STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

   
       
   

FRANKLIN CUSTODIAN FUNDS

 
       
   

February 1, 2023

 
       
   

Slayer_DrawImageOnBackgroundColor(0,0,0)

 
       
         
           
             
   

Class

 

A

A1

C

R

R6

Advisor

Franklin DynaTech Fund

FKDNX

FDYNX

FDNRX

FDTRX

FDYZX

Franklin Focused Growth Fund

FFQBX

FFQCX

FFQRX

FFQSX

FFQZX

Franklin Growth Fund

FKGRX

FRGSX

FGSRX

FIFRX

FCGAX

Franklin Income Fund

FKIQX

FKINX

FCISX

FISRX

FNCFX

FRIAX

Franklin U.S. Government Securities Fund

FKFSX

FKUSX

FRUGX

FUSRX

FGORX

FUSAX

Franklin Utilities Fund

FKUQX

FKUTX

FRUSX

FRURX

FUFRX

FRUAX

This Statement of Additional Information (SAI) is not a prospectus. It contains information in addition to the information in the Funds' (hereafter “the Fund”) prospectus. The Fund's prospectus, dated February 1, 2023, which we may amend from time to time, contains the basic information you should know before investing in the Fund. You should read this SAI together with the Fund's prospectus.

The audited financial statements and Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm in the Fund's Annual Report to shareholders, for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, are incorporated by reference (are legally a part of this SAI).

For a free copy of the current prospectus or annual report, contact your investment representative or call (800) DIAL BEN/342-5236.

 

Contents

   

Goals, Strategies and Risks

2

Officers and Trustees

55

Fair Valuation

63

Management and Other Services

63

Portfolio Transactions

69

Distributions and Taxes

70

Organization, Voting Rights and
Principal Holders

82

Buying and Selling Shares

88

The Underwriter

96

Performance

99

Miscellaneous Information

101

Description of Ratings

102

Appendix A A- 1

 

     

Mutual funds, annuities, and other investment products:

• are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, or any other agency of the U.S. government;

• are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank; and

• are subject to investment risks, including the possible loss of principal.

     

P.O. Box 997151

Sacramento, CA 95899-7151 (800) DIAL BEN® /342-5236

1

FCF SAI 02/23


Goals, Strategies and Risks

The following information provided with respect to the Fund is in addition to that included in the Fund’s prospectus.

In addition to the main types of investments and strategies undertaken by the Fund as described in the prospectus, the Fund also may invest in other types of instruments and engage in and pursue other investment strategies, which are described in this SAI. Investments and investment strategies with respect to the Fund are discussed in greater detail in the section below entitled "Glossary of Investments, Techniques, Strategies and Their Risks."

Generally, the policies and restrictions discussed in this SAI and in the prospectus apply when the Fund makes an investment. In most cases, the Fund is not required to sell an investment because circumstances change and the investment no longer meets one or more of the Fund's policies or restrictions. If a percentage restriction or limitation is met at the time of investment, a later increase or decrease in the percentage due to a change in the value of portfolio investments will not be considered a violation of the restriction or limitation, with the exception of the Fund's limitations on borrowing and illiquid securities as described herein or unless otherwise noted herein.

Incidental to the Fund’s other investment activities, including in connection with a bankruptcy, restructuring, workout, or other extraordinary events concerning a particular investment the Fund owns, the Fund may receive securities (including convertible securities, warrants and rights), real estate or other investments that the Fund normally would not, or could not, buy. If this happens, the Fund may, although it is not required to, sell such investments as soon as practicable while seeking to maximize the return to shareholders.

The Fund has adopted certain investment restrictions as fundamental and non-fundamental policies. A fundamental policy may only be changed if the change is approved by (i) more than 50% of the Fund's outstanding shares or (ii) 67% or more of the Fund's shares present at a shareholder meeting if more than 50% of the Fund's outstanding shares are represented at the meeting in person or by proxy, whichever is less. A non-fundamental policy may be changed without the approval of shareholders.

For more information about the restrictions of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (1940 Act) on the Fund with respect to (1) borrowing and senior securities, see " Glossary of Investments, Techniques, Strategies and Their Risks - Borrowing"; and (2) lending, see " Glossary of Investments, Techniques, Strategies and Their Risks - Corporate Loans, Assignments and Participations" below.

Fundamental Investment Policies

The Fund's investment goals are fundamental (except for Franklin Focused Growth Fund).

The Fund may not:

1. Borrow money, except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, or any rules, exemptions or interpretations thereunder that may be adopted, granted or issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

2. Act as an underwriter, except to the extent the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriter when disposing of securities it owns or when selling its own shares.

3. Make loans if, as a result, more than 33 1/3% of its total assets would be lent to other persons, including other investment companies to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or any rules, exemptions or interpretations thereunder that may be adopted, granted or issued by the SEC. This limitation does not apply to (i) the lending of portfolio securities, (ii) the purchase of debt securities, other debt instruments, loan participations and/or engaging in direct corporate loans in accordance with its investment goals and policies, and (iii) repurchase agreements to the extent the entry into a repurchase agreement is deemed to be a loan.1

4. Purchase or sell real estate unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments and provided that this restriction does not prevent the Fund from (i) purchasing or selling securities or instruments secured by real estate or interests therein, securities or instruments representing interests in real estate or securities or instruments of issuers that invest, deal or otherwise engage in transactions in real estate or interests therein, and (ii) making, purchasing or selling real estate mortgage loans.

5. Purchase or sell commodities, except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or any rules, exemptions or interpretations thereunder that may be adopted, granted or issued by the SEC.

6. Issue senior securities, except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or any rules, exemptions or interpretations thereunder that may be adopted, granted or issued by the SEC.

7. (For all Funds except Franklin Utilities Fund) Invest more than 25% of the Fund's net assets in securities of issuers in any one industry (other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities or securities of other investment companies.2

8. Franklin Utilities Fund may not invest more than 25% of its net assets in securities of issuers in any one industry (other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities or securities of other investment companies), except that, under normal market

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conditions, the Fund will invest more than 25% of its net assets in the securities issued by companies operating in the utilities industries.3

9. Purchase the securities of any one issuer (other than the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities or securities of other investment companies, whether registered or excluded from registration under Section 3(c) of the 1940 Act) if immediately after such investment (i) more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets would be invested in such issuer or (ii) more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer would be owned by the Fund, except that up to 25% of the value of the Fund’s total assets may be invested without regard to such 5% and 10% limitations.

1. In general, “direct corporate loans” or direct investments in corporate loans are investments in new corporate loans where the Fund may invest as an initial investor and have a direct contractual relationship with the borrower (as opposed to a participation interest where the fund's sole contractual relationship is with the seller of the interest). Purchasing a loan or an interest in a loan in this fashion would allow the Fund to avoid the credit risk of the agent bank or other intermediary.

2. To the extent that the Fund invests in underlying funds, the Fund will take into account the holdings of the affiliated underlying funds in which they invest and will not ignore information about unaffiliated underlying funds.

3. Although not part of the Fund's fundamental investment restriction, for illustrative purposes, such industries currently include, but are not limited to, electricity, natural gas, water and communication services.

Non-Fundamental Investment Policies

Franklin DynaTech Fund (DynaTech Fund)

Under normal market conditions, the Fund seeks investments primarily in equity securities of companies that the investment manager believes are leaders in innovation, take advantage of new technologies, have superior management, and benefit from new industry conditions in the dynamically changing global economy.

The Fund's assets may be invested in securities traded on any national securities exchange or issued by a corporation, association or similar legal entity with total assets of at least $1,000,000, according to its latest published annual report, or held in cash or cash equivalents. It is thought that most of the Fund's assets will be invested in common stocks and securities convertible into common stocks. The Fund, however, may also invest in debt securities or preferred stocks that the investment manager believes will further the Fund's investment goal. From time to time, concentration of the Fund's investments in a few issues may develop due to market appreciation.

The Fund may also be subject to investment limitations imposed by foreign jurisdictions in which the Fund sells its shares.

Franklin Focused Growth Fund (Focused Growth Fund)

The investment goal of the Fund is capital appreciation. The Fund's investment goal is non-fundamental and therefore may be changed by the Trust's board of trustees without shareholder approval. Shareholders will be given at least 60 days' advance notice of any change to the Fund's investment goal.

Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests predominantly in equity securities of companies that the investment manager believes offer compelling growth opportunities. In selecting securities, the investment manager considers many factors, including historical and potential growth in revenues and earnings, assessment of strength and quality of management, and determination of a company’s strategic positioning in its industry.

Franklin Growth Fund (Growth Fund)

Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests substantially in the equity securities of companies that are leaders in their industries. In selecting securities, the investment manager considers many factors, including historical and potential growth in revenues and earnings, assessment of strength and quality of management, and determination of a company's strategic positioning in its industry.

The Fund's assets may be invested in shares of common stock traded on any national securities exchange or issued by a corporation, association or similar legal entity with total assets of at least $1,000,000, according to its latest published annual report. The Fund's assets may also be invested in bonds or preferred stock convertible into shares of common stock listed for trading on a national securities exchange or held in cash or cash equivalents.

The Fund may invest in smaller capitalization companies, which generally are companies with market capitalizations not exceeding (i) $1.5 billion or (ii) the highest market capitalization in the Russell 2000® Index, whichever is greater, at the time of the purchase.

The Fund may also be subject to investment limitations imposed by foreign jurisdictions in which the Fund sells its shares.

Franklin Income Fund (Income Fund)

Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests in a diversified portfolio of equity and debt securities.

The Fund’s assets may be invested in securities traded on any national securities exchange or issued by a corporation, association or similar legal entity with total assets of at least $1,000,000, according to its latest published annual report, or held in cash or cash equivalents. The Fund may also invest in preferred stocks. The Fund may invest in debt securities regardless of their rating or in securities that are unrated,

3


including up to 5% of its assets in securities that are in default at the time of purchase. The Fund generally invests in securities rated at least Caa by Moody’s Investors Service or CCC by Standard & Poor’s or unrated securities the Fund's investment manager determines are comparable. Unrated debt securities are not necessarily of lower quality than rated securities, but they may not be as attractive to as many buyers.

If the rating on an issue held in the Fund's portfolio is changed by the rating service or the security goes into default, this event will be considered by the Fund in its evaluation of the overall investment merits of that security but will not generally result in an automatic sale of the security. The Fund may also buy debt securities of issuers that are not currently paying interest, as well as issuers who are in default, and may keep an issue that has defaulted. The Fund will buy defaulted debt securities if, in the opinion of the investment manager, they may present an opportunity for later price recovery, the issuer may resume interest payments, or other advantageous developments appear likely in the near future. In general, securities that default lose much of their value before the actual default so that the security, and thus the Fund's net asset value, would be impacted before the default. Defaulted debt securities may be illiquid.

There are no restrictions as to the proportion of investments that may be made in a particular type of security and the determination is entirely within the Fund's investment manager's discretion. As market conditions change, it is conceivable that all of the assets of the Fund could be invested in common stocks or, conversely, in debt securities.

Franklin U.S. Government Securities Fund (U.S. Government Securities Fund)

Under normal market conditions, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in U.S. government securities. The Fund presently invests substantially all of its assets in Government National Mortgage Association obligations (Ginnie Maes). The Fund invests in a portfolio limited to U.S. government securities and repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities. U.S. government securities include U.S. Treasury bonds, notes and bills, U.S. Treasury STRIPS (Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities) and securities issued by U.S. government agencies. Other than investments in repurchase agreements, money market fund shares, and other temporary investments, substantially all of the Fund's investments are currently held in Ginnie Maes. The Fund has pursued this strategy since 1983.

The Government National Mortgage Association issues mortgage-backed securities that represent interests in a pool of mortgage loans from government guaranteed or insured (Federal Housing Authority or Veterans Administration) mortgages originated by mortgage bankers, commercial banks and savings and loan associations. The Government National Mortgage Association guarantees the principal and interest on Ginnie Maes and this guarantee is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

The Government National Mortgage Association may borrow U.S. Treasury funds to the extent needed to make payments under its guarantee. Of course, this guarantee does not extend to the market value or yield of the Ginnie Maes or the net asset value or performance of the Fund, which will fluctuate daily with market conditions. The Fund's investment manager monitors the Fund's investments and changes are made as market conditions warrant.

The Fund also buys adjustable rate Ginnie Maes and other types of securities that may be issued with the guarantee of the Government National Mortgage Association. Payments to holders of Ginnie Maes consist of monthly distributions of interest and principal less the Government National Mortgage Association's and issuers' fees.

Ginnie Maes differ from other bonds in that principal may be paid back on an unscheduled basis rather than returned in a lump sum at maturity. Ginnie Maes have historically paid higher current yields than other types of U.S. government securities with comparable maturities since Ginnie Maes experience greater risks of unscheduled payments of principal prior to maturity.

If held to maturity, Ginnie Maes and the other securities included in U.S. Government Securities Fund's portfolio have historically involved little risk to principal. However, due to fluctuations in market interest rates, the market value of Ginnie Maes may vary during the period of a shareholder's investment in the Fund. The price per share you receive when you sell your shares may be more or less than the price you paid for the shares. The dividends per share paid by the Fund may also vary.

Franklin Utilities Fund (Utilities Fund)

The Fund will normally invest substantially all of its assets in the securities of public utilities companies. As a fundamental policy, the Fund's assets may be invested in securities of an issuer engaged in the public utilities industry, or held in cash or cash equivalents. The public utilities industry includes the manufacture, production, generation, transmission and sale of gas, water and electricity and companies involved in developing new technologies related to the generation and distribution of electric power, alternative fuels for the generation of electric power and to providing services related to these activities. The industry also includes issuers engaged in the communications field, such as telephone, cellular, paging, telegraph, satellite, microwave and other companies that provide communication facilities or services for the public's benefit. The investment manager expects that more than 50% of the Fund's assets will be invested in electric utilities securities, including those classified under the MSCI

4


Global Industry Classification Standard as in either the electricity or multi-utility categories.

The Fund invests primarily in common stocks, including, from time to time, non-dividend paying common stocks if, in the opinion of the investment manager, these securities appear to offer attractive opportunities for capital appreciation. When buying fixed-income debt securities, the Fund may invest in securities regardless of their rating depending upon prevailing market and economic conditions, including securities in the lowest rating categories and unrated securities. At the time of investment, the majority of the Fund's debt investments, however, are rated at least Baa by Moody's or BBB by S&P. These ratings represent the opinions of the rating services with respect to the securities and are not absolute standards of quality. They will be considered in connection with the investment of the Fund's assets but will not be a determining or limiting factor.

With respect to unrated securities, it is also the Fund's intent to buy securities that, in the view of the investment manager, would be comparable in quality to the Fund's rated securities and have been determined to be consistent with the Fund's objectives without exposing the Fund to excessive risk. The Fund will not buy issues that are in default or that the investment manager believes involve excessive risk.

The Fund may also be subject to investment limitations imposed by foreign jurisdictions in which the Fund sells its shares.

Additional Strategies

In trying to achieve its investment goal, the Fund may invest in the types of instruments or engage in the types of transactions identified below and in the section “Glossary of Investments, Techniques, Strategies and Their Risks,” which also describes the risks associated with these investment policies. The Fund may or may not use all of these techniques at any one time.

DynaTech Fund

The Fund may:

 invest in convertible securities, including preferred equity redemption cumulative stock and other classes of enhanced convertible securities.

 invest without limit in foreign securities, but presently has no intention of investing more than 25% of its net assets in foreign securities not publicly traded in the U.S. The Fund will ordinarily buy foreign securities that are traded in the U.S. or buy American Depositary Receipts.

 lend certain of its portfolio securities to qualified banks and broker-dealers; these loans may not exceed 10% of the value of the Fund's total assets (including all collateral posted as part of the Fund's total assets), measured at the time of the most recent loan.

 invest in exchange-traded funds.

Focused Growth Fund

The Fund may:

 invest in debt securities, including investment grade debt, unrated debt and defaulted debt securities.

 invest in convertible securities, including preferred equity redemption cumulative stock, other classes of enhanced convertible securities and contingent convertible securities (CoCos).

 borrow up to one-third of the value of its total assets (including the amount borrowed, but less all liabilities and indebtedness not represented by senior securities) from banks to increase its holdings of portfolio securities.

 buy and sell other investment companies and ETFs.

 invest in private companies.

 invest in repurchase agreements.

 lend money to, and borrow money from, other Franklin Templeton funds for temporary purposes; these loans may not exceed 15% in the aggregate of the Fund’s net assets and 5% of the Fund’s net assets measured at the time of the loan.

Growth Fund

The Fund may:

 invest in convertible securities, including preferred equity redemption cumulative stock and other classes of enhanced convertible securities.

 invest without limit in foreign securities, but presently has no intention of investing more than 40% of its net assets in foreign securities. The Fund will ordinarily buy foreign securities that are traded in the U.S. or buy American Depositary Receipts.

 invest in private investments, including PIPES.

 lend certain of its portfolio securities to qualified banks and broker-dealers; these loans may not exceed 10% of the value of the Fund's total assets (including all collateral posted as part of the Fund's total assets), measured at the time of the most recent loan.

Income Fund

The Fund may:

5


 invest up to 10% of its assets in loans made to borrowers that are U.S. corporations, partnerships or other entities (corporate loans).

 invest in convertible securities, including preferred equity redemption cumulative stock, other classes of enhanced convertible securities and contingent convertible securities (CoCos).

 invest up to 100% of its net assets in non-investment grade securities.

 invest up to 25% of its assets in foreign securities. The Fund will ordinarily buy foreign securities that are traded in the U.S. or buy American Depositary Receipts.

 invest in mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), and other U.S. government-sponsored entities, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 invest in municipal securities.

 lend certain of its portfolio securities to qualified banks and broker-dealers; these loans may not exceed 10% of the value of the Fund's total assets (including all collateral posted as part of the Fund's total assets), measured at the time of the most recent loan.

 engage in currency-related derivatives, such as currency forwards, currency futures, currency swaps and put and call options on currencies.

 buy and sell ETFs and options on ETFs.

 buy stripped securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or by an agency or instrumentality of the U.S. government.

 invest a portion of its assets in trade claims.

 purchase and sell securities on a "when-issued," "delayed delivery" or "to-be-announced (TBA)" basis.

 invest in asset-backed securities, including adjustable-rate asset-backed securities that have interest rates that reset at periodic intervals.

 borrow up to one-third of the value of its total assets (including the amount borrowed, but less all liabilities and indebtedness not represented by senior securities) from banks to increase its holdings of portfolio securities.

 engage in equity-related derivatives and complex securities, such as buying and writing call and put options on securities and indices that trade on national securities exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC), buying and selling futures on equity securities and indexes and options on equity index futures, engaging in equity total return swaps and using equity-linked notes, including up to 2% of the Fund's assets in equity-linked notes on commodity-linked ETFs.

 engage in interest rate-related derivatives, such as interest rate swaps and options thereon, interest rate/bond futures and options thereon, and inflation index swaps.

 engage in credit-related derivatives and complex securities, including buying and selling single name, loan and index credit default swaps and options thereon, fixed income total return swaps, credit-linked notes, collateralized debt obligations.

 buy and sell exchange-traded options on indexes that measure stock volatility, such as the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index® (VIX®).

 invest in REITs.

 invest in business development companies (BDCs).

U.S. Government Securities Fund

The Fund may:

 invest in mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae).

 invest in mortgage dollar rolls.

 buy stripped securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or by an agency or instrumentality of the U.S. government.

 buy and sell Ginnie Maes on a "when-issued," "delayed delivery" or "TBA" basis.

Utilities Fund

The Fund may:

 invest in convertible securities, including preferred equity redemption cumulative stock and other classes of enhanced convertible securities.

 invest a portion of its assets in non-investment grade securities.

 invest without limit in foreign securities, but presently has no intention of investing more than 25% of its net assets in foreign securities not publicly traded in the U.S. The Fund will ordinarily buy foreign securities that are traded in the U.S. or buy American Depositary Receipts.

 lend certain of its portfolio securities to qualified banks and broker-dealers; these loans may not exceed 10% of the value of the Fund's total assets (including all collateral posted as part of the Fund's total assets), measured at the time of the most recent loan.

6


 buy zero coupon bonds and pay-in-kind bonds.

Glossary of Investments, Techniques, Strategies and Their Risks

Certain words or phrases may be used in descriptions of Fund investment policies and strategies to give investors a general sense of the Fund's levels of investment. They are broadly identified with, but not limited to, the following percentages of Fund total assets:

   

“small portion”

less than 10%

“portion”

10% to 25%

“significant”

25% to 50%

“substantial”

50% to 66%

“primary”

66% to 80%

“predominant”

80% or more

If the Fund intends to limit particular investments or strategies to no more than specific percentages of Fund assets, the prospectus or SAI will clearly identify such limitations. The percentages above are not limitations unless specifically stated as such in the Fund's prospectus or elsewhere in this SAI.

The Fund may invest in securities that are rated by various rating agencies such as Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) and S&P® Global Ratings (S&P®), as well as securities that are unrated.

The value of your shares in the Fund will increase as the value of the investments owned by the Fund increases and will decrease as the value of the Fund's investments decreases. In this way, you participate in any change in the value of the investments owned by the Fund. In addition to the factors that affect the value of any particular investment that the Fund owns, the value of the Fund's shares may also change with movement in the investment markets as a whole.

The following is a description of various types of securities, instruments and techniques that may be purchased and/or used by the Fund:.

Asset-backed securities Asset-backed securities represent interests in a pool of loans, leases or other receivables. The assets underlying asset-backed securities may include receivables on home equity loans, credit card loans, and automobile, mobile home and recreational vehicle loans and leases and other assets. Asset-backed securities are often backed by a pool of assets representing the obligations of a number of different parties and may have adjustable interest rates that reset at periodic intervals.

The credit quality of most asset-backed securities depends primarily on the credit quality of the underlying assets, how well the issuers of the securities are insulated from the credit risk of the originator or affiliated entities, and the amount of credit support (if any) provided to the securities. Credit support for asset-backed securities is intended to lessen the effect of failures by obligors (such as individual borrowers or leasers) on the underlying assets to make payments. Credit support generally falls into two categories: (i) liquidity protection; and (ii) protection against losses from the default by an obligor on the underlying assets.

Liquidity protection refers to advances, generally provided by the entity administering the pool of assets, intended to ensure that the receipt of payments due on the underlying pool is timely. Protection against losses from the default by an obligor can enhance the likelihood of payments of the obligations on at least some of the assets in the pool. Protection against losses from default may be provided through guarantees, insurance policies or letters of credit obtained by the issuer or sponsor from third parties. Alternatively, this protection may be provided through various means of structuring the transaction, or through a combination of these approaches.

Examples of credit support arising out of the structure of the transaction include "senior subordinated securities" (securities with one or more classes that are subordinate to the other classes with respect to the payment of principal and interest, with the result that defaults on the underlying assets should be borne first by the holders of the subordinated class), creation of "reserve funds" (where cash or investments, sometimes funded from a portion of the payments on the underlying assets, are held in reserve against future losses), and "over-collateralization" (where the scheduled payments on, or the principal amount of, the underlying assets exceeds that required to make payments on the securities and pay any servicing or other fees).

The degree of credit support provided is generally based on historical information about the level of credit risk associated with the underlying assets. Historical information may not adequately reflect present or future credit risk. Delinquencies or losses in excess of those anticipated could occur and could adversely affect the return on an investment in the securities. There is no guarantee that the type of credit support selected will be effective at reducing the illiquidity or losses to investors in the event of certain defaults. Where credit support is provided by a third party, the Fund will be exposed to the credit risk of that third party in addition to the credit risk of the issuer or sponsor of the asset-backed security and the underlying obligors.

Asset-backed securities also have risk due to a characteristic known as early amortization, or early payout, risk. Built into the structure of certain asset-backed securities are triggers for early payout, designed to protect investors from losses. These triggers are unique to each transaction and can include, among other things: a significant rise in defaults on the underlying loans, a sharp drop in the credit enhancement level, or the bankruptcy of the issuer or sponsor. Once early amortization begins, all incoming loan payments are used to pay investors as quickly as possible. Prepayment risk also

7


arises when the underlying obligations may be satisfied or "prepaid" before due. Certain asset-backed securities backed by automobile receivables may be affected by such early prepayment of principal on the underlying vehicle sales contract. When amortization or prepayment occurs, the Fund may have to reinvest the proceeds at a rate of interest that is lower than the rate on the existing asset-backed security. In addition, the Fund may suffer a loss if it paid a premium for the asset-backed security as cash flows from the early amortization reduce the value of the premium paid.

Alternatively, if prepayments occur at a slower rate than the investment manager expected, or if payment on the underlying assets is delayed or defaulted upon, the Fund will experience extension risk.

The income received by the Fund on an asset-backed security generally fluctuates more than the income on fixed income debt securities. This is because asset-backed securities are usually structured as pass-through or pay-through securities (similar to mortgage-backed securities and collateralized mortgage obligations). Cash flow generated by payments on the underlying obligations in these structures is shared with the investor as it is received. The rate of payment on asset-backed securities generally depends on the rate of principal and interest payments received on the underlying assets. Payments on underlying assets will be affected by various economic and other factors that shape the market for those underlying assets. Therefore, the income on asset-backed securities will be difficult to predict, and actual yield to maturity will be more or less than the anticipated yield to maturity.

Asset-backed securities have certain risks that stem from the characteristics of the underlying assets. For example, asset-backed securities do not have the benefit of the same type of security interests in the underlying collateral that mortgage-backed securities have, and there may be a limited ability to enforce any security interests that exist. Credit enhancements provided to support asset-backed securities, if any, may be inadequate to protect investors in the event of default. For example, credit card receivables are generally unsecured and a number of state and federal consumer credit laws give debtors the right to set off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the outstanding balance, which can negatively affect the yield and/or value of related asset-backed securities. Issuers of asset-backed securities for which automobile receivables are the underlying assets may be prevented from realizing the full amount due on an automobile sales contract because of state law requirements and restrictions relating to sales of vehicles following their repossession and the obtaining of deficiency judgments following such sales or because of depreciation, damage or loss of a vehicle, the application of bankruptcy and insolvency laws, or other factors. The absence of, or difficulty enforcing, such security interests in the underlying assets may result in additional expenses, delays and losses to the Fund. The Fund's exposure to the credit risk of the credit support provider will also be greater if recourse is limited to the credit support provider in the event of widespread defaults on the underlying obligations.

Bank obligations Bank obligations include fixed, floating or variable rate certificates of deposit (CDs), letters of credit, time and savings deposits, bank notes and bankers' acceptances. CDs are negotiable certificates issued against funds deposited in a commercial bank for a definite period of time and earning a specified return. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits that are held in a banking institution for a specified period of time at a stated interest rate. Savings deposits are deposits that do not have a specified maturity and may be withdrawn by the depositor at any time. Bankers' acceptances are negotiable drafts or bills of exchange normally drawn by an importer or exporter to pay for specific merchandise. When a bank “accepts” a bankers' acceptance, the bank, in effect, unconditionally agrees to pay the face value of the instrument upon maturity. The full amount of the Fund's investment in time and savings deposits or CDs may not be guaranteed against losses resulting from the default of the commercial or savings bank or other institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Bank obligations are exempt from registration with the SEC if issued by U.S. banks or foreign branches of U.S. banks. As a result, the Fund will not receive the same investor protections when investing in bank obligations as opposed to registered securities. Bank notes and other unsecured bank obligations are not guaranteed by the FDIC, so the Fund will be exposed to the credit risk of the bank or institution. In the event of liquidation, bank notes and unsecured bank obligations generally rank behind time deposits, savings deposits and CDs, resulting in a greater potential for losses to the Fund.

The Fund’s investments in bank obligations may be negatively impacted if adverse economic conditions prevail in the banking industry (such as substantial losses on loans, increases in non-performing assets and charge-offs and declines in total deposits). The activities of U.S. banks and most foreign banks are subject to comprehensive regulations which, in the case of U.S. regulations, have undergone substantial changes in the past decade. The enactment of new legislation or regulations, as well as changes in interpretation and enforcement of current laws, may affect the manner of operations and profitability of domestic and foreign banks. Significant developments in the U.S. banking industry have included increased competition from other types of financial institutions, increased acquisition activity and geographic expansion. Banks may be particularly susceptible to certain economic factors, such as interest rate changes and adverse developments in the market for real estate. Fiscal and monetary policy and general economic cycles can affect the availability and cost of funds, loan demand and asset quality and thereby impact the earnings and financial conditions of banks.

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Borrowing The 1940 Act and the SEC's current rules, exemptions and interpretations thereunder, permit the Fund to borrow up to one-third of the value of its total assets (including the amount borrowed, but less all liabilities and indebtedness not represented by senior securities) from banks. The Fund is required to maintain continuous asset coverage of at least 300% with respect to such borrowings and to reduce the amount of its borrowings (within three days excluding Sundays and holidays) to restore such coverage if it should decline to less than 300% due to market fluctuations or otherwise. In the event that the Fund is required to reduce its borrowings, it may have to sell portfolio holdings, even if such sale of the Fund's holdings would be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint.

If the Fund makes additional investments while borrowings are outstanding, this may be considered a form of leverage. Leveraging by means of borrowing may exaggerate the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of portfolio securities on the Fund's net asset value, and money borrowed will be subject to interest and other costs (which may include commitment fees and/or the cost of maintaining minimum average balances), which may or may not exceed the income or gains received from the securities purchased with borrowed funds.

In addition to borrowings that are subject to 300% asset coverage and are considered by the SEC to be permitted “senior securities,” the Fund is also permitted under the 1940 Act to borrow for temporary purposes in an amount not exceeding 5% of the value of its total assets at the time when the loan is made. A loan will be presumed to be for temporary purposes if it is repaid within 60 days and is not extended or renewed.

Callable securities Callable securities give the issuer the right to redeem the security on a given date or dates (known as the call dates) prior to maturity. In return, the call feature is factored into the price of the debt security, and callable debt securities typically offer a higher yield than comparable non-callable securities. Certain securities may be called only in whole (the entire security is redeemed), while others may be called in part (a portion of the total face value is redeemed) and possibly from time to time as determined by the issuer. There is no guarantee that the Fund will receive higher yields or a call premium on an investment in callable securities.

The period of time between the time of issue and the first call date, known as call protection, varies from security to security. Call protection provides the investor holding the security with assurance that the security will not be called before a specified date. As a result, securities with call protection generally cost more than similar securities without call protection. Call protection will make a callable security more similar to a long-term debt security, resulting in an associated increase in the callable security's interest rate sensitivity.

Documentation for callable securities usually requires that investors be notified of a call within a prescribed period of time. If a security is called, the Fund will receive the principal amount and accrued interest, and may receive a small additional payment as a call premium. Issuers are more likely to exercise call options in periods when interest rates are below the rate at which the original security was issued, because the issuer can issue new securities with lower interest payments. Callable securities are subject to the risks of other debt securities in general, including prepayment risk, especially in falling interest rate environments.

Collateralized debt obligations Collateralized debt obligations and similarly structured securities, sometimes known generally as CDOs, are interests in a trust or other special purpose entity (SPE) and are typically backed by a diversified pool of bonds, loans or other debt obligations. CDOs are not limited to investments in one type of debt and, accordingly, a CDO may be collateralized by corporate bonds, commercial loans, asset-backed securities, residential mortgage-backed securities, real estate investment trusts (REITs), commercial mortgage-backed securities, emerging market debt, and municipal bonds. Certain CDOs may use derivatives contracts, such as credit default swaps, to create “synthetic” exposure to assets rather than holding such assets directly, which entails the risks of derivative instruments described elsewhere in this SAI.

Common varieties of CDOs include the following:

Collateralized loan obligations. Collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) are interests in a trust typically collateralized substantially by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans made to domestic and foreign borrowers, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans.

Collateralized bond obligations. Collateralized bond obligations (CBOs) are interests in a trust typically backed substantially by a diversified pool of high risk, below investment grade fixed income securities.

Structured finance CDOs. Structured finance CDOs are interests in a trust typically backed substantially by structured investment products such as asset-backed securities and commercial mortgage-backed securities.

Synthetic CDOs. In contrast to CDOs that directly own the underlying debt obligations, referred to as cash CDOs, synthetic CDOs are typically collateralized substantially by derivatives contracts, such as credit default swaps, to create “synthetic” exposure to assets rather than holding such assets directly, which entails the risks of derivative instruments described elsewhere in this SAI, principally counterparty risk.

CDOs are similar in structure to collateralized mortgage obligations. Unless the context indicates otherwise, the

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discussion of CDOs below also applies to CLOs, CBOs and other similarly structured securities.

In CDOs, the cash flows from the SPE are split into two or more portions, called tranches (or classes), that vary in risk and yield. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche which bears the first loss from defaults on the bonds or loans in the SPE and is intended to protect the other, more senior tranches from severe, and potentially unforeseen, defaults or delinquent collateral payments (though such protection is not complete). Because they may be partially protected from defaults, senior tranches from a CDO typically have higher ratings and lower yields than the underlying collateral securities held by the trust, and may be rated investment grade. Despite protection from the equity tranche, more senior tranches can experience, and may have experienced in the past, substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default, downgrades of the underlying collateral by rating agencies, forced liquidation of a collateral pool due to a failure of coverage tests, disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as a market aversion to CDO securities as a class.

The risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type of collateral held by the SPE and the tranche of the CDO in which the Fund invests. Investment risk may also be affected by the performance of a CDO’s collateral manager (the entity responsible for selecting and managing the pool of collateral securities held by the SPE trust), especially during periods of market volatility. Normally, CDOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws and traded in a public market. As a result, investments in CDOs may be characterized by the Fund as illiquid securities. However, an active dealer market may exist for CDOs allowing the Fund to trade CDOs with other qualified institutional investors under Rule 144A. To the extent such investments are characterized as illiquid, they will be subject to the Fund’s restrictions on investments in illiquid securities. The Fund’s investment in unregistered securities such as CDOs will not receive the same investor protection as an investment in registered securities.

All tranches of CDOs, including senior tranches with high credit ratings, can experience, and at times many have experienced, substantial losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to future defaults due to the disappearance of protecting tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as market aversion to CDO securities as a class. In the past, prices of CDO tranches have declined considerably. The drop in prices was initially triggered by the subprime mortgage crisis. Subprime mortgages make up a significant portion of the mortgage securities that collateralize many CDOs. As floating interest rates and mortgage default rates increased, the rating agencies that had rated the mortgage securities and CDO transactions backed by such mortgages realized their default assumptions were too low and began to downgrade the credit rating of these transactions. There can be no assurance that additional losses of equal or greater magnitude will not occur in the future.

In addition to the normal risks associated with debt securities and asset backed securities (e.g., interest rate risk, credit risk and default risk) described elsewhere in this SAI, CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the quality of the collateral may decline in value or quality or go into default or be downgraded; (iii) the Fund may invest in tranches of a CDO that are subordinate to other classes; and (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer, difficulty in valuing the security or unexpected investment results.

Certain issuers of CDOs may be deemed to be “investment companies” as defined in the 1940 Act. As a result, the Fund’s investment in these structured investments from these issuers may be limited by the restrictions contained in the 1940 Act. CDOs generally charge management fees and administrative expenses that the shareholders of the Fund would pay indirectly.

Commodity-linked instruments Commodity-linked instruments are designed to provide exposure to the price movements of real assets that trade in the commodity markets without direct investment in physical commodities. Real assets are assets such as oil, gas, industrial and precious metals, livestock, and agricultural or meat products, or other items that have tangible properties, as compared to stocks or bonds, which are financial instruments.

Obtaining exposure to the price movements of physical commodities through commodity-linked instruments presents unique risks, is speculative and can be extremely volatile. Market prices of commodities may fluctuate rapidly based on numerous factors, including: changes in supply and demand relationships (whether actual, perceived, anticipated, unanticipated or unrealized); weather; agriculture; trade; domestic and foreign political and economic events and policies; diseases; pestilence; technological developments; and monetary and other governmental policies, action and inaction. The current or “spot” prices of physical commodities may also affect, in a volatile and inconsistent manner, the prices of futures contracts in respect of the relevant commodity. Certain commodities are used primarily in one industry, and fluctuations in levels of activity in (or the availability of alternative resources to) one industry may have a disproportionate effect on global demand for a particular commodity. Moreover, growth in industrial production and gross domestic product has made China and other developing nations oversized users of commodities and has

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increased the extent to which certain commodities prices are influenced by those markets.

The Fund does not consider currencies or other financial commodities or contracts and financial instruments to be physical commodities (which include, for example, oil, precious metals and grains). Accordingly, the Fund interprets the fundamental restriction to permit the Fund (subject to the Fund's investment goal and general investment policies as stated in the Fund's prospectus and this SAI) to invest directly in foreign currencies and other financial commodities and to purchase, sell or enter into commodity futures contracts and options thereon, foreign currency forward contracts, foreign currency options, currency, commodity and financial instrument-related swap agreements, hybrid instruments, interest rate, securities-related or foreign currency-related hedging instruments or other currency-, commodity- or financial instrument-related derivatives, subject to compliance with any applicable provisions of the federal securities or commodities laws. The Fund also interprets its fundamental restriction regarding purchasing and selling physical commodities to permit the Fund to invest in exchange-traded funds or other entities that invest in physical and/or financial commodities, subject to the limits described in the Fund's prospectus and SAI.

Commodity-linked notes. The value of a commodity-linked note is primarily linked to the price movements of physical commodity (such as heating oil, livestock, or agricultural products), a commodity futures or option contract, a commodity index (such as the S&P GSCI), or some other readily measurable variable that reflects changes in the value of particular commodities or the commodities markets. The notes in which the Fund invests are typically issued by a bank or other financial institution or a commodity producer, and the Fund negotiates with the issuer to obtain specific terms and features that are tailored to the Fund’s investment needs. A typical note may have the following characteristics:

 Issuer: A bank, other financial institution or commodity producer with respect to commodity-linked notes.

 Maturity: Commodity-Linked Notes (12-18 months)

 Purchase Price: The Fund purchases a note at a specified face value, for example $100 or $1,000.

 Payment Characteristics: The Fund receives an interest payment at a fixed coupon rate determined at the time of purchase. With respect to commodity-linked notes, the Fund also receives a payment at maturity that is based on the price movement of the underlying commodity, for example heating oil, or a commodity index (e.g., the S&P GSCI). This payment will typically be an amount that is a multiple of the price increase or decrease of the underlying commodity or commodity index. The investment manager currently anticipates that most notes purchased by the Fund will be leveraged at a 3 to 1 factor (i.e., the return of the index is multiplied 3x for purposes of the Fund’s returns).

 "Put” and Automatic Redemption Features: The Fund typically has the right to “put” (or sell) a commodity-linked note to the issuer at any time, at a price based on the commodity-linked note’s face value as adjusted to reflect the price movement of the underlying commodity, commodity futures or option contract, commodity index, or other economic variable. A typical note also provides that the issuer will automatically repurchase the note from the Fund if the value of the note decreases to a specified level, which would occur if the price of the underlying commodity, commodity futures or option contract, or commodity index, which ever the case may be, reached a level specified under the terms of the note. The Fund can negotiate with the issuer to modify any of the typical characteristics described above. For example, the Fund can negotiate to extend or shorten the maturity of a note, or to receive interest payments at a variable interest rate instead of at a fixed interest rate.

Convertible securities A convertible security is generally a debt obligation, preferred stock or other security that may be converted within a specified period of time into a certain amount of common stock of the same or of a different issuer. The conversion may occur at the option of the investor in or issuer of the security, or upon a predetermined event. A convertible security typically provides a fixed-income stream and the opportunity, through its conversion feature, to participate in the capital appreciation resulting from a market price advance in its underlying common stock. As with a straight fixed-income security, a convertible security tends to increase in market value when interest rates decline and decrease in value when interest rates rise. Like a common stock, the value of a convertible security also tends to increase as the market value of the underlying stock rises, and it tends to decrease as the market value of the underlying stock declines. Because both interest rate and market movements can influence its value, a convertible security is usually not as sensitive to interest rate changes as a similar fixed-income security, nor is it as sensitive to changes in share price as its underlying stock. Convertible securities are also subject to risks that affect debt securities in general.

Although less than an investment in the underlying stock, the potential for gain on an investment in a convertible security is greater than for similar non-convertible securities. As a result, a lower yield is generally offered on convertible securities than on otherwise equivalent non-convertible securities. There is no guarantee that the Fund will realize gains on a convertible security in excess of the foregone yield it accepts to invest in such convertible security.

A convertible security is usually issued either by an operating company or by an investment bank. When issued by an

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operating company, a convertible security tends to be senior to the company's common stock, but may be subordinate to other types of fixed-income securities issued by that company. When a convertible security issued by an operating company is "converted," the operating company often issues new stock to the holder of the convertible security. However, if the convertible security is redeemable and the parity price of the convertible security is less than the call price, the operating company may pay out cash instead of common stock.

