Fund Goal and Approach
The fund seeks to match the performance of the Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australasia, Far East Index (MSCI EAFE). To pursue its goal, the fund generally is fully invested in stocks included in the MSCI EAFE Index and in futures whose performance is tied to certain countries included in the index.
The fund attempts to have a correlation between its performance and that of the index of at least .95, before fees and expenses. A correlation of 1.00 would mean that the fund and the index were perfectly correlated.
The fund generally invests in all stocks in the MSCI EAFE Index. The fund's investments are selected to match the benchmark composition along individual name, country, and industry weighting, and other benchmark characteristics. Under these circumstances, the fund maintains approximately the same weighting for each stock as the index does.
The MSCI EAFE Index is an unmanaged free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the United States and Canada. As of December 31, 2012, the MSCI EAFE Index consisted of the following developed market country indices: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Each stock in the index is weighted by its float-adjusted market capitalization. This means that on average larger companies have greater representation in the index than small companies. The fund may invest in futures contracts whose performance is tied to the MSCI EAFE Index or local market indexes, and may enter into foreign currency forward and futures contracts. These instruments are used primarily as a substitute for the sale or purchase of securities or to maintain the approximate currency exposure of the MSCI EAFE Index.
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.
* Risks of stock investing. Stocks generally fluctuate more in value than bonds and may decline significantly over short time periods. There is the chance that stock prices overall will decline because stock markets tend to move in cycles, with periods of rising prices and falling prices. The market value of a stock may decline due to general weakness in the stock market or because of factors that affect the company or its particular industry.
* Indexing strategy risk. The fund uses an indexing strategy. It does not attempt to manage market volatility, use defensive strategies or reduce the effects of any long-term periods of poor index performance. The correlation between fund and index performance may be affected by the fund's expenses, changes in securities markets, changes in the composition of the index and the timing of purchases and redemptions of fund shares.
* Foreign investment risk. To the extent the fund invests in foreign securities, the fund's performance will be influenced by political, social and economic factors affecting investments in foreign companies. Special risks associated with investments in foreign issuers include exposure to currency fluctuations, less liquidity, less developed or less efficient trading markets, lack of comprehensive company information, political and economic instability and differing auditing and legal standards. Investments denominated in foreign currencies are subject to the risk that such currencies will decline in value relative to the U.S. dollar and affect the value of these investments held by the fund.
* Foreign currency risk. Investments in foreign currencies are subject to the risk that those currencies will decline in value relative to the U.S. dollar or, in the case of hedged positions, that the U.S. dollar will decline relative to the currency being hedged. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Foreign currencies are also subject to risks caused by inflation, interest rates, budget deficits and low savings rates, political factors and government intervention and controls.
* Non-diversification risk. The fund is non-diversified, which means that the fund may invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in a limited number of issuers. Therefore, the fund's performance may be more vulnerable to changes in the market value of a single issuer or group of issuers and more susceptible to risks associated with a single economic, political or regulatory occurrence than a diversified fund.
Please refer to prospectus for additional Risk Details.
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.