ck0000768847-20231231

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PROSPECTUS
May 1, 2024
VanEck Funds
Emerging Markets Fund
Class A: GBFAX / Class C: EMRCX / Class I: EMRIX / Class Y: EMRYX / Class Z: EMRZX
Global Resources Fund
Class A: GHAAX / Class C: GHACX / Class I: GHAIX / Class Y: GHAYX
International Investors Gold Fund
Class A: INIVX / Class C: IIGCX / Class I: INIIX / Class Y: INIYX
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
800.826.2333    vaneck.com


TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Summary Information
Emerging Markets Fund (Class A, C, I, Y, Z)
Global Resources Fund (Class A, C, I, Y)
International Investors Gold Fund (Class A, C, I, Y)
II. Investment Objectives, Strategies, Policies, Risks and Other Information
1. Investment Objectives
2. Additional Information About Principal Investment Strategies and Risks
3. Additional Investment Strategies
4. Other Information and Policies
III. Shareholder Information
1. How to Buy, Sell, Exchange or Transfer Shares
2. How to Choose a Class of Shares
3. Sales Charges
4. Householding of Reports and Prospectuses
5. Retirement Plans
6. Federal Income Taxes
7. Dividends and Capital Gains Distributions
8. Management of the Funds and Service Providers
IV. License Agreements and Disclaimers
V. Financial Highlights
Appendix A: Intermediary Sales Charge Discounts and Waivers

EMERGING MARKETS FUND (CLASS A, C, I, Y, Z)
SUMMARY INFORMATION
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE
The Emerging Markets Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in equity securities in emerging markets around the world.
FUND FEES AND EXPENSES
This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the tables and examples below. You may qualify for Class A sales charge discounts if you and your family (includes spouse and children under age 21) invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $25,000, in the aggregate, in Classes A and C of the VanEck Funds. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial professional and in the “Shareholder Information-Sales Charges” section of this prospectus, in the “Availability of Discounts” section of the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) and, with respect to purchases of shares through specific intermediaries, in Appendix A to this prospectus, entitled “Intermediary Sales Charge Discounts and Waivers”. Investors may pay commissions and/or other forms of compensation to an intermediary, such as a broker, for transactions in Class Z shares, which are not reflected in the table or the example below.
Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)
Class A Class C Class I Class Y Class Z
Maximum Sales Charge (load) imposed on purchases (as a percentage of offering price)
5.75% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Maximum Deferred Sales Charge (load) (as a percentage of the lesser of the net asset value or purchase price)
0.00 1.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Class A Class C Class I Class Y Class Z
Management Fees 0.75% 0.75% 0.75% 0.75% 0.75%
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees 0.25% 1.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Other Expenses 0.59% 0.83% 0.48% 0.48% 0.43%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses 1.59% 2.58% 1.23% 1.23% 1.18%
Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements2
0.00% -0.06% -0.22% -0.12% -0.27%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursements
1.59% 2.52% 1.01% 1.11% 0.91%
1 A contingent deferred sales charge for Class A shares of 1.00% for one year applies to redemptions of qualified commissionable shares purchased at or above the $1 million breakpoint level.
2 Van Eck Associates Corporation (the “Adviser”) has agreed to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses to the extent necessary to prevent the operating expenses of the Fund (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, trading expenses, dividends and interest payments on securities sold short, taxes and extraordinary expenses) from exceeding 1.60% for Class A, 2.50% for Class C, 1.00% for Class I, 1.10% for Class Y, and 0.90% for Class Z of the Fund’s average daily net assets per year until May 1, 2025. During such time, the expense limitation is expected to continue until the Board of Trustees acts to discontinue all or a portion of such expense limitation.
EXPENSE EXAMPLE
The following example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then either redeem all of your shares at the end of these periods or continue to hold them. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same, and applies fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements, if any, for the periods indicated above under “Annual Fund Operating Expenses.” Although your actual expenses may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:
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Share Status 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Class A Sold or Held $727  $1,048  $1,391  $2,356 
Class C Sold $355  $797  $1,365  $2,910 
Held $255  $797  $1,365  $2,910 
Class I Sold or Held $103  $369  $655  $1,469 
Class Y Sold or Held $113  $378  $664  $1,478 
Class Z Sold or Held $93  $348  $623  $1,408 
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate that the Fund pays higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 11% of the average value of its portfolio.
PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
Under normal conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in securities of companies that are organized in, maintain at least 50% of their assets in, or derive at least 50% of their revenues from, emerging market countries. The Adviser has broad discretion to identify countries that it considers to qualify as emerging markets. The Adviser selects emerging market countries that the Fund will invest in based on the Adviser’s evaluation of economic fundamentals, legal structure, political developments and other specific factors the Adviser believes to be relevant.
Utilizing qualitative and quantitative measures, the Adviser seeks to invest in reasonably-priced companies that have strong structural growth potential. The Adviser seeks attractive investment opportunities in all areas of emerging markets, and utilizes a flexible investment approach across all market capitalizations. The Adviser seeks to (i) integrate financially-material environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors into the Fund’s investment process and (ii) reduce material exposure to issuers that the Adviser deems controversial in the ESG universe.
The Fund’s holdings may include issues denominated in currencies of emerging market countries, investment companies (like country funds) that invest in emerging market countries, depositary receipts, and similar types of investments, representing emerging market securities.
The Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in securities issued by other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”). The Fund may also invest in money market funds, but these investments are not subject to this limitation. The Fund may invest in ETFs to participate in, or gain exposure to, certain market sectors, or when direct investments in certain countries are not permitted or available. The Fund may also invest in restricted securities, including Rule 144A securities.
PRINCIPAL RISKS
There is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. The Fund’s share price and return will fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund involves the risk of losing money.
Active Management Risk.  In managing the Fund’s portfolio, the Adviser will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these will produce the desired results. Investment decisions made by the Adviser in seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective may cause a decline in the value of the investments held by the Fund and, in turn, cause the Fund’s shares to lose value or underperform other funds with similar investment objectives.
Consumer Discretionary Sector Risk. The Fund may be sensitive to, and its performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the consumer discretionary sector. The consumer discretionary sector comprises companies whose businesses are sensitive to economic cycles, such as manufacturers of high-end apparel and automobile and leisure companies. Companies in the consumer discretionary sector are subject to fluctuations in supply and demand. These companies may also be adversely affected by changes in consumer spending as a result of world events, political and economic conditions, commodity price volatility, changes in exchange rates, imposition of import controls, increased competition, depletion of resources and labor relations.
Direct Investments Risk. Direct investments may involve a high degree of business and financial risk that can result in substantial losses. Because of the absence of any public trading market for these investments, the Fund may take longer to
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liquidate these positions than would be the case for publicly traded securities. Direct investments are generally considered illiquid and will be aggregated with other illiquid investments for purposes of the Fund's limitation on illiquid investments.
Emerging Market Issuers Risk. Investments in securities of emerging market issuers involve risks not typically associated with investments in securities of issuers in more developed countries that may negatively affect the value of your investment in the Fund. Such heightened risks may include, among others, expropriation and/or nationalization of assets, restrictions on and government intervention in international trade, confiscatory taxation, political instability, including authoritarian and/or military involvement in governmental decision making, armed conflict, the impact on the economy as a result of civil war, crime (including drug violence) and social instability as a result of religious, ethnic and/or socioeconomic unrest. Issuers in certain emerging market countries are subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping than are issuers in more developed markets, and therefore, all material information may not be available or reliable. Emerging markets are also more likely than developed markets to experience problems with the clearing and settling of trades, as well as the holding of securities by local banks, agents and depositories. Low trading volumes and volatile prices in less developed markets may make trades harder to complete and settle, and governments or trade groups may compel local agents to hold securities in designated depositories that may not be subject to independent evaluation. Local agents are held only to the standards of care of their local markets. In general, the less developed a country’s securities markets are, the greater the likelihood of custody problems. Additionally, each of the factors described below could have a negative impact on the Fund’s performance and increase the volatility of the Fund.
Securities Markets. Securities markets in emerging market countries are underdeveloped and are often considered to be less correlated to global economic cycles than those markets located in more developed countries. Securities markets in emerging market countries are subject to greater risks associated with market volatility, lower market capitalization, lower trading volume, illiquidity, inflation, greater price fluctuations, uncertainty regarding the existence of trading markets, governmental control and heavy regulation of labor and industry. These factors, coupled with restrictions on foreign investment and other factors, limit the supply of securities available for investment by the Fund. This will affect the rate at which the Fund is able to invest in emerging market countries, the purchase and sale prices for such securities and the timing of purchases and sales. Emerging markets can experience high rates of inflation, deflation and currency devaluation. The prices of certain securities listed on securities markets in emerging market countries have been subject to sharp fluctuations and sudden declines, and no assurance can be given as to the future performance of listed securities in general. Volatility of prices may be greater than in more developed securities markets. Moreover, securities markets in emerging market countries may be closed for extended periods of time or trading on securities markets may be suspended altogether due to political or civil unrest. Market volatility may also be heightened by the actions of a small number of investors. Brokerage firms in emerging market countries may be fewer in number and less established than brokerage firms in more developed markets. Since the Fund may need to effect securities transactions through these brokerage firms, the Fund is subject to the risk that these brokerage firms will not be able to fulfill their obligations to the Fund. This risk is magnified to the extent the Fund effects securities transactions through a single brokerage firm or a small number of brokerage firms. In addition, the infrastructure for the safe custody of securities and for purchasing and selling securities, settling trades, collecting dividends, initiating corporate actions, and following corporate activity is not as well developed in emerging market countries as is the case in certain more developed markets.
Political and Economic Risk. Certain emerging market countries have historically been subject to political instability and their prospects are tied to the continuation of economic and political liberalization in the region. Instability may result from factors such as government or military intervention in decision making, terrorism, civil unrest, extremism or hostilities between neighboring countries. Any of these factors, including an outbreak of hostilities could negatively impact the Fund’s returns. Limited political and democratic freedoms in emerging market countries might cause significant social unrest. These factors may have a significant adverse effect on an emerging market country’s economy.
Many emerging market countries may be heavily dependent upon international trade and, consequently, may continue to be negatively affected by trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which it trades. They also have been, and may continue to be, adversely affected by economic conditions in the countries with which they trade.
In addition, commodities (such as oil, gas and minerals) represent a significant percentage of certain emerging market countries’ exports and these economies are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. Adverse economic events in one country may have a significant adverse effect on other countries of this region. In addition, most emerging market countries have experienced, at one time or another, severe and persistent levels of inflation, including, in some cases, hyperinflation. This has, in turn, led to high interest rates, extreme measures by governments to keep inflation in check, and a generally debilitating effect on economic growth.
Although inflation in many countries has lessened, there is no guarantee it will remain at lower levels. The political history of certain emerging market countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such events could reverse favorable trends toward market and
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economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and result in significant disruption in securities markets in the region.
Also, from time to time, certain issuers located in emerging market countries in which the Fund invests may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions and/or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. As a result, an issuer may sustain damage to its reputation if it is identified as an issuer which operates in, or has dealings with, such countries. The Fund, as an investor in such issuers, will be indirectly subject to those risks.
The economies of one or more countries in which the Fund may invest may be in various states of transition from a planned economy to a more market oriented economy. The economies of such countries differ from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including levels of government involvement, states of development, growth rates, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. Economic growth in these economies may be uneven both geographically and among various sectors of their economies and may also be accompanied by periods of high inflation. Political changes, social instability and adverse diplomatic developments in these countries could result in the imposition of additional government restrictions, including expropriation of assets, confiscatory taxes or nationalization of some or all of the property held by the underlying issuers of securities of emerging market issuers. There is no guarantee that the governments of these countries will not revert back to some form of planned or non-market oriented economy, and such governments continue to be active participants in many economic sectors through ownership positions and regulation. The allocation of resources in such countries is subject to a high level of government control. Such countries’ governments may strictly regulate the payment of foreign currency denominated obligations and set monetary policy. Through their policies, these governments may provide preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. The policies set by the government of one of these countries could have a substantial effect on that country’s economy.
Investment and Repatriation Restrictions. The government in an emerging market country may restrict or control to varying degrees the ability of foreign investors to invest in securities of issuers located or operating in such emerging market countries. These restrictions and/or controls may at times limit or prevent foreign investment in securities of issuers located or operating in emerging market countries and may inhibit the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. In addition, the Fund may not be able to buy or sell securities or receive full value for such securities. Moreover, certain emerging market countries may require governmental approval or special licenses prior to investments by foreign investors and may limit the amount of investments by foreign investors in a particular industry and/or issuer; may limit such foreign investment to a certain class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous rights than the classes available for purchase by domiciliaries of such emerging market countries; and/or may impose additional taxes on foreign investors. A delay in obtaining a required government approval or a license would delay investments in those emerging market countries, and, as a result, the Fund may not be able to invest in certain securities while approval is pending. The government of certain emerging market countries may also withdraw or decline to renew a license that enables the Fund to invest in such country. These factors make investing in issuers located or operating in emerging market countries significantly riskier than investing in issuers located or operating in more developed countries, and any one of them could cause a decline in the net asset value of the Fund.
Additionally, investments in issuers located in certain emerging market countries may be subject to a greater degree of risk associated with governmental approval in connection with the repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of sales of securities by foreign investors. Moreover, there is the risk that if the balance of payments in an emerging market country declines, the government of such country may impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances. Consequently, the Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, required governmental approval for repatriation of capital, as well as by the application to the Fund of any restrictions on investments. Furthermore, investments in emerging market countries may require the Fund to adopt special procedures, seek local government approvals or take other actions, each of which may involve additional costs to the Fund.
Available Disclosure About Emerging Market Issuers. Issuers located or operating in emerging market countries are not subject to the same rules and regulations as issuers located or operating in more developed countries. Therefore, there may be less financial and other information publicly available with regard to issuers located or operating in emerging market countries and such issuers are not subject to the uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards applicable to issuers located or operating in more developed countries.
Foreign Currency Considerations. The Fund’s assets that are invested in securities of issuers in emerging market countries will generally be denominated in foreign currencies, and the proceeds received by the Fund from these investments will be principally in foreign currencies. The value of an emerging market country’s currency may be subject to a high degree of fluctuation. This fluctuation may be due to changes in interest rates, the effects of monetary policies issued by the United States, foreign governments, central banks or supranational entities, the imposition of currency controls or other national or global political or economic developments. The economies of certain emerging market countries can be significantly affected by currency devaluations. Certain emerging market countries may also have managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels relative to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by
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the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors.
The Fund’s exposure to an emerging market country’s currency and changes in value of such foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar may reduce the Fund’s investment performance and the value of your investment in the Fund. Meanwhile, the Fund will compute and expects to distribute its income in U.S. dollars, and the computation of income will be made on the date that the income is earned by the Fund at the foreign exchange rate in effect on that date. Therefore, if the value of the respective emerging market country’s currency falls relative to the U.S. dollar between the earning of the income and the time at which the Fund converts the relevant emerging market country’s currency to U.S. dollars, the Fund may be required to liquidate certain positions in order to make distributions if the Fund has insufficient cash in U.S. dollars to meet distribution requirements under the Internal Revenue Code. The liquidation of investments, if required, could be at disadvantageous prices or otherwise have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance.
Certain emerging market countries also restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for many such currencies and it would, as a result, be difficult for the Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies. Furthermore, if permitted, the Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between U.S. dollars and an emerging market country’s currency. Foreign exchange dealers realize a profit based on the difference between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer normally will offer to sell a foreign currency to the Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the Fund desire immediately to resell that currency to the dealer. The Fund will conduct its foreign currency exchange transactions either on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the spot rate prevailing in the foreign currency exchange market, or through entering into forward, futures or options contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies.
Operational and Settlement Risk. In addition to having less developed securities markets, emerging market countries have less developed custody and settlement practices than certain developed countries. Rules adopted under the Investment Company Act of 1940 permit the Fund to maintain its foreign securities and cash in the custody of certain eligible non-U.S. banks and securities depositories. Banks in emerging market countries that are eligible foreign sub-custodians may be recently organized or otherwise lack extensive operating experience. In addition, in certain emerging market countries there may be legal restrictions or limitations on the ability of the Fund to recover assets held in custody by a foreign sub-custodian in the event of the bankruptcy of the sub-custodian. Because settlement systems in emerging market countries may be less organized than in other developed markets, there may be a risk that settlement may be delayed and that cash or securities of the Fund may be in jeopardy because of failures of or defects in the systems. Under the laws in many emerging market countries, the Fund may be required to release local shares before receiving cash payment or may be required to make cash payment prior to receiving local shares, creating a risk that the Fund may surrender cash or securities without ever receiving securities or cash from the other party. Settlement systems in emerging market countries also have a higher risk of failed trades and back to back settlements may not be possible.
The Fund may not be able to convert a foreign currency to U.S. dollars in time for the settlement of redemption requests. In the event that the Fund is not able to convert the foreign currency to U.S. dollars in time for settlement, which may occur as a result of the delays described above, the Fund may be required to liquidate certain investments and/or borrow money in order to fund such redemption. The liquidation of investments, if required, could be at disadvantageous prices or otherwise have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance (e.g., by causing the Fund to overweight foreign currency denominated holdings and underweight other holdings which were sold to fund redemptions). In addition, the Fund will incur interest expense on any borrowings and the borrowings will cause the Fund to be leveraged, which may magnify gains and losses on its investments.
In certain emerging market countries, the marketability of investments may be limited due to the restricted opening hours of trading exchanges, and a relatively high proportion of market value may be concentrated in the hands of a relatively small number of investors. In addition, because certain emerging market countries’ trading exchanges on which the Fund’s portfolio securities may trade are open when the relevant exchanges are closed, the Fund may be subject to heightened risk associated with market movements. Trading volume may be lower on certain emerging market countries’ trading exchanges than on more developed securities markets and securities may be generally less liquid. The infrastructure for clearing, settlement and registration on the primary and secondary markets of certain emerging market countries are less developed than in certain other markets and under certain circumstances this may result in the Fund experiencing delays in settling and/or registering transactions in the markets in which it invests, particularly if the growth of foreign and domestic investment in certain emerging market countries places an undue burden on such investment infrastructure. Such delays could affect the speed with which the Fund can transmit redemption proceeds and may inhibit the initiation and realization of investment opportunities at optimum times.
Certain issuers in emerging market countries may utilize share blocking schemes. Share blocking refers to a practice, in certain foreign markets, where voting rights related to an issuer’s securities are predicated on these securities being blocked from trading at the custodian or sub-custodian level for a period of time around a shareholder meeting. These
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restrictions have the effect of barring the purchase and sale of certain voting securities within a specified number of days before and, in certain instances, after a shareholder meeting where a vote of shareholders will be taken. Share blocking may prevent the Fund from buying or selling securities for a period of time. During the time that shares are blocked, trades in such securities will not settle. The blocking period can last up to several weeks. The process for having a blocking restriction lifted can be quite onerous with the particular requirements varying widely by country. In addition, in certain countries, the block cannot be removed. As a result of the ramifications of voting ballots in markets that allow share blocking, the Adviser, on behalf of the Fund, reserves the right to abstain from voting proxies in those markets.
Corporate and Securities Laws. Securities laws in emerging market countries are relatively new and unsettled and, consequently, there is a risk of rapid and unpredictable change in laws regarding foreign investment, securities regulation, title to securities and securityholders rights. Accordingly, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. In addition, the systems of corporate governance to which emerging market issuers are subject may be less advanced than those systems to which issuers located in more developed countries are subject, and therefore, securityholders of issuers located in emerging market countries may not receive many of the protections available to securityholders of issuers located in more developed countries. In circumstances where adequate laws and securityholders rights exist, it may not be possible to obtain swift and equitable enforcement of the law. In addition, the enforcement of systems of taxation at federal, regional and local levels in emerging market countries may be inconsistent and subject to sudden change. The Fund has limited rights and few practical remedies in emerging markets and the ability of U.S. authorities to bring enforcement actions in emerging markets may be limited.
ESG Investing Strategy Risk. The Fund’s ESG strategy could cause it to perform differently compared to funds that do not have an ESG focus. The Fund’s ESG strategy may result in the Fund investing in securities or industry sectors that underperform other securities or underperform the market as a whole. The Fund is also subject to the risk that the companies represented in the Fund do not operate as expected when addressing ESG issues. Additionally, the valuation model used for identifying ESG companies may not perform as intended, which may adversely affect an investment in the Fund. Regulatory changes or interpretations regarding the definitions and/or use of ESG criteria could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to implement its ESG strategy.
Financials Sector Risk. The Fund may be sensitive to, and its performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the financials sector. Companies in the financials sector may be subject to extensive government regulation that affects the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. The profitability of companies in the financials sector may be adversely affected by increases in interest rates, by loan losses, which usually increase in economic downturns, and by credit rating downgrades. In addition, the financials sector is undergoing numerous changes, including continuing consolidations, development of new products and structures and changes to its regulatory framework. Furthermore, some companies in the financials sector perceived as benefiting from government intervention in the past may be subject to future government-imposed restrictions on their businesses or face increased government involvement in their operations. Increased government involvement in the financials sector, including measures such as taking ownership positions in financial institutions, could result in a dilution of the Fund’s investments in financial institutions.
Foreign Currency Risk. Because all or a portion of the income received by the Fund from its investments and/or the revenues received by the underlying issuer will generally be denominated in foreign currencies, the Fund’s exposure to foreign currencies and changes in the value of foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar may result in reduced returns for the Fund, and the value of certain foreign currencies may be subject to a high degree of fluctuation. The Fund may also (directly or indirectly) incur costs in connection with conversions between U.S. dollars and foreign currencies.
Foreign Securities Risk. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers involve risks beyond those associated with investments in U.S. securities. These additional risks include greater market volatility, the availability of less reliable financial information, higher transactional and custody costs, taxation by foreign governments, decreased market liquidity and political instability. Because certain foreign securities markets may be limited in size, the activity of large traders may have an undue influence on the prices of securities that trade in such markets. The Fund invests in securities of issuers located in countries whose economies are heavily dependent upon trading with key partners. Any reduction in this trading may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments. Foreign market trading hours, clearance and settlement procedures, and holiday schedules may limit the Fund's ability to buy and sell securities.
Industrials Sector Risk. The Fund may be sensitive to, and its performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the industrials sector. The industrials sector comprises companies who produce capital goods used in construction and manufacturing, such as companies that make and sell machinery, equipment and supplies that are used to produce other goods. Companies in the industrials sector may be adversely affected by changes in government regulation, world events and economic conditions. In addition, companies in the industrials sector may be adversely affected by environmental damages, product liability claims and exchange rates.
Information Technology Sector Risk. The Fund may be sensitive to, and its performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the information technology sector. Information technology companies face intense competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins. Information technology companies may have
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limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. The products of information technology companies may face product obsolescence due to rapid technological developments and frequent new product introduction, unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel. Companies in the information technology sector are heavily dependent on patent protection and the expiration of patents may adversely affect the profitability of these companies.
Market Risk. The prices of securities are subject to the risks associated with investing in the securities market, including general economic conditions, sudden and unpredictable drops in value, exchange trading suspensions and closures and public health risks. These risks may be magnified if certain social, political, economic and other conditions and events (such as natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) adversely interrupt the global economy; in these and other circumstances, such events or developments might affect companies world-wide. Overall securities values could decline generally or underperform other investments. An investment may lose money.
Operational Risk. The Fund is exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or system failures.
Restricted Securities Risk. The Fund may hold securities that are restricted as to resale under the U.S. Federal securities laws, such as securities in certain privately held companies. Such securities may be highly illiquid and their values may experience significant volatility. Restricted securities may be difficult to value.
Risk of Investing in Other Funds. The Fund may invest in shares of other funds, including ETFs. As a result, the Fund will indirectly be exposed to the risks of an investment in the underlying funds. As a shareholder in a fund, the Fund would bear its ratable share of that entity’s expenses. At the same time, the Fund would continue to pay its own investment management fees and other expenses. As a result, the Fund and its shareholders will be absorbing additional levels of fees with respect to investments in other funds, including ETFs.
Small- and Medium-Capitalization Companies Risk. The Fund may invest in small- and medium-capitalization companies and, therefore will be subject to certain risks associated with small- and medium- capitalization companies. These companies are often subject to less analyst coverage and may be in early and less predictable periods of their corporate existences, with little or no record of profitability. In addition, these companies often have greater price volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than larger more established companies. These companies tend to have smaller revenues, narrower product lines, less management depth and experience, smaller shares of their product or service markets, fewer financial resources and less competitive strength than large-capitalization companies. Returns on investments in securities of small- and medium-capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of larger companies.
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies Risk. Equity securities in which the Fund invests include stock, rights, warrants, and other interests in special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) or similar special purpose entities. A SPAC is typically a publicly traded company that raises investment capital via an initial public offering for the purpose of acquiring one or more existing companies (or interests therein) via merger, combination, acquisition or other similar transactions. If the Fund purchases shares of a SPAC in an initial public offering it will generally bear a sales commission, which may be significant. The shares of a SPAC are often issued in “units” that include one share of common stock and one right or warrant (or partial right or warrant) conveying the right to purchase additional shares or partial shares. In some cases, the rights and warrants may be separated from the common stock at the election of the holder, after which they may become freely tradeable. After going public and until a transaction is completed, a SPAC generally invests the proceeds of its initial public offering (less a portion retained to cover expenses) in U.S. Government securities, money market securities and cash. To the extent the SPAC is invested in cash or similar securities, this may impact the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. If a SPAC does not complete a transaction within a specified period of time after going public, the SPAC is typically dissolved, at which point the invested funds are returned to the SPAC’s shareholders (less certain permitted expenses) and any rights or warrants issued by the SPAC expire worthless. SPACs generally provide their investors with the option of redeeming an investment in the SPAC at or around the time of effecting a transaction. In some cases, the Fund may forfeit its right to receive additional warrants or other interests in the SPAC if it redeems its interest in the SPAC in connection with a transaction. Because SPACs often do not have an operating history or ongoing business other than seeking a transaction, the value of their securities may be particularly dependent on the quality of its management and on the ability of the SPAC’s management to identify and complete a profitable transaction. Some SPACs may pursue transactions only within certain industries or regions, which may increase the volatility of an investment in them. In addition, the securities issued by a SPAC, which may be traded in the over-the-counter market, may become illiquid and/or may be subject to restrictions on resale. Other risks of investing in SPACs include that a significant portion of the monies raised by the SPAC may be expended during the search for a target transaction; an attractive transaction may not be identified at all (or any requisite approvals may not be obtained) and the SPAC may be required to return any remaining monies to shareholders; a transaction once identified or effected may prove unsuccessful and an investment in the SPAC may lose value; the warrants or other rights with respect to the SPAC held by the Fund may expire worthless or may be repurchased or retired by the SPAC at an unfavorable price; and an investment in a SPAC may be diluted by additional later offerings of interests in the SPAC or by other investors exercising existing rights to purchase shares of the SPAC.
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Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Brazilian Issuers.  Investments in securities of Brazilian issuers, including issuers located outside of Brazil that generate significant revenues from Brazil, involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. The Brazilian economy has been characterized by frequent, and occasionally drastic, interventions by the Brazilian government, including the imposition of wage and price controls, exchange controls, limiting imports, blocking access to bank accounts and other measures. The Brazilian government has often changed monetary, taxation, credit, trade and other policies to influence the core of Brazil’s economy. Actions taken by the Brazilian government concerning the economy may have significant effects on Brazilian companies and on market conditions and prices of Brazilian securities. Brazil’s economy may be subject to sluggish economic growth due to, among other things, weak consumer spending, political turmoil, high rates of inflation and low commodity prices. Brazil suffers from chronic structural public sector deficits. The Brazilian government has privatized certain entities, which have suffered losses due to, among other things, the inability to adjust to a competitive environment.
The market for Brazilian securities is directly influenced by the flow of international capital, and economic and market conditions of certain countries, especially emerging market countries. As a result, adverse economic conditions or developments in other emerging market countries have at times significantly affected the availability of credit in the Brazilian economy and resulted in considerable outflows of funds and declines in the amount of foreign currency invested in Brazil.
Investments in Brazilian securities may be subject to certain restrictions on foreign investment. Although Brazilian law has provided greater certainty with respect to the free exchange of currency than in the past, any restrictions or restrictive exchange control policies in the future could have the effect of preventing or restricting access to foreign currency and could affect the Fund’s ability to operate and to qualify for the favorable tax treatment afforded to regulated investment companies for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Brazil has historically experienced high rates of inflation, a high level of debt, and high crime rates, each of which may constrain economic growth. Brazil suffers from high levels of corruption, crime and income disparity. The Brazilian economy is also heavily dependent upon commodity prices and international trade. Unanticipated political or social developments may result in sudden and significant investment losses. An increase in prices for commodities, such as petroleum, the depreciation of the Brazilian real and future governmental measures seeking to maintain the value of the Brazilian real in relation to the U.S. dollar, may trigger increases in inflation in Brazil and may slow the rate of growth of the Brazilian economy. Conversely, appreciation of the Brazilian real relative to the U.S dollar may lead to the deterioration of Brazil’s current account of balance of payments as well as limit the growth of exports.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Chinese Issuers. Investments in securities of Chinese issuers, including issuers outside of China that generate significant revenues from China, involve certain risks and considerations not typically associated with investments in U.S securities. These risks include among others (i) more frequent (and potentially widespread) trading suspensions and government interventions with respect to Chinese issuers resulting in a lack of liquidity and in price volatility, (ii) currency revaluations and other currency exchange rate fluctuations or blockage, (iii) the nature and extent of intervention by the Chinese government in the Chinese securities markets, whether such intervention will continue and the impact of such intervention or its discontinuation, (iv) the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets, (v) the risk that the Chinese government may decide not to continue to support economic reform programs, (vi) limitations on the use of brokers, (vii) higher rates of inflation, (viii) greater political, economic and social uncertainty, (ix) market volatility caused by any potential regional or territorial conflicts or natural or other disasters, and (x) the risk of increased trade tariffs, embargoes, sanctions, investment restrictions and other trade limitations. Certain securities are, or may in the future become restricted, and the Fund may be forced to sell such securities and incur a loss as a result. In addition, the economy of China differs, often unfavorably, from the U.S. economy in such respects as structure, general development, government involvement, wealth distribution, rate of inflation, growth rate, interest rates, allocation of resources and capital reinvestment, among others. The Chinese central government has historically exercised substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through administrative regulation and/or state ownership and actions of the Chinese central and local government authorities continue to have a substantial effect on economic conditions in China. In addition, the Chinese government has from time to time taken actions that influence the prices at which certain goods may be sold, encourage companies to invest or concentrate in particular industries, induce mergers between companies in certain industries and induce private companies to publicly offer their securities to increase or continue the rate of economic growth, control the rate of inflation or otherwise regulate economic expansion. The Chinese government may do so in the future as well, potentially having a significant adverse effect on economic conditions in China.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Indian Issuers. Investments in securities of Indian issuers involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. Such heightened risks include, among others, greater government control over the economy, including the risk that the Indian government may decide not to continue to support economic reform programs, political and legal uncertainty, competition from low-cost issuers of other emerging economies in Asia, currency fluctuations or blockage of foreign currency exchanges and the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets. Issuers in India are subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping than are issuers in more developed markets, and therefore, all material information may not be available or reliable. India is also located in a part of the world that has historically been prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Any such natural disaster could cause a significant impact on the Indian economy and could impact
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operations of the Fund, causing an adverse impact on the Fund. In addition, religious and border disputes persist in India. Moreover, India has experienced civil unrest and hostilities with neighboring countries, including Pakistan, and the Indian government has confronted separatist movements in several Indian states. India has experienced acts of terrorism that has targeted foreigners. Such acts of terrorism have had a negative impact on tourism, an important sector of the Indian economy.
The securities market of India is considered an emerging market characterized by a small number of listed companies with significantly smaller market capitalizations, greater price volatility and substantially less liquidity than developed markets, such as the United States. These factors, coupled with restrictions on foreign investment and other factors, limit the supply of securities available for investment by the Fund. This will affect the rate at which the Fund is able to invest in India, the purchase and sale prices for such securities and the timing of purchases and sales. Emerging markets can experience high rates of inflation, deflation and currency devaluation. Certain restrictions on foreign investment may decrease the liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio or inhibit the Fund’s ability to pursue its investment objective. In addition, the Reserve Bank of India, the Indian counterpart of the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States, imposes certain limits on the foreign ownership of Indian securities. These restrictions and/or controls may at times limit or prevent foreign investment in securities of issuers located or operating in India and may inhibit the Fund’s ability to pursue its investment objective.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Latin American Issuers. Investments in securities of Latin American issuers involve special considerations not typically associated with investments in securities of issuers located in the United States. The economies of certain Latin American countries have, at times, experienced high interest rates, economic volatility, inflation, currency devaluations and high unemployment rates. In addition, commodities (such as oil, gas and minerals) represent a significant percentage of the region’s exports and many economies in this region are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. Adverse economic events in one country may have a significant adverse effect on other countries of this region.
Most Latin American countries have experienced severe and persistent levels of inflation, including, in some cases, hyperinflation. This has, in turn, led to high interest rates, extreme measures by governments to keep inflation in check, and a generally debilitating effect on economic growth. Although inflation in many Latin American countries has lessened, there is no guarantee it will remain at lower levels.
The political history of certain Latin American countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such events could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and could result in significant disruption in securities markets in the region.
The economies of Latin American countries are generally considered emerging markets and can be significantly affected by currency devaluations. Certain Latin American countries may also have managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels relative to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Latin American countries also restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for many Latin American currencies and it would, as a result, be difficult for the Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.
Finally, a number of Latin American countries are among the largest debtors of developing countries. There have been moratoria on, and a rescheduling of, repayment with respect to these debts. Such events can restrict the flexibility of these debtor nations in the international markets and result in the imposition of onerous conditions on their economies.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Taiwanese Issuers. Investments in securities of Taiwanese issuers, including issuers located outside of Taiwan that generate significant revenues from Taiwan, involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. To the extent the Fund continues to invest in securities issued by Taiwanese issuers, the Fund may be subject to the risk of investing in such issuers. Investments in Taiwanese issuers may subject the Fund to legal, regulatory, political, currency and economic risks that are specific to Taiwan. Specifically, Taiwan’s geographic proximity and history of political contention with China have resulted in ongoing tensions between the two countries. These tensions may materially affect the Taiwanese economy and its securities market. Taiwan’s economy is export-oriented, so it depends on an open world trade regime and remains vulnerable to fluctuations in the world economy.
Stock Connect Risk. The Fund may invest in A-shares listed and traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange through Stock Connect, or on such other stock exchanges that participate in Stock Connect from time to time or in the future. Trading through Stock Connect is subject to a number of restrictions that may affect the Fund’s investments and returns. For example, trading through Stock Connect is subject to daily quotas that limit the maximum daily net purchases on any particular day, which may restrict or preclude the Fund’s ability to invest in Stock Connect A-shares. In addition, investments made through Stock Connect are subject to trading, clearance and settlement procedures that are relatively untested in the PRC, which could pose risks to the Fund. Furthermore, securities purchased via Stock Connect will be held via a book entry omnibus account in the name of HKSCC, Hong Kong’s clearing entity, at the CSDCC. The Fund’s ownership interest in Stock Connect securities will not be reflected directly in book entry with CSDCC and will instead only be reflected on the books of its Hong Kong sub-custodian. The Fund may therefore depend on HKSCC’s ability or willingness as record-holder of Stock Connect securities to
9


