Fund Goal and Approach
The fund seeks high current income. To pursue its goal, the fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in floating rate loans and other floating rate securities. These investments effectively should enable the fund to achieve a floating rate of income. The fund's sub-adviser normally will focus on senior secured floating rate loans, which are loans secured by specific collateral of the borrower and are senior to most other securities of the borrower (e.g., common stock or debt instruments) in the event of bankruptcy. The fund's investments in floating rate loans and other floating rate securities also may include, without limitation, (i) second lien loans, senior unsecured loans and subordinated loans, (ii) senior and subordinated corporate debt obligations (such as bonds, debentures and notes), (iii) debt obligations issued by governments, their agencies and instrumentalities, and debt obligations issued by central banks, and (iv) fixed-rate loans or debt obligations with respect to which the fund has entered into derivative instruments to effectively convert the fixed-rate interest payments into floating rate interest payments. The fund may purchase participations and assignments in, and commitments to purchase, floating rate loans. The fund currently intends to invest principally in floating rate loans and other floating rate securities of U.S. issuers, but may invest up to 20% of its net assets in securities of foreign issuers, typically those located in foreign countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Floating rate instruments are loans and other securities with interest rates that adjust or "float" periodically based on a specified interest rate or other reference. Floating rate loans are made by banks and other financial institutions to their corporate clients.
The fund may invest in floating rate loans and other securities of any credit quality, maturity and duration. The floating rate loans and other floating rate securities in which the fund invests typically will be rated, at the time of investment, below investment grade (i.e., below BBB- or Baa3) by one or more nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSROs) that rate such instruments, or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable quality by the fund's sub-adviser (commonly referred to as "junk" or "high yield" instruments). The fund may invest up to 20% of its net assets in the aggregate in floating rate loans and other floating rate securities and fixed-rate high yield bonds rated, at the time of investment, in the lower rated categories (CCC+ or Caa1 or lower) by an NRSRO or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable quality by the fund's sub-adviser. The fund may not invest in issuers which are in default (i.e., failing to pay interest or principal when due) at the time of purchase, except for investments in debt issued in connection with a company in bankruptcy that is senior to all other debt, equity, and any other securities in connection with such issuer.
The fund's sub-adviser buys and sells securities for the fund through a value-oriented, bottom up research process that incorporates a macroeconomic overlay to analyze investment opportunities. The sub-adviser uses fundamental credit analysis to identify favorable and unfavorable risk/reward opportunities across sectors, industries and structures while seeking to mitigate credit risk. The sub-adviser's fundamental analysis is complemented by its macroeconomic outlook as it relates to observed default trends, performance drivers and capital market liquidity. The sub-adviser seeks to mitigate credit risk through a disciplined approach to its credit investment selection and evaluation process.
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.
*Floating rate loan risk. Unlike publicly traded common stock which trades on national exchanges, there is no central place or exchange for loans to trade. Loans trade in an over-the-counter market and are confirmed and settled through standardized procedures and documentation. The secondary market for floating rate loans may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods. The lack of an active trading market for certain floating rate loans may impair the ability of the fund to realize full value in the event of the need to sell a floating rate loan and may make it difficult to value such loans. There may be less readily available, reliable information about certain floating rate loans than is the case for many other types of securities, and the fund's sub-adviser may be required to rely primarily on its own evaluation of a borrower's credit quality rather than on any available independent sources. The value of collateral, if any, securing a floating rate loan can decline, and may be insufficient to meet the issuer's obligations in the event of non-payment of scheduled interest or principal or may be difficult to readily liquidate. In the event of the bankruptcy of a borrower, the fund could experience delays or limitations imposed by bankruptcy or other insolvency laws with respect to its ability to realize the benefits of the collateral securing a loan. The floating rate loans in which the fund invests typically will be below investment grade quality and, like other below investment grade securities, are inherently speculative. As a result, the risks associated with such floating rate loans are similar to the risks of below investment grade securities, although senior loans are typically senior and secured in contrast to other below investment grade securities, which are often subordinated and unsecured.
*Subordinated securities risk. Holders of securities that are subordinated or "junior" to more senior securities of an issuer are entitled to payment after holders of more senior securities of the issuer. Subordinated securities are more likely to suffer a credit loss than non-subordinated securities of the same issuer, any loss incurred by the subordinated securities is likely to be proportionately greater, and any recovery of interest or principal may take more time. As a result, even a perceived decline in creditworthiness of the issuer is likely to have a greater impact on the market value of these securities. Subordinated loans generally have greater price volatility than senior loans and may be less liquid.
