March 1, 2024
 
 
2024 Prospectus
iShares Trust
• iShares Yield Optimized Bond ETF | BYLD | NYSE ARCA

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.




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Morningstar® and Morningstar® U.S. Bond Market Yield-Optimized IndexSM are trademarks or servicemarks of Morningstar, Inc. and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by BlackRock Fund Advisors or its affiliates. iShares® and BlackRock® are registered trademarks of BlackRock Fund Advisors and its affiliates. The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Morningstar, Inc., and Morningstar, Inc. makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Fund.
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iSHARES® YIELD OPTIMIZED BOND ETF
Ticker: BYLDStock Exchange: NYSE Arca
Investment Objective
The iShares Yield Optimized Bond ETF (the Fund) seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of underlying fixed income funds that collectively seek to deliver current income.
Fees and Expenses
The following table describes the fees and expenses that you will incur if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund. The investment advisory agreement between iShares Trust (the Trust) and BlackRock Fund Advisors (BFA) (the Investment Advisory Agreement) provides that BFA will pay all operating expenses of the Fund, except: (i) the management fees, (ii) interest expenses, (iii) taxes, (iv) expenses incurred with respect to the acquisition and disposition of portfolio securities and the execution of portfolio transactions, including brokerage commissions, (v) distribution fees or expenses, and (vi) litigation expenses and any extraordinary expenses. The Fund may incur Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses. Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses reflect the Fund's pro rata share of the fees and expenses incurred indirectly by the Fund as a result of investing in other investment companies. The impact of Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses is included in the total returns of the Fund. Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses are not included in the calculation of the ratio of expenses to average net assets shown in the Financial Highlights section of the Fund's prospectus (the Prospectus). BFA, the investment adviser to the Fund, has contractually agreed to waive its management fees through February 28, 2026. The contractual waiver may be terminated prior to February 28, 2026 only upon written agreement of the Trust and BFA.
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.
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(ongoing expenses that you pay each year as a
percentage of the value of your investments)1
Management
Fees
Distribution
and
Service (12b-1)
Fees
Other
Expenses
Acquired Fund
Fees
and Expenses
Total Annual
Fund
Operating
Expenses
Fee Waiver
Total Annual
Fund
Operating
Expenses
After
Fee Waiver
0.28%
None
None
0.19%
0.47%
(0.28)%
0.19%

1
Operating expenses paid by BFA under the Investment Advisory Agreement exclude Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, if any.
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Example. This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of owning shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions, your costs would be:
1 Year
3 Years
5 Years
10 Years
$19
$93
$206
$536
Portfolio Turnover. The Fund and the underlying funds in which the Fund invests (each, an Underlying Fund and collectively, the Underlying Funds) may pay transaction costs, such as commissions, when they buy and sell securities (or turn over their portfolios). A higher portfolio turnover rate for the Fund or Underlying Funds may indicate higher transaction costs and may cause the Fund or the Underlying Funds to incur increased expenses. These costs, which are not reflected in the Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Example(except costs to Underlying Funds included as part of Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses), affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund's portfolio turnover rate was 39% of the average value of its portfolio. To the extent the Underlying Funds incur costs from high portfolio turnover, such costs may have a negative effect on the performance of the Fund.
Principal Investment Strategies
The Fund is a fund of funds and seeks to track the investment results of the Morningstar® U.S. Bond Market Yield-Optimized IndexSM (the Underlying Index). The Underlying Index consists
exclusively of underlying iShares exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that themselves seek investment results corresponding to their own underlying indexes. The Fund invests primarily in the Underlying Funds and cash and cash equivalents, including shares of money market funds advised by BFA or its affiliates (BlackRock Cash Funds).
The Underlying Index is a broadly diversified fixed-income index that seeks to deliver current income while maintaining long-term capital appreciation. The Underlying Index is composed of Underlying Funds within fixed-income sectors that collectively have demonstrated relatively high risk-adjusted income on a consistent basis and meet liquidity characteristics as determined by Morningstar, Inc.’s (Morningstar or the Index Provider) proprietary index methodology. The goal of the Underlying Index is to represent an allocation to five distinct fixed-income sectors, with the exposure to each sector capped at a specified percentage of the Underlying Index. The five sectors currently included in the Underlying Index, and each sector’s respective current caps, are: between 10% to 50% U.S. government and government-related fixed-income securities, between 10% to 50% U.S. securitized fixed-income securities,
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between 10% to 50% U.S. investment-grade (as determined by Morningstar) credit securities, no more than 20% U.S. non-investment-grade credit securities and no more than 10% emerging market debt. These five sectors are represented by Underlying Funds that Morningstar considers to deliver higher risk-adjusted yields. Each fixed-income sector has its own return and risk profile. The combined allocation percentages of the five represented sectors will equal 100%. The Underlying Index is rebalanced and reconstituted quarterly.
As of October 31, 2023, the Underlying Index included the following Underlying Funds within (i) the U.S. government related sector: iShares Agency Bond ETF; (ii) the U.S. securitized sector: iShares MBS ETF; (iii) the U.S. investment-grade credit sector: iShares 10+ Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF, iShares 1-5 Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF and iShares Floating Rate Bond ETF; (iv) the U.S. non-investment-grade sector: iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF; and (v) the emerging market debt sector: iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF. The Underlying Index may add, eliminate or replace Underlying Funds at reconstitution. The Underlying Index may indirectly include securities issued by sovereign entities. As of October 31, 2023, a significant portion of the Underlying Funds' Underlying Indexes is represented by securities of companies in the financials industry or sector. The components of the Underlying Index are likely to change over time.
BFA uses an indexing approach to try to achieve the Fund’s investment objective. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not try to beat the index it tracks and does not
seek temporary defensive positions when markets decline or appear overvalued.
Indexing may eliminate the chance that the Fund will substantially outperform the Underlying Index but also may reduce some of the risks of active management, such as poor security selection. Indexing seeks to achieve lower costs and better after-tax performance by aiming to keep portfolio turnover low in comparison to actively managed investment companies.
To the extent that BFA uses a representative sampling indexing strategy to manage the Fund. Representative sampling is an indexing strategy that involves investing in a representative sample of securities that collectively has an investment profile similar to that of an applicable underlying index. The securities selected are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics (based on factors such as market value and industry weightings), fundamental characteristics (such as return variability and yield) and liquidity measures similar to those of an applicable underlying index. The Fund or each Underlying Fund may or may not hold all of the securities in the applicable Underlying Index.
The Fund will invest at least 80% of its assets in the component securities of the Underlying Index and to-be-announced transactions (TBAs) that have economic characteristics that are substantially identical to the economic characteristics of the component securities of the Underlying Index, and the Fund will invest at least 90% of its assets in fixed income securities of the types included in the Underlying Index that BFA believes will help the Fund
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track the Underlying Index. The Fund will invest no more than 10% of its assets in futures, options and swaps contracts that BFA believes will help the Fund track the Underlying Index as well as in fixed income securities other than the types included in the Underlying Index, but which BFA believes will help the Fund track the Underlying Index. Cash and cash equivalent investments associated with a TBA position will be treated as part of that position for purposes of calculating investments in the component securities of the Underlying Index. Cash and cash equivalent investments associated with a derivative position will be treated as part of that position for the purposes of calculating the percentage of investments included in the Underlying Index. The Fund seeks to track the investment results of the Underlying Index before fees and expenses of the Fund.
The Fund may lend securities representing up to one-third of the value of the Fund's total assets (including the value of any collateral received).
The Underlying Index is sponsored by Morningstar, which isindependent of the Fund and BFA. The Index Provider determines the composition and relative weightings of the securities in the Underlying Index and publishes information regarding the market value of the Underlying Index.
Industry Concentration Policy. The Fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent that the Underlying Index is concentrated. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. government (including its agencies and
instrumentalities) and repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.
Summary of Principal Risks
As with any investment, you could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund's performance could trail that of other investments. The Fund is subject to certain risks, including the principal risks noted below(either directly or through its investments in the Underlying Funds), any of which may adversely affect the Fund's NAV, trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective. Certain key risks are prioritized below (with others following in alphabetical order), but the relative significance of any risk is difficult to predict and may change over time. You should review each risk factor carefully.
Interest Rate Risk. During periods of very low or negative interest rates, the Fund may be unable to maintain positive returns or pay dividends to Fund shareholders. Very low or negative interest rates may magnify interest rate risk. Changing interest rates, including rates that fall below zero, may have unpredictable effects on markets, result in heightened market volatility and detract from the Fund’s performance to the extent the Fund is exposed to such interest rates. Additionally, under certain market conditions in which interest rates are low and the market prices for portfolio securities have increased, the Fund may have a very low or even negative yield. A low or negative yield would cause the Fund to lose money in certain conditions and over certain time periods. An increase in interest rates will generally cause the
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value of securities held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund to decline, may lead to heightened volatility in the fixed-income markets and may adversely affect the liquidity of certain fixed-income investments, including those held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund. Because rates on certain floating rate debt securities typically reset only periodically, changes in prevailing interest rates (and particularly sudden and significant changes) can be expected to cause some fluctuations in the net asset value of the Underlying Fund to the extent that it invests in floating rate debt securities. The historically low interest rate environment in recent years heightens the risks associated with rising interest rates.
Credit Risk. Debt issuers and other counterparties may be unable or unwilling to make timely interest and/or principal payments when due or otherwise honor their obligations. Changes in an issuer’s credit rating or the market’s perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness may also adversely affect the value of the Fund’s investment in that issuer. The degree of credit risk depends on an issuer's or counterparty's financial condition and on the terms of an obligation.
Investment in Underlying Funds Risk. The Fund expects to invest substantially all of its assets inthe Underlying Funds, so the Fund’s investment performance is likely to be directly related to the performance of the Underlying Funds. The Fund’s NAV will change with changes in the value of the Underlying Funds and other securities in which the Fund invests based on their market valuations. An investment in the Fund will entail more costs and expenses
than a direct investment in the Underlying Funds.
As the Underlying Funds, or the Fund’s allocations among the Underlying Funds, change from time to time, or to the extent that the total annual fund operating expenses of any Underlying Fund change, the weighted average operating expenses borne by the Fund may increase or decrease.
Through its investment in Underlying Funds, the Fund may be exposed to Management Risk, Market Risk, Market Trading Risk, Passive Investment Risk, and Tracking Error Risk.
Market Risk. The Fundand the Underlying Funds could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. Local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, public health issues, recessions, the prospect or occurrence of a sovereign default or other financial crisis, or other events could have a significant impact on the Fund, the Underlying Funds and their investments and could result in increased premiums or discounts to the Fund’sor Underlying Fund's NAV.
Index-Related Risk. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s investment results will have a high degree of correlation to those of the Underlying Index or that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Underlying Index. Errors in index data, index computations or the construction of the Underlying Index in accordance with its methodology may occur from
S-5


time to time and may not be identified and corrected by the Index Provider for a period of time or at all, which may have an adverse impact on the Fund and its shareholders. Unusual market conditions or other unforeseen circumstances (such as natural disasters, political unrest or war) may impact the Index Provider or a third-party data provider, and could cause the Index Provider to postpone a scheduled rebalance. This could cause the Underlying Index to vary from its normal or expected composition.
Affiliated Fund Risk. In managing the Fund, BFA has the ability to select Underlying Funds and substitute other ETFs consistent with the sector allocations of the Underlying Index which it believes will achieve the Fund’s objective. BFA may be subject to potential conflicts of interest in selecting Underlying Funds and substituting other ETFs because the fees paid to BFA by some Underlying Funds and other ETFs managed by BFA may be higher than the fees paid by other Underlying Funds.This risk may be reduced to the extent BFA has agreed to waive Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses with respect to an Underlying Fund. If an Underlying Fund or other ETF holds interests in an affiliated fund in excess of a certain amount, the Fund may be prohibited from purchasing shares of that Underlying Fund or other ETF.
Allocation Risk. The Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective depends upon the Index Provider's ability to develop a model that accurately assesses the Fund’s asset class allocation and selects the best mix of Underlying Funds and other ETFs. There is a risk that the Index Provider's evaluations and assumptions regarding
asset classes or Underlying Funds, which are utilized as inputs in the model, may be incorrect in view of actual market conditions.
Asset Class Risk. Securities and other assets in the Underlying Index or in the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's portfolio may underperform in comparison to the general financial markets, a particular financial market or other asset classes.
Authorized Participant Concentration Risk. Only an Authorized Participant (as defined in the Creations and Redemptions section of this prospectus (the Prospectus)) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund, and none of those Authorized Participants is obligated to engage in creation and/or redemption transactions. The Fund has a limited number of institutions that may act as Authorized Participants on an agency basis (i.e., on behalf of other market participants). To the extent that Authorized Participants exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation or redemption orders with respect to the Fund and no other Authorized Participant is able to step forward to create or redeem, Fund shares may be more likely to trade at a premium or discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts or delisting. Authorized Participant concentration risk may be heightened for ETFs, such as the Fund, that invest in securities issued by non-U.S. issuers or other securities or instruments that have lower trading volumes.
Calculation Methodology Risk. The Index Provider relies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of components of the Underlying Index, including information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither
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the Fund nor BFA can offer assurances that the Index Provider’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide an accurate assessment of included components.
Call Risk. During periods of falling interest rates, an issuer of a callable bond held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund may call or repay the security before its stated maturity, and the Fund or an Underlying Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds in securities with lower yields, which would result in a decline in the Fund's income, or in securities with greater risks or with other less favorable features.
Concentration Risk. The Fund may be susceptible to an increased risk of loss, including losses due to adverse events that affect the Fund’s investments more than the market as a whole, to the extent that the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's investments are concentrated in the securities and/or other assets of a particular issuer or issuers, country, group of countries, region, market, industry, group of industries, sector, market segment or asset class.
Cybersecurity Risk. Failures or breaches of the electronic systems of the Fund or the Underlying Funds, the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's adviser, distributor, the Index Provider and other service providers, market makers, Authorized Participants or the issuers of securities in which the Fund or an Underlying Fund invests have the ability to cause disruptions, negatively impact the Fund’s business operations and/or potentially result in financial losses to the Fund and its shareholders. While the Fund has established business continuity plans and risk management systems seeking to address system breaches or failures, there are inherent
limitations in such plans and systems. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cybersecurity plans and systems of the Fund’s Index Provider and other service providers, market makers, Authorized Participants or issuers of securities in which the Fund or an Underlying Fund invests.
Extension Risk. During periods of rising interest rates, certain debt obligations may be paid off substantially more slowly than originally anticipated and the value of those securities may fall sharply, resulting in a decline in the Fund’s or the Underlying Funds' income and potentially in the value of the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's investments.
Financials Sector Risk. The performance of companies in the financials sector may be adversely impacted by many factors, including, among others, changes in government regulations, economic conditions, and interest rates, credit rating downgrades, adverse public perception, exposure concentration and decreased liquidity in credit markets. The impact of changes in regulation of any individual financial company, or of the financials sector as a whole, cannot be predicted. Cybersecurity incidents and technology malfunctions and failures have become increasingly frequent and have caused significant losses to companies in this sector, which may negatively impact an Underlying Fund.
Geographic Risk. A natural disaster could occur in a geographic region in which the Fund or an Underlying Fund invests, which could adversely affect the economy or the business operations of companies in the specific geographic region, causing an adverse impact on the Fund's investments in, or which are exposed to, the affected region.
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High Portfolio Turnover Risk. High portfolio turnover (considered by the Fundand the Underlying Funds to mean higher than 100% annually) may result in increased transaction costs to the Fundor an Underlying Fund, including brokerage commissions, dealer mark-ups and other transaction costs on the sale of the securities and on reinvestment in other securities.
High Yield Securities Risk. Securities that are rated below investment-grade (commonly referred to as junk bonds, which may include those bonds rated below BBB- by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, Inc. (Fitch) or below Baa3 by Moody's Investors Service, Inc. (Moody's)), or are unrated, may be deemed speculative, may involve greater levels of risk than higher-rated securities of similar maturity and may be more likely to default.
Illiquid Investments Risk. The Fund may not acquire any illiquid investment if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments. An illiquid investment is any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without significantly changing the market value of the investment. To the extent the Fund holds illiquid investments, the illiquid investments may reduce the returns of the Fund because the Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices. In addition, if the Fund is limited in its ability to sell illiquid investments during periods when shareholders are redeeming their shares, the Fund will need to sell liquid securities to meet redemption requests and illiquid securities will become a larger portion
of the Fund’s holdings. During periods of market volatility, liquidity in the market for the Fund’s shares may be impacted by the liquidity in the market for the underlying securities or instruments held by the Fund, which could lead to the Fund’s shares trading at a premium or discount to the Fund’s NAV.
Income Risk. The Fund's income may decline due to a decline in inflation, deflation or changes in inflation expectations.
Indexing Investment Risk. The Fund and the Underlying Funds are not actively managed, and BFA generally does not attempt to take defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets.
Infectious Illness Risk. A widespread outbreak of an infectious illness, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, may result in travel restrictions, disruption of healthcare services, prolonged quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, business closures, lower consumer demand, layoffs, ratings downgrades, defaults and other significant economic, social and political impacts. Markets may experience temporary closures, extreme volatility, severe losses, reduced liquidity and increased trading costs. Such events may adversely affect the Fund and its investments and may impact the Fund’s ability to purchase or sell securities or cause elevated tracking error and increased premiums or discounts to the Fund's NAV. Despite the development of vaccines, the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects cannot be predicted with certainty.
Issuer Risk. The performance of the Fund depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund or an Underlying Fund has exposure.
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The Fund may be adversely affected if an issuer of underlying securities held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund is unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due. Changes in the financial condition or credit rating of an issuer of those securities may cause the value of the securities to decline.
Management Risk. As the Fund will not fully replicate the Underlying Index, it is subject to the risk that BFA's investment strategy may not produce the intended results. The Fund is also subject to the risk that the investment strategy of an Underlying Fund may not produce the intended results.
Market Trading Risk. The Fund and the Underlying Funds face numerous market trading risks, including the potential lack of an active market for their shares, losses from trading in secondary markets, periods of high volatility and disruptions in the creation/redemption process. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND'SAND THE UNDERLYING FUND'S SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV.
Model Risk. Neither the Fund nor BFA can offer assurances that the Underlying Index's allocation model will achieve its intended results or maximize returns or minimize risk, or be appropriate for every investor seeking a particular risk profile.
Non-U.S. Issuers Risk. Securities issued by non-U.S. issuers carry different risks from securities issued by U.S. issuers. These risks include differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, adverse changes in investment or exchange control
regulations, political instability, regulatory and economic differences, and potential restrictions on the flow of international capital.
Operational Risk. The Fund and the Underlying Funds are exposed to operational risks arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s or each Underlying Fund's service providers, counterparties or other third parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund, the Underlying Funds and BFA seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures. However, these measures do not address every possible risk and may be inadequate to address significant operational risks.
Privately Issued Securities Risk. The Fund or Underlying Funds may invest in privately issued securities, including those that are normally purchased pursuant to Rule 144A or Regulation S promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the 1933 Act). Privately issued securities are securities that have not been registered under the 1933 Act and as a result may be subject to legal restrictions on resale. Privately issued securities are generally not traded on established markets. As a result of the absence of a public trading market, privately issued securities may be deemed to be illiquid investments, may be more difficult to value than publicly traded securities and may be subject to wide fluctuations in value. Delay or difficulty in selling such securities may result in a loss to the Fund.
Reinvestment Risk. The Fund or an Underlying Fund may invest a portion of
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its assets in short-term fixed-income instruments and, as a result, may be adversely affected if interest rates fall because they may have to invest in lower-yielding bondsas bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted.
Risk of Investing in China. Investments in bonds of Chinese issuers (including variable interest entities associated with an underlying Chinese operating company) subject the Fund or the Underlying Funds to risks specific to China. China may be subject to considerable degrees of economic, political and social instability. China is an emerging market and demonstrates significantly higher volatility from time to time in comparison to developed markets. Over the last few decades, the Chinese government has undertaken reform of economic and market practices and has expanded the sphere of private ownership of property in China. However, Chinese markets generally continue to experience inefficiency, volatility and pricing anomalies resulting from governmental influence, a lack of publicly available information and/or political and social instability.
Chinese issuers are also subject to the risk that Chinese authorities can intervene in their operations and structure. Internal social unrest or confrontations with neighboring countries, including military conflicts in response to such events, may also disrupt economic development in China and result in a greater risk of currency fluctuations, currency non-convertibility, interest rate fluctuations and higher rates of inflation.
China has experienced security concerns, such as terrorism and strained international relations.
Additionally, China is alleged to have participated in state-sponsored cyberattacks against foreign companies and foreign governments. Actual and threatened responses to such activity and strained international relations, including purchasing restrictions, sanctions, tariffs or cyberattacks on the Chinese government or Chinese companies, may impact China’s economy and Chinese issuers of securities in which the Fund invests. Incidents involving China's or the region's security may cause uncertainty in Chinese markets and may adversely affect the Chinese economy and the Fund's investments. Export growth continues to be a major driver of China's rapid economic growth. Reduction in spending on Chinese products and services, supply chain diversification, institution of additional tariffs or other trade barriers (including as a result of heightened trade tensions or a trade war between China and the U.S. or in response to actual or alleged Chinese cyber activity) or a downturn in any of the economies of China's key trading partners may have an adverse impact on the Chinese economy. The Underlying Index may include companies that are subject to economic or trade restrictions (but not investment restrictions) imposed by the U.S. or other governments due to national security, human rights or other concerns of such government. So long as these restrictions do not include restrictions on investments, the Fund is generally expected to invest in such companies, consistent with its objective to track the performance of the Underlying Index.
Chinese issuers are not subject to the same degree of regulatory requirements, accounting standards or
S-10


