PART B
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
DATED JULY 28, 2023
FUND
Class A
Shares
Class C
Shares
Class R
Shares
Investor
Shares
Service
Shares
Institutional
Shares
Administration
Shares
Separate
Account
Institutional
Shares
Class R6
Shares
Class P
Shares
GOLDMAN SACHS
ENHANCED
INCOME FUND
GEIAX
GHIRX
GESVX
GEIIX
GEADX
GEIUX
GAEPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
SHORT DURATION
GOVERNMENT FUND
GSSDX
GSDCX
GTDTX
GSDSX
GSTGX
GSTUX
GMDPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
SHORT DURATION
TAX-FREE FUND
GSDTX
GSTCX
GDIRX
GSFSX
GSDUX
GDUSX
GANPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
GOVERNMENT INCOME
FUND
GSGOX
GSOCX
GSORX
GSOTX
GSOSX
GSOIX
GSOUX
GGTPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
DYNAMIC
MUNICIPAL INCOME
FUND
GSMIX
GSMUX
GUIRX
GSMEX
GSMTX
GYISX
GAJPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
U.S. MORTGAGES FUND
GSUAX
GGIRX
GSUIX
GSUPX
GGIUX
GSBPX
GOLDMAN SACHS CORE
FIXED
INCOME FUND
GCFIX
GCFCX
GDFRX
GDFTX
GSCSX
GSFIX
GCFUX
GAKPX
GOLDMAN SACHS BOND
FUND
GSFAX
GSFCX
GSNRX
GSNTX
GSNSX
GSNIX
GSFUX
GMVPX
GOLDMAN SACHS SHORT
DURATION BOND FUND
GDIAX
GDICX
GIFRX
GSSRX
GDFIX
GDIUX
GMCPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
INVESTMENT GRADE
CREDIT FUND
GSGAX
GTIRX
GSGDX
GSCPX
GTIUX
GGBPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
GLOBAL CORE FIXED
INCOME FUND
GSGIX
GSLCX
GBIRX
GGISX
GSGLX
GBIUX
GGXPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
HIGH YIELD MUNICIPAL
FUND
GHYAX
GHYCX
GYIRX
GHYIX
GHYSX
GGLPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
HIGH YIELD FUND
GSHAX
GSHCX
GSHRX
GSHTX
GSHSX
GSHIX
GSHUX
GGMPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
HIGH YIELD FLOATING
RATE FUND
GFRAX
GFRCX
GFRRX
GFRIX
GSFRX
GFRSX
GGNPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
STRATEGIC INCOME
FUND
GSZAX
GSZCX
GSZRX
GZIRX
GSZIX
GSZUX
GSOPX

FUND
Class A
Shares
Class C
Shares
Class R
Shares
Investor
Shares
Service
Shares
Institutional
Shares
Administration
Shares
Separate
Account
Institutional
Shares
Class R6
Shares
Class P
Shares
GOLDMAN SACHS
EMERGING MARKETS
DEBT FUND
GSDAX
GSCDX
GSIRX
GSDIX
GSIUX
GAIPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
LOCAL EMERGING
MARKETS DEBT FUND
GAMDX
GCMDX
GLIRX
GIMDX
GIMSX
GMWPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
INFLATION PROTECTED
SECURITIES FUND
GSAPX
GSCFX
GSRPX
GSTPX
GSIPX
GSRUX
GGJPX
GOLDMAN SACHS
LONG SHORT
CREDIT STRATEGIES
FUND
GSAUX
GSAVX
GSAZX
GSAYX
GSAWX
GSSAX
GMUPX
GOLDMAN SACHS INCOME
FUND
GSCHX
GSCJX
GSCMX
GSNCX
GSCRX
GSCUX
(Each a portfolio of Goldman Sachs Trust)
Goldman Sachs Trust
71 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60606
This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) is not a prospectus. This SAI should be read in conjunction with the Prospectuses for the Goldman Sachs Enhanced Income Fund, Goldman Sachs Short Duration Government Fund, Goldman Sachs Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Goldman Sachs Government Income Fund, Goldman Sachs Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, Goldman Sachs U.S. Mortgages Fund, Goldman Sachs Core Fixed Income Fund, Goldman Sachs Bond Fund, Goldman Sachs Short Duration Bond Fund (formerly, Goldman Sachs Short Duration Income Fund), Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Credit Fund, Goldman Sachs Global Core Fixed Income Fund (formerly, Goldman Sachs Global Income Fund), Goldman Sachs High Yield Municipal Fund, Goldman Sachs High Yield Fund, Goldman Sachs High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Goldman Sachs Strategic Income Fund, Goldman Sachs Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Goldman Sachs Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Goldman Sachs Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Goldman Sachs Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Goldman Sachs Income Fund, each dated July 28, 2023, as they may be further amended and/or supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectuses”). The Prospectuses may be obtained without charge from Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC by calling the telephone numbers or writing to one of the addresses listed below, or from institutions (“Intermediaries”) acting on behalf of their customers.
The audited financial statements and related report of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, independent registered public accounting firm for each Fund, contained in each Fund’s Annual Report are incorporated herein by reference in the section titled “FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.” No other portions of the Funds' Semi-Annual or Annual Report are incorporated by reference herein. A Fund's Semi-Annual or Annual Report or Semi-Annual Report  may be obtained upon request and without charge by calling Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC toll-free at 1-800-526-7384 (for Class A, Class C, Class R and Investor Shareholders) or 1-800-621-2550 (for Institutional, Service, Administration, Separate Account Institutional, Class R6 and Class P Shareholders).
GSAM® is a registered service mark of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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1-A
1-B
1-C

GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT, L.P.
Investment Adviser to:
Goldman Sachs Enhanced Income Fund
Goldman Sachs Short Duration Government Fund
Goldman Sachs Short Duration Tax-Free Fund
Goldman Sachs Government Income Fund
Goldman Sachs Dynamic Municipal Income Fund
Goldman Sachs U.S. Mortgages Fund
Goldman Sachs Core Fixed Income Fund
Goldman Sachs Bond Fund
Goldman Sachs Short Duration Bond Fund
Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Credit Fund
Goldman Sachs High Yield Municipal Fund
Goldman Sachs High Yield Fund
Goldman Sachs High Yield Floating Rate Fund
Goldman Sachs Strategic Income Fund
Goldman Sachs Emerging Markets Debt Fund
Goldman Sachs Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund
Goldman Sachs Inflation Protected Securities Fund
Goldman Sachs Long Short Credit Strategies Fund
Goldman Sachs Income Fund
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET
MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL
Investment Adviser to:
Goldman Sachs Global Core Fixed Income Fund
Christchurch Court
10-15 Newgate Street
London, England EC1A7HD
GOLDMAN SACHS & CO. LLC
Distributor
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
GOLDMAN SACHS & CO. LLC
Transfer Agent
71 South Wacker Drive, Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60606
Toll free (in U.S.): 800-621-2550 (for Institutional, Service, Administration, Separate Account Institutional, Class R6 and Class P Shareholders) or 800-526-7384 (for Class A, Class C, Class R and Investor Shareholders).
iv

INTRODUCTION
Goldman Sachs Trust (the “Trust”) is an open-end, management investment company. The Trust is organized as a Delaware statutory trust and was established by a Declaration of Trust dated January 28, 1997. The Trust is a successor to a Massachusetts business trust that was combined with the Trust on April 30, 1997. The Trustees of the Trust have authority under the Declaration of Trust to create and classify shares into separate series and to classify and reclassify any series of shares into one or more classes without further action by shareholders. Pursuant thereto, the Trustees have created the following series, among others: Goldman Sachs Enhanced Income Fund (“Enhanced Income Fund”), Goldman Sachs Short Duration Government Fund (“Short Duration Government Fund”), Goldman Sachs Short Duration Tax-Free Fund (“Short Duration Tax-Free Fund”), Goldman Sachs Government Income Fund (“Government Income Fund”), Goldman Sachs Dynamic Municipal Income Fund (“Dynamic Municipal Income Fund”), Goldman Sachs U.S. Mortgages Fund (“U.S. Mortgages Fund”), Goldman Sachs Core Fixed Income Fund (“Core Fixed Income Fund”), Goldman Sachs Bond Fund (“Bond Fund”), Goldman Sachs Short Duration Bond Fund (prior to July 29, 2021, Goldman Sachs Short Duration Income Fund) (“Short Duration Bond Fund”), Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Credit Fund (“Investment Grade Credit Fund”), Goldman Sachs Global Core Fixed Income Fund (prior to April 30, 2020, Goldman Sachs Global Income Fund) (“Global Core Fixed Income Fund”), Goldman Sachs High Yield Municipal Fund (“High Yield Municipal Fund”), Goldman Sachs High Yield Fund (“High Yield Fund”), Goldman Sachs High Yield Floating Rate Fund (“High Yield Floating Rate Fund”), Goldman Sachs Strategic Income Fund (“Strategic Income Fund”), Goldman Sachs Emerging Markets Debt Fund (“Emerging Markets Debt Fund”), Goldman Sachs Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund (“Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund”), Goldman Sachs Inflation Protected Securities Fund (“Inflation Protected Securities Fund”), Goldman Sachs Long Short Credit Strategies Fund (“Long Short Credit Strategies Fund”) and Goldman Sachs Income Fund (“Income Fund”) (each referred to herein as a “Fund” and, collectively, the “Funds”).
Each Fund other than the Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund is a diversified, open-end management investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Act”). The Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund is a non-diversified, open-end management investment company. Government Income Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund and High Yield Fund are authorized to issue eight classes of shares: Class A Shares, Class C Shares, Service Shares, Institutional Shares, Class R Shares, Investor Shares Class R6 Shares and Class P Shares. Short Duration Government Fund, Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund and Global Core Fixed Income Fund are authorized to issue seven classes of shares: Class A Shares, Class C Shares, Service Shares, Institutional Shares, Investor Shares, Class R6 Shares and Class P Shares. Short Duration Bond Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Strategic Income Fund and Long Short Credit Strategies Fund are authorized to issue seven classes of shares: Class A Shares, Class C Shares, Institutional Shares, Class R Shares, Investor Shares, Class R6 Shares and Class P Shares. Enhanced Income Fund is authorized to issue seven classes of shares: Class A Shares, Service Shares, Administration Shares, Institutional Shares, Investor Shares, Class R6 Shares and Class P Shares. U.S. Mortgages Fund and Investment Grade Credit Fund are authorized to issue six classes of shares: Class A Shares, Institutional Shares, Investor Shares, Separate Account Institutional Shares, Class R6 Shares and Class P Shares. High Yield Municipal Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Income Fund are authorized to issue six classes of shares: Class A Shares, Class C Shares, Institutional Shares, Investor Shares, Class R6 Shares and Class P Shares. The Trustees of the Trust may designate additional series and classes in the future from time to time. See “SHARES OF THE TRUST.” Prior to August 15, 2017, Investor Shares were named Class IR Shares.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (“GSAM”), an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“Goldman Sachs”), serves as the investment adviser to each Fund except the Global Core Fixed Income Fund. Goldman Sachs Asset Management International (“GSAMI”), an affiliate of Goldman Sachs, serves as investment adviser to the Global Core Fixed Income Fund. GSAM and GSAMI are each sometimes referred to herein as an “Investment Adviser” and collectively herein as the “Investment Advisers.” In addition, Goldman Sachs serves as each Fund’s distributor (the “Distributor”) and transfer agent (the “Transfer Agent”). Except for the Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund and High Yield Municipal Fund, each Fund’s custodian is State Street Bank and Trust Company. The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”) serves as custodian for the Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund and High Yield Municipal Fund.
The following information relates to and supplements the description of each Fund’s investment objectives and policies contained in the Prospectuses. See the Prospectuses for a more complete description of the Funds’ investment objectives and policies.
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Investing in the Funds entails certain risks and there is no assurance that a Fund will achieve its objective. Capitalized terms used but not defined herein have the same meaning as in the Prospectuses.
As used in the SAI, the term “Tax Exempt Funds” refers to the Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund and High Yield Municipal Fund; the term “Taxable Funds” refers to all of the other Funds.
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES
All investment objectives and investment policies not specifically designated as fundamental may be changed without shareholder approval. However, with respect to the Short Duration Government Fund, Government Income Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Global Core Fixed Income Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund and Long Short Credit Strategies Fund, shareholders will be provided with sixty days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) before any change in a Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its net assets plus any borrowings for investment purposes (measured at the time of purchase) (“Net Assets”), in the particular type of investment suggested by its name. With respect to the Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund and High Yield Municipal Fund, such Funds’ policies to invest at least 80% of their Net Assets in tax exempt and municipal investments, as applicable, are fundamental policies that may not be changed without shareholder approval. With respect to the Inflation Protected Securities Fund, as a matter of fundamental policy, under normal circumstances at least 80% of the Fund’s Net Assets will be invested in inflation protected securities (“IPS”) of varying maturities issued by the U.S. Treasury (“TIPS”) and other U.S. and non-U.S. Government agencies and corporations (“CIPS”). Additional information about the Funds, their policies, and the investment instruments they may hold is provided below.
Each Fund’s share price will fluctuate with market, economic and, to the extent applicable, foreign exchange conditions, so that an investment in any of the Funds may be worth more or less when redeemed than when purchased. None of the Funds should be relied upon as a complete investment program.
The Investment Adviser, on behalf of the Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund and Long Short Credit Strategies Fund, has filed a notice of eligibility claiming an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and therefore is not subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA. The Investment Adviser is subject to registration and regulation as a CPO under the CEA with respect to its service as investment adviser to the Bond Fund, Strategic Income Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund. In addition, the Investment Adviser has claimed temporary relief from registration as a CPO under the CEA for the Enhanced Income Fund, Short Duration Government Fund, Government Income Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund and Global Core Fixed Income Fund and therefore is not subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA.
Enhanced Income Fund
Enhanced Income Fund is designed for investors who seek returns in excess of traditional money market products while maintaining an emphasis on preservation of capital and liquidity. The Fund invests, under normal circumstances, primarily in a portfolio of U.S. dollar-denominated fixed income securities, including non-mortgage-backed U.S. Government Securities (as defined below), corporate notes, commercial paper, fixed and floating rate asset-backed securities and foreign securities rated, at the time of purchase, at least BBB by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”) or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality.
A number of investment strategies will be used to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, including market sector selection, determination of yield curve exposure and issuer selection. In addition, the Investment Adviser will attempt to take advantage of pricing inefficiencies in the fixed income markets. Market sector selection is the underweighting or overweighting of one or more of the four market sectors (i.e., U.S. Treasuries, U.S. Government agencies, corporate securities and asset-backed securities) in which the Fund primarily invests. The decision to overweight or underweight a given market sector is based on expectations of future yield
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spreads between different sectors. Yield curve exposure strategy consists of overweighting or underweighting different maturity sectors to take advantage of the shape of the yield curve. Issuer selection is the purchase and sale of fixed income corporate securities based on a corporation’s current and expected credit standing. To take advantage of price discrepancies between securities resulting from supply and demand imbalances or other technical factors, the Fund may simultaneously purchase and sell comparable, but not identical, securities. The Investment Adviser will usually have access to the research of, and proprietary technical models developed by, Goldman Sachs and will apply quantitative and qualitative analysis in determining the appropriate allocations among the categories of issuers and types of securities.
The Fund’s overall returns are generally likely to move in the opposite direction as interest rates. Therefore, when interest rates decline, the Fund’s return is likely to increase. Conversely, when interest rates increase, the Fund’s return is likely to decline. In exchange for accepting a higher degree of share price fluctuation, investors have the potential to achieve a higher return from the Fund than from shorter-term investments.
In determining the maturity of an instrument, the Fund will treat the remaining maturity of a newly-issued security as five years in situations where the original maturity of the security exceeds that period by not more than forty-five days. In addition, a fixed income instrument that has a mandatory put or call feature that provides that the Fund will receive payment of the principal amount of the instrument from the issuer and/or an investment bank at a specified future date will be deemed to have a remaining maturity ending on that date, even though the stated final maturity of the instrument is later than the put or call date.
Preservation of Capital. Enhanced Income Fund seeks to reduce principal fluctuation by maintaining a target duration equal to that of the ICE Bank of America Merrill Lynch Six-Month U.S. Treasury Bill Index to the ICE Bank of America Merrill Lynch One-Year U.S. Treasury Note Index and an approximate interest rate sensitivity of a nine-month U.S. Treasury Bill, as well as utilizing certain interest rate hedging techniques. There is no assurance that these strategies will be successful.
Liquidity. Because the Fund’s shares may be redeemed upon request of a shareholder on any business day at net asset value (“NAV”), the Fund offers greater liquidity than many competing investments such as certificates of deposit and direct investments in certain securities in which the Fund may invest. However, unlike certificates of deposit, shares of the Funds are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
A Sophisticated Investment Process. Enhanced Income Fund will attempt to control its exposure to interest rate risk, including overall market exposure and the spread risk of particular sectors and securities, through active portfolio management techniques. The Fund’s investment process starts with a review of trends for the overall economy as well as for different sectors of the fixed income securities markets. Goldman Sachs’ portfolio managers then analyze yield spreads, implied volatility and the shape of the yield curve. In planning the Fund’s portfolio investment strategies, the Investment Adviser is able to draw upon the economic and fixed income research resources of Goldman Sachs. The Investment Adviser will use a sophisticated analytical process including Goldman Sachs’ option-adjusted spread model to assist in structuring and maintaining the Fund’s investment portfolio. In determining the Fund’s investment strategy and making market timing decisions, the Investment Adviser will have access to input from Goldman Sachs’ economists and fixed income analysts.
Short Duration Government Fund
Short Duration Government Fund is designed for investors who seek a high level of current income and secondarily, in seeking current income, may also wish to consider the potential for capital appreciation. The Fund is appropriate for investors who seek the high credit quality of securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises (“U.S. Government Securities”), including agency issued adjustable rate and fixed rate mortgage-backed securities or other mortgage-related securities (“Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities”) and in repurchase agreements collateralized by such securities, without incurring the administrative and accounting burdens involved in direct investment.
Market and economic conditions may affect the investments of the Short Duration Government Fund differently than the investments normally purchased by other types of fixed income investors. Relative to U.S. Treasury and non-fluctuating money market instruments, the market value of adjustable rate mortgage securities in which the Short Duration Government Fund may invest
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may be adversely affected by increases in market interest rates. Conversely, decreases in market interest rates may result in less capital appreciation for adjustable rate mortgage securities in relation to U.S. Treasury and money market investments.
High Current Income. Short Duration Government Fund seeks a higher current yield than that offered by money market funds or by bank certificates of deposit and money market accounts. However, the Short Duration Government Fund does not maintain a constant NAV per share and is subject to greater fluctuations in the value of their shares than a money market fund. Unlike bank certificates of deposit and money market accounts, investments in shares of the Funds are not insured or guaranteed by any government agency. The Short Duration Government Fund seeks to provide such high current income without sacrificing credit quality.
Relative Low Volatility of Principal. Short Duration Government Fund seeks to minimize NAV fluctuations by investing primarily in U.S. Government Securities, including Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities and in repurchase agreements collateralized by such securities. The Short Duration Government Fund also seeks to minimize NAV by utilizing certain interest rate hedging techniques and by maintaining a maximum duration of not more than three years. The target duration of Short Duration Government Fund is that of the ICE Bank of America Merrill Lynch Two-Year U.S. Treasury Note Index, plus or minus 1 year. There is no assurance that the strategy for the Short Duration Government Fund will be successful.
Professional Management and Administration. Investors who invest in securities of the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae” or “GNMA”) and other Mortgage-Backed Securities (as defined below) may prefer professional management and administration of their Mortgage-Backed Securities portfolios. A well-diversified portfolio of such securities emphasizing minimal fluctuation of NAV requires significant active management as well as significant accounting and administrative resources. Members of Goldman Sachs’ highly skilled portfolio management team bring together many years of experience in the analysis, valuation and trading of U.S. fixed income securities.
Government Income Fund
Government Income Fund is designed for investors who seek a high level of current income, consistent with safety of principal and the high credit quality of U.S. Government Securities, without incurring the administrative and account burdens involved in direct investment.
Government Income Fund’s overall returns are generally likely to move in the opposite direction from interest rates. Therefore, when interest rates decline, Government Income Fund’s return is likely to increase. In exchange for accepting a higher degree of share price fluctuation, investors have the potential to achieve a higher return from Government Income Fund than from shorter-term investments.
High Current Income. Government Income Fund is designed to have a higher current yield than a money market fund, since it can invest in longer-term, higher yielding securities, and may utilize certain investment techniques not available to a money market fund. Similarly, Government Income Fund’s yield is expected to exceed that offered by bank certificates of deposit and money market accounts. However, Government Income Fund does not maintain a constant NAV per share and is subject to greater fluctuation in the value of its shares than a money market fund. Unlike bank certificates of deposit and money market accounts, investments in shares of Government Income Fund are not insured or guaranteed by any government agency. Government Income Fund seeks to provide high current income without, however, sacrificing credit quality.
A Sophisticated Investment Process. Government Income Fund’s investment process starts with a review of trends for the overall economy as well as for different sectors of the U.S. Government and Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities markets. Goldman Sachs’ portfolio managers then analyze yield spreads, implied volatility and the shape of the yield curve. In planning Government Income Fund’s portfolio investment strategies, the Investment Adviser is able to draw upon the economic and fixed income research resources of Goldman Sachs. The Investment Adviser will use a sophisticated analytical process involving Goldman Sachs’ proprietary mortgage prepayment model and option-adjusted spread model to structure and maintain the Government Income Fund’s investment portfolio. In determining the Government Income Fund’s investment strategy and in making market timing decisions, the Investment Adviser will have access to information from Goldman Sachs’ economists, fixed income analysts and mortgage specialists.
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Convenience of a Fund Structure. Government Income Fund eliminates many of the complications that direct ownership of U.S. Government Securities and Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities entails. Government Income Fund automatically reinvests all principal payments within the Fund and distributes only current income each month, thereby conserving principal and eliminating the investor’s need to segregate and reinvest the principal portion of each payment on his own.
Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund and High Yield Municipal Fund
The Tax Exempt Funds are not money market funds. Short Duration Tax-Free Fund is designed for investors who seek a high level of current income, consistent with relatively low volatility of principal, that is exempt from regular federal income tax. The Dynamic Municipal Income Fund is designed for investors who seek a high level of current income that is exempt from regular federal income tax. High Yield Municipal Fund is designed for investors who seek a high level of current income that is exempt from regular federal income tax and may also consider the potential for capital appreciation.
The Tax Exempt Funds are appropriate for investors who seek to invest in fixed income securities issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States (including the District of Columbia) and the political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities (“Municipal Securities”) and who are able to accept greater risk with the possibility of higher returns than investors in municipal money market funds. An example of an “eligible” investment for the Tax Exempt Funds is an auction rate Municipal Security. These securities generally have higher yields than money market Municipal Securities, but are, in many cases, not eligible investments for municipal money market funds.
In addition, unlike a municipal money market fund, the Tax Exempt Funds’ increased investment flexibility permits their portfolios to be more easily adjusted to reflect the shape of the current yield curve as well as to respond to anticipated developments that might affect the shape of the yield curve.
The Municipal Securities in which the Short Duration Tax-Free Fund invests will be rated, at the time of purchase, at least BBB or Baa by an NRSRO or, if unrated, will be determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality. Municipal Securities rated BBB or Baa are considered medium-grade obligations with speculative characteristics, and adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances may weaken their issuers’ capability to pay interest and repay principal. The Dynamic Municipal Income Fund may invest up to 30% of its Net Assets (measured at the time of purchase) in Municipal Securities rated, at the time of purchase, BB+ or Ba1 or lower by an NRSRO or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality. The High Yield Municipal Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its Net Assets in Municipal Securities, the interest on which is exempt from regular federal income tax (i.e., excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes). The High Yield Municipal Fund invests, under normal circumstances, a majority of its total assets (measured at the time of purchase) in high-yield Municipal Securities. High-yield securities are securities that are rated, at the time of purchase, BBB or Baa or lower by an NRSRO or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality. See also “Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, High Yield Fund and High Yield Municipal Fund – Return on and Risks of High Yield Securities” for a discussion of risks that are generally applicable to those Funds. The credit rating assigned to Municipal Securities may reflect the existence of guarantees, letters of credit or other credit enhancement features available to the issuers or holders of such Municipal Securities.
Investors who wish to invest in Municipal Securities may find that a mutual fund structure offers some important advantages when compared to investing in individual Municipal Securities, including:
•   The ratings given to Municipal Securities by the rating organizations are difficult to evaluate. For example, some Municipal Securities with relatively low credit ratings have yields comparable to Municipal Securities with much higher ratings. The credit research professionals at Goldman Sachs closely follow market events and are well positioned to judge current and expected credit conditions of municipal issuers;
•   Because of the relative inefficiency of the secondary market in Municipal Securities, the value of an individual municipal security is often difficult to determine. As such, investors may obtain a wide range of different prices when asking for quotes from different dealers. In addition, a dealer may have a large inventory of a particular issue that it wants to reduce. Obtaining the best overall prices can require extensive negotiation, which is a function performed by the portfolio manager; and
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•   Market expertise is also an important consideration for municipal investors, and because the Tax Exempt Funds may take relatively large positions in different securities, the Tax Exempt Funds may be able to obtain more favorable prices in the Municipal Securities market than investors with relatively small positions.
U.S. Mortgages Fund
The U.S. Mortgages Fund seeks a high level of total return consisting of income and capital appreciation. The Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its Net Assets in securities representing direct or indirect interests in or that are collateralized by Mortgage-Backed Securities (as defined below) of U.S. issuers, including Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities. Although the Investment Adviser considers macroeconomic trends — including the Investment Adviser’s expectations about interest rate trends and whether the curve will be flattening or steepening—the Investment Adviser’s investment approach to mortgages is mainly based on analyses of mortgage prepayments and measures of relative value.
Much of the research focus is on understanding model risk, which requires the Investment Adviser to understand how popular prepayment models are biased under different market scenarios. The Investment Adviser constructs a view which attempts to gauge how popular prepayment models will predict prepay activity across the broad spectrum of different mortgage instruments which spans all the major fixed-rate, single family mortgage sectors — level-pay and balloon, agency and non-agency. The Investment Adviser develops an independent view of how these popular models may not have kept up with recent changes in the individual homeowner’s decision process. For example, there have been material changes over the last decade in the way in which homeowners have access to mortgage refinancing: from the evolution of the mortgage broker market to access via internet applications to current trends in underwriters soliciting their own mortgage holder base for refinancing. The Investment Adviser’s intent is to understand these changes and exploit them in its trading activity. The focus throughout is to uncover model predictive bias with respect to borrower behavior and the decision-making of refinancing.
Additionally, the Investment Adviser accesses and dissects individual mortgage pool information, which it believes can deliver an informational advantage under certain trading conditions.
The Investment Adviser’s data-set distinguishes on the basis of mortgage characteristics such as loan type, coupon, pool originator, underwriter standards, prepay penalties, vintage, and dollar balance, as well as by environmental variables including interest rates and origination points (for the entire term structure of mortgage alternatives including level pay, balloon and adjustable rate), housing values, recording-tax rates and relevant government regulations – which are significant elements affecting the prepayment decision. These decisions are incorporated into trading decisions about which mortgages to hold and which to avoid.
Specifically, the Investment Adviser expects to implement several investment strategies, as described below:
Sector/Subsector Strategies: The sector strategy would 1) attempt to take advantage of potential changes in general spread levels by overweighting and underweighting the spread duration of the portfolio relative to the index and 2) allocate risk among the different sectors in the mandate: pass-throughs, collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”), and Treasuries. The subsector strategy would allocate risk among the different subsectors in each sector: e.g. pass-throughs, whether to own GNMA vs. conventionals.
Security Selection: The Investment Adviser’s security selection strategy represents relative value investing. The Investment Adviser’s specialist team focuses on 1) finding the most attractive securities to place in the investment portfolios and 2) avoiding the least attractive securities in the index.
Among the Investment Adviser’s security selection strategies are:
1) Seasoning Strategies: The Investment Adviser believes that the market does not always correctly price the seasoning of a bond and its tendency to prepay in the future. By identifying these mispriced bonds, the Investment Adviser can construct a portfolio with more attractive interest rate sensitivity than that of the index.
2) Coupon Selection: By combining the Investment Adviser’s fundamental market views with the Investment Adviser’s quantitative models, the Investment Adviser believes that it can take advantage of potential mispricings across coupons. The
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Investment Adviser also believes that there are opportunities to generate absolute returns by monitoring the embedded delivery options in the To-Be-Allocated (“TBA”) market and by understanding the implied financing rate in TBA market for each coupon.
3) CMO vs. Pass-through Selection: There are often opportunities in the market to replicate pass-through securities by purchasing CMOs. This strategy may benefit an investment portfolio in two ways. First, it might be possible to purchase the replicating CMOs at a lower price than the pass-through. Second, the replicating CMOs may have the same price as the pass-through but have more attractive interest rate sensitivity characteristics.
Security Weighting: The Investment Adviser scales its positions as a function of the expected return and risk of the trade. Generally riskier trades will have smaller positions and less risky trades will have larger positions. For example, the Investment Adviser may cap the exposure from issuers in a particular rating category. This scaling occurs as a result of the Investment Adviser’s risk managed approach. When sizing the trade the Investment Adviser will consider its impact upon the tracking error of the investment portfolio and also the trades relative attractiveness to other perceived opportunities.
Yield Curve and Duration Management: These strategies attempt to take advantage of changes in the shape of the yield curve and the level of rates. While the Investment Adviser believes that it can add excess return through yield curve and duration management, the Investment Adviser also believes that within the context of the U.S. Mortgages Fund, these strategies contribute less to total return than other strategies. As a result the Investment Adviser expects to take less risk in this area.
Consistent with the Investment Adviser’s overall fixed income investment philosophy for Mortgage-Backed Security portfolios, the Investment Adviser actively manages mortgage portfolios within a risk-managed framework. The portfolio risk management process includes an effort to monitor and manage risk, but should not be confused with and does not imply low risk.
Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund and Short Duration Bond Fund
Core Fixed Income Fund and Bond Fund are designed for investors seeking a total return consisting of capital appreciation and income. Such investors also prefer liquidity, experienced professional management and administration, a sophisticated investment process, and the convenience of a mutual fund structure. Short Duration Bond Fund is designed for investors seeking a total return consisting of income and capital appreciation. Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund and Short Duration Bond Fund may be appropriate as part of a balanced investment strategy consisting of stocks, bonds and cash or as a complement to positions in other types of fixed income investments.
The Core Fixed Income Fund’s and the Bond Funds’ benchmark index is the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (the “Bond Index”). The Bond Index currently includes U.S. Government Securities and fixed-rate, publicly issued, U.S. dollar-denominated fixed income securities rated at least Baa by Moody’s Investors Services, Inc. (“Moody’s”), or if a Moody’s rating is unavailable, the comparable S&P Global Ratings (“S&P”) rating is used. The securities currently included in the Bond Index have at least one year remaining to maturity; and are issued by the following types of issuers, with each category receiving a different weighting in the Bond Index: U.S. Treasury; agencies, authorities or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government; issuers of Mortgage-Backed Securities; utilities; industrial issuers; financial institutions; foreign issuers; and issuers of asset-backed securities. In pursuing their investment objectives, the Core Fixed Income and Bond Funds use the Bond Index as their performance benchmark, but the Core Fixed Income and Bond Funds will not attempt to replicate the Bond Index. The Core Fixed Income and Bond Funds may, therefore, invest in securities that are not included in the Bond Index. The Bond Index is a trademark of Bloomberg. Inclusion of a security in the Bond Index does not imply an opinion by Bloomberg as to its attractiveness or appropriateness for investment. Although Bloomberg obtains factual information used in connection with the Bond Index from sources which it considers reliable, Bloomberg claims no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of such information and has no liability to any person for any loss arising from results obtained from the use of the Bond Index data.