enforce the Fund’s shareholder rights. PRC law did not historically recognize the concept of beneficial ownership; while PRC regulations and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange have issued clarifications and guidance supporting the concept of beneficial ownership via Stock Connect, the interpretation of beneficial ownership in the PRC by regulators and courts may continue to evolve. Moreover, Stock Connect A-shares generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Stock Connect in accordance with applicable rules.
A primary feature of Stock Connect is the application of the home market’s laws and rules applicable to investors in A-shares. Therefore, the Fund’s investments in Stock Connect A-shares are generally subject to PRC securities regulations and listing rules, among other restrictions. The Fund will not benefit from access to Hong Kong investor compensation funds, which are set up to protect against defaults of trades, when investing through Stock Connect. Stock Connect is only available on days when markets in both the PRC and Hong Kong are open, which may limit the Fund’s ability to trade when it would be otherwise attractive to do so. Since the inception of Stock Connect, foreign investors (including the Fund) investing in A-shares through Stock Connect have been temporarily exempt from the PRC corporate income tax and value-added tax on the gains on disposal of such A-shares. Dividends are subject to PRC corporate income tax on a withholding basis at 10%, unless reduced under a double tax treaty with China upon application to and obtaining approval from the competent tax authority. Aside from these temporary measures, uncertainties in permanent PRC tax rules governing taxation of income and gains from investments in Stock Connect A-shares could result in unexpected tax liabilities for the Fund.
The Stock Connect program is a relatively new program and may be subject to further interpretation and guidance. There can be no assurance as to the program’s continued existence or whether future developments regarding the program may restrict or adversely affect the Fund’s investments or returns. In addition, the application and interpretation of the laws and regulations of Hong Kong and the PRC, and the rules, policies or guidelines published or applied by relevant regulators and exchanges in respect of the Stock Connect program are uncertain, and they may have a detrimental effect on the Fund’s investments and returns.
PERFORMANCE
The following chart and table provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund’s performance from year to year and by showing how the Fund’s average annual total returns compare with those of a broad measure of market performance. The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future. The annual returns in the bar chart are for the Fund’s Class A shares and do not reflect sales loads. If sales loads were reflected, returns would be lower than those shown.
Additionally, large purchases and/or redemptions of shares of a class, relative to the amount of assets represented by the class, may cause the annual returns for each class to differ. Updated performance information for the Fund is available on the VanEck website at vaneck.com.
CLASS A: Annual Total Returns (%) as of 12/31
5825
Best Quarter: +25.07% 2Q 2020
Worst Quarter: -25.90% 1Q 2020
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Average Annual Total Returns as of 12/31/2023 1 Year 5 Years 10 Years Life of
Class
Class A Shares (12/20/93)
Before Taxes 4.26% 0.65% 0.21%
After Taxes on Distributions1
4.14% 0.02% -0.07%
 After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares
2.90% 0.60% 0.25%
Class C Shares (10/3/03)
Before Taxes 8.55% 1.00% -0.02%
Class I Shares (12/31/07)
Before Taxes 11.26% 2.36% 1.32%
Class Y Shares (4/30/10)
Before Taxes 11.17% 2.28% 1.21%
Class Z Shares (9/16/19)
Before Taxes 11.34% -1.67%
MSCI Emerging Markets Investable Markets Index
(reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes, except withholding taxes)
11.67% 4.46% 3.00%
1    After-tax returns are calculated using the historical highest individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. These returns are shown for one class of shares only; after-tax returns for the other classes may vary. Actual after-tax returns depend on your individual tax situation and may differ from those shown in the preceding table. The after-tax return information shown above does not apply to Fund shares held through a tax-advantaged account, such as a 401(k) plan or Investment Retirement Account.
See “License Agreements and Disclaimers” for important information.
PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
Investment Adviser. Van Eck Associates Corporation
Portfolio Managers.
Ola El-Shawarby has been Portfolio Manager of the Fund since May 2024. Ms. El-Shawarby previously served as Deputy Portfolio Manager of the Fund since May 2023. Ms. El-Shawarby has worked at the Adviser as a Senior Analyst since 2017. Angus Shillington has been Deputy Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2014. Mr. Shillington has worked at the Adviser as a Senior Analyst since 2009.
David Semple, former Portfolio Manager of the Fund, currently serves as a Strategic Adviser to the investment team.
PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES
In general, shares of the Fund may be purchased or redeemed on any business day, primarily through financial representatives such as brokers or advisers, or directly by eligible investors through the Fund’s transfer agent. Purchase minimums for Classes A, C and Y shares are $1,000 for an initial purchase and $100 for a subsequent purchase, with no purchase minimums for any purchase through a retirement or pension plan account, for any “wrap fee” account and similar programs offered without a sales charge by certain financial institutions and third-party recordkeepers and/or administrators, and for any account using the Automatic Investment Plan, or for any other periodic purchase program. Class Z shares have no initial or subsequent purchase minimums, although financial intermediaries may have their own minimums. Purchase minimums for Class I shares are $1 million for an initial purchase and no minimum for a subsequent purchase; the initial minimum may be reduced or waived at the Adviser’s discretion.
TAX INFORMATION
The Fund normally distributes net investment income and net realized capital gains, if any, to shareholders annually. These distributions are generally taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax advantaged retirement account, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account (IRA), in which case your distributions may be taxed as ordinary income when withdrawn from such account.
PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES
If you purchase the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the Fund and/or its affiliates may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your financial professional to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your financial professional or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
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GLOBAL RESOURCES FUND (CLASS A, C, I, Y)
SUMMARY INFORMATION
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE
The Global Resources Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in global resource securities. Income is a secondary consideration.
FUND FEES AND EXPENSES
This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the tables and examples below. You may qualify for Class A sales charge discounts if you and your family (includes spouse and children under age 21) invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $25,000, in the aggregate, in Classes A and C of the VanEck Funds. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial professional and in the “Shareholder Information-Sales Charges” section of this prospectus, in the “Availability of Discounts” section of the Fund’s SAI and, with respect to purchases of shares through specific intermediaries, in Appendix A to this prospectus, entitled “Intermediary Sales Charge Discounts and Waivers”.
Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)
Class A Class C Class I Class Y
Maximum Sales Charge (load) imposed on purchases (as a percentage of offering price)
5.75% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Maximum Deferred Sales Charge (load) (as a percentage of the lesser of the net asset value or purchase price)
0.00 1.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Class A Class C Class I Class Y
Management Fees 1.00% 1.00% 1.00% 1.00%
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees 0.25% 1.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Other Expenses 0.25% 0.50% 0.13% 0.16%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses 1.50% 2.50% 1.13% 1.16%
Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements2
-0.12% -0.30% -0.18% -0.03%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursements
1.38% 2.20% 0.95% 1.13%
1     A contingent deferred sales charge for Class A shares of 1.00% for one year applies to redemptions of qualified commissionable shares purchased at or above the $1 million breakpoint level.
2     Van Eck Associates Corporation (the “Adviser”) has agreed to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses to the extent necessary to prevent the operating expenses of the Fund (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, trading expenses, dividends and interest payments on securities sold short, taxes and extraordinary expenses) from exceeding 1.38% for Class A, 2.20% for Class C, 0.95% for Class I, and 1.13% for Class Y of the Fund’s average daily net assets per year until May 1, 2025. During such time, the expense limitation is expected to continue until the Board of Trustees acts to discontinue all or a portion of such expense limitation.
EXPENSE EXAMPLE
The following example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then either redeem all of your shares at the end of these periods or continue to hold them. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same, and applies fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements, if any, for the periods indicated above under “Annual Fund Operating Expenses.” Although your actual expenses may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:
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Share Status 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Class A Sold or Held $707  $1,011  $1,336  $2,253 
Class C Sold $323  $750  $1,304  $2,813 
Held $223  $750  $1,304  $2,813 
Class I Sold or Held $97  $341  $605  $1,359 
Class Y Sold or Held $115  $366  $635  $1,406 
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate that the Fund pays higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 44% of the average value of its portfolio.
PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
Under normal conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in securities of “global resource” companies and instruments that derive their value from “global resources”. Global resources include precious metals (including gold), base and industrial metals, energy, natural resources and other commodities. A global resource company is a company that derives, directly or indirectly, at least 50% of its revenues from exploration, development, production, distribution or facilitation of processes relating to global resources. The Fund concentrates its investments in the securities of global resource companies and instruments that derive their value from global resources.
The Fund may invest without limitation in any one global resources sector and is not required to invest any portion of its assets in any one global resources sector. The Fund may invest in securities of companies located anywhere in the world, including the U.S. Under ordinary circumstances, the Fund will invest in securities of issuers from a number of different countries, and may invest any amount of its assets in emerging markets. The Fund may invest in securities of companies of any capitalization range. Utilizing qualitative and quantitative measures, the Fund’s investment management team selects equity securities of companies that it believes represent value opportunities and/or that have growth potential. Candidates for the Fund’s portfolio are evaluated based on their relative desirability using a wide range of criteria and are regularly reviewed to ensure that they continue to offer absolute and relative desirability. The analysis of financially material risks and opportunities related to ESG (i.e. Environmental, Social and Governance) factors is a component of the overall investment process. ESG considerations can affect the Adviser’s fundamental assessment of a company or country.
The Fund may use derivative instruments, such as structured notes, warrants, currency forwards, futures contracts, options and swap agreements, to gain or hedge exposure to global resources, global resource companies and other assets. The Fund may enter into foreign currency transactions to attempt to moderate the effect of currency fluctuations. The Fund may write covered call options on portfolio securities to the extent that the value of all securities with respect to which covered calls are written does not exceed 10% of the Fund’s net asset value. The Fund may also invest up to 20% of its net assets in securities issued by other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”). The Fund may also invest in money market funds, but these investments are not subject to this limitation. The Fund may invest in ETFs to participate in, or gain exposure to, certain market sectors, or when direct investments in certain countries are not permitted or available.
PRINCIPAL RISKS
There is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. The Fund’s share price and return will fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund involves the risk of losing money.
Active Management Risk.  In managing the Fund’s portfolio, the Adviser will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these will produce the desired results. Investment decisions made by the Adviser in seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective may cause a decline in the value of the investments held by the Fund and, in turn, cause the Fund’s shares to lose value or underperform other funds with similar investment objectives.
Agriculture Companies Risk. The Fund will be sensitive to, and its performance will depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the agriculture companies. Economic forces affecting agricultural companies and related industries, including forces affecting the agricultural commodity prices, labor costs, and energy and financial markets, could adversely affect the Fund’s portfolio companies and thus, the Fund’s financial situation and profitability. Agricultural and livestock production and trade flows are significantly affected by government policies and regulations. In addition, these companies are also subject to risks associated with cyclicality of revenues and earnings, currency fluctuations, changing consumer tastes, extensive competition, consolidation,
13