If the convertible security is issued by an investment bank or other sponsor, the security is an obligation of and is convertible through, the issuing investment bank. However, the common stock received upon conversion is of a company other than the investment bank or sponsor. The issuer of a convertible security may be important in determining the security's true value. This is because the holder of a convertible security will have recourse only to the issuer.

Contingent convertible securities (CoCos). A contingent convertible security, or CoCo, is a hybrid debt security typically issued by a non-U.S. bank that, upon the occurrence of a specified trigger event, may be (i) convertible into equity securities of the issuer at a predetermined share price; or (ii) written down in liquidation value. Trigger events are identified in the documents that govern the CoCo and may include a decline in the issuer’s capital below a specified threshold level, an increase in the issuer’s risk weighted assets, the share price of the issuer falling to a particular level for a certain period of time and certain regulatory events, such as a change in regulatory capital requirements. CoCos are designed to behave like bonds in times of economic health yet absorb losses when the trigger event occurs.

With respect to CoCos that provide for conversion of the CoCo into common shares of the issuer in the event of a trigger event, the conversion would deepen the subordination of the investor, subjecting the Fund to a greater risk of loss in the event of bankruptcy. In addition, because the common stock of the issuer may not pay a dividend, investors in such instruments could experience reduced yields (or no yields at all). With respect to CoCos that provide for the write down in liquidation value of the CoCo in the event of a trigger event, it is possible that the liquidation value of the CoCo may be adjusted downward to below the original par value or written off entirely under certain circumstances. For instance, if losses have eroded the issuer’s capital levels below a specified threshold, the liquidation value of the CoCo may be reduced in whole or in part. The write-down of the CoCo’s par value may occur automatically and would not entitle holders to institute bankruptcy proceedings against the issuer. In addition, an automatic write-down could result in a reduced income rate if the dividend or interest payment associated with the CoCo is based on par value. Coupon payments on CoCos may be discretionary and may be cancelled by the issuer for any reason or may be subject to approval by the issuer’s regulator and may be suspended in the event there are insufficient distributable reserves.

CoCos are subject to the credit, interest rate, high yield securities, foreign securities and market risks associated with bonds and equity securities, and to the risks specific to convertible securities in general. They are also subject to other specific risks. CoCos typically are structurally subordinated to traditional convertible bonds in the issuer’s capital structure, which increases the risk that the Fund may experience a loss. In certain scenarios, investors in CoCos may suffer a loss of capital ahead of equity holders or when equity holders do not. CoCos are generally speculative and the prices of CoCos may be volatile. There is no guarantee that the Fund will receive return of principal on CoCos.

Convertible preferred stock. A convertible preferred stock is usually treated like a preferred stock for the Fund's financial reporting, credit rating and investment policies and limitations purposes. A preferred stock is subordinated to all debt obligations in the event of insolvency, and an issuer's failure to make a dividend payment is generally not an event of default entitling the preferred shareholder to take action. A preferred stock generally has no maturity date, so that its market value is dependent on the issuer's business prospects for an indefinite period of time. Distributions from preferred stock are dividends, rather than interest payments, and are usually treated as such for tax purposes. Investments in convertible preferred stock, as compared to the debt obligations of an issuer, generally increase the Fund's exposure to the credit risk of the issuer and market risk generally, because convertible preferred stock will fare more poorly if the issuer defaults or markets suffer.

Enhanced convertible securities. In addition to "plain vanilla" convertible securities, a number of different structures have been created to fit the characteristics of specific investors and issuers. Examples of these features include yield enhancement, increased equity exposure or enhanced downside protection. From an issuer's perspective, enhanced structures are designed to meet balance sheet criteria, maximize interest/dividend payment deductibility and reduce equity dilution. Examples of enhanced convertible securities include mandatory convertible securities, convertible trust preferred securities, exchangeable securities, and zero coupon and deep discount convertible bonds.

Risks. An investment in a convertible security may involve risks. The Fund may have difficulty disposing of such securities because there may be a thin trading market for a particular security at any given time. Reduced liquidity may have an adverse impact on market price and the Fund's ability to dispose of a security when necessary to meet the Fund's liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event, such as the deterioration in the creditworthiness of an issuer. Reduced liquidity in the secondary market for certain securities may also make it more difficult for the Fund to

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obtain market quotations based on actual trades for purposes of valuing the Fund's portfolio. Although the Fund intends to acquire convertible securities that the investment manager considers to be liquid (i.e., those securities that the investment manager determines may be sold on an exchange, or an institutional or other substantial market), there can be no assurances that this will be achieved. Certain securities and markets can become illiquid quickly, resulting in liquidity risk for the Fund. The Fund will also encounter difficulty valuing convertible securities due to illiquidity or other circumstances that make it difficult for the Fund to obtain timely market quotations based on actual trades for convertible securities. Convertible securities may have low credit ratings, which generally correspond with higher credit risk to an investor like the Fund.

Synthetic convertible securities. A synthetic convertible is created by combining distinct securities that together possess the two principal characteristics of a true convertible security, i.e., fixed income payments in the form of interest or dividends and the right to acquire the underlying equity security. This combination is achieved by investing in nonconvertible debt securities and in warrants or stock or stock index call options which grant the holder the right to purchase a specified quantity of securities within a specified period of time at a specified price (or to receive cash, in the case of stock index options). Synthetic convertibles are typically offered by financial institutions and investment banks in private placement transactions. Upon conversion, the Fund generally receives an amount in cash equal to the difference between the conversion price and the then-current value of the underlying security. Synthetic convertible instruments may also include structured notes, equity-linked notes, mandatory convertibles and combinations of securities and instruments.

In addition to the general risks of convertible securities and the special risks of enhanced convertible securities, there are risks unique to synthetic convertible securities. Synthetic convertible securities differ from true convertible securities in several respects. The value of a synthetic convertible security is the sum of the values of its debt security component and its convertibility component. Thus, the values of a synthetic convertible and a true convertible security will respond differently to market fluctuations. Although the investment manager expects normally to create synthetic convertible securities whose two components provide exposure to the same issuer, the character of a synthetic convertible allows the Fund to combine components representing distinct issuers, or to combine a debt security with a call option on a stock index. In addition, the component parts of a synthetic convertible security may be purchased simultaneously or separately; and the holder of a synthetic convertible faces the risk that the price of the stock, or the level of the market index underlying the convertibility component will decline. Exposure to more than one issuer or participant will increase the number of parties upon which the investment depends and the complexity of that investment and, as a result, increase the Fund's credit risk and valuation risk.

Corporate Loans, Assignments and Participations

Corporate loans. Corporate loans typically are structured and negotiated by a group of financial institutions and other investors, including in some cases, the Fund, that provide capital to the borrowers. In return, the borrowers pay interest and repay the loan's principal. Such corporate loans often pay interest rates that are reset periodically on the basis of a floating base lending rate, such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), plus a premium. The Fund may invest in corporate loans directly at the time of the loan's closing or by buying an assignment of all or a portion of the corporate loan from a lender. The Fund may also invest indirectly in a corporate loan by buying a loan participation from a lender or other purchaser of a participation. Corporate loans may include term loans, Bridge Loans (as described below) and, to the extent permissible for the Fund, revolving credit facilities, prefunded letters of credit term loans, delayed draw term loans and receivables purchase facilities.

With various London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) rates discontinued at the end of 2021 (and remaining rates scheduled to be discontinued by June 2023), the loan market is undergoing a significant change in the benchmark that forms a key component of loan returns. For further information on the transition from LIBOR, see “LIBOR Transition” below.

The Fund limits the amount of total assets that it will invest in any one issuer. For purposes of these limitations, the Fund generally will treat the borrower as the "issuer" of indebtedness held by the Fund. In loan participations, a bank or other lending institution serves as financial intermediary between the Fund and the borrower, the participation may not shift to the Fund the direct debtor-creditor relationship with the borrower. In this case, SEC interpretations require the Fund, in appropriate circumstances, to treat both the lending bank or other lending institution and the borrower as "issuers" for these purposes. Treating a financial intermediary as an issuer of indebtedness may restrict the Fund's ability to invest in indebtedness related to a single financial intermediary, or intermediaries engaged in the same industry, even if the underlying borrowers represent different companies and industries.

Negotiation and administration of loans. Each type of corporate loan in which the Fund may invest typically is structured by a group of lenders and other investors. This means that the lenders and other investors, which may include other Franklin Templeton funds and accounts, participate in the negotiations with the corporate borrower and in the drafting of the terms of the corporate loan. The group of lenders and other investors often consists of commercial banks, thrift institutions, insurance companies, finance

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companies, other financial institutions, or in some cases other investors, including investment companies such as the Fund. Typically, the Fund will not act as the sole negotiator or sole investor for a corporate loan. One or more of the lenders usually administers the corporate loan on behalf of all the lenders and other investors; this lender is referred to as the Agent Bank.

Three ways to invest in corporate loans. The Fund may invest in corporate loans in any of three ways. The Fund may: (i) make a direct investment by purchasing an assignment of part or all of a corporate loan; (ii) make an indirect investment by purchasing a participation interest in a corporate loan; or (iii) make a direct investment in a corporate loan by participating as one of the initial investors. Participation interests are interests sold by a lender or other holders of participation interests, which usually represent a fractional interest in a corporate loan. An assignment represents a direct interest in a corporate loan or portion of a corporate loan previously owned by a different investor. Unlike where the Fund purchases a participation interest, the Fund will generally become an investor for the purposes of the relevant corporate loan agreement by purchasing an assignment.

1. Assignments of corporate loans. If the Fund purchases an assignment of a corporate loan, the Fund will assume the position of the original investor. The Fund will have the right to receive payments directly from the corporate borrower and to enforce its contractual rights directly against the corporate borrower. The purchase may be made at a discount to par. This means that the Fund receives a return at the full interest rate for the corporate loan rather than a discounted rate.

2. Participation interests in corporate loans. In contrast to the purchase of an assignment, if the Fund purchases a participation interest either from a lender or a participant, the Fund typically will have established a direct contractual relationship with the seller of the participation interest, but not with the corporate borrower. Consequently, the Fund is subject to the credit risk of the lender or participant who sold the participation interest to the Fund, in addition to the usual credit risk of the corporate borrower. Therefore, when the Fund considers an investment in corporate loans through the purchase of participation interests, its investment manager will take into account the creditworthiness of the Agent Bank and any lenders and participants interposed between the Fund and the corporate borrower. These parties are referred to as Intermediate Participants. Additionally, the Fund will consider that there may be limitations on the Fund's ability to vote on amendments to the borrower's underlying loan agreement.

3. Direct investments in corporate loans. When the Fund invests as an initial investor in a new corporate loan, the investment may be made at a discount to par. This means that the Fund receives a return at the full interest rate for the corporate loan, which incorporates the discount.

Because secondary purchases of loans may be made at par, at a premium from par or at a discount from par, the Fund's return on such an investment may be lower or higher than it would have been if the Fund had made a direct initial investment. While loan participations generally trade at a discount, the Fund may buy participations trading at par or at a premium. At certain times when reduced opportunities for direct initial investment in corporate loans may exist, however, the Fund may be able to invest in corporate loans only through participation interests or assignments.

Loan participations. Loan participations may enable the Fund to acquire an interest in a corporate loan from a borrower, which it could not do directly. Because the Fund establishes a direct contractual relationship with the lender or Participant, the Fund is subject to the credit risk of the lender or Participant in addition to the usual credit risk of the corporate borrower and any Agent Bank. Under normal market conditions, loan participations that sell at a discount to the secondary loan price may indicate the borrower has credit problems or other issues associated with the credit risk of the loan. To the extent the credit problems are resolved, loan participations may appreciate in value.

In the event the corporate borrower fails to pay principal and interest when due, the Fund may have to assert rights against the borrower through an Intermediate Participant. This may subject the Fund to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would be involved if the Fund could enforce its rights directly against the corporate borrower. Also, in the event of the insolvency of the lender or Intermediate Participant who sold the participation interest to the Fund, the Fund may not have any exclusive or senior claim with respect to the lender's interest in the corporate loan, or in the collateral securing the corporate loan. Consequently, the Fund might not benefit directly from the collateral supporting the underlying corporate loan. If the Intermediate Participant becomes insolvent, payments of principal and/or interest may be held up or not paid by such Participant or such Participant may not have the resources to assert its and the Fund's rights against the corporate borrower. Similar risks may arise with respect to the Agent Bank.

Obligations to make future advances. Certain revolving credit facility corporate loans (revolvers) and some types of delayed draw loans require that the lenders and other investors, including the Fund, and Intermediate Participants make future advances to the corporate borrower at the demand of the borrower. Other continuing obligations may also exist pursuant to the terms of these types of corporate loans. If the Fund's future obligations are not met for any reason, including the failure of an Intermediate Participant to fulfill its obligations, the Fund's interests may be harmed. Because these loans may involve a commitment on the part of a Fund

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to make a loan to a borrower in the future, they may be treated as unfunded commitment agreements in accordance with applicable requirements of Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act.

Delayed draw term loans. Delayed draw term loans have characteristics of both revolvers and term loans, in that, before they are drawn upon by the borrower, they are similar to a revolver; however when they are drawn upon, they become fully and permanently drawn and are in essence term loans. Upon funding, when a loan is drawn upon, the loan becomes permanently funded, repaid principal amounts may not be reborrowed and interest accrues on the amount outstanding. The borrower pays a fee during the commitment period.

Prefunded L/C term loan. A prefunded L/C term loan (Pre L/C Loan) is sometimes referred to as a funded letter of credit facility. For these loans, the Agent Bank (or another bank) issues letters of credit (each letter, an L/C) to guarantee the repayment of the borrowings by the borrower, as the ultimate debtor under these loans. Each lender or other investor, such as the Fund, transfers to the Agent Bank the amount of money the lender or other investor, has committed under the Pre L/C Loan agreement. The Agent Bank holds the monies solely to satisfy the lenders' or other investors' obligations under the loan agreement.

Whenever the borrower needs funds, it draws against the Pre L/C Loan. Consequently, the lenders or other investors do not have to advance any additional monies at the time the borrower draws against the Pre L/C Loan. To the extent that the borrower does not draw down these monies as borrowings during the term of the Pre L/C Loan, the Agent Bank invests these monies as deposits that pay interest, usually approximating a benchmark rate. This interest is paid to the borrower. Generally, the borrower, via the Agent Bank, pays the lenders or other investors interest at a rate equivalent to the fully drawn spread plus a benchmark rate. The borrower pays this interest during the term of the loan whether or not the borrower borrows monies from the amounts held and invested by the Agent Bank. The principal and any unpaid accrued interest will be returned to the lenders and other investors upon termination of the Pre L/C loan (and upon satisfaction of all obligations).

The risks of investing in corporate loans include all the general risks of investing in debt securities. For example, investments in corporate loans are exposed to the credit risk of the borrowing corporation and any Intermediate Participants, the valuation risk of pricing corporate loans and collateral, and the illiquidity risk associated with holding unregistered, non-exchange traded securities. There are also additional risks associated with an investment in corporate loans, including those described below.

Additional credit risks. Corporate loans may be issued in leveraged or highly leveraged transactions (such as mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, liquidations, spinoffs, reorganizations or financial restructurings), or involving distressed companies or those in bankruptcy (including debtor-in-possession transactions). This means that the borrower is assuming large amounts of debt in order to have large amounts of financial resources to attempt to achieve its business objectives; there is no guarantee, however, that the borrower will achieve its business objectives. Loans issued in leveraged or highly leveraged transactions are subject to greater credit risks than other loans, including an increased possibility that the borrower might default or go into bankruptcy.

Insufficient collateral. The terms of most senior secured corporate loans and corporate debt securities in which the Fund invests generally provide that the collateral provided by the corporate borrower have a fair market value at least equal to 100% of the amount of such corporate loan at the time of the loan. The investment manager generally will determine the value of the collateral by customary valuation techniques that it considers appropriate. The collateral may consist of various types of assets or interests including working capital assets, such as accounts receivable or inventory, tangible fixed assets, such as real property, buildings and equipment, tangible or intangible assets, such as trademarks, copyrights and patent rights, or security interests in securities of subsidiaries or affiliates. The borrower's owners or other parties may provide additional security.

The Fund may encounter difficulty valuing the collateral, especially less tangible assets. The value of the collateral may decline following investment by the Fund in the corporate loan. Also, collateral may be difficult to sell or liquidate and insufficient in the event of a default. Consequently, there can be no assurance that the liquidation of any collateral securing a corporate loan would satisfy the borrower's obligation in the event of nonpayment of scheduled interest or principal payments, or that such collateral could be readily liquidated. In the event of bankruptcy of a borrower, the Fund could experience delays or limitations with respect to its ability to realize the benefits of any collateral securing a corporate loan. Collateral securing a corporate loan may lose all or substantially all of its value in the event of bankruptcy of a borrower. Some corporate loans are subject to the risk that a court, pursuant to fraudulent conveyance or other similar laws, could order currently existing or future indebtedness of the corporate borrower to be paid ahead of the corporate loans. This order could make repayment of the corporate loans in part or in full less likely. The court could take other action detrimental to the holders of the corporate loans including, in certain circumstances, invalidating such corporate loans or causing interest previously paid to be refunded to the borrower.

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Potential lack of investor protections under federal and state securities laws. If a corporate loan purchased by the Fund is not considered to be a “security,” the Fund will not receive the same investor protections with respect to such investment that are available to purchasers of investments that are considered “securities” under federal and state securities laws, including any possible recourse against a member of the lending syndicate as an underwriter or the borrower as an issuer.

Lack of publicly available information and ratings. Corporate loans in which the Fund may invest may not be rated by a rating agency, will not be registered with the SEC or any state securities commission and will not be listed on any national securities exchange. The amount of public information available with respect to corporate loans will generally be less than that available for registered or exchange listed securities; however, the investment manager will not invest in a loan if, in its judgment, it does not have enough information on the loan to satisfy its due diligence standards.

Non-public information and limitations on its use. From time to time, the investment manager, on behalf of the Fund, may elect to receive material non-public information (MNPI) about an individual loan that is not available to other lenders of such loan who may be unwilling to enter into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the borrower or company and restrict themselves from trading in the loan for a specified period of time. If the investment manager, on behalf of the Fund, elects to become restricted on any individual loan as a result of agreeing to receive MNPI about the loan and signing an NDA, the Fund might be unable to enter into a transaction in a security of that borrower, when it would otherwise be advantageous to do so.

Liquidity of corporate loans. The investment manager generally considers corporate loans, loan participations and assignments of corporate loans to be liquid. To the extent such investments are deemed to be liquid by the investment manager, they will not be subject to the Fund's restrictions on investments in illiquid securities. Generally, a liquid market with institutional buyers exists for such interests. The investment manager monitors each type of loan and/or loan interest in which the Fund is invested to determine whether it is liquid consistent with the liquidity procedures adopted by the Fund.

No active trading market may exist for some corporate loans and some corporate loans may be subject to restrictions on resale. A secondary market in corporate loans may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods, which may impair the ability to accurately value existing and prospective investments and to realize in a timely fashion the full value on sale of a corporate loan. In addition, the Fund may not be able to readily sell its corporate loans at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell such loans if they were more widely held and traded. As a result of such potential illiquidity, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations. Purchases of corporate loans in the secondary market will be generally treated as when issued, forward-settling and non-standard settlement cycle securities transactions not involving a senior security under applicable provisions of Rule 18f-4.

Risks based on Agent Banks and/or Intermediate Participants. The Agent Bank typically administers the corporate loan. The Agent Bank typically is responsible for collecting principal, interest and fee payments from the corporate borrower. The Agent Bank then distributes these payments to all lenders and other investors that are parties to the corporate loan or own participation interests therein. The Fund will not act as an Agent Bank under normal circumstances. The Fund generally will rely on the Agent Bank or an Intermediate Participant to collect its portion of the payments. The Fund will also rely on the Agent Bank to take appropriate actions against a corporate borrower that is not making payments as scheduled. Typically, the Agent Bank is given broad discretion in enforcing the terms of the corporate loan, and is required to use only the same care it would use in the management of its own property. The corporate borrower compensates the Agent Bank for these services and this could create an incentive for the Agent Bank to exercise its discretion to the advantage of the corporate borrower to a greater extent than might otherwise be the case. Such compensation may include special fees paid at the start of corporate loans and fees paid on a continuing basis for ongoing services.

In the event that a corporate borrower becomes bankrupt or insolvent, the borrower may attempt to assert certain legal defenses as a result of improper conduct by the Agent Bank or Intermediate Participant. Asserting the Fund's legal rights against the Agent Bank or Intermediate Participant could be expensive and result in the delay or loss to the Fund of principal and/or interest payments.

There is a risk that an Agent Bank may have financial difficulty. An Agent Bank could even declare bankruptcy, or have a receiver, conservator, or similar official appointed for it by a regulatory authority. If this happens, assets held by the Agent Bank under the corporate loan should remain available to holders of corporate loans, including the Fund. However, a regulatory authority or court may determine that assets held by the Agent Bank for the benefit of the Fund are subject to the claims of the Agent Bank's general or secured creditors. The Fund might incur costs and delays in realizing payment on a corporate loan or might suffer a loss of principal or interest. Similar risks arise in situations involving Intermediate Participants, as described above.

Covenants. The borrower or issuer under a corporate loan or debt security generally must comply with various restrictive

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covenants contained in any corporate loan agreement between the borrower and the lending syndicate or in any trust indenture or comparable document in connection with a corporate debt security. A restrictive covenant is a promise by the borrower to take certain actions that protect, or not to take certain actions that may impair, the rights of lenders. These covenants, in addition to requiring the scheduled payment of interest and principal, may include restrictions on dividend payments and other distributions to shareholders, provisions requiring the borrower to maintain specific financial ratios or relationships regarding, and/or limits on, total debt. In addition, a covenant may require the borrower to prepay the corporate loan or corporate debt security with any excess cash flow. Excess cash flow generally includes net cash flow (after scheduled debt service payments and permitted capital expenditures) as well as the proceeds from asset dispositions or sales of securities. A breach of a covenant (after giving effect to any cure period) in a corporate loan agreement which is not waived by the Agent Bank and the lending syndicate normally is an event of acceleration. This means that the Agent Bank has the right to demand immediate repayment in full of the outstanding corporate loan. Acceleration may also occur in the case of the breach of a covenant in a corporate debt security document. If acceleration occurs and the Fund receives repayment before expected, the Fund will experience prepayment risk.

Covenants and covenant lite loans and debt securities. Some covenant lite loans may be in the market from time to time which tend to have fewer or no financial maintenance covenants and restrictions. A covenant lite loan typically contains fewer clauses which allow an investor to proactively enforce financial covenants or prevent undesired actions by the borrower/issuer. Covenant lite loans also generally provide fewer investor protections if certain criteria are breached. The Fund may experience losses or delays in enforcing its rights on its holdings of covenant lite loans.

Bridge financings. The Fund may also acquire interests in loans which are designed to provide temporary or “bridge” financing (Bridge Loans) to a borrower pending the sale of identified assets; the arrangement of longer-term loans; or the issuance and sale of debt obligations. The Fund may also make a commitment to participate in a Bridge Loan facility. Most Bridge Loans are structured as floating-rate debt with step-up provisions under which the interest rate on the Bridge Loan rises the longer the Loan remains outstanding. In addition, Bridge Loans commonly contain a conversion feature that allows the Bridge Loan investor to convert its loan interest to senior exchange notes if the loan has not been prepaid in full on or prior to its maturity date. Bridge Loans may be subordinate to other debt and may be unsecured or under-secured. Bridge Loans are subject to the same general risks discussed above inherent to any loan investment. Due to their subordinated nature and possible unsecured or under-secured status, Bridge Loans may involve a higher degree of overall risk than more senior loans of the same borrower. Bridge Loans also generally carry the expectation that the borrower will be able to sell the assets, obtain permanent financing or sell other debt obligations in the near future. Any delay in these occurrences subjects the Bridge Loan investor to increased credit risk and may impair the borrower’s perceived creditworthiness. In addition, Bridge Loans may result in or lead to longer-term or permanent indebtedness.

Credit-linked notes (CLNs) CLNs are typically set-up as a "pass-through" note structure created by a broker or bank as an alternative investment for funds or other purchasers to directly buying a bond or group of bonds. CLNs are typically issued at par, with a one to one relationship with the notional value to the underlying bond(s). The performance of the CLN, however, including maturity value, is linked to the performance of the specified underlying bond(s) as well as that of the issuing entity.

In addition to the risk of loss of its principal investment, the Fund bears the risk that the issuer of the CLN will default or become bankrupt. In such an event, the Fund may have difficulty being repaid, or fail to be repaid, the principal amount of its investment. A downgrade or impairment to the credit rating of the issuer will also likely impact negatively the price of the CLN, regardless of the price of the bond(s) underlying the CLNs. A CLN is typically structured as a limited recourse, unsecured obligation of the issuer of such security such that the security will usually be the obligation solely of the issuer and will not be an obligation or responsibility of any other person, including the issuer of the underlying bond(s).

Most CLNs are structured as Rule 144A securities so that they may be freely traded among institutional buyers. However, the market for CLNs may be, or suddenly can become, illiquid. The other parties to the transaction may be the only investors with sufficient understanding of the CLN to be interested in bidding for it. Changes in liquidity may result in significant, rapid and unpredictable changes in the prices of CLNs. In certain cases, a market price for a CLN may not be available or may not be reliable, and the Fund could experience difficulty in selling such security at a price the investment manager believes is fair.

Cybersecurity With the increased use of technologies such as mobile devices and Web-based or “cloud” applications, and the dependence on the Internet and computer systems to conduct business, the Fund is susceptible to operational, information security and related risks. In general, cybersecurity incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events (arising from external or internal sources) that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption, physical damage to a computer or network system or lose operational capacity. Cybersecurity attacks include, but are not limited to, infection by malicious software, such as malware or computer viruses or gaining unauthorized access to digital systems, networks or devices

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that are used to service the Fund’s operations (e.g., through “hacking,” “phishing” or malicious software coding) or other means for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cybersecurity attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on the Fund’s websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users). Recently, geopolitical tensions may have increased the scale and sophistication of deliberate cybersecurity attacks, particularly those from nation-states or from entities with nation-state backing. In addition, authorized persons could inadvertently or intentionally release confidential or proprietary information stored on the Fund’s systems.

Cybersecurity incidents affecting the Fund’s investment manager and other service providers to the Fund or its shareholders (including, but not limited to, sub-advisors, accountants, custodians, sub-custodians, transfer agents and financial intermediaries) have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses to both the Fund and its shareholders, interference with the Fund’s ability to calculate its net asset value, impediments to trading, the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business and the Fund to process transactions (including fulfillment of purchases and redemptions), violations of applicable privacy and other laws (including the release of private shareholder information) and attendant breach notification and credit monitoring costs, regulatory fines, penalties, litigation costs, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, forensic investigation and remediation costs, and/or additional compliance costs. Similar adverse consequences could result from cybersecurity incidents affecting issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, counterparties with which the Fund engages in transactions, governmental and other regulatory authorities, exchange and other financial market operators, banks, brokers, dealers, insurance companies and other financial institutions (including financial intermediaries and other service providers) and other parties. In addition, substantial costs may be incurred in order to safeguard against and reduce the risk of any cybersecurity incidents in the future. In addition to administrative, technological and procedural safeguards, the Fund’s investment manager has established business continuity plans in the event of, and risk management systems to prevent or reduce the impact of, such cybersecurity incidents. However, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified, as well as the rapid development of new threats. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cybersecurity plans and systems put in place by its service providers or any other third parties whose operations may affect the Fund and its shareholders. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

Because technology is frequently changing, new ways to carry out cyber attacks are always developing. Therefore, there is a chance that some risks have not been identified or prepared for, or that an attack may not be detected, which puts limitations on the Fund's ability to plan for or respond to a cyber attack. Like other funds and business enterprises, the Fund, the investment manager and their service providers are subject to the risk of cyber incidents occurring from time to time.

Debt securities - general description In general, a debt security represents a loan of money to the issuer by the purchaser of the security. A debt security typically has a fixed payment schedule that obligates the issuer to pay interest to the lender and to return the lender's money over a certain time period. A company typically meets its payment obligations associated with its outstanding debt securities before it declares and pays any dividend to holders of its equity securities. Bonds, notes and commercial paper are examples of debt securities and differ in the length of the issuer's principal repayment schedule, with bonds carrying the longest repayment schedule and commercial paper the shortest:

Bonds. A bond is a debt security in which investors lend money to an entity that borrows for a defined period of time, usually a period of more than five years, at a specified interest rate.

Commercial paper. Commercial paper is an unsecured, short-term loan to a corporation, typically for financing accounts receivable and inventory with maturities of up to 270 days.

Debentures. A debenture is an unsecured debt security backed only by the creditworthiness of the borrower, not by collateral.

Bills. A bill is a short-term debt instrument, usually with a maturity of two years or less.

Notes. A note is a debt security usually with a maturity of up to ten years.

For purposes of the discussion in this SAI of the risks of investing in debt securities generally, loans or other short-term instruments, which otherwise may not technically be considered securities, are included.

Debt securities are all generally subject to interest rate, credit, income and prepayment risks and, like all investments, are subject to liquidity and market risks to varying degrees depending upon the specific terms and type of security. The Fund's investment manager attempts to reduce credit and market risk through diversification of the Fund's portfolio and ongoing credit analysis of each issuer, as well as by monitoring economic developments, but there can be no assurance that it will be successful at doing so.

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Defaulted debt securities If the issuer of a debt security in the Fund's portfolio defaults, the Fund may have unrealized losses on the security, which may lower the Fund's net asset value. Defaulted securities tend to lose much of their value before they default. Thus, the Fund's net asset value may be adversely affected before an issuer defaults. The Fund may incur additional expenses if it tries to recover principal or interest payments on a defaulted security. Defaulted debt securities often are illiquid. An investment in defaulted debt securities is generally considered speculative and may expose the Fund to similar risks as an investment in high-yield debt.

Certain funds may buy defaulted debt securities. To the extent that a fund is not permitted to buy defaulted debt securities, the Fund is not required to sell a debt security that has defaulted if the investment manager believes it is advantageous to continue holding the security.

Depositary receipts Many securities of foreign issuers are represented by American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs), and European Depositary Receipts (EDRs) (collectively, depositary receipts). Generally, depositary receipts in registered form are designed for use in the U.S. securities market and depositary receipts in bearer form are designed for use in securities markets outside the U.S.

ADRs evidence ownership of, and represent the right to receive, securities of foreign issuers deposited in a domestic bank or trust company or a foreign correspondent bank. Prices of ADRs are quoted in U.S. dollars, and ADRs are traded in the U.S. on exchanges or over-the-counter. While ADRs do not eliminate all the risks associated with foreign investments, by investing in ADRs rather than directly in the stock of foreign issuers, the Fund will avoid currency and certain foreign market trading risks during the settlement period for either purchases or sales. In general, there is a large, liquid market in the U.S. for ADRs quoted on a national securities exchange. The information available for ADRs is subject to the accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards of the U.S. market or exchange on which they are traded, which standards are generally more uniform and more exacting than those to which many foreign issuers may be subject.

EDRs and GDRs are typically issued by foreign banks or trust companies and evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by either a foreign or a U.S. corporation. EDRs and GDRs may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted. The underlying shares are held in trust by a custodian bank or similar financial institution in the issuer's home country. If the issuer's home country does not have developed financial markets, the Fund could be exposed to the credit risk of the custodian or financial institution and greater market risk. The depository bank may not have physical custody of the underlying securities at all times and may charge fees for various services, including forwarding dividends and interest, and processing corporate actions. The Fund would be expected to pay a share of the additional fees, which it would not pay if investing directly in the foreign securities. The Fund may experience delays in receiving its dividend and interest payments or exercising rights as a shareholder.

Depositary receipts may reduce some but not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in the securities of foreign issuers. Depositary receipts are still subject to the political and economic risks of the underlying issuer's country and are still subject to foreign currency exchange risk. Depositary receipts will be issued under sponsored or unsponsored programs. In sponsored programs, an issuer has made arrangements to have its securities traded in the form of depositary receipts. In unsponsored programs, the issuer may not be directly involved in the creation of the program. Although regulatory requirements with respect to sponsored and unsponsored programs are generally similar, in some cases it may be easier to obtain financial information about an issuer that has participated in the creation of a sponsored program. There may be an increased possibility of untimely responses to certain corporate actions of the issuer, such as stock splits and rights offerings, in an unsponsored program. Accordingly, there may be less information available regarding issuers of securities underlying unsponsored programs and there may not be a correlation between this information and the market value of the depositary receipts. If the Fund's investment depends on obligations being met by the arranger as well as the issuer of an unsponsored program, the Fund will be exposed to additional credit risk.

Derivative instruments Generally, derivatives are financial instruments whose value depends on or is derived from, the value of one or more underlying assets, reference rates, or indices or other market factors (a "reference instrument") and may relate to stocks, bonds, interest rates, credit, currencies, commodities or related indices. Derivative instruments can provide an efficient means to gain or reduce exposure to the value of a reference instrument without actually owning or selling the instrument. Some common types of derivatives include options, futures, forwards and swaps.

Derivative instruments may be used for “hedging,” which means that they may be used when the investment manager seeks to protect the Fund's investments from a decline in value resulting from changes to interest rates, market prices, currency fluctuations or other market factors. Derivative instruments may also be used for other purposes, including to seek to increase liquidity, provide efficient portfolio management, broaden investment opportunities (including taking short or negative positions), implement a tax or cash management strategy, gain exposure to a particular security or segment of the market, modify the effective duration of the Fund's portfolio investments and/or enhance total return.

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However derivative instruments are used, their successful use is not assured and will depend upon, among other factors, the investment manager's ability to gauge relevant market movements.

Derivative instruments may be used for purposes of direct hedging. Direct hedging means that the transaction must be intended to reduce a specific risk exposure of a portfolio security or its denominated currency and must also be directly related to such security or currency. The Fund’s use of derivative instruments may be limited from time to time by policies adopted by the board of trustees or the Fund’s investment manager.

Exclusion of investment manager from commodity pool operator definition. With respect to the Fund, the investment manager has claimed an exclusion from the definition of “commodity pool operator” (CPO) under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and the rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and, therefore, is not subject to CFTC registration or regulation as a CPO. In addition, with respect to the Fund, the investment manager is relying upon a related exclusion from the definition of “commodity trading advisor” (CTA) under the CEA and the rules of the CFTC.

The terms of the CPO exclusion require the Fund, among other things, to adhere to certain limits on its investments in “commodity interests.” Commodity interests include commodity futures, commodity options and swaps, which in turn include non-deliverable currency forward contracts, as further described below. Because the investment manager and the Fund intend to comply with the terms of the CPO exclusion, the Fund may, in the future, need to adjust its investment strategies, consistent with its investment goal, to limit its investments in these types of instruments. The Fund is not intended as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the investment manager’s reliance on these exclusions, or the Fund, its investment strategies or this SAI.

Generally, the exclusion from CPO regulation on which the investment manager relies requires the Fund to meet one of the following tests for its commodity interest positions, other than positions entered into for bona fide hedging purposes (as defined in the rules of the CFTC): either (1) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish the Fund’s positions in commodity interests may not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions); or (2) the aggregate net notional value of the Fund’s commodity interest positions, determined at the time the most recent such position was established, may not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). In addition to meeting one of these trading limitations, the Fund may not be marketed as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets. If, in the future, the Fund can no longer satisfy these requirements, the investment manager would withdraw its notice claiming an exclusion from the definition of a CPO, and the investment manager would be subject to registration and regulation as a CPO with respect to the Fund, in accordance with CFTC rules that apply to CPOs of registered investment companies. Generally, these rules allow for substituted compliance with CFTC disclosure and shareholder reporting requirements, based on the investment manager’s compliance with comparable SEC requirements. However, as a result of CFTC regulation with respect to the Fund, the Fund may incur additional compliance and other expenses.

Currency forward contracts. A currency forward contract is an obligation to purchase or sell a specific non-U.S. currency in exchange for another currency, which may be U.S. dollars, at an agreed exchange rate (price) at a future date. Currency forwards are typically individually negotiated and privately traded by currency traders and their customers in the interbank market. A cross currency forward is a forward contract to sell a specific non-U.S. currency in exchange for another non-U.S. currency and may be used when the price of one of those non-U.S. currencies is expected to experience a substantial movement against the other non-U.S. currency. A currency forward contract will tend to reduce or eliminate exposure to the currency that is sold, and increase exposure to the currency that is purchased, similar to when the Fund sells a security denominated in one currency and purchases a security denominated in another currency. For example, the Fund may enter into a forward contract when it owns a security that is denominated in a non-U.S. currency and desires to “lock in” the U.S. dollar value of the security. In addition, when the Fund’s investment manager believes that a specific foreign currency may experience a substantial movement against another foreign currency, the Fund may enter into a cross currency forward contract to buy or sell, as appropriate, an amount of the foreign currency: (a) approximating the value of some or all of its portfolio securities denominated in such currency (this investment practice generally is referred to as “cross-hedging”); (b) designed to derive a level of additional income or return that the Fund’s investment manager seeks to achieve for the Fund; (c) to increase liquidity; or (d) to gain exposure to a currency in a more efficient or less expensive way. The Fund may also engage in “proxy hedging.” Proxy hedging entails entering into a forward contract to buy or sell a currency whose changes in value are generally considered to perform similarly to a currency or currencies in which some or all of the Fund’s portfolio securities are or are expected to be denominated. Proxy hedging is often used when the currency to which the Fund’s portfolio is exposed is difficult to hedge or to hedge against the U.S. dollar and therefore another currency is used as a “proxy” for such currency.

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At the maturity of a currency or cross currency forward, the Fund may either exchange the currencies specified at the maturity of a forward contract or, prior to maturity, the Fund may enter into a closing transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing transactions with respect to forward contracts are usually effected with the counterparty to the original forward contract. The Fund may also enter into forward contracts that do not provide for physical settlement of the two currencies but instead provide for settlement by a single cash payment calculated as the difference between the agreed upon exchange rate and the spot rate at settlement based upon an agreed upon notional amount (non-deliverable forwards).

Under definitions adopted by the CFTC and SEC, non-deliverable forwards are considered swaps, and therefore are included in the definition of “commodity interests.” Although non-deliverable forwards have historically been traded in the over-the-counter (OTC) market, as swaps they may in the future be required to be centrally cleared and traded on public facilities.For more information on central clearing and trading of cleared swaps, see “Cleared swaps,” “Risks of cleared swaps,” "Comprehensive swaps regulation" and “Developing government regulation of derivatives.” Currency and cross currency forwards that qualify as deliverable forwards are not regulated as swaps for most purposes, and are not included in the definition of “commodity interests.” However these forwards are subject to some requirements applicable to swaps, including reporting to swap data repositories, documentation requirements, and business conduct rules applicable to swap dealers.

CFTC regulation of currency and cross currency forwards, especially non-deliverable forwards, may restrict the Fund’s ability to use these instruments in the manner described above or subject the investment manager to CFTC registration and regulation as a CPO.

Risks of currency forward contracts. The successful use of these transactions will usually depend on the investment manager’s ability to accurately forecast currency exchange rate movements. Should exchange rates move in an unexpected manner, the Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, or it may realize losses. In addition, these techniques could result in a loss if the counterparty to the transaction does not perform as promised, including because of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. While the Fund uses only counterparties that meet its credit quality standards, in unusual or extreme market conditions, a counterparty’s creditworthiness and ability to perform may deteriorate rapidly, and the availability of suitable replacement counterparties may become limited. Moreover, investors should bear in mind that the Fund is not obligated to actively engage in hedging or other currency transactions. For example, the Fund may not have attempted to hedge its exposure to a particular foreign currency at a time when doing so might have avoided a loss.

Currency forward contracts may limit potential gain from a positive change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies. Unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not engaged in such contracts. Moreover, there may be an imperfect correlation between the Fund’s portfolio holdings of securities denominated in a particular currency and the currencies bought or sold in the forward contracts entered into by the Fund. This imperfect correlation may cause the Fund to sustain losses that will prevent the Fund from achieving a complete hedge or expose the Fund to risk of foreign exchange loss.

Futures contracts. Generally, a futures contract is a standard binding agreement to buy or sell a specified quantity of an underlying reference instrument, such as a specific security, currency or commodity, at a specified price at a specified later date. A “sale” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to deliver the underlying reference instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. A “purchase” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to acquire the underlying reference instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. The purchase or sale of a futures contract will allow the Fund to increase or decrease its exposure to the underlying reference instrument without having to buy the actual instrument.

