SPDR Series Trust

Prospectus
October 31, 2021
SPDR® Series Trust    
SPDR SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index ETF (LGLV)
SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF (SMLV)
Principal U.S. Listing Exchange: NYSE Arca, Inc.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense. Shares in the Funds are not guaranteed or insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other agency of the U.S. Government, nor are shares deposits or obligations of any bank. It is possible to lose money by investing in the Funds.

 
Table of Contents
Fund Summaries  
SPDR SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index ETF 1
SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF 6
Additional Strategies Information 11
Additional Risk Information 12
Management 21
Index/Trademark Licenses/Disclaimers 23
Additional Purchase and Sale Information 24
Distributions 25
Portfolio Holdings Disclosure 25
Additional Tax Information 25
General Information 28
Financial Highlights 28
Where to Learn More About the Funds Back Cover

 
Table of Contents
Fund Summaries
SPDR® SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index ETF
Investment Objective
The SPDR SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the total return performance of a large cap, low volatility index.
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
The table below describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund (“Fund Shares”). You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table and Example below.
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment):
Management fees 0.12%
Distribution and service (12b-1) fees None
Other expenses 0.00%
Total annual Fund operating expenses 0.12%
Example:
This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated, and then sell all of your Fund Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund's operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
Year 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year 10
$12 $39 $68 $154
Portfolio Turnover:
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund's performance.  During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund's portfolio turnover rate was 34% of the average value of its portfolio.
The Fund's Principal Investment Strategy
In seeking to track the performance of the SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index (the “Index”), the Fund employs a sampling strategy, which means that the Fund is not required to purchase all of the securities represented in the Index. Instead, the Fund may purchase a subset of the securities in the Index in an effort to hold a portfolio of securities with generally the same risk and return characteristics of the Index. The quantity of holdings in the Fund will be based on a number of factors, including asset size of the Fund. Based on its analysis of these factors, SSGA Funds Management, Inc. (“SSGA FM” or the “Adviser”), the investment adviser to the Fund, either may invest the Fund's assets in a subset of securities in the Index or may invest the Fund's assets in substantially all of the securities represented in the Index in approximately the same proportions as the Index, as determined by the Adviser to be in the best interest of the Fund in pursuing its objective.
Under normal market conditions, the Fund generally invests substantially all, but at least 80%, of its total assets in the securities comprising the Index. In addition, in seeking to track the Index, the Fund may invest in equity securities that are not included in the Index, cash and cash equivalents or money market instruments, such as repurchase agreements and money market funds (including money market funds advised by the Adviser). In seeking to track the 
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Index, the Fund's assets may be concentrated in an industry or group of industries, but only to the extent that the Index concentrates in a particular industry or group of industries. Futures contracts (a type of derivative instrument) may be used by the Fund in seeking performance that corresponds to the Index and in managing cash flows. 
The Index is designed to measure the performance of the stocks of U.S. large capitalization companies that exhibit low volatility. Volatility is a statistical measurement of the magnitude of movements in a stock's price over time. In selecting constituents from the Index Universe (defined herein), the Index utilizes a proprietary rules-based process that seeks to increase exposure to stocks in the Index Universe that exhibit low volatility. The initial universe of securities eligible for inclusion in the Index (the “Index Universe”) is comprised of the largest 1,000 U.S. stocks, based on market capitalization, listed on a U.S. national securities exchange that have trailing six-month average daily trading volumes of at least 250,000 shares and free float factors (percentage of common shares outstanding readily available in the market) greater than 50% as of the Index rebalance determination date. Eligible stocks are assigned to a sector and ranked within each sector according to their volatility. A stock's volatility is measured by the standard deviation of monthly total returns to that stock's price over the trailing 5 years as of the Index rebalance determination date. For stocks with less than 5 years of monthly returns, volatility is measured by available monthly returns if the stock has at least 2.5 years of monthly returns or by the average volatility of stocks in the same sector in the Investment Universe if the stock has fewer than 2.5 years of monthly returns. For each sector, stocks with the lowest volatility whose combined free float sector market capitalization equals 30% are selected for inclusion in the Index, including the first stock that brings the combined sector market capitalization above 30%. The Index weights constituent securities such that securities with the lowest volatility receive the highest weights in the Index, subject to liquidity constraints limiting a constituent's weighting in the Index to 5% and to 20 times the constituent's weight within the Index Universe. The Index rebalance determination date is 10 business days prior to the last business day of March. Index rebalancings are effective after the close of the last business day of March. As of July 31, 2021, a significant portion of the Fund comprised companies in the financial and industrial sectors, although this may change from time to time. As of July 31, 2021, there were 138 securities in the Index. 
The Index was created and is sponsored by State Street Global Advisors (the “Index Provider” or “SSGA”), an affiliate of the Fund and of SSGA FM, the Fund's Adviser. The Index Provider establishes and maintains rules which are used to determine the composition of the Index and relative weightings of the securities in the Index. 
Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund
As with all investments, there are certain risks of investing in the Fund. Fund Shares will change in value, and you could lose money by investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.
Market Risk: The Fund's investments are subject to changes in general economic conditions, general market fluctuations and the risks inherent in investment in securities markets. Investment markets can be volatile and prices of investments can change substantially due to various factors including, but not limited to, economic growth or recession, changes in interest rates, changes in the actual or perceived creditworthiness of issuers, and general market liquidity. The Fund is subject to the risk that geopolitical events will disrupt securities markets and adversely affect global economies and markets. Local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, the spread of infectious illness or other public health issues, or other events could have a significant impact on the Fund and its investments.
Equity Investing Risk: The market prices of equity securities owned by the Fund may go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. The value of a security may decline for a number of reasons that may directly relate to the issuer and also may decline due to general industry or market conditions that are not specifically related to a particular company. In addition, equity markets tend to move in cycles, which may cause stock prices to fall over short or extended periods of time.
Large-Capitalization Securities Risk: Returns on investments in securities of large companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of smaller and mid-sized companies. Larger companies may be unable to respond as quickly as smaller and mid-sized companies to competitive challenges or to changes in business, product, financial, or other market conditions. Larger companies may not be able to maintain growth at the high rates that may be achieved by well-managed smaller and mid-sized companies.
Low Volatility Risk: Although subject to the risks of common stocks, low volatility stocks are seen as having a lower risk profile than the overall markets. However, a portfolio comprised of low volatility stocks may not produce investment exposure that has lower variability to changes in such stocks' price levels. Low volatility stocks are likely to underperform the broader market during periods of rapidly rising stock prices. 
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Fluctuation of Net Asset Value, Share Premiums and Discounts Risk: As with all exchange-traded funds, Fund Shares may be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. The trading prices of Fund Shares in the secondary market may differ from the Fund's daily net asset value per share and there may be times when the market price of the shares is more than the net asset value per share (premium) or less than the net asset value per share (discount). This risk is heightened in times of market volatility or periods of steep market declines. 
Counterparty Risk: The Fund will be subject to credit risk with respect to the counterparties with which the Fund enters into derivatives contracts, repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements, and other transactions. If a counterparty fails to meet its contractual obligations, the Fund may be unable to terminate or realize any gain on the investment or transaction, or to recover collateral posted to the counterparty, resulting in a loss to the Fund. If the Fund holds collateral posted by its counterparty, it may be delayed or prevented from realizing on the collateral in the event of a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding relating to the counterparty. 
Derivatives Risk: Derivative transactions can create investment leverage and may have significant volatility. It is possible that a derivative transaction will result in a much greater loss than the principal amount invested, and the Fund may not be able to close out a derivative transaction at a favorable time or price. The counterparty to a derivatives contract may be unable or unwilling to make timely settlement payments, return the Fund's margin, or otherwise honor its obligations. A derivatives transaction may not behave in the manner anticipated by the Adviser or may not have the effect on the Fund anticipated by the Adviser. 
Financial Sector Risk: Financial services companies are subject to extensive governmental regulation which may limit both the amounts and types of loans and other financial commitments they can make, the interest rates and fees they can charge, the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. Profitability is largely dependent on the availability and cost of capital funds and can fluctuate significantly when interest rates change or due to increased competition. In addition, deterioration of the credit markets generally may cause an adverse impact in a broad range of markets, including U.S. and international credit and interbank money markets generally, thereby affecting a wide range of financial institutions and markets. Certain events in the financial sector may cause an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestic and foreign, and cause certain financial services companies to incur large losses. Securities of financial services companies may experience a dramatic decline in value when such companies experience substantial declines in the valuations of their assets, take action to raise capital (such as the issuance of debt or equity securities), or cease operations. Credit losses resulting from financial difficulties of borrowers and financial losses associated with investment activities can negatively impact the sector. Insurance companies may be subject to severe price competition. Adverse economic, business or political developments could adversely affect financial institutions engaged in mortgage finance or other lending or investing activities directly or indirectly connected to the value of real estate. 
Indexing Strategy/Index Tracking Risk: The Fund is managed with an indexing investment strategy, attempting to track the performance of an unmanaged index of securities, regardless of the current or projected performance of the Index or of the actual securities comprising the Index. This differs from an actively-managed fund, which typically seeks to outperform a benchmark index. As a result, the Fund's performance may be less favorable than that of a portfolio managed using an active investment strategy. The structure and composition of the Index will affect the performance, volatility, and risk of the Index and, consequently, the performance, volatility, and risk of the Fund. When there are changes made to the component securities of the Index and the Fund in turn makes similar changes to its portfolio, any transaction costs and market exposure arising from such portfolio changes will be borne directly by the Fund and its shareholders. The Fund may recognize gains as a result of rebalancing or reconstituting its securities holdings to reflect changes in the securities included in the Index. The Fund also may be required to distribute any such gains to its shareholders to avoid adverse federal income tax consequences. While the Adviser seeks to track the performance of the Index (i.e., achieve a high degree of correlation with the Index), the Fund's return may not match the return of the Index. The Fund incurs a number of operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities. In addition, the Fund may not be fully invested at times, generally as a result of cash flows into or out of the Fund or reserves of cash held by the Fund to meet redemptions. The Adviser may attempt to track the Index return by investing in fewer than all of the securities in the Index, or in some securities not included in the Index, potentially increasing the risk of divergence between the Fund's return and that of the Index. 
Industrial Sector Risk: Industrial companies are affected by supply and demand both for their specific product or service and for industrial sector products in general. Government regulation, world events, exchange rates and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities will likewise affect the performance of these companies. Aerospace and defense companies, a 
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component of the industrial sector, can be significantly affected by government spending policies because companies involved in this industry rely, to a significant extent, on U.S. and foreign government demand for their products and services. Thus, the financial condition of, and investor interest in, aerospace and defense companies are heavily influenced by governmental defense spending policies which are typically under pressure from efforts to control the U.S. (and other) government budgets. Transportation securities, a component of the industrial sector, are cyclical and have occasional sharp price movements which may result from changes in the economy, fuel prices, labor agreements and insurance costs. 
Liquidity Risk: Lack of a ready market, stressed market conditions, or restrictions on resale may limit the ability of the Fund to sell a security at an advantageous time or price or at all. Illiquid investments may trade at a discount from comparable, more liquid investments and may be subject to wide fluctuations in market value. If the liquidity of the Fund's holdings deteriorates, it may lead to differences between the market price of Fund Shares and the net asset value of Fund Shares, and could result in the Fund Shares being less liquid. Illiquidity of the Fund's holdings may also limit the ability of the Fund to obtain cash to meet redemptions on a timely basis.  In addition, the Fund, due to limitations on investments in any illiquid investments and/or the difficulty in purchasing and selling such investments, may be unable to achieve its desired level of exposure to a certain market or sector. 
Non-Diversification Risk: As a “non-diversified” fund, the Fund may hold a smaller number of portfolio securities than many other funds. To the extent the Fund invests in a relatively small number of issuers, a decline in the market value of a particular security held by the Fund may affect its value more than if it invested in a larger number of issuers. The value of Fund Shares may be more volatile than the values of shares of more diversified funds. The Fund may become diversified for periods of time solely as a result of tracking the Index (e.g., changes in weightings of one or more component securities). 
Unconstrained Sector Risk: The Fund may invest a substantial portion of its assets within one or more economic sectors or industries, which may change from time to time. Greater investment focus on one or more sectors or industries increases the potential for volatility and the risk that events negatively affecting such sectors or industries could reduce returns, potentially causing the value of the Fund's Shares to decrease, perhaps significantly. 
Fund Performance
The following bar chart and table provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund's performance from year to year and by showing how the Fund's average annual returns for certain time periods compare with the average annual returns of the Index and of a relevant broad-based securities index. The Fund's past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future. Updated performance information is available by calling 1-866-787-2257 or visiting our website at https://www.ssga.com/spdrs.
Annual Total Returns (years ended 12/31)*
  
Highest Quarterly Return: 13.34% (Q2, 2020)
Lowest Quarterly Return: -20.26% (Q1, 2020) 
* As of  9/30/2021, the Fund's Calendar Year-To-Date return was 12.67%.
 
