Russell Investment Co.

09/16/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2021 04:01

Filing by Investment Company (SEC Filing - 497)

LifePoints Funds, Target Portfolio Series: Classes A, C, C1, M, P, R1, R4, R5, S and T
RUSSELL INVESTMENT COMPANY
Supplement dated September 16, 2021 to
PROSPECTUS DATED MARCH 1, 2021
I.
INVESTMENT STRATEGIES OF THE CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND, MODERATE STRATEGY FUND, BALANCED STRATEGY FUND, GROWTH STRATEGY FUND AND EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND
: For each Fund in the Prospectus listed above, RIM no longer directly manages Fund assets. All Fund assets are now invested only in the Underlying Funds. As a result, the Funds no longer invest in derivative instruments or hold cash. All references to RIM directly managing Fund assets, Fund investments in derivative instruments and the Funds holding cash in the Investment Strategies or Risks sections of the Prospectus listed above are hereby removed.
II.
CHANGE IN TARGET STRATEGIC ASSET ALLOCATIONS
:
Effective April 16, 2021, each Fund's approximate target strategic allocation to the asset classes in which it invests was modified. As a result, the following changes are made to the Prospectus listed above:
(i)
RISK/RETURN
SUMMARY
: The following replaces the fourth sentence of the relevant Fund's 'Principal Investment Strategies of the Fund'
sub-section
of the 'Risk/Return Summary' section of the Prospectus listed above:
Conservative Strategy Fund
: The Fund's approximate target strategic allocation as of April 16, 2021 is 17% to equity, 66% to fixed income, 15% to multi-asset and 2% to alternative asset classes.
Moderate Strategy Fund
: The Fund's approximate target strategic allocation as of April 16, 2021 is 38% to equity, 49% to fixed income, 10% to multi-asset and 3% to alternative asset classes.
Balanced Strategy Fund
: The Fund's approximate target strategic allocation as of April 16, 2021 is 58% to equity, 30% to fixed income, 8% to multi-asset and 4% to alternative asset classes.
Growth Strategy Fund
: The Fund's approximate target strategic allocation as of April 16, 2021 is 74% to equity, 11% to fixed income, 10% to multi-asset and 5% to alternative asset classes.
Equity Growth Strategy Fund
: The Fund's approximate target strategic allocation as of April 16, 2021 is 85% to equity, 10% to multi-asset and 5% to alternative asset classes.
(ii)
INVESTMENT
OBJECTIVE AND INVESTMENT STRATEGIES OF THE FUNDS:
The following table replaces the current table in the 'Principal Investment Strategies'
sub-section
of the 'Investment Objective and Investment Strategies of the Funds' section of the Prospectus listed above:
The following table shows the Funds' approximate expected target strategic asset allocations to equity, fixed income, multi-asset and alternative asset classes effective April 16, 2021.
Asset Allocation*
Conservative Strategy
Fund
Moderate Strategy
Fund
Balanced Strategy
Fund
Growth Strategy
Fund
Equity Growth
Strategy
Fund
Equity
17
%
38
%
58
%
74
%
85
%
Fixed Income
66
%
49
%
30
%
11
%
-
Multi-Asset
15
%
10
%
8
%
10
%
10
%
Alternative#
2
%
3
%
4
%
5
%
5
%
*
As described below, actual asset allocation may vary.
#
Alternative Underlying Funds pursue investment strategies that differ from those of traditional broad market equity or fixed income funds.
III.
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND, MODERATE STRATEGY FUND, BALANCED STRATEGY FUND, GROWTH STRATEGY FUND AND EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND RISK/RETURN SUMMARY
: The following changes are made in the
sub-section
entitled 'Management' in the Risk/Return Summary section for each Fund in the Prospectus listed above:
The following information is deleted:
Brian Meath, Managing Director, Head of Portfolio Management, has primary responsibility for the management of the Fund. Mr. Meath has managed the Fund since January 2014.
The following information is added:
Brian Meath, Managing Director, Head of Portfolio Management, and Venkat Kopanathi, a Portfolio Manager, have primary responsibility for the management of the Fund. Mr. Meath has managed the Fund since January 2014 and Mr. Kopanathi has managed the Fund since June 2021.
IV.
MANAGEMENT OF THE FUNDS AND UNDERLYING FUNDS
:
(i)
The following replaces the third to the last sentence of the first paragraph in the section entitled 'Management of the Funds and Underlying Funds' in the Prospectus listed above:
Members of Russell Investments' current and former management and private markets firm Hamilton Lane Incorporated's parent company also hold minority positions in Russell Investments Group, Ltd.
(ii)
The following changes are made to the list of employees who have primary responsibility for the management of the Funds in the section entitled 'Management of the Funds and Underlying Funds' in the Prospectus listed above:
The following information is deleted:
Brian Meath, Managing Director, Head of Portfolio Management since March 2019. From May 2016 to March 2019, Mr. Meath was Chief Investment Officer of Multi-Asset Solutions. Mr. Meath was a Senior Portfolio Manager from November 2013 to April 2016. Mr. Meath has primary responsibility for the management of the Conservative Strategy, Moderate Strategy, Balanced Strategy, Growth Strategy and Equity Growth Strategy Funds.
The following information is added:
Venkat Kopanathi, Portfolio Manager - Multi-Asset Solutions since March 2016. Mr. Kopanathi shares primary responsibility for the management of the Conservative Strategy, Moderate Strategy, Balanced Strategy, Growth Strategy and Equity Growth Strategy Funds with Mr. Meath.
Brian Meath, Managing Director, Head of Portfolio Management since March 2019. From May 2016 to March 2019, Mr. Meath was Chief Investment Officer of Multi-Asset Solutions. Mr. Meath was a Senior Portfolio Manager from November 2013 to May 2016. Mr. Meath shares primary responsibility for the management of the Conservative Strategy, Moderate Strategy, Balanced Strategy, Growth Strategy and Equity Growth Strategy Funds with Mr. Kopanathi.
V.
THE MONEY MANAGERS FOR THE UNDERLYING FUNDS
: The following replaces the last paragraph in the section entitled 'The Money Managers For The Underlying Funds' in the Prospectus listed above:
In accordance with a separate exemptive order that the Underlying Funds have obtained from the SEC, the Underlying Funds' Board may approve a new money manager contract or a material amendment to an existing money manager contract at a meeting that is not in person, provided that the Underlying Funds' Board are able to participate in the meeting using a means of communication that allows them to hear each other simultaneously during the meeting.
36-08-681
RUSSELL INVESTMENT COMPANY
1301 Second Avenue, 18th Floor
Seattle, Washington 98101
Telephone 1-800-787-7354
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Target Portfolio Series
March 1, 2021, as supplemented through September 16, 2021
Russell Investment Company ('RIC') is a single legal entity organized as a Massachusetts business trust. RIC operates investment portfolios referred to as 'Funds.' RIC offers shares of beneficial interest ('Shares') in the Funds in multiple separate Prospectuses.
This Statement of Additional Information ('SAI') is not a Prospectus; this SAI should be read in conjunction with the Funds' Prospectus, dated March 1, 2021 and any supplements thereto. You should retain this SAI for future reference.
Capitalized terms not otherwise defined in this SAI shall have the meanings assigned to them in the Prospectus.
This SAI incorporates by reference the Funds' Annual Reportto Shareholders for the year ended October 31, 2020. This SAI also incorporates by reference the Underlying Funds' Annual Reportto Shareholders for the year ended October 31, 2020.
A copy of the Funds' and Underlying Funds' Prospectuses, any Prospectus Supplements, and Annual Reports are available free of charge on the Funds' website at https://russellinvestments.com or by calling Russell Investments at 1-800-787-7354 to request a copy.
As of the date of this SAI, RIC is comprised of 31 Funds. This SAI relates to 5 of these Funds. Each of the Funds presently offers interests in different classes of Shares as described in the table below. Unless otherwise indicated, this SAI relates to all classes of Shares of the Funds.
Ticker Symbol By Class
Fund A C C1(1) M P(2) R1 R4 R5 S T(3)
Conservative Strategy Fund RCLAX RCLCX RCLOX RCNUX RCNMX RCLRX RCLUX RCLVX RCLSX RCNAX
Moderate Strategy Fund RMLAX RMLCX RMLOX RMTTX RMTMX RMLRX RMLUX RMLVX RMLSX RMTAX
Balanced Strategy Fund RBLAX RBLCX RBLOX RBSTX RBSMX RBLRX RBLUX RBLVX RBLSX RBSAX
Growth Strategy Fund RALAX RALCX RALQX RGTTX RGTMX RALRX RALUX RALVX RALSX RGTAX
Equity Growth Strategy Fund REAAX RELCX RELOX RQTTX RQTMX RELRX RELUX RELVX RELSX RQTAX
(1) Class C1 Shares are not currently being offered to investors and are not available for sale in any state.
(2) Class P Shares are not currently being offered to investors and are not available for sale in any state.
(3) Class T Shares are not currently being offered to investors and are not available for sale in any state.
The Underlying Funds in which the Funds may invest are listed below:
Fund Fund
Sustainable Equity Fund#(1) Short Duration Bond Fund(1)
U.S. Dynamic Equity Fund*(1) Commodity Strategies Fund*(1)
U.S. Small Cap Equity Fund(1) Global Infrastructure Fund(1)
Global Equity Fund(1) Global Real Estate Securities Fund(1)
Emerging Markets Fund(1) Multi-Strategy Income Fund(1)
Opportunistic Credit Fund(1)(2) Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Fund
Unconstrained Total Return Fund Multifactor U.S. Equity Fund(3)
Strategic Bond Fund(1) Multifactor International Equity Fund(4)
Investment Grade Bond Fund(1) Multifactor Bond Fund
# Prior to January 1, 2019, the Fund's name was U.S. Defensive Equity Fund.
* Effective April 27, 2021, the U.S. Dynamic Equity and Commodity Strategies Funds were liquidated.
(1) Effective March 1, 2017, the Fund removed 'Russell' from its name.
(2) Prior to March 1, 2019, the Fund's name was Global Opportunistic Credit Fund.
(3) Prior to September 15, 2017, the Fund's name was Select U.S. Equity Fund.
(4) Prior to September 15, 2017, the Fund's name was Select International Equity Fund.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Structure And Governance
1
ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS HISTORY.
1
SHAREHOLDER MEETINGS.
2
CONTROLLING SHAREHOLDERS.
2
TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS.
2
Operation Of RIC
9
SERVICE PROVIDERS.
9
ADVISER.
9
ADMINISTRATOR.
11
PORTFOLIO MANAGERS.
11
MONEY MANAGERS.
14
CUSTODIAN AND PORTFOLIO ACCOUNTANT.
14
DISTRIBUTOR.
14
TRANSFER AND DIVIDEND DISBURSING AGENT.
14
ORDER PLACEMENT DESIGNEES.
15
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM.
15
CODES OF ETHICS.
15
PLAN PURSUANT TO RULE 18f-3.
15
DISTRIBUTION PLANS.
16
SHAREHOLDER SERVICES PLAN.
17
SECURITIES LENDING
18
UNDERLYING FUND EXPENSES.
19
FUND OPERATING EXPENSES.
19
PURCHASE, EXCHANGE AND REDEMPTION OF FUND SHARES.
19
VALUATION OF FUND SHARES.
23
VALUATION OF PORTFOLIO SECURITIES.
23
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER RATES OF THE FUNDS.
24
DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS.
25
PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES.
27
FORUM FOR ADJUDICATION OF DISPUTES
27
BROKERAGE ALLOCATIONS.
28
BROKERAGE COMMISSIONS.
29
Investment Restrictions, Policies And CERTAIN INVESTMENTS
30
INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS
30
INVESTMENT POLICIES
32
Investment Strategies and Portfolio Instruments.
32
Taxes
74
credit Rating definitions
78
Financial Statements
83
Appendix
84
Table of Contents
Structure And Governance
ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS HISTORY.
RIC commenced business operations as a Maryland corporation on October 15, 1981. On January 2, 1985, RIC reorganized by changing its domicile and legal status to a Massachusetts business trust.
RIC is currently organized and operating under a Fourth Amended and Restated Master Trust Agreement dated December 7, 2020 (the 'Master Trust Agreement'), and the provisions of Massachusetts law governing the operation of a Massachusetts business trust. The Board of Trustees ('Board' or the 'Trustees') may amend the Master Trust Agreement from time to time; provided, however, that any amendment which would materially and adversely affect shareholders of RIC as a whole, or shareholders of a particular Fund, must be approved by the holders of a majority of the Shares of RIC or the Fund, respectively. However, the Trustees may, without the affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding voting shares (as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the '1940 Act')) of RIC or a Fund by a vote of a majority of the Trustees or written instrument executed by a majority of their number then in office, terminate, liquidate or reorganize any Fund or any class of Shares of any such Fund at any time by written notice to affected Shareholders. RIC is a registered open-end management investment company. Each of the Funds is a diversified investment company. Each of the Underlying Funds in which the Funds invest is a diversified investment company. Under the 1940 Act, a diversified company is defined as a management company which meets the following requirements: at least 75% of the value of its total assets is represented by cash and cash items (including receivables), government securities, securities of other investment companies, and other securities for the purposes of this calculation limited in respect of any one issuer to an amount not greater in value than five percent of the value of the total assets of such management company and to not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer.
RIC is authorized to issue Shares of beneficial interest, and may divide the Shares into two or more series, each of which evidences a pro rata ownership interest in a different investment portfolio-a 'Fund.' Each Fund is deemed to be a separate trust under Massachusetts law. The Trustees may, without seeking shareholder approval, create additional Funds at any time. The Master Trust Agreement provides that shareholders may be required to redeem their Shares at any time (1) if the Trustees determine in their sole discretion that failure to so redeem may have material adverse consequences to the shareholders of RIC or of any Fund or (2) upon such other conditions as may from time to time be determined by the Trustees and set forth in the Prospectuses with respect to the maintenance of shareholder accounts of a minimum amount. However, shareholders can only be required to redeem their Shares to the extent consistent with the 1940 Act, the rules thereunder and Securities and Exchange Commission ('SEC') interpretations thereof.
RIC Funds are authorized to issue Shares of beneficial interest in one or more classes. Shares of each class of a Fund have a par value of $0.01 per share, are fully paid and nonassessable, and have no preemptive or conversion rights. Shares of each class of a Fund represent proportionate interests in the assets of that Fund and have the same voting and other rights and preferences as the Shares of other classes of the Fund. Shares of each class of a Fund are entitled to the dividends and distributions earned on the assets belonging to the Fund that the Board declares. Each class of Shares is designed to meet different investor needs. Class A and Class T Shares are subject to (1) a front-end sales charge and (2) a Rule 12b-1 fee of up to 0.75% (presently limited to 0.25%). Class C and Class C1 Shares are subject to a Rule 12b-1 fee of 0.75% and a shareholder services fee of 0.25%. Class R4 and Class R5 Shares are subject to a Rule 12b-1 fee of up to 0.75%, which is presently limited to 0.25% for Class R4 Shares and 0.50% for Class R5 Shares, and includes a shareholder services fees of up to 0.25%. The Class M, Class P, Class R1 and Class S Shares are not subject to either a Rule 12b-1 fee or a shareholder services fee. Unless otherwise indicated, 'Shares' in this SAI refers to all classes of Shares of the Funds.
Under certain unlikely circumstances, as is the case with any Massachusetts business trust, a shareholder of a Fund may be held personally liable for the obligations of the Fund. The Master Trust Agreement provides that shareholders shall not be subject to any personal liability for the acts or obligations of a Fund and that every written agreement, obligation or other undertaking of the Funds shall contain a provision to the effect that the shareholders are not personally liable thereunder. The Master Trust Agreement also provides that RIC shall, upon request, assume the defense of any claim made against any shareholder for any act or obligation of a Fund and satisfy any judgment thereon. Thus, the risk of any shareholder incurring financial loss beyond his investment on account of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances in which a Fund itself would be unable to meet its obligations.
The Funds' investment adviser is Russell Investment Management, LLC ('RIM' or the 'Adviser'). The Underlying Funds, other than the Multifactor U.S. Equity, Multifactor International Equity and Multifactor Bond Funds, divide responsibility for investment advice between RIM and a number of money managers unaffiliated with RIM. The Multifactor U.S. Equity, Multifactor International Equity and Multifactor Bond Funds are managed directly by RIM and, thus, all references to money managers do not apply to these Funds.
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RIM on behalf of the Funds has claimed a temporary exemption from the definition of the term 'commodity pool operator' under the Commodity Exchange Act ('CEA') and RIM and the Funds are not subject to registration or regulation as commodity pool operators under the CEA. To the extent the Funds' transactions require RIM on behalf of the Funds to register as a commodity pool operator with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ('CFTC') in the future, the Funds may incur additional expense.
Additionally, pursuant to claims for exclusion from the definition of the term 'commodity pool operator' under the CEA, the Underlying Funds, other than the Emerging Markets, Global Infrastructure, and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds, are not subject to registration or regulation as commodity pool operators under the CEA. In order to maintain the exclusion, RIM on behalf of each Underlying Fund must annually affirm to the National Futures Association that the Underlying Fund has met and will continue to meet the conditions necessary to qualify for the exclusion. Like the Funds, RIM has claimed a temporary exemption from the definition of the term 'commodity pool operator' under the CEA for the Emerging Markets and Global Infrastructure Funds and these Underlying Funds are not subject to registration or regulation as commodity pool operators under the CEA. In the event that an Underlying Fund engages in transactions that require registration as a commodity pool operator in the future, the Underlying Fund will comply with applicable regulations with respect to that Underlying Fund. If an Underlying Fund's transactions require registration as a commodity pool operator and the Underlying Funds subsequently operates subject to CFTC regulation, it may incur additional expenses.
RIM is registered as a 'commodity pool operator' under the CEA and the rules of the CFTC and is subject to regulation as a commodity pool operator under the CEA with respect to the Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Fund, and with respect to their respective subsidiaries, the Cayman Commodity Strategies Fund Ltd. (the 'Commodity Strategies Subsidiary') and the Cayman Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Fund, Ltd. (the 'Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Subsidiary') (together, the 'CFTC Registered Fund'). As the CFTC Registered Fund operates subject to CFTC regulation, it may incur additional expenses. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved the CFTC Registered Fund, its investment strategies or this SAI.
SHAREHOLDER MEETINGS.
RIC will not hold annual meetings of shareholders, but special meetings may be held. Special meetings may be convened (i) by the Board, (ii) upon written request to the Board by shareholders holding at least 10% of RIC's outstanding Shares, or (iii) upon the Board's failure to honor the shareholders' request described above, by shareholders holding at least 10% of the outstanding Shares by giving notice of the special meeting to shareholders. The Board will provide the assistance required by the 1940 Act in connection with any special meeting called by shareholders following a failure of the Board to honor a shareholder request for a special meeting. Each share of a class of a Fund has one vote in Trustee elections and other matters submitted for shareholder vote. On any matter which affects only a particular Fund or class, only Shares of that Fund or class are entitled to vote. There are no cumulative voting rights.
CONTROLLING SHAREHOLDERS.
The Trustees have the authority and responsibility under applicable state law to direct the management of the business of RIC, and hold office unless they retire (or upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75), resign or are removed by, in substance, a vote of two-thirds of the number of Trustees or of RIC Shares outstanding. Under these circumstances, no one person, entity or shareholder 'controls' RIC. For a list of shareholders owning 5% or more of any class of any Fund's Shares or more than 25% of the voting Shares of any Fund, please refer to the Appendix at the end of this SAI.
TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS.
The Board of Trustees is responsible under applicable state law for generally overseeing management of the business and affairs of RIC and does not manage operations on a day-to-day basis. The officers of RIC, all of whom are employed by and are officers of RIM or its affiliates, are responsible for the day-to-day management and administration of the Funds' operations. The Board of Trustees carries out its general oversight responsibilities in respect of the Funds' operations by, among other things, meeting with RIC management at the Board's regularly scheduled meetings and as otherwise needed and, with the assistance of RIC management, monitoring or evaluating the performance of the Funds' service providers, including RIM, the Funds' custodian and the Funds' transfer agent. As part of this oversight process, the Board of Trustees consults not only with management and RIM, but with RIC's independent auditors, Fund counsel and separate counsel to the Independent Trustees. The Board of Trustees monitors Fund performance as well as the quality of services provided to the Funds. As part of its monitoring efforts, the Board of Trustees reviews Fund fees and expenses in light of the nature, scope and overall quality of services provided to the Funds. The Board of Trustees is required under the 1940 Act to review and approve the Funds' contracts with RIM and the money managers.
The Trustees are responsible generally for overseeing the management and operations of RIC. The Trustees and RIC's officers may amend the Prospectus, any summary prospectus, the SAI and any contracts to which RIC or a Fund is a party and interpret the investment objective(s), policies, restrictions and contractual provisions applicable to any Fund without
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shareholder input or approval, except in circumstances in which shareholder approval is specifically required by law (such as changes to fundamental investment policies) or where a shareholder approval requirement is specifically disclosed in the Prospectus or SAI. Neither the Prospectus, any summary prospectus, the SAI, any contracts filed as exhibits to RIC's registration statement, nor any other communications or disclosure documents from or on behalf of RIC creates a contract between a shareholder of a Fund and: (i) RIC; (ii) a Fund; (iii) a service provider to RIC or a Fund; and/or (iv) the Trustees or officers of RIC.
Generally, a Trustee may be removed at any time by a vote of two-thirds of the number of Trustees or of RIC Shares outstanding. A vacancy in the Board shall be filled by a vote of a majority of the remaining Trustees so long as after filling such vacancy, two-thirds of the Trustees have been elected by shareholders. There is one Trustee Emeritus. Trustees Emeritus do not have the power to vote on matters coming before the Board, or to direct the vote of any Trustee, and generally are not responsible or accountable in any way for the performance of the Board's responsibilities.
The Trustees and officers of the Funds also serve in similar positions for the Underlying Funds. Thus, if the interests of a Fund and an Underlying Fund were to diverge, it is possible that a conflict of interest could arise. If such a conflict arises, the Trustees and officers of the affected Funds, respectively, will take all steps they believe reasonable to manage, and where possible, minimize the potential conflict, including possibly by disclosing the conflict to shareholders.
The Board of Trustees is currently comprised of six Independent Trustees, including Raymond P. Tennison and Jack R. Thompson, who have served as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board respectively, since 2021. The Board of Trustees has established a standing Audit Committee, a standing Nominating and Governance Committee and a standing Regulatory and Investment Compliance Committee (formerly, the Investment Committee) which assist in performing aspects of its role in oversight of the Funds' operations and are described in more detail in the following paragraphs. The Board's role in risk oversight of the Funds reflects its responsibility under applicable state law to oversee generally, rather than to manage, the operations of the Funds. In line with this oversight responsibility, the Board receives reports and makes inquiry at its regular meetings and as needed regarding the nature and extent of significant Fund risks (including investment, operational, compliance and valuation risks) that potentially could have a material adverse impact on the business operations, investment performance or reputation of the Funds, but relies upon the Funds' management (including the Funds' portfolio managers), the Funds' Chief Compliance Officer ('CCO'), who reports directly to the Board, and the Adviser (including the Adviser's Chief Risk Officer ('CRO')) to assist it in identifying and understanding the nature and extent of such risks and determining whether, and to what extent, such risks may be eliminated or mitigated. Under the Underlying Funds' multi-manager structure, the Adviser is responsible for oversight, including risk management oversight, of the services provided by the Underlying Funds' money managers, and providing reports to the Board with respect to the money managers. In addition to reports and other information received from Fund management and the Adviser regarding the Funds' investment program and activities, the Board as part of its risk oversight efforts meets at its regular meetings and as needed with representatives of the Funds' senior management, including its CCO, to discuss, among other things, risk issues and issues regarding the policies, procedures and controls of the Funds. The Board receives quarterly reports from the CCO and the CRO and other representatives of the Funds' senior management which include information regarding risk issues. The Board may be assisted in performing aspects of its role in risk oversight by the Audit Committee, the Regulatory and Investment Compliance Committee and such other standing or special committees as may be established from time to time by the Board. For example, the Audit Committee of the Board regularly meets with the Funds' independent public accounting firm to review, among other things, the independent public accounting firm's comments with respect to the Funds' financial policies, procedures and internal accounting controls and management's responses thereto. The Board believes it is not possible to identify all risks that may affect the Funds; it is not practical or cost-effective to eliminate or mitigate all risks; and it is necessary for the Funds to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve their investment objectives. The processes or controls developed to address risks may be limited in their effectiveness and some risks may be beyond the reasonable control of the Board, the Funds, the Adviser, the Adviser's affiliates or other service providers. Because the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board and the Chairman of each of the Board's Audit, Regulatory and Investment Compliance and Nominating and Governance Committees are Independent Trustees, the manner in which the Board administers its risk oversight efforts is not expected to have any significant impact on the Board's leadership structure. The Board has determined that its leadership structure, including its role in risk oversight, is appropriate given the characteristics and circumstances of the Funds, including such factors as the number of Funds, the Funds' share classes, the Funds' distribution arrangements and the Underlying Funds' manager of managers structure. In addition, the Board believes that its leadership structure facilitates the independent and orderly exercise of its oversight responsibilities.
RIC's Board of Trustees has adopted and approved a formal written charter for the Audit Committee, which sets forth the Audit Committee's current responsibilities. The Audit Committee's primary functions are: (1) to assist Board oversight of (a) the integrity of the Funds' financial statements, (b) RIC's compliance with legal and regulatory requirements that relate to financial reporting, as appropriate, (c) the independent registered public accounting firm's qualifications and independence, and (d) the performance of RIC's independent registered public accounting firm; (2) to oversee the preparation of an Audit
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Committee report as required by the SEC to be included in RIC's Form N-CSR or any proxy statement, as applicable; (3) to oversee RIC's accounting and financial reporting policies and practices and its internal controls; and (4) to act as a liaison between RIC's independent registered public accounting firm and the full Board. The Audit Committee reviews both the audit and non-audit work of RIC's independent registered public accounting firm, submits a recommendation to the Board as to the selection of the independent registered public accounting firm, and pre-approves all audit and non-audit services to be rendered by the independent registered public accounting firm for RIC. It is management's responsibility to maintain appropriate systems for accounting and internal control and the auditor's responsibility to plan and carry out a proper audit. Currently, the Audit Committee members are Mr. Raymond P. Tennison, Jr. and Mses. Kristianne Blake and Michelle L. Cahoon, each of whom is an Independent Trustee. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, the Audit Committee held six meetings.
RIC's Board of Trustees has adopted and approved a formal written charter for the Regulatory and Investment Compliance Committee, which sets forth the Regulatory and Investment Compliance Committee's current responsibilities. The Regulatory and Investment Compliance Committee: (1) shall regularly receive, review and consider reports on certain regulatory and investment-related compliance matters regarding the operation of the Funds, separately and as a whole; (2) shall review with RIM and its affiliates the kind, scope, and format of, and the time periods covered by the reports provided to the Committee; (3) may review with RIM and its affiliates such other regulatory and investment-related compliance matters that are related to the operation of the Funds as the Committee may deem to be necessary or appropriate; and (4) may meet with any officer of RIC, or officer or other representative of RIM, any subadviser to a fund or other service provider to RIC. Currently, the Regulatory and Investment Compliance Committee members are Mr. Jack R. Thompson and Mses. Julie Dien Ledoux and Katherine W. Krysty. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, the Regulatory and Investment Compliance Committee and its predecessor, the Investment Committee, held four meetings.
RIC's Board of Trustees has adopted and approved a formal written charter for the Nominating and Governance Committee, which sets forth the Nominating and Governance Committee's current responsibilities. The primary functions of the Nominating and Governance Committee are to: (1) nominate and evaluate individuals for Trustee membership on the Board, including individuals who are not interested persons of RIC for Independent Trustee membership; (2) supervise an annual assessment by the Trustees taking into account such factors as the Committee may deem appropriate; (3) review the composition of the Board; (4) review Independent Trustee compensation; and (5) make nominations for membership on all Board committees and review the responsibilities of each committee. In evaluating all candidates for membership on the Board, the Nominating and Governance Committee considers, among other factors that it may deem relevant: whether or not the person is willing and able to commit the time necessary for the performance of the duties of a Trustee; whether the person is otherwise qualified under applicable laws and regulations to serve as a Trustee; the contribution which the person may be expected to make to the Board and RIC and RIF, with consideration being given to the person's business and professional experience, board experience, education, diversity and such other factors as the Committee, in its sole judgment, may consider relevant; and the character and integrity of the person. In identifying and evaluating Independent Trustee candidates, the Nominating and Governance Committee considers factors it deems relevant which include: whether or not the person is an 'interested person' as defined in the 1940 Act and whether the person is otherwise qualified under applicable laws and regulations to serve on the Board of Trustees of RIC; whether or not the person has any relationship that might impair his or her independence, such as any business, financial or family relationships with Fund management, the investment adviser of the Funds, Fund service providers or their affiliates; whether or not the person serves on boards of, or is otherwise affiliated with, competing organizations or funds; and the character and integrity of the person and the contribution which the person can make to the Board. The Nominating and Governance Committee does not have a formal diversity policy but it may consider diversity of professional experience, education and skills when evaluating potential nominees. The Committee will not consider nominees recommended by Shareholders of the Funds. Currently, the Nominating and Governance Committee members are Messrs. Raymond P. Tennison, Jr. and Jack R. Thompson and Ms. Kristianne Blake, each of whom is an Independent Trustee. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, the Nominating and Governance Committee held one meeting.
Independent Trustees are paid an annual retainer plus meeting attendance and chairperson fees, both at the Board and Committee levels, in addition to any travel and other expenses incurred in attending Board and Committee meetings. RIC's officers and employees are paid by RIM or its affiliates.
Each Trustee was selected to join the Board based upon a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the Trustee's background, business and professional experience, qualifications and skills. No factor, by itself, has been controlling in the selection evaluations.
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The following tables provide information, as of the date of this SAI, for each officer and Trustee of the Russell Investments Fund Complex. The Russell Investments Fund Complex consists of RIC, which has 31 funds, and Russell Investment Funds ('RIF'), which has nine funds. Each of the Trustees is a trustee of RIC and RIF. The first table provides information for the Independent Trustees. The second table provides information for the Trustee Emeritus. The third table provides information for the officers.
Furthermore, each Trustee possesses the following specific attributes: Ms. Blake has had experience as a certified public accountant and has had experience as a member of boards of directors/trustees of other investment companies; Ms. Cahoon has had experience as the senior financial executive of other investment companies and their investment adviser and distributor, as well as a certified public accountant who previously provided audit services in the financial sector at a multi-national accounting firm and has been determined by the Board to be an 'audit committee financial expert'; Ms. Krysty has had business, financial and investment experience as the founder and senior executive of a registered investment adviser focusing on high net worth individuals as well as a certified public accountant and a member of the boards of other corporations and non-profit organizations; Ms. Dien Ledoux has had investment experience as a portfolio manager and has had experience as a member of the board of trustees of other investment companies; Mr. Tennison has had business, financial and investment experience as a senior executive of a corporation with international activities and was trained as an accountant; and Mr. Thompson has had experience in business, governance, investment and financial reporting matters as a senior executive of an organization sponsoring and managing other investment companies, and, subsequently, has served as a board member of other investment companies.
Name, Age, Address Position(s) Held
With Fund and
Length of
Time Served
Term of Office* Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past 5 Years
No. of Portfolios
in Russell Investments
Fund Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other
Directorships
Held by Trustee
During the Past 5 Years
INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES
Kristianne Blake
Born January 22, 1954
1301 Second Avenue,
18th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
• Trustee since 2000

• Chairman of the Audit
Committee since 2021
• Until successor is duly elected and qualified
• Until successor is duly elected and qualified
• Lead Independent Director, Avista Corp. (electric utilities)
• Until May 2017, Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee, Avista Corp. (electric utilities)
• Until September 2018, Regent, University of Washington
• President, Kristianne Gates Blake, P.S. (accounting services)
40 • Lead Independent Director, Avista Corp (electric utilities)
• Until May 2017, Director, Avista Corp (electric utilities)
Michelle L. Cahoon
Born July 5, 1966
1301 Second Avenue,
18th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
• Trustee since 2021 • Until successor is duly elected and qualified • Retired
• From January to March 2019, Consulting Chief Financial Officer, Driehaus Capital Management LLC (investment adviser)
• Until 2018, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Driehaus Capital Management LLC and Driehaus Securities LLC (broker dealer)
• Until 2018, Vice President and Treasurer, Driehaus Mutual Funds (investment company)
40 None
Katherine W. Krysty
Born December 3, 1951
1301 Second Avenue,
18th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
• Trustee since 2014

• Chairman of the Regulatory and Investment Compliance Committee since 2020
• Until successor is duly elected and qualified
• Until successor is duly elected and qualified
• Retired 40 None
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Name, Age, Address Position(s) Held
With Fund and
Length of
Time Served
Term of Office* Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past 5 Years
No. of Portfolios
in Russell Investments
Fund Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other
Directorships
Held by Trustee
During the Past 5 Years
INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES
Julie Dien Ledoux
Born August 17, 1969
1301 Second Avenue,
18th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
• Trustee since 2019 • Until successor is duly elected and qualified • Until March 2018, Trustee of Avenue Credit Strategies Fund (investment company)
• Until November 2017, Trustee of Avenue Income Credit Strategies Fund (investment company)
40 • Until March 2018, Trustee of Avenue Credit Strategies Fund (investment company)
• Until November 2017, Trustee of Avenue Income Credit Strategies Fund (investment company)
Raymond P. Tennison, Jr.
Born December 21, 1955
1301 Second Avenue,
18th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
• Trustee since 2000

• Chairman
since 2021
• Until successor is duly elected and qualified
• Approved Annually
• Retired 40 None
Jack R. Thompson
Born March 21, 1949
1301 Second Avenue,
18th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
• Trustee since 2005

• Vice Chairman since 2021

• Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee since 2021
• Until successor is duly elected and qualified
• Approved Annually
• Until successor is duly elected and qualified
• Retired 40 None
* Each Trustee shall retire from service on the Board of Trustees at the end of the calendar year in which the Trustee reaches 75 years of age. However, at the discretion of the Board and upon the request of the Trustee, a one-year waiver may be granted from the application of the policy, which will allow the Trustee to continue to serve on the Board for an additional one-year period following the end of the calendar year in which the Trustee reaches 75 years of age. A maximum of five one-year waivers may be requested by the Trustee and granted by the Board to the Trustee.
Name, Age, Address Position(s) Held
With Fund and
Length of
Time Served
Term of Office Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past 5 Years
No. of Portfolios
in Russell Investments
Fund Complex
Overseen
by Trustee
Other
Directorships
Held by Trustee During the Past 5 Years
TRUSTEE EMERITUS
George F. Russell, Jr.
Born July 3, 1932
1301 Second Avenue,
18th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
• Trustee Emeritus and Chairman Emeritus since 1999 • Until resignation or removal • Director Emeritus, RIM 40 None
Name, Age, Address Position(s) Held
With Fund
and Length
of Time Served
Term of Office Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past 5 Years
OFFICERS
Cheryl Wichers
Born December 16, 1966
1301 Second Avenue,
18th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
Chief Compliance Officer since 2005 Until removed by Independent Trustees • Chief Compliance Officer, RIC and RIF
• Chief Compliance Officer, RIFUS
• 2011 to 2016, Chief Compliance Officer, U.S. One, LLC
Mark E. Swanson
Born November 26, 1963
1301 Second Avenue,
18th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
President and Chief Executive Officer since 2020; Treasurer, Chief Accounting Officer and Chief Financial Officer since 1998 Until successor is chosen and qualified by Trustees • Global Head of Fund Services, Russell Investments
• President, Chief Executive Officer, Treasurer, Chief Accounting Officer and CFO, RIC and RIF
• Director and President, RIFUS
• Director, RIM, Russell Investments Trust Company ('RITC') and RIFIS
• President and Chief Executive Officer, RIC and RIF, June 2016 to June 2017
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Name, Age, Address Position(s) Held
With Fund
and Length
of Time Served
Term of Office Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past 5 Years
OFFICERS
Kate El-Hillow
Born August 17, 1974
1301 Second Avenue,
18th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
Chief Investment Officer since 2021 Until removed by Trustees • Until 2021, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Senior Portfolio Manager, Head of Strategy Selection and Head of Portfolio Management & Risk, Goldman Sachs
• Global Chief Investment Officer, Russell Investments
• Chief Investment Officer, RIC and RIF
• President, RIM
Mary Beth R. Albaneze
Born April 25, 1969
1301 Second Avenue,
18th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
Secretary and Chief Legal Officer since 2010 Until successor is chosen and qualified by Trustees • Associate General Counsel, Russell Investments
• Secretary, RIM, RIFUS and RIFIS
• Secretary and Chief Legal Officer, RIC and RIF
• Assistant Secretary, U.S. One, LLC
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Trustee Compensation Table
For The Fiscal Year Ended October 31, 2020
AGGREGATE
COMPENSATION
FROM RIC
PENSION OR
RETIREMENT
BENEFITS ACCRUED
AS PART OF RIC
EXPENSES
ESTIMATED ANNUAL
BENEFITS UPON
RETIREMENT
TOTAL COMPENSATION
FROM RIC AND
RUSSELL INVESTMENTS
FUND COMPLEX
PAID TO TRUSTEES
INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES
Thaddas L. Alston* $204,370 $0 $0 $224,167
Kristianne Blake $294,472 $0 $0 $314,269
Cheryl Burgermeister** $218,045 $0 $0 $239,167
Michelle L. Cahoon# N/A N/A N/A N/A
Katherine W. Krysty $210,287 $0 $0 $230,667
Julie Dien Ledoux $198,894 $0 $0 $218,167
Raymond P. Tennison, Jr. $226,703 $0 $0 $248,667
Jack R. Thompson $214,851 $0 $0 $235,667
TRUSTEE EMERITUS
George F. Russell, Jr. $0 $0 $0 $0
* Mr. Alston was a Trustee until January 25, 2021.
** Ms. Burgermeister was a Trustee until June 1, 2021.
#Ms. Cahoon was elected to the Board of Trustees effective April 1, 2021.
Equity Securities Beneficially Owned By Trustees
AS OF The Calendar Year Ended December 31, 2020
DOLLAR RANGE OF EQUITY
SECURITIES IN EACH FUND
AGGREGATE DOLLAR RANGE OF
EQUITY SECURITIES
IN ALL REGISTERED
INVESTMENT COMPANIES
OVERSEEN BY TRUSTEES IN
RUSSELL INVESTMENTS
FUND COMPLEX
INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES
Kristianne Blake None None Over $100,000
Michelle L. Cahoon* None None None
Katherine W. Krysty None None Over $100,000
Julie Dien Ledoux None None $50,001-$100,000
Raymond P. Tennison, Jr. None None Over $100,000
Jack R. Thompson None None Over $100,000
TRUSTEE EMERITUS
George F. Russell, Jr. None None None
* Ms. Cahoon was elected to the Board of Trustees effective April 1, 2021.
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Operation Of RIC
SERVICE PROVIDERS.
RIC's principal service providers are:
Adviser Russell Investment Management, LLC
Administrator and Transfer and Dividend Disbursing Agent Russell Investments Fund Services, LLC
Money Managers for the Underlying Funds Multiple professional discretionary and/or non-discretionary investment management organizations
Custodian and Portfolio Accountant State Street Bank and Trust Company
Distributor Russell Investments Financial Services, LLC
The Trustees, on behalf of RIC, enter into service agreements with RIM, RIFUS and other service providers in order to provide, and in some cases authorize service providers to procure through other parties, necessary or desirable services on behalf of RIC and the Funds. Shareholders are not third-party beneficiaries of such agreements.
ADVISER.
The Funds' investment adviser is RIM, 1301 Second Avenue, 18th Floor, Seattle, WA 98101. RIM was established in 1982 and pioneered the 'multi-style, multi-manager' investment method in mutual funds and, as of December 31, 2020, managed over $36.2 billion in 42 mutual fund portfolios. RIM provides or oversees the provision of all investment advisory and portfolio management services for the Funds and Underlying Funds.
RIM is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Russell Investments Group, Ltd., through which the limited partners of certain private equity funds affiliated with TA Associates Management, L.P. ('TA Associates') (the 'TA Funds') indirectly have a majority ownership interest through alternative investment vehicles (the 'TA Alternative Investment Vehicles') and the limited partners of certain private equity funds affiliated with Reverence Capital Partners, L.P. ('Reverence Capital') (the 'Reverence Capital Funds') indirectly have a significant minority controlling ownership interest through certain Reverence Capital Funds and alternative investment vehicles (the 'Reverence Capital Entities') in RIM and its affiliates ('Russell Investments'). The TA Alternative Investment Vehicles are ultimately controlled by TA Associates Cayman, Ltd., and the Reverence Capital Entities are ultimately controlled by Milton Berlinski, Alexander Chulack and Peter Aberg. TA Associates is one of the oldest and most experienced global growth private equity firms. Reverence Capital is a private investment firm, focused on investing in leading financial services companies. Members of Russell Investments' current and former management and private markets firm Hamilton Lane Incorporated's parent company also hold minority, non-controlling positions in Russell Investments Group, Ltd.
Because RIM's profitability on the Underlying Funds varies from fund to fund, in determining the allocation of each Fund among the Underlying Funds, RIM may have a conflict of interest. It is the policy of RIM to manage each Fund and each Underlying Fund in the best interests of its shareholders. To this end, RIM requires that an investment recommendation by a portfolio manager be reviewed and approved by Russell Investments' Investment Strategy Committee based on the recommendation's investment merits.
The assets of the Funds are invested in shares of the Underlying Funds .
For all Underlying Funds other than the Multifactor U.S. Equity, Multifactor International Equity and Multifactor Bond Funds, subject to the approval of the Underlying Funds' Board, RIM selects, oversees and evaluates the performance results of the Underlying Funds' money managers and allocates a portion of Underlying Fund assets among multiple money manager investment strategies. RIM may change an Underlying Fund's asset allocation at any time, including not allocating Underlying Fund assets to one or more money manager strategies. A money manager may have (1) a discretionary asset management assignment pursuant to which it is allocated a portion of Underlying Fund assets to manage directly and selects the individual portfolio instruments for the assets assigned to it, (2) a non-discretionary assignment pursuant to which it provides a model portfolio to RIM representing its investment recommendations, based upon which RIM purchases and sells securities for an Underlying Fund or (3) both a discretionary and non-discretionary assignment. RIM does not evaluate the investment merits of a money manager's individual security selections or recommendations. Money managers are unaffiliated with RIM. RIM manages Underlying Fund assets not allocated to money manager strategies. RIM also manages the portion of Underlying Fund assets for which an Underlying Fund's non-discretionary money managers provide model portfolios to RIM and each
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Underlying Fund's cash balances. RIM may also manage portions of an Underlying Fund during transitions between money managers. RIM, as agent for RIC, pays the money managers' fees for the Underlying Funds, as a fiduciary for the Underlying Funds, out of the advisory fee paid by the Underlying Funds to RIM. The remainder of the advisory fee is retained by RIM as compensation for the services described above and to pay expenses.