The underlying reference instruments to which futures contracts may relate include non-U.S. currencies, interest rates, stock and bond indices and debt securities, including U.S. government debt obligations. In certain types of futures contracts, the underlying reference instrument may be a swap agreement. For more information about swap agreements generally, see “Swaps” below. In most cases the contractual obligation under a futures contract may be offset, or “closed out,” before the settlement date so that the parties do not have to make or take delivery. The closing out of a contractual obligation is usually accomplished by buying or selling, as the case may be, an identical, offsetting futures contract. This transaction, which is effected through a member of an exchange, cancels the obligation to make or take delivery of the underlying instrument or asset. Although some futures contracts by their terms require the actual delivery or acquisition of the underlying instrument or asset, some require cash settlement.

Futures contracts may be bought and sold on U.S. and non-U.S. exchanges. Futures contracts in the U.S. have been designed by exchanges that have been designated “contract markets” by the CFTC and must be executed through a futures commission merchant (FCM), which is a brokerage firm that is a member of the relevant contract market. Each exchange guarantees performance of the contracts as between the clearing members of the exchange, thereby reducing the risk of counterparty default. Futures contracts may also be entered into on certain exempt markets,

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including exempt boards of trade and electronic trading facilities, available to certain market participants. Because all transactions in the futures market are made, offset or fulfilled by an FCM through a clearinghouse associated with the exchange on which the contracts are traded, the Fund will incur brokerage fees when it buys or sells futures contracts.

The Fund generally buys and sells futures contracts only on contract markets (including exchanges or boards of trade) where there appears to be an active market for the futures contracts, but there is no assurance that an active market will exist for any particular contract or at any particular time. An active market makes it more likely that futures contracts will be liquid and bought and sold at competitive market prices. In addition, many of the futures contracts available may be relatively new instruments without a significant trading history. As a result, there can be no assurance that an active market will develop or continue to exist.

When the Fund enters into a futures contract, it must deliver to an account controlled by the FCM (that has been selected by the Fund), an amount referred to as “initial margin” that is typically calculated as an amount equal to the volatility in market value of a contract over a fixed period. Initial margin requirements are determined by the respective exchanges on which the futures contracts are traded and the FCM. Thereafter, a “variation margin” amount may be required to be paid by the Fund or received by the Fund in accordance with margin controls set for such accounts, depending upon changes in the marked-to-market value of the futures contract. The account is marked-to-market daily and the variation margin is monitored by the Fund’s investment manager and custodian on a daily basis. When the futures contract is closed out, if the Fund has a loss equal to or greater than the margin amount, the margin amount is paid to the FCM along with any loss in excess of the margin amount. If the Fund has a loss of less than the margin amount, the excess margin is returned to the Fund. If the Fund has a gain, the full margin amount and the amount of the gain is paid to the Fund.

Some futures contracts provide for the delivery of securities that are different than those that are specified in the contract. For a futures contract for delivery of debt securities, on the settlement date of the contract, adjustments to the contract can be made to recognize differences in value arising from the delivery of debt securities with a different interest rate from that of the particular debt securities that were specified in the contract. In some cases, securities called for by a futures contract may not have been issued when the contract was written.

Risks of futures contracts. The Fund’s use of futures contracts is subject to the risks associated with derivative instruments generally. In addition, a purchase or sale of a futures contract may result in losses to the Fund in excess of the amount that the Fund delivered as initial margin. Because of the relatively low margin deposits required, futures trading involves a high degree of leverage; as a result, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss, or gain, to the Fund. In addition, if the Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements or close out a futures position, it may have to sell securities from its portfolio at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. Adverse market movements could cause the Fund to experience substantial losses on an investment in a futures contract.

There is a risk of loss by the Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position in a futures contract. The assets of the Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the FCM or central counterparty because the Fund might be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds and margin segregated on behalf of an FCM’s customers. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, the Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use the Fund’s assets, which are held in an omnibus account with assets belonging to the FCM’s other customers, to satisfy its own financial obligations or the payment obligations of another customer to the central counterparty.

The Fund may not be able to properly hedge or effect its strategy when a liquid market is unavailable for the futures contract the Fund wishes to close, which may at times occur. In addition, when futures contracts are used for hedging, there may be an imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of the underlying reference instrument on which the futures contract is based and movements in the prices of the assets sought to be hedged.

If the investment manager’s investment judgment about the general direction of market prices or interest or currency exchange rates is incorrect, the Fund’s overall performance will be poorer than if it had not entered into a futures contract. For example, if the Fund has purchased futures to hedge against the possibility of an increase in interest rates that would adversely affect the price of bonds held in its portfolio and interest rates instead decrease, the Fund will lose part or all of the benefit of the increased value of the bonds which it has hedged. This is because its losses in its futures positions will offset some or all of its gains from the increased value of the bonds.

The difference (called the “spread”) between prices in the cash market for the purchase and sale of the underlying reference instrument and the prices in the futures market is subject to fluctuations and distortions due to differences in the nature of those two markets. First, all participants in the futures market are subject to initial deposit and variation margin requirements. Rather than meeting additional variation margin requirements, investors may close futures contracts through offsetting transactions that could distort the normal pricing spread between the cash and futures markets.

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Second, the liquidity of the futures markets depends on participants entering into offsetting transactions rather than making or taking delivery of the underlying instrument. To the extent participants decide to make or take delivery, liquidity in the futures market could be reduced, resulting in pricing distortion. Third, from the point of view of speculators, the margin deposit requirements that apply in the futures market are less onerous than similar margin requirements in the securities market. Therefore, increased participation by speculators in the futures market may cause temporary price distortions. When such distortions occur, a correct forecast of general trends in the price of an underlying reference instrument by the investment manager may still not necessarily result in a profitable transaction.

Futures contracts that are traded on non-U.S. exchanges may not be as liquid as those purchased on CFTC-designated contract markets. In addition, non-U.S. futures contracts may be subject to varied regulatory oversight. The price of any non-U.S. futures contract and, therefore, the potential profit and loss thereon, may be affected by any change in the non-U.S. exchange rate between the time a particular order is placed and the time it is liquidated, offset or exercised.

The CFTC and the various exchanges have established limits referred to as “speculative position limits” on the maximum net long or net short position that any person, such as the Fund, may hold or control in a particular futures contract. Trading limits are also imposed on the maximum number of contracts that any person may trade on a particular trading day. An exchange may order the liquidation of positions found to be in violation of these limits and it may impose other sanctions or restrictions. The regulation of futures, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law.

Futures exchanges may also limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in certain futures contract prices during a single trading day. This daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price. Once the daily limit has been reached in a futures contract subject to the limit, no more trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movements during a particular trading day and does not limit potential losses because the limit may prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. For example, futures prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of positions and subjecting some holders of futures contracts to substantial losses.

Options on futures contracts. Options on futures contracts trade on the same contract markets as the underlying futures contract. When the Fund buys an option, it pays a premium for the right, but does not have the obligation, to purchase (call) or sell (put) a futures contract at a set price (called the exercise price). The purchase of a call or put option on a futures contract, whereby the Fund has the right to purchase or sell, respectively, a particular futures contract, is similar in some respects to the purchase of a call or put option on an individual security or currency. Depending on the premium paid for the option compared to either the price of the futures contract upon which it is based or the price of the underlying reference instrument, the option may be less risky than direct ownership of the futures contract or the underlying reference instrument. For example, the Fund could purchase a call option on a long futures contract when seeking to hedge against an increase in the market value of the underlying reference instrument, such as appreciation in the value of a non-U.S. currency against the U.S. dollar.

The seller (writer) of an option becomes contractually obligated to take the opposite futures position if the buyer of the option exercises its rights to the futures position specified in the option. In return for the premium paid by the buyer, the seller assumes the risk of taking a possibly adverse futures position. In addition, the seller will be required to post and maintain initial and variation margin with the FCM. One goal of selling (writing) options on futures may be to receive the premium paid by the option buyer.

For more general information about the mechanics of purchasing and writing options, see "Options" below.

Risks of options on futures contracts. The Fund’s use of options on futures contracts is subject to the risks related to derivative instruments generally. In addition, the amount of risk the Fund assumes when it purchases an option on a futures contract is the premium paid for the option plus related transaction costs. The purchase of an option also entails the risk that changes in the value of the underlying futures contract will not be fully reflected in the value of the option purchased. The seller (writer) of an option on a futures contract is subject to the risk of having to take a possibly adverse futures position if the purchaser of the option exercises its rights. If the seller were required to take such a position, it could bear substantial losses. An option writer has potentially unlimited economic risk because its potential loss, except to the extent offset by the premium received, is equal to the amount the option is “in-the-money” at the expiration date. A call option is in-the-money if the value of the underlying futures contract exceeds the exercise price of the option. A put option is in-the-money if the exercise price of the option exceeds the value of the underlying futures contract.

Options. An option is a contract that gives the purchaser of the option, in return for the premium paid, the right to buy an underlying reference instrument, such as a specified security, currency, index, or other instrument, from the writer of the option (in the case of a call option), or to sell a specified reference instrument to the writer of the option (in the case of a put option) at a designated price during the term of the option. The premium paid by the buyer of an option will reflect, among other things, the relationship of the exercise

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price to the market price and the volatility of the underlying reference instrument, the remaining term of the option, supply, demand, interest rates and/or currency exchange rates. An American style put or call option may be exercised at any time during the option period while a European style put or call option may be exercised only upon expiration or during a fixed period prior thereto. Put and call options are traded on national securities exchanges and in the OTC market.

Options traded on national securities exchanges are within the jurisdiction of the SEC or other appropriate national securities regulator, as are securities traded on such exchanges. As a result, many of the protections provided to traders on organized exchanges will be available with respect to such transactions. In particular, all option positions entered into on a national securities exchange in the United States are cleared and guaranteed by the Options Clearing Corporation, thereby reducing the risk of counterparty default. Furthermore, a liquid secondary market in options traded on a national securities exchange may be more readily available than in the OTC market, potentially permitting the Fund to liquidate open positions at a profit prior to exercise or expiration, or to limit losses in the event of adverse market movements. There is no assurance, however, that higher than anticipated trading activity or other unforeseen events might not temporarily render the capabilities of the Options Clearing Corporation inadequate, and thereby result in the exchange instituting special procedures which may interfere with the timely execution of the Fund’s orders to close out open options positions.

Purchasing call and put options. As the buyer of a call option, the Fund has a right to buy the underlying reference instrument (e.g., a currency or security) at the exercise price at any time during the option period (for American style options). The Fund may enter into closing sale transactions with respect to call options, exercise them, or permit them to expire. For example, the Fund may buy call options on underlying reference instruments that it intends to buy with the goal of limiting the risk of a substantial increase in their market price before the purchase is effected. Unless the price of the underlying reference instrument changes sufficiently, a call option purchased by the Fund may expire without any value to the Fund, in which case the Fund would experience a loss to the extent of the premium paid for the option plus related transaction costs.

As the buyer of a put option, the Fund has the right to sell the underlying reference instrument at the exercise price at any time during the option period (for American style options). Like a call option, the Fund may enter into closing sale transactions with respect to put options, exercise them or permit them to expire. The Fund may buy a put option on an underlying reference instrument owned by the Fund (a protective put) as a hedging technique in an attempt to protect against an anticipated decline in the market value of the underlying reference instrument. Such hedge protection is provided only during the life of the put option when the Fund, as the buyer of the put option, is able to sell the underlying reference instrument at the put exercise price, regardless of any decline in the underlying instrument’s market price. The Fund may also seek to offset a decline in the value of the underlying reference instrument through appreciation in the value of the put option. A put option may also be purchased with the intent of protecting unrealized appreciation of an instrument when the investment manager deems it desirable to continue to hold the instrument because of tax or other considerations. The premium paid for the put option and any transaction costs would reduce any short-term capital gain that may be available for distribution when the instrument is eventually sold. Buying put options at a time when the buyer does not own the underlying reference instrument allows the buyer to benefit from a decline in the market price of the underlying reference instrument, which generally increases the value of the put option.

If a put option was not terminated in a closing sale transaction when it has remaining value, and if the market price of the underlying reference instrument remains equal to or greater than the exercise price during the life of the put option, the buyer would not make any gain upon exercise of the option and would experience a loss to the extent of the premium paid for the option plus related transaction costs. In order for the purchase of a put option to be profitable, the market price of the underlying reference instrument must decline sufficiently below the exercise price to cover the premium and transaction costs.

Writing call and put options. Writing options may permit the writer to generate additional income in the form of the premium received for writing the option. The writer of an option may have no control over when the underlying reference instruments must be sold (in the case of a call option) or purchased (in the case of a put option) because the writer may be notified of exercise at any time prior to the expiration of the option (for American style options). In general, though, options are infrequently exercised prior to expiration. Whether or not an option expires unexercised, the writer retains the amount of the premium. Writing “covered” call options means that the writer owns the underlying reference instrument that is subject to the call option. Call options may also be written on reference instruments that the writer does not own.

As the writer of a covered call option, the Fund gives up the potential for capital appreciation above the exercise price of the option should the underlying reference instrument rise in value. If the value of the underlying reference instrument rises above the exercise price of the call option, the reference instrument will likely be “called away,” requiring the Fund to sell the underlying instrument at the exercise price. In that case, the Fund will sell the underlying reference instrument to the option buyer for less than its market value, and the Fund

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will experience a loss (which will be offset by the premium received by the Fund as the writer of such option). If a call option expires unexercised, the Fund will realize a gain in the amount of the premium received. If the market price of the underlying reference instrument decreases, the call option will not be exercised and the Fund will be able to use the amount of the premium received to hedge against the loss in value of the underlying reference instrument. The exercise price of a call option will be chosen based upon the expected price movement of the underlying reference instrument. The exercise price of a call option may be below, equal to (at-the-money), or above the current value of the underlying reference instrument at the time the option is written.

As the writer of a put option, the Fund has a risk of loss should the underlying reference instrument decline in value. If the value of the underlying reference instrument declines below the exercise price of the put option and the put option is exercised, the Fund, as the writer of the put option, will be required to buy the instrument at the exercise price, which will exceed the market value of the underlying reference instrument at that time. The Fund will incur a loss to the extent that the current market value of the underlying reference instrument is less than the exercise price of the put option. However, the loss will be offset in part by the premium received from the buyer of the put. If a put option written by the Fund expires unexercised, the Fund will realize a gain in the amount of the premium received.

Closing out options (exchange-traded options). If the writer of an option wants to terminate its obligation, the writer may effect a “closing purchase transaction” by buying an option of the same series as the option previously written. The effect of the purchase is that the clearing corporation will cancel the option writer’s position. However, a writer may not effect a closing purchase transaction after being notified of the exercise of an option. Likewise, the buyer of an option may recover all or a portion of the premium that it paid by effecting a “closing sale transaction” by selling an option of the same series as the option previously purchased and receiving a premium on the sale. There is no guarantee that either a closing purchase or a closing sale transaction may be made at a time desired by the Fund. Closing transactions allow the Fund to terminate its positions in written and purchased options. The Fund will realize a profit from a closing transaction if the price of the transaction is less than the premium received from writing the original option (in the case of written options) or is more than the premium paid by the Fund to buy the option (in the case of purchased options). For example, increases in the market price of a call option sold by the Fund will generally reflect increases in the market price of the underlying reference instrument. As a result, any loss resulting from a closing transaction on a written call option is likely to be offset in whole or in part by appreciation of the underlying instrument owned by the Fund.

Over-the-counter (OTC) options. Like exchange-traded options, OTC options give the holder the right to buy from the writer, in the case of OTC call options, or sell to the writer, in the case of OTC put options, an underlying reference instrument at a stated exercise price. OTC options, however, differ from exchange-traded options in certain material respects.

OTC options are arranged directly with dealers and not with a clearing corporation or exchange. Consequently, there is a risk of non-performance by the dealer, including because of the dealer’s bankruptcy or insolvency. While the Fund uses only counterparties, such as dealers, that meet its credit quality standards, in unusual or extreme market conditions, a counterparty’s creditworthiness and ability to perform may deteriorate rapidly, and the availability of suitable replacement counterparties may become limited. Because there is no exchange, pricing is typically done based on information from market makers or other dealers. OTC options are available for a greater variety of underlying reference instruments and in a wider range of expiration dates and exercise prices than exchange-traded options.

There can be no assurance that a continuous liquid secondary market will exist for any particular OTC option at any specific time. The Fund may be able to realize the value of an OTC option it has purchased only by exercising it or entering into a closing sale transaction with the dealer that issued it. When the Fund writes an OTC option, it generally can close out that option prior to its expiration only by entering into a closing purchase transaction with the dealer with which the Fund originally wrote the option. The Fund may suffer a loss if it is not able to exercise (in the case of a purchased option) or enter into a closing sale transaction on a timely basis.

Risks of options. The Fund’s options investments involve certain risks, including general risks related to derivative instruments. There can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option, or at any particular time, and the Fund may have difficulty effecting closing transactions in particular options. Therefore, the Fund would have to exercise the options it purchased in order to realize any profit, thus taking or making delivery of the underlying reference instrument when not desired. The Fund could then incur transaction costs upon the sale of the underlying reference instruments. Similarly, when the Fund cannot effect a closing transaction with respect to a put option it wrote, and the buyer exercises, the Fund would be required to take delivery and would incur transaction costs upon the sale of the underlying reference instruments purchased. If the Fund, as a covered call option writer, is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction in a secondary market, it will not be able to sell the underlying reference instrument until the option expires, or it delivers the underlying instrument upon exercise. When trading options on non-U.S. exchanges or in the OTC market, many of the protections

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afforded to exchange participants will not be available. For example, there may be no daily price fluctuation limits, and adverse market movements could therefore continue to an unlimited extent over an indefinite period of time.

The effectiveness of an options strategy for hedging depends on the degree to which price movements in the underlying reference instruments correlate with price movements in the relevant portion of the Fund’s portfolio that is being hedged. In addition, the Fund bears the risk that the prices of its portfolio investments will not move in the same amount as the option it has purchased or sold for hedging purposes, or that there may be a negative correlation that would result in a loss on both the investments and the option. If the investment manager is not successful in using options in managing the Fund’s investments, the Fund’s performance will be worse than if the investment manager did not employ such strategies.

Swaps. Generally, swap agreements are contracts between the Fund and another party (the swap counterparty) involving the exchange of payments on specified terms over periods ranging from a few days to multiple years. A swap agreement may be negotiated bilaterally and traded OTC between the two parties (for an uncleared swap) or, in some instances, must be transacted through an FCM and cleared through a clearinghouse that serves as a central counterparty (for a cleared swap). In a basic swap transaction, the Fund agrees with the swap counterparty to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) and/or cash flows earned or realized on a particular “notional amount” or value of predetermined underlying reference instruments. The notional amount is the set dollar or other value selected by the parties to use as the basis on which to calculate the obligations that the parties to a swap agreement have agreed to exchange. The parties typically do not actually exchange the notional amount. Instead they agree to exchange the returns that would be earned or realized if the notional amount were invested in given investments or at given interest rates. Examples of returns that may be exchanged in a swap agreement are those of a particular security or commodity, a particular fixed or variable interest rate, a particular non-U.S. currency, or a “basket” of securities or commodities representing a particular index. Swaps can also be based on credit and other events.

The Fund will generally enter into swap agreements on a net basis, which means that the two payment streams that are to be made by the Fund and its counterparty with respect to a particular swap agreement are netted out, with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net difference in the two payments. The Fund’s obligations (or rights) under a swap agreement that is entered into on a net basis will generally be the net amount to be paid or received under the agreement based on the relative values of the obligations of each party upon termination of the agreement or at set valuation dates. The Fund will accrue its obligations under a swap agreement daily (offset by any amounts the counterparty owes the Fund). If the swap agreement does not provide for that type of netting, the full amount of the Fund's obligations will be accrued on a daily basis.

Comprehensive swaps regulation. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the Dodd-Frank Act) and related regulatory developments have imposed comprehensive regulatory requirements on swaps and swap market participants. The regulatory framework includes: (1) registration and regulation of swap dealers and major swap participants; (2) requiring central clearing and execution of standardized swaps; (3) imposing margin requirements on swap transactions; (4) regulating and monitoring swap transactions through position limits and large trader reporting requirements; and (5) imposing record keeping and centralized and public reporting requirements, on an anonymous basis, for most swaps. The CFTC is responsible for the regulation of most swaps. The SEC has jurisdiction over a small segment of the market referred to as “security-based swaps,” which includes swaps on single securities or credits, or narrow-based indices of securities or credits.

Uncleared swaps. In an uncleared swap, the swap counterparty is typically a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution. The Fund customarily enters into uncleared swaps based on the standard terms and conditions of an International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) Master Agreement. ISDA is a voluntary industry association of participants in the over-the-counter derivatives markets that has developed standardized contracts used by such participants that have agreed to be bound by such standardized contracts.

In the event that one party to a swap transaction defaults and the transaction is terminated prior to its scheduled termination date, one of the parties may be required to make an early termination payment to the other. An early termination payment may be payable by either the defaulting or non-defaulting party, depending upon which of them is “in-the-money” with respect to the swap at the time of its termination. Early termination payments may be calculated in various ways, but are intended to approximate the amount the “in-the-money” party would have to pay to replace the swap as of the date of its termination.

During the term of an uncleared swap, the Fund will be required to pledge to the swap counterparty, from time to time, an amount of cash and/or other assets equal to the total net amount (if any) that would be payable by the Fund to the counterparty if all outstanding swaps between the parties were terminated on the date in question, including any early termination payments (variation margin). Periodically, changes in the amount pledged are made to recognize changes in value of the contract resulting from, among other things, interest on the notional value of the contract, market

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value changes in the underlying investment, and/or dividends paid by the issuer of the underlying instrument. Likewise, the counterparty will be required to pledge cash or other assets to cover its obligations to the Fund. However, the amount pledged may not always be equal to or more than the amount due to the other party. Therefore, if a counterparty defaults in its obligations to the Fund, the amount pledged by the counterparty and available to the Fund may not be sufficient to cover all the amounts due to the Fund and the Fund may sustain a loss.

Currently, the Fund does not typically provide initial margin in connection with uncleared swaps. However, rules requiring initial margin to be posted by certain market participants for uncleared swaps have been adopted and are being phased in over time. When these rules take effect with respect to the Fund, if the Fund is deemed to have material swaps exposure under applicable swap regulations, it will be required to post initial margin in addition to variation margin.

Cleared swaps. Certain standardized swaps are subject to mandatory central clearing and exchange-trading. The Dodd-Frank Act and implementing rules will ultimately require the clearing and exchange-trading of many swaps. Mandatory exchange-trading and clearing will occur on a phased-in basis based on the type of market participant, CFTC approval of contracts for central clearing and public trading facilities making such cleared swaps available to trade. To date, the CFTC has designated only certain of the most common types of credit default index swaps and interest rate swaps as subject to mandatory clearing and certain public trading facilities have made certain of those cleared swaps available to trade, but it is expected that additional categories of swaps will in the future be designated as subject to mandatory clearing and trade execution requirements. Central clearing is intended to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity, but central clearing does not eliminate these risks and may involve additional costs and risks not involved with uncleared swaps. For more information, see “Risks of cleared swaps” below.

In a cleared swap, the Fund’s ultimate counterparty is a central clearinghouse rather than a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution. Cleared swaps are submitted for clearing through each party’s FCM, which must be a member of the clearinghouse that serves as the central counterparty. Transactions executed on a swap execution facility (SEF) may increase market transparency and liquidity but may require the Fund to incur increased expenses to access the same types of swaps that it has used in the past. When the Fund enters into a cleared swap, it must deliver to the central counterparty (via the FCM) an amount referred to as “initial margin.” Initial margin requirements are determined by the central counterparty, and are typically calculated as an amount equal to the volatility in market value of the cleared swap over a fixed period, but an FCM may require additional initial margin above the amount required by the central counterparty. During the term of the swap agreement, a “variation margin” amount may also be required to be paid by the Fund or may be received by the Fund in accordance with margin controls set for such accounts. If the value of the Fund’s cleared swap declines, the Fund will be required to make additional “variation margin” payments to the FCM to settle the change in value. Conversely, if the market value of the Fund’s position increases, the FCM will post additional “variation margin” to the Fund’s account. At the conclusion of the term of the swap agreement, if the Fund has a loss equal to or greater than the margin amount, the margin amount is paid to the FCM along with any loss in excess of the margin amount. If the Fund has a loss of less than the margin amount, the excess margin is returned to the Fund. If the Fund has a gain, the full margin amount and the amount of the gain is paid to the Fund.

Credit default swaps. The "buyer" of protection in a credit default swap agreement is obligated to pay the "seller" a periodic stream of payments over the term of the agreement in return for a payment by the "seller" that is contingent upon the occurrence of a credit event with respect to a specific underlying reference debt obligation (whether as a single debt instrument or as part of an index of debt instruments). The contingent payment by the seller generally is either the par amount of the reference debt obligation in exchange for the physical delivery of the reference debt obligation or a cash payment equal to the decrease in market value of the reference debt obligation following the occurrence of the credit event. If no credit event occurs, the seller would receive a fixed rate of income throughout the term of the contract, while the buyer would lose the amount of its payments and recover nothing. The buyer is also subject to the risk that the seller will not satisfy its contingent payment obligation, if and when due.

Purchasing protection through a credit default swap may be used to attempt to hedge against a decline in the value of debt security or securities due to a credit event. The seller of protection under a credit default swap receives periodic payments from the buyer but is exposed to the risk that the value of the reference debt obligation declines due to a credit event and that it will have to pay the face amount of the reference obligation to the buyer. Selling protection under a credit default swap may also permit the seller to gain exposure that is similar to owning the reference debt obligation directly. As the seller of protection, the Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total assets, the Fund would be subject to the risk that there would be a credit event and the Fund would have to make a substantial payment in the future.

Generally, a credit event means bankruptcy, failure to timely pay interest or principal, obligation acceleration or default, or repudiation or restructuring of the reference debt obligation. There may be disputes between the buyer or seller of a credit default swap agreement or within the swaps market as a

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whole as to whether or not a credit event has occurred or what the payout should be which could result in litigation. In some instances where there is a dispute in the credit default swap market, a regional Determinations Committee set up by ISDA may make an official binding determination regarding the existence of credit events with respect to the reference debt obligation of a credit default swap agreement or, in the case of a credit default swap on an index, with respect to a component of the index underlying the credit default swap agreement. In the case of a credit default swap on an index, the existence of a credit event is determined according to the index methodology, which may in turn refer to determinations made by ISDA’s Determinations Committees with respect to particular components of the index.

ISDA’s Determination Committees are comprised principally of dealers in the OTC derivatives markets which may have a conflicting interest in the determination regarding the existence of a particular credit event. In addition, in the sovereign debt market, a credit default swap agreement may not provide the protection generally anticipated because the government issuer of the sovereign debt instruments may be able to restructure or renegotiate the debt in such a manner as to avoid triggering a credit event. Moreover, (1) sovereign debt obligations may not incorporate common, commercially acceptable provisions, such as collective action clauses, or (2) the negotiated restructuring of the sovereign debt may be deemed non-mandatory on all holders. As a result, the determination committee might then not be able to determine, or may be able to avoid having to determine, that a credit event under the credit default agreement has occurred.

For these and other reasons, the buyer of protection in a credit default swap agreement is subject to the risk that certain occurrences, such as particular restructuring events affecting the value of the underlying reference debt obligation, or the restructuring of sovereign debt, may not be deemed credit events under the credit default swap agreement. Therefore, if the credit default swap was purchased as a hedge or to take advantage of an anticipated increase in the value of credit protection for the underlying reference obligation, it may not provide any hedging benefit or otherwise increase in value as anticipated. Similarly, the seller of protection in a credit default swap agreement is subject to the risk that certain occurrences may be deemed to be credit events under the credit default swap agreement, even if these occurrences do not adversely impact the value or creditworthiness of the underlying reference debt obligation.

Currency swaps. A currency swap is generally a contract between two parties to exchange one currency for another currency at the start of the contract and then exchange periodic floating or fixed rates during the term of the contract based upon the relative value differential between the two currencies. Unlike other types of swaps, currency swaps typically involve the delivery of the entire principal (notional) amounts of the two currencies at the time the swap is entered into. At the end of the swap contract, the parties receive back the principal amounts of the two currencies. In such a situation, the full notional value of a currency swap is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations. The Fund may also enter into currency swaps on a net basis, which means the two different currency payment streams under the swap agreement are converted and netted out to a single cash payment in just one of the currencies.

For example, a currency swap may be used to hedge the interest payments and principal amount of a debt obligation that is denominated in a non-U.S. currency by entering into a cross currency swap whereby one party would make payments in the non-U.S. currency and receive payments in U.S. dollars. Or, a currency swap may be used to gain exposure to non-U.S. currencies and non-U.S. interest rates by making payments in U.S. dollars and receiving payments in non-U.S. currencies.

Because currency control is of great importance to the issuing governments and influences economic planning and policy, purchases and sales of currency and related instruments can be negatively affected by government exchange controls, blockages, and manipulations or exchange restrictions imposed by governments. These actions could result in losses to the Fund if it is unable to deliver or receive a specified currency or funds in settlement of obligations, including any derivative transaction obligations. These actions could also have an adverse effect on the Fund’s currency transactions or cause the Fund’s hedging positions to be rendered useless.

Interest rate swaps. An interest rate swap is an agreement between two parties to exchange interest rate payment obligations. Typically, one party's obligation is based on an interest rate fixed to maturity while the other party's obligation is based on an interest rate that changes in accordance with changes in a designated benchmark (for example, SOFR, prime rate, commercial paper rate, or other benchmarks). Alternatively, both payment obligations may be based on an interest rate that changes in accordance with changes in a designated benchmark (also known as a “basis swap”). In a basis swap, the rates may be based on different benchmarks (for example, SOFR versus commercial paper) or on different terms of the same benchmark (for example, one-month SOFR versus three-month SOFR). Each party’s payment obligation under an interest rate swap is determined by reference to a specified “notional” amount of money. Therefore, interest rate swaps generally do not involve the delivery of securities, other underlying instruments, or principal amounts; rather they entail the exchange of cash payments based on the application of the designated interest rates to the notional amount. Accordingly, barring swap counterparty or FCM default, the risk of loss in an interest rate swap is limited to the net amount of interest payments that the Fund is obligated to make or receive (as applicable), as well as any early

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termination payment payable by or to the Fund upon early termination of the swap.

By swapping fixed interest rate payments for floating payments, an interest rate swap can be used to increase or decrease the Fund's exposure to various interest rates, including to hedge interest rate risk. Interest rate swaps are generally used to permit the party seeking a floating rate obligation the opportunity to acquire such obligation at a rate lower than is directly available in the credit markets, while permitting the party desiring a fixed-rate obligation the opportunity to acquire such a fixed-rate obligation, also frequently at a rate lower than is directly available in the credit markets. The success of such a transaction depends in large part on the availability of fixed-rate obligations at interest (or coupon) rates low enough to cover the costs involved. Similarly, a basis swap can be used to increase or decrease the Fund's exposure to various interest rates, including to hedge against or speculate on the spread between the two indexes, or to manage duration. An interest rate swap transaction is affected by changes in interest rates, which, in turn, may affect the prepayment rate of any underlying debt obligations upon which the interest rate swap is based.

Inflation index swaps. An inflation index swap is a contract between two parties, whereby one party makes payments based on the cumulative percentage increase in an index that serves as a measure of inflation (typically, the Consumer Price Index) and the other party makes a regular payment based on a compounded fixed rate. Each party’s payment obligation under the swap is determined by reference to a specified “notional” amount of money. Typically, an inflation index swap has payment obligations netted and exchanged upon maturity. The value of an inflation index swap is expected to change in response to changes in the rate of inflation. If inflation increases at a faster rate than anticipated at the time the swap is entered into, the swap will increase in value. Similarly, if inflation increases at a rate slower than anticipated at the time the swap is entered into, the swap will decrease in value.

Equity total return swaps. An equity total return swap (also sometimes referred to as a synthetic equity swap or “contract for difference” when written with respect to an equity security or basket of equity securities) is an agreement between two parties under which the parties agree to make payments to each other so as to replicate the economic consequences that would apply had a purchase or short sale of the underlying reference instrument or index thereof taken place. For example, one party agrees to pay the other party the total return earned or realized on the notional amount of an underlying equity security and any dividends declared with respect to that equity security. In return the other party makes payments, typically at a floating rate, calculated based on the notional amount.

Fixed income total return swaps. A fixed income total return swap is an agreement between two parties, pursuant to which one pays (and the other receives) an amount equal to the total return (including, typically, income and capital gains distributions, principal prepayment or credit losses) of an underlying reference asset (e.g., a note, bond or index) in exchange for a regular payment, at a floating rate based on a designated reference rate, or alternatively at a fixed rate or the total rate of return on another financial instrument. The Fund may take either position in a total return swap (i.e., the Fund may receive or pay the total return on the underlying reference asset). A fixed income total return swap may be written on many different kinds of underlying reference assets, and may include different indices for various kinds of debt securities (e.g., U.S. investment grade bonds, high yield bonds or emerging market bonds).

Options on swap agreements. An option on a swap agreement generally is an OTC option (see the discussion above on OTC options) that gives the buyer of the option the right, but not the obligation, in return for payment of a premium to the seller, to enter into a previously negotiated swap agreement, or to extend, terminate or otherwise modify the terms of an existing swap agreement. The writer (seller) of an option on a swap agreement receives premium payments from the buyer and, in exchange, becomes obligated to enter into or modify an underlying swap agreement upon the exercise of the option by the buyer. When the Fund purchases an option on a swap agreement, it risks losing only the amount of the premium it has paid should it decide to let the option expire unexercised, plus any related transaction costs.

There can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular option on a swap agreement, or at any particular time, and the Fund may have difficulty affecting closing transactions in particular options on swap agreements. Therefore, the Fund may have to exercise the options that it purchases in order to realize any profit and take delivery of the underlying swap agreement. The Fund could then incur transaction costs upon the sale or closing out of the underlying swap agreement. In the event that the option on a swap is exercised, the counterparty for such option would be the same counterparty with whom the Fund entered into the underlying swap.

However, if the Fund writes (sells) an option on a swap agreement, the Fund is bound by the terms of the underlying swap agreement upon exercise of the option by the buyer, which may result in losses to the Fund in excess of the premium it received. Options on swap agreements involve the risks associated with derivative instruments generally, as described above, as well as the additional risks associated with both options and swaps generally.

Options on swap agreements are considered to be swaps for purposes of CFTC regulation. Although they are traded OTC,

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the CFTC may in the future designate certain options on swaps as subject to mandatory clearing. For more information, see “Cleared swaps” and “Risks of cleared swaps.”

An option on an interest rate swap (also sometimes referred to as a “swaption”) is a contract that gives the purchaser the right, but not the obligation, in return for payment of a premium, to enter into a new interest rate swap. A pay fixed option on an interest rate swap gives the buyer the right to establish a position in an interest rate swap where the buyer will pay (and the writer will receive) the fixed-rate cash flows and receive (and the writer will pay) the floating-rate cash flows. In general, most options on interest rate swaps are “European” exercise, which means that they can only be exercised at the end of the option term. Depending on the movement of interest rates between the time of purchase and expiration, the value of the underlying interest rate swap and therefore also the value of the option on the interest rate swap will change.

An option on a credit default swap is a contract that gives the buyer the right (but not the obligation), in return for payment of a premium to the option seller, to enter into a new credit default swap on a reference entity at a predetermined spread on a future date. This spread is the price at which the contract is executed (the option strike price). Similar to a put option, in a payer option on a credit default swap, the option buyer pays a premium to the option seller for the right, but not the obligation, to buy credit protection on a reference entity (e.g., a particular portfolio security) at a predetermined spread on a future date. Similar to a call option, in a receiver option on a credit default swap the option buyer pays a premium for the right, but not the obligation to sell credit default swap protection on a reference entity or index. Depending on the movement of market spreads with respect to the particular referenced debt securities between the time of purchase and expiration of the option, the value of the underlying credit default swap and therefore the value of the option will change. Options on credit default swaps currently are traded OTC and the specific terms of each option on a credit default swap are negotiated directly with the counterparty.

An option on a total return swap is a contract that gives the buyer the right (but not the obligation), in return for payment of a premium to the option seller, to enter into a new total return swap on a reference asset at a predetermined spread on a future date. This spread is the price at which the contract is executed (the option strike price). Similar to a payer option on a credit default swap, in a payer option on a total return swap, the option buyer pays a premium to the option seller for the right, but not the obligation, to sell the return on a reference asset or index at a predetermined spread on a future date in return for a regular payment. Similar to a receiver option on a credit default swap, in a receiver option on a total return swap the option buyer pays a premium for the right, but not the obligation to receive the total return of the reference asset or index in return for a regular payment. Depending on the movement of market spreads with respect to the particular referenced asset or index between the time of purchase and expiration of the option, the value of the underlying total return swap and therefore the value of the option will change. Options on total return swaps currently are traded OTC and the specific terms of each option on a total return swap are negotiated directly with the counterparty.

Risks of swaps generally. The use of swap transactions is a highly specialized activity, which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. Whether the Fund will be successful in using swap agreements to achieve its investment goal depends on the ability of the investment manager correctly to predict which types of investments are likely to produce greater returns. If the investment manager, in using swap agreements, is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, interest rates, inflation, currency exchange rates or other applicable factors, the investment performance of the Fund will be less than its performance would have been if it had not used the swap agreements.

The risk of loss to the Fund for swap transactions that are entered into on a net basis depends on which party is obligated to pay the net amount to the other party. If the counterparty is obligated to pay the net amount to the Fund, the risk of loss to the Fund is loss of the entire amount that the Fund is entitled to receive. If the Fund is obligated to pay the net amount, the Fund's risk of loss is generally limited to that net amount. If the swap agreement involves the exchange of the entire principal value of a security, the entire principal value of that security is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations. In addition, the Fund’s risk of loss also includes any margin at risk in the event of default by the counterparty (in an uncleared swap) or the central counterparty or FCM (in a cleared swap), plus any transaction costs.

Because bilateral swap agreements are structured as two-party contracts and may have terms of greater than seven days, these swaps may be considered to be illiquid and, therefore, subject to the Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, the Fund may not be able to establish or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses. Participants in the swap markets are not required to make continuous markets in the swap contracts they trade. Participants could refuse to quote prices for swap contracts or quote prices with an unusually wide spread between the price at which they are prepared to buy and the price at which they are prepared to sell. Some swap agreements entail complex terms and may require a greater degree of subjectivity in their valuation. However, the swap markets have grown substantially in recent years, with a large number of financial institutions acting both as principals and agents, utilizing standardized

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swap documentation. As a result, the swap markets have become increasingly liquid. In addition, central clearing and the trading of cleared swaps on public facilities are intended to increase liquidity. The Fund’s investment manager, under the supervision of the board of trustees, is responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of the Fund's swap transactions.

Rules adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act require centralized reporting of detailed information about many swaps, whether cleared or uncleared. This information is available to regulators and also, to a more limited extent and on an anonymous basis, to the public. Reporting of swap data is intended to result in greater market transparency. This may be beneficial to funds that use swaps in their trading strategies. However, public reporting imposes additional recordkeeping burdens on these funds, and the safeguards established to protect anonymity are not yet tested and may not provide protection of funds' identities as intended.

Certain IRS positions may limit the Fund’s ability to use swap agreements in a desired tax strategy. It is possible that developments in the swap markets and/or the laws relating to swap agreements, including potential government regulation, could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to benefit from using swap agreements, or could have adverse tax consequences. For more information about potentially changing regulation, see “Developing government regulation of derivatives” below.

Risks of uncleared swaps. Uncleared swaps are typically executed bilaterally with a swap dealer rather than traded on exchanges. As a result, swap participants may not be as protected as participants on organized exchanges. Performance of a swap agreement is the responsibility only of the swap counterparty and not of any exchange or clearinghouse. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that a counterparty will be unable or will refuse to perform under such agreement, including because of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. The Fund risks the loss of the accrued but unpaid amounts under a swap agreement, which could be substantial, in the event of a default, insolvency or bankruptcy by a swap counterparty. In such an event, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the swap agreements, but bankruptcy and insolvency laws could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor. If the counterparty’s creditworthiness declines, the value of a swap agreement would likely decline, potentially resulting in losses. The Fund’s investment manager will only approve a swap agreement counterparty for the Fund if the investment manager deems the counterparty to be creditworthy under the Fund’s Counterparty Credit Review Standards, adopted and reviewed annually by the Fund’s board. However, in unusual or extreme market conditions, a counterparty’s creditworthiness and ability to perform may deteriorate rapidly, and the availability of suitable replacement counterparties may become limited.

Risks of cleared swaps. As noted above, under recent financial reforms, certain types of swaps are, and others eventually are expected to be, required to be cleared through a central counterparty, which may affect counterparty risk and other risks faced by the Fund.