Average Annual Total Returns (for periods ended 12/31/20)
The after-tax returns presented in the table below are calculated using highest historical individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. Your actual after-tax returns will depend on your specific tax situation and may differ from those shown below. After-tax returns are not relevant to investors who hold Fund Shares through tax-advantaged arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts. The returns after taxes can exceed the returns before taxes due to an assumed tax benefit for a shareholder from realizing a capital loss on a sale of Fund Shares. Effective December 13, 2016 (the “Benchmark Index Change Date”), the Fund's benchmark index changed from the Russell 1000 Low Volatility Index (the “Previous Benchmark Index”) to the SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index, consistent with a change in the Fund's principal investment strategy to track the performance of the current index. Performance of the Fund prior to the Benchmark Index Change Date is therefore based on the Fund's investment strategy to track the Previous Benchmark Index and may have been different had the Fund tracked the current index.
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  One
Year
Five
Years
Since Inception
(2/20/13)
Return Before Taxes 7.53% 13.19% 12.95%
Return After Taxes on Distributions 6.90% 12.27% 11.77%
Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares 4.71% 10.20% 10.10%
SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index/Russell 1000 Low Volatility Index1 (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes) 7.50% 13.34% 13.15%
S&P 500 Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes) 18.40% 15.22% 14.58%
(1) Returns shown are reflective of the Index for periods beginning on the Benchmark Index Change Date and the Previous Benchmark Index for periods prior to the Benchmark Index Change Date.
Portfolio Management
Investment Adviser
SSGA FM serves as the investment adviser to the Fund.
Portfolio Managers
The professionals primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund are Michael Feehily, Karl Schneider and Juan Acevedo.
Michael Feehily, CFA, is a Senior Managing Director of the Adviser and the Head of Global Equity Beta Solutions in the Americas. He worked at the Adviser from 1997 to 2006 and rejoined in 2010.
Karl Schneider, CAIA, is a Managing Director of the Adviser and Deputy Head of Global Equity Beta Solutions in the Americas. He joined the Adviser in 1997.
Juan Acevedo is a Vice President of the Adviser and a Senior Portfolio Manager in the Global Equity Beta Solutions Group. He joined the Adviser in 2000.
Purchase and Sale Information
The Fund will issue (or redeem) Fund Shares to certain institutional investors (typically market makers or other broker-dealers) only in large blocks of Fund Shares known as “Creation Units.” Creation Unit transactions are conducted in exchange for the deposit or delivery of a designated portfolio of in-kind securities and/or cash.
Individual Fund Shares may only be purchased and sold on the NYSE Arca, Inc., other national securities exchanges, electronic crossing networks and other alternative trading systems through your broker-dealer at market prices. Because Fund Shares trade at market prices rather than at net asset value (“NAV”), Fund Shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount). When buying or selling Fund Shares in the secondary market, you may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase Fund Shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for Fund Shares (ask) (the “bid-ask spread”). Recent information regarding the Fund's NAV, market price, premiums and discounts, and bid-ask spreads is available at https://www.ssga.com/spdrs.
Tax Information
The Fund's distributions are expected to be taxed as ordinary income, qualified dividend income and/or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-advantaged arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account. Any withdrawals made from such tax-advantaged arrangement may be taxable to you.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries
If you purchase Fund Shares through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the Adviser or its affiliates may pay the financial intermediary for certain activities related to the Fund, including educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems, or other services related to the sale or promotion of the Fund. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary's website for more information.
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SPDR® SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF
Investment Objective
The SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF (the “Fund”) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the total return performance of a small cap, low volatility index.
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
The table below describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund (“Fund Shares”). You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table and Example below.
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment):
Management fees 0.12%
Distribution and service (12b-1) fees None
Other expenses 0.00%
Total annual Fund operating expenses 0.12%
Example:
This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated, and then sell all of your Fund Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund's operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
Year 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year 10
$12 $39 $68 $154
Portfolio Turnover:
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund's performance.  During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund's portfolio turnover rate was 52% of the average value of its portfolio.
The Fund's Principal Investment Strategy
In seeking to track the performance of the SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index (the “Index”), the Fund employs a sampling strategy, which means that the Fund is not required to purchase all of the securities represented in the Index. Instead, the Fund may purchase a subset of the securities in the Index in an effort to hold a portfolio of securities with generally the same risk and return characteristics of the Index. The quantity of holdings in the Fund will be based on a number of factors, including asset size of the Fund. Based on its analysis of these factors, SSGA Funds Management, Inc. (“SSGA FM” or the “Adviser”), the investment adviser to the Fund, either may invest the Fund's assets in a subset of securities in the Index or may invest the Fund's assets in substantially all of the securities represented in the Index in approximately the same proportions as the Index, as determined by the Adviser to be in the best interest of the Fund in pursuing its objective.
Under normal market conditions, the Fund generally invests substantially all, but at least 80%, of its total assets in the securities comprising the Index. In addition, in seeking to track the Index, the Fund may invest in equity securities that are not included in the Index, cash and cash equivalents or money market instruments, such as repurchase agreements and money market funds (including money market funds advised by the Adviser). In seeking to track the Index, the Fund's assets may be concentrated in an industry or group of industries, but only to the extent that the Index concentrates in a particular industry or group of industries. Futures contracts (a type of derivative instrument) may be used by the Fund in seeking performance that corresponds to the Index and in managing cash flows. 
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The Index is designed to measure the performance of the stocks of U.S. small capitalization companies that exhibit low volatility. Volatility is a statistical measurement of the magnitude of movements in a stock's price over time. In selecting constituents from the Index Universe (defined herein), the Index utilizes a proprietary rules-based process that seeks to increase exposure to stocks in the Index Universe that exhibit low volatility. The initial universe of securities eligible for inclusion in the Index (the “Index Universe”) is comprised of the 2,000 U.S. stocks listed on a U.S. national securities exchange whose market capitalizations rank from 1,001 to 3,000 that have trailing six-month average daily trading volumes of at least 250,000 shares and free float factors (percentage of common shares outstanding readily available in the market) greater than 50% as of the Index rebalance determination date. Eligible stocks are assigned to a sector and ranked within each sector according to their volatility. A stock's volatility is measured by the standard deviation of monthly total returns to that stock's price over the trailing 5 years as of the Index rebalance determination date. For stocks with less than 5 years of monthly returns, volatility is measured by available monthly returns if the stock has at least 2.5 years of monthly returns or by the average volatility of stocks in the same sector in the Investment Universe if the stock has fewer than 2.5 years of monthly returns. For each sector, stocks with the lowest volatility whose combined free float sector market capitalization equals 30% are selected for inclusion in the Index, including the first stock that brings the combined sector market capitalization above 30%. The Index weights constituent securities such that securities with the lowest volatility receive the highest weights in the Index, subject to liquidity constraints limiting a constituent's weighting in the Index to 5% and to 20 times the constituent's weight within the Index Universe. The Index rebalance determination date is 10 business days prior to the last business day of March. Index rebalancings are effective after the close of the last business day of March. As of July 31, 2021, a significant portion of the Fund comprised companies in the financial sector, although this may change from time to time. As of July 31, 2021, there were 441 securities in the Index. 
The Index was created and is sponsored by State Street Global Advisors (the “Index Provider” or “SSGA”), an affiliate of the Fund and of SSGA FM, the Fund's Adviser. The Index Provider establishes and maintains rules which are used to determine the composition of the Index and relative weightings of the securities in the Index. 
Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund
As with all investments, there are certain risks of investing in the Fund. Fund Shares will change in value, and you could lose money by investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.
Market Risk: The Fund's investments are subject to changes in general economic conditions, general market fluctuations and the risks inherent in investment in securities markets. Investment markets can be volatile and prices of investments can change substantially due to various factors including, but not limited to, economic growth or recession, changes in interest rates, changes in the actual or perceived creditworthiness of issuers, and general market liquidity. The Fund is subject to the risk that geopolitical events will disrupt securities markets and adversely affect global economies and markets. Local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, the spread of infectious illness or other public health issues, or other events could have a significant impact on the Fund and its investments.
Equity Investing Risk: The market prices of equity securities owned by the Fund may go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. The value of a security may decline for a number of reasons that may directly relate to the issuer and also may decline due to general industry or market conditions that are not specifically related to a particular company. In addition, equity markets tend to move in cycles, which may cause stock prices to fall over short or extended periods of time.
Small-Capitalization Securities Risk: The securities of small-capitalization companies may be more volatile and may involve more risk than the securities of larger companies. These companies may have limited product lines, markets or financial resources, may lack the competitive strength of larger companies, and may depend on a few key employees. In addition, these companies may have been recently organized and may have little or no track record of success. The securities of smaller companies may trade less frequently and in smaller volumes than more widely held securities. Some securities of smaller issuers may be illiquid or may be restricted as to resale, and their values may have significant volatility. The Fund may be unable to liquidate its positions in such securities at any time, or at a favorable price, in order to meet the Fund's obligations. Returns on investments in securities of small-capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of larger companies.
Low Volatility Risk: Although subject to the risks of common stocks, low volatility stocks are seen as having a lower risk profile than the overall markets. However, a portfolio comprised of low volatility stocks may not produce investment exposure that has lower variability to changes in such stocks' price levels. Low volatility stocks are likely to underperform the broader market during periods of rapidly rising stock prices. 
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Fluctuation of Net Asset Value, Share Premiums and Discounts Risk: As with all exchange-traded funds, Fund Shares may be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. The trading prices of Fund Shares in the secondary market may differ from the Fund's daily net asset value per share and there may be times when the market price of the shares is more than the net asset value per share (premium) or less than the net asset value per share (discount). This risk is heightened in times of market volatility or periods of steep market declines. 
Counterparty Risk: The Fund will be subject to credit risk with respect to the counterparties with which the Fund enters into derivatives contracts, repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements, and other transactions. If a counterparty fails to meet its contractual obligations, the Fund may be unable to terminate or realize any gain on the investment or transaction, or to recover collateral posted to the counterparty, resulting in a loss to the Fund. If the Fund holds collateral posted by its counterparty, it may be delayed or prevented from realizing on the collateral in the event of a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding relating to the counterparty. 
Derivatives Risk: Derivative transactions can create investment leverage and may have significant volatility. It is possible that a derivative transaction will result in a much greater loss than the principal amount invested, and the Fund may not be able to close out a derivative transaction at a favorable time or price. The counterparty to a derivatives contract may be unable or unwilling to make timely settlement payments, return the Fund's margin, or otherwise honor its obligations. A derivatives transaction may not behave in the manner anticipated by the Adviser or may not have the effect on the Fund anticipated by the Adviser. 
Financial Sector Risk: Financial services companies are subject to extensive governmental regulation which may limit both the amounts and types of loans and other financial commitments they can make, the interest rates and fees they can charge, the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. Profitability is largely dependent on the availability and cost of capital funds and can fluctuate significantly when interest rates change or due to increased competition. In addition, deterioration of the credit markets generally may cause an adverse impact in a broad range of markets, including U.S. and international credit and interbank money markets generally, thereby affecting a wide range of financial institutions and markets. Certain events in the financial sector may cause an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestic and foreign, and cause certain financial services companies to incur large losses. Securities of financial services companies may experience a dramatic decline in value when such companies experience substantial declines in the valuations of their assets, take action to raise capital (such as the issuance of debt or equity securities), or cease operations. Credit losses resulting from financial difficulties of borrowers and financial losses associated with investment activities can negatively impact the sector. Insurance companies may be subject to severe price competition. Adverse economic, business or political developments could adversely affect financial institutions engaged in mortgage finance or other lending or investing activities directly or indirectly connected to the value of real estate. 
Indexing Strategy/Index Tracking Risk: The Fund is managed with an indexing investment strategy, attempting to track the performance of an unmanaged index of securities, regardless of the current or projected performance of the Index or of the actual securities comprising the Index. This differs from an actively-managed fund, which typically seeks to outperform a benchmark index. As a result, the Fund's performance may be less favorable than that of a portfolio managed using an active investment strategy. The structure and composition of the Index will affect the performance, volatility, and risk of the Index and, consequently, the performance, volatility, and risk of the Fund. When there are changes made to the component securities of the Index and the Fund in turn makes similar changes to its portfolio, any transaction costs and market exposure arising from such portfolio changes will be borne directly by the Fund and its shareholders. The Fund may recognize gains as a result of rebalancing or reconstituting its securities holdings to reflect changes in the securities included in the Index. The Fund also may be required to distribute any such gains to its shareholders to avoid adverse federal income tax consequences. While the Adviser seeks to track the performance of the Index (i.e., achieve a high degree of correlation with the Index), the Fund's return may not match the return of the Index. The Fund incurs a number of operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities. In addition, the Fund may not be fully invested at times, generally as a result of cash flows into or out of the Fund or reserves of cash held by the Fund to meet redemptions. The Adviser may attempt to track the Index return by investing in fewer than all of the securities in the Index, or in some securities not included in the Index, potentially increasing the risk of divergence between the Fund's return and that of the Index. 
Liquidity Risk: Lack of a ready market, stressed market conditions, or restrictions on resale may limit the ability of the Fund to sell a security at an advantageous time or price or at all. Illiquid investments may trade at a discount from comparable, more liquid investments and may be subject to wide fluctuations in market value. If the liquidity of the Fund's holdings deteriorates, it may lead to differences between the market price of Fund Shares and the net asset value of Fund Shares, and could result in the Fund Shares being less liquid. Illiquidity of the Fund's holdings may also limit the ability of the Fund to obtain cash to meet redemptions on a timely basis.  In addition, the Fund, due to 
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limitations on investments in any illiquid investments and/or the difficulty in purchasing and selling such investments, may be unable to achieve its desired level of exposure to a certain market or sector. 
Non-Diversification Risk: As a “non-diversified” fund, the Fund may hold a smaller number of portfolio securities than many other funds. To the extent the Fund invests in a relatively small number of issuers, a decline in the market value of a particular security held by the Fund may affect its value more than if it invested in a larger number of issuers. The value of Fund Shares may be more volatile than the values of shares of more diversified funds. The Fund may become diversified for periods of time solely as a result of tracking the Index (e.g., changes in weightings of one or more component securities). 
Unconstrained Sector Risk: The Fund may invest a substantial portion of its assets within one or more economic sectors or industries, which may change from time to time. Greater investment focus on one or more sectors or industries increases the potential for volatility and the risk that events negatively affecting such sectors or industries could reduce returns, potentially causing the value of the Fund's Shares to decrease, perhaps significantly. 
Valuation Risk: Some portfolio holdings, potentially a large portion of the Fund's investment portfolio, may be valued on the basis of factors other than market quotations. This may occur more often in times of market turmoil or reduced liquidity. There are multiple methods that can be used to value a portfolio holding when market quotations are not readily available. The value established for any portfolio holding at a point in time might differ from what would be produced using a different methodology or if it had been priced using market quotations. Portfolio holdings that are valued using techniques other than market quotations, including “fair valued” securities, may be subject to greater fluctuation in their valuations from one day to the next than if market quotations were used. In addition, there is no assurance that the Fund could sell or close out a portfolio position for the value established for it at any time, and it is possible that the Fund would incur a loss because a portfolio position is sold or closed out at a discount to the valuation established by the Fund at that time. 
Fund Performance
The following bar chart and table provide an indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by showing changes in the Fund's performance from year to year and by showing how the Fund's average annual returns for certain time periods compare with the average annual returns of the Index and of a relevant broad-based securities index. The Fund's past performance (before and after taxes) is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future. Updated performance information is available by calling 1-866-787-2257 or visiting our website at https://www.ssga.com/spdrs.
Annual Total Returns (years ended 12/31)*
  