Each of the Funds pays the following annual advisory fee directly to RIM, billed monthly on a pro rata basis and calculated as a specified percentage of the average daily net assets of each of the Funds:
Fund Asset Level Fee
Conservative Strategy Fund All assets 0.20%
Balanced Strategy Fund All assets 0.20%
Moderate Strategy Fund All assets 0.20%
Growth Strategy Fund All assets 0.20%
Equity Growth Strategy Fund All assets 0.20%
Each Fund invests its cash reserves in an unregistered cash management fund advised by RIM. RIM has waived its 0.05% advisory fee for the unregistered fund.
The Funds paid RIM the following advisory fees (gross of reimbursements and/or waivers) for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively:
Funds 10/31/20 10/31/19 10/31/18
Conservative Strategy Fund $345,053 $416,498 $526,878
Moderate Strategy Fund 572,535 724,912 907,639
Balanced Strategy Fund 2,397,305 3,078,818 3,926,828
Growth Strategy Fund 1,820,298 2,236,993 2,732,219
Equity Growth Strategy Fund 805,394 1,021,584 1,212,123
RIM has contractually agreed to waive and/or reimburse all or a portion of its advisory fees for certain Funds. These arrangements are not part of the Advisory Agreement with RIC and may be changed or discontinued. The following paragraphs list the current waivers and those that were in effect during the last three fiscal years.
Current Waivers:
Until February 28, 2022, RIM has contractually agreed to waive up to the full amount of its advisory fee and then to reimburse the Funds for other direct Fund-level expenses to the extent that direct Fund-level expenses exceed 0.12% of the average daily net assets of the Funds on an annual basis. Direct fund-level operating expenses do not include transfer agency fees, Rule 12b-1 distribution fees, shareholder services fees, infrequent and/or unusual expenses, or the expenses of other investment companies in which the Funds invest which are borne indirectly by the Funds. This waiver and reimbursement may not be terminated during the relevant period except with Board approval.
Past Waivers:
For the Conservative Strategy, Moderate Strategy, Balanced Strategy, Growth Strategy and Equity Growth Strategy Funds, respectively, RIM contractually agreed, from March 1, 2010 until February 28, 2021, to waive up to the full amount of its 0.20% advisory fee and then to reimburse the Funds for other direct Fund-level expenses to the extent that direct Fund-level expenses exceed 0.12% of the average daily net assets of that Fund on an annual basis. Direct Fund-level operating expenses do not include transfer agency fees, Rule 12b-1 distribution fees, shareholder servicing fees, infrequent and/or unusual expenses, or the expenses of other investment companies in which the Funds invest which are borne indirectly by the Funds.
For the Conservative Strategy Fund, the total amount of the waiver for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020 was $526,878, $416,498, and $345,053, respectively. The total amount of reimbursements for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019, and 2020 was $27,336, $114,087, and $115,051, respectively. As a result of the waiver, the Fund paid no advisory fees for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
For the Moderate Strategy Fund, the total amount of the waiver for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020 was $834,501, $724,912, and $572,535, respectively. The total amount of reimbursements for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019, and 2020 was $73,138, $40,087, and $62,199, respectively. As a result of the waiver, the Fund paid no advisory fees for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
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For the Balanced Strategy Fund, the total amount of the waiver for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020 was $2,930,918, $2,481,003, and $1,948,011, respectively. There were no reimbursements for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019, and 2020. As a result of the waiver, the Fund paid advisory fees of $995,910, $597,815, and $449,294 for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively.
For the Growth Strategy Fund, the total amount of the waiver for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020 was $2,144,171, $1,905,605, and $1,556,898, respectively. There were no reimbursements for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019, and 2020. As a result of the waiver, the Fund paid advisory fees of $588,048, $331,388, and $263,400 for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively.
For the Equity Growth Strategy Fund, the total amount of the waiver for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020 was $1,067,745, $984,368, and $805,394, respectively. The total amount of reimbursements for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019, and 2020 was $0, $37,217, and $20,072, respectively. As a result of the waiver, the Fund paid advisory fees of $114,378, $0, and $0 for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively.
Each Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of the advisory fees paid by the Underlying Funds in which it invests. For information on the advisory fees the Underlying Funds paid to RIM for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, please see the Underlying Funds' SAIs.
From its advisory fees, RIM, as agent for RIC, pays all fees to the money managers of the Underlying Funds for their investment advisory services. For information regarding the fees paid to the money managers of the Underlying Funds for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, please see the Underlying Funds' SAIs.
ADMINISTRATOR.
RIFUS, with the assistance of RIM and its affiliates, provides the Funds with office space, equipment and the personnel necessary to operate and administer the Funds' business and to supervise the provision of services by certain third parties such as the custodian. RIFUS, like RIFIS (the Funds' distributor), is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIM (the Funds' adviser).
Each of the Funds pays an administrative fee directly to RIFUS, billed monthly on a pro rata basis and calculated as a specified percentage of the average daily net assets of each of the Funds. Services which are administrative in nature are provided by RIFUS pursuant to an Administrative Agreement for an annual fee of up to 0.0425% of the average daily net asset value of each Fund.
Each Fund invests its cash reserves in an unregistered cash management fund administered by RIFUS. RIFUS charges a 0.05% administrative fee to the unregistered fund.
The Funds paid RIFUS the following administrative fees (gross of reimbursements and/or waivers) for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Funds 10/31/20 10/31/19 10/31/18
Conservative Strategy Fund $73,324 $88,506 $111,962
Moderate Strategy Fund 121,664 154,044 192,874
Balanced Strategy Fund 509,427 654,249 834,451
Growth Strategy Fund 386,814 475,361 580,596
Equity Growth Strategy Fund 171,146 217,086 257,576
There are no current or past administrative fee waivers for the Funds for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Each of the Funds will indirectly bear its proportionate share of the administrative fees paid by the Underlying Funds in which it invests. For information on the administrative fees paid to RIFUS by the Underlying Funds for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, please see the Underlying Funds' SAIs.
PORTFOLIO MANAGERS.
The RIM Managers (RIM's employees who manage the RIC Funds and Underlying Funds, oversee the Funds' and Underlying Funds' asset allocations and have primary responsibility for the management of the RIC Funds and Underlying Funds) are compensated by RIM with salaries, annual incentive awards (paid in cash or awarded as part of an equity incentive plan) and profit sharing contributions. Salaries are fixed annually and are driven by the market place. Although compensation is not directly affected by an increase in fund assets, RIM Managers are responsible for aiding in client retention and assistance in RIM assets under management growth.
Annual incentive awards for the RIM Managers of the RIC Funds are assessed by senior management based on the following:
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Qualitative measures, such as a RIM Manager's quality of decisions made for the accounts, contributions to client services efforts and improvement of RIM's investment process. RIM Managers are evaluated on the performance of the total portfolio and all related decisions, for example, money manager selection, timing of money manager change decisions, direct investment activities and risk management.
Quantitative measures (fund performance). RIM Managers receive a quantitative performance assessment score for the Funds they manage. The score is predominantly based on 1-year and 3-year measurement horizons. A two year horizon may be used for a Fund that does not have 3 years of performance history.
In determining the relevant peer group, senior management assigns the peer group which in their judgment most closely represents the habitat of the Fund. The RIM Manager does not choose the peer group. With the exception of the Equity Growth Strategy Fund, the peer group assigned by senior management matches the assigned Morningstar peer group for the Fund.
Performance is generally assessed relative to the Fund's Morningstar peer group.
Fund weightings for each RIM Manager are determined at the beginning of each yearly assessment period and signed off by the Managing Director, Head of Portfolio Management ('MD'). These Funds and the assessment weighting for each Fund are recorded in a central system at the beginning of the assessment period. Each Fund may have an equal weight, could be asset weighted, could be a combination of the two, or could be a custom set of applicable weights. Importantly, the assessment weighting for each Fund is approved by the MD at the beginning of the assessment period. The central system tracks the performance of the allocations throughout the assessment period and delivers a score at the end of the period to be used in the RIM Manager's evaluation.
The peer groups used to evaluate the performance of the Funds are as follows:
Conservative Strategy Fund Morningstar Allocation 15-30% Equity
Moderate Strategy Fund Morningstar Allocation 30-50% Equity
Balanced Strategy Fund Morningstar Allocation 50-70% Equity
Growth Strategy Fund Morningstar Allocation 70-85% Equity
Equity Growth Strategy Fund Morningstar Allocation 70-85% Equity
RIM Manager evaluations, salary and annual incentive award recommendations are conducted and reviewed by the MD. Russell Investments' compensation committee approves salaries and annual incentive awards after the MD's recommendations have been reviewed by the Global Chief Investment Officer.
For the profit sharing plan, contributions by Russell Investments will be made at the discretion of Russell Investments' Board of Directors based on a profitability assessment (which may include factors in addition to achieving the operating profit plan). The annual determination of whether or not Russell Investments' profitability warrants a discretionary contribution will be solely within the Russell Investments Board's discretion and not based on a static formula.
The equity incentive plan provides key professionals with shares and/or options, the values of which are tied to Russell Investments' financial performance. Awards under the equity incentive plan are based on the expected future contribution to the success of Russell Investments and vest over a number of years. Based on Russell Investments' Board of Directors' approval, the shares may also be eligible for dividend payments. The market value of the equity incentive plan is reviewed and approved annually.
RIM Managers earning over a specified amount of total cash compensation (salary plus annual incentive awards) are eligible to participate in the Deferred Compensation Plan. The Deferred Compensation Plan allows the RIM Manager to voluntarily elect to defer receipt of a portion of his/her cash compensation for a given year. Deferred amounts are placed at the RIM Manager's discretion in either a retirement or scheduled withdrawal account with distributions made accordingly.
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Equity Securities Beneficially Owned By Rim Managers In The FundS
They Manage AS OF The Fiscal Year Ended October 31, 2020
RIM MANAGERS OF THE FUNDS DOLLAR RANGE OF EQUITY SECURITIES IN THE FUND
MANAGED BY THE RIM MANAGER
Brian Meath None Conservative Strategy Fund
None Moderate Strategy Fund
None Balanced Strategy Fund
None Growth Strategy Fund
None Equity Growth Strategy Fund
Venkat Kopanathi* None Conservative Strategy Fund
None Moderate Strategy Fund
None Balanced Strategy Fund
None Growth Strategy Fund
None Equity Growth Strategy Fund

* Information for Mr. Kopanathi is as of April 30, 2021.
RIM Managers typically manage multiple portfolios. These portfolios may include mutual funds, separate accounts, unregistered funds and commingled trusts. Russell Investments' investment process, which includes money manager selection and proprietary asset allocation, is guided by the principle that all portfolios will be treated in a fair and equitable manner. To adhere to this guiding principle, RIM Managers follow a process of constructing portfolios in accordance with regulatory and investment guidelines and then selecting Underlying Fund money managers or Underlying Funds for the Funds to invest in to fulfill those needs. Specifically, RIM Managers make money manager or Underlying Fund selection and allocation decisions for each portfolio based on a variety of factors relevant to that portfolio. The investment process dictates that RIM Managers of Underlying Funds utilize RIM's manager research analysis and manager rankings to assist in selecting the most suitable money manager(s) to meet the unique investment needs of the various portfolios they manage. RIM Managers of funds of funds utilize Russell Investments' proprietary capital markets research and portfolio strategy analysis to assist in determining the Underlying Funds in which to invest and the asset allocations of the Funds to meet the unique investment needs of the various funds they manage.
At the core of Russell Investments' investment process is a robust oversight and peer review program for money manager selection for the Underlying Funds and asset allocation for the funds of funds. For RIM managers of Underlying Funds it includes the hiring, termination and retention of money managers. For fund of funds asset allocations, this process includes defining a fund's objective and determining appropriate ways to measure performance. This process is overseen by Russell Investments' Investment Strategy Committee ('ISC') and the MD.
Occasionally, a particular money manager for an Underlying Fund may restrict the total amount of capacity they will allocate to Russell Investments portfolios. If, however, the total allocation is too small to be shared in a meaningful size across all Russell Investments portfolios or if the money manager restricts the absolute number of assignments they will accept from Russell Investments, it is the RIM Manager's responsibility to determine which portfolios receive the allocation. In cases where a RIM Manager is managing multiple portfolios and must allocate a manager differently across her/his funds, or multiple RIM Managers must allocate the same manager differently across their funds, both the MD and the ISC must review and ratify the recommendations.
OTHER ACCOUNTS MANAGED BY RIM MANAGERS
AND ASSETS UNDER MANAGEMENT IN THE ACCOUNTS
AS OF October 31, 2020
RIM Manager Number of
Registered
Investment
Companies
Assets Under
Management
(in millions)
Number
of Pooled
Investment
Vehicles
Assets Under
Management
(in millions)
Other Types
of Accounts
Assets Under
Management
(in millions)
Asset Total
(in millions)
Brian Meath 6 $2,814.2 5 $335.4 2 $2,353.8 $5,508.4
Venkat Kopanathi* -- -- -- -- -- -- --
* Information for Mr. Kopanathi is as of April 30, 2021.
None of the above Other Accounts Managed by RIM Managers has an advisory fee based on the performance of the account.
Further information on the RIM Managers of the Underlying Funds is available in the Underlying Funds' respective SAIs.
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MONEY MANAGERS.
The Underlying Funds' money managers are not affiliates of RIC or RIM, other than as discretionary or non-discretionary managers for a portion of an Underlying Fund's portfolio. Some money managers (and their affiliates) may effect brokerage transactions for the Underlying Funds (see 'Brokerage Allocations' and 'Brokerage Commissions'). Money managers may serve as advisers or discretionary and/or non-discretionary managers for Russell Investments Trust Company, other investment vehicles sponsored or advised by RIM or its affiliates, other consulting clients of RIM, other offshore vehicles and/or for accounts which have no business relationship with RIM or its affiliates.
From its advisory fees received from the Underlying Funds, RIM, as agent for RIC, pays all fees to the money managers for their investment selection services. Money manager fees are determined through arm's-length negotiations with RIM. These negotiations take into account, among other factors, the anticipated nature and quality of services to be rendered, the current and expected future level of business with the money manager, and fees charged by the money manager and other money managers for services provided to funds and accounts with similar investment mandates. Typically, a sliding fee scale corresponding to future levels of assets is agreed upon to reflect economies of scale achieved as a result of cash inflows or market appreciation. RIM periodically reviews money manager fee levels and renegotiates these agreements as appropriate. Quarterly, each money manager is paid the pro rata portion of an annual fee, based on the average for the quarter of all the assets with respect to which the money manager provides its services. For information regarding fees paid to the money managers of the Underlying Funds for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, please see the Underlying Funds' SAI.
Each money manager has agreed that it will look only to RIM for the payment of the money manager's fee, after RIC has paid RIM. Fees paid to the money managers are not affected by any voluntary or statutory expense limitations. Some money managers may benefit as a result of brokerage commissions received by their broker-dealer affiliates that execute portfolio transactions for the Funds.
CUSTODIAN AND PORTFOLIO ACCOUNTANT.
State Street Bank and Trust Company ('State Street') serves as the custodian and fund accountant for RIC. As custodian, State Street is responsible for the safekeeping of the Funds' and Underlying Funds' assets and the appointment of any subcustodian banks and clearing agencies. State Street also provides basic portfolio recordkeeping required for each Fund and Underlying Fund for regulatory and financial reporting purposes. The mailing address for State Street is: 1 Heritage Drive, North Quincy, MA 02171.
DISTRIBUTOR.
Russell Investments Financial Services, LLC (the 'Distributor') serves as the distributor of RIC Shares. Certain classes of RIC Funds pay for distribution-related services and shareholder services pursuant to RIC's Rule 12b-1 Distribution Plan and Shareholder Services Plan, respectively. As permitted by RIC's Rule 12b-1 Distribution Plan and Shareholder Services Plan, the Distributor has entered into arrangements with Selling Agents and Servicing Agents (each, as defined below) to perform certain distribution and shareholder services for certain classes of RIC. The distribution fees and shareholder services fees paid by the Funds to the Distributor are then paid by the Distributor to these Selling Agents and Servicing Agents. With the exception of Class C1 Shares, the Distributor does not retain any of the distribution fees or shareholder servicing fees paid to it by the Funds. Any amounts that are unable to be paid to the Selling and Servicing Agents are returned to RIC. The Distributor keeps a portion of the front-end sales charge imposed on Class A Shares. Financial Intermediaries receive the remaining amount of the front-end sales charge imposed on Class A Shares and all of the front-end sales charge imposed on Class T Shares and may be deemed to be underwriters of the relevant Fund as defined in the Securities Act of 1933, as amended ('Securities Act'). Financial Intermediaries that sell Class A and Class T Shares may also receive the distribution fee payable under the Funds' Distribution Plan at an annual rate of up to 0.75% (presently limited to 0.25%) of the average daily net assets represented by the Class A and Class T Shares sold by them.
The Distributor distributes shares of the Funds continuously, but reserves the right to suspend or discontinue distribution on that basis. The Distributor is not obligated to sell any specific amount of Fund shares. The Distributor is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIM and its mailing address is 1301 Second Avenue, 18th Floor, Seattle, WA 98101.
TRANSFER AND DIVIDEND DISBURSING AGENT.
RIFUS serves as transfer and dividend disbursing agent for RIC. For this service, RIFUS is paid a fee for transfer agency and dividend disbursing services provided to RIC. RIFUS retains a portion of this fee for its services provided to RIC and pays the balance to unaffiliated agents who assist in providing these services. RIFUS's mailing address is 1301 Second Avenue, 18th Floor, Seattle, WA 98101.
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RIFUS has contractually agreed to waive, through February 28, 2022, a portion of its transfer agency fees for certain classes of certain Funds as set forth below:
Fund and Class Amount Waived
Conservative Strategy Fund - Class A, C, C1 & T
0.08%
Conservative Strategy Fund - Class P & S
0.02%
Conservative Strategy Fund - Class M
0.10%
Conservative Strategy Fund - Class R1, R4 & R5
0.15%
Moderate Strategy Fund - Class A, C, C1, R1, R4, R5 & T
0.08%
Moderate Strategy Fund - Class M
0.10%
Moderate Strategy Fund - Class P
0.02%
Balanced Strategy Fund - Class A, C, C1, M & T
0.10%
Balanced Strategy Fund - Class P
0.02%
Balanced Strategy Fund - Class R1, R4 & R5
0.06%
Growth Strategy Fund - Class M
0.10%
Growth Strategy Fund - Class P
0.02%
Growth Strategy Fund - Class R1, R4 & R5
0.05%
Equity Growth Strategy Fund - Class M
0.10%
Equity Growth Strategy Fund - Class P
0.02%
Equity Growth Strategy Fund - Class R1, R4 & R5
0.08%
ORDER PLACEMENT DESIGNEES.
The Distributor or its affiliates have authorized certain Financial Intermediaries to accept on its behalf purchase and redemption orders for RIC Shares. Certain Financial Intermediaries are authorized, subject to approval of the Distributor, to designate other intermediaries to accept purchase and redemption orders on RIC's behalf. With respect to those intermediaries, RIC will be deemed to have received a purchase or redemption order at the time such a Financial Intermediary or, if applicable, an authorized designee, accepts the order. The customer orders will be priced at the applicable Fund's net asset value next computed after they are accepted by such a Financial Intermediary or an authorized designee, provided that Financial Intermediary or an authorized designee timely transmits the customer order to RIC.
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ('PwC') serves as the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm of RIC. PwC is responsible for performing annual audits of the financial statements and financial highlights of the Funds and Underlying Funds in accordance with the auditing standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) and providing federal tax return preparation services and other tax compliance services. The mailing address of PwC is 1420 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2800, Seattle, WA 98101.
CODES OF ETHICS.
RIC, RIM, the Distributor and each money manager have each adopted a code of ethics which complies in all material respects with applicable law and which is intended to protect the interests of each Fund and Underlying Fund's shareholders, as applicable. The codes of ethics are designed to prevent affiliated persons of RIC, RIM, the Distributor and the money managers from engaging in deceptive, manipulative, or fraudulent activities in connection with securities held or to be acquired by the Underlying Funds (which may also be held by persons subject to a code of ethics). There can be no assurance that the codes of ethics will be effective in preventing such activities. The codes of ethics generally permit investment personnel to trade securities for their own account, including securities that may be purchased or held by an Underlying Fund, subject to restrictions on personal securities trading specified in the applicable code of ethics. Each code of ethics has been filed with the SEC and may be viewed by the public.
Because each money manager is an entity not affiliated with RIC or RIM, RIM relies on each money manager to monitor the personal trading activities of the money manager's personnel in accordance with that money manager's code of ethics. Each money manager provides RIM with a quarterly certification of the money manager's compliance with its code of ethics and a report of any significant violations of its code.
PLAN PURSUANT TO RULE 18f-3.
SEC Rule 18f-3 under the 1940 Act permits a registered open-end investment company to issue multiple classes of Shares in accordance with a written plan approved by the investment company's board of trustees that is filed with the SEC. For purposes of this SAI, because the Funds offer multiple classes of Shares, the Funds will also be referred to as 'Multiple Class Funds.' The key features of the Rule 18f-3 plan are as follows: Shares of each class of a Multiple Class Fund represent an
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equal pro rata interest in the underlying assets of that Fund, and generally have identical voting, dividend, liquidation, and other rights, preferences, powers, restrictions, limitations, qualifications and terms and conditions, except that: (1) each class of Shares offered in connection with a Rule 12b-1 plan may bear certain fees under its respective Rule 12b-1 plan and may have exclusive voting rights on matters pertaining to that plan and any related agreements; (2) each class of Shares may contain a conversion feature; (3) each class of Shares may bear differing amounts of certain class expenses; (4) different policies may be established with respect to the payment of distributions on the classes of Shares of a Multiple Class Fund to equalize the net asset values of the classes or, in the absence of such policies, the net asset value per share of the different classes may differ at certain times; (5) each class of Shares of a Multiple Class Fund may have different exchange privileges from another class; (6) each class of Shares of a Multiple Class Fund may have a different class designation from another class of that Fund; and (7) each class of Shares offered in connection with a shareholder servicing plan would bear certain fees under its respective plan.
DISTRIBUTION PLANS.
Under the 1940 Act, the SEC has adopted Rule 12b-1, which regulates the circumstances under which mutual funds may, directly or indirectly, bear distribution expenses. Rule 12b-1 provides that mutual funds may pay for such expenses only pursuant to a plan adopted in accordance with Rule 12b-1. Each Multiple Class Fund has adopted a distribution plan (the 'Distribution Plan') in accordance with the Rule.
Description of the Distribution Plan for Multiple Class Funds
In adopting the Distribution Plan for each Multiple Class Fund, a majority of the Trustees, including a majority of the Trustees who are not 'interested persons' (as defined in the 1940 Act) of RIC and who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of any Distribution Plan or in any agreements entered into in connection with any Distribution Plan (the 'Independent Trustees'), have concluded, in conformity with the requirements of the 1940 Act, that there is a reasonable likelihood that the Distribution Plan will benefit each respective Multiple Class Fund and its shareholders. In connection with the Trustees' consideration of whether to adopt the Distribution Plan for each Multiple Class Fund, the Distributor, as the Multiple Class Funds' principal underwriter, represented to the Trustees that the Distributor believed that the Distribution Plan was expected to result in increased sales and asset retention for those Multiple Class Funds by enabling those Multiple Class Funds to reach and retain more investors and Financial Intermediaries (such as brokers, banks, financial planners, investment advisers and other financial institutions), although it is impossible to know for certain, in the absence of a Distribution Plan or under an alternative distribution arrangement, the level of sales and asset retention that a particular Multiple Class Fund would have.
For each Multiple Class Fund offering Class A, Class T, Class C, Class C1 or Class R5 Shares, the 12b-1 fees may be used to compensate (a) Selling Agents (as defined below) for sales support services provided, and related expenses incurred with respect to Class A, Class T, Class C, Class C1 and Class R5 Shares, by such Selling Agents, and (b) the Distributor for distribution services provided by it, and related expenses incurred, including payments by the Distributor to compensate Selling Agents for providing support services. The Distribution Plan is a compensation-type plan. As such, RIC makes no distribution payments to the Distributor with respect to Class A, Class T, Class C, Class C1 or Class R5 Shares except as described above. Therefore, RIC does not pay for unreimbursed expenses of the Distributor, including amounts expended by the Distributor in excess of amounts received by it from RIC, interest, carrying or other financing charges in connection with excess amounts expended, or the Distributor's overhead expenses. However, the Distributor may be able to recover such amount or may earn a profit from future payments made by RIC under the Distribution Plan.
For each Multiple Class Fund offering Class A, Class T, Class C, Class C1 or Class R5 Shares, the Distribution Plan provides that each Multiple Class Fund may spend annually, directly or indirectly, up to 0.75% of the average daily net asset value of its Class A, Class T, Class C, Class C1 and Class R5 Shares for any activities or expenses primarily intended to result in the sale of Class A, Class T, Class C, Class C1 and Class R5 Shares of such Multiple Class Fund. Such payments by RIC will be calculated daily and paid as billed. Any amendment to increase materially the costs that Shares may bear for distribution pursuant to the Distribution Plan shall be effective upon a vote of the holders of the affected Class of the lesser of (a) more than fifty percent (50%) of the outstanding Shares of the affected Class of a Multiple Class Fund or (b) sixty-seven percent (67%) or more of the Shares of the affected Class of a Multiple Class Fund present at a shareholders' meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding Shares of the affected Class of such Multiple Class Fund are present or represented by proxy (a '1940 Act Vote') and a vote of the Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees. For the Multiple Class Funds, the Distribution Plan does not provide for those Multiple Class Funds to be charged for interest, carrying or any other financing charges on any distribution expenses carried forward to subsequent years. A quarterly report of the amounts expended under the Distribution Plan, and the purposes for which such expenditures are incurred, must be made to the Trustees for their review. To remain in effect, the Distribution Plan must be approved annually by a vote of the Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees. Also, any material amendments must be approved by a vote of the Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees. While the Distribution Plan is in effect, the selection and nomination of the
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Independent Trustees shall be committed to the discretion of such Independent Trustees. For each Multiple Class Fund, the Distribution Plan is terminable without penalty at any time by (a) a vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees, or (b) a vote of the holders of the lesser of (i) more than fifty percent (50%) of the outstanding Shares of the affected Class of a Multiple Class Fund or (ii) a 1940 Act Vote.
Selling Agent Agreements for Multiple Class Funds
Under the Distribution Plans, the Distributor may also enter into agreements ('Selling Agent Agreements') with Financial Intermediaries to provide sales support services with respect to Multiple Class Fund Shares held by or for the customers of the Financial Intermediaries. Financial Intermediaries that have entered into Selling Agent Agreements are referred to in this SAI as 'Selling Agents.'
Under the Distribution Plan, the following Multiple Class Funds' Class A, Class C, Class R5 and Class T Shares accrued expenses in the following amounts, payable as compensation to the Selling Agents by the Distributor, for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 (these amounts were for compensation to dealers):
Funds Class A
10/31/20
Class C
10/31/20
Class R5
10/31/20
Class T
10/31/20*
Conservative Strategy Fund $129,657 $580,186 $15,846 N/A
Moderate Strategy Fund 264,258 750,123 19,565 N/A
Balanced Strategy Fund 1,190,145 3,044,390 81,966 N/A
Growth Strategy Fund 976,128 2,083,234 64,838 N/A
Equity Growth Strategy Fund 366,766 947,875 18,402 N/A
Funds Class A
10/31/19
Class C
10/31/19
Class R5
10/31/19
Class T
10/31/19*
Conservative Strategy Fund $141,449 $709,139 $18,790 N/A
Moderate Strategy Fund $312,729 $975,047 $27,221 N/A
Balanced Strategy Fund $1,429,016 $3,999,953 $103,197 N/A
Growth Strategy Fund $1,168,009 $2,693,287 $87,404 N/A
Equity Growth Strategy Fund $424,574 $1,244,345 $23,572 N/A
Funds Class A
10/31/18
Class C
10/31/18
Class R5
10/31/18
Class T
10/31/18*
Conservative Strategy Fund $174,318 $893,438 $24,264 N/A
Moderate Strategy Fund 386,094 1,267,777 32,357 N/A
Balanced Strategy Fund 1,763,860 5,272,126 130,742 31
Growth Strategy Fund 1,372,911 3,430,900 110,625 32
Equity Growth Strategy Fund 483,925 1,584,941 31,862 32
* The Balanced Strategy, Growth Strategy and Equity Growth Strategy Funds first issued Class T Shares on June 7, 2017. Class T Shares of the Balanced Strategy, Growth Strategy and Equity Growth Strategy Funds had no Shares outstanding as of December 14, 2017. As of October 31, 2020, Class T Shares of the Conservative Strategy and Moderate Strategy Funds had not yet been issued.
Under the Distribution Plan for Class C1, Class R4, Class R5 and Class T Shares, RIC may compensate the Distributor or any investment advisers, insurance companies, banks, investment advisers, broker-dealers, financial planners or other financial institutions that are dealers of record or holders of record or that have a servicing relationship with the beneficial owners or record holders of Class C1, Class R4, Class R5 or Class T Shares offering such Shares for any activities or expenses primarily intended to assist, support or service their clients who beneficially own or are primarily intended to assist, support or service their clients who beneficially own or are record holders of Class C1, Class R4, Class R5 or Class T Shares. Such payments by RIC will be calculated daily and paid quarterly or monthly at a rate or rates set from time to time by the Trustees, provided that no rate set by the Trustees for Class C1, Class R4, Class R5 or Class T Shares may exceed, on an annual basis, 0.25% of the average daily net asset value of that Fund's Shares.
SHAREHOLDER SERVICES PLAN.
A majority of the Trustees, including a majority of Independent Trustees, adopted and amended a Shareholder Services Plan for certain classes of Shares of the Funds. This plan is referred to as the 'Service Plan.'
Under the Service Plan, RIC may compensate the Distributor or any investment advisers, insurance companies, banks, broker-dealers, financial planners or other financial institutions that are dealers of record or holders of record or that have a servicing relationship with the beneficial owners or record holders of Class C Shares, offering such Shares ('Servicing Agents'), for any activities or expenses primarily intended to assist, support or service their clients who beneficially own or
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are primarily intended to assist, support or service their clients who beneficially own or are record holders of Class C Shares. Such payments by RIC will be calculated daily and paid quarterly or monthly at a rate or rates set from time to time by the Trustees, provided that no rate set by the Trustees for Class C Shares may exceed, on an annual basis, 0.25% of the average daily net asset value of that Fund's Shares.
Among other things, the Service Plan provides that (1) the Distributor shall provide to RIC's officers and Trustees, and the Trustees shall review at least quarterly, a written report of the amounts expended by it pursuant to the Service Plan, or by Servicing Agents pursuant to Service Agreements, and the purposes for which such expenditures were made; (2) the Service Plan shall continue in effect for so long as its continuance is specifically approved at least annually, and any material amendment thereto is approved by a majority of the Trustees, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose; (3) while the Service Plan is in effect, the selection and nomination of the Independent Trustees shall be committed to the discretion of such Independent Trustees; and (4) the Service Plan is terminable, as to a Multiple Class Fund's Shares, by a vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees.
Under the Service Plan, the following Multiple Class Funds' Class C, Class R4 and Class R5 Shares accrued expenses in the following amounts payable to the Servicing Agents by the Distributor, for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020:
Funds Class C Class R4 Class R5
Conservative Strategy Fund $193,396 $17,168 $15,846
Moderate Strategy Fund 250,041 32,711 19,565
Balanced Strategy Fund 1,014,797 112,631 81,966
Growth Strategy Fund 694,411 119,746 64,838
Equity Growth Strategy Fund 315,958 36,695 18,402
SECURITIES LENDING
Certain Underlying Funds may lend securities to other parties (typically brokers, dealers, banks or other financial institutions) who may need to borrow securities in order to complete certain transactions such as covering short sales, avoiding failures to deliver securities or completing arbitrage operations. The borrower provides the Underlying Fund with collateral in an amount at least equal to the value of the securities loaned. By lending its portfolio securities, an Underlying Fund attempts to increase its net investment income through investment earnings from collateral received or the receipt of negotiated fees on the securities lent.
Each Underlying Fund retains most rights of beneficial ownership, including interest or other distributions on the loaned securities. Any gain or loss in the market price of the securities lent that occurs during the term of the loan would be for the account of the Underlying Fund. Voting rights may pass with the lending. An Underlying Fund may recall loans to vote proxies if a material issue affecting the investment is to be voted upon. Payments received by an Underlying Fund in lieu of any dividends paid on the loaned securities will not be treated as 'qualified dividend income' for purposes of determining what portion of an Underlying Fund's dividends received by an Underlying Fund and distributed to its shareholders may be taxed at the rates generally applicable to long-term capital gains.
If the borrower defaults on its obligations to return the securities lent because of insolvency or other reasons, an Underlying Fund could experience delays and costs in recovering the securities lent or in gaining access to the collateral. These delays could be greater for foreign securities. If an Underlying Fund is not able to recover the securities lent, an Underlying Fund may sell the collateral and purchase a replacement security in the market. The value of the collateral could decrease below the value of the replacement security or the value of the replacement security could increase above the value of the collateral by the time the replacement security is purchased.
Each Underlying Fund that lends its portfolio securities invests all or a portion of its collateral received in securities lending transactions in an unregistered cash management fund advised by RIM. RIM charges a management fee of 0.12% to this unregistered fund. Out of the management fee, RIM pays certain expenses of the unregistered fund, including an administrative fee of 0.025% to RIFUS. RIM retains the balance of the management fee. Income generated from the investment of the cash collateral is first used to pay any negotiated rebate to the borrower of the securities. Any remaining income is divided between the Underlying Fund and the unaffiliated securities lending agent, Goldman Sachs Agency Lending ('GSAL').
As securities lending agent for the Underlying Funds, GSAL administers the Underlying Funds' securities lending program. In this capacity, GSAL performs a variety of services. These services include arranging the securities loans with approved borrowers, collecting collateral intended to secure the obligations of each borrower and marking to market daily the value of loaned securities, negotiating borrower and loan agreements, reviewing and monitoring borrower creditworthiness, instructing the Underlying Funds' custodian with respect to the Underlying Funds' securities lending activities, performing reconciliation
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with the borrowers and custodian, overseeing loan terminations and recalls, corporate action monitoring and performance and oversight reporting. If a borrower defaults on a loan, GSAL is authorized to exercise contractual remedies as securities lending agent to the applicable Underlying Fund and has agreed to indemnify the Underlying Funds for losses due to a borrower's failure to return a lent security, which exclude losses associated with collateral reinvestment.
The Sustainable Equity Fund, U.S. Dynamic Equity Fund and U.S. Small Cap Equity Fund may participate in a reciprocal lending program with State Street through which each Underlying Fund is permitted to use cash collateral received in connection with certain securities lending activities to finance the Underlying Fund's short selling activity. Such arrangements subject these Underlying Funds to the risk that the counterparty holding the cash collateral may fail to return it promptly. This risk may be heightened during periods of market stress and volatility, particularly if the type of collateral provided is different than the type of security borrowed (e.g., cash is provided as collateral for a loan of an equity security).
An Underlying Fund may incur costs or possible losses in excess of the interest income and fees received in connection with securities lending transactions. To the extent that the value of the cash collateral as invested is insufficient to return the full amount of the collateral plus any negotiated rebate to the borrower upon termination of the loan, an Underlying Fund must immediately pay the amount of the shortfall to the borrower.
No Underlying Fund may lend portfolio securities in an amount that exceeds 33 1⁄3% of total fund assets.
For information regarding income and fees related to the securities lending activities of participating Underlying Funds for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, please see the Underlying Funds' SAIs.
UNDERLYING FUND EXPENSES.
The Underlying Funds will pay all their expenses other than those expressly assumed by RIM and RIFUS. The principal expenses of the Underlying Funds are the annual advisory fee, the annual administrative fee and the transfer agency fee, payable to RIM and RIFUS, respectively. The Underlying Funds' other expenses include: fees for independent accountants, legal, registrar, custodian, dividend disbursement, portfolio and shareholder recordkeeping services, and maintenance of tax records; state taxes; brokerage fees and commissions; insurance premiums; association membership dues; fees for filing of reports and registering Shares with regulatory bodies; and such infrequent and/or unusual expenses as may arise, such as federal taxes and expenses incurred in connection with litigation proceedings and claims and the legal obligations of RIC to indemnify the Trustees, officers, employees, shareholders, distributors and agents with respect thereto. Whenever an expense can be attributed to a particular Underlying Fund or class of Shares, the expense is charged to that Underlying Fund or class of Shares. Common expenses are allocated among the RIC Underlying Funds based primarily upon their relative net assets.
FUND OPERATING EXPENSES.
As a shareholder of the Underlying Funds, each Fund indirectly bears its pro rata share of the advisory fees charged to, and expenses of operating, the Underlying Funds in which it invests. RIM has agreed to assume the responsibility of payment for all Fund operating expenses other than Rule 12b-1 distribution fees, shareholder servicing fees, non-recurring expenses, and infrequent and/or unusual expenses,. If this arrangement is discontinued, Fund expenses may increase.
PURCHASE, EXCHANGE AND REDEMPTION OF FUND SHARES.
As described in the Prospectus, the Funds provide you with different classes of shares based upon your individual investment needs.
Each class of Shares of a Fund represents an interest in the same portfolio of investments. Each class is identical in all respects except that each class bears its own class expenses, including distribution and service fees, and each class has exclusive voting rights with respect to any distribution or service plan applicable to its shares. As a result of the differences in the expenses borne by each class of Shares, net income per share, dividends per share and net asset value per share will vary for each class of Shares. There are no conversion, preemptive or other subscription rights.
Shareholders of each class will share expenses proportionately for services that are received equally by all shareholders. A particular class of Shares will bear only those expenses that are directly attributable to that class, where the type or amount of services received by a class varies from one class to another. The expenses that may be borne by specific classes of Shares may include (i) payments pursuant to the distribution plan or shareholder services plan for that specific class, (ii) transfer agency fees attributable to a specific class of Shares, (iii) printing and postage expenses related to preparing and distributing materials such as shareholder reports, prospectuses and proxy statements to current shareholders of a specific class of Shares, (iv) SEC and state securities registration fees incurred by a specific class, (v) the expense of administrative personnel and services required to support the shareholders of a specific class of Shares, (vi) litigation or other legal expenses relating to a specific class of Shares, (vii) audit or accounting expenses relating to a specific class of Shares, (viii) the expense of holding meetings solely for shareholders of a specific class and (ix) any additional incremental expenses subsequently identified and determined to be properly allocated to one or more classes of Shares.
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The following classes of shares are available for purchase. See the Prospectus for a discussion of factors to consider in selecting which class of shares to purchase and for applicable service/distribution fees.
Class A Shares
Class A Shares are sold at offering price, which is the net asset value plus a front-end sales charge as follows. You pay a lower front-end sales charge as the size of your investment increases to certain levels. The Funds receive the entire net asset value of all Class A Shares that are sold. The Distributor receives the full applicable sales charge from which it pays the broker/dealer commission shown in the table below. You may also be eligible for a waiver of the front-end sales charge as set forth in Appendix A: Additional Information About Financial Intermediary-Specific Sales Charge Variations, Waivers And Discounts of the Funds' Prospectus.
Front-End Sales Charge for Class A Shares
Amount of investment Front-end sales
charge as a %
of offering price
Front-end sales
charge as a % of
net amount invested
Broker/Dealer
commission
as a % of
offering price
Less than $50,000
5.75% 6.10% 5.00%
$50,000 but less than $100,000
4.50% 4.71% 3.75%
$100,000 but less than $250,000
3.50% 3.63% 2.75%
$250,000 but less than $500,000
2.50% 2.56% 2.00%
$500,000 but less than $1,000,000
2.00% 2.04% 1.60%
$1,000,000 or more
--0-- --0-- up to 1.00%
Investments of $1,000,000 or more (Class A Shares). With respect to Class A Shares, you do not pay a front-end sales charge when you buy $1,000,000 or more of shares of the RIC Funds. However, if your Financial Intermediary was paid a commission by the Funds' Distributor on those Class A Shares and you redeem those Class A Shares within one year of purchase, you will pay a deferred sales charge of 1.00%.
Commissions are paid to Financial Intermediaries on Class A Share purchases of $1 million or more by a single shareholder which are not subject to a front-end sales charge, at the following rates: 1.00% on purchases of $1 million or more but less than $4 million, plus 0.50% on the next $6 million, plus 0.25% on purchases of $10 million or more. Commissions are paid based on cumulative purchases by a shareholder over time, not on purchases made during a calendar year.
Class T Shares
Class T Shares will be sold at offering price, which is the net asset value plus a front-end sales charge as follows. Front-end sales charges are assessed on a per-transaction basis. You pay a lower front-end sales charge as the size of your transaction increases to certain levels. The Funds receive the entire net asset value of all Class T Shares that are sold. The Distributor receives the full applicable sales charge from which it pays the broker/dealer commission shown in the table below. Class T Shares are not currently being offered to investors and are not available for sale in any state.
Front-End Sales Charge for Class T Shares
Amount of
purchase
Front-end sales
charge as a %
of offering price
Front-end sales
charge as a % of
net amount invested
Broker/Dealer
commission
as a % of
offering price
Less than $250,000 2.50% 2.56% 2.50%
$250,000 but less than $500,000
2.00% 2.04% 2.00%
$500,000 but less than $1,000,000
1.50% 1.52% 1.50%
$1,000,000 or more
1.00% 1.01% 1.00%
Class C Shares
Financial Intermediaries that sell Class C Shares will receive the shareholder services fee payable under the Funds' shareholder services plan at an annual rate equal to 0.25% of the average daily net assets represented by Class C Shares sold by them and the distribution fee payable under the Funds' Distribution Plan at an annual rate equal to 0.75% of the average daily net assets represented by the Class C Shares sold by them.
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Class C1 Shares
Financial Intermediaries that sell Class C1 Shares will receive the shareholder services fee payable under the Funds' Distribution Plan at an annual rate equal to 0.25% of the average daily net assets represented by Class C1 Shares sold by them and the distribution fee payable under the Funds' Distribution Plan at an annual rate equal to 0.75% of the average daily net assets represented by the Class C1 Shares sold by them. The Fund's Distributor retains the annual distribution fees of 0.75% for one year following the purchase of such Class C1 Shares and pays 1.00% of the amount invested in Class C1 Shares to Financial Intermediaries who sell Class C1 Shares. If you redeem Class C1 Shares within one year of purchase, you will pay a deferred sales charge of 1.00%. You may also be eligible for a waiver of the front-end sales charge as set forth in Appendix A: Additional Information About Financial Intermediary-Specific Sales Charge Variations, Waivers And Discounts of the Funds' Prospectus. Class C1 Shares are not currently being offered to investors and are not available for sale in any state.