The Short Duration Bond Fund uses the Goldman Sachs Short Duration Bond Fund Composite Index, which is comprised of the Bloomberg U.S. 1-3 Year Corporate Bond Index (50%) and the Bloomberg U.S. 1-3 Year Government Bond Index (50%) (the “Composite Index”) as its performance benchmark. The Bloomberg U.S. 1-3 Year Corporate Bond Index provides a broad based measure of the global investment grade corporate sector with final maturities ranging between one and three years. The corporate sectors include industrial, utility and finance, for U.S. and non-U.S. corporations. The Bloomberg U.S. 1-3 Year Government Bond
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Index provides a broad based measure of securities issued by the U.S. Government with final maturities ranging from one to three years. This includes public obligations of the U.S. Treasury, U.S. Government agencies, quasi-federal corporations and corporate or foreign debt guaranteed by the U.S. Government. In pursuing its investment objective, the Short Duration Bond Fund uses the Composite Index as its performance benchmark, but the Short Duration Bond Fund will not attempt to replicate the Composite Index. The Short Duration Bond Fund may, therefore, invest in securities that are not included in the Composite Index. The components of the Composite Index and the secondary indices are trademarks of Bloomberg. Inclusion of a security in the components of the Composite Index and the secondary indices does not imply an opinion by Bloomberg as to its attractiveness or appropriateness for investment. Although Bloomberg obtains factual information used in connection with the components of the Composite Index and the secondary indices from sources which it considers reliable, Bloomberg claims no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of such information and has no liability to any person for any loss arising from results obtained from the use of the index data.
The Funds’ overall returns are generally likely to move in the opposite direction from interest rates. Therefore, when interest rates decline, the Funds’ returns are likely to increase. Conversely, when interest rates increase, the Funds’ returns are likely to decline. However, the Investment Adviser believes that, given the flexibility of managers to invest in a diversified portfolio of securities, the Funds’ returns are not likely to decline as quickly as that of other fixed income funds with comparable average portfolio durations. In exchange for accepting a higher degree of potential share price fluctuation, investors have the opportunity to achieve a higher return from the Funds than from shorter-term investments.
A number of investment strategies will be used to attempt to achieve the Funds’ investment objective, including market sector selection, determination of yield curve exposure, and issuer selection. In addition, the Investment Adviser will attempt to take advantage of pricing inefficiencies in the fixed income markets. Market sector selection is the underweighting or overweighting of one or more of the five market sectors (i.e., U.S. Treasuries, U.S. Government agencies, corporate securities, Mortgage-Backed Securities and asset-backed securities) in which the Funds primarily invest. The decision to overweight or underweight a given market sector is based on expectations of future yield spreads among different sectors. Yield curve exposure strategy consists of overweighting or underweighting different maturity sectors to take advantage of the shape of the yield curve. Issuer selection is the purchase and sale of corporate securities based on a corporation’s current and expected credit standing. To take advantage of price discrepancies between securities resulting from supply and demand imbalances or other technical factors, the Funds may simultaneously purchase and sell comparable, but not identical, securities. The Investment Adviser will usually have access to the research of, and proprietary technical models developed by, Goldman Sachs and will apply quantitative and qualitative analysis in determining the appropriate allocations among the categories of issuers and types of securities.
A Sophisticated Investment Process. The Funds will attempt to control their exposure to interest rate risk, including overall market exposure and the spread risk of particular sectors and securities, through active portfolio management techniques. The Funds’ investment processes start with a review of trends for the overall economy as well as for different sectors of the fixed income securities markets. Goldman Sachs’ portfolio managers then analyze yield spreads, implied volatility and the shape of the yield curve. In planning the Funds’ portfolio investment strategies, the Investment Adviser is able to draw upon the economic and fixed income research resources of Goldman Sachs. The Investment Adviser will use a sophisticated analytical process including Goldman Sachs’ proprietary mortgage prepayment model and option-adjusted spread model to assist in structuring and maintaining Core Fixed Income Fund’s investment portfolio. In determining the Funds’ investment strategy and making market timing decisions, the Investment Adviser will have access to input from Goldman Sachs’ economists, fixed income analysts and mortgage specialists.
“Core” in the Core Fixed Income Fund’s name means that the Fund focuses its investments in intermediate- and long-term investment grade bonds.
Investment Grade Credit Fund
The Investment Grade Credit Fund seeks a high level of total return consisting of capital appreciation and income. The Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its Net Assets in investment grade fixed income securities. Investment grade securities are securities that are rated at the time of purchase at least BBB– by S&P, at least Baa3 by Moody’s, or have a comparable credit rating by another NRSRO or, if unrated, are determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality.
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The Fund’s strategy employs a process that combines both a top-down and bottom-up analysis to evaluate companies. The Investment Adviser relies primarily on sub-sector/industry allocation and security selection strategies in seeking to generate incremental return relative to the selected benchmark. To a lesser degree, the Investment Adviser also implements duration and yield curve management strategies.
The Investment Adviser’s strategy for the Fund is based on maximizing its understanding of the factors that drive performance. The Investment Adviser’s security selection process begins with an analysis of the fundamentals of a given company and its industry, and goes on to include broader market factors as well as technical and execution issues. The Investment Adviser has organized its group to incorporate these elements into a process that pulls together the input of specialists within a collaborative framework. Portfolio managers and analysts sit on the trading desk together. This facilitates the frequent conversation between the various members of the corporate bond team.
Fundamental research is performed by a global high grade research group with parts of the teams in New York and London. The Investment Adviser established this group to ensure comprehensive research into high grade credits, which may be overlooked by firms with only one credit research team. The Investment Adviser’s analysts develop investment rationales incorporating their assessment of a company’s return potential and risks.
The discussion of investment ideas goes beyond fundamentals to incorporate the broader market views of the portfolio managers. Investment grade securities are strongly affected by such factors as comparative industry trends, the economy and general overall trends in coverage and leverage ratios. These factors can have a significant impact on performance. The portfolio managers bring their awareness of these factors as a crucial input in the formulation of investment ideas.
A final element of the process incorporates technical and execution issues. Adding value requires close attention to execution issues including market levels and the new issuance calendar. It is also crucial to stay apprised of dealer activity; being aware of which bonds are being traded by particular dealers promotes efficient trading, which plays directly through to better performance. The Investment Adviser’s traders help in this regard.
The Investment Adviser’s process is enhanced by the full integration of its New York and London corporate bond teams. While the teams are focused on issue selection in their respective markets, they are able to leverage their peers’ insights to develop broader, better-informed credit views than they could on their own. This integration extends to the portfolio managers, who also develop views on market and industry trends jointly. In addition to helping the Investment Adviser to develop fuller investment views, this integration can also allow it to exploit structural inefficiencies that arise when global corporate issues are priced differently in different currencies.
Global Core Fixed Income Fund
The Global Core Fixed Income Fund is designed for investors seeking a total return consisting of capital appreciation and income.
High Income. Global Core Fixed Income Fund’s portfolio managers will seek out the highest yielding bonds in the global fixed income market that meet the Global Core Fixed Income Fund’s credit quality standards and certain other criteria.
Capital Appreciation. Investing in the foreign bond markets offers the potential for capital appreciation due to both interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations. The portfolio managers attempt to identify investments with appreciation potential by carefully evaluating trends affecting a country’s currency as well as a country’s fundamental economic strength. However, there is a risk of capital depreciation as a result of unanticipated interest rate and currency fluctuations.
Portfolio Management Flexibility. Global Core Fixed Income Fund is actively managed. The Fund’s portfolio managers invest in countries that, in their judgment, meet the Fund’s investment guidelines and often have strong currencies and stable economies and in securities that they believe offer favorable performance prospects.
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Relative Stability of Principal. Global Core Fixed Income Fund may be able to reduce principal fluctuation by investing in foreign countries with economic policies or business cycles different from those of the United States and in foreign securities markets that do not necessarily move in the same direction or magnitude as the U.S. market. Investing in a broad range of U.S. and foreign fixed income securities and currencies reduces the dependence of the Fund’s performance on developments in any particular market to the extent that adverse events in one market are offset by favorable events in other markets. The Fund’s policy of investing primarily in high quality securities may also reduce principal fluctuation. However, there is no assurance that these strategies will always be successful.
Professional Management. Individual U.S. investors may prefer professional management of their global bond and currency portfolios because a well-diversified portfolio requires a large amount of capital and because the size of the global market requires access to extensive resources and a substantial commitment of time.
High Yield Fund
The High Yield Fund seeks a high level of current income and may also consider the potential for capital appreciation. The Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its Net Assets in high-yield, fixed income securities that, at the time of purchase, are non-investment grade securities. Non-investment grade securities are securities rated BB+, Ba1 or below by an NRSRO, or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality, and are commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” The Fund may invest in all types of fixed income securities, including loan participations.
High Yield Fund’s Investment Process. High Yield Fund is appropriate for investors who seek a high level of current income and who also may wish to consider the potential for capital appreciation. A number of investment strategies are used to seek to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, including market sector selection, determination of yield curve exposure and issuer selection. In addition, the Investment Adviser will attempt to take advantage of pricing inefficiencies in the fixed income markets. The Investment Adviser starts the investment process with economic analysis to determine broad growth trends, industry-specific events and market forecasts. The market value of non-investment grade fixed income securities tends to reflect individual developments within a company to a greater extent than higher rated corporate debt or Treasury bonds that react primarily to fluctuations in interest rates. Therefore, determining the creditworthiness of issuers is critical. To that end, High Yield Fund’s portfolio managers have access to the Investment Adviser’s highly regarded Fundamental Equity Research Team, as well as internal analysis from the team’s dedicated High Yield Research analysts. The High Yield Fund’s portfolio managers will also leverage Goldman Sachs’ Global Investment Research Department, subject to Goldman Sachs Chinese wall restrictions. In addition, the Fund’s portfolio managers may review the opinions of the two largest independent credit rating agencies, S&P’s and Moody’s. High Yield Fund’s portfolio managers and credit analysts also conduct their own in-depth analysis of the issues considered for inclusion in the Fund’s portfolio. The portfolio managers and credit analysts evaluate such factors as a company’s competitive position, the strength of its balance sheet, its ability to withstand economic downturns and its potential to generate ample cash flow to service its debt. The ability to analyze accurately a company’s future cash flow by correctly anticipating the impact of economic, industry-wide and specific events are critical to successful high yield investing. The Investment Adviser’s goal is to identify companies with the potential to strengthen their balance sheets by increasing their earnings, reducing their debt or effecting a turnaround. GSAM analyzes trends in a company’s debt picture (i.e., the level of its interest coverage) as well as new developments in its capital structure on an ongoing basis. The Investment Adviser believes that this ongoing reassessment is more valuable than relying on a “snapshot” view of a company’s ability to service debt at one or two points in time.
High Yield Fund’s portfolio is diversified among different sectors and industries on a global basis in an effort to reduce overall risk. While the Investment Adviser will avoid excessive concentration in any one industry, the Fund’s specific industry weightings are the result of individual security selection. Emerging market debt considered for the High Yield Fund’s portfolio will be selected by specialists knowledgeable about the political and economic structure of those economies.
Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, High Yield Fund and High Yield Municipal Fund
Return on and Risks of High Yield Securities. High yield bonds can deliver higher yields and total return than either investment grade corporate bonds or U.S. Treasury bonds. However, because these non-investment grade securities involve higher risks in return for higher income, they are best suited to long-term investors who are financially secure enough to withstand volatility and the risks
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associated with such investments. See “Description of Investment Securities and Practices—High Yield Securities.” Different types of fixed income securities may react differently to changes in the economy. High yield bonds, like stocks, tend to perform best when the economy is strong, inflation is low and companies experience healthy profits, which can lead to higher stock prices and higher credit ratings. Government bonds are likely to appreciate more in a weaker economy when interest rates are declining. In certain types of markets, adding some diversification in the high yield asset class may help to increase returns and decrease overall portfolio risk.
For high yield, non-investment grade securities, as for most investments, there is a direct relationship between risk and return. Along with their potential to deliver higher yields and greater capital appreciation than most other types of fixed income securities, high yield securities are subject to higher risk of loss, greater volatility and are considered predominantly speculative by traditional investment standards. The most significant risk associated with high yield securities is credit risk: the risk that the company issuing a high yield security may have difficulty in meeting its principal and/or interest payments on a timely basis. As a result, extensive credit research and diversification are essential factors in managing risk in the high yield arena. To a lesser extent, high yield bonds are also subject to interest rate risk: when interest rates increase, the value of fixed income securities tends to decline.
High Yield Floating Rate Fund
The High Yield Floating Rate Fund is designed for investors seeking a high level of current income. The Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its Net Assets in domestic or foreign floating rate loans and other floating or variable rate obligations rated below investment grade. Non-investment grade obligations are those rated BB+, Ba1 or below by an NRSRO, or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality, and are commonly referred to as “junk bonds.”
The Fund’s investments in floating and variable rate obligations may include, without limitation, senior secured loans (including assignments and participations), second lien loans, senior unsecured and subordinated loans, senior and subordinated corporate debt obligations (such as bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper), debt issued by governments, their agencies and instrumentalities, and debt issued by central banks. The Fund may invest indirectly in loans by purchasing participations or sub-participations from financial institutions. Participations and sub-participations represent the right to receive a portion of the principal of, and all of the interest relating to such portion of, the applicable loan. The Fund expects to invest principally in the U.S. loan market and, to a lesser extent, in the European loan market. The Fund may also invest in other loan markets, although it does not currently intend to do so.
Under normal conditions, the Fund may invest up to 20% of its Net Assets in fixed income instruments, of any credit rating, including fixed rate corporate bonds, government bonds, convertible debt obligations and mezzanine fixed income instruments. The Fund may also invest in floating or variable rate instruments that are rated investment grade and in preferred stock, repurchase agreements and cash securities.
The Fund may also invest in derivative instruments. Derivatives are instruments that have a value based on another instrument, exchange rate or index. The Fund’s investments in derivatives may include credit default swaps on credit and loan indices, forward contracts and total return swaps, among others. The Fund may use currency management techniques, such as forward foreign currency contracts, for hedging or non-hedging purposes. The Fund may invest in interest rate futures and swaps to manage the portfolio’s duration. Derivatives that provide exposure to floating or variable rate loans or obligations rated below investment grade are counted towards the Fund’s 80% policy.
The Fund’s target duration range under normal interest rate conditions is expected to approximate that of the Credit Suisse Leveraged Loan Index, plus or minus one year, and over the last five years ended June 30, 2023, the duration of the Index has ranged between 0 and 1 year. The Fund’s investments in floating rate obligations will generally have short to intermediate maturities (approximately 4-7 years).
The Fund’s investments are selected using a bottom-up analysis that incorporates fundamental research, a focus on market conditions and pricing trends, quantitative research, and news or market events. The selection of individual investments is based on the overall risk and return profile of the investment taking into account liquidity, structural complexity, cash flow uncertainty and downside potential. Research analysts and portfolio managers systematically assess portfolio positions, taking into consideration, among other factors, broader macroeconomic conditions and industry and company-specific financial performance and outlook.
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Based upon this analysis, the Investment Adviser will sell positions determined to be overvalued and reposition the portfolio in more attractive investment opportunities on a relative basis given the current climate.
The Fund’s investments may be denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.
Strategic Income Fund
The Strategic Income Fund is designed for investors seeking total return comprised of income and capital appreciation. The Fund invests in a broadly diversified portfolio of U.S. and foreign investment grade and non-investment grade fixed income investments including, but not limited to: U.S. Government Securities (such as U.S. Treasury securities or Treasury inflation protected securities and including Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities), non-U.S. sovereign debt, agency securities, corporate debt securities, privately issued adjustable rate and fixed rate mortgage-backed securities or other mortgage-related securities (“Private Mortgage-Backed Securities” and, together with Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities, “Mortgage-Backed Securities”), asset-backed securities, custodial receipts, municipal securities, loan participations and loan assignments and convertible securities. The Fund’s investments in loan participations and loan assignments may include, but are not limited to: (a) senior secured floating rate and fixed rate loans or debt (“Senior Loans”), (b) second lien or other subordinated or unsecured floating rate and fixed rate loans or debt (“Second Lien Loans”) and (c) other types of secured or unsecured loans with fixed, floating or variable interest rates. The Fund may invest in fixed income securities of any maturity.
Non-investment grade fixed income securities are securities rated BB+, Ba1 or below by an NRSRO, or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality.
The Fund may invest in sovereign and corporate debt securities and other instruments of issuers in emerging market countries (“emerging countries debt”). Such investments may include sovereign debt issued by emerging countries that have sovereign ratings below investment grade or that are unrated. There is no limitation to the amount the Fund invests in non-investment grade or emerging market securities. From time to time, the Fund may also invest in preferred stock. The Fund’s investments may be denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.
The Fund may engage in forward foreign currency transactions for both investment and hedging purposes. The Fund also intends to invest in other derivative instruments. Derivatives are instruments that have a value based on another instrument, exchange rate, interest rate or index. The Fund’s investments in derivatives may include, in addition to forward foreign currency exchange contracts, futures contracts (including interest rate futures and treasury and sovereign bond futures), options (including options on futures contracts, swaps, bonds, stocks and indexes), swaps (including credit default, index, basis, total return, volatility, interest rate and currency swaps), and other forward contracts. The Fund may use derivatives instead of buying and selling bonds to manage duration, to gain exposure or to short individual securities or to gain exposure to a credit or asset backed index. The Fund may gain exposure to Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities through several methods, including by utilizing to-be-announced (“TBA”) agreements in Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities or through the use of reverse repurchase agreements. TBA agreements for Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities are standardized contracts for future delivery of fixed-rate mortgage pass-through securities in which the exact mortgage pools to be delivered are not specified until shortly before settlement. A reverse repurchase agreement enables the Fund to gain exposure to specified pools of Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities by purchasing them on a forward settling basis and using the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement to settle the trade.
The Fund may implement short positions and may do so by using swaps, options or futures, TBA agreements in Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities, or through short sales of any instrument that the Fund may purchase for investment. For example, the Fund may enter into a futures contract pursuant to which it agrees to sell an asset (that it does not currently own) at a specified price at a specified point in the future. This gives the Fund a short position with respect to that asset. The Fund may utilize short positions to implement macro views on securities valuations, long term views on relative value or short term views on security mispricings, as well as any other views the Investment Adviser deems appropriate. For example, the Fund may enter into a TBA agreement to sell an Agency Mortgage-Backed Security that it believes will underperform. The Fund will benefit from a short position to the extent the asset decreases in value (and will be harmed to the extent the asset increases in value) between the time it enters into the futures contract and the agreed date of sale. Alternatively, the Fund may sell an instrument (e.g., a bond, or a futures contract) it does not own
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in anticipation of a decline in the market value of the instrument, and then borrow the instrument to make delivery to the buyer. In these transactions, the Fund is obligated to replace the instrument borrowed by purchasing it at the market price at the time of replacement.
“Strategic” in the Fund’s name means that the Fund seeks both current income and capital appreciation as elements of total return. The Fund attempts to exploit pricing anomalies throughout the global fixed income and currency markets. Additionally, the Fund uses short positions and derivatives for both investment and hedging purposes. The Fund may sell investments that the portfolio managers believe are no longer favorable with regard to these factors.
The Investment Adviser employs a dynamic fundamental investment process that may integrate environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors with traditional fundamental factors. No one factor or consideration is determinative in the fundamental investment process.
Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund
The Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund seek a high level of total return consisting of income and capital appreciation. The Emerging Markets Debt Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its Net Assets in sovereign and corporate debt securities and other instruments of issuers in emerging market countries. Such instruments may include credit linked notes and other investments with similar economic exposures.
The Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its Net Assets in sovereign and corporate debt securities of issuers in emerging market countries, denominated in the local currency of such emerging market countries, and other instruments, including credit linked notes and other investments, with similar economic exposures.
The Investment Adviser generally expects a country to be an “emerging market country” if the country is identified as an “emerging market country” in any of the Funds’ benchmark indices. Such countries are likely to be located in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe and Central and South America. Sovereign debt consists of debt securities issued by governments or any of their agencies, political subdivisions or instrumentalities. An emerging market country issuer is an issuer economically tied to an emerging market country. In determining whether an issuer is economically tied to an emerging market country, the Investment Adviser will consider whether the issuer:
•   Has a class of securities whose principal securities market is in an emerging market country;
•   Has its principal office in an emerging market country;
•   Derives 50% or more of its total revenue or profit from goods produced, sales made or services provided in one or more emerging market countries;
•   Maintains 50% or more of its assets in one or more emerging market countries; or
•   Is otherwise determined to be economically tied to an emerging market country by the Investment Adviser in its discretion. For example, the Investment Adviser may use the classifications assigned by third parties, including an issuer’s “country of risk” as determined by Bloomberg or the classifications assigned to an issuer by the Fund’s benchmark index provider. These classifications are generally based on a number of criteria, including an issuer’s country of domicile, the primary stock exchange on which an issuer’s securities trade, the location from which the majority of an issuer’s revenue is derived, and an issuer’s reporting currency. Although the Investment Adviser may rely on these classifications, it is not required to do so.
Currency investments, particularly longer-dated forward contracts, provide the Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund with economic exposure similar to investments in sovereign and corporate debt with respect to currency and interest rate exposure.
The Investment Adviser’s emerging markets debt (“EMD”) investment philosophy strives to generate returns through an active, research-intensive, risk-managed approach. The Investment Adviser seeks to add value through country allocation, security selection, and market exposure strategies.
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The Investment Adviser believes that active management focused on fundamental research is critical for achieving long-term value for its clients’ portfolios. EMD can offer an attractive risk/return profile for investors who have the proper resources and experience to exploit the myriad opportunities in the market. The Investment Adviser’s process is built on fundamental analysis of emerging market countries and securities. In addition, the Investment Adviser’s process focuses on risk-adjusted returns, as the Investment Adviser believes that risk can have a material impact on long-term investment results. As a result, the Investment Adviser diversifies across sovereign credits and employs proprietary tools to manage overall portfolio risks.
Types of Securities Used. EMD comprises fixed income securities issued mainly by governments, but also by quasi-sovereigns and corporations, of developing countries. The Investment Adviser typically expresses its view on a relative-to-benchmark basis, overweighting those securities the Investment Adviser believes will outperform and underweighting those countries the Investment Adviser believes will underperform.
The types of financial instruments used in the Emerging Markets Debt and Local Emerging Markets Debt Funds include Eurobonds, Brady bonds, tradable bank loans, local bonds and other securities, which can include their associated derivatives. The EMD team may invest in liquid, long duration securities and employ active trading strategies that exploit market inefficiencies and arbitrage opportunities (e.g., between Brady Bonds and global bonds) that often exist in the EMD market. Given the limited diversification within the EMD sector, buying longer dated, more liquid, lower dollar price securities may be a preferred strategy.
The Investment Adviser may use derivative instruments such as forwards and futures in the Emerging Markets Debt and Local Emerging Markets Debt Funds in an attempt to hedge its currency exposures. However, due to the limited market for these instruments in emerging countries, a significant portion of the Funds’ currency exposure in emerging countries may not be covered by such instruments.
Research. Being part of GSAM’s wider Fixed Income and Currency Team, the EMD team interacts with the Investment Adviser’s fixed income and currency analysts and portfolio managers based in New York, London, and Tokyo. The Fixed Income and Currency Team employs a broad analysis of the macro-economic environment, credit risk factors, and quantitative relationships and plays a vital role in aspects of portfolio construction and strategy.
In addition to internal research, the Investment Adviser may utilize external sources in its analysis and seek information from external consultants and sell-side economists and strategists. The Investment Adviser’s EMD team may draw on the resources of Goldman Sachs (e.g., GSAM Emerging Market Foreign Exchange, Emerging Market Equity and Quantitative Strategy) in the country and security selection process. The Investment Adviser’s research analysts also travel to emerging countries to seek additional insight on the macroeconomic and political developments. The Investment Adviser’s research analysts also obtain research publications from broker-dealers, supranational organizations (e.g., the International Monetary Fund), and academic sources.
Portfolio managers and research analysts have access to external research (e.g., internet websites, publications). In addition, market information is disseminated through electronic communications as well as regularly scheduled meetings. The members of the EMD investment team sit on the trading desk to facilitate efficient and timely flow of market information.
Based on macroeconomic and political considerations, the Investment Adviser will have a negative, neutral, or positive recommendation on various emerging countries. In addition to these recommendations, the Investment Adviser considers which are the most attractive securities within those countries.
Inflation Protected Securities Fund
The Inflation Protected Securities Fund is designed for investors who seek real return consistent with preservation of capital. Real return is the return on an investment adjusted for inflation. The Inflation Protected Securities Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its Net Assets in IPS of varying maturities, including TIPS and CIPS. IPS are designed to provide inflation protection to investors. The U.S. Treasury uses the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (the “CPIU”) as the measurement of inflation, while other issuers of IPS may use different indices as the measure of inflation. IPS are income-generating instruments whose interest and principal payments are adjusted for inflation—a sustained increase in prices that erodes the purchasing power of money. The inflation adjustment, which is typically applied monthly to the principal of the bond, follows a
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designated inflation index, such as the consumer price index. A fixed coupon rate is applied to the inflation-adjusted principal so that as inflation rises, both the principal value and the interest payments increase. This can provide investors with a hedge against inflation, as it helps preserve the purchasing power of an investment. Because of this inflation adjustment feature, inflation-protected bonds typically have lower yields than conventional fixed-rate bonds. The remainder of the Inflation Protected Securities Fund’s Net Assets (up to 20%) may be invested in other fixed income securities, including U.S. Government Securities, asset-backed securities, Mortgage-Backed Securities, corporate securities, and securities issued by foreign corporate and governmental issuers. The Inflation Protected Securities Fund also intends to invest in derivatives, including (but not limited to) futures and inflation-linked swaps, primarily to hedge the Fund’s portfolio risks, manage the Fund’s duration, and/or gain exposure to certain fixed income securities.
Long Short Credit Strategies Fund
The Long Short Credit Strategies Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective through long and short exposures to “credit related instruments.” Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its Net Assets in the following credit related instruments: (i) fixed rate and floating rate income securities; (ii) loans and loan participations including: (a) Senior Loans, (b) Second Lien Loans and (c) other types of secured or unsecured loans with fixed, floating, or variable interest rates; (iii) convertible securities; (iv) collateralized debt, bond and loan obligations; (v) bank and corporate debt obligations; (vi) U.S. Government Securities, and securities issued by or on behalf of states, territories, and possessions of the United States (including the District of Columbia); (vii) preferred securities and trust preferred securities; (viii) structured securities, including credit-linked notes; and/or (ix) listed and unlisted, public and private, rated and unrated debt instruments and other obligations, including those of financially troubled companies (sometimes known as “distressed securities” or “defaulted securities”).
The Fund may invest in instruments and obligations directly, or indirectly by investing in derivative or synthetic instruments, including, without limitation, credit default swaps (including credit default swaps on credit related indices) and loan credit default swaps. The Fund will opportunistically seek short exposures to credit related instruments through the use of such derivatives or synthetic instruments, including, but not limited to, credit default swaps (including credit default swaps on credit related indices).
The Fund intends to implement short positions for hedging purposes or to seek to enhance absolute return, and may do so by using swaps or futures, or through short sales of any instrument that the Fund may purchase for investment. For example, the Fund may buy credit default swaps. Credit default swaps involve the receipt of floating or fixed rate payments in exchange for assuming potential credit losses on an underlying security (or group of securities). When the Fund is the buyer of a credit default swap (buying protection), it may make periodic payments to the seller of the credit default swap to obtain protection against a credit default on a specified underlying asset (or group of assets). If a default occurs, the seller of a credit default swap may be required to pay the Fund the notional amount of the credit default swap on a specified security (or group of securities). On the other hand, when the Fund is a seller of a credit default swap (commonly known as selling protection), in addition to the credit exposure the Fund has on the other assets held in its portfolio, the Fund is also subject to the credit exposure on the notional amount of the swap since, in the event of a credit default, the Fund may be required to pay the notional amount of the credit default swap on a specified security (or group of securities) to the buyer of the credit swap. The Fund will be the seller of a credit default swap only when the credit of the underlying asset is deemed by the Investment Adviser to meet the Fund’s minimum credit criteria at the time the swap is first entered into.
The Fund may invest in U.S. dollar denominated as well as non-U.S. dollar denominated (foreign) securities. The Fund may also hold cash, and/or invest in cash equivalents.
There is no minimum credit rating for instruments in which the Fund may invest, and the Fund may invest without limitation in securities below investment grade. Non-investment grade fixed income securities (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are rated BB+, Ba1 or below by an NRSRO, or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality. The Fund may also invest in credit instruments of any maturity or duration.
The Fund’s benchmark index is the ICE BofAML Three-Month U.S. Treasury Bill Index. References to the Fund’s benchmark are for informational purposes only and are not an indication of how the Fund is managed.
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Income Fund
The Income Fund invests in a multi-sector portfolio of U.S. and foreign investment grade and non-investment grade fixed income investments of varying maturities. The Fund’s investment sectors include, but are not limited to: (a) government securities, (b) corporate debt securities, (c) commercial and residential Mortgage-Backed Securities, (d) asset-backed securities (including collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”)) and (e) emerging countries debt denominated in both U.S. dollars and foreign currencies. The Fund may not have exposure to all of these investment sectors, and the Fund’s exposure to any one investment sector may vary over time.
Under normal circumstances, the Fund may invest in U.S. Government securities (such as U.S. Treasury securities or Treasury inflation protected securities), non-U.S. sovereign debt, agency securities, corporate debt securities, Mortgage-Backed Securities, asset-backed securities (including CLOs), custodial receipts, municipal securities, loan participations and loan assignments and convertible securities. The Fund’s investments in loan participations and loan assignments may include, but are not limited to: (a) senior secured floating rate and fixed rate loans or debt (“Senior Loans”), (b) second lien or other subordinated or unsecured floating rate and fixed rate loans or debt (“Second Lien Loans”) and (c) other types of secured or unsecured loans with fixed, floating or variable interest rates. The Fund may invest in fixed income securities of any maturity.
Non-investment grade fixed income securities are securities rated BB+, Ba1 or below by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”), or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality.
The Fund may invest up to 35% of its total assets measured at the time of purchase (“Total Assets”) in sovereign and corporate debt securities and other instruments of issuers in emerging market countries (“emerging countries debt”). Such investments may include sovereign debt issued by emerging countries that have sovereign ratings below investment grade or that are unrated. The Fund’s investments may be denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.
The Fund may invest up to 10% of its Total Assets in privately issued corporate debt securities and other obligations issued by private companies, including privately issued credit obligations and related instruments, and up to an additional 10% of its Total Assets in equity investments, including preferred securities and dividend paying common stocks.
