485BPOS 1 d853053d485bpos.htm 485BPOS 485BPOS

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 26, 2015

1933 Act File No. 333-150525

1940 Act File No. 811-22201

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20543

FORM N-1A

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

[  X  ]

Pre-Effective Amendment No.                      [       ]
Post-Effective Amendment No.         121       [  X  ]
    and/or      
REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940 [  X  ]

Amendment No.

        123       [  X  ]

(Check appropriate box or boxes.)

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor

New York, New York 10019

(Address of Principal Executive Office) (Zip Code)

Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (646) 572-3390

Daniel D. O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer

1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor

New York, New York 10019

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

Copy to:

 

Angela Brickl

Rafferty Asset Management, LLC 1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue)

35th Floor

New York, New York 10019

Eric S. Purple

K&L Gates LLP

1601 K Street, NW

Washington, DC 20006

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

[       ]       immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)

[  X  ]       On February 27, 2015 pursuant to paragraph (b)

[       ]       60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

[       ]       On (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)

[       ]       75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)

[       ]       on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485.

If appropriate, check the following box:

[       ]       This post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment.


DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

CONTENTS OF REGISTRATION STATEMENT

This registration document is comprised of the following:

Cover Sheet

Contents of Registration Statement:

Prospectuses and Statements of Additional Information for the funds listed under Appendix A below;

Part C of Form N-1A;

Signature Page; and

Exhibits


Appendix A

Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares

Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares

Direxion S&P 500® Volatility Response Shares

(formerly Direxion S&P 500® DRRC Index Volatility Response Shares)

Direxion NASDAQ-100® Equal Weighted Index Shares

Direxion iBillionaire Index ETF

Direxion Daily Dow 30® Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily Large Cap Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily Total Market Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily 7-10 Year Treasury Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily Corporate Bond Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily Municipal Bond Taxable Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily Total Bond Market Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily Developed Markets Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily Emerging Market Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily Technology Bear 1X Shares

Direxion Daily Russell 1000® Growth Index Bull 1.25X Shares

Direxion Daily Russell 1000® Value Index Bull 1.25X Shares

Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bull 1.25X Shares

Direxion Daily Mid Cap Bull 1.25X Shares

Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull 1.25X Shares

Direxion Daily Total Stock Market Bull 1.25X Shares

Direxion Daily FTSE Developed Markets Bull 1.25X Shares

Direxion Daily FTSE Emerging Markets Bull 1.25X Shares

Direxion Daily 7-10 Year Treasury Bond Bull 1.25X Shares

Direxion Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bond Bull 1.25X Shares

Direxion Daily Total Bond Market Bull 1.25X Shares

 

Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bull 2X Shares

Direxion Daily Mid Cap Bull 2X Shares

Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull 2X Shares

Direxion Daily 7-10 Year Treasury Bull 2X Shares

Direxion Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bull 2X Shares

Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bear 2X Shares

Direxion Daily Mid Cap Bear 2X Shares

Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 2X Shares

Direxion Daily 7-10 Year Treasury Bear 2X Shares

Direxion Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bear 2X Shares

3X BULL FUNDS 3X BEAR FUNDS
Direxion Daily Mid Cap Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Mid Cap Bear 3X Shares

Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bull 3X Shares

(formerly Direxion Daily Large Cap Bull 3X Shares)

Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bear 3X Shares

(formerly Direxion Daily Large Cap Bear 3X Shares)

Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Total Market Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Total Market Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Brazil Bull 3X Shares

Direxion Daily FTSE China Bull 3X Shares

(formerly Direxion Daily China Bull 3X Shares)

Direxion Daily FTSE China Bear 3X Shares

(formerly Direxion Daily China Bear 3X Shares)

Direxion Daily Developed Markets Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Developed Markets Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Emerging Markets Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Emerging Markets Bear 3X Shares

Direxion Daily FTSE Europe Bull 3X Shares

(formerly Direxion Daily European Bull 3X Shares)


Direxion Daily India Bull 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Japan Bull 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Latin America Bull 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Russia Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Russia Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily South Korea Bull 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Basic Materials Bull 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Gold Miners Index Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Healthcare Bull 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bull 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Regional Banks Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Regional Banks Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Retail Bull 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Silver Miners Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Silver Miners Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Clean Energy Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Clean Energy Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Energy Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Energy Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Real Estate Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Real Estate Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Technology Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Technology Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily 7-10 Year Treasury Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily 7-10 Year Treasury Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily 20+ Year Treasury Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Corporate Bond Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily Corporate Bond Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily High Yield Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily High Yield Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Municipal Bond Taxable Bull 3X Shares
Direxion Daily TIPs Bull 3X Shares Direxion Daily TIPs Bear 3X Shares
Direxion Daily Total Bond Market Bull 3X Shares


LOGO

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

PROSPECTUS

1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor             New York, New York 10019             866-476-7523

www.direxioninvestments.com

DIREXION ZACKS MLP HIGH INCOME SHARES (ZMLP)

FEBRUARY 27, 2015

The fund offered in this prospectus trades on the NYSE Arca, Inc.

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


 

SUMMARY OF DIREXION SHARES

    1   
 

DIREXION ZACKS MLP HIGH INCOME SHARES

    1   
 

OVERVIEW OF THE DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

    7   
 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING INVESTMENT TECHNIQUES AND POLICIES

    7   
 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING PRINCIPAL RISKS

    8   
 

UNDERLYING INDEX LICENSORS

    13   
 

HOW TO BUY AND SELL SHARES

    13   
 

ABOUT YOUR INVESTMENT

    13   
 

CREATIONS, REDEMPTIONS AND TRANSACTION FEES

    15   
 

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

    17   
 

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

    18   
 

OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS

    18   
 

DISTRIBUTIONS

    18   
 

TAXES

    18   
 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

    21   
 

PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION

    22   
 

MORE INFORMATION

    Back Cover   


SUMMARY OF DIREXION SHARES

 

 

Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares

Important Information Regarding the Fund

The Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares (the “Fund”) seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the price and yield performance of the Zacks MLP Index.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy or hold shares of the Fund (“Shares”). Investors purchasing Shares in the secondary market may pay costs (including customary brokerage commissions) charged by their broker.

Annual Fund Operating Expenses(1) (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)

 

Management Fees

     0.60%   

Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees

     0.00%   

Other Expenses of the Fund

     0.63%   

Deferred Income Tax Expenses(2)

     0.98%   
  

 

 

 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

     2.21%   

Expense Cap/Reimbursement

     –0.58%   
  

 

 

 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Expense Cap/Reimbursement

     1.63%   
  

 

 

 

 

(1)   

Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“Rafferty” or the “Adviser”) has entered into an Operating Expense Limitation Agreement with the Fund. Under the Operating Expense Limitation Agreement, Rafferty has contractually agreed to cap all or a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse the Fund for Other Expenses through September 1, 2016, to the extent that the Fund’s Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses exceed 0.65% of the Fund’s daily net assets (excluding, as applicable, among other expenses, taxes, including deferred tax expenses, leverage interest, acquired fund fees and expenses, dividends or interest on short positions, other interest expenses, brokerage commissions, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization and extraordinary expenses such as litigation). Any expense cap is subject to reimbursement by the Fund within the following three years only if overall expenses fall below these percentage limitations. This agreement may be terminated or revised at any time with the consent of the Board of Trustees.

(2)   

The Fund is classified for federal income tax purposes as a taxable regular corporation or so-called Subchapter ‘‘C’’ corporation. As a ‘‘C’’ corporation, the Fund accrues deferred tax liability for its future tax liability associated with the capital appreciation of its investments and the distributions received by the Fund on equity securities of master limited partnerships considered to be a return of capital and for any net operating gains. The Fund’s accrued deferred tax liability, if any, is reflected each day in the Fund’s net asset value per share. The deferred income tax expense/(benefit) represents an estimate of the Fund’s potential tax expense/(benefit) if it were to recognize the unrealized gains/(losses) in the portfolio. An estimate of deferred income tax expense/(benefit) is dependent upon the Fund’s net investment income/(loss) and realized and unrealized gains/(losses) on investments and such expenses may vary greatly from year to year and from day to day depending on the nature of the Fund’s investments, the performance of those investments and general market conditions. Therefore, any estimate of deferred income tax expense/(benefit) cannot be reliably predicted from year to year. For the fiscal period from January 23, 2014 through October 31, 2014, the Fund had net operating gains of $613,735 and accrued $199,494 in net deferred tax expense primarily related to realized gain on investments.

Expense Example

The example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your Shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year   3 Years   5 Years   10 Years

 

$166   $635   $1,132   $2,499

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. For the period January 23, 2014 through October 31, 2014, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 92% of the average value of its portfolio.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund, under normal circumstances, invests at least 80% of its net assets in the securities that comprise the Zacks MLP Index (“Index”).

The Index is comprised of approximately 25 securities selected, based on investment and other criteria, from a

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       1    

 

 


universe of master limited partnerships (“MLPs”) listed on domestic exchanges. MLPs are publicly traded partnerships generally engaged in the transportation, storage, processing, refining, marketing, exploration, production, and mining of minerals and natural resources. By confining their operations to these specific activities, their interests, or units, are able to trade on public securities exchanges exactly like the shares of a corporation, without entity level taxation. As such, the Fund will invest primarily in energy infrastructure MLPs which are engaged in the (i) gathering, transporting, processing, treating, terminalling, storing, refining, distributing, mining or marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, refined products or coal, (ii) the acquisition, exploitation and development of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, (iii) processing, treating, and refining of natural gas liquids and crude oil, and (iv) owing, managing and transporting alternative fuels such as ethanol, hydrogen and biodiesel.

The MLPs are selected using a proprietary, quantitative rules-based methodology developed by Zacks Investment Research, Inc. (“Zacks” or the “Index Provider”). The constituent selection methodology was developed by Zacks as a quantitative approach to identify those companies that may offer the greatest yield potential.

MLPs considered for inclusion in the Index generally, at the time of selection, pay a distribution and are listed on at least one domestic stock exchange. Zacks further narrows the universe by ranking each potential constituent based on a variety of factors including dividend yield, liquidity and relative value. Generally, the Index will not include MLPs that do not regularly pay distributions. The 25 highest ranking constituents are then chosen and are equally weighted so that each makes up approximately 4% of the Index. The Index is rebalanced at least quarterly, but may be rebalanced more often to ensure timely stock selections. Of the 25 partnerships eligible for inclusion in the Index, approximately 20 trade on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and the rest trade on the NASDAQ.

The Fund will concentrate its investment (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets in the stocks of a particular industry or group of industries) in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent as the Index is so concentrated.

Although the Fund intends to fully replicate the Index, the Fund may gain exposure to only a representative sample of the securities in the Index that have aggregate characteristics similar to those of the Index. The Fund gains this exposure by directly investing in the underlying securities of the Index, investing in exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) and other investment companies, The Fund seeks to remain fully invested at all times consistent with its stated investment objective. The Fund repositions its portfolio in response to assets flowing into or out of the Fund. To the extent the Fund experiences regular purchases or redemptions of Shares, it may reposition its portfolio more frequently. Additionally, the impact of the Index’s movements will affect whether the Fund’s portfolio needs to be re-positioned. For example, if the Index has added or removed a security, the Fund’s portfolio may have to be re-positioned to account for this change to the Index. These re-positioning strategies typically result in high portfolio turnover.

Principal Investment Risks

An investment in the Fund entails risk. The Fund could lose money or its performance could trail that of other investment alternatives. The Adviser cannot guarantee that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. In addition, the Fund presents some risks not traditionally associated with most investment companies and other ETFs. It is important that investors closely review all of the risks listed below and understand how these risks interrelate before making an investment in the Fund. Turbulence in financial markets and reduced liquidity in equity, credit and fixed income markets could negatively affect issuers worldwide, including the Fund. There is the risk that you could lose all or a portion of your money invested in the Fund.

Important Tax Risks Associated with the Fund’s Investment in MLPs

 

MLP Tax Risk

Much of the benefit the Fund derives from its investment in securities of MLPs is a result of MLPs generally being treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Partnerships do not pay U.S. federal income tax at the partnership level. Rather, each partner is allocated a share of the partnership’s income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses. A change in current tax law, or a change in the business of a given MLP, could result in an MLP being treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, the amount of cash available for distribution by the MLP would be reduced and the after-tax return to the Fund with respect to its investment in such MLPs would be materially reduced. Thus, if any of the MLPs owned by the Fund were treated as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes, it could result in a reduction in the value of your investment in the Fund and lower income.

 

Tax Deferred Risk

Cash distributions from an MLP to the Fund that exceed the Fund’s allocable share of such MLP’s net taxable income are considered a tax-deferred return of capital that will reduce the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the securities of the MLP. These reductions in the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the MLP

 

    2       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


securities will increase the amount of gain (or decrease the amount of loss) recognized by the Fund on a subsequent sale of the securities. The Fund will accrue deferred income taxes for any future tax liability associated with (i) that portion of MLP distributions considered to be a tax-deferred return of capital and for any net operating gains, as well as (ii) capital appreciation of its investments. The Fund’s accrued deferred tax liability will be reflected each day in the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”). Increases in deferred tax liability will decrease NAV. Conversely, decreases in deferred tax liability will increase NAV. The Fund generally computes deferred income tax liability based on the maximum federal tax rate applicable to corporations, currently 35% and an assumed rate attributable to state taxes. A change in the federal tax rate applicable to corporations and, consequently, any change in the deferred tax liability of the Fund, may have a significant impact on the NAV of the Fund. The Fund’s current and deferred tax liability, if any, will depend upon the Fund’s net investment income gains and losses and realized and unrealized gains and losses on investments and therefore may vary greatly from year to year depending on the nature of the Fund’s investments, the performance of these investments and general market conditions. The Fund will rely to some extent on information provided by the MLPs, which may not be timely, to estimate deferred tax liability for purposes of financial statement reporting and determining NAV. From time to time, the Adviser may modify the estimates or assumptions regarding the Fund’s deferred tax liability as new information becomes available. The Fund’s estimates regarding its deferred tax liability are made in good faith; however, the daily estimate of the Fund’s deferred tax liability used to calculate the Fund’s NAV could vary dramatically from the Fund’s actual tax liability. Actual income taxes, if any, will be incurred over many years depending on if, and when, investment gains and losses are realized, the then current basis of the Fund’s assets and other factors. Upon the sale of an MLP security, the Fund may be liable for previously deferred taxes. As a result, the determination of the Fund’s actual tax liability may have a material impact on the Fund’s NAV.

In the event the Fund is in a net deferred tax asset position, the Fund will evaluate all available information and consider the criterion established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board Codification Topic 740, Income Taxes (formerly Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 109) in order to properly assess whether it is more likely than not that the deferred tax asset will be realized or whether a valuation allowance is required.

 

Tax Status of the Fund Risk

The Fund is treated as a regular corporation, or “C” corporation, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. This differs from most investment companies, which elect to be treated as “regulated investment companies” under the Code in order to avoid paying entity level income taxes. Under current law, the Fund is not eligible to elect treatment as a regulated investment company due to its investments primarily in MLPs. Accordingly, the Fund is subject to U.S. federal income tax on its taxable income at the graduated rates applicable to corporations (currently at a maximum rate of 35%) as well as state and local income taxes. The Fund expects that a portion of the distributions it receives from MLPs may be treated as a tax-deferred return of capital, thus reducing the Fund’s current tax liability. However, the amount of taxes currently paid by the Fund will vary depending on the amount of income and gains derived from investments and/or sales of MLP interests and such taxes will reduce your return from an investment in the Fund.

 

Tax Treatment of Capital Distributions Risk

A portion of the Fund’s distributions are expected to be treated as a return of capital for tax purposes. Returns of capital distribution are not taxable income to you but reduce your tax basis in your Shares. Such a reduction in tax basis will generally result in larger taxable gains and/or lower tax losses on a subsequent sale of Shares. A distribution in excess of your basis will be taxable in the same manner as a sale of your Shares. Shareholders who periodically receive the payment of dividends or other distributions consisting of a return of capital may be under the impression that they are receiving net profits from the Fund when, in fact, they are not. Shareholders should not assume that the source of distributions is from the net profits of the Fund.

 

Tax Treatment of Qualified Dividends Risk

Distributions by the Fund will be treated as dividends for tax purposes to the extent of the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits. Under current federal income tax law, if applicable holding period requirements are met, qualified dividend income received by individuals and other non-corporate shareholders is taxed at long-term capital gain rates, which currently reach a maximum of 15% (20% for taxpayers with taxable income exceeding certain thresholds).

Risks

 

Adverse Market Conditions Risk

Because the Fund attempts to track the performance of the Index, its performance will suffer during conditions in which the Index declines.

 

Early Close/Trading Halt Risk

An exchange or market may close or issue trading halts on specific securities, or the ability to buy or sell certain

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       3    

 

 


securities may be restricted, which may result in the Fund being unable to buy or sell certain securities. In such circumstances, the Fund may be unable to rebalance its portfolio, may be unable to accurately price its investments and/or may incur substantial trading losses.

 

Energy Sector and MLP Risk

The Fund will invest primarily in energy infrastructure MLPs. These MLPs are subject to risks specific to the industry they serve including, but not limited to the following:

 

   

The energy sector is highly regulated. MLPs operating in the energy sector are subject to significant regulation of virtually every aspect of their operations by federal, state and local governmental agencies, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and the prices they may change for the products and services they provide.

   

MLPs in the energy sector may be affected by fluctuations in the prices of energy commodities, including natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil and coal.

   

MLPs engaged in the exploration, development, management or production of energy commodities are at risk of the natural resources depleting over time, which may cause the market value of the MLP to decline over time.

   

The MLPs operating in the energy sector may be adversely affected by reductions in the supply or demand for energy commodities.

   

MLPs in the energy sector may be subject to various operational risks, such as disruption of operations, inability to timely and effectively integrate newly acquired assets, unanticipated operation and maintenance expenses, underestimated cost projections, and other risks arising from specific business strategies.

   

Rising interest rates could adversely impact the financial performance of these companies by increasing their costs of capital, which may reduce an MLP’s ability to execute acquisitions or expansion products in a cost-effective manner.

   

Extreme weather or other natural disasters could adversely impact the value of the debt and equity securities of the MLPs operating in the energy sector in which the Fund invests.

   

Threats of attacks by terrorists on energy assets could impact the market for MLPs operating in the energy sector.

   

If a significant accident or event occurs and an MLP is not fully insured, it could adversely affect an MLP’s operations and financial condition and the securities issued by the MLP.

 

Index Correlation/Tracking Risk

There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve a high degree of correlation to the Index and therefore achieve its investment objective. To achieve a high degree of correlation with the Index, the Fund seeks to rebalance its portfolio to remain consistent with its investment objective. The Fund may have difficulty achieving its investment objective due to fees, expenses, transactions costs, valuation methodology, accounting standards and disruptions or illiquidity in the markets for the securities held by the Fund. Market disruptions, regulatory restrictions or extreme volatility will also adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. The Fund may not have investment exposure to all securities in the Index, or its weighting of investment exposure to such stocks or industries may be different from that of the Index. In addition, the Fund may invest in securities not included in the Index. The possibility of the Fund being materially over- or under-exposed to its Index increases on days when the Index is volatile near the close of the trading day. Activities surrounding periodic index reconstitutions and other index rebalancing or reconstitution events may hinder the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective.

 

Market Risk

The Fund is subject to market risks that can affect the value of its shares. These risks include political, regulatory, market and economic developments, including developments that impact specific economic sectors, industries or segments of the market.

 

MLP Liquidity Risk

Although MLPs trade on national security exchanges, certain MLPs may trade less frequently than those of larger companies due to their market capitalizations. Due to limited trading volumes of certain MLPs, the prices of such MLPs may display abrupt or erratic movements at times. Additionally, it may be more difficult for the Fund to buy and sell significant amounts of such securities without an unfavorable impact on prevailing market prices. The Fund’s investment in securities that are less actively traded or over time experience decreased trading volume may restrict its ability to dispose of the securities at a fair price. Such a situation may prevent the Fund from limiting losses, realizing gains or achieving a high correlation with the Index. This also may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to make dividend distributions to shareholders.

 

MLP Risk

Investments in common units of MLPs involve risks that differ from investments in common stock. Holders of MLP common units are subject to certain risks inherent in the structure of MLPs, including (i) tax risks, (ii) risk related to limited control of management or the general partner or managing member, (iii) limited rights to vote on matters affecting the MLP, except with respect to extraordinary

 

    4       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


transactions, (iv) conflicts of interest between the general partner or managing member and its affiliates, on the one hand, and the limited partners or members, on the other hand, including those arising from incentive distribution payments or corporate opportunities, and (v) cash flow risks. MLP common units and other equity securities can be affected by macro-economic and other factors affecting the stock market in general, expectations of interest rates, investor sentiment towards MLPs or the energy sector, changes in a particular issuer’s financial condition, or unfavorable or unanticipated poor performance of a particular issuer (in the case of MLPs, generally measured in terms of distributable cash flow). Prices of common units of individual MLPs and other equity securities also can be affected by fundamentals unique to the partnership or company, including cash flow growth, cash generating power and distribution coverage.

 

Money Market Instrument Risk

The Fund may use a variety of money market instruments for cash management purposes, including money market funds, depositary accounts and repurchase agreements. Money market funds may be subject to credit risk with respect to the short-term debt instruments in which they invest. Depository accounts may be subject to credit risk with respect to the financial institution in which the depository account is held. Repurchase agreements are contracts in which a seller of securities agrees to buy the securities back at a specified time and price. Repurchase agreements may be subject to market and credit risk related to the collateral securing the repurchase agreement. There is no guarantee that money market instruments will maintain a stable value, and they may lose money.

 

Non-Diversification Risk

The Fund is non-diversified, which means it invests a high percentage of its assets in a limited number of securities. A non-diversified fund’s NAV and total return may fluctuate more or fall greater in times of weaker markets than a conventional diversified fund.

 

Potential Substantial After-Tax Correlation/Tracking Risk

The Fund will be subject to taxation on its taxable income. The Fund’s NAV will also be reduced by the accrual of any deferred tax liabilities. The Index, however, is calculated without any deductions for taxes. As a result, the Fund’s after-tax performance could differ significantly from the performance of the Index even if the pretax performance of the Fund and the performance of the Index are closely correlated.

 

Regulatory Risk

The Fund is subject to the risk that a change in U.S. law and related regulations will impact the way the Fund operates, increase the particular costs of the Fund’s operations and/or change the competitive landscape.

Additionally, MLPs are subject to significant federal, state and local government regulation in virtually every aspect of their operations, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and the prices they may charge for the products and services they provide. Various governmental authorities have the power to enforce compliance with these regulations and the permits issued under them, and violators are subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, including civil fines, injunctions or both. For example, many state and federal environmental laws provide for civil penalties as well as regulatory remediation, thus adding to the potential liability an MLP may face. More extensive laws, regulations or enforcement policies could be enacted in the future which would likely increase compliance costs and may adversely affect the financial performance of MLPs.

 

Replication Strategy Risk

The Fund may be exposed to additional market risk because of its investment strategy of investing principally in the securities included in the Index. As a result, securities held by the Fund will generally not be bought or sold in response to market fluctuations and may be concentrated in a particular industry if the Index is so concentrated. Therefore, the Fund will generally not sell a security because its issuer is in financial trouble, unless that security is removed or is anticipated to be removed from the Index.

 

Risk of Cash Transactions

Unlike many ETFs, the Fund expects to effect redemptions principally for cash, rather than in-kind. Other ETFs generally are able to make in-kind redemptions and avoid realized gains in connection with transactions designed to meet redemption requests. Because the Fund may effect redemptions principally for cash, rather than in-kind distributions, it may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute the redemption proceeds. Such cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees. These brokerage fees, which will be higher than if the Fund redeemed its Shares in–kind, will be passed on to redeemers of creation units in the form of redemption transaction fees. In addition, these factors may result in wider spreads between the bid and the offered prices of the Fund’s Shares than for more conventional ETFs. Sales of portfolio securities to generate cash may trigger recapture income, which may

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       5    

 

 


be taxable to the Fund and may cause distributions from the Fund to be treated as taxable dividends.

 

Special Risks of Exchange-Traded Funds

Trading Issues. Trading in Shares on an exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of that exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable, such as extraordinary market volatility or other reasons. There can be no assurance that Shares will continue to meet the listing requirements of the exchange on which it trades, and the listing requirements may be amended from time to time.

Market Price Variance Risk. Individual Shares of the Fund that are listed for trading on an exchange can be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in NAV and supply and demand for Shares. The Adviser cannot predict whether Shares will trade above, below or at their NAV. Given the fact that Shares can be created and redeemed in creation units, the Adviser believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of Shares should not be sustained. There may, however, be times when the market price and the NAV vary significantly and you may pay more than NAV when buying Shares on the secondary market, and you may receive less than NAV when you sell those Shares. The Fund’s investment results are measured based upon the NAV of the Fund over a period of time. Investors purchasing and selling Shares in the secondary market may not experience investment results consistent with those experienced by those creating and redeeming directly with the Fund. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for Shares of the Fund.

Fund Performance

No prior investment performance is provided for the Fund because it does not have annual returns for at least one full calendar year prior to the date of this Prospectus. Updated performance is available on the Fund’s website at www.direxioninvestments.com/etfs?producttab=performance or by calling the Fund toll free at 1-866-476-7523.

Management

Investment Adviser

Rafferty Asset Management, LLC is the Fund’s investment adviser.

Portfolio Manager

Paul Brigandi, the Fund’s Portfolio Manager, is primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund and has served in this role since the Fund’s inception in January 2014.

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

The Fund’s shares are not individually redeemable. The Fund will issue and redeem Shares for cash only to Authorized Participants in large blocks, known as creation units, each of which is comprised of 50,000 Shares. Retail investors may only purchase and sell Fund Shares on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer and may incur brokerage costs. Because the Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount).

Tax Information

The Fund intends to make distributions that may be taxed as ordinary income (qualified dividend income for certain non-corporate shareholders who satisfy certain restrictions). Those distributions will be subject to federal income taxes and may also be subject to state and local taxes. A portion of the Fund’s distributions is also expected to be treated as a return of capital for tax purposes. Return of capital distributions are not taxable to you, but reduce your tax basis in your fund Shares. Distributions by the Fund may be significantly higher than those of most ETFs.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase Shares through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank or financial advisor), the Fund and/or the Adviser may pay the intermediary for educational programs, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems or other administrative services related to the Fund. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

    6       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


OVERVIEW OF THE DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

 

 

The Direxion Shares ETF Trust (“Trust”) is a registered investment company offering a number of separate exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”). This Prospectus describes the Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares (the “Fund”). Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“Rafferty” or “Adviser”) serves as the investment adviser to the Fund.

Shares of the Fund (“Shares”) are listed on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”). When Shares are listed and traded on the Exchange, the market prices for the Shares may be different from the intra-day value of the Shares disseminated by the Exchange and from their net asset value (“NAV”). Unlike conventional mutual funds, Shares are not individually redeemable securities. Rather, the Fund issues and redeems Shares on a continuous basis at NAV only in large blocks of Shares called “Creation Units.” A Creation Unit consists of 50,000 Shares. Creation Units are issued and redeemed generally in cash.

Shares may only be purchased from or redeemed with the Fund in Creation Units. As a result, retail investors generally will not be able to purchase or redeem Shares directly from or with the Fund. Most retail investors will purchase or sell Shares in the secondary market with the assistance of a broker. Thus, some of the information contained in this Prospectus, such as information about purchasing and redeeming Shares from or with the Fund and all references to the transaction fee imposed on purchases and redemptions, is not relevant to retail investors.

The Fund seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the price and yield performance of the Zacks MLP Index (the “Index”).

There is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective and an investment in the Fund could lose money. The Fund is not a complete investment program.

Changes in Investment Objective. The Fund’s investment objective is not a fundamental policy and may be changed by the Fund’s Board of Trustees without shareholder approval.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING INVESTMENT TECHNIQUES AND POLICIES

 

The Fund seeks, after fees and expenses, 100% of the return of the Index. The Index is comprised of 25 master limited partnerships (“MLPs”).

A MLP consists of a general partner and limited partners (or in the case of MLPs organized as limited liability companies, a managing member and members). The general partner or managing member typically controls the operations and management of the MLP and has an ownership stake in the MLP. The limited partners or members, through their ownership of limited partner or member interests, provide capital to the entity, are intended to have no role in the operation and management of the entity and receive cash distributions. The Fund will be a limited partner (or a member) in the MLPs in which it invests. The MLPs themselves generally do not pay United States federal income taxes; however, the Fund will be taxed on any distributions it receives from the MLPs in which it invests. Thus, unlike investors in corporate securities, direct MLP investors are generally not subject to double taxation (i.e., corporate level tax and tax on corporate dividends). To qualify as an MLP and to not be taxed as a corporation, a partnership must receive at least 90% of its income from qualifying sources as set forth in Section 7704(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). These qualifying sources include natural resource-based activities such as the processing, transportation and storage of mineral or natural resources.

In general, if the Fund is performing as designed, the return of the Index will dictate the return for the Fund. The Fund generally pursues its investment objective regardless of the market conditions and does not take defensive positions.

Rafferty seeks a pre-tax correlation over time of 0.95 or better between the Fund’s performance and the performance of the Index; a correlation of 1.00 would represent perfect correlation. To do this, the Fund generally may hold a representative sample of the component securities of the Index. The sampling of securities that is held by the Fund is intended to maintain high correlation with, and similar aggregate characteristics (e.g., market capitalization and industry weightings) to, the Index. The Fund also may invest in securities that are not included in the Index or may overweight or underweight certain components of the Index. The Fund’s assets will be focused in an industry or group of industries to the extent that the Index focuses in a particular industry or group of industries. In addition, the Fund is non-diversified, which means that it may invest in the securities of a limited number of issuers.

The Fund is designed to provide investment returns, before fees and expenses, that track the performance of the Index. While Rafferty attempts to minimize any differences between the investment results of the Fund and the performance of the Index, certain factors will tend to cause the Fund’s investment results to vary from its stated investment

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       7    

 

 


objective. The Fund may have difficulty achieving its investment objective due to fees, expenses, transactions costs, income items, valuation methodology, accounting standards, significant purchase and redemption activity by shareholders and/or disruptions or temporary lack of liquidity in the markets for the securities held by the Fund.

The intra-day value of the Fund’s shares, otherwise known as the “intraday indicative value” or “IIV,” which is disseminated by the Exchange every 15 seconds throughout the business day, is based on the current market value of the securities and cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit on the prior business day. The IIV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund at a particular point in time, nor the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IIV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the Fund’s NAV, which is computed only once a day.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING PRINCIPAL RISKS

 

An investment in the Fund entails risks. The Fund could lose money, or its performance could trail that of other investment alternatives. Rafferty cannot guarantee that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. In addition, the Fund presents some risks not traditionally associated with most mutual funds and ETFs. It is important that investors closely review and understand these risks before making an investment in the Fund. Turbulence in financial markets and reduced liquidity in equity, credit and fixed income markets could negatively affect issuers worldwide, including the Fund. Below, each risk of investing in the Fund is explained.

Important Tax Risks Associated with the Fund’s Investment in MLPs

 

MLP Tax Risk

Much of the benefit the Fund derives from its investment in securities of MLPs is a result of MLPs generally being treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Partnerships do not pay U.S. federal income tax at the partnership level. Rather, each partner is allocated a share of the partnership’s income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses. A change in current tax law, or a change in the business of a given MLP, could result in an MLP being treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, the amount of cash available for distribution by the MLP would be reduced and the after-tax return to the Fund with respect to its investment in such MLPs would be materially reduced. Thus, if any of the MLPs owned by the Fund were treated as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes, it could result in a reduction in the value of your investment in the Fund and lower income.

 

Tax Deferred Risk

Cash distributions from an MLP to the Fund that exceed the Fund’s allocable share of such MLP’s net taxable income are considered a tax-deferred return of capital that will reduce the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the securities of the MLP. These reductions in the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the MLP securities will increase the amount of gain (or decrease the amount of loss) recognized by the Fund on a subsequent sale of the securities. The Fund will accrue deferred income taxes for any future tax liability associated with (i) that portion of MLP distributions considered to be a tax-deferred return of capital and for any net operating gains, as well as (ii) capital appreciation of its investments. The Fund’s accrued deferred tax liability will be reflected each day in the Fund’s NAV. Increases in deferred tax liability will decrease NAV. Conversely, decreases in deferred tax liability will increase NAV. The Fund generally computes deferred income taxes based on the federal tax rate applicable to corporations, currently 35% and an assumed rate attributable to state taxes. A change in the federal tax rate applicable to corporations and, consequently, any change in the deferred tax liability of the Fund, may have a significant impact on the NAV of the Fund. The Fund’s current and deferred tax liability, if any, will depend upon the Fund’s net investment income gains and losses and realized and unrealized gains and losses on investments and therefore may vary greatly from year to year depending on the nature of the Fund’s investments, the performance of these investments and general market conditions. The Fund will rely to some extent on information provided by the MLPs, which may not be timely, to estimate deferred tax liability for purposes of financial statement reporting and determining NAV. From time to time, the Adviser may modify the estimates or assumptions regarding the Fund’s deferred tax liability as new information becomes available. The Fund’s estimates regarding its deferred tax liability are made in good faith; however, the daily estimate of the Fund’s deferred tax liability used to calculate the Fund’s NAV could vary dramatically from the Fund’s actual tax liability. Actual income taxes, if any, will be incurred over many years depending on if, and when, investment gains and losses are realized, the then current basis of the Fund’s assets and other factors. Upon the sale of an MLP security, the Fund may be liable for previously deferred taxes. As a result, the determination of the Fund’s actual tax liability may have a material impact on the Fund’s NAV.

In the event the Fund is in a net deferred tax asset position, the Fund will evaluate all available information and consider

 

    8       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


the criterion established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board Codification Topic 740, Income Taxes (formerly Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 109) in order to properly assess whether it is more likely than not that the deferred tax asset will be realized or whether a valuation allowance is required.

 

Tax Status of the Fund Risk

The Fund is treated as a regular corporation, or “C” corporation, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. This differs from most investment companies, which elect to be treated as “regulated investment companies” under the Code in order to avoid paying entity level income taxes. Under current law, the Fund is not eligible to elect treatment as a regulated investment company due to its investments primarily in MLPs. Accordingly, the Fund is subject to U.S. federal income tax on its taxable income at the graduated rates applicable to corporations (currently at a maximum rate of 35%) as well as state and local income taxes. The Fund expects that a portion of the distributions it receives from MLPs may be treated as a tax-deferred return of capital, thus reducing the Fund’s current tax liability. However, the amount of taxes currently paid by the Fund will vary depending on the amount of income and gains derived from investments and/or sales of MLP interests and such taxes will reduce your return from an investment in the Fund.

 

Tax Treatment of Capital Distributions Risk

A portion of the Fund’s distributions are expected to be treated as a return of capital for tax purposes. Returns of capital distribution are not taxable income to you but reduce your tax basis in your Shares. Such a reduction in tax basis will generally result in larger taxable gains and/or lower tax losses on a subsequent sale of Shares. A distribution in excess of your basis will be taxable in the same manner as a sale of your Shares. Shareholders who periodically receive the payment of dividends or other distributions consisting of a return of capital may be under the impression that they are receiving net profits from the Fund when, in fact, they are not. Shareholders should not assume that the source of distributions is from the net profits of the Fund.

 

Tax Treatment of Qualified Dividends Risk

Distributions by the Fund will be treated as dividends for tax purposes to the extent of the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits. Under current federal income tax law, if applicable holding period requirements are met, qualified dividend income received by individuals and other non- corporate shareholders is taxed at long-term capital gain rates, which currently reach a maximum of 15% (20% for taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $400,000 or $450, 000 if married filing jointly).

Risks

 

Adverse Market Conditions Risk

The performance of the Fund is designed to correlate to the performance of the Index. As a consequence, the Fund’s performance will suffer during conditions which are adverse to its investment objective. For example, if the Index has fallen over a given period, the Fund’s performance also should fall. Conversely, if the Index has risen on a given day, the Fund’s performance should rise.

 

Early Close/Trading Halt Risk

An exchange or market may close or issue trading halts on specific securities, or the ability to buy or sell certain securities may be restricted, which may result in the Fund being unable to buy or sell certain securities. In such circumstances, the Fund may be unable to rebalance its portfolio, may be unable to accurately price its investments and/or may incur substantial trading losses.

 

Energy Sector and MLP Risk

The will invest primarily in energy infrastructure MLPs which are engaged in the (i) gathering, transporting, processing, treating, terminalling, storing, refining, distributing, mining or marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, refined products or coal, (ii) the acquisition, exploitation and development of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, (iii) processing, treating, and refining of natural gas liquids and crude oil, (iv) owing, managing and transporting alternative fuels such as ethanol, hydrogen and biodiesel. These MLPs are subject to risks specific to the industry they serve including, but not limited to the following:

 

   

The energy sector is highly regulated. MLPs operating in the energy sector are subject to significant regulation of virtually every aspect of their operations by federal, state and local governmental agencies, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and the prices they may change for the products and services they provide.

   

MLPs in the energy sector may be affected by fluctuations in the prices of energy commodities, including natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil and coal.

   

MLPs engaged in the exploration, development, management or production of energy commodities are at risk of the natural resources depleting over time, which may cause the market value of the MLP to decline over time.

   

The MLPs operating in the energy sector may be adversely affected by reductions in the supply or demand for energy commodities.

   

MLPs in the energy sector may be subject to various operational risks, such as disruption of operations,

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       9    

 

 


 

inability to timely and effectively integrate newly acquired assets, unanticipated operation and maintenance expenses, underestimated cost projections, and other risks arising from specific business strategies.

   

Rising interest rates could adversely impact the financial performance of these companies by increasing their costs of capital, which may reduce an MLP’s ability to execute acquisitions or expansion products in a cost-effective manner.

   

Extreme weather or other natural disasters could adversely impact the value of the debt and equity securities of the MLPs operating in the energy sector in which the Fund invests.

   

Threats of attacks by terrorists on energy assets could impact the market for MLPs operating in the energy sector.

   

If a significant accident or event occurs and an MLP is not fully insured, it could adversely affect an MLP’s operations and financial condition and the securities issued by the MLP.