Class M, P, R1 and S Shares
Financial Intermediaries will receive no shareholder services or distribution fees for Class M, Class P, Class R1 or Class S Shares.
Class R4 Shares
Financial Intermediaries that sell Class R4 shares will receive the shareholder services fee payable under the Funds' distribution plan at an annual rate equal to 0.25% of the average daily net assets represented by Class R4 shares sold by them.
Class R5 Shares
Financial Intermediaries that sell Class R5 shares will receive the shareholder services fee payable under the Funds' distribution plan at an annual rate equal to 0.25% of the average daily net assets represented by Class R5 shares sold by them and the distribution fee payable under the Funds' distribution plan at an annual rate of up to 0.75% (presently limited to 0.25%) of the average daily net assets represented by the Class R5 shares sold by them.
Class S Shares
Class S Shares of each Fund may only be purchased by:
(1) clients of Financial Intermediaries who charge an advisory fee, management fee, consulting fee or other similar fee for their services for the shareholder account in which the Class S Shares are held or clients of Financial Intermediaries where the Financial Intermediary would typically charge such a fee but has determined to waive its fee in a particular instance as the result of a potential conflict of interest;
(2) employee benefit and other plans, such as 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer sponsored 403(b) plans, HSAs (Health Savings Accounts), profit sharing plans, money purchase plans, defined benefit plans and non-qualified deferred compensation plans that consolidate and hold all Fund Shares in plan level or omnibus accounts on behalf of participants. SEP-IRAs, SIMPLE-IRA and individual 403(b) Plans are not considered plans for purposes of this paragraph;
(3) clients of Financial Intermediaries who are members of Russell Investments;
(4) individuals pursuant to employee investment programs of Russell Investments or its affiliates; or
(5) current and retired registered representatives of broker-dealers having sales agreements with the Funds' Distributor to sell such Class S Shares and current spouses or the equivalent thereof, children, step-children (with respect to current union only), parents, step-parents or parents-in-law of such registered representative or to a family trust in the name of such registered representative.
Class S Shares may also be available on brokerage platforms of firms that have agreements with the Funds' Distributor to offer such Shares when acting as an agent for the investor for the purchase or sale of such Shares. If you transact in Class S Shares through one of these brokerage programs, you may be required to pay a commission and/or other forms of compensation to the broker, which are not reflected in the tables under the Choosing A Class of Shares To Buyor Front-End Sales Chargessections of the Funds' Prospectus. The Funds' Distributor does not receive any portion of the commission or compensation.
Class M Shares
Class M Shares of each Fund may only be purchased by:
(1) clients of Financial Intermediaries who charge an advisory fee, management fee, consulting fee or other similar fee for their services for the shareholder account in which the Class M Shares are held or clients of Financial
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Intermediaries where the Financial Intermediary would typically charge such a fee but has determined to waive its fee in a particular instance as the result of a potential conflict of interest; or
(2) current and retired registered representatives of broker-dealers having sales agreements with the Funds' Distributor to sell such Class M Shares and current spouses or the equivalent thereof, children, step-children (with respect to current union only), parents, step-parents or parents-in-law of such registered representative or to a family trust in the name of such registered representative.
In addition, Class M Shares are available only to shareholders who transact on or through advisory platforms that provide limited services to shareholders and charge a transaction fee to shareholders for transactions in Shares of the Funds.
Class P Shares
Class P Shares will be available for purchase through certain Financial Intermediaries that have agreements with the Funds' Distributor to offer Class P Shares. Such Financial Intermediaries may include broker-dealers as well as Financial Intermediaries who charge an advisory fee or other similar fee for their services. A shareholder purchasing Class P Shares through a broker-dealer may be required to pay a commission and/or other forms of compensation to the broker-dealer. Please contact your Financial Intermediary to determine whether your Financial Intermediary offers Class P Shares and to obtain additional information regarding any commissions or other forms of compensation associated with the purchase of Class P Shares. Class P Shares are not currently being offered to investors and are not available for sale in any state.
Class R1, R4 and R5 Shares
Class R1, Class R4 and Class R5 Shares are only available to (1) employee benefit and other plans with multiple participants, such as 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer sponsored 403(b) plans, HSAs (Health Savings Accounts), profit sharing plans, money purchase plans, defined benefit plans and non-qualified deferred compensation plans that consolidate and hold all Fund shares in plan level or omnibus accounts on behalf of participants, (2) 401k rollover accounts investing through recordkeeping platforms where the platform has a sales agreement with the Funds' distributor to sell Class R1, Class R4 or Class R5 Shares and consolidates and holds all Fund Shares in omnibus accounts on behalf of shareholders or (3) separate accounts investing in the Funds offered to investors through a group annuity contract exempt from the Securities Act of 1933, as amended ('Securities Act'). Class R1, Class R4 and Class R5 Shares are not available to any other category of investor, including, for example, retail non-retirement accounts, traditional or Roth IRA accounts, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, SEPs, SAR-SEPs, SIMPLE IRAs or individual 403(b) plans. Each Fund reserves the right to change the categories of investors eligible to purchase its Shares.
The Funds generally do not have the ability to enforce these limitations on access to Share Classes with eligibility requirements. It is the sole responsibility of each Financial Intermediary to ensure that it only makes Share Classes with eligibility requirements available to those categories of investors listed above that qualify for access to such Share Classes. However, the Funds will not knowingly sell Share Classes with eligibility requirements to any investor not meeting one of the foregoing criteria.
The Funds' Distributor reserves the right to move a shareholder from a Share Class of a Fund that pays 12b-1 fees to a Share Class of the same Fund that does not pay 12b-1 fees if such shareholder no longer has a relationship with a Financial Intermediary and holds Fund Shares directly with the Funds' Transfer Agent. For cost basis reporting to the IRS, the Funds' Transfer Agent will treat the exchange as a non-taxable event and will carry any cost basis the Transfer Agent is tracking for the shareholder to the new Share Class.
Converting from Class M or Class S to Class A Shares
Depending upon the policies and operational capabilities of your Financial Intermediary, you may convert Class M or Class S Shares held in an account that charges an advisory fee, management fee, consulting fee or other similar fee for services (a 'fee-based program') to Class A Shares without the incurrence of a front-end sales charge if you are leaving or have left the fee-based program. Depending upon the policies and operational capabilities of your Financial Intermediary, if you have already redeemed your Class M or Class S Shares, the foregoing requirements apply and you must purchase Class A Shares within 90 days after redeeming your Class M or Class S Shares to receive the Class A Shares without paying a front-end sales charge. Any investments of Class A Shares that are not part of the Class M or Class S Share redemption proceeds are subject to a front-end sales charge. RIFUS believes that a conversion between classes of the same Fund is not a taxable event; however, you must check with your Financial Intermediary to determine if they will process the conversion as non-taxable. Please consult with your Financial Intermediary and your tax adviser for more information.
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Sales Charge Waivers and Reductions
Please see the Funds' Prospectus for information about sales charge waivers and reductions, including front-end sales charge waivers, cumulative purchase discounts, accumulation privileges, letters of intent, reinstatement privileges, exchange privileges, and deferred sales charge waivers.
Minimum Initial Investment Requirements
There is currently no required minimum initial investment for Shares of the Funds. However, each Fund reserves the right to close any account whose balance falls below $500.
Signature Guarantee
Each Fund reserves the right to require a signature guarantee for any request related to your account including, but not limited to, requests for transactions or account changes. A signature guarantee verifies the authenticity of your signature and helps protect your account against fraud or unauthorized transactions. You should be able to obtain a signature guarantee from a bank, broker, credit union, savings association, clearing agency, or securities exchange or association, with which you have a banking or investment relationship. A notary public cannot provide a signature guarantee. Contact your Financial Intermediary for assistance in obtaining a signature guarantee.
If you hold shares directly with the Fund and you do not have a relationship with any eligible guarantor, and are unable to obtain a signature guarantee, the Fund may accept alternate identification documentation in lieu of a signature guarantee, at the discretion of the Transfer Agent.
Uncashed Checks
Please make sure you promptly cash checks issued to you by the Funds. If you do not cash a dividend, distribution, or redemption check, the Funds will act to protect themselves and you. This may include restricting certain activities in your account until the Funds are sure that they have a valid address for you. After 180 days, the Funds will no longer honor the issued check and, after attempts to locate you, the Funds will follow governing escheatment regulations in disposition of check proceeds. No interest will accrue on amounts represented by uncashed checks.
If you have elected to receive dividends and/or distributions in cash, and the postal or other delivery service is unable to deliver checks to your address of record, or you do not respond to mailings from the Funds with regards to your uncashed checks, the Funds may convert your distribution option to have all dividends and/or distributions reinvested in additional shares.
VALUATION OF FUND SHARES.
The net asset value per share of each class of Shares is calculated separately for each Fund class on each business day on which Shares are offered or redemption orders are tendered. A business day is one on which the New York Stock Exchange ('NYSE') is open for regular trading. Currently, the NYSE is open for trading every weekday except New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Net asset value per share is computed for each class of Shares of a Fund by dividing the current value of the Fund's assets attributable to each class of Shares, less liabilities attributable to that class of Shares, by the number of each individual class of Shares of the Fund outstanding and rounding to the nearest cent. Information regarding each Fund's current net asset value per Share is available at https://russellinvestments.com. For additional information regarding the calculation of Fund net asset value, please see the section titled 'HOW NET ASSET VALUE IS DETERMINED' in the Prospectus.
VALUATION OF PORTFOLIO SECURITIES.
The Funds value the Shares of the Underlying Funds at the current net asset value per share of each Underlying Fund.
The Funds and Underlying Funds value portfolio instruments according to Board-approved securities valuation procedures and pricing services, which include market value procedures, fair value procedures and a description of the pricing services used by the Underlying Funds. Under the Board-approved securities valuation procedures, the Board has delegated the day-to-day valuation functions to RIFUS, RIFUS's Oversight Committee and the Underlying Funds' custodian. However, the Board retains oversight over the valuation process.
Ordinarily, the Underlying Funds value each portfolio instrument based on market quotations provided by pricing services or brokers (when permitted by the market value procedures). Equity securities (including exchange traded funds) are generally valued at the last quoted sale price or the official closing price as of the close of the exchange's or other market's regular trading hours on the day the valuation is made. Listed options are valued on the basis of the closing mean price and exchange
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listed futures contracts are valued on the basis of settlement price. Swaps may be valued at the closing price, clean market price or clean exchange funded price provided by a pricing service or broker depending on the type of swap being valued. Listed fixed income securities that have greater than 60 days remaining until maturity at the time of purchase are generally valued at the last quoted sale price as of the close of the exchange's or other market's regular trading hours on the day the valuation is made. Non-listed fixed income securities that have greater than 60 days remaining until maturity at the time of purchase are generally valued using the price supplied by a pricing service or broker, which may be an evaluated bid. Evaluated bids are derived from a matrix, formula or other objective method that takes into consideration actual trading activity and volume, market indexes, credit quality, maturity, yield curves or other specific adjustments. Fixed income securities that have 60 days or less remaining until maturity at the time of purchase are valued using the amortized cost method of valuation, unless it is determined that the amortized cost method would result in a price that would be deemed to be not reliable. Issuer-specific conditions (e.g., creditworthiness of the issuer and the likelihood of full repayment at maturity) and conditions in the relevant market (e.g., credit, liquidity and interest rate conditions) are among the factors considered in this determination. While amortized cost provides certainty in valuation, it may result in periods when the value of an instrument is higher or lower than the price an Underlying Fund would receive if it sold the instrument.
If market quotations are not readily available for an instrument or are considered not reliable because of market and/or issuer-specific information, the instrument will be valued at fair value, as determined in accordance with the fair value procedures. This generally means that equity securities and fixed income securities listed and traded principally on any national securities exchange are valued on the basis of the last sale price or, lacking any sales, at the closing bid price, on the primary exchange on which the security is traded. The fair value procedures may involve subjective judgments as to the fair value of securities. The effect of fair value pricing is that securities may not be priced on the basis of quotations from the primary market in which they are traded, but rather may be priced by another method that the Board believes reflects fair value. The use of fair value pricing by an Underlying Fund may cause the net asset value of its Shares to differ significantly from the net asset value that would be calculated using current market values. Fair value pricing could also cause discrepancies between the daily movement of the value of Underlying Fund Shares and the daily movement of the benchmark index if the index is valued using another pricing method.
This policy is intended to assure that the Underlying Funds' net asset values fairly reflect portfolio instrument values as of the time of pricing. Events or circumstances affecting the values of portfolio instruments that occur between the closing of the principal markets on which they trade and the time the net asset value of Underlying Fund Shares is determined may be reflected in the calculation of the net asset values for each applicable Underlying Fund (and each Fund which invests in such Underlying Fund) when the Underlying Fund deems that the particular event or circumstance would materially affect such Underlying Fund's net asset value. Underlying Funds that invest primarily in frequently traded exchange listed securities will use fair value pricing in limited circumstances since reliable market quotations will often be readily available. Underlying Funds that invest in foreign securities will use fair value pricing more often (typically daily) since 'significant' events may occur between the close of foreign markets and the time of pricing which would trigger fair value pricing of the foreign securities. Examples of significant events that generally trigger fair value pricing of one or more securities are: any market movement of the U.S. securities market (defined in the fair value procedures as the movement of a single major U.S. Index); a company development such as a material business development; a natural disaster, a public health emergency affecting one or more countries in the global economy (including an emergency which results in the closure of financial markets), or other emergency situation; or an armed conflict. Underlying Funds that invest in low rated debt securities are also likely to use fair value pricing more often since the markets in which such securities are traded are generally thinner, more limited and less active than those for higher rated securities.
Because foreign securities can trade on non-business days, the net asset value of a Fund's portfolio that includes an Underlying Fund which invests in foreign securities may change on days when shareholders are not able to purchase or redeem Fund Shares.
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER RATES OF THE FUNDS.
Portfolio turnover measures how frequently securities held by a Fund are bought and sold. The portfolio turnover rate for each Fund is calculated by dividing the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities, including Underlying Fund Shares, for the particular year, by the monthly average value of the portfolio securities owned by the Fund during the year. For purposes of determining the rate, all short-term securities, including options, futures and forward contracts, are excluded. The Funds will purchase or sell Underlying Fund Shares to: (i) accommodate purchases and sales of each Fund's Shares; (ii) change the percentages of each Fund's assets invested in each of the Underlying Funds in response to market conditions; and (iii) maintain or modify the allocation of each Fund's assets among the Underlying Funds generally within the percentage limits described in the Prospectus.
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The portfolio turnover rates for the fiscal years ended October 31, 2020 and 2019 for each Fund were:
Funds 10/31/20 10/31/19
Conservative Strategy Fund 52% 8%
Moderate Strategy Fund 52% 8%
Balanced Strategy Fund 37% 11%
Growth Strategy Fund 40% 13%
Equity Growth Strategy Fund 42% 15%
A high portfolio turnover rate generally will result in higher brokerage transaction costs and may result in higher levels of realized capital gains or losses with respect to a Fund's or an Underlying Fund's portfolio securities (see 'Taxes').
DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS.
The Funds maintain portfolio holdings disclosure policies that govern the timing and circumstances of disclosure to shareholders and third parties of information regarding the portfolio investments held by a Fund. These portfolio holdings disclosure policies have been approved by the Board. Disclosures of portfolio holdings information may only be made pursuant to these Board-approved policies and procedures.
Disclosure of a Fund's portfolio holdings may only occur if such disclosure is consistent with the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws and the fiduciary duties of the Fund and its adviser. Disclosure is permissible only when a Fund, as determined by the Board or CCO, has legitimate business purposes for such disclosure and the recipients are subject to a written confidentiality agreement, which includes a duty not to trade on non-public information.
Public Disclosures of Portfolio Holdings Information
Each Fund discloses its complete portfolio holdings information as of the end of the third month of every fiscal quarter on Form N-PORT within 60 days of the end of the fiscal quarter and on Form N-CSR within 60 days after the second and fourth quarter ends of the Fund's fiscal year. The portfolio holdings information in Form N-PORT is not required to be delivered to shareholders but is made public through the SEC electronic filings at www.sec.gov. Shareholders receive complete portfolio holdings information with their annual and semiannual reports. The Funds also make these reports and portfolio holdings information as of the end of the first and third quarters of each fiscal year available on their website at https://russellinvestments.com. The Funds' complete portfolio holdings will be available on the Funds' website no more frequently than weekly and following each month end no later than the end of the following month and in any event no sooner than ten calendar days after the trade date.
Upon the occurrence of an unexpected, out of the ordinary event with respect to one or more portfolio holdings or the market as a whole, RIM may, consistent with the statement of policy set forth above and with the prior approval of the CCO, prepare and make available on the Funds' website a statement relating to such event which may include information regarding the Funds' portfolio holdings.
Portfolio managers and other senior officers or spokespersons of the Funds may disclose or confirm the ownership of any individual portfolio holdings position to reporters, brokers, shareholders, consultants or other interested persons only if such information has been previously publicly disclosed in accordance with the portfolio holdings disclosure policies.
Non-Public Disclosures of Portfolio Holdings Information
Mutual fund evaluation services (e.g., Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, Inc. and Lipper Analytical Services) ('Evaluators') regularly analyze the portfolio holdings of mutual funds to monitor and report on various fund attributes (e.g., style, capitalization, maturity, yield and beta). The Evaluators distribute the results of their analyses to the public, paid subscribers and/or in-house brokers. To facilitate the review of the Funds by the Evaluators, the Funds may provide (or authorize their service providers to distribute) portfolio holdings to the Evaluators before those holdings are publicly available provided that (a) the recipient does not distribute the portfolio holdings information or results of analyses to third parties, other departments or persons who are likely to use the information for purposes of purchasing or selling Fund shares before the portfolio holdings information or results of analyses become public information and (b) the recipient signs a written confidentiality agreement, which includes a duty not to trade on non-public information.
As set forth in the table below, RIM and the money managers may periodically distribute (1) lists of applicable investments held by the Funds for the purpose of facilitating management of the Funds' portfolios including compliance testing, receipt of relevant research and for creation of Fund sales literature and (2) a list of the issuers and securities which are covered by their respective research departments as of a particular date, but in no case will such a list identify an issuer's securities as either currently held or anticipated to be held by the Funds or identify Fund position sizes.
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In addition, as set forth in the table below, the Funds' custodian generates portfolio holdings information in connection with its services to the Funds which may be provided to service providers of the Funds, RIM or the money managers in connection with providing various services for the Funds. Such service providers must keep the portfolio holdings information confidential and cannot trade based on the non-public information. There is no lag between the date of such portfolio holdings information and the date on which the information is disclosed to the service providers.
The entities that may receive information described above, and the purpose for which such information is disclosed, are presented in the table below.
Entity Receiving Portfolio Holdings Disclosure Purpose
Bloomberg AIM Fund positioning/holdings services
Bloomberg Portfolio Holdings analysis
Axioma Holdings/portfolio analysis, model optimization
Advent Software, Inc. Recon, accounting services
Acuity Knowledge Partners Fund reporting services
Confluence Technologies, Inc. (CTI) Fund performance calculator, financial reporting software provider
Electra Information Systems Sub-advisor middle office services
FactSet Research Systems, Inc. Holdings/portfolio analysis
Fund Assist Fund marketing report production
Glass Lewis & Co., LLC Proxy voting services
Goldman Sachs Securities lending agent
Hexaware Data operations support services
IHS Markit Enterprise data management
ISS Class action filing services
Lipper Analytical Services Fund rating services
Morningstar Inc. Fund rating services
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Audit services
Risk Metrics Risk management services
SS&C Middle office provider; benchmark performance, holdings, performance, reconciliation
State Street (Boston) Custody, fund accounting, pricing/valuation, fund compliance testing, liquidity risk management
State Street (Sacramento) Pricing services
No compensation or other consideration is paid to the Funds, RIM or the money managers for any non-public disclosure of portfolio holdings information.
Administration of the Portfolio Holdings Disclosure Policies
The CCO will exercise oversight of disclosures of the Funds' portfolio holdings. It is the duty of the CCO or her designee to ensure that all disclosures of the portfolio holdings of a Fund are in the best interests of such Fund's shareholders. It is the responsibility of each business unit with access to portfolio holdings, including RIFUS Fund Administration and RIM's Investment Management and Research Division, to inform the CCO of any third parties receiving portfolio holdings information which has not previously been disclosed. The CCO is also responsible for monitoring for conflicts of interest between the interests of Fund shareholders and the interests of the Funds' investment adviser, principal underwriter, or any affiliated person of the Funds, their investment adviser or their principal underwriter. Every violation of the portfolio holdings disclosure policies must be reported to the Funds' CCO. If the CCO deems that such violation constitutes a 'Material Compliance Matter' within the meaning of Rule 38a-1 under the 1940 Act, the violation will be reported to the Funds' Board, as required by Rule 38a-1. The CCO also has the discretion to report other compliance matters arising under the portfolio holdings disclosure policies to the Board.
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Disclosure of the Funds' portfolio holdings made in accordance with these procedures is authorized by the Funds' Board. The portfolio holdings disclosure policies may not be waived, and exceptions may not be made, without the consent of the Funds' Board; provided, however that waivers or exceptions in connection with operational or administrative functions may be made with the prior consent of the CCO. If the CCO is unavailable, waivers or exceptions in connection with the operational or administrative functions may be made with the prior consent of the Funds' Chief Legal Officer or Chief Financial Officer. All such waivers and exceptions by the CCO, Chief Legal Officer or Chief Financial Officer will be disclosed to the Board no later than its next regularly scheduled quarterly meeting.
PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES.
The Funds invest in the Underlying Funds. Each Fund will vote in the same manner and proportion as the votes cast by other shareholders of the Underlying Funds in which the Fund invests. In the event that an Underlying Fund's only shareholders are the Funds or RIF funds-of-funds, each Fund will vote pursuant to the recommendation of the Proxy Administrator (as defined below).
The Board has delegated to RIM, as RIC's investment adviser, the primary responsibility for monitoring, evaluating and voting proxies solicited by or with respect to issuers of securities in which assets of the Funds and Underlying Funds may be invested. RIM has established a Proxy Voting and Engagement Committee ('Committee') and has adopted written Proxy Voting and Engagement Policies and Procedures ('P&P') and written proxy voting guidelines ('Guidelines'). RIM has also hired a third-party service provider to serve as proxy administrator ('Proxy Administrator'), which may provide RIM with research, analysis and/or recommendations relating to proxy voting. The Proxy Administrator utilizes an automated platform that collects and documents RIM's voting decisions and interfaces directly with the tabulator of each proxy vote to help ensure timely and accurate votes on the matters being voted. The automated platform is not a substitute for RIM's judgment or discretion; RIM (whether acting directly or through the Committee) retains final authority with respect to proxy voting and maintains records of all votes cast and other relevant information as may be required by applicable law or regulation.
The P&P are designed to ensure that proxy voting decisions are made in accordance with the best interests of RIM's clients (including the Funds and Underlying Funds) and to enable the Committee to receive timely notice of and resolve any material conflicts of interest between the Funds or Underlying Funds on the one hand, and RIM or its affiliates, on the other, before voting proxies with respect to a matter in which such a conflict may be present. In order to assure that proxies are voted in accordance with the best interests of clients at all times, the P&P authorize votes to be cast in accordance with the Guidelines and delegate to the Proxy Administrator responsibility for performing research and making proxy voting recommendations to RIM. Conflicts are addressed in the P&P by requiring the implementation of a process requiring additional diligence and documentation if ballots are not voted in accordance with the Guidelines or pursuant to the recommendation of the Proxy Administrator.
The Guidelines address matters that are commonly submitted to shareholders of a company for voting, including, but not limited to, issues relating to corporate governance, auditors, the board of directors, capital structure, executive and director compensation, and mergers and corporate restructurings. RIM, through the Committee, constructs the Guidelines based on its assessment of each matter covered by the Guidelines. This assessment may take into account or adopt pertinent third-party research, including research provided by the Proxy Administrator. Subject to the supervision and oversight of the Committee, and the authority of the Committee to intervene with respect to a particular proxy matter, the Proxy Administrator is obligated to vote all proxies as set forth in the Guidelines.
Matters that are not covered in the Guidelines or that the Committee determines to be more appropriately examined on a case-by-case basis are voted by the Committee. Regardless of whether a matter is voted pursuant to the Guidelines or by the Committee, RIM, through the Committee, exercises its proxy voting authority in the best interests of the Funds or Underlying Funds based on its analysis of relevant facts and circumstances; pertinent internal and third party research; reasonably available subsequent information; applicable law and regulation; as well as certain best practices.
Information on how the Funds voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the most recent 12-month period ended June 30 is available, without charge, at https://russellinvestments.com and on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov. The Guidelines are available, without charge, at https://russellinvestments.com.
FORUM FOR ADJUDICATION OF DISPUTES
The RIC Bylaws provide that, unless RIC consents to the selection of an alternative forum, the sole and exclusive forum for any claims, suits, actions or proceedings (except for any claims, suits, actions or proceedings arising under the Securities Act of 1933) relating to: (i) any action to assert a claim arising pursuant to RIC's Master Trust Agreement or the Bylaws, (ii) any action regarding the duties (including fiduciary duties), obligations or liabilities of the Trustees, officers, or other employees of RIC to RIC or RIC's shareholders or each other, (iii) any action regarding the rights or powers of, or restrictions on, RIC, the
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officers, the Trustees or the shareholders, (iv) any action pertaining to the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts pertaining to RIC, or (v) any action relating to any other instrument, document, agreement or certificate contemplated by the RIC Master Trust Agreement or the Bylaws relating in any way to RIC, shall be the Business Litigation Section of the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or, if such court does not have subject matter jurisdiction thereof, any other court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with subject matter jurisdiction (each, a 'Covered Action'). The Bylaws further provide that if any Covered Action is filed in a court other than the relevant court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (a 'Foreign Action') in the name of any shareholder, such shareholder shall be deemed to have consented to (i) the personal jurisdiction of the relevant court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in connection with any action brought in any such courts to enforce the preceding sentence (an 'Enforcement Action') and (ii) having service of process made upon such shareholder in any such Enforcement Action by mailing, certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy thereof to such shareholder at the address in effect for notices under the Bylaws.
BROKERAGE ALLOCATIONS.
Subject to the arrangements and provisions described below, the selection of a broker or dealer to execute portfolio transactions is made by RIM with respect to the Funds and either by the money manager of the Underlying Fund or by RIM with respect to the Underlying Funds. RIC's arrangements with RIM and the money managers provide that in executing portfolio transactions and selecting brokers or dealers, the principal objective is to seek best execution. The factors that may be considered in assessing the best execution available for any transaction include the breadth of the market in the security, the price of the security, the financial condition and execution capability of the broker or dealer, the reasonableness of the commission, if any, and the value of research services (as that term is defined in Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934). In assessing whether the best overall terms have been obtained, RIM and the money managers are not obligated to select the broker offering the lowest commission. Any commission, fee or other remuneration paid to an affiliated broker-dealer is paid in compliance with RIC's Board-approved policies and procedures.
A money manager may effect transactions for the segment of an Underlying Fund's portfolio assigned to the money manager with a broker-dealer affiliated with a Fund, the money manager or RIM, including Russell Investments Implementation Services, LLC ('RIIS'), a registered broker and investment adviser and an affiliate of RIM, as well as with brokers affiliated with other money managers. All or substantially all of the portfolio transactions that RIM effects for the Funds and Underlying Funds are executed through RIIS.
RIIS uses a multi-venue trade approach whereby RIIS allocates trades among RIIS' network of independent brokers for execution, clearing and other services. For the Funds, trades placed through RIIS and its independent brokers are made to execute portfolio securities transactions for the portion of each Fund's assets that RIM determines not to allocate to the Underlying Funds. For the Underlying Funds, except the Multifactor U.S. Equity, Multifactor International Equity and Multifactor Bond Funds, trades placed through RIIS and its independent brokers are made (i) to manage trading associated with changes in money managers, rebalancing across existing money managers, cash flows and other portfolio transitions for the Underlying Funds, (ii) to execute portfolio securities transactions for the portion of each Underlying Fund's assets that RIM determines not to allocate to money manager strategies, (iii) to execute securities transactions for the portion of an Underlying Fund's assets that RIM manages based upon model portfolios provided by the Underlying Fund's non-discretionary managers or (iv) to execute a money manager's securities transactions for the segment of an Underlying Fund's portfolio assigned to the money manager. RIM has authorized RIIS to effect certain futures, swaps, over-the-counter derivatives transactions, and cleared swaps, including foreign currency spot, forwards and options trading (collectively, 'derivatives trading') on behalf of the Funds and Underlying Funds. In connection with these transactions, RIIS may (i) negotiate, amend, execute and deliver International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. agreements, supporting annexes, confirmations and schedules, including but not limited to, credit support documents (whether by way of title transfer or by way of security), futures agreements, foreign currency documentation and any other agreements or instruments RIIS considers necessary or desirable for the purpose of entering into derivatives trading transactions; and (ii) deliver to counterparties, on behalf of the Funds and Underlying Funds, representations, warranties and covenants, including but not limited to certain tax representations, along with such financial information regarding the Funds and Underlying Funds as such counterparties may reasonably request.
In the case of securities traded in the over-the-counter market and depending on where best execution is believed to be available, transactions may be effected either (1) on an agency basis, which involves the payment of negotiated brokerage commissions to the broker-dealer, including electronic communication networks, or (2) on a principal basis at net prices, which include compensation to the broker-dealer in the form of a mark-up or mark-down without commission.
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Subject to its best execution obligations, RIM will effect transactions for certain Underlying Funds through Cowen Execution Services ('Cowen') and its global network of unaffiliated correspondent brokers to generate commission rebates to the Underlying Funds on whose behalf the trades were made. RIM does not effect trades to obtain research services. Cowen retains a portion of all commissions generated.
A discretionary money manager may effect transactions for the segment of an Underlying Fund's portfolio assigned to the money manager with a broker-dealer for the purposes of generating research services for the money manager's use. Research services will generally be obtained from unaffiliated third parties at market rates, which may be included in commission costs. Research provided to the money manager may benefit the particular Underlying Fund generating the trading activity and may also benefit other fund accounts managed by the money manager or its affiliates. A money manager using Underlying Fund trading to obtain research services for their use, may only do so if, including the value of the research series, the Underlying Fund will receive best execution.
BROKERAGE COMMISSIONS.
During the Funds' fiscal years ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, the total brokerage commissions paid by the Funds were:
2020 2019 2018
Conservative Strategy Fund $8,622 $7,231 $13,770
Moderate Strategy Fund 61,682 62,077 75,936
Balanced Strategy Fund 242,183 240,831 369,762
Growth Strategy Fund 190,390 223,848 267,796
Equity Growth Strategy Fund 86,663 100,243 140,285
The principal reasons for changes in certain Funds' brokerage commissions for the three years were (1) changes in Fund asset size and (2) changes in market conditions.
During the Funds' fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, no brokerage commissions of the Funds were directed to brokers who provided brokerage or research services to RIM.
The Funds did not have any affiliated brokerage transactions (relating to trading activity) during the fiscal years ended October 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018.
During the Funds' fiscal year ended October 31, 2020, the Funds did not purchase securities issued by regular brokers or dealers as defined by Rule 10b-1 of the 1940 Act.
For information regarding brokerage commissions and activities for the Underlying Funds, please see the Underlying Funds' SAIs.
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Investment Restrictions, Policies And CERTAIN INVESTMENTS
Each Fund's investment objective is 'non-fundamental.' Having a non-fundamental investment objective means that it may be changed without the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the relevant Fund. If a Fund's investment objective is changed by the Board of Trustees, the Prospectus will be supplemented to reflect the new investment objective. Certain investment policies and restrictions may be fundamental, which means that they may only be changed with the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the relevant Fund. The vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of each Fund means the vote of the lesser of (a) 67% or more of the voting securities of the Fund present at the meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund are present or represented by proxy; or (b) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund. Other policies and restrictions may be changed by a Fund without shareholder approval. The Funds' investment objectives are set forth in their Prospectus.
INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS
Each Fund is subject to the following fundamental investment restrictions. For information regarding the fundamental investment restrictions of the Underlying Funds, please see the Underlying Funds' SAIs.
Unless otherwise stated, all restrictions, percentage limitations and credit quality limitations on Fund investments listed in this SAI apply on a fund-by-fund basis at the time of investment. There would be no violation of any of these requirements unless a Fund fails to comply with any such limitation immediately after and as a result of an investment. A later change in circumstances will not require the sale of an investment if it was proper at the time it was made.
No Fund may:
1. Purchase securities if, as a result of such purchase, the Fund's investments would be concentrated within the meaning of the 1940 Act in securities of issuers in a particular industry or group of industries.
Investments in other investment companies shall not be considered an investment in any particular industry or group of industries for purposes of this investment restriction.
This investment restriction shall not apply to securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.
Because of their investment objectives and policies, investments of the Funds will be concentrated in shares of the Underlying Funds and, therefore, in the mutual fund industry. In accordance with the Fund's investment policies set forth in the Fund's respective Prospectus, each of the Funds may invest in the Underlying Funds without limitation as to concentration. However, each of the Underlying Funds in which each Fund may invest (other than the Global Real Estate Securities Fund) will not purchase securities if, as a result of such purchase, the Underlying Fund's investments would be concentrated within the meaning of the 1940 Act.
The Global Real Estate Securities Fund may invest in the securities of companies directly or indirectly engaged in the real estate industry without limitation as to concentration.
2. Purchase or sell real estate; provided that a Fund may invest in the Global Real Estate Securities Fund, which may own securities secured by real estate or interests therein or issued by companies which invest in real estate or interests therein.
3. Purchase or sell commodities except that a Fund may purchase or sell currencies, may enter into futures contracts on securities, currencies and other indices or any other financial instruments, and may purchase and sell options on such futures contracts.
4. Borrow money, except that a Fund may borrow money to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, or to the extent permitted by any exemptions therefrom which may be granted by the SEC.
5. Act as an underwriter except to the extent a Fund may be deemed to be an underwriter when disposing of securities it owns or when selling its own shares.
6. Make loans to other persons except (a) through the lending of its portfolio securities, (b) through the purchase of debt securities, loan participations and/or engaging in direct corporate loans in accordance with its investment objectives and policies, (c) to the extent the entry into a repurchase agreement is deemed to be a loan, or (d) to affiliated investment companies to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act or any exemptions therefrom that may be granted by the SEC.
7. Issue securities senior to the Fund's presently authorized shares of beneficial interest except that this restriction shall not be deemed to prohibit a Fund from (a) making any permitted borrowings, loans, mortgages or pledges,
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(b) entering into options, futures contracts, forward contracts, repurchase transactions, or reverse repurchase transactions, or (c) making short sales of securities to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and any rule or order thereunder.
With regard to investment restriction 1, above, concentration within the meaning of the 1940 Act refers to the position of the staff of the SEC that a fund is concentrated if it invests 25% or more of the value of its total assets in any one industry or group of industries.
With regard to investment restriction 1, above, the statement that the Funds will be concentrated in the mutual fund industry means that the Funds will principally invest in shares of other mutual funds. In accordance with each Fund's investment program as set forth in the applicable Prospectus, a Fund may invest more than 25% of its assets in any one Underlying Fund.
With regard to investment restriction 1, above, mortgage-backed securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities are not subject to the Funds' industry concentration restrictions, by virtue of the exclusion from that test available to all U.S. Government securities. Privately-issued mortgage-backed securities are, however, subject to the Funds' industry concentration restrictions.
Each Fund will also not be concentrated, within the meaning of the 1940 Act, in securities of issuers of a particular industry or group of industries, if the portfolio securities of the Underlying Funds were deemed to be owned directly by the Fund rather than the Underlying Fund.
With regard to investment restriction 3, above, this restriction shall not prevent a Fund from entering into swap agreements or swaptions.
With regard to investment restriction 4, above, this restriction applies constantly and not only at the time a borrowing is made.
With regard to investment restriction 6, above, each Fund may lend its portfolio securities in an amount not to exceed 33 13% of total fund assets. The Funds may invest without limit in repurchase agreements, dollar rolls and to-be announced mortgage-backed securities so long as they abide by their investment objective, investment restrictions, and all 1940 Act requirements, including diversification requirements. Loans to affiliated investment companies are not presently permitted by the 1940 Act in the absence of an exemption from the SEC. The Funds have received exemptive relief from the SEC to loan money to affiliated investment companies.
With regard to investment restriction 7, above, permitted borrowings refer to borrowings by the Funds as permitted by the 1940 Act.
The Funds do not invest in repurchase agreements.
Each Fund is also subject to the following non-fundamental investment restriction (one that can be changed by the Trustees without shareholder approval):
No Fund may borrow money for purposes of leveraging or investment. Provisional credits related to contractual settlements shall not be considered to be a form of leverage.
Under the 1940 Act, each Fund is presently permitted to borrow up to 5% of its total assets from any person for temporary purposes, and may also borrow from banks, provided that if borrowings exceed 5%, the Fund must have assets totaling at least 300% of the borrowing when the amount of the borrowing is added to the Fund's other assets. Put another way, an investment company may borrow, in the aggregate, from banks and others, amounts up to one-third (33 13%) of its total assets (including those assets represented by the borrowing). Accordingly, if a Fund were required to pledge assets to secure a borrowing, it would pledge no more than one-third (33 13%) of its assets.
The Funds will not purchase additional securities while outstanding cash borrowings exceed 5% of total assets.
A Fund may, from time to time, take temporary defensive positions that are inconsistent with the Fund's principal investment strategies in attempting to respond to adverse market, economic, political or other conditions. During these times, a Fund may invest up to 100% of its assets in cash or cash equivalents, shares of money market mutual funds, commercial paper, zero coupon bonds, repurchase agreements, and other securities RIM believes to be consistent with the Fund's best interests. During a period in which a Fund takes a temporary defensive position, the Fund may not achieve its investment objective.
For the Underlying Funds' investment restrictions, please see the Underlying Funds' SAIs.
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INVESTMENT POLICIES
The investment objective and principal investment strategies for each of the Funds are provided in their Prospectus. The investment objective and principal investment strategies for each Underlying Fund are provided in their respective Prospectuses. The following discussion describes certain investment strategies that the Underlying Funds may pursue and certain types of instruments in which the Underlying Funds may invest. The Underlying Funds may not invest in all of the instruments listed below. The Underlying Funds use investment techniques commonly used by other mutual funds. The instruments and investment strategies listed below are discretionary, which means that RIM or the money managers may or may not use them.
Unless otherwise stated, all percentage and credit quality limitations on Fund and Underlying Fund investments listed in this SAI apply at the time of investment. There would be no violation of any of these limitations unless an excess or deficiency exists immediately after and as a result of an investment.
The Multifactor U.S. Equity, Sustainable Equity, U.S. Dynamic Equity, U.S. Small Cap Equity, Multifactor International Equity, Global Equity, Emerging Markets, Commodity Strategies, Global Infrastructure and Global Real Estate Securities Funds are referred to collectively as the 'Underlying Equity Funds.'
The Opportunistic Credit, Unconstrained Total Return, Multifactor Bond, Strategic Bond, Investment Grade Bond and Short Duration Bond Funds are referred to collectively as the 'Underlying Fixed Income Funds.'
The Multi-Strategy Income and the Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds are each considered both an 'Underlying Equity Fund' and an 'Underlying Fixed Income Fund.'
Investment Strategies and Portfolio Instruments.
Each Underlying Fund's principal and certain non-principal investment strategies and the related risks are described in the relevant Underlying Fund's Prospectus. The following discussion provides additional information regarding those investment strategies and risks, as well as information regarding additional non-principal investment strategies and risks. An investment strategy and related risk that is described below, but which is not described in the relevant Underlying Fund's Prospectus, is a non-principal strategy and risk of the Underlying Fund.
Investors should be aware that in light of the current uncertainty, volatility and distress in financial, social, political and health conditions around the world, the risks below are heightened significantly compared to normal conditions and therefore subject a Fund's and/or an Underlying Fund's investments and a shareholder's investment in a Fund and/or an Underlying Fund to sudden and substantial losses. The fact that a particular risk below is not specifically identified as being heightened under current conditions does not mean that the risk is not greater than under normal conditions.
Cash Reserves and Being Fully Invested.An Underlying Fund at times has to sell portfolio securities in order to meet redemption requests. The selling of securities may negatively affect an Underlying Fund's performance since securities are sold for other than investment reasons. An Underlying Fund can avoid selling its portfolio securities by holding adequate levels of cash to meet anticipated redemption requests ('cash reserves'). The cash reserves may also include cash awaiting investment or to pay expenses. The Underlying Funds, like any mutual fund, maintain cash reserves. RIM may increase or decrease the Underlying Fund's cash reserves to seek to achieve the desired exposures for the Underlying Fund or in anticipation of a transition to a new money manager or large redemptions resulting from rebalancing by funds of funds or asset allocation programs. An Underlying Fund may hold additional cash in connection with its investment strategy. The Funds may hold cash in connection with their investments in derivatives.
The Underlying Funds, except the Commodity Strategies Fund, usually, but not always, expose all or a portion of their cash to the performance of certain markets by purchasing equity securities, fixed-income securities and/or derivatives (also known as 'equitization'), which typically include index futures contracts, exchange-traded fixed-income futures contracts, forwards, swaps and to be announced securities. This is intended to cause the Underlying Fund to perform as though its cash were actually invested in those markets. This exposure may or may not match the Underlying Fund's benchmark and RIM may use the cash equitization process to manage Underlying Fund exposures. RIM may not equitize all or a portion of the Underlying Fund's cash or use the cash equitization process to reduce market exposure. With respect to cash that is not equitized, RIM may sell equity index put options to seek gains from premiums (cash) received from their sale.
RIM invests any remaining cash in short-term investments, including the U.S. Cash Management Fund, an unregistered fund advised by RIM and administered by RIFUS, whose investment objective is to seek to preserve principal and provide liquidity and current income (the 'Cash Management Fund'). In addition, for the Unconstrained Total Return, Investment Grade Bond, Strategic Bond, Short Duration Bond and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds, any remaining cash may also be invested in fixed income securities with an average portfolio duration of one year and individual effective maturities of up to five years
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for the Unconstrained Total Return, Investment Grade Bond, Strategic Bond and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds, and average portfolio duration of approximately two years and individual effective maturities of up to six years for the Short Duration Bond Fund, which may include U.S. and non-U.S. corporate debt securities, asset-backed securities (which may include, among others, credit card and automobile loan receivables) and money market securities similar to those invested in by the Cash Management Fund. RIM has waived its 0.05% advisory fee with respect to cash invested in the Cash Management Fund. RIFUS charges a 0.05% administrative fee on the cash invested in the Cash Management Fund.