The Fund may engage in forward foreign currency transactions for both hedging and non-hedging purposes. The Fund also intends to invest in other derivative instruments. Derivatives are instruments that have a value based on another instrument, exchange rate, interest rate or index. The Fund’s investments in derivatives may include, in addition to forward foreign currency exchange contracts, futures contracts (including interest rate futures and treasury and sovereign bond futures), options (including options on futures contracts, swaps, bonds, stocks and indexes), swaps (including credit default, index, basis, total return, volatility, interest rate and currency swaps), and other forward contracts. The Fund may use derivatives instead of buying and selling bonds to manage duration, to gain exposure or to short individual securities or to gain exposure to a credit or asset backed index. The Fund may gain exposure to Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities through several methods, including by utilizing to-be-announced (“TBA”) agreements in Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities or through the use of reverse repurchase agreements. TBA agreements for Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities are standardized contracts for future delivery of fixed-rate mortgage pass-through securities in which the exact mortgage pools to be delivered are not specified until shortly before settlement. A reverse repurchase agreement enables the Fund to gain exposure to specified pools of Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities by purchasing them on a forward settling basis and using the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement to settle the trade.
The Fund may implement short positions and may do so by using swaps, options or futures, TBA agreements in Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities, or through short sales of any instrument that the Fund may purchase for investment. For example, the Fund may enter into a futures contract pursuant to which it agrees to sell an asset (that it does not currently own) at a specified price at a specified point in the future. This gives the Fund a short position with respect to that asset. The Fund will benefit to the extent the asset decreases in value (and will be harmed to the extent the asset increases in value) between the time it enters into the futures contract and the agreed date of sale. Alternatively, the Fund may sell an instrument (e.g., a bond, or a futures contract) it does not own in anticipation of a decline in the market value of the instrument, and then borrow the instrument to make delivery to the buyer. In these transactions, the Fund is obligated to replace the instrument borrowed by purchasing it at the market price at the time of replacement. The Fund uses short positions and derivatives for both investment and hedging purposes.
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The Fund may also seek to obtain exposure to fixed income investments through investments in affiliated or unaffiliated investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”).
The Fund’s target average duration range under normal interest rate conditions is expected to be between 0 and 8 years, and over the last five years ended June 30, 2023, the duration of the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index has ranged between 5.68 and 6.78 years. “Duration” is a measure of a debt security’s price sensitivity to changes in interest rates. The longer the duration of the Fund (or an individual debt security), the more sensitive its market price to changes in interest rates. For example, if market interest rates increase by 1%, the market price of a debt security with a positive duration of 3 years will generally decrease by approximately 3%. Conversely, a 1% decline in market interest rates will generally result in an increase of approximately 3% of that security’s market price.
The Investment Adviser employs a dynamic fundamental investment process that may integrate environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors with traditional fundamental factors. No one factor or consideration is determinative in the fundamental investment process.
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DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES
The investment securities and practices and related risks applicable to each Fund are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure.
Asset-Backed Securities
Asset-backed securities represent participations in, or are secured by and payable from, assets such as motor vehicle installment sales, installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property, receivables from revolving credit (credit card) agreements and other categories of receivables. Such assets are securitized through the use of trusts and special purpose corporations. Payments or distributions of principal and interest may be guaranteed up to certain amounts and for a certain time period by a letter of credit or a pool insurance policy issued by a financial institution unaffiliated with the trust or corporation, or other credit enhancements may be present.
Each Fund (other than the High Yield Floating Rate Fund) may invest in asset-backed securities. The Short Duration Government Fund may only invest in asset-backed securities that are issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. Such securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity date would indicate as a result of the pass-through of prepayments of principal on the underlying loans. During periods of declining interest rates, prepayment of loans underlying asset-backed securities can be expected to accelerate. Accordingly, a Fund's ability to maintain positions in such securities will be affected by reductions in the principal amount of such securities resulting from prepayments, and its ability to reinvest the returns of principal at comparable yields is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. To the extent that a Fund invests in asset-backed securities, the values of the Fund’s portfolio securities will vary with changes in market interest rates generally and the differentials in yields among various kinds of asset-backed securities.
Asset-backed securities present certain additional risks because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral that is comparable to mortgage assets. Credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors on such receivables are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such debtors the right to set-off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the balance due. Automobile receivables generally are secured, but by automobiles rather than residential real property. Most issuers of automobile receivables permit the loan servicers to retain possession of the underlying obligations. If the servicer were to sell these obligations to another party, there is a risk that the purchaser would acquire an interest superior to that of the holders of the asset-backed securities. In addition, because of the large number of vehicles involved in a typical issuance and technical requirements under state laws, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have a proper security interest in the underlying automobiles. Therefore, if the issuer of an asset-backed security defaults on its payment obligations, there is the possibility that, in some cases, a Fund will be unable to possess and sell the underlying collateral and that the Fund’s recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on these securities.
Bank Obligations
The Enhanced Income Fund, Government Income Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Global Core Fixed Income Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may each invest in obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. and, except with respect to the Government Income Fund, foreign banks (Enhanced Income Fund may only invest in U.S. dollar denominated foreign securities). Bank obligations, including without limitation time deposits, bankers’ acceptances and certificates of deposit, may be general obligations of the parent bank or may be obligations only of the issuing branch pursuant to the terms of the specific obligations or government regulation.
Banks are subject to extensive but different governmental regulations which may limit both the amount and types of loans which may be made and interest rates which may be charged. Foreign banks are subject to different regulations and are generally permitted to engage in a wider variety of activities than U.S. banks. In addition, the profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing money market conditions.
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General economic conditions as well as exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers play an important part in the operations of this industry.
Certificates of deposit are certificates evidencing the obligation of a bank to repay funds deposited with it for a specified period of time at a specified rate. Certificates of deposit are negotiable instruments and are similar to saving deposits but have a definite maturity and are evidenced by a certificate instead of a passbook entry. Banks are required to keep reserves against all certificates of deposit. Fixed time deposits are bank obligations payable at a stated maturity date and bearing interest at a fixed rate. Fixed time deposits may be withdrawn on the demand by the investor, but may be subject to early withdrawal penalties which vary depending upon market conditions and the remaining maturity of the obligation. The Funds may invest in deposits in U.S. and European banks which satisfy the standards set forth above.
Collateralized Loan Obligations and Other Collateralized Debt Obligations
The Enhanced Income Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Global Core Fixed Income Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”) and other similarly structured investments. A CLO is an asset-backed security whose underlying collateral is a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign floating rate and fixed rate senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. In addition to the normal risks associated with loan- and credit-related securities discussed elsewhere in the Prospectus (e.g., loan-related investments risk, interest rate risk and default risk), investments in CLOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to, the risk that: (i) distributions from the collateral may not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default; (iii) a Fund may invest in tranches of CLOs that are subordinate to other tranches; (iv) the structure and complexity of the transaction and the legal documents could lead to disputes among investors regarding the characterization of proceeds; and (v) the CLO’s manager may perform poorly. CLOs may charge management and other administrative fees, which are in addition to those of a Fund.
CLOs issue classes or “tranches” that offer various maturity, risk and yield characteristics. Losses caused by defaults on underlying assets are borne first by the holders of subordinate tranches. Tranches are categorized as senior, mezzanine and subordinated/equity, according to their degree of risk. If there are defaults or the CLO’s collateral otherwise underperforms, scheduled payments to senior tranches take precedence over those of mezzanine tranches, and scheduled payments to mezzanine tranches take precedence over those of subordinated/equity tranches. The riskiest portion is the “equity” tranche which bears the bulk of defaults from the collateral and serves to protect the other, more senior tranches from default in all but the most severe circumstances. Because it is partially protected from defaults, a senior tranche from a CLO trust typically has higher ratings and lower yields than its underlying collateral and may be rated investment grade. Despite the protection from the equity and mezzanine tranches, more senior tranches of CLOs can experience losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of more subordinate tranches, market anticipation of defaults, as well as aversion to CLO securities as a class. The Funds’ investments in CLOs principally consist of senior tranches and, to a lesser extent, mezzanine tranches.
Typically, CLOs are privately offered and sold, and thus, are not registered under the securities laws. As a result, investments in CLOs may have limited independent pricing transparency. However, an active dealer market may exist for CLOs that qualify under the Rule 144A “safe harbor” from the registration requirements of the Securities Act for resales of certain securities to qualified institutional buyers. These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in CLOs.
The Funds may also invest in collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), which are structured similarly to CLOs, but are backed by pools of assets that are debt securities (rather than being limited only to loans), typically including bonds, other structured finance securities (including other asset-backed securities and other CDOs) and/or synthetic instruments. Like CLOs, the risks of an investment in a CDO depend largely on the type and quality of the collateral securities and the tranche of the CDO in which a Fund invests. CDOs collateralized by pools of asset-backed securities carry the same risks as investments in asset-backed securities directly, including losses with respect to the collateral underlying those asset-backed securities. In addition, certain CDOs may not
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hold their underlying collateral directly, but rather, use derivatives such as swaps to create “synthetic” exposure to the collateral pool. Such CDOs entail the risks associated with derivative instruments.
Combined Transactions
Each of the Funds may enter into multiple transactions, including multiple options transactions, multiple futures transactions, multiple currency transactions (as applicable) (including forward currency contracts) and multiple interest rate and other swap transactions and any combination of futures, options, currency and swap transactions (“component” transactions) as part of a single or combined strategy when, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, it is in the best interests of a Fund to do so. A combined transaction will usually contain elements of risk that are present in each of its component transactions. Although combined transactions are normally entered into based on the Investment Adviser’s judgment that the combined strategies will reduce risk or otherwise more effectively achieve the desired portfolio management goal, it is possible that the combination will instead increase such risks or hinder achievement of the portfolio management objective.
Commercial Paper and Other Short-Term Corporate Obligations
Each Fund (other than the Short Duration Government Fund) may invest in commercial paper and other short-term obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. corporations, non-U.S. corporations or other entities. Commercial paper represents short-term unsecured promissory notes issued in bearer form by banks or bank holding companies, corporations and finance companies.
Commodity-Linked Investments
The Long Short Credit Strategies Fund may invest in commodities through investments in PTPs, ETFs, other investment companies, or other pooled investment vehicles. The Fund may also seek to provide exposure to the investment returns of real assets that trade in the commodity markets through investments in commodity-linked derivative securities, such as structured notes, discussed below, which are designed to provide this exposure without direct investment in physical commodities or commodities futures contracts. 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. In choosing investments, the Investment Adviser may seek to provide exposure to various commodities and commodity sectors. The value of commodity-linked derivative instruments held by the Fund may be affected by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, overall market movements and other factors affecting the value of particular industries or commodities, such as weather, disease, embargoes, acts of war or terrorism, or political and regulatory developments.
The prices of commodity-linked derivative instruments may move in different directions than investments in traditional equity and debt securities when the value of those traditional securities is declining due to adverse economic conditions. As an example, during periods of rising inflation, debt securities have historically tended to decline in value due to the general increase in prevailing interest rates. Conversely, during those same periods of rising inflation, the prices of certain commodities, such as oil and metals, have historically tended to increase. Of course, there cannot be any guarantee that these investments will perform in that manner in the future, and at certain times the price movements of commodity-linked instruments have been parallel to those of debt and equity securities. Commodities have historically tended to increase and decrease in value during different parts of the business cycle than financial assets. Nevertheless, at various times, commodities prices may move in tandem with the prices of financial assets and thus may not provide overall portfolio diversification benefits. Under favorable economic conditions, an investment in commodities may be expected to underperform an investment in traditional securities. Over the long term, the returns on the Fund’s investments in commodities are expected to exhibit low or negative correlation with stocks and bonds.
Because commodity-linked derivative instruments are available from a relatively small number of issuers, the Fund’s investments in commodity-linked derivative instruments are particularly subject to counterparty risk, which is the risk that the issuer of the commodity-linked derivative (which issuer may also serve as counterparty to a substantial number of the Fund’s commodity-linked and other derivative investments) will not fulfill its contractual obligations.
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Convertible Securities
The Enhanced Income Fund, Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in convertible securities. Convertible securities are bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks or other securities that may be converted into or exchanged for a specified amount of common stock (or other securities) of the same or different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security entitles the holder to receive interest that is generally paid or accrued on debt or a dividend that is paid or accrued on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Convertible securities have unique investment characteristics, in that they generally (i) have higher yields than common stocks, but lower yields than comparable non-convertible securities, (ii) are less subject to fluctuation in value than the underlying common stock due to their fixed income characteristics and (iii) provide the potential for capital appreciation if the market price of the underlying common stock increases.
The value of a convertible security is a function of its “investment value” (determined by its yield in comparison with the yields of other securities of comparable maturity and quality that do not have a conversion privilege) and its “conversion value” (the security’s worth, at market value, if converted into the underlying common stock). The investment value of a convertible security is influenced by changes in interest rates, with investment value normally declining as interest rates increase and increasing as interest rates decline. The credit standing of the issuer and other factors may also have an effect on the convertible security’s investment value. The conversion value of a convertible security is determined by the market price of the underlying common stock. If the conversion value is low relative to the investment value, the price of the convertible security is governed principally by its investment value. To the extent the market price of the underlying common stock approaches or exceeds the conversion price, the price of the convertible security will be increasingly influenced by its conversion value. A convertible security generally will sell at a premium over its conversion value by the extent to which investors place value on the right to acquire the underlying common stock while holding a fixed income security.
A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price established in the convertible security’s governing instrument. If a convertible security held by a Fund is called for redemption, the Fund will be required to convert the security into the underlying common stock, sell it to a third party, or permit the issuer to redeem the security. Any of these actions could have an adverse effect on a Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective, which, in turn, could result in losses to the Fund. To the extent that a Fund holds a convertible security, or a security that is otherwise converted or exchanged for common stock (e.g., as a result of a restructuring), the Fund may, consistent with its investment objective, hold such common stock in its portfolio.
Corporate Debt Obligations
Each Fund (other than the Short Duration Government Fund) may invest in corporate debt obligations, including obligations of industrial, utility and financial issuers. Corporate debt obligations include bonds, notes, debentures and other obligations of corporations to pay interest and repay principal. Corporate debt obligations are subject to the risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payments on the obligations and may also be subject to price volatility due to such factors as market interest rates, market perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity.
Corporate debt obligations rated BBB or Baa are considered medium-grade obligations with speculative characteristics, and adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances may weaken their issuers’ capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Medium to lower rated and comparable non-rated securities tend to offer higher yields than higher rated securities with the same maturities because the historical financial condition of the issuers of such securities may not have been as strong as that of other issuers. The price of corporate debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to fluctuations in supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the price of corporate debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to interest rate levels. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in each Fund’s NAV. Because medium to lower rated securities generally involve greater risks of loss of income and principal than higher rated securities, investors should consider carefully the relative risks associated with investment in securities which carry medium to lower ratings and in comparable unrated securities. In addition to the risk of default, there are the related costs of recovery on defaulted issues.
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The Investment Adviser will attempt to reduce these risks through portfolio diversification and by analysis of each issuer and its ability to make timely payments of income and principal, as well as broad economic trends and corporate developments.

The Investment Adviser employs its own credit research and analysis, which includes a study of an issuer’s existing debt, capital structure, ability to service debt and pay dividends, sensitivity to economic conditions, operating history and current earnings trend. The Investment Adviser continually monitors the investments in a Fund’s portfolio and evaluates whether to dispose of or to retain corporate debt obligations whose credit ratings or credit quality may have changed. If after its purchase, a portfolio security is assigned a lower rating or ceases to be rated, a Fund may continue to hold the security if the Investment Adviser believes it is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.
Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates
Each Fund may invest in custodial receipts and trust certificates, which may be underwritten by securities dealers or banks, representing interests in securities held by a custodian or trustee. The securities so held may include U.S. Government Securities (as defined below), municipal securities or other types of securities in which a Fund may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates are underwritten by securities dealers or banks and may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, the payment obligation of a third party that has entered into an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For purposes of certain securities laws, custodial receipts and trust certificates may not be considered obligations of the U.S. Government or other issuer of the securities held by the custodian or trustee. As a holder of custodial receipts and trust certificates, a Fund will bear its proportionate share of the fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. Each Fund may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receipts and trust certificates.
Although under the terms of a custodial receipt or trust certificate a Fund would typically be authorized to assert its rights directly against the issuer of the underlying obligation, the Fund could be required to assert through the custodian bank or trustee those rights as may exist against the underlying issuers. Thus, in the event an underlying issuer fails to pay principal and/or interest when due, a Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation of the issuer. In addition, in the event that the trust or custodial account in which the underlying securities have been deposited is determined to be an association taxable as a corporation, instead of a non-taxable entity, the yield on the underlying securities would be reduced in recognition of any taxes paid.
Certain custodial receipts and trust certificates may be synthetic or derivative instruments that have interest rates that reset inversely to changing short-term rates and/or have embedded interest rate floors and caps that require the issuer to pay an adjusted interest rate if market rates fall below or rise above a specified rate. Because some of these instruments represent relatively recent innovations, and the trading market for these instruments is less developed than the markets for traditional types of instruments, it is uncertain how these instruments will perform under different economic and interest-rate scenarios. Also, because these instruments may be leveraged, their market values may be more volatile than other types of fixed income instruments and may present greater potential for capital gain or loss. The possibility of default by an issuer or the issuer’s credit provider may be greater for these derivative instruments than for other types of instruments. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine the fair value of a derivative instrument because of a lack of reliable objective information and an established secondary market for some instruments may not exist. In many cases, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has not ruled on the tax treatment of the interest or payments received on the derivative instruments and, accordingly, purchases of such instruments are based on the opinion of counsel to the sponsors of the instruments.
Derivatives and Similar Instruments
The Funds may invest in derivatives and similar instruments discussed elsewhere in this SAI. The use of derivatives and similar instruments may pose risks in addition to and greater than those associated with investing directly in securities, currencies or other assets and instruments and may result in losses due to adverse market movements. Pursuant to Rule 18f-4 under the Act, a Fund’s use of derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations is subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit and reporting and certain other requirements if the Fund is a fund that does not qualify as a “limited derivatives user” under Rule 18f-4 (“Full Compliance Fund”). The Trust has also adopted and implemented a derivatives risk management program (the “DRMP”) to, among other things, manage the risks associated with the use of derivatives and these other transactions for series of the
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Trust that are Full compliance Funds. The Board of Trustees has approved the designation of personnel from GSAM to administer the DRMP for the Full Compliance Funds. With respect to series of the Trust that qualify as “limited derivatives users” under Rule 18f-4 (each, an “LDU Fund”), the Trust has adopted and implemented policies and procedures to manage an LDU Fund’s derivatives risks. An LDU Fund is also subject to the derivatives exposure threshold set forth in Rule 18f-4.
Similar to bank borrowings, derivatives and similar instruments may result in leverage. Borrowing and the use of derivatives and similar instruments may magnify the potential for gains and losses in excess of the initial amount invested. Mutual funds can borrow money from banks and other financial institutions, subject to certain asset coverage limits. The amount of indebtedness from bank borrowings may not exceed one-third of a Fund’s total assets (including the amount borrowed). If a Fund uses reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions, including certain tender option bonds, the Fund must either aggregate the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of indebtedness associated with any bank borrowings, if applicable, when calculating a Fund’s asset coverage ratio or treat all such transactions as derivatives transactions subject to the leverage limits under Rule 18f-4.
In addition, under Rule 18f-4, a Fund is permitted to invest in a security on a when-issued or forward-settling basis, or with a non-standard settlement cycle, and the transaction will be deemed not to involve a “senior security,” provided that (i) the Fund intends to physically settle the transaction and (ii) the transaction will settle within 35 days of its trade date). A Fund may otherwise engage in such transactions that do not meet these conditions so long as the Fund treats any such transaction as a “derivatives transaction” for purposes of compliance with Rule 18f-4. Furthermore, under Rule 18f-4, a Fund will be permitted to enter into an unfunded commitment agreement, and such unfunded commitment agreement will not be subject to the limits on borrowings as described above, if the Fund reasonably believes, at the time it enters into such agreement, that it will have sufficient cash and cash equivalents to meet its obligations with respect to all such agreements as they come due.
These requirements may limit the ability of a Fund to use derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions, delayed-settlement securities and unfunded commitment agreements as part of its investment strategies.
From time to time, a Fund may enter into derivatives or other similar transactions that require the Fund to pledge margin or collateral to a counterparty or clearing member through a margin/collateral account for and on behalf of the counterparty or clearing member. For operational, cost, regulatory or other reasons, when setting up these arrangements, a Fund may be required to use a margin/collateral account model or naming convention that may not be the most protective option available in the case of a default or bankruptcy by a counterparty or clearing member or that may delay or impair the Fund from fully exercising its rights under the arrangement. In the event of default or bankruptcy by a counterparty or clearing member, the margin or collateral may be subject to legal proceedings and a Fund may be delayed in taking possession of any margin or collateral to which the Fund is legally entitled.
Distressed Debt
The Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, High Yield Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Bond Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in the securities and other obligations of financially troubled companies, including stressed, distressed and bankrupt issuers and debt obligations that are in covenant or payment default. In addition, investments of a Fund may become distressed or bankrupt following the Fund’s initial acquisition of the security. Historically, economic downturns or increases in interest rates have, under certain circumstances, resulted in a higher occurrence of default by the issuers of these instruments. Such investments generally trade significantly below par and are considered speculative. The repayment of defaulted obligations is subject to significant uncertainties. Defaulted obligations might be repaid only after lengthy workout or bankruptcy proceedings, during which the issuer might not make any interest or other payments. Typically, such workout or bankruptcy proceedings result in only partial recovery of cash payments or an exchange of the defaulted obligation for other debt or equity securities of the issuer or its affiliates, which may in turn be speculative.
In any investment involving stressed and distressed debt obligations, there exists the risk that the transaction involving such debt obligations will be unsuccessful, take considerable time or will result in a distribution of cash or a new security or obligation in exchange for the stressed and distressed debt obligations, the value of which may be less than the Fund’s purchase price of such debt obligations. Furthermore, if an anticipated transaction does not occur, the Fund may be required to sell its investment at a loss.
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Distressed investments may require active participation by the Investment Adviser in the restructuring of a Fund’s investment or other actions intended to protect the Fund’s investment; however, there may be situations where the Investment Adviser may determine to not so participate due to regulatory, tax or other considerations. In addition, a Fund may participate on creditors’ committees to negotiate with the management of financially troubled issuers of securities held by the Fund. Such participation may subject a Fund to additional expenses (including legal fees) and may make a Fund an “insider” of the issuer for purposes of the federal securities laws. This may result in increased litigation risks to a Fund or may restrict the Investment Adviser’s ability to dispose of the security.
There are a number of significant risks inherent in the bankruptcy process. Many events in a bankruptcy are the product of contested matters and adversary proceedings and are beyond the control of the creditors. A bankruptcy filing by an issuer may adversely and permanently affect the issuer, and if the proceeding is converted to a liquidation, the value of the issuer may not equal the liquidation value that was believed to exist at the time of the investment. The duration of a bankruptcy proceeding is difficult to predict, and a creditor’s return on investment can be adversely affected by delays until the plan of reorganization ultimately becomes effective. The administrative costs in connection with a bankruptcy proceeding are frequently high and would be paid out of the debtor’s estate prior to any return to creditors. Because the standards for classification of claims under bankruptcy law are vague, there exists the risk that the Fund’s influence with respect to the class of securities or other obligations it owns can be lost by increases in the number and amount of claims in the same class or by different classification and treatment. In the early stages of the bankruptcy process it is often difficult to estimate the extent of, or even to identify, any contingent claims that might be made. In addition, certain claims that have priority by law (for example, claims for taxes) may be substantial.
These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in securities and other obligations of financially troubled companies.
Dividend-Paying Investments
A Fund’s investments in dividend-paying securities could cause the Fund to underperform other funds that invest in similar asset classes but employ a different investment style. Securities that pay dividends, as a group, can fall out of favor with the market, causing such securities to underperform securities that do not pay dividends. Depending upon market conditions and political and legislative responses to such conditions, dividend-paying securities that meet a Fund's investment criteria may not be widely available and/or may be highly concentrated in only a few market sectors. For example, in response to the outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus (known as COVID-19), the U.S. Government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in March 2020, which established loan programs for certain issuers impacted by COVID-19. Among other conditions, borrowers under these loan programs are generally restricted from paying dividends. The adoption of new legislation could further limit or restrict the ability of issuers to pay dividends. To the extent that dividend-paying securities are concentrated in only a few market sectors, a Fund may be subject to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions or developments that may be particular to a sector to a greater extent than if its investments were diversified across different sectors. In addition, issuers that have paid regular dividends or distributions to shareholders may not continue to do so at the same level or at all in the future. A sharp rise in interest rates or an economic downturn could cause an issuer to abruptly reduce or eliminate its dividend. This may limit the ability of the Fund to produce current income.
Equity Investments
The Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund (with respect to the Income Fund, up to 10% of its Total Assets) may purchase equity investments. In addition, after its purchase, a portfolio investment (such as a convertible debt obligation) may convert to an equity security. The Fund may also acquire equity securities in connection with a restructuring or other event related to one or more of its investments. If this occurs, the Fund may continue to hold the investment (or make additional purchases of that equity investment) if the Investment Adviser believes it is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.
Floating Rate Loans and Other Variable and Floating Rate Securities
The interest rates payable on certain securities in which a Fund may invest are not fixed and may fluctuate based upon changes in market rates. Variable and floating rate obligations are debt instruments issued by companies or other entities with interest rates that reset periodically (typically, daily, monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually) in response to changes in the market rate of interest on
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which the interest rate is based. Moreover, such obligations may fluctuate in value in response to interest rate changes if there is a delay between changes in market interest rates and the interest reset date for the obligation. The value of these obligations is generally more stable than that of a fixed rate obligation in response to changes in interest rate levels, but they may decline in value if their interest rates do not rise as much, or as quickly, as interest rates in general. Conversely, floating rate securities will not generally increase in value if interest rates decline.
Floating rate loans consist generally of obligations of companies or other entities (e.g., a U.S. or foreign bank, insurance company or finance company) (collectively, “borrowers”) incurred for a variety of purposes. Floating rate loans may be acquired by direct investment as a lender or as an assignment of the portion of a floating rate loan previously attributable to a different lender. The Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Long Short Credit Strategies Fund may also invest in floating rate loans through a participation interest (which represents a fractional interest in a floating rate loan) issued by a lender or other financial institution.
Floating rate loans may be obligations of borrowers who are highly leveraged. Floating rate loans may be structured to include both term loans, which are generally fully funded at the time of the making of the loan, and revolving credit facilities, which would require additional investments upon the borrower’s demand. A revolving credit facility may require a purchaser to increase its investment in a floating rate loan at a time when it would not otherwise have done so, even if the borrower’s condition makes it unlikely that the amount will ever be repaid.
A floating rate loan offered as part of the original lending syndicate typically is purchased at par value. As part of the original lending syndicate, a purchaser generally earns a yield equal to the stated interest rate. In addition, members of the original syndicate typically are paid a commitment fee. In secondary market trading, floating rate loans may be purchased or sold above, at, or below par, which can result in a yield that is below, equal to, or above the stated interest rate, respectively. At certain times when reduced opportunities exist for investing in new syndicated floating rate loans, floating rate loans may be available only through the secondary market. There can be no assurance that an adequate supply of floating rate loans will be available for purchase.
Historically, floating rate loans have not been registered with the SEC or any state securities commission or listed on any securities exchange. As a result, the amount of public information available about a specific floating rate loan historically has been less extensive than if the floating rate loan were registered or exchange-traded. As a result, no active market may exist for some floating rate loans.
Purchasers of floating rate loans and other forms of debt obligations depend primarily upon the creditworthiness of the borrower for payment of interest and repayment of principal. If scheduled interest or principal payments are not made, the value of the obligation may be adversely affected. Floating rate loans and other debt obligations that are fully secured provide more protections than unsecured obligations in the event of failure to make scheduled interest or principal payments. Indebtedness of borrowers whose creditworthiness is poor involves substantially greater risks and may be highly speculative. Borrowers that are in bankruptcy or restructuring may never pay off their indebtedness, or may pay only a small fraction of the amount owed. Some floating rate loans and other debt obligations are not rated by any NRSRO. In connection with the restructuring of a floating rate loan or other debt obligation outside of bankruptcy court in a negotiated work-out or in the context of bankruptcy proceedings, equity securities or junior debt obligations may be received in exchange for all or a portion of an interest in the obligation.
From time to time, Goldman Sachs and its affiliates may borrow money from various banks in connection with their business activities. These banks also may sell floating rate loans to a Fund or acquire floating rate loans from the Fund, or may be intermediate participants with respect to floating rate loans owned by the Fund. These banks also may act as agents for floating rate loans that the Fund owns.
Agents. Floating rate loans typically are originated, negotiated, and structured by a bank, insurance company, finance company, or other financial institution (the “agent”) for a lending syndicate of financial institutions. The borrower and the lender or lending syndicate enter into a loan agreement. In addition, an institution (typically, but not always, the agent) holds any collateral on behalf of the lenders.
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In a typical floating rate loan, the agent administers the terms of the loan agreement and is responsible for the collection of principal and interest and fee payments from the borrower and the apportionment of these payments to all lenders that are parties to the loan agreement. Purchasers will rely on the agent to use appropriate creditor remedies against the borrower. Typically, under loan agreements, the agent is given broad discretion in monitoring the borrower’s performance and is obligated to use the same care it would use in the management of its own property. Upon an event of default, the agent typically will enforce the loan agreement after instruction from the lenders. The borrower compensates the agent for these services. This compensation may include special fees paid on structuring and funding the floating rate loan and other fees paid on a continuing basis. The typical practice of an agent or a lender in relying exclusively or primarily on reports from the borrower may involve a risk of fraud by the borrower.
If an agent becomes insolvent, or has a receiver, conservator, or similar official appointed for it by the appropriate bank or other regulatory authority, or becomes a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding, the agent’s appointment may be terminated, and a successor agent would be appointed. If an appropriate regulator or court determines that assets held by the agent for the benefit of the purchasers of floating rate loans are subject to the claims of the agent’s general or secured creditors, the purchasers might incur certain costs and delays in realizing payment on a floating rate loan or suffer a loss of principal and/or interest. Furthermore, in the event of the borrower’s bankruptcy or insolvency, the borrower’s obligation to repay a floating rate loan may be subject to certain defenses that the borrower can assert as a result of improper conduct by the agent.
Assignments. The Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Long Short Credit Strategies Fund may purchase an assignment of a portion of a floating rate loan from an agent or from another group of investors. The purchase of an assignment typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations under the original loan agreement; however, assignments may also be arranged through private negotiations between potential assignees and potential assignors, and the rights and obligations acquired by the purchaser of an assignment may differ from, and be more limited than, those held by the assigning agent or investor.
Loan Participation Interests. Purchasers of participation interests do not have any direct contractual relationship with the borrower. Purchasers rely on the lender who sold the participation interest not only for the enforcement of the purchaser’s rights against the borrower but also for the receipt and processing of payments due under the floating rate loan. For additional information, see the section “Loans and Loan Participations” below.
Liquidity. Floating rate loans may be transferable among financial institutions, but may not have the liquidity of conventional debt securities and are often subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale. Floating rate loans are not currently listed on any securities exchange or automatic quotation system. As a result, no active market may exist for some floating rate loans. To the extent a secondary market exists for other floating rate loans, such market may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads, and extended trade settlement periods. The lack of a highly liquid secondary market for floating rate loans may have an adverse effect on the value of such loans and may make it more difficult to value the loans for purposes of calculating their respective NAV. These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in floating rate loans and other variable and floating rate securities.
Extended Trade Settlement Periods. Because transactions in many floating rate loans are subject to extended trade settlement periods, a Fund may not receive the proceeds from the sale of a loan for a period after the sale. As a result, sale proceeds related to the sale of floating rate loans may not be available to make additional investments or to meet a Fund’s redemption obligations for a period after the sale of the loans, and, as a result, the Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions, such as borrowing from its credit facility, if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations.
