You could lose money by investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a deposit of a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency. There can be no assurance that the Fund's investment objectives will be achieved.
Credit risk is the risk that an issuer of a security will be unable or unwilling to make dividend, interest and/or principal payments when due and the related risk that the value of a security may decline because of concerns about the issuer's ability to make such payments.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATE RISK.
The Fund may hold investments that are denominated in non-U.S. currencies, or in securities that provide exposure to such currencies, currency exchange rates or interest rates denominated in such currencies. Changes in currency exchange rates and the relative value of non-U.S. currencies will affect the value of the Fund's investment and the value of Fund shares. Currency exchange rates can be very volatile and can change quickly and unpredictably. As a result, the value of an investment in the Fund may change quickly and without warning and you may lose money.
CYBER SECURITY RISK.
As the use of Internet technology has become more prevalent in the course of business, the Fund has become more susceptible to potential operational risks through breaches in cyber security. A breach in cyber security refers to both intentional and unintentional events that may cause the Fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity. Such events could cause the Fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures and/or financial loss. Cyber security breaches may involve unauthorized access to the Fund's digital information systems through "hacking" or malicious software coding, but may also result from outside attacks such as denial-of-service attacks through efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users. In addition, cyber security breaches of the Fund's third party service providers, such as its administrator, transfer agent, custodian, or sub-advisor, as applicable, or issuers in which the Fund invests, can also subject the Fund to many of the same risks associated with direct cyber security breaches. The Fund has established risk management systems designed to reduce the risks associated with cyber security. However, there is no guarantee that such efforts will succeed, especially because the Fund does not directly control the cyber security systems of issuers or third party service providers.
DEPOSITARY RECEIPTS RISK.
Depositary receipts may be less liquid than the underlying shares in their primary trading market. Any distributions paid to the holders of depositary receipts are usually subject to a fee charged by the depositary. Holders of depositary receipts may have limited voting rights, and investment restrictions in certain countries may adversely impact the value of depositary receipts because such restrictions may limit the ability to convert the equity shares into depositary receipts and vice versa. Such restrictions may cause the equity shares of the underlying issuer to trade at a discount or premium to the market price of the depositary receipts.
There is no guarantee that the issuers of the Fund's equity securities will declare dividends in the future or that, if declared, they will either remain at current levels or increase over time.
ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE COMPANIES RISK.
Energy infrastructure companies are subject to significant U.S., state and local government and/or foreign government regulation in virtually every aspect of their operations, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and the prices they may charge for the products and services. Various governmental agencies and authorities have the power to enforce compliance with these regulations, and violators may be subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, including civil monetary penalties, imposition of remedial requirements, injunctions or all of the above. Stricter laws, regulations or enforcement policies could be enacted in the future, which would likely increase compliance costs and may adversely affect the financial performance of energy infrastructure companies. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, also may impact energy infrastructure companies.
Certain energy infrastructure companies in the utilities industry are subject to the imposition of rate caps, increased competition due to deregulation, the difficulty in obtaining an adequate return on invested capital or in financing large construction projects, the limitations on operations and increased costs and delays attributable to environmental considerations and the capital market's ability to absorb utility debt. In addition, taxes, government regulation, price and supply fluctuations, volatile interest rates and counter party risk. Such issuers have been experiencing certain of these problems to varying degrees.
Energy infrastructure companies may be directly affected by energy commodity prices, especially those companies that own the underlying energy commodity. A decrease in the production of availability of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, or other energy commodities or a decrease in the volume of such commodities available for transportation, processing, storage or distribution may adversely impact the financial performance of energy infrastructure companies.
EQUITY SECURITIES RISK.
Because the Fund invests in equity securities, the value of the Fund's shares will fluctuate with changes in the value of these equity securities. Equity securities prices fluctuate for several reasons, including changes in investors' perceptions of the financial condition of an issuer or the general condition of the relevant stock market, such as market volatility, or when political or economic events affecting the issuers occur. In addition, common stock prices may be particularly sensitive to rising interest rates, as the cost of capital rises and borrowing costs increase. The equity markets have experienced recent volatility that may lead to sharp declines in the value of the equity securities and the Fund.
EXCHANGE-TRADED FUND RISK.
An ETF trades like common stock and represents a portfolio of securities. The risks of owning an ETF generally reflect the risks of owning the underlying securities, although lack of liquidity in an ETF could result in it being more volatile and ETFs have management fees and other operating expenses that increase their costs.
FINANCIAL COMPANIES RISK.
