485APOS 1 tv525139_485apos.htm 485APOS

 

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 16, 2019

File No. 033-65137

File No. 811-07455

 

 

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. 102

 

and/or

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

     
 

Under the INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940

  Amendment No. 103

(Check appropriate box or boxes)

 

Virtus Opportunities Trust

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

Area Code and Telephone Number: (800) 243-1574

 

101 Munson Street

Greenfield, Massachusetts 01301

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

Kevin J. Carr, Esq.

Counsel

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc.

One Financial Plaza

Hartford, Connecticut 06103

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

Copies of All Correspondence to:

David C. Mahaffey, Esq.

Sullivan & Worcester LLP

1666 K Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20006

 

It is proposed that this filing will become effective (check appropriate box):

 

immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)
on                  pursuant to paragraph (b) of Rule 485
60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)
on                  or at such later date as the Commission shall order pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)
75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)
on _____________ pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485.

 

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

this post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROSPECTUS
VIRTUS OPPORTUNITIES TRUST
[MISSING IMAGE: lg_virtusfunds-2019.jpg]
[September __, 2019]
TICKER SYMBOL BY CLASS
FUND
A
C
I
R6
Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund
[TBD]
[TBD]
[TBD]
[TBD]
The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the state securities commissions have not approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense. This prospectus contains important information that you should know before investing in Virtus Mutual Funds. Please read it carefully and retain it for future reference.
Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paper copies of the fund’s shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless specifically requested from the fund or from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. Instead, the reports will be made available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.
You may elect at any time to receive not only shareholder reports but also certain other communications such as prospectuses from the fund electronically, or you may elect to receive all future shareholder reports in paper free of charge to you. If you own your shares directly with the fund, you may make such elections by calling the fund at 1-800-243-1574 or, with respect to requesting electronic delivery, by visiting www.virtus.com. An election made directly with the fund will apply to all Virtus Mutual Funds in which you own shares directly. If you own your shares through a financial intermediary, please contact your financial intermediary to make your request and to determine whether your election will apply to all funds in which you own shares through that intermediary.
Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • May Lose Value

Virtus Mutual Funds
Table of Contents
FUND SUMMARY
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RISKS RELATED TO PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES

Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund
Investment Objective
The fund has an investment objective of capital appreciation.
Fees and Expenses
The tables below illustrate all fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy and hold shares of the fund. You may qualify for sales charge discounts in Class A Shares if you and your family invest, or agree to invest in the future, at least $50,000 in Virtus Funds. More information on these and other discounts is available: (i) from your financial advisor or other financial intermediary; (ii) under “Sales Charges” on page 12 of the fund’s prospectus; (iii) with respect to purchase of shares through specific intermediaries, in Appendix A to the fund’s prospectus, entitled “Intermediary Sales Charge Discounts and Waivers;” and (iv) under “Alternative Purchase Arrangements” on page 76 of the fund’s statement of additional information.
Shareholder Fees (fees paid directly from your investment)
Class A
Class C
Class I
Class R6
Maximum Sales Charge (load) Imposed on Purchases (as a percentage of
offering price)
[___] % [___] % [___] % [___] %
Maximum Deferred Sales Charge (load) (as a percentage of the lesser of purchase price or redemption proceeds)
[___] % [___] %(a) [___] % [___] %
Annual Fund Operating Expenses (expenses that you pay each year as a
percentage of the value of your investment)
Class A
Class C
Class I
Class R6
Management Fees
[___] % [___] % [___] % [___] %
Distribution and Shareholder Servicing (12b-1) fees
[___] % [___] % [___] % [___] %
Other Expenses(b)
[___] % [___] % [___] % [___] %
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses
[___] % [___] % [___] % [___] %
Less: Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement(c)
[___] % [___] % [___] % [___] %
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Expense Reimbursement(c)
[___] % [___] % [___] % [___] %
(a)
The deferred sales charge is imposed on Class C Shares redeemed during the first year only.
(b)
Estimated for current fiscal year, as annualized.
(c)
The fund’s investment adviser has contractually agreed to limit the fund’s total operating expenses (excluding certain expenses, such as front-end or contingent deferred sales charges, taxes, leverage expenses, interest, brokerage commissions, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization, unusual or infrequently occurring expenses (such as litigation), acquired fund fees and expenses, and dividend expenses, if any) so that such expenses do not exceed [___]% for Class A Shares, [___]% for Class C Shares, [___]% for Class I Shares and [___]% for Class R6 Shares through January 31, 2021. Following the contractual period, the adviser may discontinue these expense reimbursement arrangements at any time. Under certain conditions, the adviser may recapture operating expenses reimbursed and/or fees waived under these arrangements for a period of three years following the date such waiver or reimbursement occurred, provided that the recapture does not cause the fund to exceed its expense limit in effect at the time of the waiver or reimbursement, or at the time of recapture.
Example
This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year, that the fund’s operating expenses remain the same and that the expense reimbursement arrangement remains in place for the contractual period. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
Share Status
1 Year
3 Years
Class A
Sold or Held
$[___] $[___]
Class C
Sold
$[___] $[___]
Held
$[___] $[___]
Class I
Sold or Held
$[___] $[___]
Class R6
Sold or Held
$[___] $[___]
Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund1

Portfolio Turnover
The fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the example, affect the fund’s performance. As of the date of this prospectus, the fund has not completed a fiscal year of operations; therefore, portfolio turnover information for the fund is not shown here.
Investments, Risks and Performance
Principal Investment Strategies
Under normal circumstances, the fund invests at least 80% of its assets in equity securities of non-U.S. small- and mid-capitalization companies. As of the date of this Prospectus, the fund’s subadviser considers small- and mid-capitalization companies to be those companies that, at the time of initial purchase, have market capitalizations generally within the range of companies included in the MSCI All Country World ex U.S. SMID Cap Index on a rolling three-year basis. As of April 30, 2019, the total market capitalization range of companies included in the MSCI All Country World ex U.S. SMID Cap Index over the past three years was $0 to $27.6 billion. The fund intends to diversify its investments among countries and normally to have represented in the portfolio business activities of a number of different countries. In determining “location” of an issuer, the subadviser primarily relies on the country where the issuer is incorporated. However, the country of risk is ultimately determined based on analysis of the following criteria: actual building address (domicile), primary exchange on which the security is traded and country in which the greatest percentage of company revenue is generated. This evaluation is conducted so as to determine that the issuer’s assets are exposed to the economic fortunes and risks of the designated country.
Equity securities in which the fund invests include common stocks, preferred stocks and American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). The fund may invest in emerging markets issuers. The fund is non-diversified under federal securities laws.
Principal Risks
The fund may not achieve its objective(s), and it is not intended to be a complete investment program. The value of the fund’s investments that supports your share value may decrease. If between the time you purchase shares and the time you sell shares the value of the fund’s investments decreases, you will lose money. Investment values can decrease for a number of reasons. Conditions affecting the overall economy, specific industries or companies in which the fund invests can be worse than expected, and investments may fail to perform as the subadviser expects. As a result, the value of your shares may decrease. Purchase and redemption activities by fund shareholders may impact the management of the fund and its ability to achieve its investment objective(s). The principal risks of investing in the fund are identified below. The risks are listed in alphabetical order, which is not necessarily indicative of importance.
>
Depositary Receipts Risk.  The risk that investments in foreign companies through depositary receipts will expose the fund to the same risks as direct investments in securities of foreign issuers.
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Emerging Market Investing Risk.  The risk that prices of emerging markets securities will be more volatile, or will be more greatly affected by negative conditions, than those of their counterparts in more established foreign markets.
>
Equity Securities Risk.  The risk that events negatively affecting issuers, industries or financial markets in which the fund invests will impact the value of the stocks held by the fund and, thus, the value of the fund’s shares over short or extended periods. Investments in a particular style or in small or medium-sized companies may enhance that risk.
>
Foreign Investing Risk.  The risk that the prices of foreign securities in the fund’s portfolio will be more volatile than those of domestic securities, or will be negatively affected by currency fluctuations, less regulated or liquid securities markets, or economic, political or other developments.
>
Limited Number of Investments Risk.  The risk that the fund’s portfolio will be more susceptible to factors adversely affecting issuers of securities in the fund’s portfolio than would a fund holding a greater number of securities.
>
Market Volatility Risk.  The risk that the value of the securities in which the fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of individual issuers and/or general economic conditions. Such price changes may be temporary or may last for extended periods.
2Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund

>
New Fund Risk.  The risk that the fund may not grow to an economically viable size, in which case the fund may cease operations and investors may be required to liquidate or transfer their investments at an inopportune time.
>
Non-Diversification Risk.  The risk that the fund will be more susceptible to factors negatively impacting the securities in its portfolio to the extent that the fund invests more of its assets in the securities of fewer issuers than would a diversified fund.
>
Preferred Stock Risk.  The risk that a preferred stock will decline in price, fail to pay dividends when expected, or be illiquid.
>
Redemption Risk.  The risk that redemption by one or more large shareholders or groups of shareholders of their holdings in the fund has an adverse impact on the remaining shareholders in the fund by causing the fund to take actions it would not otherwise take at a given time.
>
Small and Medium Market Capitalization Risk.  The risk that the fund’s investments in small and medium market capitalization companies will increase the volatility and risk of loss to the fund, as compared with investments in larger, more established companies.
Performance Information
The fund has not had a full calendar year of operations; therefore, performance information is not shown here. Updated performance information is available at virtus.com or by calling 800-243-1574.
Management
The fund’s investment adviser is Virtus Investment Advisers, Inc. (“VIA”).
The fund’s subadviser is Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC (“KAR”), an affiliate of VIA.
Portfolio Management
>
Hyung Kim,  Portfolio Manager and Senior Research Analyst at KAR. Mr. Kim has served as a Portfolio Manager of the fund since inception in September 2019.
>
Craig Thrasher, CFA,  Portfolio Manager and Senior Research Analyst at KAR. Mr. Thrasher has served as a Portfolio Manager of the fund since inception in September 2019.
Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares
Minimum initial investments applicable to Class A and Class C Shares:

$2,500, generally

$100 for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), systematic purchase or exchange accounts

No minimum for defined contribution plans, asset-based fee programs, profit-sharing plans or employee benefit plans.
Minimum additional investments applicable to Class A and Class C Shares:

$100, generally

No minimum for defined contribution plans, asset-based fee programs, profit-sharing plans or employee benefit plans.
For Class I Shares, the minimum initial purchase is $100,000; there is no minimum for additional purchases.
Class R6 Shares are available only to the following investors without a minimum initial investment or minimum additional purchases: certain employer-sponsored retirement plans, including Section 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans, profit-sharing plans, money purchase pension and defined benefit plans, and non-qualified deferred compensation plans, in each case provided that plan level or omnibus accounts are held on the books of the fund. Other institutional investors may be permitted to purchase Class R6 Shares subject to the fund’s determination of eligibility and may be subject to a $2,500,000 minimum initial investment requirement.
In general, you may buy or sell shares of the fund by mail or telephone on any business day. You also may buy and sell shares through a financial advisor, broker-dealer or other financial intermediary.
Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund3

Taxes
The fund’s distributions are taxable to you as either ordinary income or capital gains, except when your investment is through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account. Such tax-deferred arrangements may be taxed later upon withdrawal of monies from those arrangements.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries
If you purchase the fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the fund and its related companies may pay the intermediary for the sale of fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your financial advisor to recommend the fund over another investment.
No compensation, administrative payments, sub-transfer agency payments or service payments are paid to brokers or other entities from fund assets or the Distributor’s or an affiliate’s resources on sales of or investments in Class R6 Shares. Class R6 Shares do not carry sales commissions or pay Rule 12b-1 fees, or make payments to brokers or other entities to assist in, or in connection with, the sale of the fund’s shares.
Ask your financial advisor or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
4Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund

More Information About Fund Expenses
VIA has contractually agreed to limit the total operating expenses (excluding certain expenses, such as front-end or contingent deferred sales charges, taxes, leverage expenses, interest, brokerage commissions, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization, unusual or infrequently occurring expenses (such as litigation), acquired fund fees and expenses, and dividend expenses, if any) through January 31, 2021 of the fund so that such expenses do not exceed, on an annualized basis, the amounts indicated in the following table.
Class A Shares
Class C Shares
Class I Shares
Class R6 Shares
Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund
[___] % [___] % [___] % [___] %
Following the contractual period, VIA may discontinue these arrangements at any time. Under certain conditions, VIA may recapture operating expenses waived or reimbursed under these expense limitation arrangements for a period of three years following the date such waiver or reimbursement occurred, provided that the recapture does not cause the fund to exceed its expense limit in effect at the time of the waiver or reimbursement, or at the time of recapture.
More Information About Investment Objectives and Principal Investment Strategies
The investment objective and principal strategies of the fund are described in this section. The fund has a non-fundamental investment objective. A non-fundamental investment objective may be changed by the Board of Trustees without shareholder approval. If the fund’s investment objective is changed, the prospectus will be supplemented to reflect the new investment objective and shareholders will be provided with at least 60 days advance notice of such change. There is no guarantee that the fund will achieve its objective.
Please see the statement of additional information (“SAI”) for additional information about the securities and investment strategies described in this prospectus and about additional securities and investment strategies that may be used by the fund.
Virtus Mutual Funds5

Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund
Non-Fundamental Investment Objective:
The fund has an investment objective of capital appreciation.
Principal Investment Strategies:
Under normal circumstances, the fund invests at least 80% of its assets in equity securities of non-U.S. small- and mid-capitalization companies. As of the date of this Prospectus, the fund’s subadviser considers small- and mid-capitalization companies to be those companies that, at the time of initial purchase, have market capitalizations generally within the range of companies included in the MSCI All Country World ex U.S. SMID Cap Index on a rolling three-year basis. As of April 30, 2019, the total market capitalization range of companies included in the MSCI All Country World ex U.S. SMID Cap Index over the past three years was $0 to $27.6 billion. The fund intends to diversify its investments among countries and normally to have represented in the portfolio business activities of a number of different countries. In determining “location” of an issuer, the subadviser primarily relies on the country where the issuer is incorporated. However, the country of risk is ultimately determined based on analysis of the following criteria: actual building address (domicile), primary exchange on which the security is traded and country in which the greatest percentage of company revenue is generated. This evaluation is conducted so as to determine that the issuer’s assets are exposed to the economic fortunes and risks of the designated country.
Equity securities in which the fund invests include common stocks, preferred stocks and ADRs. The fund may invest in emerging markets issuers. Generally, the fund invests in approximately 30-60 securities at any given time. The subadviser uses a strategy emphasizing highly profitable, consistently growing companies with low debt and rising cash flows. If a company meets these criteria, the subadviser researches and analyzes that company’s strength of management, its relative competitive position in the industry and its financial structure. A proprietary model is used to determine relative value.
The subadviser’s sell discipline seeks to dispose of holdings that, among other things, achieve a target price, or are the subject of negative developments individually or as an industry, or as necessary to provide funding to upgrade and improve portfolio holdings. The fund is non-diversified under federal securities laws.
Temporary Defensive Strategy: If the subadviser does not believe that the market conditions are favorable to the fund’s principal investment strategies, the fund may take temporary defensive positions that are inconsistent with its principal investment strategies by investing in cash or money market instruments, including, but not limited to, U.S. Government obligations maturing within one year from the date of purchase. When this allocation happens, the fund may not achieve its investment objective.
Please see “More Information About Risks Related to Principal Investment Strategies” for information about the risks of investing in the fund. Please refer to “Additional Investment Techniques” for other investment techniques of the fund.
6Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund

More Information About Risks Related to Principal Investment Strategies
The fund may not achieve its objective, and is not intended to be a complete investment program.
Generally, the value of the fund’s investments that supports your share value may decrease. If between the time you purchase shares and the time you sell shares the value of the fund’s investments decreases, you will lose money.
Investment values can decrease for a number of reasons. Conditions affecting the overall economy, specific industries or companies in which the fund invests can be worse than expected and investments may fail to perform as the adviser or a subadviser expects. As a result, the value of your shares may decrease.
Specific risks of investing in the fund are described in detail below. The risks are listed in alphabetical order, which is not necessarily indicative of importance.
Depositary Receipts
The fund may invest in American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) sponsored by U.S. banks, European Depositary Receipts (EDRs), Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs), ADRs not sponsored by U.S. banks, other types of depositary receipts (including non-voting depositary receipts), and other similar instruments representing securities of foreign companies.
Although certain depositary receipts may reduce or eliminate some of the risks associated with foreign investing, these types of securities generally are subject to many of the same risks as direct investment in securities of foreign issuers.
Equity Securities
Generally, prices of equity securities are more volatile than those of fixed income securities. The prices of equity securities will rise and fall in response to a number of different factors. In particular, equity securities will respond to events that affect entire financial markets or industries (such as changes in inflation or consumer demand) and to events that affect particular issuers (such as news about the success or failure of a new product). Equity securities also are subject to “stock market risk,” meaning that stock prices in general may decline over short or extended periods of time. When the value of the stocks held by the fund goes down, the value of the fund’s shares will be affected.

Small and Medium Market Capitalization Companies Risk. Small and medium-sized companies often have narrower markets, fewer products or services to offer, and more limited managerial and financial resources than larger, more established companies. As a result, the performance of small and medium-sized companies may be more volatile, and they may face a greater risk of business failure, which could increase the volatility and risk of loss to the fund.
Foreign Investing
Investing in securities of non-U.S. companies involves special risks and considerations not typically associated with investing in U.S. companies, and the values of non-U.S. securities may be more volatile than those of U.S. securities. The values of non-U.S. securities are subject to economic and political developments in countries and regions where the issuers operate or are domiciled, or where the securities are traded, such as changes in economic or monetary policies, and to changes in currency exchange rates. Values may also be affected by restrictions on receiving the investment proceeds from a non-U.S. country.
In general, less information is publicly available about non-U.S. companies than about U.S. companies. Non-U.S. companies are generally not subject to the same accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards as are U.S. companies. Certain foreign issuers classified as passive foreign investment companies may be subject to additional taxation risk.

Emerging Market Investing Risk.  The risks of foreign investments are generally greater in countries whose markets are still developing than they are in more developed markets. Emerging market countries typically have economic and political systems that are less fully developed, and can be expected to be less stable than those of more developed countries. For example, the economies of such countries can be subject to rapid and unpredictable rates of inflation or deflation. Since these markets are often small, they may be more likely to suffer sharp and frequent price changes or long-term price depression because of adverse publicity, investor perceptions or the actions of a few large investors. They may also have policies that restrict investment by foreigners, or that prevent foreign investors from withdrawing their money at will. Certain emerging markets may also face other significant internal or external risks, including the risk of war and civil unrest. For all of these reasons, investments in emerging markets may be considered speculative. To the extent that the fund invests a significant portion of its
Virtus Mutual Funds7

assets in a particular emerging market, the fund will be more vulnerable to financial, economic, political and other developments in that country, and conditions that negatively impact that country will have a greater impact on the fund as compared with a fund that does not have its holdings concentrated in a particular country.
Limited Number of Investments
The risk that the fund’s portfolio will be more susceptible to factors adversely affecting issuers of securities in the fund’s portfolio than would a fund holding a greater number of securities.
Market Volatility
The value of the securities in which the fund invests may go up or down in response to the prospects of individual issuers and/or general economic conditions. Such price changes may be temporary or may last for extended periods.
Instability in the financial markets may expose the fund to greater market and liquidity risk and potential difficulty in valuing portfolio instruments that it holds. In response to financial markets that experienced extreme volatility, and in some cases a lack of liquidity, the U.S. Government and other governments have taken a number of unprecedented actions, including acquiring distressed assets from financial institutions and acquiring ownership interests in those institutions. The implications of government ownership and disposition of these assets are unclear. Additional legislation or government regulation may also change the way in which the fund is regulated, which could limit or preclude the fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective.
New Fund
A new fund may experience additional risk. There can be no assurance that the fund will grow to an economically viable size, in which case the fund may cease operations. In such an event, investors may be required to liquidate or transfer their investments at an inopportune time. You should consider your own investment goals, time horizon and risk tolerance before investing in the fund.
Non-Diversification
As a non-diversified investment company, the fund is not limited in the proportion of assets that it may invest in the securities of any one issuer. If the fund takes concentrated positions in a small number of issuers, the fund may be more susceptible to the risks associated with those issuers, or to a single economic, political, regulatory or other event affecting those issuers.
Preferred Stocks
Preferred stocks may provide a higher dividend rate than the interest yield on debt instruments of the same issuer, but are subject to greater risk of fluctuation in market value and greater risk of non-receipt of income. Unlike interest on debt instruments, dividends on preferred stocks must be declared by the issuer’s board of directors before becoming payable. Preferred stocks are in many ways like perpetual debt instruments, providing a stream of income but without stated maturity date. Because they often lack a fixed maturity or redemption date, preferred stocks are likely to fluctuate substantially in price when interest rates change. Such fluctuations generally are comparable to or exceed those of long-term government or corporate bonds (those with maturities of fifteen to thirty years). Preferred stocks have claims on assets and earnings of the issuer which are subordinate to the claims of all creditors but senior to the claims of common stockholders. A preferred stock rating differs from a bond rating because it applies to an equity issue which is intrinsically different from, and subordinated to, a debt issue. Preferred stock ratings generally represent an assessment of the capacity and willingness of an issuer to pay preferred stock dividends and any applicable sinking fund obligations. Preferred stock also may be subject to optional or mandatory redemption provisions, and may be significantly less liquid than many other securities, such as U.S. Government securities, corporate debt or common stock.
Redemption
The redemption by one or more large shareholders or groups of shareholders of their holdings in the fund could have an adverse impact on the remaining shareholders in the fund by, for example, accelerating the realization of capital gains and/or increasing the fund’s transaction costs.
8Virtus Mutual Funds

Management of the Fund
The Adviser
VIA (also the “Adviser”) is the investment adviser to the fund and is located at One Financial Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103. VIA acts as the investment adviser for over 40 mutual funds. As of June 30, 2019, VIA had approximately $[___] billion in assets under management. VIA has acted as an investment adviser for over 80 years and is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (“Virtus”), a publicly traded multi-manager asset management business.
Subject to the direction of the fund’s Board of Trustees, VIA is responsible for managing the fund’s investment program and for the general operations of the fund, including oversight of the fund’s subadviser, recommending their hiring, termination and replacement.
VIA has appointed and oversees the activities of the subadviser for the fund. The subadviser manages the investments of the fund to conform with its investment policies as described in this prospectus.
Management Fees
The fund pays VIA an investment management fee that is accrued daily against the value of the fund’s average daily net assets at the annual rates shown in the table below.
First $1 billion
$1+ billion
Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund [___]% [___]%
Out of its investment management fee, VIA pays the subadviser a subadvisory fee. For its services to the fund, KAR receives as its subadvisory fee 50% of the net investment management fee.
The Subadviser
KAR, an affiliate of VIA, is located at 1800 Avenue of the Stars, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067. KAR acts as subadviser to mutual funds and as investment adviser to institutions and individuals. As of June 30, 2019, KAR had approximately $[___] billion in assets under management.
The fund and VIA have received shareholder approval to rely on an exemptive order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that permits VIA, subject to certain conditions, and without the approval of shareholders, to: (a) select both unaffiliated subadvisers and certain wholly-owned affiliated subadvisers to manage all or a portion of the assets of the fund, and enter into subadvisory agreements with such subadvisers; (b) materially amend subadvisory agreements with such subadvisers; and (c) continue the employment of an existing subadviser on the same subadvisory agreement terms where an agreement has been assigned because of a change in control of the subadviser. In such circumstances, shareholders would receive notice of such action, including, if applicable, instructions regarding how to obtain the information concerning the new subadviser that normally is provided in a proxy statement.
Portfolio Management
The following individuals are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the fund's portfolio.
Hyung Kim. Mr. Kim is a Portfolio Manager and Senior Research Analyst at KAR (since 2017). Prior to joining KAR, Mr. Kim was an International Equity Analyst for Advisory Research Inc. (since 2010).
Craig Thrasher, CFA. Mr. Thrasher is a Portfolio Manager and Research Analyst at KAR. Before joining KAR in 2008, Mr. Thrasher was employed at Kirr, Marbach & Company as an equity analyst, and at Wedbush Morgan Securities in correspondent credit. He has approximately 14 years of equity research experience.
Please refer to the SAI for additional information about the fund’s portfolio managers, including the structure of and method of computing compensation, other accounts managed and ownership of shares of the fund.
Risks Associated with Additional Investment Techniques and Fund Operations
Cybersecurity
With the increased use of technologies such as the Internet to conduct business, the fund is potentially more susceptible to operational and information security risks through breaches in cybersecurity. In general, a breach in
Virtus Mutual Funds9

cybersecurity can result from either a deliberate attack or an unintentional event. Cybersecurity breaches may involve, among other things, infection by computer viruses or other malicious software code or unauthorized access to the digital information systems, networks or devices of the fund or its service providers (including, but not limited to, the fund’s investment adviser, transfer agent, custodian, administrators and other financial intermediaries) through “hacking” or other means, in each case for the purpose of misappropriating assets or sensitive information (including, for example, personal shareholder information), corrupting data or causing operational disruption or failures in the physical infrastructure or operating systems that support the fund. Any such cybersecurity breaches or losses of service may cause the fund to lose proprietary information, suffer data corruption or lose operational capacity, which, in turn, could cause the fund to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures, and/or financial loss. While the fund and its service providers have established business continuity plans and risk management systems designed to prevent or reduce the impact of cybersecurity attacks, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems due in part to the ever-changing nature of technology and cybersecurity attack tactics, and there is a possibility that certain risks have not been adequately identified or prepared for. Cybersecurity risks may also impact issuers of securities in which the fund invests, which may cause the fund’s investments in such issuers to lose value.
Operational
An investment in the fund, like any mutual fund, can involve operational risks arising from factors such as processing errors, 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. The occurrence of any of these failures, errors or breaches could result in a loss of information, regulatory scrutiny, reputational damage or other events, any of which could have a material adverse effect on the fund. While the fund seeks to minimize such events through controls and oversight, there may still be failures that could cause losses to the fund.
The fund may buy other types of securities or employ other portfolio management techniques. Please refer to the SAI for more detailed information about other investment techniques of the fund.
Pricing of Fund Shares
How is the Share Price determined?
The fund calculates a share price for each class of its shares. The share price (net asset value or “NAV”) for each class is based on the net assets of the fund and the number of outstanding shares of that class. In general, the fund calculates a share price for each class by:

adding the values of all securities and other assets of the fund;

subtracting liabilities; and

dividing the result by the total number of outstanding shares of that class.
Assets: Equity securities are valued at the official closing price (typically last sale) on the exchange on which the securities are primarily traded, or, if no closing price is available, at the last bid price. Shares of other investment companies are valued at such companies’ NAVs. Debt instruments, including restricted securities, are valued based on evaluated quotations received from independent pricing services or from dealers who make markets in such securities. Other assets, such as accrued interest, accrued dividends and cash are also included in determining the fund’s NAV. As required, some securities and assets are valued at fair value as determined in good faith by, or under the direction of, the Board of Trustees.
Liabilities: Accrued liabilities for class-specific expenses (if any), distribution fees, service fees and other liabilities are deducted from the assets of each class. Accrued expenses and liabilities that are not class-specific (such as management fees) are allocated to each class in proportion to each class’s net assets except where an alternative allocation can be more appropriately made.
Net Asset Value (NAV): The liabilities allocated to a class are deducted from the proportionate interest of such class in the assets of the fund. The resulting amount for each class is then divided by the number of shares outstanding of that class to produce each class’s NAV per share.
The NAV per share of each class of the fund is determined as of the close of regular trading (normally 4:00 PM Eastern Time) on days when the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) is open for trading.The fund will not calculate its NAV per
10Virtus Mutual Funds

share class on days when the NYSE is closed for trading. If the fund holds securities that are traded on foreign exchanges that trade on weekends or other holidays when the fund does not price its shares, the NAV of the fund’s shares may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or redeem the fund’s shares.
How are securities fair valued?
If market quotations are not readily available or available prices are not reliable, the fund determines a “fair value” for an investment according to policies and procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. The types of assets for which such pricing might be required include: (i) securities whose trading has been suspended; (ii) securities where the trading market is unusually thin or trades have been infrequent; (iii) debt instruments that have recently gone into default and for which there is no current market quotation; (iv) a security whose market price is not available from an independent pricing source and for which otherwise reliable quotes are not available; (v) securities of an issuer that has entered into a restructuring; (vi) a security whose price as provided by any pricing source does not, in the opinion of the adviser/subadviser, reflect the security’s market value; (vii) foreign securities subject to trading collars for which no or limited trading takes place; (viii) securities where the market quotations are not readily available as a result of “significant” events; and (ix) securities whose principal exchange or trading market is closed for an entire business day on which the fund needs to determine its NAV. This list is not inclusive of all situations that may require a security to be fair valued, nor is it intended to be conclusive in determining whether a specific event requires fair valuation.
The value of any portfolio security held by the fund for which market quotations are not readily available shall be determined in good faith and in a manner that assesses the security’s “fair value” on the valuation date (i.e., the amount that the fund might reasonably expect to receive for the security upon its current sale), based on a consideration of all available facts and all available information, including, but not limited to, the following: (i) the fundamental analytical data relating to the investment; (ii) the value of other relevant financial instruments, including derivative securities, traded on other markets or among dealers; (iii) an evaluation of the forces which influence the market in which these securities are purchased and sold (e.g., the existence of merger proposals or tender offers that might affect the value of the security); (iv) the type of the security; (v) the size of the holding; (vi) the initial cost of the security; (vii) trading volumes on markets, exchanges or among broker-dealers; (viii) price quotes from dealers and/or pricing services; (ix) values of baskets of securities traded on other markets, exchanges, or among dealers; (x) changes in interest rates; (xi) information obtained from the issuer, analysts, other financial institutions and/or the appropriate stock exchange (for exchange traded securities); (xii) an analysis of the company’s financial statements; (xiii) government (domestic or foreign) actions or pronouncements; (xiv) recent news about the security or issuer; (xv) whether two or more dealers with whom the adviser/subadviser regularly effects trades are willing to purchase or sell the security at comparable prices; and (xvi) other news events or relevant matters.
Certain non-U.S. securities may be fair valued in cases where closing prices are not readily available or are deemed not reflective of readily available market prices. For example, significant events (such as movement in the U.S. securities market, or other regional and local developments) may occur between the time that non-U.S. markets close (where the security is principally traded) and the time that the fund calculates its NAV at the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) (generally 4 p.m. Eastern time) that may impact the value of securities traded in these non-U.S. markets. In such cases, the fund fair values non-U.S. securities using an independent pricing service which considers the correlation of the trading patterns of the non-U.S. security to the intraday trading in the U.S. markets for investments such as ADRs, financial futures, ETFs, and certain indexes, as well as prices for similar securities. Because the frequency of significant events is not predictable, fair valuation of certain non-U.S. common stocks may occur on a frequent basis.
The value of a security, as determined using the fund’s fair valuation procedures, may not reflect such security’s market value.
At what price are shares purchased?
All investments received by the fund’s authorized agents in good order prior to the close of regular trading on the NYSE (generally 4:00 PM Eastern Time) will be executed based on that day’s NAV; investments received by the fund’s authorized agents in good order after the close of regular trading on the NYSE will be executed based on the next business day’s NAV. Shares credited to your account from the reinvestment of the fund’s distributions will be in full and fractional shares that are purchased at the closing NAV on the next business day on which the fund’s NAV is calculated following the dividend record date.
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Sales Charges
An investor may be required to pay commissions and/or other forms of compensation to a broker for transactions in any share class, which are not reflected in the disclosure in this section.
What are the classes and how do they differ?
Currently, the fund offers multiple classes of shares. Each class of shares has different sales and distribution charges. (See “Fund Fees and Expenses” in the fund’s “Fund Summary” previously in this prospectus.) For certain classes of shares, the fund has adopted distribution and service plans allowed under Rule 12b-1 of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (Rule 12b-1 Fees), that authorizes the fund to pay distribution and service fees for the sale of its shares and for services provided to shareholders.
The Rule 12b-1 Fees for each class of the fund are as follows:
Fund
Class A
Class C
Class I
Class R6
Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund [___]% [___]% [___]% [___]%
What arrangement is best for you?
The different classes of shares permit you to choose the method of purchasing shares that is most beneficial to you. In choosing a class of shares, consider the amount of your investment, the length of time you expect to hold the shares, whether you decide to receive distributions in cash or to reinvest them in additional shares, and any other personal circumstances. Depending upon these considerations, the accumulated distribution and service fees and contingent deferred sales charges of one class of shares may be more or less than the initial sales charge and accumulated distribution and service fees of another class of shares bought at the same time. Because distribution and service fees are paid out of the fund’s assets on an ongoing basis, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges.
Your financial representative should recommend only those arrangements that are suitable for you based on known information. In certain instances, you may be entitled to a reduction or waiver of sales charges. For instance, you may be entitled to a sales charge discount on Class A Shares if you purchase more than certain breakpoints.
To determine your eligibility for a sales charge discount on Class A Shares, you may aggregate all of your accounts (including joint accounts, retirement accounts such as individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”), non-IRAs, etc.) and those of your spouse, domestic partner, children and minor grandchildren.
The availability of certain sales charge waivers and discounts may depend on whether you purchase your shares directly from the fund or through a financial intermediary. Different intermediaries may impose different sales charges (including partial reduction in or waivers of sales charges) other than those listed in this section. Such intermediary-specific sales charge variations are described in Appendix A to this prospectus, entitled “Intermediary Sales Charges Discounts and Waivers.” Appendix A is incorporated herein by reference and is legally part of this prospectus.
Your financial representative may request that you provide an account statement or other holdings information to determine your eligibility for a breakpoint and/or waiver and to make certain all involved parties have the necessary data. In all instances, it is the purchaser’s responsibility to notify the fund or the purchaser’s financial representative at the time of purchase of any relationship or other facts qualifying the purchaser for sales charge waivers or discounts. For waivers and discounts not available through a particular intermediary, in order to receive these waivers or discounts shareholders will have to purchase fund shares through another intermediary offering such waivers or discounts or directly from the fund if the fund offers such waivers or discounts.
Additional information about the classes of shares offered, sales charges, breakpoints and discounts follows in this section and also may be found in the SAI in the section entitled “How to Buy Shares.” Intermediary-specific sales charge variations are described in Appendix A to this prospectus, entitled “Intermediary Sales Charges Discounts and Waivers.” This information is available free of charge, and in a clear and prominent format, at the Individual Investors section of virtus.com. Please be sure that you fully understand these choices before investing. If you or your financial representative requires additional assistance, you may also contact Virtus Fund Services by calling toll-free 800-243-1574.
Class A Shares. If you purchase Class A Shares of the fund, you will pay a sales charge at the time of purchase equal to 5.75% of the offering price (6.10% of the amount invested). The sales charge may be reduced or waived under
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certain conditions. (See Initial Sales Charge Alternative—Class A Shares below.) Generally, Class A Shares are not subject to any charges by the fund when redeemed; however, a contingent deferred sales charge (“CDSC”) in an amount equal to 1.00% may be imposed on certain redemptions within 18 months of a finder’s fee being paid. The 18-month period begins on the last day of the month preceding the month in which the purchase was made, and shares not subject to a finder’s fee will be deemed to be redeemed first. Class A Shares have lower distribution and service fees (0.25%) and as a result pay higher dividends than Class C Shares. If you transact in Class A Shares through a financial intermediary, your financial intermediary may charge you a fee outside of the fund, such as brokerage commission or an investment advisory fee. You should consult your financial intermediary regarding the different share classes available to you, how their fees and expenses differ, and whether the fees charged by your financial intermediary differ depending upon which share class you choose.
Class C Shares. If you purchase Class C Shares, you will not pay a sales charge at the time of purchase. If you sell your Class C Shares within the first year after they are purchased, you will pay a deferred sales charge of 1%. (See “Deferred Sales Charge Alternative—Class C Shares” below.) Class C Shares have higher distribution and services fees (1.00%) and pay lower dividends than Class A Shares. Effective January 1, 2019, with certain exceptions, Class C Shares will convert to Class A Shares after ten years, thus reducing future annual expenses. If you transact in Class C Shares through a financial intermediary, your financial intermediary may charge you a fee outside of the fund, such as brokerage commission or an investment advisory fee. You should consult your financial intermediary regarding the different share classes available to you, how their fees and expenses differ, and whether the fees charged by your financial intermediary differ depending upon which share class you choose.
Class I Shares. Class I Shares are offered primarily to clients of financial intermediaries that (i) charge such clients an ongoing fee for advisory, investment, consulting, or similar services; or (ii) have entered into an agreement with the fund’s distributor to offer Class I Shares through a no-load network or platform. Such clients may include pension and profit sharing plans, other employee benefit trusts, endowments, foundations and corporations. Class I Shares are also offered to private and institutional clients of, or referred by, the adviser, a subadviser or their affiliates, and to Trustees of the fund and trustees/directors of affiliated open- and closed-end funds, and directors, officers and employees of Virtus and its affiliates. If you are eligible to purchase and do purchase Class I Shares, you will pay no sales charge at any time. There are no distribution and service fees applicable to Class I Shares. If you transact in Class I Shares through a financial intermediary, your financial intermediary may charge you a fee outside of the fund, such as brokerage commission or an investment advisory fee. You should consult your financial intermediary regarding the different share classes available to you, how their fees and expenses differ, and whether the fees charged by your financial intermediary differ depending upon which share class you choose.
Class R6 Shares. Class R6 Shares are offered to the following investors (provided that they do not require or receive any compensation, administrative payments, sub-transfer agency payments or service payments with respect to Class R6 Shares) without a minimum initial investment: (i) qualified retirement plans, including, but not limited to, 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer sponsored 403(b) plans, defined benefit plans and other accounts or plans whereby Class R6 Shares are held on the books of a fund through plan level or omnibus accounts; (ii) banks and trust companies; (iii) insurance companies; (iv) registered investment companies; and (v) non-qualified deferred compensation plans. Other institutional investors may be permitted to purchase Class R6 Shares subject to the fund’s determination of eligibility and may be subject to a $2,500,000 minimum initial investment requirement. The minimum initial investment amount may be waived subject to the fund’s discretion. If you are eligible to purchase and do purchase Class R6 Shares, you will pay no sales charge at any time. There are no distribution and service fees applicable to Class R6 Shares. If you transact in Class R6 Shares through a financial intermediary, your financial intermediary may charge you a fee outside of the fund, such as brokerage commission or an investment advisory fee. You should consult your financial intermediary regarding the different share classes available to you, how their fees and expenses differ, and whether the fees charged by your financial intermediary differ depending upon which share class you choose.
Initial Sales Charge Alternative—Class A Shares. The public offering price of Class A Shares is the NAV plus a sales charge that varies depending on the size of your purchase. (See “Class A Shares—Reduced Initial Sales Charges” in the SAI.) Shares purchased based on the automatic reinvestment of income dividends or capital gain distributions are not subject to any sales charges. The sales charge is divided between your investment dealer and the fund’s underwriter, VP Distributors, LLC (“VP Distributors” or the “Distributor”).
Virtus Mutual Funds13

Sales Charge you may pay to purchase Class A Shares
Sales Charge as a percentage of
Amount of Transaction at Offering Price
Offering Price
Net Amount Invested
Under $50,000 5.75% 6.10%
$50,000 but under $100,000 4.75 4.99
$100,000 but under $250,000 3.75 3.90
$250,000 but under $500,000 2.75 2.83
$500,000 but under $1,000,000 2.00 2.04
$1,000,000 or more None None
Class A Sales Charge Reductions and Waivers
Investors may qualify for reduced or no initial (front-end) sales charges, as shown in the table above, through utilization of Combination Purchase Privilege, Letter of Intent, Right of Accumulation, Purchase by Associations or the Account Reinstatement Privilege. These programs are summarized below and are described in greater detail in the SAI. These reductions and waivers do not apply to any CDSC that may be applied to certain Class A Share redemptions.
Combination Purchase Privilege. Your purchase of any class of shares of this fund or any other Virtus Mutual Fund, if made at the same time by the same person, will be added together with any existing Virtus Mutual Fund account values to determine whether the combined sum entitles you to an immediate reduction in sales charges. A “person” is defined in this and the following sections as either: (a) any individual, his or her spouse or domestic partner, children and minor grandchildren purchasing shares for his, her or their own account (including an IRA account) including his, her or their own sole proprietorship or trust where any of the above is a named beneficiary; (b) a trustee or other fiduciary purchasing for a single trust, estate or single fiduciary account (even though more than one beneficiary may exist); (c) multiple accounts (up to 200) under a qualified employee benefit plan or administered by a third party administrator; or (d) trust companies, bank trust departments, registered investment advisers, and similar entities placing orders or providing administrative services with respect to accounts over which they exercise discretionary investment authority and which are held in a fiduciary, agency, custodial or similar capacity, provided all shares are held of record in the name, or nominee name, of the entity placing the order.
Letter of Intent. If you sign a Letter of Intent, your purchase of any class of shares of this fund or any other Virtus Mutual Fund, if made by the same person within a 13-month period, will be added together to determine whether you are entitled to an immediate reduction in sales charges. Sales charges are reduced based on the overall amount you indicate that you will buy under the Letter of Intent. The Letter of Intent is a mutually non-binding arrangement between you and Virtus Mutual Funds. Shares worth 5% of the Letter of Intent amount will be held in escrow (while remaining registered in your name) to secure payment of the higher sales charges applicable to the shares actually purchased in the event the full intended amount is not purchased.
Right of Accumulation. The value of your account(s) in any class of shares of this fund or any other Virtus Mutual Fund, if made over time by the same person, may be added together at the time of each purchase to determine whether the combined sum entitles you to a prospective reduction in sales charges. You must provide certain account information to Virtus Mutual Funds or their agents at the time of purchase to exercise this right.
Gifting of Shares. If you make a gift of shares of a Virtus Mutual Fund, upon your request you may combine purchases, if made at the same time, of any class of shares of this fund or any other Virtus Mutual Fund at the sales charge discount allowed for the combined purchase. The receiver of the gift may also be entitled to a prospective reduction in sales charges in accordance with the fund’s right of accumulation or other provisions. You or the receiver of the gift must provide certain account information to Virtus Mutual Funds or their agents at the time of purchase to exercise this right.
Purchase by Associations. Certain groups or associations may be treated as a “person” and qualify for reduced Class A Share sales charges. The group or association must: (1) have been in existence for at least six months; (2) have a legitimate purpose other than to purchase mutual fund shares at a reduced sales charge; (3) work through an investment dealer; and (4) not be a group whose sole reason for existing is to consist of members who are credit card holders of a particular company, policyholders of an insurance company, customers of a bank or a broker-dealer or clients of an investment adviser.
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Account Reinstatement Privilege. Subject to the fund’s policies and procedures regarding market timing, for 180 days after you sell your Class A Shares on which you previously paid a sales charge, you may purchase Class A Shares of any Virtus Mutual Fund at NAV, with no sales charge, by reinvesting all or part of your proceeds, but not more.
Sales at Net Asset Value. In addition to the programs summarized above, the fund may sell its Class A Shares at NAV without an initial sales charge to certain types of accounts or account holders, as described below.
If you fall within any one of the following categories, you will not have to pay a sales charge on your purchase of Class A Shares, provided that such purchase is made upon the written assurance of the purchaser that the purchase is made for investment purposes and that the shares so acquired will not be resold except to the fund:
(1) Trustee, director or officer of any Virtus Mutual Fund, or any other mutual fund advised, subadvised or distributed by the Adviser, Distributor or any of their corporate affiliates;
(2) Any director or officer, or any full-time employee or sales representative (for at least 90 days), of the fund’s Adviser, subadviser or Distributor;
(3) Any private client of an Adviser or subadviser to any Virtus Mutual Fund;
(4) Registered representatives and employees of securities dealers with whom the Distributor has sales agreements;
(5) Any qualified retirement plan exclusively for persons described above;
(6) Any officer, director or employee of a corporate affiliate of the Adviser, subadviser or Distributor;
(7) Any spouse or domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent, brother or sister of any person named in (1), (2), (4) or (6) above;
(8) Employee benefit plans for employees of the Adviser, Distributor and/or their corporate affiliates;
(9) Any employee or agent who retires from the Distributor and/or their corporate affiliates or from PNX, as long as, with respect to PNX employees or agents, such individual was employed by PNX prior to December 31, 2008;
(10) Any Virtus direct account held in the name of a qualified employee benefit plan, endowment fund or foundation if, on the date of the initial investment, the plan, fund or foundation has assets of  $10,000,000 or more or at least 100 eligible employees;
(11) Any person with a direct rollover transfer of shares from an established Virtus Mutual Fund or Virtus qualified plan;
(12) Any state, county, city, department, authority or similar agency prohibited by law from paying a sales charge;
(13) Any unallocated account held by a third party administrator, registered investment adviser, trust company, or bank trust department which exercises discretionary authority and holds the account in a fiduciary, agency, custodial or similar capacity, if in the aggregate such accounts held by such entity equal or exceed $1,000,000;
(14) Any deferred compensation plan established for the benefit of any trustee or director of Virtus, any Virtus Mutual Fund, or any open-or closed-end fund advised, subadvised or distributed by the Adviser, the Distributor or any of their corporate affiliates.
If you fall within any one of the following categories, you also will not have to pay a sales charge on your purchase of Class A Shares:
(15) Individuals purchasing through an account with an unaffiliated brokerage firm having an agreement with the Distributor to waive sales charges for its clients (see Appendix A for a description of broker-dealers offering various sales load waivers);
(16) Purchasers of Class A Shares bought through investment advisers and financial planners who charge an advisory, consulting or other fee for their services and buy shares for their own accounts or the accounts of their clients;
(17) Retirement plans and deferred compensation plans and trusts used to fund those plans (including, for example, certain plans qualified or created under Sections 401(a), 403(b) or 457 of the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code"), and “rabbi trusts” that buy shares for their own accounts, in each case if those purchases are made through a broker or agent or other financial intermediary that has made special arrangements with the Distributor for such purchases; or
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(18) Clients of investment advisors or financial planners who buy shares for their own accounts but only if their accounts are linked to a master account of their investment advisor or financial planner on the books and records of the broker, agent or financial intermediary with which the Distributor has made such special arrangements. Each of the investors described in (15) through (18) may be charged a fee by the broker, agent or financial intermediary for purchasing shares.
CDSC you may pay on Class A Shares
Investors buying Class A Shares on which a finder’s fee has been paid may incur a CDSC of 1.00% if they redeem their shares within 18 months of a finder’s fee being paid. The 18-month period begins on the last day of the month preceding the month in which the purchase was made, and shares not subject to a finder’s fee will be deemed to be redeemed first. The CDSC will be multiplied by the then current market value or the initial cost of the shares being redeemed, whichever is less.
Deferred Sales Charge Alternative—Class C Shares
Class C Shares are purchased without an initial sales charge; however, shares sold within one year of purchase are subject to a CDSC of 1.00%. The sales charge will be multiplied by the then-current market value or the initial cost of the shares being redeemed, whichever is less. No sales charge will be imposed on increases in NAV or on shares purchased through the reinvestment of income dividends or capital gain distributions. To minimize the sales charge, shares not subject to any charge will be redeemed first, followed by shares held the longest. The date of purchase will be used to calculate the number of shares owned and time period held.
With certain exceptions, Class C Shares, and any reinvested dividends and other distributions paid on such shares, will automatically convert to Class A Shares after 10 years. However, for investors invested in Class C Shares through a financial intermediary or recordkeeper, it is the responsibility of the financial intermediary or recordkeeper to ensure that the investor is credited with the proper holding period for the shares redeemed. The automatic conversion of Class C Shares to Class A Shares shall not apply to shares held through intermediaries or recordkeepers that do not track the length of time that a participant has held such shares or that are not otherwise able to operationally support the automatic conversion feature.
In addition, certain Class C Shares may be exchangeable in advance of the 10 year anniversary. If you hold your shares through a financial intermediary or recordkeeper, please contact your financial intermediary or recordkeeper for additional information. Class C Shares that have been held directly with the fund, and not through a financial intermediary, for fewer than 10 years may be exchanged for Class A Shares at the fund’s or transfer agent’s discretion if  (i) the Class C Shares are not subject to a CDSC, and (ii) a commission was not paid on the sale of such Class C Shares.
All conversions and exchanges from Class C Shares to Class A Shares will be on the basis of the relative NAVs per share, without the imposition of any sales load, fee or other charge. Automatic conversions of Class C shares to Class A shares will generally be processed monthly on or about the 10th day of the month, although for investors invested in Class C Shares through a financial intermediary or recordkeeper, it is the responsibility of the financial intermediary or recordkeeper to determine the timing of the conversions. As of the date of this Prospectus, conversions and exchanges from Class C Shares to Class A Shares of the fund are not expected to be considered taxable events for Federal income tax purposes. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors regarding their own tax considerations.
Deferred Sales Charge you may pay to sell Class C Shares
Year
1
2+
CDSC 1% 0%
Class A and Class C CDSC Reductions and Waivers
The CDSC is waived on the redemption (sale) of Class A Shares and Class C Shares if the redemption is made:
(a)
within one year of death;
(i) of the sole shareholder on an individual account,
(ii) of a joint tenant where the surviving joint tenant is the deceased’s spouse or domestic partner,
(iii) of the beneficiary of a Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA), Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) or other custodial account, or
(iv) of the “grantor” on a trust account;
16Virtus Mutual Funds