Central clearing is designed to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity compared to uncleared swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap, but it does not eliminate those risks completely and may involve additional costs and risks not involved with uncleared swaps. There is also a risk of loss by the Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position, or the central counterparty in a swap contract. The assets of the Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the FCM or central counterparty because the Fund might be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds and margin segregated on behalf of an FCM’s customers. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, the Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use the Fund’s assets, which are held in an omnibus account with assets belonging to the FCM’s other customers, to satisfy its own financial obligations or the payment obligations of another customer to the central counterparty. Credit risk of cleared swap participants is concentrated in a few clearinghouses, and the consequences of insolvency of a clearinghouse are not clear.

With cleared swaps, the Fund may not be able to obtain terms as favorable as it would be able to negotiate for a bilateral, uncleared swap. In addition, an FCM may unilaterally amend the terms of its agreement with the Fund, which may include the imposition of position limits or additional margin requirements with respect to the Fund’s investment in certain types of swaps. Central counterparties and FCMs can require termination of existing cleared swap transactions upon the occurrence of certain events, and can also require increases in margin above the margin that is required at the initiation of the swap agreement.

Finally, the Fund is subject to the risk that, after entering into a cleared swap with an executing broker, no FCM or central counterparty is willing or able to clear the transaction. In such an event, the Fund may be required to break the trade and make an early termination payment to the executing broker.

Combined transactions. The Fund may enter into multiple derivative instruments, and any combination of derivative instruments as part of a single or combined strategy (a Combined Transaction) when, in the opinion of the investment manager, it is in the best interests of the Fund to do so. A Combined Transaction will usually contain elements of risk that are present in each of its component transactions.

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Although Combined Transactions are normally entered into based on the investment manager’s judgment that the combined strategies will reduce risk or otherwise more effectively achieve the desired portfolio management goal(s), it is possible that the combination will instead increase such risks or hinder achievement of the portfolio management objective.

Developing government regulation of derivatives. The regulation of cleared and uncleared swaps, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In addition, the SEC, CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the implementation or reduction of speculative position limits, the implementation of higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading.

It is not possible to predict fully the effects of current or future regulation. However, it is possible that developments in government regulation of various types of derivative instruments, such as speculative position limits on certain types of derivatives, or limits or restrictions on the counterparties with which the Fund engages in derivative transactions, may limit or prevent the Fund from using or limit the Fund’s use of these instruments effectively as a part of its investment strategy, and could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment goal(s). The investment manager will continue to monitor developments in the area, particularly to the extent regulatory changes affect the Fund’s ability to enter into desired swap agreements. New requirements, even if not directly applicable to the Fund, may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and cost of doing business.

Equity-linked notes Equity-linked notes (ELNs) are hybrid derivative-type instruments that are specially designed to combine the characteristics of one or more reference securities (usually a single stock, a stock index or a basket of stocks (underlying securities)) and a related equity derivative, such as a put or call option, in a single note form. Generally, when purchasing an ELN, the Fund pays the counterparty (usually a bank or brokerage firm) the current value of the underlying securities plus a commission. Upon the maturity of the note, the Fund generally receives the par value of the note plus a return based on the appreciation of the underlying securities. If the underlying securities have depreciated in value or if their price fluctuates outside of a preset range, depending on the type of ELN in which the Fund invested, the Fund may receive only the principal amount of the note, or may lose the principal invested in the ELN entirely. The Fund only invests in ELNs for which the underlying securities are permissible investments pursuant to the Fund’s investment policies and restrictions. For purposes of the Fund's fundamental investment policy of not investing more than 25% of the Fund's net assets in securities of issuers in any one industry (other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities or securities of other investment companies), the Fund applies the restriction by reference to the industry of the issuer of the underlying reference securities and not the industry of the issuer of an ELN.

ELNs are available with an assortment of features, such as periodic coupon payments (e.g., monthly, quarterly or semi-annually); varied participation rates (the rate at which the Fund participates in the appreciation of the underlying securities); limitations on the appreciation potential of the underlying securities by a maximum payment or call right; and different protection levels on the Fund’s principal investment. In addition, when the underlying securities are foreign securities or indices, an ELN may be priced with or without currency exposure. The Fund may engage in all types of ELNs, including those that: (1) provide for protection of the Fund’s principal in exchange for limited participation in the appreciation of the underlying securities, and (2) do not provide for such protection and subject the Fund to the risk of loss of the Fund’s principal investment.

ELNs can provide the Fund with an efficient investment tool that may be less expensive than investing directly in the underlying securities and the related equity derivative. ELNs also may enable the Fund to obtain a return (the coupon payment) without risk to principal (in principal-protected ELNs) if the general price movement of the underlying securities is correctly anticipated.

The Fund’s successful use of ELNs will usually depend on the investment manager’s ability to accurately forecast movements in the underlying securities. Should the prices of the underlying securities move in an unexpected manner, the Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the investment in the ELN, and it may realize losses, which could be significant and could include the Fund’s entire principal investment. If the investment manager is not successful in anticipating such price movements, the Fund’s performance may be worse than if the investment manager did not use an ELN at all.

In addition, an investment in an ELN possesses the risks associated with the underlying securities, such as management risk, market risk and, as applicable, foreign securities and currency risks. In addition, since ELNs are in note form, ELNs are also subject to certain debt securities risks, such as interest rate and credit risk. An investment in an ELN also bears the risk that the issuer of the ELN will default or become bankrupt. In such an event, the Fund may have difficulty being repaid, or fail to be repaid, the principal amount of, or income from, its investment. A downgrade or impairment to the credit rating of the issuer may also negatively impact the price of the ELN, regardless of the price of the underlying securities.

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The Fund may also experience liquidity issues when investing in ELNs, as ELNs are generally designed for the over-the-counter institutional investment market. The secondary market for ELNs may be limited, and the lack of liquidity in the secondary market may make ELNs difficult to sell and value. However, as the market for ELNs has grown, there are a growing number of exchange-traded ELNs available, although these products may be thinly traded.

ELNs may exhibit price behavior that does not correlate with the underlying securities or a fixed-income investment. In addition, performance of an ELN is the responsibility only of the issuer of the ELN and not the issuer of the underlying securities. As the holder of an ELN, the Fund generally has no rights to the underlying securities, including no voting rights or rights to receive dividends, although the amount of expected dividends to be paid during the term of the instrument are factored into the pricing and valuation of the underlying securities at inception.

Equity securities Equity securities represent a proportionate share of the ownership of a company; their value is based on the success of the company's business and the value of its assets, as well as general market conditions. The purchaser of an equity security typically receives an ownership interest in the company as well as certain voting rights. The owner of an equity security may participate in a company's success through the receipt of dividends, which are distributions of earnings by the company to its owners. Equity security owners may also participate in a company's success or lack of success through increases or decreases in the value of the company's shares. Equity securities generally take the form of common stock or preferred stock, as well as securities convertible into common stock. Preferred stockholders typically receive greater dividends but may receive less appreciation than common stockholders and may have different voting rights as well. Equity securities may also include convertible securities, warrants, rights or equity interests in trusts, partnerships, joint ventures or similar enterprises. Warrants or rights give the holder the right to buy a common stock at a given time for a specified price.

Tracking stocks are also a type of equity security. A tracking stock is a separate class of common stock whose value is linked to a specific business unit or operating division within a larger company and is designed to “track” the financial performance of that unit or division, rather than the larger company as a whole. As a result, if the unit or division does not perform well, the value of the tracking stock may decrease, even if the larger parent company performs well. A tracking stock may pay dividends to shareholders independent of the parent company, which will depend on the performance of the unit or division that the stock tracks. Shareholders of a tracking stock have a financial interest only in that unit or division of the company and typically do not have a legal claim on the larger company’s assets.

The Fund's prospectus includes a description of the principal risks associated with the Fund's strategy of investing substantially in equity securities.

Foreign securities For purposes of the Fund's prospectus and SAI, "foreign securities" refers to non-U.S. securities. There are substantial risks associated with investing in the securities of governments and companies located in, or having substantial operations in, foreign countries, which are in addition to the usual risks inherent in domestic investments. The value of foreign securities (like U.S. securities) is affected by general economic conditions and individual issuer and industry earnings prospects. Investments in depositary receipts also involve some or all of the risks described below.

There is the possibility of cessation of trading on foreign exchanges, expropriation, nationalization of assets, confiscatory or punitive taxation, withholding and other foreign taxes on income (including capital gains or other amounts), taxation on a retroactive basis, sudden or unanticipated changes in foreign tax laws, financial transaction taxes, denial or delay of the realization of tax treaty benefits, payment of foreign taxes not available for credit or deduction when passed through to shareholders, foreign exchange controls (which may include suspension of the ability to transfer currency from a given country), restrictions on removal of assets, political or social instability, military action or unrest, or diplomatic developments, including sanctions imposed by other countries or governmental entities, that could affect investments in securities of issuers in foreign nations. There is no assurance that the investment manager will be able to anticipate these potential events. In addition, the value of securities denominated in foreign currencies and of dividends and interest paid with respect to such securities will fluctuate based on the relative strength of the U.S. dollar.

There may be less publicly available information about foreign issuers comparable to the reports and ratings published about issuers in the U.S. Foreign issuers generally are not subject to uniform accounting or financial reporting standards. Auditing practices and requirements may not be comparable to those applicable to U.S. issuers. Certain countries' legal institutions, financial markets and services are less developed than those in the U.S. or other major economies. The Fund may have greater difficulty voting proxies, exercising shareholder rights, securing dividends and obtaining information regarding corporate actions on a timely basis, pursuing legal remedies, and obtaining judgments with respect to foreign investments in foreign courts than with respect to domestic issuers in U.S. courts. The costs associated with foreign investments, including withholding taxes, brokerage commissions, and custodial costs, are generally higher than with U.S. investments.

Certain countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons, or limit the amount of investment by foreign persons in a particular company. Some

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countries limit the investment of foreign persons to only a specific class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous terms than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. Although securities subject to such restrictions may be marketable abroad, they may be less liquid than foreign securities of the same class that are not subject to such restrictions. In some countries the repatriation of investment income, capital and proceeds of sales by foreign investors may require governmental registration and/or approval. The Fund could be adversely affected by delays in or a refusal to grant any required governmental registration or approval for repatriation.

From time to time, trading in a foreign market may be interrupted. Foreign markets also have substantially less volume than the U.S. markets and securities of some foreign issuers are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. issuers. The Fund, therefore, may encounter difficulty in obtaining market quotations for purposes of valuing its portfolio and calculating its net asset value.

In many foreign countries there is less government supervision and regulation of stock exchanges, brokers, and listed companies than in the U.S., which may result in greater potential for fraud or market manipulation. Foreign over-the-counter markets tend to be less regulated than foreign stock exchange markets and, in certain countries, may be totally unregulated. Brokerage commission rates in foreign countries, which generally are fixed rather than subject to negotiation as in the U.S., are likely to be higher. Foreign security trading, settlement and custodial practices (including those involving securities settlement where assets may be released prior to receipt of payment) are often less developed than those in U.S. markets, may be cumbersome and may result in increased risk or substantial delays. This could occur in the event of a failed trade or the insolvency of, or breach of duty by, a foreign broker-dealer, securities depository, or foreign subcustodian.

The holding of foreign securities may be limited by the Fund to avoid investment in certain Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFICs) and the imposition of a PFIC tax on the Fund resulting from such investments.

To the extent that the Fund invests a significant portion of its assets in a specific geographic region or country, the Fund will have more exposure to economic risks related to such region or country than a fund whose investments are more geographically diversified. Adverse conditions or changes in policies in a certain region or country can affect securities of other countries whose economies appear to be unrelated but are otherwise connected. In the event of economic or political turmoil, a deterioration of diplomatic relations or a natural or man-made disaster in a region or country where a substantial portion of the Fund's assets are invested, the Fund may have difficulty meeting a large number of shareholder redemption requests.

Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the resulting responses by the United States and other countries, and the potential for wider conflict could increase volatility and uncertainty in the financial markets and adversely affect regional and global economies. The United States and other countries have imposed broad-ranging economic sanctions on Russia, certain Russian individuals, banking entities and corporations, and Belarus as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and may impose sanctions on other countries that provide military or economic support to Russia. The extent and duration of Russia’s military actions and the repercussions of such actions (including any retaliatory actions or countermeasures that may be taken by those subject to sanctions, including cyber attacks) are impossible to predict, but could result in significant market disruptions, including in certain industries or sectors, such as the oil and natural gas markets, and may negatively affect global supply chains, inflation and global growth. These and any related events could significantly impact the Fund’s performance and the value of an investment in the Fund, even if the Fund does not have direct exposure to Russian issuers or issuers in other countries affected by the invasion.

On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU). There is considerable uncertainty about the consequences of that departure, including uncertainty about the economic effects and results of trade negotiations between the UK and the EU. The negative impact of the UK's departure on, not only the UK and European economies, but the broader global economy, could be significant, potentially resulting in increased volatility and illiquidity and lower economic growth for companies that rely significantly on Europe for their business activities and revenues.

Developing markets or emerging markets. Investments in issuers domiciled or with significant operations in developing market or emerging market countries may be subject to potentially higher risks than investments in developed countries. These risks include, among others (i) less social, political and economic stability; (ii) smaller securities markets with low or nonexistent trading volume, which result in greater illiquidity and greater price volatility; (iii) certain national policies which may restrict the Fund's investment opportunities, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests; (iv) foreign taxation, including less transparent and established taxation policies; (v) less developed regulatory or legal structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for injury to private property; (vi) the absence, until recently in many developing market countries, of a capital market structure or market-oriented economy; (vii) more widespread corruption and fraud; (viii) the financial institutions with which the Fund may trade may not possess the same degree of financial sophistication, creditworthiness or resources as those in developed markets; and (ix) the

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possibility that when favorable economic developments occur in some developing market countries, such developments may be slowed or reversed by unanticipated economic, political or social events in such countries.

Due to political, military or regional conflicts or due to terrorism or war, it is possible that the United States, other nations or other governmental entities (including supranational entities) could impose sanctions on a country involved in such conflicts that limit or restrict foreign investment, the movement of assets or other economic activity in that country. Such sanctions or other intergovernmental actions could result in the devaluation of a country’s currency, a downgrade in the credit ratings of issuers in such country, or a decline in the value and liquidity of securities of issuers in that country. In addition, an imposition of sanctions upon certain issuers in a country could result in an immediate freeze of that issuer’s securities, impairing the ability of the Fund to buy, sell, receive or deliver those securities. Countermeasures could be taken by the country’s government, which could involve the seizure of the Fund’s assets. In addition, such actions could adversely affect a country’s economy, possibly forcing the economy into a recession.

In addition, many developing market countries have experienced substantial, and during some periods, extremely high rates of inflation, for many years. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain countries. Moreover, the economies of some developing market countries may differ unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, currency depreciation, debt burden, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position. The economies of some developing market countries may be based on only a few industries, and may be highly vulnerable to changes in local or global trade conditions.

Settlement systems in developing market countries may be less organized than in developed countries. Supervisory authorities may also be unable to apply standards which are comparable with those in more developed countries. There may be risks that settlement may be delayed and that cash or securities belonging to the Fund may be in jeopardy because of failures of or defects in the settlement systems. Market practice may require that payment be made prior to receipt of the security which is being purchased or that delivery of a security must be made before payment is received. In such cases, default by a broker or bank (counterparty) through whom the relevant transaction is effected might result in a loss being suffered by the Fund. The Fund seeks, where possible, to use counterparties whose financial status reduces this risk. However, there can be no certainty that the Fund will be successful in eliminating or reducing this risk, particularly as counterparties operating in developing market countries frequently lack the substance, capitalization and/or financial resources of those in developed countries. Uncertainties in the operation of settlement systems in individual markets may increase the risk of competing claims to securities held by or to be transferred to the Fund. Legal compensation schemes may be non-existent, limited or inadequate to meet the Fund's claims in any of these events.

Securities trading in developing markets presents additional credit and financial risks. The Fund may have limited access to, or there may be a limited number of, potential counterparties that trade in the securities of developing market issuers. Governmental regulations may restrict potential counterparties to certain financial institutions located or operating in the particular developing market. Potential counterparties may not possess, adopt or implement creditworthiness standards, financial reporting standards or legal and contractual protections similar to those in developed markets. Currency and other hedging techniques may not be available or may be limited.

The local taxation of income and capital gains accruing to non-residents varies among developing market countries and may be comparatively high. Developing market countries typically have less well-defined tax laws and procedures and such laws may permit retroactive taxation so that the Fund could in the future become subject to local tax liabilities that had not been anticipated in conducting its investment activities or valuing its assets.

Many developing market countries suffer from uncertainty and corruption in their legal frameworks. Legislation may be difficult to interpret and laws may be too new to provide any precedential value. Laws regarding foreign investment and private property may be weak or non-existent. Investments in developing market countries may involve risks of nationalization, expropriation and confiscatory taxation. For example, the Communist governments of a number of Eastern European countries expropriated large amounts of private property in the past, in many cases without adequate compensation, and there can be no assurance that similar expropriation will not occur in the future. In the event of expropriation, the Fund could lose all or a substantial portion of any investments it has made in the affected countries. Accounting, auditing and reporting standards in certain countries in which the Fund may invest may not provide the same degree of investor protection or information to investors as would generally apply in major securities markets. For example, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has warned that positions taken by Chinese authorities impair the PCAOB's ability to conduct inspections and investigations of the audits of public companies with China-based operations. The PCAOB's impaired ability to oversee PCAOB-registered audit firms in China may result in inaccurate or incomplete financial records of an issuer's operations within China, which may negatively impact the Fund's investments in such companies. The PCAOB's

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impaired ability to oversee PCAOB-registered audit firms in China may result in inaccurate or incomplete financial records of an issuer's operations within China, which may negatively impact the Fund's investments in such companies. In addition, it is possible that purported securities in which the Fund invested may subsequently be found to be fraudulent and as a consequence the Fund could suffer losses.

There may be significant obstacles to obtaining information necessary for investigations into potential legal claims or litigation against emerging market issuers and investors such as the Fund may experience difficulty in enforcing legal claims related to investments in the securities of such issuers. The SEC and other U.S. regulatory authorities often have substantial difficulties in bringing and enforcing actions against non-U.S. companies and non-U.S. persons, including company directors and officers, in certain emerging markets, including China. Accordingly, investor protection and legal recourse may be limited with respect to the Fund's investments in emerging markets.

Finally, currencies of developing market countries are subject to significantly greater risks than currencies of developed countries. Some developing market currencies may not be internationally traded or may be subject to strict controls by local governments, resulting in undervalued or overvalued currencies and associated difficulties with the valuation of assets, including the Fund's securities, denominated in that currency. Some developing market countries have experienced balance of payment deficits and shortages in foreign exchange reserves. Governments have responded by restricting currency conversions. Future restrictive exchange controls could prevent or restrict a company's ability to make dividend or interest payments in the original currency of the obligation (usually U.S. dollars). In addition, even though the currencies of some developing market countries, such as certain Eastern European countries, may be convertible into U.S. dollars, the conversion rates may be artificial to the actual market values and may be adverse to the Fund's shareholders.

Foreign currency exchange rates. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates will affect the U.S. dollar market value of securities denominated in such foreign currencies and any income received or expenses paid by the Fund in that foreign currency. This may affect the Fund's share price, income and distributions to shareholders. Some countries may have fixed or managed currencies that are not free-floating against the U.S. dollar. It will be more difficult for the investment manager to value securities denominated in currencies that are fixed or managed. Certain currencies may not be internationally traded, which could cause illiquidity with respect to the Fund's investments in that currency and any securities denominated in that currency. Currency markets generally are not as regulated as securities markets. The Fund endeavors to buy and sell foreign currencies on as favorable a basis as practicable. Some price spread in currency exchanges (to cover service charges) may be incurred, particularly when the Fund changes investments from one country to another or when proceeds of the sale of securities in U.S. dollars are used for the purchase of securities denominated in foreign currencies. Some countries may adopt policies that would prevent the Fund from transferring cash out of the country or withhold portions of interest and dividends at the source.

Certain currencies have experienced a steady devaluation relative to the U.S. dollar. Any devaluations in the currencies in which the Fund's portfolio securities are denominated may have a detrimental impact on the Fund. Where the exchange rate for a currency declines materially after the Fund's income has been accrued and translated into U.S. dollars, the Fund may need to redeem portfolio securities to make required distributions. Similarly, if an exchange rate declines between the time the Fund incurs expenses in U.S. dollars and the time such expenses are paid, the Fund will have to convert a greater amount of the currency into U.S. dollars in order to pay the expenses.

Investing in foreign currencies for purposes of gaining from projected changes in exchange rates further increases the Fund's exposure to foreign securities losses.

The Fund does not consider currencies or other financial commodities or contracts and financial instruments to be physical commodities (which include, for example, oil, precious metals and grains). Accordingly, the Fund interprets its fundamental restriction regarding purchasing and selling physical commodities to permit the Fund (subject to the Fund’s investment goals and general investment policies as stated in the Fund’s prospectus and SAI) to invest directly in foreign currencies and other financial commodities and to purchase, sell or enter into foreign currency futures contracts and options thereon, foreign currency forward contracts, foreign currency options, currency, commodity- and financial instrument-related swap agreements, hybrid instruments, interest rate, securities-related or foreign currency-related futures contracts or other currency-, commodity- or financial instrument-related derivatives, subject to compliance with any applicable provisions of the federal securities or commodities laws. The Fund also interprets its fundamental restriction regarding purchasing and selling physical commodities to permit the Fund to invest in exchange-traded products or other entities that invest in physical and/or financial commodities, subject to the limits described in the Fund’s prospectus and SAI.

High-yield debt securities High-yield or lower-rated debt securities (also referred to as "junk bonds") are securities that have been rated below the top four rating categories (e.g., BB or Ba and lower) by one or more independent rating organizations such as Moody's or S&P and are considered below investment grade. These securities generally have greater risk with respect to the payment of interest and

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repayment of principal, or may be in default and are often considered to be speculative and involve greater risk of loss because they are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to other debt of the issuer.

Adverse publicity, investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, or real or perceived adverse economic and competitive industry conditions may decrease the values and liquidity of lower-rated debt securities, especially in a thinly traded market. Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of lower-rated debt securities may be more complex than for issuers of higher-rated securities. The Fund relies on the investment manager's judgment, analysis and experience in evaluating the creditworthiness of an issuer of lower-rated securities. In such evaluations, the investment manager takes into consideration, among other things, the issuer's financial resources, its sensitivity to economic conditions and trends, its operating history, the quality of the issuer's management and regulatory matters. There can be no assurance the investment manager will be successful in evaluating the creditworthiness of an issuer or the value of high yield debt securities generally.

The prices of lower-rated debt securities may be less sensitive to interest rate changes than higher-rated debt securities, but more sensitive to economic downturns or individual adverse corporate developments. Market anticipation of an economic downturn or of rising interest rates, for example, could cause a decline in lower-rated debt securities prices. This is because an economic downturn could lessen the ability of a highly leveraged company to make principal and interest payments on its debt securities. Similarly, the impact of individual adverse corporate developments, or public perceptions thereof, will be greater for lower-rated securities because the issuers of such securities are more likely to enter bankruptcy. If the issuer of lower-rated debt securities defaults, the Fund may incur substantial expenses to seek recovery of all or a portion of its investments or to exercise other rights as a security holder. The Fund may choose, at its expense or in conjunction with others, to pursue litigation or otherwise to exercise its rights as a security holder to seek to protect the interests of security holders if it determines this to be in the best interest of the Fund's shareholders.

Lower-rated debt securities frequently have call or buy-back features that allow an issuer to redeem the securities from their holders. Although these securities are typically not callable for a period of time, usually for three to five years from the date of issue, the Fund will be exposed to prepayment risk.

The markets in which lower-rated debt securities are traded are more limited than those in which higher-rated securities are traded. The existence of limited markets for particular securities may diminish the Fund's ability to sell the securities at desirable prices to meet redemption requests or to respond to a specific economic event, such as deterioration in the creditworthiness of the issuer. Reduced secondary market liquidity for certain lower-rated debt securities also may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain accurate market quotations for the purposes of valuing the Fund's portfolio. Market quotations are generally available on many lower-rated securities only from a limited number of dealers and may not necessarily represent firm bids of such dealers or prices of actual sales, which may limit the Fund's ability to rely on such quotations.

Some lower-rated debt securities are sold without registration under federal securities laws and, therefore, carry restrictions on resale. While many of such lower-rated debt securities have been sold with registration rights, covenants and penalty provisions for delayed registration, if the Fund is required to sell restricted securities before the securities have been registered, it may be deemed an underwriter of the securities under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (1933 Act), which entails special responsibilities and liabilities. The Fund also may incur extra costs when selling restricted securities, although the Fund will generally not incur any costs when the issuer is responsible for registering the securities.

High-yield, fixed-income securities acquired during an initial underwriting involve special credit risks because they are new issues. The investment manager will carefully review the issuer's credit and other characteristics.

The credit risk factors described above also apply to high-yield zero coupon, deferred interest and pay-in-kind securities. These securities have an additional risk, however, because unlike securities that pay interest periodically until maturity, zero coupon bonds and similar securities will not make any interest or principal payments until the cash payment date or maturity of the security. If the issuer defaults, the Fund may not obtain any return on its investment.

Illiquid securities Generally, an “illiquid security” or “illiquid investment” is any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Illiquid investments generally include investments for which no market exists or which are legally restricted as to their transfer (such as those issued pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements of the federal securities laws). Restricted securities are generally sold in privately negotiated transactions, pursuant to an exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (1933 Act). If registration of a security previously acquired in a private transaction is required, the Fund, as the holder of the security, may be obligated to pay all or part of the registration expense and a considerable period may elapse between the time it decides to seek registration and the time it will be permitted to sell a security under an effective registration statement. If, during such a period,

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adverse market conditions were to develop, the Fund might obtain a less favorable price than prevailed when it decided to seek registration of the security. To the extent it is determined that there is a liquid institutional or other market for certain restricted securities, the Fund would consider them to be liquid securities. An example is a restricted security that may be freely transferred among qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act, and for which a liquid institutional market has developed. Rule 144A securities may be subject, however, to a greater possibility of becoming illiquid than securities that have been registered with the SEC.

The following factors may be taken into account in determining whether a restricted security is properly considered a liquid security: (i) the frequency of trades and quotes for the security; (ii) the number of dealers willing to buy or sell the security and the number of other potential buyers; (iii) any dealer undertakings to make a market in the security; and (iv) the nature of the security and of the marketplace trades (e.g., any demand, put or tender features, the method of soliciting offers, the mechanics and other requirements for transfer, and the ability to assign or offset the rights and obligations of the security). The nature of the security and its trading includes the time needed to sell the security, the method of soliciting offers to purchase or sell the security, and the mechanics of transferring the security including the role of parties such as foreign or U.S. custodians, subcustodians, currency exchange brokers, and depositories.

The sale of illiquid investments often requires more time and results in higher brokerage charges or dealer discounts and other selling expenses than the sale of investments eligible for trading on national securities exchanges or in the over-the-counter (OTC) markets. Illiquid investments often sell at a price lower than similar investments that are not subject to restrictions on resale.

The risk to the Fund in holding illiquid investments is that they may be more difficult to sell if the Fund wants to dispose of the investment in response to adverse developments or in order to raise money for redemptions or other investment opportunities. Illiquid trading conditions may also make it more difficult for the Fund to realize an investment's fair value.

The Fund may also be unable to achieve its desired level of exposure to a certain investment, issuer, or sector due to overall limitations on its ability to invest in illiquid investments and the difficulty in purchasing such investments.

If illiquid investments exceed 15% of the Fund’s net assets after the time of purchase, the Fund will take steps to reduce its holdings of illiquid investments to or below 15% of its net assets within a reasonable period of time, and will notify the Trust’s Board of Trustees and make the required filings with the SEC in accordance with Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act. Because illiquid investments may not be readily marketable, the portfolio managers and/or investment personnel may not be able to dispose of them in a timely manner. As a result, the Fund may be forced to hold illiquid investments while their price depreciates. Depreciation in the price of illiquid investments may cause the net asset value of a Fund to decline.

Interfund lending program Pursuant to an exemptive order granted by the SEC (Lending Order), the Fund has the ability to lend money to, and borrow money from, other Franklin Templeton funds for temporary purposes (Interfund Lending Program) pursuant to a master interfund lending agreement (Interfund Loan). Lending and borrowing through the Interfund Lending Program provides the borrowing fund with a lower interest rate than it would have paid if it borrowed money from a bank, and provides the lending fund with an alternative short-term investment with a higher rate of return than other available short-term investments. All Interfund Loans would consist only of uninvested cash reserves that the lending fund otherwise would invest in short-term repurchase agreements or other short-term instruments. The Fund may only participate in the Interfund Lending Program to the extent permitted by its investment goal(s), policies and restrictions and only subject to meeting the conditions of the Lending Order.

The limitations of the Interfund Lending Program are described below and these and the other conditions of the Lending Order permitting interfund lending are designed to minimize the risks associated with interfund lending for both the lending and borrowing fund. However, no borrowing or lending activity is without risk. When a fund borrows money from another fund under the Interfund Lending Program, there is a risk that the Interfund Loan could be called on one business day’s notice, in which case the borrowing fund may have to utilize a line of credit, which would likely involve higher rates, seek an Interfund Loan from another fund, or liquidate portfolio securities if no lending sources are available to meet its liquidity needs. Interfund Loans are subject to the risk that the borrowing fund could be unable to repay the loan when due, and a delay in repayment could result in a lost opportunity by the lending fund or force the lending fund to borrow or liquidate securities to meet its liquidity needs.

Under the Interfund Lending Program, the Fund may borrow on an unsecured basis through the Interfund Lending Program if its outstanding borrowings from all sources immediately after the borrowing total 10% or less of its total assets, provided that if the Fund has a secured loan outstanding from any other lender, including but not limited to another fund, the Fund’s Interfund Loan will be secured on at least an equal priority basis with at least an equivalent percentage of collateral to loan value as any outstanding loan that requires collateral. If the Fund’s total outstanding borrowings immediately after an Interfund Loan exceed 10% of its total assets, the Fund may borrow through the Interfund

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Lending Program on a secured basis only. The Fund may not borrow under the Interfund Lending Program or from any other source if its total outstanding borrowings immediately after such borrowing would be more than 33 1/3% of its total assets or any lower threshold provided for by the Fund’s investment restrictions.

If the Fund has outstanding bank borrowings, any Interfund Loans to the Fund would: (a) be at an interest rate equal to or lower than that of any outstanding bank loan, (b) be secured at least on an equal priority basis with at least an equivalent percentage of collateral to loan value as any outstanding bank loan that requires collateral, (c) have a maturity no longer than any outstanding bank loan (and in any event not over seven days), and (d) provide that, if an event of default by the Fund occurs under any agreement evidencing an outstanding bank loan to the Fund, that event of default will automatically (without need for action or notice by the lending Fund) constitute an immediate event of default under the interfund lending agreement, entitling the lending fund to call the Interfund Loan (and exercise all rights with respect to any collateral), and that such call would be made if the lending bank exercises its right to call its loan under its agreement with the borrowing fund.

In addition, no fund may lend to another fund through the Interfund Lending Program if the loan would cause the lending fund’s aggregate outstanding loans through the Interfund Lending Program to exceed 15% of its current net assets at the time of the loan. A fund’s Interfund Loans to any one fund shall not exceed 5% of the lending fund’s net assets. The duration of Interfund Loans will be limited to the time required to obtain cash sufficient to repay such Interfund Loan, either through the sale of portfolio securities or the net sales of the fund’s shares, but in no event more than seven days, and for purposes of this condition, loans effected within seven days of each other will be treated as separate loan transactions. Each Interfund Loan may be called on one business day’s notice by a lending fund and may be repaid on any day by a borrowing fund.

Investment company securities The Fund may invest in other investment companies to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, SEC rules thereunder and exemptions thereto. With respect to funds in which the Fund may invest, Section 12(d)(1)(A) of the 1940 Act requires that, as determined immediately after a purchase is made, (i) not more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets will be invested in the securities of any one investment company, (ii) not more than 10% of the value of the Fund’s total assets will be invested in securities of investment companies as a group, and (iii) not more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of any one investment company will be owned by the Fund. The Fund will limit its investments in funds in accordance with the Section 12(d)(1)(A) limitations set forth above, except to the extent that any rules, regulations or no-action or exemptive relief under the 1940 Act permits the Fund’s investments to exceed such limits in funds. For example, Rule 12d1-4, which became effective on January 19, 2021, permits the Fund to invest in other investment companies beyond the statutory limits, subject to certain conditions. Among other conditions, the Rule prohibits a fund from acquiring control of another investment company (other than an investment company in the same group of investment companies), including by acquiring more than 25% of its voting securities. In addition, the Rule imposes certain voting requirements when a fund's ownership of another investment company exceeds particular thresholds. If shares of a fund are acquired by another investment company, the “acquired” fund may not purchase or otherwise acquire the securities of an investment company or private fund if immediately after such purchase or acquisition, the securities of investment companies and private funds owned by that acquired fund have an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the value of the total assets of the fund, subject to certain exceptions. These restrictions may limit the Fund's ability to invest in other investment companies to the extent desired. In addition, other unaffiliated investment companies may impose other investment limitations or redemption restrictions which may also limit the Fund's flexibility with respect to making investments in those unaffiliated investment companies. To the extent that the Fund invests in another investment company, because other investment companies pay advisory, administrative and service fees that are borne indirectly by investors, such as the Fund, there may be duplication of investment management and other fees. The Fund may also invest its cash balances in affiliated money market funds to the extent permitted by its investment policies and rules and exemptions granted under the 1940 Act.

Exchange-traded funds. The Fund may invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Most ETFs are regulated as registered investment companies under the 1940 Act. Many ETFs acquire and hold securities of all of the companies or other issuers, or a representative sampling of companies or other issuers that are components of a particular index. Such ETFs are intended to provide investment results that, before expenses, generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the corresponding market index, and the value of their shares should, under normal circumstances, closely track the value of the index’s underlying component securities. Because an ETF has operating expenses and transaction costs, while a market index does not, ETFs that track particular indices typically will be unable to match the performance of the index exactly. There are also actively managed ETFs that are managed similarly to other investment companies.

ETF shares may be purchased and sold in the secondary trading market on a securities exchange, in lots of any size, at any time during the trading day. The shares of an ETF may also be assembled in a block (typically 50,000 shares) known as a creation unit and redeemed in kind for a portfolio of the

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underlying securities (based on the ETF’s net asset value) together with a cash payment generally equal to accumulated dividends as of the date of redemption. Conversely, a creation unit may be purchased from the ETF by depositing a specified portfolio of the ETF’s underlying securities, as well as a cash payment generally equal to accumulated dividends of the securities (net of expenses) up to the time of deposit.

ETF shares, as opposed to creation units, are generally purchased and sold in a secondary market on a securities exchange. ETF shares can be traded in lots of any size, at any time during the trading day. Although the Fund, like most other investors in ETFs, intends to purchase and sell ETF shares primarily in the secondary trading market, the Fund may redeem creation units for the underlying securities (and any applicable cash), and may assemble a portfolio of the underlying securities and use it (and any required cash) to purchase creation units, if the investment manager believes it is in the Fund’s best interest to do so.

An investment in an ETF is subject to all of the risks of investing in the securities held by the ETF and has similar risks as investing in a closed-end fund. In addition, because of the ability of large market participants to arbitrage price differences by purchasing or redeeming creation units, the difference between the market value and the net asset value of ETF shares should in most cases be small. An ETF may be terminated and need to liquidate its portfolio securities at a time when the prices for those securities are falling.

Closed-end funds. The shares of a closed-end fund typically are bought and sold on an exchange. The risks of investing in a closed-end investment company typically reflect the risk of the types of securities in which the closed-end fund invests. Closed-end funds often leverage returns by issuing debt securities, variable rate preferred securities or reverse-repurchase agreements. The Fund may invest in debt securities issued by closed-end funds, subject to any quality or other standards applicable to the Fund's investment in debt securities. If the Fund invests in shares issued by leveraged closed-end funds, it will face certain risks associated with leveraged investments.

Investments in closed-end funds are subject to additional risks. For example, the price of the closed-end fund's shares quoted on an exchange may not reflect the net asset value of the securities held by the closed-end fund. The premium or discount that the share prices represent versus net asset value may change over time based on a variety of factors, including supply of and demand for the closed-end fund's shares, that are outside the closed-end fund's control or unrelated to the value of the underlying portfolio securities. If the Fund invests in the closed-end fund to gain exposure to the closed-end fund's investments, the lack of correlation between the performance of the closed-end fund's investments and the closed-end fund's share price may compromise or eliminate any such exposure.

Business development companies (BDCs). BDCs are a less common type of closed-end fund regulated under the 1940 Act. BDCs more closely resemble operating companies than closed-end investment companies and may use leverage. BDCs typically invest in small, developing, financially troubled, private companies or other companies that may have value that can be realized over time, often with managerial assistance. BDCs realize operating income when their investments are sold off, and therefore maintain complex organizational, operational, tax and compliance requirements. Additionally, a BDC’s expenses are not direct expenses paid by Fund shareholders and are not used to calculate a fund’s net asset value. SEC rules nevertheless require that any expenses incurred by a BDC be included in a fund’s expense ratio as “Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses.” The expense ratio of a fund that holds a BDC will thus overstate what the fund actually spends on portfolio management, administrative services, and other shareholder services by an amount equal to these Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses. Shareholders would also be exposed to the risks associated not only with the investments of the fund but also with the portfolio investments of the underlying investment companies.

Investment grade debt securities Investment grade debt securities are securities that are rated at the time of purchase in the top four ratings categories by one or more independent rating organizations such as S&P (rated BBB- or better) or Moody’s (rated Baa3 or higher) or, if unrated, are determined to be of comparable quality by the Fund’s investment manager. Generally, a higher rating indicates the rating agency’s opinion that there is less risk of default of obligations thereunder including timely repayment of principal and payment of interest. Debt securities in the lowest investment grade category may have speculative characteristics and more closely resemble high-yield debt securities than investment-grade debt securities. Lower-rated securities may be subject to all the risks applicable to high-yield debt securities and changes in economic conditions or other circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to make principal and interest payments than is the case with higher grade debt securities.

A number of risks associated with rating agencies apply to the purchase or sale of investment grade debt securities.

LIBOR Transition The Fund may hold financial instruments that may have floating or variable rate calculations for payment obligations or financing terms based on LIBOR, which was the benchmark interest rate at which major global banks lent to one another in the international interbank market for short-term loans. On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) announced its intention to cease sustaining the LIBOR after 2021. Although many LIBOR rates were phased out at the end of 2021 as originally intended, a selection of widely used USD LIBOR rates will continue to be published until June 2023 in order to assist with the transition to alternative rates. In addition,

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global regulators have announced that, with limited exceptions, no new LIBOR-based contracts should be entered into after 2021. Actions by regulators have resulted in the establishment of alternative reference rates to LIBOR in most major currencies. In March 2022, the U.S. federal government enacted legislation to establish a process for replacing LIBOR in certain existing contracts that do not already provide for the use of a clearly defined or practicable replacement benchmark rate as described in the legislation. Generally speaking, for contracts that do not contain a fallback provision as described in the legislation, a benchmark replacement recommended by the Federal Reserve Board will effectively automatically replace the USD LIBOR benchmark in the contract after June 30, 2023. The recommended benchmark replacement will be based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), which is a broad measure of the cost of overnight borrowing of cash collateralized by Treasury securities published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. There remains uncertainty regarding the ultimate effects of the transition away from LIBOR on the Fund or the Fund’s investments that use a floating rate based on LIBOR.

The transition process might lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets that currently rely on LIBOR to determine interest rates. It could also lead to a reduction in the value of some LIBOR-based investments and reduce the effectiveness of new hedges placed against existing LIBOR-based instruments.

Mortgage securities

Overview of mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage-backed securities, represent an ownership interest in a pool of mortgage loans, usually originated by mortgage bankers, commercial banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks and credit unions to finance purchases of homes, commercial buildings or other real estate. The individual mortgage loans are packaged or "pooled" together for sale to investors. These mortgage loans may have either fixed or adjustable interest rates. A guarantee or other form of credit support may be attached to a mortgage-backed security to protect against default on obligations.

As the underlying mortgage loans are paid off, investors receive principal and interest payments, which "pass-through" when received from individual borrowers, net of any fees owed to the administrator, guarantor or other service providers. Some mortgage-backed securities make payments of both principal and interest at a range of specified intervals; others make semiannual interest payments at a predetermined rate and repay principal at maturity (like a typical bond).