Collateral. Most floating rate loans are secured by specific collateral of the borrower and are senior to most other securities or obligations of the borrower. The collateral typically has a market value, at the time the floating rate loan is made, that equals or exceeds the principal amount of the floating rate loan. The value of the collateral may decline, be insufficient to meet the obligations of the borrower, or be difficult to liquidate. As a result, a floating rate loan may not be fully collateralized and can decline significantly in value.
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Floating rate loan collateral may consist of various types of assets or interests, including working capital assets, such as accounts receivable or inventory; tangible or intangible assets; or assets or other types of guarantees of affiliates of the borrower.
Generally, floating rate loans are secured unless (i) the purchaser’s security interest in the collateral is invalidated for any reason by a court, or (ii) the collateral is fully released with the consent of the agent bank and lenders or under the terms of a loan agreement as the creditworthiness of the borrower improves. Collateral impairment is the risk that the value of the collateral for a floating rate loan will be insufficient in the event that a borrower defaults. Although the terms of a floating rate loan generally require that the collateral at issuance have a value at least equal to 100% of the amount of such floating rate loan, the value of the collateral may decline subsequent to the purchase of a floating rate loan. In most loan agreements there is no formal requirement to pledge additional collateral. There is no guarantee that the sale of collateral would allow a borrower to meet its obligations should the borrower be unable to repay principal or pay interest or that the collateral could be sold quickly or easily.
In addition, most borrowers pay their debts from the cash flow they generate. If the borrower’s cash flow is insufficient to pay its debts as they come due, the borrower may seek to restructure its debts rather than sell collateral.
Borrowers may try to restructure their debts by filing for protection under the federal bankruptcy laws or negotiating a work-out. If a borrower becomes involved in bankruptcy proceedings, access to the collateral may be limited by bankruptcy and other laws. In the event that a court decides that access to the collateral is limited or void, it is unlikely that purchasers could recover the full amount of the principal and interest due.
There may be temporary periods when the principal asset held by a borrower is the stock of a related company, which may not legally be pledged to secure a floating rate loan. On occasions when such stock cannot be pledged, the floating rate loan will be temporarily unsecured until the stock can be pledged or is exchanged for, or replaced by, other assets.
Some floating rate loans are unsecured. The claims of holders under unsecured loans are subordinated to claims of creditors holding secured indebtedness and possibly also to claims of other creditors holding unsecured debt. Unsecured loans have a greater risk of default than secured loans, particularly during periods of deteriorating economic conditions. If the borrower defaults on an unsecured floating rate loan, there is no specific collateral on which the purchaser can foreclose.
Floating Interest Rates. The rate of interest payable on floating rate loans and other floating or variable rate obligations is the sum of a base lending rate plus a specified spread. Base lending rates are generally the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”), a term SOFR rate published by CME Group Benchmark Administration Limited (CBA) calculated using certain derivatives markets (Term SOFR”) or another rate determined using SOFR, the Prime Rate of a designated U.S. bank, the Federal Funds Rate, or another base lending rate used by commercial lenders. A borrower usually has the right to select the base lending rate and to change the base lending rate at specified intervals. The applicable spread may be fixed at time of issuance or may adjust upward or downward to reflect changes in credit quality of the borrower.
The interest rate on SOFR- and Term SOFR-based floating rate loans/obligations is reset periodically at intervals ranging from 30 to 180 days, while the interest rate on Prime Rate- or Federal Funds Rate-based floating rate loans/obligations floats daily as those rates change. Investment in floating rate loans/obligations with longer interest rate reset periods can increase fluctuations in the floating rate loans’ values when interest rates change.
The yield on a floating rate loan/obligation will primarily depend on the terms of the underlying floating rate loan/obligation and the base lending rate chosen by the borrower. The relationship between SOFR, Term SOFR, the Prime Rate, and the Federal Funds Rate will vary as market conditions change.
Maturity. Floating rate loans typically will have a stated term of five to nine years. However, because floating rate loans are frequently prepaid, their average maturity is expected to be two to three years. The degree to which borrowers prepay floating rate loans, whether as a contractual requirement or at their election, may be affected by general business conditions, the borrower’s financial condition, and competitive conditions among lenders. Prepayments cannot be predicted with accuracy. Prepayments of principal to the purchaser of a floating rate loan may result in the principal’s being reinvested in floating rate loans with lower yields.
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Supply of Floating Rate Loans. The legislation of state or federal regulators that regulate certain financial institutions may impose additional requirements or restrictions on the ability of such institutions to make loans, particularly with respect to highly leveraged transactions. The supply of floating rate loans may be limited from time to time due to a lack of sellers in the market for existing floating rate loans or the number of new floating rate loans currently being issued. As a result, the floating rate loans available for purchase may be lower quality or higher priced.
Restrictive Covenants. A borrower must comply with various restrictive covenants contained in the loan agreement. In addition to requiring the scheduled payment of interest and principal, these covenants may include restrictions on dividend payments and other distributions to stockholders, provisions requiring the borrower to maintain specific financial ratios, and limits on total debt. The loan agreement may also contain a covenant requiring the borrower to prepay the floating rate loan with any free cash flow. A breach of a covenant that is not waived by the agent (or by the lenders directly) is normally an event of default, which provides the agent or the lenders the right to call the outstanding floating rate loan.
Fees. Purchasers of floating rate loans may receive and/or pay certain fees. These fees are in addition to interest payments received and may include facility fees, commitment fees, commissions, and prepayment penalty fees. When a purchaser buys a floating rate loan, it may receive a facility fee; and when it sells a floating rate loan, it may pay a facility fee. A purchaser may receive a commitment fee based on the undrawn portion of the underlying line of credit portion of a floating rate loan or a prepayment penalty fee on the prepayment of a floating rate loan. A purchaser may also receive other fees, including covenant waiver fees and covenant modification fees.
Other Types of Floating Rate Debt Obligations. Floating rate debt obligations include other forms of indebtedness of borrowers such as notes and bonds, obligations with fixed rate interest payments in conjunction with a right to receive floating rate interest payments, and shares of other investment companies. These instruments are generally subject to the same risks as floating rate loans but are often more widely issued and traded.
Inverse Floating Rate Debt Obligations. Each Fund (other than the Enhanced Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund) may invest in “leveraged” inverse floating rate debt instruments (“inverse floaters”), including “leveraged inverse floaters.” The interest rate on inverse floaters resets in the opposite direction from the market rate of interest to which the inverse floater is indexed. An inverse floater may be considered to be leveraged to the extent that its interest rate varies by a magnitude that exceeds the magnitude of the change in the index rate of interest. The higher the degree of leverage inherent in inverse floaters is associated with greater volatility in their market values. Accordingly, the duration of an inverse floater may exceed its stated final maturity.
Foreign Investments
Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Global Core Fixed Income Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in securities of foreign issuers, including securities quoted or denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars. Enhanced Income Fund may only invest in securities of foreign issuers that are denominated in U.S. dollars. Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund invests primarily in securities denominated in currencies other than U.S. dollars. Investments in foreign securities may offer potential benefits not available from investments solely in U.S. dollar-denominated or quoted securities of domestic issuers. Such benefits may include the opportunity to invest in foreign issuers that appear, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, to offer the potential for better long term growth of capital and income than investments in U.S. securities, the opportunity to invest in foreign countries with economic policies or business cycles different from those of the United States and the opportunity to reduce fluctuations in portfolio value by taking advantage of foreign securities markets that do not necessarily move in a manner parallel to U.S. markets. Investing in the securities of foreign issuers also involves, however, certain special risks, including those discussed in the Funds’ Prospectuses and those set forth below, which are not typically associated with investing in U.S. dollar-denominated securities or quoted securities of U.S. issuers. Many of these risks are more pronounced for investments in emerging economies.
With respect to investments in certain foreign countries, there exist certain economic, political and social risks, including the risk of adverse political developments, nationalization, military unrest, social instability, war and terrorism, confiscation without fair
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compensation, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, limitations on the movement of funds and other assets between different countries, or diplomatic developments, any of which could adversely affect a Fund’s investments in those countries. Governments in certain foreign countries continue to participate to a significant degree, through ownership interest or regulation, in their respective economies. Action by these governments could have a significant effect on market prices of securities and dividend payments.
Many countries throughout the world are dependent on a healthy U.S. economy and are adversely affected when the U.S. economy weakens or its markets decline. Additionally, many foreign country economies are heavily dependent on international trade and are adversely affected by protective trade barriers and economic conditions of their trading partners. Protectionist trade legislation enacted by those trading partners could have a significant adverse effect on the securities markets of those countries. Individual foreign economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross national product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position.
From time to time, certain of the companies in which a Fund may invest may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargos imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. For example, the United Nations Security Council has imposed certain sanctions relating to Iran and Sudan and both countries are embargoed countries by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
In addition, from time to time, certain of the companies in which a Fund may invest may engage in, or have dealings with countries or companies that engage in, activities that may not be considered socially and/or environmentally responsible. Such activities may relate to human rights issues (such as patterns of human rights abuses or violations, persecution or discrimination), impacts to local communities in which companies operate and environmental sustainability. For a description of the Investment Adviser’s approach to responsible and sustainable investing, please see GSAM’s Statement on Responsible and Sustainable Investing at https://www.gsam.com/content/dam/gsam/pdfs/common/en/public/miscellaneous/GSAM_statement_on_respon_sustainable_investing.pdf.
As a result, a company may suffer damage to its reputation if it is identified as a company which engages in, or has dealings with countries or companies that engage in, the above referenced activities. As an investor in such companies, a Fund would be indirectly subject to those risks.
The Investment Adviser is committed to complying fully with sanctions in effect as of the date of this Statement of Additional Information and any other applicable sanctions that may be enacted in the future with respect to Sudan or any other country.
Investments in foreign securities often involve currencies of foreign countries. Accordingly, a Fund that invests in foreign securities may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency rates and in exchange control regulations and may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. The Funds may be subject to currency exposure independent of their securities positions. To the extent that a Fund is fully invested in foreign securities while also maintaining net currency positions, it may be exposed to greater combined risk.
Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. They generally are determined by the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets and the relative merits of investments in different countries, actual or anticipated changes in interest rates and other complex factors, as seen from an international perspective. Currency exchange rates also can be affected unpredictably by intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks or by currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad. To the extent that a portion of a Fund’s total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries. A Fund’s net currency positions may expose it to risks independent of its securities positions.
Because foreign issuers generally are not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies, there may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than about a U.S. company. Volume and liquidity in most foreign securities markets are less than in the United States and securities of many foreign companies are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. companies. The securities of
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foreign issuers may be listed on foreign securities exchanges or traded in foreign over-the-counter markets. Fixed commissions on foreign securities exchanges are generally higher than negotiated commissions on U.S. exchanges, although each Fund endeavors to achieve the most favorable net results on its portfolio transactions. There is generally less government supervision and regulation of foreign securities exchanges, brokers, dealers and listed and unlisted companies than in the United States, and the legal remedies for investors may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States. For example, there may be no comparable provisions under certain foreign laws to insider trading and similar investor protections that apply with respect to securities transactions consummated in the United States. Mail service between the United States and foreign countries may be slower or less reliable than within the United States, thus increasing the risk of delayed settlement of portfolio transactions or loss of certificates for portfolio securities.
Foreign markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures, and in certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. Such delays in settlement could result in temporary periods when some of the assets of a Fund are uninvested and no return is earned on such assets. The inability of a Fund to make intended security purchases due to settlement problems could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities due to settlement problems could result either in losses to the Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio securities, or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the securities, in possible liability to the purchaser.
These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in securities of foreign issuers.
Foreign Government Obligations. Foreign government obligations include securities, instruments and obligations issued or guaranteed by a foreign government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. Investment in foreign government obligations can involve a high degree of risk. The governmental entity that controls the repayment of foreign government obligations may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt. A governmental entity’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest due in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the governmental entity’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund and the political constraints to which a governmental entity may be subject. Governmental entities may also be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest on their debt. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on a governmental entity’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Consequently, governmental entities may default on their debt. Holders of foreign government obligations (including a Fund) may be requested to participate in the rescheduling of such debt and to extend further loans to governmental agencies.
Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts
Each Fund may purchase and sell various kinds of futures contracts, and may also purchase and write call and put options on any of such futures contracts. A Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to any of such contracts and options. The futures contracts may be based on various securities (such as U.S. Government Securities), securities indices, foreign currencies in the case of the Global Core Fixed Income Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund and any other financial instruments and indices. Financial futures contracts used by each of the Funds may include interest rate futures contracts.
A Fund may engage in futures and related options transactions in order to seek to increase total return or to hedge against changes in interest rates, securities prices or, if a Fund invests in foreign securities (except the U.S. Mortgages Fund and Enhanced Income Fund), currency exchange rates, or to otherwise manage its term structure, sector selection and duration in accordance with
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its investment objective and policies. Each Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to such contracts and options.
Futures contracts entered into by a Fund have historically been traded on U.S. exchanges or boards of trade that are licensed and regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) or, with respect to certain funds, on foreign exchanges. More recently, certain futures may also be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as derivatives transaction execution facilities, exempt boards of trade or electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by the CFTC. Also, certain single stock futures and narrow based security index futures may be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as contract markets, derivatives transaction execution facilities and electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by both the CFTC and the SEC or on foreign exchanges.
Neither the CFTC, National Futures Association (“NFA”), SEC nor any domestic exchange regulates activities of any foreign exchange or boards of trade, including the execution, delivery and clearing of transactions, or has the power to compel enforcement of the rules of a foreign exchange or board of trade or any applicable foreign law. This is true even if the exchange is formally linked to a domestic market so that a position taken on the market may be liquidated by a transaction on another market. Moreover, such laws or regulations will vary depending on the foreign country in which the foreign futures or foreign options transaction occurs. For these reasons, a Fund’s investments in foreign futures or foreign options transactions may not be provided the same protections in respect of transactions on United States exchanges. In particular, persons who trade foreign futures or foreign options contracts may not be afforded certain of the protective measures provided by the CEA, the CFTC’s regulations and the rules of the NFA and any domestic exchange, including the right to use reparations proceedings before the CFTC and arbitration proceedings provided by the NFA or any domestic futures exchange. Similarly, these persons may not have the protection of the U.S. securities laws.
Futures Contracts. A futures contract may generally be described as an agreement between two parties to buy and sell particular financial instruments or currencies for an agreed price during a designated month (or to deliver the final cash settlement price, in the case of a contract relating to an index or otherwise not calling for physical delivery at the end of trading in the contract).
When interest rates are rising or securities prices are falling, a Fund can seek through the sale of futures contracts to offset a decline in the value of its current portfolio securities. When interest rates are falling or securities prices are rising, a Fund, through the purchase of futures contracts, can attempt to secure better rates or prices than might later be available in the market when it effects anticipated purchases. Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Income Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Global Core Fixed Income Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts on a specified currency in order to seek to increase total return or to protect against changes in currency exchange rates. For example, the Fund can purchase futures contracts on foreign currency to establish the price in U.S. dollars of a security quoted or denominated in such currency that such Fund has acquired or expects to acquire. In addition, certain Funds may enter into futures transactions to seek a closer correlation between a Fund’s overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of a Fund’s performance benchmark.
Positions taken in the futures market are not normally held to maturity, but are instead liquidated through offsetting transactions which may result in a profit or a loss. While a Fund will usually liquidate futures contracts on securities or currency in this manner, the Fund may instead make or take delivery of the underlying securities or currency whenever it appears economically advantageous for the Fund to do so. A clearing corporation associated with the exchange on which futures on securities or currency are traded guarantees that, if still open, the sale or purchase will be performed on the settlement date.
Hedging Strategies Using Futures Contracts. When a Fund uses futures contracts for hedging purposes, the Fund often seeks to establish with more certainty than would otherwise be possible the effective price or rate of return on portfolio securities (or securities that the Fund proposes to acquire) or the exchange rate of currencies in which portfolio securities are quoted or denominated. A Fund may, for example, take a “short” position in the futures market by selling futures contracts to seek to hedge against an anticipated rise in interest rates or a decline in market prices or foreign currency rates that would adversely affect the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. Such futures contracts may include contracts for the future delivery of securities held by a Fund or securities with characteristics similar to those of a Fund’s portfolio securities. Similarly, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Global Core Fixed Income Fund, High Yield Funds, High Yield Floating Rate Fund,
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Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Funds, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may each sell futures contracts on any currencies in which its portfolio securities are quoted or denominated, or sell futures contracts on one currency to seek to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities quoted or denominated in a different currency if there is an established historical pattern of correlation between the two currencies. If, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, there is a sufficient degree of correlation between price trends for a Fund’s portfolio securities and futures contracts based on other financial instruments, securities indices or other indices, the Funds may also enter into such futures contracts as part of a hedging strategy. Although under some circumstances prices of securities in a Fund’s portfolio may be more or less volatile than prices of such futures contracts, the Investment Adviser will attempt to estimate the extent of this volatility difference based on historical patterns and compensate for any such differential by having a Fund enter into a greater or lesser number of futures contracts or by attempting to achieve only a partial hedge against price changes affecting a Fund’s portfolio securities. When hedging of this character is successful, any depreciation in the value of portfolio securities will be substantially offset by appreciation in the value of the futures position. On the other hand, any unanticipated appreciation in the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities would be substantially offset by a decline in the value of the futures position.
On other occasions, a Fund may take a “long” position by purchasing such futures contracts. This may be done, for example, when a Fund anticipates the subsequent purchase of particular securities when it has the necessary cash, but expects the prices or currency exchange rates then available in the applicable market to be less favorable than prices or rates that are currently available.
Options on Futures Contracts. The acquisition of put and call options on futures contracts will give a Fund the right (but not the obligation), for a specified price, to sell or to purchase, respectively, the underlying futures contract at any time during the option period. As the purchaser of an option on a futures contract, a Fund obtains the benefit of the futures position if prices move in a favorable direction but limits its risk of loss in the event of an unfavorable price movement to the loss of the premium and transaction costs.
The writing of a call option on a futures contract generates a premium which may partially offset a decline in the value of a Fund’s assets. By writing a call option, a Fund becomes obligated, in exchange for the premium, to sell a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value higher than the exercise price. The writing of a put option on a futures contract generates a premium, which may partially offset an increase in the price of securities that a Fund intends to purchase. However, a Fund becomes obligated (upon the exercise of the option) to purchase a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value lower than the exercise price. Thus, the loss incurred by a Fund in writing options on futures is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received. A Fund will incur transaction costs in connection with the writing of options on futures.
The holder or writer of an option on a futures contract may terminate its position by selling or purchasing an offsetting option on the same financial instrument. There is no guarantee that such closing transactions can be effected. A Fund’s ability to establish and close out positions on such options will be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid market.
Other Considerations. A Fund will engage in transactions in futures contracts and related options transactions only to the extent such transactions are consistent with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) for maintaining its qualification as a regulated investment company for federal income tax purposes. Transactions in futures contracts and options on futures involve brokerage costs and require posting margin.
While transactions in futures contracts and options on futures may reduce certain risks, such transactions themselves entail certain other risks. Thus, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in a poorer overall performance for a Fund than if it had not entered into any futures contracts or options transactions. When futures contracts and options are used for hedging purposes, perfect correlation between a Fund’s futures positions and portfolio positions may be impossible to achieve, particularly where futures contracts based on individual equity or corporate fixed income securities are currently not available. In the event of an imperfect correlation between a futures position and a portfolio position which is intended to be protected, the desired protection may not be obtained and a Fund may be exposed to risk of loss.
In addition, it is not possible for a Fund to hedge fully or perfectly against currency fluctuations affecting the value of securities quoted or denominated in foreign currencies because the value of such securities is likely to fluctuate as a result of independent
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factors unrelated to currency fluctuations. The profitability of a Fund’s trading in futures depends upon the ability of the Investment Adviser to analyze correctly the futures markets.
High Yield Securities
The Bond Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in bonds rated BB+ or below by S&P or Ba1 or below by Moody’s (or comparable rated and unrated securities). The other funds in this SAI may not invest directly in high yield securities, but may hold securities that are subsequently downgraded to below investment grade. The Dynamic Municipal Income Fund may invest up to 30% of its Net Assets in non-investment grade Municipal Securities. These bonds are commonly referred to as “junk bonds,” are non-investment grade, and are considered speculative. The ability of issuers of high yield securities to make principal and interest payments may be questionable because such issuers are often less creditworthy or are highly leveraged and are generally less able than more established or less leveraged entities to make scheduled payments of principal and interest. High yield securities are also issued by governmental issuers that may have difficulty in making all scheduled interest and principal payments. In some cases, high yield securities may be highly speculative, have poor prospects for reaching investment grade standing and be in default. As a result, investment in such bonds will entail greater risks than those associated with investments in investment grade bonds (i.e., bonds rated AAA, AA, A or BBB by S&P or Aaa, Aa, A or Baa by Moody’s). Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of high yield securities may be more complex than for issuers of higher quality debt securities, and the ability of a Fund to achieve its investment objective may, to the extent of its investments in high yield securities, be more dependent upon such creditworthiness analysis than would be the case if the Fund were investing in higher quality securities. See Appendix A for a description of the corporate bond and preferred stock ratings by S&P, Moody’s, Fitch, Inc. and Dominion Bond Rating Service Limited.
The market values of high yield securities tend to reflect individual corporate or municipal developments to a greater extent than do those of higher rated securities, which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. Issuers of high yield securities that are highly leveraged may not be able to make use of more traditional methods of financing. Their ability to service debt obligations may be more adversely affected by economic downturns or their inability to meet specific projected business forecasts than would be the case for issuers of higher-rated securities. Negative publicity about the junk bond market and investor perceptions regarding lower-rated securities, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may depress the prices for such high yield securities. In the lower quality segments of the fixed income securities market, changes in perceptions of issuers’ creditworthiness tend to occur more frequently and in a more pronounced manner than do changes in higher quality segments of the fixed income securities market, resulting in greater yield and price volatility. Another factor which causes fluctuations in the prices of high yield securities is the supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the prices of investments fluctuate in response to the general level of interest rates. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in the NAV of a Fund.
The risk of loss from default for the holders of high yield securities is significantly greater than is the case for holders of other debt securities because such high yield securities are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to the rights of other creditors of the issuers of such securities. Investment by a Fund in already defaulted securities poses an additional risk of loss should nonpayment of principal and interest continue in respect of such securities. Even if such securities are held to maturity, recovery by a Fund of its initial investment and any anticipated income or appreciation is uncertain. In addition, a Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent that it is required to seek recovery relating to the default in the payment of principal or interest on such securities or otherwise protect its interests. A Fund may be required to liquidate other portfolio securities to satisfy annual distribution obligations of the Fund in respect of accrued interest income on securities which are subsequently written off, even though the Fund has not received any cash payments of such interest.
The secondary market for high yield securities is concentrated in relatively few markets and is dominated by institutional investors, including mutual funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Accordingly, the secondary market for such securities may not be as liquid as and may be more volatile than the secondary market for higher-rated securities. In addition, the trading volume for high yield securities is generally lower than that of higher rated securities. The secondary market for high yield securities could contract under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the condition
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of a particular issuer. These factors may have an adverse effect on the ability of the Fund to dispose of particular portfolio investments when needed to meet its redemption requests or other liquidity needs. The Investment Adviser could find it difficult to sell these investments or may be able to sell the investments only at prices lower than if such investments were widely traded. Prices realized upon the sale of such lower rated or unrated securities, under these circumstances, may be less than the prices used in calculating the NAVs of the Fund. A less liquid secondary market also may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain precise valuations of the high yield securities in its portfolios.
The adoption of new legislation could adversely affect the secondary market for high yield securities and the financial condition of issuers of these securities. The form of any future legislation, and the probability of such legislation being enacted, is uncertain.
Non-investment grade or high yield securities also present risks based on payment expectations. High yield securities frequently contain “call” or buy-back features which permit the issuer to call or repurchase the security from its holder. If an issuer exercises such a “call option” and redeems the security, a Fund may have to replace such security with a lower-yielding security, resulting in a decreased return for investors. In addition, if a Fund experiences net redemptions of its shares, it may be forced to sell its higher-rated securities, resulting in a decline in the overall credit quality of its portfolio and increasing its exposure to the risks of high yield securities.
Credit ratings issued by credit rating agencies are designed to evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market value risk of high yield securities and, therefore, may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment. In addition, credit rating agencies may or may not make timely changes in a rating to reflect changes in the economy or in the conditions of the issuer that affect the market value of the security. Consequently, credit ratings are used only as a preliminary indicator of investment quality. Investments in non-investment grade and comparable unrated obligations will be more dependent on the Investment Adviser’s credit analysis than would be the case with investments in investment-grade debt obligations. The Investment Adviser employs its own credit research and analysis, which includes a study of an issuer’s existing debt, capital structure, ability to service debt and to pay dividends, sensitivity to economic conditions, operating history and current earnings trend. The Investment Adviser continually monitors the investments in the Funds’ portfolios and evaluates whether to dispose of or to retain non-investment grade and comparable unrated securities whose credit ratings or credit quality may have changed. If after its purchase, a portfolio security is assigned a lower rating or ceases to be rated, a Fund may continue to hold the security if the Investment Adviser believes it is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.
An economic downturn could severely affect the ability of highly leveraged issuers of junk bond investments to service their debt obligations or to repay their obligations upon maturity. Factors having an adverse impact on the market value of junk bonds will have an adverse effect on a Fund’s NAV to the extent it invests in such investments. In addition, a Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent it is required to seek recovery upon a default in payment of principal or interest on its portfolio holdings.
These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in high yield securities.
Illiquid Investments
Pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act, a Fund may not acquire any “illiquid investment” if, immediately after the acquisition, a Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets. An “illiquid investment” is any investment that a 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. The Trust has implemented a liquidity risk management program and related procedures to categorize each Fund's portfolio investments and identify illiquid investments pursuant to Rule 22e-4, and the Trustees have approved the designation of the Investment Adviser to administer the Trust’s liquidity risk management program and related procedures. In determining whether an investment is an illiquid investment, the Investment Adviser will take into account actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment-specific considerations. In addition, in determining the liquidity of an investment, the Investment Adviser must determine whether trading varying portions of a position in a particular portfolio investment or asset class, in sizes that a Fund would reasonably anticipate trading, is reasonably expected to
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significantly affect its liquidity, and if so, a Fund must take this determination into account when classifying the liquidity of that investment or asset class.
In addition to actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment-specific considerations, the following factors, among others, will generally impact the classification of an investment as an “illiquid investment”: (i) any investment that is placed on the Investment Adviser’s restricted trading list; and (ii) any investment that is delisted or for which there is a trading halt at the close of the trading day on the primary listing exchange at the time of classification (and in respect of which no active secondary market exists). Investments purchased by a Fund that are liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid due to these and other events and circumstances. If one or more investments in a Fund’s portfolio become illiquid, a Fund may exceed the 15% limitation in illiquid investments. In the event that changes in the portfolio or other external events cause a Fund to exceed this limit, a Fund must take steps to bring its illiquid investments that are assets to or below 15% of its net assets within a reasonable period of time. This requirement would not force a Fund to liquidate any portfolio instrument where the Fund would suffer a loss on the sale of that instrument.
Interest Rate Swaps, Mortgage Swaps, Credit Swaps, Currency Swaps, Total Return Swaps, Equity Swaps, Options on Swaps and Interest Rate Swaps, Caps, Floors and Collars
Each Fund may enter into interest rate, credit and total return swaps. Each Fund may also enter into interest rate caps, floors and collars. In addition, Short Duration Government Fund, Government Income Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Global Core Fixed Income Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may enter into mortgage swaps; and Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Global Core Fixed Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may enter into currency swaps. The Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may enter into equity swap contracts. Each Fund may also purchase and write (sell) options contracts on swaps, commonly referred to as swaptions.
Each Fund may enter into swap transactions for hedging purposes or to seek to increase total return. As examples, a Fund may enter into swap transactions for the purpose of attempting to obtain or preserve a particular return or spread at a lower cost than obtaining a return or spread through purchases and/or sales of instruments in other markets, to protect against currency fluctuations, as a duration management technique, to protect against any increase in the price of securities a Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date, or to gain exposure to certain markets in an economical way.
In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns, differentials in rates of return or some other amount earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments, which may be adjusted for an interest factor. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are generally calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested at a particular interest rate, in a particular foreign currency or security, or in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. Bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors. Cleared swaps are transacted through FCMs that are members of central clearinghouses with the clearinghouse serving as a central counterparty similar to transactions in futures contracts. Funds post initial and variation margin by making payments to their clearing member FCMs.
Interest rate swaps involve the exchange by a Fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive payments for floating rate payments based on interest rates at specified intervals in the future. Two types of interest rate swaps include “fixed-for-floating rate swaps” and “basis swaps.” Fixed-for-floating rate swaps involve the exchange of payments based on a fixed interest rate for payments based on a floating interest rate index. By contrast, basis swaps involve the exchange of payments based on two different floating interest rate indices. Mortgage swaps are similar to interest rate swaps in that they represent commitments to pay and receive interest. The notional principal amount, however, is tied to a reference pool or pools of mortgages.
Credit default swaps (also referred to as credit swaps) involve the exchange of a floating or fixed rate payment in return for assuming potential credit losses of an underlying security or pool of securities. Loan credit default swaps are similar to credit default
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swaps on bonds, except that the underlying protection is sold on secured loans of a reference entity rather than a broader category of bonds or loans. Loan credit default swaps may be on single names or on baskets of loans, both tranched and untranched. Certain Funds may obtain exposure to Senior Loans through the use of derivative instruments including loan credit default swaps. Investments in loan credit default swaps involve many of the risks associated with investments in derivatives more generally. Currency swaps involve the exchange of the parties’ respective rights to make or receive payments in specified currencies. Total return swaps are contracts that obligate a party to pay or receive interest in exchange for payment by the other party of the total return generated by a security, a basket of securities, an index, or an index component. Equity swap contracts may be structured in different ways. For example, an equity swap contract may be structured as a total return swap, where a counterparty may agree to pay a Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the equity swap contract would have increased in value had it been invested in particular stocks (or a group of stocks), plus the dividends that would have been received on those stocks. In other cases, the counterparty and a Fund may each agree to pay the other the difference between the relative investment performances that would have been achieved if the notional amount of the equity swap contract had been invested in different stocks (or a group of stocks).
A swaption is an option to enter into a swap agreement. Like other types of options, the buyer of a swaption pays a non-refundable premium for the option and obtains the right, but not the obligation, to enter into or modify an underlying swap or to modify the terms of an existing swap on agreed-upon terms. The seller of a swaption, in exchange for the premium, becomes obligated (if the option is exercised) to enter into or modify an underlying swap on agreed-upon terms, which generally entails a greater risk of loss than incurred in buying a swaption. The purchase of an interest rate cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined interest rate, to receive payment of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling such interest rate cap. The purchase of an interest rate floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined interest rate, to receive payments of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling the interest rate floor. An interest rate collar is the combination of a cap and a floor that preserves a certain return within a predetermined range of interest rates.
A great deal of flexibility may be possible in the way swap transactions are structured. However, generally a Fund will enter into interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage and equity swaps on a net basis, which means that the two payment streams are netted out, with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. Interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage and equity swaps do not normally involve the delivery of securities, other underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage and equity swaps is normally limited to the net amount of payments that a Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the other party to an interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage or equity swap defaults, a Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of interest payments that such Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any.