(b)
within one year of disability, as defined in Code Section 72(m)(7);
(c)
as a mandatory distribution upon reaching age 70½ under certain retirement plans qualified under Code Sections 401, 408 or 403(b) or resulting from the tax-free return of an excess contribution to an IRA;
(d)
by 401(k) plans using an approved participant tracking system for participant hardships, death, disability or normal retirement, and loans which are subsequently repaid;
(e)
based on the exercise of exchange privileges among Class A Shares and Class C Shares of the fund and any of the Virtus Mutual Funds;
(f)
based on any direct rollover transfer of shares from an established Virtus Mutual Fund qualified plan into a Virtus Mutual Fund IRA by participants terminating from the qualified plan; and
(g)
based on the systematic withdrawal program, provided such withdrawals do not exceed more than 1% monthly or 3% quarterly of the aggregate net investments. (See “Systematic Withdrawal Program” in this SAI for additional information about these restrictions.)
If, as described in condition (a) above, an account is transferred to an account registered in the name of a deceased’s estate, the CDSC will be waived on any redemption from the estate account occurring within one year of the death.
The availability of certain sales charge waivers and discounts may depend on whether you purchase your shares through a financial intermediary offering them. Different intermediaries may impose different sales charges (including partial reduction in or waivers of sales charges) other than those listed in this section, provided that they do not exceed the maximum sales charge listed. Such intermediary-specific sales charge variations are described in Appendix A to this prospectus, entitled “Intermediary Sales Charge Discounts and Waivers.” Appendix A is incorporated herein by reference and is legally part of this prospectus.
Compensation to Dealers
Class A Shares, Class C Shares and Class I Shares Only
Dealers with whom the Distributor has entered into sales agreements receive a discount or commission on Class A Shares as described below.
Amount of Transaction at Offering Price
Sales Charge as a
Percentage of Offering
Price
Sales Charge as a
Percentage of Amount
Invested
Dealer Discount as a
Percentage of Offering
Price
Under $50,000 5.75% 6.10% 5.00%
$50,000 but under $100,000 4.75 4.99 4.25
$100,000 but under $250,000 3.75 3.90 3.25
$250,000 but under $500,000 2.75 2.83 2.25
$500,000 but under $1,000,000 2.00 2.04 1.75
$1,000,000 or more None None None
With respect to Class C Shares, the Distributor intends to pay investment dealers a sales commission of 1% of the sale price of Class C Shares sold by such dealers. Your broker, dealer or financial advisor may also charge you additional commissions or fees for their services in selling shares to you provided they notify the Distributor of their intention to do so.
Dealers and other entities that enter into special arrangements with the Distributor or the fund’s transfer agent, Virtus Fund Services, LLC (the “Transfer Agent”), may receive compensation for the sale and promotion of shares of the fund. Such fees are in addition to the sales commissions referenced above and may be based upon the amount of sales of fund shares by a dealer; the provision of assistance in marketing of fund shares; access to sales personnel and information dissemination services; and other criteria as established by the Distributor. Depending on the nature of the services, these fees may be paid either from the fund through distribution fees, service fees or, in some cases, the Distributor may pay certain fees from its own profits and resources.
Dealers and other entities that enter into special arrangements with the Distributor or the Transfer Agent may receive compensation from or on behalf of the fund for providing certain recordkeeping and related services to the fund or their shareholders. These fees may also be referred to as shareholder accounting fees, administrative services fees, sub-transfer agent fees or networking fees. They are not for the sale, promotion or marketing of fund shares.
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From its own profits and resources, the Distributor may, from time to time, make payments to qualified wholesalers, registered financial institutions and third party marketers for marketing support services and/or retention of assets. These payments are sometimes referred to as “revenue sharing.” Among others, the Distributor has agreed to make such payments for marketing support services to AXA Advisors, LLC. The Distributor may pay broker-dealers a finder’s fee in an amount equal to 1.00% of eligible Class A Share purchases from $1,000,000 to $3,000,000, 0.50% on amounts of  $3,000,001 to $10,000,000, and 0.25% on amounts greater than $10,000,000. Purchases of Class A Shares by an account in the name of a qualified employee benefit plan are eligible for a finder’s fee only if such plan has at least 100 eligible employees. A CDSC in an amount equal to 1.00% may be imposed on certain redemptions of such Class A investments. The CDSC may be imposed on redemptions within 18 months of a finder’s fee being paid. For purposes of determining the applicability of the CDSC, the 18-month period begins on the last day of the month preceding the month in which the purchase was made. The Distributor will also pay broker-dealers a service fee of 0.25% beginning in the thirteenth month following purchase of Class A Shares on which a finder’s fee has been paid. Dealers must have an aggregate value of  $50,000 or more per fund CUSIP to qualify for payment. VP Distributors reserves the right to discontinue or alter such fee payment plans at any time.
From its own resources or pursuant to the distribution and shareholder servicing plans, and subject to the dealers’ prior approval, the Distributor may provide additional compensation to registered representatives of dealers in the form of travel expenses, meals, and lodging associated with training and educational meetings sponsored by the Distributor. The Distributor may also provide gifts amounting in value to less than $100, and occasional meals or entertainment, to registered representatives of dealers. Any such travel expenses, meals, lodging, gifts or entertainment paid will not be preconditioned upon the registered representatives’ or dealers’ achievement of a sales target. The Distributor may, from time to time, reallow the entire portion of the sales charge on Class A Shares which it normally retains to individual selling dealers. However, such additional reallowance generally will be made only when the selling dealer commits to substantial marketing support such as internal wholesaling through dedicated personnel, internal communications and mass mailings.
The Distributor has also agreed to pay fees to certain distributors for preferred marketing opportunities. These arrangements may be viewed as creating a conflict of interest between these distributors and investors. Investors should make due inquiry of their selling agents to ensure that they are receiving the requisite point of sale disclosures and suitable recommendations free of any influence by reason of these arrangements.
The categories of payments the Distributor and/or the Transfer Agent may make to other parties are not mutually exclusive, and such parties may receive payments under more than one or all categories. These payments could be significant to a party receiving them, creating a conflict of interest for such party in making investment recommendations to investors. Investors should make due inquiry of any party recommending the fund for purchase to ensure that such investors are receiving the requisite point of sale disclosures and suitable recommendations free of any influence by reason of these arrangements.
A document containing information about sales charges, including breakpoint (volume) discounts, is available free of charge on the Internet at virtus.com. In the Our Products section, go to the “Mutual Funds” tab and click on the link for Breakpoint (Volume) Discounts.
Class R6 Shares Only
No compensation, administrative payments, sub-transfer agency payments or service payments are paid to brokers or other entities from fund assets or the Distributor’s or an affiliate’s resources on sales of or investments in Class R6 Shares. Class R6 Shares do not carry sales commissions or pay Rule 12b-1 fees, or make payments to brokers or other entities to assist in, or in connection with, the sale of the fund’s shares.
Your Account
Opening an Account
Class A Shares, Class C Shares and Class I Shares Only
Your financial advisor can assist you with your initial purchase as well as all phases of your investment program. If you are opening an account by yourself, please follow the instructions outlined below.
The fund has established the following preferred methods of payment for fund shares:

Checks drawn on an account in the name of the investor and made payable to Virtus Mutual Funds;
18Virtus Mutual Funds


Checks drawn on an account in the name of the investor’s company or employer and made payable to Virtus Mutual Funds; or

Wire transfers or Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) transfers from an account in the name of the investor, or the investor’s company or employer.
Payment in other forms may be accepted at the discretion of the fund; however, the fund generally does not accept such other forms of payment as cash equivalents (such as traveler’s checks, cashier’s checks, money orders or bank drafts), starter checks, credit card convenience checks, or certain third party checks. Please specify the name(s) of the fund or funds in which you would like to invest on the check or transfer instructions.
To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. Accordingly, when you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may check the information you provide against publicly available databases, information obtained from consumer reporting agencies, other financial institutions or other sources. If, after reasonable effort, we cannot verify your identity, we reserve the right to close the account and redeem the shares at the NAV next calculated after the decision is made by us to close the account.
Step 1.
Your first choice will be the initial amount you intend to invest in the fund.
Minimum initial investments applicable to Class A and Class C Shares:

$100 for individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”), accounts that use the systematic exchange privilege, or accounts that use the Systematic Purchase program. (See Investor Services and Other Information for additional details.)

There is no initial dollar requirement for defined contribution plans, asset-based fee programs, profit-sharing plans, or employee benefit plans. There is also no minimum for reinvesting dividends and capital gains into another account.

$2,500 for all other accounts.
Minimum additional investments applicable to Class A and Class C Shares:

$100 for any account.

There is no minimum additional investment requirement for defined contribution plans, asset-based fee programs, profit-sharing plans, or employee benefit plans. There is also no minimum additional investment requirement for reinvesting dividends and capital gains into another account.
Minimum initial investments applicable to Class I Shares:

$100,000 for any account for qualified investors. (Call Virtus Fund Services at 800-243-1574 for additional details.)
There is no minimum additional investment requirement applicable to Class I Shares.
Step 2.
Your second choice will be what class of shares to buy. Each share class, except Class I Shares and Class R6 Shares, has different sales and distribution charges. Because all future investments in your account will be made in the share class you choose when you open your account, you should make your decision carefully. Your financial advisor can help you pick the share class that makes the most sense for your situation.
Step 3.
Your next choice will be how you want to receive any dividends and capital gain distributions. Your options are:

Receive both dividends and capital gain distributions in additional shares;

Receive dividends in additional shares and capital gain distributions in cash;

Receive dividends in cash and capital gain distributions in additional shares; or

Receive both dividends and capital gain distributions in cash.
No interest will be paid on uncashed distribution checks.
Virtus Mutual Funds19

Class R6 Shares Only
If you are investing through a qualified retirement plan, bank or trust company, insurance company, registered investment company or non-qualified deferred compensation plan, your financial institution or financial intermediary will provide you with the information you need to open an account and buy Class R6 Shares. If you are a qualified institutional investor, please refer to the instructions above for Class A Shares, Class C Shares and Class I Shares, except for the application of any minimum initial and/or additional purchase requirements.
All Share Classes
The fund reserves the right to refuse any purchase order for any reason. The fund will notify the investor of any such rejection in accordance with industry and regulatory standards, which is generally within three business days.
How to Buy Shares
Class A Shares, Class C Shares and Class I Shares Only
To Open An Account
Through a financial advisor
Contact your advisor. Some advisors may charge a fee and may set different minimum investments or limitations on buying shares.
Through the mail
Complete a new account application and send it with a check payable to the fund. Mail them to: Virtus Mutual Funds, P.O. Box 9874, Providence, RI 02940-8074.
Through express delivery
Complete a new account application and send it with a check payable to the fund. Send them to: Virtus Mutual Funds, 4400 Computer Drive, Westborough, MA 01581-1722.
By Federal Funds wire
Call us at 800-243-1574 (press 1, then 0).
By Systematic Purchase
Complete the appropriate section on the application and send it with your initial investment payable to the fund. Mail them to: Virtus Mutual Funds, P.O. Box 9874, Providence, RI 02940-8074.
By telephone exchange
Call us at 800-243-1574 (press 1, then 0).
Class R6 Shares Only
If you are investing through a qualified retirement plan, bank or trust company, insurance company, registered investment company or non-qualified deferred compensation plan, your financial institution or financial intermediary will provide you with the information you need to buy Class R6 Shares. If you are a qualified institutional investor, please refer to the instructions above for Class A Shares, Class C Shares and Class I Shares.
All Share Classes
The price at which a purchase is effected is based on the NAV next determined after receipt of a purchase order in good order by the fund’s Transfer Agent or an authorized agent. A purchase order is generally in “good order” if an acceptable form of payment accompanies the purchase order and the order includes the appropriate application(s) and/or other form(s) and any supporting legal documentation required by the fund’s Transfer Agent or an authorized agent, each in legible form. However, the fund, its Transfer Agent or other authorized agent may consider a request to be not in good order even after receiving all required information if any of them suspects that the request is fraudulent or otherwise not valid.
The fund reserves the right to refuse any order that may disrupt the efficient management of the fund.
20Virtus Mutual Funds

How to Sell Shares
Class A Shares, Class C Shares and Class I Shares Only
To Sell Shares
Through a financial advisor
Contact your advisor. Some advisors may charge a fee and may set different minimums on redemptions of accounts.
Through the mail
Send a letter of instruction to: Virtus Mutual Funds, P.O. Box 9874, Providence, RI 02940-8074. Be sure to include the registered owner’s name, fund and account number, and number of shares or dollar value you wish to sell.
Through express delivery
Send a letter of instruction to: Virtus Mutual Funds, 4400 Computer Drive, Westborough, MA 01581-1722. Be sure to include the registered owner’s name, fund and account number, and number of shares or dollar value you wish to sell.
By telephone
For sales up to $50,000, requests can be made by calling 800-243-1574.
By telephone exchange
Call us at 800-243-1574 (press 1, then 0).
Class R6 Shares Only
If you are investing through a qualified retirement plan, bank or trust company, insurance company, registered investment company or non-qualified deferred compensation plan, your financial institution or financial intermediary will provide you with the information you need to sell Class R6 Shares. If you are a qualified institutional investor please refer to the instructions above for Class A Shares, Class C Shares and Class I Shares.
All Share Classes
You have the right to have the fund buy back shares at the NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in good order by the fund’s Transfer Agent or an authorized agent. In the case of a Class C Share redemption and certain Class A Share redemptions, you will be subject to the applicable contingent deferred sales charge, if any, for such shares. Subject to certain restrictions, shares may be redeemed by telephone or in writing. In addition, shares may be sold through securities dealers, brokers or agents who may charge customary commissions or fees for their services. The fund does not charge any redemption fees.
Regardless of the method used by the fund for payment (e.g., check, wire or electronic transfer (ACH)), payment for shares redeemed will normally be sent one business day after the request is received in good order by the transfer agent, or one business day after the trade has settled for trades submitted through the NSCC, but will in any case be made within seven days after tender. The fund expects to meet redemption requests, both under normal circumstances and during periods of stressed market conditions, by using cash, by selling portfolio assets to generate cash, or by borrowing funds under a line of credit, subject to availability of capacity in such line of credit. The right to redeem shares may be suspended and payment postponed during periods when the NYSE is closed, other than customary weekend and holiday closings, or if permitted by rules of the SEC, during periods when trading on the NYSE is restricted or during any emergency which makes it impracticable for the fund to dispose of its securities or to determine fairly the value of its net assets or during any other period permitted by order of the SEC for the protection of investors. Furthermore, the Transfer Agent will not mail redemption proceeds until checks received for shares purchased have cleared, which may take up to 15 days.
Things You Should Know When Selling Shares
You may realize a taxable gain or loss (for federal income tax purposes) if you redeem or exchange shares of the fund.
Class A Shares, Class C Shares and Class I Shares
Redemption requests will not be honored until all required documents, in proper form, have been received. Additional documentation will be required for redemptions by organizations, fiduciaries, or retirement plans, or if a redemption is requested by anyone but the shareholder(s) of record. Even after all required documents have been received, a
Virtus Mutual Funds21

redemption request may not be considered in good order by the fund, its Transfer Agent or other authorized agents if any of them suspects that the request is fraudulent or otherwise not valid. To avoid delay in redemption or transfer, shareholders having questions about specific requirements should contact the fund’s Transfer Agent at 800-243-1574.
Transfers between broker-dealer “street” accounts are governed by the accepting broker-dealer. Questions regarding this type of transfer should be directed to your financial advisor.
As stated in the applicable account applications, accounts associated with certain types of retirement plans and individual retirement accounts may incur fees payable to the Transfer Agent in the event of redeeming an account in full. Shareholders with questions about this should contact the fund’s Transfer Agent at 800-243-1574.
Redemptions by Mail
➔ If you are selling shares held individually, jointly, or as custodian under the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act or Uniform Transfers to Minors Act:
Send a clear letter of instruction if both of these apply:

The proceeds do not exceed $50,000.

The proceeds are payable to the registered owner at the address on record.
Send a clear letter of instructions with a signature guarantee when any of these apply:

You are selling more than $50,000 worth of shares.

The name or address on the account has changed within the last 30 days.

You want the proceeds to go to a different name or address than on the account.
➔ If you are selling shares held in a corporate or fiduciary account, please contact the fund’s Transfer Agent at 800-243-1574.
The signature guarantee, if required, must be a STAMP 2000 Medallion guarantee made by an eligible guarantor institution as defined by the fund’s Transfer Agent in accordance with its signature guarantee procedures. Guarantees using previous technology medallions will not be accepted. As of the date of this prospectus, the Transfer Agent’s signature guarantee procedures generally permit guarantees by banks, broker-dealers, credit unions, national securities exchanges, registered securities associations, clearing agencies and savings associations.
Selling Shares by Telephone
The Transfer Agent will use reasonable procedures to confirm that telephone instructions are genuine. Address and bank account information are verified, redemption instructions are taped, and all redemptions are confirmed in writing.
The individual investor bears the risk from instructions given by an unauthorized third party that the Transfer Agent reasonably believed to be genuine. The fund, its Transfer Agent and their other authorized agents will not be liable for any loss, liability, cost or expense resulting from acting upon telephone instructions that are reasonably believed to be genuine.
The Transfer Agent may modify or terminate the telephone redemption privilege at any time with 60 days’ notice to shareholders, except for instances of disruptive trading or market timing; in such cases, the telephone redemption privilege may be suspended immediately, followed by written notice. (See “Disruptive Trading and Market Timing” in this prospectus.)
During times of drastic economic or market changes, telephone redemptions may be difficult to make or temporarily suspended; however, shareholders would be able to make redemptions through other methods described above.
Class R6 Shares Only
If you are investing through a qualified retirement plan, bank or trust company, insurance company, registered investment company or non-qualified deferred compensation plan, your financial institution or financial intermediary will provide you with the information you need to know when selling Class R6 Shares. If you are a qualified institutional investor, please refer to the instructions above for Class A Shares, Class C Shares and Class I Shares.
22Virtus Mutual Funds

All Share Classes
Payment of Redemptions In Kind
The fund reserves the right to pay large redemptions “in kind” (i.e., in securities owned by the fund) rather than in cash. Large redemptions are those that exceed $250,000 or 1% of the fund’s net assets, whichever is less, over any 90-day period. Additional documentation will be required for redemptions by organizations, fiduciaries, or retirement plans, or if a redemption is requested by anyone but the shareholder(s) of record. Investors who are paid redemption proceeds in kind will receive a pro rata share of the fund’s portfolio, which may include illiquid securities. Any securities received remain at market risk until sold. Brokerage commissions and capital gains may be incurred when converting securities received into cash. On any illiquid securities received, the investor will bear the risk of not being able to sell the securities at all.
Account Policies
Account Reinstatement Privilege
Subject to the fund’s policies and procedures regarding market timing, for 180 days after you sell your Class A Shares on which you previously paid a sales charge, you may purchase Class A Shares of any Virtus Mutual Fund at NAV, with no sales charge, by reinvesting all or part of your proceeds, but not more. Send your written request to Virtus Mutual Funds, P.O. Box 9874, Providence, RI 02940-8074. You can call Virtus Mutual Funds at 800-243-1574 for more information.
Please remember, a redemption and reinvestment are considered to be a sale and purchase for tax-reporting purposes.
Annual Fee on Small Accounts
To help offset the costs associated with maintaining small accounts, the fund reserves the right to assess an annual $25 small account fee on fund accounts with a balance below $2,500. The small account fee may be waived in certain circumstances, such as for accounts that have elected electronic delivery of statements/regulatory documents and accounts owned by shareholders having multiple accounts with a combined value of over $25,000. The small account fee does not apply to accounts held through a financial intermediary.
The small account fee will be collected through the automatic sale of shares in your account. We will send you written notice before we charge the $25 fee so that you may increase your account balance above the minimum, sign up for electronic delivery, consolidate your accounts or liquidate your account. You may take these actions at any time by contacting your investment professional or the Transfer Agent.
Redemption of Small Accounts
Due to the high cost of maintaining small accounts, if your redemption activity causes your account balance to fall below $200, you may receive a notice requesting you to bring the balance up to $200 within 60 days. If you do not, the shares in the account will be sold at NAV, and a check will be mailed to the address of record. Any applicable sales charges will be deducted.
Distributions of Small Amounts
Distributions in amounts less than $10 will automatically be reinvested in additional shares of the fund.
Uncashed Checks
If any correspondence sent by the fund is returned by the postal or other delivery service as “undeliverable,” your dividends or any other distribution may be automatically reinvested in the fund.
If your distribution check is not cashed within six months, the distribution may be reinvested in the fund at the current NAV. You will not receive any interest on uncashed distribution or redemption checks. This provision may not apply to certain retirement or qualified accounts.
Inactive Accounts
As required by the laws of certain states, if no activity occurs in an account within the time period specified by your state law, Virtus may be required to transfer the assets to your state under the state's abandoned property law.
Virtus Mutual Funds23

Exchange Privileges
You should read the prospectus of the Virtus Mutual Fund(s) into which you want to make an exchange before deciding to make an exchange. You can obtain a prospectus from your financial advisor; by calling 800-243-4361; or on the Internet at virtus.com.

You generally may exchange shares of the fund for the same class of shares of another Virtus Mutual Fund (e.g., Class A Shares for Class A Shares). Class C Shares are also exchangeable for Class C1 Shares of those Virtus Mutual Funds offering them. Exchange privileges may not be available for all Virtus Mutual Funds and may be rejected or suspended.

Exchanges may be made by telephone (800-243-1574) or by mail (Virtus Mutual Funds, P.O. Box 9874, Providence, RI 02940-8074).

The amount of the exchange must be equal to or greater than the minimum initial investment required, unless the minimum has been waived (as described in the SAI).

The exchange of shares of one fund for shares of a different fund is treated as a sale of the original fund’s shares and any gain on the transaction may be subject to federal income tax.

Financial intermediaries are permitted to initiate exchanges from one class of the fund into another class of the fund if, among other things, the financial intermediary agrees to follow procedures established by the fund, the Distributor or the Transfer Agent, which generally will require that (i) the exchanges be carried out within accounts that are maintained and controlled by the intermediary and meet investor eligibility requirements, if applicable, for the share class or account type, and (ii) no contingent deferred sales charges are outstanding, or the applicable intermediary agrees to cause any outstanding contingent deferred sales charges to be paid in a manner agreed to by the fund, the Distributor or the Transfer Agent. The fund’s ability to make this type of exchange may be limited by operational or other limitations, requiring the fund or its agent to process the transaction as a liquidation and purchase, at the same closing NAV. The financial intermediary will be ultimately responsible for reporting the transaction in accordance with their instruction.

Shareholders owning shares of the fund through accounts established directly with the Transfer Agent (i.e., not established with a financial intermediary who deals with the Transfer Agent exclusively on the investor’s behalf) may be permitted to exchange shares of one class of the fund into another class of the fund, if they meet the investor eligibility requirements associated with the class into which they wish to exchange, at the discretion of the fund or the Transfer Agent. A shareholder’s ability to make this type of exchange may be limited by operational or other limitations of his or her financial intermediary or the fund. Under the Code, generally if a shareholder exchanges shares from one class of a fund into another class of the same fund, the transaction should not be subject to U.S. federal income taxes; however, each shareholder should consult both the relevant financial intermediary and the shareholder’s tax advisor regarding the treatment of any specific exchange carried out under the terms of this paragraph.
Disruptive Trading and Market Timing
The fund is not suitable for market timers, and market timers are discouraged from becoming investors. Your ability to make exchanges among Virtus Mutual Funds is subject to modification if we determine, in our sole opinion, that your exercise of the exchange privilege may disadvantage or potentially harm the rights or interests of other shareholders.
Frequent purchases, redemptions and exchanges, programmed exchanges, exchanges into and then out of the fund in a short period of time, and exchanges of large amounts at one time may be indicative of market timing and otherwise disruptive trading (“Disruptive Trading”) which can have risks and harmful effects for other shareholders. These risks and harmful effects include:

dilution of the interests of long-term investors, if market timers or others exchange into the fund at prices that are below the true value or exchange out of the fund at prices that are higher than the true value;

an adverse effect on portfolio management, as determined by the adviser or subadviser in its sole discretion, such as causing the fund to maintain a higher level of cash than would otherwise be the case, or causing the fund to liquidate investments prematurely; and

reducing returns to long-term shareholders through increased brokerage and administrative expenses.
Additionally, the nature of the portfolio holdings of the fund may expose the fund to investors who engage in the type of market timing trading that seeks to take advantage of possible delays between the change in the value of a mutual fund’s portfolio holdings and the reflection of the change in the NAV of the fund’s shares, sometimes referred to as
24Virtus Mutual Funds

“time-zone arbitrage.” Arbitrage market timers seek to exploit possible delays between the change in the value of a mutual fund’s portfolio holdings and the NAV of the fund’s shares in funds that hold significant investments in foreign securities because certain foreign markets close several hours ahead of the U.S. markets. If an arbitrageur is successful, the value of the fund’s shares may be diluted if redeeming shareholders receive proceeds (and buying shareholders receive shares) based upon NAVs which do not reflect appropriate fair value prices.
In order to attempt to protect our shareholders from the potential harmful effects of Disruptive Trading, the fund’s Board of Trustees has adopted market timing policies and procedures designed to discourage Disruptive Trading. The Board of Trustees has adopted these policies and procedures as a preventive measure to protect all shareholders from the potential effects of Disruptive Trading, while also abiding by any rights that shareholders may have to make exchanges and provide reasonable and convenient methods of making exchanges that do not have the potential to harm other shareholders.
Excessive trading activity is measured by the number of roundtrip transactions in an account. A roundtrip transaction is one where a shareholder buys and then sells, or sells and then buys, shares of the fund within 30 days. Shareholders of the fund are limited to one roundtrip transaction within any rolling 30-day period. Roundtrip transactions are counted at the shareholder level. In considering a shareholder’s trading activity, the fund may consider, among other factors, the shareholder’s trading history both directly and, if known, through financial intermediaries, in the fund, in other funds within the Virtus Mutual Fund complex, in non-Virtus funds or in accounts under common control or ownership. We do not include exchanges made pursuant to the dollar cost averaging or other similar programs when applying our market timing policies. Systematic withdrawal and/or contribution programs, mandatory retirement distributions, and transactions initiated by a plan sponsor also will not count towards the roundtrip limits. The fund may permit exchanges that management believes, in the exercise of its judgment, are not disruptive. The size of the fund and the size of the requested transaction may be considered when determining whether or not the transaction would be disruptive.
Shareholders holding shares for at least 30 days following investment will ordinarily be in compliance with the fund’s policies regarding excessive trading activity. The fund may, however, take action if activity is deemed disruptive even if shares are held longer than 30 days, such as a request for a transaction of an unusually large size. The size of the fund and the size of the requested transaction may be considered when determining whether or not the transaction would be disruptive.
Under our market timing policies, we may modify your exchange privileges for the fund by not accepting an exchange request from you or from any person, asset allocation service, and/or market timing service made on your behalf. We may also limit the amount that may be exchanged into or out of any fund at any one time, or may revoke your right to make Internet, telephone or facsimile exchanges. We may reinstate Internet, telephone and facsimile exchange privileges after they are revoked, but we will not reinstate these privileges if we have reason to believe that they might be used thereafter for Disruptive Trading.
The fund currently does not charge exchange or redemption fees, or any other administrative charges on fund exchanges. The fund reserves the right to impose such fees and/or charges in the future.
Orders for the purchase of fund shares are subject to acceptance by the relevant fund. We reserve the right to reject, without prior notice, any exchange request into any fund if the purchase of shares in the corresponding fund is not accepted for any reason.
The fund does not have any arrangements with any person, organization or entity to permit frequent purchases and redemptions of fund shares.
We may, without prior notice, take whatever action we deem appropriate to comply with or take advantage of any state or federal regulatory requirement. The fund reserves the right to reject any purchase or exchange transaction at any time. If we reject a purchase or exchange for any reason, we will notify you of our decision in writing.
The fund cannot guarantee that its policies and procedures regarding market timing will be effective in detecting and deterring all Disruptive Trading.
Retirement Plans
Shares of the fund may be used as investments under the following retirement plans: traditional IRA, rollover IRA, SEP-IRA, SIMPLE IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k) plans, profit-sharing, money purchase plans, and certain 403(b) plans. For more information, call 800-243-4361.
Virtus Mutual Funds25

