Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF

Ticker Symbol: FRDM

 

 

 

Prospectus

 

 

January 31, 2022

 

 

Listed on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc.

 

 

 

These securities have not been approved or disapproved by the Securities and Exchange Commission nor has the Securities and Exchange Commission passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF   1
Additional Information About The Fund   7
How is the Fund Different from A Mutual Fund?   7
Additional Information about the Index   8
Additional Information about the Fund’s Investment Objective and Strategies   8
Additional Information about the Fund’s Risks   9
Fund Management   13
Portfolio Manager   13
Approval of Advisory Agreement   14
Other Service Providers   14
The Exchange   14
Buying and Selling Fund Shares   14
Buying and Selling Shares on the Secondary Market   15
Active Investors and Market Timing   16
Distribution and Service Plan   16
Net Asset Value   16
Fund Website and Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings   17
Investments by Other Investment Companies   18
Dividends, Distributions, and Taxes   18
Financial Highlights   20

 

 

 

Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF

 

Fund Summary

 

 

Investment Objective

 

The Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to track the total return performance, before fees and expenses, of the Freedom 100 Emerging Markets Index (the “Index”).

 

Fees And Expenses

 

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold, and sell shares of the Fund (“Shares”). You may also pay brokerage commissions on the purchase and sale of Shares, which are not reflected in the table and example below.

 

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

 

         
Management Fee     0.49 %
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees     None  
Other Expenses     0.00 %
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses     0.49 %

 

Example

 

The following example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that the Fund provides a return of 5% a year and that operating expenses remain the same. You may also pay brokerage commissions on the purchase and sale of Shares, which are not reflected in the example. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

One Year: Three Years: Five Years: 10 Years
$50 $157 $274 $616

 

Portfolio Turnover

 

The Fund may pay transaction costs, including commissions when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 21.9% of the average value of its portfolio.

 

Principal Investment Strategies

 

The Fund uses a “passive management” (or indexing) approach to seek to track the total return performance, before fees and expenses, of the Index. The Freedom 100 Emerging Markets Index is a freedom-weighted emerging markets equity index.

 

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Freedom 100 Emerging Markets Index

 

The Index is designed to track the performance of a portfolio of approximately 100 equity securities in emerging market countries. Country inclusion and weights are determined based on third-party quantified data covering 76 personal and economic freedom variables. Variables can be categorized into three main types of freedom metrics: civil freedom (such as absence of terrorism, human trafficking, torture, disappearances and detainments), political freedom (such as rule of law, due process, freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly), and economic freedom (such as marginal tax rates, access to international trade, business regulations, sound money, and size of government). A quantitative model is used to weight countries based on the above metrics as described below. Securities within each included country are selected using minimum market capitalization (“market cap”) and liquidity (90-day average daily volume of shares traded on a public exchange) requirements, and are subsequently market cap-weighted. For clarification, country weights are established first, then security weights are established (within previously established country weights). The Index excludes state owned enterprises (“SOEs”). The Index was developed in 2017 by Life + Liberty Indexes, LLC, the Fund’s index provider (the “Index Provider”).

 

The Index Universe

   

Index construction begins with a universe of common and preferred stocks (or their depositary receipts) with headquarters domiciled in emerging market countries. As of January 24, 2022, the initial country universe includes: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Greece, Egypt, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates (collectively, the “Initial Country Universe”).

       

Market Capitalization Screens

    The Index Provider determines the countries eligible to be included in the Index at the time of each annual reconstitution of the Index based on the market capitalization of each emerging market relative to world market capitalization (market capitalization ratio). Countries with a market capitalization ratio of at least 0.15% of current world market capitalization and an average market capitalization ratio of at least 0.15% for the prior three years are eligible to be included in the Index (the “Eligible Universe”).
       

Country Selection and Weighting

 

    Countries in the eligible universe are freedom-weighted by their country level freedom scores (“Freedom Scores”). Freedom Scores are composed of 76 quantified personal and economic freedom variables compiled by independent third party think-tanks - the Cato Institute and the Fraser Institute. Freedom Scores are used by the Index Provider to derive country weights and inclusions. Based on Index rules, the higher a country’s Freedom Score, the higher its weight in the Index. The lower a country’s Freedom Score, the lower its weight in the Index. Countries with a negative weight are excluded from the Index. As of January 24, 2022, the following eleven Emerging Markets were included in the Index: Taiwan, Chile, South Korea, Poland, South Africa, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand, and the Philippines. (the “included countries”).
       
Component Selection and Weighting      The index securities universe includes all companies domiciled in each of the included countries as determined by the index calculator. Securities must meet minimum market capitalization and liquidity requirements to be eligible for inclusion. The ten largest securities within each included country are selected and weighted based on market capitalization. To be clear, country weights are established first, then individual security weights are established (within previously established country weights). Either local shares or depositary receipts can be used in the Index with preference given to ADRs for new additions. SOEs, which are defined by the Index Provider as companies with 20% or more government ownership, are excluded from the Index. The Index may include small-, mid-, and large-capitalization companies; however, the rules of the Index will naturally favor large-capitalization companies with high liquidity.
       
Portfolio Construction     The Index is assessed annually in January of each year at which time the Index is reconstituted and rebalanced by the Index Provider. Component changes are made after the market close on the third Friday of January and become effective at the market open on the next trading day.

 

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The Fund’s Investment Strategy

 

Under normal circumstances, at least 80% of the Fund’s total assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) will be invested in the component securities of the Index or in depositary receipts representing such component securities. The Adviser expects that, over time, the correlation between the Fund’s performance and that of the Index, before fees and expenses, will be 95% or better.

 

The Fund will generally use a “replication” strategy to seek to achieve its investment objective, meaning the Fund will invest in all of the component securities of the Index in the same approximate proportions as in the Index, but may, when the Adviser believes it is in the best interests of the Fund, use a “representative sampling” strategy, meaning the Fund may invest in a sample of the securities in the Index whose risk, return and other characteristics closely resemble the risk, return and other characteristics of the Index as a whole.

 

The Fund will not concentrate its investments in a particular industry or group of industries, as that term is used in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”), except that the Fund will invest more than 25% of its total assets in securities of the same industry to approximately the same extent that the Index concentrates in the securities of a particular industry or group of industries.

 

The Fund may also invest up to 20% of its assets in cash and cash equivalents, other investment companies, as well as securities and other instruments not included in the Index but which the Adviser believes will help the Fund track the Index. For example, the Fund may invest in securities that are not components of the Index to reflect various corporate actions and other changes to the Index (such as reconstitutions, additions and deletions). 

 

Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets, plus borrowings for investment purposes, in securities economically tied to emerging market countries. The Fund’s 80% policy is non-fundamental and can be changed without shareholder approval. However, Fund shareholders would be given at least 60 days’ notice prior to any such change.

 

For purposes of the Fund’s 80% policy, the securities of a company are considered to be economically tied to an emerging market country if one or more of the following attributes are tied to an emerging markets country:: stock exchange listing; where it is registered, organized or incorporated; where its headquarters are located; where it derives at least 50% of its revenues or profits from goods produced or sold, investments made, or services performed; or where at least 50% of its assets are located.

 

The Fund will be considered to be non-diversified, which means that it may invest more of its assets in the securities of a single issuer or a smaller number of issuers than if it were a diversified fund.

 

Principal Risks

 

An investment in the Fund involves risk, including those described below. There is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. An investor may lose money by investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any government agency. More complete risk descriptions are set forth below under the heading “Additional Information About the Fund’s Risks.