and excess capacity. In addition, agriculture companies must comply with a broad range of environmental health, food safety and worker safety laws and regulations which could adversely affect the Fund. Additional or more stringent environmental and food safety laws and regulations may be enacted in the future and such changes could have a material adverse effect on the business of the agriculture companies.
Commodities and Commodity-Linked Instruments Risk. Commodities include, among other things, energy products, agricultural products, industrial metals, precious metals and livestock. The commodities markets may fluctuate widely based on a variety of factors, including overall market movements, economic events and policies, changes in interest rates or inflation rates, changes in monetary and exchange control programs, war, acts of terrorism, natural disasters and technological developments. Variables such as disease, drought, floods, weather, trade, embargoes, tariffs and other political events, in particular, may have a larger impact on commodity prices than on traditional securities. These additional variables may create additional investment risks that subject the Fund’s investments to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities. The prices of commodities can also fluctuate widely due to supply and demand disruptions in major producing or consuming regions. Because certain commodities may be produced in a limited number of countries and may be controlled by a small number of producers, political, economic and supply-related events in such countries could have a disproportionate impact on the prices of such commodities. These factors may affect the value of the Fund’s investments in varying ways, and different factors may cause the values and the volatility of the Fund’s investments to move in inconsistent directions at inconsistent rates. Because the value of a commodity-linked derivative instrument and structured note typically are based upon the price movements of physical commodities, the value of these securities will rise or fall in response to changes in the underlying commodities or related index of investment.
Commodities and Commodity-Linked Instruments Tax Risk. The tax treatment of commodity-linked derivative instruments may be adversely affected by changes in legislation, regulations or other legally binding authority. If, as a result of any such adverse action, the income of the Fund from certain commodity-linked derivatives were treated as non- qualifying income, the Fund might fail to qualify as a regulated investment company and/or be subject to federal income tax at the Fund level. The uncertainty surrounding the treatment of certain derivative instruments under the qualification tests for a regulated investment company may limit the Fund’s use of such derivative instruments.
The Fund may be required, for federal income tax purposes, to mark-to-market and recognize as income for each taxable year any net unrealized gains and losses on certain futures contracts and option contracts as of the end of the year as well as those actually realized during the year. Gain or loss from futures contracts required to be marked-to-market will be 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gain or loss if held directly by the Fund. The Fund may be required to defer the recognition of losses on futures contracts or certain option contracts to the extent of any unrecognized gains on related positions held by the Fund.
Derivatives Risk.  Derivatives and other similar instruments (referred to collectively as “derivatives”) are financial instruments whose values are based on the value of one or more reference assets or indicators, such as a security, currency, interest rate, or index. The Fund’s use of derivatives involves risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other more traditional investments. Moreover, although the value of a derivative is based on an underlying asset or indicator, a derivative typically does not carry the same rights as would be the case if the Fund invested directly in the underlying securities, currencies or other assets.
Derivatives are subject to a number of risks, such as potential changes in value in response to market developments or, in the case of “over-the-counter” derivatives, as a result of a counterparty’s credit quality and the risk that a derivative transaction may not have the effect the Adviser anticipated. Derivatives also involve the risk of mispricing or improper valuation and the risk that changes in the value of a derivative may not achieve the desired correlation with the underlying asset or indicator. Derivative transactions can create investment leverage and may be highly volatile, and the Fund could lose more than the amount it invests. The use of derivatives may increase the amount and affect the timing and character of taxes payable by shareholders of the Fund.
Many derivative transactions are entered into “over-the-counter” without a central clearinghouse; as a result, the value of such a derivative transaction will depend on, among other factors, the ability and the willingness of the Fund’s counterparty to perform its obligations under the transaction. If a counterparty were to default on its obligations, the Fund’s contractual remedies against such counterparty may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws, which could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor (e.g., the Fund may not receive the net amount of payments that it is contractually entitled to receive). Counterparty risk also refers to the related risks of having concentrated exposure to such a counterparty. A liquid secondary market may not always exist for the Fund’s derivative positions at any time, and the Fund may not be able to initiate or liquidate a swap position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses. The Fund may also face the risk that it may not be able to meet margin and payment requirements and maintain a derivatives position.
Derivatives are also subject to operational and legal risks. Operational risk generally refers to risk related to potential operational issues, including documentation issues, settlement issues, system failures, inadequate controls, and human errors. Legal risk generally refers to insufficient documentation, insufficient capacity or authority of counterparty, or legality or enforceability of a contract.
Direct Investments Risk. Direct investments may involve a high degree of business and financial risk that can result in substantial losses. Because of the absence of any public trading market for these investments, the Fund may take longer to
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liquidate these positions than would be the case for publicly traded securities. Direct investments are generally considered illiquid and will be aggregated with other illiquid investments for purposes of the Fund's limitation on illiquid investments.
Emerging Market Issuers Risk. Investments in securities of emerging market issuers involve risks not typically associated with investments in securities of issuers in more developed countries that may negatively affect the value of your investment in the Fund. Such heightened risks may include, among others, expropriation and/or nationalization of assets, restrictions on and government intervention in international trade, confiscatory taxation, political instability, including authoritarian and/or military involvement in governmental decision making, armed conflict, the impact on the economy as a result of civil war, crime (including drug violence) and social instability as a result of religious, ethnic and/or socioeconomic unrest. Issuers in certain emerging market countries are subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping than are issuers in more developed markets, and therefore, all material information may not be available or reliable. Emerging markets are also more likely than developed markets to experience problems with the clearing and settling of trades, as well as the holding of securities by local banks, agents and depositories. Low trading volumes and volatile prices in less developed markets may make trades harder to complete and settle, and governments or trade groups may compel local agents to hold securities in designated depositories that may not be subject to independent evaluation. Local agents are held only to the standards of care of their local markets. In general, the less developed a country’s securities markets are, the greater the likelihood of custody problems. Additionally, each of the factors described below could have a negative impact on the Fund’s performance and increase the volatility of the Fund.
Securities Markets. Securities markets in emerging market countries are underdeveloped and are often considered to be less correlated to global economic cycles than those markets located in more developed countries. Securities markets in emerging market countries are subject to greater risks associated with market volatility, lower market capitalization, lower trading volume, illiquidity, inflation, greater price fluctuations, uncertainty regarding the existence of trading markets, governmental control and heavy regulation of labor and industry. These factors, coupled with restrictions on foreign investment and other factors, limit the supply of securities available for investment by the Fund. This will affect the rate at which the Fund is able to invest in emerging market countries, the purchase and sale prices for such securities and the timing of purchases and sales. Emerging markets can experience high rates of inflation, deflation and currency devaluation. The prices of certain securities listed on securities markets in emerging market countries have been subject to sharp fluctuations and sudden declines, and no assurance can be given as to the future performance of listed securities in general. Volatility of prices may be greater than in more developed securities markets. Moreover, securities markets in emerging market countries may be closed for extended periods of time or trading on securities markets may be suspended altogether due to political or civil unrest. Market volatility may also be heightened by the actions of a small number of investors. Brokerage firms in emerging market countries may be fewer in number and less established than brokerage firms in more developed markets. Since the Fund may need to effect securities transactions through these brokerage firms, the Fund is subject to the risk that these brokerage firms will not be able to fulfill their obligations to the Fund. This risk is magnified to the extent the Fund effects securities transactions through a single brokerage firm or a small number of brokerage firms. In addition, the infrastructure for the safe custody of securities and for purchasing and selling securities, settling trades, collecting dividends, initiating corporate actions, and following corporate activity is not as well developed in emerging market countries as is the case in certain more developed markets.
Political and Economic Risk. Certain emerging market countries have historically been subject to political instability and their prospects are tied to the continuation of economic and political liberalization in the region. Instability may result from factors such as government or military intervention in decision making, terrorism, civil unrest, extremism or hostilities between neighboring countries. Any of these factors, including an outbreak of hostilities could negatively impact the Fund’s returns. Limited political and democratic freedoms in emerging market countries might cause significant social unrest. These factors may have a significant adverse effect on an emerging market country’s economy.
Many emerging market countries may be heavily dependent upon international trade and, consequently, may continue to be negatively affected by trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which it trades. They also have been, and may continue to be, adversely affected by economic conditions in the countries with which they trade.
In addition, commodities (such as oil, gas and minerals) represent a significant percentage of certain emerging market countries’ exports and these economies are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. Adverse economic events in one country may have a significant adverse effect on other countries of this region. In addition, most emerging market countries have experienced, at one time or another, severe and persistent levels of inflation, including, in some cases, hyperinflation. This has, in turn, led to high interest rates, extreme measures by governments to keep inflation in check, and a generally debilitating effect on economic growth.
Although inflation in many countries has lessened, there is no guarantee it will remain at lower levels. The political history of certain emerging market countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such events could reverse favorable trends toward market and
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economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and result in significant disruption in securities markets in the region.
Also, from time to time, certain issuers located in emerging market countries in which the Fund invests may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions and/or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. As a result, an issuer may sustain damage to its reputation if it is identified as an issuer which operates in, or has dealings with, such countries. The Fund, as an investor in such issuers, will be indirectly subject to those risks.
The economies of one or more countries in which the Fund may invest may be in various states of transition from a planned economy to a more market oriented economy. The economies of such countries differ from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including levels of government involvement, states of development, growth rates, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. Economic growth in these economies may be uneven both geographically and among various sectors of their economies and may also be accompanied by periods of high inflation. Political changes, social instability and adverse diplomatic developments in these countries could result in the imposition of additional government restrictions, including expropriation of assets, confiscatory taxes or nationalization of some or all of the property held by the underlying issuers of securities of emerging market issuers. There is no guarantee that the governments of these countries will not revert back to some form of planned or non-market oriented economy, and such governments continue to be active participants in many economic sectors through ownership positions and regulation. The allocation of resources in such countries is subject to a high level of government control. Such countries’ governments may strictly regulate the payment of foreign currency denominated obligations and set monetary policy. Through their policies, these governments may provide preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. The policies set by the government of one of these countries could have a substantial effect on that country’s economy.
Investment and Repatriation Restrictions. The government in an emerging market country may restrict or control to varying degrees the ability of foreign investors to invest in securities of issuers located or operating in such emerging market countries. These restrictions and/or controls may at times limit or prevent foreign investment in securities of issuers located or operating in emerging market countries and may inhibit the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. In addition, the Fund may not be able to buy or sell securities or receive full value for such securities. Moreover, certain emerging market countries may require governmental approval or special licenses prior to investments by foreign investors and may limit the amount of investments by foreign investors in a particular industry and/or issuer; may limit such foreign investment to a certain class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous rights than the classes available for purchase by domiciliaries of such emerging market countries; and/or may impose additional taxes on foreign investors. A delay in obtaining a required government approval or a license would delay investments in those emerging market countries, and, as a result, the Fund may not be able to invest in certain securities while approval is pending. The government of certain emerging market countries may also withdraw or decline to renew a license that enables the Fund to invest in such country. These factors make investing in issuers located or operating in emerging market countries significantly riskier than investing in issuers located or operating in more developed countries, and any one of them could cause a decline in the net asset value of the Fund.
Additionally, investments in issuers located in certain emerging market countries may be subject to a greater degree of risk associated with governmental approval in connection with the repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of sales of securities by foreign investors. Moreover, there is the risk that if the balance of payments in an emerging market country declines, the government of such country may impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances. Consequently, the Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, required governmental approval for repatriation of capital, as well as by the application to the Fund of any restrictions on investments. Furthermore, investments in emerging market countries may require the Fund to adopt special procedures, seek local government approvals or take other actions, each of which may involve additional costs to the Fund.
Available Disclosure About Emerging Market Issuers. Issuers located or operating in emerging market countries are not subject to the same rules and regulations as issuers located or operating in more developed countries. Therefore, there may be less financial and other information publicly available with regard to issuers located or operating in emerging market countries and such issuers are not subject to the uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards applicable to issuers located or operating in more developed countries.
Foreign Currency Considerations. The Fund’s assets that are invested in securities of issuers in emerging market countries will generally be denominated in foreign currencies, and the proceeds received by the Fund from these investments will be principally in foreign currencies. The value of an emerging market country’s currency may be subject to a high degree of fluctuation. This fluctuation may be due to changes in interest rates, the effects of monetary policies issued by the United States, foreign governments, central banks or supranational entities, the imposition of currency controls or other national or global political or economic developments. The economies of certain emerging market countries can be significantly affected by currency devaluations. Certain emerging market countries may also have managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels relative to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by
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the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors.
The Fund’s exposure to an emerging market country’s currency and changes in value of such foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar may reduce the Fund’s investment performance and the value of your investment in the Fund. Meanwhile, the Fund will compute and expects to distribute its income in U.S. dollars, and the computation of income will be made on the date that the income is earned by the Fund at the foreign exchange rate in effect on that date. Therefore, if the value of the respective emerging market country’s currency falls relative to the U.S. dollar between the earning of the income and the time at which the Fund converts the relevant emerging market country’s currency to U.S. dollars, the Fund may be required to liquidate certain positions in order to make distributions if the Fund has insufficient cash in U.S. dollars to meet distribution requirements under the Internal Revenue Code. The liquidation of investments, if required, could be at disadvantageous prices or otherwise have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance.
Certain emerging market countries also restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for many such currencies and it would, as a result, be difficult for the Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies. Furthermore, if permitted, the Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between U.S. dollars and an emerging market country’s currency. Foreign exchange dealers realize a profit based on the difference between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer normally will offer to sell a foreign currency to the Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the Fund desire immediately to resell that currency to the dealer. The Fund will conduct its foreign currency exchange transactions either on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the spot rate prevailing in the foreign currency exchange market, or through entering into forward, futures or options contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies.
Operational and Settlement Risk. In addition to having less developed securities markets, emerging market countries have less developed custody and settlement practices than certain developed countries. Rules adopted under the Investment Company Act of 1940 permit the Fund to maintain its foreign securities and cash in the custody of certain eligible non-U.S. banks and securities depositories. Banks in emerging market countries that are eligible foreign sub-custodians may be recently organized or otherwise lack extensive operating experience. In addition, in certain emerging market countries there may be legal restrictions or limitations on the ability of the Fund to recover assets held in custody by a foreign sub-custodian in the event of the bankruptcy of the sub-custodian. Because settlement systems in emerging market countries may be less organized than in other developed markets, there may be a risk that settlement may be delayed and that cash or securities of the Fund may be in jeopardy because of failures of or defects in the systems. Under the laws in many emerging market countries, the Fund may be required to release local shares before receiving cash payment or may be required to make cash payment prior to receiving local shares, creating a risk that the Fund may surrender cash or securities without ever receiving securities or cash from the other party. Settlement systems in emerging market countries also have a higher risk of failed trades and back to back settlements may not be possible.
The Fund may not be able to convert a foreign currency to U.S. dollars in time for the settlement of redemption requests. In the event that the Fund is not able to convert the foreign currency to U.S. dollars in time for settlement, which may occur as a result of the delays described above, the Fund may be required to liquidate certain investments and/or borrow money in order to fund such redemption. The liquidation of investments, if required, could be at disadvantageous prices or otherwise have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance (e.g., by causing the Fund to overweight foreign currency denominated holdings and underweight other holdings which were sold to fund redemptions). In addition, the Fund will incur interest expense on any borrowings and the borrowings will cause the Fund to be leveraged, which may magnify gains and losses on its investments.
In certain emerging market countries, the marketability of investments may be limited due to the restricted opening hours of trading exchanges, and a relatively high proportion of market value may be concentrated in the hands of a relatively small number of investors. In addition, because certain emerging market countries’ trading exchanges on which the Fund’s portfolio securities may trade are open when the relevant exchanges are closed, the Fund may be subject to heightened risk associated with market movements. Trading volume may be lower on certain emerging market countries’ trading exchanges than on more developed securities markets and securities may be generally less liquid. The infrastructure for clearing, settlement and registration on the primary and secondary markets of certain emerging market countries are less developed than in certain other markets and under certain circumstances this may result in the Fund experiencing delays in settling and/or registering transactions in the markets in which it invests, particularly if the growth of foreign and domestic investment in certain emerging market countries places an undue burden on such investment infrastructure. Such delays could affect the speed with which the Fund can transmit redemption proceeds and may inhibit the initiation and realization of investment opportunities at optimum times.
Certain issuers in emerging market countries may utilize share blocking schemes. Share blocking refers to a practice, in certain foreign markets, where voting rights related to an issuer’s securities are predicated on these securities being blocked from trading at the custodian or sub-custodian level for a period of time around a shareholder meeting. These
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restrictions have the effect of barring the purchase and sale of certain voting securities within a specified number of days before and, in certain instances, after a shareholder meeting where a vote of shareholders will be taken. Share blocking may prevent the Fund from buying or selling securities for a period of time. During the time that shares are blocked, trades in such securities will not settle. The blocking period can last up to several weeks. The process for having a blocking restriction lifted can be quite onerous with the particular requirements varying widely by country. In addition, in certain countries, the block cannot be removed. As a result of the ramifications of voting ballots in markets that allow share blocking, the Adviser, on behalf of the Fund, reserves the right to abstain from voting proxies in those markets.
Corporate and Securities Laws. Securities laws in emerging market countries are relatively new and unsettled and, consequently, there is a risk of rapid and unpredictable change in laws regarding foreign investment, securities regulation, title to securities and securityholders rights. Accordingly, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. In addition, the systems of corporate governance to which emerging market issuers are subject may be less advanced than those systems to which issuers located in more developed countries are subject, and therefore, securityholders of issuers located in emerging market countries may not receive many of the protections available to securityholders of issuers located in more developed countries. In circumstances where adequate laws and securityholders rights exist, it may not be possible to obtain swift and equitable enforcement of the law. In addition, the enforcement of systems of taxation at federal, regional and local levels in emerging market countries may be inconsistent and subject to sudden change. The Fund has limited rights and few practical remedies in emerging markets and the ability of U.S. authorities to bring enforcement actions in emerging markets may be limited.
ESG Investing Strategy Risk.  The Fund’s ESG strategy could cause it to perform differently compared to funds that do not have an ESG focus. The Fund’s ESG strategy may result in the Fund investing in securities or industry sectors that underperform other securities or underperform the market as a whole. The Fund is also subject to the risk that the companies represented in the Fund do not operate as expected when addressing ESG issues. Additionally, the valuation model used for identifying ESG companies may not perform as intended, which may adversely affect an investment in the Fund. Regulatory changes or interpretations regarding the definitions and/or use of ESG criteria could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to implement its ESG strategy.
Foreign Currency Risk. Because all or a portion of the income received by the Fund from its investments and/or the revenues received by the underlying issuer will generally be denominated in foreign currencies, the Fund’s exposure to foreign currencies and changes in the value of foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar may result in reduced returns for the Fund, and the value of certain foreign currencies may be subject to a high degree of fluctuation. The Fund may also (directly or indirectly) incur costs in connection with conversions between U.S. dollars and foreign currencies.
Foreign Securities Risk. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers involve risks beyond those associated with investments in U.S. securities. These additional risks include greater market volatility, the availability of less reliable financial information, higher transactional and custody costs, taxation by foreign governments, decreased market liquidity and political instability. Because certain foreign securities markets may be limited in size, the activity of large traders may have an undue influence on the prices of securities that trade in such markets. The Fund invests in securities of issuers located in countries whose economies are heavily dependent upon trading with key partners. Any reduction in this trading may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments. Foreign market trading hours, clearance and settlement procedures, and holiday schedules may limit the Fund's ability to buy and sell securities.
Global Resources Sector Risk. The Fund may be sensitive to, and its performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the global resources sector. The Fund concentrates its investments (i.e., invests 25% or more of its total assets) in the securities of global resource companies and instruments that derive their value from global resources. The Fund may be subject to greater risks and market fluctuations than a fund whose portfolio has exposure to a broader range of sectors. The Fund may be susceptible to financial, economic, political or market events, as well as government regulation, impacting the global resources sectors (such as the energy and metals sectors). Precious metals and natural resources securities are at times volatile and there may be sharp fluctuations in prices, even during periods of rising prices.
Market Risk. The prices of securities are subject to the risks associated with investing in the securities market, including general economic conditions, sudden and unpredictable drops in value, exchange trading suspensions and closures and public health risks. These risks may be magnified if certain social, political, economic and other conditions and events (such as natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) adversely interrupt the global economy; in these and other circumstances, such events or developments might affect companies world-wide. Overall securities values could decline generally or underperform other investments. An investment may lose money.
Operational Risk. The Fund is exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or system failures.
Risk of Investing in Other Funds. The Fund may invest in shares of other funds, including ETFs. As a result, the Fund will indirectly be exposed to the risks of an investment in the underlying funds. As a shareholder in a fund, the Fund would bear its
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ratable share of that entity’s expenses. At the same time, the Fund would continue to pay its own investment management fees and other expenses. As a result, the Fund and its shareholders will be absorbing additional levels of fees with respect to investments in other funds, including ETFs.
Small- and Medium-Capitalization Companies Risk. The Fund may invest in small- and medium-capitalization companies and, therefore will be subject to certain risks associated with small- and medium- capitalization companies. These companies are often subject to less analyst coverage and may be in early and less predictable periods of their corporate existences, with little or no record of profitability. In addition, these companies often have greater price volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than larger more established companies. These companies tend to have smaller revenues, narrower product lines, less management depth and experience, smaller shares of their product or service markets, fewer financial resources and less competitive strength than large-capitalization companies. Returns on investments in securities of small- and medium-capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of larger companies.
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies Risk. Equity securities in which the Fund invests include stock, rights, warrants, and other interests in special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) or similar special purpose entities. A SPAC is typically a publicly traded company that raises investment capital via an initial public offering for the purpose of acquiring one or more existing companies (or interests therein) via merger, combination, acquisition or other similar transactions. If the Fund purchases shares of a SPAC in an initial public offering it will generally bear a sales commission, which may be significant. The shares of a SPAC are often issued in “units” that include one share of common stock and one right or warrant (or partial right or warrant) conveying the right to purchase additional shares or partial shares. In some cases, the rights and warrants may be separated from the common stock at the election of the holder, after which they may become freely tradeable. After going public and until a transaction is completed, a SPAC generally invests the proceeds of its initial public offering (less a portion retained to cover expenses) in U.S. Government securities, money market securities and cash. To the extent the SPAC is invested in cash or similar securities, this may impact the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. If a SPAC does not complete a transaction within a specified period of time after going public, the SPAC is typically dissolved, at which point the invested funds are returned to the SPAC’s shareholders (less certain permitted expenses) and any rights or warrants issued by the SPAC expire worthless. SPACs generally provide their investors with the option of redeeming an investment in the SPAC at or around the time of effecting a transaction. In some cases, the Fund may forfeit its right to receive additional warrants or other interests in the SPAC if it redeems its interest in the SPAC in connection with a transaction. Because SPACs often do not have an operating history or ongoing business other than seeking a transaction, the value of their securities may be particularly dependent on the quality of its management and on the ability of the SPAC’s management to identify and complete a profitable transaction. Some SPACs may pursue transactions only within certain industries or regions, which may increase the volatility of an investment in them. In addition, the securities issued by a SPAC, which may be traded in the over-the-counter market, may become illiquid and/or may be subject to restrictions on resale. Other risks of investing in SPACs include that a significant portion of the monies raised by the SPAC may be expended during the search for a target transaction; an attractive transaction may not be identified at all (or any requisite approvals may not be obtained) and the SPAC may be required to return any remaining monies to shareholders; a transaction once identified or effected may prove unsuccessful and an investment in the SPAC may lose value; the warrants or other rights with respect to the SPAC held by the Fund may expire worthless or may be repurchased or retired by the SPAC at an unfavorable price; and an investment in a SPAC may be diluted by additional later offerings of interests in the SPAC or by other investors exercising existing rights to purchase shares of the SPAC.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Canadian Issuers. Investments in securities of Canadian issuers, including issuers located outside of Canada that generate significant revenue from Canada, involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. The Canadian economy is very dependent on the demand for, and supply and price of, natural resources. The Canadian market is relatively concentrated in issuers involved in the production and distribution of natural resources. There is a risk that any changes in natural resources sectors could have an adverse impact on the Canadian economy. Additionally, the Canadian economy is heavily dependent on relationships with certain key trading partners, including the United States, countries in the European Union and China. Because the United States is Canada’s largest trading partner and foreign investor, the Canadian economy is dependent on and may be significantly affected by the U.S. economy. Reduction in spending on Canadian products and services or changes in the U.S. economy may adversely impact the Canadian economy. Trade agreements may further increase Canada’s dependency on the U.S. economy, and uncertainty as to the future of such trade agreements may cause a decline in the value of the Fund’s Shares. Past periodic demands by the Province of Quebec for sovereignty have significantly affected equity valuations and foreign currency movements in the Canadian market and such demands may have this effect in the future. In addition, certain sectors of Canada’s economy may be subject to foreign ownership limitations. This may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to invest in Canadian issuers and to pursue its investment objective.
PERFORMANCE
The following chart and table provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund’s performance from year to year and by showing how the Fund’s average annual total returns compare with those of a broad measure of market performance and one or more other performance measures. The Fund’s past performance (before and after
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taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future. The annual returns in the bar chart are for the Fund’s Class A shares and do not reflect sales loads. If sales loads were reflected, returns would be lower than those shown.
Additionally, large purchases and/or redemptions of shares of a class, relative to the amount of assets represented by the class, may cause the annual returns for each class to differ. Updated performance information for the Fund is available on the VanEck website at vaneck.com.
CLASS A: Annual Total Returns (%) as of 12/31
6820
Best Quarter: +33.29% 2Q 2020
Worst Quarter: -40.01% 1Q 2020
Average Annual Total Returns as of 12/31/2023 1 Year 5 Years 10 Years
Class A Shares (11/2/94)
Before Taxes -9.42% 8.93% -1.97%
After Taxes on Distributions1
-9.92% 8.54% -2.16%
After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares
-5.23% 7.05% -1.47%
Class C Shares (11/2/94)
Before Taxes -5.60% 9.33% -2.17%
Class I Shares (5/1/06)
Before Taxes -3.47% 10.70% -0.98%
Class Y Shares (4/30/10)
Before Taxes -3.63% 10.50% -1.14%
S&P® Global Natural Resources Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes, except withholding taxes)
4.08% 11.15% 5.15%
MSCI AC World Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes, except withholding taxes)
22.20% 11.72% 7.93%
1     After-tax returns are calculated using the historical highest individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. These returns are shown for one class of shares only; after-tax returns for the other classes may vary. Actual after-tax returns depend on your individual tax situation and may differ from those shown in the preceding table. The after-tax return information shown above does not apply to Fund shares held through a tax-advantaged account, such as a 401(k) plan or Investment Retirement Account.
See “License Agreements and Disclaimers” for important information.
PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
Investment Adviser. Van Eck Associates Corporation
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Portfolio Managers.
Shawn Reynolds has been Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2010. Charles T. Cameron has been Deputy Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2016 and a member of the investment team since 1995. Mr. Cameron has also been an investment team member on various funds managed by the Adviser since 1995.
PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES
In general, shares of the Fund may be purchased or redeemed on any business day, primarily through financial representatives such as brokers or advisers, or directly by eligible investors through the Fund’s transfer agent. Purchase minimums for Classes A, C and Y shares are $1,000 for an initial purchase and $100 for a subsequent purchase, with no purchase minimums for any purchase through a retirement or pension plan account, for any “wrap fee” account and similar programs offered without a sales charge by certain financial institutions and third-party recordkeepers and/or administrators, and for any account using the Automatic Investment Plan, or for any other periodic purchase program.
Purchase minimums for Class I shares are $1 million for an initial purchase and no minimum for a subsequent purchase; the initial minimum may be reduced or waived at the Adviser’s discretion.
TAX INFORMATION
The Fund normally distributes net investment income and net realized capital gains, if any, to shareholders annually. These distributions are generally taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax advantaged retirement account, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account (IRA), in which case your distributions may be taxed as ordinary income when withdrawn from such account.
PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES
If you purchase the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the Fund and/or its affiliates may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your financial professional to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your financial professional or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
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INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS GOLD FUND (CLASS A, C, I, Y)
SUMMARY INFORMATION
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE
The International Investors Gold Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in common stocks of gold-mining companies. The Fund may take current income into consideration when choosing investments.
FUND FEES AND EXPENSES
This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the Fund. You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the tables and examples below. You may qualify for Class A sales charge discounts if you and your family (includes spouse and children under age 21) invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $25,000, in the aggregate, in Classes A and C of the VanEck Funds. More information about these and other discounts is available from your financial professional and in the “Shareholder Information-Sales Charges” section of this prospectus, in the “Availability of Discounts” section of the Fund’s SAI and, with respect to purchases of shares through specific intermediaries, in Appendix A to this prospectus, entitled “Intermediary Sales Charge Discounts and Waivers.”
Shareholder Fees
(fees paid directly from your investment)
Class A Class C Class I Class Y
Maximum Sales Charge (load) imposed on purchases (as a percentage of offering price)
5.75% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Maximum Deferred Sales Charge (load) (as a percentage of the lesser of the net asset value or purchase price)
0.00 1.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Class A Class C Class I Class Y
Management Fees 0.72% 0.72% 0.72% 0.72%
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees 0.25% 1.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Other Expenses 0.46% 0.53% 0.40% 0.41%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses 1.43% 2.25% 1.12% 1.13%
Fee Waivers and/or Expense Reimbursements2
0.00% -0.05% -0.12% -0.03%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursements
1.43% 2.20% 1.00% 1.10%
1     A contingent deferred sales charge for Class A shares of 1.00% for one year applies to redemptions of qualified commissionable shares purchased at or above the $1 million breakpoint level.
2     Van Eck Associates Corporation (the “Adviser”) has agreed to waive fees and/or pay Fund expenses to the extent necessary to prevent the operating expenses of the Fund (excluding acquired fund fees and expenses, interest expense, trading expenses, dividends and interest payments on securities sold short, taxes and extraordinary expenses) from exceeding 1.45% for Class A, 2.20% for Class C, 1.00% for Class I, and 1.10% for Class Y of the Fund’s average daily net assets per year until May 1, 2025. During such time, the expense limitation is expected to continue until the Board of Trustees acts to discontinue all or a portion of such expense limitation.
EXPENSE EXAMPLE
The following example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then either redeem all of your shares at the end of these periods or continue to hold them. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same, and applies fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements, if any, for the periods indicated above under “Annual Fund Operating Expenses.” Although your actual expenses may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:
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Share Status 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Class A Sold or Held $712  $1,001  $1,312  $2,190 
Class C Sold $323  $698  $1,200  $2,581 
Held $223  $698  $1,200  $2,581 
Class I Sold or Held $102  $344  $605  $1,352 
Class Y Sold or Held $112  $356  $619  $1,372 
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate that the Fund pays higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 25% of the average value of its portfolio.
PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
Under normal conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in securities of companies principally engaged in gold-related activities, instruments that derive their value from gold, gold coins and bullion. A company principally engaged in gold-related activities is one that derives at least 50% of its revenues from gold-related activities, including the exploration, mining or processing of or dealing in gold. The Fund concentrates its investments in the gold-mining industry and therefore invests 25% or more of its total assets in such industry. The Fund is considered to be “non-diversified” which means that it may invest a larger portion of its assets in a single issuer.
The Fund invests in securities of companies with economic ties to countries throughout the world, including the U.S. Under ordinary circumstances, the Fund will invest in securities of issuers from a number of different countries, which may include emerging market countries. The Fund may invest in non-U.S. dollar denominated securities, which are subject to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, and securities of companies of any capitalization range. The Fund primarily invests in companies that the portfolio manager believes represent value opportunities and/or that have growth potential within their market niche, through their ability to increase production capacity at reasonable cost or make gold discoveries around the world. The portfolio manager utilizes both a macro-economic examination of gold market themes and a fundamental analysis of prospective companies in the search for value and growth opportunities. The analysis of financially material risks and opportunities related to ESG (i.e. Environmental, Social and Governance) factors is a component of the overall investment process. ESG considerations can affect the Adviser’s fundamental assessment of a company or country.
The Fund may invest up to 25% of its net assets, as of the date of the investment, in gold and silver coins, gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion and exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) that invest primarily in such coins and bullion and derivatives on the foregoing. The Fund’s investments in coins and bullion will not earn income, and the sole source of return to the Fund from these investments will be from gains or losses realized on the sale of such investments.
The Fund may gain exposure to gold bullion and other metals by investing up to 25% of the Fund’s total assets in a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fund (the “Subsidiary”). The Subsidiary primarily invests in gold bullion, gold futures and other instruments that provide direct or indirect exposure to gold, including ETFs, and also may invest in silver, platinum and palladium bullion and futures. The Subsidiary (unlike the Fund) may invest without limitation in these investments. The Fund will “look-through” the Subsidiary to the Subsidiary’s underlying investments for determining compliance with the Fund’s investment policies. For tax reasons, it may be advantageous for the Fund to create and maintain its exposure to the commodity markets, in whole or in part, by investing in the Subsidiary. The portfolio of the Subsidiary is managed by the Adviser for the exclusive benefit of the Fund.
The Fund may use derivative instruments, such as structured notes, futures, options, warrants, currency forwards and swap agreements, to gain or hedge exposure. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in securities issued by other investment companies, including ETFs. The Fund may also invest in money market funds, but these investments are not subject to this limitation. The Fund may invest in ETFs to participate in, or gain exposure to, certain market sectors, or when direct investments in certain countries are not permitted or available.
PRINCIPAL RISKS
There is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. The Fund’s share price and return will fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. Accordingly, an investment in the Fund involves the risk of losing money.

