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Equity prices fluctuate and may decline in response to developments at individual companies or general economic conditions. If the value of investment goes down and you redeem your shares, you could lose money. While the ability to hold shares through periods of volatility may protect long-term investments from permanent loss, investments might not be profitable either because the market fails to recognize the value or because we misjudged it.
The Fund may invest significantly in mid-capitalization stocks, which are often more volatile and less liquid than in larger companies. The frequency and volume of trading in securities of mid-size companies may be substantially less than is typical of larger companies. Therefore, the securities of mid-size companies may be subject to greater and more abrupt price fluctuations. In addition, mid-size companies may lack the management experience, financial resources and product diversification of larger companies, making them more susceptible to market pressures and business failure.
Securities of companies perceived to be "growth" companies may be more volatile than other stocks and may involve special risks. The price of a "growth" security may be materially adversely affected if the company does not realize its anticipated potential or if there is a shift in the market to favor other types of securities.
Industry risk is the possibility that a group of related securities will decline in price due to industry-specific developments. Companies in the same or similar industries may share common characteristics and are more likely to react similarly to industry-specific market or economic developments. The Fund's investments, if any, in multiple companies in particular industry increase the Fund's exposure to industry risk.
Investments in non-U.S. securities may experience additional risks compared to investments in securities of U.S. companies. The securities markets of many non-U.S. countries are relatively small, with a limited number of issuers and securities. Furthermore, non-U.S. taxes also could detract from performance. Companies based in non-U.S. countries may not be subject to accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as stringent as those in the United States. Therefore, their financial reports may present an incomplete, untimely or misleading picture of a non-U.S. company, as compared to the financial reports of U.S. companies. Nationalization, expropriations or confiscatory taxation, currency blockage, political changes or diplomatic developments can cause the value of the Fund's investments in a non-U.S. country to decline. In the event of a nationalization, expropriation or other confiscation, the Fund could lose its entire investment in the country.
Fluctuations in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and non-U.S. currencies may cause the value of the Fund's non-U.S. investments to decline in terms of U.S. dollars. Additionally, certain of a Fund's foreign currency transactions may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency. Funds that may invest in securities denominated in, or which receive revenues in, non-U.S. currencies are subject to this risk.
The Fund may hold debt and other fixed-income securities to generate income. Typically, the values of fixed-income securities change inversely with prevailing interest rates. Therefore, a fundamental risk of fixed-income securities is interest rate risk, which is the risk that their value will generally decline as prevailing interest rates rise, which may cause the Fund's net asset value to likewise decrease, and vice versa. How specific fixed-income securities may react to changes in interest rates will depend on the specific characteristics of each security. Fixed-income securities are also subject to credit risk, prepayment risk, valuation risk and liquidity risk. Credit risk is risk that the fixed-income issuer fails to timely pay interest or principal when due. Prepayment risk is risk that when interest rates fall, borrowers refinance and pay off outstanding fixed-income securities forcing holders of fixed-income securities to replace such securities at a lower interest rate. Liquidity and valuation risks are risks that the Fund may not be able to sell a fixed-income security due to little or no trading volume, absence of market makers or legal restrictions limiting the Fund's ability to sell a security at the time of the Fund's choosing.
The Fund may invest without limit in higher-yielding/higher-risk bonds, also known as "junk" bonds. High-yield/high-risk bonds may be more sensitive than other types of bonds to economic changes, political changes or adverse developments specific to the company that issued the bond, which may adversely affect their value.
The asset classes in which the Fund seeks investment exposure can perform differently from each other at any given time (as well as over the long term), so the Fund will be affected by its allocation among equity and fixed-income securities. If the Fund favors exposure to an asset class during a period when that class underperforms, performance may be hurt. Because the Fund's portfolio will be balanced and normally consist of 60% equities and 40% fixed-income, during periods of rapidly rising equity prices, the Fund might not achieve growth in its share price to the same degree as funds focusing only on stocks. Likewise, compared to a portfolio focused solely on fixed-income securities, the Fund's investments in stocks may make it more difficult to preserve principal during periods of stock market volatility when it might be more favorable to be invested more heavily in fixed-income securities. There have been times of extreme capital market disturbance when fixed-income and equity securities have lost value.
Performance of individual securities can vary widely. The investment decisions of the Fund's investment adviser may cause the Fund to underperform other investments or benchmark indices. The Fund may also underperform other mutual funds with similar investment strategies. The Fund's investment adviser may not buy chosen securities at the lowest possible price or sell securities at the highest possible prices. As with any mutual fund investment, there can be no guarantee that the Fund will achieve its investment goals.
The use of derivatives involves additional risks and transaction costs which could leave the fund in a worse position than if it had not used these instruments. Derivatives are instruments that derive or are based on values of another security, reference rate or index. Derivatives may entail investment exposures that are greater than their cost would suggest, and may pose greater risks than investing directly in the asset from which the derivative is based. The Fund could be exposed to risk if the Fund cannot close or liquidate a derivative position at the time of the Fund's choosing due to lack of a liquid trading market. Derivatives also involve risk that a counter-party to an agreement may not make required payments or comply with the terms of the agreement governing the derivative instrument, or risks from additional governmental regulation. As a result, a small investment in derivatives could have a large impact on performance.
The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements, which are purchases by the Fund of a security that a seller has agreed to buy back, usually within one to seven days, as a non-principal strategy. The seller's promise to repurchase the security is fully collateralized by securities equal in value to 102% of the purchase price, including accrued interest. If the seller defaults and the collateral value declines, the Fund may incur a loss. If the seller declares bankruptcy, the Fund may not be able to sell the collateral at the desired time. The Fund enters into these agreements only with brokers, dealers or banks that meet credit quality standards established by the Adviser.
The Fund may, from time to time, invest all of its assets in short-term instruments when the Adviser determines that adverse market, economic, political or other conditions call for a temporary defensive posture. Such a defensive position may result in the Fund failing to achieve its investment objective.
The portfolio turnover rate for the Fund may vary greatly from year to year and may exceed 100% in any given year, which may involve additional expenses to the Fund, including portfolio transaction costs. Higher portfolio turnover rates generally increase transaction costs, which are Fund expenses, and may increase your tax liability if the transactions result in capital gains.
The Fund collects nonpublic personal information about its customers1 from the following sources:
Account Applications and other forms, which may include a customer's name, address, social security number and information about a customer's investment goals and risk tolerance; Account History, including information about the transactions and balances in a customer's account; and Correspondence, written or telephonic, between a customer and the Fund or service providers to the Fund.
The Fund will not release information about its customers or their accounts unless one of the following conditions is met:
Prior written consent is received; The Fund believes the recipient to be the Fund customer or the customer's authorized representative; or The Fund is required by law to release information to the recipient.
The Fund does not give or sell information about its customers or their fund accounts to any other company, individual or group.
The Fund will only use information about its customers and their accounts to attempt to better serve their investment needs or to suggest services or educational materials that may be of interest to them.
The Fund restricts access to nonpublic personal information about customers to those employees who need to know that information in order to provide products or services. The Fund may also share personal information with companies that it hires to provide support services. When the Fund shares personal information with service providers, it protects that personal information with a strict confidentiality agreement. The Fund also maintains reasonable physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with federal standards to protect against unauthorized access to and properly dispose of customers' nonpublic personal and consumer information.
The Fund will adhere to the policies and practices described in this notice for current and former shareholders of the Fund.
1For purposes of this notice, the terms "customer" or "customers" includes both shareholders of the Fund and individuals who provide nonpublic personal information to the Fund, but do not invest in Fund shares.