Guggenheim Funds Trust
Guggenheim Funds Trust
Statement of Additional Information
January 31, 2023, as supplemented May 26, 2023
RELATING TO THE PROSPECTUSES DATED January 31, 2023, AS MAY BE SUPPLEMENTED FROM TIME TO TIME 
This Statement of Additional Information provides information relating to the following series of Guggenheim Funds Trust (each, a “Fund” and, collectively, the “Funds”) and the respective classes thereof:
Fund
Class A
Class C
Institutional
Class
Class P
Class R6
Guggenheim Alpha Opportunity Fund
SAOAX
SAOCX
SAOIX
SAOSX
SAORX*
Guggenheim Diversified Income Fund
GUDAX
GUDCX
GUDIX
GUDPX
GUDRX*
Guggenheim Floating Rate Strategies Fund
GIFAX
GIFCX
GIFIX
GIFPX
GIFSX
Guggenheim High Yield Fund
SIHAX
SIHSX
SHYIX
SIHPX
SHYSX
Guggenheim Core Bond Fund
SIUSX
SDICX
GIUSX
SIUPX
GICRX*
Guggenheim Large Cap Value Fund
SECIX
SEGIX
GILCX
SEGPX
GILRX*
Guggenheim Limited Duration Fund
GILDX
GILFX
GILHX
GILPX
GIKRX
Guggenheim Macro Opportunities Fund
GIOAX
GIOCX
GIOIX
GIOPX
GIOSX
Guggenheim Market Neutral Real Estate Fund
GUMAX
GUMCX
GUMNX
GUMPX
GUMRX*
Guggenheim Municipal Income Fund
GIJAX
GIJCX
GIJIX
GIJPX
GIJRX*
Guggenheim Risk Managed Real Estate Fund
GURAX
GURCX
GURIX
GURPX
GURRX*
Guggenheim Small Cap Value Fund
SSUAX
SSVCX
SSUIX
SSUPX
SSURX*
Guggenheim SMid Cap Value Fund
SEVAX
SEVSX
SVUIX
SEVPX
SVURX*
Guggenheim StylePlus—Large Core Fund
SECEX
SFECX
GILIX
SFEPX
GIQRX*
Guggenheim StylePlus—Mid Growth Fund
SECUX
SUFCX
GIUIX
SEUPX
GIURX*
Guggenheim Total Return Bond Fund
GIBAX
GIBCX
GIBIX
GIBLX
GIBRX
Guggenheim Ultra Short Duration Fund
GIYAX
GIYIX
GIYPX*
GIYRX*
Guggenheim World Equity Income Fund
SEQAX
SFGCX
SEWIX
SEQPX
SEWRX*
*This share class of the Fund is not currently offered for sale.
This Statement of Additional Information is not a prospectus. This Statement of Additional Information relates to the Funds’ prospectuses dated January 31, 2023, as may be supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectuses”), and should be read in conjunction with the Prospectuses. The audited financial statements for each Fund's fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, and the related report of Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, contained in the annual report for each Fund, are incorporated herein by reference.
The Prospectuses (and the Funds’ annual and semi-annual reports) may be obtained without charge by writing Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC, 702 King Farm Boulevard, Suite 200, Rockville, Maryland 20850, by calling 301.296.5100 or 800.820.0888 or by visiting www.guggenheiminvestments.com/services/prospectuses-and-reports.
As described herein, the investment manager to each Fund is Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC, 100 Wilshire Boulevard, 5th Floor, Santa Monica, California 90401 or Security Investors, LLC, 702 King Farm Boulevard, Suite 200, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

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General Information
Guggenheim Funds Trust (the “Trust”), which was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on November 8, 2013, is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as an investment company. The Trust is an open-end management investment company that, upon the demand of a shareholder, must redeem its shares and pay the shareholder the next calculated net asset value (“NAV”) thereof in accordance with the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”) (See “How to Redeem Shares”). This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) relates to the series of the Trust set forth on the cover hereto (each, a “Fund” and, collectively, the “Funds”). Each Fund, other than Guggenheim Diversified Income Fund, Guggenheim Limited Duration Fund, Guggenheim Market Neutral Real Estate Fund, Guggenheim Risk Managed Real Estate Fund and Guggenheim Ultra Short Duration Fund was previously a series (the “Predecessor Funds”) of Security Equity Fund, Security Income Fund, Security Large Cap Value Fund or Security Mid Cap Growth Fund (the “Predecessor Corporations”), different registered open-end investment companies, which were organized as Kansas corporations. In January 2014, at special meetings of shareholders, the shareholders of each Predecessor Fund approved the reorganization of each Predecessor Fund with and into a corresponding “shell” series of the Trust. The shell series of the Trust succeeded to the accounting and performance histories of the Predecessor Funds. Any such historical information provided for a series of the Trust that relates to periods prior to January 28, 2014 (and September 24, 2014 for Guggenheim Alpha Opportunity Fund), therefore, is that of the corresponding Predecessor Fund.
On November 30, 2018, Guggenheim Strategy Fund I (the "Ultra Short Predecessor Fund"), previously a series of Guggenheim Strategy Funds Trust, reorganized with and into the Guggenheim Ultra Short Duration Fund, which is the performance successor of the reorganization and has adopted (through a "shell" reorganization) the Ultra Short Predecessor Fund's performance, financial and other historical information. Any such historical information provided for the Guggenheim Ultra Short Duration Fund prior to November 30, 2018 is that of the Ultra Short Predecessor Fund.
On November 11, 2019, the name of Guggenheim Mid Cap Value Fund changed to "Guggenheim SMid Cap Value Fund."
On January 3, 2020, the Guggenheim SMid Cap Value Institutional Fund (formerly, the Guggenheim Mid Cap Value Institutional Fund) (the “SMid Cap Predecessor Fund”) reorganized with and into Institutional Class shares of the Guggenheim SMid Cap Value Fund. The Guggenheim SMid Cap Value Fund has adopted the SMid Cap Predecessor Fund's performance history with respect to its Institutional Class shares. Any such information provided for the Institutional Class shares of the Guggenheim SMid Cap Value Fund prior to January 3, 2020 is that of the SMid Cap Predecessor Fund.
On April 23, 2021, the name of Guggenheim Investment Grade Bond Fund changed to "Guggenheim Core Bond Fund."
The fiscal year end for the Trust (and each Fund) is September 30 of each year.
Each of the Funds has its own investment objective and policies.
Security Investors, LLC (“Security Investors”) is the investment manager to Guggenheim Alpha Opportunity Fund (“Alpha Opportunity Fund”), Guggenheim Large Cap Value Fund (“Large Cap Value Fund”), Guggenheim Small Cap Value Fund (“Small Cap Value Fund”), Guggenheim SMid Cap Value Fund (“SMid Cap Value Fund”), Guggenheim StylePlus—Large Core Fund (“StylePlus—Large Core Fund”), Guggenheim StylePlus—Mid Growth Fund (“StylePlus—Mid Growth Fund”) and Guggenheim World Equity Income Fund (“World Equity Income Fund”). These Funds, with Guggenheim Risk Managed Real Estate Fund (“Risk Managed Real Estate Fund”), are referred to as the “Guggenheim Equity Funds.” Security Investors is also the investment manager to Guggenheim High Yield Fund (“High Yield Fund”), Guggenheim Core Bond Fund (“Core Bond Fund”) and Guggenheim Municipal Income Fund (“Municipal Income Fund”).
Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC (“GPIM”) is the investment manager to Risk Managed Real Estate Fund. GPIM is also the investment manager to Guggenheim Diversified Income Fund (“Diversified Income Fund”), Guggenheim Floating Rate Strategies Fund (“Floating Rate Strategies Fund”), Guggenheim Limited Duration Fund (“Limited Duration Fund"), Guggenheim Macro Opportunities Fund (“Macro Opportunities Fund”), Guggenheim Market Neutral Real Estate Fund (“Market Neutral Real Estate Fund”) Guggenheim Total Return Bond Fund (“Total
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Return Bond Fund”) and Guggenheim Ultra Short Duration Fund ("Ultra Short Duration Fund"). These Funds, collectively with the High Yield Fund, Core Bond Fund and Municipal Income Fund, are referred to as the “Guggenheim Fixed-Income Funds.”
GPIM is the sub-adviser to the Municipal Income Fund.
Security Investors and GPIM are also each referred to as the “Investment Manager” and, together, as the “Investment Managers.” Security Investors has engaged GPIM to provide investment sub-advisory services to Municipal Income Fund. As further described below, GPIM supervises and directs the investments of the Municipal Income Fund in accordance with the Fund’s investment objectives, policies, and restrictions.
GPIM, in its capacity as sub-adviser to the Municipal Income Fund, is referred to as the “Sub-Adviser” as the context may require and references to Investment Manager below may also be considered to refer to the Sub-Adviser in certain cases.
Although there is no present intention to do so, the investment objective and policies of each Fund, unless otherwise noted, may be changed by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the “Board”) without the approval of shareholders. Each of the Funds is also required to operate within limitations imposed by its fundamental investment policies, which may not be changed without shareholder approval. These limitations are set forth under “Investment Restrictions.” Each Fund is classified as “diversified company” within the meaning of the 1940 Act. An investment in one of the Funds does not constitute a complete investment program.
As disclosed in the Funds’ prospectuses, as may be supplemented from time to time (“Prospectuses”), investors should note that each Fund reserves the right to discontinue offering shares at any time, to merge or reorganize itself or a class of shares, or to cease operations and liquidate at any time. In the event the Board determines to liquidate a Fund, shareholders may be subject to adverse tax consequences. A shareholder would not be entitled to any refund or reimbursement of expenses incurred, directly or indirectly, by the shareholder (such as sales charges, if any, or fees and expenses) as a result of its investment in the Fund. In addition, the shareholder may receive a liquidating amount that is less than the shareholder’s original investment.
Investment Methods and Risk Factors
Each Fund’s principal investment strategies and the summaries of risks associated with the same are described in the “Fund Summaries” and “Descriptions of Principal Risks” sections of the relevant Prospectuses. The following discussion provides additional information about those principal investment strategies and related risks, as well as information about other investment strategies that a Fund may utilize and related risks that may apply to a Fund, even though they are not considered to be “principal” investment strategies of the Fund. Accordingly, an investment strategy and related risk that is described below, but which is not described in a Fund’s Summary Prospectus, should not be considered to be a principal investment strategy or principal risk applicable to that Fund.
Some of the risk factors related to certain securities, instruments and techniques that may be used by the Funds are described in the “Fund Summaries” and “Descriptions of Principal Risks” sections of the Prospectuses and in this SAI. The following is a description of certain additional risk factors related to various securities, instruments and techniques. Also included is a general description of some of the investment instruments, techniques and methods that may be used by one or more of the Funds. Although the Funds may employ the techniques, instruments and methods described below, consistent with its investment objective and policies and any applicable law, a Fund is not required to do so. The Diversified Income Fund may indirectly engage in or be exposed to certain of the techniques, instruments and methods described below and the associated risks through its investment in investment vehicles, including those advised by the Investment Manager or its affiliates, which may vary significantly from time to time.
Investors should be aware that economies and financial markets have recently experienced increased uncertainty and volatility because of, among other factors, geopolitical tensions, labor and public health conditions around the world, inflation and changing interest rates. To the extent these or similar conditions continue or occur in the future, the risks below could be heightened significantly compared to normal conditions and therefore a Fund's investments and a shareholder’s investment in a Fund may be particularly subject to reduced yield and/or income and to sudden and substantial losses.
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Investment objectives and policies of each Fund are described in the Prospectus. Below are additional details about the investment policies of certain Funds. There are risks inherent in the ownership of any security, and there can be no assurance that a Fund's investment objective(s) will be achieved. The objective(s) and policies of each Fund, except those enumerated under “Investment Restrictions—Fundamental Policies,” may be modified at any time without shareholder approval.
The investment methods and risk factors are presented below in alphabetical order and not in the order of importance or potential exposure.
General Risk Factors—The NAV per share of each Fund is expected to fluctuate, reflecting fluctuations in the market value of its portfolio positions. The Funds are subject to the risks associated with financial, economic and other global market developments and disruptions, including those arising out of geopolitical events and risks, public health emergencies (such as pandemics and epidemics), natural/environmental disasters, cyber attacks, terrorism, and governmental or quasi-governmental actions. Such events may result in, among other things, travel restrictions, closing of borders, exchange closures, health screenings, healthcare service delays, quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, lower consumer demand, market volatility and general uncertainty. These events may adversely affect the value of a Fund’s investments, which are particularly sensitive to these types of market risks given increased globalization and interconnectedness of markets, and the ability of an Investment Manager to execute investment decisions for a Fund (and thus, liquidity may be affected). Such events could adversely impact issuers, markets and economies over the short- and long-term, including in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. In addition, a Fund and its investments may be adversely impacted by volatility and other developments associated with market trading activity and investor interest, including those driven by factors unrelated to financial performance or market conditions. The value of investments, particularly short positions or exposures, may fluctuate dramatically in these circumstances. Also, changes in inflation rates may adversely affect market and economic conditions, a Fund’s investments and an investment in the Fund. Government efforts to support the economy and financial markets may increase the risk that asset prices have a higher degree of correlation than historically seen across markets and asset classes. In addition, uncertainty regarding the status of negotiations in the U.S. government to increase the statutory debt ceiling, which may occur from time to time, could result in increased volatility in both stock and bond markets and various adverse market and economic developments. There is no assurance that a Fund will achieve its investment objective.
American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”)—A Fund may purchase ADRs. ADRs are dollar-denominated receipts issued generally by U.S. banks and which represent the deposit with the bank of a foreign company’s securities. ADRs are publicly traded on exchanges or over-the-counter (“OTC”) in the United States. Investors should consider carefully the substantial risks involved in investing in securities issued by companies of foreign nations, which are in addition to the usual risks inherent in domestic investments. See “Foreign Investment Risks,” below. ADRs, European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) and Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”) or other securities convertible into securities of issuers based in foreign countries are not necessarily denominated in the same currency as the securities into which they may be converted. In general, ADRs, in registered form, are denominated in U.S. dollars and are designed for use in the U.S. securities markets, while EDRs (also referred to as Continental Depositary Receipts (“CDRs”)), in bearer form, may be denominated in other currencies and are designed for use in European securities markets. ADRs are receipts typically issued by a U.S. bank or trust company evidencing ownership of the underlying securities. EDRs are European receipts evidencing a similar arrangement. GDRs are global receipts evidencing a similar arrangement. For purposes of the Funds’ investment policies, ADRs, EDRs and GDRs usually are deemed to have the same classification as the underlying securities they represent. Thus, an ADR, EDR or GDR representing ownership of common stock will be treated as common stock.
Depositary receipts are issued through “sponsored” or “unsponsored” facilities. A sponsored facility is established jointly by the issuer of the underlying security and a depositary, whereas a depositary may establish an unsponsored facility without participation by the issuer of the deposited security. Holders of unsponsored depositary receipts generally bear all the cost of such facilities, and the depositary of an unsponsored facility frequently is under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications received from the issuer of the deposited security or to pass through voting rights to the holders of such receipts in respect of the deposited securities.
Asset-Backed Securities—A Fund may also invest in any level of the capital structure of “asset-backed securities,” which are securities that represent an interest in a pool of assets. These include secured debt instruments collateralized by automobile loans, credit card loans, home equity loans, manufactured housing loans, syndicated bank loans, and other types of debt providing the source of both principal and interest. On occasion, the pool of assets may also include a swap obligation, which is used to change the cash flows on the underlying assets. As an
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example, a swap may be used to allow floating rate assets to back a fixed rate obligation. The credit quality of an asset-backed security depends primarily on the quality of the underlying assets, the level of credit support, if any, provided by the issuer, and the credit quality of the swap counterparty, if any. Asset-backed securities ("ABS") are subject to risks similar to those discussed below with respect to mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”). Some of the loans or other similar debt obligations to which a Fund may obtain exposure through its investments in asset-backed securities or other types of structured products may lack financial maintenance covenants or possess fewer or contingent financial maintenance covenants or other financial protections than certain other types of loans or other similar debt obligations. These investments subject the Fund to the risks of “Covenant-Lite Obligations” discussed below.
Automobile Receivable Securities. Asset-backed securities may be backed by receivables from motor vehicle installment sales contracts or installment loans secured by motor vehicles (“Automobile Receivable Securities”). Since installment sales contracts for motor vehicles or installment loans related thereto (“Automobile Contracts”) typically have shorter durations and lower incidences of prepayment, Automobile Receivable Securities generally will exhibit a shorter average life and are less susceptible to prepayment risk. Delinquencies and losses on sub-prime and non-prime automobile loans have increased in recent years and, as a result, issuers of ABS backed by such loans may be adversely affected in their ability to continue to make principal and interest payments.
Most entities that issue Automobile Receivable Securities create an enforceable interest in their respective Automobile Contracts only by filing a financing statement and by having the servicer of the Automobile Contracts, which is usually the originator of the Automobile Contracts, take custody thereof. In such circumstances, if the servicer of the Automobile Contracts were to sell the same Automobile Contracts to another party, in violation of its obligation not to do so, there is a risk that such party could acquire an interest in the Automobile Contracts superior to that of the holders of Automobile Receivable Securities. Although most Automobile Contracts grant a security interest in the motor vehicle being financed, in most states the security interest in a motor vehicle must be noted on the certificate of title to create an enforceable security interest against competing claims of other parties. Due to the large number of vehicles involved, however, the certificate of title to each vehicle financed, pursuant to the Automobile Contracts underlying the Automobile Receivable Security, usually is not amended to reflect the assignment of the seller’s security interest for the benefit of the holders of the Automobile Receivable Securities. Therefore, there is the possibility that recoveries on repossessed collateral may not, in some cases, be available to support payments on the securities. In addition, various state and federal securities laws give the motor vehicle owner the right to assert against the holder of the owner’s Automobile Contract certain defenses such owner would have against the seller of the motor vehicle. The assertion of such defenses could reduce payments on the Automobile Receivable Securities.
Credit Card Receivable Securities. Asset-backed securities may be backed by receivables from revolving credit card agreements (“Credit Card Receivable Securities”). Credit balances on revolving credit card agreements (“Accounts”) are generally paid down more rapidly than are Automobile Contracts. Most of the Credit Card Receivable Securities issued publicly to date have been pass-through certificates. In order to lengthen the maturity of Credit Card Receivable Securities, most such securities provide for a fixed period during which only interest payments on the underlying Accounts are passed through to the security holder, and principal payments received on such Accounts are used to fund the transfer to the pool of assets supporting the related Credit Card Receivable Securities of additional credit card charges made on an Account. The initial fixed period usually may be shortened upon the occurrence of specified events which signal a potential deterioration in the quality of the assets backing the security, such as the imposition of a cap on interest rates. The ability of the issuer to extend the life of an issue of Credit Card Receivable Securities thus depends upon the continued generation of additional principal amounts in the underlying accounts during the initial period and the non-occurrence of specified events. An acceleration in cardholders’ payment rates or any other event that shortens the period during which additional credit card charges on an Account may be transferred to the pool of assets supporting the related Credit Card Receivable Security could shorten the weighted average life and yield of the Credit Card Receivable Security.
Credit cardholders are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such holders the right to set off certain amounts against balances owed on the credit card, thereby reducing amounts paid on Accounts. In addition, unlike most other Asset-backed securities, Accounts are unsecured obligations of the cardholder.
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Methods of Allocating Cash Flows. While many asset-backed securities are issued with only one class of security, many asset-backed securities are issued in more than one class, each with different payment terms. Multiple class asset-backed securities are issued for two main reasons. First, multiple classes may be used as a method of providing credit support. This is accomplished typically through creation of one or more classes whose right to payments on the asset-backed security is made subordinate to the right to such payments of the remaining class or classes (See “Types of Credit Support”). Second, multiple classes may permit the issuance of securities with payment terms, interest rates or other characteristics differing both from those of each other and from those of the underlying assets. Examples include so-called “strips” (asset-backed securities entitling the holder to disproportionate interests with respect to the allocation of interest and principal of the assets backing the security) and securities with a class or classes having characteristics which mimic the characteristics of non-asset-backed securities, such as floating interest rates (i.e., interest rates which adjust as a specified benchmark changes) or scheduled amortization of principal.
Asset-backed securities in which the payment streams on the underlying assets are allocated in a manner different than those described above may be issued in the future. A Fund may invest in such asset-backed securities if such investment is otherwise consistent with its investment objectives and policies and with the investment restrictions of the Fund.
Types of Credit Support. Asset-backed securities are often backed by a pool of assets representing the obligations of a number of different parties. To lessen the effect of failures by obligors on underlying assets to make payments, such securities may contain elements of credit support. Such credit support falls into two classes: liquidity protection and protection against ultimate default by an obligor on the underlying assets. Liquidity protection refers to the provision of advances, generally by the entity administering the pool of assets, to ensure that scheduled payments on the underlying pool are made in a timely fashion. Protection against ultimate default ensures ultimate payment of the obligations on at least a portion of the assets in the pool. Such protection may be provided through guarantees, insurance policies or letters of credit obtained from third parties, through various means of structuring the transaction or through a combination of such approaches. Examples of asset-backed securities with credit support arising out of the structure of the transaction include “senior-subordinated securities” (multiple class asset-backed securities with certain classes subordinate to other classes as to the payment of principal thereon, with the result that defaults on the underlying assets are borne first by the holders of the subordinated class) and asset-backed securities that have “reserve portfolios” (where cash or investments, sometimes funded from a portion of the initial payments on the underlying assets, are held in reserve against future losses) or that have been “over collateralized” (where the scheduled payments on, or the principal amount of, the underlying assets substantially exceeds that required to make payment of the asset-backed securities and pay any servicing or other fees). The degree of credit support provided on each issue is based generally on historical information respecting the level of credit risk associated with such payments. Delinquency or loss in excess of that anticipated could adversely affect the return on an investment in an asset-backed security. Additionally, if the letter of credit is exhausted, holders of asset-backed securities may also experience delays in payments or losses if the full amounts due on underlying sales contracts are not realized. There can be no assurance that credit support of any kind will be successful in lessening the effect of failures by obligors on underlying assets to make payments or be available upon the occurrence of events adversely affecting the obligor's financial condition.
Borrowing—A Fund may borrow money from banks as a temporary measure for emergency purposes, to facilitate redemption requests, or for other purposes consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and program. For example, it may be advantageous for a Fund to borrow money rather than sell existing portfolio positions to meet redemption requests. As recognized by the SEC, a line of credit can enhance a Fund’s ability to manage liquidity risk and to meet shareholder redemption requests.
Accordingly, a Fund may borrow from banks and may borrow through reverse repurchase agreements, derivatives, unfunded commitments and “roll” transactions in connection with meeting requests for the redemption of Fund shares. To the extent that a Fund purchases securities while it has outstanding borrowings, it is using leverage, i.e., using borrowed funds for investment. Leveraging will exaggerate the effect on NAV of any increase or decrease in the market value of a Fund’s portfolio. Money borrowed for leveraging will be subject to interest costs that may or may not be recovered by any interest or appreciation earned on the securities purchased; in certain cases, interest costs may exceed the return received on the securities purchased. When market conditions are deemed appropriate, a Fund may use leveraging as part of its investment strategy to the full extent permitted by its investment policies and restrictions and applicable law. Under the 1940 Act, a Fund is required to maintain continuous asset coverage of
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300% with respect to borrowing and to sell (within three days) sufficient portfolio holdings or restore such coverage if it should decline to less than 300% due to market fluctuations or otherwise, even if such liquidations of the Fund’s holdings may be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint. A Fund also may be required to maintain minimum average balances in connection with such borrowing or to pay a commitment or other fee to maintain a line of credit; either of these requirements would increase the cost of borrowing over the stated interest rate. The Funds’ policy on borrowing is not intended to limit the ability to pledge assets to secure loans as may be permitted under the Funds’ policies.
The Funds have established a line of credit with certain banks from which they may borrow funds for temporary or emergency purposes. The Funds may use lines of credit to meet large or unexpected redemptions that would otherwise force the Funds to liquidate securities under circumstances which are unfavorable to the Funds’ remaining shareholders. The Funds may be required to pay fees to the banks to maintain the lines of credit, which increases the cost of borrowing over the stated interest rate. If a Fund accesses its line of credit, the Fund would bear the cost of the borrowing through interest expenses and other expenses (e.g., commitment fees) that adversely affect the Fund's performance. In some cases, such expenses and the resulting adverse effect on the Fund's performance can be significant. Moreover, if a Fund accesses its line of credit to meet shareholder redemption requests, the Fund's remaining shareholders would bear such costs of borrowing. Borrowing expenses are excluded from any applicable fee waivers or expense limitation agreements.
Certificates of Deposit and Bankers’ Acceptances—Certificates of deposit are receipts issued by a depository institution in exchange for the deposit of funds. The issuer agrees to pay the amount deposited plus interest to the bearer of the receipt on the date specified on the certificate. The certificate usually can be traded in the secondary market prior to maturity. Bankers’ acceptances typically arise from short-term credit arrangements designed to enable businesses to obtain funds to finance commercial transactions. Generally, an acceptance is a time draft drawn on a bank by an exporter or an importer to obtain a stated amount of funds to pay for specific merchandise. The draft is then “accepted” by a bank that, in effect, unconditionally guarantees to pay the face value of the instrument on its maturity date. The acceptance may then be held by the accepting bank as an earning asset or it may be sold in the secondary market at the going rate of discount for a specific maturity. Although maturities for acceptances can be as long as 270 days, most acceptances have maturities of six months or less.
Collateralized Loan Obligations (“CLOs”) and Collateralized Debt Obligations (“CDOs”)—A CDO is a structured finance security whose underlying collateral is typically a portfolio of bonds, bank loans, commercial real estate, other structured finance securities and/or synthetic instruments. Investors in CDOs bear the credit risk of the underlying securities, as well as the risks associated with the collateral (if any) backing such underlying securities. Multiple classes of securities (“tranches”) are issued by the CDO, offering investors various maturity and credit risk characteristics. Tranches are categorized as senior, mezzanine, and subordinated/equity, according to their degree of risk. If there are defaults or the CDO’s collateral otherwise underperforms, scheduled payments to senior tranches take precedence over those of mezzanine tranches, and scheduled payments to mezzanine tranches take precedence over those to subordinated/equity tranches. CDOs are subject to the same risk of prepayment described with respect to CLOs, certain mortgage-related securities and asset-backed securities. The value of a CDO security may be affected by, among other things, changes in the market’s perception of the credit risk associated with the assets held by the related CDO issuer.
Certain Funds may invest in CLOs, which are another type of asset-backed security. A CLO is a special purpose entity that issues securities collateralized by a pool of primarily commercial loans, including domestic and non-U.S. senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. The loans generate cash flow that is allocated among one or more tranches that vary in risk and yield. The most senior tranche has the best credit quality and the lowest yield compared to the other tranches. The most subordinated tranche (often referred to as the “equity” of the CLO) has the highest potential yield but also has the greatest risk relative to other tranches, as defaults on the underlying loans are borne by first by the most subordinated tranche, thus providing the more senior tranches a cushion from losses. However, despite the cushion from the equity and other more junior tranches, more senior tranches can experience substantial losses due to defaults or other losses on the assets which exceed those of the more junior tranches. Additionally, the market value of CLO securities can decrease because of, among other things, defaults on the CLO’s underlying assets, and market anticipation of defaults or aversion to CLO securities as a class.
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Normally, CLOs are privately offered and sold and are not registered under state or federal securities laws. Therefore, investments in CLOs may be classified as illiquid investments; however, an active dealer market may exist for CLOs allowing a CLO to qualify for transactions pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”). Additionally, CLOs normally charge management fees and administrative expenses, which are in addition to those of the Funds.
The riskiness of investing in CLOs depends largely on the quality and type of the collateral loans and the tranche of the CLO in which a Fund invests. In addition to the normal risks associated with fixed-income securities (such as interest rate risk and credit risk), CLOs carry risks which include, but are not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from the collateral will not be adequate to make interest or other payments; (ii) the underlying assets may experience defaults; (iii) the value or quality of the underlying assets may decline and the CLO may sell such assets at a loss; (iv) the CLO itself may experience an event of default, which could result in an acceleration of debt and liquidation of its assets at a loss; (v) Funds may invest in CLO tranches that are subordinate to other tranches; and (vi) the complex structure of the CLO may not be fully understood at the time of investment or may result in the quality of the underlying collateral not being fully understood and may produce disputes with the parties involved in the transaction and/or unexpected investment results. In addition, interest on certain tranches of a CLO may be paid in-kind (meaning that unpaid interest is effectively added to principal), which involves continued exposure to default risk with respect to such payments. Certain CLO securities may benefit from credit enhancement in the form of a senior-subordinate structure or over-collateralization, but such enhancement may not always be present and may fail to protect the Funds against the risk of loss due to defaults on the collateral or other adverse events. Additionally, certain CLOs may not hold loans directly, but rather, use derivatives such as swaps to create “synthetic” exposure to the collateral pool of loans. Such CLOs entail the risks of derivative instruments.
Collectibles—The Limited Duration Fund, Macro Opportunities Fund and Diversified Income Fund (indirectly) may invest in collectibles, which are rare objects collected by investors. They can include stamps, coins, books, oriental rugs, antiques, sports and other memorabilia, photographs, art and wine. Collectibles are generally expected to rise in value during inflationary periods when investors are trying to move to assets viewed as an inflation hedge. Generally, collectibles can be expected to drop in value during periods of low inflation. Collectible trading for profit is subject to certain risks and other considerations, including that collectibles: (i) have limited buying and selling markets; (ii) are often bought and sold at auction and subject to buyer and/or seller premiums; (iii) experience periods of high and low demand; (iv) must be insured, physically held and properly maintained; (v) may need to have their authenticity and provenance verified from time to time; and (vi) may not have accurate market valuations available. The Limited Duration Fund and Macro Opportunities Fund do not currently intend to invest more than 5% of their total assets in collectibles and would only do so in conformity with applicable laws and after consideration of tax consequences.
Commercial Paper—Each Fund may invest in commercial paper. A Fund may invest in fixed rate or variable rate commercial paper, issued by U.S. or foreign entities. Commercial paper consists of short-term (usually from 1 to 270 days), unsecured promissory notes issued by U.S. or foreign corporations in order to finance their current operations. Any commercial paper issued by a foreign entity corporation and purchased by a Fund must be U.S. dollar-denominated and must not be subject to foreign withholding tax at the time of purchase. Investing in foreign commercial paper generally involves risks relating to obligations of foreign banks or foreign branches and subsidiaries of U.S. and foreign banks. A Fund may also invest in commercial paper collateralized by other financial assets, such as asset-backed commercial paper, which is a type of securitized commercial paper that is often used to finance purchases of assets (such as pools of trade receivables, car loans and leases, and credit card receivables) by special purpose vehicles. Asset-backed commercial paper may be rated by one or more credit rating agencies and some asset-backed commercial paper programs are supported by liquidity or similar back-up facilities. Investment in asset-backed commercial paper is subject to the risk that proceeds from the projected cash flows of the underlying assets are insufficient or unavailable to repay the commercial paper timely or at all. Asset-backed commercial paper is also subject to risks associated with the underlying assets and asset-backed securities generally as well as those associated with commercial paper. A Fund may also invest in variable rate master demand notes. A variable rate master demand note (a type of commercial paper) represents a direct borrowing arrangement involving periodically fluctuating rates of interest under a letter agreement between a commercial paper issuer and an institutional lender pursuant to which the lender may determine to invest varying amounts.
