485APOS 1 d800283d485apos.htm 485APOS 485APOS

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 6, 2019

1933 Act File No. 333-150525

1940 Act File No. 811-22201

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20543

 

 

FORM N-1A

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933  
Pre-Effective Amendment No.      
Post-Effective Amendment No. 246  

and/or

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940  
Amendment No. 248  

(Check appropriate box or boxes.)

 

 

DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in Charter)

 

 

1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 28th 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), 28th Floor

New York, New York 10019

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

 

 

Copy to:

 

Angela Brickl

Direxion Advisors, LLC

1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue)

28th Floor

 

Stacy L. Fuller

K&L Gates LLP

1601 K Street, NW

Washington, DC 20006

New York, New York 10019  

 

 

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

 

 

immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)

 

On (date) pursuant to paragraph (b)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

If appropriate, check the following box:

 

 

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

 

 

 


DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

CONTENTS OF REGISTRATION STATEMENT

This registration document is comprised of the following:

Cover Sheet;

Contents of Registration Statement:

Prospectus and Statement of Additional Information for the PortfolioPlus S&P® Composite 1500 ETF;

Part C of Form N-1A;

Signature Page; and

Exhibits.


The information in this Prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This Prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.
Subject to completion, dated September 6, 2019
Direxion Shares ETF Trust
Prospectus
1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 28th Floor New York, New York 10019 866-476-7523
www.direxion.com
PortfolioPlus S&P® Composite 1500 ETF (_____)
( )
The shares offered in this prospectus (the "Fund"), upon commencement of operations, will be listed and traded on the NYSE Arca, Inc.
There is no assurance that any Fund will achieve its investment objective and an investment in the Fund could lose money. The volatility of the Fund’s underlying index may affect the Fund’s return as much as, or more than, the return of the underlying index. As a result of volatility, the Fund may not behave as expected. The Fund is intended to be used by investors who intend to monitor their portfolios. No single Fund is a complete investment program.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Beginning on January 1, 2021, as permitted by regulations adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, paper copies of the Fund’s annual and semi-annual shareholder reports will no longer be sent by mail, unless you specifically request paper copies of the shareholder reports from your financial intermediary, such as a broker-dealer or bank. Instead, annual and semi-annual shareholder reports will be available on a website, and you will be notified by mail each time a report is posted and provided with a website link to access the report.
You may elect to receive all future annual and semi-annual shareholder reports in paper free of charge. To elect to continue to receive paper copies of shareholder reports through the mail or to otherwise change your delivery method, contact your financial intermediary or follow the instructions included with this disclosure. Your election to receive shareholder reports in paper will apply to all funds that you hold through the financial intermediary. If you already elected to receive shareholder reports electronically, you will not be affected by this change and you need not take any action.
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 Section
PortfolioPlus S&P® Composite 1500 ETF
Investment Objective
The PortfolioPlus S&P® Composite 1500 ETF (the “Fund”) seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the performance of the S&P® Composite 1500 1.35X Leverage Carry-Free Quarterly Index (the “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 (expenses that you pay each year as a percentage of the value of your investment)
Management Fees [ ]%
Distribution and/or Service (12b-1) Fees 0.00%
Other Expenses of the Fund(1) [ ]%
Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses(1) [ ]%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses [ ]%
Expense Cap/Reimbursement(2) [ ]%
Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Expense Cap/Reimbursement [ ]%
(1) Estimated for the Fund's current fiscal year.
(2) 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 waive all or a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse the Fund for Other Expenses through September 1, 2020, to the extent that the Fund’s Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses exceed [ ]% of the Fund’s average daily net assets (excluding, as applicable, among other expenses, taxes, swap financing and related costs, acquired fund fees and expenses, dividends or interest on short positions, other interest expenses, brokerage commissions and extraordinary expenses). 
   Any expense waiver or reimbursement is subject to recoupment by the Adviser within the following three years only if Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses fall below the lesser of this percentage limitation and any percentage limitation in place at the time. This agreement may be terminated or revised at any time with the consent of the Board of Trustees.
Example - This example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the Fund with the cost of investing in other mutual funds. The example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the Fund for the time periods indicated and then redeem all of your shares at the end of those periods. The example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year 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
$[ ] $[ ]
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.
Principal Investment Strategy
The Fund, under normal circumstances, invests at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowing for investment purposes) in securities of the Index, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), and derivatives.
The Index consists of securities that are included in the S&P 500® Index, S&P MidCap 400® Index and the S&P SmallCap 600® Index. The Index consists of securities that are primarily listed in the U.S. and have operations of at least 12 months. Companies with an unadjusted market capitalization of $8.2 billion or greater are eligible for inclusion in the S&P 500® Index, unadjusted market capitalization of $2.4 billion to $8.2 billion are eligible for inclusion in the S&P MidCap 400® Index and unadjusted market capitalization of $600 million to $2.4 billion are eligible for inclusion in the S&P Small Cap 600® Index. The Index is rebalanced on a quarterly basis. The Index covers approximately 90% of the U.S. market capitalization. The Index also includes a leverage factor of 35%. Therefore, the returns of the Index are calculated assuming leverage on the underlying portfolio of 35%. To achieve the leveraged returns, the Fund will purchase a total return swap and use a portion of its assets as collateral for the Fund’s total return swap.
As of [ ], the Index consisted of [ ] constituents, which had a median total market capitalization of $[ ] billion, total market capitalizations ranging from $[ ] billion to $[ ] billion and were concentrated in the information technology and healthcare sectors.
The components of the Index and the percentages represented by various sectors in the Index may change over time. The Fund will concentrate its investment in a particular industry or group of industries (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets in the stocks of a particular industry or group of industries) to approximately the same extent as the Index is so concentrated.
The Fund may invest in the securities of the Index, a representative sample of the securities in the Index that has aggregate characteristics similar to those of the Index, an ETF that tracks the Index or a substantially similar index, or utilize derivatives such as swaps on the Index, swaps on an ETF that tracks the same Index or a substantially similar index as the Fund, or futures contracts that provide leveraged exposure to the above. Derivatives are financial instruments that derive value from the underlying reference asset or assets, such as stocks, bonds, or funds (including ETFs), interest rates or indexes. Certain of the derivative instruments in
 
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which the Fund may invest may be traded in the over-the-counter market, which generally provides for less transparency than exchange-traded derivative instruments.
The Fund seeks to remain fully invested at all times consistent with its stated investment objective. The Fund will attempt to achieve its investment objective without regard to overall market movement or the increase or decrease of the value of the securities in the Index. At the close of the markets each trading day, Direxion positions the Fund’s portfolio so that its exposure to the Index is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective. The impact of the Index’s movements during the day will affect whether the Fund’s portfolio needs to be re-positioned. For example, if the Index has risen on a given day, net assets of the Fund should rise, meaning that the Fund’s exposure will need to be increased. Conversely, if the Index has fallen on a given day, net assets of the Fund should fall, meaning the Fund’s exposure will need to be reduced. This re-positioning strategy typically results in high portfolio turnover. The terms “daily,” “day,” and “trading day,” refer to the period from the close of the markets on one trading day to the close of the markets on the next trading day.
Principal Investment Risks
An investment in the Fund entails risk. The Fund may not achieve its investment objective and there is a risk that you could lose all of your money invested in the Fund. The Fund is not a complete investment program. In addition, the Fund presents risks not traditionally associated with most mutual funds and ETFs. It is important that investors closely review all of the risks listed below and understand them before making an investment in the Fund.
Index Tracking Strategy Risk Securities or financial instruments 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. The Fund will generally not sell a security because its issuer is in financial trouble or its value has declined, unless that holding is removed or is anticipated to be removed from the Index.
The Index relies on various sources of information to assess the securities included in the Index, including information that may be based on assumptions or estimates. There is no assurance that the Index Provider’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide an accurate assessment of the Index’s securities. Errors in Index data, Index computations or the construction of the Index in accordance with its methodology may occur from time to time and may not be identified and corrected by the Index Provider for a period of time or at all, which may have an adverse impact on the Fund and its shareholders.
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. The Fund may have difficulty achieving its investment objective due to fees, expenses (including rebalancing expenses), transaction costs, financing costs related to the use of derivatives, income items, valuation methodology, accounting standards and disruptions or illiquidity in the markets for
the securities or derivatives held by the Fund, the Fund’s holding of uninvested cash, costs of complying with various new or existing regulatory requirements, and transactions carried out to minimize the distribution of capital gains to shareholders and other requirements to maintain pass-through tax treatment. These are costs that may be incurred by the Fund that are not incurred by the Index. 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 or financial instruments not included in the Index. Activities surrounding Index reconstitutions and other Index rebalancing events may hinder the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective.
Market Risk Market risks include political, regulatory, market and economic developments, including developments that impact specific economic sectors, industries or segments of the market, which may affect the Fund’s value. Turbulence in financial markets and reduced liquidity in equity, credit and fixed income markets may negatively affect many issuers worldwide, which could have an adverse effect on the Fund.
Historically, market cycles have included long term positive and negative periods. Since approximately 2008, the market has largely moved upward and accordingly, the market may be poised for a correction or downturn, which may adversely impact the Fund.
Liquidity Risk Some securities held by the Fund, including derivatives, may be difficult to sell or illiquid, particularly during times of market turmoil. Markets for securities or financial instruments could be disrupted by a number of events, including but not limited to, an economic crisis, natural disasters, new legislation or regulatory changes inside or outside the United States. Illiquid securities may be difficult to value, especially in changing or volatile markets. If the Fund is forced to sell an illiquid security at an unfavorable time or at a price that is lower than Direxion’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. There can be no assurance that a security that is deemed liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid.
Derivatives Risk The Fund’s investments in derivatives may pose risks in addition to, and greater than, those associated with directly investing in securities or other investments, including risk related to the market, leverage, imperfect daily correlations with underlying investments or the Fund’s other portfolio holdings, higher price volatility, lack of availability, counterparty risk, liquidity, valuation and legal restrictions. The use of derivatives is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The use of derivatives may result in larger losses or smaller gains than directly investing in securities. When the Fund uses derivatives, there may be imperfect correlation between the value of the reference
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 2

 

assets and the derivative, which may prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective. Because derivatives often require only a limited initial investment, the use of derivatives may expose the Fund to losses in excess of those amounts initially invested.
The Fund may use a combination of swaps on the Index and swaps on an ETF whose investment objective is to track the performance of the same, or a substantially similar index to achieve its investment objective. The reference ETF may not closely track the performance of the Index due to fees and other costs borne by the ETF and other factors. Thus, to the extent that the Fund invests in swaps that use an ETF as a reference asset, the Fund may be subject to greater correlation risk and may not achieve as high a degree of correlation with the Index as it would if the Fund used swaps that utilized the Index as the reference asset. Any financing, borrowing or other costs associated with using derivatives may also reduce the Fund’s return.
In addition, the Fund’s investments in derivatives are subject to the following risks:
Swap Agreements. Swap agreements are entered into primarily with major global financial institutions for a specified period which may range from one day to more than one year. In a standard swap transaction, two parties agree to exchange the return (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on particular predetermined reference assets or underlying securities or instruments. The gross return to be exchanged or swapped between the parties is calculated based on a notional amount or the return on or change in value of a particular dollar amount invested in a basket of securities representing a particular index or an ETF that seeks to track an index.
Leverage Risk To achieve its investment objective, the Fund will make investments in derivative instruments, such as swap agreements. These derivatives provide the economic effect of financial leverage, magnifying, sometimes significantly, the effect of any increase or decrease in exposure to an asset class and may cause the Fund’s net asset value to be volatile. In addition, leverage may involve the creation of a liability that requires the Fund to pay interest.
Intra-Calendar Quarter Investment Risk The Fund seeks calendar quarter leveraged investment results. An investor who purchases shares on a day other than the last business day of a calendar quarterly will likely obtain more, or less, than 135% investment exposure to the Index, depending upon the movement of the Index from the end of the prior calendar quarter until the time of investment by the investor.
Large-Capitalization Company Risk Large-capitalization companies may be less able to adapt to changing market conditions or to respond quickly to competitive challenges or to changes in business, product, financial, or market conditions and may not be able to maintain growth at rates that may be achieved by well-managed smaller and mid-size companies, which may affect the companies’ returns. Over certain periods, the performance of large-capitalization companies has trailed the performance of the overall markets.
Small- and/or Mid-Capitalization Company Risk Small- and mid-capitalization companies often have narrower markets for their goods and/or services and more limited managerial and financial resources and often have limited product lines, services, markets, financial resources or are dependent on a small management group. Because these stocks are not well-known to the investing public, do not have significant institutional ownership and are followed by relatively few security analysts, there will normally be less publicly available information concerning these securities compared to what is available for the securities of larger companies. Adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, can decrease the value and liquidity of securities held by the Fund resulting in more volatile performance. These companies may face greater risk of business failure, which could increase the volatility of the Fund’s portfolio.
Healthcare Sector Risk The profitability of companies in the healthcare sector may be affected by extensive, costly and uncertain government regulation, restrictions on government reimbursement for medical expenses, rising costs of medical products and services, pricing pressure, an increased emphasis on outpatient services, limited number of products, industry innovation, changes in technologies and other market developments. Many healthcare companies are heavily dependent on patent protection. The expiration of patents may adversely affect the profitability of these companies. Many healthcare companies are subject to extensive litigation based on product liability and similar claims. Healthcare companies are subject to competitive forces that may make it difficult to raise prices and, in fact, may result in price discounting. Many new products in the healthcare sector may be subject to regulatory approvals. The process of obtaining such approvals may be long and costly with no guarantee that any product will come to market.
Information Technology Sector Risk The value of stocks of information technology companies and companies that rely heavily on technology is particularly vulnerable to rapid changes in technology product cycles, rapid product obsolescence, government regulation and competition, both domestically and internationally, including competition from competitors with lower production costs. Information technology companies and companies that rely heavily on technology, especially those of smaller, less-seasoned companies, tend to be more volatile than the overall market. Information technology companies are heavily dependent on patent and intellectual property rights, the loss or impairment of which may adversely affect profitability. Additionally, companies in the information technology sector may face dramatic and often unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel.
Counterparty Risk The Fund may invest in financial instruments involving third parties (i.e., counterparties) such as swap agreements and futures contracts, which will subject the Fund to additional risks that are different from those associated with ordinary securities transactions. The Fund is exposed to the risk that a counterparty may be unwilling or unable to make timely payments to meet its contractual obligations or may fail to return holdings that are subject
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to the agreement with the counterparty. If the counterparty or its affiliate becomes insolvent, bankrupt or defaults on its payment obligations to the Fund, the Fund may not receive the full amount it is entitled to receive and the value of an investment held by the Fund may decline. Additionally, if any collateral posted by the counterparty for the benefit of the Fund is insufficient or there are delays in the Fund’s ability to access such collateral, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective. The Fund may also not be able to exercise remedies, such as the termination of transactions, netting of obligations and realization on collateral if such remedies are stayed or eliminated under special resolutions adopted in the United States, the European Union and various other jurisdictions.
In addition, the Fund may enter into swap agreements with a limited number of counterparties, which may increase the Fund’s exposure to counterparty credit risk. The Fund does not specifically limit its counterparty risk with respect to any single counterparty. Further, there is a risk that no suitable counterparties will be willing to enter into, or continue to enter into, transactions with the Fund and, as a result, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective.
Other Investment Companies (including ETFs) Risk— By investing in another investment company, including an ETF, the Fund becomes a shareholder of that investment company and as a result, Fund shareholders indirectly bear the Fund’s proportionate share of the fees and expenses of the other investment company, in addition to the fees and expenses of the Fund’s own operations. As a shareholder, the Fund must rely on the other investment company to achieve its investment objective. The Fund’s performance may be magnified positively or negatively by virtue of its investment in other investment companies. If the other investment company fails to achieve its investment objective, the value of the Fund’s investment will not perform as expected, thus affecting the Fund’s performance and its correlation with the Index. In addition, because shares of ETFs are listed and traded on national stock exchanges, their shares may trade at a discount or a premium. Investments in such shares may be subject to brokerage and other trading costs, which could result in greater expenses to the Fund. Finally, depending on the demand in the market, the Fund may not be able to liquidate its holdings in ETFs at an optimal price or time, which may adversely affect the Fund’s performance.
Cybersecurity Risk - Failures or breaches of the electronic systems of the Fund or its services providers may cause disruptions and negatively impact the Fund’s business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses to the Fund. While the Fund has established business continuity plans and risk management systems seeking to address system breaches or failures, these plans and systems are inherently limited. Further, cybersecurity incidents could also affect issuers of securities in which the Fund invests, leading to a significant loss of value.
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 or financial instruments
may be restricted, which may result in the Fund being unable to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments. In such circumstances, the Fund may be unable to rebalance its portfolio, may be unable to accurately price its investments, may incur significant tracking differences with its Index, and/or may incur substantial losses and may limit or stop purchases of the Fund.
Equity Securities Risk Investments in, and/or exposure to, publicly issued equity securities, including common stocks, 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 of the Fund to fluctuate.
Investment Risk An investment in the Fund is not a deposit in a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. When you sell your Shares, they could be worth less than what you paid for them.
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. Money market instruments may be subject to credit risks associated with the instruments in which they invest. 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. Its net asset value and total return may fluctuate more or fall greater in times of weaker markets than a diversified mutual fund.
Securities Lending Risk Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of collateral provided for loaned securities, a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral, or a “gap” between the return on cash collateral reinvestments and any fees the Fund has agreed to pay a borrower. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund.
Special Risks of Exchange-Traded Funds
Authorized Participants Concentration Risk. The Fund may have a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants. To the extent that those Authorized Participants exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, Shares may trade at a discount to net asset value. Authorized Participant concentration risk may be heightened for a fund that invests
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in non-U.S. securities or other securities or instruments that have lower trading volumes.
Market Price Variance Risk. Fund Shares are listed for trading on NYSE Arca and can be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices rather than at net asset value. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in the value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. Shareholders that purchase or sell Shares on the secondary market may trade Shares at a price greater than net asset value (a premium) or less than net asset value (a discount). The Adviser cannot predict if Shares will trade at a premium or discount to the Fund’s net asset value. Given the fact that Shares can be created and redeemed in creation units, the Adviser believes that large discounts or premiums to the net asset value of Shares should not be sustained. There may, however, be times when the market price and the net asset value vary significantly. The Fund’s investment results are measured based upon the net asset value of the Fund over a period of time. Investors purchasing and selling Shares in the secondary market may not experience the same investment results as experienced by those creating and redeeming Shares directly with the Fund. There is no guarantee that an active secondary market will develop for Shares of the Fund. To the extent that exchange specialists, market makers, Authorized Participants, or other participants are unavailable or unable to trade the Fund’s Shares and/or create or redeem Creation Units, trading spreads and the resulting premium or discount on the Fund’s Shares may widen and the Fund’s Shares may possibly be subject to trading halts and/or delisting.
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. Extraordinary market volatility can lead to trading halts pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules of the exchange or market. There can be no assurance that Shares will continue to meet the listing requirements of the exchange on which they trade, and the listing requirements may be amended from time to time.
Fund Performance
No prior investment performance is provided for the Fund because it had not commenced operations prior to the date of this Prospectus. Upon commencement of operations, updated performance will be available on the Fund’s website at www.direxion.com/etfs?producttab=performance or by calling the Fund toll-free at 866-476-7523.
Management
Investment Adviser. Direxion Advisors, LLC is the Fund’s investment adviser.
Portfolio Managers. The following members of Direxion’s investment team are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund:
Portfolio Managers Years of Service with the Fund Primary Title
Paul Brigandi Since Inception Portfolio Manager
Tony Ng Since Inception Portfolio Manager
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 in exchange for cash or a 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 Shares on a national securities exchange through a broker-dealer and may incur brokerage costs. Because the Shares trade at market prices rather than net asset value, Shares may trade at a price greater than net asset value (premium) or less than net asset value (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 individual retirement account. 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 of the Fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank or financial advisor), the Fund and/or its Adviser may pay the intermediary for the sale of Fund shares and related services. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other financial intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the Fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
Index Information
The “S&P® Composite 1500 1.35X Leverage Carry-Free Quarterly Index” is a product of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC (“SPDJI”), and has been licensed for use by Direxion. Standard & Poor’s® and S&P® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”); Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”); and these trademarks have been licensed for use by SPDJI and sublicensed for certain purposes by Direxion. Direxion’s ETFs are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P, or their respective affiliates and none of such parties make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such product(s) nor do they have any liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of the S&P® Composite 1500 1.35X Leverage Carry-Free Quarterly Index.
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Overview of the Fund
The Direxion Shares ETF Trust (the “Trust”) is a registered investment company offering a number of separate exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”). This Prospectus describes the PortfolioPlus S&P® Composite 1500 ETF (the "Fund"). Direxion Advisors, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rafferty Asset Management, LLC, ("Rafferty"), serves as the investment adviser to the Fund (“Direxion” or “Adviser”).
The Fund attempts to track, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the S&P® Composite 1500 1.35X Leverage Carry-Free Quarterly Index (the “Index”).
Shares of the Fund (“Shares”), upon commencement of operations, will be listed and traded on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”), where 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 directly with the Fund. 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 of the Fund are issued and redeemed in cash and/or in-kind for securities included in the Index. 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 through a broker.
In order to provide additional information regarding the value of Shares of the Fund, the Exchange, a market data vendor or other information provider, disseminates an Intraday Optimized Portfolio Value (“IOPV”) for the Fund. The Fund’s IOPV is expected to be disseminated every 15 seconds during the regular trading hours of the Exchange. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities and cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio holdings of the Fund as of a particular point in time, or an accurate valuation of the current portfolio. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the U.S. The Fund is not involved in, nor responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and makes no representations or warranty as to its accuracy.
There is no assurance that the Fund will achieve its investment objective and an investment in the Fund could lose money. No single Fund is 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
Rafferty uses a number of investment techniques in an effort to achieve the stated investment objective for the Fund. The Fund seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, that track the return of the Index. To do this, Rafferty uses statistical and quantitative analysis to determine the investments the Fund makes and the techniques it employs. In general, if the Fund is performing as designed, the return of the the Index will dictate the return for the Fund. Rafferty does not invest the assets of the Fund in securities, derivatives or other investments based on Rafferty’s view of the investment merit of a particular security, instrument or company, nor does it conduct conventional investment research or analysis or forecast market movements or trends. The Fund generally pursues its investment objective regardless of market conditions and does not take defensive positions.
For the Fund, Rafferty seeks a 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, at times the Fund may hold a representative sample of the securities in 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 may 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 offered in this prospectus is non-diversified, which means that it may invest in the securities of a limited number of issuers.
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 the stated investment objective. The Fund may have difficulty in achieving its investment objective due to fees, expenses, transaction costs, income items, accounting standards, significant purchase and redemption activity by Fund shareholders, transactions and costs associated with minimizing the distribution of capital gains to shareholders and/or disruption or a temporary lack of liquidity in the markets for the securities held by the Fund.
Additionally, if the Index includes foreign securities or tracks a foreign market index where the foreign market closes before or after the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) closes (generally at 4 p.m. Eastern Time), the performance of the Index may differ from the expected performance.
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Additional Information Regarding Principal Risks
An investment in the Fund entails risks. The Fund may not achieve its investment objective and may decline in value. The Fund presents risks not traditionally associated with other mutual funds and ETFs. It is important that investors closely review and understand all of the Fund’s risks before making an investment. The Fund is not a complete investment program. Risks of investing in the Fund are described below.
Index Tracking Strategy Risk
Securities or financial instruments 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. The Fund will generally not sell a security because its issuer is in financial trouble or its value has declined, unless that holding is removed or is anticipated to be removed from the Index.
The Fund’s the Index relies on various sources of information to assess the securities included in the Index, including information that may be based on assumptions or estimates. There is no assurance that the index provider’s calculation methodology or sources of information will provide an accurate assessment of the Index’s securities. Errors in the Index data, the Index computations or the construction of the Index in accordance with its methodology may occur from time to time and may not be identified and corrected by the index provider for a period of time or at all, which may have an adverse impact on the Fund and its shareholders.
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. The Fund may have difficulty achieving its investment objective due to fees, expenses (including rebalancing expenses), transaction costs, income items, valuation methodology, accounting standards and disruptions or illiquidity in the markets for the securities held by the Fund, the Fund’s holding of uninvested cash, costs of complying with various new or existing regulatory requirements, and transactions carried out to minimize the distribution of capital gains to shareholders and other requirements to maintain pass-through tax treatment. These are costs that may be incurred by the Fund that are not incurred by the Index. 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 components of the the Index, or its weighting of investment exposure to such components may be different from that of the Index. In addition, the Fund may invest in financial instruments or securities not included in the Index. Activities surrounding index reconstitutions and other index repositioning events may hinder the Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective.
Market Risk
Market risks include political, regulatory, market and economic developments, including developments that impact specific economic sectors, industries or segments of the market.
Turbulence in the financial markets and reduced liquidity may negatively affect issuers, which could have an adverse
effect on the Fund. The Fund’s NAV could decline over short periods due to short-term market movements and over longer periods during market downturns.
Liquidity Risk
Some securities held by the Fund, including derivatives, may be difficult to sell or illiquid, particularly during times of market turmoil. Markets for securities or financial instruments could be disrupted by a number of events, including, but not limited to, an economic crisis, natural disasters, new legislation or regulatory changes inside or outside the United States. Illiquid securities may be difficult to value, especially in changing or volatile markets. If the Fund is forced to sell an illiquid security at an unfavorable time or price, the Fund may incur a loss. Certain market conditions may prevent the Fund from limiting losses, realizing gains or achieving a high correlation with the Index. There is no assurance that a security that is deemed liquid when purchased will continue to be liquid.
Derivatives Risk
The Fund uses investment techniques, including investments in derivatives, such as swaps, futures and forward contracts, and options that may be considered aggressive. The use of derivatives may result in larger losses or smaller gains than investing in the underlying securities directly. Investments in these derivatives may generally be subject to market risks that cause their prices to fluctuate more than an investment directly in a security and may increase the volatility of the Fund. The use of derivatives may expose the Fund to additional risks such as counterparty risk, liquidity risk and increased correlation risk. When the Fund uses derivatives, there may be imperfect correlation between the value of the underlying reference assets and the derivative, which may prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective.
The Fund may use swaps on the Index. If the Index has a dramatic intraday move in value that causes a material decline in the Fund’s NAV, the terms of the swap agreement between the Fund and its counterparty may allow the counterparty to immediately close out of the transaction with the Fund. In such circumstances, the Fund may be unable to enter into another swap agreement or invest in other derivatives to achieve the desired exposure consistent with the Fund’s investment objective. This may prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective particularly if the Index reverses all or a portion of its intraday move by the end of the day. The value of an investment in the Fund may change quickly and without warning. Any financing, borrowing or other costs associated with using derivatives may also have the effect of lowering the Fund’s return.
In addition, the Fund’s investments in derivatives are subject to the following risks:
 
