ETF Series Solutions

09/14/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/14/2021 15:02

Amendment to Post-Effective Amendment (SEC Filing - 485APOS)


Filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on September 14, 2021
1933 Act Registration File No. 333-179562
1940 Act File No. 811-22668
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM N-1A
REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 [X]
Pre-Effective Amendment No. ___
[ ]
Post-Effective Amendment No. 741
[X]
and
REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940 [X]
Amendment No. 742
[X]
(Check appropriate box or boxes.)
ETF SERIES SOLUTIONS
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

615 East Michigan Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

(Registrant's Telephone Number, including Area Code): (414) 765-5586

Michael D. Barolsky, Vice President and Secretary
ETF Series Solutions
c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services
777 East Wisconsin Avenue, 10th Floor
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

Copy to:
W. John McGuire
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004-2541

As soon as practical after the effective date of this Registration Statement
(Approximate Date of Proposed Public Offering)
It is proposed that this filing will become effective
[ ] immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)
[ ] on ______________ pursuant to paragraph (b)
[ ] 60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)
[ ] on ______________ pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)
[X] 75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)
[ ]
on pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485.

If appropriate, check the following box
[ ] this post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.



Subject to completion
Dated September 14, 2021

The information herein is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction in which the offer or sale is not permitted.

Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF
(BITC)

Listed on [ ]

PROSPECTUS

[ ]

These securities have not been approved or disapproved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ('SEC') or the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission ('CFTC'), nor have the SEC or CFTC passed upon the adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.



Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Fund Summary
3
Additional Information about the Fund
11
Portfolio Holdings Information
17
Management
18
Investment Adviser
18
Fund Sponsor
18
Management of the Subsidiary
18
Multi-Manager Structure
18
Portfolio Managers
18
How to Buy and Sell Shares
18
Book Entry
19
Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Shares
19
Determination of NAV
19
Fair Value Pricing
19
Investments by Registered Investment Companies
19
Delivery of Shareholder Documents - Householding
20
Dividends, Distributions, and Taxes
20
Distribution
22
Premium/Discount Information
22
Additional Notices
22
Financial Highlights
22