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Active Management Risk.  In managing the Fund’s portfolio, the Adviser will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these will produce the desired results. Investment decisions made by the Adviser in seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective may cause a decline in the value of the investments held by the Fund and, in turn, cause the Fund’s shares to lose value or underperform other funds with similar investment objectives.
Commodities and Commodity-Linked Instruments Risk. Commodities include, among other things, energy products, agricultural products, industrial metals, precious metals and livestock. The commodities markets may fluctuate widely based on a variety of factors, including overall market movements, economic events and policies, changes in interest rates or inflation rates, changes in monetary and exchange control programs, war, acts of terrorism, natural disasters and technological developments. Variables such as disease, drought, floods, weather, trade, embargoes, tariffs and other political events, in particular, may have a larger impact on commodity prices than on traditional securities. These additional variables may create additional investment risks that subject the Fund’s investments to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities. The prices of commodities can also fluctuate widely due to supply and demand disruptions in major producing or consuming regions. Because certain commodities may be produced in a limited number of countries and may be controlled by a small number of producers, political, economic and supply-related events in such countries could have a disproportionate impact on the prices of such commodities. These factors may affect the value of the Fund’s investments in varying ways, and different factors may cause the values and the volatility of the Fund’s investments to move in inconsistent directions at inconsistent rates. Because the value of a commodity-linked derivative instrument and structured note typically are based upon the price movements of physical commodities, the value of these securities will rise or fall in response to changes in the underlying commodities or related index of investment.
Commodities and Commodity-Linked Instruments Tax Risk. The tax treatment of commodity-linked derivative instruments may be adversely affected by changes in legislation, regulations or other legally binding authority. If, as a result of any such adverse action, the income of the Fund from certain commodity-linked derivatives were treated as non- qualifying income, the Fund might fail to qualify as a regulated investment company and/or be subject to federal income tax at the Fund level. The uncertainty surrounding the treatment of certain derivative instruments under the qualification tests for a regulated investment company may limit the Fund’s use of such derivative instruments.
The Fund may be required, for federal income tax purposes, to mark-to-market and recognize as income for each taxable year any net unrealized gains and losses on certain futures contracts and option contracts as of the end of the year as well as those actually realized during the year. Gain or loss from futures contracts required to be marked-to-market will be 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gain or loss if held directly by the Fund, but if held by the Subsidiary, as is expected, such gains will be recognized as ordinary income by the Fund to the extent of the Subsidiary’s annual net earnings if any. Application of this rule may alter the timing and character of distributions to shareholders. The Fund may be required to defer the recognition of losses on futures contracts or certain option contracts to the extent of any unrecognized gains on related positions held by the Fund.
Derivatives Risk.  Derivatives and other similar instruments (referred to collectively as “derivatives”) are financial instruments whose values are based on the value of one or more reference assets or indicators, such as a security, currency, interest rate, or index. The Fund’s use of derivatives involves risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other more traditional investments. Moreover, although the value of a derivative is based on an underlying asset or indicator, a derivative typically does not carry the same rights as would be the case if the Fund invested directly in the underlying securities, currencies or other assets.
Derivatives are subject to a number of risks, such as potential changes in value in response to market developments or, in the case of “over-the-counter” derivatives, as a result of a counterparty’s credit quality and the risk that a derivative transaction may not have the effect the Adviser anticipated. Derivatives also involve the risk of mispricing or improper valuation and the risk that changes in the value of a derivative may not achieve the desired correlation with the underlying asset or indicator. Derivative transactions can create investment leverage and may be highly volatile, and the Fund could lose more than the amount it invests. The use of derivatives may increase the amount and affect the timing and character of taxes payable by shareholders of the Fund.
Many derivative transactions are entered into “over-the-counter” without a central clearinghouse; as a result, the value of such a derivative transaction will depend on, among other factors, the ability and the willingness of the Fund’s counterparty to perform its obligations under the transaction. If a counterparty were to default on its obligations, the Fund’s contractual remedies against such counterparty may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws, which could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor (e.g., the Fund may not receive the net amount of payments that it is contractually entitled to receive). Counterparty risk also refers to the related risks of having concentrated exposure to such a counterparty. A liquid secondary market may not always exist for the Fund’s derivative positions at any time, and the Fund may not be able to initiate or liquidate a swap position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses. The Fund may also face the risk that it may not be able to meet margin and payment requirements and maintain a derivatives position.
Derivatives are also subject to operational and legal risks. Operational risk generally refers to risk related to potential operational issues, including documentation issues, settlement issues, system failures, inadequate controls, and human errors. Legal risk generally refers to insufficient documentation, insufficient capacity or authority of counterparty, or legality or enforceability of a contract.
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Direct Investments Risk. Direct investments may involve a high degree of business and financial risk that can result in substantial losses. Because of the absence of any public trading market for these investments, the Fund may take longer to liquidate these positions than would be the case for publicly traded securities. Direct investments are generally considered illiquid and will be aggregated with other illiquid investments for purposes of the Fund's limitation on illiquid investments.
Emerging Market Issuers Risk. Investments in securities of emerging market issuers involve risks not typically associated with investments in securities of issuers in more developed countries that may negatively affect the value of your investment in the Fund. Such heightened risks may include, among others, expropriation and/or nationalization of assets, restrictions on and government intervention in international trade, confiscatory taxation, political instability, including authoritarian and/or military involvement in governmental decision making, armed conflict, the impact on the economy as a result of civil war, crime (including drug violence) and social instability as a result of religious, ethnic and/or socioeconomic unrest. Issuers in certain emerging market countries are subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping than are issuers in more developed markets, and therefore, all material information may not be available or reliable. Emerging markets are also more likely than developed markets to experience problems with the clearing and settling of trades, as well as the holding of securities by local banks, agents and depositories. Low trading volumes and volatile prices in less developed markets may make trades harder to complete and settle, and governments or trade groups may compel local agents to hold securities in designated depositories that may not be subject to independent evaluation. Local agents are held only to the standards of care of their local markets. In general, the less developed a country’s securities markets are, the greater the likelihood of custody problems. Additionally, each of the factors described below could have a negative impact on the Fund’s performance and increase the volatility of the Fund.
Securities Markets. Securities markets in emerging market countries are underdeveloped and are often considered to be less correlated to global economic cycles than those markets located in more developed countries. Securities markets in emerging market countries are subject to greater risks associated with market volatility, lower market capitalization, lower trading volume, illiquidity, inflation, greater price fluctuations, uncertainty regarding the existence of trading markets, governmental control and heavy regulation of labor and industry. These factors, coupled with restrictions on foreign investment and other factors, limit the supply of securities available for investment by the Fund. This will affect the rate at which the Fund is able to invest in emerging market countries, the purchase and sale prices for such securities and the timing of purchases and sales. Emerging markets can experience high rates of inflation, deflation and currency devaluation. The prices of certain securities listed on securities markets in emerging market countries have been subject to sharp fluctuations and sudden declines, and no assurance can be given as to the future performance of listed securities in general. Volatility of prices may be greater than in more developed securities markets. Moreover, securities markets in emerging market countries may be closed for extended periods of time or trading on securities markets may be suspended altogether due to political or civil unrest. Market volatility may also be heightened by the actions of a small number of investors. Brokerage firms in emerging market countries may be fewer in number and less established than brokerage firms in more developed markets. Since the Fund may need to effect securities transactions through these brokerage firms, the Fund is subject to the risk that these brokerage firms will not be able to fulfill their obligations to the Fund. This risk is magnified to the extent the Fund effects securities transactions through a single brokerage firm or a small number of brokerage firms. In addition, the infrastructure for the safe custody of securities and for purchasing and selling securities, settling trades, collecting dividends, initiating corporate actions, and following corporate activity is not as well developed in emerging market countries as is the case in certain more developed markets.
Political and Economic Risk. Certain emerging market countries have historically been subject to political instability and their prospects are tied to the continuation of economic and political liberalization in the region. Instability may result from factors such as government or military intervention in decision making, terrorism, civil unrest, extremism or hostilities between neighboring countries. Any of these factors, including an outbreak of hostilities could negatively impact the Fund’s returns. Limited political and democratic freedoms in emerging market countries might cause significant social unrest. These factors may have a significant adverse effect on an emerging market country’s economy.
Many emerging market countries may be heavily dependent upon international trade and, consequently, may continue to be negatively affected by trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which it trades. They also have been, and may continue to be, adversely affected by economic conditions in the countries with which they trade.
In addition, commodities (such as oil, gas and minerals) represent a significant percentage of certain emerging market countries’ exports and these economies are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. Adverse economic events in one country may have a significant adverse effect on other countries of this region. In addition, most emerging market countries have experienced, at one time or another, severe and persistent levels of inflation, including, in some cases, hyperinflation. This has, in turn, led to high interest rates, extreme measures by governments to keep inflation in check, and a generally debilitating effect on economic growth.
Although inflation in many countries has lessened, there is no guarantee it will remain at lower levels. The political history of certain emerging market countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian
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and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such events could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and result in significant disruption in securities markets in the region.
Also, from time to time, certain issuers located in emerging market countries in which the Fund invests may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions and/or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. As a result, an issuer may sustain damage to its reputation if it is identified as an issuer which operates in, or has dealings with, such countries. The Fund, as an investor in such issuers, will be indirectly subject to those risks.
The economies of one or more countries in which the Fund may invest may be in various states of transition from a planned economy to a more market oriented economy. The economies of such countries differ from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including levels of government involvement, states of development, growth rates, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. Economic growth in these economies may be uneven both geographically and among various sectors of their economies and may also be accompanied by periods of high inflation. Political changes, social instability and adverse diplomatic developments in these countries could result in the imposition of additional government restrictions, including expropriation of assets, confiscatory taxes or nationalization of some or all of the property held by the underlying issuers of securities of emerging market issuers. There is no guarantee that the governments of these countries will not revert back to some form of planned or non-market oriented economy, and such governments continue to be active participants in many economic sectors through ownership positions and regulation. The allocation of resources in such countries is subject to a high level of government control. Such countries’ governments may strictly regulate the payment of foreign currency denominated obligations and set monetary policy. Through their policies, these governments may provide preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. The policies set by the government of one of these countries could have a substantial effect on that country’s economy.
Investment and Repatriation Restrictions. The government in an emerging market country may restrict or control to varying degrees the ability of foreign investors to invest in securities of issuers located or operating in such emerging market countries. These restrictions and/or controls may at times limit or prevent foreign investment in securities of issuers located or operating in emerging market countries and may inhibit the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. In addition, the Fund may not be able to buy or sell securities or receive full value for such securities. Moreover, certain emerging market countries may require governmental approval or special licenses prior to investments by foreign investors and may limit the amount of investments by foreign investors in a particular industry and/or issuer; may limit such foreign investment to a certain class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous rights than the classes available for purchase by domiciliaries of such emerging market countries; and/or may impose additional taxes on foreign investors. A delay in obtaining a required government approval or a license would delay investments in those emerging market countries, and, as a result, the Fund may not be able to invest in certain securities while approval is pending. The government of certain emerging market countries may also withdraw or decline to renew a license that enables the Fund to invest in such country. These factors make investing in issuers located or operating in emerging market countries significantly riskier than investing in issuers located or operating in more developed countries, and any one of them could cause a decline in the net asset value of the Fund.
Additionally, investments in issuers located in certain emerging market countries may be subject to a greater degree of risk associated with governmental approval in connection with the repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of sales of securities by foreign investors. Moreover, there is the risk that if the balance of payments in an emerging market country declines, the government of such country may impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances. Consequently, the Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, required governmental approval for repatriation of capital, as well as by the application to the Fund of any restrictions on investments. Furthermore, investments in emerging market countries may require the Fund to adopt special procedures, seek local government approvals or take other actions, each of which may involve additional costs to the Fund.
Available Disclosure About Emerging Market Issuers. Issuers located or operating in emerging market countries are not subject to the same rules and regulations as issuers located or operating in more developed countries. Therefore, there may be less financial and other information publicly available with regard to issuers located or operating in emerging market countries and such issuers are not subject to the uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards applicable to issuers located or operating in more developed countries.
Foreign Currency Considerations. The Fund’s assets that are invested in securities of issuers in emerging market countries will generally be denominated in foreign currencies, and the proceeds received by the Fund from these investments will be principally in foreign currencies. The value of an emerging market country’s currency may be subject to a high degree of fluctuation. This fluctuation may be due to changes in interest rates, the effects of monetary policies issued by the United States, foreign governments, central banks or supranational entities, the imposition of currency controls or other national or global political or economic developments. The economies of certain emerging market countries can be significantly affected by currency devaluations. Certain emerging market countries may also have
26

managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels relative to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors.
The Fund’s exposure to an emerging market country’s currency and changes in value of such foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar may reduce the Fund’s investment performance and the value of your investment in the Fund. Meanwhile, the Fund will compute and expects to distribute its income in U.S. dollars, and the computation of income will be made on the date that the income is earned by the Fund at the foreign exchange rate in effect on that date. Therefore, if the value of the respective emerging market country’s currency falls relative to the U.S. dollar between the earning of the income and the time at which the Fund converts the relevant emerging market country’s currency to U.S. dollars, the Fund may be required to liquidate certain positions in order to make distributions if the Fund has insufficient cash in U.S. dollars to meet distribution requirements under the Internal Revenue Code. The liquidation of investments, if required, could be at disadvantageous prices or otherwise have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance.
Certain emerging market countries also restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for many such currencies and it would, as a result, be difficult for the Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies. Furthermore, if permitted, the Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between U.S. dollars and an emerging market country’s currency. Foreign exchange dealers realize a profit based on the difference between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer normally will offer to sell a foreign currency to the Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the Fund desire immediately to resell that currency to the dealer. The Fund will conduct its foreign currency exchange transactions either on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the spot rate prevailing in the foreign currency exchange market, or through entering into forward, futures or options contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies.
Operational and Settlement Risk. In addition to having less developed securities markets, emerging market countries have less developed custody and settlement practices than certain developed countries. Rules adopted under the Investment Company Act of 1940 permit the Fund to maintain its foreign securities and cash in the custody of certain eligible non-U.S. banks and securities depositories. Banks in emerging market countries that are eligible foreign sub-custodians may be recently organized or otherwise lack extensive operating experience. In addition, in certain emerging market countries there may be legal restrictions or limitations on the ability of the Fund to recover assets held in custody by a foreign sub-custodian in the event of the bankruptcy of the sub-custodian. Because settlement systems in emerging market countries may be less organized than in other developed markets, there may be a risk that settlement may be delayed and that cash or securities of the Fund may be in jeopardy because of failures of or defects in the systems. Under the laws in many emerging market countries, the Fund may be required to release local shares before receiving cash payment or may be required to make cash payment prior to receiving local shares, creating a risk that the Fund may surrender cash or securities without ever receiving securities or cash from the other party. Settlement systems in emerging market countries also have a higher risk of failed trades and back to back settlements may not be possible.
The Fund may not be able to convert a foreign currency to U.S. dollars in time for the settlement of redemption requests. In the event that the Fund is not able to convert the foreign currency to U.S. dollars in time for settlement, which may occur as a result of the delays described above, the Fund may be required to liquidate certain investments and/or borrow money in order to fund such redemption. The liquidation of investments, if required, could be at disadvantageous prices or otherwise have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance (e.g., by causing the Fund to overweight foreign currency denominated holdings and underweight other holdings which were sold to fund redemptions). In addition, the Fund will incur interest expense on any borrowings and the borrowings will cause the Fund to be leveraged, which may magnify gains and losses on its investments.
In certain emerging market countries, the marketability of investments may be limited due to the restricted opening hours of trading exchanges, and a relatively high proportion of market value may be concentrated in the hands of a relatively small number of investors. In addition, because certain emerging market countries’ trading exchanges on which the Fund’s portfolio securities may trade are open when the relevant exchanges are closed, the Fund may be subject to heightened risk associated with market movements. Trading volume may be lower on certain emerging market countries’ trading exchanges than on more developed securities markets and securities may be generally less liquid. The infrastructure for clearing, settlement and registration on the primary and secondary markets of certain emerging market countries are less developed than in certain other markets and under certain circumstances this may result in the Fund experiencing delays in settling and/or registering transactions in the markets in which it invests, particularly if the growth of foreign and domestic investment in certain emerging market countries places an undue burden on such investment infrastructure. Such delays could affect the speed with which the Fund can transmit redemption proceeds and may inhibit the initiation and realization of investment opportunities at optimum times.
Certain issuers in emerging market countries may utilize share blocking schemes. Share blocking refers to a practice, in certain foreign markets, where voting rights related to an issuer’s securities are predicated on these securities being
27