Financial companies are especially subject to the adverse effects of economic recession, currency exchange rates, government regulation, decreases in the availability of capital, volatile interest rates, portfolio concentrations in geographic markets and in commercial and residential real estate loans, and competition from new entrants in their fields of business.
FIXED INCOME SECURITIES RISK.
An investment in the Fund involves risk associated with an investment in fixed income securities including the risk that certain of the securities in the Fund may not have the benefit of covenants that would prevent the issuer from engaging in capital restructurings or borrowing transactions in connection with corporate acquisitions, leveraged buyouts or restructurings. This limitation could reduce the ability of the issuer to meet its payment obligations and might result in increased credit risk. In addition, certain of the securities may be redeemed or prepaid by the issuer, resulting in lower interest payments received by the Fund and reduced distributions to shareholders.
HIGH YIELD SECURITIES RISK.
High yield securities, or "junk" bonds, are subject to greater market fluctuations and risk of loss than securities with higher ratings, and therefore, are considered to be highly speculative. These securities are issued by companies that may have narrowly focused operations and/or other impediments to the timely payment of periodic interest and principal at maturity. If the economy slows down or dips into recession, the issuers of high yield securities may not have sufficient resources to continue making timely payment of periodic interest and principal at maturity. The market for high yield securities is smaller and less liquid than that for investment grade securities. High yield securities are generally not listed on a national securities exchange but trade in the over-the-counter markets. Due to the smaller, less liquid market for high yield securities, the bid-offer spread on such securities is generally greater than it is for investment grade securities and the purchase or sale of such securities may take longer to complete. In general, high yield securities may have a greater risk of default than other types of securities.
ILLIQUID SECURITIES RISK.
Some of the securities held by the Fund may be illiquid. Illiquid securities involve the risk that the securities will not be able to be sold at the time desired by the Fund or at prices approximately the value at which the Fund is carrying the securities on its books.
Income from the Fund's fixed income investments could decline during periods of falling interest rates.
INTEREST RATE RISK.
Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of the fixed-income securities in the Fund will decline because of rising market interest rates. Interest rate risk is generally lower for shorter term investments, which generally have shorter durations, and higher for longer term investments. Duration is a common measure of interest rate risk, which measures a debt security's expected life on a present value basis, taking into account the debt security's yield, interest payments and final maturity. Duration is a reasonably accurate measure of a debt security's price sensitivity to changes in interest rates. The longer the duration of a debt security, the greater the debt security's price sensitivity is to changes in interest rates. Mortgage-related securities are particularly subject to the risk that interest rate volatility may adversely impact the valuation and price of such securities. Additionally, the return on the floating rate loans in which the Fund may invest will decline during a period of falling interest rates.
INVESTMENT COMPANIES RISK.
The Fund may invest in the shares of other investment companies, and therefore, the Fund's investment performance and risks may be related to the investment performance and risks of the underlying funds. In general, as a shareholder in other investment companies, the Fund bears its ratable share of the underlying fund's expenses, and would be subject to duplicative expenses to the extent the Fund invests in other investment companies beyond any amounts waived or reimbursed by the Fund's investment advisor.
LOAN PREPAYMENT RISK.
Loans are subject to prepayment risk. The degree to which borrowers prepay loans, whether as a contractual requirement or at their election, may be affected by general business conditions, the financial condition of the borrower and competitive conditions among loan investors, among others. As such, prepayments cannot be predicted with accuracy. Upon a prepayment, either in part or in full, the actual outstanding debt on which the Fund derives interest income will be reduced. The Fund may not be able to reinvest the proceeds received on terms as favorable as the prepaid loan.
An investment in loans subjects the Fund to credit risk, which is heightened for loans in which the Fund invests because companies that issue such loans tend to be highly leveraged and thus are more susceptible to the risks of interest deferral, default and/or bankruptcy. The loans are usually rated below investment grade but may also be unrated. An economic downturn would generally lead to a higher non-payment rate, and a loan may lose significant market value before a default occurs. Moreover, any specific collateral used to secure a loan may decline in value or become illiquid, which would adversely affect the loan's value. Unlike the securities markets, there is no central clearinghouse for loan trades, and the loan market has not established enforceable settlement standards or remedies for failure to settle. Therefore, portfolio transactions in loans may have uncertain settlement time periods. Loans are subject to a number of risks described elsewhere in this prospectus, including liquidity risk and the risk of investing in below investment grade debt instruments.
The Fund is subject to management risk because it is an actively managed portfolio. In managing the Fund's investment portfolio, the Fund's Advisor and Sub-Advisors will apply investment techniques and risk analyses that may not have the desired result. There can be no guarantee that the Fund will meet its investment objectives.
