Fund Goal and Approach
The fund seeks to maximize total return while realizing a market level of income consistent with preserving principal and liquidity.To pursue its goal, the fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in U.S. dollar and non-U.S. dollar-denominated fixed-income securities of governments and companies located in various countries, including emerging markets. The fund invests principally in bonds, notes (including structured notes), mortgage-related securities, asset-backed securities, floating rate loans (limited to up to 20% of the fund's net assets) and other floating rate securities and Eurodollar and Yankee dollar instruments. The fund generally invests in eight or more countries, but always invests in at least three countries, one of which may be the United States. The fund may invest up to 25% of its assets in emerging markets generally and up to 7% of its net assets in any single emerging market country. At times, the fund may invest a substantial part of its net assets in any one country. The fund will hedge most, but not necessarily all, of its foreign currency exposure to protect the U.S. dollar value of the fund's assets principally by using forward contracts, futures contracts and swap agreements.
The fund normally invests primarily in fixed-income securities rated, at the time of purchase, investment grade (i.e., Baa/BBB or higher) or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable quality by the fund's subadviser. The fund, however, may invest up to 25% of its assets in securities rated, at the time of purchase, below investment grade ("high yield" or "junk" bonds), but not rated lower than B, or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable quality by the fund's subadviser. There are no restrictions on the dollar-weighted average maturity or average effective duration of the fund's portfolio or on the maturities or durations of the individual fixed-income securities the fund may purchase. A bond's maturity is the length of time until the principal must be fully repaid with interest. Average effective portfolio maturity is an average of the maturities of bonds held by the fund directly and the bonds underlying derivative instruments entered into by the fund, if any, adjusted to reflect provisions or market conditions that may cause a bond's principal to be repaid earlier than at its stated maturity. Duration is an indication of an investment's "interest rate risk," or how sensitive a bond or the fund's portfolio may be to changes in interest rates.
The portfolio managers focus on identifying undervalued government bond markets, currencies, sectors and securities and de-emphasize the use of interest rate forecasting. The portfolio managers look for fixed-income securities with the potential for credit upgrades, unique structural characteristics or innovative features. The portfolio managers select securities by using fundamental economic research and quantitative analysis to allocate assets among countries and currencies, and by focusing on sectors and individual securities that appear to be relatively undervalued and actively trading among sectors. The fund does not have any limitations regarding portfolio turnover. The fund may engage in short-term trading to try to achieve its objective and may have portfolio turnover rates in excess of 100%. A portfolio turnover of 100% is equivalent to the fund buying and selling all of the securities in its portfolio once during the course of a year.
The fund may, but is not required to, use derivatives, such as options, futures, options on futures, forward contracts and swap agreements, as a substitute for investing directly in an underlying asset, to increase returns, to manage market, foreign currency and/or duration or interest rate risks, or as part of a hedging strategy.
The fund is subject generally to interest rate, credit, liquidity, call, sector, and market risks, to varying degrees, all of which are more fully described in the fund's prospectus.
Interest Rate Risk
Generally, all other factors being equal, bond prices are inversely related to interest-rate changes and rate increases can cause price declines.
High yield bonds are subject to increased credit risk and are considered speculative in terms of the issuer's perceived ability to continue making interest payments on a timely basis and to repay principal upon maturity.
Foreign Investment Risk
Foreign bonds are subject to special risks including exposure to currency fluctuations, changing political and economic conditions, and potentially less liquidity. The fixed income securities of issuers located in emerging markets can be more volatile and less liquid than those of issuers in more mature economies.
Emerging Markets Risk
Emerging markets tend to be more volatile 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.
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 and there is the risk that changes in the value of a derivative held by the fund will not correlate with the underlying instruments or the fund's other investments.
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.