485BPOSGoldman Sachs ETF Trust 0001479026false<div style="display:none">~ http://www.gsamfunds.com/role/AnnualFundOperatingExpensesGoldmanSachsFutureTechLeadersEquityEtf column period compact * ~</div><div style="display:none">~ http://www.gsamfunds.com/role/ExpenseExampleTransposedGoldmanSachsFutureTechLeadersEquityEtf column period compact * ~</div>The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year. 0001479026 2021-04-09 2021-04-09 0001479026 gset:S000071430Member 2021-04-09 2021-04-09 0001479026 gset:S000071430Member gset:C000226526Member 2021-04-09 2021-04-09 iso4217:USD xbrli:pure
As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 9, 2021
1933 Act Registration
No. 333-200933
1940 Act Registration
No. 811-23013
 
 
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
FORM
N-1A
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
  
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
 
  
Pre-Effective Amendment No.
 
  
Post-Effective Amendment No. 328
 
and/or
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
  
THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940
 
  
Amendment No. 331
 
(Check appropriate box or boxes)
 
 
GOLDMAN SACHS ETF TRUST
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)
 
 
200 West Street
New York, New York 10282
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (212)
902-1000
CAROLINE L. KRAUS, ESQ.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC
200 West Street
New York, New York 10282
(Name and Address of Agent for Service)
Copies to:
STEPHEN H. BIER, ESQ.
ALLISON M. FUMAI, ESQ.
Dechert LLP
1095 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036
 
 
Approximate Date of Proposed Public Offering
: As soon as practicable after the effective date of the Registration Statement
It is proposed that this filing will become effective (check appropriate box)
 
 
immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)
 
on (date) pursuant to paragraph (b)
 
60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)
 
on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)
 
75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)
 
on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of rule 485.
If appropriate, check the following box:
 
 
this post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.
Title of Securities Being Registered:
Shares of the Goldman Sachs Future Tech Leaders Equity ETF
 
 
 

Prospectus
 
GOLDMAN SACHS ETF TRUST
 
April 9, 2021
 
 
Goldman Sachs Future Tech Leaders Equity ETF
 
 
 
NYSE Arca: GTEK
 
 
 
THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION HAS NOT APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED THESE SECURITIES OR PASSED UPON THE ADEQUACY OF THIS PROSPECTUS. ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
 
AN INVESTMENT IN THE FUND IS NOT A BANK DEPOSIT AND IS NOT INSURED BY THE FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY. AN INVESTMENT IN THE FUND INVOLVES INVESTMENT RISKS, AND YOU MAY LOSE MONEY IN THE FUND.
 
 
LOGO

Table of Contents
 
    
 
1
 
    
 
5
 
    
 
10
 
    
 
18
 
    
 
19
 
    
 
23
 
    
 
24
 
     24    
     24    
     25    
     26    
     26    
    
 
28
 
    
 
30
 
Appendix A
    
 
31
 
Appendix B
    
 
45
 

LOGO
 
Goldman Sachs Future Tech Leaders Equity ETF—Summary
Ticker: GTEK            Stock Exchange: NYSE Arca
Investment Objective
The Goldman Sachs Future Tech Leaders Equity ETF (the “Fund”) seeks long-term growth of capital.
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold and sell shares of the Fund. You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the table and Example below.
 
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
 
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
 
Management Fee
    0.75%  
Distribution and Service
(12b-1)
Fee
    0.00%  
Other Expenses
1
    0.00%  
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses
    0.75%  
 
1
The Fund’s “Other Expenses” have been estimated to reflect expenses expected to be incurred during the first fiscal year.
Expense Example
This Example is intended to help you compare the cost owning Shares of the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
 
1 Year
 
3 Years
$77
 
$240
Portfolio Turnover
The Fund may pay transaction costs when it buys and sells securities or instruments (
i.e.
, “turns over” its portfolio). A high rate of portfolio turnover may result in increased transaction costs, including brokerage commissions, which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders, and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. These costs are not reflected in the annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example above, but are reflected in the Fund’s performance. Because the Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no portfolio turnover information quoted for the Fund.
Principal Investment Strategies
The Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets plus any borrowings for investment purposes (measured at the time of purchase) (“Net Assets”) in equity investments in U.S. and
non-U.S.
technology companies, as described below.
The Fund seeks to focus on investments in public stock market capitalizations (based upon shares available for trading on an unrestricted basis at the time of purchase) of less than $100 billion.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (“GSAM” or the “Investment Adviser”) generally defines a technology company as a company in the information technology or communication services sectors, or in the internet and direct marketing retail or healthcare technology industries. The Investment Adviser may use the classifications assigned by third parties but is not required to do so. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in technology companies that the Investment Adviser believes are driving technological innovation or benefitting from the enablement of technology, and have the potential to grow their business over many years. The Investment Adviser seeks to identify companies at various growth stages that are developing differentiated technology to either disrupt existing markets, serve existing markets more efficiently, or apply proven business models to new geographies. The Investment Adviser also invests in companies that use technology to drive long-term compounding revenue growth, as well as more mature technology companies that are evolving their business models to exploit new growth opportunities.
 
1

Equity investments may include common stock, preferred stock, warrants and other rights to acquire stock, American depositary receipts (“ADRs”), European depositary receipts (“EDRs”) and global depositary receipts (“GDRs”), underlying funds (including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”)), and futures, forwards, options and other instruments with similar economic exposures. The Fund may also invest in companies that only recently began to trade publicly.
The Fund’s fundamental equity investment process involves evaluating potential investments based on specific characteristics believed to indicate high-quality businesses with sustainable growth, including strong business franchises, favorable long-term prospects and excellent management. The Investment Adviser believes that as a company matures, sustainable free cash flow generation is an indication of quality and sustainable growth and therefore analyzes and forecasts, among others, a company’s gross profit, operating profit, free cash flow, net cash on its balance sheet, and return on invested capital. The Investment Adviser will also consider the valuation of companies when determining whether to buy and/or sell securities. The Investment Adviser may decide to sell a position for various reasons, including when a company’s fundamental outlook deteriorates, because of valuation and price considerations, for risk management purposes, if a company is deemed to be misallocating capital, or if a more attractive risk/reward opportunity becomes available.
The Fund intends to have investments economically tied to at least three countries, including the United States, and may invest in the securities of issuers economically tied to emerging market countries.
The Fund concentrates its investments (
i.e.
, holds more than 25% of its total assets) in securities of issuers in the information technology industries.​​​​​​​
THE FUND IS
NON-DIVERSIFIED
UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940, AS AMENDED (THE “INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT”), AND MAY INVEST A LARGER PERCENTAGE OF ITS ASSETS IN FEWER ISSUERS THAN DIVERSIFIED FUNDS.
The Fund is an actively managed ETF, which is a fund that trades like other publicly-traded securities. The Fund is not an index fund and does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index.
Principal Risks of the Fund
Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund.An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) or any government agency. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing. The Fund’s principal risks are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure.
Depositary Receipts Risk.  
Foreign securities may trade in the form of depositary receipts, which include ADRS and GDRs (collectively “Depositary Receipts”). To the extent the Fund acquires Depositary Receipts through banks which do not have a contractual relationship with the foreign issuer of the security underlying the Depositary Receipts to issue and service such unsponsored Depositary Receipts, there may be an increased possibility that the Fund would not become aware of and be able to respond to corporate actions such as stock splits or rights offerings involving the foreign issuer in a timely manner. In addition, the lack of information may result in inefficiencies in the valuation of such instruments. Investment in Depositary Receipts does not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in securities of
non-U.S.
issuers. The market value of Depositary Receipts is dependent upon the market value of the underlying securities and fluctuations in the relative value of the currencies in which the Depositary Receipts and the underlying securities are quoted.
Foreign and Emerging Countries Risk.  
Foreign securities may be subject to risk of loss because of more or less foreign government regulation; less public information; less stringent investor protections; less stringent accounting, corporate governance, financial reporting and disclosure standards; and less economic, political and social stability in the countries in which the Fund invests. The imposition of exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions), sanctions, confiscations, trade restrictions (including tariffs) and other government restrictions by the United States and other governments, or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, may also result in losses. Foreign risk also involves the risk of negative foreign currency rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. These risks may be more pronounced in connection with the Fund’s investments in securities of issuers located in, or otherwise economically tied to, emerging countries.
Foreign Custody Risk.  
The Fund may hold foreign securities and cash with foreign banks, agents, and securities depositories appointed by the Fund’s custodian (each a “Foreign Custodian”). Some Foreign Custodians may be recently organized or new to the foreign custody business. In some countries, Foreign Custodians may be subject to little or no regulatory oversight over or
independent evaluation of their operations. Further, the laws of certain countries may place limitations on the Fund’s ability to recover its assets if a Foreign Custodian enters bankruptcy. Investments in emerging markets may be subject to even greater custody risks than
 
2

investments in more developed markets. Custody services in emerging market countries are very often underdeveloped and may be considerably less well regulated than in more developed countries, and thus may not afford the same level of investor protection as would apply in developed countries.
Geographic Risk.  
If the Fund focuses its investments in issuers located in a particular country or geographic region, the Fund may be subjected, to a greater extent than if its investments were less focused, to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions and developments that may be particular to that country or region, such as: adverse securities markets; adverse exchange rates; adverse social, political, regulatory, economic, business, environmental or other developments; or natural disasters.
Industry Concentration Risk.  
The Fund concentrates its investments in specific industries or groups of industries that have historically experienced substantial price volatility. The Fund is subject to greater risk of loss as a result of adverse economic, business, political, environmental or other developments than if its investments were diversified across different industries or groups of industries. Securities of issuers held by the Fund may lack sufficient market liquidity to enable the Fund to sell the securities at an advantageous time or without a substantial drop in price.
Investment Style Risk.  
Different investment styles (
e.g.
, “growth,” “value” or “quantitative”) tend to shift in and out of favor depending upon market and economic conditions and investor sentiment. The Fund may outperform or underperform other funds that invest in similar asset classes but employ different investment styles.
Issuer Concentration Risk.  
The Fund intends to invest in a relatively small number of companies in comparison to other funds. This relatively small number of issuers may subject the Fund to greater risks, because a decline in the value of any single investment held by the Fund may adversely affect the Fund’s overall value more than it would affect that of a fund holding a greater number of investments.
Large Shareholder Risk.  
Certain shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (
i.e.
, a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment, that the size of the Fund would be maintained at such levels or that the Fund would continue to meet applicable listing requirements. Redemptions by large shareholders could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.
Market Risk.  
The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of individual companies, particular sectors or governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world due to increasingly interconnected global economies and financial markets. Events such as war, acts of terrorism, social unrest, natural disasters, the spread of infectious illness or other public health threats could also significantly impact the Fund and its investments.
Market Trading Risk.  
The net asset value (“NAV”) of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses.
The securities held by the Fund may be traded in markets that close at a different time than the stock exchange on which the Fund’s Shares are listed. Liquidity in those securities may be reduced after the applicable closing times. Accordingly, during the time when the Fund’s listing exchange is open but after the applicable market closing, fixing or settlement times,
bid-ask
spreads and the resulting premium or discount to the Shares’ NAV may widen.
Mid-Cap
and
Small-Cap
Risk.  
Investments in
mid-capitalization
and small-capitalization companies involve greater risks than those associated with larger, more established companies. These securities may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements and may lack sufficient market liquidity, and these issuers often face greater business risks.
Non-Diversification
Risk.  
The Fund is
non-diversified,
meaning that it is permitted to invest a larger percentage of its assets in fewer issuers than diversified funds. Thus, the Fund may be more susceptible to adverse developments affecting any single issuer held in its portfolio, and may be more susceptible to greater losses because of these developments.
Seed Investor Risk.  
GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets
 
3

in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund, including on the Fund’s liquidity and the market price of the Fund’s shares.
Stock Risk.
  Stock prices have historically risen and fallen in periodic cycles. U.S. and foreign stock markets have experienced periods of substantial price volatility in the past and may do so again in the future.
Technology Sector Risk
.
  The stock prices of technology and technology-related companies and therefore the value of the Fund may experience significant price movements as a result of intense market volatility, worldwide competition, consumer preferences, product compatibility, product obsolescence, government regulation, excessive investor optimism or pessimism, or other factors.
Thematic Investing Risk.  
The Fund’s thematic investment strategy limits the universe of investment opportunities available to the Fund and will affect the Fund’s exposure to certain companies, sectors, regions, and countries, which may result in the Fund forgoing opportunities to buy or sell certain securities when it might otherwise be advantageous to do so. Adhering to the Fund’s thematic investment strategy may also affect the Fund’s performance relative to similar funds that do not seek to invest in companies exposed to certain themes. There is no guarantee that the Investment Adviser’s views, security selection criteria or investment judgment will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor or that companies in which the Fund invests will be successful in their efforts to drive technological innovation or benefit from the enablement of technology.
Valuation Risk.
  The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology. Because
non-U.S.
exchanges may be open on days when the Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.
Performance
Because the Fund had not yet commenced investment operations as of the date of the Prospectus, there is no performance information quoted for the Fund. Once available, the Fund’s performance information will be available at no additional cost at www.gsamfunds.com/performance​​​​​​​ or by calling the appropriate phone number on the back cover of the Prospectus.
Portfolio Management
Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. is the investment adviser for the Fund.
Portfolio Managers:  
Sung Cho, CFA, Managing Director; Charles “Brook” Dane, CFA, Managing Director; Raj Garigipati, Managing Director; Nathan Lin, Vice President; and Jamie McGregor, Vice President, has each managed the Fund since inception.
Buying and Selling Fund Shares
Individual Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold in secondary market transactions through a broker or dealer at market price. Because Shares trade at market prices, rather than NAV, Shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than NAV (
i.e.
, a premium) or less than NAV (
i.e.
, a discount).
You may incur costs attributable to the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay for Shares (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for Shares (ask) (the
“bid-ask
spread”) when buying or selling Shares in the secondary market.
Recent information, including information about the Fund’s NAV, market price, premiums and discounts, and
bid-ask
spreads (when available), is included on the Fund’s website at www.gsamfunds.com.
Tax Information
The Fund’s distributions are taxable, and will be taxed as ordinary income or capital gains, unless you are investing through a
tax-deferred
arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account. Investments made through
tax-deferred
arrangements may become taxable upon withdrawal from such arrangements.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries
If you purchase Shares of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), GSAM or other related companies may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund Shares or related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
 
4

 
Investment Management Approach
 
 
INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE
    
The Fund seeks long-term growth of capital. The Fund’s investment objective may be changed without shareholder approval upon 60 days’ notice.
 
 
PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES
    
The Fund invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its Net Assets in equity investments in U.S. and
non-U.S.
technology companies, as described below. The Fund seeks to focus on investments in public stock market capitalizations (based upon shares available for trading on an unrestricted basis at the time of purchase) of less than $100 billion. Shareholders will be provided with 60 days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its Net Assets in the particular type of investment suggested by its name.
The Investment Adviser generally defines a technology company as a company in the information technology or communication services sectors, or in the internet and direct marketing retail or healthcare technology industries. The Investment Adviser may use the classifications assigned by third parties but is not required to do so. The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing in technology companies that the Investment Adviser believes are driving technological innovation or benefitting from the enablement of technology, and have the potential to grow their business over many years. The Investment Adviser seeks to identify companies at various growth stages that are developing differentiated technology to either disrupt existing markets, serve existing markets more efficiently, or apply proven business models to new geographies. The Investment Adviser also invests in companies that use technology to drive long-term compounding revenue growth, as well as more mature technology companies that are evolving their business models to exploit new growth opportunities.
Equity investments may include common stock, preferred stock, warrants and other rights to acquire stock, ADRs, EDRs and GDRs, underlying funds (including ETFs), and futures, forwards, options and other instruments with similar economic exposures. The Fund may also invest in companies that only recently began to trade publicly. The Fund may invest in underlying ETFs, exchange-trade products (“ETPs”) and/or money market funds that currently exist or that may become available for investment in the future for which the Investment Adviser or an affiliate now or in the future acts as investment adviser or principal underwriter.
The Fund’s fundamental equity investment process involves evaluating potential investments based on specific characteristics believed to indicate high-quality businesses with sustainable growth, including strong business franchises, favorable long-term prospects, and excellent management. The Investment Adviser believes that as a company matures, sustainable free cash flow generation is an indication of quality and sustainable growth and therefore analyzes and forecasts, among others, a company’s gross profit, operating profit, free cash flow, net cash on its balance sheet, and return on invested capital. The Investment Adviser will also consider the valuation of companies when determining whether to buy and/or sell securities. The Investment Adviser may decide to sell a position for various reasons, including when a company’s fundamental outlook deteriorates, because of valuation and price considerations, for risk management purposes, if a company is deemed to be misallocating capital, or if a more attractive risk/reward opportunity becomes available.
The Fund intends to have investments economically tied to at least three countries, including the United States, and may invest in the securities of issuers economically tied to emerging market countries.
In determining whether an issuer is economically tied to a particular country, the Investment Adviser will consider whether the issuer:
 
 
Has a class of securities whose principal securities market is in that country;
 
 
Has its principal office in that country;
 
 
Derives 50% or more of its total revenue or profit from goods produced, sales made or services provided in that country;
 
 
Maintains 50% or more of its assets in that country; or
 
 
Is otherwise determined to be economically tied to that country by the Investment Adviser in its discretion. For example, the Investment Adviser may use the classifications assigned by third parties, including an issuer’s “country of risk” as determined by Bloomberg or the classifications assigned to an issuer by the Fund’s benchmark index provider. These classifications are generally based on a number of criteria, including an issuer’s country of domicile, the primary stock exchange on which an issuer’s securities trade, the location from which the majority of an issuer’s revenue is derived, and an issuer’s reporting currency. Although the Investment Adviser may rely on these classifications, it is not required to do so.
 
5

The Fund concentrates its investments (
i.e.
, holds more than 25% of its total assets) in securities of issuers in the information technology industries. Therefore, under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 25% of its total assets in securities of issuers in these industries. The Fund may, however, invest less than 25% of its total assets in securities of issuers in these industries as a temporary defensive position.
THE FUND IS
NON-DIVERSIFIED
UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT, AND MAY INVEST A LARGER PERCENTAGE OF ITS ASSETS IN FEWER ISSUERS THAN DIVERSIFIED FUNDS.
The Fund is an actively managed ETF, which is a fund that trades like other publicly-traded securities. The Fund is not an index fund and does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index.
The 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, political or other conditions. For temporary defensive purposes, the Fund may invest up to 100% of its total assets in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises (“U.S. Government Securities”), commercial paper rated at least
A-2
by S&P Global Ratings (“Standard & Poor’s”),
P-2
by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) or having a comparable credit rating by another nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”) (or if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality), certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances, repurchase agreements,
non-convertible
preferred stocks and
non-convertible
corporate bonds with a remaining maturity of less than one year, certain ETFs and other investment companies and cash items. When the Fund’s assets are invested in such instruments, the Fund may not be achieving its investment objective.
Additional Information
The Fund’s benchmark index is the MSCI ACWI Index. The MSCI ACWI Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed and emerging markets.
The Fund’s secondary benchmark index is the custom MSCI ACWI Select Information Technology + Communication Services + Internet & Direct Marketing Retail (Excluding >$100bn Market Capitalization) Index. The custom benchmark is comprised of those companies classified within the Information Technology sector, Communications Services sector and Internet and Direct Marketing Retail industry within the MSCI ACWI Index and excludes companies with a market capitalization over $100 billion.
References in the Prospectus to the Fund’s benchmark are for informational purposes only, and unless otherwise noted are not an indication of how the Fund is managed.
GSAM Fundamental Equity Team’s Investment Philosophy
 
Belief
 
How the Investment Adviser Acts on This Belief
  Excess returns can be generated by conducting thorough fundamental research and individual stock selection
  Seeks to generate excess returns through an intensive research culture which includes regular conversations with existing and potential investee companies’ executives and their competitors, suppliers and clients.
  A team-based approach enriches debate and enhances the quality of investment decisions
  Conducts stock level research in a team-orientated structure with frequent and open communication.
  Focused and differentiated portfolios provide the greatest potential to generate excess returns
  Builds portfolios that are reflective of the team’s best investment ideas so that the majority of excess returns is driven by stock selection.
  Companies aligned with key secular growth themes provide compelling investment opportunities
  Seeks to identify long-term secular growth themes and conducts fundamental research to identify companies that in its view are aligned with those themes
  Companies that employ sustainable practices and adhere to ESG principles can be more responsive and adaptive to change, better preserve competitive advantages and maintain financial resiliency
  Seeks to identify sound companies by conducting proprietary ESG research and
bottom-up
company analysis.
 
6

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT APPROACH
 
The GSAM Fundamental Equity Team’s investment philosophy is grounded in the belief that we can achieve a competitive edge through selecting stocks. We seek to discover a broad range of investment ideas while being flexible, nimble and avoiding complacency. We believe a company’s prospective ability to generate high returns on invested capital will strongly influence investment success. In our view, using a strong valuation discipline to purchase well-positioned, cash-generating businesses run by shareholder-oriented management teams is the best formula for long-term portfolio performance.
From a valuation perspective, the Investment Adviser generally looks for companies where the Investment Adviser’s estimate of their earnings, asset value or cash flow is meaningfully different from consensus; or where the Investment Adviser believes a company’s intrinsic value is not reflected in the share price. Within the valuation framework, the Investment Adviser actively searches for companies that it believes can produce above average returns over the full market cycle. As such, the Investment Adviser generally seeks companies that exhibit strong corporate governance, such that minority shareholders may benefit from returns.
The GSAM Fundamental Equity team may integrate ESG factors with traditional fundamental factors as part of its fundamental research process to seek to assess overall business quality and valuation, as well as potential risks. Traditional fundamental factors that the GSAM Fundamental Equity team may consider include, but are not limited to, cash flows, balance sheet leverage, return on invested capital, industry dynamics, earnings quality and profitability. ESG factors that the GSAM Fundamental Equity team may consider include, but are not limited to, carbon intensity and emissions profiles, workplace health and safety, community impact, governance practices and stakeholder relations, employee relations, board structure, transparency and management incentives. The identification of a risk related to an ESG factor will not necessarily exclude a particular security or sector that, in the GSAM Fundamental Equity team’s view, is otherwise suitable and attractively priced for investment. The relevance of specific traditional fundamental factors and ESG factors to the fundamental investment process varies across asset classes, sectors and strategies. The GSAM Fundamental Equity team may utilize data sources provided by third-party vendors and/or engage directly with issuers when assessing the above factors.
The GSAM Fundamental Equity team employs a dynamic fundamental investment process that considers a wide range of factors, and no one factor or consideration is determinative.
As a stakeholder, the Fund has a vested interest in helping the companies in which it invests unlock value by improving corporate practices and being thoughtful stewards of capital. As part of its focus on long-term, active ownership, the Investment Adviser may, in certain circumstances, use proxy voting and engagement as some of the tools available to encourage positive corporate decision making and productive change, where possible.
 
 
OTHER INVESTMENT PRACTICES AND SECURITIES
    
Although the Fund’s principal investment strategies are described in the Fund’s Summary—Principal Investment Strategies and Investment Management Approach—Principal Investment Strategies sections of the Prospectus, the following tables identify some of the investment techniques that may (but are not required to) be used by the Fund in seeking to achieve its investment objective. The Fund may be subject to additional limitation on its investments not shown here. Numbers in these tables show allowable usage only; for actual usage, consult the Fund’s annual/semi-annual reports (when available). For more information about these and other investment practices and securities, see Appendix A.
On each business day, before commencement of trading in Fund Shares on NYSE Arca, the Fund will disclose on its website (http://www.gsamfunds.com) the identities and quantities of the portfolio securities and other assets held by the Fund that will form the basis for the Fund’s calculation of NAV at the end of the business day. In addition, a description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings is available in the Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).
 
7

10
 
Percent of total assets (including securities lending collateral) (italic type)
10
 
Percent of net assets (excluding borrowings for investment purposes) (roman type)
 
No specific percentage limitation on usage; limited only by the objective and strategies of the Fund
 
                          
    
Future
Tech
Leaders
Equity ETF
Investment Practices
 
Borrowings
 
33
1
3
Cross Hedging of Currencies
 
Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates
 
Direct Equity Investment
 
Equity, Index and Currency Swaps
 
Foreign Currency Transactions (including forward contracts)
 
Futures Contracts and Options and Swaps on Futures Contracts
 
Illiquid Investments
*
 
15
Initial Public Offerings (“IPO”)
 
Investment Company Securities (including ETFs)
1
 
10
Options on Foreign Currencies
 
Options
2
 
Preferred Stock, Warrants and Stock Purchase Rights
 
Repurchase Agreements
 
Securities Lending
 
33
1
3
Short Sales Against the Box
 
Unseasoned Companies
 
When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments
 
 
 
  *
Illiquid investments are any investments that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment.
  
1
This percentage limitation does not apply to the Fund’s investments in other investment companies (including ETFs) where a higher percentage limitation is permitted under the terms of an SEC exemptive order or SEC exemptive rule.
  
2
The Fund may sell call and put options and purchase call and put options on securities and other instruments in which the Fund may invest or any index consisting of securities or other instruments in which it may invest
 
8

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT APPROACH
 
10
 
Percent of total assets (italic type)
10
 
Percent of net assets (including borrowings for investment purposes) (roman type)
 
No specific percentage limitation on usage; limited only by the objectives and strategies of the Fund
 
Not permitted
 
                          
    
Future
Tech
Leaders
Equity ETF
Investment Securities
 
American, European and Global Depositary Receipts
 
Asset Backed and Mortgage Backed Securities
1
 
Bank Obligations
1
 
Convertible Securities
2
 
Corporate Debt Obligations
1
 
Emerging Country Securities
 
Equity Investments
 
80+
Fixed Income Securities
3
 
20
Foreign Government Securities
 
Foreign Securities
 
Non-Investment
Grade Fixed Income Securities
4
 
20
Other Investment Companies (including ETFs)
 
10
Pre-IPO
Investments (including late-stage private equity securities)
 
Structured Securities (which may include equity or credit-linked notes)
5
 
Temporary Investments
 
U.S. Government Securities
1
 
 
 
1
 
Limited by the amount the Fund invests in fixed income securities.
2
 
The Fund uses the same rating criteria for convertible and
non-convertible
debt securities.
3
 
Fixed income securities must be investment grade (i.e., BBB– or higher by Standard & Poor’s, Baa3 or higher by Moody’s or have a comparable credit rating by another NRSRO or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality).
4
 
May be BB+ or lower by Standard & Poor’s, Ba1 or lower by Moody’s or have a comparable credit rating by another NRSRO at the time of investment.
5
 
Structured securities are not subject to the same minimum credit quality requirements as the Fund’s investments in fixed income securities.
 
9

 
Risks of the Fund
 
Loss of money is a risk of investing in the Fund. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other governmental agency. The principal risks of the Fund are discussed in the Summary section of the Prospectus. The following section provides additional information on the risks that apply to the Fund, which may result in a loss of your investment. The risks applicable to the Fund are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure. The Fund should not be relied upon as a complete investment program. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Investments in the Fund involve substantial risks which prospective investors should consider carefully before investing.
The Fund is an actively managed ETF, which is a fund that trades like other publicly-traded securities. The Fund is not an index fund and does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index.
Goldman Sachs and its affiliates advise accounts and funds which have investment objectives, principal investment strategies and/or policies substantially similar to those of the Fund. For operational reasons, trades of the Fund’s portfolio holdings are executed on a delayed basis relative to such accounts and funds, subject to the Investment Adviser’s duty to seek to obtain best execution. This may cause trades of the Fund’s portfolio holdings to be executed at inopportune times and/or prices. As a result, the Fund’s investment results may be lower, potentially significantly lower, than those of such accounts and funds.
The investment results of the Fund may be higher or lower than, and there is no guarantee that the investment results of the Fund will be comparable to, similar funds advised by Goldman Sachs or its affiliates. A new fund or a fund with fewer assets under management may be more significantly affected by purchases and redemptions of its Creation Units than a fund with relatively greater assets under management would be affected by purchases and redemptions of its shares. As compared to a larger fund, a new or smaller fund is more likely to sell a comparatively large portion of its portfolio to meet significant Creation Unit redemptions, or invest a comparatively large amount of cash to facilitate Creation Unit purchases, in each case when the fund otherwise would not seek to do so. Such transactions may cause funds to make investment decisions at inopportune times or prices or miss attractive investment opportunities. Such transactions may also accelerate the realization of taxable income if sales of securities resulted in gains and the fund redeems Creation Units for cash, or otherwise cause a fund to perform differently than intended. While such risks may apply to funds of any size, such risks are heightened in funds with fewer assets under management. In addition, new funds may not be able to
 
10

RISKS OF THE FUND
 
fully implement their investment strategy immediately upon commencing investment operations, which could reduce investment performance.
 
 
Principal risk
 
Additional risk
 
                                                  
    
Future
Tech
Leaders
Equity ETF
Absence of Active Market Risk
 
Authorized Participant Concentration Risk
 
Credit/Default Risk
 
Depositary Receipts Risk
 
Derivatives Risk
 
Emerging Countries Risk
 
Foreign Risk
 
Foreign Custody Risk
 
Geographic Risk
 
Industry Concentration Risk
 
Interest Rate Risk
 
Investment Style Risk
 
IPO Risk
 
Issuer Concentration Risk
 
Large Shareholder Risk
 
Liquidity Risk
 
Management Risk
 
Market Risk
 
Market Trading Risk
 
Mid-Cap
and
Small-Cap
Risk
 
Non-Diversification
Risk
 
Non-Investment
Grade Fixed Income Securities Risk
 
Other Investment Companies Risk
 
Secondary Listing Risk
 
Seed Investor Risk
 
Stock Risk
 
Technology Sector Risk
 
Thematic Investing Risk
 
Trading Issues Risk
 
U.S. Government Securities Risk
 
Valuation Risk
 
 
 
Absence of Active Market Risk—
The Fund is a newly organized series of an investment company and thus has no operating history. While the Fund’s Shares are expected to be listed on the Exchange, there can be no assurance that active trading markets for the Shares will develop or be maintained by market makers or authorized participants, and there are no obligations of market makers to make a market in the Fund’s Shares or of authorized participants to submit purchase or redemption orders for Creation Units. ALPS Distributors, Inc., the distributor of the Shares (the “Distributor”), does not maintain a secondary market in the Shares.
Although market makers will generally take advantage of differences between the NAV and the trading price of Fund Shares through arbitrage opportunities, there is no guarantee that they will do so. Decisions by market makers or authorized participants to reduce their role or “step away” from market making or creation/redemption activities in times of market stress could inhibit the effectiveness of the arbitrage process in maintaining the relationship between the underlying value of the Fund’s portfolio securities and the Fund’s market price. This reduced effectiveness could result in Shares trading at a discount to NAV and also in greater than normal intraday bid/ask spreads for Shares. Market makers and authorized participants may be less willing to create or
 
11

redeem Fund Shares if there is a lack of an active market for the Shares or its underlying investments, which may also contribute to the Fund’s Shares trading at a premium or discount to NAV.
 
Authorized Participant Concentration Risk
—Only an authorized participant may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund, and the Fund may have a limited number of financial institutions that act as authorized participants. None of those authorized participants is obligated to engage in creation and/or redemption transactions. To the extent that those authorized participants exit the business or are unable to or choose not to process creation and/or redemption orders, and no other authorized participant is able to step forward to create and redeem Shares, there may be a significantly diminished trading market for Shares. As a result, Shares may trade at a discount (or premium) to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or
de-listing.
 
Credit/Default Risk
—An issuer or guarantor of fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund (which may have low credit ratings) may default on its obligation to pay interest and repay principal or default on any other obligation. The credit quality of the Fund’s portfolio securities or instruments may meet the Fund’s credit quality requirements at the time of purchase but then deteriorate thereafter, and such deterioration can occur rapidly. In certain instances, the downgrading or default of a single holding or guarantor of the Fund’s holding may impair the Fund’s liquidity and have the potential to cause significant deterioration in NAV. The risks are more pronounced in connection with the Fund’s investments in
non-investment
grade fixed income securities.
 
Depositary Receipts Risk—
Foreign securities may trade in the form of depositary receipts, including ADRs, GDRs and EDRs (collectively “Depositary Receipts”). To the extent the Fund acquires Depositary Receipts through banks which do not have a contractual relationship with the foreign issuer of the security underlying the Depositary Receipts to issue and service such unsponsored Depositary Receipts, there may be an increased possibility that the Fund would not become aware of and be able to respond to corporate actions such as stock splits or rights offerings involving the foreign issuer in a timely manner. In addition, the lack of information may result in inefficiencies in the valuation of such instruments. Investment in Depositary Receipts does not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in securities of
non-U.S.
issuers. The market value of Depositary Receipts is dependent upon the market value of the underlying securities and fluctuations in the relative value of the currencies in which the Depositary Receipts and the underlying securities are quoted. The Fund will not invest in any Depositary Receipts that the Investment Adviser deems to be illiquid or for which pricing information is not readily available.
 
Derivatives Risk
—The Fund’s use of derivative instruments may result in losses. These instruments, which may pose risks in addition to and greater than those associated with investing directly in securities, currencies or other instruments, may be illiquid or less liquid, volatile, difficult to price and leveraged so that small changes in the value of the underlying instruments may produce disproportionate losses to the Fund. Certain derivatives are also subject to counterparty risk, which is the risk that the other party in the transaction will not fulfill its contractual obligations, liquidity risk and risks arising from margin requirements, which include the risk that the Fund will be required to pay additional margin or set aside additional collateral to maintain open derivative positions.
The use of derivatives is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with investments in more traditional securities and instruments, and there is no guarantee that the use of derivatives will achieve their intended result. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of the timing or level of fluctuation in securities prices, interest rates, currency prices or other variables, the use of derivatives could result in losses, which in some cases may be significant. A lack of correlation between changes in the value of derivatives and the value of the portfolio assets (if any) being hedged could also result in losses. In addition, there is a risk that the performance of the derivatives or other instruments used by the Investment Adviser to replicate the performance of a particular asset class may not accurately track the performance of that asset class. In addition, the Fund’s use of derivatives may increase or accelerate the amount of taxes payable by shareholders.
Many of the protections afforded to cleared transactions, such as the security afforded by transacting through a clearing house, might not be available in connection with
over-the-counter
(“OTC”) transactions. Therefore, in those instances in which the Fund enters into OTC transactions, the Fund will be subject to the risk that its direct counterparty will not perform its obligations under the transactions and that the Fund will sustain losses.
As investment companies registered with the SEC, the Fund must identify on its books (often referred to as “asset segregation”) liquid assets, or engage in other
SEC-
or SEC staff-approved or other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivative instruments. For more information about these practices, see Appendix A. As discussed in more detail in Appendix A and the SAI, the SEC adopted a final rule related to the use of derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions by registered investment companies. In connection with the final rule, the SEC and its staff will rescind and withdraw applicable guidance and relief regarding asset segregation and coverage transactions reflected in the Fund’s asset segregation and cover practices discussed therein.
 
Emerging Countries Risk
—Investments in securities of issuers located in, or otherwise economically tied to, emerging countries are subject to the risks associated with investments in foreign securities. The securities markets of most emerging countries are less
 
12

RISKS OF THE FUND
 
  liquid, developed and efficient, are subject to greater price volatility, and have smaller market capitalizations. In addition, emerging and frontier market countries may have more or less government regulation and generally do not impose as extensive and frequent accounting, auditing, financial and other reporting requirements as the securities markets of more developed countries. As a result, there could be less information available about issuers in emerging and frontier market countries, which could negatively affect the Investment Adviser’s ability to evaluate local companies or their potential impact on the Fund’s performance. Further, investments in securities of issuers located in certain emerging countries involve the risk of loss resulting from problems in share registration, settlement or custody, substantial economic, political and social disruptions and the imposition of exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions). The legal remedies for investors in emerging and frontier markets may be more limited than the remedies available in the U.S., and the ability of U.S. authorities (
e.g.
, SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice) to bring actions against bad actors may be limited. These risks are not normally associated with investments in more developed countries. For more information about these risks, see Appendix A.
 
Foreign Risk
—When the Fund invests in foreign securities, it may be subject to risk of loss not typically associated with U.S. issuers. Loss may result because of more or less foreign government regulation; less public information; less stringent investor protections; less stringent accounting, corporate governance, financial reporting and disclosure standards; less liquid, developed or efficient trading markets, greater volatility and less economic, political and social stability in the countries in which the Fund invests. Loss may also result from, among other things,
deteriorating economic and business conditions in other countries, including the United States, regional and global conflicts, the imposition of exchange controls (including repatriation restrictions), sanctions, foreign taxes, confiscation of assets and property, trade restrictions (including tariffs), expropriation and other government restrictions by the United States and other governments, higher transaction costs, difficulty enforcing contractual obligations or from problems in share registration, settlement or custody. The Fund may determine not to invest in, or may limit its overall investment in, a particular issuer, country or geographic region due to, among other things, heightened risks regarding repatriation restrictions, confiscation of assets and property, expropriation or nationalization. Geopolitical developments in certain countries in which the Fund may invest have caused, or may in the future cause, significant volatility in financial markets. For example, the United Kingdom (“UK”) withdrew from the European Union (“EU”) on January 31, 2020 (commonly known as “Brexit”), which will likely result in increased market volatility and cause additional market disruption on a global basis. The UK and the EU signed the
EU-UK
Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA”), which is an agreement on the terms governing certain aspects of the EU’s and UK’s relationship post Brexit. However, under the TCA, many aspects of the
EU-UK
relationship remain subject to further negotiation. Although the full effects of Brexit are unknown at this time, Brexit may continue to result in fluctuations of exchange rates, increased illiquidity, inflation, and changes in legal and regulatory regimes to which the Fund’s assets are subject. These and other geopolitical developments could negatively impact the value of the Fund’s investments.
The Fund that invests in foreign securities will also be subject to the risk of negative foreign currency rate fluctuations, which may cause the value of securities denominated in such foreign currency (or other instruments through which the Fund has exposure to foreign currencies) to decline in value. Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Foreign risks will normally be greatest when the Fund invests in securities of issuers located in, or otherwise economically tied to, emerging countries. For more information about these risks, see Appendix A.
 
Foreign Custody Risk
—The Fund may hold foreign securities and cash with foreign banks, agents, and securities depositories appointed by the Fund’s custodian (each a “Foreign Custodian”). Some Foreign Custodians may be recently organized or new to the foreign custody business. In some countries, Foreign Custodians may be subject to little or no regulatory oversight over or independent evaluation of their operations. Further, the laws of certain countries may place limitations on the Fund’s ability to recover its assets if a Foreign Custodian enters bankruptcy. Investments in emerging markets may be subject to even greater custody risks than investments in more developed markets. Custody services in emerging market countries are very often underdeveloped and may be considerably less well regulated than in more developed countries, and thus may not afford the same level of investor protection as would apply in developed countries.
 
Geographic Risk
—If the Fund focuses its investments in securities of issuers located in a particular country or geographic region, it will subject the Fund, to a greater extent than if investments were less focused, to the risks of volatile economic cycles and/or conditions and developments that may be particular to that country or region, such as: adverse securities markets; adverse
exchange rates; adverse social, political, regulatory, economic, business, environmental or other developments; or natural disasters.
 
Industry Concentration Risk.
The Fund concentrates its investments in specific industries or groups of industries that have historically experienced substantial price volatility. The Fund is subject to greater risk of loss as a result of adverse economic, business, political, environmental or other developments than if its investments were diversified across different industries or groups of industries. Securities of issuers held by the Fund may lack sufficient market liquidity to enable the Fund to sell the securities at an advantageous time or without a substantial drop in price.
 
13

 
Interest Rate Risk
—When interest rates increase, fixed income securities or instruments held by the Fund (which may include inflation protected securities) will generally decline in value. Long-term fixed income securities or instruments will normally have more price volatility because of this risk than short-term fixed income securities or instruments. A wide variety of market factors can cause interest rates to rise, including central bank monetary policy, rising inflation and changes in general economic conditions. The risks associated with changing interest rates may have unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments. Fluctuations in interest rates may also affect the liquidity of fixed income securities and instruments held by the Fund.
Interest rates in the United States are currently at historically low levels. Certain countries have experienced negative interest rates on certain fixed-income instruments. Changing interest rates, including rates that fall below zero, may have unpredictable effects on markets, may result in heightened market volatility and may detract from Fund performance to the extent the Fund is exposed to such interest rates and/or volatility.
 
Investment Style Risk
—Different investment styles (
e.g.
, “growth,” “value,” or “quantitative”) tend to shift in and out of favor depending upon market and economic conditions as well as investor sentiment. The Fund may outperform or underperform other funds that invest in similar asset classes but employ different investment styles. The Fund intends to employ a blend of growth and value investment styles depending on market conditions, either of which may fall out of favor from time to time. Growth stocks may be more volatile than other stocks because they are more sensitive to investor perceptions of the issuing company’s growth of earnings potential. Growth companies are often expected by investors to increase their earnings at a certain rate. When these expectations are not met, investors can punish the stocks inordinately even if earnings showed an absolute increase. Also, since growth companies usually invest a high portion of earnings in their business, growth stocks may lack the dividends of some value stocks that can cushion stock prices in a falling market. Growth oriented funds will typically underperform when value investing is in favor. Value stocks are those that are undervalued in comparison to their peers due to adverse business developments or other factors.
 
IPO Risk
—The market value of shares issued in an IPO will fluctuate considerably due to factors such as the absence of a prior public market, unseasoned trading, the small number of shares available for trading and limited information about a company’s business model, quality of management, earnings growth potential and other criteria used to evaluate its investment prospects. The purchase of IPO shares may involve high transaction costs. Investments in IPO shares, which are subject to market risk and liquidity risk, involve greater risks than investments in shares of companies that have traded publicly on an exchange for extended periods of time. When the Fund’s asset base is small, a significant portion of the Fund’s performance could be attributable to investments in IPOs, because such investments would have a magnified impact on the Fund. As the Fund’s assets grow, the effect of the Fund’s investments in IPOs on the Fund’s performance probably will decline, which could reduce the Fund’s performance.
 
Issuer Concentration Risk—
the Fund intends to invest in a relatively small number of companies in comparison to other funds. As a result of the relatively small number of issuers in which the Fund generally invests, it may be subject to greater risks than a fund that invests in a greater number of issuers. A change in the value of any single investment held by the Fund may affect the overall value of the Fund more than it would affect a fund that holds more investments. In particular, the Fund may be more susceptible to adverse developments affecting any single issuer in the Fund and may be susceptible to greater losses because of these developments.
 
Large Shareholder Risk
—Certain large shareholders, including other funds advised by the Investment Adviser, may from time to time own a substantial amount of the Fund’s Shares. In addition, a third party investor, the Investment Adviser or an affiliate of the Investment Adviser, an authorized participant, a lead market maker, or another entity (
i.e.
, a seed investor) may invest in the Fund and hold its investment solely to facilitate commencement of the Fund or to facilitate the Fund’s achieving a specified size or scale. Any such investment may be held for a limited period of time. There can be no assurance that any large shareholder would not redeem its investment. Dispositions of a large number of Shares by these shareholders, which may occur rapidly or unexpectedly, may adversely affect the Fund’s liquidity and net assets to the extent such transactions are executed directly with the Fund in the form of redemptions through an authorized participant, rather than executed in the secondary market. To the extent effected in cash, these redemptions may also force the Fund to sell portfolio securities when it might not otherwise do so, which may negatively impact the Fund’s NAV and increase the Fund’s brokerage costs. Such cash redemptions may also accelerate the realization of taxable income to shareholders, which could make investments in Shares less
tax-efficient
than an investment in an ETF that is able to effect redemptions
in-kind.
Similarly, large Fund share purchases through an authorized participant may adversely affect the performance of the Fund to the extent that the Fund is delayed in investing new cash or otherwise maintains a larger cash position than it ordinarily would. To the extent these large shareholders transact in Shares on the secondary market, such transactions may account for a large percentage of the trading volume on NYSE Arca and may, therefore, have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Shares.
 
