsequent Name

Virtus AllianzGI Mid-Cap Growth Fund

Virtus Silvant Mid-Cap Growth Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Small-Cap Fund

Virtus Small-Cap Fund

Virtus AllianzGI Technology Fund

Virtus Zevenbergen Technology Fund

The Trust’s Prospectuses describe the investment objectives of the funds and the strategies that each fund will employ in seeking to achieve its investment objective. The respective investment objective for Focused Growth Fund is a fundamental policy and may not be changed without the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of that Fund. The respective investment objective(s) for each of the other funds is a non-fundamental

         

Fund Type

Fund

Investment Objective(s)

Equity

Virtus Income & Growth Fund

The fund has an investment objective of total return comprised of current income, current gains and capital appreciation

 

Virtus KAR Health Sciences Fund

The fund has an investment objective of long-term capital appreciation

 

Virtus NFJ Dividend Value Fund

The fund has an investment objective of long-term growth of capital and income

 

Virtus NFJ Large-Cap Value Fund

The fund has an investment objective of long-term growth of capital and income

 

Virtus NFJ Mid-Cap Value Fund

The fund has an investment objective of long-term growth of capital and income

 

Virtus NFJ Small-Cap Value Fund

The fund has an investment objective of long-term growth of capital and income

 

Virtus Silvant Focused Growth Fund

The fund has an investment objective of long-term capital appreciation

 

Virtus Silvant Mid-Cap Growth Fund

The fund has an investment objective of long-term capital appreciation

 

Virtus Small-Cap Fund

The fund has an investment objective of long-term capital appreciation

 

Virtus Zevenbergen Technology Fund

The fund has an investment objective of long-term capital appreciation

International/Global

Virtus Emerging Opportunities Fund

The fund has an investment objective of maximum long-term capital appreciation

 
 

Virtus KAR Global Small-Cap Fund

The fund has an investment objective of long-term capital appreciation

 
 

Virtus NFJ International Value Fund

The fund has an investment objective of long-term growth of capital and income

 

Capital Stock and Organization of the Trust

The Trust is a Massachusetts business trust established under an Agreement and Declaration of Trust, as amended and restated on January 14, 1997, and as further amended and restated effective September 9, 2005 and July 16, 2007 (the “Agreement and Declaration of Trust”). The capitalization of the Trust consists solely of an unlimited number of shares of beneficial interest each with a par value of $0.0001 or such other amount as may be fixed from time to time by the Trustees. The Board may establish additional series (with different investment objectives and fundamental policies) at any time in the future. Establishment and offering of additional series will not alter the rights of the Trust’s shareholders.

Holders of shares of a fund have equal rights with regard to voting, redemptions, dividends, distributions, and liquidations with respect to that fund. Shareholders of all funds vote on the election of Trustees. On matters affecting an individual fund (such as approval of an investment advisory agreement or a change in fundamental investment policies) and also on matters affecting an individual class (such as approval of matters relating

8


to a Plan of Distribution for a particular class of shares), a separate vote of that fund or class is required. The Trust does not hold regular meetings of shareholders of the funds. The Board will call a meeting of shareholders of a fund when at least 10% of the outstanding shares of that fund entitled to vote on the matter so request in writing. If the Board fails to call a meeting after being so notified, the shareholders may call the meeting. The Board will assist the shareholders by identifying other shareholders or mailing communications, as required under Section 16(c) of the 1940 Act.

Shares are fully paid, nonassessable and redeemable when they are issued. Shares do not have cumulative voting rights, preemptive rights or subscription rights. The assets received by the Trust for the issue or sale of shares of each fund, and any class thereof and all income, earnings, profits and proceeds thereof, are allocated to such fund, and class, respectively, subject only to the rights of creditors, and constitute the underlying assets of such fund or class. The underlying assets of each fund are required to be segregated on the books of account, and are to be charged with the expenses in respect to such fund and with a share of the general expenses of the Trust. Any general expenses of the Trust not readily identifiable as belonging to a particular fund or class will be allocated by or under the direction of the Board as it determines to be fair. The Trust is not bound to recognize any transfer of shares of a fund or class until the transfer is recorded on the Trust’s books pursuant to policies and procedures of the Transfer Agent.

Shares begin earning dividends on fund shares the day after the Trust receives the shareholder’s purchase payment. Net investment income from interest and dividends, if any, will be declared and paid quarterly to shareholders of record by the Dividend Value Fund, International Value Fund and Large-Cap Value Fund, and monthly to shareholders of record by the Income & Growth Fund. Net investment income from interest and dividends, if any, will be declared and paid at least annually to shareholders of record by the other funds. Any net capital gains from the sale of portfolio securities will be distributed no less frequently than once annually. Net short-term capital gains may be paid more frequently. Dividend and capital gain distributions of a fund will be reinvested in additional shares of that fund or Portfolio unless the shareholder elects to have the distributions paid in cash.

Under Massachusetts law, shareholders could, under certain circumstances, be held liable for the obligations of the Trust. However, the Declaration of Trust disclaims shareholder liability for acts or obligations of the Trust and requires that notice of such disclaimer be given in each agreement, obligation or instrument entered into or executed by the Trust or the Trustees. The Declaration of Trust also provides for indemnification out of a fund’s property for all loss and expense of any shareholder of that fund held liable on account of being or having been a shareholder. Thus, the risk of a shareholder incurring financial loss on account of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances in which such disclaimer is inoperative or the fund of which he or she is or was a shareholder is unable to meet its obligations, and thus should be considered remote.

Diversification of Funds

Each Fund is diversified under the 1940 Act with the exception of Technology Fund and Focused Growth Fund which are non-diversified funds. Each Fund also intends to diversify its assets to the extent necessary to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC under the Code. (For information regarding qualification under the Code, see “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” in this SAI.)

Fund Names and Investment Policies

Each of the Funds noted below has a name that suggests a focus on a particular type of investment. In accordance with Rule 35d-1 under the 1940 Act, each of these Funds has adopted a policy that it will, under normal circumstances, invest at least 80% of its assets in investments of the type suggested by its name. For this policy, “assets” means net assets plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes. In addition, in appropriate circumstances, synthetic investments may be included in the 80% basket if they have economic characteristics similar to the other investments included in the basket. A Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets in such a manner is not a “fundamental” one, which means that it may be changed without a vote of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding shares as defined in the 1940 Act. However, under Rule 35d-1, shareholders must be given written notice at least 60 days prior to any change by a Fund of its 80% investment policy.

Each of the Funds listed below has a policy that states at least 80% of its assets will be invested in investments of the type suggested by its name.

   

Dividend Value Fund

Mid-Cap Growth Fund

Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

Mid-Cap Value Fund

Global Small-Cap Fund

Small-Cap Fund

Health Sciences Fund

Small-Cap Value Fund

Large-Cap Value Fund

Technology Fund

Under such policies:

1. The Dividend Value Fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings made for investment purposes) in common stocks and other equity securities of companies that pay or are expected to pay dividends.

9


2. The Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings made for investment purposes) in the securities of companies that are tied economically to countries with emerging securities markets- that is, countries with securities markets which are, in the opinion of the portfolio managers, less sophisticated than more developed markets in terms of participation by investors, analyst coverage, liquidity and regulation.

3. The Global Small-Cap Fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings made for investment purposes) in equity securities of global small-capitalization companies.

4. The Health Sciences Fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings made for investment purposes) in health sciences-related companies.

5. The Large-Cap Value Fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings made for investment purposes) in common stocks and other equity securities of companies with large market capitalizations.

6. The Mid-Cap Growth Fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings made for investment purposes) in common stocks and other equity securities of medium-sized companies.

7. The Mid-Cap Value Fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings made for investment purposes) in common stocks and other equity securities of companies with medium market capitalizations.

8. The Small-Cap Fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings made for investment purposes) in companies with smaller market capitalizations.

9. The Small-Cap Value Fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings made for investment purposes) in common stocks and other equity securities of companies with smaller market capitalizations.

10. The Technology Fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings made for investment purposes) in common stocks of U.S. companies and other U.S.-traded equity securities of technology companies.

Portfolio Turnover

The portfolio turnover rate of each Fund is calculated by dividing the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities during the fiscal year by the monthly average of the value of the Fund’s securities (excluding all securities, including options, with maturities at the time of acquisition of one year or less). All long-term securities, including long-term U.S. Government securities, are included. A high rate of portfolio turnover generally involves correspondingly greater brokerage commission expenses, which must be borne directly by the Fund. Turnover rates may vary greatly from year to year as well as within a particular year and also may be affected by cash requirements for redemptions of each Fund’s shares and by requirements that enable the Trust to receive certain favorable tax treatments. The portfolio turnover rate for each Fund that has completed a fiscal period of operations is set forth in its summary prospectus and under “Financial Highlights” in the statutory prospectus.

The portfolio turnover rate for Global Small-Cap Fund increased from 90% to 129% over the Fund’s last two fiscal years and the portfolio turnover rate for Health Sciences Fund decreased from 114% to 75% over the Fund’s last two fiscal years. The variation in Portfolio Turnover for each Fund is attributed to the change in subadviser which took place in the third quarter of 2022.

Technology Fund had a substantial decrease in portfolio turnover rates between the 2022 and 2023 fiscal years, as Zevenbergen began managing the Fund in the third quarter of 2022. The portfolio turnover rate was 126% from 7/1/21 to 6/30/22, compared to a turnover rate of 55% from 7/1/22 to 6/30/23. Zevenbergen anticipates average portfolio turnover rates of approximately 30 - 40%.

Additional Performance Information

Performance information is computed separately for each class of a fund. Each fund may from time to time include the total return of each class of its shares in advertisements or in information furnished to present or prospective shareholders. The funds may from time to time include the yield and total return of each class of their shares in advertisements or information furnished to present or prospective shareholders. Each fund may from time to time include in advertisements the total return of each class and the ranking of those performance figures relative to such figures for groups of mutual funds categorized by Lipper Inc. or another third party as having the same or similar investment objectives, policies and/or strategies. Information provided to any newspaper or similar listing of the fund’s net asset values and public offering prices will separately present each class of shares. The funds also may compute current distribution rates and use this information in their Prospectus and Statement of Additional Information, in reports to current shareholders, or in certain types of sales literature provided to prospective investors.

Investment results of the funds will fluctuate over time, and any representation of the funds’ total return or yield for any prior period should not be considered as a representation of what an investor’s total return or yield may be in any future period. The Trust’s Annual and Semiannual Reports

10


contain additional performance information for the funds and are available upon request, without charge, by calling the telephone numbers listed on the cover of this Statement of Additional Information.

Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings

The Trustees of the Trust have adopted a policy with respect to the protection of certain non-public information which governs disclosure of the Funds’ portfolio holdings. This policy provides that the Funds’ portfolio holdings information generally may not be disclosed to any party prior to the information becoming public.

Divulging Fund portfolio holdings to selected third parties is permissible only when the affected party has legitimate business purposes for doing so and the recipients are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

Public Disclosures

In accordance with rules established by the SEC, each Fund sends semiannual and annual reports to shareholders that contain a full listing of portfolio holdings as of the second and fourth fiscal quarters, respectively, within 60 days of quarter end. The Funds also disclose complete portfolio holdings as of the end of the first and third fiscal quarters on Form N-PORT, which is filed with the SEC within 60 days of quarter end. The Funds’ shareholder reports are available on Virtus’ Web site at virtus.com. The Funds also make publicly available on Virtus’ Web site a full listing of portfolio holdings as of the end of each month with a 5-,15- or 30-day delay, while other of the Funds make such full listings available as of the end of each quarter with a 15-, 30-, 45- or 60-day delay. Portfolio holdings may be released sooner at the Administrator’s discretion. Additionally, each fund provides its top 10 holdings and summary composition data derived from portfolio holdings information on Virtus’ Web site. This information is posted to the Web site at the end of each month with respect to the top 10 holdings, and at the end of each quarter with respect to summary composition information, generally within 10 business days. With respect to certain funds, the top 10 holdings and summary composition information may be reported on a one-month lag. This information will be available on the Web site until full portfolio holdings information becomes publicly available as described above. Funds also provide publicly-available portfolio holdings information directly to ratings agencies, the frequency and timing of which is determined under the terms of the contractual arrangements with such agencies, and may provide to financial intermediaries, upon request, monthly portfolio holdings for periods included in publicly-available quarterly portfolio holdings disclosures.

Other Disclosures

The Trust and/or the Administrator may authorize the disclosure of non-public portfolio holdings information under certain limited circumstances. The Funds’ policy provides that non-public disclosures of a Fund’s portfolio holdings may only be made if (i) the Fund has a legitimate business purpose for making such disclosure and (ii) the party receiving the non-public information is subject to a duty of confidentiality. Federal law also prohibits recipients of non-public portfolio holdings information from trading on such information. The Administrator will consider any actual or potential conflicts of interest between Virtus and the Funds’ shareholders and will act in the best interest of the Funds’ shareholders with respect to any such disclosure of portfolio holdings information. If a potential conflict can be resolved in a manner that does not present detrimental effects to the Funds’ shareholders, the Administrator may authorize release of portfolio holdings information. Conversely, if the potential conflict cannot be resolved in a manner that does not present detrimental effects to the Funds’ shareholders, the Administrator will not authorize such release.

Ongoing Arrangements to Disclose Portfolio Holdings

As previously authorized by the Funds’ Board and/or the Funds’ Administrator, the Funds will periodically disclose non-public portfolio holdings on a confidential basis to various service providers that require such information in order to assist the Funds in their day-to-day operations, as well as public information to certain ratings organizations. In addition to Virtus and its affiliates, the entities receiving non-public portfolio holdings as of the date of this SAI are described in the following table. The table also includes information as to the timing of these entities receiving the portfolio holdings information from the Funds.

Non-Public Portfolio Holdings Information

     

Type of Service Provider

Name of Service Provider

Timing of Release of Portfolio Holdings Information

Adviser

VIA

Daily, with no delay

Subadviser (Global Small-Cap Fund and Health Sciences Fund)

KAR

Daily, with no delay

Subadviser (Dividend Value Fund, International Value Fund, Large-Cap Value Fund, Mid-Cap Value Fund and Small-Cap Value Fund)

NFJ

Daily, with no delay

Subadviser (Focused Growth Fund and Mid-Cap Growth Fund)

Silvant

Daily, with no delay

11


     

Type of Service Provider

Name of Service Provider

Timing of Release of Portfolio Holdings Information

Subadviser (Income & Growth Fund)

Voya

Daily, with no delay

Subadviser (Technology Fund)

Zevenbergen

Daily, with no delay

Administrator

VFS

Daily, with no delay

Distributor

VP Distributors

Daily, with no delay

Class Action Service Provider

Financial Recovery Technologies and Institutional Shareholder Services

Monthly, with no delay

Custodian and Security Lending Agent

The Bank of New York Mellon

Daily, with no delay

Sub-administrative and Accounting Agent and Sub-transfer Agent

BNY Mellon

Daily, with no delay

Middle Office for Subadviser (KAR Funds and NFJ Funds)

SS&C, Inc.

Daily, with no delay

Middle Office for Subadviser (Silvant Funds)

Virtus Shared Services

Daily, with no delay

Reconciliation Firm for Subadviser (KAR Funds)

SS&C, Inc.

Daily, with no delay

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

PwC

Annually, within 15 business days of end of fiscal year.

Performance Analytic Firm

FactSet Research Systems, Inc.

Daily, with no delay

Liquidity Management Analytics System

MSCI Group

Daily, with no delay

Back-end Compliance Monitoring System

BNY Mellon

Daily, with no delay.

Code of Ethics

StarCompliance, LLC

Daily, with no delay

Printing Firm for Financial Reports

DFIN

Semiannually, within 60 days of end of reporting period.

Proxy Voting Service

Institutional Shareholder Services

Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly depending on subadviser

   

Trading system, compliance monitoring, and trade execution analysis (KAR)

Charles River Development and Global Trade Analytics

Daily

Trading system, compliance monitoring, and trade execution analysis (NFJ , Silvant, VIA )

Bloomberg and Virtu Financial, Inc.

Daily

Trading system, compliance monitoring, and trade execution analysis (Zevenbergen)

SS&C Advent

Daily

   

Analysis and reporting services

IDS GmbH

Daily

   

Execution evaluation

Virtu Financial, Inc.

Daily

   

Valuation services

Markit

Varied

These service providers are required to keep all non-public information confidential and are prohibited from trading based on the information or otherwise using the information except as necessary in providing services to the Funds. There is no guarantee that the Funds’ policies on use and dissemination of holdings information will protect the Funds from the potential misuse of holdings by individuals or firms in possession of such information.

12


Public Portfolio Holdings Information

     

Type of Service Provider

Name of Service Provider

Timing of Release of Portfolio Holdings Information

   

Portfolio Redistribution Firms

Bloomberg, FactSet Research Systems, Inc. and Thompson Reuters

Various frequencies depending on the Fund, which may include: Calendar quarter with 30-day delay, fiscal quarter with a 15 day delay, fiscal quarter with a 30 day delay, fiscal quarter with a 45 day delay, fiscal quarter with a 60-day delay, Monthly with a 5 day delay, Monthly with a 15 day delay, and Monthly with 30 day delay.

Rating Agencies

Lipper Inc. and Morningstar

Various frequencies depending on the Fund, which may include: Calendar quarter with 30-day delay, fiscal quarter with a 15 day delay, fiscal quarter with a 30 day delay, fiscal quarter with a 45 day delay, fiscal quarter with a 60-day delay, Monthly with a 5 day delay, Monthly with a 15 day delay, and Monthly with 30 day delay.

Virtus Public Web site

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc.

Various frequencies depending on the Fund, which may include: Calendar quarter with 30-day delay, fiscal quarter with a 15 day delay, fiscal quarter with a 30 day delay, fiscal quarter with a 45 day delay, fiscal quarter with a 60-day delay, Monthly with a 5 day delay, Monthly with a 15 day delay, and Monthly with 30 day delay.

Other Virtus Mutual Funds

In addition to the Funds of the Trust, the funds commonly referred to as “Virtus Mutual Funds” also include The Merger Fund®, the series of Virtus Alternative Solutions Trust, the series of Virtus Asset Trust, the series of Virtus Equity Trust, the series of Virtus Event Opportunities Trust, the series of Virtus Opportunities Trust, and the series of Virtus Strategy Trust. Virtus Mutual Funds are generally offered in multiple classes. The following chart shows the share classes offered by each Virtus Mutual Fund as of the date of this SAI:

                 

Trust

Fund

Class/Shares

A

C

I

R6

P

Institutional

Administrative

The Merger Fund®

The Merger Fund®

X

 

X

       
               

Virtus Alternative Solutions Trust

Virtus AlphaSimplex Global Alternatives Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus AlphaSimplex Managed Futures Strategy Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Duff & Phelps Select MLP and Energy Fund

X

X

X

       

Virtus KAR Long/Short Equity Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Asset Trust

Virtus Ceredex Large-Cap Value Equity Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Ceredex Mid-Cap Value Equity Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Ceredex Small-Cap Value Equity Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Seix Core Bond Fund

X

 

X

X

     

Virtus Seix Corporate Bond Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Seix Floating Rate High Income Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Seix High Grade Municipal Bond Fund

X

 

X

       

Virtus Seix High Income Fund

X

 

X

X

     

Virtus Seix High Yield Fund

X

 

X

X

     

Virtus Seix Investment Grade Tax-Exempt Bond Fund

X

 

X

       

Virtus Seix Total Return Bond Fund

X

 

X

X

     

Virtus Seix U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund

X

 

X

X

     

Virtus Seix Ultra-Short Bond Fund

X

 

X

       

Virtus SGA International Growth Fund

X

 

X

X

     

Virtus Silvant Large-Cap Growth Stock Fund

X

 

X

X

     

Virtus Zevenbergen Innovative Growth Stock Fund

X

 

X

X

     

13


                 

Virtus Equity Trust

Virtus KAR Capital Growth Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR Equity Income Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR Global Quality Dividend Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR Mid-Cap Core Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR Mid-Cap Growth Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR Small-Cap Core Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR Small-Cap Growth Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR Small-Cap Value Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR Small-Mid Cap Core Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR Small-Mid Cap Growth Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR Small-Mid Cap Value Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus SGA Emerging Markets Growth Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus SGA Global Growth Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus SGA New Leaders Growth Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Tactical Allocation Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Event Opportunities Trust

Virtus Westchester Credit Event Fund

X

 

X

       

Virtus Westchester Event-Driven Fund

X

 

X

       

Virtus Opportunities Trust

Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Duff & Phelps Global Real Estate Securities Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Duff & Phelps International Real Estate Securities Fund

X

X

X

       

Virtus Duff & Phelps Real Asset Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Duff & Phelps Real Estate Securities Fund

X

X

X

X

     
               
 

Virtus KAR Developing Markets Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR Emerging Markets Small-Cap Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Newfleet Core Plus Bond Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Newfleet High Yield Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Newfleet Low Duration Core Plus Bond Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Newfleet Multi-Sector Intermediate Bond Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Newfleet Multi-Sector Short Term Bond Fund(*)

X

X

X

X

     
               
 

Virtus Newfleet Senior Floating Rate Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Seix Tax-Exempt Bond Fund

X

X

X

       
               
 

Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Bond Fund

X

 

X

       

Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Debt Allocation Fund

X

 

X

       

Virtus Stone Harbor Emerging Markets Debt Income Fund

X

 

X

       
               
 

Virtus Stone Harbor High Yield Bond Fund

X

 

X

       

Virtus Stone Harbor Local Markets Fund

X

 

X

       

Virtus Stone Harbor Strategic Income Fund

X

 

X

       
 

Virtus Vontobel Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Vontobel Foreign Opportunities Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Vontobel Global Opportunities Fund

X

X

X

X

     

Virtus Vontobel Greater European Opportunities Fund

X

X

X

       

Virtus Strategy Trust

Virtus Convertible Fund

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

Virtus Duff & Phelps Water Fund

X

X

   

X

X

 

Virtus Global Allocation Fund

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

Virtus International Small-Cap Fund

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

Virtus Newfleet Short Duration High Income Fund

X

X

 

X

X

X

 

Virtus NFJ Emerging Markets Value Fund

X

X

   

X

X

 

Virtus NFJ Global Sustainability Fund

X

     

X

X

 

Virtus Seix High Yield Income Fund

X

X

   

X

X

X

(*) Virtus Newfleet Multi-Sector Short Term Bond Fund also offers Class C1 Shares.

14


MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FUND INVESTMENT STRATEGIES & RELATED RISKS

The following investment strategies and policies supplement each Fund’s investment strategies and policies set forth in the Funds’ prospectuses. Some of the investment strategies and policies described below and in each Fund’s prospectus set forth percentage limitations on a Fund’s investment in, or holdings of, certain types of investments. Unless otherwise required by law or stated in this SAI, compliance with these strategies and policies will be determined immediately after the acquisition of such investments by the Fund. Subsequent changes in values, net assets, or other circumstances will not be considered when determining whether the investment complies with the Fund’s investment strategies and policies.

Throughout this section, the term “adviser” may be used to refer to a subadviser, if any, and the term the “Fund” may be used to refer to any Fund.

       

Investment Technique

Description and Risks

Fund-Specific Limitations

 
   

China-Related Investments

The Chinese economy is generally considered an emerging and volatile market. Although China has experienced a relatively stable political environment in recent years, there is no guarantee that such stability will be maintained in the future. As an emerging market, many factors may affect such stability—such as increasing gaps between the rich and poor or agrarian unrest and instability of existing political structures—and may result in adverse consequences to a fund investing in securities and instruments economically tied to China. A small number of companies represent a large portion of the Chinese market as a whole, and prices for securities of these companies may be very sensitive to adverse political, economic, or regulatory developments in China and other Asian countries, and may experience significant losses in such conditions. The value of Chinese currencies may also vary significantly relative to the U.S. dollar, affecting a fund’s investments, to the extent the fund invests in China-related investments.

Historically, China’s central government has exercised substantial control over the Chinese economy through administrative regulation, state ownership, the allocation, expropriation or nationalization of resources, by controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, by setting monetary policy and by providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. The emergence of domestic economic demand is still at an early stage, making China’s economic health largely dependent upon exports. China’s growing trade surplus with the U.S. has increased the risk of trade disputes. For example, recent developments in relations between the U.S. and China have heightened concerns of increased tariffs and restrictions on trade between the two countries. An increase in tariffs or trade restrictions, or even the threat of such developments, could lead to a significant reduction in international trade, which could have a negative impact on China’s, or others countries’, export industry and a commensurately negative impact on a fund that invests in securities and instruments that are economically tied to China. In addition, as China’s economic and political strength has grown in recent years, it has shown a greater willingness to assert itself militarily in the region. Military or diplomatic moves to resolve any issues could adversely affect the economies in the region.

