Fund Goal and Approach
The fund seeks long-term capital appreciation. To pursue its goal, the fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in stocks of companies in the natural resources and natural resources related sectors. Generally, these are companies principally engaged in owning or developing natural resources, or supplying goods, technology and services relating to natural resources. These companies may include, for example, companies involved either directly or through subsidiaries in exploring, mining, drilling, refining, processing, transporting, distributing, fabricating, dealing in, or owning natural resources, and companies providing environmental services. There are no prescribed limits on the weightings of securities in any particular natural resources sector or in any individual company, and the fund may invest in companies of any market capitalization. The fund typically will invest in equity securities of U.S.-based companies, but may invest up to 45% of its total assets in foreign securities (i.e., issued by companies organized under the laws of countries other than the U.S.), including emerging market securities. The fund may invest in securities the terms of which are related to the market value of a natural resource, commodity or related index. The fund invests principally in common stocks, but its stock investments also may include preferred stocks, warrants and convertible securities, including those purchased in initial public offerings (IPOs), and American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), which are U.S. dollar-denominated securities that represent indirect ownership of securities issued by foreign companies. The fund also may invest in securities issued by exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which generally are designed to provide investment results corresponding to an index.
Natural resources include, but are not limited to, precious metals (e.g., gold, platinum and silver), ferrous and non- ferrous metals (e.g., iron, aluminum and copper), strategic metals (e.g., uranium and titanium), hydrocarbons (e.g., coal, oil and natural gases) and other sources (including alternative sources) of energy, chemicals, paper and forest products, farming products, real estate, food, textile and tobacco products, and other basic commodities.
The fund invests in growth and value stocks, and typically will maintain exposure to the major natural resources sectors. Using fundamental research and direct management contact, the portfolio managers seek stocks of companies with strong positions in their natural resources sector, sustained achievement records and strong financial condition. The portfolio managers also look for special situations, such as corporate restructurings, turnarounds or management changes, that could increase the stock price.
The fund typically sells a stock when the reasons for buying it no longer apply or when the company begins to show deteriorating fundamentals or poor relative performance or when a stock is fully valued by the market. The fund may also sell a stock to secure gains, limit losses or redeploy assets into more promising opportunities.
Although not a principal investment strategy, the fund may, but is not required to, use derivatives, such as options, futures and options on futures (including those relating to stocks, indexes, foreign currencies and interest rates) and forward contracts, as a substitute for investing directly in an underlying asset, to increase returns, or as part of a hedging strategy. The fund also may engage in short-selling, typically for hedging purposes, such as to limit exposure to a possible market decline in the value of its portfolio securities.
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.
* Natural resources sector risk. Investments in the natural resources and related sectors may be affected by numerous factors, including events occurring in nature, inflationary pressures and domestic and international politics. For example, events occurring in nature (such as earthquakes or fires in prime natural resource areas) and political events (such as coups or military confrontations) can affect the overall supply of a natural resource and the value of companies involved in such natural resource. Political risks and other risks to which foreign securities are subject also may affect domestic companies in which the fund invests if they have significant operations or investments in foreign countries. In addition, interest rates, prices of raw materials and other commodities, international economic developments, energy conservation, tax and other government regulations (both domestic and foreign) may affect the supply of and demand for natural resources, which can affect the profitability and value of securities issued by companies in the natural resources sectors.
Securities of companies within specific natural resources sectors can perform differently than the overall market. This may be due to changes in such things as the regulatory or competitive environment or to changes in investor perceptions regarding a sector. Because the fund may allocate relatively more assets to certain natural resources sectors than others, the fund's performance may be more sensitive to developments which affect those sectors emphasized by the fund.
* 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.
* Growth and value stock risk. By investing in a mix of growth and value companies, the fund assumes the risks of both. Investors often expect growth companies to increase their earnings at a certain rate. If these expectations are not met, investors can punish the stocks inordinately, even if earnings do increase. In addition, growth stocks may lack the dividend yield that may cushion stock prices in market downturns. Value stocks involve the risk that they may never reach their expected full market value, either because the market fails to recognize the stock's intrinsic worth, or the expected value was misgauged. They also may decline in price even though in theory they are already undervalued.
* 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 issuers. 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. Emerging markets tend to be more volatile and less liquid than the markets of more mature economies, and generally have less diverse and less mature economic structures and less stable political systems than those of developed countries.
* Small and midsize company risk. Small and midsize companies carry additional risks because the operating histories of these companies tend to be more limited, their earnings and revenues less predictable (and some companies may be experiencing significant losses), and their share prices more volatile than those of larger, more established companies. The shares of smaller companies tend to trade less frequently than those of larger, more established companies, which can adversely affect the pricing of these securities and the fund's ability to sell these securities.
* Liquidity risk. When there is little or no active trading market for specific types of securities, it can become more difficult to sell the securities in a timely manner at or near their perceived value. In such a market, the value of such securities and the fund's share price may fall dramatically. Investments in foreign securities, particularly those of issuers located in emerging markets, tend to have greater exposure to liquidity risk than domestic securities.
* 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.