blocked from trading at the custodian or sub-custodian level for a period of time around a shareholder meeting. These restrictions have the effect of barring the purchase and sale of certain voting securities within a specified number of days before and, in certain instances, after a shareholder meeting where a vote of shareholders will be taken. Share blocking may prevent the Fund from buying or selling securities for a period of time. During the time that shares are blocked, trades in such securities will not settle. The blocking period can last up to several weeks. The process for having a blocking restriction lifted can be quite onerous with the particular requirements varying widely by country. In addition, in certain countries, the block cannot be removed. As a result of the ramifications of voting ballots in markets that allow share blocking, the Adviser, on behalf of the Fund, reserves the right to abstain from voting proxies in those markets.
Corporate and Securities Laws. Securities laws in emerging market countries are relatively new and unsettled and, consequently, there is a risk of rapid and unpredictable change in laws regarding foreign investment, securities regulation, title to securities and securityholders rights. Accordingly, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. In addition, the systems of corporate governance to which emerging market issuers are subject may be less advanced than those systems to which issuers located in more developed countries are subject, and therefore, securityholders of issuers located in emerging market countries may not receive many of the protections available to securityholders of issuers located in more developed countries. In circumstances where adequate laws and securityholders rights exist, it may not be possible to obtain swift and equitable enforcement of the law. In addition, the enforcement of systems of taxation at federal, regional and local levels in emerging market countries may be inconsistent and subject to sudden change. The Fund has limited rights and few practical remedies in emerging markets and the ability of U.S. authorities to bring enforcement actions in emerging markets may be limited.
ESG Investing Strategy Risk.  The Fund’s ESG strategy could cause it to perform differently compared to funds that do not have an ESG focus. The Fund’s ESG strategy may result in the Fund investing in securities or industry sectors that underperform other securities or underperform the market as a whole. The Fund is also subject to the risk that the companies represented in the Fund do not operate as expected when addressing ESG issues. Additionally, the valuation model used for identifying ESG companies may not perform as intended, which may adversely affect an investment in the Fund. Regulatory changes or interpretations regarding the definitions and/or use of ESG criteria could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to implement its ESG strategy.
Foreign Currency Risk. Because all or a portion of the income received by the Fund from its investments and/or the revenues received by the underlying issuer will generally be denominated in foreign currencies, the Fund’s exposure to foreign currencies and changes in the value of foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar may result in reduced returns for the Fund, and the value of certain foreign currencies may be subject to a high degree of fluctuation. The Fund may also (directly or indirectly) incur costs in connection with conversions between U.S. dollars and foreign currencies.
Foreign Securities Risk. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers involve risks beyond those associated with investments in U.S. securities. These additional risks include greater market volatility, the availability of less reliable financial information, higher transactional and custody costs, taxation by foreign governments, decreased market liquidity and political instability. Because certain foreign securities markets may be limited in size, the activity of large traders may have an undue influence on the prices of securities that trade in such markets. The Fund invests in securities of issuers located in countries whose economies are heavily dependent upon trading with key partners. Any reduction in this trading may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments. Foreign market trading hours, clearance and settlement procedures, and holiday schedules may limit the Fund's ability to buy and sell securities.
Gold and Silver Mining Companies Risk. The Fund invests in stocks and depositary receipts of U.S. and foreign companies that are involved in the gold mining and silver mining industries, which are considered speculative and are affected by a variety of factors. Competitive pressures may have a significant effect on the financial condition of gold mining and silver mining companies. Also, gold and silver mining companies are highly dependent on the price of gold bullion and silver bullion, respectively, but may also be adversely affected by a variety of worldwide economic, financial and political factors. The price of gold and silver may fluctuate substantially over short periods of time so the Fund’s Share price may be more volatile than other types of investments. Fluctuation in the prices of gold and silver may be due to a number of factors, including changes in inflation, changes in currency exchange rates and changes in industrial and commercial demand for metals (including fabricator demand). Additionally, increased environmental or labor costs may depress the value of metal investments.
Market Risk. The prices of securities are subject to the risks associated with investing in the securities market, including general economic conditions, sudden and unpredictable drops in value, exchange trading suspensions and closures and public health risks. These risks may be magnified if certain social, political, economic and other conditions and events (such as natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) adversely interrupt the global economy; in these and other circumstances, such events or developments might affect companies world-wide. Overall securities values could decline generally or underperform other investments. An investment may lose money.
Non-Diversified Risk. The Fund is classified as a “non-diversified” fund under the Investment Company Act of 1940. The Fund is subject to the risk that it will be more volatile than a diversified fund because the Fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a smaller number of issuers or may invest a larger proportion of its assets in a single issuer. Moreover, the gains and
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losses on a single investment may have a greater impact on the Fund’s net asset value and may make the Fund more volatile than more diversified funds. The Fund may be particularly vulnerable to this risk if it is comprised of a limited number of investments.
Operational Risk. The Fund is exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or system failures.
Regulatory Risk. Changes in the laws or regulations of the United States, including any changes to applicable tax laws and regulations, could impair the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective and could increase the operating expenses of the Fund. The Adviser is registered as a commodity pool operator under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act and the rules of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and is subject to CFTC regulation with respect to the Fund. The CFTC has adopted rules regarding the disclosure, reporting and recordkeeping requirements that will apply with respect to the Fund as a result of the Adviser’s registration as a commodity pool operator. Generally, these rules allow for substituted compliance with CFTC disclosure and shareholder reporting requirements, based on the Adviser’s compliance with comparable Securities and Exchange Commission requirements. This means that for most of the CFTC’s disclosure and shareholder reporting applicable to the Adviser as the Fund’s commodity pool operator, the Adviser’s compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure and shareholder reporting will be deemed to fulfill the Adviser’s CFTC compliance obligations. However, as a result of CFTC regulation with respect to the Fund, the Fund may incur additional compliance and other expenses. The Adviser is also registered as a “commodity trading advisor” (“CTA”) but relies on an exemption with respect to the Fund from CTA regulations available for a CTA that also serves as the Fund’s commodity pool operator. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the Fund, their investment strategies, or this Prospectus.
Risk of Investing in Other Funds. The Fund may invest in shares of other funds, including ETFs. As a result, the Fund will indirectly be exposed to the risks of an investment in the underlying funds. As a shareholder in a fund, the Fund would bear its ratable share of that entity’s expenses. At the same time, the Fund would continue to pay its own investment management fees and other expenses. As a result, the Fund and its shareholders will be absorbing additional levels of fees with respect to investments in other funds, including ETFs.
Small- and Medium-Capitalization Companies Risk. The Fund may invest in small- and medium-capitalization companies and, therefore will be subject to certain risks associated with small- and medium- capitalization companies. These companies are often subject to less analyst coverage and may be in early and less predictable periods of their corporate existences, with little or no record of profitability. In addition, these companies often have greater price volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than larger more established companies. These companies tend to have smaller revenues, narrower product lines, less management depth and experience, smaller shares of their product or service markets, fewer financial resources and less competitive strength than large-capitalization companies. Returns on investments in securities of small- and medium-capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of larger companies.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Australian Issuers. Investments in securities of Australian issuers involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. The Australian economy is heavily dependent on exports from the agricultural and mining sectors. As a result, the Australian economy is susceptible to fluctuations in the commodity markets. The Australian economy is also dependent on trading with key trading partners.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Canadian Issuers. Investments in securities of Canadian issuers, including issuers located outside of Canada that generate significant revenue from Canada, involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. The Canadian economy is very dependent on the demand for, and supply and price of, natural resources. The Canadian market is relatively concentrated in issuers involved in the production and distribution of natural resources. There is a risk that any changes in natural resources sectors could have an adverse impact on the Canadian economy. Additionally, the Canadian economy is heavily dependent on relationships with certain key trading partners, including the United States, countries in the European Union and China. Because the United States is Canada’s largest trading partner and foreign investor, the Canadian economy is dependent on and may be significantly affected by the U.S. economy. Reduction in spending on Canadian products and services or changes in the U.S. economy may adversely impact the Canadian economy. Trade agreements may further increase Canada’s dependency on the U.S. economy, and uncertainty as to the future of such trade agreements may cause a decline in the value of the Fund’s Shares. Past periodic demands by the Province of Quebec for sovereignty have significantly affected equity valuations and foreign currency movements in the Canadian market and such demands may have this effect in the future. In addition, certain sectors of Canada’s economy may be subject to foreign ownership limitations. This may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to invest in Canadian issuers and to pursue its investment objective.
Subsidiary Investment Risk. Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands, under which the Fund and the Subsidiary are organized, respectively, could result in the inability of the Fund to operate as intended and could negatively affect the Fund and its shareholders. The Subsidiary is not registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and is not subject to the investor protections of the Investment Company Act of 1940. Thus, the Fund, as an investor in the Subsidiary, will not have all the protections offered to investors in registered investment companies.
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Tax Risk (with respect to investments in the Subsidiary). The Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income from certain qualifying sources of income in order to qualify as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The Internal Revenue Service issued a revenue ruling in December 2005, which concluded that income and gains from certain commodity-linked derivatives are not qualifying income under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. As a result, the Fund’s ability to invest directly in commodity-linked futures contracts or swaps or in certain exchange-traded trusts that hold commodities as part of its investment strategy is limited by the requirement that it receive no more than ten percent (10%) of its gross income from such investments. The Fund expects to invest its assets in the Subsidiary, consistent with applicable law and the advice of counsel, in a manner that should permit the Fund to treat income allocable from the Subsidiary as qualifying income. The Internal Revenue Service has issued regulations that treat a fund’s income inclusion with respect to an investment in a non-U.S. company generating investment income as qualifying income only if there is a current-year distribution out of the earnings and profits of the non-U.S. company that are attributable to such income inclusion or if the income from the Subsidiary is related to the Fund's business of investing. The Fund intends to treat its income from the Subsidiary as qualifying income. There can be no assurance that the Internal Revenue Service will not change its position with respect to some or all of these issues or if the Internal Revenue Service did so, that a court would not sustain the Internal Revenue Service’s position. Furthermore, the tax treatment of the Fund’s investments in the Subsidiary may be adversely affected by future legislation, court decisions, future Internal Revenue Service guidance or Treasury regulations.
PERFORMANCE
The following chart and table provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund’s performance from year to year and by showing how the Fund’s average annual total returns compare with those of a broad measure of market performance and one or more other performance measures. The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future. The annual returns in the bar chart are for the Fund’s Class A shares and do not reflect sales loads. If sales loads were reflected, returns would be lower than those shown.
Additionally, large purchases and/or redemptions of shares of a class, relative to the amount of assets represented by the class, may cause the annual returns for each class to differ. Updated performance information for the Fund is available on the VanEck website at vaneck.com.
CLASS A: Annual Total Returns (%) as of 12/31
7855
Best Quarter: +73.76% 2Q 2020
Worst Quarter: -28.61% 2Q 2022
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Average Annual Total Returns as of 12/31/2023 1 Year 5 Years 10 Years
Class A Shares (2/10/56)
Before Taxes 3.37% 8.31% 4.37%
After Taxes on Distributions1
3.45% 6.57% 2.96%
After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares
2.12% 5.92% 2.84%
Class C Shares (10/3/03)
Before Taxes 7.90% 8.80% 4.20%
Class I Shares (10/2/06)
Before Taxes 10.26% 10.05% 5.44%
Class Y Shares (4/30/10)
Before Taxes 10.13% 9.95% 5.32%
NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes, except withholding taxes)
10.60% 9.80% 5.25%
MSCI AC World Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes, except withholding taxes)
22.20% 11.72% 7.93%
1     After-tax returns are calculated using the historical highest individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. These returns are shown for one class of shares only; after-tax returns for the other classes may vary. Actual after-tax returns depend on your individual tax situation and may differ from those shown in the preceding table. The after-tax return information shown above does not apply to Fund shares held through a tax-advantaged account, such as a 401(k) plan or Investment Retirement Account.
See “License Agreements and Disclaimers” for important information.
PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
Investment Adviser. Van Eck Associates Corporation
Portfolio Manager.
Imaru Casanova has been Portfolio Manager of the Fund since May 2023 and a member of the investment team since 2011.
Additionally, Joseph M. Foster, former Portfolio Manager of the Fund, serves as Gold Strategist.
PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES
In general, shares of the Fund may be purchased or redeemed on any business day, primarily through financial representatives such as brokers or advisers, or directly by eligible investors through the Fund’s transfer agent. Purchase minimums for Classes A, C and Y shares are $1,000 for an initial purchase and $100 for a subsequent purchase, with no purchase minimums for any purchase through a retirement or pension plan account, for any “wrap fee” account and similar programs offered without a sales charge by certain financial institutions and third-party recordkeepers and/or administrators, and for any account using the Automatic Investment Plan, or for any other periodic purchase program.
Purchase minimums for Class I shares are $1 million for an initial purchase and no minimum for a subsequent purchase; the initial minimum may be reduced or waived at the Adviser’s discretion.
TAX INFORMATION
The Fund normally distributes net investment income and net realized capital gains, if any, to shareholders annually. These distributions are generally taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax advantaged retirement account, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account (IRA), in which case your distributions may be taxed as ordinary income when withdrawn from such account.
PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES
If you purchase the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the Fund and/or its affiliates may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your financial professional to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your financial professional or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
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II. INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, STRATEGIES, POLICIES, RISKS AND OTHER INFORMATION
This section states each Fund’s investment objective and describes certain strategies and policies that the Fund may utilize in pursuit of its investment objective. This section also provides additional information about the principal risks associated with investing in each Fund.
1. INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES
Fund    Emerging Markets Fund
Objective    The Emerging Markets Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in equity securities in emerging markets around the world.
Fund    Global Resources Fund
Objective    The Global Resources Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in global resource securities. Income is a secondary consideration.
Fund    International Investors Gold Fund
Objective    The International Investors Gold Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in common stocks of gold-mining companies. The Fund may take current income into consideration when choosing investments.
Each of the Emerging Markets Fund, Global Resources Fund and International Investors Gold Fund's investment objective is fundamental and may only be changed with shareholder approval.
2. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RISKS
The following section provides additional information regarding the principal risks identified under “Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund” in each Fund’s “Summary Information” section and additional risks, including non-principal risks, if applicable. The risks checked in the chart below apply to each Fund as indicated. For a description of the risks listed in the chart, please see "Glossary – Investment Risks" below the chart. See also the Funds' Statement of Additional Information for information on certain other investments in which each Fund may invest and other investment techniques in which each Fund may engage from time to time and related risks.
Risk Emerging Markets Fund Global Resources Fund International Investors Gold Fund
√ Principal Risk | X Additional Non-Principal Risk
Active Management Risk
Agriculture Companies Risk
Commodities and Commodity-Linked Instruments Risk
Commodities and Commodity-Linked Tax Risk
Consumer Discretionary Sector Risk
Derivatives Risk X
Direct Investments Risk
Emerging Market Issuers Risk
Equity Securities Risk
ESG Investing Strategy Risk
Financials Sector Risk
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Risk Emerging Markets Fund Global Resources Fund International Investors Gold Fund
√ Principal Risk | X Additional Non-Principal Risk
Foreign Currency Risk
Foreign Securities Risk
Global Resources Sector Risk X
Gold and Silver Mining Companies Risk
Industrials Sector Risk
Information Technology Sector Risk
Large-Capitalization Companies Risk
Leverage Risk X X X
Market Risk
Medium-Capitalization Companies Risk
Money Market Funds Risk
Non-Diversified Risk
Operational Risk
Regulatory Risk
Restricted Securities Risk X X
Risk of Investing in Other Funds
Small- and Medium-Capitalization Companies Risk
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies Risk X
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Australian Issuers
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Brazilian Issuers
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Canadian Issuers
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Chinese Issuers
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Indian Issuers
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Risk Emerging Markets Fund Global Resources Fund International Investors Gold Fund
√ Principal Risk | X Additional Non-Principal Risk
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Latin American Issuers
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Taiwanese Issuers
Stock Connect Risk
Subsidiary Investment Risk
Tax Risk (with respect to investments in the Subsidiary)

GLOSSARY - INVESTMENT RISKS

Active Management Risk.  In managing the Fund’s portfolio, the Adviser will apply investment techniques and risk analyses in making investment decisions for the Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these will produce the desired results. Investment decisions made by the Adviser in seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective may cause a decline in the value of the investments held by the Fund and, in turn, cause the Fund’s shares to lose value or underperform other funds with similar investment objectives.
Agriculture Companies Risk. The Fund will be sensitive to, and its performance will depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the agriculture companies. Economic forces affecting agricultural companies and related industries, including forces affecting the agricultural commodity prices, labor costs, and energy and financial markets, could adversely affect the Fund’s portfolio companies and thus, the Fund’s financial situation and profitability. Agricultural and livestock production and trade flows are significantly affected by government policies and regulations. Such policies and regulations include subsidy policies and the imposition of taxes, tariffs, duties and import and export restrictions, and can affect the planting/raising of certain crops/livestock versus other uses of resources, the location and site of crop and livestock production, whether processed or unprocessed commodity products are traded and the volume and types of imports and exports. Agriculture companies may be subject to the risk of liability for environmental damage, worker safety, depletion of resources, mandated expenditures for safety and pollution control devices, and litigation. An increased competitive landscape, caused by increased availability of food and other agricultural commodities, economic recession, labor difficulties or changing consumer tastes and spending, may lead to a decrease in demand for the products and services provided by companies involved in agriculture. Furthermore, companies involved in agriculture are particularly sensitive to changing weather conditions and other natural disasters, including floods, droughts and disease outbreaks. In addition, these companies are also subject to risks associated with cyclicality of revenues and earnings, currency fluctuations, changing consumer tastes, extensive competition, consolidation, and excess capacity. In addition, agriculture companies must comply with a broad range of environmental health, food safety and worker safety laws and regulations which could adversely affect the Fund. Additional or more stringent environmental and food safety laws and regulations may be enacted in the future and such changes could have a material adverse effect on the business of the agriculture companies.
Commodities and Commodity-Linked Instruments Risk. Commodities include, among other things, energy products, agricultural products, industrial metals, precious metals and livestock. The commodities markets may fluctuate widely based on a variety of factors, including overall market movements, economic events and policies, changes in interest rates or inflation rates, changes in monetary and exchange control programs, war, acts of terrorism, natural disasters and technological developments. Variables such as disease, drought, floods, weather, trade, embargoes, tariffs and other political events, in particular, may have a larger impact on commodity prices than on traditional securities. These additional variables may create additional investment risks that subject the Fund’s investments to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities. The prices of commodities can also fluctuate widely due to supply and demand disruptions in major producing or consuming regions. Because certain commodities may be produced in a limited number of countries and may be controlled by a small number of producers, political, economic and supply-related events in such countries could have a disproportionate impact on the prices of such commodities. These factors may affect the value of the Fund’s investments in varying ways, and different factors may cause the values and the volatility of the Fund’s investments to move in inconsistent directions at inconsistent rates. Because the value of a commodity-linked derivative instrument and structured note typically are based upon the price movements of physical commodities, the value of these securities will rise or fall in response to changes in the underlying commodities or related index of investment.
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Commodities and Commodity-Linked Instruments Tax Risk. The tax treatment of commodity-linked derivative instruments may be adversely affected by changes in legislation, regulations or other legally binding authority. If, as a result of any such adverse action, the income of the Fund from certain commodity-linked derivatives were treated as non- qualifying income, the Fund might fail to qualify as a regulated investment company and/or be subject to federal income tax at the Fund level. The uncertainty surrounding the treatment of certain derivative instruments under the qualification tests for a regulated investment company may limit the Fund’s use of such derivative instruments.
The Fund may be required, for federal income tax purposes, to mark-to-market and recognize as income for each taxable year any net unrealized gains and losses on certain futures contracts and option contracts as of the end of the year as well as those actually realized during the year. Gain or loss from futures contracts required to be marked-to-market will be 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gain or loss if held directly by the Fund. If applicable, for Funds that have a Subsidiary, if held by such Subsidiary, as is expected, such gains will be recognized as ordinary income by such Fund to the extent of the Subsidiary’s annual net earnings, if any. Application of this rule may alter the timing and character of distributions to shareholders. The Fund may be required to defer the recognition of losses on futures contracts or certain option contracts to the extent of any unrecognized gains on related positions held by the Fund.
Consumer Discretionary Sector Risk. The Fund may be sensitive to, and its performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the consumer discretionary sector. The consumer discretionary sector comprises companies whose businesses are sensitive to economic cycles, such as manufacturers of high-end apparel and automobile and leisure companies. Companies in the consumer discretionary sector are subject to fluctuations in supply and demand. These companies may also be adversely affected by changes in consumer spending as a result of world events, political and economic conditions, commodity price volatility, changes in exchange rates, imposition of import controls, increased competition, depletion of resources and labor relations.
Derivatives Risk. Derivatives and other similar instruments (referred to collectively as “derivatives”) are financial instruments whose values are based on the value of one or more reference assets or indicators, such as a security, currency, interest rate, or index. The Fund’s use of derivatives involves risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other more traditional investments. Moreover, although the value of a derivative is based on an underlying asset or indicator, a derivative typically does not carry the same rights as would be the case if the Fund invested directly in the underlying securities, currencies or other assets.
Derivatives are subject to a number of risks, such as potential changes in value in response to market developments or, in the case of “over-the-counter” derivatives, as a result of a counterparty’s credit quality and the risk that a derivative transaction may not have the effect the Adviser anticipated. Derivatives also involve the risk of mispricing or improper valuation and the risk that changes in the value of a derivative may not achieve the desired correlation with the underlying asset or indicator. Derivative transactions can create investment leverage and may be highly volatile, and the Fund could lose more than the amount it invests. The use of derivatives may increase the amount and affect the timing and character of taxes payable by shareholders of the Fund.
Many derivative transactions are entered into “over-the-counter” without a central clearinghouse; as a result, the value of such a derivative transaction will depend on, among other factors, the ability and the willingness of the Fund’s counterparty to perform its obligations under the transaction. If a counterparty were to default on its obligations, the Fund’s contractual remedies against such counterparty may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws, which could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor (e.g., the Fund may not receive the net amount of payments that it is contractually entitled to receive). Counterparty risk also refers to the related risks of having concentrated exposure to such a counterparty. A liquid secondary market may not always exist for the Fund’s derivative positions at any time, and the Fund may not be able to initiate or liquidate a swap position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses. The Fund may also face the risk that it may not be able to meet margin and payment requirements and maintain a derivatives position.
Derivatives are also subject to operational and legal risks. Operational risk generally refers to risk related to potential operational issues, including documentation issues, settlement issues, system failures, inadequate controls, and human errors. Legal risk generally refers to insufficient documentation, insufficient capacity or authority of counterparty, or legality or enforceability of a contract.
Direct Investments Risk. Direct investments are investments made directly with an enterprise not through publicly traded shares or interests. The Fund will not invest more than 10% of its total assets in direct investments. Direct investments may involve a high degree of business and financial risk that can result in substantial losses. Because of the absence of any public trading market for these investments, the Fund may take longer to liquidate these positions than would be the case for publicly traded securities. Although these securities may be resold in privately negotiated transactions, the prices on these sales could be less than those originally paid by the Fund. Issuers whose securities are not publicly traded may not be subject to public disclosure and other investor protection requirements applicable to publicly traded securities. Direct investments are generally considered illiquid and will be aggregated with other illiquid investments for purposes of the limitation on illiquid investments.
Emerging Market Issuers Risk. Investments in securities of emerging market issuers involve risks not typically associated with investments in securities of issuers in more developed countries that may negatively affect the value of your investment in the
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Fund. Such heightened risks may include, among others, expropriation and/or nationalization of assets, restrictions on and government intervention in international trade, confiscatory taxation, political instability, including authoritarian and/or military involvement in governmental decision making, armed conflict, the impact on the economy as a result of civil war, crime (including drug violence) and social instability as a result of religious, ethnic and/or socioeconomic unrest. Issuers in certain emerging market countries are subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping than are issuers in more developed markets, and therefore, all material information may not be available or reliable. Emerging markets are also more likely than developed markets to experience problems with the clearing and settling of trades, as well as the holding of securities by local banks, agents and depositories. Low trading volumes and volatile prices in less developed markets may make trades harder to complete and settle, and governments or trade groups may compel local agents to hold securities in designated depositories that may not be subject to independent evaluation. Local agents are held only to the standards of care of their local markets. In general, the less developed a country’s securities markets are, the greater the likelihood of custody problems. Additionally, each of the factors described below could have a negative impact on the Fund’s performance and increase the volatility of the Fund.
Securities Markets. Securities markets in emerging market countries are underdeveloped and are often considered to be less correlated to global economic cycles than those markets located in more developed countries. Securities markets in emerging market countries are subject to greater risks associated with market volatility, lower market capitalization, lower trading volume, illiquidity, inflation, greater price fluctuations, uncertainty regarding the existence of trading markets, governmental control and heavy regulation of labor and industry. These factors, coupled with restrictions on foreign investment and other factors, limit the supply of securities available for investment by the Fund. This will affect the rate at which the Fund is able to invest in emerging market countries, the purchase and sale prices for such securities and the timing of purchases and sales. Emerging markets can experience high rates of inflation, deflation and currency devaluation. The prices of certain securities listed on securities markets in emerging market countries have been subject to sharp fluctuations and sudden declines, and no assurance can be given as to the future performance of listed securities in general. Volatility of prices may be greater than in more developed securities markets. Moreover, securities markets in emerging market countries may be closed for extended periods of time or trading on securities markets may be suspended altogether due to political or civil unrest. Market volatility may also be heightened by the actions of a small number of investors. Brokerage firms in emerging market countries may be fewer in number and less established than brokerage firms in more developed markets. Since the Fund may need to effect securities transactions through these brokerage firms, the Fund is subject to the risk that these brokerage firms will not be able to fulfill their obligations to the Fund. This risk is magnified to the extent the Fund effects securities transactions through a single brokerage firm or a small number of brokerage firms. In addition, the infrastructure for the safe custody of securities and for purchasing and selling securities, settling trades, collecting dividends, initiating corporate actions, and following corporate activity is not as well developed in emerging market countries as is the case in certain more developed markets.
Political and Economic Risk. Certain emerging market countries have historically been subject to political instability and their prospects are tied to the continuation of economic and political liberalization in the region. Instability may result from factors such as government or military intervention in decision making, terrorism, civil unrest, extremism or hostilities between neighboring countries. Any of these factors, including an outbreak of hostilities could negatively impact the Fund’s returns. Limited political and democratic freedoms in emerging market countries might cause significant social unrest. These factors may have a significant adverse effect on an emerging market country’s economy.
Many emerging market countries may be heavily dependent upon international trade and, consequently, may continue to be negatively affected by trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which it trades. They also have been, and may continue to be, adversely affected by economic conditions in the countries with which they trade.
In addition, commodities (such as oil, gas and minerals) represent a significant percentage of certain emerging market countries’ exports and these economies are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. Adverse economic events in one country may have a significant adverse effect on other countries of this region. In addition, most emerging market countries have experienced, at one time or another, severe and persistent levels of inflation, including, in some cases, hyperinflation. This has, in turn, led to high interest rates, extreme measures by governments to keep inflation in check, and a generally debilitating effect on economic growth.
Although inflation in many countries has lessened, there is no guarantee it will remain at lower levels. The political history of certain emerging market countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such events could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and result in significant disruption in securities markets in the region.
Also, from time to time, certain issuers located in emerging market countries in which the Fund invests may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions and/or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. As a result, an issuer may
36