Liquidity Risk
—The Fund may invest in securities or instruments that trade in lower volumes and may make investments that are less liquid than other investments. Also, the Fund may make investments that may become less liquid in response to market
 
14

RISKS OF THE FUND
 
  developments or adverse investor perceptions. Investments that are illiquid or that trade in lower volumes may be more difficult to value. When there is no willing buyer and investments cannot be readily sold at the desired time or price, the Fund may have to accept a lower price or may not be able to sell the security or instrument at all. An inability to sell one or more portfolio positions can adversely affect the Fund’s value.
To the extent the Fund engages in cash redemptions, then liquidity risk may also refer to the risk that the Fund will not be able to pay redemption proceeds within the allowable time period or without significant dilution to remaining investors’ interests because of unusual market conditions, an unusually high volume of redemption requests, a redemption request by a large shareholder (such as a seed investor) or other reasons. If the Fund is forced to sell securities at an unfavorable time and/or under unfavorable conditions, such sales may adversely affect the Fund’s NAV and dilute remaining investors’ interests.
 
Management Risk
—A strategy used by the Investment Adviser may fail to produce the intended results.
 
Market Risk
—The value of the securities in which the Fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of individual companies, particular sectors or governments and/or general economic conditions throughout the world. Price changes may be temporary or last for extended periods. The Fund’s investments may be overweighted from time to time in one or more sectors or countries, which will increase the Fund’s exposure to risk of loss from adverse developments affecting those sectors or countries.
Global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, and conditions and events in one country, region or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market. Furthermore, local, regional and global events such as war, acts of terrorism, social unrest, natural disasters, the spread of infectious illness or other public health threats could also adversely impact issuers, markets and economies, including in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. The Fund could be negatively impacted if the value of a portfolio holding were harmed by such political or economic conditions or events. In addition, governmental and quasi-governmental organizations have taken a number of unprecedented actions designed to support the markets. Such conditions, events and actions may result in greater market risk.
 
Market Trading Risk
—The NAV of the Fund and the value of your investment may fluctuate. Market prices of Shares may fluctuate, in some cases significantly, in response to the Fund’s NAV, the intraday value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. The Fund faces numerous market trading risks, including disruptions to creations and redemptions, the existence of extreme market volatility or potential lack of an active trading market for Shares. If a shareholder purchases Shares at a time when the market price is at a premium to the NAV or sells Shares at a time when the market price is at a discount to the NAV, the shareholder may sustain losses. The Investment Adviser cannot predict whether Shares will trade below, at or above their NAV. Price differences may be due, in large part, to the fact that supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for Shares will be closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of the securities in the Fund’s portfolio trading individually or in the aggregate at any point in time. While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it more likely that the Fund’s Shares normally will trade on stock exchanges at prices close to the Fund’s next calculated NAV, exchange prices are not expected to correlate exactly with the Fund’s NAV due to timing reasons, supply and demand imbalances, perception of unreliability of disclosed NAV, and other factors. Any of these factors, among others, may result in Shares trading at a significant premium or discount to NAV, which will be reflected in the intraday bid/ask spreads and/or the closing price of Shares as compared to NAV. In addition, because liquidity in certain underlying securities may fluctuate, Shares of the Fund may trade at a larger premium or discount to NAV than Shares of other kinds of ETFs. Additionally, in stressed market conditions, the market for Shares may become less liquid in response to deteriorating liquidity in the markets for the Fund’s underlying portfolio holdings. There are various methods by which investors can purchase and sell Shares and various orders that may be placed. Investors should consult their financial intermediary before purchasing or selling Shares of the Fund.
An investor that buys or sells Shares through a broker will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charge imposed by the broker. In addition, the market price of Shares, like other exchange-traded securities, includes a
“bid-ask
spread” (the difference between the price at which investors are willing to buy Shares and the price at which investors are willing to sell Shares). The
bid-ask
spread will vary over time based on the Fund’s trading volume and market liquidity and may increase as a result of a decrease in the Fund’s trading volume, the spread of the Fund’s underlying securities, or market liquidity. The
bid-ask
spread may increase significantly in times of market disruption, meaning that Shares may trade at a discount to the Fund’s NAV and that discount is likely to be greatest during significant market volatility. During such periods, you may be unable to sell your Shares or may incur significant losses if you sell your Shares.
Shares of the Fund, like other publicly-traded securities, may be sold short. Shares are therefore subject to the risk of price decreases and increased volatility associated with being sold short.
 
Mid-Cap
and
Small-Cap
Risk
—The securities of
mid-capitalization
and small-capitalization companies involve greater risks than those associated with larger, more established companies and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements. Smaller technology companies may not be widely followed by the investment community, which can lower the demand for their stocks. In
 
15

 
addition, smaller technology companies tend to have fewer key suppliers and customers, products, markets, distribution channels or financial resources, and management of such technology companies may be dependent upon one or a few key people. As a result, any changes to these factors may have a greater impact on a smaller technology company’s stock price than on a larger company. Securities of such issuers may lack sufficient market liquidity to enable the Fund to effect sales at an advantageous time or without a substantial drop in price. Both
mid-capitalization
and small-capitalization companies often have narrower markets and more limited managerial and financial resources than larger, more established companies. As a result, their performance can be more volatile and they face greater risk of business failure, which could increase the volatility of the Fund’s portfolio. Generally, the smaller the company size, the greater these risks become.
 
Non-Diversification
Risk
—The Fund is
non-diversified,
meaning that it is permitted to invest a larger percentage of its assets in fewer issuers than diversified funds. Thus, the Fund may be more susceptible to adverse developments affecting any single issuer held in its portfolio, and may be more susceptible to greater losses because of these developments.
 
Non-Investment
Grade Fixed Income Securities Risk
—Non-investment
grade fixed income securities and unrated securities of comparable credit quality (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are considered speculative and are subject to the increased risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payment obligations. These securities may be subject to greater price volatility due to such factors as specific issuer developments, interest rate sensitivity, negative perceptions of the junk bond markets generally and less liquidity.
 
Other Investment Companies Risk—
By investing in other investment companies (including ETFs) indirectly through the Fund, investors will incur a proportionate share of the expenses of the other investment companies held by the Fund (including operating costs and investment management fees) in addition to the fees regularly borne by the Fund. In addition, the Fund will be affected by the investment policies, practices and performance of such investment companies in direct proportion to the amount of assets the Fund invests therein.
 
Secondary Listing Risk—
The Fund’s Shares may be listed or traded on U.S. and
non-U.S.
stock exchanges other than the U.S. stock exchange where the Fund’s primary listing is maintained. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s Shares will continue to trade on any such stock exchange or in any market or that the Fund’s Shares will continue to meet the requirements for listing or trading on any exchange or in any market. The Fund’s Shares may be less actively traded in certain markets than in others, and investors are subject to the execution and settlement risks and market standards of the market where they or their broker direct their trades for execution. Certain information available to investors who trade Fund Shares on a U.S. stock exchange during regular U.S. market hours may not be available to investors who trade in other markets, which may result in secondary market prices in such markets being less efficient. Shares of the Fund may trade in the secondary market outside of the trading hours of the Fund’s primary exchange. At such times, Shares may trade with more significant premiums or discounts than might be experienced otherwise.
 
Seed Investor Risk
—GSAM and/or its affiliates may make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund. Such payments may continue for a specified period of time and/or until a specified dollar amount is reached. Those payments will be made from assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates (and not the Fund). Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem all or part of their investments in the Fund, particularly after payments from GSAM and/or its affiliates have ceased. The timing of a redemption by a seed investor could benefit the seed investor. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund including by reducing the Fund’s liquidity, causing the Fund to realize gains that will be distributed and taxable to remaining shareholders and increasing the Fund’s transaction costs. A large redemption may also have a material upward or downward effect on the market price of the Fund’s Shares.
 
Stock Risk
—Stock prices have historically risen and fallen in periodic cycles. U.S. and foreign stock markets have experienced periods of substantial price volatility in the past and may do so again in the future. Stock prices may fluctuate from time to time in response to the activities of individual companies and in response to general market and economic conditions. Individual companies may report poor results or be negatively affected by industry and/or economic trends and developments, and the stock prices of such companies may suffer a decline in response.
 
Technology Sector Risk
—The stock prices of technology and technology-related companies and therefore the value of the Fund may experience significant price movements as a result of intense market volatility, worldwide competition, consumer preferences, product compatibility, product obsolescence, government regulation, excessive investor optimism or pessimism, or other factors. Many of the products and services offered by technology companies are subject to the risk of short product cycles. Certain technology-related companies may face special risks that their products or services may not prove to be commercially successful. Such companies also may be subject to risks relating to research and development costs and the availability and price of components. As product cycles shorten and manufacturing capacity increases, these companies could become increasingly subject to aggressive pricing and competition, which hampers profitability.
 
16

RISKS OF THE FUND
 
 
Thematic Investing Risk
—The Fund’s thematic investment strategy limits the universe of investment opportunities available to the Fund and will affect the Fund’s exposure to certain companies, sectors, regions, and countries, which may result in the Fund forgoing opportunities to buy or sell certain securities when it might otherwise be advantageous to do so. Adhering to the Fund’s thematic investment strategy may also affect the Fund’s performance relative to similar funds that do not seek to invest in companies exposed to certain themes.
The Investment Adviser seeks to identify and invest in companies that it believes are driving technological innovation or benefitting from the enablement of technology, and have the potential to grow their business over many years. However, investors’ views may differ as to what these companies may be. There is no guarantee that the Investment Adviser’s views, security selection criteria or investment judgment will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor. In addition, there can be no assurance that companies in which the Fund invests will be successful in their efforts to drive technological innovation or benefit from the enablement of technology. When assessing whether an issuer meets the Fund’s investment strategy and criteria, the Investment Adviser may rely on third-party data that it believes to be reliable, but it does not guarantee the accuracy of such third-party data. Certain investments may be dependent on U.S. and foreign government policies, including tax incentives and subsidies, which may change without notice. The Fund’s thematic investment strategy and criteria may be changed without shareholder approval.
 
Trading Issues Risk
—Trading in Shares on NYSE Arca may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of NYSE Arca make trading in Shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in Shares on NYSE Arca is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to NYSE Arca’s “circuit breaker” rules. If a trading halt or unanticipated closing of NYSE Arca occurs, a shareholder may be unable to purchase or sell Shares. There can be no assurance that the requirements of NYSE Arca necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged.
 
U.S. Government Securities Risk
—The U.S. government may not provide financial support to U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises if it is not obligated to do so by law. U.S. Government Securities issued by those agencies, instrumentalities and sponsored enterprises, including those issued by the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) and the Federal Home Loan Banks, are neither issued nor guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury and, therefore, are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by the Fund may greatly exceed their current resources, including any legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that issuers of U.S. Government Securities will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been operating under conservatorship, with the Federal Housing Finance Administration (“FHFA”) acting as their conservator, since September 2008. The entities are dependent upon the continued support of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and FHFA in order to continue their business operations. These factors, among others, could affect the future status and role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the value of their securities and the securities which they guarantee. Additionally, the U.S. government and its agencies and instrumentalities do not guarantee the market values of their securities, which may fluctuate.
 
Valuation Risk
—The sale price the Fund could receive for a security may differ from the Fund’s valuation of the security, particularly for securities that trade in low volume or volatile markets or that are valued using a fair value methodology.
Because non-U.S.
exchanges may be open on days when the Fund does not price its Shares, the value of foreign securities or assets in the Fund’s portfolio may change on days when investors will not be able to purchase or sell the Fund’s Shares. The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The information may be provided by third parties that are believed to be reliable, but the information may not be accurate due to errors by such pricing sources, technological issues or otherwise. NAV calculation may also be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology.
 
17

 
Tax Advantaged Product Structure
 
Unlike many conventional mutual funds which are only bought and sold at closing NAVs, the Shares of the Fund, like shares of certain other ETFs, have been designed to be redeemed principally
in-kind
in Creation Units at each day’s market close. These
in-kind
arrangements are designed to mitigate adverse effects on the Fund’s portfolio that could arise from frequent cash redemption transactions that affect the NAV of the Fund. Moreover, in contrast to conventional mutual funds, where frequent redemptions can have an adverse tax impact on taxable shareholders because of the need to sell portfolio securities which, in turn, may generate taxable gain, the
in-kind
redemption mechanism of the Fund, to the extent used, generally is not expected to lead to a tax event for shareholders whose Shares are not being redeemed.
 
18

 
Service Providers
 
 
INVESTMENT ADVISER
    
 
Investment Adviser
 
Fund
Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P.
 
Future Tech Leaders Equity ETF
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
 
 
 
GSAM has been registered as an investment adviser with the SEC since 1990 and is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“Goldman Sachs”). Founded in 1869, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a publicly-held financial holding company and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. As of December 31, 2020, GSAM, including its investment advisory affiliates, had assets under supervision of approximately $1.95 trillion.
The Investment Adviser is responsible for the
day-to-day
management of the Fund and places purchase and sale orders for the Fund’s portfolio transactions in U.S. and foreign markets. As permitted by applicable law, these orders may be directed to any executing brokers, dealers, futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) or other counterparties, including Goldman Sachs and its affiliates. While the Investment Adviser is ultimately responsible for the management of the Fund, it is able to draw upon the research and expertise of its asset management affiliates with respect to managing certain portfolio securities. In addition, the Investment Adviser has access to proprietary tools developed by Goldman Sachs (subject to legal, internal, regulatory and Chinese wall restrictions), and will apply quantitative and qualitative analysis in determining the appropriate allocations among categories of issuers and types of securities.
The Investment Adviser also performs the following additional services for the Fund, to the extent such services are not required to be performed by others pursuant to the fund administration and accounting agreement, the custodian agreement, the transfer agency agreement, distribution agreement or such other agreements with service providers to the Fund that the Board has approved:
 
 
Supervises
non-advisory
operations of the Fund, including oversight of vendors hired by the Fund, oversight of Fund liquidity and risk management, oversight of regulatory inquiries and requests with respect to the Fund made to the Investment Adviser, valuation and accounting oversight and oversight of ongoing compliance with federal and state securities laws, tax regulations, and other applicable law
 
 
Provides personnel to perform such executive, administrative and clerical services as are reasonably necessary to provide effective administration of the Fund
 
 
Arranges for: (a) the preparation of all required tax returns, (b) the preparation and submission of reports to existing shareholders, (c) the periodic updating of prospectuses and statements of additional information and (d) the preparation of reports to be filed with the SEC and other regulatory authorities
 
 
Maintains the records of the Fund
 
 
Provides office space and necessary office equipment and services for the Investment Adviser
 
 
Markets the Fund
An investment in the Fund may be negatively impacted because of the operational risks arising from factors such as processing errors and human errors, inadequate or failed internal or external processes, failures in systems and technology, changes in personnel, and errors caused by third-party service providers or trading counterparties. Although the Fund attempts to minimize such failures through controls and oversight, it is not possible to identify all of the operational risks that may affect the Fund or to develop processes and controls that completely eliminate or mitigate the occurrence of such failures. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.
GSAM may manage other funds, accounts, additional pooled vehicles and/or separate accounts that have similar investment strategies to those of the Fund. These funds, pooled vehicles or accounts may perform differently than the Fund despite their similar strategies. Because the pooled vehicles may not be registered under the Investment Company Act, they are subject to fewer regulatory restraints than the Fund (
e.g.
, fewer trading constraints) and may employ strategies that are not subject to the same constraints as the Fund.
From time to time, Goldman Sachs or any of its affiliates may purchase and hold Shares of the Fund. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates reserve the right to redeem or sell at any time some or all of the Shares acquired for their own accounts.
 
19

GSAM and/or its affiliates expect to make payments to one or more investors that contribute seed capital to the Fund for so long as such capital remains invested in the Fund. Such payments will be made from the assets of GSAM and/or such affiliates and will be based on revenues generated by GSAM in providing services to one or more ETFs for which it serves as investment adviser. Seed investors may contribute all or a majority of the assets in the Fund. There is a risk that such seed investors may redeem their investments in the Fund. As with redemptions by other large shareholders, such redemptions could have a significant negative impact on the Fund.
 
 
MANAGEMENT FEE AND OTHER EXPENSES
    
Pursuant to the Fund’s Management Agreement, as compensation for its services to the Fund, the Investment Adviser is entitled to a management fee, computed daily and payable monthly, at an annual rate listed below (as a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets). Under the Management Agreement, the Investment Adviser is responsible for substantially all the expenses of the Fund, excluding payments under the Fund’s
12b-1
plan (if any), interest expenses, taxes, acquired fund fees and expenses, brokerage fees, costs of holding shareholder meetings and litigation, indemnification and extraordinary expenses.
 
                                      
Fund
 
Fee as a
Percentage of
Average Daily
Net Assets
Future Tech Leaders Equity ETF
 
0.75%
 
A discussion regarding the basis for the Board of Trustees’ approval of the Management Agreement for the Fund will be available in the Fund’s first annual or semi-annual report following its launch.
 
 
FUND MANAGERS
    
The individuals jointly and primarily responsible for the
day-to-day
management of the Fund are listed below. The Fund’s portfolio managers’ individual responsibilities may differ and may include, among other things, security selection, asset allocation, risk budgeting, selecting the composition of creation and redemption baskets, general oversight of the implementation processes and management of the Fund’s portfolio.
 
Name and Title
 
Years
Primarily
Responsible
 
Five Year Employment History
Sung Cho
Managing Director
 
Since

2021
 
Mr. Cho joined the Investment Adviser in 2004. He is a portfolio manager on the Fundamental Equity Team and has broad research responsibilities.
Charles “Brook” Dane
Managing Director
 
Since

2021
 
Mr. Dane joined the Investment Adviser in 2010. He is a portfolio manager on the Fundamental Equity Team and has broad research responsibilities.
Raj Garigipati
Managing Director
 
Since

2021
 
Mr. Garigipati joined the ETF Portfolio Management team in 2015. Prior to joining the ETF Portfolio Management team, he had been the Chief Risk Officer of the Quantitative Investment Strategies team since 2011.
Nathan Lin
Vice President
 
Since

2021
 
Mr. Lin joined the Investment Adviser in 2008. He is a portfolio manager on the Fundamental Equity Team and has broad research responsibilities.
Jamie McGregor
Vice President
 
Since

2021
 
Mr. McGregor is a portfolio manager on the ETF Portfolio Management team. He joined GSAM in 2015. Prior to joining GSAM, he was a portfolio manager at Guggenheim Investments since 2007.
   
For information about the portfolio managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the portfolio managers and the portfolio managers’ ownership of securities in the Fund, see the SAI.
 
 
DISTRIBUTOR
    
ALPS Distributors, Inc., 1290 Broadway, Suite 1000, Denver, Colorado 80203, serves as the exclusive distributor of Creation Units of Shares of the Fund pursuant to a “best efforts” arrangement as provided by a distribution agreement with the Trust on behalf of the Fund. Shares of the Fund are offered and sold on a continuous basis by the Distributor, acting as agent. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in the Fund’s Shares.
 
20

SERVICE PROVIDERS
 
 
TRANSFER AGENT, CUSTODIAN AND PROVIDER OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
    
The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”), 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286, serves as the Trust’s transfer and dividend disbursing agent. Under its transfer agency agreement with the Trust, BNYM has undertaken with the Trust to provide the following services with respect to the Fund: (i) perform and facilitate the performance of purchases and redemptions of Creation Units, (ii) prepare and transmit by means of Depository Trust Company’s (“DTC”) book-entry system payments for dividends and distributions on or with respect to the Shares declared by the Trust on behalf of the Fund, (iii) prepare and deliver reports, information and documents as specified in the transfer agency agreement, (iv) perform the customary services of a transfer agent and dividend disbursing agent, and (v) render certain other miscellaneous services as specified in the transfer agency agreement or as otherwise agreed upon.
BNYM is the custodian of the Trust’s portfolio securities and cash. The custodian of the Trust may change from time to time. BNYM also maintains the Trust’s accounting records. BNYM may appoint domestic and foreign
sub-custodians
and use depositories from time to time to hold securities and other instruments purchased by the Trust in foreign countries and to hold cash and currencies for the Trust.
BNYM provides administrative services pursuant to a fund administration agreement with the Trust (the “Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement”) pursuant to which BNYM provides certain services, including, among others, (i) preparation of certain shareholder reports and communications; (ii) preparation of certain reports and filings with the SEC; (iii) certain NAV computation services; and (iv) such other services for the Trust as may be mutually agreed upon between the Trust and BNYM. For its services under the Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement, BNYM receives such fees based on a stated percentage of net assets as are agreed upon from time to time between the parties. In addition, BNYM is reimbursed for reasonable
out-of-pocket
expenses incurred in connection with the Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement. In addition, an affiliate of BNYM will also provide certain other services for the Trust, including, (i) providing foreign exchange transaction services and (ii) executing trades in connection with certain creation and redemption transactions effected partially in cash. For these services, the BNYM affiliate will receive compensation based on levels that are negotiated with the Trust and/or the Investment Adviser. BNYM also provides certain middle office services to GSAM pursuant to a service agreement.
 
 
ACTIVITIES OF GOLDMAN SACHS AND ITS AFFILIATES AND OTHER
ACCOUNTS MANAGED BY GOLDMAN SACHS
    
The involvement of the Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and their affiliates in the management of, or their interest in, other accounts and other activities of Goldman Sachs will present conflicts of interest with respect to the Fund and will, under certain circumstances, limit the Fund’s investment activities. Goldman Sachs is a worldwide, full service investment banking, broker dealer, asset management and financial services organization and a major participant in global financial markets that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals. As such, it acts as a broker-dealer, investment adviser, investment banker, underwriter, research provider, administrator, financier, adviser, market maker, trader, prime broker, derivatives dealer, clearing agent, lender, counterparty, agent, principal, distributor, investor or in other commercial capacities for accounts or companies or affiliated or unaffiliated investment funds (including pooled investment vehicles and private funds) in which one or more accounts, including the Fund, invest. In those and other capacities, Goldman Sachs and its affiliates advise and deal with clients and third parties in all markets and transactions and purchase, sell, hold and recommend a broad array of investments, including securities, derivatives, loans, commodities, currencies, credit default swaps, indices, baskets and other financial instruments and products for their own accounts or for the accounts of their customers and have other direct and indirect interests in the global fixed income, currency, commodity, equities, bank loans and other markets in which the Fund directly and indirectly invests. Thus, it is expected that the Fund will have multiple business relationships with and will invest in, engage in transactions with, make voting decisions with respect to, or obtain services from entities for which Goldman Sachs and its affiliates perform or seek to perform investment banking or other services. The Investment Adviser and/or certain of its affiliates are the managers of the Goldman Sachs Funds. The Investment Adviser and its affiliates earn fees from this and other relationships with the Fund. Although management fees paid by the Fund to the Investment Adviser and certain other fees paid to the Investment Adviser’s affiliates are based on asset levels, the fees are not directly contingent on Fund performance, and the Investment Adviser and its affiliates will still receive significant compensation from the Fund even if shareholders lose money. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates engage in proprietary trading and advise accounts and funds which have investment objectives, principal investment strategies and/or policies similar or substantially similar to those of the Fund and/or engage in and compete for transactions in the same types of securities, currencies and instruments as the Fund. For operational reasons, trades of the Fund’s portfolio holdings are executed on a delayed basis relative to such accounts and funds
 
21

advised by Goldman Sachs and its affiliates with investment objectives, principal investment strategies and/or policies substantially similar to those of the Fund, subject to the Investment Adviser’s duty to seek to obtain best execution. This may cause trades of the Fund’s portfolio holdings to be executed at inopportune times and/or prices. In addition, Goldman Sachs and its affiliates will not have any obligation to make available any information regarding their proprietary activities or strategies, or the activities or strategies used for other accounts managed by them, for the benefit of the management of the Fund. The results of the Fund’s investment activities, therefore, will likely differ from those of Goldman Sachs, its affiliates and other accounts managed by Goldman Sachs, and it is possible that the Fund could sustain losses during periods in which Goldman Sachs and its affiliates and other accounts achieve significant profits on their trading for proprietary or other accounts. In addition, the Fund may enter into transactions in which Goldman Sachs and its affiliates or their other clients have an adverse interest. For example, the Fund may take a long position in a security at the same time that Goldman Sachs and its affiliates or other accounts managed by the Investment Adviser or its affiliates take a short position in the same security (or vice versa). These and other transactions undertaken by Goldman Sachs, its affiliates or Goldman Sachs-advised clients may, individually or in the aggregate, adversely impact the Fund. Transactions by one or more Goldman Sachs-advised clients or the Investment Adviser may have the effect of diluting or otherwise disadvantaging the values, prices or investment strategies of the Fund. The Fund’s activities will, under certain circumstances, be limited because of regulatory restrictions applicable to Goldman Sachs and its affiliates, and/or their internal policies designed to comply with such restrictions. As a global financial services firm, Goldman Sachs and its affiliates also provide a wide range of investment banking and financial services to issuers of securities and investors in securities. Goldman Sachs, its affiliates and others associated with it are expected to create markets or specialize in, have positions in and/or effect transactions in, securities of issuers held by the Fund, and will likely also perform or seek to perform investment banking and financial services for one or more of those issuers. Goldman Sachs and its affiliates are expected to have business relationships with and purchase or distribute or sell services or products from or to distributors, consultants or others who recommend the Fund or who engage in transactions with or for the Fund. For more information about conflicts of interest, see the section entitled “Potential Conflicts of Interest” in the SAI.
The Fund will, from time to time, make brokerage and other payments to Goldman Sachs and its affiliates in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions, in accordance with applicable law.
The Fund’s Board of Trustees may approve a securities lending program where an affiliate of the Investment Adviser is retained to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund to the extent that the Fund engages in the securities lending program. For these services, the lending agent may receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of the cash received as collateral for the loaned securities.
 
22

 
Distributions
 
The Fund pays distributions from its investment income and from net realized capital gains.
Distributions from net investment income, if any, are normally declared and paid quarterly for the Fund, and distributions from net capital gains, if any, are normally declared and paid annually for the Fund. In addition, the Fund may occasionally make a distribution at a time when it is not normally made.
In addition to the net investment income dividends paid quarterly, the Fund may also earn additional net investment income throughout the year. Any additional net investment income will be distributed annually as a declared event and paid to shareholders of record for such events.
From time to time a portion of the Fund’s distributions may constitute a return of capital for tax purposes, and/or may include amounts in excess of the Fund’s net investment income for the period calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
Dividends and other distributions on Shares of the Fund are distributed on a pro rata basis to beneficial owners of such Shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants (each as described in the Book Entry section below) to beneficial owners then of record with proceeds received from the Fund.
No dividend reinvestment service is provided by the Fund. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry dividend reinvestment service for use by beneficial owners of the Fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require beneficial owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole Shares of the Fund purchased in the secondary market.
 
23

 
Shareholder Guide
 
 
BUYING AND SELLING SHARES
    
Shares of the Fund may be acquired or redeemed directly from the Fund at NAV only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, as discussed in the Creations and Redemptions section of the Prospectus. Only an Authorized Participant (as defined in the Creations and Redemptions section below) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. Once created, Shares of the Fund generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.
Shares of the Fund are expected to be listed for trading on a national securities exchange during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day at market price like shares of other publicly traded companies. However, there can be no guarantee that an active trading market will develop or be maintained, or that the Fund Shares listing will continue or remain unchanged. The Trust does not impose any minimum investment for Shares of the Fund purchased on an exchange. Buying or selling the Fund’s Shares involves certain costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling Shares of the Fund through a financial intermediary, you may incur a brokerage commission or other charges determined by your financial intermediary. Due to these brokerage costs, if any, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment returns. In addition, you may also incur the cost of the spread (the difference between the bid price and the ask price). The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of Shares. The spread varies over time for Shares of the Fund based on its trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally less if the Fund has more trading volume and market liquidity and more if the Fund has less trading volume and market liquidity.
The Fund’s primary listing exchange is NYSE Arca. NYSE Arca is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
A “business day” with respect to the Fund is each day the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Arca and the Trust are open and includes any day that the Fund is required to be open under Section 22(e) of the Investment Company Act. Orders from Authorized Participants to create or redeem Creation Units will only be accepted on a business day. On days when NYSE Arca closes earlier than normal, the Fund may require orders to create or redeem Creation Units to be placed earlier in the day. See the SAI for more information.
The Trust’s Board of Trustees has not adopted a policy of monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of Fund Shares (“frequent trading”) that appear to attempt to take advantage of potential arbitrage opportunities presented by a lag between a change in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities after the close of the primary markets for the Fund’s portfolio securities and the reflection of that change in the Fund’s NAV (“market timing”). The Trust believes this is appropriate because ETFs, such as the Fund, are intended to be attractive to arbitrageurs, as trading activity is critical to ensuring that the market price of Fund Shares remains at or close to NAV. Since the Fund issues and redeems Creation Units at NAV plus applicable transaction fees, and the Fund’s Shares may be purchased and sold on NYSE Arca at prevailing market prices, the risks of frequent trading are limited.
Section 12(d)(1) of the Investment Company Act restricts investments by registered investment companies and companies relying on Sections 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Investment Company Act in the securities of other investment companies. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1), subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in an SEC exemptive order issued to GSAM and the Trust, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Trust.
The Fund and the Distributor will have the sole right to accept orders to purchase Shares and reserve the right to reject any purchase order in whole or in part.
 
 
PAYMENTS TO BROKER-DEALERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES
    
GSAM and/or the Distributor (upon direction of the Fund) may make payments to broker-dealers, registered investment advisers or other financial intermediaries (each, a “Financial Intermediary”) related to activities that are designed to make registered representatives, other professionals and individual investors more knowledgeable about the Fund or for other activities, such as participation in marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, the support or purchase of technology plat-forms/software and/or reporting systems. GSAM and/or the Distributor (upon direction of the Fund) may also make payments to Financial Intermediaries for certain printing, publishing and mailing costs associated with the Fund or materials relating to
 
24

SHAREHOLDER GUIDE
 
exchange-traded funds in general and/or for the provision of analytical or other data to GSAM or its affiliates relating to sales of Fund Shares. In addition, GSAM and/or the Distributor may make payments to Financial Intermediaries that make Fund Shares available to their clients or for otherwise promoting the Fund, including through the provision of consultative services to GSAM or its affiliates relating to marketing of the Fund and/or sale of Fund Shares and other Goldman Sachs Funds. Such payments, which may be significant to the Financial Intermediary, are not made by the Fund. Rather, such payments are made by GSAM and/or the Distributor from their own resources, which may come directly or indirectly in part from management fees paid by the Fund. Payments of this type are sometimes referred to as marketing support or revenue-sharing payments. A Financial Intermediary may make decisions about which investment options it recommends or makes available, or the level of services provided, to its customers based on the marketing support payments it is eligible to receive. Therefore, such payments to a Financial Intermediary create conflicts of interest between the Financial Intermediary and its customers and may cause the Financial Intermediary to recommend the Fund over another investment. More information regarding these payments is contained in the SAI. A shareholder should contact his or her Financial Intermediary’s salesperson or other investment professional for more information regarding any such payments the Financial Intermediary firm may receive from GSAM and/or the Distributor.
 
 
NET ASSET VALUE
    
The Fund generally calculates its NAV as follows:
 
NAV=  
(Value of Assets of the Fund)
– (Liabilities of the Fund)
  Number of Outstanding Shares of the Fund
The Fund’s NAV per share is generally calculated by the Fund’s provider of administrative services on each business day as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) or such other times as the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ market may officially close. The Fund’s investments for which market quotations are readily available are valued at market value on the basis of quotations provided by pricing services or securities dealers. If accurate quotations are not readily available, if the Fund’s provider of administrative services is unable for other reasons to facilitate pricing of individual securities or calculate the Fund’s NAV, or if the Investment Adviser believes that such quotations do not accurately reflect fair value, the fair value of the Fund’s investments may be determined in good faith under valuation procedures established by the Board of Trustees. Thus, such pricing may be based on subjective judgments and it is possible that the prices resulting from such valuation procedures may differ materially from the value realized on a sale. Cases where there is no clear indication of the value of the Fund’s investments include, among others, situations where a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source or a price is unavailable.
Equity securities listed on an exchange are generally valued at the last available sale price on the exchange on which they are principally traded.
Fixed income securities are generally valued on the basis of prices (including evaluated prices) and quotations provided by pricing services or securities dealers. Pricing services may use matrix pricing or valuation models, which utilize certain inputs and assumptions, including, but not limited to, yield or price with respect to comparable fixed income securities, to determine current value. Pricing services generally value fixed income securities assuming orderly transactions of an institutional round lot size, but the Fund may hold or transact in such securities in smaller odd lot sizes. Odd lots may trade at lower prices than institutional round lots.
Investments in other
open-end
registered investment companies (if any), excluding investments in ETFs, are valued based on the NAV of those
open-end
registered investment companies (which may use fair value pricing as discussed in their prospectuses). Investments in ETFs will generally be valued at the last sale price or official closing price on the exchange on which they are principally traded.
In addition, the Investment Adviser, consistent with its procedures and applicable regulatory guidance, may (but need not) determine to make an adjustment to the previous closing prices of securities in light of significant events, to reflect what it believes to be the fair value of the securities at the time of determining the Fund’s NAV. Significant events that could affect a large number of securities in a particular market may include, but are not limited to: situations relating to one or more single issuers in a market sector; significant fluctuations in U.S. or foreign markets; market dislocations; market disruptions or unscheduled market closings; equipment failures; natural or
man-made
disasters or acts of God; armed conflicts; governmental actions or other developments; as well as the same or similar events which may affect specific issuers or the securities markets even though not tied directly to the securities markets. Other significant events that could relate to a single issuer may include, but are not limited to: corporate actions
 
25

such as reorganizations, mergers and
buy-outs;
corporate announcements, including those relating to earnings, products and regulatory news; significant litigation; ratings downgrades; bankruptcies; and trading limits or suspensions.
Fair valuation involves the risk that the values used by the Fund to price its investments may be different from those used by other investment companies and investors to price the same investments.
Foreign securities may trade in their local markets on days the Fund is closed. As a result, if the Fund holds foreign securities, its NAV may be impacted on days when investors may not purchase or sell Fund Shares on the secondary market or purchase or redeem Creation Units through the Fund.
The Fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. The ability of the Fund’s provider of administrative services to calculate the NAV per share of the Fund is subject to operational risks associated with processing or human errors, systems or technology failures, cyber attacks and errors caused by third party service providers, data sources, or trading counterparties. Such failures may result in delays in the calculation of the Fund’s NAV and/or the inability to calculate NAV over extended time periods. The Fund may be unable to recover any losses associated with such failures. In addition, if the third party service providers and/or data sources upon which the Fund directly or indirectly relies to calculate its NAV or price individual securities are unavailable or otherwise unable to calculate the NAV correctly, it may be necessary for alternative procedures to be followed to price the securities at the time of determining the Fund’s NAV.
 
 
BOOK ENTRY
    
DTC serves as securities depository for the Shares. (The Shares may be held only in book-entry form; stock certificates will not be issued.) DTC, or its nominee, is the record or registered owner of all outstanding Shares. Beneficial ownership of Shares will be shown on the records of DTC or its participants (described below). Beneficial owners of Shares are not entitled to have Shares registered in their names, will not receive or be entitled to receive physical delivery of certificates in definitive form and are not considered the registered holder thereof. Accordingly, to exercise any rights of a holder of Shares, each beneficial owner must rely on the procedures of: (i) DTC; (ii) “DTC Participants,”
i.e.
, securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC; and (iii) “Indirect Participants,”
i.e.
, brokers, dealers, banks and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly, through which such beneficial owner holds its interests. The Trust understands that under existing industry practice, in the event the Trust requests any action of holders of Shares, or a beneficial owner desires to take any action that DTC, as the record owner of all outstanding Shares, is entitled to take, DTC would authorize the DTC Participants to take such action and that the DTC Participants would authorize the Indirect Participants and beneficial owners acting through such DTC Participants to take such action and would otherwise act upon the instructions of beneficial owners owning through them. As described above, the Trust recognizes DTC or its nominee as the owner of all Shares for all purposes.
 
 
CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS
    
Prior to trading in the secondary market, Shares of the Fund are “created” at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in
block-size
Creation Units or multiples thereof. Each “creator” or “Authorized Participant” enters into an authorized participant agreement with the Fund’s Distributor.
A creation transaction, which is subject to acceptance by BNYM, as the Trust’s transfer agent, generally takes place when an Authorized Participant deposits into the Fund a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) and a specified amount of cash in exchange for a specified number of Creation Units.
Similarly, Shares can be redeemed only in Creation Units, generally for a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) held by the Fund and a specified amount of cash. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares are not redeemable by the Fund.
The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after a creation or redemption order is received in an acceptable form under the authorized participant agreement.
Please note the following with respect to the price at which transactions are processed:
 
 
NAV per Share is generally calculated by the Fund’s fund accounting agent on each business day as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) or such other times as the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ market may officially close. Fund Shares will generally not be priced on any day the New York Stock Exchange is closed.
 
26

SHAREHOLDER GUIDE
 
 
 
The Trust reserves the right to reprocess creation and redemption transactions that were processed at a NAV that is subsequently adjusted, and to recover amounts from (or distribute amounts to) Authorized Participants accordingly based on the official closing NAV, as adjusted.
 
 
The Trust reserves the right to advance the time by which creation and redemption orders must be received for same business day credit as otherwise permitted by the SEC.
 
 
Consistent with industry practice, investment transactions not settling on the same day are recorded and factored into the Fund’s NAV on the business day following trade date (T+1). The use of T+1 accounting generally does not, but may, result in a NAV that differs materially from the NAV that would result if all transactions were reflected on their trade dates.
Note: The time at which transactions and shares are priced and the time by which orders must be received may be changed in case of an emergency or if regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange is stopped at a time other than its regularly scheduled closing time. In the event the New York Stock Exchange does not open for business, the Trust may, but is not required to, open the Fund for creation and redemption transactions if the Federal Reserve wire payment system is open. To learn whether the Fund is open for business during this situation, please call the appropriate phone number located on the back cover of the Prospectus.
Only an Authorized Participant may create or redeem Creation Units directly with the Fund.
In the event of a system failure or other interruption, including disruptions at market makers or Authorized Participants, orders to purchase or redeem Creation Units either may not be executed according to the Fund’s instructions or may not be executed at all, or the Fund may not be able to place or change orders.
To the extent the Fund engages in
in-kind
transactions, the Fund intends to comply with the U.S. federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposit and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities by, among other means, assuring that any securities accepted for deposit and any securities used to satisfy redemption requests will be sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Further, an Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the Securities Act, will not be able to receive restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.
Creations and redemptions must be made through a firm that is either a member of the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a DTC Participant and has executed an agreement with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit aggregations. Information about the procedures regarding creation and redemption of Creation Units (including the
cut-off
times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) and the applicable transaction fees is included in the Fund’s SAI.
 
27

 
Taxation
 
As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in the Fund will be taxed. The tax information below is provided as general information. More tax information is available in the SAI. You should consult your tax adviser about the federal, state, local or foreign tax consequences of your investment in the Fund. Except as otherwise noted, the tax information provided assumes that you are a U.S. citizen or resident.
Unless your investment is through an IRA or other
tax-advantaged
account, you should carefully consider the possible tax consequences of Fund distributions and the sale of your Fund Shares.
 
 
DISTRIBUTIONS
    
The Fund contemplates declaring as dividends each year all or substantially all of its taxable income. Distributions you receive from the Fund are generally subject to federal income tax, and may also be subject to state or local taxes. This is true whether you reinvest your distributions in additional Fund Shares or receive them in cash. For federal tax purposes, the Fund’s distributions attributable to net investment income and short-term capital gains are taxable to you as ordinary income while distributions of long-term capital gains are taxable to you as long-term capital gains, no matter how long you have owned your Fund Shares.
Under current provisions of the Code, the maximum individual rate applicable to long-term capital gains is generally either 15% or 20%, depending on whether the individual’s income exceeds certain threshold amounts. Fund distributions to
non-corporate
shareholders attributable to dividends received by the Fund from U.S. and certain qualified foreign corporations will generally be taxed at the long-term capital gain rate, as long as certain other requirements are met. For these lower rates to apply, the
non-corporate
shareholder must own their Fund Shares for at least 61 days during the
121-day
period beginning 60 days before the Fund’s
ex-dividend
date. The amount of the Fund’s distributions that would otherwise qualify for this favorable tax treatment will be reduced as a result of the Fund’s securities lending activities or high portfolio turnover rate.
Distributions in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits are treated as a
tax-free
return of your investment to the extent of your basis in the Shares, and generally as capital gain thereafter. A return of capital, which for tax purposes is treated as a return of your investment, reduces your basis in shares, thus reducing any loss or increasing any gain on a subsequent taxable disposition of shares. A distribution will reduce the Fund’s NAV per share and may be taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gain even though, from an economic standpoint, the distribution may constitute a return of capital.
An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the 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 certain threshold amounts.
The Fund’s transactions in derivatives (such as futures contracts and swaps) will be subject to special tax rules, the effect of which may be to accelerate income to the Fund, defer losses to the Fund, cause adjustments in the holding periods of the Fund’s securities and convert short-term capital losses into long-term capital losses. These rules could therefore affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to you. The Fund’s use of derivatives may result in the Fund realizing more short-term capital gains and ordinary income subject to tax at ordinary income tax rates than it would if it did not use derivatives.
Although distributions are generally treated as taxable to you in the year they are paid, distributions declared in October, November or December but paid in January are taxable as if they were paid in December. A percentage of the Fund’s dividends paid to corporate shareholders may be eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction. This percentage may, however, be reduced as a result of the Fund’s securities lending activities or high portfolio turnover rate. Character and tax status of all distributions will be available to shareholders after the close of each calendar year.
The Fund may be subject to foreign withholding or other foreign taxes on income or gain from certain foreign securities. In general, the Fund may deduct these taxes in computing its taxable income. Rather than deducting these foreign taxes, the Fund may make an election to treat a proportionate amount of those taxes as constituting a distribution to each shareholder, which would generally allow you either (i) to credit (subject to certain holding period and other limitations) that proportionate amount of taxes against your U.S. Federal income tax liability as a foreign tax credit or (ii) to take that amount as an itemized deduction.
If you buy Shares of the Fund before it makes a distribution, the distribution will be taxable to you even though it may actually be a return of a portion of your investment. This is known as “buying into a dividend.”
 
28

TAXATION
 
 
TAXES ON CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS OF CREATION UNITS
    
A person who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or loss. The gain or loss will be equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time of exchange and the sum of the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and the amount of any cash paid for such Creation Units. A person who exchanges Creation Units for securities will generally recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the sum of the aggregate market value of the securities received. The Internal Revenue Service, however, may assert that a loss realized upon an exchange of primarily securities for Creation Units cannot be deducted currently under the rules governing “wash sales,” or on the basis that there has been no significant change in economic position. Persons exchanging securities for Creation Units or redeeming Creation Units should consult their own tax adviser with respect to whether wash sale rules apply and when a loss might be deductible and the tax treatment of any creation or redemption transaction.
Under current U.S. federal income tax laws, any capital gain or loss realized upon a redemption (or creation) of Creation Units is generally treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares (or securities surrendered) have been held for one year or less.
 
 
SALES OF FUND SHARES
    
Your sale of Fund Shares is a taxable transaction for federal income tax purposes, and may also be subject to state and local taxes. When you sell your Shares, you will generally recognize a capital gain or loss in an amount equal to the difference between your adjusted tax basis in the Shares and the amount received. Generally, this capital gain or loss is long-term or short-term depending on whether your holding period exceeds one year, except that any loss realized on Shares held for six months or less will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any capital gain dividends that were received on the Shares. Additionally, any loss realized on a sale or redemption of Shares of the Fund may be disallowed under “wash sale” rules to the extent the Shares disposed of are replaced with other Shares of the Fund within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the date of disposition, such as pursuant to a dividend reinvestment in Shares of the Fund. If disallowed, the loss will be reflected in an adjustment to the basis of the Shares acquired.
 
 
OTHER INFORMATION
    
When You may be subject to backup withholding at a rate of 24% with respect to taxable distributions if you do not provide your correct taxpayer identification number, or certify that it is correct, or if you have been notified by the IRS that you are subject to backup withholding.
Non-U.S.
investors are generally subject to U.S. withholding tax and may be subject to estate tax with respect to their Fund Shares. However, withholding is generally not required on properly designated distributions to
non-U.S.
investors of long-term capital gains.
Non-U.S.
investors generally are not subject to U.S. federal income tax withholding on certain distributions of interest income and/or short-term capital gains that are designated by the Fund. It is expected that the Fund will generally make designations of short-term gains, to the extent permitted, but the Fund do not intend to make designations of any distributions attributable to interest income. Therefore, all distributions of interest income will be subject to withholding when paid to
non-U.S.
investors.
Withholding of U.S. tax (at a 30% rate) is required with respect to payments of taxable dividends made to certain
non-U.S.
entities that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive new 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 t to enable the applicable withholding agent to determine whether withholding is required.
Reporting to you and the IRS is required annually on Form
1099-B
not only the gross proceeds of Fund Shares you sell or redeem but also their cost basis. Shareholders should contact their intermediaries with respect to reporting of cost basis and available elections with respect to their accounts. You should carefully review the cost basis information provided by the applicable intermediary and make any additional basis, holding period or other adjustments that are required when reporting these amounts on your federal income tax returns.
 