 

Each risk summarized below is considered a “principal risk” of investing in the Fund, regardless of the order in which it appears. As with any investment, there is a risk you could lose all or a portion of your investment in the Fund. Some or all of these risks may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV, trading price, yield, total return and/or ability to meet its objectives.

 

Foreign Investment Risk. Returns on investments in foreign securities could be more volatile than, or trail the returns on, investments in U.S. securities. Investments in or exposures to foreign securities are subject to special risks, including risks associated with foreign securities generally, including differences in information available about issuers of securities and investor protection standards applicable in other jurisdictions; capital controls risks, including the risk of a foreign jurisdiction imposing restrictions on the ability to repatriate or transfer currency or other assets; currency risks; political, diplomatic and economic risks; regulatory risks; and foreign market and trading risks, including the costs of trading and risks of settlement in foreign jurisdictions.

 

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Concentration Risk. The Fund may be susceptible to an increased risk of loss, including losses due to adverse occurrences affecting the Fund more than the market as a whole, to the extent that the Fund’s investments are concentrated in the securities of a particular issuer or issuers, country, group of countries, region, market, industry, group of industries, sector, or asset class.

 

Depositary Receipts Risk. The risks of investments in depositary receipts, including American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”), and Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), are substantially similar to Foreign Investment Risk. In addition, depositary receipts may not track the price of the underlying foreign securities, and their value may change materially at times when the U.S. markets are not open for trading.

 

Emerging Markets Risk. The Fund may invest in companies organized in emerging market nations. Investments in securities and instruments traded in developing or emerging markets, or that provide exposure to such securities or markets, can involve additional risks relating to political, economic, or regulatory conditions not associated with investments in U.S. securities and instruments or investments in more developed international markets. Such conditions may impact the ability of the Fund to buy, sell or otherwise transfer securities, adversely affect the trading market and price for Fund shares and cause the Fund to decline in value.

 

Freedom Investment Strategy Risk. The Fund’s Freedom investment strategy limits the types and number of investment opportunities available to the Fund and, as a result, the Fund may underperform other emerging markets funds that do not have a freedom focus. In addition, the Index Provider may be unsuccessful in creating an index composed only of companies in countries that benefit from significant personal and economic freedoms.

 

Freedom Score Risk. The Index Provider relies upon the Fraser Institute, a global, independent think-tank partnership, to obtain the Freedom Score used in the Index. The Freedom Score is derived using quantified data derived from government organizations, non-governmental organizations (“NGO” or collectively “NGOs”), private sector actors, and other entities. This data is consolidated, analyzed, and disseminated by the Fraser Institute. Changes to the Freedom Score methodology or its data sources by the Fraser Institute are not controlled by the Index Provider, who relies exclusively upon the Freedom Score output for use in the Index. Should the Fraser Institute cease to provide the Freedom Score entirely, materially delay its reporting of the Freedom Score, or materially modify the calculation of the Freedom Score, the Index Provider will use its own patent-pending algorithm to produce the Freedom Score output internally using similar inputs and variables.

 

Annual Rebalance Risk. The Index’s components are reconstituted annually. As a result, (i) the Index’s exposure to one or more markets may be affected by significant market movements promptly following the annual reconstitution that are not predictive of those markets’ performance for the subsequent year and (ii) changes to the Index’s market exposure may lag a significant change in one or more market’s direction (up or down) by as long as a year if such changes first take effect promptly following the reconstitution. Such lags between market performance and changes to the Index’s exposure may result in significant underperformance relative to the broader foreign equity markets.

 

Geopolitical/Natural Disaster Risks. The Fund’s investments are subject to geopolitical and natural disaster risks, such as war, terrorism, trade disputes, political or economic dysfunction within some nations, public health crises and related geopolitical events, as well as environmental disasters, epidemics and/or pandemics, which may add to instability in world economies and volatility in markets. The impact may be short-term or may last for extended periods.

 

Quantitative Security Selection Risk. Data for some companies in which the Fund invests or upon which the Fund calculates its allocations may be less available and/or less current than data for companies in other markets. The Index uses a quantitative model to generate investment decisions and its processes and stock selection could be adversely affected if it relies on erroneous or outdated data. In addition, securities selected using the quantitative model could perform differently from the financial markets as a whole as a result of the characteristics used in the analysis, the weight placed on each characteristic and changes in the characteristic’s historical trends.

 

Equity Investing Risk. An investment in the Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any fund holding equity securities, such as market fluctuations, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in stock prices. The values of equity securities could decline generally or could underperform other investments. In addition, securities may decline in value due to factors affecting a specific issuer, market or securities markets generally.

 

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund is not actively managed and the Adviser will not sell shares of an equity security due to current or projected underperformance of a security, industry or sector, unless that security is removed from the Index, sold in connection with a rebalancing of the Index as addressed in the Index methodology, or sold to comply with the Fund’s investment limitations (for example, to maintain the Fund’s tax status). Maintaining investments regardless of market conditions or the performance of individual investments could cause the Fund’s return to be lower than if the Fund employed an active strategy.

 

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Tracking Error Risk. As with all index funds, the performance of the Fund and its Index may differ from each other for a variety of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs operating expenses and portfolio transaction costs not incurred by the Index. In addition, the Fund may not be fully invested in the securities of the Index at all times or may hold securities not included in the Index.

 

Investment Risk. When you sell your Shares of the Fund, they could be worth less than what you paid for them. The Fund could lose money due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns. Securities may decline in value due to factors affecting securities markets generally or particular asset classes or industries represented in the markets. The value of a security may decline due to general market conditions, economic trends or events that are not specifically related to the issuer of the security or to factors that affect a particular industry or group of industries. During a general downturn in the securities markets, multiple asset classes may be negatively affected. Therefore, you may lose money by investing in the Fund.

 

Non-Diversification Risk. Because the Fund is non-diversified, it may be more sensitive to economic, business, political or other changes affecting individual issuers or investments than a diversified fund, which may result in greater fluctuation in the value of the Fund’s Shares and greater risk of loss.

 

Market Capitalization Risk. To the extent the Fund emphasizes large-, mid- or small-capitalization stocks, it will assume the associated risks. At any given time, any of these market capitalizations may be out of favor with investors.

 

Large-Capitalization Investing. The securities of large-capitalization companies may be relatively mature compared to smaller companies and therefore subject to slower growth during times of economic expansion. Large-capitalization companies may also be unable to respond quickly to new competitive challenges, such as changes in technology and consumer tastes.

 

Mid-Capitalization Investing. The securities of mid-capitalization companies may be more vulnerable to adverse issuer, market, political, or economic developments than securities of large-capitalization companies. The securities of mid-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than large capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole.

 

Small-Capitalization Investing. The securities of small-capitalization companies may be more vulnerable to adverse issuer, market, political, or economic developments than securities of large- or mid-capitalization companies. The securities of small-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than large- or mid-capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole. There is typically less publicly available information concerning smaller-capitalization companies than for larger, more established companies.

 

ETF Risk.

 

Authorized Participants, Market Makers and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants (“APs”). In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, Fund Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.

 

Premium-Discount Risk. The Shares may trade above or below their net asset value (“NAV”). The market prices of Shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in NAV as well as the relative supply of, and demand for, Shares on Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange”) or other securities exchanges. The trading price of Shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility or limited trading activity in Shares.

 

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Cost of Trading Risk. Investors buying or selling Shares in the secondary market will pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. Brokerage commissions are often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell relatively small amounts of Shares.