Mortgage-backed securities are based on different types of mortgages, including those on commercial real estate or residential properties. The primary issuers or guarantors of mortgage-backed securities have historically been the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae), the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA or Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC or Freddie Mac). Other issuers of mortgage-backed securities include commercial banks and other private lenders. Trading in mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by a governmental agency, instrumentality or sponsored enterprise may frequently take place in the to-be-announced (TBA) forward market. On June 3, 2019, under the FHFA's “Single Security Initiative” intended to maximize liquidity for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage-backed securities in the TBA market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started issuing uniform mortgage-backed securities (“UMBS”) in place of their separate offerings of TBA-eligible mortgage-backed securities. The issuance of UMBS may not achieve the intended results and may have unanticipated or adverse effects on the market for mortgage-backed securities. See “When-issued, delayed delivery and to-be-announced transactions” below.

Ginnie Mae is a wholly-owned United States government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ginnie Mae guarantees the principal and interest on securities issued by institutions approved by Ginnie Mae (such as savings and loan institutions, commercial banks and mortgage bankers). Ginnie Mae also guarantees the principal and interest on securities backed by pools of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Ginnie Mae's guarantees are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Guarantees as to the timely payment of principal and interest do not extend to the value or yield of mortgage-backed securities nor do they extend to the value of the Fund's shares which will fluctuate daily with market conditions.

Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored corporation, but its common stock is owned by private stockholders. Fannie Mae purchases conventional (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any government agency) residential mortgages from a list of approved seller/servicers which include state and federally chartered savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks and credit unions and mortgage bankers. Pass-through securities issued by Fannie Mae are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest by Fannie Mae, but are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

Freddie Mac was created by Congress in 1970 for the purpose of increasing the availability of mortgage credit for residential housing. It is a government-sponsored corporation formerly owned by the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks but now its common stock is owned entirely by private stockholders. Freddie Mac issues Participation Certificates (PCs), which are pass-through securities, each representing an undivided interest in a pool of residential mortgages. Freddie Mac guarantees the timely payment of interest and

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ultimate collection of principal, but PCs are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

Although the mortgage-backed securities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, the Secretary of the Treasury has the authority to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by purchasing limited amounts of their respective obligations. The yields on these mortgage-backed securities have historically exceeded the yields on other types of U.S. government securities with comparable maturities due largely to their prepayment risk. The U.S. government, in the past, provided financial support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the U.S. government has no legal obligation to do so, and no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will continue to do so.

On September 6, 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship. As the conservator, FHFA succeeded to all rights, titles, powers and privileges of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and of any stockholder, officer or director of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA selected a new chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors for each of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Also, the U.S. Treasury entered into a Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement imposing various covenants that severely limit each enterprise's operations.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to operate as going concerns while in conservatorship and each remains liable for all of its obligations, including its guaranty obligations associated with its mortgage-backed securities. The FHFA has the power to repudiate any contract entered into by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prior to FHFA's appointment as conservator or receiver, including the guaranty obligations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Accordingly, securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will involve a risk of non-payment of principal and interest.

Private mortgage-backed securities. Issuers of private mortgage-backed securities, such as commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers, are not U.S. government agencies and may be both the originators of the underlying mortgage loans as well as the guarantors of the mortgage-backed securities, or they may partner with a government entity by issuing mortgage loans guaranteed or sponsored by the U.S. government or a U.S. government agency or sponsored enterprise. Pools of mortgage loans created by private issuers generally offer a higher rate of interest than government and government-related pools because there are no direct or indirect government or government agency guarantees of payment. The risk of loss due to default on private mortgage-backed securities is historically higher because neither the U.S. government nor an agency or instrumentality have guaranteed them. Timely payment of interest and principal is, however, generally supported by various forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance. Government entities, private insurance companies or the private mortgage poolers issue the insurance and guarantees. The insurance and guarantees and the creditworthiness of their issuers will be considered when determining whether a mortgage-backed security meets the Fund's quality standards. The Fund may buy mortgage-backed securities without insurance or guarantees if, through an examination of the loan experience and practices of the poolers, the investment manager determines that the securities meet the Fund's quality standards. Private mortgage-backed securities whose underlying assets are neither U.S. government securities nor U.S. government-insured mortgages, to the extent that real properties securing such assets may be located in the same geographical region, may also be subject to a greater risk of default than other comparable securities in the event of adverse economic, political or business developments that may affect such region and, ultimately, the ability of property owners to make payments of principal and interest on the underlying mortgages. Non-government mortgage-backed securities are generally subject to greater price volatility than those issued, guaranteed or sponsored by government entities because of the greater risk of default in adverse market conditions. Where a guarantee is provided by a private guarantor, the Fund is subject to the credit risk of such guarantor, especially when the guarantor doubles as the originator.

Mortgage-backed securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities, are not subject to the Fund's industry concentration restrictions, set forth under "Fundamental Investment Policies," by virtue of the exclusion from that test available to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities. In the case of privately issued mortgage-backed securities, the Fund categorizes the securities by the issuer's industry for purposes of the Fund's industry concentration restrictions.

Other mortgage securities. Mortgage securities may include interests in pools of (i) reperforming loans, meaning that the mortgage loans are current, including because of loan modifications, but had been delinquent in the past and (ii) non-performing loans, meaning that the mortgage loans are not current. Such mortgage securities present increased risks of default, including non-payment of principal and interest.

Additional risks. In addition to the special risks described below, mortgage securities are subject to many of the same risks as other types of debt securities. The market value of mortgage securities, like other debt securities, will generally vary inversely with changes in market interest rates, declining when interest rates rise and rising when interest rates decline. Mortgage securities differ from conventional debt securities in that most mortgage securities are pass-through securities.

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This means that they typically provide investors with periodic payments (typically monthly) consisting of a pro rata share of both regular interest and principal payments, as well as unscheduled early prepayments, on the underlying mortgage pool (net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of such securities and any applicable loan servicing fees). As a result, the holder of the mortgage securities (i.e., the Fund) receives scheduled payments of principal and interest and may receive unscheduled principal payments representing prepayments on the underlying mortgages. The rate of prepayments on the underlying mortgages generally increases as interest rates decline, and when the Fund reinvests the payments and any unscheduled payments of principal it receives, it may receive a rate of interest that is lower than the rate on the existing mortgage securities. For this reason, pass-through mortgage securities may have less potential for capital appreciation as interest rates decline and may be less effective than other types of U.S. government or other debt securities as a means of "locking in" long-term interest rates. In general, fixed rate mortgage securities have greater exposure to this "prepayment risk" than variable rate securities.

An unexpected rise in interest rates could extend the average life of a mortgage security because of a lower than expected level of prepayments or higher than expected amounts of late payments or defaults. In addition, to the extent mortgage securities are purchased at a premium, mortgage foreclosures and unscheduled principal prepayments may result in some loss of the holder's principal investment to the extent of the premium paid. On the other hand, if mortgage securities are purchased at a discount, both a scheduled payment of principal and an unscheduled payment of principal will increase current and total returns and will accelerate the recognition of income that, when distributed to shareholders, will generally be taxable as ordinary income. Regulatory, policy or tax changes may also adversely affect the mortgage securities market as a whole or particular segments of such market, including if one or more government sponsored entities, such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, are privatized or their conservatorship is terminated.

Guarantees. The existence of a guarantee or other form of credit support on a mortgage security usually increases the price that the Fund pays or receives for the security. There is always the risk that the guarantor will default on its obligations. When the guarantor is the U.S. government, there is minimal risk of guarantor default. However, the risk remains if the credit support or guarantee is provided by a private party or a U.S. government agency or sponsored enterprise. Even if the guarantor meets its obligations, there can be no assurance that the type of guarantee or credit support provided will be effective at reducing losses or delays to investors, given the nature of the default. A guarantee only assures timely payment of interest and principal, not a particular rate of return on the Fund's investment or protection against prepayment or other risks. The market price and yield of the mortgage security at any given time are not guaranteed and likely to fluctuate.

Sector focus. The Fund's investments in mortgage securities may cause the Fund to have significant, indirect exposure to a given market sector. If the underlying mortgages are predominantly from borrowers in a given market sector, the mortgage securities may respond to market conditions just as a direct investment in that sector would. As a result, the Fund may experience greater exposure to that specific market sector than it would if the underlying mortgages came from a wider variety of borrowers. Greater exposure to a particular market sector may result in greater volatility of the security's price and returns to the Fund, as well as greater potential for losses in the absence or failure of a guarantee to protect against widespread defaults or late payments by the borrowers on the underlying mortgages.

Similar risks may result from an investment in mortgage securities if the underlying real properties are located in the same geographical region or dependent upon the same industries or sectors. Such mortgage securities will experience greater risk of default or late payment than other comparable but diversified securities in the event of adverse economic, political or business developments because of the widespread affect an adverse event will have on borrowers' ability to make payments on the underlying mortgages.

Stripped mortgage-backed securities and net interest margin securities Some mortgage-backed securities referred to as stripped mortgage-backed securities are divided into classes which receive different proportions of the principal and interest payments or, in some cases, only payments of principal or interest (but not both). Other mortgage-backed securities referred to as net interest margin (NIM) securities give the investor the right to receive any excess interest earned on a pool of mortgage loans remaining after all classes and service providers have been paid in full. Stripped mortgage-backed securities may be issued by government or private entities. Stripped mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government are typically more liquid than privately issued stripped mortgage-backed securities.

Stripped mortgage-backed securities are usually structured with two classes, each receiving different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. In most cases, one class receives all of the interest (interest-only or "IO" class), while the other class receives all of the principal (principal-only or "PO" class). The return on an IO class is extremely sensitive not only to changes in prevailing interest rates but also to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the underlying mortgage assets. A rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on any IO class held by the Fund. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than

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anticipated prepayments of principal, the Fund may fail to recoup its initial investment fully, even if the securities are rated in the highest rating categories, AAA or Aaa, by S&P or Moody's, respectively.

NIM securities represent a right to receive any "excess" interest computed after paying coupon costs, servicing costs and fees and any credit losses associated with the underlying pool of home equity loans. Like traditional stripped mortgage-backed securities, the return on a NIM security is sensitive not only to changes in prevailing interest rates but also to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the underlying home equity loans. NIM securities are highly sensitive to credit losses on the underlying collateral and the timing in which those losses are taken.

Stripped mortgage-backed securities and NIM securities tend to exhibit greater market volatility in response to changes in interest rates than other types of mortgage-backed securities and are purchased and sold by institutional investors, such as the Fund, through investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers. Some of these securities may be deemed "illiquid" and therefore subject to the Fund's limitation on investment in illiquid securities and the risks associated with illiquidity.

Future developments. Mortgage loan and home equity loan pools offering pass-through investments in addition to those described above may be created in the future. The mortgages underlying these securities may be alternative mortgage instruments, that is, mortgage instruments whose principal or interest payments may vary or whose terms to maturity may differ from customary long-term, fixed-rate mortgages. As new types of mortgage and home equity loan securities are developed and offered to investors, the Fund may invest in them if they are consistent with the Fund's goals, policies and quality standards.

Mortgage dollar rolls. In a mortgage dollar roll, the Fund sells or buys mortgage-backed securities for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts to repurchase or sell substantially similar (same type, coupon, and maturity) securities on a specified future date. During the period between the sale and repurchase (known as the "roll period"), the Fund forgoes principal and interest payments that it would otherwise have received on the securities sold. The Fund is compensated by the difference between the current sales price, which it receives, and the lower forward price that it will pay for the future purchase (often referred to as the "drop"), as well as by the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the initial sale.

The Fund is exposed to the credit risk of its counterparty in a mortgage dollar roll or U.S. Treasury roll transaction. The Fund could suffer a loss if the counterparty fails to perform the future transaction or otherwise meet its obligations and the Fund is therefore unable to repurchase at the agreed upon price the same or substantially similar mortgage-backed securities it initially sold. The Fund also takes the risk that the mortgage-backed securities that it repurchases at a later date will have less favorable market characteristics than the securities originally sold (e.g., greater prepayment risk).

The Fund intends to enter into mortgage dollar rolls only with high quality securities dealers and banks as determined by the investment manager under board approved counterparty review procedures. Although rolls could add leverage to the Fund's portfolio, the Fund does not consider the purchase and/or sale of a mortgage dollar roll to be a borrowing for purposes of the Fund's fundamental restrictions or other limitations on borrowing.

Municipal securities Municipal securities are issued by U.S. state and local governments and their agencies, instrumentalities, authorities and political subdivisions, as well as by the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and possessions. The issuer pays a fixed, floating or variable rate of interest, and must repay the amount borrowed (the "principal") at maturity. Municipal securities are issued to raise money for a variety of public or private purposes, including financing state or local government, specific projects or public facilities.

Municipal securities generally are classified as general or revenue obligations. General obligations are secured by the issuer's pledge of its full faith, credit and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest. Revenue obligations are debt securities payable only from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities, or a specific excise tax or other revenue source. As a result, an investment in revenue obligations is subject to greater risk of delay or non-payment if revenue does not accrue as expected or if other conditions are not met for reasons outside the control of the Fund. Conversely, if revenue accrues more quickly than anticipated, the Fund may receive payment before expected and have difficulty re-investing the proceeds on equally favorable terms.

The value of the municipal securities may be highly sensitive to events affecting the fiscal stability of the municipalities, agencies, authorities and other instrumentalities that issue securities. In particular, economic, legislative, regulatory or political developments affecting the ability of the issuers to pay interest or repay principal may significantly affect the value of the Fund's investments. These developments can include or arise from, for example, insolvency of an issuer, uncertainties related to the tax status of municipal securities, tax base erosion, state or federal constitutional limits on tax increases or other actions, budget deficits and other financial difficulties, or changes in the credit ratings assigned to municipal issuers. There will be a limited market for certain municipal securities, and the Fund could face illiquidity risks.

Private investments Consistent with its investment goals and policies, the Fund may from time to time make private

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investments in companies whose securities are not publicly traded, including late stage private placements. These investments typically will take the form of letter stock or convertible preferred stock. Because these securities are not publicly traded, there is no secondary market for the securities. The Fund will generally treat these securities as illiquid.

Late stage private placements are sales of securities made in non-public, unregistered transactions shortly before a company expects to go public. The Fund may make such investments in order to participate in companies whose initial public offerings are expected to be “hot” issues. There is no public market for shares sold in these private placements and it is possible that initial public offerings will never be completed. Moreover, even after an initial public offering, there may be a limited trading market for the securities or the Fund may be subject to contractual limitations on its ability to sell the shares.

The Fund also may make private investments in public equity (PIPEs), which typically involve the purchase of securities directly from a publicly traded company or its affiliates in a private placement transaction, typically at a discount to the market price of the company’s securities. When investing in PIPEs, there is a risk that if the market price of the securities drops below a set threshold, the company may have to issue additional stock at a significantly reduced price, which may dilute the value of a Fund’s investment. In addition, shares in PIPES generally are not registered with the SEC until after a certain time period from the date the private sale is completed. This restricted period can last many months. Until the public registration process is completed, PIPES are restricted as to resale and the Fund cannot freely trade the securities. Generally, such restrictions cause the PIPES to be illiquid during this time. PIPES may contain provisions that the issuer will pay specified financial penalties to the holder if the issuer does not publicly register the restricted equity securities within a specified period of time, but there is no assurance that the restricted equity securities will be publicly registered, or that the registration will remain in effect.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) A REIT is a pooled investment vehicle which purchases primarily income-producing real estate or real estate related loans or other real estate related interests. The pooled vehicle, typically a trust, then issues shares whose value and investment performance are dependent upon the investment experience of the underlying real estate related investments.

The Fund's investments in real estate-related securities are subject to certain risks related to the real estate industry in general. These risks include, among others: changes in general and local economic conditions; possible declines in the value of real estate; the possible lack of availability of money for loans to purchase real estate; overbuilding in particular areas; prolonged vacancies in rental properties; property taxes; changes in tax laws relating to dividends and laws related to the use of real estate in certain areas; costs resulting from the clean-up of, and liability to third parties resulting from, environmental problems; the costs associated with damage to real estate resulting from floods, earthquakes or other material disasters not covered by insurance; and limitations on, and variations in, rents and changes in interest rates. The value of securities of companies that service the real estate industry will also be affected by these risks.

In addition, equity REITs are affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by the trusts, while mortgage REITs are affected by the quality of the properties to which they have extended credit. Equity and mortgage REITs are dependent upon the REITs management skill. REITs may not be diversified and are subject to the risks of financing projects.

Repurchase agreements Under a repurchase agreement, the Fund agrees to buy securities guaranteed as to payment of principal and interest by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities from a qualified bank, broker-dealer or other counterparty and then to sell the securities back to such counterparty on an agreed upon date (generally less than seven days) at a higher price, which reflects currently prevailing short-term interest rates. Entering into repurchase agreements allows the Fund to earn a return on cash in the Fund's portfolio that would otherwise remain un-invested. The counterparty must transfer to the Fund's custodian, as collateral, securities with an initial market value of at least 102% of the dollar amount paid by the Fund to the counterparty. The investment manager will monitor the value of such collateral daily to determine that the value of the collateral equals or exceeds the repurchase price.

Repurchase agreements may involve risks in the event of default or insolvency of the counterparty, including possible delays or restrictions upon the Fund's ability to sell the underlying securities and additional expenses in seeking to enforce the Fund's rights and recover any losses. The Fund will enter into repurchase agreements only with parties who meet certain creditworthiness standards, i.e., banks or broker-dealers that the investment manager has determined, based on the information available at the time, present no serious risk of becoming involved in bankruptcy proceedings within the time frame contemplated by the repurchase agreement. Although the Fund seeks to limit the credit risk under a repurchase agreement by carefully selecting counterparties and accepting only high quality collateral, some credit risk remains. The counterparty could default which may make it necessary for the Fund to incur expenses to liquidate the collateral. In addition, the collateral may decline in value before it can be liquidated by the Fund.

A repurchase agreement with more than seven days to maturity is considered an illiquid security and is subject to the Fund's investment restriction on illiquid securities.

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Securities lending To generate additional income, the Fund may lend certain of its portfolio securities to qualified banks and broker-dealers (referred to as "borrowers"). In exchange, the Fund receives cash collateral from a borrower at least equal to the value of the security loaned by the Fund. Cash collateral typically consists of any combination of cash, securities issued by the U.S. government and its agencies and instrumentalities, and irrevocable letters of credit. The Fund may invest this cash collateral while the loan is outstanding and generally retains part or all of the interest earned on the cash collateral. Securities lending allows the Fund to retain ownership of the securities loaned and, at the same time, earn additional income.

For each loan, the borrower usually must maintain with the Fund's custodian collateral with an initial market value at least equal to 102% of the market value of the domestic securities loaned (or 105% of the market value of foreign securities loaned), including any accrued interest thereon. Such collateral will be marked-to-market daily, and if the coverage falls below 100%, the borrower will be required to deliver additional collateral equal to at least 102% of the market value of the domestic securities loaned (or 105% of the foreign securities loaned).

The Fund retains all or a portion of the interest received on investment of the cash collateral or receives a fee from the borrower. The Fund also continues to receive any distributions paid on the loaned securities. The Fund seeks to maintain the ability to obtain the right to vote or consent on proxy proposals involving material events affecting securities loaned. The Fund may terminate a loan at any time and obtain the return of the securities loaned within the normal settlement period for the security involved.

If the borrower defaults on its obligation to return the securities loaned because of insolvency or other reasons, the Fund could experience delays and costs in recovering the securities loaned or in gaining access to the collateral. These delays and costs could be greater for foreign securities. If the Fund is not able to recover the securities loaned, the Fund may sell the collateral and purchase a replacement investment in the market. Additional transaction costs would result, and the value of the collateral could decrease below the value of the replacement investment by the time the replacement investment is purchased. Until the replacement can be purchased, the Fund will not have the desired level of exposure to the security which the borrower failed to return. Cash received as collateral through loan transactions may be invested in other eligible securities, including shares of a money market fund. Investing this cash subjects the Fund to greater market risk including losses on the collateral and, should the Fund need to look to the collateral in the event of the borrower's default, losses on the loan secured by that collateral.

The Fund will loan its securities only to parties who meet creditworthiness standards approved by the Fund's board (i.e., banks or broker-dealers that the investment manager has determined are not apparently at risk of becoming involved in bankruptcy proceedings within the time frame contemplated by the loan). In addition, pursuant to the 1940 Act and SEC interpretations thereof, the aggregate market value of securities that may be loaned by the Fund is limited to 33 1/3% of the Fund's total assets or such lower limit as set by the Fund or its board.

Small and mid capitalization companies Market capitalization is defined as the total market value of a company's outstanding stock. Small capitalization companies are often overlooked by investors or undervalued in relation to their earnings power. Because small capitalization companies generally are not as well known to the investing public, and may have less of an investor following and may grow more rapidly than larger capitalization companies, they may provide greater opportunities for long-term capital growth. These companies may be undervalued because they are part of an industry that is out of favor with investors, although the individual companies may have high rates of earnings growth and be financially sound. Mid capitalization companies may offer greater potential for capital appreciation than larger capitalization companies, because mid capitalization companies are often growing more rapidly than larger capitalization companies, but tend to be more stable and established than small capitalization or emerging companies.

Initial public offerings (IPOs) of securities issued by unseasoned companies with little or no operating history are risky and their prices are highly volatile, but they can result in very large gains in their initial trading. Attractive IPOs are often oversubscribed and may not be available to the Fund, or only in very limited quantities. Thus, when the Fund’s size is smaller, any gains from IPOs will have an exaggerated impact on the Fund’s reported performance than when the Fund is larger. Although IPO investments have had a positive impact on some funds’ performance in the past, there can be no assurance that the Fund will have favorable IPO investment opportunities in the future.

To the extent that the Fund may invest in small capitalization companies, it may have significant investments in relatively new or unseasoned companies that are in their early stages of development, or in new and emerging industries where the opportunity for rapid growth is expected to be above average. Securities of unseasoned companies present greater risks than securities of larger, more established companies.

Stripped securities Stripped securities are debt securities that have been transformed from a principal amount with periodic interest coupons into a series of zero coupon bonds, each with a different maturity date corresponding to one of the payment dates for interest coupon payments or the redemption date for the principal amount. Stripped securities

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are subject to all the risks applicable to zero coupon bonds as well as certain additional risks.

Like zero coupon bonds, stripped securities do not provide for periodic payments of interest prior to maturity. Rather they are offered at a discount from their face amount that will be paid at maturity. This results in the security being subject to greater fluctuations in response to changing interest rates than interest-paying securities of similar maturities. Federal income taxes generally accrue on stripped securities each year although no cash income is received until maturity, and the Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities that it would otherwise continue to hold in order to obtain sufficient cash to make distributions to shareholders required for U.S. tax purposes.

The riskiness of an investment in stripped securities depends on the type involved. Some stripped securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Others receive an implied backing by the U.S. government as a sponsor or partner in the agency or entity issuing the stripped security. A few are secured with a guarantee from the financial institution or broker or dealer through which the stripped security is held. Others are supported only by the collateral, revenue stream or third party guarantee securing the underlying debt obligation from which zero coupon bonds were stripped. Stripped securities include: U.S. Treasury STRIPS, Stripped Government Securities, Stripped Obligations of the Financing Corporation (FICO STRIPS), Stripped Corporate Securities, and Stripped Eurodollar Obligations.

Stripped government securities are issued by the U.S. federal, state and local governments and their agencies and instrumentalities, and by "mixed-ownership government corporations." Stripped government securities vary widely in the terms, conditions and relative assurances of payment. The type of debt obligation from which the stripped government security was taken will indicate many of the risks associated with that investment. U.S. Treasury STRIPS and FICO Strips are types of stripped government securities.

U.S. Treasury STRIPS (Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities) are considered U.S. Treasury securities for purposes of the Fund's investment policies and are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Their risks are similar to those of other U.S. government securities, although their price may be more volatile. The U.S. Treasury has facilitated transfers of ownership of zero coupon securities by accounting separately for the beneficial ownership of particular interest coupon and principal payments on Treasury securities through the Federal Reserve book-entry record-keeping system.

FICO STRIPS represent interests in securities issued by the Financing Corporation (FICO). FICO was established to enable recapitalization of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) in the 1980's. FICO STRIPS are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government but are generally treated as U.S. government agency securities. The market for FICO STRIPS is substantially smaller and, therefore, less liquid and more volatile than the market for U.S. Treasury STRIPS. A higher yield is typically offered on FICO STRIPS to compensate investors for the greater illiquidity and additional risk that the U.S. government will not meet obligations on the FICO STRIPS if FICO defaults.

Temporary investments When the investment manager believes market or economic conditions are unfavorable for investors, the investment manager may invest up to 100% of the Fund's assets in temporary defensive investments, including cash, cash equivalents or other high quality short-term investments, such as short-term debt instruments, including U.S. government securities, high grade commercial paper, repurchase agreements, negotiable certificates of deposit, non-negotiable fixed time deposits, bankers acceptances, and other money market equivalents. To the extent allowed by exemptions from and rules under the 1940 Act and the Fund's other investment policies and restrictions, the investment manager also may invest the Fund's assets in shares of one or more money market funds managed by the investment manager or its affiliates. Unfavorable market or economic conditions may include excessive volatility or a prolonged general decline in the securities markets, the securities in which the Fund normally invests, or the economies of the countries where the Fund invests. Temporary defensive investments can and do experience defaults. The likelihood of default on a temporary defensive investment may increase in the market or economic conditions which are likely to trigger the Fund's investment therein. The investment manager also may invest in these types of securities or hold cash while looking for suitable investment opportunities or to maintain liquidity. When the Fund’s assets are invested in temporary investments, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment goal.

Trade claims Trade claims are direct obligations or claims against companies that are in bankruptcy or other financial difficulty that are purchased from the creditors of such companies. For buyers, such as the Fund, trade claims offer the potential for profits because they are often purchased at a significantly discounted value and, consequently, may generate capital appreciation if the value of the claim increases as the debtor's financial position improves. If the debtor is able to pay the full face value of the claim as a result of a restructuring or an improvement in the debtor's financial condition, trade claims offer the potential for higher income due to the difference in the face value of the claim as compared to the discounted purchase price.

An investment in trade claims is speculative and carries a high degree of risk. Trade claims are not backed by collateral or other forms of credit support. There can be no guarantee that the debtor will ever be able to satisfy the obligation on the

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trade claim. There is usually a substantial delay between purchasing a trade claim and receiving any return. Trade claims are not regulated by federal securities laws or the SEC, so the Fund's investment will not receive the same investor protections as with regulated securities. Currently, trade claims are regulated primarily by bankruptcy laws. Because trade claims are unsecured, holders of trade claims may have a lower priority in terms of payment than most other creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Unrated debt securities Not all debt securities or their issuers are rated by rating agencies, sometimes due to the size of or manner of the securities offering, the decision by one or more rating agencies not to rate certain securities or issuers as a matter of policy, or the unwillingness or inability of the issuer to provide the prerequisite information and fees to the rating agencies. Some debt securities markets may have a disproportionately large number of unrated issuers.

In evaluating unrated securities, the investment manager may consider, among other things, the issuer's financial resources, its sensitivity to economic conditions and trends, its operating history, the quality of the issuer's management and regulatory matters. Although unrated debt securities may be considered to be of investment grade quality, issuers typically pay a higher interest rate on unrated than on investment grade rated debt securities. Less information is typically available to the market on unrated securities and obligors, which may increase the potential for credit and valuation risk.

Unseasoned companies To the extent that the Fund may invest in small capitalization companies, it may have significant investments in relatively new or unseasoned companies that are in their early stages of development, or in new and emerging industries where the opportunity for rapid growth is expected to be above average. Securities of unseasoned companies present greater risks than securities of larger, more established companies.

U.S. government securities U.S. government securities include obligations of, or securities guaranteed by, the U.S. federal government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. Some U.S. government securities are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. These include U.S. Treasury obligations and securities issued by the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA). A second category of U.S. government securities are those supported by the right of the agency, instrumentality or sponsored enterprise to borrow from the U.S. government to meet its obligations. These include securities issued by Federal Home Loan Banks.

A third category of U.S. government securities are those supported by only the credit of the issuing agency, instrumentality or sponsored enterprise. These include securities issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC). In the event of a default, an investor like the Fund would only have legal recourse to the issuer, not the U.S. government. Although the U.S. government has provided support for these securities in the past, there can be no assurance that it will do so in the future. The U.S. government has also made available additional guarantees for limited periods to stabilize or restore a market in the wake of an economic, political or natural crisis. Such guarantees, and the economic opportunities they present, are likely to be temporary and cannot be relied upon by the Fund. Any downgrade of the credit rating of the securities issued by the U.S. government may result in a downgrade of securities issued by its agencies or instrumentalities, including government-sponsored entities.

Variable rate securities Variable rate securities are debt securities that provide for periodic adjustments in the interest rate paid on the debt security. Floating rate securities, adjustable rate securities and inverse floating rate securities (referred to as "inverse floaters") are types of variable rate securities. An adjustable rate security is a debt security with an interest rate which is adjusted according to a formula that specifies the interval at which the rate will be reset and the interest rate index, benchmark or other mechanism upon which the reset rate is based. A floating rate debt security has a rate of interest which is usually established as the sum of a base lending rate (e.g., SOFR, the U.S. Prime Rate, the Prime Rate of a designated U.S. bank or the certificate of deposit rate) plus a specified margin. The interest rate on prime rate-based loans and securities floats periodically as the prime rate changes. The interest rate on SOFR-based and CD-based loans and securities is reset periodically, typically at regular intervals ranging between 30 days and one year. Certain floating rate securities will permit the borrower to select an interest rate reset period of up to one year.

Some variable rate securities are structured with put features that permit holders to demand payment of the unpaid principal balance plus accrued interest from the issuers or certain financial intermediaries at or about the time the interest rate is reset. If the Fund purchases a variable rate security with a put feature and market movements make exercise of the put unattractive, the Fund will forfeit the entire amount of any premium paid plus related transaction costs.

Movements in the relevant index or benchmark on which adjustments are based will affect the interest paid on these securities and, therefore, the current income earned by the Fund and the securities' market value. The degree of volatility in the market value of the variable rate securities held by the Fund will generally increase along with the length of time between adjustments, the degree of volatility in the applicable index, benchmark or base lending rate and whether the index, benchmark or base lending rate to which it resets or floats approximates short-term or other prevailing interest rates. It will also be a function of the maximum increase or decrease of the interest rate adjustment on any one adjustment date, in

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any one year, and over the life of the security. These maximum increases and decreases are typically referred to as "caps" and "floors," respectively.

During periods when short-term interest rates move within the caps and floors of the security held by the Fund, the interest rate of such security will reset to prevailing rates within a short period. As a result, the fluctuation in market value of the variable rate security held by the Fund is generally expected to be limited.

In periods of substantial short-term volatility in interest rates, the market value of such debt securities may fluctuate more substantially if the caps and/or floors prevent the interest rates from adjusting to the full extent of the movements in the market rates during any one adjustment period or over the term of the security. In the event of dramatic increases in interest rates, any lifetime caps on these securities may prevent the securities from adjusting to prevailing rates over the term of the security. In either the case of caps or floors, the market value of the securities may be reduced.

The income earned by the Fund and distributed to shareholders will generally increase or decrease along with movements in the relevant index, benchmark or base lending rate. Thus the Fund's income will be more unpredictable than the income earned on similar investments with a fixed rate of interest.

When-issued, delayed delivery and to-be-announced transactions When-issued, delayed delivery and to-be-announced (TBA) transactions are arrangements under which the parties agree on the sale of securities with payment for and delivery of the security scheduled for a future time. The securities may have been authorized but not yet issued, or, in the TBA market for U.S. Government agency mortgage-backed securities, the parties agree on a price, volume, and basic characteristics of securities to be delivered on the settlement date, rather than particular securities. In addition to buying securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or TBA basis, the Fund may also sell these securities on a TBA basis to close out an existing TBA position before the settlement date, to take advantage of an expected decline in value of the securities, or for hedging purposes.

Entering into a when-issued, delayed delivery or TBA transaction may be viewed as a form of leverage and will result in associated risks for the Fund. The Fund does not consider the purchase and/or sale of securities on a when-issued, delayed delivery or TBA basis to be a borrowing for purposes of the Fund’s fundamental restrictions or other limitations on borrowing.

Many when-issued, delayed-delivery or TBA transactions also are subject to the risk that a counterparty may become bankrupt or otherwise fail to perform its obligations due to financial difficulties, including making payments or fulfilling other obligations to the Fund. The Fund may obtain no or only limited recovery in a bankruptcy or other organizational proceedings, and any recovery may be significantly delayed. With respect to forward settling TBA transactions involving U.S. Government agency mortgage backed securities, the counterparty risk may be mitigated by the exchange of variation margin on a regular basis between counterparties as the market value of the deliverable security fluctuates.

The Fund also relies on the counterparty to complete the transaction. The counterparty’s failure to do so may cause the Fund to miss a price or yield considered advantageous to the Fund. Although their price typically reflects accrued interest, securities purchased on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis do not generally earn interest until their scheduled delivery date. Purchases or sales of debt securities on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis are also subject to the risk that the market value or the yield at delivery may be more or less than the market price or yield available when the transaction was entered into, or that the Fund is unable to purchase securities for delivery at the settlement date with the characteristics agreed upon at the time of the transaction.

Zero coupon, deferred interest and pay-in-kind bonds Zero coupon or deferred interest bonds are debt securities that make no periodic interest payments until maturity or a specified date when the securities begin paying current interest (cash payment date). Zero coupon and deferred interest bonds generally are issued and traded at a discount from their face amount or par value.

The original discount on zero coupon or deferred interest bonds approximates the total amount of interest the bonds will accumulate over the period until maturity or the first cash payment date and compounds at a rate of interest reflecting the market rate of the security at the time of issuance. The discount varies depending on the time remaining until maturity or the cash payment date, as well as prevailing interest rates, liquidity of the market for the security, and the perceived credit quality of the issuer. The discount, in the absence of financial difficulties of the issuer, typically decreases as the final maturity or cash payment date approaches. The discount typically increases as interest rates rise, the market becomes less liquid or the creditworthiness of the issuer deteriorates.

Pay-in-kind bonds are debt securities that provide for interest payments to be made in a form other than cash, generally at the option of the issuer. Common forms include payment of additional bonds of the same issuer or an increase in principal underlying the pay-in-kind bonds. To the extent that no cash income will be paid for an extended period of time, pay-in-kind bonds resemble zero coupon or deferred interest bonds and are subject to similar influences and risks.

For accounting and federal tax purposes, holders of bonds issued at a discount, such as the Fund, are deemed to receive interest income over the life of the bonds even though the bonds do not pay out cash to their holders before maturity

49


or the cash payment date. That income is distributable to Fund shareholders even though no cash is received by the Fund at the time of accrual, which may require the liquidation of other portfolio securities to satisfy the Fund's distribution obligations.

Because investors receive no cash prior to the maturity or cash payment date, an investment in debt securities issued at a discount generally has a greater potential for complete loss of principal and/or return than an investment in debt securities that make periodic interest payments. Such investments are more vulnerable to the creditworthiness of the issuer and any other parties upon which performance relies.

The following is a description of the general risks associated with the Fund's investing in debt securities:

Credit Debt securities are subject to the risk of an issuer's (or other party's) failure or inability to meet its obligations under the security. Multiple parties may have obligations under a debt security. An issuer or borrower may fail to pay principal and interest when due. A guarantor, insurer or credit support provider may fail to provide the agreed upon protection. A counterparty to a transaction may fail to perform its side of the bargain. An intermediary or agent interposed between the investor and other parties may fail to perform the terms of its service. Also, performance under a debt security may be linked to the obligations of other persons who may fail to meet their obligations. The credit risk associated with a debt security could increase to the extent that the Fund's ability to benefit fully from its investment in the security depends on the performance by multiple parties of their respective contractual or other obligations. The market value of a debt security is also affected by the market's perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer.

The Fund may incur substantial losses on debt securities that are inaccurately perceived to present a different amount of credit risk than they actually do by the market, the investment manager or the rating agencies. Credit risk is generally greater where less information is publicly available, where fewer covenants safeguard the investors' interests, where collateral may be impaired or inadequate, where little legal redress or regulatory protection is available, or where a party's ability to meet obligations is speculative. Additionally, any inaccuracy in the information used by the Fund to evaluate credit risk may affect the value of securities held by the Fund.

Obligations under debt securities held by the Fund may never be satisfied or, if satisfied, only satisfied in part.

Some securities are subject to risks as a result of a credit downgrade or default by a government, or its agencies or, instrumentalities. Credit risk is a greater concern for high-yield debt securities and debt securities of issuers whose ability to pay interest and principal may be considered speculative. Debt securities are typically classified as investment grade-quality (medium to highest credit quality) or below investment grade-quality (commonly referred to as high-yield or junk bonds). Many individual debt securities are rated by a third party source, such as Moody's or S&P to help describe the creditworthiness of the issuer.

Debt securities ratings The investment manager performs its own independent investment analysis of securities being considered for the Fund's portfolio, which includes consideration of, among other things, the issuer's financial resources, its sensitivity to economic conditions and trends, its operating history, the quality of the issuer's management and regulatory matters. The investment manager also considers the ratings assigned by various investment services and independent rating agencies, such as Moody's and S&P, that publish ratings based upon their assessment of the relative creditworthiness of the rated debt securities. Generally, a lower rating indicates higher credit risk. Higher yields are ordinarily available from debt securities in the lower rating categories. These ratings are described at the end of this SAI under "Description of Ratings."

Using credit ratings to evaluate debt securities can involve certain risks. For example, ratings assigned by the rating agencies are based upon an analysis completed at the time of the rating of the obligor's ability to pay interest and repay principal. Rating agencies typically rely to a large extent on historical data which may not accurately represent present or future circumstances. Ratings do not purport to reflect the risk of fluctuations in market value of the debt security and are not absolute standards of quality and only express the rating agency's current opinion of an obligor's overall financial capacity to pay its financial obligations. A credit rating is not a statement of fact or a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold a debt obligation. Also, credit quality can change suddenly and unexpectedly, and credit ratings may not reflect the issuer's current financial condition or events since the security was last rated. Rating agencies may have a financial interest in generating business, including from the arranger or issuer of the security that normally pays for that rating, and providing a low rating might affect the rating agency's prospects for future business. While rating agencies have policies and procedures to address this potential conflict of interest, there is a risk that these policies will fail to prevent a conflict of interest from impacting the rating.

Extension The market value of some debt securities particularly mortgage securities and certain asset backed securities, may be adversely affected when bond calls or prepayments on underlying mortgage or other assets are less or slower than anticipated. This risk is extension risk. Extension risk may result from, for example, rising interest rates or unexpected developments in the markets for the underlying assets or mortgages. As a consequence, the security's effective maturity will be extended, resulting in an increase in interest rate sensitivity to that of a longer-term instrument. Extension risk generally increases as interest

50


rates rise. This is because, in a rising interest rate environment, the rate of prepayment and exercise of call or buy-back rights generally falls and the rate of default and delayed payment generally rises. When the maturity of an investment is extended in a rising interest rate environment, a below-market interest rate is usually locked-in and the value of the security reduced. This risk is greater for fixed-rate than variable-rate debt securities.

Income Income risk is the risk that the Fund's income will decline during periods of falling interest rates, when the Fund experiences defaults on debt securities it holds or when the Fund realizes a loss upon a sale of a debt security. The Fund's income declines when interest rates fall because, as the Fund's higher-yielding debt securities mature, are prepaid or are sold, the Fund may have to re-invest the proceeds in debt securities that have lower interest rates. The amount and rate of distributions that the Fund's shareholders receive are affected by the income that the Fund receives from its portfolio holdings. If the income is reduced, distributions by the Fund to shareholders may be less.

Fluctuations in income paid to the Fund are generally greater for variable rate debt securities. The Fund may be deemed to receive taxable income on certain securities which pay no cash payments until maturity, such as zero-coupon securities. The Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities that it would otherwise continue to hold in order to obtain sufficient cash to make the distribution to shareholders required for U.S. tax purposes.

Inflation The market price of debt securities generally falls as inflation increases because the purchasing power of the future income and repaid principal is expected to be worth less when received by the Fund. Debt securities that pay a fixed rather than variable interest rate are especially vulnerable to inflation risk because variable-rate debt securities may be able to participate, over the long term, in rising interest rates which have historically corresponded with long-term inflationary trends.

Interest rate The market value of debt securities generally varies in response to changes in prevailing interest rates. Interest rate changes can be sudden and unpredictable. In addition, short-term and long-term rates are not necessarily correlated to each other as short-term rates tend to be influenced by government monetary policy while long-term rates are market driven and may be influenced by macroeconomic events (such as economic expansion or contraction), inflation expectations, as well as supply and demand. During periods of declining interest rates, the market value of debt securities generally increases. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, the market value of debt securities generally declines. This occurs because new debt securities are likely to be issued with higher interest rates as interest rates increase, making the old or outstanding debt securities less attractive. In general, the market prices of long-term debt securities or securities that make little (or no) interest payments are more sensitive to interest rate fluctuations than shorter-term debt securities. The longer the Fund's average weighted portfolio duration, the greater the potential impact a change in interest rates will have on its share price. Also, certain segments of the fixed income markets, such as high quality bonds, tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes than other segments, such as lower-quality bonds.