auditor oversight as issuers in more developed countries. As a result, information about the Chinese securities in which the Fund invests may be less reliable or complete. There may be significant obstacles to obtaining information necessary for investigations into or litigation against Chinese issuers, and investors may have limited legal remedies. The Fund is not actively managed and does not select investments based on investor protection considerations.
Risk of Investing in Developed Countries. The Fund’s and the Underlying Fund's investment in developed country issuers will subject the Fund to legal, regulatory, political, currency, security, economic and other risks associated with developed countries. Developed countries tend to represent a significant portion of the global economy and have generally experienced slower economic growth than some less developed countries. Certain developed countries have experienced security concerns, such as war, terrorism and strained international relations. Incidents involving a country’s or region’s security may cause uncertainty in its markets and may adversely affect its economy and the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's investments. In addition, developed countries may be adversely impacted by changes to the economic conditions of certain key trading partners, regulatory burdens, debt burdens and the price or availability of certain commodities.
Risk of Investing in Saudi Arabia. The ability of foreign investors (such as the Fundor an Underlying Fund) to invest in the securities of Saudi Arabian issuers is relatively new. Such ability could be restricted by the Saudi Arabian government at any time, and
unforeseen risks could materialize with respect to foreign ownership in such securities. The economy of Saudi Arabia is dominated by petroleum exports. A sustained decrease in petroleum prices could have a negative impact on all aspects of the economy. Investments in the securities of Saudi Arabian issuers involve risks not typically associated with investments in securities of issuers in more developed countries that may negatively affect the value of the Fund’sor Underlying Fund's investments. 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, crime and instability as a result of religious, ethnic and/or socioeconomic unrest. There remains the possibility that instability in the larger Middle East region could adversely impact the economy of Saudi Arabia, and there is no assurance of political stability in Saudi Arabia.
Risk of Investing in the U.S. Certain changes in the U.S. economy, such as when the U.S. economy weakens or when its financial markets decline, may have an adverse effect on the securities to which the Fund or the Underlying Funds have exposure.
Securities Lending Risk. The Fund or an Underlying Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund or the Underlying Funds may lose money because the borrower of the loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund or the Underlying Funds could also lose
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money in the event of a decline in the value of collateral provided for loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund.
Tracking Error Risk. The Fund and the Underlying Funds may be subject to tracking error, which is the divergence of the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's performance from that of the applicable underlying index. Tracking error may occur because of differences between the securities and other instruments held in the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's portfolio and those included in the applicable underlying index, pricing differences(including, as applicable, differences between a security’s price at the local market close and the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's valuation of a security at the time of calculation of the Fund's or Underlying Fund's NAV, respectively), transaction costs incurred by the Fund, the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's holding of uninvested cash, differences in timing of the accrual or the valuation of distributions, the requirements to maintain pass-through tax treatment, portfolio transactions carried out to minimize the distribution of capital gains to shareholders, acceptance of custom baskets, changes to the applicable underlying index or the costs to the Fund or an Underlying Fund of complying with various new or existing regulatory requirements, among other reasons. This risk may be
heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund or an Underlying Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the applicable underlying index does not.
Valuation Risk. The price the Fund or an Underlying Fund could receive upon the sale of a security or other asset may differ from the Fund'sor the Underlying Fund's valuation of the security, instrument or other asset and from the value used by its underlying index, particularly for securities or other assets that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology as a result of trade suspensions or for other reasons. In addition, the value of the securities or other assets in the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's portfolio may change on days or during time periods when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's shares. Authorized Participants who purchase or redeem Fund shares on days when the Fund is holding fair-valued securities may receive fewer or more shares, or lower or higher redemption proceeds, than they would have received had the securities not been fair valued or been valued using a different methodology. The ability to value investments may be impacted by technological issues or errors by pricing services or other third-party service providers.
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Performance Information
The bar chart and table that follow show how the Fund has performed on a calendar year basis and provide some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing how the Fund’s average annual returns for 1 and 5 years and since inception compare with the Underlying Index. Both assume that all dividends and distributions have been reinvested in the Fund. Past performance (before and after taxes) does not necessarily indicate how the Fund will perform in the future. If BFA had not waived certain Fund fees during certain periods, the Fund's returns would have been lower.
Calendar Year by Year Returns
The best calendar quarter return during the periods shown above was 6.54% in the 4th quarter of 2023; the worst was -5.50% in the 2nd quarter of 2022.
Updated performance information, including the Fund’s current NAV, may be obtained by visiting our website at www.iShares.com or by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) (toll free).
Average Annual Total Returns
(for the periods ended December 31, 2023)
 
One Year
Five Years
Since
Inception
(Inception Date: 4/22/2014)
Return Before Taxes
8.19%
2.39%
2.31%
Return After Taxes on Distributions1
6.19%
0.97%
0.86%
Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund
Shares1
4.79%
1.23%
1.13%
Morningstar U.S. Bond Market Yield-Optimized Index
(Index returns do not reflect deductions for fees,
expenses, or taxes)
7.94%
2.23%
2.15%

1
After-tax returns in the table above are calculated using the historical highest individual U.S. federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state or local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on an investor’s tax situation and may differ from those shown, and after-tax returns shown are not relevant to tax-exempt investors or investors who hold shares through tax-deferred arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sales of Fund shares are calculated assuming that an investor has sufficient capital gains of the same character from other investments to offset any capital losses from the sale of Fund shares. As a result, Fund returns after taxes on distributions and sales of Fund shares may exceed Fund returns before taxes and/or returns after taxes on distributions.
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Management
Investment Adviser. BlackRock Fund Advisors.
Portfolio Managers. Jennifer Hsui, Greg Savage and Paul Whitehead (the Portfolio Managers) are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Each Portfolio Manager supervises a portfolio management team. Ms. Hsui, Mr. Savage and Mr. Whitehead have been Portfolio Managers of the Fund since 2022.
Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares
The Fund is an ETF. Individual shares of the Fund may only be bought and sold in the secondary market through a broker-dealer. Because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than at NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). An investor may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase shares of the Fund (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for shares of the Fund (ask) when buying or selling shares in the secondary market (the bid-ask spread).
Tax Information
The Fund intends to make distributions that may be taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement such as a 401(k) plan or an IRA, in which case, your distributions generally will be taxed when withdrawn.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries
If you purchase shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), BFA or other related companies may pay the intermediary for marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems or other services related to the sale or promotion of the Fund. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
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More Information About the Fund
This Prospectus contains important information about investing in the Fund. Please read this Prospectus carefully before you make any investment decisions. Additional information regarding the Fund is available at www.iShares.com.
BFA is the investment adviser to the Fund. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on NYSE Arca, Inc. (NYSE Arca). The market price for a share of the Fund may be different from the Fund’s most recent NAV.
ETFs are funds that trade like other publicly traded securities. The Fund is designed to track an index. Similar to shares of an index mutual fund, each share of the Fund represents an ownership interest in an underlying portfolio of securities and other instruments intended to track a market index. Unlike shares of a mutual fund, which can be bought and redeemed from the issuing fund by all shareholders at a price based on NAV, shares of the Fund may be purchased or redeemed directly from the Fund at NAV solely by Authorized Participants and only in aggregations of a specified number of shares (Creation Units). Also unlike shares of a mutual fund, shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange and trade in the secondary market at market prices that change throughout the day.
An index is a financial calculation, based on a grouping of financial instruments, and is not an investment product, while the Fund is an actual investment portfolio. The performance of the Fund and the Underlying Index may vary for a number of reasons, including transaction costs, non-U.S. currency valuations, asset valuations, corporate actions (such as mergers and spin-offs), timing variances and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Underlying Index resulting from the Fund's or Underlying Fund's use of representative sampling or from legal restrictions (such as diversification requirements) that apply to the Fund but not to the Underlying Index. From time to time, the Index Provider may make changes to the methodology or other adjustments to the Underlying Index. Unless otherwise determined by BFA, any such change or adjustment will be reflected in the calculation of the Underlying Index performance on a going-forward basis after the effective date of such change or adjustment. Therefore, the Underlying Index performance shown for periods prior to the effective date of any such change or adjustment will generally not be recalculated or restated to reflect such change or adjustment.
Tracking error is the divergence of the Fund's performance from that of the Underlying Index. To the extent that the Fund uses a representative sampling indexing strategy, it can be expected to have a larger tracking error than if it used a replication indexing strategy. Replication is an indexing strategy in which a fund invests in substantially all of the securities in its underlying index in approximately the same proportions as in the underlying index.
An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and it is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency, BFA or any of its affiliates.
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The Fund's investment objective and the Underlying Index may be changed without shareholder approval.
A Further Discussion of Principal Risks
The Fund is subject to various risks, including the principal risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV, trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective. The Fund may be exposed to these risks directly or indirectly through the Fund's investments in the Underlying Funds. You could lose all or part of your investment in the Fund, and the Fund could underperform other investments. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor. The Fund discloses its portfolio holdings daily at www.iShares.com.
Affiliated Fund Risk. In managing the Fund, BFA has the ability to select Underlying Funds and substitute other ETFs consistent with the sector allocations of the Underlying Index which it believes will achieve the Fund’s objective. BFA may be subject to potential conflicts of interest in selecting Underlying Funds and substituting other ETFs because the fees paid to BFA by some Underlying Funds and other ETFs managed by BFA may be higher than the fees paid by other Underlying Funds.This risk may be reduced to the extent BFA has agreed to waive Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses with respect to an Underlying Fund. If an Underlying Fund or other ETF holds interests in an affiliated fund, the Fund may be prohibited from purchasing shares of that Underlying Fund or other ETF.
Allocation Risk. The Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective depends upon the Index Provider’s ability to develop a model that accurately assesses the Fund’s asset class allocation and selects the best mix of Underlying Funds and other ETFs. There is a risk that the Index Provider’s evaluations and assumptions regarding asset classes or Underlying Funds, which are utilized as inputs in the model, may be incorrect in view of actual market conditions. The Fund’s Underlying Index may overweight certain asset classes relative to market capitalization-weighted benchmarks. The Fund will underperform such benchmarks when asset classes that are overweighted in the Fund’s Underlying Index underperform other asset classes.
Asset Class Risk. The securitiesand other assets in the Underlying Index or in the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's portfolio may underperform in comparison to other securities or indexes that track other countries, groups of countries, regions, industries, groups of industries, markets, market segments, asset classes or sectors. Various types of securities, currencies and indexes may experience cycles of outperformance and underperformance in comparison to the general financial markets depending upon a number of factors including, among other things, inflation, interest rates, productivity, global demand for local products or resources, and regulation and governmental controls. This may cause the Fund to underperform other investment vehicles that invest in different asset classes.
Authorized Participant Concentration Risk. Only an Authorized Participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund, and none of those Authorized Participants is obligated to engage in creation and/or redemption transactions. The Fund has a limited number of institutions that may act as Authorized
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Participants on an agency basis (i.e., on behalf of other market participants). To the extent that Authorized Participants exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation or redemption orders with respect to the Fund and no other Authorized Participant is able to step forward to create or redeem Creation Units, Fund shares may be more likely to trade at a premium or discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts or delisting. Authorized Participant concentration risk may be heightened because ETFs, such as the Fund, that invest in securities issued by non-U.S. issuers or other securities or instruments that are less widely traded often involve greater settlement and operational issues and capital costs for Authorized Participants, which may limit the availability of Authorized Participants.
Calculation Methodology Risk. The Index Providerrelies on various sources of information to assess the criteria of components of the Underlying Index, including information that may be based on assumptions and estimates. Neither the Fund nor BFA can offer assurances that the Index Provider's calculation methodology or sources of information will provide an accurate assessment of included components.
Call Risk. During periods of falling interest rates, an issuer of a callable bond held by the Fund and an Underlying Fund may call or repay the security before its stated maturity, and the Fund and an Underlying Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds in securities with lower yields, which would result in a decline in the Fund’s income, or in securities with greater risks or with other less favorable features.
Concentration Risk. The Fund may be susceptible to an increased risk of loss, including losses due to adverse events that affect the Fund’s investments more than the market as a whole, to the extent that the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's investments are concentrated in the securities and/or other assets of a particular issuer or issuers, country, group of countries, region, market, industry, group of industries, project types, group of project types, sector, market segment or asset class. The Fund may be more adversely affected by the underperformance of those securities and/or other assets, may experience increased price volatility and may be more susceptible to adverse economic, market, political or regulatory occurrences affecting those securities and/or other assets than a fund that does not concentrate its investments.
Credit Risk. Credit risk is the risk that the issuer or guarantor of a debt instrument or the counterparty to a derivatives contract, repurchase agreement or loan of portfolio securities will be unable or unwilling to make its timely interest and/or principal payments when due or otherwise honor its obligations. There are varying degrees of credit risk, depending on an issuer’s or counterparty’s financial condition and on the terms of an obligation, which may be reflected in the issuer’s or counterparty’s credit rating. There is the chance that the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's portfolio holdings will have their credit ratings downgraded or will default (i.e., fail to make scheduled interest or principal payments), or that the market’s perception of an issuer’s creditworthiness may worsen, potentially reducing the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's income level or share price.
Cybersecurity Risk. The Fund,the Underlying Funds,Authorized Participants, service providers and the relevant listing exchange are susceptible to operational, information security and related cyber risks both directly and through their service providers.
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Similar types of cybersecurity risks are also present for issuers of securities in which the Fund or the Underlying Funds invest, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers and may cause the Fund’s or the Underlying Funds' investment in such issuers to lose value. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber incidents include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems (e.g., through hacking or malicious software coding) for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cyberattacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users). Geopolitical tensions may increase the scale and sophistication of deliberate attacks, particularly those from nation-states or from entities with nation-state backing.
Cybersecurity failures by, or breaches of, the systems of the Fund's or the Underlying Funds' adviser, distributor and other service providers (including, but not limited to, index and benchmark providers, fund accountants, custodians, transfer agents and administrators), market makers, Authorized Participants or the issuers of securities in which the Fund or the Underlying Funds invest have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in: financial losses, interference with the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's ability to calculate its NAV, disclosure of confidential trading information, impediments to trading, submission of erroneous trades or erroneous creation or redemption orders, the inability of the Fund, the Underlying Funds or their service providers to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, or additional compliance costs. In addition, cyberattacks may render records of Fund assets and transactions, shareholder ownership of Fund shares, and other data integral to the functioning of the Fund or an Underlying Fund inaccessible, inaccurate or incomplete. Substantial costs may be incurred by the Fund or an Underlying Fund in order to resolve or prevent cyber incidents. While the Fund and the Underlying Funds have established business continuity plans in the event of, and risk management systems to prevent, such cyber incidents, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified, that prevention and remediation efforts will not be successful or that cyberattacks will go undetected. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cybersecurity plans and systems put in place by service providers to the Fund, issuers in which the Fund invests, the Index Provider, market makers or Authorized Participants. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.
Extension Risk. During periods of rising interest rates, certain debt obligations may be paid off substantially more slowly than originally anticipated and the value of those securities may fall sharply, resulting in a decline in the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's income and potentially in the value of the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's investments.
Financials Sector Risk. Companies in the financials sector are subject to extensive governmental regulation and intervention, which may adversely affect the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge, the amount of capital and liquid assets they
4


must maintain and, potentially, their size. Governmental regulation may change frequently and may have significant adverse consequences for companies in the financials sector, including effects not intended by such regulation. Increased risk taking by financial companies may also result in greater overall risk in the U.S. and global financials sector. The impact of changes in capital requirements, or recent or future regulation in various countries, on any individual financial company or on the financials sector as a whole cannot be predicted.
Certain risks may impact the value of investments in the financials sector more severely than those of investments outside this sector, including the risks associated with companies that operate with substantial financial leverage. Companies in the financials sector are exposed directly to the credit risk of their borrowers and counterparties, who may be leveraged to an unknown degree, including through swaps and other derivatives products. Financial services companies may have significant exposure to the same borrowers and counterparties, with the result that a borrower’s or counterparty’s inability to meet its obligations to one company may affect other companies with exposure to the same borrower or counterparty. This interconnectedness of risk may result in significant negative impacts to companies with direct exposure to the defaulting counterparty as well as adverse cascading effects in the markets and the financials sector generally. Companies in the financials sector may also be adversely affected by increases in interest rates and loan losses, decreases in the availability of money or asset valuations, credit rating downgrades, adverse public perception and adverse conditions in other related markets. Insurance companies, in particular, may be subject to severe price competition and/or rate regulation, which may have an adverse impact on their profitability. The financials sector is particularly sensitive to fluctuations in interest rates. The financials sector is also a target for cyberattacks. Cybersecurity incidents and technology malfunctions and failures have become increasingly frequent and have caused significant losses to companies in this sector, which may negatively impact the Fund. The extent to which the Fund may invest in a company that engages in securities-related activities or banking is limited by applicable law.
Geographic Risk. Some of the companies in which the Fund or Underlying Funds invest are located in parts of the world that have historically been prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, droughts, floods, hurricanes or tsunamis and are economically sensitive to environmental events. Any such event may adversely impact the economies of these geographic areas or business operations of companies in these geographic areas, causing an adverse impact on the value of the Fund.
High Portfolio Turnover Risk. High portfolio turnover (considered by the Fundand the Underlying Funds to mean higher than 100% annually) may result in increased transaction costs to the Fund, including brokerage commissions, dealer mark-ups and other transaction costs on the sale of the securities and on reinvestment in other securities. These effects of higher than normal portfolio turnover may adversely affect Fundor Underlying Fund performance.
High Yield Securities Risk. Securities that are rated below investment-grade (commonly referred to as junk bonds, which may include those bonds rated below
5


