Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund
Domestic economic growth and market conditions, interest rate levels, and political events are among the factors affecting the securities markets of the Fund's investments. There is risk that these and other factors may adversely affect the Fund's performance. You should consider your own investment goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance before investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund may not be appropriate for all investors and is not intended to be a complete investment program. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit in a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. The loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund.
The Fund invests primarily in common stocks, which subjects the Fund and its shareholders to the risks associated with common stock investing. These risks include the financial risk of selecting individual companies that do not perform as anticipated, the risk that the stock markets in which the Fund invests may experience periods of turbulence and instability, and the general risk that domestic and global economies may go through periods of decline and cyclical change. Many factors affect the performance of each company that the Fund invests in, including the strength of the company's management or the demand for its products or services. You should be aware that a company's share price may decline as a result of poor decisions made by management or lower demand for the company's products or services. In addition, a company's share price may also decline if its earnings or revenues fall short of expectations.
There are overall stock market risks that may also affect the value of the Fund. Over time, the stock markets tend to move in cycles, with periods when stock prices rise generally and periods when stock prices decline generally. The value of the Fund's investments may increase or decrease more than the stock markets in general.
To the extent the Fund invests in small and medium capitalization companies, the Fund may be subject to additional risks. The earnings and prospects of these companies are more volatile than larger companies. Small and medium capitalization companies may experience higher failure rates than do larger companies. The trading volume of securities of small and medium capitalization companies is normally less than that of larger companies and, therefore, may disproportionately affect their market price, tending to make them fall more in response to selling pressure than is the case with larger companies. Small and medium capitalization companies may have limited markets, product lines or financial resources, and may lack management experience.
To the extent the Fund invests in foreign securities, the Fund may be subject to risks not usually associated with owning securities of U.S. issuers. These risks can include the risks associated with higher transaction costs, delayed settlements, lack of liquidity, currency controls and adverse economic developments. This also includes the risk that fluctuations in the exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies may negatively affect an investment. Adverse changes in exchange rates may erode or reverse any gains produced by foreign currency denominated investments and widen any losses. Exchange rate volatility also may affect the ability of an issuer to repay U.S. dollar denominated debt, thereby increasing credit risk. In addition, the costs of foreign investing, including withholding taxes, brokerage commissions, and custodial costs, generally are higher than for U.S. investments. In addition, foreign issuers, brokers, and securities markets may be subject to less government supervision than in the U.S. The considerations noted above generally are intensified for investments in emerging markets. Emerging markets may have relatively unstable governments, economies based on only a few industries and securities markets that trade a small number of securities.
To the extent the Fund invests in fixed income securities, it could lose money or experience a lower rate of return if it holds a fixed income security whose issuer is unable to meet its financial obligations, or in the event that interest rates decrease or increase, depending on the Fund’s investments. These securities may accrue income that is distributable to shareholders even though the income may not yet have been paid. If so, the Fund may need to liquidate some of its holdings and forego the purchase of additional income-producing assets. Fluctuations in interest rates may affect the yield and value of a Fund’s investments in income-producing or fixed income or debt securities. Generally, if interest rates rise, the value of the Fund’s investments may fall. The Fund may invest in short-term securities that, when interest rates decline, affect the Fund’s yield as these securities mature or are sold and the Fund purchases new short-term securities with lower yields. The Fund could lose money or experience a lower rate of return if it holds high-yield securities (“junk bonds”) that are subject to higher credit risks and are less liquid than other fixed income securities. Junk bonds have more credit risk than investment grade bonds.
When the Fund invests in other investment companies (such as mutual funds or ETFs), it will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any fees and expenses payable directly by the other investment company. Therefore, the Fund will incur higher expenses, many of which may be duplicative. The Fund may also be affected by losses of the underlying funds and the level of risk arising from the investment practices of the underlying funds. The Fund has no control over the risks taken by the underlying funds in which it invests. In addition to risks generally associated with investments in investment company securities, ETFs are subject to the following risks that do not apply to non-exchange traded funds: (i) the market price of an ETF’s shares may trade above or below their net asset value; (ii) an active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained; (iii) the ETF may employ an investment strategy that utilizes high leverage ratios; and (iv) trading of an ETF’s shares may be
halted if the listing exchange’s officials deem such action appropriate, the shares are delisted from the exchange, or the activation of market-wide “circuit breakers” (which are tied to large decreases in stock prices) halts stock trading generally. When the Fund invests in underlying index funds, the Fund will be subject to substantially the same risks as those associated with the direct ownership of securities comprising the index on which the ETF or index mutual fund is based and the value of the Fund’s investment will fluctuate in response to the performance of the underlying index. Because the Fund is not required to hold shares of underlying funds for any minimum period, it may be subject to, and may have to pay, short-term redemption fees imposed by the underlying funds.
The Fund is a non-diversified portfolio, which means that it has the ability to take larger positions in a smaller number of securities than a portfolio that is "diversified." Non-diversification increases the risk that the value of the Fund could go down because of the poor performance of a single investment.
The Fund’s investment strategy may, from time to time, result in the Fund investing significant amounts of its portfolio in securities of issuers principally engaged in the same or related businesses. Because technology firms tend to be more progressive, it is more likely that the Fund will have a larger percentage of issuers in the technology sector than other sectors. The stock prices of technology and technology-related companies and therefore the value of the Fund may experience significant price movements as a result of intense market volatility, worldwide competition, consumer preferences, produce compatibility, product obsolescence, government regulation, excessive investor optimism or pessimism, or other factors. The Fund may also invest in a relatively few number of issuers. Thus, the Fund may be more
susceptible to adverse developments affecting any single issuers held in its portfolio and may be more susceptible to greater losses because of these developments.
The Adviser's implementation of the Fund's strategy may fail to produce the intended results.