 

Trading Risk. Although the Shares are listed on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active or liquid trading market for them will be maintained. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange may be halted. In stressed market conditions, the liquidity of the Fund’s Shares may begin to mirror the liquidity of its underlying portfolio holdings, which can be significantly less liquid than the Fund’s Shares, potentially causing the market price of the Fund’s Shares to deviate from its NAV.

 

PERFORMANCE

 

The following information provides some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund. The bar chart shows the annual returns for the Fund. The table shows how the Fund’s average annual returns for one-year, and since inception periods compare with those of a broad measure of market performance. The Fund’s past performance, before and after taxes, is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future. Performance information is also available on the Fund’s website at www.freedometfs.com or by calling the Fund at (215) 882-9983.

 

Calendar Year Total Returns as of December 31, 2021

 

 

 

During the period of time shown in the bar chart, the Fund’s highest return for a calendar quarter was 27.51% (quarter ended December 31, 2020) and the Fund’s lowest return for a calendar quarter was 30.04% (quarter ended March 31, 2020).

 

Average Annual Total Returns

(for periods ended December 31, 2021)

 

  1 Year Since Inception (05/22/19)
Return Before Taxes 6.94% 13.62%
Return After Taxes on Distributions 6.74% 13.49%
Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Shares 4.84% 10.92%
Solactive GBS Emerging Markets Large & Mid Cap Index (reflects no deduction for fees or expenses1) -2.46% 10.57%
Life + Liberty Freedom 100 Emerging Markets Index (reflects no deduction for fees or expenses1) 6.92% 13.88%

 

 

1 Index assumes withholding of taxes on dividends.

 

After-tax returns are calculated using the highest historical individual federal marginal income tax rates during the period covered by the table and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on your tax situation and may differ from those shown and are not relevant if you hold your shares through tax-deferred arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts.

 

Solactive GBS Emerging Markets Large & Mid Cap Index intends to track the performance of the large- and mid-cap segment covering approximately the largest 85% of the free-float market capitalization in the Emerging Markets. The term “free float” generally includes only securities that are publicly available in the securities markets.

 

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Investment Adviser

 

Empowered Funds, LLC serves as the investment adviser of the Fund.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

Mr. Brandon Koepke has been the portfolio manager for the Fund and has managed the Fund since June 2020. Mr. Koepke and Mr. Richard Shaner have been primarily and jointly responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund since 2022.

 

PURCHASE AND SALE OF FUND SHARES

 

The Fund issues and redeems Shares on a continuous basis only in large blocks of Shares, typically 50,000 Shares, called “Creation Units,” and only APs (typically, broker-dealers) may purchase or redeem Creation Units. Creation Units generally are issued and redeemed ‘in-kind’ for securities and partially in cash. Individual Shares may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through brokers. Once created, individual Shares generally trade in the secondary market at market prices that change throughout the day. Market prices of Shares may be greater or less than their NAV. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, the Fund’s shares are not redeemable securities.

 

TAX INFORMATION

 

The Fund’s distributions generally are taxable to you as ordinary income, capital gains, or some combination of both, unless your investment is in an Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”) or other tax-advantaged account. However, subsequent withdrawals from such a tax-advantaged account may be subject to federal income tax. You should consult your tax advisor about your specific tax situation.

 

PURCHASES THROUGH BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

 

If you purchase Shares through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary, the Fund and its related companies may pay the intermediary for the sale of Shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend Shares over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

Additional Information About The Fund

 

How is the Fund Different from A Mutual Fund?

 

Redeemability. Mutual fund shares may be bought from, and redeemed with, the issuing fund for cash at NAV typically calculated once at the end of the business day. Shares of the Fund, by contrast, cannot be purchased from or redeemed with the Fund except by or through APs (typically, broker-dealers), and then principally for an in-kind basket of securities (and a limited cash amount). In addition, the Fund issues and redeems Shares on a continuous basis only in large blocks of Shares, typically 50,000 Shares, called “Creation Units.”

 

Exchange Listing. Unlike mutual fund shares, Shares of the Fund will be listed for trading on the Exchange. Investors can purchase and sell Shares on the secondary market through a broker. Investors purchasing Shares in the secondary market through a brokerage account or with the assistance of a broker may be subject to brokerage commissions and charges. Secondary-market transactions do not occur at NAV, but at market prices that change throughout the day, based on the supply of, and demand for, Shares and on changes in the prices of the Fund’s portfolio holdings. The market price of Shares may differ from the NAV of the Fund. The difference between market price of Shares and the NAV of the Fund is called a premium when the market price is above the reported NAV and called a discount when the market price is below the reported NAV, and the difference is expected to be small most of the time, though it may be significant, especially in times of extreme market volatility.

 

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Tax Treatment. Shares have been designed to be tax-efficient. Specifically, their in-kind creation and redemption feature has been designed to protect Fund shareholders from adverse tax consequences applicable to registered investment companies as a result of cash transactions in the registered investment company’s shares, including cash redemptions. Nevertheless, to the extent redemptions from the Fund are paid in cash, the Fund may realize capital gains or losses, including in some cases short-term capital gains, upon the sale of portfolio securities to generate the cash to satisfy the redemption.

 

Transparency. The Fund’s portfolio holdings are disclosed on its website daily after the close of trading on the Exchange and prior to the opening of trading on the Exchange the following day. A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings is available in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).

 

Premium/Discount Information. Information about the premiums and discounts at which the Fund’s Shares have traded will be available at www.freedometfs.com/funds.

 

Additional Information about the Index

 

The Index Provider is not affiliated with the Fund, the Adviser, the Fund’s distributor, the Index Calculation Agent or any of their respective affiliates. The Index Provider has licensed the use of the Index to the Adviser, which has sub-licensed it to the Trust on behalf of the Fund. None of the Index Provider or any of its respective affiliates make investment decisions, provide investment advice, or otherwise act in the capacity of an investment adviser to the Fund, nor are they involved in the calculation of the Index.

 

The Index Provider has retained an unaffiliated third party, Solactive, AG, to calculate the Index. The Calculation Agent, using the applicable rules-based methodology, will calculate, maintain and disseminate the Index on a daily basis.

 

The Index Provider will monitor the results produced by the Calculation Agent to help ensure that the Index is being calculated in accordance with the applicable rules-based methodology.

 

Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF (Ticker: FRDM) is not offered or sold by Life + Liberty Indexes or any of its affiliates, licensors or contractors (the “LL Parties”) nor do any of the LL Parties offer any express or implicit guarantee, warranty or assurance either with regard to the results of using the Freedom 100 Emerging Markets Index (the “Index”) or the Index Price at any time or in any other respect. The Index is calculated and published by the LL Parties. Life + Liberty Indexes has entered an agreement with FRDM’s Adviser to sponsor the Fund. The LL Parties use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that the Index is calculated correctly. Neither publication of the Index by the LL Parties nor the licensing of the Index or Index trademark(s) for the purpose of use in connection with the Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF (Ticker: FRDM) constitutes a recommendation by any of the LL Parties to invest in the Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF (Ticker: FRDM).” “Freedom 100” and “Life + Liberty Indexes” are trademarks of Life + Liberty Investments, LLC.

 

Additional Information about the Fund’s Investment Objective and Strategies

 

The Fund’s investment objective is a non-fundamental investment policy and may be changed without a vote of shareholders with prior written notice to shareholders.