Highest Quarterly Return: 27.70% (Q4, 2020)
Lowest Quarterly Return: -33.18% (Q1, 2020) 
* As of  9/30/2021, the Fund's Calendar Year-To-Date return was 19.07%.
 
Average Annual Total Returns (for periods ended 12/31/20)
The after-tax returns presented in the table below are calculated using highest historical individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. Your actual after-tax returns will depend on your specific tax situation and may differ from those shown below. After-tax returns are not relevant to investors who hold Fund Shares through tax-advantaged arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts. The returns after taxes can exceed the returns before taxes due to an assumed tax benefit for a shareholder from realizing a capital loss on a sale of Fund Shares. Effective December 13, 2016 (the “Benchmark Index Change Date”), the Fund's benchmark index changed from the Russell 2000 Low Volatility Index (the “Previous Benchmark Index”) to the SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index, consistent with a change in the Fund's principal investment strategy to track the performance of the current index. Performance of the Fund prior to the Benchmark Index Change Date is therefore based on the Fund's investment strategy to track the Previous Benchmark Index and may have been different had the Fund tracked the current index.
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  One
Year
Five
Years
Since Inception
2/20/13
Return Before Taxes -1.66% 9.49% 10.09%
Return After Taxes on Distributions -2.49% 8.05% 8.71%
Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares -0.78% 6.95% 7.58%
SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index/Russell 2000 Low Volatility Index1 (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes) -1.16% 9.58% 10.20%
S&P 500 Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes) 18.40% 15.22% 14.58%
(1) Returns shown are reflective of the Index for periods beginning on the Benchmark Index Change Date and the Previous Benchmark Index for periods prior to the Benchmark Index Change Date.
Portfolio Management
Investment Adviser
SSGA FM serves as the investment adviser to the Fund.
Portfolio Managers
The professionals primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund are Michael Feehily, Karl Schneider and John Law.
Michael Feehily, CFA, is a Senior Managing Director of the Adviser and the Head of Global Equity Beta Solutions in the Americas. He worked at the Adviser from 1997 to 2006 and rejoined in 2010.
Karl Schneider, CAIA, is a Managing Director of the Adviser and Deputy Head of Global Equity Beta Solutions in the Americas. He joined the Adviser in 1997.
John Law, CFA, is a Vice President of the Adviser and a Senior Portfolio Manager in the Global Equity Beta Solutions Group. He joined the Adviser in 2016.
Purchase and Sale Information
The Fund will issue (or redeem) Fund Shares to certain institutional investors (typically market makers or other broker-dealers) only in large blocks of Fund Shares known as “Creation Units.” Creation Unit transactions are conducted in exchange for the deposit or delivery of a designated portfolio of in-kind securities and/or cash.
Individual Fund Shares may only be purchased and sold on the NYSE Arca, Inc., other national securities exchanges, electronic crossing networks and other alternative trading systems through your broker-dealer at market prices. Because Fund Shares trade at market prices rather than at net asset value (“NAV”), Fund Shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount). When buying or selling Fund Shares in the secondary market, you may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase Fund Shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for Fund Shares (ask) (the “bid-ask spread”). Recent information regarding the Fund's NAV, market price, premiums and discounts, and bid-ask spreads is available at https://www.ssga.com/spdrs.
Tax Information
The Fund's distributions are expected to be taxed as ordinary income, qualified dividend income and/or capital gains, unless you are investing through a tax-advantaged arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or individual retirement account. Any withdrawals made from such tax-advantaged arrangement may be taxable to you.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries
If you purchase Fund Shares through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the Adviser or its affiliates may pay the financial intermediary for certain activities related to the Fund, including educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems, or other services related to the sale or promotion of the Fund. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary's website for more information.
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Additional Strategies Information
Principal Strategies
General. Please see each Fund's “The Fund's Principal Investment Strategy” section under “Fund Summaries” above for a complete discussion of each Fund's principal investment strategies. A Fund may invest in various types of securities and engage in various investment techniques which are not the principal focus of the Fund and therefore are not described in this Prospectus. These securities, techniques and practices, together with their risks, are described in the Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”), which you may obtain free of charge by contacting shareholder services (see the back cover of this Prospectus for the address and phone number).
The Adviser seeks to track the performance of each Fund's Index as closely as possible (i.e., obtain a high degree of correlation with the Index). A number of factors may affect a Fund's ability to achieve a high degree of correlation with its Index, and there can be no guarantee that a Fund will achieve a high degree of correlation. For example, a Fund may not be able to achieve a high degree of correlation with its Index when there are practical difficulties or substantial costs involved in compiling a portfolio of securities to follow the Index, when a security in the Index becomes temporarily illiquid, unavailable or less liquid, or legal restrictions exist that prohibit the Fund from investing in a security in the Index.
The Adviser will utilize a sampling strategy in managing the Funds. Sampling means that the Adviser uses quantitative analysis to select securities, including securities in the Index, outside of the Index and derivatives that have a similar investment profile as the relevant Index in terms of key risk factors, performance attributes and other economic characteristics. These include industry weightings, market capitalization, and other financial characteristics of securities. The quantity of holdings in a Fund will be based on a number of factors, including asset size of the Fund. In addition, from time to time, securities are added to or removed from each Index. The Adviser may sell securities that are represented in an Index, or purchase securities that are not yet represented in an Index, in anticipation of their removal from or addition to an Index. Further, the Adviser may choose to overweight securities in an Index, purchase or sell securities not in an Index, or utilize various combinations of other available techniques, in seeking to track an Index.
The Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board”) may change a Fund's investment strategy, Index and other policies without shareholder approval, except as otherwise indicated in this Prospectus or in the SAI. The Board may also change a Fund's investment objective without shareholder approval.
Non-Principal Strategies
Certain Other Investments. Each Fund may invest in structured notes (notes on which the amount of principal repayment and interest payments are based on the movement of one or more specified factors such as the movement of a particular security or index), swaps, options and futures contracts. Swaps, options and futures contracts and structured notes may be used by a Fund in seeking performance that corresponds to its Index and in managing cash flows.
Temporary Defensive Positions. In certain situations or market conditions, a Fund may temporarily depart from its normal investment policies and strategies, provided that the alternative is consistent with the Fund's investment objective and is in the best interest of the Fund. For example, a Fund may make larger than normal investments in derivatives to maintain exposure to its Index if it is unable to invest directly in a component security.
Borrowing Money. Each Fund may borrow money from a bank as permitted by the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (“1940 Act”), or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund, but only for temporary or emergency purposes. Each Fund may also invest in reverse repurchase agreements, which are considered borrowings under the 1940 Act. Although the 1940 Act presently allows a Fund to borrow from any bank (including pledging, mortgaging or hypothecating assets) in an amount up to 33 1/3% of its total assets (not including temporary borrowings not in excess of 5% of its total assets), and there is no percentage limit on Fund assets that can be used in connection with reverse repurchase agreements, under normal circumstances any borrowings by a Fund will not exceed 10% of the Fund's total assets.
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Lending of Securities. Each Fund may lend its portfolio securities in an amount not to exceed 40% of the value of its net assets via a securities lending program through its securities lending agent, State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street” or the “Lending Agent”), to brokers, dealers and other financial institutions desiring to borrow securities to complete transactions and for other purposes. A securities lending program allows a Fund to receive a portion of the income generated by lending its securities and investing the respective collateral. A Fund will receive collateral for each loaned security which is at least equal to the market value of that security, marked to market each trading day. In the securities lending program, the borrower generally has the right to vote the loaned securities; however, a Fund may call loans to vote proxies if a material issue affecting the Fund's economic interest in the investment is to be voted upon. Security loans may be terminated at any time by a Fund.
Additional Risk Information
The following section provides information regarding the principal risks identified under “Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund” in each Fund Summary along with additional risk information. Risk information is applicable to all Funds unless otherwise noted.
Principal Risks
The table below identifies the principal risks of investing in each Fund.
Fund Name SPDR SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index ETF SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF
Counterparty Risk x x
Derivatives Risk x x
Futures Contract Risk; Other Exchange-Traded Derivatives Risk x x
Equity Investing Risk x x
Financial Sector Risk x x
Fluctuation of Net Asset Value, Share Premiums and Discounts Risk x x
Indexing Strategy/Index Tracking Risk x x
Industrial Sector Risk x  
Large-Capitalization Securities Risk x  
Leveraging Risk x x
Liquidity Risk x x
Low Volatility Risk x x
Market Risk x x
Non-Diversification Risk x x
Small-Capitalization Securities Risk   x
Unconstrained Sector Risk x x
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Fund Name SPDR SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index ETF SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF
Valuation Risk   x
Counterparty Risk. A Fund will be subject to credit risk with respect to the counterparties with which the Fund enters into derivatives contracts and other transactions such as repurchase agreements or reverse repurchase agreements. A Fund's ability to profit from these types of investments and transactions will depend on the willingness and ability of its counterparty to perform its obligations. If a counterparty fails to meet its contractual obligations, a Fund may be unable to terminate or realize any gain on the investment or transaction, resulting in a loss to the Fund. A Fund may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery in an insolvency, bankruptcy, or other reorganization proceeding involving its counterparty (including recovery of any collateral posted by it) and may obtain only a limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances. If a Fund holds collateral posted by its counterparty, it may be delayed or prevented from realizing on the collateral in the event of a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding relating to the counterparty. Under applicable law or contractual provisions, including if a Fund enters into an investment or transaction with a financial institution and such financial institution (or an affiliate of the financial institution) experiences financial difficulties, then the Fund may in certain situations be prevented or delayed from exercising its rights to terminate the investment or transaction, or to realize on any collateral and may result in the suspension of payment and delivery obligations of the parties under such investment or transactions or in another institution being substituted for that financial institution without the consent of the Fund. Further, a Fund may be subject to “bail-in” risk under applicable law whereby, if required by the financial institution's authority, the financial institution's liabilities could be written down, eliminated or converted into equity or an alternative instrument of ownership. A bail-in of a financial institution may result in a reduction in value of some or all of its securities and, if a Fund holds such securities or has entered into a transaction with such a financial security when a bail-in occurs, such Fund may also be similarly impacted.
Derivatives Risk. A derivative is a financial contract the value of which depends on, or is derived from, the value of an underlying asset, interest rate, or index. Derivative transactions typically involve leverage and may have significant volatility. It is possible that a derivative transaction will result in a loss greater than the principal amount invested, and a Fund may not be able to close out a derivative transaction at a favorable time or price. Risks associated with derivative instruments include potential changes in value in response to interest rate changes or other market developments or as a result of the counterparty's credit quality; the potential for the derivative transaction not to have the effect the Adviser anticipated or a different or less favorable effect than the Adviser anticipated; the failure of the counterparty to the derivative transaction to perform its obligations under the transaction or to settle a trade; possible mispricing or improper valuation of the derivative instrument; imperfect correlation in the value of a derivative with the asset, rate, or index underlying the derivative; the risk that a Fund may be required to post collateral or margin with its counterparty, and will not be able to recover the collateral or margin in the event of the counterparty's insolvency or bankruptcy; the risk that a Fund will experience losses on its derivatives investments and on its other portfolio investments, even when the derivatives investments may be intended in part or entirely to hedge those portfolio investments; the risks specific to the asset underlying the derivative instrument; lack of liquidity for the derivative instrument, including without
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limitation absence of a secondary trading market; the potential for reduced returns to a Fund due to losses on the transaction and an increase in volatility; the potential for the derivative transaction to have the effect of accelerating the recognition of gain; and legal risks arising from the documentation relating to the derivative transaction.
Futures Contract Risk; Other Exchange-Traded Derivatives Risk. The risk of loss relating to the use of futures contracts and other exchange-traded derivatives is potentially unlimited. The ability to establish and close out positions in futures contracts and other exchange-traded derivatives will be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid secondary market. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular futures contract or other exchange-traded derivative or at any particular time. In the event no such market exists for a particular derivative, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions, and the Fund will be unable to terminate the derivative. In using futures contracts and other exchange-traded derivatives, the Fund will be reliant on the ability of the Adviser to predict market and price movements correctly; the skills needed to use such derivatives successfully are different from those needed for traditional portfolio management. If the Fund uses futures contracts or other exchange-traded derivatives for hedging purposes, there is a risk of imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of the derivatives and movements in the securities or index underlying the derivatives or movements in the prices of the Fund's investments that are the subject of such hedge. The prices of futures and other exchange-traded derivatives, for a number of reasons, may not correlate perfectly with movements in the securities or index underlying them. For example, participants in the futures markets and in markets for other exchange-traded derivatives are subject to margin deposit requirements. Such requirements may cause investors to take actions with respect to their derivatives positions that they would not otherwise take. The margin requirements in the derivatives markets may be less onerous than margin requirements in the securities markets in general, and as a result those markets may attract more speculators than the securities markets do. Increased participation by speculators in those markets may cause temporary price distortions. Due to the possibility of price distortion, even a correct forecast of general market trends by the Adviser still may not result in a successful derivatives activity over a very short time period. The risk of a position in a futures contract or other exchange-traded derivative may be very large compared to the relatively low level of margin the Fund is required to deposit. In many cases, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss or gain to the investor relative to the size of a required margin deposit. The Fund will incur brokerage fees in connection with its exchange-traded derivatives transactions. The Fund will typically be required to post margin with its futures commission merchant in connection with its transactions in futures contracts and other exchange-traded derivatives. In the event of an insolvency of the futures commission merchant or a clearing house, the Fund may not be able to recover all (or any) of the margin it has posted with the futures commission merchant, or to realize the value of any increase in the price of its positions, or it may experience a significant delay in doing so. The Fund also may be delayed or prevented from recovering margin or other amounts deposited with a futures commission merchant or futures clearinghouse. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) and the various exchanges have established limits referred to as “speculative position limits” on the maximum net long or net short positions that any person and certain affiliated entities may hold or control in a particular futures contract. Trading limits are imposed on the number of contracts that any person may trade on a particular trading day. An exchange may order the liquidation of positions found to be in violation of these limits and it may impose sanctions or restrictions. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act requires the CFTC to establish speculative position limits on certain commodity futures contracts and their economically equivalent futures, options and swaps. Regulatory action taken by the CFTC to establish these additional position limits may adversely affect the market liquidity of the futures, options and economically equivalent derivatives in which the Fund may invest. It is possible that, as a result of such limits, the Fund's Adviser will be precluded from taking positions in certain futures contracts or over-the-counter derivatives as a result of positions held by other clients of the Adviser or by the Adviser or its affiliates themselves.
