Prospectus

 

Innovator Laddered Allocation Power Buffer ETF

 

(Cboe BZX — BUFF)

 

 

 

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February 28, 2022

 

 

 

 

Innovator Laddered Allocation Power Buffer ETF™ (the “Fund”) is a series of Innovator ETFs Trust (the “Trust”) and an exchange-traded index fund. The Fund lists and principally trades its shares on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (“Cboe BZX” or the “Exchange”).

 

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

 

 
 
 


Table of Contents

 

 

Summary Information

1

   

Additional Information About the Fund’s Principal Investment Strategies

11

   

Fund Investments

11

   

Additional Risks of Investing in the Fund

12

   

Management of the Fund

19

   

How to Buy and Sell Shares

21

   

Dividends, Distributions and Taxes

22

   

Distributor

26

   

Net Asset Value

26

   

Index Information

28

   

Fund Service Providers

31

   

Premium/Discount Information

31

   

Investments by Other Investment Companies

32

   

Financial Highlights

33

 

 
 

 

 

Innovator Laddered Allocation Power Buffer ETF

 

 

 

Investment Objective

 

The Fund seeks investment results that generally correspond (before fees and expenses) to the performance of the Refinitiv Laddered Power Buffer Strategy Index (the “Index”).

 

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold, and sell shares of the Fund (“Shares”). You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table and example below.

 

Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)

 

   

Management Fees

0.20%

Distribution and Service (12b‑1) Fees

0.00%

Other Expenses

0.00%

Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses

0.79%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

0.99%

Fee Waiver(1)

(0.10)%

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver

0.89%

 

(1)

Innovator Capital Management, LLC, the Fund’s investment adviser, has agreed to waive management fees of 0.10% of average daily net assets until June 30, 2024. The waiver may be terminated by action of the Board of Trustees of the Trust at any time upon 60 days’ written notice by the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, or by the Fund’s investment adviser on or after June 30, 2024.

 

Example

 

This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds.

 

This example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain at current levels. This example does not include the brokerage commissions that Fund shareholders may pay to buy and sell Shares.

 

 

1 Year

3 Years

5 Years

10 Years

Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, your costs, based on these assumptions, would be:

$10

$44

$92

$235

 

1
 

 

Portfolio Turnover

 

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it purchases and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the example, may affect the Fund’s performance. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2021, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 1% of the average value of its portfolio.

 

Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets (including investment borrowing) in the exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) that comprise the Index. The Fund, using an indexing investment approach, seeks investment results that generally correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the Index. The Index provider, Refinitiv/Thomson Reuter (“Thomson Reuter” or the “Index Provider”), compiles, maintains and calculates the Index.

 

The Index is composed of the shares of twelve Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETFs (each, an “Underlying ETF,” and together, the “Underlying ETFs”). The Fund, in accordance with the Index, will be continuously invested in each of the Underlying ETFs and will rebalance semi-annually by purchasing and selling the Underlying ETFs to equally weight the Underlying ETFs. As further described below, each Underlying ETF seeks to provide a defined outcome based upon the price performance of the SPDR® S&P 500® ETF Trust (“SPY”) over the course of an approximately one-year time period (each, an “Outcome Period”) that begins on the first day of the month indicated in the Underlying ETF’s name. Each Underlying ETF seeks to provide returns that match the price return of SPY up to a capped amount for an applicable Outcome Period (a “Cap”) and a measure of downside protection from losses experienced by the price returns of SPY for such Outcome Period (i.e., a “buffer”).

 

The Index seeks to provide “laddered” investing in the Underlying ETFs. Laddered investing refers to investments in several similar securities that have different reset dates, with the goal of mitigating timing risks associated with investing in a single investment. The laddered approach of the Index is designed to help offset the timing risks inherent in the purchase of shares of a single Underlying ETF. Each Underlying ETF that comprises the Index seeks to provide outcomes with a specified Cap and buffer based upon the price return of SPY, but only for the duration of an entire Outcome Period. These outcomes may only be realized by holding shares of the Underlying ETF on the first day of its Outcome Period and continuing to hold them on the last day of its Outcome Period. Purchasing or selling shares of an Underlying ETF after an Outcome Period has begun may result in investment returns very different from those that the Underlying ETF seeks to provide for an entire Outcome Period. At any given point during an Outcome Period, an Underlying ETF may have more or less upside available to its respective Cap or more or less ability to benefit from its buffer when compared to the beginning of its Outcome Period. As a result of the performance of an Underlying ETF during its Outcome Period, once an Outcome Period has begun an investor that purchases shares of a single Underlying ETF may have little or no upside available to them for the remainder of the Outcome Period (because the Underlying ETF’s share price has increased to a level near its Cap) or little or no ability to benefit from a buffer (because the Underlying ETF’s share price has decreased in value by more than the downside protection). The Fund, in accordance with the Index, will typically buy an Underlying ETF on days other than the first day of its respective Outcome Period and sell an Underlying ETF on days other than the last day of its respective Outcome Period. However, by owning each of the Underlying ETFs at all times, the Fund will have a diversified exposure to the respective Caps and buffer that are available for each of the Underlying ETFs. An investment in the Fund allows a shareholder to participate in the outcomes of each Underlying ETF without undertaking any additional purchases or sales.

 

2
 

 

As indicated in the chart below, each month, one Underlying ETF concludes its one-year Outcome Period, and subsequently “rolls” into another one-year Outcome Period, refreshing its buffer level and resetting its Cap for another twelve months. This process repeats monthly, with the Index participating in a rolling set of Caps and buffer.

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With the laddered investment approach, the Fund will continue to have the potential to increase in a market environment where the value of SPY is steadily increasing, as it is likely that at least one of the Underlying ETFs will have performance capacity because it will have reset its Cap within the past month. In addition, the Fund will have the potential to derive benefit from a buffer in a market environment where SPY is steadily decreasing, as is it is likely that at least one of the Underlying ETFs will have a buffer against losses because it will have reset its buffer within the past month.

 

However, the Fund may not benefit from the Cap or buffer of an Underlying ETF. It is possible that all of the Underlying ETFs will have exceeded its respective Cap or that none of the Underlying ETFs will have a buffer against losses relative to their respective Outcome Periods. Such circumstance may continue until the beginning of the next month, at which point an Underlying ETF resets its buffer protection level and applicable Cap. In addition, for any given time period, the performance available for any single or group of Underlying ETF may exceed the exposures to Caps that the Fund has in owning all of the Underlying Funds. Similarly, for any given time period, the potential for a buffer against losses may be greater when owning a single or group of Underlying ETF that has more ability to benefit from a buffer than the buffer available by owning all of the Underlying ETFs. See “Risks – Fund-of-Funds Risk”.

 

3
 

 

The Underlying ETFs each utilize a defined outcome investing strategy. Defined outcome strategies seek to produce pre-determined investment outcomes based upon the performance of an underlying security or index. The Fund is a fund-of-funds and does not itself pursue a defined outcome strategy. The shares of the twelve ETFs comprising the Index are set forth below:

 

 

1.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — January (PJAN)

 

 

2.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — February (PFEB)

 

 

3.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — March (PMAR)

 

 

4.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — April (PAPR)

 

 

5.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — May (PMAY)

 

 

6.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — June (PJUN)

 

 

7.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — July (PJUL)

 

 

8.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — August (PAUG)

 

 

9.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — September (PSEP)

 

 

10.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — October (POCT)

 

 

11.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — November (PNOV)

 

 

12.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — December (PDEC)

 

Each Underlying ETF invests substantially all of its assets in FLexible EXchange® Options (“FLEX Options”) that reference SPY. Each Underlying ETF seeks to provide an outcome that is based upon the performance of SPY over the course of an approximately one-year time period that begins on the first day of the month indicated in the Underlying ETF’s name when the fund enters into its FLEX Option positions and ends on the market’s closure on the last day of the month immediately preceding the month indicated its name when those FLEX Options expire. For each Underlying ETF, the applicable Outcome Period has an upside return Cap that represents the maximum percentage return a Fund shareholder can achieve from an investment in the Underlying ETF for the Outcome Period and a buffer of 15% of losses. Each Underlying ETF’s Cap may vary. Each Cap is dependent on prevailing market conditions, especially then current interest rates and market volatility, at the times each Underlying ETF enters into its FLEX Options contracts.

 

The Index was created on July 15, 2020. On its inception date, the Index was equally allocated to shares of the twelve, monthly Underlying ETFs. The Index is reconstituted and rebalanced on a semi-annual basis. The Index will be scheduled to rebalance and reconstitute its portfolio securities on the third Wednesday of April and October each year. On each semi-annual rebalance date the Index will re-allocate its portfolio to invest in the Underlying ETFs equally, such that each Underlying ETF will constitute 1/12 of the Index portfolio. The Fund will purchase and sell Underlying ETFs in accordance with these scheduled rebalances. The Index’s semi-annual rebalance and reconstitution schedule may cause the Fund to experience a higher rate of portfolio turnover. Frequent turnover of the Fund’s portfolio securities may negatively affect the Fund’s performance because the Fund may pay higher levels of transaction costs and generate greater tax liabilities for shareholders. The amount of an individual Underlying ETF in the Fund will vary after its semi-annual rebalance date and therefore the percentage of Underlying ETFs held by the Fund may be dependent on its proximity to the Index’s rebalance date.

 

4
 

 

The section entitled “Additional Information About the Fund’s Principal Investment Strategies” contains additional information relating to the Underlying ETFs and graphics designed to illustrate the outcomes sought by the Underlying ETFs based upon the hypothetical performance of SPY.

 

Innovator Capital Management, LLC, the investment adviser to the Fund and the Underlying ETFs (“Innovator” or the “Adviser”), maintains a webpage for the Fund and each Underlying ETF that provides current information relating to the Underlying ETF’s sought-after outcomes, including the performance of SPY since the beginning of the Outcome Period, the Underlying ETF’s net asset value (“NAV”), the amount of investment gains possible until the Underlying ETF reaches the Cap, and the amount of buffer remaining. The address for each Underlying ETF’s webpage is set forth in the section entitled “Additional Information About the Fund’s Principal Investment Strategies.” These webpages will not only allow Fund shareholders and/or a prospective Fund shareholder to find current information about each Underlying ETF’s progress through its Outcome Period, but it also provides links to each Underlying ETF’s prospectus and statement of additional information, which describe the principal investment strategies and principal risks of each Underlying ETF in much greater detail. Fund shareholders and prospective Fund shareholders are encouraged to visit one or more of these webpages and read the prospectus and statement of additional information of the Underlying ETFs in connection with making investment decisions regarding either an Underlying ETF or the Fund.

 

The Fund is classified as “diversified” under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). To the extent the Index concentrates (i.e., holds 25% or more of its total assets) in the securities of a particular industry or group of industries, the Fund concentrates its investments to approximately the same extent.