BBB- by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch, or below Baa3 by Moody’s), or are unrated, may be deemed speculative, may involve greater levels of risk than higher-rated securities of similar maturity and may be more likely to default.
The major risks of high yield securities investments include:
High yield securities may be issued by less creditworthy issuers. Issuers of high yield securities may have a larger amount of outstanding debt relative to their assets than issuers of investment-grade bonds. In the event of an issuer’s bankruptcy, claims of other creditors may have priority over the claims of high yield securities holders, leaving few or no assets available to repay high yield securities holders.
Prices of high yield securities are subject to extreme price fluctuations. Adverse changes in an issuer’s industry and general economic conditions may have a greater impact on the prices of high yield securities than on other higher rated fixed-income securities. The credit rating of a high yield security does not necessarily address its market value risk. Ratings and market value may change from time to time, positively or negatively, to reflect new developments regarding the issuer.
Issuers of high yield securities may be unable to meet their interest or principal payment obligations because of an economic downturn, specific issuer developments, or the unavailability of additional financing.
High yield securities frequently have redemption features that permit an issuer to repurchase the security from the Fund or an Underlying Fund before it matures. If the issuer redeems high yield securities held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund, the Fund or an Underlying Fund may have to invest the proceeds in bonds with lower yields and may lose income.
High yield securities may be less liquid than higher rated fixed-income securities, even under normal economic conditions. There are fewer dealers in the high yield securities market, and there may be significant differences in the prices quoted for high yield securities by the dealers. Because high yield securities may be less liquid than higher rated fixed-income securities, judgment may play a greater role in valuing certain of the Fund's securities than is the case with securities trading in a more liquid market.
The Fundor an Underlying Fund may incur expenses to the extent necessary to seek recovery upon default or to negotiate new terms with a defaulting issuer.
Illiquid Investments Risk. The Fund may not acquire any illiquid investment if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments. An illiquid investment is any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without significantly changing the market value of the investment. Liquid investments may become illiquid after purchase by the Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. There can be no assurance that a security or instrument that is deemed to be liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid for as long as it is held by the Fund, and any security or instrument held by the Fund may be deemed an illiquid investment pursuant to the Fund’s liquidity risk management program. To the extent the Fund holds illiquid investments, the illiquid investments may reduce the returns of the Fund because the Fund may be unable to transact at
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advantageous times or prices. An investment may be illiquid due to, among other things, the reduced number and capacity of traditional market participants to make a market in securities or instruments, the lack of an active market for such securities or instruments, capital controls, delays or limits on repatriation of local currency, or insolvency of local governments. To the extent that the Fund invests in securities or instruments with substantial market and/or credit risk, the Fund will tend to have increased exposure to the risks associated with illiquid investments. Illiquid investments may be harder to value, especially in changing markets. Although the Fund primarily seeks to redeem shares of the Fund on an in-kind basis, if the Fund is forced to sell underlying investments at reduced prices or under unfavorable conditions to meet redemption requests or for other cash needs, the Fund may suffer a loss. This may be magnified in a rising interest rate environment or other circumstances where redemptions from the Fund may be greater than normal. Other market participants may be attempting to liquidate holdings at the same time as the Fund, causing increased supply of the Fund’s underlying investments in the market and contributing to illiquid investments risk and downward pricing pressure. In addition, if the Fund is limited in its ability to sell illiquid investments during periods when shareholders are redeeming their shares, the Fund will need to sell liquid securities to meet redemption requests and illiquid securities will become a larger portion of the Fund’s holdings. During periods of market volatility, liquidity in the market for the Fund’s shares may be impacted by the liquidity in the market for the underlying securities or instruments held by the Fund, which could lead to the Fund’s shares trading at a premium or discount to the Fund's NAV.
Income Risk. The Fund’s income may decline if interest rates fall. This decline in income can occur because an Underlying Fund may subsequently invest in lower-yielding bonds as bonds in its portfolio mature, are near maturity or are called, or an Underlying Fund otherwise needs to purchase additional bonds.
Index-Related Risk. The Fund seeks to achieve a return that corresponds generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Underlying Index as published by the Index Provider. There is no assurance that the Index Provider or any agents that may act on its behalf will compile the Underlying Index accurately, or that the Underlying Index will be determined, composed or calculated accurately. While the Index Provider provides descriptions of what the Underlying Index is designed to achieve, neither the Index Provider nor its agents provide any warranty or accept any liability in relation to the quality, accuracy or completeness of the Underlying Index or its related data, and they do not guarantee that the Underlying Index will be in line with the Index Provider’s methodology. BFA’s mandate as described in this Prospectus is to manage the Fund consistently with the Underlying Index provided by the Index Provider to BFA. BFA does not provide any warranty or guarantee against the Index Provider’s or any agent’s errors. Errors in respect of the quality, accuracy and completeness of the data used to compile the Underlying Index may occur from time to time and may not be identified and corrected by the Index Provider for a period of time or at all, particularly where the indices are less commonly used as benchmarks by funds or managers. In addition, there may be heightened risks associated with the adequacy and reliability of the information the Index Provider uses given the Fund's exposure to emerging markets, as certain emerging markets may have less information available or
7


less regulatory oversight. Such errors may negatively or positively impact the Fund and its shareholders. For example, during a period where the Underlying Index contains incorrect constituents, the Fund would have market exposure to such constituents and would be underexposed to the Underlying Index’s other constituents. Shareholders should understand that any gains from Index Provider errors will be kept by the Fund and its shareholders and any losses or costs resulting from Index Provider errors will be borne by the Fund and its shareholders.
Unusual market conditions or other unforeseen circumstances (such as natural disasters, political unrest or war) may impact the Index Provider or a third-party data provider, and could cause the Index Provider to postpone a scheduled rebalance to the Underlying Index. This could cause the Underlying Index to vary from its normal or expected composition. The postponement of a scheduled rebalance could mean that constituents of the Underlying Index that would otherwise be removed at rebalance due to changes in market value, issuer credit ratings, or other reasons may remain, causing the performance and constituents of the Underlying Index to vary from those expected under normal conditions. Apart from scheduled rebalances, the Index Provider or its agents may carry out additional ad hoc rebalances to the Underlying Index due to reaching certain weighting constraints, unusual market conditions or corporate events or, for example, to correct an error in the selection of index constituents. When the Underlying Index is rebalanced and the Fund in turn rebalances its portfolio to attempt to increase the correlation between the Fund’s portfolio and the Underlying Index, any transaction costs and market exposure arising from such portfolio rebalancing will be borne directly by the Fund and its shareholders. Therefore, errors and additional ad hoc rebalances carried out by the Index Provider or its agents to the Underlying Index may increase the costs to and the tracking error risk of the Fund.
Similar risks exist for the Underlying Funds in tracking their benchmarks, which may result in the Fund's performance deviating from the return of the Underlying Index.
Indexing Investment Risk. The Fund and the Underlying Funds are not actively managed and may be affected by a general decline in market segments related to their underlying indexes. The Fund and Underlying Funds invest in securities included in, or representative of, the applicable underlying index, regardless of their investment merits. BFA generally does not attempt to invest the Fund's assets in defensive positions under any market conditions, including declining markets. The Fund may also be exposed to indexing investment risk through its investment in the Underlying Funds.
Infectious Illness Risk. A widespread outbreak of an infectious illness, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, may adversely affect the economies of many nations and the global economy and may impact individual issuers and capital markets in ways that cannot be foreseen.
An infectious illness outbreak may result in travel restrictions, closed international borders, disruption of healthcare services, prolonged quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, lower consumer demand, temporary and permanent closures of businesses, layoffs, defaults and other significant economic, social and political impacts, as well as general concern and uncertainty.
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An infectious illness outbreak may result in extreme volatility, severe losses, credit deterioration of issuers, and disruptions in markets, which could adversely impact the Fund and its investments, including impairing any hedging activity.
Certain local markets may be subject to closures. Any suspension of trading in markets in which the Fundor an Underlying Fund invests will have an impact on the Fund and its investments and will impact the Fund’sor an Underlying Fund's ability to purchase or sell securities in such markets.Market or economic disruptions could result in elevated tracking error and increased premiums or discounts to the Fund's NAV. Additionally, an outbreak could impair the operations of the Fund’s service providers, including BFA, which could adversely impact the Fund.
Governmental and quasi-governmental authorities and regulators throughout the world may respond to an outbreak and any resulting economic disruptions with a variety of fiscal and monetary policy changes, including direct capital infusions into companies and other issuers, new monetary policy tools, and changes in interest rates. A reversal of these policies, or the ineffectiveness of such policies, is likely to increase market volatility, which could adversely affect the Fund’s investments.
An outbreak may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks in certain countries or globally, which could adversely affect the Fund and its investments and could result in increased premiums or discounts to the Fund's NAV.
Despite the development of vaccines, the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects cannot be predicted with certainty.
Interest Rate Risk. If interest rates rise, the value of fixed-income securities or other instruments held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund would likely decrease. A measure investors commonly use to determine this price sensitivity is called duration. Fixed-income securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes, usually making their prices more volatile than those of securities with shorter durations. For example, if a bond has a duration of five years and interest rates rise, the price of the bond will likely decline by a greater percentage than if the bond had a one year duration. To the extent the Fund or an Underlying Fund invests a substantial portion of its assets in fixed-income securities with longer duration, rising interest rates may cause the value of the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's investments to decline significantly, which would adversely affect the value of the Fund. An increase in interest rates may lead to heightened volatility in the fixed-income markets and adversely affect certain fixed-income investments, including those held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund. Because rates on certain floating rate debt securities typically reset only periodically, changes in prevailing interest rates (and particularly sudden and significant changes) can be expected to cause some fluctuations in the net asset value of the Underlying Fund to the extent that it invests in floating rate debt securities. In addition, decreases in fixed-income dealer market-making capacity may lead to lower trading volume, heightened volatility, wider bid-ask spreads and less transparent pricing in certain fixed-income markets.
The historically low interest rate environment in recent years was created in part by the world’s major central banks keeping their overnight policy interest rates at, near or below zero percent and implementing monetary policy facilities, such as asset
9


purchase programs, to anchor longer-term interest rates below historical levels. During periods of very low or negative interest rates, the Fund may be unable to maintain positive returns or pay dividends to Fund shareholders. Certain countries have recently experienced negative interest rates on certain fixed-income instruments. Very low or negative interest rates may magnify interest rate risk. Changing interest rates, including rates that fall below zero, may have unpredictable effects on markets, result in heightened market volatility and detract from the Fund’s performance to the extent the Fund is exposed to such interest rates. Additionally, under certain market conditions in which interest rates are set at low levels and the market prices of portfolio securities have increased, the Fund or an Underlying Fund may have a very low or even negative yield. A low or negative yield would cause the Fund or an Underlying Fund to lose money in certain conditions and over certain time periods. Central banks may increase their short-term policy rates or begin phasing out, or tapering, accommodative monetary policy facilities in the future. The timing, coordination, magnitude and effect of such policy changes on various markets are uncertain, and such changes in monetary policy may adversely affect the value of the Fund’s investments.
Investment in Underlying Funds Risk. The Fund expects to invest substantially all of its assets inthe Underlying Funds, so the Fund’s investment performance is likely to be directly related to the performance of the Underlying Funds. The Fund may also invest in other funds, including money market funds. The Fund’s NAV will change with changes in the value of the Underlying Funds and other securities in which the Fund invests based on their market valuations. An investment in the Fund will entail more direct and indirect costs and expenses than a direct investment in the Underlying Funds. For example, in addition to the expenses of the Fund, the Fund indirectly pays a portion of the expenses (including operating expenses and management fees) incurred by the Underlying Funds, although some of such fees will be offset by the fee waiver by BFA.
One Underlying Fund may buy the same securities that another Underlying Fund sells. Also, an investor in the Fund may receive taxable gains from portfolio transactions by the Underlying Funds, as well as taxable gains from transactions in shares of the Underlying Funds by the Fund.
As the Underlying Funds, or the Fund's allocations among the Underlying Funds, change from time to time, or to the extent that the total annual fund operating expenses of the Underlying Funds change, the weighted average operating expenses borne by the Fund may increase or decrease.
Issuer Risk. The performance of the Fund depends on the performance of individual securities to which the Fund or the Underlying Funds have exposure. The Fund may be adversely affected if an issuer of underlying securities held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund is unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due. Any issuer of these securities may perform poorly, causing the value of its securities to decline. Poor performance may be caused by poor management decisions, competitive pressures, changes in technology, expiration of patent protection, disruptions in supply, labor problems or shortages, corporate restructurings, fraudulent disclosures, credit deterioration of the issuer or other factors. Changes to the financial condition or
10


