investment adviser to the Fund, either may invest the Fund's assets in a subset of securities in the Index or may invest the Fund's assets in substantially all of the securities represented in the Index in approximately the same proportions as the Index, as determined by the Adviser to be in the best interest of the Fund in pursuing its objective.
Under normal market conditions, the Fund generally invests substantially all, but at least 80%, of its total assets in the securities comprising the Index and in securities that the Adviser determines have economic characteristics that are substantially identical to the economic characteristics of the securities that comprise the Index. In addition, in seeking to track the Index, the Fund may invest in debt securities that are not included in the Index, cash and cash equivalents or money market instruments, such as repurchase agreements and money market funds (including money market funds advised by the Adviser). In seeking to track the Index, the Fund's assets may be concentrated in an industry or group of industries, but only to the extent that the Index concentrates in a particular industry or group of industries. The Fund may use derivatives, including credit default swaps and credit default index swaps, to obtain investment exposure that the Adviser expects to correlate closely with the Index, or a portion of the Index, and in managing cash flows.
The Index is designed to measure the performance of the short term U.S. corporate bond market. The Index includes publicly issued U.S. dollar denominated corporate issues that have a remaining maturity of greater than or equal to 1 year and less than 3 years, are rated investment grade (must be Baa3/BBB- or higher using the middle rating of Moody's Investors Service, Inc., Fitch Inc., or Standard & Poor's Financial Services, LLC), and have $300 million or more of outstanding face value. In addition, the securities must be denominated in U.S. dollars, fixed rate and non-convertible. The Index includes only corporate categories. The corporate categories are Industrial, Utility, and Financial Institutions, which include both U.S. and non-U.S. corporations. The following instruments are excluded from the Index: structured notes with embedded swaps or other special features; private placements; floating rate securities; and Eurobonds. The Index is market capitalization weighted and the securities in the Index are updated on the last business day of each month. As of July 31, 2021, a significant portion of the Fund comprised companies in the financial and industrial sectors, although this may change from time to time. As of July 31, 2021, there were 1,159 securities in the Index and the dollar-weighted average maturity of the securities in the Index was 2.01 years.
The Index is sponsored by Bloomberg Index Services Limited (the "Index Provider"), which is not affiliated with the Fund or the Adviser. The Index Provider determines the composition of the Index, relative weightings of the securities in the Index and publishes information regarding the market value of the Index.
Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund
As with all investments, there are certain risks of investing in the Fund. Fund Shares will change in value, and you could lose money by investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.
Market Risk: The Fund's investments are subject to changes in general economic conditions, general market fluctuations and the risks inherent in investment in securities markets. Investment markets can be volatile and prices of investments can change substantially due to various factors including, but not limited to, economic growth or recession, changes in interest rates, changes in the actual or perceived creditworthiness of issuers, and general market liquidity. The Fund is subject to the risk that geopolitical events will disrupt securities markets and adversely affect global economies and markets. Local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, the spread of infectious illness or other public health issues, or other events could have a significant impact on the Fund and its investments.
Debt Securities Risk: The values of debt securities may increase or decrease as a result of the following: market fluctuations, changes in interest rates, actual or perceived inability or unwillingness of issuers, guarantors or liquidity providers to make scheduled principal or interest payments or illiquidity in debt securities markets; the risk of low rates of return due to reinvestment of securities during periods of falling interest rates or repayment by issuers with higher coupon or interest rates; and/or the risk of low income due to falling interest rates. To the extent that interest rates rise, certain underlying obligations may be paid off substantially slower than originally anticipated and the value of those securities may fall sharply. A rising interest rate environment may cause the value of the Fund's fixed income securities to decrease, an adverse impact on the liquidity of the Fund's fixed income securities, and increased volatility of the fixed income markets. The current historically low interest rate environment heightens the risks associated with rising interest rates. During periods when interest rates are at low levels, the Fund's yield can be low, and the Fund may have a negative yield (i.e., it may lose money on an operating basis). If the principal on a debt obligation is prepaid before expected, the prepayments of principal may have to be reinvested in obligations paying interest at lower rates. During periods of falling interest rates, the income received by the Fund may decline. Changes in interest rates will likely have a greater effect on the values of debt securities of longer durations. Returns on investments in debt securities could trail the returns on other investment options, including investments in equity securities.