 

Principal Risks

 

You could lose money by investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit of a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objective will be achieved. The order of the risk factors set forth below does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.

 

Fund-of-Funds Risk. Shareholders of the Fund will experience investment returns that are different than the investment returns provided by an Underlying ETF. The Fund does not itself pursue a defined outcome strategy, nor does the Fund itself provide a defined buffer against SPY losses. Because the Fund will typically not purchase an Underlying ETF on the first day of an Outcome Period, it is not likely that the stated outcome of the Underlying ETF will be realized by the Fund. The Fund will be continuously exposed to the investment profiles of each of the Underlying ETFs during their respective Outcome Periods. A purchaser of Shares will, therefore, have exposure to Underlying ETFs with differing profiles in terms of its upside performance availability to its Cap and potential for downside protection to its buffer. The Fund may invest in an Underlying ETF at times when the Underlying ETF is experiencing little or no benefit to its Cap or buffer. The Fund, with its aggregate exposure to each of the Underlying ETFs and it respective defined outcome profiles, may have investment returns that are inferior to that of any single Underlying ETF or group of Underlying ETFs over any given time period.

 

5
 

 

In between the semi-annual rebalance period of the Index, because the Fund is not equally weighted on a continuous basis, the Fund may be exposed to one or more Underlying ETFs disproportionately when compared to other Underlying ETFs. In such circumstances, the Fund will be subject to the over-weighted performance of such Underlying ETF.

 

As a shareholder in other ETFs, the Fund bears its proportionate share of each ETF’s expenses, subjecting Fund shareholders to duplicative expenses.

 

Underlying ETF Risk. While the Underlying ETFs seek to provide certain investment outcomes, there is no guarantee that they will successfully do so. Because the Fund’s value is based on the value of the Underlying ETF’s, the Fund’s investment performance largely depends on the investment performance and associated risks of the Underlying ETFs. The Underlying ETFs are subject to many of the same structural risks as the Fund that are described in more detail herein, such as Authorized Participant Concentration Risk, Fluctuation of Net Asset Value Risk, Market Maker Risk, Market Risk, Operational Risk and Trading Issues Risk. However, the risks of investing in an ETF also include the risks associated with the underlying investments held by the Underlying ETFs. As such, the Fund may be subject to the following risks as a result of its investments in the Underlying ETFs:

 

Buffered Loss Risk. There can be no guarantee that an Underlying ETF will be successful in its strategy to provide buffer protection against SPY losses if SPY decreases over the Outcome Period by 15% or less. A shareholder may lose their entire investment. An Underlying ETF’s strategy seeks to deliver returns that match SPY (up to the Cap), while limiting downside losses, if shares are bought on the day on which the Underlying ETF enters into the FLEX Options and held until those FLEX Options expire at the end of each Outcome Period. Since the Fund purchases shares of an Underlying ETF after the date on which the FLEX Options were entered into or sells shares of the Underlying ETF prior to the expiration of the FLEX Options, the buffer that the Underlying ETF seeks to provide may not be available. The Underlying ETFs do not provide principal protection or non-principal protection and the Fund, and therefore Fund shareholders, may experience significant losses on their investment, including the loss of their entire investment.

 

Capped Upside Return Risk. Each Underlying ETF’s strategy seeks to provide returns that are subject to the Cap. In the event that SPY has gains in excess of the Cap for the Outcome Period, an Underlying ETF will not participate in those gains beyond the Cap. An Underlying ETF’s strategy seeks to deliver returns that match those of SPY if shares of the Underlying ETF are bought on the day on which the Underlying ETF enters into the FLEX Options and held until those FLEX Options expire at the end of the Outcome Period. Since the Fund purchases shares of an Underlying ETF after the date on which the FLEX Options were entered into and the Underlying ETF has risen in value to a level near to the Cap, there may be little or no ability for the Fund, and therefore Fund shareholders, to experience an investment gain on their shares.

 

6
 

 

FLEX Options Risk. The Underlying ETFs will utilize FLEX Options issued and guaranteed for settlement by the Options Clearing Corporation (the “OCC”). The Underlying ETFs bear the risk that the OCC will be unable or unwilling to perform its obligations under the FLEX Options contracts. In the unlikely event that the OCC becomes insolvent or is otherwise unable to meet its settlement obligations, an Underlying ETF could suffer significant losses. Additionally, FLEX Options may be less liquid than certain other securities, such as standardized options. In less liquid markets for the FLEX Options, an Underlying ETF may have difficulty closing out certain FLEX Options positions at desired times and prices. An Underlying ETF may experience substantial downside from specific FLEX Option positions and certain FLEX Option positions may expire worthless. The FLEX Options held by the Underlying ETF are exercisable at the strike price on their expiration date. As a FLEX Option approaches its expiration date, its value typically increasingly moves with the value of SPY. However, prior to such date, the value of the FLEX Options does not increase or decrease at the same rate as SPY’s share price on a day-to-day basis (although they generally move in the same direction). The value of the underlying FLEX Options will be affected by, among others, changes in the SPY’s share price, changes in interest rates, changes in the actual and implied volatility of SPY and the remaining time to until the FLEX Options expire.

 

Options Risk. The use of option contracts involves investment strategies and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The prices of options are volatile and are influenced by, among other things, actual and anticipated changes in the value of the underlying instrument, changes in interest or currency exchange rates, including the anticipated volatility, which are affected by fiscal and monetary policies and by national and international political, changes in the actual or implied volatility or the reference asset, the time remaining until the expiration of the option contract and economic events. There may at times be an imperfect correlation between the movement in values option contracts and the reference asset, and there may at times not be a liquid secondary market for certain option contracts.

 

Outcome Period Risk. Each Underlying ETF’s investment strategy is designed to deliver returns that match SPY if Shares are bought on the day on which the Underlying ETF enters into the FLEX Options and held until those FLEX Options expire at the end of the Outcome Period. In the event the Fund purchases Shares after the date on which the FLEX Options were entered into or sells shares prior to the expiration of the FLEX Options, the returns realized by the Fund, and therefore Fund shareholders, will not match those that the Underlying ETF seeks to provide.

 

Liquidity Risk. In the event that trading in the underlying FLEX Options is limited or absent, the value of an Underlying ETF’s FLEX Options may decrease. There is no guarantee that a liquid secondary trading market will exist for the FLEX Options. The trading in FLEX Options may be less deep and liquid than the market for certain other securities, including certain non-customized options. In a less liquid market for the FLEX Options, terminating the FLEX Options may require the payment of a premium or acceptance of a discounted price and may take longer to complete. In a less liquid market for the FLEX Options, the liquidation of a large number of options may more significantly impact the price. A less liquid trading market may adversely impact the value of the FLEX Options and the value of your investment.

 

7
 

 

Valuation Risk. During periods of reduced market liquidity or in the absence of readily available market quotations for the holdings of an Underlying ETF, the ability of the Underlying ETF to value the FLEX Options becomes more difficult and the judgment of the Underlying ETF’s investment adviser (employing the fair value procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Trust) may play a greater role in the valuation of the Underlying ETF’s holdings due to reduced availability of reliable objective pricing data. Consequently, while such determinations may be made in good faith, it may nevertheless be more difficult for an Underlying ETF to accurately assign a daily value.

 

Underlying ETF Tax Risk. Each Underlying ETF intends to elect and to qualify each year to be treated as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Code. As a RIC, an Underlying ETF will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the portion of its net investment income and net capital gain that it distributes to shareholders (such as the Fund), provided that it satisfies certain requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). If an Underlying ETF does not qualify as a RIC for any taxable year and certain relief provisions are not available, the Underlying ETF’s taxable income will be subject to tax at the fund level and to a further tax at the shareholder level when such income is distributed. Additionally, buying securities shortly before the record date for a taxable dividend or capital gain distribution is commonly known as “buying the dividend.” In the event the Fund purchases shares of an Underlying ETF shortly before such a distribution, the entire distribution may be taxable to the Fund even though a portion of the distribution effectively represents a return of the purchase price. The Fund has based its analysis of its qualification as a RIC on the belief that the Underlying ETFs are themselves RICs. If an Underlying ETF were to lose its status as a RIC, the Fund may fail its requirement to have a diversified portfolio, and, thus, lose its own RIC status. If the Fund did not qualify as a RIC for any taxable year and certain relief provisions were not available, the Fund’s taxable income would be subject to tax at the Fund level and to a further tax at the Shareholder level when such income is distributed. In the event that the Fund fails to qualify as a RIC, the Fund will promptly notify Shareholders of the implications of that failure.

 

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Underlying ETFs concentrate in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or sector, the Fund will also concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. The Fund may be susceptible to loss due to adverse occurrences to the extent that the Fund’s investments are concentrated in a particular issuer or issuers, region, market, industry, group of industries, sector or asset class. As of the date of this prospectus, the Fund, due to its investment in the Underlying ETFs, has significant exposure to the information technology sector. For more information regarding the risks of the information technology sector, see the “Information Technology Companies Risk.”

 

8
 

 

Information Technology Companies Risk. The Underlying ETFs, through its exposure to SPY by virtue of such Underlying ETFs’ investment in FLEX Options that reference SPY, has significant exposure to information technology companies. Information technology companies face intense competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins. Like other technology companies, information technology companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. The products of information technology companies may face obsolescence due to rapid technological developments, frequent new product introduction, unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel. Companies in the information technology sector are heavily dependent on patent and intellectual property rights. The loss or impairment of these rights may adversely affect the profitability of these companies. Information technology companies are facing increased government and regulatory scrutiny and may be subject to adverse government or regulatory action.

 

Counterparty Risk. Counterparty risk is the risk an issuer, guarantor or counterparty of a security in an Underlying ETF is unable or unwilling to meet its obligation on the security. Counterparty risk may arise because of the counterparty’s financial condition, market activities, or for other reasons. The Underlying ETFs may be unable to recover an investment from a counterparty or may obtain a limited and/or delayed recovery. The OCC acts as guarantor and central counterparty with respect to the FLEX Options. As a result, the ability of an Underlying ETF to meet its objective depends on the OCC being able to meet its obligations. In the unlikely event that the OCC becomes insolvent or is otherwise unable to meet its settlement obligations, an Underlying ETF could suffer significant losses.

 

Correlation Risk. The FLEX Options held by the Underlying ETFs will be exercisable at the strike price only on their expiration date. As a FLEX Option approaches its expiration date, its value will typically increasingly move with the value of the SPY. However, prior to the expiration date, the value of FLEX Options may vary because of related factors other than the value of the SPY. Factors that may influence the value of FLEX Options include interest rate changes and implied volatility levels of SPY, among others. The value of FLEX Options held by the Underlying ETFs typically do not increase or decrease at the same level as the Underlying ETF’s share price on a day-to-day basis due to these factors (although they generally move in the same direction).