Prepayment Debt securities, especially bonds that are subject to “calls” such as asset-backed or mortgage-backed securities,are subject to prepayment risk if their terms allow the payment of principal and other amounts due before their stated maturity. Amounts invested in a debt security that has been “called” or “prepaid” will be returned to an investor holding that security before expected by the investor. In such circumstances, the investor, such as a fund, may be required to re-invest the proceeds it receives from the called or prepaid security in a new security which, in periods of declining interest rates, will typically have a lower interest rate. Prepayment risk is especially prevalent in periods of declining interest rates and will result for other reasons, including unexpected developments in the markets for the underlying assets or mortgages. For example, a decline in mortgage interest rates typically initiates a period of mortgage refinancings. When homeowners refinance their mortgages, the investor in the underlying pool of mortgage-backed securities (such as a fund) receives its principal back sooner than expected, and must reinvest at lower, prevailing rates.

Securities subject to prepayment risk are often called during a declining interest rate environment and generally offer less potential for gains and greater price volatility than other income-bearing securities of comparable maturity.

Call risk is similar to prepayment risk and results from the ability of an issuer to call, or prepay, a debt security early. If interest rates decline enough, the debt security's issuer can save money by repaying its callable debt securities and issuing new debt securities at lower interest rates.

The following is a description of other risks associated with the Fund's investments:

Focus The greater the Fund's exposure to (or focus on) any single type of investment – including investment in a given industry, sector, country, region, or type of security – the greater the impact of adverse events or conditions in such industry, sector, country, region or investment will have on the Fund's performance. To the extent the Fund has greater exposure to any single type of investment, the Fund's potential for loss (or gain) will be greater than if its portfolio were invested more broadly in many types of investments.

The Fund's exposure to such industries, sectors, regions and other investments may also arise indirectly through the Fund's investments in debt securities (e.g., mortgage or asset-

51


backed securities) that are secured by such investments. Similar risks associated with focusing on a particular type of investment may result if real properties and collateral securing the Fund's investments are located in the same geographical region or subject to the same risks or concerns.

Inside information The investment manager (through its representatives or otherwise) may receive information that restricts the investment manager's ability to cause the Fund to buy or sell securities of an issuer for substantial periods of time when the Fund otherwise could realize profit or avoid loss. This may adversely affect the Fund's flexibility with respect to buying or selling securities and may impair the Fund's liquidity.

Liquidity Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are or become difficult to purchase or sell at the price at which the Fund has valued the security, whether because of current market conditions, the financial condition of the issuer, or the specific type of investment. If the market for a particular security becomes illiquid (for example, due to changes in the issuer's financial condition), the Fund may be unable to sell such security at an advantageous time or price due to the difficulty in selling such securities. To the extent that the Fund and its affiliates hold a significant portion of an issuer's outstanding securities, the Fund may also be subject to greater liquidity risk than if the issuer's securities were more widely held. The Fund may also need to sell some of the Fund's more liquid securities when it otherwise would not do so in order to meet redemption requests, even if such sale of the liquid holdings would be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint. Reduced liquidity may also have an adverse impact on a security's market value and the sale of such securities often results in higher brokerage charges or dealer discounts and other selling expenses. Reduced liquidity in the secondary market for certain securities will also make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain market quotations based on actual trades for purposes of valuing the Fund's portfolio and thus pricing may be prone to error when market quotations are volatile, infrequent and/or subject to large spreads between bid and ask prices. In addition, prices received by the Fund for securities may be based on institutional “round lot” sizes, but the Fund may purchase, hold or sell smaller, “odd lot” sizes, which may be harder to sell. Odd lots may trade at lower prices than round lots, which may affect the Fund’s ability to accurately value its investments.

The market for certain equity or debt securities may become illiquid under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the conditions of a particular issuer. Liquidity risk generally increases (meaning that securities become more illiquid) as the number, or relative need, of investors seeking to liquidate in a given market increases; for example, when an asset class or classes fall out of favor and investors sell their holdings in such classes, either directly or indirectly through investment funds, such as mutual funds.

Management The investment manager's judgments about markets, interest rates or the attractiveness, relative values or potential appreciation of particular investment strategies or sectors or securities purchased for the Fund's portfolio may prove to be incorrect, all of which could cause the Fund to perform less favorably and may result in a decline in the Fund's share price.

The investment manager selects investments for the Fund based on its own analysis and information as well as on external sources of information, such as information that the investment manager obtains from other sources including through conferences and discussions with third parties, and data that issuers of securities provide to the investment manager or file with government agencies. The investment manager may also use information concerning institutional positions and buying activity in a security.

The investment manager is not in a position to confirm the completeness, genuineness or accuracy of any of such information that is provided or filed by an issuer, and in some cases, complete and accurate information is not readily available. It is also possible that information on which the investment manager relies could be wrong or misleading. Additionally, legislative, regulatory, or tax developments may affect the investment techniques available to the investment manager in connection with managing the Fund and may also adversely affect the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment goal. Management risk is greater when less qualitative information is available to the investment manager about an investment.

Market The market value of securities owned by the Fund may go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably due to general market conditions which are not specifically related to a single corporate borrower or security issuer. These general market conditions include real or perceived adverse economic or regulatory conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency exchange rates or adverse investor sentiment generally. Market values may also decline due to factors which affect a particular industry or sector, such as labor shortages or increased production costs and competitive conditions within an industry, or a particular segment, such as mortgage or government securities. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may decline in value simultaneously. When markets perform well, there can be no assurance that the Fund's securities will participate in or otherwise benefit from the advance.

Portfolio turnover Portfolio turnover is a measure of how frequently the Fund's portfolio securities are bought and sold. High portfolio turnover rates generally increase transaction costs, which are Fund expenses. Such portfolio transactions

52


may also result in the realization of taxable capital gains, including short-term capital gains, which are generally taxable at ordinary income tax rates for federal income tax purposes for shareholders subject to income tax and who hold their shares in a taxable account. Higher transaction costs reduce the Fund's returns.

The SEC requires annual portfolio turnover to be calculated generally as the lesser of the Fund's purchases or sales of portfolio securities during a given fiscal year, divided by the monthly average value of the Fund's portfolio securities owned during that year (excluding securities with a maturity or expiration date that, at the time of acquisition, was less than one year). For example, a fund reporting a 100% portfolio turnover rate would have purchased and sold securities worth as much as the monthly average value of its portfolio securities during the year. The portfolio turnover rates for the Fund are disclosed in the sections entitled “Portfolio Turnover” and “Financial Highlights” of the Fund's prospectus.

Portfolio turnover is affected by factors within and outside the control of the Fund and its investment manager. The investment manager's investment outlook for the type of securities in which the Fund invests may change as a result of unexpected developments in domestic or international securities markets, or in economic, monetary or political relationships. High market volatility may result in the investment manager using a more active trading strategy than it might have otherwise pursued. The Fund's investment manager will consider the economic effects of portfolio turnover but generally will not treat portfolio turnover as a limiting factor in making investment decisions. Investment decisions affecting turnover may include changes in investment policies or management personnel, as well as individual portfolio transactions.

Factors wholly outside the control of the investment manager that may increase portfolio turnover include increased merger and acquisition activity, increased refinancing of outstanding debt by an issuer, or increased rates of bankruptcy or default, that may create involuntary transactions for funds that hold affected securities.

During periods of rapidly declining interest rates, the rate of prepayments on portfolio investments may increase rapidly. When this happens, "sales" of portfolio securities are increased due to the return of principal to the Fund followed by purchases of new portfolio securities to replace the "sold" ones.

The rate of bond calls by issuers of fixed-income debt securities may increase as interest rates decline. This causes "sales" of called bonds by the Fund and the subsequent purchase of replacement investments.

In addition, redemptions or exchanges by investors may require the liquidation of portfolio securities. Changes in particular portfolio holdings may also be made whenever a security is considered to be no longer the most appropriate investment for the Fund, or another security appears to have a relatively better opportunity.

Policies and Procedures Regarding the Release of Portfolio Holdings

The Fund's overall policy with respect to the release of portfolio holdings is to release such information consistent with applicable legal requirements and the fiduciary duties owed to shareholders. Subject to the limited exceptions described below, the Fund will not make available to anyone non-public information with respect to its portfolio holdings, until such time as the information is made available to all shareholders or the general public.

For purposes of this policy, portfolio holdings information does not include aggregate, composite or descriptive information that, in the reasonable judgement of the Fund’s Chief Compliance Officer, does not present risks of dilution, arbitrage, market timing, insider trading or other inappropriate trading to the detriment of the Fund. Information excluded from the definition of portfolio holdings information generally includes, without limitation: (1) descriptions of allocations among asset classes, regions, countries or industries/sectors; (2) aggregated data such as average or median ratios, market capitalization, credit quality or duration; (3) performance attributions by industry, sector or country; or (4) aggregated risk statistics. Such information, if made available to anyone, will be made available to any person upon request, but, because such information is generally not material to investors, it may or may not be posted on the Fund's website. In addition, other information may also be deemed to not be portfolio holdings information if, in the reasonable belief of the Fund's Chief Compliance Officer (or his/her designee), the release of such information would not present risks of dilution, arbitrage, market timing, insider trading or other inappropriate trading for the Fund.

Consistent with current law, the Fund releases complete portfolio holdings information each fiscal quarter through regulatory filings with no more than a 60-day lag.

In addition, subject to the limited exceptions noted below, a complete list of the Fund's portfolio holdings is generally released no sooner than on or before 15 calendar days after the end of each calendar month but may be released earlier provided the release is made available to the general public. Other portfolio holdings information, such as top 10 holdings, commentaries and other materials that may reference specific holdings information of the Fund as of the most recent month end are generally released five days after the end of each month but may be released earlier or later as deemed appropriate by the portfolio manager of the applicable Fund. Released portfolio holdings information can be viewed at franklintempleton.com.

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To the extent that this policy would permit the release of portfolio holdings information regarding a particular portfolio holding for the Fund that is the subject of ongoing purchase or sale orders/programs, or if the release of such portfolio holdings information would otherwise be sensitive or inappropriate due to liquidity or other market considerations, the portfolio manager for the Fund may request that the release of such information be withheld.

Exceptions to the portfolio holdings release policy (to the extent not otherwise permitted pursuant to an exclusion) will be made only when: (1) the Fund has a legitimate business purpose for releasing portfolio holdings information in advance of release to all shareholders or the general public; (2) the recipient is subject to a duty of confidentiality pursuant to a signed non-disclosure agreement; and (3) the release of such information would not otherwise violate the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws or fiduciary duties owed to Fund shareholders. The determination of whether to grant an exception, which includes the determination of whether the Fund has a legitimate business purpose for releasing portfolio holdings information in advance of release to all shareholders shall be made by the Fund's Chief Compliance Officer or his/her designee, following a request submitted in writing.

The eligible third parties to whom portfolio holdings information may be released in advance of general release fall into the following categories: data consolidators (including rating agencies), fund rating/ranking services and other data providers; service providers to the Fund; municipal securities brokers using the Investor Tools product which brings together buyers and sellers of municipal securities in the normal operation of the municipal securities markets; certain entities, in response to any regulatory requirements, approved by the investment manager’s Chief Compliance Officer in limited circumstances; and transition managers hired by Fund shareholders. In addition, should the Fund process a shareholder’s redemption request in-kind, the Fund may, under certain circumstances, provide portfolio holdings information to such shareholder to the extent necessary to allow the shareholder to prepare for receipt of such portfolio securities.

The specific entities to whom the Fund may provide portfolio holdings in advance of their release to the general public are:

 Bloomberg, Capital Access, CDA (Thomson Reuters), FactSet, Fidelity Advisors, S&P Global Ratings, Vestek, and Fidelity Trust Company, all of whom may receive portfolio holdings information 15 days after the quarter end.

 Service providers to the Fund that receive portfolio holdings information from time to time in advance of general release in the course of performing, or to enable them to perform, services for the Fund, including: Custodian Bank:The Bank of New York Mellon; Sub-Administrator: JPMorgan Chase Bank; Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; Outside Fund Legal Counsel: Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP; Independent Directors'/Trustees' Counsel: Vedder Price P.C; Proxy Voting Services: Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC and Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc.; Brokerage Analytical Services: Sanford Bernstein, Brown Brothers Harriman, Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets, JP Morgan Securities Inc.; Financial Printers: Donnelley Financial Solutions, Inc. or GCOM Solutions, Inc.

Eligible third parties that do not otherwise have a duty of confidentiality or have not acknowledged such a duty are required to (a) execute a non-disclosure agreement that includes the following provisions or (b) otherwise acknowledge and represent adherence to substantially similar provisions. Non-disclosure agreements include the following provisions:

 The recipient agrees to keep confidential until such information either is released to the public or the release is otherwise approved by the Chief Compliance Officer.

 The recipient agrees not to trade on the non-public information received.

 The recipient agrees to refresh its representation as to confidentiality and abstention from trading upon request from Franklin Templeton.

In no case does the Fund receive any compensation in connection with the arrangements to release portfolio holdings information to any of the above-described recipients of the information.

A fund other than a U.S. registered Franklin Templeton fund, such as an offshore fund or an unregistered private fund, with holdings that are not substantially similar to the holdings of a U.S. registered Franklin Templeton fund, is not subject to the restrictions imposed by the policy.

Several investment managers within Franklin Templeton (F-T Managers) serve as investment managers to offshore funds that are registered or otherwise authorized for sale with foreign regulatory authorities. Certain of these offshore funds may from time to time invest in securities substantially similar to those of the Fund. The release of portfolio holdings information for such offshore funds is excluded from the Fund's portfolio holdings release policy if such information is given to banks, broker-dealers, insurance companies, registered investment managers and other financial institutions (offshore investment managers) with discretionary authority to select offshore funds on behalf of their clients. Such information may only be disclosed for portfolio analytics, such as risk analysis/asset allocation, and the offshore investment manager will be required to execute a non-

54


disclosure agreement, whereby such offshore investment manager: (1) agrees that it is subject to a duty of confidentiality; (2) agrees that it will not (a) purchase or sell any portfolio securities based on any information received; (b) trade against any U.S. registered Franklin Templeton fund, including the Fund; (c) knowingly engage in any trading practices that are adverse to any such fund or its shareholders; and (d) trade in shares of any such fund; and (3) agrees to limit the dissemination of such information so received within its organization other than to the extent necessary to fulfill its obligations with respect to portfolio analytics for its discretionary clients.

Certain F-T Managers serve as investment advisers to privately placed funds that are exempt from registration, including Canadian institutional pooled funds (“Canadian funds”). In certain circumstances, such unregistered private funds and Canadian funds may have portfolio holdings that are not, in the aggregate, substantially similar to the holdings of a U.S. registered fund, as determined by the Chief Compliance Officer or his/her designee. Under such circumstances the release of portfolio holdings information to a client or potential client or unitholder of the unregistered private fund or Canadian fund may be permissible. In circumstances where an unregistered private fund or Canadian fund invests in portfolio securities that, in the aggregate, are substantially similar to the holdings of a U.S. registered fund, such private funds and Canadian funds are subject to the restrictions imposed by the policy, except that the release of holdings information to a current investor therein is permissible conditioned upon such investor’s execution of a non-disclosure agreement to mitigate the risk that portfolio holdings information may be used to trade inappropriately against a fund. Such non-disclosure agreement must provide that the investor: (1) agrees that it is subject to a duty of confidentiality; (2) agrees to not disseminate such information (except that the investor may be permitted to disseminate such information to an agent as necessary to allow the performance of portfolio analytics with respect to the investor’s investment in such fund), and (3) agrees not to trade on the non-public information received or trade in shares of any U.S. registered Franklin or Templeton fund that is managed in a style substantially similar to that of such fund, in the case of a Canadian fund.

U.S. registered open-end funds and offshore registered funds substantially all of whose assets are invested in registered open-end funds and/or Exchange Traded Funds are excepted from the policy’s restrictions.

Certain F-T Managers provide model portfolios composed of portfolio holdings information to the sponsors of programs offering separately managed accounts, unified model accounts or similar accounts (“Program Sponsors”). If such model portfolios are substantially similar to those of a U.S. registered fund, such model portfolios may be provided to Program Sponsors so long as: (1) the recipient Program Sponsors has executed a non-disclosure agreement or other agreement containing or incorporating confidentiality provisions that restrict the use and dissemination of confidential portfolio holdings information received by the Program Sponsor as described in the following sentence, or other provisions that impose similar restrictions on such use and dissemination and, (2) the model portfolio has been deemed sufficiently liquid by the F-T Manager's liquidity committee or the applicable F-T Managers for the strategies of the applicable model portfolios, as determined in their reasonable judgment. Such agreement must provide that the Program Sponsor agrees that: (1) it is subject to a duty of confidentiality; (2) it will use confidential model portfolio information only to the extent necessary to perform its obligations under the agreement; and (3) it will not disclose confidential model portfolio information except to personnel or parties who have a need to know such confidential information in connection with, or in order to fulfill the purposes contemplated by, the agreement.

Some F-T Managers serve as sub-advisers to other mutual funds not within the Franklin Templeton fund complex ("other funds"), which may be managed in a style substantially similar to that of a U.S. registered Franklin or Templeton fund. Such other funds are not subject to the Fund's portfolio holdings release policy. The sponsors of such funds may disclose the portfolio holdings of such funds at different times than the Fund discloses its portfolio holdings.

The Fund's portfolio holdings release policy and all subsequent amendments have been reviewed and approved by the Fund's board, and any other material amendments shall also be reviewed and approved by the board. The investment manager's compliance staff conducts periodic reviews of compliance with the policy and provides at least annually a report to the board regarding the operation of the policy and any material changes recommended as a result of such review. The investment manager's compliance staff also will supply the board yearly with a list of exceptions granted to the policy, along with an explanation of the legitimate business purpose of the Fund that is served as a result of the exception.

Officers and Trustees

Franklin Custodian Funds (Trust) has a board of trustees. Each trustee will serve until that person resigns or retires and/or a successor is elected and qualified. The board is responsible for the overall management of the Trust, including general supervision and review of the Fund's investment activities. The board, in turn, elects the officers of the Trust who are responsible for

55


administering the Fund's day-to-day operations. The board also monitors the Fund to help ensure that no material conflicts exist among share classes. While none are expected, the board will act appropriately to resolve any material conflict that may arise.

The name, year of birth and address of the officers and board members, as well as their affiliations, positions held with the Trust, principal occupations during at least the past five years, number of portfolios overseen in the Franklin Templeton fund complex and other directorships held during at least the past five years are shown below.

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Independent Board Members

         

Name, Year of Birth
and Address

Position

Length of Time
Served

Number of Portfolios
in Fund Complex

Overseen by
Board Member1

Other Directorships Held During at Least the Past 5 Years

Harris J. Ashton (1932)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Trustee

Since 1976

119

Bar-S Foods (meat packing company) (1981-2010).


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Director of various companies; and formerly, Director, RBC Holdings, Inc. (bank holding company) (until 2002); and President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, General Host Corporation (nursery and craft centers) (until 1998).

Terrence J. Checki (1945)
One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Trustee

Since 2017

119

Hess Corporation (exploration of oil and gas) (2014-present).


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Member of the Council on Foreign Relations (1996-present); Member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (1999-present); member of the board of trustees of the Economic Club of New York (2013-present); member of the board of trustees of the Foreign Policy Association (2005-present); member of the board of directors of Council of the Americas (2007-present) and the Tallberg Foundation (2018-present); and formerly, Executive Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Head of its Emerging Markets and Internal Affairs Group and Member of Management Committee (1995-2014); and Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (2014).

Mary C. Choksi (1950)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Trustee

Since 2014

120

Omnicom Group Inc. (advertising and marketing communications services) (2011-present) and White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (holding company) (2017-present); and formerly, Avis Budget Group Inc. (car rental) (2007-2020).


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Director of various companies; and formerly, Founder and Senior Advisor, Strategic Investment Group (investment management group) (2015-2017); Founding Partner and Senior Managing Director, Strategic Investment Group (1987-2015); Founding Partner and Managing Director, Emerging Markets Management LLC (investment management firm) (1987-2011); and Loan Officer/Senior Loan Officer/Senior Pension Investment Officer, World Bank Group (international financial institution) (1977-1987).

Edith E. Holiday (1952)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Lead

Independent

Trustee

Trustee since

1998 and

Lead Independent

Trustee since 2019

120

Hess Corporation (exploration of oil and gas) (1993-present), Santander Consumer USA Holdings, Inc. (consumer finance) (2016-present); Santander Holdings USA (holding company) (2019-present); and formerly, Canadian National Railway (railroad) (2001-2021), White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (holding company) (2004-2021), RTI International Metals, Inc. (manufacture and distribution of titanium) (1999-2015) and H.J. Heinz Company (processed foods and allied products) (1994-2013).


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Director or Trustee of various companies and trusts; and formerly, Assistant to the President of the United States and Secretary of the Cabinet (1990-1993); General Counsel to the United States Treasury Department (1989-1990); and Counselor to the Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Public Liaison-United States Treasury Department (1988-1989).

J. Michael Luttig (1954)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Trustee

Since 2009

120

Boeing Capital Corporation (aircraft financing) (2006-2010).


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Counselor and Special Advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors of The Coca-Cola Company (beverage company) (2021-present); and formerly, Counselor and Senior Advisor to the Chairman, CEO, and Board of Directors, of The Boeing Company (aerospace company), and member of the Executive Council (2019-2020); Executive Vice President, General Counsel and member of the Executive Council, The Boeing Company (2006-2019); and Federal Appeals Court Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1991-2006).

57


         

Name, Year of Birth
and Address

Position

Length of Time
Served

Number of Portfolios
in Fund Complex

Overseen by
Board Member1

Other Directorships Held During at Least the Past 5 Years

Larry D. Thompson (1945)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Trustee

Since 2007

120

Graham Holdings Company (education and media organization) (2011-2021); The Southern Company (energy company) (2014-2020; previously 2010-2012) and Cbeyond, Inc. (business communications provider) (2010-2012).


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Director of various companies; Counsel, Finch McCranie, LLP (law firm) (2015-present); John A. Sibley Professor of Corporate and Business Law, University of Georgia School of Law (2015-present; previously 2011-2012); and formerly, Independent Compliance Monitor and Auditor, Volkswagen AG (manufacturer of automobiles and commercial vehicles) (2017-2020); Executive Vice President - Government Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, PepsiCo, Inc. (consumer products) (2012-2014); Senior Vice President - Government Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary, PepsiCo, Inc. (2004-2011); Senior Fellow of The Brookings Institution (2003-2004); Visiting Professor, University of Georgia School of Law (2004); and Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice (2001-2003).

Valerie M. Williams (1956)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Trustee

Since 2021

111

Omnicom Group, Inc. (advertising and marketing communications services) (2016-present), DTE Energy Co. (gas and electric utility) (2018-present), Devon Energy Corporation (exploration and production of oil and gas) (2021-present); and formerly, WPX Energy, Inc. (exploration and production of oil and gas) (2018-2021).


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Director of various companies; and formerly, Regional Assurance Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP (public accounting) (2005-2016) and various roles of increasing responsibility at Ernst & Young (1981-2005).

Interested Board Members and Officers

         

Name, Year of Birth and Address

Position

Length of Time Served

Number of Portfolios
in Fund Complex Overseen by
Board Member1

Other Directorships Held
During at Least the Past
5 Years

Gregory E. Johnson2 (1961)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Trustee

2013

131

None


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Executive Chairman, Chairman of the Board and Director, Franklin Resources, Inc.; officer and/or director or trustee, as the case may be, of some of the other subsidiaries of Franklin Resources, Inc. and of certain funds in the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex; Vice Chairman, Investment Company Institute; and formerly, Chief Executive Officer (2013-2020) and President (1994-2015) Franklin Resources, Inc.

Rupert H. Johnson, Jr.3 (1940)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Chairman of the Board, Trustee and Vice President

Chairman of the Board since 2013, Trustee since 1983 and Vice President since 1982

120

None

Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Director (Vice Chairman), Franklin Resources, Inc.; Director, Franklin Advisers, Inc.; and officer and/or director or trustee, as the case may be, of some of the other subsidiaries of Franklin Resources, Inc. and of certain funds in the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex.

Alison E. Baur (1964)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Vice President

Since 2012

Not Applicable

Not Applicable


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Deputy General Counsel, Franklin Templeton; and officer of some of the other subsidiaries of Franklin Resources, Inc. and of certain funds in the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex.

58


         

Name, Year of Birth and Address

Position

Length of Time Served

Number of Portfolios
in Fund Complex Overseen by
Board Member1

Other Directorships Held
During at Least the Past
5 Years

Breda M. Beckerle (1958)

280 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Chief

Compliance Officer

Since 2020

Not Applicable

Not Applicable


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Chief Compliance Officer, Fiduciary Investment Management International, Inc., Franklin Advisers, Inc., Franklin Mutual Advisers, LLC, Franklin Templeton Institutional, LLC; and officer of certain funds in the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex.

Steven J. Gray (1955)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Vice President and

Co-Secretary

Vice President

since 2009 and

Co-Secretary

since 2019

Not Applicable

Not Applicable


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Senior Associate General Counsel, Franklin Templeton; Assistant Secretary, Franklin Distributors, LLC; and officer of certain funds in the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex.

Matthew T. Hinkle (1971)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Chief Executive

Officer - Finance and Administration

Since 2017

Not Applicable

Not Applicable


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Senior Vice President, Franklin Templeton Services, LLC; officer of certain funds in the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex; and formerly, Vice President, Global Tax (2012-April 2017) and Treasurer/Assistant Treasurer, Franklin Templeton (2009-2017).

Susan Kerr (1949)

620 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10018

Vice President - AML Compliance

Since 2021

Not Applicable

Not Applicable


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Senior Compliance Analyst, Franklin Templeton; Chief Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer, Legg Mason & Co., or its affiliates; Anti Money Laundering Compliance Officer; Senior Compliance Officer, LMIS; and officer of certain funds in the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex.

Christopher Kings (1974)

One Franklin Parkway
San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Chief Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer

Since 2022

Not Applicable

Not Applicable


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Treasurer, U.S. Fund Administration & Reporting; and officer of certain funds in the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex.

Edward D. Perks (1970)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

President and Chief Executive Officer – Investment Management

Since 2018

Not Applicable

Not Applicable


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

President and Director, Franklin Advisers, Inc.; and officer of certain funds in the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex.

Navid J. Tofigh (1972)

One Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403-1906

Vice President

Since 2015

Not Applicable

Not Applicable


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Senior Associate General Counsel, Franklin Templeton; and officer of certain funds in the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex.

Lori A. Weber (1964)

300 S.E. 2nd Street

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-1923

Vice President and

Co-Secretary

Vice President

since 2011 and

Co-Secretary

since 2019

Not Applicable

Not Applicable


Principal Occupation During at Least the Past 5 Years:

Senior Associate General Counsel, Franklin Templeton; Assistant Secretary, Franklin Resources, Inc.; Vice President and Secretary, Templeton Investment Counsel, LLC; and officer of certain funds in the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex.

Note 1: Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. is the uncle of Gregory E. Johnson.

Note 2: Officer information is current as of the date of this SAI. It is possible that after this date, information about officers may change.

1. We base the number of portfolios on each separate series of the U.S. registered investment companies within the Franklin Templeton/Legg Mason fund complex. These portfolios have a common investment manager or affiliated investment managers.

2. Gregory E. Johnson is considered to be an interested person of the Fund under the federal securities laws due to his position as an officer and director of Franklin Resources, Inc. (Resources), which is the parent company of the Fund's investment manager and distributor.

59


3. Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. is considered to be an interested person of the Fund under the federal securities laws due to his position as an officer and director and a major shareholder of Resources, which is the parent company of the Fund's investment manager and distributor.

The Trust's independent board members constitute the sole independent board members of 24 investment companies in the Franklin Templeton complex for which each independent board member currently is paid a $304,000 annual retainer fee, together with a $7,000 per meeting fee for attendance at each regularly scheduled board meeting, a portion of which fees are allocated to the Trust. To the extent held, compensation may also be paid for attendance at specially held board meetings. The Trust's lead independent board member is paid an annual supplemental retainer of $40,000 for services to such investment companies, a portion of which is allocated to the Trust. Board members who serve on the Audit Committee of the Trust and such other funds are paid a $10,000 annual retainer fee, together with a $3,000 fee per Committee meeting in which they participate, a portion of which is allocated to the Trust. Terrence J. Checki, who serves as chairman of the Audit Committee of the Trust and such other funds receives a fee of $50,000 per year in lieu of the Audit Committee member retainer fee, a portion of which is allocated to the Trust. The following table provides the total fees paid to independent board members by the Trust and by other funds in Franklin Templeton.

                     

Name

 

Total Fees
Received
from the
Trust
($)1

 

Total Fees
Received from
Franklin
Templeton
($)2

 

Number of
Boards in
Franklin
Templeton
on which
Each
Serves3

 

Harris J. Ashton

 

146,405

 

 

639,202

 

 

35

 

Terrence J. Checki

 

179,597

 

 

441,000

 

 

34

 

Mary C. Choksi

 

162,218

 

 

683,756

 

 

36

 

Edith E. Holiday

 

179,597

 

 

773,126

 

 

36

 

J. Michael Luttig

 

160,990

 

 

702,126

 

 

36

 

Larry D. Thompson

 

163,427

 

 

683,126

 

 

36

 

Valerie M. Williams

 

159,405

 

 

407,466

 

 

27

 

                     

1.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022.

 

2.

For the calendar year ended December 31, 2022.

 

3.

We base the number of boards on the number of U.S. registered investment
companies in Franklin Templeton. This number does not include
the total number of series or portfolios within each investment company for which
the board members are responsible.

 

Independent board members are reimbursed for expenses incurred in connection with attending board meetings and such expenses are paid pro rata by each fund in Franklin Templeton for which they serve as director or trustee. No officer or board member received any other compensation, including pension or retirement benefits, directly or indirectly from the Trust or other funds in Franklin Templeton. Certain officers or board members who are shareholders of Franklin Resources, Inc. (Resources) may be deemed to receive indirect remuneration by virtue of their participation, if any, in the fees paid to its subsidiaries.

Board members historically have followed a policy of having substantial investments in one or more of the Franklin Templeton funds, as is consistent with their individual financial goals. In February 1998, this policy was formalized through the adoption of a requirement that each board member invest one-third of fees received for serving as a director or trustee of a Templeton fund (excluding committee fees) in shares of one or more Templeton funds and one-third of fees received for serving as a director or trustee of a Franklin fund (excluding committee fees) in shares of one or more Franklin funds until the value of such investments equals or exceeds five times the annual retainer and regular board meeting fees paid to such board member. Investments in the name of family members or entities controlled by a board member constitute fund holdings of such board member for purposes of this policy, and a three-year phase-in period applies to such investment requirements for newly elected board members. In implementing such policy, a board member's fund holdings existing on February 27, 1998, are valued as of such date with subsequent investments valued at cost.

The following tables provide the dollar range of equity securities beneficially owned by the board members of the Fund on December 31, 2022.

60


Independent Board Members

     

Name of Board Member

Dollar Range of
Equity Securities
in the Fund

Aggregate
Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in
All Funds Overseen
by the Board
Member in the
Franklin Templeton
Fund Complex

Harris J. Ashton

DynaTech Fund
$10,001 - $50,000

Growth Fund
Over $100,000

Income Fund
Over $100,000

U.S. Government Securities Fund
Over $100,000

Over $100,000

Terrence J. Checki

DynaTech Fund
Over $100,000

Growth Fund
$10,001 - $50,000

Income Fund
$10,001 - $50,000

Over $100,000

Mary C. Choksi

DynaTech Fund
Over $100,000

Income Fund
Over $100,000

Over $100,000

Edith E. Holiday

DynaTech Fund
$10,001 - $50,000

Growth Fund
Over $100,000

Income Fund
Over $100,000

U.S. Government Securities Fund
Over $100,000

Utilities Fund
Over $100,000

Over $100,000

J. Michael Luttig

DynaTech Fund
Over $100,000

Growth Fund
Over $100,000

Income Fund
Over $100,000

Utilities Fund
Over $100,000

Over $100,000

Larry D. Thompson

DynaTech Fund
$10,001 - $50,000

Utilities Fund
$50,001 - $100,000

Over $100,000

Valerie M. Williams1

DynaTech Fund
$10,001 - $50,000

Utilities Fund
$10,001 - $50,000

$50,001 - $100,000

Interested Board Members

     

Name of Board Member

Dollar Range of
Equity Securities
in the Fund

Aggregate
Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in
All Funds Overseen
by the Board
Member in the
Franklin Templeton
Fund Complex

Gregory E. Johnson

Growth Fund
Over $100,000

Income Fund
Over $100,000

U.S. Government Securities Fund
Over $100,000

Over $100,000

Rupert H. Johnson, Jr.

DynaTech Fund
Over $100,000

Growth Fund
Over $100,000

Income Fund
$50,001 - $100,000

Utilities Fund
$10,001 - $50,000

Over $100,000

1. Appointed as Trustee of the Trust effective May 10, 2021.

Board committees The board maintains two standing committees: the Audit Committee and the Nominating Committee. The Audit Committee is generally responsible for recommending the selection of the Trust's independent registered public accounting firm (auditors), including evaluating their independence and meeting with such auditors to consider and review matters relating to the Trust's financial reports and internal controls. The Audit Committee is comprised of the following independent trustees of the Trust: Terrence J. Checki, Mary C. Choksi, Edith E. Holiday, J. Michael Luttig, Larry D. Thompson and Valerie M. Williams. The Nominating Committee is comprised of the following independent trustees of the Trust: Harris J. Ashton, Terrence J. Checki, Mary C. Choksi, Edith E. Holiday, J. Michael Luttig, Larry D. Thompson and Valerie M. Williams.

The Nominating Committee is responsible for selecting candidates to serve as board members and recommending such candidates (a) for selection and nomination as independent board members by the incumbent independent board member and the full board; and (b) for selection and nomination as interested board members by the full board.

When the board has or expects to have a vacancy, the Nominating Committee receives and reviews information on individuals qualified to be recommended to the full board as nominees for election as board members, including any recommendations by “Qualifying Fund Shareholders” (as defined below). To date, the Nominating Committee has been able to identify, and expects to continue to be able to identify, from its own resources an ample number of qualified candidates. The Nominating Committee, however, will review recommendations from Qualifying Fund Shareholders to fill vacancies on the board if these recommendations are submitted in writing and addressed to the Nominating Committee at the Trust's offices at One Franklin Parkway, San Mateo, CA 94403-1906 and are presented with appropriate background material concerning the candidate that demonstrates his or her ability to serve as a board member, including as an independent board member, of the Trust. A Qualifying Fund Shareholder is a shareholder who (i) has continuously owned of record, or beneficially through a financial intermediary, shares of the Fund having a net asset value of not less than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) during the 24-month period prior to submitting the recommendation; and (ii) provides a written notice to the Nominating Committee containing the following information:

61


(a) the name and address of the Qualifying Fund Shareholder making the recommendation; (b) the number of shares of the Fund which are owned of record and beneficially by such Qualifying Fund Shareholder and the length of time that such shares have been so owned by the Qualifying Fund Shareholder; (c) a description of all arrangements and understandings between such Qualifying Fund Shareholder and any other person or persons (naming such person or persons) pursuant to which the recommendation is being made; (d) the name, age, date of birth, business address and residence address of the person or persons being recommended; (e) such other information regarding each person recommended by such Qualifying Fund Shareholder as would be required to be included in a proxy statement filed pursuant to the proxy rules of the SEC had the nominee been nominated by the board; (f) whether the shareholder making the recommendation believes the person recommended would or would not be an “interested person” of the Trust, as defined in the 1940 Act; and (g) the written consent of each person recommended to serve as a board member of the Trust if so nominated and elected/appointed.

The Nominating Committee may amend these procedures from time to time, including the procedures relating to the evaluation of nominees and the process for submitting recommendations to the Nominating Committee.

During the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, the Audit Committee met four times; the Nominating Committee did not meet.

Board role in risk oversight The board, as a whole, considers risk management issues as part of its general oversight responsibilities throughout the year at regular board meetings, through regular reports that have been developed by management, in consultation with the board and its counsel. These reports address certain investment, valuation, liquidity and compliance matters. The board also may receive special written reports or presentations on a variety of risk issues (e.g., COVID-19 related issues), either upon the board’s request or upon the investment manager’s initiative. In addition, the Audit Committee of the board meets regularly with the investment manager's internal audit group to review reports on their examinations of functions and processes within Franklin Templeton that affect the Fund.

With respect to investment risk, the board receives regular written reports describing and analyzing the investment performance of the Fund. In addition, the portfolio managers of the Fund meet regularly with the board to discuss portfolio performance, including investment risk. To the extent that the Fund changes a particular investment strategy that could have a material impact on the Fund’s risk profile, the board generally is consulted with respect to such change. To the extent that the Fund invests in certain complex securities, including derivatives, the board receives periodic reports containing information about exposure of the Fund to such instruments. In addition, the investment manager's investment risk personnel meet regularly with the board to discuss a variety of issues, including the impact on the Fund of the investment in particular securities or instruments, such as derivatives and commodities.

With respect to valuation, the Fund’s investment manager provides periodic reports to the board that enable the board to oversee the Fund's investment manager, as the board's Valuation Designee, in monitoring and assessing material risks associated with fair valuation determinations, including material conflicts of interest. In addition, the board reviews the investment manager's performance of an annual valuation risk assessment under which the investment manager seeks to identify and enumerate material valuation risks which are or may be impactful to the Fund including, but not limited to (1) the types of investments held (or intended to be held) by the Fund, giving consideration to those investments’ characteristics; (2) potential market or sector shocks or dislocations which may affect the ongoing valuation operations; and (3) the extent to which each fair value methodology uses unobservable inputs. The investment manager reports any material changes to the risk assessment, along with appropriate actions designed to manage such risks, to the Board.

With respect to liquidity risk, the board receives liquidity risk management reports under the Fund’s Liquidity Risk Management (LRM) Program and reviews, no less frequently than annually, a written report prepared by the LRM Program Administrator that addresses, among other items, the operation of the LRM Program and assesses its adequacy and effectiveness of implementation as well as any material changes to the LRM Program.

With respect to compliance risks, the board receives regular compliance reports prepared by the investment manager’s compliance group and meets regularly with the Fund’s Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) to discuss compliance issues, including compliance risks. In accordance with SEC rules, the independent board members meet regularly in executive session with the CCO, and the Fund’s CCO prepares and presents an annual written compliance report to the board. The Fund’s board adopts compliance policies and procedures for the Fund and approves such procedures for the Fund’s service providers. The compliance policies and procedures are specifically designed to detect and prevent violations of the federal securities laws.

The investment manager periodically provides an enterprise risk management presentation to the board to describe the way in which risk is managed on a complex-wide level. Such presentation covers such areas as investment risk, reputational risk, personnel risk, and business continuity risk.

Board structure Seventy-five percent of board members consist of independent board members who are not deemed

62


to be “interested persons” by reason of their relationship with the Fund’s management or otherwise as provided under the 1940 Act. While the Chairperson of the Board is an interested person, the board is also served by a lead independent board member. The lead independent board member, together with independent counsel, reviews proposed agendas for board meetings and generally acts as a liaison with management with respect to questions and issues raised by the independent board members. The lead independent board member also presides at separate meetings of independent board members held in advance of each scheduled board meeting where various matters, including those being considered at such board meeting are discussed. It is believed such structure and activities assure that proper consideration is given at board meetings to matters deemed important to the Fund and its shareholders.

Trustee qualifications Information on the Fund’s officers and board members appears above including information on the business activities of board members during the past five years and beyond. In addition to personal qualities, such as integrity, the role of an effective Fund board member inherently requires the ability to comprehend, discuss and critically analyze materials and issues presented in exercising judgments and reaching informed conclusions relevant to his or her duties and fiduciary obligations. The board believes that the specific background of each board member evidences such ability and is appropriate to his or her serving on the Fund’s board. As indicated, Harris J. Ashton has served as a chief executive officer of a NYSE-listed public corporation; Terrence J. Checki has served as a senior executive of a Federal Reserve Bank and has vast experience evaluating economic forces and their impact on markets, including emerging markets; Mary C. Choksi has an extensive background in asset management, including founding an investment management firm; Larry D. Thompson and Edith E. Holiday each have legal backgrounds, including high level legal positions with departments of the U.S. government; J. Michael Luttig has fifteen years of judicial experience as a Federal Appeals Court Judge and eleven years of experience as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of a major public company; Valerie M. Williams has over 35 years of audit and public accounting experience serving numerous global and multi-location companies in various industries; and Gregory E. Johnson and Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. are both high ranking executive officers of Franklin Templeton.