Despite economic reforms that have resulted in less direct central and local government control over Chinese businesses, actions of the Chinese central and local government authorities continue to have a substantial effect on economic conditions in China. These activities, which may include central planning, partial state ownership of or government actions designed to substantially influence certain Chinese industries, market sectors or particular Chinese companies, may adversely affect the public and private sector companies in which a fund invests. Government actions may also affect the economic prospects for, and the market prices and liquidity of, the securities of Chinese companies and the payments of dividends and interest by Chinese companies. In addition, currency fluctuations, monetary policies, competition, social instability or political unrest may adversely affect economic growth in China. The Chinese economy and Chinese companies may also be adversely affected by regional security threats, as well as adverse developments in Chinese trade policies, or in trade policies toward China by countries that are trading partners with China. The economies, industries, and securities and currency markets of the China region may also be adversely affected by slow economic activity worldwide, dependence on exports and international trade, increasing competition from Asia’s other low-cost emerging economies, and environmental events and natural disasters

 

15


       

Investment Technique

Description and Risks

Fund-Specific Limitations

 
   
 

that may occur in China.

In addition, the relationship between China and Taiwan is particularly sensitive, and hostilities between China and Taiwan may present a risk to a fund’s investments in China.

Some funds may invest in certain eligible Chinese securities (“China A Shares”) listed and traded on either the Shanghai Stock Exchange (“SSE”) or the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (“SZSE”). Such funds expect to access China A Shares through the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect Program or the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect Program (each, a “Stock Connect”). The Shanghai Stock Connect is a securities trading and clearing program developed by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (“SEHK”), SSE, Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited and China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited for the establishment of mutual market access between SEHK and SSE that commenced operations in November 2014. The Shenzhen Stock Connect subsequently commenced operations in December 2016. The Stock Connect programs are subject to regulations promulgated by regulatory authorities for both SSE, SZSE and SEHK, as applicable, and further regulations or restrictions, such as trading suspensions, may adversely affect the Stock Connects and the value of the China A Shares held by the funds. There is no guarantee that the systems required to operate each Stock Connect will function properly or will continue to be adapted to changes and developments in the applicable markets or that the relevant exchanges will continue to support the Stock Connects in the future. In the event that the relevant systems do not function properly, trading through a Stock Connect program could be disrupted. While Stock Connect is not subject to individual investment quotas, daily and aggregate investment quotas apply to the aggregate volume on each Stock Connect, which may restrict or preclude a fund’s ability to invest in Stock Connect securities on a timely basis. In addition, Stock Connect securities generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Stock Connect in accordance with each program’s rules, which may further subject the funds to liquidity risk with respect to China A Shares. A fund may be restricted in its ability to dispose of its China A Shares purchased through a Stock Connect in a timely manner. As an example, the Shanghai Stock Connect is generally available only on business days when both the SEHK and SSE are open. When either the SEHK or SSE is closed, a fund will not be able to trade Stock Connect securities at a time that may otherwise be beneficial to trade. Additionally, the SSE or SZSE may be open at a time when the Stock Connect program is not trading, with the result that prices of China A Shares may fluctuate at times when a fund is unable to add to or exit its position. Because of the way in which China A Shares are held in Stock Connect, a fund may not be able to exercise the rights of a shareholder and may be limited in its ability to pursue claims against the issuer of a security, and may suffer losses in the event the depository of the SSE or SZSE becomes insolvent. Only certain China A Shares are eligible to be accessed through the Stock Connect program. Such securities may lose their eligibility at any time, in which case they presumably could be sold but could no longer be purchased through the Stock Connect program. For defaults occurring on or after January 1, 2020, the Hong Kong Investor Compensation Fund will cover the losses incurred by investors with respect to securities traded in a stock market operated by the SSE or SZSE and for which a buy or sell order may be directed through the Northbound Link of Stock Connect. Investments in China A Shares may not be covered by the securities investor protection programs of either exchange and, without the protection of such programs, will be subject to the risk of default by the broker. The limitations and risks described above with respect to each Stock Connect are specific to the applicable program; however, these and other risks may exist to varying degrees in connection with the funds’ investments through other trading structures, protocols and platforms in other emerging markets.

 
     

Commodities-Related Investing

Commodity-related companies may underperform the stock market as a whole. The value of securities issued by commodity-related companies may be affected by factors affecting a particular industry or commodity. The operations and financial performance of commodity- related companies may be directly affected by commodity prices, especially those commodity-related companies that own the underlying commodity. The stock prices of such

   

16


     

Investment Technique

Description and Risks

Fund-Specific Limitations

 

companies may also experience greater price volatility than other types of common stocks. Securities issued by commodity-related companies are sensitive to changes in the supply and demand for, and thus the prices of, commodities. Volatility of commodity prices, which may lead to a reduction in production or supply, may also negatively impact the performance of commodity and natural resources companies that are solely involved in the transportation, processing, storing, distribution or marketing of commodities. Volatility of commodity prices may also make it more difficult for commodity-related companies to raise capital to the extent the market perceives that their performance may be directly or indirectly tied to commodity prices.

Certain types of commodities instruments (such as commodity-linked notes) are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the instrument will not perform or will be unable to perform in accordance with the terms of the instrument.

Exposure to commodities and commodities markets may subject the Fund to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities. No active trading market may exist for certain commodities investments, which may impair the ability of the Fund to sell or to realize the full value of such investments in the event of the need to liquidate such investments. In addition, adverse market conditions may impair the liquidity of actively traded commodities investments. Commodities may include, among other things, oil, gas, coal, alternative energy, steel, timber, agricultural products, minerals, precious metals (e.g., gold, silver, platinum, and palladium) and other resources. In addition, the funds may invest in companies principally engaged in the commodities industries (such as mining, dealing or transportation companies) with significant exposure to commodities markets or investments in commodities, and through these investments may be exposed to the risks of investing in commodities.

In order to qualify for the special U.S. federal income tax treatment accorded regulated investment companies and their shareholders described in “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” below, a fund must, among other things, derive at least 90% of its income from certain specified sources (such income, “qualifying income”). Income from certain commodity-linked investments does not constitute qualifying income to a fund. The tax treatment of certain other commodity-linked investments is not certain, in particular with respect to whether income and gains from such investments constitute qualifying income. If such income were determined not to constitute qualifying income and were to cause a fund’s non-qualifying income to exceed 10% of the fund’s gross income for any year, the fund would fail the 90% gross income test and fail to qualify as a regulated investment company unless it were eligible to and did pay a tax at the fund level. A fund’s intention to so qualify can therefore limit the manner in or extent to which the fund seeks exposure to commodities.

 
   

Debt Investing

Each Fund may invest in debt, or fixed income, instruments. Debt, or fixed income, instruments (which include corporate bonds, commercial paper, debentures, notes, government securities, municipal obligations, state- or state agency-issued obligations, obligations of foreign issuers, asset- or mortgage-backed securities, and other obligations) are used by issuers to borrow money and thus are debt obligations of the issuer. Holders of debt instruments are creditors of the issuer, normally ranking ahead of holders of both common and preferred stock as to dividends or upon liquidation. The issuer usually pays a fixed, variable, or floating rate of interest and must repay the amount borrowed at the instrument’s maturity. Some debt instruments, such as zero-coupon bonds (discussed below), do not pay interest but may be sold at a deep discount from their face value.

Yields on debt instruments depend on a variety of factors, including the general conditions of the money, bond, and note markets, the size of a particular offering, the maturity date of the obligation, and the rating of the issue. Debt instruments with longer maturities tend to produce higher yields and are generally subject to greater price fluctuations in response to changes in market conditions than obligations with shorter maturities. An increase in interest rates generally will reduce the market value of portfolio debt instruments, while a decline in interest rates generally will increase the value of the same instruments. It is

 

17


     

Investment Technique

Description and Risks

Fund-Specific Limitations

   
 

difficult to predict the pace at which central banks or monetary authorities may increase interest rates or the timing, frequency, or magnitude of such increases. Any such changes could be sudden and could expose debt markets to significant volatility and reduced liquidity for investments. The achievement of a Fund’s investment objective depends in part on the continuing ability of the issuers of the debt instruments in which the Fund invests to meet their obligations for the payment of principal and interest when due. Obligations of issuers of debt instruments are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency, sovereign immunity, and other laws that affect the rights and remedies of creditors. There is also the possibility that, as a result of litigation or other conditions, the ability of an issuer to pay, when due, the principal of and interest on its debt instruments may be materially affected.

 

Convertible Securities

A convertible security is a bond, debenture, note, or other security that entitles the holder to acquire common stock or other equity securities of the same or a different issuer within a particular period of time at a specific price or formula. It generally entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued until the security matures or is redeemed, converted, or exchanged. Convertible securities may have several unique investment characteristics such as (1) higher yields than common stocks, but lower yields than comparable nonconvertible securities, (2) a lesser degree of fluctuation in value than the underlying stock since they have fixed income characteristics and (3) the potential for capital appreciation if the market price of the underlying common stock increases.

Before conversion, convertible securities have characteristics similar to nonconvertible debt securities. Convertible securities often rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure and, therefore, are often viewed as entailing less risk than the corporation’s common stock, although the extent to which this is true depends in large measure on the degree to which the convertible security sells above its value as a fixed income security. However, because convertible securities are often viewed by the issuer as future common stock, they are often subordinated to other senior securities and therefore are rated one category lower than the issuer’s nonconvertible debt obligations or preferred stock.

A convertible security may be subject to redemption or conversion at the option of the issuer at a predetermined price. If a convertible security held by a Fund is called for redemption, the Fund could be required to permit the issuer to redeem the security and convert it to the underlying common stock. A Fund generally would invest in convertible securities for their favorable price characteristics and total return potential, and would normally not exercise an option to convert. Each Fund might be more willing to convert such securities to common stock.

In the event of a liquidation of the issuing company, holders of convertible securities would generally be paid before the company’s common stockholders but after holders of any senior debt obligations of the company.

A Fund’s subadviser will select only those convertible securities for which it believes (a) the underlying common stock is an appropriate investment for a Fund and (b) a greater potential for total return exists by purchasing the convertible security because of its higher yield and/or favorable market valuation. However, a Fund may invest in convertible debt securities rated less than investment grade.

Debt securities rated less than investment grade are commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” (For information about debt securities rated less than investment grade, see “High-Yield/High-Risk Fixed Income Securities (Junk Bonds)” under “Debt Investing” in this section of the SAI; for additional information about ratings on debt obligations, see Appendix A to this SAI.)

The funds may also invest in synthetic convertible securities, which involve the combination of separate securities that possess the two principal characteristics of a traditional convertible security (i.e., an income-producing component and a right to acquire an equity security).Synthetic convertible securities are often achieved, in part, through investments in

 

18


     

Investment Technique

Description and Risks

Fund-Specific Limitations

   
 

warrants or options to buy common stock (or options on a stock index), and therefore are subject to the risks associated with derivatives.

 
   

Corporate Debt Securities

Each Fund may invest in debt securities issued by corporations, limited partnerships and other similar entities. A Fund’s investments in debt securities of domestic or foreign corporate issuers include bonds, debentures, notes and other similar corporate debt instruments, including convertible securities that meet the Fund’s minimum ratings criteria or if unrated are, in the Fund’s subadviser’s opinion, comparable in quality to corporate debt securities that meet those criteria. The rate of return or return of principal on some debt obligations may be linked or indexed to the level of exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and a foreign currency or currencies or to the value of commodities, such as gold.

 

Duration

Duration is a time measure of a bond’s interest-rate sensitivity, based on the weighted average of the time periods over which a bond’s cash flows accrue to the bondholder. Time periods are weighted by multiplying by the present value of its cash flow divided by the bond’s price. (A bond’s cash flows consist of coupon payments and repayment of capital.) A bond’s duration will almost always be shorter than its maturity, with the exception of zero-coupon bonds, for which maturity and duration are equal.

 
   

Exchange-Traded Notes (“ETNs”)

Generally, ETNs are senior, unsecured, unsubordinated debt securities whose returns are linked to the performance of a particular market benchmark or strategy minus applicable fees. ETNs are traded on an exchange during normal trading hours. However, investors can also hold the ETN until maturity. At maturity, the issuer pays to the investor a cash amount equal to the principal amount, subject to the day’s market benchmark or strategy factor.

ETNs do not make periodic coupon payments or provide principal protection. ETNs are subject to credit risk, and the value of the ETN may drop due to a downgrade in the issuer’s credit rating, despite the underlying market benchmark or strategy remaining unchanged. The value of an ETN may also be influenced by time to maturity, level of supply and demand for the ETN, volatility and lack of liquidity in underlying assets, changes in the applicable interest rates, changes in the issuer’s credit rating, and economic, legal, political, or geographic events that affect the referenced underlying asset. When a Fund invests in ETNs it will bear its proportionate share of any fees and expenses borne by the ETN. A Fund’s decision to sell its ETN holdings may be limited by the availability of a secondary market. In addition, although an ETN may be listed on an exchange, the issuer may not be required to maintain the listing, and there can be no assurance that a secondary market will exist for an ETN.

ETNs are also subject to tax risk. No assurance can be given that the IRS will accept, or a court will uphold, how a Fund characterizes and treats ETNs for tax purposes. Further, the timing and character of income and gains derived by a Fund from investments in ETNs may be affected by future legislation.

An ETN that is tied to a specific market benchmark or strategy may not be able to replicate and maintain exactly the composition and relative weighting of securities, commodities or other components in the applicable market benchmark or strategy. Some ETNs that use leverage can, at times, be relatively illiquid and, thus, they may be difficult to purchase or sell at a fair price. Leveraged ETNs are subject to the same risks as other instruments that use leverage in any form.

The market value of ETNs may differ from that of their market benchmark or strategy. This difference in price may be due to the fact that the supply and demand in the market for ETNs at any point in time is not always identical to the supply and demand in the market for the securities, commodities or other components underlying the market benchmark or strategy that the ETN seeks to track. As a result, there may be times when an ETN trades at a premium or discount to its market benchmark or strategy.

 

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High-Yield/High-Risk Fixed Income Securities (“Junk Bonds”)

Investments in securities rated “BB” or below by S&P or Fitch, or “Ba” or below by Moody’s generally provide greater income (leading to the name “high-yield” securities) and opportunity for capital appreciation than investments in higher quality securities, but they also typically entail greater price volatility, liquidity, and principal and income risk. These securities are regarded as predominantly speculative as to the issuer’s continuing ability to meet principal and interest payment obligations. Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of lower-quality debt securities may be more complex than for issuers of higher-quality debt securities.

Interest-bearing securities typically experience appreciation when interest rates decline and depreciation when interest rates rise. The market values of low-rated securities tend to reflect individual corporate developments to a greater extent than do higher-rated securities, which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. Low-rated securities also tend to be more sensitive to economic conditions than higher-rated securities. As a result, they generally involve more credit risks than securities in the higher-rated categories. During an economic downturn or a sustained period of rising interest rates, highly leveraged issuers of low-rated securities may experience financial stress and may not have sufficient revenues to meet their payment obligations. The issuer’s ability to service its debt obligations may also be adversely affected by specific corporate developments, the issuer’s inability to meet specific projected business forecasts or the unavailability of additional financing. The risk of loss due to default by an issuer of low-rated securities is generally considered to be significantly greater than issuers of higher- rated securities because such securities are usually unsecured and are often subordinated to other creditors. Further, if the issuer of a low- rated security defaulted, the applicable Fund might incur additional expenses in seeking recovery. Periods of economic uncertainty and changes would also generally result in increased volatility in the market prices of low-rated securities and thus in the applicable Fund’s NAV.

Low-rated securities often contain redemption, call or prepayment provisions which permit the issuer of the securities containing such provisions to, at its discretion, redeem the securities. During periods of falling interest rates, issuers of low-rated securities are likely to redeem or prepay the securities and refinance them with debt securities with a lower interest rate. To the extent an issuer is able to refinance the securities or otherwise redeem them, the applicable Fund may have to replace the securities with a lower yielding security which would result in lower returns for the Fund.

A Fund may have difficulty disposing of certain low-rated securities because there may be a thin trading market for such securities. Because not all dealers maintain markets in all low-rated securities, there is no established retail secondary market for many of these securities. The Funds anticipate that such securities could be sold only to a limited number of dealers or institutional investors. To the extent a secondary trading market does exist, it is generally not as liquid as the secondary market for higher-rated securities. The lack of a liquid secondary market may have an adverse impact on the market price of the security, and accordingly, the NAV of a particular Fund and its ability to dispose of particular securities when necessary to meet its liquidity needs, or in response to a specific economic event, or an event such as a deterioration in the creditworthiness of the issuer. The lack of a liquid secondary market for certain securities may also make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain accurate market quotations for purposes of valuing its respective portfolio. Market quotations are generally available on many low-rated issues only from a limited number of dealers and may not necessarily represent firm bids of such dealers or prices for actual sales. During periods of thin trading, the spread between bid and asked prices is likely to increase significantly. In addition, adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may decrease the values and liquidity of low-rated securities, especially in a thinly-traded market. If a Fund experiences unexpected net redemptions, it may be forced to liquidate a portion of its portfolio securities without regard to their investment merits. Due to the limited liquidity of low-rated securities, the Fund may be forced to liquidate these securities at a substantial discount. Any such liquidation would

 

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reduce the Fund’s asset base over which expenses could be allocated and could result in a reduced rate of return for the Fund.

 
   

Interest Rate Environment Risk

Changing interest rates, may have unpredictable effects on markets, may result in heightened market volatility and may detract from a Fund’s performance to the extent the Fund is exposed to such interest rates. A low interest rate environment may have an adverse impact on each Fund’s ability to provide a positive yield to its shareholders and pay expenses out of Fund assets because of the low yields from the Fund’s portfolio investments. Alternatively, a general rise in interest rates has the potential to cause investors to move out of fixed-income securities on a large scale, which may increase redemptions from a Fund that holds large amounts of fixed-income securities. Heavy redemptions could cause the Fund to sell assets at inopportune times or at a loss or depressed value and could hurt the Fund’s performance.

Further, Federal Reserve policy changes may expose fixed-income and related markets to heightened volatility and may reduce liquidity for certain Fund investments, which could cause the value of a Fund’s investments and a Fund’s share price to decline or create difficulties for the Fund in disposing of investments. A Fund that invests in derivatives tied to fixed-income markets may be more substantially exposed to these risks than a Fund that does not invest in derivatives.

A Fund could also be forced to liquidate its investments at disadvantageous times or prices, thereby adversely affecting the Fund. To the extent a Fund experiences high redemptions because of these policy changes, the Fund may experience increased portfolio turnover, which will increase the costs that the Fund incurs and lower the Fund’s performance.

 

Inverse Floating Rate Obligations

Certain variable rate securities pay interest at a rate that varies inversely to prevailing short-term interest rates (sometimes referred to as inverse floaters). For example, upon reset the interest rate payable on a security may go down when the underlying index has risen. During periods when short-term interest rates are relatively low as compared to long-term interest rates, a Fund may attempt to enhance its yield by purchasing inverse floaters. Certain inverse floaters may have an interest rate reset mechanism that multiplies the effects of changes in the underlying index. While this form of leverage may increase the security’s yield, it may also increase the volatility of the security’s market value.

Similar to other variable and floating rate obligations, effective use of inverse floaters requires skills different from those needed to select most portfolio securities. If movements in interest rates are incorrectly anticipated, a Fund holding these instruments could lose money and its NAV could decline.

No fund will invest more than 5% of its assets in inverse floaters.

Letters of Credit

Debt obligations, including municipal obligations, certificates of participation, commercial paper and other short-term obligations, may be backed by an irrevocable letter of credit of a bank that assumes the obligation for payment of principal and interest in the event of default by the issuer. Only banks that, in the opinion of the relevant Fund’s subadviser, are of investment quality comparable to other permitted investments of the Fund may be used for Letter of Credit-backed investments.

 
   

Loan and Debt Participations and Assignments

A loan participation agreement involves the purchase of a share of a loan made by a bank to a company in return for a corresponding share of the borrower’s principal and interest payments. Loan participations of the type in which a Fund may invest include interests in both secured and unsecured corporate loans. When a Fund purchases loan assignments from lenders, it will acquire direct rights against the borrower, but these rights and the Fund’s obligations may differ from, and be more limited than, those held by the assignment lender. The principal credit risk associated with acquiring loan participation and assignment interests is the credit risk associated with the underlying corporate borrower. There is also a risk that there may not be a readily available market for participation loan interests and, in some cases, this could result in the Fund disposing of such securities at a substantial discount from face value or holding such securities until maturity.

There is typically a limited amount of public information available about loans because

 

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loans normally are not registered with the SEC or any state securities commission or listed on any securities exchange. Certain of the loans in which a Fund may invest may not be considered “securities,” and therefore the Fund may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws with respect to those loans in the event of fraud or misrepresentation by a borrower. A Fund may come into possession of material, non-public information about a borrower as a result of the Fund’s ownership of a loan or other floating- rate instrument of the borrower. Because of prohibitions on trading in securities of issuers while in possession of material, non-public information, the Fund might be unable to enter into a transaction in a publicly-traded security of the borrower when it would otherwise be advantageous to do so.

Loans trade in an unregulated inter-dealer or inter-bank secondary market. Purchases and sales of loans are generally subject to contractual restrictions that must be satisfied before a loan can be bought or sold. These restrictions may (i) impede the Fund’s ability to buy or sell loans; (ii) negatively affect the transaction price; (iii) affect the counterparty credit risk borne by the Fund; (iv) impede the Fund’s ability to timely vote or otherwise act with respect to loans; and (v) expose the Fund to adverse tax or regulatory consequences.

In the event that a corporate borrower failed to pay its scheduled interest or principal payments on participations held by a Fund, the market value of the affected participation would decline, resulting in a loss of value of such investment to the Fund. Accordingly, such participations are speculative and may result in the income level and net assets of the Fund being reduced. Moreover, loan participation agreements generally limit the right of a participant to resell its interest in the loan to a third party and, as a result, loan participations may be deemed by the Fund to be illiquid investments. A Fund will invest only in participations with respect to borrowers whose creditworthiness is, or is determined by the Fund’s subadviser to be, substantially equivalent to that of issuers whose senior unsubordinated debt securities are rated B or higher by Moody’s or S&P. For the purposes of diversification and/or concentration calculations, both the borrower and issuer will be considered an “issuer.”

The Funds may purchase from banks participation interests in all or part of specific holdings of debt obligations. Each participation interest is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit or guarantee of the selling bank that the relevant Fund’s subadviser has determined meets the prescribed quality standards of the Fund. Thus, even if the credit of the issuer of the debt obligation does not meet the quality standards of the Fund, the credit of the selling bank will.

Loan participations and assignments may be illiquid and therefore subject to the Funds’ limitations on investments in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)

Large loans to corporations or governments may be shared or syndicated among several lenders, usually banks. A Fund may participate in such syndicates, or can buy part of a loan, becoming a direct lender. Participations and assignments involve special types of risk, including liquidity risk and the risks of being a lender. If a Fund purchases a participation, it may only be able to enforce its rights through the lender, and may assume the credit risk of the lender in addition to the borrower. With respect to assignments, a Funds’ rights against the borrower may be more limited than those held by the original lender.

Certain Funds may have invested significantly in floating rate loans that have interest rate provisions which were previously linked to LIBOR or otherwise continue to reference synthetic LIBOR. LIBOR was used extensively in the U.S. and globally as a “benchmark.” As a result of benchmark reforms, publication of most LIBOR settings has ceased. Some LIBOR settings continue to be published but only on a temporary, synthetic and non-representative basis. Regulated entities have generally ceased entering new LIBOR contracts in connection with regulatory guidance or prohibitions.

Actions by regulators have resulted in the establishment of alternative reference rates to LIBOR in most major currencies. Various financial industry groups have been planning for the transition away from LIBOR, but there remains uncertainty regarding the nature of any

 

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replacement rate and the impact of the transition from LIBOR on the Fund’s transactions and the financial markets generally. The transition away from LIBOR may lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets that previously relied on LIBOR or continue to rely on synthetic LIBOR and may adversely affect the Fund’s performance. The transition may also result in a reduction in the value of formerly LIBOR-based or current synthetic LIBOR-based investments held by the Funds’ or reduce the effectiveness of related transactions such as hedges. Any such effects of the transition away from LIBOR, as well as other unforeseen effects, could result in losses for the Fund.

Many loans had interest rate provisions referencing LIBOR that, when drafted, did not contemplate the permanent discontinuation of LIBOR and, as a result, there may be uncertainty or disagreement over how the loans should be interpreted. For example, loans without fallback language, or with fallback language that does not contemplate the discontinuation of LIBOR, may be affected by legislation that automatically converts the loan to an alternative reference rate or utilizes synthetic LIBOR and could become less liquid and/or change in value as a result. Other interest rate provisions of these loans may have been renegotiated or may yet need to be renegotiated. Finally, there may be other risks related to the discontinuation of LIBOR, such as loan price volatility risk and technology or systems risk. Public and private sector actors have worked to establish new or alternative reference rates to be used in place of LIBOR. The U.S. Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, has recommended an alternative reference rate derived from short-term repurchase agreements backed by Treasury securities, the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”). National working groups in other jurisdictions have similarly identified overnight nearly riskfree rates like SOFR as their preferred alternatives to LIBOR. The alternative reference rates may be more volatile than LIBOR and may perform erratically until widely accepted within the marketplace. The risks associated with this discontinuation and transition will persist if the work necessary to effect an orderly transition to an alternative reference rate is not completed in a timely manner.