In contrast, currency swaps usually involve the delivery of a gross payment stream in one designated currency in exchange for a gross payment stream in another designated currency. Therefore, the entire payment stream under a currency swap is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations. A credit swap may have as reference obligations one or more securities that may, or may not, be currently held by a Fund. The protection “buyer” in a credit swap is generally obligated to pay the protection “seller” an upfront or a periodic stream of payments over the term of the swap provided that no credit event, such as a default, on a reference obligation has occurred. If a credit event occurs, the seller generally must pay the buyer the “par value” (full notional value) of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity described in the swap, or the seller may be required to deliver the related net cash amount, if the swap is cash settled. A Fund may be either the protection buyer or seller in the transaction. If the Fund is a buyer and no credit event occurs, the Fund may recover nothing if the swap is held through its termination date. However, if a credit event occurs, the buyer generally may elect to receive the full notional value of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity whose value may have significantly decreased. As a seller, a Fund generally receives an upfront payment or a rate of income throughout the term of the swap provided that there is no credit event. As the seller, a Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total net assets, a Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap. If a credit event occurs, the value of any deliverable obligation received by the Fund as seller, coupled with the upfront or periodic payments previously received, may be less than the full notional value it pays to the buyer, resulting in a loss of value to the Fund.
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As a result of recent regulatory developments, certain standardized swaps are currently subject to mandatory central clearing and some of these cleared swaps must be traded on an exchange or swap execution facility (“SEF”). A SEF is a trading platform in which multiple market participants can execute swap transactions by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants on the platform. Transactions executed on a SEF may increase market transparency and liquidity but may cause a Fund to incur increased expenses to execute swaps. Central clearing should decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to bilateral swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap. However, central clearing does not eliminate counterparty risk or liquidity risk entirely. In addition, depending on the size of a Fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral swap. However, the CFTC and other applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps which may result in a Fund and its counterparties posting higher margin amounts for uncleared swaps. Requiring margin on uncleared swaps may reduce, but not eliminate, counterparty credit risk.
The use of swaps and swaptions, as well as interest rate caps, floors and collars, is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of a swap requires an understanding not only of the referenced asset, reference rate, or index but also of the swap itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the swap under all possible market conditions. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, credit quality, interest rates and currency exchange rates, the investment performance of a Fund would be less favorable than it would have been if these investment instruments were not used.
In addition, these transactions can involve greater risks than if a Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly because, in addition to general market risks, swaps are subject to liquidity risk, counterparty risk, credit risk and pricing risk. Regulators also may impose limits on an entity’s or group of entities’ positions in certain swaps. However, certain risks are reduced (but not eliminated) if the Fund invests in cleared swaps. Bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts that may have terms of greater than seven days. Moreover, a Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap counterparty. Many swaps are complex and often valued subjectively. Swaps and other derivatives may also be subject to pricing or “basis” risk, which exists when the price of a particular derivative diverges from the price of corresponding cash market instruments. Under certain market conditions it may not be economically feasible to imitate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.
Certain rules also require centralized reporting of detailed information about many types of cleared and uncleared swaps. This information is available to regulators and, to a more limited extent and on an anonymous basis, to the public. Reporting of swap data may result in greater market transparency, which may be beneficial to funds that use swaps to implement trading strategies. However, these rules place potential additional administrative obligations on these funds, and the safeguards established to protect anonymity may not function as expected.
The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, the swap market has become relatively liquid in comparison with the markets for other similar instruments which are traded in the interbank market. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in swaps.
Investing in Central and South American Countries
A significant portion of the portfolios of the Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Short Duration Bond Fund, and a portion of the portfolio of the Income Fund, may be invested in issuers located in Central and South American countries.Securities markets in Central and South American countries may experience greater volatility than in other emerging countries. In addition, many of the region’s economies have become highly dependent upon foreign credit and loans from external sources to fuel their state-sponsored economic plans.
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A number of Central and South American countries are among the largest emerging country debtors. There have been moratoria on, and reschedulings of, repayment with respect to these debts. Such events can restrict the flexibility of these debtor nations in the international markets and result in the imposition of onerous conditions on their economies.

Many of the currencies of Central and South American countries have experienced steady devaluation relative to the U.S. dollar, and major devaluations have historically occurred in certain countries. Any devaluations in the currencies in which a Fund’s portfolio securities are denominated may have a detrimental impact on the Fund. There is also a risk that certain Central and South American countries may restrict the free conversion of their currencies into other currencies. Some Central and South American countries may have managed currencies which are not free floating against the U.S. dollar. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency that, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Central and South American currencies may not be internationally traded and it would be difficult for a Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Funds' interests in securities denominated in such currencies.
The emergence of the Central and South American economies and securities markets will require continued economic and fiscal discipline that has been lacking at times in the past, as well as stable political and social conditions. Governments of many Central and South American countries have exercised and continue to exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. The political history of certain Central and South American countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres and political corruption. Now democracy is beginning to become well established in some countries. Domestic economies have been deregulated, state-owned companies privatized, and foreign trade restrictions relaxed. Such developments, if they do not continue, could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization and removal of trade barriers. Social inequality and poverty may contribute to political and economic instability in this region.
International economic conditions, particularly those in the United States, as well as world prices for oil and other commodities may also influence the recovery of the Central and South American economies. Because commodities such as oil, gas, minerals and metals represent a significant percentage of the region’s exports, the economies of Central and South American countries are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. As a result, the economies in many of these countries can experience significant volatility.
Certain Central and South American countries have entered into regional trade agreements that would, among other things, reduce barriers among countries, increase competition among companies and reduce government subsidies in certain industries. No assurance can be given that these changes will result in the economic stability intended. There is a possibility that these trade arrangements will not be implemented, will be implemented but not completed or will be completed but then partially or completely unwound. It is also possible that a significant participant could choose to abandon a trade agreement, which could diminish its credibility and influence.
Any of these occurrences could have adverse effects on the markets of both participating and non-participating countries, including share appreciation or depreciation of participant’s national currencies and a significant increase in exchange rate volatility, a resurgence in economic protectionism, an undermining of confidence in the Central and South American markets, an undermining of Central and South American economic stability, the collapse or slowdown of the drive toward Central and South American economic unity, and/or reversion of the attempts to lower government debt and inflation rates that were introduced in anticipation of such trade agreements.
Such developments could have an adverse impact on the Funds' investments in Central and South America generally or in specific countries participating in such trade agreements.
Investing in Emerging Countries
Market Characteristics. Of the Core Fixed Income Fund’s, Bond Fund’s, Short Duration Bond Fund’s, Investment Grade Credit Fund’s, High Yield Fund’s and Income Fund’s investments in foreign securities, 10%, 15%, 20%, 10%, 25% and 35% of their respective total assets may be invested in emerging countries. The Global Core Fixed Income Fund may invest in sovereign and corporate debt securities and other instruments of issuers in emerging market countries (“emerging countries debt”) up to the weight of emerging countries debt in the Fund’s benchmark index plus 10% of its total assets. The Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local
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Emerging Markets Debt Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund and Long Short Credit Strategies Fund are not limited in the amount of their assets that may be invested in emerging countries.
Investment in debt securities of emerging country issuers involves special risks. The development of a market for such securities is a relatively recent phenomenon and debt securities of most emerging country issuers are less liquid and are generally subject to greater price volatility than securities of issuers in the United States and other developed countries. In certain countries, there may be fewer publicly traded securities, and the market may be dominated by a few issuers or sectors. The markets for securities of emerging countries may have substantially less volume than the market for similar securities in the United States and may not be able to absorb, without price disruptions, a significant increase in trading volume or trade size. Additionally, market making and arbitrage activities are generally less extensive in such markets, which may contribute to increased volatility and reduced liquidity of such markets. The less liquid the market, the more difficult it may be for a Fund to price accurately its portfolio securities or to dispose of such securities at the times determined to be appropriate. The risks associated with reduced liquidity may be particularly acute to the extent that a Fund needs cash to meet redemption requests, to pay dividends and other distributions or to pay its expenses.
Issuers and securities markets in such countries are not subject to as stringent, extensive and frequent accounting, auditing, financial and other reporting requirements or as comprehensive government regulations as are issuers and securities markets in the U.S., and the degree of cooperation between issuers in emerging and frontier market countries with foreign and U.S. financial regulators may vary significantly. In particular, the assets and profits appearing on the financial statements of emerging country issuers may not reflect their financial position or results of operations in the same manner as financial statements for U.S. issuers. Substantially less information may be publicly available about emerging country issuers than is available about issuers in the United States. In addition, U.S. regulators may not have sufficient access to adequately audit and oversee issuers. For example, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (the “PCAOB”) is responsible for inspecting and auditing the accounting practices and products of U.S.-listed companies, regardless of the issuer’s domicile. However, certain emerging market countries, including China, do not provide sufficient access to the PCAOB to conduct its inspections and audits. As a result, U.S. investors, including the Funds, may be subject to risks associated with less stringent accounting oversight.
A Fund’s purchase and sale of portfolio securities in certain emerging countries may be constrained by limitations as to daily changes in the prices of listed securities, periodic trading or settlement volume and/or limitations on aggregate holdings of foreign investors. Such limitations may be computed based on the aggregate trading volume by or holdings of a Fund, the Investment Adviser, its affiliates and their respective clients and other service providers. A Fund may not be able to sell securities in circumstances where price, trading or settlement volume limitations have been reached.
Securities markets of emerging countries may also have less efficient clearance and settlement procedures than U.S. markets, making it difficult to conduct and complete transactions. Delays in the settlement could result in temporary periods when a portion of a Fund’s assets is uninvested and no return is earned thereon. Inability to make intended security purchases could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities could result either in losses to a Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio security or, if a Fund has entered into a contract to sell the security, could result in possible liability of a Fund to the purchaser. In addition, emerging market countries are often characterized by limited reliable access to capital.
Transaction costs, including brokerage commissions and dealer mark-ups, in emerging countries may be higher than in the U.S. and other developed securities markets. As legal systems in emerging countries develop, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. In circumstances where adequate laws exist, it may not be possible to obtain swift and equitable enforcement of the law.
Custodial and/or settlement systems in emerging and frontier market countries may not be fully developed. To the extent a Fund invests in emerging markets, Fund assets that are traded in such markets and will have been entrusted to such sub-custodians in those markets may be exposed to risks for which the sub-custodian will have no liability.
With respect to investments in certain emerging countries, antiquated legal systems may have an adverse impact on the Funds. For example, while the potential liability of a shareholder of a U.S. corporation with respect to acts of the corporation is generally limited to the amount of the shareholder’s investment, the notion of limited liability is less clear in certain emerging market countries.
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Similarly, the rights of investors in emerging market companies may be more limited than those of investors of U.S. corporations, and it may be more difficult for shareholders to bring derivative litigation. Moreover, the legal remedies for investors in emerging markets may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States, and the ability of U.S. authorities (e.g., SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice) to bring actions against bad actors may be limited. In addition, emerging countries may have less established accounting and financial reporting systems than those in more developed markets.
Economic, Political and Social Factors. Emerging countries may be subject to a greater degree of economic, political and social instability than the United States, Japan and most Western European countries, and unanticipated political and social developments may affect the value of a Fund’s investments in emerging countries and the availability to the Fund of additional investments in such countries. Moreover, political and economic structures in many emerging countries may be undergoing significant evolution and rapid development. Instability may result from, among other things: (i) authoritarian governments or military involvement in political and economic decision-making, including changes or attempted changes in government through extra-constitutional means; (ii) popular unrest associated with demands for improved economic, political and social conditions; (iii) internal insurgencies; (iv) hostile relations with neighboring countries; (v) ethnic, religious and racial disaffection and conflict; and (vi) the absence of developed legal structures governing foreign private property. Many emerging countries have experienced in the past, and continue to experience, high rates of inflation. In certain countries, inflation has at times accelerated rapidly to hyperinflationary levels, creating a negative interest rate environment and sharply eroding the value of outstanding financial assets in those countries. The economies of many emerging countries are heavily dependent upon international trade and are accordingly affected by protective trade barriers and the economic conditions of their trading partners. In addition, the economies of some emerging countries may differ unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resources, self-sufficiency and balance of payments position.
The Funds may seek investment opportunities within former “Eastern bloc” countries. Most of these countries had a centrally planned, socialist economy for a substantial period of time. The governments of some of these countries have more recently been implementing reforms directed at political and economic liberalization, including efforts to decentralize the economic decision-making process and move towards a market economy. However, business entities in many of these countries do not have an extended history of operating in a market-oriented economy, and the ultimate impact of these countries’ attempts to move toward more market-oriented economies is currently unclear. Any change in the leadership or policies of these countries may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and adversely affect existing investment opportunities. In addition, Eastern European markets are particularly sensitive to social, economic and currency events in Western Europe and Russia. Russia may attempt to assert its influence in the region through military measures.
In addition, because of ongoing regional armed conflict in Europe, including a large-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022, Russia has been the subject of economic sanctions imposed by countries throughout the world, including the United States. Such sanctions have included, among other things, freezing the assets of particular entities and persons. The imposition of sanctions and other similar measures could, among other things, cause a decline in the value and/or liquidity of securities issued by Russia or companies located in or economically tied to Russia, downgrades in the credit ratings of Russian securities or those of companies located in or economically tied to Russia, devaluation of Russia’s currency, and increased market volatility and disruption in Russia and throughout the world. Sanctions and other similar measures, including banning Russia from global payments systems that facilitate cross-border payments, could limit or prevent the Fund from buying and selling securities (in Russia and other markets), significantly delay or prevent the settlement of securities transactions, and significantly impact the Fund’s liquidity and performance. Sanctions could also result in Russia taking counter measures or retaliatory actions which may further impair the value and liquidity of Russian securities. Moreover, disruptions caused by Russian military action or other actions (including cyberattacks and espionage) or resulting actual and threatened responses to such activity, including cyberattacks on the Russian government, Russian companies or Russian individuals, including politicians, may impact Russia’s economy and Russian issuers of securities in which the Fund invests.
Restrictions on Investment and Repatriation. Certain emerging countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investments by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. The repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales from certain emerging countries is subject to certain governmental consents, which may make it difficult for a Fund to invest in such emerging countries. A
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Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for such repatriation. Even where there is no outright restriction on repatriation of capital, the mechanics of repatriation may affect the operation of a Fund.
Emerging Country Government Obligations. Emerging country governmental entities are among the largest debtors to commercial banks, foreign governments, international financial organizations and other financial institutions. Certain emerging country governmental entities have not been able to make payments of interest on or principal of debt obligations as those payments have come due. Obligations arising from past restructuring agreements may affect the economic performance and political and social stability of those entities.
The ability of emerging country governmental entities to make timely payments on their obligations is likely to be influenced strongly by the entity’s balance of payments, including export performance, and its access to international credits and investments. An emerging country whose exports are concentrated in a few commodities could be vulnerable to a decline in the international prices of one or more of those commodities. Increased protectionism on the part of an emerging country’s trading partners could also adversely affect the country’s exports and tarnish its trade account surplus, if any. To the extent that emerging countries receive payment for their exports in currencies other than dollars or non-emerging country currencies, the emerging country governmental entity’s ability to make debt payments denominated in dollars or non-emerging market currencies could be affected.
To the extent that an emerging country cannot generate a trade surplus, it must depend on continuing loans from foreign governments, multilateral organizations or private commercial banks, aid payments from foreign governments and on inflows of foreign investment. The access of emerging countries to these forms of external funding may not be certain, and a withdrawal of external funding could adversely affect the capacity of emerging country governmental entities to make payments on their obligations. In addition, the cost of servicing emerging country debt obligations can be affected by a change in international interest rates because the majority of these obligations carry interest rates that are adjusted periodically based upon international rates.
Another factor bearing on the ability of emerging countries to repay debt obligations is the level of international reserves of a country. Fluctuations in the level of these reserves affect the amount of foreign exchange readily available for external debt payments and thus could have a bearing on the capacity of emerging countries to make payments on these debt obligations.
As a result of the foregoing or other factors, a governmental obligor, especially in an emerging country, may default on its obligations. If such an event occurs, a Fund may have limited legal recourse against the issuer and/or guarantor. Remedies must, in some cases, be pursued in the courts of the defaulting party itself, and the ability of the holder of foreign government obligations to obtain recourse may be subject to the political climate in the relevant country. In addition, no assurance can be given that the holders of commercial bank debt will not contest payments to the holders of other foreign government obligations in the event of default under the commercial bank loan agreements.
Brady Bonds. Certain foreign debt obligations commonly referred to as “Brady Bonds” are created through the exchange of existing commercial bank loans to foreign borrowers for new obligations in connection with debt restructurings under a plan introduced by former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Nicholas F. Brady (the “Brady Plan”).
Brady Bonds may be collateralized or uncollateralized and issued in various currencies (although most are dollar-denominated) and they are actively traded in the over-the-counter secondary market. Certain Brady Bonds are collateralized in full as to principal due at maturity by zero coupon obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities having the same maturity (“Collateralized Brady Bonds”). Brady Bonds are not, however, considered to be U.S. Government Securities.
Dollar-denominated, Collateralized Brady Bonds may be fixed rate bonds or floating rate bonds. Interest payments on Brady Bonds are often collateralized by cash or securities in an amount that, in the case of fixed rate bonds, is equal to at least one year of rolling interest payments or, in the case of floating rate bonds, initially is equal to at least one year’s rolling interest payments based on the applicable interest rate at that time and is adjusted at regular intervals thereafter. Certain Brady Bonds are entitled to “value recovery payments” in certain circumstances, which in effect constitute supplemental interest payments but generally are not collateralized. Brady Bonds are often viewed as having three or four valuation components: (i) collateralized repayment of principal at final maturity; (ii) collateralized interest payments; (iii) uncollateralized interest payments; and (iv) any uncollateralized repayment of principal at maturity (these uncollateralized amounts constitute the “residual risk”). In the event of a default with respect to
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Collateralized Brady Bonds as a result of which the payment obligations of the issuer are accelerated, the U.S. Treasury zero coupon obligations held as collateral for the payment of principal will not be distributed to investors, nor will such obligations be sold and the proceeds distributed. The collateral will be held by the collateral agent to the scheduled maturity of the defaulted Brady Bonds, which will continue to be outstanding, at which time the face amount of the collateral will equal the principal payments which would have been due on the Brady Bonds in the normal course. In addition, in light of the residual risk of Brady Bonds and, among other factors, the history of defaults with respect to commercial bank loans by public and private entities of countries issuing Brady Bonds, investments in Brady Bonds should be viewed as speculative.
Restructured Investments. Included among the issuers of emerging country debt securities are entities organized and operated solely for the purpose of restructuring the investment characteristics of various securities. These entities are often organized by investment banking firms which receive fees in connection with establishing each entity and arranging for the placement of its securities. This type of restructuring involves the deposit with or purchase by an entity, such as a corporation or trust, or specified instruments, such as Brady Bonds, and the issuance by the entity of one or more classes of securities (“Restructured Investments”) backed by, or representing interests in, the underlying instruments. The cash flow on the underlying instruments may be apportioned among the newly issued Restructured Investments to create securities with different investment characteristics such as varying maturities, payment priorities or investment rate provisions. Because Restructured Investments of the type in which the Fund may invest typically involve no credit enhancement, their credit risk will generally be equivalent to that of the underlying instruments.
The Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund are permitted to invest in a class of Restructured Investments that is either subordinated or unsubordinated to the right of payment of another class. Subordinated Restructured Investments typically have higher yields and present greater risks than unsubordinated Restructured Investments. Although a Fund’s purchases of subordinated Restructured Investments would have a similar economic effect to that of borrowing against the underlying securities, such purchases will not be deemed to be borrowing for purposes of the limitations placed on the extent of the Funds’ assets that may be used for borrowing.
Certain issuers of Restructured Investments may be deemed to be “investment companies” as defined in the Act. As a result, the Funds’ investments in these Restructured Investments may be limited by the restrictions contained in the Act. Restructured Investments are typically sold in private placement transactions, and there currently is no active trading market for most Restructured Investments.
Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts. Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Global Core Fixed Income Fund, High Yield Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes and to seek to increase total return. U.S. Mortgages Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes only. A forward foreign currency exchange contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are traded in the interbank market and are conducted directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. A forward contract generally has no deposit requirement, and no commissions are generally charged at any stage for trades.
At the maturity of a forward contract, a Fund may either accept or make delivery of the currency specified in the contract or, at or prior to maturity, enter into a closing purchase transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing purchase transactions with respect to forward contracts are usually effected with the currency trader who is a party to the original forward contract.
The Funds may, from time to time, engage in non-deliverable forward transactions to manage currency risk or to gain exposure to a currency without purchasing securities denominated in that currency. A non-deliverable forward is a transaction that represents an agreement between a Fund and a counterparty (usually a commercial bank) to pay the other party the amount that it would have cost based on current market rates as of the termination date to buy or sell a specified (notional) amount of a particular currency at an agreed upon foreign exchange rate on an agreed upon future date. If the counterparty defaults, the Fund will have contractual
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remedies pursuant to the agreement related to the transaction, but the Fund may be delayed or prevented from obtaining payments owed to it pursuant to non-deliverable forward transactions. Such non-deliverable forward transactions will be settled in cash.
The Funds may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes in several circumstances. First, when a Fund enters into a contract for the purchase or sale of a security quoted or denominated in a foreign currency, or when a Fund anticipates the receipt in a foreign currency of a dividend or interest payment on such a security which it holds, a Fund may desire to “lock in” the U.S. dollar price of the security or the U.S. dollar equivalent of such dividend or interest payment, as the case may be. By entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, of the amount of foreign currency involved in the underlying transactions, a Fund may attempt to protect itself against an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and the subject foreign currency during the period between the date on which the security is purchased or sold, or on which the dividend or interest payment is declared, and the date on which such payments are made or received.
Additionally, when the Investment Adviser believes that the currency of a particular foreign country may suffer a substantial decline against the U.S. dollar, it may enter into a forward contract to sell, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, the amount of foreign currency approximating the value of some or all of a Fund’s portfolio securities quoted or denominated in such foreign currency. The precise matching of the forward contract amounts and the value of the securities involved will not generally be possible because the future value of such securities in foreign currencies will change as a consequence of market movements in the value of those securities between the date on which the contract is entered into and the date it matures. Using forward contracts to protect the value of a Fund’s portfolio securities against a decline in the value of a currency does not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities. It simply establishes a rate of exchange which a Fund can achieve at some future point in time. The precise projection of short-term currency market movements is not possible, and short-term hedging provides a means of fixing the U.S. dollar value of only a portion of a Fund’s foreign assets.
Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Global Core Fixed Income Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may engage in cross-hedging by using forward contracts in one currency to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities denominated or quoted in a different currency if the Investment Adviser determines that there is a pattern of correlation between the two currencies. In addition, certain Funds may enter into foreign currency transactions to seek a closer correlation between a Fund’s overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of a Fund’s performance benchmark.
A Fund is not required to post cash collateral with its non-U.S. counterparties in certain foreign currency transactions. Accordingly, a Fund may remain more fully invested (and more of the Fund’s assets may be subject to investment and market risk) than if it were required to post collateral with its counterparties (which is the case with U.S. counterparties). Because a Fund’s non-U.S. counterparties are not required to post cash collateral with the Fund, the Fund will be subject to additional counterparty risk.
While the Funds may enter into forward contracts to seek to reduce currency exchange rate risks, transactions in such contracts involve certain other risks. Thus, while the Funds may benefit from such transactions, unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in a poorer overall performance for a Fund than if it had not engaged in any such transactions. Moreover, there may be imperfect correlation between a Fund’s portfolio holdings of securities quoted or denominated in a particular currency and forward contracts entered into by a Fund. Such imperfect correlation may cause the Fund to sustain losses which will prevent the Fund from achieving a complete hedge or expose the Fund to risk of foreign exchange loss.
Certain forward foreign currency exchange contracts and other currency transactions are not exchange traded or cleared. Markets for trading such forward foreign currency contracts offer less protection against defaults than is available when trading in currency instruments on an exchange. Such forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the contract will default on its obligations. Because these contracts are not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on a contract would deprive a Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. In addition, the institutions that deal in forward currency contracts are not required to continue to make markets in the currencies they trade and these markets can experience periods of illiquidity. A Fund will not enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts, unless the credit quality of the unsecured senior debt or the claims-paying ability of the counterparty is considered to be investment grade by the Investment Adviser. To the extent that a substantial portion of a Fund’s
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total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries.
These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in issuers of emerging country securities.
Investing in Europe
Certain of the Funds may operate in euros and/or may hold euros and/or euro-denominated bonds and other obligations. The euro requires participation of multiple sovereign states forming the Euro zone and is therefore sensitive to the credit, general economic and political position of each such state, including each state’s actual and intended ongoing engagement with and/or support for the other sovereign states then forming the EU, in particular those within the Euro zone. Changes in these factors might materially adversely impact the value of securities that a Fund has invested in.
European countries can be significantly affected by the tight fiscal and monetary controls that the European Economic and Monetary Union (“EMU”) imposes for membership. Europe’s economies are diverse, its governments are decentralized, and its cultures vary widely. Several EU countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal have faced budget issues, some of which may have negative long-term effects for the economies of those countries and other EU countries. There is continued concern about national-level support for the euro and the accompanying coordination of fiscal and wage policy among EMU member countries. Member countries are required to maintain tight control over inflation, public debt, and budget deficit to qualify for membership in the EMU. These requirements can severely limit the ability of EMU member countries to implement monetary policy to address regional economic conditions.
Geopolitical developments in Europe have caused, or may in the future cause, significant volatility in financial markets. For example, in a June 2016 referendum, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. In March 2017, the United Kingdom formally notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU (commonly known as “Brexit”) by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which triggered a two-year period of negotiations on the terms of Brexit. Brexit has resulted in volatility in European and global markets and may also lead to weakening in political, regulatory, consumer, corporate and financial confidence in the markets of the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. The longer term economic, legal, political, regulatory and social framework between the United Kingdom and the EU remains unclear and may lead to ongoing political, regulatory and economic uncertainty and periods of exacerbated volatility in both the United Kingdom and in wider European markets for some time. Additionally, the decision made in the British referendum may lead to a call for similar referenda in other European jurisdictions, which may cause increased economic volatility in European and global markets. The mid-to long-term uncertainty may have an adverse effect on the economy generally and on the value of a Fund’s investments. This may be due to, among other things: fluctuations in asset values and exchange rates; increased illiquidity of investments located, traded or listed within the United Kingdom, the EU or elsewhere; changes in the willingness or ability of counterparties to enter into transactions at the price and terms on which a Fund is prepared to transact; and/or changes in legal and regulatory regimes to which certain of a Fund’s assets are or become subject. Fluctuations in the value of the British Pound and/or the Euro, along with the potential downgrading of the United Kingdom’s sovereign credit rating, may also have an impact on the performance of a Fund’s assets or investments economically tied to the United Kingdom or Europe.
The full effects of Brexit will depend, in part, on whether the United Kingdom is able to negotiate agreements to retain access to EU markets including, but not limited to, trade and finance agreements. Brexit could lead to legal and tax uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the United Kingdom determines which EU laws to replace or replicate. The extent of the impact of the withdrawal and the resulting economic arrangements in the United Kingdom and in global markets as well as any associated adverse consequences remain unclear, and the uncertainty may have a significant negative effect on the value of a Fund’s investments. While certain measures have been proposed and/or implemented within the UK and at the EU level or at the member state level, which are designed to minimize disruption in the financial markets, it is not currently possible to determine whether such measures would achieve their intended effects.
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On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the EU and the United Kingdom entered a transition period that expired on December 31, 2020. On December 24, 2020, negotiators representing the United Kingdom and the EU came to a preliminary trade agreement, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA”), which is an agreement on the terms governing certain aspects of the EU’s and United Kingdom’s relationship following the end of the transition period. On December 30, 2020, the United Kingdom and the EU signed the TCA, which was ratified by the British Parliament on the same day. The TCA was subsequently ratified by the EU Parliament and entered into force on May 1, 2021. However, many aspects of the UK-EU trade relationship remain subject to further negotiation. Due to political uncertainty, it is not possible to anticipate the form or nature of the future trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU.
Other economic challenges facing the region include high levels of public debt, significant rates of unemployment, aging populations, and heavy regulation in certain economic sectors. European policy makers have taken unprecedented steps to respond to the economic crisis and to boost growth in the region, which has increased the risk that regulatory uncertainty could negatively affect the value of a Fund’s investments.
Certain countries have applied to become new member countries of the EU, and these candidate countries’ accessions may become more controversial to the existing EU members. Some member states may repudiate certain candidate countries joining the EU upon concerns about the possible economic, immigration and cultural implications. Also, Russia may be opposed to the expansion of the EU to members of the former Soviet bloc and may, at times, take actions that could negatively impact EU economic activity.
Investing through Bond Connect
Each of the Global Core Fixed Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund invest in bonds traded in the China Interbank Bond Market (“CIBM”) through the Bond Connect program (“Bond Connect Securities”). Bond Connect is an arrangement between Hong Kong and Mainland China that enables Hong Kong and overseas investors to trade various types of fixed income instruments in the CIBM through a connection between the relevant respective financial infrastructure institutions. Eligible foreign investors may submit trade requests for bonds circulated in the CIBM market through offshore electronic bond trading platforms (such as Tradeweb and Bloomberg), which will in turn transmit the requests for quotation to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System & National Interbank Funding Centre (“CFETS”). CFETS will send the requests for quotation to a number of approved onshore dealers (including market makers and others engaged in the market making business) in Mainland China. The approved onshore dealers will respond to the requests for quotation via CFETS and CFETS will send their responses to those eligible foreign investors through the same offshore electronic bond trading platforms. Once the eligible foreign investor accepts the quotation, the trade is concluded on CFETS. Under the settlement link between CMU, as an offshore custody agent, and the China Central Depository & Clearing Co. (“CCDC”) or the Shanghai Clearing House (“SCH”), as onshore custodians and clearing institutions in Mainland China, CCDC or SCH will effect gross settlement of confirmed trades onshore and CMU will process bond settlement instructions from CMU members on behalf of eligible foreign investors in accordance with its relevant rules. Since the introduction of delivery versus payment (DVP) settlement, the movement of cash and securities is carried out simultaneously on a real-time basis. However, it should be noted that there is no assurance that settlement risks can be eliminated and DVP settlement practices in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) may differ from practices in developed markets. In particular, such settlement may not be instantaneous and be subject to a delay of a period of hours. Where the counterparty does not perform its obligations under a transaction or there is otherwise a failure due to CCDC or SCH (as applicable), a Fund may sustain losses.
Trading through Bond Connect is performed through newly developed trading platforms and operational systems. There is no assurance that such systems will function properly or will continue to be adapted to changes and developments in the market. In the event that the relevant systems fail to function properly, trading through Bond Connect may be disrupted. A Fund’s ability to trade through Bond Connect (and hence to pursue its investment strategy) may therefore be adversely affected.
A failure or delay by CMU, CCDC or SCH in the performance of their respective obligations may result in a failure of settlement, or the loss, of Bond Connect Securities and/or monies in connection with them and a Fund may suffer losses as a result. In the event that the nominee holder (i.e., CMU) becomes insolvent, such Bond Connect Securities may form part of the pool of assets of the nominee holder available for distribution to its creditors and a Fund, as a beneficial owner, may have no rights whatsoever in respect thereof.