Market risk is the risk that a particular security owned by the Fund or shares of the Fund in general may fall in value. Securities are subject to market fluctuations caused by such factors as economic, political, regulatory or market developments, changes in interest rates and perceived trends in securities prices. Shares of the Fund could decline in value or underperform other investments.
An investment in MLP units involves risks which differ from an investment in common stock of a corporation. Holders of MLP units have limited control and voting rights on matters affecting the partnership, risks related to potential conflicts of interest between the MLP and MLP's general partner, cash flow risk, dilution risks, and risks related to the limited partner's limited call right. In addition, there are certain tax risks associated with an investment in MLP units and conflicts of interest may exist between common unit holders and the general partner, including those arising from incentive distribution payments. In addition, there is the risk that an MLP could be, contrary to its intention, taxed as a corporation, resulting in decreased returns from such MLP.
MORTGAGE SECURITIES RISK.
The Fund invests in mortgage-related securities, including mortgage-backed securities, which may make the Fund more susceptible to adverse economic, political or regulatory events that affect the value of real estate. Changes in local, state and federal policies could negatively impact the mortgage-related securities market, which include various government initiated and sponsored homeowner assistance programs and eminent domain issues. Mortgage-related securities are subject to the risk that the rate of mortgage prepayments decreases, which extends the average life of a security and increases the interest rate exposure. Mortgage-related securities may also face liquidity issues when the Fund seeks to sell such securities, but is unable to find buyers at a bid-ask spread to make the transaction feasible. These securities are also subject to the risk that the underlying borrowers may default on their mortgages, resulting in a non-payment of principal and interest. Finally, the mortgage-related securities market may be negatively impacted by regulatory changes including those that are related to the mandate or existence of the government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.
NON-U.S. SECURITIES AND EMERGING MARKETS RISK.
Non-U.S. securities are subject to higher volatility than securities of domestic issuers due to possible adverse political, social or economic developments; restrictions on foreign investment or exchange of securities; lack of liquidity; currency exchange rates; excessive taxation; government seizure of assets; different legal or accounting standards; and less government supervision and regulation of exchanges in foreign countries. These risks may be heightened for securities of companies located in, or with significant operations in, emerging market countries.
PREFERRED SECURITIES RISK.
Preferred securities combine some of the characteristics of both common stocks and bonds. Preferred securities are typically subordinated to bonds and other debt instruments in a company's capital structure, in terms of priority to corporate income, and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than those debt instruments. Preferred securities are also subject to credit risk, interest rate risk and income risk.
REIT INVESTMENT RISK.
Because the Fund invests in REITs, the Fund is subject to the risks associated with investing in real estate, which may include, but are not limited to, fluctuations in the value of underlying properties; defaults by borrowers or tenants; market saturation; changes in general and local operating expenses; and other economic, political or regulatory occurrences affecting companies in the real estate industry. In addition to risks related to investments in real estate generally, investing in REITs involves certain other risks related to their structure and focus, which include, but are not limited to, dependency upon management skills, limited diversification, the risks of locating and managing financing for projects, heavy cash flow dependency, possible default by borrowers, the costs and potential losses of self-liquidation of one or more holdings, the risk of a possible lack of mortgage funds and associated interest rate risks, overbuilding, property vacancies, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, changes in zoning laws, losses due to environmental damages, changes in neighborhood values and appeal to purchasers, the possibility of failing to maintain exemptions from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the "1940 Act") and, in many cases, relatively small market capitalization, which may result in less market liquidity and greater price volatility. REITs are also subject to the risk that the real estate market may experience an economic downturn generally, which may have a material effect on the real estate in which the REITs invest and their underlying portfolio securities.
SMALL FUND RISK.
The Fund currently has fewer assets than larger funds, and like other relatively smaller funds, large inflows and outflows may impact the Fund's market exposure for limited periods of time. This impact may be positive or negative, depending on the direction of market movement during the period affected.
SMALLER COMPANIES RISK.
The Fund invests in small and/or mid capitalization companies. Such companies may be more vulnerable to adverse general market or economic developments, and their securities may be less liquid and may experience greater price volatility than larger, more established companies as a result of several factors, including limited trading volumes, products or financial resources, management inexperience and less publicly available information. Accordingly, such companies are generally subject to greater market risk than larger, more established companies.
TIPs are inflation-indexed fixed-income securities issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury and are subject to the same risks as other fixed income investments. In a falling inflationary environment, both interest payments and the value of the TIPS will decline.