sustain damage to its reputation if it is identified as an issuer which operates in, or has dealings with, such countries. The Fund, as an investor in such issuers, will be indirectly subject to those risks.
The economies of one or more countries in which the Fund may invest may be in various states of transition from a planned economy to a more market oriented economy. The economies of such countries differ from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including levels of government involvement, states of development, growth rates, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. Economic growth in these economies may be uneven both geographically and among various sectors of their economies and may also be accompanied by periods of high inflation. Political changes, social instability and adverse diplomatic developments in these countries could result in the imposition of additional government restrictions, including expropriation of assets, confiscatory taxes or nationalization of some or all of the property held by the underlying issuers of securities of emerging market issuers. There is no guarantee that the governments of these countries will not revert back to some form of planned or non-market oriented economy, and such governments continue to be active participants in many economic sectors through ownership positions and regulation. The allocation of resources in such countries is subject to a high level of government control. Such countries’ governments may strictly regulate the payment of foreign currency denominated obligations and set monetary policy. Through their policies, these governments may provide preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. The policies set by the government of one of these countries could have a substantial effect on that country’s economy.
Investment and Repatriation Restrictions. The government in an emerging market country may restrict or control to varying degrees the ability of foreign investors to invest in securities of issuers located or operating in such emerging market countries. These restrictions and/or controls may at times limit or prevent foreign investment in securities of issuers located or operating in emerging market countries and may inhibit the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. In addition, the Fund may not be able to buy or sell securities or receive full value for such securities. Moreover, certain emerging market countries may require governmental approval or special licenses prior to investments by foreign investors and may limit the amount of investments by foreign investors in a particular industry and/or issuer; may limit such foreign investment to a certain class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous rights than the classes available for purchase by domiciliaries of such emerging market countries; and/or may impose additional taxes on foreign investors. A delay in obtaining a required government approval or a license would delay investments in those emerging market countries, and, as a result, the Fund may not be able to invest in certain securities while approval is pending. The government of certain emerging market countries may also withdraw or decline to renew a license that enables the Fund to invest in such country. These factors make investing in issuers located or operating in emerging market countries significantly riskier than investing in issuers located or operating in more developed countries, and any one of them could cause a decline in the net asset value of the Fund.
Additionally, investments in issuers located in certain emerging market countries may be subject to a greater degree of risk associated with governmental approval in connection with the repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of sales of securities by foreign investors. Moreover, there is the risk that if the balance of payments in an emerging market country declines, the government of such country may impose temporary restrictions on foreign capital remittances. Consequently, the Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, required governmental approval for repatriation of capital, as well as by the application to the Fund of any restrictions on investments. Furthermore, investments in emerging market countries may require the Fund to adopt special procedures, seek local government approvals or take other actions, each of which may involve additional costs to the Fund.
Available Disclosure About Emerging Market Issuers. Issuers located or operating in emerging market countries are not subject to the same rules and regulations as issuers located or operating in more developed countries. Therefore, there may be less financial and other information publicly available with regard to issuers located or operating in emerging market countries and such issuers are not subject to the uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards applicable to issuers located or operating in more developed countries.
Foreign Currency Considerations. The Fund’s assets that are invested in securities of issuers in emerging market countries will generally be denominated in foreign currencies, and the proceeds received by the Fund from these investments will be principally in foreign currencies. The value of an emerging market country’s currency may be subject to a high degree of fluctuation. This fluctuation may be due to changes in interest rates, the effects of monetary policies issued by the United States, foreign governments, central banks or supranational entities, the imposition of currency controls or other national or global political or economic developments. The economies of certain emerging market countries can be significantly affected by currency devaluations. Certain emerging market countries may also have managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels relative to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors.
The Fund’s exposure to an emerging market country’s currency and changes in value of such foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar may reduce the Fund’s investment performance and the value of your investment in the Fund. Meanwhile, the Fund will compute and expects to distribute its income in U.S. dollars, and the computation of income will be made
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on the date that the income is earned by the Fund at the foreign exchange rate in effect on that date. Therefore, if the value of the respective emerging market country’s currency falls relative to the U.S. dollar between the earning of the income and the time at which the Fund converts the relevant emerging market country’s currency to U.S. dollars, the Fund may be required to liquidate certain positions in order to make distributions if the Fund has insufficient cash in U.S. dollars to meet distribution requirements under the Internal Revenue Code. The liquidation of investments, if required, could be at disadvantageous prices or otherwise have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance.
Certain emerging market countries also restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for many such currencies and it would, as a result, be difficult for the Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies. Furthermore, if permitted, the Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between U.S. dollars and an emerging market country’s currency. Foreign exchange dealers realize a profit based on the difference between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer normally will offer to sell a foreign currency to the Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the Fund desire immediately to resell that currency to the dealer. The Fund will conduct its foreign currency exchange transactions either on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the spot rate prevailing in the foreign currency exchange market, or through entering into forward, futures or options contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies.
Operational and Settlement Risk. In addition to having less developed securities markets, emerging market countries have less developed custody and settlement practices than certain developed countries. Rules adopted under the Investment Company Act of 1940 permit the Fund to maintain its foreign securities and cash in the custody of certain eligible non-U.S. banks and securities depositories. Banks in emerging market countries that are eligible foreign sub-custodians may be recently organized or otherwise lack extensive operating experience. In addition, in certain emerging market countries there may be legal restrictions or limitations on the ability of the Fund to recover assets held in custody by a foreign sub-custodian in the event of the bankruptcy of the sub-custodian. Because settlement systems in emerging market countries may be less organized than in other developed markets, there may be a risk that settlement may be delayed and that cash or securities of the Fund may be in jeopardy because of failures of or defects in the systems. Under the laws in many emerging market countries, the Fund may be required to release local shares before receiving cash payment or may be required to make cash payment prior to receiving local shares, creating a risk that the Fund may surrender cash or securities without ever receiving securities or cash from the other party. Settlement systems in emerging market countries also have a higher risk of failed trades and back to back settlements may not be possible.
The Fund may not be able to convert a foreign currency to U.S. dollars in time for the settlement of redemption requests. In the event that the Fund is not able to convert the foreign currency to U.S. dollars in time for settlement, which may occur as a result of the delays described above, the Fund may be required to liquidate certain investments and/or borrow money in order to fund such redemption. The liquidation of investments, if required, could be at disadvantageous prices or otherwise have an adverse impact on the Fund’s performance (e.g., by causing the Fund to overweight foreign currency denominated holdings and underweight other holdings which were sold to fund redemptions). In addition, the Fund will incur interest expense on any borrowings and the borrowings will cause the Fund to be leveraged, which may magnify gains and losses on its investments.
In certain emerging market countries, the marketability of investments may be limited due to the restricted opening hours of trading exchanges, and a relatively high proportion of market value may be concentrated in the hands of a relatively small number of investors. In addition, because certain emerging market countries’ trading exchanges on which the Fund’s portfolio securities may trade are open when the relevant exchanges are closed, the Fund may be subject to heightened risk associated with market movements. Trading volume may be lower on certain emerging market countries’ trading exchanges than on more developed securities markets and securities may be generally less liquid. The infrastructure for clearing, settlement and registration on the primary and secondary markets of certain emerging market countries are less developed than in certain other markets and under certain circumstances this may result in the Fund experiencing delays in settling and/or registering transactions in the markets in which it invests, particularly if the growth of foreign and domestic investment in certain emerging market countries places an undue burden on such investment infrastructure. Such delays could affect the speed with which the Fund can transmit redemption proceeds and may inhibit the initiation and realization of investment opportunities at optimum times.
Certain issuers in emerging market countries may utilize share blocking schemes. Share blocking refers to a practice, in certain foreign markets, where voting rights related to an issuer’s securities are predicated on these securities being blocked from trading at the custodian or sub-custodian level for a period of time around a shareholder meeting. These restrictions have the effect of barring the purchase and sale of certain voting securities within a specified number of days before and, in certain instances, after a shareholder meeting where a vote of shareholders will be taken. Share blocking may prevent the Fund from buying or selling securities for a period of time. During the time that shares are blocked, trades in such securities will not settle. The blocking period can last up to several weeks. The process for having a blocking restriction lifted can be quite onerous with the particular requirements varying widely by country. In addition, in
38

certain countries, the block cannot be removed. As a result of the ramifications of voting ballots in markets that allow share blocking, the Adviser, on behalf of the Fund, reserves the right to abstain from voting proxies in those markets.
Corporate and Securities Laws. Securities laws in emerging market countries are relatively new and unsettled and, consequently, there is a risk of rapid and unpredictable change in laws regarding foreign investment, securities regulation, title to securities and securityholders rights. Accordingly, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. In addition, the systems of corporate governance to which emerging market issuers are subject may be less advanced than those systems to which issuers located in more developed countries are subject, and therefore, securityholders of issuers located in emerging market countries may not receive many of the protections available to securityholders of issuers located in more developed countries. In circumstances where adequate laws and securityholders rights exist, it may not be possible to obtain swift and equitable enforcement of the law. In addition, the enforcement of systems of taxation at federal, regional and local levels in emerging market countries may be inconsistent and subject to sudden change. The Fund has limited rights and few practical remedies in emerging markets and the ability of U.S. authorities to bring enforcement actions in emerging markets may be limited.
Equity Securities Risk. The value of the equity securities held by the Fund may fall due to general market and economic conditions, perceptions regarding the markets in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund participate, or factors relating to specific issuers in which the Fund invests. For example, an adverse event, such as an unfavorable earnings report, may result in a decline in the value of equity securities of an issuer held by the Fund; the price of the equity securities of an issuer may be particularly sensitive to general movements in the securities markets; or a drop in the securities markets may depress the price of most or all of the equities securities held by the Fund. In addition, the equity securities of an issuer in the Fund’s portfolio may decline in price if the issuer fails to make anticipated dividend payments. Equity securities are subordinated to preferred securities and debt in a company’s capital structure with respect to priority to a share of corporate income, and therefore will be subject to greater dividend risk than preferred securities or debt instruments. In addition, while broad market measures of equity securities have historically generated higher average returns than fixed income securities, equity securities have generally also experienced significantly more volatility in those returns.
ESG Investing Strategy Risk. The Fund’s ESG strategy could cause it to perform differently compared to funds that do not have an ESG focus. The Fund’s ESG strategy may result in the Fund investing in securities or industry sectors that underperform other securities or underperform the market as a whole. The Fund is also subject to the risk that the companies represented in the Fund do not operate as expected when addressing ESG issues. Additionally, the valuation model used for identifying ESG companies may not perform as intended, which may adversely affect an investment in the Fund. Regulatory changes or interpretations regarding the definitions and/or use of ESG criteria could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to implement its ESG strategy.
Financials Sector Risk. The Fund may be sensitive to, and its performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the financials sector. Companies in the financials sector may be subject to extensive government regulation that affects the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. The profitability of companies in the financials sector may be adversely affected by increases in interest rates, by loan losses, which usually increase in economic downturns, and by credit rating downgrades. In addition, the financials sector is undergoing numerous changes, including continuing consolidations, development of new products and structures and changes to its regulatory framework. Furthermore, some companies in the financials sector perceived as benefiting from government intervention in the past may be subject to future government-imposed restrictions on their businesses or face increased government involvement in their operations. Increased government involvement in the financials sector, including measures such as taking ownership positions in financial institutions, could result in a dilution of the Fund’s investments in financial institutions.
Foreign Currency Risk. Because all or a portion of the income received by the Fund from its investments and/or the revenues received by the underlying issuer will generally be denominated in foreign currencies, the Fund’s exposure to foreign currencies and changes in the value of foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar may result in reduced returns for the Fund, and the value of certain foreign currencies may be subject to a high degree of fluctuation. The Fund may also (directly or indirectly) incur costs in connection with conversions between U.S. dollars and foreign currencies.
Several factors may affect the price of euros and the British pound sterling, including the debt level and trade deficit of the Economic and Monetary Union and the United Kingdom, inflation and interest rates of the Economic and Monetary Union and the United Kingdom and investors’ expectations concerning inflation and interest rates and global or regional political, economic or financial events and situations. The European financial markets have experienced, and may continue to experience, volatility and have been adversely affected by concerns about economic downturns, credit rating downgrades, rising government debt levels and possible default on or restructuring of government debt in several European countries. These events have adversely affected, and may in the future affect, the value and exchange rate of the euro and may continue to significantly affect the economies of every country in Europe, including European Union member countries that do not use the euro and non-European Union member countries. Notwithstanding the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union and the subsequent transition period, there is likely to be considerable uncertainty as to the United Kingdom’s post-transition framework. Significant uncertainty exists regarding the effects such withdrawal will have on the euro, European
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economies and the global markets. In addition, one or more countries may abandon the euro and the impact of these actions, especially if conducted in a disorderly manner, may have significant and far-reaching consequences on the euro.  

The value of certain emerging market countries’ currencies may be subject to a high degree of fluctuation. This fluctuation may be due to changes in interest rates, investors’ expectations concerning inflation and interest rates, the emerging market country’s debt levels and trade deficit, the effects of monetary policies issued by the United States, foreign governments, central banks or supranational entities, the imposition of currency controls or other national or global political or economic developments. For example, certain emerging market countries have experienced economic challenges and liquidity issues with respect to their currency. The economies of certain emerging market countries can be significantly affected by currency devaluations. Certain emerging market countries may also have managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels relative to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by the market. This type of system could lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency, which in turn, may have a negative effect on the Fund and its investments.
Foreign Securities Risk. Investments in the securities of foreign issuers involve risks beyond those associated with investments in U.S. securities. These additional risks include greater market volatility, the availability of less reliable financial information, higher transactional and custody costs, taxation by foreign governments, decreased market liquidity and political instability. Because certain foreign securities markets may be limited in size, the activity of large traders may have an undue influence on the prices of securities that trade in such markets. The Fund invests in securities of issuers located in countries whose economies are heavily dependent upon trading with key partners. Any reduction in this trading may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments. Foreign market trading hours, clearance and settlement procedures, and holiday schedules may limit the Fund's ability to buy and sell securities.
Certain foreign markets that have historically been considered relatively stable may become volatile in response to changed conditions or new developments. Increased interconnectivity of world economies and financial markets increases the possibility that adverse developments and conditions in one country or region will affect the stability of economies and financial markets in other countries or regions. Because the Fund may invest in securities denominated in foreign currencies and some of the income received by the Fund may be in foreign currencies, changes in currency exchange rates may negatively impact the Fund’s return.
Foreign issuers are often subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing, financial reporting and record keeping than are U.S. issuers, and therefore, not all material information may be available or reliable. Securities exchanges or foreign governments may adopt rules or regulations that may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to invest in foreign securities or may prevent the Fund from repatriating its investments. The Fund may also invest in depositary receipts which involve similar risks to those associated with investments in foreign securities. In addition, the Fund may not receive shareholder communications or be permitted to vote the securities that it holds, as the issuers may be under no legal obligation to distribute shareholder communications.
Certain foreign markets may rely heavily on particular industries or foreign capital and are more vulnerable to diplomatic developments, the imposition of economic sanctions against a particular country or countries, organizations, entities and/or individuals, changes in international trade patterns, trade barriers, and other protectionist or retaliatory measures. The United States and other nations or international organizations may impose economic sanctions or take other actions that may adversely affect issuers of specific countries. Economic sanctions could, among other things, effectively restrict or eliminate the Fund’s ability to purchase or sell securities or groups of securities for a substantial period of time, and may make the Fund’s investments in such securities harder to value. These sanctions, any future sanctions or other actions, or even the threat of further sanctions or other actions, may negatively affect the value and liquidity of the Fund.
Also, certain issuers located in foreign countries in which the Fund invests may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions and/or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. As a result, an issuer may sustain damage to its reputation if it is identified as an issuer which operates in, or has dealings with, such countries. The Fund, as an investor in such issuers, will be indirectly subject to those risks.
Global Resources Sector Risk. The Fund may be sensitive to, and its performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the global resources sector. The Fund concentrates its investments (i.e., invests 25% or more of its total assets) in the securities of global resource companies and instruments that derive their value from global resources. Global resources include precious metals (including gold), base and industrial metals, energy, natural resources, and other commodities. Investments in global resources companies can be significantly affected by events relating to this industry, including international political and economic developments, embargoes, tariffs, inflation, weather and natural disasters, livestock diseases, limits on exploration, rapid changes in the supply of and demand for natural resources and other factors. The Fund’s portfolio securities may experience substantial price fluctuations as a result of these factors, and may move independently of the trends of other operating companies. Companies engaged in global resources may be adversely affected by changes in government policies and regulations, technological advances and/or obsolescence, environmental damage claims, energy conservation efforts, the success of exploration projects, limitations on the liquidity of certain natural resources and commodities and competition from new market entrants. Political risks and the other risks to which foreign securities are subject may also affect domestic global resource
40

