Fund Goal and Approach
The fund seeks long-term growth of capital.To pursue its goal, the fund normally invests at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in equity securities of small-cap U.S. companies. The fund currently considers small-cap companies to be those with total market capitalizations that are equal to or less than the total market capitalization of the largest company included in the Russell 2000® Value Index (the Index), the fund's benchmark index. As of December 31, 2014, the market capitalization of the largest company in the Index was approximately $4.98 billion. The fund's portfolio managers use fundamental research and qualitative analysis to select stocks among the portfolio candidates. The portfolio managers look for companies with strong competitive positions, high quality management, and financial strength. The portfolio managers use a variety of screening methods to identify small-cap companies that might be attractive investments. Once attractive investments have been identified, the portfolio managers then use a consistent three-step fundamental research process to evaluate the stocks, consisting of: valuation, to identify small-cap companies that are considered to be attractively priced relative to their earnings potential; fundamentals, to verify the strength of the underlying business position; and catalyst, to identify a specific event that has the potential to cause the stocks to appreciate in value. The portfolio managers focus primarily on individual stock selection instead of trying to predict which industries or sectors will perform best. The stock selection process is designed to produce a diversified portfolio of companies that the portfolio managers believe are undervalued relative to expected business growth.
Equity funds are subject generally to market, market sector, market liquidity, issuer, and investment style risks, among other factors, to varying degrees, all of which are more fully described in the fund's prospectus.
Small companies carry additional risks because their operating histories tend to be more limited, their earnings and revenues less predictable, 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.
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.