29

 
Other Information
 
 
PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION
    
When available, information regarding how often Shares of the Fund traded on NYSE Arca at a premium or discount during the most recently completed calendar year and the most recently completed calendar quarter(s) since that year (or the life of the Fund, if shorter) can be found at
 www.gsamfunds.com.
 
 
CONTINUOUS OFFERING
    
The method by which Creation Units are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units are issued and sold by the Trust on an ongoing basis, a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities Act, may occur at any point. Broker dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the Securities Act.
For example, a broker dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Distributor, breaks them down into constituent Shares, and sells such Shares directly to customers, or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for Shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker dealer or its client in the particular case, and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to a categorization as an underwriter.
Broker dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary trading transactions), and thus dealing with Shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(C) of the Securities Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the Investment Company Act. As a result, broker dealer firms should note that dealers who are not underwriters but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted with ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with the Shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(A) of the Securities Act would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act. Firms that incur a prospectus delivery obligation with respect to Shares are reminded that, under Rule 153 of the Securities Act, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on NYSE Arca is satisfied by the fact that the prospectus is available at NYSE Arca upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is only available with respect to transactions on an exchange.
In addition, certain affiliates of the Fund and the Investment Adviser may purchase and resell Fund Shares pursuant to the Prospectus.
 
 
DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE PLAN
    
The Board of Trustees of the Trust has adopted a distribution and service plan (“Plan”) pursuant to Rule
12b-1
under the Investment Company Act. Under the Plan, the Fund is authorized to pay distribution fees in connection with the sale and distribution of its Shares and pay service fees in connection with the provision of ongoing services to shareholders of the Fund and the maintenance of shareholder accounts in an amount up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year.
No Rule
12b-1
fees are currently paid by the Fund, and there are no current plans to impose these fees. However, in the event
Rule 12b-1
fees are charged in the future, because these fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, these fees will increase the cost of your investment in the Fund. By purchasing Shares subject to distribution fees and service fees, you may pay more over time than you would by purchasing Shares with other types of sales charge arrangements. Long-term shareholders may pay more than the economic equivalent of the maximum
front-end
sales charge permitted by the rules of FINRA. The net income attributable to Shares will be reduced by the amount of distribution fees and service fees and other expenses of the Fund.
 
30

 
Appendix A
Additional Information on Portfolio Risks,
Securities and Techniques
 
 
A.    General Portfolio Risks
    
The Fund will be subject to the risks associated with equity investments. “Equity investments” may include common stocks, preferred stocks, interests in REITs, convertible debt obligations, convertible preferred stocks, equity interests in trusts, partnerships, joint ventures, limited liability companies and similar enterprises, other investment companies (including ETFs), warrants, stock purchase rights and synthetic and derivative instruments (such as swaps and futures contracts) that have economic characteristics similar to equity securities.
In general, the values of equity investments fluctuate in response to the activities of individual companies and in response to general market and economic conditions. Accordingly, the values of the equity investments that the Fund holds may decline over short or extended periods. The stock markets tend to be cyclical, with periods when stock prices generally rise and periods when prices generally decline. This volatility means that the value of your investment in the Fund may increase or decrease. In recent years, certain stock markets have experienced substantial price volatility. To the extent the Fund’s net assets decrease or increase in the future due to price volatility or share redemption or purchase activity, the Fund’s expense ratio may correspondingly increase or decrease from the expense ratio disclosed in the Prospectus.
To the extent the Fund invests in pooled investment vehicles (including investment companies and ETFs), partnerships and REITs, the Fund will be affected by the investment policies, practices and performances of such entities in direct proportion to the amount of assets the Fund invests therein.
To the extent that the Fund invests in fixed income securities, the Fund will also be subject to the risks associated with its fixed income securities. These risks include interest rate risk, credit/default risk and call/extension risk. In general, interest rate risk involves the risk that when interest rates decline, the market value of fixed income securities tends to increase (although many mortgage-related securities will have less potential than other debt securities for capital appreciation during periods of declining rates). Conversely, when interest rates increase, the market value of fixed income securities tends to decline. Credit/default risk involves the risk that an issuer or guarantor could default on its obligations, and the Fund will not recover its investment. A rising interest rate environment could cause the value of the Fund’s fixed income securities, if any, to decrease, and fixed income markets to experience increased volatility in addition to heightened levels of liquidity risk. Additionally, decreases in the value of fixed income securities could lead to increased shareholder redemptions, which could impair the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. The risks associated with increasing rates are heightened given that interest rates are near historic lows, but may be expected to increase in the future with unpredictable effects on the markets and the Fund’s investments. Call risk and extension risk are normally present in mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities. For example, homeowners have the option to prepay their mortgages. Therefore, the duration of a security backed by home mortgages can either shorten (call risk) or lengthen (extension risk). In general, if interest rates on new mortgage loans fall sufficiently below the interest rates on existing outstanding mortgage loans, the rate of prepayment would be expected to increase. Conversely, if mortgage loan interest rates rise above the interest rates on existing outstanding mortgage loans, the rate of prepayment would be expected to decrease. In either case, a change in the prepayment rate can result in losses to investors. The same would be true of asset-backed securities such as securities backed by car loans.
Non-investment
grade fixed income securities (commonly known as “junk bonds”) are rated below investment grade (or determined to be of comparable credit quality, if not rated) at the time of purchase and are therefore considered speculative. Because
non-investment
grade fixed income securities are issued by issuers with low credit ratings, they pose a greater risk of default than investment grade securities.
The Investment Adviser will not consider the portfolio turnover rate a limiting factor in making investment decisions for the Fund. A high rate of portfolio turnover (100% or more) involves correspondingly greater expenses which must be borne by the Fund and its shareholders and is also likely to result in higher short-term capital gains for taxable shareholders. The portfolio turnover rate is calculated by dividing the lesser of the dollar amount of sales or purchases of portfolio securities by the average monthly value of the Fund’s portfolio securities, excluding securities having a maturity at the date of purchase of one year or less. See “Financial Highlights” in Appendix B for a statement of the Fund’s historical portfolio turnover rates.
 
31

The Fund may, from time to time, enter into arrangements with certain brokers or other counterparties that require the segregation of collateral. For operational, cost or other reasons, when setting up arrangements relating to the execution/clearing of trades, the Fund may choose to select a segregation model which may not be the most protective option available in the case of a default by a broker or counterparty.
The following sections provide further information on certain types of securities and investment techniques that may be used by the Fund, including their associated risks. Additional information is provided in the SAI, which is available upon request. Among other things, the SAI describes certain fundamental investment restrictions that cannot be changed without shareholder approval. You should note, however, that all investment objectives and all investment policies not specifically designated as fundamental are
non-fundamental,
and may be changed without shareholder approval. If there is a change in the Fund’s investment objective, you should consider whether the Fund remains an appropriate investment in light of your then current financial position and needs.
 
 
B.    Other Portfolio Risks
    
Risks of Investing in
Mid-Capitalization
and Small-Capitalization Companies.  
The Fund may, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, invest in
mid-
and small-capitalization companies. Investments in
mid-
and small-capitalization companies involve greater risk and portfolio price volatility than investments in larger capitalization stocks. Among the reasons for the greater price volatility of these investments are the less certain growth prospects of smaller firms and the lower degree of liquidity in the markets for such securities.
Mid-
and small-capitalization companies may be thinly traded and may have to be sold at a discount from current market prices or in small lots over an extended period of time. In addition, these securities are subject to the risk that during certain periods the liquidity of particular issuers or industries, or all securities in particular investment categories, will shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse economic or market conditions, or adverse investor perceptions whether or not accurate. Because of the lack of sufficient market liquidity, the Fund may incur losses because it will be required to effect sales at a disadvantageous time and only then at a substantial drop in price.
Mid-
and small-capitalization companies include “unseasoned” issuers that do not have an established financial history; often have limited product lines, markets or financial resources; may depend on or use a few key personnel for management; and may be susceptible to losses and risks of bankruptcy.
Mid-
and small-capitalization companies may be operating at a loss or have significant variations in operating results; may be engaged in a rapidly changing business with products subject to a substantial risk of obsolescence; may require substantial additional capital to support their operations, to finance expansion or to maintain their competitive position; and may have substantial borrowings or may otherwise have a weak financial condition. In addition, these companies may face intense competition, including competition from companies with greater financial resources, more extensive development, manufacturing, marketing, and other capabilities, and a larger number of qualified managerial and technical personnel. Transaction costs for these investments are often higher than those of larger capitalization companies. Investments in
mid-
and small-capitalization companies may be more difficult to price precisely than other types of securities because of their characteristics and lower trading volumes.
Risks of Foreign Investments.  
The Fund may make foreign investments. Foreign investments involve special risks that are not typically associated with U.S. dollar denominated or quoted securities of U.S. issuers. Foreign investments may be affected by changes in currency rates, changes in foreign or U.S. laws or restrictions applicable to such investments and changes in exchange control regulations (
e.g.
, currency blockage). A decline in the exchange rate of the currency (
i.e.
, weakening of the currency against the U.S. dollar) in which a portfolio security is quoted or denominated relative to the U.S. dollar would reduce the value of the portfolio security. In addition, if the currency in which the Fund receives dividends, interest or other payments declines in value against the U.S. dollar before such income is distributed as dividends to shareholders or converted to U.S. dollars, the Fund may have to sell portfolio securities to obtain sufficient cash to pay such dividends.
Certain foreign markets may rely heavily on particular industries or foreign capital and are more vulnerable to diplomatic developments, the imposition of economic sanctions against a particular country or countries, organizations, entities and/or individuals, changes in international trading patterns, trade barriers, and other protectionist or retaliatory measures. International trade barriers or economic sanctions against foreign countries, organizations, entities and/or individuals may adversely affect the Fund’s foreign holdings or exposures.
Brokerage commissions, custodial services and other costs relating to investment in international securities markets generally are more expensive than in the United States. In addition, clearance and settlement procedures may be different in foreign countries and, in certain markets, such procedures have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, thus making it difficult to conduct such transactions.
 
32

APPENDIX A
 
Foreign issuers are not generally subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards comparable to those applicable to U.S. issuers. There may be less publicly available information about a foreign issuer than about a U.S. issuer. In addition, there is generally less government regulation of foreign markets, companies and securities dealers than in the United States, and the legal remedies for investors may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States. Foreign securities markets may have substantially less volume than U.S. securities markets and securities of many foreign issuers are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable domestic issuers. Furthermore, with respect to certain foreign countries, there is a possibility of nationalization, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, imposition of withholding or other taxes on dividend or interest payments (or, in some cases, capital gains distributions), limitations on the removal of funds or other assets from such countries, and risks of political or social instability or diplomatic developments which could adversely affect investments in those countries.
Certain foreign investments may become less liquid in response to social, political or market developments or adverse investor perceptions, or become illiquid after purchase by the Fund, particularly during periods of market turmoil. Certain foreign investments may become illiquid when, for instance, there are few, if any, interested buyers and sellers or when dealers are unwilling to make a market for certain securities. When the Fund holds illiquid investments, its portfolio may be harder to value, especially in changing markets.
If the Fund focuses its investments in one or a few countries and currencies it will subject the Fund to greater risks than if the Fund’s assets were not geographically focused.
Investments in foreign securities may take the form of sponsored and unsponsored ADRs, GDRs, EDRs or other similar instruments representing securities of foreign issuers. ADRs, GDRs and EDRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a bank or other depository. ADRs and certain GDRs are traded in the United States. GDRs may be traded in either the United States or in foreign markets. EDRs are traded primarily outside the United States. Prices of ADRs are quoted in U.S. dollars. EDRs and GDRs are not necessarily quoted in the same currency as the underlying security.
Risks of Sovereign Debt.  
Investment in sovereign debt obligations by the Fund involves risks not present in debt obligations of corporate issuers. The issuer of the debt or the governmental authorities that control the repayment of the debt may be unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt, and the Fund may have limited recourse to compel payment in the event of a default. Periods of economic uncertainty may result in the volatility of market prices of sovereign debt, and in turn the Fund’s NAV, to a greater extent than the volatility inherent in debt obligations of U.S. issuers.
A sovereign debtor’s willingness or ability to repay principal and pay interest in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign currency reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the sovereign debtor’s policy toward international lenders, and the political constraints to which a sovereign debtor may be subject.
Risks of Emerging Countries.  
The Fund may invest in securities of issuers located in, or otherwise economically tied to, emerging countries. The risks of foreign investment are heightened when the issuer is located in an emerging country. Emerging countries are generally located in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe, and Central and South America. The Fund’s purchase and sale of portfolio securities in certain emerging countries may be constrained by limitations relating to daily changes in the prices of listed securities, periodic trading or settlement volume and/or limitations on aggregate holdings of foreign investors. Such limitations may be computed based on the aggregate trading volume by or holdings of the Fund, the Investment Adviser, or their affiliates and respective clients and other service providers. The Fund may not be able to sell securities in circumstances where price, trading or settlement volume limitations have been reached.
Foreign investment in the securities markets of certain emerging countries is restricted or controlled to varying degrees which may limit investment in such countries or increase the administrative costs of such investments. For example, certain Asian countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investment by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. In addition, certain countries may restrict or prohibit investment opportunities in issuers or industries deemed important to national interests. Such restrictions may affect the market price, liquidity and rights of securities that may be purchased by the Fund. The repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales from certain emerging countries is subject to restrictions such as the need for governmental consents, which may make it difficult for the Fund to invest in such emerging countries. The Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for such repatriation. In situations where a country restricts direct investment in securities (which may occur in certain Asian and other countries), the Fund may invest in such countries through other investment funds in such countries.
 
33

Emerging market countries may have more or less government regulation and generally do not impose as extensive and frequent accounting, auditing, financial and other reporting requirements as the securities markets of more developed countries. The degree of cooperation between issuers in emerging and frontier market countries with foreign and U.S. financial regulators may vary significantly. Accordingly, regulators may not have sufficient access to audit and oversee issuers, and there could be less information available about issuers in certain emerging market countries. As a result, the Investment Adviser’s ability to evaluate local companies or their potential impact on the Fund’s performance could be inhibited.
Many emerging countries have experienced currency devaluations and substantial (and, in some cases, extremely high) rates of inflation. Other emerging countries have experienced economic recessions. These circumstances have had a negative effect on the economies and securities markets of such emerging countries. Economies in emerging countries generally are dependent heavily upon commodity prices and international trade and, accordingly, have been and may continue to be affected adversely by the economies of their trading partners, trade barriers, exchange controls, managed adjustments in relative currency values and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the countries with which they trade.
Many emerging countries are subject to a substantial degree of economic, political and social instability. Governments of some emerging countries are authoritarian in nature or have been installed or removed as a result of military coups, while governments in other emerging countries have periodically used force to suppress civil dissent. Disparities of wealth, the pace and success of democratization, and ethnic, religious and racial disaffection, among other factors, have also led to social unrest, violence and/or labor unrest in some emerging countries. Unanticipated political or social developments may result in sudden and significant investment losses. Investing in emerging countries involves greater risk of loss due to expropriation, nationalization, confiscation of assets and property or the imposition of restrictions on foreign investments and on repatriation of capital invested. As an example, in the past, some Eastern European governments have expropriated substantial amounts of private property, and many claims of the property owners have never been fully settled. There is no assurance that similar expropriations will not occur in other countries.
The Fund’s investment in emerging countries may also be subject to withholding or other taxes, which may be significant and may reduce the return to the Fund from an investment in issuers in such countries.
Settlement procedures in emerging countries are frequently less developed and reliable than those in the United States and may involve the Fund’s delivery of securities before receipt of payment for their sale. In addition, significant delays may occur in certain markets in registering the transfer of securities. Settlement or registration problems may make it more difficult for the Fund to value its portfolio securities and could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities, to have a portion of its assets uninvested or to incur losses due to the failure of a counterparty to pay for securities the Fund has delivered or the Fund’s inability to complete its contractual obligations because of theft or other reasons.
The creditworthiness of the local securities firms used by the Fund in emerging countries may not be as sound as the creditworthiness of firms used in more developed countries. As a result, the Fund may be subject to a greater risk of loss if a securities firm defaults in the performance of its responsibilities.
The small size and inexperience of the securities markets in certain emerging countries and the limited volume of trading in securities in those countries may make the Fund’s investments in such countries less liquid and more volatile than investments in countries with more developed securities markets (such as the United States, Japan and most Western European countries). The Fund’s investments in emerging countries are subject to the risk that the liquidity of a particular investment, or investments generally, in such countries will shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse economic, market or political conditions or adverse investor perceptions, whether or not accurate. Because of the lack of sufficient market liquidity, the Fund may incur losses because it will be required to effect sales at a disadvantageous time and only then at a substantial drop in price. Investments in emerging countries may be more difficult to value precisely because of the characteristics discussed above and lower trading volumes.
The Fund’s use of foreign currency management techniques in emerging countries may be limited. The Investment Adviser anticipates that a significant portion of the Fund’s currency exposure in emerging countries may not be covered by those techniques.
Foreign Custody Risk.  
The Fund may hold foreign securities and cash with foreign banks, agents and securities depositories appointed by the Fund’s custodian (each a “Foreign Custodian”). Some Foreign Custodians may be recently organized or new to the foreign custody business. In some countries, Foreign Custodians may be subject to little or no regulatory oversight over or independent evaluation of their operations. Further, the laws of certain countries may place limitations on the Fund’s ability to recover its assets if a Foreign Custodian enters bankruptcy. Investments in emerging markets may be subject to even greater
 
34

APPENDIX A
 
custody risks than investments in more developed markets. Custody services in emerging market countries are very often undeveloped and may be considerably less well regulated than in more developed countries, and thus may not afford the same level of investor protection as would apply in developed countries.
Risks of Derivative Investments.  
The Fund may, to the extent consistent with its investment policy, invest in derivative instruments, including without limitation, options, futures, options on futures, swaps, structured securities and forward contracts and other derivatives relating to foreign currency transactions. Derivatives may be used for both hedging and
non-hedging
purposes (that is, to seek to increase total return), although suitable derivative instruments may not always be available to the Investment Adviser for these purposes. Losses from derivative instruments can result from a lack of correlation between changes in the value of derivative instruments and the portfolio assets (if any) being hedged, the potential illiquidity of the markets for derivative instruments, the failure of the counterparty to perform its contractual obligations, or the risks related to leverage factors associated with such transactions. Derivatives are also subject to risks arising from margin requirements, which include the risk that the Fund will be required to pay additional margin or set aside additional collateral to maintain open derivative positions and the risk of loss by the Fund of margin deposits in the event of the bankruptcy or other similar insolvency with respect to a broker or counterparty with whom the Fund has an open derivative position. Losses may also arise if the Fund receives cash collateral under the transactions and some or all of that collateral is invested in the market. To the extent that cash collateral is so invested, such collateral will be subject to market depreciation or appreciation, and the Fund may be responsible for any loss that might result from its investment of the counterparty’s cash collateral. If cash collateral is not invested, the Fund may be exposed to additional risk of loss in the event of the insolvency of its custodian holding such collateral. The use of these management techniques also involves the risk of loss if the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of the timing or level of fluctuations in securities prices, interest rates, currency prices or other variables. Derivative instruments may be harder to value, subject to greater volatility and more likely subject to changes in tax treatment than other investments. For these reasons, the Investment Adviser’s attempts to hedge portfolio risks through the use of derivative instruments may not be successful, and the Investment Adviser may choose not to hedge portfolio risks. Using derivatives for
non-hedging
purposes is considered a speculative practice and presents greater risk of loss than derivatives used for hedging purposes.
Risks of Illiquid Investments.  
The Fund may not acquire any “illiquid investment” if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets. An “illiquid investment” is any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. In determining whether an investment is an illiquid investment, the Investment Adviser will take into account actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment-specific considerations. In addition, in determining the liquidity of an investment, the Investment Adviser must determine whether trading varying portions of a position in a particular portfolio investment or asset class, in sizes that the Fund would reasonably anticipate trading, is reasonably expected to significantly affect its liquidity, and if so, the Fund must take this determination into account when classifying the liquidity of that investment or asset class.
Investments purchased by the Fund that are liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid. If one or more investments in the Fund’s portfolio become illiquid, the Fund may exceed the 15 percent limitation in illiquid investments. In the event that changes in the portfolio or other external events cause the Fund to exceed this limit, the Fund must take steps to bring its illiquid investments that are assets to or below 15% of its net assets within a reasonable period of time. This requirement would not force the Fund to liquidate any portfolio instrument where the Fund would suffer a loss on the sale of that instrument.
In cases where no clear indication of the value of the Fund’s portfolio instruments is available, the portfolio instruments may be valued at their fair value according to the valuation procedures approved by the Fund’s Board of Trustees. These cases include, among others, situations where a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source, or the secondary markets on which an investment has previously been traded are no longer viable, due to its lack of liquidity. For more information on fair valuation, please see “Shareholder Guide—Net Asset Value.”
Credit/Default Risks.  
Debt securities purchased by the Fund may include U.S. Government Securities (including zero coupon bonds) and securities issued by foreign governments, domestic and foreign corporations, banks and other issuers. Some of these fixed income securities are described in the next section below. Further information is provided in the SAI.
The Fund also has credit rating requirements for the securities it buys, which are applied at the time of purchase. For this purpose, the Fund relies only on the ratings of the following NRSROs: Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch, Inc. Unrated securities may be purchased by the Fund if they are determined by the Investment Adviser to be of a credit quality consistent with the Fund’s credit rating requirements.
 
35

Debt securities rated BBB– or higher by Standard & Poor’s or Baa3 or higher by Moody’s or having a comparable credit rating by another NRSRO are considered “investment grade.” Securities rated BBB– or Baa3 are considered medium-grade obligations with= speculative characteristics, and adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances may weaken their issuers’ capacity to pay interest and repay principal. For the purpose of determining compliance with any credit rating requirement, the Fund assigns a security, at the time of purchase, the highest rating by an NRSRO if the security is rated by more than one NRSRO. Therefore, a security will be deemed to have met a rating requirement if it receives the minimum required rating from at least one such rating organization even though it has been rated below the minimum rating by one or more other rating organizations, or if unrated by such rating organizations, the security is determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality.
A security satisfies the Fund’s minimum rating requirement regardless of its relative ranking (for example, plus or minus) within a designated major rating category (for example, BBB or Baa). If a security satisfies the Fund’s minimum rating requirement at the time of purchase and is subsequently downgraded below that rating, the Fund will not be required to dispose of the security. If a downgrade occurs, the Investment Adviser will consider which action, including the sale of the security, is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.
Fixed income securities rated BB+ or Ba1 or below (or comparable unrated securities) are commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” Junk bonds are considered speculative and may be questionable as to principal and interest payments.
In some cases, junk bonds may be highly speculative, have poor prospects for reaching investment grade standing and be in default. As a result, investment in such bonds will present greater speculative risks than those associated with investment in investment grade bonds. Also, to the extent that the rating assigned to a security in the Fund’s portfolio is downgraded by a rating organization, the market price and liquidity of such security may be adversely affected.
Risks of Initial Public Offerings.  
The Fund may invest in IPOs. An IPO is a company’s first offering of stock to the public. IPO risk is the risk that the market value of IPO shares will fluctuate considerably due to factors such as the absence of a prior public market, unseasoned trading, the small number of shares available for trading and limited information about a company’s business model, quality of management, earnings growth potential and other criteria used to evaluate its investment prospects. The purchase of IPO shares may involve high transaction costs. Investments in IPO shares, which are subject to market risk and liquidity risk, involve greater risks than investments in shares of companies that have traded publicly on an exchange for extended periods of time. When the Fund’s asset base is small, a significant portion of the Fund’s performance could be attributable to investments in IPOs, because such investments would have a magnified impact on the Fund. As the Fund’s assets grow, the effect of the Fund’s investments in IPOs on the Fund’s performance probably will decline, which could reduce the Fund’s performance. Because of the price volatility of IPO shares, the Fund may choose to hold IPO shares for a very short period of time. This may increase the turnover of the Fund’s portfolio and may lead to increased expenses to the Fund, such as commissions and transaction costs. By selling IPO shares, the Fund may realize taxable gains it will subsequently distribute to shareholders. In addition, the market for IPO shares can be speculative and/or inactive for extended periods of time. There is no assurance that the Fund will be able to obtain allocable portions of IPO shares. The limited number of shares available for trading in some IPOs may make it more difficult for the Fund to buy or sell significant amounts of shares without an unfavorable impact on prevailing prices. Investors in IPO shares can be affected by substantial dilution in the value of their shares, by sales of additional shares and by concentration of control in existing management and principal shareholders.
Temporary Investment Risks.  
The Fund may, for temporary defensive purposes, invest up to 100% of its total assets in:
 
 
U.S. Government Securities
 
 
Commercial paper rated at least
A-2
by Standard & Poor’s,
P-2
by Moody’s or having a comparable credit rating by another NRSRO (or, if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality)
 
 
Certificates of deposit
 
 
Bankers’ acceptances
 
 
Repurchase agreements
 
 
Non-convertible
preferred stocks and
non-convertible
corporate bonds with a remaining maturity of less than one year
 
 
ETFs
 
 
Other investment companies
 
 
Cash items
When the Fund’s assets are invested in such instruments, the Fund may not be achieving its investment objective.
 
36

APPENDIX A
 
 
C.    Portfolio Securities and Techniques
    
This section provides further information on certain types of securities and investment techniques that may be used by the Fund, including their associated risks.
The Fund may purchase other types of securities or instruments similar to those described in this section if otherwise consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and policies. Further information is provided in the SAI, which is available upon request.
Convertible Securities.  
The Fund may invest in convertible securities. Convertible securities are preferred stock or debt obligations that are convertible into common stock. Convertible securities generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than
non-convertible
securities of similar quality. Convertible securities in which the Fund invests are subject to the same rating criteria as its other investments in fixed income securities. Convertible securities have both equity and fixed income risk characteristics. Like all fixed income securities, the value of convertible securities is susceptible to the risk of market losses attributable to changes in interest rates. Generally, the market value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates increase and, conversely, to increase as interest rates decline. However, when the market price of the common stock underlying a convertible security exceeds the conversion price of the convertible security, the convertible security tends to reflect the market price of the underlying common stock. As the market price of the underlying common stock declines, the convertible security, like a fixed income security, tends to trade increasingly on a yield basis, and thus may not decline in price to the same extent as the underlying common stock.
Structured Securities.  
The Fund may invest in structured securities. Structured securities are securities whose value is determined by reference to changes in the value of specific currencies, securities, interest rates, commodities, indices or other financial indicators (the “Reference”) or the relative change in two or more References. Investments in structured securities may provide exposure to certain securities or markets in situations where regulatory or other restrictions prevent direct investments in such issuers or markets.
The interest rate or the principal amount payable upon maturity or redemption may be increased or decreased depending upon changes in the applicable Reference. Structured securities may be positively or negatively indexed, so that appreciation of the Reference may produce an increase or decrease in the interest rate or value of the security at maturity. In addition, changes in the interest rates or the value of the security at maturity may be a multiple of changes in the value of the Reference, effectively leveraging the Fund’s investments so that small changes in the value of the Reference may result in disproportionate gains or losses to the Fund. Consequently, structured securities may present a greater degree of market risk than many types of securities and may be more volatile, less liquid and more difficult to price accurately than less complex securities. Structured securities are also subject to the risk that the issuer of the structured securities may fail to perform its contractual obligations. Certain issuers of structured products may be deemed to be investment companies as defined in the Investment Company Act. As a result, the Fund’s investments in structured securities may be subject to the limits applicable to investments in other investment companies.
Structured securities are considered hybrid instruments because they are derivative instruments, the value of which depends on, or is derived from or linked to, the value of an underlying asset, interest rate index or commodity. Commodity-linked notes are hybrid instruments because the principal and/or interest payments on those notes is linked to the value of the individual commodities, futures contracts or the performance of one or more commodity indices.
Structured securities include, but are not limited to, equity linked notes. An equity linked note is a note whose performance is tied to a single stock, a stock index or a basket of stocks. Equity linked notes combine the principal protection normally associated with fixed income investments with the potential for capital appreciation normally associated with equity investments. Upon the maturity of the note, the holder generally receives a return of principal based on the capital appreciation of the linked securities. Depending on the terms of the note, equity linked notes may also have a “cap” or “floor” on the maximum principal amount to be repaid to holders, irrespective of the performance of the underlying linked securities. For example, a note may guarantee the repayment of the original principal amount invested (even if the underlying linked securities have negative performance during the note’s term), but may cap the maximum payment at maturity at a certain percentage of the issuance price or the return of the underlying linked securities. Alternatively, the note may not guarantee a full return on the original principal, but may offer a greater participation in any capital appreciation of the underlying linked securities. The terms of an equity linked note may also provide for periodic interest payments to holders at either a fixed or floating rate. The secondary market for equity linked notes may be limited, and the lack of liquidity in the secondary market may make these securities difficult to dispose of and to value. Equity linked notes will be considered equity securities for purposes of the Fund’s investment objective and policies.
REITs.  
The Fund may invest in REITs. REITs are pooled investment vehicles that invest primarily in either real estate or real estate related loans. The value of a REIT is affected by changes in the value of the properties owned by the REIT or securing
 
37

mortgage loans held by the REIT. REITs are dependent upon the ability of the REITs’ managers, and are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, default by borrowers and the qualification of the REITs under applicable regulatory requirements for favorable income tax treatment. REITs are also subject to risks generally associated with investments in real estate including possible declines in the value of real estate, general and local economic conditions, environmental problems and changes in interest rates. To the extent that assets underlying a REIT are concentrated geographically, by property type or in certain other respects, these risks may be heightened. The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any expenses, including management fees, paid by a REIT in which it invests.
Options on Securities, Securities Indices and Foreign Currencies.  
A put option gives the purchaser of the option the right to sell, and the writer (seller) of the option the obligation to buy, the underlying instrument during the option period. A call option gives the purchaser of the option the right to buy, and the writer (seller) of the option the obligation to sell, the underlying instrument during the option period. The Fund may write (sell) call and put options and purchase put and call options on any securities and other instruments in which the Fund may invest or any index consisting of securities or other instruments in which it may invest. The Fund may also, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, purchase and write (sell) put and call options on foreign currencies.
The writing and purchase of options is a highly specialized activity which involves special investment risks. Options may be used for either hedging or cross-hedging purposes, or to seek to increase total return (which presents additional risk). The successful use of options depends in part on the ability of the Investment Adviser to anticipate future price fluctuations and the degree of correlation between the options and securities (or currency) markets. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of changes in market prices or determination of the correlation between the instruments or indices on which options are written and purchased and the instruments in the Fund’s investment portfolio, the Fund may incur losses that it would not otherwise incur. The use of options can also increase the Fund’s transaction costs. Options written or purchased by the Fund may be traded on either U.S. or foreign exchanges or
over-the-counter.
Foreign and
over-the-counter
options will present greater possibility of loss because of their greater illiquidity and credit risks.
In lieu of entering into “protective put” transactions, the Fund may engage in barrier options transactions as an alternative means to offset or hedge against a decline in the market value of the Fund’s securities. Barrier options are similar to standard options except that they become activated or are extinguished when the underlying asset reaches a predetermined level or barrier. “Down and out” barrier options are canceled or “knocked out” if the underlying asset falls to a
pre-determined
level. “Down and in” barrier options are activated or “knocked in” if the underlying asset falls to a
pre-determined
level. “Up and out” barrier options are extinguished or “knocked out” if the underlying asset rises to a predetermined level. “Up and in” barrier options are activated or “knocked in” if the underlying asset rises to a predetermined level. If the Investment Adviser sets too high or too low a barrier, and the option is either extinguished or “knocked out” or the options are never activated or “knocked in,” the benefits to the Fund using a barrier option strategy may be limited and the costs associated with a barrier option strategy could be detrimental to the Fund’s performance.
Futures Contracts and Options and Swaps on Futures Contracts.  
Futures contracts are standardized, exchange-traded contracts that provide for the sale or purchase of a specified financial instrument or currency at a future time at a specified price. An option on a futures contract gives the purchaser the right (and the writer of the option the obligation) to assume a position in a futures contract at a specified exercise price within a specified period of time. A swap on a futures contract provides an investor with the ability to gain economic exposure to a particular futures market. A futures contract may be based on particular securities, foreign currencies, securities indices and other financial instruments and indices. The Fund may engage in futures transactions on both U.S. and foreign exchanges.
The Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts, purchase and write call and put options on futures contracts, and enter into swaps on futures contracts, in order to seek to increase total return or to hedge against changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates, or to otherwise manage its term structure, sector selections and duration in accordance with its investment objective and policies. The Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to such contracts and options.
Futures contracts and related options and swaps present the following risks:
 
 
While the Fund may benefit from the use of futures and options and swaps on futures, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in poorer overall performance than if the Fund had not entered into any futures contracts, options transactions or swaps.
 
38

APPENDIX A
 
 
 
Because perfect correlation between a futures position and a portfolio position that is intended to be protected is impossible to achieve, the desired protection may not be obtained and the Fund may be exposed to additional risk of loss.
 
 
The loss incurred by the Fund in entering into futures contracts and in writing call options and entering into swaps on futures is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received.
 
 
Futures markets are highly volatile and the use of futures may increase the volatility of the Fund’s NAV.
 
 
As a result of the low margin deposits normally required in futures trading, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in substantial losses to the Fund.
 
 
Futures contracts and options and swaps on futures may be illiquid, and exchanges may limit fluctuations in futures contract prices during a single day.
 
 
Foreign exchanges may not provide the same protection as U.S. exchanges.
Equity Swaps, Index Swaps and Currency Swaps.  
The Fund may invest in equity swaps. Equity swaps allow the parties to a swap agreement to exchange the dividend income or other components of return on an equity investment (for example, a group of equity securities or an index) for another payment stream. An equity swap may be used by the Fund 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. Index swaps allow one party or both parties to a swap agreement to receive one or more payments based off of the return, performance or volatility of an index or of certain securities which comprise the index. Currency swaps involve the exchange of the parties’ respective rights to make or receive payments in specified currencies. Under an equity swap, payments may be made at the conclusion of the equity swap or periodically during its term. Sometimes, however, the Investment Adviser may be able to terminate a swap contract prior to its term, subject to any potential termination fee that is in addition to the Fund’s accrued obligations under the swap.
Equity swaps may be structured in different ways. For example, when the Fund takes a long position, a counterparty may agree to pay the Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the equity swap would have increased in value had it been invested in a particular stock (or group of stocks), plus the dividends that would have been received on the stock. In these cases, the Fund may agree to pay to the counterparty interest on the notional amount of the equity swap plus the amount, if any, by which that notional amount would have decreased in value had it been invested in such stock (or group of stocks). Therefore, in this case the return to the Fund on the equity swap should be the gain or loss on the notional amount plus dividends on the stock less the interest paid by the Fund on the notional amount. In other cases, when the Fund takes a short position, a counterparty may agree to pay the Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the equity swap would have decreased in value had the Fund sold a particular stock (or group of stocks) short, less the dividend expense that the Fund would have paid on the stock (or group of stocks), as adjusted for interest payments or other economic factors.
The value of swaps can be very volatile. To the extent that the Investment Adviser does not accurately analyze and predict the potential relative fluctuation of the components swapped with another party, future market trends, the values of assets or economic factors, or the creditworthiness of the counterparty, the Fund may suffer a loss, which may be substantial. The value of some components of a swap (such as the dividends on a common stock) may also be sensitive to changes in interest rates. Furthermore, swaps may be illiquid, and the Fund may be unable to terminate its obligations when desired.
Currently, certain standardized swap transactions are subject to mandatory central clearing and exchange trading. Although central clearing and exchange trading is expected to decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to bilaterally negotiated swaps, central clearing and exchange trading does not eliminate counterparty risk or illiquidity risk entirely. Depending on the size of the Fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral, uncleared swap. However, certain applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps which may result in the Fund and its counterparties posting higher amounts for uncleared swaps.
When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments.  
The Fund may purchase when-issued securities and make contracts to purchase or sell securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond customary settlement time. When-issued securities are securities that have been authorized, but not yet issued. When-issued securities are purchased in order to secure what is considered to be an advantageous price and yield to the Fund at the time of entering into the transaction. A forward commitment involves the entering into a contract to purchase or sell securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond the customary settlement period.
The purchase of securities on a when-issued or forward commitment basis involves a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines before the settlement date. Conversely, the sale of securities on a forward commitment basis involves the risk that the value of the securities sold may increase before the settlement date. Although the Fund will generally purchase securities
 
39

on a when-issued or forward commitment basis with the intention of acquiring the securities for its portfolio, the Fund may dispose of when-issued securities or forward commitments prior to settlement if the Investment Adviser deems it appropriate. When purchasing a security on a when-issued basis or entering into a forward commitment, the Fund must identify on its books liquid assets, or engage in other appropriate measures, to “cover” its obligations.
Repurchase Agreements.  
Repurchase agreements involve the purchase of securities subject to the seller’s agreement to repurchase them at a mutually agreed upon date and price. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with counterparties approved by the Investment Adviser pursuant to procedures approved by the Board of Trustees that furnish collateral at least equal in value or market price to the amount of their repurchase obligation. The collateral may consist of any type of security (government or corporate) of any or no credit rating. Repurchase agreements involving obligations other than U.S. Government Securities may be subject to additional risks.
If the other party or “seller” defaults, the Fund might suffer a loss to the extent that the proceeds from the sale of the underlying securities and other collateral held by the Fund are less than the repurchase price and the Fund’s costs associated with delay and enforcement of the repurchase agreement. In addition, in the event of bankruptcy of the seller, the Fund could suffer additional losses if a court determines that the Fund’s interest in the collateral is not enforceable.
The Fund, together with other registered investment companies having advisory agreements with the Investment Adviser or any of its affiliates, may transfer uninvested cash balances into a single joint account, the daily aggregate balance of which will be invested in one or more repurchase agreements.
Short Sales
Against-the-Box.  
The Fund may make short sales
against-the-box.
A short sale
against-the-box
means that at all times when a short position is open the Fund will own an equal amount of securities sold short, or securities convertible into or exchangeable for, without payment of any further consideration, an equal amount of the securities of the same issuer as the securities sold short.
Preferred Stock, Warrants and Stock Purchase Rights.  
The Fund may invest in preferred stock, warrants and stock purchase rights (or “rights”). Preferred stocks are securities that represent an ownership interest providing the holder with claims on the issuer’s earnings and assets before common stock owners but after bond owners. Unlike debt securities, the obligations of an issuer of preferred stock, including dividend and other payment obligations, may not typically be accelerated by the holders of such preferred stock on the occurrence of an event of default or other
non-compliance
by the issuer of the preferred stock.
Warrants and other rights are options to buy a stated number of shares of common stock at a specified price at any time during the life of the warrant or right. The holders of warrants and rights have no voting rights, receive no dividends and have no rights with respect to the assets of the issuer.
Other Investment Companies.  
The Fund may invest in securities of other investment companies, including ETFs and money market funds, subject to statutory limitations prescribed by the Investment Company Act, or exemptive relief or regulations thereunder. These statutory limitations include in certain circumstances a prohibition on the Fund acquiring more than 3% of the voting shares of any other investment company, and a prohibition on investing more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets in securities of any one investment company or more than 10% of total assets in securities of all investment companies.
The use of ETFs is generally intended to help the Fund match the total return of the particular market segments or indices represented by those ETFs, although that may not be the result. Most ETFs are passively-managed investment companies whose shares are purchased and sold on a securities exchange. An ETF generally represents a portfolio of securities designed to track a particular market segment or index. An investment in an ETF generally presents the same primary risks as an investment in a conventional fund (
i.e.
, one that is not exchange-traded) that has the same investment objectives, strategies and policies. In addition, an ETF may fail to accurately track the market segment or index that underlies its investment objective. The price of an ETF can fluctuate, and the Fund could lose money investing in an ETF. Moreover, ETFs are subject to the following risks that do not apply to conventional funds: (i) the market price of the ETF’s shares may trade at a premium or a discount to their NAV; (ii) an active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained; and (iii) there is no assurance that the requirements of the exchange necessary to maintain the listing of an ETF will continue to be met or remain unchanged.
Subject to applicable law and/or pursuant to an exemptive order obtained from the SEC or under an exemptive rule adopted by the SEC, the Fund may invest in certain other investment companies, including ETFs and money market funds, beyond the statutory limits described above or otherwise provided that certain conditions are met. Some of those investment companies may be funds for which the Investment Adviser or any of its affiliates serves as investment adviser, administrator or distributor.
 