 

Investment Objective Risk. Certain circumstances under which an Underlying ETF might not achieve its objective include, but are not limited, to (i) if the Underlying ETF disposes of FLEX Options, (ii) if the Underlying ETF is unable to maintain the proportional relationship based on the number of FLEX Options in the fund’s portfolio, (iii) significant accrual of expenses in connection with effecting the Underlying ETF’s principal investment strategy or (iv) adverse tax law changes affecting the treatment of FLEX Options.

 

Upside Participation Risk. There can be no guarantee that an Underlying ETF will be successful in its strategy to provide the Fund and Fund shareholders with a total return that matches the increase of SPY over the Outcome Period, up to the maximum return imposed by the Cap. In the event the Fund purchases shares after the date on which the FLEX Options were entered into or does not stay invested in Underlying ETF for the entirety of the Outcome Period, the returns realized by the Fund, and therefore Fund shareholders, may not match those that the Underlying ETF seeks to achieve.

 

9
 

 

Cap Change Risk. A new Cap is established for each Underlying ETF at the beginning of each Outcome Period and is dependent on prevailing market conditions. As such, the Cap may rise or fall from one Outcome Period to the next and is unlikely to remain the same for consecutive Outcome Periods.

 

Cash Transactions Risk. The Underlying ETFs intend to effectuate creations and redemptions for cash, rather than in-kind securities. As a result, an investment in an Underlying ETF may be less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that effects its creations and redemptions only on an in-kind basis. Because an Underlying ETF will effect redemptions for cash, it may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. A sale of shares may result in capital gains or losses and may also result in higher brokerage costs. Consequently, an investment in an Underlying ETF may be less tax-efficient than investments in other ETFs. Moreover, cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees and taxes. These brokerage fees and taxes, which will be higher than if an Underlying ETF sold and redeemed its shares principally in-kind, will be passed on to purchasers and redeemers of shares in the form of creation and redemption transaction fees. In addition, these factors may result in wider spreads between the bid and the offered prices of shares than for other ETFs.

 

Authorized Participant Concentration Risk. Only an authorized participant (“AP”) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. The Fund has a limited number of institutions that may act as APs on an agency basis (i.e., on behalf of other market participants). To the extent that APs exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders with respect to the Fund and no other AP is able to step forward to create or redeem “Creation Units” (large blocks of a specified number of shares), Shares may be more likely to trade at a premium or discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting.

 

Cyber Security Risk. As the use of Internet technology has become more prevalent, the investment industry has become more susceptible to potential operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause the Fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. Cyber security breaches may involve unauthorized access to the Fund’s digital information systems through “hacking” or malicious software coding, but may also result from outside attacks such as denial-of-service attacks through efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users. In addition, cyber security breaches of the Fund’s third-party service providers, such as its administrator, transfer agent, custodian, or issuers in which the Fund invests, can also subject the Fund to many of the same risks associated with direct cyber security breaches. The Fund has established risk management systems designed to reduce the risks associated with cyber security. However, there is no guarantee that such efforts will succeed, especially because the Fund does not directly control the cyber security systems of issuers or third-party service providers.

 

10
 

 

Fluctuation of Net Asset Value Risk. The Fund’s Shares trade on the Exchange at their market price rather than their NAV. The market price may be at, above or below the Fund’s NAV. Differences in market price and NAV may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the holdings of the Fund trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. These differences can be especially pronounced during times of market volatility or stress. During these periods, the demand for Shares may decrease considerably and cause the market price of Shares to deviate significantly from the Fund’s NAV.

 

Index Provider Risk. The Fund seeks to achieve returns that generally correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the Index, as published by the Index Provider. There is no assurance that the Index Provider will compile its Index accurately, or that the Index will be determined, composed or calculated accurately. While the Index Provider gives descriptions of what the Index is designed to achieve, the Index Provider does not provide any warranty or accept any liability in relation to the quality, accuracy or completeness of data in the Index, and it does not guarantee that its Index will be in line with its methodology.

 

Index Risk. The Fund is not actively managed. The Fund invests in securities included in its Index regardless of their investment merit. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not utilize an investing strategy that seeks returns in excess of the Index. Therefore, it would not necessarily buy or sell a security unless that security is added or removed, respectively, from the Index, even if that security generally is underperforming.

 

Market Maker Risk. If the Fund has lower average daily trading volumes, it may rely on a small number of third-party market makers to provide a market for the purchase and sale of Shares. Any trading halt or other problem relating to the trading activity of these market makers could result in a dramatic change in the spread between the Fund’s NAV and the price at which the Shares are trading on the Exchange, which could result in a decrease in value of the Shares. In addition, decisions by market makers or APs to reduce their role or step away from these activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying values of the Fund’s portfolio securities and the Fund’s market price. This reduced effectiveness could result in Shares trading at a discount to NAV and also in greater than normal intra-day bid-ask spreads for Shares.

 

Market Risk. The Fund could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. Assets may decline in value due to factors affecting financial markets generally or particular asset classes or industries represented in the markets. The value of the Underlying ETFs, the FLEX Options held by such Underlying ETFs, or other assets may also decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or other asset, or due to factors that affect a particular issuer or issuers, country, group of countries, region, market, industry, group of industries, sector or asset class. During a general market downturn, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Changes in market conditions and interest rates will not have the same impact on all types of securities. Securities, including Shares, are subject to market fluctuations and liquidity constraints that may be caused by factors such as economic, political, or regulatory developments, changes in interest rates, and/or perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of the Fund could decline in value or underperform other investments.

 

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Non-Correlation Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities, especially when rebalancing the Fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of the Index. Although the Fund currently intends to seek to fully replicate the Index, the Fund may use a representative sampling approach, which may cause the Fund not to be as well-correlated with the return of the Index as would be the case if the Fund purchased all of the securities in the Index in the proportions represented in the Index. In addition, the performance of the Fund and the Index may vary due to asset valuation differences and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index resulting from legal restrictions, cost or liquidity constraints.

 

Operational Risk. The Fund is exposed to operational risks arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund and its Adviser and Sub-Adviser (as defined below) 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 these risks.

 

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund invests in the securities included in the Index regardless of their investment merit. The Fund does not attempt to outperform the Index or take defensive positions in declining markets. As a result, the Fund’s performance may be adversely affected by a general decline in the market segments relating to the Index.

 

Trading Issues Risk. Although the Shares are listed for trading on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such Shares will develop or be maintained. Shares trade on the Exchange at market prices that may be below, at or above the Fund’s NAV. Trading in Shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange “circuit breaker” rules. Market makers are under no obligation to make a market in the Shares, and APs are not obligated to submit purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

 

The Shares will change in value, and you could lose money by investing in the Fund. The Fund may not achieve its investment objective.

 

Performance

 

On or about February 9, 2022, the Fund changed its name from “Innovator Laddered Fund of U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETFs™” to “Innovator Laddered Allocation Power Buffer ETF™”. The Fund was reorganized on or about October 14, 2021 from Innovator Laddered Fund of U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETFs™ (the “Predecessor Fund”), a series of Innovator ETFs Trust II, into Innovator ETFs Trust, a Delaware statutory trust. The Fund is a continuation of the Predecessor Fund and therefore adopts the performance information of the Predecessor Fund (as shown below). On or about August 25, 2021, the Predecessor Fund changed its name from “Innovator Laddered Fund of S&P 500 Power Buffer ETFs™” to “Innovator Laddered Fund of U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETFs™”. On August 11, 2020, the Predecessor Fund ceased tracking the Lunt Capital US Large Cap Equity Rotation Index, a U.S. large cap equity index, and began pursuing its investment strategy of investing in the ETFs that comprise the Index. Therefore, the Fund’s performance and historical returns shown below are not necessarily indicative of the performance that the Fund, based on the current strategy, would have generated. The Fund’s performance information is accessible on the Fund’s website at www.innovatoretfs.com.

 

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The bar chart and table below illustrate the annual calendar year returns of the Fund based on net asset value as well as the average annual Fund and Index returns. The bar chart and table provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund’s performance from year-to-year and by showing how the Fund’s average annual total returns based on NAV compared to those of its Index and a broad-based market index.

 

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The Fund’s highest quarterly return was 24.24% (quarter ended June 30, 2020) and the Fund’s lowest quarterly return was (34.91)% (quarter ended March 31, 2020).

 

Average Annual Total Return as of December 31, 2021

Innovator Laddered Allocation Power Buffer ETF

1 Year

5 Years

Since Inception

(10/19/16)

Return Before Taxes         

8.46%

6.39%

8.50%

Return After Taxes on Distributions         

8.46%

5.97%

8.08%

Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares         

5.01%

4.90%

6.62%

Refinitiv Diversified Power Buffer Strategy Index(1) (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes)         

8.63%

N/A

N/A

S&P 500® Total Return Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes)         

28.71%

18.47%

18.79%

(1)

On August 11, 2020, the Fund’s underlying index changed from the Lunt Capital U.S. Large Cap Equity Rotation Index to the Refinitiv Diversified Power Buffer Strategy Index. Therefore, the Fund’s performance and historical returns shown for the periods prior to August 11, 2020 are not indicative of the performance that the Fund, based on its current index, would have generated.

 

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The Fund’s past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future.

 

Returns before taxes do not reflect the effects of any income or capital gains taxes. All after-tax returns are calculated using the historical highest individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of any state or local tax. Returns after taxes on distributions reflect the taxed return on the payment of dividends and capital gains.

 

Your own actual after-tax returns will depend on your specific tax situation and may differ from what is shown here. After-tax returns are not relevant to Fund shareholders who hold Shares in tax-deferred accounts such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) or employee-sponsored retirement plans.

 

Management

 

Investment Adviser

 

Innovator Capital Management, LLC

 

Investment Sub-Adviser

 

Penserra Capital Management LLC (“Penserra” or the “Sub-Adviser”)

 

Portfolio Managers

 

The following persons serve as the portfolio managers of the Fund.

 

 

Dustin Lewellyn

 

 

Ernesto Tong

 

 

Anand Desai

 

The portfolio managers are primarily and jointly responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund and have served in such capacity since April 2018.

 

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

 

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares at NAV only with APs that have entered into agreements with the Fund’s Distributor (as defined below) and only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, in exchange for the deposit or delivery of a basket of securities in which the Fund invests. The Fund may issue and redeem Shares in exchange for cash at a later date but has no current intention of doing so. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, the Shares are not redeemable securities of the Fund.

 

Individual Shares may only be bought and sold in the secondary market (i.e., on a national securities exchange) through a broker or dealer at a market price. Because the Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (at a premium), at NAV, or less than NAV (at a discount). An investor may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase Shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for Shares (ask) when buying or selling shares in the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”).

 

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Recent information, including information on the Fund’s NAV, market price, premiums and discounts, and bid-ask spreads, is available online at www.innovatoretfs.com.