The Cash Management Fund invests in a portfolio of high quality U.S. dollar denominated money market securities. The dollar-weighted average maturity of the Cash Management Fund's portfolio is 90 days or less. The Cash Management Fund primarily invests in (1) securities issued by U.S. and foreign banks; (2) commercial paper, including asset-backed commercial paper, and short-term debt of U.S. and foreign corporations and trusts; (3) bank instruments, including certificates of deposit, Eurodollar certificates of deposit, Eurodollar time deposits and Yankee certificates of deposit; (4) Yankee Bonds; (5) other money market funds; (6) demand notes; (7) repurchase agreements; (8) investment-grade municipal debt obligations; (9) securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies; (10) variable and floating rate securities and (11) asset backed securities.
Commodity-Linked Derivatives.The Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds may invest in commodity-linked derivative instruments, such as structured notes, swap agreements, commodity options, futures and options on futures. The prices of commodity-linked derivative instruments may move in different directions than investments in traditional equity and debt securities when the value of those traditional securities is declining due to adverse economic conditions. As an example, during periods of rising inflation, historically debt securities have tended to decline in value due to the general increase in prevailing interest rates. Conversely, during those same periods of rising inflation, historically the prices of certain commodities, such as oil and metals, have tended to increase. Of course, there cannot be any guarantee that commodity-linked derivative investments will perform in that manner in the future, and at certain times the price movements of commodity-linked investments have been parallel to those of debt and equity securities.
In selecting investments for the Underlying Funds' portfolios, RIM and the money managers evaluate the merits of commodity-linked derivative instruments based upon such factors as the underlying commodity, futures contract, index or other economic variables that are linked to the instrument, the issuer of the instrument, and whether the principal of the instrument is protected by any form of credit enhancement or guarantee.
Each Underlying Fund's primary method for gaining exposure to the commodities markets is expected to be through commodity-linked structured notes, swap agreements and commodity futures and options, including futures contracts on individual commodities or a subset of commodities and options on them. These instruments have one or more commodity-dependent components. Some of these investments are derivative instruments because at least part of their value is derived from the value of an underlying commodity, commodity index, commodity futures or option contract, index or other readily measurable economic variable. Each Underlying Fund may invest in these instruments directly and the Commodity Strategies and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds may invest in these instruments indirectly through investments in their respective Subsidiary, each a wholly owned subsidiary of such Underlying Fund formed in the Cayman Islands.
Principal Protection. The Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds may invest in commodity-linked instruments. Commodity-linked structured notes and certain other commodity-linked instruments may be principal protected, partially protected, or offer no principal protection. A principal protected hybrid instrument means that the issuer will pay, at a minimum, the par value of the note at maturity. Therefore, if the commodity value to which the hybrid instrument is linked declines over the life of the note, the Underlying Fund will receive at maturity the face or stated value of the note.
With a principal protected commodity-linked instrument, an Underlying Fund would receive at maturity the greater of the par value of the note or the increase in value of the underlying commodity index. This protection is, in effect, an option whose value is subject to the volatility and price level of the underlying commodity index. This optionality can be added to an instrument, but only for a cost higher than that of a partially protected (or no protection) instrument. RIM or a money manager's decision on whether to use principal protection depends in part on the cost of the protection. In deciding to purchase a note without principal protection, RIM or a money manager may consider, among other things, the expected performance of the underlying commodity index, commodity futures contract or other economic variables over the term of the note, the cost of the note, and any other economic factors that RIM or the money manager believes are relevant. Each Underlying Fund will limit commodity-linked notes without principal protection to 10% of its total assets. In addition, the utility of the protection feature depends upon the ability of the issuer to meet its obligation to buy back the security, and therefore depends on the creditworthiness of the issuer.
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With full principal protection, the Underlying Funds will receive at maturity of the commodity-linked instrument either the stated par value of the commodity-linked instrument, or, potentially, an amount greater than the stated par value if the underlying commodity index, futures contract or economic variable to which the commodity-linked instrument is linked has increased in value. Partially protected commodity-linked instruments may suffer some loss of principal if the underlying commodity index, futures contract or economic variable to which the commodity-linked instrument is linked declines in value during the term of the commodity-linked instrument. However, partially protected commodity-linked instruments have a specified limit as to the amount of principal that they may lose.
Each Underlying Fund may also invest in commodity-linked instruments that offer no principal protection. At maturity, there is a risk that the underlying commodity index, futures contract or other economic variable may have declined sufficiently in value such that some or all of the face value of the instrument might not be returned. Some of the instruments that the Underlying Fund may invest in may have no principal protection and the instrument could lose all of its value.
Hedging Strategies.Financial futures contracts may be used by the Underlying Funds during or in anticipation of adverse market events such as interest rate changes for the Underlying Fixed Income Funds or declining equity prices for the Underlying Equity Funds. For example, if interest rates were anticipated to rise or equity prices were anticipated to fall, financial futures contracts may be sold (short hedge), which would have an effect similar to short selling bonds or equities. Once interest rates increase or equity prices fall, securities held in an Underlying Fund's portfolio may decline, but the futures contract value may increase, partly offsetting the loss in value of the Underlying Fund's securities by enabling the Underlying Fund to repurchase the futures contract at a lower price to close out the position.
The Underlying Equity Funds may purchase a put and/or sell a call option or enter into an option spread on a stock index futures contract instead of selling a futures contract in anticipation of an equity market decline. Conversely, purchasing a call and/or selling a put option or entering into an option spread on a stock index futures contract may be used instead of buying a futures contract in anticipation of an equity market advance, or to temporarily create an equity exposure for cash reserves until those balances are invested in equities. Options on financial futures are used in a similar manner in order to hedge portfolio securities against anticipated market changes.
Risk Associated with Hedging Strategies.There are certain investment risks involved with using futures contracts and/or options as a hedging technique. One risk is the imperfect correlation between the price movement of the futures contracts or options and the price movement of the portfolio securities, stock index or currency subject of the hedge. Another risk is that a liquid secondary market may not exist for a futures contract causing an Underlying Fund to be unable to close out the futures contract thereby affecting the Underlying Fund's hedging strategy.
In addition, foreign currency options and foreign currency futures involve additional risks. Such transactions may not be regulated as effectively as similar transactions in the United States; may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees; and are subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the prices of, foreign securities. The value of such positions could also be adversely affected by (1) other complex foreign, political, legal and economic factors, (2) lesser availability of data on which to make trading decisions than in the United States, (3) delays in an Underlying Fund's ability to act upon economic events occurring in foreign markets during non-business hours in the United States, (4) the imposition of different exercise and settlement terms and procedures and margin requirements than in the United States and (5) lesser trading volume.
Illiquid and Restricted Securities. No more than 15% of an Underlying Fund's net assets will be invested in certain investments, including repurchase agreements of more than seven days' duration, that are deemed to be 'illiquid' as defined in Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act. This limitation is applied at the time of purchase. An investment is generally deemed to be illiquid if it is not reasonably expected to be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without significantly changing the market value of the investment. There may be delays in selling illiquid investments at prices representing their fair value.
The expenses of registration of restricted securities that are illiquid (excluding securities that may be resold by the Underlying Funds pursuant to Rule 144A) may be negotiated at the time such securities are purchased by an Underlying Fund. When registration is required, a considerable period may elapse between a decision to sell the securities and the time the sale would be permitted. Thus, an Underlying Fund may not be able to obtain as favorable a price as that prevailing at the time of the decision to sell. An Underlying Fund also may acquire, through private placements, securities having contractual resale restrictions, which might lower the amount realizable upon the sale of such securities.
When-Issued Securities and Delayed-Delivery Transactions.An Underlying Fund may contract to purchase securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond customary settlement time (a 'when-issued' transaction or 'forward commitment') or purchase or sell securities for delayed delivery (i.e., payment or delivery occur beyond the normal settlement date at a stated price and yield) so long as such transactions are consistent with the Fund's ability to manage its investment portfolio and
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meet redemption requests. In addition, recently finalized rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. ('FINRA') include mandatory margin requirements that require the Underlying Funds to post collateral in connection with their to-be-announced ('TBA') transactions. There is no similar requirement applicable to the Underlying Funds' TBA counterparties. The required collateralization of TBA trades could increase the cost of TBA transactions to the Underlying Funds and impose added operational complexity. The Underlying Funds will enter into a when-issued transaction for the purpose of acquiring portfolio securities and not for the purpose of leverage but may dispose of a forward commitment or when-issued transaction prior to settlement if it is appropriate to do so and may realize short-term profits or losses upon such sale. The payment obligation and the interest rate that will be received on when-issued securities are fixed at the time the buyer enters into the commitment. Due to fluctuations in the value of securities purchased or sold on a when-issued or delayed-delivery basis, the yields obtained on such securities may be higher or lower than the yields available in the market on the dates when the investments are actually delivered to the buyers. When effecting such transactions, liquid assets of the Underlying Fund, in a dollar amount sufficient to make payment for the portfolio securities to be purchased, will be segregated on the Underlying Fund's records at the trade date and maintained until the transaction is settled. When-issued and delayed-delivery transactions involve a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to the settlement date or the other party to the transaction fails to complete the transaction.
Additionally, under certain circumstances, certain Underlying Funds may occasionally engage in 'free trade' transactions in which delivery of securities sold by the Underlying Fund is made prior to the Underlying Fund's receipt of cash payment therefor or the Underlying Fund's payment of cash for portfolio securities occurs prior to the Underlying Fund's receipt of those securities. Cash payment in such instances generally occurs on the next business day in the local market. 'Free trade' transactions involve the risk of loss to an Underlying Fund if the other party to the 'free trade' transaction fails to complete the transaction after an Underlying Fund has tendered cash payment or securities, as the case may be.
Investment Company Securities and Pooled Investment Vehicles.The Underlying Funds may invest in securities of other open-end or closed-end investment companies. If an Underlying Fund invests in other investment companies, shareholders will bear not only their proportionate share of the Underlying Fund's expenses (including operating expenses and the advisory fee paid by the Underlying Fund to RIM), but also, indirectly, the similar expenses of the underlying investment companies. Shareholders would also be exposed to the risks associated not only to the investments of the Underlying Funds but also to the portfolio investments of the underlying investment companies.
Some emerging market countries have laws and regulations that currently preclude direct foreign investments in the securities of their companies. However, indirect foreign investments in the securities of companies listed and traded on the stock exchanges in these countries are permitted through pooled investment vehicles or investment funds that have been specifically authorized.
Exchange Traded Funds or 'ETFs.'The Underlying Funds may invest in shares of open-end mutual funds or unit investment trusts that are traded on a stock exchange, called exchange-traded funds or ETFs. Typically, an ETF seeks to track the performance of an index, such as the S&P 500®, the NASDAQ 100, the ICE BofA 1-3 Year U.S. Treasury Index or the Bloomberg Barclays Capital 1-15 Year Municipal Bond Index, by holding in its portfolio either the same securities that comprise the index, or a representative sample of the index. Investing in an ETF will give an Underlying Fund exposure to the securities comprising the index on which the ETF is based, and the Underlying Fund will gain or lose value depending on the performance of the index. ETFs have expenses, including advisory and administrative fees paid by ETF shareholders, and, as a result, if an Underlying Fund invests in an ETF, an investor in the Underlying Fund will indirectly bear the fees and expenses of the underlying ETF.
Unlike shares of typical mutual funds or unit investment trusts, shares of ETFs are bought and sold based on market values throughout each trading day, and not at net asset value. For this reason, shares could trade at either a premium or discount to net asset value. The Underlying Funds may invest in ETFs that track equity market indices. The portfolios held by these ETFs are publicly disclosed on each trading day, and an approximation of actual net asset value is disseminated throughout the trading day. Because of this transparency, the trading prices of these index-based ETFs tend to closely track the actual net asset value of the underlying portfolios. The Underlying Funds may invest in ETFs that are based on fixed income indices, or that are actively managed. Actively managed ETFs may not have the transparency of index based ETFs, and therefore, may be more likely to trade at a discount or premium to actual net asset values. If an ETF held by the Fund trades at a discount to net asset value, the Fund could lose money even if the securities in which the ETF invests go up in value.
Short Sales.The Sustainable Equity, U.S. Dynamic Equity, U.S. Small Cap Equity and Commodity Strategies Funds may enter into short sale transactions. In a short sale, the seller sells a security that it does not own, typically a security borrowed from a broker or dealer. Because the seller remains liable to return the underlying security that it borrowed from the broker or dealer, the seller must purchase the security prior to the date on which delivery to the broker or dealer is required. An Underlying Fund will incur a loss as a result of the short sale if the price of the security increases between the date of the
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short sale and the date on which the Underlying Funds must return the borrowed security. An Underlying Fund will realize a gain if the security declines in price between those dates. Short sales expose an Underlying Fund to the risk of liability for the fair value of the security that is sold (the amount of which increases as the fair value of the underlying security increases), in addition to the costs associated with establishing, maintaining and closing out the short position.
Although an Underlying Fund's potential for gain as a result of a short sale is limited to the price at which it sold the security short less the cost of borrowing the security, its potential for loss is theoretically unlimited because there is no limit to the cost of replacing the borrowed security. When an Underlying Fund makes a short sale, the Underlying Fund may use all or a portion of the cash proceeds of short sales to purchase other securities or for any other permissible Fund purpose. Each of the Sustainable Equity Fund, U.S. Dynamic Equity Fund and U.S. Small Cap Equity Fund currently engage in short sale transactions that are effected through State Street but reserve the right to engage in short sale transactions through one or more other counterparties. For short sale transactions effected through State Street, the Underlying Funds typically expect to collateralize short sale transactions through the Underlying Funds' reciprocal lending activity with State Street. (i.e., short sale transactions are collateralized by securities loaned to State Street for purposes of securities lending activities). The Underlying Funds may also deliver cash to State Street for purposes of collateralizing their short sales transactions or 'memo pledge' securities as collateral, whereby assets are designated as collateral by State Street on State Street's books but remain in an Underlying Fund's custody account. Similar to the risks generally applicable to securities lending arrangements, participation in the reciprocal lending program subjects the Underlying Funds to the risk that State Street could fail to return a security lent to it by an Underlying Fund, or fail to return the Underlying Fund's cash collateral, a risk which would increase with any decline in State Street's credit profile. However, the impact of State Street's failure to return a security lent to it by an Underlying Fund or, failure to return an Underlying Fund's cash collateral, would be mitigated by the Underlying Fund's right under such circumstances to decline to return the securities the Underlying Fund initially borrowed from State Street with respect to its short sale transactions. This risk may be heightened during periods of market stress and volatility, particularly if the type of collateral provided is different than the type of security borrowed (e.g., cash is provided as collateral for a loan of an equity security). To the extent necessary to meet collateral requirements associated with a short sale transaction involving a counterparty other than State Street, the Underlying Funds are required to pledge assets in a segregated account maintained by the Underlying Funds' custodian for the benefit of the broker. The Underlying Funds may also use securities they own to meet any such collateral obligations. Until the Underlying Funds replace a borrowed security in connection with a short sale, the Underlying Funds will: (a) maintain daily a segregated account, containing liquid assets, at such a level that the amount deposited in the segregated account will equal the current requirement under Regulation T promulgated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System under the authority of Sections 7 and 8 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended; or (b) otherwise cover their short positions in accordance with positions taken by the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (e.g., by taking an offsetting long position in the security sold short). These requirements may result in the Underlying Funds being unable to purchase or sell securities or instruments when it would otherwise be favorable to do so, or in the Underlying Funds needing to sell holdings at a disadvantageous time to satisfy their obligations or to meet segregation requirements.
If the Underlying Funds' prime broker fails to make or take delivery of a security as part of a short sale transaction, or fails to make a cash settlement payment, the settlement of the transaction may be delayed and the Underlying Fund may lose money.
Short Sales 'Against the Box.'The Sustainable Equity, U.S. Dynamic Equity, U.S. Small Cap Equity and Commodity Strategies Funds may utilize a short sale that is 'against the box.' A short sale is 'against the box' to the extent that an Underlying Fund contemporaneously owns or has the right to obtain, at no added cost, securities identical to those sold short. Not more than 10% of an Underlying Fund's net assets (taken at current value) may be held as collateral for short sales against the box at any one time. The Underlying Fund does not intend to engage in short sales against the box for investment purposes. The Underlying Fund may, however, make a short sale as a hedge, when it believes that the price of a security may decline, causing a decline in the value of a security owned by the Underlying Fund (or a security convertible or exchangeable for such security). In such case, any future losses in an Underlying Fund's long position should be offset by a gain in the short position and, conversely, any gain in the long position should be reduced by a loss in the short position. The extent to which such gains or losses are reduced will depend upon the amount of the security sold short relative to the amount an Underlying Fund owns. There will be certain additional transaction costs associated with short sales against the box, but the Underlying Funds will endeavor to offset these costs with the income from the investment of the cash proceeds of short sales.
Foreign Securities
Investment in Foreign Securities.The Underlying Funds may invest in foreign (non-U.S.) securities traded on U.S. or foreign exchanges or in the over-the-counter market. Investing in securities issued by foreign governments and corporations involves considerations and possible risks not typically associated with investing in obligations issued by the U.S. government
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and domestic corporations. Less information may be available about foreign companies than about domestic companies, and foreign companies generally are not subject to the same uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards or other regulatory practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to domestic companies. The values of foreign investments are affected by changes in currency rates or exchange control regulations, application of foreign tax laws, including withholding taxes, changes in governmental administration or economic or monetary policy (in the United States or abroad) or changed circumstances in dealings between nations. Costs are incurred in connection with conversions between various currencies. In addition, foreign brokerage commissions are generally higher than in the United States, and foreign securities markets may be less liquid, more volatile and less subject to governmental supervision than in the United States. Investments in foreign countries could be affected by other factors not present in the United States, including nationalization, expropriation, confiscatory taxation, lack of uniform accounting, financial reporting and auditing standards and potential difficulties in enforcing contractual obligations and could be subject to extended settlement periods or restrictions affecting the prompt return of capital to the United States. To the extent that an Underlying Fund's principal investment strategies involve foreign (non-U.S.) securities, the Underlying Fund may tend to have a greater exposure to liquidity risk.
Investment in foreign countries may also be affected by a country's political climate which could result in regulatory restrictions, including restrictions on transacting in certain foreign securities ('restricted securities'), being contemplated or imposed in the U.S. or in the foreign country that could have a material adverse effect on an Underlying Fund's ability to invest in accordance with its investment policies and/or achieve its investment objective. To the extent that an Underlying Fund is unable to transact in a restricted security on a U.S. exchange, the Underlying Fund will have to seek other markets in which to transact in such securities which could increase the Underlying Fund's costs. In addition, to the extent that an Underlying Fund holds a restricted security, one or more Underlying Fund intermediaries may decline to process customer orders with respect to such Underlying Fund unless and until certain representations are made by RIC and/or RIM or the restricted holding(s) are divested. Certain restricted securities may have less liquidity as a result of such designation and the market price of such security may decline and an Underlying Fund may incur a loss as a result.
On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom ('UK') withdrew from the European Union (the 'EU') (popularly known as 'Brexit'). Following withdrawal from the EU, the UK entered into a transition period, during which period EU law continued to apply in the UK. New EU legislation that took effect before the end of the transition period also applies in the UK. The transition period ended on December 31, 2020. On December 30, 2020, the EU and UK signed an agreement on the terms governing certain aspects of the EU's and the UK's relationship following the end of the transition period, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the 'TCA') which is currently in the process of being ratified by the EU's and UK's respective parliaments. Notwithstanding the TCA, following the transition period, there is likely to be considerable uncertainty as to the UK's post-transition framework, and in particular as to the arrangements which will apply to the UK's relationships with the EU and with other countries, which is likely to continue to develop following December 31, 2020. This uncertainty may result in increased volatility and illiquidity, potentially lower economic growth and decreased asset valuations. Brexit may have a destabilizing impact on the EU to the extent other member states similarly seek to withdraw from the union. It may also have a negative impact on the economy and currency of the UK as a result of anticipated or actual changes to the UK's economic and political relations with the EU. Any or all of these challenges may affect the value of an Underlying Fund's investments economically tied to the UK or EU. There continues to be a significant degree of uncertainty about the potential consequences of Brexit, including financial market reaction to events during and following the transition period.
Investment in Emerging Markets. Certain Underlying Equity Funds may invest in emerging markets stocks. The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may also invest in the following types of emerging market debt: bonds; notes and debentures of emerging market governments; debt and other fixed-income securities issued or guaranteed by emerging market government agencies, instrumentalities or central banks; and other fixed-income securities issued or guaranteed by banks or other companies in emerging markets which are believed to be suitable investments for the Underlying Funds. As a general rule, the Underlying Funds consider emerging market countries to include every country in the world except Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Foreign investment may include emerging market stock and emerging market debt.
Risks Associated with Emerging Markets.The considerations outlined above when making investments in foreign securities also apply to investments in emerging markets. The risks associated with investing in foreign securities are often heightened for investments in developing or emerging markets. Investments in emerging or developing markets involve exposure to economic structures that are generally less diverse and mature, and to political systems which can be expected to have less stability, than those of more developed countries. As a result, emerging market governments are more likely to take actions that are hostile or detrimental to private enterprise or foreign investment than those of more developed countries, including expropriation of assets, confiscatory taxation or unfavorable diplomatic developments. In general, this can be expected to result in less stringent investor protection standards as compared with investments in U.S. or other developed market equity
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securities. In the past, governments of such nations have expropriated substantial amounts of private property, and most claims of the property owners have never been fully settled. There is no assurance that such expropriations will not reoccur. In such an event, it is possible that an Underlying Fund could lose the entire value of its investments in the affected market. Some countries have pervasiveness of corruption and crime that may hinder investments. Practices in relation to settlement of securities transactions in emerging markets involve higher risks than those in developed markets, in part because the Underlying Funds will need to use brokers and counterparties that are less well capitalized, and custody and registration of assets in some countries may be unreliable. Emerging market countries typically have less established legal, accounting and financial reporting systems than those in more developed markets, which may reduce the scope or quality of financial information available to investors. In addition, there is the risk that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ('PCAOB') may not be able to inspect audit practices and work conducted by audit firms in emerging market countries - such as the People's Republic of China - and, therefore, there is no guarantee that the quality of financial reporting or the audits conducted by audit firms of emerging market issuers meet PCAOB standards. The possibility of fraud, negligence, undue influence being exerted by the issuer or refusal to recognize that ownership exists in some emerging markets, along with other factors, could result in ownership registration being completely lost. The Underlying Funds would absorb any loss resulting from such registration problems and may have no successful claim for compensation. In addition, communications between the United States and emerging market countries may be unreliable, increasing the risk of delayed settlements or losses of security certificates. Moreover, the economies of individual emerging market countries may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as the rate of growth in gross domestic product, the rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position. Furthermore, U.S. regulatory authorities' ability to enforce legal and/or regulatory obligations against individuals or entities, and shareholders' ability to bring derivative litigation or otherwise enforce their legal rights, in emerging market countries may be limited. Because the Underlying Funds' foreign securities will generally be denominated in foreign currencies, the value of such securities to the Underlying Funds will be affected by changes in currency exchange rates and in exchange control regulations. A change in the value of a foreign currency against the U.S. dollar will result in a corresponding change in the U.S. dollar value of the Underlying Funds' foreign securities. In addition, some emerging market countries may have fixed or managed currencies which are not free-floating against the U.S. dollar. Further, certain emerging market countries' currencies may not be internationally traded. Certain of these currencies have experienced devaluations relative to the U.S. dollar. Many emerging market countries have experienced substantial, and in some periods extremely high, rates of inflation for many years. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain emerging market countries.
Investments in emerging market country government debt securities involve special risks. Certain emerging market countries have historically experienced high rates of inflation, high interest rates, exchange rate fluctuations, large amounts of external debt, balance of payments and trade difficulties and extreme poverty and unemployment. The issuer or governmental authority that controls the repayment of an emerging market country's debt may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt. As a result, a government obligor may default on its obligations. If such an event occurs, an Underlying Fund may have limited legal recourse against the issuer and/or guarantor.
Investments in the People's Republic of China.Certain Underlying Funds may invest in securities and instruments that are economically tied to the People's Republic of China ('PRC'). In determining whether an instrument is economically tied to the PRC, RIM uses the criteria for determining whether an instrument is economically tied to an emerging market country as set forth in the Underlying Funds' Prospectus. Investing in securities and instruments economically tied to the PRC subjects an Underlying Fund to the risks listed under 'Foreign Securities' in this section, including those associated with investment in emerging markets.
The PRC is dominated by the one-party rule of the Communist Party. Investments in the PRC involve risks of greater governmental control over the economy. Unlike in the U.S., the PRC's currency is not determined by the market, but is instead managed at artificial levels relative to the U.S. dollar. This system could result in sudden, large adjustments in the currency, which could negatively impact foreign investors. The PRC could also restrict the free conversion of its currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. Currency repatriation restrictions could cause securities and instruments tied to the PRC to become relatively illiquid, particularly in connection with redemption requests. The PRC government exercises significant control over economic growth through direct and heavy involvement in resource allocation and monetary policy, control over payment of foreign currency denominated obligations and provision of preferential treatment to particular industries and/or companies. Economic reform programs in the PRC have contributed to growth, but there is no guarantee that such reforms will continue.
The application of tax laws (e.g., the imposition of withholding taxes on dividend or interest payments) or confiscatory taxation may also affect an Underlying Fund's investments in the PRC. Because the rules governing taxation of investments in securities and instruments economically tied to the PRC are unclear, RIM may provide for capital gains taxes on an
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Underlying Fund investing in such securities and instruments by reserving both realized and unrealized gains from disposing or holding securities and instruments economically tied to the PRC. This approach is based on current market practice and RIM's understanding of the applicable tax rules. Changes in market practice or understanding of the applicable tax rules may result in the amounts reserved being too great or too small relative to actual tax burdens.
In addition, as much of China's growth over recent decades has been a result of significant investment in substantial export trade, international trade tensions may arise from time to time which can result in trade tariffs, embargoes, trade limitations, trade wars and other negative consequences. These consequences may trigger a significant reduction in international trade, the oversupply of certain manufactured goods, substantial price reductions of goods and possible failure of individual companies and/or large segments of China's export industry with a potentially severe negative impact to the Underlying Funds. In addition, it is possible that the continuation or worsening of the current political climate could result in regulatory restrictions being contemplated or imposed in the US or in China that could have a material adverse effect on an Underlying Fund's ability to invest in accordance with its investment policies and/or achieve its investment objective. In November 2020, the President of the United States issued an executive order ('CCMC Order') prohibiting US persons, including the Underlying Funds, from transacting in securities of any Chinese company identified by the Secretary of Defense as a 'Communist Chinese military company' ('CCMC') or in instruments that are derivative of, or are designed to provide investment exposure to, prohibited CCMC securities. It is unclear whether the CCMC Order will continue in effect under the new Presidential administration, but to the extent that it does and the issuer of an Underlying Fund portfolio holding is deemed to be a CCMC, it may have a material adverse effect on the Underlying Fund's ability to pursue its investment objective and/or strategy. To the extent that an Underlying Fund currently transacts in securities of a foreign company on a U.S. exchange but is unable to do so in the future, the Underlying Fund will have to seek other markets in which to transact in such securities which could increase the Underlying Fund's costs. In addition, to the extent that an Underlying Fund holds a security of a CCMC, one or more Underlying Fund intermediaries may decline to process customer orders with respect to such Underlying Fund unless and until certain representations are made by RIC and/or RIM or the CCMC holding(s) are divested. Certain CCMC securities may have less liquidity as a result of such designation and the market price of such CCMC may decline and an Underlying Fund may incur a loss as a result. In addition, the market for securities of other Chinese-based issuers may also be negatively impacted resulting in reduced liquidity and price declines.
Investing through Stock Connect.Certain Underlying Equity Funds may invest in certain eligible securities ('Stock Connect Securities') that are listed and traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange through the Hong Kong - Shanghai Stock Connect program or the Shenzhen Stock Exchange through the Hong Kong - Shenzhen Stock Connect program ('Stock Connect'). The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited ('SEHK'), Shanghai Stock Exchange, Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited and China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited developed Stock Connect as a securities trading and clearing program to establish mutual market access between SEHK and the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Unlike other means of foreign investment in Chinese securities, investors in Stock Connect Securities are not subject to individual investment quotas or licensing requirements. Additionally, no lock-up periods or restrictions apply to the repatriation of principal and profits.
However, a number of restrictions apply to Stock Connect trading that could affect an Underlying Equity Fund's investments and returns. For example, the home market's laws and rules apply to investors in the Stock Connect program. This means that investors in Stock Connect Securities are generally subject to PRC securities regulations and Shanghai Stock Exchange or Shenzhen Stock Exchange listing rules, among other restrictions. Further, an investor may not sell, purchase or transfer its Stock Connect Securities by any means other than through Stock Connect, in accordance with applicable rules. Although individual investment quotas do not apply, Stock Connect participants are subject to daily and aggregate investment quotas, which could restrict or preclude an Underlying Equity Fund's ability to invest in Stock Connect Securities.
Investing through Bond Connect.Certain Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in certain eligible securities ('Bond Connect Securities') that are listed and traded through China's Bond Connect Program ('Bond Connect') which allows non-Chinese investors (such as the Underlying Fixed Income Funds) to purchase certain fixed-income investments available from China's interbank bond market. Bond Connect uses the trading infrastructure of both Hong Kong and China and is therefore not available on trading holidays in Hong Kong. As a result, prices of securities purchased through Bond Connect may fluctuate at times when an Underlying Fixed Income Fund is unable to add to or exit its position. Securities offered through Bond Connect may lose their eligibility for trading through the program at any time. If Bond Connect Securities lose their eligibility for trading through the program, they may be sold but can no longer be purchased through Bond Connect.
Bond Connect is subject to regulation by both Hong Kong and China and there can be no assurance that further regulations will not affect the availability of securities in the program, the frequency of redemptions or other limitations. In China, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Central Money Markets Unit holds Bond Connect Securities on behalf of ultimate investors (such as the Underlying Fixed Income Funds) via accounts maintained with China's two fixed-income securities
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clearinghouses. While the ultimate investor may hold beneficial interest in Bond Connect Securities, courts in China have limited experience in applying the concept of beneficial ownership. Additionally, an Underlying Fixed Income Fund may not be able to participate in corporate actions affecting Bond Connect Securities due to time constraints or for other operational reasons. As a result, payments of distributions could be delayed. Bond Connect trades are settled in Chinese currency, the renminbi ('RMB'). It cannot be guaranteed that investors will have timely access to a reliable supply of RMB in Hong Kong.
Investments in Saudi Arabia.Certain Underlying Funds may invest in securities and instruments of Saudi Arabian issuers. These issuers may be impacted by the significant ties in the Saudi Arabian economy to petroleum exports. As a result, changes within the petroleum industry could have a significant impact on the overall health of the Saudi Arabian economy. Additionally, the Saudi Arabian economy relies heavily on foreign labor and changes in the availability of this labor supply could have an adverse effect on the economy.
The Saudi Arabian government exerts substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. While the political situation in Saudi Arabia is generally stable, future political instability or instability in the larger Middle East region could adversely impact the economy of Saudi Arabia, particularly with respect to foreign investments. Certain issuers located in Saudi Arabia may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions and/or embargoes imposed by the U.S. government and/or the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. government as state sponsors of terrorism. The Underlying Funds are also subject to the risk of expropriation or nationalization of assets or the risk of restrictions on foreign investments and repatriation of capital.
The ability of foreign investors to invest in Saudi Arabian issuers is relatively new and untested, and such ability may be revoked or restricted by the government of Saudi Arabia in the future, which may materially affect an Underlying Fund. An Underlying Fund may be unable to obtain or maintain the required licenses, which would affect the Underlying Fund's ability to buy and sell securities at full value. Additionally, an Underlying Fund's ownership of any single issuer listed on the Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange may be limited by the Saudi Arabia Capital Market Authority ('CMA'). The securities markets in Saudi Arabia may not be as developed as those in other countries. As a result, securities markets in Saudi Arabia are subject to greater risks associated with market volatility, lower market capitalization, lower trading volume, illiquidity, inflation, greater price fluctuations, uncertainty regarding the existence of trading markets, governmental control and heavy regulation of labor and industry. Major disruptions or regulatory changes may occur in the Saudi Arabian market, which could negatively impact an Underlying Fund.
An Underlying Fund's ability to invest in Saudi Arabian securities depends on the ability of a money manager and/or the Underlying Fund to maintain its respective status as a Foreign Portfolio Manager and/or a Qualified Foreign Investor ('QFI'), as applicable, with the CMA and, if applicable, an Underlying Fund as a client of a QFI who has been approved by the CMA ('QFI Client'). QFI regulations and local market infrastructure are relatively new and have not been tested and the CMA may discontinue the QFI regime at any time. Any change in the QFI system generally, including the possibility of a money manager or an Underlying Fund losing its Foreign Portfolio Manager, QFI and/or QFI Client status, as applicable, may adversely affect the Underlying Fund.
An Underlying Fund is required to use a trading account to buy and sell securities in Saudi Arabia. Under the Independent Custody Model ('ICM'), securities are under the control of the local custodian, while assets are held within a trading account at the Saudi Arabian depository and would be recoverable in the event of the bankruptcy of the local custodian. When an Underlying Fund utilizes the ICM approach, the Underlying Fund relies on a local broker's instruction to authorize transactions in Saudi Arabian securities. The risk of a fraudulent or erroneous transaction through the ICM approach is mitigated by a manual affirmation process conducted by the local custodian, which validates an Underlying Fund's settlement instructions with the local broker's instructions and the transaction report from the depository. Additionally, instructions may only be given by an Underlying Fund's authorized brokers and these brokers are unable to view the holdings within an Underlying Fund's trading account.
Foreign Government Securities.Foreign government securities which the Underlying Funds may invest in generally consist of obligations issued or backed by the national, state or provincial government or similar political subdivisions or central banks in foreign countries. Foreign government securities also include debt obligations of supranational entities, which include international organizations designated or backed by governmental entities to promote economic reconstruction or development, international banking institutions and related government agencies. These securities also include debt securities of 'quasi-government agencies' and debt securities denominated in multinational currency units of an issuer.
The global economic crisis brought several governments close to bankruptcy and many other economies into recession and weakened the banking and financial sectors of many countries. For example, the governments of Greece, Spain, Portugal, and the Republic of Ireland have all recently experienced large public budget deficits, the effects of which remain unknown and may slow the overall recovery of economies from the recent global economic crisis. In addition, due to large public deficits,
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some countries may be dependent on assistance from other governments and institutions or multilateral agencies and offices. Such assistance may require a country to implement reforms or reach a certain level of performance. If a country receiving assistance fails to reach certain objectives or receives an insufficient level of assistance it could cause a deep economic downturn which could significantly affect the value of an Underlying Fund's investments.
Privatizations.The Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds may invest in privatizations (i.e., foreign government programs of selling interests in government-owned or controlled enterprises). The ability of U.S. entities, such as the Underlying Funds, to participate in privatizations may be limited by local law, or the terms for participation may be less advantageous than for local investors. There can be no assurance that privatization programs will be available or successful.
Synthetic Foreign Equity/Fixed Income Securities (also referred to as International Warrants, Local Access Products, Participation Notes or Low Exercise Price Warrants).The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Global Equity, Emerging Markets, Global Infrastructure and Multifactor International Equity Funds may invest in local access products. Local access products, also called participation notes, are a form of derivative security issued by foreign banks that either give holders the right to buy or sell an underlying security or securities for a particular price or give holders the right to receive a cash payment relating to the value of the underlying security or securities. The instruments may or may not be traded on a foreign exchange. Local access products are similar to options in that they are exercisable by the holder for an underlying security or the value of that security, but are generally exercisable over a longer term than typical options. These types of instruments may be exercisable in the American style, which means that they can be exercised at any time on or before the expiration date of the instrument, or exercisable in the European style, which means that they may be exercised only on the expiration date. Local access products have an exercise price, which is fixed when they are issued.
Investments in these instruments involve the risk that the issuer of the instrument may default on its obligation to deliver the underlying security or its value. These instruments may also be subject to counterparty risk, liquidity risk, currency risk and the risks associated with investment in foreign securities. In the case of any exercise of the instruments, there may be a time delay between the time a holder gives instructions to exercise and the time the price of the security or the settlement date is determined, during which time the price of the underlying security could change significantly. In addition, the exercise or settlement date of the local access products may be affected by certain market disruption events, such as difficulties relating to the exchange of a local currency into U.S. dollars, the imposition of capital controls by a local jurisdiction or changes in the laws relating to foreign investments. These events could lead to a change in the exercise date or settlement currency of the instruments, or postponement of the settlement date. In some cases, if the market disruption events continue for a certain period of time, the local access products may become worthless resulting in a total loss of the purchase price.
Equity Linked Notes. The Global Equity, Emerging Markets, Multifactor International Equity, Multi-Strategy Income and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds may invest in equity linked notes, which are instruments whose return is determined by the performance of a single equity security, a basket of equity securities or an equity index. The principal payable at maturity is based on the current price of the linked security, basket or index. Equity linked notes are generally subject to the risks associated with the securities of foreign issuers and with securities denominated in foreign currencies and, because they are equity-linked, may return a lower amount at maturity because of a decline in value of the linked security or securities. Equity linked notes are also subject to default risk and counterparty risk.
Foreign Currency Exchange.Since the Underlying Funds may invest in securities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, and since the Underlying Funds may temporarily hold funds in bank deposits or other money market investments denominated in foreign currencies, the Underlying Funds may be affected favorably or unfavorably by exchange control regulations or changes in the exchange rate between such currencies and the dollar. A change in the value of a foreign currency relative to the U.S. dollar will result in a corresponding change in the dollar value of the Underlying Fund assets denominated in that foreign currency. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates may also affect the value of dividends and interest earned, gains and losses realized on the sale of securities and net investment income and gains, if any, to be distributed to shareholders by the Underlying Funds. The rate of exchange between the U.S. dollar and other currencies is determined by the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets. Changes in the exchange rate may result over time from the interaction of many factors directly or indirectly affecting economic and political conditions in the U.S. and a particular foreign country, including economic and political developments in other countries. Governmental intervention may also play a significant role. National governments rarely voluntarily allow their currencies to float freely in response to economic forces. Sovereign governments use a variety of techniques, such as intervention by a country's central bank or imposition of regulatory controls or taxes, to affect the exchange rates of their currencies. The Underlying Funds may use hedging techniques with the objective of protecting against loss through the fluctuation of the value of foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar, particularly the forward market in foreign exchange, currency options and currency futures.
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Equity Securities
Common Stocks. The Underlying Funds may invest in common stocks, which are shares of a corporation or other entity that entitle the holder to a pro rata share of the profits of the entity, if any, without preference over any other shareholder or class of shareholders, including holders of the entity's preferred stock and other senior equity. Common stock usually carries with it the right to vote and frequently an exclusive right to do so. The Underlying Funds may invest in common stocks and other securities issued by medium capitalization, small capitalization and micro capitalization companies and companies with capitalization smaller than the Russell 2000® Index. Please see the Underlying Funds' Prospectus for the risks associated with investments in securities of these capitalization sizes.
Preferred Stocks.The Underlying Funds may invest in preferred stocks, which are shares of a corporation or other entity that pay dividends at a specified rate and have precedence over common stock in the payment of dividends. If the corporation or other entity is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of owners of preferred stock will have precedence over the claims of owners of common stock, but not over the claims of owners of bonds. Some preferred stock dividends are non-cumulative, but some are 'cumulative,' meaning that they require that all or a portion of prior unpaid dividends be paid to preferred stockholders before any dividends are paid to common stockholders. Certain preferred stock dividends are 'participating' and include an entitlement to a dividend exceeding the specified dividend rate in certain cases. Investments in preferred stocks carry many of the same risks as investments in common stocks and debt securities.
Convertible Securities.The Underlying Funds may invest in convertible securities, which entitle the holder to acquire the issuer's common stock by exchange or purchase for a predetermined rate. Convertible securities can be bonds, notes, debentures, preferred stock or other securities which are convertible into common stock. Convertible securities are subject both to the credit and interest rate risks associated with fixed income securities and to the stock market risk associated with equity securities. Convertible securities rank senior to common stocks in a corporation's capital structure. They are consequently of higher quality and entail less risk than the corporation's common stock, although the extent to which such risk is reduced depends in large measure upon the degree to which the convertible security sells above its value as a fixed income security. The Underlying Funds may purchase convertible securities rated Ba or lower by Moody's Investors Service, Inc. ('Moody's'), BB or lower by Standard & Poor's Ratings Group ('S&P') or BB+ or lower by Fitch Investors Services, Inc. ('Fitch') and may also purchase non-rated securities considered to be of comparable quality. Although these securities are selected primarily on the basis of their equity characteristics, investors should be aware that debt securities rated in these categories are considered high risk securities; the rating agencies consider them speculative, and payment of interest and principal is not considered well assured. To the extent that such convertible securities are acquired by the Underlying Funds, there is a greater risk as to the timely payment of the principal of, and timely payment of interest or dividends on, such securities than in the case of higher rated convertible securities. The Underlying Funds may invest in contingent convertible securities. Unlike traditional convertible securities, contingent convertible securities generally provide for mandatory conversion into common stock of the issuer under certain circumstances. The mandatory conversion might be automatically triggered, for instance, if a company fails to meet the minimum amount of capital described in the security, the company's regulator makes a determination that the security should convert or the company receives specified levels of extraordinary public support. Since the common stock of the issuer may not pay a dividend, an Underlying Fund could experience a reduced income rate, potentially to zero. Conversion would deepen the subordination of an Underlying Fund, hence worsening the Underlying Fund's standing in the case of an issuer's insolvency. In addition, some contingent convertible securities have a set stock conversion rate that would cause a reduction in value of the security if the price of the stock is below the conversion price on the conversion date.
Rights and Warrants. The Underlying Funds may invest in rights and warrants. Rights and warrants are instruments which entitle the holder to buy an equity security at a specific price for a specific period of time. Rights are similar to warrants but typically have shorter durations and are offered to current stockholders of the issuer. Changes in the value of a right or a warrant do not necessarily correspond to changes in the value of its underlying security. The price of a right or a warrant may be more volatile than the price of its underlying security, and a right or a warrant may offer greater potential for capital loss.