FUND SUMMARY
Investment Objective
The Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF (the 'Fund') seeks to provide long-term capital appreciation.
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
The following table describes the fees and expenses you may pay if you buy, hold, and sell shares of the Fund ('Shares'). You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table and Example below.
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Management Fees [ ]
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees 0.00%
Other Expenses1
0.00%
Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses1
[ ]
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses [ ]
1 Estimated for the current fiscal year.
Expense Example
This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund's operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
1 Year 3 Years
[ ] [ ]
Portfolio Turnover
The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or 'turns over' its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the Example, affect the Fund's performance. Because the Fund is newly organized, portfolio turnover information is not yet available.
Principal Investment Strategies
The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund ('ETF') that seeks to provide long-term capital appreciation, primarily through exchange-traded futures contracts that provide exposure to movements in the value of bitcoin. The Fund will not invest directly in bitcoin. While the Fund intends to obtain exposure to bitcoin primarily through indirect investments in standardized, cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts traded on commodity exchanges registered with the CFTC ('Bitcoin Futures'), it may also invest in pooled investment vehicles and Canadian-listed funds hat provide exposure to bitcoin (together with Bitcoin Futures, 'Bitcoin Instruments'). In addition, the Fund expects to have significant holdings of cash, U.S. government securities, and money market funds (the 'Collateral Instruments'). The Collateral Instruments are intended to provide liquidity and to serve as collateral for the Fund's Bitcoin Futures.
The Fund is not an index tracking ETF and instead seeks to achieve its investment objective through its investments in Bitcoin Instruments and through a cash management strategy consisting of investments in the Collateral Instruments. Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, the Fund's investment adviser (the 'Adviser'), will use Collateral Instruments to generate a total return for investors and exercise its discretion in the use of such instruments to seek to optimize the investment performance of the Fund.
Bitcoin is a digital asset, as known as a cryptocurrency or digital currency, with the potential to provide a globally exchangeable unit of value that can be transferred on a peer-to-peer basis. Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning that the supply of bitcoin is not determined by a central government, but rather by software protocols that limit both the total amount of bitcoin that will be produced and the rate at which such bitcoin are released into the Bitcoin network. In addition, the official ledger or record of who owns what bitcoin is not maintained by any central entity, but rather, is maintained by multiple different independent computers and entities simultaneously. Bitcoin and Bitcoin Futures are a relatively new asset class and are subject to unique and substantial risks, including the risk that the value of the Fund's investments could decline rapidly, including to zero. Bitcoin and Bitcoin Futures have historically been more volatile than traditional asset classes. You should be prepared to lose your entire investment.
Futures contracts are financial contracts the value of which depends on, or is derived from, the underlying reference asset. The Fund will only invest in cash-settled Bitcoin Futures. 'Cash-settled' means that when the relevant futures contract expires, if the value of
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the underlying asset exceeds the futures contract price, the seller pays to the purchaser cash in the amount of that excess, and if the futures contract price exceeds the value of the underlying asset, the purchaser pays to the seller cash in the amount of that excess. In a cash-settled futures contract on bitcoin, the amount of cash to be paid is equal to the difference between the value of the bitcoin underlying the futures contract at the close of the last trading day of the contract and the futures contract price specified in the agreement. Currently, the only such contracts are traded on, or subject to the rules of, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange ('CME'). The value of Bitcoin Futures is determined by reference to the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate ('BRR'), which provides an indication of the price of bitcoin across certain cash bitcoin exchanges.
The Fund, through its Subsidiary (defined below), will utilize 'rolling' to retain its exposure to Bitcoin Futures. The contractual obligations of a buyer or seller holding a futures contract to expiration may be satisfied by settling in cash as designated in the contract specifications. Alternatively, futures contracts may be closed out prior to expiration by making an offsetting sale or purchase of an identical futures contract on the same or linked exchange before the designated date of settlement. Once this date is reached, the futures contract 'expires.' As the Bitcoin Futures held by the Fund near expiration, they are generally closed out and replaced by contracts with a later expiration. This process is referred to as 'rolling.' The Fund does not intend to hold Bitcoin Futures through expiration, but instead to 'roll' its respective positions. Accordingly, the Fund may experience higher levels of portfolio turnover and associated costs.
Futures contracts with a longer term to expiration may be priced higher than futures contracts with a shorter term to expiration, a relationship called 'contango.' When rolling futures contracts that are in contango, the Fund may sell the expiring contract at a lower price and buy a longer-dated contract at a higher price, resulting in a negative roll yield. Conversely, futures contracts with a longer term to expiration may be priced lower than futures contracts with a shorter term to expiration, a relationship called 'backwardation.' When rolling futures contracts that are in backwardation, the Fund may sell the expiring contract at a higher price and buy a longer-dated contract at a lower price, resulting in a positive roll yield. Due to contango, backwardation, or other factors, the returns from Bitcoin Futures may differ from returns from a direct investment in bitcoin. The Fund does not invest in, or seek exposure to, the current 'spot' or cash price of bitcoin.
The Fund expects to gain exposure to Bitcoin Futures and other Bitcoin Instruments indirectly by investing in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the 'Subsidiary'). The Adviser also serves as the investment adviser to the Subsidiary. The Fund's investment in the Subsidiary is intended to provide the Fund with indirect exposure to Bitcoin Futures within the limits of current federal income tax laws applicable to investment companies such as the Fund, which limit the ability of investment companies to invest directly in Bitcoin Futures. The Subsidiary has the same investment objective as the Fund, but unlike the Fund, it may invest without limitation in Bitcoin Futures. Except as otherwise noted, for purposes of this Prospectus, references to the Fund's investments include the Fund's indirect investments through the Subsidiary. Because the Fund intends to qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company ('RIC') under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the 'Code'), the size of the Fund's investment in the Subsidiary will generally be limited to 25% of the Fund's total assets, tested at the end of each fiscal quarter.
The Fund is classified as a 'non-diversified' investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the '1940 Act') and, therefore, may invest a greater percentage of its assets in a particular issuer than a diversified fund. The Fund will not concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in any industry or group of related industries, except that the Fund may invest more than 25% of its total assets in investments that provide exposure to bitcoin and/or Bitcoin Futures.
Principal Investment Risks
The principal risks of investing in the Fund are summarized below. The principal risks are presented in alphabetical order to facilitate finding particular risks and comparing them with other funds. Each risk summarized below is considered a 'principal risk' of investing in the Fund, regardless of the order in which it appears. As with any investment, there is a risk that you could lose all or a portion of your investment in the Fund. Some or all of these risks may adversely affect the Fund's net asset value per share ('NAV'), trading price, yield, total return and/or ability to meet its objectives. For more information about the risks of investing in the Fund, see the section in the Fund's Prospectus titled 'Additional Information About the Fund.'
•Active Management Risk. The Fund is actively managed and may not meet its investment objective based on the Adviser's success or failure to implement strategies for the Fund. The Fund invests in complex instruments (each described below), including futures contracts. Such instruments may create enhanced risks for the Fund, and the Adviser's ability to control the Fund's level of risk will depend on the Adviser's skill in managing such instruments. In addition, the Adviser's evaluations and assumptions regarding investments, interest rates, inflation, and other factors may not successfully achieve the Fund's investment objective given actual market conditions.
•Bitcoin Futures Risk. The Fund expects to obtain exposure to bitcoin through futures contracts. Bitcoin Futures are financial contracts the value of which depends on, or is derived from, bitcoin as the underlying reference asset. Bitcoin Futures involve the risk that changes in their value may not move as expected relative to changes in the value of bitcoin. Futures contracts exhibit 'futures basis,' which refers to the difference between the current market value of bitcoin (the 'spot' price) and the price of the cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts. A negative futures basis exists when cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts generally trade at a premium to the current market value of bitcoin. If a negative futures basis exists, the Fund's investments in Bitcoin Futures
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contracts will generally underperform a direct investment in bitcoin, and, therefore, it may be more difficult for the Fund to maintain its desired level of target exposure. There can also be no guarantee that there will be a correlation between price movements in Bitcoin Futures and in the price of bitcoin. As a result, the use of Bitcoin Futures involves risks that are in addition to, and potentially greater than, the risks of investing directly in securities and other more traditional assets, and may be considered a speculative investment.
While the Bitcoin Futures market has grown substantially since Bitcoin Futures commenced trading, there can be no assurance that this growth will continue. Bitcoin Futures are subject to collateral requirements and daily limits that may limit the Fund's ability to achieve its desired level of target exposure to bitcoin, resulting in losses or otherwise preventing the Fund from achieving its objective.
The underlying cash or spot markets for bitcoin are generally not regulated by the SEC or the CFTC. Underlying bitcoin markets may not be subject to registration, licensing or fitness requirements, audit trail or trade reporting rules, market integrity rules, wash sale, spoofing or other anti-fraud rules, disaster recovery or cybersecurity requirements, surveillance requirements, or anti-money laundering rules that are as stringent as those to which national securities exchanges and futures exchanges are subject. Because of these factors, bitcoin markets may be more susceptible to fraud and manipulation, which could adversely affect the price of bitcoin and thereby the Fund's investment in Bitcoin Futures.
•Bitcoin Investments Risk. The Fund actively invests in Bitcoin Futures through its Subsidiary. The Fund does not invest directly in or hold bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin Futures should be expected to differ from the current cash price of bitcoin, which is sometimes referred to as the 'spot' price of bitcoin. Consequently, the performance of the Fund should be expected to perform differently from the spot price of bitcoin. These differences could be significant. The following risks are associated with the Bitcoin market:
◦Bitcoin Adoption Risk. The further development and acceptance of the Bitcoin network, which is part of a new and rapidly changing industry, is subject to a variety of factors that are difficult to evaluate. The slowing, stopping or reversing of the development or acceptance of the Bitcoin network may adversely affect the price of bitcoin and therefore cause the Fund to suffer losses. The growth of this industry is subject to a high degree of uncertainty, and the factors affecting its further development, include, but are not limited to, the continued growth or possible reversal in the adoption of bitcoin, government regulation over bitcoin, the maintenance and development of the Bitcoin network, the availability and popularity of other mediums of exchange for buying and selling goods and services and consumer or public perception of bitcoin specifically or other digital assets generally. Currently, there is relatively limited use of bitcoin in the retail and commercial marketplace in comparison to relatively extensive use as a store of value, thus contributing to price volatility (meaning prices may fluctuate widely) that could adversely affect the Fund's bitcoin-related investments.
◦Bitcoin Cybersecurity Risk. Cybersecurity exploitations or attacks against the Bitcoin protocol and of entities that custody or facilitate the transfers or trading of bitcoin could result in a significant theft of bitcoin and a loss of public confidence in bitcoin, which could lead to a decline in the value of bitcoin and, as a result, adversely impact the Fund's bitcoin-related investments. Additionally, if a malicious actor or botnet (i.e., a volunteer or hacked collection of computers controlled by networked software coordinating the actions of the computers) obtains control of more than 50% of the processing power of the Bitcoin network, such actor or botnet could alter the blockchain and adversely affect the value of bitcoin, which would adversely affect the Fund's bitcoin-related investments.
◦Bitcoin Regulatory Risk. Regulatory changes or actions may alter the nature of an investment in bitcoin or restrict the use of bitcoin or the operations of the Bitcoin network or venues on which bitcoin trades in a manner that adversely affects the price of bitcoin and, therefore, the Fund's bitcoin-related investments. For example, it may become difficult or illegal to acquire, hold, sell or use bitcoin in one or more countries, which could adversely impact the price of bitcoin.
◦Future Regulatory Action Risk. There is a possibility of future regulatory change altering, perhaps to a material extent, the ability to buy and sell bitcoin and bitcoin futures. Similarly, future regulatory changes could impact the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective or alter the nature of an investment in the Fund or the ability of the Fund to continue to operate as planned.
◦Bitcoin Trading Venues Operational Risk. Over the past several years, a number of venues through which bitcoin trades have been closed due to fraud, failure or security breaches. In many of these instances, the customers of such exchanges were not compensated or made whole for the partial or complete losses of their account balances in such exchanges. In addition, some academics and market observers have put forth evidence to support claims that manipulative trading activity has occurred on certain bitcoin exchanges. Operational problems or failures by bitcoin trading venues and fluctuations in bitcoin prices may reduce confidence in these venues or in bitcoin generally, which could adversely affect the price of bitcoin and therefore adversely affect the Fund's bitcoin-related investments.
◦Bitcoin Pricing Volatility Risk. The price of bitcoin has experienced periods of extreme volatility. Bitcoin price volatility may be influenced by, among other things, trading activity on and the closing of digital asset trading platforms (including those featuring leveraged trading) due to fraud, failure, security breaches or otherwise. Bitcoin price volatility may also be
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influenced by momentum pricing. Also, speculation by traders and investors regarding the potential future appreciation in the value of bitcoin may inflate the price of bitcoin. Conversely, a decrease in demand or speculation for, or government regulation (including, without limitation, the tax treatment of bitcoin transactions) and the perception of onerous regulatory actions, may cause a drop in the price of bitcoin. Further, developments related to the Bitcoin network's operations, individual digital asset trading platforms and the overall bitcoin market also contribute to the volatility in the price of bitcoin. Such volatility in the future, including further declines in the trading prices of bitcoin, could have a material adverse effect on the value of Bitcoin Futures, and therefore on the Fund's performance and the value of Shares. Shares could lose all or substantially all of their value.
◦Miner Collusion Risk. Miners, functioning in their transaction confirmation capacity, collect fees for each bitcoin transaction they confirm. Miners have historically accepted relatively low transaction confirmation fees. If miners collude in an anticompetitive manner to reject low transaction fees, then bitcoin users could be forced to pay higher fees, thus reducing the attractiveness of the Bitcoin network. Any collusion among miners may adversely impact the attractiveness of the Bitcoin network and may adversely impact the Fund's bitcoin-related investments.
•Canadian-Listed Funds Risk. Canadian-listed funds that provide exposure to bitcoin are subject to many of the same risks as a direct investment in bitcoin. Additionally, shares of these funds may trade at a premium or discount from the value of their underlying investments, may become illiquid, may or may not be correlated with the price of bitcoin or bitcoin futures contracts, and may be highly volatile. If the Fund invests in a Canadian-listed fund, the Fund's shareholders will indirectly bear the Fund's proportionate share of the fees and expenses paid by that Canadian-listed fund, in addition to the Fund's own fees and expenses. In addition, Canadian-listed funds are not regulated under the 1940 Act, the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the 'Securities Act'), or any other U.S. federal or state securities laws. Therefore, the Fund's investments in these vehicles will not benefit from the protections and restrictions of such laws.
•Clearing Broker Risk. The failure or bankruptcy of the Fund's and the Subsidiary's clearing broker could result in a substantial loss of Fund assets. Under current CFTC regulations, a clearing broker maintains customers' assets in a bulk segregated account. If a clearing broker fails to do so, or is unable to satisfy a substantial deficit in a customer account, its other customers may be subject to risk of loss of their funds in the event of that clearing broker's bankruptcy. In that event, the clearing broker's customers, such as the Fund and the Subsidiary, are entitled to recover, even in respect of property specifically traceable to them, only a proportional share of all property available for distribution to all of that clearing broker's customers.
•Commodity-Linked Derivatives Tax Risk. The tax treatment of commodity-linked derivative instruments may be adversely affected by changes in legislation, regulations, or other legally binding authority. As a RIC, the Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income each taxable year from certain qualifying sources of income under the Code. If, as a result of any adverse future legislation, U.S. Treasury regulations, and/or guidance issued by the Internal Revenue Service (the 'IRS'), the income of the Fund from certain commodity-linked derivatives, including income from the Fund's investments in the Subsidiary, were treated as non-qualifying income, the Fund may fail to qualify as RIC and/or be subject to federal income tax at the Fund level. The uncertainty surrounding the treatment of certain derivative instruments under the qualification tests for a RIC may limit the Fund's use of such derivative instruments.
•Commodity Pool Regulatory Risk. The Fund's investment exposure to futures instruments will cause it to be deemed to be a commodity pool, thereby subjecting the Fund to regulation under the Commodity Exchange Act ('CEA') and CFTC rules. The Adviser is registered as a Commodity Pool Operator ('CPO'), and the Fund will be operated in accordance with applicable CFTC rules, as well as the regulatory scheme applicable to registered investment companies. Registration as a CPO imposes additional compliance obligations on the Adviser and the Fund related to additional laws, regulations, and enforcement policies, which could increase compliance costs and may affect the operations and financial performance of the Fund.
•Cost of Futures Investment Risk. When a Bitcoin Futures contract is nearing expiration, the Fund will generally sell it and use the proceeds to buy a Bitcoin Futures contract with a later expiration date. This practice is commonly referred to as 'rolling.' The costs associated with rolling Bitcoin Futures typically are substantially higher than the costs associated with other futures contracts and may have a significant adverse impact on the performance of the Fund.
•Counterparty Risk. Investing in derivatives involves entering into contracts with third parties (i.e., counterparties). The use of derivatives involves risks that are different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The Fund will be subject to credit risk (i.e., the risk that a counterparty is or is perceived to be unwilling or unable to make timely payments or otherwise meet its contractual obligations) with respect to the amount it expects to receive from counterparties to derivatives entered into by the Fund. If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or fails to perform its obligations, or if any collateral posted by the counterparty for the benefit of the Fund is insufficient or there are delays in the Fund's ability to access such collateral, the value of an investment in the Fund may decline. The counterparty to a listed futures contract is the derivatives clearing organization for the listed future. The listed future is held through a futures commission merchant ('FCM') acting on behalf of the Fund. Consequently, the counterparty risk on a listed futures contract is the creditworthiness of the FCM and the exchange's clearing corporation.
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•Derivatives Risk. The Fund's derivative investments have risks, including the imperfect correlation between the value of such instruments and the underlying assets or index; the loss of principal, including the potential loss of amounts greater than the initial amount invested in the derivative instrument; and illiquidity of the derivative investments. The derivatives used by the Fund may give rise to a form of leverage. Leverage magnifies the potential for gain and may result in greater losses, which in some cases may cause the Fund to liquidate other portfolio investments at inopportune times (e.g., at a loss to comply with limits on leverage and asset segregation requirements imposed by the 1940 Act or when the Adviser otherwise would have preferred to hold the investment) or to meet redemption requests. Certain of the Fund's transactions in derivatives could also affect the amount, timing, and character of distributions to shareholders, which may result in the Fund realizing more short-term capital gain and ordinary income subject to tax at ordinary income tax rates than it would if it did not engage in such transactions, which may adversely impact the Fund's after-tax returns. To the extent the Fund invests in such derivative instruments, the value of the Fund's portfolio is likely to experience greater volatility over short-term periods.
•Early Close/Trading Halt Risk. An exchange or market may close or issue trading halts on specific securities, or the ability to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments may be restricted, which may result in the Fund being unable to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments. In such circumstances, the Fund may be unable to rebalance its portfolio, may be unable to accurately price its investments, and/or may incur substantial trading losses.
•ETF Risks. The Fund is an ETF, and, as a result of an ETF's structure, it is exposed to the following risks:
◦Authorized Participants, Market Makers, and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants ('APs'). In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.
◦Costs of Buying or Selling Shares. Due to the costs of buying or selling Shares, including brokerage commissions imposed by brokers and bid-ask spreads, frequent trading of Shares may significantly reduce investment results and an investment in Shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.
◦Shares May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. As with all ETFs, Shares may be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. Although it is expected that the market price of Shares will approximate the Fund's NAV, there may be times when the market price of Shares is more than the NAV intra-day (premium) or less than the NAV intra-day (discount) due to supply and demand of Shares or during periods of market volatility. This risk is heightened in times of market volatility, periods of steep market declines, and periods when there is limited trading activity for Shares in the secondary market, in which case such premiums or discounts may be significant.
◦Trading.Although Shares are listed for trading on [ ] (the 'Exchange') and may be traded on U.S. exchanges other than the Exchange, there can be no assurance that Shares will trade with any volume, or at all, on any stock exchange. In stressed market conditions, the liquidity of Shares may begin to mirror the liquidity of the Fund's underlying portfolio holdings, which can be significantly less liquid than Shares, and this could lead to differences between the market price of the Shares and the underlying value of those Shares.
•Fixed Income Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in fixed income securities. Fixed income securities, such as bonds and certain asset-backed securities, involve certain risks, which include:
◦Credit Risk. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a security will not be able to make payments of interest and principal when due. Changes in an issuer's credit rating or the market's perception of an issuer's creditworthiness may also affect the value of an investment in that issuer.
◦Event Risk. Event risk is the risk that corporate issuers may undergo restructurings, such as mergers, leveraged buyouts, takeovers, or similar events financed by increased debt. As a result of the added debt, the credit quality and market value of a company's bonds and/or other debt securities may decline significantly.
◦Extension Risk. When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall.
◦Interest Rate Risk. Generally, the value of fixed income securities will change inversely with changes in interest rates. As interest rates rise, the market value of fixed income securities tends to decrease. Conversely, as interest rates fall, the market value of fixed income securities tends to increase. This risk will be greater for long-term securities than for short-term securities. In recent periods, governmental financial regulators, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, have taken steps to maintain historically low interest rates, which may increase interest rate risk. Changes in government intervention may have adverse effects on investments, volatility, and illiquidity in debt markets.
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◦Prepayment Risk. When interest rates fall, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more quickly than originally anticipated, and the proceeds may have to be invested in securities with lower yields.
•Futures Contracts Risk. The successful use of futures contracts draws upon the Adviser's skill and experience with respect to such instruments and is subject to special risk considerations. The primary risks associated with the use of futures contracts, which may adversely affect the Fund's NAV and total return, are (a) the imperfect correlation between the change in market value of the Bitcoin Futures and the price of bitcoin; (b) possible lack of a liquid secondary market for a futures contract and the resulting inability to close a futures contract when desired; (c) losses caused by unanticipated market movements, which are potentially unlimited; (d) the Adviser's inability to predict correctly the direction of securities prices, interest rates, currency exchange rates and other economic factors; (e) the possibility that the counterparty will default in the performance of its obligations; and (f) if the Fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell securities from its portfolio to meet daily variation margin requirements, and the Fund may have to sell securities at a time when it maybe disadvantageous to do so.
•Government Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in U.S. Treasury obligations and securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury. U.S. government securities are subject to market risk, interest rate risk and credit risk. Securities, such as those issued or guaranteed the U.S. Treasury, that are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States are guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and principal when held to maturity and the market prices for such securities will fluctuate. While securities issued or guaranteed by U.S. federal government agencies (such as Ginnie Mae) are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, securities issued by government sponsored entities (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) are solely the obligation of the issuer and generally do not carry any guarantee from the U.S. government.
•High Portfolio Turnover Risk. The Fund, through its Subsidiary, may frequently buy and sell Bitcoin Futures and other assets as part of its strategy to obtain exposure to Bitcoin Futures. Higher portfolio turnover may result in the Fund paying higher levels of transaction costs and generating greater tax liabilities for shareholders. Portfolio turnover risk may cause the Fund's performance to be less than you expect.
•Investment Capacity Risk. If the Fund's ability to obtain exposure to Bitcoin Futures consistent with its investment objective is disrupted for any reason including, limited liquidity in the Bitcoin Futures market, a disruption to the Bitcoin Futures, or as a result of margin requirements or position limits imposed by the Fund's FCMs, the CME, or the CFTC, the Fund would not be able to achieve its investment objective and may experience significant losses.
•Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. This can reduce the Fund's returns because the Fund may be unable to transact at advantageous times or prices.
•Market Risk. The securities held in the Fund's portfolio may experience sudden, unpredictable drops in value or long periods of decline in value. This may occur because of factors that affect securities markets generally or factors affecting specific issuers, industries, or sectors in which the Fund invests. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments. For example, the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, and the aggressive responses taken by many governments, including closing borders, restricting international and domestic travel, and the imposition of prolonged quarantines or similar restrictions, has had negative impacts, and in many cases severe impacts, on markets worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused prolonged disruptions to the normal business operations of companies around the world and the impact of such disruptions is hard to predict. Such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. Such events could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund's portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets.
•New Fund Risk. The Fund is a recently organized investment company with no operating history. As a result, prospective investors have no track record or history on which to base their investment decision.
•Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund is considered to be non-diversified, which means that it may invest more of its assets in the securities of a single issuer or a smaller number of issuers than if it were a diversified fund. As a result, the Fund may be more exposed to the risks associated with and developments affecting an individual issuer or a smaller number of issuers than a fund that invests more widely. This may increase the Fund's volatility and cause the performance of a relatively smaller number of issuers to have a greater impact on the Fund's performance.
•Pooled Investment Vehicle Risk. The Fund's investments in pooled investment vehicles that invest in bitcoin are subject to the bitcoin-related risks described herein. In addition, such pooled investment vehicles are subject to risk with respect to the custody of their bitcoin holdings. As an investor in a pooled investment vehicle, the Fund will generally have no right or power to take part in the management of the vehicle, and no assurance can be given that the vehicle will be successful in achieving its investment objective. Private pooled investment vehicles that invest in bitcoin are generally not registered investment companies under the 1940 Act, the Securities Act, or any state securities laws, and therefore, investors (like the Fund) will not benefit from the same protections and restrictions afforded under such laws. The Fund will also be subject to management fees and other expenses for its investments pooled investment vehicles.
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•Subsidiary Investment Risk. By investing in the Subsidiary, the Fund is indirectly exposed to the risks associated with the Subsidiary's investments. The derivatives and other investments held by the Subsidiary are generally similar to those that are permitted to be held by the Fund and are subject to the same risks that apply to similar investments if held directly by the Fund. The Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act, and, unless otherwise noted in this Prospectus, is not subject to all the investor protections of the 1940 Act. Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands could result in the inability of the Fund and/or the Subsidiary to continue to operate as it does currently and could adversely affect the Fund. For example, the Cayman Islands does not currently impose any income, corporate or capital gains tax or withholding tax on the Subsidiary. If Cayman Islands law changes such that the Subsidiary must pay Cayman Islands taxes, Fund shareholders would likely suffer decreased investment returns.
•Tax Risk. The Fund intends to treat any income it may derive from Bitcoin Futures received by the Subsidiary as 'qualifying income' under the provisions of the Code applicable to RICs. The IRS had issued numerous private letter rulings ('PLRs') provided to third parties not associated with the Fund or its affiliates (which only those parties may rely on as precedent) concluding that similar arrangements resulted in qualifying income. Many of such PLRs have now been revoked by the IRS. In March of 2019, the IRS published Regulations that concluded that income from a corporation similar to the Subsidiary would be qualifying income, if the income is related to the Fund's business of investing in stocks or securities. Although the Regulations do not require distributions from the Subsidiary, the Fund intends to cause the Subsidiary to make distributions that would allow the Fund to make timely distributions to its shareholders. The Fund generally will be required to include in its own taxable income the income of the Subsidiary for a tax year, regardless of whether the Fund receives a distribution of the Subsidiary's income in that tax year, and this income would nevertheless be subject to the distribution requirement for qualification as a regulated investment company and would be taken into account for purposes of the 4% excise tax.
If the Fund did not qualify as a RIC for any taxable year and certain relief provisions were not available, the Fund's taxable income would be subject to tax at the Fund level and to a further tax at the shareholder level when such income is distributed. In such event, in order to re-qualify for taxation as a RIC, the Fund might be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest and make certain distributions. This would cause investors to incur higher tax liabilities than they otherwise would have incurred and would have a negative impact on Fund returns. In such event, the Fund's Board of Trustees may determine to reorganize or close the Fund or materially change the Fund's investment objective and strategies. In the event that the Fund fails to qualify as a RIC, the Fund will promptly notify shareholders of the implications of that failure.
•Valuation Risk. The Fund or the Subsidiary may hold securities or other assets that may be valued on the basis of factors other than market quotations. This may occur because the asset or security does not trade on a centralized exchange, or in times of market turmoil or reduced liquidity. There are multiple methods that can be used to value a portfolio holding when market quotations are not readily available. The value established for any portfolio holding at a point in time might differ from what would be produced using a different methodology or if it had been priced using market quotations. Portfolio holdings that are valued using techniques other than market quotations, including 'fair valued' assets or securities, may be subject to greater fluctuation in their valuations from one day to the next than if market quotations were used. In addition, there is no assurance that the Fund or the Subsidiary could sell or close out a portfolio position for the value established for it at any time, and it is possible that the Fund or the Subsidiary would incur a loss because a portfolio position is sold or closed out at a discount to the valuation established by the Fund or the Subsidiary at that time. The Fund's ability to value investments may be impacted by technological issues or errors by pricing services or other third-party service providers.
•Volatility Risk. The value of certain of the Fund's investments, including bitcoin-related investments, is subject to market risk. Market risk is the risk that the value of the investments to which the Fund is exposed will fall, which could occur due to general market or economic conditions or other factors. Bitcoin has historically exhibited higher price volatility than more traditional asset classes; for example, during the period from December 17, 2017 to December 14, 2018, bitcoin experienced a decline of roughly 84% and it has experienced dramatic declines over shorter periods of time, including within a single day. The value of bitcoin and, therefore, of the Fund's bitcoin-related investments, could decline rapidly, including to zero. You should be prepared to lose your entire investment.
•Whipsaw Markets Risk. The Fund may be subject to the forces of 'whipsaw' markets (as opposed to choppy or stable markets), in which significant price movements develop but then repeatedly reverse. 'Whipsaw' describes a situation where a security's price is moving in one direction but then quickly pivots to move in the opposite direction. Such market conditions could cause substantial losses to the Fund.
Performance
Performance information for the Fund is not included because the Fund had not yet commenced operations as of the date of this Prospectus. In the future, performance information for the Fund will be presented in this section. Updated performance information is available on the Fund's website at [ ].
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Management
Investment Adviser:
Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC serves as the Fund's investment adviser.
Portfolio Managers:
[ ], [ ], [ ], and [ ], each a Portfolio Manager of the Adviser, have been portfolio managers of the Fund since its inception.
Purchase and Sale of Shares
Shares are listed on the Exchange, and individual Shares may only be bought and sold in the secondary market through brokers at market prices, rather than NAV. Because Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount).
The Fund issues and redeems Shares at NAV only in large blocks known as 'Creation Units,' which only APs (typically, broker-dealers) may purchase or redeem. The Fund generally issues and redeems Creation Units in exchange for a portfolio of securities and/or a designated amount of U.S. cash.
Investors may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase Shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for Shares (ask) when buying or selling Shares in the secondary market (the 'bid-ask spread'). Recent information about the Fund, including its NAV, market price, premiums and discounts, and bid-ask spreads is available on the Fund's website at [ ].
Tax Information
Fund distributions are generally taxable as ordinary income, qualified dividend income, or capital gains (or a combination), unless your investment is in an IRA or other tax-advantaged account. Distributions on investments made through tax-deferred arrangements may be taxed later upon withdrawal of assets from those accounts.
Financial Intermediary Compensation
If you purchase Shares through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank) (an 'Intermediary'), the Adviser or its affiliates may pay Intermediaries for certain activities related to the Fund, including participation in activities that are designed to make Intermediaries more knowledgeable about exchange traded products, including the Fund, or for other activities, such as marketing, educational training or other initiatives related to the sale or promotion of Shares. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the Intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Any such arrangements do not result in increased Fund expenses. Ask your salesperson or visit the Intermediary's website for more information.
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUND
Additional Information about the Fund's Investment Objective. The Fund's investment objective has been adopted as a non-fundamental investment policy and may be changed without shareholder approval upon written notice to shareholders.
Bitcoin is based on the decentralized, open-source protocol of a peer-to-peer network (the 'Bitcoin network') first described in 2008 and launched in 2009. No single entity owns or administers the Bitcoin network, and bitcoin are not issued by governments, banks or similar organizations. The infrastructure of the Bitcoin network is collectively maintained by a decentralized user base and developers who donate their time to maintain and improve the network. The Bitcoin network is accessed through software, and software protocols govern the creation, movement, and ownership of bitcoin, as reflected on the distributed ledger of transactions known as the 'Blockchain.' The value of bitcoin is determined, in part, by the supply of, and demand for, bitcoin in global trading markets, market expectations for the adoption of bitcoin as a decentralized store of value, the number of merchants and/or institutions that accept bitcoin as a form of payment and the volume of private end-user-to-end-user transactions.
Bitcoin transaction and ownership records are reflected on the Blockchain, which is a digital public record or ledger of all transactions completed on the Bitcoin network. This ledger is decentralized, meaning that a copy is stored and updated continuously on the computers of each Bitcoin network node (a node is a computer or other device running a version of the Bitcoin network software that maintains a copy of the Blockchain and directly communicates transactions to other nodes on the Bitcoin network). Commentators have identified Bitcoin's primary innovation as the ability to trust that the Blockchain is updated properly for each node without having to trust any single party to ensure the integrity of the ledger or the network. Transaction data is permanently recorded on the Blockchain in files called 'blocks,' which reflect transactions that have been recorded and authenticated by Bitcoin network participants. The Bitcoin network software includes protocols that govern the creation of bitcoin and the cryptographic system that secures and verifies bitcoin transactions. By operating Bitcoin network software, users agree to and contribute to consensus around such software protocols.
The Fund will utilize the Subsidiary, which is organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands, for purposes of investing in Bitcoin Futures. Generally, the Subsidiary will invest primarily in commodity futures, but it may also invest in financial futures, fixed income securities, pooled investment vehicles, including those that are not registered with the SEC under the 1940 Act, and other investments intended to serve as margin or collateral for the Subsidiary's derivative positions. Unlike the Fund, the Subsidiary may invest without limitation in commodity-linked derivative instruments; however, the Subsidiary complies with the same 1940 Act asset coverage requirements with respect to its investments in commodity-linked derivatives that are applicable to the Fund's transactions in derivatives. In addition, to the extent applicable to the investment activities of the Subsidiary, the Subsidiary will be subject to the same fundamental investment restrictions and will follow the same compliance policies and procedures as the Fund. Unlike the Fund, the Subsidiary will not seek to qualify as a RIC under Subchapter M of Code. The Fund is the sole investor in the Subsidiary and does not expect shares of the Subsidiary to be offered or sold to other investors. Because the Subsidiary is not an investment company registered under the 1940 Act, it may invest in Bitcoin Futures to a greater extent than the Fund.
Additional Information about the Fund's Principal Risks. This section provides additional information regarding the principal risks described in the Fund Summary. As in the Fund Summary, the principal risks below are presented in alphabetical order to facilitate finding particular risks and comparing them with other funds. Each risk described below is considered a 'principal risk' of investing in the Fund, regardless of the order in which it appears. Each of the factors below could have a negative impact on the Fund's performance and trading prices.
•Active Management Risk. The Fund is actively managed and may not meet its investment objective based on the Adviser's success or failure to implement strategies for the Fund. The Fund invests in complex instruments (each described below), including futures contracts. Such instruments may create enhanced risks for the Fund, and the Adviser's ability to control the Fund's level of risk will depend on the Adviser's skill in managing such instruments. In addition, the Adviser's evaluations and assumptions regarding investments, interest rates, inflation, and other factors may not successfully achieve the Fund's investment objective given actual market conditions.
•Bitcoin Futures Risk. The Fund expects to obtain exposure to bitcoin through futures contracts. Bitcoin Futures are financial contracts the value of which depends on, or is derived from, bitcoin as the underlying reference asset. Bitcoin Futures involve the risk that changes in their value may not move as expected relative to changes in the value of bitcoin. Futures contracts exhibit 'futures basis,' which refers to the difference between the current market value of bitcoin (the 'spot' price) and the price of the cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts. A negative futures basis exists when cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts generally trade at a premium to the current market value of bitcoin. If a negative futures basis exists, the Fund's investments in Bitcoin Futures contracts will generally underperform a direct investment in bitcoin, and, therefore, it may be more difficult for the Fund to maintain its desired level of target exposure. There can also be no guarantee that there will be a correlation between price movements in Bitcoin Futures and in the price of bitcoin. As a result, the use of Bitcoin Futures involves risks that are in addition to, and potentially greater than, the risks of investing directly in securities and other more traditional assets, and may be considered a speculative investment.
While the Bitcoin Futures market has grown substantially since Bitcoin Futures commenced trading, there can be no assurance that this growth will continue. Bitcoin Futures are subject to collateral requirements and daily limits that may limit the Fund's
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ability to achieve it desired level of target exposure to bitcoin, resulting in losses or otherwise preventing the Fund from achieving its objective.
The underlying cash or spot markets for bitcoin are generally not regulated by the SEC or the CFTC. Underlying bitcoin markets may not be subject to registration, licensing or fitness requirements, audit trail or trade reporting rules, market integrity rules, wash sale, spoofing or other anti-fraud rules, disaster recovery or cybersecurity requirements, surveillance requirements, or anti-money laundering rules that are as stringent as those to which national securities exchanges and futures exchanges are subject. Because of these factors, bitcoin markets may be more susceptible to fraud and manipulation, which could adversely affect the price of bitcoin and thereby the Fund's investment in Bitcoin Futures.
•Bitcoin Investments Risk. The Fund actively invests in Bitcoin Futures through its Subsidiary. The Fund does not invest directly in or hold bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin Futures should be expected to differ from the current cash price of bitcoin, which is sometimes referred to as the 'spot' price of bitcoin. Consequently, the performance of the Fund should be expected to perform differently from the spot price of bitcoin. These differences could be significant. The following risks are associated with the Bitcoin market:
◦Bitcoin Adoption Risk. The further development and acceptance of the Bitcoin network, which is part of a new and rapidly changing industry, is subject to a variety of factors that are difficult to evaluate. The slowing, stopping or reversing of the development or acceptance of the Bitcoin network may adversely affect the price of bitcoin and therefore cause the Fund to suffer losses. The growth of this industry is subject to a high degree of uncertainty, and the factors affecting its further development, include, but are not limited to, the continued growth or possible reversal in the adoption of bitcoin, government regulation over bitcoin, the maintenance and development of the Bitcoin network, the availability and popularity of other mediums of exchange for buying and selling goods and services and consumer or public perception of bitcoin specifically or other digital assets generally. Currently, there is relatively limited use of bitcoin in the retail and commercial marketplace in comparison to relatively extensive use as a store of value, thus contributing to price volatility (meaning prices may fluctuate widely) that could adversely affect the Fund's bitcoin-related investments.
◦Bitcoin Cybersecurity Risk. Cybersecurity exploitations or attacks against the Bitcoin protocol and of entities that custody or facilitate the transfers or trading of bitcoin could result in a significant theft of bitcoin and a loss of public confidence in bitcoin, which could lead to a decline in the value of bitcoin and, as a result, adversely impact the Fund's bitcoin-related investments. Additionally, if a malicious actor or botnet (i.e., a volunteer or hacked collection of computers controlled by networked software coordinating the actions of the computers) obtains control of more than 50% of the processing power of the Bitcoin network, such actor or botnet could alter the blockchain and adversely affect the value of bitcoin, which would adversely affect the Fund's bitcoin-related investments.
◦Bitcoin Regulatory Risk. Regulatory changes or actions may alter the nature of an investment in bitcoin or restrict the use of bitcoin or the operations of the Bitcoin network or venues on which bitcoin trades in a manner that adversely affects the price of bitcoin and, therefore, the Fund's bitcoin-related investments. For example, it may become difficult or illegal to acquire, hold, sell or use bitcoin in one or more countries, which could adversely impact the price of bitcoin.
◦Future Regulatory Action Risk. There is a possibility of future regulatory change altering, perhaps to a material extent, the ability to buy and sell bitcoin and bitcoin futures. Similarly, future regulatory changes could impact the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective or alter the nature of an investment in the Fund or the ability of the Fund to continue to operate as planned.
◦Bitcoin Trading Venues Operational Risk. Over the past several years, a number of venues through which bitcoin trades have been closed due to fraud, failure or security breaches. In many of these instances, the customers of such exchanges were not compensated or made whole for the partial or complete losses of their account balances in such exchanges. In addition, some academics and market observers have put forth evidence to support claims that manipulative trading activity has occurred on certain bitcoin exchanges. Operational problems or failures by bitcoin trading venues and fluctuations in bitcoin prices may reduce confidence in these venues or in bitcoin generally, which could adversely affect the price of bitcoin and therefore adversely affect the Fund's bitcoin-related investments.
◦Bitcoin Pricing Volatility Risk. The price of bitcoin has experienced periods of extreme volatility. Bitcoin price volatility may be influenced by, among other things, trading activity on and the closing of digital asset trading platforms (including those featuring leveraged trading) due to fraud, failure, security breaches or otherwise. Bitcoin price volatility may also be influenced by momentum pricing. Also, speculation by traders and investors regarding the potential future appreciation in the value of bitcoin may inflate the price of bitcoin. Conversely, a decrease in demand or speculation for, or government regulation (including, without limitation, the tax treatment of bitcoin transactions) and the perception of onerous regulatory actions, may cause a drop in the price of bitcoin. Further, developments related to the Bitcoin network's operations, individual digital asset trading platforms and the overall bitcoin market also contribute to the volatility in the price of bitcoin. Such volatility in the future, including further declines in the trading prices of bitcoin, could have a material adverse effect on the value of Bitcoin Futures, and therefore on the Fund's performance and the value of Shares. Shares could lose all or substantially all of their value.
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◦Miner Collusion Risk. Miners, functioning in their transaction confirmation capacity, collect fees for each bitcoin transaction they confirm. Miners have historically accepted relatively low transaction confirmation fees. If miners collude in an anticompetitive manner to reject low transaction fees, then bitcoin users could be forced to pay higher fees, thus reducing the attractiveness of the Bitcoin network. Any collusion among miners may adversely impact the attractiveness of the Bitcoin network and may adversely impact the Fund's bitcoin-related investments.
•Canadian-Listed Funds Risk. Canadian-listed funds that provide exposure to bitcoin are subject to many of the same risks as a direct investment in bitcoin. Additionally, shares of these funds may trade at a premium or discount from the value of their underlying investments, may become illiquid, may or may not be correlated with the price of bitcoin or bitcoin futures contracts, and may be highly volatile. If the Fund invests in a Canadian-listed fund, the Fund's shareholders will indirectly bear the Fund's proportionate share of the fees and expenses paid by that Canadian-listed fund, in addition to the Fund's own fees and expenses. In addition, Canadian-listed funds are not regulated under the 1940 Act, the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the 'Securities Act'), or any other U.S. federal or state securities laws. Therefore, the Fund's investments in these vehicles will not benefit from the protections and restrictions of such laws.
•Clearing Broker Risk. The failure or bankruptcy of the Fund's and the Subsidiary's clearing broker could result in a substantial loss of Fund assets. Under current CFTC regulations, a clearing broker maintains customers' assets in a bulk segregated account. If a clearing broker fails to do so, or is unable to satisfy a substantial deficit in a customer account, its other customers may be subject to risk of loss of their funds in the event of that clearing broker's bankruptcy. In that event, the clearing broker's customers, such as the Fund and the Subsidiary, are entitled to recover, even in respect of property specifically traceable to them, only a proportional share of all property available for distribution to all of that clearing broker's customers.
•Commodity-Linked Derivatives Tax Risk. The tax treatment of the Fund's use of commodity-linked derivative instruments may be adversely affected by changes in legislation, regulations or other legally binding authority. If, as a result of any such adverse action, the income of the Fund from certain commodity-linked derivatives was treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of the Fund's qualification as a regulated investment company, the Fund might fail to qualify as such and be subject to federal income tax at the Fund level. As a regulated investment company, the Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from sources treated as qualifying income under the Code. The IRS has issued a number of private letter rulings to other mutual funds, upon which the Fund cannot rely, which indicate that income from a fund's investment in certain commodity-linked notes and a wholly owned foreign subsidiary that invests in commodity-linked derivatives, such as the Subsidiary, constitutes qualifying income. However, in September 2016 the IRS announced that it will no longer issue private letter rulings on questions relating to the treatment of a corporation as a regulated investment company that require a determination of whether a financial instrument or position is a security under section 2(a)(36) of the Investment Company Act. A financial instrument or position that constitutes a security under section 2(a)(36) of the Investment Company Act generates qualifying income for a corporation taxed as a regulated investment company. The IRS's announcement caused it to revoke the portion of any rulings relating to a mutual fund's investment in commodity-linked notes that required such a determination, some of which have been revoked prospectively as of a date agreed upon with the IRS. Accordingly, the Fund may invest in certain commodity-linked notes: (a) directly only to the extent that such commodity-linked notes constitute securities under section 2(a)(36) of the Investment Company Act or (b) indirectly through the Subsidiary.
Additionally, in September 2016, the IRS issued proposed regulations that would require the Subsidiary to distribute its 'Subpart F' income (defined in Section 951 of the Code to include passive income such as income from commodity-linked derivatives) each year in order for the Fund to treat that income as qualifying income. The Fund anticipates that the Subsidiary will distribute the 'Subpart F' income earned by the Subsidiary each year, which the Fund will treat as qualifying income. Should the IRS issue further guidance, or Congress enact legislation, that adversely affects the tax treatment of the Fund's use of commodity-linked derivative instruments or the Subsidiary (which guidance might be applied retroactively to the Fund), it could limit the Fund's ability to pursue its investment strategy and the Fund might not qualify as a regulated investment company for one or more years. In this event, the Fund's board of trustees may authorize a change in investment strategy or Fund liquidation. In lieu of potential disqualification, the Fund is permitted to pay a tax for certain failures to satisfy the income requirement, which, in general, are limited to those due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect. The Fund also may incur transaction and other costs to comply with any new or additional guidance from the IRS. The Fund intends to limit its investment in the Subsidiary to no more than 25% of the value of its total assets in order to satisfy certain asset diversification requirements for taxation as a regulated investment company.
•Commodity Pool Regulatory Risk. The Fund's investment exposure to futures instruments will cause it to be deemed to be a commodity pool, thereby subjecting the Fund to regulation under the Commodity Exchange Act ('CEA') and CFTC rules. The Adviser is registered as a Commodity Pool Operator ('CPO'), and the Fund will be operated in accordance with applicable CFTC rules, as well as the regulatory scheme applicable to registered investment companies. Registration as a CPO imposes additional compliance obligations on the Adviser and the Fund related to additional laws, regulations, and enforcement policies, which could increase compliance costs and may affect the operations and financial performance of the Fund. However, the Fund's status as a commodity pool and the Adviser's registration as a CPO are not expected to materially adversely affect the Fund's ability to achieve its investment objective. The CFTC has not passed on the adequacy of this Prospectus.
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•Cost of Futures Investment Risk. When a Bitcoin Futures contract is nearing expiration, the Fund will generally sell it and use the proceeds to buy a Bitcoin Futures contract with a later expiration date. This is commonly referred to as 'rolling'. The costs associated with rolling Bitcoin Futures typically are substantially higher than the costs associated with other futures contracts and may have a significant adverse impact on the performance of the Fund.
•Counterparty Risk. Investing in derivatives involves entering into contracts with third parties (i.e., counterparties). The use of derivatives involves risks that are different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The Fund will be subject to credit risk (i.e., the risk that a counterparty is or is perceived to be unwilling or unable to make timely payments or otherwise meet its contractual obligations) with respect to the amount it expects to receive from counterparties to derivatives entered into by the Fund. If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or fails to perform its obligations, or if any collateral posted by the counterparty for the benefit of the Fund is insufficient or there are delays in the Fund's ability to access such collateral, the value of an investment in the Fund may decline. The counterparty to a listed futures contract is the derivatives clearing organization for the listed future. The listed future is held through an FCM acting on behalf of the Fund. Consequently, the counterparty risk on a listed futures contract is the creditworthiness of the FCM and the exchange's clearing corporation.
•Derivatives Risk. The Fund's derivative investments have risks, including the imperfect correlation between the value of such instruments and the underlying assets or index; the loss of principal, including the potential loss of amounts greater than the initial amount invested in the derivative instrument; and illiquidity of the derivative investments. The derivatives used by the Fund may give rise to a form of leverage. Leverage magnifies the potential for gain and may result in greater losses, which in some cases may cause the Fund to liquidate other portfolio investments at inopportune times (e.g., at a loss to comply with limits on leverage and asset segregation requirements imposed by the 1940 Act or when the Adviser otherwise would have preferred to hold the investment) or to meet redemption requests. Certain of the Fund's transactions in derivatives could also affect the amount, timing, and character of distributions to shareholders, which may result in the Fund realizing more short-term capital gain and ordinary income subject to tax at ordinary income tax rates than it would if it did not engage in such transactions, which may adversely impact the Fund's after-tax returns. To the extent the Fund invests in such derivative instruments, the value of the Fund's portfolio is likely to experience greater volatility over short-term periods.
•Early Close/Trading Halt Risk. An exchange or market may close or issue trading halts on specific securities, or the ability to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments may be restricted, which may result in the Fund being unable to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments. In such circumstances, the Fund may be unable to rebalance its portfolio, may be unable to accurately price its investments, and/or may incur substantial trading losses.
•ETF Risks. The Fund is an ETF, and, as a result of an ETF's structure, it is exposed to the following risks:
◦APs, Market Makers, and Liquidity Providers Concentration Risk. The Fund has a limited number of financial institutions that may act as APs. In addition, there may be a limited number of market makers and/or liquidity providers in the marketplace. To the extent either of the following events occur, Shares may trade at a material discount to NAV and possibly face delisting: (i) APs exit the business or otherwise become unable to process creation and/or redemption orders and no other APs step forward to perform these services, or (ii) market makers and/or liquidity providers exit the business or significantly reduce their business activities and no other entities step forward to perform their functions.
◦Costs of Buying or Selling Shares. Investors buying or selling Shares in the secondary market will pay brokerage commissions or other charges imposed by brokers, as determined by that broker. Brokerage commissions are often a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell relatively small amounts of Shares. In addition, secondary market investors will also incur the cost of the difference between the price at which an investor is willing to buy Shares (the 'bid' price) and the price at which an investor is willing to sell Shares (the 'ask' price). This difference in bid and ask prices is often referred to as the 'spread' or 'bid-ask spread.' The bid-ask spread varies over time for Shares based on trading volume and market liquidity, and the spread is generally lower if Shares have more trading volume and market liquidity and higher if Shares have little trading volume and market liquidity. Further, a relatively small investor base in the Fund, asset swings in the Fund, and/or increased market volatility may cause increased bid-ask spreads. Due to the costs of buying or selling Shares, including bid-ask spreads, frequent trading of Shares may significantly reduce investment results and an investment in Shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.
◦Shares May Trade at Prices Other Than NAV. As with all ETFs, Shares may be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. Although it is expected that the market price of Shares will approximate the Fund's NAV, there may be times when the market price of Shares is more than the NAV intra-day (premium) or less than the NAV intra-day (discount) due to supply and demand of Shares or during periods of market volatility. This risk is heightened in times of market volatility, periods of steep market declines, and periods when there is limited trading activity for Shares in the secondary market, in which case such premiums or discounts may be significant.
◦Trading. Although Shares are listed for trading on the Exchange and may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than the Exchange, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such Shares will develop or be maintained. Trading in Shares may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make
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trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares on the Exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to Exchange 'circuit breaker' rules, which temporarily halt trading on the Exchange when a decline in the S&P 500® Index during a single day reaches certain thresholds (e.g., 7%, 13%, and 20%). Additional rules applicable to the Exchange may halt trading in Shares when extraordinary volatility causes sudden, significant swings in the market price of Shares. There can be no assurance that Shares will trade with any volume, or at all, on any stock exchange. In stressed market conditions, the liquidity of Shares may begin to mirror the liquidity of the Fund's underlying portfolio holdings, which can be significantly less liquid than Shares, and this could lead to differences between the market price of the Shares and the underlying value of those Shares.
•Fixed Income Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in fixed income securities. Fixed income securities, such as bonds and certain asset-backed securities, involve certain risks, which include:
◦Credit Risk. Credit risk refers to the possibility that the issuer of a security will not be able to make principal and interest payments when due. Changes in an issuer's credit rating or the market's perception of an issuer's creditworthiness may also affect the value of an investment in that issuer. The degree of credit risk depends on both the financial condition of the issuer and the terms of the obligation.
◦Event Risk. Event risk is the risk that corporate issuers may undergo restructurings, such as mergers, leveraged buyouts, takeovers, or similar events financed by increased debt. As a result of the added debt, the credit quality and market value of a company's bonds and/or other debt securities may decline significantly.
◦Extension Risk. When interest rates rise, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more slowly than anticipated, causing the value of these securities to fall. Rising interest rates tend to extend the duration of securities, making them more sensitive to future changes in interest rates. The value of longer-term securities generally changes more in response to changes in interest rates than the value of shorter-term securities. As a result, in a period of rising interest rates, securities may exhibit additional volatility and may lose value.
◦Interest Rate Risk. Generally, the value of fixed income securities will change inversely with changes in interest rates. As interest rates rise, the market value of fixed income securities tends to decrease. Conversely, as interest rates fall, the market value of fixed income securities tends to increase. This risk will be greater for long-term securities than for short-term securities. In recent periods, governmental financial regulators, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, have taken steps to maintain historically low interest rates, which may increase interest rate risk. Changes in government intervention may have adverse effects on investments, volatility, and illiquidity in debt markets.
◦Prepayment Risk. When interest rates fall, certain obligations will be paid off by the obligor more quickly than originally anticipated, and the Fund may have to invest the proceeds in securities with lower yields. In periods of falling interest rates, the rate of prepayments tends to increase (as does price fluctuation) as borrowers are motivated to pay off debt and refinance at new lower rates. During such periods, reinvestment of the prepayment proceeds by the management team will generally be at lower rates of return than the return on the assets that were prepaid. Prepayment reduces the yield to maturity and the average life of the security.
•Futures Contracts Risk. The successful use of futures contracts draws upon the Adviser's skill and experience with respect to such instruments and is subject to special risk considerations. The primary risks associated with the use of futures contracts, which may adversely affect the Fund's NAV and total return, are (a) the imperfect correlation between the change in market value of the Bitcoin Futures and the price of bitcoin; (b) possible lack of a liquid secondary market for a futures contract and the resulting inability to close a forward or futures contract when desired; (c) losses caused by unanticipated market movements, which are potentially unlimited; (d) the Adviser's inability to predict correctly the direction of securities prices, interest rates, currency exchange rates and other economic factors; (e) the possibility that the counterparty will default in the performance of its obligations; and (f) if the Fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell securities from its portfolio to meet daily variation margin requirements, and the Fund may have to sell securities at a time when it maybe disadvantageous to do so.
Investment in exchange-traded futures contracts may expose the Fund to the risks of a clearing broker (or a FCM). Under current regulations, a clearing broker or FCM maintains customers' assets in a bulk segregated account. There is a risk that Fund assets deposited with the clearing broker to serve as margin may be used to satisfy the broker's own obligations or the losses of the broker's other clients. In the event of default, the Fund could experience lengthy delays in recovering some or all of its assets and may not see any recovery at all.
•Government Securities Risk. The Fund may invest in U.S. Treasury obligations and securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury. U.S. government securities are subject to market risk, interest rate risk and credit risk. Securities, such as those issued or guaranteed the U.S. Treasury, that are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States are guaranteed only as to the timely payment of interest and principal when held to maturity and the market prices for such securities will fluctuate. While securities issued or guaranteed by U.S. federal government agencies (such as Ginnie Mae) are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, securities issued by government sponsored entities (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) are solely the obligation of the issuer and generally do not carry any guarantee from the U.S. government.
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•High Portfolio Turnover Risk. The Fund, through its subsidiary, may frequently buy and sell Bitcoin Futures and other assets as part of its strategy to obtain exposure to Bitcoin Futures. Higher portfolio turnover may result in the Fund paying higher levels of transaction costs and generating greater tax liabilities for shareholders. Portfolio turnover risk may cause the Fund's performance to be less than you expect.
•Investment Capacity Risk. If the Fund's ability to obtain exposure to Bitcoin Futures consistent with its investment objective is disrupted for any reason including, limited liquidity in the Bitcoin Futures market, a disruption to the Bitcoin Futures, or as a result of margin requirements or position limits imposed by the Fund's FCMs, the CME, or the CFTC, the Fund would not be able to achieve its investment objective and may experience significant losses.
•Liquidity Risk. Liquidity risk exists when particular investments are difficult to purchase or sell. To the extent the Fund invests in illiquid securities or securities that become less liquid, such investments may have a negative effect on the returns of the Fund because the Fund may be unable to sell the illiquid securities at an advantageous time or price. To the extent that the Fund's principal investment strategies involve investing in securities with substantial market and/or credit risk, the Fund will tend to have the greatest exposure to liquidity risk. Liquid investments may become illiquid after purchase by the Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. Illiquid investments may be harder to value, especially in changing markets, and if the Fund is forced to sell these investments to meet redemption requests or for other cash needs, the Fund may suffer a loss. There can be no assurance that a security that is deemed to be liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid for as long as it is held by the Fund.
•Market Risk. The securities held in the Fund's portfolio may experience sudden, unpredictable drops in value or long periods of decline in value. This may occur because of factors that affect securities markets generally or factors affecting specific issuers, industries, or sectors in which the Fund invests. In addition, local, regional or global events such as war, acts of terrorism, spread of infectious diseases or other public health issues, recessions, or other events could have a significant negative impact on the Fund and its investments. For example, the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, and the aggressive responses taken by many governments, including closing borders, restricting international and domestic travel, and the imposition of prolonged quarantines or similar restrictions, has had negative impacts, and in many cases severe impacts, on markets worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused prolonged disruptions to the normal business operations of companies around the world and the impact of such disruptions is hard to predict. Such events may affect certain geographic regions, countries, sectors and industries more significantly than others. Such events could adversely affect the prices and liquidity of the Fund's portfolio securities or other instruments and could result in disruptions in the trading markets.
Beginning in the first quarter of 2020, financial markets in the United States and around the world experienced extreme and in many cases unprecedented volatility and severe losses due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, a novel coronavirus. The pandemic has resulted in a wide range of social and economic disruptions, including closed borders, voluntary or compelled quarantines of large populations, stressed healthcare systems, reduced or prohibited domestic or international travel, supply chain disruptions, and so-called 'stay-at-home' orders throughout much of the United States and many other countries. The fall-out from these disruptions has included the rapid closure of businesses deemed 'non-essential' by federal, state, or local governments and rapidly increasing unemployment, as well as greatly reduced liquidity for certain instruments at times. Some sectors of the economy and individual issuers have experienced particularly large losses. Such disruptions may continue for an extended period of time or reoccur in the future to a similar or greater extent. In response, the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have taken extraordinary actions to support the domestic economy and financial markets, resulting in very low interest rates and in some cases negative yields. It is unknown how long circumstances related to the pandemic will persist, whether they will reoccur in the future, whether efforts to support the economy and financial markets will be successful, and what additional implications may follow from the pandemic. The impact of these events and other epidemics or pandemics in the future could adversely affect Fund performance.
•New Fund Risk. The Fund is a recently organized investment company with no operating history. As a result, prospective investors have no track record or history on which to base their investment decision.
•Non-Diversification Risk. The Fund is considered to be non-diversified, which means that it may invest more of its assets in the securities of a single issuer or a smaller number of issuers than if it were a diversified fund. As a result, the Fund may be more exposed to the risks associated with and developments affecting an individual issuer or a smaller number of issuers than a fund that invests more widely. This may increase the Fund's volatility and cause the performance of a relatively smaller number of issuers to have a greater impact on the Fund's performance.
•Pooled Investment Vehicle Risk. The Fund's investments in pooled investment vehicles that invest in bitcoin are subject to the bitcoin-related risks described herein. In addition, such pooled investment vehicles are subject to risk with respect to the custody of their bitcoin holdings. As an investor in a pooled investment vehicle, the Fund will generally have no right or power to take part in the management of the vehicle, and no assurance can be given that the vehicle will be successful in achieving its investment objective. Private pooled investment vehicles that invest in bitcoin are generally not registered investment companies under the 1940 Act, the Securities Act, or any state securities laws, and therefore, investors (like the Fund) will not benefit from the same protections and restrictions afforded under such laws. The Fund will also be subject to management fees and other expenses for its investments pooled investment vehicles.
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•Subsidiary Investment Risk. By investing in the Subsidiary, the Fund is indirectly exposed to the risks associated with the Subsidiary's investments. The derivatives and other investments held by the Subsidiary are generally similar to those that are permitted to be held by the Fund and are subject to the same risks that apply to similar investments if held directly by the Fund. The Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act, and, unless otherwise noted in this Prospectus, is not subject to all the investor protections of the 1940 Act. Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands could result in the inability of the Fund and/or the Subsidiary to continue to operate as it does currently and could adversely affect the Fund. For example, the Cayman Islands does not currently impose any income, corporate or capital gains tax or withholding tax on the Subsidiary. If Cayman Islands law changes such that the Subsidiary must pay Cayman Islands taxes, Fund shareholders would likely suffer decreased investment returns.
•Tax Risk. The Fund intends to treat any income it may derive from Bitcoin Futures received by the Subsidiary as 'qualifying income' under the provisions of the Code applicable to RICs. The IRS had issued numerous PLRs provided to third parties not associated with the Fund or its affiliates (which only those parties may rely on as precedent) concluding that similar arrangements resulted in qualifying income. Many of such PLRs have now been revoked by the IRS. In March of 2019, the IRS published Regulations that concluded that income from a corporation similar to the Subsidiary would be qualifying income, if the income is related to the Fund's business of investing in stocks or securities. Although the Regulations do not require distributions from the Subsidiary, the Fund intends to cause the Subsidiary to make distributions that would allow the Fund to make timely distributions to its shareholders. The Fund generally will be required to include in its own taxable income the income of the Subsidiary for a tax year, regardless of whether the Fund receives a distribution of the Subsidiary's income in that tax year, and this income would nevertheless be subject to the distribution requirement for qualification as a regulated investment company and would be taken into account for purposes of the 4% excise tax.
If the Fund did not qualify as a RIC for any taxable year and certain relief provisions were not available, the Fund's taxable income would be subject to tax at the Fund level and to a further tax at the shareholder level when such income is distributed. In such event, in order to re-qualify for taxation as a RIC, the Fund might be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest and make certain distributions. This would cause investors to incur higher tax liabilities than they otherwise would have incurred and would have a negative impact on Fund returns. In such event, the Fund's Board of Trustees may determine to reorganize or close the Fund or materially change the Fund's investment objective and strategies. In the event that the Fund fails to qualify as a RIC, the Fund will promptly notify shareholders of the implications of that failure.
•Valuation Risk. The Fund or the Subsidiary may hold securities or other assets that may be valued on the basis of factors other than market quotations. This may occur because the asset or security does not trade on a centralized exchange, or in times of market turmoil or reduced liquidity. There are multiple methods that can be used to value a portfolio holding when market quotations are not readily available. The value established for any portfolio holding at a point in time might differ from what would be produced using a different methodology or if it had been priced using market quotations. Portfolio holdings that are valued using techniques other than market quotations, including 'fair valued' assets or securities, may be subject to greater fluctuation in their valuations from one day to the next than if market quotations were used. In addition, there is no assurance that the Fund or the Subsidiary could sell or close out a portfolio position for the value established for it at any time, and it is possible that the Fund or the Subsidiary would incur a loss because a portfolio position is sold or closed out at a discount to the valuation established by the Fund or the Subsidiary at that time. The Fund's ability to value investments may be impacted by technological issues or errors by pricing services or other third-party service providers.
•Volatility Risk. The value of certain of the Fund's investments, including bitcoin-related investments, is subject to market risk. Market risk is the risk that the value of the investments to which the Fund is exposed will fall, which could occur due to general market or economic conditions or other factors. Bitcoin has historically exhibited higher price volatility than more traditional asset classes; for example, during the period from December 17, 2017 to December 14, 2018, bitcoin experienced a decline of roughly 84% and it has experienced dramatic declines over shorter periods of time, including within a single day. The value of bitcoin and, therefore, of the Fund's bitcoin-related investments, could decline rapidly, including to zero. You should be prepared to lose your entire investment.
•Whipsaw Markets Risk. The Fund may be subject to the forces of 'whipsaw' markets (as opposed to choppy or stable markets), in which significant price movements develop but then repeatedly reverse. 'Whipsaw' describes a situation where a security's price is moving in one direction but then quickly pivots to move in the opposite direction. There are two types of whipsaw patterns. The first involves an upward movement in a price, which is then followed by a drastic downward move causing the price to fall relative to its original position. The second type occurs when a share price drops in value for a short time and then suddenly surges upward to a positive gain relative to the original position. Such market conditions could cause substantial losses to the Fund.
PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS INFORMATION
Information about the Fund's daily portfolio holdings is available at [ ]. A complete description of the Fund's policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund's portfolio holdings is available in the Fund's Statement of Additional Information ('SAI').
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MANAGEMENT
Investment Adviser
Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, serves as the investment adviser and has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Fund. The Adviser also arranges for transfer agency, custody, fund administration, and all other non-distribution related services necessary for the Fund to operate. The Adviser has provided investment advisory services to individual and institutional accounts since 2009. The Adviser is an Oklahoma limited liability company and is located at 10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120. For the services it provides to the Fund, the Fund pays the Adviser a unified management fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of [ ]% of the Fund's average daily net assets.
Under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Adviser has agreed to pay all expenses of the Fund except for the fee paid to the Adviser pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, interest charges on any borrowings, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses incurred in placing orders for the purchase and sale of securities and other investment instruments, acquired fund fees and expenses, accrued deferred tax liability, extraordinary expenses, and distribution fees and expenses paid by the Trust under any distribution plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act (the 'Excluded Expenses').
The basis for the Board of Trustees' approval of the Fund's Investment Advisory Agreement will be available in the Fund's first Annual or Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders.
Fund Sponsor
The Adviser has entered into an agreement with Bitwise Index Services, LLC (the 'Sponsor'), pursuant to which the Sponsor has agreed to assume the obligation of the Adviser to pay all expenses of the Fund, except the Excluded Expenses, and provide administrative and marketing support to the Fund. For its services, the Sponsor is entitled to a fee from the Adviser, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, based on a percentage of the average daily net assets of the Fund. The Sponsor does not make investment decisions, provide investment advice, or otherwise act in the capacity of an investment adviser to the Fund.
Management of the Subsidiary
The Adviser also serves as the investment adviser and has overall responsibility for the general management and administration of the Subsidiary, pursuant to a separate investment advisory agreement between the Adviser and the Subsidiary. Under the agreement, the Adviser provides the Subsidiary with the same type of management, under essentially the same terms, as it provides the Fund. The adviser does not receive additional compensation for its services to the Subsidiary. The Subsidiary has also entered into separate contracts for he provision of custody, transfer agency, and accounting services with the same service providers that provide those services to the Fund.
Multi-Manager Structure
The Fund and the Adviser have received an exemptive order from the SEC permitting the Adviser (subject to certain conditions and the Board's approval) to select or change sub-advisers without obtaining shareholder approval. The order also permits the Adviser to materially amend the terms of agreements with a sub-adviser (including an increase in the fee paid by the Adviser to the sub-adviser (and not paid by the Fund)) or to continue the employment of a sub-adviser after an event that would otherwise cause the automatic termination of services with Board approval, but without shareholder approval. Shareholders will be notified of any sub-adviser changes.
Portfolio Managers
[ ], [ ], [ ], and [ ] are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund's portfolio.
[PM bios]
The Fund's SAI provides additional information about the Portfolio Managers' compensation structure, other accounts that the Portfolio Managers manage and the Portfolio Managers' ownership of Shares.
HOW TO BUY AND SELL SHARES
The Fund issues and redeems Shares at NAV only in Creation Units. Only APs may acquire Shares directly from the Fund, and only APs may tender their Shares for redemption directly to the Fund, at NAV. APs must be a member or participant of a clearing agency registered with the SEC and must execute a Participant Agreement that has been agreed to by the Distributor (defined below), and that has been accepted by the Fund's transfer agent, with respect to purchases and redemptions of Creation Units. Once created, Shares trade in the secondary market in quantities less than a Creation Unit.
Most investors buy and sell Shares in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares are listed for trading on the secondary market on the Exchange and can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded securities.
When buying or selling Shares through a broker, you will incur customary brokerage commissions and charges, and you may pay some or all of the bid-ask spread on your transactions. In addition, because secondary market transactions occur at market prices, you may pay more than NAV when you buy Shares, and receive less than NAV when you sell those Shares.
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Book Entry
Shares are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company ('DTC') or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding Shares.
Investors owning Shares are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for all Shares. DTC's participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of Shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have Shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of Shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of Shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book entry or 'street name' through your brokerage account.
Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Shares
The Fund imposes no restrictions on the frequency of purchases and redemptions of Shares. In determining not to approve a written, established policy, the Board evaluated the risks of market timing activities by Fund shareholders. Purchases and redemptions by APs, who are the only parties that may purchase or redeem Shares directly with the Fund, are an essential part of the ETF process and help keep Share trading prices in line with NAV. As such, the Fund accommodates frequent purchases and redemptions by APs. However, the Board has also determined that frequent purchases and redemptions for cash may increase portfolio transaction costs and may lead to the realization of capital gains. To minimize these potential consequences of frequent purchases and redemptions, the Fund employs fair value pricing and may impose transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Creation Units to cover the custodial and other costs incurred by the Fund in effecting trades. In addition, the Fund and the Adviser reserve the right to reject any purchase order at any time.
Determination of Net Asset Value
The Fund's NAV is calculated as of the scheduled close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange ('NYSE'), generally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, each day the NYSE is open for business. The NAV is calculated by dividing the Fund's net assets by its Shares outstanding.
In calculating its NAV, the Fund generally values its assets on the basis of market quotations, last sale prices, or estimates of value furnished by a pricing service or brokers who make markets in such instruments. In particular, the Fund generally values equity securities traded on any recognized U.S. or non-U.S. exchange at the last sale price or official closing price on the exchange or system on which they are principally traded. If such information is not available for a security held by the Fund or is determined to be unreliable, the security will be valued at fair value estimates under guidelines established by the Board (as described below).
Applicable federal tax requirements generally limit the degree to which the Fund may invest in the Subsidiary to an amount not exceeding 25% of its total assets. The Subsidiary prices its portfolio investments pursuant to the same pricing and valuation methodologies and procedures employed by the Fund. The Subsidiary offers to redeem all or a portion of its shares at the current NAV per share every day the Fund is open for business. The value of shares of the Subsidiary will fluctuate with the value of the Subsidiary's portfolio investments.
Fair Value Pricing
The Board has adopted procedures and methodologies to fair value Fund securities and assets whose market prices are not 'readily available' or are deemed to be unreliable. For example, such circumstances may arise when: (i) a security has been de-listed or has had its trading halted or suspended; (ii) a security's primary pricing source is unable or unwilling to provide a price; (iii) a security's primary trading market is closed during regular market hours; or (iv) a security's value is materially affected by events occurring after the close of the security's primary trading market. Generally, when fair valuing a security, the Fund will take into account all reasonably available information that may be relevant to a particular valuation including, but not limited to, fundamental analytical data regarding the issuer, information relating to the issuer's business, recent trades or offers of the security, general and/or specific market conditions and the specific facts giving rise to the need to fair value the security. Fair value determinations are made in good faith and in accordance with the fair value methodologies included in the Board-adopted valuation procedures. Due to the subjective and variable nature of fair value pricing, there can be no assurance that the Adviser will be able to obtain the fair value assigned to the security upon the sale of such security.
Investments by Registered Investment Companies
Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by registered investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, including Shares. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Adviser or rule under the 1940 Act, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Fund.
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Delivery of Shareholder Documents - Householding
Householding is an option available to certain investors of the Fund. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Householding for the Fund is available through certain broker-dealers. If you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of prospectuses and other shareholder documents, please contact your broker-dealer. If you are currently enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status, please contact your broker-dealer.
DIVIDENDS, DISTRIBUTIONS, AND TAXES
Dividends and Distributions
The Fund intends to pay out dividends, if any, and distribute any net realized capital gains to its shareholders at least annually. The Fund will declare and pay capital gain distributions in cash. Distributions in cash may be reinvested automatically in additional whole Shares only if the broker through whom you purchased Shares makes such option available. Your broker is responsible for distributing the income and capital gain distributions to you.
Taxes
The following discussion is a summary of some important U.S. federal income tax considerations generally applicable to investments in the Fund. Your investment in the Fund may have other tax implications. Please consult your tax advisor about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares, including the possible application of foreign, state, and local tax laws.
The Fund intends to elect and qualify each year for treatment as a RIC under the Code. If it meets certain minimum distribution requirements, a RIC is not subject to tax at the fund level on income and gains from investments that are timely distributed to shareholders. However, the Fund's failure to qualify as a RIC or to meet minimum distribution requirements would result (if certain relief provisions were not available) in fund-level taxation and, consequently, a reduction in income available for distribution to shareholders.
Unless your investment in Shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-advantaged account, such as an IRA plan, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions, when you sell your Shares listed on the Exchange; and when you purchase or redeem Creation Units (APs only).
Taxes on Distributions
The Fund intends to distribute, at least annually, substantially all of its net investment income and net capital gains. For federal income tax purposes, distributions of investment income are generally taxable as ordinary income or qualified dividend income. Taxes on distributions of capital gains (if any) are determined by how long the Fund owned the investments that generated them, rather than how long a shareholder has owned his or her Shares. Sales of assets held by the Fund for more than one year generally result in long-term capital gains and losses, and sales of assets held by the Fund for one year or less generally result in short-term capital gains and losses. Distributions of the Fund's net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses) that are reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends ('Capital Gain Dividends') will be taxable as long-term capital gains, which for non-corporate shareholders are subject to tax at reduced rates of up to 20% (lower rates apply to individuals in lower tax brackets). Distributions of short-term capital gain will generally be taxable as ordinary income. Dividends and distributions are generally taxable to you whether you receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional Shares.
Distributions reported by the Fund as 'qualified dividend income' are generally taxed to non-corporate shareholders at rates applicable to long-term capital gains, provided holding period and other requirements are met. 'Qualified dividend income' generally is income derived from dividends paid by U.S. corporations or certain foreign corporations that are either incorporated in a U.S. possession or eligible for tax benefits under certain U.S. income tax treaties. In addition, dividends that the Fund received in respect of stock of certain foreign corporations may be qualified dividend income if that stock is readily tradable on an established U.S. securities market.
Shortly after the close of each calendar year, you will be informed of the amount and character of any distributions received from the Fund.
U.S. individuals with income exceeding specified thresholds are subject to a 3.8% tax on all or a portion of their 'net investment income,' which includes interest, dividends, and certain capital gains (generally including capital gains distributions and capital gains realized on the sale of Shares). This 3.8% tax also applies to all or a portion of the undistributed net investment income of certain shareholders that are estates and trusts.
In general, your distributions are subject to federal income tax for the year in which they are paid. Certain distributions paid in January, however, may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year. Distributions are generally taxable even if they are paid from income or gains earned by the Fund before your investment (and thus were included in the Shares' NAV when you purchased your Shares).
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You may wish to avoid investing in the Fund shortly before a dividend or other distribution, because such a distribution will generally be taxable even though it may economically represent a return of a portion of your investment.
If the Fund's distributions exceed its earnings and profits, all or a portion of the distributions made for a taxable year may be recharacterized as a return of capital to shareholders. A return of capital distribution will generally not be taxable, but will reduce each shareholder's cost basis in Shares and result in a higher capital gain or lower capital loss when the Shares are sold. After a shareholder's basis in Shares has been reduced to zero, distributions in excess of earnings and profits in respect of those Shares will be treated as gain from the sale of the Shares.
If you are neither a resident nor a citizen of the United States or if you are a foreign entity, distributions (other than Capital Gain Dividends) paid to you by the Fund will generally be subject to a U.S. withholding tax at the rate of 30%, unless a lower treaty rate applies. Gains from the sale or other disposition of your Shares generally are not subject to U.S. taxation, unless you are a nonresident alien individual who is physically present in the U.S. for 183 days or more per year. The Fund may, under certain circumstances, report all or a portion of a dividend as an 'interest-related dividend' or a 'short-term capital gain dividend,' which would generally be exempt from this 30% U.S. withholding tax, provided certain other requirements are met. Different tax consequences may result if you are a foreign shareholder engaged in a trade or business within the United States or if a tax treaty applies.
Under legislation generally known as 'FATCA' (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), the Fund is required to withhold 30% of certain ordinary dividends it pays to shareholders that are foreign entities and that fail to meet prescribed information reporting or certification requirements.
The Fund (or a financial intermediary, such as a broker, through which a shareholder owns Shares) generally is required to withhold and remit to the U.S. Treasury a percentage of the taxable distributions and sale or redemption proceeds paid to any shareholder who fails to properly furnish a correct taxpayer identification number, who has underreported dividend or interest income, or who fails to certify that he, she or it is not subject to such withholding.
Taxes When Shares are Sold on the Exchange
Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Shares generally is treated as a long-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for one year or less. However, any capital loss on a sale of Shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of Capital Gain Dividends paid with respect to such Shares. Any loss realized on a sale will be disallowed to the extent Shares of the Fund are acquired, including through reinvestment of dividends, within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the disposition of Shares. The ability to deduct capital losses may be limited.
The cost basis of Shares of the Fund acquired by purchase will generally be based on the amount paid for the Shares and then may be subsequently adjusted for other applicable transactions as required by the Code. The difference between the selling price and the cost basis of Shares generally determines the amount of the capital gain or loss realized on the sale or exchange of Shares. Contact the broker through whom you purchased your Shares to obtain information with respect to the available cost basis reporting methods and elections for your account.
Taxes on Purchases and Redemptions of Creation Units
An AP having the U.S. dollar as its functional currency for U.S. federal income tax purposes who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally recognizes a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the value of the Creation Units at the time of the exchange and the exchanging AP's aggregate basis in the securities delivered, plus the amount of any cash paid for the Creation Units. An AP who exchanges Creation Units for securities will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanging AP's basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate U.S. dollar market value of the securities received, plus any cash received for such Creation Units. The Internal Revenue Service may assert, however, that a loss that is realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units may not be currently deducted under the rules governing 'wash sales' (for an AP who does not mark-to-market their holdings), or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. APs exchanging securities should consult their own tax advisor with respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible.
Any capital gain or loss realized upon redemption of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for one year or less.
The Fund may include a payment of cash in addition to, or in place of, the delivery of a basket of securities upon the redemption of Creation Units. The Fund may sell portfolio securities to obtain the cash needed to distribute redemption proceeds. This may cause the Fund to recognize investment income and/or capital gains or losses that it might not have recognized if it had completely satisfied the redemption in-kind. As a result, the Fund may be less tax efficient if it includes such a cash payment in the proceeds paid upon the redemption of Creation Units.
Taxation of the Subsidiary
There is, at present, no direct taxation in the Cayman Islands and interest, dividends and gains payable to the Subsidiary will be received free of all Cayman Islands taxes. The Subsidiary is registered as an 'exempted company' pursuant to the Companies Law (as
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amended). The Subsidiary has received an undertaking from the Governor in Cabinet of the Cayman Islands to the effect that, for a period of twenty years from the date of the undertaking, no law that thereafter is enacted in the Cayman Islands imposing any tax or duty to be levied on profits, income or on gains or appreciation, or any tax in the nature of estate duty or inheritance tax, will apply to any property comprised in or any income arising under the Subsidiary, or to the shareholders thereof, in respect of any such property or income.
Foreign Taxes
To the extent the Fund invests in foreign securities, it may be subject to foreign withholding taxes with respect to dividends or interest the Fund received from sources in foreign countries.
The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the possible consequences under current federal tax law of an investment in the Fund. It is not a substitute for personal tax advice. You also may be subject to state and local tax on Fund distributions and sales of Shares. Consult your personal tax advisor about the potential tax consequences of an investment in Shares under all applicable tax laws. For more information, please see the section entitled 'Federal Income Taxes' in the SAI.
DISTRIBUTION
The Distributor, [ ], is a broker-dealer registered with the SEC. The Distributor distributes Creation Units for the Fund on an agency basis and does not maintain a secondary market in Shares. The Distributor has no role in determining the policies of the Fund or the securities that are purchased or sold by the Fund. The Distributor's principal address is [ ].
The Board has adopted a Distribution and Service Plan (the 'Plan') pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. In accordance with the Plan, the Fund is authorized to pay an amount up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year for certain distribution-related activities and shareholder services.
No Rule 12b-1 fees are currently paid by the Fund, and there are no plans to impose these fees. However, in the event Rule 12b-1 fees are charged in the future, because the fees are paid out of the Fund's assets, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than certain other types of sales charges.
PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION
Information regarding how often Shares are traded on the Exchange at a price above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount) the NAV per Share will be available, free of charge, on the Fund's website at [ ].
ADDITIONAL NOTICES
Shares are not sponsored, endorsed, or promoted by the Exchange. The Exchange makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of Shares or any member of the public regarding the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective. The Exchange is not responsible for, nor has it participated in, the determination of the timing, prices, or quantities of Shares to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which Shares are redeemable. The Exchange has no obligation or liability to owners of Shares in connection with the administration, marketing, or trading of the Shares. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall the Exchange have any liability for any lost profits or indirect, punitive, special, or consequential damages even if notified of the possibility thereof.
The Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by the Sponsor. The Sponsor makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of trading in the Fund. The Sponsor is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the timing of, prices at, or quantities of the Fund to be listed or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Shares of the Fund are to be converted into cash. Licensor has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Fund.
FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
Financial information is not available because the Fund had not commenced operations prior to the date of this Prospectus.
22


Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF
Adviser

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC
10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 401
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120
Sponsor Bitwise Index Services, LLC
[ ]
Transfer Agent
U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC
d/b/a U.S. Bank Global Fund Services
615 East Michigan Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Administrator
U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC
d/b/a U.S. Bank Global Fund Services
615 East Michigan Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Custodian
U.S. Bank, N.A.
1555 N. Rivercenter Drive, Suite 302
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212
Distributor
[ ]
Legal Counsel
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004-2541
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
[ ]
Investors may find more information about the Fund in the following documents:
Statement of Additional Information: The Fund's SAI provides additional details about the investments and techniques of the Fund and certain other additional information. A current SAI dated [ ] is on file with the SEC and is herein incorporated by reference into this Prospectus. It is legally considered a part of this Prospectus.
Annual/Semi-Annual Reports: Additional information about the Fund's investments will be available in the Fund's annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In the annual report, when available, you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund's performance after the first fiscal year the Fund is in operation.
You can obtain free copies of these documents, request other information or make general inquiries about the Fund by contacting the Fund at Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF, c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, P.O. Box 701, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-0701 or calling 1-800-617-0004.
Shareholder reports and other information about the Fund are also available:
• Free of charge from the SEC's EDGAR database on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov; or
• Free of charge from the Fund's website at [ ]; or
• For a fee, by e-mail request to [email protected]

(SEC Investment Company Act File No. 811-22668)

23

Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF
(BITC)
a series of ETF Series Solutions
Listed on [ ]
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
[ ]
This Statement of Additional Information ('SAI') is not a prospectus and should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus for the Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF (the 'Fund'), a series of ETF Series Solutions (the 'Trust'), dated [ ], as may be supplemented from time to time (the 'Prospectus'). Capitalized terms used in this SAI that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted. A copy of the Prospectus may be obtained without charge, by calling the Fund at 1-800-617-0004, visiting [ ] or writing to the Fund, c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, P.O. Box 701, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-0701.
The information herein is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Statement of Additional Information is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction in which the offer or sale is not permitted.
The Fund's audited financial statements for the most recent fiscal year (when available) are incorporated into this SAI by reference to the Fund's most recent Annual Report to Shareholders (File No. 811-22668). When available, you may obtain a copy of the Fund's Annual Report at no charge by contacting the Fund at the address or phone number noted above.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
General Information about the Trust
2
Additional Information About Investment Objectives, Policies, and Related Risks
2
Investment Restrictions
15
Exchange Listing and Trading
16
Management of the Trust
16
Principal Shareholders, Control Persons, and Management Ownership
21
Codes of Ethics
21
Proxy Voting Policies
21
Investment Adviser
21
Portfolio Managers
22
The Distributor
22
The Administrator, Custodian, and Transfer Agent
24
Legal Counsel
24
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
24
Portfolio Holdings Disclosure Policies and Procedures
24
Description of Shares
24
Limitation of Trustees' Liability
25
Brokerage Transactions
25
Portfolio Turnover Rate
26
Book Entry Only System
26
Purchase and Redemption of Shares in Creation Units
27
Determination of Net Asset Value
32
Dividends and Distributions
32
Federal Income Taxes
32
Financial Statements
38
Appendix A
A-1


GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRUST
The Trust is an open-end management investment company consisting of multiple investment series. This SAI relates to the Fund. The Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on February 9, 2012. The Trust is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ('SEC') under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (together with the rules and regulations adopted thereunder, as amended, the '1940 Act'), as an open-end management investment company and the offering of the Fund's shares ('Shares') is registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the 'Securities Act'). The Trust is governed by its Board of Trustees (the 'Board'). Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC ('ETC' or the 'Adviser') serves as investment adviser to the Fund. The investment objective of the Fund is to provide long-term capital appreciation.
The Fund offers and issues Shares at their net asset value ('NAV') only in aggregations of a specified number of Shares (each, a 'Creation Unit'). The Fund generally offers and issues Shares in exchange for a basket of securities ('Deposit Securities') together with the deposit of a specified cash payment ('Cash Component'). The Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of a 'cash in lieu' amount ('Deposit Cash') to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security. Shares are listed on the [ ] (the 'Exchange') and trade on the Exchange at market prices that may differ from the Shares' NAV. Shares are also redeemable only in Creation Unit aggregations, primarily for a basket of Deposit Securities together with a Cash Component. A Creation Unit of the Fund generally consists of [ ] Shares, though this may change from time to time. As a practical matter, only institutions or large investors purchase or redeem Creation Units. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable securities.
Shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions, including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Trust cash at least equal to a specified percentage of the value of the missing Deposit Securities, as set forth in the Participant Agreement (as defined below). The Trust may impose a transaction fee for each creation or redemption. In all cases, such fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. As in the case of other publicly traded securities, brokers' commissions on transactions in the secondary market will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, POLICIES, AND RELATED RISKS
The Fund's investment objective and principal investment strategies are described in the Prospectus. The following information supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, the Prospectus. For a description of certain permitted investments, see 'Description of Permitted Investments' in this SAI.
With respect to the Fund's investments, unless otherwise noted, if a percentage limitation on investment is adhered to at the time of investment or contract, a subsequent increase or decrease as a result of market movement or redemption will not result in a violation of such investment limitation.
Non-Diversification
The Fund is classified as a non-diversified investment company under the 1940 Act. A 'non-diversified' classification means that the Fund is not limited by the 1940 Act with regard to the percentage of its total assets that may be invested in the securities of a single issuer. This means that the Fund may invest a greater portion of its total assets in the securities of a single issuer or a small number of issuers than if it was a diversified fund. This may have an adverse effect on the Fund's performance or subject Shares to greater price volatility than more diversified investment companies. Moreover, in pursuing its objective, the Fund may hold the securities of a single issuer in an amount exceeding 10% of the value of the outstanding securities of the issuer, subject to restrictions imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the 'Code'). In particular, as the Fund's size grows and its assets increase, it will be more likely to hold more than 10% of the securities of a single issuer if the issuer has a relatively small public float as compared to other components in the Fund's portfolio.
Although the Fund is non-diversified for purposes of the 1940 Act, the Fund intends to maintain the required level of diversification and otherwise conduct its operations so as to qualify as a 'regulated investment company' ('RIC') for purposes of the Code. Compliance with the diversification requirements of the Code may limit the investment flexibility of the Fund and may make it less likely that the Fund will meet its investment objectives. To qualify as a RIC under the Code, the Fund must meet the Diversification Requirement described in the section titled 'Federal Income Taxes' in this SAI.
General Risks
The value of the Fund's portfolio securities may fluctuate with changes in the financial condition of an issuer or counterparty, changes in specific economic or political conditions that affect a particular security or issuer and changes in general economic or political conditions. An investor in the Fund could lose money over short or long periods of time.
There can be no guarantee that a liquid market for the securities held by the Fund will be maintained. The existence of a liquid trading market for certain securities may depend on whether dealers will make a market in such securities. There can be no assurance that a market will be made or maintained or that any such market will be or remain liquid. The price at which securities may be sold and the value of Shares will be adversely affected if trading markets for the Fund's portfolio securities are limited or absent, or if bid-ask spreads are wide.
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Cyber Security Risk. Investment companies, such as the Fund, and their service providers may be subject to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber attacks. Cyber attacks include, among other behaviors, stealing or corrupting data maintained online or digitally, denial of service attacks on websites, the unauthorized release of confidential information or various other forms of cyber security breaches. Cyber attacks affecting the Fund or the Adviser, custodian, transfer agent, intermediaries and other third-party service providers may adversely impact the Fund. For instance, cyber attacks may interfere with the processing of shareholder transactions, impact the Fund's ability to calculate its NAV, cause the release of private shareholder information or confidential company information, impede trading, subject the Fund to regulatory fines or financial losses, and cause reputational damage. The Fund may also incur additional costs for cyber security risk management purposes. Similar types of cyber security risks are also present for issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause the Fund's investments in such portfolio companies to lose value.
Recent Events. Beginning in the first quarter of 2020, financial markets in the United States and around the world experienced extreme and in many cases unprecedented volatility and severe losses due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, a novel coronavirus. The pandemic has resulted in a wide range of social and economic disruptions, including closed borders, voluntary or compelled quarantines of large populations, stressed healthcare systems, reduced or prohibited domestic or international travel, supply chain disruptions, and so-called 'stay-at-home' orders throughout much of the United States and many other countries. The fall-out from these disruptions has included the rapid closure of businesses deemed 'non-essential' by federal, state, or local governments and rapidly increasing unemployment, as well as greatly reduced liquidity for certain instruments at times. Some sectors of the economy and individual issuers have experienced particularly large losses. Such disruptions may continue for an extended period of time or reoccur in the future to a similar or greater extent. In response, the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have taken extraordinary actions to support the domestic economy and financial markets, resulting in very low interest rates and in some cases negative yields. It is unknown how long circumstances related to the pandemic will persist, whether they will reoccur in the future, whether efforts to support the economy and financial markets will be successful, and what additional implications may follow from the pandemic. The impact of these events and other epidemics or pandemics in the future could adversely affect Fund performance.
Description of Permitted Investments
The following are descriptions of the permitted investments and investment practices and the associated risk factors. The Fund will only invest in any of the following instruments or engage in any of the following investment practices if such investment or activity is consistent with the Fund's investment objective and permitted by the Fund's stated investment policies.
Bitcoin-Related Investments. Bitcoin is a digital asset which serves as the unit of account on an open source, decentralized, peer-to-peer computer network. Bitcoin may be used to pay for goods and services, stored for future use, or converted to a fiat currency. The value of bitcoin is not backed by any government, corporation, or other identified body, and its value is determined in part by the supply of and demand for bitcoin in the markets that have been organized to facilitate its trading. The Fund will not invest directly in bitcoin or hold bitcoin directly.
No individual entity owns or operates the bitcoin network, which governs bitcoin's creation, movement, and ownership. The source code for the network is open source, and anyone can contribute to its development. The infrastructure of the network is collectively maintained by its participants, which include miners, developers, and users. Miners validate transactions and are currently compensated for that service in bitcoin. Developers maintain and contribute updates to the network's protocols. Users access the network using open source software.
Bitcoin is stored on a digital transaction ledger commonly known as a 'blockchain.' The term 'blockchain' refers to a type of peer-to-peer distributed ledger, or decentralized database, that keeps continuously updated digital records of who owns a particular asset (e.g., such as cryptocurrencies like bitcoin). Blockchain is secured using cryptography and facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. Blockchain derives its name from the way it stores transaction data - as unchangeable, digitally recorded data in packages called 'blocks' that are linked together to form a chain. Blocks record and confirm the time and sequence of transactions, which are then logged into the blockchain network. Accordingly, the blockchain for bitcoin contains a record and transaction history for each bitcoin.
The transactions of such currencies on a blockchain are verified by cryptocurrency 'miners.' Crypto-mining involves using specialized computer software and hardware to solve a highly complex mathematical equations presented by bitcoin's protocol. Generally, when a successful validation occurs, the successful miner is permitted to add a block of transactions to the blockchain. The new block is then confirmed through acceptance by a majority of participants who maintain versions of the blockchain on their individual computers. Successful miners are rewarded with new bitcoin, and are thus incentivized to validate transactions and to secure the network. This reward system is the means by which new bitcoin enters circulation and is the mechanism by which versions of the blockchain held by users on a decentralized network are kept in consensus.
Bitcoin's protocol is an open source project with no official company or group that controls the source. Therefore, the release of updates to the protocol does not guarantee that the updates will be automatically adopted by all participants. Users and miners must accept any changes made to the source code by downloading the proposed modification and that modification is effective only with respect to those bitcoin users and miners who choose to download it. As a practical matter, a modification to the source code becomes part of the network only if it is accepted by participants that collectively have a majority of the processing power on the network. If a
3

