Fund Goal and Approach
The fund seeks capital appreciation. To pursue its goal, the fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in equity securities. The fund's objective and the policy with respect to the investment of 80% of its assets may be changed by the fund's board, upon 60 days' prior notice to shareholders. The fund is designed to provide exposure to various global equity sectors using long/short investment strategies in seeking to produce excess returns with low correlations with (i.e., not tied to the direction of) major equity markets over a complete market cycle, typically a period of several years. The fund also seeks to have less volatility than such markets over a complete market cycle. The fund may invest in equity securities of domestic and foreign companies with any market capitalization, which normally will be above $250 million at time of purchase. The fund may invest up to 40% of its net assets in the securities of foreign issuers, including up to 25% of its net assets in issuers in emerging markets. The fund invests principally in common stocks, but its equity investments also may include preferred stocks and convertible securities, including, to a limited degree, those purchased in initial public offerings (IPOs) or shortly thereafter.
The fund's primary portfolio managers seek to produce value added excess returns ("alpha") by allocating fund assets among various global equity sectors, each managed by a separate portfolio management team of global research analysts using a long/short strategy. Currently, the fund invests its assets among the following global equity sectors: (1) Technology/Media/Telecommunication Services, (2) Consumer, (3) Financials, (4) Health Care, and (5) Natural Resources. The fund's primary portfolio managers allocate fund assets to each sector strategy based on the ratio of stock-specific risk to total portfolio risk, without reference to any benchmark. Generally, the percentage of fund assets allocated to each sector strategy will range from 15% to 25%. The fund's primary portfolio managers normally consider rebalancing the weightings of the fund's investments among each sector strategy at least quarterly, but may do so more often in response to market conditions. The fund may add, remove or change sector strategies at any time.
Securities currently are selected by five separate teams of global research analysts, with each analyst responsible for fund investments in his or her sector and area of expertise. These analysts utilize a fundamental, bottom-up research process to identify prospective investments. The fund's portfolio managers invest the fund's assets in those companies in which the analysts have the highest degree of conviction or have identified a strong near-term catalyst for earnings growth or share price appreciation. Conversely, the fund's portfolio managers establish short positions for the fund in those companies in which the analysts believe there has been a negative change in the fundamental factors relating to the company or the company has become overvalued. Within each sector, individual position sizes and industry weightings are a function of the attractiveness of the stock/industry and are determined by the analysts. The fund is not managed to a benchmark index. Rather than managing to track a benchmark index, the fund seeks to provide returns that are largely independent of market moves.
The analysts monitor the holdings in the fund's portfolio, and the fund's portfolio managers consider selling or covering a security held by the fund if the company has achieved its price target, the analyst's investment thesis has changed, or if better investment opportunities emerge elsewhere.
The fund expects to maintain significant short positions in equity securities and equity-related instruments. Although the fund intends to maintain an overall long position in its portfolio investments, in certain circumstances, the fund's short positions may approach or reach the size of the fund's overall long position. The fund also may engage in short-selling for hedging purposes, such as to limit exposure to a possible market decline in the value of its portfolio securities. A short sale involves the sale of a security that the fund does not own in the expectation of purchasing the same security (or a security exchangeable therefor) at a later date and at a lower price. To make delivery to the buyer, the fund must borrow the security, and the fund is obligated to return the security to the lender, which is accomplished by a later purchase of the security by the fund. Until the security is replaced, the fund is required to pay the lender any dividends or interests accruing during the period of the loan. To borrow the security, the fund also may have to pay a fee to the lender, which would increase the cost to the fund of the security it sold short. The fund will incur a loss as a result of a short sale if the price of the security increases between the date of the short sale and the date on which the fund replaces the security sold short. The fund will realize a gain if the security declines in price between those two dates. The fund's potential loss is limited only by the maximum attainable price of the security less the price at which the security was sold. The amount of any gain will be decreased and the amount of any loss will be increased by any interest, premium and transaction charges or other costs the fund may be required to pay in connection with the short sale. When the fund makes a short sale, it must leave the proceeds thereof with the broker and deposit with, or pledge to, the broker an amount of cash or liquid securities sufficient under current margin regulations to collateralize its obligation to replace the borrowed securities that have been sold.