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Swap Agreements. Swap agreements are entered into primarily with major global financial institutions for a specified period which may range from one day to more than one year. In a standard swap transaction, two parties agree to exchange the return (or differentials in rates of return) earned or realized on particular predetermined reference or underlying securities or instruments. The gross return to be exchanged or swapped between the parties is calculated based on a notional amount or the return on or change in value of a particular dollar amount invested in a reference asset.
Futures Contracts. A futures contact is a contract to purchase or sell a particular security, or the cash value of an index, at a specified future date at a price agreed upon when the contract is made. Under such contracts, no delivery of the actual securities is required. Rather, upon the expiration of the contract, settlement is made by exchanging cash in an amount equal to the difference between the contract price and the closing price of a security or index at expiration, net of the variation margin that was previously paid.
Forward Contracts. 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. 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.
Options. An option is a contract that gives the purchaser (holder) of the option, in return for a premium, the right to buy from (call) or sell to (put) the seller (writer) of the option the security or currency underlying the option at a specified exercise price at any time during the term of the option (normally not exceeding nine months). The writer of an option has the obligation upon exercise of the option to deliver the underlying security or currency upon payment of the exercise price or to pay the exercise price upon delivery of the underlying security or currency.
Options on Futures Contracts. An option on a futures contract provides the holder with the right to enter into a “long” position in the underlying futures contract, in the case of a call option, or a “short” position in the underlying futures contract in the case of a put option, at a fixed exercise price to a stated expiration date. Upon exercise of the option by the holder, the contract market clearing house establishes a corresponding short position for the writer of the option, in the case of a call option, or a corresponding long position, in the case of a put option.
Leverage Risk
To achieve its investment objective, the Fund will make investments in derivative instruments, such as swap agreements. These derivatives provide the economic effect of financial leverage, magnifying, sometimes significantly, the effect of any increase or decrease in exposure to an asset class and may cause the Fund’s NAV to be volatile. In
addition, leverage may involve the creation of a liability that requires the Fund to pay interest.
Intra-Calendar Quarter Investment Risk
The Fund seeks calendar quarter leveraged investment results. An investor who purchases shares on a day other than the last business day of a calendar quarterly will likely obtain more, or less, than 135135% investment exposure to the Index, depending upon the movement of the Index from the end of the prior calendar quarter until the time of investment by the investor.
Large-Capitalization Company Risk
Large-capitalization companies may be less able to adapt to changing market conditions or to respond quickly to competitive challenges or to changes in business, product, financial, or market conditions. Larger companies may not be able to maintain growth at rates that may be achieved by well-managed smaller and mid-size companies, which may affect the companies’ returns. Over certain periods, the performance of large-capitalization companies has trailed the performance of the overall markets.
Small- and/or Mid-Capitalization Company Risk
Small- and/or mid-capitalization companies often have narrower markets for their goods and/or services and more limited managerial and financial resources. Furthermore, those companies often have limited product lines, services, markets, financial resources or are dependent on a small management group. Because these stocks are not well-known to the investing public, there will normally be less publicly available information concerning these securities. Adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, can decrease the value and liquidity of securities held by the Fund, resulting in more volatile performance. They also face greater risk of business failure, which could increase the volatility of the Fund’s portfolio.
Healthcare Sector Risk
The profitability of companies in the healthcare sector may be affected by extensive, costly and uncertain government regulation, restrictions on government reimbursement for medical expenses, rising costs of medical products and services, pricing pressure, an increased emphasis on outpatient services, limited number of products, industry innovation, changes in technologies and other market developments. Many healthcare companies are heavily dependent on patent protection. The expiration of patents may adversely affect the profitability of these companies. Many healthcare companies are subject to extensive litigation based on product liability and similar claims. Healthcare companies are subject to competitive forces that may make it difficult to raise prices and, in fact, may result in price discounting. Many new products in the healthcare sector may be subject to regulatory approvals. The process of obtaining such approvals may be long and costly.
Information Technology Sector Risk
The value of stocks of information technology companies and companies that rely heavily on technology is particularly vulnerable to rapid changes in technology product cycles, rapid product obsolescence, government regulation and
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competition, both domestically and internationally, including competition from competitors with lower production costs. Information technology companies and companies that rely heavily on technology, especially those of smaller, less-seasoned companies, tend to be more volatile than the overall market. Information technology companies are heavily dependent on patent and intellectual property rights, the loss or impairment of which may adversely affect profitability. Additionally, companies in the information technology sector may face dramatic and often unpredictable changes in growth rates and competition for the services of qualified personnel.
Counterparty Risk
Counterparty risk is the risk that a counterparty is unwilling or unable to make timely payments to meet its contractual obligations with respect to the amount the Fund expects to receive from a counterparty to a financial instrument entered into by the Fund. The Fund generally enters into derivatives transactions, such as the swap agreements, with counterparties such that either party can terminate the contract without penalty prior to the termination date. The Fund may be negatively impacted if a counterparty becomes bankrupt or otherwise fails to perform its obligations under such a contract, or if any collateral posted by the counterparty for the benefit of the Fund is insufficient or there are delays in the Fund’s ability to access such collateral. If the counterparty becomes bankrupt or defaults on its payment obligations to the Fund, it may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery, may obtain only a limited recovery or obtain no recovery and the value of an investment held by the Fund may decline. The Fund may also not be able to exercise remedies, such as the termination of transactions, netting of obligations and realization on collateral, if such remedies are stayed or eliminated under special resolutions adopted in the United States, the European Union and various other jurisdictions. European Union rules and regulations intervene when a financial institution is experiencing financial difficulties and could reduce, eliminate, or convert to equity a counterparty’s obligations to the Fund (sometimes referred to as a “bail in”).
The Fund typically enters into transactions with counterparties that present minimal risks based on the Adviser’s assessment of the counterparty’s creditworthiness, or its capacity to meet its financial obligations during the term of the derivative agreement or contract. The Adviser considers factors such as counterparty credit rating among other factors when determining whether a counterparty is creditworthy. The Adviser regularly monitors the creditworthiness of each counterparty with which the Fund transacts. The Fund generally enters into swap agreements or other financial instruments with major, global financial institutions and seeks to mitigate risks by generally requiring that the counterparties for the Fund to post collateral, marked to market daily, in an amount approximately equal to what the counterparty owes the Fund, subject to certain minimum thresholds. To the extent any such collateral is insufficient or there are delays in accessing the collateral, the Fund will be exposed to the risks described above. If a counterparty’s
credit ratings decline, the Fund may be subject to a bail-in, as described above.
In addition, the Fund may enter into swap agreements with a limited number of counterparties, which may increase the Fund’s exposure to counterparty credit risk. The Fund does not specifically limit its counterparty risk with respect to any single counterparty. There is a risk that no suitable counterparties are willing to enter into, or continue to enter into, transactions with the Fund and, as a result, the Fund may not be able to achieve its investment objective. Additionally, although a counterparty to a centrally cleared swap agreement and/or an exchange-traded futures contract is often backed by a futures commission merchant (“FCM”) or a clearing organization that is further backed by a group of financial institutions, there may be instances in which a FCM or a clearing organization would fail to perform its obligations, causing significant losses to the Fund.
Other Investment Companies (including ETFs) Risk
By investing in another investment company, including an ETF, the Fund becomes a shareholder of that investment company and as a result, Fund shareholders indirectly 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 of the Fund’s own operations. As a shareholder, a fund must rely on the other investment company to achieve its investment objective. The Fund’s performance may be magnified positively or negatively by virtue of its investment in other investment companies. If the other investment company fails to achieve its investment objective, the value of the Fund’s investment will not perform as expected, thus affecting the Fund’s performance and its correlation with the Index. In addition, because shares of ETFs are listed and traded on national stock exchanges, their shares potentially may trade at a discount or a premium, which may impact the price at which the Fund purchases, sells or values the other investment company shares which may impact the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. Investments in such shares may be subject to brokerage and other trading costs, which could result in greater expenses to a Fund. Finally, depending on the demand in the market, the Fund may not be able to liquidate its holdings in ETFs at an optimal price or time, which may adversely affect the Fund’s performance.
Adverse Market Conditions Risk
The investment objective of the Fund is to provide performance that correlates to the performance of the Index. The Fund’s performance will suffer when market conditions are adverse to the Fund’s investment objective. If the Index rises on a given day, then the Fund’s performance should rise. Conversely, if the Index falls on a given day, then the Fund’s performance should also fall.
Adviser’s Investment Strategy Risk
The Adviser utilizes a quantitative methodology to select investments for the Fund. Although this methodology is designed to correlate to the performance of the Index, there
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is no assurance that such methodology will be successful and will enable the Fund to achieve its investment objective.
Commodity Pool Registration Risk
Under amended regulations promulgated by the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), the Fund are considered commodity pools, and therefore each is subject to regulation under the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC rules. The Adviser is registered as a commodity pool operator and will manage the Fund in accordance with CFTC rules as well as the rules that apply to registered investment companies, which includes registering the Fund as commodity pools. Registration as a commodity pool subjects the registrant to additional laws, regulations and enforcement policies, all of which may potentially increase compliance costs and may affect the operations and financial performance of the Fund.
Cybersecurity Risk
The increased use of technologies, such as the internet, to conduct business increases the operational, information security and related “cyber” risks both directly to the Fund and through its service providers. Similar types of cyber security risks are also present for issuers of securities in which the Fund may invest, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers. Unlike many other types of risks faced by the Fund, these risks typically are not covered by insurance. Cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Cyber incidents may include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems (e.g., through “hacking” or malicious software coding) for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, causing physical damage to computer or network systems, or causing operational disruption. Cyber attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites (i.e., efforts to make network services unavailable to intended users).
Failures or breaches of the electronic systems of the Fund, the Fund’s advisor, distributor, other service providers, counterparties, securities trading venues, or the issuers of securities in which the Fund invests have the ability to cause disruptions and negatively impact the Fund’s business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses to the Fund and its shareholders. Cyber attacks may also interfere with the Fund’s calculation of its NAV, result in the submission of erroneous trades or erroneous creation or redemption orders, and could lead to violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs and/or additional compliance costs. While the Fund has established business continuity plans, there are inherent limitations in such plans, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified and that prevention and remediation efforts will not be successful. Furthermore, the Fund cannot control the cyber security plans and systems of the Fund’s service providers or issuers of securities in which the Fund invests.
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
or financial instruments may be restricted, which may result in the Fund being unable to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments. For example, there is a risk that sharp price declines in securities owned by the Fund may trigger trading halts, which may result in the Fund’s shares trading at an increasingly large discount to NAV during part of, or all of, the trading day. 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
Publicly-issued equity securities, including common stocks, 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 NAV of the Fund to fluctuate.
High Portfolio Turnover Risk
Daily rebalancing of the Fund’s holdings pursuant to its daily investment objective causes a much greater number of portfolio transactions when compared to most ETFs. Additionally, active market trading of the Fund’s shares on such exchanges as the NYSE Arca, Inc., could cause more frequent creation and redemption activities which could increase the number of portfolio transactions. Frequent and active trading may lead to higher transaction costs because of increased broker commissions resulting from such transactions. In addition, there is the possibility of significantly increased short-term capital gains (which will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income when distributed to them). The Fund calculates portfolio turnover without including the short-term cash instruments or derivative transactions that comprise the majority of the Fund’s trading. As such, if the Fund’s extensive use of derivative instruments were reflected, the calculated portfolio turnover rate would be significantly higher.
Investment Risk
An investment in the Fund is not a deposit in a bank and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. When you sell your Shares, they could be worth less than what you paid for them.
Money Market Instrument Risk
Money market instruments, including money market funds, depositary accounts and repurchase agreements may be used for cash management purposes. 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. Money market instruments may also be subject to credit risks associated with the instruments in which they invest. There is no guarantee that money market instruments will maintain a stable value, and they may lose money.
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Non-Diversification Risk
The Fund invests a high percentage of its assets in a limited number of securities. The 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.
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 Fund. 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 Fund to pursue its trading strategies. Similarly, the regulatory environment for leveraged funds generally also may evolve, and changes in the direct or indirect regulation of leveraged funds could have a material adverse effect on the ability of the Fund to pursue its investment objective or strategy. Such legislative or regulatory changes could pose additional risks and result in material adverse consequences to the Fund.
Securities Lending Risk
Securities lending involves the risk that the Fund may lose money because the borrower of the loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The Fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of collateral provided for loaned securities, a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral, or a “gap” between the return on cash collateral reinvestments and any fees the Fund has agreed to pay a borrower. These events could also trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. In the event of a large redemption while the Fund has loaned portfolio securities, the Fund may suffer losses (e.g. overdraft fees) if it is unable to recall the securities on loan in time to fulfill the redemption.
Special Risks of Exchange-Traded Funds
Authorized Participants Concentration Risk. The Fund may have a limited number of financial institutions that may act as Authorized Participants. Only Authorized Participants who have entered into agreements with a Fund’s distributor may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the Fund. To the extent that those Authorized Participants exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, Shares may trade at a discount to NAV and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting. Authorized Participant concentration risk may be heightened for a fund that invests in non-U.S. securities or other securities or investments that have lower trading volumes.
Market Price Variance Risk. Shares of the Fund that are listed for trading on NYSE Arca and can be bought and sold in
the secondary market at market prices rather than at NAV. The market prices of Shares will fluctuate in response to changes in the value of the Fund’s holdings and supply and demand for Shares. Shareholders that purchase or sell Shares on the secondary market may trade Shares at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). The Adviser cannot predict if Shares will trade at a premium or discount to the Fund’s 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 a shareholder may trade shares at a premium or a discount to the Fund’s NAV. 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 of the Fund. To the extent that exchange specialists, market makers, Authorized Participants, or other participants are unavailable or unable to trade the Fund’s Shares and/or create or redeem Creation Units, trading spreads and the resulting premium or discount on the Fund’s Shares may widen and the Fund’s Shares may possibly be subject to trading halts and/or delisting.
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. Extraordinary market volatility can lead to trading halts pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules of the Exchange or markets. 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.
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 each Fund of the Trust. 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 whose Shares you own. 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. 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
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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 an issuing Fund, break them down into the constituent Shares and sell those Shares directly to customers, or if you choose to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for Shares. Whether a person is an underwriter depends upon all of the facts and circumstances pertaining to that person’s activities, and the examples mentioned here should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could cause you to be deemed an underwriter. Dealers who are not “underwriters,” but are participating in a distribution (as opposed to engaging in ordinary secondary market transactions), and thus dealing with Shares as part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(3)(C) of the Securities Act, 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 registered investment company, and the acquisition of Shares by other investment companies is subject to the restrictions of Section 12(d)(1) thereof. Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act restricts investments by investment
companies in the securities of other investment companies, including shares of the Fund. Provided, generally, that the Fund’s investments comply with Section 12(d)(1)(A), registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the Fund beyond the limits set forth in Section 12(d)(1) subject to certain terms and conditions, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Fund.
The Trust and the Fund have 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 of the Fund 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.
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About Your Investment
Share Price of the Fund
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, Independence Day, 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.
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, the last sale or settlement 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.
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, Direxion 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 may 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 authorized to be 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 (“Authorized Participant Agreement”) with the principal underwriter and the transfer agent, or purchase through a dealer that has entered into such an agreement.
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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.
Purchase of the Fund. 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 National Securities Clearing Corporation (“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 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 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.
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 from the Fund. Redemption proceeds will be paid either in cash or in-kind with a basket of securities (“Redemption Securities”). Purchase orders will be processed either through a Manual Clearing Process or through Enhanced Clearing Process that is available only to those DTC participants that also are participants in the Continuous Net Settlement System of the NSCC. Authorized Participants that do not use the Enhanced Clearing Process will be charged a higher Transaction Fee (discussed below). 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. Authorized Participants that do not use the Enhanced Clearing Process will be charged a higher Transaction Fee (discussed below). 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.
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.
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 14

 

Direxion Shares ETF Trust Fixed Transaction Fee Maximum
Additional
Charge for
Redemptions*
  In-Kind Cash
NSCC Outside NSCC Outside
NSCC
PortfolioPlus S&P® Composite 1500 ETF $250 Up to 300% of NSCC Amount $250 Up to 2.00%
* As a percentage of the amount invested.
Frequent Purchases and Redemptions. The Trust’s Board of Trustees has determined not to adopt policies and procedures designed to prevent or monitor for frequent purchases and redemptions of the Fund’s shares because the Fund sells and redeems its shares at NAV only in Creation Units pursuant to the terms of an Authorized Participant Agreement between the Authorized Participant and the Distributor, and such direct trading between the Fund and Authorized Participants is critical to ensuring that the Fund’s shares trade at or close to NAV. Further, the vast majority of trading in Fund shares occurs on the secondary market, which does not involve the Fund directly and therefore does not cause the Fund to experience many of the harmful effects of market timing, such as dilution and disruption of portfolio management. In addition, the Fund imposes a Transaction Fee on Creation Unit transactions, which is designed to offset transfer and other transaction costs incurred by the Fund in connection with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units and may employ fair valuation pricing to minimize potential dilution from market timing. Although the Fund reserves the right to reject any purchase orders, the Fund does not currently impose any trading restrictions on frequent trading or actively monitor for trading abuses.
How to Buy and Sell Shares
The Fund issues and redeems Shares only in large blocks of 50,000 Shares, called “Creation Units.”
Most investors will buy and sell Shares of the Fund in secondary market transactions through brokers. Individual Shares of the Fund, once listed for trading on the Exchange, can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded securities. The Fund does not require any minimum investment in such secondary market transactions.
When buying or selling Shares through a broker, investors may incur customary brokerage commissions and charges, and may pay some or all of the spread between the bid and the offer prices in the secondary market. In addition, because secondary market transactions occur at market prices, investors may pay more than NAV when buying Shares, and receive less than NAV when selling Shares.
The Adviser may pay brokers and other financial intermediaries for educational training 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.
The Fund’s Exchange trading symbol is _____.
Share prices are reported in dollars and cents per Share. For information about acquiring or selling Shares through a secondary market purchase, please contact your broker.
Book Entry. Shares are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. DTC or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding Shares of the Fund and is recognized as the owner of all Shares for all purposes.
Investors owning Shares are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for all Shares. Participants in 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.
Management of the Fund
Direxion provides investment management services to the Fund. Direxion is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Rafferty and Rafferty has been managing investment companies since 1997. Direxion is located at 1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 28th Floor, New York, New York 10019. As of [ ], the Adviser had approximately $[ ] billion in assets under management.
Pursuant to an investment advisory agreement between the Trust and Direxion, the Fund pays Direxion a fee at an annualized rate based on a percentage of the Fund's average daily net assets of [ ]%.
A discussion regarding the basis on which the Board of Trustees approved the investment advisory agreement for the Fund will be included in the Fund's Annual Report for the period ended October 31, 2019.
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Direxion has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with the Fund. Under this Operating Services Agreement, Direxion, in exchange for an Operating Services Fee paid to Direxion by the Fund, has contractually agreed to pay all Fund expenses through September 1, 2020 other than the following: management fees, Rule 12b-1 distribution and/or service fees, taxes, swap financing and related costs, dividends or interest on short positions, other interest expenses, brokerage commissions, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization, acquired fund fees and expenses, and extraordinary expenses such as indemnification and litigation or other expenses outside the typical day-to-day operations of the Fund. This Operating Services Agreement may be terminated at any time by the Board of Trustees.
Paul Brigandi and Tony Ng are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund (the “Portfolio Managers”). An investment trading team of Direxion employees assists the Portfolio Managers in the day-to-day management of the Fund subject to their primary responsibility and oversight. The Portfolio Managers work 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 periodically among the various series of the Trust, including the Fund, so that no single individual is assigned to a specific Fund for extended periods of time.
Mr. Brigandi has been a Portfolio Manager at Direxion since its inception in October 2017 and 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.
Mr. Ng has been a Portfolio Manager at Direxion since its inception in October 2017 and at Rafferty since April 2006. Mr. Ng was previously a Team Leader in the Trading Assistant Group with Goldman Sachs from 2004 to 2006. He was employed with Deutsche Asset Management from 1998 to 2004. Mr. Ng graduated from State University at Buffalo in 1998.
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.
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. Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”) serves as the Fund's transfer agent, fund accountant, custodian and index receipt agent. The Distributor is not affiliated with Direxion, USBFS, or BNYM.
Distributions
Fund Distributions. The Fund pays out dividends from its net investment income, and distributes any net capital gains, if any, to its shareholders at least annually. The Fund is authorized to declare and pay capital gain distributions in additional Shares or in cash. The Fund may have extremely high portfolio turnover, which may cause it to generate significant amounts of taxable income. The Fund will generally need to distribute net short-term capital gain to satisfy certain tax requirements. As a result of the Fund's high portfolio turnover, it could need to make larger and/or more frequent distributions than traditional ETFs.
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
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 16

 

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 (“IRA”) or 401(k) plan.
The Fund intends to qualify each taxable year for taxation as a “regulated investment company” under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code. If the Fund so qualifies and satisfies certain distribution requirements, the Fund will not be subject to federal income tax on income that is distributed in a timely manner to its shareholders in the form of income dividends or capital gain distributions.
Taxes on Distributions. Dividends from the Fund’s investment company taxable income generally, the sum of net investment income, the excess of net short-term capital gain over net long-term capital loss, and net gains and losses from certain foreign currency transactions, if any, all determined without regard to any deduction for dividends paid will be taxable to you as ordinary income to the extent of its earnings and profits, whether they are paid in cash or reinvested in additional Shares. However, dividends the Fund pays to you that are attributable to its “qualified dividend income” (i.e., dividends it receives on stock of most domestic and certain foreign corporations with respect to which it satisfies certain holding period and other restrictions) generally will be taxed to you, if you are an individual, trust, or estate and satisfy those restrictions with respect to your Shares, for federal income tax purposes, at the rates of 15% or 20% for such shareholders with taxable income exceeding certain thresholds (which will be indexed for inflation annually). A portion of the Fund’s dividends also may be eligible for the dividends-received deduction allowed to corporations the eligible portion may not exceed the aggregate dividends the Fund receives from domestic corporations subject to federal income tax (excluding real estate investment trusts) and excludes dividends from foreign corporations subject to similar restrictions; however, dividends a corporate shareholder deducts pursuant to that deduction are subject indirectly to the federal alternative minimum tax. No Fund expects to earn a significant amount of income that would qualify for those maximum rates or that deduction.
Distributions of the Fund’s net capital gain (which is the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss) that it recognizes on sales or exchanges of capital assets (“capital gain distributions”), if any, will be taxable to you as long-term capital gains, at the maximum rates mentioned above if you are an individual, trust, or estate, regardless of your holding period for the Shares on which the distributions are paid and regardless of whether they are paid in cash or reinvested in additional Shares. The Fund’s capital gain distributions may vary considerably from one year to the next as a result of its investment activities and cash flows and the performance of the markets in which it invests. No Fund expects to earn a significant amount of net capital gain.
Distributions in excess of the Fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, if any, first will reduce your adjusted tax basis in your Shares in the Fund and, after that basis is reduced to zero, will constitute capital gain. That capital gain will be long-term capital gain, and thus will be taxed at the maximum rates mentioned above if you are an individual, trust, or estate if the distributions are attributable to Shares you held for more than one year.
Investors should be aware that the price of Shares at any time may reflect the amount of a forthcoming dividend or capital gain distribution, so if they purchase Shares shortly before the record date therefor, they will pay full price for the Shares and receive some part of the purchase price back as a taxable distribution even though it represents a partial return of invested capital.
In general, distributions are subject to federal income tax for the year when they are paid. However, certain distributions paid in January may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year.
Because of the possibility of high portfolio turnover, the Fund may generate significant amounts of taxable income. Accordingly, the Fund may need to make larger and/or more frequent distributions than traditional unleveraged ETFs. A substantial portion of that income typically will be short-term capital gain, which will generally be treated as ordinary income when distributed to shareholders.
Fund distributions to tax-deferred or qualified plans, such as an IRA, retirement plan or pension plan, generally will not be taxable. However, distributions from such plans will be taxable to the individual participant notwithstanding the character of the income earned by the qualified plan. Please consult a tax adviser for a more complete explanation of the federal, state, local and foreign tax consequences of investing in the Fund through such a plan.
Taxes When Shares are Sold. Generally, you will recognize taxable gain or loss if you sell or otherwise dispose of your Shares. Any gain arising from such a disposition generally will be treated as long-term capital gain if you held the Shares for more than one year, taxable at the maximum rates (15% or 20%) mentioned above if you are an individual, trust, or estate; otherwise, the gain will be treated as short-term capital gain. However, any capital loss arising from the disposition of Shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term capital loss to the extent of capital gain distributions, if any, received with respect to those Shares. In addition, all or a portion of any loss recognized on a sale or exchange of Shares of the Fund will be disallowed to the extent other Shares of the same Fund are purchased (whether through reinvestment
17 Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus

 

of distributions or otherwise) within a period of 61 days beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the date of the sale or exchange; in that event, the basis in the newly purchased Shares will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.
Holders of Creation Units. A person who purchases Shares of 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 in the immediately preceding paragraph.
Miscellaneous. Backup Withholding. The Fund must withhold and remit to the U.S. Treasury 24% of dividends and capital gain distributions otherwise payable to any individual or certain other non-corporate shareholder who fails to certify that the social security or other taxpayer identification number furnished to the Fund is correct or who furnishes an incorrect number (together with the withholding described in the next sentence, “backup withholding”). Withholding at that rate also is required from the Fund’s dividends and capital gain distributions otherwise payable to such a shareholder who is subject to backup withholding for any other reason. Backup withholding is not an additional tax, and any amounts so withheld may be credited against a shareholder’s federal income tax liability or refunded.
Additional Tax. An individual must pay a 3.8% federal tax on the lesser of (1) the individual’s “net investment income,” which generally includes dividends, interest, and net gains from the disposition of investment property (including dividends and capital gain distributions the Fund pays and net gains realized on the sale or redemption of Shares), or (2) the excess of the individual’s “modified adjusted gross income” over a threshold amount ($250,000 for married persons filing jointly and $200,000 for single taxpayers). This tax is in addition to any other taxes due on that income. A similar tax will apply for those years to estates and trusts. Shareholders should consult their own tax advisers regarding the effect, if any, this provision may have on their investment in Fund shares.
Basis Determination. A shareholder who wants to use the average basis method for determining basis in Shares he or she acquires after December 31, 2011 (“Covered Shares”), must elect to do so in writing (which may be electronic) with the broker through which he or she purchased the Shares. A shareholder who wishes to use a different IRS-acceptable method for basis determination (e.g., a specific identification method) may elect to do so. Fund shareholders are urged to consult with their brokers regarding the application of the basis determination rules to them.
You may also be subject to state and local taxes on Fund distributions and dispositions of Shares.
Non-U.S. Shareholders. “A “non-U.S. shareholder” is an investor that, for federal tax purposes, is a nonresident alien individual, a foreign corporation or a foreign estate or trust. Except where discussed otherwise, the following disclosure assumes that a non-U.S. shareholder’s ownership of Shares is not effectively connected with a trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. shareholder in the United States and does not address non-U.S. shareholders who are present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year. The tax consequences to a non-U.S. shareholder entitled to claim the benefits of an applicable tax treaty may be different from those described herein. Non-U.S. shareholders should consult their tax advisers with respect to the particular tax consequences to them of an investment in the Fund.
Withholding. Dividends paid by the Fund to non-U.S. shareholders will be subject to withholding tax at a 30% rate or a reduced rate specified by an applicable income tax treaty to the extent derived from investment income (other than “qualified interest income” or “qualified short-term capital gains,” as described below). In order to obtain a reduced rate of withholding, a non-U.S. shareholder will be required to provide an IRS Form W-8BEN (or substitute form) certifying its entitlement to benefits under a treaty. The withholding tax does not apply to regular dividends paid to a non-U.S. shareholder who provides an IRS Form W-8ECI, certifying that the dividends are effectively connected with the non-U.S. shareholder’s conduct of a trade or business within the United States. Instead, the effectively connected dividends will be subject to regular U.S. income tax as if the non-U.S. shareholder were a U.S. shareholder. A non-U.S. corporation’s earnings and profits attributable to such dividends may also be subject to additional “branch profits tax” imposed at a rate of 30% (or lower treaty rate).
A non-U.S. shareholder who fails to provide an IRS Form W-8BEN or other applicable form may be subject to backup withholding at the appropriate rate. See the discussion of backup withholding under “Miscellaneous” above.
Exemptions from Withholding. In general, federal income tax will not apply to gain realized on the sale or other disposition of Shares or to any Fund distributions reported as capital gain dividends, short-term capital gain dividends, or interest-related dividends.
“ Short-term capital gain dividends” are dividends that are attributable to “qualified short-term gain” the Fund realizes (generally, the excess of the Fund’s net short-term capital gain over long-term capital loss for a taxable year, computed with certain adjustments). “Interest-related dividends” are dividends that are attributable to “qualified net interest income” from U.S. sources. Depending on its circumstances, the Fund may report all, some or none of its potentially eligible dividends as short-term capital gain dividends and interest-related dividends and/or treat such dividends, in whole or in part, as ineligible for this exemption from withholding. To qualify for the exemption, a non-U.S. shareholder will need to comply with applicable certification requirements relating to its non-U.S. status (including, in general, furnishing an IRS Form W-8BEN or substitute form). In the case of shares held through an intermediary, the intermediary may withhold even if the Fund designates the
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 18

 

payment as a short-term capital gain dividend or an interest-related dividend. Non-U.S. shareholders should contact their intermediaries with respect to the application of these rules to their accounts.
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”). 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 income dividends. As discussed more fully in the Fund's SAI under “Taxes,” the FATCA withholding tax generally can be avoided (a) by an FFI, if it reports certain information regarding direct and indirect ownership of financial accounts U.S. persons hold with the FFI and (b) by an NFFE, if it certifies as such and, in certain circumstances, that (i) it has no substantial U.S. persons as owners or (ii) it does have such owners and reports information relating to them to the withholding agent. 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. Non-U.S. shareholders should consult their own tax advisers regarding the application of these requirements to their own situation and the impact thereof on their investment in the Fund.
More information about taxes is in the Fund's SAI.
Additional Information
The Trust enters into contractual arrangements with various parties, which may include, among others, the Fund's investment adviser, custodian, and transfer agent, who provide services to the Fund. Shareholders are not parties to any such contractual arrangements and are not intended beneficiaries of those contractual arrangements, and those contractual arrangements are not intended to create in any shareholder any right to enforce them against the service providers or to seek any remedy under them against the service providers, either directly or on behalf of the Trust.
This Prospectus provides information concerning the Fund that you should consider in determining whether to purchase Fund shares. Neither this Prospectus nor the SAI is intended, or should be read, to be or give rise to an agreement or contract between the Trust or the Fund and any investor, or to give rise to any rights in any shareholder or other person other than any rights under federal or state law that may not be waived.
Index Licensors
Standard and Poor’s Index. The S&P® Composite 1500 1.35X Leverage Carry-Free Quarterly Index (the “S&P Index”) is/are products of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC (“SPDJI”), and has/have been licensed for use by the Trust. Standard & Poor’s®, S&P® and S&P 500® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”); Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”); and these trademarks have been licensed for use by SPDJI and sublicensed for certain purposes by the Trust. The Funds are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P, any of their respective affiliates (collectively, “S&P Dow Jones Indices”). S&P Dow Jones Indices makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the Funds or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Funds particularly or the ability of the S&P Index to track general market performance. S&P Dow Jones Indices’ only relationship to the Trust with respect to the S&P Index is the licensing of such Index(es) and certain trademarks, service marks and/or trade names of S&P Dow Jones Indices or its licensors. The S&P Index is/are determined, composed and calculated by S&P Dow Jones Indices without regard to the Trust or the Funds. S&P Dow Jones Indices have no obligation to take the needs of the Trust or the owners of the Funds into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the S&P Index. S&P Dow Jones Indices is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the prices, and amount of the Funds or the timing of the issuance or sale of the Funds or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the Funds are to be converted into cash, surrendered or redeemed, as the case may be. S&P Dow Jones Indices has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Funds. There is no assurance that investment products based on the S&P Index will accurately track index performance or provide positive investment returns. S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC is not an investment advisor. Inclusion of a security within an index is not a recommendation by S&P Dow Jones Indices to buy, sell, or hold such security, nor is it considered to be investment advice. Notwithstanding the foregoing, CME Group Inc. and its affiliates may independently issue and/or sponsor financial products based on the S&P 500 Index and other S&P proprietary indices unrelated to the Funds currently being issued by the Trust, but which may be similar to and competitive with the Funds. CME Group Inc. is an indirect shareholder of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC.
S&P DOW JONES INDICES DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE ADEQUACY, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE S&P INDEX OR ANY DATA RELATED THERETO OR ANY COMMUNICATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ORAL OR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION (INCLUDING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS) WITH RESPECT THERETO. S&P DOW JONES INDICES SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO ANY DAMAGES OR LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR DELAYS THEREIN. S&P DOW JONES INDICES MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, OF
19 Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus

 

MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE OR AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY THE TRUST, OWNERS OF THE FUNDS, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE S&P® COMPOSITE 1500 1.35X LEVERAGE CARRY-FREE QUARTERLY INDEX OR WITH RESPECT TO ANY DATA RELATED THERETO. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT WHATSOEVER SHALL S&P DOW JONES INDICES BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOSS OF PROFITS, TRADING LOSSES, LOST TIME OR GOODWILL, EVEN IF THEY HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBLITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE. THERE ARE NO THIRD PARTY BENEFICIARIES OF ANY AGREEMENTS OR ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN S&P DOW JONES INDICES AND THE TRUST, OTHER THAN THE LICENSORS OF S&P DOW JONES INDICES.
Financial Highlights
No financial information is available for the Fund because the Fund had not commenced operations prior to the date of this Prospectus.
Direxion Shares ETF Trust Prospectus 20

 

Prospectus
1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 28th 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), 28th Floor
New York, New York 10019
Call: 866-476-7523
By Internet: www.direxion.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. 20549-1520.
SEC File Number: 811-22201


The information in this Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This SAI is not an offer to sell these securities and is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.
Subject to completion, dated September 6, 2019
Direxion Shares ETF Trust
Statement of Additional Information
1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 28th Floor New York, New York 10019 866-476-7523
www.direxion.com
The Direxion Shares ETF Trust (“Trust”) is an investment company that offers shares of a variety of exchange-traded funds, including the PortfolioPlus S&P® Composite 1500 ETF (the “Fund”) to the public. Shares of the Fund offered in this Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), upon commencement of operations, will be listed and traded on the NYSE Arca, Inc.
PortfolioPlus S&P® Composite 1500 ETF ([ ])
There is no assurance that any Fund will achieve its investment objective and an investment in the Fund could lose money. The volatility of the Fund’s underlying index may affect the Fund’s return as much as, or more than, the return of the underlying index. As a result of volatility, the Fund may not behave as expected. The Fund is intended to be used by investors who intend to monitor their portfolios. No single Fund is a complete investment program.
This SAI, dated [ ], is not a prospectus. It should be read in conjunction with the Fund's prospectus dated [ ] (“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.
[ ]

 