 

Index Correlation/Tracking Risk

There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve a high degree of correlation to the Index and therefore achieve its investment objective. To achieve a high degree of correlation with the Index, the Fund seeks to rebalance its portfolio to remain consistent with its investment objective. The Fund may have difficulty achieving its investment objective due to fees, expenses, transactions costs, income items, valuation methodology, accounting standards and disruptions or illiquidity in the markets for the securities held by the Fund. Market disruptions, regulatory restrictions or extreme volatility will also adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. The Fund may not have investment exposure to all securities in its underlying Index, or its weighting of investment exposure to such stocks or industries may be different from that of the Index. In addition, the Fund may invest in securities not included in the underlying Index. The possibility of the Fund being materially over- or under-exposed to its Index increases on days when the Index is volatile near the close of the trading day. Activities surrounding periodic index reconstitutions and other index rebalancing or reconstitution events may hinder the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective.

 

Market Risk

The Fund is subject to market risks that can affect the value of its shares. These risks include political, regulatory, market and economic developments, including developments that impact specific economic sectors, industries or segments of the market. The Fund typically would lose value on a day when the Index declines and would gain value on a day when the Index increases.

Turbulence in the financial markets and reduced liquidity in equity, credit and fixed-income markets may negatively affect issuers worldwide, which could have an adverse effect on each Fund. Following the financial crisis that began in 2007, the Federal Reserve has attempted to stabilize the U.S. economy and support the U.S. economic recovery by keeping the federal funds rate at or near zero percent. When the Federal Reserve raises the federal funds rate, there is a risk that interest rates across the U.S. financial system will rise. These policy changes may expose markets to heightened volatility and may reduce liquidity for certain Fund investments, causing the value of the Fund’s investments and share price to decline.

 

MLP Liquidity Risk

Although MLPs trade on national security exchanges, certain MLPs may trade less frequently than those of larger companies due to their market capitalizations. Due to limited trading volumes of certain MLPs, the prices of such MLPs may display abrupt or erratic movements at times. Additionally, it may be more difficult for the Fund to buy and sell significant amounts of such securities without an unfavorable impact on prevailing market prices. The Fund’s investment in securities that are less actively traded or over time experience decreased trading volume may restrict its ability to dispose of the securities at a fair price. Such a situation may prevent the Fund from limiting losses, realizing gains or achieving a high correlation with the Index. This also may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to make dividend distributions to shareholders.

 

MLP Risk

Investments in common units of MLPs involve risks that differ from investments in common stock. Holders of MLP common units are subject to certain risks inherent in the structure of MLPs, including (i) tax risks, (ii) risk related to limited control of management or the general partner or managing member, (iii) limited rights to vote on matters affecting the MLP, except with respect to extraordinary transactions, (iv) conflicts of interest between the general partner or managing member and its affiliates, on the one hand, and the limited partners or members, on the other hand, including those arising from incentive distribution payments or corporate opportunities, and (v) cash flow risks. MLP common units and other equity securities can be affected by macro-economic and other factors affecting the stock market in general, expectations of interest rates, investor sentiment towards MLPs or the energy sector, changes in a particular issuer’s financial condition, or unfavorable or unanticipated poor performance of a particular issuer (in the case of MLPs, generally measured in terms of distributable cash flow). Prices of common units of individual MLPs and other equity securities also can be

 

    10       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


affected by fundamentals unique to the partnership or company, including cash flow growth, cash generating power and distribution coverage.

 

Money Market Instrument Risk

The Fund may use a variety of money market instruments for cash management purposes, including money market funds, depositary accounts and repurchase agreements. Money market funds may be subject to credit risk with respect to the short-term debt instruments in which they invest. Depository accounts may be subject to credit risk with respect to the financial institution in which the depository account is held. Repurchase agreements are contracts in which a seller of securities agrees to buy the securities back at a specified time and price. Repurchase agreements may be subject to market and credit risk related to the collateral securing the repurchase agreement. There is no guarantee that money market instruments will maintain a stable value, and they may lose money.

 

Non-Diversification Risk

The Fund is non-diversified. A non-diversified fund invests a high percentage of its assets in a limited number of securities. A non-diversified fund’s NAV and total return may fluctuate more or fall greater in times of weaker markets than a diversified mutual fund because the Fund may invest its assets in a smaller number of issuers or may invest a larger proportion of its assets in a single issuer. As a result, the gains or losses on a single investment may have a greater impact on the Fund’s NAV and may make the Fund more volatile than more diversified funds.

 

Potential Substantial After-Tax Correlation/Tracking Risk

The Fund will be subject to taxation on its taxable income. The Fund’s NAV will also be reduced by the accrual of any deferred tax liabilities. The Index, however, is calculated without any deductions for taxes. As a result, the Fund’s after tax performance could differ significantly from the performance of the Index even if the pretax performance of the Fund and the performance of the Index are closely correlated.

 

Regulatory Risk

The Fund is subject to the risk that a change in U.S. law and related regulations will impact the way the Fund operates, increase the particular costs of the Fund’s operations and/or change the competitive landscape.

Additional legislative or regulatory changes could occur that may materially and adversely affect the Funds. For example, the regulatory environment for derivative instruments in which the Fund may invest is evolving, and changes in the regulation or taxation of derivative instruments may materially and adversely affect the ability of the Funds to pursue their trading strategies. Such legislative or regulatory changes could pose additional risks and result in material adverse consequences to the Funds.

Additionally, MLPs are subject to significant federal, state and local government regulation in virtually every aspect of their operations, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and the prices they may charge for the products and services they provide. Various governmental authorities have the power to enforce compliance with these regulations and the permits issued under them, and violators are subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, including civil fines, injunctions or both. For example, many state and federal environmental laws provide for civil penalties as well as regulatory remediation, thus adding to the potential liability an MLP may face. More extensive laws, regulations or enforcement policies could be enacted in the future which would likely increase compliance costs and may adversely affect the financial performance of MLPs.

 

Replication Strategy Risk

The Fund may be exposed to additional market risk because of its investment strategy of investing principally in the securities included in the Index its tracks. As a result, securities held by the Fund will generally not be bought or sold in response to market fluctuations and may be concentrated in a particular industry if the Index is so concentrated. Therefore, the Fund will generally not sell a security because its issuer is in financial trouble, unless that security is removed or is anticipated to be removed from the underlying index.

 

Risk of Cash Transactions

Unlike many ETFs, the Fund expects to effect redemptions principally for cash, rather than in-kind. Other ETFs generally are able to make in-kind redemptions and avoid realized gains in connection with transactions designed to meet redemption requests. Because the Fund may effect redemptions principally for cash, rather than in-kind distributions, it may be required to sell portfolio securities in order to obtain the cash needed to distribute the redemption proceeds. Such cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees. These brokerage fees, which will be higher than if the Fund redeemed its Shares in-kind, will be passed on to redeemers of Creation Units in the form of redemption transaction fees. In addition, these factors may result in wider spreads between the bid and the offered prices of the Fund’s Shares than for more conventional ETFs. Sales of portfolio securities to generate cash may trigger recapture income, which may

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       11    

 

 


be taxable to the Fund and may cause distributions from the Fund to be treated as taxable dividends.

 

Special Risks of Exchange-Traded Funds

Trading Issues. Trading in Shares on the Exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable, such as extraordinary market volatility or other reasons. There can be no assurance that Shares will continue to meet the listing requirements of the Exchange, and the listing requirements may be amended from time to time.

Market Price Variance Risk. Individual Shares that are listed for trading on the Exchange can be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in NAV and supply and demand for Shares. The Adviser cannot predict whether Shares will trade above, below or at their NAV. Given the fact that Shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units, the Adviser believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of Shares should not be sustained. There may, however, be times when the market price and the NAV vary significantly and you may pay more than NAV when buying Shares on the secondary market, and you may receive less than NAV when you sell those Shares. The Fund’s investment results are measured based upon the daily NAV of the Fund over a period of time. Investors purchasing and selling Shares in the secondary market may not experience investment results consistent with those experienced by those creating and redeeming directly with the Fund. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for Shares.

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. THE 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 ensuring that you receive shareholder reports and other communications from the Fund. Typically, you will receive other services (e.g., average basis 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 Fund. Because new Shares may be issued on an ongoing basis, a “distribution” of 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, as amended (“Securities Act”). For example, you could be deemed a statutory underwriter if you purchase Creation Units from the 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, 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, as amended (“1940 Act”) the Fund is a series of a registered investment company, and the acquisition of Shares by other investment companies is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) thereof.

The Trust on behalf of the Fund has obtained an exemptive order from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) allowing a registered investment company to invest in the Fund 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 in amounts that would cause it to exceed the restrictions under Section 12(d)(1) should contact the Trust.

A Precautionary Note Regarding Unusual Circumstances. The Trust can 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 the Exchange is restricted, as determined by the SEC, (3) any emergency circumstances exist, as determined by the SEC, or (4) the SEC by order permits for the protection of shareholders of the Fund.

 

    12       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


UNDERLYING INDEX LICENSORS

 

 

ZACKS INVESTMENT RESEARCH, INC. (“ZACKS”) SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR INTERRUPTIONS RELATED TO THE FUND OR UNDERLYING INDEX. ZACKS MAKES NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY THE INVESTMENT ADVISER, DISTRIBUTOR OR OWNERS OF THE FUND, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY, FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDICES OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. ZACKS MAKES NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, WITH RESPECT TO THE FUND OR TO THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR TO ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL ZACKS HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) IN CONNECTION WITH THE FUND OR THE UNDERLYING INDEX, EVEN IF ZACKS IS NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

 

HOW TO BUY AND SELL SHARES

 

The Fund issues and redeems Shares only in large blocks of Shares called “Creation Units.”

Most investors will buy and sell Shares in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares that are listed for trading on the secondary market on the Exchange can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded shares. There is no minimum investment. Although Shares are generally purchased and sold in “round lots” of 50,000 Shares, brokerage firms typically permit investors to purchase or sell Shares in smaller “oddlots” at no per-share price differential.

When buying or selling Shares through a broker, you will incur customary brokerage commissions and charges, and you may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offer price in the secondary market on each leg of a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction. In addition, because secondary market transactions occur at market prices, you may pay more than NAV when you buy Shares, and receive less than NAV when you sell those Shares.

The Fund’s Exchange trading symbol is ZMLP.

Share prices are reported in dollars and cents per Share.

Investors may acquire Shares directly from the Fund, and shareholders may tender their Shares for redemption directly to the Fund, only in Creation Units, as discussed in the “Creations, Redemptions and Transaction Fees” section below. A Creation Unit consists of 50,000 Shares.

For information about acquiring Shares through a secondary market purchase, please contact your broker. If you wish to sell Shares of the Fund on the secondary market, you must do so through your broker.

Book Entry. Shares are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The DTC or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding Shares and is recognized as the owner of all Shares for all purposes.

Investors owning Shares are beneficial owners as shown on the records of the DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for all Shares. Participants in the DTC include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of Shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have Shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of Shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of Shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other stocks that you hold in book entry or “street name” through your brokerage account.

 

ABOUT YOUR INVESTMENT

 

Share Price of the Fund

A fund’s share price is known as its NAV. Each Fund’s share price is calculated as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE, usually 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (“Valuation Time”), each day the NYSE is open for business (“Business Day.”) The NYSE is open for business, Monday through Friday, except in observation of the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day , President’s Day , Good Friday, Memorial Day , July 4th, Labor Day , Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. NYSE holiday schedules are subject to change without notice.

 

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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.

The value of the Fund’s assets that trade in markets outside the United States or in currencies other than the U.S. dollar may fluctuate when foreign markets are open but the Fund is not open for business.

Share price is calculated by dividing the Fund’s net assets by its shares outstanding. In calculating its NAV, the Fund generally values its assets on the basis of market quotations, last sale prices, or estimates of value furnished by a pricing service or brokers who make markets in such instruments. If such information is not available for a security held by the Fund, is determined to be unreliable, or (to the Adviser’s knowledge) does not reflect a significant event occurring after the close of the market on which the security principally trades (but before the close of trading on the NYSE), the security will be valued at fair value estimates by the Adviser under guidelines established by the Board of Trustees. Foreign securities, currencies and other assets denominated in foreign currencies are translated into U.S. Dollars at the exchange rate of such currencies against the U.S. Dollar, as provided by an independent pricing service or reporting agency. The Fund also relies on a pricing service in circumstances where the U.S. securities markets exceed a pre-determined threshold to value foreign securities held in the Fund’s portfolio. The pricing service, its methodology or the threshold may change from time to time. Debt obligations with maturities of 60 days or less are valued at amortized cost.

 

Additional Information Regarding Deferred Tax Liability

Because the Fund is treated as a regular corporation, or “C” corporation, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the Fund will incur tax expenses. In calculating the Fund’s daily NAV, the Fund will, among other things, account for its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances. As a result, any deferred tax liability is reflected in the Fund’s daily NAV.

The Fund will accrue, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, a deferred income tax liability balance at the currently effective maximum statutory federal corporate income tax rate (currently 35%) plus an assumed state and local income tax rate, for its future tax liability associated with the capital appreciation of its investments and the distributions received by the Fund on equity securities of MLPs considered to be return of capital and for any net operating gains. The Fund’s current and deferred tax liability, if any, will depend upon the Fund’s net investment gains and losses and realized and unrealized gains and losses on investments and therefore may vary greatly from year to year depending on the nature of the Fund’s investments, the performance of those investments and general market conditions. Any deferred tax liability balance will reduce a Fund’s NAV.

The Fund also will accrue, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, a deferred tax asset balance which reflects an estimate of the Fund’s future tax benefit associated with net operating losses and unrealized losses. Any deferred tax asset balance will increase the Fund’s NAV. To the extent the Fund has a deferred tax asset balance, the Fund will assess, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, whether a valuation allowance, which would offset the value of some or all of the Fund’s deferred tax asset balance, is required. Pursuant to Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification 740 (FASB ASC 740), the Fund will assess a valuation allowance to reduce some or all of the deferred tax asset balance if, based on the weight of all available evidence, both negative and positive, it is more likely than not that some or all of the deferred tax asset will not be realized. The Fund will use judgment in considering the relative impact of negative and positive evidence. The weight given to the potential effect of negative and positive evidence will be commensurate with the extent to which such evidence can be objectively verified. The Fund’s assessment considers, among other matters, the nature, frequency and severity of current and cumulative losses, forecasts of future profitability (which are dependent on, among other factors, future MLP cash distributions), the duration of statutory carryforward periods and the associated risk that operating loss carryforwards may be limited or expire unused. However, this assessment generally may not consider the potential for market value increases with respect to the Fund’s investments in equity securities of MLPs or any other securities or assets. Significant weight is given to the Fund’s forecast of future taxable income, which is based on, among other factors, the expected continuation of MLP cash distributions at or near current levels. Consideration is also given to the effects of the potential of additional future realized and unrealized gains or losses on investments and the period over which deferred tax assets can be realized, as federal tax net operating loss carryforwards expire in twenty years and federal capital loss carryforwards expire in five years. Recovery of a deferred tax asset is dependent on continued payment of the MLP cash distributions at or near current levels in the future and the resultant generation of taxable income. The Fund will assess whether a valuation allowance is required to offset some or all of any deferred tax asset in connection with the calculation of a Fund’s NAV per share each day; however, to the extent the final valuation allowance differs from the estimates the Fund used in calculating the Fund’s daily NAV, the application of such final valuation allowance could have a material impact on the Fund’s NAV.

 

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The Fund’s deferred tax asset and/or liability balances is estimated using estimates of effective tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years such balances are realized. The Fund will rely to some extent on information provided by MLPs in determining the extent to which distributions received from MLPs constitute a return of capital, which information may not be provided to the Fund on a timely basis, in order to estimate deferred tax liability and/or asset balances for purposes of financial statement reporting and determining its NAV. If such information is not received from such MLPs on a timely basis, the Fund will estimate the extent to which distributions received from MLPs constitute a return of capital based on average historical tax characterization of distributions made by MLPs. The Fund’s estimates regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances are made in good faith; however, the daily estimate of a Fund’s deferred tax liability and/or asset balances used to calculate the Fund’s NAV could vary dramatically from the Fund’s actual tax liability. Actual income tax expense, if any, will be incurred over many years, depending on if and when investment gains and losses are realized, the then-current basis of the Fund’s assets and other factors. As a result, the determination of the Fund’s actual tax liability may have a material impact on the Fund’s NAV. The Fund’s daily NAV calculation will be based on then current estimates and assumptions regarding the Fund’s deferred tax liability and/or asset balances and any applicable valuation allowance, based on all information available to the Fund at such time. From time to time, the Fund may modify its estimates or assumptions regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances and any applicable valuation allowance as new information becomes available. Modifications of the Fund’s estimates or assumptions regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances and any applicable valuation allowance, changes in generally accepted accounting principles or related guidance or interpretations thereof, limitations imposed on net operating losses (if any) and changes in applicable tax law could result in increases or decreases in the Fund’s NAV per Share, which could be material.

Fair Value Pricing. Securities are priced at a fair value as determined by the Adviser, under the oversight of the Board of Trustees, when reliable market quotations are not readily available, the Fund’s pricing service does not provide a valuation for such securities, the Fund’s pricing service provides a valuation that in the judgment of the Adviser does not represent fair value, the Adviser believes that the market price is stale, or an event that affects the value of an instrument (a “Significant Event”) has occurred since closing prices were established, but before the time as of which the Fund calculates its NAV. Examples of Significant Events may include: (1) events that relate to a single issuer or to an entire market sector; (2) significant fluctuations in domestic or foreign markets; or (3) occurrences not tied directly to the securities markets, such as natural disasters, armed conflicts, or significant government actions. If such Significant Events occur, the Fund may value the instruments at fair value, taking into account such events when it calculates the Fund’s NAV. Fair value determinations are made in good faith in accordance with procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees. In addition, the Fund may also fair value an instrument if trading in a particular instrument is halted and does not resume prior to the closing of the exchange or other market.

Attempts to determine the fair value of securities introduce an element of subjectivity to the pricing of securities. As a result, the price of a security determined through fair valuation techniques may differ from the price quoted or published by other sources and may not accurately reflect the market value of the security when trading resumes. If a reliable market quotation becomes available for a security formerly valued through fair valuation techniques, Rafferty compares the market quotation to the fair value price to evaluate the effectiveness of the Fund’s fair valuation procedures and will use that market value in the next calculation of NAV.

 

Rule 12b-1 Fees

The Board of Trustees of the Trust has adopted a Distribution and Service Plan (the “Plan”) pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act. In accordance with the Plan, the Fund is authorized to pay an amount up to 0.25% of its average daily net assets each year for certain distribution-related activities and shareholder services.

No 12b-1 fees are currently paid by the Fund, and there are no plans to impose these fees. However, in the event 12b-1 fees are charged in the future, because the fees are paid out of the Fund’s assets, over time these fees will increase the cost of your investment and may cost you more than certain other types of sales charges.

CREATIONS, REDEMPTIONS AND TRANSACTION FEES

 

Creation Units. Investors such as market makers, large investors and institutions who wish to deal in Creation Units directly with the Fund must have entered into an authorized participant agreement with the principal underwriter and the transfer agent, or purchase through a dealer that has entered into such an agreement. These investors are known as “Authorized Participants.” Set forth below is a brief description of the procedures applicable to the purchase and redemption of Creation Units.

 

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Purchase of Creation Units. To purchase Creation Units directly from the Fund, you must deposit with the Fund a basket of securities and/or cash. Each Business Day, prior to the opening of trading on the Exchange, an agent of the Fund (“Index Receipt Agent”) will make available through the NSCC a list of the names and number of shares of each security, if any, to be included in that day’s creation basket (“Deposit Securities”). The identity and number of shares of the Deposit Securities required for a Creation Unit will change from time to time. The Fund 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 (defined below) to replace any Deposit Security that may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery, eligible for transfer through the clearing process (discussed below) or the Federal Reserve System or eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant or the investor for which it is acting. For such custom orders, “cash in lieu” may be added to the Balancing Amount (defined below). The Balancing Amount and any “cash in lieu” must be paid to the Trust on or before the third Business Day following the Transmittal Date. You must also pay a Transaction Fee, described below, in cash.

In addition to the in-kind deposit of securities, Authorized Participants will either pay to, or receive from, the Fund an amount of cash referred to as the “Balancing Amount.” The Balancing Amount is the amount equal to the differential, if any, between the market value of the Deposit Securities and the NAV of a Creation Unit. The Fund will publish, on a daily basis, information about the previous day’s Balancing Amount.

All purchase orders for Creation Units must be placed by or through an Authorized Participant. Purchase orders will be processed either through a manual clearing process run at the DTC (“Manual Clearing Process”) or through an enhanced clearing process (“Enhanced Clearing Process”) that is available only to those DTC participants that also are participants in the Continuous Net Settlement System of the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”). Authorized Participants that do not use the Enhanced Clearing Process will be charged a higher Transaction Fee (discussed below). A purchase order must be received in good order by the transfer agent by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, whether transmitted by mail, through the transfer agent’s automated system, telephone, facsimile or other means permitted under the Participant Agreement, in order to receive that day’s NAV per Share. All other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement must be followed in order for you to receive the NAV determined on that day.

Shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Trust cash in an amount up to 115% of the market value of the missing Deposit Securities. Any such transaction effected with the Trust must be effected using the Manual Clearing Process consistent with the terms of the Authorized Participant Agreement.

Redemption of Creation Units. Redemption proceeds will be paid either in cash or in-kind with a basket of securities (“Redemption Securities”). In most cases, Redemption Securities will be the same as Deposit Securities on a given day. There will be times, however, when the Deposit and Redemption Securities differ. The composition of the Redemption Securities will be available through the NSCC. The Fund reserves the right to honor a redemption request with a non-conforming redemption basket.

If the value of a Creation Unit is higher than the value of the Redemption Securities, you will receive from the Fund a Balancing Amount in cash. If the value of a Creation Unit is lower than the value of the Redemption Securities, you will be required to pay to the Fund a Balancing Amount in cash. If you are receiving a Balancing Amount, the amount due will be reduced by the amount of the applicable Transaction Fee.

As with purchases, redemptions may be processed either through the Manual Clearing Process or the Enhanced Clearing Process. A redemption order must be received in good order by the transfer agent by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, whether transmitted by mail, through the transfer agent’s automated system, telephone, facsimile or other means permitted under the Participant Agreement, in order to receive that day’s NAV per Share. All other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement must be followed in order for you to receive the NAV determined on that day.

An investor may request a redemption in cash, which the Fund may in its sole discretion permit. Investors that elect to receive cash in lieu of one or more of the Redemption Securities are subject to an additional charge. Redemptions of Creation Units for cash (when available) and/or outside of the Enhanced Clearing Process also require the payment of an additional charge.

Transaction Fees on Creation and Redemption Transactions. The Fund will impose Transaction Fees to offset transfer and other transaction costs associated with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units. There is a fixed and a variable component to the total Transaction Fee on transactions in Creation Units. A fixed Transaction Fee is applicable to each creation and redemption transaction, regardless of the number of Creation Units transacted. A variable Transaction Fee based upon the value of each Creation Unit also is applicable to each redemption transaction. Purchasers and redeemers of Creation Units of the Fund effected through the Manual Clearing Process are

 

    16       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


required to pay an additional charge to compensate for brokerage and other expenses. In addition, purchasers of Creation Units are responsible for payment of the costs of transferring the Deposit Securities to the Trust. However, in no instance will the fees charged exceed 2% of the value of the Creation Units subject to the transaction. Redeemers of Creation Units are responsible for the costs of transferring securities from the Trust. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may pay additional fees for such services. In addition, Rafferty may, from time to time, at its own expense, compensate purchasers of Creation Units who have purchased substantial amounts of Creation Units and other financial institutions for administrative or marketing services.

 

The table below summarizes the components of the Transaction Fees.

 

     Fixed Transaction Fee      Maximum
Additional
Charge for
Purchases
and
Redemptions*
             In-Kind    Cash     
Direxion Shares ETF Trust    NSCC      Outside NSCC    Outside
NSCC
    

Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares

     $250       Up to 300% of NSCC Amount      $250       Up to 0.50%

 

  *   As a percentage of the amount invested.

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUND

 

Rafferty provides investment management services to the Fund. Rafferty has been managing investment companies since 1997. Rafferty is located at 1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor, New York, New York 10019. As of December 31, 2014, the Adviser had approximately $8.9 billion in assets under management.

Under an investment advisory agreement between the Trust and Rafferty, the Fund pays Rafferty fees at an annualized rate of 0.60% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2014, the Adviser received net management fees in the amount of 0.03% as a percentage of the Fund’s average daily net assets.

A discussion regarding the basis on which the Board of Trustees approved the investment advisory agreement for the Fund is available in the Trust’s Annual Report to shareholders for the fiscal period ended October 31, 2014.

Rafferty has entered into an Operating Expense Limitation Agreement with the Fund. Under this Operating Expense Limitation Agreement, Rafferty has contractually agreed to cap all or a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse the Fund for Other Expenses through September 1, 2016, to the extent that the Fund’s Total Annual Operating Expenses exceeds 0.65% of the Fund’s daily net assets (excluding, as applicable, among other expenses, taxes, including deferred tax expenses, leverage interest, acquired fund fees and expenses, dividends or interest on short positions, other interest expenses, brokerage commissions, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization and extraordinary expenses such as litigation). Any expense cap is subject to reimbursement by the Fund only within the following three years only if overall expenses fall below these percentage limitations. This agreement may be terminated or revised at any time with the consent of the Board of Trustees.

Paul Brigandi, the Fund’s Portfolio Manager, is primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. An investment trading team of Rafferty employees assists Mr. Brigandi in the day-to-day management of the Fund subject to his primary responsibility and oversight. The Portfolio Manager works with the investment trading team to decide the target allocation of the Fund’s investments and on a day-to-day basis, an individual portfolio trader executes transactions for the Fund consistent with the target allocation. The members of the investment trading team rotate among the various series of the Trust, including the Funds periodically so that no single individual is assigned to a specific Fund for extended periods of time.

Mr. Brigandi has been a Portfolio Manager at Rafferty since June 2004. Mr. Brigandi was previously involved in the equity trading training program for Fleet Boston Financial Corporation from August 2002 to April 2004. Mr. Brigandi is a 2002 graduate of Fordham University.

The Fund’s Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) provides additional information about the investment team members’ compensation, other accounts they manage and their ownership of securities in the Fund.

 

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PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

 

 

A description of the Fund’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Fund’s portfolio securities is available in the Fund’s SAI.

 

OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS

 

Foreside Fund Services, LLC (“Distributor”) serves as the Fund’s distributor. U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (“USBFS”) serves as the Fund’s administrator, fund accountant, transfer agent, custodian and index receipt agent. The Distributor is not affiliated with Rafferty or USBFS.

 

DISTRIBUTIONS

 

Fund Distributions. The Fund pays out dividends from its net investment income and net capital gains, if any, to its shareholders at least annually. The Fund is authorized to declare and pay dividends in additional Shares or in cash. The Fund may have high portfolio turnover, which may cause it to generate significant amounts of taxable income in larger and/or more frequent distributions.

Dividend Reinvestment Service. Brokers may make the DTC book-entry dividend reinvestment service (“Reinvestment Service”) available to their customers who are shareholders of the Fund. If the Reinvestment Service is used with respect to the Fund, its distributions of both net income and capital gains will automatically be reinvested in additional and fractional Shares thereof purchased in the secondary market. Without the Reinvestment Service, investors will receive Fund distributions in cash, except as noted above under “Fund Distributions.” To determine whether the Reinvestment Service is available and whether there is a commission or other charge for using the service, consult your broker. Fund shareholders should be aware that brokers may require them to adhere to specific procedures and timetables to use the Reinvestment Service.

 

TAXES

 

As with any investment, you should consider the tax consequences of buying, holding, and disposing of Shares. The tax information in this Prospectus is only a general summary of some important federal tax considerations generally affecting the Fund and its shareholders. No attempt is made to present a complete explanation of the federal tax treatment of the Fund’s activities, and this discussion is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning. Accordingly, potential investors are urged to consult their own tax advisers for more detailed information and for information regarding any state, local, or foreign taxes applicable to the Fund and to an investment in Shares.

Fund distributions to you and your sale of your Shares will have tax consequences to you unless you hold your Shares through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement arrangement, such as an individual retirement account or 401(k) plan.

The Fund is taxed as a regular corporation for federal income tax purposes and as such is obligated to pay federal and applicable state and foreign corporate taxes on its taxable income. This differs from most investment companies, which elect to be treated as “regulated investment companies” under the Code in order to avoid paying entity level income taxes. Under current law, the Fund is not eligible to elect treatment as a regulated investment company due to its investments primarily in MLPs invested in energy assets. As a result, the Fund will be obligated to pay federal and state taxes on its taxable income as opposed to most other investment companies which are not so obligated.

As discussed below, the Fund expects that a portion of the distribution it receives from MLPs may be treated as a tax-deferred return of capital, thus reducing the Fund’s current tax liability. However, the amount of taxes currently paid by the Fund will vary depending on the amount of income and gains derived from investments and/or sales of MLP interests and such taxes will reduce your return from an investment in the Fund.

The Fund invests its assets primarily in MLPs, which generally are treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes. As a partner in the MLPs, the Fund must report its allocable share of the MLPs’ taxable income in computing its taxable income, regardless of the extent (if any) to which the MLPs make distributions. Based upon the Adviser’s review of the historic results of the types of MLPs in which the Fund invests, the Adviser expects that the cash flow received by

 

    18       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


the Fund with respect to its MLP investments will generally exceed the taxable income allocated to the Fund (and this excess generally will not be currently taxable to the Fund but, rather, will result in a reduction of the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in each MLP as described in the following paragraph). This is the result of a variety of factors, including significant noncash deductions, such as accelerated depreciation. There is no assurance that the Adviser’s expectation regarding the tax character of MLP distributions will be realized. If this expectation is not realized, there may be greater tax expense borne by the Fund and less cash available to distribute to you or to pay to expenses.

The Fund will also be subject to U.S. federal income tax at the regular graduated corporate tax rates on any gain recognized by the Fund on any sale of equity securities of an MLP. The Fund may recognize gain as a result of the redemption of Creation Units as discussed below. Cash distributions from an MLP to the Fund that exceed such Fund’s allocable share of such MLP’s net taxable income will reduce the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the equity securities of the MLP. These reductions in such Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the MLP equity securities will increase the amount of any taxable gain (or decrease the amount of any tax loss) recognized by the Fund on a subsequent sale of the securities.

The Fund will accrue deferred income taxes for any future tax liability associated with (i) that portion of MLP distributions considered to be a tax-deferred return of capital as well as (ii) capital appreciation of its investments. The Fund’s accrued deferred tax liability will be reflected each day in the Fund’s NAV. Increases in deferred tax liability will decrease NAV. Conversely, decreases in deferred tax liability will increase NAV. The Fund generally computes deferred income taxes based on the federal tax rate applicable to corporations, currently 35%, and an assumed rate attributable to state taxes. A change in the federal tax rate applicable to corporations and, consequently, any change in the deferred tax liability of the Fund, may have a significant impact on the NAV of the Fund. The Fund’s current and deferred tax liability, if any, will depend upon the Fund’s net investment income gains and losses and realized and unrealized gains and losses on investments and therefore may vary greatly from year to year depending on the nature of the Fund’s investments, the performance of these investments and general market conditions. The Fund will rely to some extent on information provided by the MLPs, which is not necessarily timely, to estimate deferred tax liability for purposes of financial statement reporting and determining the NAV. From time to time, the Adviser will modify the estimates or assumptions regarding the Fund’s deferred tax liability as new information becomes available. The Fund estimates regarding its deferred tax liability are made in good faith; however, the daily estimate of the Fund’s deferred tax liability used to calculate the Fund’s NAV could vary dramatically from the Fund’s actual tax liability. Actual income taxed, if any, will be incurred over many years depending on if, and when, investment gains and losses are realized, the then current basis of the Fund’s assets and other factors. Upon the sale of an MLP security, the Fund may be liable for previously deferred taxes.

Distributions made to you by the Fund (other than distributions in redemption of shares subject to Section 302(b) of the Code) will generally constitute dividends to the extent of your allocable share of the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits, as calculated for federal income tax purposes. Generally, a corporation’s earnings and profits are computed based upon taxable income, with certain specified adjustments. As explained above, based upon the historic performance of the types of MLPs in which the Fund intends to invest, the Adviser anticipates that the distributed cash from the MLPs generally will exceed the Fund’s share of the MLPs’ taxable income. Consequently, the Adviser anticipates that only a portion of the Fund’s distributions will be treated as dividend income to you. To the extent that distributions to you exceed your allocable share of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, your tax basis in the Fund’s Shares with respect to which the distribution is made will be reduced, which will increase the amount of any taxable gain (or decrease the amount of any tax loss) realized upon a subsequent sale or redemption of such shares. To the extent you hold such shares as a capital asset and have no further basis in the shares to offset the distribution, you will report the excess as capital gain.

Distributions treated as dividends under the foregoing rules generally will be taxable as ordinary income to you but may be treated as “qualified dividend income.” Under current federal income tax law, qualified dividend income received by individuals and other non corporate shareholders is taxed at long-term capital gain rates, which currently reach a maximum of 15% (20% for taxpayers with taxable income exceeding certain thresholds). For a dividend to constitute qualified dividend income, the shareholder generally must hold the shares paying the dividend for more than 60 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the ex-dividend date, although a longer period may apply if the shareholder engages in certain risk reduction transactions with respect to the common stock.

Individuals with income exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 if married and filing jointly) will be subject to a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on their “net investment income,” which includes interest, dividends, and capital gains (including capital gains realized on the sale or exchange of Fund shares).

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       19    

 

 


Dividends paid by the Fund are expected to be eligible for the dividends received deduction available to corporate shareholders under Section 243 of the Code. However, corporate shareholders should be aware that certain limitations apply to the availability of the dividends received deduction, including rules which limit the deduction in cases where (i) certain holding period requirements are not met, (ii) the corporate shareholder is obligated (e.g., pursuant to a short sale) to make related payments with respect to positions in substantially similar or related property, or (iii) the corporate shareholder’s investment in shares of a particular Fund is financed with indebtedness. Corporate shareholders should consult their own tax advisors regarding the application of these limitations to their particular situations.

Capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of Shares on the Listing Exchange generally is treated as a long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for more than one year and as a short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares have been held for one year or less. The ability to deduct capital losses may be limited.

If you are neither a resident nor a citizen of the United States or if you are a foreign entity, dividends paid to you by the Fund will generally be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies. In addition, a 30% U.S. withholding tax will be imposed on dividends paid after June 30, 2014 and proceeds of sales after December 31, 2016 paid to foreign shareholders if certain disclosure requirements are not satisfied.

Holders of Creation Units. A person who purchases Shares in the Fund by exchanging securities for a Creation Unit generally will recognize capital gain or loss equal to the difference between the market value of the Creation Unit and the person’s aggregate basis in the exchanged securities, adjusted for any Balancing Amount paid or received. A shareholder who redeems a Creation Unit generally will recognize gain or loss to the same extent and in the same manner as described above.

More information about taxes is in the Fund’s SAI.

 

    20       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

 

The financial highlights table is intended to help you understand the financial performance of the Fund for the period indicated. The information set forth below was audited by Ernst & Young LLP whose report, along with the Fund’s financial statements, is included in the Annual and Semi-Annual shareholder reports, which are available upon request and incorporated by reference into the Fund’s SAI. Certain information reflects financial results for a single Share. The total returns in the table represent the rate that an investor would have earned (or lost) on an investment in the Fund (assuming reinvestment of all dividends and distributions).

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       21    

 

 


                                                                            Ratios to Average Net Assets  
     Net Asset
Value,
Beginning
of Year/
Period
    Net
Investment
Income
(Loss)1
    Net
Investment
Income
(Loss)1,4
    Net Realized
and Unrealized
Gain (Loss)
on Investments
    Net Increase
(Decrease) in
Net Asset Value
Resulting from
Operations
    Dividends
from Net
Investment
Income
    Distributions
from
Realized
Capital
Gains
    Distributions
from Return
of Capital
    Total
Distributions
    Net Asset
Value, End
of Year/
Period
    Total
Return2
   

Net Assets,
End of Year/

Period
(000’s omitted)

    Net
Expenses3
    Total
Expenses3
    Net
Investment
Income (Loss)
After Expense
Reimbursement3
    Net
Expenses3,4,5
    Total
Expenses3,4
    Net
Investment
Income (Loss)
After Expense
Reimbursement3,4
    Portfolio
Turnover
Rate6
 

Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares

                                     

For the Period January 23, 20147 through
October 31, 2014

  $ 40.00      $ (0.08   $ (0.14   $ 2.39      $ 2.31      $      $      $ (2.07   $ (2.07   $ 40.24        5.73%      $ 54,328        0.65% 8      1.23%        (0.43 )%      0.65%        1.23%        (0.43 )%      92%   

 

1  Net investment income (loss) per share represents net investment income dividend by the daily average shares of beneficial interest outstanding throughout each period.
2  Total return is calculated assuming an initial investment made at the net asset value at the beginning of the period, reinvestment of all dividends and distributions at net asset value during the period and redemption on the last day of the period. Total return calculated for a period of less than one year is not annualized. The total return would have been lower if certain expenses had not been reimbursed/waived by the investment advisor.
3  For periods less than a year, these ratios are annualized.
4  Excludes interest expense and extraordinary expenses which comprise of excise tax.
5  Net expenses include effects of any reimbursement or recoupment.
6  Portfolio turnover rate is not annualized and excludes the value of portfolio securities received or delivered as a result of in-kind creations or redemptions of the Fund’s capital shares. Portfolio turnover rate does not include effects of turnover of the swap portfolio. Short-term securities with maturities less than or equal to 365 days are also excluded from portfolio turnover calculation.
7  Commencement of investment operations.
8  This ratio excludes deferred tax benefits/expenses for all components of the Statement of Operations. Had these amounts been included, the ratio would be 1.63%

 

    22       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION

 

 

Exchange traded funds are bought and sold on exchanges continually throughout each trading day. The transaction prices for shares are based on current market supply and demand and may be higher (premium) or lower (discount) than the net asset value per share of the fund. As such, shareholders may pay more than net asset value when purchasing fund shares and receive less than net asset value when redeeming those shares. The table below provides information regarding the number of days the Fund traded at a premium or discount to its NAV, from the Fund’s inception date to December, 31, 2014.