The shift from LIBOR to alternative reference rates like SOFR also brings pricing challenges for borrowers and loan issuers, who prefer exposure to credit benchmarks that will adjust to shifts in credit market conditions. SOFR is based on the U.S. repurchase agreement market, which has no credit risk and may fall during times of stress. LIBOR, by contrast, measures bank borrowing costs and generally rose during periods of stress. Lenders are adapting by pricing loans with a spread to SOFR. However, there are risks that this spread could underprice risks if there are unexpected periods of credit stress.

 
   

Municipal Securities and Related Investments

Tax-exempt municipal securities are debt obligations issued by the various states and their subdivisions (e.g., cities, counties, towns, and school districts) to raise funds, generally for various public improvements requiring long-term capital investment. Purposes for which tax-exempt bonds are issued include flood control, airports, bridges and highways, housing, medical facilities, schools, mass transportation and power, water or sewage plants, as well as others. Tax-exempt bonds also are occasionally issued to retire outstanding obligations, to obtain funds for operating expenses or to loan to other public or, in some cases, private sector organizations or to individuals.

Yields on municipal securities are dependent on a variety of factors, including the general conditions of the money market and the municipal bond market, the size of a particular offering, the maturity of the obligations and the rating of the issue. Municipal securities with longer maturities tend to produce higher yields and are generally subject to potentially greater capital appreciation and depreciation than obligations with shorter maturities and lower yields. The market prices of municipal securities usually vary, depending upon available yields. An increase in interest rates will generally reduce the value of portfolio investments, and a decline in interest rates will generally increase the value of portfolio investments. The ability of a Fund to achieve its investment objective is also dependent on the continuing ability of the issuers of municipal securities in which the Fund invests to meet their obligations for the payment of interest and principal when due. The ratings of Moody’s and S&P represent their opinions as to the quality of municipal securities which

 

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they undertake to rate. Ratings are not absolute standards of quality; consequently, municipal securities with the same maturity, coupon, and rating may have different yields. There are variations in municipal securities, both within a particular classification and between classifications, depending on numerous factors. It should also be pointed out that, unlike other types of investments, municipal securities have traditionally not been subject to regulation by, or registration with, the SEC, although there have been proposals which would provide for such regulation in the future.

The federal bankruptcy statutes relating to the debts of political subdivisions and authorities of states of the United States provide that, in certain circumstances, such subdivisions or authorities may be authorized to initiate bankruptcy proceedings without prior notice to or consent of creditors, which proceedings could result in material and adverse changes in the rights of holders of their obligations.

Lawsuits challenging the validity under state constitutions of present systems of financing public education have been initiated or adjusted in a number of states, and legislation has been introduced to effect changes in public school financing in some states. In other instances there have been lawsuits challenging the issuance of pollution control revenue bonds or the validity of their issuance under state or federal law which could ultimately affect the validity of those municipal securities or the tax-free nature of the interest thereon.

Descriptions of some of the municipal securities and related investment types most commonly acquired by the Funds are provided below. In addition to those shown, other types of municipal investments are, or may become, available for investment by the Funds. For the purpose of each Fund’s investment restrictions set forth in this SAI, the identification of the “issuer” of a municipal security which is not a general obligation bond is made by the applicable Fund’s subadviser on the basis of the characteristics of the obligation, the most significant of which is the source of funds for the payment of principal and interest on such security.

 

Municipal Bonds

Municipal bonds, which meet longer-term capital needs and generally have maturities of more than one year when issued, have two principal classifications: general obligation bonds and revenue bonds. Another type of municipal bond is referred to as an industrial development bond.

Pre-refunded municipal bonds are tax-exempt bonds that have been refunded to a call date on or before the final maturity of principal and remain outstanding in the municipal market. The payment of principal and interest of the pre-refunded municipal bonds held by a fund is funded from securities in a designated escrow account that holds U.S. Treasury securities or other obligations of the U.S. Government, including its agencies and instrumentalities (“Agency Securities”). While still tax-exempt, pre-refunded municipal bonds usually will bear a Aaa rating (if a re-rating has been requested and paid for) because they are backed by the U.S. Treasury or Agency Securities. As the payment of principal and interest is generated from securities held in a designated escrow account, the pledge of the municipality has been fulfilled and the original pledge of revenue by the municipality is no longer in place. The escrow account securities pledged to pay the principal and interest of the pre-refunded municipal bonds held by a fund may subject the fund to interest rate risk and market risk. In addition, while a secondary market exists for pre-refunded municipal bonds, if a fund sells pre-refunded municipal bonds prior to maturity, the price received may be more or less than the original cost, depending on market conditions at the time of sale.

 

General Obligation Bonds

Issuers of general obligation bonds include states, counties, cities, towns, and regional districts. The proceeds of these obligations are used to fund a wide range of public projects, including construction or improvement of schools, highways and roads, and water and sewer systems. The basic security behind general obligation bonds is the issuer’s pledge of its full faith and credit and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest. The taxes that can be levied for the payment of debt service may be limited or unlimited as to the rate

 

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or amount of special assessments.

 

Industrial Development Bonds

Industrial development bonds, which are considered municipal bonds if the interest paid is exempt from Federal income tax, are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to raise money to finance various privately operated facilities for business and manufacturing, housing, sports arenas and pollution control. These bonds are also used to finance public facilities such as airports, mass transit systems, ports and parking. The payment of the principal and interest on such bonds is dependent solely on the ability of the facility’s user to meet its financial obligations and the pledge, if any, of real and personal property so financed as security for such payment.

 

Revenue Bonds

The principal security for a revenue bond is generally the net revenues derived from a particular facility, group of facilities, or, in some cases, the proceeds of a special excise or other specific revenue source. Revenue bonds are issued to finance a wide variety of capital projects including: electric, gas, water and sewer systems; highways, bridges, and tunnels; port and airport facilities; colleges and universities; and hospitals. Although the principal security behind these bonds may vary, many provide additional security in the form of a debt service reserve fund whose money may be used to make principal and interest payments on the issuer’s obligations. Housing finance authorities have a wide range of security; including partially or fully insured mortgages, rent subsidized and/or collateralized mortgages, and/or the net revenues from housing or other public projects. Some authorities provide further security in the form of a state’s ability (without obligation) to make up deficiencies in the debt service reserve fund.

 

Municipal Leases

Each Fund may acquire participations in lease obligations or installment purchase contract obligations (hereinafter collectively called “lease obligations”) of municipal authorities or entities. Although lease obligations do not constitute general obligations of the municipality for which the municipality’s taxing power is pledged, a lease obligation may be backed by the municipality’s covenant to budget for, appropriate, and make the payments due under the lease obligation. However, certain lease obligations contain “non- appropriation” clauses which provide that the municipality has no obligation to make lease or installment purchase payments in future years unless money is appropriated for such purpose on a yearly basis. In addition to the “non-appropriation” risk, these securities represent a relatively new type of financing that has not yet developed the depth of marketability associated with more conventional bonds. In the case of a “non-appropriation” lease, a Fund’s ability to recover under the lease in the event of non-appropriation or default will be limited solely to the repossession of the leased property in the event foreclosure might prove difficult. The Fund’s subadviser will evaluate the credit quality of a municipal lease and whether it will be considered liquid. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Investments” in this section of the SAI for information regarding the implications of these investments being considered illiquid.)

 

Municipal Notes

Municipal notes generally are used to provide for short-term working capital needs and generally have maturities of one year or less. Municipal notes include bond anticipation notes, construction loan notes, revenue anticipation notes and tax anticipation notes.

 

Bond Anticipation Notes

Bond anticipation notes are issued to provide interim financing until long-term financing can be arranged. In most cases, the long-term bonds then provide the money for the repayment of the notes.

 

Construction Loan Notes

Construction loan notes are sold to provide construction financing. After successful completion and acceptance, many projects receive permanent financing through FNMA or GNMA.

 

Revenue Anticipation Notes

Revenue anticipation notes are issued in expectation of receipt of other types of revenue, such as Federal revenues available under Federal revenue sharing programs.

 

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Tax Anticipation Notes

Tax anticipation notes are issued to finance working capital needs of municipalities. Generally, they are issued in anticipation of various seasonal tax revenue, such as income, sales, use and business taxes, and are payable from these specific future taxes.

 

Tax-Exempt Commercial Paper

Tax-exempt commercial paper is a short-term obligation with a stated maturity of 365 days or less. It is issued by state and local governments or their agencies to finance seasonal working capital needs or as short-term financing in anticipation of longer-term financing.

 

Participation on Creditors’ Committees

While the Funds do not invest in securities to exercise control over the securities’ issuers, each Fund may, from time to time, participate on committees formed by creditors to negotiate with the management of financially troubled issuers of securities held by the Fund. Such participation may subject the relevant Fund to expenses such as legal fees and may deem the Fund an “insider” of the issuer for purposes of the Federal securities laws, and expose the Fund to material non- public information of the issuer, and therefore may restrict the Fund’s ability to purchase or sell a particular security when it might otherwise desire to do so. Participation by a Fund on such committees also may expose the Fund to potential liabilities under the federal bankruptcy laws or other laws governing the rights of creditors and debtors. A Fund will participate on such committees only when the Fund’s subadviser believes that such participation is necessary or desirable to enforce the Fund’s rights as a creditor or to protect the value of securities held by the Fund.

 

Payable in Kind (“PIK”) Bonds

PIK bonds are obligations which provide that the issuer thereof may, at its option, pay interest on such bonds in cash or “in kind”, which means in the form of additional debt securities. Such securities benefit the issuer by mitigating its need for cash to meet debt service, but also require a higher rate of return to attract investors who are willing to defer receipt of such cash. The Funds will accrue income on such investments for tax and accounting purposes, which is distributable to shareholders and which, because no cash is received at the time of accrual, may require the liquidation of other portfolio securities to satisfy the Funds’ distribution obligations. The market prices of PIK bonds generally are more volatile than the market prices of securities that pay interest periodically, and they are likely to respond to changes in interest rates to a greater degree than would otherwise similar bonds on which regular cash payments of interest are being made.

 

Ratings

The rating or quality of a debt security refers to a rating agency’s assessment of the issuer’s creditworthiness, i.e., its ability to pay principal and interest when due. Higher ratings indicate better credit quality, as rated by independent rating organizations such as Moody’s, S&P or Fitch, which publish their ratings on a regular basis. Appendix A provides a description of the various ratings provided for bonds (including convertible bonds), municipal bonds, and commercial paper.

After a Fund purchases a debt security, the rating of that security may be reduced below the minimum rating acceptable for purchase by the Fund. A subsequent downgrade does not require the sale of the security, but the Fund’s subadviser will consider such an event in determining whether to continue to hold the obligation. To the extent that ratings established by Moody’s or S&P may change as a result of changes in such organizations or their rating systems, a Fund will invest in securities which are deemed by the Fund’s subadviser to be of comparable quality to securities whose current ratings render them eligible for purchase by the Fund.

Credit ratings issued by credit rating agencies evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market-value risk and therefore may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment. In addition, credit rating agencies may or may not make timely changes in a rating to reflect changes in the economy or in the condition of the issuer that affect the market value of the security. Consequently, credit ratings are used only as a preliminary indicator of investment quality.

 

Sovereign Debt

Each Fund may invest in “sovereign debt,” which is issued or guaranteed by foreign governments (including countries, provinces and municipalities) or their agencies and instrumentalities. Sovereign debt may trade at a substantial discount from face value. The

 

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Funds may hold and trade sovereign debt of foreign countries in appropriate circumstances to participate in debt conversion programs. Emerging market country sovereign debt involves a higher degree of risk than that of developed markets, is generally lower-quality debt, and is considered speculative in nature due, in part, to the extreme and volatile nature of debt burdens in such countries and because emerging market governments can be relatively unstable. The issuer or governmental authorities that control sovereign-debt repayment (“sovereign debtors”) may be unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due in accordance with the terms of the debt. A sovereign debtor’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest due in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash-flow situation, the extent of its foreign reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy towards the IMF, and the political constraints to which the sovereign debtor may be subject. Sovereign debtors may also be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest arrearage on their debt. The commitment of these third parties to make such disbursements may be conditioned on the sovereign debtor’s implementation of economic reforms or economic performance and the timely service of the debtor’s obligations. The sovereign debtor’s failure to meet these conditions may cause these third parties to cancel their commitments to provide funds to the sovereign debtor, which may further impair the debtor’s ability or willingness to timely service its debts. In certain instances, the Funds may invest in sovereign debt that is in default as to payments of principal or interest. In the event that the Funds hold non- performing sovereign debt, the Funds may incur additional expenses in connection with any restructuring of the issuer’s obligations or in otherwise enforcing their rights thereunder.

 

Brady Bonds

Each Fund may invest a portion of its assets in certain sovereign debt obligations known as “Brady Bonds.” Brady Bonds are issued under the framework of the Brady Plan, an initiative announced by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady in 1989 as a mechanism for debtor nations to restructure their outstanding external indebtedness. The Brady Plan contemplates, among other things, the debtor nation’s adoption of certain economic reforms and the exchange of commercial bank debt for newly issued bonds. In restructuring its external debt under the Brady Plan framework, a debtor nation negotiates with its existing bank lenders as well as the World Bank or the IMF. The World Bank or IMF supports the restructuring by providing funds pursuant to loan agreements or other arrangements that enable the debtor nation to collateralize the new Brady Bonds or to replenish reserves used to reduce outstanding bank debt. Under these loan agreements or other arrangements with the World Bank or IMF, debtor nations have been required to agree to implement certain domestic monetary and fiscal reforms. The Brady Plan sets forth only general guiding principles for economic reform and debt reduction, emphasizing that solutions must be negotiated on a case-by-case basis between debtor nations and their creditors.

Brady Bonds are often viewed as having three or four valuation components: (i) the collateralized repayment of principal at final maturity; (ii) the collateralized interest payments; (iii) the uncollateralized interest payments; and (iv) any uncollateralized repayment of principal at maturity (these uncollateralized amounts constitute the “residual risk”). In light of the residual risk of Brady Bonds and, among other factors, the history of defaults with respect to commercial bank loans by public and private entities of countries issuing Brady Bonds, investments in Brady Bonds can be viewed as speculative.

 

Stand-by Commitments

Each Fund may purchase securities together with the right to resell them to the seller or a third party at an agreed-upon price or yield within specified periods prior to their maturity dates. Such a right to resell is commonly known as a stand-by commitment, and the aggregate price which a Fund pays for securities with a stand-by commitment may increase the cost, and thereby reduce the yield, of the security. The primary purpose of this practice is to permit the Fund to be as fully invested as practicable in municipal securities while preserving the necessary flexibility and liquidity to meet unanticipated redemptions.

 

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Stand-by commitments acquired by a Fund are valued at zero in determining the Fund’s NAV. Stand-by commitments involve certain expenses and risks, including the inability of the issuer of the commitment to pay for the securities at the time the commitment is exercised, non-marketability of the commitment, and differences between the maturity of the underlying security and the maturity of the commitment.

 

Strip Bonds

Strip bonds are debt securities that are stripped of their interest (usually by a financial intermediary) after the securities are issued. The market value of these securities generally fluctuates more in response to changes in interest rates than interest-paying securities of comparable maturity.

 

Tender Option Bonds

Tender option bonds are relatively long-term bonds that are coupled with the option to tender the securities to a bank, broker-dealer or other financial institution at periodic intervals and receive the face value of the bond. This investment structure is commonly used as a means of enhancing a security’s liquidity.

 
   

Variable and Floating Rate Obligations

Each Fund may purchase securities having a floating or variable rate of interest. These securities pay interest at rates that are adjusted periodically according to a specific formula, usually with reference to some interest rate index or market interest rate (the “underlying index”). The floating rate tends to decrease the security’s price sensitivity to changes in interest rates. These securities may carry demand features permitting the holder to demand payment of principal at any time or at specified intervals prior to maturity. Accordingly, as interest rates decrease or increase, the potential for capital appreciation or depreciation is less than for fixed-rate obligations.

The floating and variable rate obligations that the Funds may purchase include variable rate demand securities. Variable rate demand securities are variable rate securities that have demand features entitling the purchaser to resell the securities to the issuer at an amount approximately equal to amortized cost or the principal amount thereof plus accrued interest, which may be more or less than the price that the Fund paid for them. The interest rate on variable rate demand securities also varies either according to some objective standard, such as an index of short-term, tax-exempt rates, or according to rates set by or on behalf of the issuer.

When a Fund purchases a floating or variable rate demand instrument, the Fund’s subadviser will monitor, on an ongoing basis, the ability of the issuer to pay principal and interest on demand. The Fund’s right to obtain payment at par on a demand instrument could be affected by events occurring between the date the Fund elects to demand payment and the date payment is due that may affect the ability of the issuer of the instrument to make payment when due, except when such demand instrument permits same day settlement. To facilitate settlement, these same day demand instruments may be held in book entry form at a bank other than the Funds’ custodian subject to a sub- custodian agreement between the bank and the Funds’ custodian.

The floating and variable rate obligations that the Funds may purchase also include certificates of participation in such obligations purchased from banks. A certificate of participation gives the Fund an undivided interest in the underlying obligations in the proportion that the Fund’s interest bears to the total principal amount of the obligation. Certain certificates of participation may carry a demand feature that would permit the holder to tender them back to the issuer prior to maturity.

The income received on certificates of participation in tax-exempt municipal obligations constitutes interest from tax-exempt obligations.

Each Fund will limit its purchases of floating and variable rate obligations to those of the same quality as it otherwise is allowed to purchase. Similar to fixed rate debt instruments, variable and floating rate instruments are subject to changes in value based on changes in prevailing market interest rates or changes in the issuer’s creditworthiness.

A floating or variable rate instrument may be subject to a Fund’s percentage limitation on illiquid securities if there is no reliable trading market for the instrument or if the Fund may

 

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not demand payment of the principal amount within seven days. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)

 

Zero, Deferred and Step Coupon Debt Securities and Payment-in-Kind Securities

Each Fund may invest in debt obligations that do not make any interest payments for a specified period of time prior to maturity (“deferred coupon” bonds) or until maturity (“zero coupon” bonds). The nonpayment of interest on a current basis may result from the bond’s having no stated interest rate, in which case the bond pays only principal at maturity and is normally initially issued at a discount from face value. Alternatively, the bond may provide for a stated rate of interest, but provide that such interest is not payable until maturity, in which case the bond may initially be issued at par. The value to the investor of these types of bonds is represented by the economic accretion either of the difference between the purchase price and the nominal principal amount (if no interest is stated to accrue) or of accrued, unpaid interest during the bond’s life or payment deferral period.

Because deferred and zero coupon bonds do not make interest payments for a certain period of time, they are generally purchased by a Fund at a deep discount and their value fluctuates more in response to interest rate changes than does the value of debt obligations that make current interest payments. The degree of fluctuation with interest rate changes is greater when the deferred period is longer. Therefore, when a Fund invests in zero or deferred coupon bonds, there is a risk that the value of the Fund’s shares may decline more as a result of an increase in interest rates than would be the case if the Fund did not invest in such bonds.

Even though zero and deferred coupon bonds may not pay current interest in cash, each Fund is required to accrue interest income on such investments and to distribute such amounts to shareholders. Thus, a Fund would not be able to purchase income-producing securities to the extent cash is used to pay such distributions, and, therefore, the Fund’s current income could be less than it otherwise would have been. Instead of using cash, the Fund might liquidate investments in order to satisfy these distribution requirements.

Step coupon bonds trade at a discount from their face value and pay coupon interest. The coupon rate is low for an initial period and then increases to a higher coupon rate. The discount from the face amount or par value depends on the time remaining until cash payments begin, prevailing interest rates, liquidity of the security and the perceived credit quality of the issuer.

Payment-in-kind securities are debt or preferred securities that require or permit payment of interest in the form of additional securities. Payment-in-kind securities allow the issuer to avoid or delay the need to generate cash to meet current interest payments and, as a result, may involve greater risk than securities that pay interest currently or in cash.

 

Derivatives and Other Similar Instruments

Each Fund may invest in various types of derivatives and other similar instruments (collectively referred to in this section as “derivatives” or “derivative instruments”), which may at times result in significant derivative exposure. A derivative is generally a financial instrument whose performance is derived from the performance of another asset. Each Fund may invest in derivative instruments including, but not limited to: futures contracts, put options, call options, options on future contracts, options on foreign currencies, swaps, forward contracts, structured investments, and other equity-linked derivatives.

Each Fund may use derivative instruments for hedging (to offset risks associated with an investment, currency exposure, or market conditions) or in pursuit of its investment objective(s) and policies (to seek to enhance returns). When a Fund invests in a derivative, the risks of loss of that derivative may be greater than the derivative’s cost. No Fund may use any derivative to gain exposure to an asset or class of assets that it would be prohibited by its investment restrictions from purchasing directly. In addition to other considerations, a Fund’s ability to use derivative instruments may be limited by tax considerations. (See “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” in this SAI.)

Investments in derivatives may subject a Fund to special risks in addition to normal market fluctuations and other risks inherent in investment in securities. Investments in derivatives in general are subject to market risks that may cause their prices to fluctuate over time.

 

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Derivatives are usually less liquid than traditional securities and are subject to counterparty risk (the risk that the other party to the contract will default or otherwise not be able to perform its contractual obligations). Changes in the value of a derivative may also create margin delivery or settlement payment obligations for a Fund. Investments in derivatives may not directly correlate with the price movements of the underlying instrument. As a result, the use of derivatives may expose a Fund to additional risks that it would not be subject to if it invested directly in the securities underlying those derivatives. The use of derivatives may give rise to a form of leverage which magnifies the risk of loss. The use of derivatives may also result in smaller gains than otherwise would be the case. The use of derivatives is also subject to operational risk which refers to risk related to potential operational issues, including documentation issues, settlement issues, system failures, inadequate controls, and human error, as well as legal risk which refers to the risk of loss resulting from insufficient documentation, insufficient capacity or authority of counterparty, or legality or enforceability of a contract.

SEC Rule 18f-4 (“Rule 18f-4” or the “Derivatives Rule”) regulates the ability of a Fund to enter into derivative transactions and other leveraged transactions. The Derivatives Rule defines the term “derivatives” to include short sales and forward contracts, such as TBA transactions, in addition to instruments traditionally classified as derivatives, such as swaps, futures, and options. Rule 18f-4 also regulates other types of leveraged transactions, such as reverse repurchase transactions and transactions deemed to be “similar to” reverse repurchase transactions, such as certain securities lending transactions in connection with which a Fund obtains leverage. Reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions may also be deemed to be “derivatives” for purposes of Rule 18f-4 if a Fund chooses to rely on certain provisions of the Derivatives Rule in connection with its use of reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions. Among other things, under Rule 18f-4, a Fund is prohibited from entering into these transactions except in reliance on the provisions of the Derivatives Rule. The Derivatives Rule establishes limits on the derivatives transactions that a Fund may enter into based on the value-at-risk (“VaR”) of the Fund inclusive of derivatives. A Fund will generally satisfy the limits under the Rule if the VaR of its portfolio (inclusive of derivatives transactions) does not exceed 200% of the VaR of its “designated reference portfolio.” The “designated reference portfolio” is a representative unleveraged index or a Fund’s own portfolio absent derivatives holdings, as determined by such Fund’s derivatives risk manager. This limits test is referred to as the “Relative VaR Test.” As a result of the Relative VaR Test, a Fund may not seek returns in excess of 2x the Underlying Index. For a Fund that uses the Absolute VaR Test, the limit is 20% of the value of the Fund’s net assets.

In addition, among other requirements, Rule 18f-4 requires a Fund to establish a derivatives risk management program, appoint a derivatives risk manager, and carry out enhanced reporting to the Board, the SEC and the public regarding a Fund’s derivatives activities. These new requirements will apply unless a Fund qualifies as a “limited derivatives user,” which the Derivatives Rule defines as a fund that limits its derivatives exposure to 10% of its net assets. It is possible that the limits and compliance costs imposed by the Derivatives Rule may adversely affect a Fund’s performance, efficiency in implementing its strategy, liquidity and/or ability to pursue its investment objectives and may increase the cost of such Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors.

 

Commodity Interests

Certain of the derivative investment types permitted for the Funds may be considered commodity interests for purposes of the CEA and regulations approved by the CFTC. The CFTC has adopted amendments to its rules that may affect the Funds’ ability to continue to claim exclusion or exemption from regulation. If a Fund’s use of these techniques would cause the Fund to be considered a “commodity pool” under the CEA, then the Adviser would be subject to registration and regulation as the Fund’s commodity pool operator, and the Fund’s subadviser may be subject to registration and regulation as the Fund’s commodity

 

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trading advisor. A Fund may incur additional expense as a result of the CFTC’s registration and regulation obligations, and the Fund’s use of these techniques and other instruments may be limited or restricted.