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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 [ ] separate series or “Funds.”
The Fund seeks to provide investment results, before fees and expenses, which correspond to the performance of the S&P® Composite 1500 1.35X Leverage Carry-Free Quarterly Index (the "Index").
Shares of the Fund (“Shares”) are issued and redeemed at net asset value per share (“NAV”) only in large blocks called “Creation Units.” The Shares offered in this SAI, upon commencement of operations, will be listed and traded on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange”).
Creation Units are issued and redeemed in-kind for securities and an amount of cash or entirely cash, in each case at the discretion of Direxion Advisors, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (the “Adviser”). Shares cannot be purchased from, and are not redeemable securities of, the Fund, except when aggregated in Creation Units. Therefore, most investors will buy and sell Shares of the Fund in secondary market transactions through brokers. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day like other publicly traded shares. 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.
There is no assurance that the Fund offered in this SAI will achieve it objectives and an investment in the Fund could lose money. No single Fund is a complete investment program.
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 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.
Exchange Listing and Trading
The Shares, upon commencement of operations, will be listed and traded 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 of the Fund will continue to be met. The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the Shares of the Fund 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 of the Fund; (ii) the value of the Index is no longer calculated or available; (iii) the Index no longer meets various liquidity and other metrics as required by the Exchange’s continued listing standards; or (iv)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 of the Fund from listing and trading upon termination of such Fund.
As is the case with other publicly listed securities, when Shares of the Fund are bought or sold through a broker, an investor may incur a brokerage commission determined by that broker, as well as other charges.
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 or an investor’s equity interest in the Fund.
The trading prices of the Fund’s 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. Direxion Advisors, LLC ("Direxion" or "Adviser"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Rafferty Asset Management, LLC ("Rafferty") may, from time to time, make payments to certain market makers in the Trust’s shares pursuant to an Exchange authorized program.
In order to provide additional information regarding the value of Shares of the Fund, the Exchange, a market data vendor or other information provider, disseminates an Intraday Optimized Portfolio Value (“IOPV”) for the Fund. The Fund’s IOPV is expected to be disseminated every 15 seconds during the regular trading hours of the Exchange. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities and cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio holdings of the Fund as of a particular point in time, or an accurate valuation of the current portfolio. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated
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during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the U.S. The Fund is not involved in, nor responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and makes no representations or warranty as to its accuracy.
Investment Policies and Techniques
The Fund is managed to track the return of the S&P® Composite 1500 1.35X Leverage Carry-Free Quarterly Index (the “Index”).
The Fund’s investment objective is a non-fundamental policy of the Fund that may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval.
With the exception of limitations described in the “Investment Restrictions” section, 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.
Asset-Backed Securities
The Fund may invest in asset-backed securities of any rating or maturity. Asset-backed securities are securities issued by trusts and special purpose entities that are backed by pools of assets, such as automobile and credit-card receivables and home equity loans, which pass through the payments on the underlying obligations to the security holders (less servicing fees paid to the originator or fees for any credit enhancement). Typically, the originator of the loan or accounts receivable paper transfers it to a specially created trust, which repackages it as securities with a minimum denomination and a specific term. The securities are then privately placed or publicly offered. Examples include certificates for automobile receivables and so-called plastic bonds, backed by credit card receivables.
The value of an asset-backed security is affected by, among other things, changes in the market’s perception of the asset backing the security, the creditworthiness of the servicing agent for the loan pool, the originator of the loans and the financial institution providing any credit enhancement. Payments of principal and interest passed through to holders of asset-backed securities are frequently supported by some form of credit enhancement, such as a letter of credit, surety bond, limited guarantee by another entity or by having a priority to certain of the borrower’s other assets. The degree of credit enhancement varies, and generally applies to only a portion of the asset-backed security’s par value. Value is also affected if any credit enhancement has been exhausted.
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 terms-to-maturity of less than 397 days. 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 than 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 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
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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.
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 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.
On July 27, 2017, the U.K.-based Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) announced its intention to cease sustaining LIBOR after 2021. It is possible that the ICE Benchmark Administration (“IBA”) and the banks that offer reference rates could continue to produce LIBOR on the current basis after 2021, but it cannot be assured that LIBOR will survive in its current form. The effect of the FCA’s decision not to sustain LIBOR, or, if changes are ultimately made to LIBOR, the effect of those changes, cannot be predicted. In addition, it cannot be predicted what alternative index would be chosen should this occur. If LIBOR in its current form does not survive or if an alternative index is chosen, the market value and/or liquidity of securities with distributions or interest rates based on LIBOR could be adversely affected.
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.
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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 Securities
The Fund may have both direct and indirect exposure to foreign securities through investments in publicly traded securities such as stocks and bonds, 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. Non-U.S. securities may be subject to currency risks or to foreign government taxes. There may be less information publicly available about a non-U.S. issuer than about a U.S. issuer, and a foreign issuer may or may not be subject uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices comparable to those in the U.S. Other risks of investing in such securities include political or economic instability in the country involved, the difficulty of predicting international trade patterns and the possibility of the imposition of exchange controls. The prices of such securities may be more volatile than those of U.S. securities. There maybe also be the possibility of expropriation of assets or nationalization, imposition of withholding taxes on dividend or interest payments, difficulty obtaining and enforcing judgments against foreign entities or diplomatic developments which could affect investment in these countries. Losses and other expenses may be incurred in converting currencies in connection with purchases and sales of foreign securities.
Non-U.S. stocks markets may not be as developed or efficient as, and may be more volatile than, those in the U.S. While the volume of shares traded on non-U.S. stock markets generally has been growing, such markets usually have substantially less volume than U.S. markets. Therefore, the Fund’s investment in non-U.S. equity securities may be less liquid and subject to more rapid and erratic price movements than comparable securities listed for trading on U.S. exchanges. Non-U.S. equity securities may trade at price/earnings multiples higher than comparable U.S. securities and such levels may not be sustainable. There may be less government supervision and regulation of foreign stock exchanges, brokers, banks and listed companies abroad than in the U.S. Moreover, settlement practices for transactions in foreign markets may differ from those in U.S. markets. Such differences may include delays beyond periods customary in the U.S. and practices, such as delivery of securities prior to receipt of payment, that increase the likelihood of a failed settlement, which can result in losses to the Fund. The value of non-U.S. investments and the investment income derived from them may also be affected unfavorably by changes in currency exchange control regulations. Foreign brokerage commissions, custodial expenses and other fees are also generally higher than for securities traded in the U.S. This may cause the Fund to incur higher portfolio transaction costs than domestic equity funds. Fluctuations in exchanges rates may also affect the earning power and asset value of the foreign entity issuing a security, even on denominated in U.S. dollars. Dividend and interest payments may be repatriated based on the exchange rate at the time of disbursement, and restrictions on capital flows may be imposed.
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; and 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;
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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.
Asia-Pacific Countries. In addition to the risks associated with foreign and emerging markets, the developing market Asia-Pacific countries in which the Fund may invest are subject to certain additional or specific risks. The Fund may make substantial investments in Asia-Pacific countries. In the Asia-Pacific markets, there is a high concentration of market capitalization and trading volume in a small number of issuers representing a limited number of industries, as well as a high concentration of investors and financial intermediaries. Many of these markets also may be affected by developments with respect to more established markets in the region, such as Japan and Hong Kong. Brokers in developing market Asia-Pacific countries typically are fewer in number and less well-capitalized than brokers in the United States. These factors, combined with the U.S. regulatory requirements for open-end investment companies and the restrictions on foreign investment, result in potentially fewer investment opportunities for the Fund and may have an adverse impact on the Fund’s investment performance.
Many of the developing market Asia-Pacific countries may be subject to a greater degree of economic, political and social instability than is the case in the United States and Western European countries. Such instability may result from, among other things: (i) authoritarian governments or military involvement in political and economic decision-making, including changes in government through extra-constitutional means; (ii) popular unrest associated with demands for improved political, economic and social conditions; (iii) internal insurgencies; (iv) hostile relations with neighboring countries; and/or (v) ethnic, religious and racial disaffection. In addition, the governments of many of such countries, such as Indonesia, have a heavy role in regulating and supervising the economy.
An additional risk common to most such countries is that the economy is heavily export-oriented and, accordingly, is dependent upon international trade. The existence of overburdened infrastructure and obsolete financial systems also present risks in certain countries, as do environmental problems. Certain economies also depend to a significant degree upon exports of primary commodities and, therefore, are vulnerable to changes in commodity prices that, in turn, may be affected by a variety of factors. The legal systems in certain developing market Asia-Pacific countries also may have an adverse impact on the Fund. For example, while the potential liability of a shareholder in a U.S. corporation with respect to acts of the corporation is generally limited to the amount of the shareholder's investment, the notion of limited liability is less clear in certain emerging market Asia-Pacific countries. Similarly, the rights of investors in developing market Asia-Pacific companies may be more limited than those of shareholders of U.S. corporations. It may be difficult or impossible to obtain and/or enforce a judgment in a developing market Asia-Pacific country.
Governments of many developing market Asia-Pacific countries have exercised and continue to exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector. In certain cases, the government owns or controls many companies, including the largest in the country. Accordingly, government actions in the future could have a significant effect on economic conditions in developing market Asia-Pacific countries, which could affect private sector companies and the Fund itself, as well as the value of securities in the Fund's portfolio. In addition, economic statistics of developing market Asia-Pacific countries may be less reliable than economic statistics of more developed nations.
It is possible that developing market Asia-Pacific issuers may not be subject to the same accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards as U.S. companies. Inflation accounting rules in some developing market Asia-Pacific countries require companies that keep accounting records in the local currency, for both tax and accounting purposes, to restate certain assets and liabilities on the company’s balance sheet in order to express items in terms of currency of constant purchasing power. Inflation accounting may indirectly generate losses or profits for certain developing market Asia-Pacific companies. In addition, satisfactory custodial services for investment securities may not be available in some developing Asia-Pacific countries, which may result in the Fund incurring additional costs and delays in providing transportation and custody services for such securities outside such countries.
Certain developing Asia-Pacific countries are especially large debtors to commercial banks and foreign governments. Fund management may determine that, notwithstanding otherwise favorable investment criteria, it may not be practicable or appropriate to invest in a particular developing Asia-Pacific country. The Fund may invest in countries in which foreign investors, including management of the Fund, have had no or limited prior experience.
Brazil. Investing in Brazil involves certain considerations not typically associated with investing in the United States. Additional considerations include: (i) investment and repatriation controls, which could affect the Fund’s ability to operate, and to qualify for the favorable tax treatment afforded to RICs for U.S. federal income tax purposes; (ii) fluctuations in the rate of exchange between the Brazilian Real and the U.S. Dollar; (iii) the generally greater price volatility and lesser liquidity that characterize Brazilian securities markets, as compared with U.S. markets; (iv) the effect that balance of trade could have on Brazilian economic stability and the Brazilian government's economic policy; (v) potentially high rates of inflation, a rising unemployment rate, and a high level of debt, each of which may hinder economic growth; (vi) governmental involvement in and influence on the private sector; (vii) Brazilian accounting, auditing and financial standards and requirements, which differ from those in the United States; (viii) political and other considerations, including changes in applicable Brazilian tax laws; and (ix) restrictions on investments by foreigners. In addition, commodities, such as oil, gas and minerals, represent
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a significant percentage of Brazil’s exports and, therefore, its economy is particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. Additionally, an investment in Brazil is subject to certain risks stemming from political and economic corruption. For example, the Brazilian Federal Police conducted a criminal investigation into corruption allegations, known as Operation Car Wash, which led to charges against high level politicians and corporate executives and resulted in substantial fines for some of Brazil’s largest companies. This has had a widespread political and economic impact and may continue to affect negatively the country and the reputation of Brazilian companies connected with the investigation, and therefore, the trading price of securities issued by those companies. While the economy of Brazil has enjoyed substantial economic growth in recent years, there can be no guarantee that this growth will continue.
China. Investing in China involves special considerations not typically associated with investing in countries with more democratic governments or more established economies or currency markets. These risks include: (i) the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets or confiscatory taxation; (ii) greater governmental involvement in and control over the economy, interest rates and currency exchange rates; (iii) controls on foreign investment and limitations on repatriation of invested capital; (iv) greater social, economic and political uncertainty (including the risk of war); (v) dependency on exports and the corresponding importance of international trade; (vi) currency exchange rate fluctuations; (vii) differences in, or lack of, auditing and financial reporting standards that may result in unavailability of material information about issuers; and (viii) the risk that certain companies in which the Fund may invest may have dealings with countries subject to sanctions or embargoes imposed by the U.S. government or identified as state sponsors of terrorism.
For over three decades, the Chinese government has been reforming economic and market practice and has been providing a larger sphere for private ownership of property. While currently contributing to growth and prosperity, the government may decide not to continue to support these economic reform programs and could possible return to the completely centrally planned economy that existed prior to 1978. There is also a greater risk in China than in many other countries of currency fluctuations, currency non-convertibility, interest rate fluctuations and higher rates of inflation as a result of internal social unrest or conflicts with other countries. China is an emerging market and demonstrates significantly higher volatility from time to time in comparison to developed markets. The government of China maintains strict currency controls in support of economic, trade and political objectives and regularly intervenes in the currency market. The government's actions in this respect may not be transparent or predictable. As a result, the value of the Yuan, and the value of securities designed to provide exposure to the Yuan, can change quickly and arbitrarily. Furthermore, it is difficult for foreign investors to directly access money market securities in China because of investment and trading restrictions. While the economy of China has enjoyed substantial economic growth in recent years, there can be no guarantee this growth will continue. Reduction in spending on Chinese products and services, the institution of additional tariffs or other trade barriers, including as a result of heightened trade tensions between China and the United States, or a downturn in any of the economies of China’s key trading partners may have an adverse impact on the Chinese economy. These and other factors may decrease the value and liquidity of the Fund's investments. The Chinese economy may experience a significant slowdown as a result of, among other things, a deterioration of global demand for Chinese exports, as well as contraction in spending on domestic goods by Chinese consumers. In addition, China may experience substantial rates of inflation or economic recessions, which would have a negative effect on its economy and securities market.
Recently, there has been increased attention from the SEC and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) with regard to international auditing standards of U.S.-listed companies with significant operations in China as well as PCAOB-registered auditing firms in China. Currently, the SEC and PCAOB are only able to get limited information about these auditing firms and are restricted from inspecting the audit work and practices of registered accountants in China. These restrictions may result in the unavailability of material information about the Chinese issuers.
China A-shares are equity securities of companies based in mainland China that trade on Chinese stock exchanges such as the Shanghai Stock Exchange (“SSE”) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (“SZSE”) (“A-shares”). Foreign investment in A-shares on the SSE and SZSE has historically not been permitted other than through licenses granted by the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) known as the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (“QFII”) and Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (“RQFII”) licenses. Each license permits investment in A-shares only up to a specified quota.
Because restrictions continue to exist and capital therefore cannot flow freely into and out of the A-Share market, it is possible that in the event of a market disruption, the liquidity of the A-Share market and trading prices of A-Shares could be more severely affected than the liquidity and trading prices of markets where securities are freely tradable and capital therefore flows more freely. The nature and duration of such a market disruption or the impact that it may have on the A-Share market are unknown. In the event that a Fund invests in A-Shares directly, a Fund may incur significant losses, or may not be able fully to implement or pursue its investment objectives or strategies, due to investment restrictions on RQFIIs and QFIIs, illiquidity of the Chinese securities markets, or delay or disruption in execution or settlement of trades. A-Shares may become subject to frequent and widespread trading halts.
The Chinese government has in the past taken actions that benefitted holders of A-Shares. As A-Shares become more available to foreign investors, such as a Fund, the Chinese government may be less likely to take action that would benefit holders of A-Shares. In addition, there is no guarantee that an A-Shares quota will be sufficient for a Fund’s intended scope of investment.
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The regulations which apply to investments by RQFIIs and QFIIs, including the repatriation of capital, are relatively new. The application and interpretation of such regulations are therefore relatively untested. In addition, there is little precedent or certainty evidencing how such discretion may be exercised now or in the future; and even if there were precedent, it may provide little guidance as PRC authorities would likely continue to have broad discretion.
Investment in eligible A-shares listed and traded on the SSE is now permitted through the Stock Connect program. Stock Connect is a securities trading and clearing program established by Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited, the SSE and Chinese Securities Depositary and Clearing Corporation that aims to provide mutual stock market access between China and Hong Kong by permitting investors to trade and settle shares on each market through their local exchanges. Certain Funds may invest in other investment companies that invest in A-shares through Stock Connect or on such other stock exchanges in China which participate in Stock Connect from time to time. Under Stock Connect, the Fund’s trading of eligible A-shares listed on the SSE would be effectuated through its Hong Kong broker.
Although no individual investment quotas or licensing requirements apply to investors in Stock Connect, trading through Stock Connect’s Northbound Trading Link is subject to aggregate and daily investment quota limitations that require that buy orders for A-shares be rejected once the remaining balance of the relevant quota drops to zero or the daily quota is exceeded (although the Fund will be permitted to sell A-shares regardless of the quota balance). These limitations may restrict the Fund from investing in A-shares on a timely basis, which could affect the Fund’s ability to effectively pursue its investment strategy. Investment quotas are also subject to change. Investment in eligible A-shares through Stock Connect is subject to trading, clearance and settlement procedures that could pose risks to the Fund. A-shares purchased through Stock Connect generally may not be sold or otherwise transferred other than through Stock Connect in accordance with applicable rules. In addition, Stock Connect will only operate on days when both the Chinese and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banks in both markets are open on the corresponding settlement days. Therefore, an investment in A-shares through Stock Connect may subject the Fund to a risk of price fluctuations on days where the Chinese market is open, but Stock Connect is not trading.
Europe. Investing in European countries may impose economic and political risks associated with Europe in general and the specific European countries in which it invests. The economies and markets of European countries are often closely connected and interdependent, and events in one European country can have an adverse impact on other European countries. The Fund makes investments in securities of issuers that are domiciled in, or have significant operations in, member countries of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union (the “EU”), which requires member countries to comply with restrictions on inflation rates, deficits, interest rates, debt levels and fiscal and monetary controls, each of which may significantly affect every country in Europe. Decreasing imports or exports, changes in governmental or EU regulations on trade, changes in the exchange rate of the euro (the common currency of certain EU countries), the default or threat of default by an EU member country on its sovereign debt, and/or an economic recession in an EU member country may have a significant adverse effect on the economies of EU member countries and their trading partners, including some or all of the emerging markets materials sector countries. Although certain European countries do not use the euro, many of these countries are obliged to meet the criteria for joining the euro zone. Consequently, these countries must comply with many of the restrictions noted above. The European financial markets have experienced volatility and adverse trends in recent years due to concerns about economic downturns, rising government debt levels and the possible default of government debt in several European countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. In order to prevent further economic deterioration, certain countries, without prior warning, can institute “capital controls.” Countries may use these controls to restrict volatile movements of capital entering and exiting their country. Such controls may negatively affect the Fund’s investments. A default or debt restructuring by any European country would adversely impact holders of that country’s debt and sellers of credit default swaps linked to that country’s creditworthiness, which may be located in countries other than those listed above. In addition, the credit ratings of certain European countries were recently downgraded. These downgrades may result in further deterioration of investor confidence. These events have adversely affected the value and exchange rate of the euro and may continue to significantly affect the economies of every country in Europe, including countries that do not use the euro and non-EU member countries. Responses to the financial problems by European governments, central banks and others, including austerity measures and reforms, may not produce the desired results, may result in social unrest and may limit future growth and economic recovery or have other unintended consequences. Further defaults or restructurings by governments and other entities of their debt could have additional adverse effects on economies, financial markets and asset valuations around the world. In addition, one or more countries may abandon the euro and/or withdraw from the EU, including, with respect to the latter, the United Kingdom, which is a significant market in the global economy. The impact of these actions, especially if they occur in a disorderly fashion, is not clear but could be significant and far-reaching and could adversely impact the value of investments in the region.
In a referendum held on June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom (the “UK”) resolved to leave the EU (referred to as “Brexit”). The referendum has introduced significant uncertainties and instability in the financial markets as the UK continues to negotiate its exit from the EU. The outcome of negotiations and the potential consequences remain uncertain. The effects of Brexit will depend on any agreements the UK makes to retain access to the EU Common Market either during a transitional period or more permanently. Brexit could lead to legal and tax uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the UK determines which EU laws to replace or replicate. Additionally, Brexit could lead to global economic
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uncertainty and result in significant volatility in the global stock markets and currency exchange rate fluctuations. The UK has one of the largest economies in Europe and is a major trading partner with the other EU countries and the United States. If implemented, Brexit might negatively affect the City of London’s economy, which is heavily dominated by financial services, as banks might be forced to move staff and comply with two separate sets of rules or lose business to banks in Continental Europe. In addition, Brexit would likely create additional economic stresses for the UK, including the potential for decreased trade, capital outflows, devaluation of the British pound, wider corporate bond spreads due to uncertainty, and declines in business and consumer spending as well as foreign direct investment.
Brexit may also have a destabilizing impact on the EU to the extent that other member states similarly seek to withdraw from the EU. Any further exits from the EU would likely cause additional market disruptions globally and introduce new legal and regulatory uncertainties.
India. Investments in India involve special considerations not typically associated with investing in countries with more established economies or currency markets. Political, religious, and border disputes persist in India. India has recently experienced and may continue to experience civil unrest and hostilities with certain of its neighboring countries, including Pakistan, and the Indian government has confronted separatist movements in several Indian states, including Kashmir. Government control over the economy, currency fluctuations or blockage, and the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets offer higher potential losses. Governmental actions could have a negative effect on the economic conditions in India, which could adversely affect the value and liquidity of investments made by the Fund. The securities markets in India are comparatively underdeveloped with some exceptions and consist of a small number of listed companies with small market capitalization, greater price volatility and substantially less liquidity than companies in more developed markets. The limited liquidity of the Indian securities market may also affect the Fund’s ability to acquire or dispose of securities at the price or time that it desires or the Fund’s ability to track the Index.
The Indian government exercises significant influence over many aspects of the economy, and the number of public sector enterprises in India is substantial. While the Indian government has implemented economic structural reform with the objectives of liberalizing India's exchange and trade policies, reducing the fiscal deficit, controlling inflation, promoting a sound monetary policy, reforming the financial sector, and placing greater reliance on market mechanisms to direct economic activity, there can be no assurance that these policies will continue or that the economic recovery will be sustained.
Global factors and foreign actions may inhibit the flow of foreign capital on which India is dependent to sustain its growth. In addition, the Reserve Bank of India has imposed limits on foreign ownership of Indian companies, which may decrease the liquidity of the Fund’s portfolio and result in extreme volatility in the prices of Indian securities. In November 2016, the Indian government eliminated certain large denomination cash notes as legal tender, causing uncertainty in certain financial markets. These factors, coupled with the lack of extensive accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards and practices, as applicable in the United States, may increase the risk of loss for the Fund.
Securities laws in India are relatively new and unsettled and, as a result, there is a risk of significant and unpredictable change in laws governing foreign investment, securities regulation, title to securities and shareholder rights. Foreign investors in particular may be adversely affected by new or amended laws and regulations. Certain Indian regulatory approvals, including approvals from the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the central government and the tax authorities (to the extent that tax benefits need to be utilized), may be required before the Fund can make investments in Indian companies. Foreign investors in India still face burdensome taxes on investments in income producing securities.
While the Indian economy has enjoyed substantial economic growth in recent years, there can be no guarantee this growth will continue. Technology and software sectors represent a significant portion of the total capitalization of the Indian securities markets. The value of these companies will generally fluctuate in response to technological and regulatory developments, and, as a result, the Fund’s holdings are expected to experience correlated fluctuations. Natural disasters, such as tsunamis, flooding or droughts, could occur in India or surrounding areas and could negatively affect the Indian economy. Agriculture occupies a prominent position in the Indian economy, therefore, it may be negatively affected by adverse weather conditions and the effects of global climate change. These and other factors may decrease the value and liquidity of the Fund's investments.
Italy. Investment in Italian issuers involves risks that are specific to Italy, including, regulatory, political, currency, and economic risks. Italy’s economy is dependent upon external trade with other economiesspecifically Germany, France and other Western European developed countries. As a result, Italy is dependent on the economies of these other countries and any change in the price or demand for Italy’s exports may have an adverse impact on its economy. Interest rates on Italy’s debt may rise to levels that may make it difficult for it to service high debt levels without significant financial help from the EU and could potentially lead to default. Recently, the Italian economy has experienced volatility due to concerns about economic downturn and rising government debt levels. Italy has been warned by the Economic and Monetary Union of the EU to reduce its public spending and debt and actions by Italy to cut spending or increase taxes in response could have significant adverse effects on the Italian economy. These events have adversely impacted the Italian economy, causing credit agencies to lower Italy’s sovereign debt rating and could decrease outside investment in Italian companies. High amounts of debt and public spending may stifle Italian economic growth or cause prolonged periods of recession.
Japan. Japanese investments may be significantly affected by events influencing Japan’s economy and changes in the exchange rate between the Japanese yen and the U.S. Dollar. Japan’s economy fell into a long recession in the 1990s. After a few
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years of mild recovery in the mid-2000s, Japan’s economy fell into another recession as a result of the recent global economic crisis. Japan is heavily dependent on exports and foreign oil and may be adversely affected by higher commodity prices, trade tariffs, protectionist measures, competition from emerging economies, and the economic conditions of its trading partners, such as China. Furthermore, Japan is located in a seismically active area, and in 2011 experienced an earthquake of a sizeable magnitude and a tsunami that significantly affected important elements of its infrastructure and resulted in a nuclear crisis. Since these events, Japan’s financial markets have fluctuated dramatically. The full extent of the impact of these events on Japan’s economy and on foreign investment in Japan is difficult to estimate. The risks of natural disaster of varying degrees, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, and the resulting damage, continue to exist. Japan’s economic prospects may be affected by the political and military situations of its near neighbors, notably North and South Korea, China, and Russia. In addition, Japan’s labor market is adapting to an aging workforce, declining population, and demand for increased labor mobility. These demographic shifts and fundamental structural changes to the labor markets may negatively impact Japan’s economic competiveness.
South Korea. South Korean investments may be significantly affected by events influencing its economy, which is heavily dependent on exports and the demand for certain finished goods. South Korea’s main industries include electronics, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding, steel, textiles, clothing, footwear, and food processing. Conditions that weaken demand for such products worldwide or in other Asian countries could have a negative impact on the South Korean economy as a whole. The South Korean economy’s reliance on international trade makes it highly sensitive to fluctuations in international commodity prices, currency exchanges rates and government regulation, and vulnerable to downturns of the world economy, particularly with respects to its four largest export markets (the EU, Japan, United States, and China). South Korea has experienced modest economic growth in recent years, but such continued growth may slow due, in part, to the economic slowdown in China and the increased competitive advantage of Japanese exports with the weakened yen. The South Korean economy’s long-term challenges include an aging population, inflexible labor market, and overdependence on exports to drive economic growth. Relations with North Korea could also have as significant impact on the economy of South Korea. Relations between South Korea and North Korea remain tense, as exemplified in periodic acts of hostility, and the possibility of serious military engagement still exists. Armed conflict between North Korea and South Korea could have a severe adverse impact on the South Korean economy and its securities markets.
Latin America. Investments in Latin American countries involve special considerations not typically associated with investing in the United States. Most Latin American countries have experienced, at one time or another, severe and persistent levels of inflation, including, in some cases, hyperinflation. This has, in turn, led to high interest rates, extreme measures by governments to keep inflation in check, and a generally debilitating effect on economic growth. Although inflation in many countries has lessened, there is no guarantee it will remain at lower levels. In addition, the political history of certain Latin American countries has been characterized by political uncertainty, military intervention in civilian and economic spheres, and political corruption. Such developments, if they were to reoccur, could reverse favorable trends toward market and economic reform, privatization, and removal of trade barriers, and result in significant disruption to the securities markets. Certain Latin American countries may also have managed currencies, which are maintained at artificial levels to the U.S. Dollar rather than at levels determined by the market. This type of system can lead to sudden and large adjustments in the currency which, in turn, can have a disruptive and negative effect on foreign investors. For example, in late 1994, the value of the Mexican peso lost more than one-third of its value relative to the U.S. Dollar. Certain Latin American countries also restrict the free conversion of their currency into foreign currencies, including the U.S. Dollar. There is no significant foreign exchange market for many currencies and it would, as a result, be difficult for the Fund to engage in foreign currency transactions designed to protect the value of the Fund’s interests in securities denominated in such currencies. Finally, a number of Latin American countries are among the largest debtors of developing countries. There have been moratoria on, and reschedulings of, repayment with respect to these debts. Such events can restrict the flexibility of these debtor nations in the international markets and result in the imposition of onerous conditions on their economies.
Mexico. Investment in Mexican issuers involves risks that are specific to Mexico, including regulatory, political, and economic risks. In the past, Mexico has experienced high interest rates, economic volatility, significant devaluation of its currency (the peso), and high unemployment rates. The Mexican economy is dependent upon external trade with other economies, specifically with the United States and certain Latin American countries. Additionally, a high level of foreign investment in Mexican assets may increase Mexico’s exposure to risks associated with changes in international investor sentiment. Recent political developments in the U.S. may also have potential implications for the current trade arrangements between the U.S. and Mexico, which could affect the value of securities held by the Fund. For example, uncertainty regarding the status of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or its recently negotiated successor -- the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement -- may have a significant impact on Mexico’s economic outlook and the value of a fund’s investment in Mexico.
The Mexican economy is heavily dependent on trade with, and foreign investment from, the U.S. and Canada, which are Mexico’s principal trading partners. Any changes in the supply, demand, price or other economic component of Mexico’s imports or exports, as well as any reductions in foreign investment from, or changes in the economies of, the U.S. or Canada, may have an adverse impact on the Mexican economy. Because commodities such as oil and gas, minerals and metals represent a large portion of the region’s exports, the economies of these countries are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices. Mexico’s economy has also become increasingly oriented toward manufacturing in the years since NAFTA entered
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into force. Because Mexico’s top export is automotive vehicles, its economy is strongly tied to the U.S. automotive market, and changes to certain segments in the U.S. market could have an impact on the Mexican economy. The automotive industry and other industrial products can be highly cyclical, and companies in these industries may suffer periodic operating losses. These industries can also be significantly affected by labor relations and fluctuating component prices. The agricultural and mining sectors of Mexico’s economy also account for a large portion of its exports, and Mexico is susceptible to fluctuations in the price and demand for agricultural products and natural resources. In addition, Mexico has privatized or has begun the process of privatization of certain entities and industries, and some investors have suffered losses due to the inability of the newly privatized entities to adjust to a competitive environment and changing regulatory standards.
Mexico has been destabilized by local insurrections, social upheavals and drug related violence. Additionally, violence near border areas, border-related political disputes, and other social upheaval may lead to strained international relations. Mexico has also experienced contentious and very closely decided elections. Changes in political parties and other political events may affect the economy and contribute to additional instability. Recurrence of these or similar conditions may adversely impact the Mexican economy.
Russia. Investing in Russia involves risks and special considerations not typically associated with investing in United States. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, Russia has experienced dramatic political, economic, and social change. The political system in Russia is emerging from a long history of extensive state involvement in economic affairs. The country is undergoing a rapid transition from a centrally-controlled command system to a market-oriented, democratic model. As a result, companies in Russia are characterized by a lack of: (i) management with experience of operating in a market economy; (ii) modern technology; and, (iii) a sufficient capital base with which to develop and expand their operations. It is unclear what will be the future effect on Russian companies, if any, of Russia’s continued attempts to move toward a more market-oriented economy. Russia’s economy has experienced severe economic recession, if not depression, since 1990 during which time the economy has been characterized by high rates of inflation, high rates of unemployment, declining gross domestic product, deficit government spending, and a devalued currency. The economic reform program has involved major disruptions and dislocations in various sectors of the economy, and those problems have been exacerbated by growing liquidity problems. Russia’s economy is also heavily reliant on the energy and defense-related sectors, and is therefore susceptible to the risks associated with these industries. Further, Russia presently receives significant financial assistance from a number of countries through various programs. To the extent these programs are reduced or eliminated in the future, Russian economic development may be adversely impacted. The laws and regulations in Russia affecting Western business investment continue to evolve in an unpredictable manner. Russian laws and regulations, particularly those involving taxation, foreign investment and trade, title to property or securities, and transfer of title, which may be applicable to the Fund’s activities are relatively new and can change quickly and unpredictably in a manner far more volatile than in the United States or other developed market economies. Although basic commercial laws are in place, they are often unclear or contradictory and subject to varying interpretation, and may at any time be amended, modified, repealed or replaced in a manner adverse to the interest of the Fund.
As a result of recent events involving Ukraine and Russia and other political conflicts, the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on certain Russian individuals and companies, including certain financial institutions, and have limited certain exports and imports to and from Russia. The United States and other nations or international organizations may impose additional, broader economic sanctions or take other actions that may adversely affect Russian-related issuers in the future. These sanctions, any future sanctions or other actions, or even the threat of further sanctions or other actions, may negatively affect the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments. Russia may undertake countermeasures or retaliatory actions which may further impair the value and liquidity of the Fund’s investments.