Commodities—The Macro Opportunities Fund may invest in commodities. Commodities are assets that have tangible properties, such as oil, agricultural products and precious metals (such as gold or silver). The value of commodities may be affected by, among other things, changes in overall market movements, commodity index
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volatility, changes in interest rates, or factors affecting a particular industry or commodity, such as drought, floods, weather, livestock disease, global public health pandemics, embargoes, tariffs and international economic, political and regulatory developments. These factors may have a larger impact on commodity prices and commodity-linked instruments than on traditional securities. Certain commodities are also subject to limited pricing flexibility because of supply and demand factors. Others are subject to broad price fluctuations as a result of the volatility of the prices for certain raw materials and the instability of supplies of other materials. These additional variables may create additional risks which subject the Fund’s investments to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities.
In addition, the Fund may purchase or sell (write) put or call options (including those traded OTC) on precious metals (such as gold or silver) and engage in forward contracts on precious metals, which in each case may involve physical delivery of the underlying precious metal. The risks associated with these transactions include the risks of investing in commodities as described above as well as the risks associated with options and forwards described below. In addition, to the extent such options or contracts are settled on a physical basis, the Fund may need to maintain an amount of liquid assets equal to the notional value of the option or contract.
Commodity-Linked Investments Risk—In order to gain exposure to the commodities markets, the Macro Opportunities Fund may invest directly in physical commodities in addition to indirect investments in commodities-linked or related instruments. The performance of commodity-linked notes and related investments may depend on the performance of the overall commodities markets and on other factors that affect the value of commodities noted above. Commodity-linked notes may be leveraged. For example, the price of a three-times leveraged note may change by a magnitude of three for every percentage change (positive or negative) in the value of the underlying index. Commodity-linked investments may be hybrid instruments that can have substantial risk of loss with respect to both principal and interest. Commodity-linked investments may be more volatile and less liquid than the underlying commodity, instruments, or measures, are subject to the credit risks associated with the issuer, and their values may decline substantially if the issuer’s creditworthiness deteriorates. As a result, returns of commodity-linked investments may deviate significantly from the return of the underlying commodity, instruments, or measures. Legal and regulatory changes also can affect the value of these investments. They can also generate tax risks.
Convertible Securities and Warrants—A convertible security is a bond, debenture, note, preferred stock, or other security that entitles the holder to acquire common stock or other equity securities of the same or a different issuer. A convertible security generally entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion, convertible securities have characteristics similar to non-convertible debt or preferred securities, as applicable. Convertible securities rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure and, therefore, generally entail less risk than the corporation’s common stock, although the extent to which such risk is reduced depends in large measure upon the degree to which the convertible security sells above its value as a fixed-income security. Convertible securities are subordinate in rank to any senior debt obligations of the issuer, and, therefore, an issuer’s convertible securities entail more risk than its debt obligations. Convertible securities generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than non-convertible debt securities of similar credit quality because of the potential for capital appreciation. In addition, convertible securities are often lower-rated securities.
Because of the conversion feature, the price of the convertible security will normally fluctuate in some proportion to changes in the price of the underlying asset, and as such is subject to risks relating to the activities of the issuer and/or general market and economic conditions. The income component of a convertible security may tend to cushion the security against declines in the price of the underlying asset. However, the income component of convertible securities causes fluctuations based upon changes in interest rates and the credit quality of the issuer.
Warrants are options to buy a stated number of shares of common stock at a specified price any time during the life of the warrants (generally two or more years).
Covenant-Lite Obligations—Certain Funds invest in or are exposed to loans and other similar debt obligations that are sometimes referred to as “covenant-lite” loans or obligations (“covenant-lite obligations”), which are loans or other similar debt obligations that lack financial maintenance covenants or possess fewer or contingent financial maintenance covenants and other financial protections for lenders and investors. A Fund may also obtain exposure to covenant-lite obligations through investment in securitization vehicles and other structured products. In current market conditions, many new, restructured or reissued loans and similar debt obligations do not feature traditional financial maintenance covenants, which are intended to protect lenders and investors by imposing certain restrictions and other limitations on a borrower’s operations or assets and by providing certain information and consent rights to lenders. Covenant-lite obligations allow borrowers to exercise more flexibility with respect to certain activities that
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may otherwise be limited or prohibited under similar loan obligations that are not covenant-lite. In an investment with a traditional financial maintenance covenant, the borrower is required to meet certain regular, specific financial tests over the term of the investment; in a covenant-lite obligation, the borrower would only be required to satisfy certain financial tests at the time it proposes to take a specific action or engage in a specific transaction (e.g., issuing additional debt, paying a dividend, or making an acquisition) or at a time when another financial criteria has been met (e.g., reduced availability under a revolving credit facility, or asset value falling below a certain percentage of outstanding debt obligations). In addition, in a traditional investment, the borrower is required to provide certain periodic financial reporting that typically includes a detailed calculation of certain financial metrics; in a covenant-lite obligation, certain detailed financial information is only required to be provided when a financial metric is required to be calculated, which may result in more limited access to financial information, difficulty evaluating the borrower’s financial performance over time and delays in exercising rights and remedies in the event of a significant financial decline. In addition, in the event of default, covenant-lite obligations may exhibit diminished recovery values as the lender may not have the opportunity to negotiate with the borrower or take other measures intended to mitigate losses prior to default. Accordingly, a Fund may have fewer rights with respect to covenant-lite obligations, including fewer protections against the possibility of default and fewer remedies, and may experience losses or delays in enforcing its rights on covenant-lite obligations. As a result, investments in or exposure to covenant-lite obligations are generally subject to more risk than investments that contain traditional financial maintenance covenants and financial reporting requirements.
Credit Derivative Transactions—Certain Funds may engage in credit derivative transactions. Credit default derivatives are linked to the price of reference securities or loans after a default by the issuer or borrower, respectively. Market spread derivatives are based on the risk that changes in market factors, such as credit spreads, can cause a decline in the value of a security, loan or index. There are three basic transactional forms for credit derivatives: swaps, options and structured instruments. The use of credit derivatives is a highly specialized activity which involves strategies and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio security transactions.
A Fund may invest in credit default swap transactions and credit-linked notes (described below) for hedging and investment purposes. The “buyer” in a credit default swap contract is obligated to pay the “seller” a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no event of default on an underlying reference obligation has occurred. If an event of default occurs, the seller must pay the buyer the full notional value, or “par value,” of the reference obligation. Credit default swap transactions are either “physical delivery” settled or “cash” settled. Physical delivery entails the actual delivery of the reference asset to the seller in exchange for the payment of the full par value of the reference asset. Cash settled entails a net cash payment from the seller to the buyer based on the difference of the par value of the reference asset and the current value of the reference asset that may, after a default, have lost some, most, or all of its value.
A Fund may be either the buyer or seller in a credit default swap transaction and generally will be a buyer in instances in which the Fund actually owns the underlying debt security and seeks to hedge against the risk of default in that debt security. If a Fund is a buyer and no event of default occurs, the Fund will have made a series of periodic payments (in an amount more or less than the value of the cash flows received on the underlying debt security) and recover nothing of monetary value. However, if an event of default occurs, the Fund (if the buyer) will receive the full notional value of the reference obligation either through a cash payment in exchange for such asset or a cash payment in addition to owning the reference asset. A Fund generally will be a seller when it seeks to take the credit risk of a particular debt security and, as a seller, the Fund receives a fixed rate of income throughout the term of the contract, which typically is between six months and ten years, provided that there is no event of default. If an event of default occurs, the seller must pay the buyer the full notional value of the reference obligation through either physical settlement and/or cash settlement. Credit default swap transactions involve greater risks than if the Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly, including counterparty credit risk and leverage risk.
Cyber Security, Market Disruptions and Operational Risk—Like other funds and other parts of the modern economy, the Funds and their service providers, as well as exchanges and market participants through or with which the Funds trade and other infrastructures, services and parties on which the Funds or their service providers rely, are susceptible to ongoing risks related to cyber incidents and the risks associated with financial, economic, public health, labor and other global market developments and disruptions, including those arising out of geopolitical events, public health emergencies (such as the spread of infectious diseases, pandemics and epidemics), natural/environmental disasters, war, terrorism and governmental or quasi-governmental actions. Cyber incidents can result from unintentional events (such as an inadvertent release of confidential information) or deliberate attacks by insiders or third parties, including cyber criminals, competitors, nation-states and “hacktivists,” and can be
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perpetrated by a variety of complex means, including the use of stolen access credentials, malware or other computer viruses, ransomware, phishing, structured query language injection attacks, and distributed denial of service attacks, among other means. Cyber incidents and market disruptions may result in actual or potential adverse consequences for critical information and communications technology, systems and networks that are vital to the operations of the Funds or their service providers, or otherwise impair Fund or service provider operations. For example, a cyber incident may cause operational disruptions and failures impacting information systems or information that a system processes, stores, or transmits, such as by theft, damage or destruction, or corruption or modification of and denial of access to data maintained online or digitally, denial of service on websites rendering the websites unavailable to intended users or not accessible for such users in a timely manner, and the unauthorized release or other exploitation of confidential information.
A cyber or other operational incident could adversely impact a Fund and its shareholders by, among other things, interfering with the processing of shareholder transactions or other operational functionality of the Fund, its service providers or those of shareholders, impacting a Fund’s ability to calculate its NAV or other data, causing the release of private shareholder information (i.e., identity theft or other privacy breaches) or confidential Fund information or otherwise compromising the security and reliability of information, impeding trading, causing reputational damage, and subjecting a Fund to regulatory fines, penalties or financial losses, reimbursement or other compensation or remediation costs, litigation expenses and additional compliance and cyber security risk management costs, which may be substantial. A cyber incident could also adversely affect the ability of a Fund (and its Investment Manager) to invest or manage the Fund’s assets.
Cyber incidents and developments and disruptions to financial, economic, public health, labor and other global market conditions can obstruct the regular functioning of business workforces (including requiring employees to work from external locations or from their homes), cause business slowdowns or temporary suspensions of business activities, each of which can negatively impact Fund service providers and Fund operations. Although the Funds and their service providers, as well as exchanges and market participants through or with which the Funds trade and other infrastructures on which the Funds or their service providers rely, may have established business continuity plans and systems reasonably designed to protect from and/or defend against the risks or adverse consequences associated with cyber incidents and market disruptions, there are inherent limitations in these plans and systems, including that certain risks may not yet be identified, in large part because different or unknown threats may emerge in the future and the threats continue to rapidly evolve and increase in sophistication. As a result, it is not possible to anticipate and prevent every cyber incident and possible obstruction to the normal activities of these entities’ employees resulting from market disruptions and attempts to mitigate the occurrence or impact of such events may be unsuccessful. For example, public health emergencies and governmental responses to such emergencies, including through quarantine measures and travel restrictions, can create difficulties in carrying out the normal working processes of these entities’ employees, disrupt their operations and hamper their capabilities. The nature, extent, and potential magnitude of the adverse consequences of these events cannot be predicted accurately but may result in significant risks, adverse consequences and costs to the Funds and their shareholders.
The issuers of securities in which a Fund invests are also subject to the ongoing risks and threats associated with cyber incidents and market disruptions. These incidents could result in adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause the Fund’s investment in such securities to lose value. For example, a cyber incident involving an issuer may include the theft, destruction or misappropriation of financial assets, intellectual property or other sensitive information belonging to the issuer or their customers (i.e., identity theft or other privacy breaches) and a market disruption involving an issuer may include materially reduced consumer demand and output, disrupted supply chains, market closures, travel restrictions and quarantines. As a result, the issuer may experience the types of adverse consequences summarized above, among others (such as loss of revenue), despite having implemented preventative and other measures reasonably designed to protect from and/or defend against the risks or adverse effects associated with cyber incidents and market disruptions.
The Funds and their service providers, as well as exchanges and market participants through or with which the Funds or shareholders trade or invest and other infrastructures on which the Funds or their service providers rely, are also subject to the risks associated with technological and operational disruptions or failures arising from, for example, processing errors and human errors, inadequate or failed internal or external processes, failures in systems and technology, errors in algorithms used with respect to the Funds, changes in personnel, and errors
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caused by third parties or trading counterparties. Although the Funds attempt to minimize such failures through controls and oversight, it is not possible to identify all of the operational risks that may affect a Fund or to develop processes and controls that completely eliminate or mitigate the occurrence of such failures or other disruptions in service.
Cyber incidents, market disruptions and operational errors or failures or other technological issues may adversely affect a Fund’s ability to calculate its NAV correctly, in a timely manner or process trades or Fund or shareholder transactions, including over a potentially extended period. The Funds do not control the cyber security, disaster recovery, or other operational defense plans or systems of its service providers, intermediaries, companies in which it invests or other third-parties. The value of an investment in Fund shares may be adversely affected by the occurrence of the cyber incidents, market disruptions and operational errors or failures or technological issues summarized above or other similar events and the Funds and their shareholders may bear costs tied to these risks. In addition, work-from-home arrangements by the Funds or an Investment Manager (or their service providers) could increase all of the above risks, create additional data and information accessibility concerns, and make the Funds or an Investment Manager (or their service providers) susceptible to operational disruptions, any of which could adversely impact their operations. Furthermore, the Funds may be appealing targets for cybersecurity threats such as hackers and malware.
Debt Obligations—Yields on short, intermediate, and long-term securities are dependent on a variety of factors, including the general conditions of the money and bond markets, the size of a particular offering, the maturity of the obligation, and the rating of the issue. Debt securities with longer maturities tend to produce higher yields and are generally subject to potentially greater capital appreciation and depreciation than obligations with shorter maturities and lower yields. The market prices of debt securities usually vary, depending upon available yields. An increase in interest rates will generally reduce the value of portfolio investments, and a decline in interest rates will generally increase the value of portfolio investments. The ability of a Fund to achieve its investment objectives is also dependent on the continuing ability of the issuers of the debt securities in which the Fund invests to meet their obligations for the payment of interest and principal when due. Each Fund may invest in debt obligations with different priority of payment, such as senior (or preferred) and subordinated debt obligations, consistent with the Fund’s investment objectives. Despite the protection from subordinated debt obligations, senior debt obligations can experience losses due to actual defaults, increased sensitivity to defaults due to collateral default and disappearance of more subordinate debt obligations, and market anticipation of defaults. Additionally, senior debt obligations are also subject to the risk that a court could subordinate a senior debt obligation or take other action detrimental to the holders of senior debt obligations.
Environmental, Social and GovernanceThe Investment Managers believe that Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) criteria can meaningfully influence investment outcomes, and that careful analysis of ESG criteria is an important component in evaluating the risks associated with some of their investment strategies, and notably the Funds’ actively managed fixed income strategies. For this reason, the consideration of ESG criteria is an important component of the Investment Managers’ investment philosophy and process for these Funds. Evaluating ESG criteria may lead to actions, including steering capital away from or towards companies in consideration of their ESG characteristics. Consideration of ESG criteria could also include strategically seeking investment opportunities that generate long-term value, are sustainable in nature, or advance innovative solutions to achieve positive, scalable change for society and the environment. However, the Investment Managers also acknowledge that ESG criteria deserve careful ongoing consideration and evaluation, and as such the Investment Managers are committed to the further development of ESG criteria as well as the process and implementation of these criteria. Over time, the Investment Managers expect that they will be increasingly positioned to fully integrate, these elements into their investment policies for the Funds’ actively managed fixed income strategies.
The development of these standards is evolving over time and requires consideration on how best to evaluate the consequences of the deployed capital to support not just the implementation of robust ESG standards but also to support, encourage, and assist with the transition to a more responsible outcome by those benefiting from capital investment.
In situations where the Investment Managers believe that ESG criteria may have a material impact on an investment’s return or issuer’s financial performance, within certain of the fixed income strategies and across certain asset classes that it invests in on behalf of a Fund as its ESG criteria develops, it will seek to weigh these criteria alongside traditional factors in making investment decisions. ESG risk is treated in the Investment Managers’ process like other risks (e.g., financial, covenant, interest rate, and liquidity) in that it allows the Investment Managers to more
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comprehensively assess the credit quality of a given investment and weigh this against its return potential and long-term impact. However, for various reasons, including but not limited to: (i) availability and quality of information on an issuer; (ii) accelerated timeframe to make an investment decision; (iii) an internal recommendation against an investment opportunity for compelling reasons unrelated to ESG considerations; or (iv) where ESG criteria may not have a material impact on an investment’s return or an issuer’s financial performance, a review of ESG criteria will not be performed for some investments or issuers and ESG criteria will not be considered for such issuers and investments. Such investments may still be acquired by the Investment Managers for a Fund.
The Investment Managers will seek to manage assets in a way that avoids mechanistic responses to individual ESG criteria in favor of more balanced assessments incorporating the full fundamental picture and relative value considerations. Accordingly, ESG criteria and risks will not be treated as more significant or determinative than other investment risks. As part of the ESG integration process, certain fixed income research teams will document the evaluation of ESG criteria with respect to a prospective investment through assignment of an ESG rating, which will be largely based on a third-party vendor’s ESG rating, when available and unless a review of ESG criteria is not performed as discussed in the immediately preceding paragraph. In some circumstances applicable regulations can cause the Investment Managers to restrict specific investments based on particular ESG criteria. In certain circumstances in the future, the Investment Managers may implement restrictions or prohibitions on investments within certain industries which could be based on particular ESG criteria or other relevant factors. Those restrictions or prohibitions will be subject to change over time. As a result, the Funds may be limited as to available investments, which could hinder performance when compared to investments with no such restrictions.
GPIM is a signatory to the United Nations backed Principles for Responsible Investment (“PRI”). The six PRI, are a voluntary and aspirational set of investment principles that offer a menu of possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practice. The PRI were developed by an international group of institutional investors reflecting the increasing relevance of ESG issues to investment practices. In becoming a signatory to the PRI, GPIM seeks to adopt and implement the six principles, where consistent with its fiduciary duties to its clients. The PRI do not require the application of any specific ESG criteria or risk factors and neither the PRI or GPIM’s ESG policies require the exclusion of a particular industry, issuer or asset type. However, the application of the PRI or GPIM’s ESG policies may result in the exclusion of certain industries, issuers or asset types, which could have an adverse effect on performance.
Notwithstanding the above, the ability for the Investment Managers to identify and evaluate ESG criteria and risks is limited to the availability and quality of information on an asset or issuer. The assessments of such ESG criteria are also subjective by nature and subject to change. The Investment Managers have changed over time and may in the future change without notice their ESG assessment of an asset or issuer or the type of information that the Investment Managers use. There is no guarantee that the ESG criteria utilized, or judgment exercised, by the Investment Managers will reflect the beliefs or values of any one particular investor or other constituent; nor, will it necessarily result in enhanced performance of any asset or any portfolio. In many cases, the Investment Managers may use data and insights from third-party research to provide additional input in the analysis of ESG-related criteria within a Fund’s portfolio holdings and the broader market. Third-party research and ratings are considered as a significant, and in some cases the primary, input within the ESG due diligence process, when available. However, third-party research is not determinative of ESG rating or investment decisions. Third-party information and data may be incomplete, inaccurate or unavailable. As a result, there is a risk that the Investment Managers could incorrectly assess the ESG criteria or risks associated with a particular asset or issuer. The application of ESG criteria and risk factors to portfolio investments (if any) could result in one or more assets or issuers being excluded from the Funds’ portfolios, which could have an adverse effect on the performance of the portfolios.
Equity Securities—Equity securities, such as common stock, represent an ownership interest, or the right to acquire an ownership interest, in an issuer and may be obtained through, among other things, an initial public offering (“IPO”). Common stock generally takes the form of shares in a corporation. The value of a company’s stock may fall as a result of factors directly relating to that company, such as decisions made by its management or lower demand for the company’s products or services. A stock’s value also may fall because of factors affecting not just the company, but also companies in the same industry or in a number of different industries, such as increases in production costs. The value of a company’s stock also may be affected by changes in financial markets that are relatively unrelated to the company or its industry, such as changes in interest rates or currency exchange rates. In addition, a company’s stock generally pays dividends only after the company invests in its own business and makes required payments to holders of its bonds, other debt and preferred stock. For this reason, the value of a company’s stock will usually react more strongly than its bonds, other debt and preferred stock to actual or perceived changes in
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the company’s financial condition or prospects. Stocks of smaller companies may be more vulnerable to adverse developments than those of larger companies. Stocks of companies that the portfolio managers believe are fast-growing may trade at a higher multiple of current earnings than other stocks. The value of such stocks may be more sensitive to changes in current or expected earnings than the values of other stocks.
An IPO is a company’s first offering of stock to the public, typically to raise additional capital. A Fund’s investment in securities offered through IPOs may have a magnified performance impact, either positive or negative, on the Fund, particularly if the Fund has a small asset base. Currently, Guggenheim Market Neutral Real Estate Fund, Guggenheim Risk Managed Real Estate Fund, Guggenheim StylePlus—Large Core Fund, Guggenheim StylePlus—Mid Growth Fund and Guggenheim Alpha Opportunity Fund may invest in IPOs from time to time. IPO securities are subject to many of the same risks as investing in companies with smaller market capitalizations. A Fund’s investments in IPOs may make it subject to more erratic price movements, greater risk of loss, lack of information about the issuer, limited operating and little public or no trading history, and higher transaction costs. Because of the price volatility of IPO shares, a Fund may choose to hold IPO shares for a very short period of time. This may increase the turnover of a Fund’s portfolio and may lead to increased expenses to a Fund, such as commissions and transaction costs, which decrease the value of investments and may result in additional taxable gains for a Fund and adversely affect a Fund’s performance. A Fund may not be able to invest in securities issued in IPOs, or invest to the extent desired, because, for example, only a small portion (if any) of the securities being offered in an IPO may be made available to the Fund.
A Fund may also invest in warrants and rights with respect to equity securities. Warrants entitle the holder to buy equity securities (notably, common stock) from the issuer of the warrant at a specific price for a specific period of time. Rights are similar to warrants but normally have a shorter duration and are typically distributed directly by the issuers to existing shareholders, while warrants are typically attached to new debt or preferred stock issuances. Warrants may be significantly less valuable or worthless on their expiration date and may also be postponed or terminated early, resulting in a partial or total loss. Rights and warrants have no voting rights, receive no dividends and have no rights with respect to the assets of the issuer. Warrants and rights are highly volatile and, therefore, potentially more susceptible to sharp declines in value than the underlying security. The market for rights or warrants may be very limited and it may be difficult to sell them promptly at an acceptable price and rights and warrants will expire if not exercised on or prior to the expiration date.
Equity-Linked Securities—The Funds may invest in equity-linked securities which are primarily used as an alternative means to access the securities markets of emerging market countries more efficiently and effectively. Equity-linked securities may also be known as participation notes, equity swaps, and zero strike calls and warrants. Equity-linked securities are privately issued securities whose investment results are designed to correspond generally to the performance of a specified stock index or “basket” of stocks, or sometimes a single stock. A Fund deposits an amount of cash with its custodian (or broker, if legally permitted) in an amount near or equal to the selling price of the underlying security in exchange for an equity-linked security. Upon sale, the Fund receives cash from the broker or custodian equal to the current value of the underlying security. Aside from market risk of the underlying security, there is the risk that the issuer of an equity-linked security may default on its obligation under the security. In addition, while the Fund will seek to enter into such transactions only with parties that are capable of entering into closing transactions with the Fund, there can be no assurance that the Fund will be able to close out such a transaction with the other party or obtain an offsetting position with any other party, at any time prior to the end of the term of the underlying agreement. This may impair a Fund’s ability to enter into other transactions at a time when doing so might be advantageous.
Foreign Investment Risks—Investment in foreign securities involves risks and considerations in addition to the risks inherent in domestic investments. Foreign companies generally are not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies. The securities of non-U.S. issuers generally are not registered with the SEC, nor are these issuers usually subject to the SEC’s reporting requirements. Accordingly, there may be less publicly available information about foreign securities and issuers than is available with respect to U.S. securities and issuers. Foreign securities markets typically have substantially less volume than U.S. securities markets, and securities of foreign companies are generally less liquid and at times their prices may be more volatile than prices of comparable U.S. companies. Various trading risks are greater for foreign securities because foreign stock exchanges, brokers and listed companies generally are subject to less government supervision and regulation than in the United States. The customary settlement time for foreign securities may be longer than the customary settlement time for U.S. securities. A Fund’s income and gains from foreign investments may be subject to non-U.S. withholding or other taxes, thereby reducing the Fund’s income and
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gains on such investments. In addition, with respect to some foreign countries, there is the increased possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation or other adverse governmental action, limitations on the removal of funds or other assets of the Fund, political or social instability, diplomatic and other developments that could affect the investments of the Fund in those countries, including the imposition of economic sanctions. Moreover, individual foreign economies differ from the U.S. economy in such respects, among others, as growth of gross national product, rate of inflation, rate of savings and capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments positions.
Below is a more detailed summary of certain key risks associated with foreign investments and investments in certain foreign countries. Although a specific country or region may not be discussed below, a Fund may invest in or otherwise have exposure to such country or companies organized or operating in such country.
Adverse Market Characteristics. Securities of many foreign issuers may be less liquid and their prices may be more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. issuers. In addition, foreign securities exchanges and brokers generally are subject to less governmental supervision and regulation than in the U.S., and foreign securities exchange transactions usually are subject to commissions or other fees that generally are higher than negotiated commissions or other fees on U.S. transactions. In addition, foreign securities exchange transactions may be subject to difficulties associated with the settlement of such transactions, such as delays in settlement that could result in temporary periods when assets of a Fund are uninvested and no return is earned thereon, or cause other portfolio management or trading challenges. The inability of a Fund to make intended security purchases due to settlement problems could cause it to miss attractive opportunities. Inability to dispose of a portfolio security due to settlement problems either could result in losses to a Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio security or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the security, could result in possible liability to the purchaser. In addition, foreign securities may be subject to certain trading blockages that may prevent a Fund from trading in a foreign issuer’s securities a period of time.
Australia. Australia’s agriculture and mining sectors account for a significant portion of its economy, making its economy-and in turn, a Fund’s investments in Australian issuers-particularly susceptible to adverse changes in these sectors. In addition, Australia’s economy is heavily dependent on international trade, meaning the economic conditions of trading partners such as the United States, Asian nations and other regions or specific countries may affect the value of a Fund’s investments in Australian issuers. Australia is also prone to natural disasters such as floods, droughts and fires, and a Fund’s investments in Australia may be more likely to be affected by such events than its investments in other geographic regions.
Brady Bonds. The Funds may invest in “Brady Bonds,” which are debt restructurings that provide for the exchange of cash and loans for newly issued bonds. Brady Bonds are securities created through the exchange of existing commercial bank loans to public and private entities in certain emerging markets for new bonds in connection with debt restructuring under a debt restructuring plan introduced by former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Nicholas F. Brady. Brady Bonds may be collateralized or uncollateralized, are issued in various currencies (primarily the U.S. dollar) and are actively traded in the secondary market for Latin American debt.
U.S. dollar-denominated, collateralized Brady Bonds, which may be fixed rate par bonds or floating rate discount bonds, are collateralized in full as to principal by U.S. Treasury zero coupon bonds having the same maturity as the bonds. Interest payments on such bonds generally are collateralized by cash or securities in an amount that, in the case of fixed rate bonds, is equal to at least one year of rolling interest payments or, in the case of floating rate bonds, initially is equal to at least one year’s rolling interest payments based on the applicable interest rate at the time and is adjusted at regular intervals thereafter.
Canada. Investments in Canadian companies, or companies with significant operations in Canada, are subject to the risks associated with the Canadian economy and financial markets, in particular, adverse developments in international trade agreements and fluctuations in prices of certain commodities. The economic and financial integration of the United States, Canada, and Mexico through trade agreements has made, and will likely continue to make, the Canadian economy and financial market more sensitive to North American trade patterns and economic developments. As a result, the Canadian economy and financial markets are significantly impacted by economic, financial and other developments affecting the United States, which is Canada’s largest trading partner and foreign investor, and the Canadian economy is heavily dependent on relationships with certain key trading partners, including the United States and Mexico and, for certain trade agreements, European Union countries and China. Further, a reduction in spending on Canadian products and services or the withdrawal from, or renegotiation of, key trade agreements would likely adversely impact the Canadian economy or investments in
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Canadian companies. In addition, the Canadian market is relatively concentrated in issuers involved in the production and distribution of natural resources and, as a result, the Canadian economy and financial markets are particularly susceptible to fluctuations in certain commodity markets, such as natural resources (e.g., forest products), both domestically and internationally.
Costs. Certain expenses of a Fund’s investments in foreign securities are typically greater than those of funds investing in solely domestic securities because, among other things, such Funds may pay a higher overall cost to maintain the custody of foreign securities.
Currency Fluctuations. Because certain Funds, under normal circumstances, may invest substantial portions of their total assets in the securities of foreign issuers that are denominated (or pay dividends) in foreign currencies, the strength or weakness of the U.S. dollar against such foreign currencies will account for part of the Fund’s investment performance. A decline in the value of any particular currency against the U.S. dollar will cause a decline in the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s holdings of securities denominated in such currency and, therefore, will cause an overall decline in the Fund’s NAV and any net investment income and capital gains to be distributed in U.S. dollars to shareholders of the Fund. In addition, derivative instruments that provide exposure to foreign currencies may also be adversely affected in these circumstances.
The rate of exchange between the U.S. dollar and other currencies is determined by several factors, including the supply and demand for particular currencies, central bank efforts to support particular currencies, the movement of interest rates, the pace of business activity in certain other countries and the United States, and other economic and financial conditions affecting the global economy. In addition, currency rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time for a number of reasons, including: changes in interest rates, sovereign debt levels and trade deficits; domestic and foreign inflation and interest rates and investors’ expectations concerning those rates; currency exchange rates; investment and trading activities of other funds, including hedge funds and currency funds; global or regional political, economic or financial events and situations; and the imposition of currency controls or tax developments in the United States or abroad. Foreign governments may from time to time take actions with respect to their currencies that could significantly affect the value of a Fund’s investments denominated in such currencies or the liquidity of such investments.
Although the Funds value their assets daily in terms of U.S. dollars, the Funds do not intend to convert holdings of foreign currencies into U.S. dollars on a daily basis. A Fund will do so from time to time, and will bear the costs of currency conversion. Although foreign exchange dealers generally do not charge a fee for conversion, they do realize a profit based on the difference (“spread”) between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer may offer to sell a foreign currency to a Fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the Fund desire to sell that currency to the dealer.
Eastern Europe. Social, political (including geopolitical), economic and other developments in Eastern Europe and Russia could have long-term potential consequences for investments in this region. Because of the global sanctions on Russia due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, investments in Russia are prohibited or extremely restricted. Investment in the countries of Eastern Europe is highly speculative. Political and economic reforms have not yet established a definite trend away from centrally-planned economies and state-owned industries. In many of the countries of Eastern Europe, there is no stock exchange or formal market for securities. Such countries may also have government exchange controls, currencies with no recognizable market value relative to the established currencies of western market economies, little or no experience trading securities, no financial reporting standards, a lack of a banking and securities infrastructure to handle such trading, and a legal tradition that does not recognize private property rights. In addition, these countries may have national policies that restrict investments in companies deemed sensitive to the country’s national interest. Further, the governments in such countries may require governmental or quasi-governmental authorities to act as custodian of a Fund’s assets invested in such countries, and these authorities may not qualify as a foreign custodian under the 1940 Act, and exemptive relief from the 1940 Act may be required. In February 2022, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. The extent and duration of this military action, and resulting market and economic disruption and uncertainty, is difficult to accurately predict. The United States and other countries have imposed significant sanctions against Russia and could impose additional sanctions or other measures. As a result, there are significant risks and uncertainties to investment in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Emerging Markets. Certain Funds may invest in debt and equity securities in emerging markets. Investing in securities in emerging countries generally entails greater risks of loss or inability to achieve the Fund’s investment objective than investing in securities in developed countries. Securities issued by governments or
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issuers in emerging market countries are more likely to have greater exposure to the risks of investing in foreign securities. These risks are elevated from time to time based on geopolitical conditions and include: (1) less social, political and economic stability; (2) the small size of the markets for such securities, limited access to investments in the event of market closures (including due to local holidays) and the low or nonexistent volume of trading, which result in a lack of liquidity, greater price volatility, and higher risk of failed trades or other trading issues; (3) certain national policies that may restrict a Fund’s investment opportunities, including restrictions on investment in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests; (4) foreign taxation; (5) inflation and rapid fluctuations in interest rates; (6) currency devaluations; (7) dependence on a few key trading partners; and (8) the absence of developed structures governing private or foreign investment or allowing for judicial redress for investment losses or injury to private property, which may limit legal rights and remedies available to a Fund and the ability of U.S. authorities (e.g., the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice) to bring actions against bad actors may be limited. Sovereign debt of emerging countries may be in default or present a greater risk of default, the risk of which is heightened given the current conditions. These risks are heightened for investments in frontier markets.