 

Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares

 

Premium/Discount Range    Number of
Trading Days
     % of Total
Trade Days

2.00% or more

     0         0.00

1.00% to 1.999%

     2         0.84

0.50% to 0.999%

     1         0.42

0.00% to 0.499%

     186         77.82

–0.001% to –0.499%

     49         20.50

–0.50% to –0.999%

     1         0.42

–1.00% to –1.999%

     0         0.00

–2.00% or more

     0         0.00
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

     239         100.00

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       23    

 

 


LOGO

PROSPECTUS

1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor             New York, New York 10019              866-476-7523

MORE INFORMATION ON THE DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”):

The Fund’s SAI contains more information on the Fund and its investment policies. The SAI is incorporated in this Prospectus by reference (meaning it is legally part of this Prospectus). A current SAI is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

Annual and Semi-Annual Reports to Shareholders:

The Fund’s reports will provide additional information on the Fund’s investment holdings, performance data and a letter discussing the market conditions and investment strategies that significantly affected the Fund’s performance during that period.

To Obtain the SAI or Fund Reports Free of Charge:

Write to:  

Direxion Shares ETF Trust

1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor New York, New York 10019

Call:   866-476-7523
By Internet:   www.direxioninvestments.com

These documents and other information about the Fund can be reviewed and copied at the SEC Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C. Information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at (202) 551-8090. Reports and other information about the Fund may be viewed on screen or downloaded from the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. Copies of these documents may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov, or by writing the SEC’s Public Reference Section, Washington, D.C. 20549-0102.

 

SEC File Number: 811-22201


DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor New York, New York 10019 866-476-7523

www.direxioninvestments.com

Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares (ZMLP)

The Direxion Shares ETF Trust (“Trust”) is an investment company that offers shares of a variety of exchange-traded funds, including the Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares (the “Fund”), to the public. The shares of the Fund (“Shares”) offered in this Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) trade on the NYSE Arca, Inc.

This SAI, dated February 27, 2015, is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the Fund’s prospectus dated February 27, 2015 (“Prospectus”). This SAI is incorporated by reference into the Prospectus. In other words, it is legally part of the Prospectus. To receive a copy of the Prospectus, without charge, write or call the Trust at the address or telephone number listed above.

February 27, 2015


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

THE DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

     1   

CLASSIFICATION OF THE FUND

     1   

EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

     1   

INVESTMENT POLICIES AND TECHNIQUES

     2   

Bank Obligations

     2   

Caps, Floors and Collars

     3   

Corporate Debt Securities

     3   

Cybersecurity Risk

     4   

Depositary Receipts

     4   

Energy Infrastructure Industry Risk

     4   

Equity Securities

     7   

Foreign Currencies

     7   

Foreign Currency Exchange-Related Securities.

     9   

Foreign Securities

     10   

Hybrid Instruments

     11   

Illiquid Investments and Restricted Securities

     12   

Indexed Securities

     12   

Total Return Swaps

     13   

Options, Futures and Other Derivative Strategies

     13   

Other Investment Companies

     17   

Payment-In-Kind Securities and Strips

     19   

Repurchase Agreements

     19   

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

     19   

Short Sales

     20   

Swap Agreements

     20   

U.S. Government Securities

     21   

U.S. Government Sponsored Enterprises (“GSEs”)

     22   

When-Issued Securities

     23   

Other Investment Risks and Practices

     23   

Correlation and Tracking Risk

     24   

Potential Substantial After-Tax Correlation and Tracking Risk

     24   

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

     24   

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

     25   

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS INFORMATION

     26   

MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST

     27   

The Board of Trustees

     27   

Risk Oversight

     27   

Board Structure and Related Matters

     28   

Board Committees

     31   

Principal Officers of the Trust

     32   

Principal Shareholders, Control Persons and Management Ownership

     35   

Investment Adviser

     36   

Portfolio Managers

     37   

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

     38   

Fund Administrator, Fund Accounting Agent, Transfer Agent and Custodian

     38   

Distributor

     39   

Distribution Plan

     39   

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

     39   

Legal Counsel

     39   

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

     39   

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING SHARES

     42   

Organization and Description of Shares of Beneficial Interest

     42   

Book Entry Only System

     42   

 

i


PURCHASES AND REDEMPTIONS

  44   

Purchase and Issuance of Creation Units

  44   

Purchases through the Clearing Process

  44   

Purchases Through the Manual Clearing Process

  46   

Rejection of Purchase Orders

  46   

Redemption of Creation Units

  46   

Placement of Redemption Orders Using Enhanced Clearing Process

  46   

Placement of Redemption Orders Outside Clearing Process

  47   

Regular Foreign Holidays

  48   

Redemption

  51   

Transaction Fees

  51   

Continuous Offering

  51   

DIVIDENDS, OTHER DISTRIBUTIONS AND TAXES

  52   

Dividends and other Distributions

  52   

Taxes

  52   

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

  57   

APPENDIX A: DESCRIPTION OF CORPORATE BOND RATINGS

  A-1   

APPENDIX B: PROXY VOTING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

  B-1   

 

ii


THE DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

The Trust is a Delaware statutory trust organized on April 23, 2008 and is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as an open-end management investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (“1940 Act”). The Trust currently consists of 96 separate series, including the Fund.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results, before fees and expenses, which correspond to the performance of the Zacks MLP Index (the “Index”).

The Fund issues and redeems Shares only in large blocks of Shares called “Creation Units.” Most investors will buy and sell Shares of the Fund in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares of the Fund are listed for trading on the secondary market on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”). Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded shares. There is no minimum investment. Although Shares are generally purchased and sold in “round lots” of 100 Shares, brokerage firms typically permit investors to purchase or sell Shares in smaller “odd lots,” at no per-share price differential. Investors may acquire Shares directly from the Fund, and shareholders may tender their Shares for redemption directly to the Fund, only in Creation Units of 50,000 Shares, as discussed in the “Purchases and Redemptions” section below.

CLASSIFICATION OF THE FUND

The Fund is a “non-diversified” series of the Trust pursuant to the 1940 Act. The Fund is considered “non-diversified” because a relatively high percentage of its assets may be invested in the securities of a limited number of issuers. To the extent that the Fund assumes large positions in the securities of a small number of issuers, the Fund’s net asset value (“NAV”) may fluctuate to a greater extent than that of a diversified company as a result of changes in the financial condition or in the market’s assessment of the issuers, and the Fund may be more susceptible to any single economic, political or regulatory occurrence than a diversified company.

The Fund intends to continue to meet certain tax-related diversification standards at the end of each quarter of its taxable year.

EXCHANGE LISTING AND TRADING

Shares are listed on the Exchange and may trade at prices that differ to some degree from their NAV. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares will continue to be met. The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the Shares from listing if (i) following the initial 12-month period beginning at the commencement of trading of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial owners of the Shares for 30 or more consecutive trading days; (ii) the value of the Index is no longer calculated or available; or (iii) such other event shall occur or condition exist that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. The Exchange will remove the Shares from listing and trading upon termination of the Fund.

As is the case of other stocks traded on the Exchange, brokers’ commissions on transactions will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels. The Trust reserves the right to adjust the price levels of the Shares in the future to help maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of the Fund.

The trading prices of the Shares in the secondary market generally differ from the Fund’s daily NAV per share and are affected by market forces such as supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors. Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“Rafferty” or “Adviser”) may, from time to time, make payments to certain market makers in the Trust’s shares. Information regarding the intraday value of shares of the Fund, also known as the “intraday indicative value” (“IIV”), is disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the trading day by the Exchange or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IIV is based on the current market value of the securities and cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. The IIV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund as a particular point in time, nor the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IIV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IIV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or

 

1


price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the portfolio securities held by the Fund. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours is such holdings do not trade in the U.S. The Fund is neither involved in, nor responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IIV and make no representations or warranty as to its accuracy.

INVESTMENT POLICIES AND TECHNIQUES

The Fund generally invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in the securities of the Index.

With the exception of limitations described in the “Investment Restrictions” section below, the Fund may engage in the investment strategies discussed below. There is no assurance that any of these strategies or any other strategies and methods of investment available to the Fund will result in the achievement of the Fund’s investment objective.

This section provides a description of the securities in which the Fund may invest to achieve its investment objective, the strategies it may employ and the corresponding risks of such securities and strategies. The greatest risk of investing in an exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) is that its returns will fluctuate and you could lose money. Recent events in the financial sector have resulted, and may continue to result, in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets. Both domestic and foreign equity markets could experience increased volatility and turmoil, with issuers that have exposure to the real estate, mortgage and credit markets particularly affected, and it is uncertain whether or for how long these conditions could continue. The U.S. government has already taken a number of unprecedented actions designed to support certain financial institutions and segments of the financial markets that have experienced extreme volatility, and in some cases a lack of liquidity.

Reduced liquidity in equity, credit and fixed-income markets may adversely affect many issuers worldwide. This reduced liquidity may result in less money being available to purchase raw materials, goods and services from emerging markets, which may, in turn, bring down the prices of these economic staples. It may also result in emerging market issuers having more difficulty obtaining financing, which may, in turn, cause a decline in their stock prices. These events and possible continued market turbulence may have an adverse effect on the Fund.

Bank Obligations

Money Market Instruments. The Fund may invest in bankers’ acceptances, certificates of deposit, demand and time deposits, savings shares and commercial paper of domestic banks and savings and loans that have assets of at least $1 billion and capital, surplus, and undivided profits of over $100 million as of the close of their most recent fiscal year, or instruments that are insured by the Bank Insurance Fund or the Savings Institution Insurance Fund of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”). The Fund also may invest in high quality, short-term, corporate debt obligations, including variable rate demand notes, having a maturity of one year or less. Because there is no secondary trading market in demand notes, the inability of the issuer to make required payments could impact adversely the Fund’s ability to resell when it deems advisable to do so.

The Fund may invest in foreign money market instruments, which typically involve more risk that investing in U.S. money market instruments. See “Foreign Securities” below. These risks include, among others, higher brokerage commissions, less public information, and less liquid markets in which to sell and meet large shareholder redemption requests.

Bankers’ Acceptances. Bankers’ acceptances generally are negotiable instruments (time drafts) drawn to finance the export, import, domestic shipment or storage of goods. They are termed “accepted” when a bank writes on the draft its agreement to pay it at maturity, using the word “accepted.” The bank is, in effect, unconditionally guaranteeing to pay the face value of the instrument on its maturity date. The acceptance may then be held by the accepting bank as an asset, or it may be sold in the secondary market at the going rate of interest for a specified maturity.

Certificates of Deposit (“CDs”). The FDIC is an agency of the U.S. government that insures the deposits of certain banks and savings and loan associations up to $250,000 per deposit. The interest on such deposits may not be insured to the extent this limit is exceeded. Current federal regulations also permit such institutions to issue insured negotiable CDs in

 

2


amounts of $250,000 or more without regard to the interest rate ceilings on other deposits. To remain fully insured, these investments must be limited to $250,000 per insured bank or savings and loan association.

Commercial Paper. Commercial paper includes notes, drafts or similar instruments payable on demand or having a maturity at the time of issuance not exceeding nine months, exclusive of days of grace or any renewal thereof. The Fund may invest in commercial paper rated A-l or A-2 by Standard & Poor’s® Ratings Services (“S&P®”) or Prime-1 or Prime-2 by Moody’s Investors Service®, Inc. (“Moody’s”), and in other lower quality commercial paper.

Caps, Floors and Collars

The Fund may enter into caps, floors and collars relating to securities, interest rates or currencies. In a cap or floor, the buyer pays a premium (which is generally, but not always a single up-front amount) for the right to receive payments from the other party if, on specified payment dates, the applicable rate, index or asset is greater than (in the case of a cap) or less than (in the case of a floor) an agreed level, for the period involved and the applicable notional amount. A collar is a combination instrument in which the same party buys a cap and sells a floor. Depending upon the terms of the cap and floor comprising the collar, the premiums will partially or entirely offset each other. The notional amount of a cap, collar or floor is used to calculate payments, but is not itself exchanged. The Fund may be both buyers and sellers of these instruments. In addition, the Fund may engage in combinations of put and call options on securities (also commonly known as collars), which may involve physical delivery of securities. Like swaps, caps, floors and collars are very flexible products. The terms of the transactions entered by the Fund may vary from the typical examples described here.

Corporate Debt Securities

The Fund may invest in investment grade corporate debt securities of any rating or maturity. Investment grade corporate bonds are those rated BBB or better by S&P® or Baa or better by Moody’s. Securities rated BBB by S&P® are considered investment grade, but Moody’s considers securities rated Baa to have speculative characteristics. See Appendix A for a description of corporate bond ratings. The Fund may also invest in unrated securities.

Corporate debt securities are fixed-income securities issued by businesses to finance their operations, although corporate debt instruments may also include bank loans to companies. Notes, bonds, debentures and commercial paper are the most common types of corporate debt securities, with the primary difference being their maturities and secured or un-secured status. Commercial paper has the shortest term and is usually unsecured.

The broad category of corporate debt securities includes debt issued by domestic or foreign companies of all kinds, including those with small-, mid- and large-capitalizations. Corporate debt may be rated investment-grade or below investment-grade and may carry variable or floating rates of interest.

Because of the wide range of types, and maturities, of corporate debt securities, as well as the range of creditworthiness of its issuers, corporate debt securities have widely varying potentials for return and risk profiles. For example, commercial paper issued by a large established domestic corporation that is rated investment-grade may have a modest return on principal, but carries relatively limited risk. On the other hand, a long-term corporate note issued by a small foreign corporation from an emerging market country that has not been rated may have the potential for relatively large returns on principal, but carries a relatively high degree of risk.

Corporate debt securities carry both credit risk and interest rate risk. Credit risk is the risk that the Fund could lose money if the issuer of a corporate debt security is unable to pay interest or repay principal when it is due. Some corporate debt securities that are rated below investment-grade are generally considered speculative because they present a greater risk of loss, including default, than higher quality debt securities. The credit risk of a particular issuer’s debt security may vary based on its priority for repayment. For example, higher ranking (senior) debt securities have a higher priority than lower ranking (subordinated) securities. This means that the issuer might not make payments on subordinated securities while continuing to make payments on senior securities. In addition, in the event of bankruptcy, holders of higher-ranking senior securities may receive amounts otherwise payable to the holders of more junior securities. Interest rate risk is the risk that the value of certain corporate debt securities will

 

3


tend to fall when interest rates rise. In general, corporate debt securities with longer terms tend to fall more in value when interest rates rise than corporate debt securities with shorter terms.

Cybersecurity Risk

Since the use of technology has become more prevalent in the course of business, the Fund may be more susceptible to operational risks through breaches in cybersecurity. A cybersecurity incident may refer to either intentional or unintentional events that allow an unauthorized party to gain access to fund assets, customer data, or proprietary information, or cause the Fund or Fund service provider to suffer data corruption or lose operational functionality. A cybersecurity incident could, among other things, result in the loss or theft of customer data or funds, customers or employees being unable to access electronic systems (“denial of services”), loss or theft of proprietary information or corporate data, physical damage to a computer or network system, or remediation costs associated with system repairs. Any of these results could have a substantial impact on the Fund. For example, if a cybersecurity incident results in a denial of service, Fund shareholders could lose access to their electronic accounts for an unknown period of time, and employees could be unable to access electronic systems to perform critical duties for the Fund, such as trading, NAV calculation, shareholder accounting or fulfillment of Fund share purchases and redemptions. Cybersecurity incidents could cause the Fund or the Fund’s Adviser or distributor to incur regulatory penalties, reputational damage, additional compliance costs associated with corrective measures, or financial loss of a significant magnitude. They may also cause the Fund to violate applicable privacy and other laws. The Fund’s service providers have established risk management systems that seek to reduce the risks associated with cybersecurity, and business continuity plans in the event there is a cybersecurity breach. However, there is no guarantee that such efforts will succeed, especially since the Fund does not directly control the cybersecurity systems of the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests or the Fund’s third party service providers (including the Fund’s transfer agent and custodian).

Depositary Receipts

To the extent the Fund invests in stocks of foreign corporations, the Fund’s investment in such stocks may also be in the form of depositary receipts or other securities convertible into securities of foreign issuers. Depositary receipts may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted. American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) are receipts typically issued by an American bank or trust company that evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) are receipts issued in Europe that evidence a similar ownership arrangement. Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”) are receipts issued throughout the world that evidence a similar arrangement. Generally, ADRs, in registered form, are designed for use in the U.S. securities markets, and EDRs, in bearer form, are designed for use in European securities markets. GDRs are tradable both in the United States and in Europe and are designed for use throughout the world. Depositary receipts will not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as their underlying securities.

Depositary receipts may be purchased through “sponsored” or “unsponsored” facilities. A sponsored facility is established jointly by the issuer of the underlying security and a depositary, whereas a depositary may establish an unsponsored facility without participation by the issuer of the depositary security. Holders of unsponsored depositary receipts generally bear all the costs of such facilities and the depositary of an unsponsored facility frequently is under no obligation to distribute shareholder communications received from the issuer of the deposited security or to pass through voting rights to the holders of such receipts of the deposited securities.

Fund investments in depositary receipts, which include ADRs, GDRs and EDRs, are deemed to be investments in foreign securities for purposes of the Fund’s investment strategy.

Energy Infrastructure Industry Risk

The MLPs in which the Fund invests are engaged in the: (i) gathering, transporting, processing, treating, terminalling, storing, refining, distributing, mining or marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, refined products or coal, (ii) the acquisition, exploitation and development of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, (iii) processing, treating, and refining of natural gas liquids and crude oil, and (iv) owning, managing and transporting alternative energy

 

4


infrastructure assets, including alternative fuels such as ethanol, hydrogen and biodiesel. These MLPs are subject to many of the risks associated with investments in the energy infrastructure companies, including the following:

Commodity Risks. The return on the Fund’s investments will depend on the margins received by MLPs and energy infrastructure companies for the exploration, development, production, gathering, transportation, processing, storing, refining, distribution, mining or marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, refined petroleum products or coal. These margins may fluctuate widely in response to a variety of factors including global and domestic economic conditions, weather conditions, natural disasters, the supply and price of imported energy commodities, the production and storage levels of energy commodities in certain regions or in the world, political instability, terrorist activities, transportation facilities, energy conservation, domestic and foreign governmental regulation and taxation and the availability of local, intrastate and interstate transportation systems. Volatility of commodity prices also may make it more difficult for MLPs and energy infrastructure companies to raise capital to the extent the market perceives that their performance may be directly or indirectly tied to commodity prices.

Supply and Demand Risks. A decrease in the production of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, coal or other energy commodities, a reduction in the volume of such commodities available for transportation, mining, processing, storage or distribution, or a sustained decline in demand for such commodities, may adversely affect the financial performance or prospects of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. MLPs and energy infrastructure companies are subject to supply and demand fluctuations in the markets they serve which will be impacted by a wide range of factors, including fluctuating commodity prices, weather, increased conservation or use of alternative fuel sources, increased governmental or environmental regulation, depletion, growing interest rates, declines in domestic or foreign production, accidents or catastrophic events, and economic conditions, among others.

Operational Risks. MLPs and energy infrastructure companies are subject to various operational risks, such as disruption of operations, inability to timely and effectively integrate newly acquired assets, unanticipated operation and maintenance expenses, lack of proper asset integrity, underestimated cost projections, inability to renew or increased costs of rights of way, failure to obtain the necessary permits to operate and failure of third-party contractors to perform their contractual obligations. Thus, some MLPs and energy infrastructure companies may be subject to construction risk, acquisition risk or other risks arising from their specific business strategies.

Acquisition Risks. The ability of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies to grow and, where applicable, to increase dividends or distributions to their equity holders can be highly dependent on their ability to make acquisitions of energy businesses that result in an increase in free cash flow. In the event that such companies are unable to make such accretive acquisitions because they are unable to identify attractive acquisition candidates or negotiate acceptable purchase contracts, because they are unable to raise financing for such acquisitions on economically acceptable terms, or because they are outbid by competitors, their future growth and ability to make or raise dividends or distributions will be limited and their ability to repay their debt and make payments to preferred equity holders may be weakened. Furthermore, even if these companies do consummate acquisitions that they believe will be accretive, the acquisitions may instead result in a decrease in free cash flow.

Regulatory Risks. MLPs and energy infrastructure companies are subject to significant federal, state and local government regulation in virtually every aspect of their operations, including how facilities are constructed, maintained and operated, environmental and safety controls, and the prices they may charge for the products and services they provide. Various governmental authorities have the power to enforce compliance with these regulations and the permits issued under them, and violators are subject to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, including civil fines, injunctions or both.

For example, many state and federal environmental laws provide for civil penalties as well as regulatory remediation, thus adding to the potential liability an MLP or energy infrastructure company may face. More extensive laws, regulations or enforcement policies could be enacted in the future which would likely increase compliance costs and may adversely affect the financial performance of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies.

Rising Interest Rate Risks. The values of securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies in the Fund’s portfolio are susceptible to decline when interest rates rise. Accordingly, the market price of the Fund’s common stock may decline when interest rates rise. Rising interest rates could adversely impact the financial performance of these

 

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companies by increasing their costs of capital. This may reduce an MLP’s ability to execute acquisitions or expansion projects in a cost-effective manner.

Terrorism Risks. The terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 had a disruptive effect on the economy and the securities markets. United States military and related action in the Middle East could have significant adverse effects on the U.S. economy and the stock market. Uncertainty surrounding military strikes or actions or a sustained military campaign may affect an MLP’s or energy infrastructure company’s operations in unpredictable ways, including disruptions of fuel supplies and markets, and transmission and distribution facilities could be direct targets, or indirect casualties, of an act of terror. The U.S. government has issued warnings that energy assets, specifically the United States’ pipeline infrastructure, may be the future target of terrorist organizations. In addition, changes in the insurance markets have made certain types of insurance more difficult, if not impossible, to obtain and have generally resulted in increased premium costs.

Weather Risks. Extreme weather patterns, such as Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, or environmental hazards, such as the BP oil spill in 2010, could result in significant volatility in the supply of energy and power and could adversely impact the value of the debt and equity securities of the MLPs and energy infrastructure industry in which the Fund invests. This volatility may create fluctuations in commodity prices and earnings of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies.

Catastrophe Risk. The operations of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies are subject to many hazards inherent in the transporting, processing, storing, distributing, mining or marketing of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, coal, refined petroleum products or other hydrocarbons, or in the exploring, managing or producing of such commodities, including: damage to pipelines, storage tanks or related equipment and surrounding properties caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and other natural disasters; inadvertent damage from construction or other equipment; leaks of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, refined petroleum products or other hydrocarbons; and fires and explosions. These risks could result in substantial losses due to personal injury or loss of life, severe damage to and destruction of property and equipment and pollution or other environmental damage and may result in the curtailment or suspension of their related operations. Not all MLPs and energy infrastructure companies are fully insured against all risks inherent to their businesses. If a significant accident or event occurs that is not fully insured, it could adversely affect an MLP’s or energy infrastructure company’s operations and financial condition and the securities issued by the company.

Competition Risk. The MLPs and energy infrastructure companies may face substantial competition in acquiring assets, expanding or constructing assets and facilities, obtaining and retaining customers and contracts, securing trained personnel and operating their assets. Many of their competitors, including major oil companies, independent exploration and production companies, MLPs and other diversified energy companies, will have superior financial and other resources.

Depletion and Exploration Risk. Energy reserves naturally deplete as they are produced over time. Many energy companies are either engaged in the production of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, or coal, or are engaged in transporting, storing, distributing and processing these items or their derivatives on behalf of shippers. To maintain or grow their revenues, these companies or their customers need to maintain or expand their reserves through exploration of new sources of supply, through the development of existing sources or, through acquisitions. The financial performance of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies may be adversely affected if they, or the companies to whom they provide the service, are unable to cost-effectively acquire additional reserves sufficient to replace the depleted reserves. If an MLP or energy infrastructure company fails to add reserves by acquiring or developing them, its reserves and production will decline over time as the reserves are produced. If an MLP or energy infrastructure company is not able to raise capital on favorable terms, it may not be able to add to or maintain its reserves.

Financing Risk. Some MLPs and energy infrastructure companies may rely on capital markets to raise money to pay their existing obligations. Their ability to access the capital markets on attractive terms or at all may be affected by any of the risk factors associated with MLPs and energy infrastructure companies described above, by general economic and market conditions or by other factors. This may in turn affect their ability to satisfy their obligations to us. In addition, certain MLPs and energy infrastructure companies are dependent on their parents or sponsors for a majority of their revenues.

 

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Equity Securities

Common Stocks. The Fund may invest in common stocks. Common stocks represent the residual ownership interest in the issuer and are entitled to the income and increase in the value of the assets and business of the entity after all of its obligations and preferred stock are satisfied. Common stocks generally have voting rights. Common stocks fluctuate in price in response to many factors including historical and prospective earnings of the issuer, the value of its assets, general economic conditions, interest rates, investor perceptions and market liquidity.

Convertible Securities. The Fund may invest in convertible securities that may be considered high yield securities. Convertible securities include corporate bonds, notes and preferred stock that can be converted into or exchanged for a prescribed amount of common stock of the same or a different issue within a particular period of time at a specified price or formula. A convertible security entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued on debt or dividends paid on preferred stock until the convertible stock matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. While no securities investment is without some risk, investments in convertible securities generally entail less risk than the issuer’s common stock, although the extent to which such risk is reduced depends in large measure upon the degree to which the convertible security sells above its value as a fixed income security. The market value of convertible securities tends to decline as interest rates increase and, conversely, to increase as interest rates decline. While convertible securities generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than nonconvertible debt securities of similar quality, they do enable the investor to benefit from increases in the market price of the underlying common stock. When investing in convertible securities, the Fund may invest in the lowest credit rating category.

Preferred Stock. The Fund may invest in preferred stock. A preferred stock blends the characteristics of a bond and common stock. It can offer the higher yield of a bond and has priority over common stock in equity ownership, but does not have the seniority of a bond and its participation in the issuer’s growth may be limited. Preferred stock has preference over common stock in the receipt of dividends and in any residual assets after payment to creditors if the issuer is dissolved. Although the dividend is set at a fixed annual rate, in some circumstances it can be changed or omitted by the issuer. When investing in preferred stocks, the Fund may invest in the lowest credit rating category.

Warrants and Rights. The Fund may purchase warrants and rights, which are instruments that permit the Fund to acquire, by subscription, the capital stock of a corporation at a set price, regardless of the market price for such stock. Warrants may be either perpetual or of limited duration, but they usually do not have voting rights or pay dividends. The market price of warrants is usually significantly less than the current price of the underlying stock. Thus, there is a greater risk that warrants might drop in value at a faster rate than the underlying stock.

Foreign Currencies

The Fund may invest directly and indirectly in foreign currencies. Investments in foreign currencies are subject to numerous risks not least being the fluctuation of foreign currency exchange rates with respect to the U.S. dollar. Exchange rates fluctuate for a number of reasons.

Inflation. Exchange rates change to reflect changes in a currency’s buying power. Different countries experience different inflation rates due to different monetary and fiscal policies, different product and labor market conditions, and a host of other factors.

Trade Deficits. Countries with trade deficits tend to experience a depreciating currency. Inflation may be the cause of a trade deficit, making a country’s goods more expensive and less competitive and so reducing demand for its currency.

Interest Rates. High interest rates may raise currency values in the short term by making such currencies more attractive to investors. However, since high interest rates are often the result of high inflation, long-term results may be the opposite.

Budget Deficits and Low Savings Rates. Countries that run large budget deficits and save little of their national income tend to suffer a depreciating currency because they are forced to borrow abroad to finance their deficits. Payments of interest on this debt can inundate the currency markets with the currency of the debtor nation. Budget

 

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deficits also can indirectly contribute to currency depreciation if a government chooses inflationary measure to cope with its deficits and debt.

Political Factors. Political instability in a country can cause a currency to depreciate. Demand for a certain currency may fall if a country appears a less desirable place in which to invest and do business.

Government Control. Through their own buying and selling of currencies, the world’s central banks sometimes manipulate exchange rate movements. In addition, governments occasionally issue statements to influence people’s expectations about the direction of exchange rates, or they may instigate policies with an exchange rate target as the goal.

The value of the Fund’s investments is calculated in U.S. dollars each day that the New York Stock Exchange is open for business. As a result, to the extent that the Fund’s assets are invested in instruments denominated in foreign currencies and the currencies appreciate relative to the U.S. dollar, the Fund’s NAV per share as expressed in U.S. dollars (and, therefore, the value of your investment) should increase. If the U.S. dollar appreciates relative to the other currencies, the opposite should occur.

The currency-related gains and losses experienced by the Fund will be based on changes in the value of portfolio securities attributable to currency fluctuations only in relation to the original purchase price of such securities as stated in U.S. dollars. Gains or losses on shares of the Fund will be based on changes attributable to fluctuations in the NAV of such shares, expressed in U.S. dollars, in relation to the original U.S. dollar purchase price of the shares. The amount of appreciation or depreciation in the Fund’s assets also will be affected by the net investment income generated by the money market instruments in which the Fund invests and by changes in the value of the securities that are unrelated to changes in currency exchange rates.

The Fund may incur currency exchange costs when it sells instruments denominated in one currency and buy instruments denominated in another.

Currency Transactions. The Fund conducts currency exchange transactions on a spot basis. Currency transactions made on a spot basis are for cash at the spot rate prevailing in the currency exchange market for buying or selling currency. The Fund also enters into forward currency contracts. See “Options, Futures and Other Strategies” below. A forward currency contract is an obligation to buy or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are entered into on the interbank market conducted directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers.

The Fund may invest in a combination of forward currency contracts and U.S. dollar-denominated market instruments in an attempt to obtain an investment result that is substantially the same as a direct investment in a foreign currency-denominated instrument. This investment technique creates a “synthetic” position in the particular foreign-currency instrument whose performance the Adviser is trying to duplicate. For example, the combination of U.S. dollar-denominated instruments with “long” forward currency exchange contracts creates a position economically equivalent to a money market instrument denominated in the foreign currency itself. Such combined positions are sometimes necessary when the money market in a particular foreign currency is small or relatively illiquid.

The Fund may invest in forward currency contracts to hedge either specific transactions (transaction hedging) or portfolio positions (position hedging). Transaction hedging is the purchase or sale of forward currency contracts with respect to specific receivables or payables of the Fund in connection with the purchase and sale of portfolio securities. Position hedging is the sale of a forward currency contract on a particular currency with respect to portfolio positions denominated or quoted in that currency.

The Fund may use forward currency contracts for position hedging if consistent with its policy of trying to expose its net assets to foreign currencies. The Fund is not required to enter into forward currency contracts for hedging purposes and it is possible that the Fund may not be able to hedge against a currency devaluation that is so generally anticipated that the Fund is unable to contract to sell the currency at a price above the devaluation level it anticipates.

 

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The Fund currently does not intend to enter into a forward currency contract with a term of more than one year, or to engage in position hedging with respect to the currency of a particular country to more than the aggregate market value (at the time the hedging transaction is entered into) of its portfolio securities denominated in (or quoted in or currently convertible into or directly related through the use of forward currency contracts in conjunction with money market instruments to) that particular currency.

At or before the maturity of a forward currency contract, the Fund may either sell a portfolio security and make delivery of the currency, or retain the security and terminate its contractual obligation to deliver the currency by buying an “offsetting” contract obligating it to buy, on the same maturity date, the same amount of the currency. If the Fund engages in an offsetting transaction, it may later enter into a new forward currency contract to sell the currency.

If the Fund engages in an offsetting transaction, it will incur a gain or loss to the extent that there has been movement in forward currency contract prices. If forward prices go down during the period between the date the Fund enters into a forward currency contract for the sale of a currency and the date it enters into an offsetting contract for the purchase of the currency, the Fund will realize a gain to the extent that the price of the currency it has agreed to sell exceeds the price of the currency it has agreed to buy. If forward prices go up, the Fund will suffer a loss to the extent the price of the currency it has agreed to buy exceeds the price of the currency it has agreed to sell.

Since the Fund invests in money market instruments denominated in foreign currencies, it may hold foreign currencies pending investment or conversion into U.S. dollars. Although the Fund values its assets daily in U.S. dollars, it does not convert its holdings of foreign currencies into U.S. dollars on a daily basis. The Fund will convert its holdings from time to time, however, and incur the costs of currency conversion. Foreign exchange dealers do not charge a fee for conversion, but they do realize a profit based on the difference between the prices at which they buy and sell various currencies. Thus, a dealer may offer to sell a foreign currency to the Fund at one rate, and offer to buy the currency at a lower rate if the Fund tries to resell the currency to the dealer.

Foreign Currency Options. The Fund may invest in foreign currency-denominated securities and may buy or sell put and call options on foreign currencies. The Fund may buy or sell put and call options on foreign currencies either on exchanges or in the over-the-counter (“OTC”) market. A put option on a foreign currency gives the purchaser of the option the right to sell a foreign currency at the exercise price until the option expires. A call option on a foreign currency gives the purchaser of the option the right to purchase the currency at the exercise price until the option expires. Currency options traded on U.S. or other exchanges may be subject to position limits which may limit the ability of the Fund to reduce foreign currency risk using such options. OTC options differ from traded options in that they are two-party contracts with price and other terms negotiated between buyer and seller, and generally do not have as much market liquidity as exchange-traded options.

Foreign Currency Exchange-Related Securities.

Foreign currency warrants. Foreign currency warrants such as Currency Exchange WarrantsSM (“CEWsSM”) are warrants which entitle the holder to receive from their issuer an amount of cash (generally, for warrants issued in the United States, in U.S. dollars) which is calculated pursuant to a predetermined formula and based on the exchange rate between a specified foreign currency and the U.S. dollar as of the exercise date of the warrant. Foreign currency warrants generally are exercisable upon their issuance and expire as of a specified date and time. Foreign currency warrants have been issued in connection with U.S. dollar-denominated debt offerings by major corporate issuers in an attempt to reduce the foreign currency exchange risk which, from the point of view of prospective purchasers of the securities, is inherent in the international fixed-income marketplace. Foreign currency warrants may attempt to reduce the foreign exchange risk assumed by purchasers of a security by, for example, providing for a supplemental payment in the event that the U.S. dollar depreciates against the value of a major foreign currency such as the Japanese yen or the Euro. The formula used to determine the amount payable upon exercise of a foreign currency warrant may make the warrant worthless unless the applicable foreign currency exchange rate moves in a particular direction (e.g., unless the U.S. dollar appreciates or depreciates against the particular foreign currency to which the warrant is linked or indexed). Foreign currency warrants are severable from the debt obligations with which they may be offered, and may be listed on exchanges. Foreign currency warrants may be exercisable only in certain

 

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minimum amounts, and an investor wishing to exercise warrants who possesses less than the minimum number required for exercise may be required either to sell the warrants or to purchase additional warrants, thereby incurring additional transaction costs. In the case of any exercise of warrants, there may be a time delay between the time a holder of warrants gives instructions to exercise and the time the exchange rate relating to exercise is determined, during which time the exchange rate could change significantly, thereby affecting both the market and cash settlement values of the warrants being exercised. The expiration date of the warrants may be accelerated if the warrants should be delisted from an exchange or if their trading should be suspended permanently, which would result in the loss of any remaining “time value” of the warrants (i.e., the difference between the current market value and the exercise value of the warrants), and, in the case the warrants were “out-of-the-money,” in a total loss of the purchase price of the warrants.

Warrants are generally unsecured obligations of their issuers and are not standardized foreign currency options issued by the Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”). Unlike foreign currency options issued by OCC, the terms of foreign exchange warrants generally will not be amended in the event of governmental or regulatory actions affecting exchange rates or in the event of the imposition of other regulatory controls affecting the international currency markets. The initial public offering price of foreign currency warrants is generally considerably in excess of the price that a commercial user of foreign currencies might pay in the interbank market for a comparable option involving significantly larger amounts of foreign currencies. Foreign currency warrants are subject to significant foreign exchange risk, including risks arising from complex political or economic factors.

Principal exchange rate linked securities. Principal exchange rate linked securities (“PERLsSM”) are debt obligations the principal on which is payable at maturity in an amount that may vary based on the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and a particular foreign currency at or about that time. The return on “standard” principal exchange rate linked securities is enhanced if the foreign currency to which the security is linked appreciates against the U.S. dollar, and is adversely affected by increases in the foreign exchange value of the U.S. dollar; “reverse” principal exchange rate linked securities are like the “standard” securities, except that their return is enhanced by increases in the value of the U.S. dollar and adversely impacted by increases in the value of foreign currency. Interest payments on the securities are generally made in U.S. dollars at rates that reflect the degree of foreign currency risk assumed or given up by the purchaser of the notes (i.e., at relatively higher interest rates if the purchaser has assumed some of the foreign exchange risk, or relatively lower interest rates if the issuer has assumed some of the foreign exchange risk, based on the expectations of the current market). Principal exchange rate linked securities may in limited cases be subject to acceleration of maturity (generally, not without the consent of the holders of the securities), which may have an adverse impact on the value of the principal payment to be made at maturity.

Performance indexed paper. Performance indexed paper (“PIPsSM”) is U.S. dollar-denominated commercial paper the yield of which is linked to certain foreign exchange rate movements. The yield to the investor on performance indexed paper is established at maturity as a function of spot exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and a designated currency as of or about that time (generally, the index maturity two days prior to maturity). The yield to the investor will be within a range stipulated at the time of purchase of the obligation, generally with a guaranteed minimum rate of return that is below, and a potential maximum rate of return that is above, market yields on U.S. dollar-denominated commercial paper, with both the minimum and maximum rates of return on the investment corresponding to the minimum and maximum values of the spot exchange rate two business days prior to maturity.

Foreign Securities

The Fund may have both direct and indirect exposure through investments in stock index futures contracts, options on stock index futures contracts and options on securities and on stock indices to foreign securities. In most cases, the best available market for foreign securities will be on exchanges or in OTC markets located outside the United States.

Investing in foreign securities carries political and economic risks distinct from those associated with investing in the United States. Investments in foreign securities also involve the risk of possible adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, limitation on or delays in the removal of funds or other assets of a fund, political or financial instability or diplomatic and other developments that could affect such investments. Foreign investments may be affected by actions of foreign governments adverse to the interests of U.S. investors, including the possibility of expropriation or nationalization of assets, confiscatory

 

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taxation, restrictions on U.S. investment or on the ability to repatriate assets or to convert currency into U.S. dollars. There may be a greater possibility of default by foreign governments or foreign-government sponsored enterprises. Investments in foreign countries also involve a risk of local political, economic or social instability, military action or unrest or adverse diplomatic developments.