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. Depository receipts are receipts, typically issued by a financial institution, with evidence of underlying securities issued by a non-U.S. issuer. Types of depositary receipts include American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”) and European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”). Depository receipts may not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as the underlying securities into which they may be converted.
ADRs are receipts typically issued by an American bank or trust company that evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. Investments in ADRs have certain advantages over direct investment in the underlying foreign securities because: (i) ADRs are U.S. dollar-denominated investments that are easily transferable and for which market quotations are readily available, and (ii) issuers whose securities are represented by ADRs are generally subject to auditing, accounting and financial reporting standards similar to those applied to domestic issuers. By investing in ADRs rather than directly in the stock of foreign issuers outside the U.S. the Fund may avoid certain risks related to investing in foreign securities in non-U.S. markets, however, ADRs do not eliminate all risks inherent in investing in the securities of foreign issuers.
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EDRs are receipts issued in Europe that evidence a similar ownership arrangement. 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 may be purchased through “sponsored” or “unsponsored” facilities, in which the Fund may invest. 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.
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 deficits also can indirectly contribute to currency depreciation if a government chooses inflationary measures 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 (“NYSE”) 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 buys 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 “Futures Contracts, Options, and Other Derivative Strategies” section 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. A currency forward contract will tend to reduce or eliminate exposure to the currency that is sold, and increase exposure to the currency that is purchased, similar to when a fund sells a security denominated in one
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currency and purchases a security denominated in another currency. For example, the Fund may enter into a forward contract when it owns a security that is denominated in a non-U.S. currency and desires to “lock in” the U.S. dollar value of the security.
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. It also is possible, under certain circumstances, that the Fund may have to limit its currency transactions to continue to qualify as a “regulated investment company” (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of Chapter 1 of Subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (“Code”). See “Dividends, Other Distributions and Taxes.”
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.
Under definitions adopted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and SEC, non-deliverable forwards are considered swaps, and therefore are included in the definition of “commodity interests.” Although non-deliverable forwards have historically been traded in the over-the-counter (“OTC”) market, as swaps they may in the future be required to be centrally cleared and traded on public facilities. For more information on central clearing and trading of cleared swaps, see “Cleared swaps,” “Risks of cleared swaps,” “Comprehensive swaps regulation” and “Developing government regulation of derivatives.” Currency forwards that qualify as deliverable forwards are not regulated as swaps for most purposes, and are not included in the definition of “commodity interests.” However these forwards are subject to some requirements applicable to swaps, including reporting to swap data repositories, documentation requirements, and business conduct rules applicable to swap dealers. CFTC regulation of currency forwards, especially non-deliverable forwards, may restrict the Fund’s ability to use these instruments in the manner described above or subject the investment manager to CFTC registration and regulation as a commodity pool operator (“CPO”).
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.
Risks of currency forward contracts. The successful use of these transactions will usually depend on the Adviser’s ability to accurately forecast currency exchange rate movements. Should exchange rates move in an unexpected manner, the Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the transaction, or it may realize losses. In addition, these techniques could
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result in a loss if the counterparty to the transaction does not perform as promised, including because of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. While the Fund uses only counterparties that meet its credit quality standards, in unusual or extreme market conditions, a counterparty’s creditworthiness and ability to perform may deteriorate rapidly, and the availability of suitable replacement counterparties may become limited. Currency forward contracts may limit potential gain from a positive change in the relationship between the U.S. Dollar and foreign currencies. Unanticipated changes in currency prices may result in poorer overall performance for the Fund than if it had not engaged in such contracts. Moreover, there may be an imperfect correlation between the Fund’s portfolio holdings of securities denominated in a particular currency and the currencies bought or sold in the forward contracts entered into by the Fund. This imperfect correlation may cause the Fund to sustain losses that will prevent the Fund from achieving a complete hedge or expose the Fund to risk of foreign exchange loss.
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 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 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
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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.
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.
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.
The term “illiquid investments” for this purpose means any investment that the Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. The Fund will not acquire illiquid securities if, as a result, such securities would comprise more than 15% of the value of the Fund’s net assets. Direxion, subject to oversight by the Board of Trustees, has the ultimate authority to determine, to the extent permissible under the federal securities laws, which securities are liquid or illiquid for purposes of this 15% limitation under the Fund’s liquidity risk management program, adopted pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act. Illiquid securities will be priced at fair value as determined in good faith under procedures adopted by the Board of Trustees. If, through the appreciation of illiquid securities or the depreciation of liquid securities, the Fund should be in a position where more than 15% of the value of its net assets are invested in illiquid securities, including restricted securities which are not readily marketable, Direxion will report such occurrence to the Board of Trustees and take such steps as are deemed advisable to protect liquidity in accordance with the Fund’s liquidity risk management program.
The Fund may not be able to sell illiquid investments when Direxion 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.
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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. 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 Trust’s Board of Trustees (“Board” or “Trustees”), or Direxion, under Board-approved guidelines, has determined are liquid. The Fund currently does not anticipate investing in such restricted securities. However, to the extent that the Fund does invest in such restricted securities, an insufficient number of qualified institutional buyers interested in purchasing Rule 144A-eligible securities held by the Fund could adversely affect 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.
Inflation Protected Securities
Inflation protected securities are fixed income securities whose value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. Two structures are common. The U.S. Treasury and some other issuers utilize a structure that accrues inflation into the principal value of the bond. Other issuers pay out the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) accruals as part of a semiannual coupon. Inflation protected securities issued by the U.S. Treasury have maturities of approximately five, ten or thirty years, although it is possible that securities with other maturities will be issued in the future. The U.S. Treasury securities pay interest on a semi-annual basis equal to a fixed percentage of the inflation adjusted principal amount.
If the periodic adjustment rate measuring inflation falls, the principal value of inflation protected bonds will be adjusted downward, and consequently the interest payable on these securities (calculated with respect to a smaller principal amount) will be reduced. Repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity (as adjusted for inflation) is guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury in the case of U.S. Treasury inflation indexed bonds, even during a period of deflation. However, the current market value of the bonds is not guaranteed and will fluctuate. The Fund may also invest in other inflation related bonds which may or may not provide a similar guarantee. If a guarantee of principal is not provided, the adjusted principal value of the bond to be repaid at maturity may be less than the original principal amount and, therefore, is subject to credit risk.
The value of inflation protected bonds is expected to change in response to changes in real interest rates. Real interest rates in turn are tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. Therefore, if the rate of inflation rises at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in value of inflation protected bonds. In contrast, if nominal interest rates increase at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in value of inflation protected bonds. While these securities are expected to be protected from long-term inflationary trends, short-term increases in inflation may lead to a decline in value. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation, investors in these securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bond’s inflation measure.
The periodic adjustment of U.S. inflation protected bonds is tied to the non-seasonally adjusted U.S. City Average All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (“CPI-U”), published monthly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI-U is a measurement of changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation and energy.
Any increase in principal for an inflation protected security resulting from inflation adjustments is considered by the IRS to be taxable income in the year it occurs. The Fund’s distributions to shareholders include interest income and the income attributable to principal adjustments, both of which will be taxable to shareholders. The tax treatment of the income attributable to principal adjustments may result in the situation where the Fund needs to make its required annual distributions to shareholders in amounts that exceed the cash received. As a result, the Fund may need to liquidate certain investments
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when it is not advantageous to do so. Also, if the principal value of an inflation protected security is adjusted downward due to deflation, amounts previously distributed in the taxable year may be characterized in some circumstances as a return of capital.
Junk Bonds
The Fund may invest in lower-rated debt securities, including securities in the lowest credit rating category, of any maturity, otherwise known as “junk bonds.”
Junk bonds generally offer a higher current yield than that available for higher-grade issues. However, lower-rated securities involve higher risks, in that they are especially subject to adverse changes in general economic conditions and in the industries in which the issuers are engaged, to changes in the financial condition of the issuers and to price fluctuations in response to changes in interest rates. During periods of economic downturn or rising interest rates, highly leveraged issuers may experience financial stress that could adversely affect their ability to make payments of interest and principal and increase the possibility of default. In addition, the market for lower-rated debt securities has expanded rapidly in recent years, and its growth paralleled a long economic expansion. At times in recent years, the prices of many lower-rated debt securities declined substantially, reflecting an expectation that many issuers of such securities might experience financial difficulties. As a result, the yields on lower-rated debt securities rose dramatically, but such higher yields did not reflect the value of the income stream that holders of such securities expected, but rather, the risk that holders of such securities could lose a substantial portion of their value as a result of the issuers’ financial restructuring or default. There can be no assurance that such declines will not recur.
The market for lower-rated debt issues generally is thinner and less active than that for higher quality securities, which may limit the Fund’s ability to sell such securities at fair value in response to changes in the economy or financial markets. Adverse publicity and investor perceptions, whether or not based on fundamental analysis, may also decrease the values and liquidity of lower-rated securities, especially in a thinly traded market. Changes by recognized rating services in their rating of a fixed-income security may affect the value of these investments. The Fund will not necessarily dispose of a security when its rating is reduced below its rating at the time of purchase. However, Direxion will monitor the investment to determine whether continued investment in the security will assist in meeting the Fund’s investment objective.
Mortgage-Backed Securities
The Fund may invest in mortgage-backed securities. A mortgage-backed security is a type of pass-through security, which is a security representing pooled debt obligations repackaged as interests that pass income through an intermediary to investors. In the case of mortgage-backed securities, the ownership interest is in a pool of mortgage loans.
Mortgage-backed securities are most commonly issued or guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae®” or “GNMA”), Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae®” or “FNMA”) or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac®” or “FHLMC”), but may also be issued or guaranteed by other private issuers. GNMA is a government-owned corporation that is an agency of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It guarantees, with the full faith and credit of the United States, full and timely payment of all monthly principal and interest on its mortgage-backed securities. FNMA is a publicly owned, government-sponsored corporation that mostly packages mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, but also sells some non-governmentally backed mortgages. Pass-through securities issued by FNMA are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest only by FNMA. FHLMC is a publicly chartered agency that buys qualifying residential mortgages from lenders, re-packages them and provides certain guarantees. Pass-through securities issued by FHLMC are guaranteed as to timely payment of principal and interest only by FHLMC.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) is mandating that Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® cease issuing their own mortgage-backed securities and begin issuing "Uniform Mortgage-Backed Securities" or "UMBS" in 2019. Each UMBS will have a 55-day remittance cycle and can be used as collateral in either a Fannie Mae® or Freddie Mac® security or held for investment. Investors may be approached to convert existing mortgage-backed securities into UMBS, possibly with an inducement fee being offered to holders of Freddie Mac® mortgage-backed securities. Mortgage-backed securities issued by private issuers, whether or not such obligations are subject to guarantees by the private issuer, may entail greater risk than obligations directly guaranteed by the U.S. government. The average life of a mortgage-backed security is likely to be substantially less than the original maturity of the mortgage pools underlying the securities. Prepayments of principal by mortgagors and mortgage foreclosures will usually result in the return of the greater part of principal invested far in advance of the maturity of the mortgages in the pool.
Collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) are debt obligations collateralized by mortgage loans or mortgage pass-through securities (collateral collectively hereinafter referred to as “Mortgage Assets”). Multi-class pass-through securities are interests in a trust composed of Mortgage Assets and all references in this section to CMOs include multi-class pass-through securities. Principal prepayments on the Mortgage Assets may cause the CMOs to be retired substantially earlier than their stated maturities or final distribution dates, resulting in a loss of all or part of the premium if any has been paid. Interest is paid or accrues on all classes of the CMOs on a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual basis. The principal and interest payments on
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the Mortgage Assets may be allocated among the various classes of CMOs in several ways. Typically, payments of principal, including any prepayments, on the underlying mortgages are applied to the classes in the order of their respective stated maturities or final distribution dates, so that no payment of principal is made on CMOs of a class until all CMOs of other classes having earlier stated maturities or final distribution dates have been paid in full.
Stripped mortgage-backed securities (“SMBS”) are derivative multi-class mortgage securities. The Fund will only invest in SMBS issued by Ginnie Mae®, which are obligations backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. SMBS are usually structured with two or more classes that receive different proportions of the interest and principal distributions from a pool of Mortgage Assets. The Fund will only invest in SMBS whose Mortgage Assets are U.S. government obligations. A common type of SMBS will be structured so that one class receives some of the interest and most of the principal from the Mortgage Assets, while the other class receives most of the interest and the remainder of the principal. If the underlying Mortgage Assets experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the Fund may fail to fully recoup its initial investment in these securities. The market value of any class which consists primarily, or entirely, of principal payments generally is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates.
Investment in mortgage-backed securities poses several risks, including among others, prepayment, market and credit risk. Prepayment risk reflects the risk that borrowers may prepay their mortgages faster than expected, thereby affecting the investment’s average life and perhaps its yield. Whether or not a mortgage loan is prepaid is almost entirely controlled by the borrower. Borrowers are most likely to exercise prepayment options at the time when it is least advantageous to investors, generally prepaying mortgages as interest rates fall, and slowing payments as interest rates rise. Besides the effect of prevailing interest rates, the rate of prepayment and refinancing of mortgages may also be affected by home value appreciation, ease of the refinancing process and local economic conditions. Market risk reflects the risk that the price of a security may fluctuate over time. The price of mortgage-backed securities may be particularly sensitive to prevailing interest rates, the length of time the security is expected to be outstanding, and the liquidity of the issue. In a period of unstable interest rates, there may be decreased demand for certain types of mortgage-backed securities, and the Fund invested in such securities wishing to sell them may find it difficult to find a buyer, which may in turn decrease the price at which they may be sold. Credit risk reflects the risk that the Fund may not receive all or part of its principal because the issuer or credit enhancer has defaulted on its obligations. Obligations issued by U.S. government-sponsored entities are guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest, but are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The performance of private label mortgage-backed securities, issued by private institutions, is based on the financial health of those institutions. With respect to GNMA certificates, although GNMA guarantees timely payment even if homeowners delay or default, tracking the “pass-through” payments may, at times, be difficult.
Municipal Obligations
The Fund may invest in municipal obligations. Municipal securities are fixed-income securities issued by states, counties, cities and other political subdivisions and authorities. Although most municipal securities are exempt from federal income tax, municipalities also may issue taxable securities. Tax exempt securities are generally classified by their source of payment. In addition to the usual risks associated with investing for income, the value of municipal obligations can be affected by changes in the actual or perceived credit quality of the issuers. The credit quality of a municipal obligation can be affected by, among other factors: a) the financial condition of the issuer or guarantor; b) the issuer’s future borrowing plans and sources of revenue; c) the economic feasibility of the revenue bond project or general borrowing purpose; d) political or economic developments in the region or jurisdiction where the security is issued; and e) the liquidity of the security. Because municipal obligations are generally traded OTC, the liquidity of a particular issue often depends on the willingness of dealers to make a market in the security. The liquidity of some municipal issues can be enhanced by demand features, which enable the Fund to demand payment from the issuer or a financial intermediary on short notice.
Futures Contracts, Options, and Other Derivative Strategies
Generally, derivatives are financial instruments whose value depends on, or is derived from, the value of one or more underlying assets, reference rates, or indices or other market factors (“reference assets”) and may relate to stocks bonds, interest rates, credit currencies, commodities or related indices. Derivative instruments can provide an efficient means to gain long or short exposure to the value of a reference asset without actually owning or selling the instrument. Examples of derivative instruments include futures contracts, swap agreements, options, options on futures contracts and forward currently contracts.
The Fund may enter into derivatives instruments which may include futures contracts, forward contracts, options on currencies, commodities, indices, or futures contracts and swaps which provide long and short exposure to reference assets. Derivatives may be more sensitive to changes in interest rates or to sudden fluctuations in market prices and thus the Fund’s losses may be greater if it invests in derivatives than if it invests in non-derivative instruments. Derivatives are also subject to counterparty risk, which is the risk that the other party in the transaction will not fulfill its contractual obligations.
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The use of derivative instruments is subject to applicable regulations of the SEC, the several exchanges upon which they are traded and the CFTC. In addition, the Fund’s ability to use derivative 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 the 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). Accordingly, the Fund will register prior to commencement of operations as a commodity pool, and the Adviser has registered as a CPO, with the National Futures Association.
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 Commodity Exchange Act 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, Direxion may discover additional opportunities in connection with derivative instruments and other similar or related techniques. These new opportunities may become available as Direxion develops new techniques, as regulatory authorities broaden the range of permitted transactions and as new derivative instruments or other techniques are developed. Direxion 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 derivative instruments involves special considerations and risks, certain of which are described below. Risks pertaining to particular derivative instruments are described in the sections that follow.
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(3) 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 derivative 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 Bank of New York Mellon ("BNYM"), 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 derivative 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.
Futures Contracts. 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 as a substitute for a comparable market position in the underlying security or index, 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.
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Generally, a futures contract is a standard binding agreement to buy or sell a specified quantity of an underlying reference instrument, such as a specific security, currency or commodity, at a specified price at a specified later date. A “sale” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to deliver the underlying reference instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. A “purchase” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to acquire the underlying reference instrument called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. The purchase or sale of a futures contract will allow the Fund to increase or decrease its exposure to the underlying reference instrument without having to buy the actual instrument.
The underlying reference instruments to which futures contracts may relate include non-U.S. currencies, interest rates, stock and bond indices and debt securities, including U.S. government debt obligations. In most cases the contractual obligation under a futures contract may be offset, or “closed out,” before the settlement date so that the parties do not have to make or take delivery. The closing out of a contractual obligation is usually accomplished by buying or selling, as the case may be, an identical, offsetting futures contract. This transaction, which is effected through a member of an exchange, cancels the obligation to make or take delivery of the underlying instrument or asset. If the original position entered into is a long position (futures contract purchased), there will be a gain (loss) if the offsetting sell transaction is carried out at a higher (lower) price, inclusive of commissions. If the original position entered into is a short position (futures contract sold) there will be a gain (loss) if the offsetting buy transaction is carried out at a lower (higher) price, inclusive of commissions.
Certain futures contracts are cash-settled, meaning the futures contract obligates the seller to deliver (and purchaser to accept) an amount of cash equal to a specific dollar amount multiplied by the difference between the final settlement price of a specific futures contract and the price at which the agreement is made. No physical delivery of the underlying asset is made.
Whether the Fund realizes a gain/loss from futures activities depends generally upon the movements in the underlying reference asset (generally a commodity, currency, security or index). The extent of the Fund’s loss from an unhedged short position in a futures contract is potentially unlimited, and investors may lose the amount that they invest plus any profits recognized on their investment.
Futures contracts may be bought and sold on U.S. and non-U.S. exchanges. Futures contracts in the U.S. have been designed by exchanges that have been designated “contract markets” by the CFTC and must be executed through a futures commission merchant (“FCM”), which is a brokerage firm that is a member of the relevant contract market. Each exchange guarantees performance of the contracts as between the clearing members of the exchange, thereby reducing the risk of counterparty default. Because all transactions in the futures market are made, offset, or fulfilled by an FCM through a clearinghouse associated with the exchange on which the contracts are traded, the Fund will incur brokerage fees when it buys or sells futures contracts. The Fund generally buys and sells futures contracts only on contract markets (including exchanges or boards of trade) where there appears to be an active market for the futures contracts, but there is no assurance that an active market will exist for any particular contract or at any particular time. An active market makes it more likely that futures contracts will be liquid and bought and sold at competitive market prices. In addition, many of the futures contracts available may be relatively new instruments without a significant trading history. As a result, there can be no assurance that an active market will develop or continue to exist.
When the Fund enters into a futures contract, it must deliver to an account controlled by the FCM (that has been selected by the Fund), an amount referred to as “initial margin” that is typically calculated as an amount equal to the volatility in market value of a contract over a fixed period. Initial margin requirements are determined by the respective exchanges on which the futures contracts are traded and the FCM. Thereafter, a “variation margin” amount may be required to be paid by the Fund or received by the Fund in accordance with margin controls set for such accounts, depending upon changes in the marked-to-market value of the futures contract. The account is marked-to-market daily and the variation margin is monitored by the Fund’s investment manager and custodian on a daily basis. When the futures contract is closed out, if the Fund has a loss equal to, or greater than, the margin amount, the margin amount is paid to the FCM along with any loss in excess of the margin amount. If the Fund has a loss of less than the margin amount, the excess margin is returned to the Fund. If the Fund has a gain, the full margin amount and the amount of the gain is paid to the Fund. Some futures contracts provide for the delivery of securities that are different than those that are specified in the contract. For a futures contract for delivery of debt securities, on the settlement date of the contract, adjustments to the contract can be made to recognize differences in value arising from the delivery of debt securities with a different interest rate from that of the particular debt securities that were specified in the contract. In some cases, securities called for by a futures contract may not have been issued when the contract was written.
Risks of futures contracts. The Fund’s use of futures contracts is subject to the risks associated with derivative instruments generally. The Fund may not be able to properly effect its strategy when a liquid market is unavailable for the futures contract the Fund wishes to close, which may at times occur. If the Fund were unable to liquidate 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, 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.
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A purchase or sale of a futures contract may result in losses to the Fund in excess of the amount that the Fund delivered as initial margin. Because of the relatively low margin deposits required, futures trading involves a high degree of leverage; as a result, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss, or gain, to the Fund. In addition, if the Fund has insufficient cash to meet daily variation margin requirements or close out a futures position, it may have to sell securities from its portfolio at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. Adverse market movements could cause the Fund to experience substantial losses on an investment in a futures contract. There is a risk of loss by the Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position in a futures contract. The assets of the Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the FCM or central counterparty because the Fund might be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds and margin segregated on behalf of an FCM’s customers. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, the Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use the Fund’s assets, which are held in an omnibus account with assets belonging to the FCM’s other customers, to satisfy its own financial obligations or the payment obligations of another customer to the central counterparty.
The difference (called the “spread”) between prices in the cash market for the purchase and sale of the underlying reference instrument and the prices in the futures market is subject to fluctuations and distortions due to differences in the nature of those two markets. First, all participants in the futures market are subject to initial deposit and variation margin requirements. Rather than meeting additional variation margin requirements, investors may close futures contracts through offsetting transactions that could distort the normal pricing spread between the cash and futures markets. Second, the liquidity of the futures markets depends on participants entering into offsetting transactions rather than making or taking delivery of the underlying instrument. To the extent participants decide to make or take delivery, liquidity in the futures market could be reduced, resulting in pricing distortion. Third, from the point of view of speculators, the margin deposit requirements that apply in the futures market are less onerous than similar margin requirements in the securities market. Therefore, increased participation by speculators in the futures market may cause temporary price distortions. When such distortions occur, a correct forecast of general trends in the price of an underlying reference instrument by the investment manager may still not necessarily result in a profitable transaction.
Futures contracts that are traded on non-U.S. exchanges may not be as liquid as those purchased on CFTC-designated contract markets. In addition, non-U.S. futures contracts may be subject to varied regulatory oversight. The price of any non-U.S. futures contract and, therefore, the potential profit and loss thereon, may be affected by any change in the non-U.S. exchange rate between the time a particular order is placed and the time it is liquidated, offset or exercised.
The CFTC and the various exchanges have established limits referred to as “speculative position limits” on the maximum net long or net short position that any person, such as the Fund, may hold or control in a particular futures contract. Trading limits are also imposed on the maximum number of contracts that any person may trade on a particular trading day. An exchange may order the liquidation of positions found to be in violation of these limits and it may impose other sanctions or restrictions. The regulation of futures, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law.
Futures exchanges may also limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in certain futures contract prices during a single trading day. This daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price. Once the daily limit has been reached in a futures contract subject to the limit, no more trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movements during a particular trading day and does not limit potential losses because the limit may prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. For example, futures prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of positions and subjecting some holders of futures contracts to substantial losses.
Risks Associated with Commodity Futures Contracts. There are several additional risks associated with transactions in commodity futures contracts.
Unlike the financial futures markets, in the commodity futures markets there are costs of physical storage associated with purchasing the underlying commodity. The price of the commodity futures contract will reflect the storage costs of purchasing the physical commodity, including the time value of money invested in the physical commodity. To the extent that the storage costs for an underlying commodity change while the Fund is invested in futures contracts on that commodity, the value of the futures contract may change proportionately.
In the commodity futures markets, producers of the underlying commodity may decide to hedge the price risk of selling the commodity by selling futures contracts today to lock in the price of the commodity at delivery tomorrow. In order to induce speculators to purchase the other side of the same futures contract, the commodity producer generally must sell the futures contract at a lower price than the expected future spot price. Conversely, if most hedgers in the futures market are purchasing futures contracts to hedge against a rise in prices, then speculators will only sell the other side of the futures contract at a higher futures price than the expected future spot price of the commodity. The changing nature of the hedgers and speculators in the commodity markets will influence whether futures prices are above or below the expected future spot price, which can have significant implications for the Fund. If the nature of hedgers and speculators in futures markets
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has shifted when it is time for the Fund to reinvest the proceeds of a maturing contract in a new futures contract, the Fund might reinvest at higher or lower futures prices, or choose to pursue other investments.
The commodities which underlie commodity futures contracts may be subject to additional economic and non-economic variables, such as drought, floods, weather, livestock disease, embargoes, tariffs, and international economic, political and regulatory developments. These factors may have a larger impact on commodity prices and commodity-linked instruments, including futures contracts, than on traditional securities. Certain commodities are also subject to limited pricing flexibility because of supply and demand factors. Others are subject to broad price fluctuations as a result of the volatility of the prices for certain raw materials and the instability of supplies of other materials. These additional variables may create additional investment risks which subject the Fund’s investments to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities.
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 Direxion 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.
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® 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.
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
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index such as the S&P 500® Composite Stock Index, the NYSE Composite Index or the NYSE Arca Major Market Index or on a narrower index such as the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Over-the-Counter Index.
Each of the exchanges 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 Direxion 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 position 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 multiplied by a specific factor (“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 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 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.
Options on Futures Contracts. 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 from writing unhedged call options on futures contracts is potentially unlimited. The Fund only purchases and sells options on futures contracts that are traded on a U.S. exchange or board of trade.
Purchasers and sellers of 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 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 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 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 Options on Futures Contracts. 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.
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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.
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 a buyer and seller 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.
Swap Agreements
The Fund may enter into swap and other derivatives to obtain long exposure to an underlying asset without actually purchasing such asset. 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/decrease, in value of a particular dollar amount invested in a “basket” of securities representing a particular index or an ETF representing a particular index or group of securities.
The Fund may enter into swaps to invest in a market without owning or taking physical custody of securities. For example, in one common type of total return swap, the Fund’s counterparty will agree to pay the Fund the rate at which the specified asset or indicator (e.g., an ETF, or securities comprising a benchmark index, plus the dividends or interest that would have been received on those assets) increased in value multiplied by the relevant notional amount of the swap. The Fund will agree to pay to the counterparty an interest fee (based on the notional amount) and the rate at which, the specified asset or indicator would decreased in value multiplied by the notional amount of the swap, plus, in certain instances, commissions or trading spreads on the notional amount.
As a result, the swap has a similar economic effect as if the Fund were to invest in the assets underlying the swap in an amount equal to the notional amount of the swap. The return to the Fund on such swap should be the gain or loss on the notional amount plus dividends or interest on the assets less the interest paid by the Fund on the notional amount. However, unlike cash investments in the underlying assets, the Fund will not be an owner of the underlying assets and will not have voting or similar rights in respect of such assets.
As a trading technique, Direxion may substitute physical securities with a swap having investment characteristics substantially similar to the underlying securities.
The use of swaps is a highly specialized activity which involves investment techniques and risks in addition to, and in some cases different from, those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. The primary risks associated with the use of swaps are mispricing or improper valuation, imperfect correlation between movements in the notional amount and the price of the underlying investments, and the inability of the counterparties or clearing organization to perform. If a counterparty’s creditworthiness for an over-the-counter swap declines, the value of the swap would likely decline. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the Fund could eliminate its exposure under an outstanding swap by entering into an offsetting swap with the same or another party. In addition, the Fund may use a combination of swaps on an underlying index and swaps on an ETF that is designed to track the performance of that index. The performance of an ETF may deviate from the performance of its underlying index due to embedded costs and other factors. Thus, to the extent the Fund invests in swaps
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that use an ETF as the reference asset, the Fund may be subject to greater correlation risk and may not achieve as high a degree of correlation with the Index as it would if the Fund used only swaps on the underlying index. Direxion, under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, is responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of the Fund’s transactions in swaps.
Common Types of Swaps
The Fund may enter into any of several types of swaps, including:
Total Return Swaps. Total return swaps may be used either as economically similar substitutes for owning the reference asset specified in the swap, such as the securities that comprise a given market index, particular securities or commodities, or other assets or indicators. They also may be used as a means of obtaining exposure in markets where the reference asset is unavailable or it may otherwise be impossible or impracticable for the Fund to own that asset. “Total return” refers to the payment (or receipt) of the total return on the underlying reference asset, which is then exchanged for the receipt (or payment) of an interest rate. Total return swaps provide the Fund with the additional flexibility of gaining exposure to a market or sector index by using the most cost-effective vehicle available.
Interest Rate Swaps. Interest rate swaps, in their most basic form, involve the exchange by the Fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive interest. For example, the Fund might exchange its right to receive certain floating rate payments in exchange for another party’s right to receive fixed rate payments. Interest rate swaps can take a variety of other forms, such as agreements to pay the net differences between two different interest indexes or rates. Despite their differences in form, the function of interest rate swaps is generally the same: to increase or decrease the Fund’s exposure to long- or short-term interest rates. For example, the Fund may enter into an interest rate swap to preserve a return or spread on a particular investment or a portion of its portfolio or to protect against any increase in the price of securities the Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date.
Other Financial Instruments. Other forms of swaps that the Fund may enter into include: interest rate caps, under which, in return for a premium, one party agrees to make payments to the other to the extent that interest rates exceed a specified rate, or “cap”; interest rate floors, under which, in return for a premium, one party agrees to make payments to the other to the extent that interest rates fall below a specified level, or “floor,” and interest rate collars, under which a party sells a cap and purchases a floor or vice versa in an attempt to protect itself against interest rate movements exceeding given minimum or maximum levels.
Mechanics of Swaps
Payments. Most swaps entered into by the Fund calculate and settle the obligations of the parties to the agreement on a “net basis” with a single payment. Consequently, a Fund’s current obligations (or rights) under a swap will generally be equal only to the net amount to be paid or received under the agreement based on the relative values of the positions held by each party to the agreement (the “net amount”). Other swaps may require initial premium (discount) payments as well as periodic payments (receipts) related to the interest leg of the swap or to the default of the reference entity. The Fund’s current obligations under most swaps (e.g., total return swaps, equity/index swaps, interest rate swaps) will be accrued daily (offset against any amounts owed to the Fund by the counterparty to the swap) and any accrued but unpaid net amounts owed to a swap counterparty will be covered by segregating or earmarking cash or other assets determined to be liquid. However, typically no payments will be made until the settlement date. 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.
Counterparty Credit Risk. The Fund will not enter into any uncleared swap (i.e., not cleared by a central counterparty) unless Direxion believes that the other party to the transaction is creditworthy. The counterparty to an uncleared swap will typically be a major global financial institution. The Fund bears the risk of loss of the amount expected to be received under a swap in the event of the default or bankruptcy of a swap counterparty. If such a default occurs, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the swaps, but such remedies may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws that could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor. The counterparty risk for cleared swaps is generally lower than for uncleared over-the-counter swaps because, in a cleared swap, a clearing organization becomes substituted for each counterparty to a cleared swap. The clearing organization takes on the obligations of each side of the swap and the Fund would only to the clearing organization for performance of financial obligations. However, there can be no assurance that the clearing organization, or its members, will satisfy its obligations to the Fund. Upon entering into a cleared swap, the Fund may be required to deposit with its futures commission merchant an amount of cash or cash equivalents equal to a small percentage of the notional amount (this amount is subject to change by the clearing organization that clears the trade). This amount, known as “initial margin,” is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the cleared swap and is returned to the Fund upon termination of the swap, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Subsequent payments, known as “variation margin” to and from the broker will be made daily as the price of the swap fluctuates, making the