credit rating of an issuer of those securities may cause the value of the securities to decline. An issuer may also be subject to risks associated with the countries, states and regions in which the issuer resides, invests, sells products, or otherwise conducts operations.
Management Risk. Because BFA uses a representative sampling indexing strategy, the Fund will not fully replicate the Underlying Index and may hold securities not included in the Underlying Index. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that BFA’s investment strategy, the implementation of which is subject to a number of constraints, may not produce the intended results. The Fund is also subject to the risk that the investment strategy of an Underlying Fund may not produce the intended results.
Market Risk. The Fundand the Underlying Funds could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. The value of a financial instrument or other asset may decline due to changes in general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the particular instrument or asset, or factors that affect one or more issuers, counterparties, exchanges, countries, regions, markets, industries, sectors or asset classes, as applicable. Local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, public health issues, recessions, the prospect or occurrence of a sovereign default or other financial crisis, or other events could have a significant impact on the Fund, the Underlying Funds and their investments and could result in increased premiums or discounts to the Fund’sor Underlying Fund's NAV. Changes in market and economic conditions generally do not have the same impact on all types of instruments and assets.
Market Trading Risk.
Absence of Active Market. Although shares of the Fund and the Underlying Funds are listed for trading on one or more stock exchanges, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained by market makers or Authorized Participants.
Risk of Secondary Listings. The Fund's and each Underlying Fund's shares may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the U.S. stock exchange where the Fund's or Underlying Fund's primary listing is maintained, and may otherwise be made available to non-U.S. investors through funds or structured investment vehicles similar to depositary receipts. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s or each Underlying Fund's shares will continue to trade on any such stock exchange or in any market or that the Fund’s or each Underlying Fund's shares will continue to meet the requirements for listing or trading on any exchange or in any market. The Fund's or Underlying Fund's shares may be less actively traded in certain markets than in others, and investors are subject to the execution and settlement risks and market standards of the market where they or their broker direct their trades for execution. Certain information available to investors who trade Fund or Underlying Fund shares on a U.S. stock exchange during regular U.S. market hours may not be available to investors who trade in other markets, which may result in secondary market prices in such markets being less efficient.
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Secondary Market Trading Risk. Shares of the Fundor the Underlying Funds may trade in the secondary market at times when the Fund or the Underlying Funds do not accept orders to purchase or redeem shares. At such times, shares may trade in the secondary market with more significant premiums or discounts than might be experienced at times when the Fund or the Underlying Funds accept purchase and redemption orders. If the Fund purchases shares of an Underlying Fund at a time when the market price of Underlying Fund shares is at a premium to their NAV or sells Underlying Fund shares when their market price is at a discount to their NAV, the Fund may incur losses.
Secondary market trading in Fund or Underlying Fund shares may be halted by a stock exchange because of market conditions or for other reasons. In addition, trading in Fund or Underlying Fund shares on a stock exchange or in any market may be subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to circuit breaker rules on the stock exchange or market.
Shares of the Fund and the Underlying Funds, similar to shares of other issuers listed on a stock exchange, may be sold short and are therefore subject to the risk of increased volatility and price decreases associated with being sold short. In addition, trading activity in derivative products based on the Fund or an Underlying Fund may lead to increased trading volume and volatility in the secondary market for the shares of the Fund or an Underlying Fund.
Shares of the Fund and the Underlying Funds May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. Shares of the Fund and the Underlying Funds each trade on stock exchanges at prices at, above or below the Fund’s and the Underlying Fund's most recent respective NAV. The NAV of the Fund and each Underlying Fund is calculated at the end of each business day and fluctuates with changes in the market value of the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's holdings. The trading price of each of the Fund's and Underlying Funds' shares fluctuates continuously throughout trading hoursbased on both market supply of and demand for their shares and the underlying value of their portfolio holdings or NAV. As a result, the trading prices of the Fund’s and each Underlying Fund's shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility, including during periods of significant redemption requests or other unusual market conditions. ANY OF THESE FACTORS, AMONG OTHERS, MAY LEAD TO THE FUND'S OR THE UNDERLYING FUNDS' SHARES TRADING AT A PREMIUM OR DISCOUNT TO NAV. However, because shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units at NAV, BFA believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of the Fund or the Underlying Funds, as applicable, are not likely to be sustained over the long term (unlike shares of many closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their NAVs). While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it more likely that the Fund’sor an Underlying Fund's shares normally will trade on stock exchanges at prices close to the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's next calculated NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with their respective NAV due to timing reasons, supply and demand imbalances and other factors. In addition, disruptions to creations and redemptions, including disruptions at market makers, Authorized Participants, or other market participants, and during periods of significant market volatility, may result in
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trading prices for shares of the Fund or an Underlying Fund that differ significantly from their respective NAV. Authorized Participants may be less willing to create or redeem Fund or Underlying Fund shares if there is a lack of an active market for such shares or its underlying investments, which may contribute to the Fund’s or Underlying Fund's shares trading at a premium or discount to NAV.
Costs of Buying or Selling Fund Shares. Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission and other charges. In addition, you may incur the cost of the spread; that is, the difference between what investors are willing to pay for Fund shares (the bid price) and the price at which they are willing to sell Fund shares (the ask price).The spread, which varies over time for shares of the Fund based on trading volume and market liquidity, is generally narrower if the Fund has more trading volume and market liquidity and wider if the Fund has less trading volume and market liquidity. In addition, increased market volatility may cause wider spreads. There may also be regulatory and other charges that are incurred as a result of trading activity. Because of the costs inherent in buying or selling Fund shares, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment results and an investment in Fund shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments through a brokerage account.
Model Risk. Neither the Fund nor BFA can offer any assurance that the allocation model used to calculate the Underlying Index will achieve its intended results or maximize returns or minimize risks, nor can the Fund or BFA offer assurance that a particular allocation will be the appropriate allocation in all circumstances for every investor seeking a particular risk profile or time horizon.
Non-U.S. Issuers Risk. Securities issued by non-U.S. issuers have different risks from securities issued by U.S. issuers. These risks include differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, political instability which could affect U.S. investments in non-U.S. countries, uncertainties of transnational litigation, and potential restrictions on the flow of international capital, including the possible seizure or nationalization of the securities issued by non-U.S. issuers held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund. Non-U.S. issuers may be subject to less governmental regulation than U.S. issuers. Moreover, individual non-U.S. economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payment positions. Unfavorable political, economic or governmental developments in non-U.S. countries could affect the payment of a security’s principal and interest. Securities issued by non-U.S. issuers may also be less liquid than, and more difficult to value than, securities of U.S. issuers. In addition, the value of these securities may fluctuate due to changes in the exchange rate of the issuer’s local currency against the U.S. dollar.
Operational Risk. The Fund and the Underlying Funds are exposed to operational risks arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, human error, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund's or each Underlying Fund's service
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providers, counterparties or other third parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund, the Underlying Funds and BFA seek to reduce these operational risks through controls and procedures. However, these measures do not address every possible risk and may be inadequate to address significant operational risks.
Privately Issued Securities Risk. The Fund or Underlying Funds may invest in privately issued securities, including those that are normally purchased pursuant to Rule 144A or Regulation S under the 1933 Act. Privately issued securities typically may be resold only to qualified institutional buyers, or in a privately negotiated transaction, or to a limited number of purchasers, or in limited quantities after they have been held for a specified period of time and other conditions are met for an exemption from registration. Because there may be relatively few potential purchasers for such securities, especially under adverse market or economic conditions or in the event of adverse changes in the financial condition of the issuer, the Fund or an Underlying Fund may find it more difficult to sell such securities when it may be advisable to do so or it may be able to sell such securities only at prices lower than if such securities were more widely held and traded. At times, it also may be more difficult to determine the fair value of such securities for purposes of computing the Fund’s NAV due to the absence of an active trading market. There can be no assurance that a privately issued security that is deemed to be liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid for as long as it is held by the Fundor an Underlying Fund, and its value may decline as a result.
Reinvestment Risk. The Fund or an Underlying Fund may invest a portion of its assets in short-term fixed-income instruments and as a result, may be adversely affected when interest rates fall because they may have to invest in lower yielding bondsas bonds in the Underlying Index are substituted. This may cause the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's income to decline, which may adversely affect the value of the Fund. This risk is typically greater with respect to short-term bond funds and lower for long-term bond funds.
Risk of Investing in China. Investments in bonds of Chinese issuers (including variable interest entities associated with an underlying Chinese operating company) subject the Fund to risks specific to China. The Chinese economy is subject to a considerable degree of economic, political and social instability.
Political and Social Risk. The Chinese government is authoritarian and has periodically used force to suppress civil dissent. Disparities of wealth and the pace of economic liberalization may lead to social turmoil, violence and labor unrest. In addition, China continues to experience disagreements related to integration with Hong Kong and religious and nationalist disputes in Tibet and Xinjiang. There is also a greater risk in China than in many other countries of currency fluctuations, currency non-convertibility, interest rate fluctuations and higher rates of inflation as a result of internal social unrest or conflicts with other countries. Unanticipated political or social developments may result in sudden and significant investment losses. China's growing income inequality, rapidly aging population and significant environmental issues also are factors that may affect the Chinese economy.
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Government Control and Regulations. The Chinese government has implemented significant economic reforms in order to liberalize trade policy, promote foreign investment in the economy, reduce government control of the economy and develop market mechanisms. However, government control over certain sectors or enterprises and significant regulation of investment and industry is still pervasive, including restrictions on investment in companies or industries deemed to be sensitive to particular national interests, trading of securities of Chinese issuers, foreign ownership of Chinese corporations and/or the repatriation of assets by foreign investors. Limitations or restrictions on foreign ownership of securities may have adverse effects on the liquidity and performance of the Underlying Fund and could lead to higher tracking error. Chinese government intervention in the market may have a negative impact on market sentiment, which may in turn affect the performance of the Chinese economy and the Fund’s investments. Chinese markets generally continue to experience inefficiency, volatility and pricing anomalies that may be connected to governmental influence, lack of publicly available information, and political and social instability. Chinese issuers, such as those in the financial services or technology sectors, and potentially other sectors are also subject to the risk that Chinese authorities can intervene in their operations and structure, which may negatively affect the value of the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's investments.
Economic Risk. The Chinese economy may be adversely affected by, among other things, a deterioration in global demand for Chinese exports or a contraction in spending on domestic goods by Chinese consumers. In addition, China may experience substantial rates of inflation, significant indebtedness or economic recessions, which would have a negative effect on its economy and securities market. Delays in enterprise restructuring, slow development of well-functioning financial markets and widespread corruption have also hindered the performance of the Chinese economy. China continues to receive substantial pressure from trading partners to liberalize official currency exchange rates.
Reduction in spending on Chinese products and services, supply chain diversification, institution of additional tariffs, sanctions or other trade barriers (including as a result of heightened trade tensions between China and the U.S. or in response to actual or alleged Chinese cyber activity) or a downturn in any of the economies of China’s key trading partners may have an adverse impact on the Chinese economy and companies in which the Fund invests. Certain Chinese companies (which may change from time to time) are directly or indirectly subject to economic or trade restrictions imposed by the U.S. or other governments due to national security, human rights or other concerns of such government. For example, certain foreign technology companies are subject to U.S. export controls as those companies are believed to pose a risk to U.S. interests. The U.S. also bans imports of goods produced in certain regions of China or by certain Chinese companies due to concerns about forced labor. Such restrictions may have unanticipated and adverse effects on the Chinese economy and companies. Any action that targets Chinese financial markets or securities exchanges could interfere with orderly trading, delay settlement or cause market disruptions. The Underlying Index may include companies that are subject to economic or trade restrictions (but not investment restrictions) imposed by the U.S. or other governments. So long as these restrictions do not include restrictions on investments, the Fund is generally expected
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to invest in such companies, consistent with its objective to track the performance of the Underlying Index.
Expropriation Risk. The Chinese government maintains a major role in economic policymaking, and investing in China involves risk of loss due to expropriation, nationalization, confiscation of assets and property or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investments and on repatriation of capital invested.
Security Risk. China has strained international relations with Taiwan, Japan, India, Russia and other neighbors due to territorial disputes, historical animosities, defense concerns and other security concerns. Heightened tensions or an outbreak of hostilities between China and Taiwan may adversely impact China’s economy as well as the global economy and the value of the Fund’s investments. Additionally, China is alleged to have participated in state-sponsored cyberattacks against foreign companies and foreign governments. Actual and threatened responses to such activity and strained international relations, including purchasing restrictions, sanctions, tariffs or cyberattacks on the Chinese government or Chinese companies, may impact China’s economy and Chinese issuers of securities in which the Fund invests. Relations between China’s Han ethnic majority and other ethnic groups in China, including Tibetans and Uighurs, are also strained and have been marked by protests and violence. These situations may cause uncertainty in the Chinese market and may adversely affect the Chinese economy. In addition, conflict on the Korean Peninsula could adversely affect the Chinese economy. Such risks, among others, may adversely affect the value of the Fund’s investments.
Hong Kong Political Risk. Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997 as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China under the principle of one country, two systems. Although China is obligated to maintain the current capitalist economic and social system of Hong Kong through June 30, 2047, the continuation of economic and social freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong is dependent on the government of China. Since 1997, there have been tensions between the Chinese government and many people in Hong Kong who perceive China as tightening control over Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous liberal political, economic, legal and social framework. Recent protests and unrest have increased tensions even further. Due to the interconnected nature of the Hong Kong and Chinese economies, this instability in Hong Kong may cause uncertainty in the Hong Kong and Chinese markets. In addition, the Hong Kong dollar trades at a fixed exchange rate in relation to (or is pegged to) the U.S. dollar, which has contributed to the growth and stability of the Hong Kong economy. However, it is uncertain how long the currency peg will continue or what effect the establishment of an alternative exchange rate system would have on the Hong Kong economy. Because the Fund's NAV is denominated in U.S. dollars, the establishment of an alternative exchange rate system could result in a decline in the Fund's NAV.
Limited Information and Legal Remedies. Chinese issuers are not subject to the same degree of regulatory requirements, accounting standards or auditor oversight as issuers in more developed countries. As a result, information about the Chinese securities in which the Fund invests may be less reliable or complete. There may be significant obstacles to obtaining information necessary for investigations into or
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litigation against Chinese issuers, and investors may have limited legal remedies. The Fund is not actively managed and does not select investments based on investor protection considerations.
Risk of Investing in Developed Countries. Investment in developed country issuers will subject the Fund or an Underlying Fund to regulatory, political, currency, security, economic and other risks associated with developed countries. Developed countries generally tend to rely on services sectors (e.g., the financial services sector) as the primary means of economic growth. A prolonged slowdown in one or more services sectors is likely to have a negative impact on economies of certain developed countries, although economies of individual developed countries can be impacted by slowdowns in other sectors. In the past, certain developed countries have been targets of terrorism, and some geographic areas in which the Fundor an Underlying Fund invests have experienced strained international relations due to territorial disputes, historical animosities, defense concerns and other security concerns. These situations may cause uncertainty in the financial markets in these countries or geographic areas and may adversely affect the performance of the issuers to which the Fund or an Underlying Fund has exposure. Heavy regulation of certain markets, including labor and product markets, may have an adverse effect on certain issuers. Such regulations may negatively affect economic growth or cause prolonged periods of recession. Many developed countries are heavily indebted and face rising healthcare and retirement expenses. In addition, price fluctuations of certain commodities and regulations impacting the import of commodities may negatively affect developed country economies.
Risk of Investing in Saudi Arabia. The ability of foreign investors (such as the Fundand Underlying Fund) to invest in the securities of Saudi Arabian issuers is relatively new. Such ability could be restricted by the Saudi Arabian government at any time, and unforeseen risks could materialize with respect to foreign ownership in such securities. In addition, the Saudi Arabian government places investment limitations on the ownership of Saudi Arabian issuers by foreign investors, including a limitation on the Fund’s and Underlying Fund's ownership of any single issuer listed on the Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange, which may prevent the Fund from investing in accordance with its strategy and contribute to tracking error against the Underlying Index. Saudi Arabia is highly reliant on income from the sale of petroleum and trade with other countries involved in the sale of petroleum, and its economy is therefore vulnerable to changes in foreign currency values and the market for petroleum. As global demand for petroleum fluctuates, Saudi Arabia may be significantly impacted. Like most Middle Eastern governments, the government of Saudi Arabia exercises substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. Although liberalization in the wider economy is underway, in many areas it has lagged significantly: restrictions on foreign ownership persist, and the government has an ownership stake in many key industries. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that Saudi Arabia is governed by an absolute monarchy. Saudi Arabia has historically experienced strained relations with economic partners worldwide, including other countries in the Middle East, due to geopolitical events. Governmental actions in the future could have a significant effect on economic conditions in Saudi Arabia, which could affect private sector companies and the Fund and Underlying Fund, as well as the value of securities in the Fund’sor Underlying
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Fund's portfolio. Any economic sanctions on Saudi Arabian individuals or Saudi Arabian corporate entities, or even the threat of sanctions, may result in the decline of the value and liquidity of Saudi Arabian securities, a weakening of the Saudi riyal or other adverse consequences to the Saudi Arabian economy. In addition, Saudi Arabia’s economy relies heavily on cheap, foreign labor, and changes in the availability of this labor supply could have an adverse effect on the economy.
Investments in the securities of Saudi Arabian issuers involve risks not typically associated with investments in securities of issuers in more developed countries that may negatively affect the value of the Fund’sor Underlying Fund's investments. 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, crime and instability as a result of religious, ethnic and/or socioeconomic unrest. Although the political situation in Saudi Arabia is largely stable, Saudi Arabia has historically experienced political instability, and there remains the possibility that instability in the larger Middle East region could adversely impact the economy of Saudi Arabia. Political instability in the larger Middle East region has caused significant disruptions to many industries. Continued political and social unrest in these areas may negatively affect the value of securities in the Fund’sor Underlying Fund's portfolio.
Risk of Investing in the U.S. A decrease in imports or exports, changes in trade regulations, inflation and/or an economic recession in the U.S. may have a material adverse effect on the U.S. economy and the securities listed on U.S. exchanges. Proposed and adopted policy and legislative changes in the U.S. are changing many aspects of financial, commercial, public health, environmental, and other regulation and may have a significant effect on U.S. markets generally, as well as on the value of certain securities. Governmental agencies project that the U.S. will continue to maintain elevated public debt levels for the foreseeable future. Although elevated debt levels do not necessarily indicate or cause economic problems, elevated public debt service costs may constrain future economic growth. Circumstances could arise that could prevent the timely payment of interest or principal on U.S. government debt, such as reaching the legislative debt ceiling. Such non-payment would result in substantial negative consequences for the U.S. economy and the global financial system.
If U.S. relations with certain countries deteriorate, it could adversely affect U.S. issuers as well as non-U.S. issuers that rely on the U.S. for trade. The U.S. has also experienced increased internal unrest and discord. If these trends were to continue, it may have an adverse impact on the U.S. economy and the issuers in which the Fundor an Underlying Fund invests.
Securities Lending Risk. The Fund and the Underlying Funds may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fundor an Underlying Fund may lose money because the borrower of the loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fundor an Underlying Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of collateral provided for loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events
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could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fundor an Underlying Fund. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. (BTC), theFund's securities lending agent, will take into account the tax impact to shareholders of substitute payments for dividends when managing theFund's securities lending program.
Tracking Error Risk. The Fund may be subject to tracking error, which is the divergence of the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's performance from that of the applicable underlying index. Tracking error may occur because of differences between the securities and other instruments held in the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's portfolio and those included in the applicable underlying index, pricing differences(including, as applicable, differences between a security’s price at the local market close and the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's valuation of a security at the time of calculation of the Fund's or Underlying Fund's NAV, respectively), transaction costs incurred by the Fund, the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's holding of uninvested cash, differences in timing of the accrual or the valuation of distributions, the requirements to maintain pass-through tax treatment, portfolio transactions carried out to minimize the distribution of capital gains to shareholders, acceptance of custom baskets, changes to the applicable underlying index or the costs to the Fund or an Underlying Fund of complying with various new or existing regulatory requirements, among other reasons. This risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions. Tracking error also may result because the Fund or an Underlying Fund incurs fees and expenses, while the applicable underlying index does not.
Valuation Risk. The price the Fund or an Underlying Fund could receive upon the sale of a securityor other asset may differ from the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's valuation of the security or other asset and from the value used by its underlying index, particularly for securities or other assets that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology as a result of trade suspensions or for other reasons. Because non-U.S. exchanges may be open on days or during time periods when the Fund or an Underlying Fund does not price its shares, the value of the securities or other assets in the Fund or an Underlying Fund's portfolio may change on days or during time periods when the Fund will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund or anUnderlying Fund’s shares. In addition, for purposes of calculating the Fund's NAV, the value of assets denominated in non-U.S. currencies is translated into U.S. dollars at the prevailing market rates. This translation may result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund's NAV and the prices used by its underlying index, which, in turn, could result in a difference between the Fund's performance and the performance of its underlying index. Authorized Participants who purchase or redeem Fund shares on days when the Fund is holding fair-valued securities may receive fewer or more shares, or lower or higher redemption proceeds, than they would have received had the securities not been fair valued or been valued using a different methodology. The ability to value investments may be impacted by technological issues or errors by pricing services or other third-party service providers.
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A Further Discussion of Other Risks
The Fund may also be subject to certain other risks associated with its investments and investment strategies. The order of the below risk factors does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.
Asian Economic Risk. Certain Asian economies have experienced rapid growth and industrialization in recent years, but there is no assurance that this growth rate will be maintained. Other Asian economies, however, have experienced high inflation, high unemployment, currency devaluations and restrictions, and over-extension of credit. Geopolitical hostility, political instability, and economic or environmental events in any one Asian country may have a significant economic effect on the entire Asian region, as well as on major trading partners outside Asia. Any adverse event in the Asian markets may have a significant adverse effect on some or all of the economies of the countries in which the Fund or an Underlying Fund invests. In particular, China is a key trading partner of many Asian countries and any changes in trading relationships between China and other Asian countries may affect the region as a whole. Many Asian countries are subject to political risk, including political instability, corruption and regional conflict with neighboring countries. North Korea and South Korea each have substantial military capabilities, and historical tensions between the two countries present the risk of war. Escalated tensions involving the two countries and any outbreak of hostilities between the two countries, or even the threat of an outbreak of hostilities, could have a severe adverse effect on the entire Asian region. Certain Asian countries have developed increasingly strained relationships with the U.S. or with China, and if these relations were to worsen, they could adversely affect Asian issuers that rely on the U.S. or China for trade. In addition, many Asian countries are subject to social and labor risks associated with demands for improved political, economic and social conditions. These risks, among others, may adversely affect the value of the Fund'sor an Underlying Fund's investments.
Central and South American Economic Risk. Certain Central and South American countries have experienced high interest rates, economic volatility, high levels of inflation, currency devaluations, regime changes, government defaults and high unemployment rates. Additionally, commodities such as oil and gas, minerals and metals represent a significant percentage of the region’s exports, and the economies of countries in the region are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices as a result. The impact of any of the foregoing events in one country could have a significant effect on the entire region.
Close-Out Risk for Qualified Financial Contracts. Regulations adopted by global prudential regulators require counterparties that are part of U.S. or foreign global systemically important banking organizations to include contractual restrictions on close-out and cross-default in agreements relating to qualified financial contracts. Qualified financial contracts include agreements relating to swaps, currency forwards and other derivatives as well as repurchase agreements and securities lending agreements. The restrictions prevent the Fund from closing out a qualified financial contract during a specified time period if the counterparty is subject to resolution proceedings and also prohibit the Fund from exercising default rights due to a
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receivership or similar proceeding of an affiliate of the counterparty. These requirements may increase credit risk and other risks to the Fund.
Commodity Risk. Companies whose performance is reflected in the Fund’s portfolio or Underlying Index may be adversely affected by changes or trends in commodity prices. Commodity prices may be influenced or characterized by unpredictable factors, including, where applicable, high volatility, changes in supply and demand relationships, weather, agriculture, trade, pestilence, political instability, war, catastrophic events, changes in interest rates and monetary and other governmental policies, action and inaction, including price changes due to trade relations. Securities of companies held by the Fund that are dependent on a single commodity, or are concentrated in a single commodity sector, may typically exhibit even higher volatility attributable to commodity prices.
Consumer Cyclical Industry Risk. The success of consumer cyclical companies is tied closely to the performance of domestic and international economies, exchange rates, interest rates, competition, consumer confidence, changes in demographics and preferences. Companies in the consumer cyclical industry depend heavily on disposable household income and consumer spending, and may be strongly affected by social trends and marketing campaigns. These companies may be subject to severe competition, which may have an adverse impact on their profitability.
Consumer Services Industry Risk. The success of firms in the consumer services industry and certain retailers (including food and beverage, general retailers, media, and travel and leisure companies) is tied closely to the performance of the domestic and international economies, interest rates, exchange rates and consumer confidence. The consumer services industry depends heavily on disposable household income and consumer spending. Companies in the consumer services industry may be subject to severe competition, which may also have an adverse impact on their profitability. Companies in the consumer services industry are facing increased government and regulatory scrutiny and may be subject to adverse government or regulatory action. Changes in consumer demographics and preferences in the countries in which the issuers of securities held by the Fund or an Underlying Fund are located and in the countries to which they export their products may affect the success of consumer products.
Consumer Staples Sector Risk. Companies in the consumer staples sector may be affected by the regulation of various product components and production methods, marketing campaigns and changes in the global economy, consumer spending and consumer demand. Tobacco and tobacco-related companies, in particular, may be adversely affected by new laws, regulations and litigation. Companies in the consumer staples sector may also be adversely affected by changes or trends in commodity prices, which may be influenced by unpredictable factors. These companies may be subject to severe competition, which may have an adverse impact on their profitability.
Custody Risk. An Underlying Fund may be exposed to custody risk. Custody risk refers to the risks inherent in the process of clearing and settling 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
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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 higher the degree of custody risk.
Energy Sector Risk. The market value of securities issued by companies in the energy sector may decline for the following reasons, among others: changes in and volatility of global energy prices, energy supply and demand, and spending on exploration and production of energy sources; exchange rates, interest rates, economic conditions, and tax treatment; changes in the actual or perceived availability of oil or other resource deposits; the enactment or cessation of trade sanctions or import controls; war or other geopolitical conflicts; negative perception; increased litigation; energy conservation efforts; energy infrastructure developments or service failures; and increased competition and technological advances. Companies in this sector may be subject to substantial government regulation and contractual fixed pricing, which may increase the cost of doing business and limit the earnings of these companies. A significant portion of the revenues of these companies may depend on a relatively small number of customers, including governmental entities and utilities. As a result, governmental budget constraints may have a material adverse effect on the stock prices of companies in this sector.
Energy companies may also operate in, or engage in transactions involving, countries that have less developed regulatory regimes or a history of expropriation, confiscation of assets, foreign investment restrictions, nationalization or other adverse policies or that are at greater risk of political and social unrest, coups or labor disruptions. Energy companies also face a significant risk of liability from accidents resulting in injury or loss of life or property, pollution or other environmental problems, equipment malfunctions or mishandling of materials and a risk of loss from terrorism, cyber incident, political strife or natural disasters. Any such event could have serious consequences for the general population of the affected area and could have an adverse impact on the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's portfolio and the performance of the Fund. Energy companies may have relatively high levels of debt and may be more likely than other companies to restructure their businesses if there are downturns in energy markets or in the global economy. Energy production companies, especially those for oil and gas, may also have to contend with service disruptions, pipeline and equipment leaks and ruptures, explosions, fires, unscheduled downtime, transportation interruptions, discharges or releases of toxic or hazardous gases and other environmental risks.
The energy sector may experience significant market volatility. For example, Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 led to disruptions and increased volatility in the energy and commodity futures markets due to actual and potential disruptions in the supply and demand for certain commodities, including oil and natural gas. The U.S. and other actors have, in response, enacted various sanctions and restrictions on business dealings with Russia, which include restrictions on imports of oil, natural gas and coal. The effect of the current sanctions and restrictions, as well as the extent and duration of the Russian military action, additional sanctions and associated market disruptions on the energy sector, are impossible to predict and
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depend on a number of factors. The effect of these events or any related developments could be significant and may have a severe adverse effect on the performance of the Fund.
European Economic Risk. The Economic and Monetary Union (the eurozone) of the European Union (the EU) requires compliance by member states that are members of the eurozone with restrictions on inflation rates, deficits, interest rates and debt levels, as well as fiscal and monetary controls, each of which may significantly affect every country in Europe, including those countries that are not members of the eurozone. Additionally, European countries outside of the eurozone may present economic risks that are independent of the indirect effects that eurozone policies have on them. In particular, the United Kingdom's (the U.K.) economy may be affected by global economic, industrial and financial shifts. Changes in imports or exports, changes in governmental or EU regulations on trade, changes in the exchange rate of the euro (the common currency of eurozone countries), the default or threat of default by an EU member state on its sovereign debt and/or an economic recession in an EU member state may have a significant adverse effect on the economies of other EU member states and their trading partners. The European financial markets have historically experienced volatility and adverse trends due to concerns about economic downturns or government debt levels in several European countries, including, but not limited to, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ukraine. These events have affected and may in the future adversely affect the exchange rate of the euro and may significantly affect European countries.
Responses to financial problems by European governments, central banks and others, including austerity measures and reforms, may not produce the desired results, may result in social unrest, may limit future growth and economic recovery or may have other unintended consequences. Further defaults or restructurings by governments and other entities of their debt could have additional adverse effects on economies, financial markets and asset valuations around the world. In addition, one or more countries may abandon the euro and/or withdraw from the EU. The U.K. left the EU (Brexit) on January 31, 2020. Brexit could adversely affect European or worldwide political, regulatory, economic or market conditions and could contribute to instability in global political institutions, regulatory agencies and financial markets.
The national politics of countries in Europe have been unpredictable and subject to influence by disruptive political groups and ideologies, including, for example, secessionist movements. The governments of European countries may be subject to change and such countries may experience social and political unrest. Unanticipated or sudden political or social developments may result in sudden and significant investment losses. The occurrence of terrorist incidents throughout Europe or war in the region could also impact financial markets. The impact of these events is not clear but could be significant and far-reaching and could adversely affect the value and liquidity of the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's investments.
Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The extent and duration of the military action, resulting sanctions and resulting future market disruptions, including declines in its stock markets and the value of the ruble against the U.S. dollar, are impossible to predict, but could be
23