modification is accepted by a smaller percentage of users and miners, a 'fork' occurs, whereby one network will run the pre-modification source code and the other network will run the modified source code.
Bitcoin Futures. The price of Bitcoin Futures is based on the expected price of bitcoin on certain exchanges on the expiration date of the Bitcoin Futures contract. Bitcoin Futures prices reflect the price of bitcoin on certain exchanges only, and not the bitcoin cash market. The liquidity of the market for Bitcoin Futures depends on, among other things: the supply and demand for Bitcoin Futures; the supply and demand for bitcoin; the adoption of bitcoin for commercial uses; the anticipated increase of investments in bitcoin-related investment products by retail and institutional investors; speculative interest in bitcoin, Bitcoin Futures, and bitcoin-related investment products; regulatory or other restrictions on investors' ability to invest in Bitcoin Futures; and the potential ability to hedge against the price of bitcoin with Bitcoin Futures (and vice versa).
The market for Bitcoin Futures may be illiquid. This means that the Subsidiary may not be able to buy and sell Bitcoin Futures quickly or at the desired price. For example, it is difficult to execute a trade at a specific price when there is a relatively small volume of buy and sell orders in a market. A materially adverse development in one or more of the factors on which the liquidity of the market for Bitcoin Futures depends may cause the market to become illiquid, for short or long periods. In such markets, the Subsidiary may not be able to buy and sell Bitcoin Futures quickly (or at all) or at the desired price. Market illiquidity may cause losses for the Fund. Additionally, the large size of the futures positions which the Subsidiary may acquire increases the risk of illiquidity, as larger positions may be more difficult to fully liquidate, may take longer to liquidate, and, as a result of their size, may expose the Fund to potentially more significant losses while trying to do so.
Limits imposed by counterparties, exchanges or other regulatory organizations, such as accountability levels, position limits and daily price fluctuation limits, may contribute to a lack of liquidity with respect to some financial instruments and have a negative impact on Fund performance. During periods of market illiquidity, including periods of market disruption and volatility, it may be difficult or impossible for the Fund to buy or sell futures contracts or other financial instruments.
Bitcoin and its trading venues are relatively new and not subject to the same regulations as regulated securities or futures exchanges. As a result, markets for bitcoin may be subject to manipulation or fraud and may be subject to larger and/or more frequent sudden declines than assets traded on more traditional exchanges. Investors in bitcoin may lose money, possibly the entire value of their investments. The price of bitcoin could drop precipitously (including to zero) for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, regulatory changes, a crisis of confidence, a flaw or operational issue in bitcoin's network or an increase in users favoring competing digital assets and cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency is a new technological innovation with a limited history; it is a highly speculative asset, and the Fund's exposure to bitcoin-linked assets could result in substantial losses.
Additional risks relating to bitcoin and Bitcoin Futures are set forth below:
•Risks of Manipulation and Fraud. There is no central registry showing which individuals or entities own bitcoin. It is possible that bitcoin may be concentrated in a small group of early adopters, and there are no regulations preventing a large holder of bitcoin from selling such holdings (which could depress the price of bitcoin) or otherwise attempting to manipulate the price of bitcoin. Malicious actors could theoretically structure an attack whereby such actors gains control of more than half of the bitcoin network's processing power, thereby allowing them to exert unilateral control over the addition of blocks to the bitcoin blockchain. This would allow a malicious actor to engage in 'double spending' (i.e., use the same bitcoin for two or more transactions), prevent other transactions from being confirmed on the blockchain, or prevent other miners from mining any valid new blocks. Any of these events could adversely affect the price of bitcoin, reduce user confidence in bitcoin and its trading venues; and slow (or even reverse) the further adoption of bitcoin.
•Price Volatility. The price of bitcoin has experienced periods of extreme volatility and may change without warning in the future. This volatility is due to a number of factors, including the supply and demand for bitcoin, concerns about potential fraud or manipulation of the price of bitcoin and the safety of bitcoin, market perceptions of the value of bitcoin as an investment, continuing development of the regulations applicable to bitcoin, and the changes exhibited by an early-stage technological innovation. Speculation regarding the potential future appreciation in the price of bitcoin may artificially inflate or deflate the price of bitcoin, while government regulation or the perception of regulatory actions may cause a drop in the price of bitcoin.
•Market Fragmentation. Market participants trading Bitcoin Futures may seek to 'hedge' their exposure to such contracts by taking offsetting positions in bitcoin. Fragmentation may require market participants to analyze multiple prices, which may be inconsistent and quickly changing. Fragmentation also may require market participants to potentially fill their positions through a number of transactions on different exchanges. These factors potentially increase the cost and uncertainty of trading bitcoin and may decrease the effectiveness of using transactions in bitcoin to help manage or offset positions in Bitcoin Futures. Market participants who are unable to fully or effectively manage or hedge their positions in Bitcoin Futures typically would be expected to widen the bid-ask spreads on such contracts, which could potentially decrease the trading volume and liquidity of such contracts and have a negative impact on the price of such contracts.
•Internet Functionality and Cyber-Threats. Blockchain technology and the bitcoin network functionality rely on the Internet. A significant disruption or interruption of Internet connectivity affecting large numbers of users or geographic areas could
4

impede the functionality of blockchain technologies, the bitcoin network, the price of bitcoin and Bitcoin Futures. In addition, certain features of blockchain technology, such as decentralization, open source protocol, and reliance on peer-to-peer connectivity, may increase the risk of fraud or cyber-attack by potentially reducing the likelihood of a coordinated response.
•Increased Competition from Other Digital Assets. Bitcoin, as an asset, currently holds a 'first-to-market' advantage over other digital assets. Bitcoin's network currently has the largest user base of any digital asset and the largest combined mining power in use to secure its blockchain. While having a large mining network enhances user confidence regarding the security of the blockchain, it also increases the difficulty of solving for bitcoins, which at times may incentivize miners to mine other cryptocurrencies. It is possible that real or perceived shortcomings in the bitcoin network could result in a decline in popularity of bitcoin, leading to other digital currencies becoming more widely accepted than bitcoin. A decline in the adoption of bitcoin could have a negative impact on the price of bitcoin and Bitcoin Futures. Similarly, if the transaction fees that miners receive for mining bitcoin are not sufficiently high, or if transaction fees increase to the point of being prohibitively expensive for users, miners may not have an adequate incentive to continue mining and may cease their mining operations. If miners reduce or cease their mining operations, it could decrease the speed at which blocks are added to the blockchain and result in material delays in transaction confirmation time. Any reduction in confidence in the confirmation process of the bitcoin network may adversely affect the utility and price of bitcoin, which may negatively impact the Bitcoin Futures.
Additionally, a lack of expansion or a reduction in usage of bitcoin could adversely affect bitcoin trading venues, which may have a negative impact on the market for Bitcoin Futures and the performance of the Fund. There is no assurance that bitcoin usage, or the market for Bitcoin Futures, will continue to grow over the long-term, and a contraction in the use of bitcoin may result in a lack of liquidity in bitcoin trading, increased volatility in the price of bitcoin, and other negative consequences.
•Legal and Regulatory Risks. Regulatory initiatives by governments may impact the use of bitcoin or the operation of its network in a manner that adversely affects Bitcoin Futures. As bitcoin and other digital assets have grown in popularity and market size, certain U.S. federal and state governments, foreign governments and self-regulatory agencies have begun to examine the operations of bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. Regulation of cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, and initial coin offerings in the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions could restrict the use of bitcoin or impose other requirements that may adversely impact the liquidity and price of bitcoin. The regulation of bitcoin, digital assets and related products and services continues to evolve. This regulatory landscape may make it more difficult for bitcoin businesses to provide services, which may impede the growth of the bitcoin economy and have an adverse effect on consumer adoption of bitcoin. There is a possibility of future regulatory change altering, perhaps to a material extent, the nature of an investment in the Fund or the ability of the Fund to continue to operate. Additionally, to the extent that bitcoin itself is determined to be a security, futures or other regulated asset, or to the extent that a United States or foreign government or quasi-governmental agency exerts regulatory authority over the bitcoin network or bitcoin trading, Bitcoin Futures may be adversely affected.
With the growing adoption of bitcoin and the significant increase in speculative activity surrounding bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, third parties may be increasingly motivated to assert intellectual property rights claims relating to the operation of the bitcoin network or applications built upon the its blockchain. Any threatened action that reduces confidence in the network's or the blockchain's long-term viability or the ability of end-users to hold and transfer bitcoin may adversely affect the price of bitcoin and adversely affect the Bitcoin Futures. As a result, an intellectual property rights claim against the bitcoin network participants could have a material adverse impact on the Fund.
•Risks of 'Forks'. Bitcoin's protocol was built using open source software by a small group of developers who help develop and maintain the original version of bitcoin. The open source nature of the protocol permits any developer to review the underlying code and suggest changes. If accepted by a sufficient number of miners, such changes may result in substantial changes to the network, including changes that result in 'forks' in the protocol. The bitcoin network has already experienced two major forks after developers attempted to increase transaction capacity. Blocks mined on these new 'forked' networks now diverge from blocks mined on the original network, resulting in the creation of two new blockchains whose digital assets are referred to as 'Bitcoin Cash' and 'Bitcoin Gold.' Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold now operate as separate, independent networks. It is possible that the price of the Bitcoin Futures subsequent to a 'fork' may be linked to the price of bitcoin on only one of the resulting networks, rather than the aggregate price of bitcoin on all resulting networks. It is possible that forks and similar events could have an adverse effect on the price of bitcoin and the Bitcoin Futures in which the Fund invests.
Borrowing. Although the Fund does not intend to borrow money, the Fund may do so to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act. Under the 1940 Act, the Fund may borrow up to one-third (1/3) of its total assets. The Fund will borrow money only for short-term or emergency purposes. Such borrowing is not for investment purposes and will be repaid by the Fund promptly. Borrowing will tend to exaggerate the effect on NAV of any increase or decrease in the market value of the Fund's portfolio. Money borrowed will be subject to interest costs that may or may not be recovered by earnings on the securities purchased. The Fund also may be required to maintain minimum average balances in connection with a borrowing or to pay a commitment or other fee to maintain a line of credit; either of these requirements would increase the cost of borrowing over the stated interest rate.
5