 

Under normal circumstances, at least 80% of the Fund’s total assets (exclusive of collateral held from securities lending) will be invested in the component securities of the Index and depositary receipts representing such component securities.

 

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Additional Information about the Fund’s Risks

 

The following information is in addition to, and should be read along with, the description of the Fund’s principal investment risks in the sections titled “Fund Summary—Principal Investment Risks” above.

 

Annual Rebalance Risk. The Index’s components are reconstituted annually. As a result, (i) the Index’s exposure to one or more markets may be affected by significant market movements promptly following the annual reconstitution that are not predictive of those markets’ performance for the subsequent year and (ii) changes to the Index’s market exposure may lag a significant change in one or more market’s direction (up or down) by as long as a year if such changes first take effect promptly following the reconstitution. Such lags between market performance and changes to the Index’s exposure may result in significant underperformance relative to the broader foreign equity markets.

 

ETF Risks.

 

APs, Market Makers and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as APs. In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.

 

Premium-Discount Risk. The Shares may trade above or below their NAV. The NAV of the Fund will generally fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Fund’s holdings. The market prices of Shares, however, will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in NAV as well as the relative supply of, and demand for, Shares on the Exchange and other securities exchanges. The trading price of Shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility or limited trading in Shares. The Adviser cannot predict whether Shares will trade below, at or above their NAV. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the securities held by the Fund. However, given that Shares can be purchased and redeemed in large blocks of Shares, called Creation Units (unlike shares of closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their NAV), and the Fund’s portfolio holdings are fully disclosed on a daily basis, the Adviser believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of Shares should not be sustained, but that may not be the case.

 

Cost of Trading Risk. Investors buying or selling Shares in the secondary market will pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. Brokerage commissions are often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell relatively small amounts of Shares. In addition, secondary market investors will also incur the cost of the difference between the price that an investor is willing to pay for Shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which an investor is willing to sell Shares (the “ask” price). This difference in bid and ask prices is often referred to as the “spread” or “bid/ask spread.” The bid/ask spread varies over time for Shares based on trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the Fund’s Shares have more trading volume and market liquidity and higher if the Fund’s Shares have little trading volume and market liquidity. Further, increased market volatility may cause increased bid/ask spreads.

 

Trading Risk. Although the Shares are listed on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active or liquid trading market for them will be maintained. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable. Further, trading in Shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to the Exchange “circuit breaker” rules, which temporarily halt trading on the Exchange when a decline in the S&P 500 Index during a single day reaches certain thresholds (e.g., 7%, 13% and 20%). There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.

 

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Foreign Investment Risk. The Fund may invest in foreign securities, including non-U.S. dollar-denominated securities traded outside of the United States and U.S. dollar-denominated securities of foreign issuers traded in the United States. Returns on investments in foreign securities could be more volatile than, or trail the returns on, investments in U.S. securities. Investments in foreign securities, including investments in American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), European Depositary Receipts (EDRs) and Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs), are subject to special risks, including the following:

 

Foreign Securities Risk. Investments in non-U.S. securities involve risks that may not be present with investments in U.S. securities. For example, investments in non-U.S. securities may be subject to risk of loss due to foreign currency fluctuations or to political or economic instability. There may be less information publicly available about a non-U.S. issuer than a U.S. issuer. Non-U.S. issuers may be subject to different accounting, auditing, financial reporting and investor protection standards than U.S. issuers. Changes to the financial condition or credit rating of foreign issuers may also adversely affect the value of the Fund’s securities. Investments in non-U.S. securities may be subject to withholding or other taxes and may be subject to additional trading, settlement, custodial, and operational risks. Because legal systems differ, there is also the possibility that it will be difficult to obtain or enforce legal judgments in some countries. Since foreign exchanges may be open on days when the Fund does not price its Shares, the value of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. Conversely, Shares may trade on days when foreign exchanges are closed. Investment in foreign securities may involve higher costs than investment in U.S. securities, including higher transaction and custody costs as well as the imposition of additional taxes by foreign governments. Each of these factors can make investments in the Fund more volatile and potentially less liquid than other types of investments.

 

Capital Controls Risk. Economic conditions, such as volatile currency exchange rates and interest rates, political events and other conditions may, without prior warning, lead to government intervention and the imposition of “capital controls” or expropriation or nationalization of assets. The possible establishment of exchange controls or freezes on the convertibility of currency, or the adoption of other governmental restrictions, might adversely affect an investment in foreign securities. Capital controls include the prohibition of, or restrictions on, the ability to transfer currency, securities or other assets within or out of a jurisdiction. Levies may be placed on profits repatriated by foreign entities (such as the Fund). Capital controls may impact the ability of the Fund to buy, sell or otherwise transfer securities or currency, may adversely affect the trading market and price for Shares of the Fund, and may cause the Fund to decline in value.

 

Depositary Receipt Risk. The Fund’s investments in foreign companies may be in the form of depositary receipts, including ADRs, EDRs, and GDRs. ADRs, EDRs, and GDRs are generally subject to the risks of investing directly in foreign securities and, in some cases, there may be less information available about the underlying issuers than would be the case with a direct investment in the foreign issuer. ADRs are U.S. dollar-denominated receipts representing shares of foreign-based corporations. GDRs are similar to ADRs but are shares of foreign-based corporations generally issued by international banks in one or more markets around the world. Investment in ADRs and GDRs may be more or less liquid than the underlying shares in their primary trading market and GDRs may be more volatile. Depositary receipts may be “sponsored” or “unsponsored” and may be unregistered and unlisted. Sponsored depositary receipts are established jointly by a depositary and the underlying issuer, whereas unsponsored depositary receipts may be established by a depositary without participation by the underlying issuer. Holders of an unsponsored depositary receipt generally bear all the costs associated with establishing the unsponsored depositary receipt. In addition, the issuers of the securities underlying unsponsored depositary receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States and, therefore, there may be less information available regarding such issuers and there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the depositary receipts. In general, ADRs must be sponsored, but the Fund may invest in unsponsored ADRs under certain limited circumstances. It is expected that not more than 10% of the net assets of the Fund will be invested in unsponsored ADRs. The Fund’s investments may also include ADRs and GDRs that are not purchased in the public markets and are restricted securities that can be offered and sold only to “qualified institutional buyers” under Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The Adviser will determine the liquidity of these investments pursuant to guidelines established by the Board. If a particular investment in such ADRs or GDRs is deemed illiquid, that investment will be included within the Fund’s limitation on investment in illiquid securities. Moreover, if adverse market conditions were to develop during the period between the Fund’s decision to sell these types of ADRs or GDRs and the point at which the Fund is permitted or able to sell such security, the Fund might obtain a price less favorable than the price that prevailed when it decided to sell.

 

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Currency Risk. The Fund’s NAV is determined on the basis of U.S. dollars; therefore, the Fund may lose value if the local currency of a foreign market depreciates against the U.S. dollar, even if the local currency value of the Fund’s holdings goes up. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Currency exchange rates also can be affected unpredictably by intervention; by failure to intervene by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks; or by currency controls or political developments in the U.S. or abroad. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates may affect the NAV of the Fund and the price of the Fund’s Shares. Devaluation of a currency by a country’s government or banking authority would have a significant impact on the value of any investments denominated in that currency.

 

Political and Economic Risk. The Fund is subject to foreign political and economic risk not associated with U.S. investments, meaning that political events (civil unrest, national elections, changes in political conditions and foreign relations, imposition of exchange controls and repatriation restrictions), social and economic events (labor strikes, rising inflation) and natural disasters occurring in a foreign country could cause the Fund’s investments to experience gains or losses. The Fund also could be unable to enforce its ownership rights or pursue legal remedies in countries where it invests.