significant. Disruptions caused by Russian military action or other actions (including cyberattacks and espionage) or resulting actual and threatened responses to such activity, including purchasing and financing restrictions, boycotts or changes in consumer or purchaser preferences, sanctions, import and export restrictions, tariffs or cyberattacks on the Russian government, Russian companies or Russian individuals, including politicians, may impact Russia's economy, Russian issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, or the economies of Europe as a whole. Actual and threatened responses to Russian military action may also impact the markets for certain Russian commodities, such as oil and natural gas, as well as other sectors of the Russian economy, and are likely to have collateral impacts on such sectors across Europe and globally.
Floating Rate Securities Risk. Securities with floating or variable interest rates can be less sensitive to interest rate changes than securities with fixed interest rates, but may decline in value if their interest rates do not rise as much, or as quickly, as interest rates in general. Conversely, floating rate securities will not generally increase in value if interest rates decline. A decline in interest rates may result in a reduction in income received from floating rate securities held by the Fund and may adversely affect the value of the Fund’s shares. Generally, floating rate securities carry lower yields than fixed securities of the same maturity. The interest rate for a floating rate security resets or adjusts periodically by reference to a benchmark interest rate. The impact of interest rate changes on floating rate investments is typically mitigated by the periodic interest rate reset of the investments. Securities with longer durations tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes, usually making them more volatile than securities with shorter durations. Floating rate securities generally are subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale, may trade infrequently, and their value may be impaired when the Fund needs to liquidate such loans. Benchmark interest rates, such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) or the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), may not accurately track market interest rates.
Government Debt Risk. Investment in debt instruments issued or guaranteed by foreign sovereign governments can involve a high degree of risk. The governmental entity that controls the repayment of debt may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt. A governmental entity’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest due in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the governmental entity’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund and the political constraints to which a governmental entity may be subject. Governmental entities also may be dependent on expected disbursements from other foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest arrearages on their debt. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on the implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental
24


entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to timely service its debts. Consequently, governmental entities may default on their debt. If a governmental entity defaults, it may ask for more time in which to pay or for further loans. There is no legal process for collecting sovereign debt that a government does not pay nor are there bankruptcy proceedings through which all or part of the sovereign debt that a governmental entity has not repaid may be collected. In the past, certain governments’ countries have refused to honor their payment obligations on issued debt.
Healthcare Sector Risk. The profitability of companies in the healthcare sector may be adversely affected by the following factors, among others: extensive government regulations, restrictions on government reimbursement for medical expenses, rising costs of medical products and services, pricing pressure, an increased emphasis on outpatient services, changes in the demand for medical products and services, a limited number of products, industry innovation, changes in technologies and other market developments. Many healthcare companies are heavily dependent on patent protection. The expiration of a company’s patents may adversely affect that company’s profitability. Many healthcare companies are subject to extensive litigation based on product liability and similar claims. Healthcare companies are subject to competitive forces that may make it difficult to raise prices and, in fact, may result in price discounting. The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 allows for the negotiation of prescription drug prices on behalf of Medicare recipients, which may result in reduced prescription prices. This could reduce some healthcare companies’ overall profitability. Many new products in the healthcare sector may be subject to regulatory approvals. The process of obtaining such approvals may be long and costly, and such efforts ultimately may be unsuccessful. Companies in the healthcare sector may be thinly capitalized and may be susceptible to product obsolescence. In addition, a number of legislative proposals concerning healthcare have been considered by the U.S. Congress in recent years. It is unclear what proposals will ultimately be enacted, if any, and what effect they may have on companies in the healthcare sector.
Large Shareholder and Large-Scale Redemption Risk. Certain shareholders, including an Authorized Participant, a third-party investor, the Fund’s adviser or an affiliate of the Fund’s adviser, a market maker, or another entity, may from time to time own or manage a substantial amount of Fund shares or may invest in the Fund and hold their investment for a limited period of time. These shareholders may also pledge or loan Fund shares (to secure financing or otherwise), which may result in the shares becoming concentrated in another party. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder or large group of shareholders would not redeem their investment or that the size of the Fund would be maintained. Redemptions of a large number of Fund shares by these shareholders may adversely affect the Fund’s liquidity and net assets. To the extent the Fund permits redemptions in cash, these redemptions may force the Fund to sell portfolio securities when it might not otherwise do so, which may negatively impact the Fund’s NAV, have a material effect on the market price of the Shares and increase the Fund’s brokerage costs and/or accelerate the realization of taxable income and/or gains and cause the Fund to make taxable distributions to its shareholders earlier than the Fund otherwise would have. In addition, under certain circumstances, non-redeeming shareholders may be treated as receiving a
25


disproportionately large taxable distribution during or with respect to such tax year. The Fund also may be required to sell its more liquid Fund investments to meet a large redemption, in which case the Fund’s remaining assets may be less liquid, more volatile, and more difficult to price. To the extent these large shareholders transact in shares on the secondary market, such transactions may account for a large percentage of the trading volume for the shares of the Fund and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Fund shares. In addition, large purchases of Fund shares may adversely affect the Fund’s performance to the extent that the Fund is delayed in investing new cash and is required to maintain a larger cash position than it ordinarily would, diluting its investment returns.
Middle Eastern Economic Risk. Many Middle Eastern countries have little or no democratic tradition, and the political and legal systems in such countries may adversely impact the companies in which the Fundor Underlying Fund invests and, as a result, the value of the Fundor Underlying Fund. Middle Eastern governments have exercised and continue to exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. Many economies in the Middle East are highly reliant on income from the sale of oil and natural gas or trade with countries involved in the sale of oil and natural gas, and their economies are therefore vulnerable to changes in the market for oil and natural gas and foreign currency values. As global demand for oil and natural gas fluctuates, many Middle Eastern economies may be significantly impacted. A sustained decrease in commodity prices could have a significant negative impact on all aspects of the economy in the region. Middle Eastern economies may be subject to acts of terrorism, political strife, religious, ethnic or socioeconomic unrest and sudden outbreaks of hostilities with neighboring countries.
Certain Middle Eastern countries have strained relations with other Middle Eastern countries due to territorial disputes, historical animosities, international alliances, religious tensions or defense concerns, which may adversely affect the economies of these countries. Certain Middle Eastern countries experience significant unemployment, as well as widespread underemployment.
Many Middle Eastern countries periodically have experienced political, economic and social unrest as protestors have called for widespread reform. Some of these protests have resulted in a governmental regime change, internal conflict or civil war. If further regime changes were to occur, internal conflict were to intensify, or a civil war were to continue in any of these countries, such instability could adversely affect the economies of Middle Eastern countries in which the Fundor Underlying Fund invests and could decrease the value of the Fund’sor Underlying Fund's investments.
Non-U.S. Agency Debt Risk. The Fund and certain Underlying Funds may invest in uncollateralized bonds issued by agencies, subdivisions or instrumentalities of foreign governments. Bonds issued by these foreign government agencies, subdivisions or instrumentalities are generally backed only by the creditworthiness and reputation of the entities issuing the bonds and may not be backed by the full faith and credit of the foreign government. Moreover, a foreign government that explicitly provides its full faith and credit to a particular entity may be, due to changed circumstances, unable or unwilling to actually provide that support. If a non-U.S. agency is unable to meet its obligations, the performance of the Fundor Underlying Fund will be adversely
26


impacted. A non-U.S. agency’s operations and financial condition are influenced by the foreign government’s economic and other policies. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of a foreign government may cause the value of debt issued by that particular foreign government’s agencies, subdivisions or instrumentalities to decline. During periods of economic uncertainty, the trading of non-U.S. agency bonds may be less liquid while market prices may be more volatile than prices of U.S. agency bonds. Additional risks associated with non-U.S. agency investing include differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, political instability, which could affect U.S. investments in foreign countries, and potential restrictions of the flow of international capital.
Prepayment Risk. During periods of falling interest rates, issuers of certain debt obligations may repay principal prior to the security’s maturity, which may cause the Fundor an Underlying Fund to have to reinvest in securities with lower yields or higher risk of default, resulting in a decline in the Fund’s or an Underlying Fund's income or return potential. Also, if a security subject to prepayment had been purchased at a premium, the value of the premium would be lost in the event of prepayment.
Privatization Risk. Some countries in which the Fund or an Underlying Fund invests have privatized, or have begun the process of privatizing, certain entities and industries. Newly privatized companies may face strong competition from government-sponsored competitors that have not been privatized. In some instances, investors in newly privatized entities have suffered losses due to the inability of the newly privatized entities to adjust quickly to a competitive environment or changing regulatory and legal standards or, in some cases, due to re-nationalization of such privatized entities. There is no assurance that similar losses will not recur.
Reliance on Trading Partners Risk. The economies of many countries or regions in which certain of the Underlying Funds invest are highly dependent on trade with certain key trading partners. Reduction in spending on products and services by these key trading partners, institution of tariffs or other trade barriers or a slowdown in the economies of key trading partners may adversely affect the performance of any company in which such Underlying Funds invest and may have a material adverse effect on the Underlying Funds' performance.
Risk of Investing in Emerging Markets. Investments in emerging market issuers are subject to a greater risk of loss than investments in issuers located or operating in more developed markets. This is due to, among other things, the potential for greater market volatility, lower trading volume, higher levels of inflation, social, political or economic instability, greater risk of a market shutdown and more governmental limitations on foreign investments in emerging market countries than are typically found in more developed markets.
Some countries in which the Fundor an Underlying Fund may invest may experience economic instability, including instability resulting from substantial rates of inflation or significant devaluations of their currency, or economic recessions, which would have a negative effect on the economies and securities markets of their economies. Some of these countries may also impose restrictions on the exchange or export of currency or
27


adverse currency exchange rates and may be characterized by a lack of available currency hedging instruments.
Disparities of wealth, the pace and success of democratization and ethnic, religious and racial disaffection, among other factors, may exacerbate social unrest, violence and labor unrest in some of the countries in which the Fund may invest. Unanticipated or sudden political or social developments may result in sudden and significant investment losses.
Companies in many emerging markets are not subject to the same degree of regulatory requirements, accounting standards or auditor oversight as companies in more developed countries, and as a result, information about the securities in which the Fundor an Underlying Fund invests may be less reliable or complete. Moreover, emerging markets often have less reliable securities valuations and greater risks associated with custody of securities than developed markets. There may be significant obstacles to obtaining information necessary for investigations into or litigation against companies and shareholders may have limited legal remedies. The Fund and the Underlying Funds are not actively managed and do not select investments based on investor protection considerations.
In addition, emerging markets often have greater risk of capital controls through such measures as taxes or interest rate control than developed markets. Certain emerging market countries may also lack the infrastructure necessary to attract large amounts of foreign trade and investment. Chronic structural public sector deficits in some countries in which the Fund may invest may adversely impact securities held by the Fund.
Local securities markets in emerging market countries may trade a small number of securities and may be unable to respond effectively to changes in trading volume, potentially making prompt liquidation of holdings difficult or impossible at times. Settlement procedures in emerging market countries are frequently less developed and reliable than those in the U.S. (and other developed countries). In addition, significant delays may occur in certain markets in registering the transfer of securities. Settlement or registration problems may make it more difficult for the Fund or an Underlying Fund to value its portfolio securities and could have an adverse effect on the Fund or an Underlying Fund in seeking to achieve its investment objective.
Investing in emerging market countries involves a higher risk of loss due to expropriation, nationalization, confiscation of assets and property or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investments and on repatriation of capital invested in certain emerging market countries. As a result, investments in certain countries in which the Fundor an Underlying Fund may invest may be subject to loss due to expropriation or nationalization of assets and property or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investments and repatriation of capital.
Risk of Investing in Frontier Markets. Frontier markets are those emerging markets considered to be among the smallest, least mature and the securities of the issuers of which are the least liquid. Investments in frontier markets generally are subject to a greater risk of loss than investments in developed markets or traditional emerging markets. This is due to, among other things, smaller economies, less developed capital
28