companies if they have significant operations or investments in foreign countries. Changes in general economic conditions, including commodity price volatility, changes in exchange rates, imposition of import controls, rising interest rates, prices of raw materials and other commodities, depletion of resources and labor relations, could adversely affect the Fund’s portfolio companies. The highly cyclical nature of the global resources sector may affect the earnings or operating cash flows of global resources companies.
The Fund may be subject to greater risks and market fluctuations than a fund whose portfolio has exposure to a broader range of sectors. The Fund may be susceptible to financial, economic, political or market events, as well as government regulation (including environmental regulation), impacting the global resources sectors. Specifically, the energy sector can be affected by changes in the prices of and supplies of oil and other energy fuels, energy conservation, the success of exploration projects, the risks generally associated with the extraction of natural resources, such as the risks of mining and drilling, and tax and other government regulations. The metals sector can be affected by sharp price volatility over short periods caused by global economic, financial and political factors, resource availability, government regulation, economic cycles, changes in inflation, interest rates, currency fluctuations, metal sales by governments, central banks or international agencies, investment speculation and fluctuations in industrial and commercial supply and demand. Precious metals and natural resources securities are at times volatile and there may be sharp fluctuations in prices, even during periods of rising prices. Additionally, companies engaged in the production and distribution of global resources may be adversely affected by changes in world events, political and economic conditions, energy conservation, environmental policies, commodity price volatility, changes in exchange rates, imposition of import controls, increased competition, depletion of resources and labor relations.
Gold and Silver Mining Companies Risk. The Fund invests in stocks and depositary receipts of U.S. and foreign companies that are involved in the gold mining and silver mining industries, which are considered speculative and are affected by a variety of factors. Competitive pressures may have a significant effect on the financial condition of gold mining and silver mining companies. Also, gold and silver mining companies are highly dependent on the price of gold bullion and silver bullion, respectively, but may also be adversely affected by a variety of worldwide economic, financial and political factors. The price of gold and silver may fluctuate substantially over short periods of time so the Fund’s Share price may be more volatile than other types of investments. Fluctuation in the prices of gold and silver may be due to a number of factors, including changes in inflation, changes in currency exchange rates and changes in industrial and commercial demand for metals (including fabricator demand). Additionally, increased environmental or labor costs may depress the value of metal investments.
The securities of gold or silver mining companies may under- or over-perform commodities themselves over the short-term or long-term. Gold bullion and silver bullion prices may fluctuate substantially over short periods of time, even during periods of rising prices, so the Fund’s Share price may be more volatile than other types of investments. To the extent the Fund invests in gold bullion, such investments may incur higher storage and custody costs as compared to purchasing, holding and selling more traditional investments. A drop in the price of gold and/or silver bullion would particularly adversely affect the profitability of small- and medium- capitalization mining companies and their ability to secure financing. Mining operations have varying expected life spans, and companies that have mines with short expected life spans may experience more stock price volatility. A significant number of the companies in the Fund may be early stage mining companies that are in the exploration stage only or that hold properties that might not ultimately produce gold or silver. The exploration and development of mineral deposits involve significant financial risks over a significant period of time which even a combination of careful evaluation, experience and knowledge may not eliminate. Few properties which are explored are ultimately developed into producing mines. Major expenditures may be required to establish reserves by drilling and to construct mining and processing facilities at a site. In addition, many early stage miners operate at a loss and are dependent on securing equity and/or debt financing, which might be more difficult to secure for an early stage mining company than for a more established counterpart. Furthermore, companies that are only in the exploration stage are typically unable to adopt specific strategies for controlling the impact of the price of gold or silver.
The prices of gold and precious metals operation companies are affected by the price of gold or other precious metals such as platinum, palladium and silver, as well as other prevailing market conditions. These prices may be volatile, fluctuating substantially over short periods of time. The prices of precious metals may also be influenced by macroeconomic conditions, including confidence in the global monetary system and the relative strength of various currencies, as well as demand in the industrial and jewelry sectors. In times of significant inflation or great economic uncertainty, gold, silver and other precious metals may outperform traditional investments such as bonds and stocks. However, in times of stable economic growth, traditional equity and debt investments could offer greater appreciation potential and the value of gold, silver and other precious metals may be adversely affected, which could in turn affect the Fund’s returns. Gold-related investments as a group have not performed as well as the stock market in general during periods when the U.S. dollar is strong, inflation is low and general economic conditions are stable. Additionally, returns on gold-related investments have traditionally been more volatile than investments in broader equity or debt markets. In addition, some gold and precious metals mining companies have hedged, to varying degrees, their exposure to decreases in the prices of gold or precious metals by selling forward future production, which could limit the company’s benefit from future rises in the prices of gold or precious metals or increase the risk that the company could fail to meet its contractual obligations.
A significant portion of the world’s gold reserves are held by governments, central banks and related institutions. The production, purchase and sale of precious metals by governments or central banks or other larger holders can be negatively affected by
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various economic, financial, social and political factors, which may be unpredictable and may have a significant adverse impact on the supply and prices of precious metals.
The principal supplies of metal industries also may be concentrated in a small number of countries and regions, the governments of which may pass laws or regulations limiting metal investments for strategic or other policy reasons. Economic, social and political conditions in those countries that are the largest producers of gold and silver may have a direct negative effect on the production and marketing of gold and silver and on sales of central bank gold holdings. Some gold, silver and precious metals mining operation companies may hedge their exposure to declines in gold, silver and precious metals prices by selling forward future production, which may result in lower returns during periods when the prices of gold, silver and precious metals increase.
The gold, silver and precious metals industries can be significantly adversely affected by events relating to international political developments, the success of exploration projects, commodity prices, tax and government regulations and intervention (including government restrictions on private ownership of gold and mining land), changes in inflation or expectations regarding inflation in various countries and investment speculation. If a natural disaster or other event with a significant economic impact occurs in a region where the companies in which the Fund invests operate, such disaster or event could negatively affect the profitability of such companies and, in turn, the Fund’s investment in them. Gold and silver mining companies may also be significantly adversely affected by import controls, worldwide competition, environmental hazards, liability for environmental damage, depletion of resources, industrial accidents, underground fires, seismic activity, labor disputes, unexpected geological formations, availability of appropriately skilled persons, unanticipated ground and water conditions and mandated expenditures for safety and pollution control devices.
Industrials Sector Risk. The Fund may be sensitive to, and its performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the industrials sector. The industrials sector comprises companies who produce capital goods used in construction and manufacturing, such as companies that make and sell machinery, equipment and supplies that are used to produce other goods. Companies in the industrials sector may be adversely affected by changes in government regulation, world events and economic conditions. In addition, companies in the industrials sector may be adversely affected by environmental damages, product liability claims and exchange rates.
The stock prices of companies in the industrials sector are affected by supply and demand both for their specific product or service and for industrial sector products in general. The products of manufacturing companies may face product obsolescence due to rapid technological developments and frequent new product introduction. In addition, the industrials sector may also be adversely affected by changes or trends in commodity prices, which may be influenced or characterized by unpredictable factors.
Information Technology Sector Risk. The Fund may be sensitive to, and its performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the information technology sector. Information technology companies face intense competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins. Information technology companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. The products of information technology companies may face product obsolescence due to rapid technological developments and frequent new product introduction, unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel. Companies in the information technology sector are heavily dependent on patent protection and the expiration of patents may adversely affect the profitability of these companies.
Large-Capitalization Companies Risk. Securities of large-capitalization companies (generally companies with market capitalization greater than $10 billion) could fall out of favor with the market and underperform securities of small- or medium-capitalization companies. Larger, more established companies may be slow to respond to challenges and may grow more slowly than smaller companies.
Leverage Risk. To the extent that the Fund borrows money or utilizes certain derivatives, it may be leveraged. Leveraging generally exaggerates the effect on net asset value of any increase or decrease in the market value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. The Fund is required to comply with the derivatives rule when it engages in transactions that create future Fund payment or delivery obligations. The Fund is required to comply with the asset coverage requirements under the Investment Company Act of 1940 when it engages in borrowings and/or transactions treated as borrowings.
Market Risk. The prices of securities are subject to the risks associated with investing in the securities market, including general economic conditions, sudden and unpredictable drops in value, exchange trading suspensions and closures and public health risks. These risks may be magnified if certain social, political, economic and other conditions and events (such as natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) adversely interrupt the global economy; in these and other circumstances, such events or developments might affect companies world-wide. Overall securities values could decline generally or underperform other investments. An investment may lose money.
Medium-Capitalization Companies Risk. The Fund may invest in medium-capitalization companies and, therefore will be subject to certain risks associated with medium- capitalization companies. These companies are often subject to less analyst coverage and may be in early and less predictable periods of their corporate existences, with little or no record of profitability. In addition, these companies often have greater price volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than larger more established companies. These companies tend to have smaller revenues, narrower product lines, less management depth and experience,
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smaller shares of their product or service markets, fewer financial resources and less competitive strength than large-capitalization companies. Returns on investments in securities of medium-capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of larger companies.
Money Market Funds Risk. Although a money market fund is designed to be a relatively low risk investment, it is subject to certain risks. An investment in a money market fund is not a bank account and is not insured or guaranteed by a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although money market funds seek to maintain a net asset value of $1.00 per share, it is possible that the Fund may lose money by investing in a money market fund.
Non-Diversified Risk. The Fund is classified as a “non-diversified” fund under the Investment Company Act of 1940. The Fund is subject to the risk that it will be more volatile than a diversified fund because the Fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a smaller number of issuers or may invest a larger proportion of its assets in a single issuer. Moreover, the gains and losses on a single investment may have a greater impact on the Fund’s net asset value and may make the Fund more volatile than more diversified funds. The Fund may be particularly vulnerable to this risk if it is comprised of a limited number of investments.
Operational Risk. The Fund is exposed to operational risk arising from a number of factors, including human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or system failures.
Regulatory Risk. Changes in the laws or regulations of the United States, including any changes to applicable tax laws and regulations, could impair the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective and could increase the operating expenses of the Fund. The Adviser is registered as a commodity pool operator under Commodity Exchange Act and the rules of the CFTC and is subject to CFTC regulation with respect to the Fund. The CFTC has adopted rules regarding the disclosure, reporting and recordkeeping requirements that will apply with respect to the Fund as a result of the Adviser’s registration as a commodity pool operator. Generally, these rules allow for substituted compliance with CFTC disclosure and shareholder reporting requirements, based on the Adviser’s compliance with comparable Securities and Exchange Commission requirements. This means that for most of the CFTC’s disclosure and shareholder reporting applicable to the Adviser as the Fund’s commodity pool operator, the Adviser’s compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure and shareholder reporting will be deemed to fulfill the Adviser’s CFTC compliance obligations. However, as a result of CFTC regulation with respect to the Fund, the Fund may incur additional compliance and other expenses. The Adviser is also registered as a CTA but relies on an exemption with respect to the Fund from CTA regulations available for a CTA that also serves as the Fund’s commodity pool operator. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the Fund, their investment strategies, or this Prospectus.
Restricted Securities Risk. Regulation S securities and Rule 144A securities are restricted securities that are not registered under the Securities Act of 1933. They may be less liquid and more difficult to value than other investments because such securities may not be readily marketable. The Fund may not be able to purchase or sell a restricted security promptly or at a reasonable time or price. Although there may be a substantial institutional market for these securities, it is not possible to predict exactly how the market for such securities will develop or whether it will continue to exist. A restricted security that was liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid and its value may decline as a result. Restricted securities that are deemed illiquid will count towards the Fund’s limitation on illiquid securities. In addition, transaction costs may be higher for restricted securities than for more liquid securities. The Fund may have to bear the expense of registering restricted securities for resale and the risk of substantial delays in effecting the registration.
Risk of Investing in Other Funds. The Fund may invest in shares of other funds, including ETFs. As a result, the Fund will indirectly be exposed to the risks of an investment in the underlying funds. Shares of other funds have many of the same risks as direct investments in common stocks or bonds. In addition, the market value of such funds’ shares is expected to rise and fall as the value of the underlying securities rise and fall. If the shares of such funds are traded on a secondary market, the market value of such funds’ shares may differ from the net asset value of the particular fund. As a shareholder in a fund, the Fund will bear its ratable share of the underlying fund’s expenses. At the same time, the Fund will continue to pay its own investment management fees and other expenses. As a result, the Fund and its shareholders will be absorbing duplicate levels of fees with respect to investments in other funds, including ETFs. The expenses of such underlying funds will not, however, be counted towards the Fund’s expense cap. The Fund is subject to the conditions set forth in provisions of the Investment Company Act of 1940 that limit the amount that the Fund and its affiliates, in the aggregate, can invest in the outstanding voting securities of any one investment company.
Small- and Medium-Capitalization Companies Risk. The Fund may invest in small- and medium-capitalization companies and, therefore will be subject to certain risks associated with small- and medium- capitalization companies. These companies are often subject to less analyst coverage and may be in early and less predictable periods of their corporate existences, with little or no record of profitability. In addition, these companies often have greater price volatility, lower trading volume and less liquidity than larger more established companies. These companies tend to have smaller revenues, narrower product lines, less management depth and experience, smaller shares of their product or service markets, fewer financial resources and less competitive strength than large-capitalization companies. Returns on investments in securities of small- and medium-capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of larger companies.
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Special Purpose Acquisition Companies Risk. Equity securities in which the Fund invests include stock, rights, warrants, and other interests in special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) or similar special purpose entities. A SPAC is typically a publicly traded company that raises investment capital via an initial public offering for the purpose of acquiring one or more existing companies (or interests therein) via merger, combination, acquisition or other similar transactions. If the Fund purchases shares of a SPAC in an initial public offering it will generally bear a sales commission, which may be significant. The shares of a SPAC are often issued in “units” that include one share of common stock and one right or warrant (or partial right or warrant) conveying the right to purchase additional shares or partial shares. In some cases, the rights and warrants may be separated from the common stock at the election of the holder, after which they may become freely tradeable. After going public and until a transaction is completed, a SPAC generally invests the proceeds of its initial public offering (less a portion retained to cover expenses) in U.S. Government securities, money market securities and cash. To the extent the SPAC is invested in cash or similar securities, this may impact the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. If a SPAC does not complete a transaction within a specified period of time after going public, the SPAC is typically dissolved, at which point the invested funds are returned to the SPAC’s shareholders (less certain permitted expenses) and any rights or warrants issued by the SPAC expire worthless. SPACs generally provide their investors with the option of redeeming an investment in the SPAC at or around the time of effecting a transaction. In some cases, the Fund may forfeit its right to receive additional warrants or other interests in the SPAC if it redeems its interest in the SPAC in connection with a transaction. Because SPACs often do not have an operating history or ongoing business other than seeking a transaction, the value of their securities may be particularly dependent on the quality of its management and on the ability of the SPAC’s management to identify and complete a profitable transaction. Some SPACs may pursue transactions only within certain industries or regions, which may increase the volatility of an investment in them. In addition, the securities issued by a SPAC, which may be traded in the over-the-counter market, may become illiquid and/or may be subject to restrictions on resale. Other risks of investing in SPACs include that a significant portion of the monies raised by the SPAC may be expended during the search for a target transaction; an attractive transaction may not be identified at all (or any requisite approvals may not be obtained) and the SPAC may be required to return any remaining monies to shareholders; a transaction once identified or effected may prove unsuccessful and an investment in the SPAC may lose value; the warrants or other rights with respect to the SPAC held by the Fund may expire worthless or may be repurchased or retired by the SPAC at an unfavorable price; and an investment in a SPAC may be diluted by additional later offerings of interests in the SPAC or by other investors exercising existing rights to purchase shares of the SPAC.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Australian Issuers.  Investments in securities of Australian issuers, including issuers located outside of Australia that generate significant revenues from Australia, involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. Investments in Australian issuers may subject the Fund to regulatory, political, currency, security, and economic risk specific to Australia. The Australian economy is heavily dependent on exports from the agricultural and mining sectors. As a result, the Australian economy is susceptible to fluctuations in the commodity markets. The Australian economy is also becoming increasingly dependent on its growing services industry. The Australian economy is dependent on trading with key trading partners, including the United States, China, Japan, Singapore and certain European countries. Reduction in spending on Australian products and services, or changes in any of the economies, may cause an adverse impact on the Australian economy.
Additionally, Australia is located in a part of the world that has historically been prone to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, droughts and bushfires, and is economically sensitive to environmental events. Any such event may adversely impact the Australian economy, causing an adverse impact on the value of the Fund.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Brazilian Issuers.  Investments in securities of Brazilian issuers, including issuers located outside of Brazil that generate significant revenues from Brazil, involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. Such risks include, among others, a high level of price volatility in the Brazilian markets, chronic structural public sector deficits, a rising unemployment rate and disparities of wealth. The Brazilian economy has been characterized by frequent, and occasionally drastic, interventions by the Brazilian government, including the imposition of wage and price controls, exchange controls, limiting imports, blocking access to bank accounts and other measures. The Brazilian government has often changed monetary, taxation, credit, trade and other policies to influence the core of Brazil’s economy. Additionally, Brazilian accounting, auditing and financial standards and requirements differ from those in the United States, and this may affect the tax consequences with respect to and valuation of investments in the Fund.
Actions taken by the Brazilian government concerning the economy may have significant effects on Brazilian companies and on market conditions and prices of Brazilian securities. Brazil’s economy may be subject to sluggish economic growth due to, among other things, weak consumer spending, political turmoil, high rates of inflation and low commodity prices. Brazil suffers from chronic structural public sector deficits. Additionally, the process of privatizing certain entities by the Brazilian government may cause privatized entities to suffer losses due to, among other things, the inability to adjust to a competitive environment.
The market for Brazilian securities is directly influenced by the flow of international capital, and economic and market conditions of certain countries, especially emerging market countries. As a result, adverse economic conditions or developments in other emerging market countries have at times significantly affected the availability of credit in the Brazilian economy and resulted in considerable outflows of funds and declines in the amount of foreign currency invested in Brazil. In addition, currency devaluations
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and economic or political developments in any Central and South American country could have a significant adverse effect on the entire region, including Brazil.
Investments in Brazilian securities may be subject to certain restrictions on foreign investment. Although Brazilian law has provided greater certainty with respect to the free exchange of currency than in the past, any restrictions or restrictive exchange control policies in the future could have the effect of preventing or restricting access to foreign currency and could affect the Fund’s ability to operate and to qualify for the favorable tax treatment afforded to regulated investment companies for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Brazil has historically experienced high rates of inflation, a high level of debt, and high crime rates, each of which may constrain economic growth. Brazil suffers from high levels of corruption, crime and income disparity. The Brazilian economy and Brazilian companies may also be adversely affected by significant public health concerns and associated declines in tourism.
The Brazilian economy is heavily dependent upon commodity prices and international trade. The Brazilian securities markets are smaller, less liquid and more volatile than U.S. securities markets and the market for Brazilian securities is influenced by economic and market conditions of certain countries, especially emerging market countries in Central and South America. Unanticipated political or social developments may result in sudden and significant investment losses. An increase in prices for commodities, such as petroleum, the depreciation of the Brazilian real and future governmental measures seeking to maintain the value of the Brazilian real in relation to the U.S. dollar, may trigger increases in inflation in Brazil and may slow the rate of growth of the Brazilian economy. Conversely, appreciation of the Brazilian real relative to the U.S. dollar may lead to the deterioration of Brazil’s current account and balance of payments as well as limit the growth of exports.
Because the Fund’s assets will be invested primarily in securities of Brazilian issuers, the income received by the Fund will be principally in Brazilian real. The Fund’s exposure to the Brazilian real and changes in value of the Brazilian real versus the U.S. dollar may result in reduced returns for the Fund. Moreover, the Fund may incur costs in connection with conversions between U.S. dollars and Brazilian real.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Canadian Issuers. Investments in securities of Canadian issuers, including issuers located outside of Canada that generate significant revenue from Canada, involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. The Canadian economy is very dependent on the demand for, and supply and price of, natural resources. The Canadian market is relatively concentrated in issuers involved in the production and distribution of natural resources. There is a risk that any changes in natural resources sectors could have an adverse impact on the Canadian economy. Additionally, the Canadian economy is heavily dependent on relationships with certain key trading partners, including the United States, countries in the European Union and China. Because the United States is Canada’s largest trading partner and foreign investor, the Canadian economy is dependent on and may be significantly affected by the U.S. economy. Reduction in spending on Canadian products and services or changes in the U.S. economy may adversely impact the Canadian economy. Trade agreements may further increase Canada’s dependency on the U.S. economy, and uncertainty as to the future of such trade agreements may cause a decline in the value of the Fund’s Shares. Past periodic demands by the Province of Quebec for sovereignty have significantly affected equity valuations and foreign currency movements in the Canadian market and such demands may have this effect in the future. In addition, certain sectors of Canada’s economy may be subject to foreign ownership limitations. This may negatively impact the Fund’s ability to invest in Canadian issuers and to pursue its investment objective.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Chinese Issuers.  Investments in securities of Chinese issuers, including issuers outside of China that generate significant revenues from China, involve certain risks and considerations not typically associated with investments in U.S securities. These risks include among others (i) more frequent (and potentially widespread) trading suspensions and government interventions with respect to Chinese issuers resulting in a lack of liquidity and in price volatility, (ii) currency revaluations and other currency exchange rate fluctuations or blockage, (iii) the nature and extent of intervention by the Chinese government in the Chinese securities markets, whether such intervention will continue and the impact of such intervention or its discontinuation, (iv) the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets, (v) the risk that the Chinese government may decide not to continue to support economic reform programs, (vi) limitations on the use of brokers, (vii) higher rates of inflation, (viii) greater political, economic and social uncertainty, (ix) market volatility caused by any potential regional or territorial conflicts or natural or other disasters, and (x) the risk of increased trade tariffs, embargoes, sanctions, investment restrictions and other trade limitations. Certain securities are, or may in the future become restricted, and the Fund may be forced to sell such securities and incur a loss as a result. In addition, the economy of China differs, often unfavorably, from the U.S. economy in such respects as structure, general development, government involvement, wealth distribution, rate of inflation, growth rate, interest rates, allocation of resources and capital reinvestment, among others. The Chinese central government has historically exercised substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through administrative regulation and/or state ownership and actions of the Chinese central and local government authorities continue to have a substantial effect on economic conditions in China. In addition, the Chinese government has from time to time taken actions that influence the prices at which certain goods may be sold, encourage companies to invest or concentrate in particular industries, induce mergers between companies in certain industries and induce private companies to publicly offer their securities to increase or continue the rate of economic growth,
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control the rate of inflation or otherwise regulate economic expansion. The Chinese government may do so in the future as well, potentially having a significant adverse effect on economic conditions in China.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Indian Issuers. Investments in securities of Indian issuers involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. Such heightened risks include, among others, greater government control over the economy, political and legal uncertainty, competition from low-cost issuers of other emerging economies in Asia, currency fluctuations or blockage of foreign currency exchanges and the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets. Large portions of many Indian companies remain in the hands of individuals and corporate governance standards of Indian companies may be weaker and less transparent, which may increase the risk of loss and unequal treatment of investors. In addition, religious and border disputes persist in India. India has experienced civil unrest and hostilities with neighboring countries, including Pakistan, and the Indian government has confronted separatist movements in several Indian states. India has also experienced acts of terrorism that have targeted foreigners, which have had a negative impact on tourism, an important sector of the Indian economy. India has tested nuclear arms, and the threat of deployment of such weapons could hinder development of the Indian economy and escalating tensions could impact the broader region.
The Indian securities markets are smaller and less liquid than securities markets in more developed economies and are subject to greater price volatility. Issuers in India are subject to less stringent requirements regarding accounting, auditing and financial reporting than are issuers in more developed markets, and therefore, all material information may not be available or reliable. India also has less developed clearance and settlement procedures, and there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities and have been significantly delayed. Indian stock exchanges have experienced problems such as temporary exchange closures, broker defaults, settlement delays and strikes by brokers that have affected the market price and liquidity of the securities of Indian companies. In addition, the governing bodies of the Indian stock exchanges have from time to time restricted securities from trading, limited price movements and restricted margin requirements. Further, from time to time, disputes have occurred between listed companies and the Indian stock exchanges and other regulatory bodies that, in some cases, have had a negative effect on market sentiment. In addition, inflation in India may be at very high levels. High inflation may lead to the adoption of corrective measures designed to moderate growth, regulate prices of staples and other commodities and otherwise contain inflation. Such measures could inhibit economic activity in India. Additionally, each of the factors described below could have a negative impact on the Fund’s performance and increase the volatility of the Fund.
Economic Risk. The Indian government has exercised and continues to exercise significant influence over many aspects of the economy, and the number of public sector enterprises in India is substantial. Accordingly, Indian government actions in the future could have a significant effect on the Indian economy. The Indian government has experienced chronic structural public sector deficits. High amounts of debt and public spending could have an adverse impact on India’s economy. Services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for half of India’s output with less than one quarter of its labor force. Additionally, the Indian economy may be dependent upon agriculture. About two-thirds of the workforce is in agriculture. The Fund’s investments may be susceptible to adverse weather changes including the threat of monsoons and other natural disasters. Despite strong growth, the World Bank and others express concern about the combined state and federal budget deficit.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Latin American Issuers. Investments in securities of Latin American issuers involve special considerations not typically associated with investments in securities of issuers located in the United States. The economies of certain Latin American countries have, at times, experienced high interest rates, economic volatility, inflation, currency devaluations and high unemployment rates. In addition, commodities (such as oil, gas and minerals) represent a significant percentage of the region’s exports and many economies in this region are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. Adverse economic events in one country may have a significant adverse effect on other countries of this region.
Most Latin American countries have experienced severe and persistent levels of inflation, including, in some cases, hyperinflation. This has, in turn, led to high interest rates, extreme measures by governments to keep inflation in check, and a generally debilitating effect on economic growth. Although inflation in many Latin American countries has lessened, there is no guarantee it will remain at lower levels.
The political history of certain Latin American countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such events could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and could result in significant disruption in securities markets in the region.
The economies of Latin American countries are generally considered emerging markets and can be significantly affected by currency devaluations. Certain Latin American countries may also have managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels relative to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Latin American countries also restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for many Latin American currencies and it would, as a result, be difficult for the Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.
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Finally, a number of Latin American countries are among the largest debtors of developing countries. There have been moratoria on, and a rescheduling of, repayment with respect to these debts. Such events can restrict the flexibility of these debtor nations in the international markets and result in the imposition of onerous conditions on their economies.
Special Risk Considerations of Investing in Taiwanese Issuers. Investments in securities of Taiwanese issuers, including issuers located outside of Taiwan that generate significant revenues from Taiwan, involve risks and special considerations not typically associated with investments in the U.S. securities markets. To the extent the Fund continues to invest in securities issued by Taiwanese issuers, the Fund may be subject to the risk of investing in such issuers. Investments in Taiwanese issuers may subject the Fund to legal, regulatory, political, currency and economic risks that are specific to Taiwan. Specifically, Taiwan’s geographic proximity and history of political contention with China have resulted in ongoing tensions between the two countries. These tensions may materially affect the Taiwanese economy and its securities market. Taiwan’s economy is export-oriented, so it depends on an open world trade regime and remains vulnerable to fluctuations in the world economy.
Stock Connect Risk. The Fund may invest in A-shares listed and traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange through Stock Connect, or on such other stock exchanges that participate in Stock Connect from time to time or in the future. Trading through Stock Connect is subject to a number of restrictions that may affect the Fund’s investments and returns. For example, trading through Stock Connect is subject to daily quotas that limit the maximum daily net purchases on any particular day, which may restrict or preclude the Fund’s ability to invest in Stock Connect A-shares. In addition, investments made through Stock Connect are subject to trading, clearance and settlement procedures that are relatively untested in the PRC, which could pose risks to the Fund. Furthermore, securities purchased via Stock Connect will be held via a book entry omnibus account in the name of HKSCC, Hong Kong’s clearing entity, at the CSDCC. The Fund’s ownership interest in Stock Connect securities will not be reflected directly in book entry with CSDCC and will instead only be reflected on the books of its Hong Kong sub-custodian. The Fund may therefore depend on HKSCC’s ability or willingness as record-holder of Stock Connect securities to enforce the Fund’s shareholder rights. PRC law did not historically recognize the concept of beneficial ownership; while PRC regulations and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange have issued clarifications and guidance supporting the concept of beneficial ownership via Stock Connect, the interpretation of beneficial ownership in the PRC by regulators and courts may continue to evolve. Moreover, Stock Connect A-shares generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Stock Connect in accordance with applicable rules.
A primary feature of Stock Connect is the application of the home market’s laws and rules applicable to investors in A-shares. Therefore, the Fund’s investments in Stock Connect A-shares are generally subject to PRC securities regulations and listing rules, among other restrictions. The Fund will not benefit from access to Hong Kong investor compensation funds, which are set up to protect against defaults of trades, when investing through Stock Connect. Stock Connect is only available on days when markets in both the PRC and Hong Kong are open, which may limit the Fund’s ability to trade when it would be otherwise attractive to do so. Since the inception of Stock Connect, foreign investors (including the Fund) investing in A-shares through Stock Connect have been temporarily exempt from the PRC corporate income tax and value-added tax on the gains on disposal of such A-shares. Dividends are subject to PRC corporate income tax on a withholding basis at 10%, unless reduced under a double tax treaty with China upon application to and obtaining approval from the competent tax authority. Aside from these temporary measures, uncertainties in permanent PRC tax rules governing taxation of income and gains from investments in Stock Connect A-shares could result in unexpected tax liabilities for the Fund.
The Stock Connect program is a relatively new program and may be subject to further interpretation and guidance. There can be no assurance as to the program’s continued existence or whether future developments regarding the program may restrict or adversely affect the Fund’s investments or returns. In addition, the application and interpretation of the laws and regulations of Hong Kong and the PRC, and the rules, policies or guidelines published or applied by relevant regulators and exchanges in respect of the Stock Connect program are uncertain, and they may have a detrimental effect on the Fund’s investments and returns.
Subsidiary Investment Risk. Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands, under which the Fund and the Subsidiary are organized, respectively, could result in the inability of the Fund to operate as intended and could negatively affect the Fund and its shareholders. The Subsidiary is not registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and is not subject to the investor protections of the Investment Company Act of 1940. Thus, the Fund, as an investor in the Subsidiary, will not have all the protections offered to investors in registered investment companies.
Tax Risk (with respect to investments in the Subsidiary). The Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income from certain qualifying sources of income in order to qualify as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The Internal Revenue Service issued a revenue ruling in December 2005, which concluded that income and gains from certain commodity-linked derivatives are not qualifying income under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. As a result, the Fund’s ability to invest directly in commodity-linked futures contracts or swaps or in certain exchange-traded trusts that hold commodities as part of its investment strategy is limited by the requirement that it receive no more than ten percent (10%) of its gross income from such investments. However, in Revenue Ruling 2006-31, the Internal Revenue Service indicated that income from alternative investment instruments that create commodity exposure may be considered qualifying income under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The Internal Revenue Service subsequently issued private letter rulings to other taxpayers in which the
47