 
   

Credit-linked Notes

Credit-linked notes are derivative instruments used to transfer credit risk. The performance of the notes is linked to the performance of the underlying reference obligation or reference portfolio (“reference entities”). The notes are usually issued by a special purpose vehicle that sells credit protection through a credit default swap agreement in return for a premium and an obligation to pay the transaction sponsor should a reference entity experience a credit event, such as bankruptcy. The special purpose vehicle invests the proceeds from the notes to cover its contingent obligation. Revenue from the investments and the money received as premium are used to pay interest to note holders. The main risk of credit linked notes is the risk of default to the reference obligation of the credit default swap. Should a default occur, the special purpose vehicle would have to pay the transaction sponsor, subordinating payments to the note holders. Credit linked notes also may not be liquid and may be subject to currency and interest rate risks as well.

 

Equity-linked Derivatives

Each Fund may invest in equity-linked derivative products, the performance of which is designed to correspond generally to the performance of a specified stock index or “basket” of stocks, or to a single stock. Investments in equity-linked derivatives involve the same risks associated with a direct investment in the types of securities such products are designed to track. There can be no assurance that the trading price of the equity-linked derivatives will equal the underlying value of the securities purchased to replicate a particular investment or that such basket will replicate the investment.

Investments in equity-linked derivatives may constitute investments in other investment companies. (See “Mutual Fund Investing” in this section of the SAI for information regarding the implications of a Fund investing in other investment companies.)

 
   

Eurodollar Instruments

A Fund may invest in Eurodollar instruments. Eurodollar instruments are dollar-denominated certificates of deposit and time deposits issued outside the U.S. capital markets by foreign branches of U.S. banks and by foreign banks. Eurodollar futures contracts enable purchasers to obtain a fixed rate for the lending of funds and sellers to obtain a fixed rate for borrowings. Each Fund might use Eurodollar instruments to hedge against changes in interest rates or to enhance returns.

Eurodollar obligations are subject to the same risks that pertain to domestic issuers, most notably income risk (and, to a lesser extent, credit risk, market risk, and liquidity risk). Additionally, Eurodollar obligations are subject to certain sovereign risks. One such risk is the possibility that a sovereign country might prevent capital, in the form of dollars, from flowing across its borders. Other risks include adverse political and economic developments, the extent and quality of government regulation of financial markets and institutions, the imposition of foreign withholding taxes, and expropriation or nationalization of foreign issuers. However, Eurodollar obligations will undergo the same type of credit analysis as domestic issuers in which a Fund invests.

 

Foreign Currency Forward Contracts, Futures and Options

Each Fund may engage in certain derivative foreign currency exchange and option transactions involving investment risks and transaction costs to which the Fund would not be subject absent the use of these strategies. If a Fund’s subadviser’s predictions of movements in the direction of securities prices or currency exchange rates are inaccurate, the Fund may experience adverse consequences, leaving it in a worse position than if it had not used such strategies. Risks inherent in the use of option and foreign currency forward and futures contracts include: (1) dependence on the Fund’s subadviser’s ability to correctly predict movements in the direction of securities prices and currency exchange rates; (2) imperfect correlation between the price of options and futures contracts and movements in the prices of the securities or currencies being hedged; (3) the fact that the skills needed to use these strategies are different from those needed to select portfolio securities; (4) the possible absence of a liquid secondary market for any particular instrument at any time;

 

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and (5) the possible need to defer closing out certain hedged positions to avoid adverse tax consequences. The Fund’s ability to enter into futures contracts is also limited by the requirements of the Code for qualification as a RIC. (See the “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” section of this SAI.)

A Fund may engage in currency exchange transactions to protect against uncertainty in the level of future currency exchange rates. In addition, a Fund may write put and call options on foreign currencies for the purpose of increasing its return.

A Fund may enter into contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies at a future date (“forward contracts”) and purchase and sell foreign currency futures contracts. For certain hedging purposes, the Fund may also purchase exchange-listed and over-the-counter put and call options on foreign currency futures contracts and on foreign currencies. A put option on a futures contract gives the Fund the right to assume a short position in the futures contract until the expiration of the option. A put option on a currency gives the Fund the right to sell the currency at an exercise price until the expiration of the option. A call option on a futures contract gives the Fund the right to assume a long position in the futures contract until the expiration of the option. A call option on a currency gives the Fund the right to purchase the currency at the exercise price until the expiration of the option.

When engaging in position hedging, a Fund enters into foreign currency exchange transactions to protect against a decline in the values of the foreign currencies in which its portfolio securities are denominated (or an increase in the values of currency for securities which the Fund expects to purchase, when the Fund holds cash or short-term investments). In connection with position hedging, the Fund may purchase put or call options on foreign currency and on foreign currency futures contracts and buy or sell forward contracts and foreign currency futures contracts. (A Fund may also purchase or sell foreign currency on a spot basis, as discussed in “Foreign Currency Transactions” under “Foreign Investing” in this section of the SAI.)

The precise matching of the amounts of foreign currency exchange transactions and the value of the portfolio securities involved will not generally be possible since the future value of such securities in foreign currencies will change as a consequence of market movements in the value of those securities between the dates the currency exchange transactions are entered into and the dates they mature. It is also impossible to forecast with precision the market value of portfolio securities at the expiration or maturity of a forward or futures contract. Accordingly, it may be necessary for a Fund to purchase additional foreign currency on the spot market (and bear the expense of such purchase) if the market value of the security or securities being hedged is less than the amount of foreign currency the Fund is obligated to deliver and a decision is made to sell the security or securities and make delivery of the foreign currency. Conversely, it may be necessary to sell on the spot market some of the foreign currency received upon the sale of the portfolio security or securities if the market value of such security or securities exceeds the amount of foreign currency the Fund is obligated to deliver.

Hedging techniques do not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities which a Fund owns or intends to purchase or sell. They simply establish a rate of exchange which one can achieve at some future point in time. Additionally, although these techniques tend to minimize the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of the hedged currency, they also tend to limit any potential gain which might result from the increase in value of such currency.

A Fund may seek to increase its return or to offset some of the costs of hedging against fluctuations in currency exchange rates by writing covered put options and covered call options on foreign currencies. In that case, the Fund receives a premium from writing a put or call option, which increases the Fund’s current return if the option expires unexercised or is closed out at a net profit. A Fund may terminate an option that it has written prior to its expiration by entering into a closing purchase transaction in which it purchases an option having the same terms as the option written.

A Fund’s currency hedging transactions may call for the delivery of one foreign currency in

 

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exchange for another foreign currency and may at times not involve currencies in which its portfolio securities are then denominated. A Fund’s subadviser will engage in such “cross hedging” activities when it believes that such transactions provide significant hedging opportunities for the Fund. Cross hedging transactions by a Fund involve the risk of imperfect correlation between changes in the values of the currencies to which such transactions relate and changes in the value of the currency or other asset or liability which is the subject of the hedge.

Foreign currency forward contracts, futures and options may be traded on foreign exchanges. Such transactions may not be regulated as effectively as similar transactions in the United States; may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees; and are subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the prices of, foreign securities. The value of such positions also could be adversely affected by (i) other complex foreign political, legal and economic factors, (ii) lesser availability than in the United States of data on which to make trading decisions, (iii) delays in the relevant Fund’s ability to act upon economic events occurring in foreign markets during non- business hours in the United States, (iv) the imposition of different exercise and settlement terms and procedures and margin requirements than in the United States, and (v) lesser trading volume.

The types of derivative foreign currency exchange transactions most commonly employed by the Funds are discussed below, although each Fund is also permitted to engage in other similar transactions to the extent consistent with the Fund’s investment limitations and restrictions.

 
   

Foreign Currency Forward Contracts

A foreign currency forward contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days (“term”) from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are traded directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers.

 

Foreign Currency Futures Transactions

Each Fund may use foreign currency futures contracts and options on such futures contracts. Through the purchase or sale of such contracts, a Fund may be able to achieve many of the same objectives attainable through the use of foreign currency forward contracts, but more effectively and possibly at a lower cost.

Unlike forward foreign currency exchange contracts, foreign currency futures contracts and options on foreign currency futures contracts are standardized as to amount and delivery period and are traded on boards of trade and commodities exchanges. It is anticipated that such contracts may provide greater liquidity and lower cost than forward foreign currency exchange contracts.

Purchasers and sellers of foreign currency futures contracts are subject to the same risks that apply to the buying and selling of futures generally. In addition, there are risks associated with foreign currency futures contracts similar to those associated with options on foreign currencies. (See “Foreign Currency Options” and “Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts”, each in this sub-section of the SAI.) The Fund must accept or make delivery of the underlying foreign currency, through banking arrangements, in accordance with any U.S. or foreign restrictions or regulations regarding the maintenance of foreign banking arrangements by U.S. residents and may be required to pay any fees, taxes or charges associated with such delivery which are assessed in the issuing country.

Futures contracts are designed by boards of trade which are designated “contracts markets” by the CFTC. Futures contracts trade on contracts markets in a manner that is similar to the way a stock trades on a stock exchange and the boards of trade, through their clearing corporations, guarantee performance of the contracts. As of the date of this SAI, the Funds may invest in futures contracts under specified conditions without being regulated as commodity pools.

However, under CFTC rules the Funds’ ability to maintain the exclusions/exemptions from the definition of commodity pool may be limited. (See “Commodity Interests” in this section of the SAI.)

 

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Foreign Currency Options

A foreign currency option provides the option buyer with the right to buy or sell a stated amount of foreign currency at the exercise price at a specified date or during the option period. A call option gives its owner the right, but not the obligation, to buy the currency, while a put option gives its owner the right, but not the obligation, to sell the currency. The option seller (writer) is obligated to fulfill the terms of the option sold if it is exercised. However, either seller or buyer may close its position during the option period for such options any time prior to expiration.

A call rises in value if the underlying currency appreciates. Conversely, a put rises in value if the underlying currency depreciates. While purchasing a foreign currency option can protect a Fund against an adverse movement in the value of a foreign currency, it does not limit the gain which might result from a favorable movement in the value of such currency. For example, if the Fund were holding securities denominated in an appreciating foreign currency and had purchased a foreign currency put to hedge against a decline in the value of the currency, it would not have to exercise its put. Similarly, if the Fund had entered into a contract to purchase a security denominated in a foreign currency and had purchased a foreign currency call to hedge against a rise in the value of the currency but instead the currency had depreciated in value between the date of purchase and the settlement date, the Fund would not have to exercise its call but could acquire in the spot market the amount of foreign currency needed for settlement.

The value of a foreign currency option depends upon the value of the underlying currency relative to the other referenced currency. As a result, the price of the option position may vary with changes in the value of either or both currencies and have no relationship to the investment merits of a foreign security, including foreign securities held in a “hedged” investment portfolio. Because foreign currency transactions occurring in the interbank market involve substantially larger amounts than those that may be involved in the use of foreign currency options, the Funds may be disadvantaged by having to deal in an odd lot market (generally consisting of transactions of less than $1 million) for the underlying foreign currencies at prices that are less favorable than for round lots.

As in the case of other kinds of options, the use of foreign currency options constitutes only a partial hedge, and a Fund could be required to purchase or sell foreign currencies at disadvantageous exchange rates, thereby incurring losses. The purchase of an option on a foreign currency may not necessarily constitute an effective hedge against fluctuations in exchange rates and, in the event of rate movements adverse to the Fund’s position, the Fund may forfeit the entire amount of the premium plus related transaction costs.

Options on foreign currencies written or purchased by a Fund may be traded on U.S. or foreign exchanges or over the counter. There is no systematic reporting of last sale information for foreign currencies traded over the counter or any regulatory requirement that quotations available through dealers or other market sources be firm or revised on a timely basis. Quotation information available is generally representative of very large transactions in the interbank market and thus may not reflect relatively smaller transactions (i.e., less than $1 million) where rates may be less favorable. The interbank market in foreign currencies is a global, around-the-clock market. To the extent that the options markets are closed while the markets for the underlying currencies remain open, significant price and rate movements may take place in the underlying markets that are not reflected in the options market.

For additional information about options transactions, see “Options” under “Derivatives and Other Similar Instruments” in this section of the SAI.

 
   

Foreign Currency Warrants

Foreign currency warrants such as currency exchange warrants are warrants that entitle the holder to receive from the issuer an amount of cash (generally, for warrants issued in the United States, in U.S. dollars) that is calculated pursuant to a predetermined formula and based on the exchange rate between two specified currencies as of the exercise date of the warrant. Foreign currency warrants generally are exercisable upon their issuance and expire as of a specified date and time.

 

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Foreign currency warrants may be used to reduce the currency exchange risk assumed by purchasers of a security by, for example, providing for a supplemental payment in the event the U.S. dollar depreciates against the value of a major foreign currency such as the Japanese Yen or Euro. The formula used to determine the amount payable upon exercise of a foreign currency warrant may make the warrant worthless unless the applicable foreign currency exchange rate moves in a particular direction (e.g., unless the U.S. dollar appreciates or depreciates against the particular foreign currency to which the warrant is linked or indexed).

Foreign currency warrants are severable from the debt obligations with which they may be offered, and may be listed on exchanges. Foreign currency warrants may be exercisable only in certain minimum amounts, and an investor wishing to exercise warrants who possesses less than the minimum number required for exercise may be required either to sell the warrants or to purchase additional warrants, thereby incurring additional transaction costs. Upon exercise of warrants, there may be a delay between the time the holder gives instructions to exercise and the time the exchange rate relating to exercise is determined, thereby affecting both the market and cash settlement values of the warrants being exercised. The expiration date of the warrants may be accelerated if the warrants should be delisted from an exchange or if their trading should be suspended permanently, which would result in the loss of any remaining “time value” of the warrants (i.e., the difference between the current market value and the exercise value of the warrants), and, if the warrants were “out-of-the-money,” in a total loss of the purchase price of the warrants.

Warrants are generally unsecured obligations of their issuers and are not standardized foreign currency options issued by the OCC. Unlike foreign currency options issued by OCC, the terms of foreign exchange warrants generally will not be amended in the event of governmental or regulatory actions affecting exchange rates or in the event of the imposition of other regulatory controls affecting the international currency markets. The initial public offering price of foreign currency warrants could be considerably in excess of the price that a commercial user of foreign currencies might pay in the interbank market for a comparable option involving larger amounts of foreign currencies. Foreign currency warrants are subject to significant foreign exchange risk, including risks arising from complex political or economic factors.

 

Performance Indexed Paper

Performance indexed paper is commercial paper the yield of which is linked to certain currency exchange rate movements. The yield to the investor on performance indexed paper is established at maturity as a function of spot exchange rates between the designated currencies as of or about the time (generally, the index maturity two days prior to maturity). The yield to the investor will be within a range stipulated at the time of purchase of the obligation, generally with a guaranteed minimum rate of return that is below, and a potential maximum rate of return that is above, market yields on commercial paper, with both the minimum and maximum rates of return on the investment corresponding to the minimum and maximum values of the spot exchange rate two business days prior to maturity.

 

Principal Exchange Rate Linked Securities (“PERLS”)

PERLS are debt obligations the principal on which is payable at maturity in an amount that may vary based on the exchange rate between the particular currencies at or about that time. The return on “standard” principal exchange rate linked securities is enhanced if the currency to which the security is linked appreciates against the base currency, and is adversely affected by increases in the exchange value of the base currency. “Reverse” PERLS are like the “standard” securities, except that their return is enhanced by increases in the value of the base currency and adversely impacted by increases in the value of other currency. Interest payments on the securities are generally made at rates that reflect the degree of currency risk assumed or given up by the purchaser of the notes (i.e., at relatively higher interest rates if the purchaser has assumed some of the currency exchange risk, or relatively lower interest rates if the issuer has assumed some of the currency exchange risk, based on the expectations of the current market). PERLS may in limited cases be subject to

 

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acceleration of maturity (generally, not without the consent of the holders of the securities), which may have an adverse impact on the value of the principal payment to be made at maturity.

 
   

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts

Each Fund may use interest rate, foreign currency, dividend, volatility or index futures contracts. An interest rate, foreign currency, dividend, volatility or index futures contract provides for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified quantity of a financial instrument, foreign currency, dividend basket or the cash value of an index at a specified price and time. A futures contract on an index is an agreement pursuant to which two parties agree to take or make delivery of an amount of cash equal to the difference between the value of the index at the close of the last trading day of the contract and the price at which the index contract was originally written. Although the value of an index might be a function of the value of certain specified securities, no physical delivery of these securities is made. A public market exists in futures contracts covering several indexes as well as a number of financial instruments and foreign currencies, and it is expected that other futures contracts will be developed and traded in the future. Interest rate and volatility futures contracts currently are traded in the United States primarily on the floors of the Chicago Board of Trade and the International Monetary Market of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Interest rate futures also are traded on foreign exchanges such as the London International Financial Futures Exchange and the Singapore International Monetary Exchange. Volatility futures also are traded on foreign exchanges such as Eurex. Dividend futures are also traded on foreign exchanges such as Eurex, NYSE Euronext Liffe, London Stock Exchange and the Singapore International Monetary Exchange.

A Fund may purchase and write call and put options on futures. Futures options possess many of the same characteristics as options on securities and indexes discussed above. A futures option gives the holder the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a long position (call) or short position (put) in a futures contract at a specified exercise price at any time during the period of option. Upon exercise of a call option, the holder acquires a long position in the futures contract and the writer is assigned the opposite short position. In the case of a put option, the opposite is true.

Except as otherwise described in this SAI, the Funds will limit their use of futures contracts and futures options to hedging transactions and in an attempt to increase total return, in accordance with Federal regulations. The costs of, and possible losses incurred from, futures contracts and options thereon may reduce the Fund’s current income and involve a loss of principal. Any incremental return earned by the Fund resulting from these transactions would be expected to offset anticipated losses or a portion thereof.

The Funds will only enter into futures contracts and futures options which are standardized and traded on a U.S. or foreign exchange, board of trade, or similar entity, or quoted on an automated quotation system.

When a purchase or sale of a futures contract is made by a Fund, the Fund is required to deposit with its custodian (or broker, if legally permitted) a specified amount of cash or U.S. Government securities (“initial margin”). The margin required for a futures contract is set by the exchange on which the contract is traded and may be modified during the term of the contract. The initial margin is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the futures contract which is returned to the Fund upon termination of the contract, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. The Funds expect to earn interest income on their initial margin deposits. A futures contract held by a Fund is valued daily at the official settlement price of the exchange on which it is traded. Each day the Fund pays or receives cash, called “variation margin,” equal to the daily change in value of the futures contract. This process is known as “marking to market.” Variation margin does not represent a borrowing or loan by the Fund but is instead a settlement between the Fund and the broker of the amount one would owe the other if the futures contract expired. In computing daily NAV, the Fund will mark to market its open futures positions.

The Funds are also required to deposit and maintain margin with respect to put and call options on futures contracts written by them. Such margin deposits will vary depending on

 

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the nature of the underlying futures contract (and the related initial margin requirements), the current market value of the option, and other futures positions held by the relevant Fund.

Futures contracts are designed by boards of trade which are designated “contracts markets” by the CFTC. Futures contracts trade on contracts markets in a manner that is similar to the way a stock trades on a stock exchange and the boards of trade, through their clearing corporations, guarantee performance of the contracts. A Fund’s ability to claim an exclusion or exemption from the definition of a commodity pool may be limited when the Fund invests in futures contracts. (See “Commodity Interests” in this SAI.)

The requirements of the Code for qualification as a RIC also may limit the extent to which a Fund may enter into futures, futures options or forward contracts. (See the “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” section of this SAI.)

Although some futures contracts call for making or taking delivery of the underlying securities, generally these obligations are closed out prior to delivery by offsetting purchases or sales of matching futures contracts (same exchange, underlying security or index, and delivery month). If an offsetting purchase price is less than the original sale price, the Fund realizes a capital gain, or if it is more, the Fund realizes a capital loss. Conversely, if an offsetting sales price is more than the original purchase price, the Fund realizes a capital gain, or if it is less, the Fund realizes a capital loss. The transaction costs must also be included in these calculations.

Positions in futures contracts and related options may be closed out only on an exchange which provides a secondary market for such contracts or options. The Fund will enter into an option or futures position only if there appears to be a liquid secondary market. However, there can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular option or futures contract at any specific time. Thus, it may not be possible to close out a futures or related option position. In the case of a futures position, in the event of adverse price movements the Fund would continue to be required to make daily margin payments. In this situation, if the Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily margin requirements it may have to sell portfolio securities to meet its margin obligations at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. In addition, the Fund may be required to take or make delivery of the securities underlying the futures contracts it holds. The inability to close out futures positions also could have an adverse impact on the Fund’s ability to hedge its portfolio effectively.

There are several risks in connection with the use of futures contracts as a hedging device. While hedging can provide protection against an adverse movement in market prices, it can also limit a hedger’s opportunity to benefit fully from a favorable market movement. In addition, investing in futures contracts and options on futures contracts will cause the Fund to incur additional brokerage commissions and may cause an increase in the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate.

The successful use of futures contracts and related options may also depend on the ability of the relevant Fund’s subadviser to forecast correctly the direction and extent of market movements, interest rates and other market factors within a given time frame. To the extent market prices remain stable during the period a futures contract or option is held by a Fund or such prices move in a direction opposite to that anticipated, the Fund may realize a loss on the transaction which is not offset by an increase in the value of its portfolio securities. Options and futures may also fail as a hedging technique in cases where the movements of the securities underlying the options and futures do not follow the price movements of the hedged portfolio securities. As a result, the Fund’s total return for the period may be less than if it had not engaged in the hedging transaction. The loss from investing in futures transactions is potentially unlimited.

Utilization of futures contracts by a Fund involves the risk of imperfect correlation in movements in the price of futures contracts and movements in the price of the securities which are being hedged. If the price of the futures contract moves more or less than the price of the securities being hedged, the Fund will experience a gain or loss which will not

 

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be completely offset by movements in the price of the securities. It is possible that, where a Fund has sold futures contracts to hedge its portfolio against a decline in the market, the market may advance and the value of securities held in the Fund’s portfolio may decline. If this occurred, the Fund would lose money on the futures contract and would also experience a decline in value in its portfolio securities. Where futures are purchased to hedge against a possible increase in the prices of securities before the Fund is able to invest its cash (or cash equivalents) in securities (or options) in an orderly fashion, it is possible that the market may decline; if the Fund then determines not to invest in securities (or options) at that time because of concern as to possible further market decline or for other reasons, the Fund will realize a loss on the futures that would not be offset by a reduction in the price of the securities purchased.

The market prices of futures contracts may be affected if participants in the futures market elect to close out their contracts through off- setting transactions rather than to meet margin deposit requirements. In such case, distortions in the normal relationship between the cash and futures markets could result. Price distortions could also result if investors in futures contracts opt to make or take delivery of the underlying securities rather than to engage in closing transactions because such action would reduce the liquidity of the futures market. In addition, from the point of view of speculators, because the deposit requirements in the futures markets are less onerous than margin requirements in the cash market, increased participation by speculators in the futures market could cause temporary price distortions. Due to the possibility of price distortions in the futures market and because of the imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of securities and movements in the prices of futures contracts, a correct forecast of market trends may still not result in a successful hedging transaction.

Compared to the purchase or sale of futures contracts, the purchase of put or call options on futures contracts involves less potential risk for the Fund because the maximum amount at risk is the premium paid for the options plus transaction costs. However, there may be circumstances when the purchase of an option on a futures contract would result in a loss to the Fund while the purchase or sale of the futures contract would not have resulted in a loss, such as when there is no movement in the price of the underlying securities.

In addition to other futures contracts and options thereon, the funds may invest in commodity futures contracts and options thereon. A commodity futures contract is an agreement between two parties, in which one party agrees to buy a commodity, such as an energy, agricultural or metal commodity from the other party at a later date at a price and quantity agreed upon when the contract is made.

A fund will be required to segregate initial margin in the name of the futures broker upon entering into an index future.

For additional information about options transactions, see “Options” under “Derivatives and Other Similar Instruments” in this section of the SAI.

 

Mortgage-Related and Other Asset-Backed Securities

Each Fund may purchase mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities, which collectively are securities backed by mortgages, installment contracts, credit card receivables or other financial assets. Asset-backed securities represent interests in “pools” of assets in which payments of both interest and principal on the securities are made periodically, thus in effect “passing through” such payments made by the individual borrowers on the assets that underlie the securities, net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of the securities. The average life of asset-backed securities varies with the maturities of the underlying instruments, and the average life of a mortgage-backed instrument, in particular, is likely to be less than the original maturity of the mortgage pools underlying the securities as a result of mortgage prepayments, where applicable. For this and other reasons, an asset-backed security’s stated maturity may be different, and the security’s total return may be difficult to predict precisely.

If an asset-backed security is purchased at a premium, a prepayment rate that is faster than expected will reduce yield to maturity, while a prepayment rate that is slower than

 

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expected will have the opposite effect of increasing yield to maturity. Conversely, if an asset-backed security is purchased at a discount, faster than expected prepayments will increase yield to maturity, while slower than expected prepayments will decrease yield to maturity.