markets, greater market volatility, lower trading volume, political and economic instability, greater risk of a market shutdown, capital controls, delays or limits on repatriation of local currency, insolvency of local governments, and more governmental limitations on foreign investments than typically found in more developed markets. Frontier markets are even more prone to economic shocks associated with political and economic risks than are emerging markets generally. Many frontier market countries may be dependent on commodities, foreign trade or foreign aid. As a result, those risks traditionally associated with investments in emerging markets may be more pronounced with respect to investments in frontier market economies.
Sovereign and Quasi-Sovereign Obligations Risk. An investment in sovereign or quasi-sovereign debt obligations involves special risks not present in corporate debt obligations. Sovereign debt includes securities issued by or guaranteed by a foreign sovereign government, and quasi-sovereign debt includes securities issued by or guaranteed by an entity affiliated with or backed by a sovereign government. The issuer of the sovereign debt that controls the repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due, and the Fundor Underlying Funds may have limited recourse in the event of a default. Similar to other issuers, changes to the financial condition or credit rating of a government may cause the value of a sovereign debt obligation, including U.S. Treasury obligations, to decline. During periods of economic uncertainty, the market prices of sovereign debt may be more volatile than prices of U.S. debt obligations and may affect the Fund'sor Underlying Fund's NAV. Quasi-sovereign debt obligations are typically less liquid and less standardized than sovereign debt obligations. In the past, certain emerging market countries have encountered difficulties in servicing their debt obligations, withheld payments of principal and interest and declared moratoria on the payment of principal and interest on their sovereign debts. Several countries in which the Fund or an Underlying Fund invests have defaulted on their sovereign debt obligations in the past or encountered downgrades of their sovereign debt obligations, and those countries (or other countries) may default or risk further downgrades in the future.
Telecommunications Sector Risk. The telecommunications sector is subject to extensive government regulation. The costs of complying with governmental regulations, delays or failure to receive required regulatory approvals, or the enactment of new regulatory requirements may negatively affect the business of telecommunications companies in which the Fund or the Underlying Funds invest. Government actions around the world, specifically in the area of pre-marketing clearance of products and prices, can be arbitrary and unpredictable. The domestic telecommunications market is characterized by increasing competition and regulation by various state and federal regulatory authorities. Companies in the telecommunications sector may encounter distressed cash flows due to the need to commit substantial capital to meet increasing competition, particularly in developing new products and services using new technology. Technological innovations may make the products and services of certain telecommunications companies obsolete. Telecommunications providers are generally required to obtain franchises or licenses in order to provide services in a given location. Licensing and franchise rights in the telecommunications sector are limited, which may provide an advantage to certain participants. Limited availability of such rights, high barriers to market entry and
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regulatory oversight, among other factors, have led to consolidation of companies within the sector, which could lead to further regulation or other negative effects in the future.
Threshold/Underinvestment Risk. If certain aggregate and/or fund-level ownership thresholds are reached through transactions undertaken by BFA, its affiliates or the Fund, or as a result of third-party transactions or actions by an issuer or regulator, the ability of BFA and its affiliates on behalf of clients (including the Fund) to purchase or dispose of investments, or exercise rights or undertake business transactions, may be restricted by regulation or otherwise impaired. The capacity of the Fund to make investments in certain securities may be affected by the relevant threshold limits, and such limitations may have adverse effects on the liquidity and performance of the Fund’s portfolio holdingscompared to the performance of the Underlying Index. This may increase the risk of the Fund being underinvested to the Underlying Index and increase the risk of tracking error.
For example, in certain circumstances where the Fund invests in securities issued by companies that operate in certain regulated industries or in certain emerging or international markets, is subject to corporate or regulatory ownership restrictions, or invests in certain futures or other derivative transactions, there may be limits on the aggregate and/or fund-level amount invested or voted by BFA and its affiliates for their proprietary accounts and for client accounts (including the Fund) that may not be exceeded without the grant of a license or other regulatory or corporate consent or, if exceeded, may cause BFA and its affiliates, the Fund or other client accounts to suffer disadvantages or business restrictions.
U.S.Agency Debt Risk. Unsecured bonds or debentures issued by the U.S. government or one of its agencies or sponsored entities help finance U.S. governmental policies and public missions, but may be backed only by the general creditworthiness and reputation of the U.S. government agency or government sponsored entity and not the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. For example, debt issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) and the Federal Home Loan Banks provides financing, credit, and/or liquidity to the housing and mortgage markets, and is not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. In addition, debt issued by the TVA, which provides electricity generation and flood control in parts of the Southeast region of the U.S., and the Federal Farm Credit Banks, which provide credit and related services to the agricultural sector, is not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Ginnie Mae securities and certain foreign government debt issuances guaranteed by the U.S. government, including certain issuances by Iraq and Israel, are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
Bonds or debentures that do not carry the backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S. government are subject to more credit risk than securities that are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. If a U.S. government agency or sponsored entity that is the issuer of securities in which theFund or an Underlying Fund invests is unable to meet its obligations or ceases to exist and no plan is made for repayment of securities, the performance of the Fundor an Underlying Fund will be adversely affected. There can be no assurance that the U.S. government would provide
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financial support to any of these U.S. governmental agencies or sponsored entities if it is not obligated to do so. In 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed under the conservatorship of the U.S. government, which provided financial support to the U.S. government-sponsored entities. However, there can be no assurance that such past U.S. government support will result in support in the future. Any actual or potential disruption to a U.S. government agency or sponsored entity, or the financial condition or credit of the U.S. government, could cause the value of U.S. agency debt to decline.
U.S. Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities Risk. Certain Underlying Funds invest in securities backed by pools of mortgages issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or one of its agencies or sponsored entities, including the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While securities guaranteed by Ginnie Mae are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, and there can be no assurance that the U.S. government would provide financial support to its agencies or sponsored entities where it is not obligated to do so. Bonds or debentures that do not carry the backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S. government are subject to more credit risk than securities that are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. To the extent that the U.S. government has provided support to a U.S. agency or sponsored entity in the past, there can be no assurance that the U.S. government will provide support in the future if it is not obligated to do so. If a U.S. government agency or sponsored entity that is the issuer of securities in which an Underlying Fund invests is unable to meet its obligations or ceases to exist and no plan is made for repayment of securities, the performance of an Underlying Fund will be adversely affected.
Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) represent interests in pools of mortgages and, due to the nature of these loans they represent, are subject to prepayment and extension risk. Prepayment risk is the risk that, during periods of falling interest rates, an issuer of mortgages and other fixed-income securities may be able to repay principal prior to the security’s maturity. This may cause an Underlying Fund to have to reinvest in securities with a lower yield or higher risk of default, resulting in a decline in an Underlying Fund's income or return potential.
MBS are also subject to extension risk, which is the risk that when interest rates rise, certain MBS will be paid off substantially more slowly than originally anticipated and the value of those securities may fall sharply, resulting in a decline in income and potentially in the value of the investment.
Because of prepayment and extension risks, MBS react differently to changes in interest rates than other bonds. Small movements in interest rates (both increases and decreases) may quickly and significantly reduce the value of certain MBS. These securities are also subject to the risk of default on the underlying mortgage loans, particularly during periods of economic downturn.
Certain Underlying Funds seek to obtain exposure to the fixed-rate portion of U.S. agency mortgage pass-through securities primarily through TBA securities, or TBA transactions. TBAs refer to a commonly used mechanism for the forward settlement of U.S. agency MBS, and not to a separate type of MBS. Default or bankruptcy of a counterparty to a TBA transaction would expose the Fundto possible losses because
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of adverse market action, expenses or delays in connection with the purchase or sale of the pools of mortgage pass-through securities specified in the TBA transaction.
The Fund intends to invest cash pending settlement of TBA transactions in money market instruments, repurchase agreements, or other high quality, liquid short-term instruments, including money market funds advised by BFA. The Fund will pay its pro rata share of fees and expenses of any money market fund that it may invest in, in addition to the Fund’s own fees and expenses.
U.S. Economic Risk. The U.S. is a significant, and in some cases the most significant, trading partner of, or foreign investor in, certain country or countries in which an Underlying Fund invests. As a result, economic conditions of such countries may be particularly affected by changes in the U.S. economy. A decrease in U.S. imports or exports, new trade and financial regulations or tariffs, changes in the U.S. dollar exchange rate or an economic slowdown in the U.S. may have a material adverse effect on the economic conditions of such countries and, as a result, securities to which an Underlying Fund has exposure. Circumstances could arise that could prevent the timely payment of interest or principal on U.S. government debt, such as reaching the legislative debt ceiling. Such non-payment would result in substantial negative consequences for the U.S. economy and the global financial system.
U.S. Government Issuers Risk. Obligations of U.S. government agencies and authorities are supported by varying degrees of credit but generally are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Bonds or debentures that do not carry the backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S. government are subject to more credit risk than securities that are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. To the extent that the U.S. government has provided support to a U.S. agency or sponsored entity in the past, there can be no assurance that the U.S. government will provide support in the future if it is not obligated to do so. If a U.S. government agency or sponsored entity that is the issuer of securities in which the Fund invests is unable to meet its obligations or ceases to exist and no plan is made for repayment of securities, the performance of the Fund will be adversely affected. Similar to other issuers, changes to the financial condition or credit rating of the U.S. government or U.S. government agencies and authorities may cause the value of the Fund's investments to decline. U.S. Treasury securities are rated AA+ by S&P Global Ratings. A downgrade of the rating of U.S. Treasury securities may cause the value of the Fund's or an Underlying Fund's U.S. Treasury obligations to decline. Because U.S. government debt obligations are often used as a benchmark for other borrowing arrangements, a downgrade could also result in higher interest rates for a range of borrowers, cause disruptions in the international bond markets and have a substantial adverse effect on the U.S. and global economy.
A high national debt level may increase market pressures to meet government funding needs, which may drive debt cost higher and lead the government to issue additional debt, thereby increasing refinancing risk. A high national debt also raises concerns that the U.S. government will not be able to make principal or interest payments when they are due. If market participants determine that U.S. sovereign debt levels have become unsustainable, the value of the U.S. dollar could decline, thus increasing inflationary pressures, particularly with respect to services outsourced to non-U.S. providers and
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imported goods and constrain or prevent the U.S. government from implementing effective countercyclical fiscal policy in economic downturns. Direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of such securities may vary during the period that shareholders own shares of the Fund. Notwithstanding that U.S. Treasury obligations are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, circumstances could arise that could prevent the timely payment of interest or principal, such as reaching the legislative debt ceiling. Such non-payment would result in losses to the Fund and substantial negative consequences for the U.S. economy and the global financial system.
Utilities Sector Risk. Companies in the utilities sector may be adversely affected by changes in exchange rates, domestic and international competition, and governmental limitations on rates charged to consumers. The value of regulated utility debt securities (and, to a lesser extent, equity securities) tends to have an inverse relationship to the movement of interest rates. Deregulation may subject utility companies to greater competition and may adversely affect their profitability. Federal legislation may facilitate the construction of electric transmission lines not only by public utilities but also by independent transmission developers, which could increase competition in the wholesale electricity markets. As deregulation allows utility companies to diversify outside of their original geographic regions and their traditional lines of business, utility companies may engage in riskier ventures. In addition, deregulation may eliminate restrictions on the profits of certain utility companies, but may also subject these companies to greater risk of loss. Companies in the utilities industry may have difficulty obtaining an adequate return on invested capital, raising capital, or financing large construction projects during periods of inflation or unsettled capital markets; face restrictions on operations and increased cost and delays attributable to environmental considerations and regulation; find that existing plants, equipment or products have been rendered obsolete by technological innovations; or be subject to increased costs because of the scarcity of certain fuels or the effects of man-made or natural disasters. Existing and future regulations or legislation may make it difficult for utility companies to operate profitably. Government regulators monitor and control utility revenues and costs, and therefore may limit utility profits. There is no assurance that regulatory authorities will grant rate increases in the future or that such increases will be adequate to permit the payment of coupon payments on bonds issued by such company. Energy conservation and changes in climate policy may also have a significant adverse impact on the revenues and expenses of utility companies.
Portfolio Holdings Information
A description of the Trust's policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Fund's Statement of Additional Information (SAI). The Fund discloses its portfolio holdings daily at www.iShares.com. Fund fact sheets providing information regarding the Fund's top holdings are posted on www.iShares.com when available and may be requested by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737).
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A Further Discussion of Principal Investment Strategies
Overview
The Fund allocates and reallocates its assets among the Underlying Funds consistent with the allocation and reallocation of securities in the Underlying Index as determined by Morningstar. In addition to investing in the Underlying Funds, the Fund may borrow, lend its portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and financial institutions, and may invest the collateral in certain short-term instruments, either directly or through one or more money market funds, as described in greater detail in the Fund's SAI.
Certain Underlying Funds may invest in non-U.S. securities, emerging markets securities and debt instruments, which are subject to additional risks, as described in this Prospectus and in the Fund's SAI. The investment model for the Underlying Index is intended to represent a fixed income allocation strategy designed to deliver high current income.
The Underlying Funds
The Fund seeks to track the investment results of an index composed of underlying fixed-income funds that collectively seek to deliver high current income.Each Underlying Fund generally holds assets that form a subset of the securities composing the Underlying Index. The Fund's allocation of assets to the Underlying Funds will generally closely reflect the allocation weights represented in the Underlying Index.
The following table lists the Fund's investments and asset allocation in each Underlying Fund as of October 31, 2023.BFA allocates the Fund’s assets among the Underlying Funds in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies. Any remaining assets are allocated to the BlackRock Cash Funds. BFA is not required to invest the Fund’s assets in all of the Underlying Funds or in any particular percentage in any given Underlying Fund.
Underlying Fund Allocation Weights
(as of October 31, 2023)
Underlying Funds
 
iShares 10+ Year Investment Grade
Corporate Bond ETF
11.70%
iShares 1-5 Year Investment Grade
Corporate Bond ETF
28.10%
iShares Agency Bond ETF
10.20%
iShares Floating Rate Bond ETF
10.20%
iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond
ETF
20.00%
iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging
Markets Bond ETF
9.80%
iShares MBS ETF
9.80%

Note: The allocation percentages may not add up to, or may appear to exceed, 100% due to rounding.
Bloomberg® is a trademark of Bloomberg Finance L.P. and its affiliates (collectively
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Bloomberg). The Bloomberg US Floating Rate Note ˂ 5 Years Index,Bloomberg U.S. Agency Bond Index, and Bloomberg U.S. MBS Index are trademarks of Bloomberg and its licensors and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by BFA or its affiliates.
ICE®,ICE BofA 10+ Year US Corporate Index, and ICE BofA 1-5 Year US Corporate Index are trademarks of ICE Data Indices, LLC or its affiliates (IDI) and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by BFA or its affiliates. BofA® is a registered trademark of Bank of America Corporation licensed by Bank of America Corporation and its affiliates (BofA), and may not be used without BofA’s prior written approval.
J.P. Morgan and J.P. Morgan EMBI® Global Core Index are trademarks of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by BFA or its affiliates.
Markit® and iBoxx® are registered trademarks of Markit Group Limited and Markit Indices Limited, respectively, and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by BFA or its affiliates.
In managing certain of the Underlying Funds, BFA uses a representative sampling index strategy. Representative sampling is an indexing strategy that involves investing in a representative sample of securities that collectively have an investment profile similar to a specified benchmark index. Securities selected for the Underlying Funds are expected to have, in the aggregate, investment characteristics (based on factors such as market capitalization and industry weightings), fundamental characteristics (such as return variability and yield) and liquidity measures similar to those of the applicable underlying index. The Underlying Funds may or may not hold all of the securities that are included in their respective underlying indexes and may hold certain securities that are not included in their respective underlying indexes. Additional information regarding the Underlying Funds and their principal investment strategies is provided below.
The iShares 10+ Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF seeks to track the investment results of the ICE® BofA® 10+ Year US Corporate Index, which measures the performance of investment-grade corporate bonds of both U.S. and non-U.S. issuers that are U.S. dollar-denominated and publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market and have a remaining maturity of greater than or equal to ten years. As of February 28, 2023, there were 3,530 issues in the ICE® BofA® 10+ Year US Corporate Index. As of February 28, 2023, a significant portion of the ICE® BofA® 10+ Year US Corporate Index is represented by securities of companies in the healthcare and utilities industries or sectors. The components of the ICE® BofA® 10+ Year US Corporate Index are likely to change over time.
The ICE® BofA® 10+ Year US Corporate Index consists of investment-grade corporate bonds of both U.S. and non-U.S. issuers that have a remaining maturity of greater than or equal to ten years, have been publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market, and have $250 million or more of outstanding face value. IDI deems securities as investment grade based on the average rating of Fitch Ratings, Inc. (BBB or better), Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (Baa or better) and/or Standard & Poor's® Financial Services LLC, a subsidiary of S&P Global (BBB or better). In addition, the securities in the ICE® BofA® 10+ Year US Corporate Index must be denominated in U.S. dollars and must be fixed-rate. Excluded from the ICE® BofA® 10+ Year US Corporate Index are equity-linked securities, securities in legal default, hybrid securitized corporate bonds, Eurodollar bonds (U.S. dollar-denominated securities not issued in the U.S. domestic
35


market), taxable and tax-exempt U.S. municipal securities and dividends-received-deduction-eligible securities. The ICE® BofA® 10+ Year US Corporate Index is market capitalization-weighted, and the securities in the ICE® BofA® 10+ Year US Corporate Index are updated on the last calendar day of each month. Under normal circumstances, the iShares 10+ Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF will seek to maintain a weighted average maturity that is greater than ten years. Weighted average maturity is a U.S. dollar-weighted average of the remaining term to maturity of the underlying securities in the iShares 10+ Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF's portfolio.
The iShares 1-5 Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF seeks to track the investment results of the ICE BofA 1-5 Year US Corporate Index, which measures the performance of investment-grade corporate bonds of both U.S. and non-U.S. issuers that are U.S. dollar-denominated and publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market and have a remaining maturity of greater than or equal to one year and less than five years. As of February 28, 2023, there were 3,667 issues in the ICE BofA 1-5 Year US Corporate Index. As of February 28, 2023, a significant portion of the ICE BofA 1-5 Year US Corporate Index is represented by securities of companies in the financials industry or sector. The components of the ICE BofA 1-5 Year US Corporate Index are likely to change over time.
The ICE BofA 1-5 Year US Corporate Index consists of investment-grade corporate bonds of both U.S. and non-U.S. issuers that have a remaining maturity of greater than or equal to one year and less than five years, have been publicly issued in the U.S. domestic market, and have $250 million or more of outstanding face value. IDI deems securities as investment grade based on the average rating of Fitch Ratings, Inc. (BBB or better), Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (Baa or better) and/or Standard & Poor's® Financial Services LLC, a subsidiary of S&P Global (BBB or better). In addition, the securities in the ICE BofA 1-5 Year US Corporate Index must be denominated in U.S. dollars and must be fixed-rate. Excluded from the ICE BofA 1-5 Year US Corporate Index are equity-linked securities, securities in legal default, hybrid securitized corporate bonds, Eurodollar bonds (U.S. dollar-denominated securities not issued in the U.S. domestic market), taxable and tax-exempt U.S. municipal securities and dividends-received-deduction-eligible securities. The ICE BofA 1-5 Year US Corporate Index is market capitalization-weighted, and the securities in the ICE BofA 1-5 Year US Corporate Index are updated on the last calendar day of each month. Under normal circumstances, the iShares 1-5 Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF will seek to maintain a weighted average maturity that is less than or equal to three years. Weighted average maturity is a U.S. dollar-weighted average of the remaining term to maturity of the underlying securities in the iShares 1-5 Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF’s portfolio.
The iShares Agency Bond ETF seeks to track the investment results of the Bloomberg U.S. Agency Bond Index, which measures the performance of the agency sector of the U.S. government bond market and is composed of investment-grade (as determined by Bloomberg Index Services Limited) U.S. dollar-denominated publicly-issued government agency bonds or debentures. As of February 28, 2023, there were 447 issues in the Bloomberg U.S. Agency Bond Index. Bloomberg U.S. Agency Bond Index
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includes callable and non-callable securities issued by U.S. government agencies, quasi-federal corporations (as described below), and corporate and non-U.S. debt guaranteed by the U.S. government. A minimum 50% ownership rule is used to classify issuers as government agencies. In addition, the securities in the Bloomberg U.S. Agency Bond Index must be fixed-rate and non-convertible and have $300 million or more of outstanding face value. The Bloomberg U.S. Agency Bond Index includes securities of the following categories:
U.S. government guaranteed securities: corporate and non-U.S. issuances that carry direct guarantees from the U.S. government;
U.S. government owned, not guaranteed, securities: issuances of quasi-federal corporations (i.e., entities that are partially or wholly-owned by the U.S. government); such issuances generally carry no explicit guarantee of repayment from the U.S. government; and
U.S. government sponsored securities: issuances of U.S. government sponsored entities (including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), which are not 100% government owned, but carry out government policies and benefit from implied involvement of the U.S. government, such as by benefiting from certain government subsidies, credit provisions, or other government support; such issuances generally have no guarantees from the U.S. government.
The Bloomberg U.S. Agency Bond Index represents the agency portion of the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Index (whose eligible universe is defined by total market issuance) that meets the selection criteria mentioned above. The Bloomberg U.S. Agency Bond Index is market-value weighted, and the securities in the Bloomberg U.S. Agency Bond Index are updated on the last business day of each month.
As of February 28, 2023, approximately 75.53% of the total market value of the bonds represented in the Bloomberg U.S. Agency Bond Index was in the form of U.S. agency debentures issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank System.
The iShares Floating Rate Bond ETF seeks to track the investment results of the Bloomberg US Floating Rate Note ˂ 5 Years Index, which measures the performance of U.S. dollar-denominated, investment-grade (as determined by Bloomberg Index Services Limited) floating rate notes. Securities in the Bloomberg US Floating Rate Note ˂ 5 Years Index have a remaining maturity of greater than or equal to one month and less than five years, and have $300 million or more of outstanding face value. As of October 31, 2023, a significant portion of the Bloomberg US Floating Rate Note ˂ 5 Years Index is represented by securities of companies in the financials industry or sector. As of October 31, 2023, the Bloomberg US Floating Rate Note ˂ 5 Years Index was composed of securities of companies in the following countries or regions: Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. The components of the Bloomberg US Floating Rate Note ˂ 5 Years Index are likely to change over time.
The Bloomberg US Floating Rate Note ˂ 5 Years Index consists of debt instruments that pay a variable coupon rate, based on a reference rate such as the 3-month London
37