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long and short position in the swap contract more or less valuable, a process known as “marking-to-market.” The premium (discount) payments are built into the daily price of the swap and thus are amortized through the variation margin. The variation margin payment also includes the daily portion of the periodic payment stream.
Termination and Default Risk. 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 the Fund is contractually entitled to receive, if any.
Regulatory Margin
In recent years, regulators across the globe, including the CFTC and the U.S. banking regulators, have adopted margin requirements applicable to uncleared swaps. While the Fund is not directly subject to these requirements, where the Fund’s counterparty is subject to the requirements, uncleared swaps between the Fund and that counterparty are required to be marked-to-market on a daily basis, and collateral is required to be exchanged to account for any changes in the value of such swaps. The rules impose a number of requirements as to these exchanges of margin, including as to the timing of transfers, the type of collateral (and valuations for such collateral) and other matters that may be different than what the Fund would agree with its counterparty in the absence of such regulation. In all events, where the Fund is required to post collateral to its swap counterparty, such collateral will be posted to an independent bank custodian, where access to the collateral by the swap counterparty will generally not be permitted unless the Fund is in default on its obligations to the swap counterparty.
In addition to the variation margin requirements, regulators have adopted “initial” margin requirements applicable to uncleared swaps. Where applicable, these rules require parties to an uncleared swap to post, to a custodian that is independent from the parties to the swap, collateral (in addition to any “variation margin” collateral noted above) in an amount that is either (i) specified in a schedule in the rules or (ii) calculated by the regulated party in accordance with a model that has been approved by that party’s regulator(s). At this time, the initial margin rules do not apply to the Fund’s swap trading relationships. However, the rules are being implemented on a phased basis, and it is possible that in the future, the rules could apply to the Fund. In the event that the rules apply, they would impose significant costs on the Fund’s ability to engage in uncleared swaps and, as such, could adversely affect Direxion’s ability to manage the Fund, may impair the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective and/or may result in reduced returns to the Fund’s investors.
Comprehensive swaps regulation. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) and related regulatory developments have imposed comprehensive new regulatory requirements on swaps and swap market participants. The regulatory framework includes: (1) registration and regulation of swap dealers and major swap participants; (2) requiring central clearing and execution of standardized swaps; (3) imposing margin requirements on swap transactions; (4) regulating and monitoring swap transactions through position limits and large trader reporting requirements; and (5) imposing record keeping and centralized and public reporting requirements, on an anonymous basis, for most swaps. The CFTC is responsible for the regulation of most swaps. The SEC has jurisdiction over a small segment of the market referred to as “security-based swaps,” which includes swaps on single securities or credits, or narrow-based indices of securities or credits.
Uncleared swaps. In an uncleared swap, the swap counterparty is typically a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution. The Fund customarily enters into uncleared swaps based on the standard terms and conditions of an International Swaps and Derivatives Association (“ISDA”) Master Agreement. ISDA is a voluntary industry association of participants in the OTC derivatives markets that has developed standardized contracts used by such participants that have agreed to be bound by such standardized contracts. In the event that one party to a swap transaction defaults and the transaction is terminated prior to its scheduled termination date, one of the parties may be required to make an early termination payment to the other. An early termination payment may be payable by either the defaulting or non-defaulting party, depending upon which of them is “in-the-money” with respect to the swap at the time of its termination. Early termination payments may be calculated in various ways, but are intended to approximate the amount the “in-the-money” party would have to pay to replace the swap as of the date of its termination. During the term of an uncleared swap, the Fund will be required to pledge to the swap counterparty, from time to time, an amount of cash and/or other assets equal to the total net amount (if any) that would be payable by the Fund to the counterparty if all outstanding swaps between the parties were terminated on the date in question, including any early termination payments (variation margin). Periodically, changes in the amount pledged are made to recognize changes in value of the contract resulting from, among other things, interest on the notional value of the contract, market value changes in the underlying investment, and/or dividends paid by the issuer of the underlying instrument. Likewise, the counterparty will be required to pledge cash or other assets to cover its obligations to the Fund. However, the amount pledged may not always be equal to or more than the amount due to the other party. Therefore, if a counterparty defaults in its obligations to the Fund, the amount pledged by the counterparty and available to the Fund may not be sufficient to cover all the amounts due to the Fund and the Fund may sustain a loss. Currently, the Fund does not typically provide initial margin in connection with uncleared swaps. However, rules requiring initial margin to be posted by certain market participants for uncleared swaps have been adopted and are being phased in over time. When these rules take effect with respect to the Fund, if the Fund is deemed to have material swaps exposure under applicable swap regulations, it will be required to post initial margin in addition to variation margin.
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Cleared swaps. Certain standardized swaps are subject to mandatory central clearing and exchange-trading. The Dodd-Frank Act and implementing rules will ultimately require the clearing and exchange-trading of many swaps. Mandatory exchange-trading and clearing will occur on a phased-in basis based on the type of market participant, CFTC approval of contracts for central clearing and public trading facilities making such cleared swaps available to trade. To date, the CFTC has designated only certain of the most common types of credit default index swaps and interest rate swaps as subject to mandatory clearing and certain public trading facilities have made certain of those cleared swaps available to trade, but it is expected that additional categories of swaps will in the future be designated as subject to mandatory clearing and trade execution requirements. Central clearing is intended to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity, but central clearing does not eliminate these risks and may involve additional costs and risks not involved with uncleared swaps. For more information, see “Risks of cleared swaps” below.
In a cleared swap, the Fund’s ultimate counterparty is a central clearinghouse rather than a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution. Cleared swaps are submitted for clearing through each party’s FCM, which must be a member of the clearinghouse that serves as the central counterparty. Transactions executed on a swap execution facility may increase market transparency and liquidity but may require the Fund to incur increased expenses to access the same types of swaps that it has used in the past. When the Fund enters into a cleared swap, it must deliver to the central counterparty (via the FCM) an amount referred to as “initial margin.” Initial margin requirements are determined by the central counterparty, and are typically calculated as an amount equal to the volatility in market value of the cleared swap over a fixed period, but an FCM may require additional initial margin above the amount required by the central counterparty. During the term of the swap agreement, a “variation margin” amount may also be required to be paid by the Fund or may be received by the Fund in accordance with margin controls set for such accounts. If the value of the Fund’s cleared swap declines, the Fund will be required to make additional “variation margin” payments to the FCM to settle the change in value. Conversely, if the market value of the Fund’s position increases, the FCM will post additional “variation margin” to the Fund’s account. At the conclusion of the term of the swap agreement, if the Fund has a loss equal to or greater than the margin amount, the margin amount is paid to the FCM along with any loss in excess of the margin amount. If the Fund has a loss of less than the margin amount, the excess margin is returned to the Fund. If the Fund has a gain, the full margin amount and the amount of the gain is paid to the Fund.
Risks of swaps generally. The use of swap transactions is a highly specialized activity, which involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio securities transactions. Whether the Fund will be successful in using swap agreements to achieve its investment goal depends on the ability of the Adviser to correctly predict which types of investments are likely to produce greater returns. If the Adviser, in using swap agreements, is incorrect in its forecasts of market values, interest rates, inflation, currency exchange rates or other applicable factors, the investment performance of the Fund will be less than its performance would have been if it had not used the swap agreements. The risk of loss to the Fund for swap transactions that are entered into on a net basis depends on which party is obligated to pay the net amount to the other party. If the counterparty is obligated to pay the net amount to the Fund, the risk of loss to the Fund is loss of the entire amount that the Fund is entitled to receive. If the Fund is obligated to pay the net amount, the Fund’s risk of loss is generally limited to that net amount. If the swap agreement involves the exchange of the entire principal value of a security, the entire principal value of that security is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations. In addition, the Fund’s risk of loss also includes any margin at risk in the event of default by the counterparty (in an uncleared swap) or the central counterparty or FCM (in a cleared swap), plus any transaction costs.
Because bilateral swap agreements are structured as two-party contracts and may have terms of greater than seven days, these swaps may be considered to be illiquid and, therefore, subject to the Fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities. If a swap transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, the Fund may not be able to establish or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses. Participants in the swap markets are not required to make continuous markets in the swap contracts they trade. Participants could refuse to quote prices for swap contracts or quote prices with an unusually wide spread between the price at which they are prepared to buy and the price at which they are prepared to sell. Some swap agreements entail complex terms and may require a greater degree of subjectivity in their valuation. However, the swap markets have grown substantially in recent years, with a large number of financial institutions acting both as principals and agents, utilizing standardized swap documentation. As a result, the swap markets have become increasingly liquid. In addition, central clearing and the trading of cleared swaps on public facilities are intended to increase liquidity.
Direxion, under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, is responsible for determining and monitoring the liquidity of the Fund’s swap transactions. Rules adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act require centralized reporting of detailed information about many swaps, whether cleared or uncleared. This information is available to regulators and also, to a more limited extent and on an anonymous basis, to the public. Reporting of swap data is intended to result in greater market transparency. This may be beneficial to funds that use swaps in their trading strategies. However, public reporting imposes additional recordkeeping burdens on these funds, and the safeguards established to protect anonymity are not yet tested and may not provide protection of the Fund’s identity as intended. Certain IRS positions may limit the Fund’s ability to use swap agreements in a desired tax strategy. It is possible that developments in the swap markets and/or the laws relating to swap
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agreements, including potential government regulation, could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to benefit from using swap agreements, or could have adverse tax consequences. For more information about potentially changing regulation, see “Developing government regulation of derivatives” below.
Risks of uncleared swaps. Uncleared swaps are typically executed bilaterally with a swap dealer rather than traded on exchanges. As a result, swap participants may not be as protected as participants on organized exchanges. Performance of a swap agreement is the responsibility only of the swap counterparty and not of any exchange or clearinghouse. As a result, the Fund is subject to the risk that a counterparty will be unable or will refuse to perform under such agreement, including because of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. The Fund risks the loss of the accrued but unpaid amounts under a swap agreement, which could be substantial, in the event of a default, insolvency or bankruptcy by a swap counterparty. In such an event, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the swap agreements, but bankruptcy and insolvency laws could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor. If the counterparty’s creditworthiness declines, the value of a swap agreement would likely decline, potentially resulting in losses. The Adviser will only approve a swap agreement counterparty for the Fund if the Adviser deems the counterparty to be creditworthy. However, in unusual or extreme market conditions, a counterparty’s creditworthiness and ability to perform may deteriorate rapidly, and the availability of suitable replacement counterparties may become limited.
Risks of cleared swaps. As noted above, under recent financial reforms, certain types of swaps are, and others eventually are expected to be, required to be cleared through a central counterparty, which may affect counterparty risk and other risks faced by the Fund.
Central clearing is designed to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity compared to uncleared swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap, but it does not eliminate those risks completely and may involve additional costs and risks not involved with uncleared swaps. There is also a risk of loss by the Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position, or the central counterparty in a swap contract. The assets of the Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the FCM or central counterparty because the Fund might be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds and margin segregated on behalf of an FCM’s customers. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, the Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use the Fund’s assets, which are held in an omnibus account with assets belonging to the FCM’s other customers, to satisfy its own financial obligations or the payment obligations of another customer to the central counterparty. Credit risk of cleared swap participants is concentrated in a few clearinghouses, and the consequences of insolvency of a clearinghouse are not clear.
With cleared swaps, the Fund may not be able to obtain terms as favorable as it would be able to negotiate for a bilateral, uncleared swap. In addition, an FCM may unilaterally amend the terms of its agreement with the Fund, which may include the imposition of position limits or additional margin requirements with respect to the Fund’s investment in certain types of swaps. Central counterparties and FCMs can require termination of existing cleared swap transactions upon the occurrence of certain events, and can also require increases in margin above the margin that is required at the initiation of the swap agreement. Currently, depending on a number of factors, the margin required under the rules of the clearinghouse and FCM may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by the Fund to support its obligations under a similar uncleared swap. However, regulators have proposed and are expected to adopt rules imposing certain margin requirements on uncleared swaps in the near future, which are likely to impose higher margin requirements on uncleared swaps.
Finally, the Fund is subject to the risk that, after entering into a cleared swap with an executing broker, no FCM or central counterparty is willing or able to clear the transaction. In such an event, the Fund may be required to break the trade and make an early termination payment to the executing broker.
Developing government regulation of derivatives. The regulation of cleared and uncleared swaps, as well as other derivatives, is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In addition, the SEC, CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the implementation or reduction of speculative position limits, the implementation of higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading. It is not possible to predict fully the effects of current or future regulation. However, it is possible that developments in government regulation of various types of derivative instruments, such as speculative position limits on certain types of derivatives, or limits or restrictions on the counterparties with which the Fund engages in derivative transactions, may limit or prevent the Fund from using or limit the Fund’s use of these instruments effectively as a part of its investment strategy, and could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment goal(s). The Adviser will continue to monitor developments in the area, particularly to the extent regulatory changes affect the Fund’s ability to enter into desired swap agreements. New requirements, even if not directly applicable to the Fund, may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and cost of doing business.
Other Investment Companies
The Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies, including open- and closed-end funds and 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
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shareholders indirectly 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. In addition, the Fund is subject to Section 12(d)(1)(C), which provides that the Fund may not acquire shares of a closed-end fund if, immediately after such acquisition, the Fund and other investment companies having the same adviser as the Fund would hold more than 10% of the closed-end fund’s total outstanding voting stock.
Section 12(d)(1)(F) of the 1940 Act provides that the provisions of paragraph 12(d)(1)(A) and (B) 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. Also, to the extent that an ETF has exemptive relief under Section 12(d)(1)(J), the Fund may rely on that exemptive relief to exceed the limits imposed by Section 12(d)(1)(A).
Shares of another investment company or ETF that has received exemptive relief from the SEC to permit other funds to invest in its 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 Exchange Traded Products (“ETPs”), which include ETFs, partnerships, commodity pools or trusts that are bought and sold on a securities exchange. The Fund may also invest in exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”), which are structured debt securities, whereby the issuer of the ETN promises to pay ETN holders the return on an index or market segment over a certain period of time and then return the principal of the investment at maturity. Whereas ETPs’ liabilities are secured by their portfolio securities, ETNs’ liabilities are unsecured general obligations of the issuer. Therefore, ETNs are subject to the credit risk of the issuer of the ETN, which is different than other ETPs. The value of an ETN security should also be expected to fluctuate with the credit rating of the issuer. Most ETPs and ETNs are designed to track a particular market segment or index, although an ETP or ETN may be actively managed. ETPs and ETNs share expenses associated with their operation, typically including advisory fees and other management expenses. When the Fund invests in an ETP or ETN, in addition to directly bearing expenses associated with its own operations, it will bear its pro rata portion of the ETP’s or ETN’s expenses. ETPs and ETNs trade like stocks on a securities exchange at market prices rather than NAV and as a result ETP or ETN shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (premium) or less than NAV (discount). The risks of owning an ETP or ETN generally reflect the risks of owning the underlying securities the ETP or ETN is designed to track, although lack of liquidity in an ETP or ETN could result in it being more volatile than the underlying portfolio of securities. In addition, because of ETP or ETN expenses, compared to owning the underlying securities directly, it may be more costly to own an ETP or ETN.
Additionally, the Fund may invest in swap agreements referencing ETFs. If the Fund invests in ETFs or swap agreements referencing ETFs, the underlying ETFs may not necessarily track the Index.
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 October 2016, the SEC implemented amendments to money market fund regulations (“Amendments”) intended to address perceived systemic risks associated with money market funds and to improve transparency for money market fund investors. In general, the 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 Amendments also permit all money market funds to impose liquidity fees and redemption gates for use in times of market stress. The SEC also implemented additional diversification, stress testing, and disclosure measures. The Amendments represented significant departures from the traditional operation of money market funds. Any impact on the trading and value of money market instruments may negatively affect the Fund’s yield and return potential.
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Real Estate Companies
The Fund may make investments in the securities of real estate companies, which are regarded as those which derive at least 50% of their respective revenues from the ownership, construction, financing, management or sale of commercial, industrial, or residential real estate, or have at least 50% of their respective assets in such real estate. Such investments include common stocks (including real estate investment trust shares, see “Real Estate Investment Trusts” below), rights or warrants to purchase common stocks, securities convertible into common stocks where the conversion feature represents, in Direxion’s view, a significant element of the securities’ value, and preferred stocks.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”)
The Fund may make investments in REITs. REITs include equity, mortgage and hybrid REITs. Equity REITs own real estate properties, and their revenue comes principally from rent. Mortgage REITs loan money to real estate owners, and their revenue comes principally from interest earned on their mortgage loans. Hybrid REITs combine characteristics of both equity and mortgage REITs. The value of an equity REIT may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property, while a mortgage REIT may be affected by the quality of the credit extended. The performance of both types of REITs depends upon conditions in the real estate industry, management skills and the amount of cash flow. The risks associated with REITs include defaults by borrowers, self-liquidation, failure to qualify as a pass-through entity under the federal tax law, failure to qualify as an exempt entity under the 1940 Act and the fact that REITs are not diversified.
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. The Fund may not 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.
Securities Lending
The Fund may lend portfolio securities to certain borrowers that Direxion determines to be creditworthy. The borrowers provide collateral that is maintained in an amount at least equal to the current market value of the securities loaned,
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marked to market daily. Borrowers continuously secure their obligations to return securities on loan from the Fund by depositing any combination of short-term U.S. government securities and cash as collateral with the Fund. No securities loan will be made on behalf of the Fund if, as a result, the aggregate value of all securities loaned by the Fund exceeds one-third of the value of the Fund's total assets (including the value of the collateral received) or such lower limit as set by Direxion or the Board. The Fund may terminate a loan at any time and obtain the return of the securities loaned. The Fund receives, by way of substitute payment, the value of any interest or cash or non-cash distributions paid on the loaned securities that it would have received if the securities were not on loan. 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.
With respect to loans that are collateralized by cash, the borrower may be entitled to receive a fee based on the amount of cash collateral. The Fund is typically compensated by the difference between the amount earned on the reinvestment of cash collateral and the fee paid to the borrower. In the case of collateral other than cash, the Fund is typically compensated by a fee paid by the borrower equal to a percentage of the market value of the loaned securities. A Fund may also receive such fees on “special” loans that are cash-collateralized. Any cash collateral may be reinvested in money market funds. Such money market fund shares will not be subject to a sales load, redemption fee, distribution fee or service fee. However, such investments are subject to investment risk.
Securities lending involves exposure to certain risks, including operational risk (i.e., the risk of losses resulting from problems in the settlement and accounting process), “gap” risk (i.e., the risk of a mismatch between the return of cash collateral reinvestments and the fees the Fund has agreed to pay a borrower), and credit, legal, counterparty and market risk. If a securities lending counterparty were to default, the Fund would be subject to the risk of a possible delay in receiving collateral or in recovering the loaned securities, or to a possible loss of rights in the collateral. In the event a borrower does not return the Fund’s securities as agreed, the Fund could experience losses if the proceeds received from liquidating the collateral do not at least equal the value of the loaned security at the time the collateral is liquidated, plus the transaction costs incurred in purchasing replacement securities. This event could trigger adverse tax consequences for the Fund. The Fund could lose money if its investment of cash collateral declines in value over the period of the loan. Substitute payments for dividends received by the Fund while its securities are loaned out will not be considered qualified dividend income.
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. The Fund will also incur transactions costs when conducting short sales.
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.
The Fund will incur a loss as a result of a short sales or short exposure to reference assets utilizing derivatives if the price of the security or reference asset increases between the date of the short sale or exposure and the date on which the Fund replaces the borrowed security or terminates the derivatives providing short exposure. The Fund will realize a gain if the price of a security or reference asset declines in price between those dates. The amount of any gain will be decreased, and the amount of any loss will be increased, by the amount of the premium, dividends or interest the Fund may be required to pay, if any, in connection with a short sale or derivatives that provide short exposure.
Unrated Debt Securities
The Fund may also invest in unrated debt securities. Unrated debt, while not necessarily lower in quality than rated securities, may not have as broad a market. Because of the size and perceived demand for the issue, among other factors, certain issuers may decide not to pay the cost of getting a rating for their bonds. The creditworthiness of the issuer, as well as any financial institution or other party responsible for payments on the security, will be analyzed to determine whether to purchase unrated bonds.
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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 Department (“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.
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 securities include U.S. Treasury obligations, which includes 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 obligations are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.
U.S. government securities also include obligations issued by U.S. government agencies and instrumentalities (“GSEs”) that are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (such as securities issued or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, Ginnie Mae®, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the General Services Administration and the Maritime Administration and certain securities issued by the Small Business Administration).
Also, U.S. government securities include securities that are guaranteed by U.S. government-sponsored entities that are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (such as Fannie Mae®, Freddie Mac®, or the Federal Home Loan Banks). These U.S. government-sponsored entities, although chartered and sponsored by the U.S. Congress, are not guaranteed, nor insured, by the U.S. government. They are supported only by the credit of the issuing agency, instrumentality or corporation.
Since 2008, Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® have been in conservatorship and 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. The MBS purchase programs technically ended in 2010 but the U.S. Treasury has continued its support for the entities’ capital as necessary to prevent a negative net worth through at least 2012 and other governmental entities have provided significant support to Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac®. There is no guarantee, however, that they will continue to do so. An FHFA stress test suggested that in a “severely adverse scenario” additional Treasury support of between $42.1 billion and $77.6 billion (depending on the treatment of deferred tax assets) might be required. Since then Congress has permanently reduced the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% starting January 1, 2018. This reduction could cause a substantial net loss and net worth deficit for the year in which the legislation is enacted. Should they experience such a net worth deficit, they could be required to draw additional funds from the U.S. Treasury to avoid being placed in receivership. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® will remain successful in meeting their obligations with respect to the debt and MBSs 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. Nevertheless, discussions among policymakers have continued as to whether Fannie Mae® and Freddie Mac® should be nationalized, privatized, restructured, or eliminated altogether. Fannie Mae reported in the third quarter of 2018 that there was “significant uncertainty regarding the future of our company.” 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 related to 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. Congress is currently considering several pieces of legislation that would reform GSEs, proposing to address their structure, mission, portfolio limits, and guarantee fees, among other issues.
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U.S. Government Sponsored Enterprises (“GSEs”)
GSE securities are securities issued by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities. Some obligations issued by GSEs are supported by the 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 Fannie Mae® and 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, a 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. A fund will invest in securities of such instrumentalities only when Direxion 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.
Zero-Coupon, Payment-In-Kind and Strip Securities
The Fund may invest in zero-coupon, payment-in-kind and strip securities of any rating or maturity. Zero-coupon securities make no periodic interest payment but are sold at a deep discount from their face value, otherwise known as “original issue discount” or “OID.” The buyer earns a rate of return determined by the gradual appreciation of the security, which is redeemed at face value on a specified maturity date. The OID varies depending on the time remaining until maturity, as well as market interest rates, liquidity of the security, and the issuer’s perceived credit quality. If the issuer defaults, the Fund may not receive any return on its investment. Because zero-coupon securities bear no interest and compound semi-annually at the rate fixed at the time of issuance, their value generally is more volatile than the value of other fixed-income securities. Since zero-coupon security holders do not receive interest payments, when interest rates rise, zero-coupon securities fall more dramatically in value than securities paying interest on a current basis. When interest rates fall, zero-coupon securities rise more rapidly in value because the securities reflect a fixed rate of return. Payment-in-kind securities allow the issuer, at its option, to make current interest payments either in cash or in additional debt obligations of the issuer. Both zero-coupon securities and payment-in-kind securities allow an issuer to avoid the need to generate cash to meet current interest payments.
An investment in zero-coupon securities and delayed interest securities (which do not make interest payments until after a specified time) may cause the Fund to recognize income and be required to make distributions thereof to shareholders before it receives any cash payments on its investment. Moreover, even though payment-in-kind 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. See “Dividends, Other Distributions and Taxes Income from Zero Coupon and Payment-in-Kind Securities.” Thus, the Fund could be required at times to liquidate other investments to satisfy distribution requirements.
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.
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
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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 shareholders will be reduced.
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.
Under current pronouncements, certain obligations under futures contracts, forward contracts and swap agreements to the extent that the “covers” its obligations as discussed in the “Futures Contracts, Options, and Other Derivatives Strategies” section will not be considered a “senior security” and, therefore, will not be subject to the 300% asset coverage requirements otherwise applicable to borrowings.
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 terms-to-maturity at the time of acquisition were less than 397 days, divided by the average monthly value of such securities owned during the year. Based on this calculation, instruments with remaining terms-to-maturity of less than 397 days are excluded from the portfolio turnover rate. Such instruments generally would include futures contracts and options, since such contracts generally have remaining terms-to-maturity of less than 397 days. In any given period, all of the Fund’s investments may have remaining terms-to-maturity of less than 397 days; 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 terms-to-maturity were less than 397 days 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. 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 the Index. Among these factors are: (1) Fund expenses, including brokerage expenses and commissions and financing costs related to derivatives (which may be increased by high portfolio turnover); (2) less than all of the securities in the Index being held by the Fund and securities not included in the Index being held by the Fund; (3) an imperfect correlation between the performance of instruments held by the Fund, such as other investment companies, including ETFs, 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; (6) the need to conform the Fund’s portfolio holdings to comply with the Fund’s investment restrictions or policies, or regulatory or tax law requirements; (7) disruptions and illiquidity in the markets for securities or derivatives held by the Fund.
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 the Index. The Fund may use a combination of swaps on the Index and swaps on an ETF whose investment objective is to track the performance of the same, or a substantially similar index to achieve its investment objective. The reference ETF may not closely track the performance of the Index due to fees and other costs borne by the ETF and other factors. Thus, to the extent that the Fund invests in swaps that use an ETF as a reference asset, the Fund may be subject to greater correlation risk and may not achieve as high a degree of leveraged correlation with the Index as it would if the Fund used swaps that utilized the Index as the reference asset. Any financing, borrowing or other costs associated with using derivatives may also reduce the Fund’s return.
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 a Fund service provider to suffer data corruption or lose operational functionality. A cybersecurity incident
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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 Funds' 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).
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, 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 shareholders’ meeting, if more than 50% of the outstanding shares are represented at the meeting in person or by proxy.
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 within three days (not including Sundays and holidays), or such longer period as may be permitted by the 1940 Act, to the extent necessary to comply with the one-third 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. Except for any Fund that is “concentrated” in an industry or group of industries within the meaning of the 1940 Act, 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 that tracks the Index will only concentrate its investment in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent as the 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, Direxion 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.
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Direxion 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, Direxion 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 Direxion.
In effecting portfolio transactions for the Fund, Direxion seeks to receive the closing prices of securities that are in line with those of the securities included in the Index and seeks to execute trades of such securities at the lowest commission rate reasonably available. With respect to agency transactions, Direxion may execute trades at a higher rate of commission if reasonable in relation to brokerage and research services provided to the Fund or Direxion. 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 to always seek the lowest possible commission cost could impede effective portfolio management and preclude the Fund and Direxion from obtaining a high quality of brokerage and research services. In seeking to determine the reasonableness of brokerage commissions paid in any transaction, Direxion 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.
Direxion may use research and services provided to it by brokers in servicing the Fund; however, not all such services may be used by Direxion in connection with the Fund. While the receipt of such information and services is useful in varying degrees and may reduce the amount of research or services otherwise provided to the Fund by Direxion, the receipt of such information and these services does not reduce the investment advisory fee 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.
No brokerage commissions are provided for the Fund because it had not commenced operations prior to the date of this SAI.
Portfolio Holdings Information
The Fund’s portfolio holdings are, or will be upon commencement of operations, disclosed on the Fund's website at www.direxion.com each day the Fund is open for business. In addition, 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.
The portfolio composition file (“PCF”), which contains portfolio holdings information and the IOPV, which contains certain pricing information related to the Fund’s portfolio holdings, are also 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 include: (i) National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) members; (ii) subscribers to various fee-based services, including 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; (iii) 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 (iv) certain personnel of service providers that are involved in portfolio management and providing administrative, operational, or other support to portfolio management including personnel of the Adviser and the Fund's distributor, administrator, custodian and fund accountant who are involved in functions which may require such information to conduct business in the ordinary course.
In addition, the Fund's Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) 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. In this regard, from time to time, rating and ranking organizations such as Standard & Poor’s® and Morningstar®, Inc. may request such information. The CCO shall report any disclosures made pursuant to this exception to the Board.
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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 Direxion, 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 Direxion and U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC (“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. Direxion, 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 Board members who are not “interested persons” of the Fund as defined in Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act (“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, Direxion 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 Direxion regularly report to the Board on a range of matters, including those relating to risk management. The Board also regularly receives reports from Direxion 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 Direxion, 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 Direxion in connection with the Board’s consideration of the renewal of each of the Trust’s agreements with Direxion and the Trust’s distribution plan under Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act.
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
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 and Governance 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 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 series in the complex.
The Trust is part of the Direxion Family of Investment Companies, which is comprised of the [ ] portfolios within the Trust, 15 portfolios within the Direxion Funds and no portfolios within the 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
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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 Direxion, 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 the date of this SAI. 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), 28th Floor, New York, New York 10019.
Interested Trustee
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(2)
Other
Trusteeships/
Directorships
Held by Trustee
During Past Five
Years
Daniel D. O’Neill(1)
Age: 51
Chairman of the Board of Trustees Lifetime of Trust until removal or resignation;
Since 2008
Managing Director of Rafferty Asset Management, LLC, January 1999 – January 2019 and Direxion Advisors, LLC, November 2017 January 2019.
[ ] None.
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: 75
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.
[ ] None.
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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: 77
Trustee Lifetime of Trust until removal or resignation;
Since 2008
Retired, since 1995; Salomon Brothers, Inc., 1971-1995, most recently as Managing Director. [ ] Director until December 2016: The MainStay Funds Trust, The MainStay Funds, MainStay VP Fund Series, Mainstay Defined Term Municipal Opportunities Fund; Private Advisors Alternative Strategy Fund; Private Advisors Alternative Strategies Master Fund.
David L. Driscoll
Age: 50
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.
[ ] None.
Jacob C. Gaffey
Age: 71
Trustee Lifetime of Trust until removal or resignation;
Since 2014
Managing Director of Loomis & Co. since 2012; Partner, Bay Capital Advisors, LLC
2008 2012.
[ ] None.
Henry W. Mulholland
Age: 56
Trustee Lifetime of Trust until removal or resignation; Since 2017 Grove Hill Partners LLC, since 2016 as Managing Partner; Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 1990-2015, most recently as Managing Director and Head of Equities for Americas. [ ] None.
(1) Mr. O’Neill is affiliated with Rafferty and Direxion. Mr. O’Neill owns a beneficial interest in Rafferty.
(2) 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 [ ] of the [ ] funds registered with the SEC, the Direxion Funds which, as of the date of this SAI, offers for sale to the public 15 funds registered with the SEC and the Direxion Insurance Trust which, as of the date of this SAI, does not have any 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.
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Daniel D. O’Neill: Mr. O’Neill has extensive experience in the investment management business, including as managing director of Rafferty and Direxion. Mr. O’Neill was the Managing Director of Rafferty from 1999 through January 2019 and Managing Director of Direxion from its inception in November 2017 through January 2019.
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: Mr. 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: Mr. 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.
Henry W. Mulholland: Mr. Mulholland has extensive experience with equity trading, risk management, equity market structure as well as managing regulatory and compliance matters.
Board Committees
The Trust has an Audit Committee, consisting of Messrs. Weisser, Shanley, Driscoll, Gaffey and Mulholland. 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 three times during the Trust’s most recent fiscal year.
The Trust also has a Nominating and Governance Committee, consisting of Messrs. Weisser, Shanley, Driscoll, Gaffey and Mulholland each of whom is an Independent Trustee. The primary responsibilities of the Nominating and Governance 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 and Governance Committee also evaluates and nominates Board member candidates. The Nominating and Governance Committee will consider nominees recommended by shareholders. Such recommendations should be in writing and addressed to the Fund with attention to the Nominating and Governance 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 and Governance Committee met three times during the Trust’s most recent fiscal year.
The Trust has a Qualified Legal Compliance Committee, consisting of Messrs. Weisser, Shanley, Driscoll, Gaffey and Mulholland. 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.
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), 28th 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:
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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(1)
Other Trusteeships/
Directorships Held
by Trustee During
Past Five Years
Robert D. Nestor
Age: 50
President One Year;
Since 2018
President, Rafferty Asset Management, LLC and Direxion Advisors, LLC, since April 2018; Blackrock, Inc. (May 2007-April 2018), most recently as Managing Director. N/A N/A
Patrick J. Rudnick
Age: 46
Principal Executive
Officer