Real Estate Investment Trusts or 'REITs.'The Underlying Equity Funds may invest in REITs. REITs are characterized as equity REITs, mortgage REITs and hybrid REITs. An equity REIT invests primarily in the fee ownership or leasehold ownership of land and buildings and derives its income primarily from rental income. An equity REIT may also realize capital gains (or losses) by selling real estate properties in its portfolio that have appreciated (or depreciated) in value. A mortgage REIT invests primarily in mortgages on real estate, which may secure construction, development or long-term loans. A mortgage REIT generally derives its income primarily from interest payments on the credit it has extended. A hybrid REIT combines the characteristics of equity REITs and mortgage REITs, generally by holding both ownership interests and mortgage interests in real estate. For the Global Real Estate Securities Fund, it is anticipated, although not required, that under normal circumstances a majority of the Fund's investments in REITs will consist of securities issued by equity REITs.
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An Underlying Fund's investments in REITs are subject to the risks associated with particular properties and with the real estate market in general, including the risks of a general downturn in real estate values. Mortgage REITs may be affected by the creditworthiness of the borrower. The value of securities issued by REITs is affected by tax and regulatory requirements and by perceptions of management skill. An Underlying Fund's investments in REITs is also subject to changes in availability of debt financing, heavy cash flow dependency, tenant defaults, self-liquidation, and, for U.S. REITs, the possibility of failing to qualify for tax-free status under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the 'Code') or failing to maintain exemption from the 1940 Act. By investing in REITs indirectly through an Underlying Fund, a shareholder will bear expenses of the REITs in addition to expenses of the Underlying Fund.
Depositary Receipts.The Underlying Equity Funds may hold securities of foreign issuers in the form of American Depositary Receipts ('ADRs'), American Depositary Shares ('ADSs') and European Depositary Receipts ('EDRs'), Global Depositary Receipts ('GDRs'), or other securities convertible into securities of eligible non-U.S. issuers. These securities may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the securities for which they may be exchanged. ADRs and ADSs typically are issued by an American bank or trust company and evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. EDRs, which are sometimes referred to as Continental Depositary Receipts, are issued in Europe typically by foreign banks and trust companies and evidence ownership of either foreign or domestic securities. Generally, ADRs and ADSs in registered form are designed for use in United States securities markets and EDRs in bearer form are designed for use in European securities markets. GDRs allow companies in Europe, Asia, the United States and Latin America to offer shares in many markets around the world. GDRs are traded on major stock exchanges, particularly the London SEAQ International trading system. For purposes of an Underlying Fund's investment policies, the Underlying Fund's investments in ADRs, ADSs, GDRs and EDRs will be deemed to be investments in the equity securities representing securities of foreign issuers into which they may be converted.
ADR facilities may be established as either 'unsponsored' or 'sponsored.' While ADRs issued under these two types of facilities are in some respects similar, there are distinctions between them relating to the rights and obligations of ADR holders and the practices of market participants. A depositary may establish an unsponsored facility without participation by (or even necessarily the acquiescence of) the issuer of the deposited securities, although typically the depositary requests a letter of non-objection from such issuer prior to the establishment of the facility. Holders of unsponsored ADRs generally bear all the costs of such facilities. The depositary usually charges fees upon the deposit and withdrawal of the deposited securities, the conversion of dividends into U.S. dollars, the disposition of non-cash distributions, and the performance of other services. The depositary of an unsponsored facility frequently is under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications received from the issuer of the deposited securities or to pass through voting rights to ADR holders with respect to the deposited securities. Sponsored ADR facilities are created in generally the same manner as unsponsored facilities, except that the issuer of the deposited securities enters into a deposit agreement with the depositary. The deposit agreement sets out the rights and responsibilities of the issuer, the depositary and the ADR holders. With sponsored facilities, the issuer of the deposited securities generally will bear some of the costs relating to the facility (such as dividend payment fees of the depositary), although ADR holders continue to bear certain other costs (such as deposit and withdrawal fees). Under the terms of most sponsored arrangements, depositories agree to distribute notices of shareholder meetings and voting instructions, and to provide shareholder communications and other information to the ADR holders at the request of the issuer of the deposited securities. Unsponsored depositary receipts tend to trade over the counter, and are issued without the involvement of the underlying non-U.S. company whose stock underlies the depositary receipts. Shareholder benefits, voting rights and other attached rights may not be extended to the holder of an unsponsored depositary receipt. The Underlying Funds may invest in sponsored and unsponsored ADRs.
'Special Situation' Companies.The Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income, Multi-Asset Growth Strategy, Multifactor U.S. Equity and Multifactor International Equity Funds may invest in 'special situation companies.' 'Special situation companies' are companies involved in an actual or prospective acquisition or consolidation; reorganization; recapitalization; merger, liquidation or distribution of cash, securities or other assets; a tender or exchange offer; a breakup or workout of a holding company; or litigation which, if resolved favorably, would improve the value of the company's stock. If the actual or prospective situation does not materialize as anticipated, the market price of the securities of a 'special situation company' may decline significantly. The Underlying Funds believe, however, that if RIM or a money manager analyzes 'special situation companies' carefully and invests in the securities of these companies at the appropriate time, it may assist the Underlying Funds in achieving their investment objectives. There can be no assurance, however, that a special situation that exists at the time of its investment will be consummated under the terms and within the time period contemplated.
Master Limited Partnerships ('MLPs'). The Underlying Equity Funds and the Unconstrained Total Return Fund may invest in MLPs. An MLP is a publicly traded limited partnership. Holders of MLP units have limited control on matters affecting the partnership. An investment in MLP units involves some risks that differ from an investment in the common stock of a corporation. Investing in MLPs involves certain risks related to investing in the underlying assets of the MLPs and risks
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associated with pooled investment vehicles. MLPs that concentrate in a particular industry or a particular geographic region are subject to risks associated with such industry or region. The benefit derived from an Underlying Fund's investment in MLPs is largely dependent on the MLPs being treated as partnerships for Federal income tax purposes. Any return of capital distributions received from an MLP equity security may require an Underlying Fund to restate the character of distributions made by the Underlying Fund as well as amend any previously issued shareholder tax reporting information.
Debt Instruments and Money Market Instruments
To the extent an Underlying Fund invests in the following types of debt securities, its net asset value may change as the general levels of interest rates fluctuate. When interest rates decline, the value of debt securities can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the value of debt securities can be expected to decline. Interest rates in the United States are at, or near, historic lows, which may increase an Underlying Fund's exposure to risks associated with rising rates. An Underlying Fund's investments in debt securities with longer terms to maturity are subject to greater volatility than an Underlying Fund's shorter-term obligations. Debt securities may have all types of interest rate payment and reset terms, including fixed rate, adjustable rate, zero coupon, contingent, deferred, payment in kind and auction rate features.
U.S. Government Obligations.The types of U.S. government obligations the Underlying Funds may purchase include: (1) a variety of U.S. Treasury obligations which differ only in their interest rates, maturities and times of issuance: (a) U.S. Treasury bills that at time of issuance have maturities of one year or less, (b) U.S. Treasury notes that at time of issuance have maturities of one to ten years and (c) U.S. Treasury bonds that at time of issuance generally have maturities of greater than ten years; and (2) obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities and supported by any of the following: (a) the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury (such as Government National Mortgage Association ('GNMA') participation certificates), (b) the right of the issuer to borrow an amount limited to a specific line of credit from the U.S. Treasury, (c) discretionary authority of the U.S. government agency or instrumentality or (d) the credit of the agency or instrumentality (examples of agencies and instrumentalities are: Federal Land Banks, Farmers Home Administration, Central Bank for Cooperatives, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, Federal Home Loan Banks and Federal National Mortgage Association ('FNMA')). No assurance can be given that the U.S. government will provide financial support to such U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities described in (2)(b), (2)(c) and (2)(d) in the future since it is not obligated to do so by law. Accordingly, such U.S. government obligations may involve risk of loss of principal and interest. The Underlying Funds may invest in fixed-rate and floating or variable rate U.S. government obligations. The Underlying Funds may purchase U.S. government obligations on a forward commitment basis.
The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may also purchase Treasury Inflation Protected Securities ('TIPS'). TIPS are U.S. Treasury securities issued at a fixed rate of interest but with principal adjusted every six months based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. As changes occur in the inflation rate, as represented by the Consumer Price Index, the value of the security's principal is adjusted by the same proportion. If the inflation rate falls, the principal value of the security will be adjusted downward, and consequently, the interest payable on the securities will be reduced.
STRIPS. The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in STRIPS (Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal of Securities). STRIPS are created by separating the interest and principal components of an outstanding U.S. Treasury or agency note or bond and selling them as individual securities. STRIPS generally trade like zero coupon securities, which do not pay interest periodically but accrue interest until maturity. See 'Zero Coupon Securities' below for a fuller discussion of such securities. STRIPS tend to be subject to the same risks as zero coupon securities. The market prices of STRIPS generally are more volatile than the market prices of securities with similar maturities that pay interest periodically and are likely to respond to changes in interest rates to a greater degree than do non-zero coupon securities having similar maturities and credit quality.
Repurchase Agreements.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and Commodity Strategies Fund may enter into repurchase agreements. A repurchase agreement is an agreement under which an Underlying Fund acquires a fixed income security from a commercial bank, broker or dealer and simultaneously agrees to resell such security to the seller at an agreed upon price and date (normally the next business day). The resale price reflects an agreed upon interest rate effective for the period the security is held by an Underlying Fund and is unrelated to the interest rate on the security. The securities acquired by an Underlying Fund constitute collateral for the repurchase obligation. In these transactions, the securities acquired by the Underlying Fund (including accrued interest earned thereon) must have a total value in excess of the value of the repurchase agreement and must be held by the custodian bank until repurchased. Subject to the overall limitations described in 'Illiquid Securities,' an Underlying Fund will not invest more than 15% of its net assets (taken at current market value) in repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven days.
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Risk Factors.The use of repurchase agreements involves certain risks. One risk is the seller's ability to pay the agreed-upon repurchase price on the repurchase date. If the seller defaults, an Underlying Fund may incur costs in disposing of the collateral, which would reduce the amount realized thereon. If the seller seeks relief under bankruptcy laws, the disposition of the collateral may be delayed or limited. For example, if the other party to the agreement becomes insolvent and subject to liquidation or reorganization under bankruptcy or other laws, a court may determine that the underlying securities are collateral for a loan by an Underlying Fund and not within its control and therefore the realization by the Underlying Fund on such collateral may be automatically stayed. It is possible that an Underlying Fund may not be able to substantiate its interest in the underlying securities and may be deemed an unsecured creditor of the other party to the agreement.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements and Dollar Rolls.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and Commodity Strategies Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. A reverse repurchase agreement is a transaction whereby an Underlying Fund transfers possession of a portfolio security to a bank or broker-dealer in return for a percentage of the portfolio security's market value. The Underlying Fund retains record ownership of the security involved including the right to receive interest and principal payments. At an agreed upon future date, the Underlying Fund repurchases the security by paying an agreed upon purchase price plus interest. Liquid assets of an Underlying Fund at least equal in value to the repurchase price, including any accrued interest, will be segregated on the Underlying Fund's records while a reverse repurchase agreement is in effect. Reverse repurchase agreements are subject to the risk that the other party may fail to return the security in a timely manner or at all. An Underlying Fund may lose money if the market value of the security transferred by the Underlying Fund declines below the repurchase price. Reverse repurchase agreements may be considered a form of borrowing for some purposes.
The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and Commodity Strategies Fund may purchase dollar rolls. A 'dollar roll' is similar to a reverse repurchase agreement in certain respects. In a 'dollar roll' transaction, an Underlying Fund sells a mortgage-related security, such as a security issued by GNMA, to a dealer and simultaneously agrees to repurchase a similar security (but not the same security) in the future at a pre-determined price. A 'dollar roll' can be viewed, like a reverse repurchase agreement, as a collateralized borrowing in which an Underlying Fund pledges a mortgage-related security to a dealer to obtain cash. Unlike in the case of reverse repurchase agreements, the dealer with which an Underlying Fund enters into a dollar roll transaction is not obligated to return the same securities as those originally sold by the Underlying Fund, but only securities which are 'substantially identical.' To be considered 'substantially identical,' the securities returned to an Underlying Fund generally must: (1) be collateralized by the same types of underlying mortgages; (2) be issued by the same agency and be part of the same program; (3) have a similar original stated maturity; (4) have identical net coupon rates; (5) have similar market yields (and therefore price); and (6) satisfy 'good delivery' requirements, meaning that the aggregate principal amounts of the securities delivered and received back must be within 0.01% of the initial amount delivered.
An Underlying Fund's obligations under a dollar roll agreement must be covered by segregated or 'earmarked' liquid assets at least equal in value to the securities subject to repurchase by the Underlying Fund. As with reverse repurchase agreements, to the extent that positions in dollar roll agreements are not covered by segregated or 'earmarked' liquid assets at least equal to the amount of any forward purchase commitment, such transactions would be subject to the Underlying Fund's restrictions on borrowings. Furthermore, because dollar roll transactions may be for terms ranging between one and six months, dollar roll transactions may be deemed 'illiquid' and subject to an Underlying Fund's overall limitations on investments in illiquid securities.
Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls depends on an Underlying Fund's ability to predict interest rates and mortgage payments. Dollar roll transactions involve the risk that the market value of the securities an Underlying Fund is required to purchase may decline below the agreed upon repurchase price.
Corporate Debt Securities.The Underlying Funds may invest in debt securities, such as convertible and non-convertible bonds, preferred stock, notes and debentures, issued by corporations, limited partnerships and other similar entities. Investments in securities that are convertible into equity securities and preferred stock have characteristics of equity as well as debt securities, and their value may be dependent in part on the value of the issuer's equity securities. The Underlying Funds may also invest in debt securities that are accompanied by warrants which are convertible into the issuer's equity securities, which have similar characteristics. See 'Equity Securities' above for a fuller description of convertible securities.
The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Global Infrastructure Fund may invest in corporate debt securities issued by infrastructure companies.
Securities Issued in Connection with Reorganizations and Corporate Restructuring.In connection with reorganizing or restructuring of an issuer or its capital structure, an issuer may issue common stock or other securities to holders of debt instruments. An Underlying Fixed Income Fund may hold such common stock and other securities even though it does not ordinarily purchase or may not be permitted to purchase such securities.
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Zero Coupon Securities.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in zero coupon securities. Zero coupon securities are notes, bonds and debentures that (1) do not pay current interest and are issued at a substantial discount from par value, (2) have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons and receipts or (3) pay no interest until a stated date one or more years into the future. These securities also include certificates representing interests in such stripped coupons and receipts. Zero coupon securities trade at a discount from their par value and are subject to greater fluctuations of market value in response to changing interest rates.
Government Zero Coupon Securities. The Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income, Multi-Asset Growth Strategy and certain other Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in (i) government securities that have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons, (ii) the coupons themselves and (iii) receipts or certificates representing interests in stripped government securities and coupons (collectively referred to as 'Government zero coupon securities').
Mortgage-Related And Other Asset-Backed Securities.
The forms of mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities the Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may invest in include the securities described below.
Reverse Mortgages.Certain Underlying Funds may invest in mortgage-related securities that reflect an interest in reverse mortgages. Due to the unique nature of the underlying loans, reverse mortgage-related securities may be subject to risks different than other types of mortgage-related securities. The date of repayment for such loans is uncertain and may occur sooner or later than anticipated. The timing of payments for the corresponding mortgage-related security may be uncertain.
Mortgage Pass-Through Securities.Mortgage pass-through securities are securities representing interests in 'pools' of mortgages in which payments of both interest and principal on the securities are generally made monthly. The securities are 'pass-through' securities because they provide investors with monthly payments of principal and interest which in effect are a 'pass-through' of the monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on the underlying mortgages, net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor. The principal governmental issuer of such securities is the GNMA, which is a wholly-owned U.S. government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Government related issuers include the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ('FHLMC'), a corporate instrumentality of the United States created pursuant to an Act of Congress, and which is owned entirely by the Federal Home Loan Banks, and the FNMA, a government sponsored corporation owned entirely by private stockholders. Commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers also create pass-through pools of conventional residential mortgage loans. Such issuers may be the originators of the underlying mortgage loans as well as the guarantors of the mortgage-related securities.
Collateralized Mortgage Obligations.Certain Underlying Funds may invest in collateralized mortgage obligations ('CMOs'), which are mortgage-backed securities ('MBS') that are collateralized by mortgage loans or mortgage pass-through securities, and multi-class pass-through securities, which are equity interests in a trust composed of mortgage loans or other MBS. Unless the context indicates otherwise, the discussion of CMOs below also applies to multi-class pass through securities.
CMOs may be issued by governmental or government-related entities or by private entities, such as banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market traders. CMOs are issued in multiple classes, often referred to as 'tranches,' with each tranche having a specific fixed or floating coupon rate and stated maturity or final distribution date. Under the traditional CMO structure, the cash flows generated by the mortgages or mortgage pass-through securities in the collateral pool are used to first pay interest and then pay principal to the holders of the CMOs. Subject to the various provisions of individual CMO issues, the cash flow generated by the underlying collateral (to the extent it exceeds the amount required to pay the stated interest) is used to retire the bonds.
The principal and interest on the underlying collateral may be allocated among the several tranches of a CMO in innumerable ways including 'interest only' and 'inverse interest only' tranches. In a common CMO structure, the tranches are retired sequentially in the order of their respective stated maturities or final distribution dates (as opposed to the pro-rata return of principal found in traditional pass-through obligations). The fastest-pay tranches would initially receive all principal payments. When those tranches are retired, the next tranches in the sequence receive all of the principal payments until they are retired. The sequential retirement of bond groups continues until the last tranche is retired. Accordingly, the CMO structure allows the issuer to use cash flows of long maturity, monthly-pay collateral to formulate securities with short, intermediate, and long final maturities and expected average lives and risk characteristics.
The primary risk of CMOs is the uncertainty of the timing of cash flows that results from the rate of prepayments on the underlying mortgages serving as collateral and from the structure of the particular CMO transaction (that is, the priority of the individual tranches). An increase or decrease in prepayment rates (resulting from a decrease or increase in mortgage interest
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rates) may cause the CMOs to be retired substantially earlier than their stated maturities or final distribution dates and will affect the yield and price of CMOs. In addition, if the collateral securing CMOs or any third-party guarantees are insufficient to make payments, an Underlying Fund could sustain a loss. The prices of certain CMOs, depending on their structure and the rate of prepayments, can be volatile. Some CMOs may also not be as liquid as other types of mortgage securities. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible to sell the securities at an advantageous time or price.
Privately issued CMOs are arrangements in which the underlying mortgages are held by the issuer, which then issues debt collateralized by the underlying mortgage assets. Such securities may be backed by mortgage insurance, letters of credit, or other credit enhancing features. Although payment of the principal of, and interest on, the underlying collateral securing privately issued CMOs may be guaranteed by the U.S. Government or its agencies and instrumentalities, these CMOs represent obligations solely of the private issuer and are not insured or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies and instrumentalities or any other person or entity. Privately issued CMOs are subject to prepayment risk due to the possibility that prepayments on the underlying assets will alter the cash flow. Yields on privately issued CMOs have been historically higher than the yields on CMOs backed by mortgages guaranteed by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities. The risk of loss due to default on privately issued CMOs, however, is historically higher since the U.S. Government has not guaranteed them.
New types of CMO tranches have evolved. These include floating rate CMOs, planned amortization classes, accrual bonds and CMO residuals. These newer structures affect the amount and timing of principal and interest received by each tranche from the underlying collateral. For example, an inverse interest-only class CMO entitles holders to receive no payments of principal and to receive interest at a rate that will vary inversely with a specified index or a multiple thereof. Under certain of these newer structures, given classes of CMOs have priority over others with respect to the receipt of prepayments on the mortgages. Therefore, depending on the type of CMOs in which an Underlying Fund invests, the investment may be subject to a greater or lesser risk of prepayment than other types of MBS.
Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities.Certain Underlying Funds may invest in stripped mortgage-backed securities ('SMBS'). SMBS are derivative multi-class mortgage securities. SMBS may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government, or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage banks, commercial banks, investment banks and special purpose entities of the foregoing. SMBS are usually structured with two classes that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. A common type of SMBS will have one class receiving some of the interest and most of the principal from the mortgage assets, while the other class will receive most of the interest and the remainder of the principal. In the most extreme case, one class will receive all of the interest (the 'IO' class), while the other class will receive the entire principal (the principal-only or 'PO' class). The yield to maturity on an IO class is extremely sensitive to the rate of principal payments (including pre-payments) on the related underlying mortgage assets, and a rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on an Underlying Fund's yield to maturity from these securities. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated pre- payments of principal, an Underlying Fund may fail to recoup some or all of its initial investment in these securities even if the security is in one of the highest rating categories. Conversely, PO classes tend to increase in value if prepayments are greater than anticipated and decline if prepayments are slower than anticipated. The secondary market for SMBS may be more volatile and less liquid than that for other mortgage-backed securities, potentially limiting the Fund's ability to buy or sell those securities at any particular time.
Covered Bonds. Certain Underlying Funds may invest in covered bonds, which are debt instruments issued by banks or other financial institutions that are backed by both the issuing financial institution and a segregated pool of financial assets (a 'cover pool'), typically comprised of residential or commercial mortgage loans or loans to public sector institutions. The cover pool, typically maintained by the issuing financial institution, is designed to pay covered bond holders in the event that there is a default on the payment obligations of a covered bond. To the extent the cover pool assets are insufficient to repay amounts owing in respect of the bonds, bondholders also have a senior, unsecured claim against the issuing financial institution. Covered bonds differ from other debt instruments, including asset-backed securities, in that covered bondholders have claims against both the cover pool and the issuing financial institution. Market practice surrounding the maintenance of a cover pool, including custody arrangements, varies based on the jurisdiction in which the covered bonds are issued. Certain jurisdictions may afford lesser protections regarding the amount cover pools are required to maintain or the manner in which such assets are held. The value of a covered bond is affected by factors similar to other types of mortgage-backed securities, and a covered bond may lose value if the credit rating of the issuing financial institution is downgraded or the quality of the assets in the cover pool deteriorates.
Asset-Backed Securities.Asset-backed securities represent undivided fractional interests in pools of instruments, such as consumer loans, and are similar in structure to mortgage-related pass-through securities. Payments of principal and interest are passed through to holders of the securities and are typically supported by some form of credit enhancement, such as a letter of
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credit liquidity support, surety bond, limited guarantee by another entity or by priority to certain of the borrower's other securities. The degree of enhancement varies, generally applying only until exhausted and covering only a fraction of the security's par value. If the credit enhancement held by an Underlying Fund has been exhausted, and if any required payments of principal and interest are not made with respect to the underlying loans, the Underlying Fund may experience loss or delay in receiving payment and a decrease in the value of the security.
To-Be-Announced Mortgage-Backed Securities.As with other delayed-delivery transactions, a seller agrees to issue a to-be-announced mortgage-backed security (a 'TBA') at a future date. A TBA transaction arises when a mortgage-backed security, such as a GNMA pass-through security, is purchased or sold with specific pools that will constitute that GNMA pass-through security to be announced on a future settlement date. However, at the time of purchase, the seller does not specify the particular mortgage-backed securities to be delivered. Instead, the buyer agrees to accept any mortgage-backed security that meets specified terms. Thus, the buyer and the seller would agree upon the issuer, interest rate and terms of the underlying mortgages, but the seller would not identify the specific underlying mortgages until shortly before it issues the mortgage-backed security. An Underlying Fund may enter into TBA commitments to purchase securities and/or enter into TBA sale commitments to hedge its portfolio positions, to sell securities it owns under delayed delivery arrangements, or to take a short position in mortgage-backed securities. An Underlying Fund may also purchase or sell an option to buy or sell a TBA sale commitment. TBA commitments involve a risk of loss due to changes in the value of the security prior to the settlement date as well as the risk that the counterparty to the transaction will not perform its obligations. In addition, TBA purchase commitments are subject to the risk that the underlying mortgages may be less favorable than anticipated by an Underlying Fund.
Risk Factors.The value of an Underlying Fund's MBS may be affected by, among other things, changes or perceived changes in interest rates, factors concerning the interests in and structure of the issuer or the originator of the mortgage, or the quality of the underlying instruments. The mortgages underlying the securities may default or decline in quality or value. Through its investments in MBS, an Underlying Fund has exposure to subprime loans, Alt-A loans and non-conforming loans as well as to the mortgage and credit markets generally. Subprime loans refer to loans made to borrowers with weakened credit histories or with a lower capacity to make timely payments on their loans. Alt-A loans refer to loans extended to borrowers who have incomplete documentation of income, assets, or other variables that are important to the credit underwriting processes. Non-conforming mortgages are loans that do not meet the standards that allow purchase by government-sponsored enterprises. Underlying collateral related to subprime, Alt-A and non-conforming mortgage loans has become increasingly susceptible to defaults and declines in quality or value, especially in a declining residential real estate market. In addition, regulatory or tax changes may adversely affect the mortgage securities markets as a whole.
MBS often have stated maturities of up to thirty years when they are issued, depending upon the length of the mortgages underlying the securities. In practice, however, unscheduled or early payments of principal and interest on the underlying mortgages may make the securities' effective maturity shorter than this, and the prevailing interest rates may be higher or lower than the current yield of an Underlying Fund's portfolio at the time the Underlying Fund receives the payments for reinvestment.
Rising or high interest rates may result in slower than expected principal payments which may tend to extend the duration of MBS, making them more volatile and more sensitive to changes in interest rates. This is known as extension risk.
MBS may have less potential for capital appreciation than comparable fixed income securities due to the likelihood of increased prepayments of mortgages resulting from foreclosures or declining interest rates. These foreclosed or refinanced mortgages are paid off at face value (par) or less, causing a loss, particularly for any investor who may have purchased the security at a premium or a price above par. In such an environment, this risk limits the potential price appreciation of these securities.
MBS held by an Underlying Fund may be issued by private issuers including commercial banks, savings associations, mortgage companies, investment banking firms, finance companies and special purpose finance entities (called special purpose vehicles or SPVs) and other entities that acquire and package mortgage loans for resale as MBS. These privately issued non-governmental MBS may offer higher yields than those issued by government entities, but also may be subject to greater price changes and other risks than governmental issues. MBS with exposure to subprime loans, Alt-A loans or non-conforming loans have had in many cases higher default rates than those loans that meet government underwriting requirements. The risk of non-payment is greater for MBS that are backed by mortgage pools that contain subprime, Alt-A and non-conforming loans, but a level of risk exists for all loans.
Unlike MBS issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or a government sponsored entity (e.g., Fannie Mae (the FNMA) and Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation)), MBS issued by private issuers do not have a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee, but may have credit enhancements provided by external entities such as banks or
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financial institutions or achieved through the structuring of the transaction itself. Examples of such credit support arising out of the structure of the transaction include the issue of senior and subordinated securities (e.g., the issuance of securities by an SPV in multiple classes or 'tranches,' with one or more classes being senior to other subordinated classes as to the payment of principal and interest, with the result that defaults on the underlying mortgage loans are borne first by the holders of the subordinated class); creation of 'reserve funds' (in which case cash or investments, sometimes funded from a portion of the payments on the underlying mortgage loans, are held in reserve against future losses); and 'overcollateralization' (in which case the scheduled payments on, or the principal amount of, the underlying mortgage loans exceeds that required to make payment on the securities and pay any servicing or other fees). However, there can be no guarantee that credit enhancements, if any, will be sufficient to prevent losses in the event of defaults on the underlying mortgage loans. In addition, MBS that are issued by private issuers are not subject to the underwriting requirements for the underlying mortgages that are applicable to those MBS that have a government or government-sponsored entity guarantee. As a result, the mortgage loans underlying private MBS may, and frequently do, have less favorable collateral, greater credit risk or different underwriting characteristics than government or government-sponsored MBS and have wider variances in a number of terms including interest rate, term, size, purpose and borrower characteristics. Privately issued pools more frequently include second mortgages, high loan-to-value mortgages and manufactured housing loans. The coupon rates and maturities of the underlying mortgage loans in a private-label MBS pool may vary to a greater extent than those included in a government guaranteed pool, and the pool may include subprime mortgage loans. Delinquencies, defaults and losses on residential mortgage loans may increase substantially over certain periods, which may affect the performance of the MBS in which certain Underlying Funds may invest. Mortgage loans backing non-agency MBS are more sensitive to economic factors that could affect the ability of borrowers to pay their obligations under the mortgage loans backing these securities. In addition, housing prices and appraisal values in many states and localities over certain periods have declined or stopped appreciating. A sustained decline or an extended flattening of those values may result in additional increases in delinquencies and losses on MBS generally.
Privately issued MBS are not traded on an exchange and there may be a limited market for the securities, especially when there is a perceived weakness in the mortgage and real estate market sectors. Without an active trading market, MBS held in an Underlying Fund's portfolio may be particularly difficult to value because of the complexities involved in assessing the value of the underlying mortgage loans.
Adverse changes in market conditions and the regulatory climate may reduce the cash flow which an Underlying Fund, to the extent it invests in MBS or other asset-backed securities, receives from such securities and increase the incidence and severity of credit events and losses in respect of such securities. In the event that interest rate spreads for MBS and other asset-backed securities widen following the purchase of such assets by an Underlying Fund, the market value of such securities is likely to decline and, in the case of a substantial spread widening, could decline by a substantial amount. Furthermore, adverse changes in market conditions may result in reduced liquidity in the market for MBS and other asset-backed securities and an unwillingness by banks, financial institutions and investors to extend credit to servicers, originators and other participants in the market for MBS and other asset-backed securities. As a result, the liquidity and/or the market value of any MBS or asset-backed securities that are owned by an Underlying Fund may experience declines after they are purchased by an Underlying Fund.
Asset-backed securities may include MBS, loans, receivables or other assets. The value of the Underlying Fund's asset-backed securities may be affected by, among other things, actual or perceived changes in interest rates, factors concerning the interests in and structure of the issuer or the originator of the receivables, the market's assessment of the quality of underlying assets or actual or perceived changes in the creditworthiness of the individual borrowers, the originator, the servicing agent or the financial institution providing the credit support.
Payment of principal and interest may be largely dependent upon the cash flows generated by the assets backing the securities. Rising or high interest rates tend to extend the duration of asset-backed securities, making them more volatile and more sensitive to changes in interest rates. The underlying assets are sometimes subject to prepayments, which can shorten the security's weighted average life and may lower its return. Defaults on loans underlying asset-backed securities have become an increasing risk for asset-backed securities that are secured by home-equity loans related to sub-prime, Alt-A or non-conforming mortgage loans, especially in a declining residential real estate market.
Asset-backed securities (other than MBS) present certain risks that are not presented by MBS. Primarily, these securities may not have the benefit of any security interest in the related assets. Credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give such debtors the right to set off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thereby reducing the balance due. There is the possibility that recoveries on repossessed collateral may not, in some cases, be available to support payments on these securities. Asset-backed securities are often backed by a pool of assets representing the obligations of a number of different parties. To lessen the effect of failures by obligors on underlying assets to make payments, the securities may contain elements of credit
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support which fall into two categories: (i) liquidity protection, and (ii) protection against losses resulting from ultimate default by an obligor on the underlying assets. Liquidity protection refers to the provision of advances, generally by the entity administering the pool of assets, to ensure that the receipt of payments on the underlying pool occurs in a timely fashion. Protection against losses results from payment of the insurance obligations on at least a portion of the assets in the pool. This protection may be provided through guarantees, policies or letters of credit obtained by the issuer or sponsor from third parties, through various means of structuring the transaction or through a combination of such approaches. The Underlying Funds will not pay any additional or separate fees for credit support. The degree of credit support provided for each issue is generally based on historical information respecting the level of credit risk associated with the underlying assets. Delinquency or loss in excess of that anticipated or failure of the credit support could adversely affect the return on an investment in such a security. The availability of asset-backed securities may be affected by legislative or regulatory developments. It is possible that such developments may require the Underlying Funds to dispose of any then existing holdings of such securities.
Structured Investment Vehicles. Certain investments in derivatives, including structured instruments as well as investments in mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities, involve the purchase of securities from structured investment vehicles ('SIVs'). SIVs are legal entities that are sponsored by banks, broker-dealers or other financial firms specifically created for the purpose of issuing particular securities or instruments. SIVs are often leveraged and securities issued by SIVs may have differing credit ratings. Investments in SIVs present counterparty risks, although they may be subject to a guarantee or other financial support by the sponsoring entity. Investments in SIVs may be more volatile, relatively less liquid than other investments and more difficult to price accurately than other types of investments.
Because SIVs depend on short-term funding through the issuance of new debt, if there is a slowdown in issuing new debt or a smaller market of purchasers of the new debt, the SIVs may have to liquidate assets at a loss. Also, with respect to SIVs' assets in finance companies, an Underlying Fund may have significant exposure to the financial services market which, depending on market conditions, could have a negative impact on the Underlying Fund.
Collateralized Loan Obligations.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in collateralized loan obligations ('CLOs'). CLOs are special purpose entities which are collateralized mainly by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. CLOs may charge management and other administrative fees. Payments of principal and interest are passed through to investors in a CLO and divided into several tranches of rated debt securities and typically at least one tranche of unrated subordinated securities, which may be debt or equity ('CLO Securities'). CLO Securities generally receive some variation of principal and/or interest installments and, with the exception of certain subordinated securities, bear different interest rates. If there are defaults or a CLO's collateral otherwise underperforms, scheduled payments to senior tranches typically take priority over less senior tranches.
Risk Factors. In addition to normal risks associated with debt obligations and fixed income and/or asset-backed securities as discussed elsewhere in this SAI and the Prospectus (e.g., credit risk, interest rate risk, market risk, default risk and prepayment risk), CLOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments and one or more tranches may be subject to up to 100% loss of invested capital; (ii) the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default; (iii) the Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in CLOs that are subordinate to other classes; and (iv) the complex structure of the security may not be fully understood at the time of investment and may produce disputes with the issuer or unexpected investment results.
A CLO's investments in its underlying assets may be CLO Securities that are privately placed and thus are subject to restrictions on transfer to meet securities law and other legal requirements. In the event that any Underlying Fixed Income Fund does not satisfy certain of the applicable transfer restrictions at any time that it holds CLO Securities, it may be forced to sell the related CLO Securities and may suffer a loss on sale. CLO Securities may be considered illiquid investments in the event there is no secondary market for the CLO Securities.
Loans and Other Direct Indebtedness.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may purchase loans or other direct indebtedness, or participations in loans or other direct indebtedness, that entitle the acquiror of such interest to payments of interest, principal and/or other amounts due under the structure of the loan or other direct indebtedness. This may include investments in floating rate 'bank loans' or 'leveraged loans,' which are generally loans issued to below investment grade companies that carry floating coupon payments. This may also include debtor-in-possession financing for companies currently going through the bankruptcy process. In addition to being structured as secured or unsecured, such investments could be structured as novations or assignments or represent trade or other claims owed by a company to a supplier. Loan participations typically represent direct participation in a loan to a borrower, and generally are offered by banks or other financial institutions or lending syndicates.
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Risk Factors.Loans and other direct indebtedness involve the risk that an Underlying Fund will not receive payment of principal, interest and other amounts due in connection with these investments, which depend primarily on the financial condition of the borrower. Loans that are fully secured offer an Underlying Fund more protection than an unsecured loan in the event of non-payment of scheduled interest or principal, although there is no assurance that the liquidation of collateral from a secured loan would satisfy the borrower's obligation, or that the collateral can be liquidated. Some loans or claims may be in default at the time of purchase. Certain of the loans and the other direct indebtedness acquired by an Underlying Fund may involve revolving credit facilities or other standby financing commitments which obligate an Underlying Fund to pay additional cash on a certain date or on demand. These commitments may require an Underlying Fund to increase its investment in a company at a time when that Underlying Fund might not otherwise decide to do so (including at a time when the company's financial condition makes it unlikely that such amounts will be repaid). To the extent that an Underlying Fund is committed to advance additional funds, it will at all times hold and segregate liquid assets in an amount sufficient to meet such commitments. Default or an increased risk of default in the payment of interest or principal on a loan results in a reduction in income to an Underlying Fund, a reduction in the value of the loan and a potential decrease in an Underlying Fund's net asset value. The risk of default increases in the event of an economic downturn or a substantial increase in interest rates. If a borrower defaults on its obligations, an Underlying Fund may end up owning any underlying collateral securing the loan and there is no assurance that sale of the collateral would raise enough cash to satisfy the borrower's payment obligation or that the collateral can be liquidated. If the terms of a loan do not require the borrower to pledge additional collateral in the event of a decline in the value of the original collateral, an Underlying Fund will be exposed to the risk that the value of the collateral will not at all times equal or exceed the amount of the borrower's obligations under the loan. To the extent that a loan is collateralized by stock in the borrower or its subsidiaries, such stock may lose all of its value in the event of bankruptcy of the borrower. Senior loans are subject to the risk that a court may not give lenders the full benefit of their senior positions. In addition, there is less readily available, reliable information about most senior loans than is the case for many other types of securities. With limited exceptions, an Underlying Fund will generally take steps intended to ensure that it does not receive material non-public information about the issuers of senior or floating rate loans who also issue publicly-traded securities and, therefore, an Underlying Fund may have less information than other investors about certain of the senior or floating rate loans in which the Fund seeks to invest. An Underlying Fund's intentional or unintentional receipt of material non-public information about such issuers could limit the Underlying Fund's ability to sell certain investments held by the Fund or pursue certain investment opportunities, potentially for a substantial period of time. Loans and other forms of direct indebtedness are not registered under the federal securities laws and, therefore, do not offer securities law protections against fraud and misrepresentation. Each Underlying Fund relies on RIM's and/or the money manager(s)' research in an attempt to avoid situations where fraud or misrepresentation could adversely affect the Underlying Fund. The market for loan obligations may be subject to extended trade settlement periods. Because transactions in many loans are subject to extended trade settlement periods, an Underlying Fund may not receive the proceeds from the sale of a loan for a period after the sale. As a result, sale proceeds related to the sale of loans may not be available to make additional investments or to meet an Underlying Fund's redemption obligations for a period after the sale of the loans, and, as a result, an Underlying Fund may have to sell other investments or take other actions if necessary to raise cash to meet its obligations.
Investments in floating rate 'bank loans' or 'leveraged loans' are generally rated below investment grade and are expected to exhibit credit risks similar to 'high yield' or 'junk' bonds. The highly leveraged nature of many such loans and other direct indebtedness may make such loans and other direct indebtedness especially vulnerable to adverse changes in economic or market conditions and/or changes in the financial condition of the debtor. Bank loans have recently experienced significant investment inflows and if inflows reverse, bank loans could be subject to liquidity risk and lose value. Bank loans generally are subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale and to illiquidity risk, including potential illiquidity resulting from extended trade settlement periods. In addition, investments in bank loans are typically subject to the risks of floating rate securities and 'high yield' or 'junk bonds.' Investments in such loans and other direct indebtedness may involve additional risk to an Underlying Fund. Senior loans made in connection with highly leveraged transactions are subject to greater risks than other senior loans. For example, the risks of default or bankruptcy of the borrower or the risks that other creditors of the borrower may seek to nullify or subordinate an Underlying Fund's claims on any collateral securing the loan are greater in highly leveraged transactions.
As an Underlying Fund may be required to rely on an interposed bank or other financial intermediary to collect and pass on to the Underlying Fund amounts payable with respect to the loan and to enforce the Underlying Fund's rights under the loan and other direct indebtedness, an insolvency, bankruptcy or reorganization of the lending institution may delay or prevent the Underlying Fund from receiving such amounts.
An Underlying Fund's investment in 'leveraged loans' may include an investment in 'covenant lite' loans. Covenant lite loans, the terms and conditions of which may vary by instrument, may contain fewer or less restrictive financial maintenance covenants or restrictions compared to other loans that might otherwise enable an investor to proactively enforce financial
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covenants or prevent undesired actions by the borrower. As a result, an Underlying Fund may experience relatively greater difficulty or delays in enforcing its rights on its holdings of covenant lite loans than its holdings of loans or debt securities with more restrictive covenants, which may result in losses to the Underlying Fund. In addition, covenants contained in loan documentation are intended to protect lenders and investors by imposing certain restrictions and other limitations on a borrower's operations or assets and by providing certain information and consent rights to lenders. In addition to operational covenants, loans and other debt obligations often contain financial covenants which require a borrower to satisfy certain financial tests at periodic intervals or to maintain compliance with certain financial metrics. The Underlying Funds are exposed to loans and other similar debt obligations that are sometimes referred to as 'covenant-lite' loans or obligations, which are generally subject to more risk than investments that contain traditional financial maintenance covenants and financial reporting requirements.
In purchasing loans or loan participations, an Underlying Fund assumes the credit risk associated with the corporate borrower and may assume the credit risk associated with the interposed bank or other financial intermediary. The participation may not be rated by a nationally recognized rating service. Further, loan participations may not be readily marketable and may be subject to restrictions on resale. Loan participations may be illiquid investments and are priced through a nationally recognized pricing service which determines loan prices by surveying available dealer quotations.
Credit Linked Notes, Credit Options and Similar Instruments. Certain Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in credit linked notes, credit options and similar instruments. Credit linked notes are obligations between two or more parties where the payment of principal and/or interest is based on the performance of some obligation, basket of obligations, index or economic indicator (a 'reference instrument'). In addition to the credit risk associated with the reference instrument and interest rate risk, the buyer and seller of a credit linked note or similar structured investment are subject to counterparty risk. Credit options are options whereby the purchaser has the right, but not the obligation, to enter into a transaction involving either an asset with inherent credit risk or a credit derivative, at terms specified at the initiation of the option. These transactions involve counterparty risk.
Brady Bonds.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in Brady Bonds, the products of the 'Brady Plan,' under which bonds are issued in exchange for cash and certain of a country's outstanding commercial bank loans. The Brady Plan offers relief to debtor countries that have effected substantial economic reforms. Specifically, debt reduction and structural reform are the main criteria countries must satisfy in order to obtain Brady Plan status. Brady Bonds may be collateralized or uncollateralized, are issued in various currencies (primarily U.S.-dollar) and are actively traded on the over-the-counter market.
Bank Instruments.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in bank instruments, which include Eurodollar certificates of deposit ('ECDs'), Eurodollar time deposits ('ETDs') and Yankee Certificates of Deposit ('Yankee CDs').
Risk Factors.ECDs, ETDs, and Yankee CDs are subject to somewhat different risks from the obligations of domestic banks. ECDs are U.S. dollar denominated certificates of deposit issued by foreign branches of U.S. and foreign banks; ETDs are U.S. dollar denominated time deposits in a foreign branch of a U.S. bank or a foreign bank; and Yankee CDs are certificates of deposit issued by a U.S. branch of a foreign bank denominated in U.S. dollars and held in the United States.