Each Investment Manager has broad discretion to identify countries that it considers to qualify as “emerging markets.” In determining whether a country is an emerging market, each Fund’s Investment Manager may take into account specific or general factors that the Investment Manager deems to be relevant, including interest rates, inflation rates, exchange rates, monetary and fiscal policies, trade and current account balances and/or legal, social and political developments, as well as whether the country is considered to be emerging or developing by supranational organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations, or other similar entities. Emerging market countries generally will include countries with low gross national product per capita and the potential for rapid economic growth and are likely to be located in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe and Central and South America.
Europe. The European Union (“EU”) is an intergovernmental and supranational organization comprised of most Western European countries and an increasing number of Eastern European countries (each such country, a “Member State”). The EU aims to establish and administer a single market among Member States-consisting of a common trade policy and a single currency-and Member States established the European Economic and Monetary Union (“EMU”) in pursuit of this goal. The EMU sets forth certain policies intended to increase economic coordination and monetary cooperation. Many Member States have adopted the EMU’s euro as their currency and other Member States are generally expected to adopt the euro in the future. When a Member State adopts the euro as its currency, the Member State cedes its authority to control monetary policy to the European Central Bank.
Member States face a number of challenges, including, but not limited to: tight fiscal and monetary controls, complications that result from adjustment to a new currency; the absence of exchange rate flexibility; and the loss of economic sovereignty. Unemployment in some European countries has been historically higher than in the United States, potentially exposing investors to political risk. These types of challenges may affect the value of a Fund’s investments.
In addition, changes to the value of the euro against the U.S. dollar could also affect the value of a Fund’s investments. Investing in euro-denominated securities or securities denominated in other European currencies entails risk of exposure to a currency that may not fully reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the disparate European economies. It is possible that the euro could be abandoned in the future by those countries that have adopted it and the effects of such abandonment on individual countries and the EMU as a whole are uncertain, but could be negative. Any change in the exchange rate between the euro and the U.S. dollar can have a positive or negative effect upon valuation, and thus upon profits.
A Fund’s Europe-linked investments are subject to considerable uncertainty and risk. In recent years, many European countries and banking and financial sectors have experienced significant financial and economic challenges. In addition, some European countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, in which a Fund may invest, may be dependent on assistance from other governments or international organizations. Such assistance may be subject to a country’s successful implementation of certain reforms. An insufficient level of assistance (whether triggered by a failure to implement reforms or by any other factor) could cause an economic downturn and affect the value of a Fund’s investments.
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Certain European countries have experienced significant governmental debt levels and, for some countries, the ability to repay their debt may be in question, and the possibility of default may be heightened, any of which could affect their ability to borrow in the future. A default or debt restructuring of any European country would adversely impact holders of that country’s debt and sellers of credit default swaps linked to that country’s creditworthiness, which may be located outside the country defaulting or restructuring. Furthermore, there is the risk of contagion that could occur if one country defaults on its debt, and that a default in one country could trigger declines and cause other countries in the region to default as well.
Significant risks, such as high official debts and deficits, aging populations, over-regulation of non-financial businesses, and doubts about the sustainability of the EMU continue to present economic and financial challenges in Europe. These countries will likely need to make further economic and political decisions in order to restore sustainable economic growth and fiscal policy. While many initiatives intended to strengthen regulation and supervision of financial markets in the EU have been instituted, greater regulation may occur.
The EU currently faces major issues involving its membership, structure, procedures, and policies, including: the adoption, abandonment, or adjustment of the constitutional treaty; the EU’s expansion to the south and east; and resolution of the EU’s fiscal and democratic accountability problems. As Member States unify their economic and monetary policies, movements in European markets will lose the benefit of diversification within the region. One or more Member States might exit the EU, placing its currency and banking system in jeopardy. In connection with these uncertainties, currencies have become more volatile, subjecting a Fund’s investments to additional risks.
A Fund may also invest in Eurodollar bonds and obligations, which are securities that pay interest and principal in Eurodollars (U.S. dollars held in banks outside the U.S., typically Europe) and are often issued by foreign branches of U.S. banks and by foreign banks. These securities are not registered with the SEC. Eurodollar bonds and obligations are subject to the same types of risks that pertain to domestic issuers, such as income risk, credit risk, market risk, and liquidity risk, as well as risks relating to such non-U.S. country, including the risks associated with foreign investments.
Brexit—In a June 2016 referendum, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU (known as “Brexit”). On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom officially withdrew from the EU which started an 11-month transition period ending on December 31, 2020. The United Kingdom and the EU entered into a bilateral trade agreement on December 30, 2020, governing certain aspects of the EU’s and the United Kingdom’s relationship following the end of the transition period, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “TCA”). The TCA provisionally went into effect on January 1, 2021, and was ratified by the United Kingdom Parliament in December 2020 and by the EU Parliament in April 2021. Brexit has resulted in considerable uncertainty as to the United Kingdom’s post-transition framework, how future negotiations between the United Kingdom and the EU will proceed on economic, trade, foreign policy and social issues and how the financial markets will react in the near future and on an ongoing basis. Brexit has resulted in increased volatility and illiquidity and could result in lower economic growth. It is not possible to anticipate the long-term impact to the economic, legal, political, regulatory and social framework that will result from Brexit. Brexit may have a negative impact on the economy and currency of the United Kingdom and EU as a result of anticipated, perceived or actual changes to the United Kingdom’s economic and political relations with the EU. Brexit may also have a destabilizing impact on the EU to the extent other member states similarly seek to withdraw from the union. Any further exits from member states of the EU, or the possibility of such exits, would likely cause additional market disruption globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties. Any or all of these challenges may affect the value of the Funds’ investments that are economically tied to the United Kingdom or the EU, and could have an adverse impact on the Funds’ performance.
Foreign Investment Restrictions. Certain countries prohibit or impose substantial restrictions on investments in their capital markets, particularly their equity markets, by foreign entities such as the Funds. As illustrations, certain countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons, limit the amount of investment by foreign persons in a particular company, or limit the investments by foreign persons to only a specific class of securities of a company that may have less advantageous terms than securities of the company available for purchase by nationals. Moreover, the national policies of certain countries may restrict investment opportunities in issuers or industries deemed sensitive to national interests. In addition, some countries require governmental approval for the repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales by foreign investors. A Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required
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governmental approval for repatriation, as well as by the application to it of other restrictions on investments. These restrictions may, at times, limit or preclude investment in certain countries and may increase the costs and expenses of a Fund.
Information and Supervision. There is generally less publicly available information about foreign companies comparable to reports and ratings that are published about companies in the United States. Foreign companies are also generally subject to less stringent and uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements than those applicable to U.S. companies. In addition, foreign investments are subject to various operational and settlement risks, including failures or defects of the settlement system, improper recordkeeping, and other issues that may adversely affect a Fund’s investments. Foreign companies and financial markets may also be subject to government involvement and control, which may adversely affect a Fund’s investments.
Investment and Repatriation Restrictions. Foreign investment in the securities markets of certain foreign countries is restricted or controlled to varying degrees. These restrictions may at times limit or preclude investment in certain countries and may increase the costs and expenses of a Fund. Investments by foreign investors are subject to a variety of restrictions in many developing countries, such as requirements for prior governmental approval, limits on the amount or type of securities held by foreigners, and limits on the types of companies in which foreigners may invest. Additional or different restrictions may be imposed at any time by these or other countries in which a Fund invests. In addition, the repatriation of both investment income and capital from several foreign countries is restricted and controlled under certain regulations, including in some cases the need for certain government consents. These restrictions may make investing in these countries less desirable or undesirable.
Japan. Though Japan is one of the world’s largest economic powers, a Fund’s investments in Japan are subject to special risks. Japan’s population is aging and shrinking, increasing the cost of Japan’s pension and public welfare system, lowering domestic demand, and making the country more dependent on exports to sustain its economy. The economic conditions of Japan’s trading partners may therefore affect the value of a Fund’s Japan-linked investments. Currency fluctuations may also significantly affect Japan’s economy. Japan is also prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, and a Fund’s investments in Japan may be more likely to be affected by such events than its investments in other geographic regions.
Market Characteristics. Foreign securities may be purchased in OTC markets or on stock exchanges located in the countries in which the respective principal offices of the issuers of the various securities are located. Foreign stock markets are generally not as developed or efficient as, and may be more volatile than, those in the United States, and foreign stock markets usually have substantially less volume than U.S. markets. As a result, a Fund’s portfolio securities may be less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. companies. Equity securities may trade at price/earnings multiples higher than comparable domestic securities, and such levels may not be sustainable. Commissions on foreign stock exchanges are generally higher than negotiated commissions on U.S. exchanges. There is generally less government supervision and regulation of foreign stock exchanges, brokers and listed companies than in the United States. As a result, foreign securities markets may be more susceptible to market manipulation. Moreover, securities trading practices in foreign countries may offer fewer protections for investors such as the Funds and the settlement practices for transactions in foreign markets may differ from those in U.S. markets and may include delays beyond periods customary in the United States or less frequent settlement than in the United States. In addition, it is generally more difficult to obtain and enforce legal judgments against foreign issuers than against domestic issuers.
Mezzanine Securities. A Fund may invest in mezzanine securities, which generally are rated below investment grade (or unrated) and are subject to similar risks as high yield securities and loans (as described above). Mezzanine securities are typically subject to additional risks because they often are the most subordinated debt obligation in an issuer’s capital structure and are often unsecured. As a result, these investments more prone to risks such as the cash flow of the borrower and/or any assets securing the loan being insufficient to repay the scheduled payments after giving effect to any senior obligations of the borrower. If the borrower is unable to meet its obligations, the Fund’s investment in the securities would likely be adversely affected. In addition, these investments are commonly classified as illiquid investments and may rely more heavily on an Investment Manager’s analysis of credit and other risks than certain other types of debt investments.
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Natural Disasters. Natural disasters, public health emergencies (including pandemics and epidemics) and other global events of force majeure can negatively affect the Funds’ investments. Such events can cause unemployment and economic downturns within an industry or a geographic region in which a Fund invests. They can also directly disrupt the operations, cash flows and overall financial condition of a company in which a Fund invests.
Non-Uniform Corporate Disclosure Standards and Governmental Regulation. Non-U.S. companies are subject to accounting, auditing and financial standards and requirements that differ, in some cases significantly, from those applicable to U.S. companies. In particular, the assets, liabilities and profits appearing on the financial statements of such a company may not reflect its financial position or results of operations in the way they would be reflected had such financial statements been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Foreign securities held by the Funds in many cases will not be registered with the SEC or regulators of any foreign country, nor will the issuers thereof be subject to the SEC’s reporting requirements. Thus, there will be less available information concerning foreign issuers of securities held by the Funds than is available concerning U.S. issuers. In instances where the financial statements of an issuer are not deemed to accurately reflect the financial situation of the issuer, the Investment Manager will take steps it deems appropriate to evaluate the proposed investment, which may include on-site inspection of the issuer, interviews with its management, and consultations with accountants, bankers and other specialists. There is substantially less publicly available information about foreign companies than there are reports and ratings published about U.S. companies and the U.S. government. In addition, where public information is available, it may be less reliable than such information regarding U.S. issuers.
Non-U.S. Withholding Taxes. A Fund’s investment income and gains from foreign issuers may be subject to non-U.S. withholding and other taxes, thereby reducing the Fund’s investment income and gains on such investments.
Other. With respect to certain foreign countries, especially developing and emerging ones, there is the possibility of adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, international trade patterns, imposition or modification of foreign currency or foreign investment controls, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, limitations on the removal of funds or other assets of a Fund, political or social instability, or diplomatic or other developments, conditions or events (such as civil unrest, hostile relations, military conflicts, war and terrorism) that could affect investments in those countries.
Political, Economic and Other Risks. Investing in securities of non-U.S. companies may entail additional risks due to the potential political, geopolitical and economic instability of certain countries and the risks of military and other conflicts, expropriation, nationalization, seizure, confiscation of companies or assets, or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investment and on repatriation of capital invested. In the event of such expropriation, seizure, nationalization or other confiscation by any country, a Fund could lose its entire investment in the country.
Certain foreign markets may rely heavily on particular industries or foreign capital, making these markets more vulnerable to diplomatic developments, the imposition of economic sanctions against particular countries or industries, trade barriers, and other protectionist or retaliatory measures.
As a result of any investments in non-U.S. companies, a Fund would be subject to the political and economic risks associated with investments in emerging markets. Changes in the leadership or policies of the governments of emerging market countries or in the leadership or policies of any other government that exercises a significant influence over those countries may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and thereby eliminate any investment opportunities that may currently exist.
Upon the accession to power of authoritarian regimes, the governments of a number of emerging market countries previously expropriated large quantities of real and personal property similar to the property represented by the securities purchased by a Fund. The claims of property owners against those governments were never settled. There can be no assurance that any property represented by securities purchased by a Fund will not also be expropriated, nationalized, seized or otherwise confiscated. If such confiscation were to occur, a Fund could lose a substantial portion or all of its investments in such countries. A Fund’s investments would similarly be adversely affected by exchange control regulation in any of those countries.
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Certain countries in which a Fund may invest may have vocal factions that advocate radical or revolutionary philosophies or support independence. Any disturbance on the part of such individuals could carry the potential for widespread destruction or confiscation of property owned by individuals and entities foreign to such country and could cause the loss of a Fund’s investment in those countries.
Political and economic developments, or adverse investor perceptions of such developments, may affect a Fund’s foreign holdings or exposures and may cause the Fund’s investments to become less liquid.
The imposition of sanctions, exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions), confiscations, trade restrictions (including tariffs) and other government restrictions by the United States and other governments (such as is currently the case against Russia), or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, may result in losses. The type and severity of sanctions and other similar measures, including counter sanctions and other retaliatory actions, that may be imposed could vary broadly in scope, and their impact is difficult to accurately predict. These types of measures may include, but are not limited to, banning a sanctioned country from global payment systems that facilitate cross-border payments, restricting the settlement of securities transactions by certain investors, and freezing the assets of particular countries, entities, or persons. The imposition of sanctions and other similar measures likely would, among other things, cause a decline in the value and/or liquidity of securities issued by the sanctioned country or companies located in or economically tied to the sanctioned country, downgrades in the credit ratings of the sanctioned country or companies located in or economically tied to the sanctioned country, devaluation of the sanctioned country’s currency, and increased market volatility and disruption in the sanctioned country and throughout the world. Sanctions and other similar measures could limit or prevent a Fund from buying and selling securities (in the sanctioned country and other markets), significantly delay or prevent the settlement of securities transactions, and significantly impact a Fund’s liquidity, valuation and performance.
China. To the extent a Fund invests in Chinese securities, its investments may be impacted by the economic, political, diplomatic, and social conditions within China. Moreover, investments may be impacted by geopolitical developments such as China’s posture regarding Hong Kong and Taiwan, international scrutiny of China’s human rights record to include China’s treatment of some of its minorities, and competition between the United States and China. These domestic and external conditions may trigger a significant reduction in international trade, the institution of tariffs, sanctions by governmental entities or other trade barriers, the oversupply of certain manufactured goods, substantial price reductions of goods and possible failure of individual companies and/or large segments of China’s export industry. Events such as these and their consequences are difficult to predict and could have a negative impact on a Fund’s performance, including the loss incurred from a forced sale when trade barriers or other investment restrictions cause a security to become restricted. Also, China generally has less established legal, accounting and financial reporting systems than those in more developed markets, which may reduce the scope or quality of financial information relating to Chinese issuers. An economic downturn in China or geopolitical tensions involving China could adversely impact investments in Chinese or Chinese-related issuers. In addition, certain securities of such issuers are, or may in the future become restricted, and/or sanctioned by the U.S. government or other governments and a Fund may be forced to sell such restricted securities and incur a loss as a result. These and other developments, including government actions, may result in significant illiquidity risk or forced disposition for investments in securities of Chinese or Chinese-related issuers.
Chinese operating companies sometimes rely on variable interest entity (“VIE”) structures to raise capital from non-Chinese investors. In a VIE structure, a China-based operating company establishes an entity (typically offshore) that enters into contracts with the Chinese operating company designed to provide economic exposure to the Chinese operating company. The offshore entity then issues exchange-traded shares (such as on the NYSE) that are sold to the public, including non-Chinese investors (such as the Funds). Shares of the offshore entity are not equity ownership interests in the Chinese operating company. The ability of the offshore entity to control the activities at the Chinese operating company are limited and the Chinese operating company may engage in activities that negatively impact investment value. Investments through these structures are subject to risks in addition to those generally associated with investments in China, such as breaches of the contractual arrangements, changes in Chinese law or regulation with respect to enforceability or permissibility of these arrangements or failure of these contracts to function as intended. In addition, these investments are also subject to the risk of inconsistent and unpredictable application of Chinese law, loss of control over the Chinese operating company and that the equity owners of the Chinese operating company may have interests conflicting with those of the non-Chinese investors. There is also uncertainty related to the Chinese taxation of VIEs and
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the Chinese tax authorities may take positions that result in increased tax liabilities. Thus, there are risks and uncertainty about future actions or intervention by the government of China at any time and without notice that could suddenly and significantly affect these structures. If any of the foregoing (or similar) risks materialize, the value and liquidity of these investments could be significantly adversely affected and cause significant losses with no recourse available.
Singapore and Hong Kong. Although the economies of Singapore and Hong Kong have experienced growth and development, they have also been and continue to be subject, to some extent, to over-extension of credit, currency devaluations and restrictions, high unemployment, high inflation, reliance on exports and economic cycles. These factors may affect the value of a Fund’s investments. In addition, these economies are heavily dependent on international trade, meaning the economic conditions of trading partners such as the United States, Japan, China, and certain European countries may also affect the value of a Fund’s investments. During recent periods, the region’s exports and foreign investments experienced significant difficulties. Moreover, as demonstrated by recent protests in Hong Kong over political, economic, and legal freedoms, and the Chinese government’s response to them, political uncertainty exists within Hong Kong and there is no guarantee that additional protests will not arise in the future. Hostilities between China and Hong Kong may present a risk to a Fund’s investment in Hong Kong.
Sovereign and Supranational Obligations. Certain Funds may invest in sovereign debt securities, which are debt securities issued or guaranteed by foreign governmental entities, such as foreign government debt or foreign treasury bills. Investments in sovereign debt securities involve special risks in addition to those risks usually associated with investments in debt securities, including risks associated with economic or political uncertainty and the risk that the governmental authority that controls the repayment of sovereign debt may be unwilling or unable to repay the principal and/or interest when due. Certain Funds may also invest in securities or other obligations issued or backed by supranational organizations, which are international organizations that are designated or supported by government entities or banking institutions typically to promote economic reconstruction or development. These obligations are subject to the risk that the government(s) on whose support the organization depends may be unable or unwilling to provide the necessary support. With respect to both sovereign and supranational obligations, a Fund may have little recourse against the foreign government or supranational organization that issues or backs the obligation in the event of default. These obligations may be denominated in foreign currencies and the prices of these obligations may be more volatile than corporate debt obligations.
Sovereign debt instruments in which the Funds invest may involve great risk and may be deemed to be the equivalent in terms of credit quality to securities rated below investment grade by Moody’s and S&P. Some governmental entities depend on disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies, and international organizations to reduce principal and interest arrearages on their debt obligations. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies, and others to make such disbursements are often conditioned on a governmental entity’s implementation of economic or other reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of the governmental entity’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance, or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of the commitments to lend funds or other aid to the governmental entity, which may further impair the governmental entity’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Some of the countries in which a Fund may invest have encountered difficulties in servicing their sovereign debt obligations and have withheld payments of interest and/or principal of sovereign debt. These difficulties have also led to agreements to restructure external debt obligations, which may result in costs to the holders of the sovereign debt. Consequently, a government obligor may default on its obligations and/or the values of its obligations may decline significantly, which would adversely affect a Fund’s investments.
Futures, Options and Other Derivative Transactions—
Futures and Options on Futures. A Fund may invest in futures and options on futures contracts (i) to attempt to gain exposure to a particular market, index or instrument; (ii) to attempt to offset changes in the value of securities held or expected to be acquired or be disposed of; (iii) to attempt to minimize fluctuations in foreign currencies; (iv) for hedging purposes; or (v) for other risk management purposes. Futures contracts provide for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified amount of a specific security at a specified future time and at a specified price.
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An option on a futures contract gives the purchaser the right, but not the obligation, in exchange for a premium, to assume a position in a futures contract at a specified exercise price during the term of the option. Futures contracts are traded on national futures exchanges regulated by the CFTC, which reduces the risk that a Fund will be unable to close out a futures contract or option on a futures contract. To the extent a Fund, other than Alpha Opportunity Fund, Macro Opportunities Fund, StylePlus-Large Core Fund and StylePlus-Mid Growth Fund, uses futures and/or options on futures, it would do so in accordance with Rule 4.5 under the CEA, unless otherwise disclosed.
Each Fund may buy and sell index futures contracts with respect to any index traded on a recognized exchange or board of trade. An index futures contract is an agreement pursuant to which the Fund may agree to take or make a cash payment on an index value. No physical delivery of the securities comprising the index is made. Instead, settlement in cash generally must occur daily and upon the termination of the contract. Generally, index futures contracts are closed out prior to the expiration date of the contract.
Eurodollar futures contracts are U.S. dollar-denominated futures contracts that are based on the implied forward London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). These contracts enable purchasers to obtain a fixed rate for the lending of funds and sellers to obtain a fixed rate for borrowings. A Fund may use Eurodollar futures contracts and options thereon to hedge against changes in the LIBOR, to which many interest rate swaps and fixed income instruments are linked, or for other purposes.
There are significant risks associated with the Funds’ use of futures contracts and options on futures contracts, including the following: (1) the success of a hedging strategy may depend on the ability of an Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) to predict movements in the prices of individual securities, fluctuations in markets and movements in interest rates; (2) there may be an imperfect or no correlation between the changes in market value of the securities held by a Fund and the prices of futures and options on futures; (3) there may not be a liquid secondary market for a futures contract or option; (4) trading restrictions or limitations may be imposed by an exchange; and (5) government regulations may restrict trading in futures contracts and options on futures. In addition, some strategies reduce a Fund’s exposure to price fluctuations, while others tend to increase its market exposure.
Options. Each Fund may purchase and write (sell) put and call options on securities, stock indices and currencies listed on national securities exchanges or traded in the OTC market for the purpose of realizing each Fund’s investment objective and except as restricted by a Fund’s investment restrictions. In addition, the Macro Opportunities Fund may also purchase or sell (write) put or call options (including those traded OTC) on precious metals (such as gold or silver), as described above. A put option on a security gives the purchaser of the option the right to sell, and the writer of the option the obligation to buy, the underlying security at any time during the option period or on expiration, depending on the terms. A call option on a security gives the purchaser of the option the right to buy, and the writer of the option the obligation to sell, the underlying security at any time during the option period or on expiration, depending on the terms. The premium paid to the writer is the consideration for undertaking the obligations under the option contract.
A Fund may purchase and write put and call options on foreign currencies (traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges or OTC markets) to manage its exposure to exchange rates.
Put and call options on indices are similar to options on securities except that options on an index give the holder the right to receive, upon exercise of the option, an amount of cash if the closing level of the underlying index is greater than (or less than, in the case of puts) the exercise price of the option. This amount of cash is equal to the difference between the closing price of the index and the exercise price of the option, expressed in dollars multiplied by a specified number. Thus, unlike options on individual securities, all settlements are in cash, and gain or loss depends on price movements in the particular market represented by the index generally, rather than the price movements in individual securities.
The initial purchase (sale) of an option contract is an “opening transaction.” In order to close out an option position prior to expiration, a Fund may enter into a “closing transaction,” which is simply the sale (purchase) of an option contract on the same security with the same exercise price and expiration date as the option contract originally opened. If a Fund is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction with respect to an option it has written, it will not be able to sell the underlying security until the option expires or the Fund delivers the security upon exercise.
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Each Fund may purchase put and call options on securities to protect against a decline in the market value of the securities in its portfolio or to anticipate an increase in the market value of securities that a Fund may seek to purchase in the future. A Fund purchasing put and call options pays a premium; therefore, if price movements in the underlying securities are such that exercise of the options would not be profitable for a Fund, loss of the premium paid may be offset by an increase in the value of the Funds’ securities or by a decrease in the cost of acquisition of securities by the Fund.
A Fund may write call options on securities as a means of increasing the yield on its assets and as a means of providing limited protection against decreases in the securities’ market value. When a Fund writes such an option, if the underlying securities do not increase or decrease to a price level that would make the exercise of the option profitable to the holder thereof, the option generally will expire without being exercised and the Fund will realize as profit the premium received for such option. When a call option of which a Fund is the writer is exercised and requires physical delivery, the Fund will be required to sell the underlying securities to the option holder at the strike price, and will not participate in any increase in the price of such securities above the strike price. When a put option of which a Fund is the writer is exercised and requires physical delivery, the Fund will be required to purchase the underlying securities at a price in excess of the market value of such securities.
Each Fund may purchase and write options on an exchange or OTC. OTC options differ from exchange-traded options in several respects. They are transacted directly with dealers and not with a clearing corporation, and therefore entail the risk of non-performance by the dealer. OTC options are available for a greater variety of securities and for a wider range of expiration dates and exercise prices than are available for exchange-traded options. Because OTC options are not traded on an exchange, pricing is done normally by reference to information from a market maker.
The Macro Opportunities Fund may also engage in long and short “straddles” and “strangles,” which each consist of a combination of both a put option and a call option purchased or written on the same underlying security, instrument or other asset. A straddle represents a put and call purchased or written on same underlying with the same exercise or strike price. In comparison, a strangle represents the same trade (i.e., a put and call purchased or written on same underlying) with a different exercise or strike price. Additionally, the Macro Opportunities Fund may engage in swaptions, which give the buyer the right but not the obligation to enter into an underlying swap agreement. The Fund's use of swaptions is generally subject to the same risks associated with OTC options described above.
The market value of an option generally reflects the market price of an underlying security. Other principal factors affecting market value include supply and demand, interest rates, the pricing volatility of the underlying security and the time remaining until the expiration date.
Risks associated with options transactions include: (1) the success of a hedging strategy may depend on an ability to predict movements in the prices of individual securities, fluctuations in markets and movements in interest rates; (2) there may be an imperfect correlation between the movement in prices of options and the securities underlying them; (3) there may not be a liquid secondary market for all options and, in particular, for OTC options; (4) trading restrictions or limitations may be imposed by an exchange; (5) counterparty risk; and (6) while a Fund will receive a premium when it writes covered call options, it may not participate fully in a rise in the market value of the underlying security.
Forwards. A Fund may engage in forward contracts, including non-deliverable forwards. Non-deliverable forwards are forward contracts on foreign currencies that are cash settled and that do not involve delivery of the currency specified in the contract. A Fund typically will use non-deliverable forwards for hedging purposes, but may also use such instruments to increase income or investment gains. The use of forwards for hedging or to increase income or investment gains may not be successful, resulting in losses to the Fund, and the cost of such strategies may reduce the Fund’s returns. Forwards are subject to the risks associated with derivatives.
A Fund must comply with the SEC rule related to the use of derivatives, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions when engaging in the transactions discussed above. See “Legislation and Regulation Risk related to Derivatives and Certain Other Instruments” below.
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Growth Stocks—Growth stocks generally are priced higher than non-growth stocks in relation to the issuer’s earnings and other measures because investors believe they have greater growth potential. However, there is no guarantee that such an issuer will realize the anticipated growth potential. In addition, an investment in growth stocks also may be susceptible to rapid price swings, especially during periods of economic uncertainty or in response to adverse news about the condition of the issuer.
Guaranteed Investment Contracts (“GICs”)—Certain Funds may invest in GICs. When investing in GICs, a Fund makes cash contributions to a deposit fund of an insurance company’s general account. The insurance company then credits guaranteed interest to the deposit fund on a monthly basis. The GICs provide that this guaranteed interest will not be less than a certain minimum rate. The insurance company may assess periodic charges against a GIC for expenses and service costs allocable to it, and the charges will be deducted from the value of the deposit fund. Because a Fund may not receive the principal amount of a GIC from the insurance company on 7 days' notice or less, the GIC is considered an illiquid investment. In determining average portfolio maturity, GICs generally will be deemed to have a maturity equal to the period of time remaining until the next readjustment of the guaranteed interest rate.
Hybrid Instruments—Certain Funds may invest in hybrid instruments. A hybrid instrument is a type of potentially high-risk derivative that combines a traditional stock, bond, or commodity with an option or forward contract. Generally, the principal amount, amount payable upon maturity or redemption, or interest rate of a hybrid instrument is tied (positively or negatively) to the price of some commodity, currency or securities index or another interest rate or some other economic factor (“underlying benchmark”). The interest rate or (unlike most fixed-income securities) the principal amount payable at maturity of a hybrid instrument may be increased or decreased, depending on changes in the value of the underlying benchmark. An example of a hybrid instrument could be a bond issued by an oil company that pays a small base level of interest with additional interest that accrues in correlation to the extent to which oil prices exceed a certain predetermined level. Such a hybrid instrument would be a combination of a bond and a call option on oil.
Hybrid instruments can be used as an efficient means of pursuing a variety of investment goals, including currency hedging, and increased total return. Hybrid instruments may not bear interest or pay dividends. The value of a hybrid instrument or its interest rate may be a multiple of the underlying benchmark and, as a result, may be leveraged and move (up or down) more steeply and rapidly than the underlying benchmark. These underlying benchmarks may be sensitive to economic and political events, such as commodity shortages and currency devaluations, which cannot be readily foreseen by the purchaser of a hybrid instrument. Under certain conditions, the redemption value of a hybrid instrument could be zero. Thus, an investment in a hybrid instrument may entail significant market risks that are not associated with a similar investment in a traditional, U.S. dollar-denominated bond that has a fixed principal amount and pays a fixed rate or floating rate of interest. The purchase of hybrid instruments also exposes the Funds to the credit risk of the issuer of the hybrid instrument. These risks may cause significant fluctuations in the NAV of the Funds.
Certain hybrid instruments may provide exposure to the commodities markets. These are derivative securities with one or more commodity-linked components that have payment features similar to commodity futures contracts, commodity options, or similar instruments. Commodity-linked hybrid instruments may be either equity or debt securities, and are considered hybrid instruments because they have both security and commodity-like characteristics. A portion of the value of these instruments may be derived from the value of a commodity, futures contract, index or other economic variable.
Certain issuers of structured products such as hybrid instruments may be deemed to be investment companies as defined in the 1940 Act. As a result, the Funds’ investments in these products may be subject to limits applicable to investments in investment companies and other restrictions contained in the 1940 Act.