Investor Services and Other Information
Systematic Purchase is a systematic investment plan that allows you to have a specified amount automatically deducted from your checking or savings account and then deposited into your mutual fund account. (Complete the “Systematic Purchase” section on the application and include a voided check.)
Systematic Exchange allows you to automatically move money from one Virtus Mutual Fund to another on a monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual basis. Shares of one Virtus Mutual Fund will be exchanged for shares of the same class of another Virtus Mutual Fund at the interval you select. (Complete the “Systematic Exchange” section on the application.) Exchange privileges may not be available for all Virtus Mutual Funds and may be rejected or suspended.
Telephone Exchange lets you exchange shares of one Virtus Mutual Fund for the same class of shares in another Virtus Mutual Fund, using our customer service telephone number (800-243-1574). (See the “Telephone Exchange” section on the application.) Exchange privileges may not be available for all Virtus Mutual Funds and may be rejected or suspended.
Systematic Withdrawal allows you to periodically redeem a portion of your account on a predetermined monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual basis. Sufficient shares from your account will be redeemed at the closing NAV on the applicable payment date, with proceeds to be mailed to you or sent through ACH to your bank (at your selection). For payments to be mailed, shares will be redeemed on the 15th of the month so that the payment is made about the 20th of the month. For ACH payments, you may select the day of the month for the payments to be made; if no date is specified, the payments will occur on the 15th of the month. The minimum withdrawal is $25, and minimum account balance requirements continue to apply. Shareholders in the program must own Virtus Mutual Fund shares worth at least $5,000.
Disclosure of Fund Portfolio Holdings. A description of the fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the fund’s portfolio securities is available in the SAI.
Availability and Delivery of Fund Documents. Fund documents such as this prospectus are available for download from the Our Products section of virtus.com, or you may request paper copies of such documents at any time by calling 1-800-243-1574. The fund will not charge you a fee for paper copies of fund documents, although the fund will incur additional expenses when printing and mailing them, and fund expenses pass indirectly to all shareholders.
Tax Status of Distributions
The fund plans to make distributions from net investment income at intervals stated in the table below and to distribute net realized capital gains, if any, at least annually.
Fund
Dividend Paid
Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund
Semiannually
Distributions of short-term capital gains (gains on securities held for a year or less) and net investment income are taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. Certain distributions of long-term capital gains and certain dividends are taxable at a lower rate than ordinary income. Long-term capital gains, if any, which are distributed to shareholders and which are designated by the fund as capital gain distributions, are taxable to shareholders as long-term capital gain distributions regardless of the length of time you have owned your shares.
Unless you elect to receive distributions in cash, dividends and capital gain distributions are paid in additional shares. All distributions, whether paid in cash or in additional shares, are subject to federal income tax and may be subject to state, local and other taxes.
If, for any fiscal year, the total distributions exceed net investment income and realized net capital gains, the excess, distributed from the fund’s assets, will generally be treated as a tax-free return of capital (up to the amount of the shareholder’s tax basis in the fund shares). The amount treated as a tax-free return of capital will reduce the adjusted basis in the shareholder’s shares, thereby increasing the potential gain or reducing the potential loss upon disposition of
26Virtus Mutual Funds

those shares. If the fund has return of capital, the fund will provide disclosure with each distribution estimating the percentages of the current distribution that represent (1) net investment income, (2) capital gains and (3) return of capital. The fund will send shareholders a Form 1099-DIV for the calendar year that will tell you how to report these distributions for federal income tax purposes.
Virtus Mutual Funds27

Financial Highlights
As of the date of this prospectus, the fund had not commenced operations; therefore, financial highlights for the fund are not shown here.
28Virtus Mutual Funds
Virtus Mutual Funds29

This Appendix A is part of, and is incorporated into, the prospectus.
Appendix A
Intermediary Sales Charge Discounts and Waivers
Specific intermediaries may have different policies and procedures regarding the availability of front-end sales load waivers or CDSC waivers, which are discussed below. In all instances, it is the purchaser's responsibility to notify the fund or the purchaser's financial intermediary at the time of purchase of any relationship or other facts qualifying the purchaser for sales charge waivers or discounts. For waivers and discounts not available through a particular intermediary, in order to receive these waivers or discounts shareholders will have to purchase fund shares through another intermediary offering such waivers or discounts or directly from the fund if the fund offers such waivers or discounts. Please see the section entitled “Sales Charges – What arrangement is best for you?” for more information on sales charges and waivers available for different classes.
Ameriprise Financial
Effective June 1, 2018, shareholders purchasing fund shares through an Ameriprise Financial platform or account will be eligible for the following front-end sales charge waivers and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this fund’s prospectus or SAI.

Employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit sharing and money purchase pension plans and defined benefit plans). For purposes of this provision, employer-sponsored retirement plans do not include SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs or SAR-SEPs.

Shares purchased through an Ameriprise Financial investment advisory program (if an Advisory or similar share class for such investment advisory program is not available).

Shares purchased by third party investment advisors on behalf of their advisory clients through Ameriprise Financial’s platform (if an Advisory or similar share class for such investment advisory program is not available).

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other fund within the same fund family).

Shares exchanged from Class C shares of the same fund in the month of or following the 10-year anniversary of the purchase date. To the extent that this prospectus elsewhere provides for a waiver with respect to such shares following a shorter holding period, that waiver will apply to exchanges following such shorter period. To the extent that this prospectus elsewhere provides for a waiver with respect to exchanges of Class C shares for load waived shares, that waiver will also apply to such exchanges.

Employees and registered representatives of Ameriprise Financial or its affiliates and their immediate family members.

Shares purchased by or through qualified accounts (including IRAs, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, 401(k)s, 403(b) TSCAs subject to ERISA and defined benefit plans) that are held by a covered family member, defined as an Ameriprise financial advisor and/or the advisor’s spouse, advisor’s lineal ascendant (mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, great grandmother, great grandfather), advisor’s lineal descendant (son, step-son, daughter, step-daughter, grandson, granddaughter, great grandson, great granddaughter) or any spouse of a covered family member who is a lineal descendant.

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales load (i.e. Rights of Reinstatement).
Merrill Lynch
Effective April 10, 2017, shareholders purchasing fund shares through a Merrill Lynch platform or account will be eligible only for the following load waivers (front-end sales charge waivers and contingent deferred, or back-end, sales charge waivers) and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this fund’s prospectus or SAI.
Front-end Sales Load Waivers on Class A Shares available at Merrill Lynch

Employer-sponsored retirement, deferred compensation and employee benefit plans (including health savings accounts) and trusts used to fund those plans, provided that the shares are not held in a commission-based brokerage account and shares are held for the benefit of the plan.
Virtus Mutual Funds30


Shares purchased by or through a 529 Plan.

Shares purchased through a Merrill Lynch affiliated investment advisory program.

Shares purchased by third party investment advisors on behalf of their advisory clients through Merrill Lynch's platform.

Shares of funds purchased through the Merrill Edge Self-Directed platform.

Shares purchased through reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other fund within the fund family).

Shares exchanged from Class C (i.e. level-load) shares of the same fund in the month of or following the 10-year anniversary of the purchase date.

Employees and registered representatives of Merrill Lynch or its affiliates and their family members.

Trustees of the fund, and employees of the fund’s investment adviser or any of its affiliates, as described in this prospectus.

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales load (known as Rights of Reinstatement).
CDSC Waivers on Class A Shares and Class C Shares available at Merrill Lynch

Death or disability of the shareholder.

Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the Fund’s prospectus.

Return of excess contributions from an IRA Account.

Shares sold as part of a required minimum distribution for IRA and retirement accounts due to the shareholder reaching age 70½.

Shares sold to pay Merrill Lynch fees but only if the transaction is initiated by Merrill Lynch.

Shares acquired through a right of reinstatement.

Shares held in retirement brokerage accounts, that are exchanged for a lower cost share class due to transfer to certain fee based accounts or platforms (applicable to A and C shares only).
Front-end Load Discounts on Class A Shares Available at Merrill Lynch: Breakpoints, Rights of Accumulation & Letters of Intent

Breakpoints as described in this prospectus.

Rights of Accumulation (ROA) which entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of fund family assets held by accounts within the purchaser’s household at Merrill Lynch. Eligible fund family assets not held at Merrill Lynch may be included in the ROA calculation only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets.

Letters of Intent (LOI) which allow for breakpoint discounts based on anticipated purchases within a fund family, through Merrill Lynch, over a 13-month period of time.
Morgan Stanley
Effective July 1, 2018, shareholders purchasing fund shares through a Morgan Stanley Wealth Management transactional brokerage account will be eligible only for the following front-end sales charge waivers with respect to Class A shares, which may differ from and may be more limited than those disclosed elsewhere in this fund’s Prospectus or SAI. Front-end Sales Charge Waivers on Class A Shares available at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.
Front-end Sales Charge Waivers on Class A Shares available at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 457 plans, employer-sponsored 403(b) plans, profit sharing and money purchase pension plans and defined benefit plans). For purposes of this provision, employer-sponsored retirement plans do not include SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs, SAR-SEPs or Keogh plans.

Morgan Stanley employee and employee-related accounts according to Morgan Stanley’s account linking rules.
31Virtus Mutual Funds


Shares purchased through reinvestment of dividends and capital gains distributions when purchasing shares of the same fund.

Shares purchased through a Morgan Stanley self-directed brokerage account.

Class C (i.e., level-load) Shares that are no longer subject to a contingent deferred sales charge and are converted to Class A Shares of the same fund pursuant to Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s share class conversion program.

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (i) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (ii) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (iii) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales charge.
Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. and each entity’s affiliates (“Raymond James”)
Effective March 1, 2019, shareholders purchasing fund shares through a Raymond James platform or account, or through an introducing broker-dealer or independent registered investment adviser for which Raymond James provides trade execution, clearance, and/or custody services will be eligible only for the following load waivers (front-end sales charge waivers and contingent deferred, or back-end, sales charge waivers) and discounts, which may differ from those disclosed elsewhere in this fund’s prospectus or SAI.
Front-end Sales Load Waivers on Class A Shares available at Raymond James

Shares purchased in an investment advisory program.

Shares purchased within the same fund family through a systematic reinvestment of capital gains distributions and dividend reinvestment when purchasing shares of the same fund (but not any other fund within the fund family).

Employees and registered representatives of Raymond James or its affiliates and their family members as designated by Raymond James.

Shares purchased from the proceeds of redemptions within the same fund family, provided (1) the repurchase occurs within 90 days following the redemption, (2) the redemption and purchase occur in the same account, and (3) redeemed shares were subject to a front-end or deferred sales load (known as Rights of Reinstatement).

A shareholder in the Fund’s Class C shares will have their shares converted at net asset value to Class A shares (or the appropriate share class) of the Fund if the shares are no longer subject to a CDSC and the conversion is in line with the policies and procedures of Raymond James.
CDSC Waivers on Class A Shares and Class C Shares available at Raymond James

Death or disability of the shareholder.

Shares sold as part of a systematic withdrawal plan as described in the Fund’s prospectus.

Return of excess contributions from an IRA Account.

Shares sold as part of a required minimum distribution for IRA and retirement accounts due to the shareholder reaching age 70½ as described in the Fund’s prospectus.

Shares sold to pay Raymond James fees but only if the transaction is initiated by Raymond James.

Shares acquired through a right of reinstatement.
Front-end Load Discounts on Class A Shares Available at Raymond James: Breakpoints, and/or Rights of Accumulation, and/or Letters of Intent

Breakpoints as described in this prospectus.

Rights of accumulation which entitle shareholders to breakpoint discounts will be automatically calculated based on the aggregated holding of fund family assets held by accounts within the purchaser’s household at Raymond James. Eligible fund family assets not held at Raymond James may be included in the calculation of rights of accumulation calculation only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets.

Letters of intent which allow for breakpoint discounts based on anticipated purchases within a fund family, over a 13-month time period. Eligible fund family assets not held at Raymond James may be included in the calculation of letters of intent only if the shareholder notifies his or her financial advisor about such assets.
Virtus Mutual Funds32

Virtus Mutual Funds
P.O. Box 9874
Providence, RI 02940-8074
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
You can find more information about the fund in the following documents:
Appendix A – Intermediary Sales Charge Discounts and Waivers
Appendix A – Intermediary Sales Charge Discounts and Waivers contains more information about specific sales charge discounts and waivers available for shareholders who purchase fund shares through a specific intermediary. Appendix A is incorporated by reference and is legally part of this prospectus.
Annual and Semiannual Reports
Annual and semiannual reports will contain more information about the fund’s investments. Once available, the annual report will discuss the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the fund’s performance during each fiscal year.
Statement of Additional Information (SAI)
The SAI contains more detailed information about the fund. It is incorporated by reference and is legally part of the prospectus.
To obtain free copies of these documents, you can download copies from the Our Products section of virtus.com, or you can request copies by calling Virtus Fund Services toll-free at 800-243-1574. You may also call this number to request other information about the fund or to make shareholder inquiries.
Information about the fund (including the SAI) can be reviewed and copied at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. For information about the operation of the Public Reference Room, call 202-551-8090. Reports and other information about the fund are available in the EDGAR database on the SEC’s Internet site at sec.gov. You may also obtain copies upon payment of a duplicating fee by writing the Public Reference Section of the SEC, Washington, DC 20549-6009 or by electronic request at publicinfo@sec.gov.
Virtus Fund Services: 800-243-1574
Daily NAV Information
The daily NAV for the fund may be obtained from the Our Products section of virtus.com.
Investment Company Act File No. 811-07455
8651
9-19​

Virtus Opportunities Trust
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
[September __, 2019]
Virtus Opportunities Trust (The “Trust”) is an open-end management investment company issuing shares in 24 separate series or “funds”. This Statement of Additional Information ("SAI") relates to the Class A, Class C, Class I and Class R6 shares of the Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund (the “Fund”) of the Trust.
TICKER SYMBOL BY CLASS
FUND
A
C
I
R6
Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund
[TBD]
[TBD]
[TBD]
[TBD]
This SAI is not a prospectus, and it should be read in conjunction with the Prospectuses for the Fund dated [September __, 2019], as described below and as supplemented and amended from time to time. The Fund’s Prospectuses are incorporated by reference into this SAI, and the portions of this SAI that relate to the Fund have been incorporated by reference into the Fund’s Prospectuses.
The Prospectuses may be obtained by downloading them from virtus.com; by calling VP Distributors, LLC at 800.243.1574; or by writing to the Distributor at One Financial Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103.
Capitalized terms used and not defined herein have the same meanings as those used in the Prospectuses.
The audited financial statements for the Fund will appear in the Fund’s annual report at the completion of its fiscal year. When it becomes available, a copy of the Annual Report will be sent to shareholders, and shareholders may also obtain a copy of the Annual Report, without charge, by calling 800.243.1574 or by downloading it from virtus.com.

Table of Contents
Page
Glossary 3
6
12
53
54
67
67
72
73
75
76
83
86
91
92
A-1

Glossary
1933 Act The Securities Act of 1933, as amended
1940 Act The Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended
ACH Automated Clearing House, a nationwide electronic money transfer system that provides for the inter-bank clearing of credit and debit transactions and for the exchange of information among participating financial institutions
Administrator The Trust’s administrative agent, Virtus Fund Services, LLC
ADRs American Depositary Receipts
ADSs American Depositary Shares
Adviser The investment adviser to the Fund, Virtus Investment Advisers, Inc.
BNY Mellon BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (US) Inc., the sub-administrative and accounting agent and sub-transfer agent for the Fund
Board The Board of Trustees of Virtus Opportunities Trust (also referred to herein as the “Trustees”)
CCO Chief Compliance Officer
CDRs Continental Depositary Receipts (another name for EDRs)
CDSC Contingent Deferred Sales Charge
CEA Commodity Exchange Act, which is the U.S. law governing trading in commodity futures
CFTC Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is the U.S. regulator governing trading in commodity futures
Code The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, which is the law governing U.S. federal taxes
Custodian The custodian of the Fund’s assets, The Bank of New York Mellon
Distributor The principal underwriter of shares of the Fund, VP Distributors, LLC
EDRs European Depositary Receipts (another name for CDRs)
ETFs Exchange-traded Funds
FHFA Federal Housing Finance Agency, an independent Federal agency that regulates FNMA, FHLMC and the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks
FHLMC Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, also known as “Freddie Mac”, which is a government-sponsored corporation formerly owned by the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks and now owned entirely by private stockholders
FINRA Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a self-regulatory organization with authority over registered broker-dealers operating in the United States, including VP Distributors
Fitch Fitch Ratings, Inc.
FNMA Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as “Fannie Mae”, which is a government-sponsored corporation owned entirely by private stockholders and subject to general regulation by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Fund Complex The group of funds sponsored by Virtus and managed by VIA and its affiliates, including the Virtus Mutual Funds, Virtus Variable Insurance Trust and certain other closed-end funds
Fund The series of the Trust discussed in this SAI
GDRs Global Depositary Receipts
GICs Guaranteed Investment Contracts
GNMA Government National Mortgage Association, also known as “Ginnie Mae”, which is a wholly-owned United States Government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development
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IMF International Monetary Fund, an international organization seeking to promote international economic cooperation, international trade, employment and exchange rate stability, among other things
Independent Trustees Those members of the Board who are not “interested persons” as defined by the 1940 Act
International Small-Mid Cap Fund Virtus KAR International Small-Mid Cap Fund
IRA Individual Retirement Account
IRS The United States Internal Revenue Service, which is the arm of the U.S. government that administers and enforces the Code
KAR Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC, subadviser to the International Small-Mid Cap Fund
LIBOR London Interbank Offering Rate, an interest rate at which banks can borrow funds, in marketable size, from other banks in the London interbank market
Moody’s Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.
NAV Net Asset Value, which is the per-share price of the Fund
NYSE New York Stock Exchange
OCC Options Clearing Corporation, a large equity derivatives clearing corporation
OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international organization seeking to promote economic progress and world trade
PERLS Principal Exchange Rate Linked Securities
PNX Phoenix Life Insurance Company, which is the former parent company of Virtus Investment Partners, Inc., and certain of its corporate affiliates
Prospectuses The prospectuses for the Fund, as amended from time to time
PwC PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, the independent registered public accounting firm for the Trust
Regulations The Treasury Regulations promulgated under the Code
RIC Regulated Investment Company, a designation under the Code indicating a U.S.-registered investment company meeting the specifications under the Code allowing the investment company to be exempt from paying U.S. federal income taxes
S&P Standard & Poor’s Corporation
S&P 500® Index The Standard & Poor’s 500® Index, which is a free-float market capitalization-weighted index of 500 of the largest U.S. companies, calculated on a total return basis with dividends reinvested
SAI This Statement of Additional Information
SEC U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
SIFMA Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (formerly, the Bond Market Association), a financial industry trade group consisting of broker-dealers and asset managers across the United States
SMBS Stripped Mortgage-backed Securities
Transfer Agent The Trust’s transfer agent, Virtus Fund Services, LLC
Trust Virtus Opportunities Trust
Trust Funds The series of the Trust
VFS
Virtus Fund Services, LLC, the Administrator and Transfer Agent of the Trust
VIA Virtus Investment Advisers, Inc., the Adviser to the Fund
Virtus Virtus Investment Partners, Inc., which is the parent company of the Adviser, the Distributor, the Administrator/Transfer Agent and KAR
Virtus Funds The family of funds overseen by the Board, consisting of the Trust Funds, the series of Virtus Alternative Solutions Trust, the series of Virtus Asset Trust, the series of Virtus Equity Trust, the series of Virtus Retirement Trust and the series of Virtus Variable Insurance Trust
4

Virtus Mutual Funds The family of funds consisting of the Trust Funds, the series of Virtus Alternative Solutions Trust, the series of Virtus Asset Trust, the series of Virtus Equity Trust and the series of Virtus Variable Insurance Trust
VP Distributors VP Distributors, LLC, the Trust’s Distributor
VVIT Virtus Variable Insurance Trust, a separate trust consisting of several series advised by VIA and distributed by VP Distributors
5

GENERAL INFORMATION AND HISTORY
The Trust is an open-end management investment company organized as a Delaware statutory trust December 18, 1995. Prior to January 27, 2006, the Trust was named “Phoenix-Seneca Funds.” From January 27, 2006 to October 20, 2008, the Trust was named “Phoenix Opportunities Trust.”
The Trust’s Prospectuses for the Fund describe the investment objective of the Fund and the strategies that the Fund will employ in seeking to achieve its investment objective. The investment objective for the Fund is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund and may be changed without shareholder approval upon 60 days' notice. The following discussion supplements the disclosure in the Prospectuses.
Fund Type
Fund
Investment Objective
International/Global International Small-Mid Cap Fund The fund has an investment objective of capital appreciation.
Capital Stock and Organization of the Trust
The capitalization of the Trust consists solely of an unlimited number of shares of beneficial interest. The Trust currently offers shares in different series called Trust Funds and different classes of those Trust Funds. Holders of shares of a Trust Fund have equal rights with regard to voting, redemptions, dividends, distributions, and liquidations with respect to that Trust Fund. Shareholders of all Trust Funds vote on the election of Trustees. On matters affecting an individual Trust Fund (such as approval of an investment advisory agreement or a change in fundamental investment policies) and also on matters affecting an individual class (such as approval of matters relating to a Plan of Distribution for a particular class of shares), a separate vote of that Trust Fund or class is required. The Trust does not hold regular meetings of shareholders of the Trust Funds. The Board will call a meeting of shareholders of a Trust Fund when at least 10% of the outstanding shares of that Trust Fund so request in writing. If the Board fails to call a meeting after being so notified, the shareholders may call the meeting. The Board will assist the shareholders by identifying other shareholders or mailing communications, as required under Section 16(c) of the 1940 Act.
Shares are fully paid, nonassessable, redeemable and fully transferable when they are issued. Shares do not have cumulative voting rights, preemptive rights or subscription rights. The assets received by the Trust for the issue or sale of shares of each Trust Fund, and any class thereof and all income, earnings, profits and proceeds thereof, are allocated to such Trust Fund, and class, respectively, subject only to the rights of creditors, and constitute the underlying assets of such Trust Fund or class. The underlying assets of each Trust Fund are required to be segregated on the books of account, and are to be charged with the expenses in respect to such Trust Fund and with a share of the general expenses of the Trust. Any general expenses of the Trust not readily identifiable as belonging to a particular Trust Fund or class will be allocated by or under the direction of the Board as it determines to be fair and equitable. The Trust is not bound to recognize any transfer of shares of a Trust Fund or class until the transfer is recorded on the Trust’s books pursuant to policies and procedures of the Transfer Agent.
As a Delaware statutory trust, the Trust’s operations are governed by its Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust dated March 1, 2001, as amended. A copy of the Trust’s Certificate of Trust, as amended, is on file with the Office of the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware, and a copy of the Trust’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust, as amended, has been filed with the SEC as an exhibit to the Trust’s registration statement. Upon the initial purchase of shares, the shareholder agrees to be bound by the Trust’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust, as amended. Generally, Delaware statutory trust shareholders are not personally liable for obligations of the Delaware statutory trust under Delaware law. The Delaware Statutory Trust Act (the “Delaware Act”) provides that a shareholder of a Delaware statutory trust shall be entitled to the same limitation of liability extended to shareholders of private for-profit corporations. The Trust’s Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust expressly provides that the Trust has been organized under the Delaware Act and that the Declaration of Trust is to be governed by Delaware law. It is nevertheless possible that a Delaware statutory trust, such as the Trust, might become a party to an action in another state whose courts refused to apply Delaware law, in which case the Trust’s shareholders could be subject to personal liability. To guard against this risk, the Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust (i) contains an express disclaimer of shareholder liability for acts or obligations of the Trust, (ii) provides for the indemnification out of Trust property of any shareholders held personally liable for any obligations of the Trust or any series of the Trust and (iii) provides that the Trust shall, upon request, assume the defense of any claim made against any shareholder for any act or obligation of the Trust and satisfy any judgment thereon. Thus, the risk of a Trust shareholder incurring financial loss beyond his or her investment because of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances in which all of the following factors are present: (1) a court refused to apply Delaware law; (2) the liability arose under tort law or, if not, no contractual limitation of liability was in effect; and (3) the Trust itself would be unable to meet its obligations. In the light of Delaware law, the nature of the Trust’s business and the nature of its assets, the risk of personal liability to a Fund shareholder is remote.
6

The Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust further provides that the Trust shall indemnify each of its Trustees and officers against liabilities and expenses reasonably incurred by them, in connection with, or arising out of, any action, suit or proceeding, threatened against or otherwise involving such Trustee or officer, directly or indirectly, by reason of being or having been a Trustee or officer of the Trust. The Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust does not authorize the Trust to indemnify any Trustee or officer against any liability to which he or she would otherwise be subject by reason of or for willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of such person’s duties.
Under the Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust, the Trust is not required to hold annual meetings to elect Trustees or for other purposes. It is not anticipated that the Trust will hold shareholders’ meetings unless required by law or the Declaration of Trust. The Trust will be required to hold a meeting to elect Trustees to fill any existing vacancies on the Board if, at any time, fewer than a majority of the Trustees have been elected by the shareholders of the Trust. The Board is required to call a meeting for the purpose of considering the removal of persons serving as Trustee if requested in writing to do so by the holders of not less than 10% of the outstanding shares of the Trust.
Shares of the Trust do not entitle their holders to cumulative voting rights, so that the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Trust may elect all of the Trustees, in which case the holders of the remaining shares would not be able to elect any Trustees. As determined by the Trustees, shareholders are entitled to one vote for each dollar of NAV (number of shares held times the NAV of the applicable class of the applicable Trust Fund).
Pursuant to the Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust, the Trustees may create additional funds by establishing additional series of shares in the Trust. The establishment of additional series would not affect the interests of current shareholders in the Fund. Pursuant to the Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust, the Trustees may establish and issue multiple classes of shares for each Trust Fund.
Each share of each class of the Fund is entitled to such dividends and distributions out of the income earned on the assets belonging to the Fund that are attributable to such class as are declared in the discretion of the Trustees. In the event of the liquidation or dissolution of the Trust, shares of each class of the Fund are entitled to receive their proportionate share of the assets which are attributable to such class of the Fund and which are available for distribution as the Trustees in their sole discretion may determine. Shareholders are not entitled to any preemptive, conversion or subscription rights. All shares, when issued, will be fully paid and non-assessable by the Trust.
Subject to shareholder approval (if then required), the Trustees may authorize the Fund to invest all or part of its investable assets in a single open-end investment company that has substantially the same investment objectives, policies and restrictions as the Fund. As of the date of this SAI, the Trustees do not have any plan to authorize the Fund to so invest its assets.
Diversification of the Fund
The Fund is non-diversified under the 1940 Act. However, the Fund does intend to diversify its assets to the extent necessary to qualify for tax treatment as a regulated investment company under the Code. (For information regarding qualification under the Code, see “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” in this SAI.)
Fund Name and Investment Policy
The Fund has a name that suggests a focus on international investments. In accordance with Rule 35d-1 under the 1940 Act, the Fund has adopted a policy that it will, under normal circumstances, invest at least 80% of its assets in international investments as suggested by its name. For this policy, “assets” means net assets plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes. In addition, in appropriate circumstances, synthetic investments may be included in the 80% basket if they have economic characteristics similar to the other investments included in the basket. The Fund’s policy to invest at least 80% of its assets in such a manner is not a “fundamental” one, which means that it may be changed without a vote of a majority of the Fund’s outstanding shares as defined in the 1940 Act. However, under Rule 35d-1, shareholders must be given written notice at least 60 days prior to any change by the Fund of its 80% investment policy.
Portfolio Turnover
The portfolio turnover rate of the Fund is calculated by dividing the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities during the fiscal year by the monthly average of the value of the Fund’s securities (excluding all securities, including options, with maturities at the time of acquisition of one year or less). All long-term securities, including long-term U.S. Government securities, are included. A high rate of portfolio turnover generally involves correspondingly greater brokerage commission expenses, which must be borne directly by the Fund. Turnover rates may vary greatly from year
7

to year as well as within a particular year and also may be affected by cash requirements for redemptions of the Fund’s shares by requirements that enable the Trust to receive certain favorable tax treatments. The portfolio turnover rate for the Fund will become available when the Fund has completed a fiscal period of operations.
Disclosure of Portfolio Holdings
The Trustees of the Trust have adopted a policy with respect to the protection of certain non-public information which governs disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings. This policy provides that the Fund’s portfolio holdings information generally may not be disclosed to any party prior to the information becoming public.
Divulging Fund portfolio holdings to selected third parties is permissible only when the affected party has legitimate business purposes for doing so and the recipients are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
Public Disclosures
In accordance with rules established by the SEC, the Fund will send semiannual and annual reports to shareholders that contain a full listing of portfolio holdings as of the second and fourth fiscal quarters, respectively, within 60 days of quarter end. The Fund will also disclose complete portfolio holdings as of the end of the first and third fiscal quarters on Form N-PORT, which is filed with the SEC within 60 days of quarter end. The Fund’s shareholder reports will be available on Virtus’ Web site at virtus.com. The Fund will also make publicly available on Virtus’ Web site a full listing of portfolio holdings as of the end of each quarter with a 60-day delay. Portfolio holdings may be released sooner at the Administrator's discretion. Additionally, the Fund provides its top 10 holdings and summary composition data derived from portfolio holdings information on Virtus’ Web site. This information is posted to the Web site at the end of each quarter and may be reported on a 60-day delay. This information will be available on the Web site until full portfolio holdings information becomes publicly available as described above. The Fund will also provide publicly-available portfolio holdings information directly to ratings agencies, the frequency and timing of which is determined under the terms of the contractual arrangements with such agencies, and may provide to financial intermediaries, upon request, monthly portfolio holdings for periods included in publicly-available quarterly portfolio holdings disclosures.
Other Disclosures
The Trust and/or the Administrator may authorize the disclosure of non-public portfolio holdings information under certain limited circumstances. The Fund’s policy provides that non-public disclosures of the Fund’s portfolio holdings may only be made if  (i) the Fund has a legitimate business purpose for making such disclosure and (ii) the party receiving the non-public information is subject to a duty of confidentiality. Federal law also prohibits recipients of non-public portfolio holdings information from trading on such information. The Administrator will consider any actual or potential conflicts of interest between Virtus and the Fund’s shareholders and will act in the best interest of the Fund’s shareholders with respect to any such disclosure of portfolio holdings information. If a potential conflict can be resolved in a manner that does not present detrimental effects to the Fund’s shareholders, the Administrator may authorize release of portfolio holdings information. Conversely, if the potential conflict cannot be resolved in a manner that does not present detrimental effects to the Fund’s shareholders, the Administrator will not authorize such release.
Ongoing Arrangements to Disclose Portfolio Holdings
As previously authorized by the Fund’s Board and/or the Fund’s Administrator, the Fund will periodically disclose non-public portfolio holdings on a confidential basis to various service providers that require such information in order to assist the Fund in its day-to-day operations, as well as public information to certain ratings organizations. In addition to Virtus and its affiliates, the entities receiving non-public portfolio holdings as of the date of this SAI are described in the following table. The table also includes information as to the timing of these entities receiving the portfolio holdings information from the Fund.
Non-Public Portfolio Holdings Information
Type of Service Provider
Name of Service Provider
Timing of Release of Portfolio Holdings
Information
Adviser Virtus Investment Advisers, Inc. Daily with no delay
Subadviser (International Small-Mid Cap Fund) KAR Daily with no delay
Administrator Virtus Fund Services, LLC Daily with no delay
Distributor VP Distributors, LLC Daily with no delay
Custodian and Security Lending Agent The Bank of New York Mellon Daily with no delay
8

Type of Service Provider
Name of Service Provider
Timing of Release of Portfolio Holdings
Information
Class Action Service Provider Financial Recovery Technologies and Institutional Shareholder Services Daily with no delay
Sub-administrative and Accounting Agent and Sub-transfer Agent BNY Mellon Daily with no delay
Reconciliation Firm for Subadviser SS&C, Inc. Daily with no delay
Middle Office for Subadviser SS&C, Inc. Daily with no delay
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm PwC Annually, within 15 business days of end of fiscal year.
Performance Analytics Firm FactSet Research Systems Inc. Daily with no delay
Liquidity Management Analytics System MSCI Group Daily with no delay
Back-end Compliance Monitoring System Financial Tracking Technologies, LLC Daily with no delay
Typesetting and Printing firm for Financial Reports R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. Quarterly, within 15 days of end of reporting period.
Proxy Voting Service Institutional Shareholder Services Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly depending on subadviser
Intermediary Selling Shares of the Fund Merrill Lynch Quarterly within 10 days of quarter end
These service providers are required to keep all non-public information confidential and are prohibited from trading based on the information or otherwise using the information except as necessary in providing services to the Fund. There is no guarantee that the Fund’s policies on use and dissemination of holdings information will protect the Fund from the potential misuse of holdings by individuals or firms in possession of such information.
Public Portfolio Holdings Information
Portfolio Redistribution Firms Bloomberg, FactSet Research Systems Inc. and Thompson Reuters Fiscal quarter with a 60-day delay.
Rating Agencies Lipper Inc. and Morningstar Fiscal quarter with a 60-day delay.
Virtus Public Web site Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. Fiscal quarter with a 60-day delay.
Other Virtus Mutual Funds
In addition to the Fund, the funds commonly referred to as “Virtus Mutual Funds” also include the Trust Funds, and the series of Virtus Alternative Solutions Trust, Virtus Asset Trust and Virtus Equity Trust. Virtus Mutual Funds are generally offered in multiple classes. The following chart shows the share classes offered by each Virtus Mutual Fund as of the date of this SAI:
Trust
Fund
Class/Shares
A
C
I
R
R6
Virtus Alternative Solutions Trust
Aviva Multi-Strategy Target Return Fund
X
X
X
X
Duff  & Phelps Select MLP and Energy Fund
X
X
X
KAR Long/Short Equity Fund
X
X
X
X
9

Trust
Fund
Class/Shares
A
C
I
R
R6
Virtus Asset Trust
Ceredex Large-Cap Value Equity Fund
X
X
X
X
Ceredex Mid-Cap Value Equity Fund
X
X
X
X
Ceredex Small-Cap Value Equity Fund
X
X
X
Seix Core Bond Fund
X
X
X
X
Seix Corporate Bond Fund
X
X
X
Seix Floating Rate High Income Fund
X
X
X
X
Seix High Grade Municipal Bond Fund
X
X
Seix High Income Fund
X
X
X
X
Seix High Yield Fund
X
X
X
X
Seix Investment Grade Tax-Exempt Bond Fund
X
X
Seix Short-Term Bond Fund
X
X
X
Seix Short-Term Municipal Bond Fund
X
X
Seix Total Return Bond Fund
X
X
X
X
Seix U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund
X
X
X
Seix U.S. Mortgage Fund
X
X
X
Seix Ultra-Short Bond Fund
X
X
SGA International Growth Fund
X
X
X
Silvant Large-Cap Growth Stock Fund
X
X
X
X
Silvant Small-Cap Growth Stock Fund
X
X
X
X
Zevenbergen Innovative Growth Stock Fund
X
X
Virtus Equity Trust
KAR Capital Growth Fund
X
X
X
X
KAR Global Quality Dividend Fund
X
X
X
X
KAR Mid-Cap Core Fund
X
X
X
X
KAR Mid-Cap Growth Fund
X
X
X
X
KAR Small-Cap Core Fund
X
X
X
X
KAR Small-Cap Growth Fund
X
X
X
X
KAR Small-Cap Value Fund
X
X
X
X
KAR Small-Mid Cap Core Fund
X
X
X
X
Rampart Enhanced Core Equity Fund
X
X
X
X
SGA Emerging Markets Growth Fund
X
X
X
X
SGA Global Growth Fund
X
X
X
X
Tactical Allocation Fund
X
X
X
10

Trust
Fund
Class/Shares
A
C
I
R
R6
Virtus Opportunities Trust
Duff  & Phelps Global Infrastructure Fund
X
X
X
X
Duff  & Phelps Global Real Estate Securities Fund
X
X
X
X
Duff  & Phelps International Real Estate Securities Fund
X
X
X
Duff  & Phelps Real Estate Securities Fund
X
X
X
X
Herzfeld Fund
X
X
X
Horizon Wealth Masters Fund
X
X
X
KAR Emerging Markets Small-Cap Fund
X
X
X
X
KAR International Small-Cap Fund
X
X
X
X
Newfleet Bond Fund
X
X
X
X
Newfleet High Yield Fund
X
X
X
X
Newfleet Low Duration Income Fund
X
X
X
X
Newfleet Multi-Sector Intermediate Bond Fund
X
X
X
X
Newfleet Multi-Sector Short Term Bond Fund *
X
X
X
X
Newfleet Senior Floating Rate Fund
X
X
X
X
Newfleet Tax-Exempt Bond Fund
X
X
X
Rampart Alternatives Diversifier Fund
X
X
X
Rampart Equity Trend Fund
X
X
X
X
Rampart Multi-Asset Trend Fund
X
X
X
Rampart Sector Trend Fund
X
X
X
Vontobel Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund
X
X
X
X
Vontobel Foreign Opportunities Fund
X
X
X
X
Vontobel Global Opportunities Fund
X
X
X
X
Vontobel Greater European Opportunities Fund
X
X
X
*
Newfleet Multi-Sector Short Term Bond Fund also offers Class C1 Shares.
11

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FUND INVESTMENT STRATEGIES & RELATED RISKS
The following investment strategies and policies supplement the Fund’s investment strategies and policies set forth in the Fund’s prospectuses. Some of the investment strategies and policies described below and in the Fund’s prospectus set forth percentage limitations on the Fund’s investment in, or holdings of, certain types of investments. Unless otherwise required by law or stated in this SAI, compliance with these strategies and policies will be determined immediately after the acquisition of such investments by the Fund. Subsequent changes in values, net assets, or other circumstances will not be considered when determining whether the investment complies with the Fund’s investment strategies and policies. 
Throughout this section, the term “adviser” may be used to refer to the subadviser.
Investment Technique
Description and Risks
Commodities-Related Investing
Commodity-related companies may underperform the stock market as a whole. The value of securities issued by commodity-related companies may be affected by factors affecting a particular industry or commodity. The operations and financial performance of commodity-related companies may be directly affected by commodity prices, especially those commodity-related companies that own the underlying commodity. The stock prices of such companies may also experience greater price volatility than other types of common stocks. Securities issued by commodity-related companies are sensitive to changes in the supply and demand for, and thus the prices of, commodities. Volatility of commodity prices, which may lead to a reduction in production or supply, may also negatively impact the performance of commodity and natural resources companies that are solely involved in the transportation, processing, storing, distribution or marketing of commodities. Volatility of commodity prices may also make it more difficult for commodity-related companies to raise capital to the extent the market perceives that their performance may be directly or indirectly tied to commodity prices.
Certain types of commodities instruments (such as commodity-linked notes) are subject to the risk that the counterparty to the instrument will not perform or will be unable to perform in accordance with the terms of the instrument.
Exposure to commodities and commodities markets may subject the Fund to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities. No active trading market may exist for certain commodities investments, which may impair the ability of the Fund to sell or to realize the full value of such investments in the event of the need to liquidate such investments. In addition, adverse market conditions may impair the liquidity of actively traded commodities investments.
Debt Investing
The Fund may invest in debt, or fixed income, securities. Debt, or fixed income, securities (which include corporate bonds, commercial paper, debentures, notes, government securities, municipal obligations, state- or state agency-issued obligations, obligations of foreign issuers, asset- or mortgage-backed securities, and other obligations) are used by issuers to borrow money and thus are debt obligations of the issuer. Holders of debt securities are creditors of the issuer, normally ranking ahead of holders of both common and preferred stock as to dividends or upon liquidation. The issuer usually pays a fixed, variable, or floating rate of interest and must repay the amount borrowed at the security’s maturity. Some debt securities, such as zero-coupon securities (discussed below), do not pay interest but may be sold at a deep discount from their face value.
Yields on debt securities depend on a variety of factors, including the general conditions of the money, bond, and note markets, the size of a particular offering, the maturity date of the obligation, and the rating of the issue. Debt securities with longer maturities tend to produce higher yields and are generally subject to greater price fluctuations in response to changes in market conditions than obligations with shorter maturities. An increase in interest rates generally will reduce the market value of portfolio debt securities, while a decline in interest rates generally will increase the value of the same securities. The achievement of the Fund’s investment objective depends in part on the continuing ability of the issuers of the debt securities in which the Fund invests to meet their obligations for the payment of principal and interest when due. Obligations of issuers of debt securities are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency, sovereign immunity, and other laws that affect the rights and remedies of creditors. There is also the possibility that, as a result of litigation or other conditions, the ability of an issuer to pay, when due, the principal of and interest on its debt securities may be materially affected.
12

Investment Technique
Description and Risks
Convertible Securities
A convertible security is a bond, debenture, note, or other security that entitles the holder to acquire common stock or other equity securities of the same or a different issuer within a particular period of time at a specific price or formula. It generally entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued until the security matures or is redeemed, converted, or exchanged. Convertible securities may have several unique investment characteristics such as (1) higher yields than common stocks, but lower yields than comparable nonconvertible securities, (2) a lesser degree of fluctuation in value than the underlying stock since they have fixed income characteristics and (3) the potential for capital appreciation if the market price of the underlying common stock increases.
Before conversion, convertible securities have characteristics similar to nonconvertible debt securities. Convertible securities often rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure and, therefore, are often viewed as entailing less risk than the corporation’s common stock, although the extent to which this is true depends in large measure on the degree to which the convertible security sells above its value as a fixed income security. However, because convertible securities are often viewed by the issuer as future common stock, they are often subordinated to other senior securities and therefore are rated one category lower than the issuer’s nonconvertible debt obligations or preferred stock.
A convertible security may be subject to redemption or conversion at the option of the issuer at a predetermined price. If a convertible security held by the Fund is called for redemption, the Fund could be required to permit the issuer to redeem the security and convert it to the underlying common stock. The Fund generally would invest in convertible securities for their favorable price characteristics and total return potential, and would normally not exercise an option to convert. The Fund might be more willing to convert such securities to common stock.
The Fund’s subadviser will select only those convertible securities for which it believes (a) the underlying common stock is a suitable investment for the Fund and (b) a greater potential for total return exists by purchasing the convertible security because of its higher yield and/or favorable market valuation. However, the Fund may invest in convertible debt securities rated less than investment grade. Debt securities rated less than investment grade are commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” (For information about debt securities rated less than investment grade, see “High-Yield/High-Risk Fixed Income Securities (Junk Bonds)” under “Debt Investing” in this section of the SAI; for additional information about ratings on debt obligations, see Appendix A to this SAI.)
Corporate Debt Securities
The Fund may invest in debt securities issued by corporations, limited partnerships and other similar entities. The Fund’s investments in debt securities of domestic or foreign corporate issuers include bonds, debentures, notes and other similar corporate debt instruments, including convertible securities that meet the Fund’s minimum ratings criteria or if unrated are, in the Fund’s subadviser’s opinion, comparable in quality to corporate debt securities that meet those criteria. The rate of return or return of principal on some debt obligations may be linked or indexed to the level of exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and a foreign currency or currencies or to the value of commodities, such as gold.
Dollar-denominated Foreign Debt Securities (“Yankee Bonds”)
The Fund may invest in “Yankee bonds”, which are dollar-denominated instruments issued in the U.S. market by foreign branches of U.S. banks and U.S. branches of foreign banks. Since these instruments are dollar-denominated, they are not affected by variations in currency exchange rates. They are influenced primarily by interest rate levels in the United States and by the financial condition of the issuer, or of the issuer’s foreign parent. However, investing in these instruments may present a greater degree of risk than investing in domestic securities, due to less publicly available information, less securities regulation, war or expropriation. Special considerations may include higher brokerage costs and thinner trading markets. Investments in foreign countries could be affected by other factors including extended settlement periods. (See “Foreign Investing” in this section of the SAI for additional information about investing in foreign countries.)
Duration
Duration is a time measure of a bond’s interest-rate sensitivity, based on the weighted average of the time periods over which a bond’s cash flows accrue to the bondholder. Time periods are weighted by multiplying by the present value of its cash flow divided by the bond’s price. (A bond’s cash flows consist of coupon payments and repayment of
13

Investment Technique
Description and Risks
capital.) A bond’s duration will almost always be shorter than its maturity, with the exception of zero-coupon bonds, for which maturity and duration are equal.
Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs)
Generally, ETNs are senior, unsecured, unsubordinated debt securities whose returns are linked to the performance of a particular market benchmark or strategy minus applicable fees. ETNs are traded on an exchange during normal trading hours. However, investors can also hold the ETN until maturity. At maturity, the issuer pays to the investor a cash amount equal to the principal amount, subject to the day’s market benchmark or strategy factor.
ETNs do not make periodic coupon payments or provide principal protection. ETNs are subject to credit risk, and the value of the ETN may drop due to a downgrade in the issuer’s credit rating, despite the underlying market benchmark or strategy remaining unchanged. The value of an ETN may also be influenced by time to maturity, level of supply and demand for the ETN, volatility and lack of liquidity in underlying assets, changes in the applicable interest rates, changes in the issuer’s credit rating, and economic, legal, political, or geographic events that affect the referenced underlying asset. When the Fund invests in ETNs it will bear its proportionate share of any fees and expenses borne by the ETN. The Fund’s decision to sell its ETN holdings may be limited by the availability of a secondary market. In addition, although an ETN may be listed on an exchange, the issuer may not be required to maintain the listing, and there can be no assurance that a secondary market will exist for an ETN.
ETNs are also subject to tax risk. No assurance can be given that the IRS will accept, or a court will uphold, how the Fund characterizes and treats ETNs for tax purposes. Further, the IRS and Congress are considering proposals that would change the timing and character of income and gains from ETNs.
An ETN that is tied to a specific market benchmark or strategy may not be able to replicate and maintain exactly the composition and relative weighting of securities, commodities or other components in the applicable market benchmark or strategy. Some ETNs that use leverage can, at times, be relatively illiquid and, thus, they may be difficult to purchase or sell at a fair price. Leveraged ETNs are subject to the same risks as other instruments that use leverage in any form.
The market value of ETNs may differ from that of their market benchmark or strategy. This difference in price may be due to the fact that the supply and demand in the market for ETNs at any point in time is not always identical to the supply and demand in the market for the securities, commodities or other components underlying the market benchmark or strategy that the ETN seeks to track. As a result, there may be times when an ETN trades at a premium or discount to its market benchmark or strategy.
High-Yield/High-Risk Fixed Income Securities (“Junk Bonds”)
Investments in securities rated “BB” or below by S&P or Fitch, or “Ba” or below by Moody’s generally provide greater income (leading to the name “high-yield” securities) and opportunity for capital appreciation than investments in higher quality securities, but they also typically entail greater price volatility, liquidity, and principal and income risk. These securities are regarded as predominantly speculative as to the issuer’s continuing ability to meet principal and interest payment obligations. Analysis of the creditworthiness of issuers of lower-quality debt securities may be more complex than for issuers of higher-quality debt securities.
Interest-bearing securities typically experience appreciation when interest rates decline and depreciation when interest rates rise. The market values of low-rated securities tend to reflect individual corporate developments to a greater extent than do higher-rated securities, which react primarily to fluctuations in the general level of interest rates. Low-rated securities also tend to be more sensitive to economic conditions than higher-rated securities. As a result, they generally involve more credit risks than securities in the higher-rated categories. During an economic downturn or a sustained period of rising interest rates, highly leveraged issuers of low-rated securities may experience financial stress and may not have sufficient revenues to meet their payment obligations. The issuer’s ability to service its debt obligations may also be adversely affected by specific corporate developments, the issuer’s inability to meet specific projected business forecasts or the unavailability of additional financing. The risk of loss due to default by an issuer of low-rated securities is generally considered to be significantly greater than issuers of higher-rated securities because such securities are usually unsecured and are often subordinated to other creditors. Further, if the issuer of a low-rated security
14

Investment Technique
Description and Risks
defaulted, the Fund might incur additional expenses in seeking recovery. Periods of economic uncertainty and changes would also generally result in increased volatility in the market prices of low-rated securities and thus in the Fund’s NAV.
Low-rated securities often contain redemption, call or prepayment provisions which permit the issuer of the securities containing such provisions to, at its discretion, redeem the securities. During periods of falling interest rates, issuers of low-rated securities are likely to redeem or prepay the securities and refinance them with debt securities with a lower interest rate. To the extent an issuer is able to refinance the securities or otherwise redeem them, the Fund may have to replace the securities with a lower yielding security which would result in lower returns for the Fund.
The Fund may have difficulty disposing of certain low-rated securities because there may be a thin trading market for such securities. Because not all dealers maintain markets in all low-rated securities, there is no established retail secondary market for many of these securities. The Fund anticipates that such securities could be sold only to a limited number of dealers or institutional investors. To the extent a secondary trading market does exist, it is generally not as liquid as the secondary market for higher-rated securities. The lack of a liquid secondary market may have an adverse impact on the market price of the security, and accordingly, the NAV of the Fund and its ability to dispose of particular securities when necessary to meet its liquidity needs, or in response to a specific economic event, or an event such as a deterioration in the creditworthiness of the issuer. The lack of a liquid secondary market for certain securities may also make it more difficult for the Fund to obtain accurate market quotations for purposes of valuing its respective portfolio. Market quotations are generally available on many low-rated issues only from a limited number of dealers and may not necessarily represent firm bids of such dealers or prices for actual sales. During periods of thin trading, the spread between bid and asked prices is likely to increase significantly. In addition, adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may decrease the values and liquidity of low-rated securities, especially in a thinly-traded market. If the Fund experiences unexpected net redemptions, it may be forced to liquidate a portion of its portfolio securities without regard to their investment merits. Due to the limited liquidity of low-rated securities, the Fund may be forced to liquidate these securities at a substantial discount. Any such liquidation would reduce the Fund’s asset base over which expenses could be allocated and could result in a reduced rate of return for the Fund.
Interest Rate Environment Risk
In the wake of the financial crisis that began in 2007, the Federal Reserve System attempted to stabilize the U.S. economy and support the U.S. economic recovery by keeping the federal funds rate at or near zero percent. In addition, the Federal Reserve has purchased large quantities of securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities on the open market (the “quantitative easing program”). The Federal Reserve has since increased the federal funds rate as of December 2015, however, the United States continues to experience historically low interest rate levels. A low interest rate environment may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s ability to provide a positive yield to its shareholders and pay expenses out of Fund assets because of the low yields from the Fund’s portfolio investments.
However, continued economic recovery and the cessation of the quantitative easing program increase the risk that interest rates will continue to rise in the near future and that the Fund will face a heightened level of interest rate risk. Federal Reserve policy changes may expose fixed-income and related markets to heightened volatility and may reduce liquidity for certain Fund investments, which could cause the value of the Fund’s investments and the Fund’s share price to decline or create difficulties for the Fund in disposing of investments. A fund that invests in derivatives tied to fixed-income markets may be more substantially exposed to these risks than a fund that does not invest in derivatives. The Fund could also be forced to liquidate its investments at disadvantageous times or prices, thereby adversely affecting the Fund. To the extent the Fund experiences high redemptions because of these policy changes, the Fund may experience increased portfolio turnover, which will increase the costs that the Fund incurs and lower the Fund’s performance.
Inverse Floating Rate Obligations
Certain variable rate securities pay interest at a rate that varies inversely to prevailing short-term interest rates (sometimes referred to as inverse floaters). For example, upon reset the interest rate payable on a security may go down when the underlying index has risen. During periods when short-term interest rates are relatively low as compared to
15