Principal Financial
Officer
One Year;
Since 2018


One Year;
Since 2010
Senior Vice President, since March 2013, Rafferty Asset Management, LLC; Senior Vice President, since November 2017, Direxion Advisors, LLC.
N/A N/A
Angela Brickl
Age: 43
Chief Compliance
Officer

Secretary
One Year;
Since 2018


One Year;
Since 2011
General Counsel, Rafferty Asset Management LLC, since October 2010 and Direxion Advisors, LLC, since November 2017; Chief Compliance Officer, Rafferty Asset Management, LLC, since September 2012 and Direxion Advisors, LLC, since November 2017.
N/A N/A
(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 [ ] of the [ ] funds registered with the SEC, the Direxion Funds which, as of the date of this SAI, offers for sale to the public 15 funds registered with the SEC and the Direxion Insurance Trust which, as of the date of this SAI, does not have any funds registered with the SEC.
Because the Fund had not commenced operations prior to the date of this SAI, no Trustee owned Shares of the Fund as of the calendar year ended December 31, 2018.
The following table shows the amount of equity securities owned in the Direxion Family of Investment Companies by the Trustees as of the calendar year ended December 31, 2018:
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Dollar Range of Equity Securities Owned: Interested Trustee: Independent Trustees:
  Daniel D.
O’Neill
Gerald E.
Shanley III
John
Weisser
David L.
Driscoll
Jacob C.
Gaffey
Henry W. Mulholland
Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity Securities in the Direxion Family of Investment Companies(1) Over
$100,000
$0 $1-$10,000 $0 $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 [ ] of the [ ] funds registered with the SEC, the Direxion Funds which, as of the date of this SAI, offers for sale to the public 15 funds registered with the SEC and the Direxion Insurance Trust which, as of the date of this SAI, does not have any 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 Direxion 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, 2018:
Name of Person,
Position
Aggregate
Compensation
From the
Trust(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 Trustee
Daniel D. O’Neill $0 $0 $0 $0
Independent Trustees
Gerald E. Shanley III $93,438 $0 $0 $124,583
John A. Weisser $93,438 $0 $0 $124,583
David L. Driscoll $92,188 $0 $0 $122,917
Jacob C. Gaffey $92,188 $0 $0 $122,917
Henry W. Mulholland(3) $85,938 $0 $0 $114,583
(1)
Trustee compensation is allocated across the operational Funds of the Trust based on the proportion of the Fund’s net assets to the total net assets of the operational Funds of the Trust.
(2)
For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2018, Trustees’ fees and expenses in the amount of $457,190 were incurred by the Trust.
(3)
Mr. Mulholland was elected as a Trustee December 1, 2017.
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.
Because the Fund had not commenced operations prior to the date of this SAI, the Fund did not have control persons or principal shareholders and the Trustees and Officers did not own shares of the Fund.
Investment Adviser
Direxion Advisors, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rafferty Asset Management, LLC, 1301 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue), 28th Floor, New York, New York 10019, provides investment advice to the Fund. Direxion was organized as a Delaware limited liability company in October 2017.
Under an Investment Advisory Agreement (“Advisory Agreement”) between Direxion and the Trust, on behalf of the Fund dated November 21, 2017, and beginning February 15, 2018, Direxion 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. Direxion bears all costs associated with providing these advisory services and the expenses of the Trustees who are affiliated with or interested persons of Direxion. The Trust bears all other expenses that are not assumed by Direxion 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.
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The Advisory Agreement was initially approved by the Trustees (including all Independent Trustees) and Direxion for the Fund in compliance with the 1940 Act. After an initial approval period of two years, the Advisory Agreement is renewable at least annually with respect to the Fund, so long as its continuance is approved (1) by the vote, cast in person at a meeting called for that purpose, of a majority of the 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 upon a 60-day written notice either by the Trust or Direxion.
Under the Advisory Agreement, the Fund pays Direxion [ ]% at an annualized rate based on a percentage of the Fund's average daily net assets.
No advisory fees had been paid by the Fund because the Fund have not yet completed a fiscal year.
Direxion has entered into an Operating Services Agreement with the Fund. Under this Operating Services Agreement, Direxion, in exchange for an Operating Services Fee rate paid to Direxion by the Fund, has contractually agreed to pay all Fund expenses through September 1, 2020, other than the following: management fees, Rule 12b-1 distribution and/or service fees, taxes, swap financing and related costs, dividends or interest on short positions, other interest expenses, brokerage commissions, expenses incurred in connection with any merger or reorganization, acquired fund fees and expenses, and extraordinary expenses such as indemnification and litigation or other expenses outside the typical day-to-day operations of the Funds. The Operating Services Agreement may be terminated at any time by the Board of Trustees.
Direxion shall not be liable to the Trust or any Fund 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, Direxion and the Fund's distributor 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 and Tony Ng are jointly and primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. An investment trading team of Direxion employees assists Mr. Brigandi and Mr. Ng in the day-to-day management of the Fund subject to their primary responsibility and oversight. The Portfolio Managers work 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 periodically among the various series of the Trust, including the Fund, so that no single individual is assigned to a specific Fund for extended periods of time.
In addition to the Fund, Mr. Brigandi and Mr. Ng manage the following other accounts as of [ ], 2019:
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 [ ] $ [ ] 0 $0
Other Pooled Investment Vehicles 0 $0 0 $0
Other Accounts 0 $0 0 $0
Direxion manages no other accounts with investment objectives similar to those of the Fund. In addition, two or more funds advised by Direxion may invest in the same securities but the nature of each investment (long or short) may be opposite and in different proportions. Generally, due to the nature of the various Funds advised by Direxion, if the Fund with a leveraged investment objective increases in value, the performance of the Fund with an inverse or an inverse leveraged investment objective will decrease in value and vice versa. Direxion ordinarily executes transactions for the Fund “market-on-close,” in which funds purchasing or selling the same security receive the same closing price.
Direxion has not identified any additional material conflicts between the Fund and other accounts managed by the investment team. However, other actual or apparent conflicts of interest may arise in connection with the day-to-day management of the Fund and other accounts. The management of the Fund and other accounts may result in unequal time and attention being devoted to the Fund and other accounts. Direxion’s management fees for the services it provides to other accounts varies and may be higher or lower than the advisory fees it receives from the Fund. This could create potential conflicts of interest in which the portfolio manager may appear to favor one investment vehicle over another resulting in an account paying higher fees or one investment vehicle out performing another.
The investment team’s compensation is paid by Direxion. 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
44

 

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 used. Along with all other employees of Direxion, the investment team may participate in the firm’s 401(k) retirement plan where Direxion may make matching contributions up to a defined percentage of their salary.
Mr. Brigandi and Mr. Ng did not own any shares of the Fund as of [ ], 2019.
Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures
The Board has adopted policies and procedures with respect to voting proxies (the “Proxy Policy”) related to portfolio securities of the Fund. Pursuant to these policies and procedures the Board of the Trust has delegated responsibility for voting such proxies to the Adviser, subject to the Board’s continuing oversight.
The Proxy Policy is intended to protect shareholder interests and comply with applicable state and federal corporate and securities laws. It applies to any voting rights with respect to securities held in accounts of the Fund. To assist the Adviser in its responsibility for voting proxies and administering the overall proxy voting process, the Adviser has retained Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) as an expert in the proxy voting and corporate governance area. ISS is a subsidiary of Vestar Capital Partners VI, L.P.; a leading U.S. middle market private equity firm. The services provided by ISS include in-depth research, global issuer analysis, and voting recommendations as well as vote execution, reporting and record keeping. ISS issues monthly reports which are reviewed by the Adviser to assure proxies are being voted properly. The Adviser and ISS also perform checks on a quarterly basis to match the voting activity with available shareholder meeting information. ISS’ management meets on a regular basis to discuss its approach to new developments and amendments to existing proxy voting guidelines (the “Guidelines”). Information on such developments and amendments are then provided to the Adviser.
The Guidelines are maintained and implemented by ISS and are an extensive list of common proxy voting issues with recommended voting actions based on the overall goal of achieving maximum shareholder value and protection of shareholder interests and rights. Generally, proxies are voted in accordance with the voting recommendations contained in the Guidelines. If necessary, the Adviser will be consulted by ISS on non-routine issues. Proxy issues and factors considered when resolving proxy issues in the Guidelines include, but are not limited to:
Election of Directors considering all factors such as director qualifications, term of office and age limits.
Proxy Contests considering factors such as voting nominees in contested elections and reimbursement of expenses.
Election of Auditors considering factors such as independence and reputation of the auditing firm.
Proxy Contest Defenses considering factors such as board structure and cumulative voting.
Tender Offer Defenses considering factors such as poison pills (stock purchase rights plans) and fair price provisions.
Miscellaneous Governance Issues considering factors such as confidential voting and equal access.
Capital Structure considering factors such as common stock authorization and stock distributions.
Executive and Director Compensation considering factors such as performance goals and employee stock purchase plans.
State of Incorporation considering factors such as state takeover statutes and voting on reincorporation proposals.
Mergers and Corporate Restructuring considering factors such as spin-offs and asset sales.
Mutual Fund Proxy Voting considering factors such as election of directors and proxy contests.
Social and Corporate Responsibility Issues considering factors such as social, environmental, and labor issues.
A full description of the Guidelines and voting policy is maintain by the Adviser, and a complete copy of the Guidelines is available without charge, upon request by calling the Adviser at 866-476-7523.
Conflicts of Interest
From time to time, proxy issues may pose a material conflict of interest between the Fund's shareholders and the Adviser, the Distributor or any affiliates thereof. Due to the limited nature of the Adviser’s activities (e.g., no underwriting business, no publicly-traded affiliates, no investment banking activities, and no research recommendations), conflicts of interest are likely to be infrequent. Nevertheless, it shall be the duty of the Adviser to monitor potential conflicts of interest. In the event a conflict of interest arises, the Adviser will direct ISS to use its independent judgment to vote affected proxies in accordance with approved guidelines.
Proxy Voting Recordkeeping
The Adviser, with the assistance of ISS, maintains for a period of at least five years, a record of each proxy statement received and materials that were considered when the proxy was voted during the calendar year. Information on how the Fund voted proxies relating to portfolio securities for the 12-month (or shorter) period ended June 30 is available without charge, upon request, by calling the Adviser at 866-476-7523 or on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov.
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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. The Bank of New York Mellon, 101 Barclay Street, New York, New York 10286, serves as the Fund's transfer agent, and custodian. Direxion also performs certain administrative services for the Fund.
Pursuant to a Fund Administration 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.
Pursuant to a Fund Accounting Agreement between the Trust and BNYM, BNYM 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 BNYM a fee based on the Trust’s total average daily net assets and a minimum annual per fund fee, subject to certain negotiated fee waivers. BNYM also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses for the services mentioned above, including pricing expenses.
Pursuant to a Custody Agreement, BNYM serves as the custodian of the Fund’s assets. The custodian holds and administers the assets in the Fund’s portfolios. Pursuant to the Custody 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.
Pursuant to a Transfer Agency and Service Agreement between the Trust and BNYM, BNYM provides the Trust with transfer agency services, which includes Creation and Redemption Unit order processing. As compensation for these transfer agency services, the Trust pays BNYM a fee based on the Trust’s total average daily net assets and a minimum annual complex fee. BNYM also is entitled to certain out-of-pocket expenses for the services mentioned above.
No administrative and accounting services fees, custodian fees or transfer agent fees are shown for the Fund because it had not commenced operations prior to the date of this SAI.
Securities Lending
Each Fund has entered into a Securities Lending Authorization Agreement with BNYM (the “Securities Lending Agreement”) whereby BNYM will be the Lending Agent for the Fund. The Fund retains a portion of the securities lending income and remits the remaining portion to BNYM as compensation for its services as securities lending agent. Securities lending income is generally equal to the net income earned from the reinvestment of cash collateral after payment of cash collateral fees, and any fees or other payments from borrowers of securities.
BNYM acts as agent to the Trust to lend available securities with any person on its list of approved borrowers. BNYM determines whether a loan shall be made and negotiates and establishes the terms and conditions of the loan with the borrower. BNYM ensures that all substitute interest, dividends, and other distributions paid with respect to loan securities is credited to the Fund’s relevant account on the date such amounts are delivered by the borrower to BNYM. BNYM receives and holds, on the Fund’s behalf, collateral from borrowers to secure obligations of borrowers with respect to any loan of available securities. BNYM marks loaned securities and collateral to their market value each business day based upon the market value of the collateral and loaned securities at the close of business employing the most recently available pricing information and receives and delivers collateral in order to maintain the value of the collateral at no less than 102% of the market value of the loaned securities. At the termination of the loan, BNYM returns the collateral to the borrower upon the return of the loaned securities to BNYM. BNYM invests cash collateral in accordance with the Securities Lending Agreement. BNYM maintains such records as are reasonably necessary to account for loans that are made and the income derived therefrom and makes available to the Fund a monthly statement describing the loans made, and the income derived from the loans, during the period. The Fund shall receive the net securities lending revenue based on the securities lent from its holdings. The Fund may also pay custodial fees and other expenses associated with a loan.
The Funds did not have any securities lending activity as of October 31, 2018 as they had not commenced operations prior to that date.
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, 2018, the Distributor received $1,046,468 as compensation from Direxion for distribution services provided to the Trust. For the
46

 

fiscal year ended October 31, 2018, Foreside did not receive any underwriting commission or discounts, compensation on redemptions and repurchases, or brokerage commissions from the Fund.
The Adviser may pay certain broker-dealers, banks and other financial intermediaries for participating in activities that are designed to make registered representatives and other professionals more knowledgeable about exchange traded products, including the Fund, or for other activities such as participating in marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems. The Adviser had arrangements to make payments based on an annual fee for its services, as well as based on the average daily assets held by Schwab customers in certain funds managed by the Adviser, for services other than for the educational programs and marketing activities described above, only to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”). Pursuant to the arrangement with Schwab, Schwab has agreed to promote select funds managed by the Adviser, to Schwab’s customers and not to charge certain of its customers any commissions when those customers purchase or sell shares of those funds. Payments to a broker-dealer or intermediary may create potential conflicts of interest between the broker-dealer or intermediary and its clients. These amounts, which may be significant, are paid by the Adviser from its own resources and not from the assets of funds managed by the Adviser. Although a portion of the Adviser’s revenue comes directly or indirectly in part from fees paid by the Fund, other ETFs advised by the Adviser or other exchange-traded products, these payments do not increase the price paid by investors for the purchase of shares of, or the cost of owning, the Fund or other funds managed by the Adviser.
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 Direxion 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”), 220 South Sixth Street, Suite 1400, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402, is the independent registered public accounting firm for the Trust.
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, Independence Day, 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.
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.
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A security listed or traded on an exchange, domestic or foreign, is valued at its last sales price or settlement 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.
For purposes of determining NAV per share of the Fund, options and futures contracts are valued based on market quotations or the last sales or settlement price of the exchange on which an asset trades. 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.
Swaps are valued based upon prices from third party vendor models or quotations from market makers to the extent available.
Dividend income and other distributions are recorded on the ex-distribution date.
Illiquid securities, securities for which reliable quotations or pricing services are not readily available, all other assets not valued in accordance with the foregoing principles or for which pricing information is deemed unreliable, or to the Adviser’s knowledge, does not reflect a significant event occurring in the market, the security or asset 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 Direxion 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.
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 the Fund’s shareholders for the purpose of voting upon the question of removal of a Trustee of the Trust and will assist in communications with other Trust shareholders.
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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 clearance and settlement of securities transactions among the DTC Participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC Participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. More specifically, DTC is owned by a number of its DTC Participants and by the NYSE, 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
49

 

or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial owners owning through such DTC Participants.
DTC may determine to discontinue providing its service with respect to Shares at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Trust and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the Trust shall take action either to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost or, if such a replacement is unavailable, to issue and deliver printed certificates representing ownership of Shares, unless the Trust makes other arrangements with respect thereto satisfactory to the Exchange. 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 as of the Fund’s inception were 50,000 and $2,000,000, respectively.
See “Purchase and Issuance of Creation Units” and “Redemption of Creation Units” below for more information about transacting in the Shares. The Board reserves the right to declare a split or a consolidation in the number of Shares outstanding of the Fund, and may make a corresponding change in the number of Shares constituting a Creation Unit, in the event that the per 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 NAV 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 by depositing a basket of securities and/or cash with the Fund. The consideration for purchase of a Creation Unit of Shares of the Fund consists of either cash or the Deposit Securities (defined below) that may be a representative sample of the securities in the Index, the Balancing Amount, and the appropriate Transaction Fee (collectively, the “Portfolio Deposits”). 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. BNYM or Direxion 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 security (“Deposit Securities”) to be included in a current Creation Unit purchase (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) for the Fund. 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 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. You must also pay a Transaction Fee, as described in the Prospectus, in cash.
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 Direxion 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 or may be a representative sample of the securities in the 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 Direxion 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 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 Creation Unit, 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.
An 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 in the Prospectus. The Authorized Participant may require the investor to enter into an agreement with such Authorized Participant
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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. 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”.
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.
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.
Purchases through the Enhanced Clearing Process
To purchase or redeem through the Enhanced Clearing Process, an Authorized Participant must be a member of NSCC that is eligible to use the Continuous Net Settlement system. For purchase orders placed through the 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.
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.
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 Authorized Participant 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.
Rejection of Purchase Orders
The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject a purchase order transmitted to it by the Distributor in respect of the Fund if (a) the purchaser or group of purchasers, upon obtaining the shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares of the Fund; (b) the Deposit Securities delivered are not as specified by Direxion and Direxion has not
51