Credit-Linked Notes. Each Fund may invest in credit-linked notes, which is a type of structured note. The difference between a credit default swap and a credit-linked note is that the seller of a credit-linked note receives the principal payment from the buyer at the time the contract is originated. Through the purchase of a credit-linked note, the buyer assumes the risk of the reference asset and funds its exposure through the purchase of the note. The buyer takes on the exposure to the seller to the full amount of the funding it has provided. The seller has hedged its risk on the reference asset without acquiring any additional credit exposure. The Fund has the right to receive periodic interest payments from the issuer of the credit-linked note at an agreed-upon interest rate and a return of principal at the maturity date.
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Credit-linked notes are subject to the credit risk of the corporate credits referenced by the note. If one of the underlying corporate credits defaults, the Fund may receive the security that has defaulted, and the Fund’s principal investment would be reduced by the difference between the original face value of the reference security and the current value of the defaulted security. Credit-linked notes are typically privately negotiated transactions between two or more parties. The Fund bears the risk that the issuer of the credit-linked note will default or become bankrupt. The Fund bears the risk of loss of its principal investment, and the periodic interest payments expected to be received for the duration of its investment in the credit-linked note.
Each Fund may also invest in credit-linked notes and credit risk transfer securities (which may be referred to as structured agency credit risk debt instruments) issued by government sponsored enterprises or related organizations, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or a special purpose vehicle sponsored by these enterprises or organizations. Investments in these instruments are subject to the types of risks associated with mortgage and other asset-backed securities, and may be particularly sensitive to these risks as a result of the tranche of notes in which a Fund invests. In addition, these investments are unsecured and non-guaranteed notes whose principal payments are determined by the delinquency and principal payment performance of a reference pool, typically consisting of recently acquired single-family mortgages from a specified period, and are not backstopped by the federal government or obligations of the government sponsored enterprise. Where a special purpose vehicle issues the credit-linked note, it may enter into a credit default swap or similar instrument with the related government sponsored enterprise. Such a swap is subject to additional risks. See “Swap Agreements” for a description of additional risks associated with credit default swaps.
Structured Notes. Certain Funds are permitted to invest in structured notes, which are debt obligations that also contain an embedded derivative component with characteristics that adjust the obligation’s risk/return profile. Generally, the performance of a structured note will track that of the underlying debt obligation and the derivative embedded within it. A Fund has the right to receive periodic interest payments from the issuer of the structured notes at an agreed-upon interest rate and a return of the principal at the maturity date.
Structured notes are typically privately negotiated transactions between two or more parties. A Fund bears the risk that the issuer of the structured note would default or become bankrupt which may result in the loss of principal investment and periodic interest payments expected to be received for the duration of its investment in the structured notes.
In the case of structured notes on credit default swaps, a Fund would be subject to the credit risk of the corporate credit instruments underlying the credit default swaps. If one of the underlying corporate credit instruments defaults, the Fund may receive the security or credit instrument that has defaulted, or alternatively a cash settlement may occur wherein the Fund’s principal investment in the structured note would be reduced by the corresponding face value of the defaulted security.
The market for structured notes may be, or suddenly can become, illiquid. Other parties to the transaction may be the only investors with sufficient understanding of the derivative to be interested in bidding for it. Changes in liquidity may result in significant, rapid, and unpredictable changes in the prices for structured notes. In certain cases, a market price for a credit-linked security may not be available. The collateral for a structured note may be one or more credit default swaps, which are subject to additional risks. See “Swap Agreements” for a description of additional risks associated with credit default swaps.
Inflation-Protected Securities—Certain Funds may invest in inflation-protected securities (also called “inflation-indexed” or “inflation-linked” securities). Inflation protected securities are income-generating instruments intended to provide protection against inflation (i.e., an increase in the price of goods and services and, in effect, a reduction in the value of money) by, for example, paying an interest rate applied to inflation-adjusted principal. The interest and principal payments for these instruments are periodically adjusted for inflation (i.e., with inflation, the principal increases, and with deflation, it decreases). Inflation-linked securities are issued by governments, including foreign governments, their agencies or instrumentalities and corporations. For example, TIPS, or Treasury inflation-protected securities, are inflation-linked securities issued by the U.S. government. The principal of a TIPS increases with inflation and decreases with deflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”), and the interest rate is applied to such principal. Thus, the interest stream on a TIPS should rise as long as inflation continues to rise. When a TIPS matures, the investor is paid the adjusted principal or original principal, whichever is greater. This can provide investors with a hedge against inflation, as it helps preserve the purchasing power of your investment. Because of this inflation-adjustment feature, inflation-protected bonds typically have lower yields than conventional fixed-rate
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bonds. Municipal inflation bonds generally have a fixed principal amount, and the inflation component is reflected in the nominal coupon. There can be no assurance that the CPI or any non-U.S. inflation index will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services.
If the periodic adjustment rate measuring inflation falls, the principal value of inflation-protected bonds will be adjusted downward, and consequently the interest payable on these securities (calculated with respect to a smaller principal amount) will be reduced. Repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity (as adjusted for inflation) is guaranteed in the case of U.S. TIPS, even during a period of deflation. However, because the principal amount of U.S. TIPS would be adjusted downward during a period of deflation, the Funds will be subject to deflation risk with respect to its investments in these securities. Additionally, the current market value of the securities is not guaranteed and will fluctuate. A Fund also may invest in other inflation related securities which may or may not provide a similar guarantee. If a guarantee of principal is not provided, the adjusted principal value of the bond repaid at maturity may be less than the original principal.
Inflation-protected bonds normally will decline in price when real interest rates rise. A real interest rate is calculated by subtracting the inflation rate from a nominal interest rate. For example, if a 10-year Treasury note is yielding 5% and rate of inflation is 2%, the real interest rate is 3%. If inflation is negative, the principal and income of an inflation-protected bond will decline and could result in losses. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in currency exchange rates), investors in these securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the security’s inflation measure.
Investment in the Subsidiary—The Macro Opportunities Fund may invest a portion of its total assets in the Subsidiary. The Subsidiary may invest in commodity and financial futures, options, forward contracts, and swap contracts, fixed-income securities, pooled investment vehicles, including those that are not registered pursuant to the 1940 Act, and other investments intended to serve as margin or collateral for the Subsidiary’s derivatives positions or investments that create tax concerns if held directly by the Fund. The Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act, but is subject to certain of the investor protections of the 1940 Act, as noted in this SAI. As a result, the Macro Opportunities Fund, as the sole shareholder of the Subsidiary, will not have all of the protections offered to investors in registered investment companies. Although the Subsidiary has its own board of directors that is responsible for overseeing the operations of the Subsidiary, the Board has oversight responsibility for the investment activities of the Fund, including its investment in the Subsidiary. Unless otherwise stated in the Prospectus or SAI, the Investment Manager will be subject to the same fundamental policies, investment restrictions, compliance policies and procedures when investing through the Subsidiary, as investing through the Fund. Changes in U.S. laws (where the Fund is organized) and/or the Cayman Islands (where the Subsidiary is organized) could prevent the fund and/or the Subsidiary from operating as described in the Fund’s Prospectus and this SAI and could negatively affect the Fund and its shareholders. For example, the Cayman Islands currently does not impose certain taxes on the Subsidiary, including any income, corporate or capital gains tax, estate duty, inheritance tax, gift tax or withholding tax. If Cayman Islands laws were changed to require the Subsidiary to pay Cayman Islands taxes, the investment returns of the Fund would likely decrease.
In order to qualify for favorable tax treatment as a regulated investment company ("RIC") under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"), the Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross annual income from qualifying sources under Subchapter M of the Code. Generally, income derived from direct and certain indirect investments in commodities is not considered qualifying income.
The Treasury Department issued final regulations that generally would treat the Fund's income inclusion with respect to the Subsidiary as qualifying income if there is a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the Subsidiary that is attributable to such inclusion or if the income is related to the Fund's business of investing in securities. The tax treatment of investments in commodities through the Subsidiary may be adversely affected by future legislation, Treasury regulations and/or guidance issued by the IRS that could affect the character, timing and/or amount of the Fund’s taxable income or any gains and distributions made by the Fund and whether income derived from the Fund’s investments in the Subsidiary is considered qualifying income. If the Fund does not meet the qualifying income test, it may be able to cure such a failure. However, if the Fund attempts to cure the failure of the qualifying income test, significant taxes may be incurred by the Fund and its shareholders.
Investments by Investing Funds and Other Large Shareholders—Shares of a Fund are offered as an investment to certain other investment companies, large retirement plans, and other investors capable of purchasing a large percentage of Fund shares. A Fund may experience adverse effects when these large shareholders purchase or redeem a large percentage of Fund shares.
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A Fund is subject to the risk that large share purchases may adversely affect the Fund's liquidity levels and performance to the extent that the Fund is forced to hold a large uninvested cash position or more liquid securities and is delayed in investing new cash. A Fund’s performance may also be adversely affected by large redemptions of Fund shares to the extent the Fund is forced to sell portfolio securities at a disadvantageous price or time to meet the large redemption request. Additionally, because Fund costs and expenses are shared by remaining Fund investors, large redemptions relative to the size of a Fund will result in decreased economies of scale and increased costs and expenses for the Fund.
Large redemptions that necessitate the sale of portfolio securities will accelerate the realization of taxable capital gains or losses. Furthermore, purchases or redemptions of a large number of Fund shares relative to the size of a Fund will have adverse tax consequences limiting the use of any capital loss carryforwards and certain other losses to offset any future realized capital gains.
Legislation and Regulation Risk Related to Derivatives and Certain Other Instruments—The laws and regulations that apply to derivatives (e.g., swaps, futures, etc.) and persons who use them (including a Fund, the Investment Managers and others) are rapidly changing in the U.S. and abroad. As a result, restrictions and additional regulations may be imposed on these parties, trading restrictions may be adopted and additional trading costs are possible. The impact of these changes on the Funds and their investment strategies is not yet fully ascertainable.
In particular, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) was signed into law in July 2010. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act sets forth a new legislative framework for OTC derivatives, including financial instruments, such as swaps, in which the Funds may invest. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act makes broad changes to the OTC derivatives market, grants significant new authority to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), the SEC and other regulators to regulate OTC derivatives (“swaps” and “security-based swaps”) and market participants, and requires clearing and exchange trading of many OTC derivatives transactions.
Provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act also include new capital and margin requirements and the mandatory use of clearinghouse mechanisms for and exchange trading of many OTC derivative transactions. The CFTC, SEC and other federal regulators have been tasked with developing the rules and regulations enacting the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. Because there is a prescribed phase-in period during which most of the mandated rulemaking and regulations are being implemented, it is not possible at this time to gauge the exact nature and scope of the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on any of the Funds. However, swap dealers, major market participants and swap counterparties are experiencing additional regulations, requirements, compliance burdens and associated costs. The Funds may also be required to comply indirectly with equivalent European regulation, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (“EMIR”), to the extent that it executes derivative transactions with counterparties subject to such regulation. EMIR establishes certain requirements for OTC derivatives contracts, including mandatory clearing obligations, bilateral risk management requirements and reporting requirements. Although it is not yet possible to predict the final impact, if any, of EMIR on the Funds and their investment strategies, the Funds may experience additional expense passed on by counterparties.
The CFTC and various exchanges have rules limiting the maximum net long or short positions which any person or group may own, hold or control in any given futures contract or option on such futures contract. The Investment Manager must consider the effect of these limits in managing the Funds. In addition, the CFTC in October 2020 adopted amendments to its position limits rules that establish certain new and amended position limits for 25 specified physical commodity futures and related options contracts traded on exchanges, other futures contracts and related options directly or indirectly linked to such 25 specified contracts, and any OTC transactions that are economically equivalent to the 25 specified contracts. The Investment Manager will need to consider whether the exposure created under these contracts might exceed the new and amended limits, as relevant to a Fund's strategy, in anticipation of the applicable compliance dates, and the limits may constrain the ability of a Fund to use such contracts.
In October 2020, the SEC adopted a final rule related to the use of derivatives, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions by registered investment companies. The rule requires the Funds to trade derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations (except reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions) subject to value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limits and derivatives risk management program and reporting requirements. Generally, these requirements apply unless a Fund satisfies a “limited derivatives users” exception that is included in the final rule. When a Fund trades reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions, including certain tender option bonds, it needs to aggregate the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the
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aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating the Funds’ asset coverage ratio or treat all such transactions as derivatives transactions. Reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions aggregated with other indebtedness do not need to be included in the calculation of whether a Fund satisfies the limited derivatives users exception, but for Funds subject to the VaR testing requirement, reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions must be included for purposes of such testing whether treated as derivatives transactions or not. The SEC also provided guidance in connection with the rule regarding the use of securities lending collateral that may limit the Funds’ securities lending activities. In addition, a Fund is permitted to invest in a security on a when-issued or forward-settling basis, or with a non-standard settlement cycle, and the transaction will be deemed not to involve a senior security, provided that (i) the Fund intends to physically settle the transaction and (ii) the transaction will settle within 35 days of its trade date (the “Delayed-Settlement Securities Provision”). A Fund may otherwise engage in such transactions that do not meet the conditions of the Delayed-Settlement Securities Provision so long as the Fund treats any such transaction as a “derivatives transaction” for purposes of compliance with the rule. Furthermore, under the rule, a Fund is permitted to enter into an unfunded commitment agreement, and such unfunded commitment agreement will not be subject to the asset coverage requirements under the 1940 Act, if the Fund reasonably believes, at the time it enters into such agreement, that it will have sufficient cash and cash equivalents to meet its obligations with respect to all such agreements as they come due. These requirements may limit the ability of a Fund to use derivatives, reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions, and the other relevant categories of transactions as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may increase the cost of a Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors.
These and other regulatory changes may negatively impact a Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective either through limits or requirements imposed on it or upon its counterparties. New requirements, even if not directly applicable to the Funds, including capital requirements, changes to the CFTC speculative position limits regime and mandatory clearing, exchange trading and margin requirements may increase the cost of a Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which would adversely affect investors.
Except with respect to the Alpha Opportunity Fund, Macro Opportunities Fund, StylePlus—Large Core Fund and StylePlus—Mid Growth Fund, the Investment Manager, on behalf of each Fund, has filed with the National Futures Association a notice of eligibility claiming an exclusion from the definition of “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) under CFTC Rule 4.5 under the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended (the "CEA"), with respect to each Fund’s operation. Accordingly, each Fund for which a notice has been filed and Security Investors or GPIM with respect to each such Fund are not subject to registration or regulation as a commodity pool or CPO. Changes to a Fund’s investment strategies or investments may cause the Fund to lose the benefits of the exclusion under CFTC Rule 4.5 under the CEA and may trigger additional CFTC regulation. If a Fund becomes subject to CFTC regulation, the Fund or its Investment Manager may incur additional expenses.

Additionally, the Investment Manager is subject to registration and regulation as a CPO under the CEA with respect to its service as investment adviser to the Alpha Opportunity Fund, Macro Opportunities Fund, StylePlus—Large Core Fund and StylePlus—Mid Growth Fund. The CFTC adopted rules regarding the disclosure, reporting and recordkeeping requirements that apply with respect to these Funds as a result of the Investment Manager's registration as a CPO. Generally, these rules allow for substituted compliance with CFTC disclosure and shareholder reporting requirements, based on the Investment Manager’s compliance with comparable SEC requirements. This means that for most of the CFTC’s disclosure and shareholder reporting applicable to the Investment Managers as the Funds’ CPOs, the Investment Manager's compliance with SEC disclosure and shareholder reporting will be deemed to fulfill the its CFTC compliance obligations. However, as a result of CFTC regulation with respect to the Funds, the Funds may incur additional compliance and other expenses. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the Funds, their investment strategies or Prospectus or the SAI. 
Lending of Portfolio Securities—For the purpose of realizing additional income, certain of the Funds may make secured loans of Fund securities. Securities loans are made to broker/dealers, institutional investors, or other persons pursuant to agreements requiring that the loans be continuously secured by collateral at least equal at all times to the value of the securities loaned, marked to market on a daily basis. The collateral received will consist of cash, U.S. government securities, letters of credit or such other collateral (or combination thereof) as may be permitted under its investment program. While the securities are being loaned, a Fund will continue to receive the equivalent of the interest or dividends paid by the issuer on the securities, as well as interest on the investment of the collateral or a fee from the borrower, although a portion can be payable to a collateral agent for certain services.
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When a Fund invests collateral, the Fund will bear the risk of loss, which depends on the nature and type of investment made with the collateral. Costs of underlying securities lending activities are not typically reflected in a Fund’s fee and expense ratios.
The risks in lending portfolio securities, as with other extensions of secured credit, consist of possible delay in receiving additional collateral or in the recovery of the securities or possible loss of rights in the collateral should the borrower fail financially. During the most recent fiscal year, the Funds did not engage in any securities lending activities and therefore did not earn any income or incur any expenses related to securities lending.
Leverage—Certain Funds may use leverage. Leveraging a Fund creates an opportunity for increased net income but, at the same time, creates special risk considerations. For example, leveraging may exaggerate changes in the NAV of a Fund’s shares and in the yield on a Fund’s portfolio. Although the principal of such borrowings will be fixed, a Fund’s assets may change in value during the time the borrowing is outstanding. Since any decline in value of a Fund’s investments will be borne entirely by the Fund’s shareholders (and not by those persons providing the leverage to the Fund), the effect of leverage in a declining market would be a greater decrease in NAV than if the Fund were not so leveraged. Leveraging will create interest and other expenses for a Fund, which can exceed the investment return from the borrowed funds. To the extent the investment return derived from securities purchased with borrowed funds exceeds the interest a Fund will have to pay, the Fund’s investment return will be greater than if leveraging were not used. Conversely, if the investment return from the assets retained with borrowed funds is not sufficient to cover the cost of leveraging, the investment return of the Fund will be less than if leveraging were not used.
Under the 1940 Act, a Fund is required to maintain continuous asset coverage of 300% with respect to borrowings and to sell (within three days) sufficient portfolio holdings to restore such coverage if it should decline to less than 300% due to market fluctuations or otherwise, even if such liquidations of the Fund’s holdings may be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint. The Funds’ policy on borrowing is not intended to limit the ability to pledge assets to secure loans permitted under the Funds’ policies. A Fund must comply with the SEC rule related to the use of derivatives, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions when engaging in certain transactions that create leverage. See "Legislation and Regulation Risk Related to Derivatives and Certain Other Instruments" above.
LIBOR Replacement—The terms of many investments, financings or other transactions in the U.S. and globally have been historically tied to interbank reference rates (for purposes of this section, referred to collectively as “LIBOR”), which function as a reference rate or benchmark for such investments, financings or other transactions. LIBOR may be a significant factor in determining payment obligations under derivatives transactions, the cost of financing of fund investments or the value or return on certain other fund investments. As a result, LIBOR may be relevant to, and directly affect, a Fund’s performance, price volatility, liquidity and value, as well as the price volatility, liquidity and value of the assets that a Fund holds.
In July 2017, the head of the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority announced the desire to phase out the use of LIBOR by the end of 2021. Since December 31, 2021, all sterling, euro, Swiss franc and Japanese yen LIBOR settings and the 1-week and 2-month U.S. dollar LIBOR settings have ceased to be published on a representative basis, and it is anticipated that after June 30, 2023, the overnight, 1-month, 3-month, 6-month and 12-month U.S. dollar LIBOR settings will cease to be published on a representative basis. Although some settings of U.S. dollar LIBOR continue to be published, there is no assurance that LIBOR will continue to exist as a representative rate until June 30, 2023, or at any time thereafter. In connection with supervisory guidance from regulators, regulated entities have ceased entering into certain new LIBOR contracts. Various financial industry groups have begun planning for that transition and certain regulators and industry groups have taken actions to establish alternative reference rates (e.g., the SOFR, which measures the cost of overnight borrowings through repurchase agreement transactions collateralized with U.S. Treasury securities and is intended to replace U.S. dollar LIBORs with certain adjustments). There is no assurance that the composition or characteristics of any such alternative reference rate will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR or that it will have the same volume or liquidity as did LIBOR prior to its discontinuance or unavailability, which may affect the value or liquidity or return on certain of a Fund’s investments and result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades. However, there are challenges to converting certain contracts and transactions to a new benchmark and neither the full effects of the transition process nor its ultimate outcome is known.
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The transition process might lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets for instruments with terms tied to LIBOR. It could also lead to a reduction in the interest rates on, and the value of, some LIBOR-based investments and reduce the effectiveness of hedges mitigating risk in connection with LIBOR-based investments. Although some LIBOR-based instruments may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative rate-setting methodology and/or increased costs for certain LIBOR-related instruments or financing transactions, others may not have such provisions and there may be significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies. Instruments that include robust fallback provisions to facilitate the transition from LIBOR to an alternative reference rate may also include adjustments that do not adequately compensate the holder for the different characteristics of the alternative reference rate. The result may be that the fallback provision results in a value transfer from one party to the instrument to the counterparty. Additionally, because such provisions may differ across instruments (e.g., hedges versus cash positions hedged or investments in structured finance products transitioning to a different rate or at a different time as the assets underlying those structured finance products), LIBOR’s cessation may give rise to basis risk and render hedges less effective. As the usefulness of LIBOR as a benchmark could deteriorate during the transition period, these effects and related adverse conditions could occur prior to the anticipated cessation of the remaining US dollar LIBOR tenors in mid-2023. There also remains uncertainty and risk regarding the willingness and ability of issuers to include enhanced provisions in new and existing contracts or instruments, notwithstanding significant efforts by the industry to develop robust LIBOR replacement clauses. The effect of any changes to, or discontinuation of, LIBOR on a Fund will vary depending, among other things, on (1) existing fallback or termination provisions in individual contracts and the possible renegotiation of existing contracts and (2) whether, how, and when industry participants develop and adopt new reference rates and fallbacks for both legacy and new products and instruments. Fund investments may also be tied to other interbank offered rates and currencies, which also will face similar issues. In many cases, in the event that an instrument falls back to an alternative reference rate, including the SOFR or any reference rate based on SOFR, the alternative reference rate will not perform the same as would have and may not include adjustments to such alternative reference rate that are reflective of current economic circumstances or differences between such alternative reference rate and LIBOR. SOFR is based on a secured lending markets in U.S. government securities and does not reflect credit risk in the inter-bank lending market in the way that LIBOR did. The alternative reference rates are generally secured by U.S. treasury securities and will reflect the performance of the market for U.S. treasury securities and not the inter-bank lending markets. In the event of a credit crisis, floating rate instruments using alternative reference rates could therefore perform differently than those instruments using a rate indexed to the inter-bank lending market.
Certain classes of instruments invested in by a Fund may be more sensitive to LIBOR cessation than others. For example, certain asset classes such as floating rate notes may not contemplate a LIBOR cessation and/or might freeze a last-published or last-used LIBOR rate for all future payment dates upon a discontinuation of LIBOR (although such investments may be impacted by relevant state or federal LIBOR replacement legislation). Also, for example, syndicated and other business loans tied to LIBOR may not provide a clear roadmap for LIBOR’s replacement, leaving any future adjustments to the determination of a quantum of lenders. Securitizations and other asset-backed transactions may experience disruption as a result of inconsistencies between when collateral assets shift from LIBOR and what rate those assets replace LIBOR with, on the one hand, and when the securitization notes shift from LIBOR and what rate the securitization notes replace LIBOR with.
Various pieces of legislation, including enacted federal legislation and laws enacted by states such as New York and Alabama, may affect the transition of LIBOR-based instruments as well by permitting trustees and calculation agents to transition instruments with no LIBOR transition language to an alternative reference rate selected by such agents. Such pieces of legislation also include safe harbors from liability, which may limit the recourse a Fund may have if the alternative reference rate does not fully compensate the Fund for the transition of an instrument from LIBOR. It is uncertain what impact any such legislation may have.
These developments could negatively impact financial markets in general and present heightened risks, including with respect to a Fund’s investments. As a result of this uncertainty and developments relating to the transition process, a Fund and its investments may be adversely affected.
Alteration of the terms of a debt instrument or a modification of the terms of other types of contracts to replace LIBOR or another interbank offered rate (“IBOR”) with a new reference rate could result in a taxable exchange and the realization of income and gain/loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") has issued final regulations regarding the tax consequences of the transition from IBOR to a new reference rate in debt instruments and non-debt contracts. Under the final regulations, alteration or modification of the terms of a debt
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instrument to replace an operative rate that uses a discontinued IBOR with a qualified rate (as defined in the final regulations) including true up payments equalizing the fair market value of contracts before and after such IBOR transition, to add a qualified rate as a fallback rate to a contract whose operative rate uses a discontinued IBOR or to replace a fallback rate that uses a discontinued IBOR with a qualified rate would not be taxable. The IRS may provide additional guidance, with potential retroactive effect.
Liquidity and Valuation—Many factors may influence the price at which a Fund could sell an investment at a given time. Investments are subject to liquidity risk when they are difficult to purchase or sell under favorable conditions. Investments in certain securities or other assets, such as high-yield bonds, loans or those traded in OTC markets, may be particularly subject to liquidity risk. A Fund’s ability to sell an instrument may be negatively impacted as a result of various market events or circumstances, legal or regulatory changes or other governmental policies, or characteristics of the particular instrument. In addition, market participants attempting to sell the same or similar instruments at the same time as a Fund may increase the Fund’s exposure to liquidity risk. Investments in less liquid or illiquid investments may reduce the returns of a Fund because it may be unable to sell such investments at an advantageous time or price. Thus, a Fund may be forced to accept a lower sale price for the investments, sell other investments or forgo another more attractive investment opportunity. Subject to its investment strategies, a significant portion of a Fund’s investments can be difficult to value and potentially less liquid and thus particularly prone to the foregoing risks. However, liquid investments purchased by a Fund may subsequently become less liquid or illiquid, and harder to value.
Pursuant to Rule 22e-4 (“Liquidity Rule”) under the 1940 Act, a Fund may not acquire any “illiquid investment” if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets. An “illiquid investment” is any investment that the Fund reasonably expects it cannot sell or dispose of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Under Rule 22e-4, investments that a Fund reasonably expects can be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment are not considered “illiquid” investments for purposes of this limitation on illiquid investments, even if the sale or disposition is reasonably expected to settle in more than seven calendar days. As required by the Liquidity Rule, the Trust has implemented a written liquidity risk management program and related procedures (“Liquidity Program”) that are reasonably designed to assess and manage the Fund’s “liquidity risk” (defined in the Liquidity Rule as the risk that a Fund could not meet requests to redeem shares issued by the Funds without significant dilution of remaining investors’ interests in the Funds). Consistent with the Liquidity Rule, among other things, the Liquidity Program provides for classification of each portfolio investment of a Fund into one of four liquidity categories (including “illiquid investments,” discussed above). These liquidity classifications are made after reasonable inquiry and taking into account, among other things, market, trading and investment-specific considerations deemed to be relevant to the liquidity classification of the Funds’ investments in accordance with the Liquidity Program. Liquidity classifications under the Liquidity Program also reflect consideration of whether trading varying portions of a position, in sizes that the Fund would reasonably anticipate trading, is reasonably expected to significantly affect the position’s liquidity, and if so, that fact is taken into account when classifying the investment’s liquidity.
In addition, applicable regulatory guidance and interpretations provide examples of factors that may be taken into account in determining a particular instrument’s classification as illiquid or as one of the other liquidity categories defined under the Liquidity Rule. For example, certain loans may not be readily marketable and/or may be subject to restrictions on resale or assignments. Consequently, the Funds may determine that it is reasonable to expect that such a loan cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. To the extent that the Funds invest in such loans, they may be subject to increased liquidity and valuation risks. As the market develops, the liquidity of these instruments could improve. Accordingly, loans for which there is no readily available market may be classified as illiquid investments but, at the same time, other loans may be classified as other than illiquid investments under the Liquidity Program based on relevant market, trading and investment-specific considerations (such as trading in the loans among specialized financial institutions). In addition, certain CLOs/CDOs (as described above) may be classified as illiquid investments, depending upon the assessment of relevant market, trading and investment-specific considerations under the Liquidity Program. However, an active dealer market or other relevant measure of liquidity may exist for certain CLOs/CDOs, which may result in such instruments being classified as other than illiquid investments under the Liquidity Program based on relevant market, trading and investment-specific considerations.
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At times, market quotations may not be readily available and the Funds may be unable to obtain prices or other reliable information from third-parties to support valuation. In these circumstances, it may be difficult for a Fund to accurately value certain investments and the Fund may need to value investments using fair value methodologies. There are multiple methods to establish fair value and different methods or other factors may lead to different fair values. As a result, the price a Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security, particularly during periods of market turmoil or volatility or for securities that are thinly traded, including under current conditions, or valued using a fair value methodology or information provided by third-party pricing services. Thus, a Fund may realize a loss or gain that is greater than expected upon the sale of the security. Fair valued securities may be subject to greater fluctuations than securities valued based on readily available market quotations. Some securities, while not technically fair valued, may nevertheless be difficult to value and rely on limited and difficult to assess inputs and market data.
The SEC has proposed amendments to its rule regarding investments in illiquid investments by registered investment companies such as a Fund. If the proposed amendments are adopted, the Fund’s operations and investment strategies may be adversely impacted.
Loans—A Fund may invest in loans directly or through participations or assignments. A Fund may acquire a loan interest directly by acting as a member of the original lending syndicate or direct lender in other direct lending opportunities. A Fund may also acquire some or all of the interest in a loan originated by a bank or other financial institution through an assignment or a participation in the loan. Loans may include syndicated bank loans, senior floating rate loans (“senior loans”), secured and unsecured loans, second lien, subordinated or more junior loans (“junior loans”), bridge loans and unfunded commitments. Loans are typically arranged through private negotiations between borrowers in the U.S. or in foreign or emerging markets which may be corporate issuers or issuers of sovereign debt obligations (“borrowers”) and one or more financial institutions and other lenders (“lenders”). Investments in, or exposure to, loans that lack financial maintenance covenants or possess fewer or contingent financial maintenance covenants or other financial protections than certain other types of loans or other similar debt obligations subject a Fund to the risks of “Covenant-Lite Obligations” discussed above.
Typically, loans are made by a syndicate of commercial and investment banks and other financial institutions that are represented by an agent bank or similar party. The agent bank is responsible for acting on behalf of the group of lenders and structuring the loan, administering the loan, negotiating on behalf of the syndicate, and collecting and disbursing payments on the loan. The agent also is responsible for monitoring collateral, distributing required reporting, and for exercising remedies available to the lenders such as foreclosure upon collateral. In a syndicated loan, each of the lending institutions, which may include the agent, lends to the borrower a portion of the total amount of the loan, and retains the corresponding interest in the loan. Unless, under the terms of the loan, a Fund has direct recourse against the borrower, a Fund may have to rely on the agent or other financial intermediary to apply appropriate credit remedies against a borrower. Because the agent is acting on behalf of multiple lenders in the syndicate, a Fund’s interest in a loan may be subject to changes in terms or additional risks resulting from actions taken or not taken by the agent following an instruction from other creditors holding interests in the same loan.
Participation interests are interests issued by a lender, which represent a fractional interest in a loan that continues to be directly owned by the issuing lender. A Fund may acquire participation interests from a lender or other holders of participation interests. An assignment represents a portion of a loan previously owned by a different lender. Unlike a participation interest, a Fund will generally become a lender for the purposes of the relevant loan agreement by purchasing an assignment. If a Fund purchases an assignment from a lender, the Fund will generally have direct contractual rights against the borrower in favor of the lenders as if it was a direct lender. If a Fund purchases a participation interest either from a lender or a participant, the Fund typically will have established a direct contractual relationship with the seller or issuer of the participation interest, but not with the borrower. Consequently, a Fund can be subject to the credit risk of the lender or participant who sold the participation interest to the Fund, in addition to the usual credit risk of the borrower. Therefore, when a Fund invests in syndicated bank loans through the purchase of participation interests, the Investment Manager must consider the creditworthiness of the agent and any lenders and participants interposed between the Fund and a borrower.