Investment Technique
Description and Risks
long-term interest rates, the Fund may attempt to enhance its yield by purchasing inverse floaters. Certain inverse floaters may have an interest rate reset mechanism that multiplies the effects of changes in the underlying index. While this form of leverage may increase the security’s yield, it may also increase the volatility of the security’s market value.
Similar to other variable and floating rate obligations, effective use of inverse floaters requires skills different from those needed to select most portfolio securities. If movements in interest rates are incorrectly anticipated, the Fund holding these instruments could lose money and its NAV could decline.
The Fund will not invest more than 5% of its assets in inverse floaters.
Letters of Credit
Debt obligations, including municipal obligations, certificates of participation, commercial paper and other short-term obligations, may be backed by an irrevocable letter of credit of a bank that assumes the obligation for payment of principal and interest in the event of default by the issuer. Only banks that, in the opinion of the Fund’s subadviser, are of investment quality comparable to other permitted investments of the Fund may be used for Letter of Credit-backed investments.
Loan and Debt Participations and Assignments
A loan participation agreement involves the purchase of a share of a loan made by a bank to a company in return for a corresponding share of the borrower’s principal and interest payments. Loan participations of the type in which the Fund may invest include interests in both secured and unsecured corporate loans. When the Fund purchases loan assignments from lenders, it will acquire direct rights against the borrower, but these rights and the Fund’s obligations may differ from, and be more limited than, those held by the assignment lender. The principal credit risk associated with acquiring loan participation and assignment interests is the credit risk associated with the underlying corporate borrower. There is also a risk that there may not be a readily available market for participation loan interests and, in some cases, this could result in the Fund disposing of such securities at a substantial discount from face value or holding such securities until maturity.
There is typically a limited amount of public information available about loans because loans normally are not registered with the SEC or any state securities commission or listed on any securities exchange. Certain of the loans in which the Fund may invest may not be considered “securities,” and therefore the Fund may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws with respect to those loans in the event of fraud or misrepresentation by a borrower. The Fund may come into possession of material, non-public information about a borrower as a result of the Fund’s ownership of a loan or other floating-rate instrument of the borrower. Because of prohibitions on trading in securities of issuers while in possession of material, non-public information, the Fund might be unable to enter into a transaction in a publicly-traded security of the borrower when it would otherwise be advantageous to do so.
Loans trade in an unregulated inter-dealer or inter-bank secondary market. Purchases and sales of loans are generally subject to contractual restrictions that must be satisfied before a loan can be bought or sold. These restrictions may (i) impede the Fund’s ability to buy or sell loans; (ii) negatively affect the transaction price; (iii) affect the counterparty credit risk borne by the Fund; (iv) impede the Fund’s ability to timely vote or otherwise act with respect to loans; and (v) expose the Fund to adverse tax or regulatory consequences.
In the event that a corporate borrower failed to pay its scheduled interest or principal payments on participations held by the Fund, the market value of the affected participation would decline, resulting in a loss of value of such investment to the Fund. Accordingly, such participations are speculative and may result in the income level and net assets of the Fund being reduced. Moreover, loan participation agreements generally limit the right of a participant to resell its interest in the loan to a third party and, as a result, loan participations may be deemed by the Fund to be illiquid investments. The Fund will invest only in participations with respect to borrowers whose creditworthiness is, or is determined by the Fund’s subadviser to be, substantially equivalent to that of issuers whose senior unsubordinated debt securities are rated B or higher by Moody’s or S&P. For the purposes of diversification and/or concentration calculations, both the borrower and issuer will be considered an “issuer.”
16

Investment Technique
Description and Risks
The Fund may purchase from banks participation interests in all or part of specific holdings of debt obligations. Each participation interest is backed by an irrevocable letter of credit or guarantee of the selling bank that the Fund’s subadviser has determined meets the prescribed quality standards of the Fund. Thus, even if the credit of the issuer of the debt obligation does not meet the quality standards of the Fund, the credit of the selling bank will.
Loan participations and assignments may be illiquid and therefore subject to the Fund’s limitations on investments in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)
Municipal Securities and Related Investments
Tax-exempt municipal securities are debt obligations issued by the various states and their subdivisions (e.g., cities, counties, towns, and school districts) to raise funds, generally for various public improvements requiring long-term capital investment. Purposes for which tax-exempt bonds are issued include flood control, airports, bridges and highways, housing, medical facilities, schools, mass transportation and power, water or sewage plants, as well as others. Tax-exempt bonds also are occasionally issued to retire outstanding obligations, to obtain funds for operating expenses or to loan to other public or, in some cases, private sector organizations or to individuals.
Yields on municipal securities are dependent on a variety of factors, including the general conditions of the money market and the municipal bond market, the size of a particular offering, the maturity of the obligations and the rating of the issue. Municipal securities with longer maturities tend to produce higher yields and are generally subject to potentially greater capital appreciation and depreciation than obligations with shorter maturities and lower yields. The market prices of municipal securities usually vary, depending upon available yields. An increase in interest rates will generally reduce the value of portfolio investments, and a decline in interest rates will generally increase the value of portfolio investments. The ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective is also dependent on the continuing ability of the issuers of municipal securities in which the Fund invests to meet their obligations for the payment of interest and principal when due. The ratings of Moody’s and S&P represent their opinions as to the quality of municipal securities which they undertake to rate. Ratings are not absolute standards of quality; consequently, municipal securities with the same maturity, coupon, and rating may have different yields. There are variations in municipal securities, both within a particular classification and between classifications, depending on numerous factors. It should also be pointed out that, unlike other types of investments, municipal securities have traditionally not been subject to regulation by, or registration with, the SEC, although there have been proposals which would provide for such regulation in the future.
The federal bankruptcy statutes relating to the debts of political subdivisions and authorities of states of the United States provide that, in certain circumstances, such subdivisions or authorities may be authorized to initiate bankruptcy proceedings without prior notice to or consent of creditors, which proceedings could result in material and adverse changes in the rights of holders of their obligations.
Lawsuits challenging the validity under state constitutions of present systems of financing public education have been initiated or adjusted in a number of states, and legislation has been introduced to effect changes in public school financing in some states. In other instances there have been lawsuits challenging the issuance of pollution control revenue bonds or the validity of their issuance under state or federal law which could ultimately affect the validity of those municipal securities or the tax-free nature of the interest thereon.
Descriptions of some of the municipal securities and related investment types most commonly acquired by the Fund are provided below. In addition to those shown, other types of municipal investments are, or may become, available for investment by the Fund. For the purpose of the Fund’s investment restrictions set forth in this SAI, the identification of the “issuer” of a municipal security which is not a general obligation bond is made by the Fund’s subadviser on the basis of the characteristics of the obligation, the most significant of which is the source of funds for the payment of principal and interest on such security.
17