 

Foreign Market and Trading Risk. The trading markets for many foreign securities are not as active as U.S. markets and may have less governmental regulation and oversight. Foreign markets also may have clearance and settlement procedures that make it difficult for the Fund to buy and sell securities. The procedures and rules governing foreign transactions and custody (holding of the Fund’s assets) also may involve delays in payment, delivery or recovery of money or investments. These factors could result in a loss to the Fund by causing the Fund to be unable to dispose of an investment or to miss an attractive investment opportunity, or by causing Fund assets to be uninvested for some period of time.

 

Concentration Risk. The Fund may be susceptible to an increased risk of loss, including losses due to adverse occurrences affecting the Fund more than the market as a whole, to the extent that the Fund’s investments are concentrated in the securities of a particular issuer or issuers, country, group of countries, region, market, industry, group of industries, sector, or asset class.

 

Depositary Receipts Risk. The risks of investments in depositary receipts, including American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”), and Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), are substantially similar to Foreign Investment Risk. In addition, depositary receipts may not track the price of the underlying foreign securities, and their value may change materially at times when the U.S. markets are not open for trading.

 

Emerging Markets Risk. Investments in securities and instruments traded in developing or emerging markets, or that provide exposure to such securities or markets, can involve additional risks relating to political, economic, or regulatory conditions not associated with investments in U.S. securities and instruments. For example, developing and emerging markets may be subject to (i) greater market volatility, (ii) lower trading volume and liquidity, (iii) greater social, political and economic uncertainty, (iv) governmental controls on foreign investments and limitations on repatriation of invested capital, (v) lower disclosure, corporate governance, auditing and financial reporting standards, (vi) fewer protections of property rights, (vii) restrictions on the transfer of securities or currency, and (viii) settlement and trading practices that differ from those in U.S. markets. Each of these factors may impact the ability of the Fund to buy, sell or otherwise transfer securities, adversely affect the trading market and price for Shares and cause the Fund to decline in value.

 

Equity Investing Risk. An investment in the Fund involves risks similar to those of investing in any fund holding equity securities, such as market fluctuations, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in stock prices. The values of equity securities could decline generally or could underperform other investments. Different types of equity securities tend to go through cycles of outperformance and underperformance in comparison to the general securities markets. In addition, securities may decline in value due to factors affecting a specific issuer, market or securities markets generally. Recent turbulence in financial markets and reduced liquidity in credit and fixed income markets may negatively affect many issuers worldwide, which may have an adverse effect on the Fund.

 

Geopolitical/Natural Disaster Risks. The Fund’s investments are subject to geopolitical and natural disaster risks, such as war, terrorism, trade disputes, political or economic dysfunction within some nations, public health crises and related geopolitical events, as well as environmental disasters, epidemics and/or pandemics, which may add to instability in world economies and volatility in markets. The impact may be short-term or may last for extended periods.

 

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Investment Risk. As with all investments, an investment in the Fund is subject to investment risk. Investors in the Fund could lose money, including the possible loss of the entire principal amount of an investment, over short or long periods of time.

 

Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund may be more sensitive to a single economic, business, political, regulatory or other occurrence than a more diversified portfolio might be, which may result in greater fluctuation in the value of the Fund’s shares and to a greater risk of loss.

 

Market Capitalization Risk. To the extent the Fund emphasizes large-, mid- or small-capitalization stocks, it will assume the associated risks. At any given time, any of these market capitalizations may be out of favor with investors.

 

Large-Capitalization Investing. The securities of large-capitalization companies may be relatively mature compared to smaller companies and therefore subject to slower growth during times of economic expansion. Large-capitalization companies may also be unable to respond quickly to new competitive challenges, such as changes in technology and consumer tastes.

 

Mid-Capitalization Investing. The securities of mid-capitalization companies may be more vulnerable to adverse issuer, market, political, or economic developments than securities of large-capitalization companies. The securities of mid-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than large capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole.

 

Small-Capitalization Investing. The securities of small-capitalization companies may be more vulnerable to adverse issuer, market, political, or economic developments than securities of large- or mid-capitalization companies. The securities of small-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than large- or mid-capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole. There is typically less publicly available information concerning smaller-capitalization companies than for larger, more established companies.

 

Passive Investment Risk. The Fund invests in the securities included in, or representative of, it’s Index regardless of their investment merit. The Fund does not attempt to outperform its respective Index or take defensive positions in declining markets. As a result, the Fund’s performance may be adversely affected by a general decline in the market segments relating to its Index. The returns from the types of securities in which the Fund invest may underperform returns from the various general securities markets or different asset classes. This may cause the Fund to underperform other investment vehicles that invest in different asset classes. Different types of securities (for example, large-, mid- and small-capitalization stocks) tend to go through cycles of doing better – or worse – than the general securities markets. In the past, these periods have lasted for as long as several years.

 

Quantitative Security Selection Risk. Data for some issuers may be less available and/or less current than data for issuers in other markets. The Index uses a quantitative model, and its processes could be adversely affected if erroneous or outdated data is utilized. In addition, securities selected using a quantitative model could perform differently from the financial markets as a whole as a result of the characteristics used in the analysis, the weight placed on each characteristic and changes in the characteristic’s historical trends. The factors used in such analyses may not be predictive of a security’s value and its effectiveness can change over time. These changes may not be reflected in the quantitative model.

 

Rebalance Postponement & Ad Hoc Rebalance Risk. Unusual market conditions may cause the Index Provider to postpone a scheduled rebalance for the Index, which could cause the Index to vary from its normal or expected composition. The postponement of a scheduled rebalance in a time of market volatility could mean that constituents that would otherwise be removed at rebalance due to changes in market capitalizations, issuer credit ratings, or other reasons may remain, causing the performance and constituents of the Index to vary from those expected under normal conditions. Apart from scheduled rebalances, the Index Provider or its agents may carry out additional ad hoc rebalances to the Index due to reaching certain weighting constraints, unusual market conditions or in order, for example, to correct an error in the selection of index constituents. When the Index is rebalanced and the Fund in turn rebalances its portfolio to attempt to increase the correlation between the Fund’s portfolio and the Index, any transaction costs and market exposure arising from such portfolio rebalancing will be borne directly by the Fund and its shareholders. Therefore, errors and additional ad hoc rebalances carried out by the Index Provider or its agents to the Index may increase the costs to and the tracking error risk of the Fund.

 

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Tracking Error Risk. As with all index funds, the performance of the Fund and its Index may differ from each other for a variety of reasons. For example, the Fund incurs operating expenses and portfolio transaction costs not incurred by an Index. In addition, the Fund may not be fully invested in the securities of its Index at all times or may hold securities not included in the Index. As a result of legal restrictions or limitations that apply to the Fund but not to the Index, the Fund may have less relative short exposure than the Index during periods in between the Index’s monthly hedging reconstitutions. Such differences in short exposure may cause the performance of the Fund and its Index to differ from each other.

 

Fund Management

 

Empowered Funds, LLC acts as the Fund’s investment adviser. The Adviser is located at 19 East Eagle Road, Havertown, PA 19083 and is wholly-owned by Alpha Architect LLC. The Adviser is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and provides investment advisory services solely to the Fund and other exchange-traded funds. The Adviser was founded in October 2013.