 

Tax Information

 

The Fund’s distributions will generally be taxable as ordinary income, returns of capital or capital gains. A sale of Shares may result in capital gain or loss.

 

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

 

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

 

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Additional Information About the Funds Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund’s investment objective may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board”) without shareholder approval upon 60 days’ prior written notice. Additionally, the Fund may liquidate and terminate at any time without shareholder approval.

 

The Fund uses an “indexing” investment approach to attempt to replicate, before fees and expenses, the performance of the Index. The Fund generally invests in all of the securities comprising the Index in proportion to the weightings of the securities in the Index. Under various circumstances, it may not be possible or practicable to purchase all of the securities comprising the Index. In those circumstances, the Fund may purchase a representative sample of securities in the Index.

 

Additional Information About the Refinitiv Diversified Power Buffer Strategy Index

 

The Index is comprised of the shares of the twelve Underlying ETFs set forth below:

 

 

1.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — January (www.innovatoretfs.com/pjan)

 

 

2.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — February (www.innovatoretfs.com/pfeb)

 

 

3.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — March (www.innovatoretfs.com/pmar)

 

 

4.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — April (www.innovatoretfs.com/papr)

 

 

5.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — May (www.innovatoretfs.com/pmay)

 

 

6.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — June (www.innovatoretfs.com/pjun)

 

 

7.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — July (www.innovatoretfs.com/pjul)

 

 

8.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — August (www.innovatoretfs.com/paug)

 

 

9.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — September (www.innovatoretfs.com/psep)

 

 

10.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — October (www.innovatoretfs.com/poct)

 

 

11.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — November (www.innovatoretfs.com/pnov)

 

 

12.

Innovator U.S. Equity Power Buffer ETF™ — December (www.innovatoretfs.com/pdec)

 

These webpages will not only allow Fund shareholders and/or a prospective Fund shareholder to find current information about each Underlying ETF’s progress through its Outcome Period, but it also provides links to each Underlying ETF’s prospectus and statement of additional information, which describe the principal investment strategies and principal risks of each Underlying ETF in much greater detail. Fund shareholders and prospective Fund shareholders are encouraged to visit one or more of these webpages and read the prospectus and statement of additional information of the Underlying ETFs in connection with making investment decisions regarding either an Underlying ETF or the Fund.

 

Each Underlying ETF invests at least 80% of its net assets in FLEX Options that reference SPY, an ETF that tracks the S&P 500® Index. The S&P 500® Index is a large-cap, market-weighted, U.S. equities index that tracks the price (excluding dividends) of the 500 leading companies in leading industries. The S&P 500® Index is rebalanced quarterly in March, June, September and December.

 

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The Underlying ETFs gain exposure to SPY through investments in FLEX Options. FLEX Options are customizable exchange-traded option contracts guaranteed for settlement by the OCC. Each Underlying ETF seeks to provide an outcome that is based upon the performance of SPY over the course of an approximately one-year time period that begins on the first day of the month indicated in the Underlying ETF’s name when the fund enters into its FLEX Option positions and ends on the market’s closure on the last day of the month immediately preceding the month indicated its name when those FLEX Options expire (each, an “Outcome Period”). Each Underlying ETF, and not the Fund itself, seeks to provide the following outcomes (the “Outcomes”) over the duration of its Outcome Period. There is no guarantee that an Underlying ETF will achieve its Outcomes.

 

 

In the event that SPY increases in value over the duration of the Outcome Period, the Underlying ETF seeks to provide investment returns that match the performance of SPY, up to an upside return cap that represents the maximum percentage return a Fund shareholder can achieve from an investment in the Underlying ETF for the Outcome Period (a “Cap”).

 

 

In the event that SPY decreases in value by less than 15% over the duration of the Outcome Period, the Underlying ETF seeks to provide investment return of 0%.

 

 

In the event that SPY decreases in value by more than 15% over the duration of the Outcome Period, the Underlying ETF seeks to provide investment return that is 15% less than the return experienced by SPY.

 

The two hypothetical graphical illustrations provided below are designed to illustrate the Outcomes based upon the hypothetical performance of SPY for a shareholder that holds shares of an Underlying ETF for the entirety of the Outcome Period for such Underlying ETF. There is no guarantee that an Underlying ETF will be successful in its attempt to provide the Outcomes for an Outcome Period. The returns that each Underlying ETF seeks to provide do not include the costs associated with purchasing shares of the Underlying ETF and certain expenses incurred by such Underlying ETF.

 

17
 

 

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Fund Investments

 

Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets in the securities that comprise the Index.

 

Principal Investments

 

Exchange-Traded Funds

 

ETFs are registered investment companies that trade on a securities exchange. The shares of ETFs may, at times, trade at a premium or discount to their net asset value. In addition, the Fund will incur brokerage costs when purchasing and selling shares of ETFs. As a shareholder in an ETF, the Fund will bear its ratable share of the ETF’s expenses, and would remain subject to payment of the ETF’s advisory and administrative fees with respect to assets so invested. Shareholders would therefore be subject to duplicative expenses. Securities of ETFs may be leveraged, in which case the value and/or yield of such securities will tend to be more volatile than securities of unleveraged securities.

 

Generally, investments in ETFs are subject to statutory limitations prescribed by the 1940 Act. These limitations include a prohibition on the Fund acquiring more than 3% of the voting shares of any other investment company, a prohibition on investing more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets in the securities of any one investment company or more than 10% of its total assets, in the aggregate, in investment company securities. The Fund will invest in the Underlying ETFs beyond these statutory limitations in reliance on Section 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act.

 

Additional Risks of Investing in the Fund

 

Risk is inherent in all investing. Investing in the Fund involves risk, including the risk that you may lose all or part of your investment. There can be no assurance that the Fund will meet its stated objective. Before you invest, you should consider the following supplemental disclosure pertaining to the Principal Risks set forth above as well as additional Non-Principal Risks set forth below in this prospectus. The order of the risk factors set forth below does not indicate the significance of any particular risk factor.

 

Fund-of-Funds Risk. Shareholders of the Fund will experience investment returns that are different than the investment returns provided by an Underlying ETF. The Fund does not itself pursue a defined outcome strategy, nor does the Fund itself provide a defined buffer against SPY losses. Because the Fund will typically not purchase an Underlying ETF on the first day of an Outcome Period, it is not likely that the stated outcome of the Underlying ETF will be realized by the Fund. The Fund will be continuously exposed to the investment profiles of each of the Underlying ETFs during their respective Outcome Periods. A purchaser of Shares will, therefore, have exposure to Underlying ETFs with differing profiles in terms of its upside performance availability to its Cap and potential for downside protection to its buffer. The Fund may invest in an Underlying ETF at times when the Underlying ETF is experiencing little or no benefit to its Cap or buffer. The Fund, with its aggregate exposure to each of the Underlying ETFs and it respective defined outcome profiles, may have investment returns that are inferior to that of any single Underlying ETF or group of Underlying ETFs over any given time period.

 

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In between the semi-annual rebalance period of the Index, because the Fund is not equally weighted on a continuous basis, the Fund may be exposed to one or more Underlying ETFs disproportionately when compared to other Underlying ETFs. In such circumstances, the Fund will be subject to the over-weighted performance of such Underlying ETF.

 

As a shareholder in other ETFs, the Fund bears its proportionate share of each ETF’s expenses, subjecting Fund shareholders to duplicative expenses.

 

Underlying ETF Risk. Because the Fund’s value is based on the value of the Underlying ETF’s, the Fund’s investment performance largely depends on the investment performance and associated risks of the Underlying ETFs. The Underlying ETFs are subject to many of the same structural risks as the Fund that are described in more detail herein, such as Authorized Participant Concentration Risk, Fluctuation of Net Asset Value Risk, Market Maker Risk, Market Risk, Operational Risk and Trading Issues Risk. However, the risks of investing in an ETF also include the risks associated with the underlying investments held by the Underlying ETFs. As such, the Fund may be subject to the following risks as a result of its investments in the Underlying ETFs:

 

Buffered Loss Risk. There can be no guarantee that an Underlying ETF will be successful in its strategy to provide buffer protection against SPY losses if SPY decreases over the Outcome Period by 15% or less. A shareholder may lose their entire investment. An Underlying ETF’s strategy seeks to deliver returns that match SPY (up to the Cap), while limiting downside losses, if shares are bought on the day on which the Underlying ETF enters into the FLEX Options and held until those FLEX Options expire at the end of each Outcome Period. Since the Fund purchases shares of an Underlying ETF after the date on which the FLEX Options were entered into or sells shares of the Underlying ETF prior to the expiration of the FLEX Options, the buffer that the Underlying ETF seeks to provide may not be available. The Underlying ETFs do not provide principal protection or non-principal protection and the Fund, and therefore Fund shareholders, may experience significant losses on their investment, including the loss of their entire investment.

 

Capped Upside Return Risk. Each Underlying ETF’s strategy seeks to provide returns that are subject to the Cap. In the event that SPY has gains in excess of the Cap for the Outcome Period, an Underlying ETF will not participate in those gains beyond the Cap. An Underlying ETF’s strategy seeks to deliver returns that match those of SPY if shares of the Underlying ETF are bought on the day on which the Underlying ETF enters into the FLEX Options and held until those FLEX Options expire at the end of the Outcome Period. Since the Fund purchases shares of an Underlying ETF after the date on which the FLEX Options were entered into and the Underlying ETF has risen in value to a level near to the Cap, there may be little or no ability for the Fund, and therefore Fund shareholders, to experience an investment gain on their shares.

 

FLEX Options Risk. The Underlying ETFs will utilize FLEX Options issued and guaranteed for settlement by the OCC. The Underlying ETFs bear the risk that the OCC will be unable or unwilling to perform its obligations under the FLEX Options contracts. In the unlikely event that the OCC becomes insolvent or is otherwise unable to meet its settlement obligations, an Underlying ETF could suffer significant losses. Additionally, FLEX Options may be less liquid than certain other securities such as standardized options. In less liquid markets for the FLEX Options, an Underlying ETF may have difficulty closing out certain FLEX Options positions at desired times and prices. An Underlying ETF may experience substantial downside from specific FLEX Option positions and certain FLEX Option positions may expire worthless. The FLEX Options held by the Underlying ETF are exercisable at the strike price on their expiration date. As a FLEX Option approaches its expiration date, its value typically increasingly moves with the value of SPY. However, prior to such date, the value of the FLEX Options does not increase or decrease at the same rate as SPY’s share price on a day-to-day basis (although they generally move in the same direction). The value of the underlying FLEX Options will be affected by, among others, changes in the SPY’s share price, changes in interest rates, changes in the actual and implied volatility of SPY and the remaining time until the FLEX Options expire.