Fair Valuation

The Fund’s board of trustees has designated the investment manager as the board’s Valuation Designee to perform fair value determinations for the Fund and to assess any material risks associated with such determinations, including material conflicts of interest, if any. The Valuation Designee also performs an annual valuation risk assessment to identify and enumerate material valuation risks which are or may be impactful to the Fund. The Fund’s investment manager and its affiliates have formed a Valuation Committee (VC) to assist these obligations. The VC oversees and administers the policies and procedures governing fair valuation determination of securities. The VC meets monthly to review and approve fair value reports and conduct other business, and meets whenever necessary to review potential significant market events and take appropriate steps to adjust valuations in accordance with established policies. The VC also reviews the investment manager’s annual valuation risk assessment and provides periodic reports to the board of trustees regarding pricing determinations.

The Fund's policies and procedures governing fair valuation determination of securities have been initially reviewed and approved by the board of trustees and any material amendments will also be reviewed and approved by the board. The investment manager's compliance staff, or another group within Franklin Templeton, conducts periodic reviews of compliance with the policies and provides at least annually a report to the board of trustees regarding the operation of the policies and any material changes recommended as a result of such review.

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

The board of trustees of the Fund has delegated the authority to vote proxies related to the portfolio securities held by the Fund to the Fund's investment manager, in accordance with the Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures (Policies) adopted by the investment manager. The Policies are included in Appendix A. Shareholders may also view the complete Policies online at franklintempleton.com. Copies of the Fund’s proxy voting records are available online at franklintempleton.com (search proxy voting records) and posted on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. The proxy voting records are updated each year by August 31 to reflect the most recent 12-month period ended June 30.

Management and Other Services

Investment manager and services provided The Fund's investment manager is Franklin Advisers, Inc. The investment manager is a wholly owned subsidiary of Resources, a publicly owned company engaged in the financial services industry through its subsidiaries. Charles B. Johnson (former Chairman and Director of Resources) and Rupert H. Johnson, Jr. are the principal shareholders of Resources.

The investment manager provides investment research and portfolio management services, and selects the securities for the Fund to buy, hold or sell. The investment manager also selects the brokers who execute the Fund's portfolio transactions. The investment manager provides periodic reports to the board, which reviews and supervises the

63


investment manager's investment activities. To protect the Fund, the investment manager and its officers, directors and employees are covered by fidelity insurance.

The investment manager makes decisions for the Fund in accordance with its obligations as investment adviser to the Fund. From time to time, certain affiliates may request that the investment manager focus the Fund’s investments on certain securities, strategies or markets or shift the Fund’s strategy slightly to enhance its attractiveness to specific investors, which may create a conflict of interest. The investment manager may, but is not required to, focus or shift the Fund’s investments in the manner requested provided that the investment manager believes that such investments are consistent with the Fund’s stated investment goals and strategies and are in the best interests of the Fund and its shareholders. In addition, the investment manager and its affiliates manage numerous other investment companies and accounts. The investment manager may give advice and take action with respect to any of the other funds it manages, or for its own account, that may differ from action taken by the investment manager on behalf of the Fund. Similarly, with respect to the Fund, the investment manager is not obligated to recommend, buy or sell, or to refrain from recommending, buying or selling any security that the investment manager and access persons, as defined by applicable federal securities laws, may buy or sell for its or their own account or for the accounts of any other fund. The investment manager is not obligated to refrain from investing in securities held by the Fund or other funds it manages.

The Fund, its investment manager and principal underwriter have each adopted a code of ethics, as required by federal securities laws. Under the code of ethics, employees who are designated as access persons may engage in personal securities transactions, including transactions involving securities that are being considered for the Fund or that are currently held by the Fund, subject to certain general restrictions and procedures. The personal securities transactions of access persons of the Fund, its investment manager and principal underwriter will be governed by the code of ethics. The code of ethics is on file with, and available from, the SEC.

Management fees The Income and Utilities Funds each pay the investment manager a fee equal to an annual rate of:

 0.625% of the value of net assets up to and including $100 million;

 0.500% of the value of net assets over $100 million and not over $250 million;

 0.450% of the value of net assets over $250 million and not over $7.5 billion;

 0.440% of the value of net assets over $7.5 billion and not over $10 billion;

 0.430% of the value of net assets over $10 billion and not over $12.5 billion;

 0.420% of the value of net assets over $12.5 billion and not over $15 billion;

 0.400% of the value of net assets over $15 billion and not over $17.5 billion;

 0.380% of the value of net assets over $17.5 billion and not over $20 billion;

 0.360% of the value of net assets over $20 billion and not over $35 billion;

 0.355% of the value of net assets over $35 billion and not over $50 billion;

 0.350% of the value of net assets over $50 billion up to and not over $65 billion;

 0.345% of the value of net assets over $65 billion up to and not over $80 billion; and

 0.340% of the value of net assets in excess of $80 billion.

The DynaTech, Growth and U.S. Government Securities Funds each pay the investment manager a fee equal to an annual rate of:

 0.625% of the value of net assets up to and including $100 million;

 0.500% of the value of net assets over $100 million and not over $250 million;

 0.450% of the value of net assets over $250 million and not over $7.5 billion;

 0.440% of the value of net assets over $7.5 billion and not over $10 billion;

 0.430% of the value of net assets over $10 billion and not over $12.5 billion;

 0.420% of the value of net assets over $12.5 billion and not over $15 billion;

 0.400% of the value of net assets over $15 billion and not over $17.5 billion;

 0.380% of the value of net assets over $17.5 billion and not over $20 billion;

 0.360% of the value of net assets over $20 billion and not over $35 billion;

 0.355% of the value of net assets over $35 billion and not over $50 billion; and

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 0.350% of the value of net assets in excess of $50 billion.

The fee is computed at the close of business on the last business day of the month preceding the month in which the payment is being made, according to the terms of the management agreement. Each class of the Fund's shares pays its proportionate share of the fee.

Prior to February 1, 2020, the Focused Growth Fund paid the investment manager a fee equal to an annual rate of:

 0.850% up to and including $500 million;

 0.800% over $500 million, up to and including $1 billion;

 0.750% over $1 billion, up to and including $3 billion;

 0.730% over $3 billion, up to and including $5 billion; and

 0.700% in excess of $5 billion.

Effective February 1, 2020, the Focused Growth Fund pays the investment manager a fee equal to an annual rate of:

 0.700% up to and including $500 million;

 0.600% over $500 million, up to and including $1 billion;

 0.550% over $1 billion, up to and including $3 billion;

 0.500% over $3 billion, up to and including $5 billion;

 0.450% in excess of $5 billion.

For the Focused Growth Fund, the fee is calculated daily and paid monthly according to the terms of the management agreement. Each class of the Fund's shares pays its proportionate share of the fee.

For the last three fiscal years ended September 30, the Fund paid the following management fees:

               
 

Management Fees Earned ($)

Management Fees Waived / Expenses Reimbursed ($)

Management Fee Paid (After Waivers / Expenses Reimbursed) ($)

2022

DynaTech Fund

95,450,626

 

849,505

 

94,601,121

 

Focused Growth Fund

672,116

 

258,654

 

413,462

 

Growth Fund

80,518,849

 

269,989

 

80,248,860

 

Income Fund

272,294,523

 

4,107,379

 

268,187,144

 

U.S. Government Securities Fund

16,491,244

 

139,599

 

16,351,645

 

Utilities Fund

30,834,004

 

125,613

 

30,708,391

 
 

2021

DynaTech Fund

102,341,656

 

293,643

 

102,048,013

 

Focused Growth Fund

581,860

 

177,571

 

404,289

 

Growth Fund

89,349,613

 

150,659

 

89,198,954

 

Income Fund

263,854,990

 

1,252,047

 

262,602,943

 

U.S. Government Securities Fund

22,884,123

 

162,089

 

22,722,034

 

Utilities Fund

28,445,027

 

9,079

 

28,435,948

 
 

2020

DynaTech Fund

56,424,120

 

990,549

 

55,433,571

 

Focused Growth Fund

115,522

 

115,522

 

0

 

Growth Fund

74,324,785

 

665,463

 

73,659,322

 

Income Fund

256,327,957

 

6,937,822

 

249,390,135

 

U.S. Government Securities Fund

22,711,804

 

461,966

 

22,249,838

 

Utilities Fund

29,399,572

 

63,686

 

29,335,886

 

Portfolio managers This section reflects information about the portfolio managers as of September 30, 2022.

The following table shows the number of other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and the total assets in the accounts managed within each category:

                           

Name

Number of Other Registered Investment Companies Managed1

Assets of Other Registered Investment Companies Managed (x $1 million) 1

Number of Other Pooled Investment Vehicles Managed2

Assets of Other Pooled Investment Vehicles Managed
(x $1 million)2

Number of Other Accounts Managed2

Assets of Other Accounts Managed
(x $1 million)2

Todd Brighton

11

14,868.4

9

3,317.8

0

N/A

 

Brendan Circle

5

7,918.0

5

2,970.6

0

N/A

 

Neil Dhruv

3

874.1

3

2,197.6

23

2,719.9

 

Rupert H. Johnson

1

82.1

4

336.2

0

N/A

 

John Kohli

0

N/A

0

N/A

0

N/A

 

Joyce Lin

0

N/A

2

469.6

0

N/A

 

Matt Moberg

6

204.0

21

770.5

0

N/A

 

Edward Perks

5

7,918.0

7

3,157.3

2

61.6

 

Robert Rendler

0

N/A

2

469.6

0

N/A

 

Blair Schmicker

2

456.8

1

113.7

0

N/A

 

Paul Varunok

4

1,453.7

4

2,232.5

93

2,904.6

 

Serena Perin-Vinton

0

N/A

2

469.6

0

N/A

 

1. These figures represent registered investment companies other than the Funds that are included in this SAI.

2. The various pooled investment vehicles and accounts listed are managed by a team of investment professionals. Accordingly, the portfolio managers listed would not be solely responsible for managing such listed amounts.

3. Of these accounts, Messrs. Dhruv and Varunok manage one other account with $2,085.7 million in assets with a performance fee.

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Portfolio managers that provide investment services to the Fund may also provide services to a variety of other investment products, including other funds, institutional accounts and private accounts. The advisory fees for some of such other products and accounts may be different than that charged to the Fund and may include performance based compensation (as noted in the chart above, if any). This may result in fees that are higher (or lower) than the advisory fees paid by the Fund. As a matter of policy, each fund or account is managed solely for the benefit of the beneficial owners thereof. As discussed below, the separation of the trading execution function from the portfolio management function and the application of objectively based trade allocation procedures help to mitigate potential conflicts of interest that may arise as a result of the portfolio managers managing accounts with different advisory fees.

Conflicts. The management of multiple funds, including the Fund, and accounts may also give rise to potential conflicts of interest if the funds and other accounts have different objectives, benchmarks, time horizons, and fees as the portfolio manager must allocate his or her time and investment ideas across multiple funds and accounts. The investment manager seeks to manage such competing interests for the time and attention of portfolio managers by having portfolio managers focus on a particular investment discipline. Most other accounts managed by a portfolio manager are managed using the same investment strategies that are used in connection with the management of the Fund. Accordingly, portfolio holdings, position sizes, and industry and sector exposures tend to be similar across similar portfolios, which may minimize the potential for conflicts of interest. As noted above, the separate management of the trade execution and valuation functions from the portfolio management process also helps to reduce potential conflicts of interest. However, securities selected for funds or accounts other than the Fund may outperform the securities selected for the Fund. Moreover, if a portfolio manager identifies a limited investment opportunity that may be suitable for more than one fund or other account, the Fund may not be able to take full advantage of that opportunity due to an allocation of that opportunity across all eligible funds and other accounts. The investment manager seeks to manage such potential conflicts by using procedures intended to provide a fair allocation of buy and sell opportunities among funds and other accounts.

The structure of a portfolio manager’s compensation may give rise to potential conflicts of interest. A portfolio manager’s base pay and bonus tend to increase with additional and more complex responsibilities that include increased assets under management. As such, there may be an indirect relationship between a portfolio manager’s marketing or sales efforts and his or her bonus.

Finally, the management of personal accounts by a portfolio manager may give rise to potential conflicts of interest. While the funds and the investment manager have adopted a code of ethics which they believe contains provisions designed to prevent a wide range of prohibited activities by portfolio managers and others with respect to their personal trading activities, there can be no assurance that the code of ethics addresses all individual conduct that could result in conflicts of interest.

The investment manager and the Fund have adopted certain compliance procedures that are designed to address these, and other, types of conflicts. However, there is no guarantee that such procedures will detect each and every situation where a conflict arises.

Compensation. The investment manager seeks to maintain a compensation program that is competitively positioned to attract, retain and motivate top-quality investment professionals. Portfolio managers receive a base salary, a cash incentive bonus opportunity, an equity compensation opportunity, and a benefits package. Portfolio manager compensation is reviewed annually, and the level of compensation is based on individual performance, the salary range for a portfolio manager’s level of responsibility and Franklin Templeton guidelines. Portfolio managers are provided no financial incentive to favor one fund or account over another. Each portfolio manager’s compensation consists of the following three elements:

Base salary Each portfolio manager is paid a base salary.

Annual bonus Annual bonuses are structured to align the interests of the portfolio manager with those of the Fund’s shareholders. Each portfolio manager is eligible to receive an annual bonus. Bonuses generally are split between cash (50% to 65%) and restricted shares of Resources stock (17.5% to 25%) and mutual fund shares (17.5% to 25%). The deferred equity-based compensation is intended to build a vested interest of the portfolio manager in the financial performance of both Resources and mutual funds advised by the investment manager. The bonus plan is intended to provide a competitive level of annual bonus compensation that is tied to the portfolio manager achieving consistently strong investment performance, which aligns the financial incentives of the portfolio manager and Fund shareholders. The Chief Investment Officer of the investment manager and/or other officers of the investment manager, with responsibility for the Fund, have discretion in the granting of annual bonuses to portfolio managers in accordance with Franklin Templeton guidelines. The following factors are generally used in determining bonuses under the plan:

 Investment performance. Primary consideration is given to the historic investment performance over the 1, 3 and 5 preceding years of all accounts managed by the portfolio manager. The pre-tax performance of each

66


fund managed is measured relative to a relevant peer group and/or applicable benchmark as appropriate.

 Non-investment performance. The more qualitative contributions of the portfolio manager to the investment manager’s business and the investment management team, including professional knowledge, productivity, responsiveness to client needs and communication, are evaluated in determining the amount of any bonus award.

 Responsibilities. The characteristics and complexity of funds managed by the portfolio manager are factored in the investment manager’s appraisal.

Additional long-term equity-based compensation Portfolio managers may also be awarded restricted shares or units of Resources stock or restricted shares or units of one or more mutual funds. Awards of such deferred equity-based compensation typically vest over time, so as to create incentives to retain key talent.

Benefits Portfolio managers also participate in benefit plans and programs available generally to all employees of the investment manager.

Ownership of Fund shares. The investment manager has a policy of encouraging portfolio managers to invest in the funds they manage. Exceptions arise when, for example, a fund is closed to new investors or when tax considerations or jurisdictional constraints cause such an investment to be inappropriate for the portfolio manager. The following is the dollar range of Fund shares beneficially owned by the portfolio managers (such amounts may change from time to time):

   

Portfolio Manager

Dollar Range of
Fund Shares
Beneficially Owned

Todd Brighton.

Income Fund

$500,001 - $1,000,000

Brendan Circle

Income Fund

Over $1,000,000

Neil Dhruv

U.S. Government Securities Fund

$10,001 - $50,000

Rupert H. Johnson, Jr.

DynaTech Fund

Over $1,000,000

John Kohli

Utilities Fund

$500,001 - $1,000,000

Joyce Lin

Growth Fund

$100,001 - $500,000

Matt Moberg

DynaTech Fund

Over $1,000,000

Focused Growth

$100,001 - $500,000

Edward Perks

Income Fund

Over $1,000,000

Robert Rendler

Growth Fund

$100,001 - $500,000

Blair Schmicker

Utilities Fund

$100,001 - $500,000

Paul Varunok

U.S. Government Securities Fund

None

Serena Perin-Vinton

Growth Fund

Over $1,000,000

Administrator and services provided Franklin Templeton Services, LLC (FT Services) has an agreement with the investment manager to provide certain administrative services and facilities for the Fund. FT Services is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Resources and is an affiliate of the Fund's investment manager and principal underwriter.

The administrative services FT Services provides include preparing and maintaining books, records, and tax and financial reports, and monitoring compliance with regulatory requirements.

Administration fees The investment manager pays FT Services a monthly fee equal to an annual rate of:

 0.150% of the Fund’s average daily net assets up to and including $200 million;

 0.135% of the Fund’s average daily net assets over $200 million, up to and including $700 million;

 0.100% of the Fund’s average daily net assets over $700 million, up to and including $1.2 billion; and

 0.075% of the Fund’s average daily net assets in excess of $1.2 billion.

For the last three fiscal years ended September 30, the investment manager paid FT Services the following administration fees:

         
     

Administration Fees

Paid (After Waivers / Expenses Reimbursed) ($)

       

2022

DynaTech Fund

17,682,710

 

Focused Growth Fund

143,853

 

Growth Fund

14,645,872

 

Income Fund

55,138,532

 

U.S. Government Securities Fund

3,288,542

 

Utilities Fund

5,658,377

 
 

2021

DynaTech Fund

18,899,665

 

Focused Growth Fund

132,304

 

Growth Fund

16,237,537

 

Income Fund

53,319,094

 

U.S. Government Securities Fund

4,339,117

 

Utilities Fund

5,252,898

 
 

2020

DynaTech Fund

10,106,834

 

Focused Growth Fund

24,291

 

Growth Fund

13,369,646

 

Income Fund

51,780,224

 

U.S. Government Securities Fund

4,320,900

 

Utilities Fund

5,447,764

 

Shareholder servicing and transfer agent Franklin Templeton Investor Services, LLC (Investor Services) is the Fund's shareholder servicing agent and acts as the Fund's transfer agent and dividend-paying agent. Investor Services is

67


located at 3344 Quality Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670-7313. Please send all correspondence to Investor Services at P.O. Box 997151, Sacramento, CA 95899-7151.

Investor Services receives a fee for servicing Fund shareholder accounts. The Fund also will reimburse Investor Services for certain out-of-pocket expenses necessarily incurred in servicing the shareholder accounts in accordance with the terms of its servicing contract with the Fund.

In addition, Investor Services may make payments to financial intermediaries that provide administrative services to defined benefit plans. Investor Services does not seek reimbursement by the Fund for such payments.

For all classes of shares of the Fund, except for Class R6 shares, Investor Services may also pay servicing fees, that will be reimbursed by the Fund, in varying amounts to certain financial institutions (to help offset their costs associated with client account maintenance support, statement preparation and transaction processing) that (i) maintain omnibus accounts with the Fund in the institution's name on behalf of numerous beneficial owners of Fund shares who are either direct clients of the institution or are participants in an IRS-recognized tax-deferred savings plan (including Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans and Section 529 Plans) for which the institution, or its affiliate, provides participant level recordkeeping services (called "Beneficial Owners"); or (ii) provide support for Fund shareholder accounts by sharing account data with Investor Services through the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) networking system. In addition to servicing fees received from the Fund, these financial institutions also may charge a fee for their services directly to their clients. Investor Services will also receive a fee from the Fund (other than for Class R6 shares) for services provided in support of Beneficial Owners and NSCC networking system accounts.

Sub-administrator JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMorgan) has an agreement with FT Services to provide certain sub-administrative services for the Fund. The administrative services provided by JPMorgan include, but are not limited to, certain fund accounting, financial reporting, tax, corporate governance and compliance and legal administration services.

Securities lending agent The board of trustees has approved the Fund’s participation in a securities lending program. Under the securities lending program, The Bank of New York Mellon and Goldman Sachs Agency Lending serve as the Fund’s securities lending agents ("Securities Lending Agents").

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, the Focused Growth Fund, U.S. Government Securities Fund and Utilities Fund did not lend any of their securities. For all other Funds, the income earned by the Fund as well as the fees and/or compensation paid by the Fund (in dollars) pursuant to a securities lending agreement between the Trust with respect to the Fund and the Securities Lending Agent were as follows (figures may differ from those shown in shareholder reports due to time of availability and use of estimates):

                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DynaTech Fund
($)

Growth Fund
($)

Income Fund
($)

 

Gross Income earned by the Fund from securities lending activities

 

709,753

 

 

497,313

 

 

1,595,756

 

 

Fees and/or compensation paid by the Fund for securities lending activities and related services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fees paid to Securities Lending Agent from revenue split

 

56,329

 

 

38,633

 

 

118,460

 

 

 

Fees paid for any cash collateral management service (including fees deducted from a pooled cash collateral reinvestment vehicle) not included in a revenue split

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

 

Administrative fees not included in a revenue split

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

 

Indemnification fees not included in a revenue split

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

-

 

 

 

Rebate (paid to borrower)

 

5,569

 

 

14,339

 

 

114,948

 

 

 

Other fees not included above1

 

5,281

 

 

3,622

 

 

11,106

 

 

Aggregate fees/compensation paid by the Fund for securities lending activities

 

67,179

 

 

56,594

 

 

244,514

 

 

Net income from securities lending activities

 

642,574

 

 

440,719

 

 

1,351,242

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

1

1. Other fees consist of vendor fees for analytic services provided in connection with the securities lending program.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, the Securities Lending Agent provided the following services to the Fund in connection with its securities lending activities: (i) entering into loans subject to guidelines or restrictions provided by the Fund; (ii) establishing and maintaining collateral accounts; (iii) monitoring daily the value of the loaned securities and collateral; (iv) seeking additional collateral as necessary from borrowers, and returning collateral to borrowers; (v) receiving and holding collateral from borrowers, and facilitating the investment and reinvestment of cash collateral; (vi) negotiating loan terms; (vii) selecting securities to be loaned subject to guidelines or restrictions provided by the Fund; (viii) recordkeeping and account servicing; (ix) monitoring dividend and proxy activity relating to loaned securities; and (x) arranging for return of loaned securities to the Fund at loan termination.

Custodian The Bank of New York Mellon, Mutual Funds Division, 100 Church Street, New York, NY 10286, acts as custodian of the Fund's securities and other assets. As foreign custody manager, the bank selects and monitors foreign sub-custodian banks, selects and evaluates non-

68


compulsory foreign depositories, and furnishes information relevant to the selection of compulsory depositories.

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 405 Howard Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94105, is the Fund's independent registered public accounting firm. The independent registered public accounting firm audits the financial statements included in the Fund's Annual Report to shareholders.

Portfolio Transactions

The investment manager selects brokers and dealers to execute the Fund's portfolio transactions in accordance with criteria set forth in the management agreement and any directions that the board may give.

When placing a portfolio transaction, the trading department of the investment manager seeks to obtain "best execution" -- the best combination of high quality transaction execution services, taking into account the services and products to be provided by the broker or dealer, and low relative commission rates with the view of maximizing value for the Fund and its other clients. For most transactions in equity securities, the amount of commissions paid is negotiated between the investment manager and the broker executing the transaction. The determination and evaluation of the reasonableness of the brokerage commissions paid are based to a large degree on the professional opinions of the persons within the trading department of the investment manager responsible for placement and review of the transactions. These opinions are based on the experience of these individuals in the securities industry and information available to them about the level of commissions being paid by other institutional investors. The investment manager may also place orders to buy and sell equity securities on a principal rather than agency basis if the investment manager believes that trading on a principal basis will provide best execution. Orders for fixed income securities are ordinarily placed with market makers on a net basis, without any brokerage commissions. Purchases of portfolio securities from underwriters will include a commission or concession paid to the underwriter, and purchases from dealers will include a spread between the bid and ask price.

The investment manager may cause the Fund to pay certain brokers commissions that are higher than those another broker may charge, if the investment manager determines in good faith that the amount paid is reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and research services it receives. This may be viewed in terms of either the particular transaction or the investment manager's overall responsibilities to client accounts over which it exercises investment discretion. The brokerage commissions that are used to acquire services other than brokerage are known as "soft dollars." Research provided can be either proprietary (created and provided by the broker-dealer, including tangible research products as well as access to analysts and traders) or third party (created by a third party but provided by the broker-dealer). To the extent permitted by applicable law, the investment manager may use soft dollars to acquire both proprietary and third-party research.

The research services that brokers may provide to the investment manager include, among others, supplying information about particular companies, markets, countries, or local, regional, national or transnational economies, statistical data, quotations and other securities pricing information, and other information that provides lawful and appropriate assistance to the investment manager in carrying out its investment advisory responsibilities. These services may not always directly benefit the Fund. They must, however, be of value to the investment manager in carrying out its overall responsibilities to its clients.

Since most purchases by the U.S. Government Securities Fund are principal transactions at net prices, the U.S. Government Securities Fund incurs little or no brokerage costs. The Fund deals directly with the selling or buying principal or market maker without incurring charges for the services of a broker on its behalf, unless it is determined that a better price or execution may be obtained by using the services of a broker. Purchases of portfolio securities from underwriters will include a commission or concession paid to the underwriter, and purchases from dealers will include a spread between the bid and ask price. The Fund seeks to obtain prompt execution of orders at the most favorable net price. Transactions may be directed to dealers in return for research and statistical information, as well as for special services provided by the dealers in the execution of orders.

It is not possible to place an accurate dollar value on the special execution or on the research services the investment manager receives from dealers effecting transactions in portfolio securities. The allocation of transactions to obtain additional research services allows the investment manager to supplement its own research and analysis activities and to receive the views and information of individuals and research staffs from many securities firms. The receipt of these products and services does not reduce the investment manager's research activities in providing investment advice to the Fund.

As long as it is lawful and appropriate to do so, the investment manager and its affiliates may use this research and data in their investment advisory capacities with other clients.

Because Franklin Distributors, LLC (Distributors) is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), it may sometimes receive certain fees when the Fund tenders portfolio securities pursuant to a tender-offer solicitation. To recapture brokerage for the benefit of the Fund, any portfolio securities tendered by the Fund will be tendered through Distributors if it is legally permissible to do so. In turn, the next

69


management fee payable to the investment manager will be reduced by the amount of any fees received by Distributors in cash, less any costs and expenses incurred in connection with the tender.

If purchases or sales of securities of the Fund and one or more other investment companies or clients supervised by the investment manager are considered at or about the same time, transactions in these securities will be allocated among the several investment companies and clients in a manner deemed equitable to all by the investment manager, taking into account the respective sizes of the accounts and the amount of securities to be purchased or sold. In some cases this procedure could have a detrimental effect on the price or volume of the security so far as the Fund is concerned. In other cases it is possible that the ability to participate in volume transactions may improve execution and reduce transaction costs to the Fund.

For the last three fiscal years ended September 30, the Fund paid the following brokerage commissions:

               
   

Brokerage Commissions ($)

   

2022

2021

2020

DynaTech Fund

 

5,481,325

 

3,251,971

 

2,735,799

 

Focused Growth Fund

 

14,040

 

8,409

 

5,702

 

Growth Fund

 

1,207,404

 

705,503

 

1,657,037

 

Income Fund

 

22,367,673

 

28,448,888

 

24,232,034

 

U.S. Government Securities Fund

 

 

 

 

Utilities Fund

 

695,310

 

719,183

 

834,154

 

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, the Fund paid brokerage commissions from aggregate portfolio transactions to brokers who provided research services as follows:

     
 

Brokerage
Commissions
($)

Aggregate
Portfolio
Transactions
($)

DynaTech Fund

2,779,245

16,534,208,482

Focused Growth Fund

8,440

67,391,907

Growth Fund

630,234

3,581,618,323

Income Fund

8,905,370

51,088,716,509

U.S. Government Securities Fund

Utilities Fund

324,284

796,560,262

As of September 30, 2022, the DynaTech, Focused Growth, Growth, U.S. Government Securities and Utilities Funds did not own securities of its regular broker-dealers.

As of September 30, 2022, the Income Fund owned the following securities issued by its regular broker-dealers:

   

Securities

Value of Securities
Owned
in the
Aggregate
($ in thousands)

Income Fund

 

Bank of America Corp.

573,800

Morgan Stanley

395,050

Because the Fund may, from time to time, invest in broker-dealers, it is possible that the Fund will own more than 5% of the voting securities of one or more broker-dealers through whom the Fund places portfolio brokerage transactions. In such circumstances, the broker-dealer would be considered an affiliated person of the Fund. To the extent the Fund places brokerage transactions through such a broker-dealer at a time when the broker-dealer is considered to be an affiliate of the Fund, the Fund will be required to adhere to certain rules relating to the payment of commissions to an affiliated broker-dealer. These rules require the Fund to adhere to procedures adopted by the board to ensure that the commissions paid to such broker-dealers do not exceed what would otherwise be the usual and customary brokerage commissions for similar transactions.

Distributions and Taxes

The following discussion is a summary of certain additional tax considerations generally affecting the Fund and its shareholders, some of which may not be described in the Fund’s prospectus. No attempt is made to present a complete detailed explanation of the tax treatment of the Fund or its shareholders. The discussions here and in the prospectus are not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning.

The following discussion is based on the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and applicable regulations in effect on the date of this SAI, including any amendments to the Code resulting from 2017 legislation commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("TCJA"). Future legislative, regulatory or administrative changes, including any provisions of law that sunset and thereafter no longer apply, or court decisions may significantly change the tax rules applicable to the Fund and its shareholders. Any of these changes or court decisions may have a retroactive effect. Where indicated below, IRS refers to the United States Internal Revenue Service.

This is for general information only and not tax advice. All investors should consult their own tax advisors as to the federal, state, local and foreign tax provisions applicable to them.

Multi-class distributions The Fund calculates income dividends and capital gain distributions the same way for each class. The amount of any income dividends per share will differ, however, generally due to any differences in the

70


distribution and service (Rule 12b-1) fees applicable to the classes and Class R6 transfer agency fees.

Distributions The Fund intends to declare and pay income dividends from its net investment income as follows: Income and U.S. Government Securities Funds (monthly), Utilities Fund (quarterly), and Focused Growth, Growth and DynaTech Funds (at least annually). Capital gains, if any, may be paid at least annually. The Fund may distribute income dividends and capital gains more frequently, if necessary or appropriate in the board’s discretion. The amount of any distribution will vary, and there is no guarantee the Fund will pay either income dividends or capital gain distributions. Your income dividends and capital gain distributions will be automatically reinvested in additional shares at net asset value unless you elect to receive them in cash. Distributions declared in October, November or December to shareholders of record in such month and paid in January are taxable as if they were paid in December.

Distributions of net investment income. The Fund receives income generally in the form of dividends and interest on its investments. The Fund may also recognize ordinary income from other sources, including, but not limited to, certain gains on foreign currency-related transactions. This income, less expenses incurred in the operation of the Fund, constitutes the Fund's net investment income from which dividends may be paid to you. If you are a taxable investor, any income dividends (other than qualified dividends) the Fund pays are taxable to you at ordinary income tax rates. A portion of the income dividends paid to you may be qualified dividends eligible to be taxed at reduced rates.

Distributions of capital gains.  The Fund may realize capital gains and losses on the sale of its portfolio securities.

Distributions of short-term capital gains are taxable to you as ordinary income. Distributions of long-term capital gains are taxable to you as long-term capital gains, regardless of how long you have owned your shares in the Fund. Any net capital gains realized by the Fund (in excess of any available capital loss carryovers) generally are distributed once each year, and may be distributed more frequently, if necessary, to reduce or eliminate excise or income taxes on the Fund.

Capital gain dividends and any net long-term capital gains you realize from the sale of Fund shares are generally taxable at the reduced long-term capital gains tax rates. For single individuals with taxable income not in excess of $44,625 in 2023 ($89,250 for married individuals filing jointly), the long-term capital gains tax rate is 0%. For single individuals and joint filers with taxable income in excess of these amounts but not more than $492,300 or $553,850, respectively, the long-term capital gains tax rate is 15%. The rate is 20% for single individuals with taxable income in excess of $492,300 and married individuals filing jointly with taxable income in excess of $553,850. The taxable income thresholds are adjusted annually for inflation. An additional 3.8% Medicare tax may also be imposed as discussed below.

Returns of capital. If the Fund's distributions exceed its earnings and profits (i.e., generally, its taxable income and realized capital gains) for a taxable year, all or a portion of the distributions made in that taxable year may be characterized as a return of capital to you. A return of capital distribution will generally not be taxable, but will reduce the cost basis in your Fund shares and will result in a higher capital gain or in a lower capital loss when you sell your shares. Any return of capital in excess of the basis in your Fund shares, however, will be taxable as a capital gain. In the case of a non-calendar year fund, earnings and profits are first allocated to distributions made on or before December 31 of its taxable year and then to distributions made thereafter. The effect of this provision is to “push” returns of capital into the next calendar year.

Undistributed capital gains. The Fund may retain or distribute to shareholders its net capital gain for each taxable year. The Fund currently intends to distribute net capital gains. If the Fund elects to retain its net capital gain, the Fund will be taxed thereon (except to the extent of any available capital loss carryovers) at the applicable corporate tax rate. If the Fund elects to retain its net capital gain, it is expected that the Fund also will elect to have shareholders treated as if each received a distribution of its pro rata share of such gain, with the result that each shareholder will be required to report its pro rata share of such gain on its tax return as long-term capital gain, will receive a refundable tax credit for its pro rata share of tax paid by the Fund on the gain, and will increase the tax basis for its shares by an amount equal to the deemed distribution less the tax credit.

Investments in foreign securities  The following paragraphs describe tax considerations that are applicable to the Fund's investments in foreign securities.

Foreign income tax. Investment income received by the Fund from sources within foreign countries may be subject to foreign income tax withheld at the source and the amount of tax withheld generally will be treated as an expense of the Fund. The United States has entered into tax treaties with many foreign countries, which entitle the Fund to a reduced rate of, or exemption from, tax on such income. Some countries require the filing of a tax reclaim or other forms to receive the benefit of the reduced tax rate; whether or when the Fund will receive the tax reclaim is within the control of the individual country. Information required on these forms may not be available such as shareholder information; therefore, the Fund may not receive the reduced treaty rates or potential reclaims. Other countries have conflicting and changing instructions and restrictive timing requirements which may cause the Fund not to receive the reduced treaty rates or potential reclaims. Other countries may subject capital gains realized by the Fund on sale or disposition of securities of that

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country to taxation. These and other factors may make it difficult for the Fund to determine in advance the effective rate of tax on its investments in certain countries. Under certain circumstances, the Fund may elect to pass-through certain eligible foreign income taxes paid by the Fund to shareholders, although it reserves the right not to do so. If the Fund makes such an election and obtains a refund of foreign taxes paid by the Fund in a prior year, the Fund may be eligible to reduce the amount of foreign taxes reported by the Fund to its shareholders, generally by the amount of the foreign taxes refunded, for the year in which the refund is received. Certain foreign taxes imposed on the Fund’s investments, such as a foreign financial transaction tax, may not be creditable against U.S. income tax liability or eligible for pass through by the Fund to its shareholders.

Effect of foreign debt investments on distributions.  Most foreign exchange gains realized on the sale of debt securities are treated as ordinary income by the Fund. Similarly, foreign exchange losses realized on the sale of debt securities generally are treated as ordinary losses. These gains when distributed are taxable to you as ordinary income, and any losses reduce the Fund's ordinary income otherwise available for distribution to you. This treatment could increase or decrease the Fund's ordinary income distributions to you, and may cause some or all of the Fund's previously distributed income to be classified as a return of capital.

PFIC securities. The Fund may invest in securities of foreign entities that could be deemed for tax purposes to be passive foreign investment companies (PFICs). In general, a foreign company is classified as a PFIC if at least one-half of its assets constitute investment-type assets or 75% or more of its gross income is investment-type income. When investing in PFIC securities, the Fund intends to mark-to-market these securities and recognize any gains at the end of its fiscal and excise (described below) tax years. Deductions for losses are allowable only to the extent of any current or previously recognized gains. These gains (reduced by allowable losses) are treated as ordinary income that the Fund is required to distribute, even though it has not sold the securities. Foreign companies are not required to identify themselves as PFICs. Due to various complexities in identifying PFICs, the Fund can give no assurances that it will be able to identify portfolio securities in foreign corporations that are PFICs in time for the Fund to make a mark-to-market election. If the Fund is unable to identify an investment as a PFIC and thus does not make a mark-to-market election, the Fund may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a portion of any “excess distribution” or gain from the disposition of such shares even if such income is distributed as a taxable dividend by the Fund to its shareholders. Additional charges in the nature of interest may be imposed on the Fund in respect of deferred taxes arising from such distributions or gains.

The Fund's designation of a foreign security as a PFIC security will cause the income dividends of any designated securities to fall outside of the definition of qualified foreign corporation dividends. These dividends generally will not qualify for the reduced rate of taxation on qualified dividends when distributed to you by the Fund.

Information on the amount and tax character of distributions The Fund will inform you of the amount of your income dividends and capital gain distributions at the time they are paid, and will advise you of their tax status for federal income tax purposes shortly after the close of each calendar year. The amount of income dividends reported by the Fund to shareholders, consisting of qualified dividend income (which is relevant to U.S. investors) and interest-related and short-term capital gain dividends (which are relevant to non-U.S. investors) may exceed the total amount of income dividends paid. Such characterization will not result in more income being reported to you, but rather will allow the Fund to report dividends in a manner that is more tax efficient to both U.S. and non-U.S. investors. If you have not owned your Fund shares for a full year, the Fund may report and distribute to you:

 as an ordinary income, qualified dividend, or capital gain dividend (a distribution of net long-term capital gains) if you are a U.S. investor, or

 as an interest-related, short-term capital gain, or capital gain dividend if you are a non-U.S. investor

a percentage of income that may not be equal to the actual amount of each type of income earned during the period of your investment in the Fund.

The Fund may at times find it necessary to reclassify income after it issues your tax reporting statement. This can result from rules in the Code that effectively prevent regulated investment companies such as the Fund from ascertaining with certainty until after the calendar year end the final amount and character of distributions the Fund has received on its investments during the prior calendar year. Prior to issuing your statement, the Fund makes every effort to identify reclassifications of income to reduce the number of corrected forms mailed to shareholders. However, when necessary, the Fund will send you a corrected tax reporting statement to reflect reclassified information. This can result from rules in the Code that effectively prevent regulated investment companies such as the Fund from ascertaining with certainty until after the calendar year end the final amount and character of distributions the Fund has received on its investments during the prior calendar year. If you receive a corrected tax reporting statement, use the information on this statement, and not the information on your original statement, in completing your tax returns.

Avoid "buying a dividend" At the time you purchase your Fund shares, the Fund’s net asset value may reflect undistributed income, undistributed capital gains, or net unrealized appreciation in the value of the portfolio securities

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held by the Fund. For taxable investors, a subsequent distribution to you of such amounts, although constituting a return of your investment, would be taxable. This tax treatment is required even if you reinvest your distributions in additional Fund shares. Buying shares in the Fund just before it declares an income dividend or capital gain distribution is sometimes known as “buying a dividend.” For example, if you buy 500 shares in a fund on December 10th at the fund's net asset value (NAV) of $10 per share, and the fund makes a distribution on December 15th of $1 per share, your shares will then have an NAV of $9 per share (disregarding any change in the fund's market value), and you will have to pay a tax on what is essentially a return of your investment of $1 per share.

Election to be taxed as a regulated investment company The Fund has elected to be treated as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code. It has qualified as a regulated investment company for its most recent fiscal year, and intends to continue to qualify during the current fiscal year. As a regulated investment company, the Fund generally pays no federal income tax on the income and gains it distributes to you. In order to qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company, the Fund must satisfy the requirements described below.

Distribution requirement. The Fund must distribute an amount equal to the sum of at least 90% of its investment company taxable income and 90% of its net tax-exempt income, if any, for the tax year (including, for purposes of satisfying this distribution requirement, certain distributions made by the Fund after the close of its taxable year that are treated as made during such taxable year).

Income requirement. The Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income from dividends, interest, certain payments with respect to securities loans, and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including, but not limited to, gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived from its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies and net income derived from qualified publicly traded partnerships (QPTPs).

Asset diversification test. The Fund must satisfy the following asset diversification test at the close of each quarter of the Fund’s tax year: (1) at least 50% of the value of the Fund’s assets must consist of cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other regulated investment companies, and securities of other issuers (as to which the Fund has not invested more than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets in securities of an issuer and as to which the Fund does not hold more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer); and (2) no more than 25% of the value of the Fund’s total assets may be invested in the securities of any one issuer (other than U.S. government securities or securities of other regulated investment companies) or of two or more issuers which the Fund controls and which are engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses or, in the securities of one or more QPTPs.