Futures contracts and other exchange-traded derivatives traded on markets outside the U.S. are not generally subject to the same level of regulation by the CFTC or other U.S. regulatory entities as contracts traded in the U.S., including without limitation as to the execution, delivery, and clearing of transactions. U.S. regulators neither regulate the activities of a foreign exchange, nor have the power to compel enforcement of the rules of the foreign exchange or the laws of the foreign country in question. Margin and other payments made by a Fund may not be afforded the same protections as are afforded those payments in the U.S., including in connection with the insolvency of an executing or clearing broker or a clearinghouse or exchange. Certain foreign futures contracts and other exchange-traded derivatives may be less liquid and more volatile than U.S. contracts.
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Equity Investing Risk. The market prices of equity securities owned by a Fund may go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. The value of a security may decline for a number of reasons that may directly relate to the issuer, such as management performance, financial leverage, non-compliance with regulatory requirements, and reduced demand for the issuer's goods or services. The values of equity securities also may decline due to general industry or market conditions that are not specifically related to a particular company, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in the general outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates, or adverse investor sentiment generally. In addition, equity markets tend to move in cycles, which may cause stock prices to fall over short or extended periods of time.
Financial Sector Risk. Financial services companies are subject to extensive governmental regulation which may limit both the amounts and types of loans and other financial commitments they can make, the interest rates and fees they can charge, the scope of their activities, the prices they can charge and the amount of capital they must maintain. Profitability is largely dependent on the availability and cost of capital funds and can fluctuate significantly when interest rates change or due to increased competition. In addition, deterioration of the credit markets generally may cause an adverse impact in a broad range of markets, including U.S. and international credit and interbank money markets generally, thereby affecting a wide range of financial institutions and markets. Certain events in the financial sector may cause an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets, both domestic and foreign, and cause certain financial services companies to incur large losses. Securities of financial services companies may experience a dramatic decline in value when such companies experience substantial declines in the valuations of their assets, take action to raise capital (such as the issuance of debt or equity securities), or cease operations. Credit losses resulting from financial difficulties of borrowers and financial losses associated with investment activities can negatively impact the sector. Insurance companies may be subject to severe price competition. Adverse economic, business or political developments could adversely affect financial institutions engaged in mortgage finance or other lending or investing activities directly or indirectly connected to the value of real estate.
Fluctuation of Net Asset Value, Share Premiums and Discounts Risk. The net asset value of Fund Shares will generally fluctuate with changes in the market value of a Fund's securities holdings. The market prices of Fund Shares will generally fluctuate in accordance with changes in a Fund's net asset value and supply and demand of Fund Shares on the Exchange. It cannot be predicted whether Fund Shares will trade below, at or above their net asset value. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for Fund Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the securities of an Index trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. The market prices of Fund Shares may deviate significantly from the net asset value of Fund Shares during periods of market volatility. However, given that Fund Shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units (unlike shares of many closed-end funds, which frequently trade at appreciable discounts from, and sometimes at premiums to, their net asset value), the Adviser believes that large discounts or premiums to the net asset value of Fund Shares should not be sustained over long periods. While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it likely that Fund Shares normally will trade close to a Fund's net asset value, disruptions to creations and redemptions or market volatility may result in trading prices that differ significantly from such Fund's net asset value. If an investor purchases Fund Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the net asset value of Fund Shares or sells at a time when the market price is at a discount to the net asset value of Fund Shares, then the investor may sustain losses.
Indexing Strategy/Index Tracking Risk. Each Fund is managed with an indexing investment strategy, attempting to track the performance of an unmanaged index of securities. Each Fund will seek to replicate Index returns, regardless of the current or projected performance of the Index or of the actual securities comprising the Index. This differs from an actively-managed fund, which typically seeks to outperform a benchmark index. Each Fund generally will buy and will not sell a security included in the Index as long as the security is part of the Index regardless of any sudden or material decline in value or foreseeable material decline in value of the security, even though the Adviser may make a different investment decision for other actively managed accounts or portfolios that hold the security. As a result, a Fund's performance may be less favorable than that of a portfolio managed using an active investment strategy. The structure and composition of the Index will affect the performance, volatility, and risk of the Index (in absolute terms and by comparison with other indices) and, consequently, the performance, volatility, and risk of a Fund. Errors in index data, index computations or the construction of the Index in accordance with its methodology may occur from time to time and may not be identified and corrected by the Index Provider for a period of time or at all, which may have an adverse impact on a Fund and its shareholders. While the Adviser seeks to track the performance of the Index (i.e.,
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achieve a high degree of correlation with the Index), a Fund's return may not match the return of the Index for a number of reasons. For example, the return on the sample of securities purchased by a Fund (or the return on securities not included in the Index) to replicate the performance of the Index may not correlate precisely with the return of the Index. Each Fund incurs a number of operating expenses not applicable to the Index, and incurs costs in buying and selling securities. In addition, a Fund may not be fully invested at times, either as a result of cash flows into or out of the Fund or reserves of cash held by the Fund to meet redemptions. The Adviser may attempt to track the Index return by investing in fewer than all of the securities in the Index, or in some securities not included in the Index, potentially increasing the risk of divergence between a Fund's return and that of the Index. Changes in the composition of the Index and regulatory requirements also may impact a Fund's ability to match the return of the Index. The Adviser may apply one or more “screens” or investment techniques to refine or limit the number or types of issuers included in the Index in which a Fund may invest. Application of such screens or techniques may result in investment performance below that of the Index and may not produce results expected by the Adviser. Index tracking risk may be heightened during times of increased market volatility or other unusual market conditions.
Pursuant to each Index methodology, a security may be removed from an Index in the event that it does not comply with the eligibility requirements of the Index. As a result, a Fund may be forced to sell securities at inopportune times and/or unfavorable prices due to these changes in the Index components. When there are changes made to the component securities of an Index and the corresponding Fund in turn makes similar changes to its portfolio to attempt to increase the correlation between the Fund's portfolio and the Index, any transaction costs and market exposure arising from such portfolio changes will be borne directly by the Fund and its shareholders. Unscheduled changes to an Index may expose the corresponding Fund to additional tracking error risk. A Fund may recognize gains as a result of rebalancing or reconstituting its securities holdings to reflect changes in the securities included in the corresponding Index. A Fund also may be required to distribute any such gains to its shareholders to avoid adverse federal income tax consequences.
Industrial Sector Risk. Industrial companies are affected by supply and demand both for their specific product or service and for industrial sector products in general. Government regulation, world events, exchange rates and economic conditions, technological developments and liabilities for environmental damage and general civil liabilities will likewise affect the performance of these companies. Aerospace and defense companies, a component of the industrial sector, can be significantly affected by government spending policies because companies involved in this industry rely, to a significant extent, on U.S. and foreign government demand for their products and services. Thus, the financial condition of, and investor interest in, aerospace and defense companies are heavily influenced by governmental defense spending policies which are typically under pressure from efforts to control the U.S. (and other) government budgets. Transportation securities, a component of the industrial sector, are cyclical and have occasional sharp price movements which may result from changes in the economy, fuel prices, labor agreements and insurance costs.
Large-Capitalization Securities Risk. Securities issued by large-capitalization companies may present risks not present in smaller companies. For example, larger companies may be unable to respond as quickly as smaller and mid-sized companies to competitive challenges or to changes in business, product, financial, or other market conditions. Larger companies may not be able to maintain growth at the high rates that may be achieved by well-managed smaller and mid-sized companies, especially during strong economic periods. Returns on investments in securities of large companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of smaller and mid-sized companies.
Leveraging Risk. Borrowing transactions, reverse repurchase agreements, certain derivatives transactions, securities lending transactions and other investment transactions such as when-issued, delayed-delivery, or forward commitment transactions may create investment leverage. If a Fund engages in transactions that have a leveraging effect on the Fund's investment portfolio, the value of the Fund will be potentially more volatile and all other risks will tend to be compounded. This is because leverage generally creates investment risk with respect to a larger base of assets than a Fund would otherwise have and so magnifies the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of the Fund's underlying assets. The use of leverage is considered to be a speculative investment practice and may result in losses to a Fund. Certain derivatives have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment. The use of leverage may cause a Fund to liquidate positions when it may not be advantageous to do so to satisfy repayment, interest payment, or margin obligations or to meet asset segregation or coverage requirements.
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Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk is the risk that a Fund may not be able to dispose of securities or close out derivatives transactions readily at a favorable time or prices (or at all) or at prices approximating those at which a Fund currently values them. For example, certain investments may be subject to restrictions on resale, may trade in the over-the-counter market or in limited volume, or may not have an active trading market. Illiquid investments may trade at a discount from comparable, more liquid investments and may be subject to wide fluctuations in market value. It may be difficult for a Fund to value illiquid investments accurately. The market for certain investments may become illiquid under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the conditions of a particular issuer. If the liquidity of a Fund's holdings deteriorates, it may lead to differences between the market price of Fund Shares and the net asset value of Fund Shares, and could result in the Fund Shares being less liquid. Disposal of illiquid investments may entail registration expenses and other transaction costs that are higher than those for liquid securities. A Fund may seek to borrow money to meet its obligations (including among other things redemption obligations) if it is unable to dispose of illiquid investments, resulting in borrowing expenses and possible leveraging of the Fund.
Low Volatility Risk. Although subject to the risks of common stocks, low volatility stocks are seen as having a lower risk profile than the overall markets. However, a portfolio comprised of low volatility stocks may not produce investment exposure that has lower variability to changes in such stocks' price levels. Low volatility stocks are likely to underperform the broader market during periods of rapidly rising stock prices.
Market Risk. Market prices of investments held by a Fund will go up or down, sometimes rapidly or unpredictably. A Fund's investments are subject to changes in general economic conditions, general market fluctuations and the risks inherent in investment in securities markets. Investment markets can be volatile, and prices of investments can change substantially due to various factors including, but not limited to, economic growth or recession, changes in interest rates, changes in actual or perceived creditworthiness of issuers and general market liquidity. Even if general economic conditions do not change, the value of an investment in a Fund could decline if the particular industries, sectors or companies in which the Fund invests do not perform well or are adversely affected by events. Further, legal, political, regulatory and tax changes also may cause fluctuations in markets and securities prices. Local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, the spread of infectious illness or other public health issues, or other events could have a significant impact on a Fund and its investments.
An outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (known as COVID-19) first detected in China in December 2019 has resulted in a global pandemic and major disruptions to economies and markets around the world, including the United States. Financial markets experienced and may continue to experience extreme volatility and severe losses, and trading in many instruments was and may continue to be disrupted as a result. Liquidity for many instruments was and may continue to be greatly reduced for periods of time. Some interest rates are very low and in some cases yields are negative. Governments and central banks, including the Federal Reserve in the United States, have taken extraordinary and unprecedented actions to support local and global economies and the financial markets. The impact of these measures, and whether they will be effective to mitigate the economic and market disruption, will not be known for some time. In addition, the outbreak of COVID-19, and measures taken to mitigate its effects, could result in disruptions to the services provided to a Fund by its service providers.
Non-Diversification Risk. As a “non-diversified” fund, each Fund may hold a smaller number of portfolio securities than many other funds. To the extent a Fund invests in a relatively small number of issuers, a decline in the market value of a particular security held by the Fund may affect its value more than if it invested in a larger number of issuers. The value of Fund Shares may be more volatile than the values of shares of more diversified funds. A Fund may become diversified for periods of time solely as a result of tracking its Index (e.g., changes in weightings of one or more component securities).
Small-Capitalization Securities Risk. The securities of small-capitalization companies may be more volatile and may involve more risk than the securities of larger companies. These companies may have limited product lines, markets or financial resources, may lack the competitive strength of larger companies, and may depend on a few key employees. In addition, these companies may have been recently organized and may have little or no track record of success. The securities of smaller companies may trade less frequently and in smaller volumes than more widely held securities. The prices of these securities may fluctuate more sharply than those of other securities, and a Fund may experience some difficulty in establishing or closing out positions in these securities at prevailing market prices. There may be less publicly available information about the issuers of these securities or less market interest in these securities than in the