 

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Options Risk. The use of option contracts involves investment strategies and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The prices of options are volatile and are influenced by, among other things, actual and anticipated changes in the value of the underlying instrument, changes in interest or currency exchange rates, including the anticipated volatility, which are affected by fiscal and monetary policies and by national and international political, changes in the actual or implied volatility or the reference asset, the time remaining until the expiration of the option contract and economic events. There may at times be an imperfect correlation between the movement in values option contracts and the reference asset, and there may at times not be a liquid secondary market for certain option contracts.

 

Outcome Period Risk. Each Underlying ETF’s investment strategy is designed to deliver returns that match SPY if Shares are bought on the day on which the Underlying ETF enters into the FLEX Options and held until those FLEX Options expire at the end of the Outcome Period. In the event the Fund purchases Shares after the date on which the FLEX Options were entered into or sells shares prior to the expiration of the FLEX Options, the returns realized by the Fund, and therefore Fund shareholders, will not match those that the Underlying ETF seeks to provide.

 

Liquidity Risk. In the event that trading in the underlying FLEX Options is limited or absent, the value of an Underlying ETF’s FLEX Options may decrease. There is no guarantee that a liquid secondary trading market will exist for the FLEX Options. The trading in FLEX Options may be less deep and liquid than the market for certain other securities, including certain non-customized options. In a less liquid market for the FLEX Options, terminating the FLEX Options may require the payment of a premium or acceptance of a discounted price and may take longer to complete. In a less liquid market for the FLEX Options, the liquidation of a large number of options may more significantly impact the price. A less liquid trading market may adversely impact the value of the FLEX Options and the value of your investment.

 

Valuation Risk. During periods of reduced market liquidity or in the absence of readily available market quotations for the holdings of an Underlying ETF, the ability of the Underlying ETF to value the FLEX Options becomes more difficult and the judgment of the Underlying ETF’s investment adviser (employing the fair value procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Trust) may play a greater role in the valuation of the Underlying ETF’s holdings due to reduced availability of reliable objective pricing data. Consequently, while such determinations may be made in good faith, it may nevertheless be more difficult for an Underlying ETF to accurately assign a daily value.

 

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Underlying ETF Tax Risk. Each Underlying ETF intends to elect and to qualify each year to be treated as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. However, the federal income tax treatment of certain aspects of the proposed operations of the Underlying ETFs are not entirely clear. This includes the tax aspects of each Underlying ETF’s options strategy, its hedging strategy, the possible application of the “straddle” rules, and various loss limitation provisions of the Code. If in any year, an Underlying ETF fails to qualify as a RIC under the applicable tax laws, the Underlying ETF would be taxed as an ordinary corporation. Certain options on an ETF may not qualify as “Section 1256 contracts” under Section 1256 of the Code, and disposition of such options will likely result in short term capital gains or losses. Each Underlying ETF intends to treat any income it may derive from the FLEX Options as “qualifying income” under the provisions of the Code applicable to RICs. In addition, based upon language in the legislative history, each Underlying ETF intends to treat the issuer of the FLEX Options as the referenced asset, which, assuming the referenced asset qualifies as a RIC, would allow each Underlying ETF to qualify for special rules in the RIC diversification requirements. If the income is not qualifying income or the issuer of the FLEX Options is not appropriately the referenced asset, each Underlying ETF could lose its own status as a RIC.

 

The Fund has based its analysis of its qualification as a RIC on the belief that the Underlying ETFs are themselves RICs. If an Underlying ETF were to lose its status as a RIC, the Fund may fail its requirement to have a diversified portfolio, and, thus, lose its own RIC status. If the Fund did not qualify as a RIC for any taxable year and certain relief provisions were not available, the Fund’s taxable income would be subject to tax at the Fund level and to a further tax at the Shareholder level when such income is distributed. In such event, in order to re-qualify for taxation as a RIC, the Fund might be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest and make certain distributions. This would cause investors to incur higher tax liabilities than they otherwise would have incurred and would have a negative impact on Fund returns. In such event, the Fund’s Board of Trustees may determine to reorganize or close the Fund or materially change the Fund’s investment objective and strategies. In the event that the Fund fails to qualify as a RIC, the Fund will promptly notify Shareholders of the implications of that failure.

 

Concentration Risk. To the extent that the Underlying ETFs concentrate in the securities of issuers in a particular industry or sector, the Fund will also concentrate its investments to approximately the same extent. The Fund may be susceptible to loss due to adverse occurrences to the extent that the Fund’s investments are concentrated in a particular issuer or issuers, region, market, industry, group of industries, sector or asset class. As of the date of this prospectus, the Fund, due to its investment in the Underlying ETFs, has significant exposure to the information technology sector. For more information regarding the risks of the information technology sector, see the “Information Technology Companies Risk.”

 

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Information Technology Companies Risk. The Underlying ETFs, through its exposure to SPY through such Underlying ETFs’ investment in FLEX Options that reference SPY, has significant exposure to information technology companies. Information technology companies face intense competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins. Like other technology companies, information technology companies may have limited product lines, markets, financial resources or personnel. The products of information technology companies may face obsolescence due to rapid technological developments, frequent new product introduction, unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel. Companies in the information technology sector are heavily dependent on patent and intellectual property rights. The loss or impairment of these rights may adversely affect the profitability of these companies. Information technology companies are facing increased government and regulatory scrutiny and may be subject to adverse government or regulatory action.

 

Counterparty Risk. Counterparty risk is the risk an issuer, guarantor or counterparty of a security in an Underlying ETF is unable or unwilling to meet its obligation on the security. Counterparty risk may arise because of the counterparty’s financial condition, market activities, or for other reasons. The Underlying ETFs may be unable to recover an investment from a counterparty or may obtain a limited and/or delayed recovery. The OCC acts as guarantor and central counterparty with respect to the FLEX Options. As a result, the ability of an Underlying ETF to meet its objective depends on the OCC being able to meet its obligations. In the unlikely event that the OCC becomes insolvent or is otherwise unable to meet its settlement obligations, an Underlying ETF could suffer significant losses.

 

Correlation Risk. The FLEX Options held by the Underlying ETFs will be exercisable at the strike price only on their expiration date. As a FLEX Option approaches its expiration date, its value will typically increasingly move with the value of the SPY. However, prior to the expiration date, the value of FLEX Options may vary because of related factors other than the value of the SPY. Factors that may influence the value of FLEX Options include interest rate changes and implied volatility levels of SPY, among others. The value of FLEX Options held by the Underlying ETFs typically do not increase or decrease at the same level as the Underlying ETF’s share price on a day-to-day basis due to these factors (although they generally move in the same direction).

 

Investment Objective Risk. Certain circumstances under which an Underlying ETF might not achieve its objective include, but are not limited, to (i) if the Underlying ETF disposes of FLEX Options, (ii) if the Underlying ETF is unable to maintain the proportional relationship based on the number of FLEX Options in the fund’s portfolio, (iii) significant accrual of f expenses in connection with effecting the Underlying ETF’s principal investment strategy or (iv) adverse tax law changes affecting the treatment of FLEX Options.

 

Upside Participation Risk. There can be no guarantee that an Underlying ETF will be successful in its strategy to provide the Fund and Fund shareholders with a total return that matches the increase of SPY over the Outcome Period, up to the maximum return imposed by the Cap. In the event the Fund purchases shares after the date on which the FLEX Options were entered into or does not stay invested in Underlying ETF for the entirety of the Outcome Period, the returns realized by the Fund, and therefore Fund shareholders, may not match those that the Underlying ETF seeks to achieve.

 

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Cap Change Risk. A new Cap is established for each Underlying ETF at the beginning of each Outcome Period and is dependent on prevailing market conditions. As such, the Cap may rise or fall from one Outcome Period to the next and is unlikely to remain the same for consecutive Outcome Periods.

 

Cash Transactions Risk. The Underlying ETFs intend to effectuate creations and redemptions for cash, rather than in-kind securities. As a result, an investment in an Underlying ETF may be less tax-efficient than an investment in an ETF that effects its creations and redemptions only on an in-kind basis. Because an Underlying ETF will effect redemptions for cash, it may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. A sale of shares may result in capital gains or losses and may also result in higher brokerage costs. Consequently, an investment in an Underlying ETF may be less tax-efficient than investments in other ETFs. Moreover, cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees and taxes. These brokerage fees and taxes, which will be higher than if an Underlying ETF sold and redeemed its shares principally in-kind, will be passed on to purchasers and redeemers of shares in the form of creation and redemption transaction fees. In addition, these factors may result in wider spreads between the bid and the offered prices of shares than for other ETFs.

 

Authorized Participant Concentration Risk. Only an AP may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. The Fund has a limited number of institutions that may act as APs on an agency basis (i.e., on behalf of other market participants). To the extent that APs exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders with respect to the Fund and no other authorized participant is able to step forward to create or redeem Creation Units, Shares may be more likely to trade at a premium or discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting.

 

Cyber Security Risk. As the use of Internet technology has become more prevalent, the investment industry has become more susceptible to potential operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause the Fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. Cyber security breaches may involve unauthorized access to the Fund’s digital information systems through “hacking” or malicious software coding, but may also result from outside attacks such as denial-of-service attacks through efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users. In addition, cyber security breaches of the Fund’s third-party service providers, such as its administrator, transfer agent, custodian, or issuers in which the Fund invests, can also subject the Fund to many of the same risks associated with direct cyber security breaches. The Fund has established risk management systems designed to reduce the risks associated with cyber security. However, there is no guarantee that such efforts will succeed, especially because the Fund does not directly control the cyber security systems of issuers or third-party service providers.

 

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Fluctuation of Net Asset Value Risk. The Fund’s Shares trade on the Exchange at their market price rather than their NAV. The market price may be at, above or below the Fund’s NAV. Differences in market price and NAV may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the holdings of the Fund trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. These differences can be especially pronounced during times of market volatility or stress. During these periods, the demand for Shares may decrease considerably and cause the market price of Shares to deviate significantly from the Fund’s NAV.

 

Index Risk. The Fund is not actively managed. The Fund invests in securities included in its Index regardless of their investment merit. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not utilize an investing strategy that seeks returns in excess of the Index. Therefore, it would not necessarily buy or sell a security unless that security is added or removed, respectively, from the Index, even if that security generally is underperforming.

 

Index Provider Risk. The Fund seeks to achieve returns that generally correspond, before fees and expenses, to the performance of their Index, as published the Index Provider. There is no assurance that the Index Provider will compile its Index accurately, or that the Index will be determined, composed or calculated accurately. While the Index Provider gives descriptions of what the Index is designed to achieve, the Index Provider does not provide any warranty o accept any liability in relation to the quality, accuracy or completeness of data in the Index, and it does not guarantee that its Index will be in line with its methodology. Errors made by the Index Provider with respect to the quality, accuracy and completeness of the data within the Index may occur from time to time and may not be identified and corrected by the Index Provider for a period of time, if at all. Therefore, gains, losses or costs associated with Index Provider errors will generally be borne by the Fund and its shareholders.