The fund may, but it is not required to, use derivative instruments, such as options, futures and options on futures (including those relating to securities, foreign currencies and indexes), contracts for difference, forward contracts, swap agreements (including total return swap agreements) and other derivative instruments, as a substitute for investing directly in an underlying asset, as an alternative to selling a security short, to increase returns, to manage foreign currency risk, as part of a hedging strategy, or for other purposes related to the management of the fund. A derivatives contract will obligate or entitle the fund to deliver or receive an asset or cash payment based on the change in value of one or more underlying investments, indexes or currencies. When the fund enters into derivatives transactions, it may be required to segregate assets or enter into offsetting positions, in accordance with applicable regulations. If such segregated assets represent a large portion of the fund's portfolio, portfolio management may be affected as covered positions (including those related to the fund's short sales) may have to be reduced if it becomes necessary for the fund to reduce the amount of segregated assets in order to meet redemptions or other obligations. Total return swap agreements are contracts in which one party agrees to make periodic payments to another party based on the change in market value of the assets underlying the contract, which may include a specified security, basket of securities or securities indices during the specified period, in return for periodic payments based on a fixed or variable interest rate or the total return from other underlying assets. Total return swap agreements may be used to obtain exposure to a security or market without owning or taking physical custody of such security or investing directly in such market. A contract for difference offers exposure to price changes in an underlying security without ownership of such security, typically by providing investors the ability to trade on margin.
Although not a principal investment strategy, the fund also may invest in publicly-traded real estate investment trust securities (REITs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and equity-linked notes (ELNs). ELNs are securities that are valued based upon the performance of one or more equity securities traded in a foreign market, such as a stock index, a group of stocks or a single stock. ELNs offer investors the opportunity to participate in the ownership of the underlying local equity securities where the fund may not have established local access to that market.
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.
* Allocation risk. The ability of the fund to achieve its investment goal depends, in part, on the ability of the fund's portfolio manager to allocate effectively the fund's assets among the various global equity sectors. There can be no assurance that the actual allocations will be effective in achieving the fund's investment goal.
* 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.
* Market sector risk. The fund may significantly overweight or underweight certain companies, industries or market sectors, which may cause the fund's performance to be more or less sensitive to developments affecting those companies, industries or sectors.
* Short sale risk. The fund may make short sales, which involves selling a security it does not own in anticipation that the security's price will decline. Short sales expose the fund to the risk that it will be required to buy the security sold short (also known as "covering" the short position) at a time when the security has appreciated in value, thus resulting in a loss to the fund. Short positions in stocks involve more risk than long positions in stocks because the maximum sustainable loss on a stock purchased is limited to the amount paid for the stock plus the transaction costs, whereas there is no maximum attainable price on the shorted stock. In theory, stocks sold short have unlimited risk.
* 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.
* 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 market risk. The securities of issuers located in emerging markets countries tend to be more volatile and less liquid than securities of issuers located in countries of more mature economies, and emerging markets generally have less diverse and less mature economic structures and less stable political systems than those of developed countries. The securities of issuers located or doing substantial business in emerging markets are often subject to rapid and large changes in price.
* Derivatives risk. A small investment in derivatives could have a potentially large impact on the fund's performance. The use of derivatives involves risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in the underlying assets. Derivatives can be highly volatile, illiquid and difficult to value. Certain types of derivatives, including contracts for difference, swap agreements, forward contracts and other over-the-counter transactions, involve greater risks than the underlying obligations because, in addition to general market risks, they are subject to illiquidity risk, counterparty risk, credit risk and pricing risk.
* 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. Liquidity risk also exists when a particular derivative instrument is difficult to purchase or sell. If a derivative transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid (as is the case with many privately negotiated derivatives, including contracts for difference and swap agreements), it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price.
* 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.