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Under the prevailing applicable Bond Connect regulations, the Fund participates in Bond Connect through an offshore custody agent, registration agent or other third parties (as the case may be), who would be responsible for making the relevant filings and account opening with the relevant authorities. The Fund is therefore subject to the risk of default or errors on the part of such agents.
Trading through Bond Connect is subject to a number of restrictions that may affect a Fund’s investments and returns. Investments made through Bond Connect are subject to order, clearance and settlement procedures that are relatively untested, which could pose risks to a Fund. Furthermore, a Fund’s investments through Bond Connect will be held on behalf of the Fund via a book entry omnibus account in the name of the CMU maintained with a Mainland China-based custodian (either CCDC or SCH). A Fund’s ownership interest in investments through Bond Connect will not be reflected directly in book entry with CCDC or SCH and will instead only be reflected on the books of its Hong Kong sub-custodian. This custody arrangement subjects the Funds to various risks, including the risk that a Fund may have a limited ability to enforce rights as a beneficial owner as well as the risks of settlement delays and counterparty default or error of the Hong Kong sub-custodian. While the ultimate investors hold a beneficial interest in their investments through Bond Connect, the mechanisms that beneficial owners may use to enforce their rights are relatively new and courts in Mainland China have limited experience in applying the concept of beneficial ownership. As such, a Fund may not be able to participate in corporate actions affecting its rights as a bondholder, such as timely payment of distributions, due to time constraints or for other operational reasons. Bond Connect trades are settled in CNY and investors must have timely access to a reliable supply of CNY in Hong Kong, which may incur conversion costs and cannot be guaranteed. Moreover, Bond Connect Securities generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Bond Connect in accordance with applicable rules.
Investing through Bond Connect will subject the Funds to Chinese laws and rules applicable to investors in Chinese fixed income instruments. Therefore, the Funds’ investments through Bond Connect are generally subject to Mainland China’s securities laws and listing requirements, among other restrictions. Such securities may lose their eligibility at any time, in which case they could be sold but could no longer be purchased through Bond Connect. The Funds will not benefit from access to Hong Kong’s Investor Compensation Fund, which is set up to protect against defaults of trades, when investing through Bond Connect. Finally, uncertainties in Mainland China’s tax rules governing taxation of income and gains from investments via Bond Connect could result in unexpected tax liabilities for a Fund. The withholding tax treatment of interests and capital gains payable to overseas investors currently is unsettled.
Bond Connect is a relatively new program and may be subject to further interpretation, guidance or modifications. Laws, rules, regulations, policies, notices, circulars or guidelines relating to the Bond Connect as published or applied by any of the authorities are untested and are subject to change from time to time. There can be no assurance that Bond Connect will not be restricted, suspended, discontinued or abolished in the future. In addition, the trading, settlement and information technology systems required for overseas investors to trade through Bond Connect are relatively new and continuing to evolve. In the event that the relevant systems do not function properly, trading through Bond Connect could be disrupted. In addition, the application and interpretation of the laws and regulations of Hong Kong and Mainland China, and the rules, policies or guidelines published or applied by relevant regulators and exchanges in respect of Bond Connect are uncertain and may affect the Funds’ investments.
Bond Connect is only available on days when markets in both mainland China and Hong Kong are open. As a result, prices of Bond Connect Securities may fluctuate at times when a Fund is unable to add to or exit its position and, therefore, may limit the Fund’s ability to trade when it would otherwise do so.
Potential lack of liquidity due to low trading volume of certain Bond Connect Securities may result in prices of certain fixed income securities traded on such market fluctuating significantly, which may expose a Fund to liquidity risks. The bid and offer spreads of the prices of Bond Connect Securities may be large, and the Funds may therefore incur significant trading and realization costs and may even suffer losses when disposing of such investments.
Hedging activities under Bond Connect are subject to Bond Connect regulations and any prevailing market practice. There is no guarantee that the Funds will be able to carry out hedging transactions at terms which are satisfactory and to the best interest of the Funds. A Fund may also be required to unwind its hedge in unfavorable market conditions.
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The People’s Bank of China will exercise on-going supervision of the Funds as a participant in the CIBM and may take relevant administrative actions such as suspension of trading and mandatory exit against a Fund and/or the Investment Adviser in the event of non-compliance with the local market rules as well as Bond Connect regulations.
As a result of investing in the PRC, the Funds may be subject to withholding and various other taxes imposed by the PRC.
Except for interest income from certain bonds (i.e., government bonds, local government bonds and railway bonds which are entitled to a 100% PRC Corporate Income Tax (“CIT”) exemption and 50% CIT exemption respectively in accordance with the Implementation Rules to the Enterprise Income Tax Law and a circular dated March 19, 2016 on the Circular on Income Tax Policies on Interest Income from Railway Bonds under Caishui [2016] No. 30), interest income derived by non-resident institutional investors from other bonds traded through Bond Connect is PRC-sourced income and should be subject to PRC withholding income tax at a rate of 10% and value-added tax (“VAT”) at a rate of 6%. On November 22, 2018, the Ministry of Finance and State Administration of Taxation jointly issued Circular 108, the circular dated 7 November 2018 on the Taxation Policy of Corporate Income Tax and Value-Added Tax in relation to Bond Investments made by Offshore Institutions in Domestic Bond Market, to clarify that foreign institutional investors (including foreign institutional investors under Bond Connect) are temporarily exempt from PRC withholding income tax and VAT with respect to bond interest income derived in the PRC bond market for the period from November 7, 2018 to November 6, 2021. Circular 108 is silent on the PRC withholding income tax and VAT treatment with respect to non-government bond interest derived prior to November 7, 2018, which is subject to clarification from the PRC tax authorities.
Capital gains derived by non-resident institutional investors (with no place or establishment or permanent establishment in the PRC) from the trading of bonds through the Bond Connect are technically non PRC-sourced income under the current CIT law and regulations, therefore, not subject to PRC CIT. While the PRC tax authorities are currently enforcing such non-taxable treatment in practice, there is a lack of clarity on such non-taxable treatment under the current CIT regulations.
The tax law and regulations of the PRC are constantly changing, and they may be changed with retrospective effect to the advantage or disadvantage of shareholders. The interpretation and applicability of the tax law and regulations by tax authorities may not be as consistent and transparent as those of more developed nations, and may vary from region to region. It should also be noted that any provision for taxation made by the Investment Adviser may be excessive or inadequate to meet final tax liabilities. Consequently, shareholders may be advantaged or disadvantaged depending upon the final tax liabilities, the level of provision and when they subscribed and/or redeemed their shares of a Fund.
Lending of Portfolio Securities
Each of the High Yield Fund and the High Yield Floating Rate Fund may lend its portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other institutions, including Goldman Sachs. By lending its securities, a Fund attempts to increase its net investment income.
Securities loans are required to be secured continuously by collateral in cash, cash equivalents, letters of credit or U.S. Government Securities equal to at least 100% of the value of the loaned securities. This collateral must be valued, or “marked to market,” daily. Borrowers are required to furnish additional collateral to a Fund as necessary to fully cover their obligations.
With respect to loans that are collateralized by cash, a Fund may reinvest that cash in short-term investments and pay the borrower a pre-negotiated fee or “rebate” from any return earned on the investment. Investing the collateral subjects it to market depreciation or appreciation, and a Fund is responsible for any loss that may result from its investment of the borrowed collateral. Cash collateral may be invested in, among other things, other registered or unregistered funds, including private investing funds or money market funds that are managed by the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, and which pay the Investment Adviser or its affiliates for their services. If a Fund were to receive non-cash collateral, the Fund receives a fee from the borrower equal to a negotiated percentage of the market value of the loaned securities.
For the duration of any securities loan, a Fund will continue to receive the equivalent of the interest, dividends or other distributions paid by the issuer on the loaned securities. A Fund will not have the right to vote its loaned securities during the period of the loan, but the Fund may attempt to recall a loaned security in anticipation of a material vote if it desires to do so. A Fund will
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have the right to terminate a loan at any time and recall the loaned securities within the normal and customary settlement time for securities transactions.
Securities lending involves certain risks. A Fund may lose money on its investment of cash collateral, resulting in a loss of principal, or may fail to earn sufficient income on its investment to cover the fee or rebate it has agreed to pay the borrower. A Fund may incur losses in connection with its securities lending activities that exceed the value of the interest income and fees received in connection with such transactions. Securities lending subjects a Fund to the risk of loss resulting from problems in the settlement and accounting process, and to additional credit, counterparty and market risk. These risks could be greater with respect to non-U.S. securities. Engaging in securities lending could have a leveraging effect, which may intensify the other risks associated with investments in a Fund. In addition, a Fund bears the risk that the price of the securities on loan will increase while they are on loan, or that the price of the collateral will decline in value during the period of the loan, and that the counterparty will not provide, or will delay in providing, additional collateral. A Fund also bears the risk that a borrower may fail to return securities in a timely manner or at all, either because the borrower fails financially or for other reasons. If a borrower of securities fails financially, a Fund may also lose its rights in the collateral. A Fund could experience delays and costs in recovering loaned securities or in gaining access to and liquidating the collateral, which could result in actual financial loss and which could interfere with portfolio management decisions or the exercise of ownership rights in the loaned securities. If a Fund is not able to recover the securities lent, the Fund may sell the collateral and purchase replacement securities in the market. However, a Fund will incur transaction costs on the purchase of replacement securities. These events could trigger adverse tax consequences for a Fund. In determining whether to lend securities to a particular borrower, and throughout the period of the loan, the creditworthiness of the borrower will be considered and monitored. Loans will only be made to firms deemed to be of good standing, and where the consideration that can be earned currently from securities loans of this type is deemed to justify the attendant risk. It is intended that the value of securities loaned by a Fund will not exceed one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the loan collateral).
A Fund will consider the loaned securities as assets of a Fund, but will not consider any collateral as a Fund asset except when determining total assets for the purpose of the above one-third limitation. Loan collateral (including any investment of the collateral) is not subject to the percentage limitations stated elsewhere in this SAI or in the Prospectuses regarding investing in fixed income securities and cash equivalents.
The Board of Trustees has approved each of the High Yield Fund’s and the High Yield Floating Rate Fund’s participation in a securities lending program and has adopted policies and procedures relating thereto. Under the current securities lending program, the Funds have retained an affiliate of the Investment Adviser to serve as their securities lending agent.
For its services, the securities lending agent may receive a fee from a Fund , including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of cash received as collateral for the loaned securities. In addition, a Fund may make brokerage and other payments to Goldman Sachs and its affiliates in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions. A Fund’s Board of Trustees periodically reviews reports on securities loan transactions for which a Goldman Sachs affiliate has acted as lending agent for compliance with the Fund’s securities lending procedures. Goldman Sachs may also be approved as a borrower under a Fund’s securities lending program, subject to certain conditions.
Loans and Loan Participations
The Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in loans and loan participations. A loan participation is an interest in a loan to a U.S. or foreign company or other borrower which is administered and sold by a financial intermediary. In a typical corporate loan syndication, a number of lenders, usually banks (co-lenders), lend a corporate borrower a specified sum pursuant to the terms and conditions of a loan agreement. One of the co-lenders usually agrees to act as the agent bank with respect to the loan.
Participation interests acquired by the Funds may take the form of a direct or co-lending relationship with the corporate borrower, an assignment of an interest in the loan by a co-lender or another participant, or a participation in the seller’s share of the loan. The participation by a Fund in a lender’s portion of a loan typically will result in the Fund having a contractual relationship only with such lender, not with the business entity borrowing the funds (the “Borrower”). As a result, the Fund may have the right to
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receive payments of principal, interest and any fees to which it is entitled only from the lender selling the participation and only upon receipt by such lender of payments from the Borrower. Such indebtedness may be secured or unsecured. Under the terms of the loan participation, a Fund may be regarded as a creditor of the agent bank (rather than of the underlying corporate borrower), so that the Fund may also be subject to the risk that the agent bank may become insolvent. Loan participations typically represent direct participations in a loan to a Borrower, and generally are offered by banks or other financial institutions or lending syndicates. A Fund may participate in such syndicates, or can buy part of a loan, becoming a part lender. The participation interests in which the Funds may invest may not be rated by any NRSRO. The secondary market, if any, for loan participations may be limited.
When a Fund acts as co-lender in connection with a participation interest or when such Fund acquires certain participation interests, that Fund may have direct recourse against the borrower if the borrower fails to pay scheduled principal and interest. In cases where a Fund lacks direct recourse, it will look to the agent bank to enforce appropriate credit remedies against the borrower. In these cases, a Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the Fund had purchased a direct obligation (such as commercial paper) of such borrower. For example, in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of the corporate borrower, a loan participation may be subject to certain defenses by the borrower as a result of improper conduct by the agent bank.
For purposes of certain investment limitations pertaining to diversification of a Fund’s portfolio investments, the issuer of a loan participation will be the underlying borrower. However, in cases where a Fund does not have recourse directly against the borrower, both the borrower and each agent bank and co-lender interposed between the Fund and the borrower will be deemed issuers of a loan participation.
Senior Loans. The Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in Senior Loans. Senior Loans hold the most senior position in the capital structure of a business entity (the “Borrower”), are typically secured with specific collateral and have a claim on the assets and/or stock of the Borrower that is senior to that held by subordinated debt holders and stockholders of the Borrower. The proceeds of Senior Loans primarily are used to finance leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, mergers, acquisitions, stock repurchases, refinancings and to finance internal growth and for other corporate purposes. Senior Loans typically have rates of interest which are redetermined daily, monthly, quarterly or semi-annually by reference to a base lending rate, plus a premium or credit spread. These base lending rates are primarily SOFR or Term SOFR and secondarily the prime rate offered by one or more major U.S. banks and the certificate of deposit rate or other base lending rates used by commercial lenders. Some loans may continue to temporarily use synthetic LIBOR or may have previously used LIBOR.
Senior Loans typically have a stated term of between five and nine years, and have rates of interest which typically are redetermined daily, monthly, quarterly or semi-annually. Longer interest rate reset periods would generally increase fluctuations in a Fund’s NAV as a result of changes in market interest rates. The Funds are not subject to any restrictions with respect to the maturity of Senior Loans held in their portfolios. As a result, as short-term interest rates increase, interest payable to the Funds from their investments in Senior Loans should increase, and as short-term interest rates decrease, interest payable to the Funds from their investments in Senior Loans should decrease. Because of prepayments, the Investment Adviser expects the average lives of the Senior Loans in which each of the Funds invest to be shorter than the stated maturity.
Senior Loans are subject to the risk of non-payment of scheduled interest or principal. Such non-payment would result in a reduction of income to a Fund, a reduction in the value of the investment and a potential decrease in the Fund’s NAV. There can be no assurance that the liquidation of any collateral securing a Senior Loan would satisfy the Borrower’s obligation in the event of non-payment of scheduled interest or principal payments, or that such collateral could be readily liquidated. In the event of bankruptcy of a Borrower, the Funds could experience delays or limitations with respect to their ability to realize the benefits of the collateral securing a Senior Loan. The collateral securing a Senior Loan may lose all or substantially all of its value in the event of the bankruptcy of a Borrower. Some Senior Loans are subject to the risk that a court, pursuant to fraudulent conveyance or other similar laws, could subordinate such Senior Loans to presently existing or future indebtedness of the Borrower or take other action detrimental to the holders of Senior Loans including, in certain circumstances, invalidating such Senior Loans or causing interest previously paid to be refunded to the Borrower. If interest were required to be refunded, it could negatively affect a Fund’s performance.
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Many Senior Loans in which a 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 Senior Loans will generally be less extensive than that available for registered or exchange-listed securities. In evaluating the creditworthiness of Borrowers, the Investment Adviser will consider, and may rely in part, on analyses performed by others. Borrowers may have outstanding debt obligations that are rated below investment grade by a rating agency. Many of the Senior Loans in which a Fund may invest will have been assigned below investment grade ratings by independent rating agencies. In the event Senior Loans are not rated, they are likely to be the equivalent of below investment grade quality. Because of the protective features of Senior Loans, the Investment Adviser believes that Senior Loans tend to have more favorable loss recovery rates as compared to more junior types of below investment grade debt obligations. The Investment Adviser does not view ratings as the determinative factor in its investment decisions and rely more upon their credit analysis abilities than upon ratings. Investors in loans, such as a Fund, may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws, although they may be entitled to certain contractual remedies.
No active trading market may exist for some Senior Loans, and some loans may be subject to restrictions on resale. A secondary market may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods, which may impair the ability to realize full value and thus cause a material decline in the NAV of a Fund. Because transactions in many Senior Loans are subject to extended trade settlement periods, a Fund may not receive the proceeds from the sale of Senior Loans for a period after the sale of the Senior Loans. In addition, a Fund may not be able to readily dispose of its Senior Loans at prices that approximate those at which the Fund could sell such loans if they were more widely-traded and, as a result of the relative illiquidity of the trading markets for Senior Loans, a Fund may have to sell other investments or engage in borrowing transactions, such as borrowing from its credit facility, if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations, including redemption obligations. During periods of limited supply and liquidity of Senior Loans, a Fund’s yield may be lower.
When interest rates decline, the value of a Fund invested in fixed rate obligations can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the value of a Fund invested in fixed rate obligations can be expected to decline. Although changes in prevailing interest rates can be expected to cause some fluctuations in the value of Senior Loans (due to the fact that floating rates on Senior Loans only reset periodically), the value of Senior Loans is substantially less sensitive to changes in market interest rates than fixed rate instruments. As a result, to the extent a Fund invests in floating-rate Senior Loans, the Fund’s portfolio may be less volatile and less sensitive to changes in market interest rates than if the Fund invested in fixed rate obligations. Similarly, a sudden and significant increase in market interest rates may cause a decline in the value of these investments and in a Fund’s NAV. Other factors (including, but not limited to, rating downgrades, credit deterioration, a large downward movement in stock prices, a disparity in supply and demand of certain securities or market conditions that reduce liquidity) can reduce the value of Senior Loans and other debt obligations, impairing the NAV of the Funds.
A Fund may purchase and retain in its portfolio a Senior Loan where the Borrower has experienced, or may be perceived to be likely to experience, credit problems, including involvement in or recent emergence from bankruptcy reorganization proceedings or other forms of debt restructuring. Such investments may provide opportunities for enhanced income as well as capital appreciation, although they also will be subject to greater risk of loss. At times, in connection with the restructuring of a Senior Loan either outside of bankruptcy court or in the context of bankruptcy court proceedings, a Fund may determine or be required to accept equity securities or junior credit securities in exchange for all or a portion of a Senior Loan.
The Funds may also purchase Senior Loans on a direct assignment basis. If a Fund purchases a Senior Loan on direct assignment, it typically succeeds to all the rights and obligations under the loan agreement of the assigning lender and becomes a lender under the loan agreement with the same rights and obligations as the assigning lender. Investments in Senior Loans on a direct assignment basis may involve additional risks to the Funds. For example, if such loan is foreclosed, the Fund could become part owner of any collateral, and would bear the costs and liabilities associated with owning and disposing of the collateral.
Loans and other types of direct indebtedness may not be readily marketable and may be subject to restrictions on resale. In some cases, negotiations involved in disposing of indebtedness may require weeks to complete. Consequently, some indebtedness may be difficult or impossible to dispose of readily at what the Investment Adviser believes to be a fair price. In addition, valuation of less readily marketable indebtedness involves a greater degree of judgment in determining the NAV of the Funds than if that valuation were based on available market quotations, and could result in significant variations in a Fund’s daily share price. At the same time,
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some loan interests are regularly traded among certain financial institutions. As the market for different types of indebtedness develops, the liquidity of the market for these instruments is expected to improve. Investments in loans and loan participations are considered to be debt obligations for purposes of a Fund’s investment restriction relating to the lending of funds or assets by the Fund.
These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in loans and loan participations.
Second Lien Loans. Each of the Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in Second Lien Loans, which have the same characteristics as Senior Loans except that such loans are second in lien property rather than first. Second Lien Loans typically have adjustable floating rate interest payments. Accordingly, the risks associated with Second Lien Loans are higher than the risk of loans with first priority over the collateral. In the event of default on a Second Lien Loan, the first priority lien holder has first claim to the underlying collateral of the loan. It is possible that no collateral value would remain for the second priority lien holder and therefore result in a loss of investment to a Fund.
This risk is generally higher for subordinated unsecured loans or debt, which are not backed by a security interest in any specific collateral. Second Lien Loans generally have greater price volatility than Senior Loans and may be less liquid. There is also a possibility that originators will not be able to sell participations in Second Lien Loans, which would create greater credit risk exposure for the holders of such loans. Second Lien Loans share the same risks as other below investment grade securities.
MMD Rate Locks
Certain Funds may purchase and sell Municipal Market Data AAA Cash Curve forward contracts, also known as “MMD rate locks.” A Fund may use these transactions for hedging purposes or, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, to enhance income or gain or to increase the Fund’s yield, for example, during periods of steep interest rate yield curves (i.e., wide differences between short term and long term interest rates).
An MMD rate lock permits a Fund to lock in a specified municipal interest rate for a portion of its portfolio to preserve a return on a particular investment, as a duration management technique, or to protect against any increase in the price of securities to be purchased at a later date. By using an MMD rate lock, a Fund can create a synthetic long or short position, allowing the Fund to select the most attractive part of the yield curve. An MMD rate lock is a forward contract between a Fund and an MMD rate lock provider pursuant to which the parties agree to make payments to each other on a notional amount, contingent upon whether the Municipal Market Data AAA General Obligations Scale is above or below a specified level on the expiration date of the contract. In connection with investments in MMD rate locks, there is a risk that municipal yields will move in the opposite direction than that anticipated by a Fund, which would cause the Fund to make payments to its counterparty in the transaction that could adversely affect the Fund’s performance.
Mortgage Dollar Rolls
The Taxable Funds (other than Enhanced Income Fund, High Yield Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund) may enter into mortgage dollar rolls in which a Fund sells securities for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts with the same counterparty to repurchase similar, but not identical securities on a specified future date. During the roll period, a Fund loses the right to receive principal and interest paid on the securities sold. However, a Fund would benefit to the extent of any difference between the price received for the securities sold and the lower forward price for the future purchase or fee income plus the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the securities sold until the settlement date of the forward purchase. All cash proceeds will be invested in instruments that are permissible investments for the applicable Fund.
For financial reporting and tax purposes, the Funds treat mortgage dollar rolls as two separate transactions; one involving the purchase of a security and a separate transaction involving a sale. The Funds does not currently intend to enter into mortgage dollar rolls for financing and does not treat them as borrowings.
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Mortgage dollar rolls involve certain risks including the following: if the broker-dealer to whom a Fund sells the security becomes insolvent, a Fund’s right to purchase or repurchase the mortgage-related securities subject to the mortgage dollar roll may be restricted. Also, the instrument which a Fund is required to repurchase may be worth less than an instrument which a Fund originally held. Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls will depend upon the Investment Adviser's ability to manage a Fund’s interest rate and mortgage prepayments exposure. For these reasons, there is no assurance that mortgage dollar rolls can be successfully employed. The use of this technique may diminish the investment performance of a Fund compared with what such performance would have been without the use of mortgage dollar rolls.
Mortgage Loans and Mortgage-Backed Securities
The Taxable Funds  (other than the Enhanced Income Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund) may each invest in mortgage loans, mortgage pass-through securities and other securities representing an interest in or collateralized by adjustable and fixed-rate mortgage loans , including collateralized mortgage obligations, real estate mortgage investment conduits (“REMICs”) and stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities, as described below ("Mortgage-Backed Securities"). The Short Duration Government Fund may only invest in government-issued Mortgage-Backed Securities, and may not invest in privately-issued Mortgage-Backed Securities.
Mortgage-Backed Securities are subject to both call risk and extension risk. Because of these risks, these securities can have significantly greater price and yield volatility than traditional fixed income securities.
General Characteristics of Mortgage Backed Securities
In general, each mortgage pool underlying Mortgage-Backed Securities consists of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured by first mortgages or first deeds of trust or other similar security instruments creating a first lien on owner occupied and non-owner occupied one-unit to four-unit residential properties, multi-family (i.e., five-units or more) properties, agricultural properties, commercial properties and mixed use properties (the “Mortgaged Properties”). The Mortgaged Properties may consist of detached individual dwelling units, multi-family dwelling units, individual condominiums, townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, row houses, individual units in planned unit developments, other attached dwelling units (“Residential Mortgaged Properties”) or commercial properties, such as office properties, retail properties, hospitality properties, industrial properties, healthcare related properties or other types of income producing real property (“Commercial Mortgaged Properties”). Residential Mortgaged Properties may also include residential investment properties and second homes. In addition, the Mortgage-Backed Securities which are residential mortgage-backed securities may also consist of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured entirely or in part by second priority mortgage liens on Residential Mortgaged Properties.
The investment characteristics of adjustable and fixed rate Mortgage-Backed Securities differ from those of traditional fixed income securities. The major differences include the payment of interest and principal on Mortgage-Backed Securities on a more frequent (usually monthly) schedule, and the possibility that principal may be prepaid at any time due to prepayments on the underlying mortgage loans or other assets. These differences can result in significantly greater price and yield volatility than is the case with traditional fixed income securities. As a result, if a Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a premium, a faster than expected prepayment rate will reduce both the market value and the yield to maturity from their anticipated levels. A prepayment rate that is slower than expected will have the opposite effect, increasing yield to maturity and market value. Conversely, if a Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a discount, faster than expected prepayments will increase, while slower than expected prepayments will reduce yield to maturity and market value. To the extent that a Fund invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities, the Investment Adviser may seek to manage these potential risks by investing in a variety of Mortgage-Backed Securities and by using certain hedging techniques.
Prepayments on a pool of mortgage loans are influenced by changes in current interest rates and a variety of economic, geographic, social and other factors (such as changes in mortgagor housing needs, job transfers, unemployment, mortgagor equity in the mortgage properties and servicing decisions). The timing and level of prepayments cannot be predicted. A predominant factor affecting the prepayment rate on a pool of mortgage loans is the difference between the interest rates on outstanding mortgage loans and prevailing mortgage loan interest rates (giving consideration to the cost of any refinancing). Generally, prepayments on mortgage loans will increase during a period of falling mortgage interest rates and decrease during a period of rising mortgage interest rates.
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Accordingly, the amounts of prepayments available for reinvestment by a Fund are likely to be greater during a period of declining mortgage interest rates. If general interest rates decline, such prepayments are likely to be reinvested at lower interest rates than a Fund was earning on the Mortgage-Backed Securities that were prepaid. Due to these factors, Mortgage-Backed Securities may be less effective than U.S. Treasury and other types of debt securities of similar maturity at maintaining yields during periods of declining interest rates. Because a Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities are interest-rate sensitive, a Fund’s performance will depend in part upon the ability of a Fund to anticipate and respond to fluctuations in market interest rates and to utilize appropriate strategies to maximize returns to a Fund while attempting to minimize the associated risks to its investment capital. Prepayments may have a disproportionate effect on certain Mortgage-Backed Securities and other multiple class pass-through securities, which are discussed below.
The rate of interest paid on Mortgage-Backed Securities is normally lower than the rate of interest paid on the mortgages included in the underlying pool due to (among other things) the fees paid to any servicer, special servicer and trustee for the trust fund which holds the mortgage pool, other costs and expenses of such trust fund, fees paid to any guarantor, such as Ginnie Mae (as defined below) or to any credit enhancers, mortgage pool insurers, bond insurers and/or hedge providers, and due to any yield retained by the issuer. Actual yield to the holder may vary from the coupon rate, even if adjustable, if the Mortgage-Backed Securities are purchased or traded in the secondary market at a premium or discount. In addition, there is normally some delay between the time the issuer receives mortgage payments from the servicer and the time the issuer (or the trustee of the trust fund which holds the mortgage pool) makes the payments on the Mortgage-Backed Securities, and this delay reduces the effective yield to the holder of such securities.
The issuers of certain mortgage-backed obligations may elect to have the pool of mortgage loans (or indirect interests in mortgage loans) underlying the securities treated as a REMIC, which is subject to special federal income tax rules. A description of the types of mortgage loans and Mortgage-Backed Securities in which a Fund may invest is provided below. The descriptions are general and summary in nature, and do not detail every possible variation of the types of securities that are permissible investments for a Fund.
Delinquencies, defaults and losses on residential mortgage loans may increase substantially over certain periods, which may affect the performance of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which a Fund may invest. Mortgage loans backing non-agency Mortgage-Backed Securities are more sensitive to economic factors that could affect the ability of borrowers to pay their obligations under the mortgage loans backing these securities. In addition, housing prices and appraisal values in many states and localities over certain periods have declined or stopped appreciating. A sustained decline or an extended flattening of those values may result in additional increases in delinquencies and losses on Mortgage-Backed Securities generally (including the Mortgaged-Backed Securities that the Funds may invest in as described above).
Adverse changes in market conditions and regulatory climate may reduce the cash flow which a Fund, to the extent it invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities or other asset-backed securities, receives from such securities and increase the incidence and severity of credit events and losses in respect of such securities. In the event that interest rate spreads for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities widen following the purchase of such assets by a Fund, the market value of such securities is likely to decline and, in the case of a substantial spread widening, could decline by a substantial amount. Furthermore, adverse changes in market conditions may result in reduced liquidity in the market for Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities (including the Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities in which the Fund may invest) and an unwillingness by banks, financial institutions and investors to extend credit to servicers, originators and other participants in the market for Mortgage-Backed and other asset-backed securities. As a result, the liquidity and/or the market value of any Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that are owned by a Fund may experience declines after they are purchased by a Fund.
General Regulatory Considerations of Mortgage-Backed Securities
The unprecedented disruption in the mortgage- and asset-backed securities markets in 2008-2009 resulted in significant downward price pressures as well as foreclosures and defaults in residential and commercial real estate. As a result of these events, the liquidity of the mortgage- and asset-backed securities markets was negatively impacted during that time. Following the market dislocation, the U.S. Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which imposed a new regulatory framework over the U.S. financial services industry and the consumer credit markets in general.
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Among its other provisions, the Dodd-Frank Act creates a liquidation framework under which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), may be appointed as receiver following a “systemic risk determination” by the Secretary of Treasury (in consultation with the President) for the resolution of certain nonbank financial companies and other entities, defined as “covered financial companies”, and commonly referred to as “systemically important entities”, in the event such a company is in default or in danger of default and the resolution of such a company under other applicable law would have serious adverse effects on financial stability in the United States, and also for the resolution of certain of their subsidiaries. No assurances can be given that this new liquidation framework would not apply to the originators of asset-backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities, or their respective subsidiaries, including the issuers and depositors of such securities, although the expectation embedded in the Dodd-Frank Act is that the framework will be invoked only very rarely. Guidance from the FDIC indicates that such new framework will largely be exercised in a manner consistent with the existing bankruptcy laws, which is the insolvency regime that would otherwise apply to the sponsors, depositors and issuing entities with respect to asset-backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities. The application of such liquidation framework to such entities could result in decreases or delays in amounts paid on, and hence the market value of, the Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that may be owned by a Fund.
Certain General Characteristics of Mortgage Loans
Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loans (“ARMs”). The Taxable Funds (other than the Enhanced Income Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund) may invest in ARMs. ARMs generally provide for a fixed initial mortgage interest rate for a specified period of time. Thereafter, the interest rates (the “Mortgage Interest Rates”) may be subject to periodic adjustment based on changes in the applicable index rate (the “Index Rate”). The adjusted rate would be equal to the Index Rate plus a fixed percentage spread over the Index Rate established for each ARM at the time of its origination. ARMs allow a Fund to participate in increases in interest rates through periodic increases in the securities coupon rates. During periods of declining interest rates, coupon rates may readjust downward resulting in lower yields to a Fund.