40

    APPENDIX A
 
The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any management fees and other expenses paid by such other investment companies, in addition to the fees and expenses regularly borne by the Fund. Although the Fund do not expect to do so in the foreseeable future, the Fund is authorized to invest substantially all of its assets in a single
open-end
investment company or series thereof that has substantially the same investment objective, policies and fundamental restrictions as the Fund.
Unseasoned Companies.  
The Fund may invest in companies which (together with their predecessors) have operated less than three years. The securities of such companies may have limited liquidity, which can result in their being priced higher or lower than might otherwise be the case. In addition, investments in unseasoned companies are more speculative and entail greater risk than investments in companies with an established operating record.
Corporate Debt Obligations.  
Corporate debt obligations include bonds, notes, debentures, commercial paper and other obligations of corporations to pay interest and repay principal. The Fund may invest in corporate debt obligations issued by U.S. and certain
non-U.S.
issuers which issue securities denominated in the U.S. dollar (including Yankee and Euro obligations). In addition to obligations of corporations, corporate debt obligations include securities issued by banks and other financial institutions and supranational entities (
i.e.
, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc.).
Bank Obligations.  
The Fund may invest in obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. or foreign banks. Bank obligations, including without limitation, time deposits, bankers’ acceptances and certificates of deposit, may be general obligations of the parent bank or
may be limited to the issuing branch by the terms of the specific obligations or by government regulations. Banks are subject to extensive but different governmental regulations which may limit both the amount and types of loans which may be made and interest rates which may be charged. In addition, the profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing money market conditions. General economic conditions as well as exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers play an important part in the operation of this industry.
U.S. Government Securities.  
The Fund may invest in U.S. Government Securities. U.S. Government Securities include U.S. Treasury obligations and obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. U.S. Government Securities may be supported by (i) the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury; (ii) the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; (iii) the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the issuer; or (iv) only the credit of the issuer. U.S. Government Securities also include Treasury receipts, zero coupon bonds and other stripped U.S. Government Securities, where the interest and principal components are traded independently.
U.S. Government Securities may also include Treasury inflation-protected securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation.
U.S. Government Securities are deemed to include (i) securities for which the payment of principal and interest is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit issued by the U.S. government, its agencies, authorities or instrumentalities; and (ii) participations in loans made to foreign governments or their agencies that are so guaranteed. Certain of these participations may be regarded as illiquid.
U.S. Government Securities have historically involved little risk of loss of principal if held to maturity. However, no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will be able or willing to repay the principal or interest when due, or provide financial support to U.S. government agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises if it is not obligated to do so by law.
Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates.  
The Fund may invest in custodial receipts and trust certificates representing interests in securities held by a custodian or trustee. The securities so held may include U.S. Government Securities or other types of securities in which the Fund may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, the payment obligation of a third party that has entered into an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For certain securities laws purposes, custodial receipts and trust certificates may not be considered obligations of the U.S. government or other issuer of the securities held by the custodian or trustee. If for tax purposes the Fund is not considered to be the owner of the underlying securities held in the custodial or trust account, the Fund may suffer adverse tax consequences. As a holder of custodial receipts and trust certificates, the Fund will bear its proportionate share of the fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. The Fund may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receipts and trust certificates.
Mortgage-Backed Securities.  
The Fund may invest in mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage-backed securities represent direct or indirect participations in, or are collateralized by and payable from, mortgage loans secured by real property. Mortgage-backed securities can be backed by either fixed rate mortgage loans or adjustable rate mortgage loans, and may be issued by either a
 
41

governmental or
non-governmental
entity. The value of some mortgage backed securities may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates. The value of these securities may also fluctuate in response to the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuers. Early repayment of principal on mortgage- or asset-backed securities may expose the Fund to the risk of earning a lower rate of return upon reinvestment of principal.
The Fund may invest in privately-issued mortgage pass-through securities that represent interests in pools of mortgage loans that are issued by trusts formed by originators of and institutional investors in mortgage loans (or represent interests in custodial arrangements administered by such institutions). These originators and institutions include commercial banks, savings and loans associations, credit unions, savings banks, mortgage bankers, insurance companies, investment banks or special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. The pools underlying privately-issued mortgage pass-through securities consist of mortgage loans secured by mortgages or deeds of trust creating a first lien on commercial, residential, residential multi-family and mixed residential/commercial properties. These mortgage-backed securities typically do not have the same credit standing as U.S. government guaranteed mortgage-backed securities.
Privately-issued mortgage pass-through securities generally offer a higher yield than similar securities issued by a government entity because of the absence of any direct or indirect government or agency payment guarantees. However, timely payment of interest and principal on mortgage loans in these pools may be supported by various other forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, pool and hazard insurance, subordination and letters of credit. Such insurance and guarantees may be issued by private insurers, banks and mortgage poolers. There is no guarantee that private guarantors or insurers, if any, will meet their obligations. Mortgage-backed securities without insurance or guarantees may also be purchased by the Fund if they have the required rating from an NRSRO. Mortgage-backed securities issued by private organizations may not be readily marketable, may be more difficult to value accurately and may be more volatile than similar securities issued by a government entity.
Mortgage-backed securities may include multiple class securities, including collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) and Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (“REMIC”) pass-through or participation certificates. A REMIC is a CMO that qualifies for special tax treatment and invests in certain mortgages principally secured by interests in real property and other permitted investments. CMOs provide an investor with a specified interest in the cash flow from a pool of underlying mortgages or of other mortgage-backed securities. CMOs are issued in multiple classes each with a specified fixed or floating interest rate and a final scheduled distribution rate. In many cases, payments of principal are applied to the CMO classes in the order of their respective stated maturities, so that no principal payments will be made on a CMO class until all other classes having an earlier stated maturity date are paid in full.
Sometimes, however, CMO classes are “parallel pay,”
i.e.
, payments of principal are made to two or more classes concurrently. In some cases, CMOs may have the characteristics of a stripped mortgage-backed security whose price can be highly volatile. CMOs may exhibit more or less price volatility and interest rate risk than other types of mortgage-related obligations, and under certain interest rate and payment scenarios, the Fund may fail to recoup fully its investment in certain of these securities regardless of their credit quality.
Mortgaged-backed securities also include stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”), which are derivative multiple class mortgage-backed securities. SMBS are usually structured with two different classes: one that receives substantially all of the interest payments and the other that receives substantially all of the principal payments from a pool of mortgage loans. The market value of SMBS consisting entirely of principal payments generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates. The yields on SMBS that receive all or most of the interest from mortgage loans are generally higher than prevailing market yields on other mortgage-backed securities because their cash flow patterns are more volatile and there is a greater risk that the initial investment will not be fully recouped. Throughout 2008, the market for mortgage-backed securities began experiencing substantially, often dramatically, lower valuations and greatly reduced liquidity. Markets for other asset-backed securities have also been affected. These instruments are increasingly subject to liquidity constraints, price volatility, credit downgrades and unexpected increases in default rates and, therefore, may be more difficult to value and more difficult to dispose of than previously. These events may have an adverse effect on the Fund to the extent it invests in mortgage-backed or other fixed income securities or instruments affected by the volatility in the fixed income markets.
Asset-Backed Securities.  
The Fund may invest in asset-backed securities. Asset-backed securities are securities whose principal and interest payments are collateralized by pools of assets such as auto loans, credit card receivables, leases, installment contracts and personal property. Asset-backed securities may also include home equity line of credit loans and other second-lien mortgages. Asset-backed securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity date would indicate as a result of the pass-through of prepayments of principal on the underlying loans. During periods of declining interest rates, prepayment of loans
 
42

APPENDIX A
 
underlying asset-backed securities can be expected to accelerate. Accordingly, the Fund’s ability to maintain positions in such securities will be affected by reductions in the principal amount of such securities resulting from prepayments, and its ability to reinvest the returns of principal at comparable yields is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. Asset-backed securities present credit risks that are not presented by mortgage-backed securities. This is because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral that is comparable to mortgage assets. Some asset-backed securities have only a subordinated claim or security interest in collateral. If the issuer of an asset-backed security defaults on its payment obligations, there is the possibility that, in some cases, the Fund will be unable to possess and sell the underlying collateral and that the Fund’s recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on the securities. In the event of a default, the Fund may suffer a loss if it cannot sell collateral quickly and receive the amount it is owed. There is no guarantee that private guarantors, or insurers of an asset-backed security, if any, will meet their obligations. The value of some asset-backed securities may be particularly sensitive to changes in prevailing interest rates. Asset-backed securities may also be subject to increased volatility and may become illiquid and more difficult to value even when there is no default or threat of default due to the market’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuers and market conditions impacting asset-backed securities more generally.
Borrowings.  
The Fund can borrow money from banks and other financial institutions in amounts not exceeding
one-third
of its total assets (including the amount borrowed or received), for temporary or emergency purposes.
Mortgage Dollar Rolls.  
The Fund may enter into mortgage dollar rolls. A mortgage dollar roll involves the sale by the Fund of securities for delivery in the current month. The Fund simultaneously contracts with the same counterparty to repurchase substantially similar (same type, coupon and maturity) but not identical securities on a specified future date. During the roll period, the Fund loses the right to receive principal and interest paid on the securities sold. However, the Fund benefits to the extent of any difference between (a) the price received for the securities sold and (b) the lower forward price for the future purchase and/or fee income plus the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the securities sold. Unless the benefits of a mortgage dollar roll exceed the income, capital appreciation and gain or loss due to mortgage prepayments that would have been realized on the securities sold as part of the roll, the use of this technique will diminish the Fund’s performance. Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls depends upon the Investment Adviser’s ability to predict correctly interest rates and mortgage prepayments. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its prediction, the Fund may experience a loss. The Fund does not currently intend to enter into mortgage dollar rolls for financing and does not treat them as borrowings.
Asset Segregation.  
As an investment company registered with the SEC, the Fund must identify on its books (often referred to as “asset segregation”) liquid assets, or engage in other
SEC-
or SEC staff-approved or other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivative instruments. In the case of swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that do not cash settle, for example, the Fund must identify on its books liquid assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument while the positions are open, to the extent there is not a permissible offsetting position or a contractual “netting” agreement with respect to swaps (other than credit default swaps where the Fund is the protection seller). However, with respect to certain swaps, futures contracts, options, forward contracts and other derivative instruments that are required to cash settle, the Fund may identify liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund’s daily
marked-to-market
net obligations (
i.e.
, the Fund’s daily net liability) under the instrument, if any, rather than its full notional amount. Forwards and futures contracts that do not cash settle may be treated as cash settled for asset segregation purposes when the Fund has entered into a contractual arrangement with a third party FCM or other counterparty to
off-set
the Fund’s exposure under the contract and, failing that, to assign its delivery obligation under the contract to the counterparty. The Fund reserve the right to modify its asset segregation policies in the future in its discretion, consistent with the Investment Company Act and SEC or SEC staff guidance. By identifying assets equal to only their net obligations under certain instruments, the Fund will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Fund was required to identify assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument.
In October 2020, the SEC adopted a final rule related to the use of derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions by registered investment companies. In connection with the final rule, the SEC and its staff will rescind and withdraw applicable guidance and relief regarding asset segregation and coverage transactions reflected in the Fund’s asset segregation and cover practices discussed above. Subject to certain exceptions, and after an eighteen-month transition period, the final rule requires the Fund to trade derivatives (and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations) subject to a
value-at-risk
leverage limit and certain derivatives risk management program and reporting requirements. These requirements may limit the ability of the Fund to use derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as part of its investment strategies and may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors.
 
43

Lending of Portfolio Securities.  
The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the lending of securities owned by the Fund to financial institutions such as certain broker-dealers. The borrowers are required to secure their loans continuously with cash, cash equivalents, U.S. government securities or letters of credit in an amount at least equal to the market value of the securities loaned. Cash collateral may be invested by the Fund in short-term investments, including registered and unregistered investment pools managed by the Investment Adviser or its affiliates and from which the Investment Adviser or its affiliates may receive fees. To the extent that cash collateral is so invested, such collateral will be subject to market depreciation or appreciation, and the Fund will be responsible for any loss that might result from its investment of the borrowers’ collateral. If the Investment Adviser determines to make securities loans, the value of the securities loaned may not exceed 331/3% of the value of the total assets of the Fund (including the loan collateral). Loan collateral (including any investment of that collateral) is not subject to the percentage limitations regarding the Fund’s investments described in its prospectus. The Fund may lend its securities to increase its income. The Fund may, however, experience delay in the recovery of its securities or incur a loss if the institution with which it has engaged in a portfolio loan transaction breaches its agreement with the Fund or its agent, or becomes insolvent.
Foreign Currency Transactions.  
The Fund may, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, purchase or sell foreign currencies on a cash basis or through forward contracts. A forward contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date at a price set at the time of the contract. The Fund may engage in foreign currency transactions for hedging purposes and to seek to protect against anticipated changes in future foreign currency exchange rates. In addition, the Fund may enter into foreign currency transactions to seek a closer correlation between the Fund’s overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of the Fund’s performance benchmark. The Fund may also enter into such transactions to seek to increase total return, which presents additional risk.
The Fund may also engage in cross-hedging by using forward contracts in a currency different from that in which the hedged security is denominated or quoted. The Fund may hold foreign currency received in connection with investments in foreign securities when, in the judgment of the Investment Adviser, it would be beneficial to convert such currency into U.S. dollars at a later date (
e.g.
, the Investment Adviser may anticipate the foreign currency to appreciate against the U.S. dollar).
The Fund may, from time to time, engage in
non-deliverable
forward transactions to manage currency risk or to gain exposure to a currency without purchasing securities denominated in that currency. A
non-deliverable
forward is a transaction that represents an agreement between the Fund and a counterparty (usually a commercial bank) to pay the other party the amount that it would cost based on current market rates as of the termination date to buy or sell a specified (notional) amount of a particular currency at an agreed upon foreign exchange rate on an agreed upon future date. If the counterparty defaults, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreement related to the transaction, but the Fund may be delayed or prevented from obtaining payments owed to it pursuant to
non-deliverable
forward transactions. Such
non-deliverable
forward transactions will be settled in cash.
Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time, causing, along with other factors, the Fund’s NAV to fluctuate (when the Fund’s NAV fluctuates, the value of your shares may go up or down). Currency exchange rates also can be affected unpredictably by the intervention of U.S. or foreign governments or central banks, or the failure to intervene, or by currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad.
Certain forward foreign currency exchange contracts and other currency transactions are not exchange traded or cleared. The market in such forward foreign currency exchange contracts, currency swaps and other privately negotiated currency instruments offers less protection against defaults by the other party to such instruments than is available for currency instruments traded on an exchange. Such contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the contract will default on its obligations. Because these contracts are not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on a contract would deprive the Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or could force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price.
The Fund is not required to post cash collateral with its counterparties in certain foreign currency transactions. Accordingly, the Fund may remain more fully invested (and more of the Fund’s assets may be subject to investment and market risk) than if it were required to post collateral with its counterparties (which is the case with certain transactions). Where the Fund’s counterparties are not required to post cash collateral with the Fund, the Fund will be subject to additional counterparty risk.
 
44

 
Appendix B
Financial Highlights
 
Because the Fund had not commenced investment operations as of the end of the Fund’s fiscal year, financial highlights are not available.
 
45

 
 
Goldman Sachs Future Tech Leaders Equity ETF Prospectus
 
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION
    
Annual/Semi-Annual Report
Additional information about the Fund’s investments will be available in the Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports to shareholders. In the Fund’s annual reports (when available), you will find a discussion of the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during the last fiscal year.
Statement of Additional Information
Additional information about the Fund and its policies is also available in the Fund’s SAI. The SAI is incorporated by reference into the Prospectus (
i.e.
, is legally considered part of the Prospectus).
The Fund’s annual and semi-annual reports and the SAI are available free upon request by calling Goldman Sachs at
1-800-621-2550.
You can also access and download the annual and semi-annual reports and the SAI at the Fund’s website:
www.gsamfunds.com/ETFfunds.
From time to time, certain announcements and other information regarding the Fund may be found at
http://www.gsamfunds.com/announcements-ind
for individual investors or
http://www.gsamfunds.com/announcements
for advisers.
To obtain other information and for shareholder inquiries:
 
  
Shareholders/Authorized Participants
  
Financial Advisers
  By telephone:
  
1-800-621-2550
  
1-800-292-4726
  By mail:
  
Goldman Sachs Funds
P.O. Box 06050
Chicago, IL 60606
  
  On the Internet:
   SEC EDGAR database –
http://www.sec.gov
Other information about the Fund is available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s internet site at http://www.sec.gov. You may obtain copies of this information, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following
e-mail
address: publicinfo@sec.gov.
 
FTRTECHLDRETFPRO
  
The Trust’s investment company registration number is 811-23013.
GSAM
®
is a registered service mark of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC
  LOGO
 


STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

DATED April 9, 2021

 

FUND

   PRINCIPAL U.S.
LISTING
EXCHANGE
   TICKER
SYMBOL
GOLDMAN SACHS FUTURE TECH LEADERS EQUITY ETF    NYSE Arca, Inc.    GTEK

(A Portfolio of Goldman Sachs ETF Trust)

Goldman Sachs ETF Trust

200 West Street

New York, New York 10282

This Statement of Additional Information (the “SAI”) is not a Prospectus. This SAI should be read in conjunction with the prospectus for the Goldman Sachs Future Tech Leaders Equity ETF (the “Fund”), dated April 9, 2021, as it may be further amended and/or supplemented from time to time (the “Prospectus”). The Prospectus may be obtained without charge from Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC by calling 1-800-621-2550 or writing to Goldman Sachs Funds, P.O. Box 06050, Chicago, Illinois 60606.

The Fund’s Annual Report (when available) may be obtained upon request and without charge by calling Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC toll free at 1-800-621-2550.

GSAM® is a registered service mark of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC.

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

INTRODUCTION

     B-1  

EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

     B-2  

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

     B-3  

DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES

     B-5  

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

     B-49  

TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

     B-51  

MANAGEMENT SERVICES

     B-60  

POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

     B-65  

CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS

     B-80  

BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM

     B-87  

DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE PLAN

     B-88  

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     B-89  

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

     B-91  

SHARES OF THE TRUST

     B-93  

TAXATION

     B-95  

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     B-101  

PROXY VOTING

     B-102  

PAYMENTS TO OTHERS (INCLUDING INTERMEDIARIES)

     B-104  

OTHER INFORMATION

     B-106  

CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES

     B-108  

APPENDIX A DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES RATINGS

     1-A  

APPENDIX B GSAM PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES SUMMARY

     1-B  


GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT, L.P. ALPS       ALPS DISTRIBUTORS, INC.
Investment Adviser                        Distributor
200 West Street       1290 Broadway, Suite 1000
New York, New York 10282       Denver, Colorado 80203
THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON      
Transfer Agent      
240 Greenwich Street      
New York, New York 10286      

Toll-free (in U.S.) 1-800-621-2550 (for Shareholders/Authorized Participants) or 1-800-292-4726 (for Financial Advisors).

 

 

ii


INTRODUCTION

Goldman Sachs ETF Trust (the “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company. The Trust is organized as a Delaware statutory trust and was established by an Agreement and Declaration of Trust dated December 16, 2009. The following series of the Trust is described in this SAI: Goldman Sachs Future Tech Leaders Equity ETF. The Fund is actively-managed and does not seek to track a specified index.

The Trustees of the Trust have authority under the Declaration of Trust to create and classify Shares of the Trust into separate series. Pursuant thereto, the Trustees have created the Fund and other series. Additional series may be added in the future from time to time. See “SHARES OF THE TRUST.”

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P. (“GSAM” or the “Investment Adviser”), an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“Goldman Sachs”), serves as the Investment Adviser to the Fund. In addition, ALPS Distributors, Inc. (“ALPS” or the “Distributor”) serves as the Fund’s distributor, and The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM” or the “Transfer Agent”) serves as the Fund’s transfer agent. The Fund’s custodian is BNYM, which also provides administrative services to the Fund.

The following information relates to and supplements the description of the Fund’s investment policies contained in the Prospectus. See the Prospectus for a more complete description of the Fund’s investment objectives and policies. Investing in the Fund entails certain risks, and there is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. Capitalized terms used but not defined herein have the same meaning as in the Prospectus.

 

B-1


EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

A discussion of exchange listing and trading matters associated with an investment in the Fund is contained in the “Shareholder Guide” section of the Prospectus. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, such section of the Prospectus.

The Shares of the Fund are anticipated to be approved for listing and trading on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”), subject to notice of issuance. The Shares trade on the Exchange at prices that may differ from their net asset value (“NAV”). There can be no assurance that the Fund will continue to meet the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares.

The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the Shares of the Fund from listing if: (1) following the initial twelve-month period beginning upon the commencement of trading of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial holders of the Shares; (2) the Exchange becomes aware that the Fund is no longer eligible to operate in reliance on Rule 6c-11 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”); (3) the Fund no longer complies with certain listing exchange rules; or (4) such other event shall occur or condition exists that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. In addition, the Exchange will remove the Shares of the Fund from listing and trading upon termination of the Trust or the Fund.

As in the case of other publicly-traded securities, when you buy or sell shares through a broker, you will incur a brokerage commission determined by that broker.

In order to provide additional information regarding the indicative value of Shares of the Fund, the Exchange or a market data vendor may disseminate through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association, or through other widely disseminated means an “intra-day indicative value” (“IIV”) for the Fund as calculated by an information provider or market data vendor. The Trust, GSAM, and their affiliates, are not responsible for any aspect of the calculation or dissemination of the IIVs and make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the IIVs.

The Trust reserves the right to adjust the Share prices of the Fund in the future to maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of the Fund or an investor’s equity interest in the Fund.

The base and trading currencies of the Fund are the U.S. dollar. The base currency is the currency in which the Fund’s NAV per Share is calculated and the trading currency is the currency in which Shares of the Fund are listed and traded on the Exchange.

 

B-2


INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

The Fund has a distinct investment objective and policies. The investment objective of the Fund is to seek long-term growth of capital. There can be no assurance that the Fund’s investment objective will be achieved. The Fund is a non-diversified series of an open-end management company as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act” or the “Act”). The investment objective and policies of the Fund, and the associated risks of the Fund are discussed in the Prospectus, which should be read carefully before an investment is made. All investment objectives and investment policies not specifically designated as fundamental may be changed without shareholder approval. However, shareholders will be provided with sixty (60) days’ notice in the manner prescribed by the SEC before any change in the Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its net assets plus any borrowings for investment purposes (measured at the time of purchase (“Net Assets”)) in the particular type of investment suggested by its name.

The Fund offers and issues Shares at its NAV per Share only in aggregations of a specified number of shares (“Creation Units”), generally in exchange for a basket of securities and instruments (the “Deposit Securities”) together with a deposit of a specified cash payment (the “Cash Component”), if any. Shares are redeemable by the Fund only in Creation Units and, generally in exchange for securities and instruments together with a specified cash payment, if any. Shares trade in the secondary market and elsewhere at market prices that may be at, above or below NAV. Creation Units typically are a specified number of Shares.

The Fund is an active ETF, which is a fund that trades like other publicly-traded securities and is actively managed and does not seek to replicate the performance of a specified index.

The investment objective and policies of the Fund are similar to other funds advised by the adviser or its affiliates. However, the investment results of the Fund may be higher or lower than other similar funds, and there is no guarantee that the investment results of the Fund will be comparable to, any other of these funds. A new fund or a fund with fewer assets under management may be more significantly affected by purchases and redemptions of its Creation Units than a fund with relatively greater assets under management would be affected by purchases and redemptions of its shares. As compared to a larger fund, a new or smaller fund is more likely to sell a comparatively large portion of its portfolio to meet significant Creation Unit redemptions, or invest a comparatively large amount of cash to facilitate Creation Unit purchases, in each case when the fund otherwise would not seek to do so. Such transactions may cause funds to make investment decisions at inopportune times or prices or miss attractive investment opportunities. Such transactions may also accelerate the realization of taxable income if sales of securities resulted in gains and the fund redeems Creation Units for cash, or otherwise cause a fund to perform differently than intended. While such risks may apply to funds of any size, such risks are heightened in funds with fewer assets under management. In addition, new funds may not be able to fully implement their investment strategy immediately upon commencing investment operations, which could reduce investment performance.

The Fund may charge creation/redemption transaction fees for each creation and redemption. In all cases, transaction fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the SEC applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. See the “CREATIONS AND REDEMPTIONS” section below.

To the extent the Fund invests in commodity interests, it intends to do in reliance on an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”) under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and therefore would not be subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA.

Risk Considerations Regarding the Internet Industry

The value of the Fund’s shares will fluctuate based upon risk factors affecting the Internet industry and related industries. Market or economic factors impacting companies in these industries could have a major effect on the value of the Fund’s investments. The value of stocks of these companies is particularly vulnerable to rapid changes in technological product cycles, frequent new service and product announcements, evolving industry standards, changes in government regulation and policies, loss or impairment of patents and other intellectual property, intense worldwide competition, restrictions on internet usage or access, damage to the internet infrastructure, obsolescence caused by scientific and technological advances, departure of key personnel and changing customer demand. The failure of an Internet company to adapt to such changes could have a material adverse effect on the company’s business, results of operations and financial condition. Technology stocks, especially those of smaller, less seasoned companies, tend to be more volatile than the overall market. Products developed by Internet and Internet-related companies may be commercially unsuccessful. Internet companies are heavily dependent on patents and other intellectual property, and there can be no assurance that the steps taken by internet companies to protect their proprietary rights will be adequate to prevent misappropriation of their technology, or that competitors will not independently develop technologies that are substantially equivalent or superior to such companies’ technology. In addition, the widespread adoption of new Internet, networking or telecommunications technologies or other technological changes could require substantial expenditures by an Internet company to modify or adapt its services or infrastructure, which could have a material adverse effect on an Internet company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

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Despite the implementation of security measures, an Internet company’s website and networks may be vulnerable to unauthorized access, viruses and other disruptive problems. Internet companies have in the past experienced, and may in the future experience, losses as a result of natural disasters, telecommunications failures, power failures, other system failures, maintenance, viruses, hacking or other events. Unauthorized access could also potentially jeopardize the security of information stored in the computer systems of a company and subject the companies to risk of loss, litigation and possible liability.

Internet companies are subject to general business regulations and laws, as well as regulations and laws specifically governing the Internet and e-commerce. Existing and future laws and regulations may impede the growth of the Internet or online services. There is, and will likely continue to be, an increasing number of laws and regulations pertaining to the internet, online commerce and cable, broadcast, broadband and telephone services covering taxation of Internet usage and transactions, defamation, libel, privacy, data protection, pricing, content, liability for information retrieved from or transmitted over the internet, copyrights, distribution, mobile communications, electronic contracts and other communications, consumer protection, the provision of online payment services, obscene or indecent communications, child protection, unencumbered Internet access, the design and operation of websites, and the characteristics and quality of products and services. Unfavorable regulations and laws could diminish the demand for the products and services produced by internet companies, subject them to increased liability and increase costs, all of which could materially and adversely harm their business.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF INVESTMENT SECURITIES AND PRACTICES

The investment securities and practices and related risks applicable to the Fund are presented below in alphabetical order, and not in the order of importance or potential exposure.

Asset-Backed Securities

Asset-backed securities represent participations in, or are secured by and payable from, assets such as motor vehicle installment sales, installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property, receivables from revolving credit (credit card) agreements and other categories of receivables. Such assets are securitized through the use of trusts and special purpose corporations. Payments or distributions of principal and interest may be guaranteed up to certain amounts and for a certain time period by a letter of credit or a pool insurance policy issued by a financial institution unaffiliated with the trust or corporation, or other credit enhancements may be present.

The Fund may invest in asset-backed securities. Such securities are often subject to more rapid repayment than their stated maturity date would indicate as a result of the pass-through of prepayments of principal on the underlying loans. During periods of declining interest rates, prepayment of loans underlying asset-backed securities can be expected to accelerate. Accordingly, the Fund’s ability to maintain positions in such securities will be affected by reductions in the principal amount of such securities resulting from prepayments, and its ability to reinvest the returns of principal at comparable yields is subject to generally prevailing interest rates at that time. To the extent that the Fund invests in asset-backed securities, the values of the Fund’s portfolio securities will vary with changes in market interest rates generally and the differentials in yields among various kinds of asset-backed securities.

Asset-backed securities present certain additional risks because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in collateral that is comparable to mortgage assets. Credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors on such receivables 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. Automobile receivables generally are secured, but by automobiles rather than residential real property. Most issuers of automobile receivables permit the loan servicers to retain possession of the underlying obligations. If the servicer were to sell these obligations to another party, there is a risk that the purchaser would acquire an interest superior to that of the holders of the asset-backed securities. In addition, because of the large number of vehicles involved in a typical issuance and technical requirements under state laws, the trustee for the holders of the automobile receivables may not have a proper security interest in the underlying automobiles. Therefore, if the issuer of an asset-backed security defaults on its payment obligations, there is the possibility that, in some cases, the Fund will be unable to possess and sell the underlying collateral and that the Fund’s recoveries on repossessed collateral may not be available to support payments on these securities.

Asset Segregation

As investment companies registered with the SEC, the Fund must identify on its books (often referred to as “asset segregation”) liquid assets, or engage in other SEC- or SEC staff-approved or other appropriate measures, to “cover” open positions with respect to certain kinds of derivative instruments. In the case of futures contracts that do not cash settle, for example, the Fund must identify on its books liquid assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument while the positions are open, to the extent there is not a permissible offsetting position or a contractual “netting” agreement with respect to swaps (other than credit default swaps where the Fund is the protection seller). However, with respect to futures contracts that are required to cash settle, the Fund may identify liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund’s daily marked-to-market net obligations (i.e., the Fund’s daily net liability) under the instrument, if any, rather than its full notional amount. Forwards and futures contracts that do not cash settle may be treated as cash settled for asset segregation purposes when the Fund has entered into a contractual arrangement with a third party futures commission merchant (“FCM”) or other counterparty to off-set the Fund’s exposure under the contract and, failing that, to assign its delivery obligation under the contract to the counterparty. The Fund reserves the right to modify its asset segregation policies in the future in its discretion, consistent with the Investment Company Act and SEC or SEC staff guidance. By identifying assets equal to only its net obligations under certain instruments, the Fund will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Fund were required to identify assets equal to the full notional amount of the instrument.

In October 2020, the SEC adopted a final rule related to the use of derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions by registered investment companies. In connection with the final rule, the SEC and its staff will rescind and withdraw applicable guidance and relief regarding asset segregation and coverage transactions reflected in the Fund’s asset segregation and cover practices discussed herein. Subject to certain exceptions, the final rule requires the Fund to trade derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit and certain derivatives

 

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risk management program and reporting requirements. Generally, these requirements apply unless the Fund satisfies a “limited derivatives users” exception that is included in the final rule. Under the final rule, when the 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 (e.g., bank borrowings, if applicable) 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 the Fund satisfies the limited derivatives users exception, but for funds subject to the VaR testing requirement, 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 final rule regarding the use of securities lending collateral that may limit 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 the Fund to use derivatives, short sales, and reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors. The Investment Adviser cannot predict the effects of these regulations on the Fund. The Investment Adviser intends to monitor developments and seek to manage the Fund in a manner consistent with achieving the Fund’s investment objective.

Bank Obligations

The Fund may invest in obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. or foreign banks. Bank obligations, including without limitation time deposits, bankers’ acceptances and certificates of deposit, may be general obligations of the parent bank or may be obligations only of the issuing branch pursuant to the terms of the specific obligations or government regulation. Banks are subject to extensive but different governmental regulations which may limit both the amount and types of loans which may be made and interest rates which may be charged. Foreign banks are subject to different regulations and are generally permitted to engage in a wider variety of activities than U.S. banks. In addition, the profitability of the banking industry is largely dependent upon the availability and cost of funds for the purpose of financing lending operations under prevailing money market conditions. General economic conditions as well as exposure to credit losses arising from possible financial difficulties of borrowers play an important part in the operations of this industry.

Certificates of deposit are certificates evidencing the obligation of a bank to repay funds deposited with it for a specified period of time at a specified rate. Certificates of deposit are negotiable instruments and are similar to saving deposits but have a definite maturity and are evidenced by a certificate instead of a passbook entry. Banks are required to keep reserves against all certificates of deposit. Fixed time deposits are bank obligations payable at a stated maturity date and bearing interest at a fixed rate. Fixed time deposits may be withdrawn on the demand by the investor, but may be subject to early withdrawal penalties which vary depending upon market conditions and the remaining maturity of the obligation. The Fund may invest in deposits in U.S. and European banks.

Combined Transactions

The Fund may enter into multiple transactions, including multiple options transactions, multiple futures transactions, multiple currency transactions (as applicable) (including forward currency contracts) and multiple interest rate and other swap transactions and any combination of futures, options, currency and swap transactions (“component” transactions) as part of a single or combined strategy when, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, it is in the best interests of the Fund to do so. A combined transaction will usually contain elements of risk that are present in each of its component transactions. Although combined transactions are normally entered into based on the Investment Adviser’s judgment that the combined strategies will reduce risk or otherwise more effectively achieve the desired portfolio management goal, it is possible that the combination will instead increase such risks or hinder achievement of the portfolio management objective.

Commercial Paper and Other Short-Term Corporate Obligations

The Fund may invest in commercial paper and other short-term obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. corporations, non-U.S. corporations or other entities. Commercial paper represents short-term unsecured promissory notes issued in bearer form by banks or bank holding companies, corporations and finance companies.

 

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Convertible Securities

The Fund may invest in convertible securities. Convertible securities are bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks or other securities that may be converted into or exchanged for a specified amount of common stock (or other securities) of the same or different issuer within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security entitles the holder to receive interest that is generally paid or accrued on debt or a dividend that is paid or accrued on preferred stock until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Convertible securities have unique investment characteristics, in that they generally (i) have higher yields than common stocks, but lower yields than comparable non-convertible securities, (ii) are less subject to fluctuation in value than the underlying common stock due to their fixed-income characteristics and (iii) provide the potential for capital appreciation if the market price of the underlying common stock increases.

The value of a convertible security is a function of its “investment value” (determined by its yield in comparison with the yields of other securities of comparable maturity and quality that do not have a conversion privilege) and its “conversion value” (the security’s worth, at market value, if converted into the underlying common stock). The investment value of a convertible security is influenced by changes in interest rates, with investment value normally declining as interest rates increase and increasing as interest rates decline. The credit standing of the issuer and other factors may also have an effect on the convertible security’s investment value. The conversion value of a convertible security is determined by the market price of the underlying common stock. If the conversion value is low relative to the investment value, the price of the convertible security is governed principally by its investment value. To the extent the market price of the underlying common stock approaches or exceeds the conversion price, the price of the convertible security will be increasingly influenced by its conversion value. A convertible security generally will sell at a premium over its conversion value by the extent to which investors place value on the right to acquire the underlying common stock while holding a fixed income security.

A convertible security may be subject to redemption at the option of the issuer at a price established in the convertible security’s governing instrument. If a convertible security held by the Fund is called for redemption, the Fund will be required to permit the issuer to redeem the security, convert it into the underlying common stock or sell it to a third party or permit the issuer to redeem the security. Any of these actions could have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective, which, in turn, could result in losses to the Fund. To the extent that the Fund holds a convertible security, or a security that is otherwise converted or exchanged for common stock (e.g., as a result of a restructuring), the Fund may, consistent with its investment objective, hold such common stock in its portfolio.

Corporate Debt Obligations

The Fund may invest in corporate debt obligations, including obligations of industrial, utility and financial issuers. Corporate debt obligations include bonds, notes, debentures and other obligations of corporations to pay interest and repay principal. Corporate debt obligations are subject to the risk of an issuer’s inability to meet principal and interest payments on the obligations and may also be subject to price volatility due to such factors as market interest rates, market perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and general market liquidity.

Corporate debt obligations rated BBB or Baa are considered medium grade obligations with speculative characteristics, and adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances may weaken their issuers’ capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Medium to lower rated and comparable non rated securities tend to offer higher yields than higher rated securities with the same maturities because the historical financial condition of the issuers of such securities may not have been as strong as that of other issuers. The price of corporate debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to fluctuations in supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the price of corporate debt obligations will generally fluctuate in response to interest rate levels. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in the Fund’s NAV. Because medium to lower rated securities generally involve greater risks of loss of income and principal than higher rated securities, investors should consider carefully the relative risks associated with investment in securities which carry medium to lower ratings and in comparable unrated securities. In addition to the risk of default, there are the related costs of recovery on defaulted issues.

Custodial Receipts and Trust Certificates

The Fund may invest in custodial receipts and trust certificates, which may be underwritten by securities dealers or banks, representing interests in securities held by a custodian or trustee. The securities so held may include U.S. Government Securities (as defined below), municipal securities or other types of securities in which the Fund may invest. The custodial receipts or trust certificates are underwritten by securities dealers or banks and may evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on the underlying securities, or, in some cases, the payment obligation of a third party that has entered into an interest rate swap or other arrangement with the custodian or trustee. For purposes of certain securities laws, custodial receipts and trust certificates may not be considered obligations of the U.S. Government or other issuer of the securities held by the custodian or trustee. As a holder of custodial receipts and trust certificates, the Fund will bear its proportionate share of the fees and expenses charged to the custodial account or trust. The Fund may also invest in separately issued interests in custodial receipts and trust certificates.

 

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Although under the terms of a custodial receipt or trust certificate the Fund would typically be authorized to assert its rights directly against the issuer of the underlying obligation, the 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, the Fund may be subject to delays, expenses and risks that are greater than those that would have been involved if the 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 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 Internal Revenue Service (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.

Equity Investments

The Fund may purchase equity investments. In addition, after its purchase, a portfolio investment (such as a convertible debt obligation) may convert to an equity security. The Fund may also acquire equity securities in connection with a restructuring event related to one or more of its investments. If this occurs, the Fund may continue to hold the investment if the Investment Adviser believes it is in the best interest of the Fund and its shareholders.

Equity-Linked Structured Notes

The Fund may invest in equity-linked structured notes. Equity-linked structured notes are derivatives that are specifically designed to combine the characteristics of one or more underlying securities and their equity derivatives in a single note form. The return and/or yield or income component may be based on the performance of the underlying equity securities, an equity index, and/or option positions. Equity-linked structured notes are typically offered in limited transactions by financial institutions in either registered or non-registered form. An investment in equity-linked notes creates exposure to the credit risk of the issuing financial institution, as well as to the market risk of the underlying securities. There is no guaranteed return of principal with these securities and the appreciation potential of these securities may be limited by a maximum payment or call right. In certain cases, equity-linked notes may be more volatile and less liquid than less complex securities or other types of fixed-income securities. Such securities may exhibit price behavior that does not correlate with other fixed-income securities.

Foreign Investments

The Fund may invest in securities of foreign issuers, including securities quoted or denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars. Investments in foreign securities may offer potential benefits not available from investments solely in U.S. dollar-denominated or quoted securities of domestic issuers. Such benefits may include the opportunity to invest in foreign issuers that appear, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, to offer the potential for better long term growth of capital and income than investments in U.S. securities, the opportunity to invest in foreign countries with economic policies or business cycles different from those of the United States and the opportunity to reduce fluctuations in portfolio value by taking advantage of foreign securities markets that do not necessarily move in a manner parallel to U.S. markets. Investing in the securities of foreign issuers also involves, however, certain special risks, including those discussed in the Fund’s Prospectus and those set forth below, which are not typically associated with investing in U.S. dollar-denominated securities or quoted securities of U.S. issuers. Many of these risks are more pronounced for investments in emerging economies.

With respect to investments in certain foreign countries, there exist certain economic, political and social risks, including the risk of adverse political developments, nationalization, military unrest, social instability, war and terrorism, confiscation without fair compensation, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, limitations on the movement of funds and other assets between different countries,

 

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or diplomatic developments, any of which could adversely affect the Fund’s investments in those countries. Governments in certain foreign countries continue to participate to a significant degree, through ownership interest or regulation, in their respective economies. Action by these governments could have a significant effect on market prices of securities and dividend payments.

Many countries throughout the world are dependent on a healthy U.S. economy and are adversely affected when the U.S. economy weakens or its markets decline. Additionally, many foreign country economies are heavily dependent on international trade and are adversely affected by protective trade barriers and economic conditions of their trading partners. Protectionist trade legislation enacted by those trading partners could have a significant adverse effect on the securities markets of those countries. Individual foreign economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross national product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position.

From time to time, certain of the companies in which the Fund may invest may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargos imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or countries identified by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. A company may suffer damage to its reputation if it is identified as a company which operates in, or has dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government as state sponsors of terrorism. As an investor in such companies, the Fund will be indirectly subject to those risks. Iran is subject to several United Nations sanctions and is an embargoed country by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of Treasury (the “Treasury” or “U.S. Treasury”).

In addition, from time to time, certain of the companies in which the Fund may invest may engage in, or have dealings with countries or companies that engage in, activities that may not be considered socially and/or environmentally responsible. Such activities may relate to human rights issues (such as patterns of human rights abuses or violations, persecution or discrimination), impacts to local communities in which companies operate and environmental sustainability. For a description of the Investment Adviser’s approach to responsible and sustainable investing, please see GSAM’s Statement on Responsible and Sustainable Investing at https://www.gsam.com/content/dam/gsam/pdfs/common/en/public/miscellaneous/GSAM_statement_on_respon_sustainable_investing.pdf.

As a result, a company may suffer damage to its reputation if it is identified as a company which engages in, or has dealings with countries or companies that engage in, the above referenced activities. As an investor in such companies, the Fund would be indirectly subject to those risks.

The Investment Adviser is committed to complying fully with sanctions in effect as of the date of this Statement of Additional Information and any other applicable sanctions that may be enacted in the future with respect to Sudan or any other country.

Investments in foreign securities often involve currencies of foreign countries. Accordingly, the Fund may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency rates and in exchange control regulations and may incur costs in connection with conversions between various currencies. The Fund may be subject to currency exposure independent of its securities positions. To the extent that the Fund is fully invested in foreign securities while also maintaining net currency positions, it may be exposed to greater combined risk.

Currency exchange rates may fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. They generally are determined by the forces of supply and demand in the foreign exchange markets and the relative merits of investments in different countries, actual or anticipated changes in interest rates and other complex factors, as seen from an international perspective. Currency exchange rates also can be affected unpredictably by intervention (or the failure to intervene) by U.S. or foreign governments or central banks or by currency controls or political developments in the United States or abroad. To the extent that a portion of the Fund’s total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries. The Fund’s net currency positions may expose it to risks independent of its securities positions.

Because foreign issuers generally are not subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to U.S. companies, there may be less publicly available information about a foreign company than about a U.S. company. Volume and liquidity in most foreign securities markets are less than in the United States and securities of many foreign companies are less liquid and more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. companies. The securities of foreign issuers may be listed on foreign securities exchanges or traded in foreign over-the-counter markets. Fixed commissions on foreign securities exchanges are generally higher than negotiated commissions on U.S. exchanges, although the Fund endeavors to achieve the most favorable net results on its portfolio transactions. There is generally less government supervision and regulation of foreign securities exchanges, brokers, dealers and listed and unlisted companies than in the United States, and the legal remedies for investors may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States. For example, there may be no comparable provisions

 

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under certain foreign laws to insider trading and similar investor protections that apply with respect to securities transactions consummated in the United States. Mail service between the United States and foreign countries may be slower or less reliable than within the United States, thus increasing the risk of delayed settlement of portfolio transactions or loss of certificates for portfolio securities.

Foreign markets also have different clearance and settlement procedures, and in certain markets there have been times when settlements have been unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions, making it difficult to conduct such transactions. Such delays in settlement could result in temporary periods when some of the Fund’s assets are uninvested and no return is earned on such assets. The inability of the Fund to make intended security purchases due to settlement problems could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities due to settlement problems could result either in losses to the Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio securities, or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the securities, in possible liability to the purchaser.

These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in securities of foreign issuers.

The Fund may invest in foreign securities which take the form of sponsored and unsponsored American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”), Global Depositary Notes (“GDNs”) or other similar instruments representing securities of foreign issuers) (together, “Depositary Receipts”). ADRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a domestic bank or a correspondent bank. ADRs are traded on domestic exchanges or in the U.S. over-the-counter market and, generally, are in registered form. EDRs and GDRs are receipts evidencing an arrangement with a non-U.S. bank similar to that for ADRs and are designed for use in the non-U.S. securities markets. EDRs and GDRs are not necessarily quoted in the same currency as the underlying security. GDNs are issued by a bank or other depository and evidence ownership of a debt security denominated in local currency. GDNs generally mirror the terms (e.g., interest rate, maturity date, credit rating, etc.) of particular local currency-denominated bonds, though they are traded, settled and paid in U.S. dollars.

To the extent the Fund acquires Depositary Receipts through banks which do not have a contractual relationship with the foreign issuer of the security underlying the Depositary Receipts to issue and service such unsponsored Depositary Receipts, there is an increased possibility that the Fund will not become aware of and be able to respond to corporate actions such as stock splits or rights offerings involving the foreign issuer in a timely manner. In addition, the lack of information may result in inefficiencies in the valuation of such instruments. Investment in Depositary Receipts does not eliminate all the risks inherent in investing in securities of non-U.S. issuers. The market value of Depositary Receipts is dependent upon the market value of the underlying securities and fluctuations in the relative value of the currencies in which the Depositary Receipts and the underlying securities are quoted. However, by investing in Depositary Receipts, such as ADRs, which are quoted in U.S. dollars, the Fund may avoid currency risks during the settlement period for purchases and sales.

Foreign Government Obligations. Foreign government obligations include securities, instruments and obligations issued or guaranteed by a foreign government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. Investment in foreign government obligations can involve a high degree of risk. The governmental entity that controls the repayment of foreign government obligations may not be able or willing to repay the principal and/or interest when due in accordance with the terms of such debt. A governmental entity’s willingness or ability to repay principal and interest due in a timely manner may be affected by, among other factors, its cash flow situation, the extent of its foreign reserves, the availability of sufficient foreign exchange on the date a payment is due, the relative size of the debt service burden to the economy as a whole, the governmental entity’s policy towards the International Monetary Fund and the political constraints to which a governmental entity may be subject. Governmental entities may also be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest on their debt. The commitment on the part of these governments, agencies and others to make such disbursements may be conditioned on a governmental entity’s implementation of economic reforms and/or economic performance and the timely service of such debtor’s obligations. Failure to implement such reforms, achieve such levels of economic performance or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of such third parties’ commitments to lend funds to the governmental entity, which may further impair such debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debts in a timely manner. Consequently, governmental entities may default on their debt. Holders of foreign government obligations (including the Fund) may be requested to participate in the rescheduling of such debt and to extend further loans to governmental agencies.

 

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Forward Foreign Currency Exchange Contracts

The Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes and to seek to protect against anticipated changes in future foreign currency exchange rates. A forward foreign currency exchange contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency 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. These contracts are traded in the interbank market between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. A forward contract generally has no deposit requirement, and no commissions are generally charged at any stage for trades.

At the maturity of a forward contract the Fund may either accept or make delivery of the currency specified in the contract or, at or prior to maturity, enter into a closing purchase transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing purchase transactions with respect to forward contracts are usually effected with the currency trader who is a party to the original forward contract.

The Fund may, from time to time, engage in non-deliverable forward transactions to manage currency risk or to gain exposure to a currency without purchasing securities denominated in that currency. A non-deliverable forward is a transaction that represents an agreement between the Fund and a counterparty (usually a commercial bank) to pay the other party the amount that it would have cost based on current market rates as of the termination date to buy or sell a specific (notional) amount of a particular currency at an agreed upon foreign exchange rate on an agreed upon future date. If the counterparty defaults, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreement related to the transaction, but the Fund may be delayed or prevented from obtaining payments owed to it pursuant to non-deliverable forward transactions. Such non-deliverable forward transactions will be settled in cash.

The Fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts in several circumstances. First, when the Fund enters into a contract for the purchase or sale of a security denominated or quoted in a foreign currency, or when the Fund anticipates the receipt in a foreign currency of dividend or interest payments on such a security which it holds, the Fund may desire to “lock in” the U.S. dollar price of the security or the U.S. dollar equivalent of such dividend or interest payment, as the case may be. By entering into a forward contract for the purchase or sale, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, of the amount of foreign currency involved in the underlying transactions, the Fund will attempt to protect itself against an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and the subject foreign currency during the period between the date on which the security is purchased or sold, or on which the dividend or interest payment is declared, and the date on which such payments are made or received.

Additionally, when the Fund’s investment adviser believes that the currency of a particular foreign country may suffer a substantial decline against the U.S. dollar, it may enter into a forward contract to sell, for a fixed amount of U.S. dollars, the amount of foreign currency approximating the value of some or all of the Fund’s portfolio securities quoted or denominated in such foreign currency. The precise matching of the forward contract amounts and the value of the securities involved will not generally be possible because the future value of such securities in foreign currencies will change as a consequence of market movements in the value of those securities between the date on which the contract is entered into and the date it matures. Using forward contracts to protect the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities against a decline in the value of a currency does not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities. It simply establishes a rate of exchange which the Fund can achieve at some future point in time. The precise projection of short-term currency market movements is not possible, and short-term hedging provides a means of fixing the U.S. dollar value of only a portion of the Fund’s foreign assets.

The Fund may engage in cross-hedging by using forward contracts in one currency to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities quoted or denominated in a different currency if the Fund’s investment adviser determines that there is a pattern of correlation between the two currencies.

While the Fund may enter into forward contracts to reduce currency exchange rate risks, transactions in such contracts involve certain other risks. Thus, while the Fund may benefit from such transactions, unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in a poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not engaged in any such transactions. Moreover, there may be imperfect correlation between the Fund’s portfolio holdings of securities quoted or denominated in a particular currency and forward contracts entered into by such Fund. Such imperfect correlation may cause the Fund to sustain losses which will prevent the Fund from achieving a complete hedge or expose the Fund to risk of foreign exchange loss.

Certain forward foreign currency exchange contracts and other currency transactions are not exchange traded or cleared. Markets for trading such forward foreign currency contracts offer less protection against defaults than is available when trading in currency instruments on an exchange. Such forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the contract will default on its obligations. Because these contracts are not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on a contract would deprive the Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. In addition, the institutions that deal in forward currency contracts are not required to make markets in the currencies they trade and these markets can experience periods of illiquidity.

 

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Forward contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty to such contract will default on its obligations. Because a forward foreign currency exchange contract is not guaranteed by an exchange or clearinghouse, a default on the contract would deprive the Fund of unrealized profits, transaction costs or the benefits of a currency hedge or force the Fund to cover its purchase or sale commitments, if any, at the current market price. The Fund will not enter into such transactions unless the credit quality of the unsecured senior debt or the claims-paying ability of the counterparty is considered to be investment grade by its investment adviser. To the extent that a substantial portion of the Fund’s total assets, adjusted to reflect the Fund’s net position after giving effect to currency transactions, is denominated or quoted in the currencies of foreign countries, the Fund will be more susceptible to the risk of adverse economic and political developments within those countries.

These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in issuers of emerging country securities.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts

The Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts. The Fund may purchase and sell futures contracts based on various securities, securities indices, foreign currencies and other financial instruments and indices. Financial futures contracts used by the Fund include interest rate futures contracts including, among others, Eurodollar futures contracts. Eurodollar futures contracts are U.S. dollar-denominated futures contracts that are based on the implied forward London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) of a three-month deposit. The Fund will engage in futures transactions in order to seek to increase total return or to hedge against changes in interest rates, securities prices or, to the extent the Fund invests in foreign securities, currency exchange rates, or to otherwise manage its term structure, sector selection and duration in accordance with its investment objective and policies. The Fund may also enter into closing purchase and sale transactions with respect to such contracts.

Futures contracts utilized by funds have historically been traded on U.S. exchanges or boards of trade that are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) or with respect to certain funds on foreign exchanges. More recently, certain futures may also be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as derivatives transaction execution facilities, exempt boards of trade or electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by the CFTC. Also, certain single stock futures and narrow based security index futures may be traded either over-the-counter or on trading facilities such as contract markets, derivatives transaction execution facilities and electronic trading facilities that are licensed and/or regulated to varying degrees by both the CFTC and the SEC or on foreign exchanges.

Neither the CFTC, National Futures Association (“NFA”), SEC nor any domestic exchange regulates activities of any foreign exchange or boards of trade, including the execution, delivery and clearing of transactions, or has the power to compel enforcement of the rules of a foreign exchange or board of trade or any applicable foreign law. This is true even if the exchange is formally linked to a domestic market so that a position taken on the market may be liquidated by a transaction on another market. Moreover, such laws or regulations will vary depending on the foreign country in which the foreign futures transaction occurs. For these reasons, the Fund’s investments in foreign futures transactions may not be provided the same protections in respect of transactions on United States exchanges. In particular, persons who trade foreign futures contracts may not be afforded certain of the protective measures provided by the CEA, the CFTC’s regulations and the rules of the NFA and any domestic exchange, including the right to use reparations proceedings before the CFTC and arbitration proceedings provided by the NFA or any domestic futures exchange. Similarly, those persons may not have the protection of the United States securities laws.

Futures Contracts. A futures contract may generally be described as an agreement between two parties to buy and sell particular financial instruments or currencies for an agreed price during a designated month (or to deliver the final cash settlement price, in the case of a contract relating to an index or otherwise not calling for physical delivery at the end of trading in the contract).

When interest rates are rising or securities prices are falling, the Fund can seek through the sale of futures contracts to offset a decline in the value of its current portfolio securities. When interest rates are falling or securities prices are rising, the Fund, through the purchase of futures contracts, can attempt to secure better rates or prices than might later be available in the market when it effects anticipated purchases. Similarly, the Fund can purchase and sell futures contracts on a specified currency in order to seek to increase total return or to protect against changes in currency exchange rates. For example, the Fund may seek to offset anticipated changes in the value of a currency in which its portfolio securities, or securities that it intends to purchase, are quoted or denominated by purchasing and selling futures contracts on such currencies. As another example, the Fund may enter into futures transactions to seek a closer correlation between the Fund’s overall currency exposures and the currency exposures of the Fund’s performance benchmark.

 

 

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Positions taken in the futures market are not normally held to maturity, but are instead liquidated through offsetting transactions which may result in a profit or a loss. While the Fund will usually liquidate futures contracts on securities or currency in this manner, the Fund may instead make or take delivery of the underlying securities or currency whenever it appears economically advantageous for the Fund to do so. A clearing corporation associated with the exchange on which futures on securities or currency are traded guarantees that, if still open, the sale or purchase will be performed on the settlement date.

Hedging Strategies Using Futures Contracts. Hedging, by use of futures contracts, seeks to establish with more certainty than would otherwise be possible the effective price, rate of return or currency exchange rate on portfolio securities or securities that the Fund owns or proposes to acquire. The Fund may, for example, take a “short” position in the futures market by selling futures contracts to seek to hedge against an anticipated rise in interest rates or a decline in market prices or foreign currency rates that would adversely affect the dollar value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. Similarly, the Fund may sell futures contracts on a currency in which its portfolio securities are quoted or denominated, or sell futures contracts on one currency to seek to hedge against fluctuations in the value of securities quoted or denominated in a different currency if there is an established historical pattern of correlation between the two currencies. If, in the opinion of the Investment Adviser, there is a sufficient degree of correlation between price trends for the Fund’s portfolio securities and futures contracts based on other financial instruments, securities indices or other indices, the Fund may also enter into such futures contracts as part of a hedging strategy. Although under some circumstances prices of securities in the Fund’s portfolio may be more or less volatile than prices of such futures contracts, the Investment Adviser may attempt to estimate the extent of this volatility difference based on historical patterns and compensate for any such differential by having the Fund enter into a greater or lesser number of futures contracts or by attempting to achieve only a partial hedge against price changes affecting the Fund’s portfolio securities. When hedging of this character is successful, any depreciation in the value of portfolio securities will be substantially offset by appreciation in the value of the futures position. On the other hand, any unanticipated appreciation in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities would be substantially offset by a decline in the value of the futures position.

On other occasions, the Fund may take a “long” position by purchasing such futures contracts. This may be done, for example, when the Fund anticipates the subsequent purchase of particular securities when it has the necessary cash, but expects the prices or currency exchange rates then available in the applicable market to be less favorable than prices or rates that are currently available.

Options on Futures Contracts. The acquisition of put and call options on futures contracts will give the Fund the right (but not the obligation), for a specified price, to sell or to purchase, respectively, the underlying futures contract at any time during the option period. As the purchaser of an option on a futures contract, the Fund obtains the benefit of the futures position if prices move in a favorable direction but limits its risk of loss in the event of an unfavorable price movement to the loss of the premium and transaction costs.

The writing of a call option on a futures contract generates a premium which may partially offset a decline in the value of the Fund’s assets. By writing a call option, the Fund becomes obligated, in exchange for the premium, to sell a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value higher than the exercise price. The writing of a put option on a futures contract generates a premium, which may partially offset an increase in the price of securities that the Fund intends to purchase. However, the Fund becomes obligated (upon the exercise of the option) to purchase a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value lower than the exercise price. Thus, the loss incurred by the Fund in writing options on futures is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received. The Fund will incur transaction costs in connection with the writing of options on futures.

The holder or writer of an option on a futures contract may terminate its position by selling or purchasing an offsetting option on the same financial instrument. There is no guarantee that such closing transactions can be effected. The Fund’s ability to establish and close out positions on such options will be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid market.

Other Considerations. The Fund will engage in transactions in futures contracts transactions only to the extent such transactions are consistent with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) for maintaining its qualification as a regulated investment company for federal income tax purposes. Transactions in futures contracts involve brokerage costs, require margin deposits and, in certain cases, require the Fund to identify on its books cash or liquid assets. The Fund may cover its transactions in futures contracts by identifying on its books cash or liquid assets or by other means, in any manner permitted by applicable law.    For more information about these practices, see “Description of Investment Securities and Practices – Asset Segregation.”

While transactions in futures contracts may reduce certain risks, such transactions themselves entail certain other risks. Thus, unanticipated changes in interest rates, securities prices or currency exchange rates may result in a poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not entered into any futures contracts transactions. When futures contracts are used for hedging purposes, perfect

 

 

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correlation between the Fund’s futures positions and portfolio positions may be impossible to achieve, particularly where futures contracts based on individual equity or corporate fixed income securities are currently not available. In the event of imperfect correlation between a futures position and a portfolio position which is intended to be protected, the desired protection may not be obtained and the Fund may be exposed to risk of loss. In addition, it is not possible for the Fund to hedge fully or perfectly against currency fluctuations affecting the value of securities quoted or denominated in foreign currencies because the value of such securities is likely to fluctuate as a result of independent factors unrelated to currency fluctuations. The profitability of the Fund’s trading in futures depends upon the ability of the Investment Adviser to analyze correctly the futures markets.

High Yield Securities

The Fund may invest in bonds rated BB+ or below by S&P Global Ratings (“Standard & Poor’s”) or Ba1 or below by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) (or comparable rated and unrated securities). These bonds are commonly referred to as “junk bonds” and are considered speculative. The ability of issuers of high yield securities to make principal and interest payments may be questionable because such issuers are often less creditworthy or are highly leveraged and generally less able than more established or less leveraged entities to make scheduled payments of principal and interest. High yield securities are also issued by governmental issuers that may have difficulty in making all scheduled interest and principal payments. In some cases, high yield securities may be highly speculative, have poor prospects for reaching investment grade standing and be in default. As a result, investment in such bonds will entail greater risks than those associated with investments in investment grade bonds (i.e., bonds rated AAA, AA, A or BBB by Standard & Poor’s or Aaa, Aa, A or Baa by Moody’s). Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of high yield securities may be more complex than for issuers of higher quality debt securities, and the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective may, to the extent of its investments in high yield securities, be more dependent upon such creditworthiness analysis than would be the case if the Fund were investing in higher quality securities. See Appendix A for a description of the corporate bond and preferred stock ratings by Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch, Inc. and Dominion Bond Rating Service Limited.

The market values of high yield securities tend to reflect individual corporate or municipal developments to a greater extent than do those of higher rated securities, which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. Issuers of high yield securities that are highly leveraged may not be able to make use of more traditional methods of financing. Their ability to service debt obligations may be more adversely affected by economic downturns or their inability to meet specific projected business forecasts than would be the case for issuers of higher-rated securities. Negative publicity about the junk bond market and investor perceptions regarding lower-rated securities, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may depress the prices for such high yield securities. In the lower quality segments of the fixed income securities market, changes in perceptions of issuers’ creditworthiness tend to occur more frequently and in a more pronounced manner than do changes in higher quality segments of the fixed income securities market, resulting in greater yield and price volatility. Another factor which causes fluctuations in the prices of high yield securities is the supply and demand for similarly rated securities. In addition, the prices of investments fluctuate in response to the general level of interest rates. Fluctuations in the prices of portfolio securities subsequent to their acquisition will not affect cash income from such securities but will be reflected in the Fund’s NAV.

The risk of loss from default for the holders of high yield securities is significantly greater than is the case for holders of other debt securities because such high yield securities are generally unsecured and are often subordinated to the rights of other creditors of the issuers of such securities. Investment by the Fund in already defaulted securities poses an additional risk of loss should nonpayment of principal and interest continue in respect of such securities. Even if such securities are held to maturity, recovery by the Fund of its initial investment and any anticipated income or appreciation is uncertain. In addition, the Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent that it is required to seek recovery relating to the default in the payment of principal or interest on such securities or otherwise protect its interests. The Fund may be required to liquidate other portfolio securities to satisfy annual distribution obligations of the Fund in respect of accrued interest income on securities which are subsequently written off, even though the Fund has not received any cash payments of such interest.

The secondary market for high yield securities is concentrated in relatively few markets and is dominated by institutional investors, including mutual funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Accordingly, the secondary market for such securities may not be as liquid as and may be more volatile than the secondary market for higher-rated securities. In addition, the trading volume for high yield securities is generally lower than that of higher rated securities. The secondary market for high yield securities could contract under adverse market or economic conditions independent of any specific adverse changes in the condition of a particular issuer. These factors may have an adverse effect on the ability of the Fund to dispose of particular portfolio investments when needed to meet its redemption requests or other liquidity needs. The Investment Adviser could find it difficult to sell these investments or may be able to sell the investments only at prices lower than if such investments were widely traded. Prices realized upon the sale of such lower rated or unrated securities, under these circumstances, may be less than the prices used in calculating the NAVs of the Fund. A less liquid secondary market also may make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain precise valuations of the high yield securities in its portfolio.

 

 

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The adoption of new legislation could adversely affect the secondary market for high yield securities and the financial condition of issuers of these securities. The form of any future legislation, and the probability of such legislation being enacted, is uncertain.

Non-investment grade or high yield securities also present risks based on payment expectations. High yield securities frequently contain “call” or buy-back features which permit the issuer to call or repurchase the security from its holder. If an issuer exercises such a “call option” and redeems the security, the Fund may have to replace such security with a lower-yielding security, resulting in a decreased return for investors. In addition, if the Fund experiences net redemptions of its shares and redeems shares in cash, it may be forced to sell its higher-rated securities, resulting in a decline in the overall credit quality of its portfolio and increasing its exposure to the risks of high yield securities.

Credit ratings issued by credit rating agencies are designed to evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market value risk of high yield securities and, therefore, may not fully reflect the true risks of an investment. In addition, credit rating agencies may or may not make timely changes in a rating to reflect changes in the economy or in the conditions of the issuer that affect the market value of the security. Consequently, credit ratings may not accurately reflect credit quality.

An economic downturn could severely affect the ability of highly leveraged issuers of junk bond investments to service their debt obligations or to repay their obligations upon maturity. Factors having an adverse impact on the market value of junk bonds will have an adverse effect on the Fund’s NAV to the extent it invests in such investments. In addition, the Fund may incur additional expenses to the extent it is required to seek recovery upon a default in payment of principal or interest on its portfolio holdings.

These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in high yield securities.

Illiquid Investments

Pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act, the Fund may not acquire any “illiquid investment” if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets. An “illiquid investment” is any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. Illiquid investments include repurchase agreements with a notice or demand period of more than seven days, certain stripped mortgage-backed securities, certain municipal leases, certain over-the-counter derivative instruments, securities and other financial instruments that are not readily marketable, and Restricted Securities unless, based upon a review of the relevant market, trading and investment-specific considerations, those investments are determined not to be illiquid. The Trust has implemented a liquidity risk management program and related procedures to identify illiquid investments pursuant to Rule 22e-4, and the Trustees have approved the designation of the Investment Adviser to administer the Trust’s liquidity risk management program and related procedures. In determining whether an investment is an illiquid investment, the Investment Adviser will take into account actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment-specific considerations. In addition, in determining the liquidity of an investment, the Investment Adviser must determine whether trading varying portions of a position in a particular portfolio investment or asset class, in sizes that the Fund would reasonably anticipate trading, is reasonably expected to significantly affect its liquidity, and if so, the Fund must take this determination into account when classifying the liquidity of that investment or asset class.

In addition to actual or estimated daily transaction volume of an investment, group of related investments or asset class and other relevant market, trading, and investment-specific considerations, the following factors, among others, will generally impact the classification of an investment as an “illiquid investment”: (i) any investment that is placed on the Investment Adviser’s restricted trading list; and (ii) any investment that is delisted or for which there is a trading halt at the close of the trading day on the primary listing exchange at the time of classification (and in respect of which no active secondary market exists). Investments purchased by the Fund that are liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid due to these and other events and circumstances. If one or more investments in the Fund’s portfolio become illiquid, the Fund may exceed the 15% limitation in illiquid investments. In the event that changes in the portfolio or other external events cause the Fund to exceed this limit, the Fund must take steps to bring its illiquid investments that are assets to or below 15% of its net assets within a reasonable period of time. This requirement would not force the Fund to liquidate any portfolio instrument where the Fund would suffer a loss on the sale of that instrument.

 

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Index Swaps, Interest Rate Swaps, Mortgage Swaps, Credit Swaps, Currency Swaps, Total Return Swaps, Equity Swaps, Volatility and Variance Swaps, Inflation and Inflation Asset Swaps, Correlation Swaps, Options on Swaps and Interest Rate Caps, Floors and Collars

The Fund may enter into interest rate, credit, total return, equity, mortgage and currency swaps. The Fund may also enter into interest rate caps, floors and collars. The Fund may also purchase and write (sell) options contracts on swaps, commonly referred to as swaptions. The Fund may enter into index swaps, volatility and variance swaps, inflation and inflation asset swaps and correlation swaps.

The Fund may enter into swap transactions for hedging purposes or to seek to increase total return. As examples, the Fund may enter into swap transactions for the purpose of attempting to obtain or preserve a particular return or spread at a lower cost than obtaining a return or spread through purchases and/or sales of instruments in other markets, to protect against currency fluctuations, as a duration management technique, to protect against any increase in the price of securities the Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date, or to gain exposure to certain markets in an economical way.

In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns, differentials in rates of return or some other amount earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments, which may be adjusted for an interest factor. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are generally calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested at a particular interest rate, in a particular foreign currency or security, or in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. Bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors. Cleared swaps are transacted through futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) that are members of central clearinghouses with the clearinghouse serving as a central counterparty similar to transactions in futures contracts. The Fund posts initial and variation margin by making payments to their clearing member FCMs.

Index swaps involve the exchange by the Fund with another party of payments based on a notional principal amount of a specified index or indices. Interest rate swaps involve the exchange by the Fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive payments for floating rate payments based on interest rates at specified intervals in the future. Two types of interest rate swaps include “fixed-for-floating rate swaps” and “basis swaps.” Fixed-for-floating rate swaps involve the exchange of payments based on a fixed interest rate for payments based on a floating interest rate index. By contrast, basis swaps involve the exchange of payments based on two different floating interest rate indices. Mortgage swaps are similar to interest rate swaps in that they represent commitments to pay and receive interest. The notional principal amount, however, is tied to a reference pool or pools of mortgages.

Credit default swaps involve the exchange of a floating or fixed rate payment in return for assuming potential credit losses of an underlying security or pool of securities. Loan credit default swaps are similar to credit default swaps on bonds, except that the underlying protection is sold on secured loans of a reference entity rather than a broader category of bonds or loans. Loan credit default swaps may be on single names or on baskets of loans, both tranched and untranched. Currency swaps involve the exchange of the parties’ respective rights to make or receive payments in specified currencies. Total return swaps are contracts that obligate a party to pay or receive interest in exchange for payment by the other party of the total return generated by a security, a basket of securities, an index, or an index component. Equity swap contracts may be structured in different ways. For example, as a total return swap where a counterparty may agree to pay the Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the equity swap contract would have increased in value had it been invested in the particular stocks (or a group of stocks), plus the dividends that would have been received on those stocks. In other cases, the counterparty and the Fund may each agree to pay the difference between the relative investment performances that would have been achieved if the notional amount of the equity swap contract had been invested in different stocks (or a group of stocks).

A volatility swap is an agreement between two parties to make payments based on changes in the volatility of a reference instrument over a stated period of time. Volatility swaps can be used to adjust the volatility profile of the Fund. For example, the Fund may buy a volatility swap to take the position that the reference instrument’s volatility will increase over a stated period of time. If this occurs, the Fund will receive a payment based upon the amount by which the realized volatility level of the reference instrument exceeds an agreed upon volatility level. If volatility is less than the agreed upon volatility level, then the Fund will make a payment to the counterparty calculated in the same manner. A variance swap is an agreement between two parties to exchange cash payments based on changes in the variance of a reference instrument over a stated period of time. Volatility is the mathematical square root of variance, and variance swaps are used for similar purposes as volatility swaps.

An inflation swap is an agreement between two parties in which one party agrees to pay the cumulative percentage increase in a reference inflation index (e.g., the Consumer Price Index) and the other party agrees to pay a compounded fixed rate over a stated period of time. In an inflation asset swap, the reference instrument is a bond with a value that is tied to inflation (e.g., Treasury Inflation-Protected Security) and one party pays the cash flows from the reference instrument in exchange for a payment based on a fixed rate from the other party. The Fund may enter into inflation swaps and inflation asset swaps to protect the Fund against changes in the rate of inflation.

 

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A correlation swap is an agreement in which two parties agree to exchange cash payments based on the correlation between specified reference instruments over a set period of time. Two assets would be considered closely correlated if, for example, their daily returns vary in similar proportions or along similar trajectories. For example, the Fund may enter into correlation swaps to change its exposure to increases or decreases in the correlation between prices or returns of different Fund holdings.

A swaption is an option to enter into a swap agreement. Like other types of options, the buyer of a swaption pays a non-refundable premium for the option and obtains the right, but not the obligation, to enter into or modify an underlying swap or to modify the terms of an existing swap on agreed-upon terms. The seller of a swaption, in exchange for the premium, becomes obligated (if the option is exercised) to enter into or modify an underlying swap on agreed-upon terms, which generally entails a greater risk of loss than incurred in buying a swaption. The purchase of an interest rate cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index exceeds a predetermined interest rate, to receive payment of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling such interest rate cap. The purchase of an interest rate floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index falls below a predetermined interest rate, to receive payments of interest on a notional principal amount from the party selling the interest rate floor. An interest rate collar is the combination of a cap and a floor that preserves a certain return within a predetermined range of interest rates.

A great deal of flexibility may be possible in the way swap transactions are structured. However, generally the Fund will enter into interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage and equity swaps on a net basis, which means that the two payment streams are netted out, with the Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. Interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage and equity swaps do not normally involve the delivery of securities, other underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage and equity swaps is normally limited to the net amount of payments that the Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the other party to an interest rate, total return, credit, mortgage or equity swap defaults, the Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of interest payments that the Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any.

In contrast, currency swaps usually involve the delivery of a gross payment stream in one designated currency in exchange for a gross payment stream in another designated currency. Therefore, the entire payment stream under a currency swap is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations. A credit swap may have as reference obligations one or more securities that may, or may not, be currently held by the Fund. The protection “buyer” in a credit swap is generally obligated to pay the protection “seller” an upfront or a periodic stream of payments over the term of the swap provided that no credit event, such as a default, on a reference obligation has occurred. If a credit event occurs, the seller generally must pay the buyer the “par value” (full notional value) of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity described in the swap, or the seller may be required to deliver the related net cash amount, if the swap is cash settled. The Fund may be either the protection buyer or seller in the transaction. If the Fund is a buyer and no credit event occurs, the Fund may recover nothing if the swap is held through its termination date. However, if a credit event occurs, the buyer generally may elect to receive the full notional value of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of deliverable obligations of the reference entity whose value may have significantly decreased. As a seller, the Fund generally receives an upfront payment or a rate of income throughout the term of the swap provided that there is no credit event. As the seller, the Fund would effectively add leverage to its portfolio because, in addition to its total net assets, the Fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap. If a credit event occurs, the value of any deliverable obligation received by the Fund as seller, coupled with the upfront or periodic payments previously received, may be less than the full notional value it pays to the buyer, resulting in a loss of value to the Fund.

As a result of recent regulatory developments, certain standardized swaps are currently subject to mandatory central clearing and some of these cleared swaps must be traded on an exchange or swap execution facility (“SEF”). A SEF is a trading platform in which multiple market participants can execute swap transactions by accepting bids and offers made by multiple other participants on the platform. Transactions executed on a SEF may increase market transparency and liquidity but may cause the Fund to incur increased expenses to execute swaps. Central clearing should decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to bilateral swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap. However, central clearing does not eliminate counterparty risk or liquidity risk entirely. In addition, depending on the size of the Fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar bilateral swap. However, the CFTC and other applicable regulators have adopted rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on uncleared swaps, which may result in the Fund and its counterparties posting higher margin amounts for uncleared swaps. Requiring margin on uncleared swaps may reduce, but not eliminate, counterparty credit risk.

 

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To the extent that the Fund’s exposure in a transaction involving a swap, swaption or an interest rate floor, cap or collar is covered by identifying cash or liquid assets on the Fund’s books or is covered by other means in accordance with SEC- or SEC staff-approved guidance or other appropriate measures, the Fund and the Investment Adviser believe that the transactions do not constitute senior securities under the Act and, accordingly, will not treat them as being subject to the Fund’s borrowing restrictions. For more information about these practices, see “Description of Investment Securities and Practices – Asset Segregation.”

The use of swaps and swaptions, as well as interest rate caps, floors and collars, is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of a swap requires an understanding not only of the referenced asset, reference rate, or index but also of the swap itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the swap under all possible market conditions.

In addition, these transactions can involve greater risks than if the Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly because, in addition to general market risks, swaps are subject to liquidity risk, counterparty risk, credit risk and pricing risk. Regulators also may impose limits on an entity’s or group of entities’ positions in certain swaps. However, certain risks are reduced (but not eliminated) if the Fund invests in cleared swaps. Bilateral swap agreements are two party contracts that may have terms of greater than seven days. Moreover, the Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap counterparty. Many swaps are complex and often valued subjectively. Swaps and other derivatives may also be subject to pricing or “basis” risk, which exists when the price of a particular derivative diverges from the price of corresponding cash market instruments. Under certain market conditions it may not be economically feasible to imitate a transaction or liquidate a position in time to avoid a loss or take advantage of an opportunity. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.

Certain rules also require centralized reporting of detailed information about many types of cleared and uncleared swaps. This information is available to regulators and, to a more limited extent and on an anonymous basis, to the public. Reporting of swap data may result in greater market transparency, which may be beneficial to funds that use swaps to implement trading strategies. However, these rules place potential additional administrative obligations on these funds, and the safeguards established to protect anonymity may not function as expected.

The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, the swap market has become relatively liquid in comparison with the markets for other similar instruments which are traded in the interbank market. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in swaps.

Investing in Asia

Although many countries in Asia have experienced a relatively stable political environment over the last decade, there is no guarantee that such stability will be maintained in the future. As an emerging region, many factors may affect such stability on a country-by-country as well as on a regional basis – increasing gaps between the rich and poor, agrarian unrest and stability of existing coalitions in politically-fractionated countries – and may result in adverse consequences to the Fund. The political history of some Asian countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such developments, if they continue to occur, could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and could result in significant disruption to securities markets.

The legal infrastructure in each of the countries in Asia is unique and often undeveloped. In most cases, securities laws are evolving and far from adequate for the protection of the public from serious fraud. Investment in Asian securities involves considerations and possible risks not typically involved with investment in other issuers, including changes in governmental administration or economic or monetary policy or changed circumstances in dealings between nations. The application of tax laws (e.g., the imposition of withholding taxes on dividend or interest payments) or confiscatory taxation may also affect investment in Asian securities. Higher expenses may result from investments in Asian securities than would from investments in other securities because of the costs that must be incurred in connection with conversions between various currencies and brokerage commissions that may be higher than more established markets. Asian securities markets also may be less liquid, more volatile and less subject to governmental supervision than elsewhere. Investments in countries in the region could be affected by other factors not present elsewhere, including lack of uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, inadequate settlement procedures and potential difficulties in enforcing contractual obligations.

 

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Certain countries in Asia are especially prone to natural disasters, such as flooding, drought and earthquakes. Combined with the possibility of man-made disasters, the occurrence of such disasters may adversely affect companies in which the Fund is invested and, as a result, may result in adverse consequences to the Fund.

Many of the countries in Asia periodically have experienced significant inflation. Should the governments and central banks of the countries in Asia fail to control inflation, this may have an adverse effect on the performance of the Fund’s investments in Asian securities.

Several of the countries in Asia remain dependent on the U.S. economy as their largest export customer, and future barriers to entry into the U.S. market or other important markets could adversely affect the Fund’s performance. Intraregional trade is becoming an increasingly significant percentage of total trade for the countries in Asia. Consequently, the intertwined economies are becoming increasingly dependent on each other, and any barriers to entry to markets in Asia in the future may adversely affect the Fund’s performance.

Certain Asian countries may have managed currencies which are maintained at artificial levels to the U.S. dollar rather than at levels determined by the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Asian countries also may restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for certain currencies, and it would, as a result, be difficult to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

Although the Fund will generally attempt to invest in those markets which provide the greatest freedom of movement of foreign capital, there is no assurance that this will be possible or that certain countries in Asia will not restrict the movement of foreign capital in the future. Changes in securities laws and foreign ownership laws may have an adverse effect on the Fund.

Investing in Australia

The Australian economy is heavily dependent on the economies of Asia, Europe and the U.S. as key trading partners, and in particular, on the price and demand for agricultural products and natural resources. By total market capitalization, the Australian stock market is small relative to the U.S. stock market and issues may trade with lesser liquidity, although Australia’s stock market is the largest and most liquid in the Asia-Pacific region (ex-Japan). Australian reporting, accounting and auditing standards differ substantially from U.S. standards. In general, Australian corporations do not provide all of the disclosure required by U.S. law and accounting practice, and such disclosure may be less timely and less frequent than that required of U.S. companies.

Investing in Central and South American Countries

The Fund may invest in issuers located in Central and South American countries. Securities markets in Central and South American countries may experience greater volatility than in other emerging countries. In addition, a number of Central and South American countries are among the largest emerging country debtors. There have been moratoria on, and reschedulings of, repayment with respect to these debts. Such events can restrict the flexibility of these debtor nations in the international markets and result in the imposition of onerous conditions on their economies.

Many of the currencies of Central and South American countries have experienced steady devaluation relative to the U.S. dollar, and major devaluations have historically occurred in certain countries. Any devaluations in the currencies in which the Fund’s portfolio securities are denominated may have a detrimental impact on the Fund. There is also a risk that certain Central and South American countries may restrict the free conversion of their currencies into other currencies. Some Central and South American countries may have managed currencies which are not free floating against the U.S. dollar. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency that, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. Certain Central and South American currencies may not be internationally traded and it would be difficult for the Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies.

The emergence of the Central and South American economies and securities markets will require continued economic and fiscal discipline that has been lacking at times in the past, as well as stable political and social conditions. Governments of many Central and South American countries have exercised and continue to exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. The political history of certain Central and South American countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, intervention by the military in civilian and economic spheres and political corruption. Such developments, if they were to recur, could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization and removal of trade barriers.

 

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International economic conditions, particularly those in the United States, as well as world prices for oil and other commodities may also influence the recovery of the Central and South American economies. Because commodities such as oil, gas, minerals and metals represent a significant percentage of the region’s exports, the economies of Central and South American countries are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. As a result, the economies in many of these countries can experience significant volatility.

Certain Central and South American countries have entered into regional trade agreements that would, among other things, reduce barriers among countries, increase competition among companies and reduce government subsidies in certain industries. No assurance can be given that these changes will result in the economic stability intended. There is a possibility that these trade arrangements will not be implemented, will be implemented but not completed or will be completed but then partially or completely unwound. It is also possible that a significant participant could choose to abandon a trade agreement, which could diminish its credibility and influence. Any of these occurrences could have adverse effects on the markets of both participating and non-participating countries, including share appreciation or depreciation of participant’s national currencies and a significant increase in exchange rate volatility, a resurgence in economic protectionism, an undermining of confidence in the Central and South American markets, an undermining of Central and South American economic stability, the collapse or slowdown of the drive toward Central and South American economic unity, and/or reversion of the attempts to lower government debt and inflation rates that were introduced in anticipation of such trade agreements. Such developments could have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments in Central and South America generally or in specific countries participating in such trade agreements.

Investing in Eastern Europe

The Fund may invest in issuers located in Eastern Europe. Most Eastern European countries had a centrally planned, socialist economy for a substantial period of time. The governments of many Eastern European countries have more recently been implementing reforms directed at political and economic liberalization, including efforts to decentralize the economic decision-making process and move towards a market economy. However, business entities in many Eastern European countries do not have an extended history of operating in a market-oriented economy, and the ultimate impact of Eastern European countries’ attempts to move toward more market-oriented economies is currently unclear. In addition, any change in the leadership or policies of Eastern European countries may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and adversely affect existing investment opportunities.

Where the Fund invests in securities issued by companies incorporated in or whose principal operations are located in Eastern Europe, other risks may also be encountered. Legal, political, economic and fiscal uncertainties in Eastern European markets may affect the value of the Fund investment in such securities. The currencies in which these investments may be denominated may be unstable, may be subject to significant depreciation and may not be freely convertible. Existing laws and regulations may not be consistently applied. The markets of the countries of Eastern Europe are still in the early stages of their development, have less volume, are less highly regulated, are less liquid and experience greater volatility than more established markets. Settlement of transactions may be subject to delay and administrative uncertainties. Custodians are not able to offer the level of service and safekeeping, settlement and administration services that is customary in more developed markets, and there is a risk that the Fund will not be recognized as the owner of securities held on their behalf by a sub-custodian.

Investing in Emerging Countries

Emerging Markets Equity Securities. The securities markets of emerging countries are less liquid and subject to greater price volatility, and have a smaller market capitalization, than the U.S. securities markets. In certain countries, there may be fewer publicly traded securities and the market may be dominated by a few issuers or sectors. Issuers and securities markets in such countries are not subject to as stringent, extensive and frequent accounting, auditing, financial and other reporting requirements or as comprehensive government regulations as are issuers and securities markets in the U.S., and the degree of cooperation between issuers in emerging and frontier market countries with foreign and U.S. financial regulators may vary significantly. In particular, the assets and profits appearing on the financial statements of emerging country issuers may not reflect their financial position or results of operations in the same manner as financial statements for U.S. issuers. Substantially less information may be publicly available about emerging country issuers than is available about issuers in the United States. In addition, U.S. regulators may not have sufficient access to adequately audit and oversee issuers. For example, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (the “PCAOB”) is responsible for inspecting and auditing the accounting practices and products of U.S.-listed companies, regardless of the issuer’s domicile. However, certain emerging market countries, including China, do not provide sufficient access to the PCAOB to conduct its inspections and audits. As a result, U.S. investors, including the Fund, may be subject to risks associated with less stringent accounting oversight.

 

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Emerging country securities markets are typically marked by a high concentration of market capitalization and trading volume in a small number of issuers representing a limited number of industries, as well as a high concentration of ownership of such securities by a limited number of investors. The markets for securities in certain emerging countries are in the earliest stages of their development. Even the markets for relatively widely traded securities in emerging countries may not be able to absorb, without price disruptions, a significant increase in trading volume or trades of a size customarily undertaken by institutional investors in the securities markets of developed countries. The limited size of many of these securities markets can cause prices to be erratic for reasons apart from factors that affect the soundness and competitiveness of the securities issuers. For example, prices may be unduly influenced by traders who control large positions in these markets. Additionally, market making and arbitrage activities are generally less extensive in such markets, which may contribute to increased volatility and reduced liquidity of such markets. The limited liquidity of emerging country securities may also affect the Fund’s ability to accurately value its portfolio securities or to acquire or dispose of securities at the price and time it wishes to do so or in order to meet redemption requests. In addition, emerging market countries are often characterized by limited reliable access to capital.

The Fund’s purchase and sale of portfolio securities in certain emerging countries may be constrained by limitations as to daily changes in the prices of listed securities, periodic trading or settlement volume and/or limitations on aggregate holdings of foreign investors. Such limitations may be computed based on the aggregate trading volume by or holdings of the Fund, the Investment Adviser, its affiliates and their respective clients and other service providers. The Fund may not be able to sell securities in circumstances where price, trading or settlement volume limitations have been reached.

Market Characteristics. Securities markets of emerging countries may also have less efficient clearance and settlement procedures than U.S. markets, making it difficult to conduct and complete transactions. Delays in the settlement could result in temporary periods when a portion of the Fund’s assets is uninvested and no return is earned thereon. Inability to make intended security purchases could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities. Inability to dispose of portfolio securities could result either in losses to the Fund due to subsequent declines in value of the portfolio security or, if the Fund has entered into a contract to sell the security, could result in possible liability of the Fund to the purchaser.

Transaction costs, including brokerage commissions and dealer mark-ups, in emerging countries may be higher than in the U.S. and other developed securities markets. As legal systems in emerging countries develop, foreign investors may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. In circumstances where adequate laws exist, it may not be possible to obtain swift and equitable enforcement of the law.

Custodial and/or settlement systems in emerging and frontier market countries may not be fully developed. To the extent the Fund invests in emerging markets, Fund assets that are traded in such markets and will have been entrusted to such sub-custodians in those markets may be exposed to risks for which the sub-custodian will have no liability.

With respect to investments in certain emerging countries, antiquated legal systems may have an adverse impact on the Fund. For example, while the potential liability of a shareholder of a U.S. corporation with respect to acts of the corporation is generally limited to the amount of the shareholder’s investment, the notion of limited liability is less clear in certain emerging market countries. Similarly, the rights of investors in emerging market companies may be more limited than those of investors of U.S. corporations, and it may be more difficult for shareholders to bring derivative litigation. Moreover, the legal remedies for investors in emerging markets may be more limited than the remedies available in the United States, and the ability of U.S. authorities (e.g., SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice) to bring actions against bad actors may be limited. In addition, emerging countries may have less established accounting and financial reporting systems than those in more developed markets.

Economic, Political and Social Factors. Emerging countries may be subject to a greater degree of economic, political and social instability than the United States, Japan and most Western European countries, and unanticipated political and social developments may affect the value of the Fund’s investments in emerging countries and the availability to the Fund of additional investments in such countries. Moreover, political and economic structures in many emerging countries may be undergoing significant evolution and rapid development. Instability may result from, among other things: (i) authoritarian governments or military involvement in political and economic decision-making, including changes or attempted changes in government through extra-constitutional means; (ii) popular unrest associated with demands for improved economic, political and social conditions; (iii) internal insurgencies; (iv) hostile relations with neighboring countries; (v) ethnic, religious and racial disaffection and conflict; and (vi) the absence of developed legal structures governing foreign private property. Many emerging countries have experienced in the past, and continue to experience, high rates of inflation. In certain countries, inflation has at times accelerated rapidly to hyperinflationary levels, creating a negative interest rate environment and sharply eroding the value of outstanding financial assets in those countries. The economies of many emerging countries are heavily dependent upon international trade and are accordingly affected by protective trade barriers and the economic conditions of their trading partners. In addition, the economies of some emerging countries may differ unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resources, self-sufficiency and balance of payments position.

 

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The Fund may invest in issuers located in former “Eastern bloc” countries. Most of these countries had a centrally planned, socialist economy for a substantial period of time. The governments of many of these countries have more recently been implementing reforms directed at political and economic liberalization, including efforts to decentralize the economic decision-making process and move towards a market economy. However, business entities in many of these countries do not have an extended history of operating in a market-oriented economy, and the ultimate impact of these countries’ attempts to move toward more market-oriented economies is currently unclear. In addition, any change in the leadership or policies of these countries may halt the expansion of or reverse the liberalization of foreign investment policies now occurring and adversely affect existing investment opportunities.

Restrictions on Investment and Repatriation. Certain emerging countries require governmental approval prior to investments by foreign persons or limit investments by foreign persons to only a specified percentage of an issuer’s outstanding securities or a specific class of securities which may have less advantageous terms (including price) than securities of the issuer available for purchase by nationals. The repatriation of investment income, capital or the proceeds of securities sales from emerging countries may be subject to restrictions which require governmental consents or prohibit repatriation entirely for a period of time, which may make it difficult for the Fund to invest in such emerging countries. The Fund could be adversely affected by delays in, or a refusal to grant, any required governmental approval for such repatriation. Even where there is no outright restriction on repatriation of capital, the mechanics of repatriation may affect the operation of the Fund.

Emerging Country Government Obligations. Emerging country governmental entities are among the largest debtors to commercial banks, foreign governments, international financial organizations and other financial institutions. Certain emerging country governmental entities have not been able to make payments of interest on or principal of debt obligations as those payments have come due. Obligations arising from past restructuring agreements may affect the economic performance and political and social stability of those entities.

The ability of emerging country governmental entities to make timely payments on their obligations is likely to be influenced strongly by the entity’s balance of payments, including export performance, and its access to international credits and investments. An emerging country whose exports are concentrated in a few commodities could be vulnerable to a decline in the international prices of one or more of those commodities. Increased protectionism on the part of an emerging country’s trading partners could also adversely affect the country’s exports and tarnish its trade account surplus, if any. To the extent that emerging countries receive payment for their exports in currencies other than dollars or non-emerging country currencies, the emerging country governmental entity’s ability to make debt payments denominated in dollars or non-emerging market currencies could be affected.

To the extent that an emerging country cannot generate a trade surplus, it must depend on continuing loans from foreign governments, multilateral organizations or private commercial banks, aid payments from foreign governments and on inflows of foreign investment. The access of emerging countries to these forms of external funding may not be certain, and a withdrawal of external funding could adversely affect the capacity of emerging country governmental entities to make payments on their obligations. In addition, the cost of servicing emerging country debt obligations can be affected by a change in international interest rates because the majority of these obligations carry interest rates that are adjusted periodically based upon international rates.

Another factor bearing on the ability of emerging countries to repay debt obligations is the level of international reserves of a country. Fluctuations in the level of these reserves affect the amount of foreign exchange readily available for external debt payments and thus could have a bearing on the capacity of emerging countries to make payments on these debt obligations.

As a result of the foregoing or other factors, a governmental obligor, especially in an emerging country, may default on its obligations. If such an event occurs, the Fund may have limited legal recourse against the issuer and/or guarantor. Remedies must, in some cases, be pursued in the courts of the defaulting party itself, and the ability of the holder of foreign government obligations to obtain recourse may be subject to the political climate in the relevant country. In addition, no assurance can be given that the holders of commercial bank debt will not contest payments to the holders of other foreign government obligations in the event of default under the commercial bank loan agreements.

These and other factors discussed in the section below, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in issuers of emerging country securities.

 

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Investing in Europe

The Fund may operate in euros and/or may hold euros and/or euro-denominated bonds and other obligations. The euro requires participation of multiple sovereign states forming the Euro zone and is therefore sensitive to the credit, general economic and political position of each such state, including each state’s actual and intended ongoing engagement with and/or support for the other sovereign states then forming the EU, in particular those within the Euro zone. Changes in these factors might materially adversely impact the value of securities that the Fund has invested in.