Different risks may also exist for ECDs, ETDs, and Yankee CDs because the banks issuing these instruments, or their domestic or foreign branches, are not necessarily subject to the same regulatory requirements that apply to domestic banks, such as reserve requirements, loan limitations, examinations, accounting, auditing and recordkeeping, and the public availability of information.
High Yield Bonds.The Underlying Funds, except the Investment Grade Bond, Multifactor U.S. Equity and Multifactor International Equity Funds, may invest in debt securities that are rated below investment grade (commonly referred to as 'high-yield' or 'junk bonds'), which include securities rated below BBB- by S&P, below Baa3 by Moody's or below BBB- by Fitch (using highest of split ratings), or in unrated securities judged to be of similar credit quality to those designations.
Risks Associated with High Yield Bonds.Lower rated debt securities, or junk bonds, generally offer a higher yield than that available from higher grade issues but involve higher risks because they are especially subject to adverse changes in general economic conditions and in the industries in which the issuers are engaged, to changes in the financial condition of the issuers and to price fluctuation in response to changes in interest rates, and because they are relatively less liquid than higher rated securities.
Lower rated or unrated debt securities may be more susceptible to real or perceived adverse economic and competitive industry conditions than investment grade securities. The prices of lower rated debt securities are often less sensitive to interest rate changes than investment grade securities, but more sensitive to economic downturns, individual corporate developments, and price fluctuations in response to changing interest rates. A projection of an economic downturn, for
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example, could cause a sharper decline in the prices of lower rated debt securities because the advent of a recession could lessen the ability of a highly leveraged company to make principal and interest payments on its debt securities. If the issuer of lower rated debt securities defaults, an Underlying Fund may incur additional expenses to seek financial recovery and may not recover the full amount or any of its investment. In the event of an issuer's bankruptcy, the claims of other creditors may have priority over the claims of lower rated debt holders, leaving insufficient assets to repay the holders of lower rated debt securities.
In addition, the markets in which lower rated or unrated debt securities are traded are generally thinner, more limited and less active than those for higher rated securities. The existence of limited markets for particular securities may diminish an Underlying Fund's ability to sell the securities at fair value either to meet redemption requests or to respond to changes in the economy or in the financial markets and could adversely affect and cause fluctuations in the daily net asset value of the Underlying Fund's shares. While such debt may have some quality and protective characteristics, these are generally outweighed by large uncertainties or major risk exposure to adverse conditions.
Adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may decrease the values and liquidity of low rated debt securities, especially in a thinly traded market. Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of low rated securities may be more complex than for issuers of investment grade securities, and the ability of an Underlying Fund to achieve its investment objectives may be more dependent on credit analysis than would be the case if the Underlying Fund was investing only in investment grade securities.
Lowest Rated Investment Grade Securities.The Underlying Funds may invest in debt securities that have the lowest investment grade rating provided by a rating agency. Securities rated BBB- by S&P, Baa3 by Moody's or BBB- by Fitch are the lowest ratings which are considered 'investment grade,' although Moody's considers securities rated Baa3, S&P considers bonds rated BBB- and Fitch considers bonds rated BBB-, to have some speculative characteristics.
Securities rated BBB- by S&P, Baa3 by Moody's or BBB by Fitch may involve greater risks than securities in higher rating categories. Securities receiving S&P's BBB- rating are regarded as having adequate capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Such securities typically exhibit adequate investor protections but adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to pay interest and repay principal for debt in this category than in higher rating categories. For further description of the various rating categories, see 'Credit Rating Definitions.'
Securities possessing Moody's Baa3 rating are considered medium grade obligations, i.e., they are neither highly protected nor poorly secured. Interest payments and principal security are judged adequate for the present, but certain protective elements may be lacking or may be characteristically unreliable over any great length of time. Such securities lack outstanding investment characteristics and in fact may have speculative characteristics as well.
Securities possessing Fitch's BBB- rating indicate that there are currently expectations of low credit risk. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate but adverse changes in circumstances and economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity.
Ratings may be used to assist in investment decisions. Ratings of debt securities represent a rating agency's opinion regarding their quality and are not a guarantee of quality. Rating agencies attempt to evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments and do not evaluate the risks of fluctuations in market value. Also, rating agencies may fail to make timely changes in credit ratings in response to subsequent events, so that an issuer's current financial condition may be better or worse than a rating indicates.
Auction Market and Remarketed Preferred Stock.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may purchase certain types of auction market preferred stock ('AMPS') or remarketed preferred stock ('RPS') subject to a demand feature. These purchases may include AMPS and RPS issued by closed-end investment companies. AMPS and RPS may be deemed to meet the maturity and quality requirements of money market funds if they are structured to comply with conditions established by the SEC. AMPS and RPS subject to a demand feature, despite their status as equity securities, are economically similar to variable rate debt securities subject to a demand feature. Both AMPS and RPS allow the holder to sell the stock at a liquidation preference value at specified periods, provided that the auction or remarketing, which are typically held weekly, is successful. If the auction or remarketing fails, the holder of certain types of AMPS or RPS may exercise a demand feature and has the right to sell the AMPS or RPS to a third party guarantor or counterparty at a price that can reasonably be expected to approximate its amortized cost. The ability of a bank or other financial institution providing the demand feature to fulfill its obligations might be affected by possible financial difficulties of its borrowers, adverse interest rate or economic conditions, regulatory limitations, or other factors.
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Alternative Minimum Tax Bonds.The Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income, Multi-Asset Growth Strategy and certain other Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in 'Alternative Minimum Tax Bonds,' which are certain bonds issued after August 7, 1986 to finance certain non-governmental activities. While the income from Alternative Minimum Tax Bonds is exempt from regular federal income tax, it is a tax preference item for purposes of the federal individual 'alternative minimum tax.' The alternative minimum tax is a special tax that applies to taxpayers who have certain adjustments or tax preference items. Available returns on Alternative Minimum Tax Bonds acquired by an Underlying Fund may be lower than those from other Municipal Obligations acquired by the Fund due to the possibility of federal, state and local alternative minimum or minimum income tax liability on Alternative Minimum Tax Bonds.
Event-Linked Bonds. The Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income, Multi-Asset Growth Strategy and certain other Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in 'event-linked bonds.' Event-linked bonds are fixed income securities for which the return of principal and payment of interest is contingent on the non-occurrence of a specific 'trigger' event, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or other physical or weather-related phenomenon. They may be issued by government agencies, insurance companies, reinsurers, special purpose corporations or other onshore or offshore entities. If a trigger event causes losses exceeding a specific amount in the geographic region and time period specified in a bond, an Underlying Fund may lose a portion or all of its principal invested in the bond. If no trigger event occurs, the Underlying Fund will recover its principal plus interest. For some event-linked bonds, the trigger event or losses may be based on company-wide losses, index-portfolio losses, industry indices, or readings of scientific instruments rather than specified actual losses. Often the event-linked bonds provide for extensions of maturity that are mandatory, or optional at the discretion of the issuer, in order to process and audit loss claims in those cases where a trigger event has, or possibly has, occurred. In addition to the specified trigger events, event-linked bonds may also expose an Underlying Fund to certain unanticipated risks including but not limited to issuer (credit) default, adverse regulatory or jurisdictional interpretations, and adverse tax consequences.
Event-linked bonds are a relatively new type of financial instrument. As such, there is no significant trading history for these securities, and there can be no assurance that a liquid market in these instruments will develop. Lack of a liquid market may impose the risk of higher transaction costs and the possibility that an Underlying Fund may be forced to liquidate positions when it would not be advantageous to do so. Event-linked bonds are typically rated, and an Underlying Fund will only invest in event-linked bonds that meet the credit quality requirements for the Fund.
Deferred Interest, Pay-In-Kind and Capital Appreciation Bonds. The Unconstrained Total Return, Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds' investments in fixed income securities may include deferred interest, pay-in-kind ('PIK') and capital appreciation bonds. Deferred interest and capital appreciation bonds are debt securities issued or sold at a discount from their face value and which do not entitle the holder to any periodic payment of interest prior to maturity or a specified date. The original issue discount varies depending on the time remaining until maturity or cash payment date, prevailing interest rates, the liquidity of the security and the perceived credit quality of the issuer. The deferral of PIK interest increases the loan-to-value ratio, which is a measure of the riskiness of the loan. These securities also may take the form of debt securities that have been stripped of their unmatured interest coupons, the coupons themselves or receipts or certificates representing interests in such stripped debt obligations or coupons. The market prices of deferred interest, capital appreciation bonds and PIK securities generally are more volatile than the market prices of interest bearing securities and are likely to respond to a greater degree to changes in interest rates than interest bearing securities having similar maturities and credit quality or securities that pay interest in cash.
PIK securities may be debt obligations or preferred shares that provide the issuer with the option of paying interest or dividends on such obligations in cash or in the form of additional securities rather than cash. Similar to deferred interest bonds, PIK securities are designed to give an issuer flexibility in managing cash flow. PIK securities that are debt securities can be either senior or subordinated debt and generally trade flat (i.e., without accrued interest). The trading price of PIK debt securities generally reflects the market value of the underlying debt plus an amount representing accrued interest since the last interest payment. The higher interest rates of PIK securities reflect the payment deferral and increased credit risk associated with those securities and such investments generally represent a significantly higher credit risk than coupon loans.
Deferred interest, capital appreciation and PIK securities involve the additional risk that, unlike securities that periodically pay interest to maturity, an Underlying Fund will realize no cash until a specified future payment date unless a portion of such securities is sold and, if the issuer of such securities defaults, the Underlying Fund may, even if accounting conditions are met, obtain no return at all on its investment. PIK securities may have unreliable valuations because their continuing accruals require ongoing judgments about the collectability of the deferred payments and the value of any associated collateral. In addition, even though such securities do not provide for the payment of current interest in cash, an Underlying Fund is nonetheless required to accrue income on such investments for each taxable year and generally is required to distribute such accrued amounts (net of deductible expenses, if any) to avoid being subject to tax. Because no cash is generally received at the time of the accrual and in the event that accrued income is not realized, an Underlying Fund may be required to liquidate
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other portfolio securities to obtain sufficient cash to satisfy federal tax distribution requirements applicable to the Underlying Fund. As a result, an Underlying Fund may have difficulty meeting the annual distribution requirement necessary to maintain favorable tax treatment. If an Underlying Fund is not able to obtain cash from other sources, and chooses not to make a qualifying share distribution, it may become subject to corporate-level income tax. A portion of the discount with respect to stripped tax-exempt securities or their coupons may be taxable.
Municipal Debt Instruments.
The recent economic downturn and budgetary constraints have made municipal securities more susceptible to downgrade, default and bankruptcy. In addition, difficulties in the municipal securities markets could result in increased illiquidity, price volatility and credit risk, and a decrease in the number of municipal securities investment opportunities. The value of municipal securities may also be affected by uncertainties involving the taxation of municipal securities or the rights of municipal securities holders in the event of a bankruptcy, as expanded further below. Proposals to restrict or eliminate the federal income tax exemption for interest on municipal securities are introduced before Congress from time to time. These uncertainties could affect the municipal securities market generally, certain specific segments of the market, or the relative credit quality of particular securities.
The City of Detroit filed for federal bankruptcy protection on July 18, 2013. The bankruptcy of large cities such as Detroit is relatively rare, making the consequences of such bankruptcy filings difficult to predict. Accordingly, it is unclear what impact a large city's bankruptcy filing would have on the city's outstanding obligations or on the obligations of other municipal issuers in that state. It is possible that the city could default on, restructure or otherwise avoid some or all of these obligations, which may negatively affect the marketability, liquidity and value of securities issued by the city and other municipalities in that state. If an Underlying Fund holds securities that are affected by a city's bankruptcy filing, the Underlying Fund's investments in those securities may lose value, which could cause the Underlying Fund's performance to decline.
Municipal Obligations and Bonds.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may invest in 'municipal obligations.' Municipal obligations are debt obligations issued by states, territories and possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia and their political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities, or multi-state agencies or authorities the interest from which may be exempt from federal income tax in the opinion of bond counsel to the issuer. Municipal obligations include debt obligations issued to obtain funds for various public purposes and certain industrial development bonds issued by or on behalf of public authorities. Municipal obligations are classified as general obligation bonds, revenue bonds and notes. Municipal bonds generally have maturities of more than one year when issued and have two principal classifications-General Obligation Bonds and Revenue Bonds.
General Obligation Bonds- are secured by the issuer's pledge of its faith, credit and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest.
Revenue Bonds- are payable only from the revenues derived from a particular facility or group of facilities or from the proceeds of special excise or other specific revenue service.
Additional types of municipal obligations include the following:
Industrial Development Bonds - are a type of revenue bond and do not generally constitute the pledge of credit of the issuer of such bonds but rather the pledge of credit by the core obligor. The payment of the principal and interest on such bonds is dependent on the facility's user to meet its financial obligations and the pledge, if any, of real and personal property financed as security for such payment. Industrial development bonds are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to raise money to finance public and private facilities for business, manufacturing, housing, ports, pollution control, airports, mass transit and other similar type projects. Industrial development bonds issued after the effective date of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, as well as certain other bonds, are now classified as 'private activity bonds.' Some, but not all, private activity bonds issued after that date qualify to pay tax-exempt interest.
Private Activity Bonds- are issued by municipalities and other public authorities to finance development of industrial facilities for use by a private enterprise, which is solely responsible for paying the principal and interest on the bond, and payment under these bonds depends on the private enterprise's ability to do so.
Moral Obligation Bonds- are generally issued by special purpose public authorities of a state or municipality. If the issuer is unable to meet its obligations, repayment of these bonds becomes a moral commitment, but not a legal obligation, of the state or municipality.
Municipal Lease Obligations- are obligations in which the issuer agrees to make payments when due on the lease obligation. Although the issuer does not pledge its unlimited taxing power for payment of the lease obligation, the lease obligation is secured by the leased property.
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Pre-Refunded Municipal Bonds- are tax-exempt bonds that have been refunded to a call date prior to the maturity of principal (or to the final maturity of principal, in the case of pre-refunded municipal bonds known as 'escrowed-to-maturity bonds') and remain outstanding in the municipal market. Principal and interest payments on pre-refunded municipal bonds are funded from securities in designated escrow accounts holding U.S. Treasury securities or other obligations of the U.S. government and its agencies and instrumentalities. Issuers use pre-refunded municipal bonds to obtain more favorable terms with respect to bonds that are not yet callable or redeemable. Issuers can refinance their debt at lower rates when market interest rates decline, improve cash flow by restructuring the debt, or eliminate certain restrictive covenants. However, other than a change in revenue source from which principal and interest payments are made, the pre-refunded municipal bonds remain outstanding on their original terms until maturity or until redeemed by the issuer. These bonds often sell at a premium over face value.
Municipal obligations include the obligations of the governments of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories and their political subdivisions, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. General obligations and/or revenue bonds of issuers located in U.S. territories may be affected by political, social and economic conditions in such U.S. territories. The sources of payment for such obligations and the marketability thereof may be affected by financial and other difficulties experienced by such issuers. While the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (the 'Commonwealth' or 'Puerto Rico') has taken significant steps toward fiscal stabilization, the Commonwealth continues to face serious fiscal challenges, including an extended period of chronic budget deficits, high debt levels, a protracted recession, high unemployment, and low workforce participation. In September 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by two successive hurricanes that caused severe damage to Puerto Rico's infrastructure. Additionally, Puerto Rico experienced significant political instability in 2019. Puerto Rico has high levels of national debt and its general obligation credit rating has been rated below investment grade by a number of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations. The Commonwealth's ratings reflect an economy in prolonged recession, limited economic activity, lower-than-estimated revenue collections, lackluster revenue growth, high government debt levels relative to the size of the economy, structural budget gaps, high spending and other potential fiscal challenges. The market prices and yields of Puerto Rican general obligations may be adversely affected by the ratings downgrade and any future downgrades. There can be no assurance that current or future economic difficulties in Puerto Rico will not adversely affect the market value of Puerto Rico municipal obligations or the ability of particular issuers to make timely payments of debt service on these obligations. Municipal bankruptcies are relatively rare, and certain provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code governing such bankruptcies are unclear and remain untested. Although Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, neither Puerto Rico nor its subdivisions or agencies are eligible to file under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in order to seek protection from creditors or restructure their debt. However, the U.S. Congress approved legislation that establishes an oversight board, temporarily stays creditor legislation and provides for a restructuring process. On May 3, 2017, Puerto Rico's oversight board filed a debt restructuring petition to restructure approximately $70 billion in central government debt. The restructuring process was intended to give Puerto Rico the legal ability to impose losses on creditors. However, in July 2018, a creditor of the Commonwealth challenged the petition, arguing that the organization of the oversight board violated the U.S. Constitution, and therefore, the oversight board did not have the power to file the petition on behalf of the Commonwealth. The case has been delayed as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 and the outcome of the litigation remains uncertain. A decision against the oversight board could have a negative effect on the Commonwealth's ability to restructure its debt. Restructuring of some or all of the Commonwealth's debt, or further decline in market prices of Puerto Rico debt obligations, could have a negative impact on the marketability, liquidity or value of certain investments held by the Underlying Funds, which could reduce an Underlying Fund's performance. Guam's economy depends in large measure on tourism and the U.S. military presence, each of which is subject to uncertainties as a result of global economic, social and political events. Any reduction in tourism or the U.S. military presence could adversely affect Guam's economy. Tourism accounts for a substantial portion of the U.S. Virgin Islands' gross domestic product. A weak economy, war, natural disasters, epidemic outbreaks or the threat of terrorist activity, among other influences that are beyond the control of the territory, can adversely affect its tourism.
Some municipal bonds feature credit enhancements, such as lines of credit, letters of credit, municipal bond insurance, and standby bond purchase agreements ('SBPAs'). SBPAs include lines of credit that are issued by a third party, usually a bank, to enhance liquidity and ensure repayment of principal and any accrued interest if the underlying municipal bond should default. Municipal bond insurance, which is usually purchased by the bond issuer from a private, non-governmental insurance company, provides an unconditional and irrevocable assurance that the insured bond's principal and interest will be paid when due. Insurance does not guarantee the price of the bond or the share price of an Underlying Fund.
The credit rating of an insured bond may reflect the credit rating of the insurer, based on its claims-paying ability. The obligation of a municipal bond insurance company to pay a claim extends over the life of each insured bond. Although defaults on insured municipal bonds have been historically low and municipal bond insurers historically have met their claims, there is no assurance this will continue. A higher-than-expected default rate could strain the insurer's loss reserves and adversely affect its ability to pay claims to bondholders. The number of municipal bond insurers is relatively small, and not
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all of them have the highest credit rating. An SBPA can include a liquidity facility that is provided to pay the purchase price of any bonds that cannot be remarketed. The obligation of the liquidity provider (usually a bank) is only to advance funds to purchase tendered bonds that cannot be remarketed and does not cover principal or interest under any other circumstances. The liquidity provider's obligations under the SBPA are usually subject to numerous conditions, including the continued creditworthiness of the underlying borrower or bond issuer.
Municipal Notes.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may invest in municipal notes. Municipal notes generally have maturities of one year or less when issued and are used to satisfy short-term capital needs. Municipal notes include:
Tax Anticipation Notes- issued to finance working capital needs of municipalities and are generally issued in anticipation of future tax revenues.
Bond Anticipation Notes- issued in expectation of a municipality issuing a long-term bond in the future. Usually the long-term bonds provide the money for the repayment of the notes.
Revenue Anticipation Notes- issued in expectation of receipt of other types of revenues such as certain federal revenues.
Construction Loan Notes- sold to provide construction financing and may be insured by the Federal Housing Administration. After completion of the project, FNMA or GNMA frequently provides permanent financing.
Pre-Refunded Municipal Bonds- bonds no longer secured by the credit of the issuing entity, having been escrowed with U.S. Treasury securities as a result of a refinancing by the issuer. The bonds are escrowed for retirement either at original maturity or at an earlier call date.
Tax Free Commercial Paper- a promissory obligation issued or guaranteed by a municipal issuer and frequently accompanied by a letter of credit of a commercial bank. It is used by agencies of state and local governments to finance seasonal working capital needs, or as short-term financing in anticipation of long-term financing.
Project Notes- sold by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development but issued by a state or local housing agency to provide financing for a variety of programs. They are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government and generally carry a term of one year or less.
Variable Rate Demand Notes- long-term, taxable, or tax-exempt bonds issued on a variable rate basis that can be tendered for purchase at par whenever rates reset upon contractual notice by the investor. The bonds tendered are then resold by the remarketing agent in the secondary market to other investors. Variable Rate Demand Notes can be converted to a long term fixed rate security upon appropriate notice by the issuer. The pricing, quality and liquidity of the floating and variable rate demand instruments held by an Underlying Fund will continually be monitored.
Tax Free Participation Certificates- tax free floating, or variable rate demand notes which are issued by a municipal or governmental entity that sells a participation in the note. The pricing, quality and liquidity of the participation certificates will be continually monitored.
A participation certificate gives an Underlying Fund an undivided interest in the municipal obligation in the proportion that the Underlying Fund's participation interest bears to the total principal amount of the municipal obligation and provides the demand feature described below. Each participation is backed by: an irrevocable letter of credit or guaranty of a bank which may be the bank issuing the participation certificate, a bank issuing a confirming letter of credit to that of the issuing bank, or a bank serving as agent of the issuing bank with respect to the possible repurchase of the certificate of participation; or an insurance policy of an insurance company that has been determined to meet the prescribed quality standards for an Underlying Fund. An Underlying Fund has the right to sell the participation certificate back to the institution and draw on the letter of credit or insurance on demand after thirty days' notice for all or any part of the full principal amount of the Underlying Fund's participation interest in the security plus accrued interest. The demand feature is only intended to be exercised (1) upon a default under the terms of the bond documents, (2) as needed to provide liquidity to the Underlying Funds in order to make redemptions of Fund Shares, or (3) to maintain the required quality of its investment portfolios.
The institutions issuing the participation certificates will retain a service and letter of credit fee and a fee for providing the demand feature, in an amount equal to the excess of the interest paid on the instruments over the negotiated yield at which the participations were purchased by an Underlying Fund. The total fees generally range from 5% to 15% of the applicable prime rate or other interest rate index. An Underlying Fund will attempt to have
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the issuer of the participation certificate bear the cost of the insurance. An Underlying Fund retains the option to purchase insurance if necessary, in which case the cost of insurance will be a capitalized expense of the Underlying Fund.
Puts, Stand-by Commitments and Demand Notes. The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may purchase municipal obligations with the right to a 'put' or 'stand-by commitment.' A 'put' on a municipal obligation obligates the seller of the put to buy within a specified time and at an agreed upon price a municipal obligation the put is issued with. A stand-by commitment gives the holder the right to sell the underlying security to the seller at an agreed-upon price or yield on certain dates or within a specified period prior to maturity.
The Underlying Funds will enter into put and stand-by commitments with institutions such as banks and broker-dealers that are believed to continually satisfy the Underlying Funds' credit quality requirements.
The Commodity Strategies and Underlying Fixed Income Funds may also invest in demand notes and the Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in variable rate demand notes that are supported by credit and liquidity enhancements from entities such as banks, insurance companies, other financial institutions, or U.S. government agencies. Demand notes are obligations with the right to a 'put,' obligating the provider of the put to buy the security within a specified time and at an agreed upon price. Variable rate demand notes are floating rate instruments with terms of as much as 40 years which pay interest monthly or quarterly based on a floating rate that is reset daily or weekly based on an index of short-term municipal rates. Liquidity is provided with a put feature, which allows the holder to put the security at par plus accrued interest on any interest rate reset date, usually with one or seven days notice. Variable rate demand notes almost always have credit enhancements in the form of either a letter of credit or bond insurance.
The Underlying Funds may purchase floating or variable rate municipal obligations, some of which are subject to payment of principal by the issuer on demand by the Underlying Funds (usually not more than thirty days' notice). The Underlying Funds may also purchase floating or variable rate municipal obligations or participations therein from banks, insurance companies or other financial institutions which are owned by such institutions or affiliated organizations. Each participation is usually backed by an irrevocable letter of credit, or guaranty of a bank or insurance policy of an insurance company.
Risk Factors.The ability of the Underlying Funds to exercise the put or stand-by commitment may depend on the seller's ability to purchase the securities at the time the put or stand-by commitment is exercised or on certain restrictions in the buy back arrangement. A seller may be unable to honor a put or stand-by commitment for financial reasons. Restrictions in the buy back arrangement may not obligate the seller to repurchase the securities or may prohibit the Underlying Funds from exercising the put or stand-by commitment except to maintain portfolio flexibility and liquidity. (See 'Investment Strategies and Portfolio Instruments -Municipal Notes-Tax Free Participation Certificates.')
Variable Amount Master Demand Notes.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in variable amount master demand notes. Variable amount master demand notes are unsecured obligations redeemable upon notice that permit investment of fluctuating amounts at varying rates of interest pursuant to direct arrangements with the issuer of the instrument. A variable amount master demand note differs from ordinary commercial paper in that (1) it is issued pursuant to a written agreement between the issuer and the holders, (2) its amount may, from time to time, be increased (may be subject to an agreed maximum) or decreased by the holder of the issue, (3) it is payable on demand, (4) its rate of interest payable varies with an agreed upon formula and (5) it is not typically rated by a rating agency.
Variable and Floating Rate Securities.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may invest in variable and floating rate securities. A floating rate security is one whose terms provide for the automatic adjustment of an interest rate whenever the specified interest rate changes. A variable rate security is one whose terms provide for the automatic establishment of a new interest rate on set dates. The interest rate on floating rate securities is ordinarily tied to and is a specified margin above or below the prime rate of a specified bank or some similar objective standard, such as the yield on the 90-day U.S. Treasury Bill, and may change as often as daily. Generally, changes in interest rates on variable and floating rate securities will reduce changes in the securities' market value from the original purchase price resulting in the potential for capital appreciation or capital depreciation being less than for fixed-income obligations with a fixed interest rate.
The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may purchase variable rate U.S. government obligations which are instruments issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, or an agency or instrumentality thereof, which have a rate of interest subject to adjustment at regular intervals but no less frequently than every 762 days. Variable rate U.S. government obligations whose interest rates are readjusted no less frequently than every 762 days will be deemed to have a maturity equal to the period remaining until the next readjustment of the interest rate.
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Commercial Paper.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may invest in commercial paper, which consists of short-term (usually 1 to 270 days) unsecured promissory notes issued by corporations in order to finance their current operations.
Asset-Backed Commercial Paper.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may invest in asset-backed commercial paper. This is commercial paper issued by a bankruptcy remote special purpose entity to fund the acquisition of financial assets (such as trade receivables, commercial loans, auto and equipment loans, leases or collateral debt obligations) that is repaid from the cash flows of those receivables on a specific date.
Indexed Commercial Paper.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may invest in indexed commercial paper, which is U.S.-dollar denominated commercial paper the yield of which is linked to certain foreign exchange rate movements. The yield to the investor on indexed commercial paper is established at maturity as a function of spot exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and a designated currency as of or about that time. The yield to the investor will be within a range stipulated at the time of purchase of the obligation, generally with a guaranteed minimum rate of return that is below, and a potential maximum rate of return that is above, market yields on U.S.-dollar denominated commercial paper, with both the minimum and maximum rates of return on the investment corresponding to the minimum and maximum values of the spot exchange rate two business days prior to maturity.
While such commercial paper entails risk of loss of principal, the potential for realizing gains as a result of changes in foreign currency exchange rates enables an Underlying Fund to hedge (or cross-hedge) against a decline in the U.S. dollar value of investments denominated in foreign currencies while providing an attractive money market rate of return.
Credit and Liquidity Enhancements.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may invest in securities supported by credit and liquidity enhancements from third parties, generally letters of credit from foreign or domestic banks. Liquidity enhancements may be used to shorten the maturity of the debt obligation through a demand feature. Adverse changes in the credit quality of these institutions could cause losses to the Underlying Funds that invest in these securities and may affect their share price.
Funding Agreements.The Underlying Fixed Income Funds and the Commodity Strategies Fund may invest in various types of funding agreements. A funding agreement is an obligation of indebtedness negotiated privately between an investor and an insurance company. A funding agreement has a fixed maturity date and may have either a fixed or variable interest rate that is based on an index and guaranteed for a set time period. Because there is normally no secondary market for these investments, funding agreements purchased by an Underlying Fund may be regarded as illiquid and therefore will be subject to the Underlying Fund's limitation on illiquid investments.
Investment in a Subsidiary by the Commodity Strategies and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds
Each of the Commodity Strategies and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds will invest up to 25% of its total assets in the shares of its respective wholly owned and controlled Subsidiary. Investments in their respective Subsidiaries are expected to provide the Underlying Funds with exposure to the commodity markets within the limitations of Subchapter M of the Code and recent IRS rulings, as discussed below under 'Taxes-Tax Treatment of Commodity-Linked Swaps and Structured Notes.' The Subsidiary of the Commodity Strategies Fund is managed by RIM and advised by the Underlying Fund's money managers, and has the same investment objective as the Commodity Strategies Fund. The Subsidiary of the Commodity Strategies Fund may invest without limitation in commodity-linked swap agreements and other commodity-linked derivative instruments, including futures contracts on individual commodities or a subset of commodities and options on them (unlike the Commodity Strategies Fund, which may not invest without limitation in such investments).The Subsidiary of the Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Fund is managed by RIM and may be advised by certain of the Underlying Fund's money managers and has the same investment objective as the Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Fund. The Subsidiaries may invest without limitation in commodity-linked securities and derivative instruments that provide exposure to the performance of the commodities markets, including futures and options contracts with respect to indexes or individual commodities, options on futures contracts, swap agreements and swaptions (unlike the Funds, which may not invest without limitation in such instruments). However, each Subsidiary is otherwise subject to the same fundamental, non-fundamental and certain other investment restrictions as its respective Underlying Fund, including the timing and method of the valuation of the Subsidiary's portfolio investments and shares of the Subsidiary. Each Subsidiary is managed pursuant to compliance policies and procedures that are the same, in all material respects, as the policies and procedures adopted by its respective Underlying Fund. Each Subsidiary is a company organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands, and is overseen by its own board of directors. Each Underlying Fund is the sole shareholder of its respective Subsidiary, and it is not currently expected that shares of the Subsidiary will be sold or offered to other investors.
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By investing in their respective Subsidiaries, the Underlying Funds are indirectly exposed to the risks associated with its Subsidiary's investments. The derivatives and other investments held by each Subsidiary are subject to the same risks that would apply to similar investments if held directly by the Underlying Funds. Although the Underlying Funds may enter into commodity-linked derivative instruments directly, each Underlying Fund will likely gain exposure to these derivative instruments indirectly by investing in its respective Subsidiary. To the extent that RIM or a money manager believes that these commodity-linked derivative instruments are better suited to provide exposure to the commodities market than commodity index-linked notes, an Underlying Fund's investment in its respective Subsidiary will likely increase. Each Subsidiary will also invest in fixed income instruments, some of which are intended to serve as margin or collateral for the Subsidiary's derivatives positions.
Subject to its investment management agreement with each Subsidiary, RIM may select money managers for each Subsidiary, allocate Subsidiary assets among money managers, oversee the money managers and evaluate their performance results. Each Subsidiary's money managers, if any, select the individual portfolio securities for the assets assigned to them. Neither RIM nor the money managers receive any additional compensation for doing so. Each Subsidiary also has entered into an administration agreement with RIFUS, pursuant to which RIFUS provides certain administrative services for each Subsidiary, but receives no additional compensation for doing so. Each Subsidiary has also entered into separate contracts for the provision of custody, transfer agency, and accounting agent services with the same or with affiliates of the same service providers that provide those services to the Underlying Funds.
Neither Subsidiary is registered under the 1940 Act, and, although each Subsidiary is subject to the same fundamental, non-fundamental and certain other investment restrictions as its respective Underlying Fund, neither Subsidiary is subject to all the investor protections of the 1940 Act. However, each Underlying Fund wholly owns and controls its respective Subsidiary, and each Underlying Fund and its respective Subsidiary are managed by RIM, making it unlikely that the Subsidiaries will take action contrary to the interests of its respective Underlying Fund and the Underlying Fund's shareholders. The Underlying Funds' Board of Trustees has oversight responsibility for the investment activities of the Underlying Funds, including each Underlying Fund's investment in its respective Subsidiary, and each Underlying Fund's role as sole shareholder of its respective Subsidiary. As noted above, each Subsidiary will be subject to the same investment restrictions and limitations, and follow the same compliance policies and procedures, as its respective Underlying Fund. Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands could result in the inability of the Underlying Funds and/or their respective Subsidiaries to operate as described in the Prospectus and the SAI and could adversely affect each Underlying Fund. For example, the Cayman Islands does not currently impose any income, corporate or capital gains tax, estate duty, inheritance tax, gift tax or withholding tax on the Subsidiaries. If Cayman Islands law changes such that the Subsidiaries must pay Cayman Islands taxes, Fund shareholders would likely suffer decreased investment returns.
Other Financial Instruments Including Derivatives
Options, Futures and Other Financial Instruments.The Underlying Funds may use various types of financial instruments, some of which are derivatives, to attempt to manage the risk of the Underlying Funds' investments or for investment purposes (e.g., as a substitute for investing in securities). These financial instruments include, but are not limited to, options, futures, forward contracts and swaps. Derivatives may be used to take long or short positions. Positions in these financial instruments may expose an Underlying Fund to an obligation to another party. The Underlying Funds will comply with SEC guidelines regarding cover for these instruments and will, if the guidelines so require, designate the prescribed amount of cash or liquid assets as segregated.
Assets used as cover or held as segregated cannot be sold while the position in the corresponding financial instrument is open unless they are replaced with other appropriate assets.
Options and Futures.The Underlying Funds may purchase and sell (write) both call and put options on securities, securities indexes, foreign currencies and other assets, and purchase and sell interest rate, foreign currency, index and other types of futures contracts and purchase and write options on such futures contracts for hedging purposes or to effect investment transactions consistent with an Underlying Fund's investment objective and strategies. If other types of options, futures contracts, or options on futures contracts are traded in the future, the Underlying Funds may also use those instruments, provided that their use is consistent with the Underlying Funds' investment objectives, and provided that their use is consistent with restrictions applicable to options and futures contracts currently eligible for use by the Underlying Funds (i.e., that written call or put options will be 'covered' or 'secured' and that futures contracts and options on futures contracts will be used for the purposes of hedging or effecting an Underlying Fund's permitted investment strategies).
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Options on Securities and Indexes.The Underlying Funds may purchase and write both call and put options on securities and securities indexes in standardized contracts traded on foreign or national securities exchanges, boards of trade, or similar entities, or quoted on NASDAQ or on a regulated foreign or national over-the-counter market, and agreements, sometimes called cash puts, which may accompany the purchase of a new issue of bonds from a dealer.
Exchange-listed options are issued by a regulated intermediary, such as the Options Clearing Corporation ('OCC'), which guarantees the performance of the obligations of the parties to such options. This discussion uses the OCC as an example but is also applicable to other financial intermediaries. With certain exceptions, OCC-issued and exchange-listed options generally settle by physical delivery of the underlying security or currency, although cash settlements may sometimes be available. Index options and Eurodollar instruments are cash settled for the net amount, if any, by which the option is 'in-the-money' (i.e., where the value of the underlying instruments exceeds, in the case of a call option, or is less than, in the case of a put option, the strike price of the option) at the time the option is exercised. Frequently, rather than taking or making delivery of the underlying instrument through the process of exercising the option, listed options are closed by entering into offsetting purchase or sale transactions that do not result in ownership of the new option.
An Underlying Fund's ability to close out its position as a purchaser or seller of an OCC or exchange-listed put or call option is dependent, in part, upon the liquidity of the option market. If one or more exchanges decide to discontinue the trading of an option (or a particular class or series of an option), the relevant market for that option on that exchange would cease to exist, although outstanding options on that exchange would generally continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.
Over-the-counter options ('OTC Options') are purchased from or sold to securities dealers, financial institutions or other parties ('Counterparties') through a direct bilateral agreement with the Counterparty. In contrast to exchange-listed options, which generally have standardized terms and performance mechanics, all the terms of an OTC Option, including such terms as method of settlement, term, exercise price, premium, guarantees and security, are set by negotiation of the parties.
Certain OTC Options will eventually be exchange-traded and cleared. Although these changes are expected to decrease the counterparty risk involved in bi-laterally negotiated contracts, exchange-trading and clearing would not make the contracts risk-free. Where OTC Options remain uncleared, if the Counterparty fails to make or take delivery of the security, currency or other instrument underlying an OTC Option it has entered into with an Underlying Fund or fails to make a cash settlement payment due in accordance with the terms of that option, the Underlying Fund will lose any anticipated benefits of the transaction. Accordingly, the creditworthiness of each such Counterparty or any guarantor or credit enhancement of the Counterparty's credit must be assessed to determine the likelihood that the terms of the OTC Option will be satisfied. An Underlying Fund will engage in OTC Option transactions only with U.S. Government securities dealers recognized by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as 'primary dealers' or broker/dealers, domestic or foreign banks or other financial institutions that have received (or the guarantors or the obligations of which have received) a minimum long-term Counterparty credit rating, including reassignments, of BBB- or better as defined by S&P or an equivalent rating from any nationally recognized statistical rating organization (using highest of split ratings) or determined to be of equivalent credit.
An option on a security (or securities index) is a contract that gives the purchaser of the option, in return for a premium, the right (but not the obligation) to buy from (in the case of a call) or sell to (in the case of a put) the writer of the option the security underlying the option at a specified exercise price at any time during the option period or on a specified date or dates, for certain types of options. The writer of an option on a security has the obligation upon exercise of the option, to deliver the underlying security upon payment of the exercise price (in the case of a call), or to pay the exercise price upon delivery of the underlying security (in the case of a put). Upon exercise, the writer of an option on an index is obligated to pay the difference between the cash value of the index and the exercise price multiplied by the specified multiplier (established by the exchange upon which the stock index is traded) for the index option. (An index is designed to reflect specified facets of a particular financial or securities market, a specified group of financial instruments or securities, or certain economic indicators.) Options on securities indexes are similar to options on specific securities except that settlement is in cash and gains and losses depend on price movements in the stock market generally (or in a particular industry or segment of the market), rather than price movements in a specific security.
An Underlying Fund may purchase a call option on securities to protect against substantial increases in prices of securities the Underlying Fund intends to purchase pending its ability or desire to purchase such securities in an orderly manner or as a cost-efficient alternative to acquiring the securities for which the option is intended to serve as a proxy. An Underlying Fund may purchase a put option on securities to protect holdings in an underlying or related security against a substantial decline in market value. Securities are considered related if their price movements generally correlate positively to one another.
An Underlying Fund, except for the Unconstrained Total Return, Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds, will write call and put options only if they are 'covered.' In the case of written call options that are not legally required to cash settle, the option is 'covered' if the Underlying Fund (a) owns the security
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underlying the call or purchases a call option on the same security or index where the purchased call is scheduled to settle before or at the same time as the call written (i) with a strike price no greater than the strike price of the call option sold or (ii) if the strike price is greater, the Underlying Fund segregates liquid assets at least equal to the difference in value or (b) has segregated liquid assets at least equal in value to the market value of the underlying security or index, less any margin on deposit. A written put option that is not legally required to cash settle is 'covered' if the Underlying Fund (a) sells the underlying security short at a price at least equal to the strike price where the short sale is scheduled to settle before or at the same time as the written put option is written or (b) holds a put on the same security or index where the put held is scheduled to settle before or at the same time as the put written, and where the exercise price of the put held is (i) equal to or greater than the strike price of the put written, or (ii) less than the strike price of the put written, provided the difference is maintained by the Underlying Fund in liquid segregated assets. Written call and put options that are legally required to cash settle are covered if the Underlying Fund segregates liquid assets in an amount at least equal in value to the Underlying Fund's daily marked-to-market obligation, if any, less any margins on deposit.
If an option written by an Underlying Fund expires out of the money, the Underlying Fund realizes a capital gain equal to the premium received at the time the option was written. If an option purchased by an Underlying Fund expires unexercised, the Underlying Fund realizes a capital loss (long- or short-term depending on whether the Underlying Fund's holding period for the option is greater than one year) equal to the premium paid.
Prior to the earlier of exercise or expiration, as noted above, an option may generally be closed out by an offsetting purchase or sale of an option of the same series (type, exchange, underlying security or index, exercise price and expiration).
An Underlying Fund will realize a capital gain from a closing transaction on an option it has written if the cost of closing the option is less than the premium received from writing the option. If the cost of closing the option is more than the premium received from writing the option, the Underlying Fund will realize a capital loss. If the premium received from a closing sale transaction is more than the premium paid to purchase the option, the Underlying Fund will realize a capital gain. If the premium received from a closing sale transaction is less than the premium paid to purchase the option, the Underlying Fund will realize a capital loss. With respect to closing transactions on purchased options, the capital gain or loss realized will be short- or long-term depending on the holding period of the option closed out. The principal factors affecting the market value of a put or a call option include supply and demand, interest rates, the current market price of the underlying security or index in relation to the exercise price of the option, the volatility of the underlying security or index, and the time remaining until the expiration date.
The premium paid for a put or call option purchased by an Underlying Fund is an asset of the Underlying Fund. The premium received for an option written by an Underlying Fund is recorded as a liability. The value of an option purchased or written is marked-to-market daily and is valued at the closing price on the exchange on which it is traded or, if not traded on an exchange or no closing price is available, at the last bid.
Risks Associated With Options On Securities and Indexes.There are several risks associated with transactions in options on securities and on indexes. For example, there are significant differences between the securities and options markets that could result in an imperfect correlation between these markets, causing a given transaction not to achieve its objectives. A decision as to whether, when and how to use options involves the exercise of skill and judgment, and even a well-conceived transaction may be unsuccessful to some degree because of market behavior or unexpected events.
If a put or call option purchased by an Underlying Fund is not sold when it has remaining value, and if the market price of the underlying security or index, in the case of a put, upon expiration, remains equal to or greater than the exercise price or, in the case of a call, remains less than or equal to the exercise price, the Underlying Fund will lose its entire investment (i.e., the premium paid) on the option. When an Underlying Fund writes an option on a security or index, movements in the price of the underlying security or value of the index may result in a loss to the Underlying Fund. Also, where a put or call option on a particular security is purchased to hedge against price movements in a related security, the price of the put or call option may move more or less than the price of the related security.
There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist if an Underlying Fund seeks to close out an option position. If an Underlying Fund were unable to close out an option that it had purchased on a security, it would have to exercise the option in order to realize any profit or the option may expire worthless. If an Underlying Fund were unable to close out a covered call option that it had written on a security, it would not be able to sell the underlying security unless the option expired without exercise.