Purchases of loans in the primary or secondary markets may take place at, above, or below the par value of the loans. Purchases above par will effectively reduce the amount of interest being received by a Fund through the amortization of the purchase price premium, whereas purchases below par will effectively increase the amount of interest being received by the Fund through the amortization of the purchase price discount.
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Secondary trades of senior loans may have extended settlement periods. Any settlement of a secondary market purchase of senior loans in the ordinary course, on a settlement date beyond the period expected by loan market participants (i.e., T+7 for par/near par loans and T+20 for distressed loans, in other words more than seven or twenty business days beyond the trade date, respectively) is subject to the “delayed compensation” rules prescribed by the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (“LSTA”) and addressed in the LSTA’s standard loan documentation for par/near par trades and for distressed trades. “Delayed compensation” is a pricing adjustment comprised of certain interest and fees, which is payable between the parties to a secondary loan trade. The LSTA introduced a requirements-based rules program in order to incentivize shorter settlement times for secondary transactions and discourage certain delay tactics that create friction in the loan syndications market by, among other things, mandating that the buyer of a senior loan satisfy certain “basic requirements” as prescribed by the LSTA no later than T+5 in order for the buyer to receive the benefit of interest and other fees accruing on the purchased loan from and after T+7 for par/near par loans (for distressed trades, T+20) until the settlement date, subject to certain specific exceptions. These “basic requirements” generally require a buyer to execute the required trade documentation and to be, and remain, financially able to settle the trade no later than T+7 for par/near par loans (and T+20 for distressed trades). In addition, buyers are required to fund the purchase price for a secondary trade upon receiving notice from the agent of the effectiveness of the trade in the agent’s loan register. A Fund, as a buyer of a senior loan in the secondary market, would need to meet these “basic requirements” or risk forfeiting all or some portion of the interest and other fees accruing on the loan from and after T+7 for par/near par loans (for distressed trades, T+20) until the settlement date. The “delayed compensation” mechanism does not mitigate the other risks of delayed settlement or other risks associated with investments in senior loans.
In addition, the resale, or secondary, market for loans is limited and it may become more limited or more difficult to access and such changes may be sudden or unpredictable. For example, there is no organized exchange or board of trade on which loans are traded, and loans often trade in large denominations (typically $1 million and higher) and trades can be infrequent. As a result, a Fund may seek to dispose of loans in certain cases, to the extent possible, through selling participations in the loan, usually until the loan is assigned (“elevated”) to the buyer. In that case, the Fund would remain subject to certain obligations, which may result in expenses for the Fund and certain additional risks. A Fund may also seek to dispose of loans by engaging in transactions in alternative trading venues (such as dark pools) or accessing other available channels. There is no guarantee that such alternatives will be available at any time for a particular loan investment. Accordingly, some of the loans in which a Fund may invest will be relatively illiquid and a Fund may have difficulty in disposing of loans in a favorable or timely fashion, which could result in losses to the Fund.
A loan may be secured by collateral that, at the time of origination, has a fair market value equivalent to the amount of the loan. The Investment Manager generally will determine the value of the collateral by customary valuation techniques that it considers appropriate. However, the value of the collateral may decline following a Fund’s investment. Also, collateral may be difficult to hold and sell, and there are other risks which may cause the collateral to be insufficient in the event of a default. Consequently, a Fund might not receive payments to which it is entitled. The collateral may consist of various types of assets or interests including working capital assets or intangible assets. The borrower’s owners may provide additional collateral, typically by pledging their ownership interest in the borrower as collateral for the loan.
In the process of buying, selling and holding loans, a Fund may receive and/or pay certain fees. These fees are in addition to the interest payments received and may include facility, closing or upfront fees, commitment fees and commissions. A Fund may receive or pay a facility, closing or upfront fee when it buys or sells a loan. A Fund may receive a commitment fee throughout the life of the loan or as long as the Fund remains invested in the loan (in addition to interest payments) for any unused portion of a committed line of credit. Other fees received by the Fund may include prepayment fees, covenant waiver fees, ticking fees and/or modification fees. Related legal fees may also be borne by the Fund (including legal fees to assess conformity of a loan investment with 1940 Act provisions).
Should a loan in which a Fund is invested be foreclosed on, the Fund may become owner of the collateral and will be responsible for any costs and liabilities associated with owning the collateral. If the collateral includes a pledge of equity interests in the borrower by its owners, the Fund may become the owner of equity in the borrower and may be responsible for the borrower’s business operations and/or assets. The applicability of the securities laws is subject to court interpretation of the nature of the loan and its characterization as a security. Accordingly, a Fund cannot be certain of any protections it may be afforded under the securities or other laws against fraud or misrepresentation by the borrower, assignor or seller of participations.
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Loans are subject to the risks associated with other debt obligations, including: interest rate risk, credit risk, market risk, liquidity risk, counterparty risk and risks associated with high yield securities. Many loans in which a Fund may invest may not be rated by a rating agency, will not be registered with the SEC or any state securities commission, and will not be listed on any national securities exchange. The amount of public information with respect to loans will generally be less extensive than that available for registered or exchange-listed securities. A Fund will make an investment in a loan only after the Investment Manager determines that the investment is suitable for the Fund. Generally, this means that the Investment Manager has determined that the likelihood that the borrower will meet its obligations is acceptable.
A Fund may be unable to enforce its rights (or certain other provisions of loan agreements or other documents) relating to a loan under applicable state law, judicial decisions or for other reasons. For example, uncertainty exists with respect to a Fund’s ability to enforce the terms of certain bank-originated loans that the Fund may purchase. Based on concepts of federal preemption, bank loans generally are subject to the usury laws applicable in the state where the lending bank is located rather than the state where the borrower is located. Recent court decisions have called into question whether the benefits of federal preemption will be available to non-bank purchasers of loans originated by banks. If federal preemption is not available to loans acquired by the Fund from banks, the loans may be subject to more restrictive limits on interest rates or rendered unenforceable by the Fund. To the extent a Fund is unable to enforce its rights with respect to a loan, the Fund may be adversely affected. A Fund may also gain exposure to loans through investment in structured finance vehicles, which could face similar challenges in enforcing the terms of loans and any such challenges could adversely affect the Fund.
In addition, the Funds may have arrangements with loan, administrative and similar agents under which they provide recordkeeping or other services (such as interest payment services) with respect to loan positions and loan documentation. These services may be subject to risks of, among other things, fraud, computational errors, cyber-attacks, delays, or if these agents become subject to a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding. The Funds are also subject to the risk of loss caused by inadequate procedures and controls, human error and system failures by these agents. All these risks may affect the Funds, the Funds’ investments and the Funds’ investment performance.
Additional Information Concerning Bridge Loans. Bridge loans are short-term loan arrangements (e.g., maturities that are generally less than one year) typically made by a borrower following the failure of the borrower to secure other intermediate-term or long-term permanent financing. A bridge loan remains outstanding until more permanent financing, often in the form of high yield notes, can be obtained. Most bridge loans have a step-up provision under which the interest rate increases incrementally the longer the loan remains outstanding so as to incentivize the borrower to refinance as quickly as possible. In exchange for entering into a bridge loan, a Fund typically will receive a commitment fee and interest payable under the bridge loan and may also have other expenses reimbursed by the borrower. Liquid assets are maintained to cover bridge loan commitments to avoid “senior securities” concerns. Bridge loans may be subordinate to other debt and generally are unsecured. They also often are illiquid and difficult to value.
Additional Information Concerning Junior Loans. Junior loans include secured and unsecured loans, such as subordinated loans, second lien and more junior loans, and bridge loans. Second lien and more junior loans are generally second or further in line in terms of repayment priority and priority with respect to an exercise of remedies. In addition, junior loans may have a claim on the same collateral pool as the first lien or other more senior liens, or may be secured by a separate set of assets. Junior secured loans generally give investors priority over general unsecured creditors and stockholders in the event of an asset sale.
Additional Information Concerning Revolving Credit Facilities. Revolving credit facilities (“revolvers”) are borrowing arrangements in which the lender agrees to make loans up to a maximum amount upon demand by the borrower during a specified term. As the borrower repays the loan, an amount equal to the repayment may be borrowed again during the term of the revolver. Revolvers usually provide for floating or variable rates of interest.
Revolvers may expose a lender to credit and liquidity risk. Revolvers have the effect of requiring a lender to increase its investment in a company at a time when it might not otherwise decide to do so (including at a time when the company’s financial condition makes it unlikely that such amounts will be repaid). Revolvers may be subject to restrictions on transfer, including restrictions that are more burdensome than transfer restrictions that apply to non-revolving loans, and only limited opportunities may exist to resell such instruments. As a result, a Fund may be unable to sell such investments at an opportune time or may have to resell them at less than fair market value.
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Additional Information Concerning Syndicated Bank Loans and Other Senior Loans. Syndicated bank loans and other senior loans are usually secured by liens on the assets of the borrower. Their seniority can vary.
Additional Information Concerning Unfunded Commitments. Unfunded commitments are contractual obligations pursuant to which a Fund agrees in writing to make one or more loans up to a specified amount at one or more future dates. The underlying loan documentation sets out the terms and conditions of the lender’s obligation to make the loans as well as the economic terms of such loans. Loan commitments are made pursuant to a term loan, a revolving credit line or a combination thereof. A term loan is generally a loan in a fixed amount that borrowers repay in a scheduled series of repayments or a lump-sum payment at maturity and may not be reborrowed. A revolving credit line permits borrowers to draw down, repay, and reborrow specified amounts on demand. The portion of the amount committed by a lender that the borrower has not drawn down is referred to as “unfunded.” Loan commitments may be traded in the secondary market through dealer desks at large commercial and investment banks although these markets are generally not considered liquid. They also are difficult to value. Borrowers pay various fees in connection with loans and related commitments and typically a Fund receives a commitment fee for amounts that remain unfunded under its commitment. Unfunded commitments may subject the Fund to risks that are similar to the risks described under “When-Issued and Forward Commitment Securities” and “TBA Purchase Commitments” discussed below.
Unfunded loan commitments expose lenders to credit risk. A lender typically is obligated to advance the unfunded amount of a loan commitment at the borrower’s request, subject to satisfaction of certain contractual conditions, such as the absence of a material adverse change. Borrowers with deteriorating creditworthiness may continue to satisfy their contractual conditions and therefore be eligible to borrow at times when the lender might prefer not to lend. In addition, a lender may have assumptions as to when a borrower may draw on an unfunded loan commitment when the lender enters into the commitment. If the borrower does not draw as expected, the commitment may not prove as attractive an investment as originally anticipated.
A Fund must comply with the SEC rule related to the use of derivatives, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions when engaging in such transactions. See "Legislation and Regulation Risk Related to Derivatives and Certain Other Instruments" above.
Management—The Funds are subject to management risk because they are actively managed investment portfolios. The Investment Managers (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) and each individual portfolio manager will apply investment techniques and risk analysis in making decisions for a Fund, but there can be no guarantee that these decisions will produce the desired results. Furthermore, active and frequent trading will increase the costs the Fund incurs because of higher brokerage charges or mark-up charges and tax costs, which are passed on to shareholders of the Fund and as a result, may lower the Fund’s performance and have a negative tax impact. Additionally, legislative, regulatory or tax developments may affect the investment techniques available to the Investment Managers and each individual portfolio manager in connection with managing a Fund and may also adversely affect the ability of a Fund to achieve its investment objectives.
Income from a Fund’s portfolio may decline when the Fund invests the proceeds from investment income, sales of investments or matured, traded or called debt securities. For example, during periods of declining interest rates, an issuer of debt securities held by a Fund may exercise an option to redeem securities prior to maturity, forcing the Fund to reinvest the proceeds in lower-yielding securities. A decline in income received by a Fund from its investments is likely to have a negative effect on the yield and total return of the Fund’s shares.
Master Limited Partnerships—The Diversified Income Fund may invest in or be exposed to master limited partnerships (“MLPs”), which are formed as limited partnerships or limited liability companies under state law and are treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The equity securities issued by many MLPs (typically general partner and limited partner interests) are publicly traded and listed and traded on a U.S. securities exchange. Certain MLP securities may trade in lower volumes due to their smaller capitalizations. Accordingly, those MLPs may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements, may lack sufficient market liquidity to enable the Fund to effect sales at an advantageous time or without a substantial drop in price, and investment in those MLPs may restrict the Fund’s ability to take advantage of other investment opportunities. The amount of cash that the Fund has available to distribute to shareholders will depend on the ability of the companies in which the Fund has an interest to make distributions or pay dividends to their investors, as well as the tax character of those distributions or dividends.
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MLPs are subject to various risks related to the underlying operating companies they control. For example, MLPs are subject to risks and may be adversely affected by a variety of events, including, but not limited to: fluctuations in the prices of commodities; the highly cyclical nature of the energy sector, which may adversely affect the earnings or operating cash flows of the issuers in which the Fund will invest; extreme weather conditions that could result in substantial damage to the facilities of certain MLPs; and significant volatility in the supply of natural resources, energy assets, commodity prices and the earnings of such companies, which could adversely affect their securities. A significant decrease in the production of energy commodities would reduce the revenue, operating income and operating cash flows of MLPs and, therefore, their ability to make distributions or pay dividends and a sustained decline in demand for energy commodities, which could adversely affect the revenues and cash flows of MLPs. MLPs also may be subject to construction risk, development risk, acquisition risk or other risks arising from their specific business strategies and risks associated with changing foreign, federal, state and local regulations. There is an inherent risk that MLPs may incur environmental costs and liabilities because of the nature of their businesses and the substances they handle and the possibility exists that stricter laws, regulations or enforcement policies could significantly increase the compliance costs of MLPs, and the cost of any remediation that may become necessary, which MLPs may not be able to recover from insurance. An MLP may be dependent on its parent(s) or sponsor(s) for a majority of its revenues and any failure by the parent(s) or sponsor(s) to satisfy payments or obligations would impact the company’s revenues and cash flows and ability to make distributions. The terms of an MLP’s transactions with its parent or sponsor are typically not arrived at on an arm’s-length basis, and may not be as favorable to the MLP as a transaction with a non-affiliate.
As partnerships, MLPs may be subject to less regulation (and less protection for investors) under state laws than corporations. In an MLP, the general partner (which may be structured as a private or publicly-traded corporation or other entity) manages and often controls, has an ownership stake in, and is normally eligible to receive incentive distribution payments from, the MLP. The general partner typically controls the operations and management of the entity through an up to 2% general partner interest in the entity plus, in many cases, ownership of some percentage of the outstanding limited partner interests. The limited partners, through their ownership of limited partner interests, provide capital to the entity, are intended to have no role in the operation and management of the entity and receive cash distributions.
Moreover, because the partnership units or limited liability interests of MLPs are listed and traded on a U.S. securities exchange, MLPs need to be operate in such a manner so as to be treated as partnerships for U.S. tax purposes. To be treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, an MLP must derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from certain qualifying sources as described in Section 7704(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"), including energy infrastructure assets and natural resources-based activities such as the exploration, development, mining, production, processing, refining, transportation, storage and certain marketing of mineral or natural resources. Due to their structure as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes and the expected character of their income, MLPs generally are not subject to U.S. federal income taxes. However, MLPs may be subject to state taxation in certain jurisdictions, which may reduce the amount of income an MLP pays to its investors. Thus, unlike investors in corporate securities, direct MLP investors are generally not subject to double taxation (i.e., corporate-level tax and tax on corporate dividends). The Fund will invest no more than 25% of its total assets in securities of MLPs that are qualified publicly traded partnerships, which are treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Individuals with taxable income from a direct interest in an MLP may be entitled to a 20% deduction with respect to such income. Currently, there is not a statutory or regulatory mechanism for the Fund to pass through such a deduction to its shareholders.
Mortgage-Backed Securities and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations—The Funds may invest in any level of the capital structure of MBS, which are securities that represent an interest in a pool of underlying mortgage loans. MBS, including mortgage pass-through securities and CMOs, include certain securities issued or guaranteed by the United States government or one of its agencies or instrumentalities, such as the Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA” or “Ginnie Mae”), the Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA” or “Fannie Mae”), or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC” or “Freddie Mac”); securities issued by private issuers that represent an interest in or are collateralized by mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or one of its agencies or instrumentalities; securities issued by private issuers that represent an interest in or are collateralized by mortgage loans; and reperforming/non-performing loans, reperforming/non-performing loan securitizations, and resecuritizations of existing MBS and/or asset-backed securities (“Re-REMICS”).
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Mortgage-backed securities are subject to scheduled and unscheduled principal payments as homeowners pay down or prepay their mortgages. As these payments are received, they must be reinvested when interest rates may be higher or lower than on the original mortgage security. Therefore, these securities are not an effective means of locking in long-term interest rates. In addition, when interest rates fall, the pace of mortgage prepayments picks up. These refinanced mortgages are paid off at face value (par), causing a loss for any investor who may have purchased the security at a price above par. In such an environment, this risk limits the potential price appreciation of these securities and can negatively affect a Fund’s NAV. When rates rise, the prices of mortgage-backed securities can be expected to decline, although historically these securities have experienced smaller price declines than comparable quality bonds. In addition, when rates rise and prepayments slow, the effective duration of mortgage-backed securities extends, resulting in increased volatility. A decline of housing values may cause delinquencies in the mortgages (especially sub-prime or non-prime mortgages) underlying MBS and thereby adversely affect the ability of the MBS issuer to make principal and interest payments to MBS holders.
MBS include commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) and residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”). Many of the risks of investing in MBS reflect the risks of investing in the real estate securing the underlying mortgage. The value of both CMBS and RMBS, like all MBS, depends on national, state and local conditions. RMBS are subject to credit risks arising from delinquencies and defaults on underlying mortgage loans by borrowers and breaches of underlying loan documentation by loan originators and servicers. CMBS are subject to credit risks because they tend to involve relatively large underlying mortgage loans and the repayment of commercial mortgages depends on the successful operation of, and cash flows from, mortgaged properties. The risks associated with CMBS include the effects of local and other economic conditions on real estate markets, the ability of tenants to make loan payments, government mandated closures of retail spaces (such as the closures during the recent public health situation), increases in interest rates, real estate tax rates and other operating expenses, changes in governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies, and the ability of a property to attract and retain tenants. CMBS depend on cash flows generated by underlying commercial real estate loans, receivables, and other assets, and can be significantly affected by changes in market and economic conditions, the availability of information regarding the underlying assets and their structures, and the creditworthiness of the borrowers or tenants. CMBS may be less liquid and exhibit greater price volatility than other types of mortgage- or asset-backed securities. CMBS issued by private issuers may offer higher yields than CMBS issued by government issuers, but also may be subject to greater volatility than CMBS issued by government issuers. In addition, the CMBS market in recent years has experienced substantially lower valuations and greatly reduced liquidity, and current economic and market conditions suggest that this trend for CMBS may continue. CMBS held by the Fund may be subordinated to one or more other classes of securities of the same series for purposes of, among other things, establishing payment priorities and offsetting losses and other shortfalls with respect to the related underlying mortgage loans. There can be no assurance that the subordination will be sufficient on any date to offset all losses or expenses incurred by the underlying trust.
A mortgage pass-through security is a pro rata interest in a pool of mortgages where the cash flow generated from the mortgage collateral is passed through to the security holder.
CMOs are debt securities that are fully collateralized by a portfolio of mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. All interest and principal payments from the underlying mortgages are passed through to the CMOs in such a way as to create, in most cases, more definite maturities than is the case with the underlying mortgages. CMOs may pay fixed or variable rates of interest, and certain CMOs have priority over others with respect to the receipt of prepayments. Stripped mortgage securities (a type of potentially high-risk derivative) are created by separating the interest and principal payments generated by a pool of mortgage-backed securities or a CMO to create additional classes of securities. CMOs are subject to principal prepayments on the underlying mortgages and thus, may be retired earlier than scheduled. CMOs are also subject to cash flow uncertainty and price volatility.
Certain Funds may invest in securities known as “inverse floating obligations,” “residual interest bonds,” and “interest-only” (“IO”) and “principal-only” (“PO”) bonds, the market values of which will generally be more volatile than the market values of most MBS due to the fact that such instruments are more sensitive to interest rate changes and to the rate of principal prepayments than are most other MBS. An inverse floating obligation is a derivative adjustable rate security with interest rates that adjust or vary inversely to changes in market interest rates and, as a result, these may be leveraged and cause increased volatility and interest rate sensitivity. The term “residual interest” bond is used generally to describe those instruments in collateral pools, such as CMOs, which receive any excess cash flow generated by the pool once all other bondholders and expenses have been paid. IOs and POs are created by separating the interest and principal payments generated by a pool of mortgage-backed bonds to create two classes of securities. Generally, one class receives interest-only payments and the other class principal-only payments. MBS
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have been referred to as “derivatives” because the performance of MBS is dependent upon and derived from underlying securities. Unlike with other mortgage-backed securities and POs, the value of IOs tends to move in the same direction as interest rates. A Funds can use IOs as a hedge against falling prepayment rates (interest rates are rising) and/or a bear market environment. POs can be used as a hedge against rising prepayment rates (interest rates are falling) and/or a bull market environment. IOs and POs are acutely sensitive to interest rate changes and to the rate of principal prepayments and the secondary market for these instruments may be limited and volatile. A rapid or unexpected increase in prepayments can severely depress the price of IOs, while a rapid or unexpected decrease in prepayments could have the same effect on POs. These securities are very volatile in price and may have lower liquidity than most other mortgage-backed securities. Certain non-stripped CMOs may also exhibit these qualities, especially those that pay variable rates of interest that adjust inversely with, and more rapidly than, short-term interest rates. In addition, if interest rates rise rapidly and prepayment rates slow more than expected, certain CMOs, in addition to losing value, can exhibit characteristics of longer-term securities and become more volatile. There is no guarantee that a Fund’s investment in CMOs, IOs, or POs will be successful, and a Fund’s total return could be adversely affected as a result. These securities are subject to high degrees of credit, valuation and liquidity risks.
CMOs may be issued in a variety of classes, and the Funds may invest in several CMO classes, including, but not limited to Floaters, Planned Amortization Classes (“PACs”), Scheduled Classes (“SCHs”), Sequential Pay Classes (“SEQs”), Support Classes (“SUPs”), Target Amortization Classes (“TACs”) and Accrual Classes (“Z Classes”). CMO classes vary in the rate and time at which they receive principal and interest payments. SEQs, also called plain vanilla, clean pay, or current pay classes, sequentially receive principal payments from underlying mortgage securities when the principal on a previous class has been completely paid off. During the months prior to their receipt of principal payments, SEQs receive interest payments at the coupon rate on their principal. PACs are designed to produce a stable cash flow of principal payments over a predetermined period of time. PACs guard against a certain level of prepayment risk by distributing prepayments to SUPs, also called companion classes. TACs pay a targeted principal payment schedule, as long as prepayments are not made at a rate slower than an expected constant prepayment speed. If prepayments increase, the excess over the target is paid to SUPs. SEQs may have a less stable cash flow than PACs and TACs and, consequently, have a greater potential yield. PACs generally pay a lower yield than TACs because of PACs’ lower risk. Because SUPs are directly affected by the rate of prepayment of underlying mortgages, SUPs may experience volatile cash flow behavior. When prepayment speeds fluctuate, the average life of a SUP will vary. SUPs, therefore, are priced at a higher yield than less volatile classes of CMOs. Z Classes do not receive payments, including interest payments, until certain other classes are paid off. At that time, the Z Class begins to receive the accumulated interest and principal payments. A Floater has a coupon rate that adjusts periodically (usually monthly) by adding a spread to a benchmark index subject to a lifetime maximum cap. The yield of a Floater is sensitive to prepayment rates and the level of the benchmark index.
Investment in MBS poses several risks, including prepayment, market and credit risks. Prepayment risk reflects the chance that borrowers may prepay their mortgages faster than expected, thereby affecting the investment’s average life and perhaps its yield. Borrowers are most likely to exercise their prepayment options at a time when it is least advantageous to investors, generally prepaying mortgages as interest rates fall and slowing payments as interest rates rise. Certain classes of CMOs may have priority over others with respect to the receipt of prepayments on the mortgages, and a Fund may invest in CMOs which are subject to greater risk of prepayment, as discussed above. Market risk reflects the chance that the price of the security may fluctuate over time. The price of MBS may be particularly sensitive to prevailing interest rates, the length of time the security is expected to be outstanding and the liquidity of the issue. In a period of unstable interest rates, there may be decreased demand for certain types of MBS, and if a Fund is invested in such securities and wishes to sell them, it may find it difficult to find a buyer, which may in turn decrease the price at which they may be sold. IOs and POs are acutely sensitive to interest rate changes and to the rate of principal prepayments. They are very volatile in price and may have lower liquidity than most mortgage-backed securities. Certain CMOs may also exhibit these qualities, especially those which pay variable rates of interest which adjust inversely with and more rapidly than short-term interest rates. Credit risk reflects the chance that the Fund may not receive all or part of its principal because the issuer or credit enhancer has defaulted on its obligations. Obligations issued by U.S. government-related entities are guaranteed by the agency or instrumentality, and some, such as GNMA certificates, are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury; others are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the Treasury; others, such as those of the FNMA, are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase the agency’s obligations; still others are supported only by the credit of the instrumentality. Although securities issued by U.S. government-related agencies are guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities, shares of the Funds are not so guaranteed in any way.
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Mortgage-related securities that are backed by pools of subprime mortgages are generally subject to a greater level of non-payment risk than mortgage-related securities that are not backed by pools of subprime mortgages. Subprime mortgages are loans made to borrowers with lower credit ratings and/or a shorter credit history and such borrowers are more likely to default on their obligations under the loan than more creditworthy borrowers. As a result, subprime mortgages underlying a mortgage-related security can experience a significant rate of non-payment. To the extent a Fund invests in mortgage-related securities backed by subprime mortgages, the Fund’s investment will be particularly susceptible to non-payment risk and the risks generally associated with investments in mortgage-related securities. Thus, the value of the Fund’s investment may be adversely affected by borrower non-payments, changes in interest rates, developments in the real estate market and other market and economic developments.
Historically, FHLMC and FNMA were agencies sponsored by the U.S. government that were supported only by the credit of the issuing agencies and not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. In 2008, however, due to the declining value of FHLMC and FNMA securities and concerns that the firms did not have sufficient capital to offset losses resulting from the mortgage crisis, FHLMC and FNMA were placed into conservatorship by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The effect that this conservatorship will have on FHLMC and FNMA and their guarantees remains uncertain. Although the U.S. government or its agencies provided financial support to FHLMC and FNMA, no assurance can be given that they will always provide support. The U.S. government and its agencies and instrumentalities do not guarantee the market value of their securities; consequently, the value of such securities will fluctuate.
The performance of private label MBS, issued by private institutions, is based on the financial health of those institutions. There is no guarantee that a Fund’s investment in MBS will be successful, and the Fund’s total return could be adversely affected as a result.
Municipal Bond Insurance—A Fund may purchase a Municipal Bond that is covered by insurance that guarantees the bond’s scheduled payment of interest and repayment of principal. This type of insurance may be obtained by either: (i) the issuer at the time the Municipal Bond is issued (primary market insurance); or (ii) another party after the bond has been issued (secondary market insurance). Both of these types of insurance seek to guarantee the timely and scheduled repayment of all principal and payment of all interest on a Municipal Bond in the event of default by the issuer, and cover a Municipal Bond to its maturity, typically enhancing its credit quality and value.
Even if a Municipal Bond is insured, it is still subject to market fluctuations, which can result in fluctuations in a Fund’s share price. In addition, a Municipal Bond insurance policy will not cover: (i) repayment of a Municipal Bond before maturity (redemption); (ii) prepayment or payment of an acceleration premium (except for a mandatory sinking fund redemption) or any other provision of a bond indenture that advances the maturity of the bond; or (iii) nonpayment of principal or interest caused by negligence or bankruptcy of the paying agent. A mandatory sinking fund redemption may be a provision of a Municipal Bond issue whereby part of the Municipal Bond issue may be retired before maturity.
Some of the Municipal Bonds outstanding are insured by a small number of insurance companies, not all of which have the highest credit rating. As a result, an event involving one or more of these insurance companies could have a significant adverse effect on the value of the securities insured by that insurance company and on the municipal markets as a whole. If the Municipal Bond is not otherwise rated, the ratings of insured bonds reflect the credit rating of the insurer, based on the rating agency’s assessment of the creditworthiness of the insurer and its ability to pay claims on its insurance policies at the time of the assessment. While the obligation of a Municipal Bond insurance company to pay a claim extends over the life of an insured bond, there is no assurance that Municipal Bond insurers will meet their claims. A higher-than-anticipated default rate on Municipal Bonds (or other insurance the insurer provides) could strain the insurer’s loss reserves and adversely affect its ability to pay claims to bondholders.
A Fund’s Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) may decide to retain an insured Municipal Bond that is in default, or, in the view of the Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable), in significant risk of default. While a Fund holds a defaulted, insured Municipal Bond, the Fund collects interest payments from the insurer and retains the right to collect principal from the insurer when the Municipal Bond matures, or in connection with a mandatory sinking fund redemption.
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Municipal Securities—
General Risks. A Fund may invest in municipal securities issued by or on behalf of states, territories and possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia and their political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities, the payments from which, in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer, are excludable from gross income for Federal income tax purposes (“Municipal Bonds”). Municipal Bonds in which a Fund invests may include those backed by state taxes and essential service revenues as well as health care and higher education issuers, among others, or be supported by dedicated revenue streams and/or statutory liens.
A Fund may also invest in Municipal Bonds that pay interest excludable from gross income for purposes of state and local income taxes of the designated state and/or allow the value of the Fund’s shares to be exempt from state and local taxes of the designated state. A Fund may also invest in securities not issued by or on behalf of a state or territory or by an agency or instrumentality thereof, if an Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) believes such securities to pay interest excludable from gross income for purposes of Federal income tax and state and local income taxes of the designated state and/or state and local personal property taxes of the designated state (“Non-Municipal Tax-Exempt Securities”). Non-Municipal Tax-Exempt Securities could include trust certificates or other instruments evidencing interest in one or more long term municipal securities. Non-Municipal Tax-Exempt Securities also may include securities issued by other investment companies that invest in Municipal Bonds, to the extent such investments are permitted by applicable law. Non-Municipal Tax-Exempt Securities that pay interest excludable from gross income for Federal income tax purposes will be considered “Municipal Bonds” for purposes of a Fund’s investment objective and policies.
The value of Municipal Bonds may also be affected by uncertainties with respect to the taxation of Municipal Bonds as a result of legislative or other changes. Neither a Fund nor an Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) can guarantee the accuracy of any opinion issued by bond counsel regarding the tax-exempt status of a Municipal Bond. Furthermore, there can be no guarantee that the IRS will agree with such counsel’s opinion. The value of Municipal Bonds may be affected by uncertainties in the municipal market related to legislation or litigation involving the taxation of Municipal Bonds or the rights of Municipal Bond holders in the event of a bankruptcy. From time to time, Congress has introduced proposals to restrict or eliminate the federal income tax exemption for interest on Municipal Bonds. State legislatures may also introduce proposals that would affect the state tax treatment of a Fund’s distributions. If such proposals were enacted, the availability of Municipal Bonds and the value of a Fund’s holdings would be affected, and the investment objectives and policies of a Fund would likely be re-evaluated.
Investments in Municipal Bonds present certain risks, including credit, interest rate, liquidity, and prepayment risks. Municipal Bonds may also be affected by local, state, and regional factors, including erosion of the tax base and changes in the economic climate. In addition, municipalities and municipal projects that rely directly or indirectly on federal funding mechanisms may be negatively affected by actions of the federal government including reductions in federal spending, increases in federal tax rates, or changes in fiscal policy.
