485APOS 1 f9481d1.htm 485A
As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 18, 2021
Registration Nos. 333-89822; 811-21114

U.S. 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. 228
and/or
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940
Amendment No. 237

ProShares Trust
(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in Trust Instrument)

7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1000E
Bethesda, MD 20814
(Address of Principal Executive Office) (Zip Code)
(240) 497-6400
(Area Code and Telephone Number)

Michael L. Sapir, CEO
ProShare Advisors LLC
7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1000E
Bethesda, MD 20814
(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

with copies to:
John Loder, Esq.
c/o Ropes & Gray LLP
Prudential Tower
800 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02199-3600
Richard F. Morris
ProShare Advisors LLC
7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1000E
Bethesda, MD 20814
Approximate date of Proposed Public Offering:
It is proposed that this filing will become effective:
immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)
On pursuant to paragraph (b)
60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

On pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)
75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)
On pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485
If appropriate, check the following:
This post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.





SUBJECT TO COMPLETION—Preliminary Prospectus dated August 18, 2021The information in this Prospectus is not complete and may be changed. Shares of the Fund may not be sold until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.

PROSPECTUS[]
[TICKER]
Ether Strategy ETF
As permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paper copies of the Fund’s annual and semi-annual shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the reports. Instead, the reports will be made available on the Fund’s website (www.proshares.com), and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.
If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and you need not take any action. You may elect to receive shareholder reports and other communications from the Fund electronically anytime by contacting your financial intermediary.
You may elect to receive all future reports in paper free of charge. Please contact your financial intermediary to request that you continue to receive paper copies of your shareholder reports. Your election to receive reports in paper will apply to all funds held in your account that you invest in through your financial intermediary.
ProShares Ether Strategy ETF is listed on [Name of Exchange] (“Exchange”). Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

PROSHARES TRUSTDistributor: SEI Investments Distribution Co.

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3

Summary Section

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Investment Objective
ProShares Ether Strategy ETF (the “Fund”) seeks capital appreciation. There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective.
Fees and Expenses of the Fund
The table below describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy, hold, and sell shares of the Fund. You may pay other fees, such as brokerage commissions and other fees to financial intermediaries, which are not reflected in the tables and examples below.
Annual Fund Operating Expenses
 
(expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the
value of your investment)
 
Management Fees
[]
Other Expenses
[]
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses
[]
Example: This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other funds.
The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of each period. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your approximate costs would be:
1 Year
3 Years
 
 
$[]
$[]
 
 
The Fund pays transaction and financing costs associated with the purchase and sale of securities. These costs are not reflected in the table or the example above.
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 the Fund’s shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the example above, affect the Fund’s performance. The Fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of this Prospectus. Thus, no portfolio turnover information is provided for this Fund.
Principal Investment Strategies
The Fund seeks to provide capital appreciation primarily through actively managed exposure to ether futures contracts. The Fund does not invest directly in ether.
Ether is a digital asset, sometimes referred to as a digital currency or “cryptocurrency.” The ownership and operation of ether is determined by participants in an online, peer-to-peer network. The network connects computers that run publicly accessible, or “open source,” software that follows the rules
and procedures governing the Ether Network. This is commonly referred to as the Ether Protocol (and is described in more detail in the section entitled “The Ether Protocol” in the Fund’s Prospectus). The value of ether is not backed by any government, corporation, or other identified body. Instead, its value is determined in part by the supply and demand in markets created to facilitate trading of ether. Ownership and transaction records for ether are protected through public-key cryptography. The supply of ether is determined by the Ether Protocol. No single entity owns or operates the Ether Network. The Ether Network is collectively maintained by (1) a decentralized group of participants who run computer software that results in the recording and validation of transactions (commonly referred to as “miners”), (2) developers who propose improvements to the Ether Protocol and the software that enforces the protocol and (3) users who choose which version of the ether software to run. From time to time, the developers suggest changes to the ether software. If a sufficient number of users and miners elect not to adopt the changes, a new digital asset, operating on the earlier version of the ether software, may be created. This is often referred to as a “fork.” The price of the ether futures contracts in which the Fund invests may reflect the impact of these forks.
While the Fund seeks to invest primarily in ether futures contracts, the Fund may invest in any of the financial instruments set forth below.
Ether Futures Contracts – Standardized, cash-settled ether futures contracts traded on commodity exchanges registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”). Currently, the only such contracts are traded on, or subject to the rules of, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“CME”). The value of ether futures is determined by reference to the CME CF Ether Reference Rate, which provides an indication of the price of ether across certain cash ether exchanges. The Fund seeks to invest in cash settled, front-month ether futures. Front-month ether futures contracts are those contracts with the shortest time to maturity. The Fund expects to gain exposure by investing a portion of its assets in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands and advised by ProFund Advisors. The Fund generally expects to invest approximately 25% of its total assets in this subsidiary. The Fund may, however, exceed this amount from time to time if the Advisor believes doing so is in the best interest of the Fund, such as to help the Fund achieve its investment objective or manage the tax efficiency of the Fund. Exceeding this amount may have tax consequences, see the section entitled “Tax Risk” in the Fund’s Prospectus for more information. References to investments by the Fund should be read to mean investments by either the Fund or the subsidiary.
Canadian Exchange Traded Funds and Other Pooled Investment Vehicles – The Fund may invest in the securities of exchange traded funds, or “ETFs”, organized and listed for trading in Canada and in other pooled investment vehicles. The

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shares of these instruments represent an interest in a portfolio of ether. The Fund may use these positions to manage inflows and outflows or to respond to unusual market conditions or increases in margin requirements. In addition, the Fund may invest in Canadian ETFs and other pooled investment vehicles if, for any reason, it is unable or it becomes impractical to obtain exposure to ether futures.
Money Market Instruments — The Fund invests in short-term cash instruments that have a remaining maturity of 397 days or less and exhibit high quality credit profiles, for example:
U.S. Treasury Bills — U.S. government securities that have initial maturities of one year or less, and are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
Repurchase Agreements — Contracts in which a seller of securities, usually U.S. government securities or other money market instruments, agrees to buy the securities back at a specified time and price. Repurchase agreements are primarily used by the Fund as a short-term investment vehicle for cash positions.
Borrowing – The Fund seeks to engage in reverse repurchase agreements and use the proceeds for investment purposes.
The Fund does not invest in, or seek direct exposure to, the current “spot” or cash price of ether. Investors seeking direct exposure to the price of ether should consider an investment other than the Fund.
Principal Risks
The principal risks described below are intended to provide information about the factors likely to have a significant adverse impact on the Fund’s returns and consequently the value of an investment in the Fund. The risks are presented in an order intended to facilitate readability and their order does not imply that the realization of one risk is more likely to occur than another risk or likely to have a greater adverse impact than another risk.
Ether and ether futures are relatively new investments. They are subject to unique and substantial risks, and historically, have been subject to significant price volatility. The value of an investment in the Fund could decline significantly and without warning, including to zero. You should be prepared to lose your entire investment.
Investment Strategy Risk – The Fund actively invests in ether futures contracts and other instruments that provide exposure to ether futures. The Fund does not invest directly in or hold ether. The price of ether futures should be expected to differ from the current cash price of ether, which is sometimes referred to as the “spot” price of ether. Consequently, the performance of the Fund should be expected to perform differently from the spot price of ether. These differences could be significant.
Market and Volatility Risk – The prices of ether and ether futures have historically been highly volatile. The value of
the Fund’s investments in ether futures and other instruments that provide exposure to ether and ether futures – and therefore the value of an investment in the Fund – could decline significantly and without warning, including to zero. If you are not prepared to accept significant and unexpected changes in the value of the Fund and the possibility that you could lose your entire investment in the Fund you should not invest in the Fund.
Ether Risk – Ether is a relatively new innovation and the market for ether is subject to rapid price swings, changes and uncertainty. The further development of the Ethereum Network and the acceptance and use of ether are subject to a variety of factors that are difficult to evaluate. The slowing, stopping or reversing of the development of the Ethereum Network or the acceptance of ether may adversely affect the price of ether. Ether is subject to the risk of fraud, theft, manipulation or security failures, operational or other problems that impact ether trading venues. Additionally, if one or a coordinated group of miners were to gain control of 51% of the Ethereum Network, they would have the ability to manipulate transactions, halt payments and fraudulently obtain ether. A significant portion of ether is held by a small number of holders sometimes referred to as “whales”. These holders have the ability to manipulate the price of ether. Unlike the exchanges for more traditional assets, such as equity securities and futures contracts, ether and ether trading venues are largely unregulated. As a result of the lack of regulation, individuals or groups may engage in fraud or market manipulation and investors may be more exposed to the risk of theft, fraud and market manipulation than when investing in more traditional asset classes. Over the past several years, a number of ether trading venues have been closed due to fraud, failure or security breaches. Investors in ether may have little or no recourse should such theft, fraud or manipulation occur and could suffer significant losses. Legal or regulatory changes may negatively impact the operation of the Ethereum Network or restrict the use of ether. The realization of any of these risks could result in a decline in the acceptance of ether and consequently a reduction in the value of ether, ether futures, and the Fund. Finally, the creation of a “fork” (as described above) or a substantial giveaway of ether (sometimes referred to as an “air drop”) may result in a significant and unexpected declines in the value of ether, ether futures, and the Fund.
Ether Futures Risk – The market for ether futures may be less developed, and potentially less liquid and more volatile, than more established futures markets. While the ether futures market has grown substantially since ether futures commenced trading, there can be no assurance that this growth will continue. Ether futures are subject to collateral requirements and daily limits that may limit the Fund’s ability to achieve the desired exposure. If the Fund is unable to meet its investment objective, the Fund’s returns

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may be lower than expected. Additionally, these collateral requirements may require the Fund to liquidate its position when it otherwise would not do so.
Cost of Futures Investment Risk – When a ether futures contract is nearing expiration, the Fund will generally sell it and use the proceeds to buy a ether futures contract with a later expiration date. This is commonly referred to as “rolling”. The costs associated with rolling ether futures typically are substantially higher than the costs associated with other futures contracts and may have a significant adverse impact on the performance of the Fund.
Canadian ETF and Other Pooled Investment Risk – Canadian ETFs and other pooled investment vehicles that provide exposure to ether are subject to many of the same risks as a direct investment in ether. Additionally, shares of these ETFs and other pooled investment vehicles may trade at a premium or discount from the value of their underlying investments, may become illiquid, may or may not be correlated with the price of ether or ether futures contracts, and may be highly volatile. If the Fund invests in an ETF or other pooled investment vehicles, the Fund’s shareholders will indirectly bear the Fund’s proportionate share of the fees and expenses paid by that vehicle, in addition to the Fund’s own fees and expenses. In addition, Canadian ETFs and many other pooled investment vehicles are not regulated under the 1940 Act, the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or any other U.S. federal or state securities laws. Therefore, the Fund’s investments in these vehicles will not benefit from the protections and restrictions of such laws.
Money Market Instruments Risk – Money market instruments may be adversely affected by market and economic events or a negative return on cash holdings. Adverse economic, political or other developments affecting issuers of money market instruments or defaults by transaction counterparties may also have a negative impact on the performance of such instruments. Each of these could have a negative impact on the performance of the Fund.
Risks Associated with the Use of Derivatives — Investing in derivatives, including ether futures, may be considered aggressive and may expose the Fund to significant risks. These risks include counterparty risk and liquidity risk. When the Fund uses derivatives, there may be imperfect correlation between the value of the reference asset(s) and the derivative, which may prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective. Because derivatives often require only a limited initial investment, the use of derivatives also may expose the Fund to losses in excess of those amounts initially invested.
Borrowing Risk – The Fund may borrow for investment purposes using reverse repurchase agreements. The cost of borrowing may reduce the Fund’s return. Borrowing may cause a Fund to liquidate positions under adverse market conditions to satisfy its repayment obligations. Borrowing increases the risk of loss and may increase the volatility of the Fund.
Liquidity Risk — The market for the ether futures contracts is still developing and may be subject to periods of illiquidity. During such times it may be difficult or impossible to buy or sell a position at the desired price. Market disruptions or volatility can also make it difficult to find a counterparty willing to transact at a reasonable price and sufficient size. Illiquid markets may cause losses, which could be significant. The large size of the positions which the Fund may acquire increases the risk of illiquidity, may make its positions more difficult to liquidate, and increase the losses incurred while trying to do so.
Investment Capacity Risk – If the Fund’s ability to obtain exposure to ether futures contracts consistent with its investment objective is disrupted for any reason including, for example, limited liquidity in the ether futures market, a disruption to the ether futures market, or as a result of margin requirements or position limits imposed by the Fund’s futures commission merchants (“FCMs”), the CME, or the CFTC, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective and may experience significant losses. If the Fund is unable for any reason to obtain its desired exposure to ether futures, Canadian ETFs or other pooled investment vehicles, the Adviser, in its sole discretion, may invest the Fund’s assets in money market instruments. To the extent the Fund invest in money market instruments, the Fund’s performance should be expected to differ from the performance of ether futures contracts and ether-related investments and its returns may be lower than expected.
Counterparty Risk — Investing in derivatives and repurchase agreements involves entering into contracts with third parties (i.e., counterparties). The use of derivatives and repurchase agreements involves risks that are different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The Fund will be subject to credit risk (i.e., the risk that a counterparty is or is perceived to be unwilling or unable to make timely payments or otherwise meet its contractual obligations) with respect to the amount it expects to receive from counterparties to derivatives and repurchase agreements entered into by the Fund. If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or fails to perform its obligations, or if any collateral posted by the counterparty for the benefit of the Fund is insufficient or there are delays in the Fund’s ability to access such collateral, the value of an investment in the Fund may decline.
The counterparty to a listed futures contract is the derivatives clearing organization for the listed future. The listed future is held through an FCM acting on behalf of the Fund. Consequently, the counterparty risk on a listed futures contract is the creditworthiness of the FCM and the exchange’s clearing corporation.
Non-Diversification Risk — The Fund is classified as “non-diversified” under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (“1940 Act”). This means it has the ability to

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invest a relatively high percentage of its assets in the securities of a small number of issuers or in financial instruments with a single counterparty or a few counterparties. This may increase the Fund’s volatility and increase the risk that the Fund’s performance will decline based on the performance of a single issuer or the credit of a single counterparty.
Market Price Variance Risk — Investors buy and sell Fund shares in the secondary market at market prices, which may be different from the NAV per share of the Fund (i.e., the secondary market price may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount)). The market price of the Fund’s shares will fluctuate in response to changes in the value of the Fund’s holdings, supply and demand for shares and other market factors. In addition, the instruments held by the Fund may be traded in markets on days and at times when the Fund’s listing exchange is closed for trading. As a result, the value of the Fund’s holdings may vary, perhaps significantly, on days and at times when investors are unable to purchase or sell Fund shares. ProShare Advisors cannot predict whether shares will trade above, below or at a price equal to the value of the Fund’s holdings.
Early Close/Late Close/Trading Halt Risk — An exchange or market may close early, close late or issue trading halts on specific securities or financial instruments. As a result, the ability to trade certain securities or financial instruments may be restricted, which may disrupt the Fund’s creation and redemption process, potentially affect the price at which the Fund’s shares trade in the secondary market, and/or result in the Fund being unable to trade certain securities or financial instruments at all. In these circumstances, the Fund may be unable to rebalance its portfolio, may be unable to accurately price its investments and/or may incur substantial trading losses. If trading in the Fund’s shares are halted, investors may be temporarily unable to trade shares of the Fund.
Active Management Risk — The Fund is actively managed and its performance reflects the investment decisions that ProShare Advisors makes for the Fund. ProShare Advisors’ judgments about the Fund’s investments may prove to be incorrect. If the investments selected and strategies employed by the Fund fail to produce the intended results, the Fund could underperform other funds with a similar investment objective and/or strategies.
New Fund Risk — The Fund recently commenced operations, has a limited operating history, and started operations with a small asset base. There can be no assurance that the Fund will be successful or grow to or maintain a viable size, that an active trading market for the Fund’s share will develop or be maintained, or that the Fund’s shares’ listing will continue unchanged.
Tax Risk — In order to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded a regulated investment company (“RIC”) and its
shareholders, the Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from “qualifying income,” meet certain asset diversification tests at the end of each taxable quarter, and meet annual distribution requirements. The Fund’s pursuit of its investment strategies will potentially be limited by the Fund’s intention to qualify for such treatment and could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to so qualify. The Fund can make certain investments, the treatment of which for these purposes is unclear. If, in any year, the Fund were to fail to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded a RIC and its shareholders, and were ineligible to or were not to cure such failure, the Fund would be taxed in the same manner as an ordinary corporation subject to U.S. federal income tax on all its income at the fund level. The resulting taxes could substantially reduce the Fund’s net assets and the amount of income available for distribution. In addition, in order to requalify for taxation as a RIC, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make certain distributions. Please see the Statement of Additional Information for more information.
Valuation Risk — In certain circumstances (e.g., if ProShare Advisors believes market quotations do not accurately reflect the fair value of an investment, or a trading halt closes an exchange or market early), ProShare Advisors may, in its sole discretion, choose to determine a fair value price as the basis for determining the market value of such investment for such day. The fair value of an investment determined by ProShare Advisors may be different from other value determinations of the same investment. Portfolio investments that are valued using techniques other than market quotations, including “fair valued” investments, may be subject to greater fluctuation in their value from one day to the next than would be the case if market quotations were used. In addition, there is no assurance that the Fund could sell a portfolio investment for the value established for it at any time, and it is possible that the Fund would incur a loss because a portfolio investment is sold at a discount to its established value.
Please see “Investment Objective, Principal Investment Strategies and Related Risks” in the Fund’s Prospectus for additional details.
Investment Results
Performance history will be available for the Fund after it has been in operation for a full calendar year. After the Fund has a full calendar year of performance information, performance information will be shown on an annual basis.
Management
The Fund is advised by ProShare Advisors. [Senior PM Name], Senior Portfolio Manager, and [Junior PM Name], Portfolio Manager, have jointly and primarily managed the Fund since [MM YYYY].

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Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares
The Fund will issue and redeem shares only to Authorized Participants (typically broker-dealers) in exchange for the deposit or delivery of a basket of assets (securities and/or cash) in large blocks, known as Creation Units. Shares of the Fund may only be purchased and sold by retail investors in secondary market transactions through broker-dealers or other financial intermediaries. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on a national securities exchange and because shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, shares of the Fund may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount). In addition to brokerage commissions, investors incur the costs of the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay to purchase shares of the Funds (bid) and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for shares of the Fund
(ask) when buying or selling shares in the secondary market (the “bid-ask spread”). The bid-ask spread varies over time for Fund shares based on trading volume and market liquidity. Recent information, including information about a Fund’s NAV, market price, premiums and discounts, and bid-ask spreads, is included on the Fund’s website (www.proshares.com).
Tax Information
Income and capital gains distributions you receive from the Fund generally are subject to federal income taxes and may also be subject to state and local taxes. The Fund intends to distribute income, if any, quarterly, and capital gains, if any, at least annually.

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Investment Objective, Principal Investment Strategies and Related Risks

10 :: INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, PRINCIPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RELATED RISKS 
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This section contains additional details about the Fund’s investment objective, principal investment strategies and related risks.
Investment Objective
The Fund seeks capital appreciation.
The Fund’s investment objective is non-fundamental, meaning it may be changed by the Board of Trustees (“Board”), without the approval of Fund shareholders.
Principal Investment Strategies
The Fund seeks to provide capital appreciation primarily through actively managed exposure to ether futures contracts. The Fund also may invest in the securities of ETFs organized and listed for trading in Canada that provide exposure to the spot price of ether. For example, the Fund may invest in Purpose Ether CAD ETF, CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF, and Ether ETF. Additionally, the Fund may invest in other pooled investment vehicles that provide exposure to the spot price of ether. For example, the Fund may invest in Grayscale Ethereum Trust. The Fund does not invest directly in ether.
In seeking to achieve the Fund’s investment objective, ProShare Advisors LLC (“ProShare Advisors” or the “Advisor”) takes into consideration, among other things, the relative liquidity of and costs associated with ether futures contracts as well as regulatory requirements imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. The Advisor does not conduct conventional investment research or analysis (other than in determining counterparty creditworthiness), or forecast market movements or trends. The Fund generally seeks to remain fully invested at all times in investments that, in combination, provide exposure to ether futures without regard to market conditions, trends, direction, or the financial condition of a particular issuer.
The Fund does not take temporary defensive positions. The Fund will generally hold its ether-related investments during periods in which the value ether is flat or declining as well as during periods in which the value of ether is rising. For example, if the Fund’s ether-related investments are declining in value, the Fund generally will not exit its positions except as needed to meet redemption requests.
Ether
Ether is a digital asset which serves as the unit of account on an open-source, decentralized, peer-to-peer computer network. Ether may be used to pay for goods and services, stored for future use, or converted to a fiat currency. As of the date of this Prospectus, the adoption of ether for these purposes has been limited. The value of ether is not backed by any government, corporation, or other identified body.
The value of ether is determined in part by the supply of and demand for, ether in the markets for exchange that have been organized to facilitate the trading of ether. Ether is the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization behind bitcoin.
Ether is maintained on the decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer computer network (“Ethereum Computer Network”). No single entity owns or operates the Ethereum Computer Network. The Ethereum Computer Network is accessed through software and governs ether’s creation and movement. The source code for the Ethereum Network is open-source, and anyone can contribute to its development.
Ethereum Computer Network
The infrastructure of the Ethereum Computer Network is collectively maintained by participants in the Ethereum Computer Network, which include miners, developers, and users. Miners validate transactions and are currently compensated for that service in ether. Developers maintain and contribute updates to the Ethereum Computer Network’s source code. Users access the Ethereum Network using open-source software. Anyone can be a user, developer, or miner.
Ether is “stored” on a digital transaction ledger commonly known as a “blockchain.” A blockchain is a type of shared and continually reconciled database, stored in a decentralized manner on the computers of certain users of the digital asset and is protected by cryptography. The Ether blockchain contains a record and history for each ether transaction.
The Ethereum software source code allows for the creation of decentralized applications that are supported by a transaction protocol referred to as “smart contracts,” which includes the cryptographic operations that verify and secure ether transactions. A smart contract operates by a pre-defined set of rules (i.e., “if/then statements”) that allows it to automatically execute code the same way on any Ethereum node on the network. Such actions taken by the pre-defined set of rules are not necessarily contractual in nature, but are intended to eliminate the need for a third party to carry out code execution on behalf of users, making the system decentralized, while empowering coders to create a wide range of applications layering together different smart contracts. Although there are many alternatives, the Ethereum network is the largest smart contract platform in terms of market cap, available applications and development activity. Further, smart contracts serve to underpin efforts to decentralize traditional operations in finance (“DeFi”), which consist of numerous highly interoperable protocols and applications. DeFi offers many opportunities for innovation and has the potential to create an open, transparent and immutable financial infrastructure.
The Ether Software is an open source project with no official company or group in control. Anyone can review the underlying code and suggest changes. Because ether has no central authority, the release of updates to the Ethereum Computer Network’s source code by developers does not guarantee that the updates will be automatically adopted by the other participants. Users and miners must accept any changes made to the source code by downloading the proposed modification and that modification is effective only with respect to those ether users and miners who choose to download it. As a practical

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matter, a modification to the source code becomes part of the Ethereum Network only if it is accepted by participants that collectively have a majority of the processing power on the Ethereum Network.
If a modification is accepted by only a percentage of users and miners, a division will occur such that one network will run the pre-modification source code and the other network will run the modified source code. Such a division is known as a “fork.”
New ether is created by “mining.” Miners buy specialized computational equipment in the form of servers that are composed of primarily application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), and these servers have been constructed entirely for the purpose of verifying ether transactions, building Ethereum’s blockchain and thereby minting new ether. Miners’ servers run Ethereum software, which can be thought of as the operating system on top of the hardware, just as personal computers have installed an operating system. Further, with its collective computing power on the distributed network, the Ethereum network provides the ability to execute peer-to-peer transactions to realize, via smart contracts, automatic, conditional transfer of value and information, including money, voting rights, and property.
An Ethereum private key controls the transfer or “spending” of ether from its associated public Ethereum address. An Ethereum “wallet” is a collection of public Ethereum addresses and their associated private key(s). It is designed such that only the owner of ether can send ether, only the intended recipient of ether can unlock what the sender sent and the transactional validation and ether ownership can be verified by any third party anywhere in the world.
Fees need to be paid in ether to miners in order to facilitate transactions and execute smart contracts. The fee that is charged is called “gas.” Gas price is often a small fraction of ether, which is denoted in the unit of Gwei (10^9 Gwei = 1 ether). Gas is essential in sustaining the Ethereum network. It motivates miners to process and verify transactions for a monetary reward. The amount of gas needed in a transaction is roughly equivalent to the value of energy needed plus a small transaction fee. Gas price fluctuates with supply and demand for processing power since miners can choose to not process transactions when gas prices are low. Gas has another important function in preventing unintentional waste of energy. Because the coding language for Ethereum is Turing-complete, there is a possibility of a program running indefinitely, and a transaction can be left consuming a lot of energy. A gas limit is imposed as the maximum price users are willing to pay to facilitate transactions. When gas runs out, the program will be terminated, and no additional energy would be used.
Ether Futures
A futures contract is a standardized contract traded on, or subject to the rules of, an exchange to buy or sell a specified type and quantity of a particular underlying asset at a desig
nated price. Futures contracts are traded on a wide variety of underlying assets, including ether, bonds, interest rates, agricultural products, stock indexes, currencies, digital assets, energy, metals, economic indicators and statistical measures. The notional size and calendar term of futures contracts on a particular underlying asset are identical and are not subject to any negotiation, other than with respect to price and the number of contracts traded between the buyer and seller. Futures contracts expire on a designated date, referred to as the “expiration date.”
The Fund generally deposits cash (also known as “margin”) with an FCM for its open positions in futures contracts. The margin requirements or position limits may be based on the notional exposure of the futures contracts or the number of futures contracts purchased. The FCM, in turn, generally transfers such deposits to the clearing house to protect the clearing house against non-payment by the Fund. “Variation Margin” is the amount of cash that each party agrees to pay to or receive from the other to reflect the daily fluctuation in the value of the futures contract. The clearing house becomes substituted for each counterparty to a futures contract and, in effect, guarantees performance. In addition, the FCM may require the Fund to deposit additional margin collateral in excess of the clearing house’s requirements for the FCM’s own protection. Margin requirements for CME Ether Futures are substantially higher than margin requirements for many other types of futures contracts.
CME Ether Futures commenced trading on the CME Globex electronic trading platform on February 8, 2021 under the ticker symbol “ETH”. CME Ether Futures are cash-settled in U.S. dollars, based on the CME CF Ether Reference Rate. The CME CF Ether Reference Rate is a volume-weighted composite of U.S. dollar-ether trading activity on the Constituent Exchanges. The Constituent Exchanges are selected by CF Benchmarks based on the Constituent Exchange Criteria. The Constituent Exchange Criteria requires each Constituent Exchange to implement policies and procedures to ensure fair and transparent market conditions and to identify and impede illegal, unfair or manipulative trading practices. Additionally, each Constituent Exchange must comply with, among other things, capital market regulations, money transmission regulations, client money custody regulations, know-you-client regulations and anti-money laundering regulations.
Each Constituent Exchange is reviewed annually by an oversight committee established by CF Benchmarks to confirm that the Constituent Exchange continues to meet all criteria. CF Benchmarks and the CME CF Ether Reference Rate are subject to United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority Regulation
Rolling of the Ether Futures
Futures contracts expire on a designated date, referred to as the “expiration date.” The Fund generally seeks to invest in “front month” CME Ether futures contracts. “Front month”

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contracts are the monthly contracts with the nearest expiration date. CME Ether Futures are cash settled on their expiration date unless they are “rolled” prior to expiration. The Fund intends to “roll” its CME Ether Futures prior to expiration. Typically, the Fund will roll to the next “nearby” CME Ether Futures. The “nearby” contracts are those contracts with the next closest expiration date.
Investment in the Cayman subsidiary
The Fund expects to gain exposure to ether futures contracts by investing a portion of its assets in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands, the [ProShares Ether Strategy Portfolio] (the “Portfolio”). The Portfolio will be managed and advised by ProShare Advisors and overseen by the Portfolio’s board of directors.
Please see “Principal Investment Strategies” in the Fund’s Summary Prospectus for more detail about the financial instruments in which the Fund invests.
Additional Information Regarding Principal Risks
Like all investments, investing in the Fund entails risks. The factors most likely to have a significant impact on the Fund’s portfolio are called “principal risks.” The principal risks for the Fund are described in the Fund’s Summary Prospectus and additional information regarding certain of these risks, as well as information related to other potential risks to which the Fund may be subjected, is provided below. The principal risks are intended to provide information about the factors likely to have a significant adverse impact on the Fund’s returns and consequently the value of an investment in the Fund. The risks are presented in an order intended to facilitate readability and their order does not imply that the realization of one risk is more likely to occur than another risk or likely to have a greater adverse impact than another risk. The Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) contains additional information about the Fund, investment strategies and related risks. The Fund may be subject to other risks in addition to those identified as principal risks.
Ether and Ether Futures Risk – Investments linked to ether can be highly volatile compared to investments in traditional securities and the Fund may experience sudden and large losses. These markets may fluctuate widely based on a variety of factors including changes in overall market movements, political and economic events, wars, acts of terrorism, natural disasters (including disease, epidemics and pandemics) and changes in interest rates or inflation rates. An investor should be prepared to lose the full principal value of their investment within a single day.
A number of factors affecting the price and market for ether.
Supply and demand for ether – It is believed that speculators and investors who seek to profit from trading and holding ether currently account for a significant portion of ether demand. Such speculation regarding the potential future appreciation in the price of ether may artificially inflate or deflate the price of ether. Market fraud and/or
manipulation and other fraudulent trading practices such as the intentional dissemination of false or misleading information (e.g., false rumors) can, among other things, lead to a disruption of the orderly functioning of markets, significant market volatility, and cause the value of ether futures to fluctuate quickly and without warning.
Adoption and use of ether – The continued adoption of ether will require growth in its usage as a means of payment. Even if growth in ether adoption continues in the near or medium-term, there is no assurance that ether usage will continue to grow over the long-term. A contraction in the use of ether may result in a lack of liquidity, increased volatility in and a reduction to the price of ether.
The regulatory environment relating to ether and ether futures – The regulation of ether, digital assets and related products and services continues to evolve. The inconsistent and sometimes conflicting regulatory landscape may make it more difficult for ether businesses to provide services, which may impede the growth of the ether economy and have an adverse effect on consumer adoption of ether. There is a possibility of future regulatory change altering, perhaps to a material extent, the ability to buy and sell ether and ether futures. Similarly, future regulatory changes could impact the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective, alter, the nature of an investment in the Fund or the ability of the Fund to continue to operate, as planned.
Margin requirements and position limits applicable to ether futures contracts – Margin levels for ether futures contracts are substantially higher than the margin requirements for more established futures contracts. Additionally, the FCMs utilized by the Fund may impose margin requirements in addition to those imposed by the exchanges. Margin requirements are subject to change, and may be raised in the future by the exchanges and the FCMs. High margin requirements could prevent the Fund from obtaining sufficient exposure to ether futures and may adversely affect its ability to achieve its investment objective. Further, FCMs utilized by the Funds may impose limits on the amount of exposure to futures contracts the Fund can obtain through such FCMs. If the Fund cannot obtain sufficient exposure through its FCMs, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective.
Largely unregulated marketplace – ether, the Ethereum network and the ether trading venues are relatively new and, in most cases, largely unregulated. As a result of this lack of regulation, individuals, or groups may engage in insider trading, fraud or market manipulation with respect to ether. Such manipulation could cause investors in ether to lose money, possibly the entire value of their investments. Over the past several years, a number of ether trading venues have been closed due to fraud, failure or security breaches. The nature of the assets held at ether trading venues make them appealing targets for hackers and a number of ether trading venues have been victims of cybercrimes and other fraudulent activity. These activities have caused significant, in some cases total, losses for

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ether investors. Investors in ether may have little or no recourse should such theft, fraud or manipulation occur. There is no central registry showing which individuals or entities own ether or the quantity of ether that is owned by any particular person or entity. There are no regulations in place that would prevent a large holder of ether or a group of holders from selling their ethers, which could depress the price of ether, or otherwise attempting to manipulate the price of ether or the Ethereum network. Events that reduce user confidence in ether, the Ethereum network and the fairness of ether trading venues could have a negative impact on the price of ether and the value of an investment in the Fund.
Cybersecurity – As a digital asset ether is subject to the risk that malicious actors will exploit flaws in its code or structure that will allow them to, among other things, steal ether held by others, control the blockchain, steal personally identifying information, or issue significant amounts of ether in contravention of the Ethereum protocols. The occurrence of any of these events is likely to have a significant adverse impact on the price and liquidity of ether and ether futures contracts and therefore the value of an investment in the Fund. Additionally, the Ethereum network’s functionality relies on the Internet. A significant disruption of Internet connectivity affecting large numbers of users or geographic areas could impede the functionality of the Ethereum network. Any technical disruptions or regulatory limitations that affect Internet access may have an adverse effect on the Ethereum network, the price of ether and the value of an investment in the Fund.
Declining mining compensation – Transactions in ether are processed by miners which are primarily compensated in ether based on a declining payment schedule and, in some instances, by voluntary fees paid by participants. If this compensation is not sufficient to incentivize miners to process transactions, the confirmation process for transactions may slow and the Ethereum network may become more vulnerable to malicious actors. These and similar events may have a significant adverse effect on the price and liquidity of ether and the value of an investment in the Fund.
Forks – The open source nature of the Ethereum protocol permits any developer to review the underlying code and suggest changes. If some users and miners adopt a change while others do not and that change is not compatible with the existing software, a fork occurs. Several forks have already occurred in the Ethereum network resulting in the creation of new, separate digital assets. Which fork will be considered to be ether for purposes of the BRR is determined by CF Benchmarks. Forks and similar events could adversely effect the price and liquidity of ether and the value of an investment in the Fund.
Costs of Rolling Futures Contracts – Futures contracts with a longer term to expiration may be priced higher than futures contracts with a shorter term to expiration, a relationship called “contango.” Conversely, futures contracts with a longer term to expiration may be priced lower than
futures contracts with a shorter term to expiration, a relationship called “backwardation.” When rolling futures contracts that are in contango, the Fund may sell the expiring ether futures at a lower price and buy a longer-dated ether futures at a higher price, resulting in a negative roll yield (i.e., a loss to the Fund). When rolling futures contracts that are in backwardation, the Fund may sell the expiring ether futures at a higher price and buy the longer-dated ether futures at a lower price, resulting in a positive roll yield (i.e., a gain to the Fund). Extended period of contango or backwardation may cause significant and sustained losses. Additionally because of the frequency with which the Fund may roll futures contracts, the impact of contango or backwardation on Fund performance may be greater than it would have been if the Fund rolled futures contracts less frequently.
Liquidity Risk – The market for ether futures contracts is still developing and may be subject to periods of illiquidity. During such times it may be difficult or impossible to buy or sell a position at the desired price. Market disruptions or volatility can also make it difficult to find a counterparty willing to transact at a reasonable price and sufficient size. Illiquid markets may cause losses, which could be significant. The large size of the positions which the Fund may acquire increases the risk of illiquidity, may make its positions more difficult to liquidate, and increase the losses incurred while trying to do so. It is also possible that, if the Fund’s assets become significant relative to the overall market, the large size of its positions potentially could impact futures contracts prices and contribute to illiquidity. Any type of disruption or illiquidity will potentially be exacerbated due to the fact that the Fund typically invests in ether futures contracts. Limits imposed by counterparties, exchanges or other regulatory organizations, such as accountability levels, position limits and daily price fluctuation limits, may contribute to a lack of liquidity and have a negative impact on Fund performance. During periods of market illiquidity, including periods of market disruption and volatility, it may be difficult or impossible for a Fund to buy or sell futures at desired prices or at all.
Risks Associated with the Use of Derivatives — The Fund may obtain exposure through derivatives (including investing in: futures contracts and similar instruments). Investing in derivatives may be considered aggressive and may expose the Fund to risks different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in the reference asset(s) underlying the derivative. The use of derivatives may result in larger losses or smaller gains than directly investing in securities. The risks of using derivatives include: 1) the risk that there may be imperfect correlation between the price of the financial instruments and movements in the prices of the reference asset(s); 2) the risk that an instrument is mispriced; 3) credit or counterparty risk on the amount the Fund expects to receive from a counterparty; 4) the risk that securities prices, interest

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rates and currency markets will move adversely and the Fund will incur significant losses; 5) the risk that the cost of holding a financial instrument might exceed its total return; and 6) the possible absence of a liquid secondary market for a particular instrument and possible exchange imposed price fluctuation limits, either of which may make it difficult or impossible to adjust the Fund’s position in a particular instrument when desired. Each of these factors may prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective and may increase the volatility (i.e., fluctuations) of the Fund’s returns. Because derivatives often require limited initial investment, the use of derivatives also may expose the Fund to losses in excess of those amounts initially invested.
Borrowing Risk – The Fund may borrow for investment purposes using reverse repurchase agreements. Reverse repurchase agreements are financing arrangements that involve sales by the Fund of portfolio securities concurrently with an agreement by the Fund to repurchase the same securities at a later date at a fixed price. Reverse repurchase agreements do not mitigate the Fund’s risk that the market value of the securities the Fund is obligated to repurchase under the agreement may decline below the repurchase price. The Fund may enter into both exchange traded and over-the-counter reverse repurchase agreements. The cost of borrowing may reduce the Fund’s return. Borrowing may cause a Fund to liquidate positions to under adverse market conditions to satisfy its repayment obligations. Borrowing increases the risk of loss and may increase the volatility of the Fund.
Subsidiary Investment Risk — Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands, under which the Fund and the Subsidiary are organized, respectively, could result in the inability of the Fund to operate as intended and could negatively affect the Fund and its shareholders. The Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act and is not subject to all the investor protections of the 1940 Act. Thus, the Fund, as an investor in the Subsidiary, will not have all the protections offered to investors in registered investment companies.
Counterparty Risk — The Fund will be subject to credit risk (i.e., the risk that a counterparty is unwilling or unable to make timely payments or otherwise meet its contractual obligations) with respect to the amount the Fund expects to receive from counterparties to financial instruments (including derivatives and repurchase agreements) entered into by the Fund. The Fund generally structures the agreements such that either party can terminate the contract without penalty prior to the termination date. If a counterparty terminates a contract, the Fund may not be able to invest in other derivatives to achieve the desired exposure, or achieving such exposure may be more expensive. The Fund may be negatively impacted if a counterparty becomes bankrupt or otherwise fails to perform its obligations under such an agreement. The Fund may experience significant delays in obtaining any recov
ery in a bankruptcy or other reorganization proceeding and the Fund may obtain only limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances. In order to attempt to mitigate potential counterparty credit risk, a Fund typically enters into transactions with major financial institutions. The Fund also seeks to mitigate risks by generally requiring that the counterparties agree to post collateral for the benefit of the Fund, marked to market daily, in an amount approximately equal to what the counterparty owes the Fund, subject to certain minimum thresholds. To the extent any such collateral is insufficient or there are delays in accessing the collateral, the Fund will be exposed to the risks described above, including possible delays in recovering amounts as a result of bankruptcy proceedings.
The counterparty to an exchange-traded futures contract is subject to the credit risk of the clearing house and the futures commission merchant (“FCM”) through which it holds its position. Specifically, the FCM or the clearing house could fail to perform its obligations, causing significant losses to the Fund. For example, the Fund could lose margin payments it has deposited with an FCM as well as any gains owed but not paid to the Fund, if the FCM or clearing house becomes insolvent or otherwise fails to perform its obligations. Credit risk of market participants with respect to derivatives that are centrally cleared is concentrated in a few clearing houses and it is not clear how an insolvency proceeding of a clearing house would be conducted and what impact an insolvency of a clearing house would have on the financial system. Under current Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) regulations, a FCM maintains customers’ assets in a bulk segregated account. If a FCM fails to do so, or is unable to satisfy a substantial deficit in a customer account, its other customers may be subject to risk of loss of their funds in the event of that FCM’s bankruptcy. In that event, in the case of futures and options on futures, the FCM’s customers are entitled to recover, even in respect of property specifically traceable to them, only a proportional share of all property available for distribution to all of that FCM’s customers. In addition, if the FCM does not comply with the applicable regulations, or in the event of a fraud or misappropriation of customer assets by the FCM, the Fund could have only an unsecured creditor claim in an insolvency of the FCM with respect to the margin held by the FCM. FCMs are also required to transfer to the clearing house the amount of margin required by the clearing house, which amount is generally held in an omnibus account at the clearing house for all customers of the FCM. In addition, the Fund may enter into futures contracts and repurchase agreements with a limited number of counterparties, which may increase the Fund’s exposure to counterparty credit risk. The Fund does not specifically limit its counterparty risk with respect to any single counterparty. Further, there is a risk that no suitable counterparties are willing to enter into, or continue to enter into, transactions with the Fund and, as a result, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment

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objective. Contractual provisions and applicable law may prevent or delay the Fund from exercising its rights to terminate an investment or transaction with a financial institution experiencing financial difficulties, or to realize on collateral, and another institution may be substituted for that financial institution without the consent of the Fund. If the credit rating of a counterparty to a futures contract and/or repurchase agreement declines, the Fund may nonetheless choose or be required to keep existing transactions in place with the counterparty, in which event the Fund would be subject to any increased credit risk associated with those transactions. Also, in the event of a counterparty’s (or its affiliate’s) insolvency, the possibility exists that the Fund’s ability to exercise remedies, such as the termination of transactions, netting of obligations and realization on collateral, could be stayed or eliminated under special resolution regimes adopted in the United States, the European Union and various other jurisdictions. Such regimes provide government authorities with broad authority to intervene when a financial institution is experiencing financial difficulty. In particular, the regulatory authorities could reduce, eliminate, or convert to equity the liabilities to the Fund of a counterparty who is subject to such proceedings in the European Union (sometimes referred to as a “bail in”).
Market Price Variance Risk — Individual shares of the Fund can be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices rather than at NAV. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for shares of the Fund, which may also cause NAV and market value to vary significantly. The market price of the Fund’s shares will fluctuate in response to changes in the value of the Fund’s holdings, supply and demand for shares and other market factors. ProShare Advisors cannot predict whether shares will trade above, below or at a price equal to the value of the Fund’s holdings. Differences between secondary market prices and the value of the Fund’s holdings may be due largely to supply and demand forces in the secondary market, which may not be the same forces as those influencing prices for securities or financial instruments held by the Fund at a particular time. In addition, there may be times when the market price and the NAV of the Fund’s shares vary significantly, such as during periods of market volatility, and a shareholder may trade shares at a premium or a discount to the Fund’s NAV and may receive less than the value of the Fund’s holdings when you sell those shares.
The Fund may have a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants or market markers. Only Authorized Participants who have entered into agreements with the Fund’s distributor may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. If some or all of these Authorized Participants exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, and no other Authorized Participant is willing or able to create and redeem Fund shares, shares may trade at a discount to NAV (and may even face trading halts or
delisting). Similar effects may result if market makers exit the business or are unable to continue making markets in the shares. Further, while the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it likely that shares normally will trade at prices correlated to the price of the Fund’s portfolio holdings, disruptions to creations and redemptions, including disruptions at market makers, Authorized Participants or market participants, or during periods of significant market volatility, among other factors, may result in market prices that differ significantly from NAV. Investors purchasing and selling shares in the secondary market may not experience investment results based on the price of their shares in the secondary market. The market price of shares, like the price of any exchange-traded security, includes a “bid-ask spread” charged by the exchange specialist, market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. In times of severe market disruption or during after-hours trading, the bid-ask spread often increases significantly. This means that shares may trade at a discount to the value of the Fund’s holdings, and the discount is likely to be greatest when the price of shares is falling fastest, which may be the time that you most want to sell your shares. The Fund’s investment results are measured based upon the daily NAV of the Fund.
Tax Risk — In order to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded a regulated investment company (“RIC”) and its shareholders, the Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from “qualifying income,” meet certain asset diversification tests at the end of each taxable quarter, and meet annual distribution requirements. The Fund’s pursuit of its investment strategies will potentially be limited by the Fund’s intention to qualify for such treatment and could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to so qualify. The Fund can make certain investments, the treatment of which for these purposes is unclear. In particular, direct investments by the Fund in bitcoin futures are not expected to produce qualifying income for purposes of the Fund’s qualification as a RIC. The Fund, however, expect to gain exposure to bitcoin futures and generate qualifying income by investing a portion of its assets in a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands. To comply with the asset diversification test applicable to a RIC, the Fund will limit its investments in such subsidiary to 25% of the Fund’s total assets at the end of each quarter. The Fund may, however, exceed this amount from time to time if the Advisor believes doing so is in the best interests of the Fund., provided, however, that the Fund intends to continue to comply with the asset diversification test applicable to RICs. If the Fund’s investments in the subsidiary were to exceed 25% of the Fund’s total assets at the end of a tax quarter, the Fund may no longer be eligible to be treated as a RIC. The Advisor will carefully monitor the Fund’s investments in the subsidiary to ensure that no more than 25% of the Fund’s assets are invested in the subsidiary at the end of each tax quarter. The Fund intends to invest in complex

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derivatives for which there is not clear guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) as to the calculation of such investments under the asset diversification test applicable to RICs. There are no assurances that the IRS will agree with the Fund’s calculation under the asset diversification test which could cause the Fund to fail to qualify as a RIC.
If, in any year, the Fund were to fail to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded a RIC and its shareholders, and were ineligible to or were not to cure such failure, the Fund would be taxed in the same manner as an ordinary corporation subject to U.S. federal income tax on all its income at the fund level. The resulting taxes could substantially reduce the Fund’s net assets and the amount of income available for distribution. In addition, in order to requalify for taxation as a RIC, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make certain distributions. Please see the Statement of Additional Information for more information.
Other Risks
In addition to the risks noted above, many other factors may also affect the value of an investment in the Fund, such as market conditions, interest rates and other economic, political or financial developments. The impact of these developments on the Fund will depend upon the types of investments in which the Fund invests, the Fund’s level of investment in particular issuers and other factors, including the financial condition, industry, economic sector and location of such issuers. The SAI contains additional information about the Fund, its investment strategies and related risks. The Fund may be subject to other risks in addition to those identified as principal risks.
Natural Disaster/Epidemic Risk — Natural or environmental disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis and other severe weather-related phenomena generally, and widespread disease, including pandemics and epidemics (for example, the novel coronavirus COVID-19), have been and can be highly disruptive to economies and markets and have recently led, and may continue to lead, to increased market volatility and significant market losses. Such natural disaster and health crises could exacerbate political, social, and economic risks, and result in significant breakdowns, delays, shutdowns, social isolation, and other disruptions to important global, local and regional supply chains affected, with potential corresponding results on the operating performance of the Fund and its investments. A climate of uncertainty and panic, including the contagion of infectious viruses or diseases, may adversely affect global, regional, and local economies and reduce the availability of potential investment opportunities, and increases the difficulty of performing due diligence and modeling market conditions, potentially reducing the accuracy of financial projections. Under these circumstances, the Fund may have difficulty achieving its
investment objectives which may adversely impact Fund performance. Further, such events can be highly disruptive to economies and markets, significantly disrupt the operations of individual companies (including, but not limited to, the Fund’s investment advisor, third party service providers, and counterparties), sectors, industries, markets, securities and commodity exchanges, currencies, interest and inflation rates, credit ratings, investor sentiment, and other factors affecting the value of the Fund’s investments. These factors can cause substantial market volatility, exchange trading suspensions and closures, changes in the availability of and the margin requirements for certain instruments, and can impact the ability of the Fund to complete redemptions and otherwise affect Fund performance and Fund trading in the secondary market. A widespread crisis would also affect the global economy in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. How long such events will last and whether they will continue or recur cannot be predicted. Impacts from these could have a significant impact on the Fund’s performance, resulting in losses to your investment.
Risk that Current Assumptions and Expectations Could Become Outdated As a Result of Global Economic Shock — The onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused significant shocks to global financial markets and economies, with many governments taking extreme actions to slow and contain the spread of COVID-19. These actions have had, and likely will continue to have, a severe economic impact on global economies as economic activity in some instances has essentially ceased. Financial markets across the globe are experiencing severe distress at least equal to what was experienced during the global financial crisis in 2008. In March 2020, U.S. equity markets entered a bear market in the fastest such move in the history of U.S. financial markets. During much of 2020, the unemployment rate in the U.S. was extremely high by historical standards. It is not possible to predict when unemployment and market conditions will return to more normal levels. The global economic shocks being experienced as of the date hereof may cause the underlying assumptions and expectations of the Fund to become outdated quickly or inaccurate, resulting in significant losses.
Cash and Cash Equivalents Risk — Cash and cash equivalents, including money market instruments, may be adversely affected by market and economic events or a negative return on cash holdings. Adverse economic, political or other developments affecting issuers of money market instrument; or defaults by transaction counterparties may also have a negative impact on the performance of such instruments. Each of these could have a negative impact on the performance of the Fund.
Cybersecurity Risk — With the increased use of technologies such as the Internet and the dependence on computer systems to perform necessary business functions, the Fund,

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Authorized Participants, service providers and the relevant listing exchange are susceptible to operational, information security and related “cyber” risks. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber attacks include, but are not limited to gaining unauthorized access to digital systems for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cyber attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing among other behaviors, stealing or corrupting data maintained online or digitally, and denial of service attacks on websites. Cybersecurity failures or breaches of the Fund’s third party service provider (including, but not limited to, index providers, the administrator and transfer agent) or the issuers of securities and/or financial instruments in which the Fund invests, have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses, the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws. For instance, cyber attacks may interfere with the processing of shareholder transactions, impact the Fund’s ability to calculate its NAV, cause the release of private shareholder information or confidential Fund information, impede trading, cause reputational damage, and subject the Fund to regulatory fines, penalties or financial losses, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and/or additional compliance costs. In addition, substantial costs may be incurred in order to prevent any cyber incidents in the future. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result. While the Fund or its service providers may have established business continuity plans and systems designed to guard against such cyber attacks or adverse effects of such attacks, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified, in large part because different unknown threats may emerge in the future. Similar types of cybersecurity risks also are present for issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause the Fund’s investments in such securities to lose value. In addition, cyber attacks involving a counterparty to the Fund could affect such a counterparty’s ability to meets it obligations to the Fund, which may result in losses to the Fund and its shareholders. ProShare Advisors and the Trust do not control the cybersecurity plans and systems put in place by third party service providers, and such third party service providers may have no or limited indemnification obligations to ProShare Advisors or the Fund.
LIBOR Risk — The terms of many investments, financings or other transactions to which the Fund may be a party have been historically tied to the London Interbank Offered Rate, or “LIBOR.” LIBOR is the offered rate at which major international banks can obtain wholesale, unsecured funding, and LIBOR may be available for different durations (e.g., 1 month or 3 months) and for different currencies.
LIBOR may be a significant factor in determining the Fund’s payment obligations under a derivative investment, the cost of financing to the Fund or an investment’s value or return to the Fund, and may be used in other ways that affect the Fund’s investment performance. In July 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”), the United Kingdom’s financial regulatory body, announced that after 2021 it will cease its active encouragement of banks to provide the quotations needed to sustain LIBOR. On March 5, 2021, the FCA and LIBOR’s administrator, ICE Benchmark Administration (“IBA”), announced that most LIBOR settings will no longer be published after the end of 2021 and a majority of U.S. dollar LIBOR settings will no longer be published after June 30, 2023. It is possible that the FCA may compel the IBA to publish a subset of LIBOR settings after these dates on a “synthetic” basis, but any such publications would be considered non-representative of the underlying market. Actions by regulators have resulted in the establishment of alternative reference rates to LIBOR in most major currencies (e.g., the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, which is intended to replace the U.S. dollar LIBOR). Alternative reference rates can differ significantly from LIBOR – both in the actual rate and how it is calculated – and it is unclear whether and when markets will adopt these rates as a widely accepted replacement for LIBOR. Various financial industry groups have begun planning for transition away from LIBOR, but there are also obstacles to converting certain securities and transactions to new reference rates. Markets are developing slowly and questions around liquidity in these rates and how to appropriately adjust these rates to mitigate any economic value transfer at the time of transition remain a significant concern. Neither the effect of the transition process nor its ultimate success can yet be known. The transition process might lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets for instruments whose terms currently include LIBOR. It could also lead to a reduction in the value of some LIBOR-based investments and reduce the effectiveness of new hedges placed against existing LIBOR-based investments. While some LIBOR-based instruments may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative rate-setting methodology and/or increased costs for certain LIBOR-related instruments or financing transactions, not all may have such provisions and there may be significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies, resulting in prolonged adverse market conditions for the Fund. Since the usefulness of LIBOR as a benchmark could deteriorate during the transition period, these effects could occur prior to the end of 2021. There also remains uncertainty and risk regarding the willingness and ability of issuers to include enhanced provisions in new and existing contracts or instruments. All of the aforementioned may adversely affect the Fund’s performance or NAV.
Operational Risk — The Fund, its service providers, Authorized Participants, and the relevant listing exchange are subject to operational risks arising from, among other things,

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human error, systems and technology errors and disruptions, failed or inadequate controls, and fraud. These errors may adversely affect the Fund’s operations, including its ability to execute its investment process, calculate or disseminate its NAV or intraday indicative value in a timely manner, and process creations or redemptions. While the Fund seeks to minimize such events through controls and oversight, there may still be failures and the Fund may be unable to recover any damages associated with such failures. These failures may have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s returns.
Securities Lending Risk — The Fund may engage in securities lending. Securities lending involves the risk, as with other extensions of credit, that the Fund may lose money because (a) the borrower of the loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all or (b) it loses its rights in the collateral should the borrower fail financially. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of collateral provided for loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. In determining whether to lend securities, ProShare Advisors or the Fund’s securities lending agent will consider relevant facts and circumstances, including the creditworthiness of the borrower.
Trading Risks — The shares of the Fund are listed for trading on the listing exchange identified on the cover of this Prospectus, may be listed or traded on U.S. and non-U.S. stock exchanges other than such exchange, and may trade on an electronic communications network. Nevertheless, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for such shares will develop or be maintained. Trading in shares of the Fund on an exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of an exchange, make trading in shares inadvisable. In addition, trading in shares of the Fund on an exchange is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to exchange “circuit breaker” rules. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the Fund will continue to be met or will remain unchanged or that the shares of the Fund will trade with any volume, or at all, on any stock exchange or other venue.
Additional Securities, Instruments and Strategies
This section describes additional securities, instruments and strategies that may be utilized by the Fund that are not principal investment strategies of the Fund unless otherwise noted in the Fund’s description of principal strategies in the Fund’s Summary Prospectus. Additional Information about of the types of investments that the Fund may make is set forth in the SAI.
In certain circumstances, the Fund may gain exposure to only a representative sample of the securities in the index, which exposure is intended to have aggregate characteristics similar to the index. In addition, the Fund may overweight or
underweight certain components contained in its underlying index, or invest in investments not contained in the index but that are designed to provide the requisite exposure to the index.
Securities Lending — The Fund may lend securities to brokers, dealers and financial organizations under guidelines adopted by the Board. The Fund may loan up to one-third of the value of the Fund’s total assets (including the value of any collateral received). Each loan may be secured by collateral in the form of cash, Money Market Instruments or U.S. Government securities.
Precautionary Notes
A Precautionary Note to Retail Investors — The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), a limited trust company and securities depositary that serves as a national clearinghouse for the settlement of trades for its participating banks and broker-dealers, or its nominee will be the registered owner of all outstanding shares of the Fund. Your ownership of shares will be shown on the records of DTC and the DTC Participant broker through whom you hold the shares. PROSHARES TRUST WILL NOT HAVE ANY RECORD OF YOUR OWNERSHIP. Your account information will be maintained by your broker, who will provide you with account statements, confirmations of your purchases and sales of shares, and tax information. Your broker also will be responsible for furnishing certain cost basis information and ensuring that you receive shareholder reports and other communications from the Fund whose shares you own. Typically, you will receive other services (e.g., average cost information) only if your broker offers these services.
A Precautionary Note to Purchasers of Creation Units — You should be aware of certain legal risks unique to investors purchasing Creation Units directly from the issuing Fund. Because new shares from the Fund may be issued on an ongoing basis, a “distribution” of that Fund’s shares could be occurring at any time. As a dealer, certain activities on your part could, depending on the circumstances, result in your being deemed a participant in the distribution, in a manner that could render you a statutory underwriter and subject you to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the Securities Act of 1933. For example, you could be deemed a statutory underwriter if you purchase Creation Units from an issuing Fund, break them down into the constituent shares, and sell those shares directly to customers, or if you choose to couple the creation of a supply of new shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for shares. Whether a person is an underwriter depends upon all of the facts and circumstances pertaining to that person’s activities, and the examples mentioned here should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could cause you to be deemed an underwriter. Dealers who are not “underwriters,” but are participating in a distribution (as opposed to engaging in ordinary secondary market transactions), and thus dealing with shares as part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(3)(C) of the Securities Act,

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will be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the Securities Act.
A Precautionary Note to Investment Companies — For purposes of the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Fund is a registered investment company, and the acquisition of the Fund’s shares by other investment companies is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) thereof. The Trust and the Fund have obtained an exemptive order from the SEC allowing a registered investment company to invest in Fund shares beyond the limits of Section 12(d)(1) subject to certain conditions, including that a registered investment company enters into a Participation Agreement with the Trust regarding the terms of the investment. Any investment company considering purchasing shares of the Fund in amounts that would cause it to exceed the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) should contact the Trust.
A Precautionary Note Regarding Unusual Circumstances — ProShares Trust can, in its discretion, postpone payment of redemption
proceeds for any period during which: (1) the Exchange is closed other than customary weekend and holiday closings; (2) trading on Exchange is restricted; (3) any emergency circumstances exist, as determined by the SEC; (4) the SEC by order permits for the protection of shareholders of the Fund; and (5) for up to 14 calendar days for any Fund holding non-U.S. investments during a period of an international local holiday, as further described in the SAI.
A Precautionary Note Regarding Regulatory Initiatives — There is a possibility of future regulatory changes altering, perhaps to a material extent, the nature of an investment in the Fund or the ability of the Fund to continue to implement their investment strategies.
Portfolio Holdings Information
A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio holdings is available in the SAI.

20
PROSHARES.COM

Management of ProShares Trust

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MANAGEMENT OF PROSHARES TRUST :: 21

Board of Trustees and Officers
The Board is responsible for the general supervision of the Fund. The officers of the Trust are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Fund.
Investment Advisor
ProShare Advisors, located at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, 21st Floor, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, serves as the investment adviser to the Fund and provides investment advice and management services to the Fund. ProShare Advisors oversees the investment and reinvestment of the assets in the Fund. Pursuant to an Investment Advisory and Management Agreement between ProShare Advisors and the Trust on behalf of the Fund, ProShare Advisors is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Fund (and substantially all expenses of any wholly owned subsidiary of the Fund, if any) except interest expenses, taxes, brokerage and other transaction costs, legal expenses, fees and expenses related to securities lending, compensation and expenses of the Independent Trustees, compensation and expenses of counsel to the Independent Trustees, compensation and expenses of the Trust’s chief compliance officer and his or her staff, future distribution fees or expenses, and extraordinary expenses. For its investment advisory and management services, the Fund pays ProShare Advisors a fee at an annualized rate of []% of its average daily net assets. A discussion regarding the basis for the Board approving the investment advisory agreement for the Fund is expected to be included in the Trust’s report to shareholders dated [].
Portfolio Management
The following individuals have responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Fund as set forth in the Summary Prospectus relating to the Fund. The Portfolio Managers’ business experience for the past five years is listed below. Additional information about the Portfolio Managers’ compensation, other accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers and their ownership of other investment companies can be found in the SAI.
Other Service Providers
SEI Investments Distribution Co. (the “Distributor”), located at One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, PA 19456, acts as the distributor and principal underwriter in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“JPMorgan”), located at One Beacon Street, 19th Floor, Boston, MA 02108, acts as the administrator to the Fund, providing operational and certain administrative services. In addition, JPMorgan acts as the Custodian and Index Receipt Agent. Citi Fund Services Ohio, Inc. (“Citi”), located at 4400 Easton Commons, Suite 200, Columbus, Ohio 43219, provides regulatory administration services to the Trust.
Additional Information
The Trust enters into contractual arrangements with various parties who provide services to the Fund including, ProShare Advisors, the Fund’s administrator and fund accounting
agent, custodian, transfer agent, and distributor. Shareholders are not parties to, or intended (or “third-party”) beneficiaries of, any of those contractual arrangements, and those contractual arrangements are not intended to create in any individual shareholder or group of shareholders any right to enforce them against the service providers or to seek any remedy under them against the service providers, either directly or on behalf of the Trust.
This Prospectus provides information concerning the Trust and the Fund that you should consider in determining whether to purchase shares of the Fund. None of this Prospectus, the SAI or any contract that is an exhibit to the Trust’s registration statement, is intended to, nor does it, give rise to an agreement or contract between the Trust or the Fund and any investor, or give rise to any contract or other rights in any individual shareholder, group of shareholders or other person than any rights conferred explicitly by federal or state securities laws that may not be waived.
Determination of NAV
The NAV per share of the Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of the Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by its total number of shares outstanding. Expenses and fees are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. The NAV of the Fund is calculated by JPMorgan and is generally determined each business day as of the close of regular trading on the exchange on which the shares of the Fund are listed (typically calculated as of 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time). Securities and other assets are generally valued at their market value using information provided by a pricing service or market quotations. Securities that are listed or traded on a stock exchange or the Nasdaq or National Market System are generally valued at the closing price, if available, on the exchange or market where the security is principally traded (including the Nasdaq Official Closing Price). Short-term securities are generally valued using market prices or at amortized cost. In addition, certain derivatives linked to an index may be valued based on the performance of one or more U.S. ETFs or instruments that reflect the values of the securities in such index, when the level of the index is not computed as of the close of the U.S. securities markets. Routine valuation of certain derivatives is performed using procedures approved by the Board.
When a market price is not readily available, securities and other assets are valued at fair value in good faith under procedures established by, and under the general supervision and responsibility of, the Board. The use of a fair valuation method may be appropriate if, for example: (i) ProShare Advisors believes market quotations do not accurately reflect fair value of an investment; (ii) ProShare Advisors believes an investment’s value has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the exchange or market on which the investment is principally traded (for example, a foreign exchange or market); (iii) a trading halt closes an exchange or market early; or (iv) other events result in an exchange or market delaying its normal close. This procedure incurs the

22 :: MANAGEMENT OF PROSHARES TRUST 
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unavoidable risk that the valuation may be higher or lower than the securities might actually command if the Fund sold them. See the SAI for more details.
To the extent the Fund’s portfolio investments trade in markets on days or at times when the Fund is not open for business or when the primary exchange for the shares is not open, the value of the Fund’s assets may vary, shareholders may not be able to purchase or sell Fund shares and Authorized Participants may not be able to create or redeem Creation Units. In addition, certain portfolio investments may not be traded on days or at times the Fund is open for business. In particular, calculation of the NAV of the Fund may not take place contemporaneously with the determination of the prices of foreign securities used in NAV calculations.
Exchanges are open every week, Monday through Friday, except when the following holidays are celebrated: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (the third Monday in January), President’s Day (the third Monday in February), Good Friday, Memorial Day (the last Monday in May), Independence Day, Labor Day (the first Monday in September), Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday in November) and Christmas Day. An Exchange may close early on the business day before each of these holidays and on the day after Thanksgiving Day. Exchange holiday schedules are subject to change without notice. If the exchange or market on which the Fund’s investments are primarily traded closes early, the NAV may be calculated prior to its normal calculation time. Creation/redemption transaction order time cutoffs would also be accelerated.
Distributions
As a shareholder on the Fund record date, you will earn a share of the investment income and net realized capital gains, if any, derived from the Fund’s direct security holdings and derivative instruments. You will receive such earnings as either an income dividend or a capital gains distribution. The Fund intends to declare and distribute net investment income, if any, and net realized capital gains, if any, to its shareholders at least annually. Subject to Board approval, some or all of any net realized capital gains distribution may be declared payable in either additional shares of the distributing Fund or in cash.
If such a distribution is declared payable in that fashion, holders of shares will receive additional shares of the distributing Fund unless they elect to receive cash. Distributions may be declared and paid more frequently to comply with the distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code or for other reasons.
Dividend Reinvestment Services
As noted above under “Distributions”, the Fund may declare a distribution from net realized capital gains to be payable in additional shares or cash. Even if the Fund does not declare a distribution to be payable in shares, brokers may make available to their customers who own shares the DTC book-entry
dividend reinvestment service. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and capital gains will automatically be reinvested in additional whole shares of the same Fund. Without this service, investors would have to take their distributions in cash. To determine whether the dividend reinvestment service is available and whether there is a commission or other charge for using this service, please consult your broker.
Frequent Purchases and Redemptions of Shares
The Board has not adopted a policy of monitoring for frequent purchases and redemptions of shares that appear to attempt to take advantage of potential arbitrage opportunities. The Board believes this is appropriate because ETFs, such as the Fund, are intended to be attractive to arbitrageurs, as trading activity is critical to ensuring that the market price of shares remains at or close to NAV.
Taxes
The following is certain general information about taxation of the Fund:
The Fund intends to qualify for treatment as a “regulated investment company” (“RIC”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In order to so qualify, the Fund must meet certain tests with respect to the sources and types of its income, the nature and diversification of its assets, and the timing and amount of its distributions.
If the Fund qualifies for treatment as a regulated investment company, it is not subject to federal income tax on net investment income and net realized capital gains that the Fund timely distributes to its shareholders. If the Fund were to fail to so qualify, and were ineligible to or otherwise did not cure such failure, its taxable income and gains would be subject to tax at the Fund level, and distributions from earnings and profits would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income.
Investments by the Fund in options, futures, forward contracts, swap agreements and other derivative financial instruments are subject to numerous special and complex tax rules. These rules could affect the amount, timing or character of the distributions to shareholders by the Fund. In addition, because the application of these rules may be uncertain under current law, an adverse determination or future Internal Revenue Service guidance with respect to these rules may affect whether the Fund has made sufficient distributions, and otherwise satisfied the relevant requirements, to maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and avoid fund-level tax.
Investments by the Fund in debt obligations issued or purchased at a discount and certain derivative instruments could cause the Fund to recognize taxable income in excess of the cash generated by such investments, potentially requiring the Fund to dispose of investments (including when otherwise disadvantageous to do so) in order to meet

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MANAGEMENT OF PROSHARES TRUST :: 23

its distribution requirements, and such investments could affect the amount, timing or character of the income distributed to shareholders by the Fund. Investments by the Fund in shares of other investment companies could affect the amount, timing or character of the Fund’s distributions to shareholders relative to the Fund’s distributions had it invested directly in the securities held by the other investment companies.
In order to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded a RIC and its shareholders, the Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from “qualifying income,” meet certain asset diversification tests at the end of each taxable quarter, and meet annual distribution requirements. The Fund’s pursuit of its investment strategies will potentially be limited by the Fund’s intention to qualify for such treatment and could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to so qualify. The Fund can make certain investments, the treatment of which for these purposes is unclear. If, in any year, the Fund were to fail to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded a RIC and its shareholders, and were ineligible to or were not to cure such failure, the Fund would be taxed in the same manner as an ordinary corporation subject to U.S. federal income tax on all its income at the fund level. The resulting taxes could substantially reduce the Fund’s net assets and the amount of income available for distribution. In addition, in order to requalify for taxation as a RIC, the Fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make certain distributions. Please see the Statement of Additional Information for more information.
Taxable investors should be aware of the following basic tax points:
Distributions are taxable to you for federal income tax purposes whether you receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional shares.
Distributions declared in October, November or December of one year payable to shareholders of record in such month and paid by the end of January of the following year are taxable for federal income tax purposes as if received on December 31 of the calendar year in which the distributions were declared.
Any distributions from income or short-term capital gains that you receive generally are taxable to you as ordinary dividends for federal income tax purposes. Ordinary dividends you receive that the Fund reports as “qualified dividend income” may be taxed at the same rates as long-term capital gains, but will not be considered long-term capital gains for other federal income tax purposes, including the calculation of net capital losses.
Any distributions of net long-term capital gains are taxable to you for federal income tax purposes as long-term capital gains includible in net capital gain and taxable to individuals at reduced rates, no matter how long you have owned your Fund shares.
Distributions from net realized capital gains may vary considerably from year to year as a result of the Fund’s normal investment activities and cash flows.
The Code generally imposes a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on the “net investment income” of certain individuals, trusts and estates to the extent their income exceeds certain threshold amounts. For these purposes, “net investment income” generally includes, among other things, (i) distributions paid by the Fund of ordinary dividends and capital gain dividends, and (ii) any net gain from the sale, redemption or exchange of Fund shares. Shareholders are advised to consult their tax advisors regarding the possible implications of this additional tax on their investment in the Fund.
A sale or exchange of Fund shares is a taxable event. This means that you may have a capital gain to report as income, or a capital loss to report as a deduction, when you complete your federal income tax return.
Dividend and capital gain distributions that you receive, as well as your gains or losses from any sale or exchange of Fund shares, may be subject to state and local income taxes.
Dividends paid to a shareholder that is not a “United States person” within the meaning of the Code (such a shareholder, a “foreign person”) that the Fund properly reports as capital gain dividends, short-term capital gain dividends or interest -related dividends, each as further defined in the SAI, are not subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax, provided that certain other requirements are met. The Fund (or intermediary, as applicable) is permitted, but is not required, to report any part of its dividends as are eligible for such treatment. The Fund’s dividends other than those the Fund properly reports as capital gain dividends, short-term capital gain dividends or interest-related dividends generally will be subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax at a rate of 30% (or lower applicable treaty rate). Special tax considerations may apply to foreign persons investing in the Fund. Please see the SAI for more information.
The Fund’s income from or the proceeds of dispositions of its non-U.S. investments may be subject to withholding and other taxes imposed by foreign countries, which will reduce the Fund’s return on and taxable distributions in respect of its non-U.S. investments. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate these taxes. If more than 50% of the value of the Fund’s total assets at the close of a taxable year consists of securities of foreign corporations, the Fund will be eligible to elect to “pass through” to you foreign income taxes that it has paid. If this election is made, you will be required to include your share of those taxes in gross income as a distribution from the Fund and you generally will be allowed to claim a credit (or a deduction, if you itemize deductions) for these amounts on your federal U.S. income tax return, subject to certain limitations.

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By law, a percentage of your distributions and proceeds will generally be withheld if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number, have underreported dividend or interest income or have failed to certify to the Fund or its agent that you are not subject to this withholding.
In addition, taxable investors who purchase or redeem Creation Units should be aware of the following:
A person who exchanges securities for Creation Units generally will recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Units at the time of the exchange and the exchanger’s aggregate basis in the securities surrendered and any cash amount paid.
A person who exchanges Creation Units for securities generally will recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the exchanger’s basis in the Creation Units and the aggregate market value of the securities received and any cash received. However, all or a portion of any loss a person realizes upon an exchange of Creation Units for securities will be disallowed by the Internal Revenue Service if such person purchases other substantially identical shares of the Fund within 30 days before or after the exchange. In such case, the basis of the newly purchased shares will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.
Note: This Prospectus provides general U.S. federal income tax information only. Your investment in the Fund may have other tax implications. If you are investing through a tax-deferred retirement account, such as an individual retirement account (IRA), special tax rules apply. Please consult your tax advisor for detailed information about the Fund’s tax consequences for you. See “Taxation” in the SAI for more information.
Premium/Discount Information
The Trust’s website (www.proshares.com) has information about the premiums and discounts for the Fund. Premiums or
discounts are the differences between the NAV and market price of the Fund on a given day, generally at the time NAV is calculated. A premium is the amount that the Fund is trading above the NAV. A discount is the amount that the Fund is trading below the NAV.
Escheatment
Many states have unclaimed property rules that provide for transfer to the state (also known as “escheatment”) of unclaimed property under various circumstances. These circumstances include inactivity (e.g., no owner-intiated contact for a certain period), returned mail (e.g., when mail sent to a shareholder is returned by the post office as undeliverable), or a combination of both inactivity and returned mail. Unclaimed or inactive accounts may be subject to escheatment laws, and the Fund and the Fund’s transfer agent will not be liable to shareholders and their representatives for good faith compliance with those laws.
Distribution (12b-1) Plan
Under a Rule 12b-1 Distribution Plan (the “Plan”) adopted by the Board, the Fund may pay the distributor and financial intermediaries, such as broker-dealers and investment advisors, up to 0.25% on an annualized basis of the average daily net assets of the Fund as reimbursement or compensation for distribution related activities with respect to the Fund. Because these fees would be paid out of the Fund’s assets on an on-going basis, over time these fees would increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than paying other types of sales charges. For the prior fiscal year, no payments were made by the Fund under the Plan. No payments have yet been authorized by the Board, nor are any such expected to be made by the Fund under the Plan during the current fiscal year.

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Financial Highlights
Because the Fund has only recently commenced investment operations, no financial highlights are available for the Fund at this time. In the future, financial highlights will be presented in this section of the Prospectus.

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Investment Company Act file number 811-21114

ProShares Trust

7272 Wisconsin Avenue, 21
st
Floor, Bethesda, MD 20814

866.PRO.5125
866.776.5125

ProShares.com

You can find additional information about the Fund in its current SAI, dated [], as may be amended from time to time has been filed electronically with the SEC and which is incorporated by reference into, and are legally a part of, this Prospectus. Copies of the SAI are available, free of charge, online at the Fund’s website (www.proshares.com). You may also request a free copy of the SAI or make inquiries to ProShares Trust by writing us at the address set forth above or calling us toll-free at the telephone number set forth above.
You can find other information about ProShares Trust on the SEC’s website (www.sec.gov) or you can get copies of this information after payment of a duplicating fee via email to publicinfo@sec.gov.
© 2021 ProShare Advisors LLC. All rights reserved. []


SUBJECT TO COMPLETION—Preliminary Statement of Additional Information dated August 18, 2021The information in this Statement of Additional Information is not complete and may be changed. Shares of the Fund may not be sold until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Statement of Additional Information is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION— []ProShares Trust7272 Wisconsin Avenue, 21st Floor, Bethesda, MD 20814 866.PRO.5125 866.776.5125
Ether Strategy ETF
[TKR]
This SAI is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the Prospectus of the series of ProShares Trust (the “Trust”) listed above dated []. A copy of the Prospectus is available, without charge, upon request to the address above, by telephone at the number above, or on the Trust’s website at proshares.com.
Principal U.S. National Stock Exchange
Fund
[Exchange]
Ether Strategy ETF
1

GLOSSARY OF TERMS
For ease of use, certain terms or names that are used in this SAI have been shortened or abbreviated. A list of many of these terms and their corresponding full names or definitions can be found below. An investor may find it helpful to review the terms and names before reading the SAI.
Term
Definition
1933 Act
Securities Act of 1933, as amended
1934 Act
Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
1940 Act
Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended
Advisor or ProShare Advisors
ProShare Advisors LLC
Affiliated Trust
Access One Trust, a separate open-end registered
investment company
Board of Trustees or Board
Board of Trustees of ProShares Trust
CCO
Chief Compliance Officer
CFTC
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Code or Internal Revenue Code
Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended
CPO
Commodity Pool Operator
Distributor or SEI
SEI Investments Distribution Co.
ETF
Exchange traded fund
Exchange
[]
Fund Complex
All operational registered investment companies that are
advised by the Advisor or its affiliates
Independent Trustee(s)
Trustees who are not “Interested Persons” of ProShare
Advisors or Trust as defined under Section 2(a)(19) of the
1940 Act
NAV
Net asset value
New Fund(s)
ProShares Ether Strategy ETF
SEC
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Shares
The shares of the Fund
Trust
ProShares Trust
Trustee(s)
One or more of the trustees of the Trust
3

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRUST
ProShares Trust (the Trust) is a Delaware statutory trust and is registered with the SEC as an open-end management investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”). The Trust was organized on May 29, 2002 and consists of multiple series.
The Fund seeks to achieve its stated investment objective both on a single day and over time.
The Fund’s investment objective is non-fundamental, meaning it may be changed by the Board of Trustees (the “Board”) of the Trust, without the approval of Fund shareholders. Other funds may be added in the future.
The Fund is an exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) and the shares of the Fund (“Shares”) are listed on the Exchange set forth on the cover of this SAI. The Shares trade on the relevant Exchange at market prices that may differ to some degree from the Shares’ NAVs. The Fund issues and redeems Shares on a continuous basis at NAV in large, specified numbers of Shares called “Creation Units.” Creation Units of the Fund is issued and redeemed in-kind for securities and an amount of cash or entirely in cash, in each case at the discretion of ProShare Advisors LLC (“ProShare Advisors”). Except when aggregated in Creation Units, Shares cannot be purchased from and are not redeemable securities of the Fund. Retail investors, therefore, generally will not be able to purchase or redeem the Shares directly. Rather, most retail investors will purchase and sell Shares in the secondary market with the assistance of a broker. Reference is made to each Prospectus for a discussion of the investment objectives and policies of the Fund. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, each Prospectus.
Portfolio management is provided to the Fund by ProShare Advisors, a Maryland limited liability company with offices at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1000E, Bethesda, MD 20814.
The investment restrictions of the Fund specifically identified as fundamental policies may not be changed without the affirmative vote of at least a majority of the outstanding voting securities of that Fund, as defined in the 1940 Act. The investment objectives and all other investment policies of the Fund not specified as fundamental (including the index of the Fund) may be changed by the Board without the approval of shareholders.
It is the policy of the Fund to pursue its investment objectives regardless of market conditions, to attempt to remain nearly fully invested and not to take defensive positions.
The investment techniques and strategies discussed below may be used by the Fund if, in the opinion of ProShare Advisors, the techniques or strategies may be advantageous to the Fund. The Fund may reduce or eliminate its use of any of these techniques or strategies without changing the Fund’s fundamental policies. There is no assurance that any of the techniques or strategies listed below, or any of the other methods of investment available to the Fund, will result in the achievement of the Fund’s objectives. Also, there can be no assurance that the Fund will grow to, or maintain, an economically viable size, and management may determine to liquidate the Fund at a time that may not be opportune for shareholders.
EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING
There can be no assurance that the requirements of an Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares of the Fund will continue to be met. An Exchange may remove the Fund from listing under certain circumstances.
As in the case of all equities traded on an Exchange, the brokers’ commission on transactions in the Fund will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels for retail customers.
In order to provide current Share pricing information, an Exchange disseminates an updated Indicative Optimized Portfolio Value (“IOPV”) for the Fund. The Trust is not involved in or responsible for any aspect of the calculation or dissemination of the IOPVs and makes no warranty as to the accuracy of the IOPVs. IOPVs are expected to be disseminated on a per Fund basis every 15 seconds during regular trading hours of an Exchange.
4

INVESTMENT POLICIES, TECHNIQUES AND RELATED RISKS
GENERAL
There can be no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective.
For purposes of this SAI, the word “invest” refers to the Fund directly and indirectly investing in securities or other instruments. Similarly, when used in this SAI, the word “investment” refers to the Fund’s direct and indirect investments in securities and other instruments. For example, the Fund may often invest indirectly in securities or instruments by using financial instruments with economic exposure similar to those securities or instruments.
Additional information concerning the Fund, its investment policies and techniques, and the securities and financial instruments in which it may invest is set forth below.
ETHER RELATED INVESTMENTS
Ether
Ether is a digital asset which serves as the unit of account on an open-source, decentralized, peer-to-peer computer network. Ether may be used to pay for goods and services, stored for future use, or converted to a fiat currency. As of the date of this Prospectus, the adoption of ether for these purposes has been limited. The value of ether is not backed by any government, corporation, or other identified body.
The value of ether is determined in part by the supply of and demand for, ether in the markets for exchange that have been organized to facilitate the trading of ether. Ether is the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization behind bitcoin.
Ether is maintained on the decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer computer network (“Ethereum Computer Network”). No single entity owns or operates the Ethereum Computer Network. The Ethereum Computer Network is accessed through software and governs ether’s creation and movement. The source code for the Ethereum Computer Network is open-source, and anyone can contribute to its development.
Ethereum Computer Network
The infrastructure of the Ethereum Computer Network is collectively maintained by participants in the Ethereum Computer Network, which include miners, developers, and users. Miners validate transactions and are currently compensated for that service in ether. Developers maintain and contribute updates to the Ethereum Computer Network’s source code. Users access the Ethereum Computer Network using open-source software. Anyone can be a user, developer, or miner.
Ether is “stored” on a digital transaction ledger commonly known as a “blockchain.” A blockchain is a type of shared and continually reconciled database, stored in a decentralized manner on the computers of certain users of the digital asset and is protected by cryptography. The Ether blockchain contains a record and history for each ether transaction.
The Ethereum software source code allows for the creation of decentralized applications that are supported by a transaction protocol referred to as “smart contracts,” which includes the cryptographic operations that verify and secure ether transactions. A smart contract operates by a pre-defined set of rules (i.e., “if/then statements”) that allows it to automatically execute code the same way on any Ethereum node on the network. Such actions taken by the pre-defined set of rules are not necessarily contractual in nature, but are intended to eliminate the need for a third party to carry out code execution on behalf of users, making the system decentralized, while empowering coders to create a wide range of applications layering together different smart contracts. Although there are many alternatives, the Ethereum Computer Network is the largest smart contract platform in terms of market cap, available applications and development activity. Further, smart contracts serve to underpin efforts to decentralize traditional operations in finance (“DeFi”), which consist of numerous highly interoperable protocols and applications. DeFi offers many opportunities for innovation and has the potential to create an open, transparent and immutable financial infrastructure.
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The Ether Software is an open source project with no official company or group in control. Anyone can review the underlying code and suggest changes. Because ether has no central authority, the release of updates to the Ethereum Computer Network’s source code by developers does not guarantee that the updates will be automatically adopted by the other participants. Users and miners must accept any changes made to the source code by downloading the proposed modification and that modification is effective only with respect to those ether users and miners who choose to download it. As a practical matter, a modification to the source code becomes part of the Ethereum Computer Network only if it is accepted by participants that collectively have a majority of the processing power on the Ethereum Computer Network.
If a modification is accepted by only a percentage of users and miners, a division will occur such that one network will run the pre-modification source code and the other network will run the modified source code. Such a division is known as a “fork.”
New ether is created by “mining.” Miners buy specialized computational equipment in the form of servers that are composed of primarily application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), and these servers have been constructed entirely for the purpose of verifying ether transactions, building Ethereum’s blockchain and thereby minting new ether. Miners’ servers run Ethereum software, which can be thought of as the operating system on top of the hardware, just as personal computers have installed an operating system. Further, with its collective computing power on the distributed network, the Ethereum Computer Network provides the ability to execute peer-to-peer transactions to realize, via smart contracts, automatic, conditional transfer of value and information, including money, voting rights, and property.
An Ethereum private key controls the transfer or “spending” of ether from its associated public Ethereum address. An Ethereum “wallet” is a collection of public Ethereum addresses and their associated private key(s). It is designed such that only the owner of ether can send ether, only the intended recipient of ether can unlock what the sender sent and the transactional validation and ether ownership can be verified by any third party anywhere in the world.
Fees need to be paid in ether to miners in order to facilitate transactions and execute smart contracts. The fee that is charged is called “gas.” Gas price is often a small fraction of ether, which is denoted in the unit of Gwei (109 Gwei = 1 ether). Gas is essential in sustaining the Ethereum Computer Network. It motivates miners to process and verify transactions for a monetary reward. The amount of gas needed in a transaction is roughly equivalent to the value of energy needed plus a small transaction fee. Gas price fluctuates with supply and demand for processing power since miners can choose to not process transactions when gas prices are low. Gas has another important function in preventing unintentional waste of energy. Because the coding language for Ethereum is Turing-complete, there is a possibility of a program running indefinitely, and a transaction can be left consuming a lot of energy. A gas limit is imposed as the maximum price users are willing to pay to facilitate transactions. When gas runs out, the program will be terminated, and no additional energy would be used.
Ether Futures
A futures contract is a standardized contract traded on, or subject to the rules of, an exchange to buy or sell a specified type and quantity of a particular underlying asset at a designated price. Futures contracts are traded on a wide variety of underlying assets, including ether, bonds, interest rates, agricultural products, stock indexes, currencies, digital assets, energy, metals, economic indicators and statistical measures. The notional size and calendar term of futures contracts on a particular underlying asset are identical and are not subject to any negotiation, other than with respect to price and the number of contracts traded between the buyer and seller. Futures contracts expire on a designated date, referred to as the “expiration date.”
The Fund generally deposits cash (also known as “margin”) with an FCM for its open positions in futures contracts. The margin requirements or position limits may be based on the notional exposure of the futures contracts or the number of futures contracts purchased. The FCM, in turn, generally transfers such deposits to the clearing house to protect the clearing house against non-payment by the Fund. “Variation Margin” is the amount of cash that each party agrees to pay to or receive from the other to reflect the daily
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fluctuation in the value of the futures contract. The clearing house becomes substituted for each counterparty to a futures contract and, in effect, guarantees performance. In addition, the FCM may require the Fund to deposit additional margin collateral in excess of the clearing house’s requirements for the FCM’s own protection. Margin requirements for CME Ether Futures are substantially higher than margin requirements for many other types of futures contracts.
CME Ether Futures commenced trading on the CME Globex electronic trading platform on February 8, 2021 under the ticker symbol “ETH”. CME Ether Futures are cash-settled in U.S. dollars, based on the CME CF Ether Reference Rate. The CME CF Ether Reference Rate is a volume-weighted composite of U.S. dollar-ether trading activity on the Constituent Exchanges. The Constituent Exchanges are selected by CF Benchmarks based on the Constituent Exchange Criteria. The Constituent Exchange Criteria requires each Constituent Exchange to implement policies and procedures to ensure fair and transparent market conditions and to identify and impede illegal, unfair or manipulative trading practices. Additionally, each Constituent Exchange must comply with, among other things, capital market regulations, money transmission regulations, client money custody regulations, know-you-client regulations and anti-money laundering regulations.
Each Constituent Exchange is reviewed annually by an oversight committee established by CF Benchmarks to confirm that the Constituent Exchange continues to meet all criteria. CF Benchmarks and the CME CF Ether Reference Rate are subject to United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority Regulation
Although the Fund does not invest in ether, events impacting the price of ether across all ether trading venues could impact the price and market for ether futures, and therefore the performance of the Fund.
The liquidity of the market for ether futures depends on, among other things: the supply and demand for ether futures; the supply and demand for ether; the adoption of ether for commercial uses; the anticipated increase of investments in ether-related investment products by retail and institutional investors; speculative interest in ether, ether futures, and ether-related investment products; regulatory or other restrictions on investors’ ability to invest in ether futures; and the potential ability to hedge against the price of ether with ether futures (and vice versa).
The market for ether futures may be illiquid. This means that the Fund may not be able to buy and sell ether futures quickly or at the desired price. For example, it is difficult to execute a trade at a specific price when there is a relatively small volume of buy and sell orders in a market. A materially adverse development in one or more of the factors on which the liquidity of the market for ether futures depends may cause the market to become illiquid, for short or long periods. In such markets, the Fund may not be able to buy and sell ether futures quickly (or at all) or at the desired price. Market illiquidity may cause losses for the Fund. Additionally, the large size of the futures positions which the Fund may acquire increases the risk of illiquidity, as larger positions may be more difficult to fully liquidate, may take longer to liquidate, and, as a result of their size, may expose the Fund to potentially more significant losses while trying to do so. Limits imposed by counterparties, exchanges or other regulatory organizations, such as accountability levels, position limits and daily price fluctuation limits, may contribute to a lack of liquidity with respect to some financial instruments and have a negative impact on Fund performance. During periods of market illiquidity, including periods of market disruption and volatility, it may be difficult or impossible for the Fund to buy or sell futures contracts or other financial instruments.
The contractual obligations of a buyer or seller holding a futures contract to expiration may be satisfied by settling in cash as provided by the terms of such contract. However, the Fund does not intend to hold ether futures through expiration. Instead, the Fund intends to “roll” futures positions. “Rolling” refers to a process whereby futures contracts nearing expiration are closed out and replaced with identical futures contracts with a later expiration date. Accordingly, the Fund is subject to risks related to rolling.
When the market for certain futures contracts is such that the prices are higher in the more distant delivery months than in the nearer delivery months, the sale during the course of the “rolling process” of the more nearby ether futures would take place at a price that is lower than the price of the more distant ether futures. This pattern of higher futures prices for longer expiration ether futures is often referred to as “contango.” Alternatively, when the market for certain ether futures is such that the prices are higher in the
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nearer months than in the more distant months, the sale during the course of the rolling process of the more nearby ether futures would take place at a price that is higher than the price of the more distant ether futures. This pattern of higher future prices for shorter expiration ether futures is referred to as “backwardation.”
There have been extended periods in which contango or backwardation has existed in certain futures markets in general. Such periods could occur in the future for ether futures and may cause significant and sustained losses. Additionally because of the frequency with which the Fund may roll futures contracts, the impact of contango or backwardation on Fund performance may be greater than it would have been if the Fund rolled futures contracts less frequently.
The CME has established margin requirements for ether futures at levels that may be substantially higher than the margin requirements for more established futures contracts. The Futures Commission Merchants (“FCMs”) utilized by the Fund may impose margin requirements in addition to those imposed by the exchanges. Margin requirements are subject to change, and may be raised in the future by the exchanges and the FCMs. Margin Requirements may be more likely to change during periods of high volatility. High margin requirements could prevent the Fund from obtaining sufficient exposure to ether futures and may adversely affect its ability to achieve its investment objective. An FCM’s failure to return required margin to the Fund on a timely basis may cause such Fund to delay redemption settlement dates and/or restrict, postpone or limit the right of redemption.
The term “margin” refers to the minimum amount the Fund must deposit and maintain with its FCM in order to establish an open position in futures contracts. The minimum amount of margin required in connection with a particular futures contract is set by the exchange on which such contract is traded and is subject to change at any time during the term of the contract. FCMs may require customers to post additional amounts above the required minimums. Futures contracts are customarily bought and sold on margins that represent a percentage of the aggregate purchase or sales price of the contract.
In addition, FCMs utilized by the Fund may impose limits on the amount of exposure to futures contracts the Fund can obtain through such FCMs. As a result, the Fund may need to transact through a number of FCMs to achieve its investment objective. If enough FCMs are not willing to transact with the Fund, or if exposure limits imposed by such FCMs do not provide sufficient exposure, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective.
There may be circumstances that could prevent or make it impractical for the Fund to operate in a manner consistent with its investment objective and investment strategies.
The price of ether has experienced periods of extreme volatility. The price of ether may change dramatically and without warning. This volatility is due to a number of factors, including the supply and demand for ether, concerns about potential manipulation of the price of ether and the safety of ether, market perceptions of the value of ether as an investment, continuing development of the regulations applicable to ether, and the changes exhibited by an early-stage technological innovation.
It is believed that speculators and investors who seek to profit from trading and holding ether currently account for a significant portion of ether demand. Such speculation regarding the potential future appreciation in the price of ether may artificially inflate or deflate the price of ether. Conversely, evolving government regulation, the perception of onerous regulatory actions, concerns over the potential for fraud and manipulation of the price of ether and other factors may cause a drop in the price of ether. Developments related to the Ethereum Computer Network’s operations, also contribute to the volatility in the price of ether. These factors may continue to cause the price of ether to be volatile, which may have a negative impact on the performance of the ether futures and on the performance of the Fund.
The trading of ether is fragmented across numerous trading venues. The fragmentation of the volume of ether transactions across multiple trading venues can lead to a higher volatility than would be expected if volume was concentrated in a single trading venue. Market fragmentation and volatility increases the likelihood of price differences across different trading venues.
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Market participants trading ether futures may seek to “hedge” or otherwise manage their exposure to such contracts by taking offsetting positions in ether. Fragmentation may require market participants to analyze multiple prices, which may be inconsistent and quickly changing. Fragmentation also may require market participants to potentially fill their positions through a number of transactions on different exchanges. These factors potentially increase the cost and uncertainty of trading ether and may decrease the effectiveness of using transactions in ether to help manage or offset positions in ether futures. Market participants who are unable to fully or effectively manage or hedge their positions in ether futures typically would be expected to widen the bid-ask spreads on such contracts, which could potentially decrease the trading volume and liquidity of such contracts and have a negative impact on the price of such contracts.
Ether, the Ethereum Computer Network and ether trading venues are relatively new and not subject to the same regulations as regulated securities or futures exchanges. Ether exchanges that are regulated typically must comply with minimum net worth, cybersecurity, and anti-money laundering requirements, but are not typically required to protect customers or their markets to the same extent that regulated securities exchanges or futures exchanges are required to do so. As a result, markets for ether may be subject to manipulation or fraud and may be subject to larger and/or more frequent sudden declines than assets traded on more traditional exchanges. Investors in ether may lose money, possibly the entire value of their investments.
There is no central registry showing which individuals or entities own ether or the quantity of ether that is owned by any particular person or entity. It is possible that a small group of early ether adopters hold a significant proportion of the ether that has been thus far created. There are no regulations in place that would prevent a large holder of ether or a group of holders from selling their ether, which could depress the price of ether, or otherwise attempting to manipulate the price of ether or the Ethereum Computer Network.
Events could adversely affect the price of ether, reduce user confidence in ether, the Ethereum Computer Network and the fairness of the venues for trading ether and slow (or even reverse) the further adoption of ether.
Malicious actors could theoretically structure an attack whereby such actors gains control of more than half of the Ethereum Computer Network’s processing power, or “aggregate hashrate.” If a malicious actor or group of actors acquired a hashrate exceeding the rest of the Ethereum Computer Network, it would be able to exert unilateral control over the addition of blocks to the Ethereum Blockchain. This would allow a malicious actor to engage in “double spending” (i.e., use the same ether for two or more transactions), prevent other transactions from being confirmed on the Ethereum Blockchain, or prevent other miners from mining any valid new blocks. Each of the events described above, among other things, could adversely affect the price of ether; reduce user confidence in ether, the Ethereum Computer Network and the fairness of ether trading venues; and slow (or even reverse) the further adoption of ether.
The Ethereum Protocol was built using open source software by a small group of developers who help develop and maintain the original version of ether, the underlying asset upon which ether futures are based. The open source nature of the Ethereum Protocol permits any developer to review the underlying code and suggest changes to it. If accepted by a sufficient number of miners, these changes may result in substantial changes to the Ethereum Computer Network, including changes that result in “forks” (as described herein). It is possible that the price of the ether futures subsequent to a “fork” may be linked to the price of ether on only one of the resulting Ethereum Computer Networks, rather than the aggregate price of ether on all resulting Ethereum Computer Networks.
The CME considers a hard fork of the Ethereum Blockchain where both forks continue to be actively mined and traded but may not be fungible with each other, as an unusual and extreme circumstance. The CME has determined, in the event of a hard fork or other circumstance in which the split of ether is expected, CME shall decide what action to take to align ether futures exposure with cash market exposures, as the CME deems appropriate.
It is possible that, notwithstanding the protocols implemented to attempt to address the impact of forks on ether futures, forks and similar events could have an adverse effect on the price of ether and the ether futures in which the Fund invests and may adversely affect an investment in the Fund. The price of
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ether is highly volatile, which could have a negative impact on the price and trading of ether futures, the performance of the Fund.
It is believed that speculators and investors who seek to profit from trading and holding ether currently account for a significant portion of ether demand. Such speculation regarding the potential future appreciation in the price of ether may artificially inflate or deflate the price of ether. Conversely, evolving government regulation, the perception of onerous regulatory actions, concerns over the potential for fraud and manipulation of the price of ether and other factors may cause a drop in the price of ether. Developments related to the Ethereum Computer Network’s operations, also contribute to the volatility in the price of ether. These factors may continue to cause the price of ether to be volatile, which may have a negative impact on the performance of the ether futures and on the performance of the Fund.
Since the price and trading of ether futures is influenced by the price of ether and events impacting the price of ether, the Ethereum Computer Network or the ether trading venues, each of the events described above could have a negative impact on the price and market for ether futures. For example, such events could lead to a lack of liquidity in the market for ether futures or have a negative impact on the price of ether futures.
Changes in the Ethereum Computer Network could have an adverse effect on the operation and price of ether, which could have an adverse effect on the price of ether futures and the value of an investment in the Fund.
New ether is created when ether “miners” use computers on the Ethereum Computer Network to solve ether’s “proof of work” algorithm which records and verifies every ether transaction on the Ethereum Blockchain. In return for their services, miners are rewarded through receipt of a set amount of ether. If transaction fees are not sufficiently high or if transaction fees increase to the point of being prohibitively expensive for users, miners may not have an adequate incentive to continue mining and may cease their mining operations.
If the price of ether or the reward for mining new blocks is not sufficiently high to incentivize miners, miners may cease expending hashrate to solve blocks and, as a result, confirmations of transactions on the Ethereum Blockchain could be slowed temporarily and inhibit the function of the Ethereum Computer Network. This could have a negative impact on the value of an investment in the Fund.
Additionally, if the price of ether falls below that which is required for mining operators to turn a profit, some mining operators may temporarily discontinue mining ether by either halting operations or switching their mining operations to mine other cryptocurrencies. If miners reduce or cease their mining operations it would reduce the aggregate hashrate on the Ethereum Computer Network, which would adversely affect the confirmation process for transactions (i.e., temporarily decreasing the speed at which blocks are added to the blockchain until the next scheduled adjustment in difficulty for block solutions) and make the Ethereum Computer Network more vulnerable to a malicious actor obtaining control in excess of fifty (50) percent of the aggregate hashrate on the Ethereum Computer Network. Periodically, the Ethereum Computer Network is designed to adjust the difficulty for block solutions so that solution speeds remain in the vicinity of the expected ten (10) minute confirmation time currently targeted by the Ethereum Computer Network protocol, but significant reductions in aggregate hashrate on the Ethereum Computer Network could result in material delays in transaction confirmation time. Any reduction in confidence in the confirmation process or aggregate hashrate of the Ethereum Computer Network may adversely affect the utility and price of ether, which may negatively impact the ether futures and an investment in the Fund.
A decline in the adoption of ether could have a negative impact on the price of ether and the ether trading venues and, in turn, a negative impact on the price and market for ether futures and the value of an investment in the Fund.
Ether is used as a form of payment both directly and, more commonly, through an intermediary service which converts ether payments into local currency. However, the adoption of ether has been limited when compared with the increase in the price of ether as determined by the ether trading venues. This may
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indicate that the majority of ether’s use continues to be for investment and speculative purposes. The continued adoption of ether will require growth in its usage as a means of payment and in the Ethereum Blockchain for various applications.
A lack of expansion or a reduction in usage of ether and the Ethereum Blockchain could adversely affect the ether trading venues. This, in turn, may have a negative impact on the market for ether futures and the performance of the Fund. Even if growth in ether adoption continues in the near or medium-term, there is no assurance that ether usage, or the market for ether futures, will continue to grow over the long-term. A contraction in the use of ether may result in a lack of liquidity in the ether trading venues, increased volatility in or a reduction to the price of ether, and other negative consequences. This, in turn, could exacerbate any lack of liquidity in the market for ether futures, cause increased volatility in, or a reduction to the price, of ether futures and other negative consequences. Each of these events could adversely impact the value of an investment in the Fund.
A new competing digital asset may pose a challenge to ether’s current market dominance, resulting in a reduction in demand for ether, which could have a negative impact on the price and market for ether and, in turn, a negative impact on the price and market for ether futures and the value of an investment in the Fund.
Regulatory initiatives by governments and uniform law proposals by academics and participants in the ether economy may impact the use of ether or the operation of the Ethereum Computer Network in a manner that adversely affects ether futures and the value of an investment in the Fund.
As ether and other digital assets have grown in popularity and market size, certain U.S. federal and state governments, foreign governments and self-regulatory agencies have begun to examine the operations of ether, cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, the Ethereum Computer Network, ether users, and the ether trading venues. Regulation of cryptocurrencies, like ether, and initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) in the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions could restrict the use of ether or impose other requirements that may adversely impact the liquidity and price of ether, the demand for ether, the operations of the ether trading venues and the performance of the ether futures. If the ether trading venues become subject to onerous regulations, among other things, trading in ether may be concentrated in a smaller number of exchanges, which may materially impact the price, volatility and trading volumes of ether. Additionally, the ether trading venues may be required to comply with tax, anti-money laundering (“AML”), know-your-customer (“KYC”) and other regulatory requirements, compliance and reporting obligations that may make it more costly to transact in or trade ether (which may materially impact price, volatility or trading of ether more generally). Each of these events could have a negative impact on ether futures and the value of an investment in the Fund.
The regulation of ether, digital assets and related products and services continues to evolve. The inconsistent and sometimes conflicting regulatory landscape may make it more difficult for ether businesses to provide services, which may impede the growth of the ether economy and have an adverse effect on consumer adoption of ether. There is a possibility of future regulatory change altering, perhaps to a material extent, the nature of an investment in the Fund or the ability of the Fund to continue to operate.
Additionally, to the extent that ether itself is determined to be a security, commodity future or other regulated asset, or to the extent that a United States or foreign government or quasi-governmental agency exerts regulatory authority over the Ethereum Computer Network, ether trading or ownership in ether, the ether futures may be adversely affected, which may have an adverse effect on the value of your investment in the Fund. In sum, ether regulation takes many different forms and will, therefore, impact ether and its usage in a variety of manners.
No single entity owns the Ethereum Computer Network. However, with the growing adoption of ether and the significant increase in speculative activity surrounding ether and cryptocurrencies, third parties may be increasingly motivated to assert intellectual property rights claims relating to the operation of the Ethereum Computer Network or applications built upon the Ethereum Blockchain. Regardless of the merit of any intellectual property or other legal action, any threatened action that reduces confidence in the Ethereum Computer Network’s or the Ethereum Blockchain’s long-term viability or the ability of end-users to hold and
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transfer ether may adversely affect the price of ether and adversely affect the ether futures. Additionally, a meritorious intellectual property rights claim could prevent end-users from accessing the Ethereum Computer Network or holding or transferring their ether, which could adversely affect the value of the ether futures. As a result, an intellectual property rights claim against Ethereum Computer Network participants could have a material adverse impact on the Fund.
An interruption in Internet service or a limitation of Internet access could impact the functionality of the Ethereum Computer Network.
The Ethereum Computer Network’s functionality relies on the Internet. A broadly accepted and widely adopted decentralized network is necessary for a fully-functional blockchain network, such as the Ethereum Computer Network. Features of the Ethereum Computer Network, such as decentralization, open source protocol, and reliance on peer-to-peer connectivity, are essential to preserve the stability of the network and decrease the risk of fraud or cyber-attacks. A significant disruption of Internet connectivity affecting large numbers of users or geographic areas could impede the functionality of the Ethereum Computer Network. Any technical disruptions or regulatory limitations that affect Internet access may have an adverse effect on the Ethereum Computer Network, the price of ether and ether futures and therefore adversely affect the value of an investment in the Fund.
DEBT INSTRUMENTS
Below is a description of various types of money market instruments and other debt instruments that the Fund may utilize for investment purposes, as “cover” for other investment techniques such Fund employs, or for liquidity purposes. Other types of money market instruments and debt instruments may become available that are similar to those described below and in which the Fund also may invest consistent with their investment goals and policies. The Fund may also invest in pooled investment vehicles that invest in, and themselves qualify as, money market instruments.
Money Market Instruments
To seek its investment objective, as a cash reserve, for liquidity purposes, or as “cover” for positions it has taken, the Fund may invest all or part of its assets in cash or cash equivalents, which include, but are not limited to, short-term money market instruments, U.S. government securities, floating and variable rate notes, commercial paper, certificates of deposit, time deposits, bankers’ acceptances or repurchase agreements and other short-term liquid instruments secured by U.S. government securities. The Fund may invest in money market instruments issued by foreign and domestic governments, financial institutions, corporations and other entities in the U.S. or in any foreign country. The Fund may also invest in pooled investment vehicles that invest in, and themselves qualify as, money market instruments.
U.S. Government Securities
The Fund may invest in U.S. government securities in pursuit of their investment objectives, as “cover” for the investment techniques employed, or for liquidity purposes.
U.S. government securities include U.S. Treasury securities, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury and which differ only in their interest rates, maturities, and times of issuance: U.S. Treasury bills, which have initial maturities of one year or less; U.S. Treasury notes, which have initial maturities of one to ten years; and U.S. Treasury bonds, which generally have initial maturities of greater than ten years. In addition, U.S. government securities include Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (“TIPS”). TIPS are inflation-protected public obligations of the U.S. Treasury. These securities are designed to provide inflation protection to investors. TIPS are income generating instruments whose interest and principal payments are adjusted for inflation—a sustained increase in prices that erodes the purchasing power of money. The inflation adjustment, which is typically applied monthly to the principal of the bond, follows a designated inflation index such as the Consumer Price Index. A fixed-coupon rate is applied to the inflation-adjusted principal so that as inflation rises, both the principal value and the interest payments increase. This can
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provide investors with a hedge against inflation, as it helps preserve the purchasing power of an investment. Because of the inflation-adjustment feature, inflation-protected bonds typically have lower yields than conventional fixed-rate bonds. In addition, TIPS decline in value when real interest rates rise. However, in certain interest rate environments, such as when real interest rates are rising faster than nominal interest rates, TIPS may experience greater losses than other fixed income securities with similar duration.
Certain U.S. government securities are issued or guaranteed by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government including, but not limited to, obligations of U.S. government agencies or instrumentalities, such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae” or “FNMA”), the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae” or “GNMA”), the Small Business Administration, the Federal Farm Credit Administration, Federal Home Loan Banks, Banks for Cooperatives (including the Central Bank for Cooperatives), Federal Land Banks, Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Federal Financing Bank, the Student Loan Marketing Association, the National Credit Union Administration and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation. Some obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities, including, for example, GNMA pass-through certificates, are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. Other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those securities issued by FNMA, are supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the federal agency but are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, while other obligations issued by or guaranteed by federal agencies, such as those of the Federal Home Loan Banks, are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury. While the U.S. government provides financial support to such U.S. government-sponsored federal agencies and instrumentalities described above, no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will always do so, since the U.S. government is not so obligated by law. U.S. Treasury notes and bonds typically pay coupon interest semi-annually and repay the principal at maturity. All U.S. government securities are subject to credit risk.
Yields on U.S. government securities depend on a variety of factors, including the general conditions of the money and bond markets, the size of a particular offering, and the maturity of the obligation. Debt 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 value of U.S. government securities generally varies inversely with changes in market interest rates. An increase in interest rates, therefore, would generally reduce the market value of the Fund’s portfolio investments in U.S. government securities, while a decline in interest rates would generally increase the market value of the Fund’s portfolio investments in these securities.
FORWARD CONTRACTS
The Fund may enter into forward contracts to attempt to gain exposure to an index or asset, or to hedge a position. Forward contracts are two-party contracts pursuant to which one party agrees to pay the other party a fixed price for an agreed-upon amount of an underlying asset or the cash value of the underlying asset at an agreed-upon date. When required by law, the Fund will segregate liquid assets in an amount equal to the value of the Fund’s total assets committed to the consummation of such forward contracts. Obligations under forward contracts so covered will not be considered senior securities for purposes of the Fund’s investment restriction concerning senior securities. Forward contracts that cannot be terminated in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the amount at which the Fund has valued the asset may be considered to be illiquid for purposes of the Fund’s illiquid investment limitations. The Fund will not enter into a forward contract unless the Advisor believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. The counterparty to any forward contract will typically be a major, global financial institution. The Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a forward contract in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a counterparty. If such a default occurs, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the forward contract, but such remedies may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws and proceedings in the event of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency, which could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor and ability to enforce the remedies provided in the applicable contract.
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Depending on the structure of the contract and the underlying assets, forward contracts may be unregulated, regulated as securities transactions under the securities laws, or regulated as “swaps” under Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) and related SEC and CFTC rules thereunder.
OPTIONS ON FUTURES
When the Fund purchases a put or call option on a futures contract, the Fund pays a “premium” (i.e., an amount in addition to the value of the underlying contract in relation to the exercise price of the option) for the right to sell (in the case of a put) or purchase (in the case of a call) the underlying futures contract for a specified price upon exercise at any time during the option period. When the Fund sells (or “writes”) a put or call option on a futures contract, the Fund receives a premium in return for granting to the purchaser of the option the right to sell to or buy from the Fund the underlying futures contract for a specified price upon exercise at any time during the option period.
SWAPS
General
The Fund may enter into swaps and other derivatives to gain exposure to an underlying asset without actually purchasing such asset, or to hedge a position including in circumstances in which direct investment is restricted for legal reasons or is otherwise impracticable. Swaps are two-party contracts entered into primarily by institutional investors for periods ranging from a day 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 a particular pre-determined interest rate, commodity, security, indexes, or other assets or measurable indicators. The gross return to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties is calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” e.g., the return on, or the increase/decrease in, value of a particular dollar amount invested in a “basket” of securities or an ETF representing a particular index or group of securities.
The Fund may enter into swaps to invest in a market without owning or taking physical custody of securities. For example, in one common type of total return swap, the Fund’s counterparty will agree to pay the Fund the rate at which the specified asset or indicator (e.g., an ETF, or securities comprising a benchmark index, plus the dividends or interest that would have been received on those assets) increased in value multiplied by the relevant notional amount of the swap. The Fund will agree to pay to the counterparty an interest fee (based on the notional amount) and the rate at which, the specified asset or indicator would decreased in value multiplied by the notional amount of the swap, plus, in certain instances, commissions or trading spreads on the notional amount.
As a result, the swap has a similar economic effect as if the Fund were to invest in the assets underlying the swap in an amount equal to the notional amount of the swap. The return to the Fund on such swap should be the gain or loss on the notional amount plus dividends or interest on the assets less the interest paid by the Fund on the notional amount. However, unlike cash investments in the underlying assets, the Fund will not be an owner of the underlying assets and will not have voting or similar rights in respect of such assets.
As a trading technique, ProFund Advisors may substitute physical securities with a swap having investment characteristics substantially similar to the underlying securities. The Fund may also enter into swaps that provide the opposite return of their benchmark or a security. Their operations are similar to that of the swaps discussed above except that the counterparty pays interest to the Fund on the notional amount outstanding and that dividends or interest on the underlying instruments reduce the value of the swap, plus, in certain instances, the Fund will agree to pay to the counterparty commissions or trading spreads on the notional amount. These amounts are often netted with any unrealized gain or loss to determine the value of the swap.
The use of swaps is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks in addition to, and in some cases different from, those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions.
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The primary risks associated with the use of swaps are mispricing or improper valuation, imperfect correlation between movements in the notional amount and the price of the underlying investments, and the inability of the counterparties or clearing organization to perform. If a counterparty’s creditworthiness for an over-the-counter swap declines, the value of the swap would likely decline. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the Fund could eliminate its exposure under an outstanding swap by entering into an offsetting swap with the same or another party. In addition, the Fund may use a combination of swaps on an underlying index and swaps on an ETF that is designed to track the performance of that index. The performance of an ETF may deviate from the performance of its underlying index due to embedded costs and other factors. Thus, to the extent the Fund invests in swaps that use an ETF as the reference asset, that Fund may be subject to greater correlation risk and may not achieve as high a degree of correlation with its index as it would if the Fund used only swaps on the underlying index.
ProFund Advisors, under the supervision of the Board, is responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of the Fund’s transactions in swaps.
Common Types of Swaps
The Fund may enter into any of several types of swaps, including:
Total Return Swaps. Total return swaps may be used either as economically similar substitutes for owning the reference asset specified in the swap, such as the securities that comprise a given market index, particular securities or commodities, or other assets or indicators. They also may be used as a means of obtaining exposure in markets where the reference asset is unavailable or it may otherwise be impossible or impracticable for the Fund to own that asset. “Total return” refers to the payment (or receipt) of the total return on the underlying reference asset, which is then exchanged for the receipt (or payment) of an interest rate. Total return swaps provide the Fund with the additional flexibility of gaining exposure to a market or sector index in a potentially more economical way.
Mechanics of the Fund’s Swaps
Payments. Most swaps entered into by the Fund calculate and settle the obligations of the parties to the agreement on a “net basis” with a single payment. Consequently, the Fund’s current obligations (or rights) under a swap will generally be equal only to the net 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”). Other swaps, may require initial premium (discount) payments as well as periodic payments (receipts) related to the interest leg of the swap or to the default of the reference entity.
The Fund’s current obligations under most swaps will be accrued daily (offset against any amounts owed to the Fund by the counterparty to the swap) and any accrued but unpaid net amounts owed to a swap counterparty will be covered by segregating or earmarking cash or other assets determined to be liquid. However, typically no payments will be made until the settlement date.
Counterparty Credit Risk. The Fund will not enter into any uncleared swap (i.e., not cleared by a central counterparty) unless ProFund Advisors believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. The counterparty to an uncleared swap will typically be a major global financial institution. The Fund will be subject to credit risk with respect to the counterparties with which the Fund enters into derivatives contracts and other transactions such as repurchase agreements or reverse repurchase agreements. The Fund’s ability to profit from these types of investments and transactions will depend on the willingness and ability of its counterparty to perform its obligations. If a counterparty fails to meet its contractual obligations, the Fund may be unable to terminate or realize any gain on the investment or transaction, resulting in a loss to the Fund. The Fund may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery in an insolvency, bankruptcy, or other reorganization proceeding involving its counterparty (including recovery of any collateral posted by it) and may obtain only a limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances. If the Fund holds collateral posted by its counterparty, it may be delayed or prevented from realizing on the collateral in the event of a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding relating to the counterparty. Under applicable law or contractual provisions, including if the Fund enters into an investment or transaction with a financial
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institution and such financial institution (or an affiliate of the financial institution) experiences financial difficulties, then the Fund may in certain situations be prevented or delayed from exercising its rights to terminate the investment or transaction, or to realize on any collateral, and may result in the suspension of payment and delivery obligations of the parties under such investment or transactions or in another institution being substituted for that financial institution without the consent of the Fund. Further, the Fund may be subject to “bail-in” risk under applicable law whereby, if required by the financial institution’s authority, the financial institution’s liabilities could be written down, eliminated or converted into equity or an alternative instrument of ownership. A bail-in of a financial institution may result in a reduction in value of some or all of its securities and, if the Fund holds such securities or has entered into a transaction with such a financial security when a bail-in occurs, such Fund may also be similarly impacted.
Upon entering into a cleared swap, the Fund is required to deposit with its FCM an amount of cash or cash equivalents equal to a small percentage of the notional amount (this amount is subject to change by the FCM or clearing house through which the trade is cleared). This amount, known as “initial margin,” is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the cleared swap and is returned to the Fund upon termination of the swap, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Subsequent payments, known as “variation margin” to and from the broker will be made daily as the price of the swap fluctuates, making the long and short position in the swap contract more or less valuable, a process known as “marking-to-market.” The premium (discount) payments are built into the daily price of the swap and thus are amortized through the variation margin. The variation margin payment also includes the daily portion of the periodic payment stream.
A party to a cleared swap is subject to the credit risk of the clearing house and the FCM through which it holds its position. Credit risk of market participants with respect to cleared swaps is concentrated in a few clearing houses, and it is not clear how an insolvency proceeding of a clearing house would be conducted and what impact an insolvency of a clearing house would have on the financial system. An FCM is generally obligated to segregate all funds received from customers with respect to cleared swap positions from the FCM’s proprietary assets. However, all funds and other property received by an FCM from its customers are generally held by the FCM on a commingled basis in an omnibus account, and the FCM may invest those funds in certain instruments permitted under the applicable regulations. The assets of the Fund might not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the Fund’s FCM, because the Fund would be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds segregated on behalf of the FCM’s customers for a relevant account class. Also, the FCM is required to transfer to the clearing house the amount of margin required by the clearing house for cleared swaps positions, which amounts are generally held in an omnibus account at the clearing house for all customers of the FCM. Regulations promulgated by the CFTC require that the FCM notify the clearing house of the amount of initial margin provided by the FCM to the clearing house that is attributable to each customer. However, if the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, the Fund is subject to the risk that a clearing house will use the Fund’s assets held in an omnibus account at the clearing house to satisfy payment obligations of a defaulting customer of the clearing member to the clearing house. In addition, if an FCM does not comply with the applicable regulations or its agreement with the Fund, or in the event of fraud or misappropriation of customer assets by an FCM, the Fund could have only an unsecured creditor claim in an insolvency of the FCM with respect to the margin held by the FCM.
Termination and Default Risk. Certain of the Fund’s swap agreements contain termination provisions that, among other things, require the Fund to maintain a pre-determined level of net assets, and/or provide limits regarding the decline of the Fund’s net asset value over specific periods of time, which may or may not be exclusive of redemptions. If the Fund were to trigger such provisions and have open derivative positions, at that time counterparties to the swaps could elect to terminate such agreements and request immediate payment in an amount equal to the net liability positions, if any, under the relevant agreement.
Regulatory Margin
In recent years, regulators across the globe, including the CFTC and the U.S. banking regulators, have adopted margin requirements applicable to uncleared swaps. While the Fund is not directly subject to these requirements, where the Fund’s counterparty is subject to the requirements, uncleared swaps between the
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Fund and that counterparty are required to be marked-to-market on a daily basis, and collateral is required to be exchanged to account for any changes in the value of such swaps. The rules impose a number of requirements as to these exchanges of margin, including as to the timing of transfers, the type of collateral (and valuations for such collateral) and other matters that may be different than what the Fund would agree with its counterparty in the absence of such regulation. In all events, where the Fund is required to post collateral to its swap counterparty, such collateral will be posted to an independent bank custodian, where access to the collateral by the swap counterparty will generally not be permitted unless the relevant Fund is in default on its obligations to the swap counterparty.
In addition to the variation margin requirements, regulators have adopted “initial” margin requirements applicable to uncleared swaps. Where applicable, these rules require parties to an uncleared swap to post, to a custodian that is independent from the parties to the swap, collateral (in addition to any “variation margin” collateral noted above) in an amount that is either (i) specified in a schedule in the rules or (ii) calculated by the regulated party in accordance with a model that has been approved by that party’s regulator(s). At this time, the initial margin rules do not apply to the Fund’s swap trading relationships. However, the rules are being implemented on a phased basis, and in the near future, the rules may apply to the Fund. In the event that the rules apply, they would impose significant costs on such the Fund’s ability to engage in uncleared swaps and, as such, could adversely affect ProFund Advisors’ ability to manage the Fund, may impair the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective and/or may result in reduced returns to the Fund’s investors.
Risks of Government Regulation of Derivatives
It is possible that government regulation of various types of derivative instruments, including futures and swap agreements, may limit or prevent the Fund from using such instruments as a part of its investment strategy, and could ultimately prevent the Fund from being able to achieve its investment objective. It is impossible to predict fully the effects of legislation and regulation in this area, but the effects could be substantial and adverse.
The regulation of derivatives in the U.S., the European Union (“EU”) and other jurisdictions is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. Recent legislative and regulatory reforms, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd- Frank Act”), have resulted in increased regulation of derivatives, including clearing, margin reporting, recordkeeping and registration requirements for certain types of derivatives. Because these requirements are relatively new and evolving, and certain of the rules are not yet final, their ultimate impact remains unclear. New regulations could, among other things, restrict the Fund’s ability to engage in swap transactions (for example, by making certain types of swap transactions no longer available to the Fund) and/or increase the costs of such swap transactions (for example, by increasing margin or capital requirements), and the Fund may as a result be unable to execute its investment strategies in a manner that ProFund Advisors might otherwise choose. There is a possibility of future regulatory changes altering, perhaps to a material extent, the nature of an investment in the Fund or the ability of the Fund to continue to implement its investment strategies.
Also, as described above, in the event of a counterparty’s (or its affiliate’s) insolvency, the Fund’s ability to exercise remedies could be stayed or eliminated under special resolution regimes adopted in the United States, the EU and various other jurisdictions. Such regimes provide government authorities with broad authority to intervene when a financial institution is experiencing financial difficulty and may prohibit the Fund from exercising termination rights based on the financial institution’s insolvency. In particular, in the EU, governmental authorities could reduce, eliminate or convert to equity the liabilities to the Fund of a counterparty experiencing financial difficulties (sometimes referred to as a “bail in”).
In addition, the SEC recently finalized new Rule 18f-4 under the 1940 Act providing for the regulation of registered investment companies’ use of derivatives and certain related instruments (e.g., reverse repurchase agreements). Compliance with Rule 18f-4 will not be required until approximately August 2022. The new rule, among other things, limits derivatives exposure through one of two value-at-risk tests and
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eliminates the asset segregation framework for covering derivatives and certain financial instruments arising from the SEC’s Release 10666 and ensuing staff guidance. Limited derivatives users (as determined by Rule 18f-4) are not, however, subject to the full requirements under the rule. As the Fund comes into compliance, the approach to asset segregation and coverage requirements described in this SAI will be impacted.
These and other new rules and regulations could, among other things, further restrict the Fund’s ability to engage in, or increase the cost to the Fund of, derivatives transactions, for example, by making some types of derivatives no longer available to the Fund, increasing margin or capital requirements, or otherwise limiting liquidity or increasing transaction costs. The implementation of the clearing requirement for certain swaps has increased the costs of derivatives transactions for the Fund, since the Fund has to pay fees to their clearing members and are typically required to post more margin for cleared derivatives than they have historically posted for bilateral derivatives. The costs of derivatives transactions may increase further as clearing members raise their fees to cover the costs of additional capital requirements and other regulatory changes applicable to the clearing members. Certain aspects of these regulations are still being implemented, so their potential impact on the Fund and the financial system are not yet known. While the regulations and central clearing of some derivatives transactions are designed to reduce systemic risk (i.e., the risk that the interdependence of large derivatives dealers could cause them to suffer liquidity, solvency or other challenges simultaneously), there is no assurance that the mechanisms imposed under the regulations will achieve that result, and in the meantime, as noted above, central clearing, minimum margin requirements and related requirements expose the Fund to new kinds of risks and costs.
INVESTMENTS IN OTHER INVESTMENT COMPANIES
The Fund may invest in other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and unit investment trusts (“UITs”), to the extent that such an investment would be consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act or any exemptive order issued by the SEC. If the Fund invests in, and thus, is a shareholder of, another investment company, the Fund’s shareholders will indirectly bear the Fund’s proportionate share of the fees and expenses paid by such other investment company, including advisory fees, in addition to both the management fees payable directly by the Fund to the Fund’s own investment adviser and the other expenses that the Fund bears directly in connection with the Fund’s own operations.
Because most ETFs are investment companies, absent exemptive relief or reliance on an applicable exemptive statute or rule, the Fund’s investments in such investment companies generally would be limited under applicable federal statutory provisions. Those provisions typically restrict the Fund’s investment in the shares of another investment company to up to 5% of its assets (which may represent no more than 3% of the securities of such other investment company) and limit aggregate investments in all investment companies to 10% of assets. The Fund may invest in certain ETFs in excess of the statutory limit in reliance on an exemptive order issued by the SEC to those entities or pursuant to statutory or exemptive relief and pursuant to procedures approved by the Board provided that the Fund complies with the conditions of the exemptive relief, as they may be amended from time to time, and any other applicable investment limitations.
INVESTMENT IN A SUBSIDIARY
The Fund intends to achieve commodity exposure through investment in [], a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund (the “Subsidiary”) organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands. The Fund’s investment in its Subsidiary is intended to provide the Fund with exposure to commodity and financial markets in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. The Subsidiary may invest in derivatives, including futures, forwards, options and other investments intended to serve as margin or collateral or otherwise support the Subsidiary’s derivatives positions. The Subsidiary is not registered under the 1940 Act, and will not have all of the protections offered to investors in RICs. The Board, however, has oversight responsibility for the investment activities of the Fund, including its investment in its Subsidiary, and the Fund’s role as the sole shareholder of the Subsidiary.
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Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands, under which the Fund and the Subsidiary is organized, respectively, could result in the inability of the Fund and/or its Subsidiary to operate as described in this SAI and could negatively affect the Fund and its shareholders. For example, the Cayman Islands does not currently impose any income, corporate or capital gains tax, estate duty, inheritance tax, gift tax or withholding tax on the Subsidiary. If Cayman Islands law changes such that the Subsidiary must pay Cayman Islands taxes, Fund shareholders would likely suffer decreased investment returns. See “Taxation” below for more information.
The financial statements of the Subsidiary will be consolidated with the Fund’s financial statements in the Fund’s Annual and Semi-Annual Reports.
BORROWING
The Fund may borrow money for cash management purposes or investment purposes. Borrowing for investment is a form of leverage. Leveraging investments, by purchasing securities with borrowed money, is a speculative technique which increases investment risk, but also increases investment opportunity. Because substantially all of the Fund’s assets will fluctuate in value, whereas the interest obligations on borrowings may be fixed, the NAV per share of the Fund will fluctuate more when the Fund is leveraging its investments than would otherwise be the case. Moreover, interest costs on borrowings may fluctuate with changing market rates of interest and may partially offset or exceed the returns on the borrowed funds. Under adverse conditions, the Fund might have to sell portfolio securities to meet interest or principal payments at a time when investment considerations would not favor such sales. Consistent with the requirements of the 1940 Act, the Fund must maintain continuous asset coverage (total assets, including assets acquired with borrowed funds, less liabilities exclusive of borrowings) of 300% of all amounts borrowed. If at any time the value of the Fund’s assets should fail to meet this 300% coverage test, the Fund, within three days (not including weekends and holidays), will reduce the amount of the Fund’s borrowings to the extent necessary to meet this 300% coverage requirement. Maintenance of this percentage limitation may result in the sale of portfolio securities at a time when investment considerations would not favor such sale. In addition to the foregoing, the Fund is authorized to borrow money as a temporary measure for extraordinary or emergency purposes in amounts not in excess of 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets. This borrowing is not subject to the foregoing 300% asset coverage requirement. The Fund is authorized to pledge portfolio securities as ProShare Advisors deems appropriate in connection with any borrowings.
The Fund may also enter into reverse repurchase agreements, which may be viewed as a form of borrowing, with financial institutions. However, under current pronouncements, to the extent the Fund “covers” its repurchase obligations, as described above in “Reverse Repurchase Agreements,” such agreement will not be considered to be a “senior security” and, therefore, will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement otherwise applicable to borrowings by that Fund.
Obligations under futures contracts, forward contracts and swap agreements that are similarly covered will not be considered “senior securities” and, therefore, will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirement.
CASH RESERVES
In seeking to achieve its investment objective, as a cash reserve, for liquidity purposes, or as cover for positions it has taken, the Fund may invest all or part of its assets in cash or cash equivalents, which include, but are not limited to, short-term money market instruments, U.S. government securities, certificates of deposit, bankers acceptances, or repurchase agreements secured by U.S. government securities.
REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS
The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with financial institutions in pursuit of its investment objectives, as “cover” for the investment techniques it employs, or for liquidity purposes. Under a repurchase agreement, the Fund purchases a debt security and simultaneously agrees to sell the security back
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to the seller at a mutually agreed-upon future price and date, normally one day or a few days later. The resale price is greater than the purchase price, reflecting an agreed-upon market interest rate during the purchaser’s holding period. While the maturities of the underlying securities in repurchase transactions may be more than one year, the term of each repurchase agreement will always be less than one year. The Fund follows certain procedures designed to minimize the risks inherent in such agreements. These procedures include effecting repurchase transactions generally with major global financial institutions. The creditworthiness of each of the firms that is a party to a repurchase agreement with the Fund will be monitored by ProShare Advisors. In addition, the value of the collateral underlying the repurchase agreement will always be at least equal to the repurchase price, including any accrued interest earned on the repurchase agreement. In the event of a default or bankruptcy by a selling financial institution, the Fund will seek to liquidate such collateral which could involve certain costs or delays and, to the extent that proceeds from any sale upon a default of the obligation to repurchase were less than the repurchase price, the Fund could suffer a loss. The Fund also may experience difficulties and incur certain costs in exercising its rights to the collateral and may lose the interest the Fund expected to receive under the repurchase agreement. Repurchase agreements usually are for short periods, such as one week or less, but may be longer. It is the current policy of the Fund not to invest in repurchase agreements that do not mature within seven days if any such investment, together with any other illiquid assets held by the Fund, amounts to more than 15% of the Fund’s total net assets. The investments of the Fund in repurchase agreements at times may be substantial when, in the view of ProShare Advisors, liquidity, investment, regulatory, or other considerations so warrant.
Regulations adopted by global prudential regulators that are now in effect require certain bank-regulated counterparties and certain of their affiliates to include in certain financial contracts, including many repurchase agreements, terms that delay or restrict the rights of counterparties, such as the Fund, to terminate such agreements, take foreclosure action, exercise other default rights or restrict transfers of credit support in the event that the counterparty and/or its affiliates are subject to certain types of resolution or insolvency proceedings. It is possible that these new requirements, as well as potential additional government regulation and other developments in the market, could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to terminate existing repurchase agreements and purchase and sale contracts or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements.
REVERSE REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS
The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements as part of its investment strategy, which may be viewed as a form of borrowing. Reverse repurchase agreements involve sales by the Fund of portfolio assets for cash concurrently with an agreement by the Fund to repurchase those same assets at a later date at a fixed price. Generally, the effect of such a transaction is that the Fund can recover all or most of the cash invested in the portfolio securities involved during the term of the reverse repurchase agreement, while the Fund will be able to keep the interest income associated with those portfolio securities. Such transactions are advantageous only if the interest cost to the Fund of the reverse repurchase transaction is less than the cost of obtaining the cash otherwise. Opportunities to achieve this advantage may not always be available, and the Fund intends to use the reverse repurchase technique only when it will be to the Fund’s advantage to do so. The Fund will segregate with its custodian bank cash or liquid instruments equal in value to the Fund’s obligations with respect to reverse repurchase agreements.
SECURITIES LENDING
The Fund may lend securities to brokers, dealers and financial organizations in exchange for collateral in the amount of at least 102% of the value of U.S. dollar-denominated securities loaned or at least 105% of the value of non-U.S. dollar-denominated securities loaned, marked to market daily. Each loan will be secured continuously by collateral in the form of cash, Money Market Instruments or U.S. Government securities. When the Fund lends its securities, it continues to receive payments equal to the dividends and interest paid on the securities loaned and simultaneously may earn interest on the reinvestment of the cash collateral. Any cash collateral received by the Fund in connection with these loans may be reinvested in a variety of short-term investments. The Fund may incur fees and expenses in connection with the reinvestment
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of cash collateral. For loans collateralized by cash, borrowers may be entitled to receive a fee based on the amount of collateral. The Fund is typically compensated by the difference between the amount earned on the reinvestment of cash collateral and any fees paid to the borrower. Although voting and other rights attendant to securities on loan pass to the borrower, such loans may be recalled so that the securities may be voted by the Fund if a material event affecting the Fund’s investment in the securities on loan is to occur. Loans are subject to termination by the Fund or the borrower at any time. Not all Funds may participate in securities lending at any given time. No securities loan shall be made on behalf of the Fund if, as a result, the aggregate value of all securities loaned by the particular Fund exceeds one-third of the value of such Fund’s total assets (including the value of the collateral received).
Securities lending involves exposure to certain risks, including “gap” risk (i.e., the risk of a mismatch between the return on cash collateral reinvestments and any fees the Fund has agreed to pay a borrower), operational risk (i.e., the risk of losses resulting from problems in the settlement and the accounting process), legal, counterparty and credit risk. If a securities lending counterparty were to default, the Fund would be subject to the risk of a possible delay in receiving collateral or in recovering the loaned securities, or to a possible loss of rights in the collateral. In the event a borrower does not return the Fund’s securities as agreed, the Fund may experience losses if the proceeds received from liquidating the collateral do not at least equal the value of the loaned security at the time the collateral is liquidated, plus the transaction costs incurred in purchasing replacement securities. This event could trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. The investment of cash collateral deposited by the borrower is subject to inherent market risks such as interest rate risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, and other risks that are present in the market. The Fund could lose money if its short-term reinvestment of the collateral declines in value over the period of the loan.
WHEN-ISSUED AND DELAYED-DELIVERY SECURITIES
The Fund, from time to time, in the ordinary course of business, may purchase securities on a when-issued or delayed-delivery basis (i.e., delivery and payment can take place a number of days after the date of the transaction). These securities are subject to market fluctuations and no interest accrues to the purchaser during this period. At the time the Fund makes the commitment to purchase securities on a when-issued or delayed- delivery basis, the Fund will record the transaction and thereafter reflect the value of the securities, each day, in determining the Fund’s NAV. At the time of delivery of the securities, the value of the securities may be more or less than the purchase price.
CYBERSECURITY
With the increased use of technologies such as the Internet and the dependence on computer systems to perform necessary business functions, the Fund is susceptible to operational and information security risks. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber attacks include, but are not limited to gaining unauthorized access to digital systems for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cyber attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites. Cyber security failures or breaches of the Fund’s third -party service provider (including, but not limited to, index providers, the administrator and transfer agent) or the issuers of securities in which the Fund invest, have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses, the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and/or additional compliance costs. In addition, substantial costs may be incurred in order to prevent any cyber incidents in the future. The Fund and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result. While the Fund has established business continuity plans and systems to prevent such cyber attacks, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cyber security plans and systems put in place by issuers in which the Fund invests.
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ILLIQUID SECURITIES
The Fund may purchase illiquid securities, including securities that are not readily marketable and securities that are not registered (“restricted securities”) under the 1933 Act, but which can be sold to qualified institutional buyers under Rule 144A under the 1933 Act. The Fund will not invest more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets in illiquid securities. Securities generally will be considered “illiquid” if the Fund reasonably expects the security cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the security. Under the current guidelines of the staff of the SEC, illiquid securities also are considered to include, among other securities, purchased OTC options, certain cover for OTC options, repurchase agreements with maturities in excess of seven days, and certain securities whose disposition is restricted under the federal securities laws. The Fund may not be able to sell illiquid securities when ProShare Advisors considers it desirable to do so or may have to sell such securities at a price that is lower than the price that could be obtained if the securities were more liquid. In addition, the sale of illiquid securities also may require more time and may result in higher dealer discounts and other selling expenses than the sale of securities that are not illiquid. Illiquid securities may be more difficult to value due to the unavailability of reliable market quotations for such securities, and investments in illiquid securities may have an adverse impact on NAV.
The SEC has adopted Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act, which requires the Fund to adopt a liquidity risk management program to assess and manage its liquidity risk. Under its program, the Fund will be required to classify its investments into specific liquidity categories and monitor compliance with limits on investments in illiquid securities. The Fund does not expect Rule 22e-4 to have a significant effect on investment operations. While the liquidity risk management program attempts to assess and manage liquidity risk, there is no guarantee it will be effective in its operations and it may not reduce the liquidity risk inherent in the Fund’s investments.
Institutional markets for restricted securities have developed as a result of the promulgation of Rule 144A under the 1933 Act, which provides a safe harbor from 1933 Act registration requirements for qualifying sales to institutional investors. When Rule 144A securities present an attractive investment opportunity and otherwise meet selection criteria, the Fund may make such investments. Whether or not such securities are illiquid depends on the market that exists for the particular security. The staff of the SEC has taken the position that the liquidity of Rule 144A restricted securities is a question of fact for a board of trustees to determine, such determination to be based on a consideration of the readily-available trading markets and the review of any contractual restrictions. The SEC staff also has acknowledged that, while a board of trustees retains ultimate responsibility, trustees may delegate this function to an investment adviser. The Board of Trustees has delegated this responsibility for determining the liquidity of Rule 144A restricted securities that may be invested in by the Fund to ProShare Advisors. It is not possible to predict with assurance exactly how the market for Rule 144A restricted securities or any other security will develop. A security that when purchased enjoyed a fair degree of marketability may subsequently become illiquid and, accordingly, a security that was deemed to be liquid at the time of acquisition may subsequently become illiquid. In such an event, appropriate remedies will be considered in order to minimize the effect on the Fund’s liquidity.
MANAGEMENT
There may be circumstances outside the control of ProShare Advisors, the Trust, the Administrator (as defined below), the transfer agent, the Custodian (as defined below), any sub-custodian, the Distributor (as defined below), and/or the Fund that make it, for all practical purposes, impossible to re-position such Fund and/or to process a purchase or redemption order. Examples of such circumstances include: natural disasters; public service disruptions or utility problems such as those caused by fires, floods, extreme weather conditions, and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy, and computer failures; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the aforementioned parties, as well as the DTC, the NSCC, or any other participant in the purchase process; and similar extraordinary events. Accordingly, while ProShare Advisors has implemented and tested a business
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continuity plan that transfers functions of any disrupted facility to another location and has effected a disaster recovery plan, circumstances, such as those above, may prevent the Fund from being operated in a manner consistent with its investment objective and/or principal investment strategies.
NON-DIVERSIFIED STATUS
The Fund is a “non-diversified” series of the Trust. The Fund’s classification as a “non-diversified” investment company means that the proportion of the Fund’s assets that may be invested in the securities of a single issuer is not limited by the 1940 Act. Notwithstanding the Fund’s status as a “non-diversified” investment company under the 1940 Act, the Fund intends to qualify as a RIC accorded special tax treatment under the Code, which imposes its own diversification requirements that are less restrictive than the requirements applicable to the “diversified” investment companies under the 1940 Act. The Fund’s ability to pursue its investment strategy may be limited by that Fund’s intention to qualify as a RIC and its strategy may bear adversely on its ability to so qualify. For more details, see “Taxation” below. With respect to a “non-diversified” Fund, a relatively high percentage of such the Fund’s assets may be invested in the securities of a limited number of issuers, primarily within the same economic sector. That Fund’s portfolio securities, therefore, may be more susceptible to any single economic, political, or regulatory occurrence than the portfolio securities of a more diversified investment company.
MARKET DISRUPTION AND GEOPOLITICAL RISK
War, terrorism, economic uncertainty, and related geopolitical events, such as sanctions, tariffs, the imposition of exchange controls or other cross-border trade barriers, have led, and in the future may lead, to increased short-term market volatility and may have adverse long-term effects on U.S. and world economies and markets generally. For example, the U.S. has imposed economic sanctions, which consist of asset freezes, restrictions on dealings in debt and equity, and certain industry-specific restrictions. These sanctions, any additional sanctions or intergovernmental actions, or even the threat of further sanctions, may result in a decline of the value and liquidity of securities in affected countries, a weakening of the affected countries’ currencies or other adverse consequences to their respective economies. Sanctions impair the ability of the Fund to buy, sell, receive or deliver those securities and/or assets that are within the scope of the sanctions.
TRADE DISPUTES
Global economies interdependent on and may be adversely affected by trade disputes with key trading partners and escalating tariffs imposed on goods and services produced by such countries. To the extent a country engages in retaliatory tariffs, a company that relies on imported parts to produce its own goods may experience increased costs of production or reduced profitability, which may affect consumers, investors and the domestic economy. Trade disputes and retaliatory actions may include embargoes and other trade limitations, which may trigger a significant reduction in international trade and impact the global economy. Trade disputes may also lead to increased currency exchange rate volatility, which can adversely affect the prices of the Fund securities valued in US dollars. The potential threat of trade disputes may also negatively affect investor confidence in the markets generally and investment growth.
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER
The Fund’s portfolio turnover rate, to a great extent, will depend on the purchase, redemption and exchange activity of the Fund’s investors. The Fund’s portfolio turnover may vary from year to year, as well as within a year. The nature of the Fund may cause the Fund to experience substantial differences in brokerage commissions from year to year. The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions is evaluated by ProShare Advisors based upon its knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions paid by other institutional investors for comparable services. High portfolio turnover and correspondingly greater brokerage commissions depend, to a great extent, on the purchase, redemption, and exchange activity of the Fund’s investors, as well as the Fund’s investment objective and strategies. Consequently, it is difficult to estimate what the Fund’s actual portfolio turnover rate will be in the future.
23

However, it is expected that the portfolio turnover experienced by the Fund from year to year, as well as within a year, may be substantial. A higher portfolio turnover rate would likely involve correspondingly greater brokerage commissions and transaction and other expenses that would be borne by the Fund. The nature of the Fund may cause the Fund to experience substantial differences in brokerage commissions from year to year. The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions is evaluated by ProShare Advisors based upon its knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions paid by other institutional investors for comparable services. In addition, the Fund’s portfolio turnover level may adversely affect the ability of the Fund to achieve its investment objective. “Portfolio Turnover Rate” is defined under the rules of the SEC as the value of the securities purchased or securities sold, excluding all securities whose maturities at time of acquisition were one year or less, divided by the average monthly value of such securities owned during the year. Based on this definition, instruments with remaining maturities of less than one year, including swap agreements, options and futures contracts in which the Fund invests, are excluded from the calculation of Portfolio Turnover Rate for the Fund.
24

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS
The Fund has adopted certain investment restrictions as fundamental policies that cannot be changed without a “vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities” of the Fund. The phrase “majority of outstanding voting securities” is defined in the 1940 Act as the lesser of: (i) 67% or more of the shares of the Fund present at a duly-called meeting of shareholders, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund are present or represented by proxy; or (ii) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund. (All policies of the Fund not specifically identified in this SAI or its Prospectus as fundamental may be changed without a vote of the shareholders of the Fund.) For purposes of the following limitations (except for investment restriction 1), all percentage limitations apply immediately after a purchase or initial investment.
The Fund may not:
1.
Make investments for the purpose of exercising control or management.
2.
Purchase or sell real estate, except that, to the extent permitted by applicable law, the Fund may invest in securities directly or indirectly secured by real estate or interests therein or issued by companies that invest in real estate or interests therein.
3.
Make loans to other persons, except that the acquisition of bonds, debentures or other corporate debt securities and investment in government obligations, commercial paper, pass-through instruments, certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptances and repurchase agreements and purchase and sale contracts and any similar instruments shall not be deemed to be the making of a loan, and except, further, that the Fund may lend its portfolio securities, provided that the lending of portfolio securities may be made only in accordance with applicable law and the guidelines set forth in the Prospectus and this SAI, as they may be amended from time to time.
4.
Issue senior securities to the extent such issuance would violate applicable law.
5.
Borrow money, except that the Fund (i) may borrow from banks (as defined in the 1940 Act) in amounts up to 33 13% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed), (ii) may, to the extent permitted by applicable law, borrow up to an additional 5% of its total assets for temporary purposes, (iii) may obtain such short-term credit as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities, (iv) may purchase securities on margin to the extent permitted by applicable law and (v) may enter into reverse repurchase agreements. The Fund may not pledge its assets other than to secure such borrowings or, to the extent permitted by the Fund’s investment policies as set forth in the Prospectus and SAI, as they may be amended from time to time, in connection with hedging transactions, short sales, when-issued and forward commitment transactions and similar investment strategies.
6.
Underwrite securities of other issuers, except insofar as the Fund technically may be deemed an underwriter under the 1933 Act, as amended, in selling portfolio securities.
7.
Purchase or sell commodities or contracts on commodities, except to the extent the Fund may do so in accordance with applicable law and the Fund’s Prospectus and SAI, as they may be amended from time to time.
8.
Concentrate (i.e., hold more than 25% of its assets in the stocks of a single industry or group of industries) its investments in issuers of one or more particular industries, except that the Fund may invest more than 25% of its total assets in investments that provide exposure to Ether and/or Ether futures contracts.
Obligations under futures contracts, forward contracts and swap agreements that are “covered” consistent with any SEC guidance currently in effect, including any SEC Staff no-action or interpretive positions, will not be considered senior securities for purposes of the Fund’s investment restriction concerning senior securities.
25

MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST
THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND ITS LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE
The Board has general oversight responsibility with respect to the operation of the Trust and the Fund. The Board has engaged ProShare Advisors to manage the Fund and is responsible for overseeing ProShare Advisors and other service providers to the Trust and the Fund in accordance with the provisions of the federal securities laws.
The Board is currently composed of four Trustees, including three Independent Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the Fund, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (each an “Independent Trustee”). In addition to four regularly scheduled meetings per year, the Board periodically meets in executive session (with and without employees of ProShare Advisors), and holds special meetings, and/or informal conference calls relating to specific matters that may require discussion or action prior to its next regular meeting. The Independent Trustees have retained “independent legal counsel” as the term is defined in the 1940 Act.
The Board has appointed Michael L. Sapir to serve as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Sapir is also the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ProShare Advisors and, as such, is not an Independent Trustee. The Chairman’s primary role is to participate in the preparation of the agenda for Board meetings, determine (with the advice of counsel) which matters need to be acted upon by the Board, and to ensure that the Board obtains all the information necessary to perform its functions and take action. The Chairman also presides at all meetings of the Board and acts, with the assistance of staff, as a liaison with service providers, officers, attorneys and the Independent Trustees between meetings. The Chairman performs such other functions as requested by the Board from time to time. The Board does not have a lead Independent Trustee.
The Board has determined that its leadership structure is appropriate in light of the characteristics of the Trust and the Fund. These characteristics include, among other things, the fact that multiple series are organized under one Trust; all series of the Trust are registered investment companies; all series of the Trust have common service providers; and that the majority of the series of the Trust are geared funds, with similar principal investment strategies. As a result, the Board addresses governance and management issues that are often common to each series of the Trust. In light of these characteristics, the Board has determined that a four-member Board, including three Independent Trustees, is of an adequate size to oversee the operations of the Trust, and that, in light of the small size of the Board, a complex Board leadership structure is not necessary or desirable. The relatively small size of the Board facilitates ready communication among the Board members, and between the Board and management, both at Board meetings and between meetings, further leading to the determination that a complex board structure is unnecessary. In view of the small size of the Board, the Board has concluded that designating one of the three Independent Trustees as the “lead Independent Trustee” would not be likely to meaningfully enhance the effectiveness of the Board. The Board reviews its leadership structure at least annually and believes that its structure is appropriate to enable the Board to exercise its oversight of the Fund.
The Board oversight of the Trust and the Fund extends to the Trust’s risk management processes. The Board and its Audit Committee consider risk management issues as part of their responsibilities throughout the year at regular and special meetings. ProShare Advisors and other service providers prepare regular reports for Board and Audit Committee meetings that address a variety of risk-related matters, and the Board as a whole or the Audit Committee may also receive special written reports or presentations on a variety of risk issues at the request of the Board or the Audit Committee. For example, the portfolio managers of the Fund meet regularly with the Board to discuss portfolio performance, including investment risk, counterparty risk and the impact on the Fund of investments in particular securities or derivatives. As noted above, given the relatively small size of the Board, the Board determined it is not necessary to adopt a complex leadership structure in order for the Board to effectively exercise its risk oversight function.
The Board has appointed a Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) for the Trust (who is also the CCO for ProFund Advisors LLC). The CCO reports directly to the Board and participates in the Board’s meetings. The Independent Trustees meet at least annually in executive session with the CCO, and the Fund’s CCO prepares and presents an annual written compliance report to the Board. The CCO also provides updates to
26

the Board on the operation of the Trust’s compliance policies and procedures and on how these procedures are designed to mitigate risk. Finally, the CCO and/or other officers or employees of ProShare Advisors report to the Board in the event that any material risk issues arise.
In addition, the Audit Committee of the Board meets regularly with the Trust’s independent public accounting firm to review reports on, among other things, the Fund’s controls over financial reporting. The Trustees, their birth date, term of office and length of time served, principal business occupations during the past five years and the number of portfolios in the Fund Complex overseen and other directorships, if any, held by each Trustee, are shown below. Unless noted otherwise, the address of each Trustee is: c/o ProShares Trust, 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, 21st Floor, Bethesda, MD 20814.
Name and Birth Date
Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During
the Past 5 Years
Number of
Operational
Portfolios in
Fund Complex*
Overseen by Trustee
Other Directorships
Held by Trustee
During
Past 5 Years
Independent Trustees
 
 
 
William D. Fertig
Birth Date: 9/56
Indefinite; June
2011 to present
Context Capital
Management
(Alternative Asset
Management): Chief
Investment Officer
(September 2002 to
present)
ProShares ([])
ProFunds ([])
Context Capital
Russell S. Reynolds III
Birth Date: 7/57
Indefinite;
November 2005 to
present
RSR Partners, Inc.
and predecessor
company (Executive
Recruitment and
Corporate
Governance
Consulting):
Managing Director
(February 1993 to
present).
ProShares ([])
ProFunds ([])
RSR Partners, Inc.
Michael C. Wachs
Birth Date: 10/61
Indefinite;
November 2005 to
present
Linden Lane Capital
Partners LLC (Real
Estate Investment
and Development):
Managing Principal
(2010 to present).
ProShares ([])
ProFunds ([])
NAIOP (the
Commercial Real
Estate Development
Association)
Interested Trustee and Chairman of the Board
 
 
27

Name and Birth Date
Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During
the Past 5 Years
Number of
Operational
Portfolios in
Fund Complex*
Overseen by Trustee
Other Directorships
Held by Trustee
During
Past 5 Years
Michael L. Sapir**
Birth Date: 5/58
Indefinite; 2002 to
present
Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of
ProShare Advisors
(November 2005 to
present); ProFund
Advisors LLC
(April 1997 to
present); and
ProShare Capital
Management LLC
(August 2008 to
present)
ProShares ([])
ProFunds ([])
 

*
The “Fund Complex” consists of all operational registered investment companies under the 1940 Act that are advised by ProShare Advisors and any registered investment companies that have an investment adviser that is an affiliated person of ProShare Advisors. Investment companies that are non-operational (and therefore, not publicly offered) as of the date of this SAI are excluded from these figures.
**
Mr. Sapir is an “interested person,” as defined by the 1940 Act, because of his ownership interest in ProShare Advisors.
The Board was formed in 2002, prior to the inception of the Trust’s operations. Messrs. Reynolds, Wachs and Sapir were appointed to serve as the Board’s initial trustees prior to the Trust’s operations. Mr. Fertig was added in June 2011. Each Trustee was and is currently believed to possess the specific experience, qualifications, attributes and skills necessary to serve as a Trustee of the Trust. In addition to their years of service as Trustees to ProFunds and Access One Trust, and gathering experience with funds with investment objectives and principal investment strategies similar to series of the Trust, each individual brings experience and qualifications from other areas. In particular, Mr. Reynolds has significant senior executive experience in the areas of human resources, recruitment and executive organization; Mr. Wachs has significant experience in the areas of investment and real estate development; Mr. Sapir has significant experience in the field of investment management, both as an executive and as an attorney; and Mr. Fertig has significant experience in the areas of investment and asset management.
COMMITTEES
The Board has established an Audit Committee to assist the Board in performing oversight responsibilities. The Audit Committee is composed exclusively of Independent Trustees. Currently, the Audit Committee is composed of Messrs. Reynolds, Wachs and Fertig. Among other things, the Audit Committee makes recommendations to the full Board of Trustees with respect to the engagement of an independent registered public accounting firm and reviews with the independent registered public accounting firm the plan and results of the internal controls, audit engagement and matters having a material effect on the Trust’s financial operations. During the past fiscal year, the Audit Committee met five times, and the Board of Trustees met four times.
TRUSTEE OWNERSHIP
Listed below for each Trustee is a dollar range of securities beneficially owned in the Trust, together with the aggregate dollar range of equity securities in all registered investment companies overseen by each Trustee that are in the same family of investment companies as the Trust, as of [Calendar Year End].
28

Name of Trustee
Dollar Range
of Equity
Securities in
the Trust
Aggregate Dollar
Range of Equity
Securities in All
Registered Investment
Companies Overseen
by Trustee in Family of
Investment Companies
Independent Trustees
 
 
William D. Fertig, Trustee
[over $100,000]
[over $100,000]
Russell S. Reynolds III, Trustee
[$10,001-$50,000]
[$10,001-$50,000]
Michael C. Wachs, Trustee
[none]
[$10,001-$50,000]
Interested Trustee
 
 
Michael L. Sapir, Trustee and Chairman
[none]
[over $100,000]
COMPENSATION OF TRUSTEES
Each Independent Trustee is paid a $325,000 annual retainer for service as a Trustee on the Board and for service as a trustee on the board of other funds in the Fund Complex. Prior to July 1, 2021, each Independent Trustee was paid a $185,000 annual retainer for service as Trustee on the Board and for service as Trustee for other funds in the Fund Complex, $10,000 for attendance at each quarterly in-person meeting of the Board of Trustees, $3,000 for attendance at each special meeting of the Board of Trustees, and $3,000 for attendance at telephonic meetings. Trustees who are also Officers or affiliated persons receive no remuneration from the Trust for their services as Trustees. The Officers, other than the CCO, receive no compensation directly from the Trust for performing the duties of their offices.
The Trust does not accrue pension or retirement benefits as part of the Fund’s expenses, and Trustees are not entitled to benefits upon retirement from the Board of Trustees.
The following table shows aggregate compensation paid to the Trustees for their service on the Board for the fiscal year ended [].
Name
Aggregate
Compensation
From The Fund
Pension or
Retirement
Benefits
Accrued as
Part of
Trust
Expenses
Estimated
Annual
Benefits
Upon
Retirement
Total
Compensation
From Trust and
Fund Complex
Paid to Trustees
Independent Trustees
 
 
 
 
William D. Fertig, Trustee
$0
$0
$0
[]
Russell S. Reynolds, III, Trustee
$0
$ 0
$ 0
[]
Michael C. Wachs, Trustee
$0
$ 0
$ 0
[]
Interested Trustee
 
 
 
 
Michael L. Sapir, Trustee and Chairman
$0
$0
$0
$0
OFFICERS
The Trust’s executive officers (the “Officers”), their date of birth, term of office and length of time served and their principal business occupations during the past five years, are shown below. Unless noted otherwise, the address of each Trustee and officer is: c/o ProShares Trust, 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, 21st Floor, Bethesda, MD 20814.
29

Name and Birth Date
Position(s)
Held with
Trust
Term of Office
and Length of
Time Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During the Past
5 Years
Todd B. Johnson
Birth Date: 1/64
President
Indefinite;
January 2014 to
present
Chief Investment Officer of ProShare
Advisors (December 2008 to present);
ProFund Advisors LLC (December 2008 to
present); and ProShare Capital
Management LLC (February 2009 to present).
Charles S. Todd
Birth Date: 9/71
Treasurer
Indefinite; May
2021 to present
Senior Managing Director and Business Head,
Fund Officer Services, Foreside Financial
Group, LLC.
Victor M. Frye, Esq.
Birth Date: 10/58
Chief
Compliance
Officer and AML
Officer
Indefinite;
November 2005
to present
Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of
ProShare Advisors (December 2004 to
present) and ProFund Advisors LLC (October
2002 to present); Secretary of ProFunds
Distributors, Inc. (April 2008 to present).
Richard F. Morris
Birth Date: 8/67
Chief Legal
Officer and
Secretary
Indefinite;
December 2015
to present
General Counsel of ProShare Advisors;
ProFund Advisors LLC; and ProShare Capital
Management LLC (December 2015 to
present); Chief Legal Officer of ProFunds
Distributors, Inc. (December 2015 to present);
Partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP
(October 2012 to November 2015).
The Officers, under the supervision of the Board, manage the day-to-day operations of the Trust. One Trustee and all of the Officers of the Trust are directors, officers or employees of ProShare Advisors or Foreside Management Services, LLC. The other Trustees are Independent Trustees. The Trustees and some Officers are also directors and officers of some or all of the other funds in the Fund Complex. The Fund Complex includes all funds advised by ProShare Advisors and any funds that have an investment adviser that is an affiliated person of ProShare Advisors.
COMPENSATION OF OFFICERS
The Officers, other than the CCO, receive no compensation directly from the Trust for performing the duties of their offices.
30

INVESTMENT ADVISOR
ProShare Advisors, located at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, 21st Floor, Bethesda, MD 20814, serves as the investment adviser to the Fund and provides investment advice and management services to the Fund. ProShare Advisors is owned by Michael L. Sapir, Louis M. Mayberg and William E. Seale.
INVESTMENT ADVISORY AGREEMENT
ProShare Advisors serves as the investment advisor to the Fund pursuant to an investment advisory and management agreement dated June 23, 2015 (the “Advisory and Management Agreement”). The principal offices of ProShare Advisors are located at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue 21st Floor, Bethesda, MD 20814. ProShare Advisors manages the investment and reinvestment of the Fund’s assets in accordance with its investment objective(s), policies, and limitations, subject to the general supervision and control of the Board and the Trust’s Officers. ProShare Advisors bears all costs associated with providing these advisory services.
In addition, ProShare Advisors is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Fund except for: (i) brokerage and other transaction expenses and other fees, charges, taxes, levies or expenses (such as stamp taxes) incurred in connection with the execution of portfolio transactions or in connection with creation and redemption transactions (including without limitation any fees, charges, taxes, levies or expenses related to the purchase or sale of an amount of any currency, or the patriation or repatriation of any security or other asset, related to the execution of portfolio transactions or any creation or redemption transactions); (ii) legal fees or expenses in connection with any arbitration, litigation or pending or threatened arbitration or litigation, including any settlements in connection therewith; (iii) compensation and expenses of the Independent Trustees; (iv) compensation and expenses of counsel to the Independent Trustees, (v) compensation and expenses of the Trust’s chief compliance officer and his or her staff; (vi) extraordinary expenses (in each case as determined by a majority of the Independent Trustees); (vii) distribution fees and expenses paid by the Trust under any distribution plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act; (viii) interest and taxes of any kind or nature (including, but not limited to, income, excise, transfer and withholding taxes); (ix) fees and expense related to the provision of securities lending services; and (x) the fee payable to ProShare Advisors. The internal expenses of pooled investment vehicles in which the Fund may invest (e.g., acquired fund fees and expenses) are not expenses of such Fund, and are not paid by ProShare Advisors. The payment or assumption by ProShare Advisors of any expenses of the Fund that ProShare Advisors is not required by the investment advisory and management agreement to pay or assume shall not obligate ProShare Advisors to pay or assume the same or any similar expense of such Fund, on any subsequent occasion.
The Advisory and Management Agreement may be terminated with respect to the Fund at any time, by a vote of the Trustees, by a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of that Fund, or by the Advisor, in each case upon sixty days’ prior written notice.
The Fund pays ProShare Advisors a fee at an annualized rate based on its average daily net assets as set forth below for the investment advisory and management services ProShare Advisors provides that Fund.
Name of Fund
Investment Advisory and
Management Fee
Ether Strategy ETF
[]
Fees Paid under the Advisory Agreement and the Advisory and Management Agreement
Because the New Fund was not operational at the end of the Trust’s last fiscal year, information on the New Fund is not included in this SAI.
31

PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
PORTFOLIO MANAGER COMPENSATION
ProShare Advisors believes that its compensation program is competitively positioned to attract and retain high-caliber investment professionals. The compensation package for portfolio managers consists of a fixed base salary, an annual incentive bonus opportunity and a competitive benefits package. A portfolio manager’s salary compensation is designed to be competitive with the marketplace and reflect a portfolio manager’s relative experience and contribution to the firm. Fixed base salary compensation is reviewed and adjusted annually to reflect increases in the cost of living and market rates.
The annual incentive bonus opportunity provides cash bonuses based upon the overall firm’s performance and individual contributions. Principal consideration for each portfolio manager is given to appropriate risk management, teamwork and investment support activities in determining the annual bonus amount.
Portfolio managers are eligible to participate in the firm’s standard employee benefits programs, which include a competitive 401(k) retirement savings program with employer match, life insurance coverage, and health and welfare programs.
Portfolio Manager Ownership
Listed below for each portfolio manager is a dollar range of securities beneficially owned in the Fund managed by the portfolio manager, together with the aggregate dollar range of equity securities in all registered investment companies in the Fund Complex as of [].
Name of Portfolio Manager
Dollar Range of
Equity Securities
in the Funds
Managed by the
Portfolio Manager
Aggregate Dollar Range
of Equity Securities in
All Registered
Investment Companies in
the ProShares Family
[PM]
None
[]
[PM]
None
[]
Other Accounts Managed by Portfolio Managers
Portfolio managers are generally responsible for multiple investment company accounts. As described below, certain inherent conflicts of interest arise from the fact that a portfolio manager has responsibility for multiple accounts, including conflicts relating to the allocation of investment opportunities. Listed below for each portfolio manager are the number and type of accounts managed or overseen by such portfolio manager as of [].
Name of Portfolio
Manager
Number of All Registered
Investment Companies
Managed/Total Assets
Number of All
Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
Managed/Total Assets
Number of All
Other Accounts
Managed/Total Assets
[PM]
[]
[]
[]
[PM]
[]
[]
[]
Conflicts of Interest
In the course of providing advisory services, ProShare Advisors may simultaneously recommend the sale of a particular security for one account while recommending the purchase of the same security for another account if such recommendations are consistent with each client’s investment strategies. ProShare Advisors also may recommend the purchase or sale of securities that may also be recommended by ProFund Advisors LLC, an affiliate of ProShare Advisors.
32

ProShare Advisors, its principals, officers and employees (and members of their families) and affiliates may participate directly or indirectly as investors in ProShare Advisors’ clients, such as the Fund. Thus ProShare Advisors may recommend to clients the purchase or sale of securities in which it, or its officers, employees or related persons have a financial interest. ProShare Advisors may give advice and take actions in the performance of its duties to its clients that differ from the advice given or the timing and nature of actions taken, with respect to other clients’ accounts and/or employees’ accounts that may invest in some of the same securities recommended to clients.
In addition, ProShare Advisors, its affiliates and principals may trade for their own accounts. Consequently, non-customer and proprietary trades may be executed and cleared through any prime broker or other broker utilized by clients. It is possible that officers or employees of ProShare Advisors may buy or sell securities or other instruments that ProShare Advisors has recommended to, or purchased for, its clients and may engage in transactions for their own accounts in a manner that is inconsistent with ProShare Advisors’ recommendations to a client. Personal securities transactions by employees may raise potential conflicts of interest when such persons trade in a security that is owned by, or considered for purchase or sale for, a client. ProShare Advisors has adopted policies and procedures designed to detect and prevent such conflicts of interest and, when they do arise, to ensure that it effects transactions for clients in a manner that is consistent with its fiduciary duty to its clients and in accordance with applicable law.
Any “access person” of ProShare Advisors, (as defined under the 1940 Act and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”)), may make security purchases subject to the terms of the ProShare Advisors Code of Ethics that are consistent with the requirements of Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act and Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act.
ProShare Advisors and its affiliated persons may come into possession from time to time of material nonpublic and other confidential information about companies which, if disclosed, might affect an investor’s decision to buy, sell, or hold a security. Under applicable law, ProShare Advisors and its affiliated persons would be prohibited from improperly disclosing or using this information for their personal benefit or for the benefit of any person, regardless of whether the person is a client of ProShare Advisors. Accordingly, should ProShare Advisors or any affiliated person come into possession of material nonpublic or other confidential information with respect to any company, ProShare Advisors and its affiliated persons will have no responsibility or liability for failing to disclose the information to clients as a result of following its policies and procedures designed to comply with applicable law.
REGISTRATION AS A COMMODITY POOL OPERATOR
In connection with its management of Commodity Pools, ProShare Advisors has registered as a commodity pool operator (a “CPO”) and the Commodity Pools are commodity pools under the Commodity Exchange Act (the “CEA”). Accordingly, with respect to the Commodity Pools, ProShare Advisors is subject to registration and regulation as a CPO under the CEA, and must comply with various regulatory requirements under the CEA and the rules and regulations of the CFTC and the National Futures Association (“NFA”), including disclosure requirements and reporting and recordkeeping requirements. ProShare Advisors is also subject to periodic inspections and audits by the NFA. Compliance with these regulatory requirements could adversely affect the Commodity Pools’ total return. In this regard, any further amendment to the CEA or its related regulations that subject ProShare Advisors or the Commodity Pools to additional regulation may have adverse impacts on the Commodity Pools’ operations and expenses. While ProShare Advisors is registered as a CPO with respect to the Excluded Pools, ProShare Advisors has filed a claim of exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” under the CEA, pursuant to CFTC Rule 4.5 (the “Exclusion”) and therefore, ProShare Advisors is not subject to registration or regulation as a CPO under the CEA with respect to the Excluded Pools. In order to remain eligible for the Exclusion, each of the Excluded Pool will be limited in its ability to use certain financial instruments including futures, options on futures and certain swaps and will be limited in the manner in which it holds out its use of such instruments.
33

OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS
ADMINISTRATORS AND FUND ACCOUNTING AGENT
JPMorgan, One Beacon Street, 19th Floor, Boston, MA 02108, acts as Administrator to the Fund pursuant to an administration agreement dated June 16, 2006, as amended from time to time. The Administrator provides the Fund with all required general administrative services, including, without limitation, office space, equipment, and personnel; clerical and general back office services; bookkeeping and internal accounting; the determination of NAVs; and the preparation and filing of all financial reports, and all other materials, except registration statements and proxy statements, required to be filed or furnished by the Fund under federal and state securities laws.
The Administrator pays all fees and expenses that are directly related to the services provided by the Administrator to the Fund; the Fund reimburses the Administrator for all fees and expenses incurred by the Administrator which are not directly related to the services the Administrator provides to the Fund under the service agreement. The Fund may also reimburse the Administrator for such out-of-pocket expenses as incurred by the Administrator in the performance of its duties.
Citi Fund Services Ohio, Inc. (“Citi”), located at 4400 Easton Commons, Suite 200, Columbus, OH 43219, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Citibank N.A., provides regulatory administration services to the Trust (altogether, the “Regulatory Administrative Services”). For its services, Citi is paid a set fee allocated among the Fund.
Fees Paid under the Administration Agreement and Regulatory Administration Agreement
Because the New Fund was not operational at the end of the Trust’s last fiscal year, information on the New Fund is not included in this SAI.
CUSTODIAN AND INDEX RECEIPT AGENT
JPMorgan also acts as Custodian and Index Receipt Agent to the Fund. JPMorgan is located at 4 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11245.
The Custodian is responsible for safeguarding the Fund’s cash and securities, receiving and delivering securities, collecting the Fund’s interest and dividends, and performing certain administrative duties, all as directed by authorized persons. The Custodian is also responsible for the appointment and oversight of any sub-custodian banks and for providing reports regarding such sub-custodian banks and clearing agencies.
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
[___] serves as independent registered public accounting firm and provides audit services, tax return preparation and assistance, and audit-related services in connection with certain SEC filings. [__]’s address is [_____].
LEGAL COUNSEL
Ropes & Gray LLP serves as counsel to the Fund. The firm’s address is Prudential Tower, 800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02199.
PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL OFFICER/TREASURE SERVICES
The Trust has entered into an agreement with Foreside Management Services, LLC (“Foreside”), pursuant to which Foreside provides the Trust with the services of an individual to serve as the Trust’s Principal Financial Officer and Treasurer. Neither Foreside nor the Treasurer have a role in determining the investment policies of the Trust or Funds, or which securities are to be purchased or sold by the Trust or the Fund. The Trust pays Foreside an annual flat fee of $100,000 per year and an additional annual flat fee of $3,500 per Fund, and will reimburse Foreside for certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Foreside in
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providing services to the Trust. For the fiscal years ended May 31, 2018, May 31, 2019, and [], the Trust paid $381,684, $359,035, and $387,010, respectively, to Foreside for services pursuant to its agreement. Foreside is located at Three Canal Plaza, Suite 100, Portland, ME 04101.
SECURITIES LENDING AGENT
JPMorgan serves as the securities lending agent to the Trust. For the fiscal year ended [], the income, fees and compensation related to the securities lending activities of the Fund is set forth below.
Because the New Fund was not operational at the end of the Trust’s last fiscal year, information on the New Fund is not included in this SAI.
The Fund does not pay any separate cash collateral management services fees, administrative fees, fees for indemnification or other fees not reflected above for securities lending activities. Earnings from cash collateral investments received by the securities lending agent are included in the Revenue Split.
DISTRIBUTOR
SEI Investments Distribution Co. (“SEI”) serves as the distributor and principal underwriter in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. SEI is located at One Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, PA 19456. The Distributor has no role in determining the investment policies of the Trust or the Fund, or which securities are to be purchased or sold by the Trust or the Fund. For the fiscal years ended May 31, 2018, May 31, 2019, and [], ProShare Advisors paid $723,552, $751,686, and $[__], respectively, to the Distributor as compensation for services.
DISTRIBUTION AND SERVICE PLAN
Shares will be continuously offered for sale by the Trust through the Distributor only in Creation Units, as described below under “Purchase and Issuance of Creation Units.” Shares in less than Creation Units are not distributed by the Distributor. The Distributor also acts as agent for the Trust. The Distributor will deliver a Prospectus to persons purchasing Shares in Creation Units and will maintain records of both orders placed with it and confirmations of acceptance furnished by it. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the 1934 Act and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. The Distributor has no role in determining the investment policies of the Fund or which securities are to be purchased or sold by the Fund.
The Board has approved a Distribution and Service Plan under which the Fund may pay financial intermediaries such as broker-dealers and investment advisers (“Authorized Firms”) up to 0.25%, on an annualized basis, of average daily net assets of the Fund as reimbursement or compensation for distribution-related activities with respect to the Shares of the Fund and shareholder services. Under the Distribution and Service Plan, the Trust or the Distributor may enter into agreements (“Distribution and Service Agreements”) with Authorized Firms that purchase Shares on behalf of their clients.
The Distribution and Service Plan and Distribution and Service Agreements will remain in effect for a period of one year and will continue in effect thereafter only if such continuance is specifically approved annually by a vote of the Trustees. All material amendments of the Distribution and Service Plan must also be approved by the Board. The Distribution and Service Plan may be terminated at any time by a majority of the Board or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding Shares, as defined under the 1940 Act, of the affected Fund. The Distribution and Service Agreements may be terminated at any time, without payment of any penalty, by vote of a majority of the Independent Trustees or by a vote of a majority of the outstanding Shares, as defined under the 1940 Act, of the affected Fund on not less than 60 days’ written notice to any other party to the Distribution and Service Agreements. The Distribution and Service Agreements shall terminate automatically if assigned. The Board has determined that, in its judgment, there is a reasonable likelihood that the Distribution and Service Plan will benefit the Fund and holders of Shares of the Fund. In
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the Board’s quarterly review of the Distribution and Service Plan and Distribution and Service Agreements, the Trustees will consider their continued appropriateness and the level of compensation and/or reimbursement provided therein.
The Distribution and Service Plan is intended to permit the financing of a broad array of distribution-related activities and services, as well as shareholder services, for the benefit of investors. These activities and services are intended to make the Shares an attractive investment alternative, which may lead to increased assets, increased investment opportunities and diversification, and reduced per share operating expenses. There are currently no plans to impose distribution fees.
OTHER MATTERS
PAYMENTS TO THIRD PARTIES FROM THE ADVISOR
ProShare Advisors, from its own resources, including profits from advisory fees received from the Fund, provided such fees are legitimate and not excessive, may make payments to broker-dealers and other financial institutions for their services and expenses incurred in connection with the distribution and promotion of the Fund’s Shares. In this regard, ProShare Advisors or an affiliate of ProShare Advisors, may directly or indirectly make cash payments to certain broker-dealers for participating in activities that are designed to make registered representatives and other professionals more knowledgeable about exchange traded products, including the Fund, or for other activities, such as participation in marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems.
ProShare Advisors has separate arrangements to make payments, other than for the educational programs and marketing activities described above, to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (the “Firms”). Pursuant to the arrangements with the Firms, the Firms agreed to promote certain ProShares ETFs to each Firm’s customers and not to charge certain of their customers any commissions when those customers purchase or sell shares of certain ProShares ETFs. These payments, which may be significant, are paid by ProShare Advisors from its own resources and not from the assets of the Fund.
A discussion regarding the basis for the Board of Trustees approving the Investment Advisory Agreement or Investment Advisory and Management Agreement, as applicable, of the Trust will be (or is) available in the Trust’s Annual and/or Semi-Annual Report to shareholders.
BOOK ENTRY ONLY SYSTEM
The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) acts as securities depositary for the Shares. The Shares of the Fund are represented by global securities registered in the name of DTC or its nominee and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC. Except as provided below, certificates will not be issued for Shares.
DTC has advised the Trust as follows: it is a limited-purpose trust company organized under the laws of the State of New York, a member of the Federal Reserve System, a “clearing corporation” within the meaning of the New York Uniform Commercial Code and a “clearing agency” registered pursuant to the provisions of Section 17A of the 1934 Act. DTC was created to hold securities of its participants (“DTC Participants”) and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions among the DTC Participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC Participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. More specifically, DTC is owned by a number of its DTC Participants and by the NYSE and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as banks, brokers, dealers and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly (“Indirect Participants”). DTC agrees with and represents to DTC Participants that it will administer its book-entry system in accordance with its rules and by-laws and requirements of law. Beneficial ownership of Shares is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect
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Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in Shares (owners of such beneficial interests are referred to herein as “Beneficial owners”) is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC Participants) and on the records of DTC Participants (with respect to Indirect Participants and Beneficial owners that are not DTC Participants). Beneficial owners will receive from or through the DTC Participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase of Shares. The laws of some jurisdictions may require that certain purchasers of securities take physical delivery of such securities in definitive form. Such laws may impair the ability of certain investors to acquire beneficial interests in Shares.
Beneficial owners of Shares are not entitled to have Shares registered in their names, will not receive or be entitled to receive physical delivery of certificates in definitive form and are not considered the registered holder thereof. Accordingly, each Beneficial Owner must rely on the procedures of DTC, the DTC Participant and any Indirect Participant through which such Beneficial Owner holds its interests, to exercise any rights of a holder of Shares. The Trust understands that under existing industry practice, in the event the Trust requests any action of holders of Shares, or a Beneficial Owner desires to take any action that DTC, as the record owner of all outstanding Shares, is entitled to take, DTC would authorize the DTC Participants to take such action and that the DTC Participants would authorize the Indirect Participants and Beneficial owners acting through such DTC Participants to take such action and would otherwise act upon the instructions of Beneficial owners owning through them. As described above, the Trust recognizes DTC or its nominee as the owner of all Shares for all purposes. Conveyance of all notices, statements and other communications to Beneficial owners is effected as follows. Pursuant to the Depositary Agreement between the Trust and DTC, DTC is required to make available to the Trust upon request and for a fee to be charged to the Trust a listing of Shares holdings of each DTC Participant. The Trust shall inquire of each such DTC Participant as to the number of Beneficial owners holding Shares, directly or indirectly, through such DTC Participant. The Trust shall provide each such DTC Participant with copies of such notice, statement or other communication, in such form, number and at such place as such DTC Participant may reasonably request, in order that such notice, statement or communication may be transmitted by such DTC Participant, directly or indirectly, to such Beneficial owners. In addition, the Trust shall pay to each such DTC Participant a fair and reasonable amount as reimbursement for the expenses attendant to such transmittal, all subject to applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
Distributions of Shares shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all Shares. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in Shares as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial owners of Shares held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants. The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspects of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in such Shares, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial owners owning through such DTC Participants.
DTC may determine to discontinue providing its service with respect to Shares at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Trust and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the Trust shall take action either to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost or, if such a replacement is unavailable, to issue and deliver printed certificates representing ownership of Shares, unless the Trust makes other arrangements with respect thereto satisfactory to the Exchange. In addition, certain brokers may make a dividend reinvestment service available to their clients. Brokers offering such services may require investors to adhere to specific procedures and timetables in order to participate. Investors interested in such a service should contact their broker for availability and other necessary details.
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CODE OF ETHICS
The Trust, ProShare Advisors and the Distributor each have adopted a consolidated code of ethics (the “COE”), under Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act, which is reasonably designed to ensure that all acts, practices and courses of business engaged in by personnel of the Trust, ProShare Advisors and the Distributor reflect high standards of conduct and comply with the requirements of the federal securities laws. There can be no assurance that the COE will be effective in preventing deceptive, manipulative or fraudulent activities. The COE permits personnel subject to it to invest in securities, including securities that may be held or purchased by the Fund; however, such transactions are reported on a regular basis by ProShare Advisors’ personnel that are Access Persons. Access Persons, as the term is defined in the COE, subject to the COE are also required to report transactions in registered open-end investment companies advised or sub-advised by ProShare Advisors. The COE is on file with the SEC and is available to the public.
PROXY VOTING POLICY AND PROCEDURES
Background
The Board of Trustees has adopted policies and procedures with respect to voting proxies relating to portfolio securities of the Fund, pursuant to which the Board of Trustees has delegated responsibility for voting such proxies to ProShare Advisors subject to the Board’s continuing oversight.
Policies and Procedures
The Advisor’s proxy voting policies and procedures (the “Guidelines”) are reasonably designed to maximize shareholder value and protect shareholder interests when voting proxies. The Advisor’s Brokerage Allocation and Proxy Voting Committee (the “Proxy Committee”) exercises and documents the Advisor’s responsibilities with regard to voting of client proxies. The Proxy Committee is composed of employees of the Advisor. The Proxy Committee reviews and monitors the effectiveness of the Guidelines. To assist the Advisor in its responsibility for voting proxies and the overall proxy voting process, the Advisor has retained Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) as an expert in the proxy voting and corporate governance area. The Proxy Committee reviews and, as necessary, may amend periodically the Guidelines to address new or revised proxy voting policies or procedures.
Information on how proxies were voted for portfolio securities for the 12-month (or shorter) period ended June 30 is available without charge, upon request, by calling the Advisor at 888-776-3637 or on the Trust’s website at proshares.com, or on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. See Appendix C for a copy of the proxy voting policy and procedures.
DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS
The Trust has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the Fund’s portfolio holdings, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The Board of Trustees must approve all material amendments to this policy. Disclosure of the complete holdings of the Fundis required to be made quarterly within 60 days of the end of the Fund’s fiscal quarter in the Annual Report and Semi-Annual Report to Fund shareholders and in the monthly holdings report on Form N-PORT, with every third month made available to the public by the SEC 60 days after the end of the Fund’s fiscal quarter. You can find SEC filings on the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov. In addition, the Fund’s portfolio holdings will be publicly disseminated each day the Fund is open for business via the Fund’s website at proshares.com.
The portfolio composition file (“PCF”) and the IOPV file, which contain equivalent portfolio holdings information, will be made available as frequently as daily to the Fund’s service providers to facilitate the provision of services to the Fund and to certain other entities (“Entities”) in connection with the dissemination of information necessary for transactions in Creation Units, as contemplated by exemptive orders issued by the SEC and other legal and business requirements pursuant to which the Fund creates and redeems Shares. Entities are generally limited to National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) members
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and subscribers to various fee-based services, including large institutional investors (“Authorized Participants”) that have been authorized by the Distributor to purchase and redeem Creation Units and other institutional market participants that provide information services. Each business day, Fund portfolio holdings information will be provided to the Distributor or other agent for dissemination through the facilities of the NSCC and/or through other fee-based services to NSCC members and/or subscribers to the fee-based services, including Authorized Participants, and to entities that publish and/or analyze such information in connection with the process of purchasing or redeeming Creation Units or trading Shares of Funds in the secondary market.
Daily access to the PCF and IOPV file is permitted (i) to certain personnel of those service providers that are involved in portfolio management and providing administrative, operational, or other support to portfolio management, including Authorized Participants, and (ii) to other personnel of ProShare Advisors and the Fund’s distributor, administrator, custodian and fund accountant who are involved in functions which may require such information to conduct business in the ordinary course.
Portfolio holdings information may not be provided prior to its public availability (“Non-Standard Disclosure”) in other circumstances except where appropriate confidentiality arrangements limiting the use of such information are in effect. Non-Standard Disclosure may be authorized by the Trust’s CCO or, in his absence, any other authorized officer of the Trust if he determines that such disclosure is in the best interests of the Fund’s shareholders, no conflict exists between the interests of the Fund’s shareholders and those of ProShare Advisors or the Distributor and such disclosure serves a legitimate business purpose, and measures discussed in the previous paragraph regarding confidentiality are satisfied. The lag time between the date of the information and the date on which the information is disclosed shall be determined by the officer authorizing the disclosure. The CCO is responsible for ensuring that portfolio holdings disclosures are made in accordance with this Policy.
PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE
Subject to the general supervision by the Board, ProShare Advisors is responsible for decisions to buy and sell securities and derivatives for the Fund and the selection of brokers and dealers to effect transactions. Purchases from dealers serving as market makers may include a dealer’s mark-up or reflect a dealer’s mark-down. Purchases and sales of U.S. government securities are normally transacted through issuers, underwriters or major dealers in U.S. government securities acting as principals. Such transactions, along with other fixed income securities transactions, are made on a net basis and do not typically involve payment of brokerage commissions. The cost of securities purchased from an underwriter usually includes a commission paid by the issuer to the underwriters; transactions with dealers normally reflect the spread between bid and asked prices; and transactions involving baskets of equity securities typically include brokerage commissions. As an alternative to directly purchasing securities, ProShare Advisors may find efficiencies and cost savings by purchasing futures or using other derivative instruments like total return swaps or forward contracts. ProShare Advisors may also choose to cross-trade securities between clients to save costs where allowed under applicable law.
The policy for the Fund regarding purchases and sales of securities is that primary consideration will be given to obtaining the most favorable prices and efficient executions of transactions. Consistent with this policy, when securities transactions are effected on a stock exchange, the policy is to pay commissions that are considered fair and reasonable without necessarily determining that the lowest possible commissions are paid in all circumstances. ProShare Advisors believes that a requirement always to seek the lowest possible commission cost could impede effective portfolio management and preclude the Fund and ProShare Advisors from obtaining a high quality of brokerage and execution services. In seeking to determine the reasonableness of brokerage commissions paid in any transaction, ProShare Advisors relies upon its experience and knowledge regarding commissions generally charged by various brokers and on its judgment in evaluating the brokerage and execution services received from the broker. Such determinations are necessarily subjective and imprecise, as in most cases an exact dollar value for those services is not ascertainable. In addition to commission rates, when selecting a broker for a particular transaction, the ProShare Advisors considers but is
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not limited to the following efficiency factors: the broker’s availability, willingness to commit capital, reputation and integrity, facilities reliability, access to research, execution capacity and responsiveness.
ProShare Advisors may give consideration to placing portfolio transactions with those brokers and dealers that also furnish research and other execution related services to the Fund or ProShare Advisors. Such services may include, but are not limited to, any one or more of the following: information as to the availability of securities for purchase or sale; statistical or factual information or opinions pertaining to investment; information about market conditions generally; equipment that facilitates and improves trade execution; and appraisals or evaluations of portfolio securities.
For purchases and sales of derivatives (i.e., financial instruments whose value is derived from the value of an underlying asset, interest rate or index) ProShare Advisors evaluates counterparties on the following factors: reputation and financial strength; execution prices; commission costs; ability to handle complex orders; ability to give prompt and full execution, including the ability to handle difficult trades; accuracy of reports and confirmations provided; reliability, type and quality of research provided; financing costs and other associated costs related to the transaction; and whether the total cost or proceeds in each transaction is the most favorable under the circumstances.
Consistent with the Fund’s investment objective, ProShare Advisors may enter into guarantee close agreements with certain brokers. In all such cases, the agreement calls for the execution price at least to match the closing price of the security. In some cases, depending upon the circumstances, the broker may obtain a price that is better than the closing price and which under the agreement provides additional benefits to clients. ProShare Advisors will generally distribute such benefits pro rata to applicable client trades. In addition, ProShare Advisors, any of its affiliates or employees and the Fund have a policy not to enter into any agreement or other understanding—whether written or oral—under which brokerage transactions or remuneration are directed to a broker to pay for distribution of the Fund’s shares.
BROKERAGE COMMISSIONS
The Fund may experience substantial differences in brokerage commissions from year to year. High portfolio turnover and correspondingly greater brokerage commissions, to a great extent, depend on the purchase, redemption, and exchange activity of the Fund’s investors, as well as the Fund’s investment objective and strategies.
Because the New Fund was not operational at the end of the Trust’s last fiscal year, information on the New Fund is not included in this SAI.
SECURITIES OF REGULAR BROKER-DEALERS
The Fund is required to identify any securities of its “regular brokers and dealers” (as such term is defined in the 1940 Act) which they may hold at the close of their most recent fiscal year. “Regular brokers or dealers” of the Trust are the ten brokers or dealers that, during the most recent fiscal year: (i) received the greatest dollar amounts of brokerage commissions from the Trust’s portfolio transactions; (ii) engaged as principal in the largest dollar amounts of portfolio transactions of the Trust; or (iii) sold the largest dollar amounts of the Trust’s Shares.
[ ]
ORGANIZATION AND DESCRIPTION OF SHARES OF BENEFICIAL INTEREST
The Trust is a Delaware statutory trust and registered investment company. The Trust was organized on May 29, 2002, and has authorized capital of unlimited Shares of beneficial interest of no par value which may be issued in more than one class or series. Currently, the Trust consists of multiple separately managed series. The Board of Trustees may designate additional series of beneficial interest and classify Shares of a particular series into one or more classes of that series.
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All Shares of the Trust are freely transferable. The Shares do not have preemptive rights or cumulative voting rights, and none of the Shares have any preference to conversion, exchange, dividends, retirements, liquidation, redemption or any other feature. Shares have equal voting rights, except that, in a matter affecting a particular series or class of Shares, only Shares of that series or class may be entitled to vote on the matter. Trust shareholders are entitled to require the Trust to redeem Creation Units of their Shares. The Declaration of Trust confers upon the Board of Trustees the power, by resolution, to alter the number of Shares constituting a Creation Unit or to specify that Shares may be individually redeemable. The Trust reserves the right to adjust the stock prices of Shares to maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any such adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits which would have no effect on the net assets of the applicable Fund.
Under Delaware law, the Trust is not required to hold an annual shareholders meeting if the 1940 Act does not require such a meeting. Generally, there will not be annual meetings of Trust shareholders. Trust shareholders may remove Trustees from office by votes cast at a meeting of Trust shareholders or by written consent. If requested by shareholders of at least 10% of the outstanding Shares of the Trust, the Trust will call a meeting of the Fund’s shareholders for the purpose of voting upon the question of removal of a Trustee of the Trust and will assist in communications with other Trust shareholders.
The Declaration of Trust of the Trust disclaims liability of the shareholders or the Officers of the Trust for acts or obligations of the Trust which are binding only on the assets and property of the Trust. The Declaration of Trust provides for indemnification of the Trust’s property for all loss and expense of the Fund’s shareholder held personally liable for the obligations of the Trust. The risk of a Trust shareholder incurring financial loss on account of shareholder liability is limited to circumstances where the Fund would not be able to meet the Trust’s obligations and this risk, thus, should be considered remote.
If the Fund does not grow to a size to permit it to be economically viable, the Fund may cease operations. In such an event, investors may be required to liquidate or transfer their investments at an inopportune time.
PURCHASE AND REDEMPTION OF SHARES
The Trust issues and redeems Shares only in aggregations of Creation Units. The Creation Unit size and the value of a Creation Unit at inception for the Fund is set forth below.
Fund Name
Creation Unit
Size
Value of
Creation Unit at
inception
Ether Strategy ETF
[]
[]
The Board of Trustees of the Trust reserves the right to declare a split or a consolidation in the number of Shares outstanding of the Fund, and may make a corresponding change in the number of Shares constituting a Creation Unit, in the event that the per Share price in the secondary market rises (or declines) to an amount that falls outside the range deemed desirable by the Board.
Purchase and Issuance of Creation Units
The Trust issues and sells Shares only in Creation Units on a continuous basis through the Distributor, without a sales load, at their NAV next determined after receipt, on any Business Day (as defined herein), of an irrevocable order in proper form.
A “Business Day” with respect to the Fund is any day on which the Exchange upon which it is listed is open for business.
Creation Units of Shares may be purchased only by or through a DTC Participant that has entered into an Authorized Participant Agreement with the Distributor. Such Authorized Participant will agree pursuant to the terms of such Authorized Participant Agreement on behalf of itself or any investor on whose behalf it will act, as the case may be, to certain conditions, including that such Authorized Participant will make available an amount of cash sufficient to pay the Balancing Amount, defined below, and the Transaction Fee,
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described below in “Transaction Fees”. The Authorized Participant may require the investor to enter into an agreement with such Authorized Participant with respect to certain matters, including payment of the Balancing Amount. Investors who are not Authorized Participants must make appropriate arrangements with an Authorized Participant. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not be a DTC Participant or may not have executed an Authorized Participant Agreement, and that therefore orders to purchase Creation Units may have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an Authorized Participant. As a result, purchase orders placed through an Authorized Participant may result in additional charges to such investor. The Trust does not expect to enter into an Authorized Participant Agreement with more than a small number of DTC Participants.
As described below, at the discretion of ProShare Advisors, the Fund may, at times, only accept in-kind purchase orders from Authorized Participants.
Portfolio Deposit
The consideration for purchase of a Creation Unit of the Fund may, at the discretion of ProShare Advisors, consist of the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities (“Deposit Securities”) constituting a representation of the index for the Fund, the Balancing Amount, and the appropriate Transaction Fee (collectively, the “Portfolio Deposit”). The “Balancing Amount” will be the amount equal to the differential, if any, between the total aggregate market value of the Deposit Securities (or in the case of redemptions, the total aggregate market value of the Fund Securities as defined below) and the NAV of the Creation Units being purchased and will be paid to, or received from, the Trust after the NAV has been calculated. ProShare Advisors may restrict purchases of Creation Units to be on an in-kind basis at any time and without prior notice, in all cases at ProShare Advisors’ discretion.
The Index Receipt Agent makes available through the NSCC on each Business Day, either immediately prior to the opening of business on the Exchange or the night before, the list of the names and the required number of shares of each Deposit Security to be included in the current Portfolio Deposit (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) for each applicable Fund. Such Portfolio Deposit is applicable, subject to any adjustments as described below, in order to effect purchases of Creation Units of Shares of such Fund until the next-announced Portfolio Deposit composition is made available.
The identity and number of shares of the Deposit Securities required for a Portfolio Deposit for the Fund changes as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by ProShare Advisors with a view to the investment objective of the applicable Fund. The composition of the Deposit Securities may also change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the securities constituting the relevant securities index, as applicable. The adjustments described above will reflect changes, known to ProShare Advisors on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Portfolio Deposit, in the composition of the subject index being tracked by the relevant Fund, as applicable, or resulting from stock splits and other corporate actions. In addition, the Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of an amount of cash (i.e., a “cash in lieu” amount) to be added to the Balancing Amount to replace any Deposit Security which may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or for other similar reasons. A Transaction Fee may be assessed on any “cash in lieu” amounts, as further described below under “Transaction Fees.”
In addition to the list of names and numbers of securities constituting the current Deposit Securities of a Portfolio Deposit, on each Business Day, the Balancing Amount effective through and including the previous Business Day, per outstanding Share of each applicable Fund, will be made available.
Shares may be issued in advance of receipt by the Trust of all or a portion of the applicable Deposit Securities as described below, in the sole discretion of the Trust or ProShare Advisors. In these circumstances, the initial deposit may have a greater value than the NAV of the Shares on the date the order is placed in proper form because, in addition to the available Deposit Securities, cash must be deposited in an amount equal to the sum of (i) the Balancing Amount, plus (ii) up to 115% of the market value of the undelivered Deposit Securities (the “Additional Cash Deposit”). Additional amounts of cash may be required to be
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deposited with the Trust, pending delivery of the missing Deposit Securities to the extent necessary to maintain the Additional Cash Deposit with the Trust in an amount up to 115% of the daily mark-to-market value of the missing Deposit Securities. Authorized Participants will be liable to the Trust for the costs incurred by the Trust in connection with any such purchases. These costs will be deemed to include the amount by which the actual purchase price of the Deposit Securities exceeds the market value of such Deposit Securities on the day the purchase order was deemed received by the Distributor plus the brokerage and related transaction costs associated with such purchases. The Trust will return any unused portion of the Additional Cash Deposit once all of the missing Deposit Securities have been properly received by the Custodian or any sub-custodian or purchased by the Trust and deposited into the Trust. In addition, a Transaction Fee, as described below, will be charged in all cases. The delivery of Shares so purchased will occur no later than the Settlement Date, which is typically the second Business Day following the day on which the purchase order is deemed received by the Distributor.
Orders must be transmitted by an Authorized Participant by telephone, online portal or other transmission method acceptable to the Distributor pursuant to procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement, as described below, which procedures may change from time to time without notice at the discretion of the Trust or ProShare Advisors. Economic or market disruptions or changes, or telephone or other communication failure, may impede the ability to reach the Distributor or an Authorized Participant.
All questions as to the number of shares of each security in the Deposit Securities and the validity, form, eligibility and acceptance for deposit of any securities to be delivered shall be determined by the Trust, and the Trust’s determination shall be final and binding.
Cash Purchase Amount
Creation Units of the Fund may, at the discretion of ProShare Advisors, be sold for cash (the “Cash Purchase Amount”) when cash purchases of Creation Units are available or specified for the Fund, they will be effective in essentially the same manner as in kind purchases. Creation Units are sold at their NAV plus a Transaction Fee, as described below. ProShare Advisors may also restrict purchases of Creation Units to be on a cash-only basis at any time and without prior notice, in all cases at ProShare Advisors’ discretion.
Purchase and Redemption Cut-Off Times
An Authorized Participant may place an order to purchase or redeem Creation Units (i) through the Continuous Net Settlement clearing processes of NSCC as such processes have been enhanced to effect purchases and redemptions of Creation Units, such processes being referred to herein as the “Clearing Process,” or (ii) outside the Clearing Process. In either case, for a purchase or redemption order involving a Creation Unit to be effectuated at the Fund’s NAV on a particular day, it must be received in proper form by the following cut-off times (which may be earlier if the relevant Exchange or any relevant bond market closes earlier than normal, such as the day before a holiday). In all cases purchase/redeem procedures are at the discretion of ProShare Advisors and may be changed without notice.
Fund(s)
Typical Creation Cut-Off Time (Eastern Time)
[]
[]
Purchases Through the Clearing Process
To purchase or redeem through the Clearing Process, an Authorized Participant must be a member of NSCC that is eligible to use the Continuous Net Settlement system. For purchase orders placed through the Clearing Process, the Authorized Participant Agreement authorizes the Distributor to transmit through the Fund’s transfer agent (the “Transfer Agent”) to NSCC, on behalf of an Authorized Participant, such trade instructions as are necessary to effect the Authorized Participant’s purchase order. Pursuant to such trade instructions to NSCC, the Authorized Participant agrees to deliver the requisite Deposit Securities and the Balancing Amount to the Trust, together with the Transaction Fee and such additional information as may be required by the Distributor.
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Purchases Outside the Clearing Process
An Authorized Participant that wishes to place an order to purchase Creation Units outside the Clearing Process must state that it is not using the Clearing Process and that the purchase instead will be effected through a transfer of securities and cash directly through DTC or as described below for Global Funds. Purchases (and redemptions) of Creation Units of the Matching and Ultra ProShares Funds settled outside the Clearing Process will be subject to a higher Transaction Fee than those settled through the Clearing Process. Purchase orders effected outside the Clearing Process are likely to require transmittal by the Authorized Participant earlier on the transmittal date than orders effected using the Clearing Process. Those persons placing orders outside the Clearing Process should ascertain the deadlines applicable to DTC and the Federal Reserve Bank wire system by contacting the operations department of the broker or depository institution effectuating such transfer of Deposit Securities and Balancing Amount (for the Matching and Ultra ProShares Funds), each as applicable and at the discretion of ProShare Advisors, or of the Cash Purchase Amount together with the applicable Transaction Fee.
For each Global Fund when a purchase order is placed, the Distributor will inform ProShare Advisors and the Custodian. The Custodian shall cause local sub-custodians of the applicable Global Fund to maintain an account into which the Authorized Participant shall deliver, on behalf of itself or the party on whose behalf it is acting, the Deposit Securities “free of payment,” with any appropriate adjustments as advised by the Trust, in accordance with the terms and conditions applicable to such account in such jurisdiction. If applicable, the sub-custodian(s) will confirm to the Custodian that the required Deposit Securities have been delivered and the Custodian will notify ProShare Advisors and Distributor. The Authorized Participant must also make available to the Custodian no later than 12:00 noon Eastern Time (or earlier in the event that the relevant Exchange or the relevant bond markets close early) by the second Business Day after the order is deemed received through the Federal Reserve Bank wire transfer system, immediately available or same day funds in U.S. dollars estimated by the Trust to be sufficient to pay the Balancing Amount next determined after acceptance of the purchase order, together with any applicable Transaction Fees. For Global Funds, the Index Receipt Agent will not make available through the NSCC on each Business Day, the list of the names and the required number of shares of each Deposit Security to be included in the current Portfolio Deposit.
Rejection of Purchase Orders
The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject a purchase order transmitted to it by the Distributor in respect of the Fund if (a) the order is not in proper form; (b) the purchaser or group of purchasers, upon obtaining the Shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares of the Fund; (c) the Deposit Securities delivered are not as specified by ProShare Advisors and ProShare Advisors has not consented to acceptance of an in-kind deposit that varies from the designated Deposit Securities; (d) acceptance of the purchase transaction order would have certain adverse tax consequences to the Fund; (e) the acceptance of the purchase transaction order would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (f) the acceptance of the purchase order transaction would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust or ProShare Advisors, have an adverse effect on the Trust or the rights of beneficial owners; (g) the value of a Cash Purchase Amount, or the value of the Balancing Amount to accompany an in-kind deposit, exceeds a purchase authorization limit extended to an Authorized Participant by the Custodian and the Authorized Participant has not deposited an amount in excess of such purchase authorization with the Custodian prior to the relevant cut-off time for the Fund on the transmittal date; or (h) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Distributor and ProShare Advisors make it impractical to process purchase orders. Examples of such circumstances include acts of God; public service or utility problems resulting in telephone, telecopy and computer failures; fires, floods or extreme weather conditions; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting the Trust, ProShare Advisors, the Distributor, DTC, NSCC, the Custodian or sub-custodian or any other participant in the creation process; and similar extraordinary events.
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The Trust shall notify a prospective purchaser of its rejection of the order of such person. The Trust and the Distributor are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of purchase transaction orders nor shall either of them incur any liability for the failure to give any such notification.
Redemption of Creation Units
Shares may be redeemed only in Creation Units at their NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Distributor on any Business Day. The Trust will not redeem Shares in amounts less than Creation Units. Beneficial owners also may sell Shares in the secondary market, but must accumulate enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit in order to have such Shares redeemed by the Trust. There can be no assurance, however, that there will be sufficient liquidity in the public trading market at any time to permit assembly of a Creation Unit of Shares. Investors should expect to incur brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of Shares to constitute a redeemable Creation Unit.
As described below, at the discretion of ProShare Advisors, the Fund may, at times, only accept in-kind redemption orders from Authorized Participants.
Redemption in Fund Securities
The Fund may provide redemptions in portfolio securities or cash at ProShare Advisors’ discretion. With respect to the Matching and Ultra ProShares Funds, the Index Receipt Agent makes available through the NSCC immediately prior to the opening of business on the Exchange on each day that the Exchange is open for business the portfolio securities that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as defined below) on that day (“Fund Securities”). These securities, at times, may not be identical to Deposit Securities which are applicable to a purchase of Creation Units. The Fund may also, in its sole discretion, upon request of a shareholder, provide such redeeming shareholder a portfolio of securities which differs from the exact composition of the Fund Securities but does not differ in NAV.
The redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit generally consist of Fund Securities, as announced by the Index Receipt Agent through the NSCC on any Business Day, plus the Balancing Amount. The redemption Transaction Fee described below is deducted from such redemption proceeds.
Redemption in Cash
The Fund may in its discretion exercise its option to redeem such Shares in cash, and the redeeming shareholder will be required to receive its redemption proceeds in cash. In addition, an investor may request a redemption in cash which the Fund may, in its sole discretion, permit. In either case, the investor will receive a cash payment equal to the NAV of its Shares based on the NAV of Shares of the relevant Fund next determined after the redemption request is received in proper form (minus a redemption Transaction Fee and additional charge for requested cash redemptions, to offset the Fund’s brokerage and other transaction costs associated with the disposition of Fund Securities).
For certain redemptions, the proceeds will consist solely of cash in an amount equal to the NAV of the Shares being redeemed, as next determined after a receipt of a request in proper form, less the redemption Transaction Fee described below (the “Cash Redemption Amount”).
Suspension or Postponement of Right of Redemption
The Fund may, in its discretion, suspend the right of creation or redemption or may postpone the redemption or purchase settlement date, (1) for any period during which the Exchange is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (2) for any period during which trading on the Exchange is suspended or restricted; (3) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which disposal of the shares of the Fund’s portfolio securities or determination of its NAV is not reasonably practicable; (4) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC; or (5) for up to 14 calendar days for any of the Global
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Funds or Short or Ultra International ProShares Funds during an international local holiday, as described below in “Other Information”.
Placement of Redemption Orders Using the Clearing Process
Orders to redeem Creation Units of Funds through the Clearing Process must be delivered through an Authorized Participant that is a member of NSCC that is eligible to use the Continuous Net Settlement System. A redemption order for the Fund must be received by the cut-off times set forth in “Purchase and Redemption Cut-Off Times” above.
All other procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement must be followed in order to receive the next determined NAV. The requisite Fund Securities and the Balancing Amount (minus a redemption Transaction Fee or additional charges for requested cash redemptions) or the Cash Redemption Amount, as applicable and at the discretion of ProShare Advisors, will be transferred by the second (2nd) NSCC Business Day following the date on which such request for redemption is deemed received. Global Fund orders may not be placed through the Clearing Process.
Placement of Redemption Orders Outside the Clearing Process
Orders to redeem Creation Units outside the Clearing Process (other than for Global Fund orders), including all cash-only redemptions, must be delivered through a DTC Participant that has executed the Authorized Participant Agreement. A DTC Participant who wishes to place an order for redemption of Creation Units to be effected outside the Clearing Process need not be a “participating party” under the Authorized Participant Agreement, but such orders must state that the DTC Participant is not using the Clearing Process and that the redemption of Creation Units will instead be effected through a transfer of Shares directly through DTC. A redemption order for the Fund must be received by the cut-off times set forth in “Purchase and Redemption Cut-Off Times” above. The order must be accompanied or preceded by the requisite number of Shares of Funds specified in such order, which delivery must be made through DTC to the Custodian by the second Business Day (T+2) following such transmittal date. All other procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement must be properly followed in order to receive the next determined NAV.
After the Transfer Agent has deemed an order for redemption outside the Clearing Process received, the Transfer Agent will initiate procedures to transfer the requisite Fund Securities and the Balancing Amount (minus a redemption Transaction Fee or additional charges for requested cash redemptions), which are expected to be delivered within two Business Days, and the Cash Redemption Amount (by the second Business Day (T+2) following the transmittal date on which such redemption order is deemed received by the Transfer Agent).
In certain instances, Authorized Participants may create and redeem Creation Unit aggregations of the same Fund on the same trade date. In this instance, the Trust reserves the right to settle these transactions on a net basis.
For Global Funds, the Authorized Participant shall deliver Fund Shares of Global Funds to the Custodian through DTC “free of payment.” The transfer of Fund Shares must be ordered by the DTC Participant on the transmittal date in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite number of Fund Shares through DTC to the Custodian by no later than 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time of the second Business Day (T+2) immediately following the transmittal date, except that Global Funds may settle Creation Unit transactions on a basis other than the one described above (i) to accommodate foreign market holiday schedules, as discussed in “Other Information” below,.(ii) to account for different treatment among foreign and U.S. markets of dividend record dates and ex-dividend dates (that is the last day the holder of a security can sell the security and still receive dividends payable on the security), and (iii) in certain other circumstances. Authorized Participants should be aware that the deadline for such transfers of Fund Shares through the DTC system may be significantly earlier than the close of business on the primary listing exchange. Those making redemption requests should ascertain the deadline applicable to transfers of Fund Shares through the DTC
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system by contacting the operations department of the broker or depositary institution affecting the transfer of Fund Shares. The Balancing Amount, if any, must be transferred in U.S. dollars directly to the Custodian through the Federal Reserve Bank wire transfer system in a timely manner so as to be received by the Custodian no later than 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Business Day (T+2) immediately following the transmittal date, except as provided in “Other Information” below. If the Custodian does not receive both the required Fund Shares and the Balancing Amount, if any, by 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., respectively, on the second Business Day (T+2) immediately following the transmittal date, except as provided in “Other Information” below, such order will be deemed not in proper form and cancelled.
Cancellations
In the event an order is cancelled, the Authorized Participant will be responsible for reimbursing the Fund for all costs associated with cancelling the order, including costs for repositioning the portfolio, provided the Authorized Participant shall not be responsible for such costs if the order was cancelled for reasons outside the Authorized Participant’s control or the Authorized Participant was not otherwise responsible or at fault for such cancellation. Upon written notice to the Distributor, such cancelled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day, with a newly constituted Portfolio Deposit or Fund Securities to reflect the next calculated NAV.
Transaction Fees
Transaction fees payable to the Trust are imposed to compensate the Trust for the transfer and other transaction costs of the Fund associated with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units of Shares. A fixed Transaction Fee is applicable to each creation or redemption transaction, regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased or redeemed. In addition, a variable Transaction Fee equal to a percentage of the value of each Creation Unit purchased or redeemed may be applicable to a creation or redemption transaction. Purchasers of Creation Units of the Matching and Ultra ProShares Funds for cash may also be required to pay an additional charge to compensate the relevant Fund for brokerage, market impact or other expenses. Where the Trust permits an in-kind purchaser to substitute cash in lieu of depositing a portion of the Deposit Securities, the purchaser will be assessed an additional charge for cash purchases. The maximum Transaction Fee on purchases and redemptions will be 2.00% of the NAV of any Creation Unit, except that for the S&P500® Bond ETF, the High Yield—Interest Rate Hedged, the Investment Grade—Interest Rate Hedged and the Short Term USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF, a Transaction Fee up to 3.00% will be charged on the cash used in lieu of depositing all or a portion of the Deposit Securities or the cash portion of any redemption transaction. In all cases, transaction fees will be limited in accordance with the applicable requirements of SEC Rules and Regulations. The Transaction Fees charged to the Fund are presented in the Authorized Participant Handbook.
Purchasers of Shares in Creation Units are responsible for the costs of transferring the securities constituting the Deposit Securities to the account of the Trust. Investors will also bear the costs of transferring securities from the Fund to their account or on their order. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services.
These fees may, in certain circumstances, be paid by ProShare Advisors or otherwise waived.
Continuous Offering
The method by which Creation Units are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units are issued and sold by the Trust on an ongoing basis, at any point a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may occur. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act. For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Distributor, breaks them down into constituent Shares and sells some or all of the Shares comprising such
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Creation Units directly to its customers; or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for Shares. A determination of whether a person is an underwriter for the purposes of the 1933 Act depends upon all the facts and circumstances pertaining to that person’s activities. Thus, the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead a person to be deemed an underwriter. Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are effecting transactions in Shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of Shares, are generally required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(3) of the 1933 Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. The Trust has been granted an exemption by the SEC from this prospectus delivery obligation in ordinary secondary market transactions involving Shares under certain circumstances, on the condition that purchasers of Shares are provided with a product description of the Shares. Broker-dealer firms should note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to an ordinary secondary market transaction), and thus dealing with Shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(3)(C) of the 1933 Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the 1933 Act. Firms that incur a prospectus-delivery obligation with respect to Shares are reminded that under Rule 153 under the 1933 Act, a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the 1933 Act owed to a national securities exchange member in connection with a sale on the national securities exchange is satisfied if the Fund’s prospectus is made available upon request at the national securities exchange on which the Shares of such Fund trade. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is only available with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange and not with respect to other transactions.
DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE
The NAV per Share for the Fund is computed by dividing the value of the net assets of such Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of Shares outstanding, rounded to the nearest cent. Expenses and fees, including the management and administration fees, are accrued daily and taken into account for purposes of determining NAV. The NAV calculation time for the Fund is listed in the chart below (which may be earlier if the relevant Exchange or any relevant bond market closes early):
Fund(s)
Typical NAV Calculation Time
Eastern Time
Ether Strategy ETF
[]
Certain portfolio investments may not be traded on days the Fund is open for business.
Securities (including short-term securities) and other assets are generally valued at their market value using information provided by a pricing service or market quotations. Short-term securities are valued on the basis of amortized cost or based on market prices. Futures contracts and options on securities, indexes and futures contracts are generally valued at their last sale price prior to the time at which the NAV per share of a class of shares of the Fund is determined. Alternatively, fair valuation procedures as described below may be applied if deemed more appropriate. Routine valuation of certain other derivatives is performed using procedures approved by the Board of Trustees.
When ProShare Advisors determines that the price of a security is not readily available or deems the price unreliable, it may, in good faith, establish a fair value for that security in accordance with procedures established by and under the general supervision and responsibility of the Trust’s Board of Trustees. The use of a fair valuation method may be appropriate if, for example, market quotations do not accurately reflect fair value for an investment, an investment’s value has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the exchange or market on which the investment is principally traded (for example, a foreign exchange or market), a trading halt closes an exchange or market early, or other events result in an exchange or market delaying its normal close.
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TAXATION
OVERVIEW
Set forth below is a general discussion of certain U.S. federal income tax issues concerning the Fund and the purchase, ownership, and disposition of the Fund’s Shares. This discussion does not purport to be complete or to deal with all aspects of federal income taxation that may be relevant to shareholders in light of their particular circumstances, nor to certain types of shareholders subject to special treatment under the federal income tax laws (for example, life insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions, and IRAs and other retirement plans). This discussion is based upon present provisions of the Code, the regulations promulgated thereunder, and judicial and administrative ruling authorities, all of which are subject to change, which change may be retroactive. Prospective investors should consult their own tax advisors with regard to the federal tax consequences of the purchase, ownership, or disposition of the Fund’s Shares, as well as the tax consequences arising under the laws of any state, foreign country, or other taxing jurisdiction.
TAXATION OF THE FUND
The Fund has elected and intends to qualify and to be eligible each year to be treated as a RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. A RIC generally is not subject to federal income tax on income and gains distributed in a timely manner to its shareholders. To qualify for treatment as a RIC, the Fund generally must, among other things:
(a) derive in each taxable year at least 90% of its gross income from (i) dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities loans and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including but not limited to gains from options, futures, or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies; and (ii) net income derived from interests in “qualified publicly traded partnerships” as described below (the income described in this subparagraph (a), “Qualifying Income”);
(b) diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of the Fund’s taxable year (or by the end of the 30-day period following the close of such quarter), (i) at least 50% of the fair market value of the Fund’s assets is represented by cash and cash items (including receivables), U.S. government securities, the securities of other RICs and other securities, with such other securities limited, in respect of any one issuer, to a value not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and to an amount not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (ii) not greater than 25% of the value of its total assets is invested, including through corporations in which the Fund owns a 20% or more voting stock interest, in (x) the securities (other than U.S. government securities and the securities of other RICs) of any one issuer or of two or more issuers that the Fund controls and that are engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or (y) the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships (as defined below); and
(c) distribute with respect to each taxable year at least 90% of the sum of its investment company taxable income (as that term is defined in the Code without regard to the deduction for dividends paid—generally, taxable ordinary income and the excess, if any, of net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses) and net tax-exempt interest income, for such year.
In general, for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described in subparagraph (a) above, income derived from a partnership will be treated as Qualifying Income only to the extent such income is attributable to items of income of the partnership which would be Qualifying Income if realized directly by the RIC. However, 100% of the net income of a RIC derived from an interest in a “qualified publicly traded partnership” (a partnership (x) the interests in which are traded on an established securities market or readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof, and (y) that derives less than 90% of its income from the Qualifying Income described in clause (i) of subparagraph (a) above) will be treated as Qualifying Income. In general, such entities will be treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes because they meet the passive income requirement under Code Section 7704(c)(2). In addition, although in general the passive loss rules of the Code do not apply to RICs, such rules do apply to a RIC with respect to
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items attributable to an interest in a qualified publicly traded partnership. Moreover, the amounts derived from investments in foreign currency will be treated as Qualifying Income for purposes of subparagraph (a) above. There is a remote possibility that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) could issue guidance contrary to such treatment with respect to foreign currency gains that are not directly related to a RIC’s principal business of investing in stocks or securities (or options or futures with respect to stocks or securities), which could affect the Fund’s ability to meet the 90% gross income test and adversely affect the manner in which that Fund is managed.
For purposes of the diversification test described in subparagraph (b) above, the term “outstanding voting securities of such issuer” will include the equity securities of a qualified publicly traded partnership. Also, for purposes of the diversification test in (b) above, the identification of the issuer (or, in some cases, issuers) of a particular Fund investment can depend on the terms and conditions of that investment. In some cases, identification of the issuer (or issuers) is uncertain under current law, and an adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS with respect to issuer identification for a particular type of investment may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to meet the diversification test in (b) above.
If, in any taxable year, the Fund were to fail to meet the 90% gross income, diversification or distribution test described above, the Fund could in some cases cure such failure, including by paying the Fund-level tax, paying interest, making additional distributions, or disposing of certain assets. If the Fund were ineligible to or did not cure such a failure for any taxable year, or otherwise failed to qualify as a RIC accorded special tax treatment under the Code, the Fund would be subject to tax on its taxable income at corporate rates, and all distributions from earnings and profits, including distributions of net tax-exempt income and net long-term capital gain (if any), would be taxable to shareholders as dividend income. In such a case, distributions from the Fund would not be deductible by the Fund in computing its taxable income. In addition, in order to requalify for taxation as a RIC, the Fund may be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make certain distributions.
As noted above, if the Fund qualifies as a RIC that is accorded special tax treatment, the Fund will not be subject to federal income tax on income that is distributed in a timely manner to its shareholders in the form of dividends (including Capital Gain Dividends, as defined below).
The Fund expects to distribute at least annually to its shareholders all or substantially all of its investment company taxable income (computed without regard to the dividends-paid deduction), its net tax-exempt income (if any) and its net capital gain (that is, the excess of its net long-term capital gains over its net short-term capital losses, in each case determined with reference to any loss carryforwards). Investment company taxable income that is retained by the Fund will be subject to tax at regular corporate rates. If the Fund retains any net capital gain, it will be subject to tax at regular corporate rates on the amount retained, but it may designate the retained amount as undistributed capital gains in a notice mailed within 60 days of the close of the Fund’s taxable year to its shareholders who, in turn, (i) will be required to include in income for federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gain, their shares of such undistributed amount, and (ii) will be entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the tax paid by the Fund on such undistributed amount against their federal income tax liabilities, if any, and to claim refunds on a properly filed U.S. tax return to the extent the credit exceeds such liabilities. If the Fund makes this designation, for federal income tax purposes, the tax basis of shares owned by a shareholder of the Fund will be increased by an amount equal to the difference between the amount of undistributed capital gains included in the shareholder’s gross income under clause (i) of the preceding sentence and the tax deemed paid by the shareholder under clause (ii) of the preceding sentence. The Fund is not required to, and there can be no assurance that the Fund will, make this designation if it retains all or a portion of its net capital gain in a taxable year.
In determining its net capital gain, including in connection with determining the amount available to support a Capital Gain Dividend (as defined below), its taxable income and its earnings and profits, a RIC generally may elect to treat part or all of any post-October capital loss (defined as any net capital loss attributable to the portion of the taxable year after October 31 or, if there is no such loss, the net long-term capital loss or net short-term capital loss attributable to such portion of the taxable year) or late-year ordinary loss (generally, the sum of (i) net ordinary loss, if any, from the sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of
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property, attributable to the portion, if any, of the taxable year after October 31, and its (ii) other net ordinary loss, if any, attributable to the portion, if any, of the taxable year after December 31) as if incurred in the succeeding taxable year.
Amounts not distributed on a timely basis in accordance with a prescribed formula are subject to a nondeductible 4% excise tax at the Fund level. To avoid the tax, the Fund must distribute during each calendar year an amount generally equal to the sum of (1) at least 98% of its ordinary income (not taking into account any capital gains or losses) for the calendar year, (2) at least 98.2% of its capital gains in excess of its capital losses (adjusted for certain ordinary losses) for a one-year period generally ending on October 31 of the calendar year (or November 30 or December 31 of that year if the Fund is permitted to elect and so elects), and (3) all such ordinary income and capital gains that were not distributed in previous years. For purposes of the required excise tax distribution, ordinary gains and losses from the sale, exchange, or other taxable disposition of property that would be properly taken into account after October 31 (or November 30 or December 31 of that year if the Fund is permitted to elect and so elects) are generally treated as arising on January 1 of the following calendar year. Also, for these purposes, the Fund will be treated as having distributed any amount on which it is subject to corporate income tax for the taxable year ending within the calendar year. The Fund intends generally to make distributions sufficient to avoid imposition of the excise tax, although the Fund reserves the right to pay an excise tax rather than make an additional distribution when circumstances warrant (for example, the payment of the excise tax amount is deemed to be de minimis).
A distribution will be treated as paid on December 31 of a calendar year if it is declared by the Fund in October, November or December of that year with a record date in such a month and is paid by the Fund during January of the following year. Such distributions will be taxable to shareholders in the calendar year in which the distributions are declared, rather than the calendar year in which the distributions are received.
Capital losses in excess of capital gains (“net capital losses”) are not permitted to be deducted against the Fund’s net investment income. Instead, potentially subject to certain limitations, the Fund may carry net capital losses forward from any taxable year to subsequent taxable years to offset capital gains, if any, realized during such subsequent taxable years. Distributions from capital gains are generally made after applying any available capital loss carryforwards. Capital loss carryforwards are reduced to the extent they offset current-year net realized capital gains, whether the Fund retains or distributes such gains. Any such capital loss carryforwards will generally retain their character as short-term or long-term and will be applied first against gains of the same character before offsetting gains of a different character (e.g., net capital losses resulting from previously realized net long-term losses will first offset any long-term capital gain, with any remaining amounts available to offset any net short-term capital gain).
The Funds had the following capital loss carryforwards as of October 31, 2019 (the Funds’ most recent tax year end).
At October 31, 2019, the following Funds utilized capital loss carryforwards (“CLCFs”) and/or elected to defer late-year ordinary losses to November 1, 2019, the first day of the following tax year:
TAXATION OF FUND DISTRIBUTIONS
Distributions of investment income are generally taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. Taxes on distributions of capital gains are determined by how long the Fund owned the investments that generated them, rather than how long a shareholder has owned his or her shares. In general, the Fund will recognize long-term capital gain or loss on investments it has owned for more than one year, and short-term capital gain or loss on investments it has owned for one year or less. Tax rules can alter the Fund’s holding period in investments and thereby affect the tax treatment of gain or loss on such investments. Distributions of net capital gain—the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital losses, in each case determined with reference to any loss carryforwards—that are properly reported by the Fund as capital gain dividends (“Capital Gain Dividends”) will be taxable to shareholders as long-term capital gains includible in net capital gain and taxable to individuals at reduced rates. Distributions of net short-term capital gain (as
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reduced by any net long-term capital loss for the taxable year) will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. The IRS and U.S. Treasury have issued regulations that impose special rules in respect of Capital Gain Dividends received through partnership interests constituting “applicable partnership interests” under Section 1061 of the Code.
The Code generally imposes a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on the net investment income of certain individuals, trusts, and estates to the extent their income exceeds certain threshold amounts. For these purposes, “net investment income” generally includes, among other things, (i) distributions paid by the Fund of ordinary dividends and Capital Gain Dividends as described above, and (ii) any net gain from the sale, redemption or exchange of Fund shares. Shareholders are advised to consult their tax advisors regarding the possible implications of this additional tax on their investment in the Fund.
Distributions are taxable whether shareholders receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional shares. Distributions are also taxable to shareholders even if they are paid from income or gains earned by the Fund before a shareholder’s investment (and thus were included in the price the shareholder paid for the Fund shares). Investors should be careful to consider the tax implications of buying shares of the Fund just prior to a distribution. The price of shares purchased at this time will include the amount of the forthcoming distribution, but the distribution will generally be taxable.
A dividend or Capital Gain Dividend with respect to shares of the Fund held by a tax-deferred or qualified plan, such as an IRA, retirement plan, or corporate pension or profit sharing plan, generally will not be taxable to the plan. Distributions from such plans will be taxable to individual participants under applicable tax rules without regard to the character of the income earned by the qualified plan. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the suitability of shares of the Fund as an investment through such plans and the precise effect of an investment on their particular situation.
Shareholders will be notified annually as to the U.S. federal tax status of Fund distributions, and shareholders receiving distributions in the form of newly issued shares will receive a report as to the value of the shares received.
QUALIFIED DIVIDEND INCOME
“Qualified dividend income” received by an individual is taxed at the rates applicable to net capital gain. In order for some portion of the dividends received by the Fund shareholder to be qualified dividend income, the Fund must meet holding period and other requirements with respect to some portion of the dividend-paying stocks in its portfolio and the shareholder must meet holding period and other requirements with respect to the Fund’s Shares. A dividend will not be treated as qualified dividend income (at either the Fund or shareholder level) (1) if the dividend is received with respect to any share of stock held for fewer than 61 days during the 121-day period beginning on the date which is 60 days before the date on which such share becomes ex-dividend with respect to such dividend (or, in the case of certain preferred stock, 91 days during the 181-day period beginning 90 days before such date), (2) to the extent that the recipient is under an obligation (whether pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to positions in substantially similar or related property, (3) if the recipient elects to have the dividend income treated as investment income for purposes of the limitation on deductibility of investment interest, or (4) if the dividend is received from a foreign corporation that is (a) not eligible for the benefits of a comprehensive income tax treaty with the United States (with the exception of dividends paid on stock of such a foreign corporation that is readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States) or (b) treated as a passive foreign investment company. In general, distributions of investment income reported by the Fund as derived from qualified dividend income will be treated as qualified dividend income in the hands of a shareholder taxed as an individual, provided the shareholder meets the holding period and other requirements described above with respect to the Fund’s Shares.
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QUALIFIED REIT DIVIDENDS
Distributions by the Fund to its shareholders that the Fund properly reports as “section 199A dividends,” as defined and subject to certain conditions described below, are treated as qualified REIT dividends in the hands of non-corporate shareholders. Non-corporate shareholders are permitted a federal income tax deduction equal to 20% of qualified REIT dividends received by them, subject to certain limitations. Very generally, a “section 199A dividend” is any dividend or portion thereof that is attributable to certain dividends received by a RIC from REITs, to the extent such dividends are properly reported as such by the RIC in a written notice to its shareholders. A section 199A dividend is treated as a qualified REIT dividend only if the shareholder receiving such dividend holds the dividend-paying regulated investment company shares for at least 46 days of the 91-day period beginning 45 days before the shares become ex-dividend, and is not under an obligation to make related payments with respect to a position in substantially similar or related property. The Fund is permitted to report such part of its dividends as section 199A dividends as are eligible, but is not required to do so. Distributions of income or gain attributable to derivatives with respect to REIT securities, including swaps, will not constitute qualified REIT dividends.
Subject to any future regulatory guidance to the contrary, any distribution of income attributable to qualified publicly traded partnership income from the Fund’s investment in an MLP will ostensibly not qualify for the deduction that would be available to a non-corporate shareholder were the shareholder to own such MLP directly. Furthermore, distributions of income or gain attributable to swaps on MLP securities will not constitute qualified publicly traded partnership income and will not be eligible for such deduction.
Dividends-Received Deduction
In general, dividends of net investment income received by corporate shareholders of the Fund may qualify for the dividends-received deduction generally available to corporations to the extent of the amount of eligible dividends received by the Fund from domestic corporations for the taxable year. A dividend received by the Fund will not be treated as a dividend eligible for the dividends-received deduction (1) if it has been received with respect to any share of stock that the Fund has held for less than 46 days (91 days in the case of certain preferred stock) during the 91-day period beginning on the date which is 45 days before the date on which such share becomes ex-dividend with respect to such dividend (during the 181-day period beginning 90 days before such date in the case of certain preferred stock) or (2) to the extent that the Fund is under an obligation (pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to positions in substantially similar or related property. Moreover, the dividends-received deduction may otherwise be disallowed or reduced (1) if the corporate shareholder fails to satisfy the foregoing requirements with respect to its shares of the Fund or (2) by application of various provisions of the Code (for instance, the dividends-received deduction is reduced in the case of a dividend received on debt-financed portfolio stock (generally, stock acquired with borrowed funds)).
Repurchase Agreements
Any distribution of income that is attributable to (i) income received by the Fund in lieu of dividends with respect to securities on loan pursuant to a securities lending transaction or (ii) dividend income received by the Fund on securities it temporarily purchased from a counterparty pursuant to a repurchase agreement that is treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a loan by the Fund, will not constitute qualified dividend income to individual shareholders and will not be eligible for the dividends-received deduction for corporate shareholders.
DISPOSITION OF SHARES
Upon a sale, exchange or other disposition of shares of the Fund, a shareholder will generally realize a taxable gain or loss depending upon his or her basis in the shares. A gain or loss will be treated as capital gain or loss if the shares are capital assets in the shareholder’s hands, and generally will be long-term or short-term capital gain or loss depending upon the shareholder’s holding period for the shares. Any loss realized on a sale, exchange or other disposition will be disallowed to the extent the shares disposed of are
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replaced (including through reinvestment of dividends) within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the shares are disposed of. In such a case, the basis of the shares acquired will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss. Any loss realized by a shareholder on the disposition of the Fund’s Shares held by the shareholder for six months or less will be treated for tax purposes as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any distributions of Capital Gain Dividends received or treated as having been received by the shareholder with respect to such shares.
MARKET DISCOUNT
If the Fund purchases in the secondary market a debt security that has a fixed maturity date of more than one year from its date of issuance at a price lower than the stated redemption price of such debt security (or, in the case of a debt security issued with “original issue discount” (described below), a price below the debt security’s “revised issue price”), the excess of the stated redemption price over the purchase price is “market discount.” Subject to the discussion below regarding Section 451 of the Code, if the amount of market discount is more than a de minimis amount, a portion of such market discount must be included as ordinary income (not capital gain) by the Fund in each taxable year in which the Fund owns an interest in such debt security and receives a principal payment on it. In particular, the Fund will be required to allocate that principal payment first to the portion of the market discount on the debt security that has accrued but has not previously been includable in income. In general, the amount of market discount that must be included for each period is equal to the lesser of (i) the amount of market discount accruing during such period (plus any accrued market discount for prior periods not previously taken into account) or (ii) the amount of the principal payment with respect to such period. Generally, market discount accrues on a daily basis for each day the debt security is held by the Fund at a constant rate over the time remaining to the debt security’s maturity or, at the election of the Fund, at a constant yield to maturity which takes into account the semi-annual compounding of interest. Gain realized on the disposition of a market discount obligation must be recognized as ordinary interest income (not capital gain) to the extent of the accrued market discount.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Section 451 of the Code generally requires any accrual method taxpayer to take into account items of gross income no later than the time at which such items are taken into account as revenue in the taxpayer’s financial statements. However, the U.S. Treasury and IRS issued regulations providing that this rule does not apply to the accrual of market discount. If the rule were to apply to the accrual of market discount, the Fund would be required to include in income any market discount as it takes the same into account on its financial statements.
ORIGINAL ISSUE DISCOUNT
Certain debt securities may be treated as debt securities that were originally issued at a discount. Original issue discount can generally be defined as the difference between the price at which a security was issued and its stated redemption price at maturity. Original issue discount that accrues on a debt security in a given year generally is treated for federal income tax purposes as interest income that is included in the Fund’s income and, therefore, subject to the distribution requirements applicable to RICs, even though the Fund may not receive a corresponding amount of cash until a partial or full repayment or disposition of the debt security.
Some debt securities may be purchased by the Fund at a discount that exceeds the original issue discount on such debt securities, if any. This additional discount represents market discount for federal income tax purposes (see above).
If the Fund holds the foregoing kinds of securities, it may be required to pay out as an income distribution each year an amount which is greater than the total amount of cash interest the Fund actually received. Such distributions may be made from the cash assets of the Fund or, if necessary, by disposition of portfolio securities including at a time when it may not be advantageous to do so. These dispositions may cause the Fund to realize higher amounts of short-term capital gains (generally taxed to shareholders at ordinary income tax rates) and, in the event the Fund realizes net capital gains from such transactions, its shareholders may receive a larger Capital Gain Dividend than if the Fund had not held such securities.
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OPTIONS, FUTURES, FORWARD CONTRACTS AND SWAPS
The tax treatment of certain contracts (including regulated futures contracts and non-equity options) entered into by the Fund will be governed by Section 1256 of the Code (“Section 1256 contracts”). Gains (or losses) on these contracts generally are considered to be 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gains or losses (“60/40”), although foreign currency gains or losses arising from certain Section 1256 contracts may be treated as ordinary in character (see “Foreign Currency Transactions” below). Also, Section 1256 contracts held by the Fund at the end of each taxable year (and for purposes of the 4% excise tax, on certain other dates prescribed in the Code) are “marked-to-market” with the result that unrealized gains or losses are treated as though they were realized and the resulting gains or losses are treated as ordinary or 60/40 gains or losses, as appropriate.
The tax treatment of a payment made or received on a swap to which the Fund is a party, and in particular whether such payment is, in whole or in part, capital or ordinary in character, will vary depending upon the terms of the particular swap contract.
Transactions in options, futures, forward contracts, swaps and certain positions undertaken by the Fund may result in “straddles” for federal income tax purposes. The straddle rules may affect the character of gains (or losses) realized by the Fund, and losses realized by the Fund on positions that are part of a straddle may be deferred under the straddle rules, rather than being taken into account in calculating taxable income for the taxable year in which the losses are realized. In addition, certain carrying charges (including interest expense) associated with positions in a straddle may be required to be capitalized rather than deducted currently. Certain elections that the Fund may make with respect to its straddle positions may also affect the amount, character and timing of the recognition of gains or losses from the affected positions.
Because only a few regulations implementing the straddle rules have been promulgated, the consequences of such transactions to the Fund is not entirely clear. The straddle rules may increase the amount of short-term capital gain realized by the Fund, which is taxed as ordinary income when distributed to shareholders. Because application of the straddle rules may affect the character of gains or losses, defer losses and/or accelerate the recognition of gains or losses from the affected straddle positions, the amount which must be distributed to shareholders as ordinary income or long-term capital gain may be increased or decreased substantially as compared to the Fund that did not engage in such transactions.
More generally, investments by the Fund in options, futures, forward contracts, swaps and other derivative financial instruments are subject to numerous special and complex tax rules. These rules could affect whether gains and losses recognized by the Fund are treated as ordinary or capital, accelerate the recognition of income or gains to the Fund and defer or possibly prevent the recognition or use of certain losses by the Fund. The rules could, in turn, affect the amount, timing or character of the income distributed to shareholders by the Fund. In addition, because the tax rules applicable to such instruments may be uncertain under current law, an adverse determination or future IRS guidance with respect to these rules (which determination or guidance could be retroactive) may affect whether the Fund has made sufficient distributions and otherwise satisfied the relevant requirements to maintain its qualification as a RIC and avoid the Fund-level tax.
CONSTRUCTIVE SALES
Under certain circumstances, the Fund may recognize gain from a constructive sale of an “appreciated financial position” it holds if it enters into a short sale, forward contract or other transaction that substantially reduces the risk of loss with respect to the appreciated position. In that event, the Fund would be treated as if it had sold and immediately repurchased the property and would be taxed on any gain (but would not recognize any loss) from the constructive sale. The character of gain from a constructive sale would depend upon the Fund’s holding period in the property. Appropriate adjustments would be made in the amount of any gain or loss subsequently realized on the position to reflect the gain recognized on the constructive sale. Loss from a constructive sale would be recognized when the property was subsequently disposed of, and its character would depend on the Fund’s holding period and the application of various loss deferral provisions
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of the Code. Constructive sale treatment does not generally apply to a transaction if such transaction is closed on or before the end of the 30th day after the close of the Fund’s taxable year and the Fund holds the appreciated financial position throughout the 60-day period beginning with the day such transaction closed. The term “appreciated financial position” excludes any position that is “marked-to-market.”
FOREIGN INVESTMENTS AND TAXES
Investment income and gains received by the Fund from foreign investments may be subject to foreign withholding and other taxes, which could decrease the Fund’s return on those investments. The effective rate of foreign taxes to which the Fund will be subject depends on the specific countries in which its assets will be invested and the extent of the assets invested in each such country and, therefore, cannot be determined in advance. If more than 50% of the Fund’s assets at year end consists of the securities of foreign corporations, the Fund may elect to permit shareholders to claim a credit or deduction on their income tax returns for their pro rata portions of qualified taxes paid by the Fund to foreign countries in respect of forei