Prepayments of principal of mortgage-related securities by mortgagors or mortgage foreclosures affect the average life of the mortgage-related securities in the Fund’s portfolio. Mortgage prepayments are affected by the level of interest rates and other factors, including general economic conditions and the underlying location and age of the mortgage. In periods of rising interest rates, the prepayment rate tends to decrease, lengthening the average life of a pool of mortgage-related securities. The longer the remaining maturity of a security the greater the effect of interest rate changes will be. Changes in the ability of an issuer to make payments of interest and principal and in the market’s perception of its creditworthiness also affect the market value of that issuer’s debt securities.

In periods of falling interest rates, the prepayment rate tends to increase, shortening the average life of a pool. Because prepayments of principal generally occur when interest rates are declining, it is likely that the Fund, to the extent that it retains the same percentage of debt securities, may have to reinvest the proceeds of prepayments at lower interest rates than those of its previous investments. If this occurs, that Fund’s yield will correspondingly decline. Thus, mortgage-related securities may have less potential for capital appreciation in periods of falling interest rates than other fixed income securities of comparable duration, although they may have a comparable risk of decline in market value in periods of rising interest rates. To the extent that the Fund purchases mortgage-related securities at a premium, unscheduled prepayments, which are made at par, result in a loss equal to any unamortized premium.

Duration is one of the fundamental tools used by a Fund’s subadviser in managing interest rate risks including prepayment risks. Traditionally, a debt security’s “term to maturity” characterizes a security’s sensitivity to changes in interest rates. “Term to maturity,” however, measures only the time until a debt security provides its final payment, taking no account of prematurity payments. Most debt securities provide interest (“coupon”) payments in addition to a final (“par”) payment at maturity, and some securities have call provisions allowing the issuer to repay the instrument in full before maturity date, each of which affect the security’s response to interest rate changes. “Duration” therefore is generally considered a more precise measure of interest rate risk than “term to maturity.” Determining duration may involve a subadviser’s estimates of future economic parameters, which may vary from actual future values. Generally, fixed income securities with longer effective durations are more responsive to interest rate fluctuations than those with shorter effective durations. For example, if interest rates rise by 1%, the value of securities having an effective duration of three years will generally decrease by approximately 3%.

A fund may purchase privately issued mortgage-related securities that are originated, packaged and serviced by third party entities. It is possible these third parties could have interests that are in conflict with the holders of mortgage-related securities, and such holders (such as a fund) could have rights against the third parties or their affiliates. For example, if a loan originator, servicer or its affiliates engaged in negligence or willful misconduct in carrying out its duties, then a holder of the mortgage-related security could seek recourse against the originator/servicer or its affiliates, as applicable. Also, as a loan originator/servicer, the originator/servicer or its affiliates may make certain representations and warranties regarding the quality of the mortgages and properties underlying a mortgage-related security. If one or more of those representations or warranties is false, then the holders of the mortgage-related securities (such as a fund) could trigger an obligation of the originator/servicer or its affiliates, as applicable, to repurchase the mortgages from the issuing trust. Notwithstanding the foregoing, many of the third parties that are legally bound by trust and other documents have failed to perform their respective duties, as stipulated in such trust and other documents, and investors have had limited success in enforcing terms.

 

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Descriptions of some of the different types of mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities most commonly acquired by the Funds are provided below. In addition to those shown, other types of mortgage-related and asset-backed investments are, or may become, available for investment by the Funds.

 
   

Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (“CMOs”)

CMOs are hybrid instruments with characteristics of both mortgage- backed and mortgage pass-through securities. Interest and prepaid principal on a CMO are paid, in most cases, monthly. CMOs may be collateralized by whole mortgage loans but are more typically collateralized by portfolios of mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed by entities such as GNMA, FHLMC, or FNMA, and their income streams.

CMOs are typically structured in multiple classes, each bearing a different stated maturity. Actual maturity and average life will depend upon the prepayment experience of the collateral. CMOs provide for a modified form of call protection through a de facto breakdown of the underlying pool of mortgages according to how quickly the loans are repaid. Monthly payment of principal received from the pool of underlying mortgages, including prepayments, is first returned to investors holding the shortest maturity class. Investors holding the longer maturity classes typically receive principal only after the first class has been retired. An investor may be partially guarded against a sooner than desired return of principal because of the sequential payments.

FHLMC CMOs are debt obligations of FHLMC issued in multiple classes having different maturity dates and are secured by the pledge of a pool of conventional mortgage loans purchased by FHLMC. The amount of principal payable on each monthly payment date is determined in accordance with FHLMC’s mandatory sinking fund schedule. Sinking fund payments in the CMOs are allocated to the retirement of the individual classes of bonds in the order of their stated maturities. Payments of principal on the mortgage loans in the collateral pool in excess of the amount of FHLMC’s minimum sinking fund obligation for any payment date are paid to the holders of the CMOs as additional sinking-fund payments. Because of the “pass- through” nature of all principal payments received on the collateral pool in excess of FHLMC’s minimum sinking fund requirement, the rate at which principal of the CMOs is actually repaid is likely to be such that each class of bonds will be retired in advance of its scheduled maturity date. If collection of principal (including prepayments) on the mortgage loans during any semiannual payment period is not sufficient to meet FHLMC’s minimum sinking fund obligation on the next sinking fund payment date, FHLMC agrees to make up the deficiency from its general funds.

 

CMO Residuals

CMO residuals are derivative mortgage securities issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans. As described above, the cash flow generated by the mortgage assets underlying a series of CMOs is applied first to make required payments of principal and interest on the CMOs and second to pay the related administrative expenses of the issuer. The “residual” in a CMO structure generally represents the interest in any excess cash flow remaining after making the foregoing payments. Each payment of such excess cash flow to a holder of the related CMO residual represents income and/or a return of capital. The amount of residual cash flow resulting from a CMO will depend on, among other things, the characteristics of the mortgage assets, the coupon rate of each class of CMO, prevailing interest rates, the amount of administrative expenses and, in particular, the prepayment experience on the mortgage assets. In addition, if a series of a CMO includes a class that bears interest at an adjustable rate, the yield to maturity on the related CMO residual will also be extremely sensitive to changes in the level of the index upon which interest rate adjustments are based. In certain circumstances a Fund may fail to recoup fully its initial investment in a CMO residual.

CMO residuals are generally purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers. The CMO residual market currently may not have the liquidity of other more established securities trading in other markets. CMO residuals may be subject to certain restrictions on transferability, may be deemed

 

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illiquid and therefore subject to the Funds’ limitations on investment in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)

 

Mortgage Pass- through Securities

Mortgage pass-through securities are interests in pools of mortgage loans, assembled and issued by various governmental, government- related, and private organizations. Unlike other forms of debt securities, which normally provide for periodic payment of interest in fixed amounts with principal payments at maturity or specified call dates, these securities provide a monthly payment consisting of both interest and principal payments. In effect, these payments are a “pass- through” of the monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on their residential or commercial mortgage loans, net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of such securities. Additional payments are caused by repayments of principal resulting from the sale of the underlying property, refinancing or foreclosure, net of fees or costs. “Modified pass-through” securities (such as securities issued by GNMA) entitle the holder to receive all interest and principal payments owed on the mortgage pool, net of certain fees, at the scheduled payment dates regardless of whether or not the mortgagor actually makes the payment.

The principal governmental guarantor of U.S. mortgage-related securities is GNMA. GNMA is authorized to guarantee, with the full faith and credit of the United States Government, the timely payment of principal and interest on securities issued by institutions approved by GNMA (such as savings and loan institutions, commercial banks and mortgage bankers) and backed by pools of Federal Housing Administration insured or Veterans Administration guaranteed mortgages. Government-related guarantors whose obligations are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government include FNMA and FHLMC. FNMA purchases conventional (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any government agency) residential mortgages from a list of approved seller/servicers which include state and federally chartered savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks and credit unions and mortgage bankers. FHLMC issues Participation Certificates that represent interests in conventional mortgages from FHLMC’s national portfolio. FNMA and FHLMC guarantee the timely payment of interest and ultimate collection of principal on securities they issue, but the securities they issue are neither issued nor guaranteed by the United States Government.

Commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers also create pass-through pools of conventional residential mortgage loans. Such issuers may, in addition, be the originators and/ or servicers of the underlying mortgage loans as well as the guarantors of the mortgage-related securities. Pools created by such non-governmental issuers generally offer a higher rate of interest than government and government-related pools because there are no direct or indirect government or agency guarantees of payments for such securities. However, timely payment of interest and principal of these pools may be supported by various forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance and letters of credit. The insurance and guarantees are issued by governmental entities, private insurers and the mortgage poolers. Such insurance and guarantees and the creditworthiness of the issuers thereof will be considered in determining whether a mortgage- related security meets a Fund’s investment quality standards. There can be no assurance that the private insurers or guarantors can meet their obligations under the insurance policies or guarantee arrangements. A Fund may buy mortgage-related securities without insurance or guarantees if, through an examination of the loan experience and practices of the originator/servicers and poolers, the Fund’s subadviser determines that the securities meet the Fund’s quality standards. Securities issued by certain private organizations may not be readily marketable and may therefore be subject to the Funds’ limitations on investments in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)

Mortgage-backed securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, are not subject to the Funds’ industry concentration restrictions set forth in the “Investment Restrictions” section of this SAI by virtue of the

 

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exclusion from the test available to all U.S. Government securities. The assets underlying such securities may be represented by a portfolio of first lien residential mortgages (including both whole mortgage loans and mortgage participation interests) or portfolios of mortgage pass- through securities issued or guaranteed by GNMA, FNMA or FHLMC. Mortgage loans underlying a mortgage-related security may in turn be insured or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Funds will consider the assets underlying privately-issued, mortgage-related securities, and other asset-backed securities, when determining the industry of such securities for purposes of the Funds’ industry concentration restrictions set forth in the “Investment Restrictions” section of this SAI, and as a result such securities may not be deemed by the Funds to represent the same industry or group of industries. In the case of private issue mortgage-related securities whose underlying assets are neither U.S. Government securities nor U.S. Government-insured mortgages, to the extent that real properties securing such assets may be located in the same geographical region, the security may be subject to a greater risk of default than other comparable securities in the event of adverse economic, political or business developments that may affect such region and, ultimately, the ability of residential homeowners to make payments of principal and interest on the underlying mortgages.

It is possible that the availability and the marketability (that is, liquidity) of the securities discussed in this section could be adversely affected by the actions of the U.S. Government to tighten the availability of its credit. On September 7, 2008, the FHFA, an agency of the U.S. Government, placed FNMA and FHLMC into conservatorship, a statutory process with the objective of returning the entities to normal business operations. FHFA will act as the conservator to operate FNMA and FHLMC until they are stabilized. The conservatorship is still in effect as of the date of this SAI and has no specified termination date. There can be no assurance as to when or how the conservatorship will be terminated or whether FNMA or FHLMC will continue to exist following the conservatorship or what their respective business structures will be during or following the conservatorship. FHFA, as conservator, has the power to repudiate any contract entered into by FNMA or FHLMC prior to its appointment if it determines that performance of the contract is burdensome and repudiation of the contract promotes the orderly administration of FNMA’s or FHLMC’s affairs. Furthermore, FHFA has the right to transfer or sell any asset or liability of FNMA or FHLMC without any approval, assignment or consent. If FHFA were to transfer any such guarantee obligation to another party, holders of FNMA or FHLMC mortgage-backed securities would have to rely on that party for satisfaction of the guarantee obligation and would be exposed to the credit risk of that party.

 
   

Adjustable Rate Mortgage-Backed Securities

Adjustable rate mortgage-backed securities (“ARMBSs”) have interest rates that reset at periodic intervals. Acquiring ARMBSs permits a Fund to participate in increases in prevailing current interest rates through periodic adjustments in the coupons of mortgages underlying the pool on which ARMBSs are based. Such ARMBSs generally have higher current yield and lower price fluctuations than is the case with more traditional fixed income debt securities of comparable rating and maturity. In addition, when prepayments of principal are made on the underlying mortgages during periods of rising interest rates, a Fund can reinvest the proceeds of such prepayments at rates higher than those at which they were previously invested. Mortgages underlying most ARMBSs, however, have limits on the allowable annual or lifetime increases that can be made in the interest rate that the mortgagor pays. Therefore, if current interest rates rise above such limits over the period of the limitation, a Fund holding an ARMBS does not benefit from further increases in interest rates. Moreover, when interest rates are in excess of coupon rates (i.e., the rates being paid by mortgagors) of the mortgages, ARMBSs behave more like fixed income securities and less like adjustable rate securities and are subject to the risks associated with fixed income securities. In addition, during periods of rising interest rates, increases in the coupon rate of adjustable rate mortgages generally lag current market interest rates slightly, thereby creating the potential for capital depreciation on such securities

 

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Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities include securities that reflect an interest in, and are secured by, mortgage loans on commercial real property. The market for commercial mortgage-backed securities developed more recently and in terms of total outstanding principal amount of issues is relatively small compared to the market for residential single- family mortgage-backed securities. Many of the risks of investing in commercial mortgage- backed securities reflect the risks of investing in the real estate securing the underlying mortgage loans. These risks reflect the effects of local and other economic conditions on real estate markets, the ability of tenants to make loan payments, and the ability of a property to attract and retain tenants. Commercial mortgage-backed securities may be less liquid and exhibit greater price volatility than other types of mortgage- or asset-backed securities.

Financial assets on which these securities are based include automobile receivables; credit card receivables; loans to finance boats, recreational vehicles, and mobile homes; computer, copier, railcar, and medical equipment leases; and trade, healthcare, and franchise receivables. In general, the obligations supporting these asset-backed securities are of shorter maturities than mortgage loans and are less likely to experience substantial prepayments. However, obligations such as credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the obligors are often entitled to protection under a number of consumer credit laws granting, among other things, rights to set off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thus reducing the balance due. Other obligations that are secured, such as automobile receivables, may present issuers with difficulties in perfecting and executing on the security interests, particularly where the issuer allows the servicers of the receivables to retain possession of the underlying obligations, thus increasing the risk that recoveries on defaulted obligations may not be adequate to support payments on the securities.

 

Other Asset-Backed Securities

Through trusts and other special purpose entities, various types of securities based on financial assets other than mortgage loans are increasingly available, in both pass-through structures similar to mortgage pass-through securities described above and in other structures more like CMOs. As with mortgage-related securities, these asset-backed securities are often backed by a pool of financial assets representing the obligations of a number of different parties. They often include credit-enhancement features similar to mortgage-related securities.

Financial assets on which these securities are based include automobile receivables; credit card receivables; loans to finance boats, recreational vehicles, and mobile homes; computer, copier, railcar, and medical equipment leases; and trade, healthcare, and franchise receivables. In general, the obligations supporting these asset-backed securities are of shorter maturities than mortgage loans and are less likely to experience substantial prepayments. However, obligations such as credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the obligors are often entitled to protection under a number of consumer credit laws granting, among other things, rights to set off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thus reducing the balance due. Other obligations that are secured, such as automobile receivables, may present issuers with difficulties in perfecting and executing on the security interests, particularly where the issuer allows the servicers of the receivables to retain possession of the underlying obligations, thus increasing the risk that recoveries on defaulted obligations may not be adequate to support payments on the securities.

 

Stripped Mortgage- backed Securities (“SMBS”)

SMBS are derivative multi-class mortgage securities. They may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government, or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans. SMBS are usually structured with two classes that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. A common type of SMBS will have one class receiving some of the interest and most of the principal from the mortgage assets, while the other class will receive most of the interest and the remainder of the principal. In the most extreme case, one class will receive all of the interest (the interest-only or “IO” class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (the principal-only or “PO” class). The yield to maturity on an IO class security is

 

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extremely sensitive to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the related underlying mortgage assets, and a rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on a Fund’s yield to maturity from these securities. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the Fund may fail to recoup fully its initial investment in these securities even if the security is in one of the highest rating categories. The market value of the PO class generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates.

Although SMBS are purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers, these securities were only recently developed. As a result, established trading markets have not yet developed and, accordingly, these securities may be deemed illiquid and therefore subject to the Funds’ limitations on investment in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)

Each Fund may invest in other mortgage-related securities with features similar to those described above, to the extent consistent with the relevant Fund’s investment objectives and policies.

 
   

Options

Each Fund may purchase or sell put and call options on securities, indices and other financial instruments. Options may relate to particular securities, foreign and domestic securities indices, financial instruments, volatility, credit default, foreign currencies or the yield differential between two securities. Such options may or may not be listed on a domestic or foreign securities exchange and may or may not be issued by the OCC.

A call option for a particular security gives the purchaser of the option the right to buy, and a writer the obligation to sell, the underlying security at the stated exercise price before the expiration of the option, regardless of the market price of the security. A premium is paid to the writer by the purchaser in consideration for undertaking the obligation under the option contract. A put option for a particular security gives the purchaser the right to sell and a writer the obligation to buy the security at the stated exercise price before the expiration date of the option, regardless of the market price of the security.

If the only derivatives in which a Fund invests are covered options, options written by a Fund will be covered and will remain covered as long as the Fund is obligated as a writer. A call option is “covered” if the Fund owns the underlying security or its equivalent covered by the call or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that security without additional cash consideration (or for additional cash consideration if such cash is segregated) upon conversion or exchange of other securities held in its portfolio. A call option is also covered if the Fund holds on a share-for-share or equal principal amount basis a call on the same security as the call written where the exercise price of the call held is equal to or less than the exercise price of the call written or greater than the exercise price of the call written if appropriate liquid assets representing the difference are segregated by the Fund. A put option is “covered” if the Fund maintains appropriate liquid securities with a value equal to the exercise price, or owns on a share-for-share or equal principal amount basis a put on the same security as the put written where the exercise price of the put held is equal to or greater than the exercise price of the put written.

A Fund’s obligation to sell an instrument subject to a covered call option written by it, or to purchase an instrument subject to a secured put option written by it, may be terminated before the expiration of the option by the Fund’s execution of a closing purchase transaction. This means that a Fund buys an option of the same series (i.e., same underlying instrument, exercise price and expiration date) as the option previously written. Such a purchase does not result in the ownership of an option. A closing purchase transaction will ordinarily be effected to realize a profit on an outstanding option, to prevent an underlying instrument from being called, to permit the sale of the underlying instrument or to permit the writing of a new option containing different terms on such underlying instrument. The cost of such a closing purchase plus related transaction costs may be greater than the premium received upon the original option, in which event the Fund will experience a loss. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any

 

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particular option. A Fund that has written an option and is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction will not be able to sell the underlying instrument (in the case of a covered call option) or liquidate the segregated assets (in the case of a secured put option) until the option expires or the optioned instrument is delivered upon exercise. The Fund will be subject to the risk of market decline or appreciation in the instrument during such period.

Options purchased are recorded as an asset and written options are recorded as liabilities to the extent of premiums paid or received. The amount of this asset or liability will be subsequently marked-to-market to reflect the current value of the option purchased or written. The current value of the traded option is the last sale price or, in the absence of a sale, the current bid price. If an option purchased by a Fund expires unexercised, the Fund will realize a loss equal to the premium paid. If a Fund enters into a closing sale transaction on an option purchased by it, the Fund will realize a gain if the premium received by the Fund on the closing transaction is more than the premium paid to purchase the option, or a loss if it is less. If an option written by a Fund expires on the stipulated expiration date or if a Fund enters into a closing purchase transaction, it will realize a gain (or loss if the cost of a closing purchase transaction exceeds the net premium received when the option is sold), and the liability related to such option will be eliminated. If an option written by a Fund is exercised, the proceeds of the sale will be increased by the net premium originally received and the Fund will realize a gain or loss.

Options trading is a highly specialized activity that entails more complex and potentially greater than ordinary investment risk. Options may be more volatile than the underlying instruments and, therefore, on a percentage basis, an investment in options may be subject to greater fluctuation than an investment in the underlying instruments themselves.

There are several other risks associated with options. For example, there are significant differences among the securities, currency, volatility, credit default and options markets that could result in an imperfect correlation among these markets, causing a given transaction not to achieve its objectives. In addition, a liquid secondary market for particular options, whether traded over-the- counter or on an exchange, may be absent for reasons that include the following: there may be insufficient trading interest in certain options; restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening transactions or closing transactions or both; trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options or underlying securities or currencies; unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; the facilities of an exchange or the OCC may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading value; or one or more exchanges could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of options (or a particular class or series of options), in which event the secondary market on that exchange (or in that class or series of options) would cease to exist, although outstanding options that had been issued by the OCC as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.

Among other trading agreements, certain funds are also party to International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. Master Agreements (“ISDA Agreements”) with select counterparties that generally govern OTC derivative transactions entered into by such funds. The ISDA Agreements typically include representations and warranties as well as contractual terms related to collateral, events of default, termination events, and other provisions. Termination events include the decline in the net assets of a fund below a certain level over a specified period of time and entitle a counterparty to elect to terminate early with respect to some or all the transactions under the ISDA Agreement with that counterparty. Depending on the relative size of a fund’s derivatives positions, such an election by one or more of the counterparties could have a material adverse impact on a fund’s operations.

For options written with “primary dealers” in U.S. Government securities pursuant to an agreement requiring a closing transaction at the formula price, the amount considered to be

 

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illiquid may be calculated by reference to a formula price. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)

 
   

Options on Indexes and “Yield Curve” Options

Each Fund may enter into options on indexes or options on the “spread,” or yield differential, between two fixed income securities, in transactions referred to as “yield curve” options. Options on indexes and yield curve options provide the holder with the right to make or receive a cash settlement upon exercise of the option. With respect to options on indexes, the amount of the settlement will equal the difference between the closing price of the index at the time of exercise and the exercise price of the option expressed in dollars, times a specified multiple. With respect to yield curve options, the amount of the settlement will equal the difference between the yields of designated securities.

With respect to yield curve options, a call or put option is covered if a Fund holds another call or put, respectively, on the spread between the same two securities and maintains in a segregated account liquid assets sufficient to cover the Fund’s net liability under the two options. Therefore, the Fund’s liability for such a covered option is generally limited to the difference between the amount of the Fund’s liability under the option it wrote less the value of the option it holds. A Fund may also cover yield curve options in such other manner as may be in accordance with the requirements of the counterparty with which the option is traded and applicable laws and regulations.

The trading of these types of options is subject to all of the risks associated with the trading of other types of options. In addition, however, yield curve options present risk of loss even if the yield of one of the underlying securities remains constant, if the spread moves in a direction or to an extent which was not anticipated.

 

Reset Options

In certain instances, a Fund may purchase or write options on U.S. Treasury securities, which provide for periodic adjustment of the strike price and may also provide for the periodic adjustment of the premium during the term of each such option. Like other types of options, these transactions, which may be referred to as “reset” options or “adjustable strike” options grant the purchaser the right to purchase (in the case of a call) or sell (in the case of a put), a specified type of U.S. Treasury security at any time up to a stated expiration date (or, in certain instances, on such date). In contrast to other types of options, however, the price at which the underlying security may be purchased or sold under a “reset” option is determined at various intervals during the term of the option, and such price fluctuates from interval to interval based on changes in the market value of the underlying security. As a result, the strike price of a “reset” option, at the time of exercise, may be less advantageous than if the strike price had been fixed at the initiation of the option. In addition, the premium paid for the purchase of the option may be determined at the termination, rather than the initiation, of the option. If the premium for a reset option written by a Fund is paid at termination, the Fund assumes the risk that (i) the premium may be less than the premium which would otherwise have been received at the initiation of the option because of such factors as the volatility in yield of the underlying Treasury security over the term of the option and adjustments made to the strike price of the option, and (ii) the option purchaser may default on its obligation to pay the premium at the termination of the option. Conversely, where a Fund purchases a reset option, it could be required to pay a higher premium than would have been the case at the initiation of the option.

 

Swaptions

A Fund may enter into swaption contracts, which give the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset or instrument at a specified strike price on or before a specified date. Over-the-counter swaptions, although providing greater flexibility, may involve greater credit risk than exchange-traded options as they are not backed by the clearing organization of the exchanges where they are traded, and as such, there is a risk that the seller will not settle as agreed. A Fund’s financial liability associated with swaptions is linked to the marked-to- market value of the notional underlying investments. Purchased swaption contracts are exposed to a maximum loss equal to the price paid for the option/swaption (the premium) and no further liability. Written swaptions, however, give

 

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the right of potential exercise to a third party, and the maximum loss to the Fund in the case of an uncovered swaption is unlimited.

 
   

Swap Agreements

Each Fund may enter into swap agreements on, among other things, interest rates, indices, securities and currency exchange rates. A Fund’s subadviser may use swaps in an attempt to obtain for the Fund a particular desired return at a lower cost to the Fund than if the Fund had invested directly in an instrument that yielded that desired return. Swap agreements are two-party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors for periods typically ranging from a few weeks to more than one year. In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested at a particular interest rate, in a particular foreign currency, or in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. The “notional amount” of the swap agreement is only a fictive basis on which to calculate the obligations the parties to a swap agreement have agreed to exchange. A Fund’s obligations (or rights) under a swap agreement will generally be equal only to the amount to be paid or received under the agreement based on the relative values of the positions held by each party to the agreement (the “net amount”). A Fund may pay fees or incur other costs each time it enters into, modifies, or terminates a swap agreement.