 

Market Maker Risk. If the Fund has lower average daily trading volumes, it may rely on a small number of third-party market makers to provide a market for the purchase and sale of Shares. Any trading halt or other problem relating to the trading activity of these market makers could result in a dramatic change in the spread between the Fund’s NAV and the price at which the Shares are trading on the Exchange, which could result in a decrease in value of the Shares. In addition, decisions by market makers or authorized participants to reduce their role or step away from these activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying values of the Fund’s portfolio securities and the Fund’s market price. This reduced effectiveness could result in Shares trading at a discount to NAV and also in greater than normal intra-day bid-ask spreads for Shares.

 

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Market Risk. The Fund could lose money over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during more prolonged market downturns. Assets may decline in value due to factors affecting financial markets generally or particular asset classes or industries represented in the markets. The value of the Underlying ETFs, the FLEX Options held by such Underlying ETFs, or other assets may also decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or other asset, or due to factors that affect a particular issuer or issuers, country, group of countries, region, market, industry, group of industries, sector or asset class. During a general market downturn, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Changes in market conditions and interest rates will not have the same impact on all types of securities. Securities, including Shares, are subject to market fluctuations and liquidity constraints that may be caused by factors such as economic, political, or regulatory developments, changes in interest rates, and/or perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of the Fund could decline in value or under perform other investments. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on a Fund and its investments. Such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. Such events could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of a Fund’s portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets. Any of such circumstances could have a materially negative impact on the value of a Fund’s Shares and result in increased market volatility. During any such events, a Fund’s Shares may trade at increased premiums or discounts to their NAV. The outbreak of the respiratory disease designated as “COVID-19,” which was first detected in late 2019, resulted in significant disruptions to business operations, customer activity and service capabilities for companies throughout the world. The COVID-19 pandemic also greatly increased market volatility. Many countries continue to react to the COVID-19 pandemic through prevention measures and government intervention, including restrictions on travel and business operations. These measures, along with the general uncertainty caused by this pandemic, emerging variants, and the efficacy of vaccines, have resulted in a decline in consumer demand, disruptions to healthcare systems and the supply chain, ratings downgrades, defaults and has imposed significant costs on governmental and business entities. Certain markets have experienced temporary closures, extreme volatility, reduced liquidity, severe losses and increased trading costs, all of which could negatively impact the Fund. The future potential economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, or any future public health crisis, is impossible to predict and could result in adverse market conditions that impact the performance of the Fund.

 

Non-Correlation Risk. The Fund’s return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs operating expenses not applicable to the Index and incurs costs in buying and selling securities, especially when rebalancing the Fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the composition of the Index. In addition, the performance of the Fund and the Index may vary due to asset valuation differences and differences between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index resulting from legal restrictions, cost or liquidity constraints. The Fund may fair value certain of the securities it holds. To the extent the Fund calculates its NAV based on fair value prices, the Fund’s ability to track the Index may be adversely affected. Since the Index is not subject to the tax diversification requirements to which the Fund must adhere, the Fund may be required to deviate its investments from the securities and relative weightings of the Index. The Fund may not invest in certain securities included in the Index due to liquidity constraints. Liquidity constraints also may delay the Fund’s purchase or sale of securities included in the Index. For tax efficiency purposes, the Fund may sell certain securities to realize losses, causing it to deviate from the Index.

 

Operational Risk. The Fund is exposed to operational risks arising from a number of factors, including, but not limited to, processing and communication errors, errors of the Fund’s service providers, counterparties or other third-parties, failed or inadequate processes and technology or systems failures. The Fund and its Adviser and Sub-Adviser 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 these risks.

 

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Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed. The Fund invests in securities included in its Index regardless of their investment merit. Unlike many investment companies, the Fund does not utilize an investing strategy that seeks returns in excess of the Index. Therefore, it would not necessarily buy or sell a security unless that security is added or removed, respectively, from the Index, even if that security generally is underperforming.

 

Trading Issues Risk. Although the Shares are listed for trading on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such Shares will develop or be maintained. Shares trade on the Exchange at market prices that may be below, at or above the Fund’s NAV. Trading in Shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange “circuit breaker” rules. Market makers are under no obligation to make a market in the Shares, and authorized participants are not obligated to submit purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

 

Non-Principal Risks

 

Failure to Qualify as a Regulated Investment Company Risk. If, in any year, the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company under the applicable tax laws, the Fund would be taxed as a corporation. In such circumstances, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest and make substantial distributions before requalifying as a regulated investment company that is accorded special tax treatment. If the Fund fails to qualify as a regulated investment company, distributions to the Fund’s shareholders generally would be eligible for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders.

 

Inflation Risk. Inflation may reduce the intrinsic value of increases in the value of the Fund. Inflation risk is the risk that the value of assets or income from investments will be less in the future as inflation decreases the value of money. As inflation increases, the value of the Fund’s assets can decline as can the value of the Fund’s distributions.

 

Legislation and Litigation Risk. Legislation or litigation that affects the value of securities held by the Fund may reduce the value of the Fund. From time to time, various legislative initiatives are proposed that may have a negative impact on certain securities in which the Fund invests. In addition, litigation regarding any of the securities owned by the Fund may negatively impact the value of the Shares. Such legislation or litigation may cause the Fund to lose value or may result in higher portfolio turnover if the Adviser determines to sell such a holding.

 

Management of the Fund

 

The Fund is a series of Innovator ETFs Trust, an investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund is treated as a separate fund with its own investment objectives and policies. The Trust is organized as a Delaware statutory trust. The Board is responsible for the overall management and direction of the Trust. The Board elects the Trust’s officers and approves all significant agreements, including those with the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, custodian and fund administrative and accounting agent.

 

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Investment Adviser

 

Innovator Capital Management, LLC, 109 North Hale Street, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, serves as the Fund’s investment adviser. In its capacity as Adviser to the Fund, Innovator has overall responsibility for selecting and monitoring the Fund’s investments and managing the Fund’s business affairs.

 

Investment Sub-Adviser

 

Penserra Capital Management LLC, 4 Orinda Way, Suite 100-A, Orinda, California 94563, serves as the Fund’s investment sub-adviser. Penserra has responsibility for managing the Fund’s investment program in pursuit of its investment objective.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

Dustin Lewellyn, Ernesto Tong and Anand Desai serve as the Fund’s portfolio managers.

 

 

Dustin Lewellyn, CFA. Mr. Lewellyn has been Chief Investment Officer with Penserra since 2012. He was President and Founder of Golden Gate Investment Consulting LLC from 2011 through 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Lewellyn was a managing director at Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (“CSIM”), which he joined in 2009, and head of portfolio management for Schwab ETFs. Prior to joining CSIM, he worked for two years as director of ETF product management and development at a major financial institution focused on asset and wealth management. Prior to that, he was a portfolio manager for institutional clients at a financial services firm for three years. In addition, he held roles in portfolio operations and product management at a large asset management firm for more than 6 years.

 

 

Ernesto Tong, CFA. Mr. Tong has been a Managing Director with Penserra since 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Tong spent seven years a vice president at Blackrock, where he was a portfolio manager for a number of the iShares ETFs, and prior to that, he spent two years in the firm’s index research group.

 

 

Anand Desai. Mr. Desai has been an Associate with Penserra since 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Desai was a portfolio fund accountant at State Street for five years.

 

For additional information concerning Innovator and Penserra, including a description of the services provided to the Fund, please see the Fund’s statement of additional information (the “SAI”). Additional information regarding the portfolio manager’s compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and the portfolio managers’ ownership of Shares may also be found in the SAI.

 

Management Fee

 

Pursuant to an investment advisory agreement between Innovator and the Trust, on behalf of the Fund (the “Investment Management Agreement”), the Fund has agreed to pay an annual unitary management fee to Innovator in an amount equal to 0.20% of its average daily net assets. This unitary management fee is designed to pay the Fund’s expenses and to compensate Innovator for the services it provides to the Fund. Out of the unitary management fee, Innovator pays substantially all expenses of the Fund, including the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, legal, audit and other service and license fees. However, Innovator is not responsible for distribution and service fees payable pursuant to a Rule 12b‑1 plan, if any, brokerage commissions and other expenses connected with the execution of portfolio transactions, taxes, interest, and extraordinary expenses.

 

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In connection with the change in the Index that the Fund seeks to track, on August 11, 2020 the annual unitary management fee that the Fund paid to Innovator was reduced from 0.49% to 0.20% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. Innovator has agreed to waive management fees of 0.10% of average daily net assets until June 30, 2024. The waiver may be terminated by action of the Board at any time upon 60 days’ written notice by the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, or by Innovator on or after June 30, 2024.

 

Pursuant to an investment sub-advisory agreement between Innovator, Penserra and the Trust, on behalf of the Fund (the “Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement”), Innovator has agreed to pay an annual sub‑advisory fee to Penserra in an amount based on the Fund’s average daily net assets. Innovator is responsible for paying the entirety of Penserra’s sub-advisory fee. The Fund does not directly pay Penserra.

 

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Investment Management Agreement and Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement on behalf of the Fund is available in the Fund’s Annual Report to shareholders for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2021.

 

How to Buy and Sell Shares

 

The Fund will issue or redeem its Shares at NAV per Share only in Creation Units. Most Fund shareholders will buy and sell Shares in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares will be listed for trading on the secondary market on the Exchange. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded shares. Share prices are reported in dollars and cents per Share. There is no minimum investment. When buying or selling Shares through a broker, you will incur customary brokerage commissions and charges, and you may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offered price in the secondary market on each leg of a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction. Because Shares trade at market price rather than NAV, a Fund shareholder may pay more than NAV when purchasing Shares and receive less than NAV when selling Shares.

 

APs may acquire Shares directly from the Fund, and APs may tender their Shares for redemption directly to the Fund, at NAV per Share only in Creation Units and in accordance with the procedures described in the SAI.

 

Book Entry

 

Shares 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 all outstanding Shares and is recognized as the owner of all Shares for all purposes.

 

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Investors owning Shares are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for all Shares. Participants in DTC 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 stocks that you hold in book entry or “street name” form.

 

Share Trading Prices

 

The trading prices of Shares on the Exchange is based on market price and may differ from the Fund’s daily NAV. Market forces of supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors may affect the trading prices of Shares.

 

Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Shares

 

Shares may be purchased and redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units by APs that have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor. The vast majority of trading in Shares occurs on the secondary market and does not involve the Fund directly. Cash trades on the secondary market are unlikely to cause many of the harmful effects of frequent purchases and/or redemptions of Shares. Cash purchases and/or redemptions of Creation Units, however, can result in disruption of portfolio management, dilution to the Fund and increased transaction costs, which could negatively impact the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives, and may lead to the realization of capital gains. These consequences may increase as the frequency of cash purchases and redemptions of Creation Units by APs increases. However, direct trading by APs is critical to ensuring that Shares trade at or close to NAV.