Developing and Emerging Markets. Emerging and developing markets abroad may offer special opportunities for investing but may have greater risks than more developed foreign markets, such as those in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. There may be even less liquidity in their securities markets, and settlements of purchases and sales of securities may be subject to additional delays. They are subject to greater risks of limitations on the repatriation of income and profits because of currency restrictions imposed by local governments. Those countries may also be subject to the risk of greater political and economic instability, which can greatly affect the volatility of prices of securities in those countries.

Investing in emerging market securities imposes risks different from, or greater than, risks of investing in foreign developed countries. These risks include: smaller market capitalization of securities markets, which may suffer periods of relative illiquidity; significant price volatility; restrictions on foreign investment; possible repatriation of investment income and capital. In addition, foreign investors may be required to register the proceeds of sales; future economic or political crises could lead to price controls, forced mergers, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, seizure, nationalization, or creation of government monopolies. The currencies of emerging market countries may experience significant declines against the U.S. dollar. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates have had, and may continue to have, negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain emerging market countries. Additional risks of emerging markets securities may include: greater social, economic and political uncertainty and instability; more substantial governmental involvement in the economy; less governmental supervision and regulation; unavailability of currency hedging techniques; companies that are newly organized and small; differences in auditing and financial reporting standards, which may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; and less developed legal systems. In addition, emerging securities markets may have different clearance and settlement procedures, which may be unable to keep pace with the volume of securities transactions or otherwise make it difficult to engage in such transactions.

Hybrid Instruments

The Fund may invest in hybrid instruments. A hybrid instrument is a type of potentially high-risk derivative that combines a traditional stock, bond, or commodity with an option or forward contract. Generally, the principal amount, amount payable upon maturity or redemption, or interest rate of a hybrid is tied (positively or negatively) to the price of some commodity, currency or securities index or another interest rate or some other economic factor (each a “benchmark”). The interest rate or (unlike most fixed income securities) the principal amount payable at maturity of a hybrid security may be increased or decreased, depending on changes in the value of the benchmark. A hybrid could be, for example, a bond issued by an oil company that pays a small base level of interest, in addition to interest that accrues when oil prices exceed a certain predetermined level. Such a hybrid instrument would be a combination of a bond and a call option on oil.

Hybrids can be used as an efficient means of pursuing a variety of investment goals, including currency hedging, and increased total return. Hybrids may not bear interest or pay dividends. The value of a hybrid or its interest rate may be a multiple of a benchmark and, as a result, may be leveraged and move (up or down) more steeply and rapidly than the benchmark. These benchmarks may be sensitive to economic and political events, such as commodity shortages and currency devaluations, which cannot be readily foreseen by the purchaser of a hybrid. Under certain conditions, the redemption value of a hybrid could be zero. Thus, an investment in a hybrid may entail significant market risks that are not associated with a similar investment in a traditional, U.S. dollar-denominated bond that has a fixed principal amount and pays a fixed rate or floating rate of interest. The purchase of hybrids also exposes the Fund to the credit risk of the issuer of the hybrids. These risks may cause significant fluctuations in the NAV of the Fund.

Certain issuers of structured products such as hybrid instruments may be deemed to be investment companies as defined in the 1940 Act. As a result, the Fund’s investment in these products may be subject to limits applicable to investments in investment companies and may be subject to restrictions contained in the 1940 Act.

 

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Illiquid Investments and Restricted Securities

The Fund may purchase and hold illiquid investments. The Fund will not purchase or otherwise acquire any security if, as a result, more than 15% of its net assets (taken at current value) would be invested in investments that are illiquid by virtue of the absence of a readily available market or legal or contractual restrictions on resale. This policy does not include restricted securities eligible for resale pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“1933 Act”), which the Board of Trustees (“Board” or “Trustees”) or Rafferty has determined under Board-approved guidelines are liquid. The Fund, however, currently does not anticipate investing in such restricted securities.

The term “illiquid investments” for this purpose means investments that cannot be disposed of within seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the amount at which the Fund has valued the investments. Investments currently considered to be illiquid include: (1) repurchase agreements not terminable within seven days; (2) securities for which market quotations are not readily available; (3) OTC options and their underlying collateral; (4) bank deposits, unless they are payable at principal amount plus accrued interest on demand or within seven days after demand; (5) restricted securities not determined to be liquid pursuant to guidelines established by the Board; and (6) in certain circumstances, securities involved in swap, cap, floor or collar transactions. The assets used as cover for OTC options written by the Fund will be considered illiquid unless the OTC options are sold to qualified dealers who agree that the Fund may repurchase any OTC option it writes at a maximum price to be calculated by a formula set forth in the option agreement. The cover for an OTC option written subject to this procedure would be considered illiquid only to the extent that the maximum repurchase price under the formula exceeds the intrinsic value of the option.

The Fund may not be able to sell illiquid investments when Rafferty considers it desirable to do so or may have to sell such investments at a price that is lower than the price that could be obtained if the investments were liquid. In addition, the sale of illiquid investments may require more time and result in higher dealer discounts and other selling expenses than does the sale of investments that are not illiquid. Illiquid investments also may be more difficult to value due to the unavailability of reliable market quotations for such investments, and investment in illiquid investments may have an adverse impact on NAV.

Rule 144A establishes a “safe harbor” from the registration requirements of the 1933 Act for resales of certain securities to qualified institutional buyers. Institutional markets for restricted securities that have developed as a result of Rule 144A provide both readily ascertainable values for certain restricted securities and the ability to liquidate an investment to satisfy share redemption orders. An insufficient number of qualified institutional buyers interested in purchasing Rule 144A-eligible securities held by the Fund, however, could affect adversely the marketability of such portfolio securities, and the Fund may be unable to dispose of such securities promptly or at reasonable prices.

Indexed Securities

The Fund may purchase indexed securities, which are securities, the value of which varies positively or negatively in relation to the value of other securities, securities indices or other financial indicators, consistent with its investment objective. Indexed securities may be debt securities or deposits whose value at maturity or coupon rate is determined by reference to a specific instrument or statistic. Recent issuers of indexed securities have included banks, corporations and certain U.S. government agencies.

The performance of indexed securities depends to a great extent on the performance of the security or other instrument to which they are indexed and also may be influenced by interest rate changes in the United States and abroad. At the same time, indexed securities are subject to the credit risks associated with the issuer of the security, and their values may decline substantially if the issuer’s creditworthiness deteriorates. Indexed securities may be more volatile than the underlying instruments. Certain indexed securities that are not traded on an established market may be deemed illiquid. See “Illiquid Investments and Restricted Securities” above.

 

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Total Return Swaps

The Fund may enter into total return swaps for hedging purposes and non-hedging purposes. Since swaps are entered into for good faith hedging purposes or are offset by a segregated account maintained by an approved custodian, Rafferty believes that swaps do not constitute senior securities as defined in the 1940 Act and, accordingly, will not treat them as being subject to the Fund’s borrowing restrictions. The net amount of the excess, if any, of the Fund’s obligations over its entitlement with respect to each total return swap will be accrued on a daily basis and an amount of cash or other liquid securities having an aggregate NAV at least equal to such accrued excess will be maintained in a segregated account by the Fund’s custodian. The Fund will not enter into any total return swap unless Rafferty believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. If there is a default by the other party to such a transaction, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreement. The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. In addition, some total return swaps are, and more in the future may be, centrally cleared. As a result, the swap market has become relatively liquid in comparison with the markets for other similar instruments which are traded in the interbank market.

Options, Futures and Other Derivative Strategies

General. The Fund may use certain options (traded on an exchange or OTC, or otherwise), futures contracts (sometimes referred to as “futures”) and options on futures contracts (collectively, “Financial Instruments”) as a substitute for a comparable market position in the underlying security, to attempt to hedge or limit the exposure of the Fund’s position, to create a synthetic money market position, for certain tax-related purposes or to effect closing transactions.

The use of Financial Instruments is subject to applicable regulations of the SEC, the several exchanges upon which they are traded and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”). In addition, the Fund’s ability to use Financial Instruments will be limited by tax considerations. See “Dividends, Other Distributions and Taxes.”

Under current CFTC regulations, if the Fund uses commodity interests (such as futures contracts, options on futures contracts and swaps) other than for bona fide hedging purposes (as defined by the CFTC) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish these positions (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions and excluding the amount by which options that are “in-the-money” at the time of purchase) may not exceed 5% of a fund’s NAV, or alternatively, the aggregate net notional value of those positions, as determined at the time the most recent position was established, may not exceed 100% of the fund’s NAV (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). Pursuant to a claim for exemption filed with the National Futures Association, the Fund is not deemed to be a commodity pool operator or a commodity pool under the Commodity Exchange Act (the “CEA”).

The Fund is subject to the risk that a change in U.S. law and related regulations will impact the way the Fund operates, increase the particular costs of the Fund’s operation and/or change the competitive landscape. In this regard, any further amendment to the CEA or its related regulations that subject the Fund to additional regulation may have adverse impacts on the Fund’s operations and expenses.

In addition to the instruments, strategies and risks described below and in the Prospectus, Rafferty may discover additional opportunities in connection with Financial Instruments and other similar or related techniques. These new opportunities may become available as Rafferty develops new techniques, as regulatory authorities broaden the range of permitted transactions and as new Financial Instruments or other techniques are developed. Rafferty may utilize these opportunities to the extent that they are consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and permitted by the Fund’s investment limitations and applicable regulatory authorities. The Fund’s Prospectus or this SAI will be supplemented to the extent that new products or techniques involve materially different risks than those described below or in the Prospectus.

Special Risks. The use of Financial Instruments involves special considerations and risks, certain of which are described below. Risks pertaining to particular Financial Instruments are described in the sections that follow.

 

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(1) Successful use of most Financial Instruments depends upon Rafferty’s ability to predict movements of the overall securities markets, which requires different skills than predicting changes in the prices of individual securities. The ordinary spreads between prices in the cash and futures markets, due to the differences in the natures of those markets, are subject to distortion. Due to the possibility of distortion, a correct forecast of stock market trends by Rafferty may still not result in a successful transaction. Rafferty may be incorrect in its expectations as to the extent of market movements or the time span within which the movements take place, which, thus, may result in the strategy being unsuccessful.

(2) Options and futures prices can diverge from the prices of their underlying instruments. Options and futures prices are affected by such factors as current and anticipated short-term interest rates, changes in volatility of the underlying instrument and the time remaining until expiration of the contract, which may not affect security prices the same way. Imperfect or no correlation also may result from differing levels of demand in the options and futures markets and the securities markets, from structural differences in how options and futures and securities are traded, and from imposition of daily price fluctuation limits or trading halts.

(3) As described below, the Fund might be required to maintain assets as “cover,” maintain segregated accounts or make margin payments when it takes positions in Financial Instruments involving obligations to third parties (e.g., Financial Instruments other than purchased options). If the Fund were unable to close out its positions in such Financial Instruments, it might be required to continue to maintain such assets or accounts or make such payments until the position expired or matured. These requirements might impair the Fund’s ability to sell a portfolio security or make an investment when it would otherwise be favorable to do so or require that the Fund sell a portfolio security at a disadvantageous time. The Fund’s ability to close out a position in a Financial Instrument prior to expiration or maturity depends on the existence of a liquid secondary market or, in the absence of such a market, the ability and willingness of the other party to the transaction (the “counterparty”) to enter into a transaction closing out the position. Therefore, there is no assurance that any position can be closed out at a time and price that is favorable to the Fund.

(4) Losses may arise due to unanticipated market price movements, lack of a liquid secondary market for any particular instrument at a particular time or due to losses from premiums paid by the Fund on options transactions.

Cover. Transactions using Financial Instruments, other than purchased options, expose the Fund to an obligation to another party. The Fund will not enter into any such transactions unless it owns either (1) an offsetting (“covered”) position in securities or other options or futures contracts or (2) cash and liquid assets with a value, marked-to-market daily, sufficient to cover its potential obligations to the extent not covered as provided in (1) above. The Fund will comply with SEC guidelines regarding cover for these instruments and will, if the guidelines so require, set aside cash or liquid assets in an account with its custodian, the U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (“USBFS”), in the prescribed amount as determined daily.

Assets used as cover or held in an account cannot be sold while the position in the corresponding Financial Instrument is open, unless they are replaced with other appropriate assets. As a result, the commitment of a large portion of the Fund’s assets to cover or accounts could impede portfolio management or the Fund’s ability to meet redemption requests or other current obligations.

Options. The value of an option position will reflect, among other things, the current market value of the underlying investment, the time remaining until expiration, the relationship of the exercise price to the market price of the underlying investment and general market conditions. Options that expire unexercised have no value. Options currently are traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange® (“CBOE®”), the Exchange and other exchanges, as well as the OTC markets.

By buying a call option on a security, the Fund has the right, in return for the premium paid, to buy the security underlying the option at the exercise price. By writing (selling) a call option and receiving a premium, the Fund becomes obligated during the term of the option to deliver securities underlying the option at the exercise price if the option is exercised. By buying a put option, the Fund has the right, in return for the premium, to sell the security underlying the option at the exercise price. By writing a put option, the Fund becomes obligated during the term of the option to purchase the securities underlying the option at the exercise price.

 

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Because options premiums paid or received by the Fund are small in relation to the market value of the investments underlying the options, buying and selling put and call options can be more speculative than investing directly in securities.

The Fund may effectively terminate its right or obligation under an option by entering into a closing transaction. For example, the Fund may terminate its obligation under a call or put option that it had written by purchasing an identical call or put option; this is known as a closing purchase transaction. Conversely, the Fund may terminate a position in a put or call option it had purchased by writing an identical put or call option; this is known as a closing sale transaction. Closing transactions permit the Fund to realize profits or limit losses on an option position prior to its exercise or expiration.

Risks of Options on Currencies and Securities. Exchange-traded options in the United States are issued by a clearing organization affiliated with the exchange on which the option is listed that, in effect, guarantees completion of every exchange-traded option transaction. In contrast, OTC options are contracts between the Fund and its counterparty (usually a securities dealer or a bank) with no clearing organization guarantee. Thus, when the Fund purchases an OTC option, it relies on the counterparty from which it purchased the option to make or take delivery of the underlying investment upon exercise of the option. Failure by the counterparty to do so would result in the loss of any premium paid by the Fund as well as the loss of any expected benefit of the transaction.

The Fund’s ability to establish and close out positions in exchange-traded options depends on the existence of a liquid market. However, there can be no assurance that such a market will exist at any particular time. Closing transactions can be made for OTC options only by negotiating directly with the counterparty, or by a transaction in the secondary market if any such market exists. There can be no assurance that the Fund will in fact be able to close out an OTC option position at a favorable price prior to expiration. In the event of insolvency of the counterparty, the Fund might be unable to close out an OTC option position at any time prior to its expiration.

If the Fund were unable to effect a closing transaction for an option it had purchased, it would have to exercise the option to realize any profit. The inability to enter into a closing purchase transaction for a covered call option written by the Fund could cause material losses because the Fund would be unable to sell the investment used as cover for the written option until the option expires or is exercised.

Options on Indices. An index fluctuates with changes in the market values of the securities included in the index. Options on indices give the holder the right to receive an amount of cash upon exercise of the option. Receipt of this cash amount will depend upon the closing level of the index upon which the option is based being greater than (in the case of a call) or less than (in the case of put) the exercise price of the option. Some stock index options are based on a broad market index such as the S&P 500® Composite Stock Index, the NYSE Composite Index or the AMEX® Major Market Index or on a narrower index such as the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Over-the-Counter Index.

The Exchange has established limitations governing the maximum number of call or put options on the same index that may be bought or written by a single investor, whether acting alone or in concert with others (regardless of whether such options are written on the same or different exchanges or are held or written on one or more accounts or through one or more brokers). Under these limitations, option positions of all investment companies advised by Rafferty are combined for purposes of these limits. Pursuant to these limitations, an exchange may order the liquidation of positions and may impose other sanctions or restrictions. These positions limits may restrict the number of listed options that the Fund may buy or sell.

Puts and calls on indices are similar to puts and calls on securities or futures contracts except that all settlements are in cash and gain or loss depends on changes in the index in question rather than on price movements in individual securities or futures contracts. When the Fund writes a call on an index, it receives a premium and agrees that, prior to the expiration date, the purchaser of the call, upon exercise of the call, will receive from the Fund an amount of cash if the closing level of the index upon which the call is based is greater than the exercise price of the call. The amount of cash is equal to the difference between the closing price of the index and the exercise price of the call times a specified multiple (“multiplier”), which determines the total value for each point of such difference. When the Fund buys a call on an index, it pays a premium and has the same rights to such call as are indicated above. When the Fund buys a put on an index, it pays a premium and has the right, prior to the expiration date, to require

 

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the seller of the put, upon the Fund’s exercise of the put, to deliver to the Fund an amount of cash if the closing level of the index upon which the put is based is less than the exercise price of the put, which amount of cash is determined by the multiplier, as described above for calls. When the Fund writes a put on an index, it receives a premium and the purchaser of the put has the right, prior to the expiration date, to require the Fund to deliver to it an amount of cash equal to the difference between the closing level of the index and the exercise price times the multiplier if the closing level is less than the exercise price.

Risks of Options on Indices. If the Fund has purchased an index option and exercises it before the closing index value for that day is available, it runs the risk that the level of the underlying index may subsequently change. If such a change causes the exercised option to fall out-of-the-money, the Fund will be required to pay the difference between the closing index value and the exercise price of the option (times the applicable multiplier) to the assigned writer.

OTC Options. Unlike exchange-traded options, which are standardized with respect to the underlying instrument, expiration date, contract size and strike price, the terms of OTC options (options not traded on exchanges) generally are established through negotiation with the other party to the option contract. While this type of arrangement allows the Fund great flexibility to tailor the option to its needs, OTC options generally involve greater risk than exchange-traded options, which are guaranteed by the clearing organization of the exchanges where they are traded.

Forward Contracts. The Fund may enter into equity, equity index or interest rate forward contracts for purposes of attempting to gain exposure to an index or group of securities without actually purchasing these securities, or to hedge a position. Forward contracts are two-party contracts pursuant to which one party agrees to pay the counterparty a fixed price for an agreed upon amount of commodities, securities, or the cash value of the commodities, securities or the securities index, at an agreed upon date. Because they are two-party contracts and may have terms greater than seven days, forward contracts may be considered to be illiquid for the Fund’s illiquid investment limitations. The Fund will not enter into any forward contract unless Rafferty believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. 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 which could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor.

Futures Contracts and Options on Futures Contracts. A futures contract obligates the seller to deliver (and the purchaser to take delivery of) the specified security on the expiration date of the contract. An index futures contract obligates the seller to deliver (and the purchaser to take) an amount of cash equal to a specific dollar amount times the difference between the value of a specific index at the close of the last trading day of the contract and the price at which the agreement is made. No physical delivery of the underlying securities in the index is made.

When the Fund writes an option on a futures contract, it becomes obligated, in return for the premium paid, to assume a position in the futures contract at a specified exercise price at any time during the term of the option. If the Fund writes a call, it assumes a short futures position. If it writes a put, it assumes a long futures position. When the Fund purchases an option on a futures contract, it acquires the right in return for the premium it pays to assume a position in a futures contract (a long position if the option is a call and a short position if the option is a put).

Whether the Fund realizes a gain or loss from futures activities depends upon movements in the underlying security or index. The extent of the Fund’s loss from an unhedged short position in futures contracts or from writing unhedged call options on futures contracts is potentially unlimited. The Fund only purchases and sells futures contracts and options on futures contracts that are traded on a U.S. exchange or board of trade.

No price is paid upon entering into a futures contract. Instead, at the inception of a futures contract the Fund is required to deposit “initial margin” in an amount generally equal to 10% or less of the contract value. Margin also must be deposited when writing a call or put option on a futures contract, in accordance with applicable exchange rules. Unlike margin in securities transactions, initial margin does not represent a borrowing, but rather is in the nature of a performance bond or good-faith deposit that is returned to the Fund at the termination of the transaction if all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Under certain circumstances, such as periods of high volatility, the Fund may be required by an exchange to increase the level of its initial margin payment, and initial margin requirements might be increased generally in the future by regulatory action.

 

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Subsequent “variation margin” payments are made to and from the futures commission merchant daily as the value of the futures position varies, a process known as “marking-to-market.” Variation margin does not involve borrowing, but rather represents a daily settlement of the Fund’s obligations to or from a futures commission merchant. When the Fund purchases an option on a futures contract, the premium paid plus transaction costs is all that is at risk. In contrast, when the Fund purchases or sells a futures contract or writes a call or put option thereon, it is subject to daily variation margin calls that could be substantial in the event of adverse price movements. If the Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements, it might need to sell securities at a time when such sales are disadvantageous.

Purchasers and sellers of futures contracts and options on futures can enter into offsetting closing transactions, similar to closing transactions in options, by selling or purchasing, respectively, an instrument identical to the instrument purchased or sold. Positions in futures and options on futures contracts may be closed only on an exchange or board of trade that provides a secondary market. However, there can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for a particular contract at a particular time. In such event, it may not be possible to close a futures contract or options position.

Under certain circumstances, futures exchanges may establish daily limits on the amount that the price of a futures contract or an option on a futures contract can vary from the previous day’s settlement price; once that limit is reached, no trades may be made that day at a price beyond the limit. Daily price limits do not limit potential losses because prices could move to the daily limit for several consecutive days with little or no trading, thereby preventing liquidation of unfavorable positions.

If the Fund were unable to liquidate a futures contract or an option on a futures position due to the absence of a liquid secondary market or the imposition of price limits, it could incur substantial losses. The Fund would continue to be subject to market risk with respect to the position. In addition, except in the case of purchased options, the Fund would continue to be required to make daily variation margin payments and might be required to maintain cash or liquid assets in an account.

Risks of Futures Contracts and Options Thereon. The ordinary spreads between prices in the cash and futures markets (including the options on futures markets), due to differences in the natures of those markets, are subject to the following factors, which may create distortions. First, all participants in the futures market are subject to margin deposit and maintenance requirements. Rather than meeting additional margin deposit requirements, investors may close futures contracts through offsetting transactions, which could distort the normal relationships between the cash and futures markets. Second, the liquidity of the futures market depends on participants entering into offsetting transactions rather than making or taking delivery. To the extent participants decide to make or take delivery, liquidity in the futures market could be reduced, thus producing distortion. Third, from the point of view of speculators, the deposit requirements in the futures market are less onerous than margin requirements in the securities market. Therefore, increased participation by speculators in the futures market may cause temporary price distortions.

Combined Positions. The Fund may purchase and write options in combination with each other. For example, the Fund may purchase a put option and write a call option on the same underlying instrument, in order to construct a combined position whose risk and return characteristics are similar to selling a futures contract. Another possible combined position would involve writing a call option at one strike price and buying a call option at a lower price, in order to reduce the risk of the written call option in the event of a substantial price increase. Because combined options positions involve multiple trades, they result in higher transaction costs and may be more difficult to open and close out.

Other Investment Companies

Open-end and Closed-end Investment Company. The Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies, including open- and closed-end funds, and in ETFs. Investments in the securities of other investment companies may involve duplication of advisory fees and certain other expenses. By investing in another investment company, the Fund becomes a shareholder of that investment company. As a result, Fund shareholders indirectly

 

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will bear the Fund’s proportionate share of the fees and expenses of the other investment company, in addition to the fees and expenses Fund shareholders bear in connection with the Fund’s own operations.

The Fund intends to limit its investments in securities issued by other investment companies in accordance with the 1940 Act. Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act precludes the Fund from acquiring (i) more than 3% of the total outstanding shares of another investment company; (ii) shares of another investment company having an aggregate value in excess of 5% of the value of the total assets of the Fund; or (iii) shares of another registered investment company and all other investment companies having an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the value of the total assets of the Fund. However, Section 12(d)(1)(F) of the 1940 Act provides that the provisions of paragraph 12(d) shall not apply to securities purchased or otherwise acquired by the Fund if (i) immediately after such purchase or acquisition not more than 3% of the total outstanding shares of such investment company is owned by the Fund and all affiliated persons of the Fund; and (ii) the Fund has not offered or sold, and is not proposing to offer or sell its shares through a principal underwriter or otherwise at a public or offering price that includes a sales load of more than 1 1/2%.

If the Fund invests in investment companies pursuant to Section 12(d)(1)(F), it must comply with the following voting restrictions: when the Fund exercises voting rights, by proxy or otherwise, with respect to investment companies owned by the Fund, the Fund will either seek instruction from the Fund’s shareholders with regard to the voting of all proxies and vote in accordance with such instructions, or vote the shares held by the Fund in the same proportion as the vote of all other holders of such security. In addition, an investment company purchased by the Fund pursuant to Section 12(d)(1)(F) shall not be required to redeem its shares in an amount exceeding 1% of such investment company’s total outstanding shares in any period of less than thirty days.

Shares of another investment company or ETF that has received exemptive relief from the SEC to permit other funds to invest in the shares without these limitations are excluded from such restrictions to the extent that the Fund has complied with the requirements of such orders. To the extent that the Fund invests in open-end or closed-end investment companies that invest primarily in the securities of companies located outside the United States, see the risks related to foreign securities set forth above.

Exchange-Traded Products. The Fund may invest in ETFs, which are registered investment companies, partnerships or trusts that are bought and sold on a securities exchange. The Fund may also invest in exchange-traded notes (“ETN”), which are structured debt securities. Additionally, the Fund may invest in swap agreements referencing ETFs. Whereas ETFs’ liabilities are secured by their portfolio securities, ETNs’ liabilities are unsecured general obligations of the issuer. Most ETFs and ETNs are designed to track a particular market segment or index. ETFs and ETNs share expenses associated with their operation, typically including, with respect to ETFs, advisory fees. When the Fund invests in an ETF or ETN, in addition to directly bearing expenses associated with its own operations, it will bear its pro rata portion of the ETF’s or ETN’s expenses. The risks of owning an ETF or ETN generally reflect the risks of owning the underlying securities the ETF or ETN is designed to track, although lack of liquidity in an ETF or ETN could result in it being more volatile than the underlying portfolio of securities. If the Fund invests in ETFs or swap agreements referencing ETFs, the underlying ETFs may not necessarily track the same index as the Fund. In addition, because of ETF or ETN expenses, compared to owning the underlying securities directly, it may be more costly to own an ETF or ETN. The value of an ETN security should also be expected to fluctuate with the credit rating of the issuer.

Money Market Funds. Money market funds are open-end registered investment companies which have historically traded at a stable $1.00 per share price. In July 2014, the SEC adopted amendments to money market fund regulations (“2014 Amendments”) intended to address perceived systemic risks associated with money market funds and to improve transparency for money market fund investors. In general, the 2014 Amendments require money market funds that do not meet the definitions of a retail money market fund or government money market fund to transact at a floating NAV per share (similar to all other non-money market mutual funds), instead of at a $1 stable share price, as has traditionally been the case. The 2014 Amendments also permit all money market funds to impose liquidity fees and redemption gates for use in times of market stress. The SEC also adopted additional diversification, stress testing, and disclosure measures. The 2014 Amendments represent significant departures from the traditional operation of money market funds and the impact that these amendments might have on money market funds is unclear; however, any impact on the trading and value of money market instruments as a result of the 2014

 

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Amendments may negatively affect a Fund’s yield and return potential. The 2014 Amendments generally are not effective until October 2016.

Payment-In-Kind Securities and Strips

The Fund may invest in payment-in-kind securities and strips of any rating or maturity. Payment-in-kind securities allow the issuer, at its option, to make current interest payments on the bonds either in cash or in bonds. Both zero-coupon securities and payment-in-kind securities allow an issuer to avoid the need to generate cash to meet current interest payments. Even though such securities do not pay current interest in cash, the Fund nonetheless is required to accrue interest income on these investments and to distribute the interest income at least annually to shareholders.

The Fund may also invest in strips, which are debt securities whose interest coupons are taken out and traded separately after the securities are issued but otherwise are comparable to zero-coupon securities. Like zero-coupon securities and payment-in-kind securities, strips are generally more sensitive to interest rate fluctuations than interest paying securities of comparable term and quality.

Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System or securities dealers who are members of a national securities exchange or are primary dealers in U.S. government securities. Repurchase agreements generally are for a short period of time, usually less than a week. Under a repurchase agreement, the Fund purchases a U.S. government security and simultaneously agrees to sell the security back 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 Fund’s holding period. While the maturities of the underlying securities in repurchase agreement transactions may be more than one year, the term of each repurchase agreement always will be less than one year. Repurchase agreements with a maturity of more than seven days are considered to be illiquid investments. No Fund may enter into such a repurchase agreement if, as a result, more than 15% of the value of its net assets would then be invested in such repurchase agreements and other illiquid investments. See “Illiquid Investments and Restricted Securities” above.

The Fund will always receive, as collateral, securities whose market value, including accrued interest, at all times will be at least equal to 100% of the dollar amount invested by the Fund in each repurchase agreement. In the event of default or bankruptcy by the seller, the Fund will liquidate those securities (whose market value, including accrued interest, must be at least 100% of the amount invested by the Fund) held under the applicable repurchase agreement, which securities constitute collateral for the seller’s obligation to repurchase the security. If the seller defaults, the Fund might incur a loss if the value of the collateral securing the repurchase agreement declines and might incur disposition costs in connection with liquidating the collateral. In addition, if bankruptcy or similar proceedings are commenced with respect to the seller of the security, realization upon the collateral by the Fund may be delayed or limited.

Reverse Repurchase Agreements

The Fund may borrow by entering into reverse repurchase agreements with the same parties with whom it may enter into repurchase agreements. Under a reverse repurchase agreement, the Fund sells securities and agrees to repurchase them at a mutually agreed to price. At the time the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it will establish and maintain a segregated account with an approved custodian containing liquid high-grade securities, marked-to-market daily, having a value not less than the repurchase price (including accrued interest). Reverse repurchase agreements involve the risk that the market value of securities retained in lieu of sale by the Fund may decline below the price of the securities the Fund has sold but is obliged to repurchase. If the buyer of securities under a reverse repurchase agreement files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, such buyer or its trustee or receiver may receive an extension of time to determine whether to enforce the Fund’s obligation to repurchase the securities. During that time, the Fund’s use of the proceeds of the reverse repurchase agreement effectively may be restricted. Reverse repurchase agreements create leverage, a speculative factor, and are considered borrowings for the purpose of the Fund’s limitation on borrowing.

 

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Short Sales

The Fund may engage in short sale transactions under which the Fund sells a security it does not own. To complete such a transaction, the Fund must borrow the security to make delivery to the buyer. The Fund then is obligated to replace the security borrowed by purchasing the security at the market price at the time of replacement. The price at such time may be more or less than the price at which the security was sold by the Fund. Until the security is replaced, the Fund is required to pay to the lender amounts equal to any dividends that accrue during the period of the loan. The proceeds of the short sale will be retained by the broker, to the extent necessary to meet the margin requirements, until the short position is closed out.

Until the Fund closes its short position or replaces the borrowed stock, the Fund will: (1) maintain an account containing cash or liquid assets at such a level that (a) the amount deposited in the account plus the amount deposited with the broker as collateral will equal the current value of the stock sold short and (b) the amount deposited in the account plus the amount deposited with the broker as collateral will not be less than the market value of the stock at the time the stock was sold short; or (2) otherwise cover the Fund’s short position.

Swap Agreements

The Fund may enter into swap agreements. Swap agreements are generally 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 particular predetermined investments or instruments. The gross returns to be exchanged or “swapped” between the parties are calculated with respect to a “notional amount,” i.e., the return on or increase in value of a particular dollar amount invested in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. Some swaps are, and more in the future will be, centrally cleared. Swaps that are centrally-cleared are subject to the creditworthiness of the clearing organizations involved in the transaction. For example, an investor could lose margin payments it has deposited with the clearing organization as well as the net amount of gains not yet paid by the clearing organization if it breaches its agreement with the investor or becomes insolvent or goes into bankruptcy. In the event of bankruptcy of the clearing organization, the investor may be entitled to the net amount of gains the investor is entitled to receive plus the return of margin owed to it only in proportion to the amount received by the clearing organization’s other customers, potentially resulting in losses to the investor.

Most swap agreements entered into by the Fund calculate the obligations of the parties to the agreement on a “net basis.” Consequently, the Fund’s current obligations (or rights) under a swap agreement generally will be equal 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”). Payments may be made at the conclusion of a swap agreement or periodically during its term.

Swap agreements do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets. Accordingly, if a swap is entered into on a net basis, if the other party to a swap agreement defaults, the Fund’s risk of loss consists of the net amount of payments that such Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any.

The net amount of the excess, if any, of the Fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to a swap agreement entered into on a net basis will be accrued daily and an amount of cash or liquid asset having an aggregate NAV at least equal to the accrued excess will be maintained in an account with the Custodian that satisfies the 1940 Act. The Fund also will establish and maintain such accounts with respect to its total obligations under any swaps that are not entered into on a net basis. Obligations under swap agreements so covered will not be construed to be “senior securities” for purposes of the Fund’s investment restriction concerning senior securities.

Because they are generally two-party contracts and may have terms of greater than seven days, swap agreements may be considered to be illiquid for the Fund’s illiquid investment limitations. The Fund will not enter into any swap agreement unless Rafferty believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. The Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap agreement in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap agreement counterparty.

 

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The Fund may enter into a swap agreement with respect to an index in circumstances where Rafferty believes that it may be more cost effective or practical than buying the underlying securities represented by such index or a futures contract or an option on such index. The counterparty to any swap agreement will typically be a bank, investment banking firm or broker-dealer. The counterparty will generally agree to pay the Fund the amount, if any, by which the notional amount of the swap agreement would have increased in value had it been invested in the particular stocks represented in the index, plus the dividends that would have been received on those stocks. The Fund will agree to pay to the counterparty a floating rate of interest on the notional amount of the swap agreement plus the amount, if any, by which the notional amount would have decreased in value had it been invested in such stocks. Therefore, the return to the Fund on any swap agreement should be the gain or loss on the notional amount plus dividends on the stocks less the interest paid by the Fund on the notional amount.

The swap market has grown substantially in recent years with a large number of banks and investment banking firms acting both as principals and as agents utilizing standardized swap documentation. In addition, as discussed above, some swaps currently are, and more in the future will be, centrally cleared, which affects how swaps are transacted. As a result, the swap market has become relatively liquid in comparison with the markets for other similar instruments that are traded in the OTC market. Rafferty, under the supervision of the Board, is responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of Fund transactions in swap agreements.

The use of equity swaps is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions.

U.S. Government Securities

The Fund may invest in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities (“U.S. government securities”) in pursuit of its investment objective, in order to deposit such securities as initial or variation margin, as “cover” for the investment techniques it employs, as part of a cash reserve or for liquidity purposes.

U.S. government securities are high-quality instruments issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the U.S. Treasury or by an agency or instrumentality of the U.S. government. Not all U.S. government securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Some are backed by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; others are backed by discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase the agencies’ obligations; while others are supported only by the credit of the instrumentality. In the case of securities not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, the investor must look principally to the agency issuing or guaranteeing the obligation for ultimate repayment.

U.S. government securities include U.S. Treasury Bills (which mature within one year of the date they are issued), U.S. Treasury Notes (which have maturities of one to ten years) and U.S. Treasury Bonds (which generally have maturities of more than 10 years). All such U.S. Treasury securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.

U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities that issue or guarantee securities include the Federal Housing Administration, Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae®”), the Farmers Home Administration, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Small Business Administration, the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae®”), the General Services Administration, the Central Bank for Cooperatives, the Federal Home Loan Banks, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac©”), the Farm Credit Banks, the Maritime Administration, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Resolution Funding Corporation and the Student Loan Marketing Association (“Sallie Mae®”).

In September 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department (“U.S. Treasury”) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) announced that Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® had been placed in conservatorship. Since that time, Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® have received significant capital support through U.S. Treasury preferred stock purchases, as well as U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve purchases of their mortgage backed securities (“MBS”). The FHFA and the U.S. Treasury (through its agreement to purchase Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® preferred stock) have imposed strict limits on the size of their mortgage portfolios. While the MBS purchase programs ended in 2010, the U.S. Treasury continued its support for the entities’ capital as necessary to prevent a negative net worth

 

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through at least 2012. From the end of 2007 through the first quarter of 2014, Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® required U.S. Treasury support of approximately $187.5 billion through draws under the preferred stock purchase agreements. However, they have repaid approximately $203 billion in senior preferred dividends to the U.S. Treasury over the same period. Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® ended the second quarter of 2014 with positive net worth and, as a result, neither required a draw from the U.S. Treasury. In April 2014, FHFA projected that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would require no additional draws from Treasury through the end of 2015. However, FHFA also conducted a stress test mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, which suggested that in a “severely adverse scenario” additional Treasury support of between $84.4 billion and $190 billion (depending on the treatment of deferred tax assets) might be required. Nonetheless, no assurance can be given that the Federal Reserve or the U.S. Treasury will ensure that Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® remain successful in meeting their obligations with respect to the debt and mortgage-backed securities that they issue.

In addition, the problems faced by Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac®, resulting in their being placed into federal conservatorship and receiving significant U.S. government support, have sparked serious debate among federal policy makers regarding the continued role of the U.S. government in providing liquidity for mortgage loans. In December 2011, Congress enacted the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act (“TCCA”) of 2011 which, among other provisions, requires that Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® increase their single-family guaranty fees by at least 10 basis points and remit this increase to Treasury with respect to all loans acquired by Fannie Mae® or Freddie Mac® on or after April 1, 2012 and before January 1, 2022. Serious discussions among policymakers continue, however, as to whether Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® should be nationalized, privatized, restructured, or eliminated altogether. Fannie Mae reported in the second quarter of 2014 that there was “significant uncertainty regarding the future of our company, including how long the company will continue to exist in its current form, the extent of our role in the market, what form we will have, and what ownership interest, if any, our current common and preferred stockholders will hold in us after the conservatorship is terminated and whether we will continue to exist following conservatorship.” Freddie Mac faces similar uncertainty about its future role. Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® also are the subject of several continuing legal actions and investigations over certain accounting, disclosure, or corporate governance matters, which (along with any resulting financial restatements) may continue to have an adverse effect on the guaranteeing entities.