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As the writer of a covered call option, an Underlying Fund forgoes, during the option's life, the opportunity to profit from increases in the market value of the underlying security above the exercise price, but, as long as its obligation as a writer continues, has retained a risk of loss should the price of the underlying security increase above the exercise price. It also retains a risk of loss on the underlying security should the price of the underlying security decrease. Where an Underlying Fund writes a put option, it is exposed during the term of the option to a decline in the price of the underlying security.
If trading were suspended in an option purchased by an Underlying Fund, the Underlying Fund would not be able to close out the option. If restrictions on exercise were imposed, the Underlying Fund might be unable to exercise an option it has purchased. Except to the extent that a call option on an index written by the Underlying Fund is covered by an option on the same index purchased by the Underlying Fund, movements in the index may result in a loss to the Underlying Fund; however, such losses may be mitigated by changes in the value of the Underlying Fund's securities during the period the option was outstanding.
Options on Foreign Currency.An Underlying Fund may buy and sell put and call options on foreign currencies either on exchanges or in the over-the-counter market for the purpose of hedging against changes in future currency exchange rates or to effect investment transactions consistent with an Underlying Fund's investment objectives and strategies. Call options convey the right to buy the underlying currency at a price which is expected to be lower than the spot price of the currency at the time the option expires. Put options convey the right to sell the underlying currency at a price which is anticipated to be higher than the spot price of the currency at the time the option expires. Currency options traded on U.S. or other exchanges may be subject to position limits, which may limit the ability of an Underlying Fund to reduce foreign currency risk using such options. OTC Options differ from traded options in that they are two-party contracts with price and other terms negotiated between buyer and seller, and generally do not have as much market liquidity as exchange-traded options.
Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts.An Underlying Fund may invest in interest rate futures contracts, foreign currency futures contracts, Eurodollar futures or stock index futures contracts, and options thereon that are traded on a U.S. or foreign exchange or board of trade or over-the-counter. A futures contract provides for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified quantity of financial instruments (such as GNMA certificates or Treasury bonds) or foreign currency at a specified price at a future date. A futures contract on an index (such as the S&P 500®) is an exchange-traded contract to take or make delivery of an amount of cash equal to the difference between the value of the index at the close of the last trading day of the contract and the price at which the index contract was originally written. In the case of futures contracts traded on U.S. exchanges, the exchange itself or an affiliated clearing corporation assumes the opposite side of each transaction (i.e., as buyer or seller). A futures contract may be satisfied or closed out by delivery or purchase, as the case may be, of the financial instrument or by payment of the change in the cash value of the index. Although the value of an index may be a function of the value of certain specified securities, no delivery of these securities is made. A public market exists in futures contracts covering several indexes as well as a number of financial instruments and foreign currencies, for example: the S&P 500®; the Russell 2000®; Nikkei 225; CAC-40; FTSE 100; the NYSE composite; U.S. Treasury bonds; U.S. Treasury notes; GNMA Certificates; three-month U.S. Treasury bills; Eurodollar certificates of deposit; the Australian Dollar; the Canadian Dollar; the British Pound; the Swiss Franc; the Mexican Peso and certain multinational currencies, such as the Euro. It is expected that other futures contracts will be developed and traded in the future. Eurodollar futures are typically dollar-denominated futures contracts or options on those contracts that are linked to the London Interbank Offered Rate ('LIBOR'). In addition, foreign currency denominated instruments are available from time to time. Eurodollar futures contracts enable purchasers to obtain a fixed rate for the lending of funds and sellers to obtain a fixed rate for borrowings. An Underlying Fund might use Eurodollar futures contracts and options thereon to hedge against changes in LIBOR, to which many interest rate swaps and fixed income instruments are linked. In 2017, the head of the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned that LIBOR may cease to be available or appropriate for use after 2021. However, subsequent announcements by the FCA, the LIBOR administrator and other regulators indicate that it is possible that certain LIBORs may continue beyond 2021 and certain of the most widely used LIBORs may continue until mid-2023. The unavailability of LIBOR may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain Underlying Fund investments and may result in costs in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades. Pricing adjustments to an Underlying Fund's investments resulting from a substitute reference rate may adversely affect the Underlying Fund's performance and/or net asset value. In advance of 2021 or 2023, as applicable for LIBOR tenors, regulators and market participants will seek to work together to identify or develop successor or substitute reference rates to LIBOR ('Reference Rates') and how the calculation of associated spreads (if any) should be adjusted. The impact of any successor or substitute Reference Rate, if any, will vary on an investment-by-investment basis, and any differences may be material and/or create material economic mismatches, especially if investments are used for hedging or similar purposes. The successor or substitute Reference Rate and any adjustments selected may negatively impact an Underlying Fund's investments, performance or financial condition. In addition, any successor or substitute Reference Rate and any pricing adjustments imposed by a regulator or by counterparties or otherwise may adversely affect an Underlying Fund's performance and/or net asset value, and may expose an Underlying
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Fund to additional tax, accounting and regulatory risks. Furthermore, these developments could negatively impact financial markets in general and present heightened risks, including with respect to an Underlying Fund's investments. As a result of this uncertainty and developments relating to the transition away from LIBOR, an Underlying Fund and its investments may be adversely affected.
An Underlying Fund may use futures contracts for both hedging purposes and to effect investment transactions consistent with its investment objective and strategies. For example, an Underlying Fund might use futures contracts to hedge against anticipated changes in interest rates that might adversely affect either the value of the Underlying Fund's securities or the price of the securities which the Underlying Fund intends to purchase. In addition, an Underlying Fund may use futures contracts to create equity exposure for its cash or, conversely, to reduce market exposure. See 'Cash Reserves and Being Fully Invested' and 'Hedging Strategies' for a fuller description of these strategies.
Frequently, using futures to affect a particular strategy instead of using the underlying or related security or index will result in lower transaction costs being incurred.
An Underlying Fund may also purchase and write call and put options on futures contracts. Options on futures contracts possess many of the same characteristics as options on securities and indexes (discussed above). A futures option gives the holder the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a long position (in the case of a call) or short position (in the case of a put) in a futures contract at a specified exercise price at any time during the period of the option. Upon exercise of a call option, the holder acquires a long position in the futures contract and the writer is assigned the opposite short position. In the case of a put option, the opposite is true. An option on a futures contract may be closed out (before exercise or expiration) by an offsetting purchase or sale of an option on a futures contract of the same series.
There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist at a time when an Underlying Fund seeks to close out a futures contract or an option position. Most futures exchanges and boards of trade limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single day. Once the daily limit has been reached on a particular contract, no trades may be made that day at a price beyond that limit. In addition, certain of these instruments are relatively new and without a significant trading history. As a result, there is no assurance that an active secondary market will develop or continue to exist. Lack of a liquid market for any reason may prevent an Underlying Fund from liquidating an unfavorable position and the Underlying Fund would remain obligated to meet margin requirements until the position is closed.
When a purchase or sale of a futures contract is made by an Underlying Fund, the Underlying Fund is required to deposit with the broker a specified amount of cash or U.S. government securities ('initial margin'). The initial margin required for a futures contract is set by the exchange on which the contract is traded and, in certain cases, by the Underlying Fund's futures commission merchant ('FCM'). The required initial margin may be modified during the term of the contract including, among other reasons, as a result of periods of significant market volatility which affect the value of the initial margin deposited. Such requirements to deposit or maintain additional margin may be imposed at times when an Underlying Fund is unable to, or would face potential challenges in, meeting the additional margin requirement. Under these circumstances, an Underlying Fund could be required to, among other actions, reduce the Underlying Fund's exposure(s) giving rise to the additional margin requirement, sell or otherwise transfer other investments of the Underlying Fund to raise cash to satisfy the additional margin requirement, and/or hold cash on an ongoing basis - potentially at a disadvantageous time to the Underlying Fund - to satisfy the additional margin requirement. The initial margin is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the futures contract which is returned to the Underlying Fund upon termination of the contract, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Each Underlying Fund expects to earn interest income on its initial margin deposits.
A futures contract held by an Underlying Fund is valued daily at the official settlement price of the exchange on which it is traded. Each day the Underlying Fund pays or receives cash, called 'variation margin,' equal to the daily change in value of the futures contract. This process is known as 'marking-to-market.' Variation margin does not represent a borrowing or loan by an Underlying Fund, but is instead a settlement between the Underlying Fund and the FCM of the amount one would owe the other if the futures contract expired. In computing daily net asset value, each Underlying Fund will mark-to-market its open futures positions.
An Underlying Fund is also required to deposit and maintain margin with respect to put and call options on futures contracts written by it. Such margin deposits will vary depending on the nature of the underlying futures contract (and the related initial margin requirements), the current market value of the option, and other futures positions held by the Underlying Fund.
Although some futures contracts call for making or taking delivery of the underlying securities or other assets, generally these obligations are closed out prior to delivery by offsetting purchases or sales of matching futures contracts (same exchange, underlying security or index, and delivery month). If an offsetting purchase price is less than the original sale price, the Underlying Fund realizes a capital gain, or if it is more, the Underlying Fund realizes a capital loss. Conversely, if an offsetting sale price is more than the original purchase price, the Underlying Fund realizes a capital gain, or if it is less, the
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Underlying Fund realizes a capital loss. The transaction costs must also be included in these calculations. In the case of transactions, if any, involving certain regulated futures contracts, any gain or loss arising from the lapse, closing out or exercise of such positions generally will be treated as 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gain or loss. In addition, at the close of each taxable year, such positions generally will be marked-to-market (i.e., treated as sold for fair market value), and any resulting gain or loss will be treated as 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gain or loss.
Limitations on Use of Futures and Options on Futures Contracts.
An Underlying Fund will only enter into futures contracts or options on futures contracts which are standardized and traded on a U.S. or foreign exchange, board of trade or similar entity, or quoted on an automated quotation system. With respect to futures contracts that are required to cash settle, an Underlying Fund will at all times maintain liquid, segregated assets at least equal to the Underlying Fund's daily marked-to-market (net) obligation next due under the futures contract, if any (less any margin on deposit). With respect to futures contracts that are not required to cash settle, an Underlying Fund will maintain liquid, segregated assets at least equal to the notional value of the futures contract (less any margin on deposit). An Underlying Fund may enter into agreements with its FCM which require the FCM to accept physical settlement for certain futures contracts. If this occurs, the Underlying Fund would treat the futures contract as being cash-settled for purposes of determining the Underlying Fund's segregation requirements. An Underlying Fund is not required to segregate liquid assets if the purchase or sale of a futures contract is 'covered' by a substantially similar security. For a discussion of how to cover a written call or put option on a futures contract, see 'Options on Securities and Indexes' above.
The Underlying Funds, other than the Commodity Strategies and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds, are limited in entering into futures contracts, options on futures contracts and swaps to positions which constitute 'bona fide hedging' positions within the meaning and intent of applicable CFTC rules and, with respect to positions for non-'bona fide hedging' purposes, to positions for which (a) the aggregate initial margins and premiums required to establish non-hedging positions in futures and options on futures when aggregated with the independent amounts required to establish non-hedging positions in swaps, less the amount by which any such options are 'in-the-money,' do not exceed 5% of the Underlying Fund's net assets after taking into account unrealized profits and losses on those positions or (b) the aggregate net notional value of such instruments does not exceed 100% of the Underlying Fund's net assets, after taking into account unrealized profits and losses on those positions. RIM is registered as a commodity pool operator with the CFTC with regard to the Commodity Strategies and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds. Therefore, the Commodity Strategies and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds are not subject to the limitations on investments in futures, options and swaps discussed above.
Risks Associated with Futures and Options on Futures Contracts.There are several risks associated with the use of futures and options on futures contracts as hedging techniques. A purchase or sale of a futures contract may result in losses in excess of the amount invested in the futures contract. There can be no guarantee that there will be a correlation between price movements in the hedging vehicle and in the portfolio securities being hedged. In addition, there are significant differences between the securities and futures markets that could result in an imperfect correlation between the markets, causing a given hedge not to achieve its objectives. The degree of imperfection of correlation depends on circumstances such as variations in speculative market demand for futures and options on futures contracts on securities, including technical influences in futures trading and options on futures contracts, and differences between the financial instruments being hedged and the instruments underlying the standard contracts available for trading in such respects as interest rate levels, maturities and creditworthiness of issuers. An incorrect correlation could result in a loss on both the hedged securities in an Underlying Fund and the hedging vehicle so that the portfolio return might have been greater had hedging not been attempted. A decision as to whether, when and how to hedge involves the exercise of skill and judgment, and even a well-conceived hedge may be unsuccessful to some degree because of market behavior or unexpected interest rate or other trends.
Futures exchanges may limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in certain futures contract prices during a single trading day. The daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day's settlement price at the end of the current trading session. Once the daily limit has been reached in a futures contract subject to the limit, no more trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. As a result, there can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist at a time when an Underlying Fund seeks to close out a futures contract or a futures option position. The daily limit governs only price movements during a particular trading day and therefore does not limit potential losses because the limit may work to prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. For example, futures prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of positions and subjecting some holders of futures contracts to substantial losses.
In addition, certain of these instruments are relatively new and without a significant trading history. As a result, there is no assurance that an active secondary market will develop or continue to exist. Lack of a liquid market for any reason may prevent an Underlying Fund from liquidating an unfavorable position and the Underlying Fund would remain obligated to meet margin requirements until the position is closed.
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Foreign Currency Futures Contracts.The Underlying Funds are also permitted to enter into foreign currency futures contracts in accordance with their investment objectives and as limited by the procedures outlined above.
A foreign currency futures contract is an exchange-traded contract pursuant to which a party makes or accepts delivery of a specified type of currency at a specified price. Although such futures contracts by their terms call for actual delivery or acceptance of currency, in most cases the contracts are closed out before the settlement date without the making or taking of delivery.
The Underlying Funds may sell a foreign currency futures contract to hedge against possible variations in the exchange rate of the foreign currency in relation to the U.S. dollar or other currencies or to effect investment transactions consistent with the Underlying Funds' investment objectives and strategies. When a manager anticipates a significant change in a foreign exchange rate while intending to invest in a foreign security, an Underlying Fund may purchase a foreign currency futures contract to hedge against a rise in foreign exchange rates pending completion of the anticipated transaction or as a means to gain portfolio exposure to that currency. Such a purchase would serve as a temporary measure to protect the Underlying Fund against any rise in the foreign exchange rate which may add additional costs to acquiring the foreign security position. The Underlying Funds may also purchase call or put options on foreign currency futures contracts to obtain a fixed foreign exchange rate. The Underlying Funds may purchase a call option or write a put option on a foreign exchange futures contract to hedge against a decline in the foreign exchange rates or the value of its foreign securities. The Underlying Funds may write a call option or purchase a put option on a foreign currency futures contract as a partial hedge against the effects of declining foreign exchange rates on the value of foreign securities or as a means to gain portfolio exposure to a currency.
Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Transactions ('Forward Currency Contracts').The Underlying Funds may engage in forward currency contracts to hedge against uncertainty in the level of future exchange rates or to effect investment transactions consistent with the Underlying Funds' investment objectives and strategies. The Underlying Funds will conduct their forward foreign currency exchange transactions either on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the rate prevailing in the currency exchange market, or through entering into forward currency exchange contracts to purchase or sell currency at a future date. A forward currency contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency on a specific date in the future. For example, a forward currency contract may require an Underlying Fund to exchange a certain amount of U.S. dollars for a certain amount of Japanese Yen at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. Forward currency contracts are (a) traded in an interbank market conducted directly between currency traders (typically, commercial banks or other financial institutions) and their customers, (b) often have deposit or initial margin requirements and (c) are consummated without payment of any commissions. In order to assure that an Underlying Fund's forward currency contracts are not used to achieve investment leverage, to the extent that such contracts are not 'covered' by liquid investments in the respective foreign currency or a 'proxy' currency, the Underlying Fund will segregate liquid assets in an amount at all times equal to or exceeding the Underlying Fund's commitments to make payments for the forward currency contracts on the settlement date. For this purpose, an Underlying Fund may net exposure under offsetting contracts with the same counterparty, currency pair and expiration dates. The requirement that the counterparty be the same will not apply if the transaction will settle through CLS (a FX settlement platform). No other currency forwards may be netted. An Underlying Fund is not required to segregate assets with respect to the Underlying Fund's forward currency contracts if the Underlying Fund engages in certain offsetting transactions. The Underlying Funds may engage in forward contracts that involve transacting in a currency whose changes in value are considered to be linked (a proxy) to a currency or currencies in which some or all of the Underlying Funds' portfolio securities are or are expected to be denominated. An Underlying Fund's dealings in forward contracts may involve hedging involving either specific transactions or portfolio positions or taking a position in a foreign currency. Transaction hedging is the purchase or sale of foreign currency with respect to specific receivables or payables of an Underlying Fund generally accruing in connection with the purchase or sale of its portfolio securities. Position hedging is the sale of foreign currency with respect to portfolio security positions denominated or quoted in the currency. The Underlying Funds may enter into a forward currency contract to purchase a currency other than that held in the Underlying Funds' portfolios. Forward currency transactions may be made from any foreign currency into U.S. dollars or into other appropriate currencies.
At or before the maturity of a forward foreign currency contract, an Underlying Fund may either sell a portfolio security and make delivery of the currency, or retain the security and offset its contractual obligation to deliver the currency by purchasing a second contract pursuant to which the Underlying Fund will obtain, on the same maturity date, the same amount of the currency which it is obligated to deliver. If an Underlying Fund retains the portfolio security and engages in an offsetting transaction, the Underlying Fund, at the time of execution of the offsetting transaction, will incur a gain or a loss to the extent that movement has occurred in forward currency contract prices. Should forward prices decline during the period between the Underlying Fund's entering into a forward contract for the sale of a currency and the date that it enters into an offsetting
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contract for the purchase of the currency, the Underlying Fund will realize a gain to the extent that the price of the currency that it has agreed to sell exceeds the price of the currency that it has agreed to purchase. Should forward prices increase, the Underlying Fund will suffer a loss to the extent that the price of the currency it has agreed to purchase exceeds the price of the currency that it has agreed to sell.
Upon maturity of a forward currency contract, an Underlying Fund may (a) pay for and receive, or deliver and be paid for, the underlying currency, (b) negotiate with the dealer to roll over the contract into a new forward currency contract with a new future settlement date or (c) negotiate with the dealer to terminate the forward contract by entering into an offset with the currency trader whereby the parties agree to pay for and receive the difference between the exchange rate fixed in the contract and the then-current exchange rate. An Underlying Fund also may be able to negotiate such an offset prior to maturity of the original forward contract. There can be no assurance that new forward contracts or offsets will be available to the Underlying Funds.
The cost to an Underlying Fund of engaging in currency transactions varies with factors such as the currency involved, the length of the contract period and the market conditions then prevailing. Because transactions in currency exchange are usually conducted on a principal basis, no fees or commissions are typically involved. The use of a forward foreign currency contract does not eliminate fluctuations in the price of the underlying securities, but it does establish a rate of exchange that can be achieved in the future. In addition, although forward foreign currency contracts limit the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of a hedged currency, at the same time, they limit any potential gain that might result should the value of the currency increase.
If a devaluation is generally anticipated, an Underlying Fund may be able to contract to sell the currency at a price above the devaluation level that it anticipates. An Underlying Fund will not enter into a currency transaction if, as a result, it will fail to qualify as a regulated investment company under the Code for a given year.
Many foreign currency forwards will eventually be exchange-traded and cleared as discussed further below. Although these changes are expected to decrease the counterparty risk associated with bi-laterally negotiated contracts, exchange-trading and clearing would not make the contracts risk-free. In the forward foreign currency market, there are no daily price fluctuation limits, and adverse market movements could therefore continue to an unlimited extent over a period of time. Moreover, as with foreign currency futures contracts, a trader of forward contracts could lose amounts substantially in excess of its initial investments, due to the collateral requirements associated with such positions.
The market for forward currency contracts may be limited with respect to certain currencies. These factors will restrict an Underlying Fund's ability to hedge against the risk of devaluation of currencies in which the Underlying Fund holds securities and are unrelated to the qualitative rating that may be assigned to any particular portfolio security. Where available, the successful use of forward currency contracts draws upon special skills and experience with respect to such instruments and usually depends on the ability to forecast interest rate and currency exchange rate movements correctly. Should interest or exchange rates move in an unexpected manner, an Underlying Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of forward currency contracts or may realize losses and thus be in a worse position than if such strategies had not been used. In addition, the correlation between movements in the prices of such instruments and movements in the price of the securities and currencies hedged or used for cover will not be perfect. In the case of proxy hedging, there is also a risk that the perceived linkage between various currencies may not be present or may not be present during the particular time an Underlying Fund is engaged in that strategy.
An Underlying Fund's ability to dispose of its positions in forward currency contracts will depend on the availability of active markets in such instruments. It is impossible to predict the amount of trading interest that may exist in various types of forward currency contracts. Forward currency contracts may be closed out only by the parties entering into an offsetting contract. Therefore, no assurance can be given that the Underlying Fund will be able to utilize these instruments effectively for the purposes set forth above. Many foreign currency forward contracts will eventually be exchange-traded and cleared. Although these changes are expected to decrease the credit risk associated with bi-laterally negotiated contracts, exchange-trading and clearing would not make the contracts risk-free.
Additional Risks of Options on Securities, Futures Contracts, Options on Futures Contracts, and Forward Currency Contracts and Options Thereon Traded on Foreign Exchanges.Options on securities, futures contracts, options on futures contracts, forward currency contracts and options on currencies may be traded on foreign exchanges. Such transactions may not be regulated as effectively as similar transactions in the United States, may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees, and are subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the prices of, foreign securities. The value of such positions also could be adversely affected by (1) other complex foreign, political, legal and economic factors,
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(2) lesser availability of data on which to make trading decisions than in the United States, (3) delays in an Underlying Fund's ability to act upon economic events occurring in foreign markets during non-business hours in the United States, (4) the imposition of different exercise and settlement terms and procedures and margin requirements than in the United States and (5) lesser trading volume.
Swap Agreements and Swaptions.The Underlying Funds may enter into swap agreements, on either an asset-based or liability-based basis, depending on whether they are hedging their assets or their liabilities, and will usually enter into swaps on a net basis (i.e., the two payment streams are netted out) with the Underlying Funds receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. The Underlying Funds may also enter into swap agreements for investment purposes. When an Underlying Fund enters into a swap, it exchanges its obligations to pay or rights to receive payments for the obligations or rights to receive payments of another party (e.g., an exchange of floating rate payments for fixed rate payments).
The Underlying Funds may enter into several different types of swap agreements, including equity index, interest rate, currency, credit default and recovery lock swaps. Equity index swaps are agreements where two parties exchange two sets of cash flows on predetermined dates for an agreed-upon amount of time. The cash flows will typically be an equity index value swapped with a floating rate such as LIBOR plus or minus a pre-defined spread. Interest rate swaps are agreements that can be customized to meet each party's needs, and involve the exchange of a fixed payment per period for a payment that is not fixed. Currency swaps are agreements where two parties exchange specified principal amounts of different currencies which are followed by each paying the other a series of interest payments that are based on the principal cash flow. At maturity, the principal amounts are returned. Credit default swaps are agreements which allow the transfer of third-party credit risk (the possibility that an issuer will default on an obligation by failing to pay principal or interest in a timely manner) from one party to another. The lender faces the credit risk from a third party and the Counterparty in the swap agrees to insure this risk in exchange for regular periodic payments. Credit default swaps may include index credit default swaps, which are contracts on baskets or indices of credit instruments, which may include tranches of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBX). Recovery lock swaps are agreements between two parties that provide for a fixed payment by one party and the delivery of a reference obligation, typically a bond, by the other party upon the occurrence of a credit event, such as a default, by the issuer of the reference obligation.
The Underlying Funds generally expect to enter into these transactions primarily to preserve a return or spread on a particular investment or portion of their portfolios or to protect against any increase in the price of securities they anticipate purchasing at a later date or for return enhancement. Under most swap agreements entered into by an Underlying Fund, the parties' obligations are determined on a 'net basis.' The net amount of the excess, if any, of an Underlying Fund's obligations over its entitlements with respect to each swap will be accrued on a daily basis, and liquid assets having an aggregate net asset value at least equal to the accrued excess will be segregated. To the extent that an Underlying Fund enters into swaps not legally required to be settled on a net basis, the amount maintained in a segregated account will be the full notional amount of the Underlying Fund's obligations, if any, with respect to such swaps, accrued on a daily basis. For credit default swaps, liquid assets in the amount at least equal to the following will be segregated: (1) if an Underlying Fund is the seller of a credit default swap with physical settlement, the notional amount of the contract minus any amounts owed to the Underlying Fund, (2) if an Underlying Fund is the seller of a credit default swap with cash settlement, the full notional amount of the contract minus the market value of the reference instrument and (3) if an Underlying Fund is the purchaser of a credit default swap, any accrued but unpaid amounts owed by the Underlying Fund to the swap counterparty. If there is a default by the other party to such a transaction, an Underlying Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreement related to the transaction.
The Underlying Funds may enter into swap agreements with Counterparties that meet RIM's credit quality limitations. The Underlying Funds will not enter into any swap agreement unless the Counterparty has a minimum senior unsecured credit rating or long-term Counterparty credit rating, including reassignments, of BBB- or better as defined by S&P or an equivalent rating from any nationally recognized statistical rating organization (using highest of split ratings) at the time of entering into such transaction. Some swaps the Underlying Fund may enter into, such as interest rate and certain credit default swaps, are traded on exchanges and subject to central clearing.
Certain derivatives, including swaps, may be subject to fees and expenses, and by investing in such derivatives indirectly through an Underlying Fund, a shareholder will bear the expenses of such derivatives in addition to expenses of the Underlying Fund.
There is a possibility of future regulatory changes altering, perhaps to a material extent, the nature of an investment in the Underlying Funds or the ability of the Underlying Funds to continue to implement their investment strategies. The futures markets are subject to comprehensive statutes, regulations, and margin requirements. In addition, the SEC, CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the
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retroactive implementation of speculative position limits or higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading. The regulation of swaps and futures transactions in the United States is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. The effect of any future regulatory change on the Underlying Funds is impossible to predict, but could be substantial and adverse.
In particular, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the 'Dodd-Frank Act') was signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010. The Dodd-Frank Act is changing the way in which the U.S. financial system is supervised and regulated. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act sets forth the legislative framework for over-the-counter ('OTC') derivatives, including financial instruments, such as swaps, in which the Underlying Funds may invest. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act makes broad changes to the OTC derivatives market, grants significant new authority to the SEC and the CFTC to regulate OTC derivatives and market participants, and requires clearing and exchange trading of certain OTC derivatives transactions. The CFTC and SEC have approved joint final rules and interpretations that further define the terms 'swap' and 'security-based' swap and govern 'mixed swaps' (the 'Swap Definitions'). Under the Swap Definitions, the term 'swap' includes OTC foreign exchange options, among other OTC contracts. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has determined that certain deliverable foreign exchange forwards and deliverable foreign exchange swaps are exempt from the definition of 'swap.' The occurrence of the effective date for the Swap Definitions triggered numerous effective and compliance dates for other rules promulgated by the CFTC and SEC under the Dodd-Frank Act. The Swap Definitions are broad and encompass a number of transactions that were historically not subject to CFTC or SEC regulation. The impact of the effectiveness of the Swap Definitions along with the implementation of the various other rules contingent on the promulgation of the Swap Definitions is impossible to predict, but could be substantial and adverse.
Provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act include registration, recordkeeping, capital and margin requirements for 'swap dealers' and 'major swap participants' as determined by the Dodd-Frank Act and applicable regulations, and the required use of clearinghouse mechanisms for many OTC derivative transactions. The CFTC, SEC and other federal regulators have been tasked with developing the rules and regulations enacting the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. It is not possible at this time to gauge the exact nature and scope of the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on any Underlying Funds, but it is expected that swap dealers, major market participants and swap Counterparties, including the Underlying Funds, will experience new and/or additional regulations, requirements, compliance burdens and associated costs. The Dodd-Frank Act and the rules may negatively impact an Underlying Fund's ability to meet its investment objective either through limits or requirements imposed on it or its Counterparties. In particular, new position limits imposed on an Underlying Fund or its Counterparties' on-exchange and OTC trading may impact that Underlying Fund's ability to invest in a manner that efficiently meets its investment objective, and new requirements, including capital and mandatory clearing and margin, may increase the cost of an Underlying Fund's investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors. Similar to initial margin for futures contracts as discussed above, the required initial margin for cleared derivatives transactions may be modified during the term of the contract including, among other reasons, as a result of periods of significant market volatility which affect the value of the initial margin deposited.
Credit Default Swaps. The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may enter into credit default swaps. A credit default swap can refer to corporate issues, asset-backed securities or an index of assets, each known as the reference entity or underlying asset. Credit default swaps allow an Underlying Fund to acquire or reduce credit exposure to a particular issuer, asset or basket of assets. An Underlying Fund may act as either the buyer or the seller of a credit default swap. Depending upon the terms of the contract, the credit default swap may be closed via physical settlement. However, due to the possible or potential instability in the market, there is a risk that an Underlying Fund may be unable to deliver the underlying debt security to the other party to the agreement. Additionally, an Underlying Fund may not receive the expected amount under the swap agreement if the other party to the agreement defaults or becomes bankrupt. In an unhedged credit default swap, an Underlying Fund enters into a credit default swap without owning the underlying asset or debt issued by the reference entity. Certain standardized swaps, including certain credit default swaps, are subject to mandatory clearing, and more are expected to be subject to mandatory clearing in the future. The counterparty risk for cleared derivatives is generally lower than for uncleared derivatives, but cleared contracts are not risk-free. Clearing may subject an Underlying Fund to increased costs or margin requirements.
As the seller of protection in a credit default swap, an Underlying Fund would be required to pay the par or other agreed-upon value (or otherwise perform according to the swap contract) of a reference debt obligation to the Counterparty in the event of a default (or other specified credit event), and the Counterparty would be required to surrender the reference debt obligation. In return, the Underlying Fund would receive from the Counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no credit event has occurred. If no credit event occurs, the Underlying Fund would keep the stream of payments and would have no payment obligations. As a seller of protection, an Underlying Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because in addition to its total net assets, that Underlying Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap.
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The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may also purchase protection via credit default swap contracts in order to offset the risk of default of debt securities held in their portfolios, in which case an Underlying Fund would function as the Counterparty referenced in the preceding paragraph.
Credit default swap agreements on corporate issues involve one party making a stream of payments to another party in exchange for the right to receive a specified return in the event of a default or other credit event. If a credit event occurs and cash settlement is not elected, a variety of other deliverable obligations may be delivered in lieu of the specific reference obligation. The ability to deliver other obligations may result in a cheapest-to-deliver option (the buyer of protection's right to choose the deliverable obligation with the lowest value following a credit event). The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may use credit default swaps on corporate issues to provide a measure of protection against defaults of the issuers (i.e., to reduce risk where an Underlying Fund owns or has exposure to the reference obligation) or to take an active long or short position with respect to the likelihood (as measured by the credit default swap's spread) of a particular issuer's default.
Credit default swap agreements on asset-backed securities also involve one party making a stream of payments to another party in exchange for the right to receive a specified return in the event of a default or other credit event. Unlike credit default swaps on corporate issues, deliverable obligations in most instances would be limited to the specific reference obligation as performance for asset-backed securities can vary across deals. Prepayments, principal paydowns, and other write-down or loss events on the underlying mortgage loans will reduce the outstanding principal balance of the reference obligation. These reductions may be temporary or permanent as defined under the terms of the swap agreement and the notional amount for the swap agreement generally will be adjusted by corresponding amounts. The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may use credit default swaps on asset-backed securities to provide a measure of protection against defaults (or other defined credit events) of the reference obligation or to take an active long or short position with respect to the likelihood of a particular reference obligation's default (or other defined credit events).
Credit default swap agreements on credit indices involve one party making a stream of payments to another party in exchange for the right to receive a specified return in the event of a write-down, principal shortfall, interest shortfall or default of all or part of the reference obligations comprising the credit index. A credit index is a basket of credit instruments or exposures designed to be representative of some part of the credit market as a whole. These indices are made up of reference credits that are judged by a poll of dealers to be the most liquid entities in the credit default swap market based on the sector of the index. Components of the indices may include, but are not limited to, investment grade securities, high yield securities, asset-backed securities, emerging markets, and/or various credit ratings within each sector. Credit indices are traded using credit default swaps with standardized terms including a fixed spread and standard maturity dates. An index credit default swap references all the names in the index, and if there is a default, the credit event is settled based on that name's weight in the index. The composition of the indices changes periodically, usually every six months, and for most indices, each name has an equal weight in the index. Traders may use credit default swaps on indices to speculate on changes in credit quality.
Credit default swaps could result in losses if an Underlying Fund does not correctly evaluate the creditworthiness of the company or companies on which the credit default swap is based. Credit default swap agreements may involve greater risks than if an Underlying Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly since, in addition to risks relating to the reference obligation, credit default swaps are subject to the risks inherent in the use of swaps, including illiquidity risk and counterparty risk. An Underlying Fund will generally incur a greater degree of risk when selling a credit default swap than when purchasing a credit default swap. As a buyer of a credit default swap, an Underlying Fund may lose its investment and recover nothing should a credit event fail to occur and the swap is held to its termination date. As seller of a credit default swap, if a credit event were to occur, the value of any deliverable obligation received by an Underlying Fund, coupled with the upfront or periodic payments previously received, may be less than what it pays to the buyer, resulting in a loss of value to the Underlying Fund. In addition, there may be disputes between the buyer and seller of a credit default swap agreement or within the swaps market as a whole as to whether a credit event has occurred or what the payment should be. Such disputes could result in litigation or other delays, and the outcome could be adverse for the buyer or seller.
If the creditworthiness of an Underlying Fund's uncleared swap Counterparty declines, the risk that the Counterparty may not perform could increase, potentially resulting in a loss to the Underlying Fund. To limit the counterparty risk involved in uncleared swap agreements, the Underlying Funds will only enter into uncleared swap agreements with Counterparties that meet certain standards of creditworthiness. Although there can be no assurance that the Underlying Funds will be able to do so, the Underlying Funds may be able to reduce or eliminate their exposure under a swap agreement either by assignment or other disposition, or by entering into an offsetting swap agreement with the same party or another creditworthy party. The Underlying Funds may have limited ability to eliminate their exposure under a credit default swap if the credit of the reference entity or underlying asset has declined.
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Interest Rate Swaps. The use of interest rate swaps is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. If this technique is incorrect in its forecast of market values, interest rates and other applicable factors, the investment performance of an Underlying Fund might diminish compared to what it would have been if this investment technique were not used.
Interest rate swaps do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to interest rate swaps is limited to the net amount of interest payments that an Underlying Fund is contractually obligated to make. Interest rate swaps are traded on exchanges and are subject to central clearing. If the clearing house or FCM defaults, an Underlying Fund's risk of loss consists of the net amount of interest payments that the Underlying Funds are contractually entitled to receive. The counterparty risk for cleared derivatives is generally lower than for uncleared derivatives. However, clearing may subject an Underlying Fund to increased costs or margin requirements.
Recovery Lock Swaps. The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may enter into recovery lock swaps. Recovery lock swaps are used to 'lock in' a recovery amount on the reference obligation at the time the parties enter into the agreement. In contrast to a credit default swap where the final settlement amount may be dependent on the market price for the reference obligation upon the credit event, a recovery lock swap fixes the settlement amount in advance and is not dependent on the market price of the reference obligation at the time of the credit event. Unlike certain other types of derivatives, recovery lock swaps generally do not involve upfront or periodic cash payments by either of the parties. Instead, payment and settlement occurs after there has been a credit event. If a credit event does not occur prior to the termination date of a recovery lock swap, the agreement terminates and no payments are made by either party. A party may enter into a recovery lock swap to purchase or sell a reference obligation upon the occurrence of a credit event. Recovery lock swaps are subject to certain risks, including, without limitation, the risk that a Counterparty will not accurately forecast the value of a reference obligation upon the occurrence of a credit event. In addition to general market risks, recovery lock swaps are subject to illiquidity risk, counterparty risk and credit risk. The market for recovery lock swaps is relatively new and is smaller and relatively less liquid than the market for credit default swaps and other derivatives. Elements of judgment may play a role in determining the value of a recovery lock. In addition, it may not be possible to enter into a recovery lock swap at an advantageous time or price.
Swaptions. The Underlying Fixed Income Funds may enter into swaptions (an option on a swap). In a swaption, in exchange for an option premium, the buyer gains the right but not the obligation to enter into a specified swap agreement with the issuer on a specified future date. The writer of the contract receives the premium and bears the risk of unfavorable changes in the preset rate on the underlying interest rate swap. Unrealized gains/losses on swaptions are reflected in investment assets and investment liabilities in the Underlying Fund's statements of financial condition.
Equity Swaps. The Underlying Funds may invest in certain types of equity swaps. Equity swaps allow the parties to a swap agreement to exchange the dividend income or other components of return on a basket of equity securities (an 'equity basket swap') or individual equity security for another payment stream. An equity swap may be used by the Underlying Funds to invest in a market without owning or taking physical custody of securities in circumstances in which direct investment may be restricted for legal reasons or is otherwise deemed impractical or disadvantageous. The Underlying Funds will receive all of the economic benefits and risks equivalent to direct investments in the reference equity positions such as capital appreciation (depreciation), corporate actions, and dividends and interest received and paid, all of which are reflected in the swap value. The swap value may also include interest charges and credits related to the notional values of the equity positions and any cash balances within the swap. These interest charges and credits are based on defined market rates plus or minus a specified spread. The value of some components of an equity swap (such as the dividends on a common stock) may also be sensitive to changes in interest rates. Equity basket swaps provide the Underlying Funds exposure to a portfolio of long and/or short equity securities. These swaps are designed to function as a portfolio of direct investments in long and short equity positions and the Underlying Funds have the ability to trade in and out of long and short positions within the swap. Equity swaps normally do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to equity swaps is normally limited to the net amount of payments that the Underlying Funds are contractually obligated to make. If the other party to an equity swap defaults, the Underlying Fund's risk of loss consists of the net amount of payments that each Underlying Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any.
Index Swap Agreements.The Underlying Funds may enter into index swap agreements to expose cash reserves to markets or to effect investment transactions consistent with the Underlying Funds' investment objectives and strategies. Index swap agreements are two-party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors for periods ranging from a few weeks to more than one year. In a standard index swap transaction, the two parties agree to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on particular investments or instruments. The returns to be exchanged between the parties are calculated with respect to a 'notional amount' (i.e., a specified dollar amount that is hypothetically invested in a 'basket' of securities representing a particular index).
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No Underlying Fund will enter into a swap agreement, other than a centrally cleared or other swap not involving a securities-related issuer, with any single party if the net amount owed or to be received under existing contracts with that party would exceed 5% of that Underlying Fund's net assets.
SEC Regulatory Change.In October 2020, the SEC adopted a final rule related to the use of derivatives, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions by registered investment companies that will rescind and withdraw the guidance of the SEC and its staff regarding asset segregation and cover transactions reflected in the Underlying Funds' asset segregation and cover practices discussed herein. The final rule requires funds to trade derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations (except reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions) subject to a value-at-risk ('VaR') leverage limit, certain derivatives risk management program and reporting requirements. Generally, these requirements apply unless a fund qualifies as a 'limited derivatives user,' as defined in the final rule. Under the final rule, when a fund trades reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions, including certain tender option bonds, it needs to aggregate the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness when calculating the fund's asset coverage ratio or treat all such transactions as derivatives transactions. Reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions aggregated with other indebtedness do not need to be included in the calculation of whether a fund is a limited derivatives user, but for funds subject to the VaR testing, reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions must be included for purposes of such testing whether treated as derivatives transactions or not. The SEC also provided guidance in connection with the new rule regarding use of securities lending collateral that may limit the Underlying Funds' securities lending activities. Compliance with these new requirements will be required after an eighteen-month transition period. Following the compliance date, these requirements may limit the ability of an Underlying Fund to use derivatives and reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may increase the cost of an Underlying Fund's investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors.
Structured Notes. The Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds may invest in structured notes. Structured notes are derivative debt instruments, the interest rate or principal of which is determined by an unrelated indicator (for example, a currency, security, commodity or index thereof). The terms of the instrument may be 'structured' by the purchaser and the borrower issuing the note. The terms of structured notes may provide that in certain circumstances no principal is due at maturity, which may result in a loss of invested capital. Structured notes may be positively or negatively indexed, so that appreciation of the unrelated indicator may produce an increase or a decrease in the interest rate or the value of the structured note at maturity may be calculated as a specified multiple of the change in the value of the unrelated indicator. Structured notes may entail a greater degree of market risk than other types of debt securities because the investor bears the risk of the unrelated indicator. Further, the change in the principal amount payable with respect to, or the interest rate of, a structured note may be a multiple of the percentage change (positive or negative) in the value of the underlying reference instrument(s). Therefore, structured notes may be more volatile, relatively less liquid and more difficult to accurately price than less complex securities and instruments or more traditional debt securities. To the extent an Underlying Fund invests in these notes and securities, however, these notes are analyzed in the overall assessment of the effective duration of the Underlying Fund's holdings in an effort to monitor the Underlying Fund's interest rate risk.
Commodity-linked notes are a type of structured note. Commodity-linked notes are privately negotiated structured debt securities indexed to the return of an index such as the Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return (formerly, the Dow Jones - UBS Commodity Index Total Return), which is representative of the commodities market. They are available from a limited number of approved issuers, and all invested amounts are exposed to the issuer's credit risk. Commodity-linked notes may be leveraged. For example, if a fund invests $100 in a three-times leveraged commodity-linked note, it will exchange $100 principal with the dealer to obtain $300 exposure to the commodities market because the value of the note will change by a magnitude of three for every percentage change (positive or negative) in the value of the underlying index. This means a $100 note would be worth $70 if the commodity index decreased by 10 percent. Structured notes also are subject to credit risk of the dealer.
Uncovered Options Transactions.The Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income, Multi-Asset Growth Strategy and certain other Underlying Fixed Income Funds may write options that are not covered (or so called 'naked options'). When an Underlying Fund sells an uncovered call option, it does not simultaneously have a long position in the underlying security. When an Underlying Fund sells an uncovered put option, it does not simultaneously have a short position in the underlying security. Uncovered options are riskier than covered options because there is no underlying security held by the Underlying Fund that can act as a partial hedge. Uncovered calls have speculative characteristics and the potential for loss is unlimited. There is also a risk, especially with relatively less liquid preferred and debt securities, that the securities may not be available for purchase. Uncovered call and put options have speculative characteristics and the potential loss is substantial.