In some circumstances, the character and timing of income realized by the Fund for purposes of the income requirement or the identification of the issuer for purposes of the asset diversification test is uncertain under current law with respect to a particular investment, and an adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS with respect to such type of investment may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to satisfy these requirements. In other circumstances, the Fund may be required to sell portfolio holdings in order to meet the income requirement, distribution requirement, or asset diversification test, which may have a negative impact on the Fund’s income and performance. In lieu of potential disqualification, the Fund is permitted to pay a tax for certain failures to satisfy the asset diversification test or income requirement, which, in general, are limited to those due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.

If for any taxable year the Fund does not qualify as a regulated investment company, all of its taxable income (including its net capital gain) would be subject to tax at the applicable corporate tax rate without any deduction for dividends paid to shareholders, and the dividends would be taxable to the shareholders as ordinary income (or possibly as qualified dividend income) to the extent of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. Failure to qualify as a regulated investment company, subject to savings provisions for certain qualification failures, which, in general, are limited to those due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, would thus have a negative impact on the Fund’s income and performance. In that case, the Fund would be liable for federal, and possibly state, corporate taxes on its taxable income and gains, and distributions to you would be taxed as dividend income to the extent of the Fund’s earnings and profits. Even if such savings provisions apply, the Fund may be subject to a monetary sanction of $50,000 or more. Moreover, the board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of the Fund as a regulated investment company if it determines such a course of action to be beneficial to shareholders.

Capital loss carryovers The capital losses of the Fund, if any, do not flow through to shareholders. Rather, the Fund may use its capital losses, subject to applicable limitations, to offset its capital gains without being required to pay taxes on or distribute to shareholders such gains that are offset by the losses. If the Fund has a "net capital loss" (that is, capital losses in excess of capital gains), the excess (if any) of the Fund's net short-term capital losses over its net long-term capital gains is treated as a short-term capital loss arising on the first day of the Fund's next taxable year, and the excess (if any) of the Fund's net long-term capital losses over its net short-term capital gains is treated as a long-term capital loss arising on the first day of the Fund's next taxable year. Any

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such net capital losses of the Fund that are not used to offset capital gains may be carried forward indefinitely, subject to certain limitations, to reduce any future capital gains realized by the Fund in succeeding taxable years.

Excise tax distribution requirements

Required distributions.  To avoid federal excise taxes, the Code requires the Fund to distribute to you by December 31 of each year, at a minimum, the following amounts:

 98% of its taxable ordinary income earned during the calendar year;

 98.2% of its capital gain net income earned during the 12-month period ending October 31; and

 100% of any undistributed amounts of these categories of income or gain from the prior year.

The Fund intends to declare and pay these distributions in December (or to pay them in January, in which case you must treat them as received in December), but can give no assurances that its distributions will be sufficient to eliminate all taxes.

Tax reporting for income and excise tax years. Because the periods for measuring a regulated investment company’s income are different for income (determined on a fiscal year basis) and excise tax years (determined as noted above), special rules are required to calculate the amount of income earned in each period, and the amount of earnings and profits needed to support that income. For example, if the Fund uses the excise tax period ending on October 31 as the measuring period for calculating and paying out capital gain net income and realizes a net capital loss between November 1 and the end of the Fund’s fiscal year, the Fund may calculate its earnings and profits without regard to such net capital loss in order to make its required distribution of capital gain net income for excise tax purposes. The Fund also may elect to treat part or all of any "qualified late year loss" as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in determining the Fund’s taxable income, net capital gain, net short-term capital gain, and earnings and profits. The effect of this election is to treat any such “qualified late year loss” as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year, which may change the timing, amount, or characterization of Fund distributions.

A "qualified late year loss” includes (i) any net capital loss incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year, or, if there is no such loss, any net long-term capital loss or any net short-term capital loss incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year (“post-October capital losses”), and (ii) the sum of (1) the excess, if any, of (a) specified losses incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year, over (b) specified gains incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year and (2) the excess, if any, of (a) ordinary losses incurred after December 31 of the current taxable year, over (b) the ordinary income incurred after December 31 of the current taxable year. The terms “specified losses” and “specified gains” mean ordinary losses and gains from the sale, exchange, or other disposition of property (including the termination of a position with respect to such property), foreign currency losses and gains, and losses and gains resulting from holding stock in a passive foreign investment company (PFIC) for which a mark-to-market election is in effect. The terms “ordinary losses” and “ordinary income” mean other ordinary losses and income that are not described in the preceding sentence. Special rules apply to a fund with a fiscal year ending in November or December that elects to use its taxable year for determining its capital gain net income for excise tax purposes. The Fund may only elect to treat any post-October capital loss, specified gains and specified losses incurred after October 31 as if it had been incurred in the succeeding year in determining its taxable income for the current year.

Because these rules are not entirely clear, the Fund may be required to interpret the "qualified late-year loss" and other rules relating to these different year-ends to determine its taxable income and capital gains. The Fund’s reporting of income and its allocation between different taxable and excise tax years may be challenged by the IRS, possibly resulting in adjustments in the income reported by the Fund on its tax returns and/or by the Fund to you on your year-end tax statements.

Medicare tax An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on net investment income earned by certain individuals, estates and trusts. “Net investment income,” for these purposes, means investment income, including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund shares, reduced by the deductions properly allocable to such income. In the case of an individual, the tax will be imposed on the lesser of (1) the shareholder’s net investment income or (2) the amount by which the shareholder’s modified adjusted gross income exceeds $250,000 (if the shareholder is married and filing jointly or a surviving spouse), $125,000 (if the shareholder is married and filing separately) or $200,000 (in any other case). Any liability for this additional Medicare tax is reported by you on, and paid with, your federal income tax return.

Sales of Fund shares Sales and exchanges of Fund shares are generally taxable transactions for federal and state income tax purposes. If you sell your Fund shares, or exchange them for shares of a different Franklin Templeton or Legg Mason fund, you are required to report any gain or loss on your sale or exchange. If you owned your shares as a capital asset, any gain or loss that you realize is a capital gain or loss, and is long-term or short-term, depending on how long you owned your shares. Under current law, shares held one year or less are short-term and shares held more than one year are long-term. The conversion of shares of one

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class into another class of the same fund is not a taxable exchange for federal income tax purposes. Capital losses in any year are deductible only to the extent of capital gains plus, in the case of a noncorporate taxpayer, $3,000 of ordinary income.

Sales at a loss within six months of purchase. Any loss incurred on the sale or exchange of Fund shares owned for six months or less is treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any long-term capital gains distributed to you by the Fund on those shares.

Wash sales.  All or a portion of any loss that you realize on the sale or exchange of your Fund shares will be disallowed to the extent that you buy other shares in the Fund (through reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within 30 days before or after your sale or exchange. Any loss disallowed under these rules will be added to your tax basis in the new shares.

Deferral of basis. In reporting gain or loss on the sale of your Fund shares, you may be required to adjust your basis in the shares you sell under the following circumstances:

IF:

 In your original purchase of Fund shares, you paid a sales charge and received a reinvestment right (the right to reinvest your sales proceeds at a reduced or with no sales charge), and

 You sell some or all of your original shares within 90 days of their purchase, and

 You reinvest the sales proceeds in the Fund or in another Franklin Templeton fund by January 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the disposition of the original shares occurred, and the sales charge that would otherwise apply is reduced or eliminated;

THEN: In reporting any gain or loss on your sale, all or a portion of the sales charge that you paid for your original shares is excluded from your tax basis in the shares sold and added to your tax basis in the new shares.

Reportable transactions.  Under Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss with respect to the Fund’s shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder (or certain greater amounts over a combination of years), the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on Form 8886. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper.

Cost basis reporting  Beginning in calendar year 2012, the Fund is required to report the cost basis of Fund shares sold or exchanged to you and the IRS annually. The cost basis of Fund shares acquired by purchase will generally be based on the amount paid for the shares, including any front-end sales charges, and then may be subsequently adjusted for other applicable transactions as required by the Code. The difference between the selling price and the cost basis of Fund shares generally determines the amount of the capital gain or loss realized on the sale or exchange of Fund shares. Capital gains and losses on the sale or exchange of Fund shares are generally taxable transactions for federal and state income tax purposes.

Shares acquired on or after January 1, 2012. Cost basis reporting is generally required for Fund shares that are acquired by purchase, gift, inheritance or other transfer on or after January 1, 2012 (referred to as “covered shares”), and subsequently sold or exchanged on or after that date. Cost basis reporting does not apply to sales or exchanges of shares acquired before January 1, 2012, or to shares held in money market funds that maintain a stable $1 net asset value and tax-deferred accounts, such as individual retirement accounts and qualified retirement plans.

Cost basis methods.  Treasury regulations permit the use of several methods to determine the cost basis of mutual fund shares. The method used will determine which specific shares are treated as sold or exchanged when there are multiple purchases at different prices and the entire position is not sold at one time.

The Fund’s default method is the average cost method. Under the average cost method, the cost basis of your Fund shares will be determined by averaging the cost basis of all outstanding shares. The holding period for determining whether gains and losses are short-term or long-term is based on the first-in-first-out method (FIFO) which treats the earliest shares acquired as those first sold or exchanged.

If you wish to select a different cost basis method, or choose to specifically identify your shares at the time of each sale or exchange, you must contact the Fund. However, once a shareholder has sold or exchanged covered shares from the shareholder’s account, a change by the shareholder from the average cost method to another permitted method will only apply prospectively to shares acquired after the date of the method change.

Under the specific identification method, Treasury regulations require that you adequately identify the tax lots of Fund shares to be sold, exchanged or transferred at the time of each transaction. An adequate identification is made by providing the dates that the shares were originally acquired and the number of shares to be sold, exchanged or transferred from each applicable tax lot. Alternatively, an adequate identification of shares may be made with a standing order of instruction on your account. If you do not provide an adequate identification the Fund is required to use the FIFO method with any shares with an unknown acquisition date treated as sold or exchanged first.

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The Fund does not recommend any particular cost basis method and the use of other methods may result in more favorable tax consequences for some shareholders. It is important that you consult with your tax or financial advisor to determine which method is best for you and then notify the Fund if you intend to use a method other than average cost.

If your account is held by your financial advisor or other broker-dealer, that firm may select a different cost basis default method. In these cases, please contact the firm to obtain information with respect to the available methods and elections for your account.

Shares acquired before January 1, 2012.  Cost basis reporting is not generally required for Fund shares that were acquired by purchase, gift, inheritance or other transfer prior to January 1, 2012 (referred to as “noncovered shares”), regardless of when they are sold or exchanged. As a service to shareholders, the Fund presently intends to continue to provide shareholders cost basis information for eligible accounts for shares acquired prior to January 1, 2012. Consistent with prior years, this information will not be reported to the IRS or any state taxing authority.

Shareholders that use the average cost method for shares acquired before January 1, 2012 must make the election to use the average cost method for these shares on their federal income tax returns in accordance with Treasury regulations. This election cannot be made by notifying the Fund.

Important limitations regarding cost basis information.  The Fund will report the cost basis of your Fund shares by taking into account all of the applicable adjustments required by the Code for purposes of reporting cost basis information to shareholders and the IRS annually. However the Fund is not required, and in many cases the Fund does not possess the information, to take all possible basis, holding period or other adjustments into account in reporting cost basis information to you. Therefore shareholders should carefully review the cost basis information provided by the Fund, whether this information is provided with respect to covered or noncovered shares, and make any additional basis, holding period or other adjustments that are required by the Code when reporting these amounts on their federal and state income tax returns. Shareholders remain solely responsible for complying with all federal and state income tax laws when filing their income tax returns.

Additional information about cost basis reporting.  For additional information about cost basis reporting, including the methods and elections available to you, please contact Franklin Templeton at (800) DIAL BEN/342-5236. Additional information is also available on franklintempleton.com/costbasis.

Tax certification and backup withholding Tax laws require that you certify your tax information when you become an investor in the Fund. For U.S. citizens and resident aliens, this certification is made on IRS Form W-9. Under these laws, you may be subject to federal backup withholding at 24%, and state backup withholding may also apply, on a portion of your taxable distributions and sales proceeds unless you:

 provide your correct Social Security or taxpayer identification number,

 certify that this number is correct,

 certify that you are not subject to backup withholding, and

 certify that you are a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien).

The Fund must also withhold if the IRS instructs it to do so. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder’s U.S. federal income tax liability, provided the appropriate information is furnished to the IRS. Certain payees and payments are exempt from backup withholding and information reporting.

U.S. government securities The income earned on certain U.S. government securities is exempt from state and local personal income taxes if earned directly by you. States also grant tax-free status to mutual fund dividends paid to you from interest earned on these securities, subject in some states to minimum investment or reporting requirements that must be met by the Fund. The income on Fund investments in certain securities, such as repurchase agreements, commercial paper and federal agency-backed obligations (e.g., Ginnie Mae and Fannie Mae securities), generally does not qualify for tax-free treatment. The rules on exclusion of this income are different for corporations.

Qualified dividends and the corporate dividends-received deduction For individual shareholders, a portion of the dividends paid by the Fund may be qualified dividend income eligible for taxation at long-term capital gain tax rates. For single individuals with taxable income not in excess of $44,625 in 2023 ($89,250 for married individuals filing jointly), the long-term capital gains tax rate is 0%. For single individuals and joint filers with taxable income in excess of these amounts but not more than $492,300 or $553,850, respectively, the long-term capital gains tax rate is 15%. The rate is 20% for single individuals with taxable income in excess of $492,300 and married individuals filing jointly with taxable income in excess of $553,850. An additional 3.8% Medicare tax may also be imposed as discussed above.

“Qualified dividend income” means dividends paid to the Fund (a) by domestic corporations, (b) by foreign corporations that are either (i) incorporated in a possession of the United States, or (ii) are eligible for benefits under certain income tax treaties with the United States that include an exchange of information program, or (c) with respect to stock of a foreign corporation that is readily tradable on an established

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securities market in the United States. Both the Fund and the investor must meet certain holding period requirements to qualify Fund dividends for this treatment. Specifically, the Fund must hold the stock for at least 61 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the stock becomes ex-dividend (or in the case of certain preferred stocks, for at least 91 days during the 181-day period beginning 90 days before the stock becomes ex-dividend). Similarly, investors must hold their Fund shares for at least 61 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the Fund distribution goes ex-dividend. Income derived from investments in derivatives, fixed-income securities, U.S. REITs, PFICs, and income received “in lieu of” dividends in a securities lending transaction generally is not eligible for treatment as qualified dividend income. If the qualified dividend income received by the Fund is equal to or greater than 95% of the Fund's gross income (exclusive of net capital gain) in any taxable year, all of the ordinary income dividends paid by the Fund will be qualified dividend income.

While the income received in the form of a qualified dividend is taxed at the same rates as long-term capital gains, such income will not be considered a long-term capital gain for other federal income tax purposes. For example, you will not be allowed to offset your long-term capital losses against qualified dividend income on your federal income tax return. Any qualified dividend income that you elect to be taxed at these reduced rates also cannot be used as investment income in determining your allowable investment interest expense.

For corporate shareholders, a portion of the dividends paid by the Fund may qualify for the corporate dividends-received deduction. This deduction generally is available to corporations for dividends paid by a fund out of income earned on its investments in domestic corporations. The availability of the dividends-received deduction is subject to certain holding period and debt financing restrictions that apply to both the Fund and the investor. Specifically, the amount that the Fund may report as eligible for the dividends-received deduction will be reduced or eliminated if the shares on which the dividends earned by the Fund were debt-financed or held by the Fund for less than a minimum period of time, generally 46 days during a 91-day period beginning 45 days before the stock becomes ex-dividend. Similarly, if your Fund shares are debt-financed or held by you for less than a 46-day period then the dividends-received deduction for Fund dividends on your shares may also be reduced or eliminated. Income derived by the Fund from investments in derivatives, fixed-income and foreign securities generally is not eligible for this treatment.

Each year the Fund will report to shareholders the portion of the income dividends paid by the Fund that are eligible for treatment as qualified dividend income, if any, and for the corporate dividends-received deduction, if any. The amounts reported to shareholders may vary significantly each year depending on the particular mix of the Fund’s investments. If the Fund derives its income from investments earning interest rather than dividend income or other sources of non-qualifying income, generally none or only a small portion of its income dividends will be qualified dividend income or dividends eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction. If the percentage of qualified dividend income or dividend income eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction is quite small, the Fund reserves the right to not report the small percentage of qualified dividend income for individuals or income eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction for corporations.

Investment in complex securities  The Fund’s investment in certain complex securities could subject it to one or more special tax rules (including, but not limited to, the wash sale rules), which may affect whether gains and losses recognized by the Fund are treated as ordinary or capital or as short-term or long-term, accelerate the recognition of income or gains to the Fund, defer losses to the Fund, and cause adjustments to the holding periods of the Fund’s securities. These rules, therefore, could affect the amount, timing and/or tax character of the Fund’s distributions to shareholders. Moreover, because the tax rules applicable to complex securities, including derivative financial instruments, are in some cases uncertain under current law, an adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS with respect to these rules (which determination or guidance could be retroactive) may affect whether the Fund has made sufficient distributions and otherwise satisfied the relevant requirements to maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and avoid a fund-level tax. Set forth below is a general description of the tax treatment of certain types of securities, investment techniques and transactions that may apply to a fund; therefore, this section should be read in conjunction with the discussion above under “Goals, Strategies and Risks” for a detailed description of the various types of securities and investment techniques that apply to the Fund.

In general.  Gain or loss recognized by the Fund on the sale or other disposition of its portfolio investments will generally be capital gain or loss. Such capital gain and loss may be long-term or short-term depending, in general, upon the length of time a particular investment position is maintained and, in some cases, upon the nature of the transaction. Portfolio investments held for more than one year generally will be eligible for long-term capital gain or loss treatment.

Derivatives. The Fund may invest in certain derivative contracts, including some or all of the following types of investments: options on securities and securities indices; financial and futures contracts; options on financial or futures contracts and stock index futures; foreign currency contracts; and forward and futures contracts on foreign currencies. The tax treatment of certain forward and futures contracts entered into by the Fund, as well as listed non-equity options written or purchased by the Fund on U.S. exchanges (including

77


options on futures contracts, broad-based equity indices and debt securities), may be governed by section 1256 of the Code (“section 1256 contracts”). Gains or losses on section 1256 contracts generally are considered 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gains or losses (“60/40”), although certain foreign currency gains and losses from such contracts may be treated as ordinary in character. Also, any section 1256 contracts held by the Fund at the end of each taxable year (and, for purposes of the 4% excise tax, on certain other dates as prescribed under the Code) are “marked to market” with the result that unrealized gains or losses are treated as though they were realized and the resulting gain or loss is treated as ordinary or 60/40 gain or loss, as applicable, even though the Fund continues to hold the contracts. The Fund may be required to distribute this income and gains annually in order to avoid income or excise taxes on the Fund. Section 1256 contracts do not include any interest rate swap, currency swap, basis swap, interest rate cap, interest rate floor, commodity swap, equity swap, equity index swap, credit default swap, or similar agreement.

Investments in commodities - commodity-linked derivatives.  The Fund may gain exposure to commodities through futures, swaps and other commodity-linked derivatives, including exchange traded funds (ETFs) and exchange traded notes (ETNs), the return on which is linked to a commodity or commodity index. Gains from the disposition of commodities, including precious metals, will neither be considered qualifying income for purposes of satisfying the income requirement nor qualifying assets for purposes of satisfying the asset diversification test for qualification as a regulated investment company. Also, the IRS has issued a revenue ruling which holds that income derived from commodity-linked swaps is not qualifying income for purposes of the income requirement. However, in a subsequent revenue ruling, as well as in a number of follow-on private letter rulings issued to other taxpayers, the IRS provides that income from certain alternative investments which create commodity exposure, such as certain commodity index-linked or structured notes or a corporate subsidiary that invests in commodities, may be considered qualifying income under the Code. However the IRS announced that it will no longer issue private letter rulings on questions relating to the treatment of a corporation as a RIC that require a determination of whether a financial instrument or position, such as a commodity-linked or structured note, is a security under section 2(a)(36) of the Investment Company Act of 1940. A financial instrument or position that constitutes a security under section 2(a)(36) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 generates qualifying income for a corporation taxed as a regulated investment company. The IRS’s announcement caused it to revoke the portion of any rulings relating to a mutual fund’s investment in commodity-linked notes that required such a determination, some of which have been revoked prospectively as of a date agreed upon with the IRS. In addition, the Fund may gain exposure to commodities through investment in QPTPs, such as an ETF that is classified as a partnership and which invests in commodities, or through investment in a wholly-owned subsidiary that is treated as a controlled foreign corporation for federal income tax purposes. Treasury regulations treat “Subpart F” income (defined in Section 951 of the Code to include passive income such as income from commodity-linked derivatives) as satisfying the Income Requirement, even if a foreign corporation, such as a Subsidiary, does not make a distribution of such income, provided that, in general, such income is derived with respect to the Fund’s business of investing in stocks and securities. If a distribution is made, such income will be treated as a dividend by the Fund to the extent that, under applicable provisions of the Code, there is a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the foreign corporation attributable to the distribution. Accordingly, the extent to which the Fund invests in commodities or commodity-linked derivatives may be limited by the income requirement and the asset diversification test, which the Fund must continue to satisfy to maintain its status as a regulated investment company. The Fund also may be limited in its ability to sell its investments in commodities and commodity-linked derivatives, or be forced to sell other investments to generate income due to the income requirement. In lieu of potential disqualification, the Fund is permitted to pay a tax for certain failures to satisfy the asset diversification test or income requirement, which, in general, are limited to those due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.

Constructive sales. The Fund's entry into an option or other contract could be treated as the "constructive sale" of an "appreciated financial position," causing it to realize gain, but not loss, on the position.

Securities lending transactions. The Fund may obtain additional income by lending its securities, typically to brokers. All amounts that are paid to the Fund in a securities lending transaction, including substitute dividend or interest payments, are treated as a “fee” for the temporary use of property. As a result, any substitute dividend payments received by the Fund are neither qualified dividend income eligible for taxation at reduced long-term capital gain rates in the case of individual shareholders nor eligible for the corporate dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders. Similarly, any foreign tax withheld on payments made “in lieu of” dividends or interest will not qualify for the pass-through of foreign taxes to shareholders.

Tax straddles. If the Fund invests in certain derivative instruments, if it actively trades stock or otherwise acquires a position with respect to substantially similar or related property in connection with certain hedging transactions, or if it engages in spread, straddle or collar transactions, it could be deemed to hold offsetting positions in securities. If the Fund’s risk of loss with respect to specific securities in its portfolio is substantially diminished by the fact that it holds offsetting securities, the Fund could be deemed to have

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entered into a tax "straddle" or to hold a "successor position" that would require any loss realized by it to be deferred for tax purposes.

Synthetic convertible securities. The Fund is permitted to invest in synthetic convertible securities, which are comprised of two distinct security components, for example, a nonconvertible fixed income security and warrants or stock or stock index call options. When combined, these investments achieve the same economic effect as an investment in a traditional convertible security: a desired income stream and the right to acquire shares of the underlying equity security. Even though these securities are economically equivalent to traditional convertible securities, each security forming part of such an investment is analyzed separately, and the tax consequences of an investment in the component parts of these securities could differ from those of an investment in a traditional convertible security.

Structured investments. The Fund may invest in instruments that are designed to restructure the investment characteristics of a security or securities, such as certain structured notes, swap contracts, or swaptions. By investing in these securities, the Fund could be subject to tax consequences that differ from those of an investment in traditional debt or equity securities.

Credit-linked securities. The Fund may enter into credit-linked securities including debt securities represented by an interest in or collateralized by one or more corporate debt obligations, or into credit default swap agreements. The rules governing the tax aspects of credit-linked securities that provide for contingent nonperiodic payments of this type are in a developing stage and are not entirely clear in certain aspects. Accordingly, while the Fund intends to account for such transactions in a manner that it deems to be appropriate, the IRS might not accept such treatment, and may require the Fund to modify its treatment of these investments. Certain requirements that must be met under the Code in order for the Fund to qualify as a regulated investment company may limit the extent to which the Fund will be able to engage in credit default swap agreements.

Equity-linked notes. The Fund may invest in equity-linked notes (ELNs), which are hybrid derivative-type instruments that are specially designed to combine the characteristics of one or more reference securities and a related equity derivative in a single note form. ELNs are available with an assortment of features. The tax rules applicable to these instruments are uncertain under current law and necessarily rely on general tax principles and the tax treatment of similar instruments. For federal income tax purposes, principal unprotected ELNs will generally be characterized as either a financial contract to purchase the reference asset (e.g. prepaid forward contract) or a combination of a deposit of cash with the issuer and an option with respect to the reference asset. Principal protected ELNs will generally be characterized as contingent payment debt obligations. Under this later treatment, the Fund would be required to accrue original issue discount (OID) as interest income on the ELNs in each year that it holds the ELNs based on the yield of comparable fixed rate debt instruments. In addition, any gain recognized by the Fund on the sale or exchange, or at maturity, of such ELNs generally would be treated as ordinary income. Other tax treatments may apply.

Certain fixed-income investments. Gain recognized on the disposition of a debt obligation purchased by the Fund with market discount (generally, at a price less than its principal amount) will be treated as ordinary income to the extent of the portion of the market discount that accrued during the period of time the Fund held the debt obligation, unless the Fund made an election to accrue market discount into income currently. Fund distributions of accrued market discount, including any current inclusions, are taxable to shareholders as ordinary income to the extent of the Fund’s earnings and profits. If the Fund purchases a debt obligation (such as a zero coupon security or pay-in-kind security) that was originally issued at a discount, the Fund generally is required to include in gross income each year the portion of the original issue discount that accrues during such year. Therefore an investment in such securities may cause the Fund to recognize income and make distributions to shareholders before it receives any cash payments on the securities. To generate cash to satisfy those distribution requirements, the Fund may have to sell portfolio securities that it otherwise might have continued to hold or to use cash flows from other sources such as the sale of fund shares.

Investments in debt obligations that are at risk of or in default. The Fund may also hold obligations that are at risk of or in default. Tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as whether and to what extent the Fund should recognize market discount on such a debt obligation, when the Fund may cease to accrue interest, original issue discount or market discount, when and to what extent the Fund may take deductions for bad debts or worthless securities and how the Fund should allocate payments received on obligations in default between principal and income. These and other related issues will be addressed by the Fund in order to ensure that it distributes sufficient income to preserve its status as a regulated investment company.

Investment in taxable mortgage pools (excess inclusion income). Under a Notice issued by the IRS, the Code and Treasury regulations to be issued, a portion of the Fund’s income from a U.S. REIT that is attributable to the REIT’s residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit (REMIC) or equity interests in a “taxable mortgage pool” (referred to in the Code as an excess inclusion) will be subject to federal income tax in all events. The excess inclusion income of a regulated investment company, such as the Fund, will be allocated to shareholders of the regulated investment company in proportion to the dividends received

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by such shareholders, with the same consequences as if the shareholders held the related REMIC residual interest or, if applicable, taxable mortgage pool directly. In general, excess inclusion income allocated to shareholders (i) cannot be offset by net operating losses (subject to a limited exception for certain thrift institutions), (ii) will constitute unrelated business taxable income to entities (including a qualified pension plan, an individual retirement account, a 401(k) plan, a Keogh plan or other tax-exempt entity) subject to tax on unrelated business income (UBTI), thereby potentially requiring such an entity that is allocated excess inclusion income, and otherwise might not be required to file a tax return, to file a tax return and pay tax on such income, and (iii) in the case of a foreign stockholder, will not qualify for any reduction in U.S. federal withholding tax. In addition, if at any time during any taxable year a “disqualified organization” (which generally includes certain cooperatives, governmental entities, and tax-exempt organizations not subject to UBTI) is a record holder of a share in a regulated investment company, then the regulated investment company will be subject to a tax equal to that portion of its excess inclusion income for the taxable year that is allocable to the disqualified organization, multiplied by the applicable corporate tax rate. The Notice imposes certain reporting requirements upon regulated investment companies that have excess inclusion income. There can be no assurance that the Fund will not allocate to shareholders excess inclusion income.

These rules are potentially applicable to a fund with respect to any income it receives from the equity interests of certain mortgage pooling vehicles, either directly or, as is more likely, through an investment in a U.S. REIT. It is not anticipated that these rules will apply to a fund that does not invest in any U.S. REITs.

State income taxes Some state tax codes adopt the Code through a certain date. As a result, such conforming states may not have adopted the version of the Code as amended by the TCJA, the Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010, or other federal tax laws enacted after the applicable conformity date. Other states may have adopted an income or other basis of tax that differs from the Code.

The tax information furnished by the Fund to shareholders and the IRS annually with respect to the amount and character of dividends paid, cost basis information with respect to shares redeemed or exchanged, and records maintained by the Fund with respect to the cost basis of Fund shares, will be prepared on the basis of current federal income tax law to comply with the information reporting requirements of the Code, and not necessarily on the basis of the law of any state in which a shareholder is resident or otherwise subject to tax. If your account is held by your financial advisor or other broker, contact that firm with respect to any state information reporting requirements applicable to your investment in the Fund. Under the current California Revenue and Taxation Code, certain funds are required to report tax information to the California Franchise Tax Board annually.

Accordingly, the amount and character of income, gain or loss realized by a shareholder with respect to an investment in Fund shares for state income tax purposes may differ from that for federal income tax purposes. Franklin Templeton provides additional tax information, on franklintempleton.com (under the Tax Center) to assist shareholders with the preparation of their federal and state income tax returns. Shareholders are solely responsible for determining the amount and character of income, gain or loss to report on their federal, state and local income tax returns each year as a result of their purchase, holding and sale of Fund shares.

Non-U.S. investors  Non-U.S. investors may be subject to U.S. withholding and estate tax, and are subject to special U.S. tax certification requirements.

In general. The United States imposes a flat 30% withholding tax (or a tax at a lower treaty rate) on U.S. source dividends. Exemptions from U.S. withholding tax are provided for capital gains realized on the sales of Fund shares, capital gain dividends paid by the Fund from net long-term capital gains, short-term capital gain dividends paid by the Fund from net short-term capital gains, and interest-related dividends paid by the Fund from its qualified net interest income from U.S. sources, unless you are a nonresident alien individual present in the United States for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the calendar year. “Qualified interest income” includes, in general, the sum of the Fund’s U.S. source: i) bank deposit interest, ii) short-term original issue discount, iii) portfolio interest, and iv) any interest-related dividend passed through from another regulated investment company.

However, notwithstanding such exemptions from U.S. withholding tax at source, any taxable distributions and proceeds from the sale of your Fund shares will be subject to backup withholding at a rate of 24% if you fail to properly certify that you are not a U.S. person.

It may not be practical in every case for the Fund to report to shareholders, and the Fund reserves the right in these cases to not report, interest-related or short-term capital gain dividends. Additionally, the Fund’s reporting of interest-related or short-term capital gain dividends may not, in turn, be passed through to shareholders by intermediaries who have assumed tax reporting responsibilities for this income in managed or omnibus accounts due to systems limitations or operational constraints.

Effectively connected income.  Taxable ordinary income dividends paid by the Fund to non-U.S. investors on portfolio investments are generally subject to U.S. withholding tax at 30% or a lower treaty rate. However, if you hold your Fund shares in connection with a U.S. trade or business, your

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income and gains may be considered effectively connected income and taxed in the U.S. on a net basis at graduated income tax rates in which case you may be required to file a nonresident U.S. income tax return.

U.S. estate tax. An individual who is a non-U.S. investor will be subject to U.S. federal estate tax on the value of the Fund shares owned at the time of death, unless a treaty exemption applies between the country of residence of the non-U.S. investor and the U.S. Even if a treaty exemption is available, a decedent’s estate may nevertheless be required to file a U.S. estate tax return to claim the exemption, as well as to obtain a U.S. federal transfer certificate. The transfer certificate will identify the property (i.e., Fund shares) on which a U.S. federal tax lien has been released and is required before the Fund can release a nonresident alien decedent’s investment in the Fund to his or her estate. A transfer certificate is not required for property administered by an executor or administrator appointed, qualified and acting within the United States. For estates with U.S. situs assets of not more than $60,000 (there is a statutory estate tax credit for this amount of property), an affidavit from the executor of the estate or other authorized individual along with additional evidence requested by the IRS relating to the decedent’s estate evidencing the U.S. situs assets may be provided in lieu of a federal transfer certificate. Transfers by gift of shares of the Fund by a non-U.S. investor who is a nonresident alien individual will not be subject to U.S. federal gift tax. The tax consequences to a non-U.S. investor entitled to claim the benefits of a treaty between the country of residence of the non-U.S. investor and the U.S. may be different from the consequences described above.

Tax certification and backup withholding as applied to non-U.S. investors.  Non-U.S. investors have special U.S. tax certification requirements to avoid backup withholding at a rate of 24% and, if applicable, to obtain the benefit of any income tax treaty between the non-U.S. investor’s country of residence and the United States. To claim these tax benefits, the non-U.S. investor must provide a properly completed Form W-8BEN (or other Form W-8, where applicable) to establish his or her status as a non-U.S. investor, to claim beneficial ownership over the assets in the account, and to claim, if applicable, a reduced rate of or exemption from withholding tax under the applicable treaty. A Form W-8BEN generally remains in effect for a period of three years beginning on the date that it is signed and ending on the last day of the third succeeding calendar year. In certain instances, Form W-8BEN may remain valid indefinitely unless the investor has a change of circumstances that renders the form incorrect and necessitates a new form and tax certification. Non-U.S. investors must advise the Fund of any change of circumstances that would render the information given on the form incorrect and must then provide a new W-8BEN to avoid the prospective application of backup withholding.

Investment in U.S. real property. The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA) makes non-U.S. persons subject to U.S. tax on disposition of a U.S. real property interest (USRPI) as if he or she were a U.S. person. Such gain is sometimes referred to as FIRPTA gain. The Fund may invest in equity securities of corporations that invest in USRPI, including U.S. REITs, which may trigger FIRPTA gain to the Fund’s non-U.S. shareholders.

The Code provides a look-through rule for distributions of FIRPTA gain when a regulated investment company is classified as a qualified investment entity. A regulated investment company will be classified as a qualified investment entity if, in general, 50% or more of the regulated investment company’s assets consist of interests in U.S. REITs and other U.S. real property holding corporations (USRPHC). If a regulated investment company is a qualified investment entity and the non-U.S. shareholder owns more than 5% of a class of Fund shares at any time during the one-year period ending on the date of the FIRPTA distribution, the FIRPTA distribution to the non-U.S. shareholder is treated as gain from the disposition of a USRPI, causing the distribution to be subject to U.S. withholding tax at the applicable corporate tax rate (unless reduced by future regulations), and requiring the non-U.S. shareholder to file a nonresident U.S. income tax return. In addition, even if the non-U.S. shareholder does not own more than 5% of a class of Fund shares, but the Fund is a qualified investment entity, the FIRPTA distribution will be taxable as ordinary dividends (rather than as a capital gain or short-term capital gain dividend) subject to withholding at 30% or a lower treaty rate.

Because the Fund expects to invest less than 50% of its assets at all times, directly or indirectly, in U.S. real property interests, it expects that neither gain on the sale or redemption of Fund shares nor Fund dividends and distributions should be subject to FIRPTA reporting and tax withholding.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), foreign entities, referred to as foreign financial institutions (FFI) or non-financial foreign entities (NFFE) that are shareholders in the Fund may be subject to a 30% withholding tax on income dividends paid by the Fund. The FATCA withholding tax generally can be avoided: (a) by an FFI, if it reports certain direct and indirect ownership of foreign financial accounts held by U.S. persons with the FFI, and (b) by an NFFE, if it: (i) certifies that it has no substantial U.S. persons as owners, or (ii) if it does have such owners, reports information relating to them to the withholding agent, which will, in turn, report that information to the IRS. The U.S. Treasury has negotiated intergovernmental agreements (IGA) with certain countries and is in various stages of negotiations with a number of other foreign countries with respect to one or more alternative approaches to implement FATCA. An entity in one of those

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countries may be required to comply with the terms of an IGA and applicable local law instead of U.S. Treasury regulations.

An FFI can avoid FATCA withholding if it is deemed compliant or by becoming a “participating FFI,” which requires the FFI to enter into a U.S. tax compliance agreement with the IRS under section 1471(b) of the Code (FFI agreement) under which it agrees to verify, report and disclose certain of its U.S. accountholders and provided that such entity meets certain other specified requirements. The FFI will report to the IRS, or, depending on the FFI’s country of residence, to the government of that country (pursuant to the terms and conditions of an applicable IGA and applicable law), which will, in turn, report to the IRS. An FFI that is resident in a country that has entered into an IGA with the U.S. to implement FATCA will be exempt from FATCA withholding provided that the FFI shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of such agreement. 

An NFFE that is the beneficial owner of a payment from the Fund can avoid the FATCA withholding tax generally by certifying that it does not have any substantial U.S. owners or by providing the name, address and taxpayer identification number of each substantial U.S. owner. The NFFE will report information either (i) to the Fund, or other applicable withholding agent, which will, in turn, report information to the IRS, or (ii) directly to the IRS. 

Such foreign shareholders also may fall into certain exempt, excepted or deemed compliant categories as established by U.S. Treasury regulations, IGAs, and other guidance regarding FATCA. An FFI or NFFE that invests in the Fund will need to provide the Fund with documentation properly certifying the entity’s status under FATCA in order to avoid FATCA withholding. The requirements imposed by FATCA are different from, and in addition to, the U.S. tax certification rules to avoid backup withholding described above.

Organization, Voting Rights and Principal Holders

The Fund is a diversified series of Franklin Custodian Funds (the Trust), an open-end management investment company, commonly called a mutual fund. The Trust was originally organized as a Delaware corporation in 1947, reincorporated as a Maryland corporation in 1979, converted to a Delaware statutory trust effective February 1, 2008, and is registered with the SEC.

The DynaTech, Focused Growth and Growth Funds currently offer five classes of shares, Class A, Class C, Class R, Class R6 and Advisor Class. The Focused Growth Fund began offering Class A, C, R and R6 shares on February 14, 2020. The Income, U.S. Government Securities and Utilities Funds currently offer six classes of shares, Class A, Class A1, Class C, Class R, Class R6 and Advisor Class. The Fund may offer additional classes of shares in the future. The full title of each class is:

 Franklin DynaTech Fund - Class A

 Franklin DynaTech Fund - Class C

 Franklin DynaTech Fund - Class R

 Franklin DynaTech Fund - Class R6

 Franklin DynaTech Fund - Advisor Class

 Franklin Focused Growth Fund - Class A

 Franklin Focused Growth Fund - Class C

 Franklin Focused Growth Fund - Class R

 Franklin Focused Growth Fund - Class R6

 Franklin Focused Growth Fund - Advisor Class

 Franklin Growth Fund - Class A

 Franklin Growth Fund - Class C

 Franklin Growth Fund - Class R

 Franklin Growth Fund - Class R6

 Franklin Growth Fund - Advisor Class

 Franklin Income Fund - Class A

 Franklin Income Fund - Class A1

 Franklin Income Fund - Class C

 Franklin Income Fund - Class R

 Franklin Income Fund - Class R6

 Franklin Income Fund - Advisor Class

 Franklin U.S. Government Securities Fund - Class A

 Franklin U.S. Government Securities Fund - Class A1

 Franklin U.S. Government Securities Fund - Class C

 Franklin U.S. Government Securities Fund - Class R

 Franklin U.S. Government Securities Fund - Class R6

 Franklin U.S. Government Securities Fund - Advisor Class

 Franklin Utilities Fund - Class A

 Franklin Utilities Fund - Class A1

 Franklin Utilities Fund - Class C

 Franklin Utilities Fund - Class R

 Franklin Utilities Fund - Class R6

 Franklin Utilities Fund - Advisor Class

Shares of each class represent proportionate interests in the Fund's assets. On matters that affect the Fund as a whole, each class has the same voting and other rights and preferences as any other class. On matters that affect only one class, only shareholders of that class may vote. Each class votes separately on matters affecting only that class, or matters expressly required to be voted on separately by state or federal law.

Shares of each class of a series have the same voting and other rights and preferences as the other classes and series of the Trust for matters that affect the Trust as a whole. Additional series may be offered in the future.

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The Fund has noncumulative voting rights. For board member elections, this gives holders of more than 50% of the shares voting the ability to elect all of the members of the board. If this happens, holders of the remaining shares voting will not be able to elect anyone to the board.

The Fund does not intend to hold annual shareholder meetings. The Fund may hold special meetings, however, for matters requiring shareholder approval.

As of January 3, 2023, the principal shareholders of the Fund, beneficial or of record, were:

       

Name and Address

Share Class

Percentage

(%)

Franklin DynaTech Fund

 

Edward Jones & Co*

A

33.10

 

12555 Manchester Road

 

Saint Louis, MO 63131-3710

 
   

BNY Mellon Servicing Inc.*

A

6.70

 

760 Moore Road

 

King Of Prussia, PA 19406-1212