Yields on short-, intermediate- and long-term U.S. government securities are dependent 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 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 the market interest rates. An increase in interest rates, therefore, generally would reduce the market value of the Fund’s portfolio investments in U.S. government securities, while a decline in interest rates generally would increase the market value of the Fund’s portfolio investments in these securities.

U.S. Government Sponsored Enterprises (“GSEs”)

GSE securities are securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities. Some obligations issued by GSEs and instrumentalities are supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury; others by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury; others by discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase certain obligations of the agency or instrumentality; and others only by the credit of the agency or instrumentality. Those securities bear fixed, floating or variable rates of interest. Interest may fluctuate based on generally recognized reference rates or the relationship of rates. While the U.S. government currently provides financial support to such GSEs or instrumentalities, no assurance can be given that it will always do so, since it is not so obligated by law.

Certain U.S. government debt securities, such as securities of the Federal Home Loan Banks, are supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury. Others, such as securities issued by the Fannie Mae® and the

 

22


Freddie Mac©, are supported only by the credit of the corporation. In the case of securities not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, the Fund must look principally to the agency issuing or guaranteeing the obligation in the event the agency or instrumentality does not meet its commitments. The U.S. government may choose not to provide financial support to GSEs or instrumentalities if it is not legally obligated to do so. The Fund will invest in securities of such instrumentalities only when Rafferty is satisfied that the credit risk with respect to any such instrumentality is comparatively minimal.

When-Issued Securities

The Fund may enter into firm commitment agreements for the purchase of securities on a specified future date. The Fund may purchase, for example, new issues of fixed-income instruments on a when-issued basis, whereby the payment obligation, or yield to maturity, or coupon rate on the instruments may not be fixed at the time of transaction. The Fund will not purchase securities on a when-issued basis if, as a result, more than 15% of its net assets would be so invested. If the Fund enters into a firm commitment agreement, liability for the purchase price and the rights and risks of ownership of the security accrue to the Fund at the time it becomes obligated to purchase such security, although delivery and payment occur at a later date. Accordingly, if the market price of the security should decline, the effect of such an agreement would be to obligate the Fund to purchase the security at a price above the current market price on the date of delivery and payment. During the time the Fund is obligated to purchase such a security, it will be required to segregate assets with an approved custodian in an amount sufficient to settle the transaction.

Other Investment Risks and Practices

Borrowing. The Fund may borrow money for investment purposes, which is a form of leveraging. Leveraging investments, by purchasing securities with borrowed money, is a speculative technique that increases investment risk while increasing investment opportunity. Leverage will magnify changes in the Fund’s NAV and on the Fund’s investments. Although the principal of such borrowings will be fixed, the Fund’s assets may change in value during the time the borrowing is outstanding. Leverage also creates interest expenses for the Fund. To the extent the income derived from securities purchased with borrowed funds exceeds the interest the Fund will have to pay, that Fund’s net income will be greater than it would be if leverage were not used. Conversely, if the income from the assets obtained with borrowed funds is not sufficient to cover the cost of leveraging, the net income of the Fund will be less than it would be if leverage were not used, and therefore the amount available for distribution to shareholders as dividends will be reduced. The use of derivatives in connection with leverage creates the potential for significant loss.

The Fund may borrow money to facilitate management of the Fund’s portfolio by enabling the Fund to meet redemption requests when the liquidation of portfolio instruments would be inconvenient or disadvantageous. Such borrowing is not for investment purposes and will be repaid by the borrowing Fund promptly.

As required by 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 required asset coverage declines as a result of market fluctuations or other reasons, the Fund may be required to sell some of its portfolio investments within three days to reduce the amount of its borrowings and restore the 300% asset coverage, even though it may be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint to sell portfolio instruments at that time.

Lending Portfolio Securities. The Fund may lend portfolio securities with a value not exceeding 33 1/3% of its total assets to brokers, dealers, and financial institutions. Borrowers are required continuously to secure their obligations to return securities on loan from the Fund by depositing any combination of short-term government securities, shares of registered and unregistered money market funds and cash as collateral with the Fund. The collateral must be equal to at least 100% of the market value of the loaned securities, which will be marked to market daily. The value of this collateral could decline, causing the Fund to experience a loss. While the Fund’s portfolio securities are on loan, the Fund continues to receive interest on the securities loaned and simultaneously earns either interest on the investment of the collateral or fee income if the loan is otherwise collateralized. The Fund may invest the interest received and the collateral, thereby earning additional income. Loans would be subject to termination by the lending Fund on a four-business days’ notice or by the borrower on a one-day notice. Borrowed securities must be returned when the

 

23


loan is terminated. Any gain or loss in the market price of the borrowed securities that occurs during the term of the loan inures to the lending Fund and that Fund’s shareholders. A lending Fund may pay reasonable finders, borrowers, administrative and custodial fees in connection with a loan. The Fund could lose money from securities lending if, for example, it is delayed or prevented from selling the collateral after a loan is made, in recovering the securities loaned or if the Fund incurs losses on the reinvestment of cash collateral. The Fund currently has no intention of lending its portfolio securities.

Portfolio Turnover. The Trust anticipates that the Fund’s annual portfolio turnover will vary. The Fund’s portfolio turnover rate is calculated by the value of the securities purchased or securities sold, excluding all securities whose maturities at the time of acquisition were one year or less, divided by the average monthly value of such securities owned during the year. Based on this calculation, instruments with remaining maturities of less than one year are excluded from the portfolio turnover rate. Such instruments generally would include futures contracts and options, since such contracts generally have a remaining maturity of less than one year. In any given period, all of the Fund’s investments may have a remaining maturity of less than one year; in that case, the portfolio turnover rate for that period would be equal to zero. However, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate calculated with all securities whose maturities were one year or less is anticipated to be unusually high.

High portfolio turnover involves correspondingly greater expenses to the Fund, including brokerage commissions or dealer mark-ups and other transaction costs on the sale of securities and reinvestments in other securities. Such sales also may result in adverse tax consequences to the Fund’s shareholders resulting from its distributions of increased net capital gains, if any, recognized as a result of the sales. The trading costs and tax effects associated with portfolio turnover may adversely affect the Fund’s performance.

Correlation and Tracking Risk

Several factors may affect the Fund’s ability to track the performance of its index. Among these factors are: (1) Fund expenses, including brokerage expenses and commissions (which may be increased by high portfolio turnover); (2) less than all of the securities in the underlying index being held by the Fund and securities not included in the underlying index being held by the Fund; (3) an imperfect correlation between the performance of instruments held by the Fund, such as futures contracts and options, and the performance of the underlying securities in the cash market comprising an index; (4) bid-ask spreads; (5) the Fund holding instruments that are illiquid or the market for which becomes disrupted; and (6) the need to conform the Fund’s portfolio holdings to comply with that Fund’s investment restrictions or policies, or regulatory or tax law requirements.

While index futures and options contracts closely correlate with the applicable indices over long periods, shorter-term deviation, such as on a daily basis, does occur with these instruments. As a result, the Fund’s short-term performance will reflect such deviation from its underlying index.

Potential Substantial After-Tax Correlation and Tracking Risk

The Fund will be subject to taxation on its taxable income. The Fund’s NAV will also be reduced by the accrual of any deferred tax liabilities. The Index, however, is calculated without any deductions for taxes. As a result, the Fund’s after tax performance could differ significantly from the Index, even if the pretax performance of the Fund and the performance of the Index are closely correlated. The performance of the Fund may diverge from that of the Index.

INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS

The Trust, on behalf of the Fund, has adopted the following investment policies which are fundamental policies that may not be changed without the affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund, as defined by the 1940 Act. As defined by the 1940 Act, a “vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund” means the affirmative vote of the lesser of (1) more than 50% of the outstanding shares of the Fund or (2) 67% or more of the shares present at a meeting, if more than 50% of the outstanding shares are represented at the meeting in person or by proxy.

 

24


The Fund’s investment objective is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund. Non-fundamental policies may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval.

For purposes of the following limitations, all percentage limitations apply immediately after a purchase or initial investment. Except with respect to borrowing money, if a percentage limitation is adhered to at the time of the investment, a later increase or decrease in the percentage resulting from any change in value or net assets will not result in a violation of such restrictions. If at any time the Fund’s borrowings exceed its limitations due to a decline in net assets, such borrowings will be reduced promptly to the extent necessary to comply with the limitation.

The Fund may not:

 

1. Borrow money, except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.

 

2. Issue senior securities, except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.

 

3. Make loans, except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act, the rules and regulations thereunder and any applicable exemptive relief.

 

4. Purchase the securities of any issuer (other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities) if, as a result, 25% or more of the Fund’s total assets would be invested in the securities of companies whose principal business activities are in the same industry. However, the Fund, which tracks an underlying index, will only concentrate its investment in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent that its underlying index is so concentrated.

 

5. Purchase or sell real estate, except that, to the extent permitted by applicable law, the Fund may (a) invest in securities or other instruments directly secured by real estate, and (b) invest in securities or other instruments issued by issuers that invest in real estate.

 

6. Purchase or sell commodities or commodity contracts unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments issued by persons that purchase or sell commodities or commodities contracts; but this shall not prevent the Fund from purchasing, selling and entering into financial futures contracts (including futures contracts on indices of securities, interest rates and currencies), and options on financial futures contracts (including futures contracts on indices of securities, interest rates and currencies), warrants, swaps, forward contracts, foreign currency spot and forward contracts and other financial instruments.

 

7. Underwrite securities issued by others, except to the extent that the Fund may be considered an underwriter within the meaning of the 1933 Act in the disposition of restricted securities or other investment company securities.

PORTFOLIO TRANSACTIONS AND BROKERAGE

Subject to the general supervision by the Trustees, Rafferty is responsible for decisions to buy and sell securities for the Fund, the selection of broker-dealers to effect the transactions, and the negotiation of brokerage commissions, if any. Rafferty expects that the Fund may execute brokerage or other agency transactions through registered broker-dealers, for a commission, in conformity with the 1940 Act, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the rules and regulations thereunder.

When selecting a broker or dealer to execute portfolio transactions, Rafferty considers many factors, including the rate of commission or the size of the broker-dealer’s “spread,” the size and difficulty of the order, the nature of the market for the security, operational capabilities of the broker-dealer and the research, statistical and economic data furnished by the broker-dealer to Rafferty.

 

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In effecting portfolio transactions for the Fund, Rafferty seeks to receive the closing prices of securities that are in line with those of the securities included in the applicable underlying index and seeks to execute trades of such securities at the lowest commission rate reasonably available. With respect to agency transactions, Rafferty may execute trades at a higher rate of commission if reasonable in relation to brokerage and research services provided to the Fund or Rafferty. Such services may include the following: information as to the availability of securities for purchase or sale; statistical or factual information or opinions pertaining to investment; wire services; and appraisals or evaluations of portfolio securities. The Fund believes that the requirement always to seek the lowest possible commission cost could impede effective portfolio management and preclude the Fund and Rafferty from obtaining a high quality of brokerage and research services. In seeking to determine the reasonableness of brokerage commissions paid in any transaction, Rafferty relies upon its experience and knowledge regarding commissions generally charged by various brokers and on its judgment in evaluating the brokerage and research services received from the broker effecting the transaction.

Rafferty may use research and services provided to it by brokers in servicing all series of the Trust; however, not all such services may be used by Rafferty in connection with the Fund. While the receipt of such information and services is useful in varying degrees and generally would reduce the amount of research or services otherwise performed by Rafferty, this information and these services are of indeterminable value and would not reduce Rafferty’s investment advisory fee to be paid by the Fund.

Purchases and sales of U.S. government securities normally are transacted through issuers, underwriters or major dealers in U.S. government securities acting as principals. Such transactions are made on a net basis and do not 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.

Aggregate brokerage commissions paid by the Fund for the fiscal period ended October 31st are set forth in the table below.

 

Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares

   Brokerage Fees Paid  

January 23, 2014 - October 31, 2014

   $ 9,563   

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS INFORMATION

Disclosure of the Fund’s complete holdings is required to be made quarterly within 60 days of the end of each fiscal quarter in the Annual Report and Semi-Annual Report to Fund shareholders and in the quarterly holdings report on Form N-Q. These reports are available, free of charge, on the EDGAR database on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. In addition, the Fund’s portfolio holdings will be made available on the Fund’s website at www.direxioninvestments.com each day the Fund is open for business.

The portfolio composition file (“PCF”) and the IIV, which contain portfolio holdings information, is made available daily, including to the Fund’s service providers to facilitate the provision of services to the Fund and to certain other entities as necessary for transactions in Creation Units. Such entities may be limited to National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) members, subscribers to various fee-based services, investors that have entered into an authorized participant agreement with the Distributor and the transfer agent or purchase Creation Units through a dealer that has entered into such an agreement (“Authorized Participants”), 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 Fund in the secondary market.

Daily access to the PCF file and IIV is permitted to: (i) certain personnel of service providers that are involved in portfolio management and providing administrative, operational, or other support to portfolio management; (ii) Authorized Participants through NSCC, and (iii) other personnel of the Adviser and the Fund’s distributor,

 

26


administrator, custodian and fund accountant who are involved in functions which may require such information to conduct business in the ordinary course.

From time to time, rating and ranking organizations such as Standard & Poor’s® and Morningstar®, Inc. may request complete portfolio holdings information in connection with rating the Fund. To prevent such parties from potentially misusing the complete portfolio holdings information, the Fund will generally only disclose such information no earlier than one business day following the date of the information. Portfolio holdings information made available in connection with the creation/redemption process may be provided to other entities that provide additional services to the Fund in the ordinary course of business after it has been disseminated to the NSCC.

In addition, the Fund’s President may grant exceptions to permit additional disclosure of the complete portfolio holdings information at differing times and with differing lag times to rating agencies and to the parties noted above, provided that (1) the Fund has a legitimate business purpose for doing so; (2) it is in the best interests of shareholders; (3) the recipient is subject to a confidentiality agreement; and (4) the recipient is subject to a duty not to trade on the nonpublic information. The Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) shall report any disclosures made pursuant to this exception to the Board.

MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST

The Board of Trustees

The Trust is governed by its Board of Trustees (the “Board”). The Board is responsible for and oversees the overall management and operations of the Trust and the Fund, which includes the general oversight and review of the Fund’s investment activities, in accordance with federal law and the law of the State of Delaware, as well as the stated policies of the Fund. The Board oversees the Trust’s officers and service providers, including Rafferty, which is responsible for the management of the day-to-day operations of the Fund based on policies and agreements reviewed and approved by the Board. In carrying out these responsibilities, the Board regularly interacts with and receives reports from senior personnel of service providers, including personnel from Rafferty and USBFS. The Board also is assisted by the Trust’s independent auditor (who reports directly to the Trust’s Audit Committee), independent counsel and other professionals as appropriate.

Risk Oversight

Consistent with its responsibility for oversight of the Trust and the Fund, the Board oversees the management of risks relating to the administration and operation of the Trust and the Fund. Rafferty, as part of its responsibilities for the day-to-day operations of the Fund, is responsible for day-to-day risk management for the Fund. The Board, in the exercise of its reasonable business judgment performs its risk management oversight directly and, as to certain matters, through its committees (described below) and through the Independent Trustees. The following provides an overview of the principal, but not all, aspects of the Board’s oversight of risk management for the Trust and the Fund.

The Board has adopted, and periodically reviews, policies and procedures designed to address risks to the Trust and the Fund. In addition, under the general oversight of the Board, Rafferty and other service providers to the Fund have themselves adopted a variety of policies, procedures and controls designed to address particular risks to the Fund. Different processes, procedures and controls are employed with respect to different types of risks.

The Board also oversees risk management for the Trust and the Fund through review of regular reports, presentations and other information from officers of the Trust and other persons. The Trust’s CCO and senior officers of Rafferty and USBFS regularly report to the Board on a range of matters, including those relating to risk management. The Board also regularly receives reports from Rafferty and USBFS with respect to the Fund’s investments. In addition to regular reports from these parties, the Board also receives reports regarding other service providers to the Trust, either directly or through Rafferty, USBFS or the CCO, on a periodic or regular basis. At least annually, the Board receives a report from the CCO regarding the effectiveness of the Fund’s compliance program. Also, on an annual basis, the Board receives reports, presentations and other information from Rafferty in connection with the Board’s consideration of the renewal of each of the Trust’s agreements with Rafferty and the Trust’s distribution plan under Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act.

 

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The CCO reports regularly to the Board on Fund valuation matters. The Audit Committee receives regular reports from the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm on internal control and financial reporting matters. On at least a quarterly basis, the Independent Trustees meet with the CCO to discuss matters relating to the Fund’s compliance program.

Board Structure and Related Matters

Board members who are not “interested persons” of the Fund as defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act (“Independent Trustees”) constitute two-thirds of the Board. The Trustees discharge their responsibilities collectively as a Board, as well as through Board committees, each of which operates pursuant to a charter approved by the Board that delineates the specific responsibilities of that committee. The Board has established three standing committees: the Audit Committee, the Nominating Committee and the Qualified Legal Compliance Committee. For example, the Audit Committee is responsible for specific matters related to oversight of the Fund’s independent auditors, subject to approval of the Audit Committee’s recommendations by the Board. The members and responsibilities of each Board committee are summarized below.

The Board periodically evaluates its structure and composition as well as various aspects of its operations. The Chairman of the Board is not an Independent Trustee and the Board has chosen not to have a lead Independent Trustee. However, the Board believes that its leadership structure, including its Independent Trustees and Board committees, is appropriate for the Trust in light of, among other factors, the asset size and nature of the Fund, the number of series of the Trust overseen by the Board, the arrangements for the conduct of the Fund’s operations, the number of Trustees, and the Board’s responsibilities. On an annual basis, the Board conducts a self-evaluation that considers, among other matters, whether the Board and its committees are functioning effectively and whether, given the size and composition of the Board and each of its committees, the Trustees are able to oversee effectively the number of portfolios in the complex.

The Trust is part of the Direxion Family of Investment Companies, which is comprised of the 96 portfolios within the Trust, 13 portfolios within the Direxion Funds and 8 portfolios within Direxion Insurance Trust. The same persons who constitute the Board also constitute the Board of Trustees of the Direxion Funds and the Direxion Insurance Trust.

The Board holds four regularly scheduled in-person meetings each year. The Board may hold special meetings, as needed, either in person or by telephone, to address matters arising between regular meetings. During a portion of each in-person meeting, the Independent Trustees meet outside of management’s presence. The Independent Trustees may hold special meetings, as needed, either in person or by telephone.

The Trustees of the Trust are identified in the tables below, which provide information regarding their age, business address and principal occupation during the past five years including any affiliation with Rafferty, the length of service to the Trust, and the position, if any, that they hold on the board of directors of companies other than the Trust as of December 31, 2014. Each of the Trustees of the Trust also serve on the Board of the Direxion Funds and Direxion Insurance Trust, the other registered investment companies in the Direxion mutual fund complex. Unless otherwise noted, an individual’s business address is 1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor, New York, New York 10019.

 

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Interested Trustees

 

Name, Address and Age

  

Position(s)
Held with
Fund

  

Term of
Office and
Length of
Time
Served

  

Principal
Occupation(s) During
Past Five Years

   # of
Portfolios in
Direxion
Family of
Investment
Companies
Overseen by
Trustee(3)
  

Other
Trusteeships/
Directorships Held
by Trustee During
Past Five Years

Daniel D. O’Neill(1)

Age: 46

   Chairman of the Board of Trustees    Lifetime of Trust until removal or resignation; Since 2008    Managing Director of Rafferty, 1999-present.    117    None.

Eric W. Falkeis(2)

Age: 41

   Trustee    Lifetime of Trust until removal or resignation; Since 2014    Chief Operating Officer, since April 2014, Rafferty Asset Management, LLC; formerly, President Rafferty Asset Management, LLC, March 2013 – April 2014; formerly, Senior Vice President, USBFS, September 2007 – March 2013; Chief Financial Officer, USBFS, April 2006 – March 2013; Vice President, USBFS, 1997-2007; formerly, Chief Financial Officer, Quasar Distributors, LLC (2000-2003).    117    Trustee, Professionally Managed Portfolios (45 Funds).

Independent Trustees

        

Name, Address and Age

  

Position(s)
Held with
Fund

  

Term of
Office and
Length of
Time
Served

  

Principal
Occupation(s) During
Past Five Years

   # of
Portfolios in
Direxion
Family of
Investment
Companies
Overseen by
Trustee(3)
  

Other
Trusteeships/
Directorships Held
by Trustee During
Past Five Years

Gerald E. Shanley III

Age: 71

   Trustee    Lifetime of Trust until removal or resignation; Since 2008    Retired, Since 2002; Business Consultant, 1985-present; Trustee of Trust Under Will of Charles S. Payson, 1987-present; C.P.A., 1979-present.    117    None.

 

29


Name, Address and Age

   Position(s)
Held with
Fund
  

Term of
Office and
Length of
Time
Served

  

Principal
Occupation(s) During
Past Five Years

   # of
Portfolios in
Direxion
Family of
Investment
Companies
Overseen by
Trustee(3)
  

Other
Trusteeships/
Directorships Held by
Trustee During Past
Five Years

John A. Weisser

Age: 73

   Trustee    Lifetime of Trust until removal or resignation; Since 2008    Retired, Since 1995; Salomon Brothers, Inc., 1971-1995, most recently as Managing Director.    117    Director, The MainStay Funds Trust (39 Funds), The MainStay Funds (12 Funds), MainStay VP Fund Series (29 Funds), Mainstay Defined Term Municipal Opportunities Fund (1 Fund); Private Advisors Alternative Strategy Fund (1 Fund); Private Advisors Alternative Strategies Master Fund (1 Fund).

David L. Driscoll

Age: 45

   Trustee    Lifetime of Trust until removal or resignation; Since 2014    Partner, King Associates, LLP, since 2004; Board Advisor, University Common Real Estate, since 2012; Principal, Grey Oaks LLP since 2003; Member, Kendrick LLC, since 2006.    117    None.

Jacob C. Gaffey

Age: 67

   Trustee    Lifetime of Trust until removal or resignation; Since 2014    Managing Director of Loomis & Co. since 2012; Partner, Bay Capital Advisors, LLC 2008 – 2012.    117    Director, Costa, Inc. (formerly A.T. Cross, Inc.).

 

(1)  Mr. O’Neill is affiliated with Rafferty. Mr. O’Neill is the Managing Director of Rafferty and owns a beneficial interest in Rafferty.
(2)  Mr. Falkeis is affiliated with Rafferty. Mr. Falkeis is the Chief Operating Officer of Rafferty.
(3)  The Direxion Family of Investment Companies consists of the Direxion Shares ETF Trust which, as of the date of this SAI, offers for sale to the public 59 of the 96 funds registered with the SEC, the Direxion Funds which, as of the date of this SAI, offers for sale to the public 13 portfolios and the Direxion Insurance Trust which, as of the date of this SAI, offers for sale 3 of the 8 funds registered with the SEC.

In addition to the information set forth in the tables above and other relevant qualifications, experience, attributes or skills applicable to a particular Trustee, the following provides further information about the qualifications and experience of each Trustee.

Daniel D. O’Neill: Mr. O’Neill has extensive experience in the investment management business, including as managing director of Rafferty. Mr. O’Neill has been the Managing Director of Rafferty since 1999.

 

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Eric W. Falkeis: Mr. Falkeis has extensive experience in the financial services business. He is a certified public accountant. Prior to joining Rafferty in 2013, Mr. Falkeis was Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of USBFS. USBFS provides fund administration, fund accounting and transfer agency services to registered investment companies and non-registered investment companies. Mr. Falkeis is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Rafferty.

Gerald E. Shanley III: Mr. Shanley has extensive audit experience and spent ten years in the tax practice of an international public accounting firm. He is a certified public accountant and has a JD degree. He has extensive business experience as the president of a closely held manufacturing company, a director of several closely held companies, a business and tax consultant and a trustee of a private investment trust. He has served on the boards of several charitable and not for profit organizations. He also has multiple years of service as a Trustee.

John A. Weisser: Mr. Weisser has extensive experience in the investment management business, including as managing director of an investment bank and a director of other registered investment companies. He also has multiple years of service as a Trustee.

David L. Driscoll has extensive experience with risk assessment and strategic planning as a partner and manager of various real estate partnerships and companies.

Jacob C. Gaffey has extensive experience with providing investment banking and valuation services to various companies. Mr. Gaffey has been a director and a member of an audit committee of a public company since 2011.

Board Committees

The Trust has an Audit Committee, consisting of Messrs. Weisser, Shanley, Driscoll and Gaffey. The members of the Audit Committee are Independent Trustees. The primary responsibilities of the Trust’s Audit Committee are, as set forth in its charter, to make recommendations to the Board Members as to: the engagement or discharge of the Trust’s independent registered public accounting firm (including the audit fees charged by the auditors); the supervision of investigations into matters relating to audit matters; the review with the independent registered public accounting firm of the results of audits; and addressing any other matters regarding audits. The Audit Committee met four times during the Trust’s most recent fiscal year.

The Trust also has a Nominating Committee, consisting of Messrs. Weisser, Shanley, Driscoll and Gaffey, each of whom is an Independent Trustee. The primary responsibilities of the nominating committee are to make recommendations to the Board on issues related to the composition and operation of the Board, and communicate with management on those issues. The Nominating Committee also evaluates and nominates Board member candidates. The Nominating Committee will consider nominees recommended by shareholders. Such recommendations should be in writing and addressed to the Fund with attention to the Nominating Committee Chair. The recommendations must include the following Preliminary Information regarding the nominee: (1) name; (2) date of birth; (3) education; (4) business professional or other relevant experience and areas of expertise; (5) current business and home addresses and contact information; (6) other board positions or prior experience; and (7) any knowledge and experience relating to investment companies and investment company governance. The Nominating Committee met once during the Trust’s most recent fiscal year.

The Trust has a Qualified Legal Compliance Committee, consisting of Messrs. Weisser, Shanley, Driscoll and Gaffey. The members of the Qualified Legal Compliance Committee are Independent Trustees of the Trust. The primary responsibility of the Trust’s Qualified Legal Compliance Committee is to receive, review and take appropriate action with respect to any report (“Report”) made or referred to the Committee by an attorney of evidence of a material violation of applicable U.S. federal or state securities law, material breach of a fiduciary duty under U.S. federal or state law or a similar material violation by the Trust or by any officer, director, employee or agent of the Trust. The Qualified Legal Compliance Committee did not meet during the Trust’s most recent fiscal year.

 

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Principal Officers of the Trust

The officers of the Trust conduct and supervise its daily business. Unless otherwise noted, an individual’s business address is 1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor, New York, New York 10019. As of the date of this SAI, the officers of the Trust, their ages, their business address and their principal occupations during the past five years are as follows:

 

Name, Address and Age

  

Position(s)
Held with Fund

  

Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served

  

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years

   # of Portfolios
in the
Direxion
Family of
Investment
Companies
Overseen by
Trustee(3)
  

Other Trusteeships/
Directorships Held
by Trustee During
Past Five Years

Daniel D. O’Neill(1)

Age: 46

   Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer    One Year; Since 2008    Managing Director of Rafferty, 1999-present.    117    N/A

Eric W. Falkeis(2)

Age: 41

   Principal Executive Officer    One Year; Since 2014    Chief Operating Officer, since April 2014, Rafferty Asset Management, LLC; formerly, President, Rafferty Asset Management, LLC, March 2013 – April 2014; formerly, Senior Vice President, USBFS, September 2007 – March 2013; Chief Financial Officer, USBFS, April 2006 – March 2013; Vice President, USBFS, 1997-2007; formerly, Chief Financial Officer, Quasar Distributors, LLC (2000-2003).    117    Trustee, Professionally Managed Portfolios (45 Funds).

 

32


Name, Address and Age

  

Position(s)
Held with
Fund

   Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served
  

Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years

   # of Portfolios
in the
Direxion
Family of
Investment
Companies
Overseen by
Trustee(3)
  

Other Trusteeships/
Directorships Held
by Trustee During
Past Five Years

Brian Jacobs

Age: 54

   President    One Year;
Since 2014
   President, since April 2014, Rafferty Asset Management, LLC; formerly, Managing Partner, Jacobs Strategic Consulting (2012-2014); formerly, Chief Executive Officer, Hatteras Funds (2010-2012); formerly, Chief Distribution Officer, Baron Capital (2009); formerly, Managing Director, Allianz Global Investors (2000-2008).    N/A    Formerly, Board Member, Wheelhouse Analytics; formerly, Board Member, Raise Hope Foundation.

Patrick J. Rudnick

Age: 41

   Principal Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary    One Year;

Since 2010

   Senior Vice President and Principal Financial Officer, Rafferty Asset Management, LLC, since March 2013; formerly Vice President, USBFS (2006-2013); formerly, Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (1999-2006).    N/A    N/A

Angela Brickl

Age: 38

  

Chief Compliance Officer

 

Secretary

   One Year;

Since 2012

One Year;
Since 2011

   General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Rafferty Asset Management, LLC, since October 2010; Summer Associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, May – August 2009; Summer Associate at Foley & Lardner, LLP May –August 2008; Vice President USBFS November 2003 – August 2007.    N/A    N/A

 

(1)  Mr. O’Neill serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Direxion Funds, Direxion Insurance Trust and Direxion Shares ETF Trust.
(2)  Mr. Falkeis serves as a Trustee of the Direxion Funds, Direxion Insurance Trust and Direxion Shares ETF Trust.
(3) 

The Direxion Family of Investment Companies consists of the Direxion Shares ETF Trust which, as of the date of this SAI, offers for sale to the public 59 of the 96 funds registered with the SEC, the Direxion Funds which, as of the date of this SAI,

 

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  offers for sale to the public 13 portfolios and the Direxion Insurance Trust which, as of the date of this SAI, offers for sale 3 of the 8 funds registered with the SEC.

The following table shows the amount of equity securities owned in each Fund and the Direxion Family of Investment Companies by the Trustees as of the calendar year ended December 31, 2014:

 

Dollar Range of Equity Securities Owned:

   Interested Trustee:    Independent Trustees:
   Daniel D.
O’Neill
   Eric W.
Falkeis
   Gerald E.
Shanley III
   John Weisser    David L.
Driscoll
   Jacob C.
Gaffey

Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares

   $0    $10,001-$50,000    $0    $0    $0    $0

Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity Securities in the Direxion Family of Investment Companies(1)

   Over
$100,000
   $50,001-$100,000    $0    $1-$10,000    $0    $0

 

(1)  The Direxion Family of Investment Companies consists of the Direxion Shares ETF Trust which, as of the date of this SAI, offers for sale to the public 59 of the 96 funds registered with the SEC, the Direxion Funds which, as of the date of this SAI, offers for sale to the public 13 portfolios and the Direxion Insurance Trust which, as of the date of this SAI, offers for sale 3 of the 8 funds registered with the SEC.

The Trust’s Trust Instrument provides that the Trustees will not be liable for errors of judgment or mistakes of fact or law. However, they are not protected against any liability to which they would otherwise be subject by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of their office.

No officer, director or employee of Rafferty receives any compensation from the Fund for acting as a Trustee or officer of the Trust. The following table shows the compensation earned by each Trustee for the Trust’s fiscal year ended October 31, 2014:

 

Name of Person, Position

   Aggregate
Compensation
From the Fund(1)
   Pension or Retirement
Benefits Accrued As
Part of the Trust’s
Expenses
   Estimated
Annual Benefits
Upon Retirement
   Aggregate
Compensation
From the Direxion
Family of
Investment
Companies Paid to
the Trustees(2)

Interested Trustees

           

Daniel D. O’Neill

   $0    $0    $0    $0

Eric W. Falkeis(3)

   $0    $0    $0    $0

Independent Trustees

           

Gerald E. Shanley III

   $75,000    $0    $0    $100,000

John A. Weisser

   $75,000    $0    $0    $100,000

 

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Name of Person, Position

   Aggregate
Compensation
From the Fund(1)
     Pension or Retirement
Benefits Accrued As
Part of the Trust’s
Expenses
     Estimated
Annual Benefits
Upon Retirement
     Aggregate
Compensation
From the Direxion
Family of
Investment
Companies Paid to
the Trustees(2)
 

David L. Driscoll(3)

   $ 5,000       $ 0       $ 0       $ 6,667   

Jacob C. Gaffey(3)

   $ 5,000       $ 0       $ 0       $ 6,667   

 

(1)  Costs associated with Trustee compensation are allocated across the operational funds based on the net assets of each fund in the Trust.
(2)  For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2014, Trustees’ fees and expenses in the amount of $160,000 were incurred by the Trust.
(3)  Mr. Falkeis, Mr. Driscoll and Mr. Gaffey were elected to the Board of the Trust on September 10, 2014.

Principal Shareholders, Control Persons and Management Ownership

A principal shareholder is any person who owns of record or beneficially 5% or more of the outstanding shares of the Fund. A control person is a shareholder that owns beneficially or through controlled companies more than 25% of the voting securities of a company or acknowledges the existence of control. Shareholders owning voting securities in excess of 25% may determine the outcome of any matter affecting and voted on by shareholders of the Fund.

As of January 30, 2015 the following shareholders were considered to be either a principal shareholder or control person of the Fund:

Direxion Zacks MLP High Income Shares

 

Name and Address

   Parent Company      Jurisdiction      % Ownership  

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

2423 East Lincoln Drive

Phoenix, AZ 85016

     N/A         N/A         18.78

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith

4804 Deer Lake Drive E

Jacksonville, FL 32246

     N/A         N/A         15.40

Morgan Stanley & Co.

Harbourside Financial Center Plaza 3,

1st Floor

Jersey City, NJ 07311

     N/A         N/A         12.06

National Financial Services LLC

200 Liberty Street

New York, NY 10281

     N/A         N/A         11.80

LPL Financial Corp.

9785 Towne Centre Drive

San Diego, CA 92121

     N/A         N/A         11.22

FolioFN

8180 Greensboro Drive

McLean, VA 22102

     N/A         N/A         10.26

 

35


Name and Address

   Parent Company      Jurisdiction      % Ownership  

J.P. Morgan Clearing Corp.

3 Chase Metrotech Center

Brooklyn, NY 11245

     N/A         N/A         5.86

In addition, as of January 30, 2015, the Trustees and officers as a group owned less than 1% of the outstanding shares of the Fund.

Investment Adviser

Rafferty Asset Management, LLC, 1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor, New York, New York 10019, provides investment advice to the Fund. Rafferty was organized as a New York limited liability company in June 1997. Lawrence C. Rafferty controls Rafferty through his ownership in Rafferty Holdings, LLC.

Under an Investment Advisory Agreement (“Advisory Agreement”) between the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, and Rafferty dated August 13, 2008, Rafferty provides a continuous investment program for the Fund’s assets in accordance with its investment objectives, policies and limitations, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the Fund, subject to the supervision of the Trustees. Rafferty bears all costs associated with providing these advisory services and the expenses of the Trustees who are affiliated with or interested persons of Rafferty. The Trust bears all other expenses that are not assumed by Rafferty as described in the Prospectus. The Trust also is liable for nonrecurring expenses as may arise, including litigation to which the Fund may be a party. The Trust also may have an obligation to indemnify its Trustees and officers with respect to any such litigation.

The Advisory Agreement was initially approved by the Trustees (including all Independent Trustees) and Rafferty, as sole shareholder of the Fund in compliance with the 1940 Act on June 18, 2013. The Advisory Agreement with respect to the Fund will continue in force for an initial period of two years after the date of its approval. Thereafter, the Advisory Agreement will be renewable from year to year with respect to the Fund, so long as its continuance is approved at least annually (1) by the vote, cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose, of a majority of those Trustees who are Independent Trustees of the Trust; and (2) by the majority vote of either the full Board or the vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of the Fund. The Advisory Agreement automatically terminates on assignment and is terminable on a 60-day written notice either by the Trust or Rafferty.

Pursuant to the Advisory Agreement, the Fund pays Rafferty 0.60% at an annual rate based on its average daily net assets.

The table below shows the amount of advisory fees incurred by the Fund and the amount of fees waived and/or reimbursed by Rafferty for the fiscal period ended October 31.

 

Direxion Zacks High Income MLP Shares

   Advisory Fees Incurred      Waived fees and/or
expenses reimbursed by
Adviser
 

January 23, 2014 – October 31, 2014

   $ 122,391       $ (117,292

The Fund is responsible for its own operating expenses. Rafferty has entered into an Operating Expense Limitation Agreement with the Fund. Under this Operating Expense Limitation Agreement, Rafferty has contractually agreed to cap all or a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse the Fund for Other Expenses (excluding, as applicable, among other expenses, taxes, leverage interest, dividends or interest on short positions, other interest expenses, brokerage commissions, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization and extraordinary expenses such as litigation) through September 1, 2016, to the extent that the Fund’s Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses exceeds 0.65% of the daily net assets of the Fund. Any expense cap is subject to reimbursement by the Fund only within the following three years only if overall expenses fall below these percentage limitations. This agreement may be terminated at any time at the discretion of the Board upon notice to the Adviser and without the approval of Fund shareholders. The agreement may be terminated by the Adviser only with the consent of the Board.

 

36


Rafferty shall not be liable to the Trust or any shareholder for anything done or omitted by it, except acts or omissions involving willful misfeasance, bad faith, negligence or reckless disregard of the duties imposed upon it by its agreement with the Trust or for any losses that may be sustained in the purchase, holding or sale of any security.

Pursuant to Section 17(j) of the 1940 Act and Rule 17j-1 thereunder, the Trust and Rafferty have adopted Codes of Ethics. These codes permit portfolio managers and other access persons of the Fund to invest in securities that may be owned by the Fund, subject to certain restrictions.

Portfolio Managers

Paul Brigandi, the Fund’s Portfolio Manager, is primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. An investment trading team of Rafferty employees assists Mr. Brigandi in the day-to-day management of the Fund subject to his primary responsibility and oversight. The Portfolio Manager works with the investment trading team to decide the target allocation of the Fund’s investments and on a day-to-day basis, an individual portfolio trader executes transactions for the Fund consistent with the target allocation. The members of the investment trading team rotate among the various series of the Trust, including the Fund periodically so that no single individual is assigned to a specific Fund for extended periods of time.