Debt Securities. In general, a debt security represents a loan of money to the issuer by the purchaser of the security. A debt security typically has a fixed payment schedule that obligates the issuer to pay interest to the lender and to return the lender's money over a certain time period. A company typically meets its payment obligations associated with its outstanding debt securities before it declares and pays any dividend to holders of its equity securities. Bonds, notes and commercial paper are examples of debt securities and differ in the length of the issuer's principal repayment schedule, with bonds carrying the longest repayment schedule and commercial paper the shortest.
Debt securities are all generally subject to interest rate, credit, income and prepayment risks and, like all investments, are subject to liquidity and market risks to varying degrees depending upon the specific terms and type of security. The Fund's investments in debt securities may subject such Fund to the following risks:
Credit risk. Debt securities are subject to the risk of an issuer's (or other party's) failure or inability to meet its obligations under the security. Multiple parties may have obligations under a debt security. An issuer or borrower may fail to pay principal and interest when due. A guarantor, insurer or credit support provider may fail to provide the agreed upon protection. A counterparty to a transaction may fail to perform its side of the bargain. An intermediary or agent interposed between the investor and other parties may fail to perform the terms of its service. Also, performance under a debt security may be linked to the obligations of other persons who may fail to meet their obligations. The credit risk associated with a debt security could increase to the extent that the Fund's ability to benefit fully from its investment in the security depends on the performance by multiple parties of their respective contractual or other obligations. The market value of a debt security is also affected by the market's perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer.
The Fund may incur substantial losses on debt securities that are inaccurately perceived to present a different amount of credit risk than they actually do by the market or the rating agencies. Credit risk is generally greater where less information is publicly available, where fewer covenants safeguard the investors' interests, where collateral may be impaired or inadequate, where little legal redress or regulatory protection is available, or where a party's ability to meet obligations is speculative. Additionally, any inaccuracy in the information used by the Fund to evaluate credit risk may affect the value of securities held by such Fund.
Obligations under debt securities held by the Fund may never be satisfied or, if satisfied, only satisfied in part.
Some securities are subject to risks as a result of a credit downgrade or default by a government, or its agencies or, instrumentalities. Credit risk is a greater concern for high-yield debt securities and debt securities of issuers whose ability to pay interest and principal may be considered speculative. Debt securities are typically classified as investment grade-quality (medium to highest credit quality) or below investment grade-quality (commonly referred to as high-yield or junk bonds). Many individual debt securities are rated by a third party source, such as Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) or Standard & Poor's Financial Services (S&P®), to help describe the creditworthiness of the issuer.
Credit ratings risk. Using credit ratings to evaluate debt securities can involve certain risks. For example, ratings assigned by the rating agencies are based upon an analysis completed at the time of the rating of the obligor's ability to pay interest and repay principal. Rating agencies typically rely to a large extent on historical data which may not accurately represent present or future circumstances. Ratings do not purport to reflect the risk of fluctuations in market value of the debt security and are not absolute standards of quality and only express the rating agency's current opinion of an obligor's overall financial capacity to pay its financial obligations. A credit rating is not a statement of fact or a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold a debt obligation. Also, credit quality can change suddenly and unexpectedly, and credit ratings may not reflect the issuer's current financial condition or events since the security was last rated. Rating agencies may have a financial interest in generating business, including from the arranger or issuer of the security that normally pays for that rating, and providing a low rating might affect the rating agency's prospects for future business. While rating agencies have policies and procedures to address this potential conflict of interest, there is a risk that these policies will fail to prevent a conflict of interest from impacting the rating.
Income risk. Income risk is the risk that the Fund's income will decline during periods of falling interest rates or when the Fund experiences defaults on debt securities it holds. The Fund's income declines when interest rates fall because, as the Fund's higher-yielding debt securities mature or are prepaid, the Fund must re-invest the proceeds in debt securities that have lower, prevailing interest rates. The amount and rate of distributions that the Fund's shareholders receive are affected by the income that the Fund receives from its portfolio holdings. If the income is reduced, distributions by the Fund to shareholders may be less.
Fluctuations in income paid to the Fund are generally greater for variable rate debt securities. The Fund will be deemed to receive taxable income on certain securities which pay no cash payments until maturity, such as zero-coupon securities. The Fund may be required to sell portfolio securities that it would otherwise continue to hold to obtain sufficient cash to make the distribution to shareholders required for U.S. tax purposes.
Inflation risk. The market price of debt securities generally falls as inflation increases because the purchasing power of the future income and repaid principal is expected to be worth less when received by the Fund. Debt securities that pay a fixed rather than variable interest rate are especially vulnerable to inflation risk because variable-rate debt securities may be able to participate, over the long term, in rising interest rates which have historically corresponded with long-term inflationary trends.
Interest rate risk. The market value of debt securities generally varies in response to changes in prevailing interest rates. Interest rate changes can be sudden and unpredictable. In addition, short-term and long-term rates are not necessarily correlated to each other as
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short-term rates tend to be influenced by government monetary policy while long-term rates are market driven and may be influenced by macroeconomic events (such as economic expansion or contraction), inflation expectations, as well as supply and demand. During periods of declining interest rates, the market value of debt securities generally increases. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, the market value of debt securities generally declines. This occurs because new debt securities are likely to be issued with higher interest rates as interest rates increase, making the old or outstanding debt securities less attractive. In general, the market prices of long-term debt securities or securities that make little (or no) interest payments are more sensitive to interest rate fluctuations than shorter-term debt securities. The longer the Fund's average weighted portfolio duration, the greater the potential impact a change in interest rates will have on its share price. Also, certain segments of the fixed income markets, such as high quality bonds, tend to be more sensitive to interest rate changes than other segments, such as lower-quality bonds.
Depositary Receipts. To the extent the Fund invests in stocks of foreign corporations, the Fund's investment in securities of foreign companies may be in the form of depositary receipts or other securities convertible into securities of foreign issuers. American Depositary Receipts ('ADRs') are dollar-denominated receipts representing interests in the securities of a foreign issuer, which securities may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the securities into which they may be converted. ADRs are receipts typically issued by United States banks and trust companies which evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. Generally, ADRs in registered form are designed for use in domestic securities markets and are traded on exchanges or over-the-counter in the United States. Global Depositary Receipts ('GDRs'), European Depositary Receipts ('EDRs'), and International Depositary Receipts ('IDRs') are similar to ADRs in that they are certificates evidencing ownership of shares of a foreign issuer, however, GDRs, EDRs, and IDRs may be issued in bearer form and denominated in other currencies, and are generally designed for use in specific or multiple securities markets outside the U.S. EDRs, for example, are designed for use in European securities markets, while GDRs are designed for use throughout the world. Depositary receipts will not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as their underlying securities.
The Fund will not invest in any unlisted Depositary Receipts or any Depositary Receipt that the Adviser deems to be illiquid or for which pricing information is not readily available. In addition, all Depositary Receipts generally must be sponsored. However, the Fund may invest in unsponsored Depositary Receipts under certain limited circumstances. The issuers of unsponsored Depositary Receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States and, therefore, there may be less information available regarding such issuers and there may not be a correlation between such information and the value of the Depositary Receipts.
Derivatives. The Fund will use derivative instruments as part of its investment strategies. Generally, derivatives are financial contracts whose value depends upon, or is derived from, the value of an underlying asset, reference rate, or index, and may relate to bonds, interest rates, currencies, commodities, and related indexes. Examples of derivative instruments include futures contracts and options on futures contracts. To the extent the Fund's use of derivative instruments creates liabilities for the Fund, such derivative instruments will be underpinned by investments in short-term, high-quality instruments, such as U.S. money market securities.
With respect to certain kinds of derivative transactions that involve obligations to make future payments to third parties, including, but not limited to, futures contracts, forward contracts, swap contracts, the purchase of securities on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis, or reverse repurchase agreements, under applicable federal securities laws, rules, and interpretations thereof, the Fund must 'set aside' liquid assets, or engage in other measures to 'cover' open positions with respect to such transactions. For example, with respect to forward contracts and futures contracts that are not contractually required to 'cash-settle,' the Fund must cover its open positions by setting aside liquid assets equal to the contracts' full, notional value. The Fund treats deliverable forward contracts for currencies that are liquid as the equivalent of 'cash-settled' contracts. As such, the Fund may set aside liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund's daily marked-to-market (net) obligation (i.e., the Fund's daily net liability if any) rather than the full notional amount under such deliverable forward contracts. Similarly, with respect to futures contracts that are contractually required to 'cash-settle' the Fund may set aside liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund's daily marked-to-market (net) obligation rather than the notional value. The Fund reserves the right to modify these policies in the future.
Commodity-Linked Instruments. There are several additional risks associated with transactions in commodity futures contracts, swaps on commodity futures contracts, commodity forward contracts and other commodities instruments. In the commodity instruments markets, producers of the underlying commodity may decide to hedge the price risk of selling the commodity by selling commodity instruments today to lock in the price of the commodity at delivery tomorrow. In order to induce speculators to purchase the other side of the same commodity instrument, the commodity producer generally must sell the commodity instrument at a lower price than the expected future spot price. Conversely, if most hedgers in the commodity instruments market are purchasing commodity instruments to hedge against a rise in prices, then speculators will only sell the other side of the commodity instrument at a higher future price than the expected future spot price of the commodity. The changing nature of the hedgers and speculators in the commodity markets will influence whether futures prices are above or below the expected future spot price, which can have significant implications for the Fund. If the nature of hedgers and speculators in commodity instrument markets has shifted when it is time for the Fund to reinvest the proceeds of a maturing contract in a new commodity instrument, the Fund might reinvest at a higher or lower future price, or choose to pursue other investments. The commodities which underlie commodity instruments may be subject to additional economic and non-economic variables, such as drought, floods, weather, livestock disease, embargoes, tariffs, and international economic, political and regulatory developments. These factors may have a larger impact on commodity prices and commodity-linked instruments than on traditional securities. Certain commodities are also subject to limited pricing flexibility because of supply and demand factors. Others
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are subject to broad price fluctuations as a result of the volatility of the prices for certain raw materials and the instability of supplies of other materials. These additional variables may create additional investment risks which subject the Fund's investments to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities. Also, unlike the financial instruments markets, in the commodity instruments markets there are costs of physical storage associated with purchasing the underlying commodity. The price of the commodity instruments contract will reflect the storage costs of purchasing the physical commodity, including the time value of money invested in the physical commodity. To the extent that the storage costs for an underlying commodity change while the Fund is invested in instruments on that commodity, the value of the commodity instrument may change proportionately. Pursuant to Rule 4.5 under CEA, the Fund does not qualify for an exclusion from the definition of a commodity pool. Accordingly, The Fund is registered as a commodity pool and the Adviser is registered as a 'commodity pool operator' under the CEA and CFTC rules with respect to the Fund.
Futures, Options, and Options on Futures Contracts. The Fund may enter into U.S. or foreign futures contracts, options, and options on futures contracts. When the Fund purchases a futures contract, it agrees to purchase a specified underlying instrument at a specified future date. When the Fund sells a futures contract, it agrees to sell the underlying instrument at a specified future date. The price at which the purchase and sale will take place is fixed when the Fund enters into the contract. Futures can be held until their delivery dates, or can be closed out before then if a liquid secondary market is available. To the extent the Fund uses futures and options, it will do so only in accordance with applicable requirements of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936, as amended ('CEA') and the rules thereunder.
The risk of loss in trading futures contracts or uncovered call options in some strategies (e.g., selling uncovered stock index futures contracts) is potentially unlimited. The Fund does not plan to use futures and options contracts in this way. The risk of a futures position may still be large as traditionally measured due to the low margin deposits required. In many cases, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss or gain to the investor relative to the size of a required margin deposit.
Utilization of futures and options on futures by the Fund involves the risk of imperfect or even negative correlation to the index underlying the futures contract. There is also the risk of loss by the Fund of margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of a broker with whom the Fund has an open position in the futures contract or option. The purchase of put or call options will be based upon predictions by the Fund as to anticipated trends, which predictions could prove to be incorrect.
The potential for loss related to the purchase of an option on a futures contract is limited to the premium paid for the option plus transaction costs. Because the value of the option is fixed at the point of sale, there are no daily cash payments by the purchaser to reflect changes in the value of the underlying contract; however, the value of the option changes daily and that change would be reflected in the NAV of the Fund. The potential for loss related to writing options may be unlimited.
Although the Fund intends to enter into futures contracts only if there is an active market for such contracts, there is no assurance that an active market will exist for the contracts at any particular time.
Risks of Potential Government Regulation of Derivatives. It is possible that additional government regulation of various types of derivative instruments, including futures, and swap agreements, may limit or prevent the Fund from using such instruments as part of its investment strategy, and could ultimately prevent the Fund from being able to achieve its investment objectives. It is impossible to fully predict the effects of past, present or future legislation and regulation in this area, but the effects could be substantial and adverse. It is possible that legislative and regulatory activity could limit or restrict the ability of the Fund to use certain instruments as part of its investment strategy. Limits or restrictions applicable to the counterparties with which the Fund engages in derivative transactions could also prevent such Fund from using certain instruments.
There is a possibility of future regulatory changes altering, perhaps to a material extent, the nature of an investment in each Fund or the ability of each Fund to continue to implement its investment strategies. The futures and swaps markets are subject to comprehensive statutes, regulations, and margin requirements. In addition, the SEC, the CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the implementation or reduction of speculative position limits, the implementation of higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits, and the suspension of trading. The regulation of futures and swap transactions in the U.S. is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government action. In particular, Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act set forth a new legislative framework for OTC derivatives, including financial instruments, such as swaps, in which the Fund may invest. The provisions of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act have not yet been fully implemented and accordingly, it is not possible at this time to gauge the exact nature and scope of the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on the Fund. However, swap dealers, major market participants and swap counterparties are now becoming subject to new and/or additional regulations, requirements, compliance burdens and associated costs. This law and the rules to be promulgated may negatively impact each Fund's ability to meet its investment objective either through limits or requirements imposed on it or upon its counterparties. In particular, position limits imposed on each Fund or its counterparties may impact the Fund's ability to invest in futures and swaps in a manner that efficiently meets its investment objective. New requirements, even if not directly applicable to the Fund, including capital requirements and mandatory clearing, may increase the cost of the Fund's investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors.
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New Rule 18f-4 (the 'Derivatives Rule'), adopted by the SEC on October 28, 2020, replaces the asset segregation regime of Investment Company Act Release No. 10666 (Release 10666) with a new framework for the use of derivatives by registered funds. On August 19, 2022, the SEC will rescind Release 10666 and withdraw letters and similar guidance addressing a fund's use of derivatives and require funds to satisfy the requirements of the Derivatives Rule. Unless the Fund elects to comply early with the Derivatives Rule, the Fund may continue to engage in certain asset segregation practices in accordance with Release 10666 and related staff letters and guidance until August 19, 2022.
Regulation of Derivatives in Europe. The European Markets and Infrastructure Regulation ('EMIR') introduces uniform requirements in respect of OTC derivative contracts by requiring certain 'eligible' OTC derivative contracts to be submitted for clearing to regulated central clearing counterparties and by mandating the reporting of certain details of OTC derivative contracts to trade repositories. In addition, EMIR imposes requirements for appropriate procedures and arrangements to measure, monitor and mitigate operational counterparty credit risk in respect of OTC derivatives contracts which are not subject to mandatory clearing. These requirements are likely to include the posting and segregation of collateral, not only to and for, but also by, each Fund.
Many provisions of EMIR require the adoption of delegated acts by the European Commission before becoming fully effective. Accordingly, it is difficult to predict the precise impact of EMIR on the Fund. However, investors should be aware that the regulatory changes arising from EMIR may in due course adversely affect the Fund's ability to adhere to its investment approach and achieve its investment objective.
Counterparty Credit Risk. The Fund is subject to counterparty credit risk with respect to their use of derivative and short sale transactions. If a counterparty to a derivatives contract becomes bankrupt or otherwise fails to perform its obligations due to financial difficulties, the Fund may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery in a bankruptcy or other reorganization proceeding. The Fund may obtain only a limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances. To partially mitigate this risk, the Adviser will seek to effect derivative transactions only with counterparties that it believes are creditworthy. However, there is no assurance that a counterparty will remain creditworthy or solvent.
Equity Securities. Equity securities, such as the common stocks of an issuer, are subject to stock market fluctuations and therefore may experience volatile changes in value as market conditions, consumer sentiment or the financial condition of the issuers change. A decrease in value of the equity securities in the Fund's portfolio may also cause the value of Shares to decline.
An investment in the Fund should be made with an understanding of the risks inherent in an investment in equity securities, including the risk that the financial condition of issuers may become impaired or that the general condition of the stock market may deteriorate (either of which may cause a decrease in the value of the Fund's portfolio securities and therefore a decrease in the value of Shares). Common stocks are susceptible to general stock market fluctuations and to volatile increases and decreases in value as market confidence and perceptions change. These investor perceptions are based on various and unpredictable factors, including expectations regarding government, economic, monetary and fiscal policies; inflation and interest rates; economic expansion or contraction; and global or regional political, economic, public health, or banking crises.
Holders of common stocks incur more risk than holders of preferred stocks and debt obligations because common stockholders, as owners of the issuer, generally have inferior rights to receive payments from the issuer in comparison with the rights of creditors or holders of debt obligations or preferred stocks. Further, unlike debt securities, which typically have a stated principal amount payable at maturity (whose value, however, is subject to market fluctuations prior thereto), or preferred stocks, which typically have a liquidation preference and which may have stated optional or mandatory redemption provisions, common stocks have neither a fixed principal amount nor a maturity. Common stock values are subject to market fluctuations as long as the common stock remains outstanding.
When-Issued Securities - A when-issued security is one whose terms are available and for which a market exists, but which has not been issued. When the Fund engages in when-issued transactions, it relies on the other party to consummate the sale. If the other party fails to complete the sale, the Fund may miss the opportunity to obtain the security at a favorable price or yield.
When purchasing a security on a when-issued basis, the Fund assumes the rights and risks of ownership of the security, including the risk of price and yield changes. At the time of settlement, the value of the security may be more or less than the purchase price. The yield available in the market when the delivery takes place also may be higher than those obtained in the transaction itself. Because the Fund does not pay for the security until the delivery date, these risks are in addition to the risks associated with its other investments.
Decisions to enter into 'when-issued' transactions will be considered on a case-by-case basis when necessary to maintain continuity in a company's index membership. The Fund will segregate cash or liquid securities equal in value to commitments for the when-issued transactions. The Fund will segregate additional liquid assets daily so that the value of such assets is equal to the amount of the commitments.
Types of Equity Securities:
Common Stocks - Common stocks represent units of ownership in a company. Common stocks usually carry voting rights and earn dividends. Unlike preferred stocks, which are described below, dividends on common stocks are not fixed but are declared at the discretion of the company's board of directors.
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Preferred Stocks - Preferred stocks are also units of ownership in a company. Preferred stocks normally have preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of the company. However, in all other respects, preferred stocks are subordinated to the liabilities of the issuer. Unlike common stocks, preferred stocks are generally not entitled to vote on corporate matters. Types of preferred stocks include adjustable-rate preferred stock, fixed dividend preferred stock, perpetual preferred stock, and sinking fund preferred stock.
Generally, the market values of preferred stock with a fixed dividend rate and no conversion element vary inversely with interest rates and perceived credit risk.
Rights and Warrants - A right is a privilege granted to existing shareholders of a corporation to subscribe to shares of a new issue of common stock before it is issued. Rights normally have a short life of usually two to four weeks, are freely transferable and entitle the holder to buy the new common stock at a lower price than the public offering price. Warrants are securities that are usually issued together with a debt security or preferred stock and that give the holder the right to buy proportionate amount of common stock at a specified price. Warrants are freely transferable and are traded on major exchanges. Unlike rights, warrants normally have a life that is measured in years and entitles the holder to buy common stock of a company at a price that is usually higher than the market price at the time the warrant is issued. Corporations often issue warrants to make the accompanying debt security more attractive.
An investment in warrants and rights may entail greater risks than certain other types of investments. Generally, rights and warrants do not carry the right to receive dividends or exercise voting rights with respect to the underlying securities, and they do not represent any rights in the assets of the issuer. In addition, their value does not necessarily change with the value of the underlying securities, and they cease to have value if they are not exercised on or before their expiration date. Investing in rights and warrants increases the potential profit or loss to be realized from the investment as compared with investing the same amount in the underlying securities.
Medium-Sized Companies - Investors in medium-sized companies typically take on greater risk and price volatility than they would by investing in larger, more established companies. This increased risk may be due to the greater business risks of their medium size, limited markets and financial resources, narrow product lines and frequent lack of management depth. The securities of medium-sized companies are often traded in the over-the-counter market and might not be traded in volumes typical of securities traded on a national securities exchange. Thus, the securities of medium capitalization companies are likely to be less liquid, and subject to more abrupt or erratic market movements, than securities of larger, more established companies.
Smaller Companies - The securities of small- and mid-capitalization companies may be more vulnerable to adverse issuer, market, political, or economic developments than securities of larger-capitalization companies. The securities of small- and mid-capitalization companies generally trade in lower volumes and are subject to greater and more unpredictable price changes than larger capitalization stocks or the stock market as a whole. Some small- or mid-capitalization companies have limited product lines, markets, and financial and managerial resources and tend to concentrate on fewer geographical markets relative to larger capitalization companies. There is typically less publicly available information concerning small- and mid-capitalization companies than for larger, more established companies. Small- and mid-capitalization companies also may be particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates, government regulation, borrowing costs, and earnings.
Tracking Stocks -The Fund may invest in tracking stocks. A tracking stock is a separate class of common stock whose value is linked to a specific business unit or operating division within a larger company and which is designed to 'track' the performance of such business unit or division. The tracking stock may pay dividends to shareholders independent of the parent company. The parent company, rather than the business unit or division, generally is the issuer of tracking stock. However, holders of the tracking stock may not have the same rights as holders of the company's common stock.
Illiquid Investments.The Fund may invest up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments, as such term is defined by Rule 22e-4 of the 1940 Act. The Fund may not invest in illiquid investments if, as a result of such investment, more than 15% of the Fund's net assets would be invested in illiquid investments. Illiquid investments include securities subject to contractual or other restrictions on resale and other instruments that lack readily available markets. The inability of the Fund to dispose of illiquid investments readily or at a reasonable price could impair the Fund's ability to raise cash for redemptions or other purposes. The liquidity of securities purchased by the Fund that are eligible for resale pursuant to Rule 144A, except for certain 144A bonds, will be monitored by the Fund on an ongoing basis. In the event that more than 15% of its net assets are invested in illiquid investments, the Fund, in accordance with Rule 22e-4(b)(1)(iv), will report the occurrence to both the Board and the SEC and seek to reduce its holdings of illiquid investments within a reasonable period of time.
Investment Company Securities. The Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies, including money market funds and ETFs, subject to applicable limitations under Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act and Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act. Investing in another pooled vehicle exposes the Fund to all the risks of that pooled vehicle. Pursuant to Section 12(d)(1), the Fund may invest in the securities of another investment company (the 'acquired company') provided that the Fund, immediately after such purchase or acquisition, does not own in the aggregate: (i) more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired company; (ii) securities issued by the acquired company having an aggregate value in excess of 5% of the value of the total assets of the Fund; or (iii) securities issued by the acquired company and all other investment companies (other than treasury stock of the Fund) having an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the value of the total assets of the Fund. To the extent allowed by law or regulation, the Fund may invest its assets in securities of investment companies that are money market funds in excess of the limits discussed above.
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If the Fund invests in and, thus, is a shareholder of, another investment company, the Fund's shareholders will indirectly bear the Fund's proportionate share of the fees and expenses paid by such other investment company, including advisory fees, in addition to both the management fees payable directly by the Fund to the Fund's own investment adviser and the other expenses that the Fund bears directly in connection with the Fund's own operations.
Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by registered investment companies in securities of other registered investment companies, including the Fund. The acquisition of Shares by registered investment companies is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act, except as may be permitted by exemptive rules under the 1940 Act or as may be permitted by an exemptive order that permits registered investment companies to invest in the Fund beyond the limits of Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions, including that the registered investment company enter into an agreement with the Fund regarding the terms of the investment.
The Fund may rely on Section 12(d)(1)(F) and Rule 12d1-3 of the 1940 Act, which provide an exemption from Section 12(d)(1) that allows the Fund to invest all of its assets in other registered funds, including ETFs, if, among other conditions: (a) the Fund, together with its affiliates, acquires no more than 3% of the outstanding voting stock of any acquired fund, and (b) the sales load charged on Shares is no greater than the limits set forth in Rule 2341 of the Conduct Rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. ('FINRA'). Additionally, the Fund may rely on exemptive relief issued by the SEC to other registered funds, including ETFs, or on Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act to invest in such other funds in excess of the limits of Section 12(d)(1) if the Fund complies with the terms and conditions of such exemptive relief or rule.
Non-U.S. Securities. Investments in non-U.S. securities involve certain risks that may not be present in investments in U.S. securities. For example, non-U.S. securities may be subject to currency risks or to political or economic instability. There may be less information publicly available about a non-U.S. issuer than about a U.S. issuer, and a foreign issuer may or may not be subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices comparable to those in the U.S. Investments in non-U.S. securities may be subject to withholding or other taxes and may be subject to additional trading, settlement, custodial, and operational risks. Other risks of investing in such securities include political or economic instability in the country involved, the difficulty of predicting international trade patterns and the possibility of imposition of exchange controls. The prices of such securities may be more volatile than those of domestic securities. With respect to certain foreign countries, there is a possibility of expropriation of assets or nationalization, imposition of withholding taxes on dividend or interest payments, difficulty in obtaining and enforcing judgments against foreign entities or diplomatic developments which could affect investment in these countries. Losses and other expenses may be incurred in converting between various currencies in connection with purchases and sales of foreign securities. Since foreign exchanges may be open on days when the Fund does not price its Shares, the value of the securities in the Fund's portfolio may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell Shares. Conversely, Shares may trade on days when foreign exchanges are closed. Each of these factors can make investments in the Fund more volatile and potentially less liquid than other types of investments.
Non-U.S. stock markets may not be as developed or efficient as, and may be more volatile than, those in the U.S. While the volume of shares traded on non-U.S. stock markets generally has been growing, such markets usually have substantially less volume than U.S. markets. Therefore, the Fund's investment in non-U.S. equity securities may be less liquid and subject to more rapid and erratic price movements than comparable securities listed for trading on U.S. exchanges. Non-U.S. equity securities may trade at price/earnings multiples higher than comparable U.S. securities and such levels may not be sustainable. There may be less government supervision and regulation of foreign stock exchanges, brokers, banks and listed companies abroad than in the U.S. Moreover, settlement practices for transactions in foreign markets may differ from those in U.S. markets. Such differences may include delays beyond periods customary in the U.S. and practices, such as delivery of securities prior to receipt of payment, that increase the likelihood of a failed settlement, which can result in losses to the Fund. The value of non-U.S. investments and the investment income derived from them may also be affected unfavorably by changes in currency exchange control regulations. Foreign brokerage commissions, custodial expenses and other fees are also generally higher than for securities traded in the U.S. This may cause the Fund to incur higher portfolio transaction costs than domestic equity funds. Fluctuations in exchange rates may also affect the earning power and asset value of the foreign entity issuing a security, even one denominated in U.S. dollars. Dividend and interest payments may be repatriated based on the exchange rate at the time of disbursement, and restrictions on capital flows may be imposed.
Set forth below for certain markets in which the Fund may invest are brief descriptions of some of the conditions and risks in each such market.
Investments in Canada. The U.S. is Canada's largest trading partner and foreign investor. As a result, changes to the U.S. economy may significantly affect the Canadian economy. The Canadian economy is reliant on the sale of natural resources and commodities, which can pose risks such as the fluctuation of prices and the variability of demand for exportation of such products. Canada is a major producer of commodities such as zinc, uranium, forest products, metals, agricultural products, and energy related products like oil, gas, and hydroelectricity. Changes in spending on Canadian products by the economies of other countries or changes in any of these economies may cause a significant impact on the Canadian economy.
Other Short-Term Instruments. In addition to repurchase agreements, the Fund may invest in short-term instruments, including money market instruments, on an ongoing basis to provide liquidity or for other reasons. Money market instruments are generally
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short-term investments that may include but are not limited to: (i) shares of money market funds; (ii) obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities (including government-sponsored enterprises); (iii) negotiable certificates of deposit ('CDs'), bankers' acceptances, fixed time deposits and other obligations of U.S. and foreign banks (including foreign branches) and similar institutions; (iv) commercial paper rated at the date of purchase 'Prime-1' by Moody's or 'A‑1' by S&P or, if unrated, of comparable quality as determined by the Adviser; (v) non-convertible corporate debt securities (e.g., bonds and debentures) with remaining maturities at the date of purchase of not more than 397 days and that satisfy the rating requirements set forth in Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act; and (vi) short-term U.S. dollar-denominated obligations of foreign banks (including U.S. branches) that, in the opinion of the Adviser, are of comparable quality to obligations of U.S. banks which may be purchased by the Fund. Any of these instruments may be purchased on a current or a forward-settled basis. Money market instruments also include shares of money market funds. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in banking institutions for specified periods of time at stated interest rates. Bankers' acceptances are time drafts drawn on commercial banks by borrowers, usually in connection with international transactions.
Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may invest in repurchase agreements with commercial banks, brokers or dealers to generate income from its excess cash balances and to invest securities lending cash collateral. A repurchase agreement is an agreement under which the Fund acquires a financial instrument (e.g., a security issued by the U.S. government or an agency thereof, a banker's acceptance or a certificate of deposit) from a seller, subject to resale to the seller at an agreed upon price and date (normally, the next Business Day). A repurchase agreement may be considered a loan collateralized by securities. The resale price reflects an agreed upon interest rate effective for the period the instrument is held by the Fund and is unrelated to the interest rate on the underlying instrument.
In these repurchase agreement transactions, the securities acquired by the Fund (including accrued interest earned thereon) must have a total value in excess of the value of the repurchase agreement and are held by the Custodian until repurchased. No more than an aggregate of 15% of the Fund's net assets will be invested in illiquid investments, including repurchase agreements having maturities longer than seven days and securities subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale, or for which there are no readily available market quotations.
The use of repurchase agreements involves certain risks. For example, if the other party to the agreement defaults on its obligation to repurchase the underlying security at a time when the value of the security has declined, the Fund may incur a loss upon disposition of the security. If the other party to the agreement becomes insolvent and subject to liquidation or reorganization under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or other laws, a court may determine that the underlying security is collateral for a loan by the Fund not within the control of the Fund and, therefore, the Fund may not be able to substantiate its interest in the underlying security and may be deemed an unsecured creditor of the other party to the agreement.
Securities Lending. The Fund may lend portfolio securities to certain creditworthy borrowers, including the Fund's securities lending agent. The borrowers provide collateral that is maintained in an amount at least equal to the current value of the securities loaned. The Fund may terminate a loan at any time and obtain the return of the securities loaned. The lending Fund receives the value of any interest or cash or non-cash distributions paid on the loaned securities. Distributions received on loaned securities in lieu of dividend payments (i.e., substitute payments) would not be considered qualified dividend income.
With respect to loans that are collateralized by cash, the borrower will be entitled to receive a fee based on the amount of cash collateral. The Fund is compensated by the difference between the amount earned on the reinvestment of cash collateral and the fee paid to the borrower. In the case of collateral other than cash, the Fund is compensated by a fee paid by the borrower equal to a percentage of the value of the loaned securities. Any cash collateral may be reinvested in certain short-term instruments either directly on behalf of the lending Fund or through one or more private funds, joint accounts, or money market funds.
The Fund may pay a portion of the interest or fees earned from securities lending to a borrower as described above, and to one or more securities lending agents approved by the Board who administer the lending program for the Fund in accordance with guidelines approved by the Board. In such capacity, the lending agent causes the delivery of loaned securities from the Fund to borrowers, arranges for the return of loaned securities to the Fund at the termination of a loan, requests deposit of collateral, monitors the daily value of the loaned securities and collateral, requests that borrowers add to the collateral when required by the loan agreements, and provides recordkeeping and accounting services necessary for the operation of the program.
Securities lending involves exposure to certain risks, including operational risk (i.e., the risk of losses resulting from problems in the settlement and accounting process), 'gap' risk (i.e., the risk of a mismatch between the return on cash collateral reinvestments and the fees the Fund has agreed to pay a borrower), and credit, legal, counterparty and market risk. In the event a borrower does not return the Fund's securities as agreed, the Fund may experience losses if the proceeds received from liquidating the collateral do not at least equal the value of the loaned security at the time the collateral is liquidated plus the transaction costs incurred in purchasing replacement securities. Furthermore, because of the risks of delay in recovery, the Fund may lose the opportunity to sell the securities at a desirable price. The Fund will generally not have the right to vote securities while they are being loaned.
Subsidiary Risks. The Fund may invest up to 25% of its assets in a subsidiary that is wholly-owned by the Fund and organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the 'Subsidiary'), the registered offices of which are located at [ ], Cayman Islands. The Fund is currently the sole shareholder of the Subsidiary, and does not expect shares of the Subsidiary to be offered or sold to other investors.
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The Fund will invest in the Subsidiary in order to gain exposure to the investment returns of the commodities markets within the limitations of the federal tax law requirements applicable to RICs. The Subsidiary may invest without limitation in commodity-linked derivative instruments, including commodity futures contracts, swap agreements, commodity-linked structured notes, as well as other instruments intended to serve as margin or collateral for these derivative instruments. The Subsidiary may invest in any type of investment in which the Fund is permitted to invest, as described in the Prospectus and this SAI. The Fund's investment in the Subsidiary will not exceed 25% of the value of the Fund's total assets (notwithstanding any subsequent market appreciation in the Subsidiary's value). Asset limitations are imposed by the Code and are measured at each taxable year and quarter end. The Adviser also serves as the investment adviser to the Subsidiary, but will not receive separate compensation.
The Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act, but will be subject to certain protections of the 1940 Act with respect to the Fund, as described in this SAI. All of the Fund's investments in the Subsidiary will be subject to the investment policies and restrictions of the Fund, including those related to leverage, collateral and segregation requirements, and liquidity. In addition, the valuation and brokerage policies of the Fund will be applied to the Subsidiary. The Fund's investments in the Subsidiary are not subject to all investor protection provisions of the 1940 Act. To the extent applicable, the Subsidiary otherwise is subject to the same fundamental investment restrictions as the Fund and, in particular, to the same requirements relating to portfolio leverage, liquidity, and the timing and method of valuation of portfolio investments and Fund shares. Accordingly, references in this SAI to the Fund may also include the Subsidiary. By investing in the Subsidiary, the Fund may be considered to be investing indirectly in the same investments as the Subsidiary and is indirectly exposed to the risk associated with those investments. Because the Fund is the sole investor in the Subsidiary, it is not likely that the Subsidiary will take any action that is contrary to the interests of the Fund and its shareholders.
The Subsidiary has a board of directors that oversees its activities. The Subsidiary has entered into a separate investment advisory agreement with the Adviser. [The Subsidiary also has entered into agreements with the Fund's service providers for the provision of administrative, accounting, transfer agency, and custody services.]
The Subsidiary is subject to regulation as a commodity pool under the CEA and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ('CFTC') rules and regulations. The Adviser serves as the 'commodity pool operator' ('CPO') of the Subsidiary. The Adviser is registered as a CPO with the CFTC and is a member of the National Futures Association ('NFA'). Although the Subsidiary is subject to regulation as a commodity pool, the Fund's trading in commodity interests will be limited. There is no assurance that the Adviser will remain a registered CPO with respect to the Subsidiary, or that the Subsidiary will remain a commodity pool to the extent that one or more exclusions or exemptions are available under applicable CFTC regulations. The Adviser currently does not rely on an exclusion from the definition of CPO in CFTC Rule 4.5 with respect to the Fund. The Adviser is subject to dual regulation by the CFTC and the SEC. The CFTC adopted regulations that seek to 'harmonize' CFTC regulations with overlapping SEC rules and regulations. The Adviser has availed itself of the CFTC's substituted compliance option under the harmonization regulations with respect to the Fund by filing a notice with the National Futures Association. The Adviser will remain subject to certain CFTC-mandated disclosure, reporting and recordkeeping regulations.
The financial information of the Subsidiary will be consolidated into the Fund's financial statements, as contained within the Fund's annual and semi-annual reports provided to shareholders.
Regulatory changes, including changes in the laws of the U.S. or the Cayman Islands, could result in the inability of the Fund and/or the Subsidiary to operate as described in the Fund's Prospectus and this SAI. Such changes could potentially impact the Fund's ability to implement its investment strategy and could result in decreased investment returns. In addition, in the event changes to the laws of the Cayman Islands require the Subsidiary to pay taxes to a governmental authority, the Fund would be likely to suffer decreased returns.
In order to qualify as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code and be eligible to receive 'pass-through' tax treatment, the Fund must, among other things, meet certain requirements regarding the source of its income, the diversification of its assets and the distribution of its income. Under the source of income test, at least 90% of a RIC's gross income each year must be 'qualifying income,' which generally consists of dividends, interest, gains on investment assets and certain other categories of investment income. Qualifying income generally does not include income derived directly from commodities, including certain commodity-linked derivatives. When a RIC is a 'U.S. Shareholder' of certain foreign subsidiaries ('controlled foreign corporations' or 'CFCs'), the RIC will generally be required to include in gross income certain income whether or not such income is distributed by the CFC. Under final Treasury Regulations issued in 2019 ('the Final Regulations'), both imputed and actual distributions from a CFC are generally treated as qualifying income under the RIC source of income test. The Fund's investment in the Subsidiary is intended to provide the Fund with exposure to the commodities markets within the limitations of the Code such that the Fund continues to qualify as a RIC, but there is a risk that the Internal Revenue Service ('IRS') could assert that the income that the Fund derives from the Subsidiary and/or certain commodity-linked structured notes will not be considered qualifying income for purposes of the source of income test.
The IRS issued many private letter rulings (which the Fund may not use or cite as precedent because only the recipient of a private letter ruling may rely upon it) between 2006 and 2011 concluding that income a RIC derives from a CFC, such as the Subsidiary, which earns income derived from commodities is qualifying income.
In the past, there have been some indications that the aforementioned 2006 to 2011 private letter rulings may no longer represent the IRS' views. The policies underlying those private letter rulings would have been officially overturned if Treasury Regulations
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proposed on September 28, 2016 (the 'Proposed Regulations') were finalized as proposed. Under the Proposed Regulations, the Subpart F Inclusions, which the 2006 through 2011 private letter rulings concluded was qualifying income for a RIC, would no longer be considered qualifying income. Instead, only actual distributions that the CFC makes to the RIC out of the CFC's earnings and profits for the applicable taxable year that are attributable to the Subpart F Inclusion ('Earnings and Profits') would qualify. As discussed above, in the Final Regulations, the Proposed Regulations were reversed with respect to this particular issue. Under the Final Regulations, both actual and imputed distributions that the CFC makes to the RIC and Subpart F Inclusions are generally treated as qualifying income under the source of income test, provided that such income is derived with respect to the RIC's business of investing in stock, securities or currencies. However, the Final Regulations do not specifically address distributions or Subpart F Imputations from CFCs that derive income from commodities. The Final Regulations do not clarify whether there are any limitations on whether such income is qualifying income under the source of income test. The Final Regulations also do not expressly adopt or apply the aforementioned 2006-2011 private letter rulings to other taxpayers, although those private letter rulings are consistent with the Final Regulations and may continue to be valid (as opposed to invalid as they would have been under the Proposed Regulations).
The federal income tax treatment of the Fund's income from the Subsidiary also may be negatively affected by future legislation, Treasury Regulations (proposed or final), and/or other IRS guidance or authorities that could affect the character, timing of recognition, and/or amount of the Fund's investment company taxable income and/or net capital gains and, therefore, the distributions it makes. If the Fund failed the source of income test for any taxable year but was eligible to and did cure the failure, it could incur potentially significant additional federal income tax expenses. If, on the other hand, the Fund failed to qualify as a RIC for any taxable year and was ineligible to or otherwise did not cure the failure, it would be subject to federal income tax at the fund level on its taxable income at the regular corporate tax rate (without reduction for distributions to shareholders), with the consequence that its income available for distribution to shareholders would be reduced and distributions from its current or accumulated earnings and profits would generally be taxable to its shareholders as dividend income.
Tax Risks. As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in Shares will be taxed. The tax information in the Prospectus and this SAI is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares.
The Fund intends to qualify annually to be treated as a RIC under the Code. To qualify as a RIC under the Code, the Fund must invest in assets which produce the types of income specified in the Code and the Treasury regulations ('Qualifying Income'). Whether the income from certain derivatives, swaps, commodity-linked derivatives and other commodity/natural resource-related securities, including income from the Fund's investment in the Subsidiary, is Qualifying Income is not entirely clear. The Fund's investment in the Subsidiary is expected to provide the Fund with exposure to the commodities markets within the limitations of the Code for qualification as a RIC, but there is a risk that the IRS could assert that the income derived from the Fund's investment in the Subsidiary and certain commodity-linked structured notes will not be considered Qualifying Income. For more information on the tax risks related to the Subsidiary, see the section 'Subsidiary Risks,' above.
An investment in the Subsidiary generally may not exceed 25% of the value of the Fund's total assets at the end of each quarter of the Fund's taxable year. If the Subsidiary does exceed 25% of the value of the Fund's total assets, in any quarter, the Fund may fail to qualify as a RIC under the Code. See 'Federal Income Taxes' below for additional information related to these restrictions.
In addition, the Fund's transactions in financial instruments, including, but not limited to, options, futures contracts, and hedging transactions, will be subject to special tax rules (which may include mark to market, constructive sale, wash sale, and short sale rules), the effect of which may be to accelerate income to the Fund, defer losses to the Fund, cause adjustments in the holding periods of the Fund's securities, convert long-term capital gains into short-term capital gains or convert short-term capital losses into long-term capital losses. These rules could, therefore, affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to the Fund's shareholders. The Fund's use of such transactions may result in it realizing more short-term capital gains and ordinary income, in each case subject to U.S. federal income tax at higher ordinary income tax rates, than it would if it did not engage in such transactions.
As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in Shares will be taxed. The tax information in the Prospectus and this SAI is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares.
Unless your investment in Shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an individual retirement account, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the Fund makes distributions or you sell Shares.
U.S. Government Securities. The Fund may invest in U.S. government securities. Securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities include U.S. Treasury securities, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury and which differ only in their interest rates, maturities, and times of issuance. U.S. Treasury bills have initial maturities of one-year or less; U.S. Treasury notes have initial maturities of one to ten years; and U.S. Treasury bonds generally have initial maturities of greater than ten years. Certain U.S. government securities are issued or guaranteed by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government including, but not limited to, obligations of U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities such as the Federal National Mortgage Association ('Fannie Mae'), the Government National Mortgage Association ('Ginnie Mae'), the Small Business Administration, the Federal Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Home Loan Banks, Banks for Cooperatives (including the Central Bank for Cooperatives), the Federal Land Banks, the Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the
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Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Federal Financing Bank, the Student Loan Marketing Association, the National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation ('Farmer Mac').
Some obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities, including, for example, Ginnie Mae pass-through certificates, are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. Other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those securities issued by Fannie Mae, are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the federal agency, while other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those of the Federal Home Loan Banks, are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, while the U.S. government provides financial support to such U.S. government-sponsored federal agencies, no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will always do so, since the U.S. government is not so obligated by law. U.S. Treasury notes and bonds typically pay coupon interest semi-annually and repay the principal at maturity.
On September 7, 2008, the U.S. Treasury announced a federal takeover of Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ('Freddie Mac'), placing the two federal instrumentalities in conservatorship. Under the takeover, the U.S. Treasury agreed to acquire $1 billion of senior preferred stock of each instrumentality and obtained warrants for the purchase of common stock of each instrumentality (the 'Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement' or 'Agreement'). Under the Agreement, the U.S. Treasury pledged to provide up to $200 billion per instrumentality as needed, including the contribution of cash capital to the instrumentalities in the event their liabilities exceed their assets. This was intended to ensure that the instrumentalities maintain a positive net worth and meet their financial obligations, preventing mandatory triggering of receivership. On December 24, 2009, the U.S. Treasury announced that it was amending the Agreement to allow the $200 billion cap on the U.S. Treasury's funding commitment to increase as necessary to accommodate any cumulative reduction in net worth over the next three years. As a result of this Agreement, the investments of holders, including the Fund, of mortgage-backed securities and other obligations issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are protected.
The total public debt of the United States as a percentage of gross domestic product has grown rapidly since the beginning of the 2008-2009 financial downturn. Although high debt levels do not necessarily indicate or cause economic problems, they may create certain systemic risks if sound debt management practices are not implemented. A high national debt can raise concerns that the U.S. government will not be able to make principal or interest payments when they are due. This increase has also necessitated the need for the U.S. Congress to negotiate adjustments to the statutory debt limit to increase the cap on the amount the U.S. government is permitted to borrow to meet its existing obligations and finance current budget deficits. In August 2011, S&P lowered its long-term sovereign credit rating on the U.S. In explaining the downgrade at that time, S&P cited, among other reasons, controversy over raising the statutory debt limit and growth in public spending. On August 2, 2019, following passage by Congress, the President of the United States signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, which suspended the statutory debt limit through July 31, 2021. Congress has not yet acted to either extend the suspension or permanently raise the debt limit and, until it does, the U.S. government is implementing extraordinary measures, such as temporarily suspending payments to federal retirement funds. Any controversy or ongoing uncertainty regarding the statutory debt ceiling negotiations may impact the U.S. long-term sovereign credit rating and may cause market uncertainty. As a result, market prices and yields of securities supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government may be adversely affected.
INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS
The Trust has adopted the following investment restrictions as fundamental policies with respect to the Fund. These restrictions cannot be changed with respect to the Fund without the approval of the holders of a majority of the Fund's outstanding voting securities. For the purposes of the 1940 Act, a 'majority of outstanding shares' means the vote of the lesser of: (1) 67% or more of the voting securities of the Fund present at the meeting if the holders of more than 50% of the Fund's outstanding voting securities are present or represented by proxy; or (2) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund.
Except with the approval of a majority of the outstanding voting securities, the Fund may not:
1.Concentrate its investments (i.e., hold more than 25% of its total assets) in any industry or group of related industries, except that the Fund may invest more than 25% of its total assets in investments that provide exposure to bitcoin and/or bitcoin futures contracts. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. government (including its agencies and instrumentalities), repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, registered investment companies, and tax-exempt securities of state or municipal governments and their political subdivisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry.
2.Borrow money or issue senior securities (as defined under the 1940 Act), except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act.
3.Make loans, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act.
4.Purchase or sell real estate unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. This shall not prevent the Fund from investing in securities or other instruments backed by real estate, REITs, or securities of companies engaged in the real estate business.
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5.Purchase or sell physical commodities unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. This shall not prevent the Fund from purchasing or selling options and futures contracts or from investing in securities or other instruments backed by physical commodities.
6.Underwrite securities issued by other persons, except to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act.
If a percentage limitation is adhered to at the time of investment or contract, a later increase or decrease in percentage resulting from any change in value or total or net assets will not result in a violation of such restriction, except that the percentage limitation with respect to the borrowing of money will be observed continuously.
EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING
Shares are listed for trading and trade throughout the day on the Exchange.
There can be no assurance that the Fund will continue to meet the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares. The Exchange will consider the suspension of trading in, and will initiate delisting proceedings of, the Shares if any of the requirements set forth in the Exchange rules, including compliance with Rule 6c-11(c) under the 1940 Act, are not continuously maintained or such other event shall occur or condition shall exist that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. The Exchange will remove the Shares of the Fund from listing and trading upon termination of the Fund.
The Trust reserves the right to adjust the price levels of Shares in the future to help maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of the Fund.
MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST
Board Responsibilities. The management and affairs of the Trust and its series are overseen by the Board, which elects the officers of the Trust who are responsible for administering the day-to-day operations of the Trust and the Fund. The Board has approved contracts, as described below, under which certain companies provide essential services to the Trust.
The day-to-day business of the Trust, including the management of risk, is performed by third-party service providers, such as the Adviser, the Distributor, and the Administrator. The Board is responsible for overseeing the Trust's service providers and, thus, has oversight responsibility with respect to risk management performed by those service providers. Risk management seeks to identify and address risks, i.e., events or circumstances that could have material adverse effects on the business, operations, shareholder services, investment performance, or reputation of the Fund. The Fund and its service providers employ a variety of processes, procedures, and controls to identify such events or circumstances, to lessen the probability of their occurrence and/or to mitigate the effects of such events or circumstances if they do occur. Each service provider is responsible for one or more discrete aspects of the Trust's business and, consequently, for managing the risks associated with that business. The Board has emphasized to the Fund's service providers the importance of maintaining vigorous risk management.
The Board's role in risk oversight begins before the inception of the Fund, at which time certain of the Fund's service providers present the Board with information concerning the investment objectives, strategies, and risks of the Fund as well as proposed investment limitations for the Fund. Additionally, the Adviser provides the Board with an overview of, among other things, its investment philosophy, brokerage practices, and compliance infrastructure. Thereafter, the Board continues its oversight function as various personnel, including the Trust's Chief Compliance Officer, as well as personnel of the Adviser, and other service providers such as the Fund's independent accountants, make periodic reports to the Audit Committee or to the Board with respect to various aspects of risk management. The Board and the Audit Committee oversee efforts by management and service providers to manage risks to which the Fund may be exposed.
The Board is responsible for overseeing the nature, extent, and quality of the services provided to the Fund by the Adviser and receives information about those services at its regular meetings. In addition, on an annual basis (following the initial two-year period), in connection with its consideration of whether to renew the Investment Advisory Agreement with the Adviser, the Board or its designee may meet with the Adviser to review such services. Among other things, the Board regularly considers the Adviser's adherence to the Fund's investment restrictions and compliance with various Fund policies and procedures and with applicable securities regulations. The Board also reviews information about the Fund's performance and the Fund's investments, including, for example, portfolio holdings schedules.
The Trust's Chief Compliance Officer reports regularly to the Board to review and discuss compliance issues and Fund and Adviser risk assessments. At least annually, the Trust's Chief Compliance Officer provides the Board with a report reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of the Trust's policies and procedures and those of its service providers, including the Adviser. The report addresses the operation of the policies and procedures of the Trust and each service provider since the date of the last report; any material changes to the policies and procedures since the date of the last report; any recommendations for material changes to the policies and procedures; and any material compliance matters since the date of the last report.
The Board receives reports from the Fund's service providers regarding operational risks and risks related to the valuation and liquidity of portfolio securities. Annually, the Fund's independent registered public accounting firm reviews with the Audit Committee
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its audit of the Fund's financial statements, focusing on major areas of risk encountered by the Fund and noting any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in the Fund's internal controls. Additionally, in connection with its oversight function, the Board oversees Fund management's implementation of disclosure controls and procedures, which are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by the Trust in its periodic reports with the SEC are recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the required time periods. The Board also oversees the Trust's internal controls over financial reporting, which comprise policies and procedures designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of the Trust's financial reporting and the preparation of the Trust's financial statements.
From their review of these reports and discussions with the Adviser, the Chief Compliance Officer, the independent registered public accounting firm and other service providers, the Board and the Audit Committee learn in detail about the material risks of the Fund, thereby facilitating a dialogue about how management and service providers identify and mitigate those risks.
The Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect the Fund can be identified and/or quantified, that it may not be practical or cost-effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, that it may be necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve the Fund's goals, and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. Moreover, reports received by the Board as to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information. Most of the Fund's investment management and business affairs are carried out by or through the Adviser and other service providers, each of which has an independent interest in risk management but whose policies and the methods by which one or more risk management functions are carried out may differ from the Fund's and each other's in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the Board's ability to monitor and manage risk, as a practical matter, is subject to limitations.
Members of the Board. There are four members of the Board, three of whom are not interested persons of the Trust, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (the 'Independent Trustees'). Mr. Michael A. Castino serves as Chairman of the Board and is an interested person of the Trust, and Mr. Leonard M. Rush serves as the Trust's Lead Independent Trustee. As Lead Independent Trustee, Mr. Rush acts as a spokesperson for the Independent Trustees in between meetings of the Board, serves as a liaison for the Independent Trustees with the Trust's service providers, officers, and legal counsel to discuss ideas informally, and participates in setting the agenda for meetings of the Board and separate meetings or executive sessions of the Independent Trustees.
The Board is comprised of a super-majority (75 percent) of Independent Trustees. There is an Audit Committee of the Board that is chaired by an Independent Trustee and comprised solely of Independent Trustees. The Audit Committee chair presides at the Audit Committee meetings, participates in formulating agendas for Audit Committee meetings, and coordinates with management to serve as a liaison between the Independent Trustees and management on matters within the scope of responsibilities of the Audit Committee as set forth in its Board-approved charter. The Trust has determined its leadership structure is appropriate given the specific characteristics and circumstances of the Trust. The Trust made this determination in consideration of, among other things, the fact that the Independent Trustees of the Trust constitute a super-majority of the Board, the number of Independent Trustees that constitute the Board, the amount of assets under management in the Trust, and the number of funds overseen by the Board. The Board also believes that its leadership structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the Independent Trustees from Fund management.
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Additional information about each Trustee of the Trust is set forth below. The address of each Trustee of the Trust is c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, 615 E. Michigan Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
Name and
Year of Birth
Position Held with the Trust Term of Office and Length of Time Served

Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years
Number of Portfolios in Fund Complex Overseen by Trustee
Other Directorships Held by TrusteeDuring Past 5 Years
Independent Trustees
Leonard M. Rush, CPA
Born: 1946
Lead Independent Trustee and Audit Committee Chairman
Indefinite term;
since 2012
Retired; formerly Chief Financial Officer, Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated (wealth management firm) (2000-2011).
50 Independent Trustee, Managed Portfolio Series (33 portfolios) (since 2011).
David A. Massart
Born: 1967
Trustee
Indefinite term;
since 2012
Co-Founder, President, and Chief Investment Strategist, Next Generation Wealth Management, Inc. (since 2005). 50 Independent Trustee, Managed Portfolio Series (33 portfolios) (since 2011).
Janet D. Olsen
Born: 1956
Trustee
Indefinite term;
since 2018
Retired; formerly Managing Director and General Counsel, Artisan Partners Limited Partnership (investment adviser) (2000-2013); Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc. (2012-2013); Vice President and General Counsel, Artisan Funds, Inc. (investment company) (2001-2012). 50 Independent Trustee, PPM Funds (3 portfolios) (since 2018).
Interested Trustee
Michael A. Castino
Born: 1967
Trustee and Chairman
Indefinite term; Trustee
since 2014;
Chairman
since 2013
Senior Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (since 2013); Managing Director of Index Services, Zacks Investment Management (2011-2013).
50 None
Individual Trustee Qualifications. The Trust has concluded that each of the Trustees should serve on the Board because of their ability to review and understand information about the Fund provided to them by management, to identify and request other information they may deem relevant to the performance of their duties, to question management and other service providers regarding material factors bearing on the management and administration of the Fund, and to exercise their business judgment in a manner that serves the best interests of the Fund's shareholders. The Trust has concluded that each of the Trustees should serve as a Trustee based on his or her own experience, qualifications, attributes and skills as described below.
The Trust has concluded that Mr. Rush should serve as a Trustee because of his substantial industry experience, including serving in several different senior executive roles at various global financial services firms, and the experience he has gained as serving as trustee of another investment company trust since 2011. He most recently served as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated and several other affiliated entities and served as the Treasurer for Baird Funds. He also served as the Chief Financial Officer for Fidelity Investments' four broker-dealers and has substantial experience with mutual fund and investment advisory organizations and related businesses, including Vice President and Head of Compliance for Fidelity Investments, a Vice President at Credit Suisse First Boston, a Manager with Goldman Sachs, & Co. and a Senior Manager with Deloitte & Touche. Mr. Rush has been determined to qualify as an Audit Committee Financial Expert for the Trust.
The Trust has concluded that Mr. Massart should serve as a Trustee because of his substantial industry experience, including over two decades working with high net worth individuals, families, trusts, and retirement accounts to make strategic and tactical asset allocation decisions, evaluate and select investment managers, and manage complex client relationships, and the experience he has gained as serving as trustee of another investment company trust since 2011. He is currently the President and Chief Investment Strategist of the SEC registered investment advisory firm he co-founded. Previously, he served as Managing Director of Strong Private Client and as a Manager of Wells Fargo Investments, LLC.
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The Trust has concluded that Ms. Olsen should serve as a Trustee because of her substantial industry experience, including over a decade serving as a senior executive of an investment management firm and a related public company, and the experience she has gained by serving as an executive officer of another investment company from 2001 to 2012. Ms. Olsen most recently served as Managing Director and General Counsel of Artisan Partners Limited Partnership, a registered investment adviser serving primarily investment companies and institutional investors, and several affiliated entities, including its general partner, Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc. (NYSE: APAM), and as an executive officer of Artisan Funds Inc.
The Trust has concluded that Mr. Castino should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained as Chairman of the Trust since 2013, as a senior officer of U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, doing business as U.S. Bank Global Fund Services ('Fund Services' or the 'Transfer Agent'), since 2012, and in his past roles with investment management firms and indexing firms involved with ETFs, as well as his experience in and knowledge of the financial services industry.
In its periodic assessment of the effectiveness of the Board, the Board considers the complementary individual skills and experience of the individual Trustees primarily in the broader context of the Board's overall composition so that the Board, as a body, possesses the appropriate (and appropriately diverse) skills and experience to oversee the business of the funds.
Board Committees. The Board has established the following standing committees of the Board:
Audit Committee. The Board has a standing Audit Committee that is composed of each of the Independent Trustees of the Trust. The Audit Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board. The principal responsibilities of the Audit Committee include: recommending which firm to engage as the Fund's independent registered public accounting firm and whether to terminate this relationship; reviewing the independent registered public accounting firm's compensation, the proposed scope and terms of its engagement, and the firm's independence; pre-approving audit and non-audit services provided by the Fund's independent registered public accounting firm to the Trust and certain other affiliated entities; serving as a channel of communication between the independent registered public accounting firm and the Trustees; reviewing the results of each external audit, including any qualifications in the independent registered public accounting firm's opinion, any related management letter, management's responses to recommendations made by the independent registered public accounting firm in connection with the audit, reports submitted to the Committee by the internal auditing department of the Trust's Administrator that are material to the Trust as a whole, if any, and management's responses to any such reports; reviewing the Fund's audited financial statements and considering any significant disputes between the Trust's management and the independent registered public accounting firm that arose in connection with the preparation of those financial statements; considering, in consultation with the independent registered public accounting firm and the Trust's senior internal accounting executive, if any, the independent registered public accounting firms' report on the adequacy of the Trust's internal financial controls; reviewing, in consultation with the Fund's independent registered public accounting firm, major changes regarding auditing and accounting principles and practices to be followed when preparing the Fund's financial statements; and other audit related matters. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2021 , the Audit Committee met [four] times.
The Audit Committee also serves as the Qualified Legal Compliance Committee ('QLCC') for the Trust for the purpose of compliance with Rules 205.2(k) and 205.3(c) of the Code of Federal Regulations, regarding alternative reporting procedures for attorneys retained or employed by an issuer who appear and practice before the SEC on behalf of the issuer (the 'issuer attorneys'). An issuer attorney who becomes aware of evidence of a material violation by the Trust, or by any officer, director, employee, or agent of the Trust, may report evidence of such material violation to the QLCC as an alternative to the reporting requirements of Rule 205.3(b) (which requires reporting to the chief legal officer and potentially 'up the ladder' to other entities).
Nominating Committee. The Board has a standing Nominating Committee that is composed of each of the Independent Trustees of the Trust. The Nominating Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board. The principal responsibility of the Nominating Committee is to consider, recommend and nominate candidates to fill vacancies on the Trust's Board, if any. The Nominating Committee generally will not consider nominees recommended by shareholders. The Nominating Committee meets periodically, as necessary. During the fiscal year ended October 31, 2021, the Nominating Committee met [one] time.
Valuation Committee. The Board has delegated day-to-day valuation issues to a Valuation Committee that is comprised of certain officers of the Trust. Although the Valuation Committee is not a committee of the Board (i.e., no Trustee is a member of the Valuation Committee), the Valuation Committee's membership is appointed by the Board and its charter and applicable procedures are approved by the Board. The function of the Valuation Committee is to value securities held by any series of the Trust for which current and reliable market quotations are not readily available. Such securities are valued at their respective fair values as determined in good faith by the Valuation Committee and the actions of the Valuation Committee are subsequently reviewed and ratified by the Board. The Valuation Committee meets as necessary.
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Principal Officers of the Trust. The officers of the Trust conduct and supervise its daily business. The address of each officer of the Trust is c/o U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, 615 E. Michigan Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202. Additional information about the Trust's officers is as follows:
Name and
Year of Birth
Position(s) Held with the Trust
Term of Office and Length of Time Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Kristina R. Nelson
Born: 1982
President
Indefinite term;
since 2019
Senior Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (since 2020); Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (2014-2020).
Michael D. Barolsky
Born: 1981
Vice President and Secretary
Indefinite term;
since 2014
(other roles since 2013)
Senior Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (since 2019); Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (2012-2019); Associate, Thompson Hine LLP (law firm) (2008-2012).
Elizabeth B. Scalf
Born: 1985
Chief Compliance Officer and Anti-Money Laundering Officer
Indefinite term;
since 2021
Senior Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (since 2017); Vice President and Assistant CCO, Heartland Advisors, Inc. (2016-2017); Vice President and CCO, Heartland Group, Inc. (2016).
Kristen M. Weitzel, CPA
Born: 1977
Treasurer
Indefinite term;
since 2014
(other roles since 2013)
Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (since 2015); Assistant Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (2011-2015); Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (accounting firm) (2005-2011).
Jessica L. Vorbeck
Born: 1984
Assistant Treasurer
Indefinite term;
since 2020
Officer, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (since 2018; 2014-2017).
Elizabeth A. Winske
Born: 1983
Assistant Treasurer
Indefinite term;
since 2017
Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (since 2020); Assistant Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (2016-2020).
Jason E. Shlensky
Born: 1987
Assistant Treasurer
Indefinite term;
since 2019
Assistant Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (since 2019); Officer, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (2014-2019).
Isabella K. Zoller
Born: 1994
Assistant Secretary Indefinite term;
since 2020
Assistant Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (since 2021); Regulatory Administration Attorney, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (since 2019); Regulatory Administration Intern, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (2018-2019); Law Student (2016-2019).
Cynthia L. Andrae
Born: 1971
Deputy Chief Compliance Officer Indefinite term;
since 2021
Vice President, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (since 2019); Compliance Officer, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (2015-2019).
Trustee Ownership of Shares. The Fund is required to show the dollar amount ranges of each Trustee's 'beneficial ownership' of Shares and each other series of the Trust as of the end of the most recently completed calendar year. Dollar amount ranges disclosed are established by the SEC. 'Beneficial ownership' is determined in accordance with Rule 16a-1(a)(2) under the 1934 Act. As of the date of this SAI, no Trustee or officer of the Trust owned Shares.
Board Compensation. The Independent Trustees each receive an annual trustee fee of $167,500 for attendance at the four regularly scheduled quarterly meetings and one annual meeting, if necessary, and receive additional compensation for each additional meeting attended of $2,000, as well as reimbursement for travel and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with attendance at Board meetings. The Lead Independent Trustee receives an additional annual fee of $15,000. The Chairman of the Audit Committee receives an additional annual fee of $15,000. The Trust has no pension or retirement plan.
The following table shows the estimated compensation to be earned by each Trustee for the Fund's fiscal year ending [ ], 2022. Independent Trustee fees are paid by the adviser to each series of the Trust and not by the Fund. Trustee compensation does not include reimbursed out-of-pocket expenses in connection with attendance at meetings.
Name
Aggregate Compensation From Fund Total Compensation From Fund Complex Paid to Trustees
Interested Trustee
Michael A. Castino
$0 $0
Independent Trustees
David A. Massart
$0 $[ ]
Janet D. Olsen
$0 $[ ]
Leonard M. Rush, CPA
$0 $[ ]
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PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS, CONTROL PERSONS, AND MANAGEMENT OWNERSHIP
A principal shareholder is any person who owns of record or beneficially 5% or more of the outstanding Shares. A control person is a shareholder that owns beneficially or through controlled companies more than 25% of the voting securities of a company or acknowledges the existence of control. Shareholders owning voting securities in excess of 25% may determine the outcome of any matter affecting and voted on by shareholders of the Fund. As of the date of this SAI, the Fund had not commenced operations, and consequently, there were no Shares outstanding.
CODES OF ETHICS
The Trust and the Adviser have each adopted codes of ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act. These codes of ethics are designed to prevent affiliated persons of the Trust and the Adviser from engaging in deceptive, manipulative or fraudulent activities in connection with securities held or to be acquired by the Fund (which may also be held by persons subject to the codes of ethics). Each Code of Ethics permits personnel subject to that Code of Ethics to invest in securities for their personal investment accounts, subject to certain limitations, including limitations related to securities that may be purchased or held by the Fund. The Distributor (as defined below) relies on the principal underwriters exception under Rule 17j-1(c)(3), specifically where the Distributor is not affiliated with the Trust, or the Adviser, and no officer, director, or general partner of the Distributor serves as an officer, director, or general partner of the Trust or the Adviser.
There can be no assurance that the codes of ethics will be effective in preventing such activities. Each code of ethics may be examined at the office of the SEC in Washington, D.C. or on the Internet at the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov.
PROXY VOTING POLICIES
The Fund has delegated proxy voting responsibilities to the Adviser, subject to the Board's oversight. In delegating proxy responsibilities, the Board has directed that proxies be voted consistent with the Fund's and its shareholders' best interests and in compliance with all applicable proxy voting rules and regulations. The Adviser has adopted proxy voting policies and guidelines for this purpose ('Proxy Voting Policies') and has engaged a third-party proxy solicitation firm to assist with voting proxies in a timely manner. A copy of the Proxy Voting Policies is set forth in Appendix A to this SAI. The Trust's Chief Compliance Officer is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the Proxy Voting Policies. The Proxy Voting Policies have been adopted by the Trust as the policies and procedures that the Adviser will use when voting proxies on behalf of the Fund.
The Proxy Voting Policies address, among other things, material conflicts of interest that may arise between the interests of the Fund and the interests of the Adviser. The Proxy Voting Policies will ensure that all issues brought to shareholders are analyzed in light of the Adviser's fiduciary responsibilities.
When available, information on how the Fund voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 will be available (1) without charge, upon request, by calling 1-800-617-0004 and (2) on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.
INVESTMENT ADVISER
Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC, an Oklahoma limited liability company located at 10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120, serves as the investment adviser to the Fund. ETC is majority owned by Cottonwood ETF Holdings LLC, which is controlled by Richard R. Hogan. ETC has provided investment advisory services to individual and institutional accounts since 2009.
ETC arranges for transfer agency, custody, fund administration, and all other non-distribution related services necessary for the Fund to operate. For the services it provides to the Fund, the Fund pays ETC a unified management fee, which is calculated daily and paid monthly, at an annual rate of [ ]% of the Fund's average daily net assets.
Under the Investment Advisory Agreement, ETC has agreed to pay all expenses of the Fund except for the fee paid to ETC pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, interest charges on any borrowings, taxes, brokerage commissions and other expenses incurred in placing orders for the purchase and sale of securities and other investment instruments, acquired fund fees and expenses, accrued deferred tax liability, extraordinary expenses, and distribution fees and expenses paid by the Trust under any distribution plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. ETC shall not be liable to the Trust or any shareholder for anything done or omitted by it, except acts or omissions involving willful misfeasance, bad faith, negligence or reckless disregard of the duties imposed upon it by its agreement with the Trust or for any losses that may be sustained in the purchase, holding or sale of any security.
The Advisory Agreement with respect to the Fund will continue in force for an initial period of two years. Thereafter, the Advisory Agreement will be renewable from year to year with respect to the Fund, so long as its continuance is approved at least annually (1) by the vote, cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose, of a majority of those Trustees who are not 'interested persons' of the Adviser or the Trust; and (2) by the majority vote of either the full Board or the vote of a majority of the outstanding Shares. The Advisory Agreement automatically terminates on assignment and is terminable on a 60-day written notice either by the Trust or the Adviser.
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The Adviser shall not be liable to the Trust or any shareholder for anything done or omitted by it, except acts or omissions involving willful misfeasance, bad faith, negligence or reckless disregard of the duties imposed upon it by its agreement with the Trust or for any losses that may be sustained in the purchase, holding or sale of any security.
Because the Fund is new, the Fund has not paid any management fees to the Adviser with respect to the Fund as of the date of this SAI.
Management of the Subsidiary
The Adviser also serves as the investment adviser to a wholly-owned and controlled subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands as an exempted company pursuant to an investment advisory agreement with the Subsidiary. The Adviser does not receive additional compensation for its services to the Subsidiary. The investment advisory agreement between the Adviser and the Subsidiary was approved by the Board. However, because the Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act, it is not subject to the regulatory protections of the 1940 Act and the Fund, as an investor in the Subsidiary, will not have all of the protections offered to investors in registered investment companies. Because the Fund wholly owns and controls the Subsidiary, and the Adviser is subject to the oversight of the Board, it is unlikely that the Subsidiary will take action contrary to the interests of the Fund or the Fund's shareholders. Additionally, as part of the Board's consideration of the investment advisory agreement between the Adviser and the Adviser, the Board will also consider the Adviser's performance with regard to the Subsidiary.
PORTFOLIO MANAGERS
[ ] serve as the Fund's portfolio managers (the 'Portfolio Managers'). This section includes information about the Portfolio Managers, including information about compensation, other accounts managed, and the dollar range of Shares owned.
Share Ownership
The Fund is required to show the dollar ranges of a portfolio manager's 'beneficial ownership' of Shares as of the end of the most recently completed fiscal year or a more recent date for a new portfolio manager. Dollar amount ranges disclosed are established by the SEC. 'Beneficial ownership' is determined in accordance with Rule 16a-1(a)(2) under the 1934 Act. As of the date of this SAI, the Portfolio Managers did not beneficially own Shares.
Other Accounts
In addition to the Fund, the Portfolio Managers co-managed the following other accounts for the Adviser, as of [ ], 2021, none of which were subject to a performance-based fee:
Registered
Investment Companies
Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles

Other Accounts
Number of Accounts
Total Assets in the Accounts
Number of Accounts
Total Assets in the Accounts
Number of Accounts
Total Assets in the Accounts
[ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
Compensation
The Fund's Portfolio Managers receive a fixed base salary and discretionary bonus that are not tied to the performance of the Fund.
Conflicts of Interest
A portfolio manager's management of 'other accounts' may give rise to potential conflicts of interest in connection with his/her management of the Fund's investments, on the one hand, and the investments of the other accounts, on the other. The other accounts may have similar investment objectives or strategies as the Fund. A potential conflict of interest may arise as a result, whereby a portfolio manager could favor one account over another. Another potential conflict could include a portfolio manager's knowledge about the size, timing, and possible market impact of Fund trades, whereby the portfolio manager could use this information to the advantage of other accounts and to the disadvantage of the Fund. However, the Adviser has established policies and procedures to ensure that the purchase and sale of securities among all accounts the Adviser manages are fairly and equitably allocated.
THE DISTRIBUTOR
The Trust, the Adviser, and [ ] (the 'Distributor'), [ ], are parties to a distribution agreement ('Distribution Agreement'), whereby the Distributor acts as principal underwriter for the Fund and distributes Shares. Shares are continuously offered for sale by the Distributor only in Creation Units. The Distributor will not distribute Shares in amounts less than a Creation Unit and does not maintain a secondary market in Shares. The principal business address of the Distributor is [ ].
Under the Distribution Agreement, the Distributor, as agent for the Trust, will review orders for the purchase and redemption of Creation Units, provided that any subscriptions and orders will not be binding on the Trust until accepted by the Trust. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the 'Exchange Act') and a member of FINRA.
22

The Distributor may also enter into agreements with securities dealers ('Soliciting Dealers') who will solicit purchases of Creation Units of Shares. Such Soliciting Dealers may also be Authorized Participants (as discussed in 'Procedures for Purchase of Creation Units' below) or DTC participants (as defined below).
The Distribution Agreement will continue for two years from its effective date and is renewable annually thereafter. The continuance of the Distribution Agreement must be specifically approved at least annually (i) by the vote of the Trustees or by a vote of the shareholders of the Fund and (ii) by the vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operations of the Distribution Agreement or any related agreement, cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Distribution Agreement is terminable without penalty by the Trust on 60 days' written notice when authorized either by majority vote of its outstanding voting Shares or by a vote of a majority of its Board (including a majority of the Independent Trustees), or by the Distributor on 60 days' written notice, and will automatically terminate in the event of its assignment. The Distribution Agreement provides that in the absence of willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of the Distributor, or reckless disregard by it of its obligations thereunder, the Distributor shall not be liable for any action or failure to act in accordance with its duties thereunder.
Intermediary Compensation.The Adviser or its affiliates, out of their own resources and not out of Fund assets (i.e., without additional cost to the Fund or its shareholders), may pay certain broker dealers, banks and other financial intermediaries ('Intermediaries') for certain activities related to the Fund, including participation in activities that are designed to make Intermediaries more knowledgeable about exchange traded products, including the Fund, or for other activities, such as marketing and educational training or support. These arrangements are not financed by the Fund and, thus, do not result in increased Fund expenses. They are not reflected in the fees and expenses listed in the fees and expenses sections of the Fund's Prospectus and they do not change the price paid by investors for the purchase of Shares or the amount received by a shareholder as proceeds from the redemption of Shares.
Such compensation may be paid to Intermediaries that provide services to the Fund, including marketing and education support (such as through conferences, webinars and printed communications). The Adviser periodically assesses the advisability of continuing to make these payments. Payments to an Intermediary may be significant to the Intermediary, and amounts that Intermediaries pay to your adviser, broker or other investment professional, if any, may also be significant to such adviser, broker or investment professional. Because an Intermediary may make decisions about what investment options it will make available or recommend, and what services to provide in connection with various products, based on payments it receives or is eligible to receive, such payments create conflicts of interest between the Intermediary and its clients. For example, these financial incentives may cause the Intermediary to recommend the Fund over other investments. The same conflict of interest exists with respect to your financial adviser, broker or investment professional if he or she receives similar payments from his or her Intermediary firm.
Intermediary information is current only as of the date of this SAI. Please contact your adviser, broker or other investment professional for more information regarding any payments his or her Intermediary firm may receive. Any payments made by the Adviser or its affiliates to an Intermediary may create the incentive for an Intermediary to encourage customers to buy Shares.
If you have any additional questions, please call 1-800-617-0004.
Distribution and Service Plan. The Trust has adopted a Distribution and Service Plan (the 'Plan') in accordance with the provisions of Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act, which regulates circumstances under which an investment company may directly or indirectly bear expenses relating to the distribution of its shares. No payments pursuant to the Plan are expected to be made during the twelve (12) month period from the date of this SAI. Rule 12b-1 fees to be paid by the Fund under the Plan may only be imposed after approval by the Board.
Continuance of the Plan must be approved annually by a majority of the Trustees of the Trust and by a majority of the Trustees who are not interested persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust and have no direct or indirect financial interest in the Plan or in any agreements related to the Plan ('Qualified Trustees'). The Plan requires that quarterly written reports of amounts spent under the Plan and the purposes of such expenditures be furnished to and reviewed by the Trustees. The Plan may not be amended to increase materially the amount that may be spent thereunder without approval by a majority of the outstanding Shares. All material amendments of the Plan will require approval by a majority of the Trustees of the Trust and of the Qualified Trustees.
The Plan provides that the Fund pays the Distributor an annual fee of up to a maximum of 0.25% of the average daily net assets of the Shares. Under the Plan, the Distributor may make payments pursuant to written agreements to financial institutions and intermediaries such as banks, savings and loan associations and insurance companies including, without limit, investment counselors, broker-dealers and the Distributor's affiliates and subsidiaries (collectively, 'Agents') as compensation for services and reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with distribution assistance. The Plan is characterized as a compensation plan since the distribution fee will be paid to the Distributor without regard to the distribution expenses incurred by the Distributor or the amount of payments made to other financial institutions and intermediaries. The Trust intends to operate the Plan in accordance with its terms and with the FINRA rules concerning sales charges.
Under the Plan, subject to the limitations of applicable law and regulations, the Fund is authorized to compensate the Distributor up to the maximum amount to finance any activity primarily intended to result in the sale of Creation Units of the Fund or for providing or
23

arranging for others to provide shareholder services and for the maintenance of shareholder accounts. Such activities may include, but are not limited to: (i) delivering copies of the Fund's then current reports, prospectuses, notices, and similar materials, to prospective purchasers of Creation Units; (ii) marketing and promotional services, including advertising; (iii) paying the costs of and compensating others, including Authorized Participants (as discussed in 'Procedures for Purchase of Creation Units' below) with whom the Distributor has entered into written Authorized Participant Agreements, for performing shareholder servicing on behalf of the Fund; (iv) compensating certain Authorized Participants for providing assistance in distributing the Creation Units of the Fund, including the travel and communication expenses and salaries and/or commissions of sales personnel in connection with the distribution of the Creation Units of the Fund; (v) payments to financial institutions and intermediaries such as banks, savings and loan associations, insurance companies and investment counselors, broker-dealers, mutual fund supermarkets and the affiliates and subsidiaries of the Trust's service providers as compensation for services or reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with distribution assistance; (vi) facilitating communications with beneficial owners of Shares, including the cost of providing (or paying others to provide) services to beneficial owners of Shares, including, but not limited to, assistance in answering inquiries related to shareholder accounts; and (vii) such other services and obligations as are set forth in the Distribution Agreement.
THE ADMINISTRATOR, CUSTODIAN, AND TRANSFER AGENT
U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, doing business as U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, located at 615 East Michigan Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, serves as the Fund's transfer agent, administrator, and index receipt agent.
Pursuant to a Fund Administration Servicing Agreement and a Fund Accounting Servicing Agreement between the Trust and Fund Services, Fund Services provides the Trust with administrative and management services (other than investment advisory services) and accounting services, including portfolio accounting services, tax accounting services, and furnishing financial reports. In this capacity, Fund Services does not have any responsibility or authority for the management of the Fund, the determination of investment policy, or for any matter pertaining to the distribution of Shares. As compensation for the administration, accounting and management services, the Adviser pays Fund Services a fee based on the Fund's average daily net assets, subject to a minimum annual fee. Fund Services also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses for the services mentioned above, including pricing expenses.
The Fund is new and the Adviser has not paid Fund Services any fees for administrative services to the Fund as of the date of this SAI.
Pursuant to a Custody Agreement, U.S. Bank National Association (the 'Custodian' or 'U.S. Bank'), 1555 North Rivercenter Drive, Suite 302, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212, serves as the custodian of the Fund's assets. The Custodian holds and administers the assets in the Fund's portfolio. Pursuant to the Custody Agreement, the Custodian receives an annual fee from the Adviser based on the Trust's total average daily net assets, subject to a minimum annual fee, and certain settlement charges. The Custodian also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses.
LEGAL COUNSEL
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, located at 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004-2541, serves as legal counsel for the Trust.
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
[ ], located at [ ], serves as the independent registered public accounting firm for the Fund.
PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS DISCLOSURE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The Trust's Board has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the Fund's security holdings. The Fund's entire portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day the Fund is open for business through financial reporting and news services, including publicly available internet web sites. In addition, the composition of the Deposit Securities is publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the Exchange via the National Securities Clearing Corporation ('NSCC').
DESCRIPTION OF SHARES
The Declaration of Trust authorizes the issuance of an unlimited number of funds and Shares. Each Share represents an equal proportionate interest in the Fund with each other Share. Shares are entitled upon liquidation to a pro rata share in the net assets of the Fund. Shareholders have no preemptive rights. The Declaration of Trust provides that the Trustees may create additional series or classes of Shares. All consideration received by the Trust for shares of any additional funds and all assets in which such consideration is invested would belong to that fund and would be subject to the liabilities related thereto. Share certificates representing Shares will not be issued. Shares, when issued, are fully paid and non-assessable.
Each Share has one vote with respect to matters upon which a shareholder vote is required, consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. Shares of all funds of the Trust vote together as a single class, except that if the matter being voted on affects only a particular fund it will be voted on only by that fund and if a matter affects a particular fund differently from other funds, that fund will vote separately on such matter. As a Delaware statutory trust, the Trust is not required, and does not intend, to hold annual meetings of shareholders. Approval of shareholders will be sought, however, for certain changes in the operation of the Trust and for the election of Trustees under certain circumstances. Upon the written request of shareholders owning at least 10% of the Trust's shares, the Trust will call for a meeting of shareholders to consider the removal of one or more Trustees and
24

other certain matters. In the event that such a meeting is requested, the Trust will provide appropriate assistance and information to the shareholders requesting the meeting.
Under the Declaration of Trust, the Trustees have the power to liquidate the Fund without shareholder approval. While the Trustees have no present intention of exercising this power, they may do so if the Fund fails to reach a viable size within a reasonable amount of time or for such other reasons as may be determined by the Board.
LIMITATION OF TRUSTEES' LIABILITY
The Declaration of Trust provides that a Trustee shall be liable only for his or her own willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of the office of Trustee, and shall not be liable for errors of judgment or mistakes of fact or law. The Trustees shall not be responsible or liable in any event for any neglect or wrong-doing of any officer, agent, employee, adviser or principal underwriter of the Trust, nor shall any Trustee be responsible for the act or omission of any other Trustee. The Declaration of Trust also provides that the Trust shall indemnify each person who is, or has been, a Trustee, officer, employee or agent of the Trust, any person who is serving or has served at the Trust's request as a Trustee, officer, trustee, employee or agent of another organization in which the Trust has any interest as a shareholder, creditor or otherwise to the extent and in the manner provided in the Amended and Restated By-laws. However, nothing in the Declaration of Trust shall protect or indemnify a Trustee against any liability for his or her willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of the office of Trustee. Nothing contained in this section attempts to disclaim a Trustee's individual liability in any manner inconsistent with the federal securities laws.
BROKERAGE TRANSACTIONS
The policy of the Trust regarding purchases and sales of securities for the Fund is that primary consideration will be given to obtaining the most favorable prices and efficient executions of transactions. Consistent with this policy, when securities transactions are effected on a stock exchange, the Trust's policy is to pay commissions which are considered fair and reasonable without necessarily determining that the lowest possible commissions are paid in all circumstances. The Trust believes that a requirement always to seek the lowest possible commission cost could impede effective portfolio management and preclude the Fund and the Adviser from obtaining a high quality of brokerage and research services. In seeking to determine the reasonableness of brokerage commissions paid in any transaction, the Adviser will rely upon its experience and knowledge regarding commissions generally charged by various brokers and on its judgment in evaluating the brokerage services received from the broker effecting the transaction. Such determinations are necessarily subjective and imprecise, as in most cases, an exact dollar value for those services is not ascertainable. The Trust has adopted policies and procedures that prohibit the consideration of sales of Shares as a factor in the selection of a broker or dealer to execute its portfolio transactions.
The Adviser owes a fiduciary duty to its clients to seek to provide best execution on trades effected. In selecting a broker/dealer for each specific transaction, the Adviser chooses the broker/dealer deemed most capable of providing the services necessary to obtain the most favorable execution. 'Best execution' is generally understood to mean the most favorable cost or net proceeds reasonably obtainable under the circumstances. The full range of brokerage services applicable to a particular transaction may be considered when making this judgment, which may include, but is not limited to: liquidity, price, commission, timing, aggregated trades, capable floor brokers or traders, competent block trading coverage, ability to position, capital strength and stability, reliable and accurate communications and settlement processing, use of automation, knowledge of other buyers or sellers, arbitrage skills, administrative ability, underwriting and provision of information on a particular security or market in which the transaction is to occur. The specific criteria will vary depending upon the nature of the transaction, the market in which it is executed, and the extent to which it is possible to select from among multiple broker/dealers. The Adviser will also use electronic crossing networks ('ECNs') when appropriate.
Subject to the foregoing policies, brokers or dealers selected to execute the Fund's portfolio transactions may include the Fund's Authorized Participants (as discussed in 'Procedures for Purchase of Creation Units' below) or their affiliates. An Authorized Participant or its affiliates may be selected to execute the Fund's portfolio transactions in conjunction with an all-cash creation unit order or an order including 'cash-in-lieu' (as described below under 'Purchase and Redemption of Shares in Creation Units'), so long as such selection is in keeping with the foregoing policies. As described below under 'Purchase and Redemption of Shares in Creation Units-Creation Transaction Fee' and '-Redemption Transaction Fee', the Fund may determine to not charge a variable fee on certain orders when the Adviser has determined that doing so is in the best interests of Fund shareholders, e.g., for creation orders that facilitate the rebalance of the Fund's portfolio in a more tax efficient manner than could be achieved without such order, even if the decision to not charge a variable fee could be viewed as benefiting the Authorized Participant or its affiliate selected to execute the Fund's portfolio transactions in connection with such orders.
The Adviser may use the Fund's assets for, or participate in, third-party soft dollar arrangements, in addition to receiving proprietary research from various full service brokers, the cost of which is bundled with the cost of the broker's execution services. The Adviser does not 'pay up' for the value of any such proprietary research. Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act permits the Adviser, under certain circumstances, to cause the Fund to pay a broker or dealer a commission for effecting a transaction in excess of the amount of commission another broker or dealer would have charged for effecting the transaction in recognition of the value of brokerage and research services provided by the broker or dealer. The Adviser may receive a variety of research services and information on many topics, which it can use in connection with its management responsibilities with respect to the various accounts over which it exercises
25