European countries can be significantly affected by the tight fiscal and monetary controls that the European Economic and Monetary Union (“EMU”) imposes for membership. Europe’s economies are diverse, its governments are decentralized, and its cultures vary widely. Several EU countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal, have faced budget issues, some of which may have negative long-term effects for the economies of those countries and other EU countries. There is continued concern about national-level support for the euro and the accompanying coordination of fiscal and wage policy among EMU member countries. Member countries are required to maintain tight control over inflation, public debt, and budget deficit to qualify for membership in the EMU. These requirements can severely limit the ability of EMU member countries to implement monetary policy to address regional economic conditions.

Geopolitical developments in Europe have caused, or may in the future cause, significant volatility in financial markets. For example, in a June 2016 referendum, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. In March 2017, the United Kingdom formally notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU (commonly known as “Brexit”) by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which triggered a two-year period of negotiations on the terms of Brexit. Brexit has resulted in volatility in European and global markets and may also lead to weakening in political, regulatory, consumer, corporate and financial confidence in the markets of the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. The longer term economic, legal, political, regulatory and social framework between the United Kingdom and the EU remains unclear and may lead to ongoing political, regulatory and economic uncertainty and periods of exacerbated volatility in both the United Kingdom and in wider European markets for some time. Additionally, the decision made in the British referendum may lead to a call for similar referenda in other European jurisdictions, which may cause increased economic volatility in European and global markets. The mid-to long-term uncertainty may have an adverse effect on the economy generally and on the value of the Fund’s investments. This may be due to, among other things: fluctuations in asset values and exchange rates; increased illiquidity of investments located, traded or listed within the United Kingdom, the EU or elsewhere; changes in the willingness or ability of counterparties to enter into transactions at the price and terms on which the Fund is prepared to transact; and/or changes in legal and regulatory regimes to which certain of the Fund’s assets are or become subject. Fluctuations in the value of the British Pound and/or the Euro, along with the potential downgrading of the United Kingdom’s sovereign credit rating, may also have an impact on the performance of the Fund’s assets or investments economically tied to the United Kingdom or Europe.

The full effects of Brexit will depend, in part, on whether the United Kingdom is able to negotiate agreements to retain access to EU markets including, but not limited to, trade and finance agreements. Brexit could lead to legal and tax uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the United Kingdom determines which EU laws to replace or replicate. The extent of the impact of the withdrawal and the resulting economic arrangements in the United Kingdom and in global markets as well as any associated adverse consequences remain unclear, and the uncertainty may have a significant negative effect on the value of the Fund’s investments. While certain measures have been proposed and/or implemented within the UK and at the EU level or at the member state level, which are designed to minimize disruption in the financial markets, it is not currently possible to determine whether such measures would achieve their intended effects.

On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the EU and the United Kingdom entered a transition period that expired on December 31, 2020. During this transition phase, the United Kingdom and the EU sought to negotiate and finalize a new, more permanent trade deal. On December 24, 2020, negotiators representing the United Kingdom and the EU came to a preliminary trade agreement, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (“TCA”), which is an agreement on the terms governing certain aspects of the EU’s and United Kingdom’s relationship following the end of the transition period. On December 30, 2020, the United Kingdom and the EU signed the TCA, which was ratified by the British Parliament on the same day. The TCA has been provisionally applied since January 1, 2021 but cannot formally enter into force until ratified by the European Parliament. In the event that the European Parliament does not ratify the TCA before February 28, 2021, the relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU would be based on the World Trade Organization rules. However, even under the TCA, many aspects of the UK-EU trade relationship remain subject to further negotiation. Due to political uncertainty, it is not possible to anticipate the form or nature of the future trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU.

Other economic challenges facing the region include high levels of public debt, significant rates of unemployment, aging populations, and heavy regulation in certain economic sectors. European policy makers have taken unprecedented steps to respond to the economic crisis and to boost growth in the region, which has increased the risk that regulatory uncertainty could negatively affect the value of the Fund’s investments.

 

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Certain countries have applied to become new member countries of the EU, and these candidate countries’ accessions may become more controversial to the existing EU members. Some member states may repudiate certain candidate countries joining the EU upon concerns about the possible economic, immigration and cultural implications. Also, Russia may be opposed to the expansion of the EU to members of the former Soviet bloc and may, at times, take actions that could negatively impact EU economic activity.

Investing in Greater China

Investing in Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) involves a high degree of risk and special considerations not typically associated with investing in other more established economies or securities markets. Such risks may include: (a) greater social, economic and political uncertainty (including the risk of armed conflict); (b) the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets or confiscatory taxation; (c) dependency on exports and the corresponding importance of international trade; (d) the imposition of tariffs or other trade barriers by the U.S. or foreign governments on exports from Mainland China; (e) increasing competition from Asia’s other low-cost emerging economies; (f) greater price volatility and smaller market capitalization of securities markets; (g) decreased liquidity, particularly of certain share classes of Chinese securities; (h) currency exchange rate fluctuations (with respect to investments in Mainland China and Taiwan) and the lack of available currency hedging instruments; (i) higher rates of inflation; (j) controls on foreign investment and limitations on repatriation of invested capital and on the Fund’s ability to exchange local currencies for U.S. dollars; (k) greater governmental involvement in and control over the economy; (l) uncertainty regarding the People’s Republic of China’s commitment to economic reforms; (m) the fact that Chinese companies may be smaller, less seasoned and newly-organized companies; (n) the differences in, or lack of, auditing and financial reporting standards which may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; (o) the fact that statistical information regarding the economy of Greater China may be inaccurate or not comparable to statistical information regarding the U.S. or other economies; (p) less extensive, and still developing, legal systems and regulatory frameworks regarding the securities markets, business entities and commercial transactions; (q) the fact that the settlement period of securities transactions in foreign markets may be longer; (r) the fact that it may be more difficult, or impossible, to obtain and/or enforce a judgment than in other countries; and (s) the rapid and erratic nature of growth, particularly in the People’s Republic of China, resulting in inefficiencies and dislocations.

Mainland China. Investments in Mainland China are subject to the risks associated with greater governmental control over the economy, political and legal uncertainties and currency fluctuations or blockage. In particular, the Chinese Communist Party exercises significant control over economic growth in Mainland China through the allocation of resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.

Because the local legal system is still developing, it may be more difficult to obtain or enforce judgments with respect to investments in Mainland China. Chinese companies may not be subject to the same disclosure, accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices as U.S. companies. Thus, there may be less information publicly available about Chinese companies than about most U.S. companies. Government supervision and regulation of Chinese stock exchanges, currency markets, trading systems and brokers may be more or less rigorous than that present in the U.S. The procedures and rules governing transactions and custody in Mainland China also may involve delays in payment, delivery or recovery of money or investments. The imposition of tariffs or other trade barriers by the U.S. or other foreign governments on exports from Mainland China may also have an adverse impact on Chinese issuers and China’s economy as a whole.

Foreign investments in Mainland China are somewhat restricted. Securities listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges are divided into two classes of shares: A shares and B Shares. Ownership of A Shares is restricted to Chinese investors, Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (“QFIIs”) who have obtained a QFII license, and participants in the Shanghai-Hong Kong and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect programs (“Stock Connect”). B shares may be owned by Chinese and foreign investors. The Fund may obtain exposure to the A share market in the People’s Republic of China by either investing directly in A shares through participation in Stock Connect, or by investing in participatory notes issued by banks, broker-dealers and other financial institutions, or other structured or derivative instruments that are designed to replicate, or otherwise provide exposure to, the performance of A shares of Chinese companies. The Fund may also invest directly in B shares on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges.

As a result of investing in the People’s Republic of China, the Fund may be subject to withholding and various other taxes imposed by the People’s Republic of China. To date, a 10% withholding tax has been levied on cash dividends, distributions and interest payments from companies listed in the People’s Republic of China to foreign investors, unless the withholding tax can be reduced by an applicable income tax treaty.

As of November 17, 2014, foreign mutual funds, which qualify as QFIIs and/or RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (“RQFIIs”), are temporarily exempt from enterprise income tax on capital gains arising from securities trading in the People’s Republic of China. It is currently unclear when this preferential treatment would end. If the preferential treatment were to end, such capital gains would be subject to a 10% withholding tax in the People’s Republic of China. Meanwhile, the purchase and sale of publicly traded equities by a QFII/RQFII is exempt from value-added tax in the People’s Republic of China.

 

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The tax law and regulations of the People’s Republic of China are constantly changing, and they may be changed with retrospective effect to the advantage or disadvantage of shareholders. The interpretation and applicability of the tax law and regulations by tax authorities may not be as consistent and transparent as those of more developed nations, and may vary from region to region. It should also be noted that any provision for taxation made by the Investment Adviser may be excessive or inadequate to meet final tax liabilities. Consequently, shareholders may be advantaged or disadvantaged depending upon the final tax liabilities, the level of provision and when they subscribed and/or redeemed their shares of the Fund.

Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Since Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, it has been governed by the Basic Law, a “quasi-constitution.” The Basic Law guarantees a high degree of autonomy in certain matters, including economic matters, until 2047. Attempts by the government of the People’s Republic of China to exert greater control over Hong Kong’s economic, political or legal structures or its existing social policy, could negatively affect investor confidence in Hong Kong, which in turn could negatively affect markets and business performance.

In addition, the Hong Kong dollar trades within a fixed trading band rate to (or is “pegged” to) the U.S. dollar. This fixed exchange rate has contributed to the growth and stability of the economy, but could be discontinued. It is uncertain what affect any discontinuance of the currency peg and the establishment of an alternative exchange rate system would have on the Hong Kong economy.

Taiwan. The prospect of political reunification of the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan has engendered hostility between the two regions’ governments. This situation poses a significant threat to Taiwan’s economy, as heightened conflict could potentially lead to distortions in Taiwan’s capital accounts and have an adverse impact on the value of investments throughout Greater China.

Investing in Japan

Japan’s economy is heavily dependent upon international trade and is especially sensitive to any adverse effects arising from trade tariffs and other protectionist measures, as well as the economic condition of its trading partners. Japan’s high volume of exports has caused trade tensions with Japan’s primary trading partners, particularly with the United States. The relaxing of official and de facto barriers to imports, or hardships created by the actions of trading partners, could adversely affect Japan’s economy. Because the Japanese economy is so dependent on exports, any fall-off in exports may be seen as a sign of economic weakness, which may adversely affect Japanese markets.

In addition, Japan’s export industry, its most important economic sector, depends heavily on imported raw materials and fuels, including iron ore, copper, oil and many forest products. Japan has historically depended on oil for most of its energy requirements. Almost all of its oil is imported, the majority from the Middle East. In the past, oil prices have had a major impact on the domestic economy, but more recently Japan has worked to reduce its dependence on oil by encouraging energy conservation and use of alternative fuels. However, Japan remains sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices, and a substantial rise in world oil or commodity prices could have a negative effect on its economy.

The Japanese yen has fluctuated widely during recent periods and may be affected by currency volatility elsewhere in Asia, especially Southeast Asia. In addition, the yen has had a history of unpredictable and volatile movements against the U.S. dollar. A weak yen is disadvantageous to U.S. shareholders investing in yen-denominated securities. A strong yen, however, could be an impediment to strong continued exports and economic recovery, because it makes Japanese goods sold in other countries more expensive and reduces the value of foreign earnings repatriated to Japan.

The performance of the global economy could have a major impact upon equity returns in Japan. As a result of the strong correlation with the economy of the United States, Japan’s economy and its stock market are vulnerable to any unfavorable economic conditions in the United States and poor performance of U.S. stock markets. The growing economic relationship between Japan and its other neighboring countries in the Southeast Asia region, especially China, also exposes Japan’s economy to changes to the economic climates in those countries.

Like many developed countries, Japan faces challenges to its competitiveness. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s and Japan’s economy fell into a long recession. After a few years of mild recovery in the mid-2000s, the Japanese economy fell into another recession in part due to the recent global economic crisis. This economic recession was likely compounded by an unstable financial sector, low domestic consumption, and certain corporate structural weaknesses, which remain some of the major issues facing the Japanese economy. Japan is reforming its political process and deregulating its economy to address this situation. However, there is no guarantee that these efforts will succeed in making the performance of the Japanese economy more competitive.

 

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Japan has experienced natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tidal waves, of varying degrees of severity. The risks of such phenomena, and the resulting damage, continue to exist and could have a severe and negative impact on the Fund’s holdings in Japanese securities. Japan also has one of the world’s highest population densities. A significant percentage of the total population of Japan is concentrated in the metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Therefore, a natural disaster centered in or very near to one of these cities could have a particularly devastating effect on Japan’s financial markets. Japan’s recovery from the recession has been affected by economic distress resulting from the earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck northeastern Japan in March 2011 causing major damage along the coast, including damage to nuclear power plants in the region. Since the earthquake, Japan’s financial markets have fluctuated dramatically. The disaster caused large personal losses, reduced energy supplies, disrupted manufacturing, resulted in significant declines in stock market prices and resulted in an appreciable decline in Japan’s economic output. Although production levels are recovering in some industries as work is shifted to factories in areas not directly affected by the disaster, the timing of a full economic recovery is uncertain, and foreign business whose supply chains are dependent on production or manufacturing in Japan may decrease their reliance on Japanese industries in the future.

Investment in Unseasoned Companies

The Fund may invest in companies (including predecessors) which have operated less than three years. The securities of such companies may have limited liquidity, which can result in their being priced higher or lower than might otherwise be the case. In addition, investments in unseasoned companies are more speculative and entail greater risk than do investments in companies with an established operating record.

Lending of Portfolio Securities

The Fund may lend its portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other institutions, including Goldman Sachs. By lending its securities, the Fund attempts to increase its net investment income.

Securities loans are required to be secured continuously by collateral in cash, cash equivalents, letters of credit or securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises (“U.S. Government Securities”) equal to at least 100% of the value of the loaned securities. This collateral must be valued, or “marked to market,” daily. Borrowers are required to furnish additional collateral to the Fund as necessary to fully cover their obligations.

With respect to loans that are collateralized by cash, the Fund may reinvest that cash in short-term investments and pay the borrower a pre-negotiated fee or “rebate” from any return earned on the investment. Investing the collateral subjects it to market depreciation or appreciation, and the Fund is responsible for any loss that may result from its investment of the borrowed collateral. Cash collateral may be invested in, among other things, other registered or unregistered funds, including private investing funds or money market funds that are managed by the Investment Adviser or its affiliates, and which pay the Investment Adviser or its affiliates for their services. If the Fund would receive non-cash collateral, the Fund receives a fee from the borrower equal to a negotiated percentage of the market value of the loaned securities.

For the duration of any securities loan, the Fund will continue to receive the equivalent of the interest, dividends or other distributions paid by the issuer on the loaned securities. The Fund will not have the right to vote its loaned securities during the period of the loan, but the Fund may attempt to recall a loaned security in anticipation of a material vote if it desires to do so. The Fund will have the right to terminate a loan at any time and recall the loaned securities within the normal and customary settlement time for securities transactions.

Securities lending involves certain risks. The Fund may lose money on its investment of cash collateral, resulting in a loss of principal, or may fail to earn sufficient income on its investment to cover the fee or rebate it has agreed to pay the borrower. The Fund may incur losses in connection with its securities lending activities that exceed the value of the interest income and fees received in connection with such transactions. Securities lending subjects the Fund to the risk of loss resulting from problems in the settlement and accounting process, and to additional credit, counterparty and market risk. These risks could be greater with respect to non-U.S. securities. Engaging in securities lending could have a leveraging effect, which may intensify the other risks associated with investments in the Fund. In addition, the Fund bears the risk that the price of the securities on loan will increase while they are on loan, or that the price of the collateral will decline in value during the period of the loan, and that the counterparty will not provide, or will delay in providing, additional collateral. The Fund also bears the risk that a borrower may fail to return securities in a timely manner or at all, either because the borrower fails financially or for other reasons. If a borrower of securities fails financially, the Fund may also lose its rights in the collateral. The Fund could experience delays and costs in recovering loaned securities or in gaining access to and liquidating the collateral, which could result in actual financial loss and which could interfere with portfolio management decisions or the exercise of ownership rights in the loaned securities. If the Fund is not able to recover the securities lent, the Fund may sell the collateral and purchase replacement securities in the market. However, the Fund will incur transaction costs on the purchase of replacement securities. These events could trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. In determining whether to lend securities to a particular borrower,

 

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and throughout the period of the loan, the creditworthiness of the borrower will be considered and monitored. Loans will only be made to firms deemed to be of good standing, and where the consideration that can be earned currently from securities loans of this type is deemed to justify the attendant risk. It is intended that the value of securities loaned by the Fund will not exceed one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the loan collateral).

The Fund will consider the loaned securities as assets of the Fund, but will not consider any collateral as the Fund asset except when determining total assets for the purpose of the above one-third limitation. Loan collateral (including any investment of the collateral) is not subject to the percentage limitations stated elsewhere in this SAI or in the Prospectus regarding investing in fixed income securities and cash equivalents.

The Fund’s Board of Trustees may approve a securities lending program where an affiliate of the Investment Adviser is retained to serve as the securities lending agent for the Fund. For its services, the securities lending agent may receive a fee from the Fund, including a fee based on the returns earned on the Fund’s investment of cash received as collateral for the loaned securities. In addition, the Fund may make brokerage and other payments to Goldman Sachs and its affiliates in connection with the Fund’s portfolio investment transactions. The Board of Trustees will periodically review reports on securities loan transactions for which a Goldman Sachs affiliate has acted as lending agent for compliance with the Fund’s securities lending procedures. Goldman Sachs may also be approved as a borrower under the Fund’s securities lending program, subject to certain conditions.

Mortgage Dollar Rolls

The Fund may enter into mortgage dollar rolls in which the Fund sells securities for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts with the same counterparty to repurchase similar, but not identical securities on a specified future date. During the roll period, the Fund loses the right to receive principal and interest paid on the securities sold. However, the Fund would benefit to the extent of any difference between the price received for the securities sold and the lower forward price for the future purchase or fee income plus the interest earned on the cash proceeds of the securities sold until the settlement date of the forward purchase. All cash proceeds will be invested in instruments that are permissible investments for the Fund. The Fund will, until the settlement date, identify cash or liquid assets on its books, as permitted by applicable law, in an amount equal to its forward purchase price.

For financial reporting and tax purposes, the Fund treats mortgage dollar rolls as two separate transactions; one involving the purchase of a security and a separate transaction involving a sale. The Fund does not currently intend to enter into mortgage dollar rolls for financing and do not treat them as borrowings.

Mortgage dollar rolls involve certain risks including the following: if the broker-dealer to whom the Fund sells the security becomes insolvent, the Fund’s right to purchase or repurchase the mortgage-related securities subject to the mortgage dollar roll may be restricted. Also, the instrument which the Fund is required to repurchase may be worth less than an instrument which the Fund originally held. Successful use of mortgage dollar rolls will depend upon the Investment Adviser’s ability to manage the Fund’s interest rate and mortgage prepayments exposure. For these reasons, there is no assurance that mortgage dollar rolls can be successfully employed. The use of this technique may diminish the investment performance of the Fund compared with what such performance would have been without the use of mortgage dollar rolls.

Mortgage Loans and Mortgage-Backed Securities

The Fund may invest in mortgage loans, mortgage pass-through securities and other securities representing an interest in or collateralized by adjustable and fixed-rate mortgage loans, including collateralized mortgage obligations, real estate mortgage investment conduits (“REMICs”) and stripped mortgage-backed securities, as described below (“Mortgage-Backed Securities”).

Mortgage-Backed Securities are subject to both call risk and extension risk. Because of these risks, these securities can have significantly greater price and yield volatility than traditional fixed income securities.

General Characteristics of Mortgage Backed Securities.

In general, each mortgage pool underlying Mortgage-Backed Securities consists of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured by first mortgages or first deeds of trust or other similar security instruments creating a first lien on owner occupied and non-owner occupied one-unit to four-unit residential properties, multi-family (i.e., five-units or more) properties, agricultural properties, commercial properties and mixed use properties (the “Mortgaged Properties”). The Mortgaged Properties may consist of detached individual dwelling units, multi-family dwelling units, individual condominiums, townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, row houses, individual units in planned unit developments, other attached dwelling units (“Residential Mortgaged Properties”) or commercial properties, such as office properties, retail properties, hospitality properties, industrial properties, healthcare related properties or other

 

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types of income producing real property (“Commercial Mortgaged Properties”). Residential Mortgaged Properties may also include residential investment properties and second homes. In addition, the Mortgage-Backed Securities which are residential mortgage-backed securities may also consist of mortgage loans evidenced by promissory notes secured entirely or in part by second priority mortgage liens on Residential Mortgaged Properties.

The investment characteristics of adjustable and fixed rate Mortgage-Backed Securities differ from those of traditional fixed income securities. The major differences include the payment of interest and principal on Mortgage-Backed Securities on a more frequent (usually monthly) schedule, and the possibility that principal may be prepaid at any time due to prepayments on the underlying mortgage loans or other assets. These differences can result in significantly greater price and yield volatility than is the case with traditional fixed income securities. As a result, if the Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a premium, a faster than expected prepayment rate will reduce both the market value and the yield to maturity from their anticipated levels. A prepayment rate that is slower than expected will have the opposite effect, increasing yield to maturity and market value. Conversely, if the Fund purchases Mortgage-Backed Securities at a discount, faster than expected prepayments will increase, while slower than expected prepayments will reduce yield to maturity and market value. To the extent that the Fund invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities, the Investment Adviser may seek to manage these potential risks by investing in a variety of Mortgage-Backed Securities and by using certain hedging techniques.

Prepayments on a pool of mortgage loans are influenced by changes in current interest rates and a variety of economic, geographic, social and other factors (such as changes in mortgagor housing needs, job transfers, unemployment, mortgagor equity in the mortgage properties and servicing decisions). The timing and level of prepayments cannot be predicted. A predominant factor affecting the prepayment rate on a pool of mortgage loans is the difference between the interest rates on outstanding mortgage loans and prevailing mortgage loan interest rates (giving consideration to the cost of any refinancing). Generally, prepayments on mortgage loans will increase during a period of falling mortgage interest rates and decrease during a period of rising mortgage interest rates. Accordingly, the amounts of prepayments available for reinvestment by the Fund are likely to be greater during a period of declining mortgage interest rates. If general interest rates decline, such prepayments are likely to be reinvested at lower interest rates than the Fund was earning on the Mortgage-Backed Securities that were prepaid. Due to these factors, Mortgage-Backed Securities may be less effective than U.S. Treasury and other types of debt securities of similar maturity at maintaining yields during periods of declining interest rates. Because the Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities are interest-rate sensitive, the Fund’s performance will depend in part upon the ability of the Fund to anticipate and respond to fluctuations in market interest rates and to utilize appropriate strategies to maximize returns to the Fund while attempting to minimize the associated risks to its investment capital. Prepayments may have a disproportionate effect on certain Mortgage-Backed Securities and other multiple class pass-through securities, which are discussed below.

The rate of interest paid on Mortgage-Backed Securities is normally lower than the rate of interest paid on the mortgages included in the underlying pool due to (among other things) the fees paid to any servicer, special servicer and trustee for the trust fund which holds the mortgage pool, other costs and expenses of such trust fund, fees paid to any guarantor such as Ginnie Mae (as defined below) or to any credit enhancers, mortgage pool insurers, bond insurers and/or hedge providers, and due to any yield retained by the issuer. Actual yield to the holder may vary from the coupon rate, even if adjustable, if the Mortgage-Backed Securities are purchased or traded in the secondary market at a premium or discount. In addition, there is normally some delay between the time the issuer receives mortgage payments from the servicer and the time the issuer (or the trustee of the trust fund which holds the mortgage pool) makes the payments on the Mortgage-Backed Securities, and this delay reduces the effective yield to the holder of such securities.

The issuers of certain mortgage-backed obligations may elect to have the pool of mortgage loans (or indirect interests in mortgage loans) underlying the securities treated as a REMIC, which is subject to special federal income tax rules. A description of the types of mortgage loans and Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may invest is provided below. The descriptions are general and summary in nature, and do not detail every possible variation of the types of securities that are permissible investments for the Fund.

Delinquencies, defaults and losses on residential mortgage loans may increase substantially over certain periods, which may affect the performance of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may invest. Mortgage loans backing non-agency Mortgage-Backed Securities 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 Mortgage-Backed Securities generally.

Adverse changes in market conditions and regulatory climate may reduce the cash flow which the Fund, to the extent it invests in Mortgage-Backed Securities 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 Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities widen following the purchase of such assets by the Fund, the market value of such securities is likely to decline

 

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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 Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities (including the Mortgage-Backed Securities and other asset-backed securities in which the Fund may invest) and an unwillingness by banks, financial institutions and investors to extend credit to servicers, originators and other participants in the market for Mortgage-Backed and other asset-backed securities. As a result, the liquidity and/or the market value of any Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that are owned by the Fund may experience declines after they are purchased by the Fund.

General Regulatory Considerations of Mortgage-Backed Securities

The unprecedented disruption in the mortgage- and asset-backed securities markets in 2008-2009 resulted in significant downward price pressures as well as foreclosures and defaults in residential and commercial real estate. As a result of these events, the liquidity of the mortgage- and asset-backed securities markets was negatively impacted during that time. Following the market dislocation, the U.S. Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), which imposed a new regulatory framework over the U.S. financial services industry and the consumer credit markets in general. Among its other provisions, the Dodd-Frank Act creates a liquidation framework under which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), may be appointed as receiver following a “systemic risk determination” by the Secretary of Treasury (in consultation with the President) for the resolution of certain nonbank financial companies and other entities, defined as “covered financial companies”, and commonly referred to as “systemically important entities”, in the event such a company is in default or in danger of default and the resolution of such a company under other applicable law would have serious adverse effects on financial stability in the United States, and also for the resolution of certain of their subsidiaries. No assurances can be given that this new liquidation framework would not apply to the originators of asset-backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities, or their respective subsidiaries, including the issuers and depositors of such securities, although the expectation embedded in the Dodd-Frank Act is that the framework will be invoked only very rarely. Guidance from the FDIC indicates that such new framework will largely be exercised in a manner consistent with the existing bankruptcy laws, which is the insolvency regime that would otherwise apply to the sponsors, depositors and issuing entities with respect to asset-backed securities, including Mortgage-Backed Securities. The application of such liquidation framework to such entities could result in decreases or delays in amounts paid on, and hence the market value of, the Mortgage-Backed or asset-backed securities that may be owned by the Fund.

Certain General Characteristics of Mortgage Loans

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loans (“ARMs”). The Fund may invest in ARMs. ARMs generally provide for a fixed initial mortgage interest rate for a specified period of time. Thereafter, the interest rates (the “Mortgage Interest Rates”) may be subject to periodic adjustment based on changes in the applicable index rate (the “Index Rate”). The adjusted rate would be equal to the Index Rate plus a fixed percentage spread over the Index Rate established for each ARM at the time of its origination. ARMs allow the Fund to participate in increases in interest rates through periodic increases in the securities coupon rates. During periods of declining interest rates, coupon rates may readjust downward resulting in lower yields to the Fund.

Adjustable interest rates can cause payment increases that some mortgagors may find difficult to make. However, certain ARMs may provide that the Mortgage Interest Rate may not be adjusted to a rate above an applicable lifetime maximum rate or below an applicable lifetime minimum rate for such ARM. Certain ARMs may also be subject to limitations on the maximum amount by which the Mortgage Interest Rate may adjust for any single adjustment period (the “Maximum Adjustment”). Other ARMs (“Negatively Amortizing ARMs”) may provide instead or as well for limitations on changes in the monthly payment on such ARMs. Limitations on monthly payments can result in monthly payments which are greater or less than the amount necessary to amortize a Negatively Amortizing ARM by its maturity at the Mortgage Interest Rate in effect in any particular month. In the event that a monthly payment is not sufficient to pay the interest accruing on a Negatively Amortizing ARM, any such excess interest is added to the principal balance of the loan, causing negative amortization, and will be repaid through future monthly payments. It may take borrowers under Negatively Amortizing ARMs longer periods of time to build up equity and may increase the likelihood of default by such borrowers. In the event that a monthly payment exceeds the sum of the interest accrued at the applicable Mortgage Interest Rate and the principal payment which would have been necessary to amortize the outstanding principal balance over the remaining term of the loan, the excess (or “accelerated amortization”) further reduces the principal balance of the ARM. Negatively Amortizing ARMs do not provide for the extension of their original maturity to accommodate changes in their Mortgage Interest Rate. As a result, unless there is a periodic recalculation of the payment amount (which there generally is), the final payment may be substantially larger than the other payments. After the expiration of the initial fixed rate period and upon the periodic recalculation of the payment to cause timely amortization of the related mortgage loan, the monthly payment on such mortgage loan may increase substantially which may, in turn, increase the risk of the borrower defaulting in respect of such mortgage loan. These limitations on periodic increases in interest rates and on changes in monthly payments protect borrowers from unlimited interest rate and payment increases, but may result in increased credit exposure and prepayment risks for lenders. When interest due on a mortgage loan is added to the principal balance of such mortgage loan, the related mortgaged property provides proportionately less security for the repayment of such mortgage loan. Therefore, if the related borrower defaults on such mortgage loan, there is a greater likelihood that a loss will be incurred upon any liquidation of the mortgaged property which secures such mortgage loan.

 

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ARMs also have the risk of prepayment. The rate of principal prepayments with respect to ARMs has fluctuated in recent years. The value of Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by ARMs is less likely to rise during periods of declining interest rates than the value of fixed-rate securities during such periods. Accordingly, ARMs may be subject to a greater rate of principal repayments in a declining interest rate environment resulting in lower yields to the Fund. For example, if prevailing interest rates fall significantly, ARMs could be subject to higher prepayment rates (than if prevailing interest rates remain constant or increase) because the availability of low fixed-rate mortgages may encourage mortgagors to refinance their ARMs to “lock-in” a fixed-rate mortgage. On the other hand, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of ARMs will lag behind changes in the market rate. ARMs are also typically subject to maximum increases and decreases in the interest rate adjustment which can be made on any one adjustment date, in any one year, or during the life of the security. In the event of dramatic increases or decreases in prevailing market interest rates, the value of the Fund’s investment in ARMs may fluctuate more substantially because these limits may prevent the security from fully adjusting its interest rate to the prevailing market rates. As with fixed-rate mortgages, ARM prepayment rates vary in both stable and changing interest rate environments.

There are two main categories of indices which provide the basis for rate adjustments on ARMs: those based on U.S. Treasury securities and those derived from a calculated measure, such as a cost of funds index or a moving average of mortgage rates. Indices commonly used for this purpose include the one-year, three-year and five-year constant maturity Treasury rates, the three-month Treasury bill rate, the 180-day Treasury bill rate, rates on longer-term Treasury securities, the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds, the National Median Cost of Funds, the one-month, three-month, six-month or one-year LIBOR, the prime rate of a specific bank, or commercial paper rates. Some indices, such as the one-year constant maturity Treasury rate, closely mirror changes in market interest rate levels. Others, such as the 11th District Federal Home Loan Bank Cost of Funds index, tend to lag behind changes in market rate levels and tend to be somewhat less volatile. The degree of volatility in the market value of ARMs in the Fund’s portfolio and, therefore, in the NAV of the Fund’s shares, will be a function of the length of the interest rate reset periods and the degree of volatility in the applicable indices.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans. Generally, fixed-rate mortgage loans included in mortgage pools (the “Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans”) will bear simple interest at fixed annual rates and have original terms to maturity ranging from 5 to 40 years. Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans generally provide for monthly payments of principal and interest in substantially equal installments for the term of the mortgage note in sufficient amounts to fully amortize principal by maturity, although certain Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans provide for a large final “balloon” payment upon maturity.

Certain Legal Considerations of Mortgage Loans. The following is a discussion of certain legal and regulatory aspects of the mortgage loans in which the Fund may invest. This discussion is not exhaustive, and does not address all of the legal or regulatory aspects affecting mortgage loans. These regulations may impair the ability of a mortgage lender to enforce its rights under the mortgage documents. These regulations may also adversely affect the Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities (including those issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities) by delaying the Fund’s receipt of payments derived from principal or interest on mortgage loans affected by such regulations.

 

1.

Foreclosure. A foreclosure of a defaulted mortgage loan may be delayed due to compliance with statutory notice or service of process provisions, difficulties in locating necessary parties or legal challenges to the mortgagee’s right to foreclose. Depending upon market conditions, the ultimate proceeds of the sale of foreclosed property may not equal the amounts owed on the Mortgage-Backed Securities. Furthermore, courts in some cases have imposed general equitable principles upon foreclosure generally designed to relieve the borrower from the legal effect of default and have required lenders to undertake affirmative and expensive actions to determine the causes for the default and the likelihood of loan reinstatement.

 

2.

Rights of Redemption. In some states, after foreclosure of a mortgage loan, the borrower and foreclosed junior lienors are given a statutory period in which to redeem the property, which right may diminish the mortgagee’s ability to sell the property.

 

3.

Legislative Limitations. In addition to anti-deficiency and related legislation, numerous other federal and state statutory provisions, including the federal bankruptcy laws and state laws affording relief to debtors, may interfere with or affect the ability of a secured mortgage lender to enforce its security interest. For example, a bankruptcy court may grant the debtor a reasonable time to cure a default on a mortgage loan, including a payment default. The court in certain instances may also reduce the monthly payments due under such mortgage loan, change the rate of interest, reduce the principal balance of the loan to the then-current appraised value of the related mortgaged property, alter the mortgage loan repayment schedule and grant priority of certain liens over the lien of the mortgage loan. If a court relieves a borrower’s obligation to repay amounts otherwise due on a mortgage loan, the mortgage

 

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  loan servicer will not be required to advance such amounts, and any loss may be borne by the holders of securities backed by such loans. In addition, numerous federal and state consumer protection laws impose penalties for failure to comply with specific requirements in connection with origination and servicing of mortgage loans.

 

4.

“Due-on-Sale” Provisions. Fixed-rate mortgage loans may contain a so-called “due-on-sale” clause permitting acceleration of the maturity of the mortgage loan if the borrower transfers the property. The Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 sets forth nine specific instances in which no mortgage lender covered by that Act may exercise a “due-on-sale” clause upon a transfer of property. The inability to enforce a “due-on-sale” clause or the lack of such a clause in mortgage loan documents may result in a mortgage loan being assumed by a purchaser of the property that bears an interest rate below the current market rate.

 

5.

Usury Laws. Some states prohibit charging interest on mortgage loans in excess of statutory limits. If such limits are exceeded, substantial penalties may be incurred and, in some cases, enforceability of the obligation to pay principal and interest may be affected.

 

6.

Governmental Action, Legislation and Regulation. Legislative, regulatory and enforcement actions seeking to prevent or restrict foreclosures or providing forbearance relief to borrowers of residential mortgage loans may adversely affect the value of Mortgage-Backed Securities (e.g., the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act). Legislative or regulatory initiatives by federal, state or local legislative bodies or administrative agencies, if enacted or adopted, could delay foreclosure or the exercise of other remedies, provide new defenses to foreclosure, or otherwise impair the ability of the loan servicer to foreclose or realize on a defaulted residential mortgage loan included in a pool of residential mortgage loans backing such residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. While the nature or extent of limitations on foreclosure or exercise of other remedies that may be enacted cannot be predicted, any such governmental actions that interfere with the foreclosure process or are designed to protect customers could increase the costs of such foreclosures or exercise of other remedies in respect of residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by the Fund, delay the timing or reduce the amount of recoveries on defaulted residential mortgage loans which collateralize Mortgage-Backed Securities held by the Fund, and consequently, could adversely impact the yields and distributions the Fund may receive in respect of its ownership of Mortgage-Backed Securities collateralized by residential mortgage loans.

Government Guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities. There are several types of government guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities currently available, including guaranteed mortgage pass-through certificates and multiple class securities, which include guaranteed Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit Certificates (“REMIC Certificates”), other collateralized mortgage obligations and stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. The Fund is permitted to invest in other types of Mortgage-Backed Securities that may be available in the future to the extent consistent with its investment policies and objective.

The Fund’s investments in Mortgage-Backed Securities may include securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or one of its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises, such as the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Ginnie Mae securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, which means that the U.S. Government guarantees that the interest and principal will be paid when due. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have the ability to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, and as a result, they have historically been viewed by the market as high quality securities with low credit risks. From time to time, proposals have been introduced before Congress for the purpose of restricting or eliminating federal sponsorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Trust cannot predict what legislation, if any, may be proposed in the future in Congress as regards such sponsorship or which proposals, if any, might be enacted. Such proposals, if enacted, might materially and adversely affect the availability of government guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities and the liquidity and value of the Fund’s portfolio.

There is risk that the U.S. Government will not provide financial support to its agencies, authorities, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. The Fund may purchase U.S. Government Securities that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, such as those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The maximum potential liability of the issuers of some U.S. Government Securities held by the Fund may greatly exceed such issuers’ current resources, including such issuers’ legal right to support from the U.S. Treasury. It is possible that these issuers will not have the funds to meet their payment obligations in the future.

Below is a general discussion of certain types of guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may invest.

 

   

Ginnie Mae Certificates. Ginnie Mae is a wholly-owned corporate instrumentality of the United States. Ginnie Mae is authorized to guarantee the timely payment of the principal of and interest on certificates that are based on and backed by a pool of mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), or guaranteed by the Veterans Administration (“VA”), or by pools of other eligible mortgage loans. In order to meet its obligations under any guaranty, Ginnie Mae is authorized to borrow from the U.S. Treasury in an unlimited amount. The National Housing Act provides that the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government is pledged to the timely payment of principal and interest by Ginnie Mae of amounts due on Ginnie Mae certificates.

 

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Fannie Mae Certificates. Fannie Mae is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered under an act of the U.S. Congress. Generally, Fannie Mae Certificates are issued and guaranteed by Fannie Mae and represent an undivided interest in a pool of mortgage loans (a “Pool”) formed by Fannie Mae. A Pool consists of residential mortgage loans either previously owned by Fannie Mae or purchased by it in connection with the formation of the Pool. The mortgage loans may be either conventional mortgage loans (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any U.S. Government agency) or mortgage loans that are either insured by the FHA or guaranteed by the VA. However, the mortgage loans in Fannie Mae Pools are primarily conventional mortgage loans. The lenders originating and servicing the mortgage loans are subject to certain eligibility requirements established by Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae has certain contractual responsibilities. With respect to each Pool, Fannie Mae is obligated to distribute scheduled installments of principal and interest after Fannie Mae’s servicing and guaranty fee, whether or not received, to Certificate holders. Fannie Mae also is obligated to distribute to holders of Certificates an amount equal to the full principal balance of any foreclosed mortgage loan, whether or not such principal balance is actually recovered. The obligations of Fannie Mae under its guaranty of the Fannie Mae Certificates are obligations solely of Fannie Mae. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” below.

 

   

Freddie Mac Certificates. Freddie Mac is a publicly held U.S. Government sponsored enterprise. A principal activity of Freddie Mac currently is the purchase of first lien, conventional, residential and multifamily mortgage loans and participation interests in such mortgage loans and their resale in the form of mortgage securities, primarily Freddie Mac Certificates. A Freddie Mac Certificate represents a pro rata interest in a group of mortgage loans or participations in mortgage loans (a “Freddie Mac Certificate group”) purchased by Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac guarantees to each registered holder of a Freddie Mac Certificate the timely payment of interest at the rate provided for by such Freddie Mac Certificate (whether or not received on the underlying loans). Freddie Mac also guarantees to each registered Certificate holder ultimate collection of all principal of the related mortgage loans, without any offset or deduction, but does not, generally, guarantee the timely payment of scheduled principal. The obligations of Freddie Mac under its guaranty of Freddie Mac Certificates are obligations solely of Freddie Mac. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” below.

Under the direction of FHFA (as defined below), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have entered into a joint initiative to develop a common securitization platform (“CSP”) for the issuance of a uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (“UMBS”) (the “Single Security Initiative”), which would generally align the characteristics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Certificates. The Single Security Initiative is intended to maximize liquidity for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Mortgage-Backed Securities in the “to-be-announced” market. The CSP began issuing UMBS in June 2019. While the initial effects of the issuance of UMBS on the market for mortgage-related securities have been relatively minimal, the long-term effects are still uncertain..

The mortgage loans underlying the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Certificates consist of adjustable rate or fixed-rate mortgage loans with original terms to maturity of up to forty years. These mortgage loans are usually secured by first liens on one-to-four-family residential properties or multi-family projects. Each mortgage loan must meet the applicable standards set forth in the law creating Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. A Freddie Mac Certificate group may include whole loans, participation interests in whole loans, undivided interests in whole loans and participations comprising another Freddie Mac Certificate group.

Conventional Mortgage Loans. The conventional mortgage loans underlying the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Certificates consist of adjustable rate or fixed-rate mortgage loans normally with original terms to maturity of between five and thirty years. Substantially all of these mortgage loans are secured by first liens on one- to four-family residential properties or multi-family projects. Each mortgage loan must meet the applicable standards set forth in the law creating Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. A Freddie Mac Certificate group may include whole loans, participation interests in whole loans, undivided interests in whole loans and participations comprising another Freddie Mac Certificate group.

Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The volatility and disruption that impacted the capital and credit markets during late 2008 and into 2009 have led to increased market concerns about Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s ability to withstand future credit losses associated with securities held in their investment portfolios, and on which they provide guarantees, without the direct support of the federal government. On September 6, 2008, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were placed under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”). Under the plan of conservatorship, the FHFA has assumed

 

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control of, and generally has the power to direct, the operations of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and is empowered to exercise all powers collectively held by their respective shareholders, directors and officers, including the power to (1) take over the assets of and operate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with all the powers of the shareholders, the directors, and the officers of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and conduct all business of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (2) collect all obligations and money due to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; (3) perform all functions of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which are consistent with the conservator’s appointment; (4) preserve and conserve the assets and property of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; and (5) contract for assistance in fulfilling any function, activity, action or duty of the conservator. In addition, in connection with the actions taken by the FHFA, U.S. Treasury Department (the “Treasury”) entered into certain preferred stock purchase agreements with each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which established the Treasury as the holder of a new class of senior preferred stock in each of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which stock was issued in connection with financial contributions from the Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The conditions attached to the financial contribution made by the Treasury to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the issuance of this senior preferred stock placed significant restrictions on the activities of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae must obtain the consent of the Treasury to, among other things, (i) make any payment to purchase or redeem its capital stock or pay any dividend other than in respect of the senior preferred stock issued to the Treasury, (ii) issue capital stock of any kind, (iii) terminate the conservatorship of the FHFA except in connection with a receivership, or (iv) increase its debt beyond certain specified levels. In addition, significant restrictions were placed on the maximum size of each of Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s respective portfolios of mortgages and Mortgage-Backed Securities, and the purchase agreements entered into by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae provide that the maximum size of their portfolios of these assets must decrease by a specified percentage each year. On June 16, 2010, FHFA ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s stock de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) after the price of common stock in Fannie Mae fell below the NYSE minimum average closing price of $1 for more than 30 days.

The FHFA and the White House have made public statements regarding plans to consider ending the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In the event that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are taken out of conservatorship, it is unclear how the capital structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be constructed and what effects, if any, there may be on Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s creditworthiness and guarantees of certain Mortgage-Backed Securities. It is also unclear whether the Treasury would continue to enforce its rights or perform its obligations under the senior preferred stock programs. Should Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s conservatorship end, there could be an adverse impact on the value of their securities, which could cause losses to the Fund.

Privately Issued Mortgage-Backed Securities. The Fund may invest in privately issued Mortgage-Backed Securities. Privately issued Mortgage-Backed Securities are generally backed by pools of conventional (i.e., non-government guaranteed or insured) mortgage loans. The seller or servicer of the underlying mortgage obligations will generally make representations and warranties to certificate-holders as to certain characteristics of the mortgage loans and as to the accuracy of certain information furnished to the trustee in respect of each such mortgage loan. Upon a breach of any representation or warranty that materially and adversely affects the interests of the related certificate-holders in a mortgage loan, the seller or servicer generally will be obligated either to cure the breach in all material respects, to repurchase the mortgage loan or, if the related agreement so provides, to substitute in its place a mortgage loan pursuant to the conditions set forth therein. Such a repurchase or substitution obligation may constitute the sole remedy available to the related certificate-holders or the trustee for the material breach of any such representation or warranty by the seller or servicer.