Investment Technique
Description and Risks
Municipal Bonds
Municipal bonds, which meet longer-term capital needs and generally have maturities of more than one year when issued, have two principal classifications: general obligation bonds and revenue bonds. Another type of municipal bond is referred to as an industrial development bond.
General Obligation Bonds
Issuers of general obligation bonds include states, counties, cities, towns, and regional districts. The proceeds of these obligations are used to fund a wide range of public projects, including construction or improvement of schools, highways and roads, and water and sewer systems. The basic security behind general obligation bonds is the issuer’s pledge of its full faith and credit and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest. The taxes that can be levied for the payment of debt service may be limited or unlimited as to the rate or amount of special assessments.
Industrial Development Bonds
Industrial development bonds, which are considered municipal bonds if the interest paid is exempt from Federal income tax, are issued by or on behalf of public authorities to raise money to finance various privately operated facilities for business and manufacturing, housing, sports arenas and pollution control. These bonds are also used to finance public facilities such as airports, mass transit systems, ports and parking. The payment of the principal and interest on such bonds is dependent solely on the ability of the facility’s user to meet its financial obligations and the pledge, if any, of real and personal property so financed as security for such payment.
Revenue Bonds
The principal security for a revenue bond is generally the net revenues derived from a particular facility, group of facilities, or, in some cases, the proceeds of a special excise or other specific revenue source. Revenue bonds are issued to finance a wide variety of capital projects including: electric, gas, water and sewer systems; highways, bridges, and tunnels; port and airport facilities; colleges and universities; and hospitals. Although the principal security behind these bonds may vary, many provide additional security in the form of a debt service reserve fund whose money may be used to make principal and interest payments on the issuer’s obligations. Housing finance authorities have a wide range of security; including partially or fully insured mortgages, rent subsidized and/or collateralized mortgages, and/or the net revenues from housing or other public projects. Some authorities provide further security in the form of a state’s ability (without obligation) to make up deficiencies in the debt service reserve fund.
Municipal Leases
The Fund may acquire participations in lease obligations or installment purchase contract obligations (hereinafter collectively called “lease obligations”) of municipal authorities or entities. Although lease obligations do not constitute general obligations of the municipality for which the municipality’s taxing power is pledged, a lease obligation may be backed by the municipality’s covenant to budget for, appropriate, and make the payments due under the lease obligation. However, certain lease obligations contain “non-appropriation” clauses which provide that the municipality has no obligation to make lease or installment purchase payments in future years unless money is appropriated for such purpose on a yearly basis. In addition to the “non-appropriation” risk, these securities represent a relatively new type of financing that has not yet developed the depth of marketability associated with more conventional bonds. In the case of a “non-appropriation” lease, the Fund’s ability to recover under the lease in the event of non-appropriation or default will be limited solely to the repossession of the leased property in the event foreclosure might prove difficult. The Fund’s subadviser will evaluate the credit quality of a municipal lease and whether it will be considered liquid. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Investments” in this section of the SAI for information regarding the implications of these investments being considered illiquid.)
Municipal Notes
Municipal notes generally are used to provide for short-term working capital needs and generally have maturities of one year or less. Municipal notes include bond anticipation notes, construction loan notes, revenue anticipation notes and tax anticipation notes.
Bond Anticipation Notes
Bond anticipation notes are issued to provide interim financing until long-term financing can be arranged. In most cases, the long-term bonds then provide the money for the repayment of the notes.
Construction Loan Notes
Construction loan notes are sold to provide construction financing. After successful completion and acceptance, many projects receive permanent financing through FNMA or GNMA.
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Revenue Anticipation Notes
Revenue anticipation notes are issued in expectation of receipt of other types of revenue, such as Federal revenues available under Federal revenue sharing programs.
Tax Anticipation Notes
Tax anticipation notes are issued to finance working capital needs of municipalities. Generally, they are issued in anticipation of various seasonal tax revenue, such as income, sales, use and business taxes, and are payable from these specific future taxes.
Tax-Exempt Commercial Paper
Tax-exempt commercial paper is a short-term obligation with a stated maturity of 365 days or less. It is issued by state and local governments or their agencies to finance seasonal working capital needs or as short-term financing in anticipation of longer-term financing.
Participation on Creditors’ Committees
While the Fund does not invest in securities to exercise control over the securities’ issuers, the Fund may, from time to time, participate on committees formed by creditors to negotiate with the management of financially troubled issuers of securities held by the Fund. Such participation may subject the Fund to expenses such as legal fees and may deem the Fund an “insider” of the issuer for purposes of the Federal securities laws, and expose the Fund to material non-public information of the issuer, and therefore may restrict the Fund’s ability to purchase or sell a particular security when it might otherwise desire to do so. Participation by the Fund on such committees also may expose the Fund to potential liabilities under the federal bankruptcy laws or other laws governing the rights of creditors and debtors. The Fund will participate on such committees only when the Fund’s subadviser believes that such participation is necessary or desirable to enforce the Fund’s rights as a creditor or to protect the value of securities held by the Fund.
Payable in Kind (“PIK”) Bonds
PIK bonds are obligations which provide that the issuer thereof may, at its option, pay interest on such bonds in cash or “in kind”, which means in the form of additional debt securities. Such securities benefit the issuer by mitigating its need for cash to meet debt service, but also require a higher rate of return to attract investors who are willing to defer receipt of such cash. The Fund will accrue income on such investments for tax and accounting purposes, which is distributable to shareholders and which, because no cash is received at the time of accrual, may require the liquidation of other portfolio securities to satisfy the Fund’s distribution obligations. The market prices of PIK bonds generally are more volatile than the market prices of securities that pay interest periodically, and they are likely to respond to changes in interest rates to a greater degree than would otherwise similar bonds on which regular cash payments of interest are being made.
Ratings
The rating or quality of a debt security refers to a rating agency’s assessment of the issuer’s creditworthiness, i.e., its ability to pay principal and interest when due. Higher ratings indicate better credit quality, as rated by independent rating organizations such as Moody’s, S&P or Fitch, which publish their ratings on a regular basis. Appendix A provides a description of the various ratings provided for bonds (including convertible bonds), municipal bonds, and commercial paper.
After the Fund purchases a debt security, the rating of that security may be reduced below the minimum rating acceptable for purchase by the Fund. A subsequent downgrade does not require the sale of the security, but the Fund’s subadviser will consider such an event in determining whether to continue to hold the obligation. To the extent that ratings established by Moody’s or S&P may change as a result of changes in such organizations or their rating systems, the Fund will invest in securities which are deemed by the Fund’s subadviser to be of comparable quality to securities whose current ratings render them eligible for purchase by the Fund.
Credit ratings issued by credit rating agencies evaluate the safety of principal and interest payments of rated securities. They do not, however, evaluate the market-value risk 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 condition of the issuer that affect the market value of the security. Consequently, credit ratings are used only as a preliminary indicator of investment quality.
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Sovereign Debt
The Fund may invest in “sovereign debt,” which is issued or guaranteed by foreign governments (including countries, provinces and municipalities) or their agencies and instrumentalities. Sovereign debt may trade at a substantial discount from face value. The Fund may hold and trade sovereign debt of foreign countries in appropriate circumstances to participate in debt conversion programs. Emerging-market country sovereign debt involves a higher degree of risk than that of developed markets, is generally lower-quality debt, and is considered speculative in nature due, in part, to the extreme and volatile nature of debt burdens in such countries and because emerging market governments can be relatively unstable. The issuer or governmental authorities that control sovereign-debt repayment (“sovereign debtors”) may be unable or unwilling to repay principal or interest when due in accordance with the terms of the debt. A sovereign debtor’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 sovereign debtor’s policy towards the IMF, and the political constraints to which the sovereign debtor may be subject. Sovereign debtors may also be dependent on expected disbursements from foreign governments, multilateral agencies and others abroad to reduce principal and interest arrearage on their debt. The commitment of these third parties to make such disbursements may be conditioned on the sovereign debtor’s implementation of economic reforms or economic performance and the timely service of the debtor’s obligations. The sovereign debtor’s failure to meet these conditions may cause these third parties to cancel their commitments to provide funds to the sovereign debtor, which may further impair the debtor’s ability or willingness to timely service its debts. In certain instances, the Fund may invest in sovereign debt that is in default as to payments of principal or interest. In the event that the Fund holds non-performing sovereign debt, the Fund may incur additional expenses in connection with any restructuring of the issuer’s obligations or in otherwise enforcing their rights thereunder.
Brady Bonds
The Fund may invest a portion of its assets in certain sovereign debt obligations known as “Brady Bonds.” Brady Bonds are issued under the framework of the Brady Plan, an initiative announced by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady in 1989 as a mechanism for debtor nations to restructure their outstanding external indebtedness. The Brady Plan contemplates, among other things, the debtor nation’s adoption of certain economic reforms and the exchange of commercial bank debt for newly issued bonds. In restructuring its external debt under the Brady Plan framework, a debtor nation negotiates with its existing bank lenders as well as the World Bank or the IMF. The World Bank or IMF supports the restructuring by providing funds pursuant to loan agreements or other arrangements that enable the debtor nation to collateralize the new Brady Bonds or to replenish reserves used to reduce outstanding bank debt. Under these loan agreements or other arrangements with the World Bank or IMF, debtor nations have been required to agree to implement certain domestic monetary and fiscal reforms. The Brady Plan sets forth only general guiding principles for economic reform and debt reduction, emphasizing that solutions must be negotiated on a case-by-case basis between debtor nations and their creditors.
Brady Bonds are often viewed as having three or four valuation components: (i) the collateralized repayment of principal at final maturity; (ii) the collateralized interest payments; (iii) the uncollateralized interest payments; and (iv) any uncollateralized repayment of principal at maturity (these uncollateralized amounts constitute the “residual risk”). In light of the residual risk of Brady Bonds and, among other factors, the history of defaults with respect to commercial bank loans by public and private entities of countries issuing Brady Bonds, investments in Brady Bonds can be viewed as speculative.
Stand-by Commitments
The Fund may purchase securities together with the right to resell them to the seller or a third party at an agreed-upon price or yield within specified periods prior to their maturity dates. Such a right to resell is commonly known as a stand-by commitment, and the aggregate price which the Fund pays for securities with a stand-by commitment may increase the cost, and thereby reduce the yield, of the security. The primary purpose of this practice is to permit the Fund to be as fully invested as practicable in municipal securities while preserving the necessary flexibility and liquidity to meet unanticipated redemptions. Stand-by commitments acquired by the Fund are valued at zero in determining the Fund’s NAV. Stand-by commitments involve certain expenses and risks,
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including the inability of the issuer of the commitment to pay for the securities at the time the commitment is exercised, non-marketability of the commitment, and differences between the maturity of the underlying security and the maturity of the commitment.
Strip Bonds
Strip bonds are debt securities that are stripped of their interest (usually by a financial intermediary) after the securities are issued. The market value of these securities generally fluctuates more in response to changes in interest rates than interest-paying securities of comparable maturity.
Tender Option Bonds
Tender option bonds are relatively long-term bonds that are coupled with the option to tender the securities to a bank, broker-dealer or other financial institution at periodic intervals and receive the face value of the bond. This investment structure is commonly used as a means of enhancing a security’s liquidity.
Variable and Floating Rate Obligations
The Fund may purchase securities having a floating or variable rate of interest. These securities pay interest at rates that are adjusted periodically according to a specific formula, usually with reference to some interest rate index or market interest rate (the “underlying index”). The floating rate tends to decrease the security’s price sensitivity to changes in interest rates. These securities may carry demand features permitting the holder to demand payment of principal at any time or at specified intervals prior to maturity. Accordingly, as interest rates decrease or increase, the potential for capital appreciation or depreciation is less than for fixed-rate obligations.
The floating and variable rate obligations that the Fund may purchase include variable rate demand securities. Variable rate demand securities are variable rate securities that have demand features entitling the purchaser to resell the securities to the issuer at an amount approximately equal to amortized cost or the principal amount thereof plus accrued interest, which may be more or less than the price that the Fund paid for them. The interest rate on variable rate demand securities also varies either according to some objective standard, such as an index of short-term, tax-exempt rates, or according to rates set by or on behalf of the issuer.
When the Fund purchases a floating or variable rate demand instrument, the Fund’s subadviser will monitor, on an ongoing basis, the ability of the issuer to pay principal and interest on demand. The Fund’s right to obtain payment at par on a demand instrument could be affected by events occurring between the date the Fund elects to demand payment and the date payment is due that may affect the ability of the issuer of the instrument to make payment when due, except when such demand instrument permits same day settlement. To facilitate settlement, these same day demand instruments may be held in book entry form at a bank other than the Fund’s custodian subject to a sub-custodian agreement between the bank and the Fund’s custodian.
The floating and variable rate obligations that the Fund may purchase also include certificates of participation in such obligations purchased from banks. A certificate of participation gives the Fund an undivided interest in the underlying obligations in the proportion that the Fund’s interest bears to the total principal amount of the obligation. Certain certificates of participation may carry a demand feature that would permit the holder to tender them back to the issuer prior to maturity.
The income received on certificates of participation in tax-exempt municipal obligations constitutes interest from tax-exempt obligations.
The Fund will limit its purchases of floating and variable rate obligations to those of the same quality as it otherwise is allowed to purchase. Similar to fixed rate debt instruments, variable and floating rate instruments are subject to changes in value based on changes in prevailing market interest rates or changes in the issuer’s creditworthiness.
A floating or variable rate instrument may be subject to the Fund’s percentage limitation on illiquid securities if there is no reliable trading market for the instrument or if the Fund may not demand payment of the principal amount within seven days. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)
Zero and Deferred Coupon Debt Securities
The Fund may invest in debt obligations that do not make any interest payments for a specified period of time prior to maturity (“deferred coupon” bonds) or until maturity (“zero coupon” bonds). The nonpayment of interest on a current basis may result from the bond’s having no stated interest rate, in which case the bond pays only principal at
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maturity and is normally initially issued at a discount from face value. Alternatively, the bond may provide for a stated rate of interest, but provide that such interest is not payable until maturity, in which case the bond may initially be issued at par. The value to the investor of these types of bonds is represented by the economic accretion either of the difference between the purchase price and the nominal principal amount (if no interest is stated to accrue) or of accrued, unpaid interest during the bond’s life or payment deferral period.
Because deferred and zero coupon bonds do not make interest payments for a certain period of time, they are generally purchased by the Fund at a deep discount and their value fluctuates more in response to interest rate changes than does the value of debt obligations that make current interest payments. The degree of fluctuation with interest rate changes is greater when the deferred period is longer. Therefore, when the Fund invests in zero or deferred coupon bonds, there is a risk that the value of the Fund’s shares may decline more as a result of an increase in interest rates than would be the case if the Fund did not invest in such bonds.
Even though zero and deferred coupon bonds may not pay current interest in cash, the Fund is required to accrue interest income on such investments and to distribute such amounts to shareholders. Thus, the Fund would not be able to purchase income-producing securities to the extent cash is used to pay such distributions, and, therefore, the Fund’s current income could be less than it otherwise would have been. Instead of using cash, the Fund might liquidate investments in order to satisfy these distribution requirements.
Derivative Instruments
The Fund may invest in various types of derivatives, which may at times result in significant derivative exposure. A derivative is a financial instrument whose performance is derived from the performance of another asset. The Fund may invest in derivative instruments including, but not limited to: futures contracts, put options, call options, options on future contracts, options on foreign currencies, swaps, forward contracts, structured investments, and other equity-linked derivatives.
The Fund may use derivative instruments for hedging (to offset risks associated with an investment, currency exposure, or market conditions) or in pursuit of its investment objective(s) and policies (to seek to enhance returns). When the Fund invests in a derivative, the risks of loss of that derivative may be greater than the derivative’s cost. The Fund may not use any derivative to gain exposure to an asset or class of assets that it would be prohibited by its investment restrictions from purchasing directly. In addition to other considerations, the Fund’s ability to use derivative instruments may be limited by tax considerations. (See “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” in this SAI.)
Investments in derivatives may subject the Fund to special risks in addition to normal market fluctuations and other risks inherent in investment in securities. For example, a percentage of the Fund’s assets may be segregated to cover its obligations with respect to the derivative investment, which may make it more difficult for the Fund’s subadviser to meet redemption requests or other short-term obligations.
Investments in derivatives in general are also subject to market risks that may cause their prices to fluctuate over time. Investments in derivatives may not directly correlate with the price movements of the underlying instrument. As a result, the use of derivatives may expose the Fund to additional risks that it would not be subject to if it invested directly in the securities underlying those derivatives. The use of derivatives may result in larger losses or smaller gains than otherwise would be the case.
Commodity Interests
Certain of the derivative investment types permitted for the Fund may be considered commodity interests for purposes of the CEA and regulations approved by the CFTC. However, the Fund intends to limit the use of such investment types as required to qualify for exclusion or exemption from being considered a “commodity pool” or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in commodity interests under such regulations. As a result, the Fund has filed a notice of exclusion under CFTC Regulation 4.5 or exemption under another CFTC regulation.
The CFTC has adopted amendments to its rules that may affect the Fund’s ability to continue to claim exclusion or exemption from regulation. If the Fund’s use of these techniques would cause the Fund to be considered a “commodity pool” under the CEA, then the Adviser would be subject to registration and regulation as the Fund’s commodity
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pool operator, and the Fund’s subadviser may be subject to registration and regulation as the Fund’s commodity trading advisor. The Fund may incur additional expense as a result of the CFTC’s registration and regulation obligations, and the Fund’s use of these techniques and other instruments may be limited or restricted.
As of the date of this SAI, the Fund intends to limit the use of such investment types as required to qualify for exclusion or exemption from being considered a “commodity pool” or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in commodity interests under such regulations, and the Fund has filed a notice of exclusion under CFTC Regulation 4.5 or exemption under another CFTC regulation.
Credit-linked Notes
Credit-linked notes are derivative instruments used to transfer credit risk. The performance of the notes is linked to the performance of the underlying reference obligation or reference portfolio (“reference entities”). The notes are usually issued by a special purpose vehicle that sells credit protection through a credit default swap agreement in return for a premium and an obligation to pay the transaction sponsor should a reference entity experience a credit event, such as bankruptcy. The special purpose vehicle invests the proceeds from the notes to cover its contingent obligation. Revenue from the investments and the money received as premium are used to pay interest to note holders. The main risk of credit linked notes is the risk of default to the reference obligation of the credit default swap. Should a default occur, the special purpose vehicle would have to pay the transaction sponsor, subordinating payments to the note holders. Credit linked notes also may not be liquid and may be subject to currency and interest rate risks as well.
Equity-linked Derivatives
The Fund may invest in equity-linked derivative products, the performance of which is designed to correspond generally to the performance of a specified stock index or “basket” of stocks, or to a single stock. Investments in equity-linked derivatives involve the same risks associated with a direct investment in the types of securities such products are designed to track. There can be no assurance that the trading price of the equity-linked derivatives will equal the underlying value of the securities purchased to replicate a particular investment or that such basket will replicate the investment.
Investments in equity-linked derivatives may constitute investments in other investment companies. (See “Mutual Fund Investing” in this section of the SAI for information regarding the implications of the Fund investing in other investment companies.)
Eurodollar Instruments
The Fund may invest in Eurodollar instruments. Eurodollar instruments are dollar-denominated certificates of deposit and time deposits issued outside the U.S. capital markets by foreign branches of U.S. banks and by foreign banks. Eurodollar futures contracts enable purchasers to obtain a fixed rate for the lending of funds and sellers to obtain a fixed rate for borrowings. The Fund might use Eurodollar instruments to hedge against changes in interest rates or to enhance returns.
Eurodollar obligations are subject to the same risks that pertain to domestic issuers, most notably income risk (and, to a lesser extent, credit risk, market risk, and liquidity risk). Additionally, Eurodollar obligations are subject to certain sovereign risks. One such risk is the possibility that a sovereign country might prevent capital, in the form of dollars, from flowing across its borders. Other risks include adverse political and economic developments, the extent and quality of government regulation of financial markets and institutions, the imposition of foreign withholding taxes, and expropriation or nationalization of foreign issuers. However, Eurodollar obligations will undergo the same type of credit analysis as domestic issuers in which the Fund invests.
Foreign Currency Forward Contracts, Futures and Options
The Fund may engage in certain derivative foreign currency exchange and option transactions involving investment risks and transaction costs to which the Fund would not be subject absent the use of these strategies. If the Fund’s subadviser’s predictions of movements in the direction of securities prices or currency exchange rates are inaccurate, the adverse consequences to the Fund may leave the Fund in a worse position than if it had not used such strategies. Risks inherent in the use of option and foreign currency forward and futures contracts include: (1) dependence on the Fund’s subadviser’s ability to correctly predict movements in the direction of securities prices and currency exchange rates; (2) imperfect correlation between the price of options and futures contracts and movements in the prices of the securities or currencies being hedged; (3) the fact that the skills needed to use these strategies are different from those
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needed to select portfolio securities; (4) the possible absence of a liquid secondary market for any particular instrument at any time; and (5) the possible need to defer closing out certain hedged positions to avoid adverse tax consequences. The Fund’s ability to enter into futures contracts is also limited by the requirements of the Code for qualification as a regulated investment company. (See the “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” section of this SAI.)
The Fund may engage in currency exchange transactions to protect against uncertainty in the level of future currency exchange rates. In addition, the Fund may write covered put and call options on foreign currencies for the purpose of increasing its return.
The Fund may enter into contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies at a future date (“forward contracts”) and purchase and sell foreign currency futures contracts. For certain hedging purposes, the Fund may also purchase exchange-listed and over-the-counter put and call options on foreign currency futures contracts and on foreign currencies. A put option on a futures contract gives the Fund the right to assume a short position in the futures contract until the expiration of the option. A put option on a currency gives the Fund the right to sell the currency at an exercise price until the expiration of the option. A call option on a futures contract gives the Fund the right to assume a long position in the futures contract until the expiration of the option. A call option on a currency gives the Fund the right to purchase the currency at the exercise price until the expiration of the option.
When engaging in position hedging, the Fund enters into foreign currency exchange transactions to protect against a decline in the values of the foreign currencies in which its portfolio securities are denominated (or an increase in the values of currency for securities which the Fund expects to purchase, when the Fund holds cash or short-term investments). In connection with position hedging, the Fund may purchase put or call options on foreign currency and on foreign currency futures contracts and buy or sell forward contracts and foreign currency futures contracts. (The Fund may also purchase or sell foreign currency on a spot basis, as discussed in “Foreign Currency Transactions” under “Foreign Investing” in this section of the SAI.)
The precise matching of the amounts of foreign currency exchange transactions and the value of the portfolio securities involved will not generally be possible since 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 dates the currency exchange transactions are entered into and the dates they mature. It is also impossible to forecast with precision the market value of portfolio securities at the expiration or maturity of a forward or futures contract. Accordingly, it may be necessary for the Fund to purchase additional foreign currency on the spot market (and bear the expense of such purchase) if the market value of the security or securities being hedged is less than the amount of foreign currency the Fund is obligated to deliver and a decision is made to sell the security or securities and make delivery of the foreign currency. Conversely, it may be necessary to sell on the spot market some of the foreign currency received upon the sale of the portfolio security or securities if the market value of such security or securities exceeds the amount of foreign currency the Fund is obligated to deliver.
Hedging techniques do not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities which the Fund owns or intends to purchase or sell. They simply establish a rate of exchange which one can achieve at some future point in time. Additionally, although these techniques tend to minimize the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of the hedged currency, they also tend to limit any potential gain which might result from the increase in value of such currency.
The Fund may seek to increase its return or to offset some of the costs of hedging against fluctuations in currency exchange rates by writing covered put options and covered call options on foreign currencies. In that case, the Fund receives a premium from writing a put or call option, which increases the Fund’s current return if the option expires unexercised or is closed out at a net profit. The Fund may terminate an option that it has written prior to its expiration by entering into a closing purchase transaction in which it purchases an option having the same terms as the option written.
The Fund’s currency hedging transactions may call for the delivery of one foreign currency in exchange for another foreign currency and may at times not involve currencies in which its portfolio securities are then denominated. The Fund’s subadviser
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will engage in such “cross hedging” activities when it believes that such transactions provide significant hedging opportunities for the Fund. Cross hedging transactions by the Fund involve the risk of imperfect correlation between changes in the values of the currencies to which such transactions relate and changes in the value of the currency or other asset or liability which is the subject of the hedge.
Foreign currency forward contracts, futures and options may be traded on foreign exchanges. Such transactions may not be regulated as effectively as similar transactions in the United States; may not involve a clearing mechanism and related guarantees; and are subject to the risk of governmental actions affecting trading in, or the prices of, foreign securities. The value of such positions also could be adversely affected by (i) other complex foreign political, legal and economic factors, (ii) lesser availability than in the United States of data on which to make trading decisions, (iii) delays in the Fund’s ability to act upon economic events occurring in foreign markets during non-business hours in the United States, (iv) the imposition of different exercise and settlement terms and procedures and margin requirements than in the United States, and (v) lesser trading volume.
The types of derivative foreign currency exchange transactions most commonly employed by the Fund are discussed below, although the Fund is also permitted to engage in other similar transactions to the extent consistent with the Fund’s investment limitations and restrictions.
Foreign Currency Forward Contracts
A foreign currency forward contract involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days (“term”) 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 directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers.
The Fund will specifically designate on its accounting records any asset, including equity securities and non-investment-grade debt so long as the asset is liquid, unencumbered and marked to market daily in an amount not less than the value of the Fund’s total assets committed to forward foreign currency exchange contracts entered into for the purchase of a foreign currency. If the value of the securities specifically designated declines, additional cash or securities will be added so that the specifically designated amount is not less than the amount of the Fund’s commitments with respect to such contracts.
Foreign Currency Futures Transactions
The Fund may use foreign currency futures contracts and options on such futures contracts. Through the purchase or sale of such contracts, the Fund may be able to achieve many of the same objectives attainable through the use of foreign currency forward contracts, but more effectively and possibly at a lower cost.
Unlike forward foreign currency exchange contracts, foreign currency futures contracts and options on foreign currency futures contracts are standardized as to amount and delivery period and are traded on boards of trade and commodities exchanges. It is anticipated that such contracts may provide greater liquidity and lower cost than forward foreign currency exchange contracts.
Purchasers and sellers of foreign currency futures contracts are subject to the same risks that apply to the buying and selling of futures generally. In addition, there are risks associated with foreign currency futures contracts similar to those associated with options on foreign currencies. (See “Foreign Currency Options” and “Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts”, each in this sub-section of the SAI.) The Fund must accept or make delivery of the underlying foreign currency, through banking arrangements, in accordance with any U.S. or foreign restrictions or regulations regarding the maintenance of foreign banking arrangements by U.S. residents and may be required to pay any fees, taxes or charges associated with such delivery which are assessed in the issuing country.
To the extent required to comply with SEC Release No. IC-10666, when entering into a futures contract or an option transaction, the Fund will specifically designate on its accounting records any asset, including equity securities and non-investment-grade debt so long as the asset is liquid, unencumbered and marked to market daily equal to the net amount of the Fund’s obligation. For foreign currency futures transactions, the prescribed amount will generally be the daily value of the futures contract, marked to market.
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Futures contracts are designed by boards of trade which are designated “contracts markets” by the CFTC. Futures contracts trade on contracts markets in a manner that is similar to the way a stock trades on a stock exchange and the boards of trade, through their clearing corporations, guarantee performance of the contracts. As of the date of this SAI, the Fund may invest in futures contracts under specified conditions without being regulated as commodity pools. However, under CFTC rules the Fund’s ability to maintain the exclusions/exemptions from the definition of commodity pool may be limited. (See “Commodity Interests” in this section of the SAI.)
Foreign Currency Options
A foreign currency option provides the option buyer with the right to buy or sell a stated amount of foreign currency at the exercise price at a specified date or during the option period. A call option gives its owner the right, but not the obligation, to buy the currency, while a put option gives its owner the right, but not the obligation, to sell the currency. The option seller (writer) is obligated to fulfill the terms of the option sold if it is exercised. However, either seller or buyer may close its position during the option period for such options any time prior to expiration.
A call rises in value if the underlying currency appreciates. Conversely, a put rises in value if the underlying currency depreciates. While purchasing a foreign currency option can protect the Fund against an adverse movement in the value of a foreign currency, it does not limit the gain which might result from a favorable movement in the value of such currency. For example, if the Fund were holding securities denominated in an appreciating foreign currency and had purchased a foreign currency put to hedge against a decline in the value of the currency, it would not have to exercise its put. Similarly, if the Fund had entered into a contract to purchase a security denominated in a foreign currency and had purchased a foreign currency call to hedge against a rise in the value of the currency but instead the currency had depreciated in value between the date of purchase and the settlement date, the Fund would not have to exercise its call but could acquire in the spot market the amount of foreign currency needed for settlement.
The value of a foreign currency option depends upon the value of the underlying currency relative to the other referenced currency. As a result, the price of the option position may vary with changes in the value of either or both currencies and have no relationship to the investment merits of a foreign security, including foreign securities held in a “hedged” investment portfolio. Because foreign currency transactions occurring in the interbank market involve substantially larger amounts than those that may be involved in the use of foreign currency options, the Fund may be disadvantaged by having to deal in an odd lot market (generally consisting of transactions of less than $1 million) for the underlying foreign currencies at prices that are less favorable than for round lots.
As in the case of other kinds of options, the use of foreign currency options constitutes only a partial hedge, and the Fund could be required to purchase or sell foreign currencies at disadvantageous exchange rates, thereby incurring losses. The purchase of an option on a foreign currency may not necessarily constitute an effective hedge against fluctuations in exchange rates and, in the event of 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 written or purchased by the Fund may be traded on U.S. or foreign exchanges or over the counter. There is no systematic reporting of last sale information for foreign currencies traded over the counter or any regulatory requirement that quotations available through dealers or other market sources be firm or revised on a timely basis. Quotation information available is generally representative of very large transactions in the interbank market and thus may not reflect relatively smaller transactions (i.e., less than $1 million) where rates may be less favorable. The interbank market in foreign currencies is a global, around-the-clock market. To the extent that the options markets are closed while the markets for the underlying currencies remain open, significant price and rate movements may take place in the underlying markets that are not reflected in the options market.
For additional information about options transactions, see “Options” under “Derivative Investments” in this section of the SAI.
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Foreign Currency Warrants
Foreign currency warrants such as currency exchange warrants are warrants that entitle the holder to receive from the issuer an amount of cash (generally, for warrants issued in the United States, in U.S. dollars) that is calculated pursuant to a predetermined formula and based on the exchange rate between two specified currencies as of the exercise date of the warrant. Foreign currency warrants generally are exercisable upon their issuance and expire as of a specified date and time.
Foreign currency warrants may be used to reduce the currency exchange risk assumed by purchasers of a security by, for example, providing for a supplemental payment in the event the U.S. dollar depreciates against the value of a major foreign currency such as the Japanese Yen or Euro. The formula used to determine the amount payable upon exercise of a foreign currency warrant may make the warrant worthless unless the applicable foreign currency exchange rate moves in a particular direction (e.g., unless the U.S. dollar appreciates or depreciates against the particular foreign currency to which the warrant is linked or indexed).
Foreign currency warrants are severable from the debt obligations with which they may be offered, and may be listed on exchanges. Foreign currency warrants may be exercisable only in certain minimum amounts, and an investor wishing to exercise warrants who possesses less than the minimum number required for exercise may be required either to sell the warrants or to purchase additional warrants, thereby incurring additional transaction costs. Upon exercise of warrants, there may be a delay between the time the holder gives instructions to exercise and the time the exchange rate relating to exercise is determined, thereby affecting both the market and cash settlement values of the warrants being exercised. The expiration date of the warrants may be accelerated if the warrants should be delisted from an exchange or if their trading should be suspended permanently, which would result in the loss of any remaining “time value” of the warrants (i.e., the difference between the current market value and the exercise value of the warrants), and, if the warrants were “out-of-the-money,” in a total loss of the purchase price of the warrants.
Warrants are generally unsecured obligations of their issuers and are not standardized foreign currency options issued by the OCC. Unlike foreign currency options issued by OCC, the terms of foreign exchange warrants generally will not be amended in the event of governmental or regulatory actions affecting exchange rates or in the event of the imposition of other regulatory controls affecting the international currency markets. The initial public offering price of foreign currency warrants could be considerably in excess of the price that a commercial user of foreign currencies might pay in the interbank market for a comparable option involving larger amounts of foreign currencies. Foreign currency warrants are subject to significant foreign exchange risk, including risks arising from complex political or economic factors.
Performance Indexed Paper
Performance indexed paper is commercial paper the yield of which is linked to certain currency exchange rate movements. The yield to the investor on performance indexed paper is established at maturity as a function of spot exchange rates between the designated currencies as of or about the time (generally, the index maturity two days prior to maturity). The yield to the investor will be within a range stipulated at the time of purchase of the obligation, generally with a guaranteed minimum rate of return that is below, and a potential maximum rate of return that is above, market yields on commercial paper, with both the minimum and maximum rates of return on the investment corresponding to the minimum and maximum values of the spot exchange rate two business days prior to maturity.
Principal Exchange Rate Linked Securities (“PERLS”)
PERLS are debt obligations the principal on which is payable at maturity in an amount that may vary based on the exchange rate between the particular currencies at or about that time. The return on “standard” principal exchange rate linked securities is enhanced if the currency to which the security is linked appreciates against the base currency, and is adversely affected by increases in the exchange value of the base currency. “Reverse” PERLS are like the “standard” securities, except that their return is enhanced by increases in the value of the base currency and adversely impacted by increases in the value of other currency. Interest payments on the securities are generally made at rates that reflect the degree of currency risk assumed or given up by the purchaser of the notes (i.e., at relatively higher interest rates if the purchaser has assumed some of the currency exchange risk, or relatively lower interest rates if the issuer has assumed some of the
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currency exchange risk, based on the expectations of the current market). PERLS may in limited cases be subject to acceleration of maturity (generally, not without the consent of the holders of the securities), which may have an adverse impact on the value of the principal payment to be made at maturity.
Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts
The Fund may use interest rate, foreign currency, dividend, volatility or index futures contracts. An interest rate, foreign currency, dividend, volatility or index futures contract provides for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified quantity of a financial instrument, foreign currency, dividend basket or the cash value of an index at a specified price and time. A futures contract on an index is an agreement pursuant to which two parties agree to take or make delivery of an amount of cash equal to the difference between the value of the index at the close of the last trading day of the contract and the price at which the index contract was originally written. Although the value of an index might be a function of the value of certain specified securities, no physical delivery of these securities is made. A public market exists in futures contracts covering several indexes as well as a number of financial instruments and foreign currencies, and it is expected that other futures contracts will be developed and traded in the future. Interest rate and volatility futures contracts currently are traded in the United States primarily on the floors of the Chicago Board of Trade and the International Monetary Market of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Interest rate futures also are traded on foreign exchanges such as the London International Financial Futures Exchange and the Singapore International Monetary Exchange. Interest rate futures also are traded on foreign exchanges such as the London International Financial Futures Exchange and the Singapore International Monetary Exchange. Volatility futures also are traded on foreign exchanges such as Eurex. Dividend futures are also traded on foreign exchanges such as Eurex, NYSE Euronext Liffe, London Stock Exchange and the Singapore International Monetary Exchange.
The Fund may purchase and write call and put options on futures. Futures options possess many of the same characteristics as options on securities and indexes discussed above. A futures option gives the holder the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a long position (call) or short position (put) in a futures contract at a specified exercise price at any time during the period of option. Upon exercise of a call option, the holder acquires a long position in the futures contract and the writer is assigned the opposite short position. In the case of a put option, the opposite is true.
Except as otherwise described in this SAI, the Fund will limit its use of futures contracts and futures options to hedging transactions and in an attempt to increase total return, in accordance with Federal regulations. The costs of, and possible losses incurred from, futures contracts and options thereon may reduce the Fund’s current income and involve a loss of principal. Any incremental return earned by the Fund resulting from these transactions would be expected to offset anticipated losses or a portion thereof.
The Fund will only enter into futures contracts and futures options which are standardized and traded on a U.S. or foreign exchange, board of trade, or similar entity, or quoted on an automated quotation system.