 

To minimize these potential consequences of frequent purchases and redemptions of Shares, the Fund imposes transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Creation Units to cover the custodial and other costs the Fund incurs in effecting trades. In addition, the Fund reserves the right to not accept orders from APs that Innovator has determined may be disruptive to the management of the Fund or otherwise are not in the best interests of the Fund. For these reasons, the Board has not adopted policies and procedures with respect to frequent purchases and redemptions of Shares.

 

Dividends, Distributions and Taxes

 

The Fund expects to declare and distribute all of its net investment income and its net realized capital gains, if any, at least annually. The Fund may distribute such income dividends and capital gains more frequently, if necessary, in order to reduce or eliminate federal excise or income taxes on the Fund. The amount of any distribution will vary, and there is no guarantee the Fund will pay either an income dividend or a capital gains distribution. Distributions may be reinvested automatically in additional whole Shares only if the broker through whom you purchased Shares makes such option available.

 

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Taxes

 

This section summarizes some of the main U.S. federal income tax consequences of owning Shares of the Fund. This section is current as of the date of this prospectus. Tax laws and interpretations change frequently, and these summaries do not describe all of the tax consequences to all taxpayers. For example, these summaries generally do not describe your situation if you are a corporation, a non-U.S. person, a broker dealer, or other investor with special circumstances. In addition, this section does not describe your state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences.

 

This federal income tax summary is based in part on the advice of counsel to the Fund. The Internal Revenue Service could disagree with any conclusions set forth in this section. In addition, counsel to the Fund may not have been asked to review, and may not have reached a conclusion with respect to, the federal income tax treatment of the assets to be included in the Fund. This may not be sufficient for you to use for the purpose of avoiding penalties under federal tax law.

 

As with any investment, you should seek advice based on your individual circumstances from your own tax advisor.

 

The Fund intends to continue to qualify as a “regulated investment company” under the federal tax laws. If the Fund qualifies as a regulated investment company and distributes its income as required by the tax law, the Fund generally will not pay federal income taxes.

 

As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in Shares will be taxed. The tax information in this prospectus is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares.

 

Unless your investment in Shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an IRA plan, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when:

 

 

Your Fund makes distributions,

 

 

You sell your Shares listed on the Exchange, and

 

 

You purchase or redeem Creation Units.

 

Taxes on Distributions

 

The Fund’s distributions are generally taxable. After the end of each year, you will receive a tax statement that separates the distributions of the Fund into two categories, ordinary income distributions and capital gain dividends. Ordinary income distributions are generally taxed at your ordinary tax rate; however, as further discussed below, certain ordinary income distributions received from the Fund may be taxed at the capital gains tax rates. Generally, you will treat all capital gain dividends as long-term capital gains regardless of how long you have owned your Shares. To determine your actual tax liability for your capital gain dividends, you must calculate your total net capital gain or loss for the tax year after considering all of your other taxable transactions, as described below. In addition, the Fund may make distributions that represent a return of capital for tax purposes and thus will generally not be taxable to you; however, such distributions may reduce your tax basis in your Shares, which could result in you having to pay higher taxes in the future when Shares are sold, even if you sell the Shares at a loss from your original investment. The tax status of your distributions from the Fund is not affected by whether you reinvest your distributions in additional Shares or receive them in cash. The income from the Fund that you must take into account for federal income tax purposes is not reduced by amounts used to pay a deferred sales fee, if any. The tax laws may require you to treat distributions made to you in January as if you had received them on December 31 of the previous year.

 

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Income from the Fund may also be subject to a 3.8% “Medicare tax.” This tax generally applies to your net investment income if your adjusted gross income exceeds certain threshold amounts, which are $250,000 in the case of married couples filing joint returns and $200,000 in the case of single individuals.

 

A corporation that owns Shares generally will not be entitled to the dividends received deduction with respect to many dividends received from the Fund because the dividends received deduction is generally not available for distributions from regulated investment companies. However, certain ordinary income dividends on Shares that are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund from certain corporations may be reported by the Fund as being eligible for the dividends received deduction.

 

If you are an individual, the maximum marginal stated federal tax rate for net capital gain is generally 20% (15% or 0% for taxpayers with taxable incomes below certain thresholds). Some capital gains, including some portion of your capital gain dividends, may be taxed at a higher maximum stated tax rate. Capital gains may also be subject to the Medicare tax described above.

 

Net capital gain equals net long-term capital gain minus net short-term capital loss for the taxable year. Capital gain or loss is long-term if the holding period for the asset is more than one year and is short-term if the holding period for the asset is one year or less. You must exclude the date you purchase your Shares to determine your holding period. However, if you receive a capital gain dividend from the Fund and sell your Share at a loss after holding it for six months or less, the loss will be recharacterized as long-term capital loss to the extent of the capital gain dividend received. The tax rates for capital gains realized from assets held for one year or less are generally the same as for ordinary income. The Code treats certain capital gains as ordinary income in special situations.

 

An election may be available to you to defer recognition of the gain attributable to a capital gain dividend if you make certain qualifying investments within a limited time. You should talk to your tax advisor about the availability of this deferral election and its requirements.

 

Ordinary income dividends received by an individual shareholder from a regulated investment company such as the Fund are generally taxed at the same rates that apply to net capital gain (as discussed above), provided certain holding period requirements are satisfied and provided the dividends are attributable to qualifying dividends received by the Fund itself. The Fund will provide notice to its shareholders of the amount of any distribution which may be taken into account as a dividend which is eligible for the capital gains tax rates.

 

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Taxes on Exchange Listed Shares

 

If you sell or redeem your Shares, you will generally recognize a taxable gain or loss. To determine the amount of this gain or loss, you must subtract your tax basis in your Shares from the amount you receive in the transaction. Your tax basis in your Shares is generally equal to the cost of your Shares, generally including sales charges. In some cases, however, you may have to adjust your tax basis after you purchase your Shares.

 

Taxes on Purchases and Redemptions of Creation Units

 

If you exchange securities for Creation Units you will generally recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and your aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the cash component paid. If you exchange Creation Units for securities, you will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between your basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate market value of the securities received and any cash redemption amount. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units or Creation Units for securities cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.

 

Treatment of Fund Expenses

 

Expenses incurred and deducted by the Fund will generally not be treated as income taxable to you. In some cases, however, you may be required to treat your portion of these Fund expenses as income. You may not be able to take a deduction for some or all of these expenses, even if the cash you receive is reduced by such expenses.

 

Backup Withholding

 

The Fund may be required to withhold U.S. federal income tax (“backup withholding”) from dividends and capital gain distributions paid to Shareholders. Federal tax will be withheld if (1) the Shareholder fails to furnish the Fund with the Shareholder’s correct taxpayer identification number or social security number, (2) the IRS notifies the Shareholder or the Fund that the Shareholder has failed to report properly certain interest and dividend income to the IRS and to respond to notices to that effect, or (3) when required to do so, the Shareholder fails to certify to the Fund that he or she is not subject to backup withholding. The current backup withholding rate is 24%. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules may be credited against the Shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability.

 

NonU.S. Tax Credit

 

If the Fund invests in non‑U.S. securities, the tax statement that you receive may include an item showing non‑U.S. taxes the Fund paid to other countries. In this case, dividends taxed to you will include your share of the taxes the Fund paid to other countries. You may be able to deduct or receive a tax credit for your share of these taxes.

 

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NonU.S. Investors

 

If you are a non-U.S. investor (i.e., an investor other than a U.S. citizen or resident or a U.S. corporation, partnership, estate or trust), you should be aware that, generally, subject to applicable tax treaties, distributions from the Fund will generally be characterized as dividends for federal income tax purposes (other than dividends which the Fund properly reports as capital gain dividends) and will be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, including withholding taxes, subject to certain exceptions described below. However, distributions received by a non-U.S. investor from the Fund that are properly reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends may not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, including withholding taxes, provided that the Fund makes certain elections and certain other conditions are met. Distributions from the Fund that are properly reported by the Fund as an interest-related dividend attributable to certain interest income received by the Fund or as a short-term capital gain dividend attributable to certain net short-term capital gain income received by the Fund may not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, including withholding taxes when received by certain non-U.S. investors, provided that the Fund makes certain elections and certain other conditions are met.

 

Distributions to, and gross proceeds from dispositions of shares by (i) certain non-U.S. financial institutions that have not entered into an agreement with the U.S. Treasury to collect and disclose certain information and are not resident in a jurisdiction that has entered into such an agreement with the U.S. Treasury and (ii) certain other non-U.S. entities that do not provide certain certifications and information about the entity’s U.S. owners, may be subject to a U.S. withholding tax of 30%. However, proposed regulations may eliminate the requirement to withhold on payments of gross proceeds from dispositions.

 

Investments in Certain NonU.S. Corporations

 

If the Fund holds an equity interest in any “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”), which are generally certain non‑U.S. corporations that receive at least 75% of their annual gross income from passive sources (such as interest, dividends, certain rents and royalties or capital gains) or that hold at least 50% of their assets in investments producing such passive income, the Fund could be subject to U.S. federal income tax and additional interest charges on gains and certain distributions with respect to those equity interests, even if all the income or gain is timely distributed to its shareholders. The Fund will not be able to pass through to its shareholders any credit or deduction for such taxes. The Fund may be able to make an election that could ameliorate these adverse tax consequences. In this case, the Fund would recognize as ordinary income any increase in the value of such PFIC shares, and as ordinary loss any decrease in such value to the extent it did not exceed prior increases included in income. Under this election, the Fund might be required to recognize in a year income in excess of its distributions from PFICs and its proceeds from dispositions of PFIC stock during that year, and such income would nevertheless be subject to the distribution requirement and would be taken into account for purposes of the 4% excise tax. Dividends paid by PFICs are not treated as qualified dividend income.

 

The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the possible consequences under current federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You also may be subject to state and local taxes on Fund distributions and sales of Shares.

 

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Consult your personal tax advisor about the potential tax consequences of an investment in Shares under all applicable tax laws. See “Distributions and Taxes” in the SAI for more information.

 

Distributor

 

Foreside Fund Services, LLC serves as the distributor of Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in the Shares.

 

Net Asset Value

 

US Bancorp Fund Services LLC (“USBFS”), the Fund’s administrator and fund accounting agent, calculates the Fund’s NAV at the close of regular trading (ordinarily 4:00 p.m. E.S.T.) every day the New York Stock Exchange is open. The NAV for one Share is the value of that Share’s portion of all of the net assets of the Fund. In calculating NAV, the Fund generally values its investment portfolio at market price.