Mortgage Pass-Through Securities

The Fund may invest in both government guaranteed and privately issued mortgage pass-through securities (“Mortgage Pass-Throughs”) that are fixed or adjustable rate Mortgage-Backed Securities which provide for monthly payments that are a “pass-through” of the monthly interest and principal payments (including any prepayments) made by the individual borrowers on the pooled mortgage loans, net of any fees or other amounts paid to any guarantor, administrator and/or servicer of the underlying mortgage loans. The seller or servicer of the underlying mortgage obligations will generally make representations and warranties to certificate-holders as to certain characteristics of the mortgage loans and as to the accuracy of certain information furnished to the trustee in respect of each such mortgage loan. Upon a breach of any representation or warranty that materially and adversely affects the interests of the related certificate-holders in a mortgage loan, the seller or servicer generally may be obligated either to cure the breach in all material respects, to repurchase the mortgage loan or, if the related agreement so provides, to substitute in its place a mortgage loan pursuant to the conditions set forth therein. Such a repurchase or substitution obligation may constitute the sole remedy available to the related certificate-holders or the trustee for the material breach of any such representation or warranty by the seller or servicer.

The following discussion describes certain aspects of only a few of the wide variety of structures of Mortgage Pass-Throughs that are available or may be issued.

 

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General Description of Certificates. Mortgage Pass-Throughs may be issued in one or more classes of senior certificates and one or more classes of subordinate certificates. Each such class may bear a different pass-through rate. Generally, each certificate will evidence the specified interest of the holder thereof in the payments of principal or interest or both in respect of the mortgage pool comprising part of the trust fund for such certificates.

Any class of certificates may also be divided into subclasses entitled to varying amounts of principal and interest. If a REMIC election has been made, certificates of such subclasses may be entitled to payments on the basis of a stated principal balance and stated interest rate, and payments among different subclasses may be made on a sequential, concurrent, pro rata or disproportionate basis, or any combination thereof. The stated interest rate on any such subclass of certificates may be a fixed rate or one which varies in direct or inverse relationship to an objective interest index.

Generally, each registered holder of a certificate will be entitled to receive its pro rata share of monthly distributions of all or a portion of principal of the underlying mortgage loans or of interest on the principal balances thereof, which accrues at the applicable mortgage pass-through rate, or both. The difference between the mortgage interest rate and the related mortgage pass-through rate (less the amount, if any, of retained yield) with respect to each mortgage loan will generally be paid to the servicer as a servicing fee. Because certain adjustable rate mortgage loans included in a mortgage pool may provide for deferred interest (i.e., negative amortization), the amount of interest actually paid by a mortgagor in any month may be less than the amount of interest accrued on the outstanding principal balance of the related mortgage loan during the relevant period at the applicable mortgage interest rate. In such event, the amount of interest that is treated as deferred interest will generally be added to the principal balance of the related mortgage loan and will be distributed pro rata to certificate-holders as principal of such mortgage loan when paid by the mortgagor in subsequent monthly payments or at maturity.

Ratings. The ratings assigned by a rating organization to Mortgage Pass-Throughs generally address the likelihood of the receipt of distributions on the underlying mortgage loans by the related certificate-holders under the agreements pursuant to which such certificates are issued. A rating organization’s ratings normally take into consideration the credit quality of the related mortgage pool, including any credit support providers, structural and legal aspects associated with such certificates, and the extent to which the payment stream on such mortgage pool is adequate to make payments required by such certificates. A rating organization’s ratings on such certificates do not, however, constitute a statement regarding frequency of prepayments on the related mortgage loans. In addition, the rating assigned by a rating organization to a certificate may not address the possibility that, in the event of the insolvency of the issuer of certificates where a subordinated interest was retained, the issuance and sale of the senior certificates may be recharacterized as a financing and, as a result of such recharacterization, payments on such certificates may be affected. A rating organization may downgrade or withdraw a rating assigned by it to any Mortgage Pass-Through at any time, and no assurance can be made that any ratings on any Mortgage Pass-Throughs included in the Fund will be maintained, or that if such ratings are assigned, they will not be downgraded or withdrawn by the assigning rating organization.

In the recent past, rating agencies have placed on credit watch or downgraded the ratings previously assigned to a large number of mortgage-backed securities (which may include certain of the Mortgage-Backed Securities in which the Fund may have invested or may in the future be invested), and they may continue to do so in the future. In the event that any Mortgage-Backed Security held by the Fund is placed on credit watch or downgraded, the value of such Mortgage-Backed Security may decline and the Fund may consequently experience losses in respect of such Mortgage-Backed Security.

Credit Enhancement. Mortgage pools created by non-governmental issuers generally offer a higher yield than government and government-related pools because of the absence of direct or indirect government or agency payment guarantees. To lessen the effect of failures by obligors on underlying assets to make payments, Mortgage Pass-Throughs may contain elements of credit support. Credit support falls generally into two categories: (i) liquidity protection and (ii) protection against losses resulting from default by an obligor on the underlying assets. Liquidity protection refers to the provision of advances, generally by the entity administering the pools of mortgages, the provision of a reserve fund, or a combination thereof, to ensure, subject to certain limitations, that scheduled payments on the underlying pool are made in a timely fashion. Protection against losses resulting from default ensures ultimate payment of the obligations on at least a portion of the assets in the pool. Such credit support can be provided by, among other things, payment guarantees, letters of credit, pool insurance, subordination, or any combination thereof.

Subordination; Shifting of Interest; Reserve Fund. In order to achieve ratings on one or more classes of Mortgage Pass-Throughs, one or more classes of certificates may be subordinate certificates which provide that the rights of the subordinate certificate-holders to receive any or a specified portion of distributions with respect to the underlying mortgage loans may be subordinated to the rights of the senior certificate holders. If so structured, the subordination feature may be enhanced by distributing to the senior certificate-holders on certain distribution dates, as payment of principal, a specified percentage (which generally declines over time) of all principal payments received during the preceding prepayment period (“shifting interest credit enhancement”). This will have the effect of accelerating the amortization of the senior certificates while increasing the interest in the trust fund evidenced by the subordinate certificates. Increasing the interest of the subordinate certificates relative to that of the senior certificates is intended to preserve the availability of the

 

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subordination provided by the subordinate certificates. In addition, because the senior certificate-holders in a shifting interest credit enhancement structure are entitled to receive a percentage of principal prepayments which is greater than their proportionate interest in the trust fund, the rate of principal prepayments on the mortgage loans may have an even greater effect on the rate of principal payments and the amount of interest payments on, and the yield to maturity of, the senior certificates.

In addition to providing for a preferential right of the senior certificate-holders to receive current distributions from the mortgage pool, a reserve fund may be established relating to such certificates (the “Reserve Fund”). The Reserve Fund may be created with an initial cash deposit by the originator or servicer and augmented by the retention of distributions otherwise available to the subordinate certificate-holders or by excess servicing fees until the Reserve Fund reaches a specified amount.

The subordination feature, and any Reserve Fund, are intended to enhance the likelihood of timely receipt by senior certificate-holders of the full amount of scheduled monthly payments of principal and interest due to them and will protect the senior certificate-holders against certain losses; however, in certain circumstances the Reserve Fund could be depleted and temporary shortfalls could result. In the event that the Reserve Fund is depleted before the subordinated amount is reduced to zero, senior certificate-holders will nevertheless have a preferential right to receive current distributions from the mortgage pool to the extent of the then outstanding subordinated amount. Unless otherwise specified, until the subordinated amount is reduced to zero, on any distribution date any amount otherwise distributable to the subordinate certificates or, to the extent specified, in the Reserve Fund will generally be used to offset the amount of any losses realized with respect to the mortgage loans (“Realized Losses”). Realized Losses remaining after application of such amounts will generally be applied to reduce the ownership interest of the subordinate certificates in the mortgage pool. If the subordinated amount has been reduced to zero, Realized Losses generally will be allocated pro rata among all certificate-holders in proportion to their respective outstanding interests in the mortgage pool.

Alternative Credit Enhancement. As an alternative, or in addition to the credit enhancement afforded by subordination, credit enhancement for Mortgage Pass-Throughs may be provided through bond insurers, or at the mortgage loan-level through mortgage insurance, hazard insurance, or through the deposit of cash, certificates of deposit, letters of credit, a limited guaranty or by such other methods as are acceptable to a rating agency. In certain circumstances, such as where credit enhancement is provided by bond insurers, guarantees or letters of credit, the security is subject to credit risk because of its exposure to the credit risk of an external credit enhancement provider.

Voluntary Advances. Generally, in the event of delinquencies in payments on the mortgage loans underlying the Mortgage Pass-Throughs, the servicer may agree to make advances of cash for the benefit of certificate-holders, but generally will do so only to the extent that it determines such voluntary advances will be recoverable from future payments and collections on the mortgage loans or otherwise.

Optional Termination. Generally, the servicer may, at its option with respect to any certificates, repurchase all of the underlying mortgage loans remaining outstanding at such time if the aggregate outstanding principal balance of such mortgage loans is less than a specified percentage (generally 5-10%) of the aggregate outstanding principal balance of the mortgage loans as of the cut-off date specified with respect to such series.

Multiple Class Mortgage-Backed Securities and Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. The Fund may invest in multiple class securities including collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) and REMIC Certificates. These securities may be issued by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or by trusts formed by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans, including savings and loan associations, mortgage bankers, commercial banks, insurance companies, investment banks and special purpose subsidiaries of the foregoing. In general, CMOs are debt obligations of a legal entity that are collateralized by, and multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities represent direct ownership interests in, a pool of mortgage loans or Mortgage-Backed Securities the payments on which are used to make payments on the CMOs or multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities.

Fannie Mae REMIC Certificates are issued and guaranteed as to timely distribution of principal and interest by Fannie Mae. In addition, Fannie Mae will be obligated to distribute the principal balance of each class of REMIC Certificates in full, whether or not sufficient funds are otherwise available.

Freddie Mac guarantees the timely payment of interest on Freddie Mac REMIC Certificates and also guarantees the payment of principal as payments are required to be made on the underlying mortgage participation certificates (“PCs”). PCs represent undivided interests in specified level payment, residential mortgages or participations therein purchased by Freddie Mac and placed in a PC pool. With respect to principal payments on PCs, Freddie Mac generally guarantees ultimate collection of all principal of the related mortgage loans without offset or deduction but the receipt of the required payments may be delayed. Freddie Mac also guarantees timely payment of principal of certain PCs.

 

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CMOs and guaranteed REMIC Certificates issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are types of multiple class Mortgage-Backed Securities. The REMIC Certificates represent beneficial ownership interests in a REMIC trust, generally consisting of mortgage loans or Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae guaranteed Mortgage-Backed Securities (the “Mortgage Assets”). The obligations of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac under their respective guaranty of the REMIC Certificates are obligations solely of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, respectively. See “Certain Additional Information with Respect to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.”

CMOs and REMIC Certificates are issued in multiple classes. Each class of CMOs or REMIC Certificates, often referred to as a “tranche,” is issued at a specific adjustable or fixed interest rate and must be fully retired no later than its final distribution date. Principal prepayments on the mortgage loans or the Mortgage Assets underlying the CMOs or REMIC Certificates may cause some or all of the classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates to be retired substantially earlier than their final distribution dates. Generally, interest is paid or accrues on all classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates on a monthly basis.

The principal of and interest on the Mortgage Assets may be allocated among the several classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates in various ways. In certain structures (known as “sequential pay” CMOs or REMIC Certificates), payments of principal, including any principal prepayments, on the Mortgage Assets generally are applied to the classes of CMOs or REMIC Certificates in the order of their respective final distribution dates. Thus, no payment of principal will be made on any class of sequential pay CMOs or REMIC Certificates until all other classes having an earlier final distribution date have been paid in full.

Additional structures of CMOs and REMIC Certificates include, among others, “parallel pay” CMOs and REMIC Certificates. Parallel pay CMOs or REMIC Certificates are those which are structured to apply principal payments and prepayments of the Mortgage Assets to two or more classes concurrently on a proportionate or disproportionate basis. These simultaneous payments are taken into account in calculating the final distribution date of each class.

A wide variety of REMIC Certificates may be issued in parallel pay or sequential pay structures. These securities include accrual certificates (also known as “Z-Bonds”), which only accrue interest at a specified rate until all other certificates having an earlier final distribution date have been retired and are converted thereafter to an interest-paying security, and planned amortization class (“PAC”) certificates, which are parallel pay REMIC Certificates that generally require that specified amounts of principal be applied on each payment date to one or more classes or REMIC Certificates (the “PAC Certificates”), even though all other principal payments and prepayments of the Mortgage Assets are then required to be applied to one or more other classes of the PAC Certificates. The scheduled principal payments for the PAC Certificates generally have the highest priority on each payment date after interest due has been paid to all classes entitled to receive interest currently. Shortfalls, if any, are added to the amount payable on the next payment date. The PAC Certificate payment schedule is taken into account in calculating the final distribution date of each class of PAC. In order to create PAC tranches, one or more tranches generally must be created that absorb most of the volatility in the underlying mortgage assets. These tranches tend to have market prices and yields that are much more volatile than other PAC classes.

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities. Commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”) are a type of Mortgage Pass-Through that are primarily backed by a pool of commercial mortgage loans. The commercial mortgage loans are, in turn, generally secured by commercial mortgaged properties (such as office properties, retail properties, hospitality properties, industrial properties, healthcare related properties or other types of income producing real property). CMBS generally entitle the holders thereof to receive payments that depend primarily on the cash flow from a specified pool of commercial or multifamily mortgage loans. CMBS will be affected by payments, defaults, delinquencies and losses on the underlying mortgage loans. The underlying mortgage loans generally are secured by income producing properties such as office properties, retail properties, multifamily properties, manufactured housing, hospitality properties, industrial properties and self-storage properties. Because issuers of CMBS have no significant assets other than the underlying commercial real estate loans and because of the significant credit risks inherent in the underlying collateral, credit risk is a correspondingly important consideration with respect to the related CMBS. Certain of the mortgage loans underlying CMBS constituting part of the collateral interests may be delinquent, in default or in foreclosure.

Commercial real estate lending may expose a lender (and the related Mortgage-Backed Security) to a greater risk of loss than certain other forms of lending because it typically involves making larger loans to single borrowers or groups of related borrowers. In addition, in the case of certain commercial mortgage loans, repayment of loans secured by commercial and multifamily properties depends upon the ability of the related real estate project to generate income sufficient to pay debt service, operating expenses and leasing commissions and to make necessary repairs, tenant improvements and capital improvements, and in the case of loans that do not fully amortize over their terms, to retain sufficient value to permit the borrower to pay off the loan at maturity through a sale or refinancing of the mortgaged property. The net operating income from and value of any commercial property is subject to various risks,

 

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including changes in general or local economic conditions and/or specific industry segments; declines in real estate values; declines in rental or occupancy rates; increases in interest rates, real estate tax rates and other operating expenses; changes in governmental rules, regulations and fiscal policies; acts of God; terrorist threats and attacks; and social unrest and civil disturbances. In addition, certain of the mortgaged properties securing the pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have a higher degree of geographic concentration in a few states or regions. Any deterioration in the real estate market or economy, or adverse events in such states or regions, may increase the rate of delinquency and default experience (and as a consequence, losses) with respect to mortgage loans related to properties in such state or region. Pools of mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may also have a higher degree of concentration in certain types of commercial properties. Accordingly, such pools of mortgage loans represent higher exposure to risks particular to those types of commercial properties. Certain pools of commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS consist of a fewer number of mortgage loans with outstanding balances that are larger than average. If a mortgage pool includes mortgage loans with larger than average balances, any realized losses on such mortgage loans could be more severe, relative to the size of the pool, than would be the case if the aggregate balance of the pool were distributed among a larger number of mortgage loans. Certain borrowers or affiliates thereof relating to certain of the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have had a history of bankruptcy. Certain mortgaged properties securing the commercial mortgage loans underlying CMBS may have been exposed to environmental conditions or circumstances. The ratings in respect of certain of the CMBS comprising the Mortgage-Backed Securities may have been withdrawn, reduced or placed on credit watch since issuance. In addition, losses and/or appraisal reductions may be allocated to certain of such CMBS and certain of the collateral or the assets underlying such collateral may be delinquent and/or may default from time to time.

CMBS held by the Fund may be subordinated to one or more other classes of securities of the same series for purposes of, among other things, establishing payment priorities and offsetting losses and other shortfalls with respect to the related underlying mortgage loans. Realized losses in respect of the mortgage loans included in the CMBS pool and trust expenses generally will be allocated to the most subordinated class of securities of the related series. Accordingly, to the extent any CMBS is or becomes the most subordinated class of securities of the related series, any delinquency or default on any underlying mortgage loan may result in shortfalls, realized loss allocations or extensions of its weighted average life and will have a more immediate and disproportionate effect on the related CMBS than on a related more senior class of CMBS of the same series. Further, even if a class is not the most subordinate class of securities, there can be no assurance that the subordination offered to such class will be sufficient on any date to offset all losses or expenses incurred by the underlying trust. CMBS are typically not guaranteed or insured, and distributions on such CMBS generally will depend solely upon the amount and timing of payments and other collections on the related underlying commercial mortgage loans.

Stripped Mortgage-Backed Securities. The Fund may invest in stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”), which are derivative multiclass mortgage securities, issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities or non-governmental originators. SMBS are usually structured with two different classes: one that receives substantially all of the interest payments (the interest-only, or “IO” and/or the high coupon rate with relatively low principal amount, or “IOette”), and the other that receives substantially all of the principal payments (the principal-only, or “PO”), from a pool of mortgage loans.

Certain SMBS may not be readily marketable. The market value of POs generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates. The yields on IOs and IOettes are generally higher than prevailing market yields on other Mortgage-Backed Securities because their cash flow patterns are more volatile and there is a greater risk that the initial investment will not be fully recouped. The Fund’s investments in SMBS may require the Fund to sell certain of its portfolio securities to generate sufficient cash to satisfy certain income distribution requirements. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in SMBS.

Options on Securities and Securities Indices and Foreign Currencies

Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Securities and Securities Indices. The Fund may write (sell) call and put options on any securities in which it may invest or any securities index consisting of securities in which it may invest. The Fund may write such options on securities that are listed on national domestic securities exchanges or foreign securities exchanges or traded in the over-the-counter market. A call option written by the Fund obligates the Fund to sell specified securities to the holder of the option at a specified price if the option is exercised on or before the expiration date. Depending upon the type of call option, the purchaser of a call option either (i) has the right to any appreciation in the value of the security over a fixed price (the “exercise price”) on a certain date in the future (the “expiration date”) or (ii) has the right to any appreciation in the value of the security over the exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option. If the purchaser exercises the option, the Fund pays the purchaser the difference between the price of the security and the exercise price of the option. The premium, the exercise price and the market value of the security determine the gain or loss realized by the Fund as the seller of the call option. The Fund can also repurchase the call option prior to the expiration date, ending its obligation. In this case, the cost of entering into closing purchase transactions will determine the gain or loss realized by the Fund.

 

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All call options written by the Fund are covered, which means that such Fund will own the securities subject to the option so long as the option is outstanding or such Fund will use the other methods described below. The Fund’s purpose in writing call options is to realize greater income than would be realized on portfolio securities transactions alone. However, the Fund may forego the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market price of the underlying security.

A put option written by the Fund obligates the Fund to purchase specified securities from the option holder at a specified price if the option is exercised on or before the expiration date. All put options written by the Fund would be covered, which means that such Fund will identify on its books cash or liquid assets with a value at least equal to the exercise price of the put option (less any margin on deposit) or will use the other methods described below. For more information about these practices, see “Description of Investment Securities and Practices – Asset Segregation.”

The purpose of writing such options is to generate additional income for the Fund. However, in return for the option premium, the Fund accepts the risk that it may be required to purchase the underlying securities at a price in excess of the securities’ market value at the time of purchase.

In the case of a call option, the option may be “covered” if the Fund owns the instrument underlying the call or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that instrument without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, liquid assets in such amount are identified on the Fund’s books) upon conversion or exchange of other instruments held by it. A call option may also be covered if the Fund holds a call on the same instrument as the option written where the exercise price of the option held is (i) equal to or less than the exercise price of the option written, or (ii) greater than the exercise price of the option written provided the Fund identifies liquid assets in the amount of the difference. A put option may also be covered if the Fund holds a put on the same security as the option written where the exercise price of the option held is (i) equal to or higher than the exercise price of the option written, or (ii) less than the exercise price of the option written provided the Fund identifies on its books liquid assets in the amount of the difference. The Fund may also cover options on securities by identifying cash or liquid assets, as permitted by applicable law, with a value, when added to any margin on deposit that is equal to the market value of the securities in the case of a call option. Identified cash or liquid assets may be quoted or denominated in any currency. Identified cash or liquid assets may be quoted or denominated in any currency.

The Fund may terminate its obligations under an exchange-traded call or put option by purchasing an option identical to the one it has written. Obligations under over-the-counter options may be terminated only by entering into an offsetting transaction with the counterparty to such option. Such purchases are referred to as “closing purchase transactions.”

The Fund may also write (sell) call and put options on any securities index consisting of securities in which it may invest. Options on securities indices are similar to options on securities, except that the exercise of securities index options requires cash settlement payments and does not involve the actual purchase or sale of securities. In addition, securities index options are designed to reflect price fluctuations in a group of securities or segment of the securities market rather than price fluctuations in a single security.

The Fund may cover call options on a securities index by owning securities whose price changes are expected to be similar to those of the underlying index or by having an absolute and immediate right to acquire such securities without additional cash consideration (or if additional cash consideration is required, liquid assets in such amount are identified on the Fund’s books) upon conversion or exchange of other securities held by it. The Fund may also cover call and put options by identifying cash or liquid assets, as permitted by applicable law, with a value, when added to any margin on deposit, that is equal to the market value of the underlying securities in the case of a call option or the exercise price in the case of a put option or by owning offsetting options as described above.

The writing of options is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of options to seek to increase total return involves the risk of loss if the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of fluctuations in securities prices or interest rates. The successful use of options for hedging purposes also depends in part on the ability of the Investment Adviser to predict future price fluctuations and the degree of correlation between the options and securities markets. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of changes in securities prices or determination of the correlation between the securities indices on which options are written and purchased and the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolio, the investment performance of the Fund will be less favorable than it would have been in the absence of such options transactions. The writing of options could increase the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and, therefore, associated brokerage commissions or spreads.

The Fund may also purchase put and call options on any securities in which it may invest or any securities index consisting of securities in which it may invest. In addition, the Fund may enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on options it had purchased.

 

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The Fund may purchase call options in anticipation of an increase, or put options in anticipation of a decrease (“protective puts”), in the market value of securities or other instruments of the type in which it may invest. The purchase of a call option would entitle the Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified securities or other instruments at a specified price during the option period. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain on the purchase of a call option if, during the option period, the value of such securities exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option. The purchase of a put option would entitle the Fund, in exchange for the premium paid, to sell specified securities or other instruments at a specified price during the option period. The purchase of protective puts is designed to offset or hedge against a decline in the market value of the Fund’s securities or other instruments. Put options may also be purchased by the Fund for the purpose of affirmatively benefiting from a decline in the price of securities or other instruments which it does not own. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying securities or other instruments decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to cover the premium and transaction costs; otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the put option. Gains and losses on the purchase of put options may be offset by countervailing changes in the value of the underlying portfolio securities or other instruments.

The Fund may purchase put and call options on securities indices for the same purposes as it may purchase options on securities. Options on securities indices are similar to options on securities, except that the exercise of securities index options requires cash payments and does not involve the actual purchase or sale of securities. In addition, securities index options are designed to reflect price fluctuations in a group of securities or segment of the securities market rather than price fluctuations in a single security.

Special Risks Associated with Options on Currency. An exchange-traded option position may be closed out only on an options exchange that provides a secondary market for an option of the same series. Although the Fund will generally purchase or write only those options for which there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on an exchange will exist for any particular option or at any particular time. For some options no secondary market on an exchange may exist. In such event, it might not be possible to effect closing transactions in particular options, with the result that the Fund would have to exercise its options in order to realize any profit and would incur transaction costs upon the sale of underlying securities pursuant to the exercise of its options. If the Fund as a call option writer is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction in a secondary market, it will not be able to sell the underlying currency (or security quoted or denominated in that currency), or dispose of the identified assets, until the option expires or it delivers the underlying currency upon exercise.

There is no assurance that higher-than-anticipated trading activity or other unforeseen events might not, at times, render certain of the facilities of the relevant clearinghouse inadequate, and thereby result in the institution by an exchange of special procedures which may interfere with the timely execution of customers’ orders.

The Fund may purchase and write over-the-counter options. Trading in over-the-counter options is subject to the risk that the other party will be unable or unwilling to close out options purchased or written by the Fund.

The amount of the premiums that the Fund may pay or receive, may be adversely affected as new or existing institutions, including other investment companies, engage in or increase their option purchasing and writing activities.

Writing and Purchasing Call and Put Options on Currency. The Fund may write put and call options and purchase put and call options on foreign currencies in an attempt to protect against declines in the U.S. dollar value of foreign portfolio securities and against increases in the U.S. dollar cost of foreign securities to be acquired. The Fund may also use options on currency to cross-hedge, which involves writing or purchasing options on one currency to seek to hedge against changes in exchange rates for a different currency with a pattern of correlation. As with other kinds of option transactions, however, the writing of an option on foreign currency will constitute only a partial hedge, up to the amount of the premium received. If an option that the Fund has written is exercised, the Fund could be required to purchase or sell foreign currencies at disadvantageous exchange rates, thereby incurring losses. The purchase of an option on foreign currency may constitute an effective hedge against exchange rate fluctuations; however, in the event of exchange rate movements adverse to the Fund’s position, the Fund may forfeit the entire amount of the premium plus related transaction costs. Options on foreign currencies may be traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges or over-the-counter. In addition, the Fund may purchase call options on currency to seek to increase total return.

A currency call option written by the Fund obligates the Fund to sell specified currency to the holder of the option at a specified price if the option is exercised at any time before the expiration date. A currency put option written by the Fund obligates the Fund to purchase specified currency from the option holder at a specified price if the option is exercised at any time before the expiration date. The writing of currency options involves a risk that the Fund will, upon exercise of the option, be required to sell currency subject to a call at a price that is less than the currency’s market value or be required to purchase currency subject to a put at a price that exceeds the currency’s market value. Written put and call options on foreign currencies may be covered in a manner similar to written put and call options on securities and securities indices described under “Options on Securities and Securities Indices—Writing Covered Options” above.

 

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The Fund may terminate its obligations under a written call or put option by purchasing an option identical to the one written. Such purchases are referred to as “closing purchase transactions.” The Fund may enter into closing sale transactions in order to realize gains or minimize losses on purchased options.

The Fund may purchase call options on foreign currency in anticipation of an increase in the U.S. dollar value of currency in which securities to be acquired by the Fund are denominated or quoted. The purchase of a call option would entitle the Fund, in return for the premium paid, to purchase specified currency at a specified price during the option period. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of such currency exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs; otherwise, the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option.

The Fund may purchase put options in anticipation of a decline in the U.S. dollar value of currency in which securities in its portfolio are denominated or quoted (“protective puts”). The purchase of a put option would entitle the Fund, in exchange for the premium paid, to sell specified currency at a specified price during the option period. The purchase of protective puts is usually designed to offset or hedge against a decline in the U.S. dollar value of the Fund’s portfolio securities due to currency exchange rate fluctuations. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying currency decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to more than cover the premium and transaction costs; otherwise, the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the put option. Gains and losses on the purchase of protective put options would tend to be offset by countervailing changes in the value of the underlying currency.

In addition to using options for the hedging purposes described above, the Fund may use options on currency to seek to increase total return. The Fund may write (sell) put and call options on any currency in an attempt to realize greater income than would be realized on portfolio securities transactions alone. However, in writing call options for additional income, the Fund may forego the opportunity to profit from an increase in the market value of the underlying currency. Also, when writing put options, the Fund accepts, in return for the option premium, the risk that it may be required to purchase the underlying currency at a price in excess of the currency’s market value at the time of purchase.

The Fund may purchase call options to seek to increase total return in anticipation of an increase in the market value of a currency. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of such currency exceeded the sum of the exercise price, the premium paid and transaction costs. Otherwise the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the call option. Put options may be purchased by the Fund for the purpose of benefiting from a decline in the value of currencies which they do not own. The Fund would ordinarily realize a gain if, during the option period, the value of the underlying currency decreased below the exercise price sufficiently to more than cover the premium and transaction costs. Otherwise, the Fund would realize either no gain or a loss on the purchase of the put option.

Yield Curve Options. The Fund may enter into options on the yield “spread” or differential between two securities. Such transactions are referred to as “yield curve” options. In contrast to other types of options, a yield curve option is based on the difference between the yields of designated securities, rather than the prices of the individual securities, and is settled through cash payments. Accordingly, a yield curve option is profitable to the holder if this differential widens (in the case of a call) or narrows (in the case of a put), regardless of whether the yields of the underlying securities increase or decrease.

The Fund may purchase or write yield curve options for the same purposes as other options on securities. For example, the Fund may purchase a call option on the yield spread between two securities if the Fund owns one of the securities and anticipates purchasing the other security and wants to hedge against an adverse change in the yield spread between the two securities. The Fund may also purchase or write yield curve options in an effort to increase current income if, in the judgment of the Investment Adviser, the Fund will be able to profit from movements in the spread between the yields of the underlying securities. The trading of yield curve options is subject to all of the risks associated with the trading of other types of options. In addition, however, such options present a risk of loss even if the yield of one of the underlying securities remains constant, or if the spread moves in a direction or to an extent which was not anticipated.

Yield curve options written by the Fund will be “covered.” A call (or put) option is covered if the Fund holds another call (or put) option on the spread between the same two securities and identifies on its books cash or liquid assets sufficient to cover the Fund’s net liability under the two options. Therefore, the Fund’s liability for such a covered option is generally limited to the difference between the amount of the Fund’s liability under the option written by the Fund less the value of the option held by the Fund. Yield curve options may also be covered in such other manner as may be in accordance with the requirements of the counterparty with which the option is traded and applicable laws and regulations. Yield curve options are traded over-the-counter, and established trading markets for these options may not exist.

 

 

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Risks Associated with Options Transactions. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market on a domestic or foreign options exchange will exist for any particular exchange-traded option or at any particular time. If the Fund is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction with respect to covered options it has written, the Fund will not be able to sell the underlying securities or dispose of the assets identified on its books to cover the position until the options expire or are exercised. Similarly, if the Fund is unable to effect a closing sale transaction with respect to options it has purchased, it will have to exercise the options in order to realize any profit and will incur transaction costs upon the purchase or sale of underlying securities.

Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market on an exchange include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) there may be insufficient trading interest in certain options; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening or closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of options; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; (v) the facilities of an exchange or the Options Clearing Corporation may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) one or more exchanges could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of options (or a particular class or series of options), in which event the secondary market on that exchange (or in that class or series of options) would cease to exist although outstanding options on that exchange that had been issued by the Options Clearing Corporation as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.

There can be no assurance that higher trading activity, order flow or other unforeseen events will not, at times, render certain of the facilities of the Options Clearing Corporation or various exchanges inadequate. Such events have, in the past, resulted in the institution by an exchange of special procedures, such as trading rotations, restrictions on certain types of order or trading halts or suspensions with respect to one or more options. These special procedures may limit liquidity.

The Fund may purchase and sell both options that are traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges and options traded over-the-counter with broker-dealers and other types of institutions that make markets in these options. The ability to terminate over-the-counter options is more limited than with exchange-traded options and may involve the risk that the broker-dealers or financial institutions participating in such transactions will not fulfill their obligations.

Transactions by the Fund in options will be subject to limitations established by each of the exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities on which such options are traded governing the maximum number of options in each class which may be written or purchased by a single investor or group of investors acting in concert regardless of whether the options are written or purchased on the same or different exchanges, boards of trade or other trading facilities or are held in one or more accounts or through one or more brokers. Thus, the number of options which the Fund may write or purchase may be affected by options written or purchased by other investment advisory clients of the Investment Adviser. An exchange, board of trade or other trading facility may order the liquidation of positions found to be in excess of these limits, and it may impose certain other sanctions.

The writing and purchase of options is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of options to seek to increase total return involves the risk of loss if the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of fluctuations in securities prices or interest rates. The successful use of options for hedging purposes also depends in part on the ability of the Investment Adviser to manage future price fluctuations and the degree of correlation between the options and securities (or currency) markets. If the Investment Adviser is incorrect in its expectation of changes in securities prices or determination of the correlation between the securities or securities indices on which options are written and purchased and the securities in the Fund’s investment portfolio, the Fund may incur losses that it would not otherwise incur. The writing of options could increase the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate and, therefore, associated brokerage commissions or spreads.

Pooled Investment Vehicles

The Fund may invest in securities of pooled investment vehicles, including ETFs. The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any management fees and other expenses paid by pooled investment vehicles in which it invests, in addition to the management fees (and other expenses) of the Fund. The Fund’s investments in pooled investment vehicles are subject to statutory limitations prescribed by the Act, including in certain circumstances a prohibition on the Fund acquiring more than 3% of the voting shares of any other investment company, and a prohibition on investing more than 5% of the Fund’s total assets in securities of any one investment company or more than 10% of its total assets in the securities of all investment companies.

 

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Subject to applicable law and/or pursuant to an exemptive order obtained from the SEC or under an exemptive rule adopted by the SEC, the Fund may invest in other investment companies, including ETFs and money market funds, beyond the statutory limits described above or otherwise provided that certain conditions are met. Some of those other investment companies may be funds for which the Investment Adviser, or any of its affiliates, serves as investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor. Although the Fund does not expect to do so in the foreseeable future, the Fund is authorized to invest substantially all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof that has substantially the same investment objective, policies and fundamental restrictions as the Fund. Additionally, if the Fund serves as an “underlying fund” to another Goldman Sachs Fund or unaffiliated investment company, the Fund’s ability to invest in other investment companies and private funds may be limited and, under these circumstances, the Fund’s investments in other investment companies and private funds will be consistent with applicable law and/or exemptive relief obtained from the SEC.

The Fund may purchase shares of investment companies investing primarily in foreign securities, including “country funds.” Country funds have portfolios consisting primarily of securities of issuers located in specified foreign countries or regions.

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund may engage in active short-term trading to benefit from price disparities among different issues of securities or among the markets for equity securities, or for other reasons. As a result of active management, it is anticipated that the portfolio turnover rate may vary greatly from year to year as well as within a particular year, and may be affected by changes in the holdings of specific issuers, changes in country and currency weightings, cash requirements for redemption of shares and by requirements which enable the Fund to receive favorable tax treatment. The Fund is not restricted by policy with regard to portfolio turnover and will make changes in its investment portfolio from time to time as business and economic conditions, as well as market prices, may dictate.

Preferred Stock, Warrants and Stock Purchase Rights

The Fund may invest in preferred stock, warrants or stock purchase rights (in addition to those acquired in units or attached to other securities) (“rights”). Preferred stocks are securities that represent an ownership interest providing the holder with claims on the issuer’s earnings and assets before common stock owners but after bond owners. Unlike debt securities, the obligations of an issuer of preferred stock, including dividends and other payment obligations, may not typically be accelerated by the holders of such preferred stock on the occurrence of an event of default (such as a covenant default or filing of a bankruptcy petition) or other non-compliance by the issuer with the terms of the preferred stock. Often, however, on the occurrence of any such event of default or non-compliance by the issuer, preferred stockholders will be entitled to gain representation on the issuer’s board of directors or increase their existing board representation. In addition, preferred stockholders may be granted voting rights with respect to certain issues on the occurrence of any event of default.

Warrants and other rights are options to buy a stated number of shares of common stock at a specified price at any time during the life of the warrant. The holders of warrants and rights have no voting rights, receive no dividends and have no rights with respect to the assets of the issuer.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

The Fund may invest in shares of REITs. REITs are pooled investment vehicles which invest primarily in real estate or real estate related loans. REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs or a combination of equity and mortgage REITs. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest payments. Like regulated investment companies such as the Fund, REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they comply with certain requirements under the Code. The Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any expenses paid by REITs in which it invests in addition to the expenses paid by the Fund. Investing in REITs involves certain unique risks. Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by such REITs, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. REITs are dependent upon management skills, are not diversified (except to the extent the Code requires), and are subject to the risks of financing projects. REITs are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, default by borrowers, self-liquidation, and the possibilities of failing to qualify for the exemption from tax for distributed income under the Code and failing to maintain their exemptions from the Act. REITs (especially mortgage REITs) are also subject to interest rate risks.

 

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Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with counterparties that furnish collateral at least equal in value or market price to the amount of their repurchase obligation. The Fund may also enter into repurchase agreements involving obligations other than U.S. Government Securities, which may be subject to additional risks. A repurchase agreement is an arrangement under which the Fund purchases securities and the seller agrees to repurchase the securities within a particular time and at a specified price. Custody of the securities is maintained by the Fund’s custodian (or subcustodian). The repurchase price may be higher than the purchase price, the difference being income to the Fund, or the purchase and repurchase prices may be the same, with interest at a stated rate due to the Fund together with the repurchase price on repurchase. In either case, the income to the Fund is unrelated to the interest rate on the security subject to the repurchase agreement.

For purposes of the Act, and generally for tax purposes, a repurchase agreement is deemed to be a loan from the Fund to the seller of the security. For other purposes, it is not always clear whether a court would consider the security purchased by the Fund subject to a repurchase agreement as being owned by the Fund or as being collateral for a loan by the Fund to the seller. In the event of commencement of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings with respect to the seller of the security before repurchase of the security under a repurchase agreement, the Fund may encounter delay and incur costs before being able to sell the security. Such a delay may involve loss of interest or a decline in value of the security. If the court characterizes the transaction as a loan and the Fund has not perfected a security interest in the security, the Fund may be required to return the security to the seller’s estate and be treated as an unsecured creditor of the seller. As an unsecured creditor, the Fund would be at risk of losing some or all of the principal and interest involved in the transaction.

Apart from the risk of bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, there is also the risk that the seller may fail to repurchase the security. However, if the market value of the security subject to the repurchase agreement becomes less than the repurchase price (including accrued interest), the Fund will direct the seller of the security to deliver additional securities so that the market value of all securities subject to the repurchase agreement equals or exceeds the repurchase price. Certain repurchase agreements which provide for settlement in more than seven days can be liquidated before the nominal fixed term on seven days or less notice.

The Fund, together with other registered investment companies having management agreements with the Investment Adviser or their affiliates, may transfer uninvested cash balances into a single joint account, the daily aggregate balance of which will be invested in one or more repurchase agreements.

Restricted Securities

The Fund may purchase securities and other financial instruments that are not registered or that are offered in an exempt non-public offering (“Restricted Securities”) under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “1933 Act”), including securities eligible for resale to “qualified institutional buyers” pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act. The purchase price and subsequent valuation of Restricted Securities may reflect a discount from the price at which such securities trade when they are not restricted, because the restriction makes them less liquid. The amount of the discount from the prevailing market price is expected to vary depending upon the type of security, the character of the issuer, the party who will bear the expenses of registering the Restricted Securities and prevailing supply and demand conditions. These and other factors discussed in the section above, entitled “Illiquid Investments,” may impact the liquidity of investments in Restricted Securities.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may borrow money by entering into transactions called reverse repurchase agreements. Under these arrangements, the Fund may sell portfolio securities to dealers in U.S. Government Securities or members of the Federal Reserve System, with an agreement to repurchase the security on an agreed date, price and interest payment. These reverse repurchase agreements may involve foreign government securities. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the possible risk that the value of portfolio securities the Fund relinquishes may decline below the price the Fund must pay when the transaction closes. Borrowings may magnify the potential for gain or loss on amounts invested resulting in an increase in the speculative character of the Fund’s outstanding shares.

When the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it identifies on its books cash or liquid assets that have a value equal to or greater than the repurchase price. The amount of cash or liquid assets so identified is then monitored continuously by the Investment Adviser to make sure that an appropriate value is maintained. Reverse repurchase agreements are considered to be borrowings under the Investment Company Act.

 

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As discussed in more detail above, the SEC adopted a final rule related to the use of derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions by registered investment companies. In connection with the final rule, the SEC and its staff will rescind and withdraw applicable guidance and relief regarding asset segregation and coverage transactions reflected in the Fund’s asset segregation and cover practices discussed herein. For more information about these practices, see the section entitled “Asset Segregation” above.

Risks of Qualified Financial Contracts

Regulations adopted by federal banking regulators under the Dodd-Frank Act, which took effect throughout 2019, require that certain qualified financial contracts (“QFCs”) with counterparties that are part of U.S. or foreign global systemically important banking organizations be amended to include contractual restrictions on close-out and cross-default rights. QFCs include, but are not limited to, securities contracts, commodities contracts, forward contracts, repurchase agreements, securities lending agreements and swaps agreements, as well as related master agreements, security agreements, credit enhancements, and reimbursement obligations. If a covered counterparty of the Fund or certain of the covered counterparty’s affiliates were to become subject to certain insolvency proceedings, the Fund may be temporarily unable to exercise certain default rights, and the QFC may be transferred to another entity. These requirements may impact the Fund’s credit and counterparty risks.

Short Sales

Short sales are transactions in which the Fund sells a security it does not own in anticipation of a decline in the market value of that security. To complete such a transaction, the Fund must borrow the security to make delivery to the buyer. The Fund then is obligated to replace the security borrowed by purchasing it at the market price at the time of replacement. The price at such time may be more or less than the price at which the security was sold by the Fund. Until the security is replaced, the Fund is required to pay to the lender amounts equal to any dividend which accrues during the period of the loan. To borrow the security, the Fund also may be required to pay a premium, which would increase the cost of the security sold. There will also be other costs associated with short sales.

The Fund will incur a loss as a result of the short sale if the price of the security increases between the date of the short sale and the date on which the Fund replaces the borrowed security. The Fund will realize a gain if the security declines in price between those dates. This result is the opposite of what one would expect from a cash purchase of a long position in a security. The amount of any gain will be decreased, and the amount of any loss increased, by the amount of any premium or amounts in lieu of interest the Fund may be required to pay in connection with a short sale, and will be also decreased by any transaction or other costs.

Until the Fund replaces a borrowed security in connection with a short sale, the Fund will (a) identify on its books cash or liquid assets at such a level that the identified assets plus any amount deposited as collateral will equal the current value of the security sold short or (b) otherwise cover its short position in accordance with applicable law.

As discussed in more detail above, the SEC adopted a final rule related to the use of derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions by registered investment companies. In connection with the final rule, the SEC and its staff will rescind and withdraw applicable guidance and relief regarding asset segregation and coverage transactions reflected in the Fund’s asset segregation and cover practices discussed herein. For more information about these practices, see the section entitled “Asset Segregation” above.

There is no guarantee that the Fund will be able to close out a short position at any particular time or at an acceptable price. During the time that the Fund is short a security, it is subject to the risk that the lender of the security will terminate the loan at a time when the Fund is unable to borrow the same security from another lender. If that occurs, the Fund may be “bought in” at the price required to purchase the security needed to close out the short position, which may be a disadvantageous price.

The Fund may engage in short sales against the box. As noted above, a short sale is made by selling a security the seller does not own. A short sale is “against the box” to the extent that the seller contemporaneously owns or has the right to obtain, at no added cost, securities identical to those sold short. It may be entered into by the Fund, for example, to lock in a sales price for a security the Fund does not wish to sell immediately. If the Fund sells securities short against the box, it may protect itself from loss if the price of the securities declines in the future, but will lose the opportunity to profit on such securities if the price rises.

 

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Temporary Investments

The Fund may, for temporary defensive purposes, invest up to 100% of its total assets in: U.S. Government Securities; commercial paper rated at least A-2 by Standard & Poor’s, P-2 by Moody’s or having a comparable credit rating by another nationally recognized statistical rating organization (“NRSRO”) (or if unrated, determined by the Investment Adviser to be of comparable credit quality); certificates of deposit; bankers’ acceptances; repurchase agreements; non-convertible preferred stocks and non-convertible corporate bonds with a remaining maturity of less than one year; ETFs and other investment companies; and cash items. When the Fund’s assets are invested in such instruments, the Fund may not be achieving its investment objective.