The marketability, valuation or liquidity of Municipal Bonds may be negatively affected in the event that states, localities or their authorities default on their debt obligations or other market events arise, which in turn may negatively affect a Fund’s performance, sometimes substantially. A credit rating downgrade relating to, default by, or insolvency or bankruptcy of, one or several municipal issuers in a particular state, territory, or possession could affect the market value or marketability of Municipal Bonds from any one or all such states, territories, or possessions.
Issuers of Municipal Bonds in a state, territory, commonwealth or possession or instrumentality in which the Fund invests may experience significant financial difficulties for various reasons, including as the result of events that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled such as economic downturns or similar periods of economic stress, social conflict or unrest, labor disruption and natural disasters, or public health conditions. Such financial difficulties may lead to credit rating downgrades or defaults of such issuers which, in turn, could affect the market values and marketability of many or all Municipal Bonds of such issuers. For example, the recent economic and public health situation has significantly stressed the financial resources of many municipal issuers, which at times impaired their ability to meet their financial obligations when due and adversely impacted the value of their Municipal Bonds. In addition, preventative or protective actions that governments took in response to these types
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of conditions have in the past, and may in the future, result in periods of business disruption and reduced or disrupted operations, which could have long-term negative economic effects on state and local economies and budgets as well as various municipal or similar projects and could affect the value of Municipal Bonds held by a Fund.
Accordingly, the ability of an issuer of Municipal Bonds to make payments or repay interest (and a Fund’s investments in such issuer’s securities) may be affected by litigation or bankruptcy. In the event of bankruptcy of such an issuer, a Fund investing in the issuer’s securities could experience delays in collecting principal and interest, and the Fund may not, in all circumstances, be able to collect all principal and interest to which it is entitled. To enforce its rights in the event of a default in the payment of interest or repayment of principal, or both, a Fund may, in some instances, take possession of, and manage, the assets securing the issuer’s obligations on such securities, which may increase the Fund’s operating expenses. Any income derived from the Fund’s ownership or operation of such assets may not be tax-exempt.
The value of Municipal Bonds may also be affected by uncertainties with respect to the rights of holders of Municipal Bonds in the event that an insolvent municipality takes steps to reorganize its debt, which might include engaging in into municipal bankruptcy proceedings, extending debt maturities, reducing the amount of principal or interest, refinancing the debt or taking other similar measures. Under bankruptcy law, certain municipalities that meet specific conditions may be provided protection from creditors while they develop and negotiate plans for reorganizing their debts.
Municipal bankruptcies have in the past been relatively rare, and certain provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code governing such bankruptcies are unclear and remain untested. Legislative developments may result in changes to the laws relating to municipal bankruptcies, which may adversely affect a Fund’s investments in Municipal Bonds. Further, the application of state law to municipal issuers could produce varying results among the states or among Municipal Bond issuers within a state. These legal uncertainties could affect the Municipal Bond market generally, certain specific segments of the market, or the relative credit quality of particular securities. Any of these effects could have a significant impact on the prices of some or all of the Municipal Bonds held by a Fund.
Certain of the issuers in which a Fund may invest have recently experienced, or may experience, significant financial difficulties, particularly in light of current conditions. For example, Puerto Rico, in particular, has been experiencing significant financial difficulties (including budget deficits, underfunded pensions, high unemployment, a decline in population, significant debt service obligations, liquidity issues, and reduced access to financial markets). Certain issuers of Puerto Rico municipal bonds have experienced significant financial difficulties and the continuation or reoccurrence of these difficulties may impair their ability to pay principal or interest on their obligations. Puerto Rico’s economy has sizable concentrations in certain industries, such as the manufacturing and service industries, and may be sensitive to economic problems affecting those industries. Future Puerto Rico-related developments, such as political and economic developments, constitutional amendments, legislative measures, executive orders, administrative regulations, litigation, debt restructuring, and voter initiatives as well as environmental events, natural disasters, pandemics, epidemics or social unrest could have an adverse effect on the debt obligations of Puerto Rico issuers.
From time to time, the Municipal Income Fund may invest a substantial amount of its assets in municipal securities issued by or on behalf of a particular municipality. As a result, the Fund would be more exposed to risks affecting these issuers than a municipal securities fund that invests more widely. The Investment Manager’s allocation of the Fund’s assets among the issuers of municipal securities (and associated municipalities) may vary significantly from time to time. Please refer to the Fund’s most recent annual or semi-annual report to shareholders for portfolio holdings information as of the end of a recent fiscal period.
When the Municipal Income Fund invests a substantial amount of its assets in municipal securities issued by or on behalf of the State of California, Michigan, Texas or New York, its performance will be particularly susceptible to the ability of the issuers of California, Michigan, Texas or New York municipal securities, respectively, to continue to make principal and interest payments on their securities, which, in turn, depends on economic and other conditions within each state. Many complex factors may influence California’s economy and finances, including, but not limited to: (i) the performance of the high technology, trade, manufacturing, entertainment, government, agriculture, tourism, construction, and services industries; (ii) developments in the national and California economies; (iii) the collection of revenues above or below projections; (iv) a delay in, or an inability of, California to implement budget solutions as a result of, among other things, costs related to obligations that were
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deferred in prior years to balance budgets or costs related to current or future litigation; (v) an inability to implement planned expenditure reductions; (vi) natural disasters, such as wildfires, droughts and earthquakes; and (vii) actions performed by the federal government, including, but not limited to, disallowances, audits, and changes in aid levels. Similarly, Michigan’s economy and finances may be adversely affected by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) developments impacting the manufacturing sector and specifically, the auto industry; tourism; and agriculture; (ii) developments in the national and Michigan economies, including one or more Michigan municipalities becoming insolvent and filing for bankruptcy; (iii) the impact of a shift in monetary policy actions on interest rates and the financial markets; (iv) actions performed by the federal government, including, but not limited to, disallowances, audits, and changes in aid levels; (v) reductions in the available labor force; and (vi) litigation related to drinking water in the City of Flint. Additionally, Texas's economy and finances may be affected by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) the performance of the oil and gas industry, including drilling production, refining, chemical and energy-related manufacturing, the high technology manufacturing industry, including manufacturing of computers, electronics, and telecommunications equipment, and international trade; and (ii) developments in the national and Texas economies. Furthermore, New York's economy and finances may be adversely affected by a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) the performance of the financial services, information technology, education and health services, international commerce, travel and tourism, and manufacturing sectors; (ii) developments in the economies of New York, the United States, and New York City; (iii) inability to accurately calculate or fund post-employment benefit plans; (iv) receipt of federal aid, especially for health care, education and transportation; (v) defense of legal proceedings and possible liabilities stemming from litigation; (vi) financial difficulties encountered by the City of Buffalo, the City of Yonkers and Nassau County; and (vii) hurricanes and other natural disasters.
These or other constantly changing factors may cause unanticipated adverse results on the fiscal and economic status of California, Michigan, Texas, New York or municipal issuers in any of these states. Any such change(s) may adversely impact cash flows, expenditures, or revenues of California, Michigan, Texas or New York municipal issuers, or otherwise negatively impact the current or anticipated financial situation of California, Michigan, Texas or New York or their respective municipalities, which in turn could hurt the Fund’s performance.
Below are some of the additional risks of investments in particular segments of the Municipal Bonds market.
Electric Utilities. The electric utilities industry has been experiencing, and will likely continue to experience, increased competitive pressures. Federal legislation is expected to open transmission access to any electricity supplier, although it is not presently known to what extent competition will evolve. Other risks include: (i) the availability and cost of fuel, (ii) the availability and cost of capital, (iii) the effects of conservation on energy demand, (iv) the effects of rapidly changing environmental, safety, and licensing requirements, and other federal, state, and local regulations, (v) timely and sufficient rate increases, and (vi) opposition to nuclear power.
Health Care. The health care industry is subject to regulatory action by a number of private and governmental agencies, including federal, state, and local governmental agencies. A major source of revenues for the health care industry is payments from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. As a result, the industry is sensitive to legislative changes and reductions in governmental spending for such programs. General and local economic conditions, demand for services, expenses (including malpractice insurance premiums) and competition among health care providers may also affect the industry. In the future, the following elements may adversely affect health care facility operations: (i) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and any other federal legislation relating to health care reform; (ii) any state or local health care reform measures; (iii) medical and technological advances which dramatically alter the need for health services or the way in which such services are delivered; (iv) changes in medical coverage which alter the traditional fee-for-service revenue stream; and (v) efforts by employers, insurers, and governmental agencies to reduce the costs of health insurance and health care services.
Higher Education. In general, there are two types of education-related bonds: (i) those relating to projects for public and private colleges and universities; and (ii) those representing pooled interests in student loans. Bonds issued to supply educational institutions with funds are subject to the risk of unanticipated revenue decline resulting primarily from a decrease in student enrollment or reductions in state and federal funding. Restrictions on students’ ability to pay tuition, a reduction of the availability of state and federal funding, and declining general economic conditions are factors that may lead to declining or insufficient revenues. Student loan revenue bonds are generally offered by state authorities or commissions and are backed by pools of student loans. Underlying student loans may be guaranteed by state guarantee agencies and may be subject to reimbursement by the United States Department of Education through its guaranteed student loan program. Others student loans may
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be private, uninsured loans made to parents or students that are supported by reserves or other forms of credit enhancement. Recoveries of principal due to loan defaults may be applied to redemption of bonds or may be used to re-lend, depending on program latitude and demand for loans. Cash flows supporting student loan revenue bonds are impacted by numerous factors, including: (i) the rate of student loan defaults; (ii) seasoning of the loan portfolio; and (iii) student repayment deferral periods of forbearance. Other risks associated with student loan revenue bonds include: (i) potential changes in federal legislation regarding student loan revenue bonds; (ii) state guarantee agency reimbursement; and (iii) continued federal interest and other program subsidies currently in effect.
Housing. Housing revenue bonds are generally issued by a state, county, city, local housing authority, or other public agencies. Such bonds generally are secured by the revenues derived from mortgages purchased with the proceeds of the bond issue. Because it is extremely difficult to predict the supply of available mortgages to be purchased with the proceeds of an issue or the future cash flow from the underlying mortgages, there are risks that proceeds will exceed supply, resulting in early retirement of bonds, or that homeowner repayments will create an irregular cash flow. Many factors may affect the financing of multi-family housing projects, including: (i) acceptable completion of construction; (ii) proper management, occupancy and rent levels; (iii) economic conditions; and (iv) changes to current laws and regulations.
Similar Projects Risk. To the extent that a Fund is permitted to invest its assets in Municipal Bonds that finance similar projects, such as those relating to education, healthcare, housing, utilities, or water and sewers, the Fund may be more sensitive to adverse economic, business or political developments if it invests a substantial portion of its assets in bonds of similar projects.
Transportation. Bonds may be issued to finance the construction of airports, toll roads, highways or other transit facilities. Airport bonds are dependent on the specific carriers who use the particular airport as well as by the general stability of the airline industry, which can be affected by broader economic trends and events and the price and availability of fuel. Bonds issued to construct toll roads are affected by the cost and availability of fuel as well as toll levels, the presence of competing roads and the general economic health of an area. Other transportation-related securities are also affected by fuel costs and availability of other forms of transportation, such as public transportation.
Water and Sewer. Water and sewer revenue bonds are often considered to have relatively secure credit as a result of their issuer’s importance, monopoly status, and generally unimpeded ability to raise rates. Despite this, lack of water supply due to insufficient rain, run-off, or snow pack is a concern that has led to past defaults. Further, public resistance to rate increases, costly environmental litigation, and Federal environmental mandates may impact issuers of water and sewer bonds.
Political Uncertainty Risk—Markets in which a Fund is invested or is exposed to may experience political uncertainty (e.g., Brexit) that subjects the Fund’s investments to heightened risks, even when made in established markets. These risks include: greater fluctuations in currency exchange rates; increased risk of default (by both government and private issuers); greater social, economic, and political instability (including the risk of war or natural disaster); increased risk of nationalization, greater governmental involvement in the economy; less governmental supervision and regulation of the securities markets and participants in those markets; controls on foreign investment, capital controls and limitations on repatriation of invested capital and on a clients’ ability to exchange currencies; inability to purchase and sell investments or otherwise settle security or derivative transactions (i.e., a market freeze); unavailability of currency hedging techniques; slower clearance; and difficulties in obtaining and/or enforcing legal judgments.
During times of political uncertainty, the securities, derivatives and currency markets may become volatile. There also may be a lower level of monitoring and regulation of markets while a country is experiencing political uncertainty, and the activities of investors in such markets and enforcement of existing regulations may be extremely limited. Markets experiencing political uncertainty may have substantial rates of inflation for many years. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates may have negative effects on such countries’ economies and securities markets. In certain countries, inflation has at times accelerated rapidly to hyperinflationary levels, creating a negative interest rate environment and sharply eroding the value of outstanding financial assets in those countries. The disruption to markets caused by political uncertainty may adversely affect a Fund.
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Preferred Securities—Certain Funds may purchase preferred securities, which represent an equity interest in a company that generally entitles the holder to receive, in preference to the holders of other stocks such as common stocks, dividends and a fixed share of the proceeds resulting from a liquidation of the company, to the extent such proceeds are available after paying any more senior creditors. Some preferred stocks also entitle their holders to receive additional liquidation proceeds on the same basis as holders of a company’s common stock, and thus also represent an ownership interest in that company.
Preferred stocks may pay fixed or adjustable rates of return. Preferred stock is subject to issuer-specific and market risks applicable generally to equity securities. In addition, a company’s preferred stock generally pays dividends only after the company makes required payments to holders of its bonds and other debt. For this reason, the value of the preferred stock will usually react more strongly than bonds and other debt to actual or perceived changes in the company’s financial condition or prospects. Preferred stock of smaller companies may be more vulnerable to adverse developments than preferred stock of larger companies.
Put Bonds—A put bond (also referred to as a tender option or third party bond) is a bond created by coupling an intermediate or long-term fixed rate bond with an agreement giving the holder the option of tendering the bond to receive its par value. As consideration for providing this tender option, the sponsor of the bond (usually a bank, broker-dealer or other financial intermediary) receives periodic fees that equal the difference between the bond’s fixed coupon rate and the rate (determined by a remarketing or similar agent) that would cause the bond, coupled with the tender option, to trade at par. By paying the tender offer fees, a Fund in effect holds a demand obligation that bears interest at the prevailing short-term rate.
In selecting put bonds, an Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) takes into consideration the creditworthiness of the issuers of the underlying bonds and the creditworthiness of the providers of the tender option features. A sponsor may withdraw the tender option feature if the issuer of the underlying bond defaults on interest or principal payments or the bond’s rating is downgraded. Put bonds often pay a variable or floating rate of interest and therefore are subject to many of the same risks associated with investing in floating rate instruments, as described below under “Variable and Floating Rate Instruments.”
Qualified Financial Contracts—Qualified financial contracts include agreements relating to swaps, currency forwards and other derivatives as well as repurchase agreements and securities lending agreements. Beginning in 2019, regulations adopted by prudential regulators require that certain qualified financial contracts entered into with certain counterparties that are part of a U.S. or foreign banking organization designated as a global-systemically important banking organization include contractual provisions that delay or restrict the rights of counterparties, such as the Funds, to exercise certain close-out, cross-default and similar rights under certain conditions. Qualified financial contracts are subject to a stay for a specified time period during which counterparties, such as the Funds, will be prevented from closing out a qualified financial contract if the counterparty is subject to resolution proceedings and prohibit the Funds from exercising default rights due to a receivership or similar proceeding of an affiliate of the counterparty. Implementation of these requirements may increase credit and other risks to the Funds. Similar requirements may apply under the special resolution regime applicable to certain counterparties organized in other financial markets.
Quantitative Investing Risk—The Investment Managers  (or Sub-Adviser) may use quantitative models, algorithms, methods or other similar techniques or analytical tools (“quantitative tools”) in managing the Funds, including to generate investment ideas, identify investment opportunities or as a component of its overall portfolio construction processes and investment selection or screening criteria. Quantitative tools may also be used in connection with risk management and hedging processes. The value of securities selected using quantitative tools can react differently to issuer, political, market, and economic developments than the market as a whole or securities selected using only fundamental or other similar means of analysis. The factors used in quantitative tools and the weight placed on those factors may not be predictive of a security’s value or a successful weighting. In addition, factors that affect a security’s value can change over time and these changes may not be reflected in the quantitative tools. Thus, a Fund is subject to the risk that any quantitative tools used by an Investment Manager  (or Sub-Adviser) will not be successful in, among other things, forecasting movements in industries, sectors or companies and/or in determining the size, direction, and/or weighting of investment positions.
There is no guarantee that quantitative tools, and the investments selected based on such tools, will produce the desired results or enable a Fund to achieve its investment objective. A Fund may be adversely affected by imperfections, errors or limitations in construction and implementation (for example, limitations in a model, proprietary or third-party data imprecision or unavailability, software or other technology malfunctions, or
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programming inaccuracies) and the Investment Manager’s ability to monitor and timely adjust the metrics or update the data or features underlying the quantitative tools, including accounting for changes in the overall market environment, and identify and address omissions of relevant data or assumptions.
A quantitative tool may not perform as expected and a quantitative tool that has been formulated on the basis of past market data or trends may not be predictive of future price movements. A Fund may also be adversely affected by the Investment Manager’s ability to make accurate qualitative judgments regarding a quantitative tool’s output or operational complications relating to a quantitative tool.
Real Estate Securities—Certain Funds may invest in equity securities of real estate companies and companies related to the real estate industry, including real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) and companies with substantial real estate investments, and therefore, such Funds may be subject to certain risks associated with direct ownership of real estate and with the real estate industry in general. The Market Neutral Real Estate Fund and the Risk Managed Real Estate Fund consider the "real estate industry" to be comprised of the real estate group of industries as classified by widely recognized industry classification system providers such as Bloomberg Industry Classification System, Global Industry Classification Standards and Barclays Global Classification Scheme. The risks associated with direct ownership of real estate and the real estate industry include, among others: possible declines in the value of real estate; declines in rental income; possible lack of availability of mortgage funds; extended vacancies of properties; risks related to national, state and local economic conditions (such as the turmoil experienced during 2007 through 2009 in the residential and commercial real estate market); overbuilding; increases in competition, property taxes and operating expenses; changes in building, environmental, zoning and other laws; costs resulting from the clean-up of, and liability to third parties for damages resulting from, environmental problems; casualty or condemnation losses; uninsured damages from floods, earthquakes, terrorist acts or other natural disasters; limitations on and variations in rents; and changes in interest rates. The value of real estate securities are also subject to the management skill, insurance coverage and creditworthiness of their issuer. Because many real estate projects are dependent upon financing, rising interest rates, which increase the costs of obtaining financing, may cause the value of real estate securities to decline. Real estate income and values may be greatly affected by demographic trends, such as population shirts or changing tastes and values.
The prices of real estate company securities may drop because of the failure of borrowers to repay their loans, poor management, and the inability to obtain financing either on favorable terms or at all. If the properties do not generate sufficient income to meet operating expenses, including, where applicable, debt service, ground lease payments, tenant improvements, third-party leasing commissions and other capital expenditures, the income and ability of the real estate company to make payments of interest and principal on their loans will be adversely affected. Many real estate companies utilize leverage, which increases investment risk and could adversely affect a company’s operations and market value in periods of rising interest rates.
REITs—REITs are pooled investment vehicles which invest primarily in income producing real estate or real estate related loans or interests. REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs or hybrid REITs. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest payments. A hybrid REIT combines the characteristics of equity REITs and mortgage REITs, generally by holding both direct ownership interests and mortgage interests in real estate.
In addition to the risks affecting real estate securities generally, REITs are also subject to additional risks. REITs may invest in a limited number of properties, a narrow geographic area or a single type of property, which may increase the risk that the Fund could be adversely affected by the poor performance of a single investment or type of investment. REITs are also susceptible to the risks associated with the types of real estate securities they own and adverse economic or market events with respect to these securities and property types (e.g., apartment properties, retail shopping centers, office and industrial properties, hotels, health-care facilities, manufactured housing and mixed-property types). REITs have their own expenses, and as a result, the Fund and its shareholders will indirectly bear its proportionate share of expenses paid by each REIT in which it invests. Finally, certain REITs may be self-liquidating in that a specific term of existence is provided for in the trust document. Such trusts run the risk of liquidating at an economically inopportune time.
REITs are also subject to unique federal tax requirements. A REIT that fails to comply with federal tax requirements affecting REITs may be subject to federal income taxation, which may affect the value of the REIT and the characterization of the REIT’s distributions, and a REIT that fails to comply with the federal tax requirement that a
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REIT distribute substantially all of its net income to its shareholders may result in a REIT having insufficient capital for future expenditures. The failure of a company to qualify as a REIT could have adverse consequences for a Fund, including significantly reducing return to the Fund on its investment in such company. In the event of a default of an underlying borrower or lessee, a REIT could experience delays in enforcing its rights as a mortgagee or lessor and may incur substantial costs associated with protecting its investments. Investments in REIT equity securities may require the Fund to accrue and distribute income not yet received. In order to generate sufficient cash to make the requisite distributions, the Fund may be required to sell securities in its portfolio (including when it is not advantageous to do so) that it otherwise would have continued to hold. A Fund’s investments in REIT equity securities may at other times result in the Fund’s receipt of cash in excess of the REIT’s earnings; if the Fund distributes such amounts, such distribution could constitute a return of capital to Fund shareholders for federal income tax purposes. Dividends received by a Fund from a REIT generally will not constitute qualified dividend income but do qualify for a 20% deduction available for potential passthrough to Fund shareholders. REITs often do not provide complete tax information to the Fund until after the calendar yearend. Consequently, because of the delay, it may be necessary for the Fund to request permission from the IRS to extend the deadline for issuance of Forms 1099-DIV.
Repurchase Agreements, Reverse Repurchase Agreements and Dollar Roll Transactions—Each of the Funds may enter into bi-lateral and tri-party repurchase agreements. In a typical Fund repurchase agreement, a Fund enters into a contract with a broker, dealer, or bank (the “counterparty” to the transaction) for the purchase of securities or other assets. The counterparty agrees to repurchase the securities or other assets at a specified future date, or on demand, for a price that is sufficient to return to the Fund its original purchase price, plus an additional amount representing the return on the Funds’ investment. Such repurchase agreements economically function as a secured loan from the Fund to a counterparty. If the counterparty defaults on the repurchase agreement, a Fund will retain possession of the underlying securities or other assets. If bankruptcy proceedings are commenced with respect to the seller, realization on the collateral by a Fund may be delayed or limited and the Fund may incur additional costs. In such case, the Fund will be subject to risks associated with changes in market value of the collateral securities or other assets. A Fund intends to enter into repurchase agreements only with brokers, dealers, or banks or other permitted counterparties after the Investment Manager  (or Sub-Adviser)  evaluates the creditworthiness of the counterparty. The Funds will not enter into repurchase agreements with the Investment Manager or their affiliates. Except as described elsewhere in this SAI and as provided under applicable law, a Fund may enter into repurchase agreements without limitation.
Repurchase agreements collateralized fully by cash items, U.S. government securities or by securities issued by an issuer that the Funds’ Board of Trustees, or its delegate, has determined at the time the repurchase agreement is entered into has an exceptionally strong capacity to meet its financial obligations (“Qualifying Collateral”) and meet certain liquidity standards generally may be deemed to be “collateralized fully” and may be deemed to be investments in the underlying securities for certain purposes. A Fund may accept collateral other than Qualifying Collateral determined by the Investment Manager  (or Sub-Adviser)  to be in the best interests of the Fund to accept as collateral for such repurchase agreement (which may include high yield debt instruments that are rated below investment grade) (“Alternative Collateral”). Repurchase agreements secured by Alternative Collateral are not deemed to be “collateralized fully” under applicable regulations and the repurchase agreement is therefore considered a separate security issued by the counterparty to the Fund. Accordingly, a Fund must include repurchase agreements that are not “collateralized fully” in its calculations of securities issued by the selling institution held by the Fund for purposes of various portfolio diversification and concentration requirements applicable to the Fund. In addition, Alternative Collateral may not qualify as permitted or appropriate investments for a Fund under the Fund’s investment strategies and limitations. Accordingly, if a counterparty to a repurchase agreement defaults and a Fund takes possession of Alternative Collateral, the Fund may need to promptly dispose of the Alternative Collateral (or other securities held by the Fund, if the Fund exceeds a limitation on a permitted investment by virtue of taking possession of the Alternative Collateral). The Alternative Collateral may be particularly illiquid, especially in times of market volatility or in the case of a counterparty insolvency or bankruptcy, which may restrict a Fund’s ability to dispose of Alternative Collateral received from the counterparty. Depending on the terms of the repurchase agreement, a Fund may determine to sell the collateral during the term of the repurchase agreement and then purchase the same collateral at the market price at the time of the resale. (See “Short Sales”). In tri-party repurchase agreements, an unaffiliated third party custodian maintains accounts to hold collateral for a Fund and its counterparties and, therefore, the Fund may be subject to the credit risk of those custodians. Securities subject to repurchase agreements (other than tri-party repurchase agreements) and purchase and sale contracts will be held by the Fund’s custodian (or sub-custodian) in the Federal Reserve/Treasury book-entry system or by another authorized securities depository.
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Each of the Funds may also enter into reverse repurchase agreements with the same parties with whom they may enter into repurchase agreements. Under a reverse repurchase agreement, a Fund would sell securities or other assets and agree to repurchase them at a particular price at a future date. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the market value of the securities or other assets retained in lieu of sale by a Fund may decline below the price of the securities or other assets the Fund has sold but is obligated to repurchase. In the event the buyer of securities or other assets under a reverse repurchase agreement files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, such buyer or its trustee or receiver may receive an extension of time to determine whether to enforce the Fund’s obligation to repurchase the securities or other assets, and the Fund’s use of the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement may effectively be restricted pending such decision.
Each of the Funds may also enter into “dollar rolls,” in which a Fund sells MBS or other fixed-income securities for delivery and simultaneously contracts to repurchase substantially similar (same type, coupon and maturity) securities or other assets on a specified future date. A Fund may also enter into “TBA rolls,” in which the Fund agrees to sell a TBA, itself a forward transaction, and to buy forward a subsequent TBA. During the roll period, the Fund would forego principal and interest paid on such securities or other assets sold; however, the Fund would be permitted to invest the sale proceeds during the period. The Fund would be compensated by the difference between the current sales price and the forward price for the future purchase, as well as by the interest earned on the sale proceeds of the initial sale, minus the principal and interest paid on the securities or other assets during the period. When the Fund enters into a dollar roll, it becomes subject to the risk that any fluctuation in the market value of the security or other asset transferred or the securities or other assets in which the sales proceeds are invested can affect the market value of the Fund’s assets, and therefore, of the Fund’s NAV. Dollar rolls also subject the Fund to the risk that the market value of the securities or other assets the Fund is required to deliver may decline below the agreed upon repurchase price of those securities or other assets. In addition, in the event that the Fund’s counterparty becomes insolvent, the Fund’s use of the proceeds may become restricted pending a determination as to whether to enforce the Fund’s obligation to purchase the substantially similar securities or other assets.
A Fund must comply with the SEC Rule 18f-4 when engaging in reverse repurchase agreements or dollar roll transactions. See "Legislation and Regulation Risk Related to Derivatives and Certain Other Instruments" above.
Restricted Securities—A Fund may invest in restricted securities. Restricted securities cannot be sold to the public without registration under the 1933 Act. Unless registered for sale, restricted securities can be sold only in privately negotiated transactions or pursuant to an exemption from registration. Restricted securities may be classified as illiquid investments.
Restricted securities may involve a high degree of business and financial risk which may result in substantial losses. The securities may be less liquid than publicly traded securities. Although these securities may be resold in privately negotiated transactions, the prices realized from these sales could be less than those originally paid for by a Fund. A Fund may invest in restricted securities, including securities initially offered and sold without registration pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act (“Rule 144A Securities”) and securities of U.S. and non-U.S. issuers initially offered and sold outside the United States without registration with the SEC pursuant to Regulation S under the 1933 Act (“Regulation S Securities”). Rule 144A Securities and Regulation S Securities generally may be traded freely among certain qualified institutional investors, such as a Fund, and non-U.S. persons, but resale to a broader based of investors in the United States may be permitted only in significantly more limited circumstances. A qualified institutional investor is defined by Rule 144A under the 1933 Act generally as an institution, acting for its own account or for the accounts of other qualified institutional investors, that in the aggregate owns and invests on a discretionary basis at least $100 million in securities of issuers not affiliated with the institution. A dealer registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“1934 Act”), acting for its own account or the accounts of other qualified institutional investors, that in the aggregate owns and invests on a discretionary basis at least $10 million in securities of issuers not affiliated with the dealer may also qualify as a qualified institutional investor, as well as a 1934 Act registered dealer acting in a riskless principal transaction on behalf of a qualified institutional investor.
A Fund also may purchase restricted securities that are not eligible for resale pursuant to Rule 144A or Regulation S under the 1933 Act. The Funds may acquire such securities through private placement transactions, directly from the issuer or from security holders, generally at higher yields or on terms more favorable to investors than comparable publicly traded securities. However, the restrictions on resale of such securities may make it difficult for a Fund to dispose of such securities at the time considered most advantageous and/or may involve expenses that would not be incurred in the sale of securities that were freely marketable. Risks associated with restricted securities include the potential obligation to pay all or part of the registration expenses in order to sell certain restricted securities. A
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considerable period of time may elapse between the time of the decision to sell a security and the time a Fund may be permitted to sell it under an effective registration statement. If, during a period, adverse conditions were to develop, a Fund might obtain a less favorable price than prevailing when it decided to sell.
Risk-Linked Securities (“RLS”)—Risk-linked securities (“RLS”) are a form of derivative issued by insurance companies and insurance-related special purpose vehicles that apply securitization techniques to catastrophic property and casualty damages. RLS are typically debt obligations for which the return of principal and the payment of interest are contingent on the non-occurrence of a pre-defined “trigger event.” Depending on the specific terms and structure of the RLS, this trigger could be the result of a hurricane, earthquake or some other catastrophic event. Insurance companies securitize this risk to transfer to the capital markets the truly catastrophic part of the risk exposure. A typical RLS provides for income and return of capital similar to other fixed-income investments, but would involve full or partial default if losses resulting from a certain catastrophe exceeded a predetermined amount. RLS typically have relatively high yields compared with similarly rated fixed-income securities, and also have low correlation with the returns of traditional securities. Investments in RLS may be linked to a broad range of insurance risks, which can be broken down into three major categories: natural risks (such as hurricanes and earthquakes), weather risks (such as insurance based on a regional average temperature) and non-natural events (such as aerospace and shipping catastrophes). Although property-casualty RLS have been in existence for over a decade, significant developments have started to occur in securitizations done by life insurance companies. In general, life insurance industry securitizations could fall into a number of categories. Some are driven primarily by the desire to transfer risk to the capital markets, such as the transfer of extreme mortality risk (mortality bonds). Others, while also including the element of risk transfer, are driven by other considerations. For example, a securitization could be undertaken to relieve the capital strain on life insurance companies caused by the regulatory requirements of establishing very conservative reserves for some types of products. Another example is the securitization of the stream of future cash flows from a particular block of business, including the securitization of embedded values of life insurance business or securitization for the purpose of funding acquisition costs.