Interbank Offered Rate or the Secured Overnight Financing Rate and a fixed spread. The Bloomberg US Floating Rate Note ˂ 5 Years Index is market capitalization-weighted and the securities in the Bloomberg US Floating Rate Note ˂ 5 Years Index are updated on the last calendar day of each month. The Bloomberg US Floating Rate Note ˂ 5 Years Index may include U.S. registered, dollar-denominated bonds of non-U.S. corporations, governments and supranational entities.
The iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF seeks to track the investment results of the Markit iBoxx® USD Liquid High Yield Index, which is a rules-based index consisting of U.S. dollar-denominated, high yield (as determined by Markit Indices Limited) corporate bonds for sale in the U.S. The Markit iBoxx® USD Liquid High Yield Index is designed to provide a broad representation of the U.S. dollar-denominated liquid high yield corporate bond market. The Markit iBoxx® USD Liquid High Yield Index is a modified market-value weighted index with a cap on each issuer of 3%. There is no limit to the number of issues in the Markit iBoxx® USD Liquid High Yield Index. As of February 28, 2023, the Markit iBoxx® USD Liquid High Yield Index included approximately 1,175 constituents. As of February 28, 2023, a significant portion of the Markit iBoxx® USD Liquid High Yield Index is represented by securities of companies in the consumer services industry or sector. The components of the Markit iBoxx® USD Liquid High Yield Index are likely to change over time.
Bonds in the Markit iBoxx® USD Liquid High Yield Index are selected from the universe of eligible bonds in the Markit iBoxx USD Corporate Bond Index using defined rules. As of the date of the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF’s Prospectus, the bonds eligible for inclusion in the Markit iBoxx® USD Liquid High Yield Index include U.S. dollar-denominated high yield corporate bonds that: (i) are issued by companies domiciled in countries classified as developed markets by Markit; (ii) have an average rating of sub-investment grade (ratings from Fitch, Moody's or S&P Global Ratings are considered; if more than one agency provides a rating, the average rating is attached to the bond); (iii) are from issuers with at least $1 billion outstanding face value; (iv) have at least $400 million of outstanding face value; (v) have an original maturity date of less than 15 years; (vi) have at least one year to maturity; and (vii) have at least one year and 6 months to maturity for new index insertions.
The iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF seeks to track the investment results of the J.P. Morgan EMBI® Global Core Index, which is a broad, diverse U.S. dollar-denominated emerging markets debt benchmark that tracks the total return of actively traded external debt instruments in emerging market countries. The methodology is designed to distribute the weight of each country within the J.P. Morgan EMBI® Global Core Index by limiting the weights of countries with higher debt outstanding and reallocating this excess to countries with lower debt outstanding.
The J.P. Morgan EMBI® Global Core Index was composed of 55 countries as of October 31, 2023. As of October 31, 2023, the J.P. Morgan EMBI® Global Core Index’s five highest weighted countries were Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
The J.P. Morgan EMBI® Global Core Index may change its composition and weighting monthly upon rebalancing. The J.P. Morgan EMBI® Global Core Index includes both fixed-rate and floating-rate instruments issued by sovereign and quasi-sovereign
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entities from index-eligible countries. Quasi-sovereign entities are defined as entities that are 100% guaranteed or 100% owned by the national government and reside in the index-eligible country. To be considered for inclusion in the J.P. Morgan EMBI® Global Core Index, instruments must (i) be denominated in U.S. dollars, (ii) have a current face amount outstanding of $1 billion or more, (iii) have at least 2.5 years until maturity to be eligible for inclusion and, at each subsequent rebalance, have at least one year until maturity to remain in the index, (iv) be able to settle internationally through Euroclear or another institution domiciled outside the issuing country and (v) have bid and offer prices that are available on a daily and timely basis sourced from a third party valuation vendor. As of October 31, 2023, the J.P. Morgan EMBI® Global Core Index consisted of both investment-grade and non-investment-grade bonds (commonly referred to as junk bonds), each as defined by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Convertible bonds are not eligible for inclusion in the J.P. Morgan EMBI® Global Core Index. The J.P. Morgan EMBI® Global Core Index is market value-weighted and is rebalanced monthly on the last business day of the month.
The iShares MBS ETF seeks to track the investment results of the Bloomberg U.S. MBS Index, which measures the performance of investment-grade (as determined by Bloomberg Index Services Limited) MBS issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies or sponsored entities. The Bloomberg U.S. MBS Index includes fixed-rate MBS issued by Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that have 30-, 20-, or 15-year maturities. All securities in the Bloomberg U.S. MBS Index must have a remaining weighted average maturity of at least one year. In addition, the securities in the Bloomberg U.S. MBS Index must be denominated in U.S. dollars and must be non-convertible. The Bloomberg U.S. MBS Index is market capitalization-weighted and the securities in the Bloomberg U.S. MBS Index are updated on the last business day of each month.
As of February 28, 2023, approximately 100% of the bonds represented in the Bloomberg U.S. MBS Index were U.S. agency MBS. Most transactions in MBS occur through standardized contracts for future delivery in which the exact mortgage pools to be delivered are not specified until a few days prior to settlement (TBA transactions). The iShares MBS ETF may enter into such contracts for fixed-rate pass-through securities on a regular basis. The iShares MBS ETF, pending settlement of such contracts, will invest its assets in liquid, short-term instruments, including shares of money market funds advised by BFA or its affiliates. The iShares MBS ETF will assume its pro rata share of the fees and expenses of any money market fund that it may invest in, in addition to the iShares MBS ETF's own fees and expenses. The iShares MBS ETF may also acquire interests in mortgage pools through means other than such standardized contracts for future delivery.
Management
Investment Adviser. As investment adviser, BFA has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Fund. BFA provides an investment program for the Fund and manages the investment of the Fund’s assets. In managing the Fund, BFA may draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates with respect to certain portfolio securities. In seeking to achieve the Fund's
39


investment objective, BFA uses teams of portfolio managers, investment strategists and other investment specialists. This team approach brings together many disciplines and leverages BFA’s extensive resources.
Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement between BFA and the Trust (entered into on behalf of the Fund), BFA is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Fund, except the management fees, interest expenses, taxes, expenses incurred with respect to the acquisition and disposition of portfolio securities and the execution of portfolio transactions, including brokerage commissions, distribution fees or expenses, and litigation expenses and any extraordinary expenses (as determined by a majority of the Trustees who are not interested persons of the Trust). Operating expenses paid by BFA under the Investment Advisory Agreement exclude Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, if any.
Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, BFA is entitled to a management fee at the annual rate of 0.28% of the Fund's average daily net assets. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023, BFA was paid a management fee from the Fund, as a percentage of the Fund's average daily net assets, net of any applicable waivers, at the annual rate of 0.00%. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2023, the Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses of the Fund amounted to an annual rate of 0.19%.
BFA has contractually agreed to waive its management fees through February 28, 2026. The contractual waiver may be terminated prior to February 28, 2026 only upon written agreement of the Trust and BFA. In addition, BFA may from time to time voluntarily waive and/or reimburse fees or expenses in order to limit total annual fund operating expenses (excluding Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses, if any). Any such voluntary waiver or reimbursement may be eliminated by BFA at any time.
BFA is located at 400 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. It is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. (BlackRock). As of December 31, 2023, BFA and its affiliates provided investment advisory services for assets of approximately $10.0 trillion. BFA and its affiliates trade and invest for their own accounts in the actual securities and types of securities in which the Fund may also invest, which may affect the price of such securities.
A discussion regarding the basis for the approval by the Trust's Board of Trustees (the Board) of the Investment Advisory Agreement with BFA is available in the Fund's Annual Report for the period ended October 31.
Portfolio Managers. Jennifer Hsui, Greg Savage and Paul Whitehead are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. The Portfolio Managers are responsible for various functions related to portfolio management, including, but not limited to, investing cash inflows, coordinating with members of their respective portfolio management teams to focus on certain asset classes, implementing investment strategy, researching and reviewing investment strategy and overseeing members of their respective portfolio management teams who have more limited responsibilities.
Jennifer Hsui has been employed by BFA or its affiliates as a senior portfolio manager since 2007. Prior to that, Ms. Hsui was a portfolio manager from 2006 to 2007 for
40


Barclays Global Fund Advisors (BGFA). Ms. Hsui has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2022.
Greg Savage has been employed by BFA or its affiliates as a senior portfolio manager since 2006. Prior to that, Mr. Savage was a portfolio manager from 2001 to 2006 for BGFA. Mr. Savage has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2022.
Paul Whitehead has been with BlackRock since 1996, including his years with Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which merged with BlackRock in 2009. Mr. Whitehead has been employed by BlackRock as a Managing Director since 2010 and a Director from 2009 to 2010. Mr. Whitehead was employed by BGI as Principal from 2002 to 2009. Mr. Whitehead has been a Portfolio Manager of the Fund since 2022.
The Fund's SAI provides additional information about the Portfolio Managers' compensation, other accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers and the Portfolio Managers' ownership (if any) of shares in the Fund.
Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMorgan) is the administrator, custodian and transfer agent for the Fund.
Conflicts of Interest. The investment activities of BFA and its affiliates (including BlackRock and its subsidiaries (collectively, the Affiliates)), and their respective directors, officers or employees, in the management of, or their interest in, their own accounts and other accounts they manage, may present conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA and its Affiliates provide investment management services to other funds and discretionary managed accounts that may follow investment programs similar to that of the Fund. BFA and its Affiliates are involved worldwide with a broad spectrum of financial services and asset management activities and may engage in the ordinary course of business in activities in which their interests or the interests of their clients may conflict with those of the Fund. BFA or one or more Affiliates act, or may act, as an investor, research provider, investment manager, commodity pool operator, commodity trading advisor, financier, underwriter, adviser, trader, lender, index provider, agent and/or principal, and have other direct and indirect interests in securities, currencies, commodities, derivatives and other instruments in which the Fund may directly or indirectly invest. The Fund may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies with which an Affiliate has significant debt or equity investments or other interests. The Fund may also invest in issuances (such as structured notes) by entities for which an Affiliate provides and is compensated for cash management services relating to the proceeds from the sale of such issuances. The Fund also may invest in securities of, or engage in other transactions with, companies for which an Affiliate provides or may in the future provide research coverage. An Affiliate may have business relationships with, and purchase or distribute or sell services or products from or to, distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Fund or who engage in transactions with or for the Fund, and may receive compensation for such services. BFA or one or more Affiliates may engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds that have investment objectives similar to those of the Fund and/or that engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and other instruments as the Fund. This may include transactions in securities issued by other open-end and closed-end investment companies (which may include investment companies that are
41


affiliated with the Fund and BFA, to the extent permitted under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the 1940 Act)). The trading activities of BFA and these Affiliates are carried out without reference to positions held directly or indirectly by the Fund and may result in BFA or an Affiliate having positions in certain securities that are senior or junior to, or have interests different from or adverse to, the securities that are owned by the Fund.
Neither BlackRock nor any Affiliate is under any obligation to share any investment opportunity, idea or strategy with the Fund. As a result, an Affiliate may compete with the Fund for appropriate investment opportunities. The results of the Fund's investment activities, therefore, may differ from those of an Affiliate and of other accounts managed by BlackRock or an Affiliate, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which one or more Affiliates and other accounts achieve profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. The opposite result is also possible.
In addition, the Fund may, from time to time, enter into transactions in which BFA or an Affiliate or its or their directors, officers, employees or clients have an adverse interest. Furthermore, transactions undertaken by clients advised or managed by BFA or its Affiliates may adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more clients or by BFA or its Affiliates or their directors, officers or employees may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Fund.
The Fund's activities may be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to BFA or one or more Affiliates and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions.
Under a securities lending program approved by the Board, the Fund has retained BTC, an Affiliate of BFA, to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund participates in the securities lending program. For these services, the securities lending agent will receive a fee from the Fund based on the returns earned on the Fund’s lending activities, including investment of the cash received as collateral for the loaned securities. In addition, one or more Affiliates may be among the entities to which the Fund may lend its portfolio securities under the securities lending program.
Under an ETF Services Agreement, the Fund has retained BlackRock Investments, LLC (the Distributor or BRIL), an Affiliate of BFA, to perform certain order processing, Authorized Participant communications, and related services in connection with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units of the Fund (ETF Services). BRIL will retain a portion of the standard transaction fee received from Authorized Participants on each creation or redemption order from the Authorized Participant for the ETF Services provided. BlackRock collaborated with, and received payment from, Citibank, N.A. (Citibank) on the design and development of the ETF Services platform. Citibank may have, or from time to time may develop, additional relationships with BlackRock or funds managed by BFA and its affiliates.
It is also possible that, from time to time, BlackRock and/or its advisory clients (including other funds and separately managed accounts) may, subject to compliance
42


with applicable law, purchase and hold shares of the Fund. The price, availability, liquidity, and (in some cases) expense ratio of the Fund may be impacted by purchases and sales of the Fund by BlackRock and/or its advisory clients.
The activities of BFA and its Affiliates and their respective directors, officers or employees may give rise to other conflicts of interest that could disadvantage the Fund and its shareholders. BFA has adopted policies and procedures designed to address these potential conflicts of interest. See the SAI for further information.
Shareholder Information
Additional shareholder information, including how to buy and sell shares of the Fund, is available free of charge by calling toll-free: 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) or visiting our website at www.iShares.com.
Buying and Selling Shares. Shares of the Fund may be acquired or redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, as discussed in the Creations and Redemptions section of this Prospectus. Only an Authorized Participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. Once created, shares of the Fund generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.
Shares of the Fund are listed on a national securities exchange for trading during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like shares of other publicly traded companies. The Trust does not impose any minimum investment for shares of the Fund purchased on an exchange or otherwise in the secondary market. The Fund's shares trade under the ticker symbol BYLD.
Buying or selling Fund shares on an exchange or other secondary market involves two types of costs that may apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the Fund through a broker, you may incur a brokerage commission and other charges. The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of shares. In addition, you may incur the cost of the spread, that is, any difference between the bid price and the ask price. The spread varies over time for shares of the Fund based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund has high trading volume and market liquidity, and higher if the Fund has little trading volume and market liquidity (which is often the case for funds that are newly launched or small in size). The Fund's spread may also be impacted by the liquidity or illiquidity of the underlying securities held by the Fund, particularly for newly launched or smaller funds or in instances of significant volatility of the underlying securities.
The Fund does not impose restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions of Fund shares directly with the Fund. The Board determined not to adopt policies and procedures designed to prevent or monitor for frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund shares because the Fund generally sells and redeems its shares directly through transactions that are in-kind and/or for cash, with a deadline for placing cash-related transactions no later than the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities. However, the Fund has taken certain measures (e.g., imposing transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Creation Units and reserving the right to reject
43


purchases of Creation Units under certain circumstances) to minimize the potential consequences of frequent cash purchases and redemptions by Authorized Participants, such as increased tracking error, disruption of portfolio management, dilution to the Fund, and/or increased transaction costs. Further, the vast majority of trading in Fund shares occurs on the secondary market, which does not involve the Fund directly, and such trading is unlikely to cause many of the harmful effects of frequent cash purchases or redemptions of Fund shares.
The national securities exchange on which the Fund's shares are listed is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays (or the days on which they are observed): New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Fund’s primary listing exchange is NYSE Arca.
Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act generally restricts investments by investment companies, including foreign and unregistered investment companies, in the securities of other investment companies. For example, a registered investment company (the Acquired Fund), such as the Fund, may not knowingly sell or otherwise dispose of any security issued by the Acquired Fund to any investment company (the Acquiring Fund) or any company or companies controlled by the Acquiring Fund if, immediately after such sale or disposition: (i) more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the Acquired Fund is owned by the Acquiring Fund and any company or companies controlled by the Acquiring Fund or (ii) more than 10% of the total outstanding voting stock of the Acquired Fund is owned by the Acquiring Fund and other investment companies and companies controlled by them. Although SEC rules may permit registered investment companies and unit investment trusts (Investing Funds) that enter into an investment agreement with the Trust to invest in iShares funds beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act subject to certain terms and conditions, the Fund does not permit such investments. Accordingly, Investing Funds must adhere to the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act when investing in the Fund. In addition, foreign investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund only up to the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to any applicable SEC no-action relief.
Book Entry. Shares of the Fund are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (DTC) or its nominee is the record owner of, and holds legal title to, all outstanding shares of the Fund.
Investors owning shares of the Fund are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for shares of the Fund. DTC participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book-entry or street name form.
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Share Prices. The trading prices of the Fund’s shares in the secondary market generally differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and are affected by market forces such as the supply of and demand for ETF shares and underlying securities held by the Fund, economic conditions and other factors.
Determination of Net Asset Value. The NAV of the Fund normally is determined once daily Monday through Friday, generally as of the close of regular trading hours of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on each day that the NYSE is open for trading, based on prices at the time of closing, provided that any Fund assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are translated into U.S. dollars at the prevailing market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more data service providers. The NAV of the Fund is calculated by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets, which includes the values of the Underlying Fund shares in which the Fund invests, less total liabilities) by the total number of outstanding shares of the Fund, generally rounded to the nearest cent.
The value of the securities and other assets and liabilities held by the Fund is determined pursuant to BFA’s valuation policies and procedures. BFA has been designated by the Board as the valuation designee for the Fund pursuant to Rule 2a-5 under the 1940 Act.
Equity securities and other equity instruments for which market quotations are readily available are valued at market value, which is generally determined using the last reported official closing price or, if a reported closing price is not available, the last traded price on the exchange or market on which the security or instrument is primarily traded at the time of valuation. Shares of underlying open-end funds (including money market funds) are valued at net asset value. Shares of underlying exchange-traded closed-end funds or other ETFs are valued at their most recent closing price.
The Fund values fixed-income portfolio securities using last available bid prices or current market quotations provided by dealers or prices (including evaluated prices) supplied by the Fund's approved independent third-party pricing services, each in accordance with BFA's valuation policies and procedures. Pricing services may use matrix pricing or valuation models that utilize certain inputs and assumptions to derive values. Pricing services generally value fixed-income securities assuming orderly transactions of an institutional round lot size, but the Fund may hold or transact in such securities in smaller odd lot sizes. Odd lots often trade at lower prices than institutional round lots. An amortized cost method of valuation may be used with respect to debt obligations with sixty days or less remaining to maturity unless BFA determines in good faith that such method does not represent fair value.
Generally, trading in non-U.S. securities and money market instruments is substantially completed each day at various times prior to the close of regular trading hours of the NYSE. The values of such securities used in computing the NAV of the Fund are determined as of such times.
When market quotations are not readily available or are believed by BFA to be unreliable, BFA will fair value the Fund’s investments in accordance with its policies
45


and procedures. BFA may conclude that a market quotation is not readily available or is unreliable if a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source due to its lack of trading or other reasons, if a market quotation differs significantly from recent price quotations or otherwise no longer appears to reflect fair value, where the security or other asset or liability is thinly traded, when there is a significant event subsequent to the most recent market quotation, or if the trading market on which a security is listed is suspended or closed and no appropriate alternative trading market is available. A significant event is deemed to occur if BFA determines, in its reasonable business judgment prior to or at the time of pricing the Fund’s assets or liabilities, that the event is likely to cause a material change to the last exchange closing price or closing market price of one or more assets held by, or liabilities of, the Fund.
Fair value represents a good faith approximation of the value of an asset or liability. The fair value of an asset or liability held by the Fund is the amount the Fund might reasonably expect to receive from the current sale of that asset or the cost to extinguish that liability in an arm’s-length transaction. Valuing the Fund’s investments using fair value pricing will result in prices that may differ from current market valuations and that may not be the prices at which those investments could have been sold during the period in which the particular fair values were used. Use of fair value prices and certain current market valuations could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the Fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Underlying Index, which, in turn, could result in a difference between the Fund’s performance and the performance of the Underlying Index.
Dividends and Distributions.
General Policies. Dividends from net investment income, if any, generally are declared and paid at least once a year by the Fund. The Fund generally distributes its net capital gains, if any, to shareholders annually. Distributions of net realized securities gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis for the Fund. The Trust reserves the right to declare special distributions if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve its status as a regulated investment company or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income or realized gains.
Dividends and other distributions on shares of the Fund are distributed on a pro rata basis to beneficial owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC participants and indirect participants to beneficial owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.
Dividend Reinvestment Service. No dividend reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by beneficial owners of the Fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require beneficial owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares of the Fund purchased in the secondary market.
46