investment discretion or otherwise provides investment advice. The research services may include qualifying order management systems, portfolio attribution and monitoring services and computer software and access charges which are directly related to investment research. Accordingly, the Fund may pay a broker commission higher than the lowest available in recognition of the broker's provision of such services to the Adviser, but only if the Adviser determines the total commission (including the soft dollar benefit) is comparable to the best commission rate that could be expected to be received from other brokers. The amount of soft dollar benefits received depends on the amount of brokerage transactions effected with the brokers. A conflict of interest exists because there is an incentive to: 1) cause clients to pay a higher commission than the firm might otherwise be able to negotiate; 2) cause clients to engage in more securities transactions than would otherwise be optimal; and 3) only recommend brokers that provide soft dollar benefits.
The Adviser faces a potential conflict of interest when it uses client trades to obtain brokerage or research services. This conflict exists because the Adviser is able to use the brokerage or research services to manage client accounts without paying cash for such services, which reduces the Adviser's expenses to the extent that the Adviser would have purchased such products had they not been provided by brokers. Section 28(e) permits the Adviser to use brokerage or research services for the benefit of any account it manages. Certain accounts managed by the Adviser may generate soft dollars used to purchase brokerage or research services that ultimately benefit other accounts managed by the Adviser, effectively cross subsidizing the other accounts managed by the Adviser that benefit directly from the product. The Adviser may not necessarily use all of the brokerage or research services in connection with managing the Fund whose trades generated the soft dollars used to purchase such products.
The Adviser is responsible, subject to oversight by the Board, for placing orders on behalf of the Fund for the purchase or sale of portfolio securities. If purchases or sales of portfolio securities of the Fund and one or more other investment companies or clients supervised by the Adviser are considered at or about the same time, transactions in such securities are allocated among the several investment companies and clients in a manner deemed equitable and consistent with its fiduciary obligations to all by the Adviser. In some cases, this procedure could have a detrimental effect on the price or volume of the security so far as the Fund is concerned. However, in other cases, it is possible that the ability to participate in volume transactions and to negotiate lower brokerage commissions will be beneficial to the Fund. The primary consideration is prompt execution of orders at the most favorable net price.
The Fund may deal with affiliates in principal transactions to the extent permitted by exemptive order or applicable rule or regulation.
The Fund is new and had not paid any brokerage commissions as of the date of this SAI.
Directed Brokerage. The Fund is new, and as of the date of this SAI, the Fund did not pay any commissions on brokerage transactions directed to pursuant to an agreement or understanding whereby the broker provides research or other brokerage services to the Adviser.
Brokerage with Fund Affiliates. The Fund may execute brokerage or other agency transactions through registered broker-dealer affiliates of the Fund, the Adviser, or the Distributor for a commission in conformity with the 1940 Act, the 1934 Act and rules promulgated by the SEC. These rules require that commissions paid to the affiliate by the Fund for exchange transactions not exceed 'usual and customary' brokerage commissions. The rules define 'usual and customary' commissions to include amounts which are 'reasonable and fair compared to the commission, fee or other remuneration received or to be received by other brokers in connection with comparable transactions involving similar securities being purchased or sold on a securities exchange during a comparable period of time.' The Trustees, including those who are not 'interested persons' of the Fund, have adopted procedures for evaluating the reasonableness of commissions paid to affiliates and review these procedures periodically. Because the Fund is new, the Fund has not paid brokerage commissions to any registered broker-dealer affiliates of the Fund, the Adviser, or the Distributor as of the date of this SAI.
Securities of 'Regular Broker-Dealers.' The Fund is required to identify any securities of its 'regular brokers and dealers' (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) that it may hold at the close of its most recent fiscal year. 'Regular brokers or dealers' of the Fund are the ten brokers or dealers that, during the most recent fiscal year: (i) received the greatest dollar amounts of brokerage commissions from the Fund's portfolio transactions; (ii) engaged as principal in the largest dollar amounts of portfolio transactions of the Fund; or (iii) sold the largest dollar amounts of Shares. Because the Fund is new, as of the date of this SAI, it did not own securities of 'regular broker dealers.'
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER RATE
Portfolio turnover may vary from year to year, as well as within a year. High turnover rates are likely to result in comparatively greater brokerage expenses. The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions is evaluated by the Adviser based upon its knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions paid by other institutional investors for comparable services.
BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM
The Depository Trust Company ('DTC') acts as securities depositary for Shares. Shares are represented by securities registered in the name of DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC. Except in limited circumstances set forth below, certificates will not be issued for Shares.
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DTC is a limited-purpose trust company that was created to hold securities of its participants (the 'DTC Participants') and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions among the DTC Participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC Participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. More specifically, DTC is owned by a number of its DTC Participants and by the New York Stock Exchange ('NYSE') and FINRA. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as banks, brokers, dealers, and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly (the 'Indirect Participants').
Beneficial ownership of Shares is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants, and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in Shares (owners of such beneficial interests are referred to in this SAI as 'Beneficial Owners') is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC Participants) and on the records of DTC Participants (with respect to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners that are not DTC Participants). Beneficial Owners will receive from or through the DTC Participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase of Shares. The Trust recognizes DTC or its nominee as the record owner of all Shares for all purposes. Beneficial Owners of Shares are not entitled to have Shares registered in their names, and will not receive or be entitled to physical delivery of Share certificates. Each Beneficial Owner must rely on the procedures of DTC and any DTC Participant and/or Indirect Participant through which such Beneficial Owner holds its interests, to exercise any rights of a holder of Shares.
Conveyance of all notices, statements, and other communications to Beneficial Owners is effected as follows. DTC will make available to the Trust upon request and for a fee a listing of Shares held by each DTC Participant. The Trust shall obtain from each such DTC Participant the number of Beneficial Owners holding Shares, directly or indirectly, through such DTC Participant. The Trust shall provide each such DTC Participant with copies of such notice, statement, or other communication, in such form, number and at such place as such DTC Participant may reasonably request, in order that such notice, statement or communication may be transmitted by such DTC Participant, directly or indirectly, to such Beneficial Owners. In addition, the Trust shall pay to each such DTC Participant a fair and reasonable amount as reimbursement for the expenses attendant to such transmittal, all subject to applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
Share distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all Shares. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC Participants' accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in the Fund as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners of Shares held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a 'street name,' and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants.
The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial Owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in Shares, or for maintaining, supervising, or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests, or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners owning through such DTC Participants.
DTC may determine to discontinue providing its service with respect to the Fund at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Fund and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the Fund shall take action either to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost or, if such replacement is unavailable, to issue and deliver printed certificates representing ownership of Shares, unless the Trust makes other arrangements with respect thereto satisfactory to the Exchange.
PURCHASE AND REDEMPTION OF SHARES IN CREATION UNITS
The Trust issues and redeems Shares only in Creation Units on a continuous basis through the Transfer Agent, without a sales load (but subject to transaction fees, if applicable), at their NAV per share next determined after receipt of an order, on any Business Day, in proper form pursuant to the terms of the Authorized Participant Agreement ('Participant Agreement'). The NAV of Shares is calculated each business day as of the scheduled close of regular trading on the NYSE, generally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time. The Fund will not issue fractional Creation Units. A 'Business Day' is any day on which the NYSE is open for business.
Fund Deposit. The consideration for purchase of a Creation Unit of the Fund generally consists of the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities (the 'Deposit Securities') per each Creation Unit and the Cash Component (defined below), computed as described below. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of a 'cash in lieu' amount ('Deposit Cash') to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security. When accepting purchases of Creation Units for all or a portion of Deposit Cash, the Fund may incur additional costs associated with the acquisition of Deposit Securities that would otherwise be provided by an in-kind purchaser.
Together, the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, and the Cash Component constitute the 'Fund Deposit,' which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit of the Fund. The 'Cash Component' is an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of Shares (per Creation Unit) and the value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit
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Cash, as applicable. If the Cash Component is a positive number (i.e., the NAV per Creation Unit exceeds the value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable), the Cash Component shall be such positive amount. If the Cash Component is a negative number (i.e., the NAV per Creation Unit is less than the value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable), the Cash Component shall be such negative amount and the creator will be entitled to receive cash in an amount equal to the Cash Component. The Cash Component serves the function of compensating for any differences between the NAV per Creation Unit and the value of the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable. Computation of the Cash Component excludes any stamp duty or other similar fees and expenses payable upon transfer of beneficial ownership of the Deposit Securities, if applicable, which shall be the sole responsibility of the Authorized Participant (as defined below).
The Fund, through NSCC, makes available on each Business Day, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern time), the list of the names and the required number of shares of each Deposit Security or the required amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, to be included in the current Fund Deposit (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) for the Fund. Such Fund Deposit is subject to any applicable adjustments as described below, to effect purchases of Creation Units of the Fund until such time as the next-announced composition of the Deposit Securities or the required amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, is made available.
The identity and number of Shares of the Deposit Securities or the amount of Deposit Cash, as applicable, required for a Fund Deposit for the Fund changes as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by the Adviser with a view to the investment objective of the Fund. The composition of the Deposit Securities may also change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the component securities of the Underlying Index.
The Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of Deposit Cash to replace any Deposit Security, which shall be added to the Cash Component, including, without limitation, in situations where the Deposit Security: (i) may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery; (ii) may not be eligible for transfer through the systems of DTC for corporate securities and municipal securities; (iii) may not be eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant (as defined below) or the investor for which it is acting; (iv) would be restricted under the securities laws or where the delivery of the Deposit Security to the Authorized Participant would result in the disposition of the Deposit Security by the Authorized Participant becoming restricted under the securities laws; or (v) in certain other situations (collectively, 'custom orders'). The Trust also reserves the right to include or remove Deposit Securities from the basket in anticipation of Index rebalancing changes. The adjustments described above will reflect changes, known to the Adviser on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Fund Deposit, resulting from certain corporate actions.
Procedures for Purchase of Creation Units. To be eligible to place orders with the Transfer Agent to purchase a Creation Unit of the Fund, an entity must be (i) a 'Participating Party' (i.e., a broker-dealer or other participant in the clearing process through the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC (the 'Clearing Process')), a clearing agency that is registered with the SEC; or (ii) a DTC Participant (see 'Book Entry Only System'). In addition, each Participating Party or DTC Participant (each, an 'Authorized Participant') must execute a Participant Agreement that has been agreed to by the Distributor, and that has been accepted by the Transfer Agent, with respect to purchases and redemptions of Creation Units. Each Authorized Participant will agree, pursuant to the terms of a Participant Agreement, on behalf of itself or any investor on whose behalf it will act, to certain conditions, including that it will pay to the Trust, an amount of cash sufficient to pay the Cash Component together with the creation transaction fee (described below), if applicable, and any other applicable fees and taxes.
All orders to purchase Shares directly from the Fund must be placed for one or more Creation Units and in the manner and by the time set forth in the Participant Agreement and/or applicable order form. The order cut-off time for the Fund for orders to purchase Creation Units is expected to be [4:00 p.m.] Eastern time, which time may be modified by the Fund from time-to-time by amendment to the Participant Agreement and/or applicable order form. The date on which an order to purchase Creation Units (or an order to redeem Creation Units, as set forth below) is received and accepted is referred to as the 'Order Placement Date.'
An Authorized Participant may require an investor to make certain representations or enter into agreements with respect to the order (e.g., to provide for payments of cash, when required). Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed a Participant Agreement and that, therefore, orders to purchase Shares directly from the Fund in Creation Units have to be placed by the investor's broker through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement. In such cases there may be additional charges to such investor. At any given time, there may be only a limited number of broker-dealers that have executed a Participant Agreement and only a small number of such Authorized Participants may have international capabilities.
On days when the Exchange closes earlier than normal, the Fund may require orders to create Creation Units to be placed earlier in the day. In addition, if a market or markets on which the Fund's investments are primarily traded is closed, the Fund will also generally not accept orders on such day(s). Orders must be transmitted by an Authorized Participant by telephone or other transmission method acceptable to the Transfer Agent pursuant to procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement and in accordance with the applicable order form. On behalf of the Fund, the Transfer Agent will notify the Custodian of such order. The Custodian will then provide such information to the appropriate local sub-custodian(s). Those placing orders through an Authorized Participant should allow sufficient time to permit proper submission of the purchase order to the Transfer Agent by the cut-off time on such Business Day. Economic or market disruptions or changes, or telephone or other communication failure may impede the ability to reach the Transfer Agent or an Authorized Participant.
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Fund Deposits must be delivered by an Authorized Participant through the Federal Reserve System (for cash) or through DTC (for corporate securities), through a subcustody agent (for foreign securities), and/or through such other arrangements allowed by the Trust or its agents. With respect to foreign Deposit Securities, the Custodian shall cause the subcustodian of the Fund to maintain an account into which the Authorized Participant shall deliver, on behalf of itself or the party on whose behalf it is acting, such Deposit Securities (or Deposit Cash for all or a part of such securities, as permitted or required), with any appropriate adjustments as advised by the Trust. Foreign Deposit Securities must be delivered to an account maintained at the applicable local subcustodian. The Fund Deposit transfer must be ordered by the Authorized Participant in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite number of Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, to the account of the Fund or its agents by no later than 12:00 p.m. Eastern time (or such other time as specified by the Trust) on the Settlement Date. If the Fund or its agents do not receive all of the Deposit Securities, or the required Deposit Cash in lieu thereof, by such time, then the order may be deemed rejected and the Authorized Participant shall be liable to the Fund for losses, if any, resulting therefrom. The 'Settlement Date' for the Fund is generally the second Business Day after the Order Placement Date. All questions as to the number of Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash to be delivered, as applicable, and the validity, form and eligibility (including time of receipt) for the deposit of any tendered securities or cash, as applicable, will be determined by the Trust, whose determination shall be final and binding. The amount of cash represented by the Cash Component must be transferred directly to the Custodian through the Federal Reserve Bank wire transfer system in a timely manner so as to be received by the Custodian no later than the Settlement Date. If the Cash Component and the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, are not received by the Custodian in a timely manner by the Settlement Date, the creation order may be cancelled. Upon written notice to the Transfer Agent, such canceled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day using a Fund Deposit as newly constituted to reflect the then current NAV of the Fund.
The order shall be deemed to be received on the Business Day on which the order is placed provided that the order is placed in proper form prior to the applicable cut-off time and the federal funds in the appropriate amount are deposited with the Custodian on the Settlement Date. If the order is not placed in proper form as required, or federal funds in the appropriate amount are not received on the Settlement Date, then the order may be deemed to be rejected and the Authorized Participant shall be liable to the Fund for losses, if any, resulting therefrom. A creation request is considered to be in 'proper form' if all procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement, order form and this SAI are properly followed.
Issuance of a Creation Unit. Except as provided in this SAI, Creation Units will not be issued until the transfer of good title to the Trust of the Deposit Securities or payment of Deposit Cash, as applicable, and the payment of the Cash Component have been completed. When the subcustodian has confirmed to the Custodian that the required Deposit Securities (or the cash value thereof) have been delivered to the account of the relevant subcustodian or subcustodians, the Distributor and the Adviser shall be notified of such delivery, and the Trust will issue and cause the delivery of the Creation Units. The delivery of Creation Units so created generally will occur no later than the second Business Day following the day on which the purchase order is deemed received by the Distributor. The Authorized Participant shall be liable to the Fund for losses, if any, resulting from unsettled orders.
Creation Units may be purchased in advance of receipt by the Trust of all or a portion of the applicable Deposit Securities as described below. In these circumstances, the initial deposit will have a value greater than the NAV of Shares on the date the order is placed in proper form since, in addition to available Deposit Securities, cash must be deposited in an amount equal to the sum of (i) the Cash Component, plus (ii) an additional amount of cash equal to a percentage of the value as set forth in the Participant Agreement, of the undelivered Deposit Securities (the 'Additional Cash Deposit'), which shall be maintained in a separate non-interest bearing collateral account. The Authorized Participant must deposit with the Custodian the Additional Cash Deposit, as applicable, by 12:00 p.m. Eastern time(or such other time as specified by the Trust) on the Settlement Date. If the Fund or its agents do not receive the Additional Cash Deposit in the appropriate amount, by such time, then the order may be deemed rejected and the Authorized Participant shall be liable to the Fund for losses, if any, resulting therefrom. An additional amount of cash shall be required to be deposited with the Trust, pending delivery of the missing Deposit Securities to the extent necessary to maintain the Additional Cash Deposit with the Trust in an amount at least equal to the applicable percentage, as set forth in the Participant Agreement, of the daily market value of the missing Deposit Securities. The Participant Agreement will permit the Trust to buy the missing Deposit Securities at any time. Authorized Participants will be liable to the Trust for the costs incurred by the Trust in connection with any such purchases. These costs will be deemed to include the amount by which the actual purchase price of the Deposit Securities exceeds the value of such Deposit Securities on the day the purchase order was deemed received by the Transfer Agent plus the brokerage and related transaction costs associated with such purchases. The Trust will return any unused portion of the Additional Cash Deposit once all of the missing Deposit Securities have been properly received by the Custodian or purchased by the Trust and deposited into the Trust. In addition, a transaction fee, as described below under 'Creation Transaction Fee,' may be charged. The delivery of Creation Units so created generally will occur no later than the Settlement Date.
Acceptance of Orders of Creation Units. The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject an order for Creation Units transmitted to it by the Transfer Agent with respect to the Fund including, without limitation, if (a) the order is not in proper form; (b) the Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash, as applicable, delivered by the Participant are not as disseminated through the facilities of the NSCC for that date by the Custodian; (c) the investor(s), upon obtaining Shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares; (d) acceptance of the Deposit Securities would have certain adverse tax consequences to the Fund; (e) the acceptance of the Fund Deposit would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (f) the acceptance of the Fund Deposit would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust or the Adviser, have an adverse effect on the Trust or the rights of beneficial owners; (g) the acceptance or receipt of the
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order for a Creation Unit would, in the opinion of counsel to the Trust, be unlawful; or (h) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Custodian, the Transfer Agent and/or the Adviser make it for all practical purposes not feasible to process orders for Creation Units.
Examples of such circumstances include acts of God or public service or utility problems such as fires, floods, extreme weather conditions and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy and computer failures; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the Trust, the Distributor, the Custodian, a sub-custodian, the Transfer Agent, DTC, NSCC, Federal Reserve System, or any other participant in the creation process, and other extraordinary events. The Transfer Agent shall notify a prospective creator of a Creation Unit and/or the Authorized Participant acting on behalf of the creator of a Creation Unit of its rejection of the order of such person. The Trust, the Transfer Agent, the Custodian, any sub-custodian and the Distributor are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of Fund Deposits nor shall either of them incur any liability for the failure to give any such notification. The Trust, the Transfer Agent, the Custodian and the Distributor shall not be liable for the rejection of any purchase order for Creation Units.
All questions as to the number of Shares of each security in the Deposit Securities and the validity, form, eligibility and acceptance for deposit of any securities to be delivered shall be determined by the Trust, and the Trust's determination shall be final and binding.
Creation Transaction Fee. A fixed purchase (i.e., creation) transaction fee, payable to the Fund's custodian, may be imposed for the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the purchase of Creation Units ('Creation Order Costs'). The standard fixed creation transaction fee for the Fund is $[ ], regardless of the number of Creation Units created in the transaction. The Fund may adjust the standard fixed creation transaction fee from time to time. The fixed creation fee may be waived on certain orders if the Fund's custodian has determined to waive some or all of the Creation Order Costs associated with the order or another party, such as the Adviser, has agreed to pay such fee.
In addition, a variable fee, payable to the Fund, of up to a maximum of 2% of the value of the Creation Units subject to the transaction may be imposed for cash purchases, non-standard orders, or partial cash purchases of Creation Units. The variable charge is primarily designed to cover additional costs (e.g., brokerage, taxes) involved with buying the securities with cash. The Fund may determine to not charge a variable fee on certain orders when the Adviser has determined that doing so is in the best interests of Fund shareholders, e.g., for creation orders that facilitate the rebalance of the Fund's portfolio in a more tax efficient manner than could be achieved without such order.
Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services. Investors are responsible for the fixed costs of transferring the Fund Securities from the Trust to their account or on their order.
Risks of Purchasing Creation Units. There are certain legal risks unique to investors purchasing Creation Units directly from the Fund. Because Shares may be issued on an ongoing basis, a 'distribution' of Shares could be occurring at any time. Certain activities that a shareholder performs as a dealer could, depending on the circumstances, result in the shareholder being deemed a participant in the distribution in a manner that could render the shareholder a statutory underwriter and subject to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the Securities Act. For example, a shareholder could be deemed a statutory underwriter if it purchases Creation Units from the Fund, breaks them down into the constituent shares, and sells those shares directly to customers, or if a shareholder chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary-market demand for Shares. Whether a person is an underwriter depends upon all of the facts and circumstances pertaining to that person's activities, and the examples mentioned here should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could cause you to be deemed an underwriter.
Dealers who are not 'underwriters' but are participating in a distribution (as opposed to engaging in ordinary secondary-market transactions), and thus dealing with Shares as part of an 'unsold allotment' within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act, will be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act.
Redemption. Shares may be redeemed only in Creation Units at their NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Fund through the Transfer Agent and only on a Business Day. EXCEPT UPON LIQUIDATION OF THE FUND, THE TRUST WILL NOT REDEEM SHARES IN AMOUNTS LESS THAN CREATION UNITS. Investors must accumulate enough Shares in the secondary market to constitute a Creation Unit to have such Shares redeemed by the Trust. There can be no assurance, however, that there will be sufficient liquidity in the public trading market at any time to permit assembly of a Creation Unit. Investors should expect to incur brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of Shares to constitute a redeemable Creation Unit.
With respect to the Fund, the Custodian, through the NSCC, makes available prior to the opening of business on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m., Eastern time) on each Business Day, the list of the names and Share quantities of the Fund's portfolio securities that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as defined below) on that day ('Fund Securities'). Fund Securities received on redemption may not be identical to Deposit Securities.
Redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit are paid either in-kind or in cash, or combination thereof, as determined by the Trust. With respect to in-kind redemptions of the Fund, redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit will consist of Fund Securities - as announced by the Custodian on the Business Day of the request for redemption received in proper form plus cash in an amount equal to the
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difference between the NAV of Shares being redeemed, as next determined after a receipt of a request in proper form, and the value of the Fund Securities (the 'Cash Redemption Amount'), less a fixed redemption transaction fee, as applicable, as set forth below. In the event that the Fund Securities have a value greater than the NAV of Shares, a compensating cash payment equal to the differential is required to be made by or through an Authorized Participant by the redeeming shareholder. Notwithstanding the foregoing, at the Trust's discretion, an Authorized Participant may receive the corresponding cash value of the securities in lieu of the in-kind securities value representing one or more Fund Securities.
Redemption Transaction Fee. A fixed redemption transaction fee, payable to the Fund's custodian, may be imposed for the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the redemption of Creation Units ('Redemption Order Costs'). The standard fixed redemption transaction fee for the Fund is $[ ], regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed in the transaction. The Fund may adjust the redemption transaction fee from time to time. The fixed redemption fee may be waived on certain orders if the Fund's custodian has determined to waive some or all of the Redemption Order Costs associated with the order or another party, such as the Adviser, has agreed to pay such fee.
In addition, a variable fee, payable to the Fund, of up to a maximum of 2% of the value of the Creation Units subject to the transaction may be imposed for cash redemptions, non-standard orders, or partial cash redemptions (when cash redemptions are available) of Creation Units. The variable charge is primarily designed to cover additional costs (e.g., brokerage, taxes) involved with selling portfolio securities to satisfy a cash redemption. The Fund may determine to not charge a variable fee on certain orders when the Adviser has determined that doing so is in the best interests of Fund shareholders, e.g., for redemption orders that facilitate the rebalance of the Fund's portfolio in a more tax efficient manner than could be achieved without such order.
Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services. Investors are responsible for the fixed costs of transferring the Fund Securities from the Trust to their account or on their order.
Procedures for Redemption of Creation Units. Orders to redeem Creation Units must be submitted in proper form to the Transfer Agent prior to [4:00 p.m.] Eastern time. A redemption request is considered to be in 'proper form' if (i) an Authorized Participant has transferred or caused to be transferred to the Trust's Transfer Agent the Creation Unit(s) being redeemed through the book-entry system of DTC so as to be effective by the time as set forth in the Participant Agreement and (ii) a request in form satisfactory to the Trust is received by the Transfer Agent from the Authorized Participant on behalf of itself or another redeeming investor within the time periods specified in the Participant Agreement. If the Transfer Agent does not receive the investor's Shares through DTC's facilities by the times and pursuant to the other terms and conditions set forth in the Participant Agreement, the redemption request shall be rejected.
The Authorized Participant must transmit the request for redemption, in the form required by the Trust, to the Transfer Agent in accordance with procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed a Participant Agreement, and that, therefore, requests to redeem Creation Units may have to be placed by the investor's broker through an Authorized Participant who has executed a Participant Agreement. Investors making a redemption request should be aware that such request must be in the form specified by such Authorized Participant. Investors making a request to redeem Creation Units should allow sufficient time to permit proper submission of the request by an Authorized Participant and transfer of Shares to the Trust's Transfer Agent; such investors should allow for the additional time that may be required to effect redemptions through their banks, brokers or other financial intermediaries if such intermediaries are not Authorized Participants.
Additional Redemption Procedures. In connection with taking delivery of Shares of Fund Securities upon redemption of Creation Units, a redeeming shareholder or Authorized Participant acting on behalf of such shareholder must maintain appropriate custody arrangements with a qualified broker-dealer, bank or other custody providers in each jurisdiction in which any of the Fund Securities are customarily traded, to which account such Fund Securities will be delivered. Deliveries of redemption proceeds generally will be made within two business days of the trade date.
The Trust may in its discretion exercise its option to redeem such Shares in cash, and the redeeming investor will be required to receive its redemption proceeds in cash. In addition, an investor may request a redemption in cash that the Fund may, in its sole discretion, permit. In either case, the investor will receive a cash payment equal to the NAV of its Shares based on the NAV of Shares next determined after the redemption request is received in proper form (minus a redemption transaction fee, if applicable, and additional charge for requested cash redemptions specified above, to offset the Trust's brokerage and other transaction costs associated with the disposition of Fund Securities). The Fund may also, in its sole discretion, upon request of a shareholder, provide such redeemer a portfolio of securities that differs from the exact composition of the Fund Securities but does not differ in NAV.
Redemptions of Shares for Fund Securities will be subject to compliance with applicable federal and state securities laws and the Fund (whether or not it otherwise permits cash redemptions) reserves the right to redeem Creation Units for cash to the extent that the Trust could not lawfully deliver specific Fund Securities upon redemptions or could not do so without first registering the Fund Securities under such laws. An Authorized Participant or an investor for which it is acting subject to a legal restriction with respect to a particular security included in the Fund Securities applicable to the redemption of Creation Units may be paid an equivalent amount of cash. The Authorized Participant may request the redeeming investor of Shares to complete an order form or to enter into agreements with respect to such matters as compensating cash payment. Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a 'qualified institutional buyer,' ('QIB'), as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the Securities Act, will not be able to receive Fund Securities that are
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restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A. An Authorized Participant may be required by the Trust to provide a written confirmation with respect to QIB status to receive Fund Securities.
Because the portfolio securities of the Fund may trade on other exchanges on days that the Exchange is closed or are otherwise not Business Days for the Fund, shareholders may not be able to redeem their Shares, or to purchase or sell Shares on the Exchange, on days when the NAV of the Fund could be significantly affected by events in the relevant foreign markets.
The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed with respect to the Fund (1) for any period during which the Exchange is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (2) for any period during which trading on the Exchange is suspended or restricted; (3) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which disposal of Shares or determination of the NAV of Shares is not reasonably practicable; or (4) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC.
DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE
NAV per Share for the Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of Shares outstanding, rounded to the nearest cent. Expenses and fees, including the management fees, are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. The NAV is calculated by Fund Services and determined at the scheduled close of the regular trading session on the NYSE (ordinarily 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on each day that the NYSE is open, provided that fixed income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed income instruments on any day that the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association ('SIFMA') announces an early closing time.
In calculating the Fund's NAV per Share, the Fund's investments are generally valued using market valuations. A market valuation generally means a valuation (i) obtained from an exchange, a pricing service, or a major market maker (or dealer), (ii) based on a price quotation or other equivalent indication of value supplied by an exchange, a pricing service, or a major market maker (or dealer) or (iii) based on amortized cost. In the case of shares of other funds that are not traded on an exchange, a market valuation means such fund's published NAV per share. The Fund may use various pricing services, or discontinue the use of any pricing service, as approved by the Board from time to time. A price obtained from a pricing service based on such pricing service's valuation matrix may be considered a market valuation. Any assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are converted into U.S. dollars at the current market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more sources.
DIVIDENDS AND DISTRIBUTIONS
The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled 'Dividends, Distributions and Taxes.'
General Policies. Dividends from net investment income, if any, are declared and paid at least annually by the Fund. Distributions of net realized securities gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Fund may make distributions on a more frequent basis to comply with the distribution requirements of the Code to preserve the Fund's eligibility for treatment as a RIC, in all events in a manner consistent with the provisions of the 1940 Act.
Dividends and other distributions on Shares are distributed, as described below, on a pro rata basis to Beneficial Owners of such Shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants to Beneficial Owners then of record with proceeds received from the Trust.
The Fund makes additional distributions to the extent necessary (i) to distribute the entire annual taxable income of the Fund, plus any net capital gains and (ii) to avoid imposition of the excise tax imposed by Section 4982 of the Code. Management of the Trust reserves the right to declare special dividends if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve the Fund's eligibility for treatment as a RIC or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income.
Dividend Reinvestment Service. The Trust will not make the DTC book-entry dividend reinvestment service available for use by Beneficial Owners for reinvestment of their cash proceeds, but certain individual broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by Beneficial Owners of the Fund through DTC Participants for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Investors should contact their brokers to ascertain the availability and description of these services. Beneficial Owners should be aware that each broker may require investors to adhere to specific procedures and timetables to participate in the dividend reinvestment service and investors should ascertain from their brokers such necessary details. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole Shares issued by the Trust of the Fund at NAV per Share. Distributions reinvested in additional Shares will nevertheless be taxable to Beneficial Owners acquiring such additional Shares to the same extent as if such distributions had been received in cash.
FEDERAL INCOME TAXES
The following is only a summary of certain U.S. federal income tax considerations generally affecting the Fund and its shareholders that supplements the discussion in the Prospectus. No attempt is made to present a comprehensive explanation of the federal, state, local or foreign tax treatment of the Fund or its shareholders, and the discussion here and in the Prospectus is not intended to be a substitute for careful tax planning.
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The following general discussion of certain U.S. federal income tax consequences is based on provisions of the Code and the regulations issued thereunder as in effect on the date of this SAI. New legislation, as well as administrative changes or court decisions, may significantly change the conclusions expressed herein, and may have a retroactive effect with respect to the transactions contemplated herein.
Shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisers regarding the application of the provisions of tax law described in this SAI in light of the particular tax situations of the shareholders and regarding specific questions as to federal, state, local or foreign taxes.
Taxation of the Fund. The Fund has elected and intends to continue to qualify each year to be treated as a separate RIC under the Code. As such, the Fund should not be subject to federal income taxes on its net investment income and capital gains, if any, to the extent that it timely distributes such income and capital gains to its shareholders. To qualify for treatment as a RIC, the Fund must distribute annually to its shareholders at least the sum of 90% of its net investment income (generally including the excess of net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses) and 90% of its net tax-exempt interest income, if any (the 'Distribution Requirement') and also must meet several additional requirements. Among these requirements are the following: (i) at least 90% of the Fund's gross income each taxable year must be derived from dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities loans, gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or foreign currencies and net income derived from interests in qualified publicly traded partnerships (the 'Qualifying Income Requirement'); and (ii) at the end of each quarter of the Fund's taxable year, the Fund's assets must be diversified so that (a) at least 50% of the value of the Fund's total assets is represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs, and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect to any one issuer, to an amount not greater in value than 5% of the value of the Fund's total assets and to not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, including the equity securities of a qualified publicly traded partnership, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of its total assets is invested, including through corporations in which the Fund owns a 20% or more voting stock interest, in the securities (other than U.S. government securities or securities of other RICs) of any one issuer, the securities (other than securities of other RICs) of two or more issuers which the Fund controls and which are engaged in the same, similar, or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships (the 'Diversification Requirement').
To the extent the Fund makes investments that may generate income that is not qualifying income, including certain derivatives, the Fund will seek to restrict the resulting income from such investments so that the Fund's non-qualifying income does not exceed 10% of its gross income.
Although the Fund intends to distribute substantially all of its net investment income and may distribute its capital gains for any taxable year, the Fund will be subject to federal income taxation to the extent any such income or gains are not distributed. The Fund is treated as a separate corporation for federal income tax purposes. The Fund therefore is considered to be a separate entity in determining its treatment under the rules for RICs described herein. The requirements (other than certain organizational requirements) for qualifying RIC status are determined at the Fund level rather than at the Trust level.
If the Fund fails to satisfy the Qualifying Income Requirement or the Diversification Requirement in any taxable year, the Fund may be eligible for relief provisions if the failures are due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, and if a penalty tax is paid with respect to each failure to satisfy the applicable requirements. Additionally, relief is provided for certain de minimis failures of the Diversification Requirement where the Fund corrects the failure within a specified period of time. To be eligible for the relief provisions with respect to a failure to meet the Diversification Requirement, the Fund may be required to dispose of certain assets. If these relief provisions were not available to the Fund and it were to fail to qualify for treatment as a RIC for a taxable year, all of its taxable income would be subject to tax at the regular 21% corporate rate without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and its distributions (including capital gains distributions) generally would be taxable to the shareholders of the Fund as ordinary income dividends, subject to the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders and the lower tax rates on qualified dividend income received by non-corporate shareholders, subject to certain limitations. To requalify for treatment as a RIC in a subsequent taxable year, the Fund would be required to satisfy the RIC qualification requirements for that year and to distribute any earnings and profits from any year in which the Fund failed to qualify for tax treatment as a RIC. If the Fund failed to qualify as a RIC for a period greater than two taxable years, it would generally be required to pay a Fund-level tax on certain net built in gains recognized with respect to certain of its assets upon disposition of such assets within five years of qualifying as a RIC in a subsequent year. The Board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of the Fund for treatment as a RIC if it determines such course of action to be beneficial to shareholders. If the Fund determines that it will not qualify as a RIC, the Fund will establish procedures to reflect the anticipated tax liability in the Fund's NAV.
The Fund may elect to treat part or all of any 'qualified late year loss' as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in determining the Fund's taxable income, net capital gain, net short-term capital gain, and earnings and profits. The effect of this election is to treat any such 'qualified late year loss' as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in characterizing Fund distributions for any calendar year. A 'qualified late year loss' generally includes net capital loss, net long-term capital loss, or net short-term capital loss incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year (commonly referred to as 'post-October losses') and certain other late-year losses.
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Capital losses in excess of capital gains ('net capital losses') are not permitted to be deducted against a RIC's net investment income. Instead, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, potentially subject to certain limitations, the Fund may carry a net capital loss from any taxable year forward indefinitely to offset its capital gains, if any, in years following the year of the loss. To the extent subsequent capital gains are offset by such losses, they will not result in U.S. federal income tax liability to the Fund and may not be distributed as capital gains to its shareholders. Generally, the Fund may not carry forward any losses other than net capital losses. The carryover of capital losses may be limited under the general loss limitation rules if the Fund experiences an ownership change as defined in the Code.
The Fund will be subject to a nondeductible 4% federal excise tax on certain undistributed income if it does not distribute to its shareholders in each calendar year an amount at least equal to 98% of its ordinary income for the calendar year plus 98.2% of its capital gain net income for the one-year period ending on October 31 of that year, subject to an increase for any shortfall in the prior year's distribution. For this purpose, any ordinary income or capital gain net income retained by the Fund and subject to corporate income tax will be considered to have been distributed. The Fund intends to declare and distribute dividends and distributions in the amounts and at the times necessary to avoid the application of the excise tax, but can make no assurances that all such tax liability will be eliminated. The Fund may in certain circumstances be required to liquidate Fund investments in order to make sufficient distributions to avoid federal excise tax liability at a time when the investment adviser might not otherwise have chosen to do so, and liquidation of investments in such circumstances may affect the ability of the Fund to satisfy the requirement for qualification as a RIC.
If the Fund meets the Distribution Requirement but retains some or all of its income or gains, it will be subject to federal income tax to the extent any such income or gains are not distributed. The Fund may designate certain amounts retained as undistributed net capital gain in a notice to its shareholders, who (i) will be required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gain, their proportionate shares of the undistributed amount so designated, (ii) will be entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the income tax paid by the Fund on that undistributed amount against their federal income tax liabilities and to claim refunds to the extent such credits exceed their tax liabilities, and (iii) will be entitled to increase their tax basis, for federal income tax purposes, in their Shares by an amount equal to the excess of the amount of undistributed net capital gain included in their respective income over their respective income tax credits.
Taxation of Shareholders - Distributions. The Fund intends to distribute annually to its shareholders substantially all of its investment company taxable income (computed without regard to the deduction for dividends paid), its net tax-exempt income, if any, and any net capital gain (net recognized long-term capital gains in excess of net recognized short-term capital losses, taking into account any capital loss carryforwards). The distribution of investment company taxable income (as so computed) and net realized capital gain will be taxable to Fund shareholders regardless of whether the shareholder receives these distributions in cash or reinvests them in additional Shares.
The Fund (or your broker) will report to shareholders annually the amounts of dividends paid from ordinary income, the amount of distributions of net capital gain, the portion of dividends which may qualify for the dividends received deduction for corporations, and the portion of dividends which may qualify for treatment as qualified dividend income, which, subject certain limitations and requirements, is taxable to non-corporate shareholders at rates of up to 20%.
Qualified dividend income includes, in general and, subject to certain holding period and other requirements, dividend income from taxable domestic corporations and certain foreign corporations. Subject to certain limitations, eligible foreign corporations include those incorporated in possessions of the United States, those incorporated in certain countries with comprehensive tax treaties with the United States, and other foreign corporations if the stock with respect to which the dividends are paid is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States. Dividends received by the Fund from an ETF, an underlying fund taxable as a RIC, or a REIT may be treated as qualified dividend income generally only to the extent so reported by such ETF, underlying fund, or REIT. If 95% or more of the Fund's gross income (calculated without taking into account net capital gain derived from sales or other dispositions of stock or securities) consists of qualified dividend income, the Fund may report all distributions of such income as qualified dividend income.
Fund dividends will not be treated as qualified dividend income if the Fund does not meet holding period and other requirements with respect to dividend paying stocks in its portfolio, and the shareholder does not meet holding period and other requirements with respect to the Shares on which the dividends were paid. Distributions by the Fund of its net short-term capital gains will be taxable as ordinary income. Distributions from the Fund's net capital gain will be taxable to shareholders at long-term capital gains rates, regardless of how long shareholders have held their Shares. Distributions may be subject to state and local taxes.
In the case of corporate shareholders, certain dividends received by the Fund from U.S. corporations (generally, dividends received by the Fund in respect of any share of stock (1) with a tax holding period of at least 46 days during the 91-day period beginning on the date that is 45 days before the date on which the stock becomes ex-dividend as to that dividend and (2) that is held in an unleveraged position) and distributed and appropriately so reported by the Fund may be eligible for the 50% dividends received deduction. Certain preferred stock must have a holding period of at least 91 days during the 181-day period beginning on the date that is 90 days before the date on which the stock becomes ex-dividend as to that dividend to be eligible. Capital gain dividends distributed to the Fund from REITs and other RICs are not eligible for the dividends received deduction. To qualify for the deduction, corporate shareholders must
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meet the minimum holding period requirement stated above with respect to their Shares, taking into account any holding period reductions from certain hedging or other transactions or positions that diminish their risk of loss with respect to their Shares, and, if they borrow to acquire or otherwise incur debt attributable to Shares, they may be denied a portion of the dividends received deduction with respect to those Shares.
Although dividends generally will be treated as distributed when paid, any dividend declared by the Fund in October, November or December and payable to shareholders of record in such a month that is paid during the following January will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as received by shareholders on December 31 of the calendar year in which it was declared.
U.S. individuals with adjusted gross income (subject to certain adjustments) exceeding certain threshold amounts ($250,000 if married filing jointly or if considered a 'surviving spouse' for federal income tax purposes, $125,000 if married filing separately, and $200,000 in other cases) are subject to a 3.8% tax on all or a portion of their 'net investment income,' which includes taxable interest, dividends, and certain capital gains (generally including capital gain distributions and capital gains realized on the sale of Shares). This 3.8% tax also applies to all or a portion of the undistributed net investment income of certain shareholders that are estates and trusts.
Shareholders who have not held Shares for a full year should be aware that the Fund may report and distribute, as ordinary dividends or capital gain dividends, a percentage of income that is not equal to the percentage of the Fund's ordinary income or net capital gain, respectively, actually earned during the applicable shareholder's period of investment in the Fund. A taxable shareholder may wish to avoid investing in the Fund shortly before a dividend or other distribution, because the distribution will generally be taxable even though it may economically represent a return of a portion of the shareholder's investment.
To the extent that the Fund makes a distribution of income received by the Fund in lieu of dividends (a 'substitute payment') with respect to securities on loan pursuant to a securities lending transaction, such income will not constitute qualified dividend income to individual shareholders and will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders.
If a Fund's distributions exceed its earnings and profits, all or a portion of the distributions made for a taxable year may be recharacterized as a return of capital to shareholders. A return of capital distribution will generally not be taxable, but will reduce each shareholder's cost basis in a Fund and result in a higher capital gain or lower capital loss when the Shares on which the distribution was received are sold. After a shareholder's basis in the Shares has been reduced to zero, distributions in excess of earnings and profits will be treated as gain from the sale of the shareholder's Shares.
Taxation of Shareholders - Sale of Shares. A sale, redemption, or exchange of Shares may give rise to a gain or loss. For tax purposes, an exchange of your Fund Shares for shares of a different fund is the same as a sale. In general, any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Shares will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if Shares have been held for more than 12 months. Otherwise, the gain or loss on the taxable disposition of Shares will generally be treated as short-term capital gain or loss. Any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss, rather than short-term capital loss, to the extent of any amounts treated as distributions to the shareholder of long-term capital gain (including any amounts credited to the shareholder as undistributed capital gains). All or a portion of any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of Shares may be disallowed if substantially identical Shares are acquired (through the reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the disposition. In such a case, the basis of the newly acquired Shares will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.
The cost basis of Shares acquired by purchase will generally be based on the amount paid for Shares and then may be subsequently adjusted for other applicable transactions as required by the Code. The difference between the selling price and the cost basis of Shares generally determines the amount of the capital gain or loss realized on the sale or exchange of Shares. Contact the broker through whom you purchased your Shares to obtain information with respect to the available cost basis reporting methods and elections for your account.
An Authorized Participant who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or a loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time and the sum of the exchanger's aggregate basis in the securities surrendered plus the amount of cash paid for such Creation Units. The ability of Authorized Participants to receive a full or partial cash redemption of Creation Units of the Fund may limit the tax efficiency of the Fund. A person who redeems Creation Units will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger's basis in the Creation Units and the sum of the aggregate market value of any securities received plus the amount of any cash received for such Creation Units. The IRS, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of securities for Creation Units cannot currently be deducted under the rules governing 'wash sales' (for a person who does not mark-to-market its portfolio) or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position.
Any capital gain or loss realized upon the creation of Creation Units will generally be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the securities exchanged for such Creation Units have been held for more than one year. Any capital gain or loss realized upon the redemption of Creation Units will generally be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if Shares comprising the Creation Units have been held for more than one year. Otherwise, such capital gains or losses will generally be treated as short-term capital gains or losses. Any loss upon a redemption of Creation Units held for six months or less may be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any
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amounts treated as distributions to the applicable Authorized Participant of long-term capital gain with respect to the Creation Units (including any amounts credited to the Authorized Participant as undistributed capital gains).
The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has the right to reject an order for Creation Units if the purchaser (or a group of purchasers) would, upon obtaining the Creation Units so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding Shares and if, pursuant to Section 351 of the Code, the Fund would have a basis in the deposit securities different from the market value of such securities on the date of deposit. The Trust also has the right to require the provision of information necessary to determine beneficial Share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination. If the Fund does issue Creation Units to a purchaser (or a group of purchasers) that would, upon obtaining the Creation Units so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding Shares, the purchaser (or a group of purchasers) will not recognize gain or loss upon the exchange of securities for Creation Units.
Authorized Participants purchasing or redeeming Creation Units should consult their own tax advisers with respect to the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction and whether the wash sales rule applies and when a loss may be deductible.
Taxation of Fund Investments. Certain of the Fund's investments may be subject to complex provisions of the Code (including provisions relating to hedging transactions, straddles, integrated transactions, foreign currency contracts, forward foreign currency contracts, and notional principal contracts) that, among other things, may affect the Fund's ability to qualify as a RIC, affect the character of gains and losses realized by the Fund (e.g., may affect whether gains or losses are ordinary or capital), accelerate recognition of income to the Fund and defer losses. These rules could therefore affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders. These provisions also may require the Fund to mark-to-market certain types of positions in its portfolio (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out) which may cause the Fund to recognize income without the Fund receiving cash with which to make distributions in amounts sufficient to enable the Fund to satisfy the RIC distribution requirements for avoiding Fund-level income and excise taxes. The Fund intends to monitor its transactions, intends to make appropriate tax elections, and intends to make appropriate entries in its books and records in order to mitigate the effect of these rules and preserve the Fund's qualification for treatment as a RIC. To the extent the Fund invests in an underlying fund that is taxable as a RIC, the rules applicable to the tax treatment of complex securities will also apply to the underlying funds that also invest in such complex securities and investments.
Gain or loss from futures contracts on broad-based indexes required to be marked to market will be 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gain or loss. Application of this rule may alter the timing and character of distributions to shareholders. The Fund may be required to defer the recognition of losses on futures contracts and swaps to the extent of any unrecognized gains on offsetting positions held by the Fund. If the Fund is required to mark-to-market certain types of positions in its portfolios (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out), this may cause the Fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to make distributions in amounts necessary to satisfy the Distribution Requirement and for avoiding Fund-level income and excise taxes. Accordingly, in order to avoid certain income and excise taxes, the Fund may be required to liquidate its investments at a time when the investment adviser might not otherwise have chosen to do so.
Any annual net profit of the Subsidiary will be recognized as ordinary income by the Fund, but any annual net loss of the Subsidiary will not be recognized and will not carry forward. In general, the Fund will have to recognize as ordinary income its pro rata share of (i) any Subpart F income of the Subsidiary, (ii) any investments by the Subsidiary in U.S. property, and (iii) any global intangible low-taxed income of the Subsidiary, regardless of whether the Subsidiary makes any distributions of any such income to the Fund.
Foreign Investments. Dividends and interest received by the Fund from sources within foreign countries may be subject to withholding and other taxes imposed by such countries. Tax treaties between certain countries and the U.S. may reduce or eliminate such taxes. The Fund does not expect to satisfy the requirements for passing through to its shareholders any share of foreign taxes paid by the Fund, with the result that shareholders will not include such taxes in their gross incomes and will not be entitled to a tax deduction or credit for such taxes on their own tax returns.
If more than 50% of the value of the Fund's assets at the close of any taxable year consists of stock or securities of foreign corporations, which for this purpose may include obligations of foreign governmental issuers, the Fund may elect, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, to treat any foreign income or withholding taxes paid by the Fund as paid by its shareholders. For any year that the Fund is eligible for and makes such an election, each shareholder of the Fund will be required to include in income an amount equal to his or her allocable share of qualified foreign income taxes paid by the Fund, and shareholders will be entitled, subject to certain holding period requirements and other limitations, to credit their portions of these amounts against their U.S. federal income tax due, if any, or to deduct their portions from their U.S. taxable income, if any. No deductions for foreign taxes paid by the Fund may be claimed, however, by non-corporate shareholders who do not itemize deductions. No deduction for such taxes will be permitted to individuals in computing their alternative minimum tax liability. Foreign taxes paid by the Fund will reduce the return from the Fund's investments.
If the Fund holds shares in a 'passive foreign investment company' ('PFIC'), it may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a portion of any 'excess distribution' or gain from the disposition of such shares even if such income is distributed as a taxable dividend by the Fund to its shareholders. Additional charges in the nature of interest may be imposed on the Fund in respect of deferred taxes arising from such distributions or gains.
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The Fund may be eligible to treat a PFIC as a 'qualified electing fund' ('QEF') under the Code in which case, in lieu of the foregoing requirements, the Fund will be required to include in income each year a portion of the ordinary earnings and net capital gains of the qualified electing fund, even if not distributed to the Fund, and such amounts will be subject to the 90% and excise tax distribution requirements described above. To make this election, the Fund would be required to obtain certain annual information from the PFICs in which it invests, which may be difficult or impossible to obtain. Alternatively, the Fund may make a mark-to-market election that will result in the Fund being treated as if it had sold and repurchased its PFIC stock at the end of each year. In such case, the Fund would report any gains resulting from such deemed sales as ordinary income and would deduct any losses resulting from such deemed sales as ordinary losses to the extent of previously recognized gains. The election must be made separately for each PFIC owned by the Fund and, once made, is effective for all subsequent taxable years, unless revoked with the consent of the IRS. By making the election, the Fund could potentially ameliorate the adverse tax consequences with respect to its ownership of shares in a PFIC, but in any particular year may be required to recognize income in excess of the distributions it receives from PFICs and its proceeds from dispositions of PFIC stock. The Fund may have to distribute this excess income to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement and to avoid imposition of the 4% excise tax. To distribute this income and avoid a tax at the Fund level, the Fund might be required to liquidate portfolio securities that it might otherwise have continued to hold, potentially resulting in additional taxable gain or loss. Amounts included in income each year by the Fund arising from a QEF election, will be 'qualifying income' under the Qualifying Income Requirement (as described above) even if not distributed to the Fund, if the Fund derives such income from its business of investing in stock, securities or currencies.
Backup Withholding. The Fund will be required in certain cases to withhold (as 'backup withholding') on amounts payable to any shareholder who (1) fails to provide a correct taxpayer identification number certified under penalty of perjury; (2) is subject to backup withholding by the IRS for failure to properly report all payments of interest or dividends; (3) fails to provide a certified statement that he or she is not subject to 'backup withholding;' or (4) fails to provide a certified statement that he or she is a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien). The backup withholding rate is currently 24%. Backup withholding is not an additional tax and any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder's ultimate U.S. tax liability. Backup withholding will not be applied to payments that have been subject to the 30% withholding tax on shareholders who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the United States.
Non-U.S. Shareholders. Any non-U.S. investors in the Fund may be subject to U.S. withholding and estate tax and are encouraged to consult their tax advisors prior to investing in the Fund. Foreign shareholders (i.e., nonresident alien individuals and foreign corporations, partnerships, trusts and estates) are generally subject to U.S. withholding tax at the rate of 30% (or a lower tax treaty rate) on distributions derived from taxable ordinary income. The Fund may, under certain circumstances, report all or a portion of a dividend as an 'interest-related dividend' or a 'short-term capital gain dividend,' which would generally be exempt from this 30% U.S. withholding tax, provided certain other requirements are met. Short-term capital gain dividends received by a nonresident alien individual who is present in the U.S. for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the taxable year are not exempt from this 30% withholding tax. Gains realized by foreign shareholders from the sale or other disposition of Shares generally are not subject to U.S. taxation, unless the recipient is an individual who is physically present in the U.S. for 183 days or more per year. Foreign shareholders who fail to provide an applicable IRS form may be subject to backup withholding on certain payments from the Fund. Backup withholding will not be applied to payments that are subject to the 30% (or lower applicable treaty rate) withholding tax described in this paragraph. Different tax consequences may result if the foreign shareholder is engaged in a trade or business within the United States. In addition, the tax consequences to a foreign shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of a tax treaty may be different than those described above.
Unless certain non-U.S. entities that hold Shares comply with IRS requirements that will generally require them to report information regarding U.S. persons investing in, or holding accounts with, such entities, a 30% withholding tax may apply to Fund distributions payable to such entities. A non-U.S. shareholder may be exempt from the withholding described in this paragraph under an applicable intergovernmental agreement between the U.S. and a foreign government, provided that the shareholder and the applicable foreign government comply with the terms of the agreement.
For foreign shareholders to qualify for an exemption from backup withholding, described above, the foreign shareholder must comply with special certification and filing requirements. Foreign shareholders in the Fund should consult their tax advisors in this regard.
Tax-Exempt Shareholders. Certain tax-exempt shareholders, including qualified pension plans, individual retirement accounts, salary deferral arrangements, 401(k) plans, and other tax-exempt entities, generally are exempt from federal income taxation except with respect to their unrelated business taxable income ('UBTI'). Tax-exempt entities are not permitted to offset losses from one unrelated trade or business against the income or gain of another unrelated trade or business. Certain net losses incurred prior to January 1, 2018 are permitted to offset gain and income created by an unrelated trade or business, if otherwise available. Under current law, the Fund generally serves to block UBTI from being realized by its tax-exempt shareholders with respect to their shares of Fund income. However, notwithstanding the foregoing, tax-exempt shareholders could realize UBTI by virtue of their investment in the Fund if, for example, (i) the Fund invests in residual interests of Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits ('REMICs'), (ii) the Fund invests in a REIT that is a taxable mortgage pool ('TMP') or that has a subsidiary that is a TMP or that invests in the residual interest of a REMIC, or (iii) Shares constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholders within the meaning of section 514(b) of the Code. Charitable remainder trusts are subject to special rules and should consult their tax advisers. The IRS has issued
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guidance with respect to these issues and prospective shareholders, especially charitable remainder trusts, are strongly encouraged to consult with their tax advisers regarding these issues.
Certain Potential Tax Reporting Requirements. Under U.S. Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss on disposition of Shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder (or certain greater amounts over a combination of years), the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on IRS Form 8886. Direct shareholders of portfolio securities are in many cases excepted from this reporting requirement, but under current guidance, shareholders of a RIC are not excepted. Significant penalties may be imposed for the failure to comply with the reporting requirements. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer's treatment of the loss is proper. Shareholders should consult their tax advisers to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.
Other Issues. In those states which have income tax laws, the tax treatment of the Fund and of Fund shareholders with respect to distributions by the Fund may differ from federal tax treatment.
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Financial Statements and Annual Reports will be available after the Fund has completed a fiscal year of operations. When available, you may request a copy of the Fund's Annual Report at no charge by calling 1-800-617-0004 or through the Fund's website at [ ].
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APPENDIX A
EXCHANGE TRADED CONCEPTS, LLC
PROXY VOTING POLICY AND PROCEDURES
Exchange Traded Concepts ('Exchange Traded Concepts') recognizes its obligation to vote proxies for investments held by clients over which it exercises discretionary voting authority in the clients' best interest. Accordingly, Exchange Traded Concepts will vote all proxies and act on all other corporate actions in a timely manner in accordance with these proxy voting policies and procedures (the 'Proxy Voting Policies').
Exchange Traded Concepts acts as fiduciary in relation to the portfolios of ETF Series Solutions (each, a 'Fund' and together, the 'Funds') and any other clients that it may manage in the future and the assets entrusted by such clients to Exchange Traded Concepts for their management. Except where the client has expressly, in writing, reserved to itself or another party the duty to vote proxies, or where a sub-adviser votes proxies on behalf of a Fund, it is Exchange Traded Concepts' duty as a fiduciary to vote all proxies relating to such shares.
In order to carry out its responsibilities in regard to voting proxies, Exchange Traded Concepts must track all shareholder meetings convened by companies whose shares are held in Exchange Traded Concepts' client accounts, including the Funds, identify all issues presented to shareholders at such meetings, formulate a principled position on each such issue and ensure that proxies pertaining to all shares owned in client accounts are voted in accordance with such determinations.
Pursuant to Rule 206(4)-6 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 ('Advisers Act'), Exchange Traded Concepts: (a) has adopted and implemented these Proxy Voting Policies that are reasonably designed to ensure that Exchange Traded Concepts votes client securities in the best interests of its clients (which includes how Exchange Traded Concepts addresses material conflicts of interests); (b) will disclose to clients how they may obtain information on how Exchange Traded concepts voted their proxies; (c) will describe to clients its Proxy Voting Policies and, upon their request, furnish a copy to its clients; and (d) will maintain certain records relating to the proxy voting activities when an adviser does have proxy voting authority.
Exchange Traded Concepts shall utilize the formal proxy guidelines (set forth below) to appropriately assess each proxy issue. Generally, Exchange Traded Concepts seeks to vote proxies in the best interests of its clients, including the Funds. In the ordinary course, this entails voting proxies in a way which Exchange Traded Concepts believes will maximize the monetary value of each portfolio's holdings. Exchange Traded Concepts' Management Committee, which oversees proxy voting, will address any unusual or undefined voting issues that may arise during the year.
In addition, Exchange Traded Concepts may engage the services of an independent third party ('Proxy Firm') to cast proxy votes according to Exchange Traded Concepts' established guidelines. When Exchange Traded Concepts deems it in the best interest of clients, they may permit a sub-adviser to a Fund the authority to cast proxy votes either in accordance with Exchange Traded Concepts' established guidelines or in accordance with the proxy voting policies submitted by that firm to and approved by the Board of Trustees of ETF Series Solutions. The Proxy Firm or sub-adviser will promptly notify Exchange Traded Concepts of any proxy issues that do not fall under the guidelines set forth below. Exchange Traded Concepts does not believe that conflicts of interest will generally arise in connection with its proxy voting policies.
Generally, Exchange Traded Concepts views that proxy proposals can be grouped into six broad categories as follows:
I.Election of Board of Directors
nExchange Traded Concepts will generally vote in support of management's nominees for the board of directors; however, Exchange Traded Concepts may choose not to support management's proposed board if circumstances warrant such consideration.
II.Appointment of Independent Auditors
nExchange Traded Concepts will support the recommendation of the respective corporation's board of directors.
III.Issues of Corporate Structure and Shareholder Rights
nProposals may originate from either management or shareholders, and among other things, may request revisions to the corporate bylaws that will affect shareholder ownership rights. Exchange Traded Concepts does not generally support obstacles erected by corporations to prevent mergers or takeovers with the view that such actions may depress the corporation's marketplace value.
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nExchange Traded Concepts supports the following types of corporate structure and shareholder rights proposals:
◦Management proposals for approval of stock repurchase programs, stock splits (including reverse splits)
◦Authorization to increase shares outstanding
◦The ability of shareholders to vote on shareholder rights plans (poison pills)
◦Shareholder rights to eliminate or remove super majority provisions
◦Shareholder rights to call special meetings and to act by written consent
nExchange Traded Concepts votes against management on the following items which have potentially substantial financial or best interest impact:
◦Capitalization changes that add 'blank check' classes of stock or classes that dilute the voting interests of existing shareholders which are contrary to the best interest of existing shareholders, anti-takeover and related provisions that serve to prevent the majority of shareholders from exercising their rights or effectively deter appropriate tender offers and other offers
◦Amendments to bylaws which would require super-majority shareholder votes to pass or repeal certain provisions
◦Elimination of shareholders' right to call special meetings
◦Establishment of classified boards of directors
◦Reincorporation in a state which has more stringent anti-takeover and related provisions
◦Shareholder rights plans that allow the board of directors to block appropriate offers to shareholders or which trigger provisions preventing legitimate offers from proceeding
◦Excessive compensation
◦Change-in-control provisions in non-salary compensation plans, employment contracts, and severance agreements which benefit management and would be costly to shareholders if triggered
◦Adjournment of meeting to solicit additional votes
◦'Other business as properly comes before the meeting' proposals which extend 'blank check' powers to those acting as proxy
◦Proposals requesting re-election of insiders or affiliated directors who serve on audit, compensation, and nominating committees
IV.Mergers and Acquisitions
Exchange Traded Concepts evaluates mergers and acquisitions on a case-by-case basis. Exchange Traded Concepts uses its discretion in order to maximize shareholder value. Exchange Traded Concepts generally votes:
nAgainst offers with potentially damaging consequences for minority shareholders because of illiquid stock, especially in some non-US markets
nFor offers that concur with index calculators' treatment and the ability to meet the clients' return objectives for passive funds
nFor proposals to restructure or liquidate closed end investment funds in which the secondary market price is substantially lower than the net asset value
V.Executive and Director Equity-Based Compensation
nExchange Traded Concepts is generally in favor of properly constructed equity-based compensation arrangements. Exchange Traded Concepts will support proposals that provide management with the ability to implement compensation arrangements that are both fair and competitive.
However, Exchange Traded Concepts may oppose management proposals that could potentially significantly dilute shareholders' ownership interests in the corporation.
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VI.Corporate Social and Policy Issues
nProposals usually originate from shareholders and may require a revision of certain business practices and policies.
Exchange Traded Concepts is of the view that typical business matters that directly or indirectly affect corporate profitability are primarily the responsibility of management. Exchange Traded Concepts believes it is inappropriate to use client assets to address socio-political issues. Therefore, social and policy issues reflected in shareholder proposals should be subject to the approval of the corporation's board of directors.
Conflicts
From time to time, Exchange Traded Concepts will review a proxy which presents a potential material conflict. As a fiduciary to its clients, Exchange Traded Concepts takes these potential conflicts very seriously. Exchange Traded Concepts' duty is to ensure that proxy votes are cast in the clients', including the Funds', best interests and are not affected by Exchange Traded Concepts' potential conflict. If a potential conflict of interest exists, and the matter falls clearly within one of the proposals enumerated above, Exchange Traded Concepts will vote proxies in accordance with the pre-determined guidelines set forth in these Proxy Voting Policies.
In other cases, where the matter presents a potential material conflict and is not clearly within one of the enumerated proposals, or is of such a nature that Exchange Traded Concepts believes more active involvement is necessary, Exchange Traded Concepts may employ the services of a Proxy Firm, wholly independent of Exchange Traded Concepts, to determine the appropriate vote.
In certain situations, Exchange Traded Concepts' Management Committee may determine that the employment of a Proxy Firm is unfeasible, impractical or unnecessary. In such situations, the Management Committee shall decide how to vote the proxy. The basis for the voting decision, including the basis for the determination that the decision is in the best interests of Exchange Traded Concepts' clients, shall be formalized in writing. Which action is appropriate in any given scenario would be the decision of the Management Committee in carrying out its duty to ensure that the proxies are voted in the clients' best interests.