Risks Associated with Low-Rated and Comparable Unrated Securities (Junk Bonds)—Low-rated and comparable unrated securities, while generally offering higher yields than investment-grade securities with similar maturities, involve greater risks than higher quality debt instruments, particularly the possibility of default or bankruptcy. Low-rated and comparable unrated securities are regarded as predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer’s capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Accordingly, the performance of a Fund and a shareholder’s investment in the Fund may be adversely affected if an issuer is unable to pay interest and repay principal, either on time or at all. Subject to its investment strategies, a significant portion of a Fund’s investments can be comprised of low-rated and comparable unrated securities and thus particularly prone to the foregoing risks, which may result in substantial losses to the Fund. A Fund may also purchase low-rated and comparable unrated securities which are in default when purchased. The special risk considerations in connection with such investments are discussed below. See the Appendix of this SAI for a discussion of securities ratings.
The low-rated and comparable unrated securities market is still relatively new, and its growth paralleled a long economic expansion. As a result, it is not clear how this market may withstand a prolonged recession or economic downturn. Such a prolonged economic downturn could severely disrupt the market for and adversely affect the value of such securities.
Fixed rate securities typically experience appreciation when interest rates decline and depreciation when interest rates rise. The market values of low-rated and comparable unrated securities tend to reflect individual corporate, consumer, and commercial developments to a greater extent than do higher-rated securities, which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. Low-rated and comparable unrated securities also tend to be more sensitive to economic conditions than are higher-rated securities. As a result, they generally involve more credit risks than securities in the higher-rated categories. During an economic downturn or a sustained period of rising interest rates, highly leveraged issuers of low-rated and comparable unrated securities may experience financial stress and may not have sufficient revenues to meet their payment obligations. The issuer’s ability to service its debt obligations may also be adversely affected by specific corporate developments, the issuer’s inability to meet specific projected business forecasts, or the unavailability of additional financing. The risk of loss due to default by an issuer of low-rated and comparable unrated securities is significantly greater than issuers of higher-rated securities because such securities are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to other creditors. Further, if the issuer of a low-rated and comparable unrated security defaulted, a Fund might incur additional expenses to seek recovery. Periods of
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economic uncertainty and changes would also generally result in increased volatility in the market prices of low-rated and comparable unrated securities, including possibly greater volatility than is experienced by other types of securities, and thus a Fund’s performance and a shareholder’s investment in the Fund may be adversely affected.
As previously stated, the value of such a fixed rate security will decrease in a rising interest rate market and accordingly, so will a Fund’s NAV. If a Fund experiences unexpected net redemptions, particularly in such a market, it may be forced to liquidate a portion of its portfolio securities without regard to their investment merits. Due to the volatility of high-yield securities (discussed below) a Fund may be forced to liquidate these securities at a substantial discount. Any such liquidation would reduce the Fund’s asset base over which expenses could be allocated and could result in a reduced rate of return for the Fund.
Low-rated and comparable unrated securities typically contain redemption, call, or prepayment provisions which permit the issuer of such securities containing such provisions to, at their discretion, redeem the securities. During periods of falling interest rates, issuers of high-yield securities are likely to redeem or prepay the securities and refinance them with debt securities with a lower interest rate. To the extent an issuer is able to refinance the securities or otherwise redeem them, a Fund may have to replace the securities with a lower-yielding security, which would result in a lower return for the Fund and reduce the value of a shareholder’s investment in the Fund.
Credit ratings issued by credit-rating agencies evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market value risk of low-rated and comparable unrated securities and, therefore, may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment. In addition, credit-rating agencies may or may not make timely changes in a rating to reflect changes in the economy or in the condition of the issuer that affect the market value of the security. Consequently, credit ratings are used only as a preliminary indicator of investment quality. Investments in low-rated and comparable unrated securities will be more dependent on the credit analysis of an Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) than would be the case with investments in investment-grade debt securities. An Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) employs its own credit research and analysis, which includes a study of existing debt, capital structure, ability to service debt and to pay dividends, the issuer’s sensitivity to economic conditions, its operating history, and the current trend of earnings. The Investment Managers (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) continually monitor the investments in the Fund’s portfolio and carefully evaluates whether to dispose of or to retain low-rated and comparable unrated securities whose credit ratings or credit quality may have changed.
A Fund may have difficulty disposing of certain low-rated and comparable unrated securities because there may be a thin trading market for such securities, particularly under current conditions. Because not all dealers maintain markets in all low-rated and comparable unrated securities, there is no established retail secondary market for many of these securities. The Funds anticipate that such securities could be sold only to a limited number of dealers or institutional investors. To the extent a secondary trading market does exist, it is generally not as liquid as the secondary market for higher-rated securities. The lack of a liquid secondary market may have an adverse impact on the market price of the security. As a result, the Fund’s asset value and the Fund’s ability to dispose of particular securities, when necessary to meet the Fund’s liquidity needs or in response to a specific economic event, may be impacted. The lack of a liquid secondary market for certain securities may also make it more difficult for a Fund to obtain accurate market quotations for purposes of valuing the Fund. Market quotations are generally available on many low-rated and comparable unrated issues only from a limited number of dealers and may not necessarily represent firm bids of such dealers or prices for actual sales. During periods of thin trading, the spread between bid and asked prices is likely to increase significantly. In addition, adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may decrease the values and liquidity of low-rated and comparable unrated securities, especially in a thinly-traded market. The High Yield Fund may acquire lower quality debt securities during an initial underwriting or may acquire lower quality debt securities, which are sold without registration under applicable securities laws.
Legislation has been adopted, and from time to time, proposals have been discussed regarding new legislation designed to limit the use of certain low-rated and comparable unrated securities by certain issuers. An example of such legislation is a law which requires federally insured savings and loan associations to divest their investment in these securities over time. New legislation could further reduce the market because such legislation, generally, could negatively affect the financial condition of the issuers of unrated securities and could adversely affect the market in general. It is not currently possible to determine the impact of the recent legislation on this market. However, it is anticipated that if additional legislation is enacted or proposed, it could have a material effect on the value of low-rated and comparable unrated securities and the existence of a secondary trading market for the securities.
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Risks of Private Investments in Public Companies—The Funds may also make private investments in public companies whose stocks are quoted on stock exchanges or which trade in the OTC securities market, a type of investment commonly referred to as a “PIPE” transaction. PIPE transactions may be entered into with smaller capitalization public companies, which will entail business and financial risks comparable to those of investments in the publicly-issued securities of smaller capitalization companies, which may be less likely to be able to weather business or cyclical downturns than larger companies and are more likely to be substantially hurt by the loss of a few key personnel. In addition, PIPE transactions will generally result in a Fund acquiring either restricted stock or an instrument convertible into restricted stock. As with investments in other types of restricted securities, such an investment may be illiquid. A Fund’s ability to dispose of securities acquired in PIPE transactions may depend on the registration of such securities for resale. Any number of factors may prevent or delay a proposed registration. Alternatively, it may be possible for securities acquired in a PIPE transaction to be resold in transactions exempt from registration in accordance with Rule 144 under the 1933 Act, as amended, or otherwise under the federal securities laws. There can be no guarantee that there will be an active or liquid market for the stock of any small capitalization company due to the possible small number of stockholders. As a result, even if a Fund is able to have securities acquired in a PIPE transaction registered or sell such securities through an exempt transaction, the Fund may not be able to sell all the securities on short notice, and the sale of the securities could lower the market price of the securities. There is no guarantee that an active trading market for the securities will exist at the time of disposition of the securities, and the lack of such a market could hurt the market value of the Fund’s investments. For more detail, please refer to the “Restricted Securities” section of this SAI’s discussion of investment methods and risk factors.
Shares of Other Investment Vehicles—Each of the Funds may invest in shares of other investment companies or other investment vehicles, which may include, among others, mutual funds, closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), such as actively-managed or index-based investments, and private or foreign investment funds. The Diversified Income Fund will primarily invest in investment vehicles managed by an Investment Manager or its affiliates to achieve its investment objective until it is sufficiently large to invest in securities directly in an efficient manner, at which time the Fund may continue to invest significantly in such investment vehicles, which may include, among others, mutual funds, and closed-end funds. The Funds may also invest in investment vehicles that are not subject to regulation as registered investment companies, which may be classified as illiquid investments.
The investment companies in which the Fund invests may have adopted certain investment restrictions that are different than the Fund’s investment restrictions. For example, to the extent the Fund invests in underlying investment companies that concentrate their investments in an industry, a corresponding portion of the Fund’s assets may be indirectly exposed to that particular industry.
A Fund may purchase securities of other investment companies to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief. It is the Funds’ policy that if shares of a Fund are purchased by another fund (including any other registered open-end investment company or registered unit investment trust advised by Guggenheim Investments or its affiliates) in reliance on Section 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act, for so long as shares of the Fund are held by such other fund, the Fund will not purchase securities of a registered open-end investment company or registered unit investment trust in reliance on Section 12(d)(1)(F) or Section 12(d)(1)(G) of the 1940 Act.
A Fund may invest in other registered investment companies, such as mutual funds, closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds, and in business development companies (an underlying fund) in excess of statutory limits imposed by the 1940 Act in reliance on Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act. These investments would be subject to the applicable conditions of Rule 12d1-4, which in part would affect or otherwise impose certain limits on the investments and operations of the underlying fund (notably such fund’s ability to invest in other investment companies and private funds, which include certain structured finance vehicles). It is uncertain what effect the conditions of Rule 12d1-4 will have on a Fund’s investment strategies and operations or those of the underlying funds in which a Fund may invest.
The main risk of investing in index-based investment companies is the same as investing in a portfolio of securities comprising the index. The market prices of index-based investments will fluctuate in accordance with both changes in the market value of their underlying portfolio securities and due to supply and demand for the instruments on the exchanges on which they are traded. Index-based investments may not replicate exactly the performance of their specified index because of, among other things, transaction costs and because of the temporary unavailability of certain component securities of the index.
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To the extent a Fund invests in other investment companies, or other investment vehicles, it will incur its pro rata share of the underlying investment companies’ expenses (including, for example, investment advisory and other management fees and expenses). In addition, a Fund will be subject to the effects of business and regulatory developments that affect an underlying investment company or the investment company industry generally.
A Fund may invest in other funds in the same “group of investment companies” as permitted under the 1940 Act and the rules thereunder. Funds in the same “group of investment companies” as the Funds are other Guggenheim open-end funds, Guggenheim closed-end funds and Rydex funds, each of which is advised by Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC, Security Investors, LLC, or GPIM, which are under common control.
Investments in Guggenheim Short-Term Funds. Upon entering into certain derivatives contracts, such as futures contracts, and to maintain open positions in certain derivatives contracts, a Fund may be required to post collateral for the contract, the amount of which may vary. As such, or for other portfolio management purposes, a Fund may maintain significant cash balances (including foreign currency balances). A Fund, particularly the Market Neutral Real Estate Fund, may also have cash balances for other reasons, including cash proceeds from the Fund’s short sales.
As disclosed in the Prospectuses, certain Funds may invest a substantial portion of their respective assets in certain Guggenheim short-term funds advised by GPIM, or an affiliate of GPIM, that invest in short-term fixed-income or floating rate securities. These funds are designed primarily to provide an alternative to investing directly and separately in various short-term fixed-income or floating rate securities. These Guggenheim short-term funds invest in: (i) a broad range of high yield, high risk debt securities rated below the top four long-term rating categories by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (also known as “junk bonds”) or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Manager, to be of comparable quality; (ii) collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”), other asset-backed securities and similarly structured debt investments; and (iii) other short-term fixed or floating rate debt securities. Accordingly, to the extent a Fund invests in such Guggenheim funds, the Fund would be subject to the risks tied to all of those investments and investment returns will vary based on the performance of those asset classes.
These investment companies are registered open-end investment companies primarily available only to other investment companies and separately managed accounts managed by the Investment Managers and their affiliates. The subscription and redemption activities of these large investors can have a significant adverse effect on these investment companies and thus the Funds. For example, the liquidity of the investment companies can be limited as a result of large redemptions.
Short Sales—Certain Funds may make short sales “against the box,” in which the Fund enters into a short sale of a security it owns or has the right to obtain at no additional cost. Each Fund may also make short sales of securities the Fund does not own. If a Fund makes a short sale, the Fund does not immediately deliver from its own account the securities sold and does not receive the proceeds from the sale. To complete the sale, the Fund must borrow the security (generally from the broker through which the short sale is made, and potentially via repurchase agreement) in order to make delivery to the buyer. The Fund must replace the security borrowed by purchasing it at the market price at the time of replacement or delivering the security from its own portfolio. The Fund is said to have a “short position” in securities sold until it delivers them to the broker at which time it receives the proceeds of the sale.
A Fund may make short sales that are not “against the box.” Short sales by a Fund that are not made “against the box” create opportunities to increase the Fund’s return but, at the same time, involve specific risk considerations and may be considered a speculative technique. Since the Fund in effect profits from a decline in the price of the securities sold short without the need to invest the full purchase price of the securities on the date of the short sale, the Fund’s NAV per share tends to increase more when the securities it has sold short decrease in value, and to decrease more when the securities it has sold short increase in value, than would otherwise be the case if it had not engaged in such short sales. The amount of any gain will be decreased, and the amount of any loss increased, by the amount of any premium, dividends or interest the Fund may be required to pay in connection with the short sale. Short sales theoretically involve unlimited loss potential, as the market price of securities sold short may continually increase, although a Fund may mitigate such losses by replacing the securities sold short before the market price has increased significantly. Under adverse market conditions the Fund might have difficulty purchasing securities to meet its short sale delivery obligations and might have to sell portfolio securities to raise the capital necessary to meet its short sale obligations at a time when fundamental investment considerations would not favor such sales.
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A Fund’s decision to make a short sale “against the box” may be a technique to hedge against market risks when the Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) believes that the price of a security may decline, causing a decline in the value of a security owned by the Fund or a security convertible into or exchangeable for such security. In such case, any future losses in the Fund’s long position would be reduced by a gain in the short position. The extent to which such gains or losses in the long position are reduced will depend upon the amount of securities sold short relative to the amount of the securities the Fund owns, either directly or indirectly, and, in the case where the Fund owns convertible securities, changes in the investment values or conversion premiums of such securities. The Fund can close out its short position by purchasing and delivering an equal amount of the securities sold short, rather than by delivering securities already held by the Fund, because the Fund might want to continue to receive interest and dividend payments on securities in its portfolio that are convertible into the securities sold short.
While the short sale is outstanding, a Fund will be required to pledge a portion of its assets to the broker as collateral for the obligation to deliver the security to the broker at the close of the transaction. The broker will also hold the proceeds of the short sale until the close of the transaction. A Fund is often obligated to pay over interest and dividends on the borrowed security to the broker.
A Fund will incur transaction costs, including interest expense, in connection with opening, maintaining and closing short sales.
A Fund must comply with the SEC rule related to the use of derivatives, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions when engaging in such transactions. See "Legislation and Regulation Risk Related to Derivatives and Certain Other Instruments" above.
Short-Term Instruments—When the Funds experience large cash inflows through the sale of securities and desirable equity securities that are consistent with the Funds’ investment objectives are unavailable in sufficient quantities or at attractive prices, the Funds may hold short-term investments for a limited time at the discretion of the Investment Managers (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable). Short-term instruments consist of: (1) short-term obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities or by any of the states; (2) other short-term debt securities; (3) commercial paper; (4) bank obligations, including negotiable certificates of deposit, time deposits and bankers’ acceptances; (5) repurchase agreements; (6) shares of money market funds; and (7) non-convertible corporate debt securities (e.g., bonds and debentures) with remaining maturities as of the date of purchase of not more than 397 days and that are rated in the top-two short-term categories by two Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organizations ("NRSROs"), or if unrated, deemed to be of equal quality by an Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable).
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies—A Fund may invest in stock, warrants, rights and other securities of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) or similar special purpose entities in a private placement transaction or as part of a public offering. A SPAC, sometimes referred to as “blank check company,” is a private or publicly traded company that raises investment capital for the purpose of acquiring or merging with an existing company. The shares of a SPAC are typically issued in “units” that include one share of common stock and one right or warrant (or partial right or warrant) conveying the right to purchase additional shares of common stock. At a specified time, the rights and warrants may be separated from the common stock at the election of the holder, after which time each security typically is freely tradeable. Private companies can combine with a SPAC to go public by taking the SPAC’s place on an exchange as an alternative to making an initial public offering.
As an alternative to obtaining a public listing through a traditional IPO, SPAC investments carry many of the same risks as investments in IPO securities. These may include, but are not limited to, erratic price movements, greater risk of loss, lack of information about the issuer, limited operating and little public or no trading history, and higher transaction costs. Please refer to the discussions of risks related to investments in “Equity Securities” for additional information concerning risks associated with IPOs.
Investments in SPACs also have risks peculiar to the SPAC structure and investment process. Until an acquisition or merger is completed, a SPAC generally invests its assets, less a portion retained to cover expenses, in U.S. government securities, money market securities and cash and does not typically pay dividends in respect of its common stock. To the extent a SPAC is invested in cash or similar securities, this may impact a Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. SPAC shareholders may not approve any proposed acquisition or merger, or an acquisition or merger, once effected, may prove unsuccessful. If an acquisition or merger is not completed within a pre-established period (typically, two years), the remainder of the funds invested in the SPAC are returned to its shareholders unless shareholders approve alternative options. While a SPAC investor may receive both stock in the
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SPAC, as well as warrants or other rights at no marginal cost, those warrants or other rights may expire worthless or may be repurchased or retired by the SPAC at an unfavorable price. A Fund may also be delayed in receiving any redemption or liquidation proceeds from a SPAC to which it is entitled. An investment in a SPAC is typically subject to a higher risk of dilution by additional later offerings of interests in the SPAC or by other investors exercising existing rights to purchase shares of the SPAC.
SPAC investments are also subject to the risk that a significant portion of the funds raised by the SPAC may be expended during the search for a target acquisition or merger. Because SPACs only business is to seek acquisitions, the value of their securities is particularly dependent on the ability of the SPAC’s management to identify and complete a profitable acquisition or merger target. Among other conflicts of interest, the economic interests of the management, directors, officers and related parties of a SPAC can differ from the economic interests of public shareholders, which may lead to conflicts as they evaluate, negotiate and recommend business combination transactions to shareholders. For example, since the sponsor, directors and officers of a SPAC may directly or indirectly own interests in a SPAC, the sponsor, directors and officers may have a conflict of interest in determining whether a particular target business is an appropriate business with which to effectuate a business combination. This risk may become more acute as the deadline for the completion of a business combination nears. In addition, the requirement that a SPAC complete a business combination within a prescribed time frame may give potential target businesses leverage over the SPAC in negotiating a business combination, and may limit the time the SPAC has in which to conduct due diligence on potential business combination targets, which could undermine the SPAC’s ability to complete a business combination on terms that would produce value for its shareholders. Some SPACs pursue acquisitions and mergers only within certain market sectors or regions, which can increase the volatility of their prices. Conversely, other SPACs may invest without such limitations, in which case management may have limited experience or knowledge of the market sector or region in which the transaction is contemplated. Moreover, interests in SPACs may be illiquid and/or be subject to restrictions on resale, which may remain for an extended time, and may only be traded in the over-the-counter market. If there is no market for some interests in a SPAC, or only a thinly traded market, a Fund may not be able to sell its interest, or may be able to sell its interest only at a price below what the Fund believes is the SPAC interest’s value.
Spread Transactions—A Fund may purchase covered spread options from securities dealers. Such covered spread options are not presently exchange-listed or exchange-traded. The purchase of a spread option gives a Fund the right to put, or sell, a security that it owns at a fixed dollar spread or fixed yield spread in relationship to another security that the Fund does not own, but which is used as a benchmark. The risk to a Fund in purchasing covered spread options is the cost of the premium paid for the spread option and any transaction costs. In addition, there is no assurance that closing transactions will be available. The purchase of spread options will be used to protect the Fund against adverse changes in prevailing credit quality spreads, i.e., the yield spread between high quality and lower quality securities. Such protection is only provided during the life of the spread option.
Swap Agreements—Each Fund may enter into swap agreements, including, but not limited to, total return swaps, index swaps, interest rate swaps, municipal market data rate locks and credit default swaps. Swaps are particularly subject to counterparty credit, correlation (imperfect correlations with underlying investments or a Fund’s other portfolio holdings), valuation, liquidity and leveraging risks and could result in substantial losses to a Fund and a shareholder’s investment in a Fund. A Fund may utilize swap agreements in an attempt to gain exposure to the securities or other assets in a market without actually purchasing those securities or other assets, or to hedge a position or to generate income. Swap agreements are contracts for periods ranging from a day to more than one-year and may be negotiated bilaterally and traded OTC between two parties or, in some instances, must be transacted through a futures commission merchant and cleared through a clearinghouse that serves as a central counterparty. In a standard swap transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested in an issuer, a “basket” of securities or other assets or ETFs. Forms of swap agreements may include (i) interest rate caps, under which, in return for a premium, one party agrees to make payments to the other to the extent that interest rates exceed a specified rate, or “cap;” (ii) interest rate floors, under which, in return for a premium, one party agrees to make payments to the other to the extent that interest rates fall below a specified level, or “floor;” and (iii) interest rate collars, under which a party sells a cap and purchases a floor or vice versa in an attempt to protect itself against interest rate movements exceeding given minimum or maximum levels. Certain interest rate swaps and forwards are subject to mandatory central clearing and execution on swap execution facilities, as noted further herein.
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Another form of swap agreement is a credit default swap. A credit default swap enables a Fund to buy or sell protection against a defined credit event of an issuer or a basket of securities or other assets or ETFs. Generally, the seller of credit protection against an issuer or basket of securities or other assets receives a periodic payment to compensate against potential default events. If a default event occurs, the seller must pay the buyer the full notional value of the reference obligation in exchange for the reference obligation, or a cash-settlement payment. Any such physical or cash settlement may be effected through an auction settlement process, if agreed to by the parties when they enter the transaction. If no default occurs, the counterparty will pay the stream of payments and have no further obligations to the Fund selling the credit protection.
In contrast, the buyer of a credit default swap would have the right to deliver a referenced debt obligation and receive the par (or other agreed-upon) value of such debt obligation from the counterparty in the event of a default or other credit event (such as a credit downgrade) by the reference issuer, such as a U.S. or foreign corporation, with respect to its debt obligations, or a cash-settlement payment. In return, the buyer of the credit protection would pay the counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no event of default has occurred. If no default occurs, the counterparty would keep the stream of payments and would have no further obligations to the Fund purchasing the credit protection. Certain credit default swap products are subject to mandatory central clearing and execution on swap execution facilities, as noted further herein.
Each Fund also may enhance income by selling credit protection or attempt to mitigate credit risk by buying protection. Credit default swaps could result in losses if the creditworthiness of an issuer or a basket of securities or other assets is not accurately evaluated.
Most swap agreements (but generally not credit default swaps) that a Fund might enter into require the parties to calculate the obligations of the parties to the agreement on a “net basis.” Swap agreements may not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets. Consequently, a Fund’s obligations (or rights) and risk of loss under such a swap agreement would generally be equal only to the net amount to be paid or received under the agreement based on the relative values of the positions held by each party to the agreement (the “net amount”). Other swap agreements, such as credit default swaps, may require initial premium (discount) payments as well as periodic payments (receipts) related to the interest leg of the swap or to the default of a reference obligation.
Because they may be two party contracts and because they may have terms of greater than seven days, swap agreements may be classified as illiquid investments. A Fund would not enter into any swap agreement unless an Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. A Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap agreement counterparty, or in the case of a credit default swap in which a Fund is selling credit protection, the default of a third party issuer.
Each Fund may enter into swap agreements to invest in a market without owning or taking physical custody of the underlying securities or other assets in circumstances in which direct investment is restricted for legal reasons or is otherwise impracticable. The counterparty to any swap agreement would typically be a bank, investment banking firm or broker-dealer or, in the case of a cleared swap, the clearinghouse. The counterparty would generally agree to pay a Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the swap agreement would have increased in value had it been invested in the particular stocks, plus the dividends that would have been received on those stocks. The Fund would agree to pay to the counterparty a floating rate of interest on the notional amount of the swap agreement plus the amount, if any, by which the notional amount would have decreased in value had it been invested in such stocks. Therefore, the return to a Fund on any swap agreement should be the gain or loss on the notional amount plus dividends on the stocks less the interest paid by the Fund on the notional amount.
A Fund may also enter into swaps on an index, including credit default index swaps (“CDX”), which are swaps on an index of credit default swaps. For example, a commercial mortgage-backed index (“CMBX”) is a type of CDX made up of 25 tranches of commercial mortgage-backed securities rather than CDS. Unlike other CDX contracts where credit events are intended to capture an event of default, CMBX involves a pay-as-you-go settlement process designed to capture non-default events that affect the cash flow of the reference obligation. Pay-as-you-go settlement involves ongoing, two-way payments over the life of a contract between the buyer and the seller of protection and is designed to closely mirror the cash flow of a portfolio of cash commercial mortgage-backed securities. Certain CDX are subject to mandatory central clearing and exchange trading, which may reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity compared to other credit default swap or CDS index transactions. Investments in CMBX are also subject to the risks associated with MBS, which are described above, as well as the
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risks associated with the types of properties tied to the underlying mortgages (e.g., apartment properties, retail shopping centers, office and industrial properties, hotels, health-care facilities, manufactured housing and mixed-property types) and adverse economic or market events with respect to these property types.
The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, the swap market has become relatively liquid in comparison with the markets for other similar instruments that are traded in the OTC market. The Investment Managers (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable), under the oversight of the Board, are responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of Fund transactions in swap agreements.
As noted above, certain standardized swaps are subject to mandatory exchange-trading and/or central clearing. While exchange-trading and central clearing are intended to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity, they do not make swap transactions risk-free. The Dodd-Frank Act and related regulatory developments require the clearing and exchange-trading of certain OTC derivative instruments that the CFTC and SEC have defined as “swaps” (such as certain interest rate swaps and forwards and certain index credit default swaps). Mandatory exchange-trading and clearing are occurring on a phased-in basis based on CFTC approval of contracts for central clearing. Depending on a Fund’s size and other factors, the margin required under the rules of the clearinghouse and by the clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by a Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral swap. Moving trading to an exchange-type system may increase market transparency and liquidity but may require a Fund to incur increased expenses to access the same types of cleared and uncleared swaps. In addition, the CFTC, SEC and the prudential regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps which may result in a Fund and its counterparties posting higher margin amounts for uncleared swaps. Recently adopted rules also require centralized reporting of detailed information about many types of cleared and uncleared swaps. Reporting of swap data may result in greater market transparency, but may subject a Fund to additional administrative burdens and the safeguards established to protect trader anonymity may not function as expected. The Investment Managers (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) will continue to monitor developments in this area, particularly to the extent regulatory changes affect the ability of the Funds to enter into swap agreements. Regulatory changes and additional requirements may increase costs associated with derivatives transactions and may subject a Fund to additional administrative burdens, which may adversely affect investors.
The use of swap agreements, including credit default swaps, is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. If a counterparty’s creditworthiness declines, the value of the swap would likely decline. Moreover, there is no guarantee that a Fund could eliminate its exposure under an outstanding swap agreement by entering into an offsetting swap agreement with the same or another party.
A Fund must comply with the SEC rule related to the use of derivatives, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions when engaging in such transactions. See "Legislation and Regulation Risk Related to Derivatives and Certain Other Instruments" above.
Tender Option Bonds—Tender option bonds are created by depositing intermediate- or long-term, fixed-rate or variable rate, municipal bonds into a trust and issuing two classes of trust interests (or “certificates”) with varying economic interests to investors. Holders of the first class of trust interests, or floating rate certificates, receive tax-exempt interest based on short-term rates and may tender the certificate to the trust at par. As consideration for providing the tender option, the trust sponsor (typically a bank, broker-dealer, or other financial institution) receives periodic fees. The trust pays the holders of the floating rate certificates from proceeds of a remarketing of the certificates or from a draw on a liquidity facility provided by the sponsor. A Fund investing in a floating rate certificate effectively holds a demand obligation that bears interest at the prevailing short-term tax-exempt rate. The floating rate certificate is typically an eligible security for money market funds. Holders of the second class of interests, sometimes called the residual income certificates, are entitled to any tax-exempt interest received by the trust that is not payable to floating rate certificate holders, and bear the risk that the underlying municipal bonds decline in value. The laws and regulations that apply to investments by bank entities, potentially including their ability to establish tender option bonds, are rapidly changing. The impact of these changes on the Municipal Income Fund and its investment strategy is not yet fully ascertainable.
A Fund holding the second class of interests may be required to comply with the SEC rule related to the use of derivatives, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions when engaging in such transactions. See "Legislation and Regulation Risk Related to Derivatives and Certain Other Instruments" above.
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U.S. Government Securities—Consistent with its investment objective and strategies, a Fund may invest in obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, including: (1) direct obligations of the U.S. Treasury and (2) obligations issued by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities. Included among direct obligations of the U.S. are Treasury Bills, Treasury Notes and Treasury Bonds, which differ in terms of their interest rates, maturities, and dates of issuance. Treasury Bills have maturities of less than one year, Treasury Notes have maturities of one to 10 years and Treasury Bonds generally have maturities of greater than 10 years from the date of issuance. Included among the obligations issued by agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. are: instruments that are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S., such as certificates issued by the Government National Mortgage Association (“GNMA” or “Ginnie Mae”); instruments that are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury (such as securities of Federal Home Loan Banks); and instruments that are supported solely by the credit of the instrumentality, such as Federal National Mortgage Association (“FNMA” or “Fannie Mae”) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“FHLMC” or “Freddie Mac”). In September 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conservatorship. At the same time, the U.S. Treasury agreed to acquire $1 billion of senior preferred stock of each instrumentality and obtained warrants for the purchase of common stock of each instrumentality. Under these Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements (“SPAs”), as amended, the U.S. Treasury has pledged to provide financial support to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in any quarter which the respective entity has a net worth deficit as defined in the respective SPA, as amended.
Also in December 2009, the U.S. Treasury amended the SPAs to provide Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with some additional flexibility to meet the requirement to reduce their mortgage portfolios. The actions of the U.S. Treasury are intended to ensure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac maintain a positive net worth and meet their financial obligations, preventing mandatory triggering of receivership. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Treasury initiatives will be successful. Other U.S. government securities a Fund may invest in include (but are not limited to) securities issued or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, Farmers Home Loan Administration, Export-Import Bank of the U.S., Small Business Administration, General Services Administration, Central Bank for Cooperatives, Federal Farm Credit Banks, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, Federal Land Banks, Maritime Administration, Tennessee Valley Authority, District of Columbia Armory Board and Student Loan Marketing Association. Because the U.S. government is not obligated by law to provide support to an instrumentality it sponsors, a Fund will invest in obligations issued by such an instrumentality only if the Investment Manager determines that the credit risk with respect to the instrumentality does not make its securities unsuitable for investment by the Fund.
No assurance can be given as to whether the U.S. government will continue to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In addition, the future for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remains uncertain. Congress has considered proposals to reduce the U.S. government’s role in the mortgage market of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, including proposals as to whether Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be nationalized, privatized, restructured or eliminated altogether. Should the federal government adopt any such proposal, the value of a Fund’s investments in securities issued by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would be impacted. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also the subject of continuing legal actions and investigations which may have an adverse effect on these entities. In the event that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are taken out of conservatorship, it is unclear whether Treasury would continue to enforce its rights or perform its obligations under the SPAs. It is also unclear how the capital structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be constructed post-conservatorship, and what effects, if any, the privatization of the enterprises will have on their creditworthiness and guarantees of certain MBS. Accordingly, should the FHFA take the enterprises out of conservatorship, there could be an adverse impact on the value of their securities, which could cause a Fund to lose value.
Under a letter agreement entered into in January 2021, each enterprise is permitted to retain earnings and raise private capital to enable them to meet the minimum capital requirements under the FHFA’s Enterprise Regulatory Capital Framework. The letter agreement also permits each enterprise to develop a plan to exit conservatorship, but may not do so until all litigation involving the conservatorships is resolved and each enterprise has the minimum capital required by FHFA’s rules.