 

The Adviser is responsible for overseeing the management and business affairs of the Fund and has discretion to purchase and sell securities in accordance with the Fund’s objectives, policies and restrictions. The Adviser continuously reviews, supervises and administers the Fund’s investment programs pursuant to the terms of investment advisory agreement (the “Advisory Agreement”) between the Trust and the Adviser. The Adviser (or an affiliate of the Adviser) bears all of the Adviser’s own costs associated with providing these advisory services and all expenses of the Fund, except for the fee payment under the Advisory Agreement, payments under the Fund’s Rule 12b-1 Distribution and Service Plan (the “Plan”), brokerage expenses, acquired fund fees and expenses, taxes, interest (including borrowing costs), litigation expense and other non-routine or extraordinary expenses.

 

Pursuant to the terms of the Advisory Agreement, the Fund pays the Adviser an annual advisory fee based on its average daily net assets for the services and facilities it provides payable at the annual rate as follows:

 

Fund

Advisory Fee

Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF 0.49%

 

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, the Adviser was paid $227,837 in investment advisory fees.

 

The Advisory Agreement for the Fund provides that it may be terminated at any time, without the payment of any penalty, by the Board or, with respect to the Fund, by a majority of the outstanding shares of the Fund, on 60 days’ written notice to the Adviser, and by the Adviser upon 60 days’ written notice, and that it shall be automatically terminated if it is assigned.

 

Portfolio Managers

 

Mr. Brandon Koepke and Mr. Richard Shaner are the portfolio managers who are primarily and jointly responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund.

 

Mr. Brandon Koepke has been portfolio manager of the Fund since June 26, 2020. Mr. Koepke has advised on trading and execution matters for the Adviser since January 2017, where he heads the trading department and assists in quantitative research. Prior to Mr. Koepke’s tenure with the Adviser, Mr. Koepke was a software engineer for Amazon. Mr. Koepke has a B.Sc in Computer Science and a B.Comm specializing in Finance from the University of Calgary. A B.Comm degree is an undergraduate degree in commerce and related subjects. He is also a CFA® Charterholder.

 

Mr. Richard Shaner has been portfolio manager of the Fund since 2022. Mr. Shaner has advised on trading and execution matters for the Adviser since January 2021, where he supports trading operations and assists in quantitative research. Prior to Mr. Shaner’s tenure with the Adviser, Mr. Shaner executed various trading strategies for a private family office. Mr. Shaner has a B.Sc in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology from the University of Colorado. He is also a CFA® Charterholder.

 

The Fund’s SAI provides additional information about the portfolio managers, including other accounts they manage, their ownership in the Fund and compensation.

 

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FUND SPONSOR

 

The Adviser has entered into a fund sponsorship agreement with Life + Liberty Investments, LLC, the Fund’s index provider pursuant to which it is also the sponsor of the Fund (“Fund Sponsor”). Under this arrangement, the Fund Sponsor has agreed to provide financial support to the Fund (as described below) and, in turn, the Adviser has agreed to share with the Fund Sponsor a portion of profits, if any, generated by the Fund’s Advisory Fee (also as described below). Every month, the Advisory Fee, which is a unitary management fee, is calculated and paid to the Adviser. 

 

If the amount of the unitary management fee exceeds the Fund’s operating expenses and the Adviser-retained amount, the Adviser pays the net total to the Fund Sponsor. The amount paid to the Fund Sponsor represents both the index licensing fee and any remaining profits from the Advisory Fee. During months where there are no profits or the funds are not sufficient to cover the entire index licensing fee, the index licensing fee is automatically waived.

 

If the amount of the unitary management fee is less than the Fund’s operating expenses and the Adviser-retained amount, the Fund Sponsor is obligated to reimburse the Adviser for the shortfall.

 

Approval of Advisory Agreement

 

A discussion regarding the basis for the Board’s approval of the Advisory Agreement with respect to the Fund is available in the Fund’s annual report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021.

 

Other Service Providers

 

Quasar Distributors, LLC (“Distributor”) serves as the distributor of Creation Units (defined above) for the Fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in Shares.

 

U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, doing business as U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, is the administrator, fund accountant and transfer agent for the Fund.

 

U.S. Bank National Association is the custodian for the Fund.

 

Practus, LLC, 11300 Tomahawk Creek Parkway, Suite 310, Leawood, Kansas 66211, serves as legal counsel to the Trust.

 

Spicer Jeffries LLP, 4601 DTC Boulevard, Suite 700, Denver, CO 80237, serves as the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm. The independent registered public accounting firm is responsible for auditing the annual financial statements of the Fund.

 

The Exchange

 

Shares of the Fund are not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by the Exchange. The Exchange is not responsible for, nor has it participated, in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of Shares of the Fund to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Shares are redeemable. The Exchange has no obligation or liability to owners of the Shares of the Fund in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Shares of the Fund. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall the Exchange have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

 

Buying and Selling Fund Shares

 

Shares will be issued or redeemed by the Fund at NAV per Share only in Creation Units of 50,000 Shares. Creation Units are generally issued and redeemed only in-kind for securities although a portion may be in cash.

 

Shares will trade on the secondary market, however, which is where most retail investors will buy and sell Shares. It is expected that only a limited number of institutional investors, called Authorized Participants or “APs,” will purchase and redeem Shares directly from the Fund. APs may acquire Shares directly from the Fund, and APs may tender their Shares for redemption directly to the Fund, at NAV per Share only in large blocks, or Creation Units. Purchases and redemptions directly with the Fund must follow the Fund’s procedures, which are described in the SAI.

 

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Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable with the Fund.

 

Buying and Selling Shares on the Secondary Market

 

Most investors will buy and sell Shares in secondary market transactions through brokers and, therefore, must have a brokerage account to buy and sell Shares. Shares can be bought or sold through your broker throughout the trading day like shares of any publicly traded issuer. The Trust does not impose any redemption fees or restrictions on redemptions of Shares in the secondary market. When buying or selling Shares through a broker, you will incur customary brokerage commissions and charges, and you may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offered prices in the secondary market for Shares. The price at which you buy or sell Shares (i.e., the market price) may be more or less than the NAV of the Shares. Unless imposed by your broker, there is no minimum dollar amount you must invest in the Fund and no minimum number of Shares you must buy.

 

Shares of the Fund are listed on the Exchange under the following symbol:

 

Fund Trading Symbol
Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF FRDM

 

The Exchange is generally open Monday through Friday and is closed for weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

 

For information about buying and selling Shares on the Exchange or in the secondary markets, please contact your broker or dealer.

 

Book Entry. Shares are held in book entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), or its nominee, will be the registered owner of all outstanding Shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all Shares. Participants in DTC include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of Shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have Shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of Shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of Shares, you must rely on the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any stocks that you hold in book entry or “street name” through your brokerage account. Your account information will be maintained by your broker, which will provide you with account statements, confirmations of your purchases and sales of Shares, and tax information. Your broker also will be responsible for distributing income dividends and capital gain distributions and for ensuring that you receive shareholder reports and other communications from the Fund.

 

Share Trading Prices. The trading prices of the Fund’s Shares may differ from the Fund’s daily NAV and can be affected by market forces of supply and demand for the Fund’s Shares, the prices of the Fund’s portfolio securities, economic conditions and other factors.

 

The Exchange through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association or another market information provider intends to disseminate the approximate value of the Fund’s portfolio every fifteen seconds during regular U.S. trading hours. This approximate value should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the NAV of the Fund because the approximate value may not be calculated in the same manner as the NAV, which is computed once a day. The quotations for certain investments may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the U.S., except such quotations may be updated to reflect currency fluctuations. The Fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the approximate values and makes no warranty as to the accuracy of these values.