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Stand-By Commitment Agreements. The Commodity Strategies, Multi-Strategy Income, Multi-Asset Growth Strategy and certain other Underlying Fixed Income Funds may invest in 'stand-by commitments' with respect to securities held in their portfolios. Under a stand-by commitment, a dealer agrees to purchase at an Underlying Fund's option specified securities at a specified price. An Underlying Fund's right to exercise stand-by commitments is unconditional and unqualified. Stand-by commitments acquired by an Underlying Fund may also be referred to as 'put' options. A stand-by commitment is not transferable by an Underlying Fund, although an Underlying Fund can sell the underlying securities to a third party at any time. The principal risk of stand-by commitments is that the writer of a commitment may default on its obligation to repurchase the securities. When investing in stand-by commitments, an Underlying Fund will seek to enter into stand-by commitments only with brokers, dealers and banks that are believed to present minimal credit risks. An Underlying Fund acquires stand-by commitments only in order to facilitate portfolio liquidity and does not expect to exercise its rights under stand-by commitments for trading purposes.
The amount payable to an Underlying Fund upon its exercise of a stand-by commitment is normally (i) the Underlying Fund's acquisition cost of the securities (excluding any accrued interest which the Underlying Fund paid on their acquisition), less any amortized market premium or plus any amortized market or original issue discount during the period the Underlying Fund owned the securities, plus (ii) all interest accrued on the securities since the last interest payment date during that period. An Underlying Fund expects that stand-by commitments will generally be available without the payment of any direct or indirect consideration. However, if necessary or advisable, an Underlying Fund may pay for a stand-by commitment either separately in cash or by paying a higher price for portfolio securities which are acquired subject to the commitment (thus reducing the yield-to-maturity otherwise available for the same securities). The total amount paid in either manner for outstanding stand-by commitments held in an Underlying Fund's portfolio will not exceed 1/2 of 1% of the value of the Underlying Fund's total assets calculated immediately after each stand-by commitment is acquired.
The acquisition of a stand-by commitment would not affect the valuation or assumed maturity of the underlying securities. Stand-by commitments acquired by an Underlying Fund would be valued at zero in determining net asset value. Where an Underlying Fund paid any consideration directly or indirectly for a stand-by commitment, its cost would be reflected as unrealized depreciation for the period during which the commitment was held by the Underlying Fund.
The Internal Revenue Service ('IRS') has issued a revenue ruling to the effect that a regulated investment company will be treated for federal income tax purposes as the owner of the municipal obligations acquired subject to a stand-by commitment and the interest on the municipal obligations will be tax-exempt to an Underlying Fund.
Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates. The Unconstrained Total Return, Commodity Strategies and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds may invest in custodial receipts and trust certificates, which may be underwritten by securities dealers or banks, representinginterests in securities held by a custodian or trustee. The securities so held may include U.S. Government securities, municipal securities orother types of securities in which the Underlying Funds may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates are underwritten by securities dealers or banksand may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, thepayment obligation of a third party that has entered into an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For certainsecurities laws purposes, custodial receipts and trust certificates may not be considered obligations of the U.S. Government or other issuer ofthe securities held by the custodian or trustee. As a holder of custodial receipts and trust certificates, an Underlying Fund will bear its proportionate share ofthe fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. Each Underlying Fund may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receiptsand trust certificates.
Although under the terms of a custodial receipt or trust certificate an Underlying Fund would be typically authorized to assert its rights directly against the issuer of the underlying obligation, an Underlying Fund could be required to assert through the custodian bank or trustee those rights as may exist against the underlying issuers. Thus, in the event an underlying issuer fails to pay principal and/or interest when due, an Underlying Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if an Underlying Fund had purchased a direct obligation of the issuer. In addition, in the event that the trust or custodial account in which the underlying securities have been deposited is determined to be an association taxable as a corporation, instead of a non-taxable entity, the yield on the underlying securities would be reduced in recognition of any taxes paid.
Certain custodial receipts and trust certificates may be synthetic or derivative instruments that have interest rates that reset inversely to changing short-term rates and/or have embedded interest rate floors and caps that require the issuer to pay an adjusted interest rate if market rates fall below or rise above a specified rate. Because some of these instruments represent relatively recent innovations, and the trading market for these instruments is less developed than the markets for traditional types of instruments, it is uncertain how these instruments will perform under different economic and interest-rate scenarios. Also, because these instruments may be leveraged, their market values may be more volatile than other types of fixed income instruments and may present greater potential for capital gain or loss. The possibility of default by an issuer or the issuer's
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credit provider may be greater for these derivative instruments than for other types of instruments. In some cases, it may be difficult to determine the fair value of a derivative instrument because of a lack of reliable objective information and an established secondary market for some instruments may not exist. In many cases, the IRS has not ruled on the tax treatment of the interest or payments received on the derivative instruments and, accordingly, purchases of such instruments are based on the opinion of counsel to the sponsors of the instruments.
Taxes
Distributions of Net Investment Income.Each Fund's income consists of dividends and interest, including dividends it receives from the Underlying Funds, less the estimated expenses of the Fund. Any distributions by a Fund from such income (other than certain qualified dividend income, described below) will be taxable to you as ordinary income, whether you receive them in cash or in additional shares.
If you are an individual investor, a portion of the dividends you receive from certain Funds may be treated as 'qualified dividend income' which is taxable to individuals at the same rates that are applicable to long-term capital gains. A Fund's distribution is treated as qualified dividend income to the extent that an Underlying Fund receives dividend income from taxable domestic corporations and certain qualified foreign corporations, and distributes that income as a qualified dividend, provided that certain holding period and other requirements are met. Fund distributions generally will not qualify as qualified dividend income to the extent attributable to interest, capital gains, REIT distributions and, in many cases, distributions from non-U.S. corporations. For individual and other non-corporate taxpayers, the maximum rate applicable to qualified dividend income is 20%. It is not expected that any portion of the Commodity Strategies Fund's distributions will be eligible to be treated as qualified dividend income.
Distributions of Capital Gain.An Underlying Fund may realize capital gain or loss in connection with sales or other dispositions of its portfolio securities. Any net capital gains may be distributed to a Fund as capital gain distributions. A Fund may also derive capital gains and losses in connection with sales or other dispositions of its portfolio securities, including shares of the Underlying Funds. Distributions from net short-term capital gain are taxable to you as ordinary income. Distributions from net long-term capital gain are taxable to you as long-term capital gain, regardless of how long you have held your shares in a Fund. Capital gain generally will be distributed once each year, and may be distributed more frequently, if necessary, to reduce or eliminate excise or income taxes on the Fund. For individual and other non-corporate taxpayers, the maximum rate applicable to long-term capital gains is 20%.
Medicare Tax. An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from a Fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of Fund Shares) of U.S. individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person's 'modified adjusted gross income' (in the case of an individual) or 'adjusted gross income' (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds a threshold amount.
Effect of Foreign Investments on Distributions.Most foreign exchange gain realized on the sale of debt securities is treated as ordinary income by a Fund or an Underlying Fund. Similarly, foreign exchange loss realized on the sale of debt securities by a Fund or an Underlying Fund generally is treated as ordinary loss. This gain when distributed will be taxable to you as ordinary income, and any loss will reduce the ordinary income otherwise available for distribution to you. This treatment could increase or decrease a Fund's ordinary income distributions to you and may cause some or all of the previously distributed income of a Fund or an Underlying Fund to be classified as a return of capital. A return of capital generally is not taxable, but if distributed to you by a Fund, reduces your tax basis in your shares of the Fund and, if distributed to a Fund by an Underlying Fund, reduces the Fund's tax basis in its shares of the Underlying Fund. Any return of capital in excess of such tax basis is taxable to you (if distributed to you by a Fund) or to a Fund (if distributed to the Fund by an Underlying Fund) as a capital gain.
Certain Funds and Underlying Funds may be subject to foreign withholding taxes on income from certain foreign securities. This could reduce the ordinary income distributions to you.
If more than 50% of an Underlying Fund's assets at the close of its taxable year consist of stock or securities of foreign corporations, the Underlying Fund may elect to pass through to its shareholders the ability (subject to certain limitations) to claim a foreign tax credit or deduction for certain foreign taxes paid by the Underlying Fund. If a Fund invests in such an Underlying Fund, it may in turn elect to pass this ability on to you, provided that at least 50% of the value of the Fund's total assets at the close of each quarter of its taxable year is invested in other regulated investment companies.
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Distributions of Exempt-Interest Dividends.If at least 50% of the value of an Underlying Fund's assets at the end of each quarter of its taxable year consist of certain tax-exempt obligations, the Underlying Fund may pass through to its shareholders, as exempt-interest dividends, the tax-exempt interest received by the Underlying Fund. If a Fund invests in such an Underlying Fund, it may in turn elect to pay to you, as exempt-interest dividends, any exempt-interest dividends so received from the Underlying Fund, provided that at least 50% of the value of the Fund's total assets at the close of each quarter of its taxable year is invested in other regulated investment companies.
Information on the Amount and Tax Character of Distributions.Each Fund will inform you of the amount of your ordinary income and capital gain dividends at the time they are paid, and will advise you of its tax status for federal income tax purposes shortly after the end of each calendar year. If you have not held Fund shares for a full year, a Fund may report and distribute to you, as ordinary income or capital gain, a percentage of income that may not be equal to the actual amount of this type of income earned during the period of your investment in the Fund. Taxable distributions declared by a Fund in October, November or December to shareholders of record in such a month but paid in January are taxable to you as if they were paid in December.
Election to be Taxed as a Regulated Investment Company.Each Fund intends to elect or has elected to be treated as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code. Each Fund that has been in existence for more than one year has qualified as a regulated investment company for its most recent fiscal year, and intends to continue to qualify during the current fiscal year. As a regulated investment company, a Fund generally pays no federal income tax on the income and gain it distributes to you. The Board of Trustees reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of a Fund as a regulated investment company if it determines such a course of action to be beneficial to shareholders. In such a case, the Fund would be subject to federal, and possibly state, corporate taxes on its taxable income and gain, and distributions to you would be taxed as ordinary dividend income to the extent of the Fund's earnings and profits.
Excise Tax Distribution Requirements.To avoid federal excise taxes, the Code requires a Fund to distribute to you by December 31 of each year, at a minimum, the following amounts: 98% of its taxable ordinary income earned during the calendar year; 98.2% of its capital gain net income earned during the twelve-month period ending October 31; and 100% of any undistributed amounts from the prior year. Each Fund intends to declare and pay these distributions in December (or to pay them in January, in which case you must treat them as received in December) but can give no assurances that its distributions will be sufficient to eliminate all taxes.
Redemption of Fund Shares.Redemptions (including redemptions in kind) and exchanges of Fund shares are taxable transactions for federal and state income tax purposes. If you redeem your Fund shares, or exchange them for shares of a different RIC Fund, the IRS will require that you report any gain or loss on your redemption or exchange. If you held your shares as a capital asset, the gain or loss that you realize will be capital gain or loss and will be long-term or short-term, generally depending on how long you held your shares.
Redemptions at a Loss Within Six Months of Purchase.Any loss incurred on a redemption or exchange of shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of any long-term capital gain distributed to you by a Fund on those shares.
Wash Sales.All or a portion of any loss that you realize on a redemption of your Fund shares is disallowed to the extent that you buy other shares in the Fund (through reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within 30 days before or after your share redemption. Any loss disallowed under these rules is added to your tax basis in the new shares.
U.S. Government Securities.The income earned on certain U.S. government securities is generally exempt from state and local personal income taxes if earned directly by you. States also grant tax-free status to dividends paid to you from interest earned on these securities, subject in some states to minimum investment or reporting requirements that must be met by a Fund. Dividends paid by a Fund may not be exempt from state and local taxes in certain states when the Fund invests in U.S. government securities only indirectly by investing in an Underlying Fund. The income on Underlying Fund investments in certain securities, such as repurchase agreements, commercial paper and federal agency-backed obligations (e.g., Government National Mortgage Association ('GNMA') or Federal National Mortgage Association ('FNMA') securities), generally does not qualify for tax-free treatment. The rules on exclusion of this income are different for corporations.
Dividends-Received Deduction for Corporations.If you are a corporate shareholder, a percentage of the dividends paid by certain Funds for the most recent fiscal year may have qualified for the dividends-received deduction. You may be allowed to deduct a portion of these qualified dividends, thereby reducing the tax that you would otherwise be required to pay on these dividends, if certain holding period and other requirements are met. The dividends-received deduction will be available only
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with respect to dividends reported by a Fund as eligible for such treatment. If a Fund's income is derived primarily from either investments in foreign rather than domestic securities or interest rather than dividends, generally none of its distributions are expected to qualify for the corporate dividends-received deduction. None of the Commodity Strategies Fund's distributions are expected to qualify for the corporate dividends-received deduction.
Investment in Complex Securities.Certain Underlying Funds may invest in complex securities that may be subject to numerous special and complex tax rules. These rules could affect whether gain or loss recognized by the Underlying Fund is treated as ordinary or capital, or as interest or dividend income. These rules could also accelerate the recognition of income to the Underlying Fund (possibly causing the Underlying Fund to sell securities to raise the cash for necessary distributions). These rules could defer the Underlying Fund's ability to recognize a loss, and, in limited cases, subject the Underlying Fund to U.S. federal income tax on income from certain foreign securities. These rules could, therefore, affect the amount, timing or character of the income distributed by an Underlying Fund to a Fund and by a Fund to you.
Non-U.S. Investors.Non-U.S. investors are generally subject to U.S. withholding tax and may be subject to U.S. estate taxes, and are subject to special U.S. tax certification requirements. A portion of Fund distributions received by a non-U.S. investor may be exempt from U.S. withholding tax to the extent attributable to U.S. source interest income and short-term capital gains earned by a Fund or an Underlying Fund if properly reported by the Fund. If a non-U.S. investor were to hold an interest of more than 5% in a Fund that were deemed to be a 'U.S. real property holding company' by reason of holding significant interests (other than as a creditor) in other U.S. real property holding companies (including REITs) or 'U.S. real property,' certain Fund distributions could be taxable to such investor and require the investor to file U.S. tax returns and may also be subject to withholding taxes. Non-U.S. investors holding an interest of 5% or less in such a Fund may be subject to withholding tax with respect to certain Fund distributions that are attributable to U.S. real property gains, as well as ordinary income dividends.
A Fund will be required to withhold U.S. tax (at a 30% rate) on payments of dividends made to certain non-U.S. entities that fail to comply or be deemed compliant with extensive reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. Shareholders may be requested to provide additional information to a Fund to enable the Fund to determine whether withholding is required.
Backup Withholding.By law, each Fund must withhold a portion of your taxable distributions and redemption proceeds unless you provide your correct social security or taxpayer identification number, certify that this number is correct, certify that you are not subject to backup withholding, and certify that you are a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien) or (if applicable) certify that you are exempt from backup withholding. A Fund also must withhold if the IRS instructs it to do so. When withholding is required, the rate is 24%.
Tax Treatment of Commodity-Linked Swaps and Structured Notes. The IRS has issued rulings that provide that in order for funds such as the Commodity Strategies and Multi-Asset Growth Strategy Funds to qualify as regulated investment companies under the Code, the income derived from commodity-linked swaps must be limited to a maximum of 10% of each Fund's gross income.
However, the IRS has also issued private letter rulings to other taxpayers in which the IRS specifically concluded that income from certain commodity index-linked notes is qualifying income and that income derived from a wholly-owned subsidiary will also constitute qualifying income, even if the subsidiary itself owns commodity-linked swaps and other commodity-linked derivative instruments, including commodity options, futures and options on futures. Although those private letter rulings can be relied on only by the taxpayers to whom they were issued, based on the reasoning in such rulings, the Underlying Funds intend to seek to gain exposure to the commodity markets primarily through investments in commodity index-linked notes and, through investments in their respective Subsidiaries, commodity-linked swaps and other commodity-linked derivative instruments. The IRS subsequently issued a revenue procedure, which states that the IRS will not in the future issue private letter rulings that would require a determination of whether an asset (such as a commodity index-linked note) is a 'security' under the 1940 Act. In connection with the issuance of this revenue procedure, the IRS revoked its previously issued commodity index-linked notes private letter rulings. The IRS also issued proposed regulations that, if finalized, would generally have treated the Underlying Funds' income inclusions with respect to a subsidiary as qualifying income only if there was a distribution out of the earnings and profits of a subsidiary that was attributable to such income inclusion. Final regulations applicable to taxable years beginning on or after September 28, 2016, also treat an Underlying Fund's income inclusions with respect to a subsidiary as qualifying income, without requiring a corresponding distribution, if such inclusions are derived with respect to the Underlying Fund's business of investing in stock, securities or currencies. There can be no assurance that the IRS will not change its position that income derived from commodity-linked notes and wholly-owned subsidiaries is qualifying income. The ability of the Underlying Funds to qualify for favorable regulated investment company status under the Code could be jeopardized if the Underlying Funds were unable to treat its income from commodity-linked
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notes and their Subsidiaries as qualifying income. Furthermore, the tax treatment of commodity-linked notes, other commodity-linked derivatives and the Underlying Funds' investments in their respective Subsidiaries may otherwise be adversely affected by future legislation, Treasury Regulations and/or guidance issued by the IRS that could affect the character, timing and/or amount of the Underlying Funds' taxable income or any gains and distributions made by the Underlying Funds.
Neither Subsidiary is expected to be subject to U.S. federal income tax. They will, however, be considered controlled foreign corporations, and the Underlying Funds will be required to include as ordinary income annually amounts earned by their respective Subsidiaries during that year. Furthermore, the Underlying Funds, as regulated investment companies, will be required to distribute their respective Subsidiaries' income, whether or not their respective Subsidiaries make distributions to the Underlying Funds during the taxable year. Any losses of either Subsidiary will generally only be available to offset any income of that Subsidiary in the same year. Payments to a Subsidiary of U.S. source income will be subject to U.S. withholding tax (at a 30% rate) if the Subsidiary fails to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the U.S. Department of the Treasury of U.S.-owned foreign investment accounts. Pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement between the United States and the Cayman Islands, each Subsidiary may be deemed compliant, and therefore not subject to the withholding tax if it complies with applicable Cayman regulatory requirements. Detailed guidance as to the mechanics and scope of this reporting and withholding regime is continuing to develop.
Tax Considerations Relating to REIT and MLP Investments.For taxable years beginning after 2017 and before 2026, non-corporate taxpayers generally may deduct 20% of 'qualified business income' derived either directly or through partnerships or S corporations. For this purpose, 'qualified business income' generally includes ordinary REIT dividends and income derived from MLP investments. A Fund may pass through to shareholders the character of ordinary REIT dividends so as to allow non-corporate shareholders to claim this deduction. There currently is no mechanism for an Underlying Fund that invests in MLPs to similarly pass through to non-corporate shareholders the character of income derived from MLP investments. It is uncertain whether future legislation or other guidance will enable the Underlying Funds and Funds to pass through to non-corporate shareholders the ability to claim this deduction with respect to income derived from MLP investments.
At October 31, 2020, the following Funds had net tax basis capital loss carryforwards which may be applied against any net realized taxable gains in each succeeding year or until their respective expiration dates, whichever occurs first. Net capital losses incurred in portfolio transactions for taxable years beginning after December 22, 2010 will not expire. Available capital loss carryforwards and expiration dates are as follows:
Funds No Expiration No Expiration TOTAL
Short-Term Long-Term
Moderate Strategy Fund $1,906,028 $ - $1,906,028
Balanced Strategy Fund 19,226,789 - 19,226,789
Equity Growth Strategy Fund 21,803,975 1,971,252 23,775,227
You should consult your tax adviser about federal, state, local or foreign tax consequences of your investment in the Funds.
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credit Rating definitions
MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. (MOODY'S):
Long-Term Obligation Ratings
Aaa -- Obligations rated 'Aaa' are judged to be of the highest quality, subject to the lowest level of credit risk.
Aa -- Obligations rated 'Aa' are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.
A -- Obligations rated 'A' are judged to be upper-medium grade and are subject to low credit risk.
Baa -- Obligations rated 'Baa' are judged to be medium-grade and subject to moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics.
Ba -- Obligations rated 'Ba' are judged to be speculative and are subject to substantial credit risk.
B -- Obligations rated 'B' are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.
Caa -- Obligations rated 'Caa' are judged to be speculative and of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.
Ca -- Obligations rated 'Ca' are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.
C -- Obligations rated 'C' are the lowest rated and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.
Moody's appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa. The modifier 1 indicates that the obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category.
STANDARD & POOR'S RATINGS GROUP ('S&P'):
Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings
AAA -- An obligation rated 'AAA' has the highest rating assigned by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is extremely strong.
AA -- An obligation rated 'AA' differs from the highest-rated obligations only to a small degree. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is very strong.
A -- An obligation rated 'A' is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories. However, the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is still strong.
BBB -- An obligation rated 'BBB' exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
BB, B, CCC, CC, C -- Obligations rated 'BB', 'B', 'CCC', 'CC', and 'C' are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. 'BB' indicates the least degree of speculation and 'C' the highest. While such obligations will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposures to adverse conditions.
BB -- An obligation rated 'BB' is less vulnerable to nonpayment than other speculative issues. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions which could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
B -- An obligation rated 'B' is more vulnerable to nonpayment than obligations rated 'BB', but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor's capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
CCC -- An obligation rated 'CCC' is currently vulnerable to nonpayment, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
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CC -- An obligation rated 'CC' is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The 'CC' rating is used when a default has not yet occurred but S&P Global Ratings expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.
C -- An obligation rated 'C' is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared to obligations that are rated higher.
D -- An obligation rated 'D' is in payment default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the 'D' rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the due date, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within five business days in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The 'D' rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation's rating is lowered to 'D' if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.
Plus (+) or minus (-)
The ratings from 'AA' to 'CCC' may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.
NR -- This indicates that no rating has been requested, that there is insufficient information on which to base a rating, or that S&P Global Ratings does not rate a particular obligation as a matter of policy.
FITCH INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. ('FITCH'):
Long-Term Ratings Scales
AAA -- Highest credit quality. 'AAA' ratings denote the lowest expectation of default risk. They are assigned only in cases of exceptionally strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is highly unlikely to be adversely affected by foreseeable events.
AA -- Very high credit quality. 'AA' ratings denote expectations of very low default risk. They indicate very strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is not significantly vulnerable to foreseeable events.
A -- High credit quality. 'A' ratings denote expectations of low default risk. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered strong. This capacity may, nevertheless, be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic conditions than is the case for higher ratings.
BBB -- Good credit quality. 'BBB' ratings indicate that expectations of default risk are currently low. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate but adverse business or economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity.
BB -- Speculative. 'BB' ratings indicate an elevated vulnerability to default risk, particularly in the event of adverse changes in business or economic conditions over time; however, business or financial flexibility exists which supports the servicing of financial commitments.
B -- Highly speculative. 'B' ratings indicate that material default risk is present, but a limited margin of safety remains. Financial commitments are currently being met; however, capacity for continued payment is vulnerable to deterioration in the business and economic environment.
CCC -- Substantial credit risk. Default is a real possibility.
CC -- Very high levels of credit risk. Default of some kind appears probable.
C -- Exceptionally high levels of credit risk. Default is imminent or inevitable, or the issuer is in standstill. Conditions that are indicative of a 'C' category rating for an issuer include:
the issuer has entered into a grace or cure period following non-payment of a material financial obligation;
the issuer has entered into a temporary negotiated waiver or standstill agreement following a payment default on a material financial obligation; or
Fitch Ratings otherwise believes a condition of 'RD' or 'D' to be imminent or inevitable, including through the formal announcement of a distressed debt exchange.
RD -- Restricted default.
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'RD' ratings indicate an issuer that in Fitch Ratings' opinion has experienced an uncured payment default on a bond, loan or other material financial obligation but which has not entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedure, and which has not otherwise ceased operating. This would include:
the selective payment default on a specific class or currency of debt;
the uncured expiry of any applicable grace period, cure period or default forbearance period following a payment default on a bank loan, capital markets security or other material financial obligation;
the extension of multiple waivers or forbearance periods upon a payment default on one or more material financial obligations, either in series or in parallel; and
execution of a distressed debt exchange on one or more material financial obligations.
D -- Default. 'D' ratings indicate an issuer that in Fitch Ratings' opinion has entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedure, or which has otherwise ceased business.
Default ratings are not assigned prospectively to entities or their obligations; within this context, non-payment on an instrument that contains a deferral feature or grace period will generally not be considered a default until after the expiration of the deferral or grace period, unless a default is otherwise driven by bankruptcy or other similar circumstance, or by a distressed debt exchange.
'Imminent' default typically refers to the occasion where a payment default has been intimated by the issuer, and is all but inevitable. This may, for example, be where an issuer has missed a scheduled payment, but (as is typical) has a grace period during which it may cure the payment default. Another alternative would be where an issuer has formally announced a distressed debt exchange, but the date of the exchange still lies several days or weeks in the immediate future.
In all cases, the assignment of a default rating reflects the agency's opinion as to the most appropriate rating category consistent with the rest of its universe of ratings, and may differ from the definition of default under the terms of an issuer's financial obligations or local commercial practice.
Note to Long-Term Ratings:
The modifiers '+' or '-' may be appended to a rating to denote relative status within major rating categories. Such suffixes are not added to the 'AAA' Long-Term IDR category, or to Long-Term IDR categories below 'B'.
SECTOR SPECIFIC CREDIT RATING SERVICES
U.S. Municipal Short-Term Debt and Demand Obligation Ratings
MOODY'S:
Short-Term Obligation Ratings
There are three rating categories for short-term municipal obligations that are considered investment grade. These ratings are designated as Municipal Investment Grade (MIG) and are divided into three levels - MIG 1 through MIG 3. In addition, those short-term obligations that are of speculative quality are designated SG, or speculative grade. MIG ratings expire at the maturity of the obligation.
MIG-1 -- This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by established cash flows, highly reliable liquidity support, or demonstrated broad-based access to the market for refinancing.
MIG-2 -- This designation denotes strong credit quality. Margins of protection are ample, although not as large as in the preceding group.
MIG-3 -- This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Liquidity and cash-flow protection may be narrow, and market access for refinancing is likely to be less well-established.
SG -- This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Debt instruments in this category may lack sufficient margins of protection.
In the case of variable rate demand obligations (VRDOs), a two-component rating is assigned; a long or short-term debt rating and a demand obligation rating. The first element represents Moody's evaluation of risk associated with scheduled principal and interest payments. The second element represents Moody's evaluation of risk associated with the ability to receive purchase price upon demand ('demand feature'), using a variation of the MIG rating scale, the Variable Municipal Investment Grade or VMIG rating.
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VMIG 1 -- This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by the superior short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
VMIG 2 -- This designation denotes strong credit quality. Good protection is afforded by the strong short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
VMIG 3 -- This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Adequate protection is afforded by the satisfactory short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
SG -- This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Demand features rated in this category may be supported by a liquidity provider that does not have an investment grade short-term rating or may lack the structural and/or legal protections necessary to ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
S&P:
An S&P Global Ratings U.S. municipal note rating reflects S&P Global Ratings' opinion about the liquidity factors and market access risks unique to the notes. Notes due in three years or less will likely receive a note rating. Notes with an original maturity of more than three years will most likely receive a long-term debt rating. In determining which type of rating, if any, to assign, S&P Global Ratings' analysis will review the following considerations:
Amortization schedule-the larger the final maturity relative to other maturities, the more likely it will be treated as a note; and
Source of payment-the more dependent the issue is on the market for its refinancing, the more likely it will be treated as a note.
Note rating symbols are as follows:
SP-1 -- Strong capacity to pay principal and interest. An issue determined to possess very strong capacity to pay debt service is given a plus (+) designation.
SP-2 -- Satisfactory capacity to pay principal and interest, with some vulnerability to adverse financial and economic changes over the term of the notes.
SP-3 -- Speculative capacity to pay principal and interest.
SHORT-TERM RATINGS
MOODY'S:
Prime-1 -- Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-1 have a superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
Prime-2 -- Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-2 have a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
Prime-3 -- Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-3 have an acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.
NP -- Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.
S&P:
A-1 -- A short-term obligation rated 'A-1' is rated in the highest category by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is strong. Within this category, certain obligations are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on these obligations is extremely strong.
A-2 -- A short-term obligation rated 'A-2' is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rating categories. However, the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is satisfactory.
A-3 -- A short-term obligation rated 'A-3' exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
B -- A short-term obligation rated 'B' is regarded as vulnerable and has significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties which could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.
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C -- A short-term obligation rated 'C' is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
D -- A short-term obligation rated 'D' is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the 'D' rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The 'D' rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation's rating is lowered to 'D' if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.
FITCH:
Short Term Ratings
F1 -- Highest short-term credit quality. Indicates the strongest intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments; may have an added '+' to denote any exceptionally strong credit feature.
F2 -- Good short-term credit quality. Good intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.
F3 -- Fair short-term credit quality. The intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments is adequate.
B -- Speculative short-term credit quality. Minimal capacity for timely payment of financial commitments, plus heightened vulnerability to near term adverse changes in financial and economic conditions.
C -- High short-term default risk. Default is a real possibility.
RD -- Restricted default. Indicates an entity that has defaulted on one or more of its financial commitments, although it continues to meet other financial obligations. Typically applicable to entity ratings only.
D -- Default. Indicates a broad-based default event for an entity, or the default of a short-term obligation.
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Financial Statements
The 2020 annual financial statements of the Funds, including notes to the financial statements and financial highlights and the Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm, are included in the Funds' Annual Report to Shareholders. The Funds' Annual Reportis incorporated herein by reference and is available free of charge on the Funds' website at https://russellinvestments.com or by calling Russell Investments at 1-800-787-7354.
The 2020 annual financial statements of the Underlying Funds, including notes to the financial statements and financial highlights and the Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm, are included in the Underlying Funds' Annual Reports to Shareholders. A copy of the Underlying Funds' Annual Reportis incorporated herein by reference and is available free of charge by calling Russell Investments Services at 1-800-787-7354.
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Appendix
At January 31, 2021, the following shareholders owned of record or were known by the Funds to beneficially own 5% or more of any Class of a Fund's Shares.
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN ST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 8.04%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES LLC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMER 2801 MARKET ST SAINT LOUIS MO 63103-2523, 8.08%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 68.39%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 6.63%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN ST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 8.23%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES LLC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMER 2801 MARKET ST SAINT LOUIS MO 63103-2523, 20.25%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- RAYMOND JAMES OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS HOUSE ACCT FIRM 92500015 ATTN COURTNEY WALLER 880 CARILLON PARKWAY ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1102, 26.32%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 27.83%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- AUL AMERICAN UNIT INVESTMENT TRUST ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 5.31%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- GREAT-WEST TRUST COMPANY LLC FBO EMPLOYEE BENEFITS CLIENTS 401K 8515 E ORCHARD RD 2T2 GREENWOOD VILLAGE CO 80111-5002, 5.66%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 9.82%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- NONAB & CO FBO NORTHERN TIER VETERINARY CLINIC 90 MAIN ST WELLSBORO PA 16901-1517, 11.51%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENE OF OUR CUSTOMER ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 29.47%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- AUL GROUP RETIREMENT ANNUITY SEPARATE ACCOUNT II ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 30.15%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS R4 - JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NEW YORK JHRPS TRADING OPS ST-6 200 BERKELEY ST BOSTON MA 02116-5022, 5.27%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS R4 - JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY USA JHRPS TRADING OPS ST-6 200 BERKELEY ST BOSTON MA 02116-5022, 88.04%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- AUL AMERICAN UNIT INVESTMENT TRUST ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 12.02%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- DCGT AS TTEE AND/OR CUST FBO PLIC VARIOUS RETIREMENT PLANS OMNIBUS ATTN NPIO TRADE DESK 711 HIGH STREET DES MOINES IA 50392-0001, 32.80%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- AUL GROUP RETIREMENT ANNUITY SEPARATE ACCOUNT II ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 36.79%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- TD AMERITRADE INC FBO OUR CUSTOMERS PO BOX 2226 OMAHA NE 68103-2226, 5.84%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCOUNT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS ATTN: MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN STREET SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 6.55%
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BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 9.57%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- RAYMOND JAMES OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS HOUSE ACCT FIRM 92500015 ATTN COURTNEY WALLER 880 CARILLON PARKWAY ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1102, 24.26%
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENE OF OUR CUSTOMER ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 35.40%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- RBC CAPITAL MARKETS LLC ATTN MUTUAL FUND OPS MANAGER 60 S 6TH ST-P08 MINNEAPOLIS MN 55402-4413, 5.49%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES LLC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMER 2801 MARKET ST SAINT LOUIS MO 63103-2523, 6.30%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN ST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 6.74%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 66.87%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 7.52%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES LLC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMER 2801 MARKET ST SAINT LOUIS MO 63103-2523, 12.15%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN ST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 17.94%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- RAYMOND JAMES OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS HOUSE ACCT FIRM 92500015 ATTN COURTNEY WALLER 880 CARILLON PARKWAY ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1102, 25.75%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 27.39%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- ATTN KARI PATTERSON PACIFICSOURCE HLTH PLANS FBO PACIFICSOURCE DEF COMP 110 INTERNATIONAL WAY SPRINGFIELD OR 97477-1034, 6.36%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- AUL GROUP RETIREMENT ANNUITY SEPARATE ACCOUNT II ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 22.35%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENE OF OUR CUSTOMER ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 59.72%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R4- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENE OF OUR CUSTOMER ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 5.36%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R4 - JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY USA JHRPS TRADING OPS ST-6 200 BERKELEY ST BOSTON MA 02116-5022, 89.84%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- GREAT-WEST LIFE & ANNUITY INSURANCE COMPANY 8515 E ORCHARD RD # 2T2 GREENWOOD VLG CO 80111-5002, 9.70%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- AUL GROUP RETIREMENT ANNUITY SEPARATE ACCOUNT II ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 12.42%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- AUL AMERICAN UNIT INVESTMENT TRUST ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 13.54%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- DCGT AS TTEE AND/OR CUST FBO PLIC VARIOUS RETIREMENT PLANS OMNIBUS ATTN NPIO TRADE DESK 711 HIGH STREET DES MOINES IA 50392-0001, 43.13%
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CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCOUNT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS ATTN: MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN STREET SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 6.18%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 6.46%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- TD AMERITRADE INC FBO OUR CUSTOMERS PO BOX 2226 OMAHA NE 68103-2226, 7.53%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- RAYMOND JAMES OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS HOUSE ACCT FIRM 92500015 ATTN COURTNEY WALLER 880 CARILLON PARKWAY ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1102, 12.65%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENE OF OUR CUSTOMER ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 47.41%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN ST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 8.63%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES LLC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMER 2801 MARKET ST SAINT LOUIS MO 63103-2523, 29.53%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 44.45%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- RBC CAPITAL MARKETS LLC ATTN MUTUAL FUND OPS MANAGER 60 S 6TH ST-P08 MINNEAPOLIS MN 55402-4413, 5.85%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN ST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 8.50%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 10.46%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 17.91%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- RAYMOND JAMES OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS HOUSE ACCT FIRM 92500015 ATTN COURTNEY WALLER 880 CARILLON PARKWAY ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1102, 24.63%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES LLC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMER 2801 MARKET ST SAINT LOUIS MO 63103-2523, 26.34%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCOUNT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS ATTN: MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN STREET SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 6.08%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- AUL AMERICAN UNIT INVESTMENT TRUST ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 10.04%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENE OF OUR CUSTOMER ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 15.92%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- AUL GROUP RETIREMENT ANNUITY SEPARATE ACCOUNT II ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 19.25%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 33.76%
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EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R4 - JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NEW YORK JHRPS TRADING OPS ST-6 200 BERKELEY ST BOSTON MA 02116-5022, 6.47%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R4 - JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY USA JHRPS TRADING OPS ST-6 200 BERKELEY ST BOSTON MA 02116-5022, 89.81%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- MID ATLANTIC TRUST COMPANY FBO MILLENNIUM PACKAGING, LP 401(K) PRO 1251 WATERFRONT PL STE 525 PITTSBURGH PA 15222-4228, 6.59%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- AUL AMERICAN UNIT INVESTMENT TRUST ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 17.81%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- AUL GROUP RETIREMENT ANNUITY SEPARATE ACCOUNT II ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 21.72%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- DCGT AS TTEE AND/OR CUST FBO PLIC VARIOUS RETIREMENT PLANS OMNIBUS ATTN NPIO TRADE DESK 711 HIGH STREET DES MOINES IA 50392-0001, 42.48%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- TD AMERITRADE INC FBO OUR CUSTOMERS PO BOX 2226 OMAHA NE 68103-2226, 7.80%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCOUNT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS ATTN: MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN STREET SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 9.88%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 11.19%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- RAYMOND JAMES OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS HOUSE ACCT FIRM 92500015 ATTN COURTNEY WALLER 880 CARILLON PARKWAY ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1102, 14.70%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENE OF OUR CUSTOMER ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 33.64%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES LLC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMER 2801 MARKET ST SAINT LOUIS MO 63103-2523, 6.33%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN ST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 7.81%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 73.74%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 6.28%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN ST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 8.12%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES LLC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMER 2801 MARKET ST SAINT LOUIS MO 63103-2523, 21.66%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- RAYMOND JAMES OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS HOUSE ACCT FIRM 92500015 ATTN COURTNEY WALLER 880 CARILLON PARKWAY ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1102, 24.42%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 28.62%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- MID ATLANTIC TRUST COMPANY FBO BETA INDUSTRIES, INC. 401(K) RETIRE 1251 WATERFRONT PL STE 525 PITTSBURGH PA 15222-4228, 6.23%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 8.80%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- AUL GROUP RETIREMENT ANNUITY SEPARATE ACCOUNT II ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 21.22%
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GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- AUL AMERICAN UNIT INVESTMENT TRUST ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 24.20%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENE OF OUR CUSTOMER ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 25.05%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R4 - JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NEW YORK JHRPS TRADING OPS ST-6 200 BERKELEY ST BOSTON MA 02116-5022, 5.36%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R4 - JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY USA JHRPS TRADING OPS ST-6 200 BERKELEY ST BOSTON MA 02116-5022, 90.07%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- MID ATLANTIC TRUST COMPANY FBO WILLIAM NEALE & CO., P.C. 1251 WATERFRONT PL STE 525 PITTSBURGH PA 15222-4228, 6.50%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- SMP HEALTH SYSTEM FBO EXEC NQ EXCESS OF SMP HEALTH ATTN AARON ALTON PO BOX 10007 FARGO ND 58106-0007, 7.12%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- AUL AMERICAN UNIT INVESTMENT TRUST ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 7.35%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- AUL GROUP RETIREMENT ANNUITY SEPARATE ACCOUNT II ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 27.88%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- DCGT AS TTEE AND/OR CUST FBO PLIC VARIOUS RETIREMENT PLANS OMNIBUS ATTN NPIO TRADE DESK 711 HIGH STREET DES MOINES IA 50392-0001, 34.89%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCOUNT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS ATTN: MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN STREET SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 5.56%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 10.36%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENE OF OUR CUSTOMER ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 25.12%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- RAYMOND JAMES OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS HOUSE ACCT FIRM 92500015 ATTN COURTNEY WALLER 880 CARILLON PARKWAY ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1102, 40.12%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES LLC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMER 2801 MARKET ST SAINT LOUIS MO 63103-2523, 6.31%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN ST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 6.85%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS A- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 71.12%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF OUR CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 6.58%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FBO CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN ST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 10.41%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- WELLS FARGO CLEARING SERVICES LLC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMER 2801 MARKET ST SAINT LOUIS MO 63103-2523, 15.21%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- RAYMOND JAMES OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS HOUSE ACCT FIRM 92500015 ATTN COURTNEY WALLER 880 CARILLON PARKWAY ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1102, 26.28%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS C- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 31.88%
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MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- MID ATLANTIC TRUST COMPANY FBO BETA INDUSTRIES, INC. 401(K) RETIRE 1251 WATERFRONT PL STE 525 PITTSBURGH PA 15222-4228, 5.29%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- MID ATLANTIC TRUST COMPANY FBO SURFACE MOUNT TECHNOLOGY CORPORATIO 1251 WATERFRONT PL STE 525 PITTSBURGH PA 15222-4228, 5.70%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- AUL GROUP RETIREMENT ANNUITY SEPARATE ACCOUNT II ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 12.70%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 13.97%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- AUL AMERICAN UNIT INVESTMENT TRUST ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 19.47%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R1- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENE OF OUR CUSTOMER ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 34.03%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R4 - JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NEW YORK JHRPS TRADING OPS ST-6 200 BERKELEY ST BOSTON MA 02116-5022, 5.19%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R4 - JOHN HANCOCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY USA JHRPS TRADING OPS ST-6 200 BERKELEY ST BOSTON MA 02116-5022, 82.85%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- AUL AMERICAN UNIT INVESTMENT TRUST ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 17.48%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- AUL GROUP RETIREMENT ANNUITY SEPARATE ACCOUNT II ATTN SEPARATE ACCOUNTS PO BOX 368 INDIANAPOLIS IN 46206-0368, 28.06%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS R5- DCGT AS TTEE AND/OR CUST FBO PLIC VARIOUS RETIREMENT PLANS OMNIBUS ATTN NPIO TRADE DESK 711 HIGH STREET DES MOINES IA 50392-0001, 41.44%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO INC SPECIAL CUSTODY A/C FBO CUSTOMERS ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN STREET SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 5.49%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- CHARLES SCHWAB & CO., INC SPECIAL CUSTODY ACCOUNT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT OF CUSTOMERS ATTN: MUTUAL FUNDS 211 MAIN STREET SAN FRANCISCO CA 94105-1905, 5.55%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 15.23%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- RAYMOND JAMES OMNIBUS FOR MUTUAL FUNDS HOUSE ACCT FIRM 92500015 ATTN COURTNEY WALLER 880 CARILLON PARKWAY ST PETERSBURG FL 33716-1102, 25.00%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND CLASS S- NATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC FOR THE EXCLUSIVE BENE OF OUR CUSTOMER ATTN MUTUAL FUNDS DEPT 4TH FL 499 WASHINGTON BLVD JERSEY CITY NJ 07310-1995, 30.13%
At January 31, 2021, the following shareholders could be deemed to 'control' the following Funds because such shareholder owns more than 25% of the voting Shares of the indicated Fund. A shareholder who 'controls' a Fund has the ability to exert a greater influence over the outcome of any proposals on which it is entitled to vote concerning the Fund than do non-controlling shareholders.
BALANCED STRATEGY FUND- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 40.25%
CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY FUND- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 34.63%
EQUITY GROWTH STRATEGY FUND- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 25.99%
GROWTH STRATEGY FUND- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 43.17%
MODERATE STRATEGY FUND- PERSHING LLC 1 PERSHING PLZ JERSEY CITY NJ 07399-2052, 42.53%
For information with respect to the Underlying Funds, refer to the Statement of Additional Information for the Underlying Funds.
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The Trustees and officers of RIC, as a group, own less than 1% of any Class of any Fund.
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