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case of larger companies, both of which can cause significant price volatility. Some securities of smaller issuers may be illiquid or may be restricted as to resale. A Fund may be unable to liquidate its positions in such securities at any time, or at a favorable price, in order to meet a Fund's obligations. Returns on investments in securities of small-capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of larger companies.
Unconstrained Sector Risk. A Fund may invest a substantial portion of its assets within one or more economic sectors or industries, which may change from time to time. When a Fund focuses its investments in a particular industry or sector, financial, economic, business, and other developments affecting issuers in that industry, market, or economic sector will have a greater effect on the Fund than if it had not focused its assets in that industry, market, or economic sector, which may increase the volatility of the Fund.
Valuation Risk. Some portfolio holdings, potentially a large portion of a Fund's investment portfolio, may be valued on the basis of factors other than market quotations. This may occur more often in times of market turmoil or reduced liquidity. There are multiple methods that can be used to value a portfolio holding when market quotations are not readily available. The value established for any portfolio holding at a point in time might differ from what would be produced using a different methodology or if it had been priced using market quotations. Portfolio holdings that are valued using techniques other than market quotations, including “fair valued” securities, may be subject to greater fluctuation in their valuations from one day to the next than if market quotations were used. Technological issues or other service disruption issues involving third-party service providers may cause a Fund to value its investments incorrectly. In addition, there is no assurance that a Fund could sell or close out a portfolio position for the value established for it at any time, and it is possible that a Fund would incur a loss because a portfolio position is sold or closed out at a discount to the valuation established by a Fund at that time.
Non-Principal Risks
Each risk discussed below is a non-principal risk of a Fund to the extent it is not identified as a principal risk for such Fund in the preceding “ADDITIONAL RISK INFORMATION - PRINCIPAL RISKS” section.
Authorized Participants, Market Makers and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. A Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants (“APs”), which are responsible for the creation and redemption activity for a Fund. In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, Fund Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.
Concentration Risk. A Fund's assets may be concentrated in an industry or group of industries, but only to the extent that the Fund's underlying Index concentrates in a particular industry or group of industries. When a Fund focuses its investments in a particular industry or sector, financial, economic, business, and other developments affecting issuers in that industry, market, or economic sector will have a greater effect on the Fund than if it had not focused its assets in that industry, market, or economic sector, which may increase the volatility of the Fund.
Conflicts of Interest Risk. An investment in a Fund will be subject to a number of actual or potential conflicts of interest. For example, the Adviser or its affiliates may provide services to a Fund, such as securities lending agency services, custodial, administrative, bookkeeping, and accounting services, transfer agency and shareholder servicing, securities brokerage services, and other services for which the Fund would compensate the Adviser and/or such affiliates. The Funds may invest in other pooled investment vehicles sponsored, managed, or otherwise affiliated with the Adviser. There is no assurance that the rates at which a Fund pays fees or expenses to the Adviser or its affiliates, or the terms on which it enters into transactions with the Adviser or its affiliates will be the most favorable available in the market generally or as favorable as the rates the Adviser or its affiliates make available to other clients. Because of its financial interest, the Adviser will have an incentive to enter into transactions or arrangements on behalf of a Fund with itself or its affiliates in circumstances where it might not have done so in the absence of that interest, provided that the Adviser will comply with applicable regulatory requirements.
The Adviser and its affiliates serve as investment adviser to other clients and may make investment decisions that may be different from those that will be made by the Adviser on behalf of the Funds. For example, the Adviser may provide asset allocation advice to some clients that may include a recommendation to invest in or redeem from particular
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issuers while not providing that same recommendation to all clients invested in the same or similar issuers. The Adviser may (subject to applicable law) be simultaneously seeking to purchase (or sell) investments for a Fund and to sell (or purchase) the same investment for accounts, funds, or structured products for which it serves as asset manager, or for other clients or affiliates. The Adviser and its affiliates may invest for clients in various securities that are senior, pari passu or junior to, or have interests different from or adverse to, the securities that are owned by a Fund. The Adviser or its affiliates, in connection with its other business activities, may acquire material nonpublic confidential information that may restrict the Adviser from purchasing securities or selling securities for itself or its clients (including the Funds) or otherwise using such information for the benefit of its clients or itself.
The foregoing does not purport to be a comprehensive list or complete explanation of all potential conflicts of interests which may affect a Fund. A Fund may encounter circumstances, or enter into transactions, in which conflicts of interest that are not listed or discussed above may arise.
Costs of Buying and Selling Shares. Investors buying or selling Fund Shares in the secondary market will pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers, as determined by that broker. Brokerage commissions are often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell relatively small amounts of Fund Shares. In addition, secondary market investors will also incur the cost of the difference between the price that an investor is willing to pay for Fund Shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which an investor is willing to sell Fund Shares (the “ask” price). This difference in bid and ask prices is often referred to as the “spread” or “bid/ask spread.” The bid/ask spread varies over time for Fund Shares based on trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if Fund Shares have more trading volume and market liquidity and higher if Fund Shares have little trading volume and market liquidity. Further, increased market volatility may cause increased bid/ask spreads. Due to the costs of buying or selling Fund Shares, including bid/ask spreads, frequent trading of Fund Shares may significantly reduce investment results and an investment in Fund Shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.
Cybersecurity Risk. With the increased use of technologies such as the Internet and the dependence on computer systems to perform business and operational functions, funds (such as the Funds) and their service providers (including the Adviser) may be prone to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber-attacks and/or technological malfunctions. In general, cyber-attacks are deliberate, but unintentional events may have similar effects. Cyber-attacks include, among others, stealing or corrupting data maintained online or digitally, preventing legitimate users from accessing information or services on a website, releasing confidential information without authorization, and causing operational disruption. Successful cyber-attacks against, or security breakdowns of, a Fund, the Adviser or a custodian, transfer agent, or other affiliated or third-party service provider may adversely affect a Fund or its shareholders. For instance, cyber-attacks or technical malfunctions may interfere with the processing of shareholder or other transactions, affect a Fund's ability to calculate its NAV, cause the release of private shareholder information or confidential Fund information, impede trading, cause reputational damage, and subject a Fund to regulatory fines, penalties or financial losses, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and additional compliance costs. Cyber-attacks or technical malfunctions may render records of Fund assets and transactions, shareholder ownership of Fund Shares, and other data integral to the functioning of a Fund inaccessible or inaccurate or incomplete. A Fund may also incur substantial costs for cybersecurity risk management in order to prevent cyber incidents in the future. A Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result. While the Adviser has established business continuity plans and systems designed to minimize the risk of cyber-attacks through the use of technology, processes and controls, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified, given the evolving nature of this threat. Each Fund relies on third-party service providers for many of its day-to-day operations, and will be subject to the risk that the protections and protocols implemented by those service providers will be ineffective to protect the Fund from cyber-attack. The Adviser does not control the cybersecurity plans and systems put in place by third-party service providers, and such third-party service providers may have limited indemnification obligations to the Adviser or the Funds. Similar types of cybersecurity risks or technical malfunctions also are present for issuers of securities in which each Fund invests, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause a Fund's investment in such securities to lose value.
Index Construction Risk. A security included in an Index may not exhibit the characteristic or provide the specific exposure for which it was selected and consequently a Fund's holdings may not exhibit returns consistent with that characteristic or exposure.
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Index Licensing Risk. It is possible that the license under which the Adviser or a Fund is permitted to replicate or otherwise use an Index will be terminated or may be disputed, impaired or cease to remain in effect. In such a case, the Adviser may be required to replace the relevant Index with another index which it considers to be appropriate in light of the investment strategy of a Fund. The use of any such substitute index may have an adverse impact on a Fund's performance. In the event that the Adviser is unable to identify a suitable replacement for the relevant Index, it may determine to terminate a Fund.
Money Market Risk. An investment in a money market fund is not a deposit of any bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency. Certain money market funds seek to preserve the value of their shares at $1.00 per share, although there can be no assurance that they will do so, and it is possible to lose money by investing in such a money market fund. A major or unexpected change in interest rates or a decline in the credit quality of an issuer or entity providing credit support, an inactive trading market for money market instruments, or adverse market, economic, industry, political, regulatory, geopolitical, and other conditions could cause the share price of such a money market fund to fall below $1.00. It is possible that such a money market fund will issue and redeem shares at $1.00 per share at times when the fair value of the money market fund's portfolio per share is more or less than $1.00. None of State Street Corporation, State Street, State Street Global Advisors (“SSGA”), SSGA FM or their affiliates (“State Street Entities”) guarantee the value of an investment in a money market fund at $1.00 per share. Investors should have no expectation of capital support to a money market fund from State Street Entities. Other money market funds price and transact at a “floating” NAV that will fluctuate along with changes in the market-based value of fund assets. Shares sold utilizing a floating NAV may be worth more or less than their original purchase price. Recent changes in the regulation of money market funds may affect the operations and structures of money market funds. A money market fund may be permitted or required to impose redemption fees or to impose limitations on redemptions during periods of high illiquidity in the markets for the investments held by it.
Portfolio Turnover Risk. A Fund may engage in frequent trading of its portfolio securities. Fund turnover generally involves a number of direct and indirect costs and expenses to a Fund, including, for example, brokerage commissions, dealer mark-ups and bid/asked spreads, and transaction costs on the sale of securities and reinvestment in other securities. The costs related to increased portfolio turnover may have the effect of reducing a Fund's investment return, and the sale of securities by the Fund may result in the realization of taxable capital gains, including short-term capital gains. A Fund may engage in significant trading of its portfolio securities in connection with Index rebalancing. Frequent or significant trading may cause a Fund to incur additional transaction costs and experience different tax consequences in comparison to an ETF that does not engage in frequent or significant trading.
Securities Lending Risk. Each Fund may lend portfolio securities in an amount not to exceed 40% of the value of its net assets. For these purposes, net assets shall exclude the value of all assets received as collateral for the loan. Such loans may be terminated at any time. Any such loans must be continuously secured by collateral maintained on a current basis in an amount at least equal to the market value of the securities loaned by a Fund, marked to market each trading day. In a loan transaction, as compensation for lending its securities, a Fund will receive a portion of the dividends or interest accrued on the securities held as collateral or, in the case of cash collateral, a portion of the income from the investment of such cash. In addition, a Fund will receive the amount of all dividends, interest and other distributions on the loaned securities. However, the borrower has the right to vote the loaned securities. A Fund will call loans to vote proxies if a material issue affecting the investment is to be voted upon. Efforts to recall such securities promptly may be unsuccessful, especially for foreign securities or thinly traded securities, and may involve expenses to a Fund. Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. Should the borrower of the securities fail financially, a Fund may experience delays in recovering the securities or exercising its rights in the collateral. Loans are made only to borrowers that are deemed by the securities lending agent to be of good financial standing. In a loan transaction, a Fund will also bear the risk of any decline in value of securities provided as collateral or acquired with cash collateral. Each Fund will attempt to minimize this risk by limiting the investment of cash collateral to high quality instruments of short maturity either directly on behalf of the lending Fund or through one or more joint accounts or funds, which may include those managed by the Adviser. To the extent the collateral provided or investments made with cash collateral differ from securities included in an Index, such collateral or investments may have a greater risk of
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loss than the securities included in the Index. In addition, a Fund will be subject to the risk that any income generated by lending its securities or reinvesting cash collateral is lower than any fees the Fund has agreed to pay a borrower. The Adviser will take into account the tax impact to shareholders of substitute payments for dividends when overseeing a Fund's securities lending activity.
Trading Issues. Although Fund Shares are listed for trading on the Exchange and may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such Fund Shares will develop or be maintained. Trading in Fund Shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Fund Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Fund Shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to Exchange “circuit breaker” rules. Similar to the shares of operating companies listed on a stock exchange, Fund Shares may be sold short and are therefore subject to the risk of increased volatility in the trading price of the Fund's shares. While each Fund expects that the ability of Authorized Participants to create and redeem Fund Shares at net asset value should be effective in reducing any such volatility, there is no guarantee that it will eliminate the volatility associated with such short sales. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of a Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged or that Fund Shares will trade with any volume, or at all, on any stock exchange.
Management
Investment Adviser
SSGA FM serves as the investment adviser to each Fund and, subject to the oversight of the Board, is responsible for the investment management of each Fund. The Adviser provides an investment management program for each Fund and manages the investment of each Fund's assets. The Adviser is a wholly-owned subsidiary of State Street Global Advisors, Inc., which itself is a wholly-owned subsidiary of State Street Corporation. The Adviser is registered with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. The Adviser and certain other affiliates of State Street Corporation make up SSGA. SSGA is one of the world's largest institutional money managers and the investment management arm of State Street Corporation. As of June 30, 2021, the Adviser managed approximately $788.65 billion in assets and SSGA managed approximately $3.90 trillion in assets. The Adviser's principal business address is One Iron Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210.
For the services provided to each Fund under the Investment Advisory Agreement, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, each Fund paid the Adviser the annual fees based on a percentage of each Fund's average daily net assets as set forth below:
SPDR SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index ETF