 

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 Direxion, 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 Direxion make it impractical to process purchase orders. The Trust shall notify a prospective purchaser of its rejection of the order. 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.
Generally, Creation Units of Shares are redeemed 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 above. 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, redemption orders placed through an Authorized Participant may result in additional charges to such investor.
In certain instances, Authorized Participants may create and redeem Creation Unit aggregations of the same Fund on the same trade date. In this instance, the Trust reserves the right to settle these transactions on a net basis.
The redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit consist of either cash or Redemption Securities on any Business Day, plus the Balancing Amount. BNYM or Direxion 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 security (“Redemption Securities”) to be included in a current Creation Unit redemption (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) for the Fund. The identity and number of shares of the Redemption Securities required for a Creation Unit redemption will change from time to time. For such custom orders, “cash in lieu” may be added to the Balancing Amount. You must also pay a Transaction Fee, described in the Prospectus, in cash. The redemption Transaction Fee is deducted from such redemption proceeds. The Redemption Securities may, at times, not be identical to Deposit Securities which are applicable to a purchase of Creation Units. In addition, an investor may request a redemption in cash which the Fund may, in its sole discretion, permit. A Fund may also, in its sole discretion, upon request of a shareholder, provide such redeemer a portfolio of securities that differs from the exact composition of the Fund securities but does not differ in NAV.
A 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. A Fund may also, in its sole discretion, upon request of a shareholder, provide such redeemer a portfolio of securities that differs from the exact composition of the Fund securities but does not differ in NAV.
The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed with respect to the Fund (1) for any period during which the NYSE is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (2) for any period during which trading on the NYSE is suspended or restricted; (3) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which disposal of the shares of the Fund’s portfolio securities or determination of its NAV is not reasonably practicable; or (4) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC.
An Authorized Participant may place an order to redeem Creation Units (i) through the Enhanced Clearing Process as such processes have been enhanced to effect redemptions of Creation Units, or (ii) through the Manual Clearing Process.
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
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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.
Placement of Redemption Orders outside the Enhanced Clearing Process
Orders to redeem Creation Units of the Fund outside the Enhanced 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 Enhanced Clearing Process need not be an Authorized Participant, but such orders must state that the DTC Participant is not using the Enhanced 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.
After the transfer agent has deemed an order for redemption of the Fund’s shares outside the Enhanced 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, for 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. See below for a list of local holidays in the foreign countries or markets relevant to the international funds.
Regular Foreign Holidays
The Fund generally intends to effect deliveries of Creation Units and portfolio securities on a basis of “T” plus two 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 two 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 two 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 for the international funds, 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, 2019 to December 31, 2019 in which the regular holidays affecting the relevant securities markets of the below listed countries are as follows:
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Australia   Austria   Belgium   Brazil   Canada   Chile   China
January 1
January 28
April 19
April 22
April 25
June 10
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
April 19
April 22
May 1
June 10
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 30
June 10
August 15
November 1
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
January 25
March 4
March 5
March 6
April 19
May 1
June 20
July 9
November 15
November 20
December 25
  January 1
January 2
February 18
April 19
May 20
June 24
July 1
August 5
September 2
October 14
November 11
December 25
December 26
  January 1
April 19
May 1
May 21
July 16
August 15
September 18
September 19
September 20
October 31
November 1
December 25
December 31
  January 1
January 21
February 4
February 5
February 6
February 7
February 8
February 18
April 5
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 13
May 27
June 7
July 1
July 4
September 2
September 13
October 1
October 2
October 3
October 4
October 7
October 14
November 11
November 28
December 25
December 26
    
Colombia   Czech Republic   Denmark   Egypt   Finland   France   Germany
January 1
January 7
March 25
April 18
April 19
May 1
June 3
June 24
July 1
August 7
August 19
October 14
November 4
November 11
December 25
  January 1
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 8
July 5
October 28
December 24
December 25
December 26
  January 1
April 18
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 17
May 30
May 31
June 5
June 10
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
January 7
April 25
April 28
April 29
May 1
June 4
June 5
July 1
July 23
August 11
August 12
October 6
  January 1
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 30
June 21
December 6
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 30
June 10
August 15
November 1
November 11
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 30
June 10
June 20
August 15
October 3
October 31
November 1
November 20
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
    
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Greece   Hong Kong   Hungary   India   Indonesia   Ireland   Israel
January 1
March 11
March 25
April 19
April 22
April 26
April 29
May 1
June 17
August 15
October 28
December 24
December 25
December 26
  January 1
February 4
February 5
February 6
February 7
April 5
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 13
June 7
July 1
October 1
October 7
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
March 15
April 19
April 22
May 1
June 10
August 10
August 19
August 20
October 23
November 1
December 7
December 14
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 27
December 31
  February 19
March 4
March 21
April 1
April 17
April 19
May 1
June 5
August 12
August 15
September 2
September 10
October 2
October 8
October 28
November 12
December 25
  January 1
February 5
March 7
April 3
April 19
May 1
May 30
June 3
June 4
June 5
June 6
June 7
December 24
December 25
December 31
  January 1
January 21
February 18
March 18
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 6
May 27
June 3
July 4
August 5
August 26
September 2
October 14
October 28
November 11
November 28
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  March 21
April 21
April 22
April 23
April 24
April 25
April 26
May 8
May 9
June 9
August 11
September 29
September 30
October 1
October 8
October 9
October 13
October 14
October 15
October 16
October 17
October 20
October 21
    
Italy   Japan   Korea   Malaysia   Mexico   Morocco   The Netherlands
January 1
April 19
April 22
May 1
August 15
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
January 2
January 3
January 14
February 11
March 21
April 29
April 30
May 1
May 2
May 3
May 6
July 15
August 12
September 16
September 23
October 14
October 22
November 4
December 31
  January 1
February 4
February 5
February 6
March 1
May 1
May 6
June 6
August 15
September 12
September 13
October 3
October 9
December 25
December 31
  January 1
January 21
February 1
February 4
February 5
February 6
May 1
May 20
May 22
June 4
June 5
June 6
August 12
September 2
September 9
September 16
October 28
December 25
  January 1
February 4
March 18
April 18
April 19
May 1
September 16
November 18
December 12
December 25
  January 1
January 11
May 1
June 4
June 5
July 30
August 12
August 13
August 14
August 20
August 21
September 2
November 6
November 11
November 12
November 18
  January 1
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 30
June 10
November 1
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
    
New Zealand   Norway   Peru   Philippines   Poland   Portugal   Russia
January 1
January 2
January 21
January 28
February 6
April 19
April 22
April 25
June 3
October 28
December 25
December 26
  January 1
April 17
April 18
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 17
May 30
June 10
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
April 18
April 19
May 1
July 29
August 30
October 8
November 1
December 25
  January 1
February 5
February 25
April 9
April 18
April 19
May 1
June 12
August 21
August 26
November 1
December 24
December 25
December 30
December 31
  January 1
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 3
June 20
August 15
November 1
November 11
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
April 19
April 22
April 25
May 1
June 10
June 13
June 20
August 15
November 1
December 25
December 26
  January 1
January 2
January 3
January 4
January 7
January 8
March 8
May 1
May 2
May 3
May 9
May 10
June 12
November 4
    
55

 

Singapore   South Africa   Spain   Sweden   Switzerland   Taiwan   Thailand
January 1
February 4
February 5
February 6
April 19
May 1
May 20
June 5
August 9
August 12
October 28
December 25
  January 1
March 21
April 19
April 22
May 1
June 17
August 9
September 24
December 16
December 25
December 26
  January 1
March 19
April 18
April 19
April 22
May 1
August 15
November 1
December 6
December 25
December 26
  January 1
April 18
April 19
April 22
April 30
May 1
May 29
May 30
November 1
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
January 2
April 8
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 30
June 10
August 1
September 9
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
  January 1
January 31
February 1
February 4
February 5
February 6
February 7
February 8
February 28
March 1
April 4
April 5
May 1
June 7
September 13
October 10
October 11
  January 1
February 19
April 8
April 15
April 16
May 1
May 20
July 16
July 29
August 12
October 14
October 23
December 5
December 10
December 31
    
Turkey   United Kingdom
January 1
April 23
May 1
June 3
June 4
June 5
June 6
July 15
August 12
August 13
August 14
August 30
October 28
October 29
  January 1
January 21
February 18
April 19
April 22
May 1
May 6
May 27
July 4
August 26
September 2
October 14
November 11
November 28
December 24
December 25
December 26
December 31
Redemption
The longest redemption cycle for the Fund is a function of the redemption cycles of 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 Units will not exceed 2% of the value of the redemption proceeds.
Purchasers of Creation Units of a Fund for cash may be required to pay an additional charge to compensate the 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 may 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. Investors will also bear the costs of transferring securities from a 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, Direxion 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.
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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 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
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) makes significant changes to the U.S. Federal income tax rules for taxation of individuals and corporations, generally effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Many of the changes applicable to individuals are not permanent and only apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026. While there are minor changes to the RIC rules, the Tax Act makes changes to the tax rules affecting shareholders and the Fund, including various investments that the Fund may make. Potential investors are urged to consult their own tax advisors for more detailed information.
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 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 also distributes the excess of its net short-term capital gain over net long-term capital loss (“short-term gain”), if any, annually but may make more frequent distributions thereof if necessary to avoid federal income or excise taxes. 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
Regulated Investment Company Status. The Fund is treated as a separate entity for federal tax purposes and intends to qualify for treatment as a RIC. If the Fund so qualifies and satisfies the Distribution Requirement (defined below) for a taxable year, it will not be subject to federal income tax on the part of its investment company taxable income (generally consisting of net investment income, short-term gain, and net gains and losses from certain foreign currency transactions, all determined without regard to any deduction for dividends paid) and net capital gain it distributes to its shareholders for that year.
To qualify for treatment as a RIC, the Fund must distribute to its shareholders for each taxable year at least the sum of 90% of its investment company taxable income (“Distribution Requirement”) and 90% of its net exempt interest income
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and must meet several additional requirements. For the Fund, these requirements include the following: (1) the Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income each taxable year from the following sources (collectively, “Qualifying Income”): (a) dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain securities loans, and gains from the sale or other disposition of securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including gains from options, futures, or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in securities or those currencies, and (b) net income from an interest in a “qualified publicly traded partnership” (“QPTP”) (“Income Requirement”); and (2) at the close of each quarter of the Fund’s taxable year, (a) at least 50% of the value of its total assets must be represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs and other securities, with those other securities limited, in respect of any one issuer, to an amount that does not exceed 5% of the value of the Fund’s total assets and that does not represent more than 10% of the issuer’s outstanding voting securities (equity securities of QPTPs being considered voting securities for these purposes), and (b) not more than 25% of the value of its total assets may be invested in (i) securities (other than U.S. government securities or the securities of other RICs) of any one issuer, (ii) securities (other than securities of other RICs) of two or more issuers the Fund controls that are determined to be engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, or (iii) securities of one or more QPTPs (collectively, “Diversification Requirements”). The Internal Revenue Service (“Service”) has ruled that income from a derivative contract on a commodity index generally is not Qualifying Income.
Although the Fund intends to satisfy all the foregoing requirements, there is no assurance that the Fund will be able to do so. The investment by the Fund primarily in options and futures positions entails some risk that it might fail to satisfy one or both of the Diversification Requirements. There is some uncertainty regarding the valuation of such positions for purposes of those requirements; accordingly, it is possible that the method of valuation the Fund uses, pursuant to which each of them would expect to be treated as satisfying the Diversification Requirements, would not be accepted in an audit by the Service, which might apply a different method resulting in disqualification of one or more funds.
If the Fund failed to qualify for treatment as a RIC for any taxable year, (1) its taxable income, including net capital gain, would be taxed at corporate income tax rates (up to 21%), (2) it would not receive a deduction for the distributions it makes to its shareholders, and (3) the shareholders would treat all those distributions, including distributions of net capital gain, as dividends (that is, ordinary income, except for the part of those dividends that is “qualified dividend income” (described in the Prospectus) (“QDI”)) if certain holding period and other requirements are met) to the extent of the Fund’s earnings and profits; those dividends would be eligible for the dividends-received deduction available to corporations under certain circumstances. In addition, the Fund would be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest, and make substantial distributions before requalifying for RIC treatment. However, the Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010 (“RIC Mod Act”) provides certain savings provisions that enable a RIC to cure a failure to satisfy any of the Income and Diversification Requirements as long as the failure “is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect” and the RIC pays a deductible tax calculated in accordance with those provisions and meets certain other requirements.
Excise Tax. The Fund will be subject to a nondeductible 4% excise tax (“Excise Tax”) to the extent it fails to distribute by the end of any calendar year substantially all of its ordinary income for that year and capital gain net income for the one-year period ending on October 31 of that year, plus certain other amounts.
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. The balance of the PFIC income will be included in the Fund’s investment company taxable income and, accordingly, will not be taxable to it to the extent it distributes that income to its shareholders. Fund distributions thereof will not be eligible for the maximum federal income tax rates applicable to QDI.
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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 -- which the Fund probably would have to distribute to satisfy the Distribution Requirement and avoid imposition of the Excise Tax -- 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. “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.
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. Gains from the disposition of foreign currencies (except certain gains therefrom that may be excluded by future regulations), and gains from options, futures, and forward contracts the Fund derives with respect to its business of investing in securities or foreign currencies, will be treated as Qualifying Income. The Fund will monitor its transactions, make appropriate tax elections, and make appropriate entries in its books and records when it acquires any foreign currency, option, futures contract, forward contract, or hedged investment to mitigate the effect of these rules, seek to prevent its disqualification as a RIC, and minimize the imposition of federal income and excise taxes.
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 agreementin 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. These rules may operate to increase the amount that the Fund must distribute to satisfy the Distribution Requirement (i.e., with respect to the portion treated as short-term capital gain), which will be taxable to its shareholders as ordinary income when distributed to them, and to increase the net capital gain the Fund recognizes, without in either case increasing the cash available to it. 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. Section 1256 contracts also may be marked-to-market for purposes of the Excise Tax.
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 unrecognized 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
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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 the 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).
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. Because the Fund annually must distribute substantially all of its investment company taxable income, including any accrued OID and other non-cash income, to satisfy the Distribution Requirement and avoid imposition of the Excise Tax, the Fund may be required in a particular year to distribute as a dividend an amount that is greater than the total amount of cash it actually receives. Those distributions will be made from the Fund’s cash assets or from the proceeds of sales of portfolio securities, if necessary. The Fund may realize capital gains or losses from those sales, which would increase or decrease its investment company taxable income and/or net capital gain.
Income from REITs. The Fund may invest in REITs that (1) hold residual interests in real estate mortgage investment conduits (“REMICs”) or (2) engage in mortgage securitization transactions that cause the REITs to be taxable mortgage pools (“TMPs”) or have a qualified REIT subsidiary that is a TMP. A portion of the net income allocable to REMIC residual interest holders may be an “excess inclusion.” The Code authorizes the issuance of regulations dealing with the taxation and reporting of excess inclusion income of REITs and RICs that hold residual REMIC interests and of REITs, or qualified REIT subsidiaries that are TMPs. Although those regulations have not yet been issued, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Service issued a notice in 2006 (“Notice”) announcing that, pending the issuance of further guidance, the Service would apply the principles in the following paragraphs to all excess inclusion income, whether from REMIC residual interests or TMPs.
The Notice provides that a REIT must (1) determine whether it or its qualified REIT subsidiary (or a part of either) is a TMP and, if so, calculate the TMP’s excess inclusion income under a “reasonable method,” (2) allocate its excess inclusion income to its shareholders generally in proportion to dividends paid, (3) inform shareholders that are not “disqualified organizations” (i.e., governmental units and tax-exempt entities that are not subject to the unrelated business income tax) of the amount and character of the excess inclusion income allocated thereto, (4) pay tax (at the highest federal income tax rate imposed on corporations) on the excess inclusion income allocable to its shareholders that are disqualified organizations, and (5) apply the withholding tax provisions with respect to the excess inclusion part of dividends paid to foreign persons without regard to any treaty exception or reduction in tax rate. Excess inclusion income allocated to certain tax-exempt entities (including qualified retirement plans, individual retirement accounts, and public charities) constitutes unrelated business taxable income to them.
A RIC with excess inclusion income is subject to rules identical to those in clauses (2) through (5) (substituting “who are nominees” for “that are not ‘disqualified organizations’” in clause (3) and inserting “record” after “its” in clause (4)). The Notice further provides that a RIC is not required to report the amount and character of the excess inclusion income allocated to its shareholders that are not nominees, except that (1) a RIC with excess inclusion income from all sources that exceeds 1% of its gross income must do so and (2) any other RIC must do so by taking into account only excess inclusion income allocated to the RIC from a REIT the excess inclusion income of which exceeded 3% of the REIT’s dividends. The Fund will not invest directly in REMIC residual interests, and does not intend to invest in REITs that, to its knowledge, invest in those interests or are TMPs or have a qualified REIT subsidiary that is a TMP.
The Fund may invest in REITs. REIT dividends and capital gain distributions are generally effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, the Code generally allows individuals and certain other non-corporate entities a deduction for 20% of (1) qualified REIT dividends and (2) qualified publicly traded partnership income. Recently issued proposed regulations allow a RIC to pass the character of its qualified REIT dividends through to its shareholders provided certain holding period requirements are met. As a result, an investor who invests directly in REITs will be able to receive the benefit of such deductions, while a shareholder in the Fund that invests in REITs will not.
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Taxation of Shareholders.
Basis Election and Reporting. A shareholder’s basis in Shares of the 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 the 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, the 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 income dividends. 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 the Fund can avoid FATCA withholding generally by certifying its status as such and, in certain circumstances 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 the 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 the Fund.
* * * * *
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.
For federal income tax purposes, the Fund is generally permitted to carry forward a net capital loss in any year to offset net capital gains, if any, during its taxable years following the year of the loss. The carryforward of capital losses realized in taxable years beginning prior to December 23, 2010, however, is limited to an eight-year period following the year of realization. Thereafter, capital losses carried forward will retain their character as either short-term or long-term capital losses rather than being considered all short-term as under previous law. The Fund must use losses that do not expire before it uses losses that do expire and the Fund’s ability to utilize capital losses in a given year or in total may be limited. To the extent subsequent net capital gains are offset by such losses, they would not result in federal income tax liability to the Fund and as noted above, would not be distributed as such to shareholders.
Capital Loss Carryforwards. Pursuant to the Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act of 2010, capital losses sustained in future taxable years will not expire and may be carried over without limitation.
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Financial Statements
Because the Fund had not commenced operations prior to the date of this SAI, no financial statements are available for the Fund.
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APPENDIX A
Description of Corporate Bond Ratings
Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings 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 or impairment on contractual financial obligations and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default or impairment. 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 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
A-1

 

mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category. National scale long-term ratings of D.ar and E.ar may also be applied to Argentine obligations.
S&P Global Ratings Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings*
An S&P Global Ratings issue credit rating is a forward-looking opinion about the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to a specific financial obligation, a specific class of financial obligations, or a specific financial program (including ratings on medium-term note programs and commercial paper programs). It takes into consideration the creditworthiness of guarantors, insurers, or other forms of credit enhancement on the obligation and takes into account the currency in which the obligation is denominated. The opinion reflects S&P Global Ratings' view of the obligor's capacity and willingness to meet its financial commitments as they come due, and this opinion may assess terms, such as collateral security and subordination, which could affect ultimate payment in the event of default. Issue credit ratings can be either long-term or short-term. Short-term ratings are generally assigned to those obligations considered short-term in the relevant market. Short-term ratings are also used to indicate the creditworthiness of an obligor with respect to put features on long-term obligations. Medium-term notes are assigned long-term ratings.
Issue credit ratings are based, in varying degrees, on S&P Global Ratings' analysis of the following considerations:
The likelihood of payment--the capacity and willingness of the obligor to meet its financial commitments on an obligation in accordance with the terms of the obligation;
The nature and provisions of the financial obligation, and the promise we impute; and
The protection afforded by, and relative position of, the financial obligation in the event of a 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 S&P Global Ratings. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments 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 commitments 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 commitments 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 weaken the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
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 exposure 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 that could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments 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 commitments on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor's capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitments 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 commitments 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 commitments 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 S&P Global Ratings expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.
C: An obligation rated 'C' is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared with 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 S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within five business days in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The 'D' rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation's rating is lowered to 'D' if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.
A-2

 

NR: This indicates that no rating has been requested, or that there is insufficient information on which to base a rating, or that S&P Global Ratings does not rate a particular obligation as a matter of policy.
*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 levelsMIG 1 through MIG 3while 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.
SG: This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Debt instruments in this category may lack sufficient margins of protection.
S&P Global Ratings Municipal Short-Term Note Ratings
An S&P Global Ratings U.S. municipal note rating reflects S&P Global Ratings opinion about the liquidity factors and market access risks unique to the notes. Notes due in three years or less will likely receive a note rating. Notes with an original maturity of more than three years will most likely receive a long-term debt rating. In determining which type of rating, if any, to assign, S&P Global Ratings analysis will review the following considerations:
Amortization schedule--the larger the final maturity relative to other maturities, the more likely it will be treated as a note; and
Source of payment--the more dependent the issue is on the market for its refinancing, the more likely it will be treated as a note.
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 both on the likelihood of a default or impairment on contractual financial obligations and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default or impairment.
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.
S&P Global Ratings Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings
A-1: A short-term obligation rated 'A-1' is rated in the highest category by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments 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 commitments 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 commitments 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 weaken the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
A-3

 

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 that could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.
C: A short-term obligation rated 'C' is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
D: A short-term obligation rated 'D' is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the 'D' rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The 'D' rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of 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+').
A-4


DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST

PART C

OTHER INFORMATION

 

Item 28.

Exhibits

 

(a)

  (i)    Certificate of Trust dated April 23, 2008 is herein incorporated by reference from the Direxion Shares ETF Trust’s (the “Trust”) Initial Registration Statement on Form N-1A filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on April 30, 2008.
  (ii)    Trust Instrument is herein incorporated by reference from the Pre-Effective Amendment No. 1 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on August 20, 2008.

(b)

     Amended and Restated By-Laws dated February 14, 2019 is herein incorporated by reference from the Post-Effective Amendment No. 239 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on February 26, 2019.

(c)

     Shareholders’ Rights are contained in Articles IV, V, VI, IX, and X of the Trust’s Trust Instrument and Articles V, VI, VII, VIII and IX of the Trust’s By-Laws.

(d)

  (i)(A)    Investment Advisory Agreement between the Trust and Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“RAM”) dated August 13, 2008 is herein incorporated by reference from the Post-Effective Amendment No. 171 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on October 19, 2016.
  (i)(B)    Amended Schedule A to the Investment Advisory Agreement between the Trust and RAM is herein incorporated by reference from the Post-Effective Amendment No. 239 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on February 26, 2019.
  (i)(C)    Investment Advisory Agreement between the Trust and Direxion Advisors, LLC (“DAL”) dated November 21, 2017 is herein incorporated by reference from the Post-Effective Amendment No. 204 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on January 17, 2018.
  (i)(D)    Amended Schedule A to the Investment Advisory Agreement between the Trust and DAL – to be filed by amendment.

(e)

  (i)(A)    Distribution Agreement between the Trust and Foreside Fund Services, LLC (“Foreside”) dated March 31, 2009 is herein incorporated by reference from the Post-Effective Amendment No. 171 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on October 19, 2016.
  (i)(B)    Amended Appendix A to the Distribution Agreement – to be filed by amendment.
  (ii)    Form of Authorized Participant Agreement is herein incorporated by reference from the Pre-Effective Amendment No. 1 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on August 20, 2008.

(f)

     Bonus, profit sharing contracts – None.

 

1


(g)

  (i)(A)    Form of Custody Agreement between the Trust and The Bank of New York (“BONY”) is herein incorporated by reference from the Pre-Effective Amendment No. 1 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on August 20, 2008.
  (i)(B)    Tenth Amended Schedule II to the Custody Agreement is herein incorporated by reference from the Post-Effective Amendment No. 133 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on June 3, 2015.
  (ii)    Custody Agreement between the Trust and U.S Bank National Association is herein incorporated by reference from the Post-Effective Amendment No. 89 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on September 16, 2013.

(h)

  (i)(A)    Form of Transfer Agency and Service Agreement between the Trust and BONY is herein incorporated by reference from the Pre-Effective Amendment No. 1 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on August 20, 2008.
  (i)(B)    Ninth Amended Appendix I to the Transfer Agency and Service Agreement is herein incorporated by reference from the Post-Effective Amendment No. 133 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on June 3, 2015.
  (ii)    Transfer Agent Servicing Agreement between the Trust and U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC is herein incorporated by reference from the Post-Effective Amendment No. 89 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on September 16, 2013.
  (iii)    Fund Administration Agreement between the Trust and U. S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC is herein incorporated by reference from the Post-Effective Amendment No. 80 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on November 30, 2012.
  (iv)(A)    Fund Accounting Agreement between the Trust and BONY is herein incorporated by reference from the Post-Effective Amendment No. 80 to the Trust’s Registration Statement filed on Form N-1A with the SEC on November 30, 2012.