Adjustable interest rates can cause payment increases that some mortgagors may find difficult to make. However, certain ARMs may provide that the Mortgage Interest Rate may not be adjusted to a rate above an applicable lifetime maximum rate or below an applicable lifetime minimum rate for such ARM. Certain ARMs may also be subject to limitations on the maximum amount by which the Mortgage Interest Rate may adjust for any single adjustment period (the “Maximum Adjustment”). Other ARMs (“Negatively Amortizing ARMs”) may provide instead or as well for limitations on changes in the monthly payment on such ARMs. Limitations on monthly payments can result in monthly payments which are greater or less than the amount necessary to amortize a Negatively Amortizing ARM by its maturity at the Mortgage Interest Rate in effect in any particular month. In the event that a monthly payment is not sufficient to pay the interest accruing on a Negatively Amortizing ARM, any such excess interest is added to the principal balance of the loan, causing negative amortization, and will be repaid through future monthly payments. It may take borrowers under Negatively Amortizing ARMs longer periods of time to build up equity and may increase the likelihood of default by such borrowers. In the event that a monthly payment exceeds the sum of the interest accrued at the applicable Mortgage Interest Rate and the principal payment which would have been necessary to amortize the outstanding principal balance over the remaining term of the loan, the excess (or “accelerated amortization”) further reduces the principal balance of the ARM. Negatively Amortizing ARMs do not provide for the extension of their original maturity to accommodate changes in their Mortgage Interest Rate. As a result, unless there is a periodic recalculation of the payment amount (which there generally is), the final payment may be substantially larger than the other payments. After the expiration of the initial fixed rate period and upon the periodic recalculation of the payment to cause timely amortization of the related mortgage loan, the monthly payment on such mortgage loan may increase substantially which may, in turn, increase the risk of the borrower defaulting in respect of such mortgage loan. These limitations on periodic increases in interest rates and on changes in monthly payments protect borrowers from unlimited interest rate and payment increases, but may result in increased credit exposure and prepayment risks for lenders. When interest due on a mortgage loan is added to the principal balance of such mortgage loan, the related mortgaged property provides proportionately less security for the repayment of such mortgage loan. Therefore, if the related borrower defaults on such mortgage loan, there is a greater likelihood that a loss will be incurred upon any liquidation of the mortgaged property which secures such mortgage loan.
ARMs also have the risk of prepayment. The rate of principal prepayments with respect to ARMs has fluctuated in recent years. The value of Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by ARMs is less likely to rise during periods of declining interest rates than the value of fixed-rate securities during such periods. Accordingly, ARMs may be subject to a greater rate of principal repayments in a declining interest rate environment resulting in lower yields to a Fund. For example, if prevailing interest rates fall significantly,
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ARMs could be subject to higher prepayment rates (than if prevailing interest rates remain constant or increase) because the availability of low fixed-rate mortgages may encourage mortgagors to refinance their ARMs to “lock-in” a fixed-rate mortgage. On the other hand, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of ARMs will lag behind changes in the market rate. ARMs are also typically subject to maximum increases and decreases in the interest rate adjustment which can be made on any one adjustment date, in any one year, or during the life of the security. In the event of dramatic increases or decreases in prevailing market interest rates, the value of a Fund’s investment in ARMs may fluctuate more substantially because these limits may prevent the security from fully adjusting its interest rate to the prevailing market rates. As with fixed-rate mortgages, ARM prepayment rates vary in both stable and changing interest rate environments.
There are two main categories of indices which provide the basis for rate adjustments on ARMs: those based on U.S. Treasury securities and those derived from a calculated measure, such as a cost of funds index or a moving average of mortgage rates. Indices commonly used for this purpose include the one-year, three-year and five-year constant maturity Treasury rates, the three-month Treasury bill rate, the 180-day Treasury bill rate, rates on longer-term Treasury securities, the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds, the National Median Cost of Funds, the one-month, three-month, six-month or one-year SOFR or another rate determined using SOFR, the prime rate of a specific bank, or commercial paper rates. Some indices, such as the one-year constant maturity Treasury rate, closely mirror changes in market interest rate levels. Others, such as the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds index, tend to lag behind changes in market rate levels and tend to be somewhat less volatile. The degree of volatility in the market value of ARMs in a Fund’s portfolio and, therefore, in the NAV of a Fund’s shares, will be a function of the length of the interest rate reset periods and the degree of volatility in the applicable indices.
Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans. Generally, fixed-rate mortgage loans included in mortgage pools (the “Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans”) will bear simple interest at fixed annual rates and have original terms to maturity ranging from 5 to 40 years. Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans generally provide for monthly payments of principal and interest in substantially equal installments for the term of the mortgage note in sufficient amounts to fully amortize principal by maturity, although certain Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans provide for a large final “balloon” payment upon maturity.
Certain Legal Considerations of Mortgage Loans. The following is a discussion of certain legal and regulatory aspects of the mortgage loans in which a Fund (other than the Enhanced Income Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund) may invest. This discussion is not exhaustive, and does not address all of the legal or regulatory aspects affecting mortgage loans. These regulations may impair the ability of a mortgage lender to enforce its rights under the mortgage documents. These regulations may also adversely affect a Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities (including those issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities) by delaying the Fund’s receipt of payments derived from principal or interest on mortgage loans affected by such regulations.
1.
Foreclosure. A foreclosure of a defaulted mortgage loan may be delayed due to compliance with statutory notice or service of process provisions, difficulties in locating necessary parties or legal challenges to the mortgagee’s right to foreclose. Depending upon market conditions, the ultimate proceeds of the sale of foreclosed property may not equal the amounts owed on the Mortgage-Backed Securities. Furthermore, courts in some cases have imposed general equitable principles upon foreclosure generally designed to relieve the borrower from the legal effect of default and have required lenders to undertake affirmative and expensive actions to determine the causes for the default and the likelihood of loan reinstatement.
2.
Rights of Redemption. In some states, after foreclosure of a mortgage loan, the borrower and foreclosed junior lienors are given a statutory period in which to redeem the property, which right may diminish the mortgagee’s ability to sell the property.
3.
Legislative Limitations. In addition to anti-deficiency and related legislation, numerous other federal and state statutory provisions, including the federal bankruptcy laws and state laws affording relief to debtors, may interfere with or affect the ability of a secured mortgage lender to enforce its security interest. For example, a bankruptcy court may grant the debtor a reasonable time to cure a default on a mortgage loan, including a payment default. The court in certain instances may also reduce the monthly payments due under such mortgage loan, change the rate of interest, reduce the principal balance of the loan to the then-current appraised value of the related mortgaged property, alter the mortgage loan repayment schedule and grant priority of certain liens over the lien of the mortgage loan. If a court relieves a borrower’s obligation to repay amounts otherwise due on a mortgage loan, the mortgage loan servicer will not be required to advance such
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amounts, and any loss may be borne by the holders of securities backed by such loans. In addition, numerous federal and state consumer protection laws impose penalties for failure to comply with specific requirements in connection with origination and servicing of mortgage loans.
4.
“Due-on-Sale” Provisions. Fixed-rate mortgage loans may contain a so-called “due-on-sale” clause permitting acceleration of the maturity of the mortgage loan if the borrower transfers the property. The Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 sets forth nine specific instances in which no mortgage lender covered by that Act may exercise a “due-on-sale” clause upon a transfer of property. The inability to enforce a “due-on-sale” clause or the lack of such a clause in mortgage loan documents may result in a mortgage loan being assumed by a purchaser of the property that bears an interest rate below the current market rate.
5.
Usury Laws. Some states prohibit charging interest on mortgage loans in excess of statutory limits. If such limits are exceeded, substantial penalties may be incurred and, in some cases, enforceability of the obligation to pay principal and interest may be affected.
6.
Governmental Action, Legislation and Regulation. Legislative, regulatory and enforcement actions seeking to prevent or restrict foreclosures or providing forbearance relief to borrowers of residential mortgage loans may adversely affect the value of Mortgage-Backed Securities (e.g., the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act). Legislative or regulatory initiatives by federal, state or local legislative bodies or administrative agencies, if enacted or adopted, could delay foreclosure or the exercise of other remedies, provide new defenses to foreclosure, or otherwise impair the ability of the loan servicer to foreclose or realize on a defaulted residential mortgage loan included in a pool of residential mortgage loans backing such residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. While the nature or extent of limitations on foreclosure or exercise of other remedies that may be enacted cannot be predicted, any such governmental actions that interfere with the foreclosure process or are designed to protect customers could increase the costs of such foreclosures or exercise of other remedies in respect of residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by a Fund, delay the timing or reduce the amount of recoveries on defaulted residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by a Fund, and consequently, could adversely impact the yields and distributions a Fund may receive in respect of its ownership of Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by residential mortgage loans.
Government Guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities. There are several types of government guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities currently available, including guaranteed mortgage pass-through certificates and multiple class securities, which include guaranteed Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit Certificates (“REMIC Certificates”), other collateralized mortgage obligations and stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. Each of the Taxable Funds (other than the Enhanced Income Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund) is permitted to invest in other types of Mortgage-Backed Securities that may be available in the future, to the extent consistent with its investment policies and objective.
Each Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities may include securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or one of its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises, such as the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Ginnie Mae securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, which means that the U.S. Government guarantees that the interest and principal will be paid when due. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have the ability to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, and as a result, they have historically been viewed by the market as high quality securities with low credit risks. From time to time, proposals have been introduced before Congress for the purpose of restricting or eliminating federal sponsorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Trust cannot predict what legislation, if any, may be proposed in the future in Congress as regards such sponsorship or which proposals, if any, might be enacted. Such proposals, if enacted, might materially and adversely affect the availability of government guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities and the liquidity and value of a Fund’s portfolio.
There is risk that the U.S. Government will not provide financial support to its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. A Fund may purchase U.S. Government Securities that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, such as those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by a Fund may greatly exceed such issuers’ current resources, including such issuers’ legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that these issuers will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future.
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Below is a general discussion of certain types of guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may invest.
•  Ginnie Mae Certificates. Ginnie Mae is a wholly-owned corporate instrumentality of the United States. Ginnie Mae is authorized to guarantee the timely payment of the principal of and interest on certificates that are based on and backed by a pool of mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), or guaranteed by the Veterans Administration (“VA”), or by pools of other eligible mortgage loans. In order to meet its obligations under any guaranty, Ginnie Mae is authorized to borrow from the U.S. Treasury in an unlimited amount. The National Housing Act provides that the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government is pledged to the timely payment of principal and interest by Ginnie Mae of amounts due on Ginnie Mae certificates.
•  Fannie Mae Certificates. Fannie Mae is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered under an act of the U.S. Congress. Generally, Fannie Mae Certificates are issued and guaranteed by Fannie Mae and represent an undivided interest in a pool of mortgage loans (a “Pool”) formed by Fannie Mae. A Pool consists of residential mortgage loans either previously owned by Fannie Mae or purchased by it in connection with the formation of the Pool. The mortgage loans may be either conventional mortgage loans (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any U.S. Government agency) or mortgage loans that are either insured by the FHA or guaranteed by the VA. However, the mortgage loans in Fannie Mae Pools are primarily conventional mortgage loans. The lenders originating and servicing the mortgage loans are subject to certain eligibility requirements established by Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae has certain contractual responsibilities. With respect to each Pool, Fannie Mae is obligated to distribute scheduled installments of principal and interest after Fannie Mae’s servicing and guaranty fee, whether or not received, to Certificate holders. Fannie Mae also is obligated to distribute to holders of Certificates an amount equal to the full principal balance of any foreclosed mortgage loan, whether or not such principal balance is actually recovered. The obligations of Fannie Mae under its guaranty of the Fannie Mae Certificates are obligations solely of Fannie Mae. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” below.
•  Freddie Mac Certificates. Freddie Mac is a publicly held U.S. Government sponsored enterprise. A principal activity of Freddie Mac currently is the purchase of first lien, conventional, residential and multifamily mortgage loans and participation interests in such mortgage loans and their resale in the form of mortgage securities, primarily Freddie Mac Certificates. A Freddie Mac Certificate represents a pro rata interest in a group of mortgage loans or participations in mortgage loans (a “Freddie Mac Certificate group”) purchased by Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac guarantees to each registered holder of a Freddie Mac Certificate the timely payment of interest at the rate provided for by such Freddie Mac Certificate (whether or not received on the underlying loans). Freddie Mac also guarantees to each registered Certificate holder ultimate collection of all principal of the related mortgage loans, without any offset or deduction, but does not, generally, guarantee the timely payment of scheduled principal. The obligations of Freddie Mac under its guaranty of Freddie Mac Certificates are obligations solely of Freddie Mac. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” below.
The mortgage loans underlying the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Certificates consist of adjustable rate or fixed-rate mortgage loans with original terms to maturity of up to forty years. These mortgage loans are usually secured by first liens on one-to-four-family residential properties or multi-family projects. Each mortgage loan must meet the applicable standards set forth in the law creating Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. A Freddie Mac Certificate group may include whole loans, participation interests in whole loans, undivided interests in whole loans and participations comprising another Freddie Mac Certificate group.
Under the direction of FHFA (as defined below), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have entered into a joint initiative to develop a common securitization platform (“CSP”) for the issuance of a uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (“UMBS”) (the “Single Security Initiative”), which would generally align the characteristics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Certificates. The Single Security Initiative is intended to maximize liquidity for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Mortgage-Backed Securities in the “to-be-announced” market. The CSP began issuing UMBS in June 2019. While the initial effects of the issuance of UMBS on the market for mortgage-related securities have been relatively minimal, the long-term effects are still uncertain.
Conventional Mortgage Loans. The conventional mortgage loans underlying the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Certificates consist of adjustable rate or fixed-rate mortgage loans normally with original terms to maturity of between five and thirty years. Substantially all of these mortgage loans are secured by first liens on one- to four-family residential properties or multi-family projects. Each mortgage loan must meet the applicable standards set forth in the law creating Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. A Freddie
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Mac Certificate group may include whole loans, participation interests in whole loans, undivided interests in whole loans and participations comprising another Freddie Mac Certificate group.
Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The volatility and disruption that impacted the capital and credit markets during late 2008 and into 2009 have led to increased market concerns about Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s ability to withstand future credit losses associated with securities held in their investment portfolios, and on which they provide guarantees, without the direct support of the federal government. On September 6, 2008, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were placed under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”). Under the plan of conservatorship, the FHFA has assumed control of, and generally has the power to direct, the operations of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and is empowered to exercise all powers collectively held by their respective shareholders, directors and officers, including the power to (1) take over the assets of and operate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with all the powers of the shareholders, the directors, and the officers of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and conduct all business of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (2) collect all obligations and money due to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (3) perform all functions of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which are consistent with the conservator’s appointment; (4) preserve and conserve the assets and property of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; and (5) contract for assistance in fulfilling any function, activity, action or duty of the conservator. In addition, in connection with the actions taken by the FHFA, the U.S. Treasury entered into certain preferred stock purchase agreements with each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which established the U.S. Treasury as the holder of a new class of senior preferred stock in each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which stock was issued in connection with financial contributions from the U.S. Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The conditions attached to the financial contribution made by the U.S. Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the issuance of this senior preferred stock placed significant restrictions on the activities of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae must obtain the consent of the U.S. Treasury to, among other things, (i) make any payment to purchase or redeem its capital stock or pay any dividend other than in respect of the senior preferred stock issued to the U.S. Treasury, (ii) issue capital stock of any kind, (iii) terminate the conservatorship of the FHFA except in connection with a receivership, or (iv) increase its debt beyond certain specified levels. In addition, significant restrictions were placed on the maximum size of each of Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s respective portfolios of mortgages and Mortgage-Backed Securities, and the purchase agreements entered into by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae provide that the maximum size of their portfolios of these assets must decrease by a specified percentage each year. On June 16, 2010, FHFA ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s stock de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) after the price of common stock in Fannie Mae fell below the NYSE minimum average closing price of $1 for more than 30 days.
The FHFA and the White House have made public statements regarding plans to consider ending the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In the event that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are taken out of conservatorship, it is unclear how the capital structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be constructed and what effects, if any, there may be on Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s creditworthiness and guarantees of certain Mortgage-Backed Securities. It is also unclear whether the Treasury would continue to enforce its rights or perform its obligations under the senior preferred stock programs. Should Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s conservatorship end, there could be an adverse impact on the value of their securities, which could cause losses to a Fund.
Privately Issued Mortgage-Backed Securities. The Taxable Funds (other than the Enhanced Income Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Short Duration Government Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund) may invest in privately issued Mortgage-Backed Securities. Privately issued Mortgage-Backed Securities are generally backed by pools of conventional (i.e., non-government guaranteed or insured) mortgage loans. The seller or servicer of the underlying mortgage obligations will generally make representations and warranties to certificate-holders as to certain characteristics of the mortgage loans and as to the accuracy of certain information furnished to the trustee in respect of each such mortgage loan. Upon a breach of any representation or warranty that materially and adversely affects the interests of the related certificate-holders in a mortgage loan, the seller or servicer generally will be obligated either to cure the breach in all material respects, to repurchase the mortgage loan or, if the related agreement so provides, to substitute in its place a mortgage loan pursuant to the conditions set forth therein. Such a repurchase or substitution obligation may constitute the sole remedy available to the related certificate-holders or the trustee for the material breach of any such representation or warranty by the seller or servicer.
Mortgage Pass-Through Securities
To the extent consistent with their investment policies, the Taxable Funds (other than the Enhanced Income Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund) may invest in both government
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guaranteed and privately issued mortgage pass-through securities (“Mortgage Pass-Throughs”) that are fixed or adjustable rate Mortgage-Backed Securities which provide for monthly payments that are a “pass-through” of the monthly interest and principal payments (including any prepayments) made by the individual borrowers on the pooled mortgage loans, net of any fees or other amounts paid to any guarantor, administrator and/or servicer of the underlying mortgage loans. The seller or servicer of the underlying mortgage obligations will generally make representations and warranties to certificate-holders as to certain characteristics of the mortgage loans and as to the accuracy of certain information furnished to the trustee in respect of each such mortgage loan. Upon a breach of any representation or warranty that materially and adversely affects the interests of the related certificate-holders in a mortgage loan, the seller or servicer generally may be obligated either to cure the breach in all material respects, to repurchase the mortgage loan or, if the related agreement so provides, to substitute in its place a mortgage loan pursuant to the conditions set forth therein. Such a repurchase or substitution obligation may constitute the sole remedy available to the related certificate-holders or the trustee for the material breach of any such representation or warranty by the seller or servicer.
The following discussion describes certain aspects of only a few of the wide variety of structures of Mortgage Pass-Throughs that are available or may be issued.
General Description of Certificates. Mortgage Pass-Throughs may be issued in one or more classes of senior certificates and one or more classes of subordinate certificates. Each such class may bear a different pass-through rate. Generally, each certificate will evidence the specified interest of the holder thereof in the payments of principal or interest or both in respect of the mortgage pool comprising part of the trust fund for such certificates.
Any class of certificates may also be divided into subclasses entitled to varying amounts of principal and interest. If a REMIC election has been made, certificates of such subclasses may be entitled to payments on the basis of a stated principal balance and stated interest rate, and payments among different subclasses may be made on a sequential, concurrent, pro rata or disproportionate basis, or any combination thereof. The stated interest rate on any such subclass of certificates may be a fixed rate or one which varies in direct or inverse relationship to an objective interest index.
Generally, each registered holder of a certificate will be entitled to receive its pro rata share of monthly distributions of all or a portion of principal of the underlying mortgage loans or of interest on the principal balances thereof, which accrues at the applicable mortgage pass-through rate, or both. The difference between the mortgage interest rate and the related mortgage pass-through rate (less the amount, if any, of retained yield) with respect to each mortgage loan will generally be paid to the servicer as a servicing fee. Because certain adjustable rate mortgage loans included in a mortgage pool may provide for deferred interest (i.e., negative amortization), the amount of interest actually paid by a mortgagor in any month may be less than the amount of interest accrued on the outstanding principal balance of the related mortgage loan during the relevant period at the applicable mortgage interest rate. In such event, the amount of interest that is treated as deferred interest will generally be added to the principal balance of the related mortgage loan and will be distributed pro rata to certificate-holders as principal of such mortgage loan when paid by the mortgagor in subsequent monthly payments or at maturity.
Ratings. The ratings assigned by a rating organization to Mortgage Pass-Throughs generally address the likelihood of the receipt of distributions on the underlying mortgage loans by the related certificate-holders under the agreements pursuant to which such certificates are issued. A rating organization’s ratings normally take into consideration the credit quality of the related mortgage pool, including any credit support providers, structural and legal aspects associated with such certificates, and the extent to which the payment stream on such mortgage pool is adequate to make payments required by such certificates. A rating organization’s ratings on such certificates do not, however, constitute a statement regarding frequency of prepayments on the related mortgage loans. In addition, the rating assigned by a rating organization to a certificate may not address the possibility that, in the event of the insolvency of the issuer of certificates where a subordinated interest was retained, the issuance and sale of the senior certificates may be recharacterized as a financing and, as a result of such recharacterization, payments on such certificates may be affected. A rating organization may downgrade or withdraw a rating assigned by it to any Mortgage Pass-Through at any time, and no assurance can be made that any ratings on any Mortgage Pass-Throughs included in a Fund will be maintained, or that if such ratings are assigned, they will not be downgraded or withdrawn by the assigning rating organization.
In the past, rating agencies have placed on credit watch or downgraded the ratings previously assigned to a large number of mortgage-backed securities (which may include certain of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which a Fund may have invested or
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may in the future be invested), and may continue to do so in the future. In the event that any Mortgage-Backed Security held by a Fund is placed on credit watch or downgraded, the value of such Mortgage-Backed Security may decline and the Fund may consequently experience losses in respect of such Mortgage-Backed Security.
Credit Enhancement. Mortgage pools created by non-governmental issuers generally offer a higher yield than government and government-related pools because of the absence of direct or indirect government or agency payment guarantees. To lessen the effect of failures by obligors on underlying assets to make payments, Mortgage Pass-Throughs may contain elements of credit support. Credit support falls generally into two categories: (i) liquidity protection and (ii) protection against losses resulting from default by an obligor on the underlying assets. Liquidity protection refers to the provision of advances, generally by the entity administering the pools of mortgages, the provision of a reserve fund, or a combination thereof, to ensure, subject to certain limitations, that scheduled payments on the underlying pool are made in a timely fashion. Protection against losses resulting from default ensures ultimate payment of the obligations on at least a portion of the assets in the pool. Such credit support can be provided by, among other things, payment guarantees, letters of credit, pool insurance, subordination, or any combination thereof.
Subordination; Shifting of Interest; Reserve Fund. In order to achieve ratings on one or more classes of Mortgage Pass-Throughs, one or more classes of certificates may be subordinate certificates which provide that the rights of the subordinate certificate-holders to receive any or a specified portion of distributions with respect to the underlying mortgage loans may be subordinated to the rights of the senior certificate holders. If so structured, the subordination feature may be enhanced by distributing to the senior certificate-holders on certain distribution dates, as payment of principal, a specified percentage (which generally declines over time) of all principal payments received during the preceding prepayment period (“shifting interest credit enhancement”). This will have the effect of accelerating the amortization of the senior certificates while increasing the interest in the trust fund evidenced by the subordinate certificates. Increasing the interest of the subordinate certificates relative to that of the senior certificates is intended to preserve the availability of the subordination provided by the subordinate certificates. In addition, because the senior certificate-holders in a shifting interest credit enhancement structure are entitled to receive a percentage of principal prepayments which is greater than their proportionate interest in the trust fund, the rate of principal prepayments on the mortgage loans may have an even greater effect on the rate of principal payments and the amount of interest payments on, and the yield to maturity of, the senior certificates.
In addition to providing for a preferential right of the senior certificate-holders to receive current distributions from the mortgage pool, a reserve fund may be established relating to such certificates (the “Reserve Fund”). The Reserve Fund may be created with an initial cash deposit by the originator or servicer and augmented by the retention of distributions otherwise available to the subordinate certificate-holders or by excess servicing fees until the Reserve Fund reaches a specified amount.
The subordination feature, and any Reserve Fund, are intended to enhance the likelihood of timely receipt by senior certificate-holders of the full amount of scheduled monthly payments of principal and interest due to them and will protect the senior certificate-holders against certain losses; however, in certain circumstances the Reserve Fund could be depleted and temporary shortfalls could result. In the event that the Reserve Fund is depleted before the subordinated amount is reduced to zero, senior certificate-holders will nevertheless have a preferential right to receive current distributions from the mortgage pool to the extent of the then outstanding subordinated amount. Unless otherwise specified, until the subordinated amount is reduced to zero, on any distribution date any amount otherwise distributable to the subordinate certificates or, to the extent specified, in the Reserve Fund will generally be used to offset the amount of any losses realized with respect to the mortgage loans (“Realized Losses”). Realized Losses remaining after application of such amounts will generally be applied to reduce the ownership interest of the subordinate certificates in the mortgage pool. If the subordinated amount has been reduced to zero, Realized Losses generally will be allocated pro rata among all certificate-holders in proportion to their respective outstanding interests in the mortgage pool.
Alternative Credit Enhancement. As an alternative, or in addition to the credit enhancement afforded by subordination, credit enhancement for Mortgage Pass-Throughs may be provided through bond insurers, or at the mortgage loan-level through mortgage insurance, hazard insurance, or through the deposit of cash, certificates of deposit, letters of credit, a limited guaranty or by such other methods as are acceptable to a rating agency. In certain circumstances, such as where credit enhancement is provided by bond insurers, guarantees or letters of credit, the security is subject to credit risk because of its exposure to the credit risk of an external credit enhancement provider.
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Voluntary Advances. Generally, in the event of delinquencies in payments on the mortgage loans underlying the Mortgage Pass-Throughs, the servicer may agree to make advances of cash for the benefit of certificate-holders, but generally will do so only to the extent that it determines such voluntary advances will be recoverable from future payments and collections on the mortgage loans or otherwise.
Optional Termination. Generally, the servicer may, at its option with respect to any certificates, repurchase all of the underlying mortgage loans remaining outstanding at such time if the aggregate outstanding principal balance of such mortgage loans is less than a specified percentage (generally 5-10%) of the aggregate outstanding principal balance of the mortgage loans as of the cut-off date specified with respect to such series.
Multiple Class Mortgage-Backed Securities and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. Each Taxable Fund (other than the Enhanced Income Fund, High Yield Floating Rate Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund and Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund) may invest in multiple class securities including collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) and REMIC Certificates. These securities may be issued by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or by trusts formed by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage bankers, commercial banks, insurance companies, investment banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. In general, CMOs are debt obligations of a legal entity that are collateralized by, and multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities represent direct ownership interests in, a pool of mortgage loans or Mortgage-Backed Securities the payments on which are used to make payments on the CMOs or multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities.
Fannie Mae REMIC Certificates are issued and guaranteed as to timely distribution of principal and interest by Fannie Mae. In addition, Fannie Mae will be obligated to distribute the principal balance of each class of REMIC Certificates in full, whether or not sufficient funds are otherwise available.
Freddie Mac guarantees the timely payment of interest on Freddie Mac REMIC Certificates and also guarantees the payment of principal as payments are required to be made on the underlying mortgage participation certificates (“PCs”). PCs represent undivided interests in specified level payment, residential mortgages or participations therein purchased by Freddie Mac and placed in a PC pool. With respect to principal payments on PCs, Freddie Mac generally guarantees ultimate collection of all principal of the related mortgage loans without offset or deduction but the receipt of the required payments may be delayed. Freddie Mac also guarantees timely payment of principal of certain PCs.
CMOs and guaranteed REMIC Certificates issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are types of multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities. The REMIC Certificates represent beneficial ownership interests in a REMIC trust, generally consisting of mortgage loans or Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities (the “Mortgage Assets”). The obligations of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac under their respective guaranty of the REMIC Certificates are obligations solely of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, respectively. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.”
CMOs and REMIC Certificates are issued in multiple classes. Each class of CMOs or REMIC Certificates, often referred to as a “tranche,” is issued at a specific adjustable or fixed interest rate and must be fully retired no later than its final distribution date. Principal prepayments on the mortgage loans or the Mortgage Assets underlying the CMOs or REMIC Certificates may cause some or all of the classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates to be retired substantially earlier than their final distribution dates. Generally, interest is paid or accrues on all classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates on a monthly basis.
The principal of and interest on the Mortgage Assets may be allocated among the several classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates in various ways. In certain structures (known as “sequential pay” CMOs or REMIC Certificates), payments of principal, including any principal prepayments, on the Mortgage Assets generally are applied to the classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates in the order of their respective final distribution dates. Thus, no payment of principal will be made on any class of sequential pay CMOs or REMIC Certificates until all other classes having an earlier final distribution date have been paid in full.
Additional structures of CMOs and REMIC Certificates include, among others, “parallel pay” CMOs and REMIC Certificates. Parallel pay CMOs or REMIC Certificates are those which are structured to apply principal payments and prepayments of the
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Mortgage Assets to two or more classes concurrently on a proportionate or disproportionate basis. These simultaneous payments are taken into account in calculating the final distribution date of each class.
A wide variety of REMIC Certificates may be issued in parallel pay or sequential pay structures. These securities include accrual certificates (also known as “Z-Bonds”), which only accrue interest at a specified rate until all other certificates having an earlier final distribution date have been retired and are converted thereafter to an interest-paying security, and planned amortization class (“PAC”) certificates, which are parallel pay REMIC Certificates that generally require that specified amounts of principal be applied on each payment date to one or more classes or REMIC Certificates (the “PAC Certificates”), even though all other principal payments and prepayments of the Mortgage Assets are then required to be applied to one or more other classes of the PAC Certificates. The scheduled principal payments for the PAC Certificates generally have the highest priority on each payment date after interest due has been paid to all classes entitled to receive interest currently. Shortfalls, if any, are added to the amount payable on the next payment date. The PAC Certificate payment schedule is taken into account in calculating the final distribution date of each class of PAC. In order to create PAC tranches, one or more tranches generally must be created that absorb most of the volatility in the underlying mortgage assets. These tranches tend to have market prices and yields that are much more volatile than other PAC classes.
Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities. Commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) are a type of Mortgage Pass-Through that are primarily backed by a pool of commercial mortgage loans. The commercial mortgage loans are, in turn, generally secured by commercial mortgaged properties (such as office properties, retail properties, hospitality properties, industrial properties, healthcare related properties or other types of income producing real property). CMBS generally entitle the holders thereof to receive payments that depend primarily on the cash flow from a specified pool of commercial or multifamily mortgage loans. CMBS will be affected by payments, defaults, delinquencies and losses on the underlying mortgage loans. The underlying mortgage loans generally are secured by income producing properties such as office properties, retail properties, multifamily properties, manufactured housing, hospitality properties, industrial properties and self-storage properties. Because issuers of CMBS have no significant assets other than the underlying commercial real estate loans and because of the significant credit risks inherent in the underlying collateral, credit risk is a correspondingly important consideration with respect to the related CMBS. Certain of the mortgage loans underlying CMBS constituting part of the collateral interests may be delinquent, in default or in foreclosure.