In addition to the Fund, each member of the investment team manages the following other accounts as of October 31, 2014:

 

Accounts

   Total
Number of
Accounts
     Total Assets
(in Billions)
     Total Number of
Accounts with
Performance
Based Fees
     Total Assets
of Accounts
with
Performance
Based Fees
 

Registered Investment Companies

     75       $ 8.5         0       $ 0   

Other Pooled Investment Vehicles

     0       $ 0         0       $ 0   

Other Accounts

     0       $ 0         0       $ 0   

Rafferty manages no other accounts with investment objectives similar to those of the Fund. In addition, two or more funds advised by Rafferty may invest in the same securities but the nature of each investment (long or short) may be opposite and in different proportions. Rafferty ordinarily executes transactions for the Fund “market-on-close,” in which funds purchasing or selling the same security receive the same closing price.

Rafferty has not identified any additional material conflicts between the Fund and other accounts managed by the investment team. However, the portfolio managers’ management of “other accounts” may give rise to potential conflicts of interest in connection with their management of the Fund’s investments, on the one hand, and the investments of other accounts, on the other. The other accounts may have the same investment objective as the Fund. Therefore, a potential conflict of interest may arise as a result of the identical investment objectives, whereby the portfolio managers could favor one account over and devote unequal time and attention to the Fund and other accounts. Another potential conflict could include the portfolio managers’ knowledge about size, timing and possible market impact of Fund trades, whereby a portfolio manager could use this information to the advantage of other accounts and to the disadvantage of the Fund. This could create potential conflicts of interest resulting in the Fund paying higher fees or one investment vehicle out performing another. The Adviser has established policies and procedures to ensure that the purchase and sale of securities among all accounts it manages are fairly and equitably allocated.

The investment team’s compensation is paid by Rafferty. Their compensation primarily consists of a fixed base salary and a bonus. The investment team’s salary is reviewed annually and increases are determined by factors such as performance and seniority. Bonuses are determined by the individual performance of an employee including factors such as attention to detail, process, and efficiency, and are impacted by the overall performance of the firm. The investment team’s salary and bonus are not based on the Fund’s performance and as a result, no benchmarks are

 

37


used. Along with all other employees of Rafferty, the investment team may participate in the firm’s 401(k) retirement plan where Rafferty may make matching contributions up to a defined percentage of their salary.

The members of the investment team did not own shares of the Fund as of October 31, 2014.

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

The Board has adopted proxy voting policies and procedures (“Proxy Policies”) wherein the Trust has delegated to Rafferty the responsibility for voting proxies relating to portfolio securities held by the Fund as part of their investment advisory services, subject to the supervision and oversight of the Board. The Proxy Voting Policies of Rafferty are attached as Appendix B. Notwithstanding this delegation of responsibilities, however, the Fund retains the right to vote proxies relating to its portfolio securities. The fundamental purpose of the Proxy Policies is to ensure that each vote will be in a manner that reflects the best interest of the Fund and their shareholders, taking into account the value of the Fund’s investments.

More Information. The actual voting records relating to portfolio securities for future 12-month periods ending June 30 will be available without charge, upon request by calling toll-free, 1-866-476-7523 or by accessing the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

Fund Administrator, Fund Accounting Agent, Transfer Agent and Custodian

U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC, 615 East Michigan Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, serves as the Fund’s administrator and transfer agent. U.S. Bank, N.A. serves as the Fund’s custodian. Rafferty also performs certain administrative services for the Fund.

Pursuant to a Fund Administration and Servicing Agreement between the Trust and USBFS, USBFS provides the Trust with administrative and management services (other than investment advisory services). As compensation for these services, the Trust pays USBFS a fee based on the Trust’s total average daily net assets. USBFS also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses. The amount of fees paid by the Trust to USBFS pursuant to the Fund Administration Servicing Agreement for the fiscal period indicated is set forth in the table below.

 

     Fees paid to the Administrator  

Year Ended October 31, 2014

   $ 2,119,218   

Pursuant to an Accounting Agreement between the Trust and USBFS, USBFS provides the Trust with accounting services, including portfolio accounting services, tax accounting services and furnishing financial reports. As compensation for these accounting services, the Trust pays USBFS a fee based on the Trust’s total average daily net assets. USBFS also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses for the services mentioned above, including pricing expenses. The amount of fees paid by the Trust to USBFS pursuant to the Accounting Agreement for the fiscal period indicated is set forth in the table below.

 

     Fees paid to the Fund Accounting Agent  

Year Ended October 31, 2014

   $ 10,320   

Pursuant to a Custodian Agreement, U.S. Bank, N.A. serves as the custodian of the Fund’s assets. The custodian holds and administers the assets in the Fund’s portfolio. Pursuant to the Custodian Agreement, the custodian receives an annual fee based on the Trust’s total average daily net assets and certain settlement charges. The custodian also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses. The amount of fees paid by the Trust pursuant to the agreement for the fiscal period indicated is set forth in the table below.

 

     Fees paid to the Custodian  

Year Ended October 31, 2014

   $ 4,462   

 

38


Distributor

Foreside Fund Services, LLC, located at 3 Canal Plaza, Suite 100, Portland, Maine 04101, serves as the distributor (“Distributor”) in connection with the continuous offering of the Fund’s shares. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The Trust offers Shares of the Fund for sale through the Distributor in Creation Units, as described below. The Distributor will not sell or redeem Shares in quantities less than Creation Units. The Distributor will deliver a Prospectus to persons purchasing Creation Units and will maintain records of Creation Unit orders placed and confirmations furnished by it. Pursuant to a written agreement, the Adviser pays the Distributor for distribution-related services. For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2014, the Distributor received $590,291 as compensation from Rafferty for distribution services for each series of the Trust, including the Fund.

Distribution Plan

Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act, as amended, (the “Rule”) provides that an investment company may bear expenses of distributing its shares only pursuant to a plan adopted in accordance with the Rule. The Trustees have adopted a Rule 12b-1 Distribution Plan (“Rule 12b-1 Plan”) pursuant to which the Fund may pay certain expenses incurred in the distribution of its shares and the servicing and maintenance of existing shareholder accounts. The Distributor, as the Fund’s principal underwriter, and Rafferty may have a direct or indirect financial interest in the Rule 12b-1 Plan or any related agreement. Pursuant to the Rule 12b-1 Plan, the Fund may pay a fee of up to 0.25% of the Fund’s average daily net assets. No Rule 12b-1 fee is currently being charged to the Fund.

The Rule 12b-1 Plan was approved by the Board, including a majority of the Independent Trustees of the Fund. In approving the Rule 12b-1 Plan, the Trustees determined that there is a reasonable likelihood that the Rule 12b-1 Plan will benefit the Fund and its shareholders. The Trustees will review quarterly and annually a written report provided by the Treasurer of the amounts expended under the Rule 12b-1 Plan and the purpose for which such expenditures were made.

The Rule 12b-1 Plan permits payments to be made by the Fund to the Distributor or other third parties for expenditures incurred in connection with the distribution of Fund shares to investors and the provision of certain shareholder services. The Distributor or other third parties are authorized to engage in advertising, the preparation and distribution of sales literature and other promotional activities on behalf of the Fund. In addition, the Rule 12b-1 Plan authorizes payments by the Fund to the Distributor or other third parties for the cost related to selling or servicing efforts, preparing, printing and distributing Fund prospectuses, statements of additional information, and shareholder reports to investors.

Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

Ernst & Young LLP (“EY”), 5 Times Square, New York, New York 10036 is the independent registered public accounting firm for the Trust. The Financial Statements of the Fund for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2014 have been audited by EY and are incorporated by reference herein, which is given upon their authority as experts in accounting and auditing.

Legal Counsel

The Trust has selected K&L Gates LLP, 1601 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006, as its legal counsel.

DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE

A fund’s share price is known as its NAV. The Fund’s share price is calculated as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE, usually 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (“Valuation Time”), each day the NYSE is open for business (“Business Day.”) The NYSE is open for business Monday through Friday, except in observation of the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The NYSE may close early on the business day before each of these holidays and on the day after Thanksgiving Day. NYSE holiday schedules are subject to change without notice.

 

39


If the exchange or market on which the other 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. The value of the Fund’s assets that trade in markets outside the United States or in currencies other than the U.S. Dollar may fluctuate when foreign markets are open but the Fund is not open for business.

A security listed or traded on an exchange, domestic or foreign, is valued at its last sales price on the principal exchange on which it is traded prior to the time when assets are valued. If no sale is reported at that time, the mean of the last bid and asked prices is used. Securities primarily traded on the NASDAQ Global Market® (“NASDAQ®”) for which market quotations are readily available shall be valued using the NASDAQ® Official Closing Price (“NOCP”) provided by NASDAQ® each business day. The NOCP is the most recently reported price as of 4:00:02 p.m. Eastern time, unless that price is outside the range of the “inside” bid and asked prices’ in that case, NASDAQ® will adjust the price to equal the inside bid or asked price, whichever is closer. If the NOCP is not available, such securities shall be valued at the last sale price on the day of valuation, or if there has been no sale on such day, at the mean between the bid and asked prices.

When market quotations for options and futures positions held by the Fund are readily available, those positions will be valued based upon such quotations. Securities and other assets for which market quotations are not readily available, or for which Rafferty has reason to question the validity of quotations received, are valued at fair value by procedures as adopted by the Board.

For purposes of determining NAV per share of the Fund, options and futures contracts are valued at the last sales prices of the exchanges on which they trade. The value of a futures contract equals the unrealized gain or loss on the contract that is determined by marking the contract to the last sale price for a like contract acquired on the day on which the futures contract is being valued. The value of options on futures contracts is determined based upon the last sale price for a like option acquired on the day on which the option is being valued. A last sale price may not be used for the foregoing purposes if the market makes a limited move with respect to a particular instrument.

For valuation purposes, quotations of foreign securities or other assets denominated in foreign currencies are translated to U.S. dollar equivalents using the net foreign exchange rate in effect at the close of the stock exchange in the country where the security is issued. Short-term debt instruments having a maturity of 60 days or less are valued at amortized cost, which approximates market value. If the Board determines that the amortized cost method does not represent the fair value of the short-term debt instrument, the investment will be valued at fair value as determined by procedures as adopted by the Board. U.S. government securities are valued at the mean between the closing bid and asked price provided by an independent third party pricing service (“Pricing Service”).

OTC securities held by the Fund will be valued at the last sales price or, if no sales price is reported, the mean of the last bid and asked price is used. The portfolio securities of the Fund that are listed on national exchanges are valued at the last sales price of such securities; if no sales price is reported, the mean of the last bid and asked price is used.

Dividend income and other distributions are recorded on the ex-distribution date.

Swaps are valued based upon prices from third party vendor models or quotations from market makers to the extent available.

Illiquid securities, securities for which reliable quotations or pricing services are not readily available, and all other assets not valued in accordance with the foregoing principles will be valued at their respective fair value as determined in good faith by, or under procedures established by, the Trustees, which procedures may include the delegation of certain responsibilities regarding valuation to Rafferty or the officers of the Trust. The officers of the Trust report, as necessary, to the Trustees regarding portfolio valuation determinations. The Trustees, from time to time, will review these methods of valuation and will recommend changes that may be necessary to assure that the investments of the Fund are valued at fair value.

 

40


Additional Information Regarding Deferred Tax Liability

Because the Fund is treated as a regular corporation, or “C” corporation, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the Fund will incur tax expenses. In calculating the Fund’s daily NAV, the Fund will, among other things, account for its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances. As a result, any deferred tax liability is reflected in the Fund’s daily NAV.

The Fund will accrue, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, a deferred income tax liability balance at the currently effective statutory U.S. federal income tax rate (currently 35%) plus an assumed state and local income tax rate, for its future tax liability associated with the capital appreciation of its investments and the distributions received by a Fund on equity securities of MLPs considered to be return of capital and for any net operating gains. The Fund’s current and deferred tax liability, if any, will depend upon the Fund’s net investment gains and losses and realized and unrealized gains and losses on investments and therefore may vary greatly from year to year depending on the nature of the Fund’s investments, the performance of those investments and general market conditions. Any deferred tax liability balance will reduce a Fund’s NAV.

The Fund also will accrue, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, a deferred tax asset balance which reflects an estimate of the Fund’s future tax benefit associated with net operating losses and unrealized losses. Any deferred tax asset balance will increase the Fund’s NAV. To the extent the Fund has a deferred tax asset balance, the Fund will assess, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, whether a valuation allowance, which would offset the value of some or all of the Fund’s deferred tax asset balance, is required. Pursuant to Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification 740 (FASB ASC 740), the Fund will assess a valuation allowance to reduce some or all of the deferred tax asset balance if, based on the weight of all available evidence, both negative and positive, it is more likely than not that some or all of the deferred tax asset will not be realized. The Fund will use judgment in considering the relative impact of negative and positive evidence. The weight given to the potential effect of negative and positive evidence will be commensurate with the extent to which such evidence can be objectively verified. The Fund’s assessment considers, among other matters, the nature, frequency and severity of current and cumulative losses, forecasts of future profitability (which are dependent on, among other factors, future MLP cash distributions), the duration of statutory carryforward periods and the associated risk that operating loss carryforwards may be limited or expire unused. However, this assessment generally may not consider the potential for market value increases with respect to the Fund’s investments in equity securities of MLPs or any other securities or assets. Significant weight is given to the Fund’s forecast of future taxable income, which is based on, among other factors, the expected continuation of MLP cash distributions at or near current levels. Consideration is also given to the effects of the potential of additional future realized and unrealized gains or losses on investments and the period over which deferred tax assets can be realized, as federal tax net operating loss carryforwards expire in twenty years and federal capital loss carryforwards expire in five years. Recovery of a deferred tax asset is dependent on continued payment of the MLP cash distributions at or near current levels in the future and the resultant generation of taxable income. The Fund will assess whether a valuation allowance is required to offset some or all of any deferred tax asset in connection with the calculation of a Fund’s NAV per share each day; however, to the extent the final valuation allowance differs from the estimates the Fund used in calculating the Fund’s daily NAV, the application of such final valuation allowance could have a material impact on the Fund’s NAV.

The Fund’s deferred tax asset and/or liability balances is estimated using estimates of effective tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years such balances are realized. The Fund will rely to some extent on information provided by MLPs in determining the extent to which distributions received from MLPs constitute a return of capital, which information may not be provided to the Fund on a timely basis, in order to estimate deferred tax liability and/or asset balances for purposes of financial statement reporting and determining its NAV. If such information is not received from such MLPs on a timely basis, the Fund will estimate the extent to which distributions received from MLPs constitute a return of capital based on average historical tax characterization of distributions made by MLPs. The Fund’s estimates regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances are made in good faith; however, the daily estimate of a Fund’s deferred tax liability and/or asset balances used to calculate the Fund’s NAV could vary dramatically from the Fund’s actual tax liability. Actual income tax expense, if any, will be incurred over many years, depending on if and when investment gains and losses are realized, the then-current basis of the Fund’s assets and other factors. As a result, the determination of the Fund’s actual tax liability may have a material impact on the Fund’s NAV. The Fund’s daily NAV calculation will be based on then current estimates

 

41


and assumptions regarding the Fund’s deferred tax liability and/or asset balances and any applicable valuation allowance, based on all information available to the Fund at such time. From time to time, the Fund may modify its estimates or assumptions regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances and any applicable valuation allowance as new information becomes available. Modifications of the Fund’s estimates or assumptions regarding its deferred tax liability and/or asset balances and any applicable valuation allowance, changes in generally accepted accounting principles or related guidance or interpretations thereof, limitations imposed on net operating losses (if any) and changes in applicable tax law could result in increases or decreases in the Fund’s NAV per share, which could be material.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING 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 April 23, 2008, 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 may designate additional series of beneficial interest and classify Shares of a particular series into one or more classes of that series.

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 of 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 Trust Instrument confers upon the Broad of Trustees the power, by resolution, to alter the number of Shares constituting a Creation Unit or to specify that Shares of the Trust may be individually redeemable. The Trust reserves the right to adjust the stock prices of Shares of the Trust 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 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 Trust Instrument disclaims liability of the shareholders of 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 Trust Instrument provides for indemnification from the Trust’s property for all loss and expense of any Fund 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 in which 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.

Book Entry Only System

The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) acts as securities depositary for the Shares. 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 Exchange Act. DTC was created to hold securities of its participants (“DTC Participants”) and to facilitate the

 

42


clearance and settlement of securities transactions among the DTC Participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC Participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. More specifically, DTC is owned by a number of its DTC Participants and by the New York Stock Exchange, Inc., the AMEX and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. 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 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 Share 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

 

43


ownership of Shares, unless the Trust makes other arrangements with respect thereto satisfactory to the Exchange. The Trust will not make the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service available for use by Beneficial Owners for reinvestment of their cash proceeds but certain 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.

PURCHASES AND REDEMPTIONS

The Trust issues and redeems Shares of the Fund only in aggregations of Creation Units. The number of Shares of the Fund that constitute a Creation Unit for the Fund and the value of such Creation Unit will be 50,000 and $2,000,000, respectively.

See “Purchase and Issuance of Shares in Creation Units” and “Redemption of Creation Units” below. The Board reserves the right to declare a split or a consolidation in the number of Shares outstanding of any Fund, and may make a corresponding change in the number of Shares constituting a Creation Unit, in the event that the per Shares price in the secondary market rises (or declines) to an amount that falls outside the range deemed desirable by the Board for any other reason.

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 net asset value next determined after receipt, on any Business Day (as defined above), of an order in proper form.

Creation Units of Shares may be purchased only by or through an Authorized Participant. 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 and the transaction fee described below. 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 of Shares 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.

Purchases through the Clearing Process

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 “Enhanced Clearing Process,” or (ii) outside the Enhanced Clearing Process, being referred to herein as the Manual Clearing Process. To purchase or redeem through the Enhanced Clearing Process, an Authorized Participant must be a member of National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) that is eligible to use the Continuous Net Settlement system. For purchase orders placed through the Enhanced Clearing Process, in the Authorized Participant Agreement the Participant authorizes the Transfer Agent to transmit to the 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 the NSCC, the Authorized Participant agrees to deliver the Portfolio Deposit and such additional information as may be required by the Transfer Agent or the Distributor. A purchase order must be received in good order by the transfer agent by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, whether transmitted by mail, through the transfer agent’s automated system, telephone, facsimile or other means permitted under the Authorized Participant Agreement, in order to receive that day’s NAV per Share. All other procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement must be followed in order for you to receive the NAV determined on that day.

 

44


The consideration for purchase of a Creation Unit of Shares of the Fund consists of either cash or the Deposit Securities that is a representative sample of the securities in the Fund’s underlying index, 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 and the NAV of the Creation Unit(s) being purchased and will be paid to, or received from, the Trust after the NAV has been calculated.

USBFS 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 the Fund. Such Portfolio Deposit is applicable, subject to any adjustments as described below, in order to effect purchases of Creation Units of Shares of a given Fund until such time as the next-announced Portfolio Deposit made available.

The identity and number of shares of the Deposit Securities required for the Fund changes as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by Rafferty with a view to the investment objective of the Fund. The composition of the Deposit Securities may also change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the securities constituting the relevant securities index. 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. The adjustments described above will reflect changes, known to Rafferty 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, or resulting from stock splits and other corporate actions.

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 the 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 these circumstances, the initial deposit will have a greater value than the NAV of the Shares on the date the order is placed in proper form since, 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) 115% of the market value of the undelivered Deposit Securities (the “Additional Cash Deposit”). An additional amount of cash shall be required to be deposited with the Trust, pending delivery of the missing Deposit Securities to the extent necessary to maintain the Additional Cash Deposit with the Trust in an amount at least equal to 115% of the daily marked to market value of the missing Deposit Securities. The Participation Agreement will permit the Trust to buy the missing Deposit Securities any time. Authorized Participants will be liable to the Trust for the costs incurred by the Trust in connection with any such purchases. These costs will be deemed to include the amount by which the actual purchase price of the Deposit Securities exceeds the 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 Bank or purchased by the Trust and deposited into the Trust. In addition, a transaction fee, as listed below, will be charged in all cases. The delivery of Shares so purchased will occur no later than the third Business Day following the day on which the purchase order is deemed received by the Distributor. Due to the schedule of holidays in certain countries, however, the delivery of Shares may take longer than three Business Days following the day on which the purchase order is received. In such cases, the local market settlement procedures will not commence until the end of local holiday periods. A list of local holidays in the foreign countries or markets relevant to the international funds is set forth under “Regular Foreign Holidays” below.

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.

 

45


Purchases Through the Manual Clearing Process

An Authorized Participant that wishes to place an order to purchase Creation Units outside the Enhanced Clearing Process must state that it is not using the Enhanced Clearing Process and that the purchase instead will be effected through a transfer of securities and cash either through the Federal Reserve System (for cash and U.S. government securities) or directly through DTC. Purchases (and redemptions) of Creation Units of the Fund settled outside the Enhanced Clearing Process will be subject to a higher Transaction Fee than those settled through the Enhanced Clearing Process. Purchase orders effected outside the Enhanced Clearing Process are likely to require transmittal by the Authorized Participant earlier on the Transmittal Date than orders effected using the Enhanced Clearing Process. Those persons placing orders outside the Enhanced Clearing Process should ascertain the deadlines applicable to DTC and the Federal Reserve System (for cash and U.S. government securities) by contacting the operations department of the broker or depository institution effectuating such transfer of the 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 any Fund if (a) the purchaser or group of purchasers, upon obtaining the shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares of any Fund; (b) the Deposit Securities delivered are not as specified by Rafferty and Rafferty has not consented to acceptance of an in-kind deposit that varies from the designated Deposit Securities; (c) acceptance of the purchase transaction order would have certain adverse tax consequences to the Fund; (d) the acceptance of the purchase transaction order would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (e) the acceptance of the purchase transaction order would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust or Rafferty, have an adverse effect on the Trust or the rights of beneficial owners; (f) the value of a Cash Purchase Amount, or the value of the Balancing Amount to accompany an in-kind deposit exceed 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 by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the Transmittal Date; or (g) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Distributor and Rafferty make it impractical to process purchase orders. 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.

Placement of Redemption Orders Using Enhanced Clearing Process

Orders to redeem Creation Units of the Fund through the Enhanced 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 must be received in good order by the transfer agent by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, whether transmitted by mail, through the transfer agent’s automated system, telephone, facsimile or other means permitted under the Authorized Participant Agreement, in order to receive that day’s NAV per Share. All other procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement must be followed in order for you to receive the NAV determined on that day.

With respect to the Fund, Rafferty 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 (“Redemption Securities”). These securities may, at times, not be identical to Deposit Securities which are applicable to a purchase of Creation Units.

 

46


The redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit consist of either cash or Redemption Securities, as announced by Rafferty through the NSCC on any Business Day, plus the Balancing Amount. The redemption transaction fee described below is deducted from such redemption proceeds.

Placement of Redemption Orders Outside Clearing Process

Orders to redeem Creation Units of the Fund outside the Clearing Process 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 of the Fund to be effected outside the Clearing Process need not be an Authorized Participant, but such orders must state that the DTC Participant is not using the Clearing Process and that redemption of Creation Units will instead be effected through transfer of Shares directly through DTC or the Federal Reserve System (for cash and U.S. government securities). A redemption order must be received in good order by the transfer agent by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, whether transmitted by mail, through the transfer agent’s automated system, telephone, facsimile or other means permitted under the Authorized Participant Agreement, in order to receive that day’s NAV per Share. All other procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement must be followed in order for you to receive the NAV determined on that day. The order must be accompanied or preceded by the requisite number of Shares of the Fund specified in such order, which delivery must be made through DTC or the Federal Reserve System to the Custodian by the third Business Day following such Transmittal Date (“DTC Cut-Off Time”); and (iii) all other procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement must be properly followed.

If it is not possible to effect deliveries of the Redemption Securities, 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. The Fund may also, in its sole discretion, upon request of a shareholder, provide such redeemer a portfolio of securities which differs from the exact composition of the Fund Securities but does not differ in net asset value.

After the Transfer Agent has deemed an order for redemption of the Fund’s shares outside the Clearing Process received, the Transfer Agent will initiate procedures to transfer the requisite Redemption Securities, which are expected to be delivered within three Business Days, and the Balancing Amount minus the Transaction Fee. In addition, with respect to Fund redemptions honored in cash, the redeeming party will receive the Cash Redemption Amount by the third Business Day following the Transmittal Date on which such redemption order is deemed received by the Transfer Agent. Due to the schedule of holidays in certain countries, however, the receipt of the Cash Redemption Amount may take longer than three Business Days following the Transmittal Date. In such cases, the local market settlement procedures will not commence until the end of local holiday periods.

In certain instances, Authorized Participants may create and redeem Creation Unit aggregations of the Fund on the same trade date. In this instance, the Trust reserves the right to settle these transactions on a net basis.

The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed with respect to any Fund (1) for any period during which the New York Stock Exchange is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (2) for any period during which trading on the New York Stock 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 net asset value is not reasonably practicable; or (4) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC.

 

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Regular Foreign Holidays

The Fund generally intends to effect deliveries of Creation Units and portfolio securities on a basis of “T” plus three Business Days (i.e., days on which the national securities exchange is open). The Fund may effect deliveries of Creation Units and portfolio securities on a basis other than T plus three in order to accommodate local holiday schedules, to account for different treatment among foreign and U.S. markets of dividend record dates and ex-dividend dates or under certain other circumstances. The ability of the Trust to effect in-kind creations and redemptions within three Business Days of receipt of an order in good form is subject, among other things, to the condition that, within the time period from the date of the order to the date of delivery of the securities, there are no days that are holidays in the applicable foreign market. For every occurrence of one or more intervening holidays in the applicable foreign market that are not holidays observed in the U.S. equity market, the redemption settlement cycle will be extended by the number of such intervening holidays. In addition to holidays, other unforeseeable closings in a foreign market due to emergencies may also prevent the Trust from delivering securities within normal settlement periods. The securities delivery cycles currently practicable for transferring portfolio securities to redeeming Authorized Participants, coupled with foreign market holiday schedules, will require a delivery process longer than seven calendar days in certain circumstances. The applicable holidays for certain foreign markets are listed in the table below. The proclamation of new holidays, the treatment by market participants of certain days as “informal holidays” (e.g., days on which no or limited securities transactions occur, as a result of substantially shortened trading hours), the elimination of existing holidays or changes in local securities delivery practices could affect the information set forth herein at some time in the future.

The dates from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 in which the regular holidays affecting the relevant securities markets of the below listed countries are as follows:

 

Australia

 

Austria

 

Belgium

 

Brazil

 

Canada

 

Chile

 

China

January 1

January 26

March 9

April 2

April 3

April 6

June 8

August 3

October 5

November 3

December 24

December 25

December 28

December 31

 

January 1

January 6

April 3

April 6

May 1

May 14

May 25

June 4

October 26

December 8

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

April 3

April 6

May 1

December 25

 

January 1 February 16

February 17

February 18

April 3

April 21

May 1

June 4

July 9

September 7

October 12

November 2

November 20

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

January 2

February 9

February 16

April 3

May 18

June 24

July 1

August 3

September 7

October 12

November 11

December 25

December 28

 

January 1

April 3

May 1

May 21

June 29

July 16

September 18

October 12

December 8

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

January 2

January 19

February 16

February 18

February 19

February 20

February 23

February 24

April 3

April 6

April 7

May 1

May 25

June 22

July 1

July 3

September 7

September 28

October 1

October 2

October 5

October 6

October 7

October 12

October 21

November 11

November 26

December 25

 

48


Colombia

 

Czech Republic

 

Denmark

 

Egypt

 

Finland

 

France

 

Germany

January 1

January 12

March 23

April 2

April 3

May 1

May 18

June 8

June 15

August 7

August 17

October 12

November 2

November 16

December 8

December 25

 

January 1

April 6

May 1

May 8

July 6

September 28

October 28

November 17

December 24

December 25

 

January 1

April 2

April 3

April 6

May 1

May 14

May 15

May 25

June 5

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

January 7

January 25

April 12

April 13

July 1

July 19

July 23

September 23

September 24

October 6

October 13

December 24

 

January 1

January 6

April 2

April 3

April 6

May 1

May 14

June 19

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

April 3

April 6

May 1

May 8

May 14

May 25

July 14

November 11

December 25

 

January 1

April 3

April 6

May 1

May 14

May 25

June 4

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

Greece

 

Hong Kong

 

Hungary

 

India

 

Indonesia

 

Ireland

 

Israel

January 1

January 6

February 23

March 25

April 3

April 6

April 10

April 13

May 1

June 1

October 28

December 24

December 25

 

January 1

January 2

February 18

February 19

February 20

February 23

February 24

April 2

April 3

April 6

April 7

May 1

May 22

May 25

June 22

June 30

July 1

September 25

September 28

October 1

October 2

October 5

October 6

October 7

October 20

October 21

December 24

December 25

 

January 1

January 2

January 10

April 3

April 6

May 1

May 25

August 8

August 20

August 21

October 23

December 12

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

January 26

February 17

February 19

March 6

April 1

April 2

April 3

April 14

May 1

May 4

July 1

August 18

September 17

September 25

October 2

October 22

November 11

November 12

November 25

December 24

December 25

 

January 1

February 19

April 3

May 1

May 14

June 2

July 16

July 17

July 20

July 21

August 17

September 24

October 14

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

January 19

February 16

March 17

April 3

April 6

May 1

May 4

May 25

June 1

August 3

August 31

September 7

October 12

October 26

November 11

November 26

December 25

December 28

 

March 5

March 17

April 3

April 9

April 10

April 22

April 23

May 24

July 26

September 13

September 14

September 15

September 22

September 23

September 27

September 28

October 4

October 5

 

49


Italy

 

Japan

 

Korea

 

Malaysia

 

Mexico

 

Morocco

 

The Netherlands

January 1

January 6

April 3

April 6

May 1

June 2

December 8

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

January 2

January 12

February 11

March 21

April 29

May 4

May 5

May 6

July 20

September 21

September 22

September 23

October 12

November 3

November 23

December 23

December 31

 

January 1

February 18

February 19

February 20

May 1

May 5

May 25

September 28

September 29

October 9

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

February 2

February 3

February 19

February 20

May 1

May 4

July 17

August 31

September 16

September 24

October 14

November 10

December 24

December 25

 

January 1

February 2

March 16

April 2

April 3

May 1

September 16

November 20

December 25

 

January 1

January 5

May 1

July 30

August 14

August 20

August 21

September 23

October 13

November 6

November 18

 

January 1

April 3

April 6

May 1

December 25

December 31

 

New Zealand

 

Norway

 

Peru

 

The Philippines

 

Poland

 

Portugal

 

Russia

January 1

January 2

January 19

January 26

February 6

April 3

April 6

April 27

June 1

October 26

December 25

December 28

 

January 1

April 1

April 2

April 3

April 6

May 1

May 14

May 25

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

January 2

April 2

April 3

May 1

July 28

October 8

December 8

December 25

 

January 1

January 2

January 15

January 16

January 19

February 19

April 2

April 3

April 9

May 1

June 12

August 21

August 31

November 30

December 24

December 25

December 30

December 31

 

January 1

January 6

April 3

April 6

May 1

June 4

November 11

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

April 3

May 1

June 10

December 8

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

January 2

January 5

January 6

January 7

January 8

January 9

February 23

March 9

May 1

May 4

May 11

June 12

November 4

Singapore

 

South Africa

 

Spain

 

Sweden

 

Switzerland

 

Taiwan

 

Thailand

January 1

February 19

February 20

April 3

May 1

June 1

July 17

August 10

September 24

November 10

December 25

 

January 1

April 3

April 6

April 27

May 1

June 16

August 10

September 24

December 16

December 25

 

January 1

January 6

April 2

April 3

April 6

May 1

October 12

December 8

December 25

 

January 1

January 5

January 6

April 2

April 3

April 6

April 30

May 1

May 13

May 14

June 19

October 30

December 24

December 25

 

January 1

January 2

April 3

April 6

May 1

May 14

May 25

December 24

December 25

December 31

 

January 1

January 2

February 16

February 17

February 18

February 19

February 20

February 23

February 27

April 3

April 6

May 1

June 19

September 28

 

January 1

January 2

March 4

April 6

April 13

April 14

April 15

May 1

May 5

June 1

July 1

July 30

August 12

October 23

 

50


      December 31     October 9  

December 7

December 10

December 31

Turkey

 

United Kingdom

                   

January 1

April 23

May 1

May 19

July 16

July 17

September 23

September 24

September 25

October 28

October 29

 

January 1

January 19

February 16

April 3

April 6

May 1

May 4

May 25

August 31

September 7

October 12

November 11

November 26

December 25

December 28

         

Redemption

The longest redemption cycle is a function of the longest redemption cycles among the countries whose stocks are held by the Fund.

Transaction Fees

Transaction fees are imposed as set forth in the table in the Prospectus. 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. There is a fixed and a variable component to the total Transaction Fee. 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 based upon the value of each Creation Unit also is applicable to each redemption transaction. The Transaction Fee applicable to the redemption of Creation Unties will not exceed 2% of the value of the redemption proceeds.

Purchasers of Creation Units of the Fund for cash are required to pay an additional charge to compensate the relevant Fund for brokerage and market impact expenses relating to investing in portfolios securities. 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.

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. The purchase transaction fees for in-kind purchases and cash purchases (when available) are listed in the table below. 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. In addition, Rafferty may, from time to time, at its own expense, compensate purchasers of Creation Units who have purchased substantial amounts of Creation Units and other financial institutions for administrative or marketing services.

Continuous Offering

The method by which Creation Units of Shares are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units of Shares are issued and sold by the Trust on an ongoing basis, at any point a “distribution,” as such term is used in the Securities 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

 

51


prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the Securities Act. For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Distributor, breaks them down into constituent Shares, and sells some or all of the Shares comprising such 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 Securities 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 to a categorization as 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 Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. Broker-dealer firms should note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to 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 Securities Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by section 4(3) of the Securities Act. Firms that incur a prospectus-delivery obligation with respect to Shares are reminded that under Securities Act Rule 153 a prospectus delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to a national securities exchange member in connection with a sale on the national securities exchange is satisfied by the fact that the Fund’s prospectus is available at the national securities exchange on which the Shares of such Fund trade upon request. 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 “upstairs” transactions.

DIVIDENDS, OTHER DISTRIBUTIONS AND TAXES

Dividends and other Distributions

As stated in the Prospectus, the Fund declares and distributes dividends to its shareholders from its net investment income at least annually; for these purposes, net investment income includes dividends, accrued interest, and accretion of original issue discount (or “OID”) and market discount, less amortization of market premium and estimated expenses, and is calculated immediately prior to the determination of the Fund’s NAV per share. The Fund may realize net capital gain (i.e., the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss) and thus anticipates making annual distributions thereof. The Trustees may revise this distribution policy, or postpone the payment of distributions, if the Fund has or anticipates any large unexpected expense, loss or fluctuation in net assets that, in the Trustees’ opinion, might have a significant adverse effect on its shareholders.

Investors should be aware that if shares are purchased shortly before the record date for any dividend or capital gain distribution, the shareholder will pay full price for the shares and receive some portion of the purchase price back as a taxable distribution (with the tax consequences described in the Prospectus).

Taxes

The Fund is taxed as a regular corporation under Subchapter C of the Code for federal income tax purposes and as such is obligated to pay federal and applicable state and foreign corporate taxes on its taxable income. This differs from most investment companies, which elect to be treated as “regulated investment companies” under the Code in order to avoid paying entity level income taxes. Under current law, the Fund is not eligible to elect treatment as a regulated investment company due to its investments primarily in MLPs invested in energy assets. As a result, the Fund will be obligated to pay federal and state taxes on its taxable income as opposed to most other investment companies which are not so obligated.

As discussed below, the Fund expects that a portion of the distribution it receives from MLPs may be treated as a tax-deferred return of capital, thus reducing the Fund’s current tax liability. However, the amount of taxes currently paid by the Fund will vary depending on the amount of income and gains derived from investments and/or sales of MLP interests and such taxes will reduce your return from an investment in the Fund.

The Fund invests its assets primarily in MLPs, which generally are treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes. As a partner in the MLPs, the fund must report its allocable share of the MLPs’ taxable income in computing its taxable income, regardless of the extent (if any) to which the MLPs make distributions. Based upon

 

52


the Adviser’s review of the historic results of the types of MLPs in which the Fund invests, the Adviser expects that the cash flow received by the Fund with respect to its MLP investments will generally exceed the taxable income allocated to the Fund (and this excess generally will not be currently taxable to the Fund but, rather, will result in a reduction of the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in each MLP as described in the following paragraph). This is the result of a variety of factors, including significant non-cash deductions, such as accelerated depreciation. There is no assurance that the Adviser’s expectation regarding the tax character of MLP distributions will be realized. If this expectation is not realized, there may be greater tax expense borne by the Fund and less cash available to distribute to you or to pay to expenses.

The Fund will also be subject to U.S. federal income tax at the regular graduated corporate tax rates on any gain recognized by the Fund on any sale of equity securities of an MLP. Cash distributions from an MLP to the Fund that exceed Fund’s allocable share of such MLP’s net taxable income will reduce the Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the equity securities of the MLP. These reductions in Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the MLP equity securities will increase the amount of any taxable gain (or decrease the amount of any tax loss) recognized by the Fund on a subsequent sale of the securities.

The Fund will accrue deferred income taxes for any future tax liability associated with (i) that portion of MLP distributions considered to be a tax-deferred return of capital and (ii) capital appreciation of its investments. Upon the sale of MLP security, the Fund may be liable for previously deferred taxes, and an adjustment to the deferred income tax liability will be made at such time to reflect the actual taxes paid. The Fund will rely to some extent on information provided by the MLPs which is not necessarily timely, to estimate deferred tax liability for purposes of financial statement reporting and determining the NAV. From time to time, the Adviser will modify the estimates or assumptions regarding the Fund’s deferred tax liability as new information becomes available. The Fund will generally compute deferred income taxes based on the federal income tax rate applicable to corporations currently 35% and an assumed rate attributable to state taxes.

Distributions made to you by the Fund (other than distributions in redemption of shares subject to Section 302(b) of the Code) will generally constitute dividends to the extent of your allocable share of the Fund’s current or accumulated earnings and profits, as calculated for federal income tax purposes. Generally, a corporation’s earnings and profits are computed based upon taxable income, with certain specified adjustments. Based upon the historic performance of the types of MLPs in which the Fund intends to invest, the Adviser anticipates that the cash distributed from the MLPs generally will exceed the Fund’s Share of the MLPs’ taxable income. Consequently, the Adviser anticipates that only a portion of the Fund’s distributions will be treated as dividend income to you. To the extent that distributions to you exceed your allocable share of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, your tax basis in the Fund’s Shares with respect to which the distribution is made will be reduced, which will increase the amount of any taxable gain (or decrease the amount of any tax loss) realized upon a subsequent sale or redemption of such shares. To the extent you hold such shares as a capital asset and have no further basis in the shares to offset the distribution, you will report the excess as capital gain.