Because swap agreements are two-party contracts and may have terms of greater than seven days, they may be considered to be illiquid and therefore subject to the Funds’ limitations on investment in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.) Moreover, the Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap agreement counterparty. A Fund’s subadviser will cause the Fund to enter into swap agreements only with counterparties that would be eligible for consideration as repurchase agreement counterparties under the Funds’ repurchase agreement guidelines. (See “Repurchase Agreements” in this section of the SAI.) Certain restrictions imposed on the Funds by the Code may limit the Funds’ ability to use swap agreements. (See the “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” section of this SAI.) The swaps market is a relatively new market and is largely unregulated. It is possible that developments in the swaps market could adversely affect a Fund’s ability to terminate existing swap agreements or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements.

Applicable provisions of the CEA and related CFTC rules dictate that certain swap agreements be considered commodity interests for purposes of the CEA. (See “Commodity Interests” in this section of the SAI for additional information regarding the implications of investments being considered commodity interests under the CEA.)

The SEC and the CFTC have developed rules under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to create a comprehensive regulatory framework for swap transactions. Under the regulations, certain swap transactions are required to be executed on a regulated trading platform and cleared through a derivatives clearing organization. Additionally, the regulations impose other requirements on the parties entering into swap transactions, including requirements relating to posting margin, and reporting and documenting swap transactions. A Fund engaging in swap transactions may incur additional expenses as a result of these regulatory requirements. The Adviser is continuing to assess the impact of these requirements on the Funds.

 
   

Credit Default Swap Agreements

Each Fund may enter into credit default swap agreements. A credit default swap is a bilateral financial contract in which one party (the protection buyer) pays a periodic fee in return for a contingent payment by the protection seller following a credit event of a reference issuer. The protection buyer must either sell particular obligations issued by the reference issuer for its par value (or some other designated reference or strike price) when a credit event occurs or receive a cash settlement based on the difference between the market

 

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price and such reference price. A credit event is commonly defined as bankruptcy, insolvency, receivership, material adverse restructuring of debt, or failure to meet payment obligations when due. A Fund may be either the buyer or seller in the transaction. If a Fund is a buyer and no event of default occurs, the Fund loses its investment and recovers nothing; however, if an event of default occurs, the Fund receives full notional value for a reference obligation that may have little or no value. As a seller, a Fund receives a periodic fee throughout the term of the contract, provided there is no default event; if an event of default occurs, the Fund must pay the buyer the full notional value of the reference obligation. The value of the reference obligation received by the Fund as a seller, coupled with the periodic payments previously received, may be less than the full notional value the Fund pays to the buyer, resulting in a loss of value to the Fund.

Credit default swaps involve greater risks than if the Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly. In addition to general market risks, credit default swaps are subject to illiquidity risk, counterparty risk and credit risks. A Fund will enter into swap agreements only with counterparties deemed creditworthy by the Fund’s subadviser.

 

Dividend Swap Agreements

A dividend swap agreement is a financial instrument where two parties contract to exchange a set of future cash flows at set dates in the future. One party agrees to pay the other the future dividend flow on a stock or basket of stocks in an index, in return for which the other party gives the first call options. Dividend swaps generally are traded over the counter rather than on an exchange.

 

Inflation Swap Agreements

Inflation swap agreements are contracts in which one party agrees to pay the cumulative percentage increase in a price index (e.g., the Consumer Price Index with respect to CPI swaps) over the term of the swap (with some lag on the inflation index), while the other pays a compounded fixed rate. Inflation swap agreements may be used by a Fund to hedge the inflation risk associated with non-inflation indexed investments, thereby creating “synthetic” inflation-indexed investments. One factor that may lead to changes in the values of inflation swap agreements is a change in real interest rates, which are tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If nominal interest rates increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates may rise, which may lead to a decrease in value of an inflation swap agreement.

 
   

Total Return Swap Agreements

“Total return swap” is the generic name for any non-traditional swap where one party agrees to pay the other the “total return” of a defined underlying asset, usually in return for receiving a stream of cash flows based upon an agreed rate. A total return swap may be applied to any underlying asset but is most commonly used with equity indices, single stocks, bonds and defined portfolios of loans and mortgages. A total return swap is a mechanism for the user to accept the economic benefits of asset ownership without utilizing the balance sheet. The other leg of the swap, which is often LIBOR or SOFR, is spread to reflect the non-balance sheet nature of the product. Total return swaps can be designed with any underlying asset agreed between the two parties. No notional amounts are exchanged with total return swaps.

 
   

Variance and Correlation Swap Agreements

Variance swap agreements are contracts in which two parties agree to exchange cash payments based on the difference between the stated level of variance and the actual variance realized on an underlying asset or index. “Actual variance” as used here is defined as the sum of the square of the returns on the reference asset or index (which in effect is a measure of its “volatility”) over the length of the contract term. In other words, the parties to a variance swap can be said to exchange actual volatility for a contractually stated rate of volatility. Correlation swap agreements are contracts in which two parties agree to exchange cash payments based on the differences between the stated and the actual correlation realized on the underlying equity securities within a given equity index. “Correlation” as used here is defined as the weighted average of the correlations between the daily returns of each pair of securities within a given equity index. If two assets are said to be closely correlated, it means that their daily returns vary in similar proportions or along similar trajectories. A Fund may enter into variance or correlation swaps in an attempt to

 

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hedge equity market risk or adjust exposure to the equity markets.

 
   

Equity Securities

The Funds may invest in equity securities. Equity securities include common stocks, preferred stocks and preference stocks; securities such as bonds, warrants or rights that are convertible into stocks; and depositary receipts for those securities.

Common stockholders are the owners of the company issuing the stock and, accordingly, usually have the right to vote on various corporate governance matters such as mergers. They are not creditors of the company, but rather, in the event of liquidation of the company, would be entitled to their pro rata shares of the company’s assets after creditors (including fixed income security holders) and, if applicable, preferred stockholders are paid. Outside of the United States, preferred stock may carry different rights or obligations. In some jurisdictions, preferred stocks may have different voting rights and there may be more robust trading markets and liquidity in preferred stock than the common or ordinary stock of the company. Preferred stock is a class of stock having a preference over common stock as to dividends or upon liquidation. A preferred stockholder is a shareholder in the company and not a creditor of the company as is a holder of the company’s fixed income securities. Dividends paid to common and preferred stockholders are distributions of the earnings or other surplus of the company and not interest payments, which are expenses of the company. Equity securities owned by the Fund may be traded in the over-the-counter market or on a securities exchange and may not be traded every day or in the volume typical of securities traded on a major U.S. national securities exchange. As a result, disposition by the Fund of a portfolio security to meet redemptions by shareholders or otherwise may require the Fund to sell the security at less than the reported value of the security, to sell during periods when disposition is not desirable, or to make many small sales over a lengthy period of time. The market value of all securities, including equity securities, is based upon the market’s perception of value and not necessarily the book value of an issuer or other objective measure of a company’s worth.

Stock values may fluctuate in response to the activities of an individual company or in response to general market and/or economic conditions. Historically, common stocks have provided greater long- term returns and have entailed greater short-term risks than other types of securities. Smaller or newer issuers may be more likely to realize more substantial growth or suffer more significant losses. Investments in these companies can be both more volatile and more speculative. Fluctuations in the value of equity securities in which a Fund invests will cause the NAV of the Fund to fluctuate.

 
   

Securities of Small and Mid Capitalization Companies

While small and medium-sized issuers in which a Fund invests may offer greater opportunities for capital appreciation than larger market capitalization issuers, investments in such companies may involve greater risks and thus may be considered speculative. For example, smaller companies may have limited product lines, markets or financial resources, or they may be dependent on a limited management group. In addition, many small and mid-capitalization company stocks trade less frequently and in smaller volume, and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements, than stocks of larger companies. The securities of small and mid-capitalization companies may also be more sensitive to market changes than the securities of larger companies. When a Fund invests in small or mid- capitalization companies, these factors may result in above-average fluctuations in the NAV of the Fund’s shares. Therefore, a Fund investing in such securities should be considered as a long-term investment and not as a vehicle for seeking short-term profits. Similarly, an investment in a Fund solely investing in such securities should not be considered a complete investment program.

Market capitalizations of companies in which the Funds invest are determined at the time of purchase.

 
   

Unseasoned Companies

As a matter of operating policy, each Fund may invest to a limited extent in securities of unseasoned companies and new issues. A Fund's subadviser regards a company as unseasoned when, for example, it is relatively new to, or not yet well established in, its primary line of business. Such companies generally are smaller and younger than

 

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companies whose shares are traded on the major stock exchanges. Accordingly, their shares are often traded over-the- counter and their share prices may be more volatile than those of larger, exchange-listed companies. Generally, a Fund will not invest more than 5% of its total assets in securities of any one company with a record of fewer than three years’ continuous operation (including that of predecessors).

 

Foreign Investing

The Funds may invest in a broad range of securities of foreign issuers, including equity, debt and convertible securities and foreign government securities. The Funds may purchase the securities of issuers from various countries, including countries commonly referred to as “emerging markets” or “frontier markets.” The Funds may also invest in domestic securities denominated in foreign currencies. Factors that may be considered when assessing compliance with investment policies that designate a minimum or maximum level of investment in non-U.S. securities include, but are not limited to, whether such securities are securities of companies that are organized and headquartered outside the U.S. (including securities traded in local currencies); non-U.S. equity securities as designated by commonly-recognized market data services; U.S. dollar- or non-U.S. currency-denominated corporate debt securities of non-U.S. issuers; securities of U.S. issuers traded principally in non-U.S. markets; non-U.S. bank obligations; U.S. dollar- or non-U.S. currency-denominated obligations of non-U.S. governments or their subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities, international agencies and supranational entities; and securities of other investment companies investing primarily in non-U.S. securities.

Investing in the securities of foreign companies involves special risks and considerations not typically associated with investing in U.S. companies. These include differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, generally higher commission rates on foreign portfolio transactions, the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, political instability which could affect U.S. investments in foreign countries, and potential restrictions on the flow of international capital. Foreign issuers may become subject to sanctions imposed by the United States or another country, which could result in the immediate freeze of the foreign issuers’ assets or securities. The imposition of such sanctions could impair the market value of the securities of such foreign issuers and limit a Fund’s ability to buy, sell, receive or deliver the securities. Additionally, dividends payable on foreign securities may be subject to foreign taxes withheld prior to distribution. Foreign securities often trade with less frequency and volume than domestic securities and therefore may exhibit greater price volatility. Changes in foreign exchange rates will affect the value of those securities which are denominated or quoted in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. Many of the foreign securities held by a Fund will not be registered with, nor will the issuers thereof be subject to the reporting requirements of, the SEC. Accordingly, there may be less publicly available information about the securities and about the foreign company or government issuing them than is available about a domestic company or government entity. Moreover, individual foreign economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the United States economy in such respects as growth of Gross National Product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self- sufficiency and balance of payment positions. Finally, the Funds may encounter difficulty in obtaining and enforcing judgments against issuers of foreign securities.

Securities of U.S. issuers denominated in foreign currencies may be less liquid and their prices more volatile than securities issued by domestic issuers and denominated in U.S. dollars. In addition, investing in securities denominated in foreign currencies often entails costs not associated with investment in U.S. dollar-denominated securities of U.S. issuers, such as the cost of converting foreign currency to U.S. dollars, higher brokerage commissions, custodial expenses and other fees. Non-U.S. dollar denominated securities may be subject to certain withholding and other taxes of the relevant jurisdiction, which may reduce the yield on the securities to the Funds and which may not be recoverable by the Funds or their investors.

The Trust may use an eligible foreign custodian in connection with its purchases of foreign

 

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securities and may maintain cash and cash equivalents in the care of a foreign custodian. The amount of cash or cash equivalents maintained in the care of eligible foreign custodians will be limited to an amount reasonably necessary to effect the Trust’s foreign securities transactions. The use of a foreign custodian invokes considerations which are not ordinarily associated with domestic custodians. These considerations include the possibility of expropriations, restricted access to books and records of the foreign custodian, inability to recover assets that are lost while under the control of the foreign custodian, and the impact of political, social or diplomatic developments.

Settlement procedures relating to the Funds’ investments in foreign securities and to the Funds’ foreign currency exchange transactions may be more complex than settlements with respect to investments in debt or equity securities of U.S. issuers, and may involve certain risks not present in the Funds’ domestic investments. For example, settlement of transactions involving foreign securities or foreign currency may occur within a foreign country, and a Fund may be required to accept or make delivery of the underlying securities or currency in conformity with any applicable U.S. or foreign restrictions or regulations, and may be required to pay any fees, taxes or charges associated with such delivery. Such investments may also involve the risk that an entity involved in the settlement may not meet its obligations. Settlement procedures in many foreign countries are less established than those in the United States, and some foreign country settlement periods can be significantly longer than those in the United States.

A Fund that has significant exposure to certain countries can be expected to be impacted by the political (including geopolitical) and economic conditions within such countries. There is uncertainty around the future of the euro and the European Union (EU) following the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU on January 31, 2020. Significant uncertainty remains in the market regarding the ramifications of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and the range and potential implications of possible political, regulatory, economic and market outcomes are difficult to predict. While it is not possible to determine the precise impact these events may have on the Fund, during this period and beyond, the impact on the United Kingdom, EU countries, other countries or parties that transact with the United Kingdom and EU, and the broader global economy could be significant and could adversely affect the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments. In addition, if one or more countries were to exit the EU or abandon the use of the euro as a currency, the value of investments tied to those countries or the euro could decline significantly and unpredictably.

A fund’s investments in foreign currency-denominated debt obligations and hedging activities will likely produce a difference between its book income and its taxable income. This difference could cause a portion of the fund’s income distributions to constitute returns of capital for tax purposes or require the fund to make distributions exceeding book income to qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company for U.S. federal tax purposes. A fund’s use of non-U.S. securities may increase or accelerate the amount of ordinary income recognized by taxable shareholders.

 

Depositary Receipts

A Fund permitted to hold foreign securities may also hold ADRs, ADSs, GDRs and EDRs. ADRs and ADSs typically are issued by an American bank or trust company and evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. EDRs, which are sometimes referred to as CDRs, are issued in Europe typically by foreign banks and trust companies and evidence ownership of either foreign or domestic securities. GDRs are similar to EDRs and are designed for use in several international financial markets. Generally, ADRs and ADSs in registered form are designed for use in United States securities markets and EDRs in bearer form are designed for use in European securities markets. For purposes of a Fund’s investment policies, its investments in ADRs, ADSs, GDRs and EDRs will be deemed to be investments in the underlying foreign securities.

Depositary Receipts may be issued pursuant to sponsored or unsponsored programs. In sponsored programs, an issuer has made arrangements to have its securities traded in the form of Depositary Receipts. In unsponsored programs, the issuer may not be directly

   

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involved in the creation of the program. Although regulatory requirements with respect to sponsored and unsponsored programs are generally similar, in some cases it may be easier to obtain financial information from an issuer that has participated in the creation of a sponsored program. Accordingly, there may be less information available regarding issuers of securities underlying unsponsored programs and there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the Depositary Receipts. For purposes of a Fund’s investment policies, investments in Depositary Receipts will be deemed to be investments in the underlying securities. Thus, a Depositary Receipt representing ownership of common stock will be treated as common stock.

Depositary Receipts are generally subject to the same sort of risks as direct investments in a foreign country, such as currency risk, political and economic risk, and market risk, because their values generally depend on the performance of a foreign security denominated in its home currency. (The risks of foreign investing are addressed above in this section of the SAI under the heading “Foreign Investing.”) In addition to risks associated with the underlying portfolio of securities, receipt holders also must consider credit standings of the custodians and broker/dealer sponsors. In addition, the issuers of Depositary Receipts may discontinue issuing new Depositary Receipts and withdraw existing Depositary Receipts at any time, which may result in costs and delays in the distribution of the underlying assets to the Fund and may negatively impact the Fund’s performance. The receipts are not registered with the SEC and qualify as Rule 144A securities which may make them more difficult and costly to sell. (For information about Rule 144A securities, see “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)

   

Emerging Market Securities

The Funds may invest in countries or regions with relatively low gross national product per capita compared to the world’s major economies, and in countries or regions with the potential for rapid economic growth (emerging markets). Emerging markets will include any country: (i) having an “emerging stock market” as defined by the International Finance Corporation; (ii) with low-to-middle-income economies according to the World Bank; (iii) listed in World Bank publications as developing; or (iv) determined by the subadviser to be an emerging market as defined above.

Certain emerging market countries are either comparatively underdeveloped or are in the process of becoming developed and may consequently be economically dependent on a relatively few or closely interdependent industries. A high proportion of the securities of many emerging market issuers may also be held by a limited number of large investors trading significant blocks of securities. While a Fund’s subadviser will strive to be sensitive to publicized reversals of economic conditions, political unrest and adverse changes in trading status, unanticipated political and social developments may affect the values of the Fund’s investments in such countries and the availability of additional investments in such countries.

The Funds may invest in some emerging markets through trading structures or protocols that subject them to risks such as those associated with illiquidity, custodying assets, different settlement and clearance procedures and asserting legal title under a developing legal and regulatory regime to a greater degree than in developed markets or even in other emerging markets. Securities of many issuers in emerging markets may be less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable domestic issuers. Emerging markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures, and in certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. Delays in settlement could result in temporary periods when a portion of the assets of a Fund is uninvested and no return is earned thereon. The inability of a Fund to make intended security purchases due to settlement problems could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities due to settlement problems could result either in losses to the Fund due to subsequent declines in value of portfolio securities or, if a Fund has entered into a contract to sell the security, in possible liability to the purchaser. Securities prices in emerging markets can be significantly more volatile than in the more

 

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developed nations of the world, reflecting the greater uncertainties of investing in less established markets and economies. In particular, countries with emerging markets may have relatively unstable governments, present the risk of nationalization of businesses, restrictions on foreign ownership, or prohibitions of repatriation of assets, and may have less protection of property rights than more developed countries.

Certain emerging markets may require governmental approval for the repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of sales of securities by foreign investors. In addition, a country could impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances, whether because deterioration occurs in an emerging market’s balance of payments or for other reasons. The Funds could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for repatriation of capital, as well as by the application to the Funds of any restrictions on investments.

Investments in certain foreign emerging market debt obligations may be restricted or controlled to varying degrees. These restrictions or controls may at times preclude investment in certain foreign emerging market debt obligations and increase the expenses of the Funds.

 

Foreign Currency Transactions

Funds that invest directly in foreign (non-U.S.) currencies, or in securities that trade in, or receive revenues in, foreign currencies, or in derivatives that provide exposure to foreign currencies are subject to the additional risk of currency fluctuations. In the case of hedging positions, that the U.S. dollar will decline in value relative to the currency being hedged. Currency rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time for a number of reasons, including changes in interest rates, intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or non-U.S. governments, central banks or supranational entities such as the International Monetary Fund, or by the imposition of currency controls or other political developments in the United States or abroad.

An adverse change in the value of a particular foreign currency as against the U.S. dollar, to the extent that such change is not offset by a gain in other foreign currencies, will result in a decrease in the Fund’s assets. Any such change may also have the effect of decreasing or limiting the income available for distribution. Foreign currencies may be affected by revaluation, adverse political and economic developments, and governmental restrictions. Further, no assurance can be given that currency exchange controls will not be imposed on any particular currency at a later date.

As a result of its investments in foreign securities, a Fund may receive interest or dividend payments, or the proceeds of the sale or redemption of such securities, in the foreign currencies in which such securities are denominated. In that event, the Fund may convert such currencies into dollars at the then current exchange rate. Under certain circumstances, however, such as where the Fund’s subadviser believes that the applicable rate is unfavorable at the time the currencies are received or the Fund’s subadviser anticipates, for any other reason, that the exchange rate will improve, the Fund may hold such currencies for an indefinite period of time.

In addition, a Fund may be required to receive delivery of the foreign currency underlying forward foreign currency contracts it has entered into. This could occur, for example, if an option written by the Fund is exercised or the Fund is unable to close out a forward contract. A Fund may hold foreign currency in anticipation of purchasing foreign securities.

A Fund may also elect to take delivery of the currencies’ underlying options or forward contracts if, in the judgment of the Fund’s subadviser, it is in the best interest of the Fund to do so. In such instances as well, the Fund may convert the foreign currencies to dollars at the then current exchange rate, or may hold such currencies for an indefinite period of time.

While the holding of currencies will permit a Fund to take advantage of favorable movements in the applicable exchange rate, it also exposes the Fund to risk of loss if such rates move in a direction adverse to the Fund’s position. Such losses could reduce any profits or increase any losses sustained by the Fund from the sale or redemption of

 

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securities, and could reduce the dollar value of interest or dividend payments received. In addition, the holding of currencies could adversely affect the Fund’s profit or loss on currency options or forward contracts, as well as its hedging strategies.

When a Fund effects foreign currency exchange transactions on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the spot rate prevailing in the foreign exchange market, the Fund incurs expenses in converting assets from one currency to another. A Fund may also effect other types of foreign currency exchange transactions, which have their own risks and costs. For information about such transactions, please see “Foreign Currency Forward Contracts, Futures and Options” under “Derivatives and Other Similar Instruments” in this section of the SAI.

 
   

Foreign Investment Companies

Some of the countries in which the Funds may invest may not permit, or may place economic restrictions on, direct investment by outside investors. Investments in such countries may be permitted only through foreign government-approved or -authorized investment vehicles, which may include other investment companies. These Funds may also invest in other investment companies that invest in foreign securities. Investing through such vehicles may involve frequent or layered fees or expenses and may also be subject to limitation under the 1940 Act. As a shareholder of another investment company, the Fund would bear, along with other shareholders, its pro rata portion of the other investment company’s expenses, including advisory fees. Those expenses would be in addition to the advisory and other expenses that the Fund bears directly in connection with its own operations. For additional information, see “Mutual Fund Investing” in this section of the SAI.

 

Privatizations

The governments of some foreign countries have been engaged in programs of selling part or all of their stakes in government owned or controlled enterprises (“privatizations”). Privatizations may offer opportunities for significant capital appreciation. In certain foreign countries, the ability of foreign entities such as the Funds to participate in privatizations may be limited by local law, or the terms on which a Fund may be permitted to participate may be less advantageous than those for local investors. There can be no assurance that foreign governments will continue to sell companies currently owned or controlled by them or that privatization programs will be successful.

 

Funding Agreements

Each Fund may invest in funding agreements, which are insurance contracts between an investor and the issuing insurance company. For the issuer, they represent senior obligations under an insurance product. For the investor, and from a regulatory perspective, these agreements are treated as securities. These agreements, like other insurance products, are backed by claims on the general assets of the issuing entity and rank on the same priority level as other policy holder claims. Funding agreements typically are issued with a one-year final maturity and a variable interest rate, which may adjust weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Some agreements carry a seven-day put feature. A funding agreement without this feature is considered illiquid and will therefore be subject to the Funds’ limitations on investments in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.) Funding agreements are regulated by the state insurance board of the state where they are executed.

 

Guaranteed Investment Contracts

Each Fund may invest in GICs issued by U.S. and Canadian insurance companies. A GIC requires the investor to make cash contributions to a deposit fund of an insurance company’s general account. The insurance company then makes payments to the investor based on negotiated, floating or fixed interest rates. A GIC is a general obligation of the issuing insurance company and not a separate account. The purchase price paid for a GIC becomes part of the general assets of the insurance company, and the contract is paid from the insurance company’s general assets. Generally, a GIC is not assignable or transferable without the permission of the issuing insurance company, and an active secondary market in GICs does not currently exist. Therefore, these investments may be deemed to be illiquid, in which case they will be subject to the Funds’ limitations on investments in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)

 

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Illiquid and Restricted Securities

Illiquid securities are investments that a Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Each Fund may invest up to 15% of its net assets in illiquid assets. No Fund may acquire any illiquid investment if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets. Historically, illiquid securities have included securities subject to contractual or legal restrictions on resale because they have not been registered under the 1933 Act (“restricted securities”), securities that are otherwise not readily marketable, such as over-the- counter options, and repurchase agreements not entitling the holder to payment of principal in seven days. Such securities may offer higher yields than comparable publicly traded securities, and they also may incur higher risks.

Funds with principal investment strategies that involve securities of companies with smaller market capitalizations, non-U.S. securities, Rule 144A securities, derivatives or securities with substantial market and/or credit risk tend to have the greatest exposure to liquidity risk. Additionally, the market for certain investments may become illiquid under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the conditions of a particular issuer. In such cases, a fund, due to limitations on investments in illiquid securities and the difficulty in purchasing and selling such securities or instruments, may be unable to achieve its desired level of exposure to a certain issuer or sector. Additional legislative or regulatory actions to address perceived liquidity or other issues in markets generally, or in particular markets such as the fixed income securities markets and municipal securities markets, may alter or impair the funds’ ability to pursue their investment objectives or utilize certain investment strategies and techniques.

Repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements and time deposits that do not provide for payment to the Fund within seven days may be deemed illiquid securities for this purpose unless such securities are variable amount master demand notes with maturities of nine months or less or unless the Fund’s subadviser has determined that an adequate trading market exists for such securities or that market quotations are readily available.

The Funds may purchase Rule 144A securities sold to institutional investors without registration under the 1933 Act and commercial paper issued in reliance upon the exemption in Section 4(a)(2) of the 1933 Act, for which an institutional market has developed. Institutional investors depend on an efficient institutional market in which the unregistered security can be readily resold or on the issuer’s ability to honor a demand for repayment of the unregistered security.

An investment’s contractual or legal restrictions on resale to the general public or to certain institutions may not be indicative of the liquidity of the investment and therefore the investments described in this section may be determined to be liquid in accordance with the Fund’s liquidity risk management program approved by the Board. The Trustees have delegated to each Fund’s Adviser the determination of the liquidity of such investments in the respective Fund’s portfolio as administrator of the Fund’s liquidity risk management program. The Fund’s Adviser will take into account relevant market, trading and investment-specific considerations when determining whether an investment is illiquid.

If illiquid assets exceed 15% of a Fund’s net assets after the time of purchase, the Fund will take steps to reduce, in accordance with Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act, its holdings of illiquid securities. Because illiquid securities may not be readily marketable, the relevant Fund’s subadviser may not be able to dispose of them in a timely manner. As a result, the Fund may be forced to hold illiquid securities while their price depreciates. Depreciation in the price of illiquid securities may cause the NAV of the Fund holding them to decline. An investment that is determined by a Fund’s Adviser to be liquid may subsequently revert to being illiquid if not enough buyer interest exists.

Restricted securities ordinarily can be sold by the Fund in secondary market transactions to certain qualified investors pursuant to rules established by the SEC, in privately negotiated transactions to a limited number of purchasers or in a public offering made pursuant to an

 

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effective registration statement under the 1933 Act. When registration is required, the Fund may be obligated to pay all or part of the registration expenses and a considerable time may elapse between the decision to sell and the sale date. If, during such period, adverse market conditions were to develop, the Fund might obtain a less favorable price than the price which prevailed when it decided to sell.

Restricted securities will be priced at fair value as determined in good faith by the Trustees or their delegate.

 
   

Leverage

Each Fund may employ investment techniques that create leverage, either by using borrowed capital to increase the amount invested, or investing in instruments, including derivatives, where the investment loss can exceed the original amount invested. Certain investments or trading strategies that involve leverage can result in losses that greatly exceed the amount originally invested.

The SEC takes the position that transactions that have a leveraging effect on the capital structure of a mutual fund or are economically equivalent to borrowing can be viewed as constituting a form of borrowing by the fund for purposes of the 1940 Act. These transactions can include buying and selling certain derivatives (such as futures contracts); selling (or writing) put and call options; engaging in sale-buybacks; entering into firm-commitment and stand-by commitment agreements; engaging in when-issued, delayed-delivery, or forward-commitment transactions; and other similar trading practices (additional discussion about a number of these transactions can be found throughout this section of the SAI). Such transactions are generally subject to the provisions of Rule 18f-4. (See “Derivatives and Other Similar Instruments” above for additional information.)

The following are some of the Funds’ permitted investment techniques that are generally viewed as creating leverage for the Funds.

 
   

Borrowing

A Fund’s ability to borrow money is limited by its investment policies and limitations, by the 1940 Act, and by applicable exemptions, no- action letters, interpretations, and other pronouncements issued from time to time by the SEC and its staff or any other regulatory authority with jurisdiction. Under the 1940 Act, a Fund is required to maintain continuous asset coverage (that is, total assets including borrowings, less liabilities exclusive of borrowings) of 300% of the amount borrowed, with an exception for borrowings not in excess of 5% of the Fund’s total assets made for temporary or emergency purposes. Any borrowings for temporary purposes in excess of 5% of the Fund’s total assets must maintain continuous asset coverage. If the 300% asset coverage should decline as a result of market fluctuations or for other reasons, a Fund may be required to sell some of its portfolio holdings within three days (excluding Sundays and holidays) to reduce the debt and restore the 300% asset coverage, even though it may be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint to sell securities at that time.

Borrowing will tend to exaggerate the effect on net asset value of any increase or decrease in the market value of a Fund’s portfolio. Money borrowed will be subject to interest costs that may or may not be recovered by earnings on the securities purchased. A Fund also may be required to maintain minimum average balances in connection with a borrowing or to pay a commitment or other fee to maintain a line of credit; either of these requirements would increase the cost of borrowing over the stated interest rate.

 

Interfund Borrowing and Lending

The Virtus Funds and their investment advisers have received exemptive relief from the SEC which permits the Virtus Funds to participate in an interfund lending program. The interfund lending program allows the participating Virtus Funds to borrow money from and loan money to each other for temporary or emergency purposes. The program is subject to a number of conditions designed to ensure fair and equitable treatment of the participating Virtus Funds, including the following: (1) no Virtus Fund may borrow money through the program unless it receives a more favorable interest rate than a rate approximating the lowest interest rate at which bank loans would be available to any of the participating Virtus Funds under a loan agreement; and (2) no Virtus Fund may lend money through the program unless it receives a more favorable return than that available from an investment

 

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in overnight repurchase agreements or the yield of any money market fund in which the Virtus Fund could invest. In addition, a Virtus Fund may participate in the program only if and to the extent that such participation is consistent with its investment objectives, policies and limitations. Interfund loans and borrowings have a maximum duration of seven days and loans may be called on one business day’s notice.

A participating Virtus Fund may not lend to another Virtus Fund under the interfund lending program if the interfund loan would cause its aggregate outstanding interfund loans to exceed 15% of its current net assets at the time of the loan. Interfund loans by a Virtus Fund to any one Virtus Fund may not exceed 5% of net assets of the lending Virtus Fund.

The restrictions discussed above and the other conditions of the SEC exemptive order permitting interfund lending are designed to minimize the risks associated with interfund lending for both the lending Virtus Fund and the borrowing Virtus Fund. However, no borrowing or lending activity is without risk. If a Virtus Fund borrows money from another Virtus Fund, there is a risk that the interfund loan could be called on one business day’s notice or not renewed, in which case the borrowing Virtus Fund may have to borrow from a bank at higher rates if an interfund loan were not available from another Virtus Fund. A delay in repayment to a lending Virtus Fund could result in a lost opportunity or additional lending costs, and interfund loans are subject to the risk that the borrowing Virtus Fund could be unable to repay the loan when due.

 
   

Mortgage “Dollar- Roll” Transactions

Each Fund may enter into mortgage “dollar-roll” transactions pursuant to which it sells mortgage-backed securities for delivery in the future and simultaneously contracts to repurchase substantially similar securities on a specified future date. During the roll period, the Fund forgoes principal and interest paid on the mortgage-backed securities. The Fund is compensated for the lost interest by the difference between the current sales price and the lower price for the future purchase (often referred to as the “drop”) as well as by the interest earned on, and gains from, the investment of the cash proceeds of the initial sale. The Fund may also be compensated by receipt of a commitment fee. If the income and capital gains from the Fund’s investment of the cash from the initial sale do not exceed the income, capital appreciation and gain or loss that would have been realized on the securities sold as part of the dollar roll, the use of this technique will diminish the investment performance of the Fund compared with what the performance would have been without the use of the dollar roll.

Dollar-roll transactions involve the risk that the market value of the securities the Fund is required to purchase may decline below the agreed upon repurchase price of those securities. If the broker-dealer to whom the Fund sells securities becomes insolvent, the Fund’s right to purchase or repurchase securities may be restricted. Successful use of dollar rolls may depend upon the Fund’s subadviser’s ability to correctly predict interest rates and prepayments. There is no assurance that dollar rolls can be successfully employed.

Dollar-roll transactions are generally subject to the provisions of Rule 18f-4. (See “Derivatives and Other Similar Instruments” above for additional information.)

 

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

Reverse repurchase agreements are transactions in which the Fund sells a security and simultaneously commits to repurchase that security from the buyer, such as a bank or broker-dealer, at an agreed-upon price on an agreed-upon future date. The resale price in a reverse repurchase agreement reflects a market rate of interest that is not related to the coupon rate or maturity of the sold security. For certain demand agreements, there is no agreed-upon repurchase date and interest payments are calculated daily, often based upon the prevailing overnight repurchase rate.

Generally, a reverse repurchase agreement enables the Fund to recover for the term of the reverse repurchase agreement all or most of the cash invested in the portfolio securities sold and to keep the interest income associated with those portfolio securities. Such transactions are only advantageous if the interest cost to the Fund of the reverse repurchase transaction is less than the cost of obtaining the cash otherwise. In addition, interest costs on the money received in a reverse repurchase agreement may exceed the

 

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return received on the investments made by the Fund with those monies. Using reverse repurchase agreements to earn additional income involves the risk that the interest earned on the invested proceeds is less than the expense of the reverse repurchase agreement transaction.

A Fund will enter into reverse repurchase agreements only with parties that the Fund’s subadviser deems creditworthy, but such investments are still subject to the risks of leverage discussed above.

Reverse repurchase agreements are generally subject to the provisions of Rule 18f-4. (See “Derivatives and Other Similar Instruments” above for additional information.)

 

Market Volatility Risk

A Fund could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. The value of a security or other instrument may decline due to changes in general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or other instrument, or factors that affect a particular issuer or issuers, country, group of countries, region, market, industry, group of industries, sector or asset class. During a general market downturn, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Changes in market conditions and interest rates generally do not have the same impact on all types of securities and instruments.

Social, political, economic and other conditions and events (such as natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) that occur from time to time will create uncertainty and may have significant impacts on issuers, industries, governments and other systems, including the financial markets, to which a Fund and the issuers in which it invests are exposed. As global systems, economies and financial markets are increasingly interconnected, events that once had only local impact are now more likely to have regional or even global effects. Events that occur in one country, region or financial market will, more frequently, impact issuers in other countries, regions or markets, including in established markets such as the United States. These impacts can be exacerbated by failures of governments and societies to adequately respond to an emerging event or threat.

Uncertainty can result in or coincide with: increased volatility in the global financial markets, including those related to equity and debt securities, loans, credit, derivatives and currency; a decrease in the reliability of market prices and difficulty in valuing assets; greater fluctuations in currency exchange rates; increased risk of default (by both government and private issuers); further social, economic, and political instability; nationalization of private enterprises; greater governmental involvement in the economy or in social factors that impact the economy; greater, less or different governmental regulation and supervision of the securities markets and market participants and increased, decreased or different processes for and approaches to monitoring markets and enforcing rules and regulations by governments or self-regulatory organizations; limited, or limitations on the, activities of investors in such markets; controls or restrictions on foreign investment, capital controls and limitations on repatriation of invested capital; inability to purchase and sell assets or otherwise settle transactions (i.e., a market freeze); unavailability of currency hedging techniques; substantial, and in some periods extremely high, rates of inflation, which can last many years and have substantial negative effects on markets as well as the economy as a whole; recessions; rapid interest rate changes; supply chain disruptions; sanctions; and difficulties in obtaining and/or enforcing legal judgments.

For example, an outbreak of infectious respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 was first detected in China in December 2019 and eventually detected globally. This coronavirus resulted in travel restrictions, closed international borders, enhanced health screenings at ports of entry and elsewhere, disruption of and delays in healthcare service preparation and delivery, prolonged quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, and lower consumer demand, as well as general concern and uncertainty. The impact of COVID-19 adversely affected the economies of many nations and the entire global economy, individual issuers and capital markets. Future infectious illness outbreaks

 

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could affect the economies of many nations or the entire global economy in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. In addition, the impact of infectious illnesses in emerging market countries may be greater due to generally less established healthcare systems. Public health crises may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks in certain countries or globally.

Although it is impossible to predict the precise nature and consequences of these events, or of any political or policy decisions and regulatory changes occasioned by emerging events or uncertainty on applicable laws or regulations that impact a Fund’s investments, it is clear that these types of events will impact the Funds and the issuers in which each invests. The government response to these events, including emergency health measures, welfare benefit programs, fiscal stimulus, industry support programs, and measures that impact interest rates, among other responses, is also a factor that may impact the financial markets and the value of a Fund’s holdings. The issuers in which a Fund invests could be significantly impacted by emerging events and uncertainty of this type. A Fund will also be negatively affected if the operations and effectiveness of any of its key service providers are compromised or if necessary or beneficial systems and processes are disrupted.

 
   

Master Limited Partnerships (“MLPs”)

An investment in MLP units involves some risks that differ from an investment in the common stock of a corporation. Holders of MLP units have limited control on matters affecting the partnership. Conflicts of interest exist between common unit holders and the general partner, including those arising from incentive distribution payments. MLPs holding credit-related investments are subject to interest rate risk and the risk of default on payment obligations by debt issuers. MLPs that concentrate in a particular industry or a particular geographic region are subject to risks associated with such industry or region. The fees that MLPs charge for transportation of oil and gas products through their pipelines are subject to government regulation, which could negatively impact the revenue stream. Investing in MLPs also involves certain risks related to investing in the underlying assets of the MLPs and risks associated with pooled investment vehicles. These include the risk of environmental incidents, terrorist attacks, demand destruction from high commodity prices, proliferation of alternative energy sources, inadequate supply of external capital, and conflicts of interest with the general partner. There are also certain tax risks associated with investment in MLPs. The benefit derived from a Fund’s investment in MLPs is somewhat dependent on the MLP being treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, so any change to this status would adversely affect the price of MLP units. Historically, a substantial portion of the gross taxable income of MLPs has been offset by tax losses and deductions reducing gross income received by investors, and any change to these tax rules would adversely affect the price of an MLP unit. Certain MLPs may trade less frequently than other securities, and those with limited trading volumes may display volatile or erratic price movements.

 

Money Market Instruments

Each Fund may invest in money market instruments, which are high- quality short-term investments. The types of money market instruments most commonly acquired by the Funds are discussed below, although each Fund is also permitted to invest in other types of money market instruments to the extent consistent with the Fund’s investment limitations and restrictions.

 

Banker’s Acceptances

A banker’s acceptance is a time draft drawn on a commercial bank by a borrower usually in connection with an international commercial transaction (to finance the import, export, transfer or storage of goods). The borrower, as well as the bank, is liable for payment, and the bank unconditionally guarantees to pay the draft at its face amount on the maturity date. Most acceptances have maturities of six months or less and are traded in secondary markets prior to maturity.

 

Certificates of Deposit

Certificates of deposit are generally short-term, interest-bearing negotiable certificates issued by banks or savings and loan associations against funds deposited in the issuing institution. They generally may be withdrawn on demand but may be subject to early withdrawal penalties which could reduce the Fund’s yield. Deposits subject to early

 

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withdrawal penalties or that mature in more than seven days are treated as illiquid securities if there is no readily available market for the securities.

 

Commercial Paper

Commercial paper refers to short-term, unsecured promissory notes issued by corporations to finance short-term credit needs. Commercial paper is usually sold on a discount basis and has a maturity at the time of issuance not exceeding nine months. The commercial paper purchased by the funds may consist of U.S. dollar- or foreign currency-denominated obligations of domestic or non-U.S. issuers, and may be rated or unrated (see Appendix A for a description of the ratings assigned by various rating agencies to commercial paper). The rate of return on commercial paper may be linked or indexed to the level of exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and a foreign currency or currencies.

 

Obligations of Foreign Banks and Foreign Branches of U.S. Banks

The money market instruments in which the Funds may invest include negotiable certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances and time deposits of foreign branches of U.S. banks, foreign banks and their non-U.S. branches (Eurodollars), U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks (Yankee dollars), and wholly-owned banking-related subsidiaries of foreign banks. For the purposes of each Fund’s investment policies with respect to money market instruments, obligations of foreign branches of U.S. banks and of foreign banks are obligations of the issuing bank and may be general obligations of the parent bank. Such obligations, however, may be limited by the terms of a specific obligation and by government regulation. As with investment in non-U.S. securities in general, investments in the obligations of foreign branches of U.S. banks and of foreign banks may subject a Fund to investment risks that are different in some respects from those of investments in obligations of domestic issuers.

 

Time Deposits

Time deposits are deposits in a bank or other financial institution for a specified period of time at a fixed interest rate for which a negotiable certificate is not received.

 

U.S. Government Obligations

Securities issued or guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States Government include a variety of Treasury securities, which differ only in their interest rates, maturities, and times of issuance. Treasury bills have maturities of one year or less. Treasury notes have maturities of one to ten years, and Treasury bonds generally have maturities of greater than ten years.

Agencies of the United States Government which issue or guarantee obligations include, among others, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Farmers Home Administration, Federal Housing Administration, GNMA, Maritime Administration, Small Business Administration and The Tennessee Valley Authority. Obligations of instrumentalities of the United States Government include securities issued or guaranteed by, among others, FNMA, Federal Home Loan Banks, FHLMC, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, Banks for Cooperatives, and the U.S. Postal Service. Some of these securities are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, others are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the Treasury, while still others are supported only by the credit of the instrumentality. There is no guarantee that the U.S. Government will provide financial support to its agencies or instrumentalities, now or in the future, if it is not obligated to do so by law. Accordingly, although these securities have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity, they may involve more risk than securities backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government because the Fund must look principally to the agency or instrumentality issuing or guaranteeing the securities for repayment and may not be able to assert a claim against the United States if the agency or instrumentality does not meet its commitment.

 

Mutual Fund Investing

Each Fund is authorized to invest in the securities of other investment companies subject to the limitations contained in the 1940 Act.

Investment companies in which the Fund may invest may include ETFs. An ETF is an investment company classified as an open-end investment company or unit investment trust that is traded similarly to a publicly traded company. Most ETFs seek to achieve the same return as a particular market index. That type of ETF is similar to an index fund in that

 

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it will primarily invest in the securities of companies that are included in a selected market index. An index-based ETF will invest in all of the securities included in the index, a representative sample of the securities included in the index, or other investments expected to produce returns substantially similar to that of the index. Other types of ETFs include leveraged or inverse ETFs, which are ETFs that seek to achieve a daily return that is a multiple or an inverse multiple of the daily return of a securities index. An important characteristic of these ETFs is that they seek to achieve their stated objectives on a daily basis, and their performance over longer periods of time can differ significantly from the multiple or inverse multiple of the index performance over those longer periods of time. ETFs also include actively managed ETFs that pursue active management strategies and publish their portfolio holdings on a frequent basis.

In connection with the management of its daily cash positions, each Fund may invest in securities issued by investment companies that invest in short-term debt securities (which may include municipal obligations that are exempt from Federal income taxes) and that seek to maintain a $1.00 NAV per share.

In certain countries, investments by the Funds may only be made through investments in other investment companies that, in turn, are authorized to invest in the securities that are issued in such countries. (See “Foreign Investment Companies” under “Foreign Investing” in this section of the SAI.)

Under the 1940 Act, a Fund generally may not own more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of an investment company, invest more than 5% of its total assets in any one investment company, or invest more than 10% of its total assets in the securities of investment companies. In some instances, a Fund may invest in an investment company in excess of these limits; for instance, with respect to investments in money market funds or investments made pursuant to exemptive rules adopted and/or orders granted by the SEC. The SEC has adopted exemptive rules to permit funds of funds to exceed these limits when complying with certain conditions, which differ depending upon whether the funds in which a fund of funds invests are affiliated or unaffiliated with the fund of funds. Many ETFs have obtained exemptive relief from the SEC to permit unaffiliated funds to invest in the ETF’s shares beyond the statutory limitations discussed above, subject to certain conditions. The Funds may rely on these exemptive rules and/or orders to invest in affiliated or unaffiliated mutual funds and/or unaffiliated ETFs. In addition to this, the Trust has obtained exemptive relief permitting the Funds to exceed the limitations with respect to investments in affiliated and unaffiliated funds that are not themselves funds of funds, subject to certain conditions.

The risks associated with investing in other investment companies generally reflect the risks of owning shares of the underlying securities in which those investment companies invest, although lack of liquidity in an investment company could result in its value being more volatile than the underlying portfolio of securities. For purposes of complying with investment policies requiring a Fund to invest a percentage of its assets in a certain type of investments (e.g., stocks of small capitalization companies), the Fund generally will look through an investment company in which it invests, to categorize the investment company in accordance with the types of investments the investment company holds.

Certain investment companies in which the Funds may invest may be considered commodity pools under the CEA and applicable CFTC regulations. If a Fund invests in such an investment company, the Fund will be required to treat some or all of its holding of the investment company’s shares as a commodity interest for the purposes of determining whether the Fund is qualified to claim exclusion or exemption from regulation by the CFTC. (See “Commodity Interests” in this section of the SAI for additional information regarding the implications to the Funds of investing in commodity interests.)

Investors in each Fund should recognize that when a Fund invests in another investment company, the Fund will bear its pro rata portion of the other investment company’s expenses, including advisory fees, in addition to the expenses the Fund bears directly in connection with its own operations.

 

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Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”)

Each Fund may invest in REITs. REITs pool investors’ funds for investment primarily in income producing commercial real estate or real estate related loans. A REIT is not taxed on income distributed to shareholders if it complies with several requirements relating to its organization, ownership, assets, and income and a requirement that it distribute to its shareholders at least 90% of its taxable income (other than net capital gains) for each taxable year.

REITs can generally be classified as follows:

 Equity REITs, which invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive their income primarily from rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value.

 Mortgage REITs, which invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive their income primarily from interest payments.

 Hybrid REITs, which combine the characteristics of both equity REITs and mortgage REITs.

REITs are structured similarly to closed-end investment companies in that they are essentially holding companies. An investor should realize that by investing in REITs indirectly through the Fund, he will bear not only his proportionate share of the expenses of the Fund, but also, indirectly, similar expenses of the underlying REITs. (See “Mutual Fund Investing” in this section of the SAI.)

Selecting REITs requires an evaluation of the merits of each type of asset a particular REIT owns, as well as regional and local economics. Due to the proliferation of REITs in recent years and the relative lack of sophistication of certain REIT managers, the quality of REIT assets has varied significantly. The risks associated with REITs are similar to those associated with the direct ownership of real estate. These include declines in the value of real estate, risks related to general and local economic conditions, dependence on management skill, cash flow dependence, possible lack of availability of long-term mortgage funds, over-building, extended vacancies of properties, decreased occupancy rates and increased competition, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, changes in neighborhood values and the appeal of the properties to tenants and changes in interest rates.

Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying properties they own, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. Further, equity and mortgage REITs are dependent upon management skills and generally are not diversified. Equity and mortgage REITs are also subject to potential defaults by borrowers, self-liquidation, and the possibility of failing to qualify for tax-free status of income under the Code and failing to maintain exemption from the 1940 Act. In the event of a default by a borrower or lessee, the REIT may experience delays in enforcing its rights as a mortgagee or lessor and may incur substantial costs associated with protecting its investments. In addition, investment in REITs could cause the Fund to possibly fail to qualify as a RIC. (See the “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” section of the SAI.)

 

Regulation S Securities

A Fund may invest in the securities of U.S. and non-U.S. issuers that are issued through private offerings without registration with the SEC pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act (“Regulation S Securities”). Offerings of Regulation S Securities may be conducted outside of the United States. Because Regulation S Securities are subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale, Regulation S Securities may be considered illiquid. If a Regulation S Security is determined to be illiquid, the investment will be included with a Fund’s 15% of net assets limitation on investment in illiquid securities. Furthermore, because Regulation S Securities are generally less liquid than registered securities, a Fund may take longer to liquidate these positions than would be the case for publicly traded securities. Although Regulation S Securities may be resold in privately negotiated transactions, the price realized from these sales could be less than those originally paid by

 

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a Fund. Further, companies whose securities are not publicly traded may not be subject to the disclosure and other investor protection requirements that would be applicable if their securities were publicly traded. Accordingly, Regulation S Securities may involve a high degree of business and financial risk and may result in substantial losses.

 
   

Repurchase Agreements

Each Fund may enter into repurchase agreements by which the Fund purchases portfolio securities subject to the seller’s agreement to repurchase them at a mutually agreed-upon time and price. The repurchase price may be higher than the purchase price, the difference being income to the Fund, or the purchase and repurchase price may be the same, with interest payable to the Fund at a stated rate together with the repurchase price on repurchase. In either case, the income to the Fund is unrelated to the interest rate on the security.

A repurchase agreement must be collateralized by obligations that could otherwise be purchased by the Fund (except with respect to maturity), and these must be maintained by the seller in a segregated account for the Fund. The value of such collateral will be monitored throughout the term of the repurchase agreement in an attempt to ensure that the market value of the collateral always equals or exceeds the repurchase price (including accrued interest). If the value of the collateral dips below such repurchase price, additional collateral will be requested and, when received, added to the account to maintain full collateralization.