Commercial real estate lending may expose a lender (and the related Mortgage-Backed Security) to a greater risk of loss than certain other forms of lending because it typically involves making larger loans to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers. In addition, in the case of certain commercial mortgage loans, repayment of loans secured by commercial and multifamily properties depends upon the ability of the related real estate project to generate income sufficient to pay debt service, operating expenses and leasing commissions and to make necessary repairs, tenant improvements and capital improvements, and in the case of loans that do not fully amortize over their terms, to retain sufficient value to permit the borrower to pay off the loan at maturity through a sale or refinancing of the mortgaged property. The net operating income from and value of any commercial property is subject to various risks, including changes in general or local economic conditions and/or specific industry segments; declines in real estate values; declines in rental or occupancy rates; increases in interest rates, real estate tax rates and other operating expenses; changes in governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies; acts of God; terrorist threats and attacks and social unrest and civil disturbances. In addition, certain of the mortgaged properties securing the pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have a higher degree of geographic concentration in a few states or regions. The values of, and income generated by, CMBS may be adversely affected by changing interest rates and other developments impacting the commercial real estate market, such as population shifts and other demographic changes, increasing vacancies (potentially for extended periods) and reduced demand for commercial and office space as well as maintenance or tenant improvement costs and costs to convert properties for other uses. These developments could result from, among other things, changing tastes and preferences (such as for remote work arrangements) as well as cultural technological, global or local economic and market developments. In addition, changing interest rate environments and associated changes in lending standards and higher refinancing rates may adversely affect the commercial real estate and CMBS markets. The occurrence of any of the foregoing developments would likely increase default risk for the properties and loans underlying these investments as well as impact the value of, and income generated by, these investments. Furthermore, any deterioration in the real estate market or economy or adverse events in such states or regions, may increase the rate of delinquency and default experience (and as a consequence, losses) with respect to mortgage loans related to properties in such state or region. Pools of mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may also have a higher degree of concentration in certain types of commercial properties. Accordingly, such pools of mortgage loans represent higher exposure to risks particular to those types of commercial properties. Certain pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS consist of a fewer
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number of mortgage loans with outstanding balances that are larger than average. If a mortgage pool includes mortgage loans with larger than average balances, any realized losses on such mortgage loans could be more severe, relative to the size of the pool, than would be the case if the aggregate balance of the pool were distributed among a larger number of mortgage loans. Certain borrowers or affiliates thereof relating to certain of the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have had a history of bankruptcy. Certain mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have been exposed to environmental conditions or circumstances. The ratings in respect of certain of the CMBS comprising the Mortgage-Backed Securities may have been withdrawn, reduced or placed on credit watch since issuance. In addition, losses and/or appraisal reductions may be allocated to certain of such CMBS and certain of the collateral or the assets underlying such collateral may be delinquent and/or may default from time to time. These developments could also result in reduced liquidity for CMBS and other real estate-related investments.
CMBS held by a Fund may be subordinated to one or more other classes of securities of the same series for purposes of, among other things, establishing payment priorities and offsetting losses and other shortfalls with respect to the related underlying mortgage loans. Realized losses in respect of the mortgage loans included in the CMBS pool and trust expenses generally will be allocated to the most subordinated class of securities of the related series. Accordingly, to the extent any CMBS is or becomes the most subordinated class of securities of the related series, any delinquency or default on any underlying mortgage loan may result in shortfalls, realized loss allocations or extensions of its weighted average life and will have a more immediate and disproportionate effect on the related CMBS than on a related more senior class of CMBS of the same series. Further, even if a class is not the most subordinate class of securities, there can be no assurance that the subordination offered to such class will be sufficient on any date to offset all losses or expenses incurred by the underlying trust. CMBS are typically not guaranteed or insured, and distributions on such CMBS generally will depend solely upon the amount and timing of payments and other collections on the related underlying commercial mortgage loans.
Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. The Funds may invest in stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”), which are derivative multiclass mortgage securities, issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities or non-governmental originators. SMBS are usually structured with two different classes: one that receives substantially all of the interest payments (the interest-only, or “IO” and/or the high coupon rate with relatively low principal amount, or “IOette”), and the other that receives substantially all of the principal payments (the principal-only, or “PO”), from a pool of mortgage loans.
Certain SMBS may not be readily marketable. The market value of POs generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates. The yields on IOs and IOettes are generally higher than prevailing market yields on other Mortgage-Backed Securities because their cash flow patterns are more volatile and there is a greater risk that the initial investment will not be fully recouped. A Fund's investments in SMBS may require the Fund to sell certain of its portfolio securities to generate sufficient cash to satisfy certain income distribution requirements. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in SMBS.
Municipal Securities
Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Government Income Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, High Yield Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in Municipal Securities, the interest on which is exempt from regular federal income tax (i.e., excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes but not necessarily exempt from the federal alternative minimum tax or from the income taxes of any state or local government). In addition, Municipal Securities include participation interests in such securities the interest on which is, in the opinion of bond counsel or counsel selected by the Investment Adviser, excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes. The Funds may revise their definition of Municipal Securities in the future to include other types of securities that currently exist, the interest on which is or will be, in the opinion of such counsel, excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes, provided that investing in such securities is consistent with each Fund’s investment objective and policies. Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Government Income Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, High Yield Fund, Strategic Income Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may also invest in taxable Municipal Securities.
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The yields and market values of municipal securities are determined primarily by the general level of interest rates, the creditworthiness of the issuers of municipal securities and economic and political conditions affecting such issuers. The yields and market prices of municipal securities may be adversely affected by changes in tax rates and policies, which may have less effect on the market for taxable fixed income securities. Moreover, certain types of municipal securities, such as housing revenue bonds, involve prepayment risks which could affect the yield on such securities. The credit rating assigned to municipal securities may reflect the existence of guarantees, letters of credit or other credit enhancement features available to the issuers or holders of such municipal securities.
Dividends paid by the Funds, other than the Tax Exempt Funds, that are derived from interest paid on both tax exempt and taxable Municipal Securities will be taxable to the Funds’ shareholders.
Municipal Securities are often issued to obtain funds for various public purposes including refunding outstanding obligations, obtaining funds for general operating expenses, and obtaining funds to lend to other public institutions and facilities. Municipal Securities also include certain “private activity bonds” or industrial development bonds, which are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to provide financing aid to acquire sites or construct or equip facilities within a municipality for privately or publicly owned corporations.
Investments in municipal securities are subject to the risk that the issuer could default on its obligations. Such a default could result from the inadequacy of the sources or revenues from which interest and principal payments are to be made, including property tax collections, sales tax revenue, income tax revenue and local, state and federal government funding, or the assets collateralizing such obligations. Municipal securities and issuers of municipal securities may be more susceptible to downgrade, default, and bankruptcy as a result of recent periods of economic stress. Revenue bonds, including private activity bonds, are backed only by specific assets or revenue sources and not by the full faith and credit of the governmental issuer.
The two principal classifications of Municipal Securities are “general obligations” and “revenue obligations.” General obligations are secured by the issuer’s pledge of its full faith and credit for the payment of principal and interest, although the characteristics and enforcement of general obligations may vary according to the law applicable to the particular issuer. Revenue obligations, which include, but are not limited to, private activity bonds, resource recovery bonds, certificates of participation and certain municipal notes, are not backed by the credit and taxing authority of the issuer, and are payable solely from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities or, in some cases, from the proceeds of a special excise or other specific revenue source. Nevertheless, the obligations of the issuer of a revenue obligation may be backed by a letter of credit, guarantee or insurance. General obligations and revenue obligations may be issued in a variety of forms, including commercial paper, fixed, variable and floating rate securities, tender option bonds, auction rate bonds, zero coupon bonds, deferred interest bonds and capital appreciation bonds. In addition to general obligations and revenue obligations, there is a variety of hybrid and special types of Municipal Securities. There are also numerous differences in the security of Municipal Securities both within and between these two principal classifications.
The Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund and Short Duration Tax-Free Fund may invest a significant portion of their total assets in securities of issuers within the same state, geographic region or economic sector, and an adverse economic, business, political, environmental or other development affecting that state, region or sector may affect the value of the Funds’ investments more than if its investments were not so focused.
The High Yield Municipal Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may own a large percentage of any one general assessment bond issuance. Therefore, the Funds may be adversely impacted if the issuing municipality fails to pay principal and/or interest on those bonds.
For the purpose of applying a Fund’s investment restrictions, the identification of the issuer of a Municipal Security which is not a general obligation is made by the Investment Adviser based on the characteristics of the Municipal Security, the most important of which is the source of funds for the payment of principal and interest on such securities.
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An entire issue of Municipal Securities may be purchased by one or a small number of institutional investors, including one or more Funds. Thus, the issue may not be said to be publicly offered. Unlike some securities that are not publicly offered, a secondary market exists for many Municipal Securities that were not publicly offered initially and such securities may be readily marketable.
The obligations of the issuer to pay the principal of and interest on a Municipal Security are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors, such as the Federal Bankruptcy Code, and laws, if any, that may be enacted by Congress or state legislatures extending the time for payment of principal or interest or imposing other constraints upon the enforcement of such obligations. There is also the possibility that, as a result of litigation or other conditions, the power or ability of the issuer to pay when due principal of or interest on a Municipal Security may be materially affected.
While the Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund and Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, under normal circumstances, invest substantially all of their assets in Municipal Securities, the recognition of certain accrued market discount income (if the Funds acquire Municipal Securities or other obligations at a market discount), income from investments other than Municipal Securities and any capital gains generated from the disposition of investments, will result in taxable income. In addition to federal income tax, shareholders may be subject to state, local or foreign taxes on distributions of such income received from the Funds.
From time to time, proposals have been introduced before Congress for the purpose of restricting or eliminating the federal income tax exemption for interest on Municipal Securities. For example, under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, interest on certain private activity bonds must be included in an investor’s federal alternative minimum taxable income. The Trust cannot predict what legislation, if any, may be proposed in the future in Congress as regards the federal income tax status of interest on Municipal Securities or which proposals, if any, might be enacted. Such proposals, if enacted, might materially and adversely affect the tax treatment of Municipal Securities and the availability of Municipal Securities for investment by the Tax Exempt Funds and the Funds’ liquidity and value. In such an event the Board of Trustees would reevaluate the Tax Exempt Funds’ investment objectives and policies.
Special Risk Considerations Relating to New York Municipal Obligations. The following section provides only a brief summary of the complex factors affecting the financial condition of New York that could, in turn, adversely affect a Fund’s investments in New York’s municipal obligations. The economic and financial condition of New York may be affected by various financial, social, economic, public health, environmental and political factors. For example, the securities industry is more central to New York’s economy than to the national economy, therefore any significant decline in stock market performance could adversely affect New York’s income and employment levels. Furthermore, such financial, social, economic, public health, environmental and political factors can be very complex, may vary from year to year and can be the result of actions taken not only by New York and its agencies and instrumentalities, but also by entities, such as the federal government, that are not under the control of New York.
New York was adversely impacted by the health-related and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to respond to and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 had a negative impact on the New York and national economies. These efforts resulted in increased and ongoing direct expenditures required to address the impact of COVID-19.
To help address the public health and economic impact of COVID-19, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), which provided for approximately $2.2 trillion in disaster relief. Among other things, the CARES Act established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (“CRF”), of which New York received approximately $5.1 billion. In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan was signed into law, which provided an additional $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments. New York was allocated approximately $12.7 billion in American Rescue Plan funding. It is not presently possible to predict the extent of the long-term effects that COVID-19 could have on New York’s economy. The current economic environment, including prolonged inflation and rising interest rates, also may negatively affect the economy of New York.
New York City accounts for a significant portion of New York’s population and personal income, and New York City’s financial health could have a substantial impact on New York in many ways. New York City continues to require substantial assistance from New York and depends, in part, on state aid to be able to balance its budget and meet its obligations. If New York City is unable to generate revenues sufficient to fund its operations, New York City may seek to obtain additional resources from the state of New
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York, which may cause the state of New York to adjust its current or future funding priorities. New York could be negatively affected by adverse economic circumstances in New York City.
The ratings assigned to New York’s general obligation bonds by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch as of July 10, 2023 were Aa1, AA+, and AA+, respectively. There is no assurance that these ratings will continue for any given period of time or that they will not be revised or withdrawn entirely by the rating agency if, in the judgment of such rating agency, circumstances so warrant. A downward revision or withdrawal of any such rating may have an adverse effect on the market prices of the securities issued by New York, which would in turn negatively impact the performance of a Fund.
Municipal Leases, Certificates of Participation and Other Participation Interests. Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Government Income Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, High Yield Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in municipal leases, certificates of participation and other participation interests. A municipal lease is an obligation in the form of a lease or installment purchase which is issued by a state or local government to acquire equipment and facilities. Income from such obligations is generally exempt from state and local taxes in the state of issuance. Municipal leases frequently involve special risks not normally associated with general obligations or revenue bonds. Leases and installment purchase or conditional sale contracts (which normally provide for title to the leased asset to pass eventually to the governmental issuer) have evolved as a means for governmental issuers to acquire property and equipment without meeting the constitutional and statutory requirements for the issuance of debt. The debt issuance limitations are deemed to be inapplicable because of the inclusion in many leases or contracts of “non-appropriation” clauses that relieve the governmental issuer of any obligation to make future payments under the lease or contract unless money is appropriated for such purpose by the appropriate legislative body on a yearly or other periodic basis. In addition, such leases or contracts may be subject to the temporary abatement of payments in the event the issuer is prevented from maintaining occupancy of the leased premises or utilizing the leased equipment. Although the obligations may be secured by the leased equipment or facilities, the disposition of the property in the event of non-appropriation or foreclosure might prove difficult, time consuming and costly, and result in a delay in recovering or the failure to fully recover a Fund’s original investment. To the extent that a Fund invests in unrated municipal leases or participates in such leases, the credit quality rating and risk of cancellation of such unrated leases will be monitored on an ongoing basis.
Certificates of participation represent undivided interests in municipal leases, installment purchase agreements or other instruments. The certificates are typically issued by a trust or other entity which has received an assignment of the payments to be made by the state or political subdivision under such leases or installment purchase agreements.
Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Government Income Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, High Yield Fund, Strategic Income Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may purchase participations in Municipal Securities held by a commercial bank or other financial institution. Such participations provide a Fund with the right to a pro rata undivided interest in the underlying Municipal Securities. In addition, such participations generally provide a Fund with the right to demand payment, on not more than seven days’ notice, of all or any part of such Fund’s participation interest in the underlying Municipal Securities, plus accrued interest.
Municipal Notes. Municipal Securities in the form of notes generally are used to provide for short-term capital needs, in anticipation of an issuer’s receipt of other revenues or financing, and typically have maturities of up to three years. Such instruments may include tax anticipation notes, revenue anticipation notes, bond anticipation notes, tax and revenue anticipation notes and construction loan notes. Tax anticipation notes are issued to finance the working capital needs of governments. Generally, they are issued in anticipation of various tax revenues, such as income, sales, property, use and business taxes, and are payable from these specific future taxes. Revenue anticipation notes are issued in expectation of receipt of other kinds of revenue, such as federal revenues available under federal revenue sharing programs. Bond anticipation notes are issued to provide interim financing until long-term bond financing can be arranged. In most cases, the long-term bonds then provide the funds needed for repayment of the notes. Tax and revenue anticipation notes combine the funding sources of both tax anticipation notes and revenue anticipation notes. Construction loan notes are sold to provide construction financing. These notes are secured by mortgage notes insured by the FHA;
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however, the proceeds from the insurance may be less than the economic equivalent of the payment of principal and interest on the mortgage note if there has been a default. The obligations of an issuer of municipal notes are generally secured by the anticipated revenues from taxes, grants or bond financing. An investment in such instruments, however, presents a risk that the anticipated revenues will not be received or that such revenues will be insufficient to satisfy the issuer’s payment obligations under the notes or that refinancing will be otherwise unavailable.
Tax Exempt Commercial Paper. Issues of commercial paper typically represent short-term, unsecured, negotiable promissory notes. These obligations are issued by state and local governments and their agencies to finance working capital needs of municipalities or to provide interim construction financing and are paid from general revenues of municipalities or are refinanced with long-term debt. In most cases, tax exempt commercial paper is backed by letters of credit, lending agreements, note repurchase agreements or other credit facility agreements offered by banks or other institutions.
Pre-Refunded Municipal Securities. The principal of and interest on pre-refunded Municipal Securities are no longer paid from the original revenue source for the securities. Instead, the source of such payments is typically an escrow fund consisting of U.S. Government Securities. The assets in the escrow fund are derived from the proceeds of refunding bonds issued by the same issuer as the pre-refunded Municipal Securities. Issuers of Municipal Securities use this advance refunding technique to obtain more favorable terms with respect to securities that are not yet subject to call or redemption by the issuer. For example, advance refunding enables an issuer to refinance debt at lower market interest rates, restructure debt to improve cash flow or eliminate restrictive covenants in the indenture or other governing instrument for the pre-refunded Municipal Securities. However, except for a change in the revenue source from which principal and interest payments are made, the pre-refunded Municipal Securities remain outstanding on their original terms until they mature or are redeemed by the issuer. Pre-refunded Municipal Securities are often purchased at a price which represents a premium over their face value.
Private Activity Bonds. Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Government Income Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, High Yield Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may each invest in certain types of Municipal Securities, generally referred to as industrial development bonds (and referred to under current tax law as private activity bonds), which are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to obtain funds to provide privately operated housing facilities, airport, mass transit or port facilities, sewage disposal, solid waste disposal or hazardous waste treatment or disposal facilities and certain local facilities for water supply, gas or electricity. Other types of industrial development bonds, the proceeds of which are used for the construction, equipment, repair or improvement of privately operated industrial or commercial facilities, may constitute Municipal Securities, although the current federal tax laws place substantial limitations on the size of such issues. A Tax Exempt Fund’s distributions of its interest income from private activity bonds may subject certain investors to the federal alternative minimum tax whereas a Taxable Fund’s distributions of any tax exempt interest it receives from any source will be taxable for regular federal income tax purposes.
Tender Option Bonds. A tender option bond is a Municipal Security (generally held pursuant to a custodial arrangement) having a relatively long maturity and bearing interest at a fixed rate substantially higher than prevailing short-term, tax exempt rates. The bond is typically issued with the agreement of a third party, such as a bank, broker-dealer or other financial institution, which grants the security holders the option, at periodic intervals, to tender their securities to the institution and receive the face value thereof. As consideration for providing the option, the financial institution receives periodic fees equal to the difference between the bond’s fixed coupon rate and the rate, as determined by a remarketing or similar agent at or near the commencement of such period, that would cause the securities, coupled with the tender option, to trade at par on the date of such determination. Thus, after payment of this fee, the security holder effectively holds a demand obligation that bears interest at the prevailing short-term, tax exempt rate. However, an institution will not be obligated to accept tendered bonds in the event of certain defaults or a significant downgrade in the credit rating assigned to the issuer of the bond. The Tax Exempt Funds intend to invest in tender option bonds the interest on which will, in the opinion of bond counsel, counsel for the issuer of interests therein or counsel selected by the Investment Adviser, be exempt from regular federal income tax. However, because there can be no assurance that the IRS will agree with such counsel’s opinion in any particular case, there is a risk that a Tax Exempt Fund will not be considered the owner of such tender option bonds and thus will not be entitled to treat such interest as exempt from such tax. Additionally, the federal income tax treatment of certain other aspects of these investments, including the proper tax treatment of tender option bonds and the associated fees in relation to various regulated
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investment company tax provisions is unclear. The Tax Exempt Funds intend to manage their portfolios in a manner designed to eliminate or minimize any adverse impact from the tax rules applicable to these investments.
Auction Rate Securities. Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Government Income Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, High Yield Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in auction rate securities. Auction rate securities include auction rate Municipal Securities and auction rate preferred securities issued by closed-end investment companies that invest primarily in Municipal Securities (collectively, “auction rate securities”). Provided that the auction mechanism is successful, auction rate securities usually permit the holder to sell the securities in an auction at par value at specified intervals. The dividend is reset by “Dutch” auction in which bids are made by broker-dealers and other institutions for a certain amount of securities at a specified minimum yield. The dividend rate set by the auction is the lowest interest or dividend rate that covers all securities offered for sale. While this process is designed to permit auction rate securities to be traded at par value, there is some risk that an auction will fail due to insufficient demand for the securities. In certain market environments, auction failures may be more prevalent, which may adversely affect the liquidity and price of auction rate securities. Moreover, between auctions, there may be no secondary market for these securities, and sales conducted on a secondary market may not be on terms favorable to the seller. Thus, with respect to liquidity and price stability, auction rate securities may differ substantially from cash equivalents, notwithstanding the frequency of auctions and the credit quality of the security. A Fund will take the time remaining until the next scheduled auction date into account for the purpose of determining the auction rate securities’ duration.
Dividends on auction rate preferred securities issued by a closed-end fund may be designated as exempt from federal income tax to the extent they are attributable to exempt income earned by the fund on the securities in its portfolio and distributed to holders of the preferred securities, provided that the preferred securities are treated as equity securities for federal income tax purposes and the closed-end fund complies with certain tests under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).
A Fund’s investments in auction rate securities of closed-end funds are subject to the limitations prescribed by the Act and certain state securities regulations. The Funds will indirectly bear their proportionate share of any management and other fees paid by such closed-end funds in addition to the advisory fees payable directly by the Funds.
Insurance. Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Government Income Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, U.S. Mortgages Fund, Core Fixed Income Fund, Bond Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Investment Grade Credit Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, High Yield Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Inflation Protected Securities Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may invest in “insured” tax exempt Municipal Securities. Insured Municipal Securities are securities for which scheduled payments of interest and principal are guaranteed by a private (non-governmental) insurance company. The insurance only entitles a Fund to receive the face or par value of the securities held by the Fund. The insurance does not guarantee the market value of the Municipal Securities or the value of the Shares of a Fund.
The Funds may utilize new issue or secondary market insurance. A new issue insurance policy is purchased by a bond issuer who wishes to increase the credit rating of a security. By paying a premium and meeting the insurer’s underwriting standards, the bond issuer is able to obtain a high credit rating (usually, Aaa from Moody’s or AAA from Standard & Poor’s) for the issued security. Such insurance is likely to increase the purchase price and resale value of the security. New issue insurance policies generally are non-cancelable and continue in force as long as the bonds are outstanding.
A secondary market insurance policy is purchased by an investor (such as a Fund) subsequent to a bond’s original issuance and generally insures a particular bond for the remainder of its term. The Funds may purchase bonds which have already been insured under a secondary market insurance policy by a prior investor, or the Funds may directly purchase such a policy from insurers for bonds which are currently uninsured.
An insured Municipal Security acquired by a Fund will typically be covered by only one of the above types of policies. All of the insurance policies used by a Fund will be obtained only from insurance companies rated, at the time of purchase, A by Moody’s or Standard & Poor’s, or if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable quality. The Municipal Securities
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invested in by Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, High Yield Fund, Strategic Income Fund and Income Fund will not be subject to this requirement.
Standby Commitments. In order to enhance the liquidity of Municipal Securities, the Tax Exempt Funds and Strategic Income Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Global Core Fixed Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may acquire the right to sell a security to another party at a guaranteed price and date. Such a right to resell may be referred to as a “standby commitment” or liquidity put, depending on its characteristics. The aggregate price which a Fund pays for securities with standby commitments may be higher than the price which otherwise would be paid for the securities. Standby commitments may not be available or may not be available on satisfactory terms.
Standby commitments may involve letters of credit issued by domestic or foreign banks supporting the other party’s ability to purchase the security from a Fund. The right to sell may be exercisable on demand or at specified intervals, and may form part of a security or be acquired separately by a Fund. In considering whether a security meets a Fund’s quality standards, the particular Fund will look to the creditworthiness of the party providing the Fund with the right to sell as well as the quality of the security itself.
The Funds value Municipal Securities which are subject to standby commitments at amortized cost. The exercise price of the standby commitments is expected to approximate such amortized cost. No value is assigned to the standby commitments for purposes of determining a Fund’s NAV. The cost of a standby commitment is carried as unrealized depreciation from the time of purchase until it is exercised or expires. Because the value of a standby commitment is dependent on the ability of the standby commitment writer to meet its obligation to repurchase, a Fund’s policy is to enter into standby commitment transactions only with banks, brokers or dealers which present a minimal risk of default.
The Investment Adviser understands that the IRS has issued a favorable revenue ruling to the effect that, under specified circumstances, a registered investment company will be the owner of tax exempt municipal obligations acquired subject to a put option. The IRS has subsequently announced that it will not ordinarily issue advance ruling letters as to the identity of the true owner of property in cases involving the sale of securities or participation interests therein if the purchaser has the right to cause the security, or the participation interest therein, to be purchased by either the seller or a third party. The Funds intend to take the position that they are the owner of any Municipal Securities acquired subject to a standby commitment or acquired or held with certain other types of put rights and that tax exempt interest earned with respect to such Municipal Securities will be tax exempt in their hands. There is no assurance that standby commitments will be available to the Funds nor have the Funds assumed that such commitments would continue to be available under all market conditions.
Call Risk and Reinvestment Risk. Municipal Securities may include “call” provisions which permit the issuers of such securities, at any time or after a specified period, to redeem the securities prior to their stated maturity. In the event that Municipal Securities held in a Fund’s portfolio are called prior to the maturity, the Fund will be required to reinvest the proceeds on such securities at an earlier date and may be able to do so only at lower yields, thereby reducing the Fund’s return on its portfolio securities.
Tobacco Settlement Revenue Bonds. The Short Duration Tax-Free Fund, Dynamic Municipal Income Fund, High Yield Municipal Fund, Short Duration Bond Fund, Strategic Income Fund, Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund, Long Short Credit Strategies Fund and Income Fund may each invest a portion of its assets in tobacco settlement revenue bonds. Tobacco settlement revenue bonds are municipal obligations that are backed entirely by expected revenues to be derived from lawsuits involving tobacco related deaths and illnesses which were settled between certain states and American tobacco companies. Tobacco settlement revenue bonds are secured by an issuing state’s proportionate share in the Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”). The MSA is an agreement, reached out of court in November 1998 between 46 states and nearly all of the U.S. tobacco manufacturers. The MSA provides for annual payments in perpetuity by the manufacturers to the states in exchange for releasing all claims against the manufacturers and a pledge of no further litigation. Tobacco manufacturers pay into a master escrow trust based on their market share, and each state receives a fixed percentage of the payment as set forth in the MSA. A number of states have securitized the future flow of those payments by selling bonds pursuant to indentures or through distinct governmental entities created for such purpose. The principal and interest payments on the bonds are backed by the future revenue flow related to the MSA. Annual payments on the bonds, and thus risk to a Fund, are highly dependent on the receipt of future settlement payments to the state or its governmental entity.
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The actual amount of future settlement payments is further dependent on many factors, including, but not limited to, annual domestic cigarette shipments, reduced cigarette consumption, increased taxes on cigarettes, inflation, financial capability of tobacco companies, continuing litigation and the possibility of tobacco manufacturer bankruptcy. The initial and annual payments made by the tobacco companies will be adjusted based on a number of factors, the most important of which is domestic cigarette consumption. If the volume of cigarettes shipped in the U.S. by manufacturers participating in the settlement decreases significantly, payments due from them will also decrease. Demand for cigarettes in the U.S. could continue to decline due to price increases needed to recoup the cost of payments by tobacco companies. Demand could also be affected by: anti-smoking campaigns, tax increases, reduced advertising, enforcement of laws prohibiting sales to minors; elimination of certain sales venues such as vending machines; and the spread of local ordinances restricting smoking in public places. As a result, payments made by tobacco manufacturers could be negatively impacted if the decrease in tobacco consumption is significantly greater than the forecasted decline. A market share loss by the MSA companies to non-MSA participating tobacco manufacturers would cause a downward adjustment in the payment amounts. A participating manufacturer filing for bankruptcy also could cause delays or reductions in bond payments. The MSA itself has been subject to legal challenges and has, to date, withstood those challenges.
Non-Diversified Status
Because Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund is “non-diversified” under the Act, it is subject only to certain federal tax diversification requirements. Under federal tax laws, Local Emerging Markets Debt Fund may, with respect to 50% of its total assets, invest up to 25% of its total assets in the securities of any issuer. With respect to the remaining 50% of the Fund’s total assets, (i) the Fund may not invest more than 5% of its total assets in the securities of any one issuer, and (ii) the Fund may not acquire more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer. These tests apply at the end of each quarter of the taxable year and are subject to certain conditions and limitations under the Code. These tests do not apply to investments in U.S. Government Securities and regulated investment companies.
Options on Securities and Securities Indices and Foreign Currencies
Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Securities and Securities Indices. Each Fund may write (sell) call and put options on any securities in which it may invest or any securities index consisting of securities in which it may invest. A Fund may write such options on securities that are listed on national domestic securities exchanges or foreign securities exchanges or traded in the over-the-counter market. A call option written by a Fund obligates that Fund to sell specified securities to the holder of the option at a specified price if the option is exercised on or before the expiration date. Depending upon the type of call option, the purchaser of a call option either (i) has the right to any appreciation in the value of the security over a fixed price (the “exercise price”) on a certain date in the future (the “expiration date”) or (ii) has the right to any appreciation in the value of the security over the exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option. If the purchaser exercises the option, a Fund pays the purchaser the difference between the price of the security and the exercise price of the option. The premium, the exercise price and the market value of the security determine the gain or loss realized by a Fund as the seller of the call option. A Fund can also repurchase the call option prior to the expiration date, ending its obligation. In this case, the cost of entering into closing purchase transactions will determine the gain or loss realized by the Fund. A Fund’s purpose in writing call options is to realize greater income than would be realized on portfolio securities transactions alone. However, a Fund may forego the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market price of the underlying security.
A put option written by a Fund obligates the Fund to purchase specified securities from the option holder at a specified price if the option is exercised on or before the expiration date.
The purpose of writing such options is to generate additional income for the Fund. However, in return for the option premium, each Fund accepts the risk that it may be required to purchase the underlying securities at a price in excess of the securities’ market value at the time of purchase.
A Fund may terminate its obligations under an exchange-traded call or put option by purchasing an option identical to the one it has written. Obligations under over-the-counter options may be terminated only by entering into an offsetting transaction with the counterparty to such option. Such purchases are referred to as “closing purchase transactions.”
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Each Fund may also write (sell) call and put options on any securities index consisting of securities in which it may invest. Options on securities indices are similar to options on securities, except that the exercise of securities index options requires cash settlement payments and does not involve the actual purchase or sale of securities. In addition, securities index options are designed to reflect price fluctuations in a group of securities or segment of the securities market rather than price fluctuations in a single security.
The writing of options is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of options to seek to increase total return involves the risk of loss if the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of fluctuations in securities prices or interest rates. The successful use of options for hedging purposes also depends in part on the ability of the Investment Adviser to predict future price fluctuations and the degree of correlation between the options and securities markets. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of changes in securities prices or determination of the correlation between the securities indices on which options are written and purchased and the securities in a Fund’s investment portfolio, the investment performance of the Fund will be less favorable than it would have been in the absence of such options transactions. The writing of options could increase a Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and, therefore, associated brokerage commissions or spreads.
Each Fund may also purchase put and call options on any securities in which it may invest or any securities index consisting of securities in which it may invest. In addition, a Fund may enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on options it had purchased.
A Fund may purchase call options in anticipation of an increase, or put options in anticipation of a decrease (“protective puts”), in the market value of securities or other instruments of the type in which it may invest. The purchase of a call option would entitle a Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified securities or other instruments at a specified price during the option period. A Fund would ordinarily realize a gain on the purchase of a call option if, during the option period, the value of such securities exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option. The purchase of a put option would entitle a Fund, in exchange for the premium paid, to sell specified securities or other instruments at a specified price during the option period. The purchase of protective puts is designed to offset or hedge against a decline in the market value of a Fund’s securities or other