When a purchase or sale of a futures contract is made by the Fund, the Fund is required to deposit with its custodian (or broker, if legally permitted) a specified amount of cash or U.S. Government securities (“initial margin”). The margin required for a futures contract is set by the exchange on which the contract is traded and may be modified during the term of the contract. The initial margin is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the futures contract which is returned to the Fund upon termination of the contract, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. The Fund expects to earn interest income on its initial margin deposits. A futures contract held by the Fund is valued daily at the official settlement price of the exchange on which it is traded. Each day the Fund pays or receives cash, called “variation margin,” equal to the daily change in value of the futures contract. This process is known as “marking to market.” Variation margin does not represent a borrowing or loan by the Fund but is instead a settlement between the Fund and the broker of the amount one would owe the other if the futures contract expired. In computing daily NAV, the Fund will mark to market its open futures positions.
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The Fund is also required to deposit and maintain margin with respect to put and call options on futures contracts it has written. Such margin deposits will vary depending on the nature of the underlying futures contract (and the related initial margin requirements), the current market value of the option, and other futures positions held by the Fund.
To the extent required to comply with SEC Release No. IC-10666, when entering into a futures contract or an option on a futures contract, the Fund will specifically designate on its accounting records any asset, including equity securities and non-investment-grade debt so long as the asset is liquid, unencumbered and marked to market daily equal to the prescribed amount. Generally, for cash-settled futures contracts the prescribed amount is the net amount of the Fund’s obligation, and for non-cash-settled futures contracts the prescribed about is the notional value of the reference obligation.
Futures contracts are designed by boards of trade which are designated “contracts markets” by the CFTC. Futures contracts trade on contracts markets in a manner that is similar to the way a stock trades on a stock exchange and the boards of trade, through their clearing corporations, guarantee performance of the contracts. The Fund’s ability to claim an exclusion or exemption from the definition of a commodity pool may be limited when the Fund invests in futures contracts. (See “Commodity Interests” in this SAI.)
The requirements of the Code for qualification as a regulated investment company also may limit the extent to which the Fund may enter into futures, futures options or forward contracts. (See the “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” section of this SAI.)
Although some futures contracts call for making or taking delivery of the underlying securities, generally these obligations are closed out prior to delivery by offsetting purchases or sales of matching futures contracts (same exchange, underlying security or index, and delivery month). If an offsetting purchase price is less than the original sale price, the Fund realizes a capital gain, or if it is more, the Fund realizes a capital loss. Conversely, if an offsetting sales price is more than the original purchase price, the Fund realizes a capital gain, or if it is less, the Fund realizes a capital loss. The transaction costs must also be included in these calculations.
Positions in futures contracts and related options may be closed out only on an exchange which provides a secondary market for such contracts or options. The Fund will enter into an option or futures position only if there appears to be a liquid secondary market. However, there can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular option or futures contract at any specific time. Thus, it may not be possible to close out a futures or related option position. In the case of a futures position, in the event of adverse price movements the Fund would continue to be required to make daily margin payments. In this situation, if the Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily margin requirements it may have to sell portfolio securities to meet its margin obligations at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. In addition, the Fund may be required to take or make delivery of the securities underlying the futures contracts it holds. The inability to close out futures positions also could have an adverse impact on the Fund’s ability to hedge its portfolio effectively.
There are several risks in connection with the use of futures contracts as a hedging device. While hedging can provide protection against an adverse movement in market prices, it can also limit a hedger’s opportunity to benefit fully from a favorable market movement. In addition, investing in futures contracts and options on futures contracts will cause the Fund to incur additional brokerage commissions and may cause an increase in the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate.
The successful use of futures contracts and related options may also depend on the ability of the Fund’s subadviser to forecast correctly the direction and extent of market movements, interest rates and other market factors within a given time frame. To the extent market prices remain stable during the period a futures contract or option is held by the Fund or such prices move in a direction opposite to that anticipated, the Fund may realize a loss on the transaction which is not offset by an increase in the value of its portfolio securities. Options and futures may also fail as a hedging technique in cases where the movements of the securities underlying the options and futures do not follow the price movements of the hedged portfolio securities. As a result, the Fund’s total return for the period may be less than if it had not engaged in the hedging transaction. The loss from investing in futures transactions is potentially unlimited.
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Utilization of futures contracts by the Fund involves the risk of imperfect correlation in movements in the price of futures contracts and movements in the price of the securities which are being hedged. If the price of the futures contract moves more or less than the price of the securities being hedged, the Fund will experience a gain or loss which will not be completely offset by movements in the price of the securities. It is possible that, where the Fund has sold futures contracts to hedge its portfolio against a decline in the market, the market may advance and the value of securities held in the Fund’s portfolio may decline. If this occurred, the Fund would lose money on the futures contract and would also experience a decline in value in its portfolio securities. Where futures are purchased to hedge against a possible increase in the prices of securities before the Fund is able to invest its cash (or cash equivalents) in securities (or options) in an orderly fashion, it is possible that the market may decline; if the Fund then determines not to invest in securities (or options) at that time because of concern as to possible further market decline or for other reasons, the Fund will realize a loss on the futures that would not be offset by a reduction in the price of the securities purchased.
The market prices of futures contracts may be affected if participants in the futures market elect to close out their contracts through off-setting transactions rather than to meet margin deposit requirements. In such case, distortions in the normal relationship between the cash and futures markets could result. Price distortions could also result if investors in futures contracts opt to make or take delivery of the underlying securities rather than to engage in closing transactions because such action would reduce the liquidity of the futures market. In addition, from the point of view of speculators, because the deposit requirements in the futures markets are less onerous than margin requirements in the cash market, increased participation by speculators in the futures market could cause temporary price distortions. Due to the possibility of price distortions in the futures market and because of the imperfect correlation between movements in the prices of securities and movements in the prices of futures contracts, a correct forecast of market trends may still not result in a successful hedging transaction.
Compared to the purchase or sale of futures contracts, the purchase of put or call options on futures contracts involves less potential risk for the Fund because the maximum amount at risk is the premium paid for the options plus transaction costs. However, there may be circumstances when the purchase of an option on a futures contract would result in a loss to the Fund while the purchase or sale of the futures contract would not have resulted in a loss, such as when there is no movement in the price of the underlying securities.
For additional information about options transactions, see “Options” under “Derivative Investments” in this section of the SAI.
Mortgage-Related and Other Asset-Backed Securities
The Fund may purchase mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities, which collectively are securities backed by mortgages, installment contracts, credit card receivables or other financial assets. Asset-backed securities represent interests in “pools” of assets in which payments of both interest and principal on the securities are made periodically, thus in effect “passing through” such payments made by the individual borrowers on the assets that underlie the securities, net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of the securities. The average life of asset-backed securities varies with the maturities of the underlying instruments, and the average life of a mortgage-backed instrument, in particular, is likely to be less than the original maturity of the mortgage pools underlying the securities as a result of mortgage prepayments, where applicable. For this and other reasons, an asset-backed security’s stated maturity may be different, and the security’s total return may be difficult to predict precisely.
If an asset-backed security is purchased at a premium, a prepayment rate that is faster than expected will reduce yield to maturity, while a prepayment rate that is slower than expected will have the opposite effect of increasing yield to maturity. Conversely, if an asset-backed security is purchased at a discount, faster than expected prepayments will increase yield to maturity, while slower than expected prepayments will decrease yield to maturity.
Prepayments of principal of mortgage-related securities by mortgagors or mortgage foreclosures affect the average life of the mortgage-related securities in the Fund’s portfolio. Mortgage prepayments are affected by the level of interest rates and other factors, including general economic conditions and the underlying location and age of the
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mortgage. In periods of rising interest rates, the prepayment rate tends to decrease, lengthening the average life of a pool of mortgage-related securities. The longer the remaining maturity of a security the greater the effect of interest rate changes will be. Changes in the ability of an issuer to make payments of interest and principal and in the market’s perception of its creditworthiness also affect the market value of that issuer’s debt securities.
In periods of falling interest rates, the prepayment rate tends to increase, shortening the average life of a pool. Because prepayments of principal generally occur when interest rates are declining, it is likely that the Fund, to the extent that it retains the same percentage of debt securities, may have to reinvest the proceeds of prepayments at lower interest rates than those of its previous investments. If this occurs, that Fund’s yield will correspondingly decline. Thus, mortgage-related securities may have less potential for capital appreciation in periods of falling interest rates than other fixed income securities of comparable duration, although they may have a comparable risk of decline in market value in periods of rising interest rates. To the extent that the Fund purchases mortgage-related securities at a premium, unscheduled prepayments, which are made at par, result in a loss equal to any unamortized premium.
Duration is one of the fundamental tools used by the Fund’s subadviser in managing interest rate risks including prepayment risks. Traditionally, a debt security’s “term to maturity” characterizes a security’s sensitivity to changes in interest rates. “Term to maturity,” however, measures only the time until a debt security provides its final payment, taking no account of prematurity payments. Most debt securities provide interest (“coupon”) payments in addition to a final (“par”) payment at maturity, and some securities have call provisions allowing the issuer to repay the instrument in full before maturity date, each of which affect the security’s response to interest rate changes. “Duration” therefore is generally considered a more precise measure of interest rate risk than “term to maturity.” Determining duration may involve the subadviser’s estimates of future economic parameters, which may vary from actual future values. Generally fixed income securities with longer effective durations are more responsive to interest rate fluctuations than those with shorter effective durations. For example, if interest rates rise by 1%, the value of securities having an effective duration of three years will generally decrease by approximately 3%.
Descriptions of some of the different types of mortgage-related and other asset-backed securities most commonly acquired by the Fund are provided below. In addition to those shown, other types of mortgage-related and asset-backed investments are, or may become, available for investment by the Fund.
Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (“CMOs”)
CMOs are hybrid instruments with characteristics of both mortgage-backed and mortgage pass-through securities. Interest and prepaid principal on a CMO are paid, in most cases, monthly. CMOs may be collateralized by whole mortgage loans but are more typically collateralized by portfolios of mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed by entities such as GNMA, FHLMC, or FNMA, and their income streams.
CMOs are typically structured in multiple classes, each bearing a different stated maturity. Actual maturity and average life will depend upon the prepayment experience of the collateral. CMOs provide for a modified form of call protection through a de facto breakdown of the underlying pool of mortgages according to how quickly the loans are repaid. Monthly payment of principal received from the pool of underlying mortgages, including prepayments, is first returned to investors holding the shortest maturity class. Investors holding the longer maturity classes typically receive principal only after the first class has been retired. An investor may be partially guarded against a sooner than desired return of principal because of the sequential payments.
FHLMC CMOs are debt obligations of FHLMC issued in multiple classes having different maturity dates and are secured by the pledge of a pool of conventional mortgage loans purchased by FHLMC. The amount of principal payable on each monthly payment date is determined in accordance with FHLMC’s mandatory sinking fund schedule. Sinking fund payments in the CMOs are allocated to the retirement of the individual classes of bonds in the order of their stated maturities. Payments of principal on the mortgage loans in the collateral pool in excess of the amount of FHLMC’s minimum sinking fund obligation for any payment date are paid to the holders of the CMOs as additional sinking-fund payments. Because of the “pass-through” nature of all principal payments received on the collateral pool in excess of FHLMC’s minimum sinking fund requirement, the rate at which
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principal of the CMOs is actually repaid is likely to be such that each class of bonds will be retired in advance of its scheduled maturity date. If collection of principal (including prepayments) on the mortgage loans during any semiannual payment period is not sufficient to meet FHLMC’s minimum sinking fund obligation on the next sinking fund payment date, FHLMC agrees to make up the deficiency from its general funds.
CMO Residuals
CMO residuals are derivative mortgage securities issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans. As described above, the cash flow generated by the mortgage assets underlying a series of CMOs is applied first to make required payments of principal and interest on the CMOs and second to pay the related administrative expenses of the issuer. The “residual” in a CMO structure generally represents the interest in any excess cash flow remaining after making the foregoing payments. Each payment of such excess cash flow to a holder of the related CMO residual represents income and/or a return of capital. The amount of residual cash flow resulting from a CMO will depend on, among other things, the characteristics of the mortgage assets, the coupon rate of each class of CMO, prevailing interest rates, the amount of administrative expenses and, in particular, the prepayment experience on the mortgage assets. In addition, if a series of a CMO includes a class that bears interest at an adjustable rate, the yield to maturity on the related CMO residual will also be extremely sensitive to changes in the level of the index upon which interest rate adjustments are based. In certain circumstances the Fund may fail to recoup fully its initial investment in a CMO residual.
CMO residuals are generally purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers. The CMO residual market currently may not have the liquidity of other more established securities trading in other markets. CMO residuals may be subject to certain restrictions on transferability, may be deemed illiquid and therefore subject to the Fund’s limitations on investment in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)
Mortgage Pass-through Securities
Mortgage pass-through securities are interests in pools of mortgage loans, assembled and issued by various governmental, government-related, and private organizations. Unlike other forms of debt securities, which normally provide for periodic payment of interest in fixed amounts with principal payments at maturity or specified call dates, these securities provide a monthly payment consisting of both interest and principal payments. In effect, these payments are a “pass-through” of the monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on their residential or commercial mortgage loans, net of any fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of such securities. Additional payments are caused by repayments of principal resulting from the sale of the underlying property, refinancing or foreclosure, net of fees or costs. “Modified pass-through” securities (such as securities issued by GNMA) entitle the holder to receive all interest and principal payments owed on the mortgage pool, net of certain fees, at the scheduled payment dates regardless of whether or not the mortgagor actually makes the payment.
The principal governmental guarantor of U.S. mortgage-related securities is GNMA. GNMA is authorized to guarantee, with the full faith and credit of the United States Government, the timely payment of principal and interest on securities issued by institutions approved by GNMA (such as savings and loan institutions, commercial banks and mortgage bankers) and backed by pools of Federal Housing Administration insured or Veterans Administration guaranteed mortgages. Government-related guarantors whose obligations are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government include FNMA and FHLMC. FNMA purchases conventional (i.e., not insured or guaranteed by any government agency) residential mortgages from a list of approved seller/servicers which include state and federally chartered savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks and credit unions and mortgage bankers. FHLMC issues Participation Certificates that represent interests in conventional mortgages from FHLMC’s national portfolio. FNMA and FHLMC guarantee the timely payment of interest and ultimate collection of principal on securities they issue, but the securities they issue are neither issued nor guaranteed by the United States Government.
Commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage insurance companies, mortgage bankers and other secondary market issuers also create pass-through pools of conventional residential mortgage loans. Such issuers may, in addition, be the originators and/ or servicers of the underlying mortgage loans as well as the guarantors of the mortgage-related securities. Pools created by such non-governmental issuers generally
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offer a higher rate of interest than government and government-related pools because there are no direct or indirect government or agency guarantees of payments for such securities. However, timely payment of interest and principal of these pools may be supported by various forms of insurance or guarantees, including individual loan, title, pool and hazard insurance and letters of credit. The insurance and guarantees are issued by governmental entities, private insurers and the mortgage poolers. Such insurance and guarantees and the creditworthiness of the issuers thereof will be considered in determining whether a mortgage-related security meets the Fund’s investment quality standards. There can be no assurance that the private insurers or guarantors can meet their obligations under the insurance policies or guarantee arrangements. The Fund may buy mortgage-related securities without insurance or guarantees if, through an examination of the loan experience and practices of the originator/servicers and poolers, the Fund’s subadviser determines that the securities meet the Fund’s quality standards. Securities issued by certain private organizations may not be readily marketable and may therefore be subject to the Fund’s limitations on investments in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)
Mortgage-backed securities that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, are not subject to the Fund’s industry concentration restrictions set forth in the “Investment Restrictions” section of this SAI by virtue of the exclusion from the test available to all U.S. Government securities. The assets underlying such securities may be represented by a portfolio of first lien residential mortgages (including both whole mortgage loans and mortgage participation interests) or portfolios of mortgage pass-through securities issued or guaranteed by GNMA, FNMA or FHLMC. Mortgage loans underlying a mortgage-related security may in turn be insured or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Fund will consider the assets underlying privately-issued, mortgage-related securities, and other asset-backed securities, when determining the industry of such securities for purposes of the Fund’s industry concentration restrictions set forth in the ‘Investment Restrictions’ section of this SAI, and as a result such securities may not be deemed by the Fund to represent the same industry or group of industries. In the case of private issue mortgage-related securities whose underlying assets are neither U.S. Government securities nor U.S. Government-insured mortgages, to the extent that real properties securing such assets may be located in the same geographical region, the security may be subject to a greater risk of default than other comparable securities in the event of adverse economic, political or business developments that may affect such region and, ultimately, the ability of residential homeowners to make payments of principal and interest on the underlying mortgages.
It is possible that the availability and the marketability (that is, liquidity) of the securities discussed in this section could be adversely affected by the actions of the U.S. Government to tighten the availability of its credit. On September 7, 2008, the FHFA, an agency of the U.S. Government, placed FNMA and FHLMC into conservatorship, a statutory process with the objective of returning the entities to normal business operations. FHFA will act as the conservator to operate FNMA and FHLMC until they are stabilized. The conservatorship is still in effect as of the date of this SAI and has no specified termination date. There can be no assurance as to when or how the conservatorship will be terminated or whether FNMA or FHLMC will continue to exist following the conservatorship or what their respective business structures will be during or following the conservatorship. FHFA, as conservator, has the power to repudiate any contract entered into by FNMA or FHLMC prior to its appointment if it determines that performance of the contract is burdensome and repudiation of the contract promotes the orderly administration of FNMA’s or FHLMC’s affairs. Furthermore, FHFA has the right to transfer or sell any asset or liability of FNMA or FHLMC without any approval, assignment or consent. If FHFA were to transfer any such guarantee obligation to another party, holders of FNMA or FHLMC mortgage-backed securities would have to rely on that party for satisfaction of the guarantee obligation and would be exposed to the credit risk of that party.
Other Asset-Backed Securities
Through trusts and other special purpose entities, various types of securities based on financial assets other than mortgage loans are increasingly available, in both pass-through structures similar to mortgage pass-through securities described above and in other structures more like CMOs. As with mortgage-related securities, these asset-backed securities are often backed by a pool of financial assets representing the
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obligations of a number of different parties. They often include credit-enhancement features similar to mortgage-related securities.
Financial assets on which these securities are based include automobile receivables; credit card receivables; loans to finance boats, recreational vehicles, and mobile homes; computer, copier, railcar, and medical equipment leases; and trade, healthcare, and franchise receivables. In general, the obligations supporting these asset-backed securities are of shorter maturities than mortgage loans and are less likely to experience substantial prepayments. However, obligations such as credit card receivables are generally unsecured and the obligors are often entitled to protection under a number of consumer credit laws granting, among other things, rights to set off certain amounts owed on the credit cards, thus reducing the balance due. Other obligations that are secured, such as automobile receivables, may present issuers with difficulties in perfecting and executing on the security interests, particularly where the issuer allows the servicers of the receivables to retain possession of the underlying obligations, thus increasing the risk that recoveries on defaulted obligations may not be adequate to support payments on the securities.
Stripped Mortgage-backed Securities (“SMBS”)
SMBS are derivative multi-class mortgage securities. They may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. Government, or by private originators of, or investors in, mortgage loans. SMBS are usually structured with two classes that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage assets. A common type of SMBS will have one class receiving some of the interest and most of the principal from the mortgage assets, while the other class will receive most of the interest and the remainder of the principal. In the most extreme case, one class will receive all of the interest (the interest-only or “IO” class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (the principal-only or “PO” class). The yield to maturity on an IO class security is extremely sensitive to the rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the related underlying mortgage assets, and a rapid rate of principal payments may have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s yield to maturity from these securities. If the underlying mortgage assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the Fund may fail to recoup fully its initial investment in these securities even if the security is in one of the highest rating categories. The market value of the PO class generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates.
Although SMBS are purchased and sold by institutional investors through several investment banking firms acting as brokers or dealers, these securities were only recently developed. As a result, established trading markets have not yet developed and, accordingly, these securities may be deemed illiquid and therefore subject to the Fund’s limitations on investment in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)
The Fund may invest in other mortgage-related securities with features similar to those described above, to the extent consistent with the Fund’s investment objectives and policies.
Options
The Fund may purchase or sell put and call options on securities, indices and other financial instruments. Options may relate to particular securities, foreign and domestic securities indices, financial instruments, volatility, credit default, foreign currencies or the yield differential between two securities. Such options may or may not be listed on a domestic or foreign securities exchange and may or may not be issued by the OCC.
A call option for a particular security gives the purchaser of the option the right to buy, and a writer the obligation to sell, the underlying security at the stated exercise price before the expiration of the option, regardless of the market price of the security. A premium is paid to the writer by the purchaser in consideration for undertaking the obligation under the option contract. A put option for a particular security gives the purchaser the right to sell and a writer the obligation to buy the security at the stated exercise price before the expiration date of the option, regardless of the market price of the security.
To the extent required to comply with SEC Release No. IC-10666, options written by the Fund will be covered and will remain covered as long as the Fund is obligated as a writer. A call option is “covered” if the Fund owns the underlying security or its equivalent covered by the call or has an absolute and immediate right to acquire that security without additional cash consideration (or for additional cash consideration if such cash is segregated) upon conversion or exchange of other securities held in its portfolio. A call
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option is also covered if the Fund holds on a share-for-share or equal principal amount basis a call on the same security as the call written where the exercise price of the call held is equal to or less than the exercise price of the call written or greater than the exercise price of the call written if appropriate liquid assets representing the difference are segregated by the Fund. A put option is “covered” if the Fund maintains appropriate liquid securities with a value equal to the exercise price, or owns on a share-for-share or equal principal amount basis a put on the same security as the put written where the exercise price of the put held is equal to or greater than the exercise price of the put written.
The Fund’s obligation to sell an instrument subject to a covered call option written by it, or to purchase an instrument subject to a secured put option written by it, may be terminated before the expiration of the option by the Fund’s execution of a closing purchase transaction. This means that the Fund buys an option of the same series (i.e., same underlying instrument, exercise price and expiration date) as the option previously written. Such a purchase does not result in the ownership of an option. A closing purchase transaction will ordinarily be effected to realize a profit on an outstanding option, to prevent an underlying instrument from being called, to permit the sale of the underlying instrument or to permit the writing of a new option containing different terms on such underlying instrument. The cost of such a closing purchase plus related transaction costs may be greater than the premium received upon the original option, in which event the Fund will experience a loss. There is no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular option. If the Fund has written an option and is unable to effect a closing purchase transaction, it will not be able to sell the underlying instrument (in the case of a covered call option) or liquidate the segregated assets (in the case of a secured put option) until the option expires or the optioned instrument is delivered upon exercise. The Fund will be subject to the risk of market decline or appreciation in the instrument during such period.
To the extent required to comply with SEC Release No. IC-10666, when entering into an option transaction, the Fund will specifically designate on its accounting records any asset, including equity securities and non-investment-grade debt so long as the asset is liquid, unencumbered and marked to market daily equal to the prescribed amount. For options transactions, the prescribed amount will generally be the market value of the underlying instrument but will not be less than the exercise price.
Options purchased are recorded as an asset and written options are recorded as liabilities to the extent of premiums paid or received. The amount of this asset or liability will be subsequently marked-to-market to reflect the current value of the option purchased or written. The current value of the traded option is the last sale price or, in the absence of a sale, the current bid price. If an option purchased by the Fund expires unexercised, the Fund will realize a loss equal to the premium paid. If the Fund enters into a closing sale transaction on an option purchased by it, the Fund will realize a gain if the premium received by the Fund on the closing transaction is more than the premium paid to purchase the option, or a loss if it is less. If an option written by the Fund expires on the stipulated expiration date or if the Fund enters into a closing purchase transaction, it will realize a gain (or loss if the cost of a closing purchase transaction exceeds the net premium received when the option is sold), and the liability related to such option will be eliminated. If an option written by the Fund is exercised, the proceeds of the sale will be increased by the net premium originally received and the Fund will realize a gain or loss.
Options trading is a highly specialized activity that entails more complex and potentially greater than ordinary investment risk. Options may be more volatile than the underlying instruments and, therefore, on a percentage basis, an investment in options may be subject to greater fluctuation than an investment in the underlying instruments themselves.
There are several other risks associated with options. For example, there are significant differences among the securities, currency, volatility, credit default and options markets that could result in an imperfect correlation among these markets, causing a given transaction not to achieve its objectives. In addition, a liquid secondary market for particular options, whether traded over-the-counter or on an exchange, may be absent for reasons that include the following: there may be insufficient trading interest in certain options; restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening transactions or closing transactions or both; trading halts, suspensions or other restrictions may be imposed with
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respect to particular classes or series of options or underlying securities or currencies; unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; the facilities of an exchange or the OCC may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading value; or 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 that had been issued by the OCC as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms.
The staff of the SEC currently takes the position that options not traded on registered domestic securities exchanges and the assets used to cover the amount of the Fund’s obligation pursuant to such options are illiquid, and are therefore subject to the Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities. However, for options written with “primary dealers” in U.S. Government securities pursuant to an agreement requiring a closing transaction at the formula price, the amount considered to be illiquid may be calculated by reference to a formula price. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.)
Options on Indexes and “Yield Curve” Options
The Fund may enter into options on indexes or options on the “spread,” or yield differential, between two fixed income securities, in transactions referred to as “yield curve” options. Options on indexes and yield curve options provide the holder with the right to make or receive a cash settlement upon exercise of the option. With respect to options on indexes, the amount of the settlement will equal the difference between the closing price of the index at the time of exercise and the exercise price of the option expressed in dollars, times a specified multiple. With respect to yield curve options, the amount of the settlement will equal the difference between the yields of designated securities.
With respect to yield curve options, a call or put option is covered if the Fund holds another call or put, respectively, on the spread between the same two securities and maintains in a segregated account 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 it wrote less the value of the option it holds. The Fund may also cover yield curve options 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.
The trading of these types of options is subject to all of the risks associated with the trading of other types of options. In addition, however, yield curve options present risk of loss even if the yield of one of the underlying securities remains constant, if the spread moves in a direction or to an extent which was not anticipated.
Reset Options
In certain instances, the Fund may purchase or write options on U.S. Treasury securities, which provide for periodic adjustment of the strike price and may also provide for the periodic adjustment of the premium during the term of each such option. Like other types of options, these transactions, which may be referred to as “reset” options or “adjustable strike” options grant the purchaser the right to purchase (in the case of a call) or sell (in the case of a put), a specified type of U.S. Treasury security at any time up to a stated expiration date (or, in certain instances, on such date). In contrast to other types of options, however, the price at which the underlying security may be purchased or sold under a “reset” option is determined at various intervals during the term of the option, and such price fluctuates from interval to interval based on changes in the market value of the underlying security. As a result, the strike price of a “reset” option, at the time of exercise, may be less advantageous than if the strike price had been fixed at the initiation of the option. In addition, the premium paid for the purchase of the option may be determined at the termination, rather than the initiation, of the option. If the premium for a reset option written by the Fund is paid at termination, the Fund assumes the risk that (i) the premium may be less than the premium which would otherwise have been received at the initiation of the option because of such factors as the volatility in yield of the underlying Treasury security over the term of the option and adjustments made to the strike price of the option, and (ii) the option purchaser may default on its obligation to pay the premium at the termination of the option. Conversely, where the Fund purchases a reset option, it could be required to pay a higher premium than would have been the case at the initiation of the option.
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Swaptions
The Fund may enter into swaption contracts, which give the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset or instrument at a specified strike price on or before a specified date. Over-the-counter swaptions, although providing greater flexibility, may involve greater credit risk than exchange-traded options as they are not backed by the clearing organization of the exchanges where they are traded, and as such, there is a risk that the seller will not settle as agreed. The Fund’s financial liability associated with swaptions is linked to the marked-to-market value of the notional underlying investments. Purchased swaption contracts are exposed to a maximum loss equal to the price paid for the option/swaption (the premium) and no further liability. Written swaptions, however, give the right of potential exercise to a third party, and the maximum loss to the Fund in the case of an uncovered swaption is unlimited.
Swap Agreements
The Fund may enter into swap agreements on, among other things, interest rates, indices, securities and currency exchange rates. The Fund’s subadviser may use swaps in an attempt to obtain for the Fund a particular desired return at a lower cost to the Fund than if the Fund had invested directly in an instrument that yielded that desired return. Swap agreements are two-party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors for periods typically ranging from a few weeks to more than one year. In a standard “swap” transaction, two parties agree to exchange the returns (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on particular predetermined investments or instruments. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are 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 in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. The “notional amount” of the swap agreement is only a fictive basis on which to calculate the obligations the parties to a swap agreement have agreed to exchange. The Fund’s obligations (or rights) under a swap agreement will generally be equal only to the amount to be paid or received under the agreement based on the relative values of the positions held by each party to the agreement (the “net amount”). The Fund’s obligations under a swap agreement will be accrued daily on the Fund’s accounting records (offset against any amounts owing to the Fund) and any accrued but unpaid net amounts owed to a swap counterparty will be covered by specifically designating on the accounting records of the Fund liquid assets to avoid leveraging of the Fund’s portfolio.
Because swap agreements are two-party contracts and may have terms of greater than seven days, they may be considered to be illiquid and therefore subject to the Fund’s limitations on investment in illiquid securities. (See “Illiquid and Restricted Securities” in this section of the SAI.) 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 agreement counterparty. The Fund’s subadviser will cause the Fund to enter into swap agreements only with counterparties that would be eligible for consideration as repurchase agreement counterparties under the Fund’s repurchase agreement guidelines. (See “Repurchase Agreements” in this section of the SAI.) Certain restrictions imposed on the Fund by the Code may limit the Fund’s ability to use swap agreements. (See the “Dividends, Distributions and Taxes” section of this SAI.) The swaps market is a relatively new market and is largely unregulated. It is possible that developments in the swaps market, including potential government regulation, could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to terminate existing swap agreements or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements.
Certain swap agreements are exempt from most provisions of the CEA and, therefore, are not regulated as futures or commodity option transactions under the CEA, pursuant to regulations of the CFTC. To qualify for this exemption, a swap agreement must be entered into by eligible participants and must meet certain conditions (each pursuant to the CEA and regulations of the CFTC). However, recent CFTC rule amendments dictate that certain swap agreements be considered commodity interests for purposes of the CEA. (See “Commodity Interests” in this section of the SAI for additional information regarding the implications of investments being considered commodity interests under the CEA.)
Recently, the SEC and the CFTC have developed rules under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to create a new, comprehensive regulatory framework for swap transactions. Under the new regulations, certain swap transactions will be required to be executed on a regulated trading platform and cleared through a
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derivatives clearing organization. Additionally, the new regulations impose other requirements on the parties entering into swap transactions, including requirements relating to posting margin, and reporting and documenting swap transactions. The Fund engaging in swap transactions may incur additional expenses as a result of these new regulatory requirements. The Adviser is continuing to monitor the implementation of the new regulations and to assess their impact on the Fund.
Credit Default Swap Agreements
The Fund may enter into credit default swap agreements. A credit default swap is a bilateral financial contract in which one party (the protection buyer) pays a periodic fee in return for a contingent payment by the protection seller following a credit event of a reference issuer. The protection buyer must either sell particular obligations issued by the reference issuer for its par value (or some other designated reference or strike price) when a credit event occurs or receive a cash settlement based on the difference between the market price and such reference price. A credit event is commonly defined as bankruptcy, insolvency, receivership, material adverse restructuring of debt, or failure to meet payment obligations when due. The Fund may be either the buyer or seller in the transaction. If the Fund is a buyer and no event of default occurs, the Fund loses its investment and recovers nothing; however, if an event of default occurs, the Fund receives full notional value for a reference obligation that may have little or no value. As a seller, the Fund receives a periodic fee throughout the term of the contract, provided there is no default event; if an event of default occurs, the Fund must pay the buyer the full notional value of the reference obligation. The value of the reference obligation received by the Fund as a seller, coupled with the periodic payments previously received, may be less than the full notional value the Fund pays to the buyer, resulting in a loss of value to the Fund.
As with other swaps, when the Fund enters into a credit default swap agreement, to the extent required by applicable law and regulation the Fund will specifically designate on its accounting records any asset, including equity securities and non-investment-grade debt so long as the asset is liquid, unencumbered and marked to market daily, equal to the Fund’s net exposure under the swap (the “Segregated Assets”). Generally, the minimum cover amount for a swap agreement is the amount owed by the Fund, if any, on a daily mark-to-market basis. With respect to swap contracts that provide for the netting of payments, the net amount of the excess, if any, of the Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to each swap contract will be accrued on a daily basis and an amount of Segregated Assets having an aggregate market value at least equal to the accrued excess will be maintained to cover the transactions in accordance with SEC positions. With respect to swap contracts that do not provide for the netting of payments by the counterparties, the full notional amount for which the Fund is obligated under the swap contract with respect to each swap contract will be accrued on a daily basis and an amount of Segregated Assets having an aggregate market value at least equal to the accrued full notional value will be maintained to cover the transactions in accordance with SEC positions. When the Fund sells protection on an individual credit default swap, upon a credit event, the Fund may be obligated to pay the cash equivalent value of the asset. Therefore, the cover amount will be the notional value of the underlying credit. With regard to selling protection on an index (CDX), as a practical matter, the Fund would not be required to pay the full notional amount of the index; therefore, only the amount owed by the Fund, if any, on a daily mark-to-market basis is required as cover.
Credit default swaps involve greater risks than if the Fund had invested in the reference obligation directly. In addition to general market risks, credit default swaps are subject to illiquidity risk, counterparty risk and credit risks. The Fund will enter into swap agreements only with counterparties deemed creditworthy by the Fund’s subadviser.
Dividend Swap Agreements
A dividend swap agreement is a financial instrument where two parties contract to exchange a set of future cash flows at set dates in the future. One party agrees to pay the other the future dividend flow on a stock or basket of stocks in an index, in return for which the other party gives the first call options. Dividend swaps generally are traded over the counter rather than on an exchange.
Inflation Swap Agreements
Inflation swap agreements are contracts in which one party agrees to pay the cumulative percentage increase in a price index (e.g., the Consumer Price Index with respect to CPI swaps) over the term of the swap (with some lag on the inflation index), while the other pays a compounded fixed rate. Inflation swap agreements may be used by the Fund to hedge the inflation risk associated with non-inflation indexed investments, thereby
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creating “synthetic” inflation-indexed investments. One factor that may lead to changes in the values of inflation swap agreements is a change in real interest rates, which are tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. If nominal interest rates increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates may rise, which may lead to a decrease in value of an inflation swap agreement.
Total Return Swap Agreements
“Total return swap” is the generic name for any non-traditional swap where one party agrees to pay the other the “total return” of a defined underlying asset, usually in return for receiving a stream of cash flows based upon an agreed rate. A total return swap may be applied to any underlying asset but is most commonly used with equity indices, single stocks, bonds and defined portfolios of loans and mortgages. A total return swap is a mechanism for the user to accept the economic benefits of asset ownership without utilizing the balance sheet. The other leg of the swap, which is often LIBOR, is spread to reflect the non-balance sheet nature of the product. Total return swaps can be designed with any underlying asset agreed between the two parties. No notional amounts are exchanged with total return swaps.
Variance and Correlation Swap Agreements
Variance swap agreements are contracts in which two parties agree to exchange cash payments based on the difference between the stated level of variance and the actual variance realized on an underlying asset or index. “Actual variance” as used here is defined as the sum