 

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Continuous Offering. The method by which Creation Units of Shares are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units of Shares are issued and sold by the Fund on an ongoing basis, a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act, may occur at any point. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery requirements and liability provisions of the Securities Act. For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Distributor, breaks them down into constituent Shares and sells the Shares directly to customers or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for Shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker-dealer or its client in the particular case, and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to a characterization as an underwriter.

 

Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are effecting transactions in Shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of Shares, are generally required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”). As a result, broker-dealer firms should note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with engaging in ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with the Shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act, will be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the Securities Act is only available with respect to transactions on a national exchange.

 

Active Investors and Market Timing

 

The Board has evaluated the risks of market timing activities by the Fund’s shareholders. The Board noted that the Fund’s Shares can be purchased and redeemed directly from the Fund only in Creation Units by APs and that the vast majority of trading in the Fund’s Shares occurs on the secondary market. Because the secondary market trades do not directly involve the Fund, it is unlikely those trades would cause the harmful effects of market timing, including dilution, disruption of portfolio management, increases in the Fund’s trading costs and the realization of capital gains. With regard to the purchase or redemption of Creation Units directly with the Fund, to the extent effected in-kind (i.e., for securities), the Board noted that those trades do not cause the harmful effects (as previously noted) that may result from frequent cash trades. To the extent trades are effected in whole or in part in cash, the Board noted that those trades could result in dilution to the Fund and increased transaction costs, which could negatively impact the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective, although in certain circumstances (e.g., in conjunction with a rebalance of the Fund’s Index), such trades may benefit Fund shareholders by increasing the tax efficiency of the Fund. The Board also noted that direct trading by APs is critical to ensuring that the Fund’s Shares trade at or close to NAV. In addition, the Fund will impose transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Shares to cover the custodial and other costs incurred by the Fund in effecting trades. Given this structure, the Board determined that it is not necessary to adopt policies and procedures to detect and deter market timing of the Fund’s Shares.

 

Distribution and Service Plan

 

The Fund has adopted the Plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act. Under the Plan, the Fund may be authorized to pay distribution fees of up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year to the Distributor and other firms that provide distribution and shareholder services (“Service Providers”). As of the date of this Prospectus, the maximum amount payable under the Plan is set at 0% until further action by the Board. In the event 12b-1 fees are charged, over time they would increase the cost of an investment in the Fund because they would be paid on an ongoing basis.

 

Net Asset Value

 

The NAV of Shares is calculated each business day as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), generally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time.

 

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The Fund calculates its NAV per Share by:

 

Taking the current market value of its total assets,

 

Subtracting any liabilities, and

 

Dividing that amount by the total number of Shares owned by shareholders.

 

If you buy or sell Shares on the secondary market, you will pay or receive the market price, which may be higher or lower than NAV. Your transaction will be priced at NAV only if you purchase or redeem your Shares in Creation Units.

 

Because securities listed on foreign exchanges may trade on weekends or other days when the Fund does not price its Shares, the NAV of the Fund, to the extent it may hold foreign securities, may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell Shares. In particular, where all or a portion of the Fund’s underlying securities trade in a market that is closed when the market in which the Fund’s shares are listed and trading in that market is open, there may be changes between the last quote from its closed foreign market and the value of such security during the Fund’s domestic trading day. In addition, please note that this in turn could lead to differences between the market price of the Fund’s shares and the underlying value of those shares.

 

Equity securities that are traded on a national securities exchange, except those listed on the NASDAQ Global Market® (“NASDAQ”) are valued at the last reported sale price on the exchange on which the security is principally traded. Securities traded on NASDAQ will be valued at the NASDAQ Official Closing Price (“NOCP”). If, on a particular day, an exchange-traded or NASDAQ security does not trade, then the most recent quoted bid for exchange traded or the mean between the most recent quoted bid and ask price for NASDAQ securities will be used. Equity securities that are not traded on a listed exchange are generally valued at the last sale price in the over-the-counter market. If a nonexchange traded security does not trade on a particular day, then the mean between the last quoted closing bid and asked price will be used.

 

The value of assets denominated in foreign currencies is converted into U.S. dollars using exchange rates deemed appropriate by the Fund.

 

Redeemable securities issued by open-end investment companies are valued at the investment company’s applicable net asset value, with the exception of exchange-traded open-end investment companies which are priced as equity securities.

 

If a market price is not readily available or is deemed not to reflect market value, the Fund will determine the price of the security held by the Fund based on a determination of the security’s fair value pursuant to policies and procedures approved by the Board.

 

Fair valuation may have the effect of reducing stale pricing arbitrage opportunities presented by the pricing of Shares. However, when the Fund uses fair valuation to price securities, it may value those securities higher or lower than another fund would have priced the security. Also, the use of fair valuation may cause the Shares’ NAV performance to diverge from the Shares’ market price and from the performance of various benchmarks used to compare the Fund’s performance because benchmarks generally do not use fair valuation techniques. Because of the judgment involved in fair valuation decisions, there can be no assurance that the value ascribed to a particular security is accurate.

 

Fund Website and Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings

 

The Trust maintains a website for the Fund at www.freedometfs.com/funds. Among other things, the website includes this Prospectus and the SAI, and includes the Fund’s holdings, the Fund’s last annual and semi-annual reports. The website shows the Fund’s daily NAV per share, market price, and premium or discount, each as of the prior business day. The website also shows the extent and frequency of the Fund’s premiums and discounts. Further, the website includes the Fund’s median bid-ask spread over the most recent thirty calendar days.

 

Each day the Fund is open for business, the Trust publicly disseminates the Fund’s full portfolio holdings as of the close of the previous day through its website at www.freedometfs.com/funds. A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings is available in the Fund’s SAI.

 

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Investments by Other Investment Companies

 

For purposes of the Investment Company Act, Shares are issued by a registered investment company and purchases of such Shares by registered investment companies and companies relying on Section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act are subject to the restrictions set forth in Section 12(d)(1) of the Investment Company Act, except as permitted by Rule 6c-11, Rule 12d1-4, or an exemptive order of the SEC.

 

Dividends, Distributions, and Taxes

 

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

 

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

 

Your Fund makes distributions,

 

You sell your Shares listed on the Exchange, and

 

You purchase or redeem Creation Units.

 

Dividends and Distributions

 

Dividends and Distributions. The Fund has qualified and intends to continue to qualify as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. As a regulated investment company, the Fund generally pays no federal income tax on the income and gains it distributes to you. The Fund expects to declare and to distribute its net investment income, if any, to shareholders as dividends annually. The Fund will distribute net realized capital gains, if any, at least annually. The Fund may distribute such income dividends and capital gains more frequently, if necessary, in order to reduce or eliminate federal excise or income taxes on the Fund. The amount of any distribution will vary, and there is no guarantee the Fund will pay either an income dividend or a capital gains distribution. Distributions may be reinvested automatically in additional whole Shares only if the broker through whom you purchased Shares makes such option available.

 

Avoid “Buying a Dividend.” At the time you purchase Shares of the Fund, the Fund’s NAV may reflect undistributed income, undistributed capital gains, or net unrealized appreciation in value of portfolio securities 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. Buying Shares in the Fund just before it declares an income dividend or capital gains distribution is sometimes known as “buying a dividend.”