0.12%
SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF

0.12%
From time to time, the Adviser may waive all or a portion of its management fee. The Adviser has contractually agreed to waive a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse expenses in an amount equal to any acquired fund fees and expenses (excluding holdings in acquired funds for cash management purposes, if any) for each Fund until October 31, 2022. This waiver and/or reimbursement does not provide for the recoupment by the Adviser of any amounts waived or reimbursed. This waiver and/or reimbursement may not be terminated prior to October 31, 2022 except with the approval of the Board. The Adviser pays all expenses of each Fund other than the management fee, brokerage expenses, taxes, interest, fees and expenses of the Independent Trustees (including any Trustee's counsel fees), litigation expenses, acquired fund fees and expenses and other extraordinary expenses.
A discussion regarding the Board's consideration of the Investment Advisory Agreement is provided in the Funds' Annual Report to Shareholders for the period ended June 30, 2021.
SSGA FM, as the investment adviser for the Funds, may hire one or more sub-advisers to oversee the day-to-day investment activities of the Funds. The sub-advisers are subject to oversight by the Adviser. The Adviser and SPDR Series Trust (the “Trust”) have received an exemptive order from the SEC that permits the Adviser, with the approval of the Independent Trustees of the Trust, to retain and amend existing sub-advisory agreements with unaffiliated investment sub-advisers for a Fund without submitting the sub-advisory agreement to a vote of the Fund's shareholders. The Trust will notify shareholders in the event of any change in the identity of such sub-adviser or sub-
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advisers. The Adviser has ultimate responsibility for the investment performance of the Funds due to its responsibility to oversee each sub-adviser and recommend their hiring, termination and replacement. The Adviser is not required to disclose fees paid to any unaffiliated sub-adviser retained pursuant to the order.
Portfolio Managers.
The Adviser manages the Funds using a team of investment professionals. The team approach is used to create an environment that encourages the flow of investment ideas. The portfolio managers within each team work together in a cohesive manner to develop and enhance techniques that drive the investment process for the respective investment strategy. This approach requires portfolio managers to share a variety of responsibilities including investment strategy and analysis while retaining responsibility for the implementation of the strategy within any particular portfolio. The approach also enables the team to draw upon the resources of other groups within SSGA. Each portfolio management team is overseen by the SSGA Investment Committee.
The table below identifies the professionals primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of each Fund:
Portfolio Managers Fund
Michael Feehily, Karl Schneider and Juan Acevedo

SPDR SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index ETF
Michael Feehily, Karl Schneider and John Law

SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF
Juan Acevedo is a Vice President of SSGA and the Adviser and a Senior Portfolio Manager in the Global Equity Beta Solutions Group. He is responsible for managing equity index, smart beta and tax-efficient quantitative strategies for institutional clients and high net worth individuals. Prior to his current role, Mr. Acevedo was a portfolio manager in SSGA's Implementation Group, where he was responsible for the daily management of active and passive strategies, with an additional focus of mass construction of separate managed accounts. Mr. Acevedo received a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Providence College. Additionally, he received a Master of Science in Investment Management and a Master of Business Administration with a Finance concentration from the Questrom School of Business at Boston University.
Michael Feehily, CFA, is a Senior Managing Director of SSGA and the Adviser and the Head of Global Equity Beta Solutions in the Americas. He is also a member of the Senior Leadership Team and is a voting member on the firm's Trade Management Oversight Committee and the North America Product Committee. In his current role, Mr. Feehily is responsible for overseeing the Global Equity Beta Solutions portfolio management team in the Boston office and helping lead the strategic direction of the business. In addition, he contributes to developing new business opportunities, consulting with clients, and running day-to-day business operations. Mr. Feehily rejoined SSGA in 2010 after spending four years in State Street Global Markets, LLC, where he helped to build the Global Exposure Solutions business. This group created and managed portfolios that were designed to meet the short-term market exposure needs of institutional clients. Prior to this, Mr. Feehily had been Head of the U.S. Passive Equity Team within SSGA, which he originally joined in 1997. He began his career at State Street in 1993 within the Global Services division, where he was a member of the Performance & Analytics team and was one of the founding members of the firm's Private Edge business which helped to analyze clients' private market investments such as venture capital, corporate finance, and real estate. Mr. Feehily received a Bachelor of Science from Babson College in Finance, Investments, and Economics. He received a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Bentley College and also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Mr. Feehily is a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society Boston, Inc. He is also a former member of the FTSE/Russell Index Client Advisory Board and the S&P Index Advisory Committee. He is registered as an Advising Representative with all Canadian Provincial Securities Commissions under State Street Global Advisor Limited's (Canada) Portfolio Manager registration category. He currently serves as an Executive Sponsor for the Inclusion & Diversity Talent Acquisition Pillar at SSGA.
John Law, CFA, is a Vice President of SSGA and the Adviser and a Senior Portfolio Manager in the Global Equity Beta Solutions (GEBS) Group, having joined SSGA in 2016. Previously, Mr. Law worked at Dimensional Fund Advisors as a portfolio manager on the international equities desk, where he oversaw the international small cap strategy and served as Global Process Lead for foreign exchange. Prior experience also includes mortgage banking, having worked at IndyMac Bank issuing mortgage backed securities, and investment banking, with Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr. Law has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he was a Siebel Scholar, and Master's and Bachelor's degrees from Cambridge University and Princeton University, respectively. He also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of CFA Society Boston, Inc.
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Karl Schneider, CAIA, is a Managing Director of SSGA and the Adviser and Deputy Head of Global Equity Beta Solutions (GEBS) in the Americas, where he also serves as a Senior Portfolio Manager for a number of the group's passive equity portfolios. Previously within GEBS, he served as a portfolio manager and product specialist for U.S. equity strategies and synthetic beta strategies, including commodities, buy/write, and hedge fund replication. He is also a member of the S&P Dow Jones U.S. Equities Index Advisory Panel. Prior to joining the GEBS group, Mr. Schneider worked as a portfolio manager in SSGA's Currency Management Group, managing both active currency selection and traditional passive hedging overlay portfolios. He joined SSGA in 1997. Mr. Schneider holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Investments from Babson College and a Master of Science in Finance from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. He has earned the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation and is a member of the CAIA Association.
Additional information about the portfolio managers' compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers, and the portfolio managers' ownership of the Funds is available in the SAI.
Administrator, Sub-Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent. The Adviser serves as Administrator for each Fund. State Street, part of State Street Corporation, is the Sub-Administrator for each Fund and the Custodian for each Fund's assets, and serves as Transfer Agent to each Fund.
Lending Agent. State Street is the securities lending agent for the Trust. For its services, the lending agent would typically receive a portion of the net investment income, if any, earned on the collateral for the securities loaned.
Distributor. State Street Global Advisors Funds Distributors, LLC serves as the Funds' distributor (“SSGA FD” or the “Distributor”) pursuant to the Distribution Agreement between SSGA FD and the Trust. The Distributor will not distribute Fund Shares in less than Creation Units, and it does not maintain a secondary market in Fund Shares. The Distributor may enter into selected dealer agreements with other broker-dealers or other qualified financial institutions for the sale of Creation Units of Fund Shares.
Additional Information. The Board oversees generally the operations of the Funds and the Trust. The Trust enters into contractual arrangements with various parties, including among others the Funds' investment adviser, custodian, transfer agent, and accountants, who provide services to the Funds. Shareholders are not parties to any such contractual arrangements or intended beneficiaries of those contractual arrangements, and those contractual arrangements are not intended to create in any shareholder any right to enforce them directly against the service providers or to seek any remedy under them directly against the service providers.
This Prospectus provides information concerning the Trust and the Funds that you should consider in determining whether to purchase Fund Shares. Neither this Prospectus nor the related SAI is intended, or should be read, to be or give rise to an agreement or contract between the Trust or the Funds and any investor, or to give rise to any rights in any shareholder or other person other than any rights under federal or state law that may not be waived.
Index/Trademark Licenses/Disclaimers
Each Fund's Index (collectively, the “Indices”) was created and is sponsored by State Street Global Advisors (the “Index Provider” or “SSGA”), an affiliate of the Funds and the Funds' Adviser. SSGA or one or more of its affiliates has entered into a license agreement with the Funds pursuant to which the Funds use the Indices at no charge.
The Index Provider establishes and maintains rules which are used to determine the composition of the Index and relative weightings of the securities in the Index. In order to minimize any potential for conflicts caused by the fact that SSGA acts as Index Provider and its affiliate acts as Advisor to the Funds, SSGA has retained an unaffiliated third party to calculate the Indices (the “Calculation Agent”). The Calculation Agent, using the rules-based methodology, will calculate, maintain and disseminate the Indices on a daily basis. SSGA will monitor the results produced by the Calculation Agent to help ensure that the Indices are being calculated in accordance with the rules-based methodology. In addition, SSGA and the Adviser have established policies and procedures designed to prevent non-public information about pending changes to the Indices from being used or disseminated in an improper manner. Furthermore, SSGA and the Adviser have established policies and procedures designed to prevent improper use and dissemination of non-public information about the Funds' portfolio strategies.
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The Index Provider has no obligation to take the needs of the Funds or the owners of Funds Shares into consideration in establishing and maintaining the Indices. The Index Provider does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or performance of the Indices or the data included therein and shall have no liability in connection with the Indices or Index calculation.
Index Calculation Agent. The Indices are calculated by Solactive AG. The Funds are not sponsored, promoted, sold or supported in any other manner by Solactive AG, nor does Solactive AG offer any express or implicit guarantee or assurance either with regard to the results of using the Indices and/or an Index trade mark or an Index price at any time or in any other respect. The Indices are calculated and published by Solactive AG. Solactive AG uses its best efforts to ensure that the Indices are calculated correctly. Irrespective of its obligations towards the issuer, Solactive AG has no obligation to point out errors in the Indices to third parties including but not limited to investors and/or financial intermediaries of the Funds. Neither publication of the Indices by Solactive AG nor the licensing of the Indices or an Index trade mark for the purpose of use in connection with the Funds constitutes a recommendation by Solactive AG to invest capital in said Funds nor does it in any way represent an assurance or opinion of Solactive AG with regard to any investment in the Funds.
SPDR Trademark. The “SPDR” trademark is used under license from Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC (“S&P”). No Fund offered by the Trust or its affiliates is sponsored, endorsed, sold or marketed by S&P or its affiliates. S&P makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of any Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Funds particularly or the ability of the Index on which the Funds are based to track general stock market performance. S&P is not responsible for and has not participated in any determination or calculation made with respect to issuance or redemption of Fund Shares. S&P has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Funds.
WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL S&P HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOST PROFITS), EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
Additional Purchase and Sale Information
Fund Shares are listed for secondary trading on the Exchange and individual Fund Shares may only be purchased and sold in the secondary market through a broker-dealer. The secondary markets are closed on weekends and also are generally closed on the following holidays: New Year's Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day (observed), Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The Exchange may close early on the business day before certain holidays and on the day after Thanksgiving Day. Exchange holiday schedules are subject to change without notice. If you buy or sell Fund Shares in the secondary market, you will pay the secondary market price for Fund Shares. In addition, you may incur customary brokerage commissions and charges and may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offered price in the secondary market on each leg of a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction.
The trading prices of Fund Shares will fluctuate continuously throughout trading hours based on market supply and demand rather than the relevant Fund's net asset value, which is calculated at the end of each business day. Fund Shares will trade on the Exchange at prices that may be above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount), to varying degrees, the daily net asset value of Fund Shares. The trading prices of Fund Shares may deviate significantly from the relevant Fund's net asset value during periods of market volatility. Given, however, that Fund Shares can be issued and redeemed daily in Creation Units, the Adviser believes that large discounts and premiums to net asset value should not be sustained over long periods.
The Exchange will disseminate, every fifteen seconds during the regular trading day, an indicative optimized portfolio value (“IOPV”) relating to each Fund. The IOPV calculations are estimates of the value of each Fund's net asset value per Fund Share. Premiums and discounts between the IOPV and the market price may occur. This should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the net asset value per Fund Share. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the published basket of portfolio securities and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit and does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of a Fund's actual portfolio at a particular point in time. Moreover, the IOPV is generally determined by using current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers and other market intermediaries and valuations based on current market rates. The IOPV may not be calculated in the same manner as the NAV, which (i) is computed only once a day, (ii) unlike the calculation of the
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IOPV, takes into account Fund expenses, and (iii) may be subject, in accordance with the requirements of the 1940 Act, to fair valuation at different prices than those used in the calculations of the IOPV. Therefore, the IOPV may not reflect the best possible valuation of a Fund's current portfolio. Neither the Funds nor the Adviser or any of their affiliates are involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of such IOPVs and make no warranty as to their accuracy.
The Funds do not impose any restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions; however, the Funds reserve the right to reject or limit purchases at any time as described in the SAI. When considering that no restriction or policy was necessary, the Board evaluated the risks posed by market timing activities, such as whether frequent purchases and redemptions would interfere with the efficient implementation of a Fund's investment strategy, or whether they would cause a Fund to experience increased transaction costs. The Board considered that, unlike traditional mutual funds, Fund Shares are issued and redeemed only in large quantities of shares known as Creation Units, available only from a Fund directly, and that most trading in a Fund occurs on the Exchange at prevailing market prices and does not involve the Fund directly. Given this structure, the Board determined that it is unlikely that (a) market timing would be attempted by a Fund's shareholders or (b) any attempts to market time a Fund by shareholders would result in negative impact to the Fund or its shareholders.
Distributions
Dividends and Capital Gains. As a Fund shareholder, you are entitled to your share of the applicable Fund's income and net realized gains on its investments. Each Fund pays out substantially all of its net earnings to its shareholders as “distributions.”
Each Fund may earn income dividends from stocks, interest from debt securities and, if participating, securities lending income. These amounts, net of expenses and taxes (if applicable), are passed along to Fund shareholders as “income dividend distributions.” Each Fund will generally realize short-term capital gains or losses whenever it sells or exchanges assets held for one year or less. Net short-term capital gains will generally be treated as ordinary income when distributed to shareholders. Each Fund will generally realize long-term capital gains or losses whenever it sells or exchanges assets held for more than one year. Net capital gains (the excess of a Fund's net long-term capital gains over its net short-term capital losses) are distributed to shareholders as “capital gain distributions.”
Income dividend distributions, if any, are generally distributed to shareholders quarterly, but may vary significantly from period to period.
Net capital gains for each Fund are distributed at least annually. Dividends may be declared and paid more frequently or at any other time to improve Index tracking or to comply with the distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).
Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional whole Fund Shares only if the broker through whom you purchased Fund Shares makes such option available. Distributions which are reinvested will nevertheless be taxable to the same extent as if such distributions had not been reinvested.
Portfolio Holdings Disclosure
The Funds' portfolio holdings disclosure policy is described in the SAI. In addition, the identities and quantities of the securities held by each Fund are disclosed on the Funds' website.
Additional Tax Information
The following discussion is a summary of some important U.S. federal income tax considerations generally applicable to an investment in a Fund. Your investment in a Fund may have other tax implications. Please consult your tax advisor about federal, state, local, foreign or other tax laws applicable to you. Investors, including non-U.S. investors, may wish to consult the SAI tax section for additional disclosure.
Taxes on Distributions. In general, your distributions are subject to federal income tax when they are paid, whether you take them in cash or reinvest them in a Fund. The income dividends and short-term capital gains distributions you receive from a Fund will be taxed as either ordinary income or qualified dividend income. Subject to certain limitations, dividends that are reported by a Fund as qualified dividend income are taxable to noncorporate shareholders at reduced rates. Any distributions of a Fund's net capital gains are taxable as long-term capital gain regardless of how
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long you have owned Fund Shares. Long-term capital gains are generally taxed to noncorporate shareholders at reduced rates. Distributions in excess of a Fund's current and accumulated earnings and profits are treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of your basis in the applicable Fund's shares, and, in general, as capital gain thereafter.
In general, dividends may be reported by a Fund as qualified dividend income if they are attributable to qualified dividend income received by the Fund, which, in general, includes dividend income from taxable U.S. corporations and certain foreign corporations (i.e., certain foreign corporations incorporated in a possession of the United States or in certain countries with a comprehensive tax treaty with the United States, and certain other foreign corporations if the stock with respect to which the dividend is paid is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States), provided that the Fund satisfies certain holding period requirements in respect of the stock of such corporations and has not hedged its position in the stock in certain ways. A dividend generally will not be treated as qualified dividend income if the dividend is received with respect to any share of stock held by a Fund for fewer than 61 days during the 121-day period beginning at the date which is 60 days before the date on which such share becomes ex-dividend with respect to such dividend or, in the case of certain preferred stock, for fewer than 91 days during the 181-day period beginning 90 days before such date. These holding period requirements will also apply to your ownership of Fund Shares. Holding periods may be suspended for these purposes for stock that is hedged. Additionally, income derived in connection with a Fund's securities lending activities will not be treated as qualified dividend income.
U.S. individuals with income exceeding specified thresholds are subject to a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on all or a portion of their “net investment income,” which includes taxable interest, dividends and certain capital gains (generally including capital gain distributions and capital gains realized upon the sale of Fund Shares). This 3.8% tax also applies to all or a portion of the undistributed net investment income of certain shareholders that are estates and trusts.
Certain tax-exempt educational institutions will be subject to a 1.4% tax on net investment income. For these purposes, certain dividends and capital gain distributions, and certain gains from the disposition of Fund Shares (among other categories of income), are generally taken into account in computing a shareholder's net investment income.
If you lend your Fund Shares pursuant to securities lending arrangements you may lose the ability to treat Fund dividends (paid while the Fund Shares are held by the borrower) as qualified dividend income. You should consult your financial intermediary or tax advisor to discuss your particular circumstances.
Distributions paid in January, but declared by a Fund in October, November or December of the previous year, payable to shareholders of record in such a month, may be taxable to you in the calendar year in which they were declared. The Funds will inform you of the amount of your ordinary income dividends, qualified dividend income and capital gain distributions shortly after the close of each calendar year.
A distribution will reduce a Fund's net asset value per Fund Share and may be taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gain even though, from an investment standpoint, the distribution may constitute a return of capital.
Derivatives and Other Complex Securities. A Fund may invest in complex securities. These investments may be subject to numerous special and complex rules. These rules could affect whether gains and losses recognized by a Fund are treated as ordinary income or capital gain, accelerate the recognition of income to a Fund and/or defer a Fund's ability to recognize losses. In turn, these rules may affect the amount, timing or character of the income distributed to you by a Fund. You should consult your personal tax advisor regarding the application of these rules.
Taxes on Exchange-Listed Share Sales. Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Fund Shares is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if Fund Shares have been held for more than one year and as short-term capital gain or loss if Fund Shares have been held for one year or less, except that any capital loss on the sale of Fund Shares held for six months or less will be disallowed to the extent of exempt-interest dividends received with respect to those Fund Shares, and to the extent not disallowed will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent that capital gain dividends were paid with respect to such Fund Shares.
Taxes on Creations and Redemptions of Creation Units. A person who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and the exchanger's aggregate basis in the securities surrendered plus any cash paid for the Creation Units. A person who exchanges Creation Units for securities will generally recognize a gain or loss equal
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to the difference between the exchanger's basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate market value of the securities and the amount of cash received. The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”), however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons exchanging securities should consult their own tax advisor with respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible.
Under current federal tax laws, any capital gain or loss realized upon a redemption (or creation) of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the applicable Fund Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the applicable Fund Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for one year or less.
If you create or redeem Creation Units, you will be sent a confirmation statement showing how many Fund Shares you purchased or sold and at what price.
The Trust on behalf of each Fund has the right to reject an order for Creation Units if the purchaser (or a group of purchasers) would, upon obtaining the Fund Shares so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding shares of the applicable Fund and if, pursuant to Section 351 of the Code, the applicable Fund would have a basis in the securities different from the market value of the securities on the date of deposit.  The Trust also has the right to require information necessary to determine beneficial share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination.  If the Trust does issue Creation Units to a purchaser (or a group of purchasers) that would, upon obtaining the Fund Shares so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding shares of the applicable Fund, the purchaser (or group of purchasers) will not recognize gain or loss upon the exchange of securities for Creation Units.
If a Fund redeems Creation Units in cash, it may bear additional costs and recognize more capital gains than it would if it redeems Creation Units in-kind.
Non-U.S. Investors. Ordinary income dividends paid by a Fund to shareholders who are non-resident aliens or foreign entities will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax (other than distributions reported by the Fund as interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends), unless a lower treaty rate applies or unless such income is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. In general, a Fund may report interest-related dividends to the extent of its net income derived from U.S.-source interest, and a Fund may report short-term capital gain dividends to the extent its net short-term capital gain for the taxable year exceeds its net long-term capital loss.  Gains on the sale of Fund Shares and dividends that are, in each case, effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the U.S. will generally be subject to U.S. federal net income taxation at regular income tax rates. Non-U.S. shareholders that own, directly or indirectly, more than 5% of a Fund's shares are urged to consult their own tax advisors concerning special tax rules that may apply to their investment.
Unless certain non-U.S. entities that hold Fund Shares comply with IRS requirements that will generally require them to report information regarding U.S. persons investing in, or holding accounts with, such entities, a 30% withholding tax may apply to distributions payable to such entities. A non-U.S. shareholder may be exempt from the withholding described in this paragraph under an applicable intergovernmental agreement between the U.S. and a foreign government, provided that the shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of such agreement.
Backup Withholding. A Fund will be required in certain cases to withhold (as “backup withholding”) on amounts payable to any shareholder who (1) has provided the Fund either an incorrect tax identification number or no number at all, (2) is subject to backup withholding by the IRS for failure to properly report payments of interest or dividends, (3) has failed to certify to the Fund that such shareholder is not subject to backup withholding, or (4) has not certified that such shareholder is a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien). The backup withholding rate is currently 24%. Backup withholding will not be applied to payments that have been subject to the 30% withholding tax on shareholders who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the United States.
Other Tax Issues. A Fund may be subject to tax in certain states where the Fund does business (or is treated as doing business as a result of its investments). Furthermore, in those states which have income tax laws, the tax treatment of the Funds and of Fund shareholders with respect to distributions by the Funds may differ from federal tax treatment.
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The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the consequences under current federal income tax law of an investment in the Funds. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. Consult your personal tax advisor about the potential tax consequences of an investment in the Funds under all applicable tax laws.
General Information
The Trust was organized as a Massachusetts business trust on June 12, 1998. If shareholders of any Fund are required to vote on any matters, shareholders are entitled to one vote for each Fund Share they own. Annual meetings of shareholders will not be held except as required by the 1940 Act and other applicable law. See the SAI for more information concerning the Trust's form of organization.
Management and Organization
Each Fund is a separate series of the Trust, which is an open-end registered management investment company.
For purposes of the 1940 Act, Fund Shares are issued by the respective series of the Trust and the acquisition of Fund Shares by investment companies is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act.
The Trust has received exemptive relief from Section 12(d)(1) to allow registered investment companies to invest in the Funds beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions as set forth in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Trust. This order will be rescinded by the SEC on January 19, 2022. However, effective January 19, 2021, new Rule 12d1-4 permits other investment companies to invest in the Funds beyond the limits in Section 12(d)(1), subject to similar conditions.
From time to time, a Fund may advertise yield and total return figures. Yield is a historical measure of dividend income, and total return is a measure of past dividend income (assuming that it has been reinvested) plus capital appreciation. Neither yield nor total return should be used to predict the future performance of a Fund.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP serves as counsel to the Trust, including the Funds. Ernst & Young LLP serves as the independent registered public accounting firm and will audit the Funds' financial statements annually.
Financial Highlights
These financial highlight tables are intended to help you understand each Fund's financial performance for the past five fiscal years or, if shorter, the period since a Fund's inception. Certain information reflects the performance results for a single Fund Share. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in each Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions). This information has been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, the Trust's independent registered public accounting firm, whose report, along with each Fund's financial highlights and financial statements, is included in the annual report to shareholders, which is available upon request. Any references to Notes in these financial highlight tables refer to the “Notes to Financial Statements” section of each Fund's financial statements, and the financial information included in these tables should be read in conjunction with the financial statements incorporated by reference in the SAI.
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SPDR SERIES TRUST
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
Selected data for a share outstanding throughout each period