Distributions treated as dividends under the foregoing rules generally will be taxable as ordinary income to you but may be treated as “qualified dividend income.” Under current federal income tax law, qualified dividend income received by individuals and other non corporate shareholders is taxed at long-term capital gain rates, which currently reach a maximum of 15% (20% for taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $400,000 or $450,000 if married filing jointly). For a dividend to constitute qualified dividend income, the shareholder generally must hold the shares paying the dividend for more than 60 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the ex-dividend date, although a longer period may apply if the shareholder engages in certain risk reduction transactions with respect to the common stock.

Deferred income taxes reflect (1) taxes on unrealized gains/(losses) which are attributable to the difference between the fair market value and tax basis of the Fund’s investments and (2) the tax benefit of accumulated capital or net operating losses. The Fund will accrue a net deferred tax liability if its future tax liability on its unrealized gains exceeds the tax benefit of its accumulated capital or net operating losses, if any. The Fund does not currently intend to accrue a net deferred tax asset. However, the Fund may in the future determine to accrue a net deferred tax asset if the Fund’s future tax liability on unrealized gains is less than the tax benefit of the Fund’s accumulated capital or net operating losses or if the Fund has net unrealized losses on its investments.

 

53


To the extent we have a net deferred tax asset, consideration is given as to whether or not a valuation allowance is required. The need to establish a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets is assessed periodically based on the criteria established by the Statement of Financial Standards, Accounting for Income Taxes (ASC 740) that it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax asset will not be realized. In our assessment for a valuation allowance, consideration is given to all positive and negative evidence related to the realization of the deferred tax asset. This assessment considers, among other matters, the nature, frequency and severity of current and cumulative losses, forecasts of future profitability (which are highly dependent on future MLP cash distributions), the duration of statutory carryforward periods and the associated risk that capital or net operating loss carryforwards may expire unused. If a valuation allowance is required to reduce the deferred tax asset in the future, it could have a material impact on the Fund’s NAV and results of operations in the period it is recorded.

A sale or exchange of shares in the Fund may give rise to a gain or loss. In general, any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of shares will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. Otherwise, the gain or loss on the taxable disposition of shares will be treated as short-term capital gain or loss. All or a portion of any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of shares will be disallowed if other substantially identical shares of the Fund are purchased (through reinvestment of dividends or otherwise) within 30 days before or after the disposition. In such a case, the basis of the newly purchased shares will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.

Income from Foreign Securities. Dividends and interest the Fund receives, and gains it realizes, on foreign securities may be subject to income, withholding, or other taxes imposed by foreign countries and U.S. possessions that would reduce the yield and/or total return on its securities. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate these taxes, however, and many foreign countries do not impose taxes on capital gains in respect of investments by foreign investors.

Gains or losses (1) from the disposition of foreign currencies, including forward currency contracts, (2) on the disposition of each foreign-currency-denominated debt security that are attributable to fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency between the dates of acquisition and disposition of the security, and (3) that are attributable to fluctuations in exchange rates that occur between the time the Fund accrues dividends, interest, or other receivables, or expenses or other liabilities, denominated in a foreign currency and the time the Fund actually collects the receivables or pays the liabilities, generally will be treated as ordinary income or loss. These gains or losses will increase or decrease the amount of the Fund’s investment company taxable income to be distributed to its shareholders.

The Fund may invest in the stock of “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”). A PFIC is any foreign corporation (with certain exceptions) that, in general, meets either of the following tests for a taxable year: (1) at least 75% of its gross income is passive or (2) an average of at least 50% of its assets produce, or are held for the production of, passive income. Under certain circumstances, the Fund will be subject to federal income tax on a portion of any “excess distribution” it receives on the stock of a PFIC or of any gain on its disposition of the stock (collectively, “PFIC income”), plus interest thereon, even if the Fund distributes the PFIC income as a dividend to its shareholders.

If the Fund invests in a PFIC and elects to treat the PFIC as a “qualified electing fund” (“QEF”), then, in lieu of the foregoing tax and interest obligation, the Fund would be required to include in income each taxable year its pro rata share of the QEF’s annual ordinary earnings and net capital gain even if the Fund did not receive those earnings and gain from the QEF. In most instances it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to make this election because of certain requirements thereof.

The Fund may elect to “mark to market” its stock in any PFIC whose shares are traded on an established. “Marking-to-market,” in this context, means including in gross income each taxable year (and treating as ordinary income) the excess, if any, of the fair market value of the PFIC’s stock over the Fund’s adjusted basis therein as of the end of that year. Pursuant to the election, the Fund also would be allowed to deduct (as an ordinary, not a capital, loss) the excess, if any, of its adjusted basis in PFIC stock over the fair market value thereof as of the taxable year-end, but only to the extent of any net mark-to-market gains with respect to that stock the Fund included in income for prior taxable years under the election. The Fund’s adjusted basis in each PFIC’s stock with respect to which it makes this election would be adjusted to reflect the amounts of income included and deductions taken thereunder.

 

54


Derivatives Strategies. The use of derivatives strategies, such as writing (selling) and purchasing options and futures contracts and entering into forward contracts, involves complex rules that will determine for income tax purposes the amount, character, and timing of recognition of the gains and losses the Fund realizes in connection therewith.

Some futures contracts, foreign currency contracts that are traded in the interbank market, and “nonequity” options (i.e., certain listed options, such as those on a “broad-based” securities index)—except any “securities futures contract” that is not a “dealer securities futures contract” (both as defined in the Code) and any interest rate swap, currency swap, basis swap, interest rate cap, interest rate floor, commodity swap, equity swap, equity index swap, credit default swap, or similar agreement—in which the Fund invests may be subject to Code section 1256 (collectively “section 1256 contracts”). Section 1256 contracts that the Fund holds at the end of its taxable year must be “marked to market” (that is, treated as having been sold at that time for their fair market value) for federal income tax purposes, with the result that unrealized gains or losses will be treated as though they were realized. Sixty percent of any net gain or loss recognized on these deemed sales, and 60% of any net realized gain or loss from any actual sales of section 1256 contracts, will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss, and the balance will be treated as short-term capital gain or loss. The Fund may elect not to have the foregoing rules apply to any “mixed straddle” (that is, a straddle, which the Fund clearly identifies in accordance with applicable regulations, at least one (but not all) of the positions of which are section 1256 contracts), although doing so may have the effect of increasing the relative proportion of short-term capital gain (taxable as ordinary income) and thus increasing the amount of dividends it must distribute.

Code section 1092 (dealing with straddles) also may affect the taxation of options, futures, and forward contracts in which the Fund may invest. That section defines a “straddle” as offsetting positions with respect to actively traded personal property; for these purposes, options, futures, and forward contracts are positions in personal property. Under that section, any loss from the disposition of a position in a straddle may be deducted only to the extent the loss exceeds the unrealized gain on the offsetting position(s) of the straddle. In addition, these rules may postpone the recognition of loss that otherwise would be recognized under the mark-to-market rules discussed above. The regulations under section 1092 also provide certain “wash sale” rules, which apply to transactions where a position is sold at a loss and a new offsetting position is acquired within a prescribed period, and “short sale” rules applicable to straddles. If the Fund makes certain elections, the amount, character, and timing of recognition of gains and losses from the affected straddle positions would be determined under rules that vary according to the elections made. Because only a few of the regulations implementing the straddle rules have been promulgated, the tax consequences to the Fund of straddle transactions are not entirely clear.

If a call option written by the Fund lapses (i.e., terminates without being exercised), the amount of the premium it received for the option will be short-term capital gain. If the Fund enters into a closing purchase transaction with respect to a written call option, it will have a short-term capital gain or loss based on the difference between the premium it received for the option it wrote and the premium it pays for the option it buys. If such an option is exercised and the Fund thus sells the securities or futures contract subject to the option, the premium the Fund received will be added to the exercise price to determine the gain or loss on the sale. If a call option purchased by the Fund lapses, it will realize short-term or long-term capital loss, depending on its holding period for the option. If the Fund exercises a purchased call option, the premium it paid for the option will be added to the basis in the subject securities or futures contract.

If the Fund has an “appreciated financial position”—generally, an interest (including an interest through an option, futures, or forward contract or short sale) with respect to any stock, debt instrument (other than “straight debt”), or partnership interest the fair market value of which exceeds its adjusted basis—and enters into a “constructive sale” of the position, the Fund will be treated as having made an actual sale thereof, with the result that it will recognize gain at that time. A constructive sale generally consists of a short sale, an offsetting notional principal contract, or a futures or forward contract the Fund or a related person enters into with respect to the same or substantially identical property. In addition, if the appreciated financial position is itself a short sale or such a contract, acquisition of the underlying property or substantially identical property will be deemed a constructive sale. The foregoing will not apply, however, to any Fund’s transaction during any taxable year that otherwise would be treated as a constructive sale if the transaction is closed within 30 days after the end of that year and the Fund holds the appreciated financial position unhedged for 60 days after that closing (i.e., at no time during that 60-day period is the Fund’s risk of loss regarding that position reduced by reason of certain specified transactions with respect to substantially identical or related property, such as having an option to sell, being contractually obligated to sell, making a short sale, or granting an option to buy substantially identical stock or securities).

 

55


Income from Zero-Coupon and Payment-in-Kind Securities. The Fund may acquire zero-coupon or other securities (such as strips) issued with OID. As a holder of those securities, the Fund must include in its gross income the OID that accrues on the securities during the taxable year, even if it receives no corresponding payment on them during the year. Similarly, the Fund must include in its gross income securities it receives as “interest” on payment-in-kind securities. With respect to “market discount bonds” (i.e., bonds purchased at a price less than their issue price plus the portion of OID previously accrued thereon), the Fund may elect to accrue and include in income each taxable year a portion of the bonds’ market discount.

Taxation of Shareholders.

Basis Election and Reporting. A shareholder’s basis in Shares of a Fund that he or she acquires after December 31, 2011 (“Covered Shares”), will be determined in accordance with the Fund’s default method, which is average basis, unless the shareholder affirmatively elects in writing (which may be electronic) to use a different acceptable basis determination method, such as a specific identification method. The basis determination method a Fund shareholder elects (or the default method) may not be changed with respect to a redemption of Covered Shares after the settlement date of the redemption.

In addition to the requirement to report the gross proceeds from redemptions of shares, each Fund (or its administrative agent) must report to the Service and furnish to its shareholders the basis information for Covered Shares and indicate whether they had a short-term (one year or less) or long-term (more than one year) holding period. Fund shareholders should consult with their tax advisers to decide the best Service-accepted basis determination method for their tax situation and to obtain more information about how the basis reporting law applies to them.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”). As mentioned in the Prospectus, under FATCA “foreign financial institutions” (“FFIs”) or “non-financial foreign entities” (“NFFEs”) that are Fund shareholders may be subject to a generally nonrefundable 30% withholding tax on (1) income dividends a Fund pays after June 30, 2014, and (2) certain capital gain distributions and the proceeds of a redemption of Shares a Fund pays after December 31, 2016. That withholding tax generally can be avoided, however, as discussed below.

An FFI can avoid FATCA withholding by becoming a “participating FFI,” which requires the FFI to enter into a tax compliance agreement with the Service. Under such an agreement, a participating FFI agrees to (1) verify and document whether it has U.S. accountholders, (2) report certain information regarding their accounts to the Service, and (3) meet certain other specified requirements.

The U.S. Treasury has negotiated intergovernmental agreements (“IGAs”) with certain countries and is in various stages of negotiations with other foreign countries with respect to one or more alternative approaches to implement FATCA; entities in those countries may be required to comply with the terms of the IGA instead of Treasury regulations. An FFI resident in a country that has entered into a Model I IGA with the United States must report to that country’s government (pursuant to the terms of the applicable IGA and applicable law), which will, in turn, report to the Service. An FFI resident in a Model II IGA country generally must comply with U.S. regulatory requirements, with certain exceptions, including the treatment of recalcitrant accountholders. An FFI resident in one of those countries that complies with whichever of the foregoing applies will be exempt from FATCA withholding.

An NFFE that is the beneficial owner of a payment from a Fund can avoid FATCA withholding generally by certifying that it does not have any substantial U.S. owners or by providing the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each such owner. The NFFE will report to the Fund or other applicable withholding agent, which will, in turn, report information to the Service.

Those non-U.S. shareholders also may fall into certain exempt, excepted, or deemed compliant categories established by Treasury regulations, IGAs, and other guidance regarding FATCA. An FFI or NFFE that invests in a Fund will need to provide the Fund with documentation properly certifying the entity’s status under FATCA to avoid FATCA withholding. The requirements imposed by FATCA are different from, and in addition to, the tax certification rules to avoid backup withholding described above. Foreign investors are urged to consult their tax advisers regarding the application of these requirements to their own situation and the impact thereof on their investment in a Fund.

 

56


*    *    *    *    *

The foregoing is only a general summary of some of the important federal tax considerations generally affecting the Fund. No attempt is made to present a complete explanation of the federal tax treatment of the Fund’s activities, and this discussion is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning. Accordingly, potential investors are urged to consult their own tax advisers for more detailed information and for information regarding any state, local, or foreign taxes applicable to the Fund and to distributions therefrom.

Capital Loss Carryovers. As of October 31, 2014, the following Fund did not have capital loss carryforwards.

To the extent the Fund realizes future net capital gains in any taxable year to which it has available capital loss carryovers, those gains will be wholly or partly offset by those carryover(s). Pursuant to the RIC Mod Act, capital losses sustained in future taxable years will not expire and may be carried over without limitation.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The Fund’s financial statements for the period ended October 31, 2014, are incorporated herein by reference from the Fund’s Annual Report to Shareholders dated October 31, 2014.

To receive a copy of the Prospectus or Annual or Semi-Annual Report to shareholders, without charge, write to or call the Trust at the contact information listed below:

 

Write to:

Direxion Shares ETF Trust

1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor

New York, New York 10019

Call: 866-476-7523
By Internet: www.direxioninvestments.com

 

57


APPENDIX A

Description of Corporate Bond Ratings

Moody’s Investors Service and Standard and Poor’s are two prominent independent rating agencies that rate the quality of bonds. Following are expanded explanations of the ratings shown in the Prospectus and this SAI.

Moody’s Investors Service – Global Long-Term Ratings

Ratings assigned on Moody’s global long-term rating scale are forward-looking opinions of the relative credit risks of financial obligations issued by non-financial corporates, financial institutions, structured finance vehicles, project finance vehicles, and public sector entities. Long-term ratings are assigned to issuers or obligations with an original maturity of one year or more and reflect both on the likelihood of a default on contractually promised payments and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default. Such ratings have been published by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. and Moody’s Analytics Inc.

Aaa: Obligations rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality, subject to the lowest level of credit risk.

Aa: Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.

A: Obligations rated A are judged to be upper-medium grade and are subject to low credit risk.

Baa: Obligations rated Baa are judged to be medium-grade and subject to moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics.

Ba: Obligations rated Ba are judged to be speculative and are subject to substantial credit risk.

B: Obligations rated B are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.

Caa: Obligations rated Caa are judged to be speculative of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.

Ca: Obligations rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.

C: Obligations rated C are the lowest rated and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.

Note: Moody’s appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa. The modifier 1 indicates that the obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category. Additionally, a “(hyb)” indicator is appended to all ratings of hybrid securities issued by banks, insurers, finance companies, and securities firms.*

 

* By their terms, hybrid securities allow for the omission of scheduled dividends, interest, or principal payments, which can potentially result in impairment if such an omission occurs. Hybrid securities may also be subject to contractually allowable write-downs of principal that could result in impairment. Together with the hybrid indicator, the long-term obligation rating assigned to a hybrid security is an expression of the relative credit risk associated with that security.

Moody’s Investors Service – National Scale Long-Term Ratings

Moody’s long-term National Scale Ratings (NSRs) are opinions of the relative creditworthiness of issuers and financial obligations within a particular country. NSRs are not designed to be compared among countries; rather, they address relative credit risk within a given country. Moody’s assigns national scale ratings in certain local capital markets in which investors have found the global rating scale provides inadequate differentiation among

 

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credits or is inconsistent with a rating scale already in common use in the country. In each specific country, the last two characters of the rating indicate the country in which the issuer is located (e.g., Aaa.br for Brazil).

Aaa.n: Issuers or issues rated Aaa.n demonstrate the strongest creditworthiness relative to other domestic issuers.

Aa.n: Issuers or issues rated Aa.n demonstrate very strong creditworthiness relative to other domestic issuers.

A.n: Issuers or issues rated A.n present above-average creditworthiness relative to other domestic issuers.

Baa.n: Issuers or issues rated Baa.n represent average creditworthiness relative to other domestic issuers.

Ba.n: Issuers or issues rated Ba.n demonstrate below-average creditworthiness relative to other domestic issuers.

B.n: Issuers or issues rated B.n demonstrate weak creditworthiness relative to other domestic issuers.

Caa.n: Issuers or issues rated Caa.n demonstrate very weak creditworthiness relative to other domestic issuers.

Ca.n: Issuers or issues rated Ca.n demonstrate extremely weak creditworthiness relative to other domestic issuers.

C.n: Issuers or issues rated C.n demonstrate the weakest creditworthiness relative to other domestic issuers.

Note: Moody’s appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa. The modifier 1 indicates that the obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category.

Standard and Poor’s – Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings*

Issue credit ratings are based, in varying degrees, on Standard & Poor’s analysis of the following considerations:

 

    Likelihood of payment—capacity and willingness of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on an obligation in accordance with the terms of the obligation;

 

    Nature of and provisions of the obligation;, and the promise we impute.

 

    Protection afforded by, and relative position of, the obligation in the event of bankruptcy, reorganization, or other arrangement under the laws of bankruptcy and other laws affecting creditors’ rights.

Issue ratings are an assessment of default risk, but may incorporate an assessment of relative seniority or ultimate recovery in the event of default. Junior obligations are typically rated lower than senior obligations, to reflect the lower priority in bankruptcy, as noted above. (Such differentiation may apply when an entity has both senior and subordinated obligations, secured and unsecured obligations, or operating company and holding company obligations.)

AAA: An obligation rated ‘AAA’ has the highest rating assigned by Standard & Poor’s. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is extremely strong.

AA: An obligation rated ‘AA’ differs from the highest-rated obligations only to a small degree. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is very strong.

A: An obligation rated ‘A’ is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is still strong.

BBB: An obligation rated ‘BBB’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

 

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BB; B; CCC; CC; and C: Obligations rated ‘BB’, ‘B’, ‘CCC’, ‘CC’, and ‘C’ are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. ‘BB’ indicates the least degree of speculation and ‘C’ the highest. While such obligations will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposures to adverse conditions.

BB: An obligation rated ‘BB’ is less vulnerable to nonpayment than other speculative issues. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions which could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

B: An obligation rated ‘B’ is more vulnerable to nonpayment than obligations rated ‘BB’, but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor’s capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

CCC: An obligation rated ‘CCC’ is currently vulnerable to nonpayment, and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

CC: An obligation rated ‘CC’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The ‘CC’ rating is used when a default has not yet occurred, but Standard & Poor’s expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.

C: An obligation rated ‘C’ is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared to obligations that are rated higher.

D: An obligation rated ‘D’ is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the ‘D’ rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless Standard & Poor’s believes that such payments will be made within five business days in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation’s rating is lowered to ‘D’ if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.

NR: This indicates that no rating has been requested, or that there is insufficient information on which to base a rating, or that Standard & Poor’s does not rate a particular obligation as a matter of policy.

 

* The ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.

Moody’s Investors Service – Short Term Obligation Ratings

The Municipal Investment Grade (MIG) scale is used to rate US municipal bond anticipation notes of up to three years maturity. Municipal notes rated on the MIG scale may be secured by either pledged revenues or proceeds of a take-out financing received prior to note maturity. MIG ratings expire at the maturity of the obligation, and the issuer’s long-term rating is only one consideration in assigning the MIG rating. MIG ratings are divided into three levels—MIG 1 through MIG 3—while speculative grade short-term obligations are designated SG.

MIG 1: This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by established cash flows, highly reliable liquidity support, or demonstrated broad-based access to the market for refinancing.

MIG 2: This designation denotes strong credit quality. Margins of protection are ample, although not as large as in the preceding group.

MIG 3: This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Liquidity and cash-flow protection may be narrow, and market access for refinancing is likely to be less well-established.

 

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SG: This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Debt instruments in this category may lack sufficient margins of protection.

Standard and Poor’s – Municipal Short-Term Note Ratings

A Standard & Poor’s U.S. municipal note rating reflects Standard & Poor’s opinion about the liquidity factors and market access risks unique to the notes. Notes due in three years or less will likely receive a note rating. Notes with an original maturity of more than three years will most likely receive a long-term debt rating. In determining which type of rating, if any, to assign, Standard & Poor’s analysis will review the following considerations:

 

    Amortization schedule—the larger the final maturity relative to other maturities, the more likely it will be treated as a note; and

 

    Source of payment—the more dependent the issue is on the market for its refinancing, the more likely it will be treated as a note.

SP-1: Strong capacity to pay principal and interest. An issue determined to possess a very strong capacity to pay debt service is given a plus (+) designation.

SP-2: Satisfactory capacity to pay principal and interest, with some vulnerability to adverse financial and economic changes over the term of the notes.

SP-3: Speculative capacity to pay principal and interest.

Moody’s Investors Service – Global Short Term Rating Scale

Ratings assigned on Moody’s global short-term rating scale are forward-looking opinions of the relative credit risks of financial obligations issued by non-financial corporates, financial institutions, structured finance vehicles, project finance vehicles, and public sector entities. Short-term ratings are assigned to obligations with an original maturity of thirteen months or less and reflect the likelihood of a default on contractually promised payments.

P-1: Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-1 have a superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.

P-2: Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-2 have a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations.

P-3: Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-3 have an acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.

NP: Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.

Standard and Poor’s – Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings

A-1: A short-term obligation rated ‘A-1’ is rated in the highest category by Standard & Poor’s. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is strong. Within this category, certain obligations are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on these obligations is extremely strong.

A-2: A short-term obligation rated ‘A-2’ is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rating categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is satisfactory.

A-3: A short-term obligation rated ‘A-3’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

B: A short-term obligation rated ‘B’ is regarded as vulnerable and has significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties which could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.

 

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C: A short-term obligation rated ‘C’ is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.

D: A short-term obligation rated ‘D’ is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the ‘D’ rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless Standard & Poor’s believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The ‘D’ rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation’s rating is lowered to ‘D’ if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.

Dual ratings may be assigned to debt issues that have a put option or demand feature. The first component of the rating addresses the likelihood of repayment of principal and interest as due, and the second component of the rating addresses only the demand feature. The first component of the rating can relate to either a short-term or long-term transaction and accordingly use either short-term or long-term rating symbols. The second component of the rating relates to the put option and is assigned a short-term rating symbol (for example, ‘AAA/A-1+’ or ‘A-1+/A-1’). With U.S. municipal short-term demand debt, the U.S. municipal short-term note rating symbols are used for the first component of the rating (for example, ‘SP-1+/A-1+’).

 

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APPENDIX B

Direxion Shares ETF Trust

Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures

Recognizing the increased scrutiny that both institutions and corporations are under, it is important to have corporate governance that appreciates the importance of consistently applied policy guidelines that are aligned with investors’ views on key issues. With this in mind we currently use ISS’s proxy voting service to execute ballots on behalf of the Direxion Shares ETF Trust (collectively, the “Trust”). ISS prepares custom research and votes per their recommendation. If we agree with their recommendation, no action is required. However, we retain the right and ability to override the vote if you disagree with ISS’s vote recommendation.

 

  I. Duty to Vote Proxies

Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“Rafferty”) views seriously its responsibility to exercise voting authority over securities that are owned by the Trust.

To document that proxies are being voted, ISS (on behalf of the Trust) will maintain a record reflecting when and how each proxy is voted consistent with the requirements of Rule 206(4)-6 under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 and other applicable regulations. Rafferty will make its proxy voting history and policies and procedures available to shareholders upon request.

 

  II. Guidelines for Voting Proxies

Rafferty generally follows the recommendations of ISS’s proxy voting guidelines as outlined below. Proxy proposals are considered on their own merits and a determination is made as to support or oppose management’s recommendation. Rafferty will typically accept ISS’s recommendations on social issues as it does not have the means to evaluate the economic impact of such proposals, or determine a consensus among shareholders’ social or political viewpoints.

 

  III. Review and Compliance

It is Rafferty’s responsibility to oversee ISS’s proxy voting to ensure compliance and timely reporting to US Bank. Reports are verified monthly through ISS’s Votex website. ISS provides US Bank with the NP-X file covering the period from July 1st through June 30th of the following year. US Bank files the NP-X with the SEC on the Trust’s behalf. These records are maintained for five years and the previous two years proxy voting records can be accessed by contacting US Bank.

Below is a summary outlining ISS’s US Proxy Voting Guidelines.

 

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Routine/Miscellaneous

Auditor Ratification

Vote for proposals to ratify auditors unless any of the following apply:

 

    An auditor has a financial interest in or association with the company, and is therefore not independent;

 

    There is reason to believe that the independent auditor has rendered an opinion that is neither accurate nor indicative of the company’s financial position;

 

    Poor accounting practices are identified that rise to a serious level of concern, such as: fraud; misapplication of GAAP, or material weaknesses identified in Section 404 disclosures; or

 

    Fees for non-audit services (“Other” fees) are excessive. Non-audit fees are excessive if:

 

    Non-audit (“other”) fees > audit fees + audit-related fees + tax compliance/preparation fees

Board of Directors:

Voting on Director Nominees in Uncontested Elections

Four fundamental principles apply when determining votes on director nominees:

 

  1. Accountability

 

  2. Responsiveness

 

  3. Composition

 

  4. Independence

Generally vote for director nominees, except under the following circumstances:

 

  1. Accountability

Vote against(1) or withhold from the entire board of directors (except new nominees(2), who should be considered case-by- case) for the following:

Problematic Takeover Defenses

Classified Board Structure:

 

  1.1. The board is classified, and a continuing director responsible for a problematic governance issue at the board/committee level that would warrant a withhold/against vote recommendation is not up for election. All appropriate nominees (except new) may be held accountable.

Director Performance Evaluation:

 

  1.2. The board lacks accountability and oversight, coupled with sustained poor performance relative to peers. Sustained poor performance is measured by one- and three-year total shareholder returns in the bottom half of a company’s four-digit GICS industry group (Russell 3000 companies only). Take into consideration the company’s five-year total shareholder return and operational metrics. Problematic provisions include but are not limited to:

 

    A classified board structure;

 

    A supermajority vote requirement;

 

    Either a plurality vote standard in uncontested director elections or a majority vote standard with no plurality carve-out for contested elections;

 

    The inability of shareholders to call special meetings;

 

    The inability of shareholders to act by written consent;

 

    A dual-class capital structure; and/or

 

    A non–shareholder-approved poison pill.

Poison Pills:

 

  1.3. The company’s poison pill has a “dead-hand” or “modified dead-hand” feature. Vote against or withhold from nominees every year until this feature is removed;

 

  1.4. The board adopts a poison pill with a term of more than 12 months (“long-term pill”), or renews any existing pill, including any “short-term” pill (12 months or less), without shareholder approval. A commitment or policy that puts a newly adopted pill to a binding shareholder vote may potentially offset an adverse vote recommendation. Review such companies with classified boards every year, and such companies with annually elected boards at least once every three years, and vote against or withhold votes from all nominees if the company still maintains a non-shareholder-approved poison pill; or

 

  1.5. The board makes a material adverse change to an existing poison pill without shareholder approval.

 

(1)  In general, companies with a plurality vote standard use “Withhold” as the contrary vote option in director elections; companies with a majority vote standard use “Against”. However, it will vary by company and the proxy must be checked to determine the valid contrary vote option for the particular company.
(2)  A “new nominee” is any current nominee who has not already been elected by shareholders and who joined the board after the problematic action in question transpired. If ISS cannot determine whether the nominee joined the board before or after the problematic action transpired, the nominee will be considered a “new nominee” if he or she joined the board within the 12 months prior to the upcoming shareholder meeting.

 

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Vote case-by-case on all nominees if:

 

  1.6. The board adopts a poison pill with a term of 12 months or less (“short-term pill”) without shareholder approval, taking into account the following factors:

 

    The date of the pill‘s adoption relative to the date of the next meeting of shareholders—i.e. whether the company had time to put the pill on ballot for shareholder ratification given the circumstances;

 

    The issuer’s rationale;

 

    The issuer’s governance structure and practices; and

 

    The issuer’s track record of accountability to shareholders.

Problematic Audit-Related Practices

Generally vote against or withhold from the members of the Audit Committee if:

 

  1.7. The non-audit fees paid to the auditor are excessive (see discussion under “Auditor Ratification”);

 

  1.8. The company receives an adverse opinion on the company’s financial statements from its auditor; or

 

  1.9. There is persuasive evidence that the Audit Committee entered into an inappropriate indemnification agreement with its auditor that limits the ability of the company, or its shareholders, to pursue legitimate legal recourse against the audit firm.

Vote case-by-case on members of the Audit Committee, and potentially the full board, if:

 

  1.10. Poor accounting practices are identified that rise to a level of serious concern, such as: fraud, misapplication of GAA; and material weaknesses identified in Section 404 disclosures. Examine the severity, breadth, chronological sequence, and duration, as well as the company’s efforts at remediation or corrective actions, in determining whether withhold/against votes are warranted.

Problematic Compensation Practices/Pay for Performance Misalignment

In the absence of an Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation ballot item or in egregious situations, vote against or withhold from the members of the Compensation Committee, and potentially the full board, if:

 

  1.11. There is a significant misalignment between CEO pay and company performance (pay for performance);

 

  1.12. The company maintains significant problematic pay practices;

 

  1.13. The board exhibits a significant level of poor communication and responsiveness to shareholders;

 

  1.14. The company fails to submit one-time transfers of stock options to a shareholder vote; or

 

  1.15. The company fails to fulfill the terms of a burn rate commitment made to shareholders.

Vote case-by-case on Compensation Committee members (or, in exceptional cases, the full board) and the Management Say-on-Pay proposal if:

 

  1.16. The company’s previous say-on-pay proposal received the support of less than 70 percent of votes cast, taking into account:

 

    The company’s response, including:

 

    Disclosure of engagement efforts with major institutional investors regarding the issues that contributed to the low level of support;

 

    Specific actions taken to address the issues that contributed to the low level of support;

 

    Other recent compensation actions taken by the company;

 

    Whether the issues raised are recurring or isolated;

 

    The company’s ownership structure; and

 

    Whether the support level was less than 50 percent, which would warrant the highest degree of responsiveness.

Governance Failures

Under extraordinary circumstances, vote against or withhold from directors individually, committee members, or the entire board, due to:

 

  1.17. Material failures of governance, stewardship, risk oversight(3), or fiduciary responsibilities at the company;

 

  1.18. Failure to replace management as appropriate; or

 

  1.19. Egregious actions related to a director’s service on other boards that raise substantial doubt about his or her ability to effectively oversee management and serve the best interests of shareholders at any company.

 

  2. Responsiveness

Vote case-by-case on individual directors, committee members, or the entire board of directors, as appropriate, if:

 

  2.1. The board failed to act on a shareholder proposal that received the support of a majority of the shares cast in the previous year. Factors that will be considered are:

 

    Disclosed outreach efforts by the board to shareholders in the wake of the vote;

 

    Rationale provided in the proxy statement for the level of implementation;

 

    The subject matter of the proposal;

 

    The level of support for and opposition to the resolution in past meetings;

 

    Actions taken by the board in response to the majority vote and its engagement with shareholders;

 

    The continuation of the underlying issue as a voting item on the ballot (as either shareholder or management proposals); and

 

    Other factors as appropriate.

 

(3)  Examples of failure of risk oversight include, but are not limited to: bribery; large or serial fines or sanctions from regulatory bodies; significant adverse legal judgments or settlements; hedging of company stock; or significant pledging of company stock.

 

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  2.2. The board failed to act on takeover offers where the majority of shares are tendered;

 

  2.3. At the previous board election, any director received more than 50 percent withhold/against votes of the shares cast and the company has failed to address the issue(s) that caused the high withhold/against vote;

 

  2.4. The board implements an advisory vote on executive compensation on a less frequent basis than the frequency that received the majority of votes cast at the most recent shareholder meeting at which shareholders voted on the say-on-pay frequency; or

 

  2.5. The board implements an advisory vote on executive compensation on a less frequent basis than the frequency that received a plurality, but not a majority, of the votes cast at the most recent shareholder meeting at which shareholders voted on the say-on-pay frequency, taking into account:

 

    The board’s rationale for selecting a frequency that is different from the frequency that received a plurality;

 

    The company’s ownership structure and vote results;

 

    ISS’ analysis of whether there are compensation concerns or a history of problematic compensation practices; and

 

    The previous year’s support level on the company’s say-on-pay proposal.

 

  3. Composition

Attendance at Board and Committee Meetings:

 

  3.1. Generally vote against or withhold from directors (except new nominees, who should be considered case-by- case(4)) who attend less than 75 percent of the aggregate of their board and committee meetings for the period for which they served, unless an acceptable reason for absences is disclosed in the proxy or another SEC filing. Acceptable reasons for director absences are generally limited to the following:

 

    Medical issues/illness;

 

    Family emergencies; and

 

    Missing only one meeting (when the total of all meetings is three or fewer).

 

  3.2. If the proxy disclosure is unclear and insufficient to determine whether a director attended at least 75 percent of the aggregate of his/her board and committee meetings during his/her period of service, vote against or withhold from the director(s) in question.

Overboarded Directors:

Vote against or withhold from individual directors who:

 

  3.3. Sit on more than six public company boards; or

 

  3.4. Are CEOs of public companies who sit on the boards of more than two public companies besides their own — withhold only at their outside boards(5).

 

  4. Independence

Vote against or withhold from Inside Directors and Affiliated Outside Directors when:

 

  4.1. The inside or affiliated outside director serves on any of the three key committees: audit, compensation, or nominating;

 

  4.2. The company lacks an audit, compensation, or nominating committee so that the full board functions as that committee;

 

  4.3. The company lacks a formal nominating committee, even if the board attests that the independent directors fulfill the functions of such a committee; or

 

  4.4. Independent directors make up less than a majority of the directors.

Proxy Access

ISS supports proxy access as an important shareholder right, one that is complementary to other best -practice corporate governance features. However, in the absence of a uniform standard, proposals to enact proxy access may vary widely; as such, ISS is not setting forth specific parameters at this time and will take a case-by-case approach in evaluating these proposals.

Vote case-by-case on proposals to enact proxy access, taking into account, among other factors:

 

    Company-specific factors; and

 

    Proposal-specific factors, including:

 

    The ownership thresholds proposed in the resolution (i.e., percentage and duration);

 

    The maximum proportion of directors that shareholders may nominate each year; and

 

    The method of determining which nominations should appear on the ballot if multiple shareholders submit nominations.

 

(4)  For new nominees only, schedule conflicts due to commitments made prior to their appointment to the board are considered if disclosed in the proxy or another SEC filing.
(5)  Although all of a CEO’s subsidiary boards will be counted as separate boards, ISS will not recommend a withhold vote from the CEO of a parent company board or any of the controlled (>50 percent ownership) subsidiaries of that parent, but will do so at subsidiaries that are less than 50 percent controlled and boards outside the parent/subsidiary relationships.

 

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Proxy Contests—Voting for Director Nominees in Contested Elections

Vote case-by-case on the election of directors in contested elections, considering the following factors:

 

    Long-term financial performance of the target company relative to its industry;

 

    Management’s track record;

 

    Background to the proxy contest;

 

    Nominee qualifications and any compensatory arrangements;

 

    Strategic plan of dissident slate and quality of critique against management;

 

    Likelihood that the proposed goals and objectives can be achieved (both slates); and

 

    Stock ownership positions.

When the addition of shareholder nominees to the management card (“proxy access nominees”) results in a number of nominees on the management card which exceeds the number of seats available for election, vote case-by-case considering the same factors listed above.

Shareholder Rights & Defenses

Poison Pills- Management Proposals to Ratify Poison Pill

Vote case-by-case on management proposals on poison pill ratification, focusing on the features of the shareholder rights plan. Rights plans should contain the following attributes:

 

    No lower than a 20% trigger, flip-in or flip-over;

 

    A term of no more than three years;

 

    No dead-hand, slow-hand, no-hand or similar feature that limits the ability of a future board to redeem the pill;

 

    Shareholder redemption feature (qualifying offer clause); if the board refuses to redeem the pill 90 days after a qualifying offer is announced, 10 percent of the shares may call a special meeting or seek a written consent to vote on rescinding the pill.

In addition, the rationale for adopting the pill should be thoroughly explained by the company. In examining the request for the pill, take into consideration the company’s existing governance structure, including: board independence, existing takeover defenses, and any problematic governance concerns.

Poison Pills- Management Proposals to Ratify a Pill to Preserve Net Operating Losses (NOLs)

Vote against proposals to adopt a poison pill for the stated purpose of protecting a company’s net operating losses (NOL) if the term of the pill would exceed the shorter of three years and the exhaustion of the NOL.

Vote case-by-case on management proposals for poison pill ratification, considering the following factors, if the term of the pill would be the shorter of three years (or less) and the exhaustion of the NOL:

 

    The ownership threshold to transfer (NOL pills generally have a trigger slightly below 5 percent);

 

    The value of the NOLs;

 

    Shareholder protection mechanisms (sunset provision, or commitment to cause expiration of the pill upon exhaustion or expiration of NOLs);

 

    The company’s existing governance structure including: board independence, existing takeover defenses, track record of responsiveness to shareholders, and any other problematic governance concerns; and

 

    Any other factors that may be applicable.

Shareholder Ability to Act by Written Consent

Generally vote against management and shareholder proposals to restrict or prohibit shareholders’ ability to act by written consent.