 

Common stocks, preferred stocks and other equity securities listed on any national or foreign exchange (excluding the NASDAQ National Market (“NASDAQ”) and the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market (“AIM”)) will be valued at the last sale price on the exchange on which they are principally traded or, for NASDAQ and AIM securities, the official closing price. Securities traded on more than one securities exchange are valued at the last sale price or official closing price, as applicable, at the close of the exchange representing the principal market for such securities. Securities traded in the over-the-counter market are valued at the mean of the bid and the asked price, if available, and otherwise at their closing bid price.

 

USBFS may obtain all market quotations used in valuing securities from a third-party pricing service vendor (a “Pricing Service”). If no quotation can be obtained from a Pricing Service, then USBFS will contact the Trust’s pricing committee (the “Pricing Committee”). The Pricing Committee is responsible for establishing the valuation of portfolio securities and other instruments held by the Fund in accordance with the pricing and valuation procedures adopted by the Board (the “Valuation Procedures”). The Pricing Committee will then attempt to obtain one or more broker quotes for the security daily and will value the security accordingly.

 

If no quotation is available from either a Pricing Service, or one or more brokers, or if the Pricing Committee has reason to question the reliability or accuracy of a quotation supplied or the use of amortized cost, the value of any portfolio security held by the Fund for which reliable market quotations are not readily available will be determined by the Pricing Committee in a manner that most appropriately reflects fair market value of the security on the valuation date. The use of a fair valuation method may be appropriate if, for example: (i) market quotations do not accurately reflect fair value of an investment; (ii) an investment’s value has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the exchange or market on which the investment is principally traded (for example, a foreign exchange or market); (iii) a trading halt closes an exchange or market early; or (iv) other events result in an exchange or market delaying its normal close.

 

Fair valuation of an equity security will be based on the consideration of all available information, including, but not limited to, the following: (a) the type of security; (b) the size of the holding; (c) the initial cost of the security; (d) transactions in comparable securities; (e) price quotes from dealers and/or pricing services; (f) relationships among various securities; (g) information obtained by contacting the issuer, analysts, or the appropriate stock exchange; (h) an analysis of the issuer’s financial statements; and (i) the existence of merger proposals or tender offers that might affect the value of the security.

 

35
 

 

With respect to any non-U.S. securities held by the Fund, the Fund may take factors influencing specific markets or issuers into consideration in determining the fair value of a non-U.S. security. International securities markets may be open on days when the U.S. markets are closed. In such cases, the value of any international securities owned by the Fund may be significantly affected on days when Fund shareholders cannot buy or sell Shares. In addition, due to the difference in times between the close of the international markets and the time the Fund prices its Shares, the value the Fund assigns to securities generally will not be the same as the quoted or published prices of those securities on their primary markets or exchanges. In determining fair value prices, the Fund may consider the performance of securities on their primary exchanges, foreign currency appreciation/depreciation, securities market movements in the U.S., or other relevant information as related to the securities.

 

For more information about how the Fund’s NAV is determined, please see the section in the statement of information entitled “Determination of Net Asset Value.”

 

Disclaimers

 

THIS PRODUCT IS NOT SPONSORED, ENDORSED, SOLD OR PROMOTED BY REFINITIV LIMITED OR ANY OF ITS SUBSIDIARIES OR AFFILIATES (“REFINITIV”). REFINITIV MAKE NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE OWNERS OF THE PRODUCT(S) OR ANY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC REGARDING THE ADVISABILITY OF INVESTING IN SECURITIES GENERALLY OR IN THE PRODUCT(S) PARTICULARLY OR THE ABILITY OF THE REFINITIV DIVERSIFIED POWER BUFFER STRATEGY INDEX (“INDEX”) TO TRACK GENERAL MARKET PERFORMANCE. REFINITIVS ONLY RELATIONSHIP TO THE PRODUCTS(S) IS THE LICENSING OF THE INDEX, WHICH IS DETERMINED, COMPOSED AND CALCULATED BY REFINITIV OR ITS LICENSORS WITHOUT REGARD TO THE LICENSEE OR THE PRODUCT(S). REFINITIV HAS NO OBLIGATION TO TAKE THE NEEDS OF THE LICENSEE OR THE OWNERS OF THE PRODUCT(S) INTO CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE FOREGOING. REFINITIV IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR AND HAS NOT PARTICIPATED IN THE DETERMINATION OF THE TIMING OF, PRICES AT, OR QUANTITIES OF THE PRODUCT(S) TO BE ISSUED OR IN THE DETERMINATION OR CALCULATION OF THE EQUATION BY WHICH THE PRODUCT(S) IS TO BE CONVERTED INTO CASH. REFINITIV HAS NO OBLIGATION OR LIABILITY IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADMINISTRATION, MARKETING OR TRADING OF THE PRODUCT(S).

 

REFINITIV DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE QUALITY, ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. REFINITIV MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY LICENSEE, OWNERS OF THE PRODUCT(S), OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. REFINITIV MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND HEREBY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL REFINITIV HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY LOSS OF PROFITS, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

 

36
 

 

Fund Service Providers

 

US Bancorp Fund Services LLC, doing business as U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, is the administrator and transfer agent for the Trust. U.S. Bank, N.A. serves as the custodian for the Trust.

 

Chapman and Cutler LLP, 320 South Canal Street, Chicago, Illinois 60606, serves as legal counsel to the Trust.

 

Cohen & Company, Ltd. serves as the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm and is responsible for auditing the annual financial statements of the Trust. Prior to June 20, 2018, another independent registered public accounting firm served as the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm.

 

Premium/Discount Information

 

Information showing the number of days the market price of the Fund’s Shares was greater (at a premium) and less (at a discount) than the Fund’s NAV for the most recently completed calendar year, and the most recently completed calendar quarters since that year (or the life of the Fund, if shorter), is available at www.innovatoretfs.com.

 

Investments by Other Investment Companies

 

Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, including Shares. The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act on November 19, 2020, which became effective January 19, 2021. The Fund is required to comply with the conditions of Rule 12d1-4, which allows the Fund, subject to certain conditions, to invest in other registered investment companies and other registered investment companies to invest in the Fund beyond the limits contained in Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act.

 

37
 

 

Financial Highlights

 

The financial highlights table is intended to help you understand the Predecessor Fund’s financial performance. The total returns in the table represent how much an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Predecessor Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions). Certain information reflects financial results for a single Predecessor Fund Share. The information for the fiscal period ended September 30, 2017 has been audited by another independent registered public accounting firm, and the information for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2018 and 2019, the fiscal period ended October 31, 2019 and the fiscal years ended October 31, 2020 and 2021, has been audited by Cohen & Company, Ltd., the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm, whose report, along with the Predecessor Fund’s financial statements, are included in the Predecessor Fund’s annual report which is available upon request.

 

   

Per Share Operating Performance (For a share outstanding throughout each period)

 
           

Investment Operations:

   

Capital
Share
Transactions:

   

Distributions Paid to Shareholders:

 
   

Net Asset Value, Beginning of Period

   

Net investment income/(loss)(c)

   

Net realized and unrealized gain/(loss)

   

Total From Investment Operations

   

Transaction fees

   

Paid from net investment income

   

Paid from return of capital

   

Total Distributions Paid

 

Innovator Laddered Allocation Power Buffer ETF

                                                               

For the year ended 10/31/2021

  $ 31.49       (0.05 )     4.12       4.07       -       -       -       -  

For the year ended 10/31/2020

  $ 36.66       0.81       (5.26 )     (4.45 )     -       (0.72 )     -       (0.72 )

For the period 10/1/2019(d) - 10/31/2019

  $ 36.81       0.02       (0.17 )     (0.15 )     -       -       -       -  

For the year ended 9/30/2019

  $ 31.55       0.66       5.29       5.95       -       (0.69 )     -       (0.69 )

For the year ended 9/30/2018

  $ 31.23       0.47       0.32       0.79       -       (0.47 )     -       (0.47 )

For the period 10/19/2016(f) - 9/30/2017

  $ 25.36       0.47       5.82       6.29       -       (0.42 )     -       (0.42 )

 

38
 

 

                   

Ratios/Supplemental Data:

 
                                   

Ratio to Average Net Assets of:(a)

         
   

Change in Net Asset Value for the Period

   

Net Asset Value, End of Period

   

Total
return(b)

   

Net assets, end of period (000)

   

Expenses

   

Net investment income/(loss)

   

Portfolio turnover
rate(b)(e)

 

For the year ended 10/31/2021

    4.07     $ 35.56       12.93 %   $ 69,337       0.20 %     (0.14 )%     1 %

For the year ended 10/31/2020

    (5.17 )   $ 31.49       (11.93 )%   $ 28,338       0.47 %     2.47 %     750 %

For the period 10/1/2019(d) - 10/31/2019

    (0.15 )   $ 36.66       (0.42 )%   $ 137,463       0.49 %     0.63 %     0 %

For the year ended 9/30/2019

    5.26     $ 36.81       19.11 %   $ 136,195       0.49 %     2.00 %     44 %

For the year ended 9/30/2018

    0.32     $ 31.55       2.55 %   $ 162,484    

0.52

%(g)     1.47 %     667 %

For the period 10/19/2016(f) - 9/30/2017

    5.87     $ 31.23       24.88 %   $ 134,301       0.49 %     1.66 %     179 %

 

(a)

Annualized for periods less than one year.

(b)

Not annualized for periods less than one year.

(c)

Net investment income/(loss) per share has been calculated based on average shares outstanding during the period.

(d)

The period ended October 31, 2019 consists of one month due to the Fund's fiscal year end change.

(e)

Excludes in-kind transactions associated with creations and redemptions of the Fund.

(f)

Commencement of operations.

(g)

The ratio of net expenses to average net assets includes interest expense fees of 0.03%.

 

39
 

 

 

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Innovator Laddered Allocation Power Buffer ETF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more detailed information on the Fund, several additional sources of information are available to you. The SAI, incorporated by reference into this Prospectus, contains detailed information on the Fund’s policies and operation. Additional information about the Fund’s investments is available in the annual and semi‑annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund’s annual reports, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly impacted the Fund’s performance during the last fiscal year. The Fund’s most recent SAI, annual or semi‑annual reports and certain other information are available free of charge by calling the Fund at (800) 208-5212, on the Fund’s website at www.innovatoretfs.com or through your financial advisor. Shareholders may call the toll‑free number above with any inquiries.

 

You may obtain this and other information regarding the Fund, including the SAI and Codes of Ethics adopted by the Adviser, Sub-Adviser, Distributor and the Trust, directly from the SEC. Information on the SEC’s website is free of charge. Visit the SEC’s on‑line EDGAR database at http://www.sec.gov. You may also request information regarding the Fund by sending a request (along with a duplication fee) to the SEC by sending an electronic request to publicinfo@sec.gov.

 

 

 

Innovator Capital Management, LLC
109 North Hale Street
Wheaton, Illinois  60187
(800) 208-5212
www.innovatoretfs.com

SEC File #: 333‑146827
811-22135