Any controversy or ongoing uncertainty regarding the status of negotiations in the U.S. Congress to increase the statutory debt ceiling may impact the creditworthiness of the U.S. Government and the liquidity and/or market value of U.S. government debt securities held by a Fund. If the U.S. Congress is unable to negotiate an adjustment to the statutory debt ceiling, there is also the risk that the U.S. government may default on payments on certain U.S. government securities (including U.S. Treasury securities), including those held by a Fund, which could have a
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material negative impact on the Fund. These types of situations could result in higher interest rates, lower prices of U.S. Treasury and other U.S. government securities and could adversely affect a Fund’s investments, including in other types of debt instruments.
A Fund may invest in securities issued by government agencies and sold through an auction process, which may be subject to certain risks associated with the auction process. A Fund may also invest in separately traded principal and interest components of securities guaranteed or issued by the U.S. government or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises if such components trade independently under the Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities program (“STRIPS”) or any similar program sponsored by the U.S. government. STRIPS may be sold as zero coupon securities.
Variable and Floating Rate Instruments—Certain Funds may invest in variable or floating rate instruments and variable rate demand instruments, including variable amount master demand notes. These instruments will normally involve industrial development or revenue bonds that provide that the rate of interest is set as a specific percentage of a designated base rate (such as the prime rate, LIBOR, a replacement rate for LIBOR such as SOFR or another rate based on SOFR) at a major commercial bank. In addition, the interest rates on these securities may be reset daily, weekly or on some other reset period and may have a floor or ceiling on interest rate changes. Such Funds can demand payment of the obligation at all times or at stipulated dates on short notice (not to exceed 30 days) at par plus accrued interest. Because of the interest rate adjustment feature, floating rate and variable securities provide a Fund with a certain degree of protection against interest rate increases, although floating rate and variable securities are subject to any declines in interest rates as well. Generally, changes in interest rates will have a smaller effect on the market value of floating rate and variable securities than on the market value of comparable fixed-income obligations. Thus, investing in floating rate and variable securities generally allows less opportunity for capital appreciation and depreciation than investing in comparable fixed-income securities.
Debt instruments purchased by a Fund may be structured to have variable or floating interest rates. These instruments may include variable amount master demand notes that permit the indebtedness to vary in addition to providing for periodic adjustments in the interest rates.
Other variable and floating rate instruments include but are not limited to certain corporate debt securities, asset-backed securities, MBS, CMBS, collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”), government and agency securities. An Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) will consider the earning power, cash flows and other liquidity ratios of the issuers and guarantors of such instruments and, if the instrument is subject to a demand feature, will continuously monitor their financial ability to meet payment on demand. Where necessary to ensure that a variable or floating rate instrument is equivalent to the quality standards applicable to a Fund’s fixed-income investments, the issuer’s obligation to pay the principal of the instrument will be backed by an unconditional bank letter or line of credit, guarantee or commitment to lend. Any bank providing such a bank letter, line of credit, guarantee or loan commitment will meet a Fund’s investment quality standards relating to investments in bank obligations. An Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) will also continuously monitor the creditworthiness of issuers of such instruments to determine whether the Funds should continue to hold the investments.
The absence of an active secondary market for certain variable and floating rate notes could make it difficult to dispose of the instruments, and a Fund could suffer a loss if the issuer defaults or during periods in which the Fund is not entitled to exercise its demand rights.
Variable and floating rate instruments may be classified as illiquid investments (e.g., when a reliable trading market for the instruments does not exist and the Fund may not demand payment of the principal amount of such instruments within seven days).
When-Issued and Forward Commitment Securities—The purchase of securities on a “when-issued” basis and the purchase or sale of securities on a “forward commitment” basis may be used to hedge against anticipated changes in interest rates and prices. The price, which is generally expressed in yield terms, is fixed at the time the commitment is made, but delivery and payment for the securities take place at a later date. When-issued securities and forward commitments may be sold prior to the settlement date, but the Funds will enter into when-issued and forward commitments only with the intention of actually receiving or delivering the securities, as the case may be; however, a Fund may dispose of a commitment prior to settlement if an Investment Manager (or Sub-Adviser, if applicable) deems it appropriate to do so. No income accrues on securities which have been purchased pursuant to a forward commitment or on a when-issued basis prior to delivery of the securities. If a Fund disposes of the right to acquire a when-issued security prior to its acquisition or disposes of its right to deliver or receive against a forward
57

commitment, it may incur a gain or loss. A Fund must comply with the SEC rule related to the use of derivatives, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions when engaging in such transactions. See "Legislation and Regulation Risk Related to Derivatives and Certain Other Instruments" above. There is a risk that the securities may not be delivered and that the Fund may incur a loss. Forward commitments involve a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to the settlement date, which risk is in addition to the risk of decline in value of the Fund’s other assets. In addition, FINRA rules include mandatory margin requirements that will require the Funds to post collateral in connection with certain of these transactions. There is no similar requirement applicable to the Funds’ counterparties. The required collateralization of these transactions could increase the cost of such transactions to the Funds and impose added operational complexity.
TBA Purchase Commitments. A Fund may enter into “To Be Announced” (“TBA”) purchase commitments to purchase or sell securities for a fixed price at a future date, typically not exceeding 75-90 days. TBA purchase commitments may be considered securities in themselves and involve a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to settlement date, which risk is in addition to the risk of decline in the value of a Fund’s other assets. Unsettled TBA purchase commitments are valued at the current market value of the underlying securities. A Fund must comply with the SEC rule related to the use of derivatives, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions when engaging in such transactions. See "Legislation and Regulation Risk Related to Derivatives and Certain Other Instruments" above. If a Fund chooses to dispose of the TBA security prior to its settlement, it could, as with the disposition of any other portfolio obligation, incur a gain or loss due to market fluctuation. In addition, FINRA rules include mandatory margin requirements that require the Funds to post collateral in connection with their TBA transactions. There is no similar requirement applicable to the Funds’ TBA counterparties. The required collateralization of TBA trades could increase the cost of TBA transactions to the Funds and impose added operational complexity.
Temporary Investments—Each Fund may, from time to time and in the discretion of its Investment Manager, take temporary positions that are inconsistent with the Fund’s principal investment strategies in attempting to respond to adverse or unstable market, economic, political or other conditions or abnormal circumstances, such as large cash inflows or anticipated large redemptions. For example, each Fund may invest some or all of its assets in cash, derivatives, fixed-income instruments, government bonds, money market instruments, repurchase agreements or securities of other investment companies, including money market funds. Each Fund may be unable to pursue or achieve its investment objective during that time and temporary investments could reduce the benefit to the Fund from any upswing in the market.
Zero Coupon and Payment-In-Kind Securities—Zero coupon securities pay no interest to holders prior to maturity, and payment-in-kind securities pay interest in the form of additional securities. The market value of a zero-coupon or payment-in-kind security, which usually trades at a deep discount from its face or par value, is generally more volatile than the market value of, and is more sensitive to changes in interest rates and credit quality than, other fixed income securities with similar maturities and credit quality that pay interest in cash periodically. Zero coupon and payment-in-kind securities also may be less liquid than other fixed-income securities with similar maturities and credit quality that pay interest in cash periodically. In addition, zero coupon and payment-in-kind securities may be more difficult to value than other fixed income securities with similar maturities and credit quality that pay interest in cash periodically.
When held to maturity, the entire income from zero coupon securities, which consists of accretion of discount, comes from the difference between the issue price and their value at maturity. Zero coupon securities, which are convertible into common stock, offer the opportunity for capital appreciation as increases (or decreases) in market value of such securities closely follows the movements in the market value of the underlying common stock. Zero coupon convertible securities generally are expected to be less volatile than the underlying common stocks, as they usually are issued with maturities of 15 years or less and are issued with options and/or redemption features exercisable by the holder of the obligation entitling the holder to redeem the obligation and receive a defined cash payment.
Zero coupon securities include securities issued directly by the U.S. Treasury and U.S. Treasury bonds or notes and their unaccrued interest coupons and receipts for their underlying principal (“coupons”) which have been separated by their holder, typically a custodian bank or investment brokerage firm. A holder will separate the interest coupons from the underlying principal (the “corpus”) of the U.S. Treasury security. A number of securities firms and banks have stripped the interest coupons and receipts and then resold them in custodial receipt programs with a number of different names, including “Treasury Income Growth Receipts” (TIGRSTM) and Certificate of Accrual on Treasuries (CATSTM). The underlying U.S. Treasury bonds and notes themselves are held in book-entry form at the Federal Reserve Bank or, in the case of bearer securities (i.e., unregistered securities which are owned ostensibly by the bearer or holder thereof), in trust on behalf of the owners thereof. Counsel to the underwriters of these certificates or
58

other evidences of ownership of the U.S. Treasury securities have stated that, for federal tax and securities purposes, in their opinion purchasers of such certificates, such as a Fund, most likely will be deemed the beneficial holder of the underlying U.S. government securities.
The U.S. Treasury has facilitated transfers of ownership of zero coupon securities by accounting separately for the beneficial ownership of particular interest coupon and corpus payments on Treasury securities through the Federal Reserve book-entry recordkeeping system. The Federal Reserve program as established by the Treasury Department is known as “STRIPS” or “Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities.” Under the STRIPS program, a Fund will be able to have its beneficial ownership of zero coupon securities recorded directly in the book-entry recordkeeping system in lieu of having to hold certificates or other evidences of ownership of the underlying U.S. Treasury securities.
When U.S. Treasury obligations have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons by the holder, the principal or corpus is sold at a deep discount because the buyer receives only the right to receive a future fixed payment in the security and does not receive any rights to periodic interest (cash) payments. Once stripped or separated, the corpus and coupons may be sold separately. Typically, the coupons are sold separately or grouped with other coupons with like maturity dates and sold bundled in such form. Purchasers of stripped obligations acquire, in effect, discount obligations that are economically identical to the zero coupon securities that the Treasury sells itself.
A portion of the original issue discount on zero coupon securities and the “interest” on payment-in-kind securities will be included in a Fund’s taxable income. Accordingly, for the Fund to qualify for tax treatment as a regulated investment company and to avoid certain taxes, the Fund will generally be required to distribute to its shareholders an amount that is greater than the total amount of cash it actually receives with respect to these securities. These distributions must be made from the Fund’s cash assets or, if necessary, from the proceeds of sales of portfolio securities. The Fund will not be able to purchase additional income-producing securities with cash used to make any such distributions, and its current income ultimately may be reduced as a result.
Investment Restrictions
Each of the Funds operates within certain fundamental policies. These fundamental policies may not be changed without the approval of the lesser of (1) 67% or more of a Fund’s shares present at a meeting of shareholders if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund are present or represented by proxy or (2) more than 50% of a Fund’s outstanding shares. Other restrictions in the form of operating policies are subject to change by a Fund’s Board of Trustees without shareholder approval; however, should any Fund with a name subject to Rule 35d-1 under the 1940 Act, change its policy of investing in at least 80% of its assets (net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes) in the type of investment suggested by that Fund’s name, the Fund will provide shareholders at least 60 days’ notice prior to making the change, or such other period as is required by applicable law, as interpreted or modified by a regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time. If a percentage restriction is adhered to at the time of an investment or transaction, a later increase or decrease in percentage resulting from changing values of portfolio securities or amount of total assets will not be considered a violation of any of the following limitations, except with respect to the borrowing limitation. With regard to the borrowing limitation, each Fund will comply with the applicable restrictions of Section 18 of the 1940 Act. Any investment restrictions that involve a maximum percentage of securities or assets shall not be considered to be violated unless an excess over the percentage occurs immediately after, and is caused by, an acquisition of securities or assets of a Fund. Calculation of a Fund’s total assets for compliance with any of the following fundamental or operating policies or any other investment restrictions set forth in the Fund’s Prospectus or SAI will not include cash collateral held in connection with the Fund’s securities lending activities.
Fundamental Policies—The fundamental policies of each Fund are:
1.
Each Fund shall be a “diversified company”, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act, as interpreted, modified, or applied by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.
2.
Each Fund may not act as an underwriter of securities issued by others, except to the extent it could be considered an underwriter in the acquisition and disposition of restricted securities.
59

3.
Each Fund, other than Market Neutral Real Estate Fund and Risk Managed Real Estate Fund, may not “concentrate” its investments in a particular industry, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act and other applicable laws, rules and regulations, as interpreted, modified, or applied by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.
4.
Market Neutral Real Estate Fund and Risk Managed Real Estate Fund each will “concentrate” its investments in the real estate industry. Market Neutral Real Estate Fund and Risk Managed Real Estate Fund each may not “concentrate” its investments in another industry, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act and other applicable laws, rules and regulations, as interpreted, modified, or applied by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.
5.
Each Fund may purchase real estate or any interest therein (such as securities or instruments backed by or related to real estate) to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act and other applicable laws, rules and regulations, as interpreted, modified, or applied by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.
6.
Each Fund may purchase or sell commodities, including physical commodities, or contracts, instruments and interests relating to commodities to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act and other applicable laws, rules and regulations, as interpreted, modified, or applied by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.
7.
Each Fund may make loans to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act and other applicable laws, rules and regulations, as interpreted, modified, or applied by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.
8.
Each Fund may borrow money to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act and other applicable laws, rules and regulations, as interpreted, modified, or applied by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.
9.
Each Fund may issue senior securities to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act and other applicable laws, rules and regulations, as interpreted, modified, or applied by regulatory authority having jurisdiction from time to time.
10.
Municipal Income Fund will invest, under normal market conditions, at least 80% of its assets in a diversified portfolio of municipal securities whose interest is free from federal income tax.
For purposes of Fundamental Policy One, a “diversified company” is currently defined under the 1940 Act as a company which meets the following requirements: at least 75 percent of the value of its total assets is represented by cash and cash items (including receivables), Government securities, securities of other investment companies, and other securities for the purposes of this calculation limited in respect of any one issuer to an amount not greater in value than 5 percent of the value of the total assets of such company and to not more than 10 percent of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer. For the purposes of this Fundamental Policy, each governmental subdivision, i.e., state, territory, possession of the United States or any political subdivision of any of the foregoing, including agencies, authorities, instrumentalities, or similar entities, or of the District of Columbia shall be considered a separate issuer if its assets and revenues are separate from those of the governmental body creating it and the security is backed only by its own assets and revenues. For the purposes of this Fundamental Policy, a Fund generally will consider the borrower of a syndicated bank loan to be the issuer of the syndicated bank loan, but may under unusual circumstances also consider the lender or person inter-positioned between the lender and the Fund to be the issuer of a syndicated bank loan. In making such a determination, the Fund will consider all relevant factors, including the following: the terms of the Loan Agreement and other relevant agreements (including inter-creditor agreements and any agreements between such person and the Fund’s custodian); the credit quality of such lender or inter-positioned person; general economic conditions applicable to such lender or inter-positioned person; and other factors relating to the degree of credit risk, if any, of such lender or inter-positioned person incurred by the Fund.
For purposes of Fundamental Policy Three, a Fund (other than Market Neutral Real Estate Fund and Risk Managed Real Estate Fund) may not purchase the securities of any issuer if, as a result, more than 25% of the Fund’s total assets would be invested in the securities of companies whose principal business activities are in the same industry. For purposes of Fundamental Policy Three, Market Neutral Real Estate Fund and Risk Managed Real Estate Fund each will "concentrate" its investments in a particular industry (i.e., invest more than 25% of its total assets in securities of issuers whose principal business activities are in the same industry). Industries are determined by
60

reference to the classifications of industries set forth in a Fund’s semi-annual and annual reports. For the purposes of this Fundamental Policy, the limitation will not apply to a Fund’s investments in: (i) securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies and instrumentalities; (ii) municipal securities; (iii) repurchase agreements collateralized by the instruments described in (i); and (iv) other investment companies.
For purposes of Fundamental Policy Six, investors should note that as of the date of the Funds’ SAI, the 1940 Act permits investments in commodities and commodity interests.
For purposes of Fundamental Policy Eight, if at any time the amount of total Fund assets less all liabilities and indebtedness (but not including the Fund’s borrowings) (“asset coverage”) is less than an amount equal to 300% of any such borrowings, the Fund will reduce its borrowings within three days (not including Sundays and holidays) or such longer period as the SEC may prescribe by rules and regulations so that such asset coverage is again equal to 300% or more.
For purposes of Fundamental Policies Eight and Nine, the term “as permitted under the 1940 Act” indicates that, unless otherwise limited by non-fundamental investment policies, a Fund can borrow and issue senior securities to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and interpretations thereof, and that no further action generally would be needed to conform the Fund’s Fundamental Policies relating to borrowing and senior securities to future change in the 1940 Act and interpretations thereof. Pursuant to the provisions of the 1940 Act and interpretations thereof, a Fund is permitted to borrow from banks and may also enter into certain transactions that are economically equivalent to borrowing (e.g., reverse repurchase agreements).
Under current law as interpreted by the SEC and its staff, a Fund may borrow from: (a) a bank, provided that immediately after such borrowing there is an asset coverage of 300% for all borrowings of the Fund; or (b) a bank or other persons for temporary purposes only, provided that such temporary borrowings are in an amount not exceeding 5% of the Fund’s total assets at the time when the borrowing is made. This limitation does not preclude a Fund from entering into reverse repurchase transactions, provided that the Fund, in accordance with Rule 18f-4, aggregates the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating the Fund’s asset coverage ratio or treats all such transactions as derivatives transactions. Senior securities may include any obligation or instrument issued by an investment company evidencing indebtedness. A Fund’s limitation with respect to issuing senior securities is not applicable to activities that may be deemed to involve the issuance or sale of a senior security by the Fund, provided that the Fund’s engagement in such activities is consistent with or permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. The SEC adopted Rule 18f-4 related to the use of derivatives and other similar transactions by an investment company. A Fund's trading of derivatives and other similar transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations is generally subject to value-at-risk leverage limits, derivatives risk management program and reporting requirements, unless the Fund satisfies a "limited derivatives users" exception that is included in the rule.
Operating Policies—The operating policy (i.e., that which is non-fundamental) of the Funds is:
Liquidity The Funds may invest up to 15% of their net assets in illiquid investments that are assets, which are investments that a Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment.
For purposes of the Operating Policy directly above, under normal circumstances, a Fund will not hold more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets; however, if investments that were liquid at the time of purchase subsequently become illiquid and result in the Fund holding illiquid investments in excess of 15% of its net assets, the Fund will no longer purchase additional illiquid investments and may reduce its holdings of illiquid investments in an orderly manner, but it is not required to dispose of illiquid holdings immediately if it is not in the interest of the Fund. This test does not require that the disposition of holdings “settle” within seven days, which means that the Fund could meet the liquidity test but be unable to obtain proceeds to pay redemption requests within seven days. In addition, in the event an instrument classified as illiquid that has no value under the Funds’ valuation policy and procedures and Investment Managers’ Rule 2a-5 fair valuation policy and Rule 2a-5 fair valuation procedures is given a value under the procedures and, as a result, the Fund holds illiquid investments in excess of 15% of its net assets, the Fund will no longer purchase additional illiquid investments and may reduce its holdings of illiquid investments in an orderly manner, but it is not required to dispose of illiquid holdings immediately if it is not in the interest of the Fund. Funds with investments subject to liquidity risks tend to hold higher positions of uninvested cash or borrow to meet redemption requests, which hurts Fund performance.
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Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings
It is the policy of the Funds to protect the confidentiality of their portfolio holdings and information derived from the portfolio holdings and prevent the selective disclosure of such non-public information. Accordingly, the Board has adopted formal procedures governing compliance with this policy, which are subject to periodic evaluation and review. Any violations of this policy are reported to the Board on a quarterly basis.
No non-public information concerning the portfolio holdings of any Fund may be disclosed to any unaffiliated third party, except when the Funds have a legitimate business purpose for doing so. Specifically, portfolio holdings information may only be made available to third parties if: (i) such availability is disclosed in the Funds’ registration statement, as required by applicable law, as well as on the Funds’ website, if applicable; (ii) the Funds’ officers determine such disclosure is in the best interests of Fund shareholders; (iii) such information is made equally available to anyone requesting it; and (iv) the Investment Manager determines that the disclosure does not present the risk of such information being used to trade against the Funds. In addition, prior to authorizing the disclosure of portfolio holdings, the Funds’ President and/or the Chief Compliance Officer must determine that: (i) such disclosure serves a reasonable business purpose and is in the best interests of the Funds’ shareholders; and (ii) that no conflict exists between the interests of the Funds’ shareholders and those of the Investment Manager or the Funds’ principal underwriter. Each Fund or its duly authorized service providers may publicly disclose holdings of the Fund in accordance with regulatory requirements, such as periodic portfolio disclosure in filings with the SEC.
Recipients of non-public portfolio holdings information, such as mutual fund evaluation services and due diligence departments of broker/dealers and wirehouses, will be subject to a duty of confidentiality, a duty to not trade based on the non-public information and/or other restrictions on the use and dissemination of the information.
Portfolio holdings information may be disclosed as frequently as daily to certain service providers and no more frequently than monthly to ratings agencies, consultants and other qualified financial professionals. The policy does not require a delay between the date of the portfolio holding information and the date on which the information is disclosed.
The Funds also may disclose portfolio holdings information on an ongoing basis to certain service providers of the Funds and others, who either by agreement or because of their respective duties to the Funds are required to maintain the confidentiality of the information disclosed. The Funds’ service providers and others who generally are provided such information in the performance of their contractual duties and responsibilities may include The Bank of New York Mellon (the Funds’ custodian), the Investment Manager (and Sub-Adviser, if applicable), MUFG (the Funds’ administrator), Ernst & Young LLP (the Funds’ independent registered public accountant), Dechert LLP (legal counsel to the Funds), Vedder Price P.C. (legal counsel to the Funds’ Independent Trustees, as defined below), investment management trade associations (e.g., Investment Company Institute), officers and directors, and each of their respective affiliates. In addition, at this time, portfolio holdings information is shared as follows:
Individual/Entity
Frequency
Time Lag
Morningstar
Monthly
30 calendar days
Lipper
Monthly
30 calendar days
Bloomberg
Quarterly
60 calendar days
Thompson Financial
Quarterly
30 calendar days
Vickers Stock Research
Monthly
30 calendar days
FactSet
Monthly
30 calendar days
In addition, the following entities receive this information on a daily basis: FactSet (an analytical system used for portfolio attribution and performance); The Bank of New York Mellon (the Funds’ custodian bank); Interactive Data and Loan Pricing Corporation (the Funds’ pricing services); Institutional Shareholder Services (proxy voting services); and InvestOne (Sungard) (the Funds’ accounting system).
Neither the Funds, their service providers, nor the Investment Manager may receive compensation or other consideration in connection with the disclosure of information about portfolio securities.
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Each Fund will publish a complete list of its quarter-end portfolio holdings on its website at www.guggenheiminvestments.com generally within 60 days of the quarter-end. Such information will remain online for approximately 12 months, or as otherwise required by law. Also, certain Funds may disclose top 10 holdings on a quarterly basis through publicly available marketing materials.
The Investment Manager seeks to limit the selective disclosure of portfolio holdings information and such selective disclosure is monitored under the Funds’ compliance program for conformity with the policies and procedures. However, there can be no assurance that these policies will protect the Funds from the potential misuse of holdings information by individuals or firms in possession of that information.
Management of the Funds
Trustees and Officers
Oversight of the management and affairs of the Trust and the Funds, including general supervision of the duties performed by the Investment Managers for the Funds under the Investment Management Agreements (“Management Agreements”) and the Investment Subadvisory Agreement with respect to the Municipal Income Fund (“Subadvisory Agreement,” with the Management Agreements, the “Agreements”) is the responsibility of the Board. Among other things, the Board considers the approval of contracts, described herein, under which certain companies provide essential management and administrative services to the Trust. Once the contracts are approved, the Board monitors the level and quality of services. Annually, the Board evaluates the services received under the contracts by receiving reports covering, among other things, investment performance, administrative services, competitiveness of fees and the Investment Managers' profitability.
The Board currently has 7 Trustees, 6 of whom are not “interested persons” (as defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act) of the Trust (each, and “Independent Trustee” and collectively, the “Independent Trustees”). Each Independent Trustee does not own, nor do any of his or her immediate family members own, any stock or other securities issued by an Investment Manager or the Distributor or a person (other than a registered investment company, if applicable) directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with an Investment Manager or the Distributor as of December 31, 2022. Ms. Amy J. Lee is an “interested person” (as defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act) of the Trust (an “Interested Trustee”), because of her position with the Distributor and/or the parent of the Investment Managers.
The Trustees, their term of office and length of time served, their principal business occupations during the past five years, the number of portfolios in the Guggenheim Funds Group fund complex (“Fund Complex”) overseen by each Trustee, and other directorships, if any, held by the Trustee are shown below. The “Fund Complex” includes all closed- and open-end funds (including all of their portfolios) advised by the Investment Managers and any funds that have an investment adviser or servicing agent that is an affiliated person of the Investment Managers. As of the date of this SAI, the Fund Complex is comprised of 5 closed-end funds and 150 open-end funds advised or serviced by the Investment Managers or their affiliates.
63

Name,
Address* and
Year of Birth
of Trustees
Position(s)
Held with
Trust
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time
Served**
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other Directorships
Held by Trustees
During Past
5 Years***
Independent Trustees
Randall C. Barnes
(1951)
Trustee and
Chair of the
Valuation
Oversight
Committee
Since 2014
(Trustee)
Since 2020
(Chair of the
Valuation Oversight
Committee)
Current: Private Investor
(2001-present).
Former: Senior Vice
President and Treasurer,
PepsiCo, Inc.
(1993-1997); President,
Pizza Hut International
(1991-1993); Senior Vice
President, Strategic
Planning and New
Business Development,
PepsiCo, Inc.
(1987-1990).
155
Current: Advent
Convertible and Income
Fund (2005-present);
Purpose Investments
Funds (2013-present).
Former: Fiduciary/
Claymore Energy
Infrastructure Fund
(2004-2022);
Guggenheim Enhanced
Equity Income Fund
(2005-2021);
Guggenheim Credit
Allocation Fund
(2013-2021).
Angela Brock-Kyle
(1959)
Trustee
Since 2019
Current: Founder and
Chief Executive Officer,
B.O.A.R.D.S. (consulting
firm) (2013-present);
Director, Mutual Fund
Directors Forum (2022-
present).
Former: Senior Leader,
TIAA (financial services
firm) (1987-2012).
154
Current: Bowhead
Insurance GP, LLC
(2020-present); Hunt
Companies, Inc. (2019-
present).
Former: Fiduciary/
Claymore Energy
Infrastructure Fund
(2019-2022);
Guggenheim Enhanced
Equity Income Fund
(2019-2021);
Guggenheim Credit
Allocation Fund
(2019-2021); Infinity
Property & Casualty
Corp. (2014-2018).
Thomas F. Lydon, Jr.
(1960)
Trustee and
Chair of the
Contracts
Review
Committee
Since 2019
(Trustee)
Since 2020
(Chair of the
Contracts Review
Committee)
Current: President,
Global Trends
Investments (registered
investment adviser)
(1996-present); Chief
Executive Officer, ETF
Flows, LLC (financial
advisor education and
research provider) (2019-
present); Chief Executive
Officer, Lydon Media
(2016-present); Director,
GDX Index Partners, LLC
(index provider) (2021-
present); Vice Chairman,
VettaFi (financial advisor
content, research and
digital distribution
provider) (2022-present).
154
Current: US Global
Investors, Inc. (GROW)
(1995-present).
Former: Fiduciary/
Claymore Energy
Infrastructure Fund
(2019-2022);
Guggenheim Enhanced
Equity Income Fund
(2019-2021);
Guggenheim Credit
Allocation Fund
(2019-2021); Harvest
Volatility Edge Trust (3)
(2017-2019).
64

Name,
Address* and
Year of Birth
of Trustees
Position(s)
Held with
Trust
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time
Served**
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other Directorships
Held by Trustees
During Past
5 Years***
Ronald A. Nyberg
(1953)
Trustee and
Chair of the
Nominating
and
Governance
Committee
Since 2014
Current: Of Counsel
(formerly Partner),
Momkus LLP (law firm)
(2016-present).
Former: Partner, Nyberg
& Cassioppi, LLC (law
firm) (2000-2016);
Executive Vice President,
General Counsel, and
Corporate Secretary, Van
Kampen Investments
(1982-1999).
155
Current: Advent
Convertible and Income
Fund (2003-present);
PPM Funds (2) (2018-
present); NorthShore-
Edward-Elmhurst
Health (2012-present).
Former: Fiduciary/
Claymore Energy
Infrastructure Fund
(2004-2022);
Guggenheim Enhanced
Equity Income Fund
(2005-2021);
Guggenheim Credit
Allocation Fund
(2013-2021); Western
Asset Inflation-Linked
Opportunities & Income
Fund (2004-2020);
Western Asset Inflation-
Linked Income Fund
(2003-2020).
Sandra G. Sponem
(1958)
Trustee and
Chair of the
Audit
Committee
Since 2019
(Trustee)
Since 2020
(Chair of the
Audit Committee)
Current: Retired.
Former: Senior Vice
President and Chief
Financial Officer, M.A.
Mortenson Companies,
Inc. (construction and real
estate development
company) (2007-2017).
154
Current: SPDR Series
Trust (81) (2018-
present); SPDR Index
Shares Funds (30)
(2018-present); SSGA
Active Trust (14) (2018-
present).
Former: Fiduciary/
Claymore Energy
Infrastructure Fund
(2019-2022);
Guggenheim Enhanced
Equity Income Fund
(2019-2021);
Guggenheim Credit
Allocation Fund
(2019-2021); SSGA
Master Trust (1)
(2018-2020).
65

Name,
Address* and
Year of Birth
of Trustees
Position(s)
Held with
Trust
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time
Served**
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other Directorships
Held by Trustees
During Past
5 Years***
Ronald E. Toupin, Jr.
(1958)
Trustee,
Chair of the
Board and
Chair of the
Executive
Committee
Since 2014
Current: Portfolio
Consultant (2010-
present); Member,
Governing Council,
Independent Directors
Council (2013-present);
Governor, Board of
Governors, Investment
Company Institute (2018-
present).
Former: Member,
Executive Committee,
Independent Directors
Council (2016-2018);
Vice President, Manager
and Portfolio Manager,
Nuveen Asset
Management
(1998-1999); Vice
President, Nuveen
Investment Advisory
Corp. (1992-1999); Vice
President and Manager,
Nuveen Unit Investment
Trusts (1991-1999); and
Assistant Vice President
and Portfolio Manager,
Nuveen Unit Investment
Trusts (1988-1999), each
of John Nuveen & Co.,
Inc. (registered broker-
dealer) (1982-1999).
154
Former: Fiduciary/
Claymore Energy
Infrastructure Fund
(2004-2022);
Guggenheim Enhanced
Equity Income Fund
(2005-2021);
Guggenheim Credit
Allocation Fund
(2013-2021); Western
Asset Inflation-Linked
Opportunities & Income
Fund (2004-2020);
Western Asset Inflation-
Linked Income Fund
(2003-2020).
66

Name,
Address* and
Year of Birth
of Trustees
Position(s)
Held with
Trust
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time
Served**
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other Directorships
Held by Trustees
During Past
5 Years***
Interested Trustee
Amy J. Lee****
(1961)
Trustee,
Vice
President
and
Chief Legal
Officer
Since 2018
(Trustee)
Since 2014
(Chief Legal
Officer)
Since 2007
(Vice
President)
Current: Interested
Trustee, certain other
funds in the Fund
Complex (2018-present);
Chief Legal Officer,
certain other funds in the
Fund Complex (2014-
present); Vice President,