U.S. Government Securities

The Fund may invest in U.S. Government Securities. Some U.S. Government Securities (such as Treasury bills, notes and bonds, which differ only in their interest rates, maturities and times of issuance) are supported by the full faith and credit of the United States. Others, such as obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. Government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises, are supported either by (i) the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, (ii) the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the issuer or (iii) only the credit of the issuer. The U.S. Government is under no legal obligation, in general, to purchase the obligations of its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. No assurance can be given that the U.S. Government will provide financial support to U.S. government agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises in the future, and the U.S. Government may be unable to pay debts when due.

U.S. Government Securities include (to the extent consistent with the Act) securities for which the payment of principal and interest is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit issued by the U.S. Government, or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. U.S. Government Securities may also include (to the extent consistent with the Act) participations in loans made to foreign governments or their agencies that are guaranteed as to principal and interest by the U.S. Government or its agencies, instrumentalities or sponsored enterprises. The secondary market for certain of these participations is extremely limited. In the absence of a suitable secondary market, such participations are regarded as illiquid.

The Fund may also purchase U.S. Government Securities in private placements and may also invest in separately traded principal and interest components of securities guaranteed or issued by the U.S. Treasury that are traded independently under the separate trading of registered interest and principal of securities program (“STRIPS”). The Fund may also invest in zero coupon U.S. Treasury securities and in zero coupon securities issued by financial institutions which represent a proportionate interest in underlying U.S. Treasury securities.

Inflation-Protected Securities. The Fund may invest in inflation protected securities (“IPS”) of varying maturities issued by the U.S. Treasury (“TIPS”) and other U.S. and non-U.S. Government agencies and corporations (“CIPS”), which are securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. The interest rate on IPS is fixed at issuance, but over the life of the bond this interest may be paid on an increasing or decreasing principal value that has been adjusted for inflation. Although repayment of the greater of the adjusted or original bond principal upon maturity is guaranteed, the market value of IPS is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate.

The values of IPS generally fluctuate in response to changes in real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in the value of IPS. In contrast, if nominal interest rates were to increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in the value of IPS. If inflation is lower than expected during the period the Fund holds IPS, the Fund may earn less on the IPS than on a conventional bond. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in the currency exchange rates), investors in IPS may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bonds’ inflation measure. There can be no assurance that the inflation index for IPS will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services.

Any increase in principal value of IPS caused by an increase in the consumer price index is taxable in the year the increase occurs, even though the Fund holding IPS will not receive cash representing the increase at that time. As a result, the Fund could be required at times to liquidate other investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, in order to satisfy its distribution requirements as a regulated investment company.

If the Fund invests in IPS, it will be required to treat as original issue discount any increase in the principal amount of the securities that occurs during the course of its taxable year. If the Fund purchases such IPS that are issued in stripped form either as stripped bonds or coupons, it will be treated as if it had purchased a newly issued debt instrument having original issue discount.

 

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Because the Fund is required to distribute substantially all of its net investment income (including accrued original issue discount), the Fund’s investment in either zero coupon bonds or IPS may require the Fund to distribute to shareholders an amount greater than the total cash income it actually receives. Accordingly, in order to make the required distributions, the Fund may be required to borrow or liquidate securities.

When-Issued Securities and Forward Commitments

The Fund may purchase securities on a when-issued basis or purchase or sell securities on a forward commitment basis beyond the customary settlement time. These transactions involve a commitment by the Fund to purchase or sell securities at a future date. The price of the underlying securities (usually expressed in terms of yield) and the date when the securities will be delivered and paid for (the settlement date) are fixed at the time the transaction is negotiated. In addition, recently finalized rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) include mandatory margin requirements that require the Fund to post collateral in connection with its TBA transactions. There is no similar requirement applicable to the Fund’s TBA counterparties. The required collateralization of TBA trades could increase the cost of TBA transactions to the Fund and impose added operational complexity. When-issued purchases and forward commitment transactions are negotiated directly with the other party, and such commitments are not traded on exchanges. The Funds will generally purchase securities on a when-issued basis or purchase or sell securities on a forward commitment basis only with the intention of completing the transaction and actually purchasing or selling the securities. If deemed advisable as a matter of investment strategy, however, the Fund may dispose of or negotiate a commitment after entering into it. The Fund may also sell securities it has committed to purchase before those securities are delivered to the Fund on the settlement date. The Fund may realize capital gains or losses in connection with these transactions. For purposes of determining the Fund’s duration, the maturity of when-issued or forward commitment securities for fixed-rate obligations will be calculated from the commitment date. The Fund is generally required to identify on its books cash and liquid assets in an amount sufficient to meet the purchase price unless the Fund’s obligations are otherwise covered. Alternatively, the Fund may enter into offsetting contracts for the forward sale of other securities that it owns. Securities purchased or sold on a when-issued or forward commitment basis involve a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to the settlement date or if the value of the security to be sold increases prior to the settlement date.

Zero Coupon, Deferred Interest, Pay-In-Kind and Capital Appreciation Bonds

The Fund may invest in zero coupon, deferred interest, pay-in-kind (“PIK”) and capital appreciation bonds. Zero coupon, 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. 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.

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 zero coupon bonds and 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 market prices of zero coupon, 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. Moreover, zero coupon, deferred interest, capital appreciation and PIK securities involve the additional risk that, unlike securities that periodically pay interest to maturity, the 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 Fund may obtain no return at all on its investment. The valuation of such investments requires judgment regarding the collection of future payments. In addition, even though such securities do not provide for the payment of current interest in cash, the 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, the Fund may be required to liquidate other portfolio securities to obtain sufficient cash to satisfy federal tax distribution requirements applicable to the Fund. A portion of the discount with respect to stripped tax exempt securities or their coupons may be taxable. See “TAXATION.”

 

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Special Note Regarding Regulatory Changes and Other Market Events

Federal, state, and foreign governments, regulatory agencies, and self-regulatory organizations may take actions that affect the regulation of the Fund or the instruments in which the Fund invests, or the issuers of such instruments, in ways that are unforeseeable. Future legislation or regulation or other governmental actions could limit or preclude the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective or otherwise adversely impact an investment in the Fund. Furthermore, worsened market conditions, including as a result of U.S. government shutdowns or the perceived creditworthiness of the United States, could have a negative impact on securities markets.

The Fund’s investments, payment obligations and financing terms may be based on floating rates, such as LIBOR, EURIBOR and other similar types of reference rates (each, a “Reference Rate”). On July 27, 2017, the Chief Executive of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which regulates LIBOR, announced that the FCA will no longer persuade nor compel banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR and certain other Reference Rates after 2021. Such announcement indicates that the continuation of LIBOR and other Reference Rates on the current basis cannot and will not be guaranteed after 2021. This announcement and any additional regulatory or market changes may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investments, performance or financial condition. Until then, the Fund may continue to invest in instruments that reference such rates or otherwise use such Reference Rates due to favorable liquidity or pricing.

In advance of 2021, regulators and market participants will seek to work together to identify or develop successor Reference Rates (e.g., the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, which is likely to replace U.S. dollar LIBOR and measures the cost of overnight borrowings through repurchase agreement transactions collateralized with U.S. Treasury securities) and how the calculation of associated spreads (if any) should be adjusted. Additionally, prior to 2021, it is expected that industry trade associations and participants will focus on the transition mechanisms by which the Reference Rates and spreads (if any) in existing contracts or instruments may be amended, whether through marketwide protocols, fallback contractual provisions, bespoke negotiations or amendments or otherwise. Nonetheless, the termination of certain Reference Rates presents risks to the Fund. At this time, it is not possible to exhaustively identify or predict the effect of any such changes, any establishment of alternative Reference Rates or any other reforms to Reference Rates that may be enacted in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. The elimination of a Reference Rate or any other changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of Reference Rates may affect the value, liquidity or return on certain Fund investments and may result in costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades, adversely impacting the Fund’s overall financial condition or results of operations. 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. In addition, although certain Fund investments may provide for a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate) if the Reference Rate becomes unavailable, certain Fund investments may not provide such a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate). Accordingly, there may be disputes as to: (i) any successor or substitute Reference Rate; or (ii) the enforceability of any Fund investment that does not provide such a successor or substitute Reference Rate (or terms governing how to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate). The Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and/or their affiliates may have discretion to determine a successor or substitute Reference Rate, including any price or other adjustments to account for differences between the successor or substitute Reference Rate and the previous rate. The successor or substitute Reference Rate and any adjustments selected may negatively impact the Fund’s investments, performance or financial condition, including in ways unforeseen by the Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and/or their affiliates. In addition, any successor or substitute Reference Rate and any pricing adjustments imposed by a regulator or by counterparties or otherwise may adversely affect the Fund’s performance and/or NAV, and may expose the Fund to additional tax, accounting and regulatory risks.

In the aftermath of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the financial sector experienced reduced liquidity in credit and other fixed income markets, and an unusually high degree of volatility, both domestically and internationally. While entire markets were impacted, issuers that had exposure to the real estate, mortgage and credit markets were particularly affected. The instability in the financial markets led the U.S. Government to take a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and certain segments of the financial markets. For example, the Dodd-Frank Act, which was enacted in 2010, provides for broad regulation of financial institutions, consumer financial products and services, broker-dealers, over-the-counter derivatives, investment advisers, credit rating agencies and mortgage lending.

Governments or their agencies may also acquire distressed assets from financial institutions and acquire ownership interests in those institutions. The implications of government ownership and disposition of these assets are unclear, and such ownership or disposition may have positive or negative effects on the liquidity, valuation and performance of the Fund’s portfolio holdings.

In addition, global economies and financial markets are becoming increasingly interconnected, and political, economic and other conditions and events (including, but not limited to, natural disasters, pandemics, epidemics, and social unrest) in one country, region, or financial market may adversely impact issuers in a different country, region or financial market. Furthermore, the occurrence of,

 

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among other events, natural or man-made disasters, severe weather or geological events, fires, floods, earthquakes, outbreaks of disease (such as COVID-19, avian influenza or H1N1/09), epidemics, pandemics, malicious acts, cyber-attacks, terrorist acts or the occurrence of climate change, may also adversely impact the performance of the Fund. Such events may result in, among other things, closing borders, exchange closures, health screenings, healthcare service delays, quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, lower consumer demand, market volatility and general uncertainty. Such events could adversely impact issuers, markets and economies over the short- and long-term, including in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. The Fund could be negatively impacted if the value of a portfolio holding were harmed by such political or economic conditions or events. Moreover, such negative political and economic conditions and events could disrupt the processes necessary for the Fund’s operations. See “Special Note Regarding Operational, and Cyber Security and Litigation Risks” for additional information on operational risks.

Moreover, in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, as with other serious economic disruptions, governmental authorities and regulators are enacting significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, including, among other things, lowering interest rates. Interest rates in the United States are currently at historically low levels. During periods when interest rates are low (or negative), the Fund’s yield (or total return) may also be low and fall below zero. Changing interest rates, including rates that fall below zero, may have unpredictable effects on markets, may result in heightened market volatility and may detract from Fund performance to the extent the Fund is exposed to such interest rates and/or volatility. Certain European countries and Japan have pursued negative interest rate policies. A negative interest rate policy is an unconventional central bank monetary policy tool where nominal target interest rates are set with negative value intended to help create self-sustaining growth in the local economy. To the extent the Fund holds a debt instrument with a negative interest rate, the Fund would generate a negative return on that investment. If negative interest rates become more prevalent in the market, investors may seek to reallocate their investment to other income-producing assets, which could further reduce the value of instruments with a negative yield.

Special Note Regarding Operational, Cyber Security and Litigation Risks

An investment in the Fund may be negatively impacted because of the operational risks arising from factors such as processing errors and human errors, inadequate or failed internal or external processes, failures in systems and technology, changes in personnel, and errors caused by third-party service providers or trading counterparties. The use of certain investment strategies that involve manual or additional processing, such as over-the-counter derivatives, increases these risks. Although the Fund attempts to minimize such failures through controls and oversight, it is not possible to identify all of the operational risks that may affect the Fund or to develop processes and controls that completely eliminate or mitigate the occurrence of such failures. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.

The Fund is also susceptible to operational and information security risks resulting from cyber-attacks. In general, cyber-attacks result from deliberate attacks, but other events may have effects similar to those caused by cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks include, among others, stealing or corrupting confidential information and other data that is maintained online or digitally for financial gain, denial-of-service attacks on websites causing operational disruption, and the unauthorized release of confidential information and other data. Cyber-attacks affecting the Fund or its investment adviser, sub-adviser, custodian, transfer agent, intermediary or other third-party service provider may adversely impact the Fund and its shareholders. These cyber-attacks have the ability to cause significant disruptions and impact business operations; to result in financial losses; to prevent shareholders from transacting business; to interfere with the Fund’s calculation of NAV and to lead to violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs and/or additional compliance costs. Similar to operational risk in general, the Fund and its service providers, including GSAM, have instituted risk management systems designed to minimize the risks associated with cyber security. However, there is a risk that these systems will not succeed (or that any remediation efforts will not be successful), especially because the Fund does not directly control the risk management systems of the service providers to the Fund, their trading counterparties or the issuers in which the Fund may invest. Moreover, there is a risk that cyber-attacks will not be detected.

The Fund may be subject to third-party litigation, which could give rise to legal liability. These matters involving the Fund may arise from their activities and investments and could have a materially adverse effect on the Fund, including the expense of defending against claims and paying any amounts pursuant to settlements or judgments. There can be no guarantee that these matters will not arise in the normal course of business. If the Fund were to be found liable in any suit or proceeding, any associated damages and/or penalties could have a materially adverse effect on the Fund’s finances, in addition to being materially damaging to their reputation.

 

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INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

The investment restrictions set forth below have been adopted by the Trust as fundamental policies that cannot be changed with respect to the Fund without the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the Act) of the Fund. The investment objective of the Fund and all other investment policies or practices of the Fund are considered by the Trust not to be fundamental and accordingly may be changed without shareholder approval. For purposes of the Act, a “majority” of the outstanding voting securities means the lesser of (i) 67% or more of the shares of the Trust or the Fund present at a meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Trust or the Fund are present or represented by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Trust or the Fund.

For purposes of the following limitations (except for the asset coverage requirement with respect to borrowings, which is subject to different requirements under the Act), any limitation which involves a maximum percentage shall not be considered violated unless an excess over the percentage occurs immediately after, and is caused by, an acquisition or encumbrance of securities or assets of, or borrowings by, the Fund. In applying fundamental investment restriction number (1) below to derivative transactions or instruments, including, but not limited to, futures, swaps, forwards, options and structured notes, the Fund will look to the industry of the reference asset(s) and not to the counterparty or issuer. With respect to the Fund’s fundamental investment restriction number (2) below, in the event that asset coverage (as defined in the Act) at any time falls below 300%, the Fund, within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays) or such longer period as the SEC may prescribe by rules and regulations, will reduce the amount of its borrowings to the extent required so that the asset coverage of such borrowings will be at least 300%.

Fundamental Investment Restrictions

As a matter of fundamental policy, the Fund may not:

 

  (1)

Invest more than 25% of its total assets in the securities of one or more issuers conducting their principal business activities in the same industry (for the purposes of this restriction, the U.S. Government, state and municipal governments and their agencies, authorities and instrumentalities are not deemed to be industries), provided that during normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 25% of its total assets in the information technology industries;

 

  (2)

Borrow money, except as permitted by the Act, or interpretations or modifications by the SEC, SEC staff or other authority with appropriate jurisdiction;

The following interpretation applies to, but is not part of, this fundamental policy: In determining whether a particular investment in portfolio instruments or participation in portfolio transactions is subject to this borrowing policy, the accounting treatment of such instrument or participation shall be considered, but shall not by itself be determinative. Whether a particular instrument or transaction constitutes a borrowing shall be determined by the Board, after consideration of all of the relevant circumstances;

 

  (3)

Make loans, except through (a) the purchase of debt obligations, loan interests and other interests or obligations in accordance with the Fund’s investment objective and policies; (b) repurchase agreements with banks, brokers, dealers and other financial institutions; (c) loans of securities as permitted by applicable law or pursuant to an exemptive order granted under the Act; and (d) loans to affiliates of the Fund to the extent permitted by law;

 

  (4)

Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the sale of portfolio securities by the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriting;

 

  (5)

Purchase, hold or deal in real estate, although the Fund may purchase and sell securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein or that reflect the return of an index of real estate values, securities of issuers which invest or deal in real estate, securities of real estate investment trusts and mortgage-related securities and may hold and sell real estate it has acquired as a result of the ownership of securities;

 

  (6)

Invest in physical commodities, except that the Fund may invest in currency and financial instruments and contracts in accordance with its investment objective and policies, including, without limitation, structured notes, futures contracts, swaps, options on commodities, currencies, swaps and futures, ETFs, investment pools and other instruments, regardless of whether such instrument is considered to be a commodity; and

 

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  (7)

Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.

The Fund may, notwithstanding any other fundamental investment restriction or policy, invest some or all of its assets in a single open-end investment company or series thereof with substantially the same fundamental investment restrictions and policies as the Fund.

For purposes of the Fund’s industry concentration policy, the Investment Adviser may analyze the characteristics of a particular issuer and instrument and may assign an industry classification consistent with those characteristics. The Investment Adviser may, but need not, consider industry classifications provided by third parties, and the classifications applied to Fund investments will be informed by applicable law.

 

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TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS

The Trust’s Leadership Structure

The business and affairs of the Fund are managed under the direction of the Board of Trustees (the “Board”), subject to the laws of the State of Delaware and the Trust’s Declaration of Trust. The Trustees are responsible for deciding matters of overall policy and reviewing the actions of the Trust’s service providers. The officers of the Trust conduct and supervise the Fund’s daily business operations. Trustees who are not deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust as defined in the Act are referred to as “Independent Trustees.” Trustees who are deemed to be “interested persons” of the Trust are referred to as “Interested Trustees.” The Board is currently composed of four Independent Trustees and one Interested Trustee. The Board has selected an Independent Trustee to act as Chairman, whose duties include presiding at meetings of the Board and acting as a focal point to address significant issues that may arise between regularly scheduled Board and Committee meetings. In the performance of the Chairman’s duties, the Chairman will consult with the other Independent Trustees and the Fund’s officers and legal counsel, as appropriate. The Chairman may perform other functions as requested by the Board from time to time.

The Board meets as often as necessary to discharge its responsibilities. Currently, the Board conducts regular, in-person meetings at least four times a year, and holds special in-person or telephonic meetings as necessary to address specific issues that require attention prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting. In addition, the Independent Trustees meet at least annually to review, among other things, investment management agreements, distribution and/or service plans and related agreements, transfer agency agreements and certain other agreements providing for the compensation of Goldman Sachs and/or its affiliates by the Fund, and to consider such other matters as they deem appropriate.

The Board has established five standing committees – Audit, Governance and Nominating, Compliance, Valuation and Contract Review Committees. The Board may establish other committees, or nominate one or more Trustees to examine particular issues related to the Board’s oversight responsibilities, from time to time. Each Committee meets periodically to perform its delegated oversight functions and reports its findings and recommendations to the Board. For more information on the Committees, see the section “STANDING BOARD COMMITTEES,” below.

The Trustees have determined that the Trust’s leadership structure is appropriate because it allows the Trustees to effectively perform their oversight responsibilities.

 

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Trustees of the Trust

Information pertaining to the Trustees of the Trust as of April 9, 2021 is set forth below.

Independent Trustees

 


Name, Address

and Age1

  

Position(s)

Held with

the Trust

  

Term of

Office and

Length of

Time Served2

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

   Number
of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen
by
Trustee3
    

Other
Directorships

Held by
Trustee4

Lawrence W.

Stranghoener

Age: 66

   Chairman of the Board of Trustees    Trustee since 2015; Chairman since 2017   

Mr. Stranghoener is retired. He is Chairman, Kennametal, Inc. (a global manufacturer and distributor of tooling and industrial materials) (2003-Present); and was formerly Director, Aleris Corporation and Aleris International, Inc. (a producer of aluminum rolled products) (2011-2020); Interim Chief Executive Officer (2014) and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (2004–2014), Mosaic Company (a fertilizer manufacturing company).

 

Chairman of the Board of Trustees—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

     38      Kennametal, Inc. (a global manufacturer and distributor of tooling and industrial materials)

Linda A. Lang

Age: 62

   Trustee    Since 2016   

Ms. Lang is retired. She was formerly Chair of the Board of Directors (2016–2019); and Member of the Board of Directors, WD-40 Company (a global consumer products company) (2004–2019); Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (2005–2014); and Director, President and Chief Operating Officer, Jack in the Box, Inc. (a restaurant company) (2003–2005). Previously, Ms. Lang served as an Advisory Board Member of Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund (February 2016 – March 2016).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

     38      None

Michael Latham

Age: 55

   Trustee    Since 2015   

Mr. Latham is retired. Formerly, he held senior management positions with the iShares exchange-traded fund business, including Chairman (2011–2014); Global Head (2010–2011); U.S. Head (2007–2010); and Chief Operating Officer (2003–2007).

 

Trustee—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

     38      None

 

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Interested Trustee

 

James A. McNamara*

Age: 58

   President and Trustee    Since 2014   

Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018–Present); Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2000–December 2017); Director of Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April 1998–December 2000); and Senior Vice President and Manager, Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation (January 1993–April 1998).

 

President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

   161    None

 

*

Mr. McNamara is considered to be an “Interested Trustee” because he holds positions with Goldman Sachs and owns securities issued by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Mr. McNamara holds comparable positions with certain other companies of which Goldman Sachs, GSAM or an affiliate thereof is the investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor.

 

1

Each Trustee may be contacted by writing to the Trustee, c/o Goldman Sachs, 200 West Street, New York, New York, 10282, Attn: Caroline Kraus.

 

2

Subject to such policies as may be adopted by the Board from time-to-time, each Trustee holds office for an indefinite term, until the earliest of: (a) the election of his or her successor; (b) the date the Trustee resigns or is removed by the Board or shareholders, in accordance with the Trust’s Declaration of Trust; or (c) the termination of the Trust. The Board has adopted policies which provide that each Independent Trustee shall retire as of December 31st of the calendar year in which he or she reaches (a) his or her 74th birthday or (b) the 15th anniversary of the date he or she became a Trustee, whichever is earlier, unless a waiver of such requirements shall have been adopted by a majority of the other Trustees. These policies may be changed by the Trustees without shareholder vote.

 

3

The Goldman Sachs Fund Complex includes certain other companies listed above for each respective Trustee. As of April 9, 2021, Goldman Sachs ETF Trust consisted of 35 portfolios (20 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs Trust consisted of 92 portfolios (90 of which offered shares to the public); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust consisted of 13 portfolios; Goldman Sachs Trust II consisted of 18 portfolios (16 of which offered shares to the public); and Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund, Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund each consisted of one portfolio. Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund did not offer shares to the public.

 

4

This column includes only directorships of companies required to report to the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (i.e., “public companies”) or other investment companies registered under the Act.

The significance or relevance of a Trustee’s particular experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills is considered by the Board on an individual basis. Experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills common to all Trustees include the ability to critically review, evaluate and discuss information provided to them and to interact effectively with the other Trustees and with representatives of the Investment Adviser and its affiliates, other service providers, legal counsel and the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm, the capacity to address financial and legal issues and exercise reasonable business judgment, and a commitment to the representation of the interests of the Fund and its shareholders. The Governance and Nominating Committee’s charter contains certain other factors that are considered by the Governance and Nominating Committee in identifying and evaluating potential nominees to serve as Independent Trustees. Based on each Trustee’s experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills, considered individually and with respect to the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of other Trustees, the Board has concluded that each Trustee should serve as a Trustee. Below is a brief discussion of the experience, qualifications, attributes and/or skills of each individual Trustee as of April 9, 2021 that led the Board to conclude that such individual should serve as a Trustee.

Lawrence W. Stranghoener. Mr. Stranghoener has served as a Trustee of the Trust since 2015 and Chairman of the Board of Trustees since 2017. Mr. Stranghoener is retired. Mr. Stranghoener is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kennametal, Inc., a global manufacturer and distributor of tooling and industrial materials. Previously, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Aleris Corporation and Aleris International, Inc., which provided aluminum rolled products and extrusions, aluminum recycling, and specification alloy production, where he served as Chair of the Audit Committee and also served on the Compensation Committee. Mr. Stranghoener also held several senior management positions at Mosaic Company, a fertilizer manufacturing company, where he worked for 10 years, most recently as Interim Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. As Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Mosaic Company, Mr. Stranghoener implemented public company processes, policies and performance standards to transition the company from private to public ownership and oversaw the company’s controller, treasury, tax, investor relations, strategy and business development, and internal audit functions. He also led the integration of Mosaic Company with IMC Global, Inc. during their merger. Previously, Mr. Stranghoener served for three years as Executive Vice President and Chief

 

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Financial Officer for Thrivent Financial, a non-profit, financial services organization and Techies.com, an internet-based professional services company. Mr. Stranghoener also held several senior management positions at Honeywell International, Inc. where he worked for 17 years, most recently as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Stranghoener is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Linda A. Lang. Ms. Lang has served as a Trustee of the Trust since 2016. Ms. Lang is retired. Ms. Lang was formerly Chair of the Board of Directors of WD-40 Company, a global consumer products company, where she served on the Compensation and Finance Committees. Ms. Lang also previously held several senior management positions at Jack in the Box, Inc., a restaurant company listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market, where she worked for 30 years, most recently as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Over that time, she was involved in the areas of strategic planning, capital structure and deployment, and enterprise risk management. Based on the foregoing, Ms. Lang is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Michael Latham. Mr. Latham has served as a Trustee of the Trust since 2015. Mr. Latham is retired. Mr. Latham has been designated as the Board’s “audit committee financial expert” given his extensive accounting and finance experience. Previously, he held several senior management positions for 15 years with the iShares exchange-traded fund business owned by BlackRock, Inc. and previously owned by Barclays Global Investors, most recently as Chairman and Global Head of the business. In that capacity he was one of the lead executives responsible for the growth of the business. He was also involved in governance of the iShares funds, serving initially as Principal Financial Officer and later as President and Principal Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Latham is a certified public accountant, and before joining Barclays Global Investors, he worked at Ernst and Young for over five years. Based on the foregoing, Mr. Latham is experienced with accounting, financial and investment matters.

James A. McNamara. Mr. McNamara has served as a Trustee and President of the Trust since 2014. Mr. McNamara is an Advisory Director to Goldman Sachs. Prior to retiring as Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in 2017, Mr. McNamara was head of Global Third Party Distribution at GSAM and was previously head of U.S. Third Party Distribution. Prior to that role, Mr. McNamara served as Director of Institutional Fund Sales. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Mr. McNamara was Vice President and Manager at Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation. Based on the foregoing, Mr. McNamara is experienced with financial and investment matters.

Officers of the Trust

Information pertaining to the Officers of the Trust as of April 9, 2021 is set forth below.

 

Name

  

Position(s) Held
with the Trust(s)

  

Term of Office and
Length of Time
Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

James A. McNamara

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 58

  

Trustee and

President

   Since 2014   

Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018 – Present); Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2000 – December 2017); Director of Institutional Fund Sales, GSAM (April 1998 – December 2000); and Senior Vice President and Manager, Dreyfus Institutional Service Corporation (January 1993 – April 1998).

 

President and Trustee—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

Joseph F. DiMaria

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 52

   Treasurer, Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer    Since 2017 (Treasurer and Principal Financial Officer since 2019)   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (November 2015 – Present) and Vice President – Mutual Fund Administration, Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC (May 2010 – October 2015).

 

Treasurer, Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust (previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs Trust (previously Assistant Treasurer (2016)); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (previously Assistant Treasurer (2016)); Goldman Sachs Trust II (previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund (previously Assistant Treasurer (2017)); Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

 

B-54


Name

  

Position(s) Held
with the Trust(s)

  

Term of Office and
Length of Time
Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

Julien Yoo

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 49

   Chief Compliance Officer    Since 2014   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2020–Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (December 2014–December 2019); and Vice President, Morgan Stanley Investment Management (2005–2010).

 

Chief Compliance Officer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Peter W. Fortner

30 Hudson Street Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 63

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2014   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (July 2000–Present); Principal Accounting Officer, Commerce Bank Mutual Fund Complex (2008–Present); and Treasurer of Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund (2019–Present).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Allison Fracchiolla

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 37

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2014   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2013 – Present).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; and Goldman Sachs Trust II.

Tyler Hanks

222 S. Main St

Salt Lake City, UT

84101

Age: 39

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2016 — Present); and Associate, Goldman Sachs (January 2014 — January 2016).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Kirsten Frivold Imohiosen

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 50

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2018 – Present); and Vice President, Goldman Sachs (May 1999 – December 2017).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Steven Z. Indich

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 51

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (February 2010 – Present).

 

Assistant Treasurer—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

B-55


Name

  

Position(s) Held
with the Trust(s)

  

Term of Office and
Length of Time
Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

Carol Liu

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ

07302

Age: 46

   Assistant Treasurer    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (October 2017 – Present); Tax Director, The Raine Group LLC (August 2015 – October 2017); and Tax Director, Icon Investments LLC (January 2012 – August 2015).

 

Assistant Treasurer— Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Christopher Bradford

30 Hudson Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Age: 39

   Vice President    Since 2020   

 

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2014–Present).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Michael Crinieri

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 56

   Vice President    Since 2014   

 

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2002 – Present); and Vice President, Goldman Sachs (April 2000 – January 2002).

Vice President—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust.

Emily Stecher

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 33

   Vice President    Since 2020   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2020–Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (January 2015–December 2019).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Michael Twohig

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 55

   Vice President    Since 2019   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (2014 – Present).

 

Vice President—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

Caroline L. Kraus

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 43

   Secretary    Since 2014   

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs (January 2016–Present); Vice President, Goldman Sachs (August 2006–December 2015); Senior Counsel, Goldman Sachs (January 2020–Present); Associate General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (2012–December 2019); Assistant General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (August 2006–December 2011); and Associate, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP (2002–2006).

 

Secretary—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust (previously Assistant Secretary (2012)); Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust (previously Assistant Secretary (2012)); Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc.; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit LLC; Goldman Sachs Private Middle Market Credit II LLC; Goldman Sachs Middle Market Lending Corp.; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

 

B-56



Name

  

Position(s) Held
with the Trust(s)

  

Term of Office and
Length of Time
Served1

  

Principal Occupation(s)

During Past 5 Years

Robert Griffith

200 West Street

New York, NY

10282

Age: 46

   Assistant Secretary    Since 2018   

Vice President, Goldman Sachs (August 2011 – Present); Associate General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (December 2014 – Present); Assistant General Counsel, Goldman Sachs (August 2011 – December 2014); Vice President and Counsel, Nomura Holding America, Inc. (2010 – 2011); and Associate, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP (2005 – 2010).

 

Assistant Secretary—Goldman Sachs ETF Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust; Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust; Goldman Sachs Trust II; Goldman Sachs MLP and Energy Renaissance Fund; Goldman Sachs Credit Income Fund; and Goldman Sachs Real Estate Diversified Income Fund.

 

 

1 

Officers hold office at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees or until their successors are duly elected and qualified. Each officer holds comparable positions with certain other companies of which Goldman Sachs, GSAM or an affiliate thereof is the investment adviser, administrator and/or distributor.

Standing Board Committees

The Audit Committee oversees the audit process and provides assistance to the Board with respect to fund accounting, tax compliance and financial statement matters. In performing its responsibilities, the Audit Committee selects and recommends annually to the Board an independent registered public accounting firm to audit the books and records of the Trust for the ensuing year, and reviews with the firm the scope and results of each audit. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Audit Committee, and Mr. Latham serves as the Chair of the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee met five times during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020.

The Governance and Nominating Committee has been established to: (i) assist the Board in matters involving fund governance, which includes making recommendations to the Board with respect to the effectiveness of the Board in carrying out its responsibilities in governing the Fund and overseeing its management; (ii) select and nominate candidates for appointment or election to serve as Independent Trustees; and (iii) advise the Board on ways to improve its effectiveness. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Governance and Nominating Committee.    As stated above, each Trustee holds office for an indefinite term until the occurrence of certain events. In filling Board vacancies, the Governance and Nominating Committee will consider nominees recommended by shareholders. Nominee recommendations should be submitted to the Trust at its mailing address stated in the Fund’s Prospectus and should be directed to the attention of the Goldman Sachs Trust Governance and Nominating Committee. The Governance and Nominating Committee met three times during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020.

The Compliance Committee has been established for the purpose of overseeing the compliance processes: (i) of the Fund; and (ii) insofar as they relate to services provided to the Fund, of the Fund’s Investment Adviser, Distributor, administrator (if any), and Transfer Agent, except that compliance processes relating to the accounting and financial reporting processes, and certain related matters, are overseen by the Audit Committee. In addition, the Compliance Committee provides assistance to the full Board with respect to compliance matters.    All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Compliance Committee. The Compliance Committee met four times during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020.

The Valuation Committee is authorized to act for the Board in connection with the valuation of portfolio securities held by the Fund in accordance with the Trust’s Valuation Procedures. Messrs. McNamara and DiMaria serve on the Valuation Committee. The Valuation Committee met twelve times during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020.

The Contract Review Committee has been established for the purpose of overseeing the processes of the Board for reviewing and monitoring performance under the Fund’s investment management, distribution, transfer agency, and certain other agreements with the Fund’s Investment Adviser and its affiliates. The Contract Review Committee is also responsible for overseeing the Board’s processes for considering and reviewing performance under the operation of the Fund’s distribution, service, shareholder administration and other plans, and any agreements related to the plans. The Contract Review Committee also provides appropriate assistance to the Board in connection with the Board’s approval, oversight and review of the Fund’s other service providers including, without limitation, the Fund’s custodian/accounting agent, sub-transfer agents, professional (legal and accounting) firms and printing firms. All of the Independent Trustees serve on the Contract Review Committee. The Contract Review Committee met two times during the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020.

 

B-57


Risk Oversight

The Board is responsible for the oversight of the activities of the Fund, including oversight of risk management. Day-to-day risk management with respect to the Fund is the responsibility of GSAM or other service providers (depending on the nature of the risk), subject to supervision by GSAM. The risks of the Fund include, but are not limited to, liquidity risk, investment risk, compliance risk, operational risk, reputational risk, credit risk and counterparty risk. Each of GSAM and the other service providers have their own independent interest in risk management and their policies and methods of risk management may differ from the Fund and each other’s in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result, the Board recognizes that it is not possible to identify all of the risks that may affect the Fund or to develop processes and controls to eliminate or mitigate their occurrence or effects, and that some risks are simply beyond the control of the Fund or GSAM, their respective affiliates or other service providers.

The Board effectuates its oversight role primarily through regular and special meetings of the Board and Board committees. In certain cases, risk management issues are specifically addressed in reports, presentations and discussions. For example, on an annual basis, GSAM will provide the Board with a written report that addresses the operation, adequacy and effectiveness of the Trust’s liquidity risk management program, which is designed to assess and manage the Fund’s liquidity risk. In addition, investment risk is discussed in the context of regular presentations to the Board on Fund strategy. Other types of risk are addressed as part of presentations on related topics (e.g. compliance policies) or in the context of presentations focused specifically on one or more risks. The Board also receives reports from GSAM management on operational risks, reputational risks and counterparty risks relating to the Fund.

Board oversight of risk management is also performed by various Board committees. For example, the Audit Committee meets with both the Fund’s independent registered public accounting firm and GSAM’s internal audit group to review risk controls in place that support the Fund as well as test results, and the Compliance Committee meets with the CCO and representatives of GSAM’s compliance group to review testing results of the Fund’s compliance policies and procedures and other compliance issues. Board oversight of risk is also performed as needed between meetings through communications between the GSAM and the Board. The Board may, at any time and in its discretion, change the manner in which it conducts risk oversight. The Board’s oversight role does not make the Board a guarantor of the Fund’s investments or activities.

Trustee Ownership of Fund Shares

The following table shows the dollar range of shares beneficially owned by each Trustee in the Fund and other portfolios of the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex as of December 31, 2020.

 

Name of Trustee

   Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in the Fund1
   Aggregate Dollar Range of
Equity Securities in All
Portfolios in Fund Complex
Overseen By Trustee

Lawrence W. Stranghoener

   —      Over $100,000

Linda A. Lang

   —      Over $100,000

Michael Latham

   —      Over $100,000

James A. McNamara

   —      Over $100,000

 

1 

Includes the value of shares beneficially owned by each Trustee in the Fund.

As of April 9, 2021, the Fund had not commenced operations, and therefore the Trustees and Officers of the Trust did not own any of the outstanding shares of beneficial interest of the Fund.

Board Compensation

Each Independent Trustee is compensated with a unitary annual fee for his or her services as a Trustee of the Trust and as a member of the Governance and Nominating Committee, Compliance Committee, Contract Review Committee, and Audit Committee. The Chairman and “audit committee financial expert” receive additional compensation for their services. The Independent Trustees are also reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses incurred in connection with attending such meetings. The Trust may also pay the reasonable incidental costs of a Trustee to attend training or other types of conferences relating to the investment company industry.

The following table sets forth certain information with respect to the compensation of each Trustee of the Trust for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020:

 

B-58


Trustee Compensation

 

Name of Trustee

   Goldman Sachs Future
Tech Leaders Equity ETF*
   Pension or Retirement
Benefits Accrued as Part
Of the Trust’s Expenses
     Total Compensation From
the Fund Complex**
 

Lawrence W. Stranghoener (1)

   —      $ 0      $ 207,655  

Linda A. Lang

   —      $ 0      $ 165,133  

Michael Latham

   —      $ 0      $ 165,133  

James A. McNamara(2)

   —        —          —    

 

*

The Fund had not commenced operations as of April 9, 2021. Under current compensation arrangements, it is estimated that the Trustees will receive the following compensation from the Fund for the current fiscal year: Mr. Stranghoener $179; Ms. Lang $159; Mr. Latham $159; and Mr. McNamara $0.

** 

Represents fees paid to each Trustee during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 from the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex. Includes fees paid with respect to Goldman Sachs MLP Income Opportunities Fund.

1 

Includes compensation as Board Chair.

2 

Mr. McNamara is an Interested Trustee, and as such, receives no compensation from the Fund or the Goldman Sachs Fund Complex.

Miscellaneous

The Trust, its Investment Adviser and the Distributor have adopted codes of ethics under Rule 17j-1 of the Act that permit personnel subject to their particular codes of ethics to invest in securities, including securities that may be purchased or held by the Fund.

 

B-59


MANAGEMENT SERVICES

As stated in the Fund’s Prospectus, GSAM, 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282, serves as Investment Adviser to the Fund. GSAM is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs. See “Service Providers” in the Fund’s Prospectus for a description of the Investment Adviser’s duties to the Fund.

Founded in 1869, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a publicly-held financial holding company and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Goldman Sachs is a leader in developing portfolio strategies and in many fields of investing and financing, participating in financial markets worldwide and serving individuals, institutions, corporations and governments. Goldman Sachs is also among the principal market sources for current and thorough information on companies, industrial sectors, markets, economies and currencies, and trades and makes markets in a wide range of equity and debt securities 24 hours a day. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in countries throughout the world. It has trading professionals throughout the United States, as well as in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Seoul, Sao Paulo and other major financial centers around the world. The active participation of Goldman Sachs in the world’s financial markets enhances its ability to identify attractive investments. Goldman Sachs has agreed to permit the Fund to use the name “Goldman Sachs” or a derivative thereof as part of the Fund’s name for as long as the Fund’s management agreement (the “Management Agreement”) is in effect.

The Management Agreement provides that GSAM, in its capacity as Investment Adviser, may render similar services to others so long as the services under the Management Agreement are not impaired thereby. The Fund’s Management Agreement was approved by the Trustees of the Trust, including a majority of the Trustees of the Trust who are not parties to such agreement or “interested persons” (as such term is defined in the Act) of any party thereto (the “non-interested Trustees”), on March 16-17, 2021. A discussion regarding the Board of Trustees’ basis for approving the Management Agreement will be available in the Fund’s annual report or semi-annual report following its launch.

The Management Agreement will remain in effect for an initial two-year period and will continue in effect with respect to the Fund from year to year thereafter provided such continuance is specifically approved at least annually as set forth in the Management Agreement.

The Management Agreement will terminate automatically if assigned (as defined in the Act). The Management Agreement is also terminable at any time without penalty by the Trustees of the Trust or by vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund on 60 days’ written notice to the Investment Adviser or by the Investment Adviser on 60 days’ written notice to the Trust.

Pursuant to the Management Agreement, the Investment Adviser is entitled to receive the fee set forth below, payable monthly based on the Fund’s average daily net assets. Under the Management Agreement, the Investment Adviser is responsible for substantially all the expenses of the Fund, excluding payments under the Fund’s 12b-1 plan (if any), interest expenses, taxes, acquired fund fees and expenses, brokerage fees, costs of holding shareholder meetings and litigation, indemnification and extraordinary expenses.

 

Fund

   Contractual Rate
Goldman Sachs Future Tech Leaders Equity ETF    0.75%

Since the Fund is newly-organized, it did not pay management fees during the last three fiscal years.

The imposition of the Investment Adviser’s fees will have the effect of reducing the total return to investors. From time to time, the Investment Adviser may waive receipt of its fees, which would have the effect of lowering the Fund’s overall expense ratio and increasing total return to investors at the time such amounts are waived.

The Investment Adviser may waive a portion of its management fee, including fees earned as the Investment Adviser to the any of affiliated funds in which the Fund invests, from time to time, and may discontinue or modify any such waiver in the future, consistent with the terms of any fee waiver arrangements in place. Any such waiver would be voluntary and may be terminated at any time.

In addition to providing advisory services, under the Fund’s Management Agreement, the Investment Adviser also, to the extent such services are not required to be performed by others pursuant to the fund administration and accounting agreement, the custodian agreement, the transfer agency agreement, distribution agreement or such other agreements with service providers to the Fund that the Board has approved: (i) supervises all non-advisory operations of the Fund that it advises; (ii) provides personnel to perform such executive, administrative and clerical services as are reasonably necessary to provide effective administration of the Fund; (iii) arranges for: (a) the preparation of all required tax returns, (b) the preparation and submission of reports to existing shareholders, (c) the periodic updating of prospectuses and statements of additional information and (d) the preparation of reports to be filed with the SEC and other regulatory authorities; (iv) maintains the Fund’s records; and (v) provides office space and all necessary office equipment and services.

 

B-60


Legal Proceedings. On October 22, 2020, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. announced a settlement of matters involving 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB), a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, with the United States Department of Justice as well as criminal and civil authorities in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong. Further information regarding the 1MDB settlement can be found at https://www.goldmansachs.com/media-relations/press-releases/current/goldman-sachs-2020-10-22.html. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. previously entered into a settlement agreement with the Government of Malaysia and 1MDB to resolve all criminal and regulatory proceedings in Malaysia relating to 1MDB.

The Investment Adviser, Goldman Sachs and certain of their affiliates have received exemptive relief from the SEC to permit them to continue serving as investment adviser and principal underwriter for U.S.-registered investment companies.

 

B-61


Portfolio Managers – Other Accounts Managed by the Portfolio Managers

The following table discloses accounts within each type of category listed below for which the portfolio managers are jointly and primarily responsible for day to day portfolio management as of December 31, 2020 unless otherwise noted.

For each portfolio manager listed below, the total number of accounts managed is a reflection of accounts within the strategy they oversee or manage. There may be multiple portfolio managers involved with each account.

 

    Number of Other Accounts Managed and Total Assets by
Account Type
    Number of Accounts and Total Assets for Which Advisory
Fee is Performance Based
 
    Registered
Investment
Companies
    Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
    Other
Accounts
    Registered
Investment
Companies
    Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
    Other
Accounts
 

Name of Portfolio

Manager

  Number of
Accounts
    Assets
Managed
    Number of
Accounts
    Assets
Managed
    Number of
Accounts
    Assets
Managed
    Number of
Accounts
    Assets
Managed
    Number of
Accounts
    Assets
Managed
    Number of
Accounts
    Assets
Managed
 

Future Tech Leaders Equity

                       

Sung Cho

    2     $ 1,889       2     $ 3,840       9     $ 9,186       —         —         —         —         —         —    

Charles “Brook” Dane

    5     $ 2,591       2     $ 3,840       13     $ 11,364       —         —         —         —         —         —    

Nathan Lin

    0     $ 0       2     $ 5,233       1     $ 69       —         —         —         —         —         —    

Raj Garigipati

    12     $ 16,914       2     $ 38       0     $ 0       —         —         —         —         —         —    

Jamie McGregor

    12     $ 16,914       2     $ 38       0       0       —         —         —         —         —         —    

† Footnotes:

  1.

Asset information is in USD millions unless otherwise specified.

  2.