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PART C: OTHER INFORMATION
Item 28. Exhibits
(a)
(i)
(ii)
(b)
(c)
Not applicable.
(d)
(i)
(A)
(B)
(C)
Amended Schedule A to the Investment Advisory Agreement between the Trust and Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC to add Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(D)
(E)
(ii)
(A)
(B)
(e)
(i)
(A)
(B)
Distribution Agreement with [ ] (Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF) - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(ii)
(f)
Not applicable.
(g)
(i)
(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)
(E)
(F)
(G)
(H)
Exhibit OO to Custody Agreement, dated November 12, 2020 (ETFB Green SRI REITs ETF) - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(I)
Exhibit [ ] to Custody Agreement, dated [ ] (Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF) - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
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(h)
(i)
(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)
(E)
(F)
(G)
(H)
Exhibit OO to Fund Administration Agreement, dated November 12, 2020 (ETFB Green SRI REITs ETF) - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(I)
Exhibit [ ] to Fund Administration Agreement, dated [ ] (Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF) - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(ii)
(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)
(E)
(F)
(G)
(H)
Exhibit OO to Fund Accounting Agreement, dated November 12, 2020 (ETFB Green SRI REITs ETF) - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(I)
Exhibit [ ] to Fund Accounting Agreement, dated [ ] (Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF) - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(iii)
(A)
(B)
(C)
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(D)
(E)
(F)
(G)
(H)
Exhibit OO to Transfer Agent Agreement, dated November 12, 2020 (ETFB Green SRI REITs ETF) - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(I)
Exhibit [ ] to Transfer Agent Agreement, dated [ ] (Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF) - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(iv)
(A)
(B)
(v)
Compliance Services Agreement between the Trust and U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC dated [ ], 2021 - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(vi)
(vii)
(i) (i)

(ii)
(iii)
(iv)
(v)
(vi)
(vii)
(viii)
(ix)
Opinion and Consent of Counsel (ETFB Green SRI REITs ETF) - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(x)
Opinion and Consent of Counsel (Bitwise Bitcoin Strategy ETF) - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(j)
Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm - to be filed by subsequent amendment.
(k)
Not applicable.
(l)
(i)
(ii)
(m)
(i)
(A)
(B)
(n)
Not applicable.
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Item 29. Persons Controlled by or Under Common Control with Registrant
No person is directly or indirectly controlled by or under common control with the Registrant.
Item 30. Indemnification
The Trustees shall not be responsible or liable in any event for any neglect or wrongdoing of any officer, agent, employee, adviser or principal underwriter of the Trust, nor shall any Trustee be responsible for the act or omission of any other Trustee, and, subject to the provisions of the By-Laws, the Trust out of its assets may indemnify and hold harmless each and every Trustee and officer of the Trust from and against any and all claims, demands, costs, losses, expenses, and damages whatsoever arising out of or related to such Trustee's or officer's performance of his or her duties as a Trustee or officer of the Trust; provided that nothing herein contained shall indemnify, hold harmless or protect any Trustee or officer from or against any liability to the Trust or any Shareholder to which he or she would otherwise be subject by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office.
Every note, bond, contract, instrument, certificate or undertaking and every other act or thing whatsoever issued, executed or done by or on behalf of the Trust or the Trustees or any of them in connection with the Trust shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued, executed or done only in or with respect to their or his or her capacity as Trustees or Trustee, and such Trustees or Trustee shall not be personally liable thereon.
Insofar as indemnification for liability arising under the Securities Act of 1933 (the 'Securities Act') may be permitted to Trustees, officers and controlling persons of the Registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ('SEC') such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the Registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the Registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such Trustee, officer, or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the Registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.
Item 31. Business and Other Connections of Investment Adviser
This Item incorporated by reference each investment adviser's Uniform Application for Investment Adviser Registration ('Form ADV') on file with the SEC, as listed below. Each Form ADV may be obtained, free of charge, at the SEC's website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. Additional information as to any other business, profession, vocation or employment of a substantial nature engaged in by each officer and director of the below-listed investment advisers is included in the Trust's Statement of Additional Information.
Investment Adviser SEC File No.
Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC 801-70485
Vident Investment Advisory, LLC 801-80534
Item 32. Principal Underwriter.
(a) to be provided by subsequent amendment
(b) to be provided by subsequent amendment
(c) Not applicable.
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Item 33. Location of Accounts and Records
The books and records required to be maintained by Section 31(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 are maintained at the following locations:
Records Relating to: Are located at:
Registrant's Fund Administrator, Fund Accountant and Transfer Agent
U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC
615 East Michigan Street, 3rd Floor
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Registrant's Custodian
U.S. Bank, National Association
1555 N. Rivercenter Drive, Suite 302
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212
Registrant's Principal Underwriters
[ ]
Registrant's Investment Adviser and Sub-Adviser
Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC
10900 Hefner Pointe Drive, Suite 400
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73120
Vident Investment Advisory, LLC
1125 Sanctuary Parkway, Suite 515
Alpharetta, Georgia 30009
Item 34. Management Services
Not applicable.
Item 35. Undertakings
Not applicable.

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SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Registrant has duly caused this Amendment to be signed below on its behalf by the undersigned, duly authorized, in the City of Milwaukee, State of Wisconsin on September 14, 2021.

ETF Series Solutions

By: /s/ Michael D. Barolsky
Michael D. Barolsky
Vice President and Secretary

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this Amendment has been signed below by the following persons in the capacities indicated on September 14, 2021.

Signature Title
*David A. Massart
Trustee
David A. Massart
*Janet D. Olsen
Trustee
Janet D. Olsen
*Leonard M. Rush
Trustee
Leonard M. Rush
*Michael A. Castino
Trustee
Michael A. Castino
*Kristina R. Nelson
President
Kristina R. Nelson
*Kristen M. Weitzel
Treasurer
Kristen M. Weitzel


*By: /s/ Michael D. Barolsky
Michael D. Barolsky, Attorney-in-Fact
pursuant to Powers of Attorney