Note on Tax Information. The following sections summarize some of the consequences under current U.S. federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You may also be subject to state and local taxation on Fund distributions and sales of shares. Certain states and localities may exempt from tax distributions attributable to interest from U.S. federal government obligations. Consult your personal tax advisor about the potential tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund under all applicable tax laws.
Taxes. As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in shares of the Fund will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general information, based on current law. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in shares of the Fund.
Unless your investment in Fund shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an IRA, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions or you sell Fund shares.
Taxes on Distributions. Distributions from the Fund’s net investment income, including distributions of income from securities lending and distributions out of the Fund’s net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income. Distributions by the Fund of net long-term capital gains, if any, in excess of net short-term capital losses (capital gain dividends) are taxable to you as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long you have held the Fund’s shares. Long-term capital gains and qualified dividend income are generally eligible for taxation at a maximum rate of 15% or 20% for non-corporate shareholders, depending on whether their income exceeds certain threshold amounts. In addition, a 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax is imposed on net investment income, including, but not limited to, interest, dividends, and net gain, of U.S. individuals with income exceeding $200,000 (or $250,000 if married and filing jointly) and of estates and trusts.
You may lose the ability to use foreign tax credits passed through by the Fund if your Fund shares are loaned out pursuant to a securities lending agreement.
In general, your distributions are subject to U.S. federal income tax for the year when they are paid. Certain distributions paid in January, however, may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year.
Because the Fund invests in Underlying Funds, the Fund’s realized losses on sales of shares of an Underlying Fund may be indefinitely or permanently deferred as wash sales. Distributions of short-term capital gains by an Underlying Fund will be recognized as ordinary income by the Fund and would not be offset by the Fund’s capital loss carryforwards, if any. Capital loss carryforwards of an Underlying Fund, if any, would not offset net capital gains of the Fund.
If the Fund’s distributions exceed current and accumulated earnings and profits, all or a portion of the distributions made in the taxable year may be recharacterized as a return of capital to shareholders. Distributions in excess of the Fund’s minimum distribution requirements, but not in excess of the Fund’s earnings and profits, will be taxable to shareholders and will not constitute nontaxable returns of capital. A return of capital distribution generally will not be taxable but will reduce the shareholder’s cost basis and result in a higher capital gain or lower capital loss when those shares on
47


which the distribution was received are sold. Once a shareholder's cost basis is reduced to zero, further distributions will be treated as capital gain, if the shareholder holds shares of the Fund as capital assets.
Dividends, interest and capital gains earned by an Underlying Fund with respect to securities issued by non-U.S. issuers may give rise to withholding and other taxes imposed by non-U.S. countries. Tax conventions between certain countries and the U.S. may reduce or eliminate such taxes. If more than 50% of the total assets of an Underlying Fund at the close of a year consists of non-U.S. stocks or securities (generally, for this purpose, depositary receipts, no matter where traded, of non-U.S. companies are treated as non-U.S.) (and 50% of the total assets of the Fund at the close of the year consists of securities issued by non-U.S. issuers, or, at the close of each quarter, shares of an Underlying Fund), the Fund may pass through to you certain non-U.S. income taxes (including withholding taxes) paid by the Fund or an Underlying Fund. This means that you would be considered to have received as an additional dividend your share of such non-U.S. taxes, but you may be entitled to either a corresponding tax deduction in calculating your taxable income, or, subject to certain limitations, a credit in calculating your U.S. federal income tax.
For purposes of foreign tax credits for U.S. shareholders of the Fund, foreign capital gains taxes may not produce associated foreign source income, limiting the availability of such credits for U.S. persons.
If you are neither a resident nor a citizen of the U.S. or if you are a non-U.S. entity (other than a pass-through entity to the extent owned by U.S. persons), the Fund’s ordinary income dividends (which include distributions of net short-term capital gains) will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies, provided that withholding tax will generally not apply to any gain or income realized by a non-U.S. shareholder in respect of any distributions of long-term capital gains or upon the sale or other disposition of shares of the Fund.
Separately, a 30% withholding tax is currently imposed on U.S.-source dividends, interest and other income items paid to (i) foreign financial institutions, including non-U.S. investment funds, unless they agree to collect and disclose to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. account holders and (ii) certain other foreign entities, unless they certify certain information regarding their direct and indirect U.S. owners. To avoid withholding, foreign financial institutions will need to (i) enter into agreements with the IRS that state that they will provide the IRS information, including the names, addresses and taxpayer identification numbers of direct and indirect U.S. account holders, comply with due diligence procedures with respect to the identification of U.S. accounts, report to the IRS certain information with respect to U.S. accounts maintained, agree to withhold tax on certain payments made to non-compliant foreign financial institutions or to account holders who fail to provide the required information, and determine certain other information concerning their account holders, or (ii) in the event that an applicable intergovernmental agreement and implementing legislation are adopted, provide local revenue authorities with similar account holder information. Other foreign entities will need to provide the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each
48


substantial U.S. owner or certifications of no substantial U.S. ownership unless certain exceptions apply.
As the Fund invests in only a limited number of positions, the Fund may be required to defer for tax purposes significant amounts of realized losses on the sale of shares in Underlying Funds indefinitely.
If you are a resident or a citizen of the U.S., by law, backup withholding at a 24% rate will apply to your distributions and proceeds if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number and made other required certifications.
Taxes When Shares Are Sold. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares is generally treated as a long-term gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund shares held for one year or less is generally treated as short-term gain or loss, except that any capital loss on the sale of shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent that capital gain dividends were paid with respect to such shares. Any such capital gains, including from sales of Fund shares or from capital gain dividends, are included in net investment income for purposes of the 3.8% U.S. federal Medicare contribution tax mentioned above.
Creations and Redemptions. Prior to trading in the secondary market, shares of the Fund are created at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in block-size Creation Units or multiples thereof. Each creator or authorized participant (an Authorized Participant) has entered into an agreement with the Fund's Distributor, an affiliate of BFA. An Authorized Participant is a member or participant of a clearing agency registered with the SEC, which has a written agreement with the Fund or one of its service providers that allows such member or participant to place orders for the purchase and redemption of Creation Units.
A creation transaction, which is subject to acceptance by the Distributor and the Fund, generally takes place when an Authorized Participant deposits into the Fund a designated portfolio of securities, assets or other positions (a creation basket), and an amount of cash (including any cash representing the value of substituted securities, assets or other positions), if any, which together approximate the holdings of the Fund in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units. Similarly, shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for a designated portfolio of securities, assets or other positions (a redemption basket) held by the Fund and an amount of cash (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted). The Fund may, in certain circumstances, offer Creation Units partially or solely for cash. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, shares are not redeemable by the Fund. Creation and redemption baskets may differ and the Fund will accept custom baskets. More information regarding custom baskets is contained in the Fund's SAI.
The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after a creation or redemption order is received in an acceptable form under the authorized participant agreement.
Only an Authorized Participant may create or redeem Creation Units with the Fund. Authorized Participants may create or redeem Creation Units for their own accounts or for customers, including, without limitation, affiliates of the Fund.
49


In the event of a system failure or other interruption, including disruptions at market makers or Authorized Participants, orders to purchase or redeem Creation Units either may not be executed according to the Fund's instructions or may not be executed at all, or the Fund may not be able to place or change orders.
To the extent the Fund engages in in-kind transactions, the Fund intends to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposit and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities by, among other means, assuring that any securities accepted for deposit and any securities used to satisfy redemption requests will be sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the 1933 Act. Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a qualified institutional buyer, as such term is defined in Rule 144A under the 1933 Act, will not be able to receive restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.
Creations and redemptions must be made through a firm that is either a member of the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a DTC participant that has executed an agreement with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit aggregations. Information about the procedures regarding creation and redemption of Creation Units (including the cut-off times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) is included in the Fund's SAI.
Because new shares may be created and issued on an ongoing basis, at any point during the life of the Fund a distribution, as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may be occurring. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner that could render them statutory underwriters subject to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act. Any determination of whether one is an underwriter must take into account all the relevant facts and circumstances of each particular case.
Broker-dealers should also note that dealers who are not underwriters but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary transactions), and thus dealing with shares that are part of an unsold allotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the 1933 Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the 1933 Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the 1933 Act is available only with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange.
Householding. Householding is an option available to certain Fund investors. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Please contact your broker-dealer if you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of prospectuses and other shareholder documents, or if you are currently enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status.
50


Distribution
The Distributor or its agent distributes Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in shares of the Fund. The Distributor has no role in determining the policies of the Fund or the securities that are purchased or sold by the Fund. The Distributor’s principal address is 50 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001.
BFA or its affiliates make payments to broker-dealers, registered investment advisers, banks or other intermediaries (together, intermediaries) related to marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems, data provision services, or their making shares of the Fund and certain other iShares funds available to their customers generally and in certain investment programs. Such payments, which may be significant to the intermediary, are not made by the Fund. Rather, such payments are made by BFA or its affiliates from their own resources, which come directly or indirectly in part from fees paid by the iShares funds complex. Payments of this type are sometimes referred to as revenue-sharing payments. A financial intermediary may make decisions about which investment options it recommends or makes available, or the level of services provided, to its customers based on the payments or other financial incentives it is eligible to receive. Therefore, such payments or other financial incentives offered or made to an intermediary create conflicts of interest between the intermediary and its customers and may cause the intermediary to recommend the Fund or other iShares funds over another investment. More information regarding these payments is contained in the Fund's and each Underlying Fund's SAI. Please contact your salesperson or other investment professional for more information regarding any such payments his or her firm may receive from BFA or its affiliates.
51


Financial Highlights
The financial highlights table is intended to help investors understand the Fund’s financial performance for the past five years. Certain information reflects financial results for a single share of the Fund. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Fund, assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions. This information has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, whose report is included, along with the Fund's financial statements, in the Fund's Annual Report (available upon request).
Financial Highlights
(For a share outstanding throughout each period)
 
iShares Yield Optimized Bond ETF
 
Year Ended
10/31/23
Year Ended
10/31/22
Year Ended
10/31/21
Year Ended
10/31/20
Year Ended
10/31/19
Net asset value, beginning of
year
$21.33
$25.03
$25.63
$25.60
$23.77
Net investment income(a)
0.93
0.64
0.63
0.80
0.92
Net realized and unrealized gain
(loss)(b)
(0.24
)
(3.70
)
(0.51
)
0.04
1.94
Net increase (decrease) from
investment operations
0.69
(3.06
)
0.12
0.84
2.86
Distributions(c)
From net investment income
(0.94
)
(0.64
)
(0.65
)
(0.81
)
(1.03
)
From net realized gain
(0.07
)
Total distributions
(0.94
)
(0.64
)
(0.72
)
(0.81
)
(1.03
)
Net asset value, end of year
$21.08
$21.33
$25.03
$25.63
$25.60
Total Return(d)
Based on net asset value
3.19
%
(12.39
)%
0.47
%
3.33
%
12.31
%
Ratios to Average Net Assets(e)
Total expenses
0.28
%
0.28
%
0.28
%
0.28
%
0.28
%
Total expenses after fees waived
0.00
%
0.00
%(f)
0.00
%(f)
0.00
%(f)
0.00
%
Net investment income
4.27
%
2.74
%
2.49
%
3.12
%
3.69
%
Supplemental Data
Net assets, end of year (000)
$100,128
$77,854
$148,924
$190,935
$147,173
Portfolio turnover rate(g)
39
%
74
%
57
%
118
%
58
%

(a)
Based on average shares outstanding.
(b)
The amounts reported for a share outstanding may not accord with the change in aggregate gains and losses in securities for the fiscal period due to the timing of capital share transactions in relation to the fluctuating market values of the Fund’s underlying securities.
(c)
Distributions for annual periods determined in accordance with U.S. federal income tax regulations.
(d)
Where applicable, assumes the reinvestment of distributions.
(e)
Excludes fees and expenses incurred indirectly as a result of investments in underlying funds.
(f)
Rounds to less than 0.01%.
(g)
Portfolio turnover rate excludes in-kind transactions.
52


Index Provider
Morningstar is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Morningstar offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, retirement plan providers and sponsors, and institutional investors in the debt and private capital markets. Morningstar provides data and research insights on a wide range of investment offerings, including managed investment products, publicly listed companies, private capital markets, debt securities, and real-time global market data. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with approximately $264 billion in assets under advisement and management as of September 30, 2023. Morningstar has operations in 32 countries. Morningstar is not affiliated with the Trust, BFA, or the Distributor.
BFA or its affiliates have entered into a license agreement with the Index Provider to use the Underlying Index. BFA or its affiliates sublicense rights in the Underlying Index to the Trust at no charge.
Disclaimer
Bloomberg®, Bloomberg US Floating Rate Note ˂ 5 Years Index, Bloomberg U.S. Agency Bond Index and the Bloomberg U.S. MBS Index are service marks of Bloomberg Finance L.P. and its affiliates, including Bloomberg Index Services Limited (BISL), the administrator of the index (collectively, Bloomberg), and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by BFA.
The iShares Agency Bond ETF, iShares Floating Rate Bond ETF and iShares MBS ETF (the iShares Bloomberg Underlying Funds) are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Bloomberg. Bloomberg does not make any representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of or counterparties to the iShares Bloomberg Underlying Funds or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the iShares Bloomberg Underlying Funds particularly. The only relationship of Bloomberg to BFA is the licensing of certain trademarks, trade names and service marks and of the underlying index, which is determined, composed and calculated by BISL without regard to BFA or the iShares Bloomberg Underlying Funds. Bloomberg has no obligation to take the needs of BFA or the owners of the iShares Bloomberg Underlying Funds into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the underlying index. Bloomberg is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the timing of, prices at, or quantities of the iShares Bloomberg Underlying Funds to be issued. Bloomberg shall not have any obligation or liability, including, without limitation, to the iShares Bloomberg Underlying Funds’ customers, in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the iShares Bloomberg Underlying Funds.
BLOOMBERG DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE APPLICABLE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA RELATED THERETO AND SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS,
53


OMISSIONS OR INTERRUPTIONS THEREIN. BLOOMBERG DOES NOT MAKE ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY BFA, OWNERS OF THE ISHARES BLOOMBERG UNDERLYING FUNDS OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE APPLICABLE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA RELATED THERETO. BLOOMBERG DOES NOT MAKE ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE APPLICABLE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA RELATED THERETO. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT ALLOWED BY LAW, BLOOMBERG, ITS LICENSORS, AND ITS AND THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, CONTRACTORS, AGENTS, SUPPLIERS, AND VENDORS SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY WHATSOEVER FOR ANY INJURY OR DAMAGES—WHETHER DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE OR OTHERWISE—ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISHARES BLOOMBERG UNDERLYING FUNDS OR APPLICABLE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA OR VALUES RELATING THERETO—WHETHER ARISING FROM THEIR NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY THEREOF.
ICE® is a registered trademark of IDI or its affiliates and BofA® is a registered trademark of BofA licensed by BofA and its affiliates and may not be used without BofA’s prior written approval. These trademarks have been licensed, along with the ICE BofA 10+ Year US Corporate Index and ICE BofA 1-5 Year US Corporate Index for use by BFA in connection with the iShares 10+ Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF and iShares 1-5 Year Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (the iShares IDI Underlying Funds). Neither BlackRock, Inc., the Trust nor the iShares IDI Underlying Funds, as applicable, is sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by IDI, its affiliates or its third party suppliers (IDI and its Suppliers). IDI and its Suppliers make no representations or warranties regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally, in the iShares IDI Underlying Funds particularly, the Trust or the ability of the applicable underlying index to track general market performance. IDI’s only relationship to BlackRock is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names and the applicable underlying index or components thereof. The applicable underlying index is determined, composed and calculated by IDI without regard to BlackRock or the iShares IDI Underlying Funds or their holders. IDI has no obligation to take the needs of BlackRock or the holders of the iShares IDI Underlying Funds into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the applicable underlying index. IDI is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of the iShares IDI Underlying Funds to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the iShares IDI Underlying Funds are to be priced, sold, purchased, or redeemed. Except for certain custom index calculation services, all information provided by IDI is general in nature and not tailored to the needs of BlackRock or any other person, entity or group of persons. IDI has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing, or
54


trading of the iShares IDI Underlying Funds. IDI is not an investment adviser. Inclusion of a security within an index is not a recommendation by IDI to buy, sell, or hold such security, nor is it considered to be investment advice.
IDI AND ITS SUPPLIERS DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES AND REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS AND/OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, INCLUDING THE APPLICABLE UNDERLYING INDEX, INDEX DATA AND ANY INFORMATION INCLUDED IN, RELATED TO, OR DERIVED THEREFROM (INDEX DATA). IDI AND ITS SUPPLIERS SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO ANY DAMAGES OR LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO THE ADEQUACY, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS OR COMPLETENESS OF THE APPLICABLE UNDERLYING INDEX AND THE INDEX DATA, WHICH ARE PROVIDED ON AN AS IS BASIS AND YOUR USE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK.
The iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Markit. Markit makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF in particular, or the ability of the underlying index to track general stock market performance. Markit's only relationship to the Trust and BFA or its affiliates is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names of Markit and of the underlying index which is determined, composed and calculated by Markit without regard to the Trust, BFA or its affiliates or the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF. Markit has no obligation to take the needs of BFA or its affiliates or the owners of shares of the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the underlying index. Markit is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the prices and amount of shares of the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF, or the timing of the issuance or sale of such shares or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which shares of the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF are to be converted into cash. Markit has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of shares of the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF. Markit does not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the underlying index or any data included therein and Markit shall have no liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions therein.
Markit makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by BFA or its affiliates, owners of shares of the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF or any other person or entity from the use of the underlying index or any data included therein. Markit makes no express or implied warranties and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to the underlying index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall Markit have any liability for any special, punitive, direct, indirect or consequential damages (including lost profits) resulting from the use of the
55


underlying index or any data included therein, even if notified of the possibility of such damages.
The iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by J.P. Morgan. J.P. Morgan makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF in particular, or the ability of the underlying index to track general market performance. J.P. Morgan's only relationship to the Trust and BFA or its affiliates is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names of J.P. Morgan and of the underlying index which is determined, composed and calculated by J.P. Morgan without regard to the Trust, BFA or its affiliates or the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF. J.P. Morgan has no obligation to take the needs of BFA or its affiliates or the owners of shares of the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the underlying index. J.P. Morgan is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the prices and amount of shares of the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF, or the timing of the issuance or sale of such shares or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which shares of the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF are to be converted into cash. J.P. Morgan has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of shares of the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF. J.P. Morgan does not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the underlying index or any data included therein and J.P. Morgan shall have no liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions therein.
J.P. Morgan makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by BFA or its affiliates, owners of shares of the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF or any other person or entity from the use of the underlying index or any data included therein. J.P. Morgan makes no express or implied warranties and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to the underlying index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall J.P. Morgan have any liability for any special, punitive, direct, indirect or consequential damages (including lost profits) resulting from the use of the underlying index or any data included therein, even if notified of the possibility of such damages.
The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Morningstar. Morningstar makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Fund in particular, or the ability of the Underlying Index to track general market performance. Morningstar’s only relationship to the Trust and BFA or its affiliates is the licensing of certain trademarks and trade names of Morningstar and of the
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Underlying Index which is determined, composed and calculated by Morningstar without regard to the Trust, BFA or its affiliates or the Fund. Morningstar has no obligation to take the needs of BFA or its affiliates or the owners of shares of the Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Underlying Index. Morningstar is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the prices and amount of shares of the Fund, or the timing of the issuance or sale of such shares or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which shares of the Fund are to be converted into cash. Morningstar has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of shares of the Fund. Morningstar does not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein and Morningstar shall have no liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions therein.Morningstar makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by BFA or its affiliates, owners of shares of the Fund or any other person or entity from the use of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Morningstar makes no express or implied warranties and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall Morningstar have any liability for any special, punitive, direct, indirect or consequential damages (including lost profits) resulting from the use of the Underlying Index or any data included therein, even if notified of the possibility of such damages.
The past performance of the Underlying Index is not a guide to future performance. BFA and its affiliates do not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Index or any data included therein and BFA and its affiliates shall have no liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions therein. BFA and its affiliates make no warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the Fund or to any other person or entity, as to results to be obtained by the Fund from the use of the Underlying Index or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall BFA or its affiliates have any liability for any special, punitive, direct, indirect, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits), even if notified of the possibility of such damages.
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Want to know more?
iShares.com  | 1-800-474-2737
Information on the Fund’s net asset value, market price, premiums and discounts, and bid-ask spreads can be found at www.iShares.com. Copies of the Prospectus, SAI, shareholder reports and other information, as applicable and when available, can be found on our website at www.iShares.com. For more information about the Fund, you may request a copy of the SAI. The SAI provides detailed information about the Fund and is incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. This means that the SAI, for legal purposes, is a part of this Prospectus.
Additional information about the Fund's investments is, or will be, available in the Fund's Annual and Semi-Annual Reports to shareholders. In the Fund's Annual Report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund's performance during the last fiscal year.
If you have any questions about the Trust or shares of the Fund or you wish to obtain the SAI, Semi-Annual or Annual Report free of charge, please:
Call:
1-800-iShares or 1-800-474-2737 (toll free)
Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern time)
Email:
Write:
c/o BlackRock Investments, LLC
1 University Square Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540
Reports and other information about the Fund are available on the EDGAR database on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov, and copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: [email protected].
No person is authorized to give any information or to make any representations about the Fund and its shares not contained in this Prospectus and you should not rely on any other information. Read and keep this Prospectus for future reference.
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Investment Company Act File No.: 811-09729
IS-P-BYLD-0324