 

Taxes

 

Tax Considerations. The Fund expects, based on its investment objective and strategies, that its distributions, if any, will be taxable as ordinary income, capital gains, or some combination of both. This is true whether you reinvest your distributions in additional Shares or receive them in cash. For federal income tax purposes, Fund distributions of short-term capital gains are taxable to you as ordinary income. Fund distributions of long-term capital gains are taxable to you as long-term capital gain no matter how long you have owned your Shares. A portion of income dividends reported by the Fund may be qualified dividend income eligible for taxation by individual shareholders at long-term capital gain rates provided certain holding period requirements are met.

 

Taxes on Sales of Shares. A sale or exchange of Shares is a taxable event and, accordingly, a capital gain or loss will generally be recognized. Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Shares generally is treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for more than one year and as short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for one year or less. The ability to deduct capital losses may be limited.

 

Medicare Tax. An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds a threshold amount. This Medicare tax, if applicable, is reported by you on, and paid with, your federal income tax return.

 

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Backup Withholding. By law, if you do not provide the Fund with your proper taxpayer identification number and certain required certifications, you may be subject to backup withholding on any distributions of income, capital gains or proceeds from the sale of your Shares. The Fund also must withhold if the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) instructs it to do so. When withholding is required, the amount will be 24% of any distributions or proceeds paid.

 

State and Local Taxes. Fund distributions and gains from the sale or exchange of your Shares generally are subject to state and local taxes.

 

Taxes on Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units. An AP who exchanges equity securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time of purchase and the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the cash amount paid. A person who exchanges Creation Units for equity securities generally will recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate market value of the securities received and the cash amount received. The IRS, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons exchanging securities should consult their own tax advisor with respect to whether the wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible.

 

Under current federal tax laws, any capital gain or loss realized upon redemption of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for one year or less.

 

If the Fund redeems Creation Units in cash, it may recognize more capital gains than it will if it redeems Creation Units in-kind.

 

Foreign Tax Credits. If the Fund qualifies to pass through to you the tax benefits from foreign taxes it pays on its investments, and elects to do so, then any foreign taxes it pays on these investments may be passed through to you as a foreign tax credit.

 

Non-U.S. Investors. Non-U.S. investors may be subject to U.S. withholding tax at a 30% or lower treaty rate and U.S. estate tax and are subject to special U.S. tax certification requirements to avoid backup withholding and claim any treaty benefits. An exemption from U.S. withholding tax is provided for capital gain dividends paid by the Fund from long-term capital gains, if any. The exemptions from U.S. withholding for interest-related dividends paid by the Fund from its qualified net interest income from U.S. sources and short-term capital gain dividends have expired for taxable years of the Fund that begin on or after January 1, 2014. It is unclear as of the date of this prospectus whether Congress will reinstate the exemptions for interest-related and short-term capital gain dividends or, if reinstated, whether such exemptions would have retroactive effect. However, notwithstanding such exemptions from U.S. withholding at the source, any such dividends and distributions of income and capital gains 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.

 

Other Reporting and Withholding Requirements. Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), the Fund will be required to withhold a 30% tax on (a) income dividends paid by the Fund, and (b) certain capital gain distributions and the proceeds arising from the sale of Shares paid by the Fund, to certain foreign entities, referred to as foreign financial institutions or non-financial foreign entities, that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive new reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. The Fund may disclose the information that it receives from its shareholders to the IRS, non-U.S. taxing authorities or other parties as necessary to comply with FATCA. Withholding also may be required if a foreign entity that is a shareholder of the Fund fails to provide the Fund with appropriate certifications or other documentation concerning its status under FATCA.

 

Possible Tax Law Changes. At the time that this prospectus is being prepared, various administrative and legislative changes to the federal tax laws are under consideration, but it is not possible at this time to determine whether any of these changes will be made or what the changes might entail.

 

This discussion of “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” is not intended or written to be used as tax advice. Because everyone’s tax situation is unique, you should consult your tax professional about federal, state, local or foreign tax consequences before making an investment in the Fund.

 

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Financial Highlights

 

Financial Highlights

 

The financial highlights table is intended to help you understand the Fund’s financial performance for the period of the Fund’s operations. Certain information reflects financial results for a single Share. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have gained (or lost) on an investment in the Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions). This information has been derived from the financial statements audited by Spicer Jeffries LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, whose report, along with the Fund’s financial statements, is included in the Fund’s Annual Report, which is available upon request.

 

    Net Asset Value, Beginning of Period   Net Investment Income(1)   Net Realized and Unrealized Gains/(Losses) on Investments   Net Increase/ (Decrease) in Net Asset Value Resulting from Operations   Distributions from Net Investment Income   Total Distributions   Transaction Fees (See Note 1)   Net Asset Value, End of Period   Total Return(2)   Net Assets, End of Period (000’s)    Net Expenses(3)(4)   Net Investment Income (Loss)(3)   Portfolio Turnover Rate(5)
Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF
Year Ended September 30, 2021   $25.07   0.82   7.33   8.15   (0.35)   (0.35)   0.12   $32.99   32.97%   $100,613   0.49%   2.49%   21.9%
Year Ended September 30, 2020   $25.33   0.34   (0.31)   0.03   (0.31)   (0.31)   0.02   $25.07   0.25%   $20,058   0.49%   1.40%   19.0%
May 23, 2019(6) to September 30, 2019   $25.00   0.31   0.19   0.50   (0.20)   (0.20)   0.03   $25.33   2.11%   $12,663   0.49%   3.42%   0.3%

 

(1) Net investment income per share represents net investment income divided by the daily average shares of beneficial interest outstanding throughout the period.
(2) All returns reflect reinvested dividends, if any, but do not reflect the impact of taxes. Total return for a period of less than one year is not annualized.
(3) For periods of less than one year, these ratios are annualized.
(4) Net expenses include effects of any reimbursement or recoupment.
(5) Portfolio turnover is not annualized and is calculated without regard to short-term securities having a maturity of less than one year.
(6) Commencement of operations.

 

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If you would like more information about the Fund and the Trust, the following documents are available free, upon request:

 

Annual/Semi-Annual Reports to Shareholders

 

Additional information about the Fund will be in its annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders, when available. The annual report will explain the market conditions and investment strategies affecting the Fund’s performance during the last fiscal year.

 

Statement of Additional Information

 

The SAI dated January 31, 2022, which contains more details about the Fund, is incorporated by reference in its entirety into this Prospectus, which means that it is legally part of this Prospectus.

 

To receive a free copy of the latest annual or semi-annual report, when available, or the SAI, or to request additional information about the Fund, please contact us as follows:

 

Call:   (215) 882-9983
     
Write:   19 East Eagle Road
    Havertown, PA 19083
     
Visit:   www.freedometfs.com/funds

 

PAPER COPIES

 

Please note that paper copies of the Fund’s shareholder reports will generally not be sent, unless you specifically request paper copies of the Fund’s reports from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. Instead, the reports will be made available on the Fund’s website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.

 

You may elect to receive all future Fund reports in paper free of charge. Please contact your financial intermediary to inform them that you wish to continue receiving paper copies of Fund shareholder reports and for details about whether your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds held with your financial intermediary.

 

Information Provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission

 

Information about the Fund, including its reports and the SAI, has been filed with the SEC. It can be reviewed on the EDGAR database on the SEC’s internet site (http://www.sec.gov). You can also request copies of these materials, upon payment of a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the SEC’s e-mail address (publicinfo@sec.gov) or by calling the SEC at (202) 551-8090.

 

Investment Company Act File No. 811-22961.

 

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