Internal Revenue Service specifically concluded that that income derived from a fund’s investment in a controlled foreign corporation also will constitute qualifying income to the fund, even if the controlled foreign corporation itself owns commodity-linked futures contracts or swaps. The Fund expects to invest its assets in the Subsidiary, consistent with applicable law and the advice of counsel, in a manner that should permit the Fund to treat income allocable from the Subsidiary as qualifying income. The Internal Revenue Service has issued regulations that treat a fund’s income inclusion with respect to an investment in a non-U.S. company generating investment income as qualifying income if there is a current-year distribution out of the earnings and profits of the non-U.S. company that are attributable to such income inclusion or if the income from the Subsidiary is related to the Fund's business of investing. The Fund intends to treat its income from the Subsidiary as qualifying income. There can be no assurance that the Internal Revenue Service will not change its position with respect to some or all of these issues or if the Internal Revenue Service did so, that a court would not sustain the Internal Revenue Service’s position. Furthermore, the tax treatment of the Fund’s investments in the Subsidiary may be adversely affected by future legislation, court decisions, future Internal Revenue Service guidance or Treasury regulations. If the Internal Revenue Service were to change its position or otherwise determine that income derived from the Fund’s investment in the Subsidiary does not constitute qualifying income and if such positions were upheld, or if future legislation, court decisions, future Internal Revenue Service guidance or Treasury regulations were to adversely affect the tax treatment of such investments, the Fund might cease to qualify as a regulated investment company and would be required to reduce its exposure to such investments which could result in difficulty in implementing its investment strategy. If the Fund did not qualify as a regulated investment company for any taxable year, the Fund’s taxable income would be subject to tax at the Fund level at regular corporate tax rates (without reduction for distributions to shareholders) and to a further tax at the shareholder level when such income is distributed. In such event, in order to re-qualify for taxation as a regulated investment company, the Fund may be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest and make certain distributions.
3. ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
ADDITIONAL REGULATORY CONSIDERATIONS
With respect to each Fund, the Adviser has claimed an exclusion from the definition of a “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act of 1936, as amended (“CEA”), and the rules of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and, therefore, is not subject to CFTC registration or regulation as a CPO. In addition, with respect to each Fund, the Adviser is relying upon a related exclusion from the definition of a “commodity trading advisor” (“CTA”) under the CEA and the rules of the CFTC. The terms of the CPO exclusion require a Fund, among other things, to adhere to certain limits on its investments in “commodity interests.” Commodity interests include commodity futures, commodity options and swaps, which in turn include non-deliverable currency forward contracts. Because the Adviser and the Funds intend to comply with the terms of the CPO exclusion, a Fund may, in the future, need to adjust its investment strategies, consistent with its investment objective to limit its investments in these types of instruments. The Funds are not intended as vehicles for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the Adviser's reliance on these exclusions, or the Funds, the Subsidiary, their investment strategies or this prospectus.
INVESTMENTS IN OTHER EQUITY AND FIXED INCOME SECURITIES
The investments of the Funds may include, but not be limited to, common stocks, preferred stocks (either convertible or non-convertible), rights, warrants, direct equity interests in trusts, partnerships, joint ventures and other unincorporated entities or enterprises, convertible debt instruments and special classes of shares available only to foreigners in markets that restrict ownership of certain shares or classes to their own nationals or residents.
INVESTING DEFENSIVELY
Each Fund may take temporary defensive positions that are inconsistent with the Fund’s principal investment strategies in anticipation of or in an attempt to respond to adverse market, economic, political or other conditions. A Fund may not achieve its investment objective while it is investing defensively.
SECURITIES LENDING
Each Fund may lend its securities as permitted under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”), including by participating in securities lending programs managed by broker-dealers or other institutions. Securities lending allows a Fund to retain ownership of the securities loaned and, at the same time, earn additional income. The borrowings must be collateralized in full with cash, U.S. government securities or high-quality letters of credit.
A Fund could experience delays and costs in recovering the securities loaned or in gaining access to the securities lending collateral. If a Fund is not able to recover the securities loaned, the Fund may sell the collateral and purchase a replacement investment in the market. The value of the collateral could decrease below the value of the replacement investment by the time the replacement investment is purchased. Cash received as collateral and which is invested is subject to market appreciation and depreciation.
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4. OTHER INFORMATION AND POLICIES
BENEFICIARIES OF CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENTS
VanEck Funds (the “Trust”) enters into contractual arrangements with various parties, including, among others, the Funds’ investment adviser, administrator and distributor, who provide services to the Funds. Shareholders of the Funds are not parties to, or intended (or “third-party”) beneficiaries of, any of those contractual arrangements, and those contractual arrangements are not intended to create in any individual shareholder or group of shareholders any right to enforce such contractual arrangements against the service providers or to seek any remedy under such contractual arrangements against the service providers, either directly or on behalf of the Trust.
This prospectus provides information concerning the Trust and the Funds that you should consider in determining whether to purchase shares of a Fund. None of this prospectus, the Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) or any document filed as an exhibit to the Trust’s registration statement, is intended to, nor does it, give rise to an agreement or contract between the Trust or the Funds and any investor, or give rise to any contract or other rights in any individual shareholder, group of shareholders or other person other than any rights conferred explicitly by federal or state securities laws that may not be waived.
CHANGING A FUND’S 80% POLICY
A Fund’s policy of investing “at least 80% of its net assets” (which includes net assets plus any borrowings for investment purposes) may be changed by the Board of Trustees the (“Board”) without a shareholder vote, as long as shareholders are given 60 days notice of the change.
CYBER SECURITY
The Funds and their service providers are susceptible to cyber security risks that include, among other things, theft, unauthorized monitoring, release, misuse, loss, destruction or corruption of confidential and highly restricted data; denial of service attacks; unauthorized access to relevant systems; compromises to networks or devices that the Funds and their service providers use to service the Funds’ operations; and operational disruption or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support the Funds and their service providers. Cyber attacks against or security breakdowns of the Funds or their service providers may adversely impact the Funds and their shareholders, potentially resulting in, among other things, financial losses; the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business and the Funds to process transactions; the inability to calculate the Funds’ net asset value; violations of applicable privacy and other laws; regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs; and/or additional compliance costs. The Funds may incur additional costs for cyber security risk management and remediation purposes. In addition, cyber security risks may also impact issuers of securities in which the Funds invest, which may cause the Funds’ investments in such issuers to lose value. There can be no assurance that the Funds or their service providers will not suffer losses relating to cyber attacks or other information security breaches in the future.
PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS INFORMATION
Generally, it is the Funds’ and Adviser’s policy that no current or potential investor, including any Fund shareholder, shall be provided information about the Funds’ portfolio on a preferential basis in advance of the provision of that information to other investors. A complete description of the Funds’ policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Funds’ portfolio securities is available in the Funds’ SAI.
Portfolio holdings information for the Funds is available to all investors on the VanEck website at vaneck.com. Information regarding the Funds’ top holdings and country and sector weightings, updated as of each month-end, is also located on this website. Generally, this information is posted to the website within 10 business days of the end of the applicable month. This information generally remains available on the website until new information is posted. Each Fund reserves the right to exclude any portion of these portfolio holdings from publication when deemed in the best interest of the Fund, and to discontinue the posting of portfolio holdings information at any time, without prior notice.
PORTFOLIO INVESTMENTS
The percentage limitations relating to the composition of a Fund’s portfolio apply at the time the Fund acquires an investment. A subsequent increase or decrease in percentage resulting from a change in the value of portfolio securities or the total or net assets of the Fund will not be considered a violation of the restriction.
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III. SHAREHOLDER INFORMATION
1. HOW TO BUY, SELL, EXCHANGE OR TRANSFER SHARES
Each of Global Resources Fund and International Investors Fund offers Class A, Class C, Class I and Class Y shares. Emerging Markets Fund offers Class A, Class C, Class I, Class Y and Class Z shares. Information related to how to buy, sell, exchange and transfer shares is discussed below. See the “Minimum Purchase” section for information related to initial and subsequent minimum investment amounts. The minimum investment amounts vary by share class.
Through a Financial Intermediary
Primarily, accounts are opened through a financial intermediary (broker, bank, adviser or agent). Please contact your financial intermediary for details.
Through the Transfer Agent, SS&C GIDS, Inc. (SS&C)
You may buy (purchase), sell (redeem), exchange, or transfer ownership of Class A, Class C and Class I shares directly through SS&C by mail or telephone, as stated below. For Class Y and Z shares, shareholders must open accounts and transact business through a financial intermediary.
The Funds’ mailing address at SS&C is:
VanEck Funds
P.O. Box 218407
Kansas City, MO 64121-8407
For overnight delivery:
VanEck Funds
430 W 7th St., Suite 218407
Kansas City, MO 64105-1407
Non-resident aliens cannot make a direct investment to establish a new account in the Funds, but may invest through their broker or agent.
To telephone the Funds at SS&C, call VanEck Account Assistance at 800-544-4653.
Purchase by Mail
To make an initial purchase, complete the VanEck Account Application and mail it with your check made payable to VanEck Funds. Subsequent purchases can be made by check with the remittance stub of your account statement. You cannot make a purchase by telephone. We cannot accept third party checks, starter checks, money orders, travelers checks, cashier checks, checks drawn on a foreign bank, or checks not in U.S. dollars. There are separate applications for VanEck retirement accounts (see “Retirement Plans” for details). For further details, see the application or call Account Assistance.
Telephone Redemption-Proceeds by Check 800-544-4653
If your account has the optional Telephone Redemption Privilege, you can redeem up to $50,000 per day. The redemption check must be payable to the registered owner(s) at the address of record (which cannot have been changed within the past 30 days). You automatically get the Telephone Redemption Privilege (for eligible accounts) unless you specifically refuse it on your Account Application, on broker/agent settlement instructions, or by written notice to SS&C. All accounts are eligible for the privilege except those registered in street, nominee, or corporate name and custodial accounts held by a financial institution, including VanEck sponsored retirement plans.
Expedited Redemption-Proceeds by Wire 800-544-4653
If your account has the optional Expedited Redemption Privilege, you can redeem a minimum of $1,000 or more per day by telephone or written request with the proceeds wired to your designated bank account. The Funds reserve the right to waive the minimum amount. This privilege must be established in advance by Application. For further details, see the Application or call Account Assistance.
Written Redemption
Your written redemption (sale) request must include:
    Fund and account number.
    Number of shares or dollar amount to be redeemed, or a request to sell “all shares.”
    Signatures of all registered account holders, exactly as those names appear on the account registration, including any additional documents concerning authority and related matters in the case of estates, trusts, guardianships, custodianships, partnerships and corporations, as requested by SS&C.
    Special instructions, including bank wire information or special payee or address.
A signature guarantee for each account holder will be required if:
    The redemption is for $50,000 or more.
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    The redemption amount is wired.
    The redemption amount is paid to someone other than the registered owner.
    The redemption amount is sent to an address other than the address of record.
    The address of record has been changed within the past 30 days.
Institutions eligible to provide signature guarantees include banks, brokerages, trust companies, and some credit unions.
Telephone Exchange 800-544-4653
If your account has the optional Telephone Exchange Privilege, you can exchange between Funds of the same Class without any additional sales charge. Exchanges of Class C shares are exempt from the Class C contingent deferred redemption charge (CDRC). The new Class C shares received via the exchange will be charged the CDRC applicable to the original Class C shares upon redemption. All accounts are eligible except for omnibus accounts or those registered in street name and certain custodial retirement accounts held by a financial institution other than VanEck. For further details regarding exchanges, please see the application, “Limits and Restrictions” and “Unauthorized Telephone Requests” below, or call Account Assistance.
Written Exchange
Written requests for exchange must include:
    The fund and account number to be exchanged out of.
    The fund to be exchanged into.
    Directions to exchange “all shares” or a specific number of shares or dollar amount.
    Signatures of all registered account holders, exactly as those names appear on the account registration, including any additional documents concerning authority and related matters in the case of estates, trusts, guardianships, custodianships, partnerships and corporations, as requested by SS&C.
For further details regarding exchanges, please see the applicable information in “Telephone Exchange.”
Certificates
Certificates are not issued for new or existing shares.
Transfer of Ownership
Requests must be in writing and provide the same information and legal documentation necessary to redeem and establish an account, including the social security or tax identification number of the new owner.
Redemption Liquidity
Each Fund expects to make redemption payments to the shareholder, or shareholder’s financial intermediary, within 1 to 2 business days following the Fund’s receipt of the redemption transaction from the shareholder, or shareholder’s financial intermediary. The financial intermediary acts on behalf of the shareholder and is responsible for transmitting redemption proceeds to the shareholder. Payment of redemption proceeds by a Fund may take longer than the time a Fund typically expects and may take up to 7 days as permitted by the 1940 Act.
Typically, redemption payments of Fund shares will be made in U.S. dollars. Each Fund generally expects to satisfy redemption requests from available cash holdings and sale of portfolio securities. On a less regular basis, a Fund also may draw on a bank line of credit to meet redemption requests. In stressed market conditions or for a particularly large redemption, a Fund also reserves the right to meet redemption requests through a “redemption in kind” as described below.
Redemption in Kind
Each Fund reserves the right to satisfy redemption requests by making payment in securities (known as a redemption in kind). Redemptions in kind are not routinely used by the Funds. A Fund may, however, use redemptions in kind during particularly stressed market conditions or to manage the impact of a large redemption on the Fund. In such case, the Fund may pay all or part of the redemption in securities of equal value as permitted under the 1940 Act, and the rules thereunder. The redeeming shareholder should expect to incur transaction costs upon the disposition of the securities received and will bear any market risks associated with such securities until they are converted into cash. A redemption in kind is treated as a taxable transaction and a sale of the redeemed shares, generally resulting in capital gain or loss to the redeeming shareholder subject to certain loss limitation rules.
Redemptions Initiated by a Fund
Each Fund reserves the right to redeem your shares in the Fund if the Fund’s Board determines that the failure to so redeem may have materially adverse consequences to the shareholders of the Fund. For additional information, please see “Additional Purchase and Redemption Information-Redemptions Initiated by a Fund” in the SAI.
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LIMITS AND RESTRICTIONS
Frequent Trading Policy
The Board has adopted policies and procedures reasonably designed to deter frequent trading in shares of each Fund, commonly referred to as “market timing,” because such activities may be disruptive to the management of each Fund’s portfolio and may increase a Fund’s expenses and negatively impact the Fund’s performance. As such, each Fund may reject a purchase or exchange transaction or restrict an account from investing in the Fund for any reason if the Adviser, in its sole discretion, believes that a shareholder is engaging in market timing activities that may be harmful to the Fund. Each Fund discourages and does not accommodate frequent trading of shares by its shareholders.
Each Fund invests portions of its assets in securities of foreign issuers, and consequently may be subject to an increased risk of frequent trading activities because frequent traders may attempt to take advantage of time zone differences between the foreign markets in which the Fund’s portfolio securities trade and the time as of which the Fund’s net asset value is calculated (“time-zone arbitrage”). Each Fund’s investments in other types of securities may also be susceptible to frequent trading strategies. These investments include securities that are, among other things, thinly traded, traded infrequently, or relatively illiquid, which have the risk that the current market price for the securities may not accurately reflect current market values. Each Fund has adopted fair valuation policies and procedures intended to reduce the Fund’s exposure to potential price arbitrage. However, there is no guarantee that a Fund’s net asset value will immediately reflect changes in market conditions.
Each Fund uses a variety of techniques to monitor and detect abusive trading practices, such as monitoring purchases, redemptions and exchanges that meet certain criteria established by the Fund, and making inquiries with respect to such trades. If a transaction is rejected or an account restricted due to suspected market timing, the investor or his or her financial adviser will be notified.
With respect to trades that occur through omnibus accounts at intermediaries, such as broker-dealers and third party administrators, each Fund requires all such intermediaries to agree to cooperate in identifying and restricting market timers in accordance with the Fund’s policies and will periodically request customer trading activity in the omnibus accounts based on certain criteria established by the Fund. There is no assurance that a Fund will request such information with sufficient frequency to detect or deter excessive trading or that review of such information will be sufficient to detect or deter excessive trading in omnibus accounts effectively.
Although each Fund will use reasonable efforts to prevent market timing activities in the Fund’s shares, there can be no assurances that these efforts will be successful. As some investors may use various strategies to disguise their trading practices, a Fund’s ability to detect frequent trading activities by investors that hold shares through financial intermediaries may be limited by the ability and/or willingness of such intermediaries to monitor for these activities.
For further details, contact Account Assistance.
Unauthorized Telephone Requests
Like most financial organizations, VanEck, the Funds and SS&C may only be liable for losses resulting from unauthorized transactions if reasonable procedures designed to verify the caller’s identity and authority to act on the account are not followed.
If you do not want to authorize the Telephone Exchange or Redemption privilege on your eligible account, you must refuse it on the Account Application, broker/agent settlement instructions, or by written notice to SS&C. VanEck, the Funds, and SS&C reserve the right to reject a telephone redemption, exchange, or other request without prior notice either during or after the call. For further details, contact Account Assistance.
AUTOMATIC SERVICES
Automatic Investment Plan
You may authorize SS&C to periodically withdraw a specified dollar amount from your bank account and buy shares in your Fund account. For further details and to request an Application, contact Account Assistance.
Automatic Exchange Plan
You may authorize SS&C to periodically exchange a specified dollar amount for your account from one Fund to another Fund. Class C shares are not eligible. For further details and to request an Application, contact Account Assistance.
Automatic Withdrawal Plan
You may authorize SS&C to periodically withdraw (redeem) a specified dollar amount from your Fund account and mail a check to you for the proceeds. Your Fund account must be valued at $10,000 or more at the current offering price to establish the Plan. Class C shares are not eligible except for automatic withdrawals for the purpose of retirement account distributions. For further details and to request an Application, contact Account Assistance.
MINIMUM PURCHASE
Each class can set its own transaction minimums and may vary with respect to expenses for distribution, administration and shareholder services.
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For Class A, Class C and Class Y shares, an initial purchase of $1,000 and subsequent purchases of $100 or more are required for non-retirement accounts. There are no purchase minimums for any retirement or pension plan account, for any account using the Automatic Investment Plan, or for any other periodic purchase program. Minimums may be waived for initial and subsequent purchases through “wrap fee” and similar programs offered without a sales charge by certain financial institutions and third-party recordkeepers and/or administrators.
For Class I shares, an initial purchase by an eligible investor of $1 million is required. The minimum initial investment requirement may be waived or aggregated among investors, in the Adviser’s discretion, for investors in certain fee-based, wrap or other no-load investment programs, and for an eligible Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan with plan assets of $3 million or more, sponsored by financial intermediaries that have entered into a Class I agreement with VanEck, as well as for other categories of investors. An “Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan” includes (a) an employer sponsored pension or profit sharing plan that qualifies (a “Qualified Plan”) under section 401(a) of the Code, including Code section 401(k), money purchase pension, profit sharing and defined benefit plans; (b) an ERISA-covered 403(b) plan; and (c) certain non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements that operate in a similar manner to a Qualified Plan, such as 457 plans and executive deferred compensation arrangements, but not including employer-sponsored IRAs. In addition, members of the Boards of Trustees of VanEck Funds and VanEck VIP Trust and each officer, director and employee of VanEck may purchase Class I shares without being subject to the $1 million minimum initial investment requirement. There are no minimum investment requirements for subsequent purchases to existing accounts. To be eligible to purchase Class I shares, you must also qualify as specified in “How to Choose a Class of Shares.”
Class Z shares have no initial and subsequent purchase minimums, although financial intermediaries may impose their own minimums. To be eligible to purchase Class Z shares, you must also qualify as specified in “How to Choose a Class of Shares” below.
ACCOUNT VALUE AND REDEMPTION
If the value of your account falls below $1,000 for Class A, Class C and Class Y shares and below $500,000 for Class I shares after the initial purchase, each Fund reserves the right to redeem your shares after 30 days notice to you. This does not apply to accounts exempt from purchase minimums as described above.
HOW THE FUND SHARES ARE PRICED
Each Fund buys or sells its shares at its net asset value, or NAV, per share next determined after receipt of a purchase or redemption plus any applicable sales charge. Each Fund calculates its NAV per share class every day the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is open, as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE, which is normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
You may enter a buy or sell order when the NYSE is closed for weekends or holidays. If that happens, your price will be the NAV calculated as of the close of the next regular trading session of the NYSE. Each Fund may invest in certain securities which are listed on foreign exchanges that trade on weekends or other days when the Funds do not price their shares. As a result, the NAV of each Fund’s shares may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or redeem shares.
Each Fund’s investments are generally valued based on market quotations which may be based on quotes obtained from a quotation reporting system, established market makers, broker dealers or by an independent pricing service. Short-term debt investments having a maturity of 60 days or less are valued at amortized cost, which approximates the fair value of the security. Assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are converted into U.S. dollars at the current market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more sources. When market quotations are not readily available for a portfolio security or other asset, or, in the opinion of the Adviser, are deemed unreliable, a Fund will use the security’s or asset’s “fair value” as determined in good faith in accordance with the Funds’ Fair Value Pricing Policies and Procedures, which have been approved by the Board. As a general principle, the current fair value of a security or other asset is the amount which a Fund might reasonably expect to receive for the security or asset upon its current sale.
The Funds’ Pricing Committee, whose members are selected by the senior management of the Adviser and reported to the Board, is responsible for recommending fair value procedures to the Board and for administering the process used to arrive at fair value prices.
Factors that may cause a Fund’s Pricing Committee to fair value a security include, but are not limited to: (1) market quotations are not readily available because a portfolio security is not traded in a public market, trading in the security has been suspended, or the principal market in which the security trades is closed, (2) trading in a portfolio security is limited or suspended and not resumed prior to the time at which the Fund calculates its NAV, (3) the market for the relevant security is thin, or the price for the security is “stale” because its price has not changed for five consecutive business days, (4) the Adviser determines that a market quotation is not reliable, for example, because price movements are highly volatile and cannot be verified by a reliable alternative pricing source, or (5) a significant event affecting the value of a portfolio security is determined to have occurred between the time of the market quotation provided for a portfolio security and the time at which the Fund calculates its NAV.
In determining the fair value of securities, the Pricing Committee will consider, among other factors, the fundamental analytical data relating to the security, the nature and duration of any restrictions on the disposition of the security, and the forces influencing the market in which the security is traded.
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Foreign equity securities in which the Funds invest may be traded in markets that close before the time that each Fund calculates its NAV. Foreign equity securities are normally priced based upon the market quotation of such securities as of the close of their respective principal markets, as adjusted to reflect the Adviser’s determination of the impact of events, such as a significant movement in the U.S. markets occurring subsequent to the close of such markets but prior to the time at which the Fund calculates its NAV. In such cases, the Pricing Committee may apply a fair valuation formula to those foreign equity securities based on the Committee’s determination of the effect of the U.S. significant event with respect to each local market.
Certain of the Funds’ portfolio securities are valued by an independent pricing service approved by the Board. The independent pricing service may utilize an automated system incorporating a model based on multiple parameters, including a security’s local closing price (in the case of foreign securities), relevant general and sector indices, currency fluctuations, and trading in depositary receipts and futures, if applicable, and/or research evaluations by its staff, in determining what it believes is the fair valuation of the portfolio securities valued by such independent pricing service.
There can be no assurance that the Funds could purchase or sell a portfolio security or other asset at the price used to calculate the Funds’ NAV. Because of the inherent uncertainty in fair valuations, and the various factors considered in determining value pursuant to the Funds’ fair value procedures, there can be material differences between a fair value price at which a portfolio security or other asset is being carried and the price at which it is purchased or sold.
Furthermore, changes in the fair valuation of portfolio securities or other assets may be less frequent, and of greater magnitude, than changes in the price of portfolio securities or other assets valued by an independent pricing service, or based on market quotations.
2. HOW TO CHOOSE A CLASS OF SHARES
The Funds offer four classes of shares (five with respect to Emerging Markets Fund) with different sales charges and 12b-1 fee schedules, designed to provide you with different purchase options according to your investment needs. Class A and Class C shares are offered to the general public and differ in terms of sales charges and ongoing expenses. Class C shares automatically convert to Class A shares eight years after each individual purchase. Class I shares are offered to eligible investors primarily through certain financial intermediaries that have entered into a Class I Agreement with VanEck. The Funds reserve the right to accept direct investments by eligible investors. Class Y shares are offered only to investors through “wrap fee” and similar programs offered without a sales charge by certain financial intermediaries and third-party recordkeepers and/or administrators that have entered into a Class Y agreement with VanEck. Class Z shares are only offered through financial intermediaries that have entered into a Class Z Agreement with VanEck and that make Class Z shares available to their and/or their clients’ programs or plans (e.g., retirement plans). For Class Z shares, investors in programs or plans offered by financial intermediaries may be charged fees or commissions by those financial intermediaries. For additional information, please contact your financial intermediary.
Financial intermediaries making Fund shares available to their clients determine which share class(es) to make available. Your financial intermediary may receive different compensation for selling one class of shares than for selling another class, which may depend on, among other things, the type of investor account and the policies, procedures and practices adopted by your financial intermediary. You should review these arrangements with your financial intermediary.
    CLASS A Shares are offered at net asset value plus an initial sales charge at time of purchase of up to 5.75% of the public offering price. The initial sales charge is reduced for purchases of $25,000 or more. For further information regarding sales charges, breakpoints and other discounts, please see below. The 12b-1 fee is 0.25% annually.
    CLASS C Shares are offered at net asset value with no initial sales charge, but are subject to a contingent deferred redemption charge (“CDRC”) of 1.00% on all redemptions during the first 12 months after purchase. The CDRC may be waived under certain circumstances; please see “Telephone Exchange” and below. The 12b-1 fee is 1.00% annually.
    CLASS I Shares are offered with no sales charges on purchases, no CDRC, and no 12b-1 fee. To be eligible to purchase Class I (Institutional) shares, you must be an eligible investor that is making or has made a minimum initial investment of at least $1 million (which may be reduced or waived under certain circumstances) in Class I shares of a Fund. Eligible investors in Class I shares include corporations, foundations, family offices and other institutional organizations; high net worth individuals; persons purchasing through certain financial intermediaries or a bank, trust company or similar institution investing for its own account or for the account of a client when such institution has entered into a Class I agreement with VanEck and makes Class I shares available to the client’s program or plan.
    CLASS Y Shares are offered with no sales charges on purchases, no CDRC, and no 12b-1 fee. To be eligible to purchase Class Y shares, you must be an eligible investor in a “wrap-fee” or other fee-based program, including an Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan, offered through a financial intermediary that has entered into a Class Y Agreement with VanEck, and makes Class Y shares available to that program or plan. An “Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan” includes (a) an employer sponsored pension or profit sharing plan
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that qualifies (a “Qualified Plan”) under section 401(a) of the Code, including Code section 401(k), money purchase pension, profit sharing and defined benefit plans; (b) an ERISA-covered 403(b) plan; and (c) certain non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements that operate in a similar manner to a Qualified Plan, such as 457 plans and executive deferred compensation arrangements, but not including employer-sponsored IRAs.
    CLASS Z Shares are only offered through financial intermediaries that have entered into a Class Z agreement with VanEck and that make Class Z shares available to their and/ or their clients’ programs or plans. Such financial intermediaries may trade and hold Class Z shares on behalf of other financial intermediaries (including third-party retirement plan recordkeepers). Financial intermediaries determine which of their and/or their clients’ programs or plans may use Class Z shares, and may establish certain minimum investment amounts and/or other criteria. Investors in plans or programs offered by financial intermediaries may be charged fees or commissions by those financial intermediaries. For additional information, please contact your financial intermediary.
Financial intermediaries may offer their clients more than one class of shares of a Fund. Shareholders who own shares of one class of a Fund and who are eligible to invest in another class of the same Fund may be eligible to convert their shares from one class to the other. Shareholders no longer participating in a fee-based program may be subject to conversion of their current class of shares by their financial intermediary to another class of shares of the Fund having expenses that may be higher than the expenses of their current class of shares. The timing and implementation of such conversions are at the discretion of the shareholder’s financial intermediary. For additional information, please contact your financial intermediary or see “Class Conversions” in the SAI. Investors should consider carefully a Fund’s share class expenses and applicable sales charges and fees plus any separate transaction and other fees charged by such intermediaries in connection with investing in each available share class before selecting a share class. It is the responsibility of the financial intermediary and the investor to choose the proper share class and notify SS&C or VanEck of that share class at the time of each purchase. More information regarding share class eligibility is available in the “How to Buy, Sell, Exchange, or Transfer Shares” section of the prospectus and in “Purchase of Shares” in the SAI.
3. SALES CHARGES
Unless you are eligible for a waiver, the public offering price you pay when you buy Class A shares of the Fund is the net asset value (NAV) of the shares plus an initial sales charge. A sales charge means that a portion of your initial investment goes toward the sales charge and is not invested. The initial sales charge varies depending upon the size of your purchase, as set forth below, and a percentage is paid to the financial intermediary who sells your Class A shares. No sales charge is imposed where Class A or Class C shares are issued to you pursuant to the automatic investment of income dividends or capital gains distribution. It is the responsibility of the financial intermediary to ensure that the investor obtains the proper “breakpoint” discount. Class C, Class I and Class Y do not have an initial sales charge. Class A does charge a contingent deferred sales charge and Class C does charge a contingent deferred redemption charge as set forth below. For Class Z shares, investors in programs or plans offered by financial intermediaries may be charged fees or commissions by those financial intermediaries. For additional information, please contact your financial intermediary.
Different intermediaries may impose different sales charges (including potential reductions in or waivers of sales charges) other than those listed below. Such intermediary-specific sales charge variations are described in Appendix A to this prospectus, entitled “Intermediary Sales Charge Discounts and Waivers.” Appendix A is incorporated herein by reference (is legally a part of this prospectus). Such intermediary-specific sales charge discounts and waivers may not be available to purchasers whose accounts are not held at and traded by their intermediary.
In all instances, it is the purchaser’s responsibility to notify the Fund or the purchaser’s financial intermediary at the time of purchase of any facts qualifying the purchaser for sales charge discounts or waivers.
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Class A Shares Sales Charges
Sales Charge as a
Percentage of
Dollar Amount of Purchase Offering
Price
Net Amount
Invested
Percentage to Brokers or Agents1
Less than $25,000 5.75% 6.10% 5.00%
$25,000 to less than $50,000 5.00% 5.30% 4.25%
$50,000 to less than $100,000 4.50% 4.70% 3.90%
$100,000 to less than $250,000 3.00% 3.10% 2.60%
$250,000 to less than $500,000 2.50% 2.60% 2.20%
$500,000 to less than $1,000,000 2.00% 2.00% 1.75%
$1,000,000 and over
None2
1    Brokers or Agents who receive substantially all of the sales charge for shares they sell may be deemed to be statutory underwriters.
2    The Distributor may pay a Finder’s Fee of 1.00% to eligible brokers and agents on qualified commissionable shares purchased at or above the $1 million breakpoint level. Such shares may be subject to a 1.00% contingent deferred sales charge if redeemed within one year from the date of purchase. For additional information, see “Contingent Deferred Sales Charge for Class A Shares” below or contact the Distributor or your financial intermediary.
Class C Shares Sales Charges
Year Since Purchase Contingent Deferred
Redemption Charge (CDRC)†</