Fund Goal and Approach
The Long Term Fund seeks to maximize total return, consisting of capital appreciation and current income. To pursue its goal, the fund invests at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in U.S. Treasury securities. The fund also may invest in other securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities (including inflation-indexed bonds), and may enter into repurchase agreements. Although the fund may invest in or have investment exposure to individual bonds of any remaining maturity, under normal market conditions, the fund maintains an effective duration of 7.5 years or more, and a dollar-weighted average portfolio maturity of 10 years or more.
Although not a principal investment strategy, the Intermediate Term and Long Term funds may, but are not required to, use derivatives, such as options, futures and options on futures (including those relating to securities and interest rates) and swap agreements, as a substitute for investing directly in an underlying asset, to manage interest rate risk, to manage the effective duration or maturity of the fund's portfolio, to increase returns, or as part of a hedging strategy. The funds also may buy securities that pay interest at rates that float inversely with changes in prevailing interest rates and may make forward commitments in which a fund agrees to buy a security in the future at a price agreed upon today.
Duration is an indication of an investment's "interest rate risk," or how sensitive a bond or mutual fund portfolio may be to changes in interest rates. Generally, the longer a fund's duration, the more it is likely to react to interest rate fluctuations and the greater its long-term risk/return potential.
Dollar-weighted average maturity is the length of time, in days or years, until the securities held by a fund, on average, will mature or be redeemed by the issuer. The average maturity is weighted according to the dollar amounts in the various securities held by the fund.
An investment in the fund is not a bank deposit. It is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or any other government agency. It is not a complete investment program. The fund's share price fluctuates, sometimes dramatically, which means you could lose money.
* Interest rate risk. Prices of bonds tend to move inversely with changes in interest rates. Typically, a rise in rates will adversely affect bond prices and, accordingly, the fund's share price. The longer the effective maturity and duration of the fund's fixed-income portfolio, the more the fund's share price is likely to react to interest rates.
* Inflation-indexed security risk. Interest payments on inflation-indexed securities can be unpredictable and will vary as the principal and/or interest is periodically adjusted based on the rate of inflation. If the index measuring inflation falls, the interest payable on these securities will be reduced. The U.S. Treasury has guaranteed that in the event of a drop in prices, it would repay the par amount of its inflation-indexed securities. Inflation-indexed securities issued by corporations generally do not guarantee repayment of principal. Any increase in the principal amount of an inflation-indexed security will be considered taxable ordinary income, even though investors do not receive their principal until maturity. As a result, the fund may be required to make annual distributions to shareholders that exceed the cash the fund received, which may cause the fund to liquidate certain investments when it is not advantageous to do so. Also, if the principal value of an inflation-indexed security is adjusted downward due to deflation, amounts previously distributed may be characterized in some circumstances as a return of capital.
* U.S. Treasury securities risk. A security backed by the U.S. Treasury or the full faith and credit of the United States is guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and principal when held to maturity, but the market prices for such securities are not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Government securities risk. Not all obligations of the U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. Some obligations are backed only by the credit of the issuing agency or instrumentality, and in some cases there may be some risk of default by the issuer. Any guarantee by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities of a security held by the fund does not apply to the market value of such security or to shares of the fund itself.
* Repurchase agreement counterparty risk. The risk that a counterparty in a repurchase agreement could fail to honor the terms of its agreement.
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the fund carefully before investing. Download a prospectus, or a summary prospectus, if available, that contains this and other information about the fund, and read it carefully before investing.