Repurchase agreements will be entered into with commercial banks, brokers and dealers considered by the relevant Fund’s subadviser to be creditworthy. However, the use of repurchase agreements involves certain risks such as default by, or insolvency of, the other party to the transaction. The Fund also might incur disposition costs in connection with liquidating the underlying securities or enforcing its rights.

Typically, repurchase agreements are in effect for one week or less, but they may be in effect for longer periods of time.

Repurchase agreements of more than seven days’ duration are subject to each Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities, which means that no more than 15% of the market value of a Fund’s total assets may be invested in repurchase agreements with a maturity of more than seven days and in other illiquid securities.

 
   

Securities Lending

Subject to certain investment restrictions, each Fund may, subject to the Trustees’ and Trust Treasurer’s approval, lend securities from its portfolio to brokers, dealers and financial institutions deemed creditworthy and receive, as collateral, cash or cash equivalents which at all times while the loan is outstanding will be maintained in amounts equal to at least 100% of the current market value of the loaned securities. Any cash collateral will be invested in short-term securities that will increase the current income of the Fund lending its securities.

A Fund will have the right to regain record ownership of loaned securities to exercise beneficial rights such as voting rights and subscription rights. While a securities loan is outstanding, the Fund is to receive an amount equal to any dividends, interest or other distributions with respect to the loaned securities. A Fund may pay reasonable fees to persons unaffiliated with the Trust for services in arranging such loans.

Even though securities lending usually does not impose market risks on the lending Fund, as with any extension of credit, there are risks of delay in recovery of the loaned securities and in some cases loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower of the securities fail financially. In addition, the value of the collateral taken as security for the securities loaned may decline in value or may be difficult to convert to cash in the event that a Fund must rely on the collateral to recover the value of the securities. Moreover, if the borrower of the securities is insolvent, under current bankruptcy law, the Fund could be ordered by a court not to liquidate the collateral for an indeterminate period of time. If the borrower is the subject of insolvency proceedings and the collateral held might not be liquidated, the result could be a material adverse impact on the liquidity of the lending Fund.

 

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No Fund will lend securities having a value in excess of 33 1/3% of its assets, including collateral received for loaned securities (valued at the time of any loan).

 

Short Sales

Each Fund may sell securities short as part of its overall portfolio management strategies involving the use of derivative instruments and to offset potential declines in long positions in similar securities. A short sale is a transaction in which a Fund sells a security it does not own or have the right to acquire, or that it owns but does not wish to deliver, in anticipation that the market price of that security will decline. A short sale is “against the box” to the extent the Fund contemporaneously owns, or has the right to obtain at no added cost, securities identical to those sold short. All other short sales are commonly referred to as “naked” short sales.

When a Fund makes a short sale, the broker-dealer through which the short sale is made must borrow the security sold short and deliver it to the party purchasing the security. The Fund is required to make a margin deposit in connection with such short sales; the Fund may have to pay a fee to borrow particular securities and will often be obligated to pay over any dividends and accrued interest on borrowed securities. If the price of the security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund covers its short position, the Fund will incur a loss; conversely, if the price declines, the Fund will realize a capital gain. Any gain will be decreased, and any loss increased, by the transaction costs described above. The successful use of short selling may be adversely affected by imperfect correlation between movements in the price of the security sold short and the securities being hedged.

If a Fund sells securities short against the box, it may protect unrealized gains, but will lose the opportunity to profit on such securities if the price rises. If a Fund engages in naked short sales, the Fund’s risk of loss could be as much as the maximum attainable price of the security (which could be limitless) less the price paid by the Fund for the security at the time it was borrowed.

Short sales are generally subject to the provisions of Rule 18f-4. (See “Derivatives and Other Similar Instruments” above for additional information.)

 
   

Special Situations

Each Fund may invest in special situations that the Fund’s subadviser believes present opportunities for capital growth. Such situations most typically include corporate restructurings, mergers, and tender offers.

A special situation arises when, in the opinion of the Fund’s subadviser, the securities of a particular company will, within a reasonably estimable period of time, be accorded market recognition at an appreciated value solely by reason of a development particularly or uniquely applicable to that company and regardless of general business conditions or movements of the market as a whole. Developments creating special situations might include, among others, the following: liquidations, reorganizations, recapitalizations, mergers, or tender offers; material litigation or resolution thereof; technological breakthroughs; and new management or management policies. Although large and well-known companies may be involved, special situations often involve much greater risk than is inherent in ordinary investment securities.

 

Temporary Investments

When business or financial conditions warrant, each Fund may assume a temporary defensive position by investing in money-market instruments, including obligations of the U.S. Government and its agencies and instrumentalities, obligations of foreign sovereigns, other debt securities, commercial paper including bank obligations, certificates of deposit (including Eurodollar certificates of deposit) and repurchase agreements. (See “Money Market Instruments” in this section of the SAI for more information about these types of investments.)

For temporary defensive purposes, during periods in which a Fund’s subadviser believes adverse changes in economic, financial or political conditions make it advisable, the Fund may reduce its holdings in equity and other securities and may invest up to 100% of its assets in certain short-term (less than twelve months to maturity) and medium-term (not

 

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greater than five years to maturity) debt securities and in cash (U.S. dollars, foreign currencies, or multicurrency units). The short-term and medium-term debt securities in which a Fund may invest for temporary defensive purposes will be those that the Fund’s subadviser believes to be of high quality (i.e., subject to relatively low risk of loss of interest or principal). If rated, these securities will be rated in one of the three highest rating categories by rating services such as Moody’s or S&P (i.e., rated at least A).

 

Warrants or Rights to Purchase Securities

Each Fund may invest in or acquire warrants or rights to purchase equity or fixed income securities at a specified price during a specific period of time. A Fund will make such investments only if the underlying securities are deemed appropriate by the Fund’s subadviser for inclusion in the Fund’s portfolio. Included are warrants and rights whose underlying securities are not traded on principal domestic or foreign exchanges. Warrants and stock rights are almost identical to call options in their nature, use and effect except that they are issued by the issuer of the underlying security, rather than an option writer, and they generally have longer expiration dates than call options. (See “Options” in this section of the SAI for information about call options.)

Bonds with warrants attached to purchase equity securities have many characteristics of convertible bonds and their prices may, to some degree, reflect the performance of the underlying stock. However, unlike convertible securities and preferred stocks, warrants do not pay a fixed dividend. Bonds also may be issued with warrants attached to purchase additional fixed income securities at the same coupon rate. A decline in interest rates would permit a Fund holding such warrants to buy additional bonds at the favorable rate or to sell the warrants at a profit. If interest rates rise, the warrants would generally expire with no value.

A Fund may purchase put warrants and call warrants whose values vary depending on the change in the value of one or more specified securities indices (“index warrants”). Index warrants are generally issued by banks or other financial institutions and give the holder the right, at any time during the term of the warrant, to receive upon exercise of the warrant a cash payment from the issuer based on the value of the underlying index at the time of exercise. In general, if the value of the underlying index rises above the exercise price of the index warrant, the holder of a call warrant will be entitled to receive a cash payment from the issuer upon exercise based on the difference between the value of the index and the exercise price of the warrant; if the value of the underlying index falls, the holder of a put warrant will be entitled to receive a cash payment from the issuer upon exercise based on the difference between the exercise price of the warrant and the value of the index. The holder of a warrant would not be entitled to any payments from the issuer at any time when, in the case of a call warrant, the exercise price is greater than the value of the underlying index or, in the case of a put warrant, the exercise price is less than the value of the underlying index. If a Fund were not to exercise an index warrant prior to its expiration, then the Fund would lose the amount of the purchase price paid by it for the warrant.

A Fund will normally use index warrants in a manner similar to its use of options on securities indices. The risks of the Fund’s use of index warrants are generally similar to those relating to its use of index options. (See “Options” in this section of the SAI for information about index options.) Unlike most index options, however, index warrants are issued in limited amounts and are not obligations of a regulated clearing agency, but are backed only by the credit of the bank or other institution which issues the warrant. Also, index warrants generally have longer terms than index options. Although a Fund will normally invest only in exchange-listed warrants, index warrants are not likely to be as liquid as certain index options backed by a recognized clearing agency. In addition, the terms of index warrants may limit a Fund’s ability to exercise the warrants at such time, or in such quantities, as the Fund would otherwise wish to do.

 
   

When-Issued and Delayed Delivery Transactions

Each Fund may purchase securities on a when-issued or forward commitment basis. These transactions are also known as delayed delivery transactions. (The phrase “delayed delivery” is not intended to include purchases where a delay in delivery involves only a brief

 

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period required by the selling party solely to locate appropriate certificates and prepare them for submission for clearance and settlement in the customary way.) Delayed delivery transactions involve a commitment by the Fund to purchase or sell securities at a future date (ordinarily up to 90 days later). The price of the underlying securities (usually expressed in terms of yield) and the date when the securities will be delivered and paid for (the settlement date) are fixed at the time the transaction is negotiated. When-issued purchases and forward commitments are negotiated directly with the selling party.

When-issued purchases and forward commitments enable the Fund to lock in what is believed to be an attractive price or yield on a particular security for a period of time, regardless of future changes in interest rates. For example, in periods of rising interest rates and falling bond prices, the Fund might sell debt securities it owns on a forward commitment basis to limit its exposure to falling prices. In periods of falling interest rates and rising prices, the Fund might sell securities it owns and purchase the same or similar securities on a when-issued or forward commitment basis, thereby obtaining the benefit of currently higher yields. The Fund will not enter into such transactions for the purpose of leverage.

The value of securities purchased on a when-issued or forward commitment basis and any subsequent fluctuations in their value will be reflected in the Fund’s NAV starting on the first business day after the date of the agreement to purchase the securities. The Fund will be subject to the rights and risks of ownership of the securities on the agreement date. However, the Fund will not earn interest on securities it has committed to purchase until they are paid for and received. A seller’s failure to deliver securities to the Fund could prevent the Fund from realizing a price or yield considered to be advantageous and could cause the Fund to incur expenses associated with unwinding the transaction.

When a Fund makes a forward commitment to sell securities it owns, the proceeds to be received upon settlement will be included in the Fund’s assets. Fluctuations in the market value of the underlying securities will not be reflected in the Fund’s NAV as long as the commitment to sell remains in effect. Settlement of when-issued purchases and forward commitment transactions generally takes place up to 90 days after the date of the transaction, but the Fund may agree to a longer settlement period.

The Funds will make commitments to purchase securities on a when- issued basis or to purchase or sell securities on a forward commitment basis only with the intention of completing the transaction and actually purchasing or selling the securities. If deemed advisable as a matter of investment strategy, however, a Fund may dispose of or renegotiate a commitment after it is entered into. A Fund also may sell securities it has committed to purchase before those securities are delivered to the Fund on the settlement date. The Fund may realize a capital gain or loss in connection with these transactions.

When-issued and delayed-delivery transactions are generally subject to the provisions of Rule 18f-4. (See “Derivatives and Other Similar Instruments” above for additional information.)

 

INVESTMENT LIMITATIONS

Fundamental Investment Limitations

Each fund is subject to the investment limitations enumerated in this section, which may be changed with respect to a particular fund only by a vote of the holders of a majority of such fund’s outstanding shares. As used in this SAI and in the Prospectuses, a “majority of the outstanding shares” of a fund means the lesser of (a) 67% of the shares of the particular fund represented at a meeting at which the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of such fund are present in person or by proxy, or (b) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of such fund.

The investment restrictions set forth below are fundamental policies of the Focused Growth Fund, Mid-Cap Value Fund and Small-Cap Fund and may not be changed with respect to any such fund without shareholder approval by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of that fund. Under these restrictions, each such fund:

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1. may borrow money to the maximum extent permitted by law, including without limitation (i) borrowing from banks or entering into reverse repurchase agreements, or employing similar investment techniques, and pledging its assets in connection therewith, if immediately after each borrowing and continuing thereafter, there is asset coverage of 300%, and (ii) entering into reverse repurchase agreements and transactions in options, futures, options on futures, and forward foreign currency contracts;

2. may not pledge, hypothecate, mortgage or otherwise encumber its assets in excess of 10% of such fund’s total assets (taken at cost) and then only to secure borrowings permitted by Restriction (1) above. (The deposit of securities or cash or cash equivalents in escrow in connection with the writing of covered call or put options, respectively, is not deemed to be pledges or other encumbrances.) (For the purpose of this restriction, collateral arrangements with respect to the writing of options, futures contracts, options on futures contracts, and collateral arrangements with respect to initial and variation margin are not deemed to be a pledge of assets and neither such arrangements nor the purchase or sale of futures or related options are deemed to be the issuance of a senior security.);

3. may not underwrite securities issued by other persons except to the extent that, in connection with the disposition of its portfolio investments, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under federal securities laws;

4. may not purchase or sell real estate, although it may purchase securities of issuers which deal in real estate, including securities of real estate investment trusts, and may purchase securities which are secured by interests in real estate;

5. may not acquire more than 10% of the voting securities of any issuer, both with respect to any such fund and to the funds to which this policy relates, in the aggregate;

6. may not concentrate more than 25% of the value of its total assets in any one industry

7. may not purchase or sell commodities or commodity contracts except that the funds may purchase and sell financial futures contracts and related options;

8. may not make loans, except by purchase of debt obligations or by entering into repurchase agreements or through the lending of the fund’s portfolio securities with respect to not more than 25% of its total assets; and

9. may not issue senior securities, except insofar as such fund may be deemed to have issued a senior security by reason of borrowing money in accordance with the fund’s borrowing policies, and except that for purposes of this investment restriction, collateral, escrow, or margin or other deposits with respect to the making of short sales, the purchase or sale of futures contracts or related options, purchase or sale of forward foreign currency contracts, and the writing of options on securities are not deemed to be an issuance of a senior security.

Notwithstanding the provisions of fundamental investment restrictions (1) and (9) above, each of the above-mentioned funds may borrow money for temporary administrative purposes. To the extent that borrowings for temporary administrative purposes exceed 5% of the total assets of a fund, such excess shall be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirements set forth above.

The investment restrictions set forth below are fundamental policies of each of the Income & Growth Fund, International Value Fund and Large-Cap Value Fund and may not be changed with respect to any such fund without shareholder approval by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of that fund. Under these restrictions, each such fund:

1. may not invest in a security if, as a result of such investment, more than 25% of its total assets (taken at market value at the time of such investment) would be invested in the securities of issuers in any particular industry, except that this restriction does not apply to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities (or repurchase agreements with respect thereto);

2. may not purchase or sell real estate, although it may purchase securities secured by real estate or interests therein, or securities issued by companies in the real estate industry or which invest in real estate or interests therein;

3. may not purchase or sell commodities, except that the fund may purchase and sell futures contracts and options, may enter into foreign exchange contracts, and may enter into swap agreements and other financial transactions not requiring delivery of physical commodities;

4. may borrow money to the maximum extent permitted by law, as interpreted or modified, or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time;

5. may not issue senior securities, except as permitted borrowings or as otherwise permitted under the 1940 Act;

6. may not make loans, except that this restriction shall not prohibit the purchase of debt obligations or entering into repurchase agreements or the lending of the fund’s portfolio securities; and

7. may not act as an underwriter of securities of other issuers, except to the extent that in connection with the disposition of portfolio securities, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under the federal securities laws.

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In determining whether a transaction is permitted under the 1940 Act, Restriction 5 above will be construed not to prohibit any transaction that is permitted under the 1940 Act, as interpreted or modified, or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.

The investment restrictions set forth below are fundamental policies of each of the Dividend Value Fund and Small-Cap Value Fund, and may not be changed with respect to any such fund without shareholder approval by vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of that fund. Under these restrictions, each such fund:

1. may not invest in a security if, as a result of such investment, more than 25% of its total assets (taken at market value at the time of such investment) would be invested in the securities of issuers in any particular industry, except that this restriction does not apply to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities (or repurchase agreements with respect thereto);

2. may not with respect to 75% of its assets, invest in a security if, as a result of such investment, more than 5% of its total assets (taken at market value at the time of such investment) would be invested in the securities of any one issuer, except that this restriction does not apply to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities

3. may not with respect to 75% of its assets, invest in a security if, as a result of such investment, it would hold more than 10% (taken at the time of such investment) of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer, except that this restriction does not apply to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities;

4. may not purchase or sell real estate, although it may purchase securities secured by real estate or interests therein, or securities issued by companies in the real estate industry or which invest in real estate or interests therein;

5. may not purchase or sell commodities or commodities contracts (which, for the purpose of this restriction, shall not include foreign currency or forward foreign currency contracts or swap agreements), except that any such fund may engage in interest rate futures contracts, stock index futures contracts, futures contracts based on other financial instruments or one or more groups of instruments, and on options on such futures contracts;

6. may not purchase securities on margin, except for use of short-term credit necessary for clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities, but it may make margin deposits in connection with transactions in options, futures, and options on futures, and except that effecting short sales will be deemed not to constitute a margin purchase for purposes of this restriction;

7. may borrow money to the maximum extent permitted by law, including without limitation (i) borrowing from banks or entering into reverse repurchase agreements, or employing similar investment techniques, and pledging its assets in connection therewith, if immediately after each borrowing and continuing thereafter, there is asset coverage of 300%, and (ii) entering into reverse repurchase agreements and transactions in options, futures, options on futures, and forward foreign currency contracts;

8. may not issue senior securities, except insofar as such fund may be deemed to have issued a senior security by reason of borrowing money in accordance with the fund’s borrowing policies, and except for purposes of this investment restriction, collateral, escrow, or margin or other deposits with respect to the making of short sales, the purchase or sale of futures contracts or related options, purchase or sale of forward foreign currency contracts, and the writing of options on securities are not deemed to be an issuance of a senior security;

9. may not lend any funds or other assets, except that such fund may, consistent with its investment objective and policies: (a) invest in debt obligations, including bonds, debentures, or other debt securities, bankers’ acceptances and commercial paper, even though the purchase of such obligations may be deemed to be the making of loans, (b) enter into repurchase agreements and reverse repurchase agreements, and (c) lend its portfolio securities in an amount not to exceed one-third of the value of its total assets, provided such loans are made in accordance with applicable guidelines established by the SEC and the Trustees of the Trust; and

10. may not act as an underwriter of securities of other issuers, except to the extent that in connection with the disposition of portfolio securities, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under the federal securities laws.

Notwithstanding the provisions of fundamental investment restrictions (7) and (8) above, each of the above-mentioned funds may borrow money for temporary administrative purposes. To the extent that borrowings for temporary administrative purposes exceed 5% of the total assets of a fund, such excess shall be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirements set forth above.

Each of the Focused Growth Fund, the Global Small-Cap Fund, the Health Sciences Fund, the Mid-Cap Growth Fund and the Technology Fund has adopted certain investment restrictions that are fundamental policies and that may not be changed without shareholder approval by the vote of a majority of each such fund’s outstanding voting securities.

In the case of the Global Small-Cap Fund, the Health Sciences Fund and the Technology Fund these restrictions provide that each such fund:

1. may not invest more than 25% of the value of its total assets in the securities of companies primarily engaged in any one industry, except that (i) the Technology Fund will concentrate more than 25% of its assets in the technology industry and (ii) the Health Sciences Fund will concentrate more than 25% of its assets in the healthcare industry.

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2. may borrow money to the maximum extent permitted by law, as interpreted or modified, or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time;

3. may not make loans, except that this restriction shall not prohibit the purchase of debt obligations or entering into repurchase agreements or the lending of the fund’s portfolio securities;

4. may not act as an underwriter of securities issued by other persons, except insofar as it may be deemed an underwriter under the 1933 Act in selling portfolio securities;

5. may not purchase or sell commodities, except that the fund may purchase and sell futures contracts and options, may enter into foreign exchange contracts, and may enter into swap agreements and other financial transactions not requiring delivery of physical commodities;

6. may not issue senior securities, except as permitted borrowings or as otherwise permitted under the 1940 Act; and

7. may not purchase or sell real estate; provided that the fund may invest in readily marketable securities secured by real estate or interests therein or issued by companies which invest in real estate or interests therein.

In determining whether a transaction is permitted under the 1940 Act, Restriction 6 above will be construed not to prohibit any transaction that is permitted under the 1940 Act, as interpreted or modified, or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.

Global Small-Cap and Technology Funds must invest in companies located in at least three different countries.

In addition, the Health Sciences Fund and the Technology Fund each will measure the percentage of its assets in a particular industry by reference to a customized set of industry and sector groups for classifying securities. This classification approach is based on one or more accepted industry classification models, modified to be what the applicable Fund’s subadviser believes is more representative of a fund’s investment portfolio.

In the case of the Mid-Cap Growth Fund, these restrictions provide that such fund:

1. may not invest more than 25% of the value of its total assets in the securities of companies primarily engaged in any one industry (other than the United States of America, its agencies and instrumentalities);

2. may not purchase or sell real estate; provided that the fund may invest in readily marketable securities secured by real estate or interests therein or issued by companies which invest in real estate or interests therein;

3. may borrow money to the maximum extent permitted by law, as interpreted or modified, or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time;

4. may not issue senior securities, except as permitted borrowings or as otherwise permitted under the 1940 Act;

5. may not make loans, except that this restriction shall not prohibit the purchase of debt obligations or entering into repurchase agreements or the lending of the fund’s portfolio securities;

6. may not underwrite securities issued by other persons except to the extent that, in connection with the disposition of its portfolio investments, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under federal securities laws; and

7. may not purchase or sell commodities, except that the fund may purchase and sell futures contracts and options, may enter into foreign exchange contracts, and may enter into swap agreements and other financial transactions not requiring the delivery of physical commodities.

In determining whether a transaction is permitted under the 1940 Act, Restriction 4 above will be construed not to prohibit any transaction that is permitted under the 1940 Act, as interpreted or modified, or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.

The investment restrictions set forth below are fundamental policies of the Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund and may not be changed with respect to the fund without shareholder approval by vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of the fund. Under these restrictions, the fund:

1. may not concentrate more than 25% of the value of its total assets in any one industry;

2. may not purchase or sell real estate, although it may purchase securities of issuers which deal in real estate, including securities of real estate investment trusts, and may purchase securities which are secured by interests in real estate;

3. may not make loans, except that this restriction shall not prohibit the purchase of debt obligations or entering into repurchase agreements or the lending of the fund’s portfolio securities;

4. may borrow money to the maximum extent permitted by law, as interpreted or modified, or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time;

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5. may not pledge, hypothecate, mortgage or otherwise encumber its assets in excess of 10% of such fund’s total assets (taken at cost) and then only to secure borrowings permitted by Restriction (4) above. (The deposit of securities or cash or cash equivalents in escrow in connection with the writing of covered call or put options, respectively, is not deemed to be pledges or other encumbrances.) (For the purpose of this restriction, collateral arrangements with respect to the writing of options, futures contracts, options on futures contracts, and collateral arrangements with respect to initial and variation margin are not deemed to be a pledge of assets and neither such arrangements nor the purchase or sale of futures or related options are deemed to be the issuance of a senior security.);

6. may not underwrite securities issued by other persons except to the extent that, in connection with the disposition of its portfolio investments, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under federal securities laws;

7. may not issue senior securities, except as permitted borrowings or as otherwise permitted under the 1940 Act; and

8. may not purchase or sell commodities, except that the fund may purchase and sell futures contracts and options, may enter into foreign exchange contracts, and may enter into swap agreements and other financial transactions not requiring the delivery of physical commodities.

In determining whether a transaction is permitted under the 1940 Act, Restriction 7 above will be construed not to prohibit any transaction that is permitted under the 1940 Act, as interpreted or modified, or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.

The 1940 Act and regulatory interpretations currently permit registered open-end funds to borrow up to one-third of the value of their total assets (including the amount borrowed) valued at the lesser of cost or market, less liabilities (not including the amount borrowed) at the time the borrowing is made. The 1940 Act and regulatory interpretations currently limit the percentage of registered open-end funds’ securities that may be loaned to one-third of the value of total assets. To the extent these are current interpretive positions that do not reflect any formal rule or statutory requirements, they may be changed by regulators without notice.

Non-Fundamental Investment Limitations

Each of the Focused Growth Fund, the Income & Growth Fund, the Small-Cap Fund and the NFJ Funds is also subject to the following non-fundamental restriction and policies (which may be changed without shareholder approval):

1. Subject to any limits set forth in its Prospectus or the SAI, each such fund may engage in short sales to the maximum extent permitted by law.

2. Each such fund may not invest more than 15% of the net assets of a fund (taken at market value at the time of the investment) in “illiquid securities,” illiquid securities being defined to include repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven days, certain loan participation interests, fixed time deposits which are not subject to prepayment or provide withdrawal penalties upon prepayment (other than overnight deposits), or other securities which legally or in the Adviser’s opinion may be deemed illiquid (other than securities issued pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act and certain commercial paper that the Adviser has determined to be liquid in accordance with Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act).

MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST

Trustees and Officers

The Board is responsible for the overall supervision of the Trust, including establishing the Funds’ policies and general supervision and review