*Credit risk. Failure of an issuer of a security to make timely interest or principal payments when due, or a decline or perception of a decline in the credit quality of the security, can cause the security's price to fall, lowering the value of the fund's investment in such security. The lower a security's credit rating, the greater the chance that the issuer of the security will default or fail to meet its payment obligations.
*High yield securities risk. High yield (''junk'') securities involve greater credit risk, including the risk of default, than investment grade securities, and are considered predominantly speculative with respect to the issuer's continuing ability to make principal and interest payments. The prices of high yield securities can fall in response to bad news about the issuer or its industry, or the economy in general to a greater extent than those of higher rated securities.
*Participation interests and assignments risk. A participation interest gives the fund an undivided interest in a loan in the proportion that the fund's participation interest bears to the total principal amount of the loan, but does not establish any direct relationship between the fund and the borrower. If a floating rate loan is acquired through a participation, the fund generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the borrower with the terms of the loan agreement against the borrower, and the fund may not directly benefit from the collateral supporting the debt obligation in which it has purchased the participation. As a result, the fund will be exposed to the credit risk of both the borrower and the institution selling the participation. The fund also may invest in a loan through an assignment of all or a portion of such loan from a third party. If a floating rate loan is acquired through an assignment, the fund may not be able to unilaterally enforce all rights and remedies under the loan and with regard to any associated collateral.
*Market risk. The market value of a security may decline due to general market conditions that are not specifically related to a particular company, such as real or perceived adverse economic conditions, changes in the outlook for corporate earnings, changes in interest or currency rates or adverse investor sentiment generally. A security's market value also may decline because of factors that affect a particular industry or industries, such as labor shortages or increased production costs and competitive conditions within an industry, or factors that affect a particular company, such as management performance, financial leverage, and reduced demand for the company's products or services.
*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 at or near their perceived value. In such a market, the value of such securities and the fund's share price may fall dramatically. No active trading market may exist for some of the floating rate loans in which the fund invests and certain loans may be subject to restrictions on resale. Because some floating rate loans that the fund invests in may have a more limited secondary market, liquidity risk is more pronounced for the fund than for mutual funds that invest primarily in other types of fixed-income instruments or equity securities. Investments in foreign securities 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 swap agreements), it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price.
*Loan valuation risk. Because there may be a lack of centralized information and trading for certain loans in which the fund may invest, reliable market value quotations may not be readily available for such loans and their valuation may require more research than for securities with a more developed secondary market. The fund is subject to the risk that when a loan is sold in the market, the amount received by the fund may be less than the value that such instrument is carried at on the fund's books immediately prior to the sale.
*Conflict of interest risk. The fund's sub-adviser and its affiliates may participate in the primary and secondary market for loan obligations. Because of limitations imposed by applicable law, the presence of the sub-adviser and its affiliates in the loan obligations market may restrict the fund's ability to acquire some loan obligations or affect the timing or price of such acquisitions. In addition, because of the financial services and asset management activities of the sub-adviser and its affiliates, the sub-adviser may not have access to material non-public information regarding the borrower to which other lenders have access.
*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.
*Interest rate risk. Prices of bonds and other fixed-income securities tend to move inversely with changes in interest rates. During periods of declining interest rates, the market price of fixed-rate fixed-income instruments generally rises. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, the market price of such instruments generally declines. The magnitude of these fluctuations in the market price of fixed-income instruments is generally greater for securities with longer effective maturities and durations because such instruments do not mature, reset interest rates or become callable for longer periods of time. Unlike investment grade bonds, however, the prices of high yield bonds may fluctuate unpredictably and not necessarily inversely with changes in interest rates. In addition, the fund invests principally in floating rate instruments, the rates on which adjust periodically with changes in market interest rates. Although these instruments are generally less sensitive to interest rate changes than fixed-rate instruments, the value of floating rate loans and other floating rate securities may decline if their interest rates do not rise as quickly, or as much, as general interest rates.
*Prepayment risk. Some securities give the issuer the option to prepay or call the securities before their maturity date, which may reduce the market value of the security and t
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.