  SPDR SSGA US Large Cap Low Volatility Index ETF
  Year
Ended
6/30/21
  Year
Ended
6/30/20
  Year
Ended
6/30/19
  Year
Ended
6/30/18
  Year
Ended
6/30/17
Net asset value, beginning of period

$102.17   $107.69   $90.13   $86.29   $79.85
Income (loss) from investment operations:                  
Net investment income (loss) (a)

1.99   2.20   2.17   1.83   1.75
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss) (b)

31.82   (5.49)   16.96   6.01   6.61
Total from investment operations

33.81   (3.29)   19.13   7.84   8.36
Net equalization credits and charges (a)

(0.15)   0.01   0.40   0.02   (0.02)
Distributions to shareholders from:                  
Net investment income

(2.75)   (2.24)   (1.97)   (1.85)   (1.82)
Net realized gains

      (2.17)   (0.08)
Total distributions

(2.75)   (2.24)   (1.97)   (4.02)   (1.90)
Net asset value, end of period

$133.08   $102.17   $107.69   $90.13   $86.29
Total return (c)

33.27%   (3.05)%   21.94%   9.16%   10.59%
Ratios and Supplemental Data:                  
Net assets, end of period (in 000s)

$573,565   $658,964   $568,592   $103,653   $77,661
Ratios to average net assets:                  
Total expenses

0.12%   0.12%   0.12%   0.12%   0.12%
Net investment income (loss)

1.69%   2.04%   2.19%   2.04%   2.14%
Portfolio turnover rate (d)

34%   25%   32%   20%   108%
    
(a) Per share numbers have been calculated using average shares outstanding, which more appropriately presents the per share data for the year.
(b) Amounts shown in this caption for a share outstanding may not accord with the change in aggregate gains and losses in securities for the fiscal period because of the timing of sales and repurchases of Fund shares in relation to fluctuating market values for the Fund.
(c) Total return is calculated assuming a purchase of shares at net asset value on the first day and a sale at net asset value on the last day of each period reported. Distributions are assumed, for the purpose of this calculation, to be reinvested at net asset value per share on the respective payment dates of each distribution. Total returns for periods of less than one year are not annualized. Broker commission charges are not included in this calculation.
(d) Portfolio turnover rate excludes securities received or delivered from in-kind processing of creations or redemptions.
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SPDR SERIES TRUST
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
Selected data for a share outstanding throughout each period

  SPDR SSGA US Small Cap Low Volatility Index ETF
  Year
Ended
6/30/21
  Year
Ended
6/30/20
  Year
Ended
6/30/19
  Year
Ended
6/30/18
  Year
Ended
6/30/17
Net asset value, beginning of period

$76.41   $93.35   $95.11   $92.05   $77.70
Income (loss) from investment operations:                  
Net investment income (loss) (a)

2.06   2.24   2.48   2.35   1.94
Net realized and unrealized gain (loss) (b)

36.73   (16.77)   (1.46)   8.23   14.83
Total from investment operations

38.79   (14.53)   1.02   10.58   16.77
Net equalization credits and charges (a)

(0.10)   0.07   (0.01)   (0.09)   0.33
Distributions to shareholders from:                  
Net investment income

(2.46)   (2.48)   (2.77)   (2.48)   (2.45)
Net realized gains

      (4.95)   (0.30)
Total distributions

(2.46)   (2.48)   (2.77)   (7.43)   (2.75)
Net asset value, end of period

$112.64   $76.41   $93.35   $95.11   $92.05
Total return (c)

51.11%   (15.68)%   1.24%   11.80%   22.11%
Ratios and Supplemental Data:                  
Net assets, end of period (in 000s)

$220,778   $247,577   $230,585   $199,739   $211,717
Ratios to average net assets:                  
Total expenses

0.12%   0.12%   0.12%   0.12%   0.12%
Net investment income (loss)

2.19%   2.56%   2.68%   2.54%   2.17%
Portfolio turnover rate (d)

52%   32%   34%   41%   158%
    
(a) Per share numbers have been calculated using average shares outstanding, which more appropriately presents the per share data for the year.
(b) Amounts shown in this caption for a share outstanding may not accord with the change in aggregate gains and losses in securities for the fiscal period because of the timing of sales and repurchases of Fund shares in relation to fluctuating market values for the Fund.
(c) Total return is calculated assuming a purchase of shares at net asset value on the first day and a sale at net asset value on the last day of each period reported. Distributions are assumed, for the purpose of this calculation, to be reinvested at net asset value per share on the respective payment dates of each distribution. Total returns for periods of less than one year are not annualized. Broker commission charges are not included in this calculation.
(d) Portfolio turnover rate excludes securities received or delivered from in-kind processing of creations or redemptions.
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Where to Learn More About the Funds
This Prospectus does not contain all the information included in the Registration Statement filed with the SEC with respect to Fund Shares. An SAI and the annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders, each of which has been or will be filed with the SEC, provide more information about the Funds. The Prospectus and SAI may be supplemented from time to time. In the annual report, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected each Fund's performance during the Fund's last fiscal year, as applicable. The SAI is incorporated herein by reference (i.e., it is legally part of this Prospectus). These materials may be obtained without charge, upon request, by writing to the Distributor, State Street Global Advisors Funds Distributors, LLC, One Iron Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210, by visiting the Funds' website at https://www.ssga.com/spdrs or by calling the following number:
Investor Information: 1-866-787-2257
The Registration Statement, including this Prospectus, the SAI, and the exhibits as well as any shareholder reports may be reviewed on the EDGAR Database on the SEC's website (http://www.sec.gov). You may also obtain copies of this and other information, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following E-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov.
Shareholder inquiries may be directed to the Funds in writing to State Street Global Advisors Funds Distributors, LLC, One Iron Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210, or by calling the Investor Information number listed above.
No person has been authorized to give any information or to make any representations other than those contained in this Prospectus in connection with the offer of Fund Shares, and, if given or made, the information or representations must not be relied upon as having been authorized by the Trust or the Funds. Neither the delivery of this Prospectus nor any sale of Fund Shares shall under any circumstance imply that the information contained herein is correct as of any date after the date of this Prospectus.
Dealers effecting transactions in Fund Shares, whether or not participating in this distribution, are generally required to deliver a Prospectus. This is in addition to any obligation of dealers to deliver a Prospectus when acting as underwriters.
SPDRSELFSTATPRO The Trust's Investment Company Act Number is 811-08839.