Generally vote for management and shareholder proposals that provide shareholders with the ability to act by written consent, taking into account the following factors:

 

    Shareholders’ current right to act by written consent;

 

    The consent threshold;

 

    The inclusion of exclusionary or prohibitive language;

 

    Investor ownership structure; and

 

    Shareholder support of, and management’s response to, previous shareholder proposals.

Vote case-by-case on shareholder proposals if, in addition to the considerations above, the company has the following governance and antitakeover provisions:

 

    An unfettered(6) right for shareholders to call special meetings at a 10 percent threshold;

 

    A majority vote standard in uncontested director elections;

 

    No non-shareholder-approved pill; and

 

    An annually elected board.

 

(6)  “Unfettered” means no restrictions on agenda items, no restrictions on the number of shareholders who can group together to reach the 10 percent threshold, and only reasonable limits on when a meeting can be called: no greater than 30 days after the last annual meeting and no greater than 90 prior to the next annual meeting.

 

B-4


CAPITAL/RESTRUCTURING

Common Stock Authorization

Vote for proposals to increase the number of authorized common shares where the primary purpose of the increase is to issue shares in connection with a transaction on the same ballot that warrants support.

Vote against proposals at companies with more than one class of common stock to increase the number of authorized shares of the class of common stock that has superior voting rights.

Vote against proposals to increase the number of authorized common shares if a vote for a reverse stock split on the same ballot is warranted despite the fact that the authorized shares would not be reduced proportionally.

Vote case-by-case on all other proposals to increase the number of shares of common stock authorized for issuance. Take into account company-specific factors that include, at a minimum, the following:

 

    Past Board Performance:

 

    The company’s use of authorized shares during the last three years

 

    The Current Request:

 

    Disclosure in the proxy statement of the specific purposes of the proposed increase;

 

    Disclosure in the proxy statement of specific and severe risks to shareholders of not approving the request; and

 

    The dilutive impact of the request as determined by an allowable increase calculated by ISS (typically 100 percent of existing authorized shares) that reflects the company’s need for shares and total shareholder returns.

Dual Class Structure

Generally vote against proposals to create a new class of common stock, unless:

 

    The company discloses a compelling rationale for the dual-class capital structure, such as:

 

    The company’s auditor has concluded that there is substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern; or

 

    The new class of shares will be transitory;

 

    The new class is intended for financing purposes with minimal or no dilution to current shareholders in both the short term and long term; and

 

    The new class is not designed to preserve or increase the voting power of an insider or significant shareholder.

Preferred Stock Authorization

Vote for proposals to increase the number of authorized preferred shares where the primary purpose of the increase is to issue shares in connection with a transaction on the same ballot that warrants support.

Vote against proposals at companies with more than one class or series of preferred stock to increase the number of authorized shares of the class or series of preferred stock that has superior voting rights.

Vote case-by-case on all other proposals to increase the number of shares of preferred stock authorized for issuance. Take into account company-specific factors that include, at a minimum, the following:

 

    Past Board Performance:

 

    The company’s use of authorized preferred shares during the last three years;

 

    The Current Request:

 

    Disclosure in the proxy statement of the specific purposes for the proposed increase;

 

    Disclosure in the proxy statement of specific and severe risks to shareholders of not approving the request;

 

    In cases where the company has existing authorized preferred stock, the dilutive impact of the request as determined by an allowable increase calculated by ISS (typically 100 percent of existing authorized shares) that reflects the company’s need for shares and total shareholder returns; and

 

    Whether the shares requested are blank check preferred shares that can be used for antitakeover purposes.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Vote case-by-case on mergers and acquisitions. Review and evaluate the merits and drawbacks of the proposed transaction, balancing various and sometimes countervailing factors including:

 

    Valuation - Is the value to be received by the target shareholders (or paid by the acquirer) reasonable? While the fairness opinion may provide an initial starting point for assessing valuation reasonableness, emphasis is placed on the offer premium, market reaction and strategic rationale.

 

    Market reaction - How has the market responded to the proposed deal? A negative market reaction should cause closer scrutiny of a deal.

 

B-5


    Strategic rationale - Does the deal make sense strategically? From where is the value derived? Cost and revenue synergies should not be overly aggressive or optimistic, but reasonably achievable. Management should also have a favorable track record of successful integration of historical acquisitions.

 

    Negotiations and process - Were the terms of the transaction negotiated at arm’s-length? Was the process fair and equitable? A fair process helps to ensure the best price for shareholders. Significant negotiation “wins” can also signify the deal makers’ competency. The comprehensiveness of the sales process (e.g., full auction, partial auction, no auction) can also affect shareholder value.

 

    Conflicts of interest - Are insiders benefiting from the transaction disproportionately and inappropriately as compared to non-insider shareholders? As the result of potential conflicts, the directors and officers of the company may be more likely to vote to approve a merger than if they did not hold these interests. Consider whether these interests may have influenced these directors and officers to support or recommend the merger. The CIC figure presented in the “ISS Transaction Summary” section of this report is an aggregate figure that can in certain cases be a misleading indicator of the true value transfer from shareholders to insiders. Where such figure appears to be excessive, analyze the underlying assumptions to determine whether a potential conflict exists.

 

    Governance - Will the combined company have a better or worse governance profile than the current governance profiles of the respective parties to the transaction? If the governance profile is to change for the worse, the burden is on the company to prove that other issues (such as valuation) outweigh any deterioration in governance.

COMPENSATION

Executive Pay Evaluation

Underlying all evaluations are five global principles that most investors expect corporations to adhere to in designing and administering executive and director compensation programs:

 

  1. Maintain appropriate pay-for-performance alignment, with emphasis on long-term shareholder value: This principle encompasses overall executive pay practices, which must be designed to attract, retain, and appropriately motivate the key employees who drive shareholder value creation over the long term. It will take into consideration, among other factors, the link between pay and performance; the mix between fixed and variable pay; performance goals; and equity-based plan costs;

 

  2. Avoid arrangements that risk “pay for failure”: This principle addresses the appropriateness of long or indefinite contracts, excessive severance packages, and guaranteed compensation;

 

  3. Maintain an independent and effective compensation committee: This principle promotes oversight of executive pay programs by directors with appropriate skills, knowledge, experience, and a sound process for compensation decision-making (e.g., including access to independent expertise and advice when needed);

 

  4. Provide shareholders with clear, comprehensive compensation disclosures: This principle underscores the importance of informative and timely disclosures that enable shareholders to evaluate executive pay practices fully and fairly;

 

  5. Avoid inappropriate pay to non-executive directors: This principle recognizes the interests of shareholders in ensuring that compensation to outside directors does not compromise their independence and ability to make appropriate judgments in overseeing managers’ pay and performance. At the market level, it may incorporate a variety of generally accepted best practices.

Advisory Votes on Executive Compensation—Management Proposals (Management Say-on-Pay) Vote case-by-case on ballot items related to executive pay and practices, as well as certain aspects of outside director compensation.

Vote against Advisory Votes on Executive Compensation (Management Say-on-Pay—MSOP) if:

 

    There is a significant misalignment between CEO pay and company performance (pay for performance);

 

    The company maintains significant problematic pay practices;

 

    The board exhibits a significant level of poor communication and responsiveness to shareholders.

Vote against or withhold from the members of the Compensation Committee and potentially the full board if:

 

    There is no MSOP on the ballot, and an against vote on an MSOP is warranted due to a pay for performance misalignment, problematic pay practices, or the lack of adequate responsiveness on compensation issues raised previously, or a combination thereof;

 

    The board fails to respond adequately to a previous MSOP proposal that received less than 70 percent support of votes cast;

 

    The company has recently practiced or approved problematic pay practices, including option repricing or option backdating; or

 

    The situation is egregious.

Vote against an equity plan on the ballot if:

 

    A pay for performance misalignment is found, and a significant portion of the CEO’s misaligned pay is attributed to non-performance-based equity awards, taking into consideration:

 

    Magnitude of pay misalignment;

 

    Contribution of non-performance-based equity grants to overall pay; and

 

    The proportion of equity awards granted in the last three fiscal years concentrated at the named executive officer (NEO) level.

 

B-6


Primary Evaluation Factors for Executive Pay

Pay-for-Performance Evaluation

ISS annually conducts a pay-for-performance analysis to identify strong or satisfactory alignment between pay and performance over a sustained period. With respect to companies in the Russell 3000 index, this analysis considers the following:

 

  1. Peer Group(7) Alignment:

 

    The degree of alignment between the company’s annualized TSR rank and the CEO’s annualized total pay rank within a peer group, each measured over a three-year period.

 

    The multiple of the CEO’s total pay relative to the peer group median.

 

  2. Absolute Alignment – the absolute alignment between the trend in CEO pay and company TSR over the prior five fiscal years – i.e., the difference between the trend in annual pay changes and the trend in annualized TSR during the period.

If the above analysis demonstrates significant unsatisfactory long-term pay-for-performance alignment or, in the case of non-Russell 3000 index companies, misaligned pay and performance are otherwise suggested, our analysis may include any of the following qualitative factors, if they are relevant to the analysis to determine how various pay elements may work to encourage or to undermine long-term value creation and alignment with shareholder interests:

 

    The ratio of performance- to time-based equity awards;

 

    The overall ratio of performance-based compensation;

 

    The completeness of disclosure and rigor of performance goals;

 

    The company’s peer group benchmarking practices;

 

    Actual results of financial/operational metrics, such as growth in revenue, profit, cash flow, etc., both absolute and relative to peers;

 

    Special circumstances related to, for example, a new CEO in the prior FY or anomalous equity grant practices (e.g., bi-annual awards);

 

    Realizable pay(8) compared to grant pay; and

 

    Any other factors deemed relevant.

Problematic Pay Practices

The focus is on executive compensation practices that contravene the global pay principles, including:

 

    Problematic practices related to non-performance-based compensation elements;

 

    Incentives that may motivate excessive risk-taking; and

 

    Options Backdating.

Problematic Pay Practices related to Non-Performance-Based Compensation Elements

Pay elements that are not directly based on performance are generally evaluated case-by-case considering the context of a company’s overall pay program and demonstrated pay-for-performance philosophy. Please refer to ISS’ Compensation FAQ document for detail on specific pay practices that have been identified as potentially problematic and may lead to negative recommendations if they are deemed to be inappropriate or unjustified relative to executive pay best practices. The list below highlights the problematic practices that carry significant weight in this overall consideration and may result in adverse vote recommendations:

 

    Repricing or replacing of underwater stock options/SARS without prior shareholder approval (including cash buyouts and voluntary surrender of underwater options);

 

    Excessive perquisites or tax gross-ups, including any gross-up related to a secular trust or restricted stock vesting;

 

    New or extended agreements that provide for:

 

    CIC payments exceeding 3 times base salary and average/target/most recent bonus;

 

    CIC severance payments without involuntary job loss or substantial diminution of duties (“single” or “modified single” triggers);

 

    CIC payments with excise tax gross-ups (including “modified” gross-ups).

Incentives that may Motivate Excessive Risk-Taking

 

    Multi-year guaranteed bonuses;

 

    A single or common performance metric used for short- and long-term plans;

 

    Lucrative severance packages;

 

    High pay opportunities relative to industry peers;

 

    Disproportionate supplemental pensions; or

 

    Mega annual equity grants that provide unlimited upside with no downside risk.

Factors that potentially mitigate the impact of risky incentives include rigorous claw-back provisions and robust stock ownership/holding guidelines.

 

(7)  The revised peer group is generally comprised of 14-24 companies that are selected using market cap, revenue (or assets for certain financial firms), GICS industry group and company’s selected peers’ GICS industry group with size constraints, via a process designed to select peers that are closest to the subject company in terms of revenue/assets and industry and also within a market cap bucket that is reflective of the company’s.
(8)  ISS research reports will include realizable pay for S&P1500 companies.

 

B-7


Options Backdating

The following factors should be examined case-by-case to allow for distinctions to be made between “sloppy” plan administration versus deliberate action or fraud:

 

    Reason and motive for the options backdating issue, such as inadvertent vs. deliberate grant date changes;

 

    Duration of options backdating;

 

    Size of restatement due to options backdating;

 

    Corrective actions taken by the board or compensation committee, such as canceling or re-pricing backdated options, the recouping of option gains on backdated grants; and

 

    Adoption of a grant policy that prohibits backdating, and creates a fixed grant schedule or window period for equity grants in the future.

Board Communications and Responsiveness

Consider the following factors case-by-case when evaluating ballot items related to executive pay on the board’s responsiveness to investor input and engagement on compensation issues:

 

    Failure to respond to majority-supported shareholder proposals on executive pay topics; or

 

    Failure to adequately respond to the company’s previous say-on-pay proposal that received the support of less than 70 percent of votes cast, taking into account:

 

    The company’s response, including:

 

    Disclosure of engagement efforts with major institutional investors regarding the issues that

 

    contributed to the low level of support;

 

    Specific actions taken to address the issues that contributed to the low level of support;

 

    Other recent compensation actions taken by the company;

 

    Whether the issues raised are recurring or isolated;

 

    The company’s ownership structure; and

 

    Whether the support level was less than 50 percent, which would warrant the highest degree of responsiveness.

Frequency of Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation (“Say When on Pay”)

Vote for annual advisory votes on compensation, which provide the most consistent and clear communication channel for shareholder concerns about companies’ executive pay programs.

Voting on Golden Parachutes in an Acquisition, Merger, Consolidation, or Proposed Sale Vote case-by-case on say on Golden Parachute proposals, including consideration of existing change-in-control arrangements maintained with named executive officers rather than focusing primarily on new or extended arrangements.

Features that may result in an against recommendation include one or more of the following, depending on the number, magnitude, and/or timing of issue(s):

 

    Single- or modified-single-trigger cash severance;

 

    Single-trigger acceleration of unvested equity awards;

 

    Excessive cash severance (>3x base salary and bonus);

 

    Excise tax gross-ups triggered and payable (as opposed to a provision to provide excise tax gross-ups);

 

    Excessive golden parachute payments (on an absolute basis or as a percentage of transaction equity value); or

 

    Recent amendments that incorporate any problematic features (such as those above) or recent actions (such as extraordinary equity grants) that may make packages so attractive as to influence merger agreements that may not be in the best interests of shareholders; or

 

    The company’s assertion that a proposed transaction is conditioned on shareholder approval of the golden parachute advisory vote.

Recent amendment(s) that incorporate problematic features will tend to carry more weight on the overall analysis. However, the presence of multiple legacy problematic features will also be closely scrutinized.

In cases where the golden parachute vote is incorporated into a company’s advisory vote on compensation (management say-on-pay), ISS will evaluate the say-on-pay proposal in accordance with these guidelines, which may give higher weight to that component of the overall evaluation.

Equity-Based and Other Incentive Plans

Vote case-by-case on equity-based compensation plans. Vote against the equity plan if any of the following factors apply:

 

    The total cost of the company’s equity plans is unreasonable;

 

    The plan expressly permits repricing;

 

    A pay-for-performance misalignment is found;

 

    The company’s three year burn rate exceeds the burn rate cap of its industry group;

 

    The plan has a liberal change-of-control definition; or

 

    The plan is a vehicle for problematic pay practices.

 

B-8


Social/Environmental Issues

Global Approach

Issues covered under the policy include a wide range of topics, including consumer and product safety, environment and energy, labor standards and human rights, workplace and board diversity, and corporate political issues. While a variety of factors goes into each analysis, the overall principle guiding all vote recommendations focuses on how the proposal may enhance or protect shareholder value in either the short or long term.

Generally vote case-by-case, taking into consideration whether implementation of the proposal is likely to enhance or protect shareholder value, and, in addition, the following will also be considered:

 

    If the issues presented in the proposal are more appropriately or effectively dealt with through legislation or government regulation;

 

    If the company has already responded in an appropriate and sufficient manner to the issue(s) raised in the proposal;

 

    Whether the proposal’s request is unduly burdensome (scope or timeframe) or overly prescriptive;

 

    The company’s approach compared with any industry standard practices for addressing the issue(s) raised by the proposal;

 

    If the proposal requests increased disclosure or greater transparency, whether or not reasonable and sufficient information is currently available to shareholders from the company or from other publicly available sources; and

 

    If the proposal requests increased disclosure or greater transparency, whether or not implementation would reveal proprietary or confidential information that could place the company at a competitive disadvantage.

Political Activities

Lobbying

Vote case-by-case on proposals requesting information on a company’s lobbying (including direct, indirect, and grassroots lobbying) activities, policies, or procedures, considering:

 

    The company’s current disclosure of relevant lobbying policies, and management and board oversight;

 

    The company’s disclosure regarding trade associations or other groups that it supports, or is a member of, that engage in lobbying activities; and

 

    Recent significant controversies, fines, or litigation regarding the company’s lobbying-related activities.

Political Contributions

Generally vote for proposals requesting greater disclosure of a company’s political contributions and trade association spending policies and activities, considering:

 

    The company’s current disclosure of policies and oversight mechanisms related to its direct political contributions and payments to trade associations or other groups that may be used for political purposes, including information on the types of organizations supported and the business rationale for supporting these organizations; and

 

    Recent significant controversies, fines, or litigation related to the company’s political contributions or political activities.

Vote against proposals barring a company from making political contributions. Businesses are affected by legislation at the federal, state, and local level; barring political contributions can put the company at a competitive disadvantage.

Vote against proposals to publish in newspapers and other media a company’s political contributions. Such publications could present significant cost to the company without providing commensurate value to shareholders.

Political Ties

Generally vote against proposals asking a company to affirm political nonpartisanship in the workplace, so long as:

 

    There are no recent, significant controversies, fines, or litigation regarding the company’s political contributions or

 

    trade association spending; and

The company has procedures in place to ensure that employee contributions to company-sponsored political action committees (PACs) are strictly voluntary and prohibit coercion.

Vote against proposals asking for a list of company executives, directors, consultants, legal counsels, lobbyists, or investment bankers that have prior government service and whether such service had a bearing on the business of the company. Such a list would be burdensome to prepare without providing any meaningful information to shareholders.

 

B-9


8. Foreign Private Issuers Listed on U.S. Exchanges

Vote against (or withhold from) non-independent director nominees at companies which fail to meet the following criteria: a majority-independent board, and the presence of an audit, a compensation, and a nomination committee, each of which is entirely composed of independent directors.

Where the design and disclosure levels of equity compensation plans are comparable to those seen at U.S. companies, U.S. compensation policy will be used to evaluate the compensation plan proposals. Otherwise, they, and all other voting items, will be evaluated using the relevant ISS regional or market proxy voting guidelines.

Disclosure/Disclaimer

This document and all of the information contained in it, including without limitation all text, data, graphs, and charts (collectively, the “Information”) is the property of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS), its subsidiaries, or, in some cases third party suppliers.

The Information has not been submitted to, nor received approval from, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or any other regulatory body. None of the Information constitutes an offer to sell (or a solicitation of an offer to buy), or a promotion or recommendation of, any security, financial product or other investment vehicle or any trading strategy, and ISS does not endorse, approve, or otherwise express any opinion regarding any issuer, securities, financial products or instruments or trading strategies. The user of the Information assumes the entire risk of any use it may make or permit to be made of the Information.

ISS MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE INFORMATION AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF ORIGINALITY, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, NON-INFRINGEMENT, COMPLETENESS, MERCHANTABILITY, AND FITNESS for A PARTICULAR PURPOSE) WITH RESPECT TO ANY OF THE INFORMATION.

Without limiting any of the foregoing and to the maximum extent permitted by law, in no event shall ISS have any liability regarding any of the Information for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential (including lost profits), or any other damages even if notified of the possibility of such damages. The foregoing shall not exclude or limit any liability that may not by applicable law be excluded or limited.

 

B-10


LOGO

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

PROSPECTUS

 

1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 35th Floor    New York, New York 10019   866-476-7523

www.direxioninvestments.com

 

Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares (KNOW)

 

Direxion S&P 500® Volatility Response Shares (VSPY)

(formerly Direxion S&P 500® DRRC Index Volatility Response Shares)

 

Direxion NASDAQ-100® Equal Weighted Index Shares (QQQE)

 

Direxion iBillionaire Index ETF (IBLN)

FEBRUARY 27, 2015

The funds offered in this prospectus (each a “Fund” and collectively the “Funds”) trade on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”).

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


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

SUMMARY OF DIREXION SHARES

    1   
 

DIREXION ALL CAP INSIDER SENTIMENT SHARES

    1   

DIREXION S&P 500® VOLATILITY RESPONSE SHARES

    5   

DIREXION NASDAQ-100® EQUAL WEIGHTED INDEX SHARES

    10   

DIREXION iBILLIONAIRE INDEX ETF

    15   
 

OVERVIEW OF THE DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

    19   
 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING INVESTMENT TECHNIQUES AND POLICIES

    19   
 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING PRINCIPAL RISKS

    21   
 

UNDERLYING INDEX LICENSORS

    26   
 

HOW TO BUY AND SELL SHARES

    28   
 

ABOUT YOUR INVESTMENT

    29   
 

CREATIONS, REDEMPTIONS AND TRANSACTION FEES

    30   
 

MANAGEMENT OF THE FUNDS

    31   
 

PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS

    32   
 

OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS

    32   
 

DISTRIBUTIONS

    33   
 

TAXES

    33   
 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

    36   
 

PREMIUM/DISCOUNT INFORMATION

    37   
 

MORE INFORMATION

    Back Cover   


SUMMARY OF DIREXION SHARES

 

 

Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares

Investment Objective

The Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares (the “Fund”) seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the Sabrient Multi-Cap Insider/Analyst Quant-Weighted Index.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy or hold shares of the Fund (“Shares”). Investors purchasing shares in the secondary market may pay costs (including customary brokerage commissions) charged by their broker.

Annual Fund Operating Expenses(1) (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)

 

Management Fees

     0.45%   

Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees

     0.00%   

Other Expenses of the Fund

     0.46%   
  

 

 

 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

     0.91%   

Expense Cap/Reimbursement

     –0.26%   
  

 

 

 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Expense Cap/Reimbursement

     0.65%   
  

 

 

 

 

(1)   

Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“Rafferty” or the “Adviser”) has entered into an Operating Expense Limitation Agreement with the Fund. Under the Operating Expense Limitation Agreement, Rafferty has contractually agreed to cap all or a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse the Fund for Other Expenses through September 1, 2016, to the extent that the Fund’s Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses exceed 0.65% of the Fund’s daily net assets (excluding, as applicable, among other expenses, taxes, leverage interest, acquired fund fees and expenses, dividends or interest on short positions, other interest expenses, brokerage commissions, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization and extraordinary expenses such as litigation). Any expense cap is subject to reimbursement by the Fund within the following three years only if overall expenses fall below these percentage limitations. This agreement may be terminated or revised at any time with the consent of the Board of Trustees.

Expense Example

The example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year   3 Years   5 Years   10 Years

 

$66   $264   $478   $1,096

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 835% of the average value of its portfolio.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund, under normal circumstances, invests at least 80% of its assets in the equity securities that comprise the Sabrient Multi-Cap Insider/Analyst Quant-Weighted Index (“Index”).

The Index is composed of 100 stocks selected from the S&P 1500® by Sabrient Systems LLC (the “Index Provider”) using a quantitative methodology. The S&P 1500® is a composite index of the S&P 500®, S&P 400® and S&P 600®, which are composed of stocks representing the large capitalization, mid-capitalization and small capitalization segments of the U.S. equity market, respectively. Starting with an eligible universe of all 1500 stocks in the S&P 1500®, the Index Provider first eliminates stocks of companies with very aggressive accounting, as identified by the Index Provider’s proprietary forensics accounting methodology. From the remaining stocks, the Index Provider further eliminates all but 100 stocks using a screening methodology that is based on an analysis of public company filings relating to frequency of trades, purchases of stock and increases in holdings by a company’s insiders, as well as positive earnings analysis. The remaining 100 stocks, which compose the Index, are then ranked using a defensive methodology that preferences stocks that have historically performed well in weak markets, having strong free cash flow yield and strong dividend yield. The Index is “quant-weighted,” meaning the top 50 stocks are weighted exponentially, with the top stock representing 2.6% of the Index, while the bottom 50 stocks are equal-weighted, with each representing 0.35% of the Index. The bottom 50 stocks thereby account for 17.61% of the total Index. The Index rebalances monthly. The Fund will concentrate its investment (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets in the stocks of a particular industry or group of industries) in a

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       1    

 

 


particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent as the Index is so concentrated.

Although the Fund intends to fully replicate the Index, at times the Fund may gain exposure to only a representative sample of the securities in the Index that have aggregate characteristics similar to those of the Index, including exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) and other investment companies. The Fund seeks to remain fully invested at all times consistent with its investment objective. If the Fund receives a creation unit in cash, the Fund repositions its portfolio in response to assets flowing into or out of the Fund. To the extent the Fund experiences regular purchases or redemptions of its shares, it may reposition its portfolio more frequently. Additionally, the impact of the Index’s movements will affect whether the Fund’s portfolio needs to be re-positioned. For example, if the Index has added or removed a security, the Fund’s portfolio may have to be re-positioned to account for this change to the Index. These re-positioning strategies typically result in high portfolio turnover.

Principal Investment Risks

An investment in the Fund entails risk. The Fund could lose money or its performance could trail that of other investment alternatives. The Adviser cannot guarantee that the Fund will achieve its investment objective. It is important that investors closely review all of the risks listed below and understand how these risks interrelate before making an investment in the Fund. Turbulence in financial markets and reduced liquidity in equity, credit and fixed income markets could negatively affect issuers worldwide, including the Fund. There is the risk that you could lose all or a portion of your money invested in the Fund.

 

Adverse Market Conditions Risk

Because the Fund attempts to track the performance of the Index, its performance will suffer during conditions in which the Index declines.

 

Early Close/Trading Halt Risk

An exchange or market may close or issue trading halts on specific securities, or the ability to buy or sell certain securities may be restricted, which may result in the Fund being unable to buy or sell certain securities. In such circumstances, the Fund may be unable to rebalance its portfolio, may be unable to accurately price its investments and/or may incur substantial trading losses.

 

Equity Securities Risk

Investments in publicly issued equity securities, including common stocks, in general are subject to market risks that may cause their prices to fluctuate over time. Fluctuations in the value of equity securities in which the Fund invests will cause the net asset value (“NAV”) of the Fund to fluctuate.

 

Index Correlation/Tracking Risk

There is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve a high degree of correlation to the Index and therefore achieve its investment objective. To achieve a high degree of correlation with the Index, the Fund seeks to rebalance its portfolio to remain consistent with its investment objective. The Fund may have difficulty achieving its investment objective due to fees, expenses, transactions costs, income items, valuation methodology, accounting standards and disruptions or illiquidity in the markets for the securities held by the Fund. Market disruptions, regulatory restrictions or extreme volatility will also adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. The Fund may not have investment exposure to all securities in the Index, or its weighting of investment exposure to such stocks or industries may be different from that of the Index. In addition, the Fund may invest in securities not included in the Index. Activities surrounding periodic index reconstitutions and other index rebalancing or reconstitution events may hinder the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective.

 

High Portfolio Turnover Risk

The Fund may engage in active and frequent trading leading to increased portfolio turnover, higher transaction costs, and the possibility of increased short-term capital gains (which will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income when distributed to them) and/or long-term capital gains.

 

Liquidity Risk

Some securities held by the Fund may be difficult to sell or illiquid, particularly during times of market turmoil. Illiquid securities also may be difficult to value. If the Fund is forced to sell an illiquid security at an unfavorable time or at a price that is lower than Rafferty’s judgment of the security’s true market value, the Fund may be forced to sell the security at a loss. Such a situation may prevent the Fund from limiting losses, realizing gains or achieving a high correlation with the Index, thus adversely affecting Fund performance.

 

Market Risk

The Fund is subject to market risks that can affect the value of its shares. These risks include political, regulatory, market and economic developments, including developments that impact specific economic sectors, industries or segments of the market.

 

    2       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


Non-Diversification Risk

The Fund is non-diversified, which means it invests a high percentage of its assets in a limited number of securities. A non-diversified fund’s NAV and total return may fluctuate more or fall greater in times of weaker markets than a conventional diversified fund.

 

Other Investment Companies (including ETFs) Risk

Investments in the securities of other investment companies, including ETFs, may involve duplication of advisory fees and certain other expenses. By investing in another investment company or ETF, the Fund becomes a shareholder thereof. As a result, Fund shareholders indirectly bear the Fund’s proportionate share of the fees and expenses indirectly paid by shareholders of the other investment company or ETF, in addition to the fees and expenses Fund shareholders bear in connection with the Fund’s own operations. The Fund’s performance may be magnified positively or negatively by virtue of its investment in other investment companies. If the investment company or ETF fails to achieve its investment objective, the value of the Fund’s investment will decline, adversely affecting the Fund’s performance. In addition, closed end investment company and ETF shares potentially may trade at a discount or a premium and are subject to brokerage and other trading costs, which could result in greater expenses to the Fund. Finally, because the value of other investment company and ETF shares depends on the demand in the market, the Adviser may not be able to liquidate the Fund’s holdings in those shares at the most optimal time, adversely affecting the Fund’s performance.

 

Regulatory Risk

The Fund is subject to the risk that a change in U.S. law and related regulations will impact the way the Fund operates, increase the particular costs of the Fund’s operations and/or change the competitive landscape.

 

Replication Strategy Risk

The Fund may be exposed to additional market risk because of its investment strategy of investing principally in the securities included in the Index. As a result, securities held by the Fund will generally not be bought or sold in response to market fluctuations and may be concentrated in a particular industry if the Index is so concentrated. Therefore, the Fund will generally not sell a security because its issuer is in financial trouble, unless that security is removed or is anticipated to be removed from the Index.

 

Small and/or Mid-Capitalization Company Risk

Investing in the securities of small and/or mid-capitalization companies involves greater risks and the possibility of greater price volatility than investing in more-established, larger capitalization companies. Small and mid-capitalization companies may be more volatile and more likely than large capitalization companies to have narrower product lines, fewer financial resources, less management depth and experience and less competitive strength. Returns on investments in small and mid-capitalization companies could trail the returns on investments in securities of large capitalization companies.

 

Special Risks of Exchange-Traded Funds

Trading Issues. Trading in Shares on an exchange may be halted due to market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of that exchange, make trading in Shares inadvisable, such as extraordinary market volatility or other reasons. There can be no assurance that Shares will continue to meet the listing requirements of the exchange on which it trades, and the listing requirements may be amended from time to time.

Market Price Variance Risk. Individual Shares of the Fund that are listed for trading on an exchange can be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in NAV and supply and demand for Shares. The Adviser cannot predict whether Shares will trade above, below or at their NAV. Given the fact that Shares can be created and redeemed in creation units, the Adviser believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of Shares should not be sustained. There may, however, be times when the market price and the NAV vary significantly and you may pay more than NAV when buying Shares on the secondary market, and you may receive less than NAV when you sell those Shares. The Fund’s investment results are measured based upon the NAV of the Fund over a period of time. Investors purchasing and selling Shares in the secondary market may not experience investment results consistent with those experienced by those creating and redeeming directly with the Fund. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for Shares of the Fund.

Fund Performance

The following performance information provides some indication of the risks of investing in the Fund by demonstrating how its returns have varied from calendar year to calendar year. The table shows how the Fund’s average annual returns for the 1-year and since inception periods compare with those of a broad-based market index for the same periods. The Fund’s past performance, before and after taxes, is not necessarily an indication of how the Fund will perform in the future. Updated performance is available on the Fund’s website at www.direxioninvestments.com/etfs?producttab=performance or by calling the Fund toll free at 1-866-476-7523.

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       3    

 

 


Calendar Year Total Return as of December 31

 

LOGO

During the period of time shown in the bar chart, the Fund’s highest calendar quarter return was 14.93% for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 and its lowest calendar quarter return was –10.28% for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. The year-to-date return as of December 31, 2014 was 17.97%.

Average Annual Total Returns (For the periods ended December 31, 2014)

 

     One Year     

Since Inception

(12/8/2011)

 

Return Before Taxes

     17.97%         22.29%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions

     17.40%         21.40%   

Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares

     10.19%         17.35%   

Sabrient Multi-Cap Insider/Analyst Quant-Weighted Index (reflects no deduction for fees, expenses or taxes)

     17.09%         20.87%   

S&P 500 Index (reflects no deduction for frees, expenses or taxes)

     13.69%         19.88%   

After-tax returns are calculated using the historically highest individual federal marginal income tax rates and do not reflect the impact of state and local taxes. Actual after-tax returns depend on an investor’s tax situation and may differ from those shown, and after-tax returns are not relevant to investors who hold their Fund shares through tax-deferred arrangements, such as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”). In addition, the “Return After Taxes on Distributions and Sale of Fund Shares” would be higher if the investor recognized a capital loss upon the redemption of Fund shares.

Management

Investment Adviser

Rafferty Asset Management, LLC is the Fund’s investment adviser.

Portfolio Manager

Paul Brigandi, the Fund’s Portfolio Manager, is primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund and has served in this role since the Fund’s inception.

Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares

The Fund’s shares are not individually redeemable. 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, each of which is comprised of 50,000 Shares. Retail investors may only purchase and sell Fund Shares on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer and may incur brokerage costs. Because the Shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, Shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount).

Tax Information

The Fund intends to make distributions that may be taxed as ordinary income or long-term capital gains. Those distributions will be subject to federal income tax and may also be subject to state and local taxes, unless you are investing through a tax-deferred arrangement, such as a 401(k) plan or an IRA. Distributions or investments made through tax-deferred arrangements may be taxed later upon withdrawal. Distributions by the Fund may be significantly higher than those of most other ETFs.

Payments to Broker-Dealers and Other Financial Intermediaries

If you purchase Shares through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank or financial advisor), the Fund and/or the Adviser may pay the intermediary for educational programs, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems or other administrative services related to the Fund. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.

 

    4       DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS

 


Direxion S&P 500® Volatility Response Shares

Investment Objective

The Direxion S&P 500® Volatility Response Shares (the “Fund”) seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the S&P 500® Volatility Response Index.

Fees and Expenses of the Fund

This table describes the fees and expenses that you may pay if you buy or hold shares of the Fund (“Shares”). Investors purchasing shares in the secondary market may pay costs (including customary brokerage commissions) charged by their broker.

Annual Fund Operating Expenses(1) (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)

 

Management Fees

     0.45%   

Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees

     0.00%   

Other Expenses of the Fund

     0.43%   
  

 

 

 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses

     0.88%   

Expense Cap/Reimbursement(2)

     –0.43%   
  

 

 

 

Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Expense Cap/Reimbursement

     0.45%   
  

 

 

 

 

(1)   

Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“Rafferty” or the “Adviser”) has entered into an Operating Expense Limitation Agreement with the Fund. Under the Operating Expense Limitation Agreement, Rafferty has contractually agreed to cap all or a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse the Fund for Other Expenses through September 1, 2016, to the extent that the Fund’s Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses exceed 0.45% of the Fund’s daily net assets (excluding, as applicable, among other expenses, taxes, leverage interest, acquired fund fees and expenses, dividends or interest on short positions, other interest expenses, brokerage commissions, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization and extraordinary expenses such as litigation). Any expense cap is subject to reimbursement by the Fund within the following three years only if overall expenses fall below these percentage limitations. This agreement may be terminated or revised at any time with the consent of the Board of Trustees.

(2)   

In addition, Rafferty has contractually agreed to waive 0.10% of its Management Fees through September 1, 2016, which is not subject to reimbursement by the Fund. There is no guarantee that the management fee waiver will continue after September 1, 2016. This contractual waiver may be terminated at any time by the Board of Trustees.

Expense Example

The example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the Fund’s operating expenses remain the same. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:

 

1 Year   3 Years   5 Years   10 Years

 

$46   $238   $445   $1,045

Portfolio Turnover

The Fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover rate may indicate higher transaction costs and may result in higher taxes when Fund shares are held in a taxable account. These costs, which are not reflected in Annual Fund Operating Expenses or in the example, affect the Fund’s performance. During the most recent fiscal year, the Fund’s portfolio turnover rate was 145% of the average value of its portfolio.

Principal Investment Strategies

The Fund, under normal circumstances, invests at least 80% of its assets in the securities that comprise the S&P 500® Volatility Response Index (“Index”).

The Index is designed to respond to the volatility of the S&P 500® Index. The Index is composed of equity securities of the S&P 500® Index (the “Stock Component”) and U.S. Treasury Bills (the “Cash Component”). The S&P 500® Index measures the large capitalization segment of the domestic equity market and is composed of stocks of the 500 domestic companies with the largest capitalization. Volatility is a statistical measurement of the magnitude of asset price fluctuations (increases or decreases in the prices of a group of securities) over time.

The Index responds to volatility by establishing a volatility target which may be set at 12.5%, 15%, or 17.5%, and is determined based on the recent levels of CBOE Volatility Index (VIX®). The Index then reviews several volatility factors of the S&P 500® Index. The volatility factors of the S&P 500® Index are exponentially weighted with more emphasis placed on the most recent historical periods. The volatility factors of the S&P 500® Index, along with the target volatility levels, determine the Index’s exposure to the Stock Component and the Cash Component. The percentage exposure to the Stock Component is expected to range between 10% and 100%, and will not exceed 100%. Exposure to the Cash Component is expected to range between 0% and 90%.

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST PROSPECTUS       5    

 

 


As S&P 500® Index volatility increases, exposure to the Stock Component will decrease and exposure to the Cash Component will increase. As volatility decreases, exposure to the Stock Component will increase and exposure to the Cash Component will decrease. Based on certain changes in the volatility factors, the Index may be rebalanced as frequently as daily. However, regardless of whether these changes occur, the Index will rebalance at least monthly.

The following tables provide example exposure levels to the Stock Component that the Fund would have at target volatility levels of 12.5%, 15% and 17.5% based on hypothetical volatility calculations. As reflected in the tables below, the Fund can generally be expected to have greater exposure to the Stock Component at lower levels of S&P 500® Index volatility, and the Index’s target volatility can further increase or decrease this exposure.

 

Target
Volatility
    S&P  500®
Index
Volatility
    Exposure to
the Stock
Component*
   

Exposure to

the Cash
Component

 
    10%        100%        0%   
    15%        69%        31%   
  12.5%        25%        25%        75%   
    50%        10%        90%   
    75%        10%        90%   
    100%        10%        90%   

 

Target
Volatility
    S&P  500®
Index
Volatility
    Exposure to
the Stock
Component*
    Exposure to
the Cash
